The Trump business backlash, more stimulus and a stamp for Greta

We round up the numbers to know from the week’s biggest economic and business news stories so you can impress yourself and your friends.

National Guard gather at the U.S. Capitol as the House of Representatives
Here are the big business and economic news stories you might have missed when you were glued to the drama unfolding on Capitol Hill [File: Erin Scott/Reuters]

United States President Donald Trump made history this week by becoming the only president to be impeached twice. But that’s not the only big number to make headlines.

Here are the key business and economic news stories you might have missed when you were glued to the drama unfolding on Capitol Hill.


Wait, aren’t you guys business reporters? Okay, okay, we know we should be more specific, but the list of businesses, universities and cities to cut ties with Trump — and the Republican lawmakers who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory — just keeps growing.

The Trump brand has become increasingly toxic as consumers demand that businesses, politicians and other powerful figures take a stand against the outgoing US president and the assault on democracy made in his name.

Among the highlights: social media giants have banned Trump from their platforms; some banks have reportedly decided to stop doing business with him and the organisation that bears his name; universities have rescinded honorary degrees they awarded to Trump; New York City has cancelled business contracts with the Trump Organization, and the Professional Golfers’ Association of America pulled its championship from Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

It’s a big blow for the reality TV star turned president, who has long boasted of his business acumen and styles himself as a master negotiator. We’re updating the list in real time, so check it out for the latest.

$1.9 trillion

That’s the value of the stimulus package proposed by President-elect Joe Biden to help the US’s COVID-19-ravaged economy. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to be sworn in on January 20, and they inherit a deeply wounded — and deeply unequal — economy.

Biden’s stimulus proposal includes $1,400 stimulus cheques (on top of the $600 cheques approved in late December) and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.


That help can’t come soon enough, because nearly a million Americans signed up for state jobless benefits last week.

Some 965,000 people filed initial jobless claims with states in the week ending January 9, the US Department of Labor said on Thursday. That is the highest reading in five months and an increase of 181,000 over the previous week.

A surge in COVID-19 infections has prompted new restrictions on businesses, triggering more layoffs.


The Earth’s average temperature was 1.02 degrees Celsius (1.84 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the baseline 1951-1980 mean, which means that 2020 came in hot — tying 2016 as the warmest year on record, according to a climate analysis published Thursday by NASA and the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

More significant than a record-breakingly warm year, however, is the fact that the global temperature spike in 2020 is consistent with an upward trend that has been observed for decades.

“The past seven years have been the seven warmest years on record since 1880,” Lesley Ott, a research meteorologist at NASA, told Al Jazeera. “So not only are we seeing 2020 as a very warm year, this is something that we’ve seen continuing and continuing. We’re seeing this steady march upwards of temperatures over recent decades.”

Nearly 2,000

The number of exhibitors at this year’s first-ever fully virtual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Normally held in Las Vegas, Nevada, this year’s CES has entrepreneurs vying for the public’s and investors’ attention with virtual booths and breakout sessions.

Among the innovations? Temperature-controlled smart food lockers (yum), sanitising robots, personalised perfume dispensers that change scents based on your mood and a Bluetooth N95 mask that lets you make calls, play music and use a virtual assistant while staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Alexa, get me the vaccine.


The value of a new Swedish postage stamp featuring 18-year-old climate justice activist Greta Thunberg. The stamp, which features Thunberg in her signature yellow raincoat, was unveiled this week as part of a series of postage stamps celebrating the environment, and costs 12 Swedish kroner.

Source: Al Jazeera