By Paul Carsten (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's arm, Ant Financial Services Group, is seeking a valuation of nearly $60 billion in its current round of funding, a person familiar with the matter said. Ant Financial, which operates the "Alipay" online payment platform, is in talks to raise funds from existing and new investors, which could include CCB International, the person said on Monday. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Monday that Ant Financial planned to raise up to 20 billion yuan ($3.07 billion), pegging its valuation at nearly $50 billion. Ant Financial declined comment on the Journal's story. The company was not available to comment on the $60 billion valuation outside regular business hours. The latest round of funding is expected to be completed by mid-April, the Journal reported. (Reporting by Paul Carsten in Beijing and Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)
India's government and parts of the media ignored warnings about a rising wave of cases, experts say.
- The Telegraph
Hollywood legend Robert De Niro is unable to turn down acting roles because he must pay for his estranged wife's expensive tastes, the actor's lawyer has claimed. Caroline Krauss told a Manhattan court that he is struggling financially because of the pandemic, a massive tax bill and the demands of Grace Hightower, who filed for divorce in 2018 after 21 years of marriage. The court has been asked to settle how much De Niro should pay Ms Hightower, 66, until the terms of the prenuptial agreement the couple negotiated in 2004 takes effect. “Mr De Niro is 77 years old, and while he loves his craft, he should not be forced to work at this prodigious pace because he has to,” Ms Krauss told the court. “When does that stop? When does he get the opportunity to not take every project that comes along and not work six-day weeks, 12-hour days so he can keep pace with Ms Hightower’s thirst for Stella McCartney?”
Police in Pakistan said a hardline Islamist group had taken six security personnel hostage at its headquarters in Lahore on Sunday after a week of violent clashes following the arrest of the group's leader. The Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) group had given the government an April 20 deadline to expel the French ambassador over the publication of cartoons in France depicting the Prophet Mohammad. The authorities responded by arresting its leader, prompting supporters to hold protests and sit-ins across Pakistan.
Four of the eight who died at a FedEx warehouse were members of the Sikh community.
A leading conspiracy theorist who thought COVID-19 was a hoax died from the virus after hosting illegal house parties
A high-profile conspiracy theorist from Norway, who shared false information about the pandemic online, has died from COVID-19, officials say.
Lance Bass says Colton Underwood may receive backlash from the LGBTQ community for 'monetizing' his coming out
Singer Lance Bass offered Colton Underwood some advice after the former "Bachelor" star came out as gay: "sit back, listen and learn."
- The Telegraph
She is said to be the Queen’s favourite daughter-in-law, and now the monarch is set to turn to the Countess of Wessex to fill the gap left by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in carrying out royal duties. The 56-year-old Countess was one of the most prominent members of the Royal family in the days following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death. She made the first public comments about his passing, repeatedly visited Windsor Castle and provided a photograph of the Queen and the Duke at Balmoral that Her Majesty chose to share with the world as a tribute to her late husband. The departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from the UK, and the effective retirement of the Duke of York, has left a major hole in the roster of Royal family members available to carry out public duties, and the Countess has been groomed to step out of the shadows in the year since “Megxit”. Her husband, the Earl of Wessex, 57, is also expected to increase his public profile as he prepares to take on the title Duke of Edinburgh when the Prince of Wales - who automatically inherited the title from his father - becomes king.
- USA TODAY
A massive Sephora sale is underway for the store's Spring Savings Event. Shop our top picks for the best deals from brands like Fenty Beauty and La Mer.
- The State
The car’s batteries kept reigniting, thwarting fire crews’ attempts to extinguish the blaze.
- USA TODAY Opinion
Opposing View: If Joe Biden will work with Republicans, we can expand infrastructure and economic opportunity — instead of the federal government.
- The Telegraph
The Duke of Edinburgh was the "glue" that held his wider family together, his German great niece said on Saturday. Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg said the Duke's longevity meant he was the one common link to the past for foreign-based branches of the family, for whom he was an "idol". Her brother, Prince Philipp, is one of three German relatives of the Duke given the honour of being among the 30 mourners at St George’s Chapel. The Duke's four sisters all married into the German aristocracy but were not invited to his wedding in 1947 because of sensitivities around the Second World War. However Prince Philip, who outlived all his sisters by decades, remained close to their descendants and often visited them in Germany. Speaking from Munich, Princess Xenia said: "He's been like a glue for the family, because sadly a lot of our grandmothers passed away much too early. "But he was always there, he was the link, so he brought all of us cousins, even though we were in Germany – a lot of us but not all of us – he brought us all together on a lot of family occasions, the last one having been his 90th birthday celebrations 10 years ago at Windsor. We were all there, there was a huge bunch of us, and it was lovely."
- The Telegraph
The Queen was seated two metres apart from her loved ones on Saturday as just 30 members of the Royal family attended the Duke of Edinburgh’s Covid-complaint funeral. Buckingham Palace said the 94-year-old monarch had faced “difficult decisions” over who to invite to the 3pm ceremony at St George’s Chapel and the seating plan reflected a strict adherence to the Government’s coronavirus rules on indoor worship. Her Majesty was seated alone at the front of the quire, on the south side of the chapel, where only three years ago she and Prince Philip watched Prince Harry marry Meghan Markle. She was in the same spot for Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank three months later in October 2018.
- Associated Press
The U.S. Justice Department made a “wrong and dangerous” argument in seeking to defend former President Donald Trump against a former advice columnist’s claim that he defamed her when he denied her allegation of rape, her lawyers have told a court. During Trump's presidency, the Justice Department sought to make the United States, not him personally, the defendant in E. Jean Carroll's lawsuit — a move that would put U.S. taxpayers on the hook if she got a payout in the case. The Justice Department has argued that the statements he made about Carroll, including that she was “totally lying” to sell a memoir and that “she's not my type," fell within the scope of his job as president.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A Lake Travis school board candidate was cited for a misdemeanor on April 7 after refusing to wear a mask at a Nordstrom Rack.
Mayim Bialik says not even the 'Big Bang Theory' writers were originally sure if Amy would say yes to marrying Sheldon
Mayim Bialik told Insider that even the "Big Bang Theory" writers had to discuss and weigh the options of Amy accepting or denying Sheldon's proposal.
Australia is no hurry to reopen its international borders and risk the country's nearly coronavirus-free lifestyle, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday. Australia closed its borders to all non-citizens and non-residents in March 2020 and has been permitting only limited international arrivals in recent months, mainly its citizens returning from abroad. The border closure, together with snap lockdowns, swift contact tracking and high community compliance with health measures, have made Australia one of the world's most successful countries in curbing the pandemic, limiting coronavirus cases to under 29,500 infections and 910 deaths.
Greece cannot ignore its differences with Turkey over territorial disputes in the Mediterranean and other issues but while a solution is difficult, it is not impossible, its foreign minister told a newspaper on Sunday. The two countries are NATO allies but at odds over many issues, including competing claims over the extent of their continental shelves in the Mediterranean, air space, energy resources and ethnically split Cyprus. "It is not possible to hide under the rug issues where we have different views and approaches," Nikos Dendias told Kathimerini newspaper in an interview.
- Business Insider
When it comes to China, the US need to figure out which fights are principled, and which fights are petty
Saber-rattlers think we can't cooperate with and confront China. They are wrong and delusional about where the US-China relationship is right now.
- The Telegraph
The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge will hold a summit to decide the future of the monarchy over the next two generations following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. In consultation with the Queen, Britain’s next two kings will decide how many full-time working members the Royal family should have, who they should be, and what they should do. The death of Prince Philip has left the Royal family with the immediate question of how and whether to redistribute the hundreds of patronages he retained. Meanwhile the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to step back from royal duties, confirmed only last month after a one-year “review period”, has necessitated a rethink of who should support the sovereign in the most high-profile roles. Royal insiders say that the two matters cannot be decided in isolation, as the issues of patronage and personnel are inextricably linked. Because any decisions made now will have repercussions for decades to come, the Prince of Wales will take a leading role in the talks. He has made it clear that the Duke of Cambridge, his own heir, should be involved at every stage because any major decisions taken by 72-year-old Prince Charles will last into Prince William’s reign. The Earl and Countess of Wessex, who were more prominent than almost any other member of the Royal family in the days leading up to the Duke’s funeral, are expected to plug the gap left by the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by taking on more high-profile engagements. However, they already carry out a significant number of royal duties – 544 between them in the last full year before Covid struck – meaning they will not be able to absorb the full workload left by the absences of the Sussexes and the Duke of York, who remains in effective retirement as a result of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. In 2019 the Sussexes and the Duke completed 558 engagements between them. It leaves the Royal family needing to carry out a full-scale review of how their public duties are fulfilled. Not only do they have three fewer people to call on, they must also decide what to do with several hundred patronages and military titles held by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Sussexes and possibly the Duke of York, if his retirement is permanent. Royal sources said the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge would discuss over the coming weeks and months how the monarchy should evolve. The issue has been at the top of the Queen and the Prince of Wales’s respective in-trays since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s one-year review period of their royal future came to an end last month, but the ill health and subsequent death of Prince Philip forced them to put the matter on hold.
- Business Insider
George W. Bush said failing to pass immigration reform was one of the 'biggest disappointments' of his presidency
Former President George W. Bush in a rare interview Sunday said Congress "isn't doing its job" and that he regrets not passing immigration reform.