QAnon Popularity Surges During Pandemic As People Stay Home, Go Online

Laveta Brigham

Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia congressional candidate who’s supported the far-right and baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, tweeted that she’s been invited to the White House for President Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican nomination.

President Trump’s embrace of Greene and QAnon launched the conspiracy into mainstream political and social media circles, despite the group being linked to real-world violence and anti-semitic views.

“I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate but I don’t know much about the movement. I have heard that it is gaining in popularity,” President Donald Trump said in an August 19 White House Press Conference.

Experts say the COVID-19 pandemic has also boosted the popularity of QAnon.

“Around March, which is when Lockdown was really impacting the US at first, there’s a huge spike in people interacting with QAnon on mainstream social media,” says Blyth

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Afterpay adds Asia to expansion plans as online shopping surges

Laveta Brigham

By Nikhil Nainan

(Reuters) – Afterpay laid out plans on Thursday to expand its buy-now, pay-later service to at least four continents, capitalising on the sector’s burgeoning popularity, as the Australian firm said its full-year loss more than halved.

An online shopping boom triggered by the coronavirus outbreak has boosted growth in the BNPL sector and helped turn Afterpay into one of Australia’s 20 most valuable stocks, having soared more than 10-fold since March.

The quarter to June was Afterpay’s best in terms of the amount of sales it processed, and underlying sales in fiscal 2020 doubled from last year to A$11.10 billion ($8.04 billion).

With nearly 10 million active customers and competition building, Afterpay set it sights on Asia with the acquisition of a Indonesia-focused but Singapore-based BNPL, EmpatKali.

“They have got an established, albeit, very early stage position in Indonesia,” Chief Executive Anthony Eisen told Reuters.

The Southeast

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PayPal Volume Surges With Consumers Flocking to Online Shopping

Laveta Brigham

(Bloomberg) — PayPal Holdings Inc. climbed after executives said a surge in digital payments on its platform in the second quarter marks an accelerating and permanent shift away from cash in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The technology giant, which has been signing up consumers spooked by the virus, said Wednesday it now expects revenue to climb 25% this quarter while payments volume surges 30%. It sees full-year revenue climbing 22%.

“This is our time,” Chief Executive Officer Dan Schulman told analysts on a conference call. “We intend to seize the moment.”

Lockdowns to prevent viral infections, and the ensuing shift to online commerce, spurred people to learn how to make digital payments. That helped boost the number of net new active accounts to 21.3 million. The company said it now expects to add 70 million active accounts in the latter half of the year.

“The big competition for

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Virus Surges in Arizona, but the Rodeo Goes on

Laveta Brigham

Testing for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times)
Testing for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times)

PHOENIX — As infections surged through Arizona’s desert landscape this week, word spread that the Round Valley Rodeo, a century-old tradition luring calf ropers, youth riders and big crowds to the mountain town of Springerville, might be called off. The fate of the Fourth of July parade in the nearby hamlet of Eagar seemed in doubt, too, as Gov. Doug Ducey prepared to issue new pandemic guidance.

But Ducey stopped short of ordering a halt to such events, and as of Friday, he had not required Arizonans to wear face coverings in public spaces, as Texas did Thursday. The rodeo and parade will march ahead Saturday as planned, even as infections in the state spiral.

Such is the way fiercely independent Arizona has handled the virus from the

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