Demonstrators light fireworks during a protest against coronavirus measures in Brussels, Belgium, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. Hundreds of people marched through central Brussels on Sunday to protest tightened COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Belgian government to counter the latest spike in coronavirus cases. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian police used water cannon and tear gas Sunday to disperse some rowdy protesters in Brussels after most demonstrators marched peacefully to protest tightened COVID-19 restrictions that aim to counter a surge of coronavirus infections.
Thousands came to reject the new measures announced Friday, the third week in a row that the government has tightened its rules as an avalanche of new cases strains the country’s health services, depriving people with other life-threatening diseases of treatment.
Shouting “Freedom! Freedom!” and carrying banners that said, “United for our freedom, rights and our children,” protesters marched to the European Union headquarters. Some also carried signs critical of vaccines and against making vaccine shots mandatory.
The main crowd in Sunday's mostly peaceful march had already dispersed when about a 100 protesters ran into a riot police barricade cordoning off access to the European Commission. After a brief stand-off with police, protesters hurdled trash and other objects, including a bicycle, at police and set off firecrackers and flares. Police used water cannon and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
On Friday, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced that day care centers and primary schools will close for the holiday a week early, and children must now wear masks from the age of 6. Indoor events will only be allowed with a maximum of 200 people.
Previously, the government closed nightclubs, and ordered bars and restaurants to shut at 11 p.m. for three weeks. Speculation had been rife that closing times would be brought forward to 8 p.m. but the cabinet decided against it.
According to the latest coronavirus figures, the EU nation of 11 million appears to have reached a plateau.
On a weekly average, 17,862 new daily cases were reported in Belgium, a rise of 6% over the previous week. Hospital admissions rose 4%. More than 3,700 people are hospitalized with the virus, 821 of them in intensive care. More than 27,000 people with the virus have died in Belgium since the outbreak began last year.
Follow all AP stories on the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic. 7 Stocks That Can Withstand a Taper Tantrum
The stock market is stimulated like a child with a sugar high on Halloween night, and investors are enjoying the ride. It seems like nearly every sector continues to point in one direction. But seasoned investors know that the markets don’t move in the same direction all the time. And even long-term bulls admit that a correction may be coming.
One reason for this is that the Federal Reserve (i.e. “The Fed”) is “talking about, talking about” an end to its asset purchase program. If that talk turns into concrete action, then it would be almost a sure sign that interest rates will rise sooner than expected.
That combination is typically negative for equities, such as stocks. Yet, even if the Fed announces an earlier-than-expected tapering plan, there are stocks that will hold up well and even thrive. And that’s the focus of this presentation. We’re taking a looks at seven stocks that stand to benefit from a less accommodative monetary policy.
Financial stocks are one group of stocks that will benefit from rising interest rates. And you should also consider stocks with a high return on equity (ROE).
ROE = Net Income/Shareholders’ Equity
Stocks with a high ROE are reinvesting cash at a high rate of return which can make them an ideal choice when that cash becomes more valuable.
View the "7 Stocks That Can Withstand a Taper Tantrum"