How 2020's hottest car, the mid-engine Corvette, compares to rivals from Audi, McLaren, Lotus, and Acura

Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco Home Vandalized With Graffiti And A Pig’s Head Over Stimulus

Vandals left fake blood and a pig’s head in front of the garage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) San Francisco home. A message sprayed on the door demanded $2,000, apparently referring to COVID stimulus checks.

″$2K. Cancel Rent. We want everything,” read the black graffiti on the Pacific Heights garage.

Officers were called to the home at 2 a.m. and took a report, police told the San Francisco Chronicle. No one was apprehended, and police asked for help locating those responsible for the vandalism.

By Friday afternoon the message was covered with black garbage bags, ABC-7 News reported.

Speaker Pelosi could not immediately be reached for comment.

Pelosi and congressional Democrats have supported $2,000 stimulus checks, while the Republicans held the line at an extremely modest $600, which was the final figure in the COVID stimulus package.

President Donald Trump at the last minute also backed $2,000 checks, but didn’t have enough clout to convince the Republicans to budge. 

China Starts 2021 With Record New Year’s Day Box-Office Takings

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China’s box-office takings climbed to 545 million yuan ($83 million) on New Year’s Day, the highest for the day since records began in 2011, according to ticketing platform Maoyan Entertainment.

Local Chinese films were the top contributors to Friday’s figure, led by “A Little Red Flower,” a story about two cancer-fighting families, and romantic comedy “Warm Hug.”

The increase in ticket sales adds to signs the world’s largest film market is bouncing back after takings slumped by about two thirds last year amid a six-month shutdown of cinemas to combat the coronavirus.

China’s total box-office revenue for 2020 was $2.8 billion, down from a record $9.1 billion in 2019. Still, the reduced figure was higher than the $2.1 billion recorded in the U.S. for 2020, according to data from Maoyan and market tracker Box Office Mojo.

Stringent travel curbs, mass testing and increased surveillance have put the world’s second-biggest economy on track to recovery, while the pandemic remains rampant in the U.S. and Europe.

India’s Trade Deficit Widens in December as Imports Increase

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India’s trade deficit last month increased 26% from a year earlier as imports rose.

The deficit for Asia’s third-largest economy widened to $15.7 billion from $12.5 billion in December 2019 after imports climbed about 7% and exports fell less than 1%, the government said in a statement, citing preliminary data.

Gold imports surged by about $2 billion, an 82% jump from the previous year, while petroleum products saw the biggest decrease for any commodity group in trade into and out of the country, the government said. Shipments overseas of drugs and pharmaceutical products increased in value the most among India’s exports, rising 17% from a year earlier.

Gazprom’s 2020 Gas Exports Outside Former USSR 10% Lower

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Russia’s energy giant Gazprom PJSC exported 10% less natural gas to markets outside of the former USSR last year compared with 2019 amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a company statement Saturday.

Gazprom exported 179.3 billion cubic meters of gas to the European Union, Turkey and China in 2020, the company said, citing Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller’s comments on preliminary operational results. This compares with 199.2 billion cubic meters exported outside the former USSR in 2019.

Exports to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline reached 4.1 billion cubic meters, Gazprom said. Countries including Turkey and the Netherlands boosted gas purchases, it added. Gazprom’s domestic supplies of natural gas reached 225.7 billion cubic meters.

How 2020's hottest car, the mid-engine Corvette, compares to rivals from Audi, McLaren, Lotus, and Acura

  • I drove four mid-engine cars this past year: the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette, the Audi R8, the McLaren GT, and the Lotus Evora GT. Last year, Insider's Matt DeBord reviewed the Acura NSX.
  • All of them offered a mix of cylinder counts, horsepower ratings, and price points.
  • For me, the Corvette beat out the Audi but fell behind the McLaren and the Lotus.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Few cars in recent memory arrived with as much pomp and anticipation as the mid-engine Corvette. Rumored for decades, the thing finally became real in July of last year.

As the first model year of the new eighth-generation Corvette, the 2020 Corvette — known as the C8 — is significant because of its engine placement. Whereas every single Corvette model that preceded it placed its engine in front of the driver, the C8's engine is tucked behind the driver and between the car's front and rear axles.

Verdict: I gave the Lotus back at the beginning of September and not a day goes by that I don't think of it. It brought skill back to the act of driving and was one of the few loaner cars I've taken out that I could genuinely see myself owning.

It might seem ludicrous to charge nearly $100,000 for so little car, but if you love driving at all, get yourself into one. The Evora GT will warp your perceptions to fit around itself, just like it did me.