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  • 24.06.2019 | Lawyers for Huawei CFO urge Canada's Justice Minister to withdraw extradition proceedings




    (Reuters) - Lawyers for Huawei's chief executive officer Meng Wanzhou, who is being detained in Canada on U.S. fraud charges, on Monday urged Canada's Minister of Justice to reconsider whether to withdraw the extradition proceedings. Meng, daughter of Huawei's founder, was arrested in Vancouver in December. She has said she is innocent. In a statement, Meng's Canadian lawyers said "the extradition proceedings are without merit" and that ending them would be in Canada's "best interests." The lawyers said Meng's extradition was sought for political purposes as opposed to legitimate law enforcement reasons.   © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Huawei's Financial Chief Meng Wanzhou leaves her family home in Vancouver, British Columbia   https://quantsalus.com/rules/...

    (Reuters) - Lawyers for Huawei's chief executive officer Meng Wanzhou, who is being detained in Canada on U.S. fraud charges, on Monday urged Canada's Minister of Justice to reconsider whether to withdraw the extradition proceedings.

    Meng, daughter of Huawei's founder, was arrested in Vancouver in December. She has said she is innocent.

    In a statement, Meng's Canadian lawyers said "the extradition proceedings are without merit" and that ending them would be in Canada's "best interests."

    The lawyers said Meng's extradition was sought for political purposes as opposed to legitimate law enforcement reasons.

     

    © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Huawei's Financial Chief Meng Wanzhou leaves her family home in Vancouver, British Columbia

     

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    24.06.2019 | NordLB looking at options for Deutsche Hypo, including sale




    BERLIN (Reuters) - German bank NordLB will consider selling or fully integrating its property lending division Deutsche Hypo, according to documents detailing rescue plans for the German bank seen by Reuters on Monday. NordLB, struggling with writedowns on bad shipping loans, is to be rescued with 3.6 billion euros by its owners, which include the states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt as well as savings banks. NordLB has been considering what to do with the profitable division. In April, sources familiar with the matter said NordLB had been planning to hold on to it after looking into a potential sale. The alternative scenarios are to be examined by 2021, according to the documents, which ruled out a partial sale of the property business. NordLB decline to comment.   © Reuters. NordLB looking at options for Deutsche Hypo, including sale   https://quantsalus.com/faq/...

    BERLIN (Reuters) - German bank NordLB will consider selling or fully integrating its property lending division Deutsche Hypo, according to documents detailing rescue plans for the German bank seen by Reuters on Monday.

    NordLB, struggling with writedowns on bad shipping loans, is to be rescued with 3.6 billion euros by its owners, which include the states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt as well as savings banks.

    NordLB has been considering what to do with the profitable division. In April, sources familiar with the matter said NordLB had been planning to hold on to it after looking into a potential sale.

    The alternative scenarios are to be examined by 2021, according to the documents, which ruled out a partial sale of the property business.

    NordLB decline to comment.

     

    © Reuters. NordLB looking at options for Deutsche Hypo, including sale

     

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    21.06.2019 | Bitcoin extends monster rally as it confidently moves toward $10,000




    The price of Bitcoin has surged, exceeding its one-year high. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency was trading at nearly $9,900 on Friday, continuing its 2019 rally that has seen its value nearly triple. Bitcoin jumped around six percent and reached $9,872.47 at 13:18 GMT on Friday, setting a new record for the year, according to data from CoinDesk. The new highs come after the cryptocurrency saw its price drop to below $9,000 on June 18 before bouncing back. Other digital currencies also rose on Friday, as typically happens when Bitcoin rallies. The third and second largest cryptocurrencies, Ethereum (ETH) and XRP, were up 7.79 and 4.25 percent correspondingly. Bitcoin has more than doubled in price since the start of the year, when it was trading at $3,689 per coin. Since January 1, the price of the cryptocurrency has risen around 267 percent. Some Bitcoin bulls have already predicted that this upward move may signal that Bitcoin can soon reach the psychological level of $10,000. Not everyone is so positive, however, with the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital Peter Schiff calling the trend “a sucker’s rally.”   © Global Look Press / Klaus Ohlenschläger     https://quantsalus.com/about/...

    The price of Bitcoin has surged, exceeding its one-year high. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency was trading at nearly $9,900 on Friday, continuing its 2019 rally that has seen its value nearly triple.

    Bitcoin jumped around six percent and reached $9,872.47 at 13:18 GMT on Friday, setting a new record for the year, according to data from CoinDesk. The new highs come after the cryptocurrency saw its price drop to below $9,000 on June 18 before bouncing back.

    Other digital currencies also rose on Friday, as typically happens when Bitcoin rallies. The third and second largest cryptocurrencies, Ethereum (ETH) and XRP, were up 7.79 and 4.25 percent correspondingly.

    Bitcoin has more than doubled in price since the start of the year, when it was trading at $3,689 per coin. Since January 1, the price of the cryptocurrency has risen around 267 percent.

    Some Bitcoin bulls have already predicted that this upward move may signal that Bitcoin can soon reach the psychological level of $10,000. Not everyone is so positive, however, with the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital Peter Schiff calling the trend “a sucker’s rally.”

     

    © Global Look Press / Klaus Ohlenschläger

     

     

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    21.06.2019 | Former UBS China banker given nine years in prison for insider trade




    By Cheng Leng and Alun John BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) - A former UBS banker in China has been sentenced to nine years in prison by a Shanghai court for disclosing inside information related to an acquisition deal in 2017, court documents show and sources with knowledge of the case said. A statement on the Shanghai No.1 intermediate People's Court's official WeChat account only referred to the banker by his surname, Sang, but a separate court document seen by Reuters gave the UBS banker's full name as Sang Renzhao. The documents said that Sang shared information with two associates about a Chinese shipping firm's acquisition of a Hong Kong company. It did not name the companies. Sang, who could not be reached for comment, denied any wrongdoing and wanted to appeal against the verdict, the court said in its statement, which did not name the M&A deal involved. Two people with knowledge of the case said that Sang was a former vice president in the investment banking department at UBS Securities, the Swiss bank's Chinese brokerage unit. A spokesman for UBS in Hong Kong declined to comment. Sang was paid 5 million yuan for the leak of information by his associates, who together made total profits of more than 120 million yuan (14 million pounds) by trading shares in the two companies, the court statement said. Chinese media and the Wall Street Journal reported that it was Cosco Shipping's $6.3 billion acquisition of Orient Overseas Container Line on which UBS was an adviser. Sang's associates, whose surnames were given as Wang and Chen, also received custodial sentences and fines. Chen wanted to appeal against the verdict, the court's statement said, while Wang had refused to plead. Sang, who had worked at leading Chinese brokerages before joining UBS, left the Swiss firm in November 2017, the website of Securities Association of China shows. UBS is scrambling to calm its Chinese clients after a recent comment by one of the Swiss bank's economists was interpreted by some as a racist slur.   © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A smartphones with Sprint logo are seen in front of a screen projection of T-mobile logo, in this picture illustration     https://quantsalus.com/rules/   ...

    By Cheng Leng and Alun John

    BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) - A former UBS banker in China has been sentenced to nine years in prison by a Shanghai court for disclosing inside information related to an acquisition deal in 2017, court documents show and sources with knowledge of the case said.

    A statement on the Shanghai No.1 intermediate People's Court's official WeChat account only referred to the banker by his surname, Sang, but a separate court document seen by Reuters gave the UBS banker's full name as Sang Renzhao.

    The documents said that Sang shared information with two associates about a Chinese shipping firm's acquisition of a Hong Kong company. It did not name the companies.

    Sang, who could not be reached for comment, denied any wrongdoing and wanted to appeal against the verdict, the court said in its statement, which did not name the M&A deal involved.

    Two people with knowledge of the case said that Sang was a former vice president in the investment banking department at UBS Securities, the Swiss bank's Chinese brokerage unit.

    A spokesman for UBS in Hong Kong declined to comment.

    Sang was paid 5 million yuan for the leak of information by his associates, who together made total profits of more than 120 million yuan (14 million pounds) by trading shares in the two companies, the court statement said.

    Chinese media and the Wall Street Journal reported that it was Cosco Shipping's $6.3 billion acquisition of Orient Overseas Container Line on which UBS was an adviser.

    Sang's associates, whose surnames were given as Wang and Chen, also received custodial sentences and fines. Chen wanted to appeal against the verdict, the court's statement said, while Wang had refused to plead.

    Sang, who had worked at leading Chinese brokerages before joining UBS, left the Swiss firm in November 2017, the website of Securities Association of China shows.

    UBS is scrambling to calm its Chinese clients after a recent comment by one of the Swiss bank's economists was interpreted by some as a racist slur.

     

    © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A smartphones with Sprint logo are seen in front of a screen projection of T-mobile logo, in this picture illustration

     

     

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    21.06.2019 | Four U.S. states join lawsuit to stop T-Mobile-Sprint deal




    By Jonathan Stempel and Sheila Dang NEW YORK (Reuters) - Four more U.S. states have joined an unusual effort by state attorneys general to stop T-Mobile US Inc's acquisition of Sprint Corp, a New York official said at a court hearing on Friday. Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Nevada will be included in an amended complaint being filed Friday, said Beau Buffier, chief of the antitrust bureau in the New York attorney general's office. Lawyers for the states and the companies also proposed Oct. 7 for the start of a trial, which could last two to three weeks. Sprint was down 4.5% percent on Friday while T-Mobile slipped 1.5%. The four states will join ten state attorneys general, led by New York and California and including the District of Columbia. They filed a lawsuit on June 11 aimed at stopping the purchase by No. 3 U.S. wireless operator T-Mobile of No. 4 Sprint, saying the deal would cost their subscribers more than $4.5 billion annually. The attorneys general from all of the states involved are Democrats. If the acquisition is completed, the number of U.S. wireless carriers would drop to three from four, with Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) leading the pack. The Federal Communications Commission has indicated that they are prepared to approve the transaction, and the Justice Department is expected to weigh in soon. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, who is hearing the case, signalled the case could be affected if the U.S. Department of Justice, which is not involved in the lawsuit, decides to intervene. "The elephant not in the room is the Justice Department," Marrero said, referring to his courtroom. "Either way, it is likely to affect what is on the table." Marrero also noted a possible inconsistency in the states' complaint. He said they maintained that aggressive competition among the four national wireless carriers have resulted in "falling prices," only to then say the companies' ability to signal each other on rates "has led to higher prices for consumers." George Cary, who represents T-Mobile, told the judge the transaction would benefit competition. "It is taking two smaller companies, putting together complementary resources," he said. Discussing the prospect that the federal government might intervene, Cary said, "We don't think that what the Justice Department does here is going to affect the pro-competitive nature of this deal."   © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A smartphones with Sprint logo are seen in front of a screen projection of T-mobile logo, in this picture illustration   https://quantsalus.com/faq/...

    By Jonathan Stempel and Sheila Dang

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Four more U.S. states have joined an unusual effort by state attorneys general to stop T-Mobile US Inc's acquisition of Sprint Corp, a New York official said at a court hearing on Friday.

    Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Nevada will be included in an amended complaint being filed Friday, said Beau Buffier, chief of the antitrust bureau in the New York attorney general's office.

    Lawyers for the states and the companies also proposed Oct. 7 for the start of a trial, which could last two to three weeks.

    Sprint was down 4.5% percent on Friday while T-Mobile slipped 1.5%.

    The four states will join ten state attorneys general, led by New York and California and including the District of Columbia.

    They filed a lawsuit on June 11 aimed at stopping the purchase by No. 3 U.S. wireless operator T-Mobile of No. 4 Sprint, saying the deal would cost their subscribers more than $4.5 billion annually.

    The attorneys general from all of the states involved are Democrats.

    If the acquisition is completed, the number of U.S. wireless carriers would drop to three from four, with Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) leading the pack.

    The Federal Communications Commission has indicated that they are prepared to approve the transaction, and the Justice Department is expected to weigh in soon.

    U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, who is hearing the case, signalled the case could be affected if the U.S. Department of Justice, which is not involved in the lawsuit, decides to intervene.

    "The elephant not in the room is the Justice Department," Marrero said, referring to his courtroom. "Either way, it is likely to affect what is on the table."

    Marrero also noted a possible inconsistency in the states' complaint. He said they maintained that aggressive competition among the four national wireless carriers have resulted in "falling prices," only to then say the companies' ability to signal each other on rates "has led to higher prices for consumers."

    George Cary, who represents T-Mobile, told the judge the transaction would benefit competition. "It is taking two smaller companies, putting together complementary resources," he said.

    Discussing the prospect that the federal government might intervene, Cary said, "We don't think that what the Justice Department does here is going to affect the pro-competitive nature of this deal."

     

    © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A smartphones with Sprint logo are seen in front of a screen projection of T-mobile logo, in this picture illustration

     

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    21.06.2019 | PG&E to float $31 billion restructuring plan - Bloomberg




    (Reuters) - Power producer PG&E Corp will propose a $31 billion (£24.3 billion) bankruptcy restructuring plan that will include two funds worth a total of $34 billion to cover past and future wildfire claims, Bloomberg reported https://twitter.com/scottdeveau/status/1142117995680030720 on Friday. Asked by Reuters about the plan, a PG&E spokesman said: "We are looking at all options when it comes to working with the governor and legislature, and are committed to resolving wildfire victims’ claims fairly and expeditiously." Shares of the company, which is currently hosting its annual general meeting of shareholders, were down nearly 1 percent in a choppy reaction to the report which saw the stock both rise and fall. On Tuesday, San Francisco-based PG&E said that as part of its reorganization it would pay $1 billion to more than a dozen local governments in California affected by wildfires in recent years. The Bloomberg report said there would be two funds, one of $14 billion to cover past claims and one of $20 billion to cover future claims, under the plan which it said was expected to be filed formally in August. PG&E sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January after facing liabilities of more than $30 billion in the wake of Camp Fire, California's deadliest and most destructive wildfire in recent times. The Camp Fire killed more than 85 people, destroyed over 14,600 houses, mobile homes and other housing units, according to California's Department of Finance.   © Reuters. A PG&E truck carrying an American Flag drives past PG&E repair trucks in Paradise   https://quantsalus.com/contacts/...

    (Reuters) - Power producer PG&E Corp will propose a $31 billion (£24.3 billion) bankruptcy restructuring plan that will include two funds worth a total of $34 billion to cover past and future wildfire claims, Bloomberg reported https://twitter.com/scottdeveau/status/1142117995680030720 on Friday.

    Asked by Reuters about the plan, a PG&E spokesman said: "We are looking at all options when it comes to working with the governor and legislature, and are committed to resolving wildfire victims’ claims fairly and expeditiously."

    Shares of the company, which is currently hosting its annual general meeting of shareholders, were down nearly 1 percent in a choppy reaction to the report which saw the stock both rise and fall.

    On Tuesday, San Francisco-based PG&E said that as part of its reorganization it would pay $1 billion to more than a dozen local governments in California affected by wildfires in recent years.

    The Bloomberg report said there would be two funds, one of $14 billion to cover past claims and one of $20 billion to cover future claims, under the plan which it said was expected to be filed formally in August.

    PG&E sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January after facing liabilities of more than $30 billion in the wake of Camp Fire, California's deadliest and most destructive wildfire in recent times.

    The Camp Fire killed more than 85 people, destroyed over 14,600 houses, mobile homes and other housing units, according to California's Department of Finance.

     

    © Reuters. A PG&E truck carrying an American Flag drives past PG&E repair trucks in Paradise

     

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    20.06.2019 | Bank of England sees market mismatch as Brexit clouds rates outlook




    By William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England has acknowledged the glaring mismatch between its base-case scenario that Brexit will go smoothly and growing bets by investors that Britain's departure from the European Union is likely to be messy. The BoE on Thursday noted "the ongoing tension" between its premise that Britain would ease its way out of the EU with a transition deal and "the assumptions about alternative Brexit scenarios that were priced into the financial market variables". The statement reflects how BoE Governor Mark Carney and his fellow interest rate-setters are struggling to convince investors that borrowing costs are likely to rise any time soon, due to the deep uncertainty about how Brexit will play out. The BoE, reflecting the stated aim of Prime Minister Theresa May's government to reach a transition deal, has not included the possibility of an abrupt shift to World Trade Organization rules for trade with the EU in its central case assumptions. As they kept rates on hold on Thursday, the BoE's rate-setters said once again that "an ongoing tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period, at a gradual pace and to a limited extent" would be needed, if a no-deal Brexit is avoided. But a no-deal Brexit is looming larger for investors. The contenders to replace May say they are prepared to leave the EU without a transition arrangement to smooth the shock, possibly as soon as the latest Brexit deadline of Oct. 31. Many economists expect no rate hike for more than a year. Some investors are pricing in a chance of a cut: the money market curve now implies a roughly 25% chance of a 25 basis-point rate cut by the end of 2019, analysts at RBC Capital Markets said. That compared with a 10% chance before Thursday's BoE announcement, which, as well as Brexit, highlighted risks from the growing global trade tensions which have prompted other central banks to turn dovish. The assumptions mismatch between the BoE and the markets will narrow once the uncertainty about Brexit is cleared up, one way or the other. But that is unlikely before Carney and his colleagues publish new forecasts for Britain's economy in early August. And if May's successor extends the Brexit deadline once again, the next change in British interest rates will fall to a future governor of the BoE because Carney is due to stand down at the end of January.   © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian shelters under an umbrella in front of the Bank of England, in London   https://quantsalus.com/about/...

    By William Schomberg

    LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England has acknowledged the glaring mismatch between its base-case scenario that Brexit will go smoothly and growing bets by investors that Britain's departure from the European Union is likely to be messy.

    The BoE on Thursday noted "the ongoing tension" between its premise that Britain would ease its way out of the EU with a transition deal and "the assumptions about alternative Brexit scenarios that were priced into the financial market variables".

    The statement reflects how BoE Governor Mark Carney and his fellow interest rate-setters are struggling to convince investors that borrowing costs are likely to rise any time soon, due to the deep uncertainty about how Brexit will play out.

    The BoE, reflecting the stated aim of Prime Minister Theresa May's government to reach a transition deal, has not included the possibility of an abrupt shift to World Trade Organization rules for trade with the EU in its central case assumptions.

    As they kept rates on hold on Thursday, the BoE's rate-setters said once again that "an ongoing tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period, at a gradual pace and to a limited extent" would be needed, if a no-deal Brexit is avoided.

    But a no-deal Brexit is looming larger for investors.

    The contenders to replace May say they are prepared to leave the EU without a transition arrangement to smooth the shock, possibly as soon as the latest Brexit deadline of Oct. 31.

    Many economists expect no rate hike for more than a year. Some investors are pricing in a chance of a cut: the money market curve now implies a roughly 25% chance of a 25 basis-point rate cut by the end of 2019, analysts at RBC Capital Markets said.

    That compared with a 10% chance before Thursday's BoE announcement, which, as well as Brexit, highlighted risks from the growing global trade tensions which have prompted other central banks to turn dovish.

    The assumptions mismatch between the BoE and the markets will narrow once the uncertainty about Brexit is cleared up, one way or the other.

    But that is unlikely before Carney and his colleagues publish new forecasts for Britain's economy in early August.

    And if May's successor extends the Brexit deadline once again, the next change in British interest rates will fall to a future governor of the BoE because Carney is due to stand down at the end of January.

     

    © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian shelters under an umbrella in front of the Bank of England, in London

     

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    20.06.2019 | Then there were two - Johnson and Hunt fight for British PM job




    By Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Fervent Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson and foreign minister Jeremy Hunt emerged on Thursday as the only two candidates left in the race to become British prime minister, with the flamboyant Johnson odds-on favourite to win next month. Despite a series of scandals in the past and criticism about his attention to detail, Johnson has dominated the race since Theresa May announced a month ago that she would step down after failing to get her Brexit deal through parliament. In a fifth and final ballot of Conservative lawmakers, which eliminated Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Johnson was again way out in front with 160 out of 313 votes, versus Hunt's 77. One ballot paper was rejected. Johnson, 55, who served as London mayor for eight years, has cast himself as the only candidate who can deliver Brexit on Oct. 31 while fighting off the electoral threats of Nigel Farage's Brexit Party and Jeremy Corbyn's Labour. Johnson has increased his share of the vote of Conservative lawmakers at each of the ballots so far: 114 out of 313 votes in the first ballot on June 13, 126 on June 18, 143 on Wednesday, and 157 and 160 on Thursday. Gove was third with 75. Interior minister Sajid Javid was knocked out in the fourth round earlier on Thursday. Betting markets gave Johnson a 92 percent probability of becoming prime minister and Hunt just 7 percent. "I look forward to getting out across the UK and to set out my plan to deliver Brexit, unite our country, and create a brighter future for all of us," Johnson said. Hunt, once an opponent of leaving the European Union who has now promised to exit with a deal, cast himself as the underdog. "In politics surprises happen as they did today," he said. "I do not doubt the responsibility on my shoulders - to show my party how we deliver Brexit and not an election, but also a turbo-charged economy and a country that walks tall in the world." Now around 160,000 Conservative Party grassroots members will vote on who will be their leader - and Britain's next prime minister - by the end of July. Johnson has pledged to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without a deal. The EU has said it will not renegotiate the divorce deal that May agreed last year and the British parliament has indicated it will block a no-deal exit. He has not addressed how he will solve that riddle. PM JOHNSON? The rise of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson - known as simply "Boris" - to pole position for leading the world's fifth largest economy, is the grandest twist so far in a career that has morphed from journalism via TV-show fame, comedy and scandal into the brinkmanship of Britain's Brexit crisis. Born in New York, Johnson was educated at Eton, Britain's most exclusive school, and at Balliol College, Oxford. He began his career at a management consultancy in the City of London but dropped out after a week. He then turned to journalism but was sacked from The Times newspaper for making up quotes. Hired by The Daily Telegraph, Johnson infuriated European officials and delighted then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher by lampooning the European Economic Community establishment with a host of sometimes misleading reports from Brussels. After entering politics, Johnson was sacked from the Conservative Party’s policy team while in opposition for lying about an extra-marital affair. But his charismatic oratory and disarmingly self-deprecating confidence allowed him to survive both gaffes and scandal. He won two terms as London mayor from 2008 to 2016. In 2016, he became one of the most recognisable faces of the Brexit campaign which won the referendum with 52% of the votes cast versus 48% for staying in. His bid to replace former prime minister David Cameron, who resigned after the referendum, was foiled by Gove who pulled out of his campaign saying Johnson was unsuitable for the job. After May won the premiership, she prompted consternation in European capitals by appointing Johnson foreign minister. He resigned in 2018 over May's handling of Brexit. PM HUNT? Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt, the son of an admiral, was educated at the prestigious fee-paying Charterhouse school before studying philosophy, politics, and economics at Magdalen College, Oxford. After working as an English teacher in Japan, he went on to found an educational publishing firm. He speaks fluent Japanese and has a Chinese wife. After Johnson resigned as foreign secretary, Hunt, while on a visit to China, accidentally referred to his wife as Japanese. He supported remaining in the EU in the 2016 referendum but has since promised to lead Britain out of the bloc. Hunt says that while he would prefer to leave the EU with a deal, he believes a no-deal exit is better than no Brexit. He was the most senior figure vying to succeed May to reject a threat to leave with no deal by the end of October, saying lawmakers would block any such move. "Any prime minister who promised to leave the EU by a specific date – without the time to renegotiate and pass a new deal – would, in effect, be committing to a general election the moment parliament tried to stop it. And trying to deliver no deal through a general election is not a solution; it is political suicide," he said. "A different deal is, therefore, the only solution ... That means negotiations that take us out of the customs union while generously respecting legitimate concerns about the Irish border."   © Reuters. PM hopeful Boris Johnson walks near the Parliament grounds in London   https://quantsalus.com/faq/...

    By Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden

    LONDON (Reuters) - Fervent Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson and foreign minister Jeremy Hunt emerged on Thursday as the only two candidates left in the race to become British prime minister, with the flamboyant Johnson odds-on favourite to win next month.

    Despite a series of scandals in the past and criticism about his attention to detail, Johnson has dominated the race since Theresa May announced a month ago that she would step down after failing to get her Brexit deal through parliament.

    In a fifth and final ballot of Conservative lawmakers, which eliminated Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Johnson was again way out in front with 160 out of 313 votes, versus Hunt's 77. One ballot paper was rejected.

    Johnson, 55, who served as London mayor for eight years, has cast himself as the only candidate who can deliver Brexit on Oct. 31 while fighting off the electoral threats of Nigel Farage's Brexit Party and Jeremy Corbyn's Labour.

    Johnson has increased his share of the vote of Conservative lawmakers at each of the ballots so far: 114 out of 313 votes in the first ballot on June 13, 126 on June 18, 143 on Wednesday, and 157 and 160 on Thursday.

    Gove was third with 75. Interior minister Sajid Javid was knocked out in the fourth round earlier on Thursday.

    Betting markets gave Johnson a 92 percent probability of becoming prime minister and Hunt just 7 percent.

    "I look forward to getting out across the UK and to set out my plan to deliver Brexit, unite our country, and create a brighter future for all of us," Johnson said.

    Hunt, once an opponent of leaving the European Union who has now promised to exit with a deal, cast himself as the underdog.

    "In politics surprises happen as they did today," he said. "I do not doubt the responsibility on my shoulders - to show my party how we deliver Brexit and not an election, but also a turbo-charged economy and a country that walks tall in the world."

    Now around 160,000 Conservative Party grassroots members will vote on who will be their leader - and Britain's next prime minister - by the end of July.

    Johnson has pledged to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without a deal. The EU has said it will not renegotiate the divorce deal that May agreed last year and the British parliament has indicated it will block a no-deal exit.

    He has not addressed how he will solve that riddle.

    PM JOHNSON?

    The rise of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson - known as simply "Boris" - to pole position for leading the world's fifth largest economy, is the grandest twist so far in a career that has morphed from journalism via TV-show fame, comedy and scandal into the brinkmanship of Britain's Brexit crisis.

    Born in New York, Johnson was educated at Eton, Britain's most exclusive school, and at Balliol College, Oxford. He began his career at a management consultancy in the City of London but dropped out after a week.

    He then turned to journalism but was sacked from The Times newspaper for making up quotes.

    Hired by The Daily Telegraph, Johnson infuriated European officials and delighted then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher by lampooning the European Economic Community establishment with a host of sometimes misleading reports from Brussels.

    After entering politics, Johnson was sacked from the Conservative Party’s policy team while in opposition for lying about an extra-marital affair.

    But his charismatic oratory and disarmingly self-deprecating confidence allowed him to survive both gaffes and scandal. He won two terms as London mayor from 2008 to 2016.

    In 2016, he became one of the most recognisable faces of the Brexit campaign which won the referendum with 52% of the votes cast versus 48% for staying in.

    His bid to replace former prime minister David Cameron, who resigned after the referendum, was foiled by Gove who pulled out of his campaign saying Johnson was unsuitable for the job.

    After May won the premiership, she prompted consternation in European capitals by appointing Johnson foreign minister. He resigned in 2018 over May's handling of Brexit.

    PM HUNT?

    Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt, the son of an admiral, was educated at the prestigious fee-paying Charterhouse school before studying philosophy, politics, and economics at Magdalen College, Oxford.

    After working as an English teacher in Japan, he went on to found an educational publishing firm. He speaks fluent Japanese and has a Chinese wife.

    After Johnson resigned as foreign secretary, Hunt, while on a visit to China, accidentally referred to his wife as Japanese.

    He supported remaining in the EU in the 2016 referendum but has since promised to lead Britain out of the bloc.

    Hunt says that while he would prefer to leave the EU with a deal, he believes a no-deal exit is better than no Brexit.

    He was the most senior figure vying to succeed May to reject a threat to leave with no deal by the end of October, saying lawmakers would block any such move.

    "Any prime minister who promised to leave the EU by a specific date – without the time to renegotiate and pass a new deal – would, in effect, be committing to a general election the moment parliament tried to stop it. And trying to deliver no deal through a general election is not a solution; it is political suicide," he said.

    "A different deal is, therefore, the only solution ... That means negotiations that take us out of the customs union while generously respecting legitimate concerns about the Irish border."

     

    © Reuters. PM hopeful Boris Johnson walks near the Parliament grounds in London

     

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    20.06.2019 | US Lawmaker Questions Facebooks Real Intentions With Libra




    It would appear Facebook’s venture into the world of digital money may hit a roadblock before it is even launched. The Libra project, which is not a cryptocurrency by any stretch of the imagination, has not received official approval by the US Congress. As such, a thorough review seems to be in order, as that could highlight some potential drawbacks which remain hidden right now. Libra is in the hot Seat Not too many people should be surprised to learn Facebook’s digital money project is creating quite a stir. The Libra currency, while often falsely labeled as a cryptocurrency, will allow users all over the world to make payments online. More importantly, this currency will be supported throughout all of Facebook’s applications and WhatsApp. Users will not need a bank account or payment card to make use of this currency either, which makes it very appealing. However, the United States is not a region where financial freedom is appreciated or easy to come by. In fact, it would appear the current regulations indicate any new financial project needs to be scrutinized prior to launching. Facebook has jumped the gun in that regard, as it simply announced the currency regardless of government approval. That may come to haunt the company now, as Libra is on everyone’s radar. According to chairwomen of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, now is not the time to launch a new form of money without approval by the US Congress. That makes a lot of sense, as the US government has effectively taken a harsh stance on securities. Which category Libra will fall in exactly, remains to be determined at this time. Since no approval was requested, it is not impossible to expect Congress to shut this project down prior to its launch. It has to be said how Facebook does not have the best of reputations, both domestically and abroad. Combined with the regulatory uncertainty regarding Libra and other innovative forms of money, the future looks rather troublesome  All of the privacy kerfuffles Facebook has gotten caught up in over the years cast a dark shadow over this new currency as a whole. The company has shown numerous times they are not too interested in putting consumer privacy front and center. Interestingly enough, it would appear Facebook is more than willing to talk things over with policymakers. Considering how the company will offer a digital wallet solution to Libra users, there are still a fair few questions as to how much control the user will have. This also further confirms any privacy-related concerns need to be clarified prior to launching this new project. There is still a fair bit of work to be done in this regard. As such, it remains to be seen how things will pan out. Considering how Libra is supposed to launch relatively soon, time could very well be of the essence. It is unclear if this “request” by the chairwomen will cause any delays in terms of launching the project, but it is a possibility that one has to keep in mind at all times. That doesn’t mean Libra will never launch, but there are some very crucial aspects which need to be addressed quickly and concisely. Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency or digital currency.   Image(s): Shutterstock.com   https://quantsalus.com/contacts/...

    It would appear Facebook’s venture into the world of digital money may hit a roadblock before it is even launched. The Libra project, which is not a cryptocurrency by any stretch of the imagination, has not received official approval by the US Congress. As such, a thorough review seems to be in order, as that could highlight some potential drawbacks which remain hidden right now.

    Libra is in the hot Seat

    Not too many people should be surprised to learn Facebook’s digital money project is creating quite a stir. The Libra currency, while often falsely labeled as a cryptocurrency, will allow users all over the world to make payments online. More importantly, this currency will be supported throughout all of Facebook’s applications and WhatsApp. Users will not need a bank account or payment card to make use of this currency either, which makes it very appealing.

    However, the United States is not a region where financial freedom is appreciated or easy to come by. In fact, it would appear the current regulations indicate any new financial project needs to be scrutinized prior to launching. Facebook has jumped the gun in that regard, as it simply announced the currency regardless of government approval. That may come to haunt the company now, as Libra is on everyone’s radar.

    According to chairwomen of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, now is not the time to launch a new form of money without approval by the US Congress. That makes a lot of sense, as the US government has effectively taken a harsh stance on securities. Which category Libra will fall in exactly, remains to be determined at this time. Since no approval was requested, it is not impossible to expect Congress to shut this project down prior to its launch.

    It has to be said how Facebook does not have the best of reputations, both domestically and abroad. Combined with the regulatory uncertainty regarding Libra and other innovative forms of money, the future looks rather troublesome  All of the privacy kerfuffles Facebook has gotten caught up in over the years cast a dark shadow over this new currency as a whole. The company has shown numerous times they are not too interested in putting consumer privacy front and center.

    Interestingly enough, it would appear Facebook is more than willing to talk things over with policymakers. Considering how the company will offer a digital wallet solution to Libra users, there are still a fair few questions as to how much control the user will have. This also further confirms any privacy-related concerns need to be clarified prior to launching this new project. There is still a fair bit of work to be done in this regard.

    As such, it remains to be seen how things will pan out. Considering how Libra is supposed to launch relatively soon, time could very well be of the essence. It is unclear if this “request” by the chairwomen will cause any delays in terms of launching the project, but it is a possibility that one has to keep in mind at all times. That doesn’t mean Libra will never launch, but there are some very crucial aspects which need to be addressed quickly and concisely.

    Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency or digital currency.

     

    Image(s): Shutterstock.com

     

    https://quantsalus.com/contacts/


    19.06.2019 | This Robotic Dishwasher Seemingly Trumps Human Workers




    It is firmly believed robots will eventually take human jobs across various industries and segments. Whereas one wouldn’t necessarily expect dishwashers to be out of a job soon, the reality is somewhat different. Dishcraft, a startup building a commercial robotic dishwasher shows human labor in the kitchen might no longer be required. The Dishcraft Vision is Exciting One has to commend every company looking into robotics these days. Albeit not all of these ideas will yield commercially viable products, no stone should be left unturned either. Dishcraft has a very ambitious goal, albeit one that will undoubtedly meet a fair bit of opposition along the way. Replacing human dishwashers across restaurants worldwide will not necessarily go over too well with the general public. To put this in perspective, the startup is currently working on its robotic dishwasher which will offer great help in commercial kitchens. Finding the right use cases for robotics in the real world is not as straightforward as one may think.  As such, looking into a dishwasher might make a lot more sense when looking at the bigger picture. Plenty of restaurants would welcome dishwashing alternatives of any kind. As one would somewhat come to expect, the art of dishwashing has not changed all that much. While this job has been around for decades, the work itself, combined with the overall atmosphere, remains unchanged. It is also a very physical job which puts a lot of strain on both mind and body. Combined with the repetitive nature of this job, it is not hard to see why robots would be introduced sooner or later. One also has to keep in mind certain risks are associated with washing dishes. A human worker can break plates or glasses, get cut or burned, and even fall on a wet kitchen floor. Accidents like these are very common and can sometimes have very nefast consequences. It is a hazardous job which invites attrition, simply because of all the little facets one has to focus on at all times. That doesn’t necessarily mean a robot will do a better job, but it is an option worth exploring. To top it all off, hiring a dishwasher for an extended period of time has become significantly more difficult. That should not come as too big of a surprise either, primarily because the job itself isn’t too appealing. As such, Dishcraft wants to help build a reliable and sustainable solution. The unit can be connected to any location’s sanitizing machine. Dishes need to be placed into a container which automatically stacks everything accordingly. All the humans in the kitchen need to do is turn on the machine at the right time, and it will take care of the job accordingly. Its magnets pick up plates and bowls before putting them through a rubber scraping wheel and rinsing process. Once washed, all plates and bowls are stacked, which can then be put in a sanitizer. It is a very simple process which will work on a 24/7 basis if needed, without taking days off, asking for a pay raise, or getting ill. Dishcraft may be on to something in this regard, albeit it is still too early to draw any real conclusions.   image(s): Shutterstock.com   https://quantsalus.com/faq/ ...

    It is firmly believed robots will eventually take human jobs across various industries and segments. Whereas one wouldn’t necessarily expect dishwashers to be out of a job soon, the reality is somewhat different. Dishcraft, a startup building a commercial robotic dishwasher shows human labor in the kitchen might no longer be required.

    The Dishcraft Vision is Exciting

    One has to commend every company looking into robotics these days. Albeit not all of these ideas will yield commercially viable products, no stone should be left unturned either. Dishcraft has a very ambitious goal, albeit one that will undoubtedly meet a fair bit of opposition along the way. Replacing human dishwashers across restaurants worldwide will not necessarily go over too well with the general public.

    To put this in perspective, the startup is currently working on its robotic dishwasher which will offer great help in commercial kitchens. Finding the right use cases for robotics in the real world is not as straightforward as one may think.  As such, looking into a dishwasher might make a lot more sense when looking at the bigger picture. Plenty of restaurants would welcome dishwashing alternatives of any kind.

    As one would somewhat come to expect, the art of dishwashing has not changed all that much. While this job has been around for decades, the work itself, combined with the overall atmosphere, remains unchanged. It is also a very physical job which puts a lot of strain on both mind and body. Combined with the repetitive nature of this job, it is not hard to see why robots would be introduced sooner or later.

    One also has to keep in mind certain risks are associated with washing dishes. A human worker can break plates or glasses, get cut or burned, and even fall on a wet kitchen floor. Accidents like these are very common and can sometimes have very nefast consequences. It is a hazardous job which invites attrition, simply because of all the little facets one has to focus on at all times. That doesn’t necessarily mean a robot will do a better job, but it is an option worth exploring.

    To top it all off, hiring a dishwasher for an extended period of time has become significantly more difficult. That should not come as too big of a surprise either, primarily because the job itself isn’t too appealing. As such, Dishcraft wants to help build a reliable and sustainable solution. The unit can be connected to any location’s sanitizing machine. Dishes need to be placed into a container which automatically stacks everything accordingly.

    All the humans in the kitchen need to do is turn on the machine at the right time, and it will take care of the job accordingly. Its magnets pick up plates and bowls before putting them through a rubber scraping wheel and rinsing process. Once washed, all plates and bowls are stacked, which can then be put in a sanitizer. It is a very simple process which will work on a 24/7 basis if needed, without taking days off, asking for a pay raise, or getting ill. Dishcraft may be on to something in this regard, albeit it is still too early to draw any real conclusions.

     

    image(s): Shutterstock.com

     

    https://quantsalus.com/faq/



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