California pulls most National Guard troops from U.S.-Mexico border

SACRAMENTO, Calif. ( ) – California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday signed an order withdrawing more than two-thirds of the state’s National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border, calling claims of an illegal immigration crisis there nothing but “political theater.”

Newsom said most of the roughly 360 National Guard members deployed to the border would be reassigned to other duties in the state, with about 100 remaining behind as part of a task force targeting drug trafficking and cartels.

“This whole border issue is a manufactured crisis. We are not interested in participating in this political theater,” Newsom said at an afternoon news conference in Sacramento.

The governor, a Democrat who took office in January, said border crossings were at their lowest level since 1971 and that the state’s undocumented population had dropped to a more than 10-year low.

“This is pure politics, period full stop,” he said.

The move was a rebuke to President Donald Trump, who won election in 2016 partly on a populist pledge to build a wall on the southern U.S. border which he said in his campaign Mexico would pay for.

Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to help build that wall was central to a 35-day partial U.S. government shutdown that ended last month. He agreed to reopen the government for three weeks to allow lawmakers time to find a compromise and avert another shutdown on Feb. 15.

Newsom’s predecessor, Governor Jerry Brown, agreed to send National Guard troops to the border last April after reaching agreement with the Trump administration that they would focus on fighting criminal gangs and smugglers and not enforce immigration laws.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham last week ordered the withdrawal of most National Guard troops deployed at the border by her Republican predecessor at Trump’s request last year.

Trump has deployed an extra 3,750 U.S. troops on the border this month.

Newsom said some of the National Guard troops would be re-deployed to help fight what he said were mushrooming illegal marijuana farms following approval of a 2016 ballot measure to legalize recreational cannabis – legislation the governor helped champion.

“We have to hold accountable those who are not participatin上海水磨g in the legal cannabis market,” he said. “These illegal grows are manifesting, getting bigger.”

Oracle rises on strong quarterly forecast driven by licenses, cloud…

( ) – Oracle Corp on Wednesday forecast current-quarter profit above estimates, as the business software maker benefited from demand for its on-premise IT, cloud services and license support businesses, sending its shares up as much as 7% in extended trading.

The company said, assuming currency headwind, it expected first-quarter adjusted profit to be between 80 cents and 82 cents per share. Analysts were expecting 80 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Oracle has been aggressive上海水疗会所ly pushing into cloud computing to make up for a late entry in the fast-growing business.

Chairman Lawrence Ellison said the company saw a surge in database license sales and a rapid growth in database options required to run Autonomous Database, a cloud-based technology that automates routine tasks needed to manage Oracle databases.

The company added more than 5,000 customers on a trial basis in the quarter, as it migrates database users to the cloud.

Microsoft Corp and Oracle earlier this month announced an agreement to make their two cloud computing services work together with high-speed links between their data centers, which “will only help accelerate the transition from on-premise database to the Autonomous Database service,” said co-Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz.

Revenue from Oracle’s shrinking hardware business was down 11% this quarter to $994 million.

“Our high-margin Fusion and NetSuite cloud applications businesses are growing rapidly, while we downsize our low-margin legacy hardware business,” Catz said.

Revenue from the cloud services and license support business, its biggest, rose marginally to $6.80 billion, above analysts’ expectation of $6.79 billion.

“The revenue and EPS beat, coupled with upbeat commentary in release should lift the stock, as expectations were low,” said Steve Koenig, an analyst with Wedbush Securities.

The company’s net income rose to $3.74 billion, or $1.07 per share, in the fourth quarter ended May 31, from $3.28 billion, or 79 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue rose 1% to $11.14 billion, above analysts’ expectation of $10.93 billion.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.16 per share beating estimates of $1.07.

The Redwood, California-based company’s shares were up 4.6% at $55.12 in after-market trading.

Deutsche Bank faces FBI investigation for possible money-laundering…

FRANKFURT ( ) – The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is examining whether Deutsche Bank complied with laws meant to stop money laundering, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

The inquiry, first reported in the New York Times, follo上海水疗ws a report by that newspaper last month about bank employees in its U.S. compliance division who had flagged suspicious financial transactions to their superiors who then opted not to escalate them to government authorities.

The transactions were notable because they were linked to companies controlled by U.S. President Donald Trump and his son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner, according to the report.

Trump rejected the report last month, saying he had little need for banks because he had so much cash on hand and denying that the money came from Russia.

The resulting FBI investigation is viewed as routine following the report about the bank whistleblower, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to talk about an ongoing investigation.

A Deutsche Bank spokesperson declined to comment on the Times report, but said: “We remain committed to cooperating with authorized investigations.”

Kushner Companies said allegations about its relationship with Deutsche involving money laundering are “completely made up and totally false”.

The FBI, the White House, and the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside business hours. The NYT reported a Trump Organization spokeswoman as saying she was unaware of Deutsche flagging any transactions.

Deutsche Bank has struggled to bounce back after the 2008 financial crisis and has been plagued by failed regulatory stress tests, multi-billion dollar fines and management upheavals and most recently a failed merger.

The lender, Germany’s largest, has been making progress working its way through a raft of litigation over past years, but it has recently made headlines about lapses in safeguards meant to identify money laundering.

In 2017, regulators fined Deutsche Bank nearly $700 million for weak controls that allowed money laundering from Russia. A U.S. Department of Justice investigation is still ongoing.

Shares in Deutsche, which hit a record low earlier this month, were 0.9% lower on Thursday, making the bank the biggest loser on the DAX index of blue-chip companies.

The New York Times report, published on Wednesday, cited seven people it said were familiar with the inquiry.

Earlier this month, a group of U.S. Senate Democrats urged the Federal Reserve to investigate Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Trump and Kushner.

Deutsche Bank has long been a principal lender for Trump’s real estate business. A 2017 disclosure form showed that Trump had at least $130 million of liabilities to the bank.

Senior U.S.-China trade negotiators to confer before Trump-Xi G20…

WASHINGTON/BEIJING ( ) – Aiming to jumpstart dormant talks, the top U.S. trade negotiator said on Wednesday he will confer with his Chinese counterpart before next week’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Japan as the two countries take another shot at resolving their damaging trade dispute.

Trade talks between the world’s two largest economies broke down more than six weeks ago after U.S. officials accused China of backing away from commitments, prolonging a costly trade dispute that has harmed the global economy and disrupted supply chains.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told a congressional hearing he will speak by telephone with Liu He, China’s vice premier and chief negotiator in the trade talks, “in the next day and a half” and then expects to meet with Liu in Osaka, site of the June 28-19 G20 summit, along with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin before Trump’s meeting there with Xi.

“I think it’s in the interests of both China and the United States to have some kind of successful agreement. The president (Trump) has said he definitely wants an agreement if we can get a great agreement for America,” Lighthizer told the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee.

Since two days of talks to resolve the dispute last month in Washin上海水磨会所gton ended in a stalemate, interaction on trade between the two countries has been limited, and Trump has threatened to put more tariffs on Chinese products in an escalation that businesses in both countries want to avoid.

It is unclear when the formal U.S.-China trade negotiations will restart but the United States is “certainly willing to engage” with China in the discussions, Lighthizer testified.

“We have a very unbalanced relationship with China and we have one that risks literally the jobs of the future,” Lighthizer said.

China said on Wednesday positive outcomes were possible in trade negotiations with the United States, after Trump and Xi agreed to revive their troubled talks at the June 28-29 G20 meeting. The two leaders spoke by telephone on Tuesday. Trump said he would meet Xi at the G20 summit, a meeting that China confirmed.

Washington has already imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, ranging from semi-conductors to furniture, that are imported to the United States.

Trump has threatened to put tariffs on another $325 billion of goods, covering nearly all the remaining Chinese imports into the United States, including consumer products such as cellphones, computers and clothing.

China has responded to U.S. tariffs with levies of its own. In response to queries from lawmakers about the U.S. trade team’s efforts to get those lifted, Lighthizer said that getting rid of the Chinese retaliatory tariffs and securing commitments by China to increase purchases of U.S. goods such as agricultural commodities are important American goals in the talks.

Related CoverageExplainer: U.S.-China trade war – the levers they can pullFactbox: Winners and losers in Trump’s trade war with ChinaSee more stories

The United States has pressed China to change its practices on intellectual property theft and requirements that U.S. companies share their technology to do business in China.

The CEOs of at least five U.S. companies are scheduled to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang this week in Beijing, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The companies include Dow Inc, United Parcel Service Inc, Pfizer Inc and Honeywell International Inc, Bloomberg reported.

‘POSITIVE OUTCOMES’

Speaking at a daily news briefing, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said it was important to find a solution that was acceptable to both sides.

“I’m not getting ahead of myself, but communication over four decades shows it is possible to achieve positive outcomes,” Lu said.

“The two leaders will talk about whatever they want,” Lu added. “A deal is not only in the interests of the two peoples but meets the aspirations of the whole world.”

News that the U.S.-Chinese negotiations were back on the agenda boosted China’s stock markets, with the blue-chip CSI300 index ending 1.3% higher while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.0%.

U.S. stocks rose after the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and signaled potential cuts later this year, reassuring investors worried that the U.S.-China trade war could stall economic growth.

There was fresh evidence on Wednesday of the disruption in supply chains arising from the U.S.-Chinese trade tensions.

Apple Inc has asked its major suppliers to assess the cost implications of moving 15% to 30% of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia as it prepares for a restructuring of its supply chain, according to a Nikkei Asian Review report on Wednesday.

Apple’s request was a result of the extended Sino-U.S. trade dispute, but a trade resolution will not lead to a change in the company’s decision, Nikkei said, citing multiple sources. The iPhone maker has decided the risks of depending heavily on manufacturing in China are too great and even rising, Nikkei said.

Key iPhone assemblers Foxconn, Pegatron Corp, Wistron Corp, major MacBook maker Quanta Computer Inc, iPad maker Compal Electronics Inc, and AirPods makers Inventec Corp, Luxshare-ICT and Goertek have been asked to evaluate options outside of China, Nikkei reported.

The countries being considered include Mexico, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. India and Vietnam are among the favorites for smartphones, Nikkei said.

In another development, the United States has fined several companies for exporting goods via a Chinese-owned special economic zone in Cambodia in a bid to dodge Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports, Arend Zwartjes, a U.S. Embassy spokesman in Phnom Penh, told .

G20 financial leaders to stay vague on global trade in communique

FUKUOKA, Japan ( ) – Financial leaders of the world’s top economies are likely steer clear of promises to avoid protectionism in their communique on Sunday, amid an escalating trade conflict between the United States and China, officials said on Saturday.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s 20 biggest economies, the G20, are meeting this weekend in the Japanese city of Fukuoka to discuss the global economy, with trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies seen as a key risk to global growth.

“As for trade, the language will be reminiscent of previous communiques,” said one G20 official familiar with the draft of the joint statement.

On the insistence of the new administration of U.S. president Donald Trump, G20 financial leaders replaced in 2017 a standard phrase about avoiding all forms of protectionism with a sentence that they would work “to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies.”

Related CoverageBOJ’s Kuroda warns of uncertainties on global recovery prospects

Asked if the new phrasing would be kept also this time, a second G20 official said: “Yes, most probably”.

Officials said the U.S.-China trade conflict was spilling over to other areas上海水磨 of discussions at the G20, making the drafting of the final statement increasingly difficult.

“If we go down this route, we risk clogging the G20,” the first official said.

China warned its companies operating in the United States on Tuesday they could face harassment from U.S. law enforcement agencies, and Beijing also rebuffed U.S. criticism of a Chinese trade white paper as “singing the same old tune”.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have nosedived in recent months due to a tariffs battle, U.S. sanctions against Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and U.S. support for Chinese-claimed Taiwan.

The G20 pledge not to use competitive devaluations to gain advantage in international trade will remain in place, although the language on foreign exchange had not been finalised yet, officials said.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping are expected to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka later this month to seek a deal that would end the trade tensions, but officials have said hopes for a solution were low.

U.S. State Department recalls furloughed employees amid shutdown

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. State Department said on Thursday it was calling its furloughed employees back to work next week as it takes steps to pay salaries despite a partial shutdown of the government.

“As a national security agency, it is imperative that the Department of State carries out its mission,” Deputy Under Secretary of State Bill Todd said in a statement posted on the department’s website. “We are best positioned to do so with fully staffed embassies, consulates and domestic offices.”

Todd said the department’s employees would be paid on Feb. 14 for work performed beginning on or after this coming Sunday. The department would review its available funds and “legal authorities” beyond the upcoming pay period to try to cover future payments, he said.

“Although most personnel operations can resume, bureaus and posts are expected to adhere to strict budget constraints with regard to new spending for contracts, travel, and other needs” given a lapse in congressionally appropriated funds, Todd added.

About one quarter of federal agencies have been shuttered since Dec. 22, with Democratic lawmakers refusing to accede to President Donald Trump’s demands to pay for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Trump is holding out for $5.7 billion for a border wall. Democrats, who took over the U.S. House Representatives this month, have rejected his demands, saying there are cheaper, more effective ways of enhancing上海水疗 border security.

Manafort claimed to be placing people in Trump administration: filing

( ) – Paul Manafort, the convicted former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, told a business associate in January 2017 he was using middlemen to get people appointed to the Trump administration, according to a court filing on Tuesday.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller had been given until Monday by a federal court in Washington to provide evidence of his accusations that Manafort had lied to prosecutors on five subjects, which would put Manafort in breach of a plea agreement under which he was meant to be cooperating with Mueller’s probe.

The heavily redacted 188-page filing included some new details about Manafort’s communications with Trump administration officials, which continued even after he left the campaign in August 2016 due to a scandal over cash payments related to his work for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.

In January 2017 Manafort told his former business partner Richard Gates that he was using intermediaries to “get people appointed in the Administration,” according to the sworn statement of an FBI agent working for Mueller included in the filing.

Gates, who also served on Trump’s presidential transition team, pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI and conspiracy against the United States and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe.

The filing also touched on Manafort’s other alleged lies, including about his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a former business partner who Mueller has accused of having Russian intelligence ties. But due to heavy redactions it was unclear if the filing contained any major new revelations.

Last week, Manafort’s lawyers in court papers inadvertently disclosed that Manafort had sh上海水磨ared polling data related to the Trump 2016 presidential campaign with Kilimnik.

The mistaken disclosure – caused by a formatting error that allowed redacted material to be viewed – triggered new concerns among legal experts and Democratic lawmakers about the extent of Manafort’s Russia ties during his time on Trump’s campaign, which included three months as chairman.

Mueller is investigating whether Russian interfered in the election and whether Trump campaign members coordinated with Moscow officials. Trump, who denies any campaign collusion with Russia, says he did not know Manafort shared the data. Russia denies interfering in U.S. elections.

In addition to the polling data revelation, the filing also showed that Mueller believed Manafort lied to prosecutors about his discussions with Kilimnik on a “Ukrainian peace plan” and a previously undisclosed meeting between Manafort and Kilimnik in Madrid. Manafort’s lawyers said any incorrect statements by him were unintentional.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has said she would review the evidence submitted by Mueller and any reply by Manafort’s team before deciding whether a hearing on the matter is necessary.

American Airlines extends Boeing 737 MAX cancellations through…

( ) – American Airlines Group Inc said Sunday it is extending cancellations of about 115 daily flights into September due to the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.

The largest U.S. airline had previously said it was cancelling flights Aug. 19 after the Boeing Co plane was grounded worldwide in March following two deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

American Airlines said Sunday it is extending those cancellations through Sept. 3. Boeing has yet to complete a certification test flight and formally submit its software upgrade and training changes to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for approval.

Boeing said Sunday it is continuing “to work with global regulators to provide them the information they need to certify the MAX update and related training and education material and safely return the fleet to service.”

The world’s largest airplane manufacturer said it is “partnering with our airline customers to maintain their planes in storage and will provide ‘entry into service’ type support once they are cleared to resume commercial operation.”

The FAA declined to comment on Sunday.

The FAA’s acting chief, Dan Elwell, told reporters last month he does not have a specific timetable to unground the 737 MAX.

The plane was grounded in March following a fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash just months after a similar Lion Air disaster in Indonesia which together killed 346 people.

Southwest Airlines Co and United Airlines have canceled flights into August because of the grounding of the 737 MAX.

Asked last month it is realistic that the 737 MAX could be flying again by August, Elwell declined to be specific.

“If you said October I wouldn’t even say that, only because we haven’t finished determining exactly what the training requirements will be,” Elwell said. “If it takes a year to find everything we need to give us the confidence to lift the (g上海水磨会所rounding) order so be it.”

Global airlines that had rushed to buy the fuel-efficient, longer-range aircraft have since canceled flights and scrambled to cover routes that were previously flown by the MAX.

Boeing hopes the software upgrade and associated pilot training will add layers of protection to prevent erroneous data from triggering a system called MCAS, which was activated in both the planes before they crashed.

Boeing sees me as its ‘piggy bank’, Lion Air co-founder says

PARIS ( ) – The co-founder of Indonesia’s Lion Air, one of two airlines that lost passengers and crew in recent crashes involving the 737 MAX, has lashed out at Boeing’s handling of the accidents as the potential business fallout from the jet’s grounding intensifies.

Rusdi Kirana said a recent apology by Boeing over the 346 lives lost in the two disasters, firstly at Lion Air in October and then at Ethiopian Airlines last month, stood in contrast to what he viewed as hasty earlier criticism of Lion Air’s pilots.

In a telephone interview, Kirana also accused Boeing of treating him as a “piggy bank”. Lion Air has spent tens of billions of dollars on plane orders with Boeing to become one of Asia’s largest budget carriers.

The Indonesian entrepreneur is the figurehead for what is now one of the planemaker’s largest customers with 187 jets on order and 200 already delivered.

Lion Air threatened in December to axe those orders, but has given no further update.

Boeing has embarked on a campaign following the two crashes to restore faith in its best-selling jet and pledged to remove any risk that anti-stall software, suspected of pushing the two planes downwards, could be activated by erroneous data.

In November, following an interim report on the Lion Air crash, it voiced questions over whether pilots had used correct procedures.

Kirana said the contrasting reactions demonstrated that Boeing was taking fast-growing carriers such as his for granted.

“They look down on my airline and my country even though relations are always handled in a proper way. They treat us as Third World,” Kirana told .

“They also look down on me. They look at me as their piggy bank,” he said in his first interview since the Ethiopian crash.

Kirana’s comments – by far the strongest since the crash off Indonesia on Oct 29 – underscore the depth of a recent rift between Boeing and Lion Air, which has been balking at taking delivery of Boeing jets worth $21 billion at list prices.

His voice also carries weight in Indonesia where he serves as the country’s ambassador to Malaysia, handling relations between two Muslim-majority states with important ties.

In a statement to regarding the comments, Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said: “We remain heartbroken over the tragic loss of Lion Air Flight 610. We’re sorry for the lives lost and deeply regret the devastating impact on the families, friends and colleagues of the passengers and crew.”

“Rusdi Kirana has been a leader and a pioneer in Asian aviation,” he said, adding that Kirana and his team “remain highly valued partners to Boeing”.

‘INCONSISTENCIES’

Although safety experts have raised some questions over crew performance in both crashes, the regulatory fallout has been dominated so far by questions over MCAS anti-stall software, which Boeing has acknowledged provided a common link in the separate chains of events leading to both crashes.

Following the Lion Air crash, Boeing issued a statement listing three questions relating to pilot and maintenance actions that had not been addressed in a preliminary report.

After a similar report on the Ethiopian crash, Boeing issued a sparser statement focusing on its ongoing software review. It has adopted an increasingly contrite tone as pressure grows over design decisions and its relations with U.S. regulators.

Kirana said Boeing had shown inconsistencies in its responses to the two disasters. “(They) cast blame for the first one and apologize after the second,” he said.

Indonesia has 236 Boeing commercial passenger planes on order and operates the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

Flag carrier Garuda joined Lion Air last month in threatening to cancel 49 MAX orders. Analysts have questioned how ea上海水疗sily either airline can fund deliveries as competition grows and have cautioned that both face lengthy negotiations.

U.S. airlines face too many travelers, too few planes in 737 MAX…

CHICAGO ( ) – Normally, U.S. airlines compete to sell tickets and fill seats during the peak summer travel season. But operators of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX are facing a different problem: scarce planes and booming demand.

The grounding of Boeing Co’s fuel-efficient, single-aisle workhorse after two fatal crashes is biting into U.S. airlines’ Northern Hemisphere spring and summer schedules, threatening to disarm them in their seasonal war for profits.

“The revenue is right in front of them. They can see it, but they can’t meet it,” said Mike Trevino, spokesman for Southwest Airlines Pilots Association and an aviation industry veteran.

Southwest Airlines Co, the world’s largest MAX operator, and American Airlines Group Inc with 34 and 24 MAX jetliners respectively, have removed the aircraft from their flying schedules into August. United Airlines said on Monday it would remove its 14 MAX jets through early July.

Southwest’s decision will lead to 160 cancellations of some 4,200 daily flights between June 8 and Aug. 5, while American’s removal through Aug. 19 means about 115 daily cancellations, or 1.5 percent of its summer flying schedule each day.

Low-cost carrier Southwest, which unlike its rivals only flies Boeing 737s, had estimated $150 million in lost revenue between Feb. 20 and March 31 alone due to MAX cancellations and other factors.

So far airlines have said it is too soon to estimate the impact of the MAX grounding beyond the first quarter, but the extended cancellations signal that they do not expect a quick return of Boeing’s fast-selling jetliner. The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March following a fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash just five months after a Lion Air crash in Indonesia. All on board both planes were killed.

Boeing is under pressure to deliver an upgrade on software that is under scrutiny in both crashes and convince global regulators that the plane is safe to fly again, a process expected to take at least 90 days.

The timing of a prolonged grounding could not be worse for Northern Hemisphere carriers. Planes run fullest during June, July and August, when airlines earn the most revenue per available seat mile, according to U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

In a letter to employees and customers on Sunday, American Airlines’ top executives said they believed the MAX would be recertified “soon” but wanted to provide their customers reliabil上海水磨会所ity and confidence during “the busiest travel period of the year.”

American was cancelling about 90 flights per day through early June, but runs more flights and has less fleet flexibility in the peak summer travel months.

“We’re not denying that it’s going to be a challenge for us,” American spokesman Ross Feinstein said. “That is why if we have to extend cancellations based on aircraft availability we will do so as far in advance as possible.”

A decline in seat capacity could mean higher last-minute summer fares, particularly for business class travelers, aviation consultants and analysts said.

United has largely avoided cancellations by servicing MAX routes with larger 777 or 787 aircraft, but the airline president, Scott Kirby, warned last week that the strategy was costing it money and could not go on forever.

“We’ve used spare aircraft and other creative solutions to help our customers, who had been scheduled to travel on one of our 14 MAX aircraft, get where they are going. But, it’s harder to make those changes at the peak of the busy summer travel season,” United said on Monday.  

Overall the MAX represents just 5 percent of Southwest’s total fleet and even less for American and United, but the strain on fleets increases as additional MAX deliveries remain frozen.

Southwest has 41 MAX jets pending delivery for 2019, while American has 16 and United 14. They are each working with Boeing and regulators to ensure the aircraft’s safety before flying it with customers and employees.

Meanwhile, operators have added a flight or two to other aircrafts’ daily schedules and deferred some non-essential maintenance work. Some airlines are also weighing extending aircraft leases and bringing back idled planes, but with unclear MAX timing, no option is clear-cut or cheap, consultants said.

United is due to publish first-quarter results on April 16, followed by Southwest on April 25 and American on April 26.

Trump urges ‘rebrand’ of 737 MAX, Boeing has other ideas

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday urged Boeing Co to “rebrand” its 737 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes, but the planemaker said it was focused on fixing the problem and brainstorming over next steps to win back public trust.

Airline officials said they have held lengthy meetings with Boeing over the past weeks about how to regain the public’s support once the grounded planes are returned to service.

A full rebranding of the MAX was not likely, according to a person familiar with Boeing’s thinking, wh上海水疗会所o noted that renaming an aircraft is a significant undertaking.

Asked about Trump’s advice, delivered in a Twitter post, a Boeing spokesman said rebuilding public trust was their focus, with pilots playing a pivotal role.

“Pilots’ confidence in the aircraft will lead passengers and crew to have greater confidence in the aircraft,” Gordon Johndroe, vice president for communications, told .

For now Boeing is concentrating on submitting a software update and finalizing pilot training for regulatory approval. Regulators worldwide are preparing to review Boeing’s proposals.

Trump, who owned the Trump Shuttle airline from 1989 to 1992 and is an aviation enthusiast, weighed in with his thoughts early on Monday.

“What do I know about branding, maybe nothing (but I did become President!), but if I were Boeing, I would FIX the Boeing 737 MAX, add some additional great features, & REBRAND the plane with a new name. No product has suffered like this one. But again, what the hell do I know?” he tweeted.

The 737 MAX is Chicago-based Boeing’s fastest-selling jet and its main source of profits and cash, having won some 5,000 orders or around seven years of production for the aircraft.

Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg has apologized on behalf of the planemaker for the 346 lives lost in accidents in October and March, and promised to eliminate the risk that flight software meant to prevent the plane stalling could be activated by wrong data.

Related CoverageUK firm sees 737 MAX crisis wiping $12 billion off Boeing brand value

“Passengers will be thinking about the pilot that’s flying the plane. We are the real final call,” said Dennis Tajer, spokesman for the U.S. Allied Pilots Association.

BRANDING STRATEGY

Trump’s tweet marks the first time the MAX brand underpinning Boeing profits in coming years has publicly been thrown into question by a senior government official.

How Boeing recovers from this blow to the fuel-efficient, single-aisle MAX will be key to its duopoly with European planemaker Airbus SE, since Boeing is years away from being able to deliver a new narrowbody model, experts said.

The plane’s grounding has also threatened the U.S. summer travel season, with some airlines removing the 737 from their schedules through August.

Brand Finance, a UK-based consultancy that tracks the value of global brands, said on Monday it sees a $12 billion dent to the value of the Boeing brand, which it had called the most valuable in the aerospace industry worth $32 billion in 2018.

Brand Finance Chief Executive David Haigh rejected the idea that Boeing should rebrand, noting that Toyota and others recovered from high-profile crises without a drastic rebranding exercise.

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner got off to a rocky start after a battery issue that led to a temporary grounding, but the plane has gone on to become a popular aircraft in the widebody market.

“This is a temporary blip in the long run for Boeing,” Haigh said by email when asked about Trump’s comments.

Other marketing experts said talk of rebranding was inappropriate when the issue of safety was paramount.

“To rebrand without making sure the product is safe and undergoing another crash with the same airplane under a new name and image could destroy Boeing,” said Paul Caiozzo, founder and Chief Creative Officer of brand design agency Interesting Development.

Thomas Ordahl, chief strategy officer at brand consulting firm Landor, which works for airlines and other sectors, said: “You can’t just rebrand, you have to deal with the problem.”

Japan telco shares jump after Docomo announces smaller-than-feared…

TOKYO ( ) – Shares in Japan’s big telcos jumped on Tuesday after market leader NTT Docomo announced smaller-than-feared price cuts, alleviating concerns about a profit-dampening price war.

NTT Docomo shares were up 3.5 percent in early Tokyo trading, with KDDI Corp up 5.6 percent and SoftBank Corp up 2.7 percent.

Japan’s big three telcos are under government pressure to reduce carrier fees to help stimulate consumer spending in other parts of the economy. The market entry of Rakuten in October is also likely to increase price pressure.

After market close on Monday, NTT Docomo said it would cut carrier fees by as much as 40 percent. Many of its users will not see reductions of that scale and the new price plans, widely seen as complex, do not include handset fees.

“We don’t see a large negative impact on (NTT Docomo’s) earnings and see a low probability of other companies responding with large price cuts,” SMBC Nikko analyst Satoru Kikuchi wrote in a note.

Despite the jump, shares in SoftBank Corp, which listed in December, continue to trade below their IPO price.

By contrast, shares in parent SoftBank Group Corp, which were up 1.9 percent on Tuesda上海水磨会所y morning, have in recent days been trading at a 19-year high following a share buyback and with growing expectations for the value of its investments in tech firms like Uber Techologies [IPO-UBER.N], which is due to list.

In South Korea’s struggling Kia Town, ‘bad jobs’ better than no jobs

GWANGJU, South Korea ( ) – Park Byung-kyu once led Kia Motor’s union in the city of Gwangju, fighting for labor protections against the powerful, family-run chaebol that dominated the economy during South Korea’s rapid industrialization.

But about 20 years ago, Park was assaulted by unionized workers wielding steel clubs after he campaigned for the rights of temporary workers at another company, leaving him paralyzed on the right side of his body.

The attack also left him disillusioned with the approach of South Korea’s forceful and often militant unions, which have faced increasing criticism for protecting their interests at the expense of other workers.

Now, Park is working for the city of Gwangju on a proposed joint venture with Hyundai Motor Co to build a new low-wage car factory, Hyundai’s first new factory in South Korea in 25 years.

The $616 million plant would create 1,000 jobs, but at less than half the wages of Hyundai’s unionized workers and without many of the privileges they currently enjoy.

“The labor unions with vested interests should change. If not, their interests will be taken away,” said the 53-year-old Park. “Unionized labor should face up to the reality.”

The unions of Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors, which together form the world’s fifth-largest automaker by volume, have staged strikes and rallies to protest the plant.

They say it will create “bad jobs” and take away production and employment from existing factories.

But in a city that has seen a steady exodus of manufacturing jobs move to low-cost countries, many job seekers say they would work for the plant in a heartbeat.

Employment is a key focus for President Moon Jae-in’s administration as Asia’s fourth-largest economy struggles to create jobs in the face of a slowing China economy, U.S. trade protectionism and increased minimum wages.

The Moon government plans to provide financial assistance to the Gwangju plant, and also introduce similar government-business ventures in two other cities by June.

Officials hope it will lead to a “U-turn” of Korean companies which would otherwise build factories overseas.

“This is a bold experiment to resolve jobs and labor relations problems,” said Park Myung-joon, a senior research fellow at state-funded Korea Labour Institute, who has been involved in the project since its beginning in 2014.

The carmaking venture, the first of its kind in South Korea, is the biggest threat to date for legacy unionized auto workers, who have largely maintained high wages and benefits even with youth unemployment near a record high and the economy sluggish, Park said.

“The expensive union jobs will gradually disappear.”

POOR CITY

The proposed Hyundai factory will offer annual wages of 35 million won ($31,492) – just over a third of the average 92 million won that existing Hyundai workers earn, but higher than the average 33 million won salaried workers make in Gwangju.

Home to Kia Motor’s largest domestic production facility, Gwangju is South Korea’s No.2 motor city after the southeastern city of Ulsan, generating over 40 percent of its manufacturing output from the auto sector.

Like Ulsan, which has declined as Hyundai production has retreated, Gwangju’s fortunes have waned as Kia’s output fell to its lowest level in eight years last year.

Gwangju is now South Korea’s second-poorest metropolitan city, with average monthly wages some 13 percent below the nationwide average in 2017, according to labor ministry data.

Kim Jae-seung, who studied business management in college, said he is willing to apply for a blue-collar job at the planned plant. “Its wage is still above the average worker’s wage. In that sense, it is not a bad job. It is a good job,” the 32-year-old Kim said at a recent job fair held at the city hall.

Other job seekers in Gwangju interviewed by said they too were interested given high levels of unemployment among the city’s younger workers.

“There are not many quality jobs out there. Given the current economic situation, I will be thankful for the 35 million won wage,” said Goh Chang-hoon, a 27-year-old law major.

DEFUNCT GERMAN MODEL

Park, the former union leader, first proposed the low-wage factory in 2014 and later took a leave of absence from Kia to work full-time for the city government.

Park said he borrowed the idea from Volkswagen’s now-defunct low-cost division Auto 5000, which was created in 2001 to keep jobs from moving out of Germany. The project came to end in 2009, after the automaker won wage concessions from its powerful and highly paid legacy workers.

The new factory would have an annual capacity of 100,000 mini, gasoline-powered SUVs starting 2021.

Gwangju also hopes to make electric vehicles at the plant in the future, although it has yet to be agreed with Hyundai.

James P. Rooney, an international finance professor at Sogang University in Seoul, said to be successful, the plant should make electric cars.

“The joint venture shouldn’t be thought of a place of getting away from union and high labor cost. It should be based on the product of the future, not product of the past.”

Hyundai said it has decided to participate in the project, because the city, local community and the joint venture pledged to “build collaborative labor relations and maintain proper wage levels”.

“Under such conditions, we believed that we would be able to s上海水疗ecure competitiveness when we outsource mini-vehicle production to the newly created corporation,” Hyundai said in a statement to .

Kim Yong-gu, chief executive of Hyundai Hitech, a Gwangju-based parts supplier for Kia, is hoping the new Hyundai factory will help make up for reduced output at Kia.

Kia’s Gwangju plant produced 455,252 vehicles last year, well short of its production capacity of 620,000.

“Kia can’t make the car with current labor costs,” Kim said.

In addition to lower wages, the joint venture will break away from the union’s tradition of striking almost every year during annual wage talks.

South Korea’s reputation for militant unions and rigid labor practices has long been cited as contributing to high labor costs and a persistent discount for corporate Korea.

To make up for lower pay, Gwangju plans to build 1,100 homes as well as daycare and gym facilities in the factory complex, with the central government’s help.

WHITE ELEPHANT?

The plan is not without its critics, who question the wisdom of adding another plant at a time when automakers are grappling with excess capacity amid sluggish domestic demand, falling exports to the United States and weak sales in China.

Auto production in South Korea is expected to fall to 3.65 million vehicles this year, just three quarters of total capacity of 4.66 million vehicles, auto unions say.

They also argue the project is politically motivated, with Gwangju long a political stronghold of Moon’s liberal government.

“We have been agonizing over how to create jobs at a time when low growth and low employment have become structural issues,” Jung Tae-ho, the presidential job secretary, said at a recent briefing.

“The project will be key to revitalizing the struggling local economy.”

Local officials acknowledge the plan is not the panacea to all the problems Korea’s manufacturing industry faces, but say it can show one path forward.

“This is not just about creating jobs in Gwangju, but about addressing Korean Inc’s structural problems of low growth, low employment and high cost,” Gwangju Mayor Lee Yong-sup told . “Korea Inc needs a breakthrough.”

The uphill road: battery limitations to test China’s electric…

BEIJING/DETROIT ( ) – It took one 330 kilometer trip from Chongqing to Chengdu in his Nio ES8, a seven-seater all-electric SUV, for its owner Wang Haichun to be consumed with buyer’s remorse.

Despite being billed as capable of going 335 km on a single full charge, the ES8 didn’t get anywhere near that when driving on freeways at speeds above 100 km per hour (60mph), he said, adding that after 180 km, there was only 50 km of range left.

“We had to recharge the car once and drove with a high level of anxiety throughout, constantly having to keep an eye on the range meter,” the 44-year-old manager of a property firm said. Toward the end of the trip, he shut off the air conditioner and audio system to preserve power.

“I wouldn’t want to do that kind of trip again – ever.”

So unhappy was Wang, who paid 481,000 yuan ($71,700) for the vehicle, he sold it. He and his wife have since bought a Lexus NX300h gasoline-electric SUV.

Asked to comment on Wang’s experience, Nio Inc said in an e-mailed statement the ES8 can travel more than 200 km when constantly driven at a 100 km per hour and that battery swap stations are available for quick recharging. The statement did not address Nio’s advertising of 335 km on a single full charge.

In real world conditions, all-electric cars can sometimes fall far short of advertised ranges, car engineers say. That’s particularly so when driving at length on freeways or hilly terrain and in hot or cold weather.

The problem adds to drawbacks which have hindered wider acceptance – EVs have shorter driving ranges than gasoline vehicles anyway, are more expensive and take a long time to recharge.

China, Europe and the U.S. state of California have set ambitious requirements for automakers to dramatically increase EV sales over the next 5-10 years, but those goals are at risk unless EVs can come close to matching gasoline engine cars in cost and ease of use.

CHINESE AMBITIONS

In China, the country most aggressively pursuing the adoption of EVs and home to the world’s largest auto market, some of the industry’s biggest names believe pure battery electric cars will be as cheap as gasoline counterparts by 2025.

Those making that prediction include Ouyang Minggao, executive vice president of the EV100 forum, a think tank which is widely seen as the de facto voice of government policy.

“The turning point is coming. We believe that around 2025, the price of pure electric vehicles will achieve a big breakthrough,” he said in a speech in January.

Ouyang cited a reduction in battery costs to $100 per kilowatt hours from $150-$200 currently and a planned tightening of emissions rules in China which will make gasoline vehicles there more expensive.

But others in the EV industry are less optimistic.

“Chinese policymakers think EVs will become more like conventional gasoline cars as early as 2025. But that’s naive and all automaker engineers would agree with me,” said a veteran EV engineer at Honda Motor Co.

“Sure, there’s an EV boom but hybrids and plug-in hybrids will be needed as bridging technologies,” he said.

The engineer was one of five interviewed by for this article who believe it will take a decade before battery EVs achieve cost and performance parity with gasoline cars. Most were not authorized to speak to media and declined to identified when describing the shortcomings of EV technology.

But pressure to deliver parity will only grow as China r上海水磨会所olls back subsidies while setting quotas for sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs). China wants NEVs – which also include hybrids, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – to account for a fifth of auto sales by 2025 compared with 5 percent now.

CUTTING COBALT

For most automakers, battery cells cost around $200/kWh, the engineers said, although costs for Tesla Inc are believed to be around $150/kWh, partly due to its much greater scale of production. Tesla declined to comment.

To cut costs, firms are working on slashing the use of cobalt, the most expensive part in lithium-ion batteries.

Firms such as China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), BYD Co Ltd and South Korea’s SK Innovation Co Ltd are developing NMC 811 technology.

It uses 80 percent nickel, 10 percent manganese, 10 percent cobalt, while a conventional lithium-ion battery uses 60 percent nickel, 20 percent manganese and 20 percent cobalt. NMC 811 also delivers more energy density, meaning batteries will cost and weigh less.

Others are developing similar technologies with slightly different ratios. Batteries jointly produced by Tesla and Panasonic Corp substitute manganese with aluminum and use less cobalt than NMC 811.

Less cobalt and more nickel increases the risk that a battery cell will catch fire – a problem still being worked on. Even so, South Korean battery makers say the next generation of batteries due in three years or so will cost much less and offer much greater driving ranges.

But the engineers who spoke with caution that even if battery unit costs are brought down to $100/kWh, this would not necessarily translate into a steep decline in vehicle costs.

That’s because the investment to improve battery quality needs to be factored in, while the cars also need sophisticated battery management systems to prevent overheating and overcharging – adding thousands of dollars to their cost.

Toyota Motor Corp, which does not have a pure EV on the market currently, says it is concerned about battery durability. Battery capacity can drop by half over 5-10 years – the reason for low EV resale values, said Shigeki Terashi, executive vice president in charge of Toyota’s EV strategy.

“Falling EV battery capacity is not a major issue in China now because sales there have only recently begun, but in time this problem will likely become more evident,” he told in a interview.

RECHARGING TIMES

A longer term effort to improve batteries are solid state batteries, where the liquid or gel-form electrolyte in a lithium-ion battery is replaced with a solid. That could help double a battery’s energy density.

“That’s the holy grail,” says consultant Jon Bereisa, a former GM engineering director who spearheaded much of the automaker’s early lithium-ion battery development.

Many in the industry believe the technology is at least a decade away from mass-market commercial use.

“There are a lot of limitations to solid state drive..it will be very difficult to adopt the technology in the automotive applications used by the general public,” said YS Yoon, president of SK Innovation’s battery business.

Advances in recharging are also key to making electric vehicles mainstream. A big obstacle is heat, which increases resistance and in turn reduces the current.

Most EVs can get a partial charge in under half an hour, although several models due out in the next year can get close to a full charge in 20 minutes.

TE Connectivity is working with automakers to cut charging time to as little as 5 minutes and Chief Technology Officer Alan Amici says that goal may be attained in five years.

But others are sceptical. Bereisa thinks battery costs could achieve parity with gasoline cars by the late 2020s but his verdict on fast fueling parity is “maybe never”.

“It’s physics,” he said, adding that to charge an EV with the same amount of energy in the same amount of time as a gasoline car, you’d need a charger powerful “enough to run a small city”.

Republican Party chairwoman slams megadonor Koch network over trade…

WASHINGTON ( ) – The head of the Republican National Committee criticized the conservative Koch network of donors on Thursday for threatening to back Democrats, escalating tensions between the party and its core business backers before November’s congressional elections.

Officials with the Koch network, which was founded by billionaires Charles and David Koch and has pumped millions of dollars into elections helping Republicans, warned last weekend the group would be willing to support Democrats because of concerns that Trump’s escalating trade war with other countries could cause a recession.

Trump has levied billions of dollars worth of tariffs on products from China, Mexico, Canada and the European Union – some of the largest trading partners of the United States.

The tariffs, which raise prices in the United States and have prompted retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products sold overseas, have drawn staunch opposition from business leaders, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chair, warned Republican candidates and supporters in a memo not to trust resources the Koch network makes available to help win elections.

“Some groups who claim to support conservatives forgo their commitment when they decide their business interests are more important than those of the country or Party上海水磨会所,” she wrote in the memo, a copy of which was viewed by . “This is unacceptable.”

On Tuesday, Trump slammed the Koch-led political operation as “globalist” and “a total joke.”

On Thursday, he again maligned the donors, saying they were more interested in helping foreign workers than the United States.

A spokesman for the Koch network disputed that assertion.

“We have a long-term commitment to unite around issues that will help people improve their lives,” James Davis said in a statement. “Just as we have in the past, we will work together with the president, elected officials and others where we agree. And, where we disagree, we will do so in a civil way.”

The Koch network, which includes dozens of like-minded donors, has promoted lower taxes, less regulation and free trade.

As Trump has pulled his party toward more protectionist trade positions, backers of free-trade policies in the Republican Party have been reluctant to support candidates who back the president.

That could mean Republican candidates who seek to align themselves with Trump on trade risk missing out on funding from groups like the Koch network.

EU aims to block U.S. sanctions on Iran

BRUSSELS ( ) – The European Union vowed on Monday to counter U.S. President Donald Trump’s renewal of sanctions on Iran, in a test of the EU’s ability to preserve a deal that saw Iran limit its nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing strict curbs on its economy.

As Washington’s so-called “snapback” sanctions are reinstated on Tuesday, a new EU law to shield European companies will also take effect to try to mitigate what EU officials say is their “unlawful” reach beyond U.S. borders.

Despite protests from European allies, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would fully enforce the sanctions. EU diplomats said they were awaiting details on Monday on how they will be implemented.

The EU and other parties to the 2015 deal, China and Russia, are working to maintain trade with Iran, which has threatened to stop complying with curbs on its nuclear work if it fails to see the economic benefits of relief from sanctions under the deal.

“We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S.,” the bloc said in a joint statement with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain.

They pledged to work on preserving financial flows and Iran’s oil and gas exports – a lifeline of its economy.

EU officials hope the EU’s so-called blocking statute will mitigate the impact of U.S. sanctions for business, including by deterring U.S. authorities from enforcing some penalties.

But they admit it may not be enough to convince European firms to brave U.S. penalties in order to do business with Iran. Senior U.S. administration officials brushed off questions about the EU measure on Monday, warning the risks were real for companies working in Iran.

The new measure forbids EU persons from complying with U.S. sanctions or related court rulings and allows for firms to sue in court to recover potential damages from parties who withdraw from contracts due to U.S. sanctions.

“For those who have exposure, there is no panacea. What this does is it provides a deterrence. It means that sanctions that are discretionary may never be applied,” one senior EU official said, adding that firms have rarely been fined under U.S. secondary sanctions in the past.

“If they (sanctions) are applied, then that person can go to the court to recover that damage.”

‘PROTECT NOT OBLIGE’

Under the new rules, firms should apply for EU authorization to wind down operations in Iran if it is doing so to comply with U.S. sanctions but not if it is a business decision – a distinction that may be difficult to make.

The threat of EU penalties for European firms who fail to seek such a legal exemption for withdrawing from Iran due to U.S. sanctions has raised alarm among EU businesses that they could be penalized either way.

Seeking to ease concerns, EU officials have stressed the measure seeks to “free not force” firms to remain invested in Iran.

EU officials say they will be strict in reviewing requests for exemptions – wary to undermine its effect by granting too many authorizations.

A number of other countries have ask上海水疗ed EU officials for details on the blocking regulations as they also explore ways to bypass sanctions and their effect on oil markets: “There is a clear interest around the world,” one EU official said.

With the U.S. administration taking a hard line on granting waivers from sanctions, many major companies from the oil and gas industry to car manufacturers and consumer goods firms have already announced that they are quitting the country.

German exports to Iran alone fell by four percent in the first five months of 2018 after rising by 16 percent last year, the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) said.

Stocks approach new highs but healthcare stymies Wall Street

NEW YORK ( ) – Stocks around the globe rose on Tuesday to six-month highs as positive economic data in China and Germany boosted investor sentiment, though concerns about the impact of U.S. policy on the healthcare sector paused Wall Street’s rally.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 gave up nearly all of its earlier gains as healthcare shares fell after UnitedHealth Group Inc discussed concerns about U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan, as well as the White House’s proposal to end discounts from drugmakers.

“In healthcare, there is concern over various single-payer plans, which could damage the health insurance industry,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. “That thesis slowly worked its way into the sector today, and aggressive selling begets more selling.”

Even though Wall Street stocks treaded water, an advance in Chinese and European shares helped push the MSCI world equity index to a six-month high. Positive data, including a quicker pace of growth in Chinese home prices and上海水磨会所 improving sentiment among German investors, bolstered global equities.

The latest leg higher in this year’s global rally comes as a degree of calm has descended across financial markets. European stock volatility reached its lowest level since January 2018, while on Wall Street, the CBOE Volatility Index hit its lowest level in more than six months.

The U.S.-China trade dispute, signs of slowing global corporate earnings and fears about an economic downturn have weighed on riskier assets in the past year. But investors have been quick to seize on positive news to keep the bull market running.

Among the information investors are anticipating is Chinese quarterly economic growth data, due on Wednesday. After a worrying start to the year, Chinese numbers have been more positive as authorities ramped up stimulus measures, soothing investor fears about a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy.

“The improvement in China data has been something of a lifeline,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco in New York. “When the Chinese economy moves in one direction, usually the European economy follows with a lag.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 67.89 points, or 0.26%, to 26,452.66, the S&P 500 gained 1.48 points, or 0.05%, to 2,907.06 and the Nasdaq Composite added 24.21 points, or 0.3%, to 8,000.23.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.16%. The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended 0.3% higher.

As stocks advanced, U.S. Treasury yields rose to four-week highs. Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 11/32 in price to yield 2.5904%, from 2.553% late on Monday.

Even during this year’s rally in stocks, “the flight-to-quality bid in Treasuries had not subsided,” said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut. “Now we’re starting to see the beginning of that, and that’s pushing yields higher.”

Spot gold prices dropped to their lowest level this year and were last down 0.9% as risk appetite dented demand for the precious metal’s safe-haven credentials.

In currency markets, the euro dipped after reported that some European Central Bank policymakers doubt whether growth will rebound in the euro zone as projected. The currency was last down 0.2% at $1.1282.

Sterling slipped 0.4% to $1.3049 after the Guardian newspaper reported that talks between Prime Minister Theresa May and the opposition Labor Party regarding Britain’s exit from the European Union had stalled. The Labor Party denied the report.

The dollar index ticked up 0.1%.

Oil rose as fighting in Libya and declining Venezuelan and Iranian exports raised expectations of tightening global supply.

Brent crude futures rose 54 cents, or 0.76 percent, to settle at $71.72 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 65 cents, or 1%, to settle at $64.05 a barrel.

Amazon.com should share web domain name rights, Brazil says

BRASILIA ( ) – Brazil has proposed a compromise to a seven-year battle that has quietly raged over the Amazon.com internet domain: let the nations bordering the world’s largest rainforest co-govern the digital address with the biggest online retailer.

Amazon.com Inc has been seeking rights to the d上海水疗omain name since 2012. But Amazon basin countries Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname have argued that it refers to their geographic region and thus belongs to them and should not be “the monopoly of one company.”

The global Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees internet addresses, has extended until this month a deadline for the parties to reach a deal.

“As a compromise solution for the ‘dot Amazon’ issue, we proposed our participation in the governance of this digital territory, with a view to safeguarding and pro,上海红梅南路水磨会所Jack,moting the natural, cultural and symbolic heritage of the Amazon region on the Internet,” Brazil’s deputy Foreign Minister Otavio Brandelli proposed on Wednesday.

“This would be an innovative mechanism, setting a positive precedent of public-private partnership in the development of internet governance,” he said in a sta,上海水疗会所过夜Gabriella,tement to , without explaining how it would work.

He said the proposal would ,上海水墨会所高端微信Landon,give Amazon.com the chance to show Amazon countries and public opinion that it is “a fully responsible corporation, capable of reconciling commercial interest with values cherished by its customers.”

ICANN placed Amazon.com’s request on a “Will not proceed” footing in 2013, but an independent review process sought by the company faulted that decision and ICANN then told the Amazon basin nations they had to reach an agreement with the company.

Amazon.com has offered millions of dollars in free Kindles and hosting by Amazon web services to resolve the issue, according to various reports.

Republicans aim to debate immigration bill next week, ignoring…

WASHINGTON ( ) – Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representative still plan to bring an immigratio,上海水疗会所过夜Pamela,n bill up for a vote next week, despite President Donald Trump’s urgings on Friday to drop the effort until after November’s elections.

“We are bringing that bill to the floor,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, referring to legislation that has been postponed because of a lack of support among warring factions of the Republican Party.

Trump, faced with a public outcry over his policy that separated children from their migrant parents at the U.S. border with Mexico, had urged Congress to take up immigration legislation to permanently prevent family separations.

But, in a series of Twitter posts early on Friday, he said House Republicans should drop efforts to pass comprehensive immigration legislation until after the November elections.

“Elect more Republicans in November and we will pass the finest, fairest and most comprehensive Immigration Bills anywhere in the world,” Trump said on Twitter.

Representative Carlos Curbelo, one of the lawmakers negotiating a Republican compromise immigration bill,上海闵行的水磨24小时Easton,上海水疗 in the House, said the effort was continuing.

“Regarding the President, the bottom line is that he will sign the bill into law. That’s critical considering our goal,上海洋妞性服务Rachel, is to improve our country’s immigration laws,” Curbelo said in a statement to .

Despite Republican control of both the House and the Senate, the party’s slim 51-49 majority in the latter chamber makes some Democratic support necessary for most legislation to become law.

Japan’s 7-Eleven to replace leader as firm considers changing…

TOKYO ( ) – Japan’s big上海水疗会所gest retail group Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd said it is replacing the head of its 7-Eleven convenience store business, amid pressure to abandon its 24-hour store policy due to a shortage o,上海娱乐会所Earl,f workers.

Seven-Eleven Japa,上海会所Mace,n Vice President Fumihiko Nagamatsu will replace President Kazuki Furuya, the company said on Thursday.

The company has come under pressure to change after complaints by franchise owners, some of whom were forced to keep working amid massive snowstorms or in the wake of a family death, attracted nationwide attention.

The company’s franchise system has helped buffer the impact of Japan’s tightest labor market in 40 years, as store owners are on the hook to pay wages after handing over royalty fees.

The group announced a 5 percent rise in operating profit in the year ended February, led by growth in the convenience store business, although its outlook for 2 percent growth in the current year was slightly weaker than market expectations.

Faced with criticism from store owners and recent calls for change by politicians, the company recently began testing shorter hours at 10 of its more than 20,700 stores.

The 7-Eleven chain, originating in the United States but now Japanese-owned, has grown since the 1970s as its 24-hour accessibility proved a perfect match with densely populated Japan and its late-night work culture.

Analysts have said more drastic change may be needed ahead as the population ages.

Rival FamilyMart UNY Holdings Co Ltd earlier this week said it was partnering with Panasonic Corp to incorporate a range of labour-,上海水磨实体店更多Larissa,saving technologies.