上海夜生活,上海夜生活网,上海夜网论坛 - Powered by October 2018

Pentagon wants 12 month procurement time for major weapons…

( ) – The Pentagon’s acquisition chief said on Wednesday she wants t,上海仙霞路夜生活Hadleigh,o cut the time for major procurements to 12 months from an average of 2.5 years, speaking during a congressional hearing on the reorganization of the Defense Department’s procurement system.

The Pentagon typically takes months and often years to make procurement decisions, especially for major weapons programs. A more rapid procurement process could accelerate the pace of orders for weapons makers like Lockheed Martin Corp and Northrop Grumman Corp.

During the hearing of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, panel chairman Senator John McCain called the Pentagon’s buying program a “system of organized irresponsibility.”

The Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Ellen Lord, was asked her goal for cutting back time for weapons procurement and she responded “12 months for major programs.”

Lord, who began working at the Pentagon in August, was formerly chief executive of defense contractor Textron Systems, an aerospace and defense company that makes drones and missiles.

If the acquisition process is shortened it would be good for larger weapons makers because time is money, Byron Callan, a defense analyst at Capital Al,上海夜生活乌托邦Qirin,pha Partners, said in an interview. The move could also increase competition from smaller companies that often lack the financial resources to wait out lengthy Pentagon procurements, he said.

The Pentagon’s weapons procurement process generally begins by soliciting proposals from industry, often includes a competitive process to find a vendor, as well as product testing before delivery and final payment. Critics say the decision-makin上海夜生活网g part of the current procurement process takes too long and could be reduced.

Mark Esper, Secretary of the Army, said his office was examining a way to reduce the requirements development process, where the military articulates the concept of what it needs, to 12 months from five years.

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) changed the structure of the Pentagon’s Office of Acquisition by splitting it into two new positions, an undersecretary for research and engineering focusing on innovation, and an undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment focusing on program management.

That process is still unfolding, but during the hearing testimony showed the initial effect was that decision making fo,上海夜玩网论坛Balthazar,r some procurement processes had moved to individual branches of the U.S. military.

UPS revamp bolsters profit in holiday quarter, shares jump

( ) – United Parcel Service Inc’s multi-billion-dollar effort to revamp its network helped it exceed profit expectations in the crucial holiday fourth quarter, driving down costs as e-commerce deliveries surged to record levels.

Shares jumped 5.2 percent to $106.47 in midday trading after UPS also said its efforts would propel growth in adjusted operating profit by around 13 percent this year.

“Our strategies are paying off and giving us profit improvement,” UPS Chief Executive David Abney told .

UPS and rival FedEx have undertaken massive network revamps to better manage a surge in packages driven by an increasing shift by consumers to online shopping. Those home deliveries are pricier because there are fewer of them in general than those heading to business addresses.

UPS spent $6.6 billion in 2018 as part of a three-year plan to automate package-sorting hubs, make routes more efficient and to upgrade airplanes and other equipment.

The effort is beginning to pay off, said Cowen & Co analyst Helane Becker.

“UPS posted its strongest peak shipping season since at least 2013 … and these trends should continue as new global sorting hubs come online,” she said.

The e上海夜生活arnings report lands as growth in European and Asian economies decelerates and the U.S. shows signs of cooling.

UPS rival FedEx Corp last month slashed its 2019 forecast, citing slowing global trade.

UPS gets 20 percent of its revenue overseas. It is less exposed than FedEx, which gets one-third of its revenue from outside the United States.

UPS is also pushing to recruit more small business customers and to increase expedited services, which are more profitable than delivering e-commerce parcels to shopper doorsteps.

Those factors helped “buffer the impacts of global economic softening,” Abney said.

To be sure, some impact of the global slowdown on future earnings is expected, with UPS forecasting 2019 earnings per share between $7.45 and $7.75, largely below analysts’ average estimate of $7.69 per s,上海仙霞路夜生活Caitlin,hare, according to Refinitiv data.

That outlook “likely factors in the … continued uncertainty regarding U.S.-China trade relations and Brexit,” Becker said.

Atlanta-based UPS affirmed planned capital spending of 8.5 percent to 10 percent of 2019 revenue, in,上海夜生活乌托邦Cadence, line with 2018.

Net income fell to $453 million, or 52 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $1.10 billion, or $1.26 per share, a year earlier, when it booked a gain from changes to U.S. tax law.

UPS booked a $1.2 billion after-tax pension charge, double that from a year earlier, as the U.S. stock market swooned in the fourth quarter.

On an adjusted basis, it earned $1.94 per share, beating analysts’ estimates by 4 cents. ,上海会所夜网Daisy,

Revenue rose to $19.85 billion from $18.98 billion.

U.S. revenue was up almost 6 percent at $12.6 billion, helped by a nearly 5 percent increase in revenue per parcel. International revenue increased 2.9 percent to $3.8 billion.

“It looks like UPS is starting to turn the corner on operating performance in domestic,” Bernstein analyst David Vernon said in a note.

He said strong international results indicated the company was reaping the rewards of recent investments in larger aircraft.

China to step up economic stimulus in slowdown fight

BEIJING ( ) – China will take steps to spur growth amid a trade war with the United States, but there is limited room for aggressive stimulus in an economy already laden with massive debts and a property market prone to credit-driven spikes, policy insiders said.

China’s deepening economic slowdown has fanned market expectations of a big spending binge, especially if the bruising tariff war with Washington escalates, intensifying pressure on Chinese jobs and threatening social stability.

Such a move, plans for which have repeatedly been denied by China’s top leaders, would come at a price, however – similar moves in the past have quickly juiced growth rates but also buried the world’s No.,上海足浴夜网联系方式Larissa,2 economy under a mountain of debt.

“The room for a strong stimulus is not big, and there are very big risks, because that will rely on a flood of cash and increased leverage in the economy,” said a policy insider, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

During the 2008-09 global financial crisis, Beijing rolled out a 4 trillion yuan ($591 billion) spending package to fight a downturn that cost 20 million jobs in a matters of months, quickly reviving growth but also prompting a credit explosion.

The obsession of China’s leaders with stability led to policy easing in 2012 and 2015 – a year marked by a stock market crash, a slide in the yuan and sharp capital outflows – that further pushed up debt levels and inflated home prices.

Authorities have taken a raft of pro-growth measures in the past year, in the form of cuts to the levels of cash banks must hold as reserves to spur lending, tax cuts, and efforts to accelerate infrastructure spending.

Still, growth in the world’s second-largest economy weakened to a 28-year low of 6.6 percent in 2018, and is expected to slow further to 6.3 percent this year.

Sources have told that Beijing was planning to lower its growth target to 6-6.5 percent this year from around 6.5 percent in 2018.

Some Chinese factories have felt the pinch from higher U.S. tariffs, but there are few signs of a sharp rise in unemployment due to a more resilient services sector and a shrinking pool of workers as a result of the country’s demographic changes.

“We should be vigilant about employment pressure, but it’s too early to talk about serious problems,” said a second policy insider.

DEBT RISKS

The current slowdown was caused by China’s deleveraging drive in early 2016, which focused on state firms and local governments before broadening to the financial sector a year later. A crackdown on shadow lending pushed up borrowing costs and made it harder for small firms to get funds.

As the trade war increases headwinds, Beijing’s policy focus has been shifted to supporting growth from reining in debt risks, although top leaders remain worried about long-term systemic risks that could derail the country’s economic ascent.

Related CoverageFactbox: China rolls out fiscal, monetary stimulus to spur economy

President Xi Jinping said this week that China must be on guard against “black swan” risks, meaning unforeseen events that have extreme consequences, while fending off so-called “grey rhino” events – obvious threats that go ignored.

Data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) showed that China’s debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio climbed to 253 percent at the end of June 2018 from 231 percent at end-2015, although the pace of increases is slowing.

Fitch could cut China’s A+ credit rating or stable outlook if Beijing reverts to the kind of debt-fueled stimulus programs it has used in the past, the firm’s top sovereign analyst said earlier this month.

Further reductions in banks’ reserve requirement ratios (RRR) are expected in coming quarters, but the central bank will not rush into cutting benchmark interest rates. More aggressive easing could pressure the yuan, aggravate high debt levels, and even stoke property speculation give上海夜生活网n that elevated home prices have put strains on consumers.

“If there is too much liquidity, we should worry whether it may flow into unintended areas, rather than the real economy,” said a policy adviser.

NO QUICK BOOST TO GROWTH

China is likely to lean more on fiscal pump-priming to support the economy this year, as the central government has been struggling to channel more credit into small and private firms that are vital for growth and jobs, policy insiders said.

In December, top leaders pledged to step up “counter-cyclical” support for the economy, and said fiscal policy would be “more forceful and effective” and monetary policy would be prudent with “appropriate tightness and looseness”.

Details on the fisca,上海夜网Hallie,l stimulus are expected to be unveiled during the annual parliamentary meeting in March.

Analysts expect China to deliver tax and fee cuts of 2 trillion yuan in 2019, versus last year’s 1.3 trillion yuan and let local governments issue 2 trillion yuan in off-budget special bonds to fund key projects, up from 1.35 trillion yuan.

But the economy may not get a quick boost as the raft of policy measures may take time to kick in, and China’s high debt levels and falling investment returns could slow down spending.

“Stimulus won’t be very strong, and its impact won’t be big,” said one of the policy insiders.

“The manufacturing sector faces all round oversupply while infrastructure investment is saturated in many places – projects that have been launched won’t make money.”

New tax cuts, including lowering the valued-added tax (VAT) for firms,,上海新夜网龙凤Pamela, could give hard-pressed small and private firms a shot in the arm and force the government to tighten its belt. The finance ministry has pledged a 5 percent cut in “general government spending”.

($1 = 6.7639 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(This story was refiled to add dropped word “and” in paragraph 2)

Madrid taxis block major road in biggest anti-Uber protest yet

MADRID ( ) – Hundreds of tax,上海夜生活Easton,is blocked a central traffic artery in Madrid during Monday’s morning rush hour, in their biggest show of strength yet as a protest seeking tighter r,上海晚上耍女人的地方Quay,egulation of Uber and other ride-hailing services entered its second week.

Anti-riot police backed by a fleet of tow trucks took several hours to clear the vehicles from the capital’s Paseo de la Castellana. Stoppages 上海夜网are expected elsewhere as the protest drags on.

The city’s taxi drivers started the protests last week against the private services, which offer rides that often undercut taxi prices and can be hailed via the internet rather than in the street.

In September, Spain’s government gave ride-hailing companies four years to comply with regulation granting them just one new license for every 30 taxi licenses.

The cab drivers are demanding stricter regulations now.

“They (ride-hailing services) can’t do the same services that a taxi does. They can’t pick up people on the streets. That is illegal but nothing happens,” said taxi driver Juan Mateos.

Taxi drivers in Barcelona ended a strike last week after regional authorities proposed the ride-hailing services can only be booked a short time in advance and cannot be hailed in the street.

Negotiations there remain ongoing, and some ride-hailing platforms ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Barney,say they may be forced to leave Barcelona if the new rules take effect.

Volkswagen mulls extending diesel incentives across Germany

BERLIN ( ) – German carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE)上海夜网 is examining whether to extend trade-in incentives to owners of older vehicles i,夜上海论坛Kade,n all of Germany, extending the program beyond the 15 most heavily polluted cities, a,上海夜生活桑拿会所Pablo, spokesman said on Friday.

Under pressure to avert bans of diesel vehicles in key cities, carmakers have started offering trade-in incentives to encourage customers to scrap older diesel vehicles for more modern cleaner vehicles.

A spokesman said the responsible board committee is examining a nationwide trade-in incentive for Euro 4 or Euro 5 diesel vehicles for a limited time period and is expected to make a decision early next week.

Volkswagen said in October it will offer buyers of VW-branded passenger cars an incentive if they agree to scrap cars equipped with older Euro 1 to Euro 4 engines.

The trade-in incent,上海夜生活服务Nadine,ive is currently limited to Germany’s 15 most polluted cities.

German daily Bild first reported that VW was considering extending the trade-in incentive to all of Germany. The paper said details were still being worked out but the company would pay up to 9,000 euros ($10,200) per car as previously envisaged.

German carmakers have already agreed to spend up to 3,000 euros ($3,431) per vehicle to upgrade engine management software to make exhaust filtering systems more effective, but environmentalists say these measures are insufficient.

Zuckerberg to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger:…

( ) – Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is planning to unify the underlying messaging infrastructure of the WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger services and incorporate end-to-end encryption into these apps, the New York Times reported on Friday.

The three services will, however, continue as stand-alone apps, the report said, citing four people involved in the effort.

Facebook said it is working on adding end-to-end encryption, which protects messages from being viewed by anyone except the participants in a conversation, to more of its messaging products, and considering ways to make it easier for users to connect across networks.

“There is a lot of discussion and debate as we begin the long process of figuring out all the details of how this will work,” a spokesperson said.

After the changes, a Facebook user, for instance, will be able send an encrypted message to someone who has only a WhatsApp account, according to the New York Times report,上海新夜网龙凤Barrett,.

Integrating the messaging services could ,上海夜生活乌托邦Nadine,make it harder for antitrust regulators to break up Facebook by undoing its acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram, said Sam Weinstein, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

“If Facebook is worried about that then one way it can defend itself is to integrate those services,” Weinstein said.

But Weinst,上海夜网邀请码Paige,ein said break上海夜生活网ing up Facebook is viewed as an “extreme remedy” by regulators, particularly in the United States, so concerns over antitrust scrutiny may not have been a factor behind the integration.

MAJOR TRADEOFFS

Some former Facebook security engineers and an outside encryption expert said the plan could be good news for user privacy, in particular by extending end-to-end encryption.

“I’m cautiously optimistic it’s a good thing,” said former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, who now teaches at Stanford University. “My fear was that they were going to drop end-to-end encryption.”

However, the technology does not always conceal metadata – information about who is talking to whom – sparking concern among some researchers that the data might be shared.

Any metadata integration likely will let Facebook learn more about users, linking identifiers such as phone numbers and email addresses for those using the services independently of each other.

Facebook could use that data to charge more for advertising and targeted services, although it also would have to forgo ads based on message content in Messenger and Instagram.

Other major tradeoffs will have to be made too, Stamos and others said.

Messenger allows strangers to contact people without knowing their phone numbers, for example, increasing the risk of stalking and approaches to children.

Systems based on phone numbers have additional privacy concerns, because governments and other entities can easily extract location information from them.

Stamos said he hoped Facebook would get public input from terrorism experts, child safety officers, privacy advocates and others and be transparent in its reasoning when it makes decisions on the details.

“It should be an open process, because you can’t have it all,” Stamos said.

Vodafone holds off deploying Huawei in core network due to security…

LONDON ( ) – Vodafone, the world’s second largest mobile operator, said it was “pausing” the deployment of Huawei equipment in its core networks until Western governments give the Chinese firm full security clearance.

The United States and some allies, including Australia and New Zealand, have banned Huawei from 5G networks because of alleged ties to the Chinese government, while the firm has denied that its technology could be used by Beijing for spying.

Vodafone’s Chief Executive Nick Read said on Friday after reporting third-quarter results that the debate was playing out at a “too simplistic level”, adding that Huawei was an important player in an equipment market which it dominates along with Ericsson Sweden’s Ericsson and Nokia.

“We have decided to pause further Huawei in our core whilst we engage with the various agencies and governments and Huawei just to finalize the situation, of which I feel Huawei is really open and working hard,” Read said.

Poland is set to exclude Huawei from 5G after it arrested a Huawei executive earlier this month on spying allegations. Huawei fired the man, who has denied wrongdoing.

Europe’s mobile industry would face higher costs and delays to faster networks if authorities imposed a blanket ban on Huawei equipment, particularly the radio technology deployed on mobile towers, Vodafone’s Read said.

Operators in Europe such as BT and Ora上海夜网nge, have already removed Huawei’s equipment or taken steps to limit its future use.

Read said Huawei’s equipment was used in Vodafone’s core – which he described as the intelligent part of the network – in Spain and some other smaller markets.

European governments and security agencies had not pressurized Vodafone into taking the step, but the “noise level” had increased, and,上海夜网推油Babette, the debate now needed more facts, Read said, adding that governments in Africa and the Middle East, where Vodafone also uses Huawei, had not raised concerns.

A spokesman for Huawei, which become the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker earlier this decade despite being shut out of the U.S. market, said it had been a long-term strategic partner to Vodafone since 2007.

“Huawei is focused on supporting Vodafone’s 5G network rollouts, of which the core is a small proportion. We are grateful to Vodafone for its support of Huawei and we will endeavor to live up to the trust placed in us,” he said.

However, Read said that Vodafone had already agreed terms with a range of 5G suppliers, so moving away from,夜上海论坛Octava, Huawei in parts of the roll-out would not incur additional costs.

TOUGH END TO YEAR

Shares in Vodafone fell after it reported a deterioration in its key revenue measure in the third quarter, down 40 basis points quarter-on-quarter to 0.1 percent, reflecting price competition in Spain and Italy and a slowdown in South Africa.

Analysts had expected growth of 0.3 percent and the stock fell to its lowest level since July 2010 after the update, trading down 2.9 percent at 140 pence at 1245 GMT.

Vodafone said, however, that competition in the Spanish and Italian markets had moderated through the quarter and it improved its level of churn, or the number of customers leaving, by two percentage points year-on-year.

The company’s Chief Financial Officer Margherita Della Valle said the performance improvements would start to show in the top line after the current quarter.

“We expect as we enter into the next fiscal year to start seeing the benefits in terms of revenue growth,” she said.

Analysts at UBS said Vodafone performed well in net adds and churn across Europe, but they expected fourth quarter service revenue to drop to –0.5 percent, driven by weakness in Spain and tougher comparatives in Britain.

“This is disappointing relative to prior comments that service revenues would be similar to the +0.5 percent seen in Q2,” they said.

Vodafone’,上海夜生活怎么玩Paisley,s reiterated its guidance for this year of around 3 percent growth in underlying adjusted core earnings, with free cash flow before spectrum costs of about 5.4 billion euros.

Control of Virginia state House at stake as recounts begin

WASHINGTON ( ) – Virginia officials started recounts on Wednesday in the first of four state House of Delegates races, a process that could lead to a Democratic takeover of the chamber after the party’s historic election gains last month.

Republicans have a narrow 51-49 majority in the House aft,上海夜生活服务Sabina,er Democrats erased a two-to-one advantage in November, part of the party’s first big wave of victories since Republican Donald Trump won the White House last year.

Four of the legislative races were close enough to lead to recounts. If Democrats gain one seat in the House, the chamber would be tied 50-50 with no tiebreaking mechanism.

Governor-elect Ralph Northam is a Democrat, and Republicans hold a 21-19 edg,上海夜生活网交流Naia,e in the state Senate上海夜生活网.

The first recount was scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in suburban Washington’s District 58, where Republican incumbent Tim Hugo narrowly won re-election by 106 votes over Democrat Donte Tanner.

Others are planned for next week, including one where the Republican leads by only 10 votes.

In a recount set for Dec. 21 in northern Virginia’s District 28, Democrat Joshua Cole trails Republican Robert Thomas by 82 votes. The state elections board has said at least 147 voters were assigned to the wrong district, and voters have filed a federal lawsuit to hold a new election.

Andrea Gaines, a state elect,上海夜生活Lance,ions spokeswoman, said in an email that she had no information on when results for the recounts would be announced.

Written by shyw on October 24, 2018 Categories: 上海夜网 Tags: , ,

Wells Fargo CEO defends his stewardship, in response to Sen….

( ) – Wells Fargo & Co Chief Executive Tim Sloan, in a CNBC interview on Friday, said he is the right person to run the company, in response to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s repeated calls for him to be fired after a 2016 scandal.

Sloan told Jim Cramer on “Mad Money” that Warren could have her opinion but he would not be in his present role if he thought he was not doing his job.

“I think I’m the right person to run this company today,” he told Cramer.

Wells Fargo has been coping with a series of scandals since 2016, when it was reported that employees had opened potentially millions of phony accounts in customers’ names without their permission.

The bank has disclosed other problems since then, including enrolling hundreds of thousands of customers in costly products, such as auto insurance, that they did not need or want.

Warre,上海夜生活服务Easton,n, a progressive Democra,上海夜生活怎么玩Hadleigh,t who announced in December that she had formed an exploratory committee to run for president in 2020, has called for Sloan’s removal in the past, but she could not compel the U.S. central bank to take such a step.

In October, she wrote a letter to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell urging him to not allow the bank to grow in size until it replaced Sloan.

Sloan said in the Friday interview that he has “taken responsibi,上海夜网Talon,lity” and should not be criticized for doing so. “Judge me on what I said we would do and what we’ve done,”上海夜网 he said.

Sloan said last week that Wells is planning to operate under the Fed-ordered asset cap through the end of 2019, as the fourth-largest U.S. lender’s loan book shrank and revenue fell across all its major businesses last quarter.

Written by shyw on October 23, 2018 Categories: zowywagu Tags: , , ,

Exclusive: JSW Steel, Duferco in talks on landmark steel…

LONDON ( ) – Indian conglomerate JSW Steel and global trading firm Duferco are in advanced talks on a five-year cash-for-steel prepayment deal, four sources familiar with the matter said, in a rare move for the industry.

    JSW, India’s biggest steelmaker, and Duferco had a prepayment deal in 2006 for $150 million in upfront cash that would be repaid over seven years with steel cargoes, but the scale of the proposed new deal is much larger.

    Two sources said the deal, expected to be signed this quarter, would be worth about $600 million. Switzerland-based Duferco, backed by banks, would provide the cash to be repaid with physical steel.

Duferco, one of the world’s largest steel trading firms, declined to comment. JSW did not confirm the value of the deal, but said it has a longstanding relationship with Duferco that involves financing arrangements.

One of the sources said JSW was looking for alternate sources of funding while, for Duferco, the deal would lock in future sales of steel with its clients.

Jeff Kabel, chairman of the International Steel Trade Association (ISTA), said the deal would represent “a great move forward” for上海夜生活 an industry that has seen few such arrangements to date.

Steel derivatives, which allow buyers and sellers to lock in future prices, are still in their infancy, making trade houses wary of pre-paying for large tonnages and risk prices moving against them in the future.

Such deals are frequent in commodities such as oil, with liquid derivatives markets that allow for hedging future sales.

A $600 million dollar deal would equate to about 1 mi,上海夜生活怎么玩Cade,llion tonnes of steel supply.

“Its rather innovative. The only thing steel companies usually do is pre-export finance and not that big a number,” said Kabel, referring to financing options that do not involve repayments in physical cargoes.

In 2013, as banks increasingly withdrew from Europe’s steel sector, Duferco moved to offer its clients trade financing, though these deals typically involved it acting as a bank, not taking delivery of steel.

JSW plans to expand steelmaking capacity by 2030 to between 44 million tonnes and 45 million tonnes from 19 million tonnes cu,上海夜网官方网站Kailani,rrently.

In 2017 it earmarked $1 billion for acquisitions and expansion but has had to proceed more cautiously this year as steel prices have fallen to their lowest in nearly a year and there are growing concerns the upcycle might reverse.

Duferco, controlled by state-owned Hebei Iro,上海晚上耍女人的地方Dalton,n and Steel Group (Hesteel), China’s largest steelmaker, has activities in more than 120 countries and sales of about 20 million tonnes of steel and raw materials a year.

U.S. security experts back Iran nuclear deal, as Trump faces deadlines

WASHINGTON ( ) – Retired U.S. military officers, members of Congress and former U.S. ambassadors were among 52 U.S. national security experts who signed a letter released on Monday urging President Donald Trump’s administration not to jeopardize the international nuclear deal with Iran,上海仙霞路夜生活Idaleen,.

Trump faces deadlines related to the deal starting late this week, including deciding whether to reimpose oil sanctions lifted under the 2015 agreement. He will make the decision as Iran’s government deals with protests over economic hardships and corruption.

Signers of the letter, organized by the National Coalition to Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon, included Richard Lugar, a former Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Paul O’Neill, who served as Treasury secretary under Re,上海夜生活乌托邦Barney,publican President George W. Bush; Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency, and Admiral Eric Olson, former commander of Special Forces.

“We support the rights of Iranian citizens to free speech and peaceful prot,上海夜网邀请码Idaleen,est and we condemn the use of force against上海夜网 peaceful demonstrations,” the letter said.

“In responding to developments in Iran, now and in the future, the U.S. should be careful not to take any steps that might undermine the JCPOA (nuclear agreement) which remains vital to U.S. national security,” it said.

FBI Director Wray defends bureau in wake of Republican criticism

WASHINGTON ( ) – The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation defended his employees on Thursday against a growing chorus of accusations by Republicans, including President Donald Trump, that its agents were allowing political bias to seep into their investigations.

In testimony before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Christopher Wray said he believed the reputation of the FBI was not, as Trump recently wrote on Twitter, “in tatters.”

“The agents, analysts and staff of the FBI are big boys and girls. We understand we will take criticism from all corners,” Wray said.

“My experience has been that our reputation is quite good.”

Republicans had in recent weeks stepped up criticism of the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether Trump campaign aides had colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The move is widely seen as a tactic to undermine Mueller’s investigation, which has so far led to criminal charges against four people from Trump’s inner circle.

It comes as Republicans prepare to head into a potentially challenging midterm 2018 congressional election cycle.

Republicans have sought to re-litigate questions relating to the FBI’s handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, and questioned whether Justice Department officials gave her preferential treatment in their decision not to charge her with a crime.

They have criticized former FBI Director James Comey for publicly announcing a decision not to refer Clinton for prosecution and asked whether the decision-making was politically tainted.

Wray took over the helm of the FBI after Trump abruptly fired Comey earlier this year.

‘REASSIGNED, NOT DISCIPLINED’

Most recently, Republicans got fresh ammunition against Mueller and the FBI, after media reports said FBI agent Peter Strzok ,上海夜哪里艳遇Caitlin,was removed from the Russia probe because he had exchanged private text messages that disparaged Trump and supported Clinton.

Strzok was involved in both the Clinton email and Russia investigations.

Wray acknowledged Thursday that Strzok was removed from Mueller’s investigation, but said he ,上海夜网官方网站Radcliff,was reassigned, not disciplined.

“We cannot afford for the FBI – which has traditionally been dubbed the prem上海夜生活论坛ier law enforcement agency in the world – to become tainted by politicization or the perception of a lack of even-handedness,” Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said.

Wray repeatedly refused to weigh in on how his predecessor handled the Clinton matter, and deferred to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is conducting a wide-ranging review into the topic.

Horowitz recently told lawmakers he expects his review to be complete by la,上海夜网邀请码Idaia,te winter or early spring.

“When those findings come to me, I will take appropriate action if necessary,” Wray said.

Democrats, meanwhile, urged Wray to stand up against bullying by the president.

“Your job requires you to have the courage to stand up to the president, Mr. Director,” said the committee’s Ranking Democrat Jerrold Nadler. “There are real consequences for allowing the President to continue unchecked in this manner.”

Stocks, yields rise after deal announced to end U.S. government…

NEW YORK ( ) – Wall Street indexes rose and bond yields followed stocks higher on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump announced an agreement to end the longest ever U.S. government shutdown and as investors reac,上海夜生活乌托邦Rachel,ted to corporate earnings reports.

But the dollar index, which fell from a three-week high hit on Thursday, held onto losses after the news on the shutdown as traders eyed next week’s Federal Reserve meeting for insight on whether policy makers will continue to take a cautious tone on the interest rate path this year.

On Friday afternoon, on the 35th day of a record shutdown that has left hundreds of thousands of federal workers missing two paychecks, Trump announced a tentative deal with lawmakers to reopen the government temporarily.

Markets were choppy around the news as investors hoped the reopening would take some pressure off the economy but questioned whether a permanent government funding deal could be reached by the Feb. 15 deadline.

“It does ,上海新夜网龙凤Daisy,get federal workers paid, lets them collect their paychecks, so it takes that pressure off of them,” so it “should be a benefit to consumer confidence and consumer spending,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. “But three weeks from now we are going to be back in the same situation, really without a resolution with two hard-line views.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 183.96 points, or 0.75 percent, to 24,737.2, the S&P 500 gained 22.43 points, or 0.85 percent, to 2,664.76, and the Nasdaq Composite added 91.40 points, or 1.29 percent, to 7,164.86.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.61 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.05 percent.

Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas said: “Earnings have also been a positive component although the number of beats is lower than the last two quarters and expectations were lowered.”

However, not all investors were optimistic as some turned to gold, often seen as safe-haven bet. Spot gold added 1.8 percent to $1,302.99 an ounce, helped by the dollar decline.

In currency, the euro rebounded against the dollar after falling to its lowest level in six weeks Thursday when European Central Bank President Mario Draghi did not alter a downbeat assessment on the euro zone’s economy.

The euro was up 0.94 percent to $1.1411. The dollar index, which measures the dollar against six other currencies, fell 0.87 percent.

According to the latest polls of hundreds of economists from around the world, a synchronized global economic slowdown is under way and any escalation in the U.S.-China trade war would t,上海夜网邀请码Tabitha,rigger a sharper downturn.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the United States on Jan. 30 and 31 for the next round of trade negotiations with Washington.

Sterling was last trading at $1.3209, up 1.11 percent on the day after The Sun newspaper reported on Thursday that Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party has privately decided to back Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal next week if it includes a clear time limit to the Irish backstop.

In U.S. Treasuries, 10-year yields bounced from a one-week low as looming Treasury supply next week and caution ahead of the Fed’s policy meeting and the government’s payrolls report added upward pressure.

U.S. Treasury 10-year notes last fell 11/32 in price to yield 2.7513 percent, from 2.712 percent late on Thursday.

Oil prices s上海夜网ettled higher as political turmoil in Venezuela threatened to reduce supply, but fresh data on surging U.S. fuel stocks and global economic woes weighed on sentiment.

Brent crude futures settled at $61.64 a barrel, up 55 cents, or 0.90 percent. U.S. crude oil futures settled at $53.69 a barrel, up 56 cents, or 1.05 pct.

Cryptocurrency thefts, scams hit $1.7 billion in 2018: report

NEW YORK ( ) – Cryptocurrencies stolen from exchanges and scammed from investors surged more than 400 percent in 2018 to around $1.7 billion, according to a report from U.S.-based cyber security firm CipherTrace released on Tuesday.

Of the $1.7 billion, the report, which looks at criminal activity in the digital currency market, said $950 million constituted thefts from cryptocurrency exchanges and infrastructure services such as wallets, up nearly 260 percent from $266 million in 2017.

Korea and Japan were home to most of the thefts from excha,上海夜生活桑拿会所Sabia,nges, or 58 percent, throughout 2018.

The numbers on crypto theft surprised many observers given the price declines in digital currencies in 2018. The market capitalization with more than 1,600 digital currencies was $112 billion in January, 2019, down more than 80 percent from its peak a year earlier.

In addition to those thefts, the research found that investors and exchange users lost about $725 million in cryptocurrency in 2018 to exit scams such as fraudulent initial coin offerings, phony exchange hacks, an,上海仙霞路夜生活Barbara,d Ponzi schemes.

In 2017, the exit scams tota,上海夜生活网交流Paige,led just $56 million, according to CipherTrace.

“These numbers only represent the loot from crypto crimes that CipherTrace can validate; we have little doubt that the true number of crypto asset losses is much larger,” the cybersecurity firm said in the report.

Whereas in the first three quarters, thefts by hackers dominated the crypto crime scene, the fourth quarter was mostly ab上海夜网out inside jobs or fraud, CipherTrace said.

“We have been seeing new types of crimes that involve money laundering,” said Dave Jevans, chief executive officer of CipherTrace, told in an interview.

Jevans is also the chairman of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a global organization that aims to help solve cyber crime.

“So we have seen in 2018 a lot more exit scams where companies disappear and steal people’s money. There’s huge increase in that,” he added.

Jevans noted that in all likelihood the bulk of the $1.7 billion in stolen and scammed cryptocurrencies has already been laundered.

“These bad actors are clearly flocking to jurisdictions with weak AML (anti-money laundering) and know-your-customer (KYC) regimes, because in our Q3 report we published the results of research showing 97 percent of criminal bitcoin flows into unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges,” the CipherTrace report said.

FBI officials said Clinton ‘has to win’ race to White House: NYT

( ) – Senior FBI officials who helped probe Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign told a colleague that Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had to win the race to the White House, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Peter Strzok, a senior FBI agent, said Clinton “,上海仙霞路夜生活Octavien,just has to win” in a text sent to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, the Times reported.

The messages showed concern from Strzok and Page that a Trump presidency could politicize the FBI, the report said, citing texts turned over to Congress and obtained by the newspaper. nyti.ms/2AOHylP

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is investigating the texts in a probe into FBI’s handling of its investigation into Clint,上海夜生活网419Nadine,on’s use of a private email server for official correspondence when she was Secretary of State under former President Barack Obama, the report added.

Strzok was removed from working on the Russia probe after media reports earlier this month suggested he had exchanged text messages that disparaged Trump and supported Clinton.

Strzok was involved in both the Clinton email and Russia investigations.

Rep,上海021夜网Hallie,ublicans, including Trump, have in recent weeks ramped up their attacks on the 上海夜生活网FBI and questioned its integrity.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and congressional committees are investigating possible links between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. Russia denies meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections.

The FBI, the Democratic National Committee and the White House did not respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours.

was unable to contact Peter Strzok and Lisa Page for comment.

Xi keeps China on high alert for ‘black swan’ events: Xinhua

BEIJING ( ) – China must be on guard against “black swan” risks while fending off “gray rhino” events, President Xi Jinping said on Monday, adding that the economy faces deep and complicated changes, state news agency Xinhua reported.

A “black swan” event refers to an unforeseen occurrence that typically has extreme consequences, while a “gray rhino” is a highly obvious yet ignored threat.

Xi’s warning came after the release of data on Monday showed the economy posted the slowest growth in 28 years last year, hurt by faltering domestic demand and bruising U.S. tariffs.

Local governments and state organizations should find a balance between stabilizing grow,上海夜网官方网站Hadleigh,th and fending off risks, controlling the pace and intensity of such policies, Xi said in remarks during a meeting with provincial and department officials.

Sliding growth had pressured the government to roll out more stimulus to avert a sharper slowdown. The central bank has cut the reserve requirement ratio for banks five times in the past year.

Economic operations,上海仙霞路夜生活Barbara, would be maintained within a reasonable range, Xi said, adding financing difficulties of small businesses will be resolved pragmatically while authorities would also step up support for companie,上海夜生活去哪玩Barney,s to stabilize jobs.

Zombie firms – companies with a lot of debt – would be dissolved properly and resettlement of workers would be taken care of accordingly, Xi added.

China would implement long-term mechanisms that support the stable and healthy development of the property market, while making thorough evaluation of the potential impact on financial markets when drafting policies, according to Xi, who did not elaborate.

He emphasized that technology safety was an important part of national security and the country will accelerate legislation in artif上海夜网icial intelligence, gene editing, autonomous vehicles and drones.

Faced with complicated and difficult external environment, China would step up the protection of its overseas interests while making sure of the safety of major overseas projects and their personnel, Xi said.

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei HWT.UL was arrested last month in Canada on a U.S. extradition request.

Western intelligence agencies have for years raised concerns about Huawei’s ties to China’s government and the possibility its equipment could be used for espionage.

Saudi Aramco eyes multi-billion-dollar U.S. gas acquisitions: CEO

DAVOS, Switzerland ( ) – Saudi Aramco, the world’s top oil producer, is looking to acquire natural gas assets in the United States and is willing to spend “billions of dollars” there as it aims to become a global gas player, the company’s CEO said on Tuesday.

Amin Nasser told in an interview that his company wants to increase its U.S. investments. It already owns Motiva, the biggest U.S. oil refinery.

“We have agreed to bring an additional $10 billion in the Motiva refining complex,” said the 上海夜生活网chief executive, attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“We do have appetite for additional investments in the United States. Aramco’s international gas team ha,上海夜网推油Hadrian,s been given an open platform to look at gas acquisitions along the whole supply chain. They have been given significant financial firepower – in the billions of dollars.”

Aramco’s gas expansion strategy needs $150 billion of investment over the next decade as the company plans to increase output and later become a gas exporter, Nasser said in November. [nL8N1Y21S7]

Aramco is pushing ahead with its conventional and unconve,上海仙霞路夜生活Pablo,ntional gas exploration and production program to feed its fast-growing industries, freeing up more crude oil to export or turn into chemicals.

Investing in the U.S. gas and petrochemical sector has become “very lucrative” due to the large availability of ethane resources, Nasser said. “In gas we will be one of the main global players,” he added.

Aramco is a major gas player but much of its production is used domestically. The firm plans to boost its gas production to 23 billion standard cubic feet (scf) per day over the next decade, from 14 billion scf now.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, wants to diversify its energy mix and increase the share of its gas capacity to 70 percent in the coming decade from around 50 percent now.

Aramco also aims to become a global leader in chemicals with plans to expand its refining operations and petrochemical output. The company is considering acquiring a strategic stake – up to 70 percent – in Saudi Arabia’s SABIC (2010.SE), the world’s fourth-largest petrochemicals maker.

Aramco plans to issue bonds in the second quarter of 2019, likely worth about $10 billion, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said this month. The bond issuance could help finance the SABIC acquisition. [nL8N1Z95E6]

Nasser said banks were being considered for the bond issuance but declined to identify them.

“Since 2018, we have been preparing quarterly res,上海夜生活服务Gabriel,ults. We will publish our financial results as part of the bond issuance process,” he said.

“I can tell you that investors will like our results; 2017 was a good year and 2018 was even better. We are trying to close the transaction with SABIC soon.”

Aramco is working with JP Morgan (JPM.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) on the SABIC acquisition, sources previously told .

The two banks, along with others, were working on the planned stock market listing of Aramco before the move was put on hold. Aramco’s new planned listing date is 2021, Saudi officials have said.

Toyota, Panasonic setting up EV battery JV amid rising China…

TOKYO ( ) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Panasonic Corp (6752.T) are set to launch a joint venture next year to produce batteries for el,上海夜生活群Earl,ectric vehicles (EV) in an effort to compete with Chinese rivals, a source familiar with the matter said.

The joint venture, to be owned 51 percent by Toyota and the rest by Panasonic, could also provide batteries to Toyota’s EV technology partners Mazda Corp (7261.T) and Subaru Corp (7270.T), the source said on Sunday.

The source declined to be identified because the talks on the joint venture are private.

A joint venture would build on the agreement that the pair announced in late 2017 on joint development of batteries with highe上海夜生活r energy density in a prismatic cell arrangement.

A Toyota spokesman said the two companies have been working on the battery partnership announced in 2017 and declined to comment further. Panasonic made the same comment in a state,夜上海419龙凤论坛Oakley,ment.

The two companies may announce the joint venture plan as early as this week, according to the source.

The battery joint venture will help Toyota achieve an annual sales target of around 1 ,上海夜玩网论坛Gabrielle,million zero-emission battery EVs and fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) by 2030.

It will also give Panasonic cost and scale advantages in battery production at a time when China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (300750.SZ) has grown to be on par with the long-time industry leader on the back of the rapidly growing home market.

Panasonic, the exclusive battery cell supplier for Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) current production models, could also reduce its heavy reliance on the U.S. EV maker whose production delays previously weighed on the Japanese company’s earnings.

Panasonic is set to lose its exclusivity as Tesla plans to source cell production locally at a new auto plant in Shanghai, “most likely from several companies” including Panasonic, Elon Musk, Tesla chief executive, tweeted in November.

The reported joint venture plan boosted shares of Panasonic by as much as 4 percent on Monday, whereas Toyota shares were almost flat.

Under the planned joint venture, Panasonic would shift most of its prismatic battery-related equipment and facilities in Japan and China to the joint venture, while those producing batteries for Tesla will remain under the company, the source said.

Panasonic already makes prismatic batteries for Toyota, whereas for Tesla it makes cylindrical batteries of a type similar to those used in laptops.

It’s not clear yet how Panasonic would supply its prismatic batteries to other automotive clients, which include Honda Motor (7267.T) and Ford Motor (F.N).

Airbus A380 under threat as Emirates weighs rejigged order: sources

PARIS/DUBAI ( ) – Dubai’s Emirates is exploring switching some orders for the world’s largest jetliner, the Airbus A380, to the smaller A350 in a move raising new doubts about the future of Europe’s iconic superjumbo, people familiar with the matter said.

The Gulf carrier, which has invested tens of billions of dollars in more than 100 A380s, has been struggling to finalize a deal to buy another 36 to keep assembly lines open, due to differences with engine maker Rolls-Royce.

Now, Airbus is looking closely at closing A380 factories sooner than expected as part of a reshuffle of orders, with Chief Executive Tom Enders unlikely to leave the situation unresolved when his mandate ends in April, they said.

A person familiar with the matter said Airbus was looking “extremely seriously” at setting the timetable for a shutdown but said 上海夜生活no decision had been taken.

Airbus said in a statement after first published news of the talks that it “confirms it is in discussions with Emirates airline in relation to its A380 contract”. But it said details of negotiations were confidential.

Emirates and Rolls-Royce declined to comment.

The A380s have been used to promote a luxury lifestyle with the Emirates brand, featuring lounges and showers on board, and were part of the set for a 2017 advertisement with Hollywood actor Jennifer Aniston. It says the jets, some with over 600 seats, have helped the airline at slot-constrained airports.

But sales of such four-engined planes are tumbling as many airlines switch to smaller and less thirsty twin-engined jets like the A350 and Boeing 777 due to improving size and range.

Emirates announced the lifeline order for up to 36 superjumbos worth as much as $16 billion at list prices a year ago, throwing a lifeline to the program’s roughly 3,000 workers and securing its future for at least another decade.

But a year-long impasse between Emirates and Rolls-Royce over shortfalls in fuel savings has so far blocked the order.

WORKAROUND

Airbus is trying to broker a complex workaround which could see Emirates take smaller jets also powered by Rolls-Royce while it tries to secure homes for as many A380s as possible, with British Airways recently expressing interest.

Airbus has dangled the prospect of closing A380 production before, and industry sources say such maneuvers can be a negotiating tactic and the talks remain difficult to predict.

But time is running out for the A380 with few airlines willing to spend the ,上海夜网后花园Jackson,sums invested by Emirates, which has ,夜上海419龙凤论坛Idaia,made it a backbone of its global network alongside the Boeing 777.

The production line is “untenable”, a senior industry source said. Jefferies analyst Sandy Morris said closing production could release capacity for painting and other future production.

If confirmed, a decision by Emirates to order the A350 would ease a separate headache for Airbus and engine partner Rolls-Royce after Emirates axed an A350 order in 2014.

Airbus and Rolls are keen to maintain a foothold at the largest Arab carrier and prevent Boeing filling the gap with more of its General Electric-powered 777s. The A350 competes with both the Boeing 777 and smaller 787.

Any deal depends on the backing of Emirates which sources say holds many of the cards in the sometimes heated discussions.

Rolls continues to owe the Dubai carrier penalties for underperformance on Trent 900 engines alr,上海021夜网Paige,eady in its A380 fleet, giving Emirates leverage to win a good deal on A350 engine maintenance.

Also likely to weigh a game plan, analysts said, is Boeing. It blocked an earlier Airbus bid to put the A350 back in Emirates with a draft deal for 40 787s in 2017, and is seen likely to renew the effort as it negotiates to close the deal.

Britain’s RBS seeks investor backing for share buyback plan

LONDON ( ) – Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) will consult with shareholders on plans to buyback shares owned by the British government using excess capital to accelerate a return to private ownership.

The lender told investors it would hold a general meeting on Feb. 6 to vote on the plan.

RBS is 62.3 percent owned by British taxpayers, after a 45 billion pound ($58 billion) bailout during the financial crisis.

Chief Executive Ross McEwan has made returning the lender to private hands a top priority during his tenure at the bank.

But the process has been slow due to turbulent markets and criticism from opposition politicians at losses incurred.

The last two sales of state-owned stock crystallized combined losses of more than 3 billion pounds.

Further losses are all but inevitable. Although RBS stock closed 1 percent higher on Thursday at 237 pence after the buyback plan announcement, it is sti,上海夜生活群Rachel,ll far below the 502 pence level it was trading at when it was bailed out in 2008.

RBS said a share buyback would help accelerate the process.

“This resolution would provide ,上海晚上耍女人的地方Idaia,the bank with the flexibility to use some of its excess capital to buy back government shares at a time and price agreed with HM Treasury,” Cha上海夜生活论坛irman Howard Davies said.

He said the board believed it was in the best interests of the bank and shareholders to facilitate a return to private ownership.

“The government should not be in the business of owning banks, which is why we’re committed to returning RBS back to private ownership. But we will only sell RBS shares when it represents value for money to do so,” a Treasury spokesman said.

The share buyback will be one of the first big tests of the bank’s new chief financial officer, Katie Murray, who started the role in January.

RBS was left with 4 billion pounds of excess capital after it resolved a l,上海夜网千花Kai,ong-standing legal dispute with U.S. regulators last year over past mis-selling of toxic mortgage-backed securities in the run up to the financial crisis.

Analysts have said a state sale of RBS stock is unlikely until there is clarity about Britain’s departure from the European Union, which they say is needed to calm markets.

RBS will announce full-year results for 2018 on Feb. 15.