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Amazon and Google employees hit the streets to pressure tech giants to do more to fight climate change.
A slide in markets Friday, after a low-level Chinese delegation abandoned plans to visit the Montana farmland. That was enough to spark fear among investors that trade talks between the U.S. and China aren't going well, despite reassurances from President Trump, who said negotiations were ongoing. The Dow slid 159 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq moved lower. It was a busy day for Facebook. CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrapped up his three-day trip to Washington, but there were few indications he won over anyone on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers are mulling over the idea of tightening the regulatory screws. Mercadien Asset Management President Ken Kamen. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): MERCADIEN ASSET MANAGEMENT PRESIDENT KEN KAMEN, SAYING: "Zuckerberg is on capitol hill to almost beg for the industry's benefit to start getting some regulations so they can get guardrails to know what they can and cannot do. Because now there are so many things that social media is changing in our society, in the world, in our economics, how we live or lives, and you can throw a dart and hit anything that they are doing wrong. So I think that the industry in general is looking to get some guidelines." Facebook is grappling with federal and state investigations over numerous issues ranging from anti-competitve behavior to privacy concerns. On that issue, Facebook announced it has suspended tens of thousand of apps as a result of the probe it's been conducting since the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed it handed over users' data without permission. Walmart has decided to stop selling e-cigarettes and vaping products at its stores, according to an internal email seen by Reuters. Vaping products have come under scrutiny after reports of vaping-related illnesses and some deaths.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. will send a “moderate” number of American troops to the Middle East and additional missile defense capabilities to Saudi Arabia in response to last weekend’s attack on oil facilities, top Pentagon officials said.Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Friday that the decision came at the request of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and represented a “first step” in the U.S. response. He reiterated U.S. statements that evidence collected to date shows Iran was responsible for the attacks. The briefing by Esper and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, followed a meeting of national security officials at the White House.“Iran is waging a deliberate campaign to destabilize the Middle East,” Esper told reporters at the Pentagon. He added that the U.S. has shown “great restraint” in responding so far, but called the strike on Saudi Aramco facilities on Saturday a “dramatic escalation.”Esper and Dunford are still deciding on the specific number of troops and weapons systems but said the personnel deployment will be relatively small, not numbering in the thousands, and that more details would be forthcoming.In addition to the U.S. missile defense assistance, Esper said “we are calling on many other countries who all have these capabilities to do two things -- stand up and condemn these attacks” and also contribute equipment.U.S. and Saudi analyses of the attack have described the strike as complex, involving a mix of low-flying drones and cruise missiles coming from the north. The attack exposed glaring vulnerabilities in Saudi Arabia’s defense capabilities despite having spent hundreds of billions of dollars on weaponry in recent years.Swarms of Drones“There’s an international action led by the U.S. and in coordination with the Saudi kingdom to protect the navigation in the gulf and the Arabian sea,” Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said in a news conference in Riyadh on Saturday. This way “tankers and oil supplies are not subject to any complications from Iran,” he said.Saudi Arabia has already taken delivery of Patriot-3 hit-to-kill missiles bought years ago to defend against cruise and ballistic missiles. The kingdom earlier this year finalized a long-sought after contract for Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Thaad missile interceptors designed to intercept ballistic missiles at higher altitudes. It’s not known whether any Thaad batteries have been delivered.“No single system is going to be able to defend against a threat like” the combination of systems launched against Saudi Arabia last week, Dunford said. “But a layered system of defensive capabilities would mitigate the risk of swarms of drones or other attacks that may come from Iran.”U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who has repeatedly said Iran was responsible for the attack, returned early Friday from a two-day trip to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., saying he wanted to begin building a coalition that would organize a response to Iran.During a news conference earlier on Friday, President Donald Trump signaled he’s trying to avoid a military conflict. Trump campaigned in 2016 on getting the U.S. out of Mideast conflicts and he’s repeatedly criticized the second U.S. invasion of Iraq.“I will say I think the sanctions work, and the military would work,” Trump told reporters. “But that’s a very severe form of winning.”On Friday the Treasury Department announced it is sanctioning Iran’s central bank and sovereign wealth fund, a move aimed at squelching any remaining trade the country conducts with Europe and Asia.The Blame GameIranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that any U.S. or Saudi strike on his country in response to the attacks on the kingdom’s critical oil facilities would lead to “all-out war.”“I know that we didn’t do it,” Zarif told CNN. “I know that the Houthis made a statement that they did it.”Zarif later said in a post on Twitter that it was “curious” the Saudis “retaliated” against Yemen when Iran was blamed for the attacks. “It is clear that even the Saudis themselves don’t believe the fiction of Iranian involvement.”Yemeni Shiite Houthi rebel leader Mahdi al-Mashat announced Friday the halt of drone and ballistic missile attacks on Saudi Arabia. He also called on the Saudi-led coalition to lift the blockade on the port of Hodeidah and reopen Sana’a International Airport.“We judge other parties by their deeds and actions and not by their words,” Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jubeir said.(Updates with comments from a Saudi official in the seventh and last paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Dana El Baltaji, Donna Abu-Nasr and Salma El Wardany.To contact the reporters on this story: Tony Capaccio in Washington at email@example.com;Glen Carey in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at email@example.com, Kevin WhitelawFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The fight over a mysterious intelligence whistle-blower complaint is shining new attention on Democratic accusations that Donald Trump has improperly implored the Ukrainian government to investigate one of the president’s main political opponents -- Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden.Trump held a phone call on July 25 with Ukraine’s new president, where he pressed Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden’s son, according to a person familiar with the call.The whistle-blower from the intelligence community, who hasn’t been publicly identified, raised concerns about Trump’s interactions with a foreign leader. The complaint includes references to Trump’s phone call with Zelenskiy, according to the Washington Post.Biden condemned the reports and called on Trump to release the transcript of the Zelenskiy phone call and stop blocking information about the whistle-blower.“It means that he used the power and resources of the United States to pressure a sovereign nation -- a partner that is still under direct assault from Russia -- pushing Ukraine to subvert the rule of law in the express hope of extracting a political favor,” Biden said Friday in a statement. “Such clear-cut corruption damages and diminishes our institutions of government by making them tools of a personal political vendetta.”Trump dismissed the controversy as partisan, saying on Saturday that the Democrats and news outlets had fabricated “a story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation” with Zelenskiy. “Nothing was said that was in any way wrong,” he said on Twitter.Trump has said he didn’t know the details of the complaint.“It’s just another political hack job,” the president said at the White House on Friday when asked about his conversation with Zelenskiy. “It doesn’t matter what I discussed, but I’ll tell you this, somebody ought to look into Joe Biden’s statement.”The Zelenskiy call, which came one day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress about his investigation into Trump and Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, has prompted Democrats to accuse the president of seeking help from a foreign country for his 2020 re-election bid.“If this isn’t impeachable abuse of power, what is?” Democratic Representative Jared Huffman wrote Friday on Twitter. “I’m sick of the parsing, dithering & political overcalculating. We are verging on tragic fecklessness. Time to do our job!”The fight by Democrats for access to the whistle-blower complaint has provoked the latest clash between congressional committees pursuing investigations of Trump and his administration and a White House that largely refuses to cooperate.Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community’s inspector general, told the House Intelligence panel in a closed-door briefing Thursday that the whistle-blower’s complaint focused on a specific sequence of events, according to a person in the room. Atkinson wouldn’t say whether those events involved Trump.The reports of a “reliable whistle-blower complaint regarding the president’s communications with a foreign leader raise grave, urgent concerns for our national security,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Friday. “We must be sure that the president and his administration are conducting our national security and foreign policy in the best interest of the American people, not the president’s personal interest.”Ukraine QuestionsThree congressional committees are investigating whether Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine as leverage to reopen an investigation into a company linked to Biden’s family. Trump didn’t directly link the two issues in the July phone call, but pressed Ukraine’s president to work with Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, on the probe, the Wall Street Journal reported.The committees began their investigation in June after news reports about Giuliani’s activity in Ukraine, according to an official on one of the panels.Giuliani said Thursday night on CNN that he urged the Ukrainian government to investigate corruption, “and I’m proud of it.” He said he didn’t know whether Trump had talked to Ukraine’s president about the issue but even if so “it doesn’t mean a damn” that a president would inquire about evidence of corruption.“I don’t know if he did, and I wouldn’t care if he did,” Giuliani said. “He had every right to do it if he was the president of the United States.”Ukraine’s prosecutor general said in May that he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden or his son, Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of one of the country’s biggest gas companies. In addition, Vitaliy Kasko, a former deputy prosecutor who pursued the case against the gas company’s owner, told Bloomberg in May that there had been no U.S. pressure to close the case.On Saturday, Trump made reference to Biden’s alleged “demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money.”Withholding InformationRepresentative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has accused Trump administration officials of improperly withholding information about the complaint from congressional investigators, and he warned Trump that Congress would protect the whistle-blower.Schiff and three other Democratic committee chairmen said in a statement Friday that Trump’s attack on the whistle-blower as a “political hack job” contradicts the inspector general’s conclusion that the allegations raise an “urgent concern.” The lawmakers said Trump’s “brazen effort to intimidate this whistle-blower risks a chilling effect on future whistle-blowers, with grave consequences for our democracy and national security.”A next step in the whistle-blower investigation is set for Sept. 26, when Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is scheduled to testify publicly before the House Intelligence panel after initially resisting demands to do so. Maguire is also expected to meet at some point next week with the Senate Intelligence Committee.Jason Klitenic, the general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, had told Schiff in a letter on Tuesday that the law didn’t require that the complaint be turned over to Congress based on guidance by the Justice Department.Trump earlier Friday denied any wrongdoing and accused the whistle-blower of being “highly partisan,” without substantiation.The dispute comes as Trump is weighing how to respond to an attack on Saudi oil facilities that U.S. officials have blamed on Iran. It became public during the same week that Trump selected a new national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, after ousting John Bolton.(Updates with Trump comments on Twitter in sixth paragraph, details on prosecutor in 18th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Daryna Krasnolutska.To contact the reporters on this story: Billy House in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Jordan Fabian in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Kevin Whitelaw at email@example.com, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic Representative Joe Kennedy III, a member of one of the most storied political families in U.S. history, on Saturday announced a campaign to unseat Senator Edward Markey in Massachusetts.“Big news: I’m running for US Senate,” Kennedy posted on his Facebook site. “This isn’t a time for waiting, for sitting on the sidelines, or for playing by rules that don’t work anymore. This is the fight of our lives, the fight of my generation — and I’m all in.”The decision sets up a clash between the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and an incumbent who has spent more than 40 years in Congress. It would pit two of the party’s leading liberal voices in a stark generational fight; Kennedy, 38, was born nearly four years after Markey, 73, was first elected to Congress.To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Litvan in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Ludden at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- A motion to oust Tom Watson, deputy leader of the U.K.’s main opposition Labour Party, was withdrawn after it opened up divisions on the first day of the party’s conference, threatening to overshadow preparations for a general election.The ruling National Executive Committee was due to vote on the surprise move on Saturday morning as delegates met in Brighton, southern England, for a gathering that was supposed to kick start the party’s campaign to oust Prime Minister Boris Johnson.Labour will now hold a review into the position of deputy leader as it tries to present a united front to voters. The plan to cut Watson’s position sparked fury from Labour members of Parliament and dominated the media on Saturday morning, eclipsing the party’s policy announcements.The move was “a drive-by shooting,” Watson told BBC Radio earlier. “This conference is supposed to be a platform for what could be a general election in six weeks. We can’t have this sectarianism.”Watson, who was elected on a separate mandate from leader Jeremy Corbyn, has publicly disagreed with the leadership on Brexit policy and has been pushing for a second referendum on the issue before a general election is held. He’s also been critical of the party’s slow response to allegations of anti-semitism.The deputy leader said the move to abolish his post was driven by Jon Lansman, who founded and runs Momentum, a grassroots group set up to support Corbyn’s leadership, and Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite labor union, the party’s biggest financial backer.Lansman said after the motion was withdrawn that he welcomes and supports the party’s plan to review the deputy leader’s role. He also appeared to recognize the division his move had caused.“We need to make sure the deputy leader role is properly accountable to the membership while also unifying the party at conference,” he tweeted. “This review is absolutely the best way of doing that.”The attempts to remove Watson were criticized by prominent Labour MPs including former leader Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper.Labour is holding its annual conference in Brighton, where it plans to set out its agenda for the expected general election and highlight dividing lines from Johnson’s Conservative Party.“What we need at this time is unity and a focus on winning the upcoming election,” Dave Prentis, general secretary of the labor union Unison, said in a statement. “Anything else is a betrayal of Unison members and working people everywhere -- all of whom are relying on us to deliver a Labour government.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
General Joe Dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs, and Mark Esper, defence secretary, said Donald Trump ordered the deployments after requests from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Mr Esper said they would be “defensive in nature, and primarily focused on air and missile defence”. One official said the troops would only be sent to Saudi Arabia.
(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro heads to New York on Monday in an attempt to defuse the international outcry over the fires raging through the Amazon, while simultaneously asserting the country’s right to develop the rainforest as it sees fit.Until recently, few countries enjoyed such widespread affection as Brazil did, with its tradition of multilateral and “soft power” diplomacy, its unrivaled footballing prowess and vast natural beauty. ButBolsonaro will address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday amid global indignation over his government’s handling of the deforestation in the Amazon.Brazil’s government believes the international criticism is unfair, but its actions show that it’s worried, including about the potential economic consequences. Fund managers with more than $16 trillion in assets have demanded action on deforestation, while European lawmakers are lining up to attack the trade deal between the European Union and the South American trade bloc that Brazil leads, Mercosur. Austria’s parliament rejected the agreement on Wednesday.In response, the Bolsonaro administration launched a public relations campaign asserting Brazil’s sovereignty over the Amazon and commitment to protecting and sustainably developing the rainforest. Now the president is taking that message to the UN.Read more: Bolsonaro’s Words Are the Sparks as Brazil’s Farmers Burn Amazonia“The United Nations General Assembly could be a great opportunity for Brazil to present and clarify its foreign policy,” said Sergio Amaral, Brazil’s ambassador to Washington D.C. until earlier this year. It’s also a chance to demonstrate its “commitment to sensitive issues for the international community, like the environment.”The question remains of how Bolsonaro can both calm fears over deforestation while asserting Brazil’s right to develop the Amazon. There’s also the added tension of his likely interaction with French President Emmanuel Macron -- whose wife the Brazilian leader insulted.“I am preparing a fairly objective speech,” the president said on his weekly Facebook live broadcast on Thursday night. “No one is going to fight with anyone, you can rest assured.”In the same breath, however, he said that he’d receive a beating in the press, no matter what he said, and that some countries were more interested in buying up the Amazon than saving it.Government ReactionFor the government the international outcry is vastly disproportionate to the amount of environmental damage.“This has been orchestrated by Brazilian groups that are systematically against the government,” Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo said in an interview on Sept 3. “They want to use any tools at their disposal to attack the government even if this harms the country.”Environment Minister Ricardo Salles argues that the Bolsonaro administration’s development policies highlight how much previous Brazilian governments failed the 20 million people who live in the Amazon region.“This is the first government that engages in a serious discussion about how to develop the Amazon,” he said. “The worst human development indicators in Brazil are in the Amazon.”Araujo, as well as Institutional Security Minister General Augusto Heleno and Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s son and nominee to be Brazil’s next ambassador to Washington D.C., are helping the president to draft his speech.While he may seek to minimize reports of environmental destruction, an emollient address is unlikely, particularly given that Bolsonaro retains the support of the U.S. government in his approach to the Amazon. Given the president’s outspoken nature -- and love of social media -- even a softer tone would probably not last long.“Brazil used to communicate this idea of great sociability,” Andreza dos Santos Souza, the director of the Brazilian Studies Program at Oxford University, said. “These intolerant speeches are changing this perception.”Negative ImpactThe outrage over the Amazon fires clearly has the potential to harm Brazil. Ahead of the G-7 Macron threatened to scrap the EU-Mercosur trade deal over what he described as Bolsonaro’s “lies” over his commitment to climate change.The U.S. clothing company VF Corporation, which owns Timberland, Kipling Bags and The North Face, has suspended Brazilian leather purchases, and Norway’s two biggest investors have warned global companies against contributing to environmental damage. Brazilian embassies have also been targeted by protesters.Fitch Solutions Macro Research, formerly BMI Research, issued two reports warning of “increased scrutiny” and “economic risks” after the fires. “We believe that international concern over deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon basin will create headwinds to export demand and investment inflows,” Fitch wrote.Read more: Amazon Fires Another Warning for Brazil Stocks, JPMorgan SaysFor Amaral, Brazil has rapidly lost its hard-won reputation as a leader on environmental issues. Aside from the blow back from certain countries or corporations, individual consumers may start to reject Brazilian products. “This change is terrible for the country, terrible for the image of the country and for the perception of consumers,” he said.Brazil has fallen four places this year in the global ranking of the Country Brand Index, a measure developed by the Sao Paulo-based global branding consultancy FutureBrand, and now ranks 47th out of 75. The survey was completed in July, before the fires in the Amazon, but took into account the first six months of Bolsonaro’s government.“The Amazon is a very sensitive topic, with huge repercussions, and it comes on top of a number of negative issues associated with Brazil in the past few years,” Daniel Alencar, partner-director of FutureBrand, said. But, he added, a country’s brand is constantly in flux. “No single event is going to destroy the image of Brazil.”\--With assistance from Samy Adghirni.To contact the reporters on this story: Simone Iglesias in Brasília at firstname.lastname@example.org;Bruce Douglas in Brasilia Newsroom at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at firstname.lastname@example.org, Matthew BristowFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in the U.S. a day after delivering a $20 billion tax-cut stimulus for companies, which strengthens his pitch to American chief executives about the ease of doing business in India.His government on Friday cut corporate taxes to rival some of the lowest in Asia, helping India compete with the likes of Vietnam and Indonesia to attract investments. When Modi meets energy company CEOs in Houston Saturday, he’s expected to tout the trimmed rates.New companies setting up operations from Oct. 1 will pay an effective rate of 17.01% as tax, about the same as in Singapore.“Having fresh economic reforms to attract business gives him a stronger story,” said Richard Rossow, senior adviser at the Washington-based Center for Strategic International Studies. “These tax cuts will help India rebuild its image as an investment destination.”The cropped tax rates are the latest in a series of steps announced by the government, including easier foreign investment rules for companies from Apple Inc. to Huawei Technologies Co. to BHP Group Plc, to revive economic growth from a six-year low. While Indonesia too plans to lower tax on corporates, Vietnam is by far the biggest winner in the region from trade diversions caused by the U.S.-China spat.“The lower tax on new manufacturing facilities makes India very competitive among emerging markets,” said Dinesh Kanabar, chief executive officer at Mumbai-based Dhruva Advisors LLP. “This would give out a very positive signal to those that are contemplating investing in India.”That view was echoed by Anand Mahindra, chairman of India’s Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. Modi will be addressing the Bloomberg Global Business Forum Sept. 25, that will see participation from 40 major companies, including Lockheed Martin Corp., American Tower Corp., Mastercard Inc. and Walmart Inc.India got $3 billion in foreign direct investment from American companies last year, making it the fourth largest investor in the $2.6 trillion economy.India recently combined 10 state-run banks to form four large lenders and, while the move falls short of the privatization several investors seek, it gives him something more to tout after his attempts to reform land and labor laws in the previous term failed.‘Howdy Modi’Modi is also scheduled to address an Indian diaspora event -- ‘Howdy Modi!’ -- in Texas, where he will be joined by U.S. President Donald Trump.India and the U.S. are also working toward easing trade tensions, including a possible withdrawal of some disputes from the World Trade Organization, ahead of a meeting between the two leaders.The U.S. has called on India to remove what Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross earlier described as “unfavorable treatment” to some American companies such as Walmart and Mastercard.“But taxes are not often listed as a primary reason firms have not invested more heavily in India,” said Rossow. “Other reforms remain quite important such as easing land acquisition rules, reducing onerous labor regulations, lifting remaining FDI restrictions, and lowering trade barriers.”\--With assistance from Nupur Acharya.To contact the reporters on this story: Archana Chaudhary in New Delhi at email@example.com;Vrishti Beniwal in New Delhi at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at email@example.com, ;Ruth Pollard at firstname.lastname@example.org, Karthikeyan Sundaram, Jeanette RodriguesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Nike (NKE) is set to report its first-quarter fiscal 2020 financial results after the closing bell on Tuesday, September 24. So let's see what investors should expect from the sportswear powerhouse...
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s Washington charm offensive appeared to ease tensions between the social media giant and U.S. lawmakers critical of its business practices.Most lawmakers described their meetings with the CEO as productive even as they called for new regulations on tech companies that they said would improve users’ experiences and industry competition.“It was a positive and robust discussion on privacy,” Representative Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican, said Friday after his meeting. “They committed to working with the Congress on a strong, nationwide privacy law.”In addition to Walden, Zuckerberg also met on Friday with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican on the Judiciary Committee. He sat down with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat whose committee is investigating the technology industry.On Thursday, Zuckerberg met with President Donald Trump at the White House, according to a Facebook spokesman. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, was there along with Dan Scavino, the president’s social media director, Bloomberg reported. Trump later tweeted that it was a “nice meeting.”Zuckerberg spent the past three days defending Facebook’s practices to some of his harshest critics, who say the company isn’t taking strong enough action to prevent voter manipulation on the platform ahead of the 2020 presidential election. They also criticize the company’s handling of user data and treatment of conservative voices on its platform.On Friday, Facebook announced it had suspended “tens of thousands” of third-party apps that were using the company’s developer tools as part of a review the company started following the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal last year. In response to the growing scrutiny of its platform, Zuckerberg has called for adoption of baseline regulations governing privacy and harmful content online.The prospects that a federal privacy law will pass before the end of 2020 remain low, even though Republicans and Democrats alike say they are negotiating terms of potential legislation.Antitrust PanelZuckerberg on Friday met with Nadler of New York as the Judiciary antitrust subcommittee is investigating competition issues in the technology industry. Last week, the panel sent a letter to Facebook seeking information about its acquisitions as well as communications from Zuckerberg and other executives.Democratic Representative David Cicilline, chairman of the panel’s antitrust subcommittee, said he had a “productive meeting” with Zuckerberg.“It was an opportunity to reaffirm the bipartisan nature of the investigation -- the fact that the chairman and I and our Republican colleagues are very united in this effort,” Cicilline said. “Mr. Zuckerberg made a commitment to cooperate with the investigation.”‘A Wall’A day earlier, Zuckerberg had a testier exchange with Republican Senator Josh Hawley over his company’s record on privacy and safeguarding user data. Hawley said he told Zuckerberg that Facebook should be subject to independent audits of its content reviews and that there should be “a wall” between Facebook and its other platforms, and Zuckerberg said no.“I said to him, ‘Prove that you are serious about data, sell WhatsApp, and sell Instagram.’ That’s what they should do,” Hawley told reporters after a Thursday meeting. “I think it’s safe to say he was not receptive to those suggestions.”Zuckerberg’s visit to the capital also included a dinner on Wednesday with Virginia Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, and Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, along with other lawmakers.The executive didn’t appear to be meeting with government officials conducting other inquiries. The Federal Trade Commission has opened an antitrust probe of the company, and New York is leading a coalition of states in a wide-ranging investigation of the social media giant. In July, Facebook agreed to pay $5 billion to settle FTC allegations it violated users’ privacy.\--With assistance from Steven T. Dennis, Billy House and Daniel Flatley.To contact the reporters on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at email@example.com;Daniel Stoller in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Rebecca Kern in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Steve Geimann, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc.’s latest iPhone models hit the stores on Friday, in a test of whether better cameras and longer battery life will be enough to lure buyers ahead of a much bigger redesign next year.The new line of hardware, including three new phones and an updated Apple Watch and iPads, was introduced on Sept. 10 and customers were able to place preorders last week to either be delivered or picked up in stores today. Long lines snaked around Apple’s flagship on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan as people waited to get in to the gleaming glass cube and descend to the underground space, which as been under renovation for two years and emerged Friday bigger and brighter. Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook was on site for the opening and stood out on the store’s plaza across from Central Park taking selfies with fans.Sam Sheffer had already picked up his green iPhone 11 Pro in Manhattan’s SoHo store Friday morning, waiting in line for less than five minutes. But he went uptown to see the new store and potentially get a glimpse of Cook.“For me, a die-hard enthusiast, I wouldn’t be able to live knowing there was an iPhone I didn’t have,” Sheffer said.Apple shares declined 1.5% to close at $217.73, valuing the company at almost $984 billion.Apple’s latest iPhone faced some hurdles heading in to its annual revamp. Sales of the iconic smartphone have declined in the past three quarters, as prices crept above $1,000 and people hung on to their current models longer. A lack of revolutionary features on this year’s model could keep some fans holding out until 2020, when significantly faster 5G networks and a revamped design will open up new possibilities with the phone. At the same time, a trade war between the U.S. and China is also starting to take a toll.But some early reports from analysts pointed to encouraging signs for Apple. “Demand looks strong out of the gates for Apple as the lines at its flagship NYC store were up about 70% today compared to what we saw last year,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities wrote in a note to investors. Having talked to customers in line, Ives said there was “strong demand for the base iPhone 11 as well as the 256GB iPhone 11 Pro in both the space grey and gold colors.” Ives said another positive sign for Cupertino, California-based Apple is that the lines were “unwavering into the afternoon.”Apple set the base model price at $699 for the iPhone 11, down from the iPhone XR’s $749 price last year and below some analysts’ expectations. That might help attract some first-time buyers to its expanding entertainment and services ecosystem.Rosenblatt Securities Inc. said it’s seeing “some new model production increases for September and October for the new iPhone models.” Jun Zhang, an analyst at Rosenblatt, wrote that the firm now sees volume increasing by 3 million to 5 million units more than earlier expectations, to 68 million to 70 million units.It may come as a disappointment to those waiting on line on Fifth Avenue, but if they haven’t preordered their phone, they could face a two-to-three week wait, according to Zhang. That’s a longer wait time than the one-to-two weeks for last year’s iPhone XR, but, “there is a lot of inventory at other retailers,” Zhang said.Longbow Research analyst Shawn Harrison said Apple could be seeing a “potential higher floor in iPhone demand,” and that “initial iPhone search trends are positively surprising.”Lines outside Apple stores around the world were typically shorter or non-existent this year, but tourists and customers thronged the Fifth Avenue location. Daniel Akinsulire found himself stuck deep in line on 58th Street, waiting to pick up phones for his family. “I didn’t know it would be this packed,” he said. “I might be late for work.”(Updates with analyst comment in seventh paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Molly Schuetz in New York at email@example.com;Kiley Roache in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at email@example.com, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Tens of thousands of people around the world demonstrated to demand action on climate change as a global movement backed by 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg got under way Friday.Students skipped school and workers walked off jobs to participate in the rallies. In a central Sydney park, protesters held up homemade signs with slogans such as “You’re Burning our Future” and “There Is No Planet B.” In Berlin, demonstrators gathered by the landmark Brandenburg Gate, just a few steps from where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government hammered out a 54 billion-euro ($60 billion) climate-protection package.Thousands gathered in New York, Toronto, Johannesburg, Warsaw and many more cities around the globe -- eager to add their voices to a movement fueled by youthful angst about rising temperatures.“This is about the future of our planet,” said Laura Lazzarin, an Italian national living in Berlin who joined demonstrators near the Brandenburg Gate. “We can’t go on like this, and politicians must realize that.”GlobalClimateStrike in London are urging political leaders to take action on the climate crisis CoveringClimateNow pic.twitter.com/2uCxa7jBLp— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) September 20, 2019 Protesters joining the Global Climate Strike movement want governments to treat global warming as an emergency, slash subsidies for fossil fuels, and switch economies to 100% renewable energy as soon as possible. They’re part of a worldwide series of demonstrations that organizers say will take place in 150 countries on Friday and on Sept. 27.“As we deal with devastating climate breakdown and hurtle towards dangerous tipping points, young people are calling on millions of us across the planet to disrupt business as usual by joining the global climate strikes,” according to a statement on the organizers’ website.The movement has taken hold in Europe, where climate has been catapulted to the top of the political agenda. The European Union should walk away from fossil fuels, the bloc’s energy chief told Bloomberg TV this week after a record spike in oil prices. A total of 93% of Europeans see global warming as a serious problem, according to a recent survey by the European Commission.In front of the Brandenburg Gate, three protesters dressed in black stood on top of melting ice blocks with nooses around their necks as hundreds of people gathered around them, carrying home-made placards, blowing whistles and chanting “We are here, we are loud, because you’re stealing our future.”In Paris demonstrators -- a large number of whom were students -- marched from Place de la Nation, carrying placards with slogans like “our house is on fire” and “time to act.”In Poland, home to 33 of the EU’s 50 most polluted cities, more than 60 climate protests were held Friday. At the biggest gathering in Warsaw, more than a thousand demonstrators called for the government to curb its dependence on coal, which is burned to produce more than 80% of the country’s electricity.PrayforAmazon. We should stop buying the beef that's being imported from Brazil to Hong Kong."Climate activists gathered in Hong Kong, demanding world leaders to address global warming ClimateStrike GlobalClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/xfA2Gk0llB— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) September 20, 2019 “The government is doing too little and this needs to be changed,” said Dionizy Debski, a high school student from Warsaw.Click here for TicToc’s ongoing coverage of the global climate protestsThe movement -- inspired by the braided Swedish teenager Thunberg who started weekly school walkouts last year -- has gone global, drawing parallels with other protests like the Civil Rights struggle and anti-apartheid demonstrations.Friday’s protests come ahead of United Nations events, including the first Youth Climate Summit on Saturday and the Climate Action Summit of government, corporate and other leaders on Sept. 23 in New York. Thunberg, who founded the “Fridays for Future” protest group, captured media attention by sailing across the Atlantic to address the youth event, rather than traveling by plane -- doing her bit to cap emissions.The climate campaign has spurred some companies into action. Germany’s Volkswagen AG, the world’s biggest automaker, pledged to make more electric cars and become climate-neutral by 2050.Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos vowed Thursday to wean his company off fossil fuels by 2030. He also announced the formation of a new organization -- the Climate Pledge -- amid a steady drumbeat of criticism from activists and his own employees over Amazon’s dependence on fossil fuels.GlobalClimateStrike rally.Protesters are urging leaders to address global warming and put an end to the age of fossil fuels CoveringClimateNow pic.twitter.com/jGfAI7Bnse— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) September 20, 2019 Despite that pledge, Amazon employees around the world walked off the job on Friday, in offices from Poland to South Africa and Ireland.In Seattle, hundreds of workers, joined by colleagues from Google and other tech companies, rallied in front of the biospheres at the heart of Amazon’s headquarters.Weston Fribley, an employee and organizer of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, said Bezos’s pledge was “just the beginning.” The plans, he said, “must be implemented.” He also repeated the group’s call for Amazon to end its sales to fossil fuel companies.On Thursday, Alphabet Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai made his own announcement, saying Google had agreed to buy 1.6 gigawatts of wind and solar power, describing it as a record purchase of renewable energy by a single company.Google Makes Biggest Clean Energy Purchase Ever by a CompanyIn Australia, the campaign has the backing of high-profile business leaders such as the billionaire co-founder of enterprise software company Atlassian Corp., Mike Cannon-Brookes. Atlassian was among hundreds of Australian employers, including law firm Slater & Gordon Ltd. and real-estate portal Domain Holdings Australia Ltd., that allowed workers to take time off to attend the rallies.The call to action has resonated across Europe, which has suffered from increasing bouts of drought and wildfires, and in Australia -- the world’s driest inhabited continent that derives the bulk of its energy from burning coal.For all the support the campaign is deriving, however, there are pockets of opposition. In Germany, the far-right AfD party slammed the government’s climate measures, citing escalating costs. Merkel’s government is “mercilessly squeezing its citizens for an ideology,” its co-leader Alice Weidel said in a Twitter post.(Updates with Amazon workers protest.)\--With assistance from Maciej Martewicz, Helene Fouquet and Matt Day.To contact the reporters on this story: Bruce Einhorn in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.org;Thuy Ong in Sydney at email@example.com;Stefan Nicola in Berlin at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at email@example.com, Vidya Root, Eric PfannerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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