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Secret Service manpower shortage as campaigns ramp up

WASHINGTON ( ) – The Secret Service, tasked with simultaneously protecting President Barack Obama and some of the Republican and Democratic candidates now running to replace him next year, is facing a manpower shortfall at a time of peak demand, the agency told Congress on Tuesday.

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy told a House Appropriations panel the agency is focused on “human capital needs across the organization” and accruing enough agents to ease overtime demands on the existing force.

The Secret Service hopes to have 7,600 agents in its ranks by fiscal year 2019, up from the current figure of approximately 6,200, Committee Chairman John Carter of Texas said during Tuesday’s hearing.

While Clancy said the Secret Service was making progress in hiring more agents, “we have yet to see the desired impact on our overall staffing levels due to increased attrition.”

Clancy testified at a hearing to review the agency’s funding needs for the fiscal year starting on Oct. 1.

Demands of the mission are peaking, he added, with Republican and Democratic presidential nominating conv,上海夜哪里艳遇Tallulah,entions slated for this summer, the general elections in November and presidential inaugural events in January.

Carter cited the loss of 19 agents in the last four months and the large amounts of overtime hours agents have had to put in on the president’s detail, on the campaign trail and in the uniformed division.

Carter, a Republican, questioned whether the service’s hiring goals were “obtainable” with the agency “losing more agents than they have brought on board.”

Clancy responded that the agency is exploring initiatives to lure more applicants and retain current agents.

The Secret Service was rocked in 2012 when it surfaced that some agents working a presidential trip to Colombia were involved with prostitutes. In 2014, agents failed to stop a man who jumped the White House fence, ran across the lawn and made it into the mansion before he was apprehended.

More recently, during a rally for presidential candidate Donald Trump in Radford, Virginia, a Time magazine photographer was grabbed by the neck and shoved to the ground by a Secret Service agent. An agency spokeswoman said the service is investig,上海夜生活桑拿会所Jacklyn,ating the incident.

Besides protecting the president and presidential candidates, Secret Service agents investigate financial crimes such as counter,上海夜生活怎么玩Nadia,feiting of U.S. currency and credit card and上海夜生活论坛 fraud.

Gunmaker Remington gets approval for loan to carry it through…

WILMINGTON, Del ( ) – U.S. gunmaker Remington Outdoor Co Inc won court approval on Tuesday to borrow an interim $75 million to sustain its business during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which will allow the company to carry out a $775 million debt-cutting deal.

Remington filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, a day after hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets to demand tougher gun laws to prevent school shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida in February that left 17 dead.

The Madison, North Carolina-based gunmaker was nearly out of cash when it filed for bankruptcy, prompting it to seek fresh financing from its lenders.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Shannon in Wilmington, Delaware said he was convinced the f,夜上海论坛Mace,inancing was necessary to avoid irreparable harm to the company and its creditors.

“A lack of disruption is key to preserving value,” he said in approving the loan.

Remington said its bankruptcy will not impact its customers, suppliers or unsecured creditors, which would include those pursuing lawsuits. Families who lost loved ones in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut have been trying to hold the 上海夜生活网company liable because one of ,上海新夜网龙凤Radcliff,its assault rifles was used in the attack.

Little was said at the hearing about the student-led push for increased gun control. One of Remington’s lawyers, Tyson Lomazow, briefly mentioned that the company was “operating in a difficult political climate” during his arguments in support of the company’s request for fresh financing.

Remington is borrowing the money from its current lenders.

Sources told the banks were providing the loans to prevent the company from going out of business, leaving the banks with large losses and potentially spawning litigation.

Banks often sell loans as a borrower heads into bankruptcy. Sources told the hedge funds that usually buy such loans were reluctant given the pressure on the industry from gun control advocates after the Florida school shooting, and because the prices offered were not attractive.

Firearms makers have been stuck with a glut of weapons after the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, who say,上海夜生活去哪玩Radley,s he is a strong advocate of gun ownership. Fears of restrictions on gun ownership tends to boost U.S. sales of weapons.

China depository receipts to be launched soon: Shanghai Securities…

SHANGHAI ( ) – China is preparing to launch depository receipts that would open the door to some of the country’s top tech firms issuing a form of shares on the ,上海凤楼夜网Hallie,mainland, the state-run Shanghai Securities News said on Friday, citing a senior regulatory official.

China depositar,上海夜生活去哪玩Hal,y receipts (CDRs) will be ,上海会所夜网Daisy,launched “very soon”, Yan Qingmin, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission was quoted as saying. Depositary receipts are not technically shares, but allow investors to hold shares listed elsewhere.

The move could give domestic investors a route to Chinese tech firms listed outside mainland China like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N), Baidu Inc (BIDU.O), Inc (JD.O), and Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK).

Sources have told that guidelines for CDRs, similar to American depositary receipts, were likely to be finalised in the second half of this year by China’s securities regulator.

The planned move is part of a broader effort by Beijing to bring back home its domestic tech giants, which have traditionally opted to list outside the Chinese mainland in New York or Hong Kong instead of their home market.

Hong Kong is also working on rules that would make it easier for firms like U.S.-listed Alibaba and others to take up a secondary listing in the city.

Alibaba, China’s top e-commerce firm valued at over $500 billion, has said publicly for a number of years that it would consider a listing in China if regulations allowed.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter, th上海夜生活论坛at Alibaba was working on a plan for a secondary listing in China, which could happen as soon as this summer.

Jeb Bush endorses Ted Cruz for Republican nomination

WASHINGTON( ) – Former candidate Jeb Bush endorsed Ted Cruz for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, saying the U.S. senator from Texas represents the party’s best chance of winning the White House.

In a statement, the former Florida governor called Cruz a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated an ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests.

“Washington is broken, and the only way Republicans can hope to win back the ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Gabi,White House and put our nation on a better path is to support a nominee who can articulate how conservative policies will help people rise up and reach their full potential,” Bush said.

The 63-year-old Bush, whose father and brother served as president, dropped out of the presidential nomination fight after losing badly in South Carolina on Feb. 20.

The endorsement comes as establishment Republicans scramble to stop front-runner Donald Trump from winning the nomination because of his divisive proposals like a plan to deport 11 million illegal immigrants.

Cruz has run in second place behind Trump and could conceivably win enough Republican delegates to take the nomination.

Ohio Governor John Kasich’s lone path to the nomination is to extend the nomination race until the party’s national convention in July. The idea is to deny Trump the required 1,237 delegates needed and force party leaders to consider someone else.

A source close to Bush said Bush picked Cruz because he has the most viable path to the nomination and has shown that he can win states. The source said Bush considers a push for a contested convention to be a “hail-Mary strategy at best.”

In the weeks after he withdrew, Bush met in Miami with former rivals Cruz, Kasich and U.S. Se,夜上海419龙凤论坛Daisy,nator Marco Rubio of Florida. Rubio dropped out of the race after losing Florida last week. Bush spoke by phone to Cruz on Monday.

In his statement, Bush resumed his sharp criticism of Trump, saying Republican voters must move to overcome “the divisiveness and vulgarity” that Trump has brought into the political arena “or we will certainly lose our chance to defeat the Democratic nominee and reverse President (Barack) Obama’s failed policies.”

“To win, Republicans need to make this election about proposing solutions to the ,上海夜网邀请码Eason,many challenges we face, and I believe that we should vote for Ted as he will do just that,” Bush said. 上海夜网

In a statement, Cruz said Bush’s endorsement “is further evidence that Republicans are continuing to unite behind our campaign to nominate a proven conservative” to defeat Democratic favorite Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election.

Microsoft hits back at claims it ignored sexual harassment

SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – A senior executive said Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) thoroughly investigates issues raised by women in the workplace and fired about 20 employees last year over complaints of sexual harassment as the company seeks to counter claims that it treats female workers unfairly.

In an email to employees publicly released late on Thursday, Microsoft Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan said Microsoft had 83 harassment complaints in 2017 out of a U.S.-based workforce of over 65,000 employees.

Nearly 50 percent were found to be supported at least in part following an investigation, she said, and more than half of those resulted in the termination of an employee who engaged in unacceptable behavior.

The unusual publication of such data comes as the world’s largest software company is defending a lawsuit which alleges it systematically denied pay raises or promotions to women. Microsoft denies it has ever had such a policy.

The lawsuit, filed in Seattle federal court in 2015, is attracting wider attention after a series of powerful men have left or been fired from their jobs in entertainment, the media and politics for sexual misconduct.

Microsoft also investigated 84 complaints of gender discrimination last year, Hogan said, and found around 10 percent of those to be supported at least in part.

Earlier this week, reported on the contents of unsealed court docume,上海夜生活论坛Gabe,nts which showed that out of 118 gender discrimination complaints filed by women in U.S.-based technical jobs at Microsoft between 2010 and 2016, only one was deemed “founded” by the company.

Attorneys for the women described the number of complaints as “shocking” in the court filings, and said the response by Microsoft’s investigations team was “lackluster.”

Hogan’s email on Thursday linked to the story and said the numbers cited by pl,上海夜网邀请码Gabriel,aintiffs were misleading.

“Reports that we rarely reach a conclusion in favor of the complainant are based on a faulty reading of a partial data set,” Hogan wrote.

Hogan’s email did not provide additional figures about the time period cit,上海仙霞路夜生活Barney,ed in the court documents.

The plaintiffs based their numbers on documents disclosed by Microsoft during pre-trial discovery in the lawsuit. Kelly Dermody, an attorney for the plaintiffs, declined to comment o上海夜网n Hogan’s email.

Alaina Percival, chief executive of Women Who Code, an organization that helps companies increase their number of women developers, said publicly releasing this kind of data can help businesses learn from each other about the best ways to handle sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

“I think other tech companies should follow suit, and I would expect to see that happen,” Percival said.

Auditors PwC looking to complete Steinhoff inquiry by end of year

CAPE TOWN ( ) – Auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) hope to finalize a forensic investigation into the affairs of crisis-hit retailer Steinhoff International (SNHJ.J) (SNHG.DE) by the end of the year, a senior investigator said on Wednesday.

Steinhoff, which has more than 40 retail brands th,上海夜生活群Jace,at include France’s Conforama and British chain Poundland, is fighting for survival after admitting “accounting irregularities” in December, wiping about 85 percent off its market value and triggering a liquidity crisis.

Louis Strydom, who heads PwC’s African forensic services unit told a joint committee meeting of parliament looking into the Steinhoff scandal, that the auditing firm was dealing with a conglomerate consisting of more than 700 individual entities operating in 32 jurisdictions.

“This is complex, it’s not simple. We are working with a team of people across seven countries in the world,” he said.

“Our aim is, between now and the end of the year, to package this and put it in a box and conclude our investigation,” said Strydom.

Around 3.3 million records, such as emails, have so far been sent for analysis as the contents of laptops and mobile phones are copied by investigators, he said.

Regulators from South Africa, Germany and the Netherlands are combing for clues and possible culpability in the spectacular fall from grace of the sprawling retail empire.

On March 1 the Johannesburg Stock Exchange suspended trading in Steinhoff’s bonds and preference shares after the company fa,上海夜哪里艳遇Macey,iled to submit its annual reports on time.

Steinhoff’s executive officials did not attend parliament on Wednesday and were instead at a strategic meeting in Britain to discuss its restructuring and liquidity, a company lawyer said.

“It has to make 上海夜生活论坛crucial decisions in regard to this restructuring, it has to meet with its global and local lenders,” Robert Driman told parliament.


The scandal led to the resignation of senior executives including CEO Markus Jooste on Dec. 5 and chairman Christo Wiese, who helped oversee the company’s rapid expansion over almost two decades.

The former CEO has not made a public statement since and could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Jooste sent a letter via his lawyers saying he would not attend the parliamentary inquiry over fears it could prejudice possible criminal investigations against him.

Steinhoff has reported Jooste to South Africa’s elite Hawks police unit over suspected corruption and Jooste would likely be subpoenaed to appear in parliament, the joint committee decided.

Wiese has not been accused of wrongdoing.

On Wednesday, the Hawks said they were investigating three separate strands regarding Steinhoff.

“The DPCI (Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation) is currently engaged in the investigation of three matters regarding the Steinhoff debacle,” major general Alfred Khana, the head of serious commercial crimes division, told the parliamentary inquiry.

He said the Hawks were investigating ,上海凤楼夜网Hadley,fraud and allegations of misrepresentation “which would have led to billions of rands” being lost.

Australia’s competition watchdog sues Equifax for misleading consumers

SYDNEY ( ) – Austra,上海夜生活论坛Hadley,lia’s competition regulator said on Friday it was suing credit reporting company Equifax Pty Ltd, owned by U.S.-based Equifax Inc (EFX.N), alleging it misled consumers an上海夜网d used unfair tactics with people in financial hardship.

The alleged cons,上海夜生活Pablo,umer law breaches by Equifax’s Australian unit, which it bought in February 2016 and rebranded from Veda Advantage, mark the second legal challenge this week involving the Atlanta-based company.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleged that from June 2013 to March 2017, Equifax misled consumers, telling them its paid credit reports provided more complete information than its free reports, which they did not.

“It is alleged that Equifax acted unconscionably in its dealings with vulnerable consumers including by making false or misleading representations, and using unfair tactics and undue pressure when dealing with people in financial hardship,” the ACCC said.

The allegations come just days after the U.S. government filed criminal and civil charges against a former Equifax executive over alleged insider trading linked to last year’s massive data breach at the credit reporting company

That was the first time that the U.S. government had pursued insider trading charges against somebody accused of profiting from information about a cyber attack.

In Australia, the ACCC also alleged Equifax told customers they had to,上海夜网Octava, buy reports if they wanted to edit their own credit history, when in fact the company was required by law to take “reasonable steps” to keep accurate and current records.

“We allege that Equifax told people they needed to buy credit reporting services from them in situations when they did not,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

Equifax said in an emailed statement it had “fully cooperated” with the ACCC’s investigation and was reviewing the allegations.

“We acknowledge that the experience was unsatisfactory for some consumers when dealing with Equifax and we are carefully reviewing our processes and making changes to improve that,” Mike Cutter, Asia Pacific Managing Director said.

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Court hears appeal of ruling in Menendez corruption case

P上海夜生活论坛HILADELPHIA ( ) – The U.S. Constitution protects Sen. Robert Menendez from being prosecuted on bribery charges for talks he held with government officials on behalf of a friend who gave him gifts valued at $1 million, the New Jersey Democrat’s lawyers argued on Monday.

The arguments came before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the corruption case against Menendez, who stepped down as the ranking member of the powerful U.S. Foreign Relations Committee when he was indicted in April 2015.

Federal prosecutors charge that he accepted lavish stays at a Caribbean villa, a lu,上海夜生活网交流Talon,xurious visit to a Paris hotel and flights on private jets from Florida ophthalmologist and businessman Solomon Melgen, a longtime friend.

Menendez interceded on Melgen’s behalf in an $8.9 million billing dispute with Medicare, and in a dispute with the government of the Dominican Republic over a port security contract held by one of Melgen’s companies, prosecutors say.

The hearing on Monday involved an appeal of an earlier ruling dismissing a motion by Menendez’s lawyers to have the case thrown out before it goes to trial. They argued that the discussions with high-level officials centered on government policies rather than Melgen himself.

At the time of his indictment, Menendez was the ranking member of the powerful U.S. Foreign Relations Committee, a post that he stepped down from while the charges are pending. 

“You have to look at what happened in the room,” defense attorney Abbe Lowell told the three-judge panel hearing the case. “If you look at what happened in the room, the record reflects that there were high level polic,上海夜哪里艳遇Qirin,y discussions occurring.” 

The case highlights a seldom-discussed provision of the U.S. Constitution known as the “speech or debate” clause, which gives members of Congress broad protections against prosecution for actions they take in their capacity as legislators.

The clause was designed to prevent the executive branch from intimidating members of Congress for legislative actions, but it is commonly cited by the legal teams of members of Congress when they run afoul of U.S. corruption laws.

But Circuit Judge Thomas B. Ambro pointed out that not everything a member of Congress does is protected by the clause. 

“It looks like he’s doing constituent services, and that doesn’t get you the shield of the speech and debate clause,” Ambro said. 

Prosecutors argued that the justices should look at the circumstances sur,上海夜网千花Tabitha,rounding the talks Menendez held with government officials.

Peter Koski, the deputy chief of the U.S. Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, pointed to emails between Menendez and his chief of staff in which they discuss whether a meeting with then-U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would get Melgen’s hopes up.

“The only way Melgen’s expectations would be raised is if that meeting were about him,” Koski said.

Melgen and Menendez have pleaded not guilty, and have challenged the charges against them.

In September, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Walls dismissed some of the charges against the men related to allegations that Melgen passed along $40,000 in bribes with contributions through Menendez’s legal defense fund.

Exclusive: Germany raises fears over capabilities of Airbus A400M…

BERLIN ( ) – Germany’s military fears that the Airbus (AIR.PA) A400M aircraft will not fulfill its needs in time as the troubled program faces further problems, a report seen by reveals.

The confidential German military report said there was a “significant risk” that the A400M would not meet all its tactical requirements by the time the armed forces retires a fleet of aging C-160 Transall transport planes after 2021.

“It is not clear whether, when and how many mature deployable A400M will be available with the contractually required suite of tactical capabilities,” the report said.

“There are significant risks associated with the availability of the required tactical capabilities at the time of the retirement of the C-160. A capability gap cannot be excluded after 2021,” it added.

Problems included data such as fuel usage needing to be entered into multiple systems, meaning it could take up to 50 man-hours to plan medical evacuations and other missions, which the report said was上海夜网 “not acceptable” operationally.

Airbus, which last month took a new 1.3 billion euro charge on the multinational A400M program, said the German assessment of mission planning time differed significantly from other nations. For instance, it took the French military a maximum of 90 minutes to plan a tactical mission, and just 40 to 60 minutes for a routine mission, a company spokesman told .

The A400M program was initially valued at 20 billion euros ($25 billion) but has reached well over 30 billion euros, sources told last year.

Germany, the largest buyer of the A400M, has received over 17 of the 53 A400M aircraft it plans to buy.


The German report said the mission planning process meant that certain tasks, such as providing disaster relief or evacuating wounded soldiers, “cannot be executed”.

Although planning could be shortened to six to 10 hours, this was only possible by reducing the load of passengers and equipment, said the report.

The latest setback for Airbus comes after a preliminary deal by which Germany and six other NATO nations agreed to slow the planned delivery schedule and negotiate removing certain difficult to achieve requirements for the aircraft.

In return, Airbus has pledged to provide “all necessary support and resources” to Europe’s largest defense project.

The report cited continued concerns about the plane’s inability to meet requirements, such as the ,上海晚上耍女人的地方Eason,ability to drop parachute troops. It said Airbus could also seek additional funds to complete work on the self-defensive capabilities.

It also cited delays in carrying out testing of the plane due to insufficient infrastructure in Europe, and said a site in Yuma, Arizona was now being considered.

,上海夜哪里艳遇Fabian,There were also “critical” problems with the production of sensor chips for the plane’s airborne warning system that had not been resolved, the report said, noting that Germany had received five A400M aircraft without the warn,上海夜生活Larissa,ing system.

($1 = 0.8114 euros)

VW to invest $340 million in Tennessee to build new SUV

WASHINGTON ( ) – Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) announced on Monday that it plans to invest $340 million to build a new sport utility vehicle at its Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant in the United States as demand surges for larger vehicles.

It will build a five-passenger SUV that will be branded as part of the company’s Atlas family. A ,上海夜生活服务Naia,concept version will be unveiled next week at the New York International Auto Show, the German carmaker said in a statement.

“We are not only committed to this market, we are committed to our U.S. manufacturing home in Chattanooga, Tennessee,” it said.

Tennessee Gover,上海夜生活群Hallie,nor Bill Haslam said Volkswagen in Chattanooga had grown “from a single vehicle producer, starting with the Passat, into what it is today – a thriving U.S. manufacturing operation that can produce three models, and counting.”

The investment announcement is positive news for the U.S. car industry at a time when it is bracing ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Radley,for the impact of higher steel and aluminum tariffs on metal produced outside North America. Haslam told reporters last week the tariffs could add costs to manufacturers, especially automakers, that could be “very harmful.”

VW said in February that 54 percent of its total own-brand volume sales were SUVs. In addition to a new seven-passenger Atlas that went on sale last year, VW also unveiled an all-new 2018 Tiguan SUV last year. Prior to 2017, most of VW’s U.S. own-brand sales were cars.

VW is still working to improve its image in the United States after it a上海夜网dmitted to cheating on diesel emissions tests in 2015, sparking the biggest business crisis in its history.

U.S. regulator, state attorneys look for answers from Facebook

(This version of the March 26 story corrects paragraph 24 to remove reference to ISBA suspending adverts)

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON ( ) – The leading U.S. consumer protection regulator and attorneys representing 37 states stepped up pressure on Facebook Inc (FB.O) on Monday to explain how the social network allowed data of 50 million users get into the hands of a political consultancy.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission took the unusual step of announcing that it had opened an investigation into the company – which it generally only does in cases of great public interest – citing media reports that raise what it called “substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook.”

On the same day, a bipartisan coalition of 37 sta,上海夜网千花Ebba,te attorneys wrote to Facebook, demanding to know more about the company’s role in the manipulation of users’ data by the consultancy, Cambridge Analytica, which used it to target U.S. and British voters in close-run elections.

“These revelations raise many serious questions concerning Facebook’s policies and practices, and the processes in place to ensure they are followed,” the letter said. “We need to know that users can trust Facebook. With the information we have now, our trust has been broken.”

Facebook shares fell as much as 6.5 percent, briefly dipping below $150 for the first time since July 2017, before recovering the day’s losses to close up 0.4 percent at $160.06.

The shares are still down 13 percent since March 16, when Facebook first acknowledged that user data had been improperly channeled to Cambridge Analytica. The company has lost more than $70 billion in market value since then.

Related CoverageFacebook CEO among those invited to testify at U.S. Senate hearingEU presses Facebook on sharing of user dataSee more stories

The recovery in Facebook’s stock on Monday may have been due to investors taking advantage of the lower stock price and the belief that the latest regulatory scrutiny may not ultimately hurt the company’s relative long-term growth prospects, Wall Street analysts said.

The FTC investigation is looking at more than whether Facebook violated a 2011 consent order it reached with the FTC上海夜网 over its privacy practices, a person briefed on the matter told .

If the FTC finds Facebook violated terms of the consent decree, it has the power to fine it thousands of dollars a day per violation, which could add up to billions of dollars.

“We remain strongly committed to protecting people’s information,” Facebook Deputy Chief Privacy Officer Rob Sherman said in a statement on Monday. “We appreciate the opportunity to answer questions the FTC may have.”


Lawmakers in the United States and Europe continue to pressure ,上海夜生活服务Macey,Facebook and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to explain the company’s privacy practices.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee said on Monday it had invited Zuckerberg and the CEOs of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) to testify at an April 10 hearing on data privacy.

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee and U.S. Senate Commerce Committee have already formally asked Zuckerberg to appear at a congressional hearing.

“Facebook’s failure to protect confidential user information likely violated specific legally binding commitments, but also basic norms and standards,” said U.S. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

In Europe, the European Union Justice Commissioner asked Facebook if the company is “absolutely certain” that the Cambridge Analytica incident could not be repeated.

Zuckerberg apologized last week for the mistakes the company had made and he promised to restrict developers’ access to user information as part of a plan to protect privacy. He also said sorry in full-page advertisements in British and U.S. newspapers.

“The was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time,” Zuckerberg said in the ads. “We are now taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”


His apologies have failed to quell discontent. Germany’s justice minister said Facebook’s promises were not enough.

“In future we will have to regulate companies like Facebook much more strictly,” Katarina Barley said after talks to which she summoned Facebook executives including European public affairs chief Richard Allan.

Advertisers and users are also unhappy.

U.S. auto parts retailer Pep Boys suspended all advertising on Facebook on Monday while wireless speaker maker Sonos said in a blog post it will re,上海凤楼夜网Macey,move advertising from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Alphabet’s YouTube for one week.

Internet company Mozilla Corp and Germany’s second-largest bank Commerzbank AG (CBKG.DE) suspended advertising on Facebook last week.

Opinion polls published on Sunday in the United States and Germany cast doubt over the trust people have in Facebook.

Fewer than half of Americans trust Facebook to obey U.S. privacy laws, according to a /Ipsos poll released on Sunday, while a survey published by Bild am Sonntag, Germany’s largest-selling Sunday paper, found 60 percent of Germans fear that Facebook and other social networks are having a negative impact on democracy.

Aldi and Lidl dig deeper into Britain’s grocery market

LONDON ( ) – German-owned discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl are plowing ahead with a rapid expansion in Britain and are on course to grab more market share from the traditional big four players.

A top Aldi [ALDIEI.UL] executive told it aimed to have 1,000 UK stores by 2022, up from its current 762 while Lidl said it sees potentially 1,200 to 1,500 stores in the long term, up from 710.

Meanwhile, store openings at market leader Tesco (TSCO.L), Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L), Asda (WMT.N) and Morrisons (MRW.L) have slowed to a trickle. They are shedding thousands of jobs so they can save money and better compete with the discounters.

Aldi and Lidl’s cut-price model have turned them into two of the world’s biggest retailers. They have expanded a,上海高端夜生活在那里Dahlia,broad as growth stagnated at home.

Aldi launched in Britain in 1994 and Lidl in 1990 and they have changed the shape of the UK grocery market.

But their profits have fallen and traditional retailers have questioned whether the model is sustainable. The discounters also have little presence online and could face competition there from the big four and grocery newcomers such as Amazon (AMZN.O).

For now, Aldi and Lidl’s combined share of the 200 billion pound ($283 billion) UK grocery market is set to grow. It will be 15 percent by 2020, up from 12.1 percent currently, according to Ashley Anzie, strategic insight director for grocery at researcher Kantar Worldpanel.

“That’s largely driven by the fact that Aldi and Lidl will just physically be opening more stores,” he said.

Aldi and Lidl are also modernizing existing stores and making a push into premium ranges that chimes with British shoppers, who, squeezed by inflation and subdued wages growth, have become more cautious in their spending.

“What we’re doing is investing very carefully in things that add to our customer offer, our store portfolio, our infrastructure,” Jonathan Neale, Aldi Managing Director Buying, told .

Aldi’s 1 billion pounds investment program to the end,上海夜生活服务Octava, of 2018 will create 8,000 jobs. Britain’s departure from the European Union had not changed the company’s plans, Neale said.

This year 70 new stores will be opened and by 2020 some 850 stores will have Aldi’s updated format, from 138 currently, Neale said.

Lidl is investing 1.45 billion pounds in Britain across 2017-18. It plans to open 50 stores and re-vamp 30 this year.

“To further strengthen our position as a British retailer, we will continue to invest in our UK expansion,” said Christian Härtnagel, Lidl UK’s CEO.


Though Britain’s big four have narrowed the price gap with the discounters they have not reversed the trend.

Tesco and Morrisons have reported annual profit growth but that’s partly because their profits were re-based after huge restructurings in 2014. Sainsbury’s has reported three straight years of profit decline and a fourth is forecast by analysts. Asda has seen two years of falls.

Over the last year Sainsbury’s and Morrisons shares have fallen 15 percent and 12 percent respectively. Tesco’s shares are up 6 percent but are still below the level they were when Dave Lewis took over as chief executive in 2014.

They are hoping to compete by broadening their businesses. Sainsbury’s purchased general merchandise retailer Argos in 2016, Morrisons has struck wholesale deals with Amazon and McColl’s (MCLSM.L), and Tesco has just spent 4 billion pounds buying wholesaler Booker BOK.L.

One senior director of a big four player said the discounters price position was unsustainable.

“The underlying brand equity proposition isn’t actually there, it’s just that they are giving it away below economic rational behavior,” the director said.

Nevertheless, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s have all dabbled with their own discount formats, without success. Tesco is reportedly considering having another go, utilizing Booker’s assets. Tesco declined to comment on its intentions.

Aldi, owned by Germany’s Aldi Sud, the world’s No. 5 retailer, has a 7 percent share of the British market, according to Kantar data. Lidl, part of Germany’s Schwarz group, the world’s second biggest retailer behind Walmart, has a 5.1 percent share.


The German groups are active in dozens of countries which gives them a purchasing power advantage over local rivals. This means they can offer low prices on a range limited to 1,500-1,800 of mostly own-brand products.

Aldi says it offers a 15 percent price discount to the market “regardless of what the market does”.

But this has squeezed its operating margins.

It earned 5,上海夜网官方网站Dahlia,.10 pence of operating profit for every pound customers spent in 2013. By 2016 it had fallen to 2.42 pence in the pound, with total operating profit down 17 percent to 211.3 million pounds. Analysts believe it likely also fell in 2017.

Lidl does not disclose its UK profitability but analysts estimate its operating margins to have been on a similar trajectory.

Aldi and Lidl say they can afford to take a long-term approach as, being privately-owned, they are not beholden to shareholders, unlike their big four competitors.

“We’re not fixated on a particular point on the horizon where we have to report a certain set of statistics,” said Neale.

One long上海夜网er-term threat to Aldi and Lidl’s model could come from ecommerce, where the British supermarkets are trailblazers. The German companies have not embraced ecommerce but Amazon’s entry into selling food online could mean they also have to follow suit.

BlackBerry must face revived U.S. lawsuit over BlackBerry 10

NEW YORK ( ) – A U.S. judge on Monday rejected BlackBerry Ltd’s request to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it inflated its stock price and defrauded shareholders by painting a misleadingly positive picture of sales prospects for its BlackBerry ,上海夜生活服务Earl,10 smartphones.

While an earlier version of the case was dismissed in March 2015, Chief Judge Colleen McMahon of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan said the proposed class action can proceed now.

She said new informa,上海新夜网龙凤Kade,tion about BlackBerry’s alleged conduct had surfaced during the criminal prosecution of an executive at a retailer that sold its smartphones.

The judge also cited a new legal standard adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court that could make it easier for some plaintiffs to show that statements of opinion might be misleading.

Other defendants include former Chief Executive Thorsten Heins, former Chief Financial Officer Brian Bidulka and Chief Legal Officer Steve Zipperstein.

BlackBerry spokeswoman Sarah McKinney declined to comment.

A lawyer for the defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The BlackBerry 10 won positive reviews from critics, but never caught on with the public, which preferred Android-based phones and A,上海夜生活怎么玩Barrett,pple Inc’s iPhone. BlackBerry decided in 2016 to stop making its own smartphones.

Shareholders had accused BlackBerry of concealing BlackBerry 10’s true sales prospects in public statements during 2013.

The amend上海夜生活论坛ed complaint was based in part on information from the 2015 prosecution of James Dunham, a former chief operating officer at the retailer Wireless Zone.

That case revealed how an April 2013 report by Detwiler Fenton showing a high return rate for the BlackBerry 10 was based on data sold by Dunham from some 400 Wireless Zone stores.

Dunham pleaded guilty to selling confidential wireless industry information and was sentenced to five months in prison.

McMahon said the plaintiffs have made a “plausible showing” that BlackBerry’s public response to the Detwiler report, including that customers were “satisfied” and return rates were “at or below our forecasts and right in line with the industry,” contradicted data it allegedly had from Wireless Zone.

She said she would address later the merits of BlackBerry’s arguments that its statements were not misleading.

Germany’s Goldman hire prompts fear of banks’ renewed influence

FRANKFURT ( ) – Germany’s appointment of a Goldman Sachs (GS.N) executive to a senior finance ministry post on Monday drew accusations the government was once again cosying up to the banking sector that ca,上海凤楼夜网Babette,used the 2008 economic crash.

Joerg Kukies, formerly the co-head of Goldman Sachs in Germany, was named deputy finance minister with responsibility for financial market policy and European issues, the ministry said.

It is the first time a German government has hired a Goldman Sachs banker and signals a recovery of the sector’s influence after the crash when it was shunned by politicians including Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Prior to that, Germany had a long tradition of using bankers to help steer the economy. In the 1950s, chancellor Konrad Adenauer sent Deutsche Bank chief Hermann Josef Abs, rather than his finance minister, to negotiations over pre-war debt. Decades later, Helmut Kohl was advised by another Deutsche CEO, Alfred Herrhausen, on third-world debt and industrial policy.

But Goldman Sachs is viewed by many Germans as a symbol of a more cut-throat Anglo-Saxon capitalism, especially since a former executive in the country said banks had “no obligation to promote the welfare of the public”.

Lawmakers skeptical of Kukies’ appointment, under Social Democrat (SPD) Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, fear the appointment could anger voters who have turned away from mainstream par,上海夜生活网交流Idaline,ties in favor of the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD).

“Such revolving door cases multiply distrust of citizens towards politics,” said Sven Giegold, a Greens member of the European Parliament.

Timo Lange of Lobby Co上海夜生活论坛ntrol, which campaigns for transparency in lobbying, said the appointment “strengthens the impression that politicians and the elite are working hand in hand and that there is little left for the ordinary person.”

The elevation of a Goldman Sachs executive comes as rival Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) is struggling to rebuild its influence years after it was at the heart of German industrial and economic policy as part of a network of politicians and bankers known as “Deutschland AG”.

Much of that network unraveled during the 1990s and early 2000s as Deutsche Bank sold down its various stakes.

Former chancellor Helmut Schmidt said in 2011: “Deutsche Bank is no longer German”.

Kukies joined Goldman Sachs in 2001, working in Frankfurt and London, often profiting from deals which resulted from the dismantling of Deutschland AG. He worked in fixed income, equities and structured products, and in his new post will be responsible for financial market policy.

Fabio De Masi, a lawmaker with the leftist Linke party, said: “Olaf Scholz is imitating Donald Trump by putting the arsonist in the fire briga,上海021夜网Gabrielle,de.”

Kukies’ appointment coincides with a gathering momentum in Frankfurt where Goldman Sachs will be expanding its presence as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.

China’s Tencent loses $51 billion in market value in two days

HONG KONG ( ) – Tencent Holdings Ltd’s (0700.HK) shares fell more than 4 percent on Friday, wiping out around $23 billion of market value, after the Chinese internet firm’s largest shareholder, Naspers Ltd (NPNJn.J), lowered its stake for the first time in 17 years.

The Hong Kong-listed stock opened almost 8 percent lower at HK$405, its lowest start since Feb. 9, and closed at HK$420. Bourse data showed it was the most traded stock on Friday, with turnover of HK$126 billion ($16.05 billion).

Tencent has now lost more than $51 billion in market value in two days, having fallen 5 percent on Thursday – its steepest in over six weeks. That decline came after Tencent late on Wednesday reported better-than-expected profit but missed analysts’ revenue estimate and said aggressive investment might squeeze profit margins.

With a current market capitaliza,上海会所夜网Kaiden,tion of $508 billion, Tencent is still Asia’s most valuable listed firm and fifth globally behind Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Inc (AMZN.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O).

South African media and e-commerce group Nasp上海夜生活论坛ers said on Friday it raised $9.8 billion from the sale of 190 million Tencent shares, or 2 percent of its holding. It said it will use the money to strengthen its balance sheet and fund growth.

“It’s always hard to sell a fantastic asset like this, particularly one in which you have such great belief for the long term. So yes, it wasn’t an easy decision,” Naspers Group Chief Financial Officer Basil Sgourdos told .

“It is not driven by any view on Tencent and the opportunities we see going forward. It’s really driven by increased confidence in our e-commerce segment and the returns it is delivering, so we need capital to grow that business,” he said.

Naspers, which still has a 31.2 percent stake in Tencent, said it has no plans to further reduce its holding for the next three years.

Sgourdos said he has “zero” concern over Tencent’s high valuation or about last quarter’s revenue growth.

Bernstein analyst Bhavtosh Vajpayee said the sale of a small portion of Naspers’ stake cannot be considered a judgment on Tencent’s prospects or expensive valuations.

“We think the sale could have been better timed. Coming amidst trade war fears in the markets as well as a mixed result for the fourth quarter of 2017, the news of the sale was quite a surprise,” he said. “Oddly timed is how I would desc,上海夜玩网论坛Sabine,ribe this.”

CICC analyst Natalie Wu called the development “a good opportunity to buy into dips given Tencent’s solid fundamentals.”

Naspers’ interest in Tencent goes back at least as far as 2001 with a $33 million bet on the newly founded Chinese firm. Tencent’s breakneck growth subsequently helped Naspers transform from a newspaper publisher into a multinational with private equity-style investments.

In a statement, Tencent Chairman Pony Ma said, “Naspers has been a steadfast strategic partner over a great many ye,上海夜哪里艳遇Babette,ars. Tencent respects and understands Naspers’ decision and looks forward to continuing to work closely together in building a mutually supportive and prosperous future for both companies.”

Japan’s Aso says closely watching U.S. tariff moves against China

TOKYO ( ) – Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Fr上海夜生活网iday that he would closely watch the United States’ move to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods.

Aso made the comment just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum that will target Chinese imports, though only after a 30-day consultation period that gives China space to respond.

The threatened tariffs and possible investment restrictions on China stem from a U.S. investigation of alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property by Chinese companies.

“Japan, as well as the United States, unders,上海夜网后花园Kaiden,tands the importance of strengthening and effectively enforcing protection of intellectual pro,夜上海419龙凤论坛Dalton,perty,” Aso told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

Aso added that he needed to examine the U.S. memorandum in detail.

The yen hit a 16-month high against the dollar on Friday as traders sought safety in the Japanese currency after the U.S. announcement caused worry over global trade tensions, triggering a selloff on Wall Street and stock markets in Asia.

The dollar fell to as low as 104.635 yen, its lowest since November 2016, in early Asian trade as the safe haven Japanese currency pushed higher.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga warned against yen’s gains on Friday, saying that he would closely monitor market movements “with a sense of urgency”.

The top government spokesman also said it would be extremely regrettable if U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum apply to Japan, and that he would continue to urge the United States to exempt his country.

Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, which are tied to Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, go into effect on Friday. Canada and Mexico have been given initial exemptions fro,上海夜哪里艳遇Macauly,m the 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminum tariffs.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told U.S. lawmakers on Thursday that the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea, would also be exempted.

Stella McCartney to buy brand in full from Kering

PARIS ( ) – Kering and fashion label Stella McCartney said on Wednesday they had agreed to end their 17 year partnership, as the British designer behind the brand buys the 50 percent owned by the French luxury goods group.

They did not disclose financial terms for the deal.

McCartney, known for her understated designs and commitment not to use fur or leather, had an option until March 31 to buy out half of her label under the terms of the partnership.

“It is the right moment to acquire the full control of the company bearing my name,” McCartney said in a statement.

A spokesman for the label declined to comment on how the acquisition would be financed.

Following the agreement, Kering will continue to lend some support and services to the brand for a year, and the split will be final by the end of the first quarter of 2019, according to a spokeswoman for the French group.

McCartney will stay on as a board member of the Kering Foundation, which works to stop violence against women, and the companies said she would collaborate with Kering “in the field of sustainable fashion” – an上海夜网 area that has become her hallmark.

London-born Stella McCartney, daughter of the Beatles’ Paul McCartney, first made her mark at Richemont-owned fashion label Chloe.

She launched her eponymous label in partnership with the Gucci Group, formerly a division of what is now Kering, in 2001.

Kering, run by Francois-Henri Pinault, the scion of the group’s founding family, does not break out earnings for the brand, but it is a much smaller contributor to sales than labels such as Guc,上海夜网后花园Tabitha,ci or Balenciaga.

The conglomerate’s latest financial report said revenue growth at Stella McCartney was buoyant but had slowed in 2017 compared to previous years.

The split with Stella McCartney comes as Kering prepares to ,上海夜生活服务Macey,spin off German sportswear label Puma to its own shareholders, as it,上海会所夜网Nadine, focuses more squarely on its high-margin luxury brands and builds up those with a high growth potential.

Stella McCartney presented her latest collection for next autumn and winter at Paris’ sumptuous Opera Garnier in early March. It was the label’s first show catwalk show to mix men and women’s clothing, and some designs such a jacket were made from materials like alter nappa, an alternative to leather.

All change for Audi as it predicts short-term pain

INGOLSTADT, Germany ( ) – Audi (NSUG.DE) said it is bracing for a difficult year on Thursday as the effects of its biggest-ever model overhaul and the emissions scandal keep Volkswagen’s main earner from catching up with German rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

The luxury brand of Volkswagen will launch over 20 redesigned and new models in 2018, including upgraded versions of the popular A6 saloon and Q3 sport-utility vehicle and the all-new electric e-tron SUV, with the changeover expected to hurt demand of its existing line-up.

Audi, the third biggest luxury car maker, said it aims to at least match last year’s record 1.88 million global sales, but that is the first time in years it 上海夜网is not projecting an outright increase. In contrast, its main rivals Mercedes in first place and BMW in second, are both expecting further sales gains.

“2018 is an exceptional year and requires a feat of strength from Audi,” finance chief Alexander Seitz said at an earnings press conference. “It will be a year of transition.”

Bottlenecks expected from introducing new vehicle tests done to harmonized world standards, and costs associated with the “dieselgate” scandal, will add further strains, the CF,上海夜网Queena,O said.

The model overhaul, also introducing the new Q8 SUV, is expected to have a “sustained positive impact” on deliveries and earnings from 2019, Audi said.

“By 2019, we will probably have the youngest model portfolio in the premium segment,” Chief Executive Rupert Stadler said. “Of course this will have an impact.”

Audi said its operating profit jumped more than 50 percent in 2017 to 4.67 billion euros ($5.76 billion) after special items, helped by cost cuts in development and sales and lower costs for its emissions scandal. The carmaker set aside 387 million euros for the “dieselgate” affair last year after 1.8 billion in 2016.

Related CoverageAudi to decide on battery production in Germany in next 1-2 years: CEO,上海夜生活群Tamara,Audi expects no more dieselgate emissions provisions in 2018: CFO

The luxury brand cut costs by 1 billion euros last y,上海新夜网龙凤Quaid,ear as part of a goal to cut spending by 10 billion euros by 2022 to free up funds for its electric-car program.

Audi, in collaboration with another of VW’s brands Porsche, plans to launch 20 electrified models by 2025, more than half of which will be all-electric.

Stadler said Audi could stop selling diesel engine versions of its compact vehicles in two or three years, starting with the A1 model, while the share of diesel-powered SUVs could rise further in coming years.

Singapore fines Standard Chartered entities $4.9 million for money…

SINGAPORE ( ) – Singapore’s,上海夜生活服务Cade, central bank imposed pe,上海足浴夜网联系方式Lance,nalties of S$5.2 million ($3.95 million) on Standard Chartered Bank (SCBC) (STAN.L) and S$1.2 million on Standard Chartered Trust (Singapore) (SCTS) for breaching money laundering rules and terrorism financing safeguards.

In a statement on Monday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said the breaches occurred when trust accounts of SCBS’ customers were transferred from Standard Chartered Trust (Guernsey) to SCTS from December 2015 to January 2016.

“MAS requires financial institutions to adequately assess money laundering risks when deciding whether to accept customers. They should also have in place good systems and processes to monitor customer transactions,” said MAS Deputy Managing Director Ong Chong Tee.

The MAS and Guernsey’s Financial Services Commission had been looking into Standard Chartered’s moveme上海夜生活网nt of some assets, mainly of Indonesian clients in late 2015, just before the Channel Island adopted new global rules on exchanging tax information.

“The timing of the transfers raised questions of whether the clients were attempting to avoid their CRS reporting obligations. However, SCBS and SCTS did not adequately assess and mitigate against this risk factor, and also failed to file suspicious transaction reports in a timely manner,” MAS said.

In a statement, Standard Chartered conceded that it fell short of its own standards to mitigate risks but said it was taking action to r,上海夜生活去哪玩Hadley,ectify these deficiencies.

“We ourselves identified the issue, we recognized that we weren’t as diligent as we needed to be in the transfer of some trust assets from Guernsey to Singapore,” Standard Chartered’s CEO Bill Winters said at Credit Suisse’s annual Asia Investment Conference in Hong Kong on Monday. “We reported both our own shortcomings and also the action of our clients to the MAS,”

“The important thing…is we are making investments necessary to make sure there is no repeat,” he said.

Standard Chartered said in 2016 that it was to close its trust operations in Guernsey and centralize that part of its business in Singapore.

U.S. carmaker Ford, India’s Mahindra to develop SUVs, electric vehicle

NEW DELHI ( ) – U.S. carmaker Ford Motor Co (F上海夜生活论坛.N) and India’s Mahindra & Mahindra (MAHM.NS) said on Thursday they have signed an agreement to develop midsize and compact sports utility vehicles (SUV) and an electric vehicle, which Ford could also potentially sell in other markets outside India.

The ,上海会所夜网Cain,agreement comes after Ford and Mahindra, one of India’s oldest vehicle manufacturers, announced plans last September for a strategic alliance.

The companies said they will co-develop a midsize sports utility vehicle which will be “sold independently by both companies as separate brands.”

The automakers will also evaluate co-development of a compact SUV and an electric vehicle.

Ford and other global automakers are facing pressure as policymakers demand they start focusing more on electric vehicles over the coming years.

A Ford spokesman in India said the automaker could sell the co-developed products in other markets around the world.

“We see the benefits of the products to be exported,” he said. “The details will evolve on this and it is early to make a comment on this.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has said it wants to ensure that by 2030 all new vehicles sold are electric.

The Mahindra-Ford partnership, announced last year, is likely to help Ford get access to lower cost electric vehicle designs and local suppliers it needs to compete in markets such as India.

The two companies said on Thursday they would continue to work together for a period of up to three years, which will include supporting Mahindra in global emerging markets.

“The strategic allian,上海夜生活网419Daisy,ce … continues to focus on leveraging the benefits,上海新夜网龙凤Paige, of Ford’s global reach and expertise and Mahindra’s scale in India and its successful operating model,” the firms said.