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Brexit and the City: Tracking the fortunes of London’s financial…

LONDON ( ) – Is London’s position as the largest international center of finance slipping as a result of Brexit?

London has been a critical artery for the flow of money around the world for centuries. The financial services sector accounts for about 12 percent of Britain’s economic output, employs about 1.1 million people and pays more taxes than any other industry.

From its traditional City heartland to the brash Canary Wharf skyscrapers and plush Mayfair townhouses, London represents one of the greatest concentrations of financial wealth on earth.

Its only rival, New York, is centered on American markets, while London has more banks than any other hub, dominates markets such as global foreign exchange and commercial insurance and is home to international bond trading and fund management.

But about a third of the transactions on its exchanges and in its trading rooms involve clients in the European Union. These may be jeopardized after Brexit unless Britain manages to maintain similar levels of access to the trading bloc.

The French finance minister predicts Paris will overtake London as Europe’s most important financial center in a few years, although supporters of leaving the EU say Britain will benefit over the long term by setting its own rules.

London remained top of the rankings in the annual Global Financial Centres Index released this week by Z/Yen Partners and the China Development Institute, although the gap between it and New York in second closed to one point on a scale of 1,000 and its rating rose by less than the other four top centers.

is publishing its second Brexit tracker, monitoring six indicators to help assess the City’s fortunes, taking a regular check on its pulse through public transport usage, bar and restaurant openings, commercial property prices and jobs.

Almost a year before Britain is due to leave the EU, the tracker suggests London’s financial districts have been held back, but there is no evidence of a mass exodus.

“London has not come close to taking a mortal blow or anything like it … The increasing uncertainty though over London’s future has led to a stall in its growth,” Michael Mainelli, Executive Chairman of Z/Yen, told .

(Graphic: Brexit and the City – tmsnrt.rs/2zzQOfC)

Jobs leaving London?

Firms employing the bulk of UK-based workers in international finance told that the number of finance jobs they plan to shift out of Britain or create overseas by March 2019 due to Brexit has dropped to 5,000, half the figure six months ago.

This comes amid more conciliatory signals from British Prime Minister Theresa May, while progress in talks with the EU have prompted some companies to delay large staff moves.

Related CoverageBrexit and the City: Food for thought from London dining roomBrexit and the City: the real estate agent’s view

The findings suggest that the first wave of job losses may be at the lower end of initial industry estimates, meaning London will keep its place as the continent’s top finance center in the short term.

London’s finance industry should emerge largely unscathed from Brexit even if thousands of jobs move, the City of London’s political leader Catherine McGuinness says, adding that it could take years to feel the full impact of Brexit.

“All the signs are that companies are just making plans to move the minimum necessary,” she told , adding “just be,上海仙霞路夜生活Idaline,cause you can’t see a massive change suddenly happening you can’t assume everything is okay.”

Hiring numbers

The number of available jobs in London’s financial services industry fell the most in six years in 2017, said recruitment agency Morgan McKinley which hires staff in finance.

It bases its number on the overall volume of mandates it receives to find jobs and applies a multiplier based on its market share of London’s finance industry.

The recruiter found 82,147 new financial services jobs were created last year, a 12.45 percent drop on a year earlier. This is the lowest number of jobs available since 2011.

“Brexit has stalled the growth of jobs. Companies are reluctant to make major investment decisions at the moment,” said Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services, which carried out the survey.

Commercial property

obtained property data from Savills and Knight Frank, two of the biggest real estate firms in Britain. Savills calculates the value from all-known property deals within the City of London area.

Savills says commercial property prices in the City of London are now at the highest level since the third quarter of 2016, three months after the Brexit vote, driven by a surge in office purchasing and leasing in the final quarter of 2017.

The price of renting real estate in the City of London district rose 9.5 percent in the last three months of the year, climbing to 78 pounds ($107) per square foot, from 71.21 pounds in the third quarter of 2017, Savills says.

“There has been a lot of exaggeration about the demise of the City,” Philip Pearce, a director at Savills, said. “The expectation post-Brexit was the world would start draining away from 上海夜生活the City, whereas the reverse has happened.”

In Canary Wharf, prices were also unchanged in 2017 compared with the year before, Knight Frank, whose data comes from landlords, developers and agents, says.

Going Underground

Some 400,000 journeys are recorded every day at the three main underground stations that serve the City and Canary Wharf.

filed Freedom of Information Act requests to Transport for London, to get this data which shows that the number of people using Bank and Monument stations is on course for its first fall since the final year of the financial crisis.

Travelers going in and out of Bank and Monument fell by a fifth in 2017 compared with 2016, the data shows. This follows an annual increase each year since 2009.

In Canary Wharf, the number of people using the station fell by 10 percent, while the number of people using London’s underground network fell about 2 percent overall last year.

Mike Brown, the commissioner for Transport for London, said it is struggling to explain the drop in passenger numbers.

“Is it an element of economic uncertainty? Is it a handful of jobs here or there maybe not being there this year, compared to last year, or is it actually just that people are working from home?” he said. “It is a bit difficult to be categoric.”

Canary Wharf’s owners did not respond to requests for comment.

City Airport

The number of passengers using London City Airport, a popular gateway for finance executives, fell for the first time since the final year of the 2007-2009 global financial crisis in 2017, its publicly available figures show.

The number of passengers at the airport, close to Canary Wharf’s financial district, fell 0.2 percent last year. That compares with an average annual 8.8 percent increase in the previous six years.

London City Airport said the stagnating numbers were partly caused by some airlines cutting routes.

“We are very confident about the long term future prospect of London City Airport and aviation in the UK, with passenger growth expected to resume in 2018,” a spokesman said.

Bar and restaurant openings

filed a Freedom of Information Act,上海夜生活乌托邦Kailani, request to the City of London Corporation to find the number of new premises which have applied for licenses to sell alcohol and license renewals.

The number of venues, such as bars and restaurants, with licenses to sell alcohol in the City of London in 2017 fell 1.6 percent, data from the municipal local authority shows.

The number of venues applying for new licenses was flat compared with 2016, the data shows, although the City of London Corporation said such fluctuations were normal.

“As some establishments close and others open, i,上海夜生活去哪玩Nadine,t is inevitable that licensing renewal figures will fall and rise but overall, the number of licensed premises in the City has steadily increased in recent years,” it said in a statement.

($1 = 0.7278 pounds)

Automakers, northeast states urge Americans to buy electric vehicles

NEW YORK ( ) – Seven U.S. states and 16 major automakers are launching a joint $1.5 million advertising campaign to prod Americans to buy electric vehicles.

Automakers are investing billions of dollars to develop dozens of new EVs in the face of regulatory requirements, but face slow U.S. sales.

General Motors Co (GM.N), Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and many other companies, along with Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The campaign, dubbed “Drive Change. Drive Electric,” will ,夜上海419龙凤论坛Dallas,focus on the benefits of electric cars.

“Far too many drivers remain unfamiliar with the benefits of driving electric. Increasing sales of electric cars will deliver critical environmental and economic benefits across the region,” said Arthur Marin, executive director of the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management.

Electric vehicle sales rose 25 percent in 2017 to a new record but still account for only 1.2 percent of U.S. vehicle sales.

The campaign will initially focus in the northeast region and includes a website, advertising, social media, strategic partnerships and events and other content efforts.

John Bozzella, who heads Global Automakers, a trade group whose members include Toyota, Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and Honda Motor Co (7267.T), said more education efforts are needed as automakers offer dozens of EV models.

“The companies are effectively ahead of the customer,” Bozzella said in an interview. “W上海夜生活网e need to collectively help tell the story of the benefits of this technology and raise awareness.”

Automakers are rapidly investing in EVs and say they plan to unveil dozens of new EVs in the coming years. They point to the growing range of EVs to travel on a single charge, lower battery costs and more recharging stations ,夜上海论坛Octava,as all making the vehicles more attractive to customers.

Joe Eberhardt, president and chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover North America, said in an interview at the auto show that companies must focus on consumer demand not regulatory mandates. “We need as an industry to find a way to convince customers that there is a real benefit and advantage to having an electric vehicle,” he said.

In January, Ford Motor Co (F.N) said it would double its electrified vehicle spending. reported that glob,上海夜生活乌托邦Nadine,al automakers plan to invest $90 billion in batteries and electric cars in the coming years, an amount that is still growing.

Investments in electrified vehicles announced to date include at least $19 billion by automakers in the United States, $21 billion in China and $52 billion in Germany.

Automakers also are reacting to pressure from regulators in Europe and California to slash carbon emissions from fossil fuels and mandates from California to sell a rising number of zero-emission vehicles.”

Facebook begins ‘fact-checking’ photos and videos

SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Thursday it had begun “fact-checking” photos and videos to reduce the hoaxes and false news stories that have plagued the world’s largest social media network.

Facebook has for months faced an uproar among users whose complaints range from the spread of fake news to the use of the network to manipulate elections and the harvesting of 50 million people’s Facebook data by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Manipulated photos and videos are another growing problem on social media.

The fact-checking began on Wednesday in France with assistance from the news organization AFP and will soon expand to more countries and partners, Tessa Lyons, a product manager at Facebook, said in a briefing with reporters.

Lyons did not say what criteria Facebook or AFP would use to evaluate photos and videos, or how much a photo could be edited or doctored before it is ruled fake.

The project is part of “efforts to fight false news around elections,” she said.

A representative for AFP could not immediately be reached for comment.

Shares of Facebook closed up 4.4 percent at $159.79 on Th,上海夜生活群Dallas,ursday after a tumultuous two weeks. It remained down more than 13 percent from March 16, when Facebook disclosed the Cambridge Analytica data leak and sparked fears of stricter regulation.

Facebook has tried other ways to stem the spread of fake news. It has used third-party fact-checkers to identify them, and then given such stories less prominence in the Facebook News Feed when people share links to them.

In January, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would prioritize 上海夜生活“trustworthy” news by using member surveys to identify high-quality outlets.

Samidh Chakrabarti, an,上海夜网邀请码Nadine,other Facebook product manager, said in the briefing that the company had begun to “proactively” look for election-related disinformation rather than waiting for reports from users, helping it to move more quickly.

Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, said in the briefing that the company was concerned not only about false facts but also other kinds of fakery.

He said Facebook wanted to reduce “fake audiences,” which he described as using “tricks” to artificially expand the perception of support for a particular message, as well as “false narratives,” such as headlines and l,上海夜网推油Octava,anguage that “exploit disagreements.”

As Toshiba’s $18 billion chip unit sale faces tight deadline, IPO…

TOKYO ( ) – Japan’s Toshiba Corp faces a Friday deadline to win Chinese antitrust approval to sell its prized $18 billion memory-chip business by end-March, raising the possibility the deadline may be missed and that it will seek alternatives such as an IPO.

The conglomerate agreed last year to sell the world’s second-biggest producer of NAND flash memory chips to a consortium led by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital to plug a huge financial hole left by the bankruptcy of its U.S. nuclear unit.

The company has been aiming to complete the sale by March 31, the end of its business year. It said in September that it would need approval from anti,上海夜生活论坛Rae,monopoly authorities by March 23 to meet that deadline.

Toshiba no longer faces immediate insolvency or a delisting even if it does not meet the end-March deadline for the sale as it has raised funds from a share issue late last year. But the deal is still key to its plan to rebound from a $1.3 billion accounting scandal and a crisis in the nuclear power business.

One source briefed on the matter said the chance of finalizing the s上海夜生活ale by end-March is slim, since China had not yet given its antitrust approval.

Another source with direct knowledge of the matter said antitrust approval must come by early next week, if not on Friday, if it were to meet the deadline.

Missing the end-March deadline fo,上海夜网后花园Kaiden,r the sale of the chip unit to the Bain consortium gives Toshiba the option of walking away without penalties, people briefed on the matter said.

Those people said Toshiba could listen to activist shareholders who oppose the sale saying the $18 billion price tag undervalues the business. Hong Kong-based Argyle Street Management, a hedge fund with $1.2 billion under management, has said the board should consider an IPO instead.

A Toshiba spokesman said the company continues its effort to close the deal by the end of this month. Bain declined to comment.

China’s commerce ministry did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.

The source,上海夜生活服务Tallulah,s asked not to be named because the information is private.

The flash memory chip business has been the source of most of Toshiba’s earnings as the company struggles to grow other core businesses such as social infrastructure.

Toshiba shares closed 2.5 percent lower on Friday. They rose earlier this year but have given up the gains to be flat so far in 2018.

Apple bid for education market: new software, same iPad price

CHICAGO/SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – Apple Inc on Tuesday rolled out a new iPad and classroom software aimed at grabbing more of the U.S. education market, but did not cut the price of its entry-level tablet despite schools flocking to laptops costing a third less.

Apple is looking to reassert dominance in U.S. schools, where inexpensive laptops running software from Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft Corp now top iPad by sales, offering a cheap way to get to cloud-based productivity tools.

The new iPad has a more powerful computing chip and an extensive set of new, free software for teachers to manage students and schoolwork. But the unchanged starting price of $299 for students and $329 for the general public, without a keyboard or case, compares with less than $200 for some Windows and Google Chrome models.

Apple shares were down 1.4 percent to $170.26 after the event, slightly better than the NASDAQ Composite, which was down 1.6 percent in midday trading.

Some analysts had believed Apple might cut prices, but the company stuck with its more traditional approach of packing more features into a device.

Despite the new software, Apple faces a tough battle in the educational market given the popularity of Google and Microsoft’s productivity suites, said Carolina Milanesi of Creative Strategies. Google’s G Suite fueled Chromebook sales because it was seen as easy to use to manage assignments.

“Most teachers don’t look past G Suite for education,” she said.

Apple, as part of its response, on Tuesday announced improvements in its iWork suite at an event in Chicago, where school bells and announcements over a public address system directed press and more than 300 teachers into an auditorium at Lane Tech College Prep High School.

The event came during a spring buying season when many schools are making purchasing decisions for the upcoming school year.

“We’ve been at this for 40 years and we care deeply about education,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said at the event.

Apple executives said the new iPad works with its pencil accessory and features an upgraded A10 Fusion chip, the same CPU that powers the iPhone 7. It is available immediately.

The Apple Pencil remains priced at $99 for the public and $89 for schools, though Lenovo will release a device called Crayon for $49, the first third-party stylus to work with the iPad.

Apple made up just 17 percent of the K-12 U.S. educational market,上海夜网邀请码Paige, in the third quarter, according to data from Futuresource Consulting. Meanwhile 60 percent of mobile computing shipments to schools ran Google’s Chrome and 22 percent had Windows.

Chromebooks sold by Dell Technologies Inc cost as little as $189. Microsoft last year introduced an education-focused laptop from Lenovo Group Ltd running Windows 10 S for a similar price.

Acer Inc announced a tablet that runs Chrome OS for $329 on Monday that comes with a built-in stylus.

Apple in recent years made changes to its operating system so that more than one student can log into an iPad, and to its software to let teachers better manage students.

On Tuesday it updated iWork – which includes word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software – to allow students to take handwritten notes more easily, along with adding more free storage on its iCloud service.

Apple also released a new app called Schoolwork to help teachers create assignments and track student progress. Google has a similar app for managing student profiles, but analysts highlighted Apple’s Schoolwork app as unique in helping teachers manage assignments and progress.

The previously iPad-focused Classroom teacher administration app would start working on Mac computers in June, Apple said.

In the fall Apple will roll out “Everyone Can Create” lessons on video, photography, music, and drawing, joining existing “Everyone Can Code” guides for computer programming skills.

T上海夜网he new courses highlight features that some low-priced laptops do not have, such as a camera and microphone.

“If you look at it as,上海夜网官方网站Sabina, a Chromebook competitor, it’s expensive. But if you look at it and say, I can do music with GarageBand, I can take pictures or use it as a video camera and now I can do (augmented reality) … it appeals to teachers and schools that want to push the envelope on education,” Milanesi said.

Sales of iPads made up just 8.3 percent of Apple’s $229.2 billion total revenue last year, compared with the nearly 62 percent ,上海夜生活网交流Idaleen,of sales generated by iPhones.

Battered by Great Recession, underfunded public pensions to persist

CHICAGO ( ) – Ten years on fro,上海夜生活乌托邦Hadley,m the financial crisis, many U.S. state and local public pension systems are still the worse for wear.

Investment returns have been uneven and funding levels have yet to recover. Many pension funds have meanwhile attempted to boost returns by loading up on alternative investments to levels unheard of a decade earlier.

“Some just cannot grow their way out of it. We have had several years of stellar (stock market) returns and it barely improved the underfunding situation,” said Mikhail Foux, municipal credit analyst at Barclays in New York.

The benchmark S&P 500 U.S. stock index has tripled in the past nine years, driv,上海夜生活群Daisy,en in part by unprecedented zero interest rate policies and massive monetary stimulus from central banks around the globe aimed at combating the deepest recession in a generation.

But pension returns struggled to match the broad market, and recent wobbles in U.S. equities have fed fears of another downturn.

“Now what happens when markets are falling 10 to 15 percent?” Foux asked.

For an interactive graphic on public pension plan funded levels, click: tmsnrt.rs/2tPyAFf

In 2007, a year before the crisis began, the median funded level was 92 percent for state retirement and 97 percent for local plans, according to Wilshire Funding Studies. That fell to 68 percent for states and 72 percent for local governments by 2016, the most recent data.

A lower funded ratio indicates the overall soundness of a pension fund is weaker and more money is required to meet future obligations.

EXPOSED

Persistently low post-crisis interest rates meant pension funds could no longer depend to the same degree on fixed income to help meet withdrawal demands of an aging pensioner population.

“When the crisis hit, it exposed the kind of precarious nature of the status of plans,” said Jean-Pierre Aubry, state and local research director at Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research.

Even with U.S. rates inching higher since 2016 and stocks mounting record highs, pensions still struggled to generate consistent returns.

For an interactive graphic on public pension annual median returns, click: tmsnrt.rs/2tRGptV

The number of active public sector workers per retiree has been falling. That ratio declined to 1.42 in 2016 from 2.43 in 2001, according to a November 2017 National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA) Public Fund Survey. That can boost pension costs when combined with a poorly funded plan.

For an interactive graphic of state and local government pension plan membership, click: tmsnrt.rs/2oZwAVq

RISK TAKERS

The sharp economic downturn that accompanied the 2007-2009 financial crisis weighed on core tax revenue, leading governments to pursue an unprecedented amount of reform measures to shore up pensions by boosting contributions and cutting benefits.

“Just as these pension funds required higher contributions as a result of the market decline, the plan sponsors were less able to pay those higher contributions,” said Keith Brainard, NASRA’s research director.

That prompted retirement systems to turn to riskier alternative investments such as hedge funds, private equity, real estate and commodities to pad returns.

U.S. public pension funds became the biggest risk-takers among pension funds internationally, according to one academic study updated in February 2017.

To read the study, click: here

Alternative investment allocations jumped to 24 percent in 2015 from 9 percent in 2005, according the Center for Retirement Research.

“We know for the most part that alternatives have not been the panacea since the financial crisis,” Aubry, noting that hedge funds and commodities have underperformed equities during that period.

Public pension funds’ assumed rates of investment return have trended lower since the crisis. If a plan’s returns fall below that expected rate, government sponsors need to make up for the loss.

But public plans in general have tended to lag private-sector pension plans in lowering those discount rates, according ,夜上海论坛Cade,to data cited by New York’s Rockefeller Institute of Government last year.

Between 1993 and 2012, as 10-year U.S Treasury yields fell by 4.3 percentage points, large private-sector U.S. plans reduced their discount rates to 4.4 percent from 8.2 percent.

For large public plans for funding purposes, the rate only fell from 7.8 percent to 7.7 percent in the same period, according to the institute’s report.

LEGAL BATTLES

In the years since the crisis it has proven difficult for some governments to modify retirement benefits, and legal wranglings are ongoing.

Legal or political constraints have stymied changes in states like Illinois, Kentucky and New Jersey, where contributions have lagged actuarially required levels for decades.

Lawsuits filed against more than 40 state and local governments since 2008 contested pension changes on constitutional grounds, according to the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, which tracks the litigation.

Courts in 13 states have upheld redu上海夜生活ctions in cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for retirees’ pension payments, but have struck reductions down in four.

In California, long-standing judicial rulings prohibiting the state and local governments from reducing benefits will be tested in three lawsuits before the state supreme court, according to Stuart Buck, the Arnold Foundation’s vice president of research.

Barroso slams EU watchdog over probe of his Goldman Sachs role

BRUSSELS ( ) – Former European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso denied on Thursday he had lobbied ex-colleagues for his new employer Goldman Sachs, hitting back at what he has called a personal “political attack” by the EU’s ethics watchdog.

“I have not and will not lobby EU officials,” he tweeted after a European Ombudsman’s report said his successor at the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, had failed to properly scrutinize whether Barroso’s new job undermined fragile public trust in the European Union.

Barroso, a former Portuguese prime minister, ran into furious criticism, including from Juncker, when he joined the U.S. bank i,上海夜生活桑拿会所Pablo,n July 2016, less than two years after leaving an EU executive that eurosceptics branded out of touch with voters.

Brussels was reeling at that time from Britons’ vote to quit the bloc just two weeks earlier.

The controversy has resurfaced as Juncker faces his own troubles. The European Parliament and the Ombudsman are reviewing complaints after last month’s surprise promotion of his chief-of-staff to run the Commission’s civil service.

Barroso said Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly made no “legal assessment” of his duties for the bank but said he did not oppose her call for a new review by the Commission’s ethics committee which in 2016 found no reason to object to his job.

In an exchange of letters with O’Reilly, published by the Ombudsman on Thursday, Barroso accused her of mounting a “thinly veiled ad personam political attack”.

O’Reilly in turn dismissed Barroso’s account that his meeting in October with former Commission colleague Jyrki Katainen was a private matter. She said Katainen, now a vice president under Juncker, had registered it in the EU public lobbying record as a meeting with “Goldman Sachs”.

PENSION RIGHTS

In light of that meeting, O’Reilly recommended the Commission’s watchdog determine whether his new employment met the obligation for former commissioners to act with integrity and not damage the EU’s image. The panel can cut pension rights for any breach, but has never done so.

“Much of the recent negative sentiment around this issue could have been avoided if the Commission had at the time taken a formal decision on Mr Barroso’s employment with Goldman Sachs,” O’Reilly said in a 上海夜生活statement. It could have obliged him not to engage in any lobbying at the Commission, she added.

Despite vocal criticism, others have defended the right of top officials to find new work and have said attacking banks, and Goldman Sachs in particular, showed political prejudice.

Goldman Sachs said in a statement that Barroso, who left his position as president of the Commission in late 2014, had “from the beginning of his time with us recused himself from representing the firm in any interacti,上海夜生活去哪玩Nadine,ons with EU officials”.

Juncker had criticized Barroso for taking a job with a bank accused by some of contributing to Europe’s economic crisis but said he could not obstruct the move as an 18-month “cooling off” period to avert conflicts of interest had lapsed.

Juncker later doubled the cooling off period for himself and successors and asked the ethics committee to look at Barroso’s move. The watchdog found no ground to object in late 2016 but the Ombudsman launched her own inquiry last year.

A Commission spokesman said it would consider her report and reply within her three-month deadline. Noting Jun,夜上海419龙凤论坛Jacklyn,cker’s changes to the code of conduct, he said. “We have very strict and very comprehensive requirements.”

Tesla returned to German subsidies list, ending row

FRANKFURT/BERLIN ( ) – Tesla (TSLA.O) buyers in Germany can apply for subsidies again because a government agency has ended its dispute with the U.S. carmaker over whether its Model S was too expensive to qualify for the incentives scheme.

An indep,上海夜生活Lake,endent assessment proved that a base version of the Model S was available for less than the 60,000 euros ($74,000) baseline and the cars are thus eligible, the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Controls (BAFA) told .

,上海会所夜网Dallas,

Germany in 2016 launched the incentive scheme worth about 1 billion euros and partly financed by the German car industry to boost electric car usage but it includes a baseline to exempt premium models.

BAFA unexpectedly took Tesla’s vehicles off the list in December, saying customers could not order the Model S base version without extra features that pushed the car above the price limit.

Tesla denied at the time that the no-frills version was not available and said on Thursday a model was always available below the cut-off price.

BAFA said it was nonetheless reviewing previously approved applications for subsidies, which could mean that buyers may be asked to repay subsidies they have already received.

BAF,上海新夜网龙凤Lark,A has received a total of 1,275 applications for subsidies of Tesla purchases, according to its website. It was not immediately clear how many of those were approved before the agency removed Tesla from its list in December.

Under the subsidy scheme, buyers get 4,000 euros off their all-electric vehicle purc上海夜生活hase and 3,000 euros off plug-in hybrids.

($1 = 0.8127 euros)

Written by shyw on July 18, 2017 Categories: 上海夜网 Tags: , ,

At Scalia funeral, led by son, U.S. court battle in recess

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s memorial service on Saturday provided a brief respite for official Washington from the fierce battle over his succession, with political and legal leaders and many others in attendance.

At the blue-domed Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the nation’s largest Catholic church, dozens of priests took part in the funeral mass, led by one of the justice’s nine children, Reverend Paul Scalia.

More than 3,000 people looked on, including other family members, the court’s remaining eight justices, lawmakers, Vice President Joseph Biden and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

“God blessed Dad with a deep Catholic faith,” the younger Scalia told the gathering上海夜生活论坛 inside the cathedral. “He loved the clarity and coherence of the church’s teachings.”

He fondly remembered an outburst one day after his father realized he was waiting for confession at,上海夜网官方网站Lark, church in a line that would have led him to his son. The justice jumped out of the line. “‘Like heck if I’m confessing to you,’” the father said later to the son, who remarked: “The feeling was mutual.”

A staunch conservative and the court’s longest-serving member, Justice Scalia died last Saturday at age 79 at a Texas hunting resort, spar,上海凤楼夜网Queena,king a political struggle that promises to reshape the 2016 election campaigns.

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas, was among those at the service. Like other Republicans, he has said that President Barack Obama, a Democrat, should not choose Scalia’s replacement.

Rather, Republicans are saying ,上海高端夜生活在那里Cain,no one should be named until after the presidential election in November, hoping that one of their own will be elected and get to choose the next justice.

Under law, the U.S. president is responsible for nominating Supreme Court justices to their lifetime appointments, subject to Senate review and confirmation. Appointing a justice to the court is one of the biggest decisions a U.S. president can make. Obama has vowed to select a successor to Scalia.

If he does so, Senate Republicans have threatened to block any nominee put forward by Obama, a stance likely to become an issue in the presidential race and in election year contests for seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

According to a recent /Ipsos poll, a majority of Americans believe it should be up to Obama to nominate the next justice, with opinion divided along ideological party lines.

This year the normally nine-justice court is set to decide its first major abortion case in nearly a decade, as well as cases on voting rights, affirmative action and immigration.

The new justice’s politics could tilt the court’s balance. After Scalia’s death, it has four conservative and four liberal members.

Appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Scalia became known as a brilliant jurist in an era of conservative court dominance. He opposed abortion and same-sex marriage and supported the death penalty and gun rights.

Largest U.S. radio company iHeartMedia files for bankruptcy

( ) – IHeartMedia Inc IHRT.PK filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday as the largest U.S. radio station owner reached an agreement with creditors to more than halve its $20 billion in debt.

The company said the agreement it ‍reached with holders of more than $10 billion of its outstanding debt would restructure its balance sheet by transferring 94 percent of the stock in the reorganized company to its lenders.

IHeartMedia has struggled with debt that was taken on to finance a $17.9 billion leveraged buyout, or LBO, in 2008 of what was then Clear Channel Communications Inc. That deal led by Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP closed just as a financial crisis began to undermine the U.S. economy.

In the years that followed, the operator of 849 radio stations has faced intensifying competition for advertisers and listeners from internet platforms such as music streaming services.

“The LBO put this massive debt on the balance sheet that the company was supposed to grow into,” a lawyer for iHeartMedia told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur at a hearing in Houston on Thursday. “We’re here to right-size the balance sheet.”

The company traces its roots to the 1972 purchase of KEEZ-FM in San Antonio, Texas, where it is currently headquartered. It said it would fund the business and bankruptcy process from cash on hand and cash generated from operations.

It said in a statement it was seeking to maintain business as usual during the bankruptcy, and to “uphold its commitments” to its staff. It employs 12,400 people, according to court records.

The filing comes less than four months after Cumulus Media Inc, which operates 445 U.S. radio st上海夜网ations, filed for Chapter 11.

DEBT-CUTTING DEAL

IHeartMedia had $3.58 billion in revenue in 2017 and reaches 271 million radio listeners, which the company says gives it a wider reach than Alphabet Inc’s (GOOG.O) Google. The company also sells advertising on digital platforms, at live concerts and on syndicated programs featuring personalities such as Rush Limba,上海夜网官方网站Rae,ugh and “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest.

However, the company spent $1.4 billion on interest payments last year and has more than $8 billion in debt maturing by the end of 2019.

The company’s lawyers told the court iHeartMedia was on the cusp of having enough support from creditors to impose its plan on hold-outs.

Under the company’s debt-cutting deal, holders of secured loans and secured notes, who are owed nearly $13 billion, agreed to accept about $5.6 billion in new debt and 94 percent of the equity in a reorganized iHeartMedia, according to court documents.

These creditors also will receive iHeartMedia’s 89.5 percent stake in Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc (CCO.N), the world’s largest billboard company, which did not file for bankruptcy.

IHeartMedia also proposed that junior debt holders, who are owed more than $2 billion, will receive their pro rata share of 5 percent of the equity in the reorganized company and $200 million in new secured notes.

Existing shareholders would receive 1 percent of the stock in the reorganized company, according to court documents.

IHeartMedia faces a legal challenge from a group, led by investment fund Angelo, Gordon & Co, which holds $190 million of junior debt, according to the company.

Their lawyer said at Thursday’s hearing they plan to file a lawsuit to challenge the contention that they are low-priority unsecured creditors, ,夜上海论坛Pablo,and Isgur said he wanted a hearing on that dispute before April.

IHeartMedia has drawn interest from John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp (FWONA.O), which proposed on Feb. 26 a deal to buy a 40 percent stake in a restructured iHe,上海夜网邀请码Daisy,artMedia for $1.16 billion. The deal would unite iHeartMedia with Liberty’s Sirius XM Holdings Inc (SIRI.O) satellite radio service.

France, Germany and Britain praise Trump rethink on Europe tariffs

PARIS ( ) – Germany, France and Britain said on Fri上海夜生活网day they were happy that U.S. President Donald Trump had changed his mind about slapping higher tariffs on European steel.

EU leaders meeting in Brussels were awaiting details of a move that could avert a trade war between the European Union and the United States.

Washington said on Thursday tariffs would be suspended for the EU, the United States’ biggest trading partner, and for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea. The tariffs are suspended until May 1 as discussions continue.

“Europe had clearly stated its intention to riposte and enter a trade war…It’s a good thing that President Trump changed his mind on the tariff increases,” French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio: “I am very pleased that we have avoided a situation for the German steel and aluminum industry and its workers that could have led to great uncertainty.”

“We don’t want furthe,上海足浴夜网联系方式Ebba,r unilateral measures; rather we want sensible agreements,” he added. ,上海夜生活服务Nadia,“Our goal is that at the end of these talks, the international trade architecture must be more stable – there must be more cooperation, not less.”

British Prime Minister Theresa, in Brussels, also hailed the U.S. move.

,上海夜生活去哪玩Kade,

European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, a Frenchman, hailed the move too, saying: “This is progress…let’s keep talking.”

SunPower seeks tariff waiver, cites plan for U.S. expansion

( ) – SunPower Corp (SPWR.O) on Friday asked the Trump administration to exempt a segment of its solar panel imports from new tariffs, saying the move would allow it to reverse proposed investment cuts and ease plans to expand U.S. panel manufacturing.

The request by SunPower, which is majority owned by France’s Total SA (TOTF.PA), marks the first attempt by a major U.S. solar company to sidestep a controversial 30 percent levy on imported panels announced by President Donald Trump in January.

Trump had said the tariff would boost U.S. manufacturing, but many in the industry have warned of higher costs and thousands of layoffs in the much-bigger installation end of the solar industry.

“We understand the administration’s goals,” SunPower Chief Executive Tom Werner said in an interview. “We think we can ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Eason,contribute positively to those objectives.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It could not determined which other companies had filed such requests with the U.S. Trade Representative by the deadline on Friday.

SunPower’s request covers only its imported premium, high-efficiency panels, and not the less efficient上海夜生活网 and cheaper “P-series” panels which dominate the market, Werner said.

San Jose, California-based SunPower manufactures most of its panels in the Philippines and Mexico.

Werner said an exemption would allow SunPower to “materially” reverse a decision made immediately after the tariff announcement in January to cancel a $20 million inve,上海仙霞路夜生活Nala,stment in its next-generation cell technology that would have created hundreds of jobs in California and Texas . SunPower last month said the tariff would force it to cut 150 to 250 non-manufacturing jobs.

The cheaper P-series panels could be made at a new U.S. facility that the company would build, probably in the Southwest, Werner said, noting that SunPower was in the process of narrowing down its options to two locations.

“This is not hypothetical. We’re ready to make this happen,” he said, adding that an exemption for premium panel imports would “facilitate” t,上海夜玩网论坛Gabrielle,his plan.

A big investment in solar panel manufacturing as a result of the tariff would mark a win for the Trump administration, but so far the industry remains focused on the fate of the installation business, which employs tens of thousands of people.

Only China’s JinkoSolar (JKS.N) has said it plans to build a U.S. manufacturing facility, and SolarWorld, one of the panel producers behind the trade case that resulted in the tariffs, has said it will hire 200 employees this year.

Suniva, the bankrupt company that first petitioned the administration in April to impose tariffs, has not publicly outlined its plans.

The exemption request will undergo a 30-day comment period before the U.S. Trade Representative makes a decision.

United Tech CEO plans exit after Rockwell integration – Bloomberg

( ) – United Technologies Corp (UT,上海凤楼夜网Fabiana,X.N) Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes is planning to leave following completion of the company’s integration with Rockwell Collins Inc COL.N, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Hayes has discussed a plan with the company’s board to leave after the integration, which is expected to ta,夜上海论坛Balthazar,ke about three years, according to the report. (bloom.bg/2ICl4YP)

He could stay as long as five years, depending on the pace of the merger and whether United Tech pursues the breakup it promised to explore later this year, Bloomberg reported.

United Tech, which makes Pratt & Whitney jet engines, had said last month it was exploring a breakup of its business portfolio, including jet engines, elevators and air conditioners.

The company had struck a deal to buy avionics and interiors maker Rockwell Collins last year.

“To be clear, Mr Hayes intends to continue to remain focused on executing UTC’s priorities for years to come,” the company said in a emai,上海夜玩网论坛Radcliff,led statement to in response to requests for comments on the Bloomberg story.

United Tech shares have lagged the broader market under Hayes as the company spent heavily on developing the new fuel-saving geared turbofan engine and as sales of Otis elevators were pressured due to a supply glut in China.

Separately, Boeing Co (BA.N), which had raised concerns about the deal last year, reached “win-win agreements” with both the companies, Boeing said on Monday.

“We have provid上海夜网ed consent to their (United Tech and Rockwell Collins) transaction under our contracts,” Boeing said.

United Tech’s shares closed down about 1 percent at $127.20 on Monday.

In Canada, driverless cars learn to see in the snow

STRATFORD, Ontario ( ) – A Canadian town known for its annual theater festival is emerging as a hub of “snowtonomous” research, as automakers face demands to produce self-driving cars that can perform in snow and sleet.

But testing driverless cars in cold climates brings added challenges to an industry grappling with the first fatality involving an autonomous vehicle.

On Sunday, an Uber Technologies Inc self-driving sport utility vehicle hit and killed a woman crossing the street in Arizona.

Blackberry (BB.TO) said on Wednesday it will continue testing its self-driving concept car on the road in Ottawa.The Canadian province of Ontario, which allows autonomous vehicles on roads only if there is a human driver behind the wheel, has said it would follow the Arizona investigation and take “action if warranted.”

Canada’s largest city, Toronto, is one of three places where Uber tests driverless technology – the other cities are Phoenix, Arizona, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Automakers, ride services companies and other,上海仙霞路夜生活Rae,s are investing in self-driving technology said to reduce accidents, and the costs of a driver, with robo-taxis expected to hit the road as early as this year.

A wider rollout, however, is expected to take years, if not decades, as companies work to prove autonomous vehicles can run not just in balmy U.S. states, where they are mostly tested, but in colder areas like Ontario and Michigan where snow and sleet can render cameras and sensors ineffective.

Ross McKenzie, managing director of the Waterloo Centre of Automotive Research, recalled how a vehicle’s lidar, which uses laser light to help autonomous cars “see” nearby objects, once mistook an ice patch for a pothole.

Related CoverageFactbox: Automakers put pedal to the metal on electric vehicles

McKen上海夜生活论坛zie’s research team at the University of Waterloo responded by tweaking the sedan’s software so it would,上海夜生活论坛Rae, factor in the time of year and weather when driving in the snow and ice, conditions that autonomous vehicles will have to navigate to be commercially viable.

The car needs to consider “we have winter driving conditions because I’m in Canada, it’s November and it’s 15 below,” McKenzie said by phone.

Ontario, which has lost automaking jobs to lower-cost Mexico in recent years, is counting on the lure of its snowy winters and the strength of its automotive and software engineering sectors to establish a “Silicon North.” Since 2016, Ontario has attracted about C$1 billion ($765 million) in private-sector investment for autonomous and connected cars.

In Stratford, where the theater festival is an important employer of its 31,000 residents, the city-wide wireless network and weather are helping to attract companies researching connected driving technologies. Ubiquitous Wi-Fi gives companies the option to test vehicle-to-vehicle communication over a 4G band, McKenzie said.

HARSH WINTERS

Japanese semiconductor manufacturer Renesas Electronics Corp (6723.T) chose Ontario as the site of its only autonomous test-track because of the harsh winters, along with its proximity to Blackberry’s QNX unit which produces the operating system.

The use of high-definition maps helps self-driving vehicles more easily navigate in the snow, even when road markings are not visible, said John Buszek, Renesas’ Michigan-based director of the company’s autonomous and advanced driver-assistance division.

Renesas’ Lincoln MKZ sedan, which does not currently drive autonomously on public roads, is still equipped with enough backup cameras and sensors to keep running even if one gets covered in sludge, Buszek said.

“In order for the car to have enough sensors to be robust against all different types of climates it means there are going to be a lot of sensors,” he said during at a recent demonstration at the chipmaker’s track in Stratford, Ontario.

While extra cameras, sensors and lidar work well on the track, consumers are less keen on the cost, appearance and inefficiency of a car covered with such lenses. Some automakers are looking at protective coatings to keep a smaller number of lenses free of sludge.

“Ultimately those sensors that you would see on the car today have to be integrated into the car system,” said Justin Gammage, industry liaison manager at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Oshawa, Ontario.

“Customers will pretty much want a car to look like a car looks today, even if has all the autonomous features.”

Gammage, formerly General Motors Co’s (GM.N) chief scientist in Canada, said researchers are still looking at non-stick coatings as a cost-effective way to protect,上海021夜网Hadrian, lenses.

He has yet to find a one-size-fits-all-coating.

“They all have varying degrees of performance. And it’s really dependent on what type of conditions they are working in,” he said. “One coating might work really well in snow, but not as well in rain. And vice versa.”

When self-driving vehicles fail to receive enough data through their cameras, sensors and lidar due to bad weather, they simply will not be able to drive autonomously, McKenzie said.

The public should not expect self-driving vehicles to hit the road in conditions that humans would avoid.

“If I’m not able to get into a car because we’re two steps short of a monsoon, why would we expect an autonomous vehicle to operate?”

($1 = 1.3078 Canadian dollars)

Brexit and the City: the real estate agent’s view

LONDON ( ) – Like the towers now dominating its skyline, London property prices have moved in almost only one direction in recent decades, ever higher.

But uncertainty surrounding Britain’s impending European Union exit and fears of an exodus of thousands of financial sector jobs, have cast a shadow over commercial property.

has created a Brexit tracker that monitors six indicators to help assess the economic fortunes of “the City” as Brexit talks progress.

In the second edition of the tracker, almost a year before Britain is due to leave the,上海夜生活怎么玩Kaiden, EU, the tracker suggests London’s financial districts have been held back in some respects, but there is no evidence of a mass exodus of jobs or business.

One of the indicators – commercial property prices in the City of London – are now at the highest level since after the Brexit vote in the third quarter of 2016, driven by a surge in office purchasing and leasing in the final quarter of last year.

The price of renting real estate in the City of London district rose 9.5 percent in the last three months of 2017, climbing to 78 pounds ($107) per square foot, from,上海夜生活网交流Paisley, 71.21 pounds in the third quarter of 2017, Savills says.

Mat Oakley, head of European commercial research at Savills, says that deals were now taking longer to sign and investors were seeking clarity over Britain’s future status.

Q: Talking specifically about the City of London, how is the commercial property market looking at the moment?

A: I think as we said last time, it was definitely surprising on the upside in 2017, and actually the total volume of office space leased in the City was上海夜生活论坛 about 26 percent up last year on the year before, which is definitely not what we were expecting at the beginning of the year.

Q: Since we last spoke to you have there been any changes, anything of interest in the sector?

A: 2018 started relatively quietly actually. There’s definitely a sense that deals are taking a little longer to sign at the moment than perhaps they wer,夜上海论坛Eason,e 12 months ago, but there’s around three million square feet of office space currently under offer in the City of London by tenants, and that’s pretty much the normal level for this time of year, maybe even slightly above.

Q: What are your concerns about Brexit and how it could impact the sector?

A: In terms of the shock of Brexit, I think it’s very difficult to tell when it’s actually going to land, and I think there will be different effects on different parts of the market. Investor confidence could be hit if we get the wrong result or no result in 2019, but I think occupational confidence in terms of big businesses’ positions in London is probably a longer term risk. We don’t see the weight of concern about Brexit perhaps falling until after 2021-2022 when businesses have been able to see what impact its had on their businesses.

Q: Do you think some people are holding out to see how (Brexit) negotiations go? If negotiations go well do you think you might see a big boost in business?

A: There are an awful lot of perhaps more opportunistic investors possibly quietly hoping for a bad deal that might cause prices to slip in their favor. I think it’s relatively unlikely at this stage, but certainly there are people looking at both the upside and downside as an opportunity for them as an investor in the UK.

Q: What Brexit issues most need to be resolved for your sector to feel secure?

A: I think the most important issue that we need to resolve is actually just one of certainty. At the moment we don’t really know when the biggest moment of risk is going to occur, we don’t know where it’s going to occur and we don’t know what industries it is going to effect, and I think everyone is operating in this relative vacuum.

So there’s an awful lot of speculation, there’s an awful lot of contingency plans being written, but nobody really wants to make dramatic decisions, either pro-London or anti-London, until we see a little bit more clarity. So, I think clarity is what everyone is looking for at the moment.

Walgreens retail sales decline overshadows pharmacy business strength

( ) – Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc’s (WBA.O) q,夜上海419龙凤论坛Fabian,uarterly profit and sales beat analysts’ estimates on Wednesday helped by higher prescription volumes, but concerns surrounding its retail business played on investors’ minds.

Shares of the company that rose as much as 3.1 percent in early trading, pared gains to trade up just 0.3 perc,上海夜哪里艳遇Barrett,ent at $66.56 later in the morning.

Like other drugstore chains, Walgreens is seeing a drop in customer visits to its retail stores, where it sells over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics, as purchases have now shifted online.

To stanch falling sales at retail – its front-end business – the company has focused on boosting sales through its prescription only pharmacy business by signing partnerships with pharmacy benefit managers such as Prime Therapeutics that has given it more than 20 million additional customers.

Walgreens is also pulling non-profitable items off shelves at its front-end stores and promoting store-brands to boost margins.

The efforts came at a cost – same-store sales at its retail stores fell 2.7 percent in the quarter, continuing a nearly two-year slide. Analysts had expected flat growth.

“The Street is panicked about poor retail activity, panicked about Amazon. When they don’t quantify what the impact of their rationalization decisions (are), they shoot themselves in the foot. The stock should be up a lot more”, Baird analyst Eric Coldwell told .

Walgreens said it did not see much of an uptick in prescription volumes during one the harshest flu-season in the United States in decades, surprising analysts who expected the rise in flu shots to have boosted sales significant,夜上海论坛Paige,ly.

To simply say ‘flu was pretty normal’ and not quantify it was a big mistake,” Coldwell added.

Same-store sales at its pharmacies rose 5.1 percent, but missed analysts expectations for a 5.4 percent rise, according to four analysts polled by Thomson I/B/E/S.

Walgreens filled 9.1 percent more prescriptions in the quarter, but that was mainly driven by customers seeking higher-priced specialty drugs.

Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens lifted its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to between $5.85 and $6.05 per share from between $5.45 and $5.70 per share. Analysts were estimating $5.78 per share for the year.

The raise in forecast reflects a $350 million tax benefit for fiscal year 2018, a上海夜生活网n increase of about $150 million from the company’s previous estimate.

Excluding items, Walgreens earned $1.73 per share. Net sales rose 12 percent to $33.02 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.55 per share on revenue of $32.19 billion.

With Datsun brand, Nissan has another go at Pakistan market

TOKYO ( ) – Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) on Wednesday said it would resume building and selling cars in Pakistan next year, becoming the latest global automaker to operate in a market tipped to expand in coming years as vehicle ownership increases among a growing middle class.

The Japanese automaker said it would start producing its entry-level Datsun brand at a plant in Karachi owned by partner Ghandhara Nissan Ltd GHLT.KA, which will invest 4.5 billion Pakistani rupees ($39.00 million) to upgrade facilities after Nissan end上海夜网ed local production in 2010.

Nissan joins automaking partner Renault SA (RENA.PA), along with Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) in announcing increased presence in Pakistan after the government in 2016 introduced policies to promote growth in the auto industry, dominated for decades by Japanese automakers including Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T).

With a population of nearly 200 million people and growing, Pakistan is a market with big growth potential, posting annual sales of 200,000 cars in 2017, up 60 percent from 2014. That compared with sales of over 2 million passenger vehicles a year in neighboring India, which has a population of 1.3 billion.

“There’s a big population and the level of (car ownership) is low. It’s a good-sized market which is growing,” said Peyman Kargar, a senior vice president at Nissan who heads operations in Africa, the Middle East and India, adding that the country’s annual sales were likely to grow to 300,000 by 2022.

The Ghandhara Nissan plant, which has an annual capacity of 6,000 vehicles, would produce “several (Datsun) models based on the same platform to optimize the investment”, Kargar said, declining to name specific models.

In neighboring India,,上海夜生活服务Gabriella, Nissan markets its Datsun Go series of compact hatchbacks and people-carriers, while it launched its new Cross compact crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) in I,上海夜网推油Naia,ndonesia earlier this year.

It will contribute technical assistance in the upgrade, while the automaker will also assess and assist local components makers in supplying parts. Kargar said he hoped local parts would initially comprise around 20 percent of vehicles, increasing afterwards.

Comprising 6 percent of global sales, Africa, the Middle East and India is a growth area for Nissan, and Kargar said he expected to double the region’s contribution to overall sales by 2022.

Nissan’s bet on Datsun to succeed in Pakistan comes as increasing sales of the entry-level brand has been a bright spot in India, a highly competitive market where the automaker’s market share has eased to around 1.6 percent due to sluggish demand for its marquee Sunny sedan and its SUVs. In the 11 months to February, Nissan posted an 8 percent fall in overall Indian vehicle ,上海夜生活去哪玩Caden,sales.

($1 = 115.3800 Pakistani rupees)

China’s consumer day show targets Volkswagen, bike sharing

BEIJING/SHANGHAI ( ) – China’s annual consumer day TV show took aim at Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and the country’s fast-growing bike-sharing market on Thursday in an otherwise subdued outing for the once feared event.

The late evening China Central Television (CCTV) show named and shamed the German carmaker for engine defects with its Touareg SUV, prompting an apology from the company as it looked to salve consumer concerns in the world’s largest auto market.

“We sincerely apologise again for any inconvenience and concern this issue may have caused our customers,” Volkswagen said in a statement, adding it had already filed a recall plan in China related to the issue.

The show, known as “315” in reference to globa,上海足浴夜网联系方式Gabrielle,l consumer rights day on March 15, has snagged a number of major names. Last year, it turned its spotlight on U.S. sports brand Nike (NKE.N) for misleading advertising.

Volkswagen itself has been targeted before – in 2015 for overselling repairs and spare parts to drivers and in 2013 over a gearbox transmission issue.

China’s bike-sharing industry, which has boomed since 2016 backed by huge venture capital funding, was also criticised on the show after a number of smaller firms went under and failed to pay back deposits to users.

Companies are, however, becoming more savvy at deflecting criticism, with public relations teams set u,上海晚上耍女人的地方Hallie,p in advance to respond if they are targeted.

“It’s definitely tougher now to do this show. Many firms start taking precautionary measures half a year in advance,” said a person close to the show, who declined to be identified as he was not permitted to speak to the media.

However, while the two-hour evening show, an eclectic mix of undercover reports and song-and-dance, has lost some of its bite, companies and PR firms were not letting their guard down.

“We have to take precautionary measures in advance and be on high alert,” said Guan Huizhu, Shanghai director of public relations firm Allison & Partners.

And of late, Beijing has grown increasingly bold at grilling firms not just over issues of quality and safety, but also behaviour that it sees as clashing with the ruling party’s socialist values.

In the last few months, Marriott International (MAR.O) has been forced to apologise for referring to Taiwan and Tibet as countries, while Daimler’s (DAIGn.DE) Mercedes-Benz also landed in hot water for quoting the Dalai Lama in an Instagram post.

“Consumers have the right under the law to be respected,” said Chen Yinjiang, deputy secretary general of China Consumer Protection Law Society.

The person close to the show added CCTV reporting teams would start undercover investigations around October and that the process was v,上海凤楼夜网Eason,ery secretive to avoid the names of targets being leaked.

“Everybody has to sign a non-disclosure agreement once they join the show,” he said.

CCTV did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Many companies will also roll out goodwill gestures like free giveaways around the day to soften any blow, just in case they are named and shamed

“All eyes are focused on how the companies that are called 上海夜生活论坛out, especially the big ones, will respond,” said Guan.

Ex-Connecticut Governor Rowland appeals conviction

NEW YORK ( ) – Former Connecticut ,上海夜生活网交流Cade,Governor John Rowland on Friday urged a federal appeals court to overturn his conviction on charges that the Republican tried to use sham contracts to hide his political work in two U.S. congressional campaigns, saying prosecutors went too far in applying the law.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York heard arguments over whether Rowland used illegal consulting contracts for candidates who in 2010 and 2012 ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives.

Rowland, who was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison in March 2015, is free on bail during his appeal. He had previously spent 10 mo,夜上海论坛Hallie,nths in prison following his 2004 guilty plea to separate charges arising from his acceptance of illegal gifts while he was governor. Rowland resigned from office that year.

Andrew Fish, Rowland’s lawyer, told the appeals court on Friday that a draft contract rejected by one of the candidates, Mark Greenberg, did not constitute a falsified document.

“Frankly, the government saying that a contract proposal is a falsified document makes little sense,” Fish said.

He said prosecutors went too far in trying to criminalize Rowland’s conduct under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, a governance law passed after Enron Corp’s collapse, that prohibits falsifying documents to hide financial wrongdoing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Liam Brennan countered that the case was in the “heartland” of the statute. “This is creating a fake record to have in the file in case there is an investigation,” he said.

A federal jury in New Haven found Rowland guilty in March 2015 on charges of conspiracy, falsifying records in a federal investigation, causing false sta,上海高端夜生活在那里Jacklyn,tements to be made to the Federal Election Commission, and causing illegal campaign contributions.

Prosecutors said Rowland, 58, sought to advise Greenberg, who testified that in 2010 he rejected Rowland’s offer and a contract to conceal the ex-governor上海夜生活网’s role.

Rowland was also accused of negotiating a deal to work for a nursing home company owned by Brian Foley, the husband of 2012 congressional candidate, Lisa Wilson-Foley, and receive $35,000 intended to compensate him for advising her campaign.

Wilson-Foley and Foley pleaded guilty to conspiring to make illegal campaign contributions. Wilson-Foley received a five-month prison term, while Foley was sentenced to three months in a halfway house.