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The latest news from Business Insider

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    elon musk tesla

    • Elon Musk has waged a long-running battle against Tesla short sellers, who have bet against the company's stock for years.
    • In recent weeks, an interesting development has occurred in the Tesla short universe, and it could dictate how the company's stock trades in the future.

    Elon Musk's long-running battle with Tesla short sellers is the stuff of legend at this point.

    The majority of his crusade has been waged on Twitter, where he's repeatedly taunted the futility of short sellers and decried their mere existence. In a Rolling Stone profile last year, he called them "jerks who want us to die." He's even called their behavior flat-out illegal.

    But Tesla's short-seller landscape has undergone some big changes in the last few weeks, to the point that it's almost unrecognizable from the pessimistic wasteland that it once was.

    As shown in the chart below, the number of Tesla shares borrowed has declined to a year-to-date low, around 22 million. It also shows that multiple measures of short interest — or bets against Tesla's stock — are also at 2018 lows.

    In other words, it's never been easier to short Tesla — and that's largely because wagers against the company have dried up, at least relative to the stock's history.

    Screen Shot 2018 12 04 at 3.41.42 PM

    "While the share price has bounced 39% off the YTD low, and is only 15% below the all-time-high observed in June 2017, bears can at least enjoy a lower cost of admission to the short trade, for the time being," analysts at IHS Markit said in a recent client note.

    IHS Markit also points out that lenders are reporting 16 million shares — or $5.4 billion — available to borrow, both of which are post-initial public offering highs for Tesla.

    But why the recent capitulation on behalf of the shorts? Tesla's blockbuster third-quarter earnings report may have something to do with it. The company reported a surprise profit for the period, which sent its stock soaring 13% in a single day, and pushed it up 29% for the week. That type of drastic price action can be catastrophic for shorts.

    "Given the Q3 earnings results, and the market reaction to them, it’s no surprise that bears have reduced the position on the margin and that some investors have positioned themselves to benefit from further short covering and continued enthusiasm from the firm’s investor base," analysts at IHS Markit said in a recent client note.

    With all of that in mind, what's the significance of these developments, in terms of how Tesla's stock will now trade? The straightforward takeaway would seem to be that it's now free to keep rising, unencumbered by the shackles of short sellers. But it's not that simple.

    The dormant potential for sudden shorting activity actually makes Tesla's stock more vulnerable to a sharp downturn. Shorts are historically cheap, and there's ample supply, so if things start to go south again for Tesla, skeptics will be ready to pounce.

    It's essentially the inverse of what played out in May, when Tesla shares were prohibitively expensive, which put shorts on autopilot and left the price action up to long holders.

    But the prospect of betting against Tesla isn't quite as appealing as it once was. The company is profitable, and Musk's multiple missteps seem to be firmly in the rear view. For evidence of this waning skepticism, look no further than the cost to protect against a Tesla default. Shown by the green line in the chart below, it also is hovering near lows.

    Ultimately, betting against Tesla is getting to be a riskier proposition. All of the statistics laid out above confirm that. The question investors must now ask themselves is whether it's best to scoop up Tesla short exposure at discount prices, or stay out of the fray entirely.

    Screen Shot 2018 12 04 at 4.07.04 PM

    SEE ALSO: Investors are staring at the bleakest future since the Great Depression — here's why one market bear thinks a crash could wipe 60% from stocks

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This mind-melting thought experiment of Einstein's reveals how to manipulate time

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    Dog makes a save in a soccer game

    • A dog invaded a soccer pitch in Argentina on Sunday and used the point of his nose to deny a team a certain goal.
    • Juventud Unida de Gualeguaychúa capitalized on a goalkeeping error to pump a shot at an open goal, but out of nowhere, a dog ran across the goal-line to provide an incredible save.
    • Juventud Unida is next in action on Saturday, but it is not yet clear whether the dog has done enough to warrant a place in the starting line-up.

    Everyone's heard of the former United States national soccer team goalkeeper Tim Howard, but have you ever seen the quick-thinking South American mutt Tim Bow-wow-ard in action?

    The good boy invaded a soccer match in Argentina and used the point of his nose to dink the ball away from the goal-line, denying Juventud Unida de Gualeguaychúa a certain goal in the team's 3-0 win over division three opponent Defensores de Belgrano de Villa Ramallo on Sunday.

    It all started when the Defensores goalkeeper tried to clear the ball away from his penalty box but his kick ricocheted off of a Juventud player.

    Another Juventud forward capitalized on the free ball and pumped a shot toward the goal. It looked certain to cross the line but boom, out of nowhere, Bow-wow-ard sprung into action and produced an incredible save.

    Sound too weird to be true? Watch the footage yourself:

    Adam Hurrey, a soccer reporter for the British broadsheet The Telegraph, tweeted that it was, in truth, a comfortable save for the canine to make.

    "People saying what a good save this is: it's a good height for a dog, the sort of stop you'd expect a canine of its quality to make, quite comfortable in the end."

    Juventud Unida is next in action on Saturday, December 8 but it is not yet clear whether the dog has done enough to warrant a place in the starting line-up.

    SEE ALSO: The most inventive and bizarre penalty kick of all time has just been scored in soccer — and it has to be seen to be believed

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside an intense training session where aspiring WWE wrestlers learn how to fight

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    trump xi china trade war 4x3

    • The trade war is just a glimpse of the strained relationship between the US and China.
    • According to strategists at State Street Global Advisors, a $2.8 trillion asset manager, the very nature of the relationship is changing in a way that many investors still don't grasp. 
    • The firm offered some recommendations on attractive pockets of the Chinese markets, and explained why active stock picking will be crucial going forward.

    If the trade war is your biggest concern about US-China relations, State Street Global Advisors has news for you.

    The $2.8 trillion asset manager says the dispute between the world's two largest economies is far from over. In fact, the very nature of their relationship is being reshaped in a way that will ripple even after Donald Trump is no longer president, said Laura Ostrander, an emerging markets macro strategist.

    Following the G20 summit last weekend, trade is still top of investors' minds. On Monday and Tuesday, the stock market swung from euphoria to dread over an agreement reached between the US and China to suspend new tariffs for 90 days. The S&P 500 fell by more than 3% on Tuesday after President Donald Trump tweeted his optimism over the agreement but warned he will act as "a Tariff Man" if the deal collapses.

    Such an outcome may bring more pain to global markets, but is not the only thing to be worried about with respect to China.

    "Beyond the implementation of tit-for-tat trade tariffs, we are witnessing a shift in the US-China relationship from 'constructive engagement' (applied by the last three US presidents) to 'strategic containment,'" Ostrander said, referring to a US strategy that curtails China's ambitions. 

    "This reflects the US view that China has not played by the rules of open-market economies despite being in the World Trade Organization since 2001."

    Ostrander said China has not done enough to convince the world that its state-owned enterprises do not have unfair advantages over privately run companies elsewhere. She also flagged concerns about national security, stemming from the dispute over the South China Sea.

    "This suggests to us that this strategic shift might last beyond the Trump years, and while markets seem to have priced in the worst expectations around tariffs, investors are still absorbing the implications of this sea change in relations," Ostrander said. 

    Her view is shared by Joyce Chang, JPMorgan's global head of research, who recently told Business Insider that a reshaping of the US-China relationship is one of four paradigm shifts that will shape the next financial crisis. 

    Chang's list of flash points that could worsen relations with the US includes China's heavy investments in foreign countries and its use of artificial intelligence.

    Read more:JPMorgan's global research chief breaks down 4 huge shifts that will make the next financial crisis unlike any in history — and explains why the best-known safeguards won't work

    What this implies is that if investors are only worried about the trade war where China is concerned, they're missing the big picture.

    On its own, the trade war has crushed Chinese and other emerging markets this year and created attractive opportunities for stock pickers, Ostrander said. 

    "While some may argue that these stocks are cheap for a reason, we think certain sectors look worth investigating within a framework of active management," she said.

    State Street is underweight emerging-market technology, communications services, materials, industrials, and real estate. However, the firm is overweight consumer discretionary stocks, betting that rising wealth in China will spur more spending.

    State Street is also betting that earnings growth in emerging markets will overtake developed markets as the boost from fiscal stimulus in the US fades.

    "For a typical portfolio, we would recommend adding a dedicated China all-share equity strategy within an EM allocation, which would enable flexible and direct top-down control of the portfolio's overall China exposure, an increasingly important equity-allocation parameter," she said. 

    For bond investors, Ostrander noted that Chinese bonds have a very low correlation with global bonds because of their smaller investor base. This provides the opportunity to diversify with an asset that tends not to sell-off alongside its peers. 

    SEE ALSO: BANK OF AMERICA: The 'big low' in stocks is still several months away — here's what to do with your money in the meantime

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Trump once won a lawsuit against the NFL — but the result was an embarrassment

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    beyonce and ed sheeran

    • Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran performed a duet at the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg.
    • While Beyoncé stunned in an elaborate fuchsia taffeta gown, Sheeran wore jeans, a T-shirt, and trainers.
    • The difference between their looks has prompted a debate around gender standards.
    • However, some people pointed out that both artists were merely performing in their trademark styles. 

    On December 2, Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran took to the stage together at the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, which honoured Nelson Mandela, a century after he was born.

    As beautiful as Sheeran and Beyoncé's duet of "Perfect" was, a different aspect of their performance set most tongues wagging: their outfits, and specifically, how wildly different they were.

    While Beyoncé undeniably brought her A-game in an elaborate hot pink taffeta dress, Sheeran wore a T-shirt, jeans, and trainers.

    A post shared by Tina Knowles (@mstinalawson) on

    And the contrast did not go unnoticed, with many people arguing that it sends an important message about differing gender standards. 

    However others pointed out that no one should be shamed for what they wear and both megastars were actually just performing in their trademark styles.

    Others pointed out that Beyoncé and Sheeran's styles are a relatable reflection of many heterosexual relationships.

    "Ed and Beyoncé together look like roughly 75% of heterosexual couples." R. Eric Thomas wrote for Elle.

    "How many Instagram Stories must I watch where the woman is wearing a full face and dressed to the nines in high fashion and the guy is wearing a potato sack that has 'Supreme' handwritten on it? While on a date at Nobu?! I can’t take it!"

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A sleep expert explains what happens to your body and brain if you don't get enough sleep

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    Mark Zuckerberg protest

    • Facebook has lost its crown as the best place to work in America, falling seven places down Glassdoor's 100 Best Places to Work list.
    • It is Facebook's lowest ranking in the survey since 2015, when it finished in 15th position.
    • A string of scandals has dented company morale, according to an internal survey obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
    • Despite the negative reviews, feedback on Glassdoor remains largely positive.

    Facebook has tumbled seven places on Glassdoor's list of the best places to work after a year of scandals, data breaches, and employee discontent.

    Glassdoor published its list of the 100 Best Places to Work in 2019 on Tuesday, which is based on ratings and reviews left by employees.

    Last year, Facebook topped the bill as the number one place to work, but now it has fallen to number seven, just behind LinkedIn. It is Facebook's lowest ranking in the survey since 2015, when it finished in 15th position.

    A series of scandals this year have impacted morale, according to the results of an internal company survey obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

    Back in 2017, 84% of the workforce "said they were optimistic about the company's future," a figure that has since dropped to just 52%. And 72% of employees previously said "Facebook was making the world better"— now it's 53%.

    Read more:Facebook employees react to the latest scandals: "Why does our company suck at having a moral compass"

    Glassdoor identified frequent complaints from employees, which included "poor work-life balance" and "long hours."

    One review from November, titled "Six months of strange tech cult," said the company displays a "complete lack of moral responsibility for the world." Another, also from November, lamented "the product is not technology, its [sic] the users."

    Under "advice to managers," one employee wrote: "Please get the company out of bad reputation slump... align business objectives with long-term strategy of connecting people and communities."

    But Facebook's overall ratings remain positive, with 96% of reviews saying they approve of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at time of writing. One reviewer described it as "Disneyland" for software engineers, and another wrote: "Don't believe all the negative press."

    SEE ALSO: The 29 best tech companies to work for in 2019, according to employees

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Review: Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL are the best smartphones you can buy right now

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network.

    Centurion Lounge Render

    • One of the best perks that comes with the Platinum Card® from American Express is extensive access to airport lounges.
    • Of the more than 1,200 lounges that Platinum cardholders can access, the best are AmEx's own Centurion Lounges.
    • AmEx has announced two new Centurion Lounges — one in London Heathrow, and one in Charlotte.
    • The two new lounges are part of a larger trend that's been evident in 2017 and 2018, as Amex has pushed to improve benefits for Platinum cardholders, an effort to set the premium card apart from the competition.
    • Cardholders also get complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs and Priority Pass-affiliated lounges.

    American Express has announced two new airport Centurion Lounge locations, including its second lounge outside the US.

    The first new lounge will open at London's Heathrow airport (LHR) in 2019. Located in Terminal 3, which services flights to the US on a number of carriers including Delta, American, and Virgin Atlantic, the lounge will be around 7,000 square feet. It will feature similar amenities to other Centurion Lounges, including complimentary food and drinks, showers, plenty of seats, and access to Wi-Fi.

    The new domestic Centurion Lounge, at Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) in North Carolina, has been anticipated since plans leaked late last month. That lounge, which is scheduled to open in early 2020, will be located after security between Concourse D and E. At 13,000 square feet, it will be one of the larger Centurion Lounges throughout the network alongside other new locations opening next year.

    AmEx Platinum and Centurion (or "Black Amex") cardholders have access to Centurion Lounges before flights.

    While the two new lounges will be accessible to cardholders regardless of airline flown — as is the case with all current Centurion Lounges — both should prove particularly useful for those who fly American Airlines. Charlotte is American's biggest hub aside from Dallas Fort-Worth (which currently has a Centurion Lounge), and London Heathrow is a popular gateway to Europe for American Airlines and Oneworld alliance loyalists — although the London location will also appeal to a larger range of flyers who transit through Heathrow's Terminal 3.

    "Heathrow is one of the top airports our premium card members travel through and its popularity is increasing all the time," said Chris Cracchiolo, a senior vice president of global loyalty and benefits at AmEx. "So far this year among premium US card members alone, we've seen a 15% increase in travel through Heathrow compared to last year."

    A London location has been rumored on-and-off for several years, particularly after AmEx opened a pop-up lounge for holiday shoppers last year in the city.

    Alongside the announcement, American Express is once again opening the pop-up Centurion Lounge in London's Covent Garden, at the Unit 6 art gallery on Langley Street. Complimentary snacks, drinks, charging stations, and even gift-wrapping services will be available for Platinum and Centurion cardholders. It will be open from December 13–16.

    London Covent Garden Pop Up Centurion Lounge Render

    As competition has heated up in the credit card rewards and benefits space, particularly among premium travel cards, in which American Express once held a particularly comfortable hold, AmEx has responded with an aggressive and persistent push to improve benefits and services for its cardholders with its top products.

    Including London and Charlotte, five new Centurion Lounge openings have been announced this year for openings in 2019 amd 2020— the others are in New York-JFK, Denver International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport. Additionally, lounge locations have opened this year in Philadelphia and Hong Kong, and the Dallas-Fort Worth location reopened following a renovation and expansion project.

    In early 2017, following the release of the Platinum Card's fiercest competition — the Chase Sapphire Reserve card— AmEx revamped its premium product, adding new benefits like up to $200 per year in Uber credits. This year, up to $100 in annual shopping credits at Saks were added to the list of perks, which joined pre-existing benefits like a $200 annual airline fee credit, complimentary hotel elite status, 5x points on airfare purchased directly from the airline, and more.

    Despite the card's $550 annual fee, the various perks and benefits can make it worthwhile for even semi-frequent travelers, who can easily get more than $1,000 in value from the card in any given year — and $2,000 the first year, with the card's welcome bonus contributing to the overall value.

    In addition to the Centurion Lounges, American Express operates 11 "International American Express Lounges" at foreign airports including in Mumbai, Delhi, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Sydney, and, most recently announced, Melbourne. International lounges tend to to vary depending on the market, while Centurion Lounges are designed to offer a relatively consistent experience, according to Cracchiolo.

    Aside from the American Express-branded lounges, AmEx Platinum cardholders can access Delta Sky Club lounges at 33 airports when flying with Delta, and more than 1,200 additional lounges through the Priority Pass network.

    Click here to learn about the AmEx Platinum Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy

    SEE ALSO: Southwest is making it too easy to qualify for its lucrative Companion Pass

    DON'T MISS: AmEx Platinum vs Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which card offers superior airport lounge access, according to a frequent flyer

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    trump macron

    • French President Emmanuel Macron rebuked US President Donald Trump for putting the interests of US citizens above demonstrating moral values in November.
    • Three weeks later, Paris was set ablaze by thousands of working-class protestors who objected to Macron promoting an environmentally-friendly fuel tax.
    • Macron is about half as popular in France as Trump is in the US. Macron has set himself up as the enemy of nationalist leaders across Europe, but they're more popular than him.
    • The Trump administration called on Tuesday for Europe to ditch the leadership of the United Nations and the European Union and instead join the US in putting the interests of their own citizens first.
    • As Macron backpedals on his high-minded fuel tax without appeasing the protestors, it looks like Trump is having the last laugh. 

    French President Emmanuel Macron stood at the Arc de Triomphe last month and rebuked President Donald Trump's "America First" policy at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

    It was a move that, by all accounts, infuriated Trump.

    Trump went home from Paris being roundly mocked for the wide perception that he had let rainfall keep him from honoring fallen soldiers, and fumed at Macron on Twitter.

    Read more:Trump mocks France's World War II record as relations with Macron deteriorate into confrontation

    But three weeks later protestors stormed the Arc in central Paris in a massive, violent riot that saw the monument defaced with slogans calling for Macron's resignation and leaving the statue of Marianne, the symbol of France's revolution, with its face smashed in.

    "Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: Its moral values," Macron said on November 11.

    His remarks were widely seen as a slap in the face to Trump. But they fell on deaf ears, even among his own countrymen.

    France's lower and middle classes in the intervening weeks launched a massive mobilization that saw 36,000 marching in colors in the street.

    Read more:Who are the 'Yellow Vests' rioting in Paris, and what do they want from Macron?

    The French who felt unseen, who felt Macron had not put their interests first, dawned high-visibility yellow vests to protest their president's raising taxes on diesel fuel, a move designed to make the country's economy more green.

    While Macron may have sought to improve the lot of all French people by building a green economy that could attract morally sound investments from around the world, the tax increase immediately hurt the suburban and rural working class. In return, it provides only theoretical, roundabout path towards their long-term gain.

    Macron's high-minded rhetoric fell flat among these workers, and, after the destruction at the Arc, Macron made the first major reversal of his presidency and called off the increase in tax, beaten by protests he had initially dismissed.

    But Macron's U-turn wasn't enough, and the Yellow Vests, as they've come to be known, have planned more protests for the coming weekend.

    "X country name first"

    g7 leaders trump merkel summit

    Any working theory of international relations understands that nations and actors put their own interests first.

    Whereas Trump proudly trumpets "America First," Macron essentially said he's more interested in signalling his country's moral values than advancing the interests of his citizenry.

    Today Macron's approval rating stands around 23%, while Trump doubles that at about 46%.

    Macron has positioned himself as the enemy of nationalist leaders rising around Europe, but leaders like Hungary's anti-refugee Viktor Orban and Italy's Matteo Salvini remain more popular than him in their respective countries.

    While Trump has often clashed with European leaders over his unilateral decisions to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change or the Iran deal in the name of American interests, Europe's unity and leadership has weakened terribly.

    Macron's chief ally, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also lost recent elections and will soon end her 13-year long reign.

    In a speech to Europe's leadership in Brussels, Belgium, Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted multinational, multilateral institutions like the UN and the EU as ineffective, failing to address the concerns of the people.

    Pompeo called on "noble nations" around the world to put their interests first and "reform or eliminate" multinational bodies that don't work as intended.

    Pompeo pointed to China and Russia disregarding treaties and asserting their national wills as evidence that undemocratic countries were reaping the benefits of the liberal world order, while Europe failed to act.

    Read more:Trump's mockery of Obama for his response to Crimea backfires with a new Ukraine crisis

    On Twitter, Trump teased Macron as having only now come around to the realization that imposing costs on workers to pay a grand vision of global change ultimately proved untenable.

    While champions of morality in politics may have celebrated Macron's rebuke of Trump's "America First" policies, which are often seen as inhumane and turning away from the US's much-publicized values of compassion and openness, the massive mobilization of the Yellow Vests and the downfall of liberal leaders across Europe may give Trump the last laugh.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Trump once won a lawsuit against the NFL — but the result was an embarrassment

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    • PETA shared a chart with more "animal-friendly" versions of well-established metaphors.
    • "Bringing home the bacon," for example, should apparently become "bringing home the bagels."
    • However, it has prompted outrage on Twitter, being described as "ridiculous,""pathetic," and "moronic."

    Animal rights organisation PETA has sparked controversy once again.

    This time, it's with a chart on how to "stop using anti-animal language," which has prompted outrage, amusement, and confusion.

    PETA has come up with more animal-friendly versions of familiar sayings: "Kill two birds with one stone" becomes "feed two birds with one scone," for example, and instead of "bring home the bacon," we should apparently say "bring home the bagels."

    However, it's safe to say the vast majority of people have not reacted positively to the suggestions, describing the chart as "ridiculous,""pathetic," and "moronic."

    "This is the biggest pile of horse s---," wrote one Twitter user.

    Another person suggested that PETA's recommendations would simply damage the reputation of vegans.

    Others pointed out that there are problems with PETA's supposedly improved idioms too.

    However, PETA is standing by its suggestions. A spokesperson told INSIDER: "Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it.

    "Just as it became unacceptable to use racist, homophobic, or ableist language, phrases that trivialize cruelty to animals will vanish as more people begin to appreciate animals for who they are and start 'bringing home the bagels' instead of the bacon."

    The chart comes following the claims of an academic from Swansea University that meat metaphors may truly start to disappear from our lexicon as they don't reflect the zeitgeist.

    "The increased awareness of vegan issues will filter through consciousness to produce new modes of expression," Shareena Hamzah said.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Valedictorians rarely become rich and famous — here's why the average millionaire's college GPA is 2.9

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    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street, London

    • Downing Street has published the legal advice it was given on Theresa May's Brexit deal by the government's top law officer, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.
    • The government tried to prevent the full legal advice being published, and MPs found the government in contempt of parliament for refusing a demand to do so.
    • Here's everything you need to know about the legal advice the government tried to withhold.

    LONDON — The government has published the full legal advice it was given on Theresa May's Brexit plan after MPs found the government to be in contempt of parliament for refusing to do so. 

    The advice, from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the country's top law officer, examines the details of the Withdrawal Agreement, which covers the terms of Britain's divorce from the EU.

    Here's what you need to know:

    • Cox warns that the deeply unpopular "backstop" arrangement contained within the withdrawal agreement would "endure indefinitely," a phrase which has enraged Brexiteers who believe the mechanism is a ploy to keep the UK bound closely to the EU.
    • It confirms the government does not have the right to withdraw from the backstop unilaterally, something Brexiteers have advocated.
    • There is a legal risk that UK could become stuck in "protracted and repeating rounds of negotiations" with Brussels. 
    • The date on the Attorney General's advice is 13 November, the same day MPs asked for the advice to be published. This could mean that the government had not actually received any formal legal advice on the Withdrawal Agreement before, despite May publishing her formal Brexit plan weeks earlier.

    Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said: "Having reviewed the Attorney General’s legal advice, it’s obvious why this needed to be placed in the public domain.

    "All week we have heard from Government ministers that releasing this information. could harm the national interest. Nothing of the sort. All this advice reveals is the central weaknesses in the Government’s deal.

    "It is unthinkable that the Government tried to keep this information from Parliament — and indeed the public — before next week’s vote."

    The government had refused previous requests to publish the advice, just a week before MPs vote on the deal itself, saying it would set a dangerous precedent if the Attorney General could not provide the Prime Minister with honest, confidential legal advice without fear of it being made public.

    Cox instead published a 48-page legal commentary outlining the advice he had provided on the Brexit plan and was grilled by MPs in the Commons for two hours on the subject on Monday.

    But MPs voted 311 to 293 to find May's government in contempt on Tuesday afternoon, forcing Downing Street to publish the advice in full. It was the first time in British parliamentary history the government has been found in contempt by MPs.

    SEE ALSO: What is the Norway model?

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Trump once won a lawsuit against the NFL — but the result was an embarrassment

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    Jeff Bezos Gwyneth Paltrow

    • Gwyneth Paltrow said in an interview with Wall Street Journal Magazine that she hs emailed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for advice, but he has never responded.
    • A spokesperson for Bezos declined to comment when contacted by the Journal.
    • Bezos has been known to read customer emails and forward them on to the relevant department.

    Gwyneth Paltrow told the Wall Street Journal Magazine that she has emailed Jeff Bezos for advice, but the world's richest man has never responded.

    The actress and entrepreneur told the Journal that she keeps a close-knit circle of advisors including Oprah Winfrey and Disney CEO Bob Iger. However, she said her emails to Jeff Bezos appear to have gone unnoticed. "I've emailed him," she told the Journal. "He won't email back."

    Read more:Jeff Bezos pictures Amazon as an inverted pyramid, in which he is the least important person at the bottom

    A spokesperson for Bezos declined to comment when contacted by the Journal. Amazon was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Business Insider.

    Although it is not incumbent upon Bezos to act as mentor to Paltrow, he has been known to act on emails out of the blue. He once forwarded on an email that was sent directly to him in desperation by a man whose dog was stolen by contractor delivering packages for Amazon. The dog was later returned to her owner.

    In April Bezos said that he still reads customer complaints, and will sometimes forward them on to the relevant department. He has a company email address,, where customers can reach out. It is not clear at this stage whether this is address to which Paltrow sent her emails.

    SEE ALSO: Jeff Bezos was wrong when he predicted Amazon will be making drone deliveries by 2018

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    NOW WATCH: A running coach explains how to get through the NYC marathon this weekend

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    storm clouds 2

    • Credit-card delinquencies, application rejections, and involuntary account closures are all on the upswing, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    • The Fed says these developments are "potentially concerning" given the strength of the economy and comparatively low interest rates.
    • The trends likely indicate credit-card companies issued debt too freely in the preceding years.
    • But they could also signal that lenders are bracing for an economic downturn and paring back risk accordingly. 

    The economy is robust, unemployment is sitting at 3.7% — its lowest mark in nearly half a century— and interest rates, though moving upward, are still relatively low.

    So why are credit-card delinquencies, application rejections, and involuntary account closures all on the upswing? 

    That's what the Federal Reserve Bank of New York would like to know

    The Fed released the results this week of its Credit Access Survey — a quarterly report on US borrowers — and it surfaced a couple alarming trends that suggest credit-card issuers are getting skittish and paring back risk: Both credit-card rejection rates and involuntary account closures are on the rise.  

    Rejection rates for credit-card applicants came in at 20.8% in the October survey, up from the 14.4% a year ago, while the rejection rate for credit-limit increases ticked up to 31.7%, compared with 24.9% a year ago. 

    Meanwhile, the proportion of respondents who had an account shut down by a lender reached its highest level since the Fed launched the Credit Access Survey in 2013. In October, 7.2% of surveyed consumers reported having an account involuntarily shutdown in the previous 12 months, up from 5.7% last year and 4.2% in 2016. 

    Most of these account shutdowns are credit card or retail store cards.

    A separate New York Fed report released last month— the Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit — produced a similar finding. The report, which mines Equifax consumer credit reports for data, showed an uptick in the past year and a half in account closures, again primarily from credit cards. 

    Read more: Credit-card super users are searching for answers amid a string of shutdowns from Chase, as billions in costs on lavish rewards pile up

    Why are credit-card issuers rejecting more customers and shuttering more accounts? 

    lender account shutdowns

    One reason is that they may be spooked by the increasing number of people who aren't paying off their cards. Credit-card delinquency rates began to climb sharply toward the end of 2016, a trend that hasn't reversed in 2018, according to Fed data.

    Given the healthy state of the economy and low unemployment, an increase in delinquencies is "potentially concerning," according to the Fed, and likely signals that card companies issued debt too freely and to less-trustworthy borrowers in preceding years and are now trying to reverse course. 

    That's consistent with the fact that credit-card issuance inflated substantially starting in 2013 — credit-card balances are up from $670 billion in Q3 of 2013 to $844 billion in Q3 of 2018 — and that the sharpest increase in delinquencies is among borrowers with lower credit scores, according to Fed data. However, the increase in delinquencies among higher credit-score brackets suggests loose lending wasn't limited to subprime borrowers, the Fed points out.

    credit card serious delinquencyThe uptick in delinquencies, rejections, and account closures could also be symptoms of a much darker malady: early cracks in a weakening economy. 

    When people lose their jobs or are struggling financially, credit cards tend to be one of the first bills they stop paying, as compared with secured loans for a home or a car in which people risk losing those crucial assets.

    If the economy is turning, card issuers have a giant incentive to get ahead of the trend, especially amid the environment of climbing interest rates, which potentially makes life even more difficult for cash-strapped cardholders.

    "Credit-card lenders are tightening up the credit approval process as the economic clouds are darkening for our economy. They see a downturn coming, so, in anticipation of that trend, are reducing their risk exposure in the unsecured card space," Robert Hammer, CEO of payments consulting firm R.K. Hammer, told Business Insider when asked about the latest Fed report.

    Lenders are already facing a tough outlook heading into 2019 with a saturated US market and declining return on assets, according to Brian Riley, the director of Mercator Advisory Group's credit-card consulting business.

    He predicts growth will slow next year for card issuers as they brace for higher delinquencies among the country's 470 million cardholders.  

    It's too early to say whether the economy will dip into recession or whether delinquencies, rejections, and involuntary account closures will continue to streak higher, but the Fed will be keeping a close eye on these trends, saying in its report that it plans to "continue investigating these issues."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: There's so much CO2 in the atmosphere that planting trees can no longer save us

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    james fields

    • A man who drove his car into a crowd of anti-nationalist protesters in August 2017 called his victim "that one girl who died, or whatever."
    • He made the comments to his mother during a call from jail in December 2017, according to BuzzFeed News, citing court documents.
    • Fields is charged with first-degree murder and malicious assault for the incident that killed Heather Heyer and left 19 injured.  
    • Fields has repeatedly said it was he who drove into the crowd, but the issue for the court is finding the motive.
    • Fields says it was self defense, and told prosecutors: "I didn’t want to hurt people, but I thought they were attacking me."

    The man accused of murdering a woman at the Charlottesville anti-nationalist protest in August 2017 by running her down with his car reportedly referred to her as "that one girl who died, or whatever."

    James Fields made the comment about Heather Heyer in a phone to call to his mother from jail in December 2017, BuzzFeed News quoted prosecutors as saying.

    heather heyer crash

    The 21-year-old is reported to have described Heyer's own mother, Susan Bro, as "one of those anti-white communists." He said that this meant the pain he caused her was irrelevant.

    Quoted in the cited indictment, he said: "It doesn't f---ing matter. She's a communist. She's the enemy, mother."

    Fields has been charged with offenses including first-degree murder, malicious wounding, aggravated malicious wounding, and failing to stop at the scene of an accident involving a death, the 30-count federal indictment reportedly says.

    He pleaded not guilty in July. He has admitted driving into the crowd, but says he was acting in self-defense.

    Read more:Key trial issue: Why did driver plow into counterprotesters? 

    The incident on August 12 — where Fields drove his grey Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counterprotestors —  killed 32-year-old Heyer, and left 19 people with injuries. 

    heather heyes

    The protesters were matching against the "Unite the Right" rally, where hundreds of white nationalists came to Charlottesville to protest a decision by officials to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

    Counter protesters came to meet them, including Heyer, and brawling broke out between white nationalists and counter demonstrators and authorities forced the crowd to disband, the Associated Press (AP) reported. 

    When the crowds separated, prosecutors say that Fields drove his car towards a "racially diverse group of people," the AP reported.

    He accelerated his car and smashed into the crowd, then "rapidly reversed and fled," the indictment alleges.

    Fields says it was self defense, BuzzFeed reported, and he said to prosecutors: "I didn’t want to hurt people, but I thought they were attacking me."

    On November 26, the AP reported that Fields' lawyer said his client would plead self defense. 

    Fields told the judge he is being treated for bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and ADHD, AP reported. 

    The case is expected to conclude on December 13. 

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    NOW WATCH: Lindsey Graham once warned there would be 'holy hell to pay' if Trump fired Jeff Sessions

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    Mohammad bin Salman

    • Turkey has issued arrest warrants for two of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's former aides in connection with the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
    • This means that the investigation has neared Mohammad bin Salman, who is widely suspected of orchestrating the killing, but stopped short of implicating him.
    • But reports say that the crown prince was planning to assign blame to those close to him and that he then fired in punishment over the killing.
    • This could mean that Turkey's investigation if it does not continue, is working as the crown prince wanted.

    Turkey’s probe into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is moving closer to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman as it issues new arrest warrants for two of the prince's former aides believed to be involved in the killing.

    Anadolu, Turkey's official news agency reported that a court approved the arrest warrants for former royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and former deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri, who were both fired from their positions in October in connection with Khashoggi's killing.

    The Istanbul chief prosecutor's Tuesday court application says there is "strong suspicion" the two aides were involved in planning the killing.

    "The prosecution's move to issue arrest warrants for Asiri and Qahtani reflects the view that the Saudi authorities won’t take formal action against those individuals," one of the Turkish officials said, according to Reuters.

    Read More:Here's everything we know about the troubling disappearance and death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

    Both men were close to Crown Prince Mohammed, but Turkey has not officially implicated the prince in the killing of the Washington Post columnist inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October.

    The crown prince is widely suspected of orchestrating Khashoggi's killing, a position reportedly reached with "high confidence" by the CIA. US senators left a CIA briefing on Tuesday with "no question" that he had directed the killing.

    jamal khashoggi

    Crown Prince Mohammed reportedly sent 11 messages to al-Qahtani, who is accused of overseeing the 15-man team that killed Khashoggi, on the day the journalist was killed. Al-Qahtani was sanctioned by the White House last month for his involvement.

    Read More:US senators are furious with Saudi Arabia after a classified briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel

    Assigning blame

    Saudi Arabia's leadership was planning on using al-Assiri as a scapegoat and assigning blame for the killing to him, according to reports in October.

    Turkey zeroing in on these men means that Turkey has moving closer to Crown Prince Mohammed, but so far they're in line with a reported plan to assign blame to those under him and forgo the incredibly bold step of issuing an arrest warrant for the absolute monarch of Saudi Arabia. 

    Saudi leadership has said that the killing was done without their knowledge or intervention, and promised to investigate the death. 

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    NOW WATCH: What serving in the military taught beauty YouTuber Jackie Aina

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    bush funeral

    Hello! Here's everything you need to know on Thursday.

    1.  Canada has arrested Huawei's chief financial officer. US officials have been investigating Huawei over alleged violations of the country's sanctions on Iran and are seeking to extradite Meng Wanzhou.

    2. Senators from both sides now believe the Saudi crown prince was "complicit" in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They've introduced a resolution to hold the crown prince accountable for human rights abuses. 

    3. Key lawmakers agree that President Donald Trump does not have legal authority to withdraw the US from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Lawmakers warned of the "disruptive" economic effect that a sudden NAFTA withdrawal could have.

    4.  The UK Parliament published a trove of top-secret Facebook executive emails. The hundreds of pages of documents provide an unprecedented window into Facebook leadership's approach to competition and growth.

    5. Clues suggest China could be behind a massive hack of Marriott Hotels' database. 500 million customers had their records exposed in the hack. 

    6. Traders were spooked by unexpected trading halts in US stock futures.Unexplained moves and a market intervention by the world's biggest futures exchange has not help calm investors.

    7. Australia is set to pass legislation that would give authorities access to encrypted information. Big tech companies, like Facebook, Amazon and Apple, have warned the move could set a dangerous precedent.

    8. Microsoft's lawyer says the tech-giant will work with the US military on weaponizing artificial intelligence. He noted that artificial intelligence is "entering the world of militaries around the world."

    9.  The US is reportedly preparing to sail a warship into the Black Sea. Three US officials told CNN the move is a response to Russian action against Ukraine near Crimea

    10. Two marine corps aircraft have been involved in a "mishap" over Japan.A search and rescue operation is reportedly underway.

    And finally ...

    Moving photos from George H.W. Bush's state funeral, where every living president, foreign leaders, and celebrities paid their respects.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The legendary economist who predicted the housing crisis says the US will win the trade war

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    meng wanzhou

    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

    1. The chief financial officer of Chinese tech and telecoms giant Huawei has been arrested in Canada at the request of US authorities and faces extradition to the United States. Canadian authorities "provisionally detained" Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, while she was transferring flights in the country.

    2. UK lawmakers used their parliamentary privilege to publish a cache of internal Facebook documents and emails that had been under seal.The documents, which are part of a US lawsuit between developer Six4Three and Facebook, show Facebook's discussions about charging developers for user data in the run-up to 2015.
    3. The internal Facebook documents published by UK Parliament on Wednesday show that CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally approved the social network's decision to cut off video app Vine from accessing friend data. Other emails show he oversaw a list of competitors that would be restricted from accessing Facebook data. 
    4. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended his firm's internal discussions about making money from developers, and said the company never sold people's data. He added that the documents only show part of the company's discussions at the time.
    5. Google workers have written to CEO Sundar Pichai demanding better treatment for contract workers, who do not receive the same benefits at full-time employees. The group of full-time and contract workers wrote an open letter asking that recent changes around sexual harassment policy also apply to temporary, vendor, and contract workers.
    6. Facebook's year of misery has split its employees into three different camps — those who support the leadership, those who think the company is in meltdown, and those who dislike media portrayals of the firm. According to BuzzFeed, employees use burner phones to talk about the company's woes.
    7. A prominent British investor and entrepreneur, Mike Lynch, has stepped down from the board of promising security startup Darktrace as he faces criminal charges in the US. Lynch is accused of conspiracy and fraud over the $11 billion sale of his software company, Autonomy, to HP in 2011.
    8. Google plans to shut down yet another failed messaging app. Google Allo will go the same way as Google Buzz and Google Wave after failing to gain traction.
    9. Facebook's board has come out in support of COO Sheryl Sandberg, after ongoing media scrutiny over her efforts to investigate billionaire George Soros for his criticism of the company."When a well-known and outspoken investor attacks your company publicly, it is fair and appropriate to do this level of diligence," the board said.
    10. Russian search giant Yandex has launched its first smartphone, the Yandex Phone, for $270. It's a 5.65-inch Android phone that sports mid-range specs.

    Have an Amazon Alexa device? Now you can hear 10 Things in Tech each morning. Just search for "Business Insider" in your Alexa's flash briefing settings.

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    NOW WATCH: How Singapore solved garbage disposal

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    Patrick Ho bribes

    • The South China Morning Post reports that former Hong Kong minister Patrick Ho has been found guilty  of millions of dollars in bribes.
    • A populist politician, a Harvard grad, a musician, a leading eye surgeon and husband to one of Taiwan's most glamorous actors, Patrick Ho led a rich, extraordinary life that in many ways reflected the turbulence and opportunity of post-colonial Hong Kong.

    The South China Morning Post reports that the flamboyant former Hong Kong minister Patrick Ho Chi-ping has been found guilty, by a federal jury in New York, of offering millions of dollars in bribes to African officials.

    Ho, a central figure for more than 25 years in Hong Kong politics, arts, and high society, was charged on "one count of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), four counts of violating the FCPA, one count of conspiring to commit international money laundering and one count of committing international money laundering," according to the US Department of Justice — seven of the eight counts of bribery and money laundering brought against him.

    The bribes occurred on behalf Chinese state-run conglomerate CEFC China Energy over access to oil rights in Chad and Uganda. He was charged with paying $2 million cash bribes to the President of Chad, and according to evidence presented at the trial arranged to have payments of $500,000 transfer ed to officials in Uganda.

    Ho was acquitted of the Chad money-laundering charge, but convicted on all others by a jury that only deliberated for a few hours on Wednesday afternoon, New York time, according to the Post.

    A high-profile politician, musician, Harvard graduate, ophthalmologist, and arts lover, he married Sibelle Hu a famous Taiwan-born actress, and led a rich, extraordinary life that in lots of ways reflected the turbulence of post-colonial Hong Kong.

    Already a noted eye surgeon, according to the Post, it is commonly thought that Ho got his leg up into Hong Kong politics after performing surgery on top Chinese Communist Party leaders. Ho moved up the political ladder quickly, emerging as the city-state's Home Affairs minister in 2002, a role he kept for almost five years through to 2007. Ho assumed a highly visible role in Hong Kong's desperate days during the SARS crisis, when over 200 people died from the mysterious virus that gripped China, and most particularly Hong Kong.

    He moved to the US to pursue a career as a surgeon, but threw himself into his other passion, music, where he became a noted violinist. Following his life in politics, Ho took over as a deputy secretary general in a think tank financed by CEFC.

    "According to evidence presented at trial, Ho was involved in two bribery schemes to pay top officials of Chad and Uganda in exchange for business advantages for CEFC China, a Shanghai-based multibillion-dollar conglomerate that operates internationally in multiple sectors, including oil, gas, and banking," the DOJ explained in a press release. "At the center of both schemes was Ho, the head of a nongovernmental organization based in Hong Kong and Arlington, Virginia, the China Energy Fund Committee (the 'CEFC NGO'), which held 'Special Consultative Status' with the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council. CEFC NGO was funded by CEFC China."

    He was arrested at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York in November 2017 and has been held since then. His trial lasted seven days, and Ho will be sentenced on March 14, 2019, where and could face up to five years for each count of bribery and 20 years in jail for each charge of money laundering.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A Harvard psychologist reveals the secret to curbing your appetite

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    Theresa May

    • Theresa May is struggling to stave off a landslide defeat of her Brexit deal in parliament next week.
    • In a last ditch bid to save her deal she offers MPs a vote on the controversial Brexit 'backstop'.
    • The backstop would keep the UK locked to EU trade and customs rules if it fails to secure an alternative deal with the EU at the end of the tw0-year transition.
    • May's offer would allow MPs to direct her to extend the transition period instead.
    • Conservative Brexiteers dismiss May's offer as "ludicrous."

    LONDON — Theresa May will offer MPs a vote on whether to trigger the so-called Brexit backstop, as she struggles to avoid a humiliating parliamentary defeat next Tuesday.

    The prime minister said that Parliament could be given a choice whether to trigger a backstop or extend the Brexit transition period, if no deal on the UK's future relationship with the EU is found by the end of 2020.

    Under the terms of the deal May has agreed in principle with the EU, the UK will be forced to remain in a customs union with EU if a deal is not reached by that point, while Northern Ireland will stay in parts of the single market.

    The backstop is unpopular both among Conservative Brexiteers who believe it could keep the Britain indefinitely tied to the EU and Democratic Unionist Party MPs propping up May's government who say it is a threat to Nothern Ireland's status in the UK.

    However, the prime minister said on Thursday that parliament could choose to avoid this scenario by instructing the government to extend the transition period instead.

    "The backstop is not automatic. I'm looking at the role of Parliament in that choice,"  she told the Today programme.

    She added that there were "pros and cons" to either option, saying that the backstop would not involve paying any more funds to the EU, whereas extending the transition would require an additional fee, plus accepting the continuation of freedom of movement with the EU.

    The offer was immediately dismissed by Conservative Brexiteers.

    One source in the anti-EU European Research Group of Conservative backbenchers, told Business Insider that May's offer of a vote was "ludicrous."

    "The problem that needs fixing doesn’t need fixing here, it needs fixing in Brussels. Indeed the whole problem is that the problem can only be fixed in Brussels," the source said.

    They added: "Saying 'Let me solve the problems in an international treaty with Westminster procedural flim flam' is not very convincing. Least of all with a bunch of Westminster proceduralists."

    DUP threatens to bring down the government

    May made the offer as Conservative whips fought to stave off what could be a defeat of historic proportions next week.

    The prime minister has repeatedly fielded questions from concerned Conservative backbenchers both in private and in the Commons. However, all the signs are that opposition to her deal with the EU is refusing to budge.

    Last night Conservative rebels met to discuss what to do should May's deal be defeated next week. Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, who chairs the ERG, told the group that the DUP had told him they would withdraw their support from May's government if the deal went through, but would retain it if it is defeated.

    The meeting was also joined by chief Conservative whip Julian Smith. One ERG source told Business Insider that Smith had achieved "no traction" with the group.

    "He was politely received with no shouting in either direction, but there was equally no traction," the source said.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'

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    • Global stocks are plunging again after the arrest of Huawei's CFO escalates an already fraught trade relationship between the US and China.
    • The news added to already existing market worries about the state of global trade, and pushed US index futures down, while all major European and Asian share indexes sharply lower.
    • US markets were closed yesterday for the funeral of George HW Bush. But trading on US futures had to be stopped several times overnight after high volatility led to huge price swings.
    • Oil is tumbling as well ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna.
    • You can follow the latest market movements with Markets Insider.

    US stock futures took a sharp move downward, a sign that the global stock rout is set to continue amid heightened trade war fears after the US-led arrest of a Chinese executive. 

    Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei, was arrested for allegedly attempting to evade newly-implemented US sanctions. That further shook markets on Thursday, a contrast from the start of the week when investors were in a buoyant mood on eased tensions. Investors have now lost confidence in the long-term effectiveness of the agreement struck between Presidents Trump and Xi at the G20.

    "Investors may fear this will stir up tensions between China and the US," says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, referring to the arrest. 

    Wanzhou has been arrested for allegedly attempting to evade newly-implemented US sanctions that kicked in at the start of November.

    "Having swung between optimism and skepticism about a US-China trade war truce through February, and we note Chinese diplomats making positive noise overnight ('friendly and candid atmosphere' between Xi and Trump), traders are understandably cautious," Mike van Dulken, senior markets analyst at Accendo Markets wrote on Thursday morning.

    Read more: A major pillar of China's economy has passed the 'tipping point' and could slow further, analyst says

    Wanzhou's arrest initially spooked Asian investors, with all mainland Chinese and Hong Kong stocks dropping sharply during trading. Fears have spread, and all major European indexes and US index futures are down more than 1.7%. Here's the scoreboard:

    • S&P 500 and Dow futures are each down 1.7% on Thursday morning. Nasdaq futures are plunging 2.3%.
    • The benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 is down 2.2%, Germany's DAX is 2.5% lower, while Britain's FTSE 100 was down 2.7%, now lower than it was at the start of 2000.
    • Shanghai Composite closed 1.7% lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 2.6%. Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 1.9%.

    Markets are so spooked right now that trading on US futures had to be stopped several times overnight after high volatility led to huge price swings.

    China fires back 

    The Chinese embassy in Canada has strong warnings about the arrest: 

    "The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim," it said in a statement on the embassy website. "The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou. We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens."

    CME Group had to repeatedly halt trading in US stock futures for brief periods this morning because of violent price moves, in an unusual intervention that has stunned traders. US markets had been closed on Wednesday in a mark of respect for the funeral of former US President George HW Bush, so missed out on the negative price action on the day.

    Oil is plunging

    Elsewhere in markets, oil is jittery ahead of a final meeting of the year between OPEC member states in Vienna later in the day.

    Member states are expected to agree a cut in oil production levels by around 1.3 to 1.5 million barrels per day, but traders seem unconvinced so far, with both Brent and WTI sliding on Thursday morning.

    Brent crude, the international benchmark, tumbled 4.3%, while US-centric WTI crude is off 4.2%.

    SEE ALSO: An alarming slowdown in global trade shows Trump's tariff war is having a devastating impact

    NOW READ: Trading in US stock futures had to be halted after violent moves, and markets are spooked

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    NOW WATCH: A Harvard psychologist reveals the secret to curbing your appetite

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    Boris Johnson

    • Boris Johnson ordered to apologise after failing to declare over £50,000 in earnings to parliament.
    • The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards finds that the errors were not inadvertant.
    • Johnson failed on nine occasions to make declarations within the rules.
    • The revelation is embarrassing as allies of Johnson prepare to back him in a potential leadership challenge against Theresa May.

    Boris Johnson has been ordered to apologise to the House of Commons after failing to report his earnings to the House authorities on nine occasions.

    The former Foreign Secretary repeatedly failed to register his earnings within the time period required under parliamentary rules, the Commissioner for Standards found.

    "The nine late registrations made by the Member at the time I began my inquiry had a total value of £52,722.80 which represents almost seventy per cent of a Member’s salary," the Commisisoner said in a statement.

    They added that the breach of the rules did not appear to be inadvertent.

    "The number of late registrations suggested a lack of attention to the House’s requirements, rather than inadvertent error. In light of that, this matter could not be concluded by way of the rectification procedure," they said.

    They added: "Although Mr Johnson has told me that the late registrations were 'inadvertent', the fact that the late registrations had happened on four separate occasions and involved nine payments, suggests a lack of attention to, or regard for, the House’s requirements rather than oversight or inadvertent error."

    The revelation is highly embarrassing for Johnson as allies prepare for him to challenge May should there be a vote of no confidence in her leadership in the coming months.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The legendary economist who predicted the housing crisis says the US will win the trade war

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    FA-18 Hornet Navy Marine Corps Japan Iwakuni

    • Search-and-rescue operations are underway for two US Marine Corps aircraft involved in a "mishap" 200 miles off the coast of Japan.
    • An F/A-18 fighter and a KC-130 cargo plane taking part in a aerial refueling exercise collided and crashed, the US military said.
    • Two crew members have been rescued so far, but the other five are still missing. 

    Search-and-rescue operations are underway for two US Marine Corps aircraft involved in a "mishap" 200 miles off the coast of Japan, the Marine Corps said Wednesday.

    The planes in question were an F/A-18 Hornet fighter and a KC-130 Hercules cargo plane that were taking part in aerial refueling exercise.

    The KC-130 had five crew aboard and the F-18 two, according to the Marine Corps. Five crew members are still missing.

    "The aircraft involved in the mishap had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred," the service said in a statement published by USNI News.

    The incident happened around 2 a.m. local time on December 6. Japanese search-and-rescue aircraft responded immediately, the Corps said, adding that the circumstances were under investigation.

    One of the seven missing was rescued alive, a spokeswomen for the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing said Wednesday evening. A second crew member was found alive around 60 miles from Shikoku island, according to the Associated Press, citing Japanese officials. 

    "The search and rescue operations continue for the remaining five US Marines," the III MEF Marines wrote in a Facebook update.

    One of the two rescued crew members was in a stable condition at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Reuters quotes Japan's defense ministry as saying on Wednesday.

    The other, located 10 hours after the crash and taken aboard a Japanese military vessel, is now being transported to a hospital for evaluation, the Marines said in the Facebook update.

    The search — conducted by the US 7th Fleet, a Navy P-8A Maritime Patrol reconnaissance Aircraft flying out of Kadena Air Force Base, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and the Japanese Coast Guard — is ongoing in an area about 200 miles of the Japanese coast, the Marine's post said.

    Katsutoshi Kawano, chief of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces’ Joint Staff, told Reuters on Wednesday: "We plan to keep at it all through the night."

    SEE ALSO: 'We can do better': The Navy's newest fleet commander says US ships and sailors got 'beat up' during NATO's biggest exercise since the Cold War

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    NOW WATCH: Watch the US Marine Corps' F-35 run and gun for the first time

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