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Iran probes seized UK-flagged tanker, Britain to hold emergency meeting -

Iran probes seized UK-flagged tanker, Britain to hold emergency meetingIran warned Sunday that the fate of a UK-flagged tanker it seized in the Gulf depends on an investigation, as Britain prepared for an emergency security meeting on Tehran's action. Iranian authorities impounded the Stena Impero with 23 crew members aboard off the port of Bandar Abbas after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized it Friday in the highly sensitive Strait of Hormuz. Video footage released by Iran showed the Stena Impero tanker being surrounded by speedboats before troops in balaclavas descend a rope from a helicopter onto the vessel.

Sun, 21 Jul 2019 19:36:28 -0400

Spacesuits have been bulky since before Apollo 11. A skintight design may change that -

Spacesuits have been bulky since before Apollo 11. A skintight design may change thatThe iconic, but bulky, spacesuit worn by Neil Armstrong hasn't drastically changed in decades. A skintight design may change that.

Sun, 21 Jul 2019 19:28:19 -0400

UK parliamentary committee questions StanChart's remuneration policy -

UK parliamentary committee questions StanChart's remuneration policyIn the letter written on Thursday and made public on Monday, Committee Chairman Frank Field asked why the remuneration committee put forward a proposal where the existing directors would receive 40% of base salary (20% of total salary) as the pension contribution whereas the contribution of new executive directors is limited to 10% of total salary.

Sun, 21 Jul 2019 19:06:14 -0400

UK parliamentary committee questions StanChart's remuneration policy -

UK parliamentary committee questions StanChart's remuneration policyIn the letter written on Thursday and made public on Monday, Committee Chairman Frank Field asked why the remuneration committee put forward a proposal where the existing directors would receive 40% of base salary (20% of total salary) as the pension contribution whereas the contribution of new executive directors is limited to 10% of total salary.

Sun, 21 Jul 2019 19:06:14 -0400

LNG Developer to Move Its Stock Listing to U.S. From Australia -

LNG Developer to Move Its Stock Listing to U.S. From Australia(Bloomberg) -- Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd., an Australian-based developer of terminals to export its namesake fuel, plans to re-domicile in the U.S. and list its shares in New York as the company concentrates on projects in North America.Its board has approved a plan to swap shares currently traded in Sydney for ones that will be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market, LNG Ltd. said in an emailed statement.The moves, which are expected to be completed by the year-end or in early 2020, have been in the works for about two years, Chief Executive Officer Greg Vesey said in an interview. In that time, the company has shifted its focus from Australia and Indonesia to the U.S. and Canada. It’s developing the Magnolia project in Louisiana, which would have the capacity to export 8 million metric tons a year, as well as the Bear Head project in Nova Scotia, which would be of a similar size.The U.S. is quickly emerging as an LNG export superpower, with three new export terminals starting up since December. North American investors hold 48% of LNG Ltd.’s shares while those in Australia and Asia own a little more than one fifth, according to the company.“In the Australian market, we feel that we are very undervalued,” and being listed there has made it hard for investors to compare it to other U.S. LNG terminal developers, Vesey.The move to the U.S. still requires Australian judicial and regulatory approvals as well as shareholder approval. LNG Ltd. has already moved employees out of its Perth corporate office to Sydney in preparation, Vesey said.Still, global LNG prices have recently slumped amid a global glut. Vesey said that LNG’s original vision was to re-domicile once it had given the green light to build Magnolia, but the “market dramatically slowed down,” Vesey said. LNG Ltd.’s stock has declined 54% this year to give it a market capitalization of A$135 million ($95 million).The company’s marketing team continues to speak with potential buyers about long-term offtake agreements for LNG from Magnolia. The plunge in prices and the trade war between the U.S. and China has made signing deals this year harder, Vesey said.“There was a lot of optimism early this year,” he said. “We thought the China issues would be settled; in fact they have gone the other way. I do think it’s slowed down.”To contact the reporter on this story: Naureen S. Malik in New York at nmalik28@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at, James LuddenFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Sun, 21 Jul 2019 19:05:01 -0400

Progressives Are Convinced That Trump Is Toast -

Progressives Are Convinced That Trump Is ToastAbout every other year, I make it a point to stop by Netroots Nation, the annual gathering of thousands of progressive activists, to take the temperature of the American Left. One year, I was even invited to join a panel, and I enjoyed jousting with attendees while playing the role of piñata at their party.This month, Netroots Nation met in Philadelphia. The choice was no accident. Pennsylvania will probably be the key swing state in 2020. Donald Trump won it by only 44,000 votes or seven-tenths of a percentage point. He lost the prosperous Philadelphia suburbs by more than Mitt Romney did in 2012 but more than made up for it with new support in “left behind” blue-collar areas such as Erie and Wilkes-Barre.You’d think that this history would inform activists at Netroots Nation about the best strategy to follow in 2020. Not really. Instead, Netroots events seemed to alternate between pandering presentations by presidential candidates and a bewildering array of “intersectionality” and identity-politics seminars.Senator Elizabeth Warren pledged that, if elected, she would immediately investigate crimes committed by border-control agents. Julian Castro, a former Obama-administration cabinet member, called for decriminalizing illegal border crossings. But everyone was topped by Washington governor Jay Inslee. "My first act will be to ask Megan Rapinoe to be my secretary of State,” he promised. Naming the woke, purple-haired star of the championship U.S. Women’s Soccer team, he said, would return “love rather than hate” to the center of America’s foreign policy.It is true that a couple of panels tried to address how the Left could appeal to voters who cast their ballots for Barack Obama in 2012 but switched to Trump in 2016. “How’d we lose the working class? Ask yourself, what did we do for them?” asked Rick Smith, a talk-show host who explores labor issues, adding:> You called them stupid. You marginalized them, took them for granted and you didn’t talk to them. For 20 years, the right wing has invested tremendous amounts of money in talk radio, in television, in every possible platform to be in their ears, before their eyes, and on their minds. And they don’t call them stupid.But that kind of introspection was rare at Netroots Nation. Elizabeth Warren explicitly rejected calls to keep Democrats from moving too far to the left in the next campaign: “The progressive agenda is America’s agenda, and we need to get out there and fight for it!”Warren and her supporters point to polls showing that an increasing number of Americans are worried about income inequality, climate change, and America’s image around the world. But are those the issues that actually motivate people to vote, or are they peripheral issues that aren’t central to the decision most voters make?Consider a Pew Research poll taken last year that asked respondents to rank 23 “policy priorities” from terrorism to global trade in order of importance. Climate change came in 22nd out of 23.There is a stronger argument that Democrats will have trouble winning over independent voters if they sprinting so far to the left that they go over a political cliff. As my NR colleague Ramesh Ponnuru wrote last month in the New York Times:> On several polarizing issues, Democrats are refusing to offer the reassurances to moderate opinion that they once did. They’re not saying: We will secure the border and insist on an orderly asylum process, but do it in a humane way; we will protect the right to abortion while working to make it less common; we will protect gun rights while setting sensible limits on them. The old rhetorical guardrails — trust us, there’s a hard stop on how far left we’ll go — are gone.Many leftists acknowledge that Democrats are less interested than they used to be in trimming their sails to appeal to moderates. Such trimming is no longer necessary, as they see it, because the changing demographics of the country give them a built-in advantage. Almost everyone I encountered at Netroots Nation was convinced that President Trump would lose in 2020. Earlier today, Roland Martin, an African-American journalist, told ABC’s This Week, “America is changing. By 2043, we’ll be a nation [that’s] majority people of color, and that’s -- that is the game here -- that’s what folks don’t want to understand what’s happening in this country.”It’s a common mistake on both the right and the left to assume that minority voters will a) always vote in large numbers and b) will vote automatically for Democrats. Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 in part because black turnout fell below what Barack Obama was able to generate. There is no assurance that black turnout can be restored in 2020.As for other ethnic groups, a new poll by Politico/Morning Consult this month found that Trump’s approval among Hispanics is at 42 percent. An Economist/YouGov poll showed Trump at 32 percent among Hispanics; another poll from The Hill newspaper and HarrisX has it at 35 percent. In 2016, Trump won only 29 to 32 percent of the Hispanic vote.Netroots Nation convinced me that progressive activists are self-confident, optimistic about the chances for a progressive triumph, and assured that a Trump victory was a freakish “black swan” event. But they are also deaf to any suggestion that their PC excesses had anything to do with Trump’s being in the White House. That is apt to be the progressive blind spot going into the 2020 election.

Sun, 21 Jul 2019 19:04:07 -0400

Asia Stocks to Slip; Oil Gains Amid Iran Tension: Markets Wrap -

Asia Stocks to Slip; Oil Gains Amid Iran Tension: Markets Wrap(Bloomberg) -- Stocks in Asia looked set to kick off the week on the backfoot following declines in the U.S. Friday. Oil gained amid tensions in the Persian Gulf.Futures dropped in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia late Friday after U.S. markets closed lower. Traders rushed away from bets the Federal Reserve will slash rates by a half-point this month, a day after clamoring for them, supporting Treasury yields and the dollar. Oil rose 1% in early Monday trading ahead of an emergency meeting by U.K. officials to discuss the security of shipping in the Persian Gulf after Iran seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz last week.This week sees the earnings season ramp up and a blackout period for Fed speakers prior to next week’s policy decision. On the trade front, some Chinese companies are applying for tariff exemptions as they make inquiries about buying U.S. agricultural products, more than a week after President Donald Trump complained that China hasn’t increased its purchases of American farm products.“The start of earnings season has been very positive, but the price action on the major indexes has not been,” said Edward Moya, a strategist at Oanda Corp. “It appears markets are waiting to break and this could be the week that happens.”Meantime, protests in Hong Kong heated up as an otherwise peaceful protest march of over 100,000 people turned tense late Sunday. In Japan, Shinzo Abe won a majority in the country’s upper-house elections, but won’t get the two-thirds of seats needed to revise the country’s pacifist constitution.Here are some key events coming up:Earnings season rolls on with companies including:, Alphabet, Unilever, Caterpillar, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Boeing.China holds the opening ceremony of its technology board in Shanghai. About two dozen local start-ups are making their debut on the Nasdaq-style exchange.U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s successor is announced on Tuesday, with Boris Johnson expected to become the new Conservative leader and PM.Thursday brings the European Central Bank policy decision. Economists widely expect officials to signal their readiness to cut interest rates and potentially broaden stimulus. Some see the chance of an immediate rate cut. ECB President Mario Draghi holds a briefing afterward.These are the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 were flat as of 7:42 a.m. in Tokyo. The underlying gauge fell 0.6% on Friday.Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.6%.Hang Seng futures dipped 0.5%.Futures on Austraila’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.4%.CurrenciesThe yen was flat at 107.77 per dollar.The offshore yuan rose 0.1% to 6.8780 per dollar.The euro bought $1.1218, little changed.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries rose about three basis points to 2.06% on Friday.Australia’s 10-year yield was steady at 1.35%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude climbed 1% to $56.17 a barrel.Gold was down 0.1% to $1,424.38 an ounce.To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in Sydney at ahaigh1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at, Cormac MullenFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Sun, 21 Jul 2019 18:50:19 -0400

Need Some Privacy? Just Get in the Car -

Need Some Privacy? Just Get in the Car(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Volkswagen AG announced that 2019 would be the last model year the Golf SportWagen and Alltrack, the automaker’s station wagons, will be produced for the U.S. The German company has sold wagons in the U.S. since 1966, starting with the Type 3 “Squareback” model. “Customers are speaking clearly about their preferences — it’s an SUV world now,” the company said in a news release. The data agree with VW, as I noted last year. As wagon models become scarce and the U.S. becomes more enamored of sport utility vehicles, there’s another type of car that’s going away, too: the convertible. Five years ago, convertibles made up less than a percent of U.S. auto sales, according to Edmunds; through the first four months of this year, they were barely six-tenths of a percent of total sales.Convertibles are also a shrinking percentage of total vehicle models available in the U.S., in a market with nearly 400 different models. Five years ago, convertibles made up more than 14% of total models available in the U.S. Today, they’re barely 8%. Station wagons and convertibles are probably as far apart on the spectrum of practicality as they can be, and convertibles’ diminished presence in buying behavior is a testament to the appeal of the SUV at the expense of other models. SUVs are probably more comfortable than a convertible for a long slog through commuter traffic, and they’re considered safer, too (though perhaps at the expense of those outside the vehicle). I’m not quite willing to say that SUVs will take over the world, though. In a driving-as-a-service future that also includes autonomous vehicles, the needs and wants of passengers may become more important than those of drivers. NTT Docomo Inc., which operates a vehicle-sharing service in Japan, recently noted some fascinating customer behaviors. A 2018 survey of 400 users found that 1 in 8 rented automobiles for purposes other than transportation:An overwhelmingly large number of respondents said they slept or rested in vehicles, followed by customers who said they used cars as spots to talk with friends, family and business clients on the phone.People also rented vehicles to watch TV in, get dressed up for Halloween, practice singing, rapping and English conversation, and even do facial stretches said to reduce the size of their face, NTT found.“Cars can be used for private space,” said the NTT Docomo official in charge of the study. “People used our vehicles in more ways than we expected.”If the car is a private space — whether moving or not — then is an SUV the ideal manifestation of that space? A minivan might be better for that purpose, or the reborn and electrified iconic camper van, which VW describes as “at home anywhere.” Design researcher Jan Chipchase, in a 2014 essay of concepts in autonomous mobility, says autonomous vehicles will inspire not only new human behaviors, but also new forms of automobiles that can accommodate or embrace them. One of his concepts is the “Highly Private Moment,”the term used in corporations to describe highly private activities that take place in vehicles. Expect to see a variety of hacks to temporarily disable sensors such as internal facing cameras. As a side note, if you want to introduce discussions on taboo activities into a corporation, reduce it to a generic TLA or FLA that is open to wide interpretation. e.g. VPMC = Very Personal Media Consumption. The rise in opportunities for compelling HPMs will lead to a seismic shift in physical vehicle design, sold or more mundane pursuits.The station wagon and the convertible are diminishing in American automotive life and culture. I don’t know if they will disappear — but I’m also not sure that the SUV conquers all in the end. Expect more new vehicle types that will meet demand for the car as private space.Reads to start your weekA domain name prospector is turning stray URLs into real businesses, including a retailer of Georgia onions. A “formal proposal to the Unicode Consortium, the governing body for emoji creation, to introduce the first-ever ‘Electric Vehicle With Charger’ emoji for smartphone keyboards.” Citi Bike comes to the Bronx, six years after its debut. Investor David Sacks on myths and realities in another electric vehicle business: scooters.  Elon Musk’s Neuralink says it’s ready for brain surgery. The California town of Berkeley will no longer allow natural gas pipes in many new buildings after the end of this year. A former U.K. science minister wants to fund the National Health Service by selling $12 billion worth of patient data. America can’t shake cost disease, or the findings of the “chart of the century.” How “corn sweat” makes summer days more humid. Get Sparklines delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. And subscribe to Bloomberg All Access and get much, much more. You’ll receive our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, the Bloomberg Open and the Bloomberg Close.To contact the author of this story: Nathaniel Bullard at nbullard@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brooke Sample at bsample1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nathaniel Bullard is a BloombergNEF energy analyst, covering technology and business model innovation and system-wide resource transitions.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Sun, 21 Jul 2019 18:36:19 -0400

Insurer’s Stock Fund Picks India Infrastructure Over Consumption -

Insurer’s Stock Fund Picks India Infrastructure Over Consumption(Bloomberg) -- As India’s consumer spending slows down after a multiyear boom, one life insurer is betting on the nation’s plans to upgrade its infrastructure.“Investment is a better way to revive the economy, not consumption,” said Hemant Kanawala, head of equities at Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co. in Mumbai. “Jobs will be created only if investments pick up, and that will boost consumption in a way,” he said.India’s latest budget targets the building of highways and railroads as well as providing water to all citizens. The spending plan comes amid a slowdown in the economy and a credit crisis in the shadow banking system that have dented consumer appetites.Read: Cars and Shampoo Tell a Tale of India’s Slowing ConsumptionWith government plans to spend about 1.6 trillion rupees ($23.3 billion) on transportation infrastructure this year, Kotak Mahindra Life prefers shares of cement makers, engineering firms and construction contractors. The budget earmarks 100 billion rupees for drinking water projects in rural areas.Kanawala also favors lenders that have good access to borrowing resources, as they’re likely to gain share amid the problems in the nonbank financial industry.Kotak Mahindra Life has about 95 billion rupees in equity holdings. Kotak Classic Opportunities -- its top fund with 43.7 billion rupees of stocks -- has returned 11% annually over the past five years, beating 73% of rivals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Here are some excerpts from the interview:The U.S.-China trade dispute “becomes more and more painful after each round of talks between the two nations and no resolution.”“Central banks are getting accommodative across the globe and we expect another round of monetary easing in the next six to 12 months. We aren’t sure about how it impacts the global economy, but the impact on markets will definitely be positive.”“Among financial stocks, apart from banks, we prefer shares of insurance firms and asset management companies.”To contact the reporters on this story: Ameya Karve in Mumbai at;John Xavier in Mumbai at jxavier20@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lianting Tu at, Kurt Schussler, Naoto HosodaFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Sun, 21 Jul 2019 18:30:01 -0400

Fox News host Chris Wallace tells Stephen Miller: 'No question' Trump is 'stoking racial divisions' -

Fox News host Chris Wallace tells Stephen Miller: 'No question' Trump is 'stoking racial divisions'"I’ve never called any of his tweets racist, but there's no question that he is stoking racial divisions," said "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.

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