Trump son-in-law met executives of sanctioned Russian bank, will testify

A Russian bank under Western economic sanctions over Russia’s incursion into Ukraine disclosed on Monday that its executives had met Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a top White House adviser, in December. A U.S. Senate committee investigating suspected Russian interference in the election wants to interview Trump associates, including Kushner, 36, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and has agreed to testify. Continue reading “Trump son-in-law met executives of sanctioned Russian bank, will testify”

61% of French adults say Islam is incompatible with their society

and 79% support banning headscarves in universities, new poll shows. Sixty one per cent of French people believe Islam is incompatible with their society, according to a new poll. That figure had been falling sharply until the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015, and has been steadily growing ever since, an Ipsos survey found. That is compared with six per cent of people who believe Catholicism is incompatible and 17 per cent who believe Judaism is incompatible. Continue reading “61% of French adults say Islam is incompatible with their society”

Le Pen: I Will Quit Office if French Reject Eurozone Exit

Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen says that if her plan to pull France from the euro currency is rejected by the French she will resign. Le Pen, speaking Monday on Europe 1 radio, reiterated her plan to hold a referendum on the euro issue if elected president, and “If it’s no, I will go.” Continue reading “Le Pen: I Will Quit Office if French Reject Eurozone Exit”

Le Pen victory could be five times as dangerous as Greece’s financial meltdown: UBS

Europe could be on track to encounter a shock wave up to five times as turbulent as the start of the euro zone debt crisis if French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was able to secure victory in May, according to a team of UBS analysts. Strategists at the Swiss banking giant stressed the prominence of the anti-immigration and anti-European Union National Front leader meant France’s fast approaching general election would be the most serious political risk event in the region this year. Continue reading “Le Pen victory could be five times as dangerous as Greece’s financial meltdown: UBS”

AI to become main way banks interact with customers within three years: Accenture

Artificial intelligence (AI) will become the primary way banks interact with their customers within the next three years, according to three quarters of bankers surveyed by consultancy Accenture in a new report. Four in five bankers believe AI will “revolutionise” the way in which banks gather information as well as how they interact with their clients, said the Accenture Banking Technology Vision 2017 report, which surveyed more than 600 top bankers and also consulted tech industry experts and academics. Continue reading “AI to become main way banks interact with customers within three years: Accenture”

US heading for recession after 2 years of unsustainable growth, economist says

The U.S. is headed for a recession in the next two years as excessive fiscal stimulus from the President Donald Trump administration takes the economy into unsustainable territory, Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told CNBC Tuesday. Continue reading “US heading for recession after 2 years of unsustainable growth, economist says”

Trump signs order undoing Obama climate change policies

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order rolling back Obama-era rules aimed at curbing climate change. The president said this would put an end to the “war on coal” and “job-killing regulations”. The Energy Independence Executive Order suspends more than half a dozen measures enacted by his predecessor, and boosts fossil fuels. Continue reading “Trump signs order undoing Obama climate change policies”

Plateau in US auto sales heightens risk for lenders: Moody’s

As U.S. auto sales have peaked, competition to finance car loans is set to intensify and drive increased credit risk for auto lenders, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report. “The combination of plateauing auto sales, growing negative equity from consumers and lenders’ willingness to offer flexible loan terms is a significant credit risk for lenders,” Jason Grohotolski, a senior credit officer at Moody’s and one of the report’s authors, told Reuters. Continue reading “Plateau in US auto sales heightens risk for lenders: Moody’s”

UK’s ‘largest undeveloped oil field’ discovered off Scottish coast

Shares of U.K.-listed Hurricane Energy gushed higher Monday after the firm said it had found the “largest undeveloped (oil) discovery on the U.K. continental shelf.” Hurricane Energy said in a market release that the firm has located a kilometer-deep oil column which is believed to connect to an existing field. The discovery is near the Shetland Islands, off the north coast of Scotland. Continue reading “UK’s ‘largest undeveloped oil field’ discovered off Scottish coast”

As more Americans fail drug tests, employers turn to refugees

For an increasing number of American-born workers, passing drug tests is a big problem. The percentage of American workers testing positive for illegal drugs has climbed steadily over the last three years to its highest level in a decade, according to Quest Diagnostics, which performed more than 10 million employment drug screenings last year. Continue reading “As more Americans fail drug tests, employers turn to refugees”

Saudi Arabia sweetens huge Aramco IPO with tax cut

Saudi Arabia’s government has cut the income tax paid by national oil giant Saudi Aramco to smooth the company’s initial public offer of shares next year, which is expected to be the world’s largest equity sale. A royal decree on Monday, retroactive to Jan. 1, set a tax rate of 50 percent for the firm. Previously, Aramco had paid 85 percent tax, plus a 20 percent royalty levied at a different stage; the decree did not mention the royalty. Continue reading “Saudi Arabia sweetens huge Aramco IPO with tax cut”

Trump son-in-law met executives of sanctioned Russian bank, will testify

A Russian bank under Western economic sanctions over Russia’s incursion into Ukraine disclosed on Monday that its executives had met Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a top White House adviser, in December. A U.S. Senate committee investigating suspected Russian interference in the election wants to interview Trump associates, including Kushner, 36, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and has agreed to testify. Continue reading “Trump son-in-law met executives of sanctioned Russian bank, will testify”

Carlos Slim teams up with Chinese to circumvent Trump

Carlos Slim’s Giant Motors will begin manufacturing cars in Mexico to sell to Latin America in a joint venture with China’s JAC Motors as some carmakers step up production in the low-cost nation despite Donald Trump’s “America first” policies. Two Chinese-designed and largely Chinese-manufactured sport utility vehicles will be launched on Tuesday as the new venture aims to cash in on Mexico’s booming domestic car market. Continue reading “Carlos Slim teams up with Chinese to circumvent Trump”

Sanders Admits Obamacare Premiums Are ‘Too High,’ Calls for Single-Payer System

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) admitted Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” that premiums and deductibles are “too high” under Obamacare before proposing a single-payer health care system. Host Dana Bash asked Sanders about President Donald Trump’s comments from Friday, when he blamed Democrats for Republicans not getting enough votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with American Health Care Act. Continue reading “Sanders Admits Obamacare Premiums Are ‘Too High,’ Calls for Single-Payer System”

The US and UK airline electronics ban was prompted in part by a plot involving a fake iPad

Earlier this week, United States and United Kingdom officials announced new restrictions for airline passengers from eight Middle Eastern countries, forbidding passengers to carry electronics larger than a smartphone into an airplane cabin. According to a security source, the ban was prompted in part by a plot involving explosives hidden in a fake iPad. Continue reading “The US and UK airline electronics ban was prompted in part by a plot involving a fake iPad”

OPEC, non-OPEC to look at extending oil-output cut by six months

A joint committee of ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers has agreed to review whether a global pact to limit supplies should be extended by six months, it said in a statement on Sunday. An earlier draft of the statement had said the committee “reports high level of conformity and recommends six-month extension”. Continue reading “OPEC, non-OPEC to look at extending oil-output cut by six months”

UK minister: WhatsApp must make itself accessible to police

Encrypted messaging services like WhatsApp must make their platforms accessible to intelligence agencies, a top British security official declared Sunday amid reports that the Westminster attacker used the service minutes before his assault on Parliament. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said it is “completely unacceptable” for messaging services to provide end-to-end encryption that means security services cannot listen to plots being discussed. Continue reading “UK minister: WhatsApp must make itself accessible to police”

Corruption protests held across Russia; arrests reported

Russian protesters denouncing government corruption have gathered in cities across Russia and arrests have been reported. The Sunday protests appear to be one of the largest coordinated outpouring of dissatisfaction since the massive 2011-12 demonstrations following a fraud-tainted parliamentary election. Continue reading “Corruption protests held across Russia; arrests reported”

Paul Ryan: Failure of Obamacare Replacement Makes Tax Reform Harder

The White House tried very hard Friday to send a clear message that the success of President Donald Trump’s tax and infrastructure agenda does not turn on the fate of the Obamacare replacement bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan, only minutes after pulling his health care bill, appeared to at least partially contradict that. “Yes. This does make tax reform more difficult,” Ryan said. Continue reading “Paul Ryan: Failure of Obamacare Replacement Makes Tax Reform Harder”

Hit hard by digital sales, GameStop is looking to close up to 150 stores this year

During its earnings report for the final fiscal quarter of 2016, retail chain GameStop announced declining sales in games and hardware, and that it could potentially close at least 150 of its 7,500 stores, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company noted that its total global sales declined 13.6 percent during the 2016 holiday season, because of “weak sales of certain AAA titles and aggressive console promotions by other retailers.” Continue reading “Hit hard by digital sales, GameStop is looking to close up to 150 stores this year”

France’s Le Pen says euro exit ‘wouldn’t be chaos’

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen sought on Sunday to reassure voters concerned over her plans to withdraw the country from the euro zone, saying it “wouldn’t be chaos” and she would seek “well-prepared” talks with other European Union countries. Opinion polls show the anti-EU, anti-immigrant National Front (FN) leader qualifying for the April 23 first round of the presidential election but losing the May 7 run-off to centrist Emmanuel Macron. Continue reading “France’s Le Pen says euro exit ‘wouldn’t be chaos’”

EU President Tusk warns of complete breakdown of the Union

EU President Donald Tusk has warned that the European Union could break down completely after Brexit, at a summit to mark the organisation’s 60th anniversary. Tusk called for leadership to steer Europe out of crisis at the special summit in Rome, which is being held today to mark the anniversary of the bloc’s founding treaties. Continue reading “EU President Tusk warns of complete breakdown of the Union”

Russian ambassador to India dies after brief illness

Alexander Kadakin, 67, the Russian ambassador to India, died on January 26. A spokeswoman for the Russian embassy in New Delhi said that Kadakin died after a short illness and that there was nothing “special or extraordinary” about the circumstances that led to his death. Kadakin had worked in India since 2009. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described him as “a great friend of India” who worked hard to strengthen relations between the two countries.

Denis Voronenkov, 45, was gunned down

outside a hotel in Kiev. Voronenkov and his wife both spoke out against Putin after they left Russia for Ukraine in October. Voronenkov also helped Ukraine in its ongoing fight against Russian influence, testifying in a treason trial against ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was perceived as a puppet politician for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Former intelligence official found dead in his car

Oleg Erovinkin, who had close ties to Russian intelligence, was found dead on December 26 sitting in his car on the streets of Moscow. Russian news outlets reported that he was 61 years old. Russian government agencies have not released an official cause of death. He was a former general in the Russian law enforcement and intelligence agency known as the FSB. Continue reading “Former intelligence official found dead in his car”

Five months, eight prominent Russians dead

The brazen daytime slaying of a Russian politician outside a Ukrainian hotel this week brings to eight the number of high-profile Russians who have died over the past five months since the US presidential election on November 8. Among the recent deaths were five Russian diplomats. Some of the deaths appeared natural and governments have ruled out foul play. In some cases, though, questions remain. Continue reading “Five months, eight prominent Russians dead”

OPEC, non-OPEC to look at extending oil-output cut by six months

A joint committee of ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers has agreed to review whether a global pact to limit supplies should be extended by six months, it said in a statement on Sunday. An earlier draft of the statement had said the committee “reports high level of conformity and recommends six-month extension”. Continue reading “OPEC, non-OPEC to look at extending oil-output cut by six months”

Donald Trump: Tax reform next after healthcare failure

US President Donald Trump says he will turn to tax reform, following his failure to get his healthcare bill through Congress on Friday. The draft bill would have scrapped the Affordable Care Act of his predecessor Barack Obama, which was opposed by Mr Trump’s Republican party for years. Obamacare requires all Americans to have health insurance but offers subsidies to people on low incomes. Continue reading “Donald Trump: Tax reform next after healthcare failure”

Robots, artificial intelligence boom may cost US, UK at least 1/3 of their jobs: Study

Up to one-third of British jobs could be taken over by robots by the early 2030s, impacting 10 million Britons but with women less likely to face redundancy, a UK study showed. The research, by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, found 30 percent of UK jobs could face automation compared to 38 percent in the United States, 35 percent in Germany, and 21 percent in Japan. Continue reading “Robots, artificial intelligence boom may cost US, UK at least 1/3 of their jobs: Study”

China’s property bubble represents a social risk: Renowned Chinese economist

China faces the risk of youth disenchantment as property prices rise beyond their reach, a renowned Chinese economist said Friday. “In a regular country, wealth should be concentrated in the financial markets, not fixed assets,” said Renmin University of China Vice President Wu Xiaoqiu at a media interview at the Boao Forum in the province of Hainan. Continue reading “China’s property bubble represents a social risk: Renowned Chinese economist”

U.S. workers face higher risk of being replaced by robots. Here’s why

Millions of workers around the world are at risk of losing their jobs to robots — but Americans should be particularly worried. Thirty-eight percent of jobs in the U.S. are at high risk of being replaced by robots and artificial intelligence over the next 15 years, according to a new report by PwC. Meanwhile, only 30% of jobs in the U.K. are similarly endangered. Continue reading “U.S. workers face higher risk of being replaced by robots. Here’s why”

Trump warned his anti-EU stance could start war

The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has warned the U.S. president that calling for other EU members to leave the union could lead to war in the Balkans. In an interview with the Financial Times, Juncker criticized President Donald Trump for encouraging other countries to copy Brexit and called this enthusiasm “annoying”. Continue reading “Trump warned his anti-EU stance could start war”

Trump unhappy Jared Kushner took a powder on the ski slopes as health care bill floundered

While the rest of his senior staff scrambled to squeeze votes for President Trump’s flailing health care package, one person remained notably absent for most of the week: Jared Kushner. Along with this wife, Ivanka Trump, another key cog in the president’s inner circle, Kushner was on vacation until Thursday, skiing with family in the posh Colorado town of Aspen. Continue reading “Trump unhappy Jared Kushner took a powder on the ski slopes as health care bill floundered”

EU stalls Russian gas pipeline, but probably won’t stop it

Russia has the European Union in a bind. The bloc is divided between eastern European and Baltic Sea countries that see a new pipeline carrying Russian gas across the Baltic making the EU a hostage to Moscow – and those in northern Europe, most especially the main beneficiary Germany, for whom the economic benefits take priority. Continue reading “EU stalls Russian gas pipeline, but probably won’t stop it”

For Trump, it was the lost art of the deal

In the end, the Closer couldn’t close the deal. For President Donald Trump, the collapse on Friday of his first legislative priority, a healthcare reform bill, was an embarrassing loss of face after he and his administration insisted up until the time of the vote by the U.S. House of Representatives that there was enough Republican support. Continue reading “For Trump, it was the lost art of the deal”

How a border tax could divide Boeing and its suppliers

A U.S. tax overhaul proposed by Republican leaders in Congress would deepen divisions between big manufacturers like Boeing Co and the thousands of smaller companies that supply them, according to suppliers and tax and trade experts. U.S. automakers and other manufacturers that rely on imported components also would be affected by the proposals, which would tax imports at a 20 percent rate, and could split these sectors into winners and losers. Continue reading “How a border tax could divide Boeing and its suppliers”

Trump touts Charter hiring that was in works for two years

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday touted Charter Communications Inc’s decision to invest $25 billion in the United States and a plan the company announced before he was elected to hire 20,000 workers over four years. At a White House event with the second-largest U.S. cable company’s Chief Executive Thomas Rutledge and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Trump praised Charter for planning to close its offshore call centers and move them to the United States. Continue reading “Trump touts Charter hiring that was in works for two years”

Why a lack of education raises death risk for some Americans

Middle-age white Americans with limited education are increasingly dying younger, on average, than other middle-age U.S. adults, a trend driven by their dwindling economic opportunities, research by two Princeton University economists has found. The economists, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, argue in a paper released Thursday that the loss of steady middle-income jobs for those with only high school diplomas or less has triggered broad problems for this group. Continue reading “Why a lack of education raises death risk for some Americans”

Le Pen visits Russia weeks before French presidential vote

French far right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is headed to Moscow for meetings with lawmakers less than a month before the election, officials from her National Front party said Thursday. Her visit Friday comes on the heels of a trip this week to Chad, base of a French military operation that’s aimed at rooting out Islamic extremists from a swath of Africa. Continue reading “Le Pen visits Russia weeks before French presidential vote”