Global firms are sounding the alarm as escalating Hong Kong protests deal a ‘serious blow’ to the city’s outlook

Protesters walk on a highway near Hong Kong’s international airport following a protest on August 12, 2019. The territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, added the violence was pushing Hong Kong “down a path of no return.” Traders have punished the city’s stocks in turn, sending Hong Kong’s stock market to a seven-month low on Tuesday. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF — which closely tracks Hong Kong shares — has plunged 10% over the past six months. Hong Kong officials, meanwhile, have cautioned t


Protesters walk on a highway near Hong Kong’s international airport following a protest on August 12, 2019. The territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, added the violence was pushing Hong Kong “down a path of no return.” Traders have punished the city’s stocks in turn, sending Hong Kong’s stock market to a seven-month low on Tuesday. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF — which closely tracks Hong Kong shares — has plunged 10% over the past six months. Hong Kong officials, meanwhile, have cautioned t
Global firms are sounding the alarm as escalating Hong Kong protests deal a ‘serious blow’ to the city’s outlook Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-14  Authors: jr reed
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, outlook, kongs, sounding, protests, global, chinese, hong, china, earnings, deal, kong, week, escalating, market, quarter, serious, firms


Global firms are sounding the alarm as escalating Hong Kong protests deal a 'serious blow' to the city's outlook

Protesters walk on a highway near Hong Kong’s international airport following a protest on August 12, 2019. Vivek Prakash | AFP | Getty Images

Two months of protests in Hong Kong are starting to take a toll on some of the largest global companies, adding to a host of geopolitical concerns as the U.S.-China trade war drags on. During the past few weeks, management teams at a range of multinational firms have taken to earnings calls to warn of dire consequences if the clashes escalate — including lost revenue and deterred business investment. Many of these companies are already feeling the strains of higher tariffs and a weakened Chinese currency. Ten weeks of increasingly violent protests have plunged the Asian financial center into its most serious crisis in decades. The growing unrest, sparked by a controversial extradition bill, also represents one of the most formidable popular challenges to Chinese president Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

This week, demonstrations at Hong Kong’s International airport suspended check-ins for two straight days, causing hundreds of flight cancellations. Scuffles broke out as thousands of protesters barricaded passageways in the main terminal building, and riot police fired pepper spray to disperse crowds. On Wednesday, flights out of the financial hub resumed as the airport obtained a court order intended to restrict the protests. But, companies are still wary of further disruptions. Chinese officials condemned the latest rounds of demonstrations, calling them “the first signs of terrorism” in an indication of escalating rhetoric. The territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, added the violence was pushing Hong Kong “down a path of no return.” President Trump, citing U.S. intelligence, said Tuesday the Chinese government was moving troops to its shared border with Hong Kong, raising concerns that a possible intervention could be on the horizon. Traders have punished the city’s stocks in turn, sending Hong Kong’s stock market to a seven-month low on Tuesday. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF — which closely tracks Hong Kong shares — has plunged 10% over the past six months. The fund now sits 16% below its recent highs in early April. By contract, the iShares MSCI World ETF (URTH) — which tracks shares across the world, including the U.S. — is down only fractionally since then. Hong Kong officials, meanwhile, have cautioned that protracted tensions could also inflict lasting damage to the local economy. The city — home to seven Fortune 500 global companies including tech giant Lenovo — grew at its weakest pace since 2009 in the first quarter. Hong Kong’s economy bounced back in the second quarter, but still fell short of analyst expectations, growing at just 0.6%. Warning signs are flashing in specific sectors, including retail, where sales plunged 7% in June versus the prior year. Double-digit declines are expected for July and August. “If a further escalation triggers capital flight … the city’s property market would be hit hard, resulting in a deep recession,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, Senior China Economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients Wednesday.

‘A bad cocktail’ for global retailers

Earlier this summer, Hong Kong-based cosmetics maker Bonjour Holdings cut its full-year profit forecast, citing the political unrest. In their most recent earnings calls, global luxury brands Prada, Hugo Boss, Gucci parent company Kering and Cartier parent Richemont, all said the protests weighed on sales in Hong Kong due to store closures and decreased tourist traffic, even as demand in mainland China grew. Other luxury retailers, like L’Occitane, have suffered even steeper setbacks in Hong Kong. Sales in the city, the company’s fourth-biggest market, plummeted 19% last quarter. “Hong Kong has been challenging,” L’Occitane Vice-Chairman Andre Hoffmann said on the firm’s most recent earnings call. “We lost several trading days in the quarter due to the protests. Chinese tourists spending in our shops has declined — all these are a bad cocktail for our business.” With the second-quarter earnings season entering its final laps, companies beyond retail – from financial juggernaut HSBC to media giant Disney – have also pointed to the political turmoil in Hong Kong as a negative headwind during conference calls with investors.

Airlines could stand the most to lose from heightened tensions. Hong Kong’s airport, the world’s eighth busiest, hosted over 400,000 flights and 75 million passengers in 2018. Government officials say the transit hub alone contributes 5% to the city’s GDP. Just last week, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flagship carrier, reported better-than-expected earnings. However, the company flagged that the protests hampered passenger numbers in July and would adversely impact future bookings. Since Friday, the company has fired two airport employees and suspended a pilot for his involvement in the demonstrations. China’s civil aviation authority has also ordered Cathay Pacific to bar employees who participated in the protests from flying to the mainland. Shares of the carrier have tumbled more than 7% in just the past two trading days, touching their lowest level since June 2009.

Hotel operators feel the pinch

Concerns are mounting for other segments of the tourism industry. Several major hotel operators have detailed to investors how the continued unrest is impacting their bottom lines. Tourism to Hong Kong, especially from mainland China, has fallen sharply over the past two months, denting hotel revenues. Occupancy rates dropped 20% in June from a year earlier and are projected to decline 40% in July. And, on Wednesday, the U.S. State Department issued a new travel advisory for the city, urging increased caution due to the unrest. Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt, and InterContinental Hotels Group all flagged the negative impact of the protests on their most recent earnings calls. IHG, the world’s third largest hotel group, outperformed its industry peers in Greater China. But in Hong Kong specifically, revenue per average room — a key industry metric — dropped 0.4% in the first half of the year, in part due to the ongoing political uncertainty. That compares to a 5% gain in Macau, another Chinese territory across the river from Hong Kong. IHG CFO Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson said last week the company is closely watching the situation, noting Hong Kong accounts for 15% of the company’s total business in China. Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson, meanwhile, said that the Hong Kong market performed fairly well last quarter but was not as sanguine looking toward the second half of the year. “Obviously, what’s happening on the streets … is not a positive sign for travel into that market,” Sorenson said on August 6. “I suspect that we’ll see that Hong Kong weakens [in the current quarter].” CFO Kathleen Oberg added that Marriott expects revenue per available room for the Asia-Pacific region to come in below forecasts in the second half of the year, citing “cautious corporate demand in China and continued political demonstrations in Hong Kong.” Hyatt executives have echoed those sentiments. CEO Mark Hoplamazian said on the company’s earnings call on August 1 that they, too, expect to see a drop in hotel occupancies this quarter, owning to softened demand for Chinese leisure travel. With more rounds of demonstrations slated for the rest of the month, other business leaders are bracing for further fallout from the violent clashes. Disney, for instance, said visits to its Hong Kong park could suffer. Members of its Cast Members Union went on strike last week, disrupting rides. “[These protests] are significant…and, while the impact isn’t reflected in the results we just announced, you can expect that we will feel it in the quarter that we’re currently in,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said on the company’s earnings call last week. “We’ll see how long the protests go on, but there’s definitely been a disruption. That has impacted our visitation there.”

‘Serious blow’ to foreign investment


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-14  Authors: jr reed
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, outlook, kongs, sounding, protests, global, chinese, hong, china, earnings, deal, kong, week, escalating, market, quarter, serious, firms


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Hong Kong airport cancels all flights for the remainder of the day due to protests

Hong Kong International Airport, one of the world’s busiest terminals, has canceled all departures for the remainder of the day, citing serious disruption due to protests. The airport authority said Monday it had canceled all flights not yet checked in by the afternoon. Around 5,000 anti-government protesters had been demonstrating at the airport for a fourth day on Monday. Some activists had reportedly moved to the departure area and caused disruption, according to the Hong Kong police. The air


Hong Kong International Airport, one of the world’s busiest terminals, has canceled all departures for the remainder of the day, citing serious disruption due to protests. The airport authority said Monday it had canceled all flights not yet checked in by the afternoon. Around 5,000 anti-government protesters had been demonstrating at the airport for a fourth day on Monday. Some activists had reportedly moved to the departure area and caused disruption, according to the Hong Kong police. The air
Hong Kong airport cancels all flights for the remainder of the day due to protests Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-12  Authors: matt clinch
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, airport, cancels, remainder, canceled, serious, flights, day, public, hong, international, disruption, kong, protests, car


Hong Kong airport cancels all flights for the remainder of the day due to protests

Hong Kong International Airport, one of the world’s busiest terminals, has canceled all departures for the remainder of the day, citing serious disruption due to protests.

The airport authority said Monday it had canceled all flights not yet checked in by the afternoon. Around 5,000 anti-government protesters had been demonstrating at the airport for a fourth day on Monday. Some activists had reportedly moved to the departure area and caused disruption, according to the Hong Kong police. The police declined to say if it would move to clear the demonstrators.

The airport authority said in a statement: “Airport operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today.”

“The traffic to the airport is very congested, and the car park spaces at all car parks are already full. Members of the public are advised not to come to the airport,” it added. It later advised all passengers to leave the terminal building as soon as possible.

The increasingly violent protests since June have plunged the Asian financial hub into its most serious crisis in decades and are one of the biggest popular challenges to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-12  Authors: matt clinch
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, airport, cancels, remainder, canceled, serious, flights, day, public, hong, international, disruption, kong, protests, car


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Attorney General William Barr says there were ‘serious irregularities’ at jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself

Attorney General William Barr said Monday that there were “serious irregularities” at the Manhattan federal jail where Jeffrey Epstein, an accused child sex trafficker, apparently killed himself over the weekend . Just a few weeks before his death, Epstein had been discovered lying semiconscious in the fetal position in his cell. Epstein was subsequently transferred to suicide watch — but outlets reported that he was taken off suicide watch just six days later. Barr also assured that Epstein’s c


Attorney General William Barr said Monday that there were “serious irregularities” at the Manhattan federal jail where Jeffrey Epstein, an accused child sex trafficker, apparently killed himself over the weekend . Just a few weeks before his death, Epstein had been discovered lying semiconscious in the fetal position in his cell. Epstein was subsequently transferred to suicide watch — but outlets reported that he was taken off suicide watch just six days later. Barr also assured that Epstein’s c
Attorney General William Barr says there were ‘serious irregularities’ at jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-12  Authors: kevin breuninger
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, epstein, william, irregularities, attorney, york, sex, serious, general, barr, federal, jail, killed, clinton, death, epsteins, suicide, case, jeffrey


Attorney General William Barr says there were 'serious irregularities' at jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself

The former friend of Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump was being held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center pending his trial on charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to sex traffic minors.

Epstein, 66, was found Saturday morning in his jail cell in cardiac arrest and was transferred to a New York hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to NBC News. Sources told NBC that Epstein hanged himself.

“Any co-conspirators should not rest easy,” Barr said. “The victims deserve justice and they will get it.”

Barr, who said in a statement over the weekend that he was “appalled” by Epstein’s death, also fired a warning shot to anyone who may have been involved in the wealthy financier’s alleged crimes.

“We will get to the bottom of what happened,” Barr vowed in blistering opening remarks at a police event in New Orleans, “and there will be accountability.”

Attorney General William Barr said Monday that there were “serious irregularities” at the Manhattan federal jail where Jeffrey Epstein, an accused child sex trafficker, apparently killed himself over the weekend .

Those charges were lodged by Manhattan federal prosecutors and made public last month after his arrest at a New Jersey airport, where Epstein had flown into from Paris on his private plane.

Just a few weeks before his death, Epstein had been discovered lying semiconscious in the fetal position in his cell. He reportedly had marks on his neck, raising the possibility that he had attempted to kill himself then.

Epstein was subsequently transferred to suicide watch — but outlets reported that he was taken off suicide watch just six days later. He had reportedly been alone in his cell and was not monitored by guards who were supposed to check on him every 30 minutes.

The New York Times also reported that Epstein’s cellmate had been transferred shortly before the apparent suicide, leaving him alone.

Barr, keynote speaker at the National Fraternal Order of Police’s biennial conference in New Orleans, said Epstein’s case “was very important to the Department of Justice and to me personally,” as well as to the FBI and the federal prosecutors preparing to take the case to trial.

“Most importantly, this case was important to the victims who had the courage to come forward and deserved the opportunity to confront the accused in the courtroom,” Barr said.

“I was appalled, and indeed the whole department was, and frankly angry, to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner,” Barr said.

He continued: “We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation. The FBI and the Office of Inspector General are doing just that.”

Barr also assured that Epstein’s case, and the cases related to his alleged sex crimes, will continue on “against anyone who was complicit with Epstein.”

The wealthy financier was accused in the New York case of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls at his mansions on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and in Palm Beach, Florida, between 2002 and 2005. He had pleaded not guilty to the two counts against him, which carried a maximum possible sentence of 45 years if convicted.

A decade earlier, Epstein had pleaded guilty to Florida state charges of prostitution with an underage girl, which allowed him to avoid more severe federal charges.

He was sentenced to 13 months in a state prison, and was allowed out on work release for most days during his incarceration. Alex Acosta, who was the top prosecutor in Florida at that time, resigned as Trump’s Labor secretary last month amid an outcry over Epstein’s lenient plea deal.

On Friday, a federal appeals court publicly disclosed nearly 2,000 pages of documents related to Epstein that had previously been entered under seal in a case involving one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell, the late money manager’s alleged procurer of underage girls.

The documents included flight records showing that Trump had flown on Epstein’s private plane in 1996; previously released flight logs showed Clinton had been on the plane multiple times.

The death of Epstein — possibly the most high-profile and highly scrutinized prisoner in the country — lit social media ablaze, fueling rampant speculation and conspiracy theories.

Trump himself retweeted a baseless conspiracy that tried to connect Clinton to Epstein’s death, despite Barr saying in a statement that it was a suicide. Lynne Patton, a senior Housing and Urban Development official, suggested on Instagram that Hillary Clinton was responsible — also without any evidence.

The New York City medical examiner performed an autopsy of Epstein, but said its determination is “pending further information at this time.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-12  Authors: kevin breuninger
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, epstein, william, irregularities, attorney, york, sex, serious, general, barr, federal, jail, killed, clinton, death, epsteins, suicide, case, jeffrey


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Trump’s new tariffs show he’s reading China all wrong, risk consultancy warns

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, March 27, 2019. U.S. President Donald Trump’s surprising move to impose more tariffs on China is a serious misreading of China’s pressure points, according to Eurasia Group analysts. “The threat is a serious gamble for Trump,” they said. Trump said Thursday that the U.S. will put 10% tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods starting Sept. 1. The announcement came just a day after both sides


U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, March 27, 2019. U.S. President Donald Trump’s surprising move to impose more tariffs on China is a serious misreading of China’s pressure points, according to Eurasia Group analysts. “The threat is a serious gamble for Trump,” they said. Trump said Thursday that the U.S. will put 10% tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods starting Sept. 1. The announcement came just a day after both sides
Trump’s new tariffs show he’s reading China all wrong, risk consultancy warns Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-02  Authors: saheli roy choudhury
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sides, consultancy, trumps, soybeans, china, serious, tariffs, wrong, talks, warns, hes, risk, pressure, reading, president, washington, trump


Trump's new tariffs show he's reading China all wrong, risk consultancy warns

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, March 27, 2019.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s surprising move to impose more tariffs on China is a serious misreading of China’s pressure points, according to Eurasia Group analysts.

The latest escalation signaled a return to the way Trump negotiated with China — by trying to build more leverage over Beijing amid ongoing talks — before both sides agreed to a ceasefire in late June, Michael Hirson, Paul Triolo and Jeffrey Wright wrote in a Thursday note.

“The threat is a serious gamble for Trump,” they said. “It likely signals that he would prefer to reach a deal on his terms before the 2020 election, and is willing to use the tools at his disposal to build pressure on China to that end.”

Trump said Thursday that the U.S. will put 10% tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods starting Sept. 1. In a series of tweets, the president complained that China did not buy “large quantities” of agricultural products from the U.S. like it had agreed to do, and that it did not stop the sale of Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, to the United States.

China, however, insisted millions of tons of U.S. soybeans have been shipped to the country since July 19, and many companies have made orders for American soybeans, cotton, pork and sorghum, Chinese state media Xinhua said.

The announcement came just a day after both sides wrapped up a round of trade talks in Shanghai, with plans to continue the negotiations in Washington in September.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-02  Authors: saheli roy choudhury
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sides, consultancy, trumps, soybeans, china, serious, tariffs, wrong, talks, warns, hes, risk, pressure, reading, president, washington, trump


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Google’s DeepMind says its A.I. tech can spot acute kidney disease 48 hours before doctors spot it

Five years after Google acquired DeepMind, the health and artificial intelligence group is unveiling its biggest breakthrough yet in health care. Its technology is able to predict if a patient has potentially fatal kidney injuries 48 hours before many symptoms can be recognized by doctors. “We’ve been really excited for the potential of using AI to support clinicians moving care from reactive to proactive and preventative,” said Dominic King, DeepMind’s co-founder and clinical lead, in an interv


Five years after Google acquired DeepMind, the health and artificial intelligence group is unveiling its biggest breakthrough yet in health care. Its technology is able to predict if a patient has potentially fatal kidney injuries 48 hours before many symptoms can be recognized by doctors. “We’ve been really excited for the potential of using AI to support clinicians moving care from reactive to proactive and preventative,” said Dominic King, DeepMind’s co-founder and clinical lead, in an interv
Google’s DeepMind says its A.I. tech can spot acute kidney disease 48 hours before doctors spot it Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-31  Authors: christina farr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, work, kidney, disease, doctors, serious, google, deepmind, symptoms, technology, googles, ai, health, using, hours, tech, spot, acute


Google's DeepMind says its A.I. tech can spot acute kidney disease 48 hours before doctors spot it

Five years after Google acquired DeepMind, the health and artificial intelligence group is unveiling its biggest breakthrough yet in health care. Its technology is able to predict if a patient has potentially fatal kidney injuries 48 hours before many symptoms can be recognized by doctors.

In a paper published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, DeepMind researchers said their algorithms correctly predicted 90 percent of acute kidney injuries that would end up requiring dialysis. The work was the result of a project with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to help doctors get a head start on treatment.

“We’ve been really excited for the potential of using AI to support clinicians moving care from reactive to proactive and preventative,” said Dominic King, DeepMind’s co-founder and clinical lead, in an interview.

About 2 million people die every year across the globe from acute kidney injury, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The condition, which involves a sudden episode of kidney failure or damage, can be tricky for doctors to diagnose because there aren’t always immediate and clear symptoms. Studies have shown that catching it early can decrease the likelihood of serious injury or death.

In 2014, Google acquired DeepMind for a reported $500 million as it looked to expand in AI and bring in top industry experts to work on hard problems involving machine learning. As Alphabet and its various units have stepped into the health-care space in the past few years, much of the focus has been on using its technology to predict serious health outcomes before they happen.

DeepMind’s health projects will soon be folded into Google Health, led by David Feinberg. The group hasn’t said much publicly beyond its website, which says it’s studying how AI can be used to assist in “diagnosing cancer, predicting patient outcomes, preventing blindness, and much more.” Much of its team remains based in the U.K., although its health unit is expected to relocate to Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-31  Authors: christina farr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, work, kidney, disease, doctors, serious, google, deepmind, symptoms, technology, googles, ai, health, using, hours, tech, spot, acute


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Read Robert Mueller’s opening statement: Russian interference among ‘most serious’ challenges to American democracy

Mueller was testifying for hours on Capitol Hill about his investigation into Russian interference, possible coordination by members of Trump’s campaign and possible obstruction of justice by Trump himself. Read Robert Mueller’s opening statement here: Good morning Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Collins, and members of the Committee. As you know, in May 2017, the Acting Attorney General asked me to serve as Special Counsel. The order appointing me as Special Counsel directed our Office to inves


Mueller was testifying for hours on Capitol Hill about his investigation into Russian interference, possible coordination by members of Trump’s campaign and possible obstruction of justice by Trump himself. Read Robert Mueller’s opening statement here: Good morning Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Collins, and members of the Committee. As you know, in May 2017, the Acting Attorney General asked me to serve as Special Counsel. The order appointing me as Special Counsel directed our Office to inves
Read Robert Mueller’s opening statement: Russian interference among ‘most serious’ challenges to American democracy Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-24  Authors: dan mangan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, opening, russian, read, democracy, election, house, mueller, work, special, challenges, serious, muellers, interference, robert, investigation, report, counsel, statement


Read Robert Mueller's opening statement: Russian interference among 'most serious' challenges to American democracy

Special counsel Robert Mueller began his testimony before a House panel Wednesday with an opening statement that called Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election that sent President Donald Trump to the White House among the “most serious” challenges to American democracy. Mueller was testifying for hours on Capitol Hill about his investigation into Russian interference, possible coordination by members of Trump’s campaign and possible obstruction of justice by Trump himself. “Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a number of challenges to our democracy,” Mueller said before he began being questioned by members of the House committee. “The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious. As I said on May 29, this deserves the attention of every American.” Read Robert Mueller’s opening statement here: Good morning Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Collins, and members of the Committee. As you know, in May 2017, the Acting Attorney General asked me to serve as Special Counsel. I undertook that role because I believed that it was of paramount interest to the nation to determine whether a foreign adversary had interfered in the presidential election. As the Acting Attorney General said at the time, the appointment was “necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome.” My staff and I carried out this assignment with that critical objective in mind: to work quietly, thoroughly, and with integrity so that the public would have full confidence in the outcome. The order appointing me as Special Counsel directed our Office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. It also included investigating efforts to interfere with, or obstruct, the investigation. Throughout the investigation, I continually stressed two things to the team that we had assembled.

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the Rayburn House Office Building July 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images News | Getty Images

First, we needed to do our work as thoroughly as possible and as expeditiously as possible. It was in the public interest for our investigation to be complete, but not to last a day longer than necessary. Second, the investigation needed to be conducted fairly and with absolute integrity. Our team would not leak or take other actions that could compromise the integrity of our work. All decisions were made based on the facts and the law. During the course of our investigation, we charged more than 30 defendants with committing federal crimes, including 12 officers of the Russian military. Seven defendants have been convicted or pled guilty. Certain of the charges we brought remain pending today. For those matters, I stress that the indictments contain allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. In addition to the criminal charges we brought, as required by Justice Department regulations, we submitted a confidential report to the Attorney General at the conclusion of the investigation. The report set forth the results of our work and the reasons for our charging and declination decisions. The Attorney General later made the report largely public. As you know, I made a few limited remarks about our report when we closed the Special Counsel’s Office in May of this year. There are certain points that bear emphasis. First, our investigation found that the Russian government interfered in our election in sweeping and systematic fashion. Second, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its election interference activities. We did not address “collusion,” which is not a legal term. Rather, we focused on whether the evidence was sufficient to charge any member of the campaign with taking part in a criminal conspiracy. It was not. Third, our investigation of efforts to obstruct the investigation and lie to investigators was of critical importance. Obstruction of justice strikes at the core of the government’s effort to find the truth and to hold wrongdoers accountable. Finally, as described in Volume 2 of our report, we investigated a series of actions by the President towards the investigation. Based on Justice Department policy and principles of fairness, we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the President committed a crime. That was our decision then and it remains our decision today.

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Office of Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 24, 2019. Jonathan Ernst | Reuters


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-24  Authors: dan mangan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, opening, russian, read, democracy, election, house, mueller, work, special, challenges, serious, muellers, interference, robert, investigation, report, counsel, statement


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Mnuchin: US has ‘very serious concerns’ that Facebook’s Libra could be misused by terrorists

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has concerns about Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency and its potential illicit use. In a press conference Monday, Mnuchin said Facebook’s planned digital currency “could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers” and that it was a “national security issue.” “The president does have concerns as it relates to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies — those are legitimate concerns that we have been working on for a long period of time,” Mnuchin said. The tech g


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has concerns about Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency and its potential illicit use. In a press conference Monday, Mnuchin said Facebook’s planned digital currency “could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers” and that it was a “national security issue.” “The president does have concerns as it relates to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies — those are legitimate concerns that we have been working on for a long period of time,” Mnuchin said. The tech g
Mnuchin: US has ‘very serious concerns’ that Facebook’s Libra could be misused by terrorists Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: kate rooney
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, libra, concerns, bitcoin, facebook, terrorists, illicit, serious, facebooks, treasury, digital, mnuchin, committee, misused


Mnuchin: US has 'very serious concerns' that Facebook's Libra could be misused by terrorists

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has concerns about Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency and its potential illicit use.

In a press conference Monday, Mnuchin said Facebook’s planned digital currency “could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers” and that it was a “national security issue.”

“Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cyber crime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs and human trafficking,” Mnuchin said, adding that he is “not comfortable today” with Facebook’s launch.

“They have a lot of work to do,” he said.

The press conference comes days after President Donald Trump said in a tweet that he was “not a fan” of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. He also suggested Facebook, which plans on launching the global cryptocurrency next year, would need a bank charter to do so. Bitcoin dropped sharply on Monday following the president’s criticism on Twitter. The world’s first and most valuable digital currency fell roughly 10% to a low of $9,872 to start the week.

“The president does have concerns as it relates to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies — those are legitimate concerns that we have been working on for a long period of time,” Mnuchin said.

In response to the Treasury secretary’s comments, Facebook told CNBC that “they anticipated critical feedback from regulators, central banks, lawmakers around the world.” The tech giant also said they announced Libra a year before its anticipated launch date, “so that we could have those conversations.”

Facebook’s David Marcus, head of Facebook’s Calibra digital wallet that will be used to store Libra, is scheduled to testify before the committee on Tuesday. The House Financial Services Committee will hold its own hearing focused on Libra on Wednesday. Marcus responded to questions from the U.S. Senate Banking Committee in a letter last week, saying the company needs governments, central banks and regulators involved to properly launch the digital asset and Facebook “can’t do this alone.”

WATCH: Facebook responds to Mnuchin’s criticism


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: kate rooney
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, libra, concerns, bitcoin, facebook, terrorists, illicit, serious, facebooks, treasury, digital, mnuchin, committee, misused


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MIT president warns ‘toxic atmosphere’ for people of Chinese descent will hurt US competitiveness

Reif said national security risks are a top priority for him, but said excessive scrutiny of immigrants will hurt both the U.S. and MIT. And we should expect it to have serious long-term costs for the nation and for MIT,” Reif wrote. Today, I feel compelled to share my dismay about some circumstances painfully relevant to our fellow MIT community members of Chinese descent. As head of an institute that includes MIT Lincoln Laboratory, I could not take national security more seriously. WATCH: Why


Reif said national security risks are a top priority for him, but said excessive scrutiny of immigrants will hurt both the U.S. and MIT. And we should expect it to have serious long-term costs for the nation and for MIT,” Reif wrote. Today, I feel compelled to share my dismay about some circumstances painfully relevant to our fellow MIT community members of Chinese descent. As head of an institute that includes MIT Lincoln Laboratory, I could not take national security more seriously. WATCH: Why
MIT president warns ‘toxic atmosphere’ for people of Chinese descent will hurt US competitiveness Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-25  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, warns, nation, world, competitiveness, president, toxic, atmosphere, national, reif, descent, community, serious, hurt, mit, message, security, chinese


MIT president warns 'toxic atmosphere' for people of Chinese descent will hurt US competitiveness

L. Rafael Reif smiles as he addresses a news conference after he was announced as the 17th president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., Wednesday, May 16, 2012. Reif was elected to the post Wednesday morning by the MIT Corporation and will assume the presidency on July 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

The U.S. government’s rhetoric and policies on immigration could “have serious long-term costs,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology President L. Rafael Reif said in an email to the school community Tuesday.

The relationship between the U.S. and China has been strained in recent months over escalating tariffs. The U.S. has also raised national security concerns about Chinese technology firms like Huawei, against which the Justice Department has filed criminal charges in two cases.

In the email, Reif discussed how tensions between China and the U.S. have bled onto MIT’s campus. He warned of the risk for justified concerns about “academic espionage” in service of the Chinese government to morph into “a toxic atmosphere of unfounded suspicion and fear.”

“Looking at cases across the nation, small numbers of researchers of Chinese background may indeed have acted in bad faith, but they are the exception and very far from the rule,” Reif wrote. “Yet faculty members, post-docs, research staff and students tell me that, in their dealings with government agencies, they now feel unfairly scrutinized, stigmatized and on edge – because of their Chinese ethnicity alone.”

Reif said national security risks are a top priority for him, but said excessive scrutiny of immigrants will hurt both the U.S. and MIT.

“Protracted visa delays. Harsh rhetoric against most immigrants and a range of other groups, because of religion, race, ethnicity or national origin. Together, such actions and policies have turned the volume all the way up on the message that the US is closing the door – that we no longer seek to be a magnet for the world’s most driven and creative individuals. I believe this message is not consistent with how America has succeeded. I am certain it is not how the Institute has succeeded. And we should expect it to have serious long-term costs for the nation and for MIT,” Reif wrote.

Read Reif’s message to the MIT community below:

To the members of the MIT community, MIT has flourished, like the United States itself, because it has been a magnet for the world’s finest talent, a global laboratory where people from every culture and background inspire each other and invent the future, together. Today, I feel compelled to share my dismay about some circumstances painfully relevant to our fellow MIT community members of Chinese descent. And I believe that because we treasure them as friends and colleagues, their situation and its larger national context should concern us all. The situation As the US and China have struggled with rising tensions, the US government has raised serious concerns about incidents of alleged academic espionage conducted by individuals through what is widely understood as a systematic effort of the Chinese government to acquire high-tech IP. As head of an institute that includes MIT Lincoln Laboratory, I could not take national security more seriously. I am well aware of the risks of academic espionage, and MIT has established prudent policies to protect against such breaches. But in managing these risks, we must take great care not to create a toxic atmosphere of unfounded suspicion and fear. Looking at cases across the nation, small numbers of researchers of Chinese background may indeed have acted in bad faith, but they are the exception and very far from the rule. Yet faculty members, post-docs, research staff and students tell me that, in their dealings with government agencies, they now feel unfairly scrutinized, stigmatized and on edge – because of their Chinese ethnicity alone. Nothing could be further from – or more corrosive to ­– our community’s collaborative strength and open-hearted ideals. To hear such reports from Chinese and Chinese-American colleagues is heartbreaking. As scholars, teachers, mentors, inventors and entrepreneurs, they have been not only exemplary members of our community but exceptional contributors to American society. I am deeply troubled that they feel themselves repaid with generalized mistrust and disrespect. The signal to the world For those of us who know firsthand the immense value of MIT’s global community and of the free flow of scientific ideas, it is important to understand the distress of these colleagues as part of an increasingly loud signal the US is sending to the world. Protracted visa delays. Harsh rhetoric against most immigrants and a range of other groups, because of religion, race, ethnicity or national origin. Together, such actions and policies have turned the volume all the way up on the message that the US is closing the door – that we no longer seek to be a magnet for the world’s most driven and creative individuals. I believe this message is not consistent with how America has succeeded. I am certain it is not how the Institute has succeeded. And we should expect it to have serious long-term costs for the nation and for MIT. For the record, let me say with warmth and enthusiasm to every member of MIT’s intensely global community: We are glad, proud and fortunate to have you with us! To our alumni around the world: We remain one community, united by our shared values and ideals! And to all the rising talent out there: If you are passionate about making a better world, and if you dream of joining our community, we welcome your creativity, we welcome your unstoppable energy and aspiration – and we hope you can find a way to join us. * * * In May, the world lost a brilliant creative force: architect I.M. Pei, MIT Class of 1940. Raised in Shanghai and Hong Kong, he came to the United States at 17 to seek an education. He left a legacy of iconic buildings from Boston to Paris and China to Washington, DC, as well on our own campus. By his own account, he consciously stayed alive to his Chinese roots all his life. Yet, when he died at the age of 102, the Boston Globe described him as “the most prominent American architect of his generation.” Thanks to the inspired American system that also made room for me as an immigrant, all of those facts can be true at the same time. As I have discovered through 40 years in academia, the hidden strength of a university is that every fall, it is refreshed by a new tide of students. I am equally convinced that part of the genius of America is that it is continually refreshed by immigration – by the passionate energy, audacity, ingenuity and drive of people hungry for a better life. There is certainly room for a wide range of serious positions on the actions necessary to ensure our national security and to manage and improve our nation’s immigration system. But above the noise of the current moment, the signal I believe we should be sending, loud and clear, is that the story of American immigration is essential to understanding how the US became, and remains, optimistic, open-minded, innovative and prosperous – a story of never-ending renewal. In a nation like ours, immigration is a kind of oxygen, each fresh wave reenergizing the body as a whole. As a society, when we offer immigrants the gift of opportunity, we receive in return vital fuel for our shared future. I trust that this wisdom will always guide us in the life and work of MIT. And I hope it can continue to guide our nation. Sincerely, L. Rafael Reif

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WATCH: Why the US thinks Huawei has been a massive national security threat for years


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-25  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, warns, nation, world, competitiveness, president, toxic, atmosphere, national, reif, descent, community, serious, hurt, mit, message, security, chinese


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Facebook’s EU regulator says it ‘remains to be seen’ if Mark Zuckerberg is serious about privacy

The Irish regulator conducting nearly one dozen investigations into Facebook isn’t convinced by Mark Zuckerberg’s privacy push. In a CNBC interview Wednesday, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon said “it’s all going to remain to be seen” whether Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg are serious about a shift toward privacy and security on the platform. In the meantime, Dixon said Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) will continue its investigations into Facebook and other U.S. te


The Irish regulator conducting nearly one dozen investigations into Facebook isn’t convinced by Mark Zuckerberg’s privacy push. In a CNBC interview Wednesday, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon said “it’s all going to remain to be seen” whether Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg are serious about a shift toward privacy and security on the platform. In the meantime, Dixon said Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) will continue its investigations into Facebook and other U.S. te
Facebook’s EU regulator says it ‘remains to be seen’ if Mark Zuckerberg is serious about privacy Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-13  Authors: elizabeth schulze
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, dixon, mark, facebook, eu, irelands, facebooks, investigations, serious, privacy, zuckerberg, protection, giants, seen, data, remains, regulator


Facebook's EU regulator says it 'remains to be seen' if Mark Zuckerberg is serious about privacy

The Irish regulator conducting nearly one dozen investigations into Facebook isn’t convinced by Mark Zuckerberg’s privacy push.

The internet giant’s stock fell Wednesday after a report in the Wall Street Journal suggested the Facebook boss has previously been aware of potential issues with privacy, arising from the firm’s business practices.

In a CNBC interview Wednesday, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon said “it’s all going to remain to be seen” whether Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg are serious about a shift toward privacy and security on the platform.

In the meantime, Dixon said Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) will continue its investigations into Facebook and other U.S. tech giants as they face increased scrutiny by regulators around the world.

“There will certainly be some of the investigations into Facebook that will reach a conclusion in the coming months,” Dixon told CNBC. She added she has met and spoke with “a number of the senior executives at Facebook.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-13  Authors: elizabeth schulze
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, dixon, mark, facebook, eu, irelands, facebooks, investigations, serious, privacy, zuckerberg, protection, giants, seen, data, remains, regulator


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Facebook under fire from another privacy controversy

Facebook under fire from another privacy controversy19 Hours AgoStephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and Kevin Delaney, editor-in-chief of Quartz, discuss Facebook’s latest privacy controversy and whether the CEO Mark Zuckerberg is serious about privacy.


Facebook under fire from another privacy controversy19 Hours AgoStephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and Kevin Delaney, editor-in-chief of Quartz, discuss Facebook’s latest privacy controversy and whether the CEO Mark Zuckerberg is serious about privacy.
Facebook under fire from another privacy controversy Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-13  Authors: justin sullivan, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, controversy, mark, privacy, latest, mehta, facebook, zuckerberg, editorinchief, quartz, kevin, serious, hours


Facebook under fire from another privacy controversy

Facebook under fire from another privacy controversy

19 Hours Ago

Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and Kevin Delaney, editor-in-chief of Quartz, discuss Facebook’s latest privacy controversy and whether the CEO Mark Zuckerberg is serious about privacy.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-13  Authors: justin sullivan, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, controversy, mark, privacy, latest, mehta, facebook, zuckerberg, editorinchief, quartz, kevin, serious, hours


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