Australia urges a quarter of a million to flee as winds fan massive bushfires

Smoke billows during bushfires in Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia, December 30, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. People in high-risk regions in New South Wales and South Australia were also urged to think about leaving, but officials did not say how many. Here are key events in the crisis:* Of 158 fires ablaze across New South Wales (NSW), about 39 were uncontained. * Health officials in New South Wales urged extra precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses. * Just shy of 2,000


Smoke billows during bushfires in Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia, December 30, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media.
People in high-risk regions in New South Wales and South Australia were also urged to think about leaving, but officials did not say how many.
Here are key events in the crisis:* Of 158 fires ablaze across New South Wales (NSW), about 39 were uncontained.
* Health officials in New South Wales urged extra precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses.
* Just shy of 2,000
Australia urges a quarter of a million to flee as winds fan massive bushfires Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-10
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fan, smoke, australia, urges, million, bushfires, urged, fires, winds, quarter, flee, victoria, billion, wales, massive, south, emergency


Australia urges a quarter of a million to flee as winds fan massive bushfires

Smoke billows during bushfires in Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia, December 30, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Picture taken December 30, 2019.

Australia urged nearly a quarter of a million people to evacuate their homes on Friday and prepared military backup as authorities said the next few hours could be “very, very challenging” even as rain poured down in some parts.

Defense personnel stood ready to move to bushfire grounds if conditions became extreme, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters, as soaring temperatures and erratic winds create dangerous conditions.

“Even with rain in Melbourne, even with forecast better conditions next week, there is a long way to go in what has been an unprecedented fire event…and, of course, we know that we have many weeks of the fire season to run,” Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, told a televised briefing.

“The next few hours are going to be very, very challenging.”

While the winds are expected to move through by Saturday morning, Andrews urged residents to stay on high alert and leave the community “if you are told to.”

Authorities sent emergency texts to 240,000 people in Victoria, telling them to leave. People in high-risk regions in New South Wales and South Australia were also urged to think about leaving, but officials did not say how many.

Since October, 27 people have been killed and thousands subjected to repeat evacuations as monster and unpredictable fires scorched more than 10.3 million hectares (25.5 million acres) of land, or an area the size of South Korea.

Campaigners protested in Sydney and Melbourne on Friday as part of a wave of demonstrations planned in major world cities, to spotlight concerns about Australia’s climate change policies.

In the coastal town of Eden in New South Wales, where the alert status was upgraded to ‘watch and act’ on Friday evening, smoke filled the horizon as winds blew smoke and ash.

“We’re staying to defend and we think we’ll be OK,” said David Richardson, sitting under the town’s watchtower while walking his dog, close to his home behind a small pine forest.

Sitting beside him, Robyn Malcolm added: “If it all goes wrong we’ll dash down to the wharf and get on a tugboat,” referring to a navy vessel that has been lingering for over a week.

Here are key events in the crisis:

* Of 158 fires ablaze across New South Wales (NSW), about 39 were uncontained. One was burning at an ’emergency level’, three blazes were in the “watch and act” category, with the rest at the “advice” level, the lowest alert rating.

* Neighbouring Victoria had 21 fires, with more than 1.3 million hectares burnt. Ten fires were at an emergency level.

* In the alpine region on the border of the southeastern states of Victoria and New South Wales, two fires were poised to merge and create a blaze over almost 600,000 hectares (1.5 million acres).

* Victoria emergency services minister Lisa Neville said some communities had been provided with large containers of satellite phones, baby formula, food, nappies, and torches in case they are cut off.

* Westpac estimated total bushfire losses to date at about A$5 billion ($3.44 billion), higher than the 2009 bushfires in Victoria but smaller than the Queensland floods in 2010/11. It forecast a hit of 0.2% to 0.5% on gross domestic product.

* Australia’s alpine resorts have dusted off winter snowmaking machines to blast ice-cold water onto dry ski slopes as fires threaten the Snowy Mountains region.

* The Insurance Council of Australia increased its estimate of damages claims from the fires to more than A$900 million, with claims expected to jump further.

* Health officials in New South Wales urged extra precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses.

* Australia’s wildfires have dwarfed other catastrophic blazes, with its burnt terrain more than twice the extent of that ravaged this year by fires in Brazil, California and Indonesia combined.

* Of nine fires in the state of South Australia, one was categorized as an emergency.

* Climate protests were also planned on Friday in cities such as Canberra, targeting the government’s handling of the crisis and its position on climate change.

* Prime Minister Morrison said he was considering holding a wide-ranging national inquiry into the bushfires after the immediate crisis passed.

* Just shy of 2,000 homes have been destroyed in New South Wales, state authorities said, half during the past 10 days.

* The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is to donate cricketer Shane Warne’s prized “baggy green” cap to a museum after paying more than A$1 million for it at an auction for bushfire relief.

Authorities have warned that the huge fires, spurred by high temperatures, wind, and a three-year drought, will persist until there is substantial rainfall. The weather agency said there was no sign of that for months.

* Ecologists at the University of Sydney have estimated 1 billion animals have been killed or injured in the bushfires, potentially destroying ecosystems.

* Morrison has pledged A$2 billion ($1.4 billion) to a newly created National Bushfire Recovery Agency.

* About 100 firefighters from the United States and Canada are helping with another 140 expected in the coming weeks.

* The fires have emitted 400 megatonnes of carbon dioxide and produced harmful pollutants, the European Union’s Copernicus monitoring program said.

* Smoke has drifted across the Pacific, affecting cities in South America, and may have reached the Antarctic, the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-10
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fan, smoke, australia, urges, million, bushfires, urged, fires, winds, quarter, flee, victoria, billion, wales, massive, south, emergency


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US Embassy urges Americans to flee Iraq ‘immediately’ following Soleimani killing

Hashd al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces) fighters set the U.S. Embassy wall on fire as they protest to condemn air strikes on their bases, in Baghdad, Iraq December 31, 2019. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has urged American citizens to “depart Iraq immediately” after a U.S. airstrike killed Iran’s top military commander, spiking tension in Iraq and the Middle East. In a security alert issued Friday morning, the U.S. Embassy told citizens to “depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to oth


Hashd al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces) fighters set the U.S. Embassy wall on fire as they protest to condemn air strikes on their bases, in Baghdad, Iraq December 31, 2019.
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has urged American citizens to “depart Iraq immediately” after a U.S. airstrike killed Iran’s top military commander, spiking tension in Iraq and the Middle East.
In a security alert issued Friday morning, the U.S. Embassy told citizens to “depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to oth
US Embassy urges Americans to flee Iraq ‘immediately’ following Soleimani killing Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-03  Authors: elliot smith
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, citizens, following, tehran, tension, soleimani, flee, urged, immediately, iraq, depart, americans, wall, urges, killing, embassy, told, baghdad


US Embassy urges Americans to flee Iraq 'immediately' following Soleimani killing

Hashd al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces) fighters set the U.S. Embassy wall on fire as they protest to condemn air strikes on their bases, in Baghdad, Iraq December 31, 2019.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has urged American citizens to “depart Iraq immediately” after a U.S. airstrike killed Iran’s top military commander, spiking tension in Iraq and the Middle East.

In a security alert issued Friday morning, the U.S. Embassy told citizens to “depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land.”

The targeted killing of Major-General Qasem Soleimani, leader of the elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has drawn promises of retaliation from Tehran.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-03  Authors: elliot smith
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, citizens, following, tehran, tension, soleimani, flee, urged, immediately, iraq, depart, americans, wall, urges, killing, embassy, told, baghdad


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Residents, holidaymakers urged to leave Australian region as fire conditions worsen

Residents and holidaymakers in part of the Australian state of Victoria were urged to leave on Sunday ahead of what is expected to be a day of extreme fire danger. State Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp told both residents and tens of thousands of holidaymakers in the East Gippsland region to leave no later than Monday morning. “We are asking you to now leave East Gippsland from that area east of Bairnsdale,” Crisp said, referring to a city 280 km (174 miles) east of Melbourne. The


Residents and holidaymakers in part of the Australian state of Victoria were urged to leave on Sunday ahead of what is expected to be a day of extreme fire danger.
State Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp told both residents and tens of thousands of holidaymakers in the East Gippsland region to leave no later than Monday morning.
“We are asking you to now leave East Gippsland from that area east of Bairnsdale,” Crisp said, referring to a city 280 km (174 miles) east of Melbourne.
The
Residents, holidaymakers urged to leave Australian region as fire conditions worsen Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-29
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, crisp, gippsland, holidaymakers, conditions, australian, residents, state, temperatures, days, worsen, tomorrow, urged, east, region, leave, weather


Residents, holidaymakers urged to leave Australian region as fire conditions worsen

Residents and holidaymakers in part of the Australian state of Victoria were urged to leave on Sunday ahead of what is expected to be a day of extreme fire danger.

Authorities said temperatures of more than 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), strong winds, thunderstorms and a wind change moving across the state meant Monday would be one of the most significant fire weather days in Victoria’s history.

State Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp told both residents and tens of thousands of holidaymakers in the East Gippsland region to leave no later than Monday morning.

“What we are saying now, based on the conditions that will be confronting us tomorrow across the state, but in particular in East Gippsland, is that if you’re holidaying in that part of the state, it’s time that you left,” Crisp said at a media conference on Sunday.

“We are asking you to now leave East Gippsland from that area east of Bairnsdale,” Crisp said, referring to a city 280 km (174 miles) east of Melbourne.

“You should not be there tomorrow and we want you to get out now.”

Earlier on Sunday, organizers of a music festival in the state cancelled the event, citing the extreme weather expected on Monday.

“After consultation with local and regional fire authorities and other emergency stakeholders, it is clear that we have no other option,” the organizers wrote on Facebook.

The event was meant to run until New Year’s Eve and some 9,000 people were already camping on site when the announcement was made.

The state of New South Wales (NSW) is also facing severe fire conditions over coming days, with temperatures expecting to peak on Tuesday.

“We’ve got some deteriorating weather conditions over the coming days, particularly Monday and worsening through to Tuesday,” said the NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-29
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Hong Kong police chief calls for peace ahead of big protest march

Hong Kong’s police chief has urged citizens to demonstrate peacefully ahead of what is expected to be a large-scale pro-democracy march on Sunday, an event planned amid a lull in violence in the Chinese-ruled city. Speaking to reporters before departing for a “courtesy visit” to Beijing, newly-installed police commissioner Chris Tang urged Hong Kongers to set a global example. “We hope our citizens can show the whole world (that) Hong Kong people are capable of holding a large scale rally in an


Hong Kong’s police chief has urged citizens to demonstrate peacefully ahead of what is expected to be a large-scale pro-democracy march on Sunday, an event planned amid a lull in violence in the Chinese-ruled city.
Speaking to reporters before departing for a “courtesy visit” to Beijing, newly-installed police commissioner Chris Tang urged Hong Kongers to set a global example.
“We hope our citizens can show the whole world (that) Hong Kong people are capable of holding a large scale rally in an
Hong Kong police chief calls for peace ahead of big protest march Cached Page below :
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Hong Kong police chief calls for peace ahead of big protest march

Hong Kong’s police chief has urged citizens to demonstrate peacefully ahead of what is expected to be a large-scale pro-democracy march on Sunday, an event planned amid a lull in violence in the Chinese-ruled city.

Police on Thursday gave a rare green light to the demonstration, organized by the Civil Human Rights Front, the group that called the million-strong marches in the summer. Sunday’s march is a key gauge of the pro-democracy movement’s support following its sweeping victory in local elections.

Speaking to reporters before departing for a “courtesy visit” to Beijing, newly-installed police commissioner Chris Tang urged Hong Kongers to set a global example.

“We hope our citizens can show the whole world (that) Hong Kong people are capable of holding a large scale rally in an orderly and peaceful manner,” he said. “We urge the organizer to assist the police on maintaining the order.”

Tang was traveling to meet with senior officials from the ministry of public security in Beijing and is expected to return to Hong Kong on Sunday.

The unrest in Hong Kong is the biggest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-06
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Trump says he will restore tariffs on Brazil, Argentina metal imports

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that he will immediately restore tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina. “Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers. Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries,” Trump said in a tweet. Trump also urged the Federal Reserve to prevent countries from gaini


U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that he will immediately restore tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina.
“Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers.
Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries,” Trump said in a tweet.
Trump also urged the Federal Reserve to prevent countries from gaini
Trump says he will restore tariffs on Brazil, Argentina metal imports Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-02  Authors: kevin breuninger
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Trump says he will restore tariffs on Brazil, Argentina metal imports

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that he will immediately restore tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina.

“Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers. Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries,” Trump said in a tweet.

Trump also urged the Federal Reserve to prevent countries from gaining an economic advantage by devaluing their currencies.

“The Federal Reserve should likewise act so that countries, of which there are many, no longer take advantage of our strong dollar,” Trump tweeted

“Lower Rates & Loosen – Fed!,” he said.

Trump has repeatedly urged the Fed to lower rates to below zero, arguing that negative rates in Europe and elsewhere give those countries a competitive advantage.

However, Fed policymakers have been reluctant to take the unorthodox policy steps tried by other global central banks. The U.S. central bank’s policymaking committee holds its next meeting on Dec. 10-11.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-02  Authors: kevin breuninger
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, immediately, imports, restore, countries, rates, argentina, urged, steel, fed, brazil, reserve, tariffs, trump, metal


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China’s factory activity unexpectedly returns to growth in November

Employees work on the production line of a robot vacuum cleaner factory of Matsutek in Shenzhen, China August 9, 2019. Factory activity in China unexpectedly returned to growth in November for the first time in seven months, as domestic demand picked up on Beijing’s accelerated stimulus measures to steady growth. More U.S. tariffs are looming within weeks and Beijing and Washington are still haggling over the first phase of a trade deal. With China’s economic growth cooling to near 30-year lows


Employees work on the production line of a robot vacuum cleaner factory of Matsutek in Shenzhen, China August 9, 2019.
Factory activity in China unexpectedly returned to growth in November for the first time in seven months, as domestic demand picked up on Beijing’s accelerated stimulus measures to steady growth.
More U.S. tariffs are looming within weeks and Beijing and Washington are still haggling over the first phase of a trade deal.
With China’s economic growth cooling to near 30-year lows
China’s factory activity unexpectedly returns to growth in November Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-30
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, returns, activity, economic, chinas, factory, trade, phase, growth, beijing, stimulus, unexpectedly, urged, pmi


China's factory activity unexpectedly returns to growth in November

Employees work on the production line of a robot vacuum cleaner factory of Matsutek in Shenzhen, China August 9, 2019.

Factory activity in China unexpectedly returned to growth in November for the first time in seven months, as domestic demand picked up on Beijing’s accelerated stimulus measures to steady growth.

But gains were slight, and export demand remained sluggish. More U.S. tariffs are looming within weeks and Beijing and Washington are still haggling over the first phase of a trade deal.

With China’s economic growth cooling to near 30-year lows and industrial profits shrinking, speculation is mounting that Beijing needs to roll out stimulus more quickly and more aggressively, even if it risks adding to a pile of debt.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) bounced back to 50.2 in November, its highest since March, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Saturday, above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.

The result compared with 49.3 in October. A Reuters poll showed analysts expected the November PMI to come in at 49.5.

The official factory gauge pointed to an improvement in China’s vast manufacturing sector last month. Total new orders bounced back to expansionary territory with the sub-index rising to 51.3, the highest level seen since April.

That indicates domestic consumption firmed up after Beijing repeatedly urged local governments to kick stimulus up a gear to meet economic goals before year-end. Factory output also rose to 52.6 in November, marking the strongest pace since March.

“In the short term, we may have already passed the low point where the economy hit the bottom,” Zhang Deli, a macro analyst with Lianxun Securities, wrote in a note.

Beijing has front-loaded 1 trillion yuan ($142 billion) of a 2020 local government special bonds quota to this year and has urged that they be issued and used as early as possible to boost infrastructure investment. Some analysts say that could be a sign that the government is worried about downward economic pressure.

Zhang attributed to the better-than-expected November PMI to a government push on infrastructure investment, less property market control, and a de-escalation in U.S.-China trade tension in October, when both sides said they had substantially reached a “Phase 1” agreement and the United States delayed a tariff increase scheduled to take place on October 15.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-30
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, returns, activity, economic, chinas, factory, trade, phase, growth, beijing, stimulus, unexpectedly, urged, pmi


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Former Obama aide urges Republicans to ‘do some soul-searching’ over Trump impeachment inquiry

A long-time aide to former President Barack Obama has urged Republicans in the U.S. Senate to “remember their oath of office” as they prepare to hear the final House impeachment hearing of the week on Thursday. A Democratic-led inquiry is trying to determine whether President Donald Trump improperly put pressure on Ukraine to force the country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, delivered testimony that stunned both Republicans and D


A long-time aide to former President Barack Obama has urged Republicans in the U.S. Senate to “remember their oath of office” as they prepare to hear the final House impeachment hearing of the week on Thursday.
A Democratic-led inquiry is trying to determine whether President Donald Trump improperly put pressure on Ukraine to force the country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, delivered testimony that stunned both Republicans and D
Former Obama aide urges Republicans to ‘do some soul-searching’ over Trump impeachment inquiry Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-21  Authors: sam meredith
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, urges, republicans, president, week, worked, obama, soulsearching, vice, purpose, trump, urged, aide, inquiry, impeachment, valerie


Former Obama aide urges Republicans to 'do some soul-searching' over Trump impeachment inquiry

A long-time aide to former President Barack Obama has urged Republicans in the U.S. Senate to “remember their oath of office” as they prepare to hear the final House impeachment hearing of the week on Thursday.

A Democratic-led inquiry is trying to determine whether President Donald Trump improperly put pressure on Ukraine to force the country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, delivered testimony that stunned both Republicans and Democrats. He said that not only was there a “quid pro quo” — a Latin term meaning to exchange one favor for another — but that he and other officials were acting under direction from the president himself.

Speaking to CNBC’s Karen Tso in Paris, France on Thursday, Valerie Jarrett, who worked as a senior adviser to Obama from 2009 to 2017, said that a lot of people were “deeply troubled” by the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

It is “stunning that a U.S. president would put anything above the interests of the United States. You are there for one purpose — and one purpose only — and that’s to look out for all of us.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-21  Authors: sam meredith
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, urges, republicans, president, week, worked, obama, soulsearching, vice, purpose, trump, urged, aide, inquiry, impeachment, valerie


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Deutsche Bank chairman urged to step down by US private equity firm Cerberus

U.S. private equity firm Cerberus is hoping to replace Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner, two sources confirmed to CNBC on Tuesday. The private equity firm has a 3% stake in Deutsche Bank. However, two people familiar with the matter told CNBC on the condition of anonymity that Cerberus was indeed pushing for the 63-year-old chairman to be replaced. In the past, Deutsche Bank’s other big shareholders have raised concerns about the bank’s failing strategy and have called for a reshuffle of t


U.S. private equity firm Cerberus is hoping to replace Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner, two sources confirmed to CNBC on Tuesday.
The private equity firm has a 3% stake in Deutsche Bank.
However, two people familiar with the matter told CNBC on the condition of anonymity that Cerberus was indeed pushing for the 63-year-old chairman to be replaced.
In the past, Deutsche Bank’s other big shareholders have raised concerns about the bank’s failing strategy and have called for a reshuffle of t
Deutsche Bank chairman urged to step down by US private equity firm Cerberus Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-12  Authors: spriha srivastava
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, bank, equity, private, reported, banks, sources, step, cerberus, told, deutsche, urged, shareholders, chairman, term, firm


Deutsche Bank chairman urged to step down by US private equity firm Cerberus

U.S. private equity firm Cerberus is hoping to replace Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner, two sources confirmed to CNBC on Tuesday.

Cerberus has lost faith in Achleitner and its desire for change has increased since merger talks with Commerzbank failed earlier this year, according to the sources. The private equity firm has a 3% stake in Deutsche Bank.

The German bank has declined to comment on the story which first reported by the Financial Times. However, two people familiar with the matter told CNBC on the condition of anonymity that Cerberus was indeed pushing for the 63-year-old chairman to be replaced.

Germany’s flagship lender has been in the news for all the wrong reasons — from settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice, to management reshuffles, weak earnings, massive fines, constant restructuring, merger speculation and steep stock price falls.

In the past, Deutsche Bank’s other big shareholders have raised concerns about the bank’s failing strategy and have called for a reshuffle of the board. In May, Deutsche Bank’s proxy advisor Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) called for shareholders to vote against the board, citing a series of scandals resulting from the bank’s failure to uphold anti-money laundering controls and causing reputational and monetary damage.

The FT has also reported that the lender’s other large shareholders – members of the Qatari royal family, funds managed by former J.P. Morgan Chase executive Doug Braunstein and asset manager BlackRock – have concerns about Achleitner’s performance.

Achleitner took over as chairman of Deutsche Bank in 2012 and its share price is down more than 73% since then. However, the sources told CNBC that he is keen to stay on until the end of his term in order to oversee Deutsche Bank’s 150th anniversary next year. Achleitner’s term is due to end in 2022.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-12  Authors: spriha srivastava
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EU urged to investigate Apple Pay on competition concerns, Vestager says

LISBON, Portugal — Apple’s digital wallet is stifling competition in the payments market, according to a high number of complaints sent to the EU’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. “We get many, many concerns when it comes to Apple Pay for pure competition reasons,” Vestager said in a press conference at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday. Apple Pay is now available in all EU member states and venture capital firm Loup Ventures estimates that 88% of its us


LISBON, Portugal — Apple’s digital wallet is stifling competition in the payments market, according to a high number of complaints sent to the EU’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
“We get many, many concerns when it comes to Apple Pay for pure competition reasons,” Vestager said in a press conference at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday.
Apple Pay is now available in all EU member states and venture capital firm Loup Ventures estimates that 88% of its us
EU urged to investigate Apple Pay on competition concerns, Vestager says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-07  Authors: elizabeth schulze
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, competition, pay, spotify, vestager, investigate, urged, tech, portugal, apple, users, payments, concerns


EU urged to investigate Apple Pay on competition concerns, Vestager says

LISBON, Portugal — Apple’s digital wallet is stifling competition in the payments market, according to a high number of complaints sent to the EU’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

“We get many, many concerns when it comes to Apple Pay for pure competition reasons,” Vestager said in a press conference at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday.

“People see that it becomes increasingly difficult to compete in the market for easy payments.” Apple Pay is now available in all EU member states and venture capital firm Loup Ventures estimates that 88% of its users are outside of the U.S. While it is struggling to compete with the likes of WeChat and Samsung Pay it currently has 383 million global users — more than mobile payment platforms like Google Pay and Amazon Pay.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, is also investigating an antitrust complaint into Apple from music streaming rival Spotify related to terms in the App Store. Vestager said the EU is in the process of analyzing Apple’s response to the Spotify complaint.

Vestager has taken a tough stance regulating big U.S. tech companies, imposing more than $9.5 billion in antitrust fines against Google over the past two years. She did not comment on specifics of Google’s acquisition of smartwatch maker FitBit but said “in general we have a concern if companies merge because of data.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-07  Authors: elizabeth schulze
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, competition, pay, spotify, vestager, investigate, urged, tech, portugal, apple, users, payments, concerns


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SEC urged to end the ‘issuer pay’ bond ratings model once tied to the financial crisis

A bond market arrangement tied closely to the financial crisis that has nonetheless persisted should be halted, according to testimony this week before federal regulators. The “issuer pay” business model allows for bond issuers to pay the firms that provide ratings. During the financial crisis, ratings from the three major agencies — Moody’s, S&P and Fitch — came under scrutiny for assigning top grades to risky mortgages that ultimately collapsed. An executive chairing the subcommittee told the


A bond market arrangement tied closely to the financial crisis that has nonetheless persisted should be halted, according to testimony this week before federal regulators.
The “issuer pay” business model allows for bond issuers to pay the firms that provide ratings.
During the financial crisis, ratings from the three major agencies — Moody’s, S&P and Fitch — came under scrutiny for assigning top grades to risky mortgages that ultimately collapsed.
An executive chairing the subcommittee told the
SEC urged to end the ‘issuer pay’ bond ratings model once tied to the financial crisis Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-05  Authors: jeff cox
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, told, subcommittee, crisis, journal, ratings, agencies, according, issuer, bond, end, urged, pay, sec, model, tied, financial


SEC urged to end the 'issuer pay' bond ratings model once tied to the financial crisis

A bond market arrangement tied closely to the financial crisis that has nonetheless persisted should be halted, according to testimony this week before federal regulators.

The “issuer pay” business model allows for bond issuers to pay the firms that provide ratings. During the financial crisis, ratings from the three major agencies — Moody’s, S&P and Fitch — came under scrutiny for assigning top grades to risky mortgages that ultimately collapsed.

In a hearing Monday before the Securities and Exchange Commission, experts testified that it’s time to scrap the practice one and for all.

“The issuer-pay model that we have is fundamentally broken,” Jeffrey Manns, law professor at George Washington University, told the commission, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

An SEC committee has been convened to look at broader bond market issues. Monday’s hearing was for a subcommittee looking specifically at the credit ratings industry. An executive chairing the subcommittee told the Journal that no recommendations have been made yet for changes.

Issuer pay has been criticized because of the potential for conflicts of interest where agencies could feel pressured to give good ratings for the companies paying them. An S&P official earlier this year defended the model, saying it is

“existential” for the agencies and that conflicts of interest need to be “managed, remedied and disclosed,” according to the Journal.

CNBC has reached out to Moody’s, S&P and Fitch for comment.

Read the full Journal story here.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-05  Authors: jeff cox
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, told, subcommittee, crisis, journal, ratings, agencies, according, issuer, bond, end, urged, pay, sec, model, tied, financial


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