Tokyo faces strongest typhoon since 1958

Typhoon Hagibis could cause major flooding

Typhoon Hagibis could cause major flooding

More than six million people have been forced to evacuate as Typhoon Hagibis threatens to bring the heaviest rain and winds to Tokyo in 60 years.

Forecasters warn of the potential for flooding with some areas south of the city reporting 940mm (37 inches) of rain over 24 hours. About 1.5 million people in Tokyo live below sea level.

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Call of Duty breaks records as publisher faces Hong Kong backlash

A mobile version of video game Call of Duty has been downloaded more than 100 million times in its first week.

However, a boycott aimed at the game’s publisher, Activision Blizzard, has been launched after Blizzard placed a 12-month ban on a Hearthstone gamer who staged an online protest over the political crisis in Hong Kong.

The hashtag #Blizzardboycott is now trending on Twitter.

Boycotters included Mark Kern, a developer who has worked for Blizzard.

“It’s done,” tweeted Mr Kern, with a screenshot suggesting he had just cancelled his subscription to World of Warcraft.

“Unless/until they completely reverse their stance on this issue (which, unfortunately, doesn’t seem likely) they will get no more money from me,” wrote one Reddit user in a long thread about the boycott.

The latest title in the hugely popular Call of Duty franchise has been well received by gamers, according to download statistics from Sensor Tower.

The company said the game, which was released on 1 October, had enjoyed the biggest mobile launch yet.

A PC and console title, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, is due to be released on 25 October.

Journalist Ian Miles Cheong tweeted he had previously pre-ordered the game but, having joined the boycott, had now requested a refund.

Activision Blizzard’s share price had fallen by 2.3% by the close of trading on Tuesday.

However, the backlash was unlikely to cause serious commercial problems for Activision Blizzard, said James Batchelor, UK Editor at GamesIndustry.biz.

“It’s negative PR and that’s never great for a company but I can’t remember an instance where a consumer-led boycott has led to a significant drop in sales in the video games industry,” he told the BBC.

“These games have such a vast audience that I would almost say almost half don’t even know what’s happening… The vast majority of Call of Duty players are so casual, so mainstream.”

BBC News has contacted Activision Blizzard for comment.

Why are some gamers angry with Blizzard?

Ng Wai Chung is the name of the gamer banned for 12 months by Blizzard. He uses the pseudonym Blitzchung.

During a post-match interview on the official Hearthstone Taiwan video stream, he donned a gas mask and shouted: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age.”

Blizzard said tournament rules said players must not offend people or damage the company’s image.

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Other US technology have become embroiled in the controversy over Hong Kong.

China’s state media this week criticised Apple for listing an app in its app store designed to track the movements of police officers in Hong Kong.

The People’s Daily newspaper said the app was an endorsement for “rioters”.

The tool, HKmap.live, was not named explicitly by the newspaper.

It works by asking users to cite the locations of police and anti-government protesters. This data is then displayed on a map.

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BBC News – Technology

Gaming faces its #MeToo moment

Game developers are highlighting sexual harassment in the industry after several people accused colleagues and peers of assault and abuse.

Many women came forward and shared their experiences online, after a developer posted a blog alleging she was raped by a colleague.

The allegations cannot be detailed for legal reasons.

But the wave of posts has been compared to the “me too” movement, which exposed harassment in the film industry.

“Video games are having a #metoo moment. The toxicity from fans has been well documented for years but the toxic, abusive, predatory behaviour between developers has mostly been spoken in whispers between trusted friends,” said media critic and writer Anita Sarkeesian.

“I’m in awe of the bravery of those who have spoken up today.”

The “me too” movement began after a number of women accused film executive Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, abuse or rape. Mr Weinstein denies the charges.

#TimesUp

The current wave of allegations from within the games industry started on Monday after one developer posted a detailed account of rape and abusive behaviour by a former colleague.

It was followed by several accounts of sexual harassment from other developers.

Many women described being groped or grabbed at industry networking events. Others said men had tried to lure them to hotel rooms with the promise of work opportunities or collaborations.

Some of the accounts detail long periods of emotional manipulation and abuse by senior colleagues.

Many of those posting said they felt “dehumanised” by the experiences, which had a lasting effect on their mental health.

The allegations have been made shortly before the Pax West gaming conference, which will see thousands of indie game developers head to Seattle, Washington, on 30 August.

The “Times Up” campaign group, which fights sexual harassment, called the actions described in the posts as “disturbing” and “unconscionable”.

“This should be a moment of reckoning for the industry. This culture of sexual harassment, gas-lighting and retaliation cannot go on any longer,” the group said.

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BBC News – Technology

Crypto Currencies Fall as Facebook Faces Congress Over Libra

Investing.com – Cryptocurrencies traded lower on Tuesday as Facebook (NASDAQ:) was called to Congress to testify on plans for the launch of its digital coin Libra.

Total cryptocurrency market capitalization fell to $ 280.23 billion by 11:06 AM ET (15:06 GMT), compared to $ 292.38 billion a day earlier.

fell 1.4% to $ 10,409.2 on the Investing.com Index, lost 5.8% to $ 217.40, slid 4% to $ 0.30629, while declined 5% to $ 86.852.

At the time of writing, David Marcus, who heads the Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) division overseeing the Libra launch, was testifying to the Senate Banking Committee.

Facebook has been under regulatory siege since it announced plans to launch its own alt coin, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Monday warned that the company will face much tighter regulatory scrutiny if it ever offers digital financial services, saying that it “must implement the same anti-money-laundering safeguards in countering the financing of terrorism as traditional financial institutions”.

Mnuchin’s comments echoed a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump who came out last week with an attack on cryptocurrencies in general. In the same thread, he warned that “if Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new banking charter and become subject to all banking regulations”.

Commenting on Facebook’s appearance before Congress, Allianz (DE:) Chief Economist Mohamed El-Erian showed little surprise at the scrutiny.

“Due to money laundering risks, it was a matter of time until ‘crypto’ initiatives – such as Facebook’s Libra – triggered a regulatory response,” he explained. “Advocates must convince politicians that, rather than ‘currencies’, such initiatives can be a well- monitored part of the payments eco system.”

In his testimony, Marcus sought to do just that while assuring U.S. lawmakers that it plans to hold off on the launch until regulatory concerns are fully met.

“Digital currencies, such as that of Libra, can fit within a regulatory compliant framework in the U.S. today,” he said, while also suggesting that current regulations were creating an unnecessary obstacle to progress.

“Many banks have tried to fix the slumbering payment system and some are attempting to create their own blockchain-based alternative systems, but regulatory barriers have slowed the progress of these projects to a crawl comparatively,” Marcus warned.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Boeing CEO faces shareholders for first time since 737 MAX crashes

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of The Boeing Company, arrives at Trump Tower in New York City © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of The Boeing Company, arrives at Trump Tower in New York City

By Tracy Rucinski

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Boeing (NYSE:) Co Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg will face shareholders on Monday for the first time since two fatal crashes that led to the 737 MAX’s grounding worldwide and triggered investigations, lawsuits and a sharp loss in share value.

Battling the biggest crisis of his tenure, Muilenburg will try to bolster investor confidence in the manufacturer’s future as well as that of its fastest-selling airplane as questions linger over the model’s safety.

Family and friends of 24-year-old American Samya Stumo, one of the victims of the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX on March 10, will hold a silent protest outside the meeting site.

That crash, which killed all 157 on board when it plunged to the ground shortly after takeoff, came five months after a similar Lion Air nose-dive that killed all 189 passengers and crew.

Muilenburg will hold his first press conference since the grounding after the general annual shareholder meeting in Chicago, scheduled for 10.00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT).

Boeing is under pressure to deliver a software fix and a new pilot training package that will convince global regulators, and the flying public, that the aircraft is safe to fly again.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration could clear Boeing the 737 MAX jet to fly in late May or the first part of June, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday, though Boeing has yet to submit the updated software and training for review.

Some pilots have warned that draft training proposals do not go far enough to address their concerns.

Meanwhile, deliveries of the 737 MAX, which airlines around the world had been relying on to service a growing air travel industry for years to come, are on hold.

Last week Boeing abandoned its 2019 financial outlook, halted share buybacks and said lowered production due to the 737 MAX grounding had cost it at least $ 1 billion so far.

Shareholders have filed a lawsuit accusing the company of defrauding them by concealing safety deficiencies in the plane. The model is also the target of investigations by U.S. transportation authorities and the Department of Justice.

Muilenburg is Boeing’s chairman and president in addition to CEO, and faces calls that could strip him of one of those titles at Monday’s meeting. Boeing has recommended against the move.

Boeing must also contend with lawsuits filed on behalf of dozens of victims of the two crashes, including the family of Stumo, who are asking whether the Ethiopian disaster could have been prevented after what happened to Lion Air.

“Those in charge of creating and selling this plane did not treat Samya as they would their own daughters,” her mother Nadia Milleron told reporters in early April.

Shares in the company, worth $ 214 billion, have lost nearly 10 percent of their value since the March 10 crash.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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UK Times report May’s government faces ‘total collapse’ over Brexit

Sunday Times newspaper points out opposing factions within the Conservatives:

  • newspaper said at least six pro-European Union senior ministers will resign if UK PM May opts for a no-deal departure from the EU
  • But at the same time, rival ministers who support Brexit were threatening to quit if May decides to stay close to the EU with a customs union or if she sought a long delay to Brexit

The clock is ticking towards the can-kick date of April 12. After having thrown business under the bus now the government chucking itself under. 

Sunday Times newspaper points out opposing factions within the Conservatives:

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China's Premier Li says the economy faces new downward pressure

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“Nervous” Roger Federer faces Serena Williams for 1st time

Perth, Australia — Roger Federer won the bragging rights over fellow tennis great Serena Williams as they faced each other on court for the first time on Tuesday, with Federer spearheading Switzerland’s 4-2, 4-3 (3) victory in a mixed doubles decider at the Hopman Cup.

“I was nervous returning. People talk about her serve so much and I see why it is such a wonderful serve because you just can’t read it,” Federer said.

Federer and playing partner Belinda Bencic overcame Williams and Frances Tiafoe in the Fast4 format in front of a 14,000 capacity crowd.

After the match, Federer tweeted a photo of himself with Williams: “Oh what a night.”

“It was so fun. This is super cool that we get to do it at such a pinnacle point of our careers,” Williams said.

Federer and Williams have won 43 Grand Slam singles titles between them.

Defending champion Switzerland will qualify for Saturday’s final if it beats Greece on Thursday. The United States, which lost to Greece on Monday, can’t now advance.

The much-hyped contest lived up to the billing immediately with Federer almost running down Williams’ smash into the open court. Williams and Federer both served well against each other, but Federer’s sublime touch at the net proved decisive.

Williams grabbed at her right shoulder on several occasions late in the second set but played the match out.

Earlier, Federer beat Tiafoe 6-4, 6-1 in the men’s singles before Williams leveled the tie with a comeback 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Bencic.

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Britain's HMV faces the music as retailer calls in administrators

© Reuters. Pedestrians walk past an HMV shop in central London © Reuters. Pedestrians walk past an HMV shop in central London

(Reuters) – Music retailer HMV said it was calling in the administrators, blaming a worsening market for CDs and DVDs, to become the latest victim of brutal trading conditions in Britain’s retail sector.

The accounting firm KPMG has been named as the administrator and intends to keep the business running while it seeks a potential buyer, HMV said in a statement on Friday.

The retailer, one of Britain’s best-known high street stores, went into administration in 2013 before its rescue by restructuring specialist Hilco, but it has since been hit by competition from online rivals and music streaming services.

Sky News reported earlier that about 2,200 jobs were at risk if HMV went into administration, adding that the company had been in talks with leading names in the recorded music industry for funding but that those discussions came to nothing.

HMV was opened on London’s Oxford Street by English composer Edward Elgar in 1921 and made famous by the image of the ‘dog and trumpet’.

"During the key Christmas trading period the market for DVDs fell by over 30 percent compared to the previous year and, whilst HMV performed considerably better than that, such a deterioration in a key sector of the market is unsustainable," said Paul McGowan, Executive Chairman of HMV and its owner Hilco Capital, which paid around 50 million pounds ($ 63.47 million) for the group in 2013.

Britain’s retailers had been hoping Christmas would revive spending after a year for much of the sector that has seen a string of store groups go out of business or close shops.

Weakening consumer spending, uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the European Union, rising labor costs and higher business property taxes, has spread gloom across the retail industry.

In the years running up to its first rescue in 2013, HMV struggled to hold its own against supermarkets and online services in sales of CDs, DVDs and video games.

More recently, traditional players in the music industry have been hit by the growing popularity of online streaming services such as Spotify (N:) and Apple Music (O:), which this year became the recording industry’s single biggest revenue source.

HMV, which had a hand in the Beatles’ big break in the 1960s, recommending the group’s demo record to publishers, had around 230 stores and over 4,000 staff before it went into administration in 2013. It currently has 125 stores around Britain and employs 2,025 people.

(The story refiles to fix typo in headline.)

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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