Hong Kong media report police have fired a warning shot

Demonstrations continued in HK over the weekend, with reports of police firing a shot for the first time.

  • Police have used tear gas and water cannons
  • Protesters are said to have thrown what appeared to be a petrol bomb

Note – media reports of shot – not confirmed. Same for the petrol bomb – unconfirmed. 

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Japan media reports the G7 summit this weekend may end acrimoniously due to trade dispute

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State media: China and US made ‘new progress’ in talks

Upbeat comments on CCTV

State-run CCTV reported that China and the United States made “new progress” in talks that wrapped up on Friday.

The sides are expected to continue talks in the week ahead via teleconference.

CCTV reported that both sides were working on a draft text that included technology transfers, protection of IP rights, services, agriculture, the trade balance and implementation.

The tone from Trump on Friday was also upbeat. At this point you have to believe that a deal is almost entirely priced in and that there’s a risk of a ‘sell the fact’ whenever there is an announcement of a bilateral summit or when the deal is signed.

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Hotels hide social media accounts after boycott over anti-gay laws

The Brunei-owned luxury hotels facing an international boycott have hidden their social media accounts after the backlash over laws in the country that were enacted this week that make gay sex punishable by death. The hotels, which are operated under the Dorchester Collection brand,  has faced a celebrity-led international boycott after implementing the new laws.

“Although we believe in open and transparent communication, we have reluctantly deactivated our hotel social media pages due to the personal abuse directed to our employees for whom we have a duty of care,” Dorchester Collection posted on social media. 

The boycott was sparked last week in an opinion piece by actor George Clooney, who said a boycott of the high-end hotels — where rooms can start at $ 600 a night or more — is necessary to keep money from flowing “directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery.”

Even before 2014, homosexuality was already punishable in Brunei by a jail term of up to 10 years. But under the new laws – which apply to children and foreigners, even if they are not Muslim – those found guilty of gay sex can be stoned to death or whipped. Adulterers risk death by stoning too, while thieves face amputation of a right hand on their first offense and a left foot on their second.

The nine hotels owned by Brunei are: 

  • The Dorchester, London
  • 45 Park Lane, London
  • Coworth Park, UK
  • The Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills
  • Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles
  • Le Meurice, Paris
  • Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris
  • Hotel Eden, Rome
  • Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan

Eight of the hotels’ accounts have been deleted or deactivated on Twitter, with just Hotel Principle de Savoia in Italy “protected,”  meaning it is still present on the website, but the tweets cannot be viewed, BBC News reports. 

The Instagram accounts of all but three of the hotels have been deleted or deactivated, with Le Meurice and Hôtel Plaza Athénée in France and Hotel Eden in Rome switched to “private” to prevent the posts being viewed.

Finally, all hotels have been made inaccessible on Facebook, with attempts to view their pages presenting an error message.

The Financial Times reported Friday that several high-profile events have been pulled from the Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London. Additionally, Deutsche Bank said the nine hotels would be excluded from the list of hotels its employees could use. 

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Netflix pulls comedy show episode in Saudi Arabia: media

© Reuters. The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood, Los Angeles © Reuters. The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood, Los Angeles

(Reuters) – Netfilx pulled an episode of the comedy show "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj" from its Internet streaming service in Saudi Arabia after kingdom officials complained, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

The episode of the news-comedy program in question criticized the country over the slaying of Washington Post journalist Jamal Kashoggi last year at the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey.

Kashoggi had been an outspoken critic of the kingdom and of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Financial Times and other media reported. The kingdom has since acknowledged publicly that the reporter, who was a permanent U.S. resident, died in its custody.

Netflix (NASDAQ:) officials were not immediately available for comment and no statement was posted on its official corporate, Facebook (NASDAQ:) or Twitter sites.

Saudi Arabia officials also were not immediately available for comment.

But in a statement to the Financial Times and other media, Netflix confirmed that it removed the episode in Saudi Arabia last week after the kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission asked that it be removed because it allegedly violated the kingdom’s anti-cyber crime law.

"We strongly support artistic freedom and removed this episode only in Saudi Arabia after we received a valid legal request – and to comply with local law," a Netflix official said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter publication.

In the episode, first aired in the U.S. in October, Minhaj said, "Now would be a good time to reassess our relationship with Saudi Arabia. And I mean that as a Muslim and as an American."

He also criticized the kingdom for its involvement in the Yemen war and described it as being autocratic.

The New York Times reported that the episode is still available in Saudi Arabia on the YouTube platform.

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Digital media company Technicolor explores options including sale: sources

© Reuters.  Digital media company Technicolor explores options including sale: sources © Reuters. Digital media company Technicolor explores options including sale: sources

By Pamela Barbaglia and Liana B. Baker

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Technicolor SA has been exploring options that include a full or partial sale of the French digital media company, as its set-top box business struggles because of higher prices for memory chips, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

A deal would represent the biggest shakeup for the company, based in Issy-les-Moulineaux, since it agreed in March to sell its profitable patent licensing business to U.S. wireless technology provider InterDigital Inc for $ 475 million.

Technicolor has been in discussions in recent months with other companies and private equity firms, including Bain Capital, about a sale of the company or a merger with a peer, the sources said.

Technicolor has also been exploring a sale of just its set-top box division, which it calls connected home, the sources said. One of the sources said the company received non-binding offers for that unit earlier this month.

Connected home accounted for 1 billion euros ($ 1.14 billion) of Technicolor’s total revenue of 1.77 billion euros in the first half of 2018.

The sources cautioned that no deal is certain and asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Technicolor, which trades on France’s Euronext and has a market value of 503 million euros, declined to comment. Bain Capital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Technicolor operates two main divisions, entertainment services and connected home. The entertainment services business helps provide the visual effects seen in movies and commercials, as well as Blu-ray and DVD manufacturing.

In 2015, Technicolor acquired Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:) Inc’s set-top box business, a $ 600 million deal intended to boost its presence in the home entertainment market and expand its North American footprint.

But the bet soured as higher input costs weigh on Technicolor’s set-top box business. Passing these costs on appears difficult given the strong bargaining power of its larger customers and competition in the equipment sector, credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc said in a note earlier this year.

Technicolor’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from continuing operations fell 30 percent year-on-year in the six months to the end of July to 57 million euros.

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France to hunt for tax cheats on social media

© Reuters.  France to hunt for tax cheats on social media © Reuters. France to hunt for tax cheats on social media

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s tax administrators will start searching through social media accounts in early 2019, a pilot project in the fight against tax avoidance, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin told weekly business TV show Capital.

The idea is to identify potential frauds by analyzing publicly-available data on individuals’ social media accounts, Darmanin said, according to excerpts of the show to be broadcast on Sunday.

"(The fiscal administration) will be able to see that if you have numerous pictures of yourself with a luxury car while you don’t have the means to own one, then maybe your cousin or your girlfriend has lent it to you… or maybe not," Darmanin said.

The measure is part of a law France enacted last month designed to strengthen the authorities’ capacities to fight tax fraud and permit a wider use of online data to bolster fiscal controls.

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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Social media, tech firms use sites to urge U.S. citizens to vote

© Reuters. A woman wears a sticker on her face as she listens to U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) during the last day of early voting in Texas in Plano © Reuters. A woman wears a sticker on her face as she listens to U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) during the last day of early voting in Texas in Plano

By Joseph Menn

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Criticized by lawmakers and others for being unable or unwilling to stop false and inflammatory information about divisive political issues, social media and tech companies say they are doing more to boost voter turnout for next Tuesday’s U.S. congressional elections.

Snap Inc (NYSE:), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:) and other firms will remind users to vote and link to a nonprofit guide for identifying the correct polling place, ballot items and hours.

The involvement of sites that appeal to younger users is encouraging to some democracy advocates, who worry about lower electoral participation by younger voters.

Only about 17 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted in the previous congressional elections in 2014, though some opinion polls say the proportion could be much higher this year.

Democrats are generally favored to win the 23 seats they need to wrest the majority from Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, an advantage they could use to block President Donald Trump’s agenda of hardline immigration policy and other Republican positions that are anathema to Democrats.

Republicans have a stronger chance of keeping control of the Senate, according to opinion polls and nonpartisan forecasters.

Santa Monica, California-based Snap on Thursday said it would send a rare blast message to all of its U.S. users on election day, Nov. 6. The message will include the link to poll location information. Snap typically sends such messages only on holidays.

The company’s Snap Maps feature, which shows locations of users who opt in and locations of special activity, will also link to polling location data.

It will be the first time that the feature, which had 100 million monthly users in February, contains a link to an outside service, Gettothepolls.com, which draws its material from state officials.

Mike Ward, program director of TurboVote, the nonprofit project working with the big tech companies and the states, welcomed the map feature. A previous Snap effort to steer users to registration information, including online applications in the more than 30 states that offer them, drew 400,000 people.

Facebook and Spotify will also display the Gettothepolls.com link. Facebook and other social media will also prompt people to signal to their friends when they’ve voted, which Ward said is effective.

Car service company Lyft said it will offer free rides through a number of nonprofits, including the League of Women Voters. Rival Uber last week simplified its procedure for offering free or discounted rides, directly knocking $ 10 off the cheapest version of its ride-hailing service.

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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