Irish PM says no progress in Brexit talks on border issue

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Irish Prime Minister Leo Vardkar said on Wednesday there has been no progress in six months in talks between the European Union and Britain on the delicate issue of border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar arrives for the European People’s Party (EPP) meeting ahead of the informal meeting of EU leaders, in Salzburg, Austria, September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Lisi NiesnerSpeaking to reporters on arrival for talks of all 28 EU leaders in Austria, Varadkar was asked if there was progress on the border…

EU’s Juncker says Brexit deal still ‘far away’

SALZBURG, Austria (Reuters) – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday that a Brexit deal with Britain was still “far away”, an EU official said. FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivers a speech during a debate on The State of the European Union at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent KesslerJuncker had been asked on arrival at a summit in Austria with British Prime Minister Theresa May about how close the sides were to concluding a deal which both say they hope to…

Brexit: May urges EU leaders to consider ‘serious’ UK plans

The onus is on both sides to do a Brexit deal, Theresa May has told fellow EU leaders as she urged them to back her « serious » Chequers plan. At a dinner in Salzburg, she told her 27 counterparts a deal had to preserve the deep economic ties while delivering on promises made to Northern Ireland. There are suggestions the UK will put forward new ideas for regulatory checks to resolve the current Irish deadlock. It comes as the PM insisted the EU must also rethink its stance on…

China strikes back by going after America’s energy companies

This is what a trade war looks like The United States has an abundance of natural gas that pollution-riddled China badly needs to wean itself off coal. Eying China’s voracious demand, Cheniere Energy, ExxonMobil (XOM) and other American energy companies are racing to build more than two dozen expensive facilities to export liquefied natural gas, which is super-cooled natural gas that can be transported by ship. China even marked President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing last fall by agreeing to invest as much as $43 billion into an LNG project…

Mark Cuban to donate $10M in wake of Dallas Mavericks workplace probe

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will donate $10 million to women’s advocacy groups after an independent investigation found a long history of sexual harassment among team employees. The investigation found « numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct » within the organization over more than 20 years, the NBA said Wednesday. The instances included touching and forcible kissing of women employees by a former team president, as well as other misconduct by a former ticket sales employee and by a former Mavs.com reporter, the league said. The…

TV actor Tom Selleck quits NRA board of directors

(Reuters) – Actor Tom Selleck, star of such TV crime dramas as “Magnum, P.I.” and “Blue Bloods” and an ardent gun collector, has resigned from the National Rifle Association’s board of directors. FILE PHOTO: Actor Tom Selleck poses as after arriving for the taping of « The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special » at CBS Studios in Los Angeles, California, U.S., October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo“Tom Selleck has stepped down from the board of the NRA due to his work schedule,” his publicist, Annett Wolf, said in a statement…

Food delivery start-up Postmates, now a unicorn, wants to ‘pour on a little gas’ ahead of its IPO

Postmates, the US online food delivery start-up, has raised $300 million in venture capital funding, boosting its financial firepower against well-capitalized competitors including Uber and SoftBank-backed DoorDash. The latest round led by Tiger Global Management values Postmates at about $1.2 billion, including the new funds, according to a person familiar with the matter, up from $600 million in 2016. It more than doubles the total funding Postmates has raised in its seven-year history. The US food delivery market is experiencing a flurry of competition and investment as companies seek to…

Apple Music now works with Android Auto

Apple has just released an update for Apple Music on Android, and the biggest new addition is that it now supports Android Auto. So if you’re an Android user but prefer Apple’s music subscription service over Google Play Music or Spotify for whatever reason, now you can listen to it through Google’s in-car platform. Apple began beta testing the feature last month. This also means that Apple, which has its own competing take on this whole thing with CarPlay, somehow beat YouTube Music to adding Android Auto. Not the best…

Nest tried to hide its identity as the buyer of a promising health startup

More and more tech companies are blurring the line between gadgets and health devices. The new Apple Watch Series 4 will eventually do electrocardiograms. Fitbit just announced a fitness coaching program tailored to the health care industry that aims to “help improve wellness, disease management and prevention.” Google recently gave its Google Fit software an overhaul that awards users “heart points.” Based on an acquisition made last year, it seems Nest also has ambitious plans for the health sector. As reported by GeekWire, communications between employees of Senosis — a…

Red Hat falls after revenue disappoints

Red Hat stock fell as much as 7 percent and then rebounded on Wednesday after the company reported lower revenue than expected for the second quarter of its 2019 fiscal year, which ended on Aug. 31. Executives will discuss the results with analysts on a conference call at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Here are the top results: Earnings: 85 cents per share, excluding certain items, vs. 82 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue: $822.7 million, vs. $830 million as expected by analysts, according to…

A stealth boom in oil and gas spending will boost oilfield services stocks, Morgan Stanley says

Oil and gas drillers are on the verge of a worldwide spending spree not seen since 2013, teeing up a potential windfall for oilfield services companies, Morgan Stanley forecasts. The bank believes a global upswell in capital spending on new fossil fuel production — one that will last for several years and is largely underappreciated — is just over the horizon. In Morgan Stanley’s view, 2020 will be a year of synchronized growth in capital expenditures, and oilfield service firms will be one of the biggest beneficiaries. This comes after…

Amazon’s HR boss tells employees it’s ‘wrong’ to deface LGBT posters, months after first incidents

Nearly three months after Amazon employees first noticed defaced LGBT Pride posters in its Seattle headquarters, Amazon’s leadership has come out to criticize those moves. In an email sent to Amazon’s Seattle-based employees on Tuesday, Amazon Senior VP of Human Resources Beth Galetti said it is « wrong » to discriminate against others and that all employees should be « supported by their fellow Amazonians. » She also urged everyone to call out and report inappropriate behavior that discourages inclusiveness. « When individuals discriminate against others — be it by…

Watch Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos talk about space at Air Force Association conference

[The stream is slated to start at about 3:40 p.m. ET. Please refresh the page if you do not see a player above at that time.] Jeff Bezos will deliver the keynote speech Wednesday of the 2018 Air, Space & Cyber conference, hosted by the Air Force Association (AFA) in Maryland. The CEO of Amazon will talk about the space industry, as well as Blue Origin, the space venture he founded. While Bezos may be better known for building the e-commerce empire, his entrepreneurial work at Blue Origin is increasingly…

Brexit: Theresa May tells EU leaders their plans must ‘evolve’

Media playback is unsupported on your device Theresa May has said the EU must « evolve » its stance on the Irish border as she seeks to persuade fellow leaders about the viability of her Brexit plan. The PM is using a dinner in Salzburg to make the case for her controversial Chequers strategy for future relations. Before the event, she said it was the only credible plan to allay concerns on the Irish border and trade disruption. Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who is hosting the event, said both sides…

Google’s Nest went to great lengths to hide health ambitions when it acquired Seattle start-up

Google-owned Nest went to great lengths to conceal its acquisition of Seattle health monitoring start-up Senosis in order to keep its interest in digital health a secret, new records obtained by GeekWire show. While GeekWire had previously reported that Google had bought the start-up in the summer of 2017, the records confirm that it was actually Alphabet’s home automation business Nest that wished to integrate Senosis’s technology. However, the company told those involved in the deal that they couldn’t mention Nest or publicize the sale. « It turns out Nest…

Facebook reportedly hasn’t complied with EU consumer rules yet

Facebook may face sanctions because it has yet to comply with EU consumer rules while Airbnb has made the necessary changes in response to regulatory demands, EU sources said on Wednesday. Online platforms are under pressure in Europe because of their dominance and anti-competitive business practices, which have resulted in hefty fines handed down to some companies. Privacy and consumer concerns have also aggravated the situation. Seven months after Europe’s Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova told Facebook and other tech companies to bring their user terms in line with EU consumer…

Trump pledges strong federal support for hurricane-stricken Carolinas

HAVELOCK/WILMINGTON, N.C. (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday promised that North and South Carolina would have strong federal support as they recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Florence, whose floodwaters continue to threaten the region. “We’re going to be there 100 percent,” Trump told officials at a briefing shortly after arriving at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, North Carolina. “… There will be nothing left undone. You’ll have everything you need.” Trump, who has been criticized for his handling of Hurricane Maria in Puerto…

Trump enthusiastic at North Korea missile pledge, others doubtful

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea pledged to roll back some of its missile program on Wednesday, drawing an enthusiastic response from U.S. President Donald Trump, even though some U.S. officials and experts fear a ploy to weaken Washington’s resolve and its alliance with Seoul. In a joint statement after a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged to permanently abolish North Korea’s key missile facilities in the presence of foreign experts. He said he was also willing to close the country’s…

Brexit: Theresa May tells EU ‘don’t demand the unacceptable’

Theresa May says the EU must « evolve » its stance on the Irish border as she prepares to make the case for her Brexit plans to other European leaders. In Salzburg, the PM welcomed the EU’s recognition its initial proposal to avoid a hard border in Ireland was « unacceptable ». It comes after EU negotiator Michel Barnier suggested a shift in tone on his controversial « backstop » plan. Mrs May said her own Chequers plan would ensure « frictionless trade ». The UK and EU both want…

Facebook’s election ‘War Room’ will focus on fake posts that try to trick people so they can’t vote

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Sandwiched between Building 20 and Building 21 in the heart of Facebook’s campus, an approximately 25-foot by 35-foot conference room is under construction. Thick cords of blue wiring hang from the ceiling, ready to be attached to window-size computer monitors on 16 desks. On one wall, a half dozen televisions will be tuned to CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and other major cable networks. A small paper sign with orange lettering taped to the glass door describes what’s being built: « War Room. » Although it is…

Android phones in the US will now automatically share your location during 911 calls

Earlier this year, Google conducted tests to provide better location information for emergency calls. Today, the company has announced that the technology is available in the US through new deals with T-Mobile and RapidSOS. Google’s partnerships with RapidSOS and T-Mobile are separate, and they’re meant to cover as many people as possible when an emergency call is made. Any Android user in a RapidSOS-covered area will have their location sent (RapidSOS is used in over 1,000 emergency centers and covers over 100 million Americans), regardless of which carrier they’re on,…

U2’s Bono and Pope discuss Irish sexual abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Bono, frontman for Irish rock band U2, met Pope Francis on Wednesday and said afterwards he is an extraordinary man who is sincere in his pain over a sexual abuse crisis in Ireland. U2 rock band frontman Bono Vox meets Pope Francis at the Vatican September 19, 2018. Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERSBono and the pope spoke for more than 30 minutes at a meeting to team up the rock star’s ONE organization, a global campaign and advocacy organization that aims to end extreme poverty, with a…

Alberta Ferretti’s soft-toned urban explorers open Milan Fashion Week

MILAN (Reuters) – The curtain went up on Milan’s fashion week on Wednesday with a soft-toned and feminine collection designed by Italy’s Alberta Ferretti with urban safari-inspired looks. Models present creations at the Alberta Ferretti catwalk show during Milan Fashion Week Spring 2019 in Milan, Italy, September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano RellandiniFor the next six days the Italian capital of fashion will host more than 140 catwalks and presentations for the spring-summer 2019 collections, attracting buyers, designers, influencers and fashion addicts. Milan is the third leg of the month-long catwalk seasons…

Jack Ma: Alibaba is no longer planning to create 1 million U.S. jobs

Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of Chinese retail giant Alibaba, says that the company no longer plans to create one million jobs in the United States in the wake of ongoing trade conflict between the US and China. Ma made his original job creation pronouncement during a high-profile meeting with Donald Trump in January 2017 before Trump’s inauguration. « The promise was made on the premise of friendly US-China partnership and rational trade relations, » Ma told Chinese news site Xinhua on Wednesday. « That premise no longer exists…

Apple’s latest are the best yet. But do you need them?

First impressions of Apple’s iPhone XS and XS Max Each year, Apple CEO Tim Cook calls the next-generation iPhones the best ever made. The company’s 2018 lineup, specifically the iPhone XS and XS Max, delivers on that promise: They’re the smartest, fastest, best iPhones we’ve seen to date. But at this point, buying an updated iPhone is like getting a new Ferrari — you’ll find a faster engine, a new coat of paint, and a few new bells and whistles, but beneath all that it’s still basically the same car…

Maroon 5 reportedly tapped for 2019 Super Bowl halftime show

(Reuters) – Pop band Maroon 5 will provide the halftime entertainment at the 2019 Super Bowl, Hollywood publication Variety reported on Wednesday. FILE PHOTO: 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards – Show – Los Angeles, California, U.S., 11/03/2018 – Adam Levine of Maroon 5. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File PhotoVariety said that two unidentified sources had confirmed that the band, led by Adam Levine, will headline the National Football League’s (NFL) championship game on Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia. Celebrity magazine Us Weekly quoted an unidentified source as saying the band has been offered…

Apple has done the best job avoiding blowback from Trump and lawmakers: Roger McNamee

Apple has been more successful than others in Silicon Valley in avoiding policy blowbacks from President Donald Trump and lawmakers, according to Roger McNamee, an early investor in Google and Facebook. The longtime venture capitalist spoke after word that some of Apple’s best-known products, including its watch and wireless headphones, would not be affected by the Trump administration’s latest round of tariffs on Chinese imports. According to the Washington Post, Apple CEO Tim Cook had personally lobbied Trump against adopting tariffs that would threaten to increase prices on those items.…

The Dow is one big rally away from an all-time high

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc.2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones…

Apple takes on Kanye West in a retail battle royale on Friday

This Friday will see two iconic consumer products go head-to-head on the high street for the first time. The launch of the largest and most expensive iPhone to date is happening on the same day as the biggest « sneaker drop » yet from Kanye West’s Yeezy line of Adidas trainers. They are two of the only products guaranteed to get consumers queueing up for hours in the hope of being among the first to buy the latest gear, at a time when many retailers are struggling to bring customers…

Amazon is testing a shopping site called Scout that recommends products based on your likes

Amazon is testing out a shopping site for consumers who don’t know specifically what they want but are willing to take some automated recommendations to help them find it. The new service, Scout, asks shoppers to like or dislike a product (thumbs up or thumbs down) and responds by showing other products based on their choices. For example, if you’re looking for a coffee table and you give a thumbs up to a rectangular table with a reddish wooden top and a thumbs down to a circular table, you may…