Asian shares wobble on fear of long U.S.-China trade war; oil rallies

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares stumbled in holiday-thinned trading on Monday as China’s decision to cancel talks with the United States sparked fears of a protracted trade war, while oil rallied as Saudi Arabia ruled out increasing supplies to cool crude prices. A man walks in front of a screen showing today’s movements of Nikkei share average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File PhotoU.S. stock futures slipped 0.2 percent, while spreadbetters pointed to a subdued start for Europe with futures for Eurostoxx 50, Germany’s Dax…

Hong Kong pro-independence party formally outlawed in first such move since handover

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong authorities formally banned on Monday a group promoting independence from China – the first outlawing of a political organization since Britain handed its former colony back to Chinese rule in 1997. Andy Chan, founder of the Hong Kong National Party, speaks during a luncheon at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) in Hong Kong, China, August 14, 2018. Paul Yeung/Pool via REUTERSThe city’s Secretary for Security John Lee announced the ban on the Hong Kong National Party in a brief statement published in the government’s…

Brexit: Labour agrees on ‘all options’ conference vote

Labour members are to vote on keeping « all options on the table » on Brexit, including possibly campaigning for a new referendum at their conference in Liverpool. The party’s leadership wants a general election allowing Labour to take control of negotiations if it won. However some members want the party to pursue a « people’s vote » on Brexit. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accepted he would be « bound » by the outcome of Tuesday’s conference motion. ‘Consensus in room’ Key delegates – including shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer…

Labour conference: John McDonnell unveils shares plan for workers

Labour would force all large firms to give shares to their workers worth up to £500 a year each, John McDonnell will say later. In his main party conference speech, the shadow chancellor will set out planned « inclusive ownership funds ». Firms would have to put 1% of their shares into the fund every year up to a maximum of 10%. The Confederation of British Industry said Labour’s « diktat » would « encourage investors to pack their bags ». Since its conference opened in Liverpool on Sunday, Labour…

Brett Kavanaugh: Second allegation made against court nominee

A second woman has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump’s US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Deborah Ramirez, a Yale university classmate of the judge, detailed the alleged incident to the New Yorker. She alleges Mr Kavanaugh exposed his genitals at a dormitory party and thrust them in her face, causing physical contact without consent. The judge has denied both allegations, labelling the latest « a smear ». Professor Christine Blasey Ford, who last week came forward as the woman alleging Mr Kavanaugh sexually assaulted…

Contaminated blood scandal inquiry is ‘too little, too late’

A public inquiry is starting into the contaminated blood scandal that left nearly 3,000 people dead – including Barbara Scott’s husband. Thousands of NHS patients were given blood products infected with hepatitis and HIV during the 1970s and 1980s. Barbara’s husband, Robert, was a haemophiliac. He died in 1993 after contracting HIV and hepatitis C from contaminated blood. Source: The Guardian

Bodyguard reviews: Critics’ verdicts on BBC show’s finale

Hit PCF drama Bodyguard kept millions of viewers on tenterhooks as the series drew to a close on Sunday evening. Without giving anything away, it’s fair to say it served up a helping of shock and suspense. Star Richard Madden – who played the show’s ex-soldier-turned-protection-officer – David Budd retweeted a thank you from the PCF to everyone who was watching the « epic finale ». The show’s director John Strickland had whipped up fans ahead of the broadcast by tweeting lyrics from Frank Sinatra’s My Way. He posted: «…

Siemens is looking to provide electricity for 300,000 Iraqis in three months, CEO says

German conglomerate Siemens is looking to build infrastructure in three months that could generate enough electricity for 300,000 people in Iraq as part of a larger proposal, company President and CEO Joe Kaeser told CNBC on Monday. The company said Kaeser met over the weekend with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad to discuss a proposal to help re-power Iraq and support its economic development. Such plans include improving Iraq’s power production — Siemens said it was ready to add 11 gigawatts (GW) of power generation capacity over four…

Texan who published 3-D guns plans jailed on sex assault charge

(Reuters) – A Texas man running a 3-D printed guns company was booked into a Houston jail on a charge of sexual assault on Sunday after Taiwanese officials sent him back to the United States, where he is accused of having sex with an underage girl. Cody Wilson, a Texan 3-D printed gun maker who flew to Taiwan as police investigated an accusation he had sex with an underage girl, is escorted by immigration officers at Taoyuan international airport, Taiwan, September 22, 2018 in this still image from video. FTV/via…

Asian shares wobble as China cancels trade talks with US; oil rallies

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asia shares stumbled in holiday-thinned trading on Monday as China ramped up trade tensions by cancelling upcoming tariff talks with the United States, while oil prices jumped after top producers ruled out boosting crude output. A man walks in front of a screen showing today’s movements of Nikkei share average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File PhotoU.S. stock futures were a touch weaker while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.6 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was the…

Brexit: Labour conference vote wording agreed

Labour members are to vote on keeping « all options on the table » on Brexit, including possibly campaigning for a new referendum, the BBC understands. A source said the party’s ruling body had agreed on the conference motion on what the party should do about Brexit if it cannot get a general election. Leader Jeremy Corbyn had previously said he would prefer the issue to be resolved by a general election. But he has accepted he would be « bound » by the outcome of a conference vote. ‘Consensus…

Oil rises as markets tighten ahead of Iran sanctions

Oil prices rose on Monday as U.S. markets tightened just weeks ahead of Washington’s plan to impose new sanctions against Iran. Brent crude futures were at $79.74 per barrel at 0036 GMT, up by 94 cents, or 1.2 percent. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose by 74 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $71.52 a barrel. The market was « increasingly concerned about dwindling (U.S.) inventories, » ANZ bank said on Monday. U.S. commercial crude oil inventories are at their lowest level since early 2015. And while output remains…

Woods ends five-year drought with Tour Championship triumph

(Reuters) – Tiger Woods was moved to the brink of tears after capturing his first title since 2013 with a two-stroke triumph at the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sunday that proved he was far from washed up at the age of 42. Sep 23, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Tiger Woods celebrates winning the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club. Butch Dill-USA TODAY SportsAfter five years of complications in his personal life and injury woes, Woods reasserted his status as the best frontrunner in the history of…

Yen climbs as China halts trade talks with U.S.; oil rallies

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The safe haven yen gained on Monday in holiday-thinned trading as China canceled upcoming tariff talks with the United States, ratcheting up tensions while oil prices jumped after top producers including Russia ruled out boosting crude output. A man walks in front of a screen showing today’s movements of Nikkei share average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File PhotoMost of the action was in currencies as financial markets in Japan, China and South Korea were closed for a holiday. Investors were squarely…

The Aquarius: Migrant rescue ship has registration revoked

A rescue vessel operating in the central Mediterranean Sea has had its registration revoked, leaving its future operations in jeopardy. When the Aquarius next docks, it will have to remove its Panama maritime flag and cannot set sail without a new one. It is the last private rescue ship operating in the area used for crossings from Libya to Europe. The charities who run the vessel accuse the Italian government of pressuring Panama into deflagging the Aquarius. The two groups who lease it, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and SOS Mediterranée,…

Porsche eliminates diesel cars from its lineup

See Porsche’s first fully electric car Porsche is ditching diesel for good. The automaker announced Sunday that it would focus on hybrid and electric technology and will no longer make diesel-powered vehicles. The announcement comes five months after a senior manager at Porsche in Germany was arrested in connection with an investigation into diesel emissions rigging by Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen. Just 12% of Porsche’s global sales came from diesel cars in 2017. The company hasn’t had a diesel car in its portfolio since February and hasn’t offered a diesel…

Canada PM says informal NAFTA talks likely in next few days at U.N.

MONTREAL (Reuters) – U.S. and Canadian officials trying to reach a deal on NAFTA are “very likely” to hold informal talks on the sidelines of a major U.N. meeting in the next few days, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday. Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau waits for the Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez before a military welcoming ceremony at The Royal Canadian Hussars Armoury in Montreal, Quebec, Canada September 23, 2018. REUTERS/Dario AyalaWith time running out ahead of a U.S.-imposed deadline of the end of September,…

Cuba’s new president makes first trip to old Cold War foe United States

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba’s new president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, arrived in New York on Sunday for his first trip to the United States, where he will denounce the decades-old U.S. trade embargo on his country at the U.N. General Assembly, state-run media reported. FILE PHOTO: Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel attends a meeting with Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File PhotoTensions have heightened between the Cold War foes after U.S. President Donald Trump tightened the embargo last year following the resumption of diplomatic relations under his…

Google CEO: ‘We do not bias our products to favor any political agenda’

Google CEO: Democracies should draw line on hate speech, not us Google CEO Sundar Pichai responded to reports that some staff had discussed tweaking search results to show a pro-immigration bias. « We do not bias our products to favor any political agenda, » he wrote in an email to Google employees. Pichai sent the note on Friday after The Wall Street Journal obtained emails traded between Google employees about tweaking search results to show pro-immigration content. Those ideas, which were discussed around the time the Trump administration was rolling…

Accuser of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh to testify on Thursday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – California professor Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to testify before a Senate panel on Thursday morning about her sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, her lawyers said on Sunday. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh listens during his U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File PhotoThe agreement capped a week of dramatic developments that cast into turmoil U.S. Senate confirmation of President Donald Trump’s conservative nominee, once considered a safe bet.…

Labour conference: deselecting MPs to be made easier

Labour’s annual conference has voted to make it easier for local party members to deselect sitting MPs. Until now, Labour MPs only faced a reselection contest if 50% of a constituency’s local branches and affiliated unions voted for it in a so-called « trigger ballot ». Delegates in Liverpool voted for that threshold to be reduced to 33%. The deselection campaign is seen by some Labour MPs as an attempt to « purge » critics of Jeremy Corbyn. Two MPs on the right of the party – Frank Field and…

US tells Iran to ‘look in the mirror’ after Ahvaz attack

Media playback is unsupported on your device The US ambassador to the UN has urged Iran to « look in the mirror » for the causes of an attack on a military parade that killed 25 on Saturday. Nikki Haley said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had « oppressed his people for a long time ». She was responding to Mr Rouhani’s fierce criticism of the US, in which he blamed it for enabling the attack. Two separate groups have claimed they carried out the shooting, but neither has provided evidence.…

Girl with allergy dies after Pret baguette

A girl with a severe sesame allergy died after eating an airport Pret a Manger baguette, which did not list the ingredients. Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, collapsed during a flight from Heathrow to Nice on 17 July 2016. Despite her father administering two EpiPen injections, Natasha, from Fulham, London, died within hours, West London Coroner’s Court will hear. Pret a Manger said it was « deeply saddened » by the death. Natasha’s father, Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, said in a statement: « It’s a daily battle and the pain is indescribable. » Mr…

France removes toxic tyres from failed reef project

Teams of divers are painstakingly lifting an artificial reef made of tens of thousands of old car tyres from the seafloor south of France, after it was found to spread pollution from toxic chemicals. The operation is costing well over a million euros ($1.1m; £898,000) and is part-funded by the tyre manufacturer Michelin as well as the French state. The divers are supported by a boat with lifting equipment. Fish had been avoiding the area. Local fishing association leader Denis Genovese told AFP news agency that some types of fish…

Corbyn: ‘Anti-Semitism is a scourge on any society’

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says he will continue to oppose anti-Semitism and that his party has taken steps to address it. Following a summer dominated by rows over his past conduct and his response to problems in the party, Mr Corbyn said he was « absolutely not » an anti-Semite. Speaking to the PCF’s Andrew Marr, he called it « a scourge on any society ». Source: The Guardian

Oil prices would be ‘cheaper’ if Trump would stop tweeting, Iran official says

President Donald Trump’s tweeting habits are lifting oil prices, and the U.S. leader should stop posting on social media to alleviate the spike in prices, according to one Iranian official. « The Trump administration is pushing politics into the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), and is aiming at spreading the members and securing their own interests by getting lower prices and so forth, » Hossein Kazempour, Iran’s OPEC representative, told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick at the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) in Algiers on Sunday. OPEC, along with a group…

How Fortnite’s $10 million fall tournament can help make it the next esports giant

And it’s on. On Friday, Epic Games kicked off their six week Fortnite Fall Skirmish series, with the world’s top players competing for a $10 million prize pool. The eight-figure purse eclipses the game publisher’s previous $8 million haul, with the invitational tournament pitting the best Fortnite players in the world against one another in a new club-based format. The event will culminate with a grand final in late October at TwitchCon. For industry experts and those involved in competitive Fortnite, the burgeoning prize pool and events of the last…

Plus-sized models and 1990s ‘supers’ walk for Dolce & Gabbana in Milan

MILAN (Reuters) – Plus-sized models led by Ashley Graham joined 1990s-era supermodels and celebrities on Dolce & Gabbana’s catwalk on Sunday as the Italian fashion house presented its opulent “DNA” spring-summer collection. VIPs also studded the audience at one of the last shows of Milan’s fashion week, with singers Stevie Wonder, Cardi B and Liam Payne surrounded by young influencers in the front row. Church bells rang as a solemn procession of women dressed in black and veiled, carrying candles, opened the show. The curtain rose to reveal a cast…

Trump’s claim that OPEC is pushing oil prices up is ‘not true,’ Saudi oil minister says

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister rebuffed President Donald Trump’s recent accusations that OPEC is pushing crude prices higher, speaking to journalists at the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) in Algiers on Sunday. Asked by CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick about the U.S. president’s remarks, Saudi oil minister Khalid al Falih replied, « That is of course not true, we have been looking at more important aspects which is adequacy of supply. I think member countries over the last three months since June have responded in a very good way and have opened the…

Box Office: ‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls’ leads with $26.8 million, ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’ falls flat

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” easily topped the domestic box office in an otherwise quiet weekend at multiplexes. Actors Jack Black and Owen Vaccaro pose at the premiere for « The House With a Clock in its Walls » in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni Eli Roth’s adaptation of the popular children’s book picked up a better-than-expected $26.8 million when it opened in 3,592 locations. The fantasy film, starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett, didn’t face much competition. A…