India’s Modi defends free trade as the US raises tariffs
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned Tuesday that the recent wave of trade protectionism, in which governments raise barriers to free trade between nations, is “worrisome.”
Modi delivered the warning in a speech Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, just hours after the U.S. government of President Donald Trump approved tariffs on imported solar-energy components and large washing machines in a bid to help U.S. manufacturers.
The Trump administrationto place tariffs on imported solar-energy components and large washing machines reflects the president’s pledge to put American companies and jobs first. Most imported solar modules will face an immediate tariff of 30 percent, with the rate declining before phasing out after four years. Leaders in countries including China have denounced the tariffs.
“Forces of protectionism are raising their heads against globalization,” Modi told a crowd of business and government leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Without directly mentioning Trump or the U.S., he said “the solution to this worrisome situation against globalization is not isolation.”
Modi quoted Mohandas Gandhi to drive home his point: “I don’t want the windows of my house to be closed from all directions. I want the winds of cultures of all countries to enter my house with aplomb and go out also.”
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore attended Modi’s speech.
Modi was meant to be the event’s highlight until Trump decided to come as well. Trump is due to speak Friday, and the tariffs his administration approved this week will overshadow his arrival.
The tariff issue isn’t likely to die down soon, according to a report from Carter Driscoll of B. Riley FBR.
“Both South Korea and China have denounced the tariffs, indicating the countries will defend their national interests through the World Trade Organization,” Driscoll wrote in the report.
Modi’s speech follows on from Chinese President Xi Jinping’s address to the Davos elite at last year’s event. Xi portrayed his country as a champion of free trade on the same week Trump was inaugurated president.
Swiss President Alain Berset set up the stage for Modi, appealing to the hundreds of people in the crowd: “Let us make 2018 a year in which we overcome the phase of hand-wringing and self-criticism, in which each of us works to promote social inclusion.”
Other Davos participants spoke out against the tariffs, with Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL, telling an audience at the World Economic Forum Tuesday that the move will hurt exactly those who Trump is ostensibly trying to help.
He said: “Even if the U.S. does more protectionism, consumers will buy from different places and who pays the bill? All the employees in the U.S. finally.”
Tidjane Thiam, the CEO of Swiss bank Credit Suisse, said he remains bullish on global trade despite the tariffs decision.
He said: “We will need to see how it impacts global trade, how other trading blocs react to that, but I remain optimistic. I think we are in exceptionally favorable context.”
© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Neil Diamond diagnosed with Parkinson’s, retires from touring
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Neil Diamond has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and has announced his immediate retirement from touring.
The beloved crooner of such hits as “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” and “Cracklin’ Rosie” canceled the third leg of his 50th Anniversary tour, scheduled for Australia and New Zealand in March, on medical advice.
In a statement, Diamond – a Brooklyn native who turns 77 on Wednesday — said he took the decision “with great reluctance and disappointment.”
“I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years,” he said. “My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.”
Diamond hopes to continue writing and recording for the foreseeable future, according to a post on his website.
“My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world,” he said. “You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement.”
With a nod to his hit “Sweet Caroline,” he added: “This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”
“#Neil Diamond So,so sorry to hear about the great Neil Diamond’s illness. I’m rooting for you Neil! Fight on from another Brooklyn boy!” Manilow said on Twitter.
Sinatra urged him to “keep fighting, old buddy.”
“You’ve got a long way to go yet. @NeilDiamond Call the sun in the dead of the night and the sun’s gonna rise in the sky,” she tweeted.
Diamond, who dropped out of New York University to embark on a career writing songs for stars such as The Monkees, found stardom on his own by the late 1960s after emerging from the folk scene.
As tastes shifted to louder and more provocative rock, he won a loyal fan base by going into softer fare that harked back to classic pop – packing concerts with hits including “Song Sung Blue,” “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” and “Heartlight.”
A 2011 inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Diamond — who has been nominated for 13 Grammy awards and won one — will be honored again Sunday with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys.
He recently appeared to be healthy, albeit frigid, as he showed up in a stocking cap on New Year’s Eve in Times Square to lead the packed crowd in a singalong of “Sweet Caroline.”
In a 2014 interview with Agence France-Presse, Diamond said he tried not to be influenced by whatever was popular on the radio — and that he could not imagine ever retiring.
“I think it would be horrid for me, stopping would be very difficult,” he said. “It’s part of who I am.”
Diamond had already performed 55 shows on his 50th Anniversary tour, packing arenas across North America and Europe.
He has sold more than 130 million albums worldwide and 38 of his singles have made it to the Top 40, according to the Recording Academy.
In making the announcement of the tour’s cancellation, Paul Dainty, head of tour promoter TEG Dainty, said he was “devastated and saddened to hear the news of Neil’s illness and his retirement from touring,” according to Variety.
“I have had the honor of promoting Neil’s numerous tours in Australia and New Zealand, he is one of the world’s greatest artists and we and his thousands and thousands of fans here will miss seeing him tour down under,” he said.
With Post Wires
Alaska Earthquake Prompts Tsunami Warning
A major earthquake struck 170 miles off the coast of Alaska early Tuesday, prompting a tsunami warning along the coastline.
The magnitude 8.2 quake was reported at 12:31 a.m. local time in the Gulf of Alaska, according to the United States Geological Survey.
There were no immediate reports of damage.
The United States National Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami alert for areas that included the coast of Alaska to British Columbia and the border with Washington State, and a tsunami watch all the way down to the border of Mexico and the coast of Hawaii.
Facebook executive admits social media platform may be hurting democracy
A top Facebook insider admits the social media platform may be hurting American democracy. The social network’s head of civic engagement, Samidh Chakrabarti, says Facebook was too slow to recognize Russian interference in the 2016 election.
He wrote in a blog: “It’s abhorrent to us that a nation-state used our platform to wage a cyberwar intended to divide society.”
Chakrabarti’s admission is the most blunt self-assessment yet of the company’s shortcomings, reports CBS News’ Don Dahler. Chakrabarti says Russia weaponized information on Facebook, sowing discord with 80,000 posts that reached 126 million people.
“This was a new kind of threat that was hard to predict. But we should have,” Chakrabarti wrote.
Chakrabarti says he wishes he could guarantee the positive aspects of Facebook outweigh the negatives, but concedes he can’t.
“At its best, it allows us to express ourselves and take action. At its worst, it allows people to spread misinformation and corrode democracy,” he said.
It’s the second time in two months that Facebook – with 2 billion users – has said it can be harmful. In a December blog post, the company said spending too much time on social media could be bad for mental health.
“We’re now seeing the unintended consequences of what the company built,” said Bloomberg technology columnist Shira Ovide.
Ovide says since the 2016 election, Facebook has come to a difficult realization about the power of its platform.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard a company say, in the way that Facebook has said the last few weeks, that the product, their main product, can be bad for you,” Ovide said.
announced last week news feeds would .
On Monday, News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch said: “If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers, then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies.”
Facebook’s problems are more fundamental.
“What they really want to is appeal to fear and anger, because those are the things that motivate you, that engage you,” McNamee said.
Other Silicon Valley companies are facing similar scrutiny. YouTube and Twitter have been denounced for allowing harassment and disturbing content on their platforms. Apple’s critics worry its products are addictive to children.
“This is going to be a period of reflection for all of these large tech companies to really assess if what they’ve built is on balance good for the world,” Ovide said.
Facebook did not respond to our request for comment regarding Murdoch’s suggestion the social media platform should pay trustworthy news sources for their content. In his blog post, Chakrabarti also said social media enables people to live in echo chambers, but when exposed to opposing views, they tend to dig in.
© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Police claim to arrest Zainab’s killer, say suspect admitted crime
LAHORE: Police in Kasur claimed on Tuesday to have arrested the man responsible for the heinous rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab.
Zainab was kidnapped from near her aunt’s house on January 4 in Kasur. Her body was recovered from a garbage heap on January 9. The post-mortem of the minor revealed that she had been raped before being murdered.
The suspect Imran, said to be 24-years-old, was familiar with Zainab’s family and would also frequent the minor girl’s house, police sources told Geo News.
Imran is also said to be a relative of the deceased and a resident of Kot Road where the young Zainab also resided. However, Zainab’s father has refuted claims that the suspect is related to them.
Imran was picked up initially by the police but was let go without testing his DNA after the family intervened and identified him as someone familiar and trusted.
After being let go Imran had fled from Kasur and for a short while was residing in Pakpattan.
On the orders of the District Police Officer (DPO), certain individuals were rounded-up again including Imran and their DNA tests were conducted.
The suspect was picked up five days earlier and interrogated which further confirmed that Imran was, in fact, the perpetrator of the crime.
According to police sources, Imran has also confessed to his crime.
Additionally, sources claim that Imran had shaved his beard after the incident which helped him evade arrest till now as the CCTV footage showed a man sporting a beard.
Detailed DNA report awaited
Punjab government spokesperson Malik Ahmed Khan confirmed that the suspect Imran had been arrested from near Pakpattan.
According to the spokesperson, a confirmation on the suspect being Zainab’s killer will be given after a detailed DNA report is received. “We are waiting on confirmation from the forensic report. Details will be provided after 6pm.”
“He (Imran) was among the 600 people whose DNA tests had been conducted,” the spokesperson added.
Ahmed told Geo News that if the DNA matches, Imran would be the same suspect involved in similar cases to that of Zainab.
The spokesperson further said that circumstantial evidence pointed towards Imran’s involvement in the case. “The suspect is currently under interrogation.”
A joint investigation team (JIT) was formed by the Punjab government following the brutal rape and murder of Zainab.
Multan Regional Police Officer DIG Muhammad Idrees was appointed the head of the JIT after Zainab’s father had objected to the previous JIT head.
Appearing before the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry on Sunday, DIG Idrees submitted a progress report and informed the court that Zainab’s was the eighth incident of child abuse in Kasur since June 2015.
The court then gave the JIT 72 hours to present substantial progress in the probe.
Killer should be given exemplary punishment, say siblings
Zainab’s sister Laiba spoke to Geo News, where she said that if Imran is the real murderer then he should be publicly hanged. The sister said that the suspect should be given an exemplary punishment.
“He said he used to get possessed by djinns, if that was the case then he should be given a befitting punishment to be exorcised,” said the sister.
Zainab’s brother, Abu Bakar said that the suspect should given an exemplary sentence so that others like him get a message.
People started to arrive at Zainab’s home, eagerly awaiting to know if the said killer is also involved in the murder of other children.
According to neighbours, Imran did not have any proper profession and used to claim that he would get possessed at times.
Police contingents were deployed outside the residence of Zainab, while Imran’s residence was also guarded in order to save it from incited mobs.
The neighbourers had handed over Imran after Zainab’s body was recovered, however, he was released from custody when his condition deteriorated.
The polygraphic test of the suspect was completed, while the report was forwarded to Chief Minister Punjab. Police said that the test also proved that the suspect was involved in the crime.
Note: An earlier version of this story reported the accused Imran was 35 years-old. The error is regretted.
Informational material on tackling child sexual abuse
DealBook Briefing: Elon Musk’s All-or-Nothing Bet on Tesla
On the ground at Davos, Day 1
Here’s what movers and shakers are saying in the Swiss Alps:
Dara Khosrowshahi on Uber’s very bad year:
“The leaks, etc. led Uber to finally understand that it had to make the changes that it is making as a company, to break from the past and go forward as a company that does the right thing. And the press played a very very big part in it.”
Marc Benioff of Salesforce on why trust has to be a company’s highest value (something he says isn’t always true in Silicon Valley):
“What is the most important to you. Is it trust or is it growth? Because if anything trumps trust, then you are in trouble.”
Michael Corbat of Citigroup on the “numbness” that has descended upon the global economy:
“When the next turn comes — and it will come — it’s likely to be more violent than it would otherwise be if we let some pressure off along the way.”
John Studzinski, a Blackstone vice chairman, on the focus on the world’s wealthiest:
“Let’s stop talking about that and focus on whether the real working class is actually doing better.”
More from the World Economic Forum
• Did Emmanuel Macron persuade President Trump to attend? (Axios)
• PWC’s latest survey of C.E.O.s survey shows record confidence — but also worries about terrorism, climate change and global politics. (CNBC)
• Edelman’s newest trust barometer shows suspicion of public institutions rising fast among Americans — and the opposite in China. (Edelman)
Exclusive: Paddle8 gets a new backer and moves into blockchain
A year ago, the online art auctioneer found itself suddenly on its own, after its merger partner of just under a year filed for bankruptcy. Now the company, best known for selling a Wu Tang Clan album to Martin Shkreli, has struck a new deal.
Paddle8 is selling a 15 percent stake to The Native, a Swiss tech and ecommerce company, Michael is the first to report. That partnership will help it incorporate blockchain into its services as it seeks to expand into the wider luxury market. (And The Native has the option to buy a majority stake.)
“This is a way for us to show we can better align with a new generation of collectors,” Alexander Gilkes, a founder of Paddle8, told Michael.
The virtual currency flyaround
• UBS’s chairman, Axel Weber, warned that Bitcoin is speculative and is not advising clients to invest in it. (CNBC)
• South Korea will ban the use of anonymous bank accounts in virtual currency trading, hoping to clamp down on crimes like money laundering. (Reuters)
• The I.R.S. has similar concerns. (NYT)
• Investors are desperate to buy into Coinbase, but shareholders aren’t allowed to sell. (Recode)
• Alphaville parsed recent comments by the S.E.C.’s chief, Jay Clayton, about initial coin offerings. (FT)
• Adding “blockchain” to your company’s name still pays off. (Bloomberg)
Will the next shutdown come in 3 weeks?
Congress reopened the government after a three-day impasse. But the fate of the young immigrants known as Dreamers remains unclear. Moderate lawmakers prevailed after a bipartisan meeting that involved a Native American talking stick. Many liberal activists are unhappy.
In the compromise: $31 billion in tax cuts, including a temporary delay for three health care taxes.
The policy flyaround
• Read a draft of the White House’s infrastructure plan, including the lack of a higher gas tax. (Axios)
• The F.B.I. director, Christopher Wray, threatened to resign if Attorney General Jeff Sessions removed his deputy Andrew McCabe, according to unnamed sources. (Axios)
• The White House’s message for 2018: It’s all about the economy. (WaPo)
• The Trump administration’s energy agenda faces a tougher year. (Politico)
• Montana became the first state to roll out net neutrality rules after the F.C.C.’s were repealed. (Axios)
Is a battle looming over tariffs?
The big tariffs the White House imposed yesterday on imported washing machines and solar energy components appear aimed at countries like China and South Korea. They may respond in kind, as well as by appealing to the W.T.O.
Meanwhile, shares in affected companies appeared little changed. “Investors are not too worried about the news, because these sectors have already discounted possible tariff moves by Trump,” Linus Yip, the chief strategist at First Shanghai Securities, told Bloomberg.
Mike Bloomberg, however, wasn’t happy.
Fox’s bid for Sky is on thin ice
Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority said in a provisional ruling that 21st Century Fox’s offer was “not in the public interest.” So where does that leave Rupert Murdoch’s quest for control?
Fox said that it still expects to win over the regulator before its final ruling in June.
Sky is looking on the bright side, saying the authority suggested potential remedies. (Those included selling Sky News or protecting it from Murdochian influence.)
In other Murdoch news: Mr. Murdoch argued that Facebook and Google should pay trusted publishers a fee similar to the carriage payments that cable companies pay to channel operators. (Sky has long enjoyed some exceptions.)
The media and tech flyaround
• Another stellar earnings report from Netflix lifted its stock price, at least in after-hours trading. (FT)
• Kevin Roose’s modest proposal for fixing Facebook: Make it more like Instagram. (NYT)
• How Facebook reckoned with election fallout f and, overall, a not-so-great year. (WaPo)
• Big tech companies set a record for spending on lobbying last year. (Axios)
• Scott Galloway, a widely followed N.Y.U. professor of marketing, argues that the big four tech companies should be broken up. (Axios)
The deals flyaround
• Bacardi will buy the 75 percent of Patron that it doesn’t already own, valuing the tequila maker at $5.1 billion. (Bloomberg)
• The governor of Puerto Rico said it would sell its highly indebted power company. (WSJ)
• Elliott Management and Bluescape are part of a consortium that has invested $2.5 billion in FirstEnergy, and could end up owning at least 16 percent of the troubled utility company. (WSJ)
• A.I.G. agreed to buy Validus Holdings for $5.56 billion, signaling a return to expansion. (A.I.G.)
• Dalian Wanda has hired Citigroup, CLSA and UBS to underwrite the I.P.O. of its sports business, according to unnamed sources. (Reuters)
Shareholder activism corner
• Dan Loeb’s Third Point has pressed Nestlé to consider selling more brands — and keeping its L’Oréal stake. (NYT)
• Alexion Pharmaceuticals said it had added Deborah Dunsire, a medical doctor and former C.E.O. of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, to its board, with the consent of Elliott. (Alexion)
• Cerberus Capital Management’s founder, Stephen Feinberg, is the White House’s top pick to lead Mr. Trump’s Intelligence Advisory Board, according to unnamed sources. (Foreign Policy)
• K.K.R. is opening a new office in Frankfurt, to be led by Christian Ollig, who worked on the proposed acquisition of Unilever’s spread business. (K.K.R.)
The Speed Read
• Six weeks after firing Harold E. Ford Jr. for misconduct, Morgan Stanley clarified that the misbehavior was not sexual. (NYT)
• Bill Ackman is cutting almost a fifth of staff at Pershing Square and seeking less of a public profile after three years of losses, according to people familiar with the move. (Reuters)
• China is considering adopting a property tax that could reshape and perhaps even destabilize its economy. (NYT)
• Ando, a meal-delivery enterprise started by the chef David Chang, will be absorbed by Uber Eats. (NYT)
• The buyout industry is on a tear, but there are alarming signs that the boom could turn to bust. Buyout firms went out of business after a period of similar frenzied activity a decade ago. (FT)
• The level of capital being injected into start-ups in China has raised concerns that it is the quantity of money available, rather than the quality of the investments, that will determine the outcomes. (FT)
• The owner of an oil refinery rescued from the brink of closure by Carlyle in 2012 has filed for bankruptcy protection to restructure its debts. (FT)
• Some of what’s at stake in Nafta negotiations: bacon, jeans and beer. (NYT)
• To effectively combat misuse of shell companies, the U.S. would need a detailed registry of their owners. The cost of that might be the greatest impediment to real change in how assets can be hidden, writes the White Collar Watch columnist. (NYT)
• Five former employees of KPMG and a former government accountant have been charged by federal prosecutors with plotting to help the firm get a leg up in a regulatory review of its auditing. (NYT)
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