Amazons potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

In this Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, file photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. Amazon announced Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, that it has narrowed down its potential site for a second headquarters in North America to 20 metropolitan areas, mainly on the East Coast. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) Maybe next time: Cities see failed Amazon bids as trial runs ___DETROIT”We would have loved to have made it into the next round for Amazon’s second headquarters but everyone here is incredibly proud of the proposal we submitted,” Mayor Mike Duggan said. “It showed a clear vision for the future of our city and brought out the very best of our city and our region.”___MEMPHIS, Tennessee”We came together and gave it our best shot,” Mayor Jim Strickland said. “The good news is that this exercise showed us new ways to showcase our city that we are already using to attract other businesses.””Memphis has momentum and other companies have seen and will continue to see our value”The city offered Amazon $60 million in cash incentives.___KANSAS CITY, Missouri”I can understand that some Kansas Citians may be disappointed, but it’s important to remember that as a result of this very collaborative effort, more people today know more great things about Kansas City than they ever did before,” said Mayor Sly James. “Kansas City will continue to develop transformational projects and partnerships that continue the momentum you feel in every block and every neighborhood of this great city. We truly are a city on the rise, and I look forward to our exciting future.”___DELAWAREDelaware’s Gov. John Carney and the state’s congressional delegation said they were “of course” disappointed not to be chosen.”But we used this opportunity to showcase all the options in Delaware not just for Amazon, but for any business looking for a location to set down roots and grow,” they said. “In that respect, Delaware’s effort—which brought together leaders in the public and private sectors to promote our great state—was a resounding success. Going forward, we’ll do everything we can to support Philadelphia’s application, to help bring Amazon to our region.”___NEW HAMPSHIRE”New Hampshire’s groundbreaking proposal to recruit Amazon was the most comprehensive business marketing plan our state has ever produced,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement. “While we always knew that our bid was considered a long shot, we are excited that it is already serving as a template for other businesses that now have New Hampshire on their radar. Our commitment to economic and workforce development is already yielding results. We will never stop emphasizing that New Hampshire is open for business, open for workers, and open for opportunity.” Amazon’s move to whittle its list for a second headquarters leaves more than 200 municipalities disappointed. Here are statements from some of the places that didn’t make the tech giant’s cut to 20 contenders: Explore further Citation: Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed (2018, January 19) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-amazon-potential-hq2-sites-cities.html New Hampshire’s Amazon proposal was centered in Londonderry and emphasized the state’s lack of a sales or income tax.___SAN DIEGO”While disappointed San Diego/Chula Vista did not advance, we are not at all surprised,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. “We knew that this would be a long shot based on geography and incentive options, but we also know that as a region, San Diego can most definitely compete with others in terms of talent, entrepreneurship, innovation and quality of life.”___NORTHERN CALIFORNIAThe two bids submitted by cities in the San Francisco Bay Area were both rejected by Amazon. Bay Area Council President Jim Wunderman said the decision was disappointing. “We’re not completely surprised by Amazon’s decision,” he said. “The Bay Area is one of the most innovative regions in the world and the huge economic expansion we have witnessed here over the past 10 years has created significant challenges in the form of high housing costs, high cost of living and growing traffic. We are working hard to address these challenges, but we suspect they factored heavily in Amazon’s decision to look elsewhere.”___VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA”We’re disappointed the City of Virginia Beach was not listed among the top 20 finalists for this project. However, we’re excited the Commonwealth of Virginia is still under consideration,” Virginia Beach Mayor William Sessoms Jr. said. “A project of this magnitude will create many opportunities, and, if Virginia is selected, we expect Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads will benefit.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. read more

Facebook cracks down on groups spreading harmful information

first_imgIn this Jan. 9, 2019, file photo, media and guests tour Facebook offices in Cambridge, Mass., building. Facebook says it is rolling out a wide range of updates aimed at combatting the spread of false and harmful information on the social media site. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Facebook said Wednesday it is rolling out a wide range of updates aimed at combatting the spread of false and harmful information on the social media site—stepping up the company’s fight against misinformation as it faces growing outside pressure. Explore further Two top Facebook executives depart the companycenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The updates will limit the visibility of links found to be significantly more prominent on Facebook than across the web as a whole. The company is also expanding its fact-checking program with outside expert sources, including The Associated Press, to vet videos and other material posted on Facebook.Facebook groups—the online communities that many point to as lightning rods for the spread of fake information—will also be more closely monitored. If they are found to be spreading misinformation, their visibility in users’ news feeds will be limited.Lawmakers and human rights groups have been critical of the company for the spread of extremism and misinformation on its flagship site and on Instagram.During a larger hearing Tuesday on the spread of white nationalism, congress members questioned a company representative about how Facebook prevents violent material from being uploaded and shared on the site.In a separate Senate subcommittee hearing Wednesday, the company is expected to be asked about allegations that social media companies are biased against conservatives.CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s latest vision for Facebook, with an emphasis on private, encrypted messaging , is sure to pose a challenge for the company when it comes to removing problematic material.Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, acknowledged the challenge in a meeting with reporters at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters Wednesday. He said striking a balance between protecting people’s privacy and public safety is “something societies have been grappling for centuries.”Rosen said the company is focused on making sure it does the best job possible “as Facebook evolves toward private communications.” But he offered no specifics.”This is something we are going to be working on, working with experts outside the company,” he said, adding that the aim is “to make sure we make really informed decisions as we go into this process.” Citation: Facebook cracks down on groups spreading harmful information (2019, April 10) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-facebook-groups.htmllast_img read more

Nintendo says working with Tencent to release Switch in China

first_img Citation: Nintendo says working with Tencent to release Switch in China (2019, April 26) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-nintendo-tencent-china.html Nintendo says full-year profit up nearly 40% on strong game sales © 2019 AFP Explore further Japanese games giant Nintendo said Friday it was working with Chinese internet firm Tencent to roll out its popular Switch console in China, confirming rumours that have dramatically pushed up its share price.center_img Mario from Super Mario Bros. is already a well-known character “Nintendo… is announcing that a collaboration is in progress with Tencent Holdings Limited… to release the Nintendo Switch video game system in China,” the firm said in a brief statement.The announcement came a day after Nintendo unveiled strong full-year profit numbers lifted by strong sales of blockbuster game titles for the Switch console.Net profit for the fiscal year to March rose 39.0 percent from a year earlier to 194 billion yen ($1.7 billion), on sales of 1.2 trillion yen, up 13.7 percent.It said then that sales of Switch hardware were projected to rise six percent to 18 million units for the current fiscal year with plans to release “Super Mario Maker 2”, “Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield” and “The Legend of Zelda”.The Switch has become a huge global seller, helped by the release of innovative, family-friendly titles that have wowed critics and gamers alike.The company’s shares have surged more than 12 percent since news reports said earlier this month that its games and the Switch would soon be available in China via Tencent.Nintendo boss Shuntaro Furukawa was quoted as saying on Thursday that they wanted to grow China into a major market like Japan, the US, and Europe.”But the size of the game console market is small. So it might not be easy,” said Furukawa.’Definitely positive news’However, Nintendo stock was off three percent in early exchanges on Friday, as analysts said they had been hoping for news of a new Switch console.The Tencent news is “definitely positive news”, said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo. “Shares are down because people wanted to square positions before the holidays.”After the closing bell on Friday, Japan will embark on an unprecedented 10-day holiday as special days off to celebrate the emperor’s abdication combine with the traditional “Golden Week” break.The long holiday has sparked some fears that Japanese markets will be volatile when they reopen as traders catch up with the news that has broken during that period.The Switch has “enormous potential” to succeed in China, Yasuda said, partly due to the games’ family-friendly nature.”Chinese authorities have strict rules when it comes to consumer products… you cannot show running blood and corpses.”Nintendo’s games in general avoid grotesque depictions. I feel it should face an easier time than others when it applies for permits,” the analyst told AFP.The characters such as Mario are already well recognised, which should also give it an edge.And although most Chinese gamers play on PCs, Nintendo’s software “offers benefits that PCs don’t”, said Yasuda.”You can carry it around. You can hook it to TVs. It offers various styles of gaming. It has already been accepted around the world,” he noted. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Fears rise China could weaponise rare earths in US tech war

first_imgChina has been accused of using its rare earth leverage for political reasons before.Japanese industry sources said it temporarily cut off exports in 2010 as a territorial row flared between the Asian rivals, charges that Beijing denied.In 2014, the World Trade Organization ruled the country had violated global trade rules by restricting exports of the minerals. The case was brought by the United States, European Union and Japan, which accused China of curbing exports to give its tech companies an edge over foreign rivals. China has cited environmental damage from mining and the need to conserve supplies as the reason for any past limits on output.While disruptive, any leverage gained from a supply block may be short-lived, experts said.”This would accelerate moves to find alternative supply sources,” said Kokichiro Mio, who studies China’s economy at NLI Research Institute.Empty threat?China is not the only country with sizeable reserves of rare earths.The United States Geological Survey estimated last year there were 120 million tons of deposits worldwide including 44 million in China, 22 million in Brazil and 18 million in Russia.China is the leading producer partly because the environmental risks deter some countries from harvesting their own deposits. Mining rare earths creates toxic waste and the potential release of harmful radioactive tailings.”There is a possibility that China would go ahead (with export curbs) but chances are what we are seeing now is just a threat,” Mio said.”The US would be in trouble over a short period of time. But it is unlikely that they (China) want to pour oil on the flames.”During Monday’s visit, Xi was accompanied by Vice Premier Liu He, who has led China in fraught trade negotiations with Washington—a fact not lost on China-watchers.State media coverage of the visit was dry, but a commentary on a social media account run by the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, stressed China’s dominance in the global supply chain and the relative paucity of US output.Meanwhile, cutting off the United States would mark a sharp escalation that Beijing may not have the stomach for, said Li of the RSIS.”The difference is the US is targeting specific Chinese companies. If China targets the US as a country… that may be regarded by the US and the world as a significant escalation of the trade war,” he said. A seemingly routine visit by President Xi Jinping to a Chinese rare earths company this week is being widely read as an obvious threat that Beijing is standing ready for action.”We should firmly grasp the strategic basis of technological innovation, master more key core technologies and seize the commanding heights of industry development,” Xi said during the visit, the official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.”Rare earth is not only an important strategic resource, but also a non-renewable resource,” he added, in comments likely to further fuel speculation.However, analysts say China appears apprehensive to target the minerals just yet, possibly fearful of shooting itself in the foot by hastening a global search for alternative supplies of the commodities.Xi’s inspection tour “is no accident, this didn’t happen by chance,” said Li Mingjiang, China programme coordinator at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore.”At this moment, clearly the policy circles in China are considering the possibility of using a rare earth exports ban as a policy weapon against the US.”The United States last week threatened to cut supplies of US technology needed by Chinese telecom champion Huawei, which Washington suspects is in bed with China’s military.The US move has fanned speculation that Xi could impose retaliatory measures and in an indication of the importance of rare earths to the US, Washington did not include them in a tariffs increase on Chinese goods this month.China has leverageChina occupies a commanding position, producing more than 95 percent of the world’s rare earths, and the United States relies on China for upwards of 80 percent of its imports.Rare earths are 17 elements critical to manufacturing everything from smartphones and televisions to cameras and lightbulbs.That gives Beijing tremendous leverage in what is shaping up largely as a battle between the US and China over who will own the future of high-tech.”China could shut down nearly every automobile, computer, smartphone and aircraft assembly line outside of China if they chose to embargo these materials,” James Kennedy, president of ThREE Consulting, wrote Tuesday in National Defense, a US industry publication. EU joins US, Japan in ‘rare earth’ trade case against China Citation: Fears rise China could weaponise rare earths in US tech war (2019, May 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-china-weaponise-rare-earths-tech.html The US has hit China where it hurts by going after its telecom champion Huawei, but Beijing’s control of the global supply of rare earths used in smartphones and electric cars gives it a powerful weapon in their escalating tech war. © 2019 AFP Rare earths are used in a number of goods including smartphones, televisions and lightbulbs Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

KCR sets high growth agenda as Telangana celebrates State formation day

first_imgCOMMENTS Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao called upon the people to strengthen the Government weeding out corruption in administration and take the state into high growth path.Addressing the fifth anniversary celebrations of the Telangana formation, the Chief Minister mentioned about three legislations for municipal, panchayat raj, and revenue administration and said they were aimed at making them corruption free.The celebrations were relatively a low key fair due to the election code and oppressive summer.He said “By giving equal importance to development and welfare we initiated a process of reconstruction of the State.”Telangana, he said, has emerged as a powerful force stabilising itself as a state on progress. “Our State registered on an average 16.5 per cent revenue growth during the past five years. If the same trend continues, the indications clearly show that the State’s revenue will witness a multiplier growth. To further expand the development this growth rate augurs well.”Rao said, “We were able to demonstrate during the past five years some permanent solutions to several critical problems during the past five decades. This includes surmounting the power crisis, enabling 24×7 power to all sectors including agriculture. This has rejuvenated both the agriculture and industrial sectors.”Referring to the Mission Bhagiratha, which seeks to address the drinking water problem, he said it is at an advanced stage of completion in almost all rural areas. It will be commissioned on July 1.Mentioning about various welfare schemes, he said that their benefits will have far reaching impact on the people in the years to come.Referring to the irrigation projects his Government had taken up, including the mega Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project, the Chief Minister said “once these irrigation projects are completed, the entire Telangana will have green fields. This will ensure State becomes drought free and there will be water throughout the year.”On the Investment Support scheme for agriculture under the Rythu Bandhu, he said “We ensure that the farmer does not get into debts by giving Rs 4,000 per acre, per crop totalling Rs 8000 for two crops.” He announced enhancement of the amount to Rs 5,000 per acre per season working out to Rs 10,000 for two seasons per acre. K Chandrasekhara Rao (file photo).   –  The Hindu June 02, 2019 COMMENT Published on SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL Telanganalast_img read more

Feds Powell affirms rate cut view others see US economy humming

first_img {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} ATLANTA/VICTOR, Idaho: As Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell kept the focus Thursday on global risks that could trigger a Fed rate cut in coming weeks, his colleagues from regional Fed districts painted a rosier picture of continued U.S. economic growth and a solid business outlook.The contrasting remarks show the dilemma the Fed faces as it heads towards an end-of-month monetary policy meeting now broadly expected to end with a rate reduction.On one hand – emphasised by Powell in Congressional hearings Wednesday and Thursday and seconded by the influential chief of the New York Fed and Fed Governor Lael Brainard — global trade and economic risks have put a dent in investment, inflation is well below the Fed’s 2% target, and the U.S. expansion may need a shot in the arm.But as they polled businesses in their districts, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic and Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas Barkin saw an economy still humming, and no clear need for the Fed to ease monetary policy. Powell has pointed to a number of national surveys as evidence business confidence took a hit recently. Economy 11 Jul 2019 Fed’s Powell signals rate cut as trade war outweighs strong job market Economy Related News Related News Business News 09 Jul 2019 Fed easing likely to prompt China rate cut Tags / Keywords: “I am not seeing the storm clouds actually generate a storm yet,” said Bostic, who described himself as skeptical of the need to cut interest rates right now. “With very few exceptions businesses are telling me the economy is performing as strong as it was. They are not seeing weaknesses in consumer engagement. And they are not materially changing their plans.””I’ve been out in the last couple weeks and I’m talking to business people,” Barkin said on Thursday. “They are not yet leaning back…They are not cutting jobs, They are not cutting investments that have already been underway. But they are cautious…They haven’t stopped, they’ve just slowed.”More detail about on-the-ground business sentiment may come next week when the Fed releases its latest Beige Book compendium of anecdotal information from the 12 Fed districts.Powell has pointed to a number of national surveys as evidence business confidence took a hit recently, particularly in May after President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican imports unless his demands about tougher immigration enforcement were met.The tariffs were not levied, but “it was a bit of a confidence shock, Powell told the Senate Banking Committee.In Albany, New York Thursday, New York Fed President John Williams, added his voice in support of a rate cut, citing uncertainties around trade and global growth and soft inflation. “The arguments, for adding policy accommodation have strengthened over time.”Brainard, in a separate appearance in Scranton, Pennsylvania, piled on. “Taking into account the downside risks at a time when inflation is on the soft side would argue for softening the expected path of monetary policy according to basic principles of risk management,” she told a community banking group.Neither Barkin nor Bostic have a vote this year on the Fed’s rate-setting committee. But they will participate in the debate when the Fed meets in three weeks in a session widely expected to reduce the Fed’s overnight target interest rate by at least a quarter of a percentage point.Investors expect that cut with near 100% certainty.Powell, in appearances on Capitol Hill this week, bolstered expectations such a cut is coming, and focused on the need to protect the United States against fallout from a weak global economy.Neither Barkin nor Bostic ruled out supporting a rate cut, which, according to minutes of the Fed’s June meeting, has drawn support for a variety of different reasons — both the global tensions Powell has focused upon, as well as weak inflation and a sense that the Fed had unintentionally set policy too tight with its four interest rate increases last year.At least a couple regional Fed bank presidents do support a rate cut, including St. Louis Fed Bank President James Bullard, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari who on Thursday said he is advocating the “stronger medicine” of a half-percent rate cut. Both men say a rate cut is needed to boost inflation expectations.But other regional bank presidents have in recent days said they were struggling to justify lower rates at a time when unemployment is near a historic low, at 3.7%, and job growth continues apace.Bostic said that even recent weak inflation data may not be as worrisome as it might seem.With the Fed’s current preferred measure of inflation running at 1.6%, below the 2% target, some policymakers argue the central bank needs to do more or risk losing public trust that it takes the target seriously.”If the public comes to believe that a persistent downside miss to the 2% goal means the FOMC is not committed to that goal, then there is a problem,” Bostic said.But he added that his analysis of inflation expectations, based on surveys of professional forecasters and business executives, left him unconvinced that expectations are slipping. In addition, less “noisy” measures of actual inflation, which strip out the most volatile terms, indicate “that right now we are very close to our 2% price stability mandate.” – Reuters Markets 11 Jul 2019 Asia stocks rise, dollar sags as Fed chair sets stage for rate cutlast_img read more