ECONOMY & BUSINESS SUnDAy, THE BANGLADESHTODAY FEBrUAry 11, 2018 10 Uber settles with Waymo on self-driving Business Desk uber and Waymo have reached a settlement over claims uber stole trade secrets from the self-driving company, reports BBC. As part of the agreement, uber is giving a 0.34% uber stake to Waymo, worth approximately $245m (£177m). uber has also agreed not to use Waymo's technology in its selfdriving cars, though it maintains it never did. uber's chief executive, Dara khosrowshahi, expressed "regret" over the way his company had handled the issue. in a statement, he said to Waymo: "While we won't agree on everything going forward, we agree that uber's acquisition of Otto could and should have been handled differently." Otto was a self-driving trucking company co-founded by former Google employee Anthony Levandowski. it was acquired by uber for $650m in 2016. The deal comes after four days in a san Francisco federal court in which former uber chief executive Travis kalanick took the stand. He was accused of orchestrating a plan to steal more than 14,000 confidential files from Waymo when the firm was still part of Google. it is now owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet. The jury was shown internal emails referencing demands Mr kalanick was said to have made. He wanted "pounds of flesh" from Google, it was claimed. Mr kalanick said he used the phrase "from time to time". A vistors' pass for Mr Levandowski - dated at a time he was still working at Google - was also produced as evidence. uber's defence was that there was no proof it had used any of the disputed secrets in its technology, a position it still holds. "nor do we believe that uber has used any of Waymo's proprietary information in its self-driving technology, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work." The jury was asked to consider whether uber had used eight trade secrets - whittled down from an original list of 121 - in its self-driving technology. The details of the secrets were not made public - discussions about the content of the document happened in front of the jury in closed sessions. Waymo had sought damages, which could have totalled more than $1bn, and/or an injunction - a move that could have halted uber's work on autonomous driving. "We are committed to working with uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology," a Waymo spokesman said on Friday. "This includes an agreement to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software." China brings over 68 mln people out of poverty in past 5 years Business Desk China lifted 68.53 million people out of poverty over the past five years, as it made impressive progress in poverty reduction, according to the state Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development. it was equivalent to an annual reduction of at least 13 million. The country's poverty rate dropped from 10.2 percent in 2012 to 3.1 percent in 2017. China aims to eliminate absolute poverty by 2020 as part of the creation of a moderately prosperous society. There were around 30 million Chinese living below the national poverty line at the end of last year. Policy makers have listed poverty alleviation as one of China's "three tough battles" for the next three years, along with risk prevention and pollution control. The year 2018 is a key year. More than 10 million people will shake off poverty in 2018. About 100 counties are expected to be removed from the poverty list, according to the leading group. A county can be removed from the list if no more than 2 percent of its residents earn less than 2,300 yuan (around 350 u.s. dollars) at 2010 prices. in China's underdeveloped western regions, the threshold is 3 percent. There were still 30.46 million rural people living below the national poverty line at the end of 2017, according to the national Bureau of statistics (nBs). Dow and S&P stay in correction territory Business Desk The Dow Jones industrial Average and the s&P 500 remained in correction territory on Friday despite closing higher after another bumpy ride, reports BBC. The Dow ended up 1.4% at 24,190 points, while the broader s&P was 1.5% higher at 2,619 points. Both have fallen 10% from the record highs hit on 26 January, indicating a "correction". Despite the positive finish, both indexes posted their worst weekly losses since January 2016. Meanwhile, the nasdaq Composite rose 1.4% to 6,874 points, giving the technology-focused index its worst week since February 2016. "i don't think the market is focused on fundamentals at all - it's very volatile," said Anwiti Bahuguna at Columbia Threadneedle investments in Boston. in London, the FTse 100 index ended the day down 1.1% at 7,092 points, bringing this week's declines to about 5%. Other european markets also suffered on Friday, with Germany's Dax falling 1.4% and France's Cac 40 shedding 1.25%. On Thursday, the Dow Jones fell by more than 1,000 points for the second time this week, and Asian markets followed the downward trend, with Japan's nikkei 225 shares index closing down 2.3%. The big sell-offs around the world this week have been pinned partly on concerns over the prospect of higher interest rates. Bank of england deputy governor Ben Broadbent told the BBC that markets might have underestimated the prospect of a pick-up in inflation. "if you look at what happened last year, particularly in the united states but also other equity markets, there was extremely strong growth - big rises in prices - as people gradually realised how strong the global economy was," he said. "if markets are responding understandably to that growth, it's possible they weren't pricing in the risk that that same growth would produce some inflation and some rises in interest rates, and i think what you're seeing now is the effect of that realisation. FedEx and UPS hit as Amazon 'plots shipping expansion' Business Desk Amazon is reportedly embarking on further expansion of its shipping services with a programme to pick up from companies that sell on its site, reports BBC. The firm is considering offering the service to other businesses as well, according to the Wall street Journal. investors dumped shares of existing shipping companies Fedex and uPs in response to the news. Amazon already offers shipping services to merchants that use its warehouses. under its Fulfillment by Amazon and other programmes, Amazon handles delivery of products that merchants store in the firm's warehouses, including to non-Amazon customers. The new programme goes a step farther, including pick-up from the vendor, according to the Wall street Journal. it has started in London and expects to launch soon in Los Angeles, with the aim of expanding to other cities this year, the report said. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment. The e-commerce giant has long focused on speeding delivery of online purchases, eliminating the lag time that provides traditional stores an edge, while trying to reduce the costs of shipping, which hit $21.7bn (£15.7bn) in 2017. The focus has led the firm to invest billions in its logistics network, building warehouses, deploying aircraft and hiring delivery trucks. Amazon also purchased upmarket grocer Whole Foods last year. This week, the firm said it would start making twohour grocery deliveries from the stores for Prime customers in some cities. As Amazon's network expands, it has led to increased questions about how well longstanding shipping companies such as Fedex and uPs - which count Amazon as a customer - will compete. Fedex and uPs shares fell by more than 2% on Friday morning as the market volatility continued. IMF chief urges Arab states to slash spending Business Desk iMF chief Christine Lagarde on saturday urged Arab countries to slash public wages and subsidies in order to rein in spending, achieve sustainable growth and create jobs. speaking at the one-day Arab Fiscal Forum in Dubai, Lagarde welcomed "promising" reforms adopted by some Arab countries, but insisted much more was needed to overcome daunting economic and social problems. Low oil prices are weighing on the finances of Arab oil exporters, while importers are battling with rising debt, unemployment, conflicts, terrorism and refugee inflows, the international Monetary Fund's managing director said. Almost all Arab countries have posted budget deficits over the past few years and Arab economies grew at just 1.9 percent last year, half the global rate, according to the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), which coorganised the event with the iMF. Yet Arab public spending remains very high, especially in oil-rich Gulf states, where government expenditures exceed 55 percent of gross domestic product, Lagarde said. she said many Arab governments had taken steps to contain spending, but the measures have often been temporary. Public spending reforms should focus on cutting costly subsidies and public wage bills whilst boosting efficiency in areas like health, education and public investment, she said. "There is really no excuse for the continued use of energy subsidies," Lagarde said. "They are extremely costly-averaging 4.5 percent of GDP among oil exporters and three percent of GDP among oil importers." Eurostar launches London- Amsterdam route Business Desk Channel Tunnel train operator eurostar is launching direct services between London and Amsterdam. Trains will run twice daily from 4 April, with the journey from st Pancras to Amsterdam taking three hours and 41 minutes. But for an initial period, the eurostar service will only run direct one-way, from London to the Dutch city. Passengers travelling from Amsterdam to London will have to change at Brussels to clear passport controls. eurostar says the connection at Brussels is a temporary measure until the British and Dutch governments reach an agreement to allow passport checks to be conducted on departure in the netherlands. it says this should be in place by the end of 2019. it's been a long time coming, but finally passengers will have the option of travelling between the uk and the netherlands direct by rail. The German operator Deutsche Bahn announced and then cancelled a link between the uk and Dutch capitals five years ago. since then, eurostar's efforts have been plagued by technical and bureaucratic setbacks. uptake is likely to be small, at least at first. Whilst Brits are familiar with international train travel, the eurostar brand will be much newer to those on the other end of the line. There will be only two trains a day from the uk. That compares to 70 direct flights daily from London to Amsterdam, for example. Although eurostar cannot compete on flexibility of travel, the train company is putting itself in direct competition with the airlines on price. Fares start at £35 for a one-way ticket. There will be those, particularly business travellers, who would prefer access to power sockets, free wifi and room to work on a train over the retail extravaganza of modern airports. Game-changing will be de-wrinkling the passport controls process on the return leg. Hassle-free, connected travel is a luxury many will be prepared to pay handsomely for. Loss deepens for Italy's BMPS despite bailout Business Desk italy's troubled bank Monte dei Paschi di siena (BMPs) suffered an even deeper loss in 2017 despite being bailed out, according to information released Friday. The net loss of 3.5 billion euros ($4.3 billion) was worse than the 3.2 billion loss it registered last year, and worse than the average of 3.2 billion euros expected by analysts according to Factset estimates. The 502 million euro loss in the final quarter of last year was double what analysts had been expecting. Founded in siena in 1472, BMPs has been in deep trouble since the eurozone debt crisis and is now majority owned by the italian state. An eu-approved bailout saw 5.4 billion euros of public money injected into the bank and many bondholders forced into becoming shareholders.
MISCELLANEOUS 11 SUNDAY, FeBRUARY 11, 2018 Mideast messes await Rex Tillerson on visit to region Middle East messes await Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as he embarks this weekend on a five-nation tour of the region, reports Reuters. From his first stop in Egypt to his last in Turkey, Tillerson will be confronting crises with partners and allies that threaten military success against the Islamic State group. The other stops are Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon, where he'll face mounting unease over the Trump administration's Mideast strategy, particularly its approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran. U.S. officials allowed on Friday that most of Tillerson's discussions would be difficult, singling out those in NATO ally Turkey as especially prickly given Turkish military action against U.S.-backed Kurdish rebels in northern Syria and escalating anti- American rhetoric in Ankara. But the officials said diplomacy is necessary to cement anti-IS gains and restore regional stability as the administration presses other nations and private companies to help with post-war reconstruction. Tillerson will arrive in Cairo late Sunday, days after Egyptian security forces launched major security operations against militants in the Sinai, Nile Delta and Western Desert. His meetings Monday include President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. The U.S. is offering help countering extremism. Tillerson also will raise human rights and democracy issues, according to officials, who previewed the trip on condition they not be quoted by name. The timing is sensitive: El-Sissi is seeking a second four-year term with no serious contenders in a March presidential election. The opposition is boycotting as some potential rivals have been arrested or barred from running. He then travels to Kuwait to lead the U.S. delegation to two international gatherings: That of the 74 members in the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition and a conference on Iraqi reconstruction. Tillerson will seek to sharpen the priorities of the coalition, many of whose members are increasingly distracted by national interests in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. officials said the aim was to keep the coalition focused on the complete defeat of IS and other groups, and then rebuilding war-devastated zones to prevent extremists from regaining territory. They said the coalition would look at containment and elimination of IS outside of Iraq and Syria by strengthening intelligence sharing, law enforcement cooperation and counterextremist messaging. Tillerson will not be making any new U.S. assistance pledges at the Iraq Reconstruction Conference, the officials said. Instead, he'll press companies and banks to boost activities in Iraq to spur long-term development. Some 2,300 representatives from the private sector, including from more than 100 American companies, are slated to attend. In Kuwait City, Tillerson will meet Kuwaiti officials who are attempting to mediate a resolution to disagreements between Qatar against its Arab neighbors Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In Jordan, Tillerson is doing damage control after President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and decision to withhold aid money from the U.N. agency assisting Palestinian refugees. Jordan, which has a large Palestinian population, including refugees, is among the most concerned. Amman, Tillerson is expected to sign a multiyear, multibillion dollar U.S. aid package with Jordan to shore up the relationship. Tillerson finishes the trip in Ankara with surely tense talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The U.S. officials said Tillerson will repeat warnings for Turkey to show restraint in military operations in Kurdish areas of Syria. He'll look to address Turkey's concerns about its borders in way to avoid killing civilians. Bangladesh United Islami Party organized Imam-Ulema assembly on Friday at Uttara Ajompur Govt Primary School Field. Photo: Riya Chawdhury North Korea says it can’t pay UN due to UN bank sanctions North Korea said Friday it can't pay nearly $184,000 in dues to the United Nations because of U.N. sanctions that prevent the transfer of funds from Pyongyang, reports Reuters. North Korea's U.N. Mission said sanctions imposed by the Security Council in early August on the Foreign Trade Bank of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which is in charge of international transactions, made payment impossible. The mission said Ambassador Ja Song Nam met Undersecretary-General for Management Jan Beagle Friday afternoon to request the opening of "banking channels" to make the DPRK's required $183,458 payment for 2018 for the U.N.'s regular operations and separate budgets for peacekeeping and international tribunals. The Security Council imposed sanctions on the bank in a wideranging resolution following North Korea's first successful tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States on July 3 and July 27. It imposed tougher sanctions in response to Pyongyang's sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion on Sept. 3, and even tougher measures in December after its test on Nov. 29 of its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile yet. The United States banned the Foreign Trade Bank from the U.S. financial system in 2013, and the DPRK Mission blamed the Trump administration for spurring last August's U.N. sanctions against the bank. A statement from the mission, given to The Associated Press late Friday, blamed the unilateral U.S. sanctions and "illegal and unlawful" U.N. sanctions resolutions "fabricated by the U.S. as a sponsor and its followers" for creating "enormous difficulties" and hindering normal activities such as paying U.N. dues. This "shows the ulterior political objectives of the sanctions maneuvers pursued by the U.S. and its followers and how cruel and uncivilized the sanctions are," the DPRK said. The mission asked the U.N. to provide a "lifeline" and, through its management chief, "to secure promptly the bank transaction channel through which the DPRK can pay regularly its financial contribution." A DPRK diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said ambassador Ja also raised the issue of U.N. agencies and organizations providing humanitarian aid that can't get money into the country for their operations. The Security Council resolution adopted in August does authorize its committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea to make exemptions on a caseby-case for humanitarian and economic activities. The DPRK diplomat stressed that his government has "faithfully" made its financial contributions to the U.N. in the past - and he said the exemption should be used to allow the DPRK "to pay its financial contributions without failure." The exemption should also be used to provide a banking channel for U.N. agencies and humanitarian organizations operating in the country, he said. According to the diplomat, U.N. management chief Beagle responded saying: "Let's try together to solve this issue, this problem." GD-221/18 (6 x 4) GD-220/18 (7 x 4) GD-222/18 (9 x 4)