Facebook Called `Delusional' Over Crypto Plan as Senate Digs In

Facebook Called `Delusional' Over Crypto Plan as Senate Digs In(Bloomberg) -- Republican and Democratic Senators sharply questioned Facebook Inc.’s plan to create its own digital money, adding to a chorus of skepticism across Washington and underscoring the challenges the company faces in getting its cryptocurrency off the ground.Senator Sherrod Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, compared Facebook to a toddler that plays with matches. Speaking at a Tuesday hearing examining Facebook’s proposed digital token, Brown said he was worried about the company moving into the space considering the “havoc” it has already wreaked on other industries.“Their motto has been move fast and break things,” said Ohio’s Brown, a Democrat, in his opening statement. “They certainly have. We’d be crazy to let them experiment with peoples’ bank accounts.”Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican, said Facebook’s ambitions show that Congress needs to give consumers “real control” over their data to prevent companies from misusing it. He also raised concerns over Facebook’s "massive reach and influence within society" and the vast amount of personal information that the company had access to.David Marcus, Facebook’s top executive on the project, sought to assuage lawmakers by pledging to work with regulators to address their concerns. "Facebook will not offer the Libra digital currency until we have fully addressed regulatory concerns and received appropriate approvals," he said in his opening statement.The senators’ ire isn’t as a surprise to the company, which has been reeling after a series of privacy breaches and questions about its role spreading fake news in the 2016 presidential campaign. Among the skeptics of its crypto plans are President Donald Trump, his Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and members of Congress from both parties.Even as the rhetoric rises, today’s hearing is also focusing attention on how cryptocurrencies should be overseen by the federal government. At least a half dozen agencies, including the Fed, the Securities and Exchange Commission and parts of the Treasury, have some say in the matter but none has taken a lead role.In response to a question from Crapo, Marcus said that he didn’t know which agency might oversee Libra but pledged to work with whatever regulator might step up.Brown continued to lay in to Facebook after his opening statement, repeatedly citing how much power the social network wields with its roughly 2 billion users. He told Marcus that it’s “delusional” for Facebook to think consumers will trust it with their financial data after the company allowed Russian bots to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, along with other scandals.(Adds Facebook executive comment in paragraph five.)To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Schmidt in Washington at rschmidt5@bloomberg.net;Ben Bain in Washington at bbain2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at jwestbrook1@bloomberg.net, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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The Latest: Google says it doesn't work with China military

The Latest: Google says it doesn't work with China military


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This Keurig K-Cafe coffee and espresso maker is $80 off for Prime Day

This Keurig K-Cafe coffee and espresso maker is $80 off for Prime DayTL;DR: You can get Keurig's innovative K-Cafe coffee maker for just $99.99 — a savings of $80 or 44 percent off its usual price tag. * * *There's nothing like getting your day started off with a solid cup of coffee, because who needs sleep when you can take some good ol' fashioned caffeine straight to the bloodstream? Whether you're looking to avoid the long lines at your local coffee shop in lieu of catching some extra Z's or simply just enjoy having more options, an at home coffee maker is the way to go. This Prime Day, you can get the Amazon Choice awarded Keurig K-Cafe on sale for $99.99, saving you $80. In fact, we've seen the coffee, latte, and cappuccino maker priced as high as $230 on Amazon, so this is one Prime Day deal you don't want to miss out on.  Read more…More about Coffee, Keurig, Prime Day, Kitchen, and Mashable Shopping


Exchanges divided over LEO’s regulatory future

Exchanges divided over LEO’s regulatory futureAfter a week of uncertainty and plunging prices, exchanges are unsure what to make of Bitfinex's get-out-of-jail token.


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Eric Garner’s Death Will Not Lead to Federal Charges for N.Y.P.D. Officer – The New York Times

  1. Eric Garner’s Death Will Not Lead to Federal Charges for N.Y.P.D. Officer  The New York Times
  2. Eric Garner's family to meet with Justice Department  PIX11 News
  3. Sanders slams decision not to charge officer who killed Eric Garner | TheHill  The Hill
  4. Justice Department will not file civil rights charges against Daniel Pantaleo in Eric Garner case, reports say  SILive.com
  5. Feds won't charge NYC officer in Eric Garner chokehold death  CBS News
  6. View full coverage on Google News

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Goldman Sachs: An Early Winner of Earnings Season?

Goldman Sachs: An Early Winner of Earnings Season?After a couple of so-so bank earnings reports, Goldman Sachs gives investors something to celebrate.


Kamala Harris wants the federal government to set the price of some drugs to lower costs – CNN

  1. Kamala Harris wants the federal government to set the price of some drugs to lower costs  CNN
  2. Jerry Brown Endorses, Praises Kamala Harris for Senate in 2016  Sacramento Bee
  3. How Kamala Harris would address rising drug prices  POLITICO
  4. Kamala Harris might be surging – but her record will soon catch up with her  The Guardian
  5. The Kamala Harris-Joe Biden busing battle could turn into a win for Democrats  CNBC
  6. View full coverage on Google News

Best Amazon Prime Day TV deals: Save on Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio

Best Amazon Prime Day TV deals: Save on Samsung, Sony, LG, VizioTL;DR: The last leg of Prime Day 2019 has a monstrous collection of 4K smart TVs on sale, saving you up to $1,000 on TVs from Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio, and more.* * ** * *Amazon did not come to play with Prime Day TV deals this year, meaning you no longer have an excuse to have a crappy TV — or complain about shows being too dark.4K TVs are one of the shopping event's most awaited items, and Prime members have been waiting all summer to finally pull the trigger on that big adult purchase. (Dropping $1,000 just feels more justifiable on Prime Day, right?)EE ALSO: Best Amazon Prime Day deals this year Read more…More about Home, 4k Tv, Prime Day, Mashable Shopping, and Shopping Topdeal


Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin recalls first moments on the moon on 50th anniversary of mission

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin recalls first moments on the moon on 50th anniversary of mission"To me, it was the dream we had all signed up to chase, what we had imagined, worked and trained for, the apex of national service to a country we unabashedly loved," Buzz Aldrin said.


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Tech executives head to Capitol Hill for antitrust hearing

Tech executives head to Capitol Hill for antitrust hearingExecutives from tech giants Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc and Alphabet's Google go before the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel Tuesday to discuss competition in online markets. The committee is likely to discuss antitrust probes of the four companies under way at the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission, as well as allegations that the companies seek to thwart nascent competitors. Democrats, in particular, are expected to press Facebook about a proposed $5 billion settlement between the company and the FTC to resolve allegations that the company violated a 2011 consent agreement by inappropriately sharing information on 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.


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Iranian bread permanent guest at Kuwaiti tables

Iranian bread permanent guest at Kuwaiti tablesKhalil Kamal makes sure he regularly visits Kuwait's popular Souq Al-Mubarakiya, where he enjoys his favourite kebab meal with onion, rocket and freshly baked Iranian bread. The smell of the bread wafts through the market as it bakes in a traditional oven at the Al-Walimah restaurant in downtown Kuwait City. For decades, Iranian bread -- known as taftoon -- has been a staple of Kuwaiti breakfast, lunch and dinner tables.


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Tech executives head to Capitol Hill for antitrust hearing

Tech executives head to Capitol Hill for antitrust hearingExecutives from tech giants Apple Inc , Amazon.com Inc , Facebook Inc and Alphabet's Google go before the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel Tuesday to discuss competition in online markets. The committee is likely to discuss antitrust probes of the four companies under way at the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission, as well as allegations that the companies seek to thwart nascent competitors. Democrats, in particular, are expected to press Facebook about a proposed $5 billion settlement between the company and the FTC to resolve allegations that the company violated a 2011 consent agreement by inappropriately sharing information on 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.


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Tech executives head to Capitol Hill for antitrust hearing

Tech executives head to Capitol Hill for antitrust hearingExecutives from tech giants Apple Inc , Amazon.com Inc , Facebook Inc and Alphabet's Google go before the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel Tuesday to discuss competition in online markets. The committee is likely to discuss antitrust probes of the four companies under way at the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission, as well as allegations that the companies seek to thwart nascent competitors. Democrats, in particular, are expected to press Facebook about a proposed $5 billion settlement between the company and the FTC to resolve allegations that the company violated a 2011 consent agreement by inappropriately sharing information on 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.


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U.S. judge expected to address whether ex-Trump adviser Stone violated gag order

U.S. judge expected to address whether ex-Trump adviser Stone violated gag orderPresident Donald Trump's former adviser, Roger Stone, will appear in federal court on Tuesday and the judge is likely to decide whether to revoke his bond after prosecutors alleged Stone violated a gag order by discussing his case on social media. Tuesday's hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia was originally scheduled as a routine event ahead of Stone's November criminal trial for his lawyers to present arguments for why certain evidence should be suppressed or turned over by the government. “Stone’s posts appear calculated to generate media coverage of information that is not relevant to this case but that could prejudice potential jurors,” they wrote, in reference to posts Stone made citing articles that questioned whether Russia actually hacked Democratic Party computer servers in the 2016 presidential election.


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ECB should not rely too much on markets for inflation expectations – Villeroy

ECB should not rely too much on markets for inflation expectations - VilleroyCentral banks should not only be independent from political pressures but also from short-term pressures such as financial markets' perceptions of inflation, ECB policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Tuesday. Global central banks are facing increased calls from politicians on both sides of the Atlantic to conduct easy monetary policies that suit their agendas. Meanwhile, bond yields have dropped recently in the face of weak economic data, putting pressure on central banks to carry out drastic new monetary stimulus to keep inflation expectations from collapsing.


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Von der Leyen Pledges $1.1 Trillion Green Deal in Pitch to EU

Von der Leyen Pledges $1.1 Trillion Green Deal in Pitch to EU(Bloomberg) -- Ursula von der Leyen of Germany made a final pitch to become European Commission president, telling the EU Parliament she would pursue bolder policies to protect the climate and improve social justice.The Christian Democratic nominee directed her appeal to left-of-center members of the European Union’s legislature in Strasbourg, France, where she needs to secure an absolute majority in a secret ballot at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. With 747 of the assembly’s 751 seats currently filled, the threshold for victory is 374 votes.“Our most pressing challenge is keeping our planet healthy,” von der Leyen, 60, said during a speech in which she switched between English, German and French. “This is the greatest responsibility and opportunity of our times. I want Europe to become the first climate-neutral continent in the world by 2050.”An ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, von der Leyen would succeed Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg as commission chief in November for a five-year term and become the first woman in the EU’s most powerful policy-making post.The Brussels-based commission is the 28-nation bloc’s executive arm, which proposes and enforces European laws on everything from car emissions to energy pipelines. It also monitors national economies, negotiates trade deals, runs a diplomatic service, manages the bloc’s budget and acts as Europe’s competition authority.Calling for “bold steps” on climate protection, von der Leyen said the EU’s goal to cut the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming by 40% in 2030 compared with 1990 levels was inadequate.Von der Leyen said she would propose a law during her first 100 days in office that would deepen the 2030 emissions-cut target to 50% or even 55% and set a goal to zero out greenhouse gases by 2050. To help finance the transition, she wants to create a sustainable investment plan for Europe and turn parts of the European Investment Bank into a climate bank.“This will unlock 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) of investment in the next decade,” von der Leyen said. “It means change. All of us and every sector will have to contribute -- from aviation to maritime transport to the way each and every one of us travels and lives. Emissions must have a price that changes our behavior.”Carbon TaxTo protect the competitiveness of EU companies and prevent their relocation to regions with laxer climate policies, she wants to implement a carbon tax on imported goods. Such a proposal -- already pursued by France and its allies a decade ago -- has so far proven unattainable given it requires unanimous backing from the member states.Her climate ideas failed to sway the Green party, which previously said it wouldn’t support her bid. “Your language was perhaps strong, but your proposals remain very vague,” Philippe Lamberts, Belgian co-leader of the Green faction in the EU Parliament, said in remarks to the assembly.Von der Leyen, Germany’s defense minister, was unexpectedly tapped on July 2 by EU national leaders for the commission presidency after they were deadlocked for weeks over official candidates fielded by Europe’s main political parties.The EU Parliament, where the Christian Democrats are the biggest group with 24% of the seats, had called on the government chiefs to avoid a traditional backroom deal on the nomination and to select one of the formal contenders.The Socialists, the No. 2 faction with a fifth of the assembly’s seats, were stung that their candidate -- Dutchman Frans Timmermans -- was sidelined even after he gained the late support of Merkel herself. Timmermans, currently the commission’s principal vice president, ran into firm opposition from other Christian Democratic party bosses, leaders in eastern Europe and the Italian prime minister.“We think you are moving in the right direction,” Iratxe Garcia, head of the Socialist group in the EU Parliament, said after von der Leyen’s speech. “There are advances.”Von der Leyen has spent the past two weeks seeking to woo various political factions in the EU Parliament, offering policy commitments in the process.With the support of the 182-strong Christian Democrats and 108-member Liberals, she has focused her efforts on the Socialists, who number 153 and have been split. On Monday, von der Leyen sent the group written pledges to undertake more ambitious action on everything from climate change to social rights.“The fight for fairness never stops,” she said in her speech. “I want better protection for those who lose their job when our economy takes a severe hit.”(Updates with comments starting in the third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Nikos Chrysoloras, Viktoria Dendrinou and Ewa Krukowska.To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Stearns in Strasbourg, France at jstearns2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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India to launch rules to end gas distributors' monopoly in 34 areas

India to launch rules to end gas distributors' monopoly in 34 areasThe government is set to introduce rules in six months that could lead to the phase-out of monopolies controlled by natural gas distribution companies in 34 cities, including New Delhi and Mumbai, allowing many consumers to choose a new supplier, a senior regulatory official said. In 2009, natural gas supply regulator - the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) - gave exclusive gas marketing rights, initially for five years, to companies who had established gas distribution networks in cities across the country.


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Tongaat CEO Seeking to Freeze Payments on $793 Million Debt

Tongaat CEO Seeking to Freeze Payments on $793 Million Debt(Bloomberg) -- Tongaat Hulett Ltd. is asking 10 lenders for a break from payments on as much as 11 billion rand ($793 million) of debt so it can recover from the impact of having to restate accounts, according to Chief Executive Officer Gavin Hudson.The embattled South African sugar maker is spending about 1 billion rand a year servicing the borrowings and is looking to negotiate a freeze by the end of July, Hudson said in an interview at Tongaat’s 19th century Durban headquarters, an old farmhouse surrounded by sugar-cane fields. The company is in the process of selling assets and cutting costs to strengthen the balance sheet, he said.“Tongaat is not a quick fix, but we are considering all options,” said Hudson, a former SABMiller executive who took the top job in February. “We could potentially generate about 800 million to 1 billion rand on disposals, depending on a few things, including getting the right buyers,” he said.Hudson’s task is to rescue a company that asked for its shares to be suspended in June after finding that financial results for the year through March 2018 can’t be relied on. Tongaat has said South African police are investigating an unnamed former executive for his role in the crisis, which involved booking profit on certain transactions before they were finalized, two people with knowledge of the matter said last month.The crisis at the sugar maker bears some resemblance to the financial crisis that has engulfed South African retailer Steinhoff International Holdings NV, albeit on a smaller scale. The owner of Pep stores throughout Africa and a stake in Mattress Firm of the U.S. is stuck in critical talks with lenders some 19 months after the scandal broke, and says a group of employees led by ex-CEO Markus Jooste inflated profits and asset values.Tongaat has hired auditors at PwC to investigate the finances and expects them to complete the probe by September, Hudson said. “We are taking appropriate action as the investigation goes along,” he added. Tongaat’s Hudson and his team meet daily in a “war room” to discuss the restructuring of core businesses including sugar, starch and property-development units, he said. “We have been implementing cost cuts, from reducing head count to the sheets of paper being used in the printers,” the CEO said. Tongaat isn’t yet planning a rights offering, though that option is always on the table, he said.The overall headcount will be reduced by about 2%, or as many as 600 people, mainly by removing layers of management and closing offices in South Africa, Hudson said. Businesses identified for disposal include packing plants in Botswana and Namibia and game farms in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, he said.(Updates with CEO comments on PwC investigation in sixth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Loni Prinsloo in Johannesburg at lprinsloo3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, John Bowker, Vernon WesselsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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Take a virtual peek at what future Hyperloop stations could look like – Engadget

Take a virtual peek at what future Hyperloop stations could look like  Engadget

It'll likely take a while before a Hyperloop network can take passengers to their destinations, but a team competing at the 2019 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod ...

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