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(BBC) Boeing 737 Max: FAA says no fixed timetable for grounding to be lifted

(BBC)

Boeing's 737 Max aircraft
Image captionBoeing’s 737 Max aircraft was grounded in March

The US aviation regulator has indicated that the Boeing 737 Max might return to service later than airlines had hoped.

US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) acting director general Dan Elwell said if it took a year for the grounding order to be lifted “so be it”.

International aviation regulators are meeting on Thursday to discuss the 737 Max’s return to service.

The plane was grounded in March after two crashes in five months in which 346 people died.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said earlier this week that he expected the 737 Max to receive approval by late June or early July.

Mr Elwell was asked by reporters whether it was realistic that the 737 MAX could be flying again by the summer.

“If you said October I wouldn’t even say that, only because we haven’t finished determining exactly what the training requirements will be.

“If it takes a year to find everything we need to give us the confidence to lift the [grounding] order so be it.”

He said discussions with Boeing over approving the safety update were “a constant give and take until it is exactly right. It’s taking as long as it takes to be right. I’m not tied to a timetable”.

One decision the FAA has yet to make is whether or not to require pilots to undergo simulator training for the safety update.

Safety analysis

Aviation regulators from 33 countries, including the UK, Europe and China, are meeting in Texas.

The meeting, led by the FAA, could set out a timetable for when the aircraft can return to service.

The regulator said it would provide its “safety analysis that will form the basis for our return to service decision process”.

The FAA also said it “will provide safety experts to answer any questions participants have related to their respective decisions to return the fleet to service”.

Boeing has developed a software update for the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (Mcas) on the 737 Max – a new feature on the jet designed to improve the handling of the plane and to stop it pitching up at too high an angle.

Mcas has been linked to both the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March, which killed 157 passengers and crew, and the Lion Air disaster in Indonesia at the end of October, in which 189 people perished.

However, Boeing has not formally submitted the software fix to the FAA.

Southwest Airlines is the biggest operator of Boeing's 737 Max
Image captionSouthwest Airlines is the biggest operator of Boeing’s 737 Max

The FAA is expected to conduct a certification flight in the coming weeks.

The executive chairman of the International Pilot Training Association, Captain Tilmann Gabriel, told the BBC: “The FAA current acting director general has made it very clear that he is not committing to October, which was the real date [for the reintroduction], but there is so much to do.

“The credibility of the FAA and Boeing is at stake here. I’m convinced that there is a fix found, but this has to be now properly introduced.

It is also not clear when regulators outside the US in other countries will allow the plane back in the air.

China was the first country to ban the 737 Max from its skies following the Ethiopian Airlines crash. Other nations including the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union soon followed suit.

The US was one of the last countries to ground the 737 Max in March following the Ethiopian Airlines crash. Southwest Airlines and American Airlines are the biggest operators of the 737 Max globally.

Woman mourns at funeral for victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash
Image captionThe Ethiopian Airlines crash claimed 157 lives

The FAA has said that the issue of whether to make pilot training on 737 Max simulators a requirement before the plane can return to service is “still under review”.

The New York Times recently reported that the simulators – which Boeing provides the software for – were not able to accurately replicate conditions similar to those which played a part in both the Ethiopians Airline and Lion Air disasters.

Boeing said it “has made corrections to the 737 Max simulator software and has provided additional information to device operators to ensure that the simulator experience is representative across different flight conditions”.

It added that it was working with both the manufacturers of the simulators and regulators “on these changes and improvements and to ensure that customer training is not disrupted”.

Mr Gabriel told the BBC: “The big thing is that the simulators had not anticipated the Mcas. Pilots didn’t know about it and if the authorities decide that all pilots have to be trained in a simulator that [could] cause a very big delay.”

Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) will also hold a meeting on Thursday with airlines that have grounded the 737 Max.

Alexandre de Juniac, the IATA’s director general and chief executive, said the gathering was designed to assess what the airlines “expect from the manufacturer and from the regulatory authorities”.

(GUA) What went wrong at British Steel?

(GUA)

Why the UK’s second-largest steelmaker has entered insolvency

A British Steel plant
 The UK steel industry has been in decline for some time. Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP/Getty Images

British Steel has entered insolvency after the government refused to provide it with a £30m loan, saying the terms the company and its private equity owner Greybull Capital were asking for would have amounted to unlawful state aid. Here are the answers to some key questions.

What has gone wrong at British Steel?
When Greybull Capital bought British Steel for £1 in 2016 from Tata Steel, rebranding it with the old British Steel name, it promised great things. The private equity firm pledged to invest £400m to revive the company and within months it was boasting of a return to profit and a bright future ahead. Two years later it has entered insolvency. In a letter to staff last week, British Steel’s chief executive, Gerald Reichmann, blamed weak market demand, high raw material prices, the weakness of sterling and uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit discussions.

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How much is Brexit to blame?
It is not the only factor in the crisis but it is very important. Steel contracts are typically agreed well in advance of the product being delivered. As things stand, the UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October and the terms of that separation are yet to be agreed, meaning British Steel’s overseas customers do not know what tariffs will apply to steel they buy from the company. Sources close to the company say orders from customers in the EU and further afield have dried up as a result.

That is why the company wanted an urgent cash injection, to replace the drop in sales in the hope that a favourable Brexit deal could be signed in the meantime. Another factor is the weakness of sterling since the referendum result, which makes the cost of imported raw material used in making steel higher. Greybull bought British Steel after the referendum but it did not expect Brexit uncertainty to last this long.

Can the company survive in some form?
The steelworks in Scunthorpe represents the bulk of the company and it is hard to see who would be an obvious buyer for the site, given that it has struggled under successive owners. The fundamental problems affecting it show no sign of solution anytime soon. The government has said it would bring together the company, its unions and suppliers in an effort to avoid losing one of the UK’s last two blast furnace steelworks. But that will probably require someone to come in and offer to buy the company. The metals group Liberty House, which was interested in Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant and has since bought steel mills from the company, is one name in the frame.

Why was the government reluctant to bail it out?
For a start, propping up failing businesses goes against the Conservative party’s free market ethos unless absolutely unavoidable. Also, the government has already loaned the company £120m to help it pay an EU bill for its carbon emissions. Not to mention that the date of Brexit has already been delayed once. Ministers did not want to lend British Steel money to tide it over in the hope of a Brexit deal that may not come.

However, the official stance is that British Steel and its bank lenders wanted the government to lend the company £30m on terms that were not commercial, which would have been unlawful under EU state aid rules.

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Is the whole UK steel industry in trouble?
The UK steel industry has been in decline for some time because of a variety of factors such as overcapacity in EU steelmaking and Chinese state-subsidised firms flooding the global market with cheap product. An industry that employed 323,000 people in 1971 now employs less than a tenth of that, at 31,900. The closure of the Redcar steelworks in 2015 was a significant blow to the sector and left the UK with only two blast furnace steelworks, which make steel from raw materials: Scunthorpe and Tata Steel-owned Port Talbot in south Wales. There are also four electric arc furnaces in the UK, which make products from recycled steel. There are three of these sites in Sheffield and one in Cardiff.

How important is the steel industry?
Very. For a start, steelmaking jobs are highly skilled and well paid. The average salary of £36,000 is around 50% higher than that of workers in regions where the industry operates such as Wales and Yorkshire. The ability to make steel is seen as a crucial component of a developed nation’s defence capability, not to mention its role for strategically important industries such as transport and oil and gas.

British Steel is also important in its own right. The UK’s six producers all essentially produce different steel products, meaning there’s very little overlap. So the loss of any one producer immediately reduces the UK’s capability to make all the different products the country requires.

British Steel is the only UK producer of rail, and a vast array of construction products. A loss of this would mean Britain has no choice but to import increasing volumes of steel for construction and infrastructure projects.

What else could be done?
About 42% of steel that the government buys comes from abroad. Not all of that could be sourced from the UK as we do not make every grade of steel that the state purchases. However, on Monday the government committed to consider social and environmental benefits when buying steel, in a move that the industry hopes will make British companies more likely to win contracts within EU state aid rules. The industry has also complained that it is being hit by the twin burdens of high business rates and energy costs, given how energy-intensive steelmaking is. Policy changes could offer some relief in those areas too.

(DML) Now EE and Vodafone drop Huawei phones from their 5G network launch lineup as chip designer ARM distances itself from the company over US ban

(DML)

  • Firms EE and Vodafone have pulled Huawei’s phones from their 5G networks 
  • UK-based chip designer ARM has told staff not to do business with the company
  • The reports follow Google’s decision to pull the company’s android license
  • An order from President Trump last week effectively banned technology firms from ‘foreign adversaries’ trading with US companies without approval

Leading mobile carriers and technology firms have started to sever ties with Huawei to comply with the recent US trade clampdown. 

UK-based chip designer ARM have told their staff to ‘halt’ business with the Chinese telecoms firm while mobile operators EE and Vodafone have pulled Huawei’s phones from their 5G networks.

Japan’s KDDI and Y! Mobile are also said to be delaying the launch of upcoming Huawei smartphones  to protect their operations amid security concerns.

An order from President Trump last week effectively banned technology firms from ‘foreign adversaries’ trading with US companies without approval. 

Huawei is accused of being a gateway for the Chinese government to spy on Western nations using equipment used to facilitate the upcoming 5G service.  

A number of leading mobile carriers and technology firms have started to sever ties with Huawei to comply with the recent US trade clampdown. Chip designer ARM and mobile operators EE and Vodafone have pulled the Chinese firm’s phones from their 5G networks

Since then, the firm has received a series of blows including Google’s announcement that they would be pulling the company’s Android license.

This means that new and yet-to-be-released Huawei models would not be able to access Google apps as part of Android, like Google Maps or Youtube. 

Another major drawback to the business came today as British tech company ARM has also suspended dealing with the company.

Documents obtained by the BBC have instructed ARM employees to halt ‘all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements’ with the company.

If ARM does sever ties in the long-term it would greatly affect Huawei as it relies on ARM’s technology to build its own chips.    

One analyst told the BBC that  the move, if it became long-term would be an ‘insurmountable’ blow to Huawei’s business.

An order from President Trump last week banned technology firms from ‘foreign adversaries’ trading with US companies without approval. Huawei is accused of being a gateway for the Chinese government to spy on Western nations

Telecom firms EE and Vodafone has left Huawei out of their line-up of 5G smartphones, which EE is launching next week.

EE said it had chosen to ‘pause’ the sale of Huawei 5G phones amid ongoing tensions between the US and the company.

They also confirmed the Huawei equipment it currently uses in its network infrastructure is in the process of being phased out.

Vodafone also said it would suspend Huawei’s Mate X phone from its 5G line-up because ‘Huawei’s 5G handset is yet to receive the necessary certifications’. 

EE chief executive Mark Allera said it will not restart Huawei sales until they are satisfied that the security of its customers is being protected. 

The BT-owned telecoms giant said it will be the first operator in the UK to launch the high-speed mobile network, which is expected to offer internet speeds several times that of current generation 4G. 

An order from President Trump last week banned technology firms from 'foreign adversaries' trading with US companies. Huawei knocked Apple off the second place to Samsung in smartphone sales, however experts say not having Google Play will put off potential buyers

An order from President Trump last week banned technology firms from ‘foreign adversaries’ trading with US companies. Huawei knocked Apple off the second place to Samsung in smartphone sales, however experts say not having Google Play will put off potential buyers

The company confirmed a number of 5G-ready smartphones would be available on its new network, including devices from Samsung, OnePlus, LG, HTC and Oppo.

Fellow mobile operator Vodafone has confirmed it will launch 5G across seven cities in the UK on July 3, with another 12 cities to follow by the end of the year.

Mr Allera said the company has ‘worked for decades with government’ and ‘at the moment we have no instructions to change our plans’, amid security fears around the use of Huawei in 5G networks. 

A Huawei spokesperson told the Telegraph: ‘We value our close relationships with our partners, but recognise the pressure some of them are under, as a result of politically motivated decisions. 

‘We are confident this regrettable situation can be resolved and our priority remains to continue to deliver world-class technology and products to our customers around the world.’

MailOnline have contacted Huawei for comment.

In 2017, Huawei shipped over 153 million phones globally in the first three months of 2019 alone and delivered more than 59 million smartphones, around half of which went to European consumers. 

The Government is yet to announce its decision on whether the Chinese firm should be allowed as part of telecoms infrastructure following an official review.

‘Extremely unfortunate timing’: Huawei-owned Honor launches new devices just two days after Google pulls its Android license

Huawei-owned smartphone firm Honor has unveiled its next line-up of smartphones, amid uncertainty over the future of its devices.

An order from President Trump last week effectively banned technology firms from ‘foreign adversaries’ trading with US companies without approval.

Google then confirmed it would stop supporting Android on Huawei and Honor devices, the software which powers both firms’ phones.

Huawei-owned smartphone firm Honor has unveiled its next line-up of smartphones, despite uncertainty over the future of its devices. Here, a picture from Honor’s smartphones launch yesterday

The block means that new and yet-to-be-released Huawei and Honor phones are unlikely to be able to access Google apps as part of Android.

Although Honor says that their new line  should have access to the Google Play Store as well as Google’s other services, future updates are less certain.

A temporary license and grace period sanctioned by the US government will initially allow support for existing devices until August.

Speaking to MailOnline, Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight consultancy, said that it was ‘extremely unfortunate timing for such an exciting product’.

The uncertainty of the current situation is damaging for Huawei’s business and the fact that they don’t have clarity further muddies the water for customers.

‘People rely on core Google services like Google maps and not being able to have these applications on devices would present a huge challenge,’ he said. 

At the launch, Honor boss George Zhao said regarding the ongoing trade row, ‘no matter what happens’ he believed that the firm can ‘overcome it’. 

The company has chosen bright colours for the holographic designs, paired with a powerful 48MP AI Quad Camera

Both models also boast a 6.26′ all-view display with a 91.7 per cent screen-to-body ratio. Honor said availability for the 20 Pro, which will cost €599 (£525) in Europe, would only be ‘released in the near future’

Existing Huawei smartphone users will be able to update apps and push through security fixes, as well as update Google Play services.

But when Google launches the next version of Android later this year, it may not be available on Huawei devices.

Effectively what this means is that future Huawei devices may no longer have apps such as YouTube and Maps.

The latest offering continues the winning trend of flagship hardware at more reasonable prices aimed at millennial smartphone users.

A third device, the Honor 20 Lite, is already on sale for £249.99

Google is assuring users of Huawei smartphones the American company’s services will still will work on them but the impact to Huawei may be crippling (file photo)

The company has chosen bright colours for the holographic designs, paired with  a powerful  48MP AI Quad Camera. 

The Pro supports up to 5x hybrid zoom, which uses the other cameras to fill in details beyond the optical zoom, and up to 30x digital zoom. 

The Honor 20 can be pre-ordered now for £399.99 at Carphone Warehouse, O2, Three, Amazon and Argos with a free Honor Watch Magic.

(DML) Jamie’s recipe for disaster: Experts reveal faults that led to collapse of chef’s sprawling restaurant empire

(DML)

  • Critics claim Oliver’s restaurants were over-priced for their ‘mid-range’ offering
  • But his recipe books still sold millions and cooking shows continued to do well
  • With rise of food delivery apps and online reviews three chains failed to survive
  • Jamie’s Italian, Union Jacks and Barbecoa have all gone into administration 

Pictured: Jamie Oliver on The Naked Chef during its second series in 2000 

Jamie Oliver’s food empire today came crashing down around him as the celebrity chef announced his restaurant brand had spiralled into administration.

Food critics and industry experts claim the overpriced, mid-range meals on offer at his three High Street restaurants were a recipe for disaster. 

While Oliver’s recipe books flew off the shelves in their millions and his TV shows continued to rake in viewers, his own food outlets failed to meet the same standards. 

Restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin said she would have to be ‘paid’ to go back to Jamie’s Italian in London‘s Westfield.

Market analyst Fiona Cincotta claimed the menu was ‘too expensive for mid-range dining and not high-end enough to compete at the more expensive end of the market’. 

Oliver, who first broke the mainstream as the cheeky chappy from Essex on his first TV show The Naked Chef at 23, blamed Brexit for the collapse. 

But his restaurants, which also include Union Jacks and Barbecoa, have teetered on the edge of administration for more than a year with millions of pounds in debt.  

Experts claim the Jamie brand was being used as an excused to hike up prices, without any increases in food quality.  

Poor online reviews are also believed to have contributed to the worsening reputation of Jamie’s Italian as food delivery apps such as Uber Eats have conquered the market, leaving the chef unable to save his struggling brand.

TripAdvisor reviewers recently branded his Covent Garden branch as ‘shocking’, ‘nothing special’ and pricey in recent months. 

His restaurants now owe £71.5million with 1,000 workers set to lose their jobs. 

Josh Singh, 24, who works at Jamie’s Italian at the Bullring in Birmingham said: ‘In the early years it was a destination restaurant but I think over time the message got lost. The company started giving things away and turned into your average high street restaurant instead of a celebrity restaurant.

‘They opened restaurants all over the place and in places where you wouldn’t expect celebrity restaurants to be like villages and very small towns.’ 

An anonymous member of staff added: ‘It was getting too commercial and I felt under pressure to get customers seated and ordered and then out too quickly.

‘On busy nights it felt like a conveyor belt. Why pay £100 plus for a meal when you feel under pressure to eat it quickly? You might as well go to McDonalds.’

Gareth Ogden, from chartered accountants Haysmacintyre, said: ‘Sky high rents, particularly at its premium sites, combined with soaring business rates have been at the heart of Jamie Oliver’s recent woes. Video playing bottom right…Click here to expand to full pageLoaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:07PauseUnmuteCurrent Time0:07/Duration Time0:29FullscreenExpandClose

Fifteen Barbecoa restaurants have also closed as Jamie Oliver's brand went into administration today

Fifteen Barbecoa restaurants have also closed as Jamie Oliver’s brand went into administration today 

‘The rescue plan put in place in 2017 appears to have now crashed on the rocks of over-supply in the casual dining market and consumer uncertainty. 

‘In a sector awash with excess supply, particularly in the Italian market, maintaining quality, reliability and point of difference is imperative for survival. 

‘Jamie’s Italian, the group’s largest brand, is perhaps guilty of over-expansion and has lost the passion and zeal of its founder which was its USP when originally brought to market.’ 

Jamie’s Italian is far from the only victim of the High Street bloodbath, with dozens of food brands admitting defeat in the last two years.

Prezzo, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Patisserie Valerie are among those who have struggled to survive.     

Simon Mydlowski, an expert in the hospitality industry, said Jamie’s failed to keep up with trends in the sector. 

This sign appeared in the window of the Jamie’s Italian in Victoria, central London this morning

Senior market analyst Fiona Cincotta from Cityindex, added: ‘The restaurant chain, which piggybacked on the fame of Naked Chef Jamie Oliver, has been struggling for years to keep the business model going in which the pasta dishes – most of Jamie’s Italian offering – were too expensive for mid-range dinning and not high end enough to compete in the more expensive end of the market. 

‘Higher rent, rising food prices, uncertainty over Brexit and competition from smaller, more nimble outfits, have been eroding the company’s earnings over the last few years.  

‘Although nobody in the company blamed Brexit for the situation it is telling that the Jamie Oliver franchise is alive and well abroad, operating 25 restaurants in other countries including Ireland. 

‘The demise doesn’t leave much to celebrate, only room for questions about how it could have been done better.’    

The self-made chef’s fall from grace comes after he refused to let severe dyslexia stand in his way of success.

Born to pub owners Trevor and Sally Oliver in Clavering, Essex, he started out cooking in the kitchen with his parents and sister. 

Josh Singh started work at the company as door staff in 2013 and has worked his way up the ladder to become manager. He slammed the closures today 

After leaving school, he went on to attend Westminster Technical College, earning a qualification in home economics, before getting a job as a pastry chef at the London restaurant of Italian cook Antonio Carluccio.

His shot at stardom came when a visiting TV crew spotted him working at the River Cafe in Hammersmith, West London, in 1997. 

Two years later he hit TV screens aged 23 on The Naked Chef, establishing his reputation as a cheeky, laid-back cook from Essex.

The BBC series was praised at the time for inspiring men to cook. It first aired on April 14th in 1999 and ran for three series and including Christmas specials. 

Jamie met his wife, Juliette — known as Jools — at college in 1993 when the pair were just 18.

They married in Essex in June 2000, with a low-key reception in Jamie’s parents’ garden, to which the chef wore a pale blue Paul Smith suit and snakeskin brogues.

Jools worked as a waitress before becoming a TV assistant, model and, briefly, her husband’s PA.

The couple have five children – Poppy Honey Rosie, 17; Daisy Boo Pamela, 15; Petal Blossom Rainbow, 10; Buddy Bear Maurice, eight; and River Rocket Blue Dallas, two. 

Oliver tweeted: ‘I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years.’

He went on to present more than 25 cooking series, spearheading a campaign for improved nutrition in school meals. 

Jamie famously waged war on Turkey Twizzlers in 2005, when he visited Westminster to speak with politicians about his healthy school dinners campaign.  

The chef also released a host of accessible cookery books, including  ‘Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals’ and ‘Everyday Super Food’. In 2010, ‘How to Cook (Part One)’ became the biggest selling cookbook of all time. 

Timeline: How Jamie Oliver’s chains plunged into debt

2008: Jamie’s Italian opened its first restaurant in 2008.

2015: Jamie At Home, which contracted agents to sell his cookware range at parties, ceased trading after racking up losses. The company began in 2009, as part of the Jamie Oliver organisation, before being licensed to another firm in 2013, but shut up shop in 2015.

2017: Jamie’s businesses lost £20m, forcing him to shut 18 of his Italian restaurants – leading to the loss of 600 jobs.

Chain was struggling with debts of £71.5m and teetered on the edge of bankruptcy before the chef injected his savings into the business. 

The firm also took out £37m in loans from HSBC and other companies. 

In 2017 he closed the last of his four his Union Jack Piazzas, in London’s Covent Garden. 

2018: Jamie’s Italian shuttered 12 of its 37 sites, with the latter tranche executed through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

He also came under fire for failing to pay suppliers after his upmarket steak restaurant Barbecoa crashed into administration, leading to the closure of its Piccadilly branch.  

The restaurant in St Paul’s continued to trade and was bought out by a new company set up by Oliver, who was no longer legally liable for the debts. 

2019: All but three of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants close after the business called in administrators, with 1,000 staff facing redundancy. 

Licensing his name for use on items such as Hotpoint ovens and Tefal pans has made him £7.3million before tax in 2016 alone. Cooking and recipe books have raked in £5.4million before tax in the same year. 

He opened his first Jamie’s Italian in Oxford in 2008, growing it to more than 60 restaurants worldwide. 

In 2017 the restaurant chain lost almost £20million and was forced to close several of its branches.

It came close to bankruptcy last year before the chef injected £12.7million of his savings into the business.  

That year he closed the last of his Union Jacks eateries and scrapped his magazine Jamie, which had been in print for almost 10 years. The father-of-five went on to describe that year as the worst of his life.  

By 2018, Jamie’s Italian was struggling with debts of £71.5million. More than 600 people lost their jobs earlier this year the chain said it would close 12 sites.   

Despite his financial woes, Jamie recently splashed out £6 million on a 16th century Essex mansion, in a 70-acre estate, complete with ghost. 

He’s reportedly planning to convert outhouses into a mega-kitchen from which he can film shows and hold his masterclasses.

He and Jools spent £8.9 million on a Grade II-listed mansion near Hampstead Heath, north London, in 2016, and spent two years renovating it.

It boasted seven bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen with cream Aga, a grand piano and a Louis XV-style bed worth £2,200, it’s certainly impressive.

The Olivers have fitted the house with some quirky features, including a wood-fired pizza oven, a treehouse bed and a vegetable patch for the children.

Jamie hired his brother-in-law, Paul Hunt, married to his sister Anna-Marie, to run Jamie Oliver Ltd in 2014 — and last year Hunt assumed responsibility for the restaurants, too.

But some of his methods — such as making staff redundant over Christmas and cutting ties with Jamie’s friends and culinary mentors — have led to a reputation for ruthlessness.

Last year, an anonymous insider described him as an ‘arrogant, incompetent failure’ who was ‘running the business into the ground’.

Jamie rebutted the claims, saying the story was ‘nonsense’ and that Paul was ‘a loyal brother-in-law and loving father as well as a strong and capable CEO’.

(BI) Chinese tech giant Huawei has developed its own operating system as a ‘plan B’ in case it’s barred by the US government from using Google and Microsoft products

(BI)

Huawei
Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping, center, speaks in front of other executives during a press conference in Shenzhen, China’s Guangdong province.
  • The Chinese tech-giant Huawei confirmed it has developed its own operating system that could replace Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows should it be barred from using American-made products, according to a recent report by the German newspaper Die Welt.
  • The prospect of being banned from such products has intensified for Huawei in the wake of its recent lawsuit against the US government.
  • “We have prepared our own operating system. Should it ever happen that we can no longer use these systems, we would be prepared,” Huawei executive Richard Yu said, according to a translation of the original German text.
  • Huawei currently uses Android’s operating system for its smartphone devices and Windows for its laptop and tablets.

UPDATE: Since this article was originally published in March 2019, Google severed ties with Huawei following an executive order from US President Donald Trump. Here’s what that means if you own a Huawei phone.

The Chinese tech giant Huawei confirmed it has developed its own operating system that could replace Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows should it be barred from using American-made products, according to a recent report by the German newspaper Die Welt.

The prospect of being banned from such products has intensified for Huawei in the wake of its recent lawsuit against the US government.

“We have prepared our own operating system. Should it ever happen that we can no longer use these systems, we would be prepared,” Huawei executive Richard Yu said, according to a translation of the original German text.

A Huawei spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the report.

Huawei is suing the US government for not allowing its federal officials to use the Chinese firm’s telecom equipment over security concerns. The company has said that the US government has failed to provide evidence to substantiate the security claims and that the US is acting unconstitutionally.

Read more: The Trump administration is warning allies to stay away from a powerful Chinese company — but not everyone’s listening

Huawei has been working on building its own operating system since as early as 2012, according to the South China Morning Post. The completion of those efforts had previously been unknown until Die Welt’s recent report.

Huawei currently uses Android’s operating system for its smartphone devices and Windows for its laptop and tablets.

Yu said that moving onto Huawei’s in-house platform was the company’s “plan B” and that “of course we prefer to work with the ecosystems of Google and Microsoft.”

(Verge) Intel, Qualcomm, and other chipmakers reportedly join Google in Huawei ban

(Verge)

Huawei has been stockpiling chips to prepare for this eventuality

Huawei’s bad weekend is turning worse as the company’s American suppliers are all falling in line with a US government edict banning them from doing business with the company. Bloomberg now reports that Intel, Qualcomm, and Broadcom, three of the world’s leading chip designers and suppliers, are cutting off their dealings with Huawei, effective immediately. Nikkei reports that German chipmaker Infineon Technologies has also suspended shipments to Huawei, as have US memory chip makers Micron Technology and Western Digital.

The chip suspensions follow the earlier news of Google abruptly rescinding Huawei’s Android license and halting its access to Google Play Services and the Play Store, effectively dumping it out of the Android smartphone market and forcing the Chinese company to develop its own version atop the barebone open-source edition of Android.

According to Bloomberg’s sources, employees across the major US chipmakers have been informed that their companies will freeze their supply deals with Huawei until further notice. Intel provides Huawei with server chips and the processors for its laptop line, while Qualcomm figures less prominently in providing modems and other processors. Huawei’s actually quite well insulated from the Qualcomm impact, as it builds its own mobile processors and modems. Another Bloomberg report suggests Huawei has also been preparing for this eventuality by stockpiling chips from US suppliers to last it at least three months, which should be enough time to tell if the current measure is a scare tactic or a permanent imposition from the US government.

Nikkei’s sources suggest that Europe might be falling into line as well. “Infineon decided to adopt a more cautious measure and stopped the shipment. But it will hold meetings this week to discuss [the situation] and make assessments,” said one source speaking to Nikkei. European chipmaker ST Microelectronics is reportedly discussing its continued shipments to Huawei this week as well.

Huawei has been developing in-house alternatives to Android and Windows, specifically to try and address a situation such as the present one. Microsoft hasn’t yet commented on whether it will continue to provide the Windows operating system for Huawei laptops, but odds are that it too will respect the US government’s orders.

The effort by the US government to sideline Huawei has been going for a long time, and the company was last year unceremoniously rebuffed in its effort to enter the US phone market. The current escalation is part of an increasingly hostile trade dispute between the Trump administration and the Chinese government, with the former trying to force a renegotiation of the trading relationship between the two.

(Reuters) Dutch spy agency investigating alleged Huawei ‘backdoor’: Volkskrant

(Reuters)

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei has a hidden “backdoor” on the network of a major Dutch telecoms firm, making it possible to access customer data, newspaper De Volkskrant said on Thursday, citing unidentified intelligence sources.A man walks past surveillance cameras displayed at a Huawei booth at an exhibition during the World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin, China May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

The newspaper said Dutch intelligence agency AIVD was looking into whether the situation had enabled spying by the Chinese government.

In a statement, Huawei said it was “surprised” by the Volkskrant report and that it would not respond to its core allegations because they came from anonymous sources.

Earlier, a company representative was quoted in De Volkskrant as saying Huawei complied with all laws in every country where it operates, and “keeps the door closed to governments or others who want to use our network for activities that would threaten cyber security.”

A spokesman for the AIVD said the agency would not comment on the Volkskrant report.

In April, the agency said it was “undesirable for the Netherlands … to depend on the hardware or software of companies from countries running active cyber programs against Dutch interests,” naming China and Russia.

Of the three large Dutch telecommunications companies, KPN and VodafoneZiggo declined to comment on the report, while T-Mobile/Tele2 said it was not aware of any AIVD investigation.

The report comes a day after U.S. President Donald Trump banned Huawei from buying vital U.S. technology without special approval and effectively barring its equipment from U.S. telecoms networks on national security grounds.

KPN said last month it would exclude Huawei equipment from the “core” of its mobile network in the future, but would continue to use Huawei radio towers.

A Dutch government panel is currently reviewing security guidelines to prevent spying ahead of the construction of the country’s 5G mobile networks. Foreign Minister Stef Blok said at a press conference on Wednesday the panel would deliver a decision “soon” on whether Huawei would be allowed as a vendor.

The Volkskrant story did not contain any details of whether the alleged “backdoor” was hardware or software, how it works, or whether it has actually been used.

(ZH) China’s Huawei, 70 Affiliates Blacklisted By US Commerce Department

(ZH)

Update (1815ET): That did not take long…

Reuters reports that the U.S. Commerce Department is adding Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and 70 affiliates to its so-called “Entity List” – a move that will make it much more difficult for the telecom giant to buy parts and components from U.S. companies. U.S. officials said the decision would also make it difficult for Huawei to sell some products because of its reliance on U.S. suppliers.

Department of Commerce Announces the Addition of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to the Entity List

WASHINGTON – Today, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it will be adding Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and its affiliates to the Bureau’s Entity List. This action stems from information available to the Department that provides a reasonable basis to conclude that Huawei is engaged in activities that are contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interest. This information includes the activities alleged in the Department of Justice’s public superseding indictment of Huawei, including alleged violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), conspiracy to violate IEEPA by providing prohibited financial services to Iran, and obstruction of justice in connection with the investigation of those alleged violations of U.S. sanctions.

The sale or transfer of American technology to a company or person on the Entity List requires a license issued by BIS, and a license may be denied if the sale or transfer would harm U.S. national security or foreign policy interests. The listing will be effective when published in the Federal Register.

“This action by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, with the support of the President of the United States, places Huawei, a Chinese owned company that is the largest telecommunications equipment producer in the world, on the Entity List. This will prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “President Trump has directed the Commerce Department to be vigilant in its protection of national security activities. Since the beginning of the Administration, the Department has added 190 persons or organizations to the Entity List, as well as instituted five investigations of the effect of imports on national security under Section 232 of the Trade Act of 1962.” Additions to the Entity List are decided by the End-User Review Committee which is comprised of officials from the Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, State Department, and Department of Energy. Under § 744.11(b) of the Export Administration Regulations, persons or organizations for whom there is reasonable cause to believe that they are involved, were involved, or pose a significant risk of becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States, and those acting on behalf of such persons, may be added to the Entity List.

The Bureau of Industry and Security’s mission is to advance U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives by ensuring an effective export control and treaty compliance system and promoting continued U.S. strategic technology leadership. BIS is committed to preventing U.S.-origin items from supporting Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) projects, terrorism, or destabilizing military modernization programs.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement President Donald Trump backed the decision that will “prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.”

Sec. Wilbur Ross@SecretaryRoss

Under President Trump’s leadership, Americans will be able to trust that our data and infrastructure are secure. #ICTSupplyChain46910:21 PM – May 15, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy174 people are talking about this

*  *  *

Update (1645ET): Confirming what we previewed earlier, in a move that is seen as aimed at keeping the Chinese company Huawei out of the US market, President Trump has declared a “national emergency” to protect U.S. communications networks giving the federal government broad powers to bar American companies from doing business with certain foreign suppliers.

“The president has made it clear that this administration will do what it takes to keep America safe and prosperous, and to protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology infrastructure and services in the United States,” the statement said.

The order authorizes the commerce secretary to block transactions involving communications technologies built by firms controlled by a foreign adversary that puts U.S. security at “unacceptable” risk — or poses a threat of espionage or sabotage to networks that underpin the day-to-day running of vital public services… which would include the Chinese firm Huawei.

As WaPo details, Trump’s executive order instructs the commerce secretary to develop an enforcement regime and permits the secretary to name companies or technologies that could be barred, according to officials.

The order acknowledges that, although an open investment climate is generally positive, the United States needs to do more to protect the security of its networks.

The national emergency declaration comes a day after a congressional hearing in which senators from both parties joined administration officials in calling out the risks of doing business with a company like Huawei. They emphasized that the problem was less about the company than the authoritarian country whose system of laws, which lacks due process and transparency, it must obey.

“It’s not about overseeing Huawei. It’s about overseeing China,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the hearing on 5G security.

But, of course, “The executive order is company and country agnostic,” replies a senior White House official when asked if the executive order targets Huawei and China (h/t @W7VOA)

*  *  *

As we detailed earlier, in what appears to be the US government’s latest salvo in its war against Huawei, President Trump is reportedly preparing to sign an executive order that would prohibit American firms from using equipment made by foreign telecom companies that pose a ‘security threat’, according to Bloomberg, which sourced its report to administration insiders.

The official who spoke with Bloomberg insisted the order wasn’t intended to single out any country or company, but anybody who has been following the ongoing spat with Huawei should instantly recognize that this simply isn’t true (though, with the trade negotiations at a very delicate impasse, we understand why the administration needs to maintain this pretense). Though Huawei and its fellow Chinese telecoms giant ZTE already face serious restrictions on selling their products in the US, Huawei still maintains a US subsidiary in Texas.

Huawei

The order, which could be signed as soon as Wednesday, wouldn’t outright ban sales to US entities, but it would grant the Commerce Department more authority to review products and purchases made by firms with connections to adversarial countries (we doubt that’s directed at Ericsson and Sweden).

China’s foreign ministry has already lashed out at the US over reports of the executive order.

“This is neither graceful nor fair,” ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a news briefing in Beijing. “We urge the U.S. to stop citing security concerns as an excuse to unreasonably suppress Chinese companies and provide a fair and equitable and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies to operate in the U.S.”

Washington has been campaigning for months to stop its allies around the globe from allowing Huawei products to be used in their 5G networks, but to little avail. Yesterday, Huawei promised to sign a “no spy” pledge to governments like the UK that are still deciding how much reliance on Huawei they are willing to stomach.

As Huawei pushes to assume a global leadership position in 5G, the US’s efforts to try and discredit the company have included successfully pushing for the arrest of its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, in Canada, on charges she helped the company violate US sanctions on Iran.

American lawmakers suspect Huawei’s equipment could be used for spying – and not without reason.

Just last month, Ars Technica found a backdoor like vulnerability in Huawei’s Matebook laptop series which could have allowed remote hackers to gain access to the system. Chinese law also could technically compel companies like Huawei to cooperate with authorities.

But even if the order is signed on Wednesday, it might not take effect for six months, as it would take time for the Commerce Department to “fashion an approach” to the order.

In the meantime, Verizon and other US telecoms firms are still way behind in the war to dominate the global market for 5G networking equipment.

)

(BBG) Trump’s Huawei Threat Is the Nuclear Option to Halt China’s Rise

(BBG)

  •  The White House’s campaign could disrupt 5G rollouts globally
  •  The struggle to contain Beijing may also hurt America

PauseUnmuteCurrent Time1:36/Duration Time4:18Loaded: 0%Progress: 0% CaptionsFullscreenHuawei Says it’s Ready, Willing to Engage With U.S. on Product SecurityUnmuteHuawei Says it’s Ready, Willing to Engage With U.S. on Product Security

The Trump administration is pulling out the big guns in its push to slow China’s rise, with potentially devastating consequences for the rest of the world.

The White House on Wednesday initiated a two-pronged assault on China: barring companies deemed a national security threat from selling to the U.S., and threatening to blacklist Huawei Technologies Co. from buying essential components. If it follows through, the move could cripple China’s largest technology company, depress the business of American chip giants from Qualcomm Inc. to Micron Technology Inc., and potentially disrupt the rollout of critical 5G wireless networks around the world.

“The Trump administration action is a grave escalation with China,” Eurasia Group analysts Paul Triolo, Michael Hirson and Jeffrey Wright wrote in a note. If fully implemented, the blacklist would “put at risk both the company itself and the networks of Huawei customers around the world, as the firm would be unable to upgrade software and conduct routine maintenance and hardware replacement.”

President Trump Speaks At 38th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service
Donald Trump on May 15.Photographer: Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Bloomberg

The threat is likely to elevate fears in Beijing that President Donald Trump’s broader goal is to contain China, leading to a protracted cold war between the world’s biggest economies. In addition to a trade fight that has rattled global markets for months, the U.S. has pressured both allies and foes to avoid using Huawei for 5G networks that will form the backbone of the modern economy.

“@Huawei 5G, RIP. Thanks for playing,” U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, wrote on Twitter.

Read More: China Promises Response If U.S. Tariffs all Remaining Imports

U.S. suppliers to Huawei including Lumentum Holdings Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. are indicated to open lower in pre-market trading, after shares in Asian suppliers including Sunny Optical Technology Group and AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. dropped as much as 5% on Thursday.

In Europe, STMicroelectronics NV fell, while Huawei competitor Nokia Oyj gained 2%. Huawei has said it devotes about a third of its budget — some $11 billion annually — to the acquisition of American components. It counts 33 U.S. companies among its top 92 suppliers.

“The negative impact on the global 5G market will be significant,” said Charlie Dai, a Beijing-based analyst at Forrester Research, nothing that Huawei is one of the market leaders globally. “Nokia and Cisco could address the gap to some extent, but the overall adoption will be slowed down, which eventually will be harmful to telco carriers and consumers around the world.”

Read More: Macron’s Answer to Trump’s Threat: Europe Won’t Block Huawei

The Commerce Department said Wednesday it will soon put Huawei on an “Entity List” — meaning any U.S. company will need a special license to sell products to the world’s largest networking gear maker. Since American companies dominate semiconductors, that could smother Huawei’s production of everything from 5G base stations to mobile phones. It may not even be able to use Google’s Android, the most popular operating system globally for smartphones. A similar move last year against ZTE Corp. — China’s second-biggest telecom equipment company — nearly forced the company out of business.

“This could potentially lead to Huawei’s destruction,” said Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “You can’t underestimate the significance. It’s their most important company and threatening it in this way will generate a massive public response as well as from the Chinese government. The bilateral trade talks were on thin ice and this could derail them entirely.”

Read more: Trump Moves to Curb Huawei as Trade War With China Escalates

At the heart of Trump’s concerted campaign is suspicion that Huawei aids Beijing in espionage while spearheading China’s ambitions of becoming a technology superpower. The Justice Department also accuses it of willfully violating sanctions on Iran, and last year engineered the arrest of the eldest daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder.

Huawei, which has denied those allegations, said Thursday it was “ready and willing” to engage with the U.S. to ensure product security. Restricting it from doing business “will only serve to limit the U.S. to inferior yet more expensive alternatives,” it said in a statement.

China’s government said it will take “all necessary measures” to defend its companies.

“We resolutely object to any country, based on their own laws, unilaterally sanctioning Chinese entities,” Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at a regularly scheduled briefing in Beijing Thursday. “We also object to the generalization of the national security concept and abuse of export control methods.”

The lack of alternatives is one reason that it’s far from certain the U.S. will make good on its threat to cut off Huawei. Observers for months had been dismissing the possibility, in part because it would hurt some of America’s largest tech corporations. The Trump administration has also been pressuring allies to bar Huawei equipment from their communications networks for security reasons. But the U.S. effort had largely failed, as even the U.K. declined to join the American call for a boycott.

If the U.S. handicaps Huawei by cutting off suppliers, countries and telecoms carriers around the world that are already spending billions to build 5G networks may have to resort to pricier equipment from Nokia Oyj and Ericsson AB. Tying up a chunk of the world’s 5G gear supply would slow the build-out of a technology that underpins future services from self-driving cars to smart homes and advanced medicine.

Huawei appears to have anticipated this possibility. It’s been developing and designing its own chips for years, which it now uses in many of its own smartphones. It’s reportedly even developing its own operating software to run phones and servers.

For now, though, it remains heavily reliant on American technology.

Huawei’s base station, smartphone, server and maritime cable businesses simply cannot run without Qualcomm baseband and processor chips. There are alternatives — but from American peers such as Intel Corp., Micron and Broadcom Corp.

It also depends on smaller American suppliers in key areas: Lumentum Holdings Inc. for optical cable; Amphenol for fiber-optic connectors; Inphi Corp. for analog chips; Qorvo Inc. and Analog Devices Inc. for radio-frequency semiconductors in both 4G and 5G; and Western Digital Corp. for storage. Texas Instruments Inc. supplies it with digital signal processing chips. Huawei even uses Oracle Corp. software in products sold to state-owned companies.

Why 5G Mobile Arrives With a Subplot of Espionage: QuickTake

ZTE provides a roadmap for what may happen next. Huawei’s much smaller rival in 2017 ran afoul of the Commerce Department for violating the same Iranian sanctions, and then lying about it. The subsequent ban on American exports pushed the company to the brink of extinction, before Trump intervened as part of trade negotiations with Beijing.

A blanket ban would hurt not just U.S. companies, but also alienate American allies around the world. Many have resisted Washington’s attempts to steer them away from Huawei, for reasons ranging from economics to just the simple fact that the Shenzhen-based company’s 5G technology is for now considered superior.

Read more: Trump Is Losing the Fight to Ban Huawei From Global Networks

That’s why some observers, including the Eurasia Group, argue that the White House is unlikely to bring the full force of a blacklist to bear. Instead, it argued, the Trump administration is likely to issue export licenses to all of its American companies while retaining the option in future to pull them if needed.

Roger Sheng at market research firm Gartner Inc. draws parallels with the Chinese fable of the Monkey King, whose powers are constrained by a magic circlet that his handler constricts — painfully — when the deity misbehaves.

“The U.S. is putting a circlet around the head of Huawei,” said Sheng, who is based in Shanghai. “The impact goes well beyond its 5G ambitions because without American suppliers like Qualcomm and Marvell, it can’t even maintain normal operations.”

(JN) Portugal já só tem quatro cotadas entre as 2.000 maiores do mundo

(JN)

EDP, Galp, Jerónimo Martins e BCP são já as únicas cotadas portuguesas a constarem no ranking das maiores do mundo, elaborado anualmente pela Forbes. Norte-americanas e chinesas dominam a lista.

Portugal já só tem quatro cotadas entre as 2.000 maiores do mundo

Miguel Baltazar/Negócios    Assine 1mês/1€Ler mais tardeImprimirRafaela Burd Relvasrafaelarelvas@negocios.pt16 de maio de 2019 às 17:59As grandes cotadas portuguesas são cada vez menos e cada vez mais pequenas no panorama mundial. Este ano, a EDP, a Galp, a Jerónimo Martins e o BCP são já as únicas cotadas portuguesas a entrarem no ranking das maiores do mundo, o que representa metade do que Portugal conseguia há cinco anos. Os números globais foram divulgados esta quinta-feira, 16 de maio, pela revista Forbes, no “Global 2000“, que lista as duas mil maiores cotadas do mundo.

A lista agora apresentada reflete aquele que foi um ano de “montanha russa” para os mercados acionistas, refere a Forbes. Nas bolsas de todo o mundo, ora houve grandes subidas, ora se registaram quedas a pique, numa altura marcada pelas tensões comerciais entre os Estados Unidos e a China mas, também, pelas alterações fiscais implementadas pelo atual governo norte-americano, que vieram beneficiar as gigantes de Wall Street.

Olhando para o topo da lista, as alterações são poucas, ainda que haja algumas novidades. O top 10 continua a ser ocupado quase exclusivamente por empresas chinesas e norte-americanas, mas, este ano, há uma novidade: a petrolífera holandesa Shell ocupa agora o nono lugar da lista.

No topo, mantém-se o banco chinês ICBC, que ocupa o primeiro lugar deste ranking da Forbes há sete anos, apresentando um valor de mercado de 305,1 mil milhões de dólares. É seguido pelo JPMorgan Chase, que vale 368 mil milhões em bolsa (mas apresenta menores lucros e tem quase metade dos ativos do ICBC). O banco norte-americano roubou o segundo lugar ao China Construction Bank, agora no terceiro lugar.

Independentemente do país de origem os dez primeiros lugares são ocupados maioritariamente por empresas do setor financeiro. As exceções são apenas duas: a já referida Shell e a Apple.

Dos 61 países representados, os Estados Unidos são os que ocupam o maior número de lugares da lista da Forbes: 575 empresas deste ranking são norte-americanas. Segue-se a China e Hong Kong, com 309 empresas, e o Japão, com 223 empresas. É um cenário muito diferente daquele que foi apresentado pela revista em 2003, quando começou a fazer este ranking. Nesse ano, os Estados Unidos tinham 776 empresas na lista, enquanto a China e Hong Kong tinham apenas 43.

Portugal cada vez mais pequeno

Portugal tem uma representação cada vez mais pequena. Em 2014, havia ainda oito empresas portuguesas a figurar na lista das maiores do mundo: EDP, Galp, Jerónimo Martins, Sonae, PT, BCP, BPI e Montepio Geral. No ano seguinte, a PT, arrastada pelo colapso do BES, e a Sonae já tinham desaparecido do ranking, que passava a contar com seis cotadas portuguesas. Em 2017, o Montepio também caía da lista.

Chegados a este ano, Portugal já só tem quatro cotadas entre as maiores do mundo, com a saída do BPI da bolsa, no ano passado, depois de o banco ter passado a ser controlado pelos catalães do CaixaBank.

A EDP mantém-se como a portuguesa mais bem classificada, ainda que tenha descido várias posições no ranking. Ocupa agora o lugar 633, muito aquém da posição 488 que ocupava em 2017. A elétrica nacional tem um valor de mercado na ordem dos 14,1 mil milhões de dólares.

Segue-se a Galp, que passou a ocupar a posição 778, com uma capitalização bolsista de 13,4 mil milhões de dólares.

Já a Jerónimo Martins está no lugar 1.167, com uma capitalização de 9,9 mil milhões, enquanto o BCP é a última cotada portuguesa desta lista, no lugar 1.583, com um valor de mercado de 4,2 mil milhões de dólares.

(ZH) Huawei Offers To Sign ‘No-Spy’ Pacts With Governments As UK Embarks On 5G

(ZH)

Chinese smartphone and telecommunications equipment giant Huawei is willing to sign ‘no-spy’ agreements with governments which adopt their technology, including Britain, according to chairman Liang Hua. 

The Trump administration has warned allies not to use Huawei’s technology to implement 5G networks over concerns that they would allow Chinese intelligence services to spy on whoever uses it. 

Moreover, Huawei and its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, are facing criminal charges in the United States over the alleged theft of trade secrets and sanctions violations in Iran. 

As Reuters reports, Britain is still deciding on how much they will rely on Huawei – the world’s largest supplier of telecom equipment – for their 5G networks. 

“The security and resilience of the UK’s telecoms networks is of paramount importance, and we have strict controls for how Huawei equipment is currently deployed in the UK,” said a spokesman for the British government on Tuesday, adding that the results of a supply chain review would be announced soon. 

Prime Minister Theresa May sacked her defense minister, Gavin Williamson, this month over leaked claims that Huawei would have a role in the 5G network, putting Britain at odds with its biggest intelligence ally, the United States.

Williamson has denied he leaked from the confidential talks.

Liang, speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with Huawei’s British technology partners, said the company never intended to be in the eye of a political storm. –Reuters

“The cyber security issue is not exclusive to just one single supplier or one single company, it is a common challenge facing the entire industry and the entire world,” said Liang, adding that Huawei had long cooperated with the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre’s technology oversight efforts, while improving its software engineering capabilities. 

Liang also said that Huawei does not take direction or act on behalf of the Chinese government in any international market. 

“Despite the fact Huawei has its headquarters in China, we are actually a globally operating company,” he said, adding “Where we are operating globally we are committed to be compliant with the locally applicable laws and regulations in that country.”

“There are no Chinese laws requiring companies to collect intelligence from a foreign government or implant back doors for the government.” 

Last month, Ars Technica reported the discovery of a backdoor-like vulnerability in Huawei’s Matebook laptop series which could have allowed remote hackers to gain access to the system. Microsoft confirmed the security flaws were discovered by Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) kernel sensors, which traced the vulnerability back to a Huawei driver.

Huawei responded to Tom’s Hardware’s inquiry about the Matebook security flaw. They reiterated that the security flaw was not a backdoor attempt to spy on customers. Huawei also suggested it may take legal action against media over “misleading reports” about this issue. 

UK minister Jeremy Wright will announce the findings of the government’s telco supply-chain review soon, and has said that the benefits of cheap Chinese equipment would not take precedence over security concerns. 

Liang pushed back, suggesting that economic factors should be a top consideration, saying “I believe the decision should be based on risk assessment and supply-chain assessment, and should also reflect the requirements the UK has in terms of economic development when they choose suppliers,” and adding “Cyber security is indeed a very important factor to consider (…) but at the same time it should be a balanced decision between cyber security and economic prosperity.”

Huawei has inked over 40 5G contracts; 25 in Europe, 10 in the Middle East and six in Asia.

As Reuters notes, Germany says they’ve seen no indication that the company was offering a “no-spy” agreement. 

(Reuters) Exclusive: Trump expected to sign order paving way for U.S. telecoms ban on Huawei

(Reuters)

The order, which will not name specific countries or companies, has been under consideration for more than a year but has repeatedly been delayed, the sources said, asking not to be named because the preparations remain confidential. It could be delayed again, they said.

The executive order would invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which gives the president the authority to regulate commerce in response to a national emergency that threatens the United States. The order will direct the Commerce Department, working with other government agencies, to draw up a plan for enforcement, the sources said.

If signed, the executive order would come at a delicate time in relations between China and the United States as the world’s two largest economies ratchet up tariffs in a battle over what U.S. officials call China’s unfair trade practices.

Washington believes equipment made by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world’s third largest smartphone maker, could be used by the Chinese state to spy. Huawei, which has repeatedly denied the allegations, did not immediately comment.

The White House and Commerce Department declined to comment.

The United States has been actively pushing other countries not to use Huawei’s equipment in next-generation 5G networks that it calls “untrustworthy.” In August, Trump signed a bill that barred the U.S. government itself from using equipment from Huawei and another Chinese provider, ZTE Corp.

In January, U.S. prosecutors charged two Huawei units in Washington state saying they conspired to steal T-Mobile US Inc trade secrets, and also charged Huawei and its chief financial officer with bank and wire fraud on allegations that the company violated sanctions against Iran.

The Federal Communications Commission in April 2018 voted to advance a proposal to bar the use of funds from a $9 billion government fund to purchase equipment or services from companies that pose a security threat to U.S. communications networks.

Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai said last week he is waiting for the Commerce Department to express views on how to “define the list of companies” that would be prohibited under the FCC proposal.

The FCC voted unanimously to deny China Mobile Ltd’s bid to provide U.S. telecommunications services last week and said it was reviewing similar prior approvals held by China Unicom and China Telecom Corp.

The issue has taken on new urgency as U.S. wireless carriers look for partners as they rollout 5G networks.

While the big wireless companies have already cut ties with Huawei, small rural carriers continue to rely on both Huawei and ZTE switches and other equipment because they tend to be cheaper.FILE PHOTO: A Huawei logo is pictured during the media day for the Shanghai auto show in Shanghai, China April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

The Rural Wireless Association, which represents carriers with fewer than 100,000 subscribers, estimated that 25 percent of its members had Huawei or ZTE equipment in their networks, it said in an FCC filing in December.

At a hearing Tuesday, U.S. senators raised the alarm about allies using Chinese equipment in 5G networks.

The Wall Street Journal first reported in May 2018 that the executive order was under review. Reuters reported in December that Trump was still considering issuing the order and other media reported in February that the order was imminent.

(JN) Gigante norte-americana compra tecnológica de Braga

(JN)

A norte-americana Uphold, que detém uma plataforma aberta de dinheiro digital a funcionar em mais de 184 mercados, adquiriu a Scytale, uma agência digital fundada por antigos alunos da Universidade do Minho.

A Scytale foi criada por três alunos da Universidade do Minho, em 2011, e conta com um efetivo de cerca de duas dezenas de pessoas.12

Criada em Braga em 2011 por três alunos da universidade do Minho, a Scytale dedicou-se ao desenvolvimento de produtos digitais feitos por medida, sobretudo para exportação.

Com “uma vasta experiência” em fintech, particularmente no mercado britânico, despertou o interesse da norte-americana Uphold, que decidiu agora adquirir esta agência digital, que conta com uma equipa de cerca de 20 especialistas na construção de produtos digitais escaláveis.

Com esta aquisição, a Uphold reforça assim a sua equipa de engenharia, instalada em Braga.

“Este é um grande desafio para a nossa equipa. Há muito tempo que sentíamos que era preciso reforçar o nosso trabalho de consultoria. Vamos construir, implementar e melhorar continuamente soluções para um negócio global”, afirma Nuno Ferreira, o antigo CEO da Scytale e agora responsável pela área de Engenharia da Uphold, em comunicado da empresa, sem detalhar os termos do negócio.

Sobre a integração da Scytale no ecossistema da Uphold, Tiago Ribeiro, co-CTO da gigante americana, garante que o objetivo passa por “tornar as transações financeiras perfeitas, fáceis e acessíveis aos clientes, sendo o apoio da equipa da Scytale essencial para a concretização desses objetivos, graças às soluções que já trabalham”.

Detentora de uma plataforma aberta de dinheiro digital a funcionar em mais de 184 mercados, a Uphold dará agora oportunidade à antiga equipa da Scytale de implementar as suas soluções tornando possível “fazer parte da história”, enfatiza Nuno Ferreira.

A Uphold, que tem escritórios em São Francisco, Nova Iorque, Londres, Cidade do México e Braga, apresenta-se como uma “empresa criadora de uma plataforma de dinheiro digital aberta, confiável e transparente que permite aos usuários aceder com rapidez e segurança moedas tradicionais, criptomoedas e outros investimentos num só lugar”.

Uma plataforma que, afiança a Uphold, “já permitiu o movimento de mais de quatro mil milhões de dólares em transações, num total de 184 países, em mais de 30 moedas suportadas”, garantindo “o acesso a uma ampla gama de moedas e investimentos disponíveis num só lugar, com transparência e segurança, sendo a única empresa a publicar em tempo real o volume das reservas”.

A Uphold, agora com a Scytale, integra o ecossistema da Startup Braga, um “hub” de inovação que conta com mais de 130 start-ups.

(ZH) Secretive Israeli Company Uses WhatsApp Voice Calls To Install Spyware On Phones

(ZH)

With so much attention focused recently on constant consumer spying and privacy violations, erroneous or otherwise, by Amazon, Facebook and now Twitter, it is easy to forget that virtually other communication apps have the same purpose, and that’s what one secretive Israeli company relied on when they used a vulnerability in the popular messaging app WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) to inject commercial Israeli spyware on to phones, the company and a spyware technology dealer said. What is unique is how the app was infected: with a simple phone call.

According to the FT, WhatsApp which is used by 1.5bn people worldwide, discovered in early May that attackers were able to install surveillance software on to both iPhones and Android phones by ringing up targets using the app’s phone call function. The malicious code, developed by the secretive NSO Group, a notorious and controversial Israeli hacking and surveillance tools vendor, could be transmitted even if users did not answer their phones, and the calls often disappeared from call logs.

It is unclear how many apps were infected with the spyware trojan, which could for example, allow anyone to get access to John Podesta’s email password (and then blame say, Vladimir Putin for example) as WhatsApp is too early into its own investigations of the vulnerability to estimate how many phones were targeted using this method, although it is likely a substantial number. As late as Sunday, the FT reports that WhatsApp engineers were racing to close the loophole.

For those who thought that Alexa’s constant eavesdropping was bad, this is even worse: NSO’s flagship product is Pegasus, a program that can turn on a phone’s microphone and camera, trawl through emails and messages and collect location data. It effectively opens up one’s entire cellphone to the hacker, and to get “infected”, one just needs to receive an inbound phone call without ever answering it.

Many people probably heard of NSO for the first time in December 2018, when a New York Times story that claimed the company helped Saudi Arabia spy on the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi before he was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in October of last year.

NSO advertises its products to Middle Eastern and Western intelligence agencies, and says Pegasus is intended for governments to fight terrorism and crime. NSO was recently valued at $1bn in a leveraged buyout that involved the UK private equity fund Novalpina Capital

Since the application is Israeli, its hardly a surprise that the spies’ preferred targets were Middle Eastern: as the FT reports, in the past, human rights campaigners in the Middle East have received text messages over WhatsApp that contained links that would download Pegasus to their phones.

“This attack has all the hallmarks of a private company known to work with governments to deliver spyware that reportedly takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems,” the company said, with the government in question being that of Israel. “We have briefed a number of human rights organisations to share the information we can, and to work with them to notify civil society.”

WhatsApp disclosed the issue to the US Department of Justice last week, according to a person familiar with the matter. A justice department spokesman declined to comment.Shalev Hulio, co-founder and CEO of NSO Group, speaks with correspondent Lesley Stahl

Of course, if instead of a “secretive Israeli” company, the offender was found to be – say – a fabricated Russian outfit, the deep state would ensure that we would now be on the verge of World War III. However, since it’s Israel…. well, turn on your TV and see how many TV stations discuss this grotesque spying incident which could affect virtually anyone.

NSO, of course, said it had carefully vetted customers and investigated any abuse. Asked about the WhatsApp attacks, NSO said it was investigating the issue.

“Under no circumstances would NSO be involved in the operating or identifying of targets of its technology, which is solely operated by intelligence and law enforcement agencies,” the company said. “NSO would not, or could not, use its technology in its own right to target any person or organisation, including this individual [the UK lawyer].”

Among others, the attack targeted a UK lawyer, who declined to be identified, who has helped a group of Mexican journalists and government critics and a Saudi dissident living in Canada, sue NSO in Israel, alleging that the company shares liability for any abuse of its software by clients.

“It’s upsetting but not surprising that my team has been targeted with the very technology that we are raising concerns about in our lawsuits,” said Alaa Mahajne, a Jerusalem-based lawyer who is handling lawsuits from the Mexican and Saudi citizens. “This desperate reaction to hamper our work and silence us, itself shows how urgent the lawsuits are, as we can see that the abuses are continuing.”

On Tuesday, NSO will also face a legal challenge to its ability to export its software, which is regulated by the Israeli ministry of defense.

It was unclear if the entity behind the actual espionage was NSO in conjunction with the Israeli government, or if Israel had sold the hacking application to one or more of its best clients, including Saudi Arabia.

“NSO Group sells its products to governments who are known for outrageous human rights abuses, giving them the tools to track activists and critics. The attack on Amnesty International was the final straw,” said Danna Ingleton, deputy director of Amnesty International, which identified an attempt to hack into the phone of one its researchers.

“The Israeli ministry of defense has ignored mounting evidence linking NSO Group to attacks on human rights defenders. As long as products like Pegasus are marketed without proper control and oversight, the rights and safety of Amnesty International’s staff and that of other activists, journalists and dissidents around the world is at risk.

For more on NSO, watch this 60 Minutes interview with the company’s CEO.

(LePoint) Un ordinateur libanais serait à l’origine de la chute de Carlos Ghosn

(LePoint) Nissan aurait obtenu un portable contenant les preuves d’une partie des malversations financières dont l’ancien PDG du constructeur automobile est accusé.

L’histoire a des airs de scénario de thriller. Selon le Financial Times, la chute de Carlos Ghosn aurait été en partie provoquée par un ordinateur portable contenant les informations nécessaires pour faire tomber l’industriel. Le constructeur automobile aurait redoublé d’efforts pour mettre la main sur cet élément-clé de l’enquête afin de le transmettre aux autorités japonaises. Le quotidien britannique affirme que les données récoltées sur la machine ont permis de prouver que Carlos Ghosn avait détourné des millions de dollars de Nissan. Ghosn a été inculpé le 22 avril dernier pour la quatrième fois par la justice japonaise. Trois jours plus tard, il a été libéré. Mais il reste assigné à résidence au Japon.

Cette « pièce maîtresse » aurait été récupérée grâce à l’aide d’une assistante de Fadi Gebran, un proche de l’ancien patron de Renault, quelques semaines avant sa dernière arrestation début avril. Cet ami de longue date et avocat de l’industriel franco-libano-brésilien est décédé d’un cancer en 2017. Son assistante a ensuite travaillé pour Carlos Ghosn directement. Elle apparaît également sur une liste d’actionnaires d’une compagnie libanaise spécialisée dans l’investissement immobilier et créée par Fadi Gebran.

35 millions de dollars détournés

Cette même société serait impliquée dans le détournement d’environ 35 millions de dollars à l’aide d’un distributeur de véhicules de Nissan dans le sultanat d’Oman. L’argent aurait transité via plusieurs sociétés, dont celle de Fadi Gebran. D’après le Financial Times, les enquêteurs ont ensuite pu poursuivre leurs investigations à Beyrouth, là où l’ancien PDG de Nissan est vu comme un héros national et où des pancartes postées affichaient même le message : « Nous sommes tous Carlos Ghosn. »

Ni Nissan ni les avocats de Ghosn n’ont souhaité commenter ces allégations.

(BBG) Sonangol Boss Fired by Angola’s President as Fuel Runs Dry

(BBG)

  •  Saturnino, board dismissed amid revamp of state oil company
  •  Sonangol has said lack of dollars a reason for fuel crunch

Angolan President Joao Lourenco fired Sonangol EP Chairman Carlos Saturnino as he revamps the company amid persistent fuel shortages in the southern African nation.

The presidency appointed Gaspar Martins to lead the state-owned company with a new board after incumbent members were dismissed, according to a statement late Wednesday. Lourenco met with oil industry officials on Tuesday, vowing to end shortages at gas stations across the country that imports almost all of its fuel.

Lourenco appointed Saturnino chairman in 2017 and fired Isabel dos Santos after he replaced her father, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, as president. Sonangol, long the main engine of Angola’s oil-focused economy, has been at the center of the leader’s vow to fight corruption. He also plans to revive crude output, which has dropped to the lowest level in more than a decade following years of under-investment in new projects.

Angola's oil production has dropped to the lowest in more than a decade

The firings appear to be driven by the fuel shortage, one of the worst in Angola’s history, according to Salih Yilmaz, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Reforms and the reorganization of the company look like steps in the right direction, though the outlook for the country’s output profile remains dim,” he said.

Sonangol said last week that a lack of foreign currency reserves needed to import fuel was the main reason for the shortages in the country. The presidency blamedinsufficient communication between the company and other state institutions for the supply crunch.

Oil Reforms

The government of Africa’s second-biggest producer has taken measures to boost oil activity, including tax concessions to companies developing smaller fields. As part of the reforms, it has transferred the role of concessionaire of crude and gas blocks from Sonangol to the new National Agency for Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels. Sonangol is also selling companies and assets outside its core business to focus on oil.

Angola’s output dropped below 1.4 million barrels a day in April from almost 1.9 million as recently as 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Production could fall to 1 million barrels a day by 2023 without more projects, Yilmaz said. French major Total SA and Italy’s Eni SpA have started pumping from new areas in the past year.

The last few years have been dramatic for Saturnino. He was fired from Sonangol in 2016 by Isabel dos Santos, and was brought back by Lourenco to replace her. Angola is on the brink of a “blackout due to the lack of fuel,” dos Santos tweeted on Tuesday.

Martins has served on the board of Sonangol and in various other roles, according to the company’s website.

(CNBC) Vodafone admits it found security flaws in Huawei’s equipment in 2011

(CNBC)

  • Vodafone admitted on Tuesday it found security flaws in Huawei’s telecommunications equipment supplied to its Italian business in 2011 and 2012.
  • Vodafone said there is no evidence that Huawei gained “unauthorized access” to its networks.
  • U.S. officials are pressuring allies to block Huawei from providing 5G equipment, arguing it could provide a backdoor for Chinese spying.

Vodafone admitted Tuesday it found security flaws in Huawei’s telecommunications equipment in 2011 and 2012, a revelation that could further stain the reputation of the Chinese tech giant.

U.K.-based Vodafone, the world’s second-largest mobile operator, said in a statement it had found security vulnerabilities in Huawei technology supplied to its Italian business dating back to 2011. The vulnerabilities, which were first reported Tuesday by Bloomberg, have since been resolved, both companies confirmed to CNBC.

“The issues were identified by independent security testing, initiated by Vodafone as part of our routine security measures, and fixed at the time by Huawei,” Vodafone said in a statement.

Vodafone said there is no evidence that Huawei gained “unauthorized access” to its networks, adding “this was nothing more than a failure to remove a diagnostic function after development.”

“Software vulnerabilities are an industry-wide challenge,” a Huawei spokesperson told CNBC. “Like every ICT vendor we have a well established public notification and patching process, and when a vulnerability is identified we work closely with our partners to take the appropriate corrective action.”

Huawei is the world’s biggest telecommunications equipment maker and has been under intense scrutiny for its role in building out 5G networks around the world. 5G is a fifth-generation wireless network that promises faster speeds and lower latency, increasing download speeds for consumers and potentially transforming industries like the internet of things and self-driving cars.

U.S. officials are pressuring allies to block Huawei from providing 5G equipment, arguing it could provide a backdoor for Chinese spying. Huawei has repeatedly denied it would engage in any form of espionage or provide data to the Chinese government. Experts have been skeptical about Huawei’s assurances that it isn’t a security risk, pointing to Chinese laws that allegedly mean every domestic company is legally mandated to assist the country in intelligence gathering if Beijing requests it.

Last week, Britain’s National Security Council reportedly agreed to let Huawei provide some equipment for the nation’s 5G networks. A report last month from the U.K. government found Huawei equipment raises “significant” security risks but it did not link the security risks to Chinese state interference.

Vodafone already uses Huawei’s equipment in many of its existing mobile networks. In March, Vodafone CEO Nick Read said a ban on Huawei could set back Europe’s 5G rollout by two more years.