Twitter CEO’s hacked account sends racist tweets before being secured

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The account of Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) Chief Govt Jack Dorsey was hacked on Friday afternoon, sending public tweets and retweets together with racial slurs and curse phrases to four million followers earlier than Twitter secured the account.

The social media firm, co-founded by Dorsey, mentioned the cellphone quantity related along with his account was compromised as a consequence of a safety oversight by the cell supplier.

“This allowed an unauthorized particular person to compose and ship tweets by way of textual content message from the cellphone quantity. That concern is now resolved,” the corporate mentioned, including individually that there was no indication that Twitter’s techniques had been compromised.

One of many tweets from the hacked account mentioned Nazi chief Adolf Hitler was harmless, whereas others contained derogatory feedback about black individuals and Jews. There was additionally a tweet suggesting there was a bomb at Twitter’s headquarters.

The account posted a hashtag that was used in the course of the obvious hacks of a number of YouTube stars final week.

The hack underscored potential vulnerabilities within the social media platform, which is broadly utilized by world leaders and politicians, together with U.S. President Donald Trump. It comes at a time when social media corporations are dealing with scrutiny over administration of their networks, privateness points and safety of person knowledge.

The offensive tweets and retweets have been deleted lower than an hour after the incident. Some Twitter accounts named within the compromised tweets and retweets appeared suspended on Friday.

Screenshots of the tweets appeared to point out they have been despatched by Cloudhopper, a cell textual content messaging service that Twitter acquired in 2010. Twitter didn’t instantly reply when requested to substantiate if the hack occurred by way of Cloudhopper.

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Safety researcher Brian Krebs mentioned it appeared that Dorsey was the sufferer of a SIM swapping assault through which a cell supplier is tricked or in any other case satisfied to switch a sufferer’s cellphone quantity to a SIM card managed by another person.

The Friday incident was not the primary time that Dorsey’s Twitter account has been hacked. His account was compromised in 2016 by a gaggle that additionally hacked the Twitter accounts of Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Twitter shares have been down lower than 1% in after-hours commerce following the hack.

Reporting by Peter Henderson, Joe Menn and Elizabeth Culliford in San Francisco; Extra reporting by Tamara Mathias, Ankit Ajmera and Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Enhancing by Matthew Lewis, Rosalba O’Brien and Will Dunham

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SK Innovation fuels LG Chem feud with EV battery patent lawsuit

SEOUL (Reuters) – A feud between two South Korean battery makers escalated on Friday as SK Innovation Co Ltd (096770.KS) stated it plans to sue larger rival LG Chem Ltd (051910.KS) in the US over alleged patent infringement associated to electrical autos (EV).

FILE PHOTO: The brand of SK Innovation is seen in entrance of its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Picture

The proposed new lawsuit by SK Innovation drew a swift denunciation from LG Chem, which referred to as the motion “groundless” and stated it will search compensation.

The 2 firms have been at loggerheads since LG Chem sued SK in the US in April for alleged theft of commerce secrets and techniques by hiring former LG Chem workers. SK Innovation denied wrongdoing and the litigation is ongoing.

Firing the most recent spherical, SK Innovation stated it was getting ready to file lawsuits towards LG Chem and LG Chem Michigan Inc by the U.S. Worldwide Commerce Fee alleging patent breaches.

SK Innovation declined to offer additional element, together with specifics of when the case can be filed however stated the motion was imminent. The corporate stated a considerable quantity of LG Chem’s battery merchandise had been prone to be affected and a win would prohibit LG Chem from promoting these merchandise.

“These lawsuits usually are not related to LG Chem’s lawsuit towards us accusing misappropriation of commerce secrets and techniques, however they’re rightful lawsuits to guard our mental property,” stated YS Yoon, president of SK Innovation’s battery enterprise, downplaying any suggestion of a tit-for-tat transfer.

In reply, LG Chem stated the deliberate lawsuit was “groundless”, “very regrettable” and “pointless”.

“If the competitor admits its fault, and guarantees to forestall the recurrence with a honest apology, we’ll conform to dialogue when they’re keen to noticeably discuss compensation,” LG Chem stated in an announcement.

SK Innovation inventory was up 6.4% at 0510 GMT. LG Chem gained 1.5%, trailing the market’s .KS11 1.8% rise.

GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION?

The South Korean authorities is nurturing the home EV battery sector to make the trade as huge an export merchandise for the nation as reminiscence chips and show panels.

A supply with direct data of the matter stated there was concern the lawsuits may weaken native battery makers at a time of heightened international competitors. These worries meant the federal government might act as mediator to safe a swift decision, the supply stated, requesting anonymity as a result of sensitivity of the matter.

SK Innovation additionally stated it plans to file a separate U.S. lawsuit towards LG Electronics Inc (066570.KS), one other affiliate of LG Group, claiming unauthorized patent use in EV battery manufacturing.

LG Chem makes battery cells within the U.S. state of Michigan, which LG Electronics makes use of to make completed batteries close by.

SK Innovation, South Korea’s greatest oil refiner, is a latecomer to an EV battery market led by LG Chem and Samsung SDI Co Ltd (006400.KS) in addition to Japan’s Panasonic Corp (6752.T). It began mass manufacturing in 2012 with prospects together with Germany’s Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE).

Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Ju-min Park; Modifying by Christopher Cushing and Jane Wardell

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Bonds reign supreme, equities struggle on recession, Brexit fears

TOKYO (Reuters) – World bond yields flirted with document lows whereas shares struggled to get better on Thursday, as international recession worries from intensifying U.S.-China frictions and the specter of a no-deal Brexit drove traders to safer harbors.

Passersby are mirrored on a inventory citation board outdoors a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, August 6, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outdoors Japan fell 0.38%, Singapore shares hit eight-month lows, whereas Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.44%.

On Wall Avenue, the S&P 500 gained 0.65% on Wednesday due partly to features within the vitality sector following a rebound in oil costs. However U.S. inventory futures misplaced 0.4% in Asia.

Bond markets all over the world painted a gloomier image, with yields on 30-year U.S. Treasuries and 10-year German bunds yield each hitting document lows – 1.905 % and minus 0.716 % on Wednesday.

Inversion stays a distinguished function throughout the U.S. yield curve, the place long-dated yields are beneath short-dated ones, an unsettling signal as yield curve inversions have been a dependable main indicator of future U.S. recessions.

Italy’s 10-year bond yield briefly fell beneath 1% for the primary time ever. The frenzy to purchase Italian debt, which carries increased yields than the ‘core’ euro zone international locations, was partly prompted by rising hopes {that a} new authorities will quickly be shaped in Rome and a brand new election averted.

In Asia, the 10-year Japanese authorities bond yield dipped 1 foundation level to minus 0.285%, simply above its document low of minus 0.300% touched in 2016.

“Falls in international bond yields replicate rising issues that long-term international progress is slowing down on U.S.-China tensions and worries over subsequent international provide chain disruptions,” mentioned Tomoo Kinoshita, international market strategist at Invesco Asset Administration in Tokyo.

“Inventory markets alternatively are supported within the near-term by hopes of extra stimulus, notably from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Financial institution,” he mentioned.

The 2 main central banks are anticipated to chop charges subsequent month, whereas many traders imagine the Financial institution of Japan may be part of the fray if market sentiment weakens additional.

The Trump administration on Wednesday made official its additional 5% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese language imports and set assortment dates of Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.

Which means merchandise equivalent to smartwatches, Bluetooth headphones, flat panel televisions and lots of forms of footwear will likely be levied from subsequent month, elevating worries about U.S. consumption, one of many few remaining vibrant spots on this planet financial system.

The dear metallic markets highlighted traders’ quest to purchase safer belongings.

Gold rose 0.17% to $1,541.three per ounce, close to six-year highs of $1,556.1 set earlier within the week whereas silver prolonged its bull run and rose 0.85% to fetch $18.32 per ounce, edging close to its 2017 peak.

Sharp falls in bond yields, nonetheless, have some traders frightened that the current rally in bond costs might have gone too far.

The 30-year U.S. bond yield, now at 1.921%, has fallen 60 foundation factors thus far this month, to slide beneath dividend yield of U.S. shares, which stood at 2.04%.

S&P dividend yield vs 30-yr U.S. Treasury – right here

“Yields might have fallen to unjustifiable ranges even when one bets on a long-term stagnation within the international financial system. And after we had a significant bond correction in Europe 4 years in the past, the adjustment was fairly sharp,” mentioned Yoshinori Shigemi, international market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Administration in Tokyo.

Within the foreign money market, the yen gained 0.2% to 105.90 per greenback whereas the New Zealand greenback slipped 0.4% to four-year lows on grim home enterprise sentiment information.

The euro was regular at $1.1084.

The MSCI rising market foreign money index is at its lowest ranges since mid-November, having fallen 0.9% thus far this week and on target to mark its greatest month-to-month fall in additional than seven years pushed by worries a couple of international slowdown.

The British pound licked its wounds at $1.2200, having slumped 0.61% the day gone by as probably the most critical UK political disaster in a long time deepened after Prime Minister Boris Johnson determined to droop Britain’s parliament for greater than a month earlier than Brexit.

The transfer will restrict the time opponents must derail a disorderly Brexit but additionally will increase the possibility that Johnson may face a vote of no-confidence in his authorities, and probably an election.

“From an financial viewpoint, actively pursuing a no-deal Brexit by means of suspending parliament is tantamount to actively pursuing a recession,” mentioned Seema Shah, Chief Strategist, Principal World Buyers in London.

Considerations about Brexit are already taking a toll on Europe, with the current export stoop in Germany pushed primarily by weaker gross sales to Britain fairly than the broader commerce struggle.

Oil costs held agency after a achieve of practically 2% within the earlier session as a larger-than-expected decline in U.S. crude stockpiles helped ease worries about weakening oil demand.

In Asia Brent crude futures fell 0.1% to $60.43 a barrel whereas U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 0.18% to $55.88 per barrel.

Further reporting by Tomo Uetake; Modifying by Shri Navaratnam and Jacqueline Wong

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Asian stocks post modest gains on Wall Street futures, oil

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares eked out cautious good points on Wednesday, as greater Wall Avenue futures supplied some aid after an in a single day U.S. selloff, although deeper worries concerning the international financial system and commerce have saved a lid on sentiment.

FILE PHOTO: A passerby walks previous in entrance of a inventory citation board exterior a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, Might 10, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Japan’s Nikkei .N225 rose 0.15%, Australia’s shares climbed 0.13% whereas Korea’s KOSPI .KS11 was up 0.4%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares exterior Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 0.06%, dragged decrease by Chinese language markets.

Oil costs rose in Asia for a second day of good points after an trade report confirmed U.S. stockpiles fell greater than anticipated.

Gold costs fell in a tentative signal of easing danger aversion, however a deep inversion within the U.S. Treasury yield curve served as a reminder that some buyers are nonetheless involved about financial development.

A commerce dispute between america and China is now in its second 12 months and is putting growing pressure on the worldwide financial system, forcing coverage makers to reply with rate of interest cuts and stimulus measures to bolster development.

“Bonds are rallying and there may be restricted upside for shares proper now,” mentioned Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief fund supervisor at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Administration Co in Tokyo.

“However I don’t wish to surrender on equities simply but. The U.S. Federal Reserve and officers in different nations merely need to do extra to stimulate their economies, which is able to ultimately forestall the underside from falling out.”

U.S. inventory futures ESc1 have been 0.27% greater, which helped ease buyers’ nerves in Asian buying and selling after the S&P 500 .SPX fell 0.33% on Tuesday.

U.S. crude CLc1 rose 1.02% to $55.49 a barrel, supported by a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories.

Spot gold XAU= fell 0.5% to $1,538.00 per ounce, pulling again from a six-year excessive.

South Korea shares .KS11 rose 0.5%, heading in the right direction for his or her greatest every day enhance in per week as buyers hunted for bargains after shares have been offered as a result of worries about weighting modifications within the MSCI index.

China unveiled measures late on Tuesday to assist increase consumption, together with the doable elimination of restrictions on auto purchases, as development on the earth’s second-biggest financial system falters

Chinese language shares .CSI300 initially opened greater on Wednesday however then reversed course to commerce 0.56% decrease, displaying there are nonetheless some considerations about financial development.

Shares in Hong Kong .HSI swung between good points and losses as more and more violent protests in opposition to China’s “one nation, two system” rule of the previous British colony harm sentiment.

Buyers are additionally targeted on Sept. 1, when the primary stage of U.S. tariffs on $300 billion price of Chinese language items is scheduled to enter impact. In response, China has unveiled tariffs on U.S. merchandise set to enter impact the identical day.

A bond yield curve inverts when long-term yields commerce under short-term yields and is often thought of a sign of an impending financial recession.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasuries US10YT=RR stood at 1.4761%, in contrast with the two-year yield US2YT=RR of 1.5159%. The yield curve inversion is the deepest since Might 2007, when the U.S. subprime monetary disaster began to unfold.

Yields on 30-year Treasuries stood at 1.9441%, under 3-month T-bill yields of 1.9951%, which some merchants say is an much more bearish sign.

The greenback was little modified at 105.67 yen JPY=EBS after falling 0.3% on Tuesday.

Modifying by Sam Holmes

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Papa John’s set to appoint Arby’s President Lynch as CEO: Bloomberg

FILE PHOTO – The Papa John’s retailer in Westminster, Colorado, U.S. August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

(Reuters) – Papa John’s Worldwide Inc (PZZA.O) is about to nominate Rob Lynch, president of Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc, because the Pizza chain’s new chief govt officer, Bloomberg reported late on Monday.

Lynch will succeed Steve Ritchie and the administration change shall be made as quickly as Tuesday, the report cited an individual with information of the matter.

Papa John’s and Arby’s didn’t instantly reply to Reuters requests for remark, outdoors common enterprise hours.

Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; enhancing by Gopakumar Warrier

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In calls and emails, Argentine executives seek jobs abroad to escape crisis

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Argentine executives and graduates shocked by President Mauricio Macri’s drubbing in elections this month have begun calling and emailing in droves in search of work in Brazil, Chile and Colombia, head hunters and visa advisers told Reuters.

Executive search specialists say the resumes that have deluged their offices in those countries reached a peaked after Macri lost ground to a centre-left Peronist challenger in the Aug. 11 primary elections, causing the peso to plummet in value.

Leftist Alberto Fernandez is now the front-runner ahead of an Oct. 27 general election and has said he will seek to renegotiate a $57 billion loan International Monetary Fund deal agreed by Macri amid growing fears of a default.

In neighboring Chile, recruitment firm Randstad said the pressure for jobs among Argentines had been building for months as Argentina`s economy has spluttered, with their rate of applications for jobs in Chile increasing by 246 percent between May and August this year compared to last.

“I think people feel a bit of despair,” said Nicholas Schmidt, head of executive search firm Spencer Stuart’s financial services division in Chile, who received a flood of email and phone enquiries after the primary results.

“I get a sense that going forward we are going to be seeing a lot of very bright Argentine candidates. It’s a shame for Argentina,” he said.

In Argentina itself, companies helping their countrymen to leave are experiencing a boom.

Bernardo Carignano, creator of the visa assistance website “Yo me animo y vos”, said he saw traffic to his site increase the week after the primary election to the highest levels since it went online in 2008.

“On Instagram, too, in these last weeks, we have noticed our followers are increasing much more daily than in previous weeks,” he said.

A spokesman for Argentina’s Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security said it did not have access to migration data.

Several Argentine candidates told potential recruiters that Macri, elected in 2015 on a pledge to “normalize” Latin America’s third largest economy, had been their hope for an economic turnaround after a decades-long cycle of peso weakness and inflation.  

“There was a sense of hope with him, a lot of people went back (to Argentina) and worked in government,” Schmidt said. “People wanted to stay and felt things were going to improve significantly going forward.”

Instead, Macri has been accused of failing to attract sufficient foreign direct investment while underestimating the inflationary effect caused by cuts to utility subsidies that Argentines had long taken for granted.

Today, unemployment stands at 10 percent, inflation at 55 percent and the poverty rate between 27 and 35 percent.

Macri’s rival Fernandez has former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as his running mate, heralding a potential return to “Kirchnerismo”, when Argentina had currency controls and other interventionist policies.

By last weekend, the phrase “the only exit is Ezeiza”, a reference to the country’s main international airport, had begun trending on Twitter in Argentina.

“I want my children to have a good future, and today I am not seeing it in Argentina,” said Guillermo Galia, 38, who works in textiles marketing. When he was offered a job in Italy a few weeks ago, he said he jumped at the chance.

Galia said he hoped to return to his home country eventually, but he would not rule out staying in Italy should the economic situation not improve under a Fernandez government.

OVER THE ANDES

In Brazil, Kevin Gibson, chief of the Latin American division of Robert Walters, a large British headhunting firm, said potential further losses of Argentina’s human capital would be other economies’ gain.

He said he had seen a steady upwards trajectory since 2017 in applicants for roles in Brazil, Mexico and Chile from Argentine candidates, but the number had doubled the week after the primary vote.

“Argentines are extremely flexible salary wise and have a very good reputation in the region,” he said. “It’s been gradual as different people have different pain points and family commitments but this most recent news will definitely bring a huge spike.”

Colombia, projected by the IMF as the Latin American country whose economy is likely to grow fastest this year, has also attracted interest from Argentines.

Marco D´Andrea, commercial director for the headhunter Experis-ManpowerGroup in Bogota, said several of his Argentine candidates who had previously worked in Colombia before returning home in recent years had been in touch to say they were looking to leave again.

He added that the human resources manager for a multinational pharmaceuticals firm based in Argentina had told him they were due to hold a meeting to discuss potential transfers for concerned staff.

“It is not easy for everyone to change countries, the people who are going to do it quickly are people who have already had experience abroad,” he said.

Chile, one of Latin America’s most stable economies and a short flight from Argentina over the Andes Mountains, has absorbed successive waves of highly qualified Argentine migrants.

FILE PHOTO: A panoramic view of the city of Santiago, Chile June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido/File Photo

Among recent arrivals is Agustina Bertuzzi, 29, a public relations graduate from northeastern Argentina who moved to Santiago, Chile, two months ago to work for Robert Walters, the British headhunting firm.

“It was a difficult decision to leave but you have to think about your professional growth and your future,” she said. “I already had friends in Chile, and my family supported me.”

Now she works to recruit other Argentines for jobs in Chile. “It’s most attractive for single candidates but even those with families are considering it now because of the draw of a stable job with prospects,” she said. “In Argentina companies are cutting jobs because with inflation so high, it’s hard to operate.”

Reporting by Aislinn Laing in Santiago, Marina Lammertyn in Buenos Aires, Marcelo Rochabrun in Sao Paulo and Nelson Bocanegra in Bogota; Additional reporting by Cassandra Garrison and Hugh Bronstein, both in Buenos Aires; Editing by Dan Flynn and Howard Goller

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China warns U.S. to stop ‘wrong’ trade actions or face consequences

FILE PHOTO: U.S. and Chinese flags are seen in front of a U.S. dollar banknote featuring American founding father Benjamin Franklin and a China’s yuan banknote featuring late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong in this illustration picture taken May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Illustration/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Saturday it strongly opposes Washington’s decision to levy additional tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese goods and warned the United States of consequences if it does not end its “wrong actions”.

The comments made by China’s Ministry of Commerce came after the U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Friday that Washington will impose an additional 5% duty the Chinese goods, hours after Beijing announced its latest retaliatory tariffs on about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, in the latest tit-for-tat moves in their bilateral trade dispute.

“Such unilateral and bullying trade protectionism and maximum pressure violates the consensus reached by head of China and United States, violates the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit, and seriously damages the multilateral trade system and the normal international trade order,” China’s commerce ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

“China strongly urges the United States not to misjudge the situation or underestimate determination of the Chinese people,” it added.

Trump’s latest tariff move, announced on Twitter, said the United States would raise its existing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports to 30% from the current 25% beginning on Oct. 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the communist People’s Republic of China.

At the same time, Trump announced an increase in planned tariffs on the remaining $300 billion worth of Chinese goods to 15% from 10%. The United States will begin imposing those tariffs on some products starting Sept. 1, but tariffs on about half of those goods have been delayed until Dec. 15.

Trump was responding to Beijing’s decision on Friday night that it was planning to impose retaliatory tariff on $75 billion worth of U.S. imports ranging from soybean to ethanol. China will also reinstitute tariffs of 25% on cars and 5% on auto parts suspended last December.

The White House economic adviser said earlier in the week the Trump administration was planning in-person talks between U.S. and Chinese officials in September. It is unclear if the bilateral meeting would still take place.

The year-long trade war between the world’s two largest economies has roiled financial markets and shaken the global economy.

Reporting by Winni Zhou and Se Young Lee; editing by Jason Neely and Ros Russell

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Trump heaps another 5% tariff on Chinese goods in latest tit-for-tat escalation

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday lashed back at a new round of Chinese tariffs by heaping an additional 5% duty on some $550 billion in targeted Chinese goods in the latest tit-for-tat trade war escalation by the world’s two largest economies.

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China August 6, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

Trump’s move, announced on Twitter, came hours after China unveiled retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, prompting the president earlier in the day to demand U.S. companies move their operations out of China.

The intensifying U.S.-China trade war stoked market fears that the global economy will tip into recession, sending U.S. stocks into a tailspin, with the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC down 3%, and the S&P 500 .SPX down 2.6%.

U.S. Treasury yields also fell as investors sought safe-haven assets, and crude oil, targeted for the first time by Chinese tariffs, fell sharply.

Trump’s tariff response was announced after markets closed on Friday, leaving potentially more damage for next week.

“Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of Fair and Balanced Trade that it has become a great burden to the American Taxpayer,” Trump said on Twitter. “As President, I can no longer allow this to happen!”

He said the United States would raise its existing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports to 30% from the current 25% beginning on Oct. 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the communist People’s Republic of China.

At the same time, Trump announced an increase in planned tariffs on the remaining $300 billion worth of Chinese goods to 15% from 10%. The United States will begin imposing those tariffs on some products starting Sept. 1, but tariffs on about half of those goods have been delayed until Dec. 15.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office confirmed the effective dates, but said it would conduct a public comment period before imposing the 30% tariff rate on Oct. 1.

U.S. business groups reacted angrily to the new tariff hike.

“It’s impossible for businesses to plan for the future in this type of environment. The administration’s approach clearly isn’t working, and the answer isn’t more taxes on American businesses and consumers. Where does this end?” said David French, a senior vice president for the National Retail Federation.

Trump is due to meet leaders of the G7 major economies at a summit this weekend in France, where trade tensions will be among the hottest discussion topics.

ABRUPT RESPONSE

The president’s announcement, which followed an Oval Office meeting with his advisers, fits a pattern of swift retaliation since the trade dispute with China started more than a year ago.

“He decided he wanted to respond. He was given a few different options on things he could do and ultimately that was what he decided,” a senior White House official said.

“He’s not taking this stuff lightly, but he’s in a fine mood and looking forward to the G7.”

Another person familiar with the matter said officials had to scramble to come up with options after Trump caught them offguard with tweets promising a response in the afternoon.

Since taking office in 2017, Trump has demanded that China make sweeping changes to its economic policies to end theft and forced transfers of American intellectual property, curb industrial subsidies, open its markets to American companies and increase purchases of U.S. goods.

China denies Trump’s accusations of unfair trade practices and has resisted concessions to Washington.

“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP,” Trump tweeted on Friday morning.

“Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.”

It’s unclear what legal authority Trump would be able to use to compel U.S. companies to close operations in China or stop sourcing products from the country. Experts said he could invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act used in the past for sanctions on Iran and North Korea, or cut offending companies out of federal procurement contracts..

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce rebuffed Trump’s call, urging “continued, constructive engagement.”

“Time is of the essence. We do not want to see a further deterioration of U.S.-China relations,” Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of the business group’s international affairs, said in a statement.

Trump also said he was ordering shippers including FedEx (FDX.N). Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), UPS (UPS.N) and the U.S. Postal Service to search out and refuse all deliveries of the opioid fentanyl to the United States.

China’s Commerce Ministry said that on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 it will impose additional tariffs of 5% or 10% on a total of 5,078 products originating from the United States and reinstitute tariffs of 25% on cars and 5% on auto parts suspended last December as U.S.-China trade talks accelerated.

It was unclear whether a new round of talks expected in September would go ahead.

AGRICULTURE, AUTO SECTORS HIT

The growing economic impact of the trade dispute was a key reason behind the U.S. Federal Reserve’s move to cut interest rates last month for the first time in more than a decade.

“The president’s trade war threatens to push the economy into a ditch,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “The president is hoping that the Federal Reserve will … bail him out, but if he continues to pursue the war, the Fed won’t be up to the task.”

Among U.S. goods targeted by Beijing’s latest tariffs were soybeans, which will be hit with an extra 5% tariff starting Sept. 1. China will also tag beef and pork from the United States with an extra 10% tariff.

GRAPHIC: U.S. farm exports to China dry up in trade war – here

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping pose for a photo ahead of their bilateral meeting during the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo/File Photo

Although the Trump administration has rolled out aid to farmers stung by China’s tariffs, there is growing frustration in America’s agricultural belt, a key political constituency for Trump as he heads into his 2020 re-election campaign.

“The view from much of farm country is bleak and anger is boiling over. With bankruptcies and delinquencies rising and prices falling, the frustration with the lack of progress toward a deal is growing,” the bipartisan Farmers for Free Trade group said in a statement.

Reporting by Judy Hua, Min Zhang, Se Young Lee, Stella Qiu, Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton in BEIJING, Yilei Sun in SHANGHAI, David Lawder, David Shepardson, Doina Chiacu, Jeff Mason, Steve Holland in WASHINGTON and Koh Gui Qing in New York; Additional reporting by Jason Lange, Andrea Shalal and Humeyra Pamuk in WASHINGTON and Tom Polansek and Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; Writing by Paul Simao; Editing by Alison Williams, Howard Goller and Sonya Hepinstall

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U.S. SEC fines Deutsche Bank $16 million to settle foreign corruption charges

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen on the lobby of the U.S. headquarters of Deutsche Bank in New York City, U.S., July 8, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay more than $16 million to settle charges that it violated U.S. corruption laws by hiring relatives of foreign government officials in order to win or retain business, the U.S. markets regulator said on Thursday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that Germany’s largest lender had hired poorly qualified relatives of foreign officials in Asia and Russia at their request, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Under the settlement, Deutsche Bank did not admit or deny the findings, the SEC said.

“Deutsche Bank provided substantial cooperation to the SEC in its inquiry and has implemented numerous remedial measures to improve the bank’s hiring practices,” a Deutsche Bank spokesman said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

The SEC said Deutsche Bank has taken extensive remedial measures to fix its hiring compliance and internal accounting controls.

According to the SEC, between at least 2006 and 2014, Deutsche Bank employed poorly or unqualified relatives of executives working at state-owned enterprises, with the “primary goal” of generating business for the company, such as initial public offerings.

The SEC also found that Deutsche Bank employees created false books and records that concealed corrupt hiring practices and failed to accurately document and record certain related expenses, violating books and records and internal accounting controls rules.

The $16 million settlement amount includes disgorgement of $10.8 million, interest of $2.4 million and a $3 million civil penalty, the SEC said.

Reporting by Michelle Price; Editing by Leslie Adler

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Farmer’s threat prompts U.S. Agriculture Department to pull staff from crop tour

CORALVILLE, Iowa/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat of violence was made during a phone call from an angry farmer.

A crop scout walks through a soybean field to check on crops during the Pro Farmer 2019 Midwest Crop Tour, in Allen County, Indiana, U.S., August 19, 2019. REUTERS/P.J. Huffstutter

U.S. farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. They are also frustrated about unsold crops due to the trade war with China, falling farm income and tighter credit conditions.

Lance Honig, crops chief at the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, was among the USDA staffers who had to leave the privately-run Pro Farmer tour, three sources with knowledge of the situation said. Police will be present at stops for the rest of the trip, which ends on Thursday, they said.

A local police officer was present at an event in Coralville, Iowa, on Wednesday evening, a Reuters witness said.

“A USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service employee received a threat while on the Pro Farmer Crop Tour from someone not involved with the tour,” Hubert Hamer, administrator of the statistics service, said in a statement. “As a precaution, we immediately pulled all our staff out of the event.”

The Federal Protective Service, part of the Department of Homeland Security, is investigating, USDA said. It declined to elaborate on the nature of the threat.

Tour organizers said in a statement the threat was taken “very seriously.”

“(We) have taken all steps possible to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the tour,” said Andy Weber, Chief Executive Officer of Farm Journal, the parent company of Pro Farmer.

“It’s clearly a stressful time right now.”

Honig had been scheduled to attend the meeting in Coralville and speak at the tour’s final event in Rochester, Minnesota, on Thursday to answer questions about the government’s crop forecast, according to tour organizers.

FALLING FARM INCOMES

Farmers at stops throughout the eastern and western legs of the normally tranquil crop tour have expressed frustration with USDA – though less so with President Donald Trump, who they largely voted for and continue to support.

Corn future prices posted their biggest drop in three years after the USDA estimated a bigger-than-expected crop on Aug. 12, despite floods that slowed planting. USDA’s reports have long been a key reference for global commodities markets.

James McCune, a farmer from Mineral, Illinois, who was not on the tour, said he understood the anger.

“Any farmer who talked to the USDA guy who made the crop report would probably say something derogatory to him,” McCune said. “I don’t know anybody that agreed with that stuff.”

Farmers have been suffering from low commodity prices for years, and Washington’s trade war with Beijing has taken China, the top buyer of U.S. soybeans, out of the market. Floods and the trade war have contributed to falling farm incomes and tighter credit conditions as farmers struggle to repay loans.

The Trump administration has also been scrambling to stem rising anger over its decision this month to allow numerous oil refiners to mix less corn-based ethanol into their gasoline.

Nebraska City Police Captain Lonnie Neeman said security was requested at an event in Arbor Day Farm on Tuesday after an event at a previous stop in Grand Island, Nebraska, “got heated.”

“Somebody called and said they were concerned there may be issues last night so we just walked through on occasion,” Neeman said.

Farmers at the Grand Island event demanded details on the Pro Farmer tour’s methodology, attendees told Reuters.

Still, most farmers, like Bill Baylis of Ohio who was on the eastern leg of the tour, condemned the threats.

FILE PHOTO: Flooded farm and farm equipment are seen in this aerial photo of the historic flooding conditions in portions of northeast Nebraska, U.S., March 15, 2019. Courtesy Jamie Titus/U.S. Air Force/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

“Yes, these are challenging times. But this, threatening harm like this? It is not acceptable,” he said.

Richard W. Guse, a grain farmer from Waseca, Minnesota, who was also on the tour, worried about the potential damage to farmers’ reputation.

“It’s a very emotional year, and this now reflects horribly on farmers,” he said.

Additional reporting by Karen Braun in Nebraska City and Humeyra Pamuk in Washington; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by David Gregorio, Paul Simao and Sonya Hepinstall

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