上海夜生活,上海夜生活网,上海夜网论坛 - Powered by August 2017

Ryan, House Republicans offer plan to slice U.S. tax rates

WASHINGTON ( ) – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Friday they would advance legislation next year to chop individual and corporate U.S. tax rates.

The tax plan, unveiled by House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican lawmakers at the U.S. Capitol, is the sixth and final plank of a conservative policy agenda being rolled out in an effort to unify Republicans after a divisive primary campaign for the party’s presidential nominee.

Ryan, the highest-ranking elected Republican, said the proposal would provide a clear direction for U.S. economic leadership and was needed amid global uncertainty that was exemplified by the British vote to leave the European Union.

“For all of these moments of possible uncertainty that are happening around the globe, having strong, powerful, confident, American economic leadership is in need, and this does that,” he said.

Washington has been unable to summon the political will to reform the loophole-riddled tax code for nearly three decades. Overhauling the code has long been a goal of Ryan, a self-described policy wonk. He was considered the Republican Party’s leading voice on taxes and budgets before he ascended to the job of speaker last year.

But the labor powerhouse AFL-CIO scorned the Republican blueprint as similar to a tax-cutting proposal made last ,上海晚上耍女人的地方Hallie,year by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who Ryan recently endorsed.

Ryan and Trump “have striking resemblance – both tax plans benefit the wealthy & corps a lot,” the AFL-CIO said on Twitter.

Trump’s ideas about taxes have appeared contradictory at times. He said in May he is open to raising taxes on the rich, backing off prior proposals to reduce taxes on all Americans and corporations by slashing rates even more deeply than Ryan and House Republicans would.

Democrats, including presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, have pressed for increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans for years.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelo,上海上海夜生活网夜网千花Ebba,si criticized the Republican plan as “massive tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires on the backs of hard-working American families.”

The plan would consoli,上海夜生活怎么玩Sabia,date the current seven tax brackets for individuals to three, and lower the top individual income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 33 percent, higher than the 25 percent that Ryan proposed when he chaired the House Budget Committee.

Ryan said the goal was to make things so simple the average American could do their taxes on a postcard.

The plan would lead to a maximum tax rate of 25 percent on small business income. It would also lower the top U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent, the highest in the industrialized world, to 20 percent, as well as shift to a “territorial” style tax system aimed at exempting the earnings of American companies abroad from U.S. taxation.

The blueprint also calls for overhauling the tax-collecting Internal Revenue Service, an idea that animates many conservatives who have called for its abolition.

Written by shyw on August 31, 2017 Categories: pkzlhshz Tags: , ,

Exclusive: U.S. EPA grants biofuels waiver to billionaire Icahn’s…

NEW YORK ( ) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted a financial hardship waiver,上海夜生活论坛Octavien, to an oil refinery owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, exempting the Oklahoma facility from,上海夜生活去哪玩Quaid, requirements under a federal biofuels law, according to two industry sources briefed on the matter.

The waiver enables Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc (CVI.N) to avoid tens of millions of dollars in costs related to the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The regulation is meant to cut air pollution, reduce petroleum imports and support corn farmers by requiring refiners to mix billions of gallons of biofuels into the nation’s gasoline and diesel each year.

The Small Refiners Coalition, which represents companies that operate small refining facilities, said the EPA is required by law to help small refineries struggling with these regulations and that such exemptions are crucial to their financial well-being. It applauded EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for protecting small refineries, regardless of ownership, from the RFS requirements.

But the exemption for CVR’s Wynnewood, Oklahoma plant prompted criticism from a corn state lawmaker and the powerful corn lobby, which has already accused Trump’s EPA of overusing the hardship waiver program in a way that hurts demand for ethanol.

“Hundreds of millions – and in some cases billions – of dollars in profits isn’t my definition of ‘hardship,’” Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said in statement condemning the CVR waiver. “President Trump promised to support home-grown biofuels, and Administrator Pruitt is breaking that promise.”

“This one’s going to be hard for Pruitt to explain,” Brooke Coleman, head of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council industry group, said in an email.

EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman,上海夜网推油Octava, said that the agency does not comment on specific refineries. “But, what I can tell you is that the criteria used to grant waivers has not changed since previous administrations,” Bowman added.

CVR spokeswoman Brandee Stephens declined to comment regarding the waiver. Efforts to reach Icahn and his attorney for comment were not successful.

An early supporter of Trump’s 2016 presidential run and a key supporter on Wall Street, Icahn had met with Pruitt when Pruitt was being vetted in late 2016 for the EPA administrator job, according to news reports at the time.

Icahn stepped down from his position as special regulatory adviser to the Republican president last August after lawmakers cited potential ethical problems in his dual role as an adviser and an investor.

Icahn is currently under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for his role in influencing biofuels policy while serving as Trump’s adviser. Some U.S. lawmakers have expressed concern that Icahn may have used his presidential access to benefit his investments, a charge Icahn has rejected.

The EPA has said it has granted more than two dozen waivers for 2017 but has declined to name the recipients.

Under Trump’s Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, the EPA granted about eight waivers annually.

Records show CVR had been denied on at least one occasion. The Small Refiners Coalition said the Obama administration had wrongly denied waivers to firms like CVR.

has reported that Andeavor ANDV.N, one of America’s biggest refining comp上海夜网anies, which reported about $1.5 billion in net profit last year, was among the other companies that have received hardship waivers from Trump’s EPA for its small refineries.


To prove RFS compliance, refiners must earn or purchase tradable blending credits – awarded by the government for each blended gallon of fuel – and hand them in to the EPA yearly.

The EPA has the authority to exempt small refineries of under 75,000 barrels per day from the requirement under the hardship waiver program if they can prove that compliance would cause them “disproportionate financial hardship.”

With the exemption, CVR would not have to turn over the credits related to the Wynnewood facility for 2017, according to the two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The waiver was granted in recent months but the sources did not say precisely when.

The Trump administration has encouraged small refiners to apply for the hardship waivers. A surge of applications has come to the EPA since a 2017 court ruling that the agency had used too narrow a definition of “financial hardship” under Obama.

The waivers have the potential to save companies tens of millions of dollars, by allowing them to avoid blending or paying for credits on the open market and by permitting them to sell any credits they have on hand to others.

CVR has reported a $23 million profit in the biofuels credit market in the first quarter of 2018 due to what it called a lower RFS obligation, an unusual return for a refiner that has no biofuel blending facilities.

The company also said it expects its cost of complying with the RFS requirements to fall to $80 million for the entirety of 2018 from a previous estimate of $200 million, and from roughly $249 million in 2017.

Allergan CEO opposes fundamental shift in strategy, shares fall

( ) – Allergan Plc’s (AGN.N) chief executive on Monday said he was opposed to fundamental changes to the drug company’s business strategy, even as its board considers drastic moves like splitting the company, selling off assets or doing deals to turn around a steep drop in its share price.

Botox maker Allergan’s shares fell 4.2 percent to $155.16 in late-morning trading, and are down more than a third over the last year.

The company announced a strategic review of its business earlier this year. CEO Brent Saunders said in March the declining stock price required the company to look at all options “with a sense of urgency.”

Allergan has hired multiple advisers, Saunders said on a Monday conference call follo,上海夜生活乌托邦Jacklyn,wing the company’s quarterly earnings. It is considering five options: deploying capital to buy back shares, doing divestitures, splitting the company, making acquisitions, or continuing to operate Allergan as is.

Investors hoping for a major shift in strategy may be disappointed.

“Running the company in large part as it exists today is not only an option, but also the baseline against which all options need to be considered,” Saunders said on the call, noting that his preliminary view was that a fundamental shift was unnecessary. “We’re not going to execute an activity that doesn’t recognize the full inherent value of our assets at Allergan.”

Saunders’ comments on the conference call “add risk that a ‘do nothing’ option or (the) resumption of bolt-on deals could be the a,上海夜生活服务Dalton,nswer” for Allergan, RBC Capital Markets analyst Randall Stanicky said in a research note. “We would expect push-back from investors if either were the case.”

Large, transformational deals certainly seem off the table.

Earlier this month, Allergan confirmed it was considering a bid for rare disease drug maker Shire Plc SHP.L after reported on its interest. However, the company put out a second statement hours later stating it did not intend to make an offer.

But Saunders said in an interview that these kinds of deals are a “very low priority and a very unlikely outcome” of the review.


Allergan reported a better-than-expected first quarter profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast, driven by higher sales of its medical aesthetics products including blockbuster wrinkle treatment Botox.

Sales of Botox, its best selling drug, jumped 14.5 percent to $817.3 上海夜生活论坛million in the quarter.

The company’s aesthetics unit posted a near 30 percent jump in sales.

U.S. Sales of Allergan’s eye drug, Restasis, which is expected to face competition from cheaper drugs, fel,上海会所夜网Gabrielle,l 17.2 percent.

The company now expects 2018 adjusted earnings of $15.65 to $16.25 per share, slightly above its previous forecast.

Related CoverageAllergan CEO: large deal would be an unlikely outcome of review

Its net loss was $332.5 million, or 99 cents per share, narrowing from a $2.63 billion loss, or $7.86 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Allergan reported a profit of $3.74 per share, topping analysts’ average expectation of $3.36, according to Thomson I/B/E/S.

Total revenue rose 2.8 percent to $3.67 billion, topping analysts’ average estimate of $3.59 billion.

IMF’s Lagarde warns against Trump-style protectionism: FT

WASHINGTON ( ) – International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned in an interview published on Thursday that anti-trade policies like those championed by Republican presidential candidate Donald Tru,上海夜生活去哪玩Caden,mp risked a protectionist movement that could severely damage global growth.

Lagarde told the Financial Times that with Britain’s vote to leave the European Union already casting a shadow over global growth, the imposition of new trade barriers in another larger economy could have “disastrous” effects.

“I think it would be quite disastrous, actually. Well I don’t think I should say disastrous because that is an excessive word and I should refrain from excessive words. But it would certainly have a negative impact on global growth,” she told the FT in response to a question about such policies.

The newspaper said that while Lagarde made clear her negative views of anti-trade rhetoric and policies, she refrained from referring to Trump by name or singling out any politician.

Lagarde also told the FT that she doubted that a prolonged period of uncertainty over Britain’s exit, without triggering formal separation negotiations, would be politically sustainable.

“We want to see clarity sooner rather than later because we think that a lack of clarity feeds uncertainty, which itself undermines investment appetites and decision making,” Lagarde told the newspaper.

In a separate interview with Agence France Presse, Lagarde said Brexit was u,上海夜网Landon,nlikely to cause a world recession, adding that the immediate effects would hurt the UK, with some spillover to the euro area.

She to上海夜生活论坛ld AFP that proposals in Britain to cut corporate tax rates to 15 percent from 20 percent to counter the damage caus,上海仙霞路夜生活Tamara,ed by the UK’s EU divorce was a “race to the bottom” that would hurt other economies.

UnitedHealth earnings ease investor worries over flu season, stock up

( ) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N), the largest U.S. health insurer, on Tuesday reassured investors that the pervasive flu season did not crimp first-quarter earnings as had been feared, boosting its shares as well as those of rivals.

The insurer’s quarterly profit beat estimates as it kept ,上海021夜网Quaid,medical costs within esti上海夜生活论坛mates and it raised its 2018 outlook.

Shares of UnitedHealth rose 3.1 percent to $237.46 and boosted other stocks in the sector on hopes that rivals would also release robust results over the next few weeks.

“UnitedHealth certainly sets the tone for the group … investors tend to look at United as the bellwether for the other companies,” Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Steven Halper said.

Anthem Inc (ANTM.N) rose 2.3 percent at $230.48, Humana Inc (HUM.N) was up 2.4 percent at $296.80 and Cigna Corp (CI.N) added 1 percent at $175.48 after rising as high as $177.81.

Leerink analyst Ana Gupte said UnitedHealth’s report eased Wall Street’s worries about the impact of the bad flu season, which raised insurer costs as more patients visited doctors and were admitted to the hospital.

Other potential negatives fo,上海新夜网龙凤Dahlia,r UnitedHealth – such as federal regulation of the pharmacy benefit management business, drug pricing reform and the feared entry of Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) into the pharmacy distribution business – have not materialized.

“None of that seems to be happening,” Gupte said.

One of UnitedHealth’s first-quarter strengths was its ability to control medical costs. The medical care ratio, or the percentage of premiums paid out for medical services, improved to 81.4 percent from 82.4 percent a year earlier.

The company expects to keep the ratio at 81.5 percent in 2018, plus or minus 50 basis points, its chief financial officer said on a conference call.


UnitedHealth raised its 2018 adjusted earnings forecast to a range of $12.40 to $12.65 per share from $12.30 to $12.60.

Aside from its large health insurance division, UnitedHealth has other businesses, such as Optum, which includes its pharmacy benefit manager, data analysis and physician groups.

UnitedHealth has added more doctors, urgent care centers and surgery centers via acquisitions, which helped drive growth during the first quarter.

The expansion of the noninsurance businesses comes as the healthcare industry addresses annual increases in costs for medical services and pharmaceuticals by moving services out of more expensive hospitals into less expensive settings, such as clinics.

Other insurers have proposed deals that would allow them to compete with UnitedHealth in these areas.

Aetna Inc AET.N is expected to be bought for $69 billion by CVS Health Corp (CVS.N), the pharmacy chain and benefit manager, and smaller rival Cigna Corp (CI.N) has proposed acquiring Express Scripts Holding Co ESRX.O, the largest U.S. independent pharmacy benefit manager, for $54 billion.

Related CoverageUnitedHealth 2018 outlook based in part on medical cost control: CFO

UnitedHealth’s net earnings rose to $2.84 billion, or $2.87 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31 from $2.17 b,上海会所夜网Macey,illion, or $2.23 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $3.04 per share while total revenue rose 13.3 percent to $55.19 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $2.89 per share on revenue of $54.86 billion, according to Thomson I/B/E/S.

U.S. Treasury weighs emergency powers to curb Chinese investments:…

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. Treasury is cons,上海夜网邀请码Lake,idering ways to restrict sensitive Chinese investments in the United States by inv,上海夜生活桑拿会所Caden,oking an emergency powers law and bringing forward some security review reforms for corporate acquisitions, a senior Treasury official said on Thursday.

The efforts were being examined as part of the Trump administration’s “Section 301” intellectual property remedies, which include China-specific investment restrictions, Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Investment Heath Tarbert told an Institute of International Finance Forum.

Asked about reports the Treasury may bring forward parts of a bill to modernize security reviews by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Tarbert said a special Treasury office devoted to the China restrictions was considering such avenues.

“We have separate offices in Treasury which are consideri,夜上海419龙凤论坛Dallas,ng those two issues distinctly,” Tarbert said.

A Treasury office that manages CFIUS is separate from the office working on China investment restrictions, he said.

Speaking in Beijing on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the mooted move was another example of U.S. “hegemonic attitudes”.

“On the one hand the U.S. wants us to open our markets further yet on the other hand it sets restrictions for Chinese trade and investment in the name of national security,” Hua said.

The Treasury investment restrictions are aimed partly at pressuring China to lift requirements for foreign companies to form joint ventures with local firms that lead to technology transfers, a policy the administration deems unfair when the United States has no such restrictions on Chinese firms.

In a major policy shift, China said on Tuesday it would scrap a 50 percent limit on foreign ownership of autos by 2022.

Tarbert said the Treasury was committed to working with Congress to pass the CFIUS legislation, known as the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, or FIRRMA.

“We think CFIUS modernization is something that needs to be done via statute and should be done in a thoughtful way,” he said.

A congressional aide told it may be possible to accelerate parts of the CFIUS reform bill with an executive order to fill gaps until the legislation is passed by Congress later this year.


Invoking the 1977 emergency economic powers law would give President Donald Trump broad author上海夜生活网ity to impose tighter restrictions on Chinese investment in sensitive sectors, by declaring a national emergency related to such investments.

The law was widely used after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 to block the assets of militant organizations and other illicit finance networks.

The CFIUS reform legislation is a work in progress. Tarbert said one of its aims was to expand reviews of sensitive transactions that do not involve a full transfer of control, including offshore joint ventures that could compromise national security through technology transfers.

Some lawmakers have raised concerns that could lead to an overly broad definition of transactions and choke off routine business investments.

Another Trump administration official, White House trade adviser Clete Willems, said the legislation would achieve a “balanced approach” that would close loopholes in the current CFIUS law while maintaining an “open investment climate” in the United States.

Tarbert said the legislation must not overlap with U.S. export controls aimed at prohibiting the export of restricted technologies, adding: “We also view export controls as the right measure to deal with tech transfer.”

It was under the export control regime that the Commerce Department this week banned American companies from selling parts to Chinese telecoms equipment maker ZTE Corp (000063.SZ) for seven years, creating a new fissure in Sino-U.S. ties.

Exclusive: Facebook to put 1.5 billion users out of reach of new EU…

SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – If a new European law restricting what companies can do with people’s online data went into effect tomorrow, almost 1.9 billion Facebook Inc users around the world would be protected by it. The online social network is making changes that ensure the number will be much smaller.

Facebook members outside the United States and Canada, whether they know it or not, are currently governed by terms of service agreed with the company’s international headquarters in Ireland.

Next month, Facebook is planning to make that the case for only European users, meaning 1.5 billion members in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America will not fall under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect on May 25.

The previously unreported move, which Facebook confirmed to on Tuesday, shows the world’s largest online social network is keen to reduce its exposure to GDPR, which allows European regulators to fine companies for collecting or using personal data without users’ consent.

That removes a huge potential liability for Facebook, as the new EU law allows for fines of up to 4 percent of global annual revenue for infractions, which in Facebook’s case could mean billions of dollars.

The change comes as Facebook is under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers around the world since disclosing last month that the personal information of millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, setting off wider concerns about how it handles user data.

The change affects more than 70 percent of Facebook’s 2 billion-plus members. As of December, Facebook had 239 million users in the United States and Canada, 370 million in Europe and 1.52 billion users elsewhere.

Facebook, like many other U.S. technology companies, established an Irish subsidiary in 2008 and took advantage of the country’s low corporate tax rates, routing through it revenue from some advertisers o,上海夜生活怎么玩Fabi,utside North America. The unit is subject to regulations applied by the 28-nation European Union.

Facebook said the latest change does not have tax implications.


In a statement given to , Facebook played down the importance of the terms of service change, saying it plans to make the privacy controls and settings that Europe will get under GDPR available to the rest of the world.

“We apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland,” the company said.

Earlier this month, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told in an interview that his company would apply the EU law globally “in spirit,” but stopped short of committing to it as the standard for the social network across the world.

In practice, the change means the 1.5 billion affected users will not be able to file complaints with Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner or in Irish courts. Instead they will be governed by more lenient U.S. privacy laws, said Michael Veale, a technology policy research,上海夜网邀请码Nala,er at University College London.

Facebook will have more leeway in how it handles data about those users, Veale said. Certain t上海夜生活论坛ypes of data such as browsing history, for instance, are considered personal data under EU law but are not as protected in the United States, he said.

The company said its rationale for the change was related to the European Union’s mandated privacy notices, “because EU law requires specific language.” For example, the company said, the new EU law requires specific legal terminology about the legal basis for processing data which does not exist in U.S. law.


Ireland was unaware of the change. One Irish official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he did not know of any plans by Facebook to transfer re,上海夜生活论坛Idaline,sponsibilities wholesale to the United States or to decrease Facebook’s presence in Ireland, where the social network is seeking to recruit more than 100 new staff.

Facebook released a revised terms of service in draft form two weeks ago, and they are scheduled to take effect next month.

Other multinational companies are also planning changes. LinkedIn, a unit of Microsoft Corp, tells users in its existing terms of service that if they are outside the United States, they have a contract with LinkedIn Ireland. New terms that take effect May 8 move non-Europeans to contracts with U.S.-based LinkedIn Corp.

LinkedIn said in a statement on Wednesday that all users are entitled to the same privacy protections. “We’ve simply streamlined the contract location to ensure all members understand the LinkedIn entity responsible for their personal data,” the company said.

U.S. representatives question bank regulator on whistleblowers

WASHINGTON ( ) – Leaders of the congressional committee that investigates data breaches and computer hacking blasted the main U.S. banking regulator on Thursday for possibly jeopardizing the work of its inspector general, an internal watchdog, and hunting out potential whistleblowers.

Part of the House Science Committee for months has been looking into the theft of thousands of records from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, including two breaches in which workers downloaded more than 10,000 sensitive and private records onto portable storage devices before leaving the agency’s employ.

In a letter to FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg, Lamar Smith, the committee’s chairman, and Barry Loudermilk, chairman of the subcommittee on oversight, described an agency slow to cooperate with lawmakers that fails to conduct “good faith” searches for requested information.

Moreover, the two, both Republican,上海仙霞路夜生活Earl,s, said the FDIC had gathered and reviewed internal communications of its inspector general’s office while collecting documents that the committee had ,上海新夜网龙凤Tabitha,requested.

By law, inspectors general are independent. They function as the ethical and legal consciences of federal agencies, rooting out 上海夜网fraud and mismanagement, often with information provided confidentially by employees.

“Not only is the committee troubled that the FDIC continues to withhold pertinent and responsive information to its cybersecurity posture,” it is “even more concerned by the FDIC’s gathering and review” of the inspector general office’s internal communications, they wrote.

That could compromise the inspector general’s “ability to conduct its work in a manner uninhibited by the very agency it was created to oversee,” they added.

The FDIC was not immediately available to comment.

When the committee received documents from the FDIC earlier this week, the l,上海夜网Gabe,awmakers said, it noticed a “distinct watermark included on each page.”

“Given the committee’s concerns about potential retaliation against whistleblowers discussed in previous letters to the FDIC, the FDIC’s inclusion of a novel watermark raises serious questions about whether the agency it attempting to identify the source of committee materials,” they said.

They added that some of the watermarked pages covered communications between the inspector general and FDIC employees, raising concerns that the agency is attempting to identify confidential informants.

The committee is demanding that the FDIC send it information on actions to protect whistleblowers and inspector general communications by Monday, June 13.

French strikers press on with attempt to derail SNCF reform

PARIS ( ) – Striking French rail workers disrupted train services for the ninth day this month on Monday, turning a deaf ear to the centrist government’s insistence that the state-run SNCF and other neglected public services are in need of reform.

The rolling strikes, which coincided with a walkout at flag carrier Air France over wages on Monday, are the sternest challenge yet faced by President Emmanuel Macron, who embarks on a state visit to the United States later in the day.

Parliament last week took the first step in approving the railway reform bill. It includes the gradual phase-o上海夜网ut of the SNCF’s passenger rail monopoly, starting with competition on high-speed lines in 2020, and an end to hiring of SNCF staff on more protective job-for-life contracts than in other sectors.

“We have not paid enough attention to some public services for years, or even decades,” Labour Ministe,上海夜生活Nadine,r Muriel Penicaud told Europe 1 radio.

“Emmanuel Macron was elected because pe,上海夜网后花园Idris,ople want things to improve, on the economic, social and unemployment fronts.”

All four major unions are contesting a reform which is the biggest since nationalization of the railways in the late 1930s and seen as a test of Macron’s determination to pursue a far broader raft of reforms during a term that runs to 2022.

SNCF management said around one in three high-speed TGV trains were running and that services were cut to two in five,上海夜生活桑拿会所Idaia, trains on regional connections, as they were during last week’s strike action.

SNCF boss Guillaume Pepy, who backs the shake-up of the heavily indebted company, on Sunday said the strike was slowly losing its momentum, citing a falling number of train drivers taking part in the industrial action.

“Passengers have had enough,” Pepy said on a weekend politics talkshow.

Philippe Martinez, leader of the hard-left CGT union, the most muscular inside the SNCF but whose influence nationwide is waning, accused Pepy of manipulating statistics.

“It’s time to stop playing hardball. We’ve got to sort this out,” he said.

A third strut of the reform will change the SNCF’s corporate structure to a joint-stock company. While the government says it will remain 100 percent state-owned, unions fear that opens the door to privatization, as happened after similar changes at France Telecom, now called Orange.

The SNCF bill will now go to the Senate and the process of parliamentary approval is expected to conclude by early July.

Clinton calls on world to break down barriers holding back girls

COPENHAGEN (Thomson Foundation) – U.S. presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton called for renewed efforts to “break down the barriers holding back women and girls around the world” on Thursday.

In a video address to Women Deliver, a major women’s health and rights conference, she said gender equality must be made a priority in the drive to meet new U.N. development goals.

“Two decades ago at the U.N. fourth world conference on women in Beijing we came together and said with one voice that上海夜生活网 women’s rights are human rights. And the gains we’ve made since then prove that progress is possible,” she said.

“But as you all know too well, our work is far from finished. This is an important moment as we chart a course to meet the new Sustainable Develop,上海夜网后花园Jacob,ment Goals. We have to break down the barrier,上海夜生活论坛Barney,s holding back women and girls around the world.”

More than 5,500 delegates from over 160 countries – including world leaders, ministers, health experts, economists, business leaders, activists, royalty and celebrities – have attended the four-day conference in Copenhagen.

Discussions focused on how to put girls and women at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by world leaders last year to fight inequality and extreme poverty.

“Gender equality, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, must be a core priority,” Clinton, the Democratic front-runner in the race to the White House, said in the unscheduled video address.

“To get there we need greater political will and resources, and we need to continue to invest in more and better data to measure progress.

“The Women Deliver summit is critical to this work,” Clinton added. “You carry the spirit of Beijing forward bringing in new voices and lifting up the next generation of leaders.”

Mogens Lykketoft, president of the U.N. General Assembly, said he hoped a woman would become the next head of the world body when Ban Ki-moon steps down later this year.

“It would be symbolically and of real value very important that at the end of 2016 we will have the first ever elected female U.N. secretary gen,上海足浴夜网联系方式Cade,eral, and the first ever female president of the most powerful of nations – the United States.

“What a way to demonstrate that our shared vision can become a reality,” he said.

Women candidates in the running include former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria.

Investors demand more changes at Thyssenkrupp ahead of review

FRANKFURT ( ) – With a planned steel joint venture in reach, Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE) has pledged to refine its strategy by the second half of the year, with some shareholders expecting more radical and structural changes to remove a discount on the stock.

Much of Thyssenkrupp’s future set-up depends on a 50-50 steel venture with India’s Tata Steel (TISC.NS), a transaction that was delayed earlier this month due to ongoing talks between Tata and workers in Britain and the Netherlands.

As part of the annual strategy dialogue between management and the supervisory board, Thyssenkrupp Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger has pledged to “hone our strategic vision and also adapt our financial targets accordingly”.

This has fueled hopes the group could give in to demands to simplify its complex structure, similar to a broader strategy overhaul unveiled in 2011, which led the group to pull out of a substantial part of its steel activities.

“It is hard to believe management will not feel under some pressure to come up with something equally as radical this time around,” Credit Suisse analysts wrote.

Below are some key shareholder demands:


The steel-to-submarines group should make a more profound change to its structure and explore strategic solutions for its businesses, investors such as Cevian, the group’s second-largest shareholder, have said.

“My expectation is they will look carefully at the strategy and also challenge the current structure,” Tomas Johansson, portfolio manager at SKAGEN Funds, said.

In the last financial year, the company’s corporate functions cost Thyssenkrupp 535 million euros ($652 million) in adjusted operating profit (EBIT), nearly as much as its steel division raked in.


Investors expect Thyssenkrupp to explore a sale of its materials trad,上海夜网千花Hadley,ing division, its largest by sales. Parts of the unit, which does not belong to Thyssenkrupp’s industrial goods business, have already been labeled non-core.

Smaller peer Kloeckner & Co (KCOGn.DE) has repeatedly expressed interest in the unit, adding it would need a partner to pursue a deal as Materials Services is more than twice as big in terms of revenue.

Help could come from private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg Vogel, which bought Thyssenkrupp’s former alloys business, VDM, in 2015 and whose Chairman Dieter Vogel also leads Kloeckner’s supervisory board. Lindsay Goldberg Vogel declined to comment.


Thyssenkrupp could reveal details about a potential listing of the planned joint venture with Tata Steel, a move expected by investors but only possible once the deal is closed. Thyssenkrupp has said that listing the entity is an option.

The cornerstone of Thyssenkrupp CEO Heinrich Hiesinger’s restructuring plan, the combination of Tata Steel’s and Thyssenkrupp’s European steel operations could lead to 400-600 million euros in synergies.

“Mr Hiesinger has put all his eggs into one basket. If the deal with上海夜生活网 Tata collapses he will have to pick up the pieces. He will do everything to make sure that does not happen,” said Ingo Speich, fund manager at Union Investment.


Thyssenkrupp’s most prof,上海凤楼夜网Paige,itable division, Elevator Technology accounts for most of the group’s operating profit, with some investors calling for a listing or other strategic solution for the unit to unlock its value.

Although key executives at Thyssenkrupp have repeatedly said that elevators are a core business, this has not quelled speculation that Finnish peer Kone (KNEBV.HE) might be interested in a deal.

An elevator joint venture between the two groups, which a,夜上海419龙凤论坛Dalton,lso compete with Schindler (SCHP.S), Otis (UTX.N) and Mitsubishi Electric (6503.T), could yield annual synergies of more than 570 million euros, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

($1 = 0.8209 euros)

Exclusive: Obama administration not pursuing executive order to…

WASHINGTON ( ) – The Obama administration is not pursuing the use of an executive order to shutter the Guantanamo Bay military prison after officials concluded that it would not be a viable strategy, sources familiar with the deliberations said.

The conclusion, reached by administration officials, narrows the already slim chances that President Barack Obama can fulfill his pledge to close the notorious offshore prison before leaving office in January.

The White House has said repeatedly that Obama has not ruled out any options on the Guantanamo center, which has been used to house terrorism suspects since it was set up in 2001 following the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Obama is eager to fulfill his 2008 campaign pledge to close the prison and could still choose to use his commander-in-chief powers, but the option is not being actively pursued, the sources said.

Without executive action, the chances of closing the prison would hinge on convincing a resistant Congress to overturn a long-standing ban on bringing possibly dozens of remaining prisoners to maximum-security prisons in the United States.

White House lawyers and other officials studied the option of overriding the ban but did not develop a strong legal position or an effective political sales pitch in an election year, a source familiar with the discussions said.

“It was just deemed too difficult to get through all of the hurdles that they would need to get through, and the level of support they ,上海夜生活网419Idaline,were likely to receive on it was thought to be too low to generate such controversy, particularly at a sensitive ,上海021夜网Jack,(time) in an election cycle,” the source said.

Republicans in Congress are opposed to bringing Guantanamo detainees to U.S. prisons and have expressed opposition to transfers to other countries over concern that released prisoners will return to militant activities. They have vowed to challenge any potential Obama executive action in court.

At its peak, the prison at the U.S. naval base in Cuba housed nearly 800 prisoners, becoming a symbol of the excesses of the “war on terror” and synonymous with criticism of detention without trial and accusations of torture. Obama has called it a recruitment tool for terrorists.


The number of Guantanamo detainees has fallen to 80 now, the lowest since it was opened.

The administration is focusing on getting the number of detainees at the prison down to such a low number, perhaps 20, that the cost of keeping it open could prove unpalatable to Congress. Republican lawmakers remain unswayed.

The Guantanamo prison and associated military commissions cost $445 million in fiscal year 2015. That works out to more than $5.5 million a year for each of the 80 remaining prisoners.

Thirty of the remaining detainees at Guantanamo have been approved for transfer to foreign countries and the State Department says it will move all of them out this summer. Those who would be left include 10 being prosecuted in military commissions, and other detainees deemed too dangerous to release or transfer.

“The administration’s goal is to work with Congress to find a solution to close Guantanamo,” said Myles Caggins, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council.

He said the government had made “substantial progress” moving prisoners to foreign countries and was working to identify more countries for additiona上海夜生活论坛l transfers. Reviews to determine whether certain prisoners need to remain detained to prevent a threat to U.S. security had been accelerated and would be completed in the coming months, he said.

Obama, who issued an order to shut the prison within a year on his first day in office, released his latest plan to close it to Cong,上海夜生活怎么玩Tamara,ress in February, but it has not gained traction.

The White House has not publicly ruled out the executive order option in part to keep pressure on the Pentagon to move prisoners who have been cleared for release to other countries, one of the sources said.

“If Congress … would finally say no to the president’s plan and the executive order option wasn’t on the table, there was a concern that the wheels could grind to a halt,” said the source familiar with discussions at the White House.

Gregory Craig, who served as Obama’s first White House counsel, said that without an executive order, Obama would likely need the cooperation of Congress to shut down the prison.

“I think the odds are probably challenging,” Craig said.

Merger partners Sainsbury’s and Asda lag rivals: Kantar

LONDON ( ) – Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) and Asda, the two British supermarkets planning to merge, had the slowest sales of the “big four” chains in the 12 weeks to April 22, market data showed on Tuesday.

Sales at number two ranked Sainsbury’s rose上海夜生活网 0.2 percent, while Asda, owned by Walmart (WMT.N), saw growth of 1.4 percent, Kantar Worldpanel said.

Both Sainsbury’s and Asda dropped market share compared to a year ago – down 0.3 percentage points and 0.1 percentage points respectively, Kantar said.

Current market leader Tesco (TSCO.L) posted sales growth of 2.1 percent while sales at fourth-placed Morrisons (MRW.L) were up 2.2 percent. Market share for both was flat at 27.6 percent and 10.5 percent respectively.

“This is a pivotal moment for the British grocery market,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at the research company.

“A merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda would transform the traditional landscape placing nearly a third of market share in the hands of the jo,上海夜生活男人好去处Sabine,int supermarket giant, though the march of the discounters – ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Hadleigh,and any enforced store closures – could impact this figure.”

The strongest growth in the “bricks and mortar” supermarket sector continued to come from the German discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Sales at Aldi rose 7.7 percent, giving it a market share of 7.3 percent, while growth at Lidl was 9.1 percent, taking its share to 5.4 percent.

Online supermarket Ocado took the crown, however, with sales up 12.7 percent. Its share of the m,上海夜生活论坛Sabine,arket rose 0.1 percentage point to 1.2 percent.

China’s ZTE seeks resolution of U.S. export ban

BEIJING ( ) – China’s ZTE (0763.HK) (000063.SZ) is seeking a resolution to a U.S. ban on selling it parts and software that it has said threatens its survival.

ZTE “has learnt from its past experiences on export control compliance and attaches significant importance to the work on export control compliance,” the mobile phone and telecoms company said in a statement to ,上海夜玩网论坛Octava,the Hong Kong stock exchange.

ZTE “is making active com上海夜生活论坛munications with relevant parties and seeking a solution to the U.S. export denial order,” it added in the ,上海夜网邀请码Macauly,statement.

U.S. authorities last week banned American companies from sales to ZTE for seven years, saying the Chinese company had broken a settlement agreement with repeated false statements – a move that threatens to cut off ZTE’s supply chain.

The action was sparked by ZTE’s violation of an agreement that was reached after it was caught illegally shipping U.S. goods to Iran.

ZTE said on Sunday it had set up a compliance management committee led by its chief executive officer.

It also said it had invested in export control compliance, provided compliance training to staff and cooperated with the work of independent compliance monitors, the company added.The U.S. Commerce Department has granted a request from ZTE to submit more evidence after the,上海新夜网龙凤Cadence, agency imposed the ban, a senior Commerce official said on Saturday.

Apple hits record high after Buffett’s Berkshire increases stake

( ) – Apple Inc’s stock hit an all-time high on Friday after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc disclosed it bought an additional 75 million shares of the iPhone maker in the first three months of the year.

Buffett’s increased stake, which was confirmed by a representative of the billionaire investor, pushed Apple’s shares up as much as 4.2 percent to $184.25, taking the company’s market value to about $906 billion.

Apple declined to comment on Friday.

“If you look at Apple, I think it earns almost twice as much as the second most profitable company in the United States,” Buffett told CNBC, which first reported the news on Thursday.

Friday’s rise was the stock’s second significant gain this week after the Cupertino, California-based company surprised Wall Street on Tuesday with resilient iPhone sales and quarterly results that topped expectations.

Daniel Morgan, an investor in Apple, said it is “not surprising to see Buffet take a big position” in the company.

“He is an old ‘Graham and Dodd’ value investor,” said Morgan, who is a portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Company, which holds 270,415 shares in Apple.

Buffett’s commitment to Apple over the past two years has surprised many, given his historical aversion to companies associated with the technology sector.

“I think Apple was much more of a consumer products business,” Buffett had said last Ma,上海仙霞路夜生活Idris,y in a Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting.

Berkshire’s initial investment in Apple was small, suggesting it was made by one of Buffett’s investment deputies. But with the latest stake purchase, it has grown to a massive 240.3 million shares worth $42.5 billion.

In February, Berkshire said its Apple stake grew by about 23 percent since the end of September to roughly 165.3 million shares.

Recently, Berkshire almost sold out its entire investment in IBM Corp and at the same time bought more Apple shares.

“They are t上海夜生活网wo different types of decisions. And I was wrong on the first one (IBM), and we’ll find out whether I’m right or wrong on the second (Apple),” Buffett had said a year ago.

There may also be another reason for the investment: Berkshire’s cash pile of $116 billion.

The investment company has not made a major acquisition for more than two years and Buffett had said in his latest annual letter that he wanted to acquire one or more “huge” non-insurance companies to reduce Berkshire’s cash an,上海夜生活网419Eden,d equivalents.

Buying Apple shares partly accomplishes that, even though Buffett would prefer to buy whole companies.

Berkshire typically discloses its largest common stock holdings and percentage stakes in its quarterly and annual reports.

The report for the first quarter is set for release on Saturday morning, just before Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, Buffett’s h,上海夜生活网交流Hallie,ometown.

Up to Friday’s close, Apple stock had risen 9.8 percent since Berkshire disclosed on Feb.14 that it had raised its stake in the company. The shares closed up 3.9 percent at $183.83 on Friday.

Fresenius pulls out of Akorn takeover over data integrity

BERLIN ( ) – German healthcare group Fresenius SE (FREG.DE) said it had decided to pull out of its planned acquisition of Akorn (AKRX.O) after it found data integrity breaches at the U.S. generic drug maker.

Fresenius agreed last year to buy the U.S. maker of liquid generic drugs for about $4.75 billion, but said in February it could terminate the deal if its own independent probe found Akorn breached U.S. Food and Drug Administration data integrity requirements related to product development.

The German company said on Sunday its investigation had found “material breaches” of FDA data integrity requirements relating to Akorn’s operations.

“Fresenius offered to delay its decision in order to allow Akorn additional opportuni上海夜生活论坛ty to complete its own investigation and present any information it wished Fresenius to cons,上海会所夜网Gabriella,ider, but Akorn has declined that offer,” it said in a statement.

A spokesman for Fresenius said Akorn had violated other requirements of the acquisition agreement, including its obligation to operate the business in the ordinary course after signing of the agreement, and it had not given Fresenius reasonable access to company information.

Akorn said it disagreed with Fresenius’ accusations and planned to enforce its rights and Fresenius’ obligations under the merger agreement.

“The previously disclosed ongoing investigation, which is not a condition to closing, has not found any facts that would result in a material adverse effect on Akorn’s business and therefore there is no basis to terminate the transaction,” it said in a statement.

Fresenius had hoped the acquisition of Akorn would help it offer a wider choice of drugs to hospitals and ph,上海夜生活服务Macauly,armacies.

Fresenius confirmed its guidance for adjusted group sales to rise between five and eight percent in constant currencies in 2018, with adjusted net income expected to increase between six and nine percent.

Earlier on Sunday, subsidiary Fresenius Medical Ca,上海足浴夜网联系方式Cain,re (FMC) (FMEG.DE), cut its 2018 sales target.

Fresenius is due to report full first quarter results on May 3.

Three members of U.S. Federal Trade Commission sworn in

WASHINGTON ( ) – Three members of the Federal Trade Commission were sworn in on Wednesday, bringing the agency to full staffing at the top for the first time since mid-2015.

Chairman Joe Simons, a Republican, had been sworn in late Tuesday. On Wednesday, Republican Noah Phillips was sworn in along with Democrats Rebecca Slaughter and Rohit Chopra.

The fifth member of the commission, Republican Maureen Ohlhausen, had been acting chairwoman for the past 15 months and will stay on until her term ends in September or until she is confirmed to a federal judgeship.

The Senate has also confirmed Republican Christine Wilson, a senior vice president for regulatory and international affairs at Delta Air Lines Inc, to replace O上海夜生活hlhausen once she departs.

The FTC has not had five commissioners since ,上海凤楼夜网Ida,Josh Wright, a Republican, stepped down in mid-2015, according to FTC data.

The FTC works with the U.S. Justice Department to enforce antitrust law and investigates compan,上海夜网推油Idaleen,ies accused of deceptive advertising. One big merger before it currently is a proposed combination of industrial gases companies Praxair Inc PX.N and Linde AG LING.DE.

It is also reviewing whether Facebook (FB.O) violated a 2,上海夜玩网论坛Nadine,011 FTC consent decree over its privacy practices following allegations that Cambridge Analytica improperly gained access to user data for 50 million people without users being notified.

U.S. probing Huawei for possible Iran sanctions violations: sources

NEW YORK/LONDON ( ) – U.S. prosecutors in New York have been investigating whether Chinese tech company Huawei [HWT.UL] violated U.S. sanctions in relation to Iran, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Since at least 2016, U.S. authorities have been probing Huawei’s alleged shipping of U.S.-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws, two of the sources said.

News of the Justice Department probe follows a series of U.S. actions aimed at stopping or reducing access by Huawei and Chinese smartphone maker ZTE Corp to the U.S. economy amid allegations the companies could be using their technology to spy on Americans.

The Justice Department probe is being run out of the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, the sources said. John Marzulli, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, would neither confirm nor deny the existence of the investigation. The probe was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

Huawei, the world’s largest maker of telecommunications network equipment and the No. 3 smartphone supplier, said it complies with “all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including the applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU.”

The probe of Huawei is similar to one that China’s ZTE Corp says is now threatening its survival.The United States last week banned American firms from selling parts and software to ZTE for seven years. Washington accused ZTE of violating an agreement on punishing employees after the company illegally shipped U.S. goods to Iran.

ZTE, which sells smartphones in the United States, paid $890 million in fines and penalties, with an additional penalty of $300 million that could be imposed.

U.S. authorities have subpoenaed Huawei seeking information related to possible export and sanctions violations, two sources said. The New York Times last April reported the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control subpoena, issued in December 2016, following a Commer上海夜生活网ce Department subpoena that summer.

Both companies also have been under scrutiny by U.S. lawmakers over cybersecurity concerns.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China opposed countries imposing their own laws on others, when asked whether Huawei violated U.S. sanctions related to Iran.

“China’s position opposing nations using their own domestic laws to impose unilateral sanctions is consistent and clear,” she told a daily news briefi,上海高端夜生活在那里Hadrian,ng.

“We hope that the United States will not take actions that further harm investors’ mood towards the business situation there.”

In February, Senator Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, cited concerns about the spread of Chinese technologies in the United States, which he called “co,上海凤楼夜网Tabitha,unterintelligence and information security risks that come prepackaged with the goods and services of certain overseas vendors.”

Huawei and ZTE have denied these allegations.

Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton have introduced legislation that would block the U.S. government from buying or leasing telecommunications equipment from Huawei or ZTE, citing concern that the Chinese companies would use their access to spy on U.S. officials.

In 2016, the Commerce Department made documents public that showed ZTE’s m,上海夜网邀请码Jack,isconduct and also revealed how a second company, identified only as F7, had successfully evaded U.S. export controls.

In a 2016 letter to the Commerce Department, 10 U.S. lawmakers said F7 was believed to be Huawei, citing media reports.

In April 2017, lawmakers sent another letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asking for F7 to be publicly identified and fully investigated.

The U.S. government’s investigation into sanctions violations by ZTE followed reports by (reut.rs/2H3p0Vl) in 2012 that the company had signed contracts to ship millions of dollars’ worth of hardware and software from some of the best known U.S. technology companies to Iran’s largest telecoms carrier.

also previously reported on suspicious activity related to Huawei. In January 2013, reported (here) that a Hong Kong-based firm that attempted to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran’s largest mobile-phone operator has much closer ties to China’s Huawei Technologies than was previously known.

‘People will revolt’: workers say Russia must save sanctions-hit Rusal

SAYANOGORSK, Russia ( ) – Workers at one of Russia’s biggest aluminum smelters say their Siberian town is doomed unless Moscow mitigates U.S. sanctions against aluminum giant Rusal, a predicament mirrored across the company’s sprawling operations.

Trapped by mortgages for apartments built on barren steppe under communism, residents of Sayanogorsk, one of a string of towns dominated by Rusal, have few options if a loss of customers for its aluminum leads the firm to cut jobs.

“The entire life of this city depends on Rusal,” said Evgeny Ivanov, until recently a foreman at the plant in Sayanogorsk, where pockmarked asphalt recalls the harsh winters endured by its 60,000 inhabitants, and icy blue mountains line the horizon.

“If something were to happen to the factory, in my opinion the town would die out. There would be nothing left for people to do here,” he said in one of the town’s few cafes, explaining that the private firm he now works at also depends on the plant.

The Kremlin has said it is considering various ways to help Rusal after Washington blacklisted the company and its billionaire major shareholder Oleg Deripaska for suspected meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other alleged “malign activity”.

Deripaska has described the allegations as “ridiculous” and Russia has said they are a cover for an attack on its economy. The impact, felt in the halving of Rusal’s share price since the announcement on April 6, is too big for Moscow to ignore.

The government will have to step in “so that people don’t start howling,” said a welder who has worked at the plant in southern Siberia for more than six years.

“There are lots of people here who are unhappy with the government, and with Putin too. If the plant starts cutting sta上海夜生活网ff, people will revolt,” he said, declining to be named for fear of losing his job.

The scale of any support would have to be immense. According to one source with an understanding of Rusal’s trading volumes, it is possible the company has lost access to buyers of more than 2 million tonnes of its aluminum. That is more than half of the 3.7 million tonnes it produces each year.

Not everyone in Russia’s Finance Ministry is keen to “spend money on saving fat cats”, a source in the ministry said. But Rusal employs 52,390 people across Russia, according to a report from 2016, and tens of thousands depend on those jobs.


If the government does not come to Rusal’s rescue, workers will start banging their hard hats, the ministry source said – a reference to the Russian miners’ protests of the 1990s, when hundreds of thousands went on strike, including in Sayanogorsk.

Such mass protests were a fixture of the decade, punctuating the presidency of Boris Yeltsin. But they have become almost unthinkable since Vladimir Putin came to power in 1999 and their return would be hard for the Kremlin to dismiss.

The government, which has promised to protect jobs and production at Rusal, did not respond to questions. A spokeswoman for Rusal declined to comment.

Managers have sent re,上海夜网推油Talon,assuring messages, but in a basement bar selling dried fish and two types of beer, workers anxiously exchanged news.

“If people are fired, what will they do in this town? … They’re not going to sell sunflower seeds, are they?” a worker responsible for repairing smelting pots said.

Sayanogorsk was founded along with the plant in 1976, one of 319 officially designated ‘single company’ towns in Russia, of which ten are dominated by Rusal, according to 2015 figures.

The town’s pupils go on to one of two technical colleges, a smelting engineer at the plant explained. “Practically everyone” from his class went on to work for Rusal, he said, adding that he would rather have started a creative business.

People would try to leave the town if the factory cut jobs, one contractor said, but many would not be able to. “Most people have a mortgage here, including us. We don’t know if it’s even possible to sell. And apartments sell badly here anyway. Let alone in a situation like that,” he said.

Rusal is not registered to pay taxes in Sayanogorsk, but its grants are vital to the city budget, two local politicians said.

“When the town asks regional authorities for funding for a project, it’s told: y,上海夜生活网交流Paige,ou have Rusal, go work it out with them,” said Erik Chernyshev, a local Communist Party politician, former member of the region’s upper house, who also worked as an engineer at the factory for 18 years.

Rusal gave 271 million roubles ($4.42 million) in 2016 to three Russian regions where it has its operations, including Sayanogorsk, according to a company sustainability report.

It spent a further 140 million roubles in 2016 for general financing of social programs across Russia, the report said.

“Rusal’s regular grants have enabled sports facilities and other amenities to be built,” Valentina Efremova, head of the factory’s youth council, said.

The only hospital in town was built with Rusal funding, the company said in a 2012 press release, as well as two kindergartens, a sanatorium, sports centers and a church.

The Day of the Metals Worker, for which Rusal throws an annual party packed with pop stars, means almost more to residents than Russia’s main festival, New Year, said ex-foreman Ivanov, who also managed Rusal’s youth union.

“If Rusal… runs into any serious difficulties, this affects the whole town,” he said.


Every day, a Rusal train takes some of the company’s 3,500 employees to its vast, steaming plant, with onsite subsidiaries handling everything from repairs to railway maintenance.

Offsite, too, the factory is woven into the fabric of the town. “The little shops, the businesses, they’re all somehow tied to the plant. Some deliver produce, others do small-scale repairs,” the Rusal smelting engineer said. Without it, the town “would wither away, of course”.

Residents track Deripaska’s comings and goings by his helicopter. This week it spent a day at the plant, factory workers,上海夜生活男人好去处Qirin, said, while the businessman held a closed-door meeting with managers.

One resident said it then flew to Deripaska’s private estate in the countryside nearby. The so-called ‘oligarch’, who potentially lost $4.56 billion in just the first four trading days after U.S. sanctions were introduced, has also built a ski resort and hotel nearby, according to reports in Russian media.

Sayanogorsk, Rusal’s third biggest aluminum plant, is where Deripaska began buying up workers’ shares during Russia’s privatization drive after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1994 he become the plant’s general director at the age of 26.

When he first turned up to business meetings in the early 1990s he was known as the “lad in the cotton-wool coat” for the shabby worker’s jacket he wore, two residents said.

The Kremlin mentioned possible ‘temporary nationalization’ on Thursday, but on Friday Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that was not an option for Rusal. He said the firm had sought help with liquidity and demand for aluminum, which is already being stockpiled around the town.

“It’s not just Oleg Vladimirovich (Deripaska) who is in trouble. It is tens of thousands of jobs in the region,” Viktor Zimin, head of the Khakasia region where Sayanogorsk is located, was cited by Interfax news agency as saying last week.

“We have … one partner, and today we need to help him.”

Unilever given investor roasting on pay at London swansong

LONDON ( ) – Unilever Plc’s (ULVR.L) shareholders approved a new executive pay policy on Wednesday, but the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group faced a bruising backlash at what is expected to be its last annual general meeting in London.

Some 35.8 percent of shareholders opposed Unilever’s move to a consolidated “fixed pay” structure, in a blow to a company already facing big questions over its decision to consolidate its headquarters in the Netherlands.

Shareholders in Unilever NV UNc.AS are also due to vote o,上海夜生活怎么玩Earl,n the pay proposal at Thursday’s Dutch annual general meeting.

“We recognise that some investors and proxy voting agencies are concerned about how some of these changes will work in practice,” Chairman Marijn Dekkers said in central London.

Influential shareholder advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) had advised shareholders to vote against the policy, expressing concern about increases in fixed pay and size of potential bonuses.

Steve Clayton, a portfolio manager at Hargreaves Lansdown, said his firm approved Unilever’s remuneration plans, but he could see why others rejected it.

“In an ideal world they’d pay less … but Unilever has to compete,” he said. “We felt it wasn’t completely out of step.”

Dekkers said extra safeguards had been put in place to ensure that incentive payments ar,上海夜生活男人好去处Faith,e fully justified, while the management co-investment plan for the next three years will be capped at 150 percent.

“In the months ahead we will consult further with our shareholders,” Dekkers said.


Several shareholders expressed concern at the London meeting that they would be unable to participate at next year’s AGM, which is expected to take place in the Netherlands.

Dekkers defended the move, saying it had nothing to do with protectionism or Dutch takeover rules, as some have speculated.

The decision to collapse Unilever’s dual-headed structure was aimed at strategic flexibility, and the Netherlands was a natural choice given the Dutch company accounts for 55 percent of the group and the Dutch shares are more liquid, he said.

If the maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream had a protective mindset, it would not cancel Dutch preference shares that allow certain shareholders a greater voice than others.

“That is an illustration of the fact that we are not chasing protectionism,” Dekkers said.

Memos released last month by the Dutch government showed that the scrapping of a Dutch tax on dividends was “decisive” in the choice.

Dekkers said the 88-year-old dual-headed structure was now a hindrance in a fast-changing retail and consumer environment.

When asked about the latest potential change to the British retail landscape – Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) plan to combine with Asda and cut some prices by 10 percent – Chief Executive Paul Polman sought to ease concerns.

“I never heard a retailer say publicly that they are going to increase prices. Retailers seek to appeal to consumers by saying ‘I fight for you to lower prices’,” Polman said.

Unilever products would continue to be “available at good value”, he added.

Britain will remain “very, very important” to Unilever, Chairman Dekkers said, noting that it will have two of its business units based in London,上海新夜网龙凤Cade, and will continue to spend 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) a year in resources in the country.

Shareholders are expected to vote on the Netherlands move around the end of the third quarter, with it expected to happen towards the end of the year. The company is in talks to see if it can remain a component of London’s FTSE 100 index, and is gear上海夜生活ing up for meetings with FTSE Russell which decides on inclusion.

Unilever shares fell 1.5 percent in London and 2.3 percent in Amsterdam.