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Swedish start-up Einride driverless electric truck is seen in Jonkoping
Swedish start-up Einride driverless electric truck is seen in Jonkoping, Sweden May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Ilze Filks

May 15, 2019

By Esha Vaish

JONKOPING, Sweden (Reuters) – Resembling the helmet of a Star Wars stormtrooper, a driverless electric truck began daily freight deliveries on a public road in Sweden on Wednesday, in what developer Einride and logistics customer DB Schenker described as a world first.

Robert Falck, the CEO of Swedish start-up Einride, said the company was in partnership talks with major suppliers to help scale production and deliver orders, and the firm did not rule out future tie-ups with large truckmakers.

“This public road permit is a major milestone … and it is a step to commercializing autonomous technology on roads,” the former Volvo executive told Reuters.

“Since we’re a software and operational first company, a partnership with a manufacturing company is something that we see as a core moving forward,” he said, adding he hoped to seal a deal by next year.

Falck said Einride, whose investors include ex-Daimler Asia trucks head Marc Llistosella, is also courting investors for an ongoing Series A fundraising, often a company’s first sizable one. It previously raised $10 million.

Auto alliances are on the rise to share the cost of electric and autonomous technology. Ford has vowed to invest $500 million in U.S. electric utility truck startup Rivian.

Einride’s T-Pod is 26 tonnes when full and does not have a driver cabin, which it estimates reduces road freight operating costs by around 60 percent versus a diesel truck with a driver.

Besides Schenker, Einride has orders from German grocer Lidl, Swedish delivery company Svenska Retursystem and five Fortune 500 retail companies, underpinning its ambition to have 200 vehicles in operation by the end of 2020.

Freight operators are under pressure to reduce delivery times, cut emissions and face a growing shortage of drivers.

Schenker picked Einride over established truckmakers as the T-Pod straddles the two biggest sector transformations: digitization and electrification, CEO Jochen Thewes said.

“We believe that Einride is the best concept out there for now,” he said.

The T-Pod is level 4 autonomous, the second highest category, and uses a Nvidia Drive platform to process visual data in real time. An operator, sitting miles away, can supervise and control up to 10 vehicles at once.

Thewes said the rollout of 5G technology, vital for electrification, was lagging. For Schenker’s pilot with Einride, Ericsson and Telia had to construct two new towers.

The T-Pod has permission to make short trips – between a warehouse and a terminal – on a public road in an industrial area in Jonkoping, central Sweden, at up to 5 km/hr, documents from the transport authority show.

Falck said Einride would apply next year for more public route permits and was planning to expand in the United States.

“Ground zero for autonomous vehicles is the United States. I think it will be the first market to scale when it comes to autonomous vehicles,” he said.

(Reporting by Esha Vaish and Ilze Filks, additional reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

Actors Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige place their handprints in cement at a ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood
Actors Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo show their hands after placing their handprints in cement at a ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles,California, U.S. April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

April 24, 2019

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Marvel superhero movie “Avengers: Endgame” set an opening-day record in China with an estimated $107.2 million in ticket sales, distributor Walt Disney Co said on Wednesday.

“Endgame” is the finale of a story told across 22 Marvel films featuring popular characters such as Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine)

Source: OANN

Democrats have already reached a conclusion on the impeachment of President Trump, but are now “in search of facts” to back it up, former Congressman Jason Chaffetz said Wednesday.

Speaking on “America’s Newsroom,” the Utah Republican and Fox News contributor was asked about the new closed-door meeting among House Democrats, as more members push for impeachment proceedings to begin.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., called this week for the impeachment process to move forward, while Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn, said Tuesday that 80-90 percent of Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are ready to move forward to impeachment.


“Democrats are a party where they’ve reached conclusions and now they’re in search of facts, and they’re picking some very stupid fights,” said Chaffetz, arguing Democrats are going to lose subpoena battles in the courts and lose politically with voters.


Chaffetz said Pelosi has a problem with “renegade members” of her caucus who “live in a bubble” and could damage the party in 2020.

“It distracts from the presidential race, it distracts from their agenda. I don’t think, with a thriving economy, the Democrats have anything to offer the American people except for the perception of chaos,” he said.


Also on the agenda Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are scheduled to meet with President Trump at the White House to discuss infrastructure.

Chaffetz said he hopes the president insists on again letting the media into the room to film parts of the talks, as he did in December before a partial government shutdown took effect.

Source: Fox News Politics

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech during the Tsinghua University’s ceremony at Friendship Palace in Beijing
Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech during the Tsinghua University’s ceremony at Friendship Palace in Beijing, China April 26, 2019. Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool via REUTERS

April 27, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – A full-scale assault against militants in Syria’s Idlib province “is not expedient now” and civilians’ security needs to be taken into account, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday.

Speaking in Beijing, Putin said Russia would work with the Syrian opposition to finalize the make-up of a constitutional committee, part of efforts to secure a political settlement of the conflict.

Russia has helped forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad take back most of the country in the eight-year-old war but fighting continues.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Opening of the new Alphabet's Google Berlin office
FILE PHOTO: Journalists follow a news conference during the opening of the new Alphabet’s Google Berlin office in Berlin, Germany, January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

April 25, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Google will not have to pay 1.1 billion euros ($1.22 billion) in back taxes demanded by French authorities, an appeals court in France ruled on Thursday, dashing the government’s bid to overturn a 2017 decision.

The latest ruling comes at a time France is trying to crack down on digital service giants and the tax they pay, with the planned introduction of a French levy and as it pushes for broader international reforms.

The back tax case centers on a claim by the French finance ministry that Google had declared advertising revenue in Ireland which had actually been earned in France, thus avoiding paying corporate tax and value-added tax between 2005 and 2010.

But the appeals court in Paris said it agreed with an earlier ruling that favored the U.S. company and argued that Google Ireland Limited did not have a “permanent establishment” or sufficient taxable presence in France to justify the bill.

(Reporting by Simon Carraud, Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Source: OANN

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Status quo at Renault-Nissan must be changed: French finance minister

FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire delivers a speech during a high-level forum on debt at the Finance ministry in Paris
FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire delivers a speech during a high-level forum on debt at the Finance ministry in Paris, France, May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

May 22, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – The current status quo regarding the alliance between French carmaker Renault and its Japanese partner Nissan cannot continue and must be changed as it is currently weakening Renault, said French finance minister Bruno Le Maire.

“The status quo is not possible, the status quo is weakening the overall group, we have to push forward, make progress and consolidate this alliance,” Le Maire told reporters at a meeting held at the OECD.

Le Maire had earlier discussed the matter with Japanese industry minister Hiroshige Seko.

Nissan said earlier this month that Hiroto Saikawa would stay on as chief executive, backing the protege of former boss Carlos Ghosn even as top shareholder Renault had earlier pushed for a change in the Japanese automaker’s leadership.

The make-up of Nissan’s board has vast implications for the Nissan-Renault alliance. The unequal relationship between them – smaller Renault has the bigger stake in Nissan – has long been a source of friction.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

Source: OANN

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Mnuchin says further U.S. tariffs on China at least a month away

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before the House Financial Services Committee hearing
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before the House Financial Services Committee hearing on "The Annual Testimony of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the International Financial System" in Washington, U.S., May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

May 22, 2019

By Michael Martina and Jason Lange

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is studying how proposed tariff increases on roughly another $300 billion in Chinese imports will affect consumers and is at least a month away from enacting them, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.

Washington earlier this month hiked existing tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate, as talks to end a 10-month trade war between the world’s two largest economies stalled.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has embraced protectionism as part of an “America First” agenda aimed at rebalancing global trade, has threatened to slap tariffs of up to 25% on an additional listing of Chinese imports worth about $300 billion.

“There won’t be any decision probably for another 30 to 45 days,” Mnuchin said at a hearing with U.S. lawmakers, adding that he had spoken with Walmart Inc’s chief financial officer about how the tariffs will impact consumer prices.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has said its prices would rise because of the higher tariffs on Chinese goods.

“That’s something I can assure you the president will be focused on before we make any decisions,” Mnuchin told the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

Mnuchin told reporters earlier that U.S. officials were not currently scheduled to go to Beijing for the next round of negotiations, CNBC reported.

No talks between top Chinese and U.S. negotiators have been scheduled since the last round ended on May 10, the same day Trump increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.

Negotiations between the United States and China have stalled since early May, when Chinese officials sought major changes to the text of a proposed deal that the Trump administration says had been largely agreed.

The Chinese government’s top diplomat Wang Yi said on Wednesday that China’s door would always be open to further trade talks with the United States, but added that Beijing would not accept any unequal agreements.

The acrimony between the two countries has intensified since last week when Washington put Chinese telecom equipment company Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on a blacklist that curbs Huawei’s access to U.S.-made components.

The move is a potentially devastating blow for the company that has rattled technology supply chains and investors.

Some mobile operators, including the Ymobile unit of Japan’s Softbank Corp and rival KDDI Corp, put launch plans for Huawei’s new P30 Lite smartphone on hold on Wednesday.

Another big Chinese tech firm, video surveillance equipment maker Hikvision Digital Technology Co Ltd, also may face limits on its ability to buy U.S. technology, the New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter, sending the firm’s Shenzhen-listed shares down 5.54 percent.


While China has not said whether or how it may retaliate to the measures against Huawei, state media have taken an increasingly strident and nationalistic tone and said Beijing will not bend to U.S. pressure.

China must prepare for difficult times as the international situation is increasingly complex, President Xi Jinping said in comments carried by state media on Wednesday.

During a three-day trip this week to the southern province of Jiangxi, a cradle of China’s Communist revolution, Xi urged people to learn the lessons of the hardships of the past.

“Today, on the new Long March, we must overcome various major risks and challenges from home and abroad,” state news agency Xinhua paraphrased Xi as saying, referring to the 1934-36 trek of Communist Party members fleeing a civil war to a remote rural base, from where they re-grouped and eventually took power in 1949.

“Our country is still in a period of important strategic opportunities for development, but the international situation is increasingly complicated,” he said.

“We must be conscious of the long-term and complex nature of various unfavorable factors at home and abroad, and appropriately prepare for various difficult situations.”

The report did not elaborate on those difficulties, and did not directly mention the trade war or the United States.


U.S. firms said in a survey released on Wednesday they were facing retaliation in China over the trade war.

The American Chamber of Commerce of China and its sister body in Shanghai, said members reported they faced increased obstacles such as government inspections, slower customs clearances and slower approval for licensing and other applications.

It also said 40.7% of respondents were considering or had relocated manufacturing facilities outside China. Of the almost 250 respondents to the survey, which was conducted after China and the United States both raised tariffs this month, almost three-quarters said the levies were hurting their competitiveness.

Long considered a solid cornerstone in a relationship fraught with geopolitical frictions, the U.S. business community has in recent years advocated a harder line on what it sees as discriminatory Chinese trade policies.

The United States is seeking sweeping changes to trade and economic policies, including an end to forced technology transfers and theft of U.S. trade secrets. Washington also wants curbs on subsidies for Chinese state-owned enterprises and increased access for U.S. firms in Chinese markets.

China for years has blocked major U.S. tech firms, including Google and Facebook, from fully operating in its market. Those and other restrictions have fueled calls from within the U.S. business community for Washington to pursue more reciprocal policies.

(Reporting by Jason Lange and Michael Martina; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington and Ben Blanchard and Zhang Min in Beijing; Writing by Paul Simao; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

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EU sees no compliance issues in Google shopping, rivals disagree

FILE PHOTO: The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London
FILE PHOTO: The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London, Britain January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

May 22, 2019

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s antitrust chief said on Wednesday she did not see any problems with the way Google was complying with her order to boost competition in online shopping, brushing aside complaints from some of the U.S. company’s rivals.

Hit with a 2.4-billion-euro ($2.7 billion) EU fine two years ago for unfairly promoting its own comparison shopping service, Google has since offered to allow competitors to bid for advertising space at the top of a search page, giving them the chance to compete on equal terms.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the measure appeared to be working.

“Now we are in a situation where in 75 percent of queries there would be at least one rival to Google in the shopping box and 40 percent of clicks would go to a merchant hosted by one of the rivals,” Vestager told reporters on the sidelines of a Centre for European Reform event.

“This means we do not have a non-compliance case but at the same time also means that we keep monitoring monthly developments,” she added.

British online shopping rival Kelkoo disputed Vestager’s assessment.

“Overall, there has been no meaningful change in the number of users accessing comparison services other than Google’s,” Kelkoo Chief Executive Richard Stables said.

Open Internet Project, another Google competitor, voiced similar criticism last week.

“By putting these Google-powered Shopping Units at the top of every relevant results page, above more relevant comparison services, Google continues to reserve the important market for comparison shopping services to itself,” it said in a statement.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Keith Weir and Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

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From ‘Your Song’ to your movie: ‘Rocketman’ builds on new music biopic

FILE PHOTO: 72nd Cannes Film Festival - Screening of the film
FILE PHOTO: 72nd Cannes Film Festival - Screening of the film "Rocketman" out of competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Cannes, France, May 16, 2019. Elton John poses with David Furnish and Taron Egerton. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

May 22, 2019

By Jayson Mansaray and Marie-Louise Gumuchian

LONDON (Reuters) – With hit tunes, a plot about one of the world’s best known performers and flamboyant costumes, “Rocketman” brings Elton John’s story to the big screen, the latest musical biopic offering a concert-like experience at the cinema.

“Kingsman” actor Taron Egerton stars as the “Your Song” and “Tiny Dancer” hitmaker, belting out John’s songs as he revisits the singer’s road to success as well as his personal struggles.

The film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival with John present, has drawn comparisons to last year’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” about rockers Queen’s stratospheric rise to fame.

That movie, which received mixed reviews, won a best actor Oscar for Rami Malek and grossed $903 million worldwide – a sign of audiences’ appetite for seeing their icons’ story and music on the silver screen.

“I’m very grateful that people compare us and hopefully it shows that there is an appetite for movies of this nature,” Egerton said of the two films at Cannes.

Music biopics have long been a popular genre but what distinguishes this “new wave” is the artist’s involvement and music catalog to create concert-like scenes, said Scott Roxborough, European bureau chief for The Hollywood Reporter.

“What a lot of these films are selling is this idea that you can have the experience as if you were going to a concert … go behind the scenes and get to know them,” Roxborough said.

He said this was “not the idea of previous biopics which was often revealing the dark side of these musical heroes.”

Like “Bohemian Rhapsody”‘s take on late singer Freddie Mercury, “Rocketman” tracks John’s personal battles as his success grows.

“I would say ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (is) not a pressure, if anything it’s opened the gates for us,” “Rocketman” producer Matthew Vaughn told Reuters.


“Mamma Mia”, not a music biopic but featuring plenty of all-singing and dancing ABBA numbers, was a box office smash in 2008 and inspired a sequel last year.

“Straight Outta Compton” about rap collective N.W.A from Compton, California was also a success upon its 2015 release.

“It’s growing constantly year on year … as studios try and make bigger and more bombastic movies, they’re infusing musical biopics with this new energy,” Ali Griffiths, social editor at Digital Spy, said when asked about appetite for the genre.

“Since probably ‘Mamma Mia’… they realized they could make a musical like a cinematic experience.”

In March, Netflix released Motley Crue biopic “The Dirt” based on the heavy metal band’s autobiography and other celebrity-inspired stories are in the works.

“Stardust”, looking at David Bowie’s first trip to the United States is in the making, although the late singer’s family are not involved in the project.

Its producers have been quoted as saying it is not a biopic but “a moment in time film, at a turning point in David’s life”.

Celine Dion is the inspiration for “The Power of Love”, which is said to draw from the pop singer’s life and will use her hit power ballads, according to film industry publications.

Gaumont, the French company linked to the project, could not immediately be reached for comment.

“We will see a lot more (music biopics) being done and I think probably more in the style where there’s a lot more music in the films, and a lot more sort of concert performance,” Roxborough said, adding they would be more celebratory and a less critical portrayal.

Digital Spy’s Griffiths said more rock biopics were likely: “Like The (Rolling) Stones, but I’m excited to see so more like contemporary films, like wouldn’t it be cool to see a biopic of Adele’s life with her music.”

(Reporting by Jayson Mansaray and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; additional reporting by Johnny Cotton in Cannes; Editing by Edmund Blair)

Source: OANN

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Iranians tense and apprehensive as whispers of war spread

FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during the ceremony of the National Army Day parade in Tehran
FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during the ceremony of the National Army Day parade in Tehran, Iran April 18, 2019. Tasnim News Agency/via REUTERS

May 22, 2019

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

LONDON (Reuters) – Iranian and U.S. leaders have reassured their nations that they do not seek war. But among ordinary Iranians who already face hardship from tightening sanctions, nerves are being strained by worry that the situation could slip out of control.

In interviews conducted from outside the country by telephone and online, Iranians described heated discussions at home, on the streets and on social media.

The prospect of war was now the main topic of conversation in workplaces, taxis and buses, Nima Abdollahzade, a legal consultant at an Iranian startup company, told Reuters.

“Apart from the deterioration in the Iranian economy, I believe the most severe effect” of confrontation with the United States “is in the mental situation of ordinary Iranians,” he said. “They are sustaining a significant amount of stress.”

The United States pulled out of an agreement between Iran and world powers a year ago that limited Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting economic sanctions.

This month tensions have risen sharply, with Washington extending its sanctions to ban all countries from importing Iranian oil. A number of U.S. officials led by National Security Adviser John Bolton have made hawkish remarks, citing Iranian threats against U.S. interests. Trump himself tweeted: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran.”

Iran has tended to dismiss the tough talk as a bluff – “psychological warfare” from a U.S. administration not ready for a fight. But some Iranians say the tension could have its own logic, raising the chance of a mistake leading to violence.


A labour activist who spent months in an Iranian jail for his activities and asked not to be identified, said: “War and sanctions are two sides of the same coin, designed by the (U.S.) capitalist system. The working class would bear brunt of the pressures.”

Some Iranians expect pressure to lead to negotiations, as when former President Barack Obama tightened sanctions that crippled the Iranian economy and led to the 2015 deal.

But others believe their leaders will never go back down that road following Trump’s reimposition of sanctions.

“Any politician who starts negotiations with America would make a fool of himself,” said a student who also asked not to be identified. “Even (Mohammad Javad) Zarif has given up on that,” she said, referring to Iran’s U.S.-educated foreign minister.

Zarif told CNN this week Iran had “acted in good faith” in negotiating the deal that Washington abandoned. “We are not willing to talk to people who have broken their promises.”

Trump has said Washington is not trying to set up talks but expects Tehran to call when it is ready. A U.S. official said last week Americans “were sitting by the phone”, but had received no call from Iran yet.

Foad Izadi, a political science professor at Tehran University, told Reuters that phone call is not coming.

“Iranian officials have come to this conclusion that Trump does not seek negotiations. He would like a phone call with Rouhani, even a meeting and a photo session, but that’s not a real negotiation,” Izadi said.

Despite saying talks are now off the table, Iranian leaders still say war is unlikely. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority, said the United States would not attack as “it’s not in their interests.”

The logic makes sense to Mohsen Mortazavi, a young cleric who graduated from a religious school in the city of Qom.

“There won’t be any war because a military confrontation will not resolve any of the U.S. problems, it will only add to them,” Mortazavi told Reuters. “Trump’s shouts and threats are a psychological war. A dog that cannot bite barks.”

But Izadi, the political science professor, disagrees. “A war is highly probable. There are officials in Washington who have planned for invading Iran for years,” he said.


Meanwhile, Iranians cope with the day-to-day implications of sanctions and tension. Worries over access to products have prompted some Iranians to stock up on rice, detergent and tinned food, residents and shopkeepers said.

An advertisement on state TV discourages stockpiling. A middle-aged man heading home after work is drawn to a supermarket when he sees people panic shopping. He buys anything he can put his hands on, causing shelves to be emptier.

Ali, an Iranian student in Tehran, told Reuters that unlike many, he was not against a U.S. military invasion, as he believed the fall of the Islamic Republic would be the only solution to the rising economic and political problems.

“My only hope is a war so I can take my revenge. I am telling my friends in the university that our only way is an armed struggle…. We have nothing to lose.”

Shahin Milani, a 38-year-old who tweets about Iranian politics to more than 7,000 followers on Twitter, believes military intervention could never bring democracy.

“The people should do it themselves … If someone is truly worried about the threat of war, they should work to create a democratic, secular government in Iran … As long as the Islamic Republic is in power, the shadow of war will loom over Iran.”

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Peter Graff)

Source: OANN

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Schiff: DOJ Agrees to Turn Over Mueller Documents

The Department of Justice has reached agreement with officials from the House Intelligence Committee to turn over documents relating to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, the panel’s chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., announced Wednesday. 

Schiff made the announcement on Twitter, where he wrote: “DOJ has accepted our offer, and will begin turning over to the Committee twelve categories of counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials beginning this week. Our subpoena will remain in effect, and be enforced should DOJ fail to comply with the full document request.”

On Tuesday, the Justice Department had offered to give committee members access to a less-redacted very of Mueller’s report and some documents connected to the probe if Democrats dropped a threat to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, CBS News reported.

"The Department has repeatedly acknowledged the committee's legitimate oversight interest in these materials," Schiff  said in a statement. "I look forward to, and expect, continued compliance by the department so we can do our vital oversight work.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

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Chip designer ARM halts work with Huawei after U.S. ban

FILE PHOTO: Women walk past a Huawei P30 advertising LED board at a shopping centre in Bangkok
FILE PHOTO: Women walk past a Huawei P30 advertising LED board at a shopping centre in Bangkok, Thailand May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun/File Photo

May 22, 2019

By Paul Sandle

LONDON (Reuters) – British chip designer ARM has halted relations with Huawei [HWT.L] in order to comply with a United States blockade of the company, potentially crippling the Chinese company’s ability to make new chips for its future smartphones.

Huawei, in common with Apple and chipmakers such as Qualcomm, uses ARM blueprints to design the processors that power its smartphones. It also licenses graphics technology from the Cambridge-based company.

“ARM is complying with all of the latest regulations set forth by the U.S. government,” an ARM spokesman said in a statement. “No further comment at this time.”

Huawei said it valued its close relationships with its partners, but it recognized the pressure some of them are under “as a result of politically motivated decisions”.

“We are confident this regrettable situation can be resolved and our priority remains to continue to deliver world-class technology and products to our customers around the world,” a spokesman said.

The United States blocked Huawei from buying U.S. goods last week, jeopardizing ties with Google, which provides the Android operating system and services like Gmail and Google Maps, as well as hardware partners such as ARM.

It temporarily eased restrictions on Huawei on Tuesday, granting it a license to buy U.S. goods until Aug. 19, meaning that updates of Google apps can continue until then.

The BBC reported earlier on Wednesday that ARM, which is owned by Japan’s Softbank, had instructed employees to halt “all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements” with Huawei after the United States added Huawei to a list of companies with which U.S. firms could not do business.

ARM said in an internal company memo that its designs contained technology of U.S. origin, the BBC reported.

It told staff they were no longer allowed to “provide support, delivery technology (whether software, code, or other updates), engage in technical discussions, or otherwise discuss technical matters” with Huawei, according to the memo seen by the BBC.

Huawei’s international partners are moving to distance themselves from the Chinese company until there is clarity over its relationship with U.S. technology partners that provide the apps and services that are crucial for consumers.

British mobile operators EE and Vodafone both said on Wednesday they had dropped Huawei smartphones from the imminent launch range of their 5G networks.

(Reporting by Michael Holden and Paul Sandle; Editing by Mark Potter and Louise Heavens)

Source: OANN

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