29.91 +0.07 (0.23%)
Pre-Market: 6:35AM EST
|Bid||29.89 x 4000|
|Ask||29.95 x 3100|
|Day's Range||29.77 - 30.26|
|52 Week Range||26.26 - 45.86|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.56|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||14.54|
|Earnings Date||Feb 6, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||34.33|
Twitter is changing the way it processes uploaded images, and the new way of doing things will be much-appreciated by any photographers sharing their work on the platform. Twitter engineer Nolan O'Brien shared that the platform will now preserve JPEG encoding when they're uploaded via Twitter on the web, instead of transcoding them, which results in a degradation in quality that can be frustrating for photo pros and enthusiasts. There are some limitations to keep in mind – Twitter will still be transcoding and compressing the thumbnails for the images, which is what you see in your Twitter feed.
Today we are going to look at Twitter, Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect...
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The American agriculture industry generally applauded a move to finalize the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free-trade agreement, with one notable exception.In a statement Tuesday, cattle producer group R-CALF USA blasted the deal, saying the failure to restore country of origin labeling, or COOL, on beef allows imported supplies to continue undercutting U.S. ranchers.The group said COOL rules for beef and pork that were repealed in 2016 would have allowed U.S. ranchers to “compete against the duty-free, cheaper and undifferentiated cattle and beef flowing into our country and depressing our markets.”Opposition to the deal was relatively limited as U.S. farmers should largely gain from tariff-free access to the neighboring countries. One big beneficiary would be beleaguered U.S. dairy farmers, who would get new access to Canada’s marketCrop handler and processor Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. said USMCA will provide “meaningful benefits for agriculture and food industries in all three countries.”Meanwhile, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which represents cattle farmers and feeders, said: “There is no higher policy priority for America’s beef producers than maintaining our duty-free access to Canada and Mexico.”\--With assistance from Isis Almeida, Dominic Carey and Mike Dorning.To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Hirtzer in Chicago at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Attwood at email@example.com, Patrick McKiernanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- House Democrats embraced the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement after securing key revisions and announced plans to vote on the deal next week, putting President Donald Trump closer to a political win as he heads into the 2020 election.Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the changes her House Democats were able to negotiate, saying the revised deal is better for American workers. She said the new version of the accord, known as the USMCA, will be a model for other trade agreements going forward.“This is the day we have been waiting for,” Pelosi told reporters. “It is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration.”Trump welcomed the finalized overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has been languishing for more than a year and could resolve some of the uncertainty weighing on the economy as he heads into his re-election campaign. But it is also a win for House Democrats who are eager to prove that they can do more than investigate and impeach Trump.The timing on Tuesday was extraordinary, with Pelosi flanked by more than 30 of her colleagues announcing the long-awaited trade deal just minutes after chairmen of House committees investigating Trump unveiled the two articles of impeachment they plan to bring against the president. She said the back-to-back announcements were not a coincidence.“We are at the end of the session and you have to make some decisions,” Pelosi said.The timing will prove more difficult in the Republican-led Senate, according to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He told reporters Tuesday that the Senate won’t take up the USMCA until after it finishes with the impeachment trial next year.“We will not be doing USMCA next week in the Senate,” McConnell said Tuesday.White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham later said in a statement it is “long overdue for Congress to take up the USMCA.” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer also told senators earlier Tuesday that the Trump administration wants a vote by next week.“We expect to push hard on passing the implementing bill before the end of the year,” Grisham said after McConnell’s comments on Senate vote timing.The House and Senate passed trade agreements with Korea, Panama, and Colombia on the same day in 2011, according to Henry Connelly, a Pelosi spokesman.“Senator McConnell has no excuse not to bring up the USMCA,” Connelly said in an emailed statement.‘Will-It-Ever-Happen Moment’The changes that Democrats demanded on provisions regarding the environment, pharmaceuticals, labor and overall enforcement were the subject of intense negotiations between Lighthizer and House Democrats, led by Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal of Massachusetts.“Every once in a while you get to participate in a will-it-ever-happen moment,” Neal said Tuesday. “This is a triumph for workers across America.”Lighthizer called the agreement “historic” and said the accord “will be the model for American trade deals going forward.”“After working with Republicans, Democrats, and many other stakeholders for the past two years we have created a deal that will benefit American workers, farmers, and ranchers for years to come,” Lighthizer said in a statement.Pelosi told her Democratic members earlier Tuesday that she expects a House vote next week, according to Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas. Neal also confirmed that timing.“We are ready to rock and roll,” Cuellar said after a closed-door meeting of Democratic representatives in Washington. “We’re very confident. We have the numbers” to pass the deal.Pelosi later told reporters she hopes for a vote “before the end of the session,” which would be before Congress recesses for the holidays on Dec. 20.Representatives from Canada, Mexico and the Trump administration met in Mexico City Tuesday and signed the amendments to the trade agreement. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the new version would be ratified by the legislatures of all three countries.Revised ProvisionsThe revised trade agreement removes a loophole in Nafta that allowed any country to object to the formation of enforcement panels, and it updates rules governing how evidence can be presented at arbitration panels, according to a summary of the agreement.The major sticking point in talks for months has been labor-rights enforcement. The deal creates a new labor-specific dispute panel system covering all goods and services, and labor violations can lead to “penalties on goods and services.”Instead of U.S. labor inspectors in Mexico, which Mexican negotiators opposed, the deal creates an inter-agency committee to monitor labor rights in Mexico and allow labor attachés to monitor labor reforms.The agreement establishes benchmarks for Mexico’s implementation of its new labor law. If they the deadline is not met, that leads to “enforcement action,” according to the summary.Democrats also managed to remove a provision that would have guaranteed 10 years of data protection for biologic drugs, which pharmaceutical companies lobbied to preserve.“We now have a new and improved, renegotiated Nafta that prevents Big Pharma from raising prices,” said Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat.The Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a drug industry group, said removing protections for biologic drugs “surrendered one of the most important tools” that would help Trump keep his promise to “end foreign free-riding on American medical innovation.”Pelosi said that she was not able to remove a provision granting legal liability protections for internet companies from the deal.On rules for steel in cars, which emerged as one of the most contentious final issues, the nations agreed to give Mexico seven years to build the value chains to ensure that 70% of the metal for vehicles traded duty-free is poured and melted within North America. Mexico currently imports steel slab from countries including Brazil, Germany and Japan.On aluminum, almost none of which originates in Mexico, there will be no immediate change, with the issue revisited in 10 years, Mexico’s chief negotiator, Jesus Seade, told reporters in Mexico City.Republican SupportWhile there was some relief in Mexico to have preserved free trade, not everyone was happy with the deal. Gustavo de Hoyos, head of the business chamber known as Coparmex, said the advice of Mexico’s private sector wasn’t taken sufficiently into account. He compared the deal to the 1848 Mexican-American War, when Mexico lost California and parts of New Mexico and Arizona. Seade responded that he was in frequent contact with business representatives.Trump tweeted his support for the revised agreement Tuesday before Pelosi’s announcement.Republicans in the U.S. Congress have been relentlessly pressuring Democrats to put the trade agreement up for a vote. Some Republicans on Monday said they were concerned that the changes to the trade agreement, negotiated in close consultation with labor unions, would stray too far from the original deal.Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Republican who will shepherd the deal through the Senate after House passage, said he isn’t worried that the revisions would slow its passage.”I don’t think it’s going to be big enough to stop us from getting it passed,” Grassley said about GOP concerns.Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise, the Republican responsible for counting his party’s votes in the House, praised the deal and said Congress should continue working on other “outdated trade deals.”“I predict an overwhelming vote for this agreement,” Scalise said in a statement. “Republican support for President Trump’s hard-negotiated trade deal will be strong.”One of the most important endorsements for the deal came from the AFL-CIO, the largest labor federation in the U.S. Richard Trumka, the group’s president worked closely with Democrats on the negotiations.“We demanded a trade deal that benefits workers and fought every single day to negotiate that deal; and now we have secured an agreement that working people can proudly support,” Trumka said in a statement. “Trade rules in America will now be fairer because of our hard work and perseverance. Working people have created a new standard for future trade negotiations.”(Updates with additional provisions, beginning in the 29th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Jenny Leonard, Josh Wingrove, Ari Natter, Laura Litvan and Eric Martin.To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Wasson in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at email@example.com, Anna Edgerton, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump will face a more assertive Congress on foreign policy as he fights off impeachment and seeks re-election, with lawmakers pushing legislation at odds with his priorities and personal style on the global stage.This will be on full display Wednesday when the Republican-led Senate Foreign Relations Committee considers sanctions on Turkey and Russia, both countries that Trump has tried to court despite Congress’s wariness. The panel has also been the driving force behind two recent laws to support Hong Kong protesters, which Trump reluctantly signed despite Chinese threats of retaliation.In recent months, the Senate’s GOP majority has been more likely to agree with House Democrats on foreign policy than with the Trump administration. Even the president’s closest allies in Congress criticized him for withdrawing American troops from Syria, inviting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House and selling arms to Saudi Arabia.Lawmakers last week called for the suspension of a training program for foreign fighters after a Saudi air force officer shot and killed three U.S. service-members at Naval base in Pensacola, Florida. Trump, on the other hand, tweeted that he had received “sincere condolences” from Saudi Arabia’s king.“It’s time that Congress reestablish its Article I prerogatives by not just asking probing questions but also by resuming legislative activity on a once very visible and consequential committee,” said Republican Senator Todd Young of Indiana, describing the Foreign Relations panel and the article of the Constitution that lays out Congress’s powers. “Any administration should have to show their work.”Foreign policy decisions are also the foundation of the impeachment investigation that is hurtling through the House of Representatives. Democrats are building the case that Trump subverted official U.S. diplomacy in Ukraine for his personal political benefit.The main impeachment allegation is that the president withheld nearly $400 million in security aid for Ukraine and a White House meeting in exchange for newly elected President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announcing politically motivated investigations.Weeks before this touched off the impeachment inquiry, Republicans lobbied the White House to find out why the congressionally approved security assistance had been delayed. GOP Senators including Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly and privately pressed administration officials to release the aid they said was critical to fend off Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.Not Always in LockstepEven as most Republicans oppose impeachment, many of them are willing to part ways with Trump on other issues of foreign policy.”We’re not always in lockstep with everything that comes out of the White House and when we’re not, we have a responsibility to voice that,” said Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.There is also a broader effort to check Trump’s power. Young, a former Marine, has sponsored several proposals to wrest control of foreign policy away from the executive branch. His bill with New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, would require the administration to consult Congress on troop levels in Afghanistan and any final agreement with the Taliban.“It’s incredibly important that Congress and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in particular maintains a high level of oversight over the longest war in American history,” Young said of Afghanistan, where Trump recently said he was pursuing a new peace deal.This push for oversight took on greater urgency after Trump in October abruptly announced the withdrawal from northern Syria shortly after a telephone conversation with Erdogan. Republicans were outraged when Turkey invaded territory controlled by the Kurds, a U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State.McConnell, one of Trump’s most imperturbable allies, warned that pulling out U.S. troops from the region would leave the Kurds vulnerable to attack and risk giving a foothold to jihadist fighters.“We hope the damage in Syria can be undone,” McConnell said at the time. “But perhaps even more importantly, we absolutely must take steps so the same mistakes are not repeated in Iraq or Afghanistan.”Another Republican who usually supports Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has been furiously campaigning for sanctions to halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline he says will increase Russian President Vladimir Putin’s influence in Europe to the detriment of the U.S.If the gas pipeline, from Russia to Germany, is completed, “it will be the fault of the members of this administration who sat on their rear ends,” Cruz said last week. “You have an overwhelming bipartisan mandate from Congress to stop this pipeline.”Cruz fought to include the sanctions in the final version of the defense spending bill expected to pass before the end of the year.Another provision in the National Defense Authorization Act would require the Secretary of Defense to certify that a reduction of U.S. forces in South Korea is in the national security interest. The White House said in a statement Tuesday that Trump supports the NDAA.Republicans have also expressed frustration with their colleagues who blocked a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide, which Turkey opposes. Cruz said he has heard “no good reason for the administration to object” to the measure.Turkey SanctionsThe Turkey sanctions bill before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week would sanction the country’s leaders, financial institutions and military that aided the invasion of northern Syria. In a remarkable display of bipartisan support, the House passed its version 430-16 in October.Senator Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said he expects robust support for the Turkey sanctions bill when it goes to the Senate floor. Both chambers will need to pass the same version before sending it to Trump to sign into law.“The House bill came over definitely veto-proof and we’ll likely do something that the House will also agree with,” Kaine said. “That’s a bipartisan understanding.”Reaching a veto-proof majority represents even stronger backing for bills opposing Trump’s foreign policy initiatives than legislation earlier this year to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen and ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Those easily passed both chambers, but lacked the votes to override Trump’s vetoes.Four of Trump’s six vetoes have been on foreign policy measures. But now stronger vote margins -- near unanimous for two bills supporting the Hong Kong protesters -- make it harder for Trump to go against the will of Congress.“The president, at first, he was a little reluctant to sign it but then he did sign the Hong Kong bill and it was a big victory,” McCaul said.This will be an important consideration for Trump as the House moves forward on impeachment and the process goes to the Senate to decide whether he should be removed from office. Democrats in the House plan to unveil two articles of impeachment on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter.It’s extremely unlikely that enough Republicans in the Senate would turn on Trump to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to remove him from office.Yet that won’t stop them from working with Democrats to rein in his impulsive -- and in some cases they would say inadvisable -- actions involving international relations.“The margins have been going up because we’ve been working together,” said Representative Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat and the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. When it comes to foreign policy, he said, “we almost have a supermajority.”(Updates to add White House statement on NDAA in the 19th paragraph. An earlier version corrected the month of House vote on Turkey sanctions in the 21st paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Flatley in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at email@example.com, Anna Edgerton, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.Donald Trump’s top economic adviser said Tuesday the administration hasn’t made a decision about re-imposing steel tariffs on Brazil and Argentina, even though the president said last week the duties were “effective immediately.”Reinstating such tariffs has been discussed but there’s no decision yet, Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council, said at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council in Washington.The Brazilian government has yet to be notified by the U.S. about the intention to impose more duties on the country’s steel, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Brazil plans to wait until it has official communication from the U.S. to make any decisions, the person said, asking not to be identified because discussions aren’t public.Trump said Dec. 2 that the U.S. would restore the duties to punish the two Latin American countries for “a massive devaluation of their currencies” that he said had hurt U.S. farmers. The White House didn’t comment Tuesday on whether documents to re-impose tariffs have been drafted.Read More: Here’s What Trump Overlooks on Brazil and Argentina CurrenciesTrump’s action amount to retaliation against two nations that have become alternative suppliers of soybeans and other agricultural products to China, grabbing market share away from the U.S. Rural voters, including farmers, are a key constituency for Trump as he heads into the 2020 presidential elections.While the steel tariffs could crimp trade, the Latin American countries gain much more shipping crops to Chinese buyers. In the first 10 months of the year, Brazil has shipped $25.5 billion in farm products including soybeans and pork to China. That’s more than 10 times the value of steel and iron products sold to the U.S.(Adds details on Brazil in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Jordan Fabian.To contact the reporters on this story: Saleha Mohsin in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Rachel Gamarski in in Brasilia at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Daniel Cancel at email@example.com, Ana Monteiro, Walter BrandimarteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to overhaul France’s pension system was tested by a second day of labor protests across the country and the continued partial-paralysis of the Paris public transit system.Participation in the street marches fell on Tuesday by more than half to 339,000, according to Interior Ministry figures, compared with more than 800,000 last Thursday in what was the biggest turnout in a protest against Macron since he took office in May 2017.French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is due to lay out on Wednesday the government’s proposals for the reform, which he called on Twitter a “plan for a simpler, fairer retirement for everyone.”The CGT union, which estimated Tuesday’s turnout at 1 million compared with 1.5 million on Dec. 5, called for two more days of marches on Thursday and Dec. 17 in an effort to get Macron to back down.Public sector disruptions continued as a strike by transport workers entered its sixth day, shutting down the majority of metro lines in Paris and preventing around four-fifths of trains from running nationwide. Around three-quarters of trains are expected to be canceled on Wednesday.Reforming France’s pension system has proven a treacherous task for former French leaders. In 1995, then Prime Minister Alain Juppe abandoned his plans after strikes paralyzed the country for about a month.Philippe, who worked on Juppe’s failed run for president in 2017, says the government will not budge this time.“If we do not make a profound, serious, progressive reform today, then someone else will make a truly brutal one tomorrow,” he said in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche newspaper on Sunday.But unions are refusing to blink. In the same newspaper, Philippe Martinez said the leftist CGT union he leads will continue striking until the government withdraws the reform.“In 1995, at the start of the protests, Juppe said he would never withdraw his plan. Things change fast and there’s a lot of anger,” Martinez said.According to a survey by Ifop Dec. 6 and Dec. 7, 53% of French people support or have sympathy for the protesters. An Ifop poll published on Tuesday based on a survey of 1,001 adults carried out after the first day of marches last week showed Macron’s approval rating slipped by a point for the third consecutive month to 35%.Limited ImpactThe Paris police ordered shopkeepers along the route of Tuesday’s march to shutter and protect their stores from potential looting. French civil-aviation authority DGAC asked airlines to reduce their schedules by 20%, and Air France said it would cancel 25% of its domestic flights.Before Tuesday, the protests had had limited economic impact, according to the government. While tourist cancellations are a concern, shops around the country had a good weekend of sales, Junior Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said on French TV channel CNews on Monday.“One day of strikes doesn’t tip retailers into a difficult situation,” she said. “If it goes on, making it hard for customers to get to shops, it could bring down revenues.”Macron’s pension overhaul aims to create a universal points-based system to replace France’s 42 different pension regimes for different classes of workers. The 41-year-old president argues France’s current system is unfair and inapt for the 21st-century economy, in which workers change sectors during their careers.In an effort to find common ground, ministers met with unions for a last round of talks on Monday. The government says it wants to make the transition to a new system gradual and fair, without delaying it for decades.“I’m sure we will find the right point of balance that will reassure workers about their future, without giving up on our determination to push the country toward the future by putting in place a universal system,” Philippe said last week after the first round of marches.(Updates with estimates for participation in Tuesday demonstrations, prime minister comment)To contact the reporters on this story: William Horobin in Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org;James Regan in Paris at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Geraldine Amiel at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tara PatelFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. started selling its new Mac Pro desktop computer on Tuesday, complete with eye-watering pricing options that can push the cost north of $50,000.The new machine, built in Austin, Texas after Apple got tariff relief from the Trump administration, starts at $5,999 for specifications that some programmers, video editors, and photographers might consider measly. Fully loaded, the computer costs more than $52,000, and that’s excluding the optional $400 wheels for easily moving the machine around an office.For some professional users, the cost of Apple’s new computer is just part of doing business. But for most consumers, the Mac Pro’s price is shocking. As one of the most expensive personal computers in the world, some Apple users quickly compared the cost to a car.The base product includes 256 gigabytes of storage, low for professional computers in the same price range. A 4 terabyte option is an extra $1,400. An 8 terabyte upgrade is coming later, according to Apple’s website, but pricing hasn’t been announced.To increase the computer’s RAM memory from 32 gigabytes to 1.5 terabytes is $25,000 extra, the main reason the price can exceed $52,000. Apple said a version of the Mac Pro designed to be racked in data centers costs an extra $500 and will launch later. The Mac Pro does not include a display. Apple put a new Pro Display XDR on sale Tuesday for $4,999.The Mac Pro’s pricing first came into focus in June when the company announced the product and said that a stand to hold the new monitor would cost an extra $999.The company also said on Tuesday that it is doubling the cash-back offer for the Apple Card on Apple hardware purchases to 6% until the end of the year. That could make such purchases just a little easier.To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The Patriots were caught for the “Spygate” scandal in 2007 when the team was videotaping opposing team’s signals in a scandal that cost them a first-round draft pick and $750,000 in fines.
Just over a year ago, the founder of hedge-fund giant Bridgewater Associates, took to Twitter to hail former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker as “the greatest man” he knows. With Volcker’s passing, Dalio stands by his claim.
in Mexico City after Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump finally reached an agreement removing obstacles to US ratification of the treaty replacing Nafta. The ceremony in Mexico’s National Palace on Tuesday came just over a year after leaders of the North American countries signed the new trade agreement in Buenos Aires.
(Bloomberg) -- Bushfire smoke smothered Sydney on Tuesday, setting off fire alarms, suspending ferry services and triggering health warnings over choking air pollution.The Sydney Opera House and harbor bridge were barely discernible through the thick haze enveloping the city, with smoke stinging the eyes and making it difficult to breathe.The Air Quality Index compiled by the state environment department reached as high as 2,552 in some eastern suburbs -- soaring past the “hazardous” threshold of 200. The pollution has been so bad it has set off smoke alarms in office buildings across the CBD, while ash has been washing up on the city’s usually pristine beaches. Flight arrivals at Sydney Airport were delayed by up to 30 minutes due to poor visibility.The number of people seeking treatment at Sydney hospitals increased by about 25%, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. cited Richard Broome, New South Wales state’s director of environmental heath, as saying. “It is some of the worst air quality we’ve seen,” he said.Authorities warned people with respiratory conditions, or heart and lung problems, to stay indoors. Office workers were seen wearing face masks in the street, an unusual sight in a city more used to clear blue skies and clean air.Temperatures are forecast to soar to 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in the city’s west. Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, who is leading efforts to tackle more than 80 blazes across the state of New South Wales, said it would be a “very complex, very difficult day” for his team.Some 2.7 million hectares (6.7 million acres) of land, with a perimeter of 19,235 kilometers, have been burnt so far this bushfire season.The ferocious and early start to the fires this year has stoked a debate around whether Australia’s government -- a champion of the coal industry -- is doing enough to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repeatedly shut down claims that his government’s approach to climate change has contributed in any material way to the current bushfire emergency.The devastating fire conditions were referenced several times at an energy summit in Sydney on Tuesday, where Matt Kean, the NSW state minister for the environment, said a transition to clean energy was inevitable.“Let’s call it for what it is: these bushfires have been caused by extreme weather events, high temperatures, the worst drought in living memory -- the exact type of events scientists have been warning us about for decades that would have been caused by climate change,” said Kean.The wildfires have generated more hotspots in the past two days than any other country, according to NASA satellite data.(Adds link to fire service tweet. An earlier version of this story was corrected to remove data on the numberr of hotspots.)To contact the reporter on this story: Edward Johnson in Sydney at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The Trump administration is pressuring Japan to choose a US defence company to develop jointly a replacement for its F-2 fighter jets as Tokyo considers a British alternative to cut its reliance on American weapons. Pentagon officials have stepped up talks with Japan amid concerns the US could lose out to BAE Systems, the UK defence contractor developing a sixth generation Tempest stealth fighter, according to three people familiar with discussions about the F-3 programme.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Boris Johnson definitely had a bad Monday, challenged about the National Health Service and looking like he really didn’t want to know. But he still enjoys the electoral advantage of a Conservative politician.The front pages of the right-leaning Times, the Telegraph, the Mail and the Express all ignore the viral story of the prime minister refusing to look at a picture of a child sleeping on the floor of a hospital, in favor of Johnson’s suggestion that he might change how the BBC is funded. On Tuesday, the Tories will try to move the story on and hope that voters’ don’t linger on it.Must Read: Johnson Has a Bad Day as Health Moves to Center of U.K. ElectionFor more on the election visit ELEC.Coming Up:Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will be in Carlisle at around 3 p.m.Johnson will be campaigning in Staffordshire at around 3.30 p.m. and will hold a rally in the north west around 8 p.m.YouGov will release an update of their MRP poll for The Times at 10 p.m.Polls:ICM poll conducted for Reuters shows: Conservatives 42%; Labour 36%; Liberal Democrats 12%Latest ComRes poll conducted for Remain United: Conservatives 43%; Labour 36%; Liberal Democrats 12%Here’s a summary of recent polls.Catching Up:Corbyn is closer to becoming prime minister than many think, the Telegraph reports, citing an internal party memo that fears a loss of 12 Tory seats would mean Johnson’s ejection from Downing Street.The Financial Times reports that John McDonnell will likely serve as Labour’s interim leader if the opposition loses the election and Corbyn steps down.The Conservatives have released an ad parodying the movie “Love Actually,” with Johnson taking the part originally played by Andrew Lincoln, of a man desperate to run away with his best friend’s wife.It’s not the first such ad of the election:The Markets:The pound was little changed at 1.3153 per dollar at 6:21 a.m. on Tuesday.The Conservatives retain an 80% chance of an overall majority, according to Betfair.\--With assistance from Peter Flanagan.To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org, Chris Kay, Guy CollinsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Maybe the third time Jerome Powell will get lucky.The Federal Reserve chairman looked close to pulling off a soft landing of the ebbing U.S. economy twice this year -- at the start of May and the end of July.Each time though he saw his plans blown off course via an escalation of trade tensions by President Donald Trump. Things were bad enough in August that Powell delayed his vacation by a day to assess the fallout.As he approaches his third year as Fed chairman, Powell is again sounding confident that the economy and monetary policy are in a good place, calibrated to help extend the record-long U.S. economic expansion.Reflecting his contentment, Powell and his colleagues are expected to leave interest rates unchanged on Wednesday after cutting them at three consecutive meetings. And they’re keeping their fingers crossed that Trump will decide not to follow through on his threat to impose more tariffs on Chinese imports on Dec. 15.“The jury is still out but it’s very much looking like a soft landing,” said Princeton University professor Alan Blinder, who served as Fed vice chairman from 1994 to 1996, the last — and arguably only — time the central bank cooled off the economy without crashing it into recession.A recession probability model developed by Bloomberg economists puts the odds of a contraction in the next 12 months at about one in four, down from close to one in two a year ago, when financial markets were spooked by what even some Fed insiders admit was a poorly executed December rate increase.“One can argue that at the end of 2018 they were a little slow to recognize that things had turned,” former Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn said. But Powell “corrected it within weeks” by signaling that the Fed was putting further hikes on hold.Read more: Key Trump Quotes on Powell as Fed Remains in the Firing LineHow things go from here is critical not only for Powell’s legacy. It’s also important for the reputation of the politically independent central bank as it faces an onslaught of criticism from the president.Trump has a lot riding on Powell’s ability to keep the economy purring as well. A 2020 downturn would probably imperil his chances of winning re-election in November.“They’ve inadvertently encouraged the trade war” At the heart of the interplay between Trump and Powell is a paradox. Fed insiders insist that Powell has turned a deaf ear to Trump’s demands that he gin up growth by slashing rates.But after increasing rates four times in 2018, the central bank has reversed course this year, acting quickly to shelter the economy from Trump’s trade squalls and slow global growth.“They’ve inadvertently encouraged the trade war” by anesthetizing the markets with pre-emptive rate cuts, said Ethan Harris, head of global economic research for Bank of America Corp.The reductions have also raised questions about the Fed’s susceptibility to political pressure.“I worry that the committee will be thought of as less independent and less credible because they eased rates this year after the president criticized the Fed,” said Yale University professor William English, a former senior economist at the central bank, who nevertheless supported the rate cuts.Going into 2020, Powell has suggested that enough is enough. He’s said it would take a “material reassessment” of the Fed’s outlook for moderate growth, a strong labor market and inflation around 2% for it to move again.Trump isn’t satisfied with that stance, telling Powell in a rare sit-down on Nov. 18 that the central bank should push rates below zero.He also argued the Fed’s monetary policy was hurting U.S. manufacturing exporters by elevating the dollar — even though the greenback is little changed from when Trump was elected and U.S. companies have expressed more concern about trade strains than interest rates.Trump’s assault on the Fed is not limited to angry tweets. Earlier this year, he asked White House lawyers to explore his options for removing the central bank chair. He’s also floated the possibility of nominating economists sympathetic to his views to two open positions on the Fed board.To protect the Fed’s flank, Powell has continued to frequent the halls of Congress. Since taking over as Fed chair in February 2018, he’s met or spoken by telephone with lawmakers more than 170 times outside of his appearances before Congressional committees.As part of a wide-ranging strategic review, the Powell Fed has also reached out to a cross section of Americans — from small business owners to food bank managers — to get their feedback on how the central bank is doing.A Plus“I would give him an A plus” handling the political dimension of the job, said Kohn, who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “He’s built a moat around the Fed through his communication with Congress and the public.”Indeed, when Powell appeared at a chamber of commerce meeting in Providence, Rhode Island last month, more than 700 local business leaders gave him a prolonged standing ovation as he took the stage.His message to them was upbeat: “At this point in the long expansion, I see the glass as much more than half full.”“They’ve inadvertently encouraged the trade war” By allowing unemployment to fall to around half-century lows, Powell is helping to spread the benefits of the economic upswing to those less well-off, in the process bolstering the Fed’s reputation on Capitol Hill.The question now for Powell — and Trump — is whether the Fed chief can keep the economy on a roll.Allianz SE chief economic adviser Mohamed El-Erian worries the Fed has become too beholden to financial markets and wasted precious monetary ammunition by lowering rates in October.“It wouldn’t surprise me if the markets start pressuring the Fed to cut again” as it becomes clear that trade tensions aren’t going away even if Trump reaches a mini-deal with China, said El-Erian, who is also a Bloomberg Opinion columnist.But the way Fed insiders see it, they didn’t cut rates in 2019 merely to keep markets happy any more than they bowed to Trump’s constant hectoring. Instead, they were seeking to protect the economy from the fallout from Trump’s tariff battles.The dynamic in 2020 may be much the same. The economy’s fate, central bankers believe, hinges largely on whether Trump can make progress on trade, or at least avoid making things more fraught. That, in turn, will determine what they do with interest rates.“The outlook is very much held hostage to the degree of uncertainty coming from trade policy,” said Julia Coronado, the founder of MacroPolicy Perspectives in New York and a former Fed board economist.Read more: Trump Believes He Has the Authority to Replace Powell at Fed Trump Asked White House Lawyers for Options on Removing Powell Trump Said to Discuss Firing Fed's Powell After Latest Rate Hike In Donald Trump vs. Jay Powell, New Battle Lines Are Being Drawn\--With assistance from Dave Merrill.To contact the authors of this story: Rich Miller in Washington at email@example.comChristopher Condon in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Margaret Collins "Peggy" at email@example.com, Alister BullFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
It embodied the former US Federal Reserve chairman’s virtues and his values. It is impossible to enjoy a stable polity without public servants of his quality and, as important, without a public who know they need public servants of this quality.
The first thing to know about the African grey parrot is that it is not entirely grey. Unfortunately for the African grey, these are the least of the species’ problems. A highly intelligent animal capable of mimicking human speech and which can live in captivity up to the age of 60, it has also been a sought-after pet since biblical times.
(Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde is discovering that her grand ambitions for fighting climate change will have to take a back seat to her new job of reviving inflation.Lagarde came to the Frankfurt-based ECB pledging to bind environmental concerns much more closely into policy decisions -- echoing her strategy when she ran the International Monetary Fund. Six weeks into the post, she’s refining her message after a clamor of warnings from colleagues such as Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann that their scope is limited by their mandate.It means the Frenchwoman, who holds her first policy meeting on Thursday, now faces the risk of disappointing a chunk of the public at a time when climate issues are high on the global agenda. Her plans for a strategic review have built up expectations that the ECB will consider using its huge presence in debt markets to boost the growth of so-called green bonds that fund environmentally friendly projects.Lagarde’s thinking has emerged in her two recent appearances before the European Parliament. In September, for her confirmation hearing, she signaled that she was ready to make aggressive strides toward environmental objectives. Last week, in her first testimony as ECB chief, she appeared to pull back, saying the Governing Council -- which she heads -- will decide what to do, and fighting climate change is not its top priority.“It’s not for the ECB or any other central bank to change its remit for something like climate change. That’s not to say that climate change isn’t humongously important,” said Tony Yates, a former adviser at the Bank of England. “If governments, on whose behalf central banks ultimately operate, if they can agree to anti-climate-change policies, which essentially are a set of taxes, then there’s no need for central banks to do anything.”It’s clear that Lagarde has tapped into the zeitgeist. Before last week’s testimony in Brussels, she met with non-governmental organizations who delivered a letter pushing her to be proactive. Ester Asin, director of the WWF European policy office, said the ECB’s priority must be to “stop supporting carbon-intensive sectors like fossil fuels and dramatically increase its purchases of green bonds.”One area where the president does seem to see room for maneuver is whether quantitative easing should remain market neutral. In both parliamentary sessions, she signaled that the ECB could adopt pending European standards defining sustainable investments -- what the European Commission calls a “taxonomy” -- that might help skew purchases away from carbon-intensive brown bonds to green ones.That’s controversial for many policy makers though. The central bank has attached great importance to neutrality to avoid accusations of making judgments that are best left to elected governments. It means holding green bonds in proportion to the market as a whole -- a ratio most estimates put well below 5%.Moreover, while officials agree that climate change will have a deep economic impact, they don’t want to muddy their more-pressing mission of reaching their inflation goal of just-under 2%. It’s something they’ve struggled with for years, and it’ll also be part of the review.Weidmann dismissed the idea of greening QE in late October, Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said central banks must help fight climate change but can’t be at the forefront, and Dutch governor Klaas Knot said the battle mustn’t come at the expense of the focus on inflation. Officials from Austria to Italy have weighed in with similar sentiments, as has a former vice president.The ECB isn’t ignoring global warming. As a member of the Network for Greening the Financial System, it’s contributing to the international debate about how central banks and supervisors can foster sustainable investment, setting standards that could serve as benchmark also for the private sector.Under QE, it already holds more than half of non-financial bonds included in the Bloomberg Barclays euro green corporate bond index -- most of the rest is ineligible under the ECB’s rules. It also allows for purchases of larger portions of debt from organizations such as the European Investment Bank, one of the world’s largest providers of climate finance.Look for green bonds the ECB hasn’t yet bought in Bloomberg’s Functions for the MarketIn her European parliament testimony, Lagarde identified three other areas where the ECB can and has taken action:Incorporating climate-change risks into the models it uses to predict the economic outlookHelping banks it supervises to properly evaluate threats and testing their resilienceFavoring green assets in managing its pension portfolioWith the ECB review due to start soon, Lagarde’s challenge is to determine how much, if at all, she might shift the ECB’s stance on market neutrality.“Should it be revisited? Should we look at it? How do we do that? ” she said last week. “Those are questions on which I’m not passing judgment. I don’t have a final say.”\--With assistance from Jill Ward and Tasos Vossos.To contact the reporter on this story: Jana Randow in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at email@example.com, Paul GordonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
On the eve of the battle of Agincourt, Shakespeare has King Henry V walking unrecognised among his troops where he hears some harsh words. When he provocatively says that he would be happy to die for the king because the cause is just, one soldier, Michael Williams, tells him “that’s more than we know” and that, for those who die, “it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it”. Chief executives today, and monarchs for that matter, are too photographed and filmed to circulate incognito which means they don’t often find out what their staff think of them or the business.
House Democrats have unveiled two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, accusing the US president of committing “high crimes and misdemeanours” by abusing his power and obstructing Congress.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. President Donald Trump’s administration plans to sign off on adjustments to a free-trade deal with Mexico and Canada on Tuesday, according to two officials, easing the path for a vote in the House of Representatives as soon as next week.U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and presidential adviser Jared Kushner will travel to Mexico City on Tuesday to finalize the addendum with the changes, according to the two officials familiar with the plan. Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is also heading to the Mexican capital.The move comes after Trump secured approval from Richard Trumka, head of U.S. labor federation AFL-CIO, for the changes to the agreement, according to three administration officials. The compromise deal was hammered by Lighthizer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Mexican government, the officials said.Pelosi said Monday she won’t consider the deal final until Congress writes the bill to implement the trade agreement. She later said the negotiators have made “great progress.”“The urgency of replacing Nafta is very important,” Pelosi said at a Wall Street Journal event on Monday night. She said she’s not worried about giving Trump a political win, and when it comes to support from her House Democrats, “you don’t have to have unanimity you just have to have consensus.“The revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement is one of Trump’s top priorities, and its passage would help the White House make the case that he’s pursuing policy achievements on behalf of the country even while lawmakers debate removing him from office.At the same time, a deal would show that Democrats can legislate while also investigating the president’s administration.“I’m hearing a lot of strides have been made over the last 24 hours with unions and with others,” Trump told reporters on Monday. “I’m hearing very good things. I’m hearing from unions and others that it’s looking good, and I hope they put it up to a vote.”AMLO ‘Optimistic’Pelosi spent Monday reviewing changes to the agreement that Lighthizer and his Mexican counterpart Jesus Seade put on paper over the past week.Lighthizer and Seade exchanged proposals on labor inspection rules and tougher steel provisions and finished a compromise package late Friday that they submitted to Pelosi, the people said. A demand from the U.S. regarding steel and aluminum, which people briefed on the talks said came from the United Steelworkers union, threatened to stall the negotiations last week.Trumka also spoke with Trump on Monday before presenting the negotiated changes to the labor federation’s executive committee. The AFL-CIO’s approval could make the deal easier to get through the Democratic-led House. The AFL-CIO did not respond to a request for comment.Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said earlier Monday that he expected a decision from the U.S. on the agreement very soon.“Now is the time to vote on it,” Lopez Obrador said Monday. “I am optimistic we can reach a deal.”Seeking ApprovalNegotiators will meet in Mexico City at 12 p.m. local time to discuss recent advances, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter Monday night. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also spoke with Trump Monday, according to Trudeau’s office.Pelosi last month cautioned that even with a deal, there might not be enough time to vote on the agreement this year, reminding her members that “in a world of instant gratification,” legislating takes time. The deal’s backers are pushing for a House vote by next week before the U.S. Congress recesses for the holidays.There are still a number of procedural hurdles before the agreement can come to the floor for a vote, including committee hearings and review of the implementing bill in the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees. Those steps could be waived to save time, though, and people familiar with the talks said lawmakers are likely to skip some of them.Political PressureDemocrats from rural, swing districts are especially eager to get a deal done. Farmers have faced devastating economic losses this year because of the trade war with China, although the president has blamed some of that on the delay in getting the USMCA approved.The U.S. International Trade Commission, an independent government panel, in an April analysis said USMCA would boost the U.S. economy by 0.35% and lead to 176,000 new jobs in the sixth year after implementation, a small addition to the 132 million people employed full-time in the U.S.Leaders of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. signed the agreement more than a year ago and the White House and Democrats have spent months locked in tense negotiations over four key areas: environment, labor commitments, drug-patent protections and enforcement mechanisms. In recent weeks, the discussions have focused on the deal’s labor enforcement.One of the main sticking points was a Democratic proposal to enforce labor rights by allowing products from factories accused of violations to be inspected and blocked at the U.S. border. California Representative Jimmy Gomez, a member of House Democratic negotiating team, said last week that Pelosi and Lighthizer have offered Mexico a compromise on labor enforcement that “respects Mexico’s sovereignty.”Pelosi also said on Monday that she wanted negotiators to remove from the trade deal the liability protections for internet platforms that they enjoy in the U.S. under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. She signaled she had failed to get the change in the deal since she brought it up late in the talks.‘Shared Values’Republicans and the business community increased pressure on Pelosi as they grew concerned that time was running out for a vote in 2019, believing that would be more difficult in an election year. Pelosi said she wouldn’t rule out a vote in 2020, adding that her preference would be to get it done sooner.Trump and his advisers have touted USMCA as the best agreement ever negotiated for unions and Democrats, particularly the deal’s labor provisions and stricter auto-content rules that they say would bolster U.S. manufacturing.Trumka urged Democrats in a November meeting not to rush into an agreement without strong enforcement procedures and said they should hold out for more concessions. Pelosi told Bloomberg News last month that she has been in close contact with labor unions throughout the negotiations because they “have shared values.”\--With assistance from Justin Sink, Eric Martin, Nacha Cattan and Ben Brody.To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Erik Wasson in Washington at email@example.com;Josh Wingrove in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Jenny Leonard in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at firstname.lastname@example.org, Anna Edgerton, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / December 9, 2019 / Levi & Korsinsky, LLP announces that class action lawsuits have commenced on behalf of shareholders of the following publicly-traded companies. To determine ...
LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / December 9, 2019 / The Schall Law Firm, a national shareholder rights litigation firm, announces the filing of a class action lawsuit against Twitter, Inc. ("Twitter" or "the Company") (NYSE:TWTR) for violations of §§10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors who purchased the Company's securities between August 6, 2019 and October 23, 2019, inclusive (the ''Class Period''), are encouraged to contact the firm before December 30, 2019.
Pomerantz LLP announce that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Twitter, Inc. (“Twitter” or the “Company”) (NYSE: TWTR) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, for the Northern District of California, and docketed under 19-cv-07992, is on behalf of a class consisting of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired Twitter securities from August 6, 2019 through October 23, 2019, inclusive (the “Class Period”), seeking to recover damages caused by Defendants’ violations of the federal securities laws and to pursue remedies under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, against the Company and certain of its top officials.
(Bloomberg) -- For Li Mo, the footage of black-clad people clashing with police and vandalizing storefronts proved the final straw. The images of Hong Kong protesters fighting for greater autonomy from Beijing incensed the mainland-born postgraduate student and she could no longer remain on the sidelines. So, she joined China’s fangirl army.Ever since anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong turned violent this summer, China’s celebrity-obsessed young generation have patrolled Facebook, Twitter and Weibo, ready to pounce on perceived slights and defend their motherland. Nicknamed “fangirls” because they exhibit the same fervor most often reserved for pop-culture icons, these women and men flood social media with slogans and memes shaming brands -- sometimes with far-reaching consequences.Fangirls called out Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey for supporting Hong Kong protesters, prompting China’s state broadcaster to drop National Basketball Association games. They triggered boycotts of brands from Coach to Apple. Many got swept up by Facebook and Twitter account takedowns. And in a recent incident, the onslaught of vitriol they directed at Hong Kong pop-star Joey Yung forced her to apologize for a single Facebook selfie, but not before she got canned from a high-profile gala.The Hong Kong unrest spurred Li into action. She quickly picked up typical fangirl behavior -- endlessly liking and re-posting trending anti-protest diatribes on Weibo for example -- encouraged that hundreds of thousands shared her values. “I couldn’t remain silent any longer,” the 28-year-old said. “I don’t idolize anyone, I only idolize China.”Read More: Moment of Truth on China Is Coming for Rest of Corporate AmericaWhile many Westerners, particularly Americans, see China’s citizens as forced into supporting Beijing or muzzled from expressing their true feelings, fangirls suggest more earnest and resilient backing for their country’s government. They show how large pockets of China’s youth are rising up to defend their country against what they perceive as mistreatment and misrepresentation by outsiders, and they underscore a growing sentiment that’s shaping how China interacts with the world.China’s government has increasingly taken its propaganda efforts overseas, but fangirls’ deep convictions set them apart -- and perhaps make them more potent -- from often wooden, state-sponsored online commentators. Known as wumao, or the “50-cent army,” those bloggers are named after the amount they are said to make from each patriotic posting.The emergence of fangirls comes at a time Beijing is trying to engage younger Chinese by using rap music, cartoons and chat-app stickers to deliver Communist Party ideology. Homegrown corporations like Tencent Holdings Ltd. often aid such efforts. A system of education that often stresses the humiliation China suffered at the hands of foreigners also prepared the ground for their rise.They’re also the latest online patriots to hop the Great Firewall dividing the internet in mainland China from the rest of the world -- with a decidedly millennial twist. They call their nation “Brother Ah Zhong” (Brother China), describing it as a pop idol who debuted 5,000 years ago and now boasts a fan base of 1.4 billion.Fang Kecheng, assistant professor of communication and journalism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong sees state influence working hand-in-hand with young nationalist netizens, including fangirls who take note of the narrative on state media, then act upon it. “That’s not to say they are entirely manipulated, or being passively used as a tool,” he says. “There are things they’re searching for, such as a common identity and the ability to express their opinions.”Read More: Here’s What China Is Telling Its People About Hong Kong ProtestsJack Zhou, a 20-year-old hair stylist in central China, is one of a score of volunteer leaders of a 20,000-strong fangirl community. People like him help focus and channel raw emotions that often threaten to spill out of control. In between haircuts, he monitors a chat group of 400 users on messaging app QQ. Participants are charged with spawning content for the group’s main Weibo account. One of their latest productions is a three-minute video showcasing protester violence in Hong Kong, from setting a man on fire to ganging up on a police officer and trying to snatch his pistol. They called on those who can access sites like Facebook and YouTube to share the clip, which has English captions. “Let the world know the truth,” is their slogan.Zhou’s group has participated in several major online crusades to defend Beijing’s line on Hong Kong over the past three months, he said. They spammed Instagram accounts of pro-Beijing celebrities with emojis of the Chinese flag, infiltrated Facebook live streams to clash with pro-democracy sympathizers, and plastered Communist Party slogans on the sites of news outlets from CNN to the Washington Post. Their hard work paid off when the Communist Party’s Youth League and state media came out in praise of the campaigns, he said.Read More: China Celebrities Help Fan New Generation of NationalistsTheir motivations are widely misunderstood, said Zak Dychtwald, author of Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World. English-language media writing off Chinese pride as a product of propaganda and brainwashing only fans the flames of nationalism, he said. “There’s ardent pride in the country and fangirls want to defend it,” he added. “The energy and sentiment driving the movement in China is genuine.”Zhang Dong, 30, emigrated to Laos in 2013 to work as a tour guide after he graduated from college in China. Only then did he understand how the world depicts his country in such a “horrible” manner. Every day, he churns out dozens of posts on the accounts he registered for the purpose of discrediting Hong Kong’s protesters. He’s called them “cockroaches,” “traitors,” and “HKIS,” juxtaposing images of them with Islamic State terrorists. There’s “essentially no difference” between the two groups, he said.Zhang is proud of his independence. “I’ve never received any money from the Communist Party,” said Zhang. “If we were wumao, the Chinese government would have owed us hundreds of millions yuan by now.”Fangirls represent another front in social media giants’ efforts to curb disinformation campaigns. In August, Twitter suspended nearly 1,000 accounts originating from China, which the company identified as part of a state-backed operation to undermine Hong Kong’s protests. Facebook and Google took similar action. That take down didn’t have a lasting effect as new accounts emerged to replace those that were removed, a study from social media research firm Astroscreen shows.Read More: How Fake News and Rumors Are Stoking Division in Hong KongFangirls like Trista Wang say they have been unfairly targeted by these platforms. “Just one Chinese flag can get your account suspended,” said Wang, a traditional Chinese medicine therapist in the port city of Qingdao. She insists Facebook is biased toward Chinese patriots like her, pointing to Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s recent China-bashing remarks. “I used to have good feelings about Zuckerberg,” Wang said.A Facebook representative said the company only removes content that violates its community standards. In response to inquiries on two specific fangirl accounts that were disabled or restricted, the representative pointed to policy violations in relation to the use of fake identities, bullying and harassment. A Twitter representative said it acts against accounts for policy breaches but declined to comment on individual examples citing privacy and security reasons.Fangirls could disappear as fast as they emerged. That’s because nationalist movements are always a double-edged sword for the government, said Chinese University’s Fang. “When something self-organizes to a certain size, it becomes a taboo -- even if it’s only online.”Or they could morph into something more alarming. Zhou, the volunteer leader, has already become a kind of online vigilante, notifying the police about a China-based Weibo user expressing support for Hong Kong. He said he was content that the police quickly identified and arrested the blogger. “We must rally all the forces we can to eradicate the soil that breeds Hong Kong separatists,” he said.To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin Chan, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.