Democrats are rejecting Trump's immigration deal for 3 glaring reasons, and it shows just how far apart the 2 sides still are
- A bitter stalemate between President Donald Trump and Congressional Democrats is expected to hit a new low on Thursday, as the Senate prepares to vote on two dueling bills to end the government shutdown.
- The GOP bill is fashioned from a plan introduced by Trump on Saturday, which the president billed as a "common sense compromise." The measure would open the government, secure funding for the border wall, long-promised to his base, and make limited concessions on extending temporary protections for Dreamers and other immigrants.
- The proposed bill would limit the pool of eligible Dreamers to the roughly 700,000 immigrants who currently have DACA protections, rather than the estimated 1.8 million who potentially qualify.
- But as more details came out about the proposal, Democrats argued that the GOP bill was not even close to a compromise and designed to fail in order to make Trump appear to be offering concessions.
China finally grants a game license to Tencent
- Tencent has finally come out of a prolonged freeze on game approvals as Beijing granted licenses to two of its mobile games this month.
- According to a notice published by China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television on January 24, Tencent is one of nearly 200 games assigned licenses in January.
- China resumed its game approval process in December after a nine-month hiatus during which it worked to reshuffle its main regulating bodies for games.
- However, it left Tencent, the country’s biggest game publisher, and runner-up NetEase off its first batch of approved titles.
- NetEase also scored its first post-freeze license this month.
- Despite the thawing, industry experts warn that approving will come at a much slower rate than before as regulators look to more closely monitor game contents, putting the burden on game developers and publishers to decipher new industry rules.
Apple shrinks autonomous vehicle team by 200 employees
- Apple has dismissed as many as 200 people from Project Titan, its secretive autonomous vehicle project, reports CNBC.
- The New York Times has reported that “hundreds” of employees left the project between 2016 and 2018 as a result of these changes in direction.
- CNBC reports that this latest change is being described internally as a restructuring, thought to be related to the project’s relatively new leadership.
- Last year, Apple hired Tesla’s chief vehicle engineer Doug Field, who is reportedly running Project Titan alongside longtime executive Bob Mansfield.
- However, despite this apparent reduced focus, the amount of self-driving cars Apple is testing on the roads has continued to increase, with the company having more registered test vehicles in California than Google’s autonomous spin-off Waymo as of March 2018.
Lime, a scooter startup that barely existed two years ago, is now going to be worth $2 billion
- The two-year-old scooter-sharing company Lime is finalizing a new round of fundraising that values the company at about $2 billion excluding the new cash, according to people familiar with the matter.
- Lime is expected to take in $400 million in a round financed primarily by its existing investors, the people said.
- Lime in recent days has been circulating documents to some of its smaller shareholders and gauging interest in the new fundraising round.
- Well, the $2 billion valuation, while impressive given the age of the company, reflects humbler ambitions for Lime, which reportedly was initially pitching investors on a valuation that was almost two times as high as the one it ended up securing in this round.
- The heat around scooter-sharing companies has cooled considerably in recent months: Lime’s primary competitor, Bird, has similarly scaled back some of its fundraising hopes and is raising money at a flat share price.
Apple just dismissed more than 200 employees from Project Titan, its autonomous vehicle group
- Apple dismissed just over 200 employees this week from Project Titan, its stealthy autonomous vehicle group, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.
- Other employees who were impacted by the restructuring of Project Titan are staying at Apple, but moving to different parts of the company.
- Of late, Apple CEO Tim Cook has touted his company's initiatives in health as the key to its future growth.
- "I believe, if you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, "What was Apple's greatest contribution to mankind?" it will be about health," Cook told CNBC's Jim Cramer.
- Meanwhile, Apple executives have remained mum in recent months on the company's car prospects, which appear to have been scaled back from the initial rumored vehicle to a focus on software.
- Fully self-driving cars remain experimental, even for major players in the field such as Waymo, Cruise and Tesla.
Brookings: Indiana, Kentucky are the states most at risk for job loss due to automation
- McKinsey’s scores are calculated based on what percentage of tasks that make up jobs could be “automated by 2030 or in next decades based on currently demonstrated technologies.” Accommodation and food services jobs have the highest potential of automation at 74 percent, followed by manufacturing.
- The authors then used the potential automation values assigned to each occupation to calculate the exposure to automation score for each state and metro area, based upon how many jobs they have in each occupation.
- The states with the lowest scores, New York and Massachusetts, had scores of about 42 percent, meaning 42 percent of the tasks that make up the job mix in those states will be at risk of being automated in the coming decades.
- Given the outsized focus on the deployment of robots in factories, it’s not surprising that manufacturing-intensive states like Indiana and Kentucky have more occupations there that are at risk of being disrupted by automation.
Trump's intervention 'complicates' Huawei CFO extradition: Former US ambassador to China
- A former U.S. ambassador to China says that linking the trade dispute to national security issues will only make things more complicated for American authorities preparing a formal request to extradite a senior Huawei executive.
- Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1, at the request of U.S. authorities who say her company violated U.S. sanctions on Iran and may have made illegal transactions with HSBC.
- Baucus was referring to comments by John McCallum, Canada's ambassador to China, who told Chinese-language media that Meng had strong arguments against her extradition to the U.S. partly due to Trump's politicization of the case.
- "If I think it's good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made — which is a very important thing — what's good for national security — I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary," he told the news agency.
A mysterious Twitter account stoked the DC protest controversy, but who was behind it?
- The person or people running the account said they were a schoolteacher named Talia, working in the Bay Area in California, and they tweeted regularly about their job, though without ever including too many identifying details.
- Twitter users who had followed the account for years told CNN they believed her to be real, maybe a teacher who didn't want to post her picture or full identity on the internet, out of fear for blowback.
- Her account was featured on Shoutcart, a social media amplification service — where users could seemingly get Talia to tweet something for them for $20.
- Shoutcart told CNN that it suspended Talia soon after she was suspended by Twitter, and that the video Talia tweeted that went viral last weekend "was not part of any paid campaign" through its service.
Dismantling of a U.S. workplace safety rule
- Just after the election, the Trump administration and its congressional allies began moving to unravel key provisions of a federal rule, issued in the last days of the Obama presidency, that sharply limited workplace exposure to beryllium and required certain industries to carefully monitor health risks.
- On March 21, 2017, the new administration announced it would delay implementing the beryllium rule in light of “substantive concerns” raised about its effect on the shipyard and construction industries, said a notice published in the Federal Register and signed by then-acting OSHA Administrator Dorothy Dougherty.
- The letter thanked OSHA for the delay but urged it to issue a new beryllium rule that did not include the ancillary safety provisions for the shipyard and construction industries.
Housing market confidence sinks to new low: NAB
- Confidence in Australia's housing market has sunk to a new low as property prices in Sydney and Melbourne continue to drag on the rest of the country.
- Sydney is now 11.1 per cent below its peak in 2017 – a decline larger than the GFC, NAB Group's chief economist Alan Oster said.
- Local investors were continuing to retreat from Australia's residential market while the boom in real estate sales to foreign investors had "clearly run its course", Mr Oster said.
- NAB expects house prices to decline further over the next year or longer, with a peak-to-trough decline of around 15 per cent expected for Melbourne and Sydney and a further small decline predicted for Perth.
- NAB's latest forecast is less bearish than AMP Capital economist Shane Oliver's latest expectations that property values in Sydney and Melbourne will fall another 15 per cent this year alone.