A legal challenge was heard today in Europe's Court of Justice in relation to a controversial EU-funded research project using artificial intelligence for facial 'lie detection' with the aim of speeding up immigration checks. The transparency lawsuit against the EU's Research Executive Agency (REA), which oversees the bloc's funding programs, was filed in March 2019 by Patrick Breyer, MEP of the Pirate Party Germany and a civil liberties activist -- who has successfully sued the Commission before over a refusal to disclose documents. "The EU keeps having dangerous surveillance and control technology developed, and will even fund weapons research in the future, I hope for a landmark ruling that will allow public scrutiny and debate on unethical publicly funded research in the service of private profit interests," said Breyer in a statement following today's hearing.
Dynamic Miami Hurricanes point guard Chris Lykes is back at practice and may be back in action for the first time in two months Saturday against No. 16 Virginia Tech. Lykes has played in only two games this season and has been sidelined since Dec. 4 because of a sprained ankle, one of several injuries that have left Miami shorthanded all season. His availability will be a game-time decision, and coach Jim Larranaga declined to predict how much Lykes might contribute.
A Pennsylvania district attorney vowed Friday to remain in office while he fights sexual assault charges, maintaining his innocence and complaining that he was handcuffed and “paraded in front of television cameras” by the state attorney general. Bradford County District Attorney Chad Salsman, who took office a year ago, was charged with sexually assaulting women who were his clients in criminal and child custody cases when he worked as a defense attorney. The accusers told a grand jury that he groped them, sought nude photos, and pressured or forced them into sexual acts, sometimes on his office desk.
The United States under-24 team will open men’s Olympic soccer qualifying against Costa Rica on March 18 at the CONCACAF tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico. The U.S., which failed to qualify for the 2012 and 2016 men’s Olympic soccer tournaments, plays the Dominican Republic on March 21 and completes Group A on March 24 against host Mexico. The top two teams in each group advance to the semifinals, which will be played March 28, and the semifinal winners qualify for the Tokyo Games.
Composer Alexandre Desplat has made seven films with George Clooney, either as producer or director — including the Oscar-winning “Argo” and the Oscar-nominated “Syriana” — but creating music for “The Midnight Sky” may have been the their biggest challenge to date. “Music is a character in this film because a good portion of it is […]
(Bloomberg) -- The solar industry has been on a tear. Several stocks in the sector hit all-time highs last month. Investors seem eager for more solar companies to go public. But is this surge more sustainable than prior booms?Earlier boom times ended painfully. Several renewables companies went public in 2014 and 2015—or spun off their operating power-plant units—amid a clean-tech wave. But the collapse of SunEdison Inc.—the world's largest renewables company before its 2016 bankruptcy—stung the solar industry. Some investors began prioritizing profitability over growth. No solar companies went public in the U.S. between late 2016 and early 2019, according to Bloomberg data.Now, clean-tech companies are going public at a dizzying pace. Since October, at least two solar companies have gone public via initial offerings and another agreed last month to do so through a merger with a blank-check company. They join several electric-vehicle and battery companies that have also gone public with special purpose acquisition companies. There have been 32 clean-tech SPAC deals over the past 12 months, according to Pavel Molchanov, an equity analyst at Raymond James.One big reason: It became clear early in the pandemic that solar wouldn’t just weather this difficult time, but possibly thrive during it. By mid-December, the U.S. was projected to install a record 19 gigawatts of new solar capacity last year, according to Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association. Meanwhile, a sustainability-focused index that includes some solar companies, the WilderHill Clean Energy Index, last year surged more than 200%, topping the 58% gain in 2019. California-based SunPower Corp. rose as much as 14% on Friday, and is up about 70% this year. And the underlying drivers propelling clean tech look sturdy in the near-term: supportive policies in Europe and the U.S., a push to green electric grids as well as trillions of dollars in funds focused on the energy transition."It's a mega-trend that's essential for the future of this world," says Jeff McDermott, head of Nomura Greentech.But the success and future promise of the industry doesn't mean that solar has become an easy business for executives—or for investors. Active Solar, for instance, was the best-performing stock-picker in Europe last year with a 183% return, but did so after twice losing most of its investors' money. Guinness Atkinson Asset Management, an investment management firm, found that the total rate of return of the median stock among solar-equipment companies was 98% last year, but -32% in 2018. In fact, among all of the clean-tech sub-sectors it studied, the total rate of return for solar equipment was the lowest between 2010 and 2020 at 65%.Installation "volumes are going through the roof, but profitability can be quite different," Molchanov says. "We have seen countless companies that have grown revenue rapidly over the years but profitability has been pressured." There remains "relentless commoditization including margin compression" that affects multiple solar segments, including modules, inverters and power-supply agreements.The overlapping trends of decarbonization and electrification—plus the struggles of oil—attracted many investors to solar last year. That's a far cry from 2016, when the experience of SunEdison soured many on the industry. The company had fueled its ascent on financial engineering and cheap debt before its 2016 bankruptcy.Nearly five years later, the price of solar power has fallen markedly, such that the resource is now the cheapest in many markets. (This is obviously a plus for solar’s competitiveness, but not necessarily the best development for manufacturers). Solar companies are increasingly confident that investors will reward them for focusing on just a few things—power-plant ownership, installations, panel-making, or components—rather than feeling the need to be vertically integrated like once before.One major change is how clean power and other climate-forward businesses are now seen outside the industry. More than ever before, these companies are seen as a financial opportunity—not just good public relations.(Adds share increase in fourth paragraph. )For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Exclusive: Experts warn child welfare 'gravely at risk' as new data shows unaccompanied minors locked up for days in breach of law due to 'broken' transfer system
No polish or dry time required.
‘Unbearable tension’: what have key Tories said about race?. Analysis: sources say No 10 is trying to reset debate on equality, after leaked letter from adviser
Additional rollout comes 'far too late in the day', leading education union says
Staff were withdrawn amid safety concerns after threatening graffiti and reports of surveillance emerged
Stocks rose, adding to Thursday’s record levels after a closely watched report on the labor market missed expectations, possibly making a case for additional fiscal stimulus.
(Bloomberg) -- Stocks extended their weekly rally after weaker-than-forecast U.S. jobs data bolstered the case for President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The dollar fell.Most major groups in the S&P 500 advanced, with the benchmark gauge climbing toward another record in its best week since November. Commodity and consumer-staple shares led gains on Friday, while tech underperformed. The surge in GameStop Corp. after Robinhood Markets Inc. removed limits on buying the stock did little to repair the video-game retailer’s weekly plunge of about 80%. Two-year Treasury note yields matched their May 2020 record low amid a drop across shorter-dated rates.The recovery in the U.S. labor market disappointed for a second month as modest job growth highlighted the persistently difficult prospects for millions of unemployed Americans. Nonfarm payrolls increased by just 49,000 after a downwardly revised 227,000 December drop, strengthening the case for another relief package. President Biden gave the strongest indication yet he’ll push for stimulus without Republican support, saying Friday’s weak economic data show the risk of doing “too little.”“The market is going to be in a bad news is good news scenario -- bad news is temporary and likely to be met with additional support,” said Steve Chiavarone, portfolio manager and equity strategist at Federated Hermes. “Many investors would have a very hard time selling a market when they know vaccination is coming and they know additional stimulus is coming. It’s just really hard to sell that.”Biden’s relief proposal took a major step forward with an early morning vote in the Senate along party lines that showcased the Democrats’ ability to proceed on a bill without Republican support.In corporate news, Pinterest Inc. surged as the digital scrapbooking and search company reported sales that topped estimates. In the meantime, Peloton Interactive Inc. sank after saying said it can’t keep up with surging demand for its exercise machines and warning that profit will be squeezed.These are some of the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 climbed 0.4% as of 2:10 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was unchanged.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.9%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index decreased 0.5%.The euro jumped 0.7% to $1.2042.The Japanese yen strengthened 0.1% to 105.39 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries rose two basis points to 1.15%.Germany’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to -0.45%.Britain’s 10-year yield jumped four basis points to 0.482%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude climbed 1.1% to $56.83 a barrel.Gold rose 0.9% to $1,810.82 an ounce.Silver added 2.1% to $26.90 per ounce.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Judges at the International Criminal Court on Friday ruled that The Hague-based court has jurisdiction over alleged war crimes committed in thePalestinian Territories, opening the door for a possible investigation. Judges said their decision was based on jurisdictional rules in its founding documents and does not imply any attempt to determine statehood or legal borders.Israel, which is not a member of the court, has rejected its jurisdiction.The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said in 2019 that there was a “reasonable basis” to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip as well as Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank. But she asked the court to determine whether she has territorial jurisdiction before proceeding with the case. She named both the Israeli Defence Forces and armed Palestinian groups such as Hamas as possible perpetrators.In a majority ruling published Friday night, the judges said yes."The Court's territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine ... extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem," they said.The Palestinians, who joined the court in 2015, have long pushed for the case and asked the court to look into Israeli actions during its 2014 war against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, as well as Israel’s construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem.The international community widely considers the settlements to be illegal under international law.(FRANCE 24 with AP and REUTERS)
Chevron (NYSE: CVX) unveiled that it submitted a proposal to acquire all the publicly traded units of Noble Midstream Partners(NYSE: NBLX) -- a master limited partnership (MLP) -- that it doesn't already own. The oil giant is offering to exchange its shares for all the remaining publicly traded units of its affiliate at a value of $12.47 per unit, which is the MLP's closing price the day before Chevron announced its proposal. Chevron initially acquired a 62.5% interest in Noble Midstream when it bought the MLP's former parent Noble Energy in a $13 billion deal last year.
EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has acquired sci-fi thriller spec script Void from Chris Borelli, with MACRO on board to produce the feature. The project, which is in early development with no director attached yet, follows a group of space crew members who begin to turn up dead while attempting to escape from a distant moon where their […]
The formidable film, television and theatre star has died aged 91.
A teenager survived a flight from London to Holland after clinging to the landing gear in freezing conditions at 19,000ft. The 16-year-old boy was found on a jet that landed at Maastricht Airport and is in hospital with hypothermia. The Turkish Airlines cargo flight of an hour was operated by an Airbus A330 that had arrived from London Stansted.
The EU's top diplomat on Friday called for the bloc to turn to Russia to make up its shortfall in vaccine supplies in a humiliating visit to Moscow. Josep Borell was accused of “whitewashing” Vladimir Putin’s regime after failing to free jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny after a controversial visit that ended with expulsion of three European diplomats. In the EU’s latest blunder, the foreign affairs chief urged the independent European Medicines Authority (EMA) to press ahead with the authorisation of the Sputnik jab so it could make up the shortfall in supplies to the bloc. The gaffe came after Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, Friday compared Brexit Britain to a “speedboat” in securing coronavirus vaccines, while likening the EU, which negotiated supplies as a bloc, to a slower “tanker”. For the first time, she also publicly took personal responsibility for threatening to impose a hard border on the island of Ireland during a row over vaccines supplies last Friday.
'While every death during this pandemic has been a tragedy, the loss of Becky will feel especially painful'