Huawei CFO Meng to appear in court, expected to reach agreement with US — source

Huawei CFO Meng to appear in court, expected to reach agreement with US — source
Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou returns to a court hearing following a lunch break in Vancouver, Canada in August. (Reuters)
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Updated 24 September 2021

Huawei CFO Meng to appear in court, expected to reach agreement with US — source

Huawei CFO Meng to appear in court, expected to reach agreement with US — source
  • Meng is expected to appear virtually in hearing in Brooklyn federal court
  • The deferred prosecution agreement would remove one of several major disputes between the world's two biggest economies

WASHINGTON: Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou and US prosecutors are expected to appear in court to say they have reached an agreement to resolve charges against her, according to a source familiar with the matter, in a process that should allow her to leave Canada.
Meng is expected to appear virtually in hearing in Brooklyn federal court, according to the source. She was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018 on a US warrant. She had been indicted on bank and wire fraud charges for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran.
The deferred prosecution agreement would remove one of several major disputes between the world’s two biggest economies. The agreement could also potentially pave the way for the release of the two Canadians held in China, who were arrested shortly after Meng was taken in custody in 2018.
A spokeswoman for Huawei declined to comment. A spokesman for the US Attorney’s office in Brooklyn declined to comment. An attorney for Meng could not be immediately reached for comment.
Meng has said she is innocent and has been fighting extradition to the United States from Canada. Meng is confined to Vancouver and monitored 24/7 by private security that she pays for as part of her bail agreement. Meng – who also goes by her English names, Cathy and Sabrina – is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.
Judicial hearings in her extradition case in Vancouver wrapped up in August, with the date for a ruling to be set on Oct. 21.


China to investigate energy index providers in bid to tame coal prices

China to investigate energy index providers in bid to tame coal prices
Updated 15 sec ago

China to investigate energy index providers in bid to tame coal prices

China to investigate energy index providers in bid to tame coal prices
  • Thermal coal futures have risen more than 150 percent this year

China said on Monday it will investigate energy price index providers as it urged coal industry participants to "strictly" meet contractual obligations, in its latest bid to tame prices that have hit record highs.


The most-active thermal coal futures contract on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, for delivery in January, tumbled more than 8 percent - their fourth straight daily decline - but recovered some losses to close down 7 percent at 1,305.6 yuan ($204.51) per tonne.


The contract was down more than 34 percent from Tuesday's record of 1,982 yuan. Thermal coal futures have risen more than 150 percent this year.


The state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said it would investigate complaints that some energy information providers, including in the coal sector, had used false transaction prices, published "hearsay" information and "fabricated" price data, and had "manipulated price indexes".


"As a result, the coal price has completely deviated from the fundamentals of supply and demand, seriously damaging the national and public interests," it said.


The NDRC said it would check for compliance and would summon index providers, and would punish any irregularities with measures such as suspension of publication or inclusion on a blacklist.


It did not name any of the information providers.


Dozens of organisations provide coal pricing data in China, including the China Electricity Council and the China Coal Transportation and Distribution Association. Local consultancies such as Fenwei Digital Information Technology, and Yimei, a trading platform owned by Helue E-Commerce Corp, also publish coal prices.


In September, authorities banned a coal trading firm from publishing daily prices and market news as part of efforts to regulate commodities markets and tame red-hot prices.

Beijing has in recent months issued new rules for commodity price indexes and has said regulators would suspend the activities of those failing to comply.


The NDRC also urged coal firms to strictly meet contractual obligations and asked them to strengthen the credit supervision of medium- and long-term contracts.


The NDRC said it would urge upstream and downstream coal companies to sign mid- and long-term contracts for power and coal and "give full play to the medium- and long-term coal contracts to stabilize the market".


On Monday, the China Coal Industry Association urged member companies to boost output while ensuring mining safety, to guarantee supplies during winter, to promote "rational" coal prices, to execute medium- and long-term contracts, and to sign 2022 contracts in advance.


Climate campaigners are hoping China, the world's top miner and consumer of coal and the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, can be persuaded to start cutting coal consumption earlier than its target of 2026, but severe energy shortages have put the government under pressure to step up production of the fuel.


China is pushing miners to ramp up production and is increasing imports so power stations can rebuild stockpiles for the winter, but analysts say shortages are likely to persist for at least a few months.


China's securities regulator last week asked futures exchanges to raise fees, restrict trading quotas and crack down on speculation.


Asian Livspace partners with Alsulaiman Group to enter Middle East market

Asian Livspace partners with Alsulaiman Group to enter Middle East market
Updated 3 min 49 sec ago

Asian Livspace partners with Alsulaiman Group to enter Middle East market

Asian Livspace partners with Alsulaiman Group to enter Middle East market

The Indian home interior platform, Livspace, has announced its expansion into the Middle East through a partnership with Alsulaiman Group, starting with Saudi Arabia. 

The two companies have invested about $50 million to fuel growth and expand in the segment across multiple markets in MENA.

Livspace delivers end-to-end execution of interior design and focuses on new mobile applications, AI, machine learning retail technology and visualization solutions for the home improvement industry. 

“This partnership with Livspace will allow us to expand the scope of the customer experience from the beginning of the design of the home to the end of implementation, in an innovative and unique experience to turn the dreams of homeowners into reality,” said Alsulaiman Group CEO Saud Alsulaiman.


Saudi Arabia’s Monshaat supports seven-month region-wide Arab startup contest 

Saudi Arabia’s Monshaat supports seven-month region-wide Arab startup contest 
Updated 39 min 25 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s Monshaat supports seven-month region-wide Arab startup contest 

Saudi Arabia’s Monshaat supports seven-month region-wide Arab startup contest 
  • The partnership is in line with the authority’s “mission to support the growth and competitiveness of SMEs by incubating a supportive environment”

The General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, or Monshaat, has become the official government partner of the MIT Enterprise Forum’s Arab Startup Competition. 

The partnership is in line with the authority’s “mission to support the growth and competitiveness of SMEs by incubating a supportive environment,” it said in a statement. 

The seven-month competition, which includes regional roadshows and a final event in March, is organized by the Community Jameel and Bab Rizq Jameel.

“Previous collaborations between Monshaat and Community Jameel Saudi covered several areas, including developing the financing programs, supporting employment opportunities, and providing digital solutions for entrepreneurs,” deputy governor at Monshaat Saleh Althukair said. 

The series of road shows, held across the Kingdom and other major Arab cities, will end in November, and winners will be announced in March next year at a conference in Madinah.


OPEC+ won’t change its strategy: Saudi energy minister

OPEC+ won’t change its strategy: Saudi energy minister
Updated 42 min 1 sec ago

OPEC+ won’t change its strategy: Saudi energy minister

OPEC+ won’t change its strategy: Saudi energy minister
  • Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stressed that there must be a regulator for the market, in an interview with Asharq. 

OPEC+ will not change its strategy and isn’t obliged to solve a problem it did not create, Asharq reported, citing the Saudi energy minister. 

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stressed that there must be a regulator for the market, in an interview with Asharq. 

The intergovernmental organization is raising daily oil production by 400,000 barrels per month and has been under pressure from countries including the US to increase supply after cuts last year due to the pandemic.


Greenhouse gas levels reach new record high: UN

Greenhouse gas levels reach new record high: UN
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Updated 59 min 1 sec ago

Greenhouse gas levels reach new record high: UN

Greenhouse gas levels reach new record high: UN
  • The organisation said that as long as emissions continue, global temperatures will continue to rise

Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere reached new record levels last year, the United Nations said Monday in a stark warning ahead of the COP26 summit about worsening global warming.


The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin from the UN's World Meteorological Organization said the annual rate of increase last year was above the yearly average between 2011 and 2020 - and the trend continued in 2021.


The WMO said the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic triggered a temporary decline in new emissions, but had no discernible impact on the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases and their growth rates.


The organisation said that as long as emissions continue, global temperatures will continue to rise.


And given the long life of carbon dioxide (CO2), the temperature level already observed will persist for several decades even if emissions are rapidly reduced to net zero.


COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, is being held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.


"The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin contains a stark, scientific message for climate change negotiators at COP26," said WMO chief Petteri Taalas.


"At the current rate of increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, we will see a temperature increase by the end of this century far in excess of the Paris Agreement targets of 1.5 to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


"We are way off track."


The report said that roughly half of the CO2 emitted by human activity remains in the atmosphere, with the other half ending up in the oceans and the land.


"The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3-5 million years ago, when the temperature was 2-3C warmer and sea level was 10-20 metres higher than now. But there weren't 7.8 billion people then," said Taalas.

The WMO said that with continued rising greenhouse gas emissions, alongside rising temperatures, the planet could also expect more weather extremes.


That includes intense heat and rainfall, ice melt, sea-level rise and ocean acidification - all of which will have far-reaching socio-economic impacts.


"We need to transform our commitment into action that will have an impact on the gases that drive climate change," said Taalas.


"We need to revisit our industrial, energy and transport systems and whole way of life. The needed changes are economically affordable and technically possible. There is no time to lose."


Euan Nisbet, from the University of London's Greenhouse Gas Group, compared greenhouse gas measurements to "skidding into a car crash".


"The disaster gets closer and closer but you can't stop it. You can clearly see the crash ahead, and all you can do is howl."