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Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan donate $100 million more to U.S. election infrastructure By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, and wife Priscilla Chan arrive on the red carpet during the 2nd annual Breakthrough Prize Award in Mountain View, California

By Elizabeth Culliford

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, said on Tuesday that they will donate an additional $100 million to support election officials and fund infrastructure for the U.S. election in November.

“We’ve gotten a far greater response than we expected from election officials needing funding for voting infrastructure, so today we’re committing an additional $100 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life to make sure that every jurisdiction that needs funding to help people vote safely can get it,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.

“So far, more than 2,100 local election jurisdictions have submitted applications to CTCL for support,” he wrote.

CTCL is a Chicago-based nonprofit that, according to its website, is “working to foster a more informed and engaged democracy, and helping to modernize U.S. elections.”

The pair previously donated $300 million to help the U.S. election process deal with challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, by funding voting equipment and protective equipment for poll workers

In the post, Zuckerberg also hit back at lawsuits trying to block the use of the funds: “Since our initial donation, there have been multiple lawsuits filed in an attempt to block these funds from being used, based on claims that the organizations receiving donations have a partisan agenda. That’s false,” he said.

The Thomas More Society, a conservative legal group that is representing clients and funding lawsuits filed in multiple states, in a statement on Tuesday doubled down on its allegation that the CTCL seeks to turn out Democrats, saying Zuckerberg’s announcement was “further proof that private funds from billionaires must not be allowed to dictate how states manage elections.”

Zuckerberg and Chan’s election infrastructure donations come as Facebook faces both regulatory scrutiny from Washington and pressure from lawmakers to protect against misinformation and other election-related abuses on its platform.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

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Economy

China to set five-year plan for steering economy through choppy waters By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port in Shanghai

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By Kevin Yao

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s top leaders will chart the country’s economic course for 2021-2025 at a key meeting starting on Monday, seeking to balance growth and reforms to avoid stagnation amid an uncertain global outlook and deepening tensions with the United States.

President Xi Jinping and members of the Central Committee, the largest of the ruling Communist Party’s elite decision-making bodies, will meet on Oct. 26-29 behind closed doors to lay out the 14th five-year plan, a blueprint for economic and social development.

The plan and its execution will be crucial for China to avoid the so-called “middle income” trap, policy insiders say, referring to the struggle of many economies to boost productivity and shift towards higher value-added industries.

“Although the Chinese government has been calling for a transition in the development model for a number of years, we think the next five years will be particularly important, both politically and economically,” Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) economists wrote in a note ahead of the plenum, the fifth meeting of the Central Committee since the 2017 party congress.

Sustaining steady growth will be the priority, even as expectations grow that top leaders could announce fresh reforms to spur domestic demand, innovation and self-reliance under Xi’s new “dual circulation” strategy, policy insiders said.

Investors also will be closely watching to see if China moves to a more flexible economic growth target, after dropping it this year for the first time since 2002 due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis. Some analysts say dropping growth targets would reduce the country’s reliance on debt-fueled stimulus and encourage more productive investment.

China, where the COVID-19 outbreak first emerged, has mounted a robust economic rebound after quashing the domestic spread of the virus, but global prospects remain gloomy and the pandemic has added to tensions with the United States.

“China’s potential growth rate will slow further due to the aging population, weakening effects from investment in driving growth and diminishing dividends from globalisation,” said Tang Jianwei, senior economist at Bank of Communications.

“To reverse the slowdown, we need deep-rooted reforms.”

Policy sources have told Reuters that China’s leaders are set to endorse a lower growth target compared with 2016-2020.

Government think tanks and economists have made recommendations for average annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth targets including “around 5%”, 5-5.5% to 5-6%, the sources said.

The plan to be discussed and approved by leaders next week is expected to be unveiled at the annual parliament meeting in early 2021.

“We need to maintain a balance between development, stability, and risk prevention,” said a policy insider. “Macro adjustments will be more difficult and this will present a test for policymakers.”

INWARD SHIFT

Xi’s strategy to guide the next phase of development, which points to an inward economic shift, has fanned calls by government advisers for reforms to unleash domestic growth drivers, including loosening curbs on residency and land rights and boosting household incomes.

Speeding up reform of the household registration “hukou” system would enable migrant workers to enjoy more social welfare benefits, while land reform would enable farmers get a bigger share of the gains from land deals. Both measures would spur urbanisation and consumption.

Expected moves to further free up interest rates and expand the role of capital markets would address distortions in credit allocation that see huge state banks lend to state companies while the private sector is often deprived of credit.

Chinese leaders are also expected to discuss further plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions and ease reliance on imported technology, especially semiconductors, as Washington squeezes Chinese tech giants including Huawei Technologies Co and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (HK:).





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China imposes anti-dumping measures on U.S., South Korea, EU rubber imports By Reuters

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Ministry of Commerce said on Friday that it will impose temporary anti-dumping measures on some rubber imports from the United States, South Korea, and the European Union from Oct. 28.

Beijing will impose anti-dumping deposits on ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber imports from the countries and region, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

The measures follow an investigation launched in June 2019.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Australia corporate regulator ‘very alive’ to allegations against Crown Resorts By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Australian billionaire James Packer, co-chairman of Melco Crown Entertainment, attends a news conference at Melco Crown’s Studio City in Macau, China

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By Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s corporate watchdog said on Friday it was “very alive” to alleged failures of corporate governance at casino giant Crown Resorts Ltd (AX:) raised at a regulatory inquiry, and that it may open its own investigation.

A gambling regulator inquiry in recent weeks has heard Crown’s directors and one-third owner James Packer admit to issuing misleading public statements, giving Packer confidential trading information despite having no formal role and failing to act on warnings that could have stopped company staff from being jailed in China in 2016.

The inquiry has also heard that Crown’s former chairman has declined to cooperate.

“We’re certainly very alive to the matters that are being covered by that inquiry, we are watching that carefully,” Cathie Armour, head of financial services and corporate regulation at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), told a parliamentary hearing.

“We have seen the reports that there may potentially be a referral to us,” she said. “If there is a referral made to us, we of course will go and investigate the matter further.”

Australia’s financial crime agency said this week it was investigating Crown over suspicion it failed to comply with anti-money-laundering protocols at its Melbourne casino.

ASIC has previously declined to comment on the inquiry, which was set up to decide if Crown should be allowed to keep its license to operate a casino in Sydney, where it plans to open a A$2.2 billion ($1.6 billion) resort in December.

At the parliamentary hearing on Friday, ASIC’s Armour said the regulator’s “approach is not to comment on matters that we may be considering in a broader investigative sense”.

At its annual general meeting on Thursday, shareholders voted against Crown’s remuneration report, giving them the right to remove its board if there is a similar vote next year.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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