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SpaceX wants to launch 30,000 more satellites into space

Main objective: stop other satellite operators going after the same slots

SpaceX wants to add 30,000 Starlink broadband satellites to the 12,000 it already plans to put into orbit, despite concerns being raised about “space junk” trapping us on Earth. Elon Musk’s company recently filed the request with the International Telecommunication Union. Starlink is a project that intends to put over 12,000 satellites into the Earth’s orbit so they can provide cheap WiFi to the entire world.

The recent request for permission could take seven years to get clearances before the specified satellites are launched. SpaceX wouldn’t have to launch all 30,000 satellites but filing for them now could stop other satellite operators going after the same slots.

The first 60 Starlink satellites were put into orbit in May and have already received criticism for being spotted in the night sky looking very bright and visible.

5G takes off in Europe

Ericsson earnings top forecast 

Telecoms equipment maker Ericsson (ERICb.ST) beat quarterly core earnings expectations on Thursday and lifted its market forecast for this year and its sales target for 2020, saying demand for superfast 5G networks was taking off earlier than expected. 5G networks are at the center of a brewing technology war between United States and China, as they are expected to host critical functions from autonomous vehicles to smart electric grids and military communications, underscoring their importance to national security.

Washington has put Chinese supplier Huawei on a trade blacklist and led a worldwide campaign to convince allies to ban the firm from their 5G networks, alleging its equipment could be used by Beijing for spying – which Huawei has repeatedly denied. Sweden’s Ericsson, which together with Finland’s Nokia (NOKIA.HE) and Huawei sells the bulk of radio access network equipment that is key for 5G mobile services, said it was now targeting sales of 230-240 billion Swedish crowns ($23.5-24.5 billion) in 2020, up from 210-220 billion previously.

Nicola Sturgeon calls for new Scottish independence vote

Scotland’s economic future

Scotland’s finance secretary has used his speech to the SNP conference to claim the party is winning the argument on Scotland’s economic future. Derek Mackay said the country can “more than afford” to be independent. He also argued that staying part of the UK leaves Scotland “subject to the whim of Westminster turmoil”. And Mr Mackay told delegates that convincing people they will be better off after independence is key to winning them over.

Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader and Scottish first minister, says she wants to hold a second independence referendum next year, but the UK government has repeatedly said it will not give the consent Ms Sturgeon says is needed to ensure any vote is legal.

She is expected to formally ask the prime minister for consent before the end of the year – with the Scottish government’s Brexit secretary, Mike Russell, not ruling out the possibility of legal action being taken if it is not granted.


Senator Elizabeth Warren Says ‘It’s Time To Break Up Amazon, Google And Facebook’

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Fights Back

Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of the Democratic front runners for the presidency of the United States, has thrown down the gauntlet and promised to break up Amazon, Google and Facebook.

In a Medium post, Warren stated, “Today’s big tech companies have too much power—too much power over our economy, our society and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.” She added, “And I want to make sure that the next generation of great American tech companies can flourish. To do that, we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.”

Support grows for a new Brexit poll

Fears over Johnson’s plan

Pro-remain MPs predicted on Saturday that they were gaining sufficient cross-party support to secure a second Brexit referendum as fresh doubts were raised over whether Boris Johnson can secure a deal with the EU that can pass through parliament.
The push for a second vote appeared to be gaining momentum before what promises to be a dramatic “super Saturday” showdown in parliament next weekend. That emergency House of Commons sitting, called by Johnson, will be held after a critical EU summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. It will coincide with a pro-referendum march through London, which organisers say a million people could join.

Facebook’s Libra crypto backers step back

Regulatory pressure

Multi-national regulatory pushback against Facebook’s effort to create a cryptocurrency payment network is slowing the project and causing supporters such as Visa and Mastercard to back away, according to sources familiar with the situation and a published report.

Along with the initial announcement of its Libra digital currency and Calibra online digital wallet to store it, Facebook earlier this year released the names of 27 founding companies who signed on to become part of the non-profit Libra Association. The association was formed to help construct and manage the blockchain-based payment network. Libra Association members such as Visa, Mastercard and others are reconsidering their involvement as pressure from U.S. and European regulators builds according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. One person directly familiar with the situation said Facebook’s Libra team is “overwhelmed now coping with regulator pushback” and it is slowing innovation and implementation; earlier remarks by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may have alluded to the same situation.

EU could delay Brexit until next summer for second referendum

Enough time for the fallout from a general election or a second referendum

The European Union could extend Britain’s EU membership until as late as next summer, paving the way for a possible second referendum on Brexit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is compelled under UK law to seek a Brexit extension beyond October 31 later this month if he has failed to agree a deal with the EU. With talks between London and Brussels on the verge of collapse, thinking in EU capitals has turned to how long to extend the Brexit deadline.

Legislation passed by the UK parliament last month states that the prime minister must seek an extension until at least January 31 2020.  However, officials in the EU are worried that would not provide enough time for a new government to resolve its Brexit position ahead of a likely general election later this year, the Guardian reports.

$10 Oil – How Far Could Oil Prices Fall If We See A 2009 Style Crash?

Forecasters can’t revise down their projections for oil demand fast enough

While predictions about volatile oil prices abound, one theme keeps popping up: geopolitical risk premium. First it was theories about a closure at the Strait of Hormuz. Then it was fears of an all-out war between Iran and the United States or Iran and Saudi Arabia. All those are merely possibilities, but the reality suggests that a whole different kind of extreme is far more likely: crushingly low oil prices.

In amongst the screams of geopolitical risk premium are far scarier whispers of words such as demand destructiontrade disputes, and economic climate deterioration. And those words describe the current reality in the market, and as such, suggest a similar future reality—a reality where demand destruction continues to push prices down, down, down. Is $10 oil really possible?

Throughout 2019, it seems like the forecasters can’t revise down their projections for oil demand fast enough. The International Energy Agency has continued to revise downward its oil demand growth projections for 2019 and beyond.

HSBC plans to cut 10,000 more jobs worldwide

Low interest rates, Brexit and global tariff wars

HSBC plans to lay off up to 10,000 staff as it embarks on a fresh cost-cutting drive just months after ousting its chief executive.

The cuts would mostly affect high-paid roles and shrink the global workforce by 4%, the Financial Times reported (£). It comes as the UK-based bank grapples with falling interest rates, Brexit and global tariff wars. HSBC declined to comment.

The job losses would come on top of 4,700 redundancies – mostly senior jobs – announced in early August, when HSBC similarly warned about a challenging global environment linked to US interest rate cuts, Britain’s EU divorce, the US-China trade war, and unrest in Hong Kong.

The staff cuts would mark the first major shake-up under the interim boss, Noel Quinn, who took over after the surprise departure of the chief executive, John Flint, in August. Flint is believed to have left HSBC amid tensions with its new chairman, Mark Tucker, after failing to take swift action on tough decisions at the lender. HSBC said its strategy had not changed and insisted Flint left by “mutual” agreement.

Brexit: Boris Johnson ‘to request delay from EU’ if no deal

Will Johnson break his “do or die” pledge?

Boris Johnson will break his “do or die” pledge by seeking a delay to Brexit if he fails to secure a new agreement with Brussels by 19 October, a Scottish court has heard. Government documents submitted to the Court of Session said the prime minister will send a letter asking for an extension to Article 50 – despite Mr Johnson’s repeated insistence that he will never delay Brexit.

The revelation emerged as part of a new legal challenge in Scotland’s highest court, where anti-Brexit petitioners are seeking an order to force the prime minister to comply with the so-called Benn Act, which requires him to ask for a delay if he has not secured a deal with Brussels.

EU will respond to U.S. tariffs with its own measures

Trade war

The European Union will take retaliatory measures in response to new U.S. tariffs on European goods, Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, told newspapers in remarks published on Friday. “The European Union now will have to react and, after obtaining the approval of the World Trade Organisation, probably impose punitive tariffs as well,” Maas, a member of Germany’s governing Social Democrats told German newspaper group Funke.

His comments come after the WTO this week ruled that some subsidies EU states paid to planemaker Airbus were illegal, giving the United States the right to react with tariffs on EU-imported goods.

U.S. widens trade war to Europe

Tariffs on European planes, cheese, whisky to punish subsidies

The United States on Wednesday said it would slap 10% tariffs on European-made Airbus (AIR.PA) planes and 25% duties on French wine, Scotch and Irish whiskies, and cheese from across the continent as punishment for illegal EU aircraft subsidies.

The announcement came after the World Trade Organization gave Washington a green light to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of EU goods annually in the long-running case, a move that threatens to ignite a tit-for-tat transatlantic trade war.

The measures would follow tariffs levied by the United States and China on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods in their more than year-old trade war.

The U.S. trade representative’s target list for EU tariffs, set to take effect on Oct. 18, includes large Airbus planes made in France, Britain, Germany and Spain – the four Airbus consortium countries. But no tariffs will be imposed on EU-made aircraft parts used in Airbus’ Alabama assembly operations or those used by rival U.S. planemaker Boeing Co (BA.N), safeguarding U.S. manufacturing jobs.


Global shares at one-month low on U.S. manufacturing shock

Fears of a slowdown in U.S. economic growth

Global shares fell to one-month lows on Wednesday after U.S. manufacturing activity tumbled to more than a decade low, sparking worries that the fallout from the U.S.-China trade war is spreading to the U.S. economy. A slowdown in U.S. economic growth would remove one of the few remaining bright spots in the global economy and come just as Europe is seen as close to falling into recession.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS, covering 49 markets, dipped 0.06% to a low last seen in early September, after shedding 0.83% in the previous session. In Asia, MSCI’s ex-Japan Asia-Pacific shares index .MIAPJ0000PUS dropped 0.7%, with Australian shares falling 1.3% and South Korean shares shedding 1.4%. Japan’s Nikkei .N225 slid 0.65%. China markets are closed for a one-week holiday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index .HSI fell 0.8% in early trade after a market holiday. On Tuesday, Hong Kong police shot a teenage protester, the first to be hit by live ammunition in almost four months of unrest in the Chinese-ruled city.