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  • Wall Street headed higher on strong earnings start

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  • Assad Seizes Key Border Town as U.S. Forces Leave: Syria Update

    (Bloomberg) -- Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad took control of the strategic town of Manbij near the Turkish border as pressure mounted on Ankara to end an offensive that has drawn U.S. and European sanctions and accusations of war crimes.Washington’s decision to abandon its Kurdish partners in the face of Turkey’s attack has upended old alliances and opened up a new and unpredictable phase in Syria’s eight-year-old civil war.Kurdish-led forces, who fought with U.S. backing to defeat Islamic State, have been forced to turn to Assad for help, pulling back from the border area as Syrian government troops march in. The main Kurdish militia has warned they may not be able to secure camps and prisons holding thousands of Islamic State jihadists, including Europeans whose home countries don’t want them back.In its strongest comments yet, Russia said the offensive was “unacceptable” and it was opposed to the presence of Turkish forces inside Syria, where years of Russian aerial support helped turn the tide of the war in favor of Assad. A top aide to Vladimir Putin said Moscow was mediating between the two sides and would not allow them to clash.Turkey says its offensive aims to push back Kurdish militants it considers a national security threat and resettle refugees, but the costs of the operation could begin to mount.In the clearest sign that the offensive could have an economic fallout, Volkswagen AG delayed a final decision on a 1.3 billion-euro ($1.4 billion) car plant investment in Turkey.That followed Donald Trump’s announcement on Monday that the U.S. would impose sanctions on members of Turkey’s cabinet. European countries have also agreed to restrict arms sales to Turkey.The lira rallied on Tuesday, however, as markets were apparently bracing for stronger measures.Here’s a rundown of major events in Turkish local time.Key DevelopmentsU.S. imposes sanctions on Turkey and calls for cease-fire in northeast Syria.Volkswagen is having second-thoughts on its earlier plans for a major plant investment in Turkey amid the political chaos ensuing Ankara’s decision to send troops across the border.Russia says it is opposes to the presence of Turkish forces inside Syrian territory and won’t allow the two armies to clashU.S.-led coalition against Islamic State confirms its forces have left Manbij: Sky News ArabiaTurkish army penetrated 30-35 kilometers into Syria, reaching the southern most point set as target by policy makers.U.K. Blocks Arms Exports to Turkey for Syria Use During Revier (03:59 p.m.)The U.K. blocked licenses for the export of arms to Turkey that could be used in Syria pending a review of sales to the country, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman James Slack tells reporters.Germany’s Merkel Calls on Turkey to End Its Offensive in Syria (03:36 p.m.)Chancellor Angela Merkel said Turkey‘s offensive in Syria needs to be stopped because it risks lives and destablizes the region.“This military action should be stopped, and there should be a return to negotiations,” Merkel said at a briefing alongside Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.U.S.-Led Coalition Confirms its Forces Left Syrian Town of Manbij (03:14 p.m.)The U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State has left the Turkish border town of Manbij, Sky News Arabia reported, as Assad forces took control of the area.Russia Says Turkish Offensive is “Unacceptable” and Won’t Permit Clashes with Assad’s Forces (02:20 p.m.)Russia branded the Turkish offensive in Syria “unacceptable,” in its strongest criticism yet of the week-old military operation. The Kremlin’s special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, said that troops loyal to Damascus must control the country’s borders and the Kremlin opposes the presence of Turkish forces inside Syrian territory. Russia won’t permit any clashes between Turkish and Syrian forces, he told reporters in Abu Dhabi, where he’s n a visit with President Vladimir Putin.“We have always called on Turkey to exercise restraint and considered any military operation in Syria unacceptable,” Lavrentiev said. “Security along the Turkish-Syrian border must be ensured by the deployment of government troops along the whole length.”UN Urges Turkey to Investigate Allegations of War Crimes (12:18 p.m.)UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville called on Turkish authorities to launch an urgent investigation into videos that appeared to show Turkish-backed Syrian rebels carrying out executions during the offensive in Syria.Colville said in a statement that the UN had viewed two separate videos that appear to show fighters capturing and executing three Kurdish men near the M4 highway in northern Syria.“On the same day, we received reports indicating that a well-known Kurdish female politician, Hevrin Khalaf, was also executed on the same highway,” Colville said in a statement. “We are continuing to gather information about both these serious violations, and we urge the Turkish authorities to immediately launch an impartial, transparent and independent investigation into both incidents, and to apprehend those responsible, some of whom should be easily identifiable from the video footage they themselves shared on social media.”Syrian Government Forces Taking Over Manbij (12:14 p.m.)Syrian government forces expanded their hold over the city of Manbij and continues to deploy on the western bank of the Euphrates river in northern Syria as the U.S.-led coalition forces withdraw, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports.Russia’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday the Syrian army had taken control of Manbij, official news agencies reported. They also said Syrian forces took Dadat and Umm-Miyal.Russian military police are patrolling the northeast border of Manbij province “along the line of contact between the armed forces of the Syrian Arab Republic and those of Turkey.”The U.S.-backed forces are still stationed on a bridge leading to the key Syrian town of Kobani near the Turkish border, preventing regime forces from advancing toward the area, the monitoring group said.Turkey’s Albayrak Not Attending IMF Annual Meetings in U.S. (10:27 a.m.)Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak won’t attend this year’s World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington D.C., according to a Treasury official who spoke on condition of anonymity.Volkswagen Postpones Decision on $1.4 Billion Turkey Car Plant (10:19 a.m.)Volkswagen AG decided to delay a decision on a 1.3 billion-euro ($1.4 billion) car plant in Turkey due to the political upheaval caused by the country’s military action in northern Syria.“The decision on building a new plant was postponed by the board of management,” VW said Tuesday. “We’re closely monitoring the situation and are concerned about the current developments.”Kurdish Militants Regain Control of Key Areas in Syria, Monitoring Group Says (9:59 a.m.)Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an offensive overnight Monday and regained control of Ras al-Ayn and Tal Haref, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It was not possible to independently verify the statement.Qatar Defends Turkish Offensive in Syria (09:01 a.m.)Qatar defended Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria, sticking up for an ally that’s helped the Gulf emirate weather the impact of a boycott by its neighbors.Turkey’s military incursion isn’t expansionist because it faced an “imminent threat” from Kurdish groups on its Syrian border, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in Doha.The comments are Qatar’s first on Turkey’s controversial military operation to build what it called a “safe zone” within its neighbor and push back Kurdish groups at its southern border.U.S. Urges Immediate Cease-Fire in Syria as It Sanctions Turkey (03:04 a.m.)The Trump administration called on Turkey for “an immediate cease-fire” in Syria on Monday as it announced sanctions on three senior Turkish officials and sharply increased tariffs on steel in response to the military operation launched by Ankara last week.Vice President Mike Pence, speaking to reporters, said that he would lead a delegation to Turkey at Trump’s request in an effort to stop the military advance. Pence said the U.S. wanted the two sides to negotiate a long-term peace, but he didn’t call for Turkey to pull out of Syria.U.S. Sanctions Three Turkish Ministers, Mnuchin Says (01:10 a.m.)The U.S. has sanctioned Turkish ministers of defense, interior and energy over Turkey’s military operation in Syria, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.To contact the reporters on this story: Onur Ant in Istanbul at oant@bloomberg.net;Andrey Biryukov in Moscow at abiryukov5@bloomberg.net;Dana Khraiche in Beirut at dkhraiche@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Paul AbelskyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • Big investors are pouring $50M into a bitcoin mining startup, and they’re hoping its own mining chips and Texas energy will make it a new powerhouse

    A Digital Currency Group (DCG)-backed investment fund is making a pivot into the bitcoin mining business, and venture capitalists including Peter Thiel are committing $50 million to the newish venture that they deem worth $200 million. The post Big investors are pouring $50M into a bitcoin mining startup, and they’re hoping its own mining chips and Texas energy will make it a new powerhouse appeared first on The Block.


  • Pot Producer Aphria Soars Pre-Market After Posting Second Profitable Quarter

    (Bloomberg) -- Aphria Inc. became the first large pot producer to report a second consecutive profitable quarter Tuesday, sending its stock up as much as 24% in trading before the opening bell.The company said it earned C$16.4 million on revenue of C$126.1 million in the quarter ended Aug. 31, a slight decline from the prior quarter. It also reiterated its outlook for fiscal 2020, which calls for revenue of C$650 million to C$700 million and adjusted Ebitda of C$88 million to C$95 million.Notably, revenue from recreational cannabis sales rose 8% quarter-over-quarter to C$20 million. The increase comes as other companies like Canopy Growth Corp. have reported sales declines. Hexo Corp. withdrew its guidance for fiscal 2020 last week, citing slower-than-expected store openings, a delay in government approval for new products and early signs of pricing pressure.Aphria’s New York-listed shares jumped in pre-market trading. Prior to Tuesday, they had lost about 16% since the beginning of the month amid broader weakness in pot stocks.“We believe the reaction is due to industry sentiment (and valuations) near all-time lows, making an in-line quarter very well received by many industry investors,” CIBC analyst John Zamparo said in a note.Other cannabis producers also joined in the gains, with the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF adding 3.8%. Tilray Inc. rose 3.3%, Cronos Group Inc. gained 3%, Canopy was up 2.6% and Aurora Cannabis Inc. added 2.3%.Aphria has posted a remarkable turnaround since late last year, when it was the target of short sellers who accused it of paying inflated prices to buy Latin American assets from insiders. That resulted in the ousting of Chief Executive Officer Vic Neufeld, who was replaced on an interim basis by Irwin Simon, who previously ran Hain Celestial Group Inc.(Adds chart, analyst quote in paragraph 5, other stock moves in paragraph 6)To contact the reporter on this story: Kristine Owram in Toronto at kowram@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brad Olesen at bolesen3@bloomberg.net, Will Daley, Steven FrommFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • Intel buys software business from Canada's Pivot Technology in 5G push

    Intel said it would purchase Smart Edge, a software business that is designed to help split up data and store it closer to users to make computing devices respond faster. The software is designed to run on Intel's chips, which are best known as the heart of most personal computers but which the company is aiming to sell into equipment for 5G, the next generation of wireless data networks that is being rolled out starting this year.


(ARA) - When you buy a used car, you're happy if the seller vacuums the interior and gives the exterior a good wash and wax before you take possession. But there's one kind of "cleanup" that you want to avoid when you're buying used: title washing.

Title - or "brand" - washing occurs when a seller takes steps to hide the damaged or totaled condition of a vehicle. When a vehicle is damaged or declared a total loss due to flood, fire, accident, natural disaster or other circumstance, the state in which it's titled will "brand" the title, noting the condition on the document. Unscrupulous sellers circumvent the branding by repairing or camouflaging the damage and then titling the vehicle in a different state.

"What title washing means for consumers is that they can end up paying far more for a salvaged or totaled vehicle than it's worth, thinking they're buying a used vehicle in good condition," says Joshua Steffan, director for Experian Automotive. "Often, a buyer will be unaware of the vehicle's true condition until they've completed the purchase, driven the vehicle and started to experience problems related to the hidden damage."

Bureau of Transportation statistics indicate that in any given year, the number of used car sales is about three times the number of new vehicle sales. With the recession driving demand for used vehicles over the past few years, incidences of title washing have also increased.

In fact, during the first six months of 2011, 257,245 vehicles were initially branded and then transferred or retitled in a second state with a clean title, according to the AutoCheck vehicle history report database. In 2008, that happened to just 185,000 vehicles. Most of the title washed vehicles in 2011 were branded as salvage (39 percent) or rebuildable (26 percent).

Title washing also tends to increase in regions that have experienced a natural disaster, like a hurricane. In such situations, flood waters will often leave many vehicles unusable and many states will brand a vehicle's title as flood damaged.

So how can you protect yourself from the risk of buying a title-washed vehicle? Steffan offers some advice:

* Check the vehicle's background by purchasing a vehicle history report. Most title-washed cars keep their original vehicle identification numbers (VIN), which is all you need to order an AutoCheck report. The report includes information on the status of the title (including if it's been branded), a check of possible problems, an odometer check, the history of how the vehicle was used (as a rental or private vehicle) and any events, such as accidents or flood damage that have been reported on the vehicle. You'll also get the ZIP code of where the vehicle has been registered, and you can use online resources to match that information to regions where the vehicle might have been exposed to floods or other natural disasters.

* Have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic. Some title washers, however, are pros and may have reconstructed a car so well that it's hard for even a professional to tell.

* When you first see the vehicle, look for discoloration on seats, seatbelts or door panels that might indicate mineral deposits left behind by flood waters. You may see moisture on the inside of the instrument panel. Do a sniff test. A water-damaged vehicle might smell moldy or musty. Or, it might smell strongly of potent cleansers that the seller has used to mask the odor of mold.

* Fresh paint on newer-model cars may indicate the vehicle has been in an accident and had bodywork done. Mismatched panels and extremely low mileage may also be red flags.

* Always check to ensure the VIN on the vehicle's paperwork matches the one on the vehicle. The location of the VIN varies from vehicle to vehicle, but you'll often find it on a small metal plate in the corner of the windshield nearest the driver. Other locations include on the engine or engine block, or the right front wheel well.

"Ultimately, a title check from a vehicle history report is the optimum way to know as much as possible about a vehicle you're considering buying," Steffan says. "A modest investment can help you avoid making a costly mistake."Cleaning up the mystery of vehicle title washing
Category: Business