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Boeing sees billions more in MAX costs as grounding drags on

Boeing sees billions more in MAX costs as grounding drags onBoeing announced Thursday some $6.6 billion in additional costs because of the 737 MAX crisis, further pressuring profitability as the global grounding of the plane following two deadly crashes drags on. Boeing said that second-quarter earnings would be hit by $4.9 billion in one-time after-tax costs to compensate airlines for disruptions and plane delivery delays due to the MAX grounding. Profits will also be weighed down by another $1.7 billion in costs due to the 737 MAX's lower production rate, the company said in a statement after the stock market closed.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:39:50 -0400
Trump Says Hes Looking Very Seriously at Pentagon Cloud Deal

Trump Says Hes Looking Very Seriously at Pentagon Cloud Deal(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said hes looking very seriously at a cloud-computing contract valued at as much as $10 billion that the Pentagon is likely to award to Amazon.com Inc. next month.Im getting tremendous complaints about the contract with the Pentagon and with Amazon, he told reporters Thursday during a meeting with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the White House.The contract wasnt competitively bid, Trump said. The Pentagon is holding a competition for the contract, but Trump said that companies are complaining that the terms favor Amazon, the dominant player in cloud computing services. Microsoft Corp. is the only other company that hasnt been eliminated from consideration.Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Trump recently raised concerns about the contract with aides after learning of correspondence Republican lawmakers have exchanged with the Pentagon and the White House criticizing the bidding process.Some Republicans have alleged that the contracts terms were crafted from the start to favor Amazon, and that there were conflicts of interest involving the company as the Pentagon considered bids.I will be asking them to look at it very closely to see whats going on, Trump said in apparent reference to the Defense Department, because I have had very few things where theres been such complaining. Not only complaining from the media -- or at least asking questions about it from the media -- but complaining from different companies like Microsoft and Oracle and IBM. Great companies are complaining about it.Some supporters of the Pentagon process pushed back on Trumps comments. Four House Republicans on the Armed Service Committee, including ranking member Mac Thornberry, wrote a letter to Trump on Thursday saying it is essential for national security to move forward with the contract as quickly as possible.Further delays will only damage our security and increase the costs of the contract, they wrote.Trump and BezosWhile Trump didnt mention Amazon founder Jeff Bezos by name on Thursday, he has long denounced the billionaire in tweets criticizing him on many fronts -- from the shipping rates his company pays the U.S. Postal Service to his personal ownership of what Trump calls the Amazon Washington Post.Oracle Corp. has fought the contract process and has led a fierce lobbying campaign against the Pentagons plans to award the project, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI, to a single bidder. But the company lost a legal challenge last week contesting the terms of the bid and alleging the Pentagon had crafted unfair requirements and that there were conflicts of interest involving Amazon.In April 2018, Oracles Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz dined with Trump at the White House and complained that the contract terms seemed designed for Amazon to win, Bloomberg has reported. The final requirements for the contract were released in July of that year.International Business Machines Corp. said in a statement after Trumps comments that it has long raised serious concerns about the structure of the JEDI procurement. We continue to believe that the Department of Defense and our men and women in uniform would be best served by a multi-cloud strategy rather than the Pentagons plan for a winner-take-all award.Oracle and Microsoft had no comment on Trumps remarks.We are aware of the remarks and have nothing to add at this time, Elissa Smith, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said in an email.Interventions RarePresidents and their advisers often set out their visions for defense spending and technology priorities, and Trump has spoken out on matters from the cost of F-35 fighter jets to paint colors for new Air Force One planes.But its rare for a commander-in-chief to intervene in specific Defense Department contract competitions because they are governed by extensive laws and regulations intended to wall off billion-dollar awards from political influence, according to experts on the contracting process.The system is explicitly set up to prevent political officials from being able to influence the outcome of a contract, said Stan Soloway, chief executive officer of Celero Strategies LLC. The president cant pick winners and losers.Federal agencies have to clearly outline the requirements and criteria they will use to choose a winning bid. Losing bidders can challenge a decision to the Government Accountability Office or in the Court of Federal Claims, contending that the ground rules set in a solicitation werent followed. Oracle already has lost a court case challenging the handling of the JEDI contract.But a president has more freedom to exert influence over a projects structure and acquisition strategy, which could effectively help some companies and hurt others, said Trey Hodgkins, the chief executive officer and founder of Hodgkins Consulting.He can shine a spotlight on the process and ask the question: Is this the best option for the warfighter? Is this the best deal for the taxpayer? Hodgkins said. I dont know that it would be politically prudent to ignore executive-level scrutiny of the decision making process.(Updates with lawmakers letter starting in seventh paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at jjacobs68@bloomberg.net;Naomi Nix in Washington at nnix1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, ;Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Justin Blum, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:37:06 -0400
Trump Says U.S. Warship Downed Iran Drone Near Strait of Hormuz

Trump Says U.S. Warship Downed Iran Drone Near Strait of Hormuz(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said the U.S. immediately destroyed an Iranian drone that approached the USS Boxer near the Strait of Hormuz, the latest sign of escalating military tensions around the critical oil chokepoint.The drone was a threat to the ship and its crew, Trump said at the White House on Thursday. The president said hes calling on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the Strait. The Boxer is an amphibious assault ship.The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone which had closed into a very, very near distance -- approximately 1,000 yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ships crew, Trump said.Oil futures in New York traded at $55.80 a barrel in early Asia trading, up 50 cents from Thursdays close.Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement that the Boxer was in international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz when a drone closed within a threatening range and the ship took defensive action.The confrontation comes as tensions between Washington and Tehran remain high over a spate of attacks on cargo ships, the downing of an American drone and the British seizure of a tanker carrying Iranian oil.Read More: Iran Knows It Cant Bet on Trump 2020 Defeat as Sanctions BiteEarlier in the day, the U.S. condemned Iranian naval activity in the Persian Gulf and demanded that the Islamic Republic release a small tanker and its crew that its forces seized this week. A State Department official who asked not to be identified discussing the issue cited the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps continued harassment of vessels in and around the Strait.Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Wednesday that said his country is capable of shutting the Strait of Hormuz, but doesnt want to do so.We certainly have the ability to do it, but we certainly dont want to do it because the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf are our lifeline, Zarif said in New York. It has to be secured. We play a big role in securing it, but it has to be secure for everybody.About one-third of the worlds seaborne crude and fuels passed through the Strait of Hormuz last year, highlighting its key role in global oil markets. In May and June, six tankers were attacked in the region. While Iran has been blamed for attacks on merchant shipping, it has denied responsibility.Its dangerous because it is very crowded, Zarif said, adding that the last time the area was this crowded, the U.S. shot down an Iranian commercial airliner with 290 passengers in 1988. We feel the danger and that is why we want to avoid a dangerous escalation, but we cannot give up defending our country.Iran and the U.S. have been at loggerheads since last year, when Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear agreement he called the worst deal ever. In May, the administration refused to extend waivers to eight governments for Iranian oil purchases, ratcheting up the pressure on the countrys already battered economy.Serious GestureSpeaking to reporters in New York on Thursday, Zarif said he had made a substantial offer to break the impasse with the U.S. While Trump administration officials have said they are willing to meet Iranian leaders without preconditions, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has laid out a series of demands -- including ending support for proxy militias in other countries -- he says Iran must adhere to before sanctions are lifted. Iran wants some easing of sanctions first.In the meantime, Iran has proceeded with efforts to enrich uranium beyond limits proscribed by the 2015 accord.A Trump administration official, asking not to be identified, said a serious gesture on Irans part would involve ending uranium enrichment immediately and move toward ending ballistic missile development. Zarif and other officials have said they wont bargain away the right to have missiles for defensive purposes.(Updates to add U.S. officials comments in final three paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Justin Sink, Nick Wadhams, Tony Capaccio and David Marino.To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at jjacobs68@bloomberg.net;Josh Wingrove in Washington at jwingrove4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net, ;Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:37:04 -0400
Hawaii telescope protesters don't back down after arrests

Hawaii telescope protesters don't back down after arrestsProtesters didn't back down from their long-running effort to stop construction of a $1.4 billion telescope, blocking a road Thursday to the top of a mountain sacred to some Native Hawaiians a day after authorities arrested nearly three dozen people. The state Supreme Court has given the green light to the project that would put one of the world's most powerful telescopes atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island. Gov. David Ige has signed an emergency proclamation to broaden the state's power to keep activists off Hawaii's tallest peak.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:36:51 -0400
EPA rejects challenge of pesticide linked to brain damage

EPA rejects challenge of pesticide linked to brain damageThe Environmental Protection Agency rejected a key legal challenge Thursday to a pesticide linked to brain damage in children, saying environmental groups had failed to prove that a ban was warranted. The agency's defense of continued use of the widely used bug-killer chlorpyrifos could set the stage for a pivotal federal court decision on whether to overrule the EPA and force the agency to ban it. "To me, this starts the clock on the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops in the US," said former senior EPA attorney Kevin Minoli.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:34:46 -0400
Gannett reportedly in talks to combine with GateHouse Media

Gannett reportedly in talks to combine with GateHouse MediaUSA TODAY owner Gannett is reportedly in advance talks to merge with newspaper chain GateHouse Media.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:32:57 -0400
Here's What CITIC Limited's (HKG:267) P/E Ratio Is Telling Us

Here's What CITIC Limited's (HKG:267) P/E Ratio Is Telling UsThis article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios...

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:32:19 -0400
Boy selling 'ICE COLD BEER' has police called on him in clever 'marketing strategy'

Boy selling 'ICE COLD BEER' has police called on him in clever 'marketing strategy'Police inBrigham City, Utah, responded to multiple calls after people reported seeing a young boy apparently selling beer on the side of the road.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:32:14 -0400
Heres How Eager the House Was to Kill Obamacares Cadillac Tax

Heres How Eager the House Was to Kill Obamacares Cadillac TaxWe told you yesterday that the House was set to vote to repeal Obamacares Cadillac tax on high-cost employer-provided insurance plans, with Democrats joining Republicans in a rare and surprising moment of bipartisanship to undo a plank of the health care law widely opposed by both business and labor.The support for repealing the tax, set to go into effect in 2022, was overwhelming. The vote Wednesday evening was 419 to 6.Today, well honor our promise to the hard-working men and women of the labor as we lift the Cadillac tax protecting health benefits that workers have negotiated, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday, according to The Washington Post.Some health economists warned that repealing the tax would remove one of Obamacares main tools for lowering health care spending. The full repeal of the Cadillac tax would eliminate one of the most consequential policy levers to actually lower health care costs, Benedic Ippolito, a health economist at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Post. When it comes to sensible policies about what to do about spending, ironically theres bipartisan, bicameral agreement that we absolutely shouldnt do anything.The cost: The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that repealing the tax will add $197 billion to deficits over 10 years.Whats next: The Senate has a similar bill with bipartisan support, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has not yet said whether he will bring it up for a vote, the Posts Yasmeen Abutaleb reported. McConnell has been reluctant to take up health-care legislation, Senate aides said, because Democrats probably would use the opportunity to criticize Republicans and the administrations efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.Like what you're reading? Sign up for our free newsletter.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:31:05 -0400
Neil Armstrongs Intergalactic Gold Medal Sells for $2.05 Million Ahead of the Moon Landings 50th Anniversary

Neil Armstrongs Intergalactic Gold Medal Sells for $2.05 Million Ahead of the Moon Landings 50th AnniversaryThe 14-carat decoration has been to the moon and back.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:30:02 -0400
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