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Amazon offers to help employees start delivery business

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Amazon, which is racing to deliver packages faster, is turning to its employees with a proposition: Quit your job and we’ll help you start a business delivering Amazon packages.

The offer, announced Monday, comes as Amazon seeks to speed up its shipping time from two days to one for its Prime members. The company sees the new incentive as a way to get more packages delivered to shoppers’ doorsteps faster.

Amazon says it will cover up to $10,000 in startup costs for employees who are accepted into the program and leave their jobs. The company says it will also pay them three months’ worth of their salary.

The offer is open to most part-time and full-time Amazon employees, including warehouse workers who pack and ship orders. Whole Foods employees are not eligible to receive the new incentives.

Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. declined to say how many employees it expects to take them up on the offer.

The new employee incentive is part of a program Amazon started a year ago that let anyone apply to launch an independent Amazon delivery business and provided $10,000 in reimbursements to military veterans.

The program’s expansion is part of the company’s plan to control more of its deliveries on its own, rather than rely on UPS, the post office and other carriers. Startup costs start at $10,000 and contractors that participate are able to lease blue vans with the Amazon smile logo stamped on the side.

Overall, more than 200 Amazon delivery businesses have been created since it launched the program last June, said John Felton, Amazon’s vice-president of global delivery services.

One of them is run Milton Collier, a freight broker who started his business in Atlanta about eight months ago. Since then, it has grown to 120 employees with a fleet of 50 vans that can handle up to 200 delivery stops in a day. It has already been preparing for the one-day shipping switch by hiring more people.

“We’re ready,” says Collier.

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OpenText snaps up cloud security firm Carbonite in $1.42 billion deal

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OpenText, the Waterloo-based enterprise cloud information management company, announced Monday that they have reached a deal worth US$1.42-billion to acquire Carbonite, Inc, a Boston company that does cloud data protection and endpoint management.

OpenText chief executive Mark Barrenechea said that part of the reason why he likes Carbonite is because it gives an opportunity to sell to 300,000 small businesses and 7 million individual professionals.

“This acquisition will further strengthen OpenText as a leader in cloud platforms, complete end-point security and protection, and will open a new route to connect with customers, through Carbonite’s marquee SMB/prosumer channel and products,” Barrenechea said in a news release.

The deal of US$23 per share for the Boston-based Carbonite is a 25 per cent premium to the close of trading Friday. OpenText will pay $800 million in cash with the total transaction including debt valued at US$1.42 billion.

OpenText shares were up 2.3 per cent and Carbonite were up 24 per cent in morning trading.

Historically, Opentext has focused most of its efforts on the largest enterprise clients.

Speaking to investment analysts, Barrenechea said it will likely take around 18 months to fully integrate the company into OpenText.

The company has a long history of growing through acquisition; OpenText spent nearly US$3 billion between 2013 and the beginning of 2017, including the US$1.62 billion acquisition of Dell EMC, the company’s enterprise content management division.

As of September 30, Carbonite had $405 million in trailing twelve-month revenue.

• Email: jmcleod@nationalpost.com | Twitter:

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Keystone pipeline restarted after breach in North Dakota

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The owner of the Keystone pipeline says the line has returned to service after a breach that leaked an estimated 1.4 million litres of oil in northeastern North Dakota late last month.

TC Energy Corporation says the move follows the approval of its repair and restart plan by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which ordered the line shut until the Canadian company completed corrective action.

The company says it will operate the pipeline at a reduced pressure with a gradual increase in the volume of crude oil moving through the system.

The line, which began operating in 2011, is designed to carry crude oil from Alberta across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri on the way to refineries in Patoka, Ill. and Cushing, Okla.

The spill affected about 2,090 square meters of land near Edinburg, N.D.

TC Energy says it continues to work closely with the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality as it investigates the cause of the breach.

“We appreciate the cooperation and support from local officials, emergency response personnel and commissioners in Walsh County, as well as the landowner who has granted permission to access land for assessment, repair and clean-up activities,” TC Energy said in a statement on Sunday.

“We also want to recognize the continued efforts of our crews, contractors and businesses in the community for their around-the-clock support, which has allowed us to respond quickly and safely to this event.”

The company adds it is communicating plans to its customers and will continue working closely with them as it begins to return to normal operating conditions.

It said on its website that it has observed no significant impacts to the environment.

The pipeline spill and shutdown come as the company seeks to build the US$8-billion Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oilsands oil from Alberta to refineries in Texas.

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Beijing wants Donald Trump re-elected because he is easy to read

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China’s former chief trade negotiator says Beijing wants Donald Trump re-elected because he is ‘easy to read’

  • China’s former vice-minister of foreign trade Long Yongtu says China wants Donald Trump to be re-elected because he is ‘easy to read’
  • He said Trump’s vocal nature and unfiltered tweeting sprees makes him ‘the best choice in an opponent for negotiations’ 
  • ‘We don’t need to spend so much time figuring out what Americans want any more, or search for real thoughts in the dark, like we used to,’ he said 
  • He also noted that Trump hasn’t confronted China with geopolitical issues like the country’s position  in Taiwan and Hong Kong  
  • Yongtu’s stance offers insight into the thinking of Beijing’s policymakers as the two nations remain locked in a tariff trade war

China‘s former trade envoy says the nation wants Donald Trump to be re-elected because he’s ‘easy to read’ compared to other American politicians.

Long Yongtu, the former vice-minister of foreign trade in China who aided in the country’s entry into the World Trade Organization, says Trump is easy to understand thanks to his daily, unfiltered Twitter posts.

Trump’s vocal nature makes him ‘the best choice in an opponent for negotiations’ because he’s transparent with his agenda, Yongtu said at the Credit Suisse’s China Investment Conference on Saturday in Shenzhen.

‘We want Trump to be re-elected; we would be glad to see that happen,’ Yongtu added according to the South China Post.

China’s former vice-minister of foreign trade Long Yongtu says China wants Donald Trump to be re-elected because he is ‘easy to read’

‘He makes the US decision-making process efficient and transparent, because he basically says what it is. The pros of [having Trump] outweigh the cons. We don’t need to spend so much time figuring out what Americans want any more, or search for each other’s real thoughts in the dark, like we used to,’ he said.

Yongtu, 76, has retired from active ministerial posts and does not speak for China’s government. However, many believe that his statements on Trump offer insight into the thinking of China’s policymakers and trade diplomacy stance, as the U.S. and China remain embroiled in a trade war.

Long said that Trump, to his credit, is a transparent and realistic negotiator who is focused on having China import more American products.

He says that Beijing is able to compromise on that front.

He also noted that Trump is unlike his predecessors because he does not pick fights with Beijing on geopolitical issues such as China’s grip over Taiwan or Hong Kong.

'He makes the US decision-making process efficient and transparent, because he basically says what it is. The pros of [having Trump] outweigh the cons. We don’t need to spend so much time figuring out what Americans want any more, or search for each other’s real thoughts in the dark, like we used to,' Youngtu said on Trump

‘He makes the US decision-making process efficient and transparent, because he basically says what it is. The pros of [having Trump] outweigh the cons. We don’t need to spend so much time figuring out what Americans want any more, or search for each other’s real thoughts in the dark, like we used to,’ Youngtu said on Trump

‘Trump talks about material interests, not politics,’ Long said to the Post. ‘Such an opponent is the best choice for negotiations.’

As for the U.S.-China trade war, negotiators seem to be nearing a ceasefire. Both  nations have agreed to roll back the tariffs they imposed on each other in phases, Chinese commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng announced Thursday.

He added that the cancellation of tariffs is a key condition to any trade agreement, however it’s not clear when such a deal will take place.

The trade war, which started in July 2018, has grown into disputes over technology and global finance.

‘The trade frictions with China are just part of Trump’s global protectionist strategy,’ Long said, noting that the Trump administration withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and imposed tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

On Saturday Trump said that trade talks with China were moving along ‘very nicely’ but the U.S. won’t fold unless they make a deal with Beijing that is right for America.

‘The trade talks with China are moving along, I think, very nicely and if we make the deal that we want it will be a great deal and if it’s not a great deal, I won’t make it. I’d like to make a deal, but it’s got to be the right deal,’ Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews.

‘China very much wants to make a deal. They’re having the worst year they’ve had in 57 years. Their supply chain is all broken, like an egg, they want to make a deal, perhaps they have to make a deal, I don’t know, I don’t care, that’s up to them,’ he added.

Officials from both countries said on Thursday that China and the United States had agreed to roll back tariffs already in place on the other nation’s goods in a ‘phase one’ trade deal to end a damaging trade war.

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