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Lebanon issues travel ban for fugitive ex-Nissan chief Ghosn – CTV News

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BEIRUT —
Lebanese prosecutors issued a travel ban for fugitive ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn and asked him to hand in his French passport on Thursday, following an Interpol-issued notice against him, a judicial official said.

The travel ban comes after Ghosn was interrogated by prosecutors for nearly two hours over the notice about the charges he faces in Japan over financial misconduct.

The prosecutors also formally asked Japanese authorities for their file on the charges against Ghosn in order to review the case, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

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Lebanon last week received the Interpol-issued wanted notice, which is a non-binding request to law enforcement agencies worldwide that they locate and provisionally arrest a fugitive.

At the hearing, Ghosn was asked to provide an address he resides at in Lebanon and was banned from travelling out of the country, the official said. He was also asked to hand in his French passport. It was not immediately clear what legal procedures would follow.

Lebanon and Japan do not have an extradition treaty, and the Interpol notice does not require that Lebanese authorities arrest him. The authorities say Ghosn entered Lebanon on a valid passport, casting doubt on the possibility they would hand him over to Japan.

Interpol cannot compel Lebanon to arrest Ghosn and it will be up to the local law enforcement authorities to decide what to do.

On his first public appearance since he fled Japan, Ghosn on Wednesday railed against the Japanese justice system, accusing it of violating his basic rights and disputing all allegations against him as “untrue and baseless.”

He told a press conference in Beirut that he doesn’t trust he would have a fair trial in Japan but said he was ready to face justice anywhere else.

Ghosn, a French, Lebanese and Brazilian national, showed up in Lebanon on Dec. 30, after an audacious and improbable escape from surveillance in Japan. Lebanese officials said he entered legally, with a French passport and a Lebanese identification card.

While a travel ban restricts Ghosn’s movement, it also offers him a degree of protection by Lebanese authorities who would presumably ensure he complies with the ban. France also doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Japan.

According to the official, Ghosn was also interrogated on a separate report against him over a 2008 visit to Israel. Lebanon and Israel are technically at war. No decision was taken regarding this case, which according to Lebanese law can be punishable between one and 10 years in jail.

Two Lebanese lawyers submitted a report to the Public Prosecutor’s Office saying the trip violated Lebanese law. The violation may not be prosecutable, given that it has happened 12 years earlier. A famous Lebanese director, who also carries a French passport, questioned over the same violation in 2017 was not prosecuted because the visit was three yeas prior.

Ghosn’s lawyer, Carlos Abou Jaoude confirmed that his client was questioned in the two separate cases — the Interpol notice and the Israel trip. He told reporters Ghosn was confident in the Lebanese judicial system.

At Wednesday’s press conference, Ghosn apologized to the Lebanese, saying he never wished to offend anyone when he travelled to Israel as a French national after Nissan asked him to announce the launch of electric cars there.

Tokyo prosecutors, who arrested him in late 2018, said Ghosn had “only himself to blame” for for four-month-long detention and for the strict bail conditions that followed, such as being banned from seeing his wife.

“Defendant Ghosn was deemed a high-profile risk, which is obvious from the fact that he actually fled,” they said.

Ghosn thanked the Lebanese authorities for their hospitality and defended its judicial system, which has long faced accusations of corruption and favouritism. He said he would be ready to stand trial “anywhere where I think I can have a fair trial.” He declined to say where that might be.

With big gestures and a five-part slide presentation, Ghosn brought his case to the global media in a performance that at times resembled a corporate presentation. Combative, spirited, and at times rambling, he described conditions of detention in Japan that made him feel “dead … like an animal” in a country where he asserted he had “zero chance” of a fair trial.

He said he was held in solitary confinement for 130 days, was interrogated day and night for hours, appeared in handcuffs and a leash around his waist and was denied rights to see his wife for months.

In his 150-minutes conference Wednesday, Ghosn attacked Japanese prosecutors, saying they were “aided and abated by petty, vindictive and lawless individuals” in the government, Nissan and its law firm. He said it was them, not him, “who are destroying Japan’s reputation on the global stage.”

On Tuesday, Tokyo prosecutors obtained an arrest warrant for Ghosn’s Lebanese wife Carole on suspicion of perjury, a charge unrelated to his escape. However, Japanese justice officials acknowledge that it’s unclear whether the Ghosns can be brought back to Japan to face charges.

Nissan has said it was still pursuing legal action against Ghosn despite his escape.

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Suncor to cut 1500 jobs by end of year, employees informed Thursday – CTV News Calgary

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Suncor Energy Inc. says it will cut 1,500 jobs by the end of the year in an effort to reduce costs and improve the company’s lagging financial performance.

Spokeswoman Sneh Seetal confirmed the cuts, saying they will be spread across the organization and will affect both employees and contractors.

Seetal says employees were informed of the cuts in a companywide email from Suncor CEO Rich Kruger earlier this afternoon.

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Suncor has been under pressure from shareholders – including activist investor Elliott Investment Management – to improve its financial and share price performance, which has lagged its peers.

Kruger, the former CEO of Imperial Oil Ltd., took the reins at Suncor earlier this spring and has been tasked with turning around the oilsands giant.

Suncor employs people across the country, in the U.S., and the U.K. Its corporate head office is located in Calgary.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2023.

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Amazon ordered to pay more than $30M for privacy violations related to Alexa, Ring devices – CBC News

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Amazon agreed Wednesday to pay a $25 million US civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) allegations it violated a child privacy law and deceived parents by keeping for years kids’ voice and location data recorded by its popular Alexa voice assistant.

Separately, the company agreed to pay $5.8 million US in customer refunds for alleged privacy violations involving its doorbell camera, Ring.

The Alexa-related action orders Amazon to overhaul its data deletion practices and impose stricter, more transparent privacy measures. It also obliges the tech giant to delete certain data collected by its internet-connected digital assistant, which people use for everything from checking the weather to playing games and queueing up music.

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“Amazon’s history of misleading parents, keeping children’s recordings indefinitely, and flouting parents’ deletion requests violated COPPA (the Child Online Privacy Protection Act) and sacrificed privacy for profits,” Samuel Levine, the FTC consumer protection chief, said in a statement. The 1998 law is designed to shield children from online harms.

FTC Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya said in a statement that “when parents asked Amazon to delete their kids’ Alexa voice data, the company did not delete all of it.”

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The agency ordered the company to delete inactive child accounts as well as certain voice and geolocation data. That order will apply to Canadian customers, as well, the company confirmed in an email to CBC News. 

Amazon kept the kids’ data to refine its voice recognition algorithm, the artificial intelligence behind Alexa, which powers Echo and other smart speakers, Bedoya said.

The FTC complaint sends a message to all tech companies who are “sprinting to do the same” amid fierce competition in developing AI datasets, he said.

Amazon said last month that it has sold more than a half-billion Alexa-enabled devices globally and that use of the service increased 35 per cent last year.

A black device with the word Amazon on it hangs beside a door
Amazon has agreed to pay $5.8 million US in customer refunds for alleged privacy violations involving its Ring doorbell camera. . (Jessica Hill/The Associated Press)

Hackers able to access Ring accounts

In the Ring case, the FTC says Amazon’s home security camera subsidiary let employees and contractors access consumers’ private videos and provided lax security practices that enabled hackers to take control of some accounts.

Amazon bought California-based Ring in 2018, and many of the violations alleged by the FTC predate the acquisition. Under the FTC’s order, Ring is required to pay $5.8 million US that would be used for consumer refunds.

Amazon said it disagreed with the FTC’s claims on both Alexa and Ring and denied violating the law. But it said the settlements “put these matters behind us.”

“Our devices and services are built to protect customers’ privacy, and to provide customers with control over their experience,” the Seattle-based company said.

In addition to the fine in the Alexa case, the proposed order prohibits Amazon from using deleted geolocation and voice information to create or improve any data product. The order also requires Amazon to create a privacy program for its use of geolocation information.

The proposed orders must be approved by federal judges.

FTC commissioners had unanimously voted to file the charges against Amazon in both cases.

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Stocks slide as debt ceiling vote looms, jobs data stays hot : Stock market news today

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US stocks closed lower Wednesday as investors kept a watchful eye on the prospects for the debt-limit deal in an expected House floor vote. Meanwhile, strong US jobs data and China’s economic woes pressured global markets.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell 0.60% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) dipped 0.40% or more than 130 points. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) slipped 0.63%.

US bond yields weakened as investors fretted over the potential impact of the debt-limit deal and reviewed the release of fresh jobs data. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury dropped to 3.62%. The two-year note yields, which are more rate sensitive, slipped to 4.3%, while that on the 30-year bond dropped to 3.84%.

Equities lost steam as the Labor Department reported the number of job openings rose to over 10.1 million, up from economists’ expectations of 9.4 million openings.

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The figures underscores “the tightness in the labor market is unlikely to fall off a cliff but rather continue downward on a bumpy path,” Oxford Economics wrote in a note on Wednesday. “While there are some concerns over the veracity of the JOLTS survey due to historically low response rates, the upshot remains that labor market strength remains robust.”

In light of recent economic data, markets are pricing in an increase of 25 basis points in interest rates from the Fed at policymakers’ meeting on June 13-14. On the commodities side, the dollar index rose, while crude oil slid below $70 a barrel.

Still, investors are still very keen on the latest developments in Washington. The debt ceiling agreement negotiated by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy passed its first key test on Tuesday when it gained approval from the Republican-led House Rules Committee despite opposition from hard-liners. That cleared the way for the deal to go before the House on Wednesday.

The clock is ticking down, as Congress must race to pass the deal to avoid a catastrophic default by June 5. That so-called X-Date is when the US will run out of money to pay its bills, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned.

 

Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy speaks to the press after a meeting with President Joe Biden on debt ceiling in Washington, D.C., the United States, May 22, 2023. The United States is Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy speaks to the press after a meeting with President Joe Biden on debt ceiling in Washington, D.C., the United States, May 22, 2023. The United States is
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy speaks to the press after a meeting with President Joe Biden on debt ceiling in Washington, D.C., the United States, May 22, 2023. (Photo by Aaron Schwartz/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, both Federal Reserve Governor Philip Jefferson and Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker signaled Wednesday that the central bank could pause rate hikes at its next policy meeting. Separately, the economy showed signs of cooling as hiring and inflation slowing, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book survey of regional business contacts.

Elsewhere, China’s factory activity slumped to its weakest level for a second straight month, another sign its post-pandemic economic recovery is losing steam. Asian markets tumbled after the release of the data.

On the housing front, mortgage demand dropped to its lowest level since March, while refinancing activity also dampened to another low, the MBA data showed Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in corporate news, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE) sank more than 7% after the company posted a revenue miss in its second quarter earnings and slashed its full-year sales guidance.

Still, the run-up in stocks linked to AI was losing momentum, after the buzz around the technology helped boosted the Nasdaq 100 Index (^NDX) on Tuesday. Shares of ChargePoint Holdings, Inc. (CHPT) was flat, while C3.ai, Inc. (AI) dipped more than 8% Wednesday.

In single-stock moves, SoFi Technologies, Inc. (SOFI) shares rallied more than 15% in the wake of the debt ceiling deal. The bill would reinstate government student loan repayments, benefiting the online personal finance company.

Shares of HP Inc. (HPQ) sank more than 5% after the computing giant posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Tuesday, but reported sales that fell more than analysts estimated.

Intel Corporation (INTC) shares rose more than 4% after the chipmaker said current quarter revenue is on track to be at the high end of its guidance.

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Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @daniromerotv

 

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