Tag Archives: Enterprise Reporting

Trump touts stock market’s record run, but who benefits?

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(Reuters) – Donald Trump loves to trumpet the hot U.S. stock market as a key achievement of his presidency, and he was in full self-congratulatory mode on that front during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/POOL

“All of those millions of people with 401(k)s and pensions are doing far better than they have ever done before with increases of 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 percent and even more,” Trump said in his address to a joint session of Congress.

While pensions and retirement funds were lifted by the rise in stock markets, the president has avoided talking about one key point about who really benefits when the market rallies: Most of the gains go to the small portion of Americans who are already rich.

That’s because 84% of stocks owned by U.S. households are held by the wealthiest 10% of Americans, according to an analysis of 2016 Federal Reserve data by Edward Wolff, an economics professor at New York University. So when the stock market has a blockbuster year – such as the nearly 30% rise in the S&P 500 benchmark index in 2019 – the payoff primarily goes to people who are already rich.

“For most Americans, a stock price increase is pretty immaterial to their well-being,” said Wolff, who published a paper about wealth inequality in the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2017.

Roughly half of Americans own some stocks through a brokerage account or a pension or retirement fund. But for most people, the exposure is too small for market gains to be life-changing or leave them feeling much better about their finances, Wolff said. “They’ll see a small increase in their wealth, but it’s not going to be anything to write home about,” he said.

Graphic: The stock boom’s unequal gains png, here

What’s more, nearly 90% of families who own stock do so through a tax-deferred retirement account, meaning they can’t access the money until they reach retirement age, unless they pay a penalty, Wolff said.

So who owns most of the stock market? The majority of corporate equities and mutual fund shares are held by investors who are white, college educated and above the age of 54, according to an analysis from the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

The typical middle-class family gets the bulk of its wealth from the housing market. Households in the middle three quintiles of wealth held 61.9% of their assets in their principal residence in 2016, according to Wolff’s analysis. That compares to households in the top 1%, who held 7.6% of their wealth in their homes.

Because most consumers accumulate the majority of their wealth through their homes, a rise in property values can provide a more substantial boost to household wealth than a stock market rally, said William Emmons, lead economist at the St. Louis Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability.

Still, the recent revival in the housing market, spurred in part by the Federal Reserve’s interest rate cuts, is not helping all Americans equally. Rising property values benefit homeowners but make it harder for aspiring home buyers to break into the market, said Eugene Steuerle, co-founder of the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture between the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.

And some people who bought homes immediately before the recession hit may still be trying to recover their losses, Steuerle said. Their wealth may have been wiped out by foreclosure, meaning they then struggled to qualify for a new mortgage during the recovery, he said.

That’s in sharp contrast to well-off investors, whose overall wealth surged after the crisis thanks to strong returns on stocks, property and other investments. Some 72% of wealth accumulated between the third quarter of 2009 and the third quarter of 2019 went to the richest 10% of households, according to an analysis by Oxford Economics. Over that same time period, the poorest 50% of households reaped only 2% of wealth gains.

“There are a lot of families that have not yet recovered from the financial crisis,” Emmons said.

Some more evidence that the recent stock market boom is not making everyone feel richer: There has been little evidence of the “wealth effect,” which says that people tend to spend more when stock markets are up, said Lydia Boussour, a senior economist for Oxford Economics.

Since the recession, people have mostly continued to increase their savings even as the stock market rose. “Consumers are a lot more cautious,” she said.

Reporting by Jonnelle Marte; Editing by Dan Burns and Leslie Adler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Exclusive: iPhone app makers questioned in U.S. antitrust probe of Apple – sources

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department has reached out to app developers as part of its investigation into Apple Inc (AAPL.O), one of the four big tech companies being probed for alleged anti-competitive behavior, according one of the developers and another person familiar with the investigation.

FILE PHOTO: An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

The chief executive of developer Mobicip, Suren Ramasubbu, told Reuters he was interviewed in November by a U.S. investigator who asked about the company’s interactions with Apple. The app, which has nearly a million users worldwide, allows parents to control what their children see on their iPhones.

Ramasubbu said the Mobicip app was temporarily removed from the iPhone app store last year for a failure to meet requirements imposed by Apple.

A source familiar with the Justice Department’s investigation said a handful of app developers had been contacted in what is the first indication of what officials are pursuing involving Apple since the investigation was revealed by Reuters in June.

U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized Apple’s Silicon Valley neighbors for other reasons, calling for closer scrutiny of social media companies and Google and accusing them of suppressing conservative voices online, without presenting any evidence.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in December that he hoped to have the Justice Department investigations into the big tech platforms – Facebook Inc (FB.O), Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google, Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Apple – wrapped up this year.

Apple declined comment, but pointed to a statement on its website that says its app store was designed to hold apps “to a high standard for privacy, security and content.”

“Since 2016, we have removed over 1.4 million apps from the App Store because they have not been updated or don’t work on our most current operating systems,” the site says.

Apple’s ability to do just that has been a point of contention in the courtroom. The company was accused in lawsuits last year of abusing its clout in the app market. In one case, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the go-ahead last May to an antitrust lawsuit that accused Apple of forcing consumers to overpay for iPhone software applications.

SCREEN TIME CONTROL

Apple introduced its Screen Time app, which includes parental controls, in June 2018. At the start of 2019, Ramasubbu told Reuters, his company was contacted by Apple and warned that Mobicip’s app violated the iPhone-maker’s rules relating to technical elements that had previously been acceptable.

The app was removed from the app store for about six months, during which time it was updated to be compliant with Apple rules, Ramasubbu said. It was reinstated in October 2019, but he estimates his company’s business has shrunk by half.

Six executives of parental control app companies interviewed by Reuters said they had a comfortable relationship with Apple until mid-2018. That is when Apple introduced its own, similar software giving parents oversight of their children’s phone screen time and searches.

Apple has said that it had been concerned about parental control apps using technology which gave developers access to sensitive data, and that they declined to approve apps that used the technology if they did not also commit to not sharing data on children.

As the arbiter of who is allowed to sell in the app store, Apple says it has the power to ensure that only the highest quality apps are sold there.

But some developers say it also allows Apple to push out apps that compete with its own products, thus strengthening its profits at a time with its device sales have stagnated and it is seeking new sources of revenue.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Chris Sanders and Edward Tobin

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Traders get misplaced in Huge Oil’s carbon accounting maze

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LONDON (Reuters) – Large variations in the best way oil corporations report their efforts to cut back carbon emissions make it troublesome to evaluate the danger of holding their shares because the world shifts away from fossil fuels, senior fund managers say.

FILE PHOTO: Oil pump jacks work at sundown close to Midland, Texas, U.S., August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jessica Lutz/Recordsdata

Traders have poured cash into so-called sustainable funds, which take note of corporations’ environmental, social, authorized and different requirements, and funds are below strain from their clients and authorities to make these requirements sturdy.

Fund managers are additionally making use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards extra extensively in conventional investments to assist them decide how corporations will fare over the long run.

There’s a rising realization that some corporations’ income will shrink quicker than others as governments prioritize low-carbon vitality to satisfy the U.N.-backed Paris settlement’s objective of slicing emissions to “web zero” by the top of the century.

However oil and fuel corporations are among the many largest dividend payers, and main funds are reluctant to divest from them, arguing that by staying in they’re in a greater place to strain corporations to enhance.

“Do buyers have the information that we want? No, I don’t assume we’ve got the information that we want in any respect,” mentioned Nick Stansbury, funding strategist at British insurer Authorized & Common’s funding administration unit, Britain’s largest asset supervisor with round $1.three trillion below administration.

“Disclosure just isn’t essentially so we will search to vary the numbers, however so we will begin understanding and pricing the dangers,” Stansbury mentioned.

“A THOUSAND WAYS TO PARIS”

There are a lot of voluntary initiatives and frameworks to unify carbon accounting and goal setting; some overlap however none have been universally adopted. Additional tasks exist for different greenhouse gases reminiscent of methane.

The Greenhouse Fuel Protocol is one such set of requirements, established by non-governmental organizations and industrial teams within the 1990s.

Corporations can report their progress according to these requirements by way of non-profit CDP, previously often called the Carbon Disclosure Challenge, which then ranks them. Norway’s Equinor comes first in its listing of 24 oil main corporations, however not all of them report in yearly.

(GRAPHIC: Huge oil rating by the CDP – right here)

There’s additionally the Job Drive on Local weather associated Monetary Disclosures (TCFD), created by the G20’s Monetary Stability Board, in addition to business our bodies, in-house fashions at oil companies and banks and third-party verifiers and consultants.

“There are a thousand methods to Paris,” London-based BP’s Chief Govt Bob Dudley mentioned at a Chatham Home occasion earlier this yr referring to the 2015 accord aiming to maintain world warming properly beneath 2 levels.

BP Finance Chief Brian Gilvary advised Reuters BP would welcome extra consistency inside the sector to indicate what oil corporations are doing about emissions and that an business physique, the Oil and Fuel Local weather Initiative (OGCI), was discussing carbon accounting.

A plethora of third celebration ESG verifier corporations had been rising with various methods of measuring ESG metrics, he mentioned, including that some such companies would say to an oil firm, “We consider your rating is that this, and, by the best way, in case you spend $50,000 we’ll present you how one can enhance that rating.”

UBS, with $831 billion of invested property, has $2 billion in its Local weather Conscious passive fairness technique, which is partly primarily based on an organization’s emissions reporting.

In that technique “we tilt in the direction of corporations which are higher acting on a spread of local weather metrics and away from corporations that don’t carry out so properly on this respect,” Francis Condon, govt director for sustainable investing, mentioned.

“We don’t need to be accused of greenwashing or falling for it,” he mentioned, including that UBS commonly inspired corporations to organize for the local weather transition.

Utilizing a broad measure, world sustainable funding reached $30.1 trillion the world over’s 5 main markets on the finish of 2018, in keeping with the World Sustainable Funding Assessment. This equates to between 1 / 4 and half of all property below administration, as a consequence of various estimates of that determine.

Condon mentioned most buyers had been nonetheless extra centered on returns than wider sustainability standards however had been changing into involved that corporations could expose them to potential future climate-related monetary losses.

“There’s a very restricted urge for food for giving up efficiency for increased ESG. The query is extra: is administration taking over dangers it will possibly’t handle?”

To attempt to reply that query, the world’s largest monetary service suppliers are investing in corporations which offer ESG-related information.

This yr alone, Moody’s purchased Vigeo Eiris and 4 Twenty Seven, MSCI purchased Carbon Delta and the London Inventory Trade purchased Past Scores. S&P acquired Trucost in 2016.

Impartial local weather threat advisors Engaged Monitoring say they attracted two-thirds of their purchasers previously yr. All six corporations present information, assessments and consulting on the local weather publicity of corporations or bonds.

HOW TO COUNT

A central difficulty, mentioned at European oil majors’ shareholder conferences this yr, is how they cope with the emissions attributable to the merchandise they promote, reminiscent of gasoline or kerosene, that are often called Scope three emissions.

(GRAPHIC: Oil Majors’ Carbon emissions – right here)

Such emissions are usually round six occasions bigger than the mixed emissions from oil corporations’ direct operations and energy provide, also referred to as Scope 1 and a couple of emissions, in keeping with Reuters calculations.

Even when an organization publishes Scope three information, there are 15 completely different classes primarily based on the Greenhouse Fuel Protocol. These embrace use of bought merchandise reminiscent of gasoline alongside secondary elements reminiscent of enterprise journey or worker commuting.

Constantine Pretenteris at Engaged Monitoring mentioned some corporations achieved a excessive rating for comprehensiveness by disclosing information for a lot of the Scope three classes, however omitted the important thing ones, reminiscent of emissions from use of their gasoline.

“We’d like to see a basic commonplace which makes comparisons straightforward,” Sven Reinke of Moody’s mentioned. “It doesn’t totally exist as of late.”

RELATIVE OR ABSOLUTE

The vast majority of climate-related targets are primarily based on depth measures, which suggests absolute emissions can rise with rising manufacturing, even when the headline depth metric falls.

Complete recorded Scope three emissions from the world’s high public oil corporations are nonetheless rising, largely as a consequence of rising oil and fuel output, in keeping with Reuters calculations primarily based on information carried on Refinitiv’s Eikon platform and firm web sites.

They confirmed mixed Scope three emissions recorded by BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips’, Chevron, Eni, Complete, Equinor and Repsol rose round 1.6% over 2018, after a 1% related rise the earlier yr.

Particular person figures differ in keeping with the metrics an organization chooses to incorporate. Conoco mentioned its Scope three emissions had fallen 5%, whereas the opposite corporations’ particular person recorded Scope three emissions both rose or stayed roughly the identical.

Requested for remark, BP and Chevron pointed to absolute targets associated to their very own operations. Complete pointed to progress it had made in the direction of decreasing emissions depth per unit produced. Shell and Repsol referred to their short-term intensity-based targets and Equinor mentioned it couldn’t take accountability for emissions it doesn’t management.

U.S. agency Exxon didn’t reply to a request for remark. Eni had no fast remark.

Prime oil corporations have boosted funding in renewable vitality and low-carbon know-how lately, notably in Europe, however a lot larger sums are nonetheless going into growing oil and fuel.

“We can not change the patterns of consumption world wide – we can not make individuals fly much less. We are able to cut back the carbon depth of the merchandise we promote,” Shell Chief Govt Ben van Beurden mentioned in June.

Mark Lewis from BNP Paribas and a member of TCFD, mentioned total cuts had been what would depend ultimately. Repsol is at present the one main oil firm to have set absolute discount targets for all its output.

“The Paris Settlement is all a few carbon price range and that’s an absolute quantity. It’s not an depth quantity,” Lewis mentioned. “The environment works by way of absolutes not depth.”

Within the meantime, some buyers are avoiding oil corporations which others say needs to be supported for going additional than a lot of their friends.

London-based funding administration agency Sarasin & Companions mentioned in June it was promoting down its stake in Shell as a result of its spending plans had been out of synch with worldwide local weather targets.

Requested for remark, Shell pointed to feedback from representatives of the pension funds of the Church of England and Britain’s authorities Surroundings company, which praised the corporate’s transparency and mentioned others ought to comply with its lead.

(GRAPHIC: European Carbon costs – right here)

Modifying by Philippa Fletcher

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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Unique: Regulators weigh ‘startle components’ for Boeing 737 MAX pilot coaching – Transport Canada government

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MONTREAL/CHICAGO (Reuters) – World regulators are taking a look at “startle components” that may overwhelm pilots as they contemplate revised protocols for the Boeing 737 MAX, Nicholas Robinson, the top of civil aviation for Transport Canada, instructed Reuters on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A employee walks previous unpainted Boeing 737 MAX plane seen parked in an aerial picture at Renton Municipal Airport close to the Boeing Renton facility in Renton, Washington, U.S. July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photograph

Boeing Co’s fastest-selling jetliner, the 737 MAX, was grounded worldwide in March after two deadly crashes that killed a complete of 346 folks inside 5 months.

Pilot overload seems to have performed a task in each crashes, through which crews struggled to regain management of the airplane whereas a brand new flight management system repeatedly pushed the nostril down amid a collection of different audio and sensory alarms and alerts.

“What we have to do is be sure that the aircrew within the MAX are capable of deal with that atmosphere,” Robinson mentioned in an interview with Reuters.

Transport Canada is amongst a core group of regulators that’s evaluating the necessities for the 737 MAX to fly once more after a seven-month grounding.

It has been convening weekly by telephone, video conferences or face-to-face with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and its counterparts within the European Union and Brazil, Robinson mentioned.

Their selections may result in sweeping modifications to pilot flight working manuals and classroom instruction and even mandates for pricey simulator coaching, trade sources have mentioned.

Nevertheless, no coaching selections could be made till Boeing submits software program updates to the FAA for assessment and approval, Robinson mentioned.

Transport Canada is carefully aligned with the European Union Aviation Security Company on return to service calls for and has additionally raised questions over the structure behind the 737 MAX’s angle of assault system.

“We proceed to search for an answer proposed by the producer and the FAA on that space,” he mentioned.

Nonetheless, Canada’s purpose is for the MAX to return in international locations throughout the globe concurrently, or a minimum of in shut succession.

“It’s not a necessity, but it surely’s a purpose,” Robinson mentioned.

PILOT WORKLOAD

A startle or shock within the cockpit can endanger a pilot’s potential to take care of management of the plane and was mentioned to play a task in earlier air crashes like Air France flight 447 in 2009.

The identical yr, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed a US Airways flight on the Hudson River in New York after a hen strike disabled the engines. He instructed lawmakers in June that the 737 MAX crew may have been confused as they struggled to take care of management of the plane.

“I can inform you firsthand that the startle issue is actual and it’s big. It completely interferes with one’s potential to shortly analyze the disaster and take corrective motion,” Sullenberger mentioned.

Below new simulator situations, 737 MAX pilots worldwide could also be skilled on runaway stabilizer, a lack of management that was triggered in each 737 MAX crashes, coupled with some type of sudden malfunction.

“The one strategy to successfully take care of the bodily and psychological reactions of ‘startle impact’ is to have beforehand been uncovered to it,” mentioned Captain Larry Rooney, president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations.

The purpose of introducing startles is to show pilots how to answer “struggle, flight or freeze” instincts in an atmosphere the place the results will not be life threatening, mentioned Rooney. The one strategy to prepare for startle is in a simulator or in actual life.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Wednesday acknowledged that Boeing’s flight management software program, activated off defective information from a key airflow sensor, contributed to a broader chain of occasions that created extra workload for the pilots in 737 MAX crashes.

The planemaker, which is concentrating on a 737 MAX return to service within the fourth quarter, has began displaying pilots and regulators its proposed software program replace and coaching program at data periods in Miami, London, Istanbul, Shanghai and Singapore scheduled to run via mid-October.

Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal and Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Further reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Modifying by Matthew Lewis

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma information for chapter safety

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP filed for chapter safety Sunday evening, succumbing to stress from greater than 2,600 lawsuits alleging the corporate helped gasoline the lethal U.S. opioid epidemic.

Purdue’s board met Sunday night to approve the long-expected chapter submitting, which the corporate is pursuing to restructure below phrases of a proposal to settle the widespread litigation.

Purdue, which filed for Chapter 11 safety in a federal chapter courtroom in White Plains, New York, reached a tentative deal to resolve lawsuits with 24 states and 5 U.S. territories, in addition to lead legal professionals for greater than 2,000 cities, counties and different plaintiffs, the corporate mentioned.

Two dozen states stay opposed or uncommitted to the proposed settlement, setting the stage for contentious authorized battles over who bears accountability for a public well being disaster that has claimed the lives of almost 400,000 individuals between 1999 and 2017, in accordance with the most recent U.S. knowledge.

Hundreds of cities and counties, together with almost each state, have sued Purdue and, in some circumstances, its controlling Sackler household. The lawsuits, in search of billions of {dollars} in damages, declare the corporate and household aggressively marketed prescription painkillers whereas deceptive docs and sufferers about their dependancy and overdose dangers.

Purdue and the Sacklers have denied the allegations.

Opposing states, together with Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut, need the Sacklers to ensure extra of their very own cash will go towards a settlement, and have questioned Purdue’s calculations valuing the general deal at greater than $10 billion.

The Sacklers, who would cede management of Purdue within the proposed settlement, have supplied $three billion in money and an extra $1.5 billion or extra by way of the eventual sale of one other firm they personal, known as Mundipharma, in accordance with the corporate and folks aware of the phrases. The Sacklers have declined to revise their supply.

“That is the fork within the highway. There are solely two methods to go from right here,” mentioned Purdue Chairman Steve Miller in an interview with Reuters.

Miller mentioned Purdue plans to argue to opposing states that preventing the proposed settlement will doubtless end in protracted litigation, growing authorized charges and depleting worth that might be steered to U.S. communities reeling from opioid abuse. He described chapter proceedings because the “finest hope for finalizing and implementing a worldwide decision to this litigation.”

In an announcement, members of the Sackler household controlling Purdue mentioned they hoped these opposing the present settlement supply would ultimately change their minds.

FILE PHOTO: Bottles of prescription painkiller OxyContin tablets, made by Purdue Pharma LP, are seen on a counter at an area pharmacy in Provo, Utah, U.S., April 25, 2017. REUTERS/George Frey

“It’s our hope the chapter reorganization course of that’s now underway will finish our possession of Purdue and guarantee its property are devoted for the general public profit,” the household mentioned.

The result of Purdue’s tried chapter reorganization and settlement negotiations will assist decide how a lot cash U.S. communities obtain from the corporate and the Sacklers to deal with hurt from opioids. A reorganization and settlement would in the end should be permitted by a U.S. chapter choose.

States suing the Sacklers, together with a number of over the previous week, allege the household improperly reaped billions of {dollars} from opioid gross sales regardless of information of their dangerous results. The Sacklers, a few of whom beforehand served on the Purdue’s board and are well-known rich philanthropists, have denied the allegations.

Purdue’s proposed settlement envisions it changing into a belief that might contribute to U.S. communities, at little or no value, tens of thousands and thousands of doses of medicine the corporate developed to fight opioid overdoses and dependancy, the corporate mentioned.

Purdue values the medication at $4.45 billion over a decade, the individuals aware of the matter mentioned. Underneath the proposal’s phrases, the restructured Purdue could be completely sure by so-called injunctive aid, which incorporates restrictions on the promotion and sale of opioids.

States opposing the settlement supply have vowed to battle makes an attempt by Purdue and the Sacklers to make use of chapter proceedings to comprise the litigation.

On Friday, New York Lawyer Basic Letitia James mentioned she uncovered roughly $1 billion in wire transfers “between the Sacklers, entities they management and completely different monetary establishments, together with those who have funneled funds into Swiss financial institution accounts.”

The knowledge, in information an unnamed monetary establishment produced in response to a subpoena from James’s workplace, detailed monetary transfers involving former Purdue board member Mortimer D.A. Sackler, in accordance with courtroom paperwork her workplace filed.

He allegedly used shell firms “to shift Purdue cash by way of accounts world wide after which conceal it in no less than two separate multimillion-dollar actual property investments again right here in New York, sanitized (till now) of any readily-detectable connections to the Sackler household,” a lawyer in James’ workplace mentioned in one of many courtroom filings.

“There’s nothing newsworthy about these decade-old transfers, which had been completely authorized and acceptable in each respect,” a spokesman for Mortimer D.A. Sackler mentioned in an announcement.

“This can be a cynical try by a hostile AG’s workplace to generate defamatory headlines to attempt to torpedo a mutually useful settlement that’s supported by so many different states and would end in billions of {dollars} going to communities and people throughout the nation that need assistance,” the assertion added.

FILE PHOTO: Bottles of prescription painkiller OxyContin tablets, made by Purdue Pharma LP sit on a counter at an area pharmacy in Provo, Utah, U.S., April 25, 2017. REUTERS/George Frey/File Photograph

Purdue, in the meantime, plans to ask a chapter choose to halt lively litigation so it could negotiate a closing settlement, the individuals mentioned. However the firm is making ready for states to argue their lawsuits can’t be halted by a Chapter 11 submitting as a result of their authorized actions had been delivered to implement public well being and security legal guidelines – exempting them from the standard chapter guidelines that might cease their complaints.

One other thorny authorized query entails the Sacklers and below what circumstances Purdue may use chapter legislation in an try and additionally halt lawsuits in opposition to them.

These authorized skirmishes may take a while to develop, as Purdue initially should search courtroom approval to proceed paying workers and tackle routine working bills.

Reporting by Mike Spector; modifying by Edward Tobin and Stephen Coates

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Reuters asks choose to launch secret Propecia paperwork

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Reuters requested a U.S. choose on Thursday to unseal paperwork filed in court docket concerning potential dangers related to Propecia, Merck & Co’s (MRK.N) widespread baldness drug.

A bottle of Propecia is seen on a pharmacy shelf in New York Metropolis, U.S., August 8, 2019. Image taken August 8, 2019. REUTERS/Zachary Goelman

The movement was filed in federal court docket in Brooklyn, New York, after a Reuters article on Wednesday revealed accusations that Merck didn’t absolutely disclose on Propecia’s label the incidence and period of sexual dysfunction in males who took Propecia in scientific trials. These allegations are contained in court docket filings that had been meant to be filed below seal.

Particular Report

Courtroom let Merck cover secrets and techniques a few drug’s dangers

Federal District Choose Brian Cogan has allowed Merck to maintain secret inside firm paperwork in litigation introduced by Propecia customers towards the corporate. A defective redaction allowed Reuters to view a number of the particulars in a plaintiff’s temporary, however the underlying Merck paperwork cited in that temporary are nonetheless sealed. These are the paperwork the Reuters movement seeks to make public.

“This can be a case of large significance that has been sealed with out on-the-record findings explaining that sealing,” Reuters argued in its movement to intervene within the case. “The First Modification precludes such an final result.”

Merck didn’t reply to a request for remark. The corporate beforehand advised Reuters it “stands behind the security and efficacy of Propecia” and famous that the drug has been prescribed safely to hundreds of thousands of males for the reason that late 1990s.

A June 25 Reuters investigation revealed how judges have allowed the makers of dozens of shopper merchandise to file below seal of their courts data that’s pertinent to public well being and security. They usually achieve this with out clarification, although in most jurisdictions, they’re required to offer one.

Particular Report

How judges added to the grim toll of opioids

Particular Report

Courtroom let Merck cover secrets and techniques a few drug’s dangers

The investigation discovered that a whole lot of 1000’s of People have been killed or significantly injured over the previous couple of a long time by allegedly faulty merchandise — medication, automobiles, medical units and different merchandise — whereas proof that might have alerted customers and regulators to potential hazard remained below seal.

Greater than 1,100 Propecia-related lawsuits filed throughout the U.S. towards Merck have been consolidated earlier than Choose Cogan in so-called multidistrict litigation (MDL). Merck agreed to settle most of them final 12 months for $4.three million, to be divided among the many plaintiffs. Previous to the settlement, plaintiffs’ legal professionals cited inside firm communications to allege that in revisions to the drug’s authentic label, Merck understated the variety of males who skilled sexual signs in scientific trials, and the way lengthy these signs lasted. Merck settled earlier than responding to the allegation in court docket.

Beneath U.S. legislation, court docket filings are presumed to be public, and the bar for secrecy is especially excessive for the Propecia paperwork Reuters seeks to unseal, the movement states, as a result of they’re important to plaintiffs’ declare that the drug causes persistent sexual uncomfortable side effects.

“These paperwork mustn’t stay below seal absent essentially the most compelling causes,” Reuters argued.

Learn the Reuters movement

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Exclusive: Repsol in advanced talks to buy Exxon assets in Gulf of Mexico – sources

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(Reuters) – Spanish oil giant Repsol SA is in advanced talks to acquire some deepwater assets in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico from Exxon Mobil Corp for about $1 billion, three people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: An Exxon gas station is seen in Houston, Texas, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

The deal would be a boon to Exxon’s plans to accelerate asset sales, as it seeks to raise cash to return to shareholders and fund major projects. Suppressed oil prices have weighed on the appetite of oil majors to buy such assets.

There is no certainty a deal will be agreed, the sources said. The transaction would require approval from partners in the assets, who may have preferential rights to buy them, said two of the sources.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Representatives for Exxon and Repsol declined to comment.

Exxon began the process to jettison Gulf of Mexico assets last year with advice from JPMorgan Chase & Co, Reuters reported last October.

According to a document seen by Reuters dated Fall/Winter 2018, Exxon was marketing nine assets. These included its 50% stake in the large Julia oil field, which it operates, as well a 9.4% piece of the Heidelberg field and 23% of the Lucius oil and gas field, both of which are now operated by Occidental Petroleum Corp.

The exact number of assets that Exxon would sell to Repsol could not be learned.

The Irving, Texas-based company is trimming its portfolio to focus on promising acreage in offshore areas such as Guyana and Brazil, and onshore in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico. This includes in the Gulf of Mexico, once considered a reliable basin for oil exploration and production.

Exxon’s Chief Executive Darren Woods said earlier this year the company was targeting $15 billion through 2021 from asset sales, although securing divestments has been difficult at a time when many oil developers, especially in the United States, are eschewing purchases to focus on existing portfolios.

However, the world’s largest publicly traded energy company said last week it was in exclusive talks with Var Energi in relation to Exxon’s Norwegian upstream assets, confirming a Reuters story that the duo were close to a $4 billion deal.

Reporting by David French and Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York; Additional reporting by Jennifer Hiller and Gary McWilliams in Houston; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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Good house tech makes inroads into China’s rising aged care market

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WEIFANG, China (Reuters) – Charging aged shoppers simply 1 yuan or about 15 cents a day, little-known Lanchuang Community Expertise Corp has launched into one of the crucial formidable undertakings in aged care by a personal sector agency in China.

FILE PHOTO: An aged lady walks with a stick alongside a road in downtown Beijing, China July 30, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Supplied with a setup field, a webcam paired with a TV set and “Xiaoyi”, a Siri-like voice assistant, clients achieve entry to telemedicine and an SOS system in addition to for-pay companies that embrace housekeeping and meal deliveries.

A small robotic that may ring up a medical middle in response to verbal requires assist prices an additional 2 yuan per day.

Launched simply 4 months in the past, Lanchuang’s good care system has already signed up 220,000 aged shoppers in 16 cities, half of that are in Shandong, a quickly growing older province in jap China the place the corporate relies.

It’s concentrating on as many as 1.5 million customers this yr, 12 million subsequent yr and 30 million in 2021, when it hopes to listing on China’s new Nasdaq-style tech board.

The goal, nonetheless, is to not generate income from its shoppers, a few of whom get by on pensions as little as a number of hundred yuan a month, however to take a lower from suppliers of offline companies.

“China’s marketplace for aged care is big, however companies within the business are fragmented,” CEO Li Libo advised Reuters in an interview at his firm’s headquarters in Weifang metropolis.

“Scattered on the bottom are pearls,” Li, 47, mentioned of the services accessible, including it was his firm’s goal to string them collectively.

Lanchuang, which can be working with China Cellular Ltd (0941.HK) on a smartphone for seniors, is an instance of rising, albeit nonetheless nascent, makes an attempt by entrepreneurs to supply complete good house care companies for China’s huge variety of aged.

China has 1 / 4 of a billion folks aged 60 or over, and by 2050, that quantity is about to climb to virtually half a billion, or 35% of the inhabitants, in keeping with authorities estimates.

Liu, 66, a local of Jinan, Shandong’s capital, is aware of how arduous taking good care of the aged may be. In her mom’s last years, her urinary tract would get obstructed regardless of sporting a catheter and infrequently in the midst of the night time, to her daughter’s despair.

“If solely I had been in a position to attain a physician to assist my mom, however medical doctors should not reachable 24 hours a day,” mentioned Liu, who solely gave her surname.

The retired accountant, who was unaware of tech merchandise aimed on the aged, now lives alone and is reluctant to bother her personal daughter and son-in-law.

Care of growing older dad and mom has historically fallen on the shoulders of kids, however in fashionable China, the place the one-child coverage was abolished solely in 2016, the son or daughter has to take care of as many as 4 growing older folks together with in-laws. Typically, youngsters have moved to cities distant for work.

Retirement and nursing properties are on the rise, however are too expensive for many households and largely perceived as ridden with abuse. Three-quarters of outdated folks desire to reside out their days at house, official surveys present.

LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Whereas Beijing has been keen to ascertain a coverage framework for a proper aged care system, native governments have been reluctant to help aged-care companies which they see as nice-to-haves or simply an excessive amount of work.

However change is afoot.

In April, Beijing issued an in depth coverage doc outlining companies to be developed for the sector, together with good know-how, in addition to monetary help.

The central authorities supplied virtually 22 million yuan ($three million) in subsidies for Lanchuang’s good platform and the Shandong provincial authorities has given three million yuan.

That degree of encouragement is a far cry from a decade in the past when entrepreneurs persistently met with native resistance.

“Why are you doing this? What has this obtained to do with me?” mentioned U.S. entrepreneur Wang Jie, 59, as he recalled skeptical appears when he sounded out native authorities in China about trials of movement sensors at folks’s properties.

Wang needed to go to Canada for his trials. When he returned to Beijing in late 2013 to kick begin a enterprise, Wang needed to persuade native authorities, district by district, of the virtues of his sensors – which assist members of the family monitor exercise ranges of aged folks through an app however should not as intrusive as cameras.

Wang, who sits on the Nationwide Advisory Committee on Good Aged Care, has since managed to make inroads into two Beijing districts, with talks underway with three others.

The 2 districts have helped Wang establish high-risk people, sometimes these aged 70 and above, who reside alone and may be keen to make use of his sensors.

His agency, Beijing eCare Good Tech Co, has offered a number of hundred units of sensors in Beijing to this point this yr underneath three-year contracts with group organizations. Wang’s firm additionally helps practice grassroots emergency response crews as a part of the deal. Households pay nothing.

“If an aged particular person dies and the physique is barely found after three days, this creates unfavourable publicity for the native authorities, publicity that it needs to keep away from,” Wang mentioned.

EARLY DAYS

Entrepreneurs in different graying economies resembling america, Britain and South Korea have equally seized on alternatives within the sector, touting applied sciences from voice recognition for house home equipment to robotic companions for lonely outdated folks.

However it’s nonetheless early days in China.

In Weifang, Zhuojing Healthcare Heart, one in every of 147 group medical service suppliers linked to the Lanchuang community, mentioned it has solely receives 1-2 calls by the system a day.

On a Reuters go to organized by Lanchuang to the properties of two aged shoppers in Weifang, each mentioned they use the platform primarily for video chats with household.

Zhao Xi’e, 55, mentioned she makes use of it to speak to her mom who lives close by.

Slideshow (14 Photos)

Zhao’s purchasing and meals supply panels on her TV show have been grayed out, indicating zero service suppliers in her neighborhood.

She was additionally unaware the purple button on her handheld management had an SOS operate.

“Is that an on/off button?” she requested.

Reporting by Ryan Woo; Extra reporting by Beijing newsroom; Modifying by Edwina Gibbs

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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How a shadow banking disaster despatched India’s autos sector right into a tailspin

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MUMBAI (Reuters) – Sudhir Gharpure and his gross sales crew sat chatting at an enormous Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS) dealership on the outskirts of Mumbai some two hours after its doorways have been opened on a current Saturday morning – not a single buyer was in sight.

FILE PHOTO: A employee adjusts the windscreen wipers of a parked automobile at a Maruti Suzuki stockyard on the outskirts of the western Indian metropolis of Ahmedabad September 1, 2011. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Picture

“There was near 15-20 bookings every day, however now we’re all the way down to 3-5 on good days,” stated Gharpure, the final supervisor on the dealership.

Gharpure’s expertise is just not an remoted one. Throughout India dealerships are being pushed out of enterprise and the Indian auto sector goes by its greatest stoop in almost twenty years. Passenger car gross sales fell for eight straight months till June, and in Might gross sales dropped 20.55% – the sharpest recorded fall in 18 years.

Preliminary knowledge signifies passenger car gross sales might have plunged as a lot as 30 % in July. The stoop in India, together with a simultaneous slide in Chinese language auto gross sales, is a blow for automakers wrestling with increased prices pushed by extra stringent emission norms and a push to develop electrical automobiles.

Not like in China, the place the plunge in automobiles gross sales has been prompted largely by new emissions guidelines, India has seen a mixture of elements which have mixed to erode demand for vehicles.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2016 ban on high-value financial institution notes, increased tax charges below a brand new items and providers tax regime, a increase of ride-sharing companies similar to Uber and Ola, and a weak rural financial system have all performed a job.

However many sellers and automakers agree it’s a deepening liquidity crunch amongst India’s shadow banks that has been the most important single think about an auto gross sales collapse, which some worry might result in greater than 1,000,000 job losses.

Non-banking finance firms (NBFCs), or shadow banks, have dramatically slashed lending following the collapse of one of many greatest, IL&FS, in late 2018.

IL&FS, or Infrastructure Leasing & Monetary Companies Ltd, was a behemoth in shadow banking and its defaults and unraveling, amid fraud allegations, have dried up funding for rivals and led to a surge of their borrowing prices.

Non-bank or shadow banking companies generate credit score exterior conventional lenders, by means similar to collective funding autos, broker-dealers or funds that put money into bonds and cash markets.

In India, NBFCs have in recent times helped fund almost 55-60% of business autos each new and used, 30% of passenger automobiles and almost 65% of the two-wheelers within the nation, in response to ranking company ICRA.

To worsen issues, the stress within the autos market has additionally prompted banks to start trimming their publicity to the sector.

“The automobile doesn’t promote, it’s the finance that sells,” stated R. Vijayaraghavan, a senior advertising and marketing guide on the similar Mumbai dealership. “At present the finance is just not promoting, so the automobiles will not be promoting.”

PROBLEMS AMPLIFIED

Some 286 dealerships have shut down within the final 18 months throughout India as rising prices for stock administration have made companies unviable, in response to the Federation of Vehicle Sellers Affiliation (FADA), a foyer group of auto sellers.

“The slowdown within the (NBFC) sector has dragged down car gross sales development,” stated A.M. Karthik, monetary sector head at ICRA. “Now the auto slowdown is turning into extra seen because the liquidity squeeze continues.”

Automakers together with Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS), Tata Motors (TAMO.NS), and Mahindra & Mahindra (MAHM.NS) are feeling the warmth and have both lower manufacturing or quickly closed crops to right mounting shares.

In keeping with FADA knowledge, passenger car inventories now stand at 50-60 days up from round 45 days earlier, whereas these of two-wheelers are even increased at 80-90 days. For business autos, stock ranges vary between 45 and 50 days.

“We’re asking sellers to keep up a list of 21 days, which is sort of half of the present ranges,” stated Ashish Kale, president of FADA.

No less than 4 sellers from totally different manufacturers stated, nonetheless, there was little scope to scale back inventories as automakers have been pushing them to purchase inventory regardless of there being no demand even with heavy discounting and different sops on supply.

Whereas 70-75% of automobile gross sales have been beforehand financed in-house by NBFC or financial institution brokers sitting at a dealership, that has fallen to about 50%, say sellers, as patrons battle to qualify below extra stringent lending norms put in place by lenders which are below stress to shore up their books.

Furthermore, as many NBFCs usually lent to much less creditworthy shoppers, banks are reticent to hurry in to fill the void, as they themselves battle to deal with an current pile of about $150 billion in unhealthy loans.

“The banking sector is definitely one of many elements that has affected the expansion of the business,” stated R.C. Bhargava, chair of Maruti Suzuki, noting rates of interest for automobile patrons have gone up within the final 12 months regardless of the central financial institution chopping charges.

EARLY RECOVERY UNLIKELY

With the autos sector using greater than 35 million individuals instantly and not directly, and contributing greater than 7% to India’s GDP and accounting for 49% of its manufacturing GDP, the fallout from the autos stoop is big and presents an enormous problem to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities because it begins its second time period.

Your complete provide chain, from car producers to element makers, are bleeding amid the stoop.

“I’ve been making my funds for the final 30 years and the lenders know me,” stated Adarsh Gupta, the director of finance at Autolite (India), a element manufacturing agency. “However even a two-day delay has individuals crying that I’ll default.

“I too need to pay, however due to the autumn in cashflows I’m dealing with short-term points and due to that it’s tough to get extra financing. That is the vicious cycle we’re in.”

Kale, the FADA president, stated on Sunday the commerce physique estimated that dealerships had collectively already lower round 7-8% of their workforce, or round 200,000 jobs nationwide.

“Many of the cuts which have occurred are in front-end gross sales jobs but when this continues, then even the technical jobs might be affected as a result of if we’re promoting much less then we may even service much less,” he stated.

Nonetheless, automakers are hopeful of a restoration within the months forward, helped by the September-December festive season that historically sees a surge in client spending.

“One can solely want that issues enhance sooner somewhat than later. With festive demand beginning to seep by, we should always begin seeing a gradual enchancment in gross sales,” stated P.B. Balaji, group CFO at Tata Motors.

Analysts are extra skeptical although, and say with out car financing turning into cheaper and simpler the possibilities for which are low. With no silver lining in sight, analysts worry unhealthy money owed might mount within the auto sector, forcing banks to additional cut back their publicity.

“We see market costs and gross sales coming down so there could also be points,” stated a high official on the Indian Banks’ Affiliation. “We might see a spillover by way of unhealthy loans for the general sector, however we’re going to wait and watch.”

Sellers stated they have been hopeful of tiding over the present downturn because the broader development story for India stays intact, however there might be much more ache earlier than a restoration kicks in.

“The long run goes to be multi-brand automobile showrooms,” stated advertising and marketing guide Vijayaraghavan. “That’s the solely manner for dealerships to outlive going ahead as overhead prices have to be shared.”

Further reporting by Derek Francis in BANGALORE; and Aftab Ahmed and Aditi Shah in NEW DELHI; Enhancing by Euan Rocha and Alex Richardson

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LSE’s bid for Refinitiv spotlights quest for knowledge, globality

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LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – London Inventory Alternate Group Plc’s (LSE.L) deliberate buy of Refinitiv in a $27 billion deal is the most recent signal that trade operators are focusing extra on knowledge merchandise to extend income, whereas additionally attempting to develop their international attain.

FILE PHOTO: An commercial for Refinitiv is seen on a display screen in London’s Canary Wharf monetary centre, London, Britain, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Boyce

For greater than a decade, trade operators across the globe have been attempting to consolidate. However proposed tie-ups between main rivals have failed a number of instances up to now due to resistance from authorities authorities who both had antitrust issues or didn’t desire a international firm working what was typically seen as a nationwide image.

On the identical time, earnings from the normal enterprise of facilitating transactions like inventory trades have fallen, pushing the business to search for associated companies for development, analysts and business sources mentioned.

As a result of income from knowledge merchandise has been rising and is predicted to proceed doing so, exchanges are actually hungry for these merchandise in addition to promoting companies primarily based off that knowledge and data, similar to indexes and fee-based companies they’ll supply as soon as a commerce has cleared.

“Information is the lifeblood of monetary markets immediately now greater than ever – and that knowledge is getting increasingly helpful,” mentioned Kevin McPartland, head of market construction and expertise analysis at Greenwich Associates.

If accomplished, LSE’s deal to purchase Refinitiv, a worldwide monetary knowledge analytics supplier, from buyout agency Blackstone Group Inc (BX.N) and Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO) will match that mould, the analysts mentioned.

“It simply makes them extra aggressive and extra interesting as a companion for purchasers as a result of it brings collectively much more than what LSE had earlier than,” mentioned Spencer Mindlin, an Aite Group analyst who focuses on capital markets buying and selling expertise.

LSE and Thomson Reuters declined to remark for this text, referring to their earlier statements that confirmed they have been in discussions for a deal. Blackstone didn’t have an instantaneous remark.

In its assertion, LSE mentioned a deal would assist develop its knowledge and distribution capabilities, diversify buying and selling capabilities and improve international footprint, permitting it to learn from “future data- and technology-enabled development alternatives.”

LSE mentioned it expects to chop greater than 350 million kilos in annual prices for 5 years after the deal closes, and add to its earnings per share within the first full 12 months after completion.

GLOBAL EXPANSION

Refinitiv relies in London and reaches greater than 40,000 shoppers, who’re largely merchants and funding professionals, in additional than 190 international locations.

Patrick Younger, an business guide at Alternate Make investments, mentioned LSE’s deal for Refinitiv can be “a significant pivot away from the EU” for the trade operator.

Simply final month, London Inventory Alternate Chief Govt David Schwimmer mentioned it was tough even to contemplate large mergers due to political opposition.

The corporate failed a number of instances to merge with Germany’s Deutsche Boerse AG .GDAXI and beforehand failed to amass Canada’s principal trade, TSX Inc.

These collapsed offers mirror proposed cross-border marriages that didn’t work, together with Singapore Alternate Ltd’s (SGXL.SI) try to purchase Australia’s ASX Ltd (ASX.AX) in 2011.

QUEST TO DIVERSIFY

Main exchanges, together with Intercontinental Alternate Inc (ICE.N), Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O) and Deutsche Boerse, have been extra profitable in inking smaller offers that diversify their companies away from fundamental inventory buying and selling.

Probably the most fundamental companies that exchanges present are real-time market knowledge feeds. In the US, that generates about $1.four billion in annual income for the business, in response to Greenwich Associates. Exchanges generate billions extra in knowledge income past that for associated services.

Buyers and banks that pay for the data have been pushing again on pricing. Some funding companies have known as on the European Union’s markets watchdog ESMA to overview market knowledge charges, saying they carry on rising regardless of falling prices of computing and knowledge storage.

At London Inventory Alternate, former chief government Xavier Rolet started to diversify income after taking the helm in 2009.

FILE PHOTO: The London Inventory Alternate Group places of work are seen within the Metropolis of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

In the present day, info companies account for practically 40% of the group’s 2.14 billion kilos ($2.65 billion) in annual revenues, in response to its 2018 annual report. That portion is adopted by post-trade companies at simply over one-third.

Conventional capital markets enterprise like inventory buying and selling and preliminary public choices accounted for simply 19% of income final 12 months, in contrast with round 46% a decade in the past.

(This story corrects paragraph 19 to interchange reference to “consolidated market feeds” with “real-time market knowledge feeds”).

Further reporting by Michelle Worth in Washington D.C., Noor Zainab Hussain in Bangalore and Pamela Barbaglia in London; Modifying by Lauren LaCapra, Paritosh Bansal and Daniel Wallis

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