IBM says U.S. should adopt new export controls on facial recognition systems By Reuters


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© Reuters. A man wearing a protective mask walks past an office building with IBM logo amidst the easing of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Sydney

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – IBM Corp (N:) said on Friday the U.S. Commerce Department should adopt new controls to limit the export of facial recognition systems to repressive regimes that can be used to commit human rights violations.

The company said in a statement the United States should institute new export limits on “the type of facial recognition system most likely to be used in mass surveillance systems, racial profiling or other human rights violations.”

In July, the Commerce Department had sought public comments on whether to adopt new export license requirements for facial recognition software and other biometric systems used in surveillance. Comments are due by Sept. 15.

Christopher Padilla, IBM’s vice president for government and regulatory affairs, told Reuters the U.S. government should focus on “one to many” systems that could be used to pick dissidents out of a crowd or for mass surveillance, rather than “facial identification” systems that allow a user to unlock an iPhone or board an airplane.

IBM said the Commerce Department should control “export of both the high-resolution cameras used to collect data and the software algorithms used to analyze and match that data against a database of images” and argued it should “limit the ability of certain foreign governments to obtain the large-scale computing components required to implement an integrated facial recognition system.”

The company’s written comments did not identify specific governments but said “controls on the most powerful types of facial recognition technology should be focused on those countries that have a history of human rights abuses.”

The Commerce Department’s July notice said China “has deployed facial recognition technology in the Xinjiang region, in which there has been repression, mass arbitrary detention and high technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups.”

The department has added dozens of Chinese companies and entities to an economic blacklist that it said were implicated in human rights violations regarding China’s treatment of Uighurs, including video surveillance firm Hikvision (SZ:), as well as leaders in facial recognition technology SenseTime Group Ltd and Megvii Technology.

China has denied mistreating people in Xinjiang.

IBM said the Commerce Department should also restrict access to online image databases that can be used to train facial recognition systems.

In June, IBM told the U.S. Congress it would stop offering facial recognition software and opposes any use of such technology for purposes of mass surveillance and racial profiling. The company also called for new federal rules to hold police more accountable for misconduct.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Asian Stocks Mostly Down, China Releases Mixed Export and Import Data By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asian stocks were mostly down on Monday morning, with markets slowly recovering from the biggest two-day slide since June and investors digesting data released by China.

China’s inched down 0.09% by 11:20 PM ET (4:20 AM GMT) and the fell 1.10%. The country released mixed export and import data for August earlier in the day, with up 9.5% year-on-year from July’s 7.2% increase but down 2.1% year-on-year, more than July’s 1.4% fall. The decreased to $58.93 billion, down from the previous month’s $62.33 billion.

Japan’s edged down 0.18%, ahead of a slew of economic data to be released on Tuesday, including figures on household spending, current account and gross domestic product.

Some investors also expected more stimulus measures before the end of the year and expected incumbent prime minister Shinzo Abe’s Abenomics policy to be continued by his replacement.

Hong Kong’s edged up 0.19%, reversing its earlier losses. Police reportedly made 289 arrests in the aftermath of protests that took place in the city on Sunday, the original date of the Legislative Council elections. The elections have been postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19.

South Korea’s rose 0.64%

Australia’s inched down 0.02%. Australian biotechnology company CSL Ltd (ASX:) said earlier in the day that it would manufacture COVID-19 vaccine candidate being developed by AstraZeneca (NYSE:) and Oxford University upon the completion of successful trials. The first doses for Australian are expected by early 2021.

CSL will also develop a second vaccine candidate, which it is developing alongside the University of Queensland, with first doses also expected by mid-2021.

But some investors remained cautious over the global recovery from Thursday’s slide.

“Risk assets remain fragile following Thursday’s tech-led rout and volatility spike … with stimulus having been key for supporting equities and such lofty valuations, its renewal will be crucial not only for the recovery, but as a driver for equities as job risks mount,” Medley Global Advisors managing director for global macro strategy Ben Emons told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said a deal between the White House and Congress would finalize details on a spending bill by the end of the week and fund the federal government through the beginning of December, boosting investor hopes that a shutdown

Mnuchin and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have reportedly agreed to extend funding, with the measure set to avert a government shutdown when current funding dried up at the end of the month.

“We’re going to move forward with a clean continuing resolution, hopefully through the beginning of December,” Mnuchin said adding: “I hope by the end of the week we’ll have something firmed up.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Asian markets mixed as China export data offsets impact of Wall Street’s retreat


Asian markets were mixed in early trading Monday, following a sharp selloff on Wall Street last week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225
NIK,
-0.33%

dipped 0.3% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index
HSI,
+0.05%

gained 0.1%. The Shanghai Composite
SHCOMP,
-0.15%

declined 0.2% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
399106,
-0.25%

retreated 0.2%. South Korea’s Kospi
180721,
+0.76%

rose 0.7%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan
Y9999,
-0.14%

, Singapore
STI,
+0.11%

and Indonesia
JAKIDX,
-0.13%

were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
XJO,
+0.14%

were little changed.

Stocks in Hong Kong and mainland China improved after the release of data that showed China’s August exports were stronger than expected from the prior year, after another strong increase in July.

Shares of Chinese chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.
981,
-19.74%

tumbled about 20% in Hong Kong trading after a Wall Street Journal report that the Trump administration is considering placing export restrictions against it, as it has with fellow chip maker Huawei Technologies.

U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday. Last week, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
-1.26%

saw a 3.3% weekly decline, its largest since March, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.56%

fell 1.8% and the S&P 500
SPX,
-0.81%

lost 2.3%.

“We view the latest selloff as a bout of profit-taking after a strong run,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, in a note Friday.

“Stocks have had a nervy start to trading Monday after the massive two-day slide for global equities since June left investors on edge,” Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, wrote in a note Monday. “In the short-term, more so with U.S. markets closed today, it should remain an extremely choppy affair, with bounces likely being sold by design.”

In energy trading, U.S. benchmark crude
CLV20,
-1.30%

fell to $39.34 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude
BRNX20,
-1.10%

, the international standard, slipped to $42.30 a barrel.

The dollar
USDJPY,
+0.01%

inched up to 106.29 Japanese yen from 106.24 yen Friday.



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Mexico tacks on request to Sempra unit’s LNG export permit, say sources By Reuters


© Reuters. Sempra Energy headquarters is pictured in downtown San Diego

By Dave Graham (NYSE:)

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s government wants the local unit of Sempra Energy (NYSE:) to build another export facility to help sell off excess in return for granting the energy infrastructure company a historic export permit, according to three people familiar with the matter.

San Diego-based Sempra has signaled that its Mexican unit IEnova is close to obtaining the export permit for the gas liquefaction facility at its regasification terminal Energia Costa Azul (ECA), near the northwestern port of Ensenada.

However, the government this month asked IEnova to commit to another facility in the port of Topolobampo in the Gulf of California to help Mexico unload excess gas capacity before issuing the export permit, two of the people said.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the ongoing discussions, which could still lead to a prompt authorization of the permit. Reuters was not immediately able to establish details of the proposed plant.

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permit would be the first of its kind for a private company in Mexico.

One of Sempra’s top pending projects, ECA could be a lucrative outlet for U.S. natural gas in Asia, with an initial export capacity of some 3 million tonnes per annum of LNG.

Sempra’s Chief Executive Jeffrey Martin was among the business leaders to attend a July meeting between Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Washington.

During the meeting, Sempra tweeted about the $1.9 billion it is investing in ECA, and brought the approval process to the presidents’ attention, stirring hopes it would soon be resolved, according to several people familiar with the matter.

On Aug. 5, Martin told a conference call he was optimistic Sempra would get the export permit from the Mexican energy ministry during the third quarter.

IEnova referred questions on this article to Sempra, which owns a controlling 66.4% stake in the Mexican firm.

A Sempra spokeswoman said the company looked forward to seeing ECA progress and was still working with the Mexican government to obtain the export permit.

“Across all of the Sempra businesses, we constructively engage with our stakeholders to see how we can meet the needs of the communities in which we operate, and … we are continuing to do that with respect to our LNG projects,” she said.

Neither the Mexican energy ministry nor the president’s office responded to requests for comment.

BUSINESS CONCERNS

IEnova had previously discussed with the government the possibility of installing such a plant in Topolobampo, according to two of the sources. But having to commit before getting the export permit was not part of its plan, they said.

The request may fuel concerns about ease of doing business under Lopez Obrador, who has strengthened state influence over energy policy and argues that corruption in past governments skewed the energy market in favor of private interests.

Still, he inherited dozens of privately-funded infrastructure projects from his predecessor, including a U.S.-connected gas pipeline due to terminate in Topolobampo.

Lopez Obrador recently brought up the ECA in public, without mentioning the government is linking approval of the export permit to another gas export plant in Topolobampo, where IEnova is already building a liquid fuels terminal.

The final stretch of the Topolobampo pipeline is incomplete due to resistance from a local indigenous community.

However, Lopez Obrador said on Aug. 10 it was important to complete it since Mexico had signed agreements under the last administration to import U.S. gas.

Topolobampo “is where we can put a plant to handle gas and sell the (excess) gas to Asia,” he told a news briefing.

The government was therefore exploring whether a deal could be reached with IEnova to ship that gas to Asia, he said.





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Asian markets mixed; Nikkei up as ugly export data not as bad as feared


Asian markets were mixed in early trading Wednesday, after the S&P 500 closed at a new record about five months after massive losses caused by coronavirus fears.

Japan’s Nikkei 225
NIK,
+0.24%

advanced 0.2% after data showed Japanese exports in July slid 19.2% from a year earlier. While bad, the numbers were better than expected, and exports to China rose for the first time in seven months.

The Shanghai Composite
SHCOMP,
-0.30%

fell 0.3% and the Shenzhen Composite
399106,
-0.85%

slid 0.9%. South Korea’s Kospi
180721,
+0.53%

gained 1% while benchmark indexes in Taiwan
Y9999,
-0.46%

, Singapore
STI,
+0.05%

and Indonesia
JAKIDX,
-0.32%

were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
XJO,
+0.72%

advanced 0.9%.

Trading was suspended in Hong Kong due to severe weather.

Shares of SoftBank
9984,
+2.29%

rose in Tokyo, as did Nintendo
6758,
-2.25%
,
while Sony
6758,
-2.25%

fell. Samsung Electronics
005930,
-0.51%

gained in Seoul, while Beach Energy
BPT,
-2.83%

slid in Australia.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit new records Tuesday despite dismal economic data and as Congress’ stalemate over a coronavirus aid plan continued, with few signs of progress. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.24%

fell 66.84 points, or 0.2%, to close at 27,778.07. The S&P 500 index
SPX,
+0.23%

gained 7.79 points, or 0.2%, closing at a record 3,389.78, its first all-time closing high since Feb. 19. The Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP,
+0.72%

added 81.84 points to reach 11,210.84, its 34th record close of the year.

The stock market’s sprint back to an all-time high also means that the gut-wrenching, nearly 34% plunge for the S&P 500 from Feb. 19 through March 23 was the quickest bear market on record, clocking in at just one month. The average bear market takes 19.6 months to bottom out, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

“This towering feat has to be the most curious outcome ever witnessed in the annals of global markets,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, in a note, “Given the immense issues of where the real economy sits as families struggle to put food on the table and fill up their cars with gas, not to mention we are nowhere near restoring pandemic economic losses as we are still adding those costs up.”

Benchmark U.S. crude for September delivery
CLU20,
-0.58%

fell 15 cents to $42.74 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The global benchmark, October Brent crude
BRNV20,
-0.74%

, dipped as wekk

The U.S. dollar
USDJPY,
+0.15%

bought 105.45 Japanese yen, little changed from 105.46 yen on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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