China PMI, US-China trade, currencies in focus

Factory activity in China jumped unexpectedly in March — rising for the first time in four months — according to an official survey released Sunday.

The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 50.5 in March from February’s three-year low of 49.2, marking the first expansion in four months, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Sunday. The 50-mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast the manufacturing gauge would pick up slightly to 49.5, as factories ramped up production following the Lunar New Year holidays and rebuilt inventories ahead of a seasonal pickup in activity in spring.

“This is the first month in four that Chinese manufacturing activity has returned to growth and suggests a read through of Chinese macro policy growth support beginning to flow through into the economy,” David de Garis, a director and senior economist at the National Australia Bank, said in a morning note.

Export orders, however, declined for the 10th straight month, implying depressed overseas demand. Meanwhile, the official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 54.8 from 54.3.

On the U.S.-China trade front, high-level trade negotiations between the two economic powerhouses are set to resume in Washington this week following last week’s talks in Beijing.

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One of Russia’s richest women dies in plane crash in Germany | World News

One of Russia’s richest women is among three people believed to have died in a plane crash in Germany.

Natalia Fileva, 55, was travelling in a single-engine six-seat Epic-LT aircraft which crashed in a field at about 3.30pm local time, shortly before it was due to land at Egelsbach, about six miles south of Frankfurt.

German police have said there were three people including the pilot on the flight, which left the French city of Cannes on Sunday afternoon.

Ms Fileva was the co-owner of Russian airline operator S7 Group and her death was confirmed by the firm’s press service.

In a statement, they said: “S7 Group team extends sincere and heartfelt condolences to Mrs Fileva’s family and loved ones.

“The memory of her as an inspiring and sympathetic leader and a wonderful person will forever stay in the hearts of all S7 Group employees.

“It is an irreparable loss.”

S7 grew into a major carrier in the 1990s and is one of Russia’s second-biggest airlines after Aeroflot. It is based at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport and flies to 150 destinations in 35 countries.

Mrs Fileva was the wife of company chairman Vladislav Filev and a major shareholder in the company.

She had a fortune estimated by business publication at $600m (£460m).

Witnesses told the Frankfurter Rundschau they had seen a cloud of smoke in the sky just after the crash.

The identities of those on board have not been officially confirmed but police said they were thought to be Russian citizens.

Two other people died after their car collided with a police vehicle heading to the crash scene, according to German news agency DPA.

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This gay married couple wanted to have a child. Their own family members stepped in to help.

It might have been an unconventional path that brought the newborn here, but her two dads couldn’t be happier.

Same with her grandmother, who carried and delivered the girl. And her aunt, who donated eggs to conceive.

“When you are gay and married and want to have a kid, you go into it with knowledge that you are going to have to create a family in a special way,” said Matthew Eledge, a new dad along with his husband, Elliot Dougherty. “There are creative, unique ways to build a family.”

Uma Louise was born Monday at 6:06 a.m. in Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces.

She was conceived via in vitro fertilization, using Eledge’s sperm and eggs from Dougherty’s sister, Lea Yribe.

Eledge’s mother, Cecile Reynek Eledge, 61, served as gestational carrier.

“I had a lot of people in college say they would (carry and deliver a child), but when push comes to shove, that’s a huge commitment,” said Matthew Eledge, a teacher. Other options seemed “too corporate” to the couple, as though they were buying something.

“More than anything, we feel lucky to have women selfless enough to do this,” he said.

He and Dougherty, a hairstylist, say they are thankful for support from other family members and friends.

“What an honor it is to have these two women in our life,” Dougherty wrote on Facebook. “Life is a dream.”
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Durham department store worker stabbed in shoplifting

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a department store worker has been stabbed by two female shoplifters.

Durham police tell newsoutlets that the victim was a security officer at the Macy’s in Southpoint Mall in Durham.

According to police, the security officer approached one of the suspected shoplifters Sunday at about 4:30 p.m. and was stabbed outside the store in the lower stomach during a struggle.

The employee was taken to the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

The two suspects fled the scene and remained at large Sunday evening.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

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Texas boy, 9, missing since 2017 found in Florida

Investigators in Florida said Saturday they had located a 9-year-old Texas boy who had not been seen since the end of 2017.

Joshua Graham was found in Sanford with his father, Kenneth, as police were investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle at around 6:30 a.m.

The investigators said Kenneth Graham, 52, left Texas without telling his wife. They also said Kenneth Graham had previously lived in Tallahassee, Fla., and they assumed that he was taking Joshua there.

Joshua’s mother was granted sole custody of the boy in February 2018 and Joshua was reported missing and “abducted by non-custodial parent” this past Tuesday.


“Regardless of the circumstances, the feelings of loss and devastation are indescribable when any child is taken from a parent,” Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith said in a statement. “The officers and investigators involved in this case are delighted to have played a significant role in reuniting this mother with her child after two long years. I am proud that the officers responding to this call quickly identified that something didn’t seem right and those instincts led to this happy conclusion.”

Joshua was placed in the custody of Child Protective Services pending reunification with his mother. Sanford police said Kenneth Graham may face criminal charges in Texas at a later date.

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Kellyanne Conway bristles at ‘really inappropriate question’ about husband on Fox News

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway clearly is tired of having to answer questions about her husband George Conway’s criticisms of her boss, President Donald Trump. 

“What are you, Oprah now?” Conway said to “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace after he asked if her husband’s public comments had hurt her marriage. “I mean, what am I, on a couch and you are a psychiatrist? I think it’s a really inappropriate question.” 

“That’s the line over which nobody should have crossed,” Conway told Wallace. 

After discussing a range of issues including the allegation of an unwanted kiss against former Vice President Joe Biden, the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border and the Mueller report, Wallace made it clear he was uncomfortable turning to the subject of Conway’s marriage. 

Twitter tangle: Donald Trump calls Kellyanne Conway’s husband ‘a total loser’

‘You. Are. Nuts.’: Kellyanne Conway’s husband George Conway responds to President Trump

“Finally, I’m going to get into something I don’t like talking about, I know you don’t talk about but I have to tell you that when we announced that you are going to be on the show, more people asked me to ask you about this than any other question,” Wallace said. 

Wallace pointed to comments that George Conway made just this month in which he called the president a liar, a victim of “narcissistic personality disorder” and unfit for office. He followed that with a clip of Trump calling her husband a “whack job” who is “doing a tremendous disservice to a wife and family.” 

“Why is your husband attacking your boss?” Wallace asked. 

“Well, you could ask my husband. But it doesn’t affect my job,” she replied. 

Wallace asked Conway if she thought her husband was “cyberbullying” her to drive her to quit. “Do you think he’s jealous of your high-profile?” he asked. 

“Some people think that,” she said. “My first line of protection in this world is and will always be my four children. So, I don’t really like to discuss this publicly.”

Conway backs Trump in feud with husband: ‘You think he should just take that sitting down?’

Trump has suggested he rejected George Conway after the attorney tried to get a job in the administration. But George Conway has said it was he who withdrew his name from consideration, and Kellyanne Conway confirmed her husband’s version of events Sunday.

“George was very supportive of President Trump, cried on election night in his MAGA hat,” she said. She added that he “wanted to take a job in the Trump administration and changed his mind.” 

“And when he withdrew his name, he said he would still support the president and his agenda and, quote, his wonderful wife’s work,” she said. “So, if that’s changed, I haven’t changed.” 

It was after Wallace asked about their four children having to watch “their mom and dad fighting out in public” and the impact on their marriage, that Conway became more offended at Wallace’s “very personal question.” 

“I think people knew they crossed the line when they’re talking about people’s marriages,” she said. “My family has a right to their private life, also.” 

“If I offended you, I’m sorry,” Wallace said at the close of the interview. 

“I’m sure. Thank you,” she replied. 

Kellyanne Conway’s husband: Trump administration is a ‘dumpster fire’

More: Kellyanne Conway’s husband calls Trump’s promotion of Whitaker ‘unconstitutional’

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kellyanne Conway bristles at ‘really inappropriate question’ about husband on Fox News

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Two U.S. Marines killed in Arizona helicopter crash

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. Marine pilots died when their helicopter crashed near Yuma, Arizona, during a routine training mission, the Pentagon said on Sunday.

The Marines were flying an AH-1Z Viper helicopter as part of a weapons and tactics instructor course when the crash occurred late on Saturday, the Pentagon said.

The cause of the crash is being investigated. The Pentagon said the identities of the deceased would not be released for 24 hours pending notification of next of kin.

Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Dan Grebler

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Man chased, shot at by another driver dies in crash

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Milwaukee police say a man is dead after the car he was driving crashed into a tree while he was being chased and shot at by another driver.

The Milwaukee Police Department was called to the scene around 2:15 p.m. Saturday.

Police say one vehicle chased and shot at another car. The man who was being chased was thrown from his car after crashing into a tree and died at the scene.

A 41-year-old man who was a passenger suffered a serious gunshot wound. A 28-year-old woman in the rear seat suffered serious injuries in the crash.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports police continue seeking the suspects and a motive.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

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Labour plans national bank using Post Office network

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Thousands of Post Offices could become bank branches under Labour Party plans to reform the financial system.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said a new Post Bank would protect community banking at a time when the big High Street lenders are closing branches.

Labour’s proposals also include keeping Royal Bank of Scotland in public ownership, and creating a bank to invest in infrastructure.

Mr McDonnell said the changes would promote vital national priorities.

He estimates that running Post Bank through the Post Office network could create up to 3,600 branches.

Labour has cited research from consumer group Which? which suggested that over the past 30 years the UK has lost nearly two-thirds of its bank and building society branches, from 20,583 in 1988 to just 7,586 today.

The shadow chancellor said: “Poor access to local bank branches hurts our town centres and local communities, particularly affecting elderly and more vulnerable customers, as well as damaging the ability of local small businesses to invest.”

‘Nervous system’ of economy

Mr McDonnell also said Labour would halt the disposal of the government’s 62% stake in RBS so that profits, and the branch network, served communities.

The bank was rescued by the government in 2008 in the aftermath of the financial crisis at a cost of £45bn.

Last year, RBS announced its first dividend to shareholders since its bailout.

A spokesman for RBS said on Sunday: “The timing and price of any government share sale is a matter for the Treasury. Our focus continues to be on building a bank that delivers for shareholders, customers and the UK economy.”

Mr McDonnell would also establish a £250bn National Investment Bank and network of Regional Development Banks to invest small business, infrastructure and green technologies.

He said: “Finance is the central nervous system of the economy. It directs investment, deciding which businesses and projects get off the ground and which fail.

“For too long, this vital part of our economy has been solely in the hands of the big banks and the speculators.”

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Facebook doesn’t think hackers accessed third-party sites

Facebook says it has not found any evidence “so far” that its attackers accessed third-party sites through Facebook Login.

It’s a sliver of good news about a massive data breach that the company first disclosed last week. Attackers accessed as many as 50 million accounts in the largest such breach of Facebook’s network.

“We have now analyzed our logs for all third-party apps installed or logged during the attack we discovered last week. That investigation has so far found no evidence that the attackers accessed any apps using Facebook Login.” said Facebook’s Guy Rosen in a statement.

On Friday, Facebook (FB) announced unknown attackers had exploited a vulnerability to access the accounts. They were able to view other people’s Facebook profiles as if they were the accounts’ owners. For example, they could see friends’ profiles and updates.

Facebook says it closed the loophole on Thursday night, but 90 million users were forcefully logged out of their accounts as a precaution.

The attackers stole Facebook “access tokens,” which keep a person logged into their Facebook account over long periods. Facebook reset all 50 million tokens, as well as tokens for an additional 40 million people who had used the “view as” feature in the past year as a precautionary step.

During a call about the hack last week, Rosen said the attackers would have also been able to access third-party sites using Facebook Login, but the company had found no evidence of them doing so.

Hundreds of sites and apps including Tinder, Spotify and Airbnb use Facebook Login, which lets people access the services with their Facebook username and password. Early this week, developers were confused about whether their services had been exposed in the Facebook hack.

The company says partners following Facebook “best practices” were automatically protected. Some developers might not have followed those rules, and they could have put their users at risk.

“We’re sorry that this attack happened — and we’ll continue to update people as we find out more,” Rosen said.

— CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan contributed reporting.

CNNMoney (San Francisco ) First published October 2, 2018: 7:13 PM ET

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