Home Authors Posts by Clyde K. Valle

Clyde K. Valle

Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.


Chinese police have raided a factory which allegedly made up to 41,000 fake iPhones.

Nine people have been arrested during police raid.

The operation reportedly involved “hundreds” of workers repackaging second hand smartphone parts as new iPhones for export, with counterfeit phones produced worth 120 million yuan ($19 million).

The factory was discovered on May 14 but was revealed on social media by Beijing’s public security bureau on July 26, according to reports.Apple fake factory sut down in China

The operation was set up in January.

The factory was led by a husband and wife team, on the northern outskirts of Beijing, according to Beijing authorities.

They said they had been alerted to the factory by US authorities which had seized some of the fake phones.

The reports come amid an official Chinese crackdown on counterfeit goods, with authorities pushing companies to trademark their goods.

China has also agreed to work with the US authorities to try to stem the large quantities of fake goods flowing between the two countries.

The discovery of the factory comes four years after fake Apple stores were found in Kunming city, China.

Discovered by blogger BirdAbroad, the fakes were so convincing she said many of the staff themselves were convinced that they were employed by Apple.

Chinese shares have recorded their biggest one-day fall for more than eight years following a sell-off towards the end of the trading day.

The Shanghai Composite closed down 8.5% at 3,725.56 after more weak economic data raised concerns about the health of world’s second largest economy.

Profit at China’s industrial companies dropped 0.3% in June from a year ago.

That followed data on July 24 indicating that factory activity in July seen its worse performance for 15 months.

The Shanghai market’s fall was the biggest one-day loss since February 2007.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

While there was little to explain why shares were being sold at such a level, analysts said fears that China might hold off from further measures to boost the economy had contributed to concerns among investors.

The stock market has been benefitting from a series of support measures from the government and regulators after it lost a third of its value in the three weeks from mid-June.

Since late June, Chinese authorities have cut interest rates, suspended initial public offerings, eased margin-lending and pushed brokerages to buy stocks, backed by money from the central bank.

Chinese shares had recovered about 15% of their value before today’s plunge – showing some signs of stabilization.

On July 27 stocks fell across the board, including benchmark index heavyweights such as China Unicom, Bank of Communications and PetroChina.

More than 1,500 shares listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell by their daily downward limit of 10%.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed down 3.1% at 24,351.96 – its biggest loss in three weeks.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 1% to 20,350.10, while South Korea’s Kospi index finished 0.4% lower at 2,038.81.

Australian stocks bucked the downward trend, closing up 0.3% at 5,582.40.


Starbucks has announced its global sales increased 18% to $4.9 billion in Q2 2015.

This is Starbucks’ highest ever quarterly revenue.

The company’s boss, Howard Schultz has described the performance: “Among the strongest and most remarkable quarters in our over 23 years as a public company.”

The rise was mostly thanks to it buying out its previous Japanese partner Starbucks Japan and new store openings.Starbucks earnings Q2 2015

The world’s largest coffee chain opened 431 new stores in the period.

Like-for-like sales – which strip out the effect of new store openings – increased by 7%.

Starbucks’ total net profit rose 22% to $626.7 million.

Howard Schultz said the sales increase meant it had served 23 million more customers in the quarter compared to the same period last year. Of those 18 million were from the US.

It said its loyalty program had helped to drive its strong performance. The chain has worked with other companies such as ride-sharing service Lyft and music streaming firm Spotify.

Both companies give their customers a chance to earn Starbucks “starts” which can be used in Starbucks’ shops.

Shares rose more than 3% in after hours trading.


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is facing a record $105 million fine for recall lapses covering millions of vehicles, The Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the publication, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to fine Fiat Chrysler and assign an independent monitor to audit the company’s recall processes for an extended period as part of a sweeping settlement.Fiat Chrysler faces fine

The government penalties target lapses spanning nearly two dozen recalls affecting more than 11 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles, including older Jeeps with rear gasoline tanks linked to numerous fatal fires.

The fines are tied to legal violations in an array of areas, including misleading and obstructing regulators; inadequate and lagging repairs; and failing to alert car owners to recalls in a timely manner, the WSJ said.

With 1.56 million recalled Jeeps linked to deadly fires, the agency has accused Fiat Chrysler of lagging in installing trailer hitches on the backs of vehicles for added protection in lower-speed collisions. Fiat Chrysler has said vehicle owners are often unwilling to get repairs despite many outreaches from the company.

The government penalties come days after regulators separately started probing Fiat Chrysler’s handling of recalled vehicles with possible cybersecurity flaws, after hackers commandeered controls of a moving Jeep. Those vehicles aren’t included in the settlement expected to be disclosed in the coming week.


Surfer Mick Fanning, who escaped a shark attack at J-Bay Open in South Africa live on TV, has returned to the water six days later in his native Australia.

Mick Fanning, 34, posted a picture of himself on July 25 near his Tweed Heads home in northern New South Wales.

The champion surfer wrote: “First surf back. Feels so good.”Mick Fanning after shark attack

Mick Fanning was competing in Jeffreys Bay, on the eastern Cape, when he was knocked off his surfboard by a shark.

The three-time world champion was competing in the final of the J-Bay Open when two sharks were seen in his vicinity.

A live camera caught the moment he was thrown from his board.

Mick Fanning said he managed to punch the shark and startle it escaping injury. He was soon rescued and the tournament called off.

On July 25, Mick Fanning posted an Instagram picture on Twitter of himself looking out to sea.


Hulk Hogan’s contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has been terminated, after a tape emerged of him using racist slurs.

The wrestler debuted in 1977 and is one of the best-known names in the industry.

Hulk Hogan has apologized, telling People: “It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it.”

The comments referred to came in audio transcripts seen by RadarOnline.com and The National Enquirer.

WWE did not link the termination to the tape, saying: “WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan).

“WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”Hulk Hogan fired

However, Hulk Hogan’s lawyer said the wrestler had resigned rather than being fired.

Hulk Hogan told People he was disappointed with himself: “This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise.”

He had earlier tweeted this cryptic message.

According to RadarOnline and The National Enquirer, Hulk Hogan’s comments were made in an audio recording submitted as evidence in his legal battle with gossip site Gawker, who he is suing over the publication of a s** tape.

In transcripts seen by the two publications, Hulk Hogan allegedly tells Heather Clem – a friend’s wife – “I guess we’re all a little racist” and uses racist language while referring to his daughter’s love life.

The WWE has scrubbed references of Hulk Hogan from its website.

Hulk Hogan has enjoyed huge popularity in his long career as a professional wrestler, with his rise helping the expansion of the industry.

In the glory days of “Hulkamania”, Hulk Hogan was a multiple winner of the WWE’s top titles, as well as serving a successful stint in rival WCW.

Hulk Hogan returned to the WWE last year for the fourth time after more than six years away from the organization.


Fiat Chrysler has decided to recall 1.4 million cars in the US, after security researchers showed that one of its vehicles could be hacked.

On July 21, hackers had taken control of a Jeep Cherokee via its internet-connected entertainment system, tech magazine Wired reported.

Chrysler said it was issuing a voluntary recall to update the software in affected vehicles.

The company added that hacking its vehicles was a “criminal action”.Fiat Chrysler recall 2015

Fiat Chrysler said exploiting the flaw “required unique and extensive technical knowledge, prolonged physical access to a subject vehicle and extended periods of time to write code” and added manipulating its software “constitutes criminal action”.

The carmaker said it was “unaware of any injuries related to software exploitation”.

It said the recall was issued to help customers with the “ongoing software distribution that insulates connected vehicles from remote manipulation”.

The issue affected up to 1.4 million vehicles sold in the US, which had been fitted with the company’s uConnect system.

The attack was accomplished using relatively cheap off-the-shelf components connected to a laptop, to create a DAB station that broadcast the malicious data.

The Fiat Chrysler recall comes soon after two senators introduced a bill to call on the US Federal Trade Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to set standards on vehicle security for car makers.

The bill would also create a security rating system for cars so consumers would know which ones worked hardest to make unhackable cars.

Affected vehicles:

  • 2013-2015 MY Dodge Viper specialty vehicles
  • 2013-2015 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups
  • 2013-2015 Ram 3500, 4500, 5500 Chassis Cabs
  • 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SUVs
  • 2014-2015 Dodge Durango SUVs
  • 2015 MY Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans
  • 2015 Dodge Challenger sports coupes

A New York state wage board unanimously recommended the increase of fast food workers’ minimum wages to $15 an hour.

New York City workers will be the first to benefit, with the increase due to be in place by the end of 2018.

Fast food workers in the rest of New York state will have to wait until mid 2021 for the rise.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the vote marked “one of the really great days of my administration”.

The state minimum wage is currently $8.75.

Andrew Cuomo also said: “You cannot live and support a family on $18,000 a year in the state of New York, period.

“This is just the beginning. We will not stop until we reach true economic justice.”Fight for 15 fast food minimum wage in New York

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would now push for every worker in the city, not just fast food staff, to get a higher salary.

“This only underscores how necessary it is to raise the wage across the board. As much as fast food workers need and deserve a raise – and we know they do – we must ensure that every worker gets a living wage,” he said.

While Bill de Blasio has pushed for a higher minimum wage, he does not have the power to set it.

As a result, Gov. Andrew Cuomo created the panel to look at wages in the fast food industry.

Now the panel has backed the increase, it is expected to be backed by the acting state commissioner of labor, marking the last significant hurdle before it becomes mandatory.

The move is expected to affect around 180,000 workers which are employed in the fast food industry in New York state.

The decision follows similar minimum wage increases in other US cities, including Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The University of California system earlier said that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 for all hourly workers.

However,the move was not universally welcomed. Restaurant owners warned that the increase would force them to either reduce their staff numbers or increase menu prices.

Jack Bert, a franchisee who owns seven McDonald’s in New York City, said it had been “a flawed process”.

“Singling out fast food restaurants while ignoring other industries that hire workers who are paid under $15 is unfair and discriminatory, harms New York workers, and puts some New York businesses – including mine and my fellow New York McDonald’s franchisees – at a competitive disadvantage,” he said.

Randy Maestro, a lawyer hired by a group of franchise owners, said the group was looking into whether the decision could be challenged in court.

Greece’s parliament has passed a second set of reforms, meaning that negotiations on an €86 billion European Union bailout can begin.

The reforms include changes to Greek banking and an overhaul of the judiciary system.

Thousands of protesters demonstrated outside of parliament as the bill was debated, with protests briefly turning violent as petrol bombs were thrown at police.

There had been fears of a rebellion by lawmakers but PM Alexis Tsipras was easily able to muster the support required. In total, the measures received 230 votes in favor and 63 against with five abstentions.

The debate ended at 04:00 local time.

Among those who voted against were 31 members of his own Syriza party. However, this represents a smaller rebellion than in last week’s initial vote.

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis was one of those rebels in the first vote who returned to vote with the government this time.

Yanis Varoufakis wrote that he felt it was important to preserve the unity of the government, even if he believed the program was “designed to fail” by Greece’s creditors.

Speaking before the vote, Alexis Tsipras stressed that he was not happy with the measures that creditors had imposed.

“We chose a difficult compromise to avert the most extreme plans by the most extreme circles in Europe,” he told parliament.Greece parliament approves bailout reforms

Representatives of the European institutions that would provide the bailout funds will begin negotiations in Athens on July 24.

Last week, Greece passed an initial set of austerity measures imposed by its creditors. These were a mix of economic reforms and budget cuts demanded by the eurozone countries and institutions before bailout talks could continue.

This second set of measures passed early on Thursday morning were of a more structural nature, including:

  • a code of civil protection aimed at speeding up court cases
  • the adoption of an EU directive to bolster banks and protect savers’ deposits of less than €100,000
  • the introduction of rules that would see bank shareholders and creditors – not taxpayers – cover costs of a failed bank

More contentious measures – phasing out early retirement and tax rises for farmers – have been pushed back to August.

On July 22, the European Central Bank (ECB) increased its cash lifeline to Greek banks.

The emergency injection of an extra €900 million, the ECB’s second in a week, came just hours before the vote.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) confirmed on July 20 that Greece had cleared its overdue debt repayments of €2.05 billion and was no longer in arrears.

The repayments, which included €4.2 billion to the ECB, were made possible by a short-term EU loan of €7.16 billion.

Greece’s next major deadline is August 20, when it must pay €3.2 billion owed to the ECB, followed by a payment of €1.5 billion to the IMF in September.

The protest in Athens’ Syntagma Square – called by Greece’s public sector union – was reported to have been largely peaceful, until a number of petrol bombs were thrown in the direction of police.

New York City has dropped its plans to limit the number of Uber cars operating in the city.

Instead of the cap, the taxi hailing app has agreed to take part in a four-month study looking at the impact of its cars on traffic and pollution in the city.

In return, New York said it would not impose a car limit for this period.

The move comes the day before a city council vote, which could have seen the cap imposed.

The deal NYC has struck with Uber appears weaker than the legislation in the vote, which called for a 1% cap on the company’s growth in the city and a year-long study.Uber taxi in NYC

In a statement, Uber said it welcomed the agreement.

“We are pleased new drivers will continue to be free to join the for-hire industry and partner with Uber. Together, we can build an even better, more reliable transportation system,” said Josh Mohrer, Uber NYC’s general manager.

Since being founded in San Francisco in 2009, Uber has grown into a huge ridesharing enterprise – with services now offered in more than 200 cities.

However, in many cities, local cab companies and drivers have staged protests against the service.

In New York, complaints have centered around the idea that Uber has become too dominant, overtaking the city’s iconic yellow taxis.


Apple has posted a record jump in profits in Q2 2015 as demand for iPhones soared.

However, Apple’s shares fell in after-hours trading after revenue forecasts disappointed analysts.

Apple sold 47.5 million iPhones in the quarter to June 27, up 35% on a year ago, with Mac computer sales up 9% to 4.8 million.

CEO Tim Cook called it “an amazing quarter”.

Profits rose 38% to $10.7 billion, while revenue was up 33% to $49.6 billion.

The third quarter is typically the slowest for iPhone sales because many customers put off buying new phones, on the expectation of a new model.

Despite the strong results, shares fell 6.7%, or $8.85, to $121.89 in after-market trading in New York.

Analysts blamed the fall on disappointment about Apple’s revenue forecasts for the fourth quarter, which were slightly lower than expected, as well as the firm’s profits being too heavily dependent on the iPhone.

Apple is forecasting revenue to be between $49 billion and $51 billion in the fourth quarter.

Demand for iPad tablets remained weak, with Apple selling 10.9 million, down 18% from a year earlier.Apple profit report 2015

However, Tim Cook also said the Apple Watch had had a “great start”, in the first indication of how well the company’s first piece of wearable technology was selling.

Apple’s chief executive said last autumn that he did not want to reveal detailed figures for the watch, which went on sale on April 24, to avoid giving competitors inside information.

Apple said that revenue from “other products”, which includes the watch as well as products such as the iPod and its Beats headphones, came to $2.6 billion – about $952 million higher than the previous quarter.

Chief financial officer Luca Maestri said that revenue from the watch amounted to “well over'” that $952 million increase.

Sales of the watch in the first nine weeks had exceeded those of both the iPhone and iPad after they were first launched, he added.

Apple said its gross margin – the difference between the amount it spends on making the products versus how much consumers pay – was 39.7%, up slightly on a year ago.

The technology giant also continued to do well in the China market – defined by Apple as China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Sales doubled year-on-year and accounted for more than a quarter of Apple’s total third-quarter sales.

The jump should help to reassure investors that demand in China remains robust despite fears the market is close to saturation point.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which smashed iPhone sales records when they were launched last year, are now 10 months old.


Australian surfer Mick Fanning has vowed to return to surfing despite fighting off a shark during this year’s J-Bay Open in South Africa.

Mick Fanning, 34, described his terrifying ordeal to reporters in Sydney on his return home.

He thanked his “warrior” mate and fellow competitor Julian Wilson who swam into the fray to help.

In one light moment, Mick Fanning was asked if he had a message for the shark.

He replied: “Thanks for not eating me.”

“I guess someone was looking out for me. To walk away from a shark attack with not a scratch on you, it’s a miracle really,” he said.Mick Fanning shark attack July 2015

Mick Fanning was the defending champion at the tournament at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa’s Eastern Cape and a three-time world champion.

Dramatic footage of the encounter on July 19 showed the moment when the shark hit the back of his board.

“It sort of came up and went for the tail of my board,” Mick Fanning said.

“I don’t know why it didn’t bite. It just kept coming back.”

“I was on top of it, trying to put my board in between us,” he said.

“I don’t know if I punched it hard or if they were baby punches. I just went into fight or flight.”

After that, jet-skis and rescue boats arrived to pick Mick Fanning up.

Julian Wilson, also a competitor at the event, paddled towards Mick Fanning when he saw the shark.

“I came over the wave, praying he would be there and not … with blood everywhere,” he told reporter at the same press conference.

“The worst case scenario is in your head.”

Mick Fanning said he would return to surfing, and to the J-Bay event, but it may take some time.

“I’m sure I’ll go surfing [soon], surfing has given me so much, it’s something that gives me peace, I’m sure I’ll go back out … I’m quite anxious to get back home,” Mick Fanning said according to the Guardian.


Jules Bianchi’s funeral is being held in his hometown of Nice, France, as tributes to the Formula 1 driver continue to be paid.

Family, friends and fellow drivers are attending the service at Nice’s cathedral while his fans gathered outside.

Jules Bianchi, 25, died on July 17 from result of head injuries in a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

His car number, 17, is being retired from F1 in his honor.Jules Bianchi funeral 2015

Jules Bianchi had been in a coma since crashing his Marussia car into a recovery vehicle at a rain-hit race last October.

He is the first F1 driver to die from injuries sustained in a grand prix since Brazilian triple world champion Ayrton Senna was killed at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.

Tributes are expected to be paid at Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.

A number of Formula 1 colleagues travelled to Nice to pay their respects on July 21. Large posters of Jules Bianchi were draped outside the cathedral entrance.

Announcing his death on July 18, Jules Bianchi’s family said: “Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end.”

The Marussia team, now known as Manor, said Jules Bianchi had left an “indelible mark on all our lives”.

Toshiba CEO and President Hisao Tanaka has resigned after the company said it had overstated its profits for the past six years.

Hisao Tanaka will be succeeded by chairman Masashi Muromachi, with vice-chairman Norio Sasaki also stepping down.

On July 20, an independent panel appointed by Toshiba said the company had overstated its operating profit by a total of 151.8 billion yen ($1.22 billion).

The overstatement was roughly triple an initial Toshiba estimate.

“It has been revealed that there has been inappropriate accounting going on for a long time, and we deeply apologize for causing this serious trouble for shareholders and other stakeholders,” Toshiba said in a statement.

“Because of this Hisao Tanaka, our company president, and Norio Sasaki, our company’s vice chairman… will resign today.”

Hisao Tanaka, 64, and Norio Sasaki, 66, both joined Toshiba in the early 1970s.Hisao Tanaka Toshiba accounting scandal

Norio Sasaki served as Toshiba president between June 2009 and June 2013, covering most of the period during which the company inflated the profits.

Toshiba’s accounting scandal began when securities regulators uncovered problems as they probed the company’s balance sheet earlier this year.

The findings mean Toshiba will have to restate its profits for the period between April 2008 and March 2014. It is unclear whether it will affect the company’s results for the year ending March 2015.

Japan’s finance minister, Taro Aso, said the case could undermine confidence in corporate governance in the country.

Taro Aso added the accounting irregularities at Toshiba were “very regrettable”.

Japan’s government has been trying to regain global investors’ confidence with better corporate governance after Olympus, was found to have covered up $1.7 billion in losses in late 2011, in what was until now Japan’s worst corporate governance scandal.

The report’s findings are expected to lead to the restatement of earnings, a board overhaul and potentially hefty fines for Toshiba.

The inquiry found that the misreporting of profits began after the financial crash seven years ago, when senior managers began imposing unrealistic performance targets.

“Within Toshiba, there was a corporate culture in which one could not go against the wishes of superiors,” the report said.

“Therefore, when top management presented <<challenges>>, division presidents, line managers and employees below them continually carried out inappropriate accounting practices to meet targets in line with the wishes of their superiors.”

Hisao Tanaka and his predecessor Norio Sasaki are among eight high-level executives who have now resigned after the independent report found senior management complicit in a scheme to inflate profits over several years.

Regulators are believed to be starting their own review of Toshiba’s book-keeping, based on Monday’s report.

Shares in Toshiba rose 6% on the Nikkei stock exchange in Japan on relief that the report had few nasty surprises. But they are still down around 23% since Toshiba first disclosed cases of accounting irregularities in early April.


IBM’s sales dropped for the 13th consecutive quarter, the world’s largest technology services company has reported.

According to the company, revenue fell 13.5% to $20.8 billion, while net profit fell 17% to $3.5 billion.

The strong US dollar and IBM’s decision to move away from its hardware business to focus on higher-margin operations both hit its performance.

CEO Ginni Rometty said that the second-quarter results reflected the company’s ongoing transformation.IBM revenue falls July 2015

“We continue to transform our business to higher value and return value to shareholders,” she said.

US sales fell 8%, while European, Middle East and African sales dropped 17%.

However, its worst performance was in Brazil, Russia, India and China where sales fell 35%.

IBM said much of the fall was due to the impact of the strong US dollar and the sale of its System x business. Excluding that unit, sales were down by just 18%.

In contrast, IBM said revenues from its new areas of focus – cloud computing, analytics and engagement – had risen by more than 20% this year.

IBM shares fell 4.9% in after-hours trading in New York.

They closed at $173.25, valuing the company at almost $170 billion.

Greece has cleared overdue debt repayments of €2.05 billion to the IMF and is no longer in arrears, the creditor has confirmed.

The repayments, and another for €4.2 billion to the European Central Bank (ECB) due on Monday, came after the EU made Greece a short-term loan of €7 billion.

Greece missed one repayment to the IMF in June and another earlier this month.

Earlier on Monday, Greek banks reopened after being closed for three weeks.

However, many restrictions remain and Greeks are facing price rises with an increase in VAT.Greece IMF repayments July 2015

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice confirmed in a statement that Greece had repaid the totality of its arrears.

“As we have said, the fund stands ready to continue assisting Greece in its efforts to return to financial stability and growth,” he said.

Greece missed its first repayment to the IMF on June 30 and another on July 13 during deadlock over negotiations for a third bailout.

The crisis brought Greece to the brink of economic collapse and an exit from the euro.

The Greek government has since reached a cash-for-reforms deal with its creditors and negotiations are due to begin on the proposed €86 billion rescue package.

For the past three weeks, Greeks have been waiting in line at cash machines to withdraw a maximum of €60 a day, a restriction imposed amid fear of a run on the banks.

From July 20, the daily limit becomes a weekly one capped at €420, meaning Greeks will not have to queue every day.

However, a block on transfers to foreign banks and a ban on cashing cheques remain in place.

VAT is rising from 13% to 23% meaning Greeks will pay more on a range of goods and services, including taxis and restaurants.

The rise was among a package of reforms demanded by Greece’s creditors.

PM Alexis Tsipras faced a rebellion from within his left-wing Syriza party over the tough austerity measures being demanded by other eurozone leaders, who are among Greece’s creditors.

He has since replaced his rebel ministers but analysts say his government has been weakened and fresh elections may be held in September or October.

The Greek parliament is due to hold a second vote on July 22 on measures including justice and banking reforms. The government is again likely to scrape through, supported by opposition parties.

Representatives from Greece’s creditors – known as the Troika – are due to arrive in the country soon and talks on the new bailout are expected to last about a month.

The eurozone is currently managed by the Eurogroup, made up of the finance ministers of each nation.


Australian surf champion Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark in South African waters while he was competing at an event in Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape on July 19.

Mick Fanning’s mother watched “terrified” on live TV as her son was attacked by the shark.

The 34-year-old surfer punched and kicked the shark and was soon rescued by a jet-ski.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I thought we’d lost him,” Mick Fanning’s mother, Elizabeth Osborne, told ABC News.

“I was absolutely terrified. I went over to the television almost as though I could pull him out… to save him,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from her home on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Elizabeth Osborne had already lost a son to a car crash 17 years ago and she said those memories came back to her.Mick Fanning shark attack J Bay Open

“When Sean was killed in the car accident, I didn’t see it,” she said.

“I saw this just in front of me. It was just terrible.”

Mick Fanning, the defending champion at the tournament and a three-time world champion, escaped without any injuries.

“I was just sitting there and I felt something just get stuck in my leg rope, and I was kicking trying to get it away,” he told Fox Sports.

“I just saw fins. I was waiting for the teeth.”

Mick Fanning said he was able to “get a punch into its back” and startle the shark.

The World Surf League (WSL), which organized the J-Bay Open, said two shark were seen in the water near Mick Fanning and another competitor, Julian Wilson, also from Australia.

The two surfers are rivals but also friends and Julian Wilson paddled towards Mick Fanning to help him.

Julian Wilson was emotional afterwards telling the Sydney Morning Herald that he felt as if he couldn’t get to Mick Fanning quickly enough.

“It came up and he was wrestling it, and I saw he got knocked off his board,” the surfer said.

“I was like, <<I’ve got a board, if I can get there I can stab it or whatever, I’ve got a weapon>>.”

Julian Wilson’s mother was also watching on TV and told reporters: “I don’t know if he’s crazy or a hero.”

The commentators said it was the first time they had seen a shark attack a competitor during an event, according to the Herald. The WSL cancelled the tournament after the incident.

“Mick’s composure and quick acting in the face of a terrifying situation was nothing short of heroic and the rapid response of our Water Safety personnel was commendable,” it said in a statement.

Reuters says the waters are some of the most shark-infested in the world, and that a surfer was killed by a Great White shark close to Jeffreys Bay in 2013.

Banks in Greece are reopening after three weeks of closures sparked by the deadlock over the country’s debt.

Greece reached a cash-for-reforms deal aimed at avoiding a debt default and an exit from the eurozone.

However, many restrictions remain, including a block on money transfers abroad, and Greeks also face price rises with an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT).

Meanwhile, Germany has said it is prepared to consider further debt concessions to Greece.

Queues at ATMs have been a feature of life in Greece for weeks, with people waiting in line each day to withdraw a maximum of €60 a day, a restriction imposed amid fears of a run on banks.

From July 20, the daily limit becomes a weekly one, capped at €420, meaning Greeks will not have to queue every day.

While banks throwing open their doors marks the return of some normality to the Greek economy, long-term problems remain.Greek banks reopen after three weeks

Unemployment is stubbornly high, and as this chart shows, Greece’s recession is comparable to one of history’s most famous economic crashes.

However, a block on transfers to foreign banks and a ban on cashing cheques remain in place.

Greeks will also pay more on a range of goods and services, including taxis and restaurants, with VAT rising from 13% to 23%.

The rise was among a package of reforms demanded by Greece’s creditors to open talks on the proposed €86 billion bailout.

Members of PM Alexis Tsipras’ party rebelled against the austerity measures demanded by creditors when it was voted through parliament.

It paved the way for Greece to receive a bridging loan, which enables the reopening of the banks and for Athens to repay debts of €4.2 billion, (including €700 million in interest), to the European Central Bank (ECB) due on July 20.

Both Greece and the IMF have been arguing for a restructuring of its €320 billion debt, saying its current position is “unsustainable”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out “a classic haircut” – a markdown of Greece’s debts.

She told German television other forms of relief, such as extending maturities or slashing interest rates, could be considered once the details of the latest program are worked out.

Angela Merkel also played down reports of a row with her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who suggested in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine that he would rather resign than defend something he did not believe in.

“The finance minister will, like me, conduct these negotiations and I can only say that no-one came to me and asked to be relieved,” said Angela Merkel when asked about the suggestion.

Germany, which is the largest contributor to Greek rescue funds, has taken a tough line on Greece.

At one point in the fraught talks over the bailout, Wolfgang Schaeuble suggested Greece could temporarily leave the eurozone while it stabilizes its economy.

PM Alexis Tsipras, who has reshuffled his cabinet to replace rebellious ministers, has another set of reforms to push through parliament on July 22.


Ex-FIFA Vice-President Jeffrey Webb has pleaded not guilty in the US in connection with a massive corruption scandal in the world soccer governing body.

Jeffrey Webb, from the Cayman Islands, was placed under house arrest on $10 million bail by a New York judge.

He is accused of accepting bribes worth millions of dollars in connection with the sale of marketing rights.

Jeffrey Webb was detained in Switzerland in May, along with six football officials, and was this week extradited to the US.

He was the only one not to contest his extradition from Switzerland and the first to appear in an American court.Jeffrey Webb FIFA corruption scandal

Jeffrey Webb must remain at home within a 20-mile radius of the court, his movements will be monitored via an electronic tag and he has already relinquished his three passports, two of which are UK passports.

His lawyer has declined to comment.

Jeffrey Webb, 50, has been provisionally banned as FIFA vice-president. He is also the former president of the Central and North American football federation (CONCACAF).

The other six people arrested are fighting their extradition to the US, where the charges were laid.

The men were held at the request of the Department of Justice, which has indicted a total of 14 current and former FIFA officials and associates on charges of “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted” corruption following a major inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The investigation was initially sparked by the bidding process for the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cups, but was widened to look back at the dealings of world football’s governing body over the past 20 years.

The Department of Justice’s indictment says that the corruption was planned in the US, and that American banks were used to transfer money.


Soccer legend Pele has been taken to hospital two months after having prostate surgery.

Pele, 74, was suffering from a trapped nerve and has had back surgery at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazilian media reports.

The Brazilian, a three-time World Cup winner, was treated for a urinary infection eight months ago after having kidney stones removed.Pele hospitalized again

He should be released in the coming days, according to reports.

Mirtes Bogea, a press officer for the Albert Einstein hospital, said she was not allowed to say when Pele was re-admitted or why.

Pele, who was named FIFA’s Player of the Century, scored a world record total of 1,281 goals in 1,363 games during his 21-year career, including 77 in 91 appearances for Brazil.

He has only one kidney, having had one removed towards the end of his playing career.

Pele played in 14 games at World Cup finals, scoring 12 goals, and was awarded the FIFA Golden Ball as the best player at the 1970 tournament.


Jules Bianchi has died, nine months after suffering severe head injuries in a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

The French Formula 1 driver had been in a coma since crashing his Marussia car into a recovery vehicle in wet conditions in Suzuka last October.

The 25-year-old’s family said: “Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end.”

Marussia, now known as Manor, said the team was “devastated”.

Jules Bianchi is the first F1 driver to die from injuries sustained in a Grand Prix since Brazilian triple world champion Ayrton Senna was killed at Italy’s Imola circuit in 1994.

He died in hospital near his parents’ home in Nice in the south of France.

His family said: “We thank Jules’s colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times.

“Listening to and reading the many messages made us realise just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world.” Jules Bianchi dead at 25

Jules Bianchi made his F1 debut with Marussia in 2013 and was also a member of the Ferrari young driver academy after previously working as a test driver for the team.

The accident happened when Jules Bianchi’s car slid off the track and into a crane picking up German driver Adrian Sutil, who had crashed at the same spot one lap earlier.

A working group of the sport’s governing body, the FIA, investigated the accident and found that as Jules Bianchi went off the track into the run-off area, he “applied both throttle and brake together, using both feet” over-riding the fail-safe mechanism. His front wheels had also locked.

It also said that Jules Bianchi “did not slow sufficiently to avoid losing control”.

German parliament is debating a motion on whether to allow negotiations on Greece’s €86 billion bailout deal.

Opening the debate, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of “predictable chaos” if deputies did not back the plan.

The deal is expected to be passed despite opposition from the left and some members of Angela Merkel’s conservative party.

Greece’s parliament has already voted in favor of hard-hitting austerity measures required for a third bailout deal.

On July 16, the European Central Bank (ECB) raised the level of emergency funding available. This has paved the way for Greek banks, which shut nearly three weeks ago, to reopen on July 20.

However, credit controls limiting cash withdrawals to €60 a day will only be eased gradually, officials say.

Eurozone ministers have also agreed a €7 billion bridging loan from an EU-wide fund to keep finances afloat.German Parliament votes on Greece bailout deal

Chancellor Angela Merkel told German lawmakers ahead of today’s vote that the deal was hard for all sides, but said it was the “last” attempt to resolve the crisis.

“We would be grossly negligent, indeed acting irresponsibly if we did not at least try this path,” she said.

A number of eurozone countries require parliamentary approval to go ahead with bailout talks, including Austria, which is also voting on July 17. Both the French and Finnish parliaments have already backed the deal.

Meanwhile, there have been fresh calls for Greek debt relief measures from International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde – echoing a call from Greek PM Alexis Tsipras.

Christine Lagarde told France’s Europe 1 the IMF would participate in a “complete” Greek package that includes debt restructuring, as well as an “in-depth reform” of the Greek economy.

Greece has debts of €320 billion and is seeking its third international bailout. Last month it became the first developed country to fail to make a repayment on a loan from the IMF.

The Greek bank closures have been one of the most visible signs of the crisis.

From July 20, a weekly limit on withdrawals may replace a daily cap, Greek Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas suggested.

“If someone doesn’t want to take €60 on Monday and wants to take it on Tuesday, for instance, they can withdraw €120, or €180 on Wednesday,” he told Greek ERT television.

The announcements from the ECB and the Eurogroup came after Greek lawmakers passed tough reforms on taxes, pensions and labor rules as part of the new bailout deal.

A rise in value added tax (VAT) from 13% to 23% will kick in on July 20, affecting food and drink in restaurants, taxi fares, selected supermarket items, public transport and plane and ferry tickets.

PM Alexis Tsipras faced opposition to the deal from lawmakers within his left Syriza party. He is widely expected to announce a cabinet reshuffle on July 17.


Samsung C&T shareholders have approved a $7.7 billion all-stock takeover offer from Samsung’s de facto holding company Cheil Industries on July 17.

One of South Korea’s most controversial mergers will see Samsung C&T taken over by holding company Cheil Industries, another part of the Samsung group.

The merger is strongly opposed by some of Samsung C&T’s shareholders, led by US hedge fund Elliott Associates.

For Samsung’s founding family, the move is a crucial step in consolidating control of the conglomerate.Samsung merger 2015

Shareholders in Cheil Industries approved the merger earlier on Friday.

Elliott Associates, which is the second largest single shareholder in C&T, says the takeover significantly undervalues the company’s stock.

The hedge fund had filed several unsuccessful law suits to stop the vote from going ahead.

The takeover is key to consolidating the Samsung founding family’s control of the multi-headed conglomerate.

It is of particular significance as it comes ahead of a generational power transfer at Samsung.

The business empire’s patriarch Lee Kun-hee has been in hospital since May 2014 and his son Lee Jae-yong is to take a bigger leadership role.

Greece will receive a €7 billion bridging loan from an EU-wide fund to keep its finances afloat until a bailout is approved, eurozone ministers have agreed.

The loan is expected to be confirmed on July 17 by all EU member states.

In another development, the European Central Bank (ECB) agreed to increase emergency funding to Greece for the first time since it was frozen in June.

The decisions were made after Greek lawmakers passed tough reforms as part of a eurozone bailout deal.

The bridging loan means Greece will be able to repay debts to the ECB and IMF on July 20.Greece bridging loan EU

Greek banks, which have been closed for nearly three weeks, could also reopen on July 20, Greek media reported, although credit controls will remain in place.

Eurozone leaders agreed on the bailout in principle in Brussels on July 13, on the condition that the Greek parliament passed reforms on taxation increases and pension curbs by July 15.

The €7 billion bridge loan was agreed in a conference call on July 16 to tap the EU’s EFSM emergency fund.

At a news conference on July 16, ECB President Mario Draghi said emergency funding – ELA – to Greek banks was being raised by €900 million over one week.

“Things have changed now,” he said.

“We had a series of news with the approval of the bridge financing package, with the votes, various votes in various parliaments, which have now restored the conditions for a raise in ELA.”

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras won the parliamentary vote in the early hours of Thursday by 229 votes to 64, but needed the support of opposition lawmakers to do so.

His left-wing Syriza-led government is expected to survive, despite losing its majority after 38 Syriza lawmakers rejected the reforms.

It paves the way for eurozone finance ministers to open detailed talks on the bailout, worth up to €86 billion, and on July 16 they said they agreed “in principle” to start negotiations.

Finland’s parliament on July 16 approved the bailout talks – one of a number of eurozone states which require a mandate from their own parliament for Greece to secure new funds.

Germany’s parliament is due to vote on the deal on July 17.

Hours after Greece’s parliament passed tough reforms required for a third bailout deal, the eurozone ministers have met to discuss on emergency funding to keep Greek banks afloat.

The Eurogroup was also due to discuss next steps in negotiating the bailout.

The Greek government is expected to survive, despite losing its majority after 38 lawmakers voted against the reforms.

Later, the European Central Bank is to consider easing a funding squeeze on Greek banks, allowing them to reopen.

Greece is facing an immediate cash crisis, with banks there closed for more than two weeks.

The European Commission has proposed giving Greece a €7 billion “bridging” loan from an EU-wide fund to help the government pay its mounting debts.

Eurozone ministers have agreed in principle to extend the loan to Greece, according to an unnamed official speaking to Bloomberg. The loan will be announced on July 17 after national parliaments have voted on the bailout deal, the official added.Alexis Tsipras Greece bailout

Eurozone leaders agreed on the bailout in principle in Brussels on July 13, on the condition that the Greek parliament passed reforms on taxation increases and pension curbs by July 15.

PM Alexis Tsipras won the parliamentary vote by 229 votes to 64, but needed the support of opposition lawmakers to do so.

The vote paves the way for eurozone finance ministers to open detailed talks on the bailout, worth up to €86 billion.

Finland’s parliament on July 16 approved the bailout talks – one of a number of eurozone states which require a mandate from their own parliament for Greece to secure new funds.

Germany’s parliament is due to vote on the deal on July 17.

Passionate opposition came from within Alexis Tsipras’ own Syriza party, with parliamentary speaker Zoe Constantopoulou calling the measures “social genocide”.

Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis was another vocal opponent.

In his address to parliament Alexis Tsipras said: “I acknowledge the fiscal measures are harsh, that they won’t benefit the Greek economy, but I’m forced to accept them.”

Since capital controls were imposed and the banks shut on June 29, Greeks have been limited to withdrawing €60 a day.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, known for his hardline approach, told national radio he would submit a request for parliament to reopen negotiations on the third bailout with “full conviction”.

He also said he believed a temporary “Grexit” – Greece leaving the eurozone – would perhaps be a better option.

Meanwhile Slovakia’s Finance Minister Peter Kazimir said in a tweet he welcomed “the positive vote” but said “this is the easier part of the deal”.

By July 22, Greece must also commit to a major overhaul of the civil justice system. It has to agree to more privatization, to review collective bargaining and industrial action, and make market reforms, including Sunday trading.

The Greek parliament vote on July 16 approved:

  • VAT changes including a top rate of 23% to take in processed food and restaurants; a 13% rate to cover fresh food, energy bills, water and hotel stays; and a 6% rate for medicines and books
  • An increase in corporation tax from 26% to 29% for small companies
  • An increase in luxury taxes on big cars, boats and swimming pools
  • An end to early retirement by 2022, increasing the retirement age to 67

Opponents of the bailout measures took to the streets of Athens in mainly peaceful protests ahead of the vote on Wednesday. However, one group threw petrol bombs at police officers who responded with tear gas.

Unions and trade associations representing civil servants, municipal workers and pharmacy owners also went on strike on July 15.