The Week Ahead: Tech Companies Report Earnings and Economic Growth Data Is Released


Photo

An Amazon warehouse in Florence, N.J. Amazon, a frequent target of President Trump, is one of several big tech companies that will report earnings this week.

Credit
Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

Here’s what to expect in the week ahead:

TECHNOLOGY

Some of biggest tech companies report earnings.

Five of the best known companies in technology will report their earnings this week, including Twitter, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Two of the tech giants that will share their financial results have been under political assault, but for very different reasons. Facebook has come under scrutiny by Congress and regulators for its data practices and role in the spread of misinformation, while Amazon has become a punching bag for President Trump, who has attacked it for not collecting enough taxes and its relationship with the United States Postal Service. It’s not clear whether the financial results of either company were affected, but the attacks have nonetheless spooked investors in the past. Nick Wingfield

British panel hears testimony on Cambridge Analytica.

The researcher at the center of the Cambridge Analytica scandal will testify on Tuesday before a British panel investigating fake news and the use of social media in the weeks before the country voted to leave the European Union. The University of Cambridge researcher, Aleksandr Kogan, has been accused of improperly gathering personal data on millions of Facebook’s users and sharing the information with the voter-targeting firm Cambridge Analytica. On Thursday, the same panel, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, will hear from Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer. Mr. Schroepfer can expect to hear about the frustration of committee members who have wanted Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, to testify rather than lower-ranking executives. The committee has little legislative authority, but is working on a much-anticipated report that aims to shed light on the ways that political campaigns have manipulated social media to win over voters. Adam Satariano

TRADE

European leaders will discuss trade with Trump.

President Emmanuel Macron of France and his wife, Brigitte, will arrive in Washington early this week for a state visit, and they will be followed closely by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Friday. Their discussions with Mr. Trump are likely to center on global security concerns but also on his administration’s aggressive trade agenda, as an important trade deadline looms. On May 1, the exemptions that the United States granted several countries from steel and aluminum tariffs are set to expire, meaning the European Union and other close allies would to pay a steep premium to send metal into the United States. The Trump administration is hoping to use the tariffs as leverage in a trade negotiation, but European leaders have said they would not be bullied into concessions. Ana Swanson

AUTO INDUSTRY

Detroit automakers report earnings.

The three Detroit automakers all report first-quarter earnings this week, and most of the attention will focus on the struggling Ford Motor, which replaced its chief executive a year ago. Ford brought in Jim Hackett last May to reinvigorate earnings, cut costs and sharpen its strategy, but after 11 months on the job he’s offered few specifics on a turnaround plan. At least some details on cost-cutting are expected when Ford reports on Wednesday. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles both present their results on Thursday, and are expected to show solid performances, thanks to sales of high-margin trucks and sport-utility vehicles. Neal E. Boudette

ECONOMY

Stimulus is on the European Central Bank’s agenda.

Have signs of a slowdown in Europe pushed back the European Central Bank’s timetable for ending its emergency stimulus measures? That will most likely be the chief question when Mario Draghi, the central bank’s president, holds a news conference on Thursday after a meeting of the bank’s Governing Council. The central bank is not expected to make any changes to its monetary policy at the meeting. But it will probably discuss whether a downturn in some economic indicators signals a slowdown or is just the result of one-time factors, including an especially brutal flu season that kept many workers off the job. Jack Ewing

BANKING

Deutsche Bank’s C.E.O. makes his debut on earnings call.

Christian Sewing, the new chief executive of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender, will take part in its first-quarter earnings report on Thursday. Mr. Sewing (pronounced “saving”), who was named to replace John Cryan this month amid chronic losses at the bank, will face investors and analysts in an early morning conference call. They will most likely interrogate Mr. Sewing about the bank’s strategy, which some investors complain is amorphous and unconvincing. Jack Ewing

Continue reading the main story

Martin Lewis to sue Facebook over fake ads


Martin Lewis is to sue Facebook over claims it has published over 50 bogus adverts bearing his name, many of which have been used to scam thousands of pounds out of people.

The MoneySavingExpert founder is due to lodge court papers at the High Court on Monday for a defamation lawsuit against Facebook.

He said the legal action was the result of months of frustration with scammers piggybacking on his reputation and preying on Facebook users with get-rich-quick scams.

Mr Lewis said: “There are customers who have lost a lot of money. Some of them won’t even talk to me because they’ve seen my face on the advert and think it’s me who has scammed them – it’s an absolute disgrace.

“I’ve had enough of this. It’s affecting my reputation, but more importantly it is affecting real people who are handing over money in good faith while the scammers are raking in the cash.”

Data scraping is the automated collection of data, often from the open web, using computer scripts
Image:
Facebook says it ‘does not allow adverts which are misleading or false’

The television personality and journalist pledged that if he wins any money in damages, he will donate it to charity.

He said the action was not designed to win the defamation case itself but to force the company to change its policy on advertising, for example reducing the risk of such scams by having inbuilt settings notifying well-known people every time their image was used in an advert, requiring their approval that the post was legitimate.

Mr Lewis said: “I hope to open up a legal remedy for other people who have found themselves in the same boat.

“I don’t do adverts. I’ve told Facebook that. Yet it simply continues to repeatedly publish these adverts and then relies on me to report them, once the damage has been done.

“I’ve got no idea how successful this legal action will be or how long it will take but I can’t sit back and let it (scamming) happen. I’m trying to give Facebook a bloody nose and actually get some changes made – or at least get people talking about this.”

Mr Lewis said he would be prepared to call a halt to the defamation claim if Facebook pledged to tackle the scam ads problem.

Facebook said: “We do not allow adverts which are misleading or false on Facebook and have explained to Martin Lewis that he should report any adverts that infringe his rights and they will be removed.

“We are in direct contact with his team, offering to help and promptly investigating their requests, and only last week confirmed that several adverts and accounts that violated our advertising policies had been taken down.”

Asia and Australia Edition: North Korea, Kabul, Gaza Strip: Your Monday Briefing


_____

Photo


Credit
Tara Todras-Whitehill for The New York Times

The newest front line in America’s global shadow war is a half-finished drone base in a barren stretch of Niger.

It will be used to target extremists in West and North Africa, regions where most Americans have no idea the country is fighting.

The mission in Niger is expected to come under scrutiny in a long-awaited Pentagon investigation into the deadly Oct. 4 ambush there of four American soldiers.

_____

Photo


Credit
Nick Oxford for The New York Times

• Fancy homes, lobbyists and a shell company.

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is under investigation for allegations of unchecked spending and ethics lapses, including his interactions with lobbyists. But his troubles in Washington have echoes in his past. His stake in a showplace home in Oklahoma City was bought from a lobbyist and hidden in a shell company and not disclosed to ethics officials.

And new documents reveal the efforts of a Republican fund-raiser, Elliott Broidy, to exploit his White House ties on behalf of Malaysian contacts.

_____

Photo


Credit
Rahmat Gul/Associated Press

A suicide bomber killed at least 57 people in Kabul, at a voter registration office. The attack underscored the potential for Afghanistan’s long-delayed parliamentary vote to be undermined by violence.

A steady spate of ever-worsening suicide bombings has taken a toll on the Afghan capital. Chicken Street, Kabul’s must-visit market is one of many struggling. The shabby lane lined with shops selling jewelry, antiques, knickknacks, artworks and, especially, rugs, has been a magnet for generations of foreign visitors looking for Afghan exotica. But nowadays customers are rare.

“It wasn’t even the bombs so much,” said one merchant who is moving to Istanbul. “Worse than that was the fear of kidnapping.”

_____

Photo


Credit
Bryan Denton for The New York Times

Business

Chinese brokers that help companies evade export duties may find business booming if the U.S. goes ahead with its plan to impose tariffs on China.

Here’s what to look for this week: Twitter and Microsoft are among the big tech firms reporting earnings, and the European Central Bank has stimulus on its mind.

• Wells Fargo will pay $1 billion to U.S. regulators, who accused it of deceiving customers with certain products. It’s the most significant penalty applied to a bank under the Trump administration.

India is facing cash shortages again, with A.T.M.s running dry. Economists say government policies are to blame this time, too.

Korean Air’s chairman fired two executives best known for public tantrums and mistreating employees. They’re his daughters.

• U.S. stocks were down Friday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets today.

In the News

Photo


Credit
Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Seventeen people drowned in southern China while preparing for the Dragon Boat Festival when two boats capsized. [The New York Times]

• Weekly protests in Gaza along the security fence with Israel have dwindled in size to 3,000, but the latest was deadly nonetheless: Four were killed, including a 15-year-old boy. [The New York Times]

In Syria, inspectors were finally able to visit the site of a suspected chemical attack and collect samples for analysis. [The New York Times]

• The oldest person in the world, a 117-year-old woman from Japan, died on Saturday. She was the last known person born in the 19th century. [The Associated Press]

“Pollution Pods” at an art installation in London are five geodesic domes that simulate the air quality in five cities, from cleanest (Tautra, Norway) through varying levels of pollution (London, New Delhi, Beijing and São Paulo). [The New York Times]

A kangaroo died in a zoo in southeast China after being pelted with rocks by visitors, apparently to get it to hop. Another kangaroo was injured days later, setting off outrage. [The New York Times]

The Armenian police detained three opposition leaders and dispersed protesters demonstrating against the appointment of a new prime minister. [Reuters]

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

Photo


Credit
Heidi Younger

• What to do when your partner ruins his or her credit — and credibility.

• These apps let you enjoy Paris despite the language barrier.

• Recipe of the day: Try pappardelle with pancetta and fresh peas.

Noteworthy

Photo


Credit
The New York Times

• Our pop music team pulls back the curtain on how music is made today. First in the series is “The Middle,” a song written by a shy Australian that took producers more than a year to mold into a hit.

• Even by Aussie standards, Patrick Brammall is one busy actor. And his recent work is all over American streaming video.

• Fed of up being told to smile, one woman decides she won’t, and reflects on what it is about American culture that demands grins.

Back Story

Photo


Credit
Jawed, via YouTube

“Here we are in front of the elephants.”

It’s a phrase that you probably don’t recognize, but it helped launch a platform that you probably do: YouTube.

Thirteen years ago today, one of the video-sharing site’s co-founders, Jawed Karim, published its first clip: a brief video of himself at the San Diego Zoo.

YouTube now has over a billion users who consume a billion hours of video each day. With five billion views, the music video for “Despacito” is the most-watched video on YouTube. (Here’s a full list.)

People can watch Tom Cruise jump off Oprah Winfrey’s couch on repeat; laugh at a baby biting his brother’s finger; and relive the world’s introduction to the singer Susan Boyle.

YouTube, now owned by Google, was dreamed up by Mr. Karim and two other former PayPal employees. They were initially depressed by YouTube’s content: “There’s not that many videos I’d want to watch,” one lamented.

The trip to the zoo was one of those videos.

“The cool thing about these guys is they have really, really, really long trunks and that’s cool,” Mr. Karim says in the 19-second video, which has more than 48 million views. “And that’s pretty much all there is to say.”

Remy Tumin wrote today’s Back Story.

_____

Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online. Sign up here to get it by email in the Australian, Asian, European or American morning. You can also receive an Evening Briefing on U.S. weeknights.

And our Australia bureau chief offers a weekly letter adding analysis and conversations with readers.

Browse our full range of Times newsletters here.

What would you like to see here? Contact us at asiabriefing@nytimes.com.

Continue reading the main story

Senior Tory: Windrush critics 'opportunistic'


A member of Theresa May’s government has accused Labour of “opportunism and hypocrisy” over its attacks on the Tories on Windrush.

Mike Freer, a Government whip and MP for Margaret Thatcher’s old Commons seat of Finchley and Golders Green, hit out in an email to a constituent.

The MP was responding after his constituent wrote to him complaining she was “appalled and ashamed” to hear of the impact of the Prime Minister’s “hostile environment policy” on immigration.

Mr Freer replied: “I am sorry to hear that you have been misinformed. It is so sad that Opposition parties would seek to deliberately misquote and misinterpret what Theresa May said.

“The Windrush issue is absolutely nothing to do with immigration reforms introduced under the Cameron Government. Then the policy was to make it harder for ILLEGAL immigrants to settle in the UK. The Windrush people were and are legal. Wholly separate and unconnected.

“I would also point out that the decision to destroy the landing cards of the Windrush people was taken by the last LABOUR Government, so it really is the height of opportunism and hypocrisy for the Opposition to take some moral high ground.”



Video:
PM has presided over racist legislation – Butler

Mr Freer’s attack on Labour reflects the view of many Conservative MPs that Jeremy Corbyn’s party is attempting to exploit the Windrush controversy to deflect attention from its own race row over anti-Semitism.

His Finchley and Golders Green seat, in north-west London, has the largest Jewish population of any Parliamentary constituency in the country, at over a fifth of its residents.

It is in the outer London borough of Barnet, which is one of the key battlegrounds in the local elections on 3 May, with Labour attempting to snatch the council from the Conservatives.

Despite being a Government whip, a role that restricts his speaking in Parliament, Mr Freer has been a vocal campaigner against anti-Semitism. He joined the high-profile Parliament Square protest last month and wrote on the subject in The Times as recently as last week.

:: Sky Views: Britain wakes up to its imperial past


22nd June 1948: The ex-troopship 'Empire Windrush' arriving at Tilbury Docks from Jamaica, with 482 Jamaicans on board, emigrating to Britain

Video:
Over 100 Windrush cases being investigated

In her email to Mr Freer, his constituent wrote: “Apart from the terrible injustice to the many individuals concerned, ranging from losing their jobs, their homes, their right to health care, fearing deportation and being subjected to incredible levels of stress, what image of Britain are we projecting here?

“What must EU27 nations make of this conduct? How can Britain present itself as an honourable and trustworthy negotiating partner when it treats its own citizens and people who have made honest mistakes in such a dreadful fashion. It is truly shameful.”

Amazon’s Critics Get New Life With Trump’s Attacks on the Company


Some are concerned about the president’s motivations for his attacks, which people close to Mr. Trump have said are often triggered by negative coverage of his administration in The Washington Post, a newspaper owned personally by Mr. Bezos. Mr. Trump has mingled his attacks on Amazon and the newspaper in some tweets, including one in early April slamming “the Fake News Washington Post, Amazon’s ‘chief lobbyist.’”

Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Open Markets Institute, a think tank that has become a vocal critic of the power of tech companies, said he believed Amazon was worthy of action by regulators in part because of its power in the book market. But he also said he found Mr. Trump’s efforts to “personalize law enforcement” troubling.

“What he’s doing is a threat to democracy, but so is Amazon,” Mr. Stoller said. “That’s the dilemma.”

Photo

Since Amazon purchased Whole Foods last year, it has become a bigger concern for labor unions like the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

Credit
Drew Anthony Smith for The New York Times

Still, early this month, after Mr. Trump launched another Twitter tirade against Amazon’s deal with the Postal Service, Mr. Stoller jumped on board on Twitter.

The most direct effort to tap Mr. Trump’s hostility toward Amazon was an advertisement last month about the contract to provide cloud computing services to the Defense Department — worth up to $10 billion, by some estimates. The ad, with a picture of Mr. Bezos looking chummy next to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, appeared in the president’s favorite hometown tabloid.

“I had never seen that before,” Katell Thielemann, an analyst who follows the government technology contracting market for the research firm Gartner, said of the attack ad.

The ad was placed by Less Government, which calls itself a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Seton Motley, who runs the group, did not respond to requests for comment. He has said in interviews that he funded the ad himself. It’s unclear who backs the group, but there are large tech companies, some with connections to Mr. Trump, that have expressed their unhappiness with how the contract is structured.

The contract came up in a dinner this month with Mr. Trump and Safra Catz, co-chief executive of Oracle, according to a person briefed on the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details are confidential. Ms. Catz told the president that the way the Defense Department had written the contract, awarding it to just one vendor, was an advantage to Amazon, the person said.

So far, Mr. Trump hasn’t publicly expressed concern about Amazon’s bid for the contract. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Trump recently escalated his attacks on Amazon with a presidential order to review the Postal Service’s financial model, which he has denounced on Twitter as money-losing because of favorable deals worked out with Amazon. (The Postal Service denies that deals like its one with Amazon are unprofitable.)

“The playing field has to be leveled,” he told reporters this month, promising to take a serious look at policies that might affect Amazon.

Mr. Trump’s Amazon attacks have amplified criticisms that have been building for years among research groups and trade organizations that represent Amazon’s rivals.

They have produced studies that say Amazon’s warehouses — which employ more than 125,000 full-time workers in the United States — don’t increase total local employment because of losses in other sectors. They also question the wisdom of subsidies to attract them. The American Booksellers Association, which represents independent bookstores, recently published a similar report on Amazon’s economic impact.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, one of the largest private-sector unions in the country, representing 1.3 million workers in grocery stores and related industries, said Amazon’s investments in automation would hurt workers. Since it bought Whole Foods last year, Amazon has become one of the union’s top concerns.

Asked about Mr. Trump’s attacks on Amazon, Marc Perrone, president of the union, said: “Allowing Amazon’s unchecked growth to continue will lead to the destruction of millions of American jobs. Which begs the question: Why aren’t all Democrats and Republicans speaking out?”

A spokesman for Amazon declined to comment.

When Mr. Trump bashes Amazon for not collecting taxes, he is echoing long-running criticism of the company by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonpartisan research organization. Amazon collects sales tax in states that have one for items it sells directly to shoppers, but in most states it does not when shoppers buy merchandise from independent merchants on Amazon.

Other critics — from technology pundits to a former chief executive of Walmart U.S. — have called for antitrust action against Amazon by the government, including a breakup of the company.

Amazon’s defense is that — even as it has swelled into a giant, with over $177 billion in revenue last year — its share of overall retail sales is still small, estimated to be in the mid-single digits in the United States. This, along with Amazon’s emphasis on keeping prices low, has made it challenging for opponents to spark action under current antitrust law, which is primarily focused on consumer harm.

It’s unclear if Mr. Trump can do much to get antitrust enforcers at the Federal Trade Commission or Justice Department, which are supposed to keep politics out of competition cases, to act against Amazon. But his executive order asking for a review of the Postal Service, including its relationship with customers like Amazon, could lead to changes unfavorable to the company.

In a recent opinion piece about Mr. Trump’s attacks on Amazon, the social critic Thomas Frank said he didn’t believe Mr. Trump would use antitrust laws to challenge Amazon, even though Mr. Frank would approve of such a move.

“I don’t like Amazon, and I don’t like Donald Trump either,” he wrote in The Guardian, the British newspaper.

Continue reading the main story

Reporter covering protest killed on Facebook Live


The death of a journalist covering protests in Nicaragua has been captured on camera as he filmed on Facebook Live.

Angel Gahona was reporting live on unrest in the central American country when he was shot dead.

At least 25 others have been killed in the last few days amid demonstrations against increased taxes, according to human rights groups.

The last Facebook Live shot Angel Gahona took before he dropped to the floor after being shot
Image:
The last Facebook Live shot Angel Gahona took before he was shot dead

Mr Gahona was in the entrance to the city hall of the southeastern city of Bluefields on Saturday when he was hit by gunfire.

The reporter was describing damage to a cash machine he was videoing with his phone as a cameraman filmed behind him when a shot rang out.

A petrol bomb explodes near riot policemen
Image:
A petrol bomb explodes near riot policemen

Suddenly, he falls to the ground as others around him are heard screaming his name.

He was taken to hospital with a serious head wound but another Bluefields reporter, Ileana Lacayo, said he died en route.

A riot policeman lies injured
Image:
A riot policeman lies injured

Police have been unable to identify who fired the shot, with officers and other groups fighting the protesters the only ones believed to have been armed.

Dozens of shops in the capital Managua have been looted in the last 24 hours amid the five-day long violence which is over government social security reforms.

Demonstrators run past a burning barricade
Image:
Demonstrators run past a burning barricade

The demonstrations erupted in response to President Daniel Ortega’s effort to shore up the troubled social security system with a mix of reduced benefits and increased taxes.

State-controlled media blamed protesters for the looting, while critics claimed that it was being allowed to pressure the business sector to force the government to end the harsh crackdown.

A demonstrator holds up a Nicaragua flag next to a burning barricade
Image:
A demonstrator holds up a Nicaragua flag next to a burning barricade

Mr Ortega said on Saturday he would negotiate on the reforms, but only with business leaders.

He also tried to justify the tough response to the protests, accusing the demonstrators of being manipulated by politicians and gangsters.

A student uses a makeshift gun
Image:
A student uses a makeshift gun

“What is happening in our country has no name. The kids do not even know the party that is manipulating them,” Mr Ortega said.

“Gang members are being brought into the kids’ protests and are criminalising the protests. That is why they are put at risk,” he added.

People with goods looted from a store in Managua
Image:
People with goods looted from a store in Managua

His remarks appeared to backfire as soon after he finished speaking thousands of people spilled back into the streets in seven cities.

At least two more protest marches have been planned in Managua on Sunday.

Men carry the coffin of Alvaro Conrado, 15, a high school student killed during a protest
Image:
Men carry the coffin of Alvaro Conrado, 15, a high school student killed during a protest

Marlin Sierra, director of human rights organization CENIDH, said most of the dead were aged between 15 and 34.

The government put the number of dead at “almost 10” by late on Friday.

Also on Sunday, Pope Francis called for an end to the violence.

Students throw stones as they clash with police
Image:
Students throw stones as they clash with police

Mr Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla and Cold War antagonist of the United States, has presided over a period of stable growth with a blend of socialist policies and capitalism.

But critics accuse the President and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, of trying to establish a family dictatorship.

Police shelter while clashing with students
Image:
Police shelter while clashing with students

The US condemned the police violence on Sunday and urged the government to allow journalists to go about their work without risk.

Meanwhile, the North American football governing body, CONCACAF, cancelled the remainder of its Women’s Under-17 Championship being staged in the country due to safety concerns.

Tariff Dodgers Stand to Profit Off U.S.-China Trade Dispute


“If you talk China, I’ve watched where the reporters have been writing 2 percent of our steel comes from China. Well, that’s not right,” Mr. Trump said last month. “They transship all through other countries.”

The scale of such tariff-dodging isn’t clear. Based on available data, many economists don’t believe that it plays a major role in American trade. For example, the United States imports only modest amounts of steel from Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia or other Southeast Asian countries that are popular stops for freight forwarders like Settle Logistics.

Still, the shadowy world of transshipments and other trade trickery is set to get a much closer look. Transshipments are likely to be a major part of any negotiations between China and the United States aimed at settling their trade dispute. They could also figure into conversations with Europe, South Korea, Canada and other major partners looking to extend their exemptions from Mr. Trump’s steel tariffs. The governments may need to be on alert to make sure they do not become way stations and anger Washington.

Photo

Rolls of aluminum at a factory in Zouping, China. Transshipments meet Chinese regulations when they go to places like Malaysia, one broker said, but after that, “it is the U.S. government’s role to judge which country the products are originally from, and whether this business is legal or not.”

Credit
-/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada announced on March 27 that his country would enact a series of regulatory measures to block transshipments. By contrast, South Korea has insisted that it makes sure the true origins of cargo are accurately identified and that tariffs are paid.

Transshipments are perfectly legal in most cases. The problems occur when somebody disguises the country of origin.

“Products requirement: Do not have a ‘Made in China’ logo,” says the website of one Chinese freight forwarding company, CT-Chan, that promises it can help manufacturers avoid American tariffs.

Transshipments and relabeling aren’t the only trade dodge out there, and China by no means has a monopoly on them. American steel and aluminum companies complain that some basic metal is sent to other countries for minimal processing before it is shipped to the United States. Critics say big multinational companies use an accounting trick called transfer pricing — a common way to dodge taxes — to avoid paying higher tariffs when shipping goods between their international subsidiaries.

The network of Chinese brokers that bypass tariffs in the West by shipping goods through other countries is extensive and highly developed. The company websites boast of sending steel, aluminum foil, clothing, solar panels and even stainless steel sinks to the United States and Europe while evading tariffs.

Many of the brokers try to shield themselves from any criticism in China by wrapping themselves in nationalism. Top & Profit International Forwarding in Shenzhen says on its website that it is “breaking the barriers of international trade and anti-dumping to let Chinese products enter international markets successfully.”

CT-Chan, based in Guangzhou, advertises that “transshipment is the only way to avoid high tariffs and import limits.”

Top & Profit, CT-China and China’s Commerce Ministry, which oversees trade, declined to comment.

The freight companies say they use a variety of techniques. Settle Logistics, in Hangzhou, says on its website that its works with a factory in Malaysia and can obtain Malaysian certificates of origin for goods made in China.

Brokers also describe breaking up larger orders into a series of shipments from ports scattered around China. The goal is to reduce the odds that American trade associations would detect big shipments and report them.

Photo

A clothing factory in Beijing. Exporting goods from China to the United States by way of Malaysia can cost twice as much as shipping them directly.

Credit
Bryan Denton for The New York Times

On its website, Settle Logistics says it encourages companies to comply with trade regulations. John Zhao, one of the owners of Settle Logistics, said he was providing a needed service by creating alternative routes to the American market.

“If Chinese enterprises cannot export their products to the U.S. and they are not qualified to build factories overseas, we can offer help to them,” he said.

The shipments meet Chinese export regulations when they go to places like Malaysia, Mr. Zhao said. After that, he said, “it is the U.S. government’s role to judge which country the products are originally from, and whether this business is legal or not.”

American customs officials said in a written reply to questions that the United States had “a sophisticated targeting process to identify countries, manufacturers, importers and shipments that are at high risk.”

The services aren’t cheap, but high tariffs can make them appealing. Shipping goods from China to the United States by way of Malaysia costs $3,000 to $4,000 per 40-foot shipping container, at least $2,000 more than shipping directly to the United States, brokers said. The extra costs include $500 for a Malaysian certificate of origin, at least $950 for unpacking goods in Malaysia and repacking them in a different container and $600 or more for the additional sea freight.

Malaysian trade officials said the country did not have a specific law against tariff circumvention. Still, it has laws against the falsification of documents and requires companies to manufacture products there in order to obtain local certificates of origin.

A new era of tariffs could make transshipments even more appealing. Brokers described receiving up to 10 times as many phone calls for price quotes as usual in the past several weeks as trade tensions between Washington and Beijing heated up.

Stamping out such transshipments could prove difficult. The United States made a big effort in the late 1990s to address the relabeling in Hong Kong of garments that had been made in mainland China, said Patrick Conway, a textiles trade specialist.

But after American officials gathered enough evidence to put companies on a watch list, the companies quickly disappeared, said Mr. Conway, who is the chairman of the economics department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Some of the same people involved emerged later, but at other companies.

“We can anticipate a game of Whac-a-Mole,” Mr. Conway said.

Continue reading the main story

Migrants drown off Libyan coast on way to Europe



Eleven migrants have died at sea and 263 have been rescued off the coast of Libya, the country’s navy said.

The migrants died as they were trying to cross from the country’s western coast to Italy.

The migrants were found in two separate operations.

In the first operation, the coastguard found 11 bodies and 83 survivors off the town of Sabratha, while in the second, the coastguard rescued 180 migrants on two inflatable boats near the town of Zliten.

The migrants were believed to be from various sub-Saharan African countries.

Libya was plunged into chaos following a 2011 uprising, and remains split between rival governments in the east and west, each backed by an array of militias.

Libya has since been a frequently used route to Europe for migrants fleeing poverty and conflicts in Africa and the Middle East.

More than 600,000 crossed the central Mediterranean to Italy in the past four years, the vast majority from Libya.

That Shaggy Mutt? At Dog Museums, Our Drooling Companions Are the Stars


Below are a few museums around the world devoted exclusively to our canine friends. At this rate, cats may start to wonder what’s up.

Dackelmuseum, Passau, Germany

Mr. Küblbeck and Oliver Storz have been collecting dachshund memorabilia for a quarter-century. But the bulk of the collection — about 3,500 items — was acquired from a Belgian musician who sold it because he was getting married, Mr. Storz said. An array of books, drawings and porcelain figurines are now crowded into overstuffed display cases.

One object of note: a Waldi, the first official Olympic mascot, created for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. (It’s a plush toy.) Dachshunds, which were bred in the Middle Ages to flush badgers out of their burrows, are the 13th most popular dog breed, according to the American Kennel Club. Fans including Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein.

American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, Queeny Park, Mo.

Just in case Park Avenue didn’t already have enough dogs on display: Next year, the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog is moving from its current home in suburban St. Louis to a ground floor gallery space in the Kalikow building, in Midtown Manhattan. The museum has more than 700 works of art, including paintings, porcelain figurines and sculptures, many donated to the museum by members of the club.

Alan Fausel, the club’s director of cultural resources, said the new museum would focus more on education and children’s programming. “We want to get the museum to a different audience,” he said. “We want to tell the story of the dog, and we can do that through our collection.”

Barryland, Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard, Matigny, Switzerland

Where else would one find a museum to honor the St. Bernard? Matigny is situated at the Great St. Bernard Pass in the Pennine Alps, where for centuries travelers have been greeted by the loyal dogs, known for their prowess in avalanche rescues. Monks bred St. Bernards in the late 17th century for work and to aid travelers overwhelmed by harsh winter conditions.

The museum, founded in 2006, is next to a Roman amphitheater and houses portrayals of the creatures in literature, art and culture. The main attraction, though, might be the dogs themselves, which can be petted and observed in their kennels on the first floor.

Photo

Canines on display at the Museum of Dog in North Adams, Mass. It opened in March.

Credit
Museum of Dog

Dog Collar Museum, Leeds Castle, Kent, England

In 1977, Gertrude Hunt donated a collection of more than 60 dog collars to the Leeds Castle Foundation in memory of her husband, John Hunt, an antiques dealer and scholar of Irish history. They became the centerpiece of a collection that includes more than 130 rare collars from the late 15th to the 19th century. The oldest is a Spanish mastiff’s iron collar, worn to protect dogs against bears and wolves that roamed the European countryside.

Collars from the medieval era are studded with spikes and barbed metal. Later, in the 1800s, canine neckwear became more ornate as more dogs moved indoors and became companions and pets. Pieces from the collection include an intricate gilded collar from the Baroque period, a set of engraved silver collars from the 19th century, and a display of neckwear with owners’ markings. More modern collars are laden with beads and gemstones.

Museum of Dog, North Adams, Mass.

David York loves pooches a lot. So much so, in fact, that he opened a dog museum last month in the Berkshires. For the Museum of Dog, situated in a historic building near the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Mr. York has assembled more than 180 pieces of art, including works by Mary Engel, a sculptor from Athens, Ga., and William Wegman, whose popular photographs of his Weimaraners are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Metal dog collars are prized collectibles among dog lovers; Mr. York has two from the 1800s. Most of the museum’s collection is owned by Mr. York, a rescue dog advocate. But he said the museum would also feature work by visiting artists. The first is Jesse Freidin, a fine art photographer who takes pictures of — what else? — dogs.

Get what you need to start your day. Sign up for the Morning Briefing newsletter.

Continue reading the main story

Carwyn Jones exit 'does not help Sargeant family'


Carl Sargeant and Carwyn Jones

Image caption

Carwyn Jones (R), pictured in 2009, fired Carl Sargeant after allegations emerged about the minister’s conduct

First Minister Carwyn Jones’s decision to stand down does not help Carl Sargeant’s family, their lawyer has told BBC Wales.

Neil Hudgell said there will be no “closure” until the inquiry into the circumstances around Mr Sargeant’s death concludes.

Mr Jones’s decision to leave office in the autumn was dramatically announced at Welsh Labour conference on Saturday.

It comes five months after he sacked Mr Sargeant who was found dead days later.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to Mr Jones when he spoke at the conference in Llandudno, saying the AM for Bridgend is “not done yet”.

Mr Jones, who will step down after around nine years in charge, said on Saturday he had been through the “darkest of times”.

He sacked the AM for Alyn and Deeside Carl Sargeant last November following allegations of inappropriate conduct towards women.

Mr Jones and his office have been under intense pressure ever since – from Mr Sargeant’s family, and from politicians both within Labour and outside.

On Friday, lawyers for Mr Sargeant’s son Jack – who succeeded him as AM for Alyn and Deeside – said the family was frustrated by delays to an independent inquiry led by QC Paul Bowen into Mr Jones’s handling of the November reshuffle.

They also said Mr Jones’s own conduct had caused “considerable distress” to the family.

‘Highly critical’

Asked by BBC Radio Wales’ Sunday Supplement programme whether Mr Jones’s decision to resign helps Carl Sargeant’s family, Mr Hudgell said: “Not at all.

“The family completely empathise with the human cost of being involved in high profile office – and the fact that he can go home to his family in the autumn, they are very pleased for the Jones family.

“But they will never get any closure until they get to the end of this journey with Paul Bowen and his investigation, and him being able to have access to all relevant material and all relevant witness, so they can finally understand the events that led up to the tragic loss of their father and husband.”

He called for the publication of a report into whether the sacking of Carl Sargeant was leaked – saying it could be redacted if needed.

The Welsh Government has refused to publish the report, warning witnesses would be reluctant to come forward in future if they knew their identities could be disclosed.

“My understanding is that report is going to be highly critical, not only of the handling of the leaks, but of the inquiry and how it is conducted,” Mr Hudgell said.

Image caption

Independent AM and ex-Plaid Cymru leader Lord Elis-Thomas joined the Welsh Government last year

Mr Jones is expected to stay on as a AM after he quits as first minister – meaning no by-election will be triggered.

Welsh Government minister Lord Elis-Thomas, a former Plaid Cymru leader and now independent AM, said it was “appalling” that people inside and outside the Labour Party had been “gunning for” Mr Jones.

He told the BBC’s Sunday Politics Wales programme: “What is the point of removing someone who has said that he intends to do a particular period [in office], he was talking about 10 years?

“And then, when the tragic events surrounding Carl Sargeant happened, there was an attempt to pin this on Carwyn.

“And I found that reprehensible, because you cannot say that the hugely difficult, traumatic issue involving a person taking his own life, a politician or anyone else, can be pinned on one other person.”

Lord Elis-Thomas refused to say which individuals he was talking about.

“No, I’m not going to pin names on anyone, because I don’t want to be doing what they did to Carwyn,” he added.

Image caption

Carolyn Harris beat Julie Morgan to the role of Welsh Labour deputy leader

The announcement by Mr Jones overshadowed the controversy that developed on the same day over the Welsh Labour deputy leadership election.

Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris beat Julie Morgan, Cardiff North AM, to win the job despite winning fewer votes than Ms Morgan among the party membership.

Under the terms of the poll’s electoral college, the votes of MPs and AMs and groups linked to Labour, including trade unions, outweighed the membership.

Ms Morgan told Sunday Supplement that it is “absolutely essential” that the next leader is chosen on a one-member-one-vote franchise – and she was “fairly confident” that it would happen.

“We don’t want the first minister and the leader of Labour to be elected in a way which leaves it open for that person to be elected without having the majority support of the members,” she said.

She said she hoped an upcoming democracy review in Labour, due to be debated in Llandudno on Sunday, would set up a commission that “does not have to take a year to report” and that leadership elections should be looked at “straight away”.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionCarwyn Jones stands down after ‘the darkest of times’

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford, considered by many to be a front-runner for the job of first minister, said he was giving “serious consideration” to putting himself in the running following Mr Jones’s announcement.

Others, including Jeremy Miles, Alun Davies, Vaughan Gething and Huw Irranca-Davies, have declined to rule themselves out.

The first minister told the conference that his departure would give his family, his party and the country a “fresh start”.

Referring to his wife and family, Mr Jones told delegates on Saturday: “I don’t think anyone can know what the last few months have been like – no one apart from Lisa and the kids.

“They have carried me through the darkest of times. I have asked too much of them at times. It’s time for me to think about what’s fair to them.”