Connect with us

Business

Russia threatens broad Ukraine offensive as U.S. presses China over war stance

Published

on


A local inspects the damage near the rubble of his building after Russian missile hit a residential area in the city center in Kharkiv, Ukraine on July 9, 2022. As a result of the attack, four people were injured.

Abdullah Unver | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukrainian defenders battled on Saturday to contain Russian forces along several fronts, officials said, as the United States urged China to align itself with the West in opposing the invasion following an ill-tempered G-20 meeting.

A missile strike on the northeastern city of Kharkiv wounded three civilians, its governor said, though Russia’s main attacks appeared focused southeast of there in Luhansk and Donetsk.

Those two provinces, parts of which were held by pro-Russian separatists before the conflict began in February, comprise the eastern industrial region of the Donbas.

Ukrainian officials reported strikes in both on Saturday, while Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Moscow was assembling reserve forces from across Russia near Ukraine.

Donetsk regional Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on the Telegram messaging service that a Russian missile had struck Druzhkivka, a town behind the front line, and reported shelling of other population centers.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Telegram that Russian forces were “firing along the entire front line,” though a subsequent Ukrainian counter-attack had forced Moscow to halt its offensive.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Russian army had targeted civilians on purpose.

“It fired precisely at the residential sector — absolutely deliberately, purposefully, at ordinary houses and civilian objects,” he said in a statement.

Russia, which claimed control over all of Luhansk province last weekend, denies targeting civilians.

Zelenskyy also dismissed several of Kyiv’s senior envoys abroad, saying it was part of “normal diplomatic practice.” He said he would appoint new ambassadors to Germany, India, the Czech Republic, Norway and Hungary.

Zelenskyy has urged his diplomats to drum up international support and high-end weapons to slow Russia’s advance.

U.S. President Joe Biden signed a weapons package for Ukraine on Friday worth up to $400 million, including four additional high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS).

But Ukraine suffered a diplomatic setback on Saturday, when Canada said it would return a repaired turbine that Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom used to supply natural gas to Germany. Ukraine had argued that a return would violate sanctions on Russia.

China-U.S. frictions

On Saturday U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging the international community to join forces to condemn Russian aggression, told journalists he had raised concerns with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi over Beijing’s alignment with Moscow.

The pair held over five hours of talks on the sidelines of the G-20 gathering of foreign ministers on the Indonesian island of Bali. On Friday, Russia’s Sergei Lavrov had walked out of a meeting there, denouncing the West for “frenzied criticism.”

The Chinese foreign ministry said, without giving details, that Wang and Blinken had discussed “the Ukraine issue.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about US policy towards China during an event hosted by the Asia Society Policy Institute at George Washington University in Washington, DC, on May 26, 2022.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

It also quoted Wang as saying that Sino-American relations were in danger of being further led “astray,” with many people believing that “the United States is suffering from an increasingly serious bout of ‘Chinaphobia.'”

Shortly before the Russian invasion, Beijing and Moscow announced a “no limits” partnership, although U.S. officials have said they have not seen China evade U.S.-led sanctions on Russia or provide it with military equipment.

Kharkiv’s Governor Oleh Synehubov said on Telegram that, as well as the missile strike, fighters had repulsed two Russian attacks near Dementiivka, a town situated between the city and the border with Russia.

Russia’s defense ministry said its forces hit two “bases of foreign mercenaries deployed near Kharkiv.”

Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov also said troops had destroyed ammunition depots in the Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk regions.

Russian-backed forces in the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said three people died and 17 were wounded there in the past 24 hours as Ukrainian forces shelled 10 locations.

Alexei Kulemzin, mayor of Donetsk, wrote on Telegram that two women had died as a result of shelling in the city’s Kirovskyi district.

Reuters could not independently verify battlefield accounts.

Sanctions plea

Following Friday’s testy G-20 exchanges, President Vladimir Putin also signaled that the Kremlin was in no mood for compromise, saying sanctions against Russia risked causing “catastrophic” energy price rises.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Saturday that sanctions were working, and echoed calls for more deliveries of high-precision Western weapons.

“Russians desperately try to lift those sanctions which proves that they do hurt them. Therefore, sanctions must be stepped up until Putin drops his aggressive plans,” Kuleba told a forum in Dubrovnik by video link.

Since Russia, which has also seized a big chunk of territory across Ukraine’s south, started what it calls a “special operation” to demilitarize Ukraine, cities have been bombed to rubble, thousands have been killed, and millions displaced.

Ukraine and its Western allies say Russia is engaged in an unprovoked land grab.



Source link

Business

Ford CEO says 65% of U.S. dealers agree to sell EVs

Published

on


Ford F-150 Lightning trucks manufactured at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn Michigan.

Courtesy: Ford Motor Co.

DETROIT – About 65% of Ford Motor’s dealers have agreed to sell electric vehicles as the company invests billions to expand production and sales of the battery-powered cars and trucks, CEO Jim Farley said Monday.

About 1,920 of Ford’s nearly 3,000 dealers in the U.S. agreed to sell EVs, according to Farley. He said roughly 80% of those dealers opted for the higher level of investment for EVs.

Ford offered its dealers the option to become “EV-certified” under one of two programs — with expected investments of $500,000 or $1.2 million. Dealers in the higher tier, which carries upfront costs of $900,000, receive “elite” certification and be allocated more EVs.

Ford, unlike crosstown rival General Motors, is allowing dealers to opt out of selling EVs and continue to sell the company’s cars. GM has offered buyouts to Buick and Cadillac dealers that don’t want to invest to sell EVs.

Dealers who decided not to invest in EVs may do so when Ford reopens the certification process in 2027.

“We think that the EV adoption in the U.S. will take time, so we wanted to give dealers a chance to come back,” Farley said during an Automotive News conference.

Ford’s plans to sell EVs have been a point of contention since the company split off its all-electric vehicle business earlier this year into a separate division known as Model e. Farley said the automaker and its dealers needed to lower costs, increase profits and deliver better, more consistent customer sales experiences.

Farley on Monday also reiterated that a direct-sales model is estimated to be thousands of dollars cheaper for the automaker than the auto industry’s traditional franchised system.

Wall Street analysts have largely viewed direct-to-consumer sales as a benefit to optimize profit. However, there have been growing pains for Tesla, which uses the sales model, when it comes to servicing its vehicles.

Ford’s current lineup of all-electric vehicles includes the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup, Mustang Mach-E crossover and e-Transit van. The automaker is expected to release a litany of other EVs globally under a plan to invest tens of billion of dollars in the technologies by 2026.



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Tim Draper predicts bitcoin will reach $250,000 despite FTX collapse

Published

on


Tim Draper, founder of Draper Associates, onstage at the Web Summit 2022 tech conference.

Ben McShane | Sportsfile via Getty Images

Venture capitalist Tim Draper thinks bitcoin will hit $250,000 a coin by the middle of 2023, even after a bruising year for the cryptocurrency marked by industry failures and sinking prices.

Draper previously predicted that bitcoin would top $250,000 by the end of 2022, but in early November, at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, he said it would take until June 2023 for this to materialize.

He reaffirmed this position Saturday when asked how he felt about his price call following the collapse of FTX.

“I have extended my prediction by six months. $250k is still my number,” Draper told CNBC via email.

Bitcoin would need to rally nearly 1,400% from its current price of around $17,000 for Draper’s prediction to come true. The cryptocurrency has plunged over 60% since the start of the year.

Digital currencies are in the doldrums as tighter monetary policy from the Fed and a chain reaction of bankruptcies at major industry firms including Terra, Celsius and FTX have put intense pressure on prices.

FTX’s demise has also worsened an already severe liquidity crisis in the industry. Crypto exchange Gemini and lender Genesis are among the firms said to be impacted by the fallout from FTX’s insolvency.

Last week, veteran investor Mark Mobius told CNBC that bitcoin could crash to $10,000 next year, a more than 40% plunge from current prices. The co-founder of Mobius Capital Partners correctly called the drop to $20,000 this year.

Nevertheless, Draper is convinced that bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is set to rise in the new year.

“I expect a flight to quality and decentralized crypto like bitcoin, and for some of the weaker coins to become relics,” he told CNBC.

What is DeFi, and could it upend finance as we know it?

Draper, the founder of Draper Associates, is one of Silicon Valley’s best-known investors. He made successful bets on tech companies including Tesla, Skype and Baidu.

In 2014, Draper purchased 29,656 bitcoins confiscated by U.S. Marshals from the Silk Road dark web marketplace for $18.7 million. That year, he predicted the price of bitcoin would go to $10,000 in three years. Bitcoin went on to climb close to $20,000 in 2017.

Some of Draper’s other bets have soured, however. He invested in Theranos, a health startup that falsely claimed it was able to detect diseases with a few drops of blood. Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos’ founder, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for fraud.

‘The dam is about to break’

Draper’s rationale for bitcoin’s breakout next year is that there remains a massive untapped demographic for bitcoin: women.

“My assumption is that, since women control 80% of retail spending and only 1 in 7 bitcoin wallets are currently held by women, the dam is about to break,” Draper said.

Crypto has long had a gender disparity problem. According to a survey conducted for CNBC and Acorns by Momentive, twice as many men as women invest in digital assets (16% of men vs. 7% of women).

“Retailers will save roughly 2% on every purchase made in bitcoin vs dollars,” Draper added. “Once retailers realize that that 2% can double their profits, bitcoin will be ubiquitous.”

Payment middlemen such as Visa and Mastercard currently charge fees as high as 2% each time credit cardholders use their card to pay for something. Bitcoin offers a way for people to bypass the middlemen.

However, using the digital coin for everyday spending is tough, since its price is very volatile and the coin is not widely accepted as currency.

“When people can buy their food, clothing and shelter all in bitcoin, they will have no use for centralized banking fiat dollars,” Draper said.

“Management of fiat is centralized and erratic. When a politician decides to spend $10 trillion, your dollars become worth about 82 cents. Then the Fed needs to raise rates to make up for the spend, and those arbitrary centralized decisions create an inconsistent economy,” he added. Fiat currencies derive their worth from their issuing government, unlike cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, the next so-called bitcoin halving — which cuts the bitcoin rewards to bitcoin miners — in 2024 will also boost the cryptocurrency, according to Draper, as it chokes the supply over time. The total number of bitcoins that will ever be mined is capped at 21 million.



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Three pharmaceutical stocks were top performers last week

Published

on




Source link

Continue Reading

Trending