BHP’s record loss, the fall of an internet star and Hyperloop testing
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Writedowns and impairments have dragged BHP Billiton to its biggest annual loss, capping off a troubled year for the Anglo-Australian miner that included one of its worst mine accidents.
BHP recorded a net loss of $6.4bn after more than $7bn of impairment charges, with the resources group counting the cost of its costly expansion into US shale oil and gas in 2012. (FT)
In the news
ValueAct takes Morgan Stanley stake The activist hedge fund ValueAct has disclosed a $1.1bn investment in Morgan Stanley, giving it a powerful voice at a bank still trying to come to terms with the radically changed regulatory landscape. Disclosure of the almost 2 per cent stake comes as Morgan Stanley’s chief executive, James Gorman, cuts costs and lays off staff in the company’s shrinking debt-trading business. (FT)
VW in settlement talks over criminal probe Volkswagen and the US Justice Department have held preliminary settlement talks about resolving a criminal probe into the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal, two sources briefed on the matter said. A criminal settlement could include a consent decree, an independent monitor overseeing the German automaker’s conduct and significant yet-to-be determined fines for emissions violations. The Wall Street Journal reported that the fines could top $1.2bn. (Reuters, WSJ)
Google launches its answer to FaceTime Google is set to launch a video calling app on Tuesday as it tries to make up lost ground in the critical market for mobile communications apps. The release of Duo, a simple app for placing video calls between smartphones, comes ahead of the promised release this summer of Allo, a separate mobile messaging app that is set to play an even more important role in Google’s efforts to catch up with users’ rapidly changing smartphone habits. (FT)
Guantánamo numbers shrink. The United Arab Emirates has taken in 15 long-held prisoners from Guantánamo Bay in the largest single transfer of detainees of Barack Obama’s presidency. The transfer, officially announced by the Pentagon on Monday evening, brings the Guantánamo detainee population down to 61. (Guardian)
Trump calls for ‘extreme vetting’ Donald Trump said he wants to introduce “extreme vetting” to control immigration to the US as he laid out proposals to prevent potential Islamist terrorists from threatening the country. In his first set-piece speech on national security since becoming the Republican presidential nominee, Mr Trump also called for a temporary suspension of immigration from regions with “a history of exporting terrorism” as the new antiradicalism controls were put in place. (FT)
Trump poll lag widens Donald Trump is trailing in an average of post-convention poll results for every swing state from the past two cycles. That includes the traditional powerhouses of Florida and Ohio, where Hillary Clinton has taken single-digit leads. But there are six states that have moved especially dramatically in Clinton’s direction. (Vox)
It’s a big day for
Edgar Lungu, Zambia’s president, who has been returned to office after securing a narrow election victory. His closest rival claims the vote was rigged and has refused to accept the result.
UK economy Rising fuel prices pushed UK inflation to its highest level in nearly two years in the first set of official data since the vote to leave the EU. The sharp fall in the value of sterling since the Brexit vote, which will make imports more expensive, means that inflation is expected to rise steadily throughout this year. (FT) Read our new daily Brexit Briefing. Other FT subscribers can sign up to receive it daily by email here.
Food for thought
Why Australia’s luck may be running out The country is in danger of becoming a lightning rod for Chinese anger towards the west in general and the US in particular, writes the FT’s Gideon Rachman. “The 20th century was kind to the lucky country. The 21st century may not be so lucky for Australia.” (FT)
Turkey needs its friends in the west Western nations need to move fast to reassure Turks of their enduring friendship and commitment to their strategic ally to counter swelling anti-Americanism and alienation from the west, writes Sinan Ulgen. “Their apathy in the face of an existential danger barely contained by Turkish democracy is doing the exact opposite.” (FT)
Hyperloop looks to cargo transport The Elon Musk start-up will conduct a feasibility study with DP World, which operates its flagship port out of Jebel Ali in Dubai. DP World believes it could use Hyperloop’s speed-of-sound transportation technology to redirect cargo and free up space on land. The port company just spent billions on Terminals 4 and 5 and will need to move cargo fast as it continues to grow. (TechCrunch, WSJ)
Tragic fall of a German internet star The case of Thomas Wagner — founder of Unister, one of Germany's biggest ecommerce groups — has gripped the country following his death in a plane crash. (FT)
Video of the day
My City: Rio de Janeiro In this episode of My City, Joe Leahy takes us on a tour of Rio’s favelas, its most popular football club and the city’s beaches. (FT)
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