A photo illustration shows the Uber app on a mobile telephone, as it is held up for a posed photograph in central London © REUTERS/Toby Melville A photo illustration shows the Uber app on a mobile telephone, as it is held up for a posed photograph in central London A British government minister has criticized the London authorities for deciding to strip Uber of its taxi licence, a major setback to the U.S. technology firm that has become a big player in the city's transport system.

The British capital's transport regulator deemed Uber unfit to run a tax service and said its licence would not be renewed when it expires on Sept. 30. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a member of the opposition Labour Party, backed the move.

"At the flick of a pen Sadiq Khan is threatening to put 40,000 people out of work and leave 3.5 million users of Uber stranded," Greg Hands, the government minister for London, wrote on Twitter late on Friday.

He said Uber had to address safety concerns and it was important that there was a level playing field across the private hire market.

"But blanket ban will cause massive inconvenience to millions of Londoners, showing that the mayor is closed to business & innovation," Hands tweeted. "Once again the actions of Labour leave ordinary working people (to) pay the price for it."

In backing the decision to strip Uber of its licence, Khan said: "All private-hire operators in London need to play by the rules. The safety and security of customers must be paramount."

Uber has said it will contest the decision. Regulator Transport for London (TfL) said it would let Uber operate until the appeals process is exhausted, which could take months.

Uber has turned to customers to help defend itself in other battles around the world, and an online petition to support Uber in London gathered nearly 430,000 signatures by early Saturday.

In Friday's announcement, TfL cited concerns about Uber's approach to reporting serious criminal offences, background checks on drivers and software that could be used to block regulators from gaining full access to the app.

(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Edmund Blair)

1506095861_312374549 © Bloomberg 1506095861_312374549 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. scrapped plans to create a new class of shares, a rare victory for outside investors in a battle for control of the world’s largest social media company.

The move would have let Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg keep voting control even while selling almost all his shares to fund philanthropic endeavors. On Friday, only days before he was scheduled to appear in court over the matter, Zuckerberg said he will proceed without the plan.

The decision follows a rash of technology executives creating special shares to control their companies, and may make similar structures more difficult to put in place in the future.

“Over the past year and a half, Facebook’s business has performed well and the value of our stock has grown to the point that I can fully fund our philanthropy and retain voting control of Facebook for 20 years or more,” Zuckerberg said. “As a result, I’ve asked our board to withdraw the proposal to reclassify our stock -- and the board has agreed.”

Another part of the proposal, to change the corporate charter to let the billionaire serve in government without losing control of Facebook, was also dropped, the company said.

Even as he gives up plans for a new share class, Zuckerberg is sticking to a goal of giving away 99 percent of the Facebook shares owned by him and his wife, Priscilla Chan. To do that, he intends to sell 35 million to 75 million Facebook shares in the coming 18 months to fund pursuits in education, science and advocacy, according to a blog he posted on Friday. That’s equivalent to $6 billion to $13 billion at current prices, and more than Zuckerberg planned to sell earlier.

Zuckerberg would have had to defend the move that some shareholders said diluted their power and was decided without their interests in mind.

"I don’t think this was an enviable position for Mr. Zuckerberg,” Stuart Grant, an attorney for plaintiff shareholders at law firm Grant & Eisenhofer, said in an interview. “He was going to have to answer some very tough questions in public."

Appearing in court to defend his decision to maintain control of the company would have come at a bad time for the executive. Zuckerberg is dealing with several political crises, most notably investigations into whether Facebook ads were used by Russia to sow discord ahead of the U.S. presidential election last year.

The shareholder suit described unusual communications between venture capitalist and Facebook board member Marc Andreessen and Zuckerberg. Facebook set up a special board committee to represent shareholders while weighing the share class proposal. While on the committee, Andreessen slipped Zuckerberg information about their progress and concerns, helping the CEO negotiate against them, according to court documents.

Shareholders were aggrieved by the plan. It would have automatically diluted the voting power of existing investors because every share with voting power would have split into three shares -- one that has power, and two that don’t. This would have let Zuckerberg sell his Facebook shares to fund philanthropy, but the non-voting shares were less attractive as currency in acquisitions and may have made it harder for the company to get tax benefits, among other issues.

Zuckerberg isn’t the only tech executive to try this. Alphabet Inc.’s Google issued special Class C stock in 2014, and Snap Inc. sold non-voting shares in an initial public offering this year. Some operators of equity indexes have since banned companies that use multiple share classes.

“This case is important in the ongoing struggle between Silicon Valley and the belief that founders should maintain ultimate control,” Grant said. “Once you ask for public money, that changes.”

(Updates with details on government service proposal in fifth paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Molly Schuetz

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

Apple iPhone 8 are displayed for sale at the Apple store on September 22, 2017 in Hong Kong, China. Apple's iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus went on sale in China today. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) © Getty Images Apple iPhone 8 are displayed for sale at the Apple store on September 22, 2017 in Hong Kong, China. Apple's iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus went on sale in China today. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) Apple Inc's launch of the iPhone 8 kicked off with less fanfare on Friday than new models in previous years in the United States, Asia, Australia and Britain, as fans held out for the premium iPhone X, due out in early November.

In San Francisco's Union Square, 50 miles from Apple's Cupertino headquarters, just 80 people were lined up at the company's flagship store, a sharp contrast to years past when lines stretched for blocks when new products were released.

In Australia, hundreds of people usually gather at Apple's Sydney city store, with queues winding down George Street in the central business district. But there were fewer than 30 people lining up before the store opened on Friday, according to a Reuters witness.

Apple's flagship store in London's Regent Street also experienced a slim turnout, according to several British newspapers.

Shares of the company were down 1.3 percent to $151.39 in afternoon trading. The stock has lost 6.3 percent since closing at $161.50 on Sept. 11, a day before its new products were announced.

While the number of people queuing up outside Apple stores has dropped over the past several years with many buyers choosing to shop online, the weak turnout for the latest iPhone has partly been due to poor reviews.

Mazen Kourouche, who was first in queue in Sydney after lining up 11 days outside the store so he could buy and review the product on YouTube, said there were modest refinements.

"(It) is pretty similar to the iPhone 7 but it shoots 4k 60 frames per second and it's got a new glass back instead of the metal which is apparently more durable," he told Reuters. "There aren't too many new features to this one."

In China, a loyal Apple customer said the improved camera was one of the reasons she had bought the new device.

"I waited until midnight to watch the launch event with my boyfriend to learn what's new with this iPhone. Its photograph function is pretty good. So I think I must change with no hesitation," said Ta Na, a 29-year-old consumer in Shanghai.

Mentions of iPhone 8 and iPhone X on the popular Chinese social media platform Weibo, an indicator of consumer interest, were less than seen for previous launches.

In San Francisco, customers waiting in line were evenly split between those interested in the iPhone 8 and those looking to buy the Apple Watch Series 3. The latest watch includes standalone cellular data connectivity for the first time, meaning it can be used to make phone calls without an iPhone nearby.

Chayce O'Neal, 27, said he had come to buy the new watch and wasn't discouraged by reviews that mentioned connectivity problems. But he was skipping the iPhone 8 and holding out for the iPhone X.

"I like being on top of the cutting edge of technology," he said.

Indifferent reviews of the iPhone 8, which comes 10 years after Apple released the first version of the revolutionary phone, drove down shares of the company to near two-month lows of $152.75 on Thursday, as investors worried pre-orders for the device had come in well below previous launches.

The iPhone 8 will only cater to those who want a new version but do not want to pay a hefty $999 for the iPhone X, said iTWire.com's technology editor Alex Zaharov-Reutt, who did not line up for the launch.

That was the case for Damien Roberts, a customer in line at Apple's San Francisco store. Roberts owns a battered iPhone 6s and wanted an upgrade to the iPhone 8 Plus for phone calls, messages and playing his favorite video game "Clash of Clans." He said he didn't need the extra features of the $999 iPhone X.

"It's a lot of money to shell out for a phone," said Roberts, a Briton who was purchasing the phone while on vacation.

Speaking to CNBC, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said the Apple Watch with cellular data service is "sold out in so many places around the world" and iPhone 8 models were also sold out. He did not specify the locations he was referring to.

The iPhone X is a glass and stainless steel device with an edge-to-edge display that Cook has called "the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone".

"I think it'll be more lively with more people with the iPhone X," said Ray Yokoyama, after buying an iPhone 8 in Tokyo. ($1 = 1.2620 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Paulina Duran, Jill Gralow and James Redmayne in SYDNEY, Teppei Kasai in TOKYO, Jiang Xihao in SHANGHAI, Joyce Zhou in Beijing; Pak Yiu in Hong Kong and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Bernadette Baum)

© Provided by Engadget Intel won't be releasing its Project Alloy VR headset platform anytime this year -- in fact, it won't be releasing the technology at all. The tech giant has officially killed the initiative, which aimed to provide partner companies an open reference design for their own standalone VR devices. Intel was supposed to launch the platform this year, but according to RoadtoVR, it has decided to abandon the project this summer due to lack of partner interest.

The company didn't elaborate on why there's a lack of interest, but it could be because manufacturers, including Asus, Acer and Dell, chose to focus their resources on building Microsoft Mixed Reality headsets. Kim Pallister, Intel's Virtual Reality Center of Excellence director, has also revealed another possible reason in his interview with PC World. He said the company realized that a standalone headset "isn't necessarily the optimum form factor" and can't compete with the performance of PC-powered devices.

Instead of going forward with Project Alloy, Intel will focus on developing a WiGig link to enable wireless PC-powered VR headsets, as well as on making other VR-related technologies. It told RoadtoVR in a statement:

"Intel has made the decision to wind down its Project Alloy reference design, however we will continue to invest in the development of technologies to power next-generation AR/VR experiences. This includes: Movidius for visual processing, Intel RealSense™ depth sensing and six degrees of freedom (6DoF) solutions, and other enabling technologies including Intel WiGig, Thunderbolt, and Intel Optane™. All of these Intel technology solutions are supported by a robust portfolio of software capabilities, and we're building out a VR support ecosystem, from software design kits to reference designs, to spur innovation that's enabling rich and immersive content. Project Alloy served as a great proof of concept for Intel and the industry – showing what's possible in a high-performance, immersive and untethered VR experience. What we've learned through Project Alloy will inform future efforts."

The company has also been shifted its focus to VR content recently. Just this March, it snapped up Replay Technologies, which is known for creating 360-degree video replays for the NBA.


MANILA, Philippines — Two-thirds of Filipino graduates believe their first job is the most important one they will ever have but almost half end up quitting within 12 months.

© Provided by The Philippines Star[Philstar Daily Inc.] According to a study conducted by American global employment website Monster.com, 42 percent of young Filipinos in the work force leave their first jobs after less than one year.

The lack of professional development, the desire to earn more money and the need for more challenging work are the main reasons why fresh graduates do not stick around.

Fresh graduates believe the biggest challenge in their first jobs was their lack of industry knowledge (41 percent), followed by issues with their employers (32 percent) and lack of preparation for "work life" (30 percent).

However, employers believe that young local talents may be expecting too much when it comes to money and compensation.

According to employers, the biggest interview mistakes committed by fresh graduates are focusing too much on money (26 percent), turning up late (24 percent) and not doing sufficient research on the company (24 percent).

Fifty-three percent of employers also said discussion about salary in the initial interview is "unprofessional" as fresh graduates should instead focus on getting better understanding of  their roles.

Money is a key concern for fresh graduates, according to Monster.com Managing Director for Asia-Pacific and Middle East Sanjay Modi.

"But young talent would be smart to play down their salary hopes and instead focus on what they can gain from experience in their first job. How can they contribute to the bigger picture, what skills can they learn, and what path might they have to grow?" Modi said.

He also noted that employers must be mindful of fresh graduates' desire for leadership support.

"Fresh graduates are aware that being given the opportunity to expand their responsibilities and competencies can lead to bigger and better-paying roles, which will help employers to retain and develop talent in the long-term," Modi said.

© Provided by The Philippines Star[Philstar Daily Inc.]

Internships are important for employers too. Fifty-four percent of graduates competed at least one internship before landing their first job, which helped their gain knowledge and experience in their chosen career paths.

Employers also shared that they care most about the job seeker's experience relevant to the role (68 percent), qualifications and education (58 percent) and well-written and easy to read resume (45 percent). 

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the employment rate as of July was estimated at 94.4 percent. 

A total of 1,115 fresh graduates and employers in the country were surveyed for the study.

Forty-two percent of young Filipinos leave their first jobs after less than one year, a study conducted by American global employment website Monster.com showed. File © Philstar.com Forty-two percent of young Filipinos leave their first jobs after less than one year, a study conducted by American global employment website Monster.com showed. File

Former United States first lady Michelle Obama. © Gerardo Mora/Getty Images Former United States first lady Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama doesn't care if you call her bossy. In fact, the former first lady encourages young women and girls to be proud of being labeled as such.

Last year in Madrid, during a tour to promote her Let Girls Learn initiative, Obama discussed the importance of breaking down gender norms.

"It means telling your sons that it's okay to cry, and your daughters that it's okay to be bossy," Obama said in the speech, as reported by Harper's Bazaar.

Related: What hurt Michelle Obama the most ? (Wochit)

Replay Video



Obama dismissed the bossy stereotype again last year while discussing the obstacles she faced as a young girl, at a speech in Argentina for the same initiative.

In the speech, she said that she's dealt with "teachers who didn't think I was smart enough and would call on the boys instead of the girls, even though the girls had better grades."

As she got older, Obama said that she had to deal with being sexualized by men who would catcall her as if she were an object or a piece of property to be commented on. This, she said, led to self-doubt.

"I began to realize that the hopes I had for myself were in conflict with the messages I was receiving from people around me," Obama said. "Messages that said that, as a girl, my voice was somehow less important. That how my body looked was more important than how my mind worked. That being strong and powerful and outspoken just wasn't appropriate or attractive for a girl."

This started to chip away at her confidence. She began to question herself. "Was I too loud? Too much? Was I too bossy? Was I dreaming too big?" she asked. "For years, I would lie awake at night and those doubts would eat away at my heart."

The former first lady said that she eventually became tired of constantly worrying about what others thought about her and soon dismissed her doubters. She encourages young girls to do the same.

"Instead, I decided to listen to my own voice," she said, "and to rely on the support of the people in my life who believed in my ability to achieve my own dreams."

Nearly half the couples eligible to claim marriage tax allowance are still failing to do so, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The tax allowance - worth £230 a year - can be claimed by married couples or those in a civil partnership if they meet certain conditions.

However, since it was introduced in 2015, only 2.2 million couples have claimed it, from 4.4 million eligible.

The government said it had now simplified the application process.

Last year, HMRC reported that only a quarter of eligible couples were claiming.

The latest figures were obtained as the result of a Freedom of Information request to HMRC by insurance company Royal London.

Steve Webb, the director of policy at Royal London, said the take-up was "shockingly low".

Newly married couple © BBC Newly married couple

"When family finances are so tight, I would encourage every married couple to check whether they might be eligible, including for the last two years, as they could qualify for a useful lump sum as well as a reduction in their ongoing tax bill," he said.

How Marriage Allowance works

  • Partners must either be married, or in a civil partnership.
  • One partner must be working, and paying tax at the basic rate of 20%. If he or she is earning over £45,000 (£43,000 in Scotland) they are not eligible.
  • The other partner must be earning less than £11,500 in 2017-18, meaning they pay no tax.
  • If the above conditions are satisfied, the partner paying tax can transfer 10% of his or her tax allowance to a partner, so saving £230 in this tax year.
  • Back-claims can be made for previous years

HMRC has organised several advertising campaigns to persuade people to apply for Marriage Allowance, and is known to be frustrated by the lack of take-up.

"Applications have increased year on year, and the application process is easy, and families can apply at a time which is convenient for them," a spokesperson said.

Steve Webb said the complexity of claiming might be one reason why so many people have not applied.

"I suspect people don't know who's eligible, or how to go about claiming it," he said.

A government spokesperson said: "2.2 million couples across the UK are keeping more of the money they earn thanks to the Marriage Allowance.

"Applications have increased year on year and we have simplified the application process to make it easier for families to apply at a time which is convenient for them."

Have you ever considered your job as a threat to your marriage? In some occupations, divorce rates can be astonishingly high.

A recent report shows working in some occupations may wreak havoc on one’s love life. Nathan Yau, creator of personal database FlowingData, retrieved data from the Census Bureau's 2015 American Community Survey to calculate the rates of divorce in a wide variety of occupations, from actors to actuaries.

Occupations with high divorce rates often have at least one of two things in common: Low annual income, and irregular or unconventional working hours. Bartenders, for example, work late evenings, weekends, and holidays, which leaves minimal free time to spend with their loved ones. This is especially the case if the spouse works a typical 9-to-5 job. Additionally, a bartender’s median annual salary is about $20,000, well below the median for all jobs of approximately $37,000.

Read on to see if your job is likely to put your marriage in danger.

Moody's predicted © Provided by AFP Moody's predicted "weaker public finances going forward" as the government boosts welfare spending after years of cuts and Prime Minister Theresa May's parliamentary coalition faces pressure to make good on promises to boost spending for N. Ireland Moody's cut Britain's long-term credit rating Friday, citing economic uncertainty sparked by complex Brexit negotiations and the likelihood of weaker public finances.The ratings agency cut the debt grade one notch to Aa2 from Aa1 with a stable outlook, which reflects expectations Britain's debt will "continue to rise," and worries that whatever trade agreement is reached with the European Union, even a "best-case scenario would not award the same access to the EU... that the UK currently enjoys." Moody's predicted "weaker public finances going forward" as the government boosts welfare spending after several years of cuts and Prime Minister Theresa May's parliamentary coalition faces pressure to make good on promises to boost spending for Northern Ireland. The ratings agency also expects Brexit and the loss of access to the single market to weigh on growth, saying it is "no longer confident that the UK government will be able to secure a replacement free trade agreement with the EU which substantially mitigates the negative economic impact of Brexit."The downgrade came hours after May, in a major address in Italy, vowed that Britain would largely maintain its current ties with Brussels ahead of a fourth round of negotiations with the European Commission next week.The pound fell on the speech, which critics said did too little to clarify matters."Overall, there was very little detail or progress in this speech, with a risk of continued uncertainty among businesses and investors," Barclays said in a note. "Any continued delay in next week's negotiations may in turn dampen sentiment and the future investment and growth outlook."
Economy electricity powerplant energy stk16120cbi © Provided by Mediamerge Corporation Economy electricity powerplant energy stk16120cbi

The Department of Energy (DOE) expects a waning power supply situation in the Luzon grid this weekend as a result of restricted inputs from the Malampaya gas-to-power facility.

"For Saturday and Sunday, there will be another set of planned reduction of supply due to the gas restriction from the Malampaya," the department said on Friday.

Despite the lower supply of electricity, the DOE is not expecting any brownout because of the corresponding lower demand during the weekend.

"The power situation may not be affected because there is an anticipated reduction on the demand for electricity," it said.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines power situation outlook for the Luzon grid on Saturday placed the available capacity at 9,242 megawatts (MW), with a peak demand of 8,576 megawatts and a reserve level of 666 MW.

“We are in close coordination with our energy stakeholders to normalize the power situation in the Luzon grid. We also appeal to our dear consumers to use energy wisely and assist in stabilizing energy situation,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said. — VDS, GMA News

MONEY- peso thumbnail © Provided by Mediamerge Corporation MONEY- peso thumbnail

The Philippine peso rebounded on Friday to the P50-to-a dollar level, as investors cashed in on gains from a strong dollar amid the latest nuclear threat from North Korea.

The local currency gained 35.5 centavos to close at P50.725:$1 from Thursday's finish of 51.080.

"The peso unexpectedly strengthened today mainly due to profit-taking," Guian Angelo Dumalagan, market economist at the Land Bank of the Philippines, said in an emailed commentary.

Union Bank of the Philippines chief economist Ruben Carlo Asuncion said the exchange rate factored the latest threat from North Korea.

"The words of the NoKor leader were a factor. Markets immediately reacted," Asuncion said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un vowed to make US President Donald Trump pay dearly for threatening to destroy his country after North Korea's foreign minister was quoted as saying he believes the North could consider a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean.

Despite the rally, Dumalagan said the peso appreciation might be temporary given the higher probability of another US rate hike in December.

The US Federal Reserve signaled it still expects one more interest rate hike by the end of the year following a two-day policy meeting earlier this week.

Week-on-week, the local unit was 44 centavos firmer than its exchange rate of P51.165:$1 on September 15. Year-to-date, it was softer by P1.005 from 49.720 on December 29, the last trading day of 2016. — VDS, GMA News

PLDT and Globe text © Provided by Mediamerge Corporation PLDT and Globe text

GCash, the micropayment service of Globe Telecom Inc., and rival PLDT Inc.'s  PayMaya Philippines Inc. have partnered with Facebook on money transfers and bills payments.

Prepaid mobile load and data service can also be paid using the Messenger app.

“This integration with Messenger represents an exciting new way to reach the unserved and underserved people and communities in the country by making payments available via social,” PayMaya Philippines COO Paolo Azzola said in a statement.

“Our mission is to make cashless payments available for all and this new channel via Messenger will help us enable more people," Azzola said.

Formerly Smart-e-Money Inc., PayMaya is part of the digital financial unit of PLDT Inc.'s Voyager Group.

“This integration with Messenger represents an exciting new way to reach the unbanked in the Philippines, Albert Tinio, president and CEO of GCash, said in a separate statement.

“We want everyone to enjoy cashless convenience on their mobile phones, and we think that these new tools will improve the financial lives of our customers," Tinio added.

GCash is operated by Globe Fintech Innovations Inc.

In February, Ant Financial Services Group—the financial technology company controlled by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma—partnered with Globe Fintech to accelerate financial inclusion in the Philippines.

To make a GCash or PayMaya transaction on Messenger, a customer needs to search for @PayMayaOfficial or GCashOfficial on the app using an Android device.

A chatbot will guide users through the menu options to check balances, pay bills, and send money to other Messenger users.

People can also buy discounted prepaid load on their phone anytime, anywhere, directly in Messenger. — Ted Cordero/VDS, GMA News

Benjamin Diokno © Benjie Castro Benjamin Diokno

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno brushed off speculations that the government is wasting money by overspending its budget.

"We cannot overspend. We cannot spend more than what the Congress has allowed us, authorized us to spend. That is our limit. So hindi namin pwede waldasin," Diokno told GMA News Online on Wednesday.

The Budget chief also criticized those who are spreading assumptions that the government is scrambling for funds to cover its expansionary fiscal policy.

"We have a lot of money. We can always borrow money. In fact, in my understanding below pa nga kami sa borrowing namin, eh," Diokno said.

Up to 86.5 percent of the 2017 national budget has been released during the first seven months of the year, data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) showed.

In January to July, the allotment releases reached P2.897 trillion or 86.5 percent of the P3.350 trillion general appropriations program.

The allotments comprised P1.742 trillion agency-specifc budgets, P220.8 billion special purpose funds, and P886.3 billion automatic appropriations—mostly made up of the internal revenue allotment of P486.9 billion and interest payments of P334.9 billion.

The balance of P452.9 billion or 13.5 percent of the P3.350 trillion obligation program has yet to be released before the end of the year.

To sustain the economic growth momentum, the government aims to boost spending by widening the deficit level of 3 percent of the gross domestic product.

The fiscal program this year consists of P2.990 trillion in revenue against P3.517 trillion of disbursements for a deficit of P527 billion.

To cover the deficit spending, Diokno earlier said the government will observe an 80:20 borrowing mix in favor of domestic banks while 20 percent will be sourced from foreign lenders.

The government intends to borrow P631.3 billion this year to support vital services and repay loans, DBM data showed.

The monthly status of the fiscal position is available and can be access via the Bureau of the Treasury website, Diokno said.

"They just have to look at the numbers the BTr reports every month kung ano ang status natin," he said.

As of end-July, the national government posted a budget gap of P205 billion from total expenditures of P1.576 trillion and revenues of P1.371 trillion, data from BTr showed.

"We have a very healthy cash position," Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said in a separate text message to GMA News Online on Friday.

"Cash is not only from revenues. We also borrow to finance expenditures. At the same time, we have carryover surplus from previous months," De Leon noted. — VDS, GMA News

In response to growing container volumes coming in and out of the island of Luzon, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) recently deployed new generation reach stackers in its Manila and Subic operations. The four new units of the mobile container handling equipment are stationed at ICTSI’s flagship Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and at the New Container Terminals 1 and 2 at the Subic Bay Freeport. © ICTSI In response to growing container volumes coming in and out of the island of Luzon, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) recently deployed new generation reach stackers in its Manila and Subic operations. The four new units of the mobile container handling equipment are stationed at ICTSI’s flagship Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and at the New Container Terminals 1 and 2 at the Subic Bay Freeport.

Petron Corp. has entered into a share purchase deal with International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) covering shares in the Manila North Harbour Port Inc.

Joel Angelo Cruz, the vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Petron, told the Philippine Stock Exchange the agreement involves 10,449,000 shares of Manila North Harbour, valued at P1.75 billion.

Selling its stake in Manila North Harbour will allow Petron was "to focus on the main business" of oil refining retail trade of petroleum products.

The share purchase deal will be completed once the conditions, including the approval of the transaction by the Philippine Ports Authority and other regulatory requirements have been met.

"Purchase price will be paid on closing date which is on October 30," Petron noted.

MNHPI is in the business of domestic port terminal operations at the Manila North Harbor and is under contract with the Philippine Ports Authority.

In a separate filing, Razon-led ICTSI said the transaction will allow it to contribute experience, expertise, state-of the-art technology, and infrastructure to enhance the operational efficiency of the domestic terminal at the Port of Manila and improve the traffic condition in Metro Manila.

"This transaction will further improve the returns of ICTSI’s shareholders through this value-accretive acquisition," it said. — Ted Cordero/VDS, GMA News

© Provided by The Verge

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi sent a sobering, self-reflective email to employees today following the London transport authority’s decision not to renew the company’s license. In what is an uncharacteristic move for a company plagued by rampant sexism and regulatory abuse, much of which was a product of the leadership style of former chief exec and founder Travis Kalanick, Khosrowshahi told Uber employees that “there is a high cost to a bad reputation.” Text of the email was first published on Twitter by Bloomberg reporter Eric Newcomber. Uber was not immediately available for comment.

“Irrespective of whether we did everything that is being said about us i London today (to be clear, I don’t think we did), it really matters what people think of us,” Khosrowshahi wrote, “especially in a global business like ours, where actions in one part of the world can have serious consequences in another.” It’s clear now that Uber is taking these controversies as teachable moments, and that a ban in a city as large and instrumental to its business as London could push it to improve its systemic issues.

Those issues include Uber’s use of Greyball, custom software which allowed the company to dodge law enforcement and regulatory officials from using the full app for potential sting operations. Transport for London (TfL), the city’s transportation authority, cited Greyball, among other offenses, when it declined to renew Uber’s license, saying the company’s “approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications.”

“Going forward, it’s critical that we act with integrity in everything we do, and learn how to be a better partner to every city we operate in,” Khosrowshahi concludes. “That doesn’t mean abandoning our principles — we will vigorously appeal TfL’s decision — but rather building trust through our actions and our behavior. In doing so, we will show that Uber is not just a really great product, but a really great company that is meaningful contributing to society, beyond its business and its bottom line.”