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Allblack BlackBerry KEYone might be coming soon

first_imgBlack is the new black again, somewhat. While new colors come and go, the classic look of black never goes out of fashion. Especially when it’s very shiny black. When the BlackBerry KEYone came out, some fans were disappointed because black wasn’t put on the table. No, black with silver accents doesn’t count. There might be still some hope, though, if this bit coming out of China will be true for the rest of the world as well. But will a Black BlackBerry KEYone be enough to make people buy it? Crackberry says that there is a whole tread dedicated to those who hate silver accents and will buy it in a heartbeat. It probably won’t be enough to convince nonbelievers, not matter the color.The BlackBerry KEYone has received mixed reviews, earning particular praise from those who have subscribed to the church of QWERTY anyway. It’s mix of mid-range specs, high price, and inconsistent gluing it has earned it its fair share of criticism as well.VIA: BerryLink Color is a very personal preference and it is logistically impossible for smartphone makers to cater to all tastes. Some do try to provide the most basic colors, including black, but lately many have diverged into other shades of silver or gray of mixed black with other colors. No pure black for the BlackBerry KEYone, for example.China, however, might actually get an all-black KEYone. No silver, no accents. Just black. At least that’s the idea being thrown around based on someone selling a KEYone with that exact color. Considering the KEYone hasn’t even launched yet in China, there’s no reason to put absolute hope on this sighting just yet.last_img read more

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Optoma NuForce BE Free8 earbuds bring HiFi in a tiny package

first_imgLet’s face it. Apple ditching the headphone jack has changed the audio accessories market ever so slightly. More and more “truly wireless” earbuds, just like the Apple AirPods, are popping up left and right. That said, there has always been a shadow of doubt over the performance and quality of such miniscule headphones. Trying to dispel those doubts away, Optoma is launching the NuForce BE Free8 which utilizes all the necessary wireless technologies to deliver not just high-quality audio but also stable wireless connections. There are two major concerns around “truly wireless” earbuds. One is the quality of audio experience, given how very little room there is for sophisticated hardware. The second is the quality of the connection between the two pieces, since there is no wire to make sure they stay in sync.For the former, Optoma boasts of its proprietary NuForce Sonic coating for its dynamic drivers that is promised to significantly reduce distortion and make transient response extremely fast. For the latter, is utilizes Near-Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) in addition to Bluetooth to make sure that the earpieces are reliably connected at all times.By using both AAC and aptX codecs, the NuForce BE Free8 is compatible with almost any Bluetooth audio source, from iPhones to Android phones to Windows phones to PCs and Macs. A button on top of the ear piece can be used to activate Siri or Google Assistant (sorry, no Cortana). The earbuds are advertised to be water and weather resistant but it should be noted that they are rated IPX5 only.The Optama NuForce BE Free8 truly wireless earbuds are now available for purchase from Amazon. Retail price is $199 but there is currently a 25% discount, bringing it down to $149 for the time being.last_img read more

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Republic Wireless Relay is designed to curb smartphone addiction

first_imgRepublic Wireless has designed a new device for kids called Relay, and it is intended to curb smartphone addiction. Relay is described as a smart walkie-talkie, one that doesn’t feature a screen but enables families to stay connected via voice. The device works with both WiFi networks and 4G LTE, and it doubles as a tracking device so that parents can keep an eye on where their child is located. Relay isn’t shaped like a phone, instead being square with a button in the middle and a speaker grille around it. Republic Wireless says Relay is designed to be durable, and this includes a water-resistant body. Relay provides access to Google Assistant in addition to voice calls, plus music and learning tools. The idea here is that parents can give their kids what is basically a cell phone, but without the screen and therefore the risk and abuse potential. There aren’t any buttons for dialing — instead, it uses a single touch button. The battery is described as offering multi-day run times; there are accessories for wearing it on a wrist or connected to a bag.Though its seems to primarily work like a loudspeaker, Republic Wireless has included a 3.5mm audio jack for connecting headphones. There’s an LED notification ring, magnetic charging, NFC contact sharing, plus integrated haptic feedback and an accelerometer. A GPS sensor provides parents with on-demand access to the device’s location.Republic Wireless is offering a single Relay device for $99, or discounted rates in two and three packs; the 2-pack is a total of $149 and the 3-pack is a total of $199. Each device also comes with a $6.99/month service cost. Users can sign up now, but the device won’t be available until early 2018.SOURCE: PRWeblast_img read more

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TMobile Mini settop box appears at FCC ahead of TV service launch

first_imgAn FCC filing by Kaonmedia shows an application for a set-top box, as well as photos of the device, which features a brushed metal design, mostly square shape, and slim profile. A power adapter and HDMI cable are also featured in the images.Connectivity includes an Ethernet port, two HDMI ports, and the port for the power adapter. The front of the device also features a USB port, indicating that it may support an external storage drive. A user manual included in the FCC filing indicates the device supports Dolby Audio; there’s a partial image of a remote control, but it doesn’t include any sort of brand. As noted by Variety, Kaonmedia is the same company that made set-top boxes for Layer3 TV, which T-Mobile bought in January.AdChoices广告The user manual also mentions the name “T-Mobile Mini,” and there’s a “T” logo visible on the front of the box; the latter includes three dots, being identical to T-Mobile’s branding. All signs point toward this being a T-Mobile device, and it only makes sense that it would in some way be related to the company’s TV plans.The lack of a coaxial cable input indicates the box is for streaming only. There’s nothing indicating what kind of video apps may be available through the device, which might offer many popular options akin to Roku. The set-top box’s appearance at the FCC indicates that T-Mobile’s TV service may be launching in the very near future, but the company hasn’t confirmed that speculation. T-Mobile is working on a TV service that it plans to launch before the end of the year, at least based on comments it made back in January. The Uncarrier previously acquired Layer3 TV, helping position it to launch its own service, and now newly surfaced FCC documents indicate something big is underway.last_img read more

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Cadillacs nextgen CUE gets Teslastyle updates new UI

first_imgThat means, if you switch vehicles – something Cadillac is hoping people will do frequently as part of its BOOK subscription-based ownership scheme – each car will automatically set itself up to those preferences. It’ll also carry across a history of recent locations in the navigation. Those will show up in another of the next-gen CUE’s features, a redesigned navigation app. Available as an option, it has a revamped interface that promises to be less busy than on the old system, along with live points-of-interest, traffic information, fuel pricing, and parking information courtesy of the 4G LTE connection. The voice recognition system has been upgraded too, as well as the on-screen search via the touchscreen.Opt-in, and the next-gen CUE navigation will progressively learn from your driving. Over time, it promises to adapt to preferred routes and destinations, as well as offer predictive suggestions based on where you frequently go and what the traffic situation is like. If you’d rather, you can plug in your iPhone or Android device, and use CarPlay or Android Auto instead. As for the 4G LTE connection, that offers a WiFi hotspot for up to seven wireless clients, and works with OnStar too. It’ll allow the myCadillac smartphone app to remotely access things like the locks and check maintenance schedules too. OnStar Smart Driver, meanwhile, is an opt-in service which offers up feedback on driving, fuel efficiency, and more. NOW READ: 2017 Cadillac CT6 ReviewWe’ll have to see how the next-generation CUE holds up in practice to see if other criticisms like lag have been addressed, but it’s definitely a solid start. Cadillac says the new infotainment system will be rolled out first on the 2017 CTS, which is set to hit dealerships by the end of March. After that will come the 2018 XTS and ATS sedans, and then other vehicles “in future model years.” Dubbed the next-generation Cadillac user experience – or “next-gen CUE” – it’s an all-new platform. Along the way, Cadillac’s engineers have integrated concepts familiar from Tesla and others, like over-the-air (OTA) software upgrades. There’s also a big focus on personalization.So, each driver get their own CUE personal profile, within which they can establish vehicle and display settings, their favorite contacts, and even route preferences for the navigation system. The settings can be adjusted either from within the car itself, or via Cadillac’s website. Most usefully, those profiles are stored in the cloud rather than just on one individual car. Ask Cadillac drivers the one thing they wish the luxury car company would update, and you’ll probably hear “the CUE infotainment system” most often. CUE, the touchscreen multimedia and navigation software found in cars like the CT6 and XT5, certainly wasn’t lacking in ambition, but neither has it been called the most user-friendly system. Now, that’s all set to change with a brand new version.center_img The built-in OnStar 4G LTE enables an active connection to the vehicle that, with customer consent, will allow Cadillac to remotely update features such as navigation. Every Cadillac currently comes standard with an available 12 month OnStar subscription at no additional cost.last_img read more

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2020 Hyundai Venue shrinks the SUV and its price tag

first_imgIt’s around 5-inches shorter than the Kona, and narrower too. Despite that, rear cargo capacity – with the back bench seats up – is almost the same, at 18.7 cubic feet. Drop them, though, and the Kona’s bigger dimensions and longer wheelbase pay dividends, with just shy of 40 cubic feet in the 2020 Venue versus almost 46 cubic feet in the larger SUV. Still, Hyundai is counting on the Venue’s target audience considering that a compromise worth making. The small SUV brings in a new aesthetic for the automaker, with a sizable grille, composite LED lights, and cube-shaped headlamps. 15-inch wheels are standard, with 17-inch wheels optional. Hyundai will also offer the 2020 Venue with two-tone paint as an option. There’ll be a “Denim” paint finish, too, with the option of a denim cloth and leatherette interior with a white contrasting roof. Otherwise you’re looking at a cloth interior in either gray or black. A power sunroof is optional. AdChoices广告Under the hood is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine, with either a six-speed manual transmission or an Intelligent Variable Transmission (aka a CVT) automatic. Final EPA power figures haven’t been confirmed yet, but Hyundai says it’s expecting up to 33 mpg combined. Hyundai estimates that the 1.6-liter engine will be good for 121 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive will be standard, and there’s no word on an AWD version. Instead, the automaker will rely on things like its snow drive mode to keep the Venue plugging away in inclement conditions.Inside, there’s an 8-inch infotainment display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. Navigation is optional, and features like heated front seats, dual-charging USB, and remote access from an Amazon Echo or Google Home are available. Safety tech on offer includes forward collision avoidance, lane keeping assistance, blind spot monitoring, driver attention warnings, and rear collision cross-traffic warnings. Hyundai says the 2020 Venue will be built in its Ulsan, Korea plant, and is expected to arrive in dealerships in the US in Q4 of this year. No word on pricing at this stage, but with the Kona starting at $19,240 it seems fair to expect the 2020 Venue to undercut that when it goes on sale. Hyundai has a new entry-level SUV, and the 2020 Venue aims to bring some of the automaker’s more expensive features downtown more affordable price point. Debuting at the New York Auto Show 2019 today, the Venue slots in beneath the Kona in size, with two rows of seats for up to five people. last_img read more

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2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Edition gives fanfavorite extra style

first_imgInside, there are unique tan and black Alcantara seats, along with a black sliding armrest that gets tan trim and black stitching. The Toyota 86 logo is stitched in tan on the passenger side of the dashboard. The steering wheel, parking brake cover, and shift boot have tan contrast stitching, while the door trim, knee pad, and meter visor have black stitching.There’s a special trunk carpet, with an embossed 86 logo, but otherwise this is the 86 cabin as we know it. The GT gets dual-zone automatic climate control and heated seats, along with keyless entry with push-button start, cruise control, and an anti-theft system. Toyota will also be including a pair of tan key gloves, along with a folio cover with a debased 86 logo and black stitching, to match the car’s trim. It’s based on the 2020 model year 86, and in particular the 86 GT grade. The standard engine goes unchanged: a 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder, with Toyota’s D-4S Dual Injection System. That’s good for 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque in automatic form, while a six-speed manual version gets 200 hp and 151 lb-ft. However the style sets the Hakone Edition apart from the rest of the 86 line-up. For a start there’s special Hakone green paint, paired with 17-inch twisted spoke bronze wheels. Toyota then adds a contrasting black spoiler. The 2020 86 GT’s standard LED projector beam headlamps, color-keyed power mirrors, and chrome-tipped dual exhaust are kept, as are the LED fog lamps and aerodynamic floor undercover. Story Timeline2017 Toyota 86 Review: A lesson for supercars2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition picks purity not power2018 Toyota 86 vs. 2018 Mazda MX-5 RF – Head to Head Comparison The Toyota 86 has always been a punchy little sports coupe, but now it’s getting the looks to match with the 2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Edition. Launching as a tribute to the Hakone Turnpike, the iconic driving road two hours southwest of Tokyo, it sees the 86 given a makeover outside and in. With no extra power on tap, this is really for those drivers who want an 86 in their life but don’t want it to look like anybody else’s. Only a limited number of Hakone Edition cars will be produced – Toyota isn’t saying quite how many at this stage – and they’ll arrive in dealerships this coming fall. Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but a regular 86 GT starts from $29,355.last_img read more

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WatchCanadas debt to GDP ratio Nerveracking to see debt servicing costs rising

first_imgCanada’s debt to GDP ratio: ‘Nerve-racking to see debt servicing costs rising so quickly,’ RBC economist says Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s debt to GDP ratio — covering federal, corporate and household levels Recommended For YouHuawei plans extensive layoffs at its U.S. operations – WSJHong Kong activists target mainland shoppers in latest wave of protestsAfter Taiwan buys arms, China holds military drills on southeast coastHong Kong protesters, police clash as demonstrations target Chinese tradersCuba hopes for slight growth as Trump pummels Caribbean island March 27, 20193:50 PM EDT Filed under News Economy Email Facebook More Share this storyCanada’s debt to GDP ratio: ‘Nerve-racking to see debt servicing costs rising so quickly,’ RBC economist says Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn 37 Commentscenter_img Comment Larysa Harapyn Dawn Desjardins, RBC’s Deputy Chief Economist speaks with Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn on Canada’s debt to GDP ratio — covering federal, corporate and household levels. Twitter Join the conversation → Redditlast_img read more

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If small businesses want to be successful they should stop complaining about

first_img Reddit Share this storyIf small businesses want to be successful, they should stop complaining about taxes and focus on this instead Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Sponsored By: More Twitter Facebook The objective of BDC’s study is to inspire executives to try harder, rather than get bogged down in excuses.Andre Forget/QMI Agency Join the conversation → May 8, 201812:01 AM EDTLast UpdatedMay 8, 20189:15 AM EDT Filed under News Economy Comment Kevin Carmichael Recommended For YouTILT Holdings Announces Tim Conder as Chief Operating OfficerPOSaBIT Signs Deal With Reef Dispensaries, Bringing Compliant Debit Payment Technology to Nevada’s Biggest Cannabis RetailerDocsCorp Announces Its Best Ever Year-End Results for the Financial Year 2018-2019Fortune Minerals Announces New Discovery at NICOFutures edge lower as Netflix tumbles What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation 0 Comments The most surprising aspect of BDC’s work for many will be how little Canada’s smaller companies actually export.Thanks to the national obsession over what U.S. President Donald Trump might do to the North American Free Trade Agreement, you probably will have heard Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland describe Canada as a “trading nation.”However, few smaller companies would even notice if Trump blew up NAFTA, as only about 10 per cent of them sell their products abroad. And that’s a big reason so many of them muddle along. Overall, about 20 per cent of high-performing enterprises export, but 100 per cent of companies in that group with sales between $10 million and $100 million export. Leading companies also tend to earn sales from more than one international market, and many make more money abroad than they do at home.Ramdev said he hoped his company could ultimately be something of a “Canadian brand ambassador.”He has an advantage in India because it’s his country. But he was surprised to discover that investors care at least as much about where Sweat Free Apparel is based. They aren’t used to seeing North American and European companies seeking backing, and they are keen to do deals with them, Ramdev said.“Western companies in general have a high value proposition,” he said. “What I see is a lot of startups focused on the U.S. What I would love to see is for them to be a little more risky.”• Email: kcarmichael@nationalpost.com | Twitter: ← Previous Next → Featured Stories advertisement If small businesses want to be successful, they should stop complaining about taxes and focus on this instead Kevin Carmichael: A BDC study suggests the difference between leading entrepreneurs and mediocre ones has everything to do with productivity, not tax rates I’ve interviewed plenty of dreamers over the years, but none had a mission like that of Chanakya Ramdev, a recently minted engineer from the University of Waterloo.“I want to eradicate sweat stains from this planet,” Ramdev told me on a WhatsApp call from Ludhiana, a city of about two million people in Punjab, India last month.Ramdev introduced himself to me a few years ago at one of Waterloo’s many tech jamborees.He stood out because his business plan had nothing to do with a smartphone. Ramdev, who is Indian, was working on an undershirt that would allow armpit sweat to escape into the air, rather than simply absorb into the material.After graduation last year, he returned home to scout textile mills that he could trust with his innovation and help him expand beyond t-shirts to a full range of men’s office wear. He also kept costs down by advertising on social media instead of launching a pricey print or television campaign. He’s currently raising money and hopes to start exporting to equatorial countries within a year. Any revenue will flow back to Canada, where Ramdev’s company is incorporated and the place where he plans to continue research and development.Most startups fail, so those profits may never come.Or Ramdev’s Sweat Free Apparel could become the next Gildan Activewear Inc., the Montreal-based t-shirt maker that reported sales of almost $3 billion in 2017. It wouldn’t be the riskiest bet, as his approach to business aligns with what a new study by Business Development Canada suggests is the difference between leading entrepreneurs and mediocre ones.BDC economists analyzed data from more than 900,000 Canadian companies with annual revenue of less than $100 million to separate “high-performing” smaller companies from the pack. To make the cut, a firm’s sales and profit margins needed to be growing faster than the median in its industry and it had to rank in the top 25 per cent in either variable.Only four per cent of the firms satisfied those criteria, a little low by international standards, but not terribly so, according to Pierre Cleroux, the Crown lender’s chief economist.The objective of the study is to inspire executives to try harder, rather than get bogged down in excuses, such as elevated tax rates, the most common lament of the small-business lobby.High performers are considerably more productive than their peers, generating about $133,000 in sales per employee compared with about $65,000 in the weaker cohort. But productivity pays: The median profit margin among leading companies is 20 per cent, compared with a mere three per cent in the weaker group.In a perfect world, business taxes would be lower, Cleroux said in an interview. However, we Canadians are living in a politically divided world in which at least as many voters favour higher business taxes as oppose them, so the country’s tax structure isn’t going to change that much.Policy matters, but so does entrepreneurial wherewithal. Remember that the next time the Canadian Federation of Independent Business suggests some politician is wrecking the economy. The CFIB could be right. But Canada’s smaller companies invest half as much per worker as their counterparts in the United States. Differences in tax rates could explain some of the difference, but so could a gulf in ambition.So all those laggards should be asking themselves what it takes to join the high-performing group. BDC’s analysis shows those companies are more efficient and work hard to keep costs down. That leaves them with less debt and more cash with which to invest, increase their employees’ salaries and seek new export markets.“That’s the recipe, rather than complaining about taxes,” said Cleroux.BDC’s analysis shows high-performing companies are more efficient and work hard to keep costs down. That leaves them with less debt and more cash with which to invest Emaillast_img read more

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OEMs Must Cannibalize ICE Sales To Chase Tesla Is It Even Enough

Aside From A Few Exceptions, Big Auto Is Making Dirtier Cars Above: GM’s Renaissance Center (Source: Michigan Radio via Flickr / Andrea_44)Long term, the change over to electric cars is mission critical. Yet Morton notes that “GM has little incentive to rapidly transition to EV manufacturing and would rather stave it off as long as possible… regardless of it being widely accepted as the socially responsible thing to do. You may label me as a conspiracy theorist for suggesting this, but the unfortunate reality is that for [car] businesses, profits often trump ethics.” Proof? Look at Germany’s massive Dieselgate scandal.In contrast, Elon Musk is turning away from fossil fuels. So, Morton concludes, “Tesla has no such internal conflicts… and is therefore free to pursue a future which represents nothing but growth for the company. The combination of a lack of internal conflict for Tesla and the extreme baggage that is the legacy for established auto manufacturers may very well lead to Tesla significantly outpacing the competition.”*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. Above: Tesla and GM are at completely different stages in their business life cycles (Source: Seeking Alpha)While some of GM’s R&D efforts went to EVs, some (likely) went to improving internal combustion engine tech. And looking ahead, “shifting the focus to EVs, GM will render their current factories, production lines, patents, designs – anything that specifically relates to ICE products and production – either partly or fully redundant.” Some of those assets could become liabilities. “This is the equivalent of owning a printing press in the advent of the Internet or a Blockbuster franchise during the birth of Netflix.”And whether they like it or not, “EV sales will simply cannibalize and replace ICE vehicle sales.” This is a hard pill to swallow. At this stage in their business life cycle, “GM must therefore undertake all of these additional challenges and expenditures knowing full well that [short term] revenues will not grow by any significant amount,” writes Morton. In turn, GM’s CEO Mary Barra rightfully argues that the US federal tax credit for EVs should not only be continued, but extended. Big Auto Still Spends Big Dollars Promoting Gas Cars, Not Tesla Killers Above: Tesla’s all-electric, long-range Model 3 (Photo Credit: Kyle Field / CleanTechnica)GM should be applauded for launching the all-electric, long-range Chevy Bolt. And Morton notes, “GM currently operates at a scale of vehicle production that Tesla can only envy.” But there’s trepidation, “the company is reluctant to [really] put its resources to use. In order to compete with Tesla, GM must expend additional capital in order to transition from manufacturing ICE-vehicles to manufacturing electric vehicles.” Is GM facing a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” moment?No, EVs are destined to spark growth downstream. The bigger issue for a legacy automaker like “GM is that, by nature of being a mature player in a mature market, they [may] have experienced all of the significant growth that they are ever going to.” In fact, “legacy automakers must undertake [significant] R&D simply to maintain current revenue streams. Between 2013 and 2017, GM spent a combined $36bn in R&D yet revenue declined from $155bn to $145bn. Over the same period, Tesla spent a combined $3.7bn in R&D, but revenues grew from $2bn to $11.7bn.” OEMs Still Talking About EV Future And How Burdensome It Will Be Source: Electric Vehicle News CATCH-22: CANNIBALIZE THE CASH COW OR CHASE TESLALegacy automakers have a dilemma on their hands. Transitioning to electric cars is hard. A few German automakers have calmly voiced their concerns. Others have resorted to all-out whining. So what about Big Auto in America? To get some perspective, Seeking Alpha’s Scott Morton takes a look at GM’s vexing EV challenges as the company tries to face-off with Elon Musk on Tesla’s turf.*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.Check Out These Stories: Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 21, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News read more

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Super Soco Super Sizes The TC Max Electric

first_imgVisually, the TC Max is indistinguishable from its lesser TC cousin. The differences are under the skin. Its motor will generate 125 pound-feet of torque which can push the TC Max to a top speed of 62 miles per hour. That’s not particularly fast, but good enough anything but the highway. It’s also an improvement over the standard TC’s 46 mph, which is further limited to 28 mph for the European market.The TC Max may be small, but it features quality Brembo brakes with the front and rear brakes linked for simultaneous operation. At the heart of the TC Max is a 72 volt, 45 amp-hour lithium-ion battery. It can hold 3.2 kilowatt-hours of juice, which should give the bike a range of 68 miles. This again beats the TC and its 50-mile range. The battery itself is pretty large for a bike of this size, about as large as it can be while allowing the rider to remove it from the bike. Still, being removable means you can bring it inside to charge rather than requiring an outdoor power hookup, which can be difficult to come by at times.Super Soco will begin building the TC Max early next year with European deliveries to begin a few months later. It will sell for $5,100 with standard aluminum wheels, with classic looking spoke wheels being a $228 option. So far the TC Max will not be available in the U.S. but Super Soco is working to change that and gain federal approval to sell it here. How successful it will be across the vast expanses of America, I’m not sure, but it looks like it could be an excellent choice for urban areas for the same reasons it sells in Europe.Source: Electrek Source: Electric Vehicle News The new TC offers more power, more range, and a higher top speed.Chinese manufacturer Super Soco got in on the EICMA reveal action by showing off an upgraded version of its TC electric motorcycle, the TC Max.More E-Bikes Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 11, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Harley-Davidson Livewire Debuts At EICMA Arc Continues To Tease the Vector Before EICMA Energica Launches IPO, Adds Giancarlo Minardi to the Board, Heads to Milan EICMA 2015last_img read more

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Double Fanboost Formula E Mexico Penalty Explained

first_imgFormer McLaren Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne has explained how he earned two penalties for incorrect use of Fanboost during ABB FIA Formula E’s Mexico City E-Prix. HWA had its first double finish in its FE debut season at Mexico, with both Vandoorne and teammate Gary Paffett making it to the flag.But Vandoorne’s HWA team was compromised from the off in Mexico after developing a software glitch that proved troublesome over long runs and Vandoorne admitted Motorsport.com that his team went into the race “blind”.“The positive today is that we made it to the end and if you look at the pace it was back up there,” the Belgian added.“I think we had the second quickest laptime so it proves there is pace in the car when everything runs smooth.“But weekends like this, when you start on the back foot in practice one, it’s almost impossible to recover. It’s a steep learning curve we’re going through.” Vandoorne’s HWA machine shut down twice on the opening lap, forcing him to do a full reset, and he ended up a lap down before the red flag on lap three.But following the red flag, Vandoorne used his Fanboost before the 22nd minute rule defined in the regulations, and used an extra 50kW than is allowed.Vandoorne was then hit with a drive-through penalty for the early use of Fanboost, and was also given a five-second time penalty for the excessive power output.“Quite a frustrating race – a lot of things happened,” Vandoorne told Motorsport.com. “One, [on] the first lap, the car shut down twice – I still don’t really know what the problem was, but we actually had to stop on track and reboot the car completely.“So already [with] that we were kind of out of the race, there was no one to be seen around.“[With] the Fanboost, I don’t know exactly how it is within the regulations but we used it too early first of all. Then I think we had a power overcut as well. A few things that aren’t really in my control.“Obviously we had a drive-through because of that and then the race was over again.”More from the Mexico City E-Prix:Wehrlein: Unfair penalty only disappointment of Mexico racePiquet, Vergne at odds over red flag-inducing crashBuemi “speechless” at Nissan’s Mexico energy miscalculation Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 24, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

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Germany Still Cant Make Up Its Mind About Electric Cars

first_imgAbove: As EVs grow in popularity, Diesel still has a fervent group of supporters in Germany (Image: Buy a Car)At a rally in Munich, a man earned applause from the crowd for calling electric vehicles “hazardous waste.” As it turns out, earlier this year, “The first protest took place in Stuttgart… [and] since then, hundreds of protesters wearing yellow vests have gathered each weekend to rally against court-mandated driving bans for older diesel cars. The bans were put in place in response to excessive air pollution.”“The diesel is only the beginning,” Michael Haberland, who organized the protest in Munich, tells The Verge. “The gasoline engine is next.” Haberland is president of Mobil in Deutschland, a motor club. He’s not too happy about European emission limits for air pollution. “Are we all supposed to drive electric vehicles now?” he asks. “They just don’t work. The diesel engine, on the other hand, has been a success story for more than 125 years.” Tesla Is #1 Selling Brand In Europe’s Electric Car Race In February Jaguar I-Pace Wins European Car Of The Year GERMANY IS DIVIDED ABOUT THE TRANSITION TO ELECTRIC VEHICLESThe German auto industry has been through quite a scandal surrounding dieselgate. But that’s not stopping some from clinging to diesel. The Verge reports, “Germany is divided about the future of its most important industry: while some automakers pursue electric vehicles, a noisy group of diesel-energy enthusiasts are expressing their frustration through protests. These have gone on every weekend so far this year.”Check Out These Stories: Tesla Model 3 Leads Germany To New Plug-In Electric Car Sales Record Above: Tailpipe emissions (Medium: Carpathy)While there has been some encouraging rhetoric from German automakers about investing in an electric vehicle future, Jörg Wellnitz, a professor at Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt, a technical college in Audi’s hometown, tells The Verge, “These are just statements to relieve political pressure…The investments are completely pointless.”A quick switch to electric vehicles would be “the suicide of the German car industry,” Wellnitz says. Recent statements from Wellnitz went viral when a local newspaper published an interview with him. He thinks electric cars are too expensive and the battery’s raw materials are too difficult to obtain. He also says the charging infrastructure’s inadequate and the grid to charge them is too dirty..embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }Above: Others like German energy economist Claudia Kemfert aren’t buying the standard arguments from fossil fuel supporters (Youtube: DW News)On the other hand, Germany’s “car pope,” Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, professor of automotive economics at the University of Duisburg-Essen, completely disagrees. Perhaps some, like Wellnitz, remain stuck in a diesel-fueled daze. “They’re nostalgic,” Dudenhöffer tells The Verge. “Some have built their entire careers on combustion engines. Of course they will tell you that electric cars are bad. A postman doesn’t like emails, either.”===Source: The Verge; DW News*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. *This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs. Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 16, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

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Geely Geometry A At 2019 Shanghai Auto Show Photos Videos

first_imgA2230,000 RMB (USD $34,200) A3240,000 RMB (USD $35,700) Long Range(NEDC 500km)An190,000 RMB (USD $28,274) Geely Geometry A Electric Car Launches In China Standard Range(NEDC 410km)An170,000 RMB (USD $25,298) Geely Starts Pre-Sales Of New Jihe A Electric Sedan According to the press release, Geometry A start with over 27,000 orders, including 18,000 from overseas countries like Singapore, Norway and France.It’s expected that by 2025, Geometry brand will expand to 10 all-electric models in multiple segments – including sedans, SUVs, crossovers, and MPVs.Geometry A specs:Standard battery version: 51.9 kWh (CATL) and 410 km (255 miles) of NEDC rangeLong Range battery version: 61.9 kWh (CATL) and 500 km (311 miles) of NEDC rangean average energy consumption of 13.5 kWh per 100 km (62 miles)120 kW and 250 Nm permanent synchronous magnet motor0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.8 secondsDC fast charging from 30% to 80% SOC in 30 minutes A2170,000 RMB (USD $25,298) 20 photos Standard Range(NEDC 410km)An230,000 RMB (USD $34,200) Long Range(NEDC 500km)An250,000 RMB (USD $37,200) Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 18, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News A3180,000 RMB (USD $26,786) 14 photoscenter_img VersionConfigurationChina Market Price A2210,000 RMB (USD $31,250) .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }Press blast:A New Standard for Pure Electric Mobility – Geometry A Global LaunchGeely high-end pure electric brand, Geometry launched globallyFirst model Geometry A redefining the standard for pure electric sedansGeometry A offers users 500km of pure electric rangeAll models equipped with “L2+” intelligent drive11 April 2019, Singapore. Geely Auto Group’s first pure electric brand Geometry and its first model Geometry A was launched in Singapore. The high-end model comes in two versions, standard range and long range, in a total of six different configurations.The launch of the Geometry brand represents the importance Geely has placed on the development of new energy in this new era. Geometry gets it namesake from mathematical geometry which emerged thousands of years ago to describe the world as humans saw it. The Geometry brand is Geely’s vision of the future in which technology is used to create a sustainable environment and safe mobility, leading to a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature.Speaking at the launch event, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group President and Geely Auto Group President and CEO An Conghui said “Geely is a strong force and active participant in the field of new energy. We are guided by technological innovation and are determined to become a global leader in new energy. Geometry is our answer to the future of the industry, a representation of our ideals, and a firm step into a “beautiful new world.” The launch of Geometry and its first product advances Geely’s strategic goal of becoming one of world top 10 automotive groups.”With exclusively developed platforms, distribution channels, and products, Geometry will open a new era of dialogue with consumers. By 2025, Geometry will launch 10 pure electric models in multiple segments including sedans, SUVs, crossovers, and MPVs.Letters in mathematical geometry express infinite possibilities and similarly Geometry models which have infinite potential will also use letters as names. As a globally strategic pure electric model, Geometry A will redefine the standard for pure electric sedans with its comprehensive package combining class-leading safety, attractive design, technological strength, and high-capacity battery to become the top choice for pure electric vehicle users.Economical Long Range Pure Electric MobilityGeometry A’s comes in two versions, standard range and long range version which use CATL ternary lithium batteries that respectively have a capacity of 51.9kWh and 61.9kWh. The standard range version achieves a combined urban & highway NEDC range of 410km, while the long range version achieves a combined urban & highway NEDC range of 500km, both effectively eliminating range anxiety. Geometry A consumes an average of 13.5 kW·h per 100KM traveled. Based on the price of electricity in Beijing, 1KM would cost just .07 RMB (USD $.01) and a daily 30km commute would be less than 2 RMB (USD $.30).In order to ensure the efficient operation of the permanent synchronous magnet motor, Geometry A uses Geely New Energy “Intelligent Power” technologies which includes an intelligent high-efficiency electronic control system, HEDS High-efficiency electric drive system, lightweight high energy intelligent battery system, and ITCS Intelligent Battery Temperature Control System. Continuous monitoring of the battery system and motor ensures smooth energy output while the intelligent temperature control system ensures efficient battery performance in any weather. The powertrain system provides a maximum power of 120kW and maximum torque of 250 N·m allowing Geometry A to reach a speed of 100km/h in 8.8s.Using Fast Charge, Geometry A can charge from 30% to 80% in just 30 minutes. In addition, Geometry A is equipped with the Super E Energy Station system, which can supply power to laptops, ovens, lamps, and other equipment with an external power plug, allowing users enjoy outdoor life with ease.Pure Electric Safety “Safety” has long been engraved in Geely’s DNA and the same level of attention to safety has been passed down to Geometry A. The model comes equipped with a unique MOD front and rear moving object detection system, RML intelligent driver seat pre-tensioning seat belt, and other active and passive safety features. Comprehensive configuration of active and passive safety features provide users with all-round protection.In terms of active and passive safety, Geometry A is equipped with Bosch 9.3 ESP system, AEB-P Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, IHBC Intelligent High-Beam Control System, CVW Collision Warning System, and a braking distance of only 37.1m from a speed of 100km/h. At the same time, Geometry A uses aluminum alloy and composite materials to create a five-star safety standard body. Even while reducing the vehicle weight, structural strength was not compromised. Geometry A’s roof has a weight-bearing capacity of 4.12 times its own weight, exceeding the American IIHS standards.In terms of battery safety, Geometry A carried out rigorous testing in seven extreme situations in accordance to national standards and regulations such as collision, extrusion, impact, submergence, extreme temperatures, puncture, and vibration.Geometry A takes a humanized approach to safety with features that protect privacy, property, and children. For example, Geometry A’s glove box can be locked with a password, protecting the owners privacy; An intelligent child lock feature can be used to control the child lock with just one button or even remotely via mobile phone; With a Bluetooth phone connected, caller’s phone number will be displayed on the drivers HUD which is only visible in the driver seat; Geometry A owners can even limit the speed of the vehicle preventing friends and family who borrow the vehicle from violating speed limits.Luxury Level L2+ Intelligent DriveGeometry A is the first pure electric vehicle in China to achieve L2+ intelligent drive. L2+ intelligent drive capabilities are generally only found on luxury class models. To achieve this, Geometry A takes full advantage of multiple cameras and millimeter wave radars. Using data from the high-resolution cameras and precise radars, Geometry A is able to offer AEB-P Automatic Emergency Brake with Pedestrian Recognition and full-speed ACC intelligent adaptive cruise control at speeds up to 150km/h. Rear and side radars allow Geometry to offer RCW/FCW Front/Rear Collision Warning, DOW Door Open Warning, LKA+ Lane Keep Assist, BSD Blind Spot Detection, LCA Lane Change Assist, and ACC S+G Adaptive Cruise Stop and Go. The comprehensive camera and radar configuration allows Geometry to see and track objects all around the vehicle.For added convenience, Geometry A also comes with APA one-button intelligent automatic parking system, 360° Panoramic Reversing Video, an intelligent in-vehicle system and voice assistant, and HD driving recorder making Geometry A more like a smart travel companion than just regular car.A New Era of Pure Electric AestheticsDesigned for global users in Geely Design Shanghai, a design concept of being “Multi-Dimensional, Fluid, and Alive” was adopted for the Geometry brand and its first model. Geometry A uses a minimalistic, avant-garde design, which pays special attention to the aerodynamics of the vehicle’s exterior. Merging the art of design with the science of engineering have resulted in a model with an aesthetically pleasing fluid form, offering an ultra-low drag co-efficient of 0.2375cd, comparable to high-performance models.Inside Geometry A, the purity of electric vehicles is reflected with a minimalistic elegance. But minimalistic doesn’t mean plain, subtle design elements such as laser engraved panels, geometric pattern design, touch buttons, etc adds a high-tech elegance to the interior. The interior also adopts eco-friendly materials such as the EU-certified baby skin-safe seat fabric which reinforces Geometry A’s care for people and the environment.Geometry A is the cumulation of Geely’s latest technologies and manufacturing prowess in the field of new energy. It’s the safest, best-looking, and most avant-garde pure electric model in its market segment and setting a new benchmark for A-segment pure electric sedans with its comprehensive configuration. Geometry A has already received over 27,000 orders, 18,000 of which are from overseas customers in countries such as Singapore, Norway, France, etc. With the official launch of Geometry A, global A-segment pure electric vehicle customers no longer to have to settle for less, their “A” option has arrived. The new era of pure electric vehicles is here.Geometry A Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (China Market Pre-Subsidies) A3220,000 RMB (USD $32,700) Geometry A Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (China Market Post-Subsidies) VersionConfigurationChina Market Price Daimler Forms Global Joint Venture With Geely To Develop Smart A3160,000 RMB (USD $23,810) A2150,000 RMB (USD $22,321) Note: Exchange Rate USD $1 = 6.72 RMB Source: Electric Vehicle News Geely to penetrate the EV market using its new Geometry brandChinese manufacturer Geely recently launched in Singapore its all-new, all-electric brand Geometry and the first model Geometry A.It’s especially interesting because having Volvo, Polestar, Lynk & Co brands, as well as its own goal to electrify the entire lineup of Geely by 2022, the company was already vastly engaged in electrification.There will be two versions of the Geometry A available – standard and long range, in a total of six different configurations, starting from 210,000 to 250,000 RMB ($31,250 to $37,200) before subsidies and from 150,000 to 190,000 RMB ($22,321 to $28,274) after subsidies.Here we gathered all we know and a new set of photos from Shanghai.Geely newslast_img read more

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Taylors return remains in doubt

first_imgReuse this content This article is more than 11 years old Share via Email This article is more than 11 years old Share on Twitter Soccer Taylor’s return remains in doubt Shares00 Share on Facebook Alex McLeish last night admitted he would be unable to ignore the furore over Martin Taylor’s challenge on Eduardo da Silva last month when he considers whether to recall the defender for Birmingham City’s meeting tomorrow with Manchester City. Liam Ridgewell’s suspension would appear to pave the way for Taylor to return for the first time since the Arsenal fixture but Birmingham’s manager hinted yesterday that he was not yet willing to risk the 28-year-old.Taylor has completed 90 minutes in the reserves and would be the obvious choice to replace Ridgewell against Sven-Goran Eriksson’s team but McLeish is aware there may still be a psychological barrier for the defender to overcome. Having previously admitted that Taylor was “mentally shattered” upon learning that Eduardo had fractured his fibula and dislocated his ankle at St Andrew’s, the manager remains cautious about his state of mind.Asked whether the fallout from the Eduardo incident would affect his team selection tomorrow, McLeish replied: “Of course it will. If I thought it was a problem I would have to consider that. If [Martin] was tentative at all then I would have to consider that. [But] I don’t really see any signs of that. He eased his way in in the reserve game [against Tottenham 10 days ago]. [But] it’s difficult to judge that. Maybe he needs another reserve game to make some other judgments.”McLeish said he had no doubts about Taylor’s physical condition despite more than a month passing since the Arsenal game. “Martin is ready fitness-wise but I have got to consider if it significantly improves the team,” he added. “We have choices and we have got to try and find the right formula. We have tried Franck [Queudrue] at centre-back in recent reserve games and he’s solid in there. He’s very aggressive in the air and we know he’s played there before for Middlesbrough.”Should Taylor be overlooked this weekend it will raise serious doubts as to whether he will play for the first team again. McLeish strongly defended him in the face of criticism from Arsenal and Fifa but was close to letting the former Blackburn player leave in January. Taylor has two years left on his Birmingham contract but, having made only four appearances for the club this season, he is likely to be moved on in the summer. Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Stuart James @StuartJamesGNM First published on Thu 27 Mar 2008 20.27 EDT Birmingham City Thu 27 Mar 2008 20.27 EDT Share on WhatsApp Share via Email news Share on Messenger Share on Pinterest Topics Share on Twitter Soccerlast_img read more

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A cricketing Eden caught in no mans land

first_img Report Share Share on Pinterest Share Michael Henderson Report Support The Guardian Share on Facebook Topics Share on Messenger Comments 6 windbag Cricket DeadBadger Share 50 Share on Twitter | Pick Share Share on Facebook DeadBadger: genuinely laughed out loud on that one. Close report comment form Reply Threads collapsed Twitter Facebook Shares00 Harold Pinter’s love of the game suggests that the names of his characters are more than mere coincidence Reuse this content,View all comments > Share on WhatsApp Reply Reply All Order by oldest 23 Sep 2008 17:37 mataharifilms Share on Twitter Show 25 | Pick Share unthreaded Reason (optional) Sportblog collapsed 23 Sep 2008 18:46 23 Sep 2008 17:46 0 1 jamesnash oldest Share on Twitter Surely Pinter was more likely to be referring to R E Foster, who made 287 on debut for England v Australia in 1903-04, the highest score by an Englishman in Australia, and was the only man to captain England at football and cricket. Share Share on Facebook quebecer Twitter 23 Sep 2008 17:24 Twitter First published on Mon 22 Sep 2008 19.02 EDT Share via Email Report Report 25 Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Harold Pinter Share on Facebook comments (6)Sign in or create your Guardian account to join the discussion. Reply Loading comments… Trouble loading? 100 A cricketing Eden caught in no man’s land If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it, will an Australian still somehow take offence? Reply | Pick Share on Facebook Facebook Report | Pick “DeadBadgerSep 23 08, 10:46am (55 minutes ago)If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it, will an Australian still somehow take offence?”Go easy on him, no-one has criticised Australians for a while, he’s getting withdrawal symptoms.He’s got a point too. Twitter Report 23 Sep 2008 18:28 Facebook Fred66 Reply Share on Facebook Share on Facebook | Pick Since you’re here… Email (optional) Twitter Share via Email In the play Pinter has Hirst, restored to sobriety, come across Spooner the morning after the night before. “Our last encounter – I remember it well. Pavilion at Lord’s in ’39, against the West Indies, Hutton and Compton batting superbly, Constantine bowling, war looming.”It’s no surprise to find Hutton there, because the Yorkshire batsman was the dramatist’s cricketing hero. In an essay, Hutton and the Past, published in 1969, Pinter wrote: “Hutton was never dull. His bat was part of his nervous system. His play was sculptured. His forward defensive stroke was a complete statement.” Or, as he wrote in a poem that his great friend, the late Simon Gray, wittily said he hadn’t had time to finish: “I saw Len Hutton in his prime. Another time, another time.”Pinter featured in Ken Tynan’s 1977 New Yorker profile of another cricket-loving playwright, Tom Stoppard, though not as a player. He was unable to turn out for his club, Gaieties, against a Guardian team at Gunnersbury Park, but appeared in the pub later to find that Stoppard, with 20 unbeaten runs, had led the side to an unlikely victory. “Bursting with pride,” Tynan wrote, “he embraces Stoppard and buys expensive drinks for the whole team. He has been informed of certain crass errors made in the course of play, and sharply chides those responsible. It is like listening to Wellington if an attack of gout had kept him away from Waterloo.”One day at drama school Pinter skipped classes to go to Lord’s, running through the gate at the Nursery End to see Cyril Washbrook late-cutting for four. His abiding memory of that truant day, expressed in six simple words towards the end of that 1969 essay, is of an Eden familiar to all cricket-lovers: “that beautiful evening Compton made 70”.Is there a more evocative sentence in cricket literature? Even those who never saw Compton in his prime may feel, reading those words, that “I have known this before”. It is one of those moments frozen in time. So, as the light fails on an autumn afternoon, history is now and England. Here’s to a great playwright, to all our summers, and to the players whose deeds coloured them. expanded Read more 0 1 Facebook 0 1 0 1 Sorry there was an error. Please try again later. If the problem persists, please contact Userhelp newest Report Share on LinkedIn Thanks for a lovely piece.Here’s a clip of Pinter talking about his long association with Gaieties CC on the occasion of the club’s 70th anniversary…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozYo_JekLUI | Pick 26 Sep 2008 2:18 Mon 22 Sep 2008 19.02 EDT 0 1 Sportblog blogposts 0 1 Twitter Share on Twitter Harold Pinter Share on Twitter Hey, where’s the blog where we are told that ‘Pakistan is my favourite place for peaceful holidays and Aussie cricketers are wimps for not going there’? The cricket season ends on Saturday but, on a London stage, it will carry on for a little while longer. No Man’s Land, Harold Pinter’s play of memory, begins a run at the Duke of York’s Theatre this week with Michael Gambon in the “baritone” role of Hirst, and David Bradley occupying the “tenor” part of Spooner. It cannot fail to bring a touch of class to the West End.Cricket, you say? Well, yes. No Man’s Land is not “about” the summer game but it draws on aspects of cricket. The names, first. As Michael Billington noted in his fine book on the life and work of Pinter, the main characters, who engage in a verbal contest no less thorough than the batsman’s with a bowler, correspond to notable figures from the game’s past: George Hirst, the Yorkshire all-rounder, and RH “Reggie” Spooner, the classical Lancashire strokeplayer.The subsidiary characters are called Foster and Briggs. Frank Foster played for Warwickshire before the Great War, and there was a company of Fosters down the road at Worcester, seven brothers, who had all been educated at Malvern. As for Briggs, Johnny of that breed was a great Lancashire spinner – second only to Brian Statham in a list of the county’s wicket-takers. It might be coincidental. On the other hand, taking into account Pinter’s deep love of the game, it might not.In Billington’s words, there is “a feeling, which runs throughout the play, that the past is pinned down through a series of snapshot images, moments frozen in time”. It all adds up. Hirst and Spooner were stars of the Golden Age. The Warwickshire Foster’s career was ended in 1915 by a motorcycle accident. Briggs, an epileptic, died at 39.As it happens I caught the original production of No Man’s Land at Wyndham’s Theatre in August 1975, on the Monday of the Lord’s Test against Australia. For 70p I sat on the floor at the back of the stalls, and saw the great knights, Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud (who put some flesh on the poetaster Spooner’s bones after watching Wystan Auden on Michael Parkinson’s chat show: those were the days!). Years later I found out that Mark Nicholas, once a captain of Hampshire and now a star of television himself, had also seen that first production. Facebook Please select Personal abuse Off topic Legal issue Trolling Hate speech Offensive/Threatening language Copyright Spam Other Share on Twitter recommendations Sign up to the Spin – our weekly cricket round-up Sign in or create your Guardian account to recommend a comment View more commentslast_img read more

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The FCPA Guidance Turns 4

first_imgFour years ago yesterday, on November 14, 2012, the DOJ and SEC released the FCPA Guidance. The guidance generated a substantial amount of buzz, but the festive coverage soon subsidized as the guidance turned 1, 2, 3 and now 4 years old.Yet, on this fourth anniversary of the FCPA Guidance, it is useful to take a look back.As highlighted in this post, the 2012 FCPA guidance was a long-time coming to say the least. For instance, in the 1988 FCPA amendments Congress encouraged the DOJ to issue FCPA guidance. The DOJ refused. In 2002, the OECD encouraged the DOJ to issue FCPA guidance. The DOJ refused. In 2010, the OECD again encouraged the DOJ to issue FCPA guidance. The DOJ again refused. In the aftermath of the November 2010 Senate FCPA hearing the DOJ was again encouraged to issue FCPA guidance.  The DOJ again refused.It was only after the FCPA reform movement gained steam in 2011 that the DOJ made the political move in announcing that FCPA guidance would be forthcoming. Tellingly as to the DOJ’s political motivations, actual issuance of the guidance took over one year and occurred a few days after the 2012 elections.  For more on the above chronology of events, see the article “Grading the FCPA Guidance.”As discussed in this November 2012 post, there was little new information in the FCPA Guidance to those previously knowledgeable about the FCPA and its enforcement. Yet, to those persuaded by non-lawyer journalist coverage of FCPA topics and/or FCPA Inc. participants seeking convenient hooks to market FCPA compliance services, the guidance was indeed “new.” (Interesting, isn’t it, how this is a common thread (i.e. the Yates Memo, the April 2016 DOJ FCPA Pilot Program, ISO 37001, etc.).Sure, the FCPA Guidance was a useful document to the extent it captured in one document the DOJ and SEC’s views on the FCPA and related topics. But that is all the guidance did.Criticism of the FCPA Guidance was widespread, including by former high-ranking DOJ officials. (See this prior post rounding up approximately 50 law firm client alerts, etc. regarding the guidance).  For instance, Steven Tyrrell, former chief of the DOJ fraud section stated that the guidance was “more of a scrapbook of past DOJ and SEC successes than a guide book for companies who care about playing by the rules.” (See also this prior post highlighting former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson’s views on the guidance.)Indeed, the FCPA Guidance did not represent the “law,” but rather DOJ and SEC interpretations of the law and as highlighted in this article the guidance was not a well-balanced portrayal of the FCPA as it was replete with selective information, half-truths, and, worse information that was demonstratively false.Even so, in the FCPA Guidance and in connection with its release, the enforcement agencies made some sensible statements (see here for the prior post) such as:the enforcement agencies are “focused on bribes of consequence – ones that have a fundamentally corrosive effect on the way companies do business abroad.”enforcement efforts are focused on “payments of real and substantial value that clearly represent an unambiguous intent to bribe a foreign official to obtain or retain business”enforcement agencies are “interested in companies spending compliance dollars in the most sensible way” and that the guidance can help companies as to where they can “minimize investment and where they can maximize it.”As highlighted in this prior post, one of the more useful aspects of the guidance is that it could thus be used as a measuring stick for future enforcement activity. As the measuring sticks, were the following statements in the guidance.“Like the ‘reasonable detail’ requirement in the books and records provision, the [FCPA’s internal control provisions] defines ‘reasonable assurances’ as ‘such level of detail and degree of assurance as would satisfy prudent officials in the conduct of their own affairs.’ The Act does not specify a particular set of controls that companies are required to implement. Rather, the internal controls provisions gives companies the flexibility to develop and maintain a system of controls that is appropriate to their particular needs and circumstances.” (Pg. 40)“Companies may not be able to exercise the same level of control over a minority-owned subsidiary or affiliate as they do over a majority or wholly owned entity. Therefore, if a parent company owns less than 50% of a subsidiary or affiliate, the parent is only required to use its best efforts to cause the minority-owned subsidiary or affiliate to devise and maintain a system of internal accounting controls consistent with the issuer’s own obligations under the FCPA.” (Pg. 43)Since the FCPA Guidance, there have been approximately 50 corporate FCPA enforcement actions.  Several of these enforcement actions such as Ralph Lauren, Phillips, Stryker, Allianz, Bruker, Layne Christensen, Smith & Wesson, BNY Mellon, Mead Johnson, BHP Billiton, FLIR Systems, Nordion, Novartis, Qualcomm, SAP, GSK, ABInBev, and AstraZeneca among others, raise the issue of whether the enforcement agencies are indeed acting consistent with their own guidance, let alone the FCPA statue itself.In short, four years has passed since the FCPA Guidance and not much has changed.It would seem that the only thing that has changed is that the principal spokespersons / authors of the FCPA Guidance are now part of FCPA Inc. making millions in the private sector advising companies against the FCPA enforcement climate they helped create.As far back as 1982 it was recognized in the FCPA context that the United States should be a nation of laws, not a nation of men and women issuing non-binding guidance.The 2012 FCPA guidance was just that – men and women issuing non-binding guidance.The April 2016 DOJ Pilot Program was just that – men and women issuing non-binding guidance. Indeed, just as the men and women who authored the 2012 guidance soon left the government, the men and women who drafted the FCPA Pilot Program (not to mention other DOJ policy documents in the past two years) will soon leave the government as well.And so it goes.last_img read more

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Delaware Court Once Again Rejects The Conclusory Allegation That Because Illegal Behavior

first_img FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available. Learn More & Register In my non-FCPA life, I teach a variety of courses such as corporations and securities regulation.Because of this, I continue to scratch my head as to the seeming inability of certain FCPA commentators to grasp certain basic aspects of the legal framework regarding corporate law and governance.For instance, this recent post is titled “When Will Shareholders Force Boards to Do Compliance” and the commentator asserts: “[with] any of the companies which were embroiled in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) matters which recently settled, where was the Board when the company was busy paying out millions in bribes, in some cases literally across the globe?”Did a few Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions from 2016 involve a company paying “out millions in bribes in some cases literally across the globe” in the context of board participation and/or dereliction of duty?Yes.However to suggest that all FCPA enforcement actions in 2016 involved such conduct or that all FCPA enforcement actions involve board dereliction of duty is just plain false.As highlighted in this recent post titled titled”Taking Care of Caremark,” Delaware courts (the most prominent jurisdiction for corporate law and governance issues) have routinely recognized that a “director’s good faith exercise of oversight responsibility may not invariably prevent employees from violating criminal laws, or from causing the corporation to incur significant financial liability, or both.”Rather, Delaware law instructs that “good faith in the context of oversight must be measured by the directors’ actions ‘to assure a reasonable information and reporting system exists’ and not by second-guessing after the occurrence of employee conduct that results in an unintended adverse outcome.’”The latest Delaware decision to articulate this standard involved UPS and anyone suggesting board dereliction of duty just because a company resolves an FCPA enforcement action should read the decision and the remainder of this post provides a detailed summary the decision.The decision began with a summary of the plaintiffs’ claims.“Stockholders of United Parcel Service, Inc. (“UPS” or the “Company”) have brought this derivative action on behalf of the Company against members of its Board of Directors (the “Board”) alleging that they breached their fiduciary duty of loyalty by consciously failing to monitor and manage UPS’s compliance with state and federal laws governing the transportation and delivery of cigarettes.[…]Plaintiffs filed [their complaint] in which they set forth a single count—breach of fiduciary duty arising from a failure of oversight, well known in Delaware corporate law as a Caremark claim. They allege the directors either failed to implement a reporting and monitoring system with respect to the shipment of illegal cigarettes or, having implemented a system, they ignored red flags that UPS had abandoned its compliance with that system. The failure of oversight is all the more troubling, according to Plaintiffs, because it occurred in the wake of a prior government investigation of UPS’s illegal cigarette shipments that was resolved in 2005 by way of an Assurance of Discontinuance Agreement (“AOD”) in which UPS committed to comply with applicable laws and to establish effective monitoring systems going forward.”However, the judge stated:“I conclude that Plaintiffs have failed to plead facts from which it may reasonably be inferred that the Defendants consciously failed to oversee UPS’s compliance with its obligations to engage in proper shipping methods or its compliance with the AOD in a manner that would constitute bad faith.”Under the heading Legal Analysis, the decision states:“Caremark claims inevitably arise in the midst of or directly following “corporate trauma” of some sort or another. In this derivative action, Plaintiffs seek to hold the Director Defendants personally liable to UPS for breaching their fiduciary duties in bad faith in a manner that caused the corporate trauma. After carefully reviewing the Complaint, however, I am satisfied that Plaintiffs have “conflate[d] concededly bad outcomes from the point of view of the Company with bad faith on the part of the Board.”After discussing various procedural aspects of derivative actions including an analysis of demand futility, the decision next contains an extensive discussion of the Caremark Liability Standard.“In Caremark, Chancellor Allen reviewed the state of director oversight law and described the circumstances under which stockholders could hold directors personally liable for harm caused to the corporation under the theory that the directors “violated a duty to be active monitors of corporate performance.” Chancellor Allen first observed in Caremark, and has been oft-repeated by this court, proving liability for a failure to monitor corporate affairs is “possibly the most difficult theory in corporation law upon which a plaintiff might hope to win a judgment.” A decade later, our Supreme Court embraced the Caremark standard and clarified that in order to impose personal liability on directors for a failure of oversight there must be evidence that “the directors knew that they were not discharging their fiduciary obligations.” At the pleadings stage, a plaintiff must allege particularized facts that satisfy one of the necessary conditions for director oversight liability articulated in Caremark: either that (1) “the directors utterly failed to implement any reporting or information system or controls”; or (2) “having implemented such a system or controls, [the directors] consciously failed to monitor or oversee its operations thus disabling themselves from being informed of risks or problems requiring their attention.”This liability standard “draws heavily upon the concept of director failure to act in good faith.” As our Supreme Court explained in Disney, the “intentional dereliction of duty” or “conscious disregard for one’s responsibilities,” which “is more culpable than simple inattention or failure to be informed of all facts material to the decision,” reflects that directors have acted in bad faith and cannot, by default, avail themselves of defenses grounded in a presumption of good faith. In order to plead a claim under Caremark, therefore, a plaintiff must plead facts that allow a reasonable inference that the directors acted with scienter which, in turn, “requires [not only] proof that a director acted inconsistently with his fiduciary duties,” but also “most importantly, that the director knew he was so acting.”Our law recognizes that alleging directors failed to act in good faith is significantly different from alleging that corporate wrongdoing has occurred. This distinction takes into account that “directors’ good faith exercise of oversight responsibility may not invariably prevent employees from violating criminal laws, or from causing the corporation to incur significant financial liability, or both.” Accordingly, “Delaware courts routinely reject the conclusory allegation that because illegal behavior occurred, internal controls must have been deficient, and the board must have known so.”  Rather, a plaintiff must plead with particularity “a sufficient connection between the corporate trauma and the board.”One way to plead the requisite connection is to plead particularized facts which, if proven, would establish the first Caremark prong for imposing oversight liability—that the directors “utterly failed to implement any reporting or information system or controls.” A second, alternative, way “[t]o establish such a connection [is to] plead that the board knew of evidence of corporate misconduct—the proverbial ‘red flag’—yet acted in bad faith by consciously disregarding its duty to address that misconduct.” Plaintiffs have attempted to plead both theories.”Under the heading, “No Well-Pled Derivative Claim That the Board Utterly Failed to Implement Any Reporting or Information Systems or Controls,” the decision states:“Plaintiffs’ argument that they have pled particularized facts that the Director Defendants utterly failed to adopt any reporting and compliance systems is perplexing. The Complaint and the documents it incorporates by reference acknowledge that UPS implemented the corporate governance changes required by the AOD. Plaintiffs admitted as much more than once. The Complaint also acknowledges that UPS has a Legal Department, an Internal Audit, Compliance & Ethics Department and an Audit Committee of the Board. And, according to the Complaint, “[t]he [Director Defendants] . . . were provided updates about legal compliance through reports from the UPS Legal Department.” The Audit Committee’s Charter, also referenced in the Complaint, establishes that the Audit Committee’s general responsibility for oversight includes oversight of “the Company’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. . . .”  Thus, the Complaint itself reveals that the Plaintiffs have not plead particularized facts that the Board “utterly” failed to adopt or implement any reporting and compliance systems.Notwithstanding the allegations in their Complaint acknowledging the existence of reporting and compliance systems at UPS, Plaintiffs advance two arguments as to why the Complaint still adequately pleads factual bases upon which the Board faces a substantial likelihood of liability under the first prong of Caremark. First, they argue that documents produced in response to their Section 220 demand reveal an absence of any Board minutes or other Board materials relating to the monitoring of compliance with the AOD from January 1, 2010 to February 12, 2014. They contend this informational void supports a reasonable inference that the Director Defendants “did absolutely nothing to oversee UPS’s compliance with the [AOD] or cigarette laws in any way.” According to Plaintiffs, this period of “deafening silence” at the Board level is a “clear indication of the Board’s conscious disregard of its duties and utter lack of oversight over its known duties under the [AOD].” Second, Plaintiffs contend that, regardless of the oversight mechanisms in place, the Director Defendants were “merely going through the motions” in monitoring UPS’s compliance obligations. In this regard, they note that “recent rulings make clear that merely going through the motions . . . is not sufficient oversight to satisfy a director’s fiduciary duty of loyalty with regard to overseeing that the Company is adhering to its fundamental obligation to obey positive law.” Neither argument is convincing.Plaintiffs’ positions rely upon the assumption that this board of directors of a large public company owed the Company and its stockholders a duty to take active steps affirmatively to “monitor the monitors” even after implementing a well-constituted monitoring and reporting system. In this regard, Plaintiffs point to paragraph 53 of the AOD which they claim created a Board level obligation to ensure compliance with the AOD beyond ensuring that the Company implemented compliance systems. Even in the absence of the AOD, the UPS Board owed a fiduciary duty to stockholders not to cause UPS to violate positive law and not to sit on its hands as it watched others within the Company do so. The Director Defendants’ duty to oversee compliance with these laws, therefore, was not created or somehow heightened by the existence of the AOD. It derives, instead, from the fiduciary duty of loyalty and the obligation to discharge that duty in good faith in the best interests of the corporation they serve. The Board cannot be held liable for breaching this duty, under the first prong of Caremark, unless it can be proven that its members “utterly failed to implement any reporting or information systems or controls.” This is so even if the reporting systems they implemented and relied upon, without reason to suspect they were not working, did not ultimately detect corporate wrongdoing or bring it to their attention. “[G]ood faith, not a good result, is what is required of the board.” Indeed, “the one thing that is emphatically not a Caremark claim is the bald allegation that directors bear liability where a concededly well-constituted oversight mechanism, having received no specific indications of misconduct, failed to discover fraud.”To repeat, the Plaintiffs’ own allegations acknowledge the creation and implementation of a system of internal controls following UPS’s acceptance of the AOD. The system functioned well, at least for a time, after the AOD was finalized and the Complaint makes no particularized allegation that the system was intentionally disabled or diminished within UPS. That the Plaintiffs did not turn up any Board documents specifically referencing continued compliance with the AOD during a specific time period is not sufficient to allege that the system was not in place or that the Board was simply going through the motions when overseeing compliance. At best, the Complaint might support an inference that employees charged with the responsibility to implement UPS’s oversight systems failed to report issues to the Board. This is not enough to sustain a Caremark claim.Plaintiffs have not pled particularized factual allegations to support a reasonable inference that the Director Defendants face a substantial likelihood of  liability based on an utter failure to implement any reporting or information system or controls. Therefore, demand on the Board cannot be excused as futile on that basis.”Under the heading “No Well-Pled Derivative Claim That the Board Consciously Disregarded Red Flags,” the decision states:“To establish demand futility under Caremark’s second prong, the Complaint must “plead [particularized facts] that the board knew of evidence of corporate misconduct—the proverbial ‘red flag’—yet acted in bad faith by consciously disregarding its duty to address that misconduct.” In this context, bad faith means “the directors were conscious of the fact that they were not doing their jobs, and that they ignored red flags indicating misconduct in defiance of their duties.” Plaintiffs raise four red flags they allege were waved before the Director Defendants and consciously ignored: (1) the AOD itself, (2) the November 2010 Brothers Report to the Audit Committee, (3) the September 16, 2011 internal memo, and (4) the 2014 Audit Committee Presentations. I address these purported red flags ad seriatim in chronological order.Plaintiffs’ first proffered red flag is nothing more than another attempt to argue that the AOD placed on the Board an additional affirmative duty above and beyond what is required by Caremark. According to Plaintiffs, “common sense dictates that legal requirements that the Company failed to adhere to in the past are a red flag for knowledge that there may be continued reluctance to comply in the future.” Typically, however, the red flag analogy depicts events or reports that serve as warning signs to the Board of corporate wrongdoing after a system of reporting and compliance is in place. These red flags put the board on notice that the system is not working properly. If the members of the board become aware of the red flags and do nothing in response, and thereby consciously disregard their fiduciary duties, then they each individually are subject to liability for a failure of oversight. In Plaintiffs’ view, however, the occurrence of the AOD in 2005 somehow emerged as a red flag for the Board in 2010 and then continued to wave unattended through 2011. I cannot share that view.There might well be a reasonably conceivable scenario where the AOD itself could have taken the form of a red flag. For instance, if UPS had entered the AOD in 2005 and then continued a pattern of non-compliant shipments immediately thereafter and through 2014, one might reasonably infer that the Board had consciously disregarded UPS’s commitments under the AOD and its own oversight responsibilities. But that is not what Plaintiffs have alleged. Instead, the Complaint acknowledges that UPS complied with AOD in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and at least part of 2010. No red flags waved on any UPS mast during these more than five years; from the Board’s perspective, the compliance systems were working as intended. Even so, Plaintiffs would have the Court conclude they have adequately pled that the Board acted in bad faith from 2010 through 2014 because it did not presume that UPS was engaging in ongoing non-compliant behavior after the AOD and did not take steps to address the non-compliance. Yet the only particularized fact they have alleged in support of this claim is that UPS resolved disputed allegations of non-compliant behavior more than five years prior. Plaintiffs have failed to point to any Delaware law that would support the conclusion they have asked me to draw and I am aware of none. I decline to set that precedent here.The first of the post-AOD red flags identified by Plaintiffs is the November 2010 Brothers Report to the Audit Committee. Plaintiffs allege that Norman Brothers made a presentation to the Audit Committee on November 3, 2010, and that six of the Director Defendants were present at the meeting. They also allege that the presentation made by Brothers reviewed “significant matters and trends.” Based on these allegations, Plaintiffs argue that it is reasonable to infer that Brothers, “given his authority and knowledge under the [AOD], his direct reporting relationship with the Audit Committee, and his status of Vice Secretary of the Audit Committee . . . , knew of UPS’s abandonment of its obligations under the [AOD] and reported the same to the Audit Committee in November 2010. . . .” Plaintiffs would have the Court make two inferential leaps here: (1) Brothers knew of compliance issues related to the AOD; and (2) he reported those issues to the Audit Committee.Plaintiffs’ invitation to play inferential hopscotch does not comport with Rule 23.1’s “stringent requirements of factual particularity.”  While the Court must “draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s favor,” our Supreme Court has made clear that “conclusory allegations are not considered as expressly pleaded facts or factual inferences.”  Even reasonable inferences “must logically flow from particularized facts alleged by the plaintiff.” Plaintiffs’ allegations that Brothers had knowledge of the AOD because he was charged with the ultimate responsibility to implement it, and that he must have advised the Audit Committee that UPS had abandoned its obligations when he reported on “significant matters and trends,” are both wholly conclusory. Plaintiffs have not tied these allegations to any particularized facts about what Brothers knew, when he knew it or what he actually told the Audit Committee. Such inferential layering, all the more glaring in that it follows Plaintiffs’ receipt of Section 220 documents, does not satisfy the factual particularity required of Plaintiffs seeking demand excusal.Plaintiffs’ next proffer as a post-AOD red flag the September 16, 2011, memorandum from “BD Memo” which shows that at least one UPS business department was aware of violations of the AOD. This internal company memo reported that the ATF and NYTF were investigating UPS and had determined that UPS customers had illegally shipped cigarettes within New York in violation of the AOD. Plaintiffs maintain that “[i]t is reasonable to infer that, as the contact person for the NYAG, Brothers would have been informed by the NYAG of the [AOD] violations.” Going one step further, as Plaintiffs must in order to show that the information reached the Director Defendants, Plaintiffs say that “[g]iven that the Board was bound by the [AOD], and given the Company’s wholesale disregard for the [AOD] and cigarette laws and regulations, it is more than reasonable to infer that Brothers informed the Audit Committee at this time of the wrongdoing, given Brothers’ knowledge and his duty to report to the Audit Committee.”Plaintiffs’ arguments on this supposed red flag can fare no better than their arguments related to the 2010 Audit Committee presentation because both rest on unsupported and therefore unreasonable inferences. Plaintiffs ask the Court to infer that Norman Brothers received the information contained in the 2011 BD Memo based solely on his position at UPS without tying their allegation to any particularized facts. Once again, the best Plaintiffs can do to prop up the inference they ask the Court to draw is point to the absence of Section 220 documents on the topic of the AOD or illegal cigarette shipments and then argue, given the current federal enforcement action, that Brothers and the Board must have known of ongoing violations. As before, this falls well short of the particularized factual pleading mark set by Rule 23.1.Moreover, even if the Complaint did plead particularized facts that Norman Brothers knew of the information contained in the BD Memo, Plaintiffs’ red flag argument would fail for the independent reason that they have not pled that Brothers actually reported to the Director Defendants after the date of the memo. Brothers 2010 report to the Audit Committee pre-dates the 2011 BD Memo. Therefore, Plaintiffs were required to allege that at some time after the date of the BD Memo Brothers reported information contained in the memo to the Director Defendants. The Complaint says nothing of the sort.The Eighth Circuit’s analysis in Cottrell on behalf of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Duke is instructive with respect to the appropriate treatment of strained inferences. In Duke, the plaintiffs adequately alleged that the chair of the Walmart audit committee had received a report of serious criminal wrongdoing and that he was a direct report to the Walmart board of directors. Nevertheless, applying Delaware law, the court concluded that “Delaware courts have consistently rejected . . . the inference that directors must have known about a problem because someone was supposed to tell them about it.” In this regard, the court observed that “[o]ther than [pleading facts regarding the officers’] reporting obligations, the shareholders did not plead any facts supporting the inference that the officers actually shared their knowledge.” The court noted that “[t]here are no specific allegations showing any of the identified officers met with the board, talked to board members, or otherwise  made reports . . .” In the absence of such allegations, the court held that Plaintiffs had not adequately pled demand futility and affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the complaint under Rule 23.1.Plaintiffs would have the court draw the same unsupportable inferences that were squarely rejected in Duke—that Brothers must have informed the Audit Committee of alleged violations of the AOD—without pleading any particularized facts that he actually met with or reported to the Director Defendants after he allegedly obtained this information. This yawning gap between the pled facts and the requirement to plead bad faith cannot be bridged under Delaware law, even at this early stage of the litigation.The third proffered post-AOD red flag is a series of three Audit Committee Presentations from Mohammad Azam, a member of the UPS Internal Audit, Compliance and Ethics department, which brought possible issues of noncompliance to the Director Defendants. The issue raised here is not whether these presentations served as red flags, but whether the Director Defendants reacted to them or consciously disregarded them by doing nothing.Plaintiffs, of course, allege that the Board did nothing in response to the Azam presentations. The documents Plaintiffs incorporated by reference in the Complaint, however, tell a different story. For example, following the February 12, 2014 Audit Committee Meeting, when the Audit Committee was informed of an enforcement action against FedEx and that New York City had approached UPS with similar issues, the presentation reflects that UPS was going to “increase employee training frequency in the areas with the highest risk,” “improve reporting quality by establishing a Help Line for processing and documenting reports,” “add a Data Analytics program to identify prospective offenders” and “establish [a] process for investigation to ensure consistency.”Similarly, at the May 7, 2014 Audit Committee Meeting, when the Audit Committee was informed of allegations from the City and State of New York that UPS was not in compliance with the AOD, the Audit Committee was told that UPS would be performing a “compliance audit of high risk areas in New York,” that its “Enhanced Tobacco Compliance Program Draft” had been reviewed by the State of New York, and that UPS had identified “data analytics application updates to improve compliance activity.” Lastly, at the August 6, 2014 Audit Committee Meeting, when there was follow-up on the allegations of non-compliance with the AOD, the presentation reflects that UPS had “identified high-risk New York accounts” and that there was “confirmation with all high risk accounts of their regulatory compliance.”The relevant inquiries under the second prong of Caremark are whether the Board was made aware of red flags and then whether the Board responded to address them. The documents incorporated by reference into Plaintiffs’ Complaint demonstrate that when red flags were waved in front of the Audit Committee, the Board responded. Plaintiffs’ counsel admitted as much at oral argument. Plaintiffs have not pled particularized facts that would allow the Court reasonably to infer that the Director Defendants face a substantial likelihood of liability based on having ignored red flags in a manner that demonstrates a conscious failure to monitor or oversee corporate operations. Demand on the Board cannot be excused as futile on the basis that the Board consciously ignored red flags.”Under the heading “The Complaint Fails to Plead Particularized Facts that Support a Reasonable Inference that the Director Defendants Acted in Bad Faith Based on the Magnitude and Duration of Wrongdoing,” the decision states:“Plaintiffs’ final argument is that “[t]he magnitude and duration of UPS’s wrongdoing [support] a reasonable inference that the Board was aware of the Company’s policy to renege on its obligations under the [AOD].” According to Plaintiffs, their pleading of this dynamic amounts to an adequate pleading of scienter. I disagree.Plaintiffs’ pleading burden is to allege particularized facts that create a reasonable inference that the Director Defendants were “conscious that they were not doing their jobs.” Accordingly, to show that the Director Defendants acted in bad faith on the theory Plaintiffs espouse, the pled facts must allow a reasonable inference that the corporate wrongdoing was of such a magnitude and duration that the Board must have known they were not doing their job to look after the corporation’s best interests. To be sure, Plaintiffs make numerous allegations concerning the number of deliveries of untaxed cigarettes made by UPS. What Plaintiffs have not alleged, however, are any particularized facts that would allow the Court to consider the magnitude of these deliveries in the context of UPS’s overall operations. In this contextual vacuum, the Court is asked to infer that the Director Defendants must have known they were failing in their oversight obligations based on the magnitude of AOD non-compliance. Saying something is “huge” doesn’t make it huge; and saying something is bad faith, without more, does not adequately plead bad faith.UPS’s 2015 Form 10k … discloses that UPS makes more than 18.3 million package deliveries per day. The Complaint alleges that UPS made approximately 78,000 shipments of illegal cigarettes between 2010 and 2014.90 This is hardly a ratio that alone would support an inference of bad faith. This court’s analysis in Armstrong is instructive on this point:The court accepts, in principle, that a director could be found liable for remaining ignorant of a large fraud occurring in plain sight, even if the director is able to show that the company had established a full set of supervisory controls. In this case, however, all the plaintiff has said is that the Enron and WorldCom relationships turned out to have material consequences. The complaint does not even allege that either of the challenged relationships formed an unusually large part of Citigroup’s business while the relationships were ongoing. The well-pleaded facts provide no basis to believe, therefore, that the directors ignored a mammoth fraud. Rather, the facts only show that, as in Caremark itself, the ‘liability that eventuated in this case was huge.’While UPS’s ultimate liability may turn out to be significant, as Plaintiffs point to a figure of at least $180 million in fines and penalties to which UPS may be exposed, our law holds that “[a]bsent any facts to show that a board’s ignorance can only be explained by a breach of fiduciary duty, such as allegations as to the centrality of the fraudulent relationships to the corporation’s business, the size of any financial loss is not a sufficient basis on which to rest liability.” Plaintiffs have not, therefore, pled particularized facts from which it can reasonably be inferred that the Director Defendants acted in bad faith based solely upon the size or duration of the alleged wrongdoing.”last_img read more

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Porter Hedges Elects Three New Partners

first_imgNot a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Username Houston-based Porter Hedges has promoted three attorneys to the partnership effective Jan. 1, 2013. They are:Jason Lloyd, whose practice focuses on the representation of financial institutions, mezzanine lenders, SBICs, borrowers, and issuers in a wide variety of syndicated, club, single-lender, and capital market financings, including general working capital facilities, letter of credit facilities, asset-based facilities, cash flow financings, public debt offerings, project financings, and leveraged buyout and acquisition financings. Lloyd is a 2003 graduate of The University of Texas School of Law.Kevin Poli, whose practice focuses on representing public and private companies in a broad . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Remember mecenter_img Password Lost your password?last_img read more

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Climate Emergency – The New Justification for New Taxes

first_img « Greenland Glacier is Growing, Not Melting Climate Change & Solar Minimum » Categories: Climate Tags: Climate Change, Hunt for Taxes center_img Cities have begun using the term “climate emergency” to justify new taxation. This was the case in the Guelph City Council in Canada where they declared a climate emergency. They have admitted that they “already have an action plan. A very ambitious, robust and doable action plan. We don’t need to re-state that.” The spokesperson continued, “What we do need to state, in my opinion, is that we’re going to fund it. Because an action plan without funding has no meaning and it has no outcome and it won’t be successful.”Here comes the new justification for more taxes — “climate emergency” — as if a local city can actually change the climate of the world.last_img read more

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