Howard Schultz Responds to Dem Backlash Against His Presidential Run: ‘I Must be Doing Something Right’

Howard Schultz Responds to Dem Backlash Against His Presidential Run: ‘I Must be Doing Something Right’Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz conceded Wednesday that he is surprised by the extreme Democratic backlash against his recently-floated independent presidential run, but suggested the outsized attention may ultimately help get his message out. “I must be doing something right to create so much interest and backlash from the Democratic Party. “I must be doing something right to create so much interest and backlash from the Democratic Party.


2019 Tax Filing Tips for Retirees

2019 Tax Filing Tips for RetireesThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in 2017, brings adjustments for 2018 tax returns. “The impact of the TCJA’s changes in the tax law could substantially reduce a retiree’s income tax liability,” says Mike Herzog, a tax attorney with Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott in Pittsburgh. — The standard deduction has increased.


China slowdown weighs on revenue growth at internet giant Alibaba

China slowdown weighs on revenue growth at internet giant AlibabaInternet giant Alibaba saw its revenue growth slow in the final three months of last year, in quarterly results likely to stir up concerns over the weaker China market, recently signalled to by US tech giants.  Alibaba saw net income jump 33pc to 30.96bn yuan (£3.5bn) in the three months to the end of December, and revenue rose 41pc to 117.28bn yuan. However, shares dipped in New York trading, down 1.3pc, as investors took the results as a sign growth was waning, given Alibaba’s revenue had grown more than 50pc for the 10 consecutive quarters prior to the most recent results.  The 41pc growth announced on Wednesday was the weakest Alibaba had recorded in three years.  The results follow a warning from Alibaba president Michael Evans earlier this month that China had “slowed down”. Speaking at an event in New York, Mr Evans had said it was a market that “required patience”, adding that there were some “troubling headwinds”.  Last week, China posted figures revealing its economic growth in 2018 had been the weakest in 28 years amid tensions with the US and poor consumer confidence. The country’s GDP growth for the year was 6.6pc, down from 2017’s 6.8pc. Some economists are predicting growth could slip below 6pc going forward. Technology intelligence – newsletter promo – EOA Masaaki Kanno, chief economist at Sony Financial Holdings, said: “We still think the Chinese economy could bottom out in the middle of the year. “There was no surprise from the GDP data but the basic message is that the Chinese economy is still slowing down.” However, David Dai, of Bernstein, said the environment should improve for Alibaba in the second half of 2019 “as the Chinese government introduces measures to stimulate the economy and US China trade war stabilises”. Alibaba is the first of China’s big tech companies to report its results for the final three months of 2018, but follows a series of warnings over the state of the China market by US giants Apple, Intel and Nvidia.  Apple last night said sales of its iPhones slipped by 15pc in the final three months of 2018, largely due to weaker demand in China.  Speaking about Alibaba’s results on Wednesday, however, boss Daniel Zhang was upbeat, saying: “Our resilient operating and financial performance is a direct reflection of our persistent focus on better serving our growing base of nearly 700 million consumers across retail, digital entertainment and local consumer services.”


Who represents Venezuela? U.N., international lenders stuck in limbo

Who represents Venezuela? U.N., international lenders stuck in limbo“The United Nations are ready to increase their activities in Venezuela in the areas of humanitarian assistance and development,” Guterres told Guaido in a letter dated Jan. 29 and seen by Reuters on Wednesday. “For that, the United Nations need, however, the consent and cooperation of the Government.” The exchange illustrates how a U.S.-led campaign for international recognition of Guaido over Maduro has left the U.N. and other international organizations caught in the middle of global division over the issue.


Huawei’s founder faces fight for company and family

Huawei's founder faces fight for company and familyHuawei founder Ren Zhengfei survived food shortages during China’s Cultural Revolution, but now the reclusive billionaire identified as “Individual-1” in a US indictment faces an existential fight for his family and company. Ren, 74, founded Huawei in 1987 with just 21,000 yuan ($5,600) and watched it grow into a global behemoth with 180,000 employees operating in 170 countries, sales of 206 million smartphones last year, and revenue topping $100 billion. The accusations dealt a blow to Huawei’s image just as the famously secretive company had mounted a media blitz to salvage its reputation, with Ren leading the charge to dispute espionage concerns.