Asian stocks rise after disappointing US data, Brexit drama
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets rose today following surprise weakness in U.S. manufacturing and wrangling in Britain over the country’s departure from the European Union.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3% and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1.3%.
South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.4% while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.5%. India’s Sensex opened down 0.3%.
Yesterday on Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index dropped 0.7% to 2,906.27. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.1% to 26,118.02. The Nasdaq composite fell 1.1% to 7,874.16.
British PM: Parliament could wreck Brexit deal
LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Britain’s Parliament is “on the brink of wrecking any deal” his government might be able to make with the European Union on Brexit terms.
He said Tuesday after a sound defeat in Parliament that a possible vote Wednesday to block a possible “no-deal” Brexit would give the EU the upper hand in negotiations.
The prime minister says that would mean “more dither, more delay, more confusion.” He says he doesn’t want a new election but will call one so voters can choose who should be in charge of Brexit talks.
Johnson says he will call an election under the Fixed Term Parliament Act.
Facebook face recognition feature to replace tag suggestions
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook says it is ending its practice of using face recognition software to identify users’ friends in uploaded photos and automatically suggesting they “tag” them.
Instead, it is replacing the feature, called “tag suggestions,” with its broader face recognition setting, which identifies people’s faces in photos for various uses, not just tagging. Beginning Tuesday, people who are new to Facebook, or previously had the tag suggestions setting turned on, will instead get the face recognition setting, which they can turn on or off.
People who had the tag suggestions setting turned off will see a notice about face recognition and a button to turn it on or keep it off.
Facebook was sued in Illinois over the tag suggestion feature and a federal appeals court has ruled the lawsuit can proceed.
US plans for fake social media run afoul of Facebook rules
WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be violating the company’s rules if agents create fake profiles to monitor the social media of foreigners seeking to enter the country.
Facebook says it prohibits fake accounts and will “act” on any it finds that violate that policy.
The company made the announcement Tuesday following an Associated Press report Friday that Homeland Security had authorized its agents to use fake social media accounts in a reversal of a previous ban on the practice.
Homeland Security said fake accounts would make it easier for agents reviewing visa and citizenship applications to search for fraud or security threats.
The plan would also be a violation of Twitter’s rules. Twitter says it’s still reviewing the new Homeland Security policy.
NTSB: Tesla on Autopilot when it hit California firetruck
DETROIT (AP) — A government report says the driver of a Tesla that slammed into a firetruck near Los Angeles last year was using the car’s Autopilot system when a vehicle in front of him suddenly changed lanes and he didn’t have time to react.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the driver never saw the parked truck and didn’t brake. Apparently the Model S didn’t brake either.
The report raises further questions about the effectiveness of Tesla’s system, which was in operation before several other crashes including two fatalities in Florida and one in Silicon Valley. Tesla warns drivers that the system is not fully autonomous and drivers must be ready to intervene.
The NTSB report didn’t state a cause of the crash. The agency will issue a final report Wednesday.
^ICE CREAM-CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Ben & Jerry’s debut flavor backing criminal justice reform
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s has unveiled a new flavor to highlight what it calls structural racism and a broken criminal justice system.
Justice ReMix’d is described as cinnamon and chocolate ice cream with gobs of cinnamon bun dough and spicy fudge brownies. A portion of proceeds supports Advancement Project National Office, a multi-racial civil rights group and its fight for justice for all, despite race or wealth.
The company says it has been working with Advanced Project in St. Louis to close The Workhouse jail and in Miami to slow what the two groups call “the school-to-prison pipeline.”
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the co-founders of the Vermont-based ice cream maker, made the announcement Tuesday in Washington.
Walmart introduces new gun restrictions but will they help?
NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart has won praise from gun control advocates for its decision to discontinue sales of certain gun ammunition and request that customers no longer openly carry firearms in its stores. But whether the moves will translate into fewer guns on the street remains an open question.
The announcement Tuesday follows similar steps by other retailers responding to public pressure to restrict gun and ammunition sales. In March, Dick’s Sporting Goods said it would stop selling firearms and ammunition at 125 of its 700-plus locations. Meanwhile, Starbucks, Target, Wendy’s and most recently Kroger have also asked customers not to openly carry guns when visiting their stores.
Supporters of stricter gun laws say that as the nation’s largest retailer, Walmart will have outsized influence on the gun debate, sending a strong message to Congress as well as other corporations to also take action.
Still, most firearms sales come from thousands of unaffiliated gun shops or gun shows, not big retail chains, so it’s not clear how much difference Walmart’s moves will make. About half of its more than 4,750 U.S. stores sell firearms, or only around 2% of all U.S. firearms.