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Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty, rape trial delayed to January

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty on Monday to a new indictment ahead of his upcoming criminal trial, in a case where producers have accused him of rape and predatory sexual assault. Film producer Harvey Weinstein leaves New York Supreme Court after his arraignment in his sexual assault case in New York, U. S., August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon StapletonWeinstein entered his plea in a New York state court in Manhattan, where his trial was delayed by four months, to Jan. 6, 2020. The indictment was not immediately available. The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has accused Weinstein of having sexually assaulted two women, in 2006 and 2013. Prosecutors revealed in court papers earlier this month that they would seek to bring a new indictment to allow jurors to hear testimony from a third woman who has said Weinstein raped her in 1993. The woman is actress Annabella Sciorra, known for her role in the HBO series “The Sopranos,” according to a person familiar with the case who was not authorized to speak publicly. Sciorra’s manager did not respond to a request for comment made on Friday. Weinstein, 67, faces a Sept. 9 trial date in New York state court in Manhattan. Once among Hollywood’s most powerful producers, Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to five criminal charges in the earlier indictment, including rape and predatory sexual assault. He could face a life sentence if convicted. The two women in the earlier indictment are among roughly 70 who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades. Weinstein has denied the allegations and said any sexual encounters were consensual. Lawyers for Weinstein have asked that the trial be moved, perhaps to Suffolk County on Long Island or to Albany County upstate, because intense media scrutiny in New York City would make it impossible for him to get a fair trial there, according to a court filing. Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Jonathan OatisOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

German cartel office to take Facebook case to High Court

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German cartel office will appeal a regional court’s decision to suspend restrictions it had imposed on Facebook’s (FB.O) data collection practices to the Federal Court of Justice, Germany’s highest court. “We are convinced that with the available antitrust laws we can take regulatory action,” Andreas Mundt, the head of the Federal Cartel Office, said in a statement. “To clarify these questions we file an appeal at the Federal Court of Justice.” Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Tassilo HummelOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Wall Street bounces as Trump softens stance on trade war

(Reuters) – Wall Street rebounded on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump sought to ease trade tensions with China, soothing investor nerves after an intense feud between the world’s top two economies last week sent stocks into a tailspin. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the closing bell in New York, U.S., August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas JacksonThe benchmark S&P 500 index .SPX logged its worst run of weekly losses on Friday since a selloff in late May after both sides threatened to slap more tariffs on each other’s goods, and Trump told U.S. companies to look for alternatives to doing business with China. In a softening of stance, Trump said on Monday Beijing had contacted Washington overnight to say it wanted to return to the negotiating table, adding that talks between the two countries were “more meaningful” than any time. “The sentiment today is conciliatory, the president is trying to walk back,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York. “Whether or not he (Trump) has a phone call with China doesn’t matter, the point is that he is attempting to keep the September meeting scheduled and get back to the negotiating bit.” Shares in tariff-sensitive companies including Apple Inc (AAPL.O) jumped 2%, boosting the technology sector .SPLRCT, while a 1.9% rise in shares of Boeing Co (BA.N) lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI. Chipmakers, which heavily rely on China for their revenue, rose, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index .SOX adding 1.1%. Concerns about the global economy slipping into recession and uncertainty over the pace of U.S. interest rate cuts have made investors nervous about how far the longest cycle of U.S. expansion would survive. The S&P 500 is now about 5.2% off its record high. However, strong earnings from retailers including Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N) in the past weeks have bolstered confidence in domestic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 233.91 points, or 0.91%, to 25,862.81 and the S&P 500 .SPX gained 23.57 points, or 0.83%, to 2,870.68. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 70.95 points, or 0.92%, to 7,822.72 were up 41.75 points, or 0.56%. Data from the Commerce Department showed new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods rose modestly in July, while shipments fell by the most in nearly three years, pointing to continued weakness in business investment and a slowdown in economic growth early in the third quarter. Among other stocks, Celgene Corp (CELG.O) rose 3.8% after Amgen Inc (AMGN.O) said it would buy the company’s psoriasis drug Otezla, clearing the way for Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY.N) to go ahead with its $74 billion deal for Celgene. Shares of Bristol-Myers jumped 4.3%. Shares of Beyond Meat Inc (BYND.O) rose 4.5% after Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N) said it will be testing Beyond Meat’s plant-based nuggets at an Atlanta KFC restaurant. Shares of Yum Brands rose 1.3%. The defensive utilities .SPLRCU and real estate .SPLRCR posted the smallest gains among the 11 major sectors. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 6.36-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 3.34-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded no new 52-week high and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded five new highs and 29 new lows. Reporting by Akanksha Rana and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Arun KoyyurOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

U.S. business investment appears weak in third quarter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods rose modestly in July while shipments fell by the most in nearly three years, pointing to continued weakness in business investment and a slowdown in economic growth early in the third quarter. Hydraulic valve manufacturer HydraForce Inc. employees work in the firm’s plant in Lincolnshire, Illinois, U.S., January 10, 2018. Photo taken January 10 2018. REUTERS/Ann SaphirComing against the backdrop of an escalation in U.S.-China trade tensions, the report from the Commerce Department on Monday could provide more ammunition for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates again next month. Fed Chair Jerome Powell told a conference of central bankers last week that trade policy uncertainty seems to be playing “a role in the global slowdown and in weak manufacturing and capital spending in the United States.” Though Powell described the economy as being in a “favorable place,” he reiterated that the U.S. central bank would “act as appropriate” to keep the longest economic expansion in history on track. The Fed lowered its short-term interest rate by 25 basis points last month for the first time since 2008, citing trade tensions and slowing global growth. Financial markets have fully priced in another quarter-percentage-point cut at the Fed’s Sept. 17-18 policy meeting. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, increased 0.4% last month, the government said, driven by strong demand for electrical equipment, appliances and components. Data for June was revised down to show these so-called core capital goods orders advancing 0.9% instead of surging 1.5% as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast core capital goods orders would fall 0.1% in July. Core capital goods orders increased 1.5% on a year-on-year basis. Shipments of core capital goods fell 0.7% last month, the biggest drop since October 2016. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the government’s gross domestic product measurement. Data for June was revised down to show core capital goods shipments were unchanged instead of rising 0.3% as previously reported. U.S. stock index futures held gains after the release of the data while yields on U.S. Treasuries were largely unchanged. The dollar .DXY was trading higher against a basket of currencies. SHIPMENTS FALL Business investment has been weak, largely blamed on the Trump administration’s trade war with China, which is taking a toll on global economies and U.S. manufacturing. President Donald Trump on Friday announced a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports, hours after Beijing unveiled retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods. Business investment contracted in the second quarter for the first time since the first quarter of 2016. Weak business investment is underscored by manufacturing, where output has contracted for two straight quarters. Manufacturing, which accounts for about 12% of the economy, is also being undercut by an inventory bloat and design problems at Boeing (BA.N). In July, orders for electrical equipment, appliances and components jumped 1.1%. But orders for machinery fell 0.6%. There was also declines in orders for primary metals and fabricated metal products. Sub-assembly worker Joel Dykema works on the sub-assembly of a transformer in the RoMan Manufacturing plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S. December 12, 2018. Picture taken December 12, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca CookOverall orders for durable goods, items ranging from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last three years or more, increased 2.1% in July, the most since August 2018, after rising 1.8% in the prior month. Orders for transportation equipment jumped 7.0% after gaining 4.1% in June. Motor vehicles and parts orders rose 0.5% last month. Orders for non-defense aircraft and parts increased 47.8%. Durable goods shipments dropped 1.1% last month. Unfilled orders for these goods edged up 0.1%, while inventories increased 0.4%, suggesting manufacturing would probably continue to struggle in the coming months. Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul SimaoOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

KFC partners with Beyond Meat to test plant-based nuggets, wings

FILE PHOTO: A guest wears a hat during the Beyond Meat IPO at the Nasdaq Market site in New York, U.S., May 2, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid(Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N) said on Monday it will be testing Beyond Meat Inc’s (BYND.O) plant-based chicken nuggets and boneless wings at an Atlanta KFC restaurant, the latest fast-food chain trying new options to attract vegan diners. The quick-service restaurant will roll out its vegan menu items nationally based on the customer feedback from the Atlanta test, Yum said. Yum is the latest big-chain restaurant jumping on the vegan bandwagon, a growing market as more fast-food chains tweak their menus to add new options for vegans and ‘flexitarians’. Plant-based meat alternatives have seen booming interest from consumers and restaurants, supporting startups like Beyond Meat and its competitor Impossible Foods, and even sparking interest from veteran meat companies such as Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) and Perdue Foods. Beyond Meat has already partnered with sandwich chain Subway, Del Taco Restaurant Inc (TACO.O), Carl’s Jr, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc (DNKN.O) and Restaurant Brand International’s (QSR.TO) Tim Hortons. KFC, known for its fried chicken, will be serving the six or 12-piece combo plant-based nugget meals for $6.49 and $8.49 and boneless wings for $6 and $12. Beyond Meat’s shares rose about 4% before the bell. The stock has risen more than three-fold since it went public in May. Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak DasguptaOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

KKR becomes Axel Springer's biggest shareholder

FILE PHOTO: Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidBERLIN (Reuters) – KKR (KKR.N) has become the biggest shareholder of German media group Axel Springer (SPRGn.DE), paying 2.9 billion euros ($3.2 billion) for a 43.54% stake, the U.S. private equity firm said on Monday. The stakebuilding by KKR in concert with with Friede Springer, the widow of the company’s founder, and CEO Mathias Doepfner is aimed at taking the publisher private by the end of the year or in the first quarter of 2020. KKR achieved a 42.5% stake with its tender to buy out minority shareholders and bought a further 1.04% on the market, putting it ahead of Friede Springer’s 42.6% and Doepfner’s 2.8%. The buyout offer, at 63 euros per share, valued the business at 6.8 billion euros, representing a 40% premium to the share price preceding the June 12 offer. Once private, Springer hopes to gain greater freedom to build its digital portfolio and look for acquisitions away from the eye of skeptical equity markets. “The results from the offer provide a very strong foundation for the planned strategic partnership with KKR,” Doepfner said in a statement. “We will concentrate in the coming months on implementing and accelerating our growth strategy.” Reporting by Anneli Palmen and Klaus Lauer; Writing by Emma Thomasson; Editing by David GoodmanOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Trump says China trade deal coming, Beijing calls for resolution

BIARRITZ, France/BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States and China sought to ease trade war tensions on Monday, with Beijing calling for calm and U.S. President Donald Trump predicting a deal after markets fell in response to new tariffs from both countries. Trump, speaking on the sidelines of the G7 summit of world leaders in France, said Chinese officials had contacted U.S. trade counterparts overnight and offered to return to the negotiating table. Vice Premier Liu He, who has been leading the talks with Washington, said on Monday China was willing to resolve the trade dispute through “calm” negotiations and resolutely opposed the escalation of the conflict. Trump welcomed that language and, days after referring to President Xi Jinping as an enemy, heaped praise on his Chinese counterpart. “They want calm, and that’s a great thing, frankly. And one of the reasons that he’s a great leader, President Xi, and one of the reasons that China’s a great country is they understand how life works,” Trump said. “China called last night our top trade people and said ‘Let’s get back to the table’, so we’ll be getting back to the table, and I think they want to do something,” he said. In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he had not heard that a phone call between the two sides had taken place. However, China’s Commerce Ministry typically releases statements on trade calls. It did not respond to a request for comment. When pressed on whether a call had taken place, Trump emphasized Liu’s comments. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said there had been contact between the two sides but declined to say with whom. Hu Xijin, editor of the state-controlled Global Times newspaper, tweeted: “Based on what I know, Chinese and U.S. top negotiators didn’t hold phone talks in recent days. The two sides have been keeping contact at technical level, it doesn’t have significance that President Trump suggested. China didn’t change its position. China won’t cave to U.S. pressure.” TARIFFS The increasingly bitter trade war between the world’s two largest economies escalated on Friday, with both sides leveling more tariffs on each other’s exports. Trump announced an additional duty on some $550 billion of targeted Chinese goods, hours after China unveiled retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods. On Sunday, the White House said Trump regretted not raising the tariffs even more. But the president also appeared to back off of his threat to order U.S. companies out of China. Liu, Xi’s top economic adviser, speaking at a conference in southwest China’s Chongqing, said: “We are willing to resolve the issue through consultations and cooperation in a calm attitude and resolutely oppose the escalation of the trade war. “We believe the escalation of the trade war is not beneficial for China, the United States, nor to the interests of the people of the world.” The trade war has damaged global growth and raised market fears the world economy will tip into recession. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said China would retaliate if Trump enforced the latest U.S. tariffs. Asked if he would abandon the tariffs, Trump said: “Anything is possible. I can say we are having very meaningful talks, much more meaningful I would say than any time frankly.” MARKETS REEL Before Trump spoke on Monday, global stock markets reeled, while China’s yuan currency fell to an 11-year low. Investors streamed into safe haven sovereign bonds and gold. Stock markets clawed themselves off lows after Trump’s comments and the yuan recovered somewhat. Trump, who at times predicts a deal will happen and at other times says he is happy with the tariff situation, said talks would start again soon. “I think we are going to have a deal,” he said. The two sides were due to meet in September in Washington, but it was unclear whether the new tariff tit-for-tat would alter those plans. The United States accuses China of economic sins including intellectual property theft, currency manipulation and forced technology transfer by U.S. companies to their Chinese partners as a requirement for doing business in China. China denies the U.S. allegations. Beijing and Washington were close to a deal last spring but U.S. officials said China backed away from an agreed text over a reluctance to change laws to address U.S. complaints. The trade war has affected businesses all over the world and disrupted supply chains. Trump has urged U.S. companies to move their operations out of China, but it was not clear how or whether his efforts to order such a move would work. He said on Monday if a deal emerged, U.S. companies should stay in China or leave if it did not. Liu said: “We welcome enterprises from all over the world, including the United States, to invest and operate in China. “We will continue to create a good investment environment, protect intellectual property rights, promote the development of smart intelligent industries with our market open, resolutely oppose technological blockades and protectionism, and strive to protect the completeness of the supply chain.” U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he meets Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi (not pictured) for bilateral talks during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos BarriaMnuchin said Trump could order companies out of China under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act if he declared a national emergency. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during a meeting with Trump at the G7, said it was in everyone’s interest for China and the United States to reach a deal. Germany’s economy is heavily dependent on exports. Chinese state media on Monday hit out at the United States. The official China Daily said Washington would “never be allowed to control China’s fate”. Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard and Tony Munroe; Editing by Janet LawrenceOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

KFC to test Beyond Meat's chicken nuggets at Atlanta restaurant

FILE PHOTO: A guest wears a hat during the Beyond Meat IPO at the Nasdaq Market site in New York, U.S., May 2, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid(Reuters) – Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N) said on Monday it will be testing Beyond Meat Inc’s (BYND.O) plant-based chicken nuggets at an Atlanta KFC restaurant. The quick-service restaurant is the latest to cater to diners seeking vegan alternatives, a growing market as more fast-food chains tweak their menus. Customer feedback from the Atlanta test will be considered as KFC evaluates a broader test or potential national rollout, Yum said. Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak DasguptaOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

German court suspends cartel order restricting Facebook's data gathering

FILE PHOTO: A 3-D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of displayed binary code in this illustration picture, June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/IllustrationBERLIN (Reuters) – A German court on Monday issued an interim injunction suspending a cartel office decision in February which sought to restrict Facebook’s data collection practices in Germany. “The suspension of the order means that Facebook does not have to implement the decision of the Federal Cartel Office for the time being,” the Higher Regional Court in Duesseldorf said in its ruling. It added that a final decision about the appeal will be made at a later stage. Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Riham Alkousaa,; Editing by Tassilo HummelOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

U.S. futures recover after Trump eases stance on China trade

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Monday as U.S. President Donald Trump moved to ease trade tensions with China, soothing investor nerves after intense feuding between the world’s top two economies last week sent stocks into a tailspin. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the closing bell in New York, U.S., August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas JacksonThe benchmark S&P 500 index .SPX logged its worst run of weekly losses on Friday since a selloff in late May after both sides threatened to slap more tariffs on each other’s goods and Trump told U.S. companies to look for alternatives to doing business with China. In a change of stance, Trump said on Monday that Beijing had contacted Washington overnight to say it wanted to return to the negotiating table. Shares of tariff-sensitive stocks including Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Boeing Co (BA.N) rose more than 1.5% each in premarket trading. Chipmakers, which are heavily reliant on China for their revenue, also rose in early trading. Intel Corp (INTC.O), Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD.O) and Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) were up between 1.4% and 3%. Worries about the global economy slipping into recession and uncertainty over the pace of U.S. interest rate cuts have made investors nervous about how far the longest cycle of U.S. expansion can continue. The S&P 500 closed about 6% off its record high on Friday. However, a batch of strong retail earnings from those including Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N) in the past weeks have reinforced confidence in domestic growth. Data from the Commerce Department, due at 08:30 a.m. ET (12:30 p.m. GMT), is likely to show overall orders for durable goods rose 1.2% in July, after increasing 1.9% in June. At 7:29 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 200 points, or 0.78%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 17 points, or 0.6% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 62.75 points, or 0.84%. Among other stocks, Celgene Corp (CELG.O) rose 3.7% after Amgen Inc (AMGN.O) said on Monday it would buy the company’s psoriasis drug Otezla, clearing the way for Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY.N) to go ahead with its $74 billion deal for Celgene. Shares of Bristol-Myers jumped 5.7%. Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb ChakrabartyOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.