TIME Companies

Somebody in China Has Set Up a Fake Goldman Sachs and Is Doing Business

U.S. Stocks Fall From Record as Microsoft, Google Miss on Profit
Scott Eells—Bloomberg via Getty Images The Goldman Sachs Co. logo is displayed at the company's booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on July 19, 2013

Because China

China has been known for ripping off designer goods, iPhones and even public sculpture. Now, financial companies can start worrying about having a Chinese counterfeit too.

American multinational financial giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. appears to share an English name with Goldman Sachs (Shenzhen) Financial Leasing Co., a financial services company based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. The company also uses the same Chinese moniker (Gao Sheng) as the American one, and even has a similar font for its logo, according to Bloomberg.

A spokeswoman for the American Goldman Sachs, Connie Ling, told Bloomberg that there is no connection between the two companies. A secretary at the Shenzhen company told Bloomberg that no one had ever inquired with her about the similarities.

Name-poaching isn’t the only controversy the company has encountered — it has also been accused of dabbling in money-laundering.

The company first came to light when a U.S. casino workers’ union sent a letter to the Chinese government complaining that the Shenzhen company was linked to the notorious gaming figure Cheung Chi-tai. Chinese prosecutors allege that Cheung in turn has links to organized crime and he is awaiting trial, Bloomberg says.

[Bloomberg]

TIME China

China Accuses 11 Officials of Negligence Over Tianjin Warehouse Blasts

Top transport and port officials are reportedly among those being investigated

Chinese state prosecutors have accused 11 officials and port executives of “dereliction of duty” and “abuse of power” over the huge explosions two weeks ago in the world’s 10th largest port, Tianjin, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The officials under investigation are said to include the head of Tianjin’s municipal transportation commission, We Dai, and the president of Tianjin Port Holdings, Zheng Qingyue.

The blasts, which killed 139 people and injured hundreds more, took place at a warehouse owned by Ruihai International Logistics. Xinhua has also reported that 12 people from the firm — including its chairman, vice chairman and three general managers — have been detained on suspicion of illegally storing dangerous chemicals.

Chinese authorities say the warehouse was used to store about 40 different hazardous chemicals, including 700 tons of highly toxic sodium cyanide, before the deadly explosions on Aug. 12, which devastated a large part of the port area.

TIME Markets

Asian Stocks Rise After Wall Street Rebound

Asia stock market
Kevin Frayer—Getty Images A Chinese day trader reacts as he watches a stock ticker at a local brokerage house in Beijing, on Aug. 27, 2015.

Analysts said there are probably more roller-coaster days ahead

(BEIJING) — China’s key stock market index surged 5.3 percent Thursday, its biggest gain in eight weeks, as markets across Asia rose following Wall Street’s rebound, giving investors some relief after gut-wrenching global losses.

The Shanghai Composite Index, whose steep drop in recent days triggered worldwide selling, gained 5.3 percent to close at 3,083.59 points, bouncing back from losses that wiped some 20 percent off its value over the past week. It was the biggest one-day gain since a 5.5 percent rise on June 30.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2.9 percent to 21,697.31 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 1.1 percent to 18,574.44. Sydney’s S&P ASX 200 advanced 1.2 percent to 5,233.30 and Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.7 percent to 1,908.00. Markets in Singapore, Bangkok, New Zealand and Jakarta also rose.

European markets also advanced in early trading. France’s CAC-40 added 2.1 percent to 4,597.36 and Germany’s DAX gained 2.4 percent to 10,240.92.

The gains came after Wall Street rocketed up overnight. The Dow Jones industrial average soaring more than 600 points, or 4 percent. That was its third-biggest point gain of all time and its largest since Oct. 28, 2008.

Traders were encouraged by comments from William Dudley, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, that the case for a U.S. interest rate hike in September is “less compelling to me than it was a few weeks ago,” given China’s troubles, falling oil prices and weakness in emerging markets.

“Traders took the cue to buy,” said Nicholas Teo of CMC Markets in a report.

Following a six-year run-up in U.S. stocks that has pushed major indexes to all-time highs, investors worry the economy could falter if the Fed raises rates too soon.

U.S. markets looked set for more gains, with futures for the Dow Jones and S&P both up 0.4 percent.

In currency markets, the dollar rose to 120.2220 yen from Wednesday’s 120.1440 yen. The euro edged down to $1.1327 from the previous session’s $1.1337.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 92 cents to $39.53 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 71 cents on Wednesday to close at $38.60. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1 to $44.14 in London after losing 7 cents the previous day to close at $44.14.

TIME Colombia

Venezuela and Colombia Vow to Cooperate in Border Dispute

Venezuelan soldiers blocked the river crossing on Wednesday morning

(CARTAGENA, Colombia) — The foreign ministers of Colombia and Venezuela promised to increase cooperation Wednesday following talks to ease heightened tensions caused by the closure of a major border crossing and a weeklong crackdown on Colombian migrants and smugglers.

Diplomats left the meeting in this Caribbean coastal resort without announcing a decision to re-open the border crossing or end the deportations from Venezuela, only saying that defense officials from the two countries would talk in the coming days to form a joint plan for border security.

Meanwhile, in the Colombian city of Cucuta, residents complained of long gas lines as Venezuela’s security offensive cuts off trade, legal and otherwise, between the two nations.

Across the border, scores of Colombians packed their belongings into suitcases and prepared for an army escort out of Venezuela, joining the estimated 1,000 of their compatriots who have already been deported.

Donamaris Ramirez, the mayor of Cucuta, says he plans to order gas stations to remain open 24 hours to attend to demand normally met by curbside smugglers who purchase gasoline in Venezuela at less than a penny a gallon and resell it for huge profits in Colombia.

With two main border crossings closed, the underground economy has come to a halt, satisfying Venezuelan officials who have long blamed transnational mafias for widespread shortages but also jeopardizing the livelihood of tens of thousands of poor Colombians who depend on the black market.

On Tuesday, a group of 100 Colombians fled the border town of San Antonio del Tachira by wading across a knee-deep river with their possession, everything from TVs to doors, slung across their backs.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos offered to help returning Colombians find work during a visit Wednesday to an emergency shelter in Cucuta overrun with deportees, and promised deported citizens a subsidy of about $80 to help them land on their feet.

Earlier, in a speech in Bogota, he ran through a series of economic and crime statistics, everything from projections Venezuela’s economy will shrink 7 percent this year to widespread shortages comparable to those found in war zones like Syria, in a sharp retort to the aggressive rhetoric coming from Caracas in recent days

“Venezuela’s problems are made in Venezuela, they’re not made in Colombia or other parts of the world,” Santos told a forum of former presidents from around the world.

While some 5 million Colombians live in Venezuela, the security offensive has focused on a few towns near the border where Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blames migrant gangs for rampant crime and smuggling that has caused widespread shortages.

The crisis was triggered a week ago when gunmen Maduro claimed were paramilitaries linked to former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe shot and wounded three army officers on an anti-smuggling patrol.

The socialist leader has vowed to keep two normally busy international bridges closed, and possibly extend restrictions to other transit crossings until Colombian authorities help bring order to the porous, 1,400-mile (2,200 kilometer) border. A state of emergency allowing the government to restrict peoples’ movement for up to 60 days has been declared in six cities.

Venezuelan soldiers blocked the river crossing on Wednesday morning, but were helping Colombian residents of a slum that is slated for demolition leave Venezuela via a legal bridge crossing.

A group of about 300 Colombians staged a protest Wednesday in front of Venezuela’s consulate in Bogota.

Maduro has angrily denied the denunciations of mistreatment, saying that Venezuelans are unfairly paying the price for Colombia’s disregard of its poor.

“Santos has the gall today to seek respect for Colombians. Who is treating Colombians with disrespect? Those that expel them from their country, deny them work and housing and don’t provide education?” Maduro said on state TV late Tuesday.

The Colombians who abandoned their cinder block homes Tuesday in a riverside shantytown community known as La Invasion — “the Invasion” — said they were given 72 hours to pack up and leave by Venezuela’s army. Officials say the slum has become a haven for paramilitaries and contraband traffickers.

In recent decades, many Colombians have moved to Venezuela, either fleeing from conflict or seeking better opportunities in an oil rich country that was long the wealthier of the two.

Critics have accused Maduro of trying to distract Venezuelans from soaring inflation and empty supermarket shelves.

Under the state of emergency, constitutional guarantees such as the right to protest, carry weapons or move freely will be restricted for 60 days.

“I’m sorry if this is creating a humanitarian crisis in Cucuta, but we are only responsible for protecting people who are Venezuelan,” National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello said. “Colombia needs to take care of its own problems.”

__

AP writers Fabiola Sanchez contributed from Caracas, Yhoger Contreras from San Antonio del Tachira and Cesar Garcia and Libardo Cardona from Bogota, Colombia

TIME India

Several Dead as Caste-Related Violence Wracks India’s Gujarat State

The armed forces have been called in to restore order

Correction appended, Aug. 27

Violent clashes in the western Indian state of Gujarat left at least six people dead late Wednesday, with the army being sent in to restore order after a protest by one of the state’s most dominant communities spiraled out of control.

Three people died in the state’s largest city Ahmedabad after hundreds of the estimated half a million attendees began throwing stones and set cars, buses and police stations ablaze, a local police official told Agence France-Presse. Two others were reportedly killed when police opened fire in another part of the state, with a sixth victim also falling to police action in a third district.

By Thursday morning, local newspapers reported that the death toll had risen to nine including a police officer.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who hails from Gujarat and previously served as the state’s chief minister for more than a decade, appealed for calm in a televised address. “Violence has never done good for anyone,” he said. “All issues can be resolved peacefully through talks.”

The government also imposed a curfew in parts of the state before calling in the armed forces, the first time this has been done in Gujarat since the communal riots that claimed more than a thousand lives in 2002 when Modi ran the state.

The clashes began late Tuesday following a huge rally by the affluent Patidar community, during which protest leader Hardik Patel, 22, was briefly placed under arrest. The Patidars, or Patels as they are more commonly known, have been agitating since June to be included in India’s caste-based quota system aimed at uplifting India’s former “untouchables” and other traditionally disadvantaged social groups through affirmative action. However, the Patidars are relatively well-to-do as a result of their work in India’s burgeoning diamond trade and other successful businesses.

The state government currently led by another Patidar, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, has ruled out including the community in the Other Backward Classes category, but Hardik Patel has said he will continue his movement until their demands are met.

“This is a fight for our rights,” the young firebrand said in a televised interview on Wednesday. “We will continue our campaign on the roads and the streets.”

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the capital of Gujarat. It is Gandhinagar.

TIME Italy

The Mayor of Venice, Home of the Kitschiest Carnival, Wants to Ban Gay Pride for Being Too Kitsch

Umana Venezia v Armani Jeans Milano - Lega Basket Serie A
Arturo Presotto — Iguana Press/Getty Images Luigi Brugnaro looks over during the Lega Basket Serie A match between Umana Venezia and Armani Jeans Milano at Palaverde in Treviso, Italy, on Dec. 11, 2011

"There will never be a gay pride in my city"

Venice’s newly elected mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, wants to ban gay-pride parades in the Italian city because he thinks they are the “height of kitsch.”

“There will never be a gay pride in my city,” Brugnaro told La Repubblica, an Italian daily newspaper, on Wednesday. “Let them go and do it in Milan, or in front of their own homes.”

Italy, a largely Roman Catholic country, is one of the only Western European countries to deny both civil partnerships and gay marriage to their citizens, Reuters reports. The government is presently having trouble passing legislation to legally recognize same-sex partnerships.

Flavio Romani, the president of Italian gay-rights group Arcigay, told Reuters that his organization has hosted gay-pride parades around the country for years.

“Venice is not [Brugnaro’s] city. At the moment he is governing it, but he won’t last long given the fool he is making of himself,” Romani told Reuters. “Sadly in this country, some politicians listen more to what the bishops tell them rather than what society is saying.”

Brugnaro, elected in mid-June on a center-right platform, pulled 49 books featuring same-sex couples from school libraries in the city earlier this month.

Openly gay pop icon Elton John was quick to respond to Brugnaro’s books move. “Beautiful Venice is indeed sinking, but not as fast as the boorishly bigoted Brugnaro,” John said in a post on his Instagram account.

[Reuters]

TIME Music

Tyler, the Creator Says He’s Banned From Entering the U.K.

Tyler, The Creator performs live on Day Three of the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival on Aug. 2, 2015 in Montreal.
Emma McIntyre—Getty Images Tyler, the Creator performs live on Day Three of the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival on Aug. 2, 2015, in Montreal

He canceled four performances on Monday

Rapper Tyler, the Creator says he’s been banned from entering the U.K. because of lyrics from his 2009 album, Bastard.

The rapper, born Tyler Gregory Okonma, canceled four performances in the country on Monday, cryptically blaming it at the time on “circumstances” that were “beyond my control.”

Okonma has been criticized for the violent, often homophobic nature of his music, with one writer accusing the artist of “rape and murder fantasies graphic enough to send the vomit rising along with the bile.”

Okonma’s manager, Christian Clancy, posted a statement on his Tumblr, saying the British Home Department had sent a letter banning his client for three to five years based on work that “encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality.” Clancy accused the British government of censorship and inconsistency, pointing out that Okonma had visited the country several times over the past few years.

Earlier this summer, Okonma tweeted about being banned from Australia, but it turned out a feminist-advocacy group, Collective Shout, had campaigned to keep him out of the country, and that the rapper and his touring company canceled the Australian stop. Australia’s Immigration Department confirmed at the time that his visa application was being examined but said that no final decision had been made.

On Wednesday, Okonma tweeted his confusion about the situation.

TIME climate change

Sea Levels Are 3 Inches Higher Than They Were in 1992

Stormy ocean water
Getty Images

"It's very likely to get worse in the future."

A panel of NASA scientists said Wednesday that new data shows sea levels are, on average, three inches higher than they were in 1992 due to melting ice from both mountain glaciers and the polar ice caps, as well as warmer oceans.

The data was collected from NASA satellites. NASA also released a video that shows a visualization of rising sea levels.

The changes are concerning and “it’s very likely to get worse in the future,” Steve Nerem, a University of Colorado geophysicist and a member of the panel, said in a conference call, Reuters reported. In 2013, a United Nations panel reported sea levels were projected to rise between 1 and 3 feet by 2100; the NASA panel said data indicates the level rise would be on the higher end of that projection.

The sea level change is an average; in some areas, sea levels rose more than 9 inches, and in others—such as along the West Coast, sea levels are falling.

Scientists warn that we haven’t seen the worst of it yet; ocean currents and weather cycles have actually offset some sea level changes in the Pacific, which means the West Coast could see a huge jump in sea levels in the next 20 years.

The panel warned that forecasting the melting rate of the polar ice caps is nearly impossible. And even if the pattern were to stall and reverse, it would take centuries to return to original pre-climate change levels.

 

TIME weather

Tropical Storm Erika Approaches the Eastern Caribbean

Tropical Storm Erika is pictured in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Venezuela in this NASA handout satellite photo
NASA/Reuters Tropical Storm Erika is pictured in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Venezuela on Aug. 26, 2015

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and the Leeward Islands

(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — Governments ordered schools, airports and even casinos to close and they prepared shelters as Tropical Storm Erika approached the eastern Caribbean on Wednesday.

The storm was located about 245 miles (395 kilometers) east-southeast of Antigua and was moving west at 17 mph (28 kph). Maximum sustained winds increased Wednesday morning to near 45 mph (75 kph), but the storm was not forecast to gain strength over the next two days.

Erika was expected to move just north of Barbuda late Wednesday as it enters the Caribbean, said Philmore Mullin, director of Antigua and Barbuda’s National Office of Disaster Services.

He said the twin-island nation could experience flash flooding given the extremely dry conditions caused by the worst drought to hit the Caribbean in recent years.

“This is a serious storm, and they need to make sure preparations are in place,” he said.

Authorities in the nearby Dutch Caribbean territory of St. Maarten said schools and government offices would be closed on Thursday. They also asked that casinos, restaurants and other businesses close by midnight Wednesday. Officials warned they might temporarily suspend power and water service as the storm approaches.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Erika would move over or near parts of the Leeward Islands on Wednesday night and then near Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Thursday.

All airports in the U.S. Virgin Islands will be closed to incoming flights until Friday, and government offices will be closed as well, said Gov. Kenneth Mapp.

“This is a fast-moving storm, and so we expect conditions to deteriorate rapidly,” he said, warning that authorities would not rescue anyone during tropical storm force winds.

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and the Leeward Islands. Erika was expected to dump between 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 centimeters) of rain, and up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) in some areas.

Antigua-based regional airline LIAT and Puerto Rico-based Seaborne Airlines have canceled more than two dozen flights through Friday because of the storm, and officials in Puerto Rico said they would suspend ferry transportation between the main island and the popular sister islands of Culebra and Vieques starting Thursday.

Meanwhile in the Pacific, Tropical Storm Ignacio gained some strength. The storm’s maximum sustained winds increased to nearly 60 mph (95 kph), and it was expected to strengthen to a hurricane by Thursday.

Ignacio was centered about 1,425 miles (2,290 kilometers) east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, and was moving west at 9 mph (15 kph).

___

Associated Press reporter Judy Fitzpatrick in Philipsburg, St. Maarten contributed to this report.

TIME Middle East

Heartbreaking Photos of Syrian Refugees and Their Newborns

In refugee camps in northeast Jordan, Syrian mothers worry about their children, born in exile

What’s more important: food or medicine? That’s a decision Wadhah Hamada, a 22-year-old Syrian refugee, has been forced to make ever since she gave birth to her first son Ra’fat in Mafraq, northeast Jordan. Hamada’s husband struggles to find work and just one day of diarrhea medicine for their son costs as much as he manages to earn in a whole month.

Hamada’s plight is shared by thousands of other women living in these unofficial refugee camps along the Jordanian-Syrian border, where they endure harsh desert temperatures, sandstorms and crippling poverty, all while trying to care for their newborns.

Jordan currently provides shelter to some 630,000 registered Syrian refugees, out of more than four million who have fled Syria’s civil war since 2011. The vast majority live outside official UNHCR camps, in settlements that Associated Press Chief photographer for the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan Muhammed Muheisen first visited in March. He soon decided he wanted to tell stories of some of the most vulnerable people living there: pregnant women.

The U.N. estimated in March that more than 11,000 Syrian refugees were pregnant. Thousands of babies have been born in these difficult circumstances, to mothers without access to medical care or even running water.

The pregnant women that Muheisen met in these makeshift camps said they could neither afford medical treatment nor the transport necessary to reach a clinic in the nearest city. Many feared looming medical bills that they would never be able to pay. While mobile clinics run by NGOs bring occasional relief, some said it had been a month or two since they had even seen one.

In March, Muheisen photographed 15 Syrian women in Mafraq, all at various stages of pregnancy. “I could not stop thinking about these women,” says Muheisen, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. “It’s not just a project. It’s personal, I feel involved. They opened their doors to me and the least I can do is raise their voices.”

Muheisen decided to return to Mafraq in July, spending days trying to track down the women he had met months earlier. All but three had moved on, so he spent days going from camp to camp trying to find the others. Those he found again were visibly transformed by their experiences of motherhood.

When Muheisen first met Hamada, for instance, he says she was incredibly angry and desperate. “She was carrying the whole world’s pain on her shoulders,” he says. “The next time I saw her, she looked totally defeated. She had lost faith in humanity.”

The photographer says Bushra Eidah, a 16-year-old from Ghouta al-Sharqia, appeared to have aged a decade in the space of a few months. “When it was only me and my husband, it didn’t matter if we went to sleep hungry,” she told him. “Now we have a child and I don’t know how we are going to feed her.”

The hardships they endured and the challenges ahead cannot be underestimated. One woman, however, has managed to draw strength from her experiences. Huda Alsayil, 20, feared the medical complications that might arise from the late delivery of her first son, Mezwid. After that trauma, she said she felt “complete”, as if she had been given a new life. “Holding him feels like the best gift I could be granted.”

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