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Dec 9, 2019

Do You Know How much stocks you should own by your retire?

Here’s how much stock you should own when you retire

2minutes - MarketWatch

You need the right balance to offset the risks you’ll face See full story.
‘End of the world’: This futurist has some grim news for the middle class
“It doesn’t match the ideas of democracy because democracy is based on the middle class,” says Dr. Roey Tzezana, an Israeli “future studies” researcher at Tel Aviv University See full story.
Amazon blames Trump’s ‘improper pressure’ for losing $10 billion Pentagon contract
The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure plan was the $10 billion military computing project that was eventually awarded to Microsoft. See full story.
These are the 20 best-performing stocks of the past decade, and some of them will surprise you
Some lesser-known companies have special advantages in their industries. See full story.
‘It’s NOT fair!’ — after 3 years of marriage, I’ll only inherit 10% of my husband’s $2M estate and the right to live in his home
‘After visiting with his daughter he made a new will with a trust. I also have to pay the expenses, which I probably can’t afford.’ See full story.
‘It seems like lots of people of varying ages seem to believe that they have rights to an inheritance, often by virtue of being a DNA relative and sometimes by virtue of a marriage.’ See full story.

How Does the Sun Exhange Work? Do You Know???

Federal Reserve Bank of New York Repurchase Agreement: Repurchase Agreement Operational Details

In accordance with the most recent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) directive, the Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will conduct a series of overnight and term repurchase agreement operations (repos) at least through January of next year to ensure that the supply of reserves remains ample even during periods of sharp increases in non-reserve liabilities, and to mitigate the risk of money market pressures that could adversely affect policy implementation.
Securities eligible as collateral for both overnight and term operations include Treasury, agency debt, and agency mortgage-backed securities. Primary Dealers will be permitted to submit up to two propositions per security type. The minimum bid rate for term repo operations is based on prevailing market rates that reflect market expectations for the path of the federal funds rate over a similar tenor to that of the repo operation. This is a technical parameter and no inference should be drawn about the Federal Reserve’s views on the current or future stance of monetary policy based on the minimum bid rate.
The operation schedule and parameters are subject to change. The Desk will update the operation schedule and parameters table below daily to reflect the operational details for the following business day’s operations.
Schedule of Overnight and Term Repurchase Agreement Operations
Current Period Summary Next Schedule Release
Friday, 11/15/2019- Thursday, 12/12/2019 The Desk plans to conduct overnight repo operations on each business day as well as a series of term repo operations over the specified period. Thursday, 12/12/2019
Overnight operations dates Aggregate Operation Limit
Friday, 11/15/2019 - Thursday, 12/12/2019 At least $120 billion
Term operation date maturity date term aggregate operation limit
Tuesday, 11/19/2019 Tuesday, 12/3/2019 14-days At least $35 billion
Thursday, 11/21/2019 Thursday, 12/5/2019 14-days At least $35 billion
Monday, 11/25/2019 Monday, 1/6/2020 42-days At least $25 billion
Tuesday, 11/26/2019 Tuesday, 12/10/2019 14-days At least $35 billion
Wednesday, 11/27/2019 Thursday, 12/12/2019 15-days At least $35 billion
Monday, 12/2/2019* Monday, 1/13/2020 42-days At least $25 billion
Tuesday, 12/3/2019 Tuesday, 12/17/2019 14-days At least $35 billion
Thursday, 12/5/2019 Thursday, 12/19/2019 14-days At least $35 billion
Monday, 12/9/2019** Monday, 1/6/2020 28-days At least $25 billion
Tuesday, 12/10/2019 Monday, 12/23/2019 13-days At least $35 billion
Thursday, 12/12/2019 Thursday, 12/26/2019 14-days At least $35 billion

Press Release: Jefferies to Pay Nearly $4 Million for Improper Handling of ADRs

3minutes - Source: SEC

Washington D.C., Dec. 9, 2019 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that broker-dealer Jefferies LLC will pay nearly $4 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).
ADRs are U.S. securities that represent foreign shares of a foreign company, and they require a corresponding number of foreign shares to be held in custody at a depositary bank.  The practice of “pre-release” allows ADRs to be issued without the deposit of foreign shares, provided brokers receiving them have an agreement with a depositary bank and the broker or its customer owns the number of foreign shares that corresponds to the number of shares the ADRs represent.
The SEC’s order finds that Jefferies improperly borrowed pre-released ADRs from other brokers when Jefferies should have known that those brokers did not own the foreign shares needed to support those ADRs.  The order against Jefferies also finds that it failed reasonably to supervise its securities lending desk personnel concerning borrowing pre-released ADRs from these brokers.
This is the SEC’s 14th enforcement action against a bank or broker resulting from its widespread investigation into abusive ADR pre-release practices, which has thus far resulted in monetary settlements exceeding $431 million.
“This line of cases demonstrates the SEC’s commitment to holding financial institutions accountable for engaging in abusive ADR pre-release practices,” said Sanjay Wadhwa, Senior Associate Director for Enforcement in the SEC’s New York Regional Office.  “Today’s action makes clear that market participants like Jefferies may not use other market participants to facilitate inappropriate securities transactions.”
Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Jefferies agreed to disgorge more than $2.2 million in ill-gotten gains and pay over $468,000 in prejudgment interest and a $1.25 million penalty for total monetary relief of nearly $4 million.
The SEC’s continuing investigation is being conducted by Andrew Dean, Elzbieta Wraga, Philip Fortino, Joseph Ceglio, Richard Hong, and Adam Grace of the New York Regional Office.  The case is being supervised by Mr. Wadhwa.

Press Release: The SEC Obtains Touting and Fraud Judgment Against Colorado Cannabis Stock Promoter

2-3 minutes - Source: SEC

Washington D.C., Dec. 9, 2019 —
A Colorado stock promoter and two of his companies agreed to pay $4.2 million to settle the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's charges for fraudulently promoting and trading a cannabis stock. On Dec. 5, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado entered the final judgment.
The SEC's complaint alleged that Jeffrey O. Friedland touted – or promoted – the stock of cannabis company OWC Pharmaceutical Research Corp., while misrepresenting his own investment in OWC and his professional relationship with the company. According to the complaint, Friedland promoted OWC to investors without disclosing his role as a paid promoter or the amount of his compensation. As alleged in the complaint, Friedland held millions of shares of OWC stock through two companies that he controlled, Intiva Pharma LLC and Global Corporate Strategies LLC, with the bulk of the shares received as compensation for promoting OWC to investors, including retail investors.  Additionally, according to the complaint, Friedland secretly sold his OWC shares into the market at the same time that he was touting OWC stock to the public as a long-term investment.
"Retail investors are entitled to the facts about promoters' relationships with the companies they tout under our securities laws," said Associate Director Melissa Hodgman. "The $2 million penalty assessed against Friedland reflects the SEC's strong commitment to protecting investors' right to fair and accurate disclosure."
Without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, Friedland and Global agreed to disgorge nearly $2.1 million plus prejudgment interest, and Intiva agreed to disgorge $20,000. Friedland also agreed to pay a $2 million penalty. All defendants consented to bars prohibiting them from participating in penny stock offerings.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by William Connolly, Michael Grimes, Keith O’Donnell, and Shipra Wells, with supervision from C. Joshua Felker. The litigation was conducted by Christian Schultz, Timothy Halloran, and Mr. Grimes, with supervision from Fred Block.

Press Release: The FTC is Sending Refund Checks to Consumers Allegedly Misled by “Free” Trial Offers for UrthBox Snack Boxes

2-3 minutes - Source: FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 2,221 refund checks totaling over $84,000 to consumers who signed up to receive a supposedly free snack box from UrthBox, Inc., but were charged automatically for six months of shipments because they did not opt out before the end of the month.
From October 2016 to November 2017, UrthBox offered a “free” trial of its snack boxes on its websites for a nominal shipping and handling fee. During that time, however, the company used both desktop and mobile websites that did not adequately disclose key terms of the offer, including that UrthBox would charge consumers the total amount owed for six months of shipments if they did not cancel in time.
In addition, the FTC’s complaint alleged that UrthBox misrepresented that positive consumer reviews on the Better Business Bureau’s and other third-party websites reflected the independent experiences or opinions of impartial consumers, even though the reviewers were offered free snack boxes in exchange for posting positive reviews.
The April 2019 administrative order settling the FTC’s complaint barred the respondents from engaging in similar conduct and required them to pay $100,000 to the Commission to compensate consumers who were charged after signing up for the trial offer.
Analytics, Inc., the refund administrator for this matter, will begin mailing checks today. The average check amount is $37.94, and it must be cashed within 60 days, as indicated on the check. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information to cash refund checks. Consumers who have questions about the mailing should call 1-844-954-1251.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).

US Politics: Impeachment hearings live updates: Judiciary Committee to hear cases for and against Trump’s removal

John Wagner

The House Judiciary Committee is convening Monday morning for a crucial hearing at which lawyers for Democrats and Republicans plan to make cases for and against the impeachment of President Trump based on his conduct toward Ukraine.
Following opening statements by Judiciary Committee lawyers, lawyers for the House Intelligence Committee — Daniel S. Goldman for the Democrats and Stephen R. Castor for the Republicans — will present evidence from its investigation that yielded a report by Democrats alleging that Trump compromised national security by putting his personal political interests above the national interest.
At the heart of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine to combat Russian military aggression, to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
●The dual roles of Rudolph W. Giuliani as power broker and shadow foreign policy adviser alarm Trump’s advisers.

DealBook: Trump Administration Hinders Authority of W.T.O.

12-16 minutes - NYT

Credit...Patrick Semansky/Associated Press
Beijing has ordered all state government offices and public institutions to remove foreign computer equipment and software within three years and switch to domestic vendors. 
The U.S. has spent two years chipping away at the World Trade Organization. This week, the Trump administration is expected to go a step further and effectively cripple the organization’s system for enforcing its rules, reports the NYT’s Ana Swanson.
• Over the past two years, Washington has blocked the W.T.O. from appointing members to a panel that hears appeals in trade disputes.
• Only three members are left on the seven-member body, the minimum needed to hear a case, and two members’ terms expire tomorrow.
Now, with the administration blocking any new replacements, there would be no official resolution for many international trade disputes.
The potential loss of the dispute body comes as Mr. Trump’s trade war on multiple fronts has thrown global commerce into disarray; another tariff increase on Chinese goods set for Dec. 15 could send markets reeling.
“The loss of the world’s primary trade referee could turn the typically deliberate process of resolving international disputes into a free-for-all, paving the way for an outbreak of tit-for-tat tariff wars,” Ms. Swanson writes.
It could also lead to the end of the W.T.O., because the system for settling disputes has long been its most effective part.
More trade news: House Democrats and the White House trade negotiator are approaching a deal for a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. But U.S. businesses could be in danger of losing key benefits in the deal. And an unexpected drop in China’s exports shows why Beijing wants a trade deal.
A case that could determine the future of the wireless industry heads to court today in Manhattan, where a judge will weigh an argument to block the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, Bloomberg reports.
Saying the merger would raise prices for consumers, a coalition of 13 states and the District of Columbia is suing to block it. Federal regulators approved the deal earlier this year.
T-Mobile argues that combining with Sprint would reduce costs, in that way lowering prices for consumers.
It’s unusual for states to try to block a merger of this size and without the support of the federal government, the WSJ reports.
A victory for the wireless carriers could provide other companies with arguments for the benefits of consolidation.
But a win for the coalition could give states newfound antitrust power at a time when they are also investigating tech giants.
Antitrust investigations are coming at tech from all sides: the Justice Department, U.S. trade regulators and state attorneys general. But there’s a potentially bigger threat to the industry’s practices and profits.
Representative David Cicilline, the chairman of the subcommittee that oversees antitrust law, has an ambitious goal, reports Steve Lohr of the NYT. He’s trying to build evidence, and a bipartisan consensus, for changing the laws.
Antitrust had been dormant in Congress for years. But under Mr. Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat, the panel has opened an investigation, held hearings and collected thousands of documents into possible anticompetitive practices by Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.
Antitrust experts say this is the most serious congressional inquiry into potential anticompetitive corporate behavior in decades.
The stagnant incomes of middle-class workers and the growing wealth gap in the U.S. are at least partly related to an increasing concentration of economic power, and in particular, the market clout of the tech giants, Mr. Cicilline has come to believe.
His panel plans to complete its investigation and publish its findings and recommendations early next year. The prospect for legislative action hinges on several unknowns. The most significant include what the subcommittee finds, the 2020 election results and the strength of public support for curbing the tech giants.
More: Big Tech’s microtargeting of consumers is its most powerful tool — even more than the buckets of cash they throw at politicians.
It is no secret that the corporate world has a diversity problem, but when it comes to African-Americans, the situation looks especially grim. A new report shows that methods aimed at increasing racial diversity are either accomplishing too little or are not working at all, writes the NYT’s Lauretta Charlton.
Corporate America needs an intervention if it wants to create a more inclusive workplace, according to the report, “Being Black in Corporate America,” which comes from the Center for Talent Innovation, a nonprofit group focused on workplace diversity. Some highlights of the report:
• Doubts about the effectiveness of corporate diversity and inclusion programs are driving more black professionals to leave and pursue their own businesses instead.
• Black millennials are more likely than older generations to feel they have a responsibility to represent their race.
• Black professionals do not want to be lumped under the “people of color” label because it assumes that all black people experience the workplace the same way.
• Measures that have achieved some success in addressing gender discrimination in the workplace may not yield the same results when it comes to racial discrimination.
For diversity and inclusion programs to be more successful, companies should conduct audits of how black employees are faring and feeling, the report concludes, and then take steps to address “mismatches in perception of racial equality.”
These jobs account for only 3 percent of all U.S. positions, but make up 6 percent of the country’s economic output. And if you don’t live in the right places, you’re unlikely to get hired for one of them.
Researchers call them “innovation” jobs, and they are found in about a dozen industries, including software, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors and data processing. The issue: They’re clustered in just a handful of urban areas along the East and West Coasts, according to a report released today, the NYT’s Eduardo Porter writes.
Boston, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco and Silicon Valley captured nine out of 10 jobs created in these industries from 2005 to 2017, according to the report, which was produced by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a research group that receives funding from tech and telecom companies.
About 45 percent of the work force in these industries has degrees in science, tech, engineering or math, and employers invest at least $20,000 per worker in research and development.
Those five metropolitan regions had accumulated almost a quarter of such jobs by 2017, up from less than 18 percent a dozen years earlier. On the other end, about half of the country’s 382 metro areas — including big cities like Chicago and Philadelphia — lost such jobs.
The concentration of American prosperity, along with its deepening of inequality, does not appear to be slowing down. The search for ideas that could improve the economic conditions of deprived areas, long derided by economists as a fool’s errand, is now at the top of policymakers’ lists.
PG&E reached a multibillion-dollar settlement on Friday with victims of wildfires that killed dozens of people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes and businesses in California, report the NYT’s Ivan Penn, Lauren Hepler and Peter Eavis.
The $13.5 billion agreement will help victims rebuild their homes and lives. Some of the money will go toward paying the claims of some government agencies and lawyers’ fees.
The accord is a big step forward for PG&E: It will significantly increase the likelihood that the utility will emerge from bankruptcy before a crucial deadline in June.
But PG&E’s collapse has exposed the failure of a state regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission, to hold the utility accountable on safety, reports the WSJ.
• “The agency tasked with regulating utility safety is struggling to refocus on the issue while also grappling with its failure to prevent the state’s second electricity crisis in two decades,” the WSJ writes.
Detractors blame the regulator’s missteps on political mandates from Sacramento, insufficient financial and personnel resources, and an internal culture that left safety oversight to the utilities.
Sanna Marin, formerly Finland’s minister of transport and communications, will be the country’s youngest-ever prime minister.
• Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket chain, is considering the sale of its operations in Thailand and Malaysia as it refocuses on its domestic business. (Bloomberg)
• Amazon is facing an antitrust decision in the U.K. on its plan to take a stake in the food-delivery service Deliveroo. (Bloomberg)
• The buyout firm Leonard Green brought in $2.75 billion for its debut middle-market focused fund and $12 billion is for its newest flagship buyout fund. (WSJ)
• Proteus Digital Health was once worth $1.5 billion. Now it is racing to keep the lights on as investors flee. (CNBC)
• Plans by the Hudson’s Bay chairman, Richard Baker, to take the Canadian retailer private were dealt a setback as a prominent shareholder advisory firm came out against the deal. (Bloomberg)
• GateHouse, which recently completed its acquisition of Gannett, has pledged significant cost cuts, but said it was aiming to shield reporting jobs as much as possible. (WP)
Politics & Policy
• Senator Elizabeth Warren disclosed a list of compensation she received during her 30 years of moonlighting as a legal consultant — about $1.9 million in all. (NYT)
• Congress is close to a deal that would help patients by eliminating surprise medical bills and resolving billing disputes between doctors and insurance companies. (NYT)
• Democrats leveraged Trump’s fixation on Space Force to pursue a parental-leave victory for federal workers. (WaPo)
Trump impeachment inquiry
• Rudy Giuliani has escorted President Trump to the brink of impeachment and is himself now under criminal investigation. (NYT)
• Mr. Trump is refusing to engage in the impeachment process, and Democrats have concluded that they will press ahead anyway, rendering a historic undertaking little more than a foregone conclusion. (NYT)
• The president’s private business interests are back in two appeals courts this week in emoluments cases. (WaPo)
• Members of the Washington establishment are pleading for help in covering the legal bills of government witnesses, like Foreign Service officers, involved in the impeachment inquiry. (WaPo)
• Internet influencers are taking on conventional advertising in China, hawking their wares on live streams, an e-commerce trend that mirrors a similar phenomenon in the U.S. (WSJ)
• Why Apple scrapped the release of its Oscar contender, “The Banker.” (NYT)
• Despite a ban on the import of foreign e-waste, the industry is thriving in Southeast Asia, frightening residents worried for their health. (NYT)
• An Apple engineer charged with stealing trade secrets for a Chinese start-up had a classified file from the Patriot missile program that belonged to his former employer, Raytheon, prosecutors said. (Bloomberg)
• Amazon plans to expand its work force in New York, leading to gloating from many progressive politicians who opposed earlier sweeteners offered to lure the company to the city. (NYT)
Best of the Rest
• Donald Marron, the financier who had a 70-year Wall Street career and led Paine Webber until the retail brokerage firm was sold to UBS in 2000, has died at age 85. (Bloomberg)
• Some of the E.U.’s largest businesses are backing a plan to make the bloc climate-neutral. And many nations known as exotic holiday destinations are increasingly blaming climate change for more violent storms, and they want richer nations to pay for the damage. (Bloomberg)
• The American trucking giant Celadon is expected to file for bankruptcy this week, a move that could leave drivers jobless. (Business Insider)
• As Disney tries to expand the Star Wars franchise, it is learning how to bring aboard a new generation of moviegoers while avoiding turning off the die-hard fans. (WSJ)
• Companies that make or use plastic are betting on a technology known as chemical recycling in the push to cut waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (WSJ)
• Individual investors are fleeing stock funds at the fastest pace in decades. (WSJ)
• Some investors are hoarding cash to ensure they have enough available to lend if rates surge again at the end of the year. (WSJ)
• Goldman Sachs will offer digital wealth management services to people with as little as $5,000. (FT)

Analysis | The Cybersecurity 202: Russia's efforts to target U.K. elections a stark warning for 2020

By Joseph Marks

PowerPost Analysis
Analysis Interpretation of the news based on evidence, including data, as well as anticipating how events might unfold based on past events

British Union Jack flag and European Union flag are seen at the courtyard of the Prime Minister's Office (REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo)

An alleged Russian influence campaign to undermine this week's British elections shows how tough it will be to keep foreign influence out of the 2020 U.S. contest.
Russian-backed accounts on Reddit actively worked to boost the trove of documents appearing to detail key U.S.-U.K. trade negotiations that have been gaining traction over the internet for months, the social sharing site revealed Saturday. It’s not clear whether the documents were leaked or hacked, but Britain’s opposition Labour Party, has been using the seemingly genuine documents to slam the ruling conservative party for considering giving U.S. companies far more influence over Britain's popular state-run National Health Service as part of a post-Brexit trade deal.
It's yet another example of Russia's powerful digital army allegedly seeking to influence the outcome of a Western election -- and it offers a stark reminder of how influence operations can be highly effective even before they’re identified. This dramatically undermines government and industry efforts to blunt their power or hold off their spread.
The British elections are on Thursday. “Reddit did what they were supposed to do here [by investigating and exposing the Russian activity], but it didn’t change the outcome,” Clint Watts, a distinguished research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who tracks Russian influence operations, told me. “Even if we do everything we’re supposed to do, they can still achieve their objectives.”
The case also offers a warning to 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, who have have all pledged not to campaign using hacked materials, about how tough it could be to honor that pledge — especially if the dirt appears to be genuine rather than doctored and is already being widely discussed by media.
“Even if a political party or a candidate shows reticence in using stolen information, if it gets widely disseminated through the media it’s going to be enormously challenging to stay on the sidelines,” Simon Rosenberg, a top Democratic strategist who has advocated for politicians to forswear using hacked information, told me.
In the U.K case, there’s no indication Labour politicians or their leader Jeremy Corbyn knew the documents might be part of a Russian influence campaign when they first touted them to journalists in late November — but they’ve refused to say how they got ahold of the documents or to grapple with Russia’s role.
Corbyn called those concerns “nonsense” over the weekend, and a Labour representative said releasing the documents was “clearly in the public interest.” Britain's National Cyber Security Centre, part its GCHQ intelligence agency, is looking into the alleged Russia campaign, officials have said.
There are signs the U.S. political system will be highly vulnerable if and when another Russian influence operation hits.
President Trump’s Republican allies have continued to claim without evidence that Ukraine made a concerted effort to interfere in the 2016 election — despite warnings from national security officials that those claims are being pushed by the Kremlin to muddy the waters on Russia’s own 2016 interference operations.
Most recently, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) argued that Ukraine “blatantly interfered in our election” on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
And the president himself — who’s facing impeachment for allegedly urging Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 contest — has wavered on whether Russia was actually responsible for 2016 election interference and said he might welcome dirt provided by a foreign nation on a political opponent.
And some Democratic presidential hopefuls have left the door open to campaigning with material that was originally hacked by an adversary but has been vetted by the media.
“If something has been reported in the mainstream press and verified, we reserve the right to reference it,” a spokeswoman for author Marianne Williamson, who remains in the race but hasn’t won enough support to appear in recent debates, told The Post in April.
All told, politicians are not exactly serving as a deterrent right now to would-be adversaries, experts say. “The manipulation efforts by Russia have worked, and one should presume they’ll increase in volume and intensity in the coming years, but there’s been very little reflection in the U.S. about any of this and we really haven’t come far from where we were in 2016,” Rosenberg told me. “It’s a reality of the Moscow rules era of politics we’re living in that the old rules don’t apply anymore.”
You are reading The Cybersecurity 202, our must-read newsletter on cybersecurity policy news.
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President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
PINGED: Trump is denying a report that he left sensitive conversations vulnerable to foreign surveillance by using a personal cellphone, tweeting on Friday that he hasn't had a personal cell phone "for years.” His rebuttal comes after a CNN report Friday evening cited multiple officials saying the president still routinely uses his personal device.
Fake News @CNN is reporting that I am “still using personal cell phone for calls despite repeated security warnings.” This is totally false information and reporting. I haven’t had a personal cell phone for years. Only use government approved and issued phones. Retract!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2019
The Post also reported last week that Trump continues to use his personal device despite warnings from security officials and has given the number to foreign leaders.
Phone records released by the House Intelligence Committee also suggest Trump may have used unencrypted phone lines to discuss a White House pressure campaign on Ukraine, which makes it highly likely Russian intelligence agencies were listening in on the calls that are at the center of a House impeachment effort.

A Huawei sign. (Reuters)
PATCHED: The nation's top energy regulator should move to aggressively block possible spying and sabotage dangers posed by solar components from the Chinese company Huawei, a bipartisan group of senators wrote in a letter Friday. 
The concern centers on Huawei's solar inverters, which manage and convert solar energy into electricity. The U.S. government has taken numerous actions to bar Huawei from the nation's telecommunications infrastructure, citing national security concerns, but has paid less attention to the company's solar energy business.
“Huawei-produced inverters connected to the U.S. energy grid could leave it vulnerable to foreign surveillance and interference, and could potentially give Beijing access to meddle with portions of America’s electricity supply,” a group of 10 senators including China hawks Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) wrote to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee.

Twitter logo. (Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images)

PWNED: A Saudi dissident claims that Twitter is trying to stall a lawsuit he brought against the company for failing to alert him that one of its employees hacked into his account, Peter Blumberg at Bloomberg News reports. The Justice Department indicted that same Twitter employee last month for allegedly hacking the accounts of the activist Omar Abdulaziz and about 6,000 other users.
The employee passed Abdulaziz’s information to Saudi operatives, who used it to target him, according to the lawsuit.
Abdulaziz is also suing the consulting firm McKinsey for allegedly preparing a report that identified him to Saudi Arabia’s royal family as a top activist protesting human rights abuses.
Twitter and McKinsey told the court they need to delay the evidence-gathering process until they have a chance to argue the case should be dismissed. Abdulaziz’s attorneys, however, say that would take several months and that the court should expedite the process.
The Twitter hack was just one incident in a series of “targeted harassment,” Abdulaziz says. His phone was also allegedly hacked using spyware from the Israeli firm NSO Group.


— Cybersecurity news from the public sector:

The report is expected to conclude that bias did not taint bureau leaders running the probe but detail other problems.
Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett

Two top government officials with broad cybersecurity and election-integrity portfolios have said they are stepping down, a loss of expertise in a critical area less than a year before the 2020 presidential election.
The Wall Street Journal

Department of Homeland Security officials have selected Bryan S. Ware, a tech-savvy entrepreneur and holder of multiple patents, to be the department’s most senior official focused exclusively on cybersecurity, according to multiple people familiar with the matter

A partisan clash is unfolding over an effort to upgrade voting systems in Pennsylvania, after Republicans accused the Democratic governor of rushing the deployment of new voting machines, some of which malfunctioned in November. Democrats called the claims inaccurate.
Wall Street Journal

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) on Friday pressed Google executives for answers on how the company is collecting and protecting sensitive consumer health data as part of a special project with a health care group.
The Hill


— Cybersecurity news from the private sector:

Hacks linked to Ocean Lotus (APT32), a group believed to operate with orders from the Vietnamese government.

Cybersecurity insiders claim NDAs are being used by big businesses to flaunt data laws. Lawyers defending victims of the BA breach call for changes.
Business Insider


— Cybersecurity news from abroad:

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Friday that new U.S. sanctions against Russian individuals and firms over alleged cyber crimes were a “propaganda attack” and Moscow would respond to them, though it did not say how.

The directive is the first publicly-known instruction with specific targets given to Chinese buyers to switch to domestic technology vendors, and echoes efforts by Washington to curb the use of Chinese technology in the US and its allies.

Europe Politics: UK set for Brexit election with Boris Johnson hoping to retain power

Holly Ellyatt

GP: Jeremy Corbyn And Boris Johnson Take Part In ITV Leaders Debate 191120 EU
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn shake hands during the ITV Leaders Debate on November 19, 2019 in Salford, England.
Jonathan Hordle | Getty Images News | Getty Images
The countdown to the U.K. election has entered its final days with Britons waiting to find out who will control the country’s departure from the European Union — an event that will have profound changes on Britain for decades to come.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains the favorite to win on Thursday, although his lead has narrowed in opinion polls in recent weeks.
Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Johnson said he was nervous about the narrowing polls and said he and his Conservative Party were “fighting for every vote.” The Conservatives’ lead differs between polls but numbers over the last week have given the party a lead of between nine and 15 points ahead of its rival Labour.
The “Britain Elects” poll tracker, run by the New Statesman magazine, gives the Conservatives 42.9% of the vote with the opposition Labour party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, on 33%.
The Liberal Democrats, a staunchly anti-Brexit party, are seen with 12.6% of the vote. The Brexit Party and Green Party are seen with around 3% of the vote each.
There is wariness over the accuracy of opinion polls after they did not predict the outcome of the Brexit referendum in June 2016, nor the outcome of the snap election of 2017 in which then-Prime Minister Theresa May lost her majority in Parliament.
Johnson is also looking to regain his majority in the 650-seat Parliament this election in order to see through his Brexit deal. His predecessor May fell on her sword and gave up the party leadership when her Brexit deal was rejected by Parliament three times.
Johnson’s Brexit deal is currently in limbo and has not been fully ratified by U.K. lawmakers. The EU granted the country yet another extension to the Brexit departure date, to January 31, 2020.
The U.K. departure has dominated the political campaigning of all parties, with Labour insisting that a Brexit deal would be put back to the people for a final vote. Meanwhile, Johnson told Sky News on Sunday that he would deliver a “transformative” Brexit.
When it comes to economic pledges, the Conservatives and Labour are offering radically different plans for the U.K.’s economy, the fifth largest in the world.
Labour wants to nationalize swathes of the utility and transport sector and to increase taxes for corporations while the Tories have promised not to raise income tax, value-added tax (VAT) or national insurance contributions (which entitle workers to certain state benefits).
Both parties have pledged that they will increase spending for the National Health Service (NHS) which has become a battleground between the parties.
Labour alleged that the Conservative Party will “sell off” the NHS to U.S. corporations as part of a post-Brexit trade deal. The Conservatives deny this and so does President Donald Trump, who said last week during his visit to London for the NATO summit that he wouldn’t want the NHS even if “it was offered on a silver platter.”
Paul Jackson, global head of asset allocation and research at Invesco ETFs, told CNBC Monday that a Johnson win could be a mixed blessing for markets.
“We think, based on everything we’re seeing, that the Conservatives will win a majority, perhaps not as big as we originally thought … Brexit gets done — which the markets are first thinking ‘phew, that’s out of the way,’ but secondly, Boris Johnson is not Jeremy Corbyn, so they think that’s good news,” he told CNBC’s “Capital Connection.”
“But the bad news is that then the process of getting a future trade deal with the European Union starts and the way that Boris Johnson has set this up, we could still have a no-deal outcome, and I think the markets will start to worry about that during the course of next year so I suspect sterling will come down again.”
Sterling rose to a more than two-year high against the euro following the latest opinion poll showing the Conservative Party with a 14-point lead over Labour in the final week before the election. The pound is currently trading at 1.3172 against the dollar.

Market Insider | Biggest Moves Premarket: Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: ArQule, Merck, Canopy Growth, Macy's, 3M & more

Peter Schacknow

Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:

ArQule (ARQL) – The cancer drug maker agreed to be acquired by Merck (MRK) for $20 a share, or about $2.7 billion. That’s more than double ArQule’s Friday closing price of $9.66 per share.
Canopy Growth (CGC) – The cannabis producer named Constellation Brands (STZ) Chief Financial Officer David Klein as its new CEO, effective Jan. 14, 2020. Constellation owns 38% of Canopy Growth, and Klein is already Canopy’s board chairman. Current CEO Mark Zekulin will step down and will resign from the board of directors on Dec. 20.
Macy’s (M) – Goldman Sachs downgraded the retailer’s stock to “sell” from “neutral,” predicting “significant additional downside” to Macy’s retail operations.
Snythorx (THOR) – Synthorx will be bought by French drugmaker Sanofi (SNY) for $2.5 billion in cash. The deal for the California-based biotech firm is worth $68 per share, compared to Friday’s close of $25.03.
Qorvo (QRVO), Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) – Both makers of radio frequency chips received a double upgrade from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, to “buy” from “underperform.” The upgrades were based on an anticipated surge in demand for chips due to the growth of 5G technology.
3M (MMM) – Citi downgraded 3M to “neutral” from “buy,” pointing to litigation risks related to the group of chemicals known as PFAS.
Truist Financial (TFC) – The merger of equals between BB&T and SunTrust has been completed, with the combined bank renamed Truist Financial and the shares trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “TFC.”
Spark Therapeutics (ONCE) – Swiss drugmaker Roche has extended its takeover offer for the U.S. biotech firm to Dec. 16. Both U.S. and U.K. officials are still in the process of reviewing the $114.50 per share bid.
Skechers (SKX) – The shoe company should see earnings growth on pace with Nike (NKE), according to an article in Barron’s. The paper points out that despite Skechers shares rising more than 75% this year, it still trades at just 16 times earnings compared to 30 for Nike.
Capital One (COF) – The bank’s shares are priced at a 25% discount to large diversified banks, with a Barron’s article saying the shares have a chance to climb significantly.
Walt Disney (DIS) – Disney’s “Frozen 2” topped the weekend box office for a third straight weekend, taking in $34.7 million in North American ticket sales.
Ericsson (ERIC) – The Swedish telecom company will pay more than $1 billion to resolve U.S. corruption probes, according to the Justice Department. Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm said some executives in certain markets acted in bad faith, calling the actions completely unacceptable.
PG&E (PCG) – PG&E reached a $13.5 billion settlement with wildfire victims, helping the utility move closer to emerging from bankruptcy. State investigators determined earlier this year that PG&E equipment helped spark several wildfires over the past few years.
Adobe (ADBE) – Adobe is buying 3D virtual reality software Oculus Medium from Facebook (FB) for an undisclosed amount, according to technology website TechCrunch.