Blackstone announces changes, Cannes announces lineup and scientists announce findings. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
It’s Mueller time
A redacted version of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 US election found there was no conspiracy between Donald Trump’s campaign and Moscow. Mueller cited several instances where Trump may have possibly attempted to obstruct justice, but neither accused nor cleared Trump of doing so. Following the report’s release, Trump tweeted: “No collusion. No obstruction… Game over”. The opposition Democrats said further congressional investigation was needed. Reported by DW, the Financial Times, Guardian, NPR and New York Times.
Woman killed in Derry after shots fired
Member of Syrian elite family faces graft charges
The uncle of Syria’s president will stand trial in France for allegedly laundering money and other financial crimes, according to the AFP. Some of the transactions were made via Luxembourg vehicles, said the news agency.
Paying for Paris cathedral restoration
Notre Dame de Paris was not insured, pointed out Marketwatch. The cathedral is owned by the French state, not the Catholic church, and the French government self-insures its buildings. The government has been attacked by opposition politicians for suggesting that modern materials could be used in the rebuild, observed the Financial Times. Several businesses have pledged funds for reconstruction, also drawing criticism, noted RFI. Separately, Marketwatch reported that news of the Notre Dame fire helped draw donations to repair three historically black churches, damaged in suspicious fires, in the US state of Louisiana.
Pinterest and Zoom IPOs
The shares of two tech “unicorns” (billion dollar firms) skyrocketed following their IPOs. Pinterest, a social media site, rose 28% to close at $24.40. Zoom, a video conferencing service, was up 72% to end the trading day at $62. Reported by the BBC, Financial Times and Reuters.
Blackstone to change its structure
The investment behemoth Blackstone, which has $512bn in assets under management, said it would switch from a partnership to a corporate structure, to draw in more investors. Reported by CNBC, the Financial Times and Reuters.
Radovan Vitek faces another legal case
A firm owned by a Czech billionaire, who is being sued by a New York hedge fund over Luxembourg property transactions, is being investigated by Swiss prosecutors over several financing deals at a ski resort in the canton of Valais, said Bloomberg. His firm “denies the allegations”.
Friday 19 April and Saturday 20 April: Tourist bureaus host “Explore Luxembourg” on the place d’Armes in Luxembourg City. Monday 22 April: Emaischen fairs in Luxembourg City and in Nospelt. Ousterlaf 2019, a kids, 5km and 10km run in Grevenmacher. Tuesday 23 April: Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson, Northern Trust, Procter & Gamble and State Street release quarterly earnings. Wednesday 24 April: Central banks in Canada, Japan and Sweden hold monetary policy meetings.
Here are 7 science & technology stories you may have missed
Biology: Scientists partially revived the brain activity of dead pigs, contradicting the current medical understanding that brain cells die within minutes of being starved of oxygen, per the Atlantic. Environment: Researchers have detected a three-fold increase in plastic pollution in the Atlantic ocean by analysing devices originally designed to track plankton, reported National Geographic and Nature. Psychology: Researchers reckon that unfaithful men have more “masculine” facial features and can be spotted “just by looking at them.” reported the Guardian. Space: The Israeli outfit whose Beresheet spacecraft crashed while attempting to land on the moon last week, SpaceIL, said it would make a second attempt, per Ars Technica. Social media: Twitter “paused” its user verification programme in November 2017, but has issued more than 10,000 coveted blue check marks since then without providing more insight into its guidelines, according to Mashable. Computer security, part 1: Hackers conceivably gained access to a “limited number” of free Hotmail, MSN and Outlook email accounts after a Microsoft support rep’s security credentials were stolen, reported the Register. Computer security, part 2: Hackers hijacked several countries’ top level domains, including Armenia’s .am, said Wired magazine.
Cannes film festival nominations
Organisers announced the lineup of the 72nd Cannes film festival, which the AFP noted was “highly political” and the Guardian called “intriguing and exciting”. Three Luxembourg co-productions are being screened.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Aaron Grunwald
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