Briefing: Apple shares lower after new phone announcement, NZ investigates Chinese politician, Flynn under fire

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  • The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, stated that there will be a “cost” if Kurds in Northern Iraq got ahead with a  plebiscite for independence, fearing that a move for a Kurdish state could embolden separatist forces in Southeastern Turkey.
  • Facebook rolled out new standards for advertising content in a move to stymie the dissemination of fake news and hate-speech that critics see as prevalent on the world’s largest social network site.
  • Following-up threats made months ago, China has cracked down on the booming cryptocurrency market which includes Bitcoin, by banning Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). ICOs have become a popular alternative to raise venture capital, the Chinese government was concerned that the craze behind virtual currency would bring economic instability if not properly regulated. 
  • In the latest stream in the drip drip of bad news about Russia for the Trump Administration, two Democratic lawmakers said they were opening an investigation into the role of disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn in promoting a joint U.S.-Russia project for nuclear reactors in the Middle East.
  • North Korea accused the United Nations of trying to “suffocate” Pyongyang with its latest sanctions in response to nuclear tests and missile trials, while President Donald J. Trump said the sanctions — the toughest ever imposed on North Korea — were “nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen.”
    In an extraordinary piece of reporting from Pyongyang, the noted Washington correspondent of The New Yorker, Evan Osnos, describes the gap in understanding and communications between North Korea and the United States which makes confrontation and accidental conflict much more likely.


  • Shares in Apple Inc. dipped as markets absorbed a longer-than-expected delay in getting its much-hyped iPhone X (pronounced “10”) to market. Apple stock opened about 1 per cent lower in Europe on Monday after the launch at its new headquarters in Silicon Valley. The Financial Times report on the event noted the company was testing the loyalty and patience of customers with a $999 price point and delivery forecast for November. Apple chief executive Tim Cook, speaking in an auditorium named for founder Steve Jobs, said the X was “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone”.
    – Usually low-hype Silicon Valley technology and media site described the features of the new phone and its importance in the handset market.
    – Apple also announced upgrades to its TV box, its Watch, and a new iPhone 8 incrementally improved handset. Again, Recode offers an assessment slightly less breathless than most.
    – Samsung earlier noted strong sales for its new Note with with the Galaxy 8 incorporates comparable features to the new iPhone but is already in the market.
    What do you think of the new iPhone and its impact? Go to TALK at the top right of the page.

    Apple’s Phil Schiller unveils the iPhone X – Credit: Apple Inc press office
  • New Zealand seldom breaks into the world political and espionage agenda but the Financial Times and local news site Newsroom broke a story on a leading Chinese-born figure in the governing National Party, saying he was under investigation by the national security service for his links to Chinese intelligence. The Newsroom link is free to users, the FT link may be behind a paywall. With the country in the middle of an election campaign and Chinese investment and influence a big issue, the story has rocked politics there.

What we’re reading and watching

  • Speculation behind Aung Suu Kyi’s true feelings of the military campaign against the Rohingya, and pressure to speak out, are well-articulated in this piece in the Guardian, reported by Poppy Mcpherson, a journalist with connections to national officials in Myanmar.
  • A “wasted generation” is the Washington Post‘s investigation on the lives of young Palestinian people in Gaza. Reading it gives a sense of the gloom and lack of faith in any meaningful future.


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