US Audit Agency Can Now Inspect & Investigate Chinese Firms, US Senate Passes $858B In Annual Defense Spending: Today's Top Stories


US Embargo On China Intensifies, Ban Extends To AI Chip Sector

  • The U.S. government added Chinese memory chipmaker Yangtze Memory Technologies Co, Ltd and 21 "major" Chinese players in the artificial intelligence chip sector to a trade blacklist.
  • The U.S. added YMTC to the list over fears of diverting American technology to previously blacklisted Chinese tech giants Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Hikvision.
  • YMTC had been in the U.S. regulatory crosshairs for a long time.

Amazon Taps Streaming Boom Via Games Workshop Deal For Warhammer Films

  • Fantasy war game miniatures maker Games Workshop inked a deal with Amazon.Com Inc AMZN to make films and TV programs based on its characters. The financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed.
  • Games Workshop said Amazon would develop its intellectual property into film and television productions. It will also grant merchandising rights to the U.S. company, beginning with the "Warhammer 40,000" universe.


Wall Street Journal

American Airlines Raised Its Bar To Qualify For Lowest Tier Of Frequent Flyer Program

  • American Airlines Group Inc AAL American's AAdvantage program members will have to earn 40,000 "loyalty points" to reach Gold, its lowest tier of status, up from 30,000 from March. 
  • The Gold level includes free checked bags, early boarding, and free upgrades.
  • AAL became the latest airline to bump up the costs for travelers to qualify for frequent-flier status in its loyalty program in 2023.



Amazon Drew Concerns From Democrat Senators Over Laxity In Warehouse Rebuilding After 2021 Tornado

  • Three U.S. lawmakers challenged Amazon.Com, Inc's AMZN plans for rebuilding an Illinois warehouse that collapsed in a tornado in 2021, killing six workers and provoking an investigation by workplace safety regulators. 
  • The lawmakers said Amazon should construct the warehouse with more robust safety features than before the collapse.
  • Amazon is a tenant in the facility owned by a separate company.

Avaya Holdings Likely To File For Bankruptcy

  • Avaya Holdings Corp AVYA will likely file for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Earlier in the week, Avaya said it is considering restructuring proposals from creditor groups.
  • The technology company has been trying to clear problems around its accounting standards.
  • In August, the company said it was doubtful about continuing its operations. The company did not file a second-quarter earnings report and said it wouldn't submit an annual report due to the investigations into its balance sheets.



Alphabet's Robotics Arm Intrinsic Consolidates Position With Latest Acquisition

  • Alphabet Inc's GOOG GOOGL Intrinsic division acquired several divisions within Open Robotics, famous for robotics software packages Gazebo and Robotic Operating System (ROS).
  • The financial terms of the deal remained undisclosed.
  • Intrinsic bought Open Source Robotics Corporation (OSRC), the for-profit arm of Open Robotics, and Open Source Robotics Corporation Singapore (OSRC-SG), known for efforts on Open-RMF for interoperability between fleets of robots and physical infrastructure.



As Tesla Extends Discounts To Europe, Rival Ford Hikes F-150 Lightning Prices For 3rd Time Since Launch

  • Tesla Inc TSLA and "wannabe" electric vehicle leader Ford Motor Company F are apparently taking diverging routes with respect to vehicle pricing.
  • Tesla's listing of its Model 3 or Model Y inventory vehicles shows a discount of up to 4,000 euros ($4,255) in many European countries, Drive Tesla reported.
  • Meanwhile, Ford announced a third price increase for its F-150 Lightning EV truck. The base trim of the truck, namely the Pro, is now shown at $55,974 on the configurator page. Electrek first spotted this.

US Senate Passes $858B In Annual Defense Spending, Higher Than Proposed By President Biden

  • The U.S. Senate passed legislation authorizing a massive $858 billion annual defense spending, which is $45 billion more than U.S. president Joe Biden proposed. 
  • Senators supported the National Defense Authorization Act setting policy for the Pentagon by an overwhelming 83-11 bipartisan majority. 

US Audit Agency Secures Complete Access to Inspect, Investigate Chinese Firms For The First Time In History

  • The U.S. accounting agency, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), said it has full access to inspect and investigate firms in China for the first time in history.
  • The move removes the overhang of around 200 Chinese companies that could be delisted from the U.S. stock exchanges.

Accenture Clocks 5% Revenue Growth In Q1, Net Bookings Slow Down; Boosts FY23 EPS Outlook

  • Accenture plc ACN reported first-quarter FY23 revenue growth of 5% year-on-year to $15.7 billion, beating the consensus of $15.6 billion.
  • New bookings decreased by 3% Y/Y to $16.2 billion.
  • EPS of $3.08 beat the consensus of $2.91. 
  • The company generated $397 million in free cash flow.

Aker BP, Along With Its Partners, To Invest Around $20.5B In New Oil, Gas Projects In Norway

  • Aker BP ASA DETNF and its partners have submitted ten plans for development & operation and one for installation and operation to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. 
  • The companies will invest more than NOK 200 billion ($20.5 billion) to develop several oil and gas fields off Norway in the coming years.
  • Aker BP, partly owned by BP Plc BP, is the second-largest petroleum producer off Norway after Equinor ASA EQNR.

BT To Merge Global & Enterprise Units In £100M Cost-Cutting Drive

  • BT Group BTGOF will combine its Global and Enterprise units into a single B2B unit to enhance value, strengthen its competitive position, and deliver material synergies.
  • The move will drive annualized cost savings of at least £100 million by the end of FY25 through consolidation and rationalization of management teams, support functions, product portfolios, and systems.

Spanish Energy Company Repsol Bolsters Renewables Business Via Asterion Energies Acquisition

  • Repsol SA REPYY has acquired Asterion Energies from European infrastructure fund Asterion Industrial for €560 million plus up to €20 million in contingent payments.
  • Repsol expects the deal to strengthen its presence in key European markets and consolidates its international expansion in OECD markets. 


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