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Global Affairs

Breakfast Briefing: Plot to Kill May, Google Fights Amazon and Putin’s Re-Election Dream

 4 min read / 

Putin’s Re-Election Ambition

The Russian president said he would run for another six-year term.

Editor’s Remarks: Vladimir Putin has essentially run Russia since 2000, meaning that another term would make him Russia’s longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin. The president made the announcement yesterday while speaking at a televised meeting with workers in Nizhy Novgorod, where he was celebrating the 85th anniversary of the Gorky Automobile Plant. The Russian election is due to take place in March 2018 and given the lack any credible challengers, Putin is widely expected to win an easy victory. In fact, his main opponent, Alexei Navalny, is barred from running because he has been convicted of embezzlement.

YouTube Blocked on Amazon

Google, YouTube’s owner, pulled the service from Amazon devices over ongoing quarrels.

Editor’s Remarks: Citing Amazon’s failure to enable Google products to stream Amazon Prime Video, YouTube’s parent company has now blocked YouTube access on the Echo Show, Amazon’s touchscreen smart speaker, and will pull YouTube from Amazon’s Fire TV in the new year. The move is a response to YouTube apps on Amazon products not being made by Google – unlike Apple’s YouTube app, for example – and Amazon’s decision not to sell certain Google products, like Chromecast and Google Home. This episode is but the latest in the ever-increasing competition between Apple, Google and Amazon for the home products market.

Go-Jek Hints at IPO

The Indonesian ride-hailing app has tabled plans for an IPO.

Editor’s Remarks: Go-Jek is the latest in a string of south-east Asian startups looking to go public, following the likes of Razer and Tencent Music. The company, often labelled Indonesia’s Uber, is the nation’s first billion-dollar tech startup and is backed by heavyweights such as KKR and Warburg Pincus. Before the potential IPO, the company’s CEO Nadiem Makarim said that it will be focusing on rolling out the expansion of its digital payment service, Go-Pay, throughout 2018. While the payment service is currently used for Go-Jek’s ride and delivery services, Makarim is hoping to expand its use to enable consumers to purchase goods and services that lie outside of Go-Jek’s immediate offerings.

Islamists Plot to Kill UK PM

Two Muslim men appeared in court yesterday charged with terror offences.

Editor’s Remarks: Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, and Mohammed Aqib Imran, 21, were arrested late last month by the UK’s counter-terrorism forces. The two have been charged with plotting to detonate a bomb on Downing Street before executing a knife attack to kill Theresa May. The details were released not long after an official independent review found that this summer’s bombing in Manchester could have been prevented had intelligence been better analysed. So far, however, public response to the revelation has been muted with many public figures and the public at large praising the security forces for their efforts in spite of apparent shortcomings.

Apple’s Potential $47bn Tax Cut

Should the Republicans push through their proposed tax bill, Apple could be the biggest beneficiary.

Editor’s Remarks: The Republicans’ tax bill aims to repatriate much of the money that corporations such as Apple choose to stash abroad rather than in the US, where they would be subjected to paying a hefty – and uncompetitive – 35% corporate tax rate. The new tax bill intends to tax such funds at a rate of no higher than 14.5%, irrespective of whether or not it is brought back to US shores. This would enormously incentivise companies such as Apple, which has $252bn in foreign cash and investments, by shaving off $47bn from the amount of tax it would pay if it repatriated its overseas cash under the present regime.

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