Nobels’ outlier, the economics prize, to be announced Monday

STOCKHOLM — The award that concludes this year’s series of Nobel prizes came about seven decades after the others.

When Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel established the prizes in his will, economics wasn’t one of the undertakings he wanted honored. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was established by Sweden’s central bank and first given out in 1969.

Whether economics is a genuine science in the sense of the Nobels awarded for accomplishments in medicine, chemistry and physics can be debated; the award often goes to work that has a high level of abstraction.

Last year’s win by American Richard Thaler was unusually accessible to the layman — his work studied the human irrationality that can mess with economic theory.

The 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize will be announced Monday.

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Mega Millions, Powerball top $700 million combined; Ohio Lottery results

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The weekend’s lottery drawings brought no overall winners, so the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots now total more than $700 million combined.

Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot is $470 million, while the Powerball prize for Wednesday’s drawing is $282 million.

Friday’s Mega Millions numbers are 27-28-32-41-69 Mega Ball 12 Megaplier 2x. Saturday’s Powerball numbers are 1-22-27-53-67 Powerball 15 Power Play 3x.

Saturday’s Classic Lotto numbers are 6-12-15-31-42-46 Kicker 967275. Monday’s jackpot is $4.9 million.

Sunday’s winning Ohio Lottery numbers are:

Pick 3 evening: 128 (midday, 575)

Pick 4 evening: 1402 (midday, 8455)

Pick 5 evening: 58480 (midday, 04630)

Rolling Cash 5: 4-5-14-19-23

Pick 3 winners receive $500 for a $1 straight bet and the odds of winning are 1-in-1,000. Pick 4 winners receive $5,000 for a $1 straight bet and the odds of winning are 1-in-10,000.

The Rolling Cash 5 jackpot for the next drawing is $120,000 for hitting all five numbers and the odds of winning are 1-in-575,757.

Drawings for Pick 3, Pick 4 and Pick 5 are twice daily, at 12:29 p.m. and 7:29 p.m. The drawing for the Rolling Cash 5 is each night at 7:35 p.m.

Classic Lotto draws at 7:05 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The odds of winning the jackpot with a $1 ticket are 1-in-13,983,816.

Lucky for Life draws at 10:35 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. The odds of winning the jackpot with a $2 ticket are 1 in 30,821,472.

Mega Millions draws on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m. The odds of winning the jackpot with a $2 ticket are 1-in-302,575,350.

Powerball draws on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. The odds of winning the jackpot with a $2 ticket are 1 in 292,201,338.

The official Ohio Lottery site offers more information on instant tickets, raffles and other lottery games.

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Aavas Financiers falls 13.5 percent on market debut after $235 million IPO

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Shares of Aavas Financiers Ltd dropped as much as 13.5 percent in early trade on their market debut after the mortgage lender raised 17.34 billion rupees ($235 million) from its initial public offering in late September.

A man counts Indian currency notes inside a shop in Mumbai, August 13, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/Files

The stock was trading at 722.00 rupees, down 12.06 percent, at 0434 GMT.

The IPO was subscribed 0.9 times at close amid fears of non-banking financial companies facing a credit crunch.

The company provides housing loan to customers belonging to low- and middle-income segment in semi-urban and rural areas.

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China says it’s not afraid of trade war with the US — its actions show Beijing is nervous

PBOC’s latest move came at the end of a week-long national day holiday in China. When Chinese markets were closed last week, Hong Kong stocks fell for four consecutive days as investors grew increasingly concerned that the impact of the trade war is starting to show. Experts had expected the sell-off to spill over to the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets when they re-open on Monday.

But the RRR cut did little to calm nerves when stock markets in Greater China stumbled at the start of the week’s trading. Stocks in Shanghai and Shenzhen were down almost 3 percent on Monday morning, while Hong Kong was down close to 1 percent.

“China is a bit nervous. There is so much headwinds towards it now and I think it’s right to prepare for the worst and expect the best,” Gareth Nicholson, head of fixed income at Bank of Singapore, told CNBC’s “The Rundown” on Monday.

But Nicholson noted that if the trade situation deteriorates further, China will have a number of levers to save its economy because President Xi Jinping has “political capital.”

“I mean President Xi, if you think about it, he doesn’t have to worry about another election in six months, 12 months, 18 months. He has that kind of stability that if he needs to turn the taps back on, he doesn’t need to worry about saying ‘this pushes the budget out too much, too much debt,'” Nicholson added.

“He can worry about the debt problems three, four, five years down the line,” Nicholson said.

— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.

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These Parents Are Angry That American Airlines Wouldn’t Let Their 5-Year-Old Boy with Autism Board a Flight

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

The disappointment was crushing. Especially after the preparation. 

Adam and Heather Halkuff have five children, two of whom have autism. 

They wanted to take the whole family on a trip to Kansas City. So the Texas family did all they could to make it happen.

As NBC 5 reports, they called American Airlines in advance. The airline has a program that helps kids, including those with autism, become familiar with all the trials and quirks of flying. 

Five-year-old Milo and two-year-old Ollie took part, on September 24, more than a week before their flight. 

Yet on the day of the flight, Milo became distressed — many call it a meltdown — during the boarding process at Dallas/Fort Worth airport.

A meltdown might involve screaming, crying and other expressions of feeling overwhelmed.

The Halkuffs say other passengers were kind, but an American Airlines gate agent was less so.

“Right away she goes, ‘He can’t get on the flight … he’s going to bother the other passengers and then he’ll still be upset during the flight and we’ll have to turn around and escort you off the plane,” Heather Halkuff told NBC.

Some might observe that they’ve seen all sorts of kids get on planes and express upset.

Sometimes, they calm down quickly. Surely everyone has at least once been on a flight when a child didn’t quieten at all. 

At times, ground crew and Flight Attendants can be sympathetic. At other times, not so much.

The Halkuffs depiction of this particular gate agent suggests that she was of the latter variety.

Worse, Heather Halkuff says that the whole family weren’t allowed to board. Even though Adam Halkuff offered to take Milo home, so that at least Heather and the other children could still take the trip.

I contacted American for its view and a spokesperson told me:  

We are concerned to hear about this situation. Our team has reached out to the Halkuff family to gather more information about what transpired at Dallas/Fort Worth. The American Airlines team is committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for all of our customers.

Clearly, the fact that American provides a service to help children — including those with autism — get used to flying means that the airline isn’t insensitive to the potential issues.

Moreover, we have no idea of the level of distress Milo might have undergone.

Yet again, though, we’re in a customer service situation when individuals are involved and initial reactions matter.

If the Halkuffs’ story is accurate, then some might conjecture the gate agent reacted too quickly. 

There could, perhaps, have been an alternative solution. Could anyone really know if Milo might have calmed down, once on the plane?

Not allowing any of the family to fly, however, seems to be the sort of draconian decision still too often taken by airline staff. 

I recently wrote about a dad who says he called American to explain that his three-year-old had a burst appendix and please could the airline rebook their trip.

American, he says, insisted on still charging $200 change fees for both of them. Before, says dad, the decision gained some Twitter traction.

Then the airline made a “one time exception.”

When it comes to boarding passengers, airline employees are graded severely on so-called D0.

This is the measure of whether a plane departs at the very minute and second it’s supposed to.

It could be that thoughts of this may have played upon this particular gate agent’s mind.

Yet as long as customers still see airlines as being in the customer service business — perhaps erroneously — such stories are likely to reach the media and become examples of airline insensitivity.

Airlines employ enormous numbers of people and are therefore at the mercy of each of their employees’ behavior.

The Halkuffs hope that what happened doesn’t cause Milo’s older brothers to resent him.

Perhaps there’s some way that American might provide another attempt for Milo to fly with his family.

Indeed, American told me:

A few members of the American team have been in touch with the family, and yes, we are hopeful they will reschedule and try once again.

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Uber Driver’s Death Marks Seventh For-Hire Driver Suicide Within a Year

About two dozen people gathered outside a Washington Heights subway station on Sunday afternoon to remember an Uber driver who became the seventh for-hire driver in New York to commit suicide within the last year. The mood at the vigil turned from somber to anger in less than 30 minutes.

Fausto Luna jumped in front of an A train on Sept. 26 at the 175th Street and Fort Washington Avenue station. He is the first Uber driver this year to commit suicide in New York City. The other six drivers drove yellow taxi cabs or for livery or black car services.

As ride-sharing vehicles have upended the taxi market in New York, taxi drivers have been hit with increasing debt despite working longer shifts, leading to incredible stress and depression for some.

But those financial hardships are not limited to cabdrivers. Uber and other ride-hail drivers have also complained about low pay and unending competition as more people sign up to drive.

Uber said Mr. Luna was a longtime driver with a high rating and consistent earnings. He owned his vehicle, and it was fully paid for, the company said.

At the vigil, attendees brought signs bearing Mr. Luna’s name along with the names of the six other for-hire drivers who died. Many spoke out against the mistreatment of for-hire drivers.

“I’m proud to serve the capital of the world,” Victor Salazar, a taxi driver for more than 26 years, said in Spanish. “But we are right now in a very deep crisis. We must concentrate ourselves as workers and the people we are.”

Mr. Luna’s death comes after New York became the first major American city to halt new vehicle licenses for ride-hailing services as the city studies the industry more.

Meera Joshi, the city’s taxi commissioner, urged drivers who are struggling to reach out to the city for help.

“That is the forefront of the issue, is making sure people know how to reach out for help,” she said at the vigil.

But, she added: “It’s convenient to blame a person, and if I need to be the subject of people’s anger, that’s fine. I can take it. It doesn’t bother me, but I don’t know that it really addresses the fundamental underpinnings of the situation that drivers are finding themselves in now.”

Her advice, however, did not seem to resonate with some vigil attendees, who shouted at her. A few of them blamed her for the recent suicides, and some cursed at her as she walked away and then disappeared into the subway station.

The vitriol became so intense that Allan Fromberg, a spokesman for the taxi commissioner, acted as a bodyguard for Ms. Joshi as she left.

“We wanted to talk about resources available,” Mr. Fromberg said of the disruption. “But we don’t want to detract from the family. That wasn’t going to happen today,” he said.

“But another time, another place.”

Alix Anfang, a spokeswoman for Uber, said in a statement, “We are devastated by this news and our deepest sympathies go to Mr. Luna’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

But Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, criticized Uber.

“Every city needs to take a deeper look at what happens when you let Wall Street-backed corporations use billions of dollars in capital to lock workers into a prison of poverty,” she said in a statement.

At the vigil, Ms. Desai emphasized that the alliance was fighting for change “to make things better.”

“If we don’t come here and shed the tears or make the noise, then who will?” she said. “We don’t want any more of these suicides. We have to fight.”

Jeffery C. Mays and Emma G. Fitzsimmons contributed reporting.

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Cyber Saturday—China’s Chip Hack, Amazon and Apple’s Denials, Google’s Trust Reversal


Rope-a-dope. The U.S. Justice Department charged seven Russian military intelligence officers with a number of hacking-related crimes on Thursday. The Russian spies allegedly ran a disinformation campaign—including wire fraud, identity theft, and money laundering—that targeted hundreds of athletes and anti-doping officials in retaliation for the exposure of a Russian state-sponsored doping program. “All of this was done to undermine those organizations’ efforts to ensure the integrity of the Olympic and other games,” said Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John Demers at a news conference.

A piece of the puzzle. Jigsaw, an Alphabet unit that builds security, privacy, and anti-censorship tools, has released a new app called Intra. The app is designed to block DNS manipulation attacks, a censorship tactic that certain nation-states, like Venezuela and Turkey, have used to intercept and block or redirect website visits by their populations. Jigsaw said the tool will be embedded by default into the next version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android Pie.

No fly zone. Google CEO Sundar Pichai paid a quiet visit to the Pentagon following the tech giant’s decision not to renew a contract supplying AI tech to a military program, The Washington Post reports. Pichai supposedly sought to smooth over tensions after his company backed out of the defense deal, which involved analyzing video captured by drones. Thousands of employees had objected to the program, dubbed Project Maven.

Please re-enter password. California has signed into a law a bill that will require manufacturers of Internet-connected devices to create unique passwords for each device made or sold in the state. In other words, manufacturers of said devices can no longer use generic, pre-programmed passwords like “admin” or “password” to secure their products. If they do, customers have the right to sue for damages.

From masterpiece to master pieces.

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Hyperloop company unveils its full-scale 750-mph ‘passenger capsule’

Epa Spain Transportation Ebf Transport Esp

People attend the presentation of the ‘Hyperloop’ passenger capsule at the Carbures plant at El Puerto de Santa Maria in Spain. The ‘Hyperloop’ is the first passenger capsule that will be able to transport passengers at an average speeds up to 750 mph

A.Carrasco Ragel, EPA-EFE

LOS ANGELES – If you think of it as a train, it’s really short and really fast.

But it’s not. It’s a “passenger capsule,” just revealed by one of the companies vying to create what has become known as a hyperloop. That’s the system designed to whisk people between cities through tubes.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, based in Los Angeles, showed off the sleek capsule capable of carrying 30 to 40 passengers.

The new capsule is “the real deal,” said HyperloopTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn, who unveiled it last week in Spain, where it was built. It will next go to Toulouse, France, for testing next year as the company prepares to build initial hyperloop segments in China and Abu Dhabi.

Ahlborn envisions the capsule being able to travel the more than 400 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 36 minutes, levitating magnetically inside a tube for a complete lack of friction.

Several companies, including those headed by some of the world’s best-known tycoons, are working to be among the first to create a system that would compete for both with high-speed trains and airlines. 

Richard Branson, who is chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, told CNBC in April that he wants it to be in operation within three years. Elon Musk, CEO of electric-car maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, has been backing the Boring Co. in its tunnel-digging efforts that could lead to a hyperloop.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, or HyperloopTT, as the company calls itself for short, considers the many rivals an advantage in order to generate interest around the notion of a hyperloop.

Hyperlooptt Capsule Left

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies unveils its first full-scale ‘passenger capsule’

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

“We realized it has to be more than a company. It has to be a movement,” Ahlborn said. “You have the whole world talking hyperloop.”

The capsule is 105 feet long and is made of 82 carbon fiber panels. It is held together with 75,000 rivets, the company said. It has a front end that is sleek and contoured like the high-speed trains in Europe or Japan and a stubby back end.

Ahlborn said about 100 capsules would be needed to operate a line like one from Los Angeles to San Francisco, capable of departures as frequently as 45 seconds apart. He said the capsule was designed for speeds up to 750 mph, but “realistically” would operate at slower speeds, at least initially.

Hyperlooptt Capsule Front

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a California company, has revealed the “passenger capsule” that will whoosh through tubes between cities

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

Copyright 2017 USATODAY.com

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End of an era as Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market closes after 83 years



TOKYO (CNN) – Following years of delays and plenty of controversy, Tokyo’s Tsukiji wholesale fish market, one of the city’s most popular destinations for international visitors, has finally shut its doors.

The October 6 closing marks the end of an era for a structure that has been central to the metropolis since the mid-1930s and was considered the biggest fish and seafood market in the world.

The market is moving to a new facility in eastern Tokyo — the Toyosu Fish Market — and is set to start operating October 16.

The opening stands as one of the biggest developments in Tokyo in 2018, closing one chapter for the city and beginning a new one.

Why Tsukiji means so much to Tokyo

The Tsukiji wholesale fish market opened in 1935, though similar venues have existed in the surrounding area since the early 1600s.

It quickly established itself as the biggest fish and seafood market in the world, and one of the largest wholesale markets, period.

According to various reports, vendors sell around five million pounds of seafood from all over the world at Tsukiji daily, which works out to about $28 million.

Besides being a vital business hub for all things aquatic, over the years Tsukiji also became a must-see Tokyo tourist destination.

Walking through the inner market — the area where vendors sell seafood to restaurants and other companies — was a sensory overload.

Most popular of all were the early morning tuna auctions, with visitors eagerly showing up daily to watch people bid on huge hunks of fish.

Just as intriguing was the outer market, an area around the main structure housing dozens of food stalls and restaurants. Visitors could enjoy some of the freshest seafood here — assuming they showed up early enough.

The move itself

Plans to move the fish market to Toyosu have been in motion for decades, but didn’t get serious until the early 2010s.

Why move? Reasons centered around the age of the structure itself — these buildings were constructed in 1935, after all — along with the fact the Tsukiji fish market sits on valuable real estate that could prove useful for and after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

There were hiccups along the way though.

The Toyosu market was originally supposed to open up in November of 2016, but was delayed for various reasons, including worries over contaminated soil.

The spot where the market was being constructed used to house a gas production plant, and it appeared the ground beneath had absorbed chemicals from this factory.

After a campaign to clean it up, experts declared the area safe for use this past summer. Now the setup is complete, with the new market set to open October 16.

It remains a divisive topic, however.

Many citizens of Tokyo worried a move from Tsukiji would deprive the city of a historical sight at a time when many longstanding destinations are starting to vanish.

Even more vocal were the vendors and workers at Tsukiji, who have held protests against the move at the old market in the days running up to its closure.

Toyosu: What to expect

Like it or not, the Toyosu move is happening.

For visitors coming to Tokyo hoping to experience it, here’s what to know.

The closest subway station to the new Toyosu fish market is Shijo-mae Station, located on the Yurikamome Line (the station actually connects directly to the market, so don’t worry about getting lost).

It’s only two stops from Toyosu Station, which also can be accessed via the Yurakucho Line. The market is the only real draw near this station, though Toyosu has a variety of restaurants and shopping centers worth exploring, while the Yurikamonme Line leads to Odaiba, a man-made island in Tokyo Bay.

For those hoping to get to the Toyosu market before sunrise, find a hotel in Toyosu or Odaiba.

As we tour the city’s top sites, locals share what makes Tokyo one of the greatest cities in the world.

Entry into the Toyosu market is free for all visitors, with those hoping to see the space at its liveliest advised to get there before 8 a.m.

The famous early morning tuna auctions will still be happening over at the new location, beginning at 4:30 a.m. daily.

Whereas at Tsukiji you had to get a reservation ticket, all you have to do now is show up and try to get a good spot on the special viewing platform.

All dining options are located in the structure as well now, with around 40 food stalls — most carried over from Tsukiji — set to operate.

Beyond that, visitors can also head up to the grass-carpeted roof to take in nice views of the city. Organizers also plan to move the famous Tsukiji shrine to the venue as well.

Remember — this is still a fish market thus low temperatures are the norm. Bring something warm to wear.
As for future plans, plans are reportedly underway to open a hotel and hot spring catered towards tourists at the market in the next few years.

But what about Tsukiji?

All tourist-related activities at Tsukiji came to a close in late September, and the inner market shut down for good on October 6. But that doesn’t mean the area around the market is suddenly deserted.

The outer market — the one featuring all the food stalls and restaurants — will still be in operation.

Just go to Tsukiji Shijo station on the Oedo line or Tsukiji station on the Hibiya line to get there and enjoy a taste of what is now a part of Tokyo history.

You can also still join one of the many organized tours running in and around the outer market, to learn about the history of Tsukiji and see how it shaped this part of the city.

While the future has arrived with the Toyosu fish market — a venue that does away with the chaos of Tsukiji in favor of a visitor-friendly vibe — it’s still possible to enjoy a taste of the past, at least for a little while longer.

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