1 VALE EVACUATES 200 PEOPLE FROM TOWN NEAR ITS MAR AZUL MINE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      2 TOOTH PLAQUE SHOWS DRINKING MILK GOES BACK 3,000 YEARS IN MONGOLIA WWW.SCIENCENEWS.ORG  PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      3 INCREASING NUMBER OF CHINA-EUROPE FREIGHT TRAINS SUPPORTS MONGOLIA'S ECONOMY: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      4 TAX REVENUE INCREASES BY 33.7 PERCENT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      5 COPPER MINER'S $10B BET COMES TO LIFE IN PANAMA JUNGLE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      6 TRADE UNIONS REQUEST PM TO FOCUS ON INTEREST RATE CUT WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      7 MONGOLIA’S HOURLY WAGE TO REACH USD 1 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      8 US NARCOTICS BY POST TO MONGOLIA! THREE ARRESTED WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      9 WRITER D.URIANKHAI NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PRIZE WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      10 MONGOLIA-CHINA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC CORRIDOR BENEFITS ALL SIDES: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      “ОЮУ ТОЛГОЙ” КОМПАНИ 570 ТОННЫ ДААЦТАЙ CAT БРЭНДИЙН ГИДРАВЛИК ЭСКВАТОРООР ХҮЧЭЭ СЭЛБЭЛЭЭ WWW.GOGO.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ӨРХИЙН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ОРЛОГО 78,000 ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ӨССӨН Ч ЗАРЛАГА ДАВСАН ХЭВЭЭР БАЙНА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АВСТРАЛИЙН ЭЛЧИН САЙД ДЭВИД МЭТЬЮ ВОСЭН ИТГЭМЖЛЭХ ЖУУХ БИЧГЭЭ ӨРГӨН БАРИВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2018 ОНД МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ЭДИЙН ЗАСАГ 6.9 ХУВИАР ӨСЛӨӨ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МХБ: II/15-НЫ БАЙДЛААР 8 КОМПАНИ ХЭХ-ЫН ТОВОО ГАРГААД БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2017 ОНД 1.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АЛДАГДАЛТАЙ АЖИЛЛАСАН “УЛААНБААТАР БҮК” 2018 ОНД 566 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ АЖИЛЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ОРХОН ТҮҮХИЙ НҮҮРСНЭЭС ТАТГАЛЗСАН АНХНЫ АЙМАГ БОЛНО WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АТГ-ААС НЭР БҮХИЙ 6 ШҮҮГЧИЙГ ШАЛГАЖ ЭХЭЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МОНГОЛ УЛС ДЭЛХИЙН 77 ОРОНД БАРАА ЭКСПОРТОЛСНООС ХЯТАДАД 93%-ИЙГ НЬ НИЙЛҮҮЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14     АВТО МАШИНЫ ИМПОРТ 2018 ОНД 30% ӨСӨЖ, 86,296-Д ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14    

Events

Name organizer Where
“Doing business with Mongolia”, “UK Investors show” бизнес хөтөлбөр March 27-April 02. 2019 ЛОНДОН ХОТ, ИХ БРИТАНИ Mongolian Business Database London UK
SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL MARKETS Nationalism and Protectionism: The United States in the International Arena June 17-18, 2019 The Center for American and International Law Plano, Texas, USA The Center for American and International Law (CAILAW) Plano Texas June 17-18 2019
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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US demand growth to push copper market into deficit www.mining.com

 
The surge in the copper price to near 18-month highs following Donald Trump's win in the US presidential election came as a surprise to an industry under pressure since 2011 over growing supply.
Bullishness about the impact of Trump's $500 billion infrastructure plans has cooled down considerably since then, but at $2.6430 per pound ($5,872 a tonne) in New York on Monday the bellwether metal is up by more than a third in value since hitting near-six year lows this time last year.
The Chilean Copper Commission upped its price estimates for this year and 2018 from its previous forecast in a report released on Monday, but the government forecaster for the world's top exporting country, still sees copper averaging below today's ruling price.
Cochilco said it projected average copper prices of $2.40 per pound in 2017, up from its prior estimate of $2.20, citing expectations that proposed increased fiscal spending in the US will boost demand for the metal widely used in construction and manufacturing. Prices should improve further to average $2.50 per pound in 2018. The copper price averaged $2.21 in 2016.
Cochilco's prediction for global refined copper demand growth in 2017 is adjusted upward from 1.9% to 2.6% to a total of 24.3 million tonnes of refined copper globally. After contracting by an estimated 1.9% last year, US demand will grow 2.5% this year, offsetting slower growth in China which is still to expected to consumer 3% or 356kt more copper in 2017 compared to last year.
At the same time the government forecaster expects supply growth to moderate to 2.9% or 583kt this year to 20.76m tonnes as Chile which produces nearly 30% of the world's copper increases output by 4.3% or 306kt and Peruvian output continues to grow.
Last year the organization estimated growth in supply was a significant 4.7% or more than 900kt, mainly on the back of a 42% surge in production from Peru and huge jumps in Mexico and Iran which offset declines in the DRC and Chile.
Cochilco revised downwards its 2016 market surplus to 60,000 tonnes compared with the 128,000 tonnes it forecast in September. The organization now sees a market deficit in 2017 compared to a forecast oversupply of 114,000 tonnes it predicted previously. The market will stay in a slight deficit in 2018 of 34,000 tonnes.
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54TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW

May 21 - June 23, 2017 in Plano, Texas, USA

The Center for American and International Law
5201 Democracy Drive
Plano, Texas 75024
USA

The Institute's premier annual event is the Academy of American and International Law. www.cailaw.org

Since 1964, this multi-week program has attracted over 3,000 participants from 120 countries. Through its extraordinary classroom and extracurricular schedule, the Academy offers opportunities to forge valuable international relationships that last a lifetime.

This intensive, five-week course of study is designed for lawyers from outside the United States and focuses on U.S. law and international business transactions. Participants from more than 40 countries study and socialize together, learning from an impressive faculty and from each other. They receive instruction from some of the best teachers and practitioners of international law from U.S. law schools, law firms, and corporations.

The practical curriculum includes both skills training and substantive law subjects (legal writing, negotiations, international arbitration and litigation, international business transactions, mergers and acquisitions, international taxation, and more).

Please contact Jasmine Hunt jhunt@cailaw.org directly or Ser Od Ichinkhorloo Country Coordinator of CAILAW at serod@b2bmongolia.com and 976 99066062 mobile for an additional inquiry.

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Chip sales boost Samsung Electronics operating profit www.asia.nikkei.com

 
SEOUL -- Brisk demand for semiconductor chips boosted Samsung Electronics' consolidated operating profit in 2016 by 11% to 29.2 trillion won ($25.1 billion), the second-highest level ever, the South Korean company said Tuesday.
Operating profit for the semiconductor segment grew 6% from a year earlier to a record 13.6 trillion won. The company also said it will conduct a stock buyback totaling about 9.3 trillion won.
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Spain focuses on lucrative gay tourism market www.rt.com

 
With a high dependence on tourism revenue, Spain is intensifying efforts to lure high-spending travelers from the LGBT community.
According to an AFP report, the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid has dedicated a special section to gay and lesbian travelers.
Spain's western region of Extremadura promotes annual gay pride festivities, as well as bird watching trips, local architecture and rural tourism.
“The goal is to appeal to the growing number of gay and lesbian couples who are having children,” said Hugo Alonso of the Extremadura's tourism promotion agency.
"We are interested in volume," he said, adding that gay and lesbians make up around 10 percent of all tourists.
Spain is considered one of the most gay-friendly destinations thanks to equal rights legislation which has allowed same-sex marriages since 2005.
Juan Pedro Tudela, the director of Diversity Consulting International, which advises firms targeting the gay and lesbian market, said the segment is attractive because gays travel all year round and spend more on trips.
"They have more disposable income" since there are fewer couples with children, he said.
The average spending of gay tourists is more than 30 percent higher than spending by tourists generally, according to Tourism-review.com. It estimated that gay tourist spends about €130 a day on entertainment and dining.
In a recent report, the United Nations' World Tourism Organization said "there is no denying" that gay travelers "are a dynamic and influential segment within the tourism sector."
Data shows gay tourism contributes more than €9 billion a year to the Spanish economy, and the sector grew almost 30 percent in 2016.
Madrid generated about €150 million from its annual gay pride festivities last summer. The windfall may be even higher this year with some three million people expected to participate.
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Chevron Slams Canadian Backdoor in $9.5 Billion Pollution Fight www.bloomberg.com

Now entering its 24th year, an international legal war seeking to hold Chevron Corp. liable for oil pollution in the Amazon has featured battles in courtrooms ranging from the U.S. to Ecuador to Canada. In a blow to Ecuadorian villagers who contend the company sullied their lands, an Ontario judge last week protected Chevron’s Canadian assets from being seized as part of the fight.

That’s a big victory for the second-largest U.S. fossil fuel company, because in 2011 Chevron lost a court case in Ecuador over the question of liability. As far as the Ecuadorian judiciary is concerned, Chevron owes some $9.5 billion, plus interest, to the villagers. But the energy giant, contending that the enormous judgment was obtained by fraud, has refused to pay. Chevron has no assets in Ecuador, so there’s nothing there for plaintiffs to seize. That’s why the case migrated north to Canada, where a subsidiary has operations the villagers would like to liquidate to cover their verdict.

But in a highly technical 35-page opinion, Judge Glenn Hainey of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice made a sharp distinction between Chevron the parent corporation and Chevron Canada the subsidiary. Chevron Canada wasn’t the defendant in Ecuador and as a legally separate entity, the judge held, can’t be held responsible for its parent’s liabilities.

Chevron hailed the decision. “Once again, the plaintiffs’ attempts to enforce their fraudulent judgment have been rebuked,” R. Hewitt Pate, Chevron’s vice president and general counsel, said via email. “We are confident that any jurisdiction that examines the facts of this case and the misconduct committed by the plaintiffs will find the Ecuadorian judgment illegitimate and unenforceable.”

Karen Hinton, a New York-based spokesperson for the villagers, said in a statement that her clients will appeal Hainey’s ruling, and predicted a swift reversal. “The villagers expect to proceed later this year with their seizure of Chevron’s assets to force the company to respect multiple [Ecuadorian] court judgments that found it” liable for massive contamination, Hinton added.

The very long story that brings us to this moment began in 1993 with a lawsuit filed in New York federal court against Texaco (which Chevron acquired in 2001). Brought on behalf of poor rural Ecuadorians, the complaint was dismissed by U.S. courts and restarted in 2003 in Ecuador. Eight years later, it led to the multibillion-dollar verdict now at issue. Chevron countered that any pollution resulting from Texaco’s activities in the rain forest was the responsibility of the Ecuadorian government to clean up—and, in any event, the verdict was tainted by the misconduct of the villagers lawyers, led by a New York-based attorney named Steven Donziger.

To drive home that last point, Chevron sued Donziger in 2011, obtaining a U.S. judgment that he’d violated anti-racketeering laws by turning the Ecuadorian suit into the equivalent of an extortion scheme. Last year, a federal appeals court upheld the ruling, finding that Donziger and his colleagues engaged in coercion, fraud, and bribery in Ecuador. The decisions have the effect of making it impossible for the villagers to collect on the Ecuadorian verdict in the U.S. That brings us to Canada.

The legal complexities in this branch of the litigation proliferate. In a separate part of his Jan. 20 ruling, Judge Hainey said that if somehow the Ecuadorians succeed in moving forward with their action in Canada—for example, if a higher court reversed his finding that the subsidiary should be shielded—then the oil company would be allowed to fight asset seizures by pointing to the evidence of fraud presented in the U.S. racketeering case.
Meanwhile, on other fronts, the plaintiffs have started legal proceedings to enforce the controversial Ecuadorian judgment in both Argentina and Brazil. Chevron may have won this battle, but the legal war shows no sign of letting up.

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Trump signs memo to leave TPP agreement www3.nhk.or.jp

 
President Donald Trump has signed a presidential memorandum formally withdrawing the United States from the Trans- Pacific Partnership free trade deal. Trump pledged to withdraw from the TPP during the campaign.
The US and 11 other countries, including Japan, had signed the agreement while President Barack Obama was in office. The free trade deal will not take effect without US approval.
Trump called the presidential memorandum "a great thing for the American workers".
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Unlike the Saudis, Russia can't simply shut off oil taps www.rt.com

 
Moscow is committed to the OPEC agreement to cut oil production, but it can’t technically slash its output instantly, according to Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak.
 
“We have our own technological peculiarities. To produce the same volume of oil as Saudi Arabia we have to use a hundred times as many rigs. We have different flow rates, different climatic conditions, and other production technologies,” Novak told RT after the first meeting of a global committee set up to monitor the crude production cut deal on Sunday.
 
According to the global accord, Russia has pledged to cut oil production by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) starting from January. While Saudi Arabia claims to have cut even more than the pledged 486,000 bpd to 10.058 million bpd this month, Russia has slashed 100,000 bpd.
 
According to Novak, a swift and abrupt cut in production by Russia means investment outflow; it can cause a certain "investment lag".
 
A worker checks the valve of an oil pipe at an oil field owned by Russian state-owned oil producer Bashneft near the village of Nikolo-Berezovka, northwest of Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia. © Sergei KarpukhinThe craziest oil price predictions for 2017
“Some rigs may be completely shut down. It is very hard, close to impossible, to reactivate these drill holes for us. We implement the agreement considering these technological peculiarities,” said the Russian minister.
 
Novak said it's the first time Russia has taken part in a global deal to deliberately and artificially cut its oil production, which is difficult.
 
"Given that our companies are committed to the agreement, they are very positive about it... The Russian contribution [to the global deal] is real and positive," concluded Novak.
 
Speaking to the Russian media, Novak predicted the oil price would jump from $50 to $60 per barrel this year.
 
“The situation in the market is being rebalanced; stockpiles have begun to fall partially. Most importantly, we see stability and lower volatility," he said.
 
OPEC has pledged to cut oil production by 1.2 million bpd from January 1 in a bid to end oversupply that has more than halved the price of crude since 2014. Other global producers have agreed to cut by 558,000 bpd.
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Blackstone readies new Asia real estate fund of at least $5 billion: sources www.reuters.com

Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) is readying a new Asia-focused real estate fund that aims to raise a record $5 billion or more, betting on strong returns from property investments in the region, people familiar with the plans told Reuters.

The world's biggest alternative asset manager will likely launch the fund in the next 12-16 months, the people said. It has invested more than 70 percent of the $5.08 billion it raised in its first Asia-focused property fund, a threshold when buyout firms typically start considering and preparing for follow-up capital raising.

New York-based Blackstone intends to boost investments in assets such as warehouses and shopping malls in China, India, Southeast Asia and Australia, one of the people said.

Global investors have shown robust appetite for shopping malls, warehouses and other property assets in Asia as they have sought the relative safety and stable returns of real estate, buoyed by growing urbanization and rising incomes in its two most populous countries of China and India.

Underscoring this trend, 22 Asia-focused property funds raised a total of $10.6 billion in 2016, data provider Preqin said. There's already $33 billion of unused capital, or dry powder, in such Asia-focused real estate funds, it said.

Blackstone declined to comment on plans for a new Asia-focused real estate fund.

But when commenting on the fundraising outlook for 2017 in the company's third quarter earnings conference call, Blackstone's Chief Financial Officer Michael Chae said there were "significant" fundraises coming up next year, including a possible new Asia fund.

The people declined to be named because details of the new Asia fund aren't yet public.

Blackstone's first Asia-focused property fund, the $5.08 billion Blackstone Real Estate Partners (BREP) Asia that closed in 2014, is the biggest such fund to focus wholly on Asia, Preqin data shows. The new fund could exceed the first one in size.

The first Blackstone fund invested in Japanese residential real estate, office space in Australia and Chinese shopping malls, posting an internal rate of return of 17 percent through September 2016, according to Blackstone's most recent earnings report.

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In China, the company has a joint venture with developer China Vanke Co Ltd (2202.HK) for logistics investments. Blackstone sold $1.9 billion of commercial property to Vanke last year.

Blackstone is also one of the largest owners of office space in India. Embassy Office Park REIT, which Blackstone co-owns with local developer Embassy Group, is awaiting approval from authorities to launch the country's first ever real estate investment trust (REIT), which Thomson Reuters publication IFR reported could raise $500 million-$1 billion in a 2017 initial public offering.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Elzio Barreto; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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Amazon and Google fight crucial battle over voice recognition www.theguardian.com

 
Amazon and Google always thrive in the fourth quarter as people get out their wallets for Christmas. Both companies – or in Google’s case, its parent group, Alphabet – are therefore expected to announce booming revenues in their fourth-quarter results over the next fortnight, with Alphabet going first on Thursday and Amazon the following week. But analysts are already looking beyond the simple question of how many cardboard boxes Amazon filled and how many searches Google answered. They’re wondering which company will win the battle to control your home.
 
That battle is being fought by two carafe-sized cylinders from the respective companies. One is Amazon’s Echo, with its voice-operated “personal assistant”, Alexa; the other is Google Home, which responds to the phrase “OK Google”. Both are internet-connected, home-based devices which can be command to do things: give the weather forecast; play music; read out news headlines; update shopping lists; and control “smart” devices in the home such as light bulbs or power points. In theory, if a device can be linked to it, the Echo can control or monitor it, and keep you informed. And simply by saying “Alexa, add sugar to the shopping list”, users can keep up to date on house supplies and even purchase them directly.
 
Amazon is in the lead, having launched the Echo in November 2014, two years before Google Home came out. Though Amazon has not – and does not – release sales figures for any individual item, investment bank Morgan Stanley estimates that 11m Echos had been sold by the end of November 2016; other estimates suggest a further 7m have been sold since. About 700,000 were estimated to have been sold in the UK and Germany, the only countries outside the US where it is available.
 
The Morgan Stanley estimate would put an Echo in more than 8% of US households. This is a significant figure, especially compared with the best estimates for Google Home, which put its sales at less than a million since its launch in October 2016.
 
Why should Google care about Amazon? Because voice is seen as the next big field for computer interaction, and the home is a far better environment for voice detection than the great outdoors. Research company Gartner reckons that by 2018, 30% of all interactions with devices will be voice-based, because people can speak up to four times faster than they can type, and the technology behind voice interaction is improving all the time.
 
The risk to Google is that at the moment, almost everyone starting a general search at home begins at Google’s home page on a PC or phone. That leads to a results page topped by text adverts – which help generate about 90% of Google’s revenue, and probably more of its profits. But if people begin searching or ordering goods via an Echo, bypassing Google, that ad revenue will fall.
 
And Google has cause to be uncomfortable. The shift from desktop to mobile saw the average number of searches per person fall as people moved to dedicated apps; Google responded by adding more ads to both desktop and search pages, juicing revenues. A shift that cut out the desktop in favour of voice-oriented search, or no search at all, would imperil its lucrative revenue stream.
 
Amazon is copying one feature of Google’s success in smartphones: it is offering methods to connect and control smart devices via the Echo for free, rather as Google’s Android software was offered as a free platform for smartphones. There are signs it is paying off: Wynn hotels in Las Vegas announced in December that it would be adding Echos to all 5,000 rooms, for functions such as playing music and controlling curtains and blinds. That gained some notice, as much as anything because the life cycle of such hotels implies they will be there for a decade or so.
 
Similarly, at January’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), also in Las Vegas, commentators were struck by how many devices incorporated Alexa. And Amazon is even stealing into Google’s territory: some phones sold in the US from China’s Huawei, which uses Android, will incorporate Alexa rather than Google’s Assistant programme.
 
Google’s natural reaction is to have its own voice-driven home system, in Home. But that poses a difficulty, illustrated by the problems it claims to solve. At the device’s launch, one presenter from the company explained how it could speak the answer to questions such as “how do you get wine stains out of a rug?” Most people would pose that question on a PC or mobile, and the results page would offer a series of paid-for ads. On Home, you just get the answer – without ads.
 
What analysts wonder is: how can Home bridge that revenue gap? So far, Google hasn’t explained. Even if it can fend off the Echo, it may not be able to defend its core business.
 
By contrast, the Echo’s benefit to Amazon is much clearer: it can make online shopping (at Amazon) a breeze, play music from Amazon’s paid-for subscription service, and generally act as a passive block on your using rival shopping sites – rather as Google cemented its dominance by being the default search engine on multiple browsers in the mid-2000s.
 
Richard Windsor of Edison Investment Research suggests that time is running out for Google: “It has to act quickly, as Amazon is on the brink of becoming the industry standard for controlling smart home devices.
 
“At CES, everyone was integrating with Echo, with Google Home and Apple HomeKit barely present.”
 
Indeed, where are Apple and Microsoft, which also have their own voice-driven assistants in the form of Siri and Cortana? Although both can be used in the home – Siri on the iPhone or iPad, and to play content on the Apple TV set-top box, and Cortana on the Xbox games console – neither seems to be intent on the “home assistant” market.
 
Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice-president of marketing, seemed to suggest recently that Apple wouldn’t follow Amazon and Google into offering a voice-only device: “Having my iPhone with me as the thing I speak to is better than something stuck in my kitchen or on a wall somewhere.” He also emphasised the importance of a visual display: “We still like to take pictures and we need to look at them, and a disembodied voice is not going to show me what the picture is.”
 
Even so, there are persistent rumours that Apple has prototyped an Echo-like device in secret but is undecided on whether to release it. The company hasn’t commented. It could be ready to unveil something – or may never do so. Microsoft, meanwhile, is in more homes than the Echo via the Xbox, but isn’t trying to make itself a listening device linked to a shop.
 
So, will we all be burbling away to thin air in a few years, asking how long our commute will take while our smartphones sit unused in the kitchen? Perhaps – though Ken Sena, a senior analyst at investment bank Evercore ISI, suggests that home-based voice assistants will never be used as widely as smartphones. According to Sena, they are not such a must-have.
 
Yet, they were a hot Christmas present – and voice interaction is still in its early days, perhaps comparable to the smartphone market in 2005, when BlackBerry, Palm and Microsoft dominated. Or, it could be like the smartphone market now, effectively dominated by Google and Apple. But which?
 
Alexa, can you see into the future?
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Theresa May’s industrial plan signals shift to more state intervention www.theguardian.com

 
Theresa May will signal an era of greater state intervention in the economy as she launches her industrial strategy with a promise of “sector deals”, a new system of technical education and better infrastructure.
 
The prime minister will publish the strategy at a cabinet meeting in the north-west of England, setting out five sectors that could receive special government support: life sciences, low-carbon-emission vehicles, industrial digitalisation, creative industries and nuclear.
 
She will say the government would be prepared to deregulate, help with trade deals or create new institutions to boost skills or research if any sector can show this would address specific problems.
 
The deals will only be available to sectors that organise themselves and make the case for government action, with May citing the automotive and aerospace industries as sectors that have successfully used this model.
 
Helping specific industries may be easier once Britain has left the EU because it might no longer be bound by state aid rules that restrict ways that governments of member states can support companies. The new industrial strategy is also a marked change from the approach of the previous Conservative-led coalition, which took a more laissez-faire approach to the economy.
 
“The modern industrial strategy … will be underpinned by a new approach to government, not just stepping back but stepping up to a new, active role that backs business and ensures more people in all corners of the country share in the benefits of its success,” May said.
 
On top of the sector deals, an “industrial strategy challenge fund” will help distribute millions of pounds in funding for research and development in areas such as smart energy, robotics and artificial intelligence, and 5G mobile network technology.
 
Another focus of the plan will be on technical education aimed at the half of school-leavers who do not go to university. It will suggest maintenance loans for those wishing to pursue technical education, institutes of technology built in every region and 15 core technical “routes” for students that train them in the skills most needed by employers in their regions
 
The plan will reveal 10 pillars to guide the industrial strategy, including investing in science, developing skills, upgrading infrastructure and making sure growth is shared across the whole country.
 
Carolyn Fairbairn, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry business group, said the industrial strategy was a landmark opportunity. “It must help fix the country’s productivity problems and remove the regional inequalities that have dogged our country for generations, having a positive impact on living standards, wages and the future opportunities of many people,” she said.
 
Others were more critical, with the University and College Union (UCU), which represents more than 110,000 higher education staff, saying it was little more than a “relaunched skills strategy”.
 
Sally Hunt, the UCU general secretary, said: “This is a drop in the ocean that will do nothing to solve the funding crisis in further education, which has seen 1m adult places lost since 2010. If government wants to support technical education, it should invest in our further education colleges, which desperately need thousands more teachers, rather than another set of gimmicks.”
 
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation charity said it should help young people in the longer term but the plan did little for the low-paid who were currently in insecure jobs.
 
“Improving maths and technical education for young people will certainly benefit the economy in the future. But this is a policy for the long term,” said Ashwin Kumar, its chief economist. “Millions of people already in the workforce are struggling with low pay and insecure work … The government’s industrial strategy will only make a real difference to our productivity gap, and to people at risk of being left behind, if it goes beyond manufacturing and high-skilled roles.
 
“It needs to help the millions of people who work in low-paid sectors, live in low-skilled areas and work in low-productivity firms. Action to close the productivity gap and support people who lack basic literacy, numeracy and digital skills would help to achieve this.”
 
May will also announce a £556m boost for the so-called northern powerhouse. Among the projects to benefit are the Goole intermodal terminal to place the town’s existing rail, sea, motorway and waterway links in one site and a £10m life sciences innovation fund for Manchester and Cheshire firms. Blackpool will get a new conference centre and hotel at the Winter Gardens to help re-establish the town as a leading conference destination.
 
May is publishing the plan on the same day as a report from a cross-party group of MPs urging more help for the steel industry, with seven policy demands including cheaper energy and action against Chinese dumping. They said the government was still not doing enough to help the beleaguered industry, despite being heavily criticised under David Cameron for failing to wake up quickly enough to the threat of plant closures.
 
Stephen Kinnock, the Labour MP for Aberavon and a co-author of the report, said: “If we continue along the current path, characterised by a government whose attitude can best be described as a toxic combination of incompetence and indifference, we will see the further decline of the industry and our communities.
 
“However, as this report shows, another path is possible and achievable. With strategic action from government and the industry, we can build a better future for the British steel industry, we can trigger a modern manufacturing renaissance, we can rebalance the British economy, and we can forge a new, more resilient, kind of growth.”
 
In particular, he called for the government to “remove the existing disincentives to investment posed by a punitive business rates regime and crippling energy prices.
 
“The government must firm up procurement policies to support the British steel industry, support skills development, invest in R&D and build a partnership approach to industrial relations and management,” Kinnock said.
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