Business Marketing & News From Canada

Business and marketing news.

Tag: urges

Musk safe for now as U.S. judge urges Tesla CEO, SEC to resolve tweet dispute

Musk safe for now as U.S. judge urges Tesla CEO, SEC to resolve tweet dispute

Elon Musk’s job as Tesla Inc’s chief executive appeared safe on Thursday as a federal judge in Manhattan urged the billionaire to settle contempt allegations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

At a hearing in Manhattan federal court, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan gave both sides two weeks to work out their differences, and said she could rule on whether Musk violated his recent fraud settlement with the regulator if they failed.

Musk declined to comment about the hearing as he left the courthouse, surrounding by reporters, photographers and television cameras.

Nathan had been asked by the SEC to hold Musk in contempt over a Feb. 19 tweet where the regulator said he improperly posted material information about Tesla’s vehicle production outlook without first seeking approval from company lawyers.

The SEC said pre-approval had been a core element of the October 2018 settlement, which resolved a lawsuit over Musk’s tweet last Aug. 7 that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 US per share.

That settlement called for Musk to step down as Tesla’s chairman, and levied $20 million civil fines each on Musk and the Palo Alto, California-based company.

Possible drag lifted

Legal experts had said Musk could have faced penalties as severe as removal from Tesla’s board or as chief executive if held in contempt.

But at Thursday’s hearing, the SEC stopped short of recommending such sanctions.

That lifted a potential drag on Tesla’s share price, which recouped some early losses stemming from its Wednesday night report of lower-than-expected vehicle deliveries.

The shares closed down 8.2 per cent, after earlier falling as much as 10.7 per cent.

SEC lawyer Cheryl Crumpton said if Musk were held in contempt, the regulator might ask Nathan to require regular reports about his oversight by Tesla lawyers, including whether they were vetting his statements and if not why.

Noting that Musk had called his $20 million fine “worth it,” she also said higher fines for future violations might be needed to ensure that further backsliding would be “not worth it.”

Crumpton also faulted what she called Tesla’s “troubling” conduct. “Tesla still appears to be unwilling to exercise any meaningful control over the conduct of its CEO,” she said.

The SEC did not accuse Tesla of contempt.

Musk’s lawyer, John Hueston, countered that the “ambiguity” of the settlement made further punishment for his client unfair.

“There simply is not a clear enough standard to use the hard penalty of contempt,” he said.

Musk sat quietly with his lawyers, sometimes staring down at paperwork, during oral arguments.

SEC  calls tweet ‘obviously different’

The battle concerns a tweet that Musk sent to his more than 24 million Twitter followers: “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019,” meaning 500,000 vehicles.

Four hours later, Musk corrected himself, saying annualized production would be “probably around” 500,000 by year end, with full-year deliveries totaling about 400,000.

The SEC called the earlier tweet “obviously different” from Tesla’s Jan. 30 outlook, when it targeted annualized Model 3 production exceeding 500,000 as soon as the fourth quarter, and projected 360,000 to 400,000 vehicle deliveries this year.

Musk’s lawyers countered that the earlier tweet merely restated a forecast he had given on Jan. 30, and that the SEC conceded during settlement talks that Musk did not need pre-approval for all tweets about his company.

Tesla, which built its reputation on luxury cars, has faced several production challenges with its Model 3 sedan, which it is counting on to reach the mass market, recently offering a version starting at $35,000.

On Wednesday night, Tesla repeated its Jan. 30 vehicle delivery forecast, but said first-quarter deliveries had fallen 31 per cent from the prior three months to about 63,000.

Respect for justice system 

The “funding secured” tweet had sent Tesla’s share price up as much as 13.3 per cent. Musk’s privatization plan was at best in an early stage, however, and financing was not in place.

The legal battle has not stopped Musk from being an outspoken critic of the SEC.

Since it began last September, he has labeled the SEC the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission,” recalling his attacks on investors who sell Tesla stock short, and told CBS’s 60 Minutes he did not have respect for the SEC.

And in the early morning of Feb. 26, after the SEC filed its contempt motion, Musk tweeted: “Something is broken with SEC oversight.”

As he prepared to enter the courthouse. Musk told reporters: “I have a great respect for the justice system.”

Asked whether he also respected the SEC, Musk laughed, before turning to go inside.

Source link

Canada urges Brunei to drop new laws punishing adultery, gay sex with death by stoning

Canada urges Brunei to drop new laws punishing adultery, gay sex with death by stoning

Canada is urging Brunei to suspend “inhumane” new laws that punish gay sex and adultery with death by stoning.

A statement from Global Affairs said Canada has raised its human rights concerns directly with the country.

“Canada is appalled by Brunei’s imposition of severe punishments under its new Sharia penal code, which include corporal punishment and the death penalty,” reads a statement from Global Affairs Canada.

“We have raised our concerns directly with Brunei and we urge Brunei to suspend the implementation of its new penal code and to make changes to ensure that it is consistent with international human rights obligations.”

Travel risks

The government also has updated its travel advisory, warning that gay sex can lead to a death sentence in Brunei.

“LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Brunei,” it reads, warning that the Shariah penal code applies regardless of a person’s religion or nationality.

NDP MP Randall Garrison issued a statement criticizing the new laws that took effect in the tiny southeast Asian country Wednesday.

“These actions further marginalize the LGBT community, making violence and death the reality for people living in Brunei,” he said. “Canada must stand with the United Nations and the many other countries around the world who have condemned this legislation and echo that this is a serious setback for human rights.”

Garrison said Canada also should create an “immediate path to safety” for LGBT people in Brunei whose lives are in danger.

Conservatives said Canada should take strong diplomatic steps to show its disdain for Brunei’s persecution of LGBT people.

“The new laws in Brunei — particularly those targeting the #LGBTQ community — must be condemned,” Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole tweeted. “We stand ready to support the government in this effort and suggest the High Commissioner be summoned to make Canada’s position clear.”

The harsh new penalties are part of Brunei’s Shariah Penal Code, which also includes fines and jail terms for pregnancy outside of marriage and failing to pray on Fridays. Brunei’s leader, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, brought in the code in 2014 to boost the influence of Islam in the small, oil-rich monarchy on the island of Borneo.

Before 2014, someone convicted of homosexuality faced a prison term of up to 10 years. Under the new laws, which also apply to minors and foreigners, those found guilty of gay sex or adultery could be stoned to death or whipped.

Those found guilty of theft face amputation of a right hand for a first offence and a left foot for a second offence.

The new Islamic laws have sparked outrage from the United Nations, human rights groups and celebrities such as George Clooney, Elton John and Ellen Degeneres.

Clooney is pushing for a boycott of nine hotels in the U.S. and Europe with ties to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

Actor George Clooney is condemning new laws in Brunei that impose the death penalty for gay sex and adultery. (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/Associated Press)

Some LGBT advocates say they fear the crackdown could spread into the neighbouring countries of Indonesia and Malaysia.

‘Heinous’ and ‘unspeakably cruel’

Amnesty International Canada has called the penal code punishments “heinous” and “unspeakably cruel.”

“We hope that Canada is engaging with its partners in the Equal Rights Coalition, and other like-minded states, to explore all possible avenues to publicly and privately condemn Brunei’s new penal code punishments in the strongest possible terms,” said Amnesty’s gender rights campaigner Jackie Hansen in an email to CBC.

Mathieu Genest, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, said there are no special programs planned at the moment to help people fleeing persecution in Brunei.

“We work closely with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in the selection of refugees to be resettled in Canada, which ensures that cases are properly reviewed and that applicants are being resettled in the country that best suits their circumstances,” he said.

Source link

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén