More UK financial firms looking to Dublin, vote on Brett Kavanaugh could happen this weekend, and million dollar whisky. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
Russians identified by Netherlands and US in alleged cyberattacks
Dutch authorities expelled four suspected Russian agents for allegedly planning a cyberattack against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. Russia’s deputy foreign minister said Moscow would “study” the charges, but expressed “doubt”. Details from the Financial Times (including a timeline) and Guardian. In conjunction, US prosecutors accused seven Russian nationals of hacking and leaking Olympic athletes’ drug test data, as well as the targeting the OPCW, as reported by the Guardian and Washington Post. The GRU agents allegedly used bitcoin to fund their activities, said MarketWatch.
Private label “accelerator”
Amazon is ramping up its “Amazon Accelerator Program” to entice manufacturers to create exclusive private label products for the retailer, according to CNBC. Amazon’s private label sales are predicted to grow from $7.5bn this year to $25bn in 2022, said SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, an investment bank.
Square moves more into lending
Square, a payments firm used by many US small retailers, said it would offer point-of-sale installment loans on purchases between $250 and $10,000. Square already provides loans to merchants. Reported by Barron’s, CNBC and Fast Company.
Brexit applications in Ireland
The governor of Ireland’s central bank said Dublin is processing more than 100 applications from financial service firms looking to set up post-Brexit operations in the country, according to Reuters. Separately, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said he was “encouraged” by comments from the head of the European Securities and Markets Authority that memorandums of understanding would allow EU and UK regulators to cooperate regardless of the Brexit deal that is eventually struck, reported Reuters.
Nissan issues Brexit warning
The Japanese carmaker Nissan, which employs 8,000 at its UK plant, warned of the “serious implications” of a hard Brexit on its operations, saying it relied on “frictionless trade” with the EU. Reported by the Independent, Telegraph and Times.
The “patriarchy paradox”
Contradicting some feminist analyses, a pair of studies have found that more gender equality increases job stereotypes. “In countries ranked as less gender equal by the World Economic Forum, women were more likely to choose traditionally male courses such as the sciences or online study,” The Times wrote of one research paper. “It seems that as gender equality increases, as countries become more progressive, men and women gravitate towards traditional gender norms,” Erik Mac Giolla, the lead researcher of another study, told the newspaper.
Kavanaugh closer to confirmation
Republicans said a FBI report cleared Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, which may lead to a procedural vote on Friday and Kavanaugh’s confirmation as US Supreme Court justice by the senate as early as this weekend. Hundreds of protestors have been arrested in Washington. Details from the BBC, Reuters and Washington Post.
Record whisky sale
A 750ml bottle of Scotch single malt whisky sold for $1.1m at auction this week, reported the New York Times. It was bottled in 1986 after 60 years of aging.
What’s for lunch, kids?
Bored Panda has pictures of school lunches in Brazil, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Ukraine and the US. How representative they really are, we don’t know.