Broadcom’s Tan, CBS’s Moonves Among Highest-Paid CEOs

Here are the highest-paid CEOs for 2017, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive data firm.

The AP’s compensation study covered 339 executives at S&P 500 companies who have served at least two full consecutive fiscal years at their respective companies, which filed proxy statements between January 1 and April 30.

Compensation often includes stock and option grants that the CEO may not receive for years unless certain performance measures are met. For some companies, big raises occur when CEOs get a stock grant in one year as part of a multi-year grant.

1. Hock Tan

Broadcom

$103.2 million

Change from last year: Up 318 percent

2. Leslie Moonves

CBS

$68.4 million

Change: flat

3. W. Nicholas Howley

TransDigm

$61 million

Change: Up 223 percent

(Howley left the CEO position last month.)

4. Jeffrey Bewkes

Time Warner

$49 million

Change: Up 50 percent

5. Stephen Kaufer

TripAdvisor

$43.2 million

 

Change: Up 3,400 percent

(Kaufer’s 2017 compensation excludes $4.8 million in incremental fair value relating to the modification of awards granted in 2013.)

6. David Zaslav

Discovery Communications

$42.2 million

Change: Up 14 percent

7. Robert Iger

Walt Disney

$36.3 million

Change: Down 11 percent

8. Stephen Wynn

Wynn Resorts

$34.5 million

Change: Up 23 percent

(Wynn left the CEO position in February.)

9. Brenton Saunders

Allergan

$32.8 million

Change: Up 693 percent

10. Brian Roberts

Comcast

$32.5 million

Change: Down 1 percent


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Health Experts: Ebola Patients Must Be Isolated

The World Health Organization (WHO) says people diagnosed with Ebola must be kept isolated to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease. The WHO has updated the number of Ebola cases since the outbreak started in the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 8, confirming 31 of 52 probable and suspected cases, including 22 deaths.

The escape of two Ebola patients earlier this week from a treatment center in Mbandaka, a city of more than one million people, has raised fears of a rapid spread of the disease. The families of the patients reportedly helped them leave.

World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic called the incident very unfortunate, but not unexpected.

“It is only human that people want to be with their loved ones and family want them to be at home in what could be the last moments of life,” he said.  “… Keeping a sick person at home not only decreases the chances of survival for this person, because this person is not receiving supportive treatment. It is also putting at risk the whole family.”

Ebola is highly contagious. The virus is transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids. The fatality rate is between 20 percent and 90 percent.

Jasarevic said it is important to improve efforts to engage with communities so they understand how the virus is spread and how they can protect themselves from becoming infected.

“People who fall sick go to an isolation unit and receive treatment because that treatment will significantly increase their chances of survival,” he said. “…Getting IV fluids, getting antibiotics as a supportive means, if necessary, is something that reduces the risk of that.”

Jasarevic said it is important to trace every person who has come into contact with an Ebola patient. Those who have been identified are likely to receive an experimental vaccine that has shown good protective qualities, he added.

Since a vaccination campaign began on Monday, he said 154 people have been inoculated. They include high risk health workers and some particularly vulnerable people from local communities in Mbandaka.


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Харківщина: адвокат ромів у справі про вбивство у Вільшанах заявляє про побиття

Адвокат Андрій Муха, який представляє потерпілих у справі про вбивство очільника ромської громади у Вільшанах на Харківщині Миколи Каспіцького, заявляє, що 24 травня на нього скоїли напад і жорстоко побили у власному офісі у місті Дергачі Харківської області.

«Забій легені, рідина в легені, набряк серця, черепно-мозкова травма, підбите око, по тілу садна – п’ятеро людей били. Тому не можу сказати, що помираю, але не дуже добре (почуваюсь – ред.)», – розповів Муха в коментарі Радіо Свобода.

За його словами, нападники приїхали на двох автомобілях, серед них був прокурор місцевої прокуратури Ільгар Гасанов.

 «Оглянули мій кабінет, знайшли теку щодо вбивства у Вільшанах, взяли звідти скаргу на дії прокурора місцевої прокуратури Пісоцького, засунули мені в рота, почали поливати кавою, щоб вона була не така суха, і змушували, щоб я її повністю з’їв. Я не міг цього зробити, тому вони мене били. Після цього забрали 2 тисячі доларів, які лежали у мене в столі, ну, в гаманці, і покинули приміщення», – каже Андрій Муха.

Як зазначив адвокат, щодо нападу він звернувся до поліції і повідомив про злочин за статтею «розбій» Кримінального кодексу, але, попри те, що він називав імена декого із нападників, нікого не було затримано.

Поліція і прокуратура Харківщини наразі інцидент офіційно не коментували.

Радіо Свобода направило запит до Національної поліції та Генеральної прокуратури і очікує на відповідь.

У травні минулого року в селищі міського типу Вільшани на Харківщині сталася збройна сутичка між місцевими ромами та частиною жителів, внаслідок чого одна людина загинула і ще четверо зазнали поранень. В обласному управлінні Національної поліції тоді заявляли, що конфлікт має побутове підґрунтя, і почали провадження за двома статтями: хуліганство та навмисне вбивство.

Як пізніше повідомляло «Громадське радіо», підозрюваним у цій справі є колишній селищний голова Вільшан, а нині депутат Харківської облради Олексій Литвинов. За інформацією ресурсу, після мітингів за участі ромської громади правоохоронці почали також розглядати у розслідуванні мотив міжнаціональної ворожнечі. 

 


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Європейська кіноакадемія виступила з відкритим зверненням щодо Сенцова: не дайте Олегові померти

Його підписали продюсери, актори та режисери з Німеччини, Великої Британії, Франції, Польщі, Угорщини та Фінляндії та Росії, а також 1750 членів інших організацій


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China Snaps up US Oil, Straining Capacity to Export It

The U.S. oil export infrastructure is straining to keep up as the country’s crude oil exports hit new highs and China snaps up more of it than ever before.

U.S. crude production has surged to a record 10.7 million barrels a day, driven largely by growth from the Permian shale patch in West Texas, which pumps more than 3 million barrels per day.

However, the infrastructure to move it abroad is lagging, even as U.S. prices are well below the Brent benchmark, a discount that sits just off three-year highs at $8.09 per barrel. 

U.S. crude exports peaked at 2.6 million bpd two weeks ago, but are expected to keep rising.

What is US export capacity?

No definitive data are available on how much crude the United States can export, though analysts estimate a nationwide capacity of 3.5 million to 4 million bpd. Most terminal operators and companies do not disclose capacity, and the U.S. Energy Department does not track it.

“So far, export capacity is keeping pace, but we are walking a tightrope,” said Bernadette Johnson, vice president at Drilling Info.

That capacity may begin to be tested next month, as Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, bought a record 16 million barrels, or about 533,000 bpd of U.S. crude, to load in June, two sources with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.

For the last six months of available data, ending in February, the United States exported about 332,000 bpd to China.

Terminals designed for imports

Analysts are concerned about how quickly the crude terminals at Gulf Coast ports, many initially designed for imports, can shift to handling exports. Only the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port can handle supertanker exports, but it only started testing in February. The supertankers, known as VLCCs or very large crude carriers, can handle about 2 million barrels of oil, the amount preferred by Asian buyers with bigger ports.

“There’s only one dock on the Gulf Coast that can handle a VLCC deepwater, and that’s LOOP. And the LOOP has only started to export,” said Sandy Fielden, director of research in commodities and energy at Morningstar. 

Port of Corpus Christi in Texas is developing its Harbor Island port, which will accommodate 120 VLCCs per year, said Jarl Pedersen, chief commercial officer at the port, with a targeted completion of late 2020.

Kpler, a cargo tracking service, Thursday estimated that up to 4.8 million bpd can be moved from the top crude-exporting ports of Corpus Christi, Houston, Port Arthur and New Orleans. Their estimate in October was 3.2 million bpd.

PIRA Energy Group put the U.S. overall crude export capacity at 3.5 million bpd, while Morningstar’s estimate is 3.8 million bpd at most.

Pipelines lacking, too

In addition to port constraints, inadequate pipeline space has created a glut of supply in West Texas, pushing the principle cash grade there to a $13 discount to benchmark U.S. crude futures this month, the biggest in 3½ years.

“The constraint is really the pipeline coming down from the Permian to Corpus Christi,” Pedersen said. However, the ship channel still needs to be deepened, a $320 million project in development with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

There is 3.4 million bpd of pipeline capacity, while total output from tight oil and legacy production from vertical wells in the Permian is at more than 4.2 million bpd, according to energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

“The combined volumes mean that the infrastructure is crammed full — there’s little or no room for incremental volumes,” R.T. Dukes, head of U.S. Lower 48 oil supply at Wood Mackenzie said in a note.

About 300,000 bpd of new pipeline capacity is to come on by the end of January, but “it’s really from next summer that we’ll see big new capacity,” Dukes said.

In the second half of 2019, another 1.25 million bpd will be added, lifting total capacity up to 5 million bpd, he said.

“That’s when the big discount of WTI at Midland will narrow,” Dukes said.


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Hawaii Volcano Sends 3 Flows of Lava Into Ocean

Lava entered the ocean from a third flow Thursday, marking the third week of a Hawaii volcano eruption that has opened up nearly two dozen vents in rural communities, destroyed dozens of buildings and shot miles-high plumes of ash into the sky.

Low lava fountains were erupting from a nearly continuous 2-mile-long (3.22-kilometer) portion of the series of fissures that have opened in the ground, scientists said Thursday. The fountains were feeding channelized lava flows down to the coast. The eastern-most channel split, creating three ocean entries.

Since the eruption began May 3, Hawaii County has ordered about 2,000 people to evacuate from Leilani Estates and surrounding neighborhoods.

Hawaii officials have said they may need to evacuate 1,000 more people if lava crosses key highways and isolates communities in the mostly rural part of the island where the Kilauea volcano is erupting.

A blocked highway would cut people off from the only route to grocery stores, schools and hospitals.

The U.S. Marine Corps said Thursday that it has sent two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters from a base near Honolulu to help if more evacuations become necessary. Each helicopter can carry 50 passengers.

20 vents, 50 buildings

The volcano has opened more than 20 vents in the ground that have released lava, sulfur dioxide and steam. The lava has been pouring down the flank of the volcano and into the ocean miles away.

Lava has destroyed 50 buildings, including about two dozen homes. One person was seriously injured after being hit by a flying piece of lava.

There continues to be intermittent explosions at the summit that have been sending plumes of ash into the sky. On Wednesday, the volcano belched a plume that reached about 7,000 feet (2,133 meters), scientists said. Right before the explosion, there was a 3.9 magnitude earthquake at the summit.

“We are kind of in this steady state,” said Wendy Stovall, a scientist at the U.S. Geographical Survey. There’s no indication about whether lava volume will increase or decrease, she said. The continued explosions are expected to “last a little while longer.”


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Brazil: Deal Reached to Suspend Crippling Trucker Strike

Brazil’s government said late Thursday that a deal had been reached with truckers to suspend a 4-day-old strike that caused fuel shortages, cut into food deliveries, backed up exports and threatened airline flights.

Eliseu Padilha, chief of staff for President Michel Temer, told reporters in Brasilia that several unions that represent truckers agreed to suspend the strike for 15 days to give all parties time to negotiate a solution to rising fuel prices that drivers say have cut deeply into their earnings.

The deal came after a full day of negotiations with several of the largest transportation unions. 

 

Diumar Bueno, president of the National Confederation of Autonomous Transporters, told the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo that he hoped the agreement would lead to drivers quickly dismantling roadblocks on highways and streets.

But it wasn’t immediately clear how many of the thousands of truckers, who by the nature of their jobs operate with a good bit of independence, would heed calls to stop the strike.

Road transport

Brazil’s economy runs largely on road transport, and the strike to protest rising diesel prices was beginning to have serious consequences, with highway police reporting blocked roads in nearly all of Brazil’s states.

The airport in the capital of Brasilia allowed landings only by planes that carried enough fuel to take off again. The stop-gap measure hadn’t resulted in any flight cancelations, but it was unclear how long it could continue before companies would have to ground planes. The civil aviation authority and airport authorities said they were monitoring fuel supplies carefully.

Long lines formed at gas stations, and some ran out of some kinds of fuel. In Rio de Janeiro, only about two-thirds of the city’s buses were running Thursday, according to Rio Onibus, which represents the companies that run the various lines.

Local media reported food shortages and rationing in some supermarkets, and an association of supermarkets in Brazil’s south warned that perishable food would run out in days if the strike did not end. The association said stores on average have a 15-day supply of dry goods, but fresh food would run out or spoil before then.

The Brazilian Association of Meat Industry Exporters said dozens of meatpacking plants were idling because of the strike, and 1,200 containers carrying beef for export were not being loaded on ships each day. Brazil is one of the largest exporters of meat in the world.

Truckers complain that rising diesel prices have cut deeply into their income and are demanding relief from the government. Diesel prices are being pushed up by rising world oil prices and Brazil’s falling real currency.

Truckers reject Petrobras move

Truckers rejected the Wednesday decision by the state oil company Petrobras to reduce diesel prices at refineries by 10 percent. The company said the measure would last for 15 days and give the government time to negotiate an end to the strike.

“The government thinks truckers are illiterate and can’t count,” said Vicente Reis, who has been driving for 20 years. “In 2018, there has already been about a 25 percent increase in fuel prices. And now they want a 15-day freeze with (a reduction of) 10 percent. Truckers know how to count, Mr. President.”


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Dying Ebola Patients Flee to Congo Prayer Meeting

Two dying Ebola patients were spirited out of a Congo hospital by their relatives on motorcycles, then taken to a prayer meeting with 50 other people, potentially exposing them all to the deadly virus, a senior aid worker said Thursday.

Both patients were vomiting and infectious and died hours after the prayer session in the river port city of Mbandaka, Dr. Jean-Clement Cabrol, emergency medical coordinator for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), said.

Democratic Republic of Congo is racing to contain an outbreak of the disease, which spreads through contact with infected bodily fluids including vomit and sweat.

The Health Ministry said late Thursday that a new case had been confirmed in the town of Bikoro and another in the nearby village of Iboko, where the epidemic is thought to have started.

This brought the total number of confirmed cases to 31, it said in a statement, out of 52 suspected cases.

Ninth outbreak in Congo

Congo’s ninth recorded outbreak of the disease is thought to have killed at least 22 people so far, according to government figures released Wednesday, fewer than the last estimate of 27, after some of those deaths turned out not to be Ebola.

“The escape was organized by the families, with six motorcycles as the patients were very ill and couldn’t walk,” Cabrol told a news briefing in Geneva after returning from the affected region. “They were taken to a prayer room with 50 people to pray.

“They were found at two in the morning, one of them dead and one was dying. So that’s 50-60 contacts right there. The patients were in the active phase of the disease, vomiting.” The patients got out of the isolation ward Monday.

Earlier reports did not give details of the escape or where they went afterward. A third patient who left the ward survived.

Health officials started trying to trace the motorcycle drivers and other people who came into contact with the patients as soon as the escape was reported, Dr. Peter Salama, head of emergency response at the World Health Organization (WHO), told Reuters on Thursday.

“From the moment that they escaped, the (health) ministry, WHO and partners have been following very closely every contact,” he said.

‘Hard to predict’

WHO’s three-month budget for the crisis has been doubled to $57 million to carry out a complex operation in a remote, forested area, Salama said.

“All it takes is one sick person to travel down the Congo River and we can have outbreaks seeded in many different locations … that can happen at any moment. It’s very hard to predict,” he said, referring to the river linking the trading hub of Mbandaka to the capital Kinshasa, whose population is 10 million.

“It is going to be at least weeks and more likely months before we get this outbreak fully under control,” Salama said.

There have been major advances in medical treatment of the virus since it ravaged West Africa in 2014-2016, including the use of an experimental vaccine to protect medical staff.

But local skepticism about the dangers and the need to isolate infected patients continue to complicate efforts to contain it. In past outbreaks, mourning relatives have caught the hemorrhagic disease by touching the highly contagious bodies of dead loved ones, sometimes by laying hands on them to say goodbye. 


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Trump Signs Bill Easing Restraints on Small US Banks

U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law Thursday a measure that eases rules imposed on banks in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession.

The law relaxes regulations and oversight on banks with assets below $250 billion, leaving a handful of the largest U.S. banks that must still comply with the stringent rules and oversight.

Trump said at the signing ceremony the rules and oversight, enacted by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, were “crushing small banks.” Trump lauded the signing as a victory in his administration’s efforts to eliminate regulations to promote economic growth.

Although Trump signed the bill into law, much of Dodd-Frank remains intact. Trump signed the Republican-led measure that was passed by Congress after receiving the support of some Democrats.

Dodd-Frank was signed into law by President Barack Obama in response to a crisis that resulted in the loss of 8 million jobs, 2.5 million home foreclosures and the shuttering of 2.5 million businesses, according to Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research.

A federal report prepared by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission concluded economic weaknesses that created the potential for the crisis were “years in the making.” But the report said “it was the collapse of the housing bubble — fueled by low interest rates, easy and available credit, scant regulation and toxic mortgages — that was the spark that ignited a string of events, which led to the full-blown crisis in the fall of 2008.”


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