28th October Briefing: IS leader dies, HSBC’s warning, JEDI award and more…

By November 1, 2019 No Comments

Islamic State leader killed

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed himself during a raid by US troops on an Islamic State base in Syria. He had led the group since 2010 when it was the local outfit for al-Qaeda. He transformed it into Islamic State and declared a caliphate, with himself as leader, in 2013. Islamic State at one point controlled large portions of Iraq and Syria, and Islamic terrorists around the world carried out attacks in its name.

Mr al-Baghdadi blew up a suicide vest he was wearing, killing himself and three of his children. No US troops were killed during the operation.

Argentina elects Alberto Fernández

Mr Fernández is the latest figurehead of the Peronist movement, named after former President Juan Domingo Peron. It promotes social justice, political sovereignty and economic independence. Mr Fernández replaces Mauricio Macri, a conservative who had been trying to stabilise the economy. Mr Fernánde won 48% of the vote.

A third of Argentina’s population lives in poverty, with the problem worsening through Mr Macri’s presidency. Supporters say he inherited a broken system from the new Vice President Cristina Kirchner, who was President from 2007 to 2015.

HSBC sees profits fall 24%

HSBC’s interim CEO, Noel Quinn, said that the bank faces challenging times as he seeks to remodel the business. Profits for the third quarter fell to $3bn, below Wall Street expectations by about 14%. Mr Quinn plans to cut 10,000 jobs out of a total of 237,000 employed by HSBC in an effort to cut costs.

The ongoing political tensions in Hong Kong, where HSBC is the biggest lender, caused some fear over HSBC’s prospects, but it has performed well in the territory. Its share price has fallen 3% regardless.

Microsoft wins Pentagon cloud contract

Microsoft beat out Amazon to win a $10bn cloud computing contract from the US Department of Defense. The Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure, or JEDI, contract is aimed at making the US military more agile and more adaptable. Microsoft will replace the DoD’s ageing computing networks with an integrated cloud one.

Amazon has 10 days to lodge a complaint. President Trump has been a frequent critic of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, and his public outbursts may have fuelled a bias against Amazon.

Man to be charged with lorry deaths

Maurice Robinson, a lorry driver from Northern Ireland, will appear in court later today to be charged with the deaths of 39 people. They were discovered in the trailer Mr Robinson was pulling trying to get into the UK illegally. Mr Robinson will be charged with manslaughter.

The victims were discovered early on Wednesday morning. They are thought to have been brought into the country by people smugglers. Three people arrested over the matter have been granted bail, while another man wanted for questioning has been arrested in Dublin.