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The company’s shares jumped by about 2% on the news.

Boeing said it’s completed 96 flights totaling over 159 hours of air time with its software fix for the Max jet. The company is also updating airlines by bringing representatives into flight simulators and showing them the modified flight control system.

The company has stopped deliveries and has cut Max production by 20% as it works on a fix. The jets have been grounded since mid-March. Wells Fargo said Tuesday that Boeing’s troubles with the Max will reduce second-quarter GDP growth by 0.2%.

Separately, Institutional Shareholder Services on Tuesday recommended that shareholders vote in favor of a proposal that would require Boeing to have an independent chairman of the board. That title is currently held by CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

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US may scale back Huawei trade restrictions to help existing customers

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The U.S. Commerce Department said on Friday it may soon scale back restrictions on Huawei Technologies after this week’s blacklisting would have made it nearly impossible for the Chinese company to service its existing customers.

The Commerce Department, which had effectively halted Huawei’s ability to buy American-made parts and components, is considering issuing a temporary general license to “prevent the interruption of existing network operations and equipment,” a spokeswoman said.

Potential beneficiaries of the license could, for example, include internet access and mobile phone service providers in thinly populated places such as Wyoming and eastern Oregon that purchased network equipment from Huawei in recent years.

In effect, the Commerce Department would allow Huawei to purchase U.S. goods so it can help existing customers maintain the reliability of networks and equipment, but the Chinese firm still would not be allowed to buy American parts and components to manufacture new products.

The potential rule roll back suggests changes to Huawei’s supply chain may have immediate, far-reaching and unintended consequences.

The blacklisting, officially known as placing Huawei on the Commerce Department’s entity list, was one or two efforts by the Trump administration this week allegedly made in an attempt to thwart national security risks. In an executive order, President Donald Trump also effectively barred the use of its equipment in U.S. telecom networks.

The United States believes Huawei’s smartphones and network equipment could be used by China to spy on Americans, allegations the company has repeatedly denied.

The latest Commerce move comes as China has struck a more aggressive tone in its trade war with the United States, suggesting a resumption of talks between the world’s two largest economies would be meaningless unless Washington changed course.

A spokesman for Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Out of $70 billion Huawei spent for buying components in 2018, some $11 billion went to U.S. firms including Qualcomm, Intel Corp and Micron Technology.

The logo of Huawei Technologies is pictured in front of the German headquarters of the Chinese telecommunications giant in Duesseldorf, Germany, February 18, 2019.

Wolfgang Rattay | Reuters

If the Commerce Department issues the license, U.S. suppliers would still need separate licenses to conduct new business with Huawei, which would be extremely difficult to obtain, the spokeswoman said.

The temporary general license would last for 90 days, she said, and would be posted in the Federal Register, just as the rule adding Huawei to the entity list will be published in the government publication on Tuesday.

“The goal is to prevent collateral harm on non-Huawei entities that use their equipment,” said Washington lawyer Kevin Wolf, a former Commerce Department official.

The entity listing bans Huawei and 68 affiliates in 26 countries from buying American-made goods and technology without licenses that would likely be denied.

The entities list identifies companies believed to be involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.

In a final rule posted on Thursday, the government tied Huawei’s entity listing to a criminal case pending against the company in Brooklyn, New York.

U.S. prosecutors unsealed the indictment in January accusing the company of engaging in bank fraud to obtain embargoed U.S. goods and services in Iran and to move money out of the country via the international banking system.

Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the company’s founder, was arrested in Canada in December in connection with the indictment, a move that has led to a three-way diplomatic crisis involving the U.S., China and Canada.

Meng, who was released on bail, remains in Vancouver, and is fighting extradition. She has maintained her innocence, and Huawei has entered a plea of not guilty in New York.

Trump injected other considerations into the criminal case after Meng’s arrest when he told Reuters he would intervene if it helped close a trade deal.

Watch: Rare look inside Chinese smartphone giant, Huawei’s HQ

— Reuters correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that Meng Wanzhou is Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer.

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BJP, Congress parties field ‘criminal candidates’

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In this photo taken on April 21, 2019 Indian supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hold portraits of party candidate K. Surendran during the final day of election campaigning in the city of Pathanamthitta, in the south Indian state of Kerala.

Arun Sankar | AFP | Getty Images

India‘s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has one unwanted lead in this month’s general election race — according to data from an electoral watchdog it is fielding the most candidates among the major parties who are facing criminal charges. Its main rival, Congress, is just a step behind.

Election laws allow such candidates to run so long as they have not been convicted, on grounds both of fairness and because India’s criminal justice system moves so slowly that trials can take years, or even decades, to be resolved.

Still, the number of such candidates accused of offences ranging from murder to rioting has been rising with each election.

Analysts say political parties turn to them because they often have the deepest pockets in steadily costlier elections, and that some local strongmen are seen as having the best chance of winning.

Nearly one-in-five candidates running for parliament in the current election has an outstanding criminal case against them, inching up from 17% in the previous election and 15% in 2009, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-profit organisation that analysed candidates’ declarations.

The data shows that 40% candidates from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP face criminal charges, including crimes against women and murder, followed by the Congress party at 39%.

Among the smaller parties, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has an even higher proportion, with 58% of its candidates embroiled in criminal cases.

Polls have suggested that the BJP and its allies lead the race to win the mammoth, staggered election that began last month and ends on Sunday. Votes will be counted on Thursday.

“Parties only think about winnability and they know that money power and muscle power of such candidates ensures that win,” said Anil Verma, head of the ADR.

With 240 cases against him, K Surendran of the BJP tops the list of candidates with the most outstanding criminal complaints that include rioting, criminal trespass and attempted murder.

He said most of the cases stem from his involvement in the BJP campaign to oppose the entry of women and girls of menstruating age into the Sabarimala temple in his home state of Kerala.

“I understand that an outsider might feel that I am a grave offender but, in reality, I am completely innocent of these charges,” he said. “It was all politically motivated.”

Dean Kuriakose from the Congress party has 204 criminal cases against him, the second highest, the data showed. Most of the cases were related to a political agitation against the ruling Communist Party in Kerala, which turned violent.

He was not available for comment. But a party spokesman said Kuriakose was innocent. “He was falsely charged by the police under influence from Kerala government,” the spokesman said.

Political analysts say that often people vote for candidates who face criminal charges because they are seen as best placed to deliver results. In some parts of India local strongmen mediate in disputes and dispense justice.

“Powerful people, even if criminals, offer a kind of parallel system of redressal,” said K.C. Suri, a professor of political science at the University of Hyderabad.

A separate ADR survey of more than 250,000 voters last year found 98% felt candidates with criminal backgrounds should not be in parliament, though 35% said they were willing to vote for such a candidate on caste grounds or if the candidate had done “good work” in the past.

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Australians go to the polls in a federal election on May 18

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Voters cast their ballots at a polling station during a federal election in Sydney, Australia, on May 18, 2019.

David Gray | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Australians began voting in a federal election on Saturday, with bookies predicting a return to power for the Labor party after six years in the political wilderness and a campaign in which it has put climate change and tax reform at the top of its agenda.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made economic management the centrepiece of the campaign for his conservative Liberal-National coalition, which has held power since 2013.

Poll opened at 8 a.m. (2200 GMT on Friday) and will close at 6 p.m. (0800 GMT). Voting is compulsory in Australia and the result should be known on Saturday evening.

The campaign ended on a sombre note, with the death on Thursday of the popular former prime minister and Labor stalwart Bob Hawke. Hawke, who was prime minister from 1983 to 1991, was 89.

While it seems unlikely that Hawke’s death will have any impact on how voters cast their ballots, Labor leader Bill Shorten said it had made him more determined than ever.

“I already feel a responsibility to millions of people to win. But sure, I want to do it for Bob as well. I don’t want to let his memory down,” Shorten told Channel Nine.

Shorten seems to have struck a chord with voters who feel financially left behind and are worried about the environment with his promise to cut both generous tax concessions enjoyed by the wealthy and greenhouse gases.

Morrison has criticized Labor’s policy as an attack on people’s aspirations.

A final opinion poll conducted by Newspoll for The Weekend Australian on Friday showed Labor’s lead over the National-Liberal coalition at 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent.

“I am nervous because it’s a big day, it’s a very big deal,” Shorten said on Saturday. “But I’m confident that we have done the homework.”

Shorten will vote in Melbourne in his seat of Maribyrnong, while Morrison is spending the day visiting polling booths in Tasmania before heading home to Sydney to vote.

Opinion polls indicate that Morrison has narrowed Labor’s lead during the campaign, but many voters are still angry about the ousting of his socially moderate predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, in a backbench revolt last August.

Turnbull was the second prime minister to be ousted while in office by the ruling Liberal Party amid deep divisions over climate and energy policy.

While polls show most Australians support stronger action to tackle climate change, Morrison’s coalition strongly supports the coal industry.

Morrison has said Australia would meet its commitment under the Paris Accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 26% and 28% on 2005 levels, but says more ambitious targets would damage the economy.

Shorten said that, if elected, his government would aim to cut carbon emissions by 45% from 2005 levels by 2030, with net zero emissions by 2050.

With about 17 million eligible voters, the Electoral Commission is operating more than 7,000 polling stations in venues such as surf clubs, schools and public halls.

There will also be about 90 voting centers overseas.

A time difference of two hours between the east and west coasts means voting centers in Western Australia will still be open as the initial counts start coming on the populous east coast.

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