Water Supplies Cut In 13 Prefectures

Water supplies cut in 13 prefectures

Japan's health and welfare ministry says as of 4 a.m. Tuesday, more than 133,000 households are without water supplies in 13 prefectures after Typhoon Hagibis swept through Japan over the weekend.

They include:

Tapah Low To Cut Through Northern Japan

Tapah low to cut through northern Japan

Japan's Meteorological Agency says a low-pressure system resulting from severe tropical storm Tapah is over the Sea of Japan on Monday evening, and will cut across northern Japan while maintaining its strength.

The agency is warning of strong winds, high waves and heavy rain.

Agency Retracts Decision To Cut Ties With Comedian

Agency retracts decision to cut ties with comedian

A major Japanese talent agency says it will retract a decision to terminate its contract with a popular comedian who attended a party hosted by a crime group and received money.

Yoshimoto Kogyo President Akihiko Okamoto held a news conference on Monday, his first since the scandal broke.

Japan Approves Strategy To Cut Greenhouse Gases

Japan approves strategy to cut greenhouse gases

The Japanese government has compiled its long-term strategy for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and will shortly present it to the United Nations under the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The Cabinet approved the strategy on Tuesday.

Fca-renault Revival May Hinge On Willingness To Cut Nissan Stake

FCA-Renault revival may hinge on willingness to cut Nissan stake

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Renault are looking for ways to resuscitate their collapsed merger plan and secure the approval of the French carmaker's alliance partner Nissan, according to several sources close to the companies. Nissan is poised to urge Renault to significantly reduce its 43.4% stake in the Japanese company in return for supporting a FCA-Renault tie-up, two people with knowledge of its thinking also told Reuters. It is still far from clear whether any concerted effort to revive the complex and politically fraught deal can succeed. FCA Chairman John Elkann abruptly withdrew his $35 billion merger offer in the early hours of June 6 after the French government, Renault's biggest shareholder, blocked a vote by its board and demanded more time to win Nissan's backing. Nissan representatives had said they would abstain. The failure, which FCA and Renault blamed squarely on the French government, deprived both companies of an opportunity to create the world's third-biggest carmaker with 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) in promised annual synergies. It also shone a harsh light on Renault's relations with Nissan, which have gone from frayed to fried since the November arrest of former alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn, now awaiting trial in Japan on financial misconduct charges he denies.

REVIVAL TALKS

Italian-American FCA — whose brand stable encompasses Fiat runabouts, Jeep SUVs, RAM pickups, Alfa Romeo luxury cars and Maserati sports cars — has so far turned a deaf ear to suggestions by French officials that its merger proposal could be revisited. But since the breakdown, Elkann and his French counterpart Jean-Dominique Senard have had talks about reviving the plan that left the Renault chairman and his Chief Executive Thierry Bollore upbeat about that prospect, three alliance sources said. Renault and a spokesman for FCA declined to comment. One of Elkann's senior advisors on the Renault merger bid, Toby Myerson, was expected at Nissan headquarters in Yokohama on Monday for exploratory discussions with top management, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa is likely to attend. Myerson did not respond to a message from Reuters seeking comment. The meeting comes amid mounting strains that may preclude compromise, after Senard warned Saikawa that Renault was prepared to block key Nissan governance reforms in a dispute over board committees. Alternatively, the escalating tensions and negotiating positions could give way to a breakthrough, as FCA-Renault's industrial logic and savings prove hard to ignore.

REBALANCING ACT

Saikawa, who has argued consistently that alliance shareholdings need "rebalancing" to reflect Nissan's superior size, would press for a substantial reduction to Renault's stake as part of any agreement, according to the same people. Nissan's 15% stake in Renault carries no voting rights. "If FCA are expecting some sort of negotiation, they must be anticipating that request," said one. The FCA-Renault deal that Elkann whipped off the table — at least for now — would have seen both companies acquired by a listed Dutch holding company owned 50-50 by current FCA and Renault shareholders, after payment of a 2.5 billion euro special dividend to FCA shareholders. Paris had secured stronger job guarantees and terms including a cash payment to Renault shareholders, following public criticism that the bid undervalued Renault. For Nissan, however, the merger would "swap out one small 43% shareholder for a bigger 43% shareholder it doesn't know," said a source familiar with top management thinking. Nissan could back the FCA-Renault deal only with a "substantial reduction" in the French carmaker's holding, they said. France may not automatically oppose a reduction to the Nissan holding if it secured Renault's place at the heart of a consolidated group. The government has also said it could reduce its own 15% Renault holding, to the same end. "All options can be considered," Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Le Figaro after the deal collapsed, when asked about Japanese pressure for Renault to reduce its Nissan stake. But a senior ministry official declined to elaborate on that possibility. "The proposal is gone," he said. FCA may also be prepared to compromise for a tie-up that promises to plug the technology gaps threatening its ability to keep pace with vehicle electrification and emissions compliance. It has few other potential partners, after talks with Peugeot maker PSA ended inconclusively earlier this year. Estimated FCA-PSA synergies were closer to 3 billion euros, according to one person briefed on the matter. FCA has already floated a call option that would allow Nissan to increase its 7.5% voting stake in the combined FCA-Renault, another person involved in the talks said. Nonetheless, anything beyond a token reduction of Renault's Nissan stake would likely upset the deal valuations and prove unpalatable to its prospective merger partner. "It's not something FCA would want to reduce," the same person said. "It's an intrinsic part of the value of Renault." Elkann and Senard had planned to press ahead with a merger agreement and formal talks over Nissan's abstention, in the belief that the deal economics would compel it to follow and cooperate, sources close to the Renault board have said. By blocking that strategy at the eleventh hour, the French state may have handed the Japanese company a new negotiating opportunity. One thing Renault and Nissan can agree on is that any window to revive the merger is likely to be short. "If there's going to be a deal it will probably be in weeks rather than months," one alliance executive said.

(Reporting by Laurence Frost; Additional reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing and Giulio Piovaccari in Milan; Editing by Richard Chang)

Android Q's Focus Mode Will Help Users Cut Out Distractions

Android Q's Focus Mode Will Help Users Cut Out Distractions

We spend an obscene amount of time on our phones on a daily basis to the point where for some, the endless stream of messages and notifications from social media can be extremely distracting when it comes to getting work done. However, Google is here to help with a new feature in Android Q called Focus Mode.

With Focus Mode, users will be able to hit the pause button on apps that they don’t want to be distracted by. This means that if you’re trying to cut out messages or notifications from social media during your working hours or while you’re at school, Focus Mode will let you do that. It will also give users the option to allow the notifications for other apps to come through, so you’ll get to control what you see.

Daimler To Cut $6.75 Billion At Mercedes, Sever Ties With Renault-nissan

Daimler to cut $6.75 billion at Mercedes, sever ties with Renault-Nissan

FRANKFURT, Germany — Daimler is looking to make 6 billion euros ($6.75 billion) in cost cuts and efficiency gains by 2021 at Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and a further 2 billion euros at its Daimler Trucks division, Manager Magazin said on Thursday. Around 10,000 jobs will be cut at Daimler, the business-focused magazine said, without citing sources. The separations will likely be voluntary, as Daimler has previously ruled out layoffs until the end of 2020. Daimler declined to comment on the cost savings figure and on Manager Magazin's report. The magazine said the savings are being sought by Daimler's Ola Kaellenius, who will become CEO in May. Daimler said in February it would pursue cost saving measures after fourth-quarter operating profit plunged 22 percent, hit by trade wars, rising costs for developing electric cars and an industry downturn. Manager Magazin said around 30,000 Mercedes-Benz cars with faulty vehicle electronics were produced at its plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, requiring expensive reworking which was causing production delays. Those delays had led to a revenue shortfall of around 2 billion euros and could depress first quarter earnings by up to half a billion euros, the report said. Daimler is due to release first quarter earnings on April 26. Manager Magazin also said Daimler plans to become a carbon neutral company by 2040, ensuring that all new cars, production methods and suppliers work in ways which do not produce carbon dioxide emissions. Separately, Kaellenius will not renew common projects with French carmaker Renault and Nissan, letting an alliance between the carmakers lapse, the magazine said. The Infiniti Q30 and QX30 are built on a Mercedes platform. Mercedes plans to explore more collaboration with Geely, which is Daimler's biggest shareholder with a 9.7 percent stake.

Abe Calls For Strategies To Cut Greenhouse Gases

Abe calls for strategies to cut greenhouse gases

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has instructed Cabinet ministers to draw up long-term strategies to cut greenhouse gas emissions by the time the G20 summit convenes in Osaka in June.

The 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change aims to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to virtually zero in the second half of this century. Signatory nations are required to submit their strategies by 2020.