Watch: Kimbal Musk Promotes ‘Plant A Seed Day,’ Tesla-Focused Fox Business Segment Ends Abruptly

Elon Musk’s brother and Tesla, Inc. board member, Kimbal, was booted off Fox Business Thursday after a bizarre interview with visibly frustrated host Stuart Varney. 

The lesser known Musk brother appeared to troll Fox Business Thursday in what Varney hoped would be a discussion about Robyn Denholm replacing Elon Musk as Tesla’s chairman of the board earlier this month. But wearing a cowboy hat and a grin, Kimbal made only generic comments abouts Tesla’s future and instead focused solely on promoting 2019’s “Plant A Seed Day” events.

“Hi, and thank you for having me here,” Musk said from the stock exchange floor after Varney’s introduction “I’m so excited about plant a seed day…”

“Now hold on, hold on, I know you want to get to Plant A Seed Day, I understand entirely Kimbal.”

“Look, Kimbal, you are on the board at Tesla,” Varney said, attempting to center the conversation around Denholm. “And you’ve got a new chair. Have you heard anything from her? Is she laying down law?”

“I am so happy for the future of Tesla,” Musk said. “On March 20, 2019 we’re going to do a plant a seed day, we’re going to get a thousand families, a million families, to plant a seed…”

Once again, an increasingly exasperated Varney reminded Kimbal that the Australian businesswoman’s replacement of Elon is “very much in the news” and that’s the reason for his presence on the show. “You’ve got to tell me, is she laying down the law? Have you had contact with her? What’s she saying? What’s she doing on the board?”

“I am very happy for the future of Tesla,” responded Musk. “Let me tell you about a kid on the Southside of Chicago…”

Varney immediately cut him off, sensing the story was headed back toward Plant A Seed Day: “Look, this is the most watched business news program in America and we have that reputation because we go at the stories of the day and we figure out exactly what’s going on. Now I want to know what’s going on at Tesla with the new board chair and you are on the board. Can you answer the question?”

“What is she doing? What do you know that she’s doing so far? I don’t need to know you’re very happy about the future of Tesla I want to know what your new chair is doing at Tesla on the board,” Varney continued.

But again, Kimbal Musk kept promoting Plant A Seed Day ahead of next March.

“What I’d like to share is I’m so happy about the future of Tesla and Plant A Seed Day in 2019 will be a way for companies across America to participate.”

“Ah, come on. You think my viewers wnat to learn about plant a seed day? Do you really?” an incredulous Varney shot back.

Kimbal Musk
Elon Musk’s brother and Tesla, Inc. board member, Kimbal, was booted off Fox Business Thursday after a bizarre interview with visibly frustrated host Stuart Varney. Screenshot: Fox Business YouTube

“Plant A Seed Day is going to be awesome. It’s going to be amazing we’re going to get a million families to plant a seed American cares about the future of America. Plant A Seed Day is going to get a million families to plant a seed on March 20, 2019,” said a smiling Musk.

“Okay, okay. I’m wrapping it up, I’m sorry. Wait a minute, I am responsible to my audience. I’m sorry it’s over. I will not be used,” concluded Varney. Musk vowed that Varney himself would be a part of Plant A Seed Day come March 20, 2019. 

But Musk was not done touting Plant A Seed Day. Since leaving the interview earlier on Thursday afternoon, he took to Twitter and appeared to defend his appearance through a retweet. 

“Hahaha @kimbal mad props for what you did here, and I agree “Plant a seed Day” is vastly more important & relevant than mere speculation of Tesla’s board dynamics,” Musk retweeted, showing a comment frome one of his followers. Another Twitter user he retweeted concurred, “Maybe @Varneyco only wants to talk about Tesla, but after watching this I want to talk about #PlantASeedDay.”

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Wall Street rises on hopes of easing trade tensions; Dow Jones up 200 pts

US stocks reversed course to trade higher on Thursday after a Financial Times report that further on would be paused spurred optimism that the two countries could resolve their trade dispute.

Wall Street’s major indexes rose on the Financial Times article that US Trade Representative Lighthizer told a group of industry executives the next tranche of tariffs on has been put on hold.

After five days of losses, shares of Apple Inc also gained 2.6 percent, helping the S&P 500 technology sector <.SPLRCT> gain 2.5 percent.

“We’d be trading sideways for quite a while … but we’ve rallied on that headline,” said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut. “If we’re stopping imposing tariffs and are talking, it’s a positive.”

Earlier, the S&P 500 and the Dow had declined as disappointing results from retailers as well as a weak outlook from KB Home dragged down consumer discretionary stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 204.4 points, or 0.81 percent, to 25,284.9, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 25.47 points, or 0.94 percent, to 2,727.05 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 118.65 points, or 1.66 percent, to 7,255.04.

Shares of Cisco Systems Inc advanced 5.2 percent after the network equipment maker’s quarterly revenue and earnings beat analyst estimates. Cisco was among the biggest boosts to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

Department store operator Dillard’s Inc tumbled 14.0 percent after its third-quarter earnings missed analyst estimates. Likewise, its peer J.C. Penney Co Inc reported same-store sales below analyst expectations.

The gloomy results from Dillard’s and J.C. Penney also cast a pall over Walmart Inc shares, which fell 2.2 percent despite the world’s largest retailer beating same-store sales estimates and raising its full-year outlook.

J.C. Penney shares, however, shed earlier losses to climb 13.1 percent after Chief Executive Officer Jill Soltau gave indications of her plans to turn a profit.

KB Home slumped 16.5 percent after the company cut its fourth-quarter revenue forecast. Shares of other homebuilders, including PulteGroup Inc , Toll Brothers Inc and Lennar Corp , also fell.

Shares of PG&E Corp extended their losing streak to a sixth day, hitting a 15-year low of $17.71 after the utility company warned that it could face liability in excess of its insurance if its equipment caused the deadly Camp Fire in northern California. PG&E shares were last down 30.4 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.30-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.07-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted five new 52-week highs and 19 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 16 new highs and 142 new lows.

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US pilots union warns of possible ‘safety deficiency’ in Boeing 737 MAX

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Air Line Pilots Association told U.S. safety regulators on Thursday the union was concerned about “a potential, significant aviation system safety deficiency” in the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, one of which crashed last month in Indonesia.

FILE PHOTO: Indonesian National Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT) officials examine a turbine engine from the Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, November 4, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta/File Photo

Boeing Co (BA.N) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued guidance about the 737 Max’s aviation system last week after a Lion Air jet crashed in Indonesia on Oct. 29, killing all 189 people on board.

But the pilots union’s president, Tim Canoll, said in a letter to the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board made public on Thursday that “the lack of critical safety information being provided to the air carriers and frontline operators is concerning.”

Boeing, asked for comment on the letter, said it was “taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this incident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved.” The company added that it was “confident in the safety of the 737 MAX.”

ALPA, the largest U.S. pilots union, represents 61,000 pilots at 34 airlines in the United States and Canada. Its letter said that it wants agencies working with Boeing “to communicate all relevant information to the operators to ensure the continued safe operation of this aircraft.”

In its airworthiness directive last week, the FAA warned airlines that erroneous inputs from the aviation system’s sensors could lead the Boeing 737 MAX to automatically pitch its nose down even when autopilot is turned off, making it difficult for pilots to control the jet.

The system was designed to prevent the jet from stalling, according to information provided by Boeing to airlines.

“Based on recent reporting about the 737 Max, we are concerned that a potential, significant aviation system safety deficiency exists, and we are writing to ask for your immediate help and assistance in clarifying the issues with respect to the pitch control system of the aircraft,” the union letter said.

Indonesian investigators said on Monday the situation the crew of the doomed Lion Air jet was believed to have faced was not addressed in the aircraft’s flight manual. U.S. pilot unions were also not aware of potential risks, two pilot unions previously told Reuters.

In its letter, ALPA said that information about “this system was not provided to the frontline airline employees—the flight crews and maintenance technicians” and it “appears to be a significant information gap.”

The FAA did not comment on the letter but said it “will take further appropriate actions depending on the results of the investigation.”

The agency said earlier this week that the “FAA and Boeing continue to evaluate the need for software and/or other design changes to the aircraft including operating procedures and training as we learn more from the ongoing investigation.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Tom Brown

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Hedge-fund boss who predicted ’87 crash says get ready for some ‘really scary moments’

‘From a markets perspective, it’s going to be interesting. There probably will be some really scary moments in corporate credit.’


Paul Tudor Jones

Paul Tudor Jones, a hedge-fund luminary, said he’s stress-testing his portfolio of corporate debt because he expects a tumultuous road ahead on the back of the Federal Reserve’s apparent commitment to normalizing interest rates and buttressed by corporate tax cuts from the Trump administration.

Speaking at an economic forum in Greenwich, Conn., a hotbed for hedge funds, Jones said the Fed faces real challenges amid “the end of a 10-year run” of economic growth that many anticipate will soon come to a screeching, cyclical end.

Jones is widely credited with predicting, and profiting, from the stock-market crash on Oct. 19, 1987, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.83%

lose nearly 23% of its value, marking the largest one-day percentage decline for the blue-chip benchmark in its history.

The 64-year-old investor founded Tudor in 1980 and became known for trading everything from currencies to commodities. However, his record has also featured middling returns and an exodus of billions from his hedge fund in more recent years.

In the past and during his talk in Greenwich, Jones said he believes that bonds and stocks are overvalued in an environment that had been underpinned by easy-money policies from central banks across the global.

He’s not alone.

The biggest threat to financial stability comes from the elevated level of the stock market and the sensitivity of bond prices to interest rates, says the conclusion of the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research, which on Thursday published its annual report to Congress. It called the overall threat to financial stability as “medium.”

Conventional wisdom holds that if rates climb too rapidly it could create a headwind for many assets because rising rates mean increased borrowing costs for corporations and richer yields can also undercut demand for stocks, compared against the perception of bonds as risk-free assets.

For a corporate debt perspective, a number of high-profile bonds have been in the news of late, including investment-grade debt issued by General Electric Co.

GE, -1.80%

andPG&E Corp.

PCG, -30.68%

Although the situations with PG&E and GE are idiosyncratic, the Wall Street Journal reported that issues with high-profile companies like GE and boring utilities could reshape the junk-bond market, if those issuers and their debt slides beneath levels deemed investible by a wide swath of investors.

On Thursday, stock investors were enduring a bumpy road, indeed, with the Dow swinging by hundreds of points before drifting deeper into the green, along with the S&P 500 index

SPX, +1.06%

and the Nasdaq Composite Index

COMP, +1.72%

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Honda renews its Passport: Video unveils 2019 resurrection of the SUV

After nearly two decades, Honda has renewed its Passport.

With a new 44-second teaser video, the automaker confirmed rumors that an all-new Honda Passport will be unveiled on November 27 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. 

The original Passport was Honda’s first SUV – a five-seater that was sold from 1994 to 2002.

In the teaser video on Thursday, the new Passport is seen kicking up dust on a winding dirt road which hints at its off-road capabilities. Visual details of the vehicle are obscured by dust, and video is shot from a bird’s eye view. 

Available to purchase in 2019, the Passport will join Honda’s popular light-weight truck line-up and will fall somewhere between the 5-seater CR-V crossover, and the 8-seater Pilot SUV.

More: Honda, Toyota, Nissan car sales plunge, but SUVs rise: U.S. auto sales likely up in August

“The new Passport is a more personal, powerful and off-road-capable SUV that hits the sweet spot between daily driving comfort and weekend off-road, all-weather adventure capability,” said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc abd General Manager, Honda Division.

As demand for SUVs continues to grow, Honda’s light-truck sales are on track for a fourth-straight record year, the company said, with sales are up 5.3 percent from last year’s numbers.

The new Passport will be “designed and developed in the U.S.,” Honda said.

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/11/15/honda-passport-automaker-offers-first-look-its-new-suv/2014293002/

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Facebook says it’s creating an independent body to help it decide which content to remove

Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018.










Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the company will establish an independent body to oversee user appeals of content removal, one day after a bombshell report that detailed how the company avoided and deflected blame in the public conversation around its handling of Russian interference and other misuses of its social network.

accused Facebook and other social media outlets of censoring politically conservative points of view, a charge that Facebook denies.

“I have come to believe that we shouldn’t be making so many important decisions on free expression and safety on our own,” Zuckerberg said on a call Thursday.

The independent body will make its decisions in a transparent and binding manner, Zuckerberg said in a post. The company will begin piloting the new body in early 2019 with the hope of establishing it in full by the end of next year.

This body “will prevent the concentration of too much decision-making within our teams,” Zuckerberg said in his post.

Facebook does not yet know how members of the body will be selected or how it will ensure the body’s independence. “There’s still a number of important questions to work through here,” Zuckerberg said on the call.

Zuckerberg’s comments come one day after a report by the New York Times that detailed how COO Sheryl Sandberg and other Facebook execs tried to downplay and spin bad news. Among other things, Facebook worked with Definers Public Affairs, a Washington-based public relations firm, which reportedly wrote dozens of articles criticizing the business practices of rivals Apple and Google while downplaying concerns about Facebook’s own problems.

Facebook ended its relationship with Definers Public Affairs on Wednesday night, the company announced on Thursday.

The company on Thursday also released its latest report outlining its effort to remove harmful content, such as fake accounts, hate speech and graphic violence, from its social network.

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SpaceX, TeleSat Canada bids get US nod to expand satellite internet

WASHINGTON (Reuters – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously on Thursday to allow Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk’s Space X, Telesat Canada [PSPENC.UL] and two other companies to roll out new satellite-based broadband services.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches carrying a Qatari communications satellite, which will provide connectivity to Qatar and neighbouring parts of the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, from historic Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., November 15, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

The FCC voted to grant “market access” requests to Telesat, Kepler Communications Inc and LeoSat MA, Inc to offer high-speed internet service and connectivity for sensors and other intelligence devices.

The FCC, which had approved SpaceX’s initial plans in March, further approved the company’s request on Thursday for access to additional frequencies and to operate an additional 7,500 satellites at very low-Earth altitudes.

SpaceX previously won approval to deploy 4,425 satellites, but won approval Thursday to operate some of those at lower altitudes.

The FCC said, in the order approving the Tesla application, the revisions would “provide SpaceX with additional flexibility to provide both diverse geographic coverage and the capacity to support a wide range of proposed broadband and communications services in the United States and globally.”

Satellite service faces challenges including the rising amount of orbital debris and the expense of deploying large numbers of satellites.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said at the telecommunications regulator’s monthly meeting that satellite technology can provide high-speed internet for Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach. The technology could also be a critical backstop when hurricanes or other natural disasters disrupts communications, he said.

Musk said in a 2015 speech that SpaceX planned to launch a satellite-internet business that would help fund a future city on Mars.

SpaceX wanted to create a “global communications system” that Musk compared to “rebuilding the internet in space.” It would be faster than traditional internet connections, Musk said in the 2015 speech.

Telesat Canada plans to use a network of 117 satellites to offer high-speed U.S. communication services.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said at the meeting that the new satellites are “smaller and less expensive to launch than the traditional geostationary satellites that have been going up since the 1960s.”

By operating at lower orbit, they offer the possibility of faster connections.

Satellite-based service today currently are used for service on ships and airplanes.

The FCC separately voted to streamline rules governing satellite communications.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Diane Craft

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