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How new elections in Italy, with Salvini or M5S in power could be good

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Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister, looks on during a news conference with Marine Le Pen, leader of the French nationalist National Rally party, not pictured, on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. 

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There’s an upside to the ongoing political crisis in Italy: the upcoming government cannot be worse than the current M5S-Lega coalition, a former official at the Bank of Italy, told CNBC Wednesday.

Rome’s two-party coalition came to an abrupt end Tuesday after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned from his post following pressure from the right-wing Lega party. President Sergio Mattarella will hold consultations with various parties in Parliament in the coming days to see whether there is a working majority which would avoid the need for fresh elections. Analysts have dubbed the ongoing political chaos as an “unnecessary” rift.

“That was the worst possible coalition for economic policy, both in terms of fiscal policy, both in terms of structural policies. So, anything that comes in place of that would be better,” Francesco Papadia, a senior fellow at the think tank Bruegel and former official at the Bank of Italy, told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe, said about the Lega-M5S coalition.

Rome’s coalition was made up of Lega and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S). The Lega party favors tax cuts and aims to stop illegal immigration while the Five Star Movement (M5S) promotes initiatives that would extend benefits for citizens. Both parties, as a coalition, pushed for higher spending and challenged the European Union against its fiscal rules. The collision with Brussels sparked market jitters on different occasions.

Markets pay particular attention to Italy’s spending, given its public debt pile. This stands at above 130% of its growth rate, one of the highest in the world.

Two scenarios: an M5S-PD coalition or a Lega-led government

Two possible outcomes to the Italian political crisis include: a coalition between M5S and Partido Democratico (PD), which criticizes both the trade unions and the banking industry; or a right-wing coalition led by Lega.

Papadia added that the possible scenarios are better than the Lega-M5S government, but “better, of course, does not mean good.”

Some analysts believe that, for example, a coalition between M5S and PD would not last the entire political cycle.

“A M5S-PD coalition would likely introduce more fiscal discipline, but its lifespan would probably be short,” Matteo Ramenghi, chief investment officer at UBS global wealth management said via email.

At the same time, some analysts raise questions about the economic policies that a Lega-led government would pursue.

“(Salvini) wants to go for the easy wins,” Ralph Jainz, fund manager at Centricus Asset Management, told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe.

“He is very Trumpian in his approach to economics, which gives you a little bit of a very short momentum and reacceleration of growth, but the tough measures that need to be taken, even Salvini doesn’t really seem to address so far,” Jainz added.

Salvini, the Lega’s leader, who has been criticized for seeking a snap election to capitalize on his recent rise in popularity, said Tuesday that Italy needs a budget worth 50 billion euros ($55 billion) for 2020 to provide a “shock” fiscal stimulus, Reuters reported.

Opinion polls show Lega placing ahead of all other Italian parties at 36%. It came to power as the junior coalition partner, but Salvini’s tough rhetoric has helped him to boost its popularity in a country where immigration is a dividing issue. M5S has, meanwhile, seen its support drop and is currently polling third at 19%.



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Inspired by Swedish teen, worldwide protest demands climate action

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(Reuters) – Millions of young people flooded the streets of cities around the world on Friday to demand political leaders take urgent steps to stop climate change, uniting in a worldwide protest inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

Alarmed by images of the Greenland ice sheets melting and the Amazon rain forests burning, students and workers abandoned schools, shops and offices in nearly every corner of the globe, aiming to stop what they see as a looming environmental catastrophe.

The protests started in the Pacific islands, where rising sea levels threaten a way of life, and followed the rising sun across Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia and on to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. The coordinated student “strike” culminated in New York’s Wall Street, where some investors have embraced the fossil fuel industry.

Massive crowds overwhelmed the streets of lower Manhattan, letting out roars of “Save our planet!” while anticipating an address by Thunberg, who soared to prominence after sailing across the Atlantic in an emissions-free yacht ahead of next week’s climate summit at the United Nations.

“Right now we are the ones who are making a difference. If no one else will take action, then we will,” Thunberg told demonstrators in New York.

“We demand a safe future. Is that really too much to ask?” she said.

Demonstrators in Paris raised a painting of Thunberg as the Virgin Mary, a halo around her head reading, “Our house is on fire.

“She’s like the icon of our generation,” New York protester Fiamma Cochrane, 17, said of Thunberg, highlighting the leadership role of young people in the international cry to reduce consumption of fossil fuels.

For Jane Willis, a 62-year-old high school English teacher and playwright, the students offered a ray of hope even as the recreational area of her own youth, Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, was polluted by pesticides.

“My heart feels two ways,” Willis said, surveying the crowd. “Half of it is breaking, and half of it just feels really buoyed up, I feel hopeful.”

Worldwide concern has escalated since U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the international Paris Accord on climate change and took a series of steps to dismantle environmental protections, including moving on Thursday to block stricter vehicle emissions standards in California.

Demonstrators in Thailand stormed into the environment ministry and feigned death, while activists in Berlin and Munich re-enacted gallows, standing on melting blocks of ice with nooses around their necks to symbolize the death that awaits them when the polar ice caps melt.

Others in Warsaw staged a performance of people drowning in a sea of plastic waste.

“The planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend,” read a poster held by a teenager in Thailand.

“Make love, not CO2” signs were spotted in Berlin and Vienna.

Three million people had participated worldwide as of midday in New York, organizers with the anti-fossil fuels group 350 said.

Sixteen year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg takes part in a demonstration as part of the Global Climate Strike in lower Manhattan in New York, U.S., September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

While Europeans filled the streets, students in the Solomon Islands gathered at the rising ocean water’s edge wearing traditional grass skirts. The issue is vital to low-lying Pacific islands, which have repeatedly asked wealthier nations to do more to prevent rising sea levels.

‘THERE IS NO PLANET B’

Global warming caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels has already led to droughts and heat waves, melting glaciers, rising sea levels and floods, according to scientists.

“There is no Planet B,” read a sign hoisted by a young woman in London.

In Kenya, around 500 activists marched to demand that the government cancel plans for a controversial coal plant and investigate corruption in hydropower dams.

“In Samburu there is a lot of heat, the grass has dried up, there is little water,” said Francis Lentel, a young herdsman in traditional beads, holding a picture of the Earth weeping.

The protest movement is putting increasing pressure on both governments and companies to respond.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel unveiled a major new climate protection package thrashed out by parties in her coalition during all-night talks.

Private industry has also responded. Amazon.com Inc Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos on Thursday pledged to make the largest U.S. e-commerce company net carbon neutral by 2040.

Slideshow (34 Images)

Hundreds of workers from Google, Amazon and other technology companies on Friday criticized their industry for being slow to tackle climate change and joined marches in San Francisco and Seattle calling for action.

“Tech is having an awakening,” said Google business analyst Marie Collins.

The U.N. summit next week brings together world leaders to discuss climate change mitigation strategies, such as transitioning to renewable energy sources.

Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, among the world’s only national leaders who publicly question climate science, are not due to take part, their representatives said.

Reporting by Hans Lee in Sydney, Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels, Fabrizio Bensch in Berlin and Ilze Filks in Stockholm Hans Lee in Sydney; Additional reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat in Bangkok, Byron Kaye in Sydney, Sonali Paul in Melbourne, Katharine Houreld in Nairobi, Gabriella Borter in New York, Liz Hampton in Houston, Lindsey Wasson in Seattle and Kate Munsch in San Francisco; Writing by Jonathan Barrett, Stephen Coates, Alex Richardson and Daniel Trotta; Editing by Will Dunham, Lincoln Feast,; Janet Lawrence, Mike Collett-White and Daniel Wallis



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Newsletter: Stripe, Amazon & the Fed

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FE International Newsletter September 20, 2019: Stripe, Amazon & the Fed

Hello and welcome to the FE International newsletter bringing you most important updates in the world of online business. Following a week of announcements at Stripe Sessions, the SaaS payments leader has announced it is raising $250 million to continue its powerful growth trajectory. Stripe’s new valuation of $35 billion for this round of fundraising represents a 55% increase from where it was valued during its last fundraising round earlier this year.

This week, the e-commerce world is seeing Amazon test a new product feedback process by way of one-tap ratings. The new review feature is Amazon’s attempt to drive up the number of shoppers who leave useful reviews, as this is a driving force behind product sales for merchants on the platform. For now, a select group of Amazon customers will have access to the feature, which will be made available from a variety of places including “Your Orders” and “Write a Review.” While this is likely to encourage the number of positive reviews merchants see due to varying levels of motivation to write positive vs negative reviews, merchants should be attuned and respond to low-star reviews inquiring after why.

Our friend David Hauser, the founder of Grasshopper, just launched his first book Unstoppable: 4 Steps to Transform Your Life. If you’ve heard of Grasshopper, you know David has no problem reaching his business goals. But after years of diet and exercise, he couldn’t get a grip on his health goals — until he started applying business principles to his own body and mind. This book gives you the framework he used to succeed. To celebrate the launch, follow the link on the FE blog to grab a copy for under $1 until Monday.

Finally, international news saw French President Macron commit a €5 Billion Investment from insurers and asset managers in French technology startups. The funding comes from c.40 venture capital firms and funds in the country, with the goal of creating 25 or more €1 billion French technology companies by 2025. Recent tax cuts had not proven effective enough to help burgeoning startups, which brought about this new initiative which, according to Macron, is intended to “create [France’s] champions.”

New in FE exclusive App listings this week we have a Wellness and Improvement App Portfolio listed at the $288,000 price point. This diverse portfolio of c.140 mobile apps has garnered millions of lifetime users due to its effectiveness and popularity. With over 2.7 million lifetime downloads and an incredibly high product rating of 4.7 stars, this business has seen steady revenue growth of around 187.5% compound annual growth rate over the 2015 to 2018 period. Please follow the link above to request a prospectus.

In events news, we are pleased to present the first in a series of “HOW TO” online business meetups, How to Build an 8-Figure Technology Business panel event! Join CEO Ismael Wrixen, Founder Thomas Smale and the FE team to hear from expert panelists who have built successful technology businesses and are ready to share their proven skills. Ticket Tailor Founder Jonny White and SaaStock Founder and CEO Alex Theuma, among others, speak on the panel before we open the floor for no-pitch networking with the fellow founders, entrepreneurs and investors in attendance. Doors open at 6pm, so make sure to head over to the Technology Entrepreneur Meetup page hosted by FE International to RSVP!

Thanks for tuning into this week’s top stories. For more updates throughout the week you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss an update! From all of us at FE, we’ll see you next week.

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Tamyra Mensah-Stock dominates to win first wrestling world title | NBC Sports

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American Tamyra Mensah-Stock knocks off Anna Fransson of Sweden and has a victory lap for the ages to celebrate becoming a world champion #NBCSports #TamyraMensahStock

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Tamyra Mensah-Stock dominates en route to first wrestling world title | NBC Sports

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