By Michael Gold TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan smartphone maker HTC Corp said it plans to slash costs by nearly a quarter and sell cheaper devices in a bid to bounce back to profit in October-December. Under pressure in a market dominated by Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics, the company warned revenue for the fourth quarter will fall up to 15 percent from the previous quarter, slipping below analysts' estimates. The company said during an investor briefing on its outlook on Tuesday it expects fourth-quarter earnings per share of just T$0.10 to T$1.70 ($0.003 to $0.058), having sunk to its first-ever quarterly net loss of T$3.58 per share in the previous three months. Struggling to bolster what research firm Gartner estimates is a 2.6 percent share of the global smartphone market with its flagship One series, the company hired Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr earlier this year for a series of TV ads to promote its brand. Officials said during the briefing that company will keep its operating expenses low in October-December at around T$10 billion, 24 percent below the previous quarter's T$13.1 billion. They didn't say exactly where savings would be made. "We're looking at broader products in this quarter...we aim for higher volume into 2014 that will give better profitability," company financial chief Chialin Chang said in the briefing, referring to more affordable smartphones. That would represent a switch from previous strategy. HTC has previously said it is aiming to capture 20 percent of the high-end smartphone market in China. But according to research firm IDC, nearly 60 percent of second-quarter smartphone shipments in China came from models that cost $150 or less. The company's woes have led it to suspend production lines and shutter factories, according to sources. The company will also outsource some manufacturing to other firms and split its design and manufacturing arms. On Tuesday HTC estimated fourth-quarter revenue will be T$40 billion to T$45 billion, below an average forecast of T$46 billion from 20 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters SmartEstimates. It reported revenue of T$47.1 billion in the previous quarter and T$60 billion a year ago. ASSET SALE The previously agreed sale of a T$265 million stake in U.S. headphone company Beats Electronics will also help HTC's fourth quarter. But any miss in revenue target could jeopardize the tiny profit targeted. HTC said separately on Tuesday that revenue dropped 13 percent in October from the same month a year earlier, highlighting the continuing squeeze on its sales. Supply-chain mismanagement, employee defections and marketing misfires, among other issues, have pushed the company's stock price to its lowest level since 2005 - before it started releasing phones under the HTC brand. "Perhaps in the past we have not marketed ourselves that well," Ben Ho, HTC's chief of marketing, told Reuters in an October interview. Ho did not rule out an increase in the marketing budget, currently at about $1 billion, going forward. "We are in the process of tightening up and revamping a lot of things that we used to do." ($1 = 29.4180 Taiwan dollars) (Additional reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
- The Independent
Médecins Sans Frontières says country has been plunged into ‘permanent state of mourning’
- Business Insider
Russia is expelling 10 US diplomats in retaliation to Biden's latest sanctions and amid Ukraine tensions
The US slapped new sanctions on over 30 Russian entities on Thursday over Russian election interference and the SolarWinds hack.
- The Telegraph
The UK wanted US troops to stay in Afghanistan, the head of the Armed Forces has revealed. General Sir Nick Carter said President Biden's decision to pull out all 2,500 US troops by September 11 was "not the decision” the UK wanted. The Chief of Defence Staff said: "It's not a decision that we'd hoped for. But we obviously respect it, and it's clearly an acknowledgement of an evolving US Strategic posture." Earlier this week President Biden vowed to end America's "forever war" in Afghanistan, which began 20 years ago following 9/11, when they first arrived to bring down the Taliban regime harbouring Osama bin Laden. Nato said the withdrawal process would begin by May 1 and could be completed in just a few months. However, many have cautioned that the UK, which has agreed to an "orderly departure of our forces" by withdrawing the remaining 750 British troops by the deadline, said they had no choice but to cooperate because staying without the US was impossible. Former defence minister Tobias Ellwood, Chairman of the Defence Select Committee, said the US decision risked "losing the peace" and allowing extremism to "regroup". It was "concerning" and "not the right move". He said British forces had "no choice" but to leave due to the US's "significant force protection capabilities from which we benefited". Mr Ellwood added: "Remaining allied forces are unable to fill that vacuum without upgrading our posture for which there is no political appetite."
- LA Times
Facing a two-year ban for missed drug tests, top U.S. sprinter Christian Coleman sees his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for sport fall short.
- FOX News Videos
A San Antonio, Texas, police officer was shot in the hand before he killed two suspects and injured a third during a gunfire exchange, authorities said.
In London's East End, there was both adoration for the monarchy and sharp criticism of some members of Britain's royal family on the eve of the funeral of Prince Philip, who died a week ago after seven decades of service to his wife Queen Elizabeth. The queen, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and other senior royals will pay their last respects to Philip on Saturday at a ceremonial funeral at Windsor Castle that will be broadcast live by television stations across the world. "My TV's always off - I watch YouTube and just internet and social media stuff," said Johnathan Roach, a 33-year-old window cleaner in Whitechapel, east London.
Saturday is the first day of the traditional New Year in Myanmar and the last day of a five-day holiday that is usually celebrated with visits to Buddhist temples and rowdy water throwing and partying in the streets. Pro-democracy activists called for the cancellation of the festivities this year and instead for people to focus on a campaign to restore democracy after the military's ouster of the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi is among 3,141 people arrested in connection with the coup, according to a tally by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group.
- The Daily Beast
NeonNature can be neither opposed nor fled in In the Earth, which—following last year’s misbegotten Rebecca, that never fit his gonzo sensibilities—returns writer/director Ben Wheatley to the hallucinatory strobe-lit horror insanity of his 2014 gem A Field in England. A stripped-down genre affair shot during quarantine and infused with deeply rooted pandemic fears, it’s a phantasmagoric folky freak-out that, like a pestilence, gets under one’s skin, where it festers and infects with unnerving potency. Perched on the razor-thin boundary between lucidity and madness, it gnaws at the nerves and bludgeons the senses until submission—to humanity’s helplessness in the face of the ancient world’s elemental power—is the only recourse.Produced in fifteen days in August 2020, In the Earth (now playing) is not only a companion piece to Wheatley’s A Field in England—a mushroom-fueled psychotronic nightmare par excellence—but also to Alex Garland’s Annihilation, sharing a narrative focus on scientists venturing into a toxic heart of darkness, where they find brutal violence and trippy 2001-style lunacy. The primary subject of Wheatley’s latest is Martin Lowery (Joel Fry), an unassuming researcher who arrives at a remote English facility where pandemic protocols are the order of the day. No one explicitly identifies the disease that everyone is afraid of, but in drips and drabs, the film reveals that it’s extremely deadly, and that it’s ravaged the country (and planet), including the city where Martin’s elderly parents reside.‘Honeydew’ Is a Deranged Vegan Horror Movie Starring Steven Spielberg’s SonAt this outpost, a country home retrofitted for medical purposes, Martin meets Alma (Ellora Torchia), a park ranger who’s been assigned to accompany him into the dense forest to rendezvous with his former colleague Dr. Olivia Wendle (Hayley Squires), who’s carrying out unspecified tests in the middle of nowhere. Before embarking on their two-day hike to Olivia, Martin spies a painting (and related kids’ drawings) of a fabled pagan spirit of the woods known as Parnag Fegg that captured locals’ imaginations in the 1970s after some children went missing in the area. It’s no great leap to assume that this myth is somehow related to the film’s opening sight of a towering stone slab with a hole in it (think a more earthen variation of 2001’s alien monolith). Yet at least initially, Martin shrugs off this tall tale, his attention less on campfire stories about monsters than on a practical mission that involves doing outdoors-y things he’s not very skilled in, like building a tent.Things quickly take a harrowing turn. First, the duo come upon an abandoned tent strewn with toys and a book about a witch, suggesting that a family has been hanging out in this forbidden zone. Then, they’re viciously beaten in their own tent by an unseen assailant. Shortly thereafter, they come upon Zach (Reece Shearsmith), a reclusive outdoorsman who offers them assistance—including shoes, since theirs were pilfered by their attacker—back at his surprisingly sizable makeshift home, replete with its own disinfection station. Zach is a sketchy hermit, but since they’re in desperate straits, and Martin is also suffering from a giant gash in his foot, the pair accept his assistance—which, wouldn’t you know, turns out to be an unwise idea.Referring to Parnag Fegg, Alma states, “I think the forest is like something that you can sense, so it makes sense that they should give that fear a face.” Later, she tells Martin she believes people will soon forget about their pandemic ordeal and go back to their prior ways, implying that mankind is incapable of truly respecting, or coming to grips with, nature’s awesome and terrifying might. In this hostile environment, amateur shutterbug Zach opines that “photography is like magic, really. But then, so is all technology when you don’t know how it works.” The supernatural quality of the unknown is everywhere in In the Earth, and Wheatley uses canted compositions in which his characters are dwarfed by their lush, misty surroundings to conjure an atmosphere of the mysterious, primal world devouring these interlopers, consuming and reintegrating them back into its fertile soil.The director’s dreamy aesthetics are amplified by a soundscape of menacing electronic noises, heavy breathing, and unnatural bird calls, creating the impression that this milieu is not simply alive but sentient. The interconnectedness of everything soon becomes a pressing concern for Martin and Alma, including with regards to Zach—whom they must escape, because he’s up to some wild stuff—and Olivia, who’s trying to commune with the primeval stone slab that she believes is the embodiment of Parnag Fegg, and the hub of the country’s ecological bio-network. To do this, she employs methods that are at once technological and ritualistic—a marriage of the rational and irrational that soon defines In the Earth, and also channels The Shining and the filmmaker’s Kill List as it spirals down, down, down into an abyss of schizoid craziness.Wheatley’s suspenseful visuals alternate between spying Martin and Alma at a remove and engulfed by tangled branches and heavy foliage; close-up views of flapping-skin wounds that gush blood and are stitched up with makeshift sutures; and kaleidoscopic montages of blooming flower petals, smoke tendrils, sunlit-dappled tree tops, smashing rocks, pouring rain, crawling bugs, and other unsettling images. The ethereal and corporeal are intertwined here, portending doom. No concrete explanation for what’s going on is provided; shrewdly, In the Earth’s rare bouts of exposition are handled so quickly that specifics are deliberately hard to discern. What is clear, however, is that man holds little sway over nature (and its old gods), and any attempt by the former to comprehend the latter is an endeavor destined to confound, if not drive one out of their ever-loving mind.In its bewildering final moments, the film delivers the head-spinning payoff promised by its preceding passages. In the Earth doesn’t make complete sense because it’s a movie about incomprehensibility. Tapping into our ongoing COVID anxieties of corruption and ruin, it’s a sinister vision of nature protecting itself through biologically and psychologically viral defense mechanisms—and of the futility of trying to change, fight, reason with or even fathom such unstoppable forces.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Associated Press
Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders' campaign on Thursday said she has raised nearly $5 million in her bid to be Arkansas' next governor, breaking the record for quarterly fundraising in the state. Sanders' campaign said the majority of the more than $4.8 million raised during the first three months of the year came from out-of-state donors. Sanders' campaign, which launched in January, said it held more than 50 events in Arkansas during the quarter.
- The Independent
Barney Harris shot and killed despite wearing bulletproof vest to rob drugs and cash
- The Independent
Country’s health system is buckling under pressure of highly contagious P1 variant
Thousands of viewers contacted the BBC to say they felt the amount of coverage was excessive.
- The Independent
‘We see what Russia is doing to undermine our democracies’, foreign minister says
- The Independent
‘Thank God the light finally changed and I was able to drive off’, said victim after abuse
- The Independent
‘Huge letdown’: Telegram users on Lindell’s verified channel express frustration at signing up for VIP access to new social media network that still hasn’t opened despite announcement
- Kansas City Star
Cheese rolled into a nearby lake.
- The Independent
‘We stayed. The citizens are why we stay’: CNN reporter goes viral after police threaten to arrest journalists
Journalism is Not a Crime: Experienced corespondent stands her ground, writes Andrew Buncombe
- The Independent
‘It is the right thing to do’: Chelsea Clinton calls on Trump to release a vaccination photo to help win over MAGA anti-vaxxers
Referencing concerns that Republicans are warier of Covid vaccines, 41-year-old says ‘real difference’ could be made in vaccine effort with image of former president’s jab
- Architectural Digest
Sivan worked with Flack Studios to transform the space while preserving the essence of its Victorian-era origins Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- The Telegraph
Prince Philip’s funeral will take place today at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. His English oak coffin will be carried from the Private Chapel in the Castle to St George's in a purpose-built Land Rover, for a service that will be attended by just 30 members, given Covid restrictions. So what is St George’s Chapel, and what is its significance to the Royal Family? History of St George's Chapel St George’s Chapel is the centre of the College of St George, a cathedral-like complex within Windsor Castle that also includes a choir school, library and archives. The founding of the College goes back to 1348 under Edward III, who also founded the College of St Stephen, which went on to become the modern-day Westminster Palace. The current building that houses St George’s Chapel was completed in 1528, under the reign of Henry VIII. The chapel has had a storied past since then, including suffering heavy damage during the Civil War, and becoming the burial site for the executed Charles I. During the Restoration, it underwent extensive repairs. Prince Philip's funeral plans and how to watch live