Stock traders cheer on Bannon exit

Senior Counselor to the President Steve Bannon helps with last minute preparations before President Donald Trump announces his decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement at the White House June 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.Image copyright Getty Images

US stocks regained ground on Friday, after it was confirmed President Donald Trump's polarising adviser Steve Bannon would depart the White House.

Three major indexes turned higher in mid-morning trading and were modestly up by early afternoon.

Mr Bannon, a right-wing nationalist, helped shape the "America First" message of Mr Trump's election campaign.

He also supported some of Mr Trump's more radical economic positions.

In a recent interview with the left-leaning American Prospect magazine, Mr Bannon said the US was in an "economic war" with China, and called for aggressive protectionist moves.

Cheering broke out on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as news of Mr Bannon's exit spread.

Stocks had been trading in record territory, leading some to forecast a correction.

Some say Mr Trump's clashes with North Korea and the domestic fight stirred by his defence of a white supremacist rally in Virginia provided a trigger for the recent losses.

Stocks will welcome Mr Bannon's departure if it represents a victory for the more traditional economic advisers in the White House, such as Gary Cohn, a former investment banker, JP Morgan analysts wrote in a note sent to investors on Friday.

But they warned the firing may not improve odds of actual legislative victories if Mr Bannon remains active politically via his right wing news outlet Breitbart.

"Mr Bannon's departure ...could wind up having mixed ramifications depending on how it happens and what he winds up doing next," they wrote....

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Northern, Southern and Merseyrail strikes set for September

Arriva Rail North trainImage copyright Northern Rail Image caption Arriva runs its Northern services across north-west and north-east England, Cumbria and the East Midlands

Further rail strikes have been set for next month to coincide with schools going back in the row over driver-only-operated trains.

Arriva Rail North, Merseyrail and Southern RMT staff will walk out from Friday 1 September with the last strike on Monday 4 September.

The RMT said no progress had been made over the future of the role of guards, due to safety and job loss fears.

Arriva Rail North said it is prepared to guarantee jobs.

'Round-table talks'

Arriva Rail North - which operates under the brand Northern - and Southern workers will walk out on Friday, 1 September and Monday, 4 September.

Staff at Merseyrail will be on strike on 1 September, 3 September and 4 September.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:"RMT is bitterly disappointed that Southern Rail have rejected our call for round-table discussions involving all parties with an interest in resolving this dispute."

After a meeting with Northern bosses Mr Cash said the "responsibility for the inevitable disruption lies wholly with the company".

He added:"It is disgraceful that Merseyrail continue to refuse all reasonable attempts by the union to settle this dispute.

"RMT has a clear plan for resolving this dispute but that requires round-table talks now to push forwards."

Alan Chaplin, Northern's managing director said:"Northern is prepared to guarantee jobs and current pay for all our conductors for the next eight years, until the end of our franchise.Our offers to discuss every detail on the future responsibilities and training for on-board colleagues have been rejected by RMT."

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Merseyrail's managing director, said:"The RMT say this dispute is about safety.But a recent industry report (RSSB, Risk associated with train dispatch, July 2017) states that:'… there is no additional risk for passengers boarding and alighting driver-controlled operation/driver-only operation trains, and indeed that trains without a guard actually appear to lower overall dispatch related safety risk to passengers."

Southern has also been approached for comment....

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Google's stance on neo-Nazis 'dangerous', says EFF

Stop Fascism protest sign outside the White HouseImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Events in Charlottesville have spurred a national conversation in the US about far-right groups, free speech and censorship

Decisions by Google, GoDaddy and Cloudflare to eject a neo-Nazi site from their services were "dangerous", a US-based digital rights group has said.

The Daily Stormer had denigrated 23-year-old Heather Heyer who died while protesting against a far-right rally in Charlottesville.

This led to a backlash in which multiple web firms kicked the site off their platforms.

But the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has now criticised[1] this response.

The tech companies have not yet commented on the EFF's statement.

"We strongly believe that what GoDaddy, Google, and Cloudflare did here was dangerous," the EFF said.

"Because internet intermediaries, especially those with few competitors, control so much online speech, the consequences of their decisions have far-reaching impacts on speech around the world."

It added that it believed "no-one" - including the government and private companies - should decide who is able to speak or not.

Google and GoDaddy said earlier in the week that it was cancelling the Daily Stormer's registration with Google Domains as it had violated the terms of service.

And Cloudflare's chief executive explained that he made his decision after the site's administrators suggested that Cloudflare supported their cause[2].

In the dark

The Daily Stormer is currently inaccessible on the open web, after various domain providers and hosting firms - including one in Russia - banned it from their services.

However, it has relocated to the dark web.

Dark web network Tor has said it has no plans to stop the Daily Stormer from using its technology.

"Tor is designed to defend human rights and privacy by preventing anyone from censoring things, even us," the Tor Project explained in a blog post[3].

But the list of businesses that have shut out the Daily Stormer and other neo-Nazi or white nationalist sites has now grown very large.

Payment giants Mastercard, Visa , Paypal and American Express all said this week that they would take a tough stance on sites that engaged in illegal activities.

Paypal, for example, mentioned sites that incite hate, racial intolerance or violence.

And music streaming services offered by Google, Deezer and Spotify have said they would remove music that incites violence, hatred or racism.

Spotify said:"We are glad to have been alerted to this content - and have already removed many of the bands identified, while urgently reviewing the remainder."...

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