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Huawei’s CFO walks free on $10M bail as she awaits extradition proceedings





Huawei’s chief financial officer has been released on $10 million bail — with five guarantors — as she awaits possible extradition to the United States on fraud charges.

Meng Wanzhou, 46, was granted bail after three days of hearings concluded on Tuesday afternoon.

She exited through a side door at B.C. Supreme Court in downtown Vancouver around 8 p.m. PT, nearly five hours after Justice William Ehrcke delivered his decision.

Dressed in a bright hoodie and jacket, Meng was surrounded by security and rushed into a black car, headed to the west-side home where she is set to live. 

In delivering his reasons for granting the bail, the judge said $7 million of that bail payment must be made in cash.

Meng must also report to a bail supervisor, maintain good behaviour, live at a house owned by her husband, Liu Xiaozong, and stay in that house between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

She will not be allowed to leave the province of B.C.

Huawei official Meng Wanzhou, arrested on a U.S. warrant, was released on $10 million bail 0:51

She must also surrender her passports, wear an electronic monitoring bracelet on her ankle and live under surveillance 24/7. Meng has been ordered to pay the surveillance costs herself.

After Ehrcke finished reading his reasons for granting bail, Meng turned to smile and wave at her husband sitting in the front row. He’d been sitting hunched over with his chin in his hands as the judge spoke.

Bail rules ‘offset risk’ of flight: judge

Ehrcke said the “sole question” he had to consider was whether bail terms proposed by Meng’s legal team were enough to “offset the risk” of her fleeing Canada.

He told the courtroom he believed “the risk of her non-attendance in court can be reduced to an acceptable level” under the bail conditions.

The decision, which prompted an eruption of applause from the packed courtroom gallery, comes after a back and forth between Meng’s lawyers and Canadian prosecutors acting on behalf of the U.S.

Meng sits in court during the third day of her bail hearing at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday. (Jane Wolsak/Canadian Press)

Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s multi-billionaire founder, was detained in Vancouver on fraud charges at the request of U.S. authorities more than a week ago. She was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on her way from Hong Kong to Mexico.

Huawei is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of network gear for phone and internet companies, with partnerships with various Canadian universities as well as BCE and Telus. Its 2017 annual report said it brought in more than $90 billion US in revenue.

The extradition process could take months. Meng is scheduled to appear in court again on Feb. 6 to set a date for those proceedings.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Huawei Technologies said it “looks forward to a timely resolution.”

“We have every confidence that the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will reach a just conclusion in the following proceedings. As we have stressed all along, Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate, including export control and sanction laws of the UN, U.S., and EU,” it read in part. 

Fleeing would embarrass China: lawyer

The first two days of Meng’s bail hearing were a back-and-forth argument over how — or if — the court could be assured Meng wouldn’t flee if released on bail.

Martin presented his client as a person of sound character who could be trusted to remain in Canada, since it would embarrass China if she fled. He also pitched an in-depth surveillance program that Meng would pay for herself.

Martin has also said that Meng’s husband would pledge a total of $15 million — including the value of two Vancouver homes and $1 million in cash — and live with her to ensure she obeys court conditions. Justice Ehrcke questioned his suitability as a guarantor because he isn’t a B.C. resident. 

Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei. She serves as chief financial officer and deputy chair of the company’s board. (Maxim Shipenkov/EPA)

John Gibb-Carsley, a federal prosecutor representing Canada’s attorney general, had asked the judge to deny Meng’s request for bail, saying she has more than enough money to leave Canada and has no meaningful connection to Vancouver.

Gibb-Carsley, acting for the U.S., questioned the ability of four friends to act as sureties and asked that Liu be excluded as an option altogether. The lawyer said Liu’s interests were “too aligned” with Meng’s; if she wanted to bolt, the lawyer said, “he would go” with her.

Meng smiled and laughed with a member of her legal team after she entered the courtroom Tuesday morning, wearing the same green correctional centre sweatsuit she’s worn to all her appearances.

Liu was seated directly behind the glass prisoner’s box, wearing a grey sweater and flanked by Huawei employees. The rest of the courtroom was packed with family and international media, with hordes of people waiting in the hallways for an update.

Liu Xiaozong, Meng’s husband, leaves B.C. Supreme Court on Dec. 10. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

The U.S. has accused Meng of repeatedly lying to financial institutions about the relationship between Huawei and a company called Skycom, which it says did business in Iran in violation of international sanctions.

She was being held on a provisional warrant. U.S. authorities have 60 days to make an extradition request and, as of Tuesday, have not done so.

Meng’s father Ren Zhengfei is said to be worth $3.2 billion US. She serves as deputy chair of the company’s board and served on the board of Skycom in 2008 and 2009.

Meng’s case has rattled international financial markets and threatened the fragile trading relationship between the U.S. and China. The B.C. government has already suspended at least one planned meeting in China in light of the executive’s arrest.

Supporters of Meng rallied outside of B.C.’s Supreme Court on Monday. Bail hearings for the detained executive have drawn droves of onlookers, supporters and international media, with lineups snaking out of the building and around courthouse steps. (The Canadian Press)

Hours before Tuesday’s hearing, news broke that a former Canadian diplomat — who worked as a political lead for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Hong Kong in 2016 — had reportedly been arrested in China.

News of Michael Kovrig’s detention comes after China warned Canada of “consequences” for Meng’s arrest — but it’s not clear if there is any link between the two cases.

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump’s top representative in Canada, Ambassador Kelly Craft, dismissed Chinese claims of a political motive behind Meng’s arrest as “absolutely false.”

Meng was rushed into her home on Vancouver’s west side. She must surrender her passports, wear an electronic monitoring bracelet on her ankle and live under surveillance 24/7. Meng has been ordered to pay the surveillance costs herself. (CBC )


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Top 5 Analytics Trends That Are Shaping The Future





Digital transformation is increasingly becoming the focus for many CIOs around the world today—with analytics playing a fundamental role in driving the future of the digital economy.

While data is important to every business, it is necessary for businesses to have a firm grip on data analytics to allow them transform raw pieces of data into important insights. However, unlike the current trends in business intelligence—which is centred around data visualization—the future of data analytics would encompass a more contextual experience.

“The known data analytics development cycle is described in stages: from descriptive (what happened) to diagnostic (why did it happen), to discovery (what can we learn from it), to predictive (what is likely to happen), and, finally, to prescriptive analytics (what action is the best to take),” said Maurice op het Veld is a partner at KPMG Advisory in a report.

“Another way of looking at this is that data analytics initially “supported” the decision-making process but is now enabling “better” decisions than we can make on our own.”

Here are some of the current trends that arealready shaping the future of data analytics in individuals and businesses.

  1. Growth in mobile devices

With the number of mobile devices expanding to include watches, digital personal assistants, smartphones, smart glasses, in-car displays, to even video gaming systems, the final consumption plays a key role on the level of impact analytics can deliver.

Previously, most information consumers accessed were on a computer with sufficient room to view tables, charts and graphs filled with data, now, most consumers require information delivered in a format well optimized for whatever device they are currently viewing it on.

Therefore, the content must be personalized to fit the features of the user’s device and not just the user alone.

  1. Continuous Analytics

More and more businesses are relying on the Internet of Things (IoT) and their respective streaming data—which in turn shortens the time it takes to capture, analyze and react to the information gathered. Therefore, while analytics programspreviously were termed successful when results were delivered within days or weeks of processing, the future of analytics is bound to drastically reduce this benchmark to hours, minutes, seconds—and even milliseconds.

“All devices will be connected and exchange data within the “Internet of Things” and deliver enormous sets of data. Sensor data like location, weather, health, error messages, machine data, etc. will enable diagnostic and predictive analytics capabilities,” noted Maurice.

“We will be able to predict when machines will break down and plan maintenance repairs before it happens. Not only will this be cheaper, as you do not have to exchange supplies when it is not yet needed, but you can also increase uptime.”

  1. Augmented Data Preparation

During the process of data preparation, machine learning automation will begin to augment data profiling and data quality, enrichment, modelling, cataloguing and metadata development.

Newer techniques would include supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning which is bound to enhance the entire data preparation process. In contrast to previous processes—which depended on rule-based approach to data transformation—this current trend would involve advanced machine learning processes that would evolve based on recent data to become more precise at responding to changes in data.

  1. Augmented Data Discovery

Combined with the advancement in data preparation, a lot of these newer algorithms now allow information consumers to visualize and obtain relevant information within the data with more ease. Enhancements such as automatically revealing clusters, links, exceptions, correlation and predictions with pieces of data, eliminate the need for end users to build data models or write algorithms themselves.

This new form of augmented data discovery will lead to an increase in the number of citizen data scientist—which include information users who, with the aid of augmented assistance can now identify and respond to various patterns in data faster and a more distributed model.

  1. AugmentedData Science

It is important to note that the rise of citizen data scientist will not in any way eliminate the need for a data scientist who gathers and analyze data to discover profitable opportunities for the growth of a business. However, as these data scientists give room for citizen data scientists to perform the easier tasks, their overall analysis becomes more challenging and equally valuable to the business.

As time goes by, machine learning would be applied in other areas such as feature and model selection. This would free up some of the tasks performed by data scientist and allow them focus on the most important part of their job, which is to identify specific patterns in the data that can potentially transform business operations and ultimately increase revenue.

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Waterloo drone-maker Aeryon Labs bought by U.S. company for $265M






Waterloo’s Aeryon Labs has been bought by Oregon-based FLIR Systems Inc. for $256 million, or $200 million US.

The acquisition was announced Monday. 

Dave Kroetsch, co-founder and chief technology officer of Aeryon Labs, says not much will change in the foreseeable future.

“The Waterloo operations of Aeryon Labs will actually continue as they did yesterday with manufacturing, engineering and all the functions staying intact in Waterloo and ultimately, we see growing,” he said.

“The business here is very valuable to FLIR and our ability to sell internationally is a key piece of keeping these components of the business here in Canada.”

Aeroyn Labs builds high-performance drones that are sold to a variety of customers including military, police services and commercial businesses. The drones can provide high-resolution images for surveillance and reconnaissance.

The drones already include cameras and thermal technology from FLIR. Jim Cannon, president and CEO of FLIR Systems, said acquiring Aeryon Labs is part of the company’s strategy to move beyond sensors “to the development of complete solutions that save lives and livelihoods.”

‘A piece of a bigger solution’

Kroetsch said this is a good way for the company to grow into something bigger.

“We see the business evolving in much the direction our business has been headed over the last couple of years. And that’s moving beyond the drone as a product in and of itself as a drone as a piece of a bigger solution,” he said.

For example, FLIR bought a drone company that builds smaller drones that look like little helicopters.

“We can imagine integrating those with our drones, perhaps having ours carry their drones and drop them off,” he said.

FLIR also does border security systems, which Kroetsch says could use the drones to allow border agents to look over a hill where there have been issues.

“We see the opportunity there as something that we never could have done on our own but being involved with and part of a larger company that’s already providing these solutions today gives us access not only to these great applications, but also to some fantastic technologies,” he said.

Aeryon Labs has done a lot of work during emergency disasters, including in Philippines after Typhoon Hagupit in 2014, Ecuador after an earthquake in 2016 and the Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016.


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Inuvik infrastructure may not be ready for climate change, says study






The Arctic is expected to get warmer and wetter by the end of this century and new research says that could mean trouble for infrastructure in Inuvik.

The study from Global Water Futures looked at how climate change could impact Havipak Creek — which crosses the Dempster Highway in Inuvik, N.W.T. — and it predicts some major water changes.

“They were quite distressing,” John Pomeroy, director of Global Water Futures and the study’s lead author, said of the findings.

Researchers used a climate model and a hydrological model to predict future weather and climate patterns in the region. They also looked at data gathered from 1960 to the present. 

If greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate — which Pomeroy said they are on track to do — the study projects the region will be 6.1 C warmer by 2099 and precipitation, particularly rain, will increase by almost 40 per cent.

The study also found that the spring flood will be earlier and twice as large, and the permafrost will thaw an additional 25 centimetres. While the soil is expected to be wetter early in the summer, the study said it will be drier in late summer, meaning a higher risk of wildfires.

John Pomeroy is the director of Global Water Futures. (Erin Collins/CBC)

“The model’s painting kind of a different world than we’re living in right now for the Mackenzie Delta region,” Pomeroy said.

He noted these changes are not only expected for Havipak Creek, but also for “many, many creeks along the northern part of the Dempster [Highway].”

Pomeroy said the deeper permafrost thaw and a bigger spring flood could pose challenges for buildings, roads, culverts and crossings in the area that were designed with the 20th century climate in mind.

He said the projected growth of the snowpack and the spring flood are “of grave concern because that’s what washes out the Dempster [Highway] and damages infrastructure in the area.”

Culverts and bridges may have to be adjusted to allow room for greater stream flows, Pomeroy said. And building foundations that are dependent upon the ground staying frozen will have to be reinforced or redesigned.

Pomeroy said the ultimate solution is for humans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“This study is the future we’re heading for, but it’s not the future we necessarily have if we can find a way to reduce those gases,” he said.  

“It’d be far smarter to get those emissions under control than to pay the terrible expenses for infrastructure and endangered safety of humans and destroyed ecosystems.”


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