With one year to go until Brexit day, small businesses still have big concerns over Brexit

It’s vital that David Davis makes good on delivery of unprecedented access to it for a non-EU country
“There is a risk,” the Brexit secretary told BBC journalist Andrew Marr last Sunday, “in trying to focus just on the downsides.” He went on to say that the new free-trade deal between the UK and EU will be “the most comprehensive ever”.
David Davis is not the only one feeling a measure of optimism as the 12-month countdown to Brexit day on 29 March 2019 begins. Our latest small business confidence index returned to positive territory this quarter after a steady decline last year. Continued progress on Brexit talks will be key to ensuring this upward trend continues in the months ahead.
A transition period lasting until the end of 2020 is a key ask for small firms and it’s been a relief to see a real commitment to avoiding a cliff-edge moment in recent days. Having some certainty about what the regulatory landscape will look like immediately after our withdrawal makes it much easier..

At Gaza Fence, Violence Fades as Israel Warns of Broader Response

At Gaza Fence, Violence Fades as Israel Warns of Broader Response Photo Palestinian protesters hurled stones during clashes with Israeli troops along the border between Israel and Gaza on Saturday. Credit Mohammed Saber/EPA, via Shutterstock GAZA CITY — Israel will target militant groups inside Gaza if violence along the territory’s border with Israel drags on, the chief military spokesman warned on Saturday, a day after 15 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in the area’s deadliest violence in four years.
The violence significantly diminished Saturday as just small groups of Palestinians threw stones in several areas near the border fence, drawing Israeli fire that injured 25 people, the Gaza Health Ministry said.
Friday’s mass marches were largely led by Gaza’s ruling Hamas group and touted as the start of a six-week-long protest campaign against a stifling decade-old blockade of the territory.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel congratulated soldiers Saturday for allow..

A Hong Kong Newspaper on a Mission to Promote China’s Soft Power

A Hong Kong Newspaper on a Mission to Promote China’s Soft Power HONG KONG — On a recent afternoon, the staff of The South China Morning Post, a 114-year-old newspaper, gathered around roast suckling pig in their lavish new headquarters in Hong Kong to celebrate a remarkable turnaround.
Readership has been surging. The Post has launched new digital products and added dozens of journalists. After more than a decade of decline and editorial chaos, the newsroom now buzzes like a tech start-up, with table tennis and an in-house pub serving free craft beer.
The revival began with The Post's acquisition two years ago by the Alibaba Group, the Chinese technology and retail giant. But if Alibaba is breathing new life into the paper, it has also given it a new mission: improving China’s image overseas and combating what it sees as anti-Chinese bias in the foreign media.
In effect, Alibaba has taken Hong Kong’s English-language paper of record since the days of British rule and put it on th..

Fatal Tesla Crash Raises New Questions About Self-Driving System

Supported by Business Day Fatal Tesla Crash Raises New Questions About Self-Driving System Photo Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving system, shown here in 2015, is coming under new scrutiny after a fatal crash on March 23 in California occurred while the Autopilot feature was engaged. Credit Beck Diefenbach/Reuters In the fall of 2016, Tesla beamed new software over the air to cars on the road in the United States and elsewhere that added safeguards to its Autopilot system to prevent drivers from looking away from the road or keeping their hands off the steering wheel for long periods of time.
The move came in the wake of a crash in Florida in which an Ohio man died when his Model S sedan hit a tractor-trailer while Autopilot was engaged. Federal investigators found that the driver’s hands had been on the steering wheel for only a few seconds in the minute before the crash.
When the upgrades were released, Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, said the new Autopilot system was “really g..