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Holocaust Survivor Is Swept Up in Italy’s Storm of Vitriol



Noemi Di Segni, the president of the Union of the Italian Jewish Community, Italy’s largest Jewish organization, said the country was experiencing a “rise in anti-Semitism, which manifests itself in many ways.”

She said an increased tolerance for Mussolini and Fascist nostalgia was troubling and “creating an uncomfortable climate for Jews.” The police protection of Ms. Segre, she said, was not only to protect the senator, “it’s about protecting Italy.”

Politicians and Jewish groups have organized rallies in Milan and Rome to show solidarity with Ms. Segre. She has received calls of support, her son said, from Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and President Sergio Mattarella.

In 2018, Mr. Mattarella made Ms. Segre, who had never worked in politics, a senator for life, in part because of her years giving students a firsthand account of the Holocaust. She said at the time she felt it her obligation to “pass on the memory.”

But around that time Mr. Belli Paci said he and his brother noticed a spike in anti-Semitic insults, some wishing their mother death, on the web. While they did not inform their mother, they reported the messages to the counterterrorism police, he said.

That vitriol is not unique to Ms. Segre.

While speaking at a conference three weeks ago in Milan, Betti Guetta, an anti-Semitism researcher at the Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation, said that her group had noticed that general anti-Semitic offenses, mostly online, had increased in recent years. They had reached the clip of nearly 200 a day, she said, later calling the statistic an estimate.

At the conference, she said, she also noted that even Ms. Segre was a frequent target of attacks.

The figure of 200 daily attacks was subsequently misinterpreted as referring to aggression specific to Ms. Segre. Then, on Tuesday, Forza Nuova, a neo-Fascist political party, raised a banner against anti-Fascists near a theater where Ms. Segre was scheduled to speak.


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E-Trade shares fall on disappointment it’s not the one being bought by Charles Schwab




Pedestrians walk outside an E*Trade Financial office in New York.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Retail broker E-Trade appears to have just lost the most recent battle in the brokerage wars.

E-Trade shares fell more than 8% on Thursday after sources told CNBC that brokerage giant Charles Schwab is in talks to buy TD Ameritrade, leaving investors worried about E-Trade’s future.

“I think a bit of a surprise this morning in terms of the players,” said Devin Ryan, managing director or equity research at JMP Securities. “The market wasn’t anticipating the Schwab-Ameritrade combination, I think people were more looking at who would be buying E-trade.”

Shares of Schwab are up 6% and shares of TD Ameritrade are up 18%.

While Goldman Sachs, who has been beefing up its retail banking business in recent years, CFO Stephen Scherr said in June that the bank would be active in so-called bolt-on acquisitions, a person with knowledge of Goldman’s situation said it was unlikely they would purchase E-Trade.

“This will certainly put pressure on ETFC to find its own partner,” said Don Bilson of Gordon Haskett research advisers in a note to clients on Thursday.

To be sure, E-Trade still looks like an attractive acquisition target as the company has a large deposits business, said Ryan.

“E-trade still would be attractive to both kind of the obvious firms out there, like Schwab or Ameritrade, or potentially others as well,” said Ryan. “Consolidation makes sense today, I think it will make sense in the future.” But Ryan said Schwab will have its “hands full for while,” with the TD Ameritrade acquisition.

The reportedly $25 billion imminent deal between Schwab and TD Ameritrade will create a “Goliath in Wealth Management” according to Wells Fargo’s Mike Mayo, with more than $5 trillion in combined assets. The industry consolidation came as no surprise to investors, following massive disruption in the space after all of the major brokers dropped commission fees in recent months.


While Goldman Sachs said it is an unlikely buyer, its not impossible another bank looking to beef up its retail business snatches up E-Trade. Especially as the broker’s stock down nearly 20% in the past 12 months, which would give a buyer a major discount.

“With the obvious candidates now spoken for…ETFC could end up with someone who isn’t necessarily an online broker,” said Bilson.

Ryan of JMP said a bank that is pushing into consumer finance could benefit from E-Trade’s very strong deposit base, which generates about $60 billion in deposits each quarter.

“A bank that is able to leverage that and generate stronger net interest income off of their customers, I think that could be quite attractive,” said Devin Ryan, managing director or equity research at JMP Securities.

Less cost synergies

The downside to an acquisition from a bank is less “expense synergies” than there would be from a merger with a traditional broker, said Ryan. The advantage to the Schwab-TD Ameritrade deal is the brokerage giant will be able to cut costs and stream new revenue opportunities. There will also be an opportunity to improve the platform for clients.

“Given the high amount of overlapping back-office operations and vendor costs, we would expect to see about 60% of AMTD’s costs removed,” said Stephen Biggar, Argus Research Director of Financial Institutions Research. Merging with a giant bank would remove some of those cost-cutting advantages.

What most of Wall Street agrees on is E-Trade needs to make some sort of deal.

“Over time, if firms are left out, it could create some pressure on those stocks, and as the distribution platforms become larger, it could also create a bit more pressure for the asset management industry,” said Bank of America research analyst Michael Carrier in a note to clients on Thursday.

E-Trade did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

—with reporting from CNBC’s Hugh Son, Kate Rooney and Michael Bloom.


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British Airways flights are being delayed due to a ‘technical issue’




An unknown number of British Airways flights have been delayed in what the airline has blamed on a “technical issue.”

The social media team of the airline took to Twitter late Wednesday in an attempt to reassure passengers that steps were being taken to accommodate passengers affected by delays and cancellations.

On its website, British Airways also warned passengers that while it still planned to operate a full schedule on Thursday “there may be some knock-on delays to flights.”

The U.K. flag carrier has suffered a series of bruising jabs to its reputation in recent months, including at least two computer failures, a pilot strike and a massive data breach.

Shares in British Airways parent company, International Airlines Group, slipped around 1% on Thursday morning. The share price is more than 14% lower on a 12-month basis.

One customer claimed on Twitter that while stuck on the tarmac in San Jose, California, late Thursday, the pilot had warned passengers that the “entire flight planning system is down.”

In an emailed response to CNBC, the airline declined to elaborate on the nature of the problem but firmly rejected any suggestion that any of its systems had been hacked.


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Senate passes funding bill to avoid shutdown sending it to Trump




The Senate passed a bill Thursday to dodge a government shutdown for another month ahead of a midnight deadline.

The measure now heads to President Donald Trump, who barring a change of heart is set to sign it into law. The Senate approved it in a 74-20 vote. 

The Democratic-held House passed it on Tuesday by a 231-192 margin, seeing considerably more Republican opposition than the GOP-controlled Senate did.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

The legislation holds government funding at current levels through Dec. 20, setting up yet another appropriations showdown. Funding will lapse Friday if the president does not approve the spending bill.

The measure gives the House and Senate a few extra weeks to hash out a long-term spending deal. Lawmakers failed to strike an agreement before funding ran out this week amid another dispute over border security funding.

Earlier this year, Congress passed a two-year deal to set budget levels and suspend the U.S. debt ceiling. The House and Senate have struggled to decide how specifically to allocate the money to federal departments.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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