AMS, which supplies Apple with sensors for its 3D facial-recognition technology, said it would suspend its dividend amid “subdued?smartphone demand” (i.e, from China). Its share price fell 15% in early trading. Meanwhile Lumentum, another Apple supplier, reported weaker-than-expected quarterly sales. The news follows a grim earnings season for semiconductor companies and recent sales warnings by Apple and Samsung.
Shares in?Alphabet, Google’s parent, fell after the firm announced financial results. Investors appear concerned at a hefty rise in capital spending—to $25bn in 2018, nearly double its level the year before. The increase mostly came from licensing content on YouTube, its video-sharing platform. Although margins were lower, revenue rose 23% over the year, to $136.8bn.
A meeting of the?Lima group?of 13 of Latin American countries, plus Canada, ended with most reiterating their support for Juan Guaidó,?Venezuela’s?self-declared interim president. Eleven members of the group also called for the country’s army peacefully to oust President Nicolás Maduro, who won rigged elections last year. Mexico, Guyana and St Lucia did not back the resolution.
Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defence minister, said that the country will develop two new land-based?missile-launch systems?before 2021. The announcement followed on from the suspension of the cold war-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, from which America says it will withdraw. Both sides accuse the other of violating the treaty.
Egyptian lawmakers?advanced a proposed amendment to the constitution which would allow Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the president, to extend his time in office beyond the end of his current term in 2022. Mr Sisi, a former general who seized power in a coup in 2013, was re-elected last year. The assembly is overwhelmingly pro-Sisi, but constitutional amendments require a national referendum.
The government of the?Central African Republic?signed a peace deal with 14 armed groups after two weeks of talks. The agreement “opens the door for peace to return to our homeland,” said Faustin-Archange Touadéra, the president of the CAR. The country has been roiled by violence since 2013, when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted then-president Fran?ois Bozizé.
Taro Aso, Japan’s deputy prime minister, apologised for saying that the country’s?low-birth rate?was the fault of women who do not procreate. Having been accused of being sexist and offensive to childless couples, he told reporters his words had been taken out of context. Mr Aso has been criticised for expressing similar sentiments before.