Kong launches its fully managed API platform

API platform Kong, which you may remember under its previous name of Mashape, is launching its new Kong Cloud service today. Kong Cloud is the company’s fully managed platform for securing, connecting and orchestrating APIs. Enterprises can deploy it to virtually any major cloud platform, including AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, and Kong will handle all of the daily drudgery of managing it for them.

At the core of Kong Cloud is Kong, the company’s open source microservices gateway. The company already offers an enterprise version of Kong under the Kong Enterprise brand, but it’s up to enterprises to manage this version by themselves.

“Customers running Kong Enterprise on-prem and self-managed are often running it multi cloud. They are running it from  AWS, to Azure, Google Cloud, Pivotal Cloud Foundry or bare metal. It’s all over the place,” Kong co-founder, president and CEO Augusto Marietti told me. “But not all of them have massive engineering organizations, so Kong multi-cloud is our managed version of Kong as a service that can run on any cloud.”

With Kong Cloud, the company monitors and manages the service, giving enterprises an end-to-end API platform and developer portal. The company handles updates and all the other operational tasks. In terms of the overall functionality (think governance, security features etc.), this is essentially Kong Enterprise. Indeed, Marietti stressed that the two are meant to beone-to-one compatible, in part because he expects that some companies will use both versions, depending on their teams’ needs.

Marietti told me that Kong now has over 85 employees and more than 100 enterprise customers. These include the likes of Zillow, Soulcycle and Expedia. Year-over-year, the company tells me, its booking have grown 9x and the Kong open source tool has now been downloaded over 54 million times.

The company rebranded as Kong in October 2017, in part to signify that its ongoing focus would be on microservices in the enterprise and the Kong tool, which it open sourced in 2015. Ahead its rebranding exercise, Mashape/Kong sold off its API marketplace to RapidAPI. The marketplace was the company’s first product — and Kong was in part developed to support it — but in the end, the company decided that its focus was going to be on Kong itself. That move seems to be paying off now, as enterprise are moving to adopt microservices and often need partners to do so.

Sunset Point – one of Barbados’ best kept secrets

Sunset Point – one of Barbados' best kept secrets

Sunset Point, St Lucy has to be one of Barbados’ best kept secrets. The views are breathtaking, the staff is friendly and the food, ambiance and vibes are amazing. The idea to have a local and tourist…

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/221256/sunset-barbados-kept-secretshttp://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/221256/sunset-barbados-kept-secrets

Sunset Point – one of Barbados' best kept secrets

Sunset Point, St Lucy has to be one of Barbados’ best kept secrets. The views are breathtaking, the staff is friendly and the food, ambiance and vibes are amazing. The idea to have a local and tourist…

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/221256/sunset-barbados-kept-secretshttp://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/221256/sunset-barbados-kept-secrets

Exclusive: Nissan, ex-chairman clash over Rio apartment filled with art, cash – filing

SAO PAULO/TOKYO (Reuters) – A Rio de Janeiro apartment containing cash, art works and personal belongings of Carlos Ghosn has become the latest battleground between the indicted former Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) chairman and the automaker.

FILE PHOTO – Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, attends a news conference to unveil Renault’s next mid-term strategic plan in Paris, France, October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

Ghosn is seeking to retrieve “personal belongings, documents, cash, objects and art pieces” from the beachfront apartment, which Nissan says it owns. The home could contain evidence of financial misconduct, according to a filing by Nissan in a Brazilian court filings last week.

The previously unreported court papers show the extent of the legal dispute between Ghosn and Nissan over access to the apartment, one of several he has had access to around the world. Ghosn is accused of underreporting his income by tens of millions of dollars.

The Rio apartment contains three safes that Nissan has yet to open, according to the filings. The carmaker found them when it did an audit of the apartment following Ghosn’s firing, the company said. The apartment also has “designer furniture, artwork and decorative objects,” it added.

The Rio apartment was purchased by a Nissan subsidiary in late 2011 following the carmaker’s launch of a factory in the nearby city of Resende.

Nissan bought the apartment expecting that Ghosn’s trips to Brazil, where he was born and maintains citizenship, would “become more constant” after the factory opened, Nissan said in the filings.

The apartment is located in the Copacabana neighborhood, on a road directly facing Rio’s famous beaches. An apartment in the same building was listed online for 12 million reais ($3.07 million).

The court proceedings started Nov. 29 when a lawyer for Ghosn asked a judge to grant him access to the apartment.

Nissan says allowing him access would “represent an incalculable risk of destruction of potential evidence of crimes allegedly committed.” So far he has been denied access by Brazil’s courts.

A lawyer for Ghosn, Jose Roberto de Castro Neves, told Reuters he was unaware of the existence of three different safes and that it was “absurd speculation” that they may contain evidence of wrongdoing.

“He’s a very smart guy,” de Castro Neves said in a brief phone interview. “If he had done something wrong, he would never leave it in the apartment.”

Tokyo prosecutors on Monday indicted Ghosn for under-reporting his income and also charged the automaker, making Nissan culpable for the financial misconduct scandal, which has shocked the industry. Ghosn is being held in a Tokyo jail.

Ghosn has not made any statement through his lawyers in Japan but has denied the allegations, according to local media.

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Steve Orlofsky

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Stocks extend sell-off on growth and Brexit worries

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global equities stumbled on Monday, putting it on track for its fifth straight daily decline, as losses in Europe and Asia extended to Wall Street on new signs the U.S.-China trade spat was impacting world economic growth.

Further denting sentiment was confusion stemming from the vote by Britain’s parliament’s on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal after May abruptly pulled it on Monday.

Sluggish data from the world’s largest economies including the U.S, China, Japan and Germany have disappointed investors in recent days, and skepticism has grown that Washington and Beijing will be able to reach a trade deal before a 90-day window expires.

China reported far weaker-than-expected November exports and imports, showing slower global and domestic demand and raising the possibility authorities will take more measures to keep the country’s growth rate from slipping too much.

Each of the major U.S. indexes were lower, with Apple (AAPL.O), off nearly 2 percent, weighing heavily. Chip supplier Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) said it had won a preliminary order from a Chinese court banning the importation and sale of several iPhone models in China due to patent violations.

On a sector basis, both financials .SPSY and energy .SPNY were down at least 3 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 469.09 points, or 1.92 percent, to 23,919.86, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 43.72 points, or 1.66 percent, to 2,589.36 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 78.14 points, or 1.12 percent, to 6,891.12.

Sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.2536, down 1.49 percent on the day. The dollar index .DXY rose 0.62 percent.

“It’s definitely weakening the pound,” said Chuck Tomes, associate portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management in Boston. “It’s casting more uncertainty about a Brexit vote.”

MSCI’s all-country index .MIWD00000PUS was on pace for its fifth straight decline and is down nearly 7 percent over that period, its worst five-day stretch since February. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 1.72 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 1.79 percent.

Last week’s arrest of the chief financial officer of Chinese smartphone maker Huawei [HWT.UL] for extradition to the United States was seen as putting up another hurdle to the resolution of a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Sunday there was a “hard deadline” to the 90-day trade ceasefire and without a successful end to talks by March 1, Washington would impose new tariffs on Chinese goods.

Slideshow (2 Images)

In another sign of a global slowdown, Japan posted the worst contraction in over four years in the third quarter as uncertainty over global demand and trade saw companies slashing capital spending.

The signs of weakening have taken a heavy toll on oil prices, which have slumped around 30 percent since early October. U.S. crude CLcv1 fell 2.15 percent to $51.48 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $60.80, down 1.41 percent on the day.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.8324 percent, from 2.85 percent late on Friday.

Additional reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Nick Zieminski

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/roDTDNBIluQ/stocks-extend-sell-off-on-growth-and-brexit-worries-idUSKBN1O80TX

Avianca seeks to cut Airbus order as much as half: CEO

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Airline Avianca Holdings SA AVT_p.CN will begin negotiations with Airbus (AIR.PA) to reduce the 100 planes it had agreed to purchase in a 2015 deal to as few as 50, the chief executive of the Latin American company said.

FILE PHOTO: Hernan Rincon, executive president and CEO of AVIANCA Holdings S.A., speaks during a new aircraft presentation ceremony at Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Luis Talpa, El Salvador May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

Avianca was also seeking a strategic alliance with German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), CEO Hernan Rincon said late on Sunday, part of its bid to expand in Europe.

Avianca representatives will travel to France in the coming days for re-negotiations with Airbus, Rincon said. Avianca had agreed to buy 100 A320neo planes to modernize its fleet.

“Of those 100, we’ll probably receive between 50 and 80 planes,” he said. “We don’t have any doubt that we will keep growing, what has changed is the rhythm of the growth.”

Technological advancement is part of the reason for the airline wanting to reduce its purchases, Rincon added.

“The rhythm of technology is changing, it will take a while to get all of the order and we don’t want to have a commitment to planes with today’s technology which will be received by us in 10 or 15 years,” he said.

A reduction in the original order, which was set to cost $10 billion, will also give Avianca some financial breathing room, Rincon added.

At the end of last month Avianca, United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL.O) and Copa Airlines of Panama said they had finalized a three-way joint venture that will allow them to plan routes and fares together and share revenues on those routes.

United, Avianca and Copa are already codeshare partners and Star Alliance members.

“We’ve started conversations with Lufthansa, but its very embryonic,” said Rincon. “We hope to reach an agreement to benefit our passengers in Europe, which is a relevant and growing market.”

The deal with Lufthansa would be similar to the one just agreed with United and Copa, Rincon added.

Under the United and Copa agreement, United said it would provide a $456 million term loan to cash-strapped Avianca’s top shareholder, Synergy Group Corp. Loss-making Avianca has a roughly $4 billion debt pile, of which 40 percent is due within the next two years, according to recent financial statements.

That deal still has to be approved by regulators.

Avianca will also start operating a regional subsidiary in Colombia in 2019, meant to serve medium and small-sized cities with 12 ATR 42 planes. The planes are already part of Avianca’s fleet, Rincon said.

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Helen Murphy and Marguerita Choy

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/hd_H0IerudU/avianca-seeks-to-cut-airbus-order-as-much-as-half-ceo-idUSKBN1O920S

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks extend sell-off on growth and Brexit worries

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global equities stumbled on Monday, putting it on track for its fifth straight daily decline, as losses in Europe and Asia extended to Wall Street on new signs the U.S.-China trade spat was impacting world economic growth.

Further denting sentiment was confusion stemming from the vote by Britain’s parliament’s on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal after May abruptly pulled it on Monday.

Sluggish data from the world’s largest economies including the U.S, China, Japan and Germany have disappointed investors in recent days, and skepticism has grown that Washington and Beijing will be able to reach a trade deal before a 90-day window expires.

China reported far weaker-than-expected November exports and imports, showing slower global and domestic demand and raising the possibility authorities will take more measures to keep the country’s growth rate from slipping too much.

Each of the major U.S. indexes were lower, with Apple (AAPL.O), off nearly 2 percent, weighing heavily. Chip supplier Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) said it had won a preliminary order from a Chinese court banning the importation and sale of several iPhone models in China due to patent violations.

On a sector basis, both financials .SPSY and energy .SPNY were down at least 3 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 469.09 points, or 1.92 percent, to 23,919.86, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 43.72 points, or 1.66 percent, to 2,589.36 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 78.14 points, or 1.12 percent, to 6,891.12.

Sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.2536, down 1.49 percent on the day. The dollar index .DXY rose 0.62 percent.

“It’s definitely weakening the pound,” said Chuck Tomes, associate portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management in Boston. “It’s casting more uncertainty about a Brexit vote.”

MSCI’s all-country index .MIWD00000PUS was on pace for its fifth straight decline and is down nearly 7 percent over that period, its worst five-day stretch since February. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 1.72 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 1.79 percent.

Last week’s arrest of the chief financial officer of Chinese smartphone maker Huawei [HWT.UL] for extradition to the United States was seen as putting up another hurdle to the resolution of a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Sunday there was a “hard deadline” to the 90-day trade ceasefire and without a successful end to talks by March 1, Washington would impose new tariffs on Chinese goods.

Slideshow (2 Images)

In another sign of a global slowdown, Japan posted the worst contraction in over four years in the third quarter as uncertainty over global demand and trade saw companies slashing capital spending.

The signs of weakening have taken a heavy toll on oil prices, which have slumped around 30 percent since early October. U.S. crude CLcv1 fell 2.15 percent to $51.48 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $60.80, down 1.41 percent on the day.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.8324 percent, from 2.85 percent late on Friday.

Additional reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Nick Zieminski

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/companyNews/~3/JbB_xAdEwVA/global-markets-stocks-extend-sell-off-on-growth-and-brexit-worries-idUSL8N1YF4XQ

UPDATE 1-Brazil court overturns injunction blocking Boeing-Embraer deal

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA is seen at the company’s headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Roosevelt Cassio/File Photo

BRASILIA (Reuters) – A Brazilian federal court has overturned an injunction that blocked a proposed tie-up between planemakers Embraer (EMBR3.SA) and Boeing (BA.N), Embraer said on Monday in a securities filing.

Embraer announced in July its intention to sell 80 percent of its commercial aviation business to Boeing for $3.8 billion. Embraer has said the deal is crucial for its survival. The injunction brought by four congressmen from Brazil’s left-wing Workers Party had been granted on Thursday.

Brazil’s solicitor general’s office confirmed the injunction that halted Embraer’s negotiations with Boeing had been thrown out.

The government’s top lawyer had asked the court to overturn the injunction, arguing that it violated the constitutional right to freedom of enterprise by interfering in the negotiations between two private companies.

Trading of Embraer ADRs on the New York Stock Exchange was halted pending news.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Bill Berkrot

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Original Content podcast: We sing the praises of ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’

Controversial opinion here: The Coen Brothers are very good filmmakers, and their latest movie, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” is also very good.

Still, it’s not hard to see why the movie was made by Netflix, rather than a major Hollywood studio. “Buster Scruggs” is one of the Coens’ less commercially promising films, an anthology of six short stories set in the Wild West — and while there are plenty of familiar faces, they usually belong to talented character actors, rather than bankable stars.

Jordan Crook couldn’t join us for this week’s episode of the Original Content podcast, but Anthony Ha and Brian Heater gamely attempt to cover all the things that make the film a delight, including an opening segment about the deadly singing cowboy Buster Scruggs, who’s played by Tim Blake Nelson. We were also impressed by “Meal Ticket,” a nearly dialogue-free story about the relationship between a young actor and his traveling companion, and “All Gold Canyon,” which features Tom Waits (!) as a grizzled prospector.

As with any anthology film, there were some segments we enjoyed less than others — and we had other quibbles, particularly about the way “Buster Scruggs” depicted Native Americans. Still, this is mostly an episode about the things we liked.

Due to holidays and travel schedules, we’ve taken a couple weeks off from recording, so there was also a lot of news to catch up on: The cancellation of “Daredevil,” the question of whether “Friends” would leave Netflix, MoviePass’ plans to bounce back from a rough 2018 and the first trailer for “Avengers: Endgame.”

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

UPDATE 1-Avianca seeks to cut Airbus order as much as half -CEO

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Airline Avianca Holdings SA AVT_p.CN will begin negotiations with Airbus (AIR.PA) to reduce the 100 planes it had agreed to purchase in a 2015 deal to as few as 50, the chief executive of the Latin American company said.

FILE PHOTO: Hernan Rincon, executive president and CEO of AVIANCA Holdings S.A., speaks during a new aircraft presentation ceremony at Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Luis Talpa, El Salvador May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

Avianca was also seeking a strategic alliance with German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), CEO Hernan Rincon said late on Sunday, part of its bid to expand in Europe.

Avianca representatives will travel to France in the coming days for re-negotiations with Airbus, Rincon said. Avianca had agreed to buy 100 A320neo planes to modernize its fleet.

“Of those 100, we’ll probably receive between 50 and 80 planes,” he said. “We don’t have any doubt that we will keep growing, what has changed is the rhythm of the growth.”

Technological advancement is part of the reason for the airline wanting to reduce its purchases, Rincon added.

“The rhythm of technology is changing, it will take a while to get all of the order and we don’t want to have a commitment to planes with today’s technology which will be received by us in 10 or 15 years,” he said.

A reduction in the original order, which was set to cost $10 billion, will also give Avianca some financial breathing room, Rincon added.

At the end of last month Avianca, United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL.O) and Copa Airlines of Panama said they had finalized a three-way joint venture that will allow them to plan routes and fares together and share revenues on those routes.

United, Avianca and Copa are already codeshare partners and Star Alliance members.

“We’ve started conversations with Lufthansa, but its very embryonic,” said Rincon. “We hope to reach an agreement to benefit our passengers in Europe, which is a relevant and growing market.”

The deal with Lufthansa would be similar to the one just agreed with United and Copa, Rincon added.

Under the United and Copa agreement, United said it would provide a $456 million term loan to cash-strapped Avianca’s top shareholder, Synergy Group Corp. Loss-making Avianca has a roughly $4 billion debt pile, of which 40 percent is due within the next two years, according to recent financial statements.

That deal still has to be approved by regulators.

Avianca will also start operating a regional subsidiary in Colombia in 2019, meant to serve medium and small-sized cities with 12 ATR 42 planes. The planes are already part of Avianca’s fleet, Rincon said.

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Helen Murphy and Marguerita Choy

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/companyNews/~3/opHchamzvw4/update-1-avianca-seeks-to-cut-airbus-order-as-much-as-half-ceo-idUSL1N1YF0SQ

Wall Street drops over 1 percent on growth fears, Brexit uncertainty

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks deepened losses on Monday and the benchmark S&P 500 hit its lowest since April 4, with financial stocks leading the declines, as fears over global growth, the China-U.S. trade war and uncertainty over Brexit gripped investors.

At 11:20 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 488.75 points, or 2.00 percent, at 23,900.20, the S&P 500 was down 46.43 points, or 1.76 percent, at 2,586.65 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 79.75 points, or 1.14 percent, at 6,889.50.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/s0FTy4XfBgU/wall-street-drops-over-1-percent-on-growth-fears-brexit-uncertainty-idUSKBN1O91GJ