Doctors ‘need to start early conversation with patients about dying’

They shouldn’t shy away when patients want to talk about the end of their lives, a report says.

U.S. Interior Department watchdog faults Zinke’s travel practices: Washington Post

The U.S. Interior Department’s watchdog agency has said in a report that sending a security detail to protect Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his wife on a vacation to Turkey and Greece had cost taxpayers more than $25,000, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

Australia’s NAB cuts 300 bankers over wrongdoing

About 300 staff of National Australia Bank have been fired or left the company as a result of internal investigations into wrongdoing, Chief Executive Andrew Thorburn said on Friday, following public revelations of misconduct across the sector.

E-moto startup Alta Motors reportedly powers down

Brisbane, California based e-motorcycle startup Alta Motors has ceased operations, TechCrunch has confirmed. 

Earlier today Asphalt and Rubber — and several subsequent outlets — reported the company stopped operating this morning, fired its staff, and may be looking for a buyer. Alta has yet to comment on the situation.

“As of this morning I no longer represent Alta Motors so I’m not in a position to speak on it,” a former Alta Motors spokesperson told TechCrunch on background when asked about the shutdown. “I forwarded your request for more info to the board, and they’ll have to comment,” said the former comms rep. Alta’s head office has not respond to requests for comment.

The EV company specializes in producing dual-sport and high performance electric powered off-road motorcycles. The startup had raised $45 million and counts Tesla co-founders Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard among its investors.

Alta made news in March when it entered a co-development partnership with Harley Davidson. This aligned with Harley’s EV push, including the debut of a production e-moto by 2019, an expanded electric line-up to follow, and the opening of a Silicon Valley research facility.

Harley Davidson wouldn’t give a solid “no” to reports its partnership with Alta had concluded but their statement TechCrunch seems a pretty strong indication they’re business with the startup is in the past.

“Our collaborative efforts with Alta Motors were productive and we were pleased with the development work we partnered on,” Harley Davidson Communications Director Patricia Sweeney told TechCrunch.  

TechCrunch visited Alta’s facilities, tested its motorcycles, and interviewed co-founder Marc Fenigstein earlier this year. The startup has 70 dealerships nationwide  and our reporting flagged it is a potential acquisition target in a motorcycle industry that could be shifting electric.

On the competition level, Alta has been attempting compete with gas bikes by seeking entrance in American Motorcycle Association sanctioned motocross events. In September, the company became the first e-moto to earn a podium spot in AMA competition in another race class, endurocross.

With Harley Davidson’s EV commitment potentially pushing the motorcycle industry to voltage, Alta could be a discounted acquisition and R&D buy for Indian Motorcycle or  other major gas companies — Honda, Yamaha, BMW — who have been slow to develop production e-motos.

Forbes Asia Investment Briefing: UBS Expects Trade War To Weigh On Midterms And G20

The latest episode of the Forbes Asia Investment Briefing comes from Yifan Hu, who is UBS Wealth Management’s regional CIO and chief China economist. She tells us what’s caught her eye this week, and what she’ll be watching for in future.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro denies illicit campaign finance accusation

Brazilian far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday was forced to deny an accusation that he sought funding from business leaders to purchase mass WhatsApp messages, in an alleged campaign finance violation.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro denies illicit campaign finance accusation

Brazilian far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday was forced to deny an accusation that he sought funding from business leaders to purchase mass WhatsApp messages, in an alleged campaign finance violation.