Indonesian authorities prepare for potential escalation as Prabowo challenges Jokowi’s Presidential Election victory in court

Indonesian authorities continue to brace themselves for the possibility of another deadly riot as Joko Widodo’s political opponent Prabowo Subianto continues to challenge the former’s victory in the archipelagic nation’s Presidential Election, which was held in Apr this year.

Argo Yuwono, a spokesman for the Jakarta police force, told Bloomberg that around 50,000 police and military personnel were deployed across the capital on Fri (14 Jun) in anticipation of violent clashes such as the one that took place between pro-Prabowo factions and the police in central Jakarta not long after the poll’s official results were announced last month, which left eight people dead and more than 900 injured.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Justice and Security Affairs Wiranto was quoted by Bloomberg as saying: “The security apparatus is always vigilant in maintaining security, in view of what has happened and what’s been anticipated so that the public remains calm”.

He added that the authorities “welcome Prabowo’s appeal to his supporters to not flock to the court and respect the legal process”.

Reuters reported Prabowo’s chief lawyer Bambang Widjojanto as saying before the Constitutional Court yesterday: “We are filing a lawsuit against the General Election Commission (KPU), demanding that the KPU annul its decision on the result of the presidential election.”

Bambang and his team alleged that Widodo had won the election via “systematic electoral fraud and abuse of power”, and accused the President of having misused “campaign financing” and “state apparatus”.

The Jakarta Post reported Bambang as saying that Jokowi had “used his position as the president to use the state budget and government programs as an instrument for influencing voters in the 2019 presidential election”.

The lawyer had also called upon the court to “hold a fair trial to deliver justice to the people of Indonesia”.

Indonesia’s Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), however, had previously maintained that there has been no evidence of systematic cheating as suggested by Prabowo’s legal team. Independent observers echoed Bawaslu’s observation, suggesting that the past election was clean.

Legal representatives for the KPU and Widodo’s campaign team were also present at the hearing.

The court is expected to deliver a verdict on Prabowo’s legal challenge by the end of this month on the 28th.

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Family of otters spotted trying to cross road in Central Business District during morning rush hour

Why did the otters cross the road? To get to the otter side.

Heavy traffic in Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD) is not a surprise, especially during rush hours on weekdays.

However, something surprising and out of the ordinary occurred on Thursday morning (13 June) along Anson Road – in front of International Plaza – that was a sight for sore eyes to all commuters and passersby in the area.

The already slow-moving traffic fleetingly came to a standstill as a family of six otters graced the street with their presence, attempting to cross the busy road.

Otter interest group Ottercity published a video on Facebook featuring the six otters –  three adults and three pups – huddling together as they appeared disorientated trying find their way.

In the 47-second-video, a security personnel and a passer-by can be seen directing the traffic for the otters to cross the road; but the otters were put off by the buzzing traffic, forcing them to turn towards the sidewalk.

Subsequently, the otters continued to escape the unfamiliar territory – then accompanied with prying eyes and phone cameras – as they scurried into the nearby bushes.

Ottercity, which is run by veteran otter watchers, identified the otters to be the ‘Zouk 6’ family.

In the Facebook post, the group mentioned that the otter watchers and National Parks Board (NParks) personnel went to the site to locate the otters and monitor the situation; but there was no further sighting of the Zouk 6 family in the area.

Additionally, the group later conducted “an assessment of canals and drains” around the area with the help of national water agency PUB, revealing that there were “multiple access points to larger covered canals through the smaller drains”.

Ottercity also thanked the members of the public for controlling the traffic and guiding the otters to safety.

Watch the full video here:

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3 Risks You Need to Monitor for Canada Goose (TSX:GOOS) Stock

Modern skyscrapers in business district

Canada Goose Holdings Inc (TSX:GOOS)(NYSE:GOOS) investors were once making a ton of money; from 2017 to 2018, shares quadrupled.

The run ended on May 29, when shares plummeted by more than 30%. The stock still hasn’t recovered.

If you’re thinking of purchasing this millionaire-maker stock on the cheap, there are a few things you need to know. Pay close attention to the following risks that Canada Goose investors will face this year.

Sales growth is flagging

Over the last three years, Canada Goose has posted an average revenue growth rate of 40%. That’s the definition of a high growth stock.

Breakneck sales growth resulted in a premium valuation. Since its IPO, the stock has consistently traded between 50 and 100 times trailing earnings.

On May 29, slowing direct-to-consumer sales forced management to reset expectations for future growth. Looking ahead, the company now anticipates sales growth of “at least 20%.” That’s still impressive, but likely doesn’t warrant a nosebleed valuation multiple.

“We believe an outlook for slowing momentum in GOOS’ Direct-to-Consumer channel warrants a lower P/E multiple,” warned Bank of America Corp analysts. That’s exactly what happened.

Currently, shares trade at just 37 times trailing earnings. The multiple is still a hefty premium versus the market at large, but it’s representative of diminishing prospects.

If annual sales growth is sustained at 20% or above over the next few years, the stock price today seems justified. If growth continues to level off, shares could be in trouble.

Trade wars are troubling

Apparel stocks have been crushed due to heightened tariff risks. Ongoing trade spats with the U.S., Canada, and China are threatening the industry’s supply chain and biggest source of demand.

Most apparel makers source materials and labour from China. It can take weeks or even months to shift production away from China, not to mention the higher costs incurred from manufacturing elsewhere.

For Canada Goose, the biggest risk is actually demand.

Last year, the company reported sales growth across every geographic region. For example, last quarter, sales increased 28% in Canada, 36% in the U.S., and 61% throughout the rest of the world. Those are all impressive figures, but it’s clear that the biggest opportunities lie outside of the U.S.

China is perhaps the company’s greatest source of growth. Thus far, Chinese consumers have been scrambling to get their hands on Canada Goose products.

“Large crowds have been drawn to Canada Goose’s new outdoor wear store in downtown Beijing, its first in mainland China, since its opening on Friday, despite sub-zero temperatures and a chill in China’s relations with Canada,” reported Reuters.

So far, demand has materialized as expected. If trade wars ramp, however, the company could lose its most valuable growth opportunity overnight.

Will profitability dip?

When facing sales pressure, many retailers opt to cut prices. If Canada Goose takes this route, results could be mixed.

Sure, sales growth may perk up, but margins are one of the most attractive characteristics of the company. Gross margins last quarter were 66%, up from 63% the year before. The sector average is typically between 30% and 40%.

Due to its incredible pricing power and brand loyalty, Canada Goose has simply been able to charge more than its competitors for similar products. If this part of the story changes, it could put a big dent in the stock price.

Pay close attention to small variations in pricing and gross margins over the next few quarters.

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Passive Income for Life: 3 Big Banking Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever

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Hi there, Fools. I’m back to call your attention to three large cap stocks for your watch-list — or, as I like to call them, my top “forever assets.” As a refresher, I do this because companies with a market cap of more than $10 billion help keep your portfolio stable during periods of high volatility; and provide steady and healthy dividends year after year.

This week, we’ll take a look at three big banking plays that have reported earnings recently. There could be a solid dividend income opportunity at hand.

Let’s get to it.

Royal treatment

Kicking things off is financial services goliath Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)(NYSE:RY), which currently boasts a market cap of nearly $150 billion.

RBC has experienced a growth slowdown in recent quarters, but it’s still expanding nicely for company of its size. In Q2 last month, net income improved 6% on revenue growth of 14.4%. Moreover, return on equity clocked in at a solid 17.5% while its CET1 ratio — a key leverage statistic — stood at 11.8%.

“Our consistent earnings growth is a testament to the strength of our diversified business model and our strategy to transform the bank to create more value for clients,” said President and CEO Dave McKay.

RBC shares are up 10.5% in 2019 and offer a solid yield of 3.8%.

Buyback bonanza

With a market cap of $138 billion, banking giant Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD) is next up on our list of forever assets.

TD continues to see strong growth both domestically and south of the border. In Q2, Canadian retail adjusted revenue rose 8% on strong volumes and higher margins. Meanwhile, U.S. retail adjusted profits jumped 20% to $1.26 billion.

Based on that strength, management announced plans to buy back up to 20 million common shares.

“We made strong progress in the quarter, adding new capabilities, strengthening our business, and advancing our strategic priorities as we continue to build the bank of the future,” said President and CEO Bharat Masrani.

TD shares are up 11% in 2019 and offer a healthy yield of 3.7%.

Sliding Scotia

Rounding out our list is behemoth Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS)(NYSE:BNS), which currently sports a market cap of $85 billion.

Unlike rolling RBC and TD, Scotia has been sliding of late due to rising costs. In fact, the stock continues to trade near its 52-week lows. That said, there are plenty of reasons to remain bullish.

In Q1, earnings from Scotia’s personal and commercial banking businesses increased 8%. Moreover, the company’s international banking division delivered double-digit profit growth.

“Our sharper geographic focus, improved business mix and progress in digital banking position the Bank well for the future,” said President and CEO Brian Porter.

Scotia shares are up just 3% so far in 2019 and offer a rather juicy yield of 4.8%.

The bottom line

There you have it, Fools: three forever banking assets worth considering.

As always, they aren’t formal recommendations. Instead, see them as a starting point for further research. Even the largest companies can suffer setbacks, so plenty of your own due diligence is still required.

Fool on.

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Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Bank of Nova Scotia is a recommendation of Stock Advisor Canada.

 

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Ecuador legalises same-sex marriages in landmark ruling

After over a week of postponing its decision on the legality of same-sex marriages, Ecuador’s apex court has issued a ruling in favour of same-sex marriages on Wed (12 Jun), following two lawsuits by two same-sex couples intending to wed.

Five out of the nine judges presiding over the closed hearing in the Latin American nation’s constitutional court voted to recognise same-sex marriage – a momentous move in a highly conservative, Catholic Ecuadorian society – on the grounds of ensuring equal treatment for all, and on the basis of fighting discrimination.

The four dissenting judges, however, argued that a debate on constitutional reform must be carried out in the National Assembly in order for legal recognition of same-sex marriages to be able to take place, France24 reported.

Former Supreme Court president Gustavo Medina told AFP that the decision will be “binding and mandatory” upon Ecuadorian officials.

Ecuador’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage succeeds that of Argentina, which became the first Latin American nation to do so in 2010, followed by Brazil in 2013 and Colombia in 2016, PinkNews reported.

NewNowNext reported that despite the ruling by Family, Women, Children and Adolescents Court made in favour of same-sex marriage last year, Ecuador’s constitution was not updated to reflect the decision, which resulted in two same-sex couples’ applications for marriage licences being denied by the Civil Registry.

Lawyer Christian Paula of the Patka Foundation, which provides legal advice for around 10 same-sex couples seeking to marry in the country, said that the new court ruling indicated a “more egalitarian” Ecuador.

“It is more just than yesterday, that it recognises that human rights must be for all people without discrimination,” Paula added.

However, despite measures to protect the rights of LGBTQ people such as the recent legalisation of same-sex marriage by the Constitutional Court and the outlawing of “conversion therapy“, Ecuador remains a largely homophobic and transphobic society, as seen in abusive practices against LGBTQ persons such as “corrective” rape and other forms of physical violence.

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