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Aqil Shah

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Raja-Mandala: Drawing a Line in the Sea

Tuesday’s ruling on the South China Sea disputes by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague is bound to mark a...

Democracy Deadlocked in Bangladesh

Since Bangladesh made a transition to democracy in 1991, the country has held three competitive elections that resulted in a turnover of power...

Q&A: Blue Bird Chief Talks Traffic, Tech and Entrepreneurship

Go here to see the original: Q&A: Blue Bird Chief Talks Traffic, Tech and Entrepreneurship

5 Five Things Analysts, Officials Are Saying About Indonesia’s Growth Slowdown

Original post: 5 Five Things Analysts, Officials Are Saying About Indonesia’s Growth Slowdown

Maryland carved out an innovative special exception for Tesla to sell cars directly to customers (TSLA)

Tesla recently won a legal battle in New Jersey when Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill that enables the car maker to sell its vehicles directly to the customer, bypassing the traditional franchise dealer network. Now Tesla has a similar opportunity in Maryland.

The both houses of the state legislature passed a bill that's now waiting for Gov. Larry Hogan's signature to become law. According to Hannah Lutz of Automotive News, Hogan could make a decision by the end of April or in early May. In a statement, Tesla's VP of Government Affairs, Jim Chen, said: Tesla applauds the Maryland legislature for passing HB 235.

This legislation confirms the Company's ability to bring its direct to consumer sales model to Maryland residents, which brings it in line with virtually every other state.  We would like to specifically thank Delegate Kirill Reznik for authoring and sponsoring the bill, as well as the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association for working with us to support this legislation.

This type of legislation can and should serve as an example to other states still blocking free markets, consumer choice, and American innovation.  We now look forward to Governor Hogan signing this bill into law shortly and demonstrating that Maryland is indeed open to new business and high tech innovation.  Maryland narrowly focused the bill on Tesla, restricting the exception to car makers that sell "only electric or nonfossil-fuel burning vehicles," Lutz reported. Of course, Tesla is really the only independent automaker currently selling that type of vehicle in significant volumes. However, those volumes aren't that significant.

This year, Tesla expects to sell 55,000 cars worldwide. In the US alone, nearly 17 million cars and trucks were sold in 2014.

So by creating the Tesla exception, Maryland wasn't really threatening the dealer-franchise model. It's not like floodgates can now open and the major automakers can do away with the dealers. Rather, it seems that the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association was thinking strategically in throwing its support behind a bill that would apply to Tesla alone.SEE ALSO: Morgan Stanley: Here come the robot cars Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here's how much sex happy couples have every month

Russian premier visits Thailand: More rubles rolling into Prayuth’s regime?

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (left) with Thai Prime Minister and military leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha during a state visit in Bangkok on April...

Sony Thinks North Korea Could Be Linked To A Cyber Attack Just Weeks Before ‘The Interview’ Hits Theaters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sony Pictures Entertainment is investigating to determine if hackers working on behalf of North Korea might be responsible for a cyber attack that knocked out the studio's computer network earlier this week, the technology news site Re/code reported.   The attack occurred a month before Sony Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp, is to release "The Interview." The movie is a comedy about two journalists who are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The Pyongyang government denounced the film as "undisguised sponsoring of terrorism, as well as an act of war" in a letter to U.N.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in June. Representatives of the North Korean mission to the United Nations could not immediately be reached for comment on Saturday.

Sony Pictures' computer system went down on Monday. Before screens went dark, they displayed a red skull and the phrase "Hacked By #GOP," which reportedly stands for Guardians of Peace, the Los Angeles Times said.

The hackers also warned they would release "secrets" stolen from the Sony servers, the Times reported. Re/code said in a report late Friday that Sony and security consultants were investigating the possibility that someone acting on behalf of North Korea, possibly from China, was responsible. Re/code said a link to North Korea had not been confirmed but it had not been ruled out. A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Sony Pictures was investigating every possibility, adding no link to North Korea has been uncovered.

Sony acknowledged the computer outage in a statement on Tuesday. Emails to Sony were bouncing back on Saturday with a message asking senders to contact employees by telephone because its email system was "experiencing a disruption." "The Interview," scheduled for release in the United States on Dec. 25, stars James Franco as the host of a tabloid television show that is enjoyed by Kim, and Seth Rogen as the show's producer. When they are granted a rare interview with Kim, the CIA wants to turn them into assassins. KCNA, the official news agency in isolationist North Korea, quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman in June as promising a "merciless counter-measure" if the film is released.

The government also wrote to U.S. President Barack Obama asking him to stop it, the Voice of America reported.   (Reporting by Ron Grover, Michelle Nichols and Jim Finkle; Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Frances Kerry)Join the conversation about this story »

Business Insider Is Hiring A Lists And Features Reporter

Business Insider is looking for a reporter to work on our growing Lists team.

This reporter will spend his or her time researching and writing our big signature lists and features, like the Best Colleges, Best Employers, and the Best Suburbs In America. We’re looking for someone who is smart, organized, and a meticulous researcher. You should be comfortable conducting in-depth research on everything from the coolest small businesses in cities around the world to the most impressive students at top universities.  This person should be comfortable working on a variety of subjects and juggling multiple projects at a time. You'd get the opportunity to work with all our verticals, so we welcome candidates with diverse interests.

The ideal candidate should have one to three years of experience in online journalism and research experience. Bonus if you have copy-editing skills, light HTML knowledge, and a familiarity with Photoshop.

Social media knowledge is also useful. APPLY HERE with a resume and cover letter if interested, and specify why you're interested in working on Lists and Features.

This job is full-time and based in our New York City headquarters. Business Insider offers competitive compensation packages complete with benefits.Join the conversation about this story »

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