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Gold futures ended lower Friday, as gains for stocks and oil futures fizzled and but a rising U.S. dollar kept the metal under $1,700 an ounce.
Weker demand helps lower U.S.gasoline Prices
Crude-oil futures end a see-sawing Friday higher, holding on to modest gains as U.S. equities lost steam and a rising dollar kept the
Weker demand helps lower U.S.gasoline Prices
Gold futures ended lower Friday, as gains for stocks and oil futures fizzled and
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The Amex Business Platinum perks are so good it makes me want to start my own company

Click here to read the full article.

BGR has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. BGR and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

Please note: the offers mentioned below are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.

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One of our favorite rewards credit cards for ordinary consumers is The Platinum Card® from American Express, which combines a big up-front welcome offer of 60,000 points (after using the card to spend $5,000 in your first three months) with a ton of luxe perks. The benefits range from an airline fee credit of up to $200 to American Express Concierge travel service, and much more. Business owners, meanwhile, fear not. The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is a companion version of the charge card tailored to the needs of business people, and it not only has a similarly impressive lineup of benefits.

You’ve also got until December 4, 2019, to take advantage of a limited-time, increased welcome bonus of up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points.

Who needs this card: If you rack up frequent travel expenses over the course of your business operations, or even if you simply charge thousands of dollars a month in business expenses to a charge card, it’s hard to argue the Amex Business Platinum doesn’t deserve a spot in your wallet.

Why you should sign up for one right now: The current welcome points offer means if you can put $25,000 in charges on this card in your first three months of card ownership (and before December 4), the 100,000 Membership Rewards points bonus can be yours. Yes, that’s a big outlay in order to get the welcome reward, but since this is a business card we’re talking about that’s not an unreasonable amount of expense to put on a charge card.

Moreover, based on the most recent monthly valuations from The Points Guy, 100,000 Membership Rewards points are worth $2,000 in travel, which makes this card’s bonus an extremely lucrative one and potentially worth the high spending levels. We should also add — you’ll earn the welcome points in two tiers.

Spent $10,000 on qualifying purchases in the first 3 months of card membership, and you’ll earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points. Once you put another $15,000 on this card (for qualifying purchases) after that initial $10,000 — and, again, still before the first three months are up — then you’ll earn an additional 50,000 points.

If you read our previous post outlining the slew of lucrative benefits available to Amex Platinum cardmembers, you’re already familiar with many of the benefits of the Amex Business Platinum. Both cards share perks like:

  • Up to $200 airline fee credit each year

  • Access to Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta)

  • Access to other lounges in the American Express Global Lounge Collection

  • Gold elite status with Hilton Honors and Gold elite status with Marriott Bonvoy

  • Upgrade with Points to request an airline ticket upgrade on select airlines

  • 5 points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels (both must be booked through Amex Travel on the Business Platinum)

However, here are some of the benefits you get that are exclusive to the business version of the Platinum card:

  • 10 free Gogo inflight Wi-Fi passes each year

  • 1.5x points on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per year)

  • A complimentary year of Platinum Global Access with WeWork (enrollment must be done by December 31, 2019)

  • Up to $200 in annual statement credits for Dell technology purchases, split into a $100 credit for January through June and another $100 credit for July through December

The final word

While this card does come with a $595 annual fee that can seem hefty at the outset, if you take advantage of the $200 airline fee credit and the annual up to $200 Dell credit, you’ll effectively pay a net of only $195 a year for the card. This card proves its worth and then some for any businessperson engaged in regular travel. From lounge access at almost any airport in the world to elite status at Hilton and Marriott hotels, plus helping you get onto the internet while in the air during flights, this card has tons of benefits (not to mention that welcome bonus that’s higher than ever) just waiting for you to take advantage of.

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Thousands of Paris police deployed over 'yellow vest' clash fears

Paris (AFP) - More than 7,000 police officers are to be deployed for rallies in Paris on Saturday over fears that yellow vest protesters and their radical, anarchist "black blocs" could try to infiltrate a march against climate change in the French capital.

The yellow vest movement erupted 10 months ago and blindsided President Emmanuel Macron, who protesters accused of being out of touch with the needs of ordinary French people.

Their weekly demonstrations prompted Macron to loosen the state's purse strings to the tune of nearly 17 billion euros ($18.8 billion) in wage boosts and tax cuts for low earners, but tapered off over the summer.

Fresh yellow vest rallies are planned for Saturday but it remains to be seen whether the movement will regain the momentum of the winter and early spring, when the protests often descended into violent clashes with security forces, especially in Paris.

Macron on Friday called for "calm", saying that while "it's good that people express themselves", they should not disrupt a climate protest and cultural events also due to go ahead on Saturday.

Paris police chief Didier Lallement has said 7,500 police would be deployed for Saturday's rallies in Paris -- numbers on a par with the peak of the yellow vest protests in December and March.

Key yellow-vest figure Jerome Rodrigues has billed Saturday's protest as "a revelatory demonstration", claiming "many people are going to come to Paris".

But officials have again outlawed protests on the Champs-Elysees and other areas in the heart of the capital, where previously protesters had ransacked and set fire to luxury shops and restaurants.

Some demonstrators in January even used a forklift to break down the doors of a government ministry.

The police have also been criticised for being heavy-handed in clashes with hardcore anti-capitalist "black bloc" groups blamed for much of the violence that has accompanied the demonstrations.

Saturday coincides with the annual European Heritage Days weekend, when public and private buildings normally off-limits to the public are open to visitors.

After attracting 282,000 people nationwide on the first day of protests last November, yellow-vest protest participation had fallen sharply by the spring, and only sporadic protests were seen over the summer.

Macron said in an interview with Time magazine published Thursday that the movement had been "very good for me" as it had made him listen and communicate better.

"My challenge is to listen to people much better than I did at the very beginning," the president said.

Biden: I never talked to son Hunter about overseas business dealings

DES MOINES, Iowa — Former Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday he hasn't spoken to his son Hunter Biden about his overseas businesses while forcefully calling again for an investigation into President Donald Trump's July phone call with Ukraine's president.

“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden said. “Here’s what I know. Trump should be investigated.”

“You should be looking at Trump," Biden told reporters in Des Moines shortly after arriving at the Polk County Steak Fry, an annual Democratic fundraiser. “He’s doing this because he knows I’ll beat him like a drum. And he’s using an abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to smear me ... Ask the right questions.”

The comments by the former vice president are the latest in a back-and-forth between Biden and Trump related to Trump's reported discussions with the Ukrainian president, a whistleblower complaint involving Trump, and Hunter Biden's business dealings in Ukraine.

Explaining the Trump, Biden, Ukraine story: What to know about the Trump-Congress standoff over a whistleblower complaint 

Multiple news outlets reported this week that a whistleblower from the intelligence community filed a complaint with the inspector general overseeing that community concerning a phone call Trump made with a foreign leader.

Lawmakers are separately investigating whether Trump pushed for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to probe Biden's family's dealings in his country.

Former Vice-President and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden arrives for the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry in Water Works Park on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 in Des Moines.

Hunter Biden, however, told the New Yorker in an interview for an article published in July that he discussed Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas producer, with his father in December 2015. At the time, Hunter Biden sat on Burisma‘s board of directors.

Around the time of the conversation, Biden was preparing for a trip to the Ukraine and the Obama administration special envoy had raised the issue with the Vice President, according to the article. Hunter Biden told the New Yorker he and his father spoke about Burisma just once.

“‘Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you’re doing,” and I said, ‘I do,’ ” the younger Biden is quoted as saying in the article. 

The Biden campaign declined to comment on the reported December 2015 conversation.

Before Biden's comments, Trump fired off several tweets Saturday morning, defending himself and his phone call with Zelensky as a "fine and routine conversation."

"Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden’s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster," Trump tweeted. 

Biden briefly addressed supporters at a pre-steak fry rally Saturday and warned that Trump would try to murky the waters as the election cycle heats up.

“Be prepared for every lousy thing coming from him,” Biden said. 

What has happened already

The president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has previously raised questions about whether Biden, as vice president, pushed for the ouster of former Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, who had investigated a private Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Group. Hunter Biden was a board member of Burisma.

But Ukraine's current prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, told Bloomberg News Service in May that he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden or his son.

“Hunter Biden did not violate any Ukrainian laws — at least as of now, we do not see any wrongdoing,” Lutsenko told Bloomberg. “A company can pay however much it wants to its board.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden and work with his personal attorney, Giuliani, on the matter.

Previously: Joe Biden: Trump's reported effort to get Ukraine president to investigate him 'abhorrent'

Biden has previously said he wanted Shokin out as prosecutor general because he wasn’t doing enough to investigate corruption. The former vice president in March 2016 called on Ukraine’s Parliament to dismiss Shokin, or the United States would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees, according to the New York Times. Shokin was voted out by parliament, but no evidence showing Biden intentionally tried to benefit his son has surfaced.

Still, Trump in a May interview on Fox News suggested Biden engaged in a quid pro quo with Ukraine's government.

“Look at Joe Biden … he calls them [Ukrainian government leaders] and says, 'Don’t you dare prosecute,'" Trump said in the interview. "'If you don’t fire this prosecutor’ — the prosecutor was after his son — then he said, ‘If you fire the prosecutor, you’ll be OK. And if you don’t fire the prosecutor, we’re not giving you $2 billion in loan guarantees,’ or whatever he was supposed to give. Can you imagine if I did that?"

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Joe Biden: I never talked Ukraine with son, Trump needs to be investigated

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