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Biden unable to reach agreement with Turkey’s Erdogan over Russian S-400

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Russian S-400 missile battalions participate in tactical training to counter attacks of potential sabotage and reconnaissance groups. 

Vitaly Nevar | TASS via Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration was unable to work out a resolution with Turkey following Ankara’s defiant purchase of a Russian weapons system, which the NATO alliance views as a security risk.

National security advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters Thursday on a call that President Joe Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the 2017 multibillion-dollar weapons deal with Russia this week at NATO’s headquarters.

In December, the Trump administration slapped sanctions on Turkey, a NATO member, for buying the S-400 missile system in a confrontation not typically seen within the alliance.

“On the S-400, they discussed it. There was not a resolution of the issue. There was a commitment to continue the dialogue on the S-400,” Sullivan said, adding that the Biden administration would have more to say on the matter after Washington and Ankara hold additional talks.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and US President Joe Biden (R) hold a meeting at the NATO summit at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussels, on June 14, 2021.

Murat Cetinmuhurdar | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

During a NATO press conference, Erdogan said he had not changed his position on the S-400 despite having a “sincere” meeting with President Joe Biden.

Biden also said the meeting with Erdogan was productive, adding that he was confident the U.S. will “make real progress with Turkey.”

Erdogan said on Tuesday that he told Biden to “not expect Turkey to take a different step on the F-35 and S-400 issues,” according to a report from Turkey’s state media.

“We must monitor developments closely. We will be following up on all our rights,” he said. “In the next period, our foreign ministers, defense ministers and defense industry chairs will be moving this process forward by meeting with their counterparts,” Erdogan added.

In multiple efforts to deter Turkey from buying Russia’s S-400 missile system, the State Department offered in 2013 and 2017 to sell the country Raytheon‘s Patriot missile system. Ankara passed on the Patriot both times because the U.S. declined to provide a transfer of the system’s sensitive missile technology.

A F-35 fighter jet is seen as Turkey takes delivery of its first F-35 fighter jet with a ceremony at the Lockheed Martin in Forth Worth, Texas, United States on June 21, 2018.

Atilgan Ozdil | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, any foreign government working with the Russian defense sector finds itself in the crosshairs of U.S. economic sanctions.

Despite warnings from the United States and other NATO allies, Turkey accepted the first of four S-400 missile batteries from the Kremlin in July 2019.

A week later, the United States cut Turkey, a financial and manufacturing partner, from the F-35 program.

Due to Turkey’s removal from the F-35 program, U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin offered the jets originally slated to join Ankara’s arsenal to other customers.

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How TikTok star Brooke Monk gained 16 million followers in 2 years

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Brooke Monk put up her first TikTok post in September 2019 and since then she’s gained 16.1 million followers and 1.2 billion likes on her videos.

In just under two years, Brooke Monk has amassed over 16 million followers on the social media platform TikTok. But, speaking to CNBC, she said that it was never her intention to reach influencer status. 

Monk put up her first TikTok post in September 2019 and since then she’s gained 16.1 million followers and 1.2 billion likes on her videos. 

The 18-year-old U.S. influencer told CNBC on the latest episode of “Marketing Media Money” that it was never her aim to attract a lot of followers or become famous, but more about the fact that she really enjoyed making content for social media. 

“I love having an audience, I love reading people’s comments, I love interacting with people,” Monk said, explaining that the aspect of not knowing everyone online almost motivated her to post more because she loved seeing the feedback. 

Monk believed the secret to creating popular content on a platform like TikTok was to make the posts about things that people can relate to, “like little mundane things that everyone’s experienced in their life.” 

She also said it was key for influencers to listen to feedback from their audience, as well as being positive and uplifting on social media. 

“I feel like the majority of audiences start to feel disconnected from their influencers when they get too big and then they don’t really care about their audience anymore,” Monk said. 

Monk believed it was important that brands didn’t change an influencer’s style. Otherwise she said it could make the content look sponsored, like a “face holding a product,” which could see the influencer’s popularity start to fade. 

She believed brands would work with influencers a lot more in the future “because audiences feel more connected to an influencer, if they see their daily life and they’re just watching their content, as opposed to celebrities or even commercials or infomercials.” 

TikTok’s popularity has exploded amid the pandemic. As of June 2020, TikTok’s total number of U.S. month active users had jumped to more than 91 million, up from 27 million in 2019. 

Monk said that she realized she had become an influencer when people started asking her about what hair and make-up products she used. 

Monk has not disclosed her earnings. According to recent data from music licensing platform Lickd.co, to make $100,000 a year on TikTok, a user would need to have a minimum of 10,000 subscribers, or followers and get more than 270 million clip views a year.

In terms of how Monk finds the brands that feature in her TikToks, she said that companies actually get in touch with her most of the time. 

As for how she promotes products in her posts, Monk said that if she has creative freedom then she tries to incorporate it into a piece of general content she would already produce. But if not, she follows what the “brand’s comfortable with.” However, Monk stressed that she won’t sponsor a product if she doesn’t like it.

Check out: How this 22-year-old TikTok creator decorates her $1,400-a-month apartment with thrift store finds and DIYs

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Australia miner BHP shares jump on news of nickel supply deal with Tesla EVs

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A Tesla car charges at a Tesla Supercharger station on April 26, 2021 in Corte Madera, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Shares of mining giant BHP Group jumped 3% in Australia on Thursday morning, after the company announced it will be supplying nickel to electric carmaker Tesla.

In a statement on Thursday, BHP said one of its mines based in Western Australia, Nickel West, will be supplying the world’s largest electric vehicle maker with nickel, a key raw material used in EV batteries.

“Demand for nickel in batteries is estimated to grow by over 500 per cent over the next decade, in large part to support the world’s rising demand for electric vehicles,” BHP Chief Commercial Officer Vandita Pant said in a statement.

BHP currently derives most of its earnings from iron ore, used predominantly to make steel. 

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

While there were no specifics on the deal amount, Tesla had said in June that it expects to spend more than $1 billion a year on raw materials for batteries from Australia, citing the country’s responsible production practices, according to Reuters.

BHP claims to be one of the most sustainable and lowest carbon emission nickel producers in the
world.

EV batteries will certainly be critical and drive interest in copper and nickel in particular.

Vivek Dhar

commodity analyst, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

The mining giant currently supplies 85% of its nickel to global battery material suppliers, according to its website. It has also almost finished building a new plant which will produce nickel sulphate, a material used in the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles, the website said.

Outlook for nickel

Major miners are set to go bigger in the mining resources needed to decarbonize the global economy, Vivek Dhar, a commodity analyst from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, told CNBC via email.

“EV batteries will certainly be critical and drive interest in copper and nickel in particular,” he said.

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Netflix games are coming — and the reasons are very Netflixian

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In this photo illustration the Netflix logo in the App Store seen displayed on a smartphone screen.

Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

For the first time, Netflix executives spoke at length about the company’s video gaming aspirations. Their rationale for expanding the company’s product offerings was very … Netflixian.

Superficially, Netflix will start offering mobile games to subscribers for no additional charge to add value to the service. Subscribers in the U.S. and Canada declined by 400,000 in the second quarter, a sign the business may be reaching a near-term saturation point. Adding video games may entice new customers while reducing churn.

“The success of this initiative is about great games, fundamentally,” Netflix chief operating officer and chief product officer Greg Peters said during his company’s second-quarter earnings conference call Tuesday. “We think we can deliver more entertainment value through [games].”

But pull back the curtain, and it’s clear Netflix chose video games as one of the company’s first significant nonvideo-related business ventures because of two themes: data and intellectual property.

Those two concepts are core to Netflix’s success as a video streaming service. Netflix has revolutionized streaming video by using streaming video data to recommend what a person should watch and to guide original content production. The value of the owned intellectual property has led to a global shift in media distribution, as companies increasingly hold on to their own creations and distribute content themselves via streaming rather than widely selling programming to others.

The results have led to Netflix dominating the entertainment world with 209 million global subscribers and a trail of copycat subscription streaming services from every media company. They’ve also led to a creative product that some find gauche and not in the spirit of making art.

“These streaming services have been making something that they call ‘movies,’ ” Barry Diller, who once ran Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, said earlier this month. “They ain’t movies. They are some weird algorithmic process that has created things that last 100 minutes or so.”

Netflix’s gaming strategy

Peters acknowledged the company will “learn and grow and refocus our investment based on what we see is working” with games. He noted that gaming provides “intentionality,” allowing users to dictate the characters they want to spend time with in different parts of a gaming world.

That user-based decision-making won’t be ignored by Netflix. Rather, it will guide Netflix — not only in making better games but also in creative decisions. If a Netflix-owned series has a character that’s used heavily in gaming, one could easily imagine that character being more prominently featured in an upcoming season of the show.

“Maybe someday we’ll see a game that spawns a film or a series,” Peters said. “That would be an amazing place to get to, to really see the rich interplay between these different forms of entertainment.”

While Peters noted that Netflix will license some games — just as Netflix built its video service on the back of licensing TV shows and movies — he said Netflix’s intellectual property is a key differentiating factor against other rivals in the space.

“The first of those [differentiating factors] is about the IP we create,” Peters said. “We know the fans of our stories want to go deep and engage further. What’s great about interactive is you can provide universes that provide a significant amount of time where people can engage and explore.”

That “significant amount of time” is yet another key Netflix tenet — keeping users within the company’s ecosystem. That’s why Netflix founder and co-chief executive officer Reed Hastings once said that even sleep should be considered Netflix competition.

Gaming won’t become an independent driver of revenue any time soon. Hastings referred to Netflix as “a one-product company with a bunch of supporting elements.” But for anyone who was confused why Netflix would budge from its famous focus on streaming, the rationale is clearer today: Hastings hopes what worked for video will work again for gaming.

WATCH: Netflix drops on earnings in new report

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