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    Big media companies are making another attempt to pass the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), a bill that would protect them from online competition, propping up legacy media in the face of widespread public distrust and a failing business model. According to an exclusive story published by News Corp’s Wall Street Journal (News Corp has been a major backer of this legislation, and similar efforts around the world), the new version of the JCPA would give an even bigger advantage to legacy media companies, giving them an antitrust exemption for ten years instead of the four years of the original bill. Publishers would be given the legal authority to form a cartel, usually illegal under antitrust law, to collectively bargain with Silicon Valley tech giants for financial handouts and special treatment, such as prioritization in search results, news feeds, and other core features. The amended bill would also force Big Tech to come to terms with Big Media, by imposing an arbitration process on them. If Big Tech companies cannot voluntarily make a deal to favor discredited Big Media companies, an...
    White House officials held dozens of meetings with business leaders last week who urged the administration to put off private industry vaccine mandates until after the holidays – and meetings have continued into this week. Leaders from labor unions, industry lobbyists and private individuals met with officials from the Office of Management and Budget, which is responsible for crafting the rule ordered by Joe Biden's executive order mandating vaccines for private companies. OMB officials met with additional groups and individuals on Monday and have more lined up Tuesday – including those representing trucking companies, dentists and realtors, among others, according to CNBC. The National Retail Federation, the American Trucking Association and the Retail Industry Leaders Association are asking the White House to give businesses 90 days to comply with the mandate. This would delay implementation until late January at the earliest. Also on October 15, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce asked during a meeting with OMB to delay implementation until after the holiday season. Last month, Biden announced a new executive order that would require all companies with at least...
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — An 11th-hour deal was reached Saturday, averting a strike of film and television crews that would have seen some 60,000 behind-the-scenes workers walk off their jobs and would have frozen productions in Hollywood and across the U.S. After days of marathon negotiations, representatives from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and from the studios and entertainment companies who employ them reached the three-year contract agreement before a Monday strike deadline, avoiding a serious setback for an industry that had just gotten back to work after long pandemic shutdowns. “This is a Hollywood ending,” union president Matthew Loeb said. “Our members stood firm.” Dim Hou / Unsplash The workers still must vote to approve it, but the strike has been called off with the tentative deal. Many in Hollywood celebrated the news. “Good for @IATSE for standing your ground. And don’t forget we got your back anytime you need us,” comedian, actor and writer Patton Oswalt said on Twitter. Another actor, comic and writer, Yvette Nicole Brown, tweeted ”#UnionStrong!” along with a link to a story...
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — An 11th-hour deal was reached Saturday, averting a strike of film and television crews that would have seen some 60,000 behind-the-scenes workers walk off their jobs and would have frozen productions in Hollywood and across the U.S. After days of marathon negotiations, representatives from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and from the studios and entertainment companies who employ them reached the three-year contract agreement before a Monday strike deadline, avoiding a serious setback for an industry that had just gotten back to work after long pandemic shutdowns. READ MORE: COVID Vaccination Count in San Mateo County Revised Down Due to Data Error“This is a Hollywood ending,” union president Matthew Loeb said. “Our members stood firm.” The workers still must vote to approve it, but the strike has been called off with the tentative deal. Many in Hollywood celebrated the news. “Good for @IATSE for standing your ground. And don’t forget we got your back anytime you need us,” comedian, actor and writer Patton Oswalt said on Twitter. Another actor, comic and writer, Yvette Nicole...
    Republicans nationwide are tearing into President Joe Biden on Thursday after he announced he'd use an emergency order to force businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines or weekly COVID testing. 'Forcing this and coercing people, I don't think is the right decision. I'd imagine that you're gonna see a lot of activity in the courts if they try to do that through an executive action,' Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said during a press conference Thursday. Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs revealed he would try to block the measure in Congress. 'I will be introducing legislation to block this egregious assault on Americans' freedom and liberty,' he wrote on Twitter. 'We must fight against these attempts to force vaccine mandates on the American people.'  Biden on Thursday announced an aggressive new plan to get 100 million employees across the federal government and private sector vaccinated against COVID as the case rate continues to rise due to the Delta variant.  Other Republican governors are also mounting a defense against Biden's aggressive new order.  South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem appeared to threaten...
    Budweiser becomes latest commercial stalwart to sit out Super Bowl Unmistakeable signs your spouse wants a divorce Foley-Backed SPAC Agrees to $7.3 Billion Deal With Alight (Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group Inc.’s Alight Solutions has agreed to go public via a merger with a blank-check special acquisition firm backed by investor Bill Foley, according to the companies. © Bloomberg The Manhattan skyline seen from the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. U.S. stocks fell to a two-week low as megacap tech shares came under pressure for a second day, but came off their lows as the holiday weekend approached. The deal by Foley Trasimene Acquisition Corp would value Alight, a benefits administrator business, at about $7.3 billion including debt, the companies said in a statement Monday. Load Error Based in Lincolnshire, Illinois, Alight provides human-resource support services such as payroll, health benefits and employee communications for large companies in 188 countries, according to its website. The company was a division of Aon Plc until Blackstone bought it in 2017 in a transaction valued as...
    China said on Wednesday it wanted to cooperate with President Joe Biden's new U.S. administration, while announcing sanctions against 'lying and cheating' outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and 27 other top officials under Donald Trump. The move was a sign of China's anger, especially at an accusation Pompeo made on his final full day in office that China had committed genocide against its Uighur Muslims. The assessment is shared by Biden's choice to succeed Pompeo, Anthony Blinken. In a striking repudiation of its relationship with Washington under Trump, the Chinese foreign ministry announced the sanctions in a statement that appeared on its website around the time that Biden was taking the presidential oath. Mike Pompeo angered China by accusing the country of genocide of the Uighur Muslims Pompeo, pictured in October 2018 with State Councillor Yang Jiechi in Beijing, was sanctioned on Wednesday by China and accused of having 'seriously disrupted China-U.S. relations' John Bolton, Trump's former National Security Advisor, was another of the 28 individuals Donald Trump and China's leader, Xi Jinping, pictured in...
    (CNN)Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Monday a series of new efforts to help boost the state's Covid-19 vaccinations, including partnerships with companies like Starbucks and Microsoft. Inslee revealed in a news conference the state has established a "public private partnership" between the health department and other business, health care and labor leaders, dubbed the "Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center."Members in the partnership will focus on different aspects of vaccine distribution, the governor said, and will "coordinate all available resources to administer more vaccines in the state of Washington in the fastest and most efficient way possible."More than 60% of all US Covid-19 cases were reported since Election Day. Now experts warn a variant could further fuel spreadKaiser Permanente, for example, will be responsible for helping plan for mass vaccination clinics, while Starbucks will help with operational efficiency. "Now, we are not a health care company," Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson said during the news conference. "But Starbucks does operate 33,000 stores at scale, serving 100 million customers a week and we have a world class...
    Hong Kong (CNN Business)The Trump administration is inflicting even more damage on Chinese businesses — including smartphone maker Xiaomi — with just days to go before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. The US Defense Department on Thursday added nine Chinese firms, including Xiaomi, to a list of companies the agency claims are owned or controlled by China's military. Businesses on the list are subject to harsh restrictions, including a ban on American investment.Trump signs new order that would ban transactions with some Chinese appsThe addition is worrisome news for Xiaomi, which recently surpassed Apple (AAPL) to become the world's third largest smartphone maker, according to market intelligence firm IDC. The company's stock plunged 10% during morning trade in Hong Kong on Friday. The Pentagon's list also included the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), a major, state-owned Chinese plane maker that the country wants to build up as an answer to Boeing (BA) and Airbus (EADSF).The Defense Department said in a statement that it is "determined to highlight and counter" the relationship between China's military and firms that "appear to...
    Fact check: Viral post on Supreme Courts Dred Scott ruling includes inaccuracies 6 Pizza Chains Quietly Vanishing This Year Alcoa Investors Focus on the Future With Green Dominating Agenda (Bloomberg) -- Analysts and investors are pressing Alcoa Corp. to make good on its promise of a greener future. Load Error The biggest U.S. aluminum maker spent a good chunk of its quarterly earnings call on Wednesday fielding questions over efforts on environmental, social and corporate governance issues -- in particular its pledge to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. Metal producers including Alcoa are working to improve their environmental standing, with investor interest in ESG on the rise and customers such as automakers demanding less-polluting supply chains. Even as Alcoa grapples with fallout from the virus pandemic that has battered demand, Chief Executive Officer Roy Harvey seized the chance to explain plans for “green aluminum,” saying customers will increasingly shift attention to the carbon impact of raw materials. “Investors like us are looking at these companies to do better, and we are rating them on it and including that into our...
    Woman suspected of sending poisoned letter to Trump arrested The most historic restaurant in your state Gold Investors Take Aim at Miners With Returns Falling Short (Bloomberg) -- A coalition of gold investors, including firms backed by billionaires John Paulson and Naguib Sawiris, is urging changes at miners as performance “continues to fall short” in some areas even as prices rise. Load Error In an open letter to the mining industry, prominent gold investors including money managers at Franklin Templeton, CI Investments and members of the Shareholders’ Gold Council are targeting issues including executive compensation and directors who don’t have enough skin in the game because they don’t hold a meaningful amount of shares in the firms they represent. The signatories offered 16 suggestions to better align the interest of managers, boards and shareholders. Read the open letter the group of investors sent to gold miners. Gold has been on a record-setting tear as the pandemic threatens to derail global economic growth, sending investors on a flight to safe havens. That comes at a time when real yields...
    Two Iranian nationals have been indicted on charges of hacking into US computer networks and stealing data to sell on the black market — sometimes at the behest of the Iranian government, federal prosecutors announced. Hooman Heidarian, 30, and Mehdi Farhadi, 34, both of Hamedan, Iran, were accused Wednesday of stealing and selling hundreds of terabytes of data, including some national security intelligence, nuclear information, intellectual property and personal financial information, the Justice Department alleged in a charging announcement. “We will not bring the rule of law to cyberspace until governments refuse to provide safe harbor for criminal hacking within their borders,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said in a statement. “Unfortunately, our cases demonstrate that at least four nations — Iran, China, Russia and North Korea — will allow criminal hackers to victimize individuals and companies from around the world, as long as these hackers will also work for that country’s government—gathering information on human rights activists, dissidents and others of intelligence interest. Today’s defendants will now learn that such service to the Iranian regime is...
    “This plan is not satisfied to heal the wounds of the crisis. It prepares the future”, affirmed the Prime Minister Jean Castex in an interview with Le Figaro, by defending a plan “at the height of the exceptional situation which we are going through “. In total, 100 billion euros over two years will be injected into the economy, which is expected to contract by 11% this year because of the Covid-19 epidemic and the confinement decided in the spring. The government’s objective is to return to the pre-crisis level of activity in 2022 and to start seeing unemployment fall, when it expects 800,000 job cuts this year. “I hope that the stimulus plan in 2021 will create 160,000 jobs. This is our goal,” the Prime Minister said Thursday morning on RTL. He is counting on companies to make a strong commitment to employment. For this, the executive promises an execution without loss of time, within two years of the presidential election, with a steering committee, chaired by the Prime Minister, to verify the allocation of...
    Loic Venance/Getty Images) Tech companies including Facebook and Google said Wednesday they had met with federal agencies to make “preparations” for the November election and upcoming political conventions. “For the past several years, we have worked closely to counter information operations across our platforms,” the companies said in a statement. “In preparation for the upcoming election, we regularly meet to discuss trends with U.S. government agencies tasked with protecting the integrity of the election. We held the latest in a series of meetings with government partners today where we each provided updates on what we’re seeing on our respective platforms and what we expect to see in the coming months.” Other companies involved in the meeting included LinkedIn, Microsoft, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, Verizon, and the Wikimedia Foundation. Most of the companies are seeking to reduce the number of fake accounts state-backed use to spread propaganda ahead of the 2020 election. Twitter estimated in 2018 that 677,000 Twitter users interacted with account linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency during the last presidential election election. China has become more active on the...
    The city has quietly inked a $800,000 contract with a consultancy firm to explore a public takeover of private school bus companies– including one with ties to Mayor de Blasio, The Post has learned. TransPar Group, Inc. won the contract in late June, according to minutes from the city’s Economic Development Corporation. “TransPar Group, Inc. or an affiliated entity will help develop and implement a transportation planning and management strategy for Department of Education’s school bus fleet,” the minutes say. “This will include providing support for school bus acquisition, including due diligence; developing the operation of a newly created not-for-profit which will acquire and operate assets of current school bus operating companies; defining the roles and responsibilities of DOE and the not-for-profit; and supporting the not-for-profit in succession planning to successfully run field operation.” The city currently outsources all of its school bus operations. Sources told The Post the city is in secret negotiations protected by non-disclosure agreements to purchase three school bus companies including one with ties to the mayor– and a multimillion dollar pension liability. Reliant Transportation’s CEO...
    The US Justice Department has charged two alleged Chinese hackers with stealing trade secrets and other valuable data from companies worldwide, including firms working on COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. Prosecutors claim some of the hacks were carried out on behalf of China’s Ministry of State Security, while others were done for personal profit. The pair are currently wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Li Xiaoyu (who goes by the handle “Oro01xy”) and Dong Jiazhi have allegedly been active since 2009. The Justice Department says it encountered the hackers after they compromised computers at the Department of Energy’s Hanford Site, which is home to a decommissioned nuclear production facility. In addition to this breach, they’re accused of infiltrating a wide swathe of software, defense, gaming, and biotech companies, often seeking proprietary data. At least one case saw them attempting to extort a company by threatening to publish its source code online. The indictment cites 25 unnamed victim companies from the US, Europe, Australia, and South Korea. Most were targeted between 2015 and 2019 before the start of the coronavirus pandemic....
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