Posts tagged with "Bloomberg"

Going, going … Donald Trump plans early adieu on Inauguration Day

January 19, 2021

Donald Trump will be clinging to the last vestiges of his presidency—thousands of feet in the air and hours before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration—on Wednesday, January 20, The Huffington Post reports.

The outgoing president is taking Air Force One home to Florida while he still can—arriving there before Biden is sworn in around noon, according to CBS News.

As it stands now, Trump is “scheduled to land in West Palm Beach at 11a.m. (ET) Wednesday morning with just 1 hour left in his Presidency. He no longer has access to Air Force One as of noon that day,CBS’s Ben Tracy tweeted Sunday.

Trump would no longer be deemed the commander-in-chief after noon and the plane would lose its “Air Force One” call sign―which Trump wanted to avoid, NBC News noted earlier.

Usually, the HuffPost noted, presidents depart on another government jet to begin civilian life.

The White House sent out invitations for Trump’s departure event at Joint Base Andrews, which begins at 8 a.m. (ET), Bloomberg reported. Guests can bring up to five other people, must wear masks and should arrive between 6 a.m. and 7:15 a.m, Bloomberg said after viewing one of the invites.

Trump has requested the red-carpet treatment with a 21-gun salute and military band, reports noted.

His helicopter goodbye from the White House’s South Lawn is expected to be a low-key affair. Some White House aides will be there to send off Marine One and attendance will be “limited,” Bloomberg reported. Heightened security around the inauguration and the White House following the Capitol insurrection curtailed the size.

Trump, the only president to be impeached twice and the only president in modern history to not attend his successor’s inauguration, will likely spend the rest of the day at his Mar-a-Lago club.

Palm Beach police recently warned residents that the Secret Service would have a “final road closure near Mar-a-Lago” on January 20 and would be closed for several days, CBS in Miami reported.

“Beyond this, we do not foresee any future road closures related to the presence of a former President,” police wrote.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry partner with World Central Kitchen to open up relief centers

December 23, 2020

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced this past weekend that they are teaming up with World Central Kitchen to launch community centers that will provide food and other services to those in areas impacted by disasters, Delish reports.

The couple’s Archewell Foundation is joining with the José Andrés-founded non-profit, based in Washington, D.C., to open centers around the world. These spaces will be permanent structures in the community, according to Bloomberg; which can be used as food distribution centers, schools, and clinics during times of crisis, but then can also be used as community spaces in other times.

The first center is slated to open early next year on the Caribbean island of Dominica, which was hugely impacted by both Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017. A second is expected to open in Puerto Rico, which also saw massive devastation by Hurricane Maria.

According to Delish, two more centers are planned, although their locations have not been immediately announced.

 “The health of our communities depends on our ability to connect to our shared humanity,” said Meghan and Prince Harry in a statement:

When we think about Chef Andrés and his incredible team at World Central Kitchen, we’re reminded that even during a year of unimaginable hardship, there are so many amazing people willing—and working tirelessly—to support each other. World Central Kitchen inspires us through compassion in action.

“We are more energized than ever to continue this vital work,” José told Bloomberg in a statement, “and we’re proud that it will be hand in hand with Archewell Foundation and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. I have come to know both of them well, and believe that their values are directly aligned with what we stand for at World Central Kitchen.”

Research contact: @DelishDotCom

Sales are up for the ski and snowboard industry, despite COVID lockdowns

December 22, 2020

While the pandemic and politics may make many of us feel as if our quality of life is “going downhill” fast, there is one business sector that could benefit significantly from just that scenario: Millions of Americans would love to bust out of lockdown and go skiing—and the  $20 billion U.S. ski and snowboard industry hopes they give it a try.

Lockdowns starting in March wiped out spring break—the second-most lucrative period of the season—and with it an estimated $2 billion of industry revenue, Bloomberg reports.

The most profitable time is Christmas vacation, coming soon, and the resurgence of COVID-19 has slope operators nervous that another shot at decent earnings will be lost at a time when pent-up demand is reaching a bursting point.

“It’s just going to be a very different year for all of us, an interesting year, a stressful year,” Jeff Hanle, vice president of Communications for Aspen Skiing, which owns the Aspen Snowmass resort in Colorado, told Bloomberg this week. “People are very excited to be outside, to be up on the hill.”

With wide distribution of a vaccine still months away, different mountains have different reasons to worry. Aspen Snowmass, which caters to the jet set with more than 350 trails on four peaks, expects to lose 80% of its international business as pandemic travel restrictions remain in force.

At smaller, family-owned slopes, such as Minnesota’s Lutsen Mountains and Nub’s Nob in Michigan, the challenge is more to keep customers and staff safe while they gear up, take breaks and refuel with chili and hot chocolate.

Ski-in, ski-out accommodations can alleviate crowding in public spaces, and Lutsen Mountains, overlooking Lake Superior, can take advantage of that, according to Marketing Director Jim Vick. The resort is encouraging overnight guests who are staying trailside to use their rooms as their own private day lodges, freeing up space in the lodge for day guests.

 Nub’s Nob is asking visitors to eat and drink outside and to boot up at their cars.

Rules vary at different locations. The California side of Lake Tahoe is closed to overnight guests due to Covid-19 restrictions while the Nevada side remains open. Some resorts have instituted reservation systems to limit the number of skiers, which, of course, cuts into revenue. And the National Ski Areas Association is urging skiers to ride chairlifts and gondolas only with people they know.

More than 51 million visitors hit American slopes last year, according to the NSAA. That put 2020 on pace for the fourth-best season since counting started in the 1970s—were it not for the March shutdowns. Now, the industry looks forward to rising numbers in 2021, and a near-return to normal sometime in 2022.

Research contact: @Bloomberg

Target will extend ‘hazard pay’ to frontline workers through July 4

May 19, 2020

Target, the eighth-largest U.S. retailer, has announced plans to extend its temporary $2-an-hour pay hike for frontline workers through July 4 as the company continues to deal with higher demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bloomberg reports.

The company also is extending policies that give employees who are 65 or older, pregnant. or with medical conditions paid leave for up to 30 days. In addition, workers will get access to backup care for children or family members.

Bloomberg notes that the way in which the store is stepping up for its employees “contrasts with recent moves by retailers such as Amazon and Kroger, which are winding down higher hourly pay initiatives as the coronavirus lockdown persists.”

This will be the second extension of higher pay for Target, which initially announced wage increases in March. The Minneapolis-based retailer has seen a big boost from selling essential goods during the coronavirus pandemic, but investors are bracing for lower margins due to the higher costs and the possibility it will write off slow-selling merchandise like clothing, according to the business news outlet.

Companies allowed to operate through the pandemic, such as supermarkets, warehouses, and transportation firms, have benefited from a boost in demand and a labor market swollen with newly unemployed workers. However, their treatment of workers has drawn regulatory scrutiny; as well as protests from employees worried about catching COVID-19 at work and bringing it home to their families.

Research contact: @business

Pedal to the metal: Elon Musk dares California to arrest him as Tesla plant reopens

May 13, 2020

He has challenged the laws of mobility and gravity with his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, so why should Elon Musk bend to the laws of Alameda County, California?

This week, Musk has escalated his war with Alameda officials—tweeting that he is reopening Tesla’s manufacturing plant there despite a local ban by authorities who believe it’s not safe to do so.

If county officials don’t like it, Musk said, they can arrest him, according to a report by Fast Company. Indeed, he tweeted on May 11, “Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.”

Indeed, he says, county officials are illegally flaunting California law. Also on Twitter, Musk noted, “Yes, California approved, but an unelected county official illegally overrode. Also, all other auto companies in US are approved to resume. Only Tesla has been singled out. This is super messed up!”

The tweet and decision to reopen Tesla’s only U.S. plant come after a dramatic weekend, during which Musk threatened to move the company’s headquarters from California to Nevada or Texas, Bloomberg reports.

The threat came after California Governor Gavin Newsom gave the okay last week for manufacturers in the state to start operations again, but Alameda County officials overruled that decision. It should be noted, however, that Governor Newsom granted local authorities the power to remain more restrictive with their stay-at-home orders than the state’s as a whole, essentially allowing them to decide when certain types of businesses can reopen in their areas.

That did not sit well with Musk, and Tesla then sued Alameda County over the weekend.. In response, Alameda County health officials issued a statement saying they were aware Tesla’s plant was reopening and hoped the company would choose to comply with local stay-at-home rules “without further enforcement measures.”

According to Fast Company, after Musk announced the Tesla plant would reopen, employees at the plant were emailed a memo announcing their furlough ended on Sunday and that they will be contacted within 24 hours with their return-to-work start date. Tesla said those who aren’t comfortable returning to work can stay at home—but they will be on unpaid leave and lose any jobless benefits.

The news outlet says that, since lockdown orders began, Musk has been the most vocal billionaire demanding people get back to work—going so far as to channel Trump in random outbursts on Twitter ranting against stay-at-home orders.

Research contact: @FastCompany

Bloomberg launches Screentime, a digital hub about the business of entertainment

April 15, 2020

On April 14, Bloomberg announced the launch of Screentime—a weekly newsletter about the entertainment industry that will feature coverage on television and movies, music and podcasting, eSports and video games, and influencers.

Screentime is the latest in a series of similarly structured verticals coming out of Bloomberg—among them, Hyperdrive for the auto and mobility industry; and Prognosis, for the healthcare industry.

In addition to featuring trend stories and narratives, Screentime will cover the biggest news stories of the moment: In the first issue, Bloomberg discusses how COVID-19 currently is affecting every aspect of the entertainment industry.

In addition, a unique new feature of the newsletter will be Bloomberg’s Pop Star Power Ranking, a list of the 25 biggest pop stars in the world, updated weekly.

Content from Screentime will be available first to subscribers of Bloomberg Terminal , the company’s premium data and breaking news subscription portal.

Research contact: @business

Elliott Management buys stake in Twitter; looks to replace CEO @jack Dorsey

March 3, 2020

Hedge fund Elliott Management has taken a sizable stake—although it won’t say just how much- in the San Francisco-based social network Twitter  and plans to push for changes at the company, including replacing Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey, according to people familiar with the matter.

According to a report by Reuters, Twitter is one of the few U.S. technology companies headed, but not controlled, by one of its founders. It has given shareholders equal voting rights, making Dorsey, who owns only about 2% of the company, vulnerable to a challenge from an activist investor such as Elliott.

And word is out that Elliot would like to see Dorsey go. NPR reported on March 1 that Elliott is concerned that Dorsey hasn’t focused enough on Twitter, because he is also chief executive of payments company Square. The hedge fund is pushing for a CEO whose sole job is running Twitter.

Adding pressure, Elliott has nominated four directors to the company’s board, according to two people familiar with the matter, NPR said. The two sides have had constructive talks, according to the people, who were not authorized to speak publicly. Twitter and Elliott declined to comment.

The worry is that under Dorsey’s leadership, Twitter is not poised to capitalize on a flood of news this year—including the U.S. presidential election, the summer Olympic Games in Tokyo—and the coronavirus outbreak, that could attract people and advertisers to the platform.

Elliott approached San Francisco-based Twitter about its concerns privately and has had constructive discussions with it since then, the people said.

Twitter has been a potential target for activist investors for years, according to Bloomberg News. The company only has one class of stock, the news outlet notes, which means co-founder Dorsey doesn’t have voting control of the company like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg or Snapchat co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy.

Research contact: @NPR

Beverly Hills eclipsed by Calabasas as home for rich and famous

March 2, 2020

Katy Perry, Dr. Phil, Jeff Bezos , John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, Eddie Murphy—they all have opulent homes in the 5.7-square-mile area in Los Angeles known as Beverly Hills. Indeed, along with Bel Air, it has been the area where Hollywood stars have “lived large” since the 1920s, Bloomberg reports..

But now, things are changing. Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which begins its 18th season next month on the E! network, has put a spotlight on another part of the Los Angeles metro area—Calabasas, a 13.7-square-mile area on the west side of the city.

This year, for the first time, the community of about 24,300 people has eclipsed Beverly Hills in Bloomberg’s annual ranking of the richest cities nationwide. The average household income in Calabasas is $194,010—more than twice the national average and about $4,000 higher than Beverly Hills, which has 34,600 residents.

Located about 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, Calabasas owes some of its success to the usual reasons: good schools, low crime, and open space. But the Kardashians’ reality TV show has had its own effect, showing that in Calabasas, the rich and famous can live normal lives without having to dodge paparazzi and tour buses every time they leave home.

“You’re not going to get tourists walking around Calabasas. UYou’re going to get the celebrities that live here, going to the gym and going to the supermarket,” Tomer Fridman, a luxury real estate agent who works with the Kardashians told Bloomberg “That’s why they live here — for the privacy.”

In recent decades, Calabasas and its even tonier neighbor to the north, Hidden Hills, have been transformed from sleepy suburbs into celebrity capitals.

The Calabasas Country Club cites the “celebrity factor” as a reason to move there. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West live in Hidden Hills, as does the rapper Drake. Actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith keep a 150-acre Calabasas compound, while Justin Bieber sold his $7.2 million Spanish-style retreat in the city to Khloe Kardashian. Actress Katie Holmes just sold a home there for about $4 million, the Los Angels Times reported this week.

Another reason to look there? Real estate in Calabasas is relatively cheap compared with Beverly Hills. That’s the premium people pay to live in the city, Fridman said. The median home price in Calabasas is $1.19 million, while it’s $2.7 million in Beverly Hills, according to Zillow. What Westchester is to Manhattan, Calabasas is to Beverly Hills, Fridman said.

Although the Kardashians first started taping their show from Hidden Hills, which has about 2,000 residents, the family and some of its members also have lived in Calabasas. The clan called the city home from 2003 to 2005 before moving to a bigger place in Hidden Hills, according to the L.A. Times.  Kylie Jenner, the 22-year-old cosmetics mogul, bought her first house, a $2.7 million starter pad, in Calabasas in 2015.

So, it really depends which “in crowd” you want to be “in” with. After all Jennifer Anniston lives in Bel Air.

Research contact: @business

Watch out! Glitches in cheap smartwatches may allow strangers to track children

December 12, 2019

While kids who wear smartwatches can keep in closer touch with their parents during the day, unfortunately, mom and dad may not be the only ones who are tracking their children’s activities. Security researchers have discovered vulnerabilities in cheap smartwatches for children that make it possible for strangers to override parental controls and follow kids, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Rapid7, a Boston-based cybersecurity firm, purchased three smartwatches on Amazon.com, costing from $20 to $35, according to Deral Heiland, research lead for IoT Technology at the company. He said the models—GreaSmart Children’s SmartWatchJsbaby Game Smart Watch, and SmarTurtle Smart Watch for Kids— were picked randomly from dozens for sale on Amazon and marketed as appropriate for grade school-aged kids.

According to the Bloomberg report, all three devices offer location tracking, messaging, and chat features. They were manufactured in China and shared nearly identical hardware and software. They also had similar security issues, Rapid7 found.

The watches let authorized users view and change configuration details by texting the watch directly with certain commands. In practice, this didn’t work and “unlisted numbers also could interact with the watch,” Rapid7 said in a report.

This security issue could be fixed with a vendor-supplied firmware update, but “such an update is unlikely to materialize, given that the providers of these devices are difficult to impossible to locate,” the cybersecurity firm noted.

The watches have a default password of “123456,” but one of the watch’s manuals doesn’t mention the password, according to the researchers. Another mentioned the password in a blog but not in its printed material. The third doesn’t characterize the numbers as a password nor does it provide instructions on how to change it, according to the researchers.

“Given an unchanged default password and a lack of SMS filtering, it is possible for an attacker with knowledge of the smartwatch phone number to assume total control of the device, and therefore use the tracking and voice chat functionality with the same permissions as the legitimate user (typically, a parent),” Rapid7 said in its report.

An unauthorized user could shut off all the safety protocols a parent had set up on the smartwatch, Heiland told Bloomberg in an interview.

Rapid7 said its researchers weren’t able to contact the sellers nor what they believe is the manufacturer of the watches, a Chinese company called 3g Electronics. The company didn’t respond to a message from Bloomberg News seeking comment.

The GreaSmart Children’s SmartWatch is no longer for sale on Amazon, according to Rapid7. GreaSmart, Jsbaby, SmarTurtle didn’t respond to a requests for comment. Oltec, a merchant that sells the SmarTurtle watch on Amazon, didn’t respond to a message sent via Amazon’s site.

“Consumers that are concerned with the safety, privacy, and security of their IoT devices and the associated cloud services are advised to avoid using any technology that is not provided by a clearly identifiable vendor, for what we hope are obvious reasons,” Rapid7 warned in its report.

Research contact: @business

Double take: Winklevoss brothers buy a startup founded by identical twins

November 20, 2019

They are best-known for losing the Facebook concept—which they had named ConnectU—to the ambitious Mark Zuckerberg when they all attended Harvard University. And for winning $65 million in a suit against Zuckerberg in 2008.

But now the Winklevoss twins—Tyler and Cameron, age 38—have become crypto entrepreneurs. And Bloomberg reported on November 19 that they have made their first-ever acquisition, from a duo of entrepreneurs to whom they bear a strong resemblance.

Duncan and Griffin Cock Foster, 25, are also identical twins, Bloomberg says. While the Winklevoss brothers rowed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the other twins rowed in high school. That said, the Cock Fosters weren’t involved in the birthing of the social network Facebook.

“You can’t make this stuff up,” Tyler Winklevoss told the financial news outlet in a phone interview. “There are so many great parallels, it was just the right fit.”

The two sets of twins came together over their belief in the future of so-called nifties. A niftie may be a cat from the CryptoKitties game, in which players breed the digital felines, or a token representing ownership in art, stamps, and comic books—an asset that is being kept track of via a blockchain digital ledger and is tradeable.

To buy such collectibles, people typically have to open digital currency wallets, buy cryptocurrency on an exchange—a process that can take hours and can be confusing.

The Cock Fosters’ Nifty Gateway, which the Winklevosses’ Gemini Trust bought for an undisclosed sum, lets anyone pay for nifties with a credit card, via a streamlined experience similar to checking out through Amazon.

The company currently lets people buy nifties from Open Sea marketplace and CryptoKitties and Gods Unchained games.

It doesn’t disclose its customer numbers or payment volume. But Duncan Cock Foster forecasts that nifties could one day attract as many as one billion collectors, Bloomberg reports. The Winklevosses expect that the market for nifties will be as big as the collectibles, art, and gaming markets combined.

 “We believe in this future where all your assets will be on a blockchain and you may want to buy, sell and store them, and Nifty fits that vision,” Tyler Winklevoss said.

While initially Gemini, with more than 220 employees, and Nifty, with three workers, will continue to operate as stand-alone companies, that could change, and some of Nifty’s features could make way into Gemini services.

Duncan now owns about 300 nifties; and his brother, 100. While most people currently don’t even know what the word means, the two sets of twins hope that will change.

“All great companies, all great ideas there’s a period where you see a truth and many other people don’t, and you have to have that conviction,” Tyler Winklevoss said.

Research contact: @business