Sony’s RCA parts ways with R. Kelly after abuse uproar: media reports

FILE PHOTO: U.S. vocalist, songwriter and producer R. Kelly performs on the final day of the St Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival at Pigeon Island National Landmark, in St. Lucia, May 12, 2013. REUTERS/Andrea De Silva/File PhotoLOS ANGELES (Reuters) – R. Kelly has parted ways with the Sony Music-owned RCA record label, Billboard magazine and Variety reported on Friday, and he no longer appears on the roster of artists on RCA’s website. The reported split follows decades of allegations of sexual and physical abuse by the Grammy-winning singer, which were…

Trump-Kim summit: Second meeting by end of February

US President Donald Trump is to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a second summit by the end of February, the White House says. The announcement came after Mr Trump met top North Korean negotiator Kim Yong-chol at the White House. He had been expected to deliver a letter from Kim Jong-un to Mr Trump. Little progress has been made on denuclearisation since their historic summit in Singapore last June. No venue has been announced for the new summit. Speculation is mounting that it could be held in Vietnam.…

$11 toothpaste: Immigrants pay big for basics at private ICE lock-ups

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Detained in a California lockup with hundreds of other immigrants seeking asylum, Duglas Cruz faced a choice. FILE PHOTO: ICE detainees are seen at the Adelanto immigration detention center, which is run by the Geo Group Inc (GEO.N), in Adelanto, California, U.S., April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File PhotoHe could content himself with a jailhouse diet that he said left him perpetually hungry. Or he could labor in the prison’s kitchen to earn money to buy extra food at the commissary. Cruz went to work. But…

U.S. consumer sentiment at two-year low, manufacturing rebounds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer sentiment tumbled in early January to its lowest level since President Donald Trump was elected more than two years ago as an ongoing partial shutdown of the federal government and financial market volatility stoked fears of a sharp deceleration in economic growth. FILE PHOTO: Shoppers carry bags of purchased merchandise at the King of Prussia Mall, United States’ largest retail shopping space, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, U.S., December 8, 2018. REUTERS/Mark MakelaThe drop in confidence reported by the University of Michigan on Friday is…

FTC is reportedly considering a ‘record-setting fine’ against Facebook

The Federal Trade Commission is considering imposing a « record-setting fine » against Facebook for allegedly failing to protect users’ data, The Washington Post reported Friday. Three people familiar with the discussions but unauthorized to speak on the record reportedly told the Post about the fine. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Facebook’s stock slid slightly after the Post’s report was published, but shares remained positive for the day. Facebook was accused of misusing personal information of its users when reports last year found political consultant agency Cambridge Analytica used…

‘I don’t think anyone can catch them’ — former NBC executive says Netflix is too far ahead

Netflix is loaded with subscribers and making investments that will keep them on top in the video streaming war, former NBC Executive Tom Rogers said Friday on CNBC. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « I think Netflix has won, and I don’t think anybody can catch them, » he said on « Squawk Alley. » Rogers predicted Netflix’s subscriber base could reach 175 million by the end of the year and 300 million in the next five years. The streaming giant reported that it again beat subscriber growth projections…

PayPal offers up to $500 credit for federal employees affected by shutdown

PayPal said on Friday it will offer $25 million in interest-free credit to its users who work with the U.S. federal government and are impacted by the shutdown. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Employees who use PayPal Credit will be able to avail an advance of up to $500 each, without having to pay any interest, and the program will last until the government reopens and employees receive their first paycheck, the company said on its website. The partial shutdown, which hit the four-week mark on Friday, is the…

Nastya Rybka: Russia seizes model who made Trump collusion claim

A Belarusian model who said she had evidence of Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s election campaign is now in Russian police custody. Nastya Rybka (real name Anastasia Vashukevich) was detained at Moscow’s main airport after being deported from Thailand for soliciting. Her lawyer posted a video on Instagram which, he says, shows her arrest. A woman resembling her and looking sedated struggles as four men push her into a wheelchair, then carry her. The video clip posted by lawyer Dmitry Zatsarinsky has now been tweeted by Russian broadcasters and anti-corruption…

Gilets Jaunes: French ‘flash-ball’ row over riot-gun injuries

Appalling injuries caused by French police riot guns during the yellow-vest protests have triggered anger and calls for the weapon to be banned. The LBD launchers known by protesters as « flash-balls » have left 40 people severely wounded, reports say. One man emerged from a coma on Friday six days after being hit in the head. France’s human rights chief has called for the weapon’s use to be halted, but the government insists it is deployed only under very strict conditions. Since the « gilets-jaunes » protests began in…

Tesla has $920 million in debt that’s coming due — and it could wipe out a large chunk of the company’s cash

Tesla has a billion dollar debt coming due, and it could wipe out nearly a third of the company’s cash if the stock price doesn’t improve. div > div.group > p:first-child »> About $920 million in convertible senior notes expires on March 1 at a conversion price of $359.87 per share. But Tesla’s stock hasn’t traded above $359 for weeks, which could leave the automaker on the hook for an all-cash payout. Tesla reported cash and cash equivalents of $3.37 billion at the end of its September quarter. The company…

Here’s exactly how much oil OPEC members and allied nations intend to cut in 2019

Six weeks after agreeing to slash production, major oil producers are finally giving investors some clarity on exactly how much crude they’ll take off the market. div > div.group > p:first-child »> OPEC on Friday released a table laying out production quotas for each of its 14 members and the 10 allied countries participating in the deal. The two dozen nations agreed last month to slash a combined 1.2 million barrels per day in order to prevent a repeat of the oil glut that caused crude prices to tank from…

Early investor defends Tesla as shares tank: Musk created ‘the iPhone of the electric-car market’

Shares of Tesla fell 10 percent on Friday after the company announced layoffs, but the electric-car maker is still in the lead position on a technology that is taking over the world, said an early Tesla board member. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Tesla’s Friday announcement that it will cut 7 percent of its workforce is a sign CEO Elon Musk is taking steps to « right-size » the company and prepare it for the future, said former Tesla board member Steve Westly. « He is moving faster than…

Trump hits back at Buzzfeed report he ‘instructed lawyer to lie’

Media playback is unsupported on your device US President Donald Trump has hit back over a news report that he directed his then personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress. Buzzfeed News said Mr Trump had instructed Cohen to lie about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Cohen was convicted over the case last month. Mr Trump said the lawyer was lying about the Moscow project to « reduce his jail time ». Democratic politicians say they will investigate the Buzzfeed allegations. What does the report say?…

Top North Korea envoy meets Pompeo for new nuclear talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top North Korean nuclear envoy began a new round of talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and could also meet President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday during a visit aimed at clearing the way for a second U.S.-North Korea summit. The diplomatic encounter with Kim Yong Chol, Pyongyang’s lead negotiator with the United States, marked a rare sign of potential movement in a denuclearization effort that has stalled since a landmark meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in…

North Korean diplomat arrives in Sweden to discuss U.S. deadlock

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – North Korean vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui has arrived in Sweden to take part in roundtable talks, Sweden’s foreign ministry said on Friday, amid stepped up international efforts to end the stand-off between the United States and North Korea. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs can confirm that Choe Son Hui has arrived in Sweden to take part in roundtable talks in a smaller format together with international experts,” a Swedish foreign ministry spokesman said. A diplomatic source said the purpose of the meeting was to take…

Microsoft recommends switching to iPhone or Android as it prepares to kill off Windows phones

Microsoft says anyone who still uses its Windows 10 mobile platform — once called Windows Phone — should switch over to an iPhone or an Android phone. A change to the Windows 10 Mobile support page was first spotted by Thurrott, a site that covers Microsoft. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Microsoft said that on December 10, 2019 it will stop sending « new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options, or technical content updates from Microsoft for free. » In other words, there aren’t going to be…

Chevron upgraded at UBS: a safe haven stock amid volatile oil prices

UBS is upgrading Chevron to buy, saying the oil and gas giant is positioned to weather a sudden drop in crude prices. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The investment bank thinks shares of Chevron could rise as much as 21 percent based on its 12-month price target of $135. The stock popped $1.65, or 1.5 percent, to $113.61 on Friday. Oil prices plunged more than 40 percent from peak to trough in the final quarter of 2018. UBS says the volatility shows the value of a « conservative »…

A top Apple analyst believes there’s another ‘shoe to drop’ for the stock

Though Apple has trumpeted its services segment as a potential hedge against slowing iPhone sales, one of the top analysts believes the company is facing a growing revolt against the transaction fees it charges for apps. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « While the services segment grew 18 percent in the December quarter, we’ve now started to get investor questions worrying about whether the App Store will be the next shoe to drop, » AB Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi wrote in a note Friday. « Certainly, the headlines in the…

Tesla will need to make cheaper Model 3s by the second half of 2019

Tesla needs to get cracking on a cheaper car. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The electric vehicle maker said Friday it plans to cut about 7 percent of its workforce, which by the last company headcount would equal something in the vicinity of 3,100 jobs. The plan is to cut costs and get closer to making the $35,000 Model 3 the company has been promising since it first unveiled the car in 2016. Now the company’s ration of $7,500 U.S. federal tax credits is running out, which stands to…

How to set up multiroom music playback with Google Home speakers

One of the great advantages of having several Google Home speakers is the ability to play the same music throughout your house. Let’s say you’re cleaning the house, and you want to be able to move from the upstairs bedrooms to the downstairs living room without missing a beat. It’s really simple to set up, and it’s worth the five minutes it takes. (You can find out how to do the same thing with Amazon Echo speakers here.) First, go to your Google Home app on your phone. (If you…

Tesla to cut workforce by 7 percent, sees small fourth-quarter profit

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) said on Friday it would cut thousands of jobs to rein in costs as it plans to increase production of lower priced versions of its crucial Model 3 sedan, sending its shares down 7 percent. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Tesla is seen in Taipei, Taiwan August 11, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo The company, which has struggled to achieve long-term profitability and keep a tight lid on expenses, also said it expects fourth-quarter profit to be lower than the previous quarter. Chief Executive Officer Elon…

Top North Korea envoy in Washington for Pompeo talks, may meet Trump

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea’s lead negotiator in nuclear diplomacy with the United States is due to hold talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and could also meet President Donald Trump on Friday during a visit aimed at clearing the way for a second U.S.-North Korea summit. Kim Yong Chol arrived in Washington on Thursday evening for his first visit since last June, ahead of a landmark meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. Efforts since then to get Pyongyang to denuclearize appear to…

Most major Wall Street analysts raise Netflix stock price forecasts despite drop after earnings

Netflix shares fell in premarket trading after the company reported mixed earnings, beating on subscriber growth but missing on revenue. But the stock could be headed for a rebound if major analysts are to be believed. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Netflix shares lost 3 percent in premarket trading to $342.50. Most of the major analysts remained mostly bullish on international growth just days after the streaming giant raised prices. Netflix said it add 8.8 million global paid memberships last quarter, 1.2 million more than estimated. Several firms including…

As Tesla dives, analysts stay bullish: Job cuts signal ‘productivity gains’

Job cuts at Tesla is not quite the bad news investors are interpreting it to be, analysts at Jefferies and Oppenheimer said on Friday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « Reducing headcount also suggests productivity gains, » Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois said in a note to investors. « This is, in our view, consistent with slower growth rates but mostly the scope to improve productivity and flow that we identified during our visit to the Fremont plant mid November 2018. » CEO Elon Musk announced on Friday Tesla is…

Danish firm Orsted signs agreement to work on offshore wind projects in Japan

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Danish energy business Orsted to work together on offshore wind projects. In an announcement Friday, TEPCO said that it had been « exploring offshore wind business opportunities » in both Japan and overseas. Orsted is a world leader in wind energy and built the world’s first offshore wind facility in 1991. div > div.group > p:first-child »> TEPCO said that the two companies would work on the Choshi offshore wind project. In November 2018, TEPCO announced that…

Read the email Elon Musk sent to Tesla employees explaining the need for job cuts

This morning, the following email was sent to all Tesla employees:As we all experienced first-hand, last year was the most challenging in Tesla’s history. However, thanks to your efforts, 2018 was also the most successful year in Tesla’s history: we delivered almost as many cars as we did in all of 2017 in the last quarter alone and nearly as many cars last year as we did in all the prior years of Tesla’s existence combined! Model 3 also became the best-selling premium vehicle of 2018 in the US. This…

Meng Hongwei: Wife of ex-Interpol chief seeks France asylum

Media playback is unsupported on your device The wife of Meng Hongwei, the Interpol president held in China since September, has sought asylum in France for herself and her twin children. Grace Meng and the seven-year-olds live in Lyon, the international police agency’s headquarters. Meng Hongwei disappeared during a visit to China. In October the Chinese authorities said Mr Meng was being investigated over suspected bribe-taking. His wife and children are under police protection, having received threats. Quoted by France Inter radio on Friday, she said, « I fear they…

Brexit: High-profile Germans plead with UK to stay in EU

Leading German figures have written to the UK asking it to stay in the EU. The letter, published in the Times, is signed by 31 people, including the leader of the Christian Democratic Union – and likely successor to Angela Merkel – Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. They cited post-work pints and pantomime as beloved British habits. But the UK’s role in post-war Europe is the focus of the signatories calling for Britain to stay. « Without your great nation, this Continent would not be what it…

Stocks buoyed by trade hopes, set for best weekly winning streak in half a year

LONDON (Reuters) – Global stocks rose to their highest in more than a month on Friday after a report suggested progress toward resolving the trade dispute between the United States and China. FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby MelvilleEuropean stocks rose to their highest since early December, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index up nearly 1 percent. Trade-exposed indexes and stocks gained the most, with autos .SXAP rising 1.3 percent and Germany’s exporter-heavy DAX .GDAXI up…

Tesla to cut workforce by 7 percent while it ramps up Model 3 production

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Tesla is seen in Taipei, Taiwan August 11, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) said on Friday it was cutting several thousands of jobs, as the electric car maker looks to trim costs and be consistently profitable while it ramps up the production of its crucial Model 3 sedan. Tesla shares fell 4.1 percent to $333 in premarket trading “Tesla will need to make these cuts while increasing the Model 3 production rate and making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming…