Cramer: Wall Street will get flooded with IPOs if we don’t see more mergers

Wall Street needs to see more mergers and acquisitions come through before the « coming onslaught » of initial public offerings jams up investing capital, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Tuesday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Major U.S. indexes traded strong out the gate Tuesday, but gave up most of their gains before the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 140 points in Tuesday’s session. The S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq both gained about 0.70 percent. « I think part of it is that we’ve got too…

Jussie Smollett hoax charge dropped by Chicago prosecutors, prompting mayor’s rebuke

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago prosecutors on Tuesday dropped charges accusing “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett of staging a phony hate crime, a stunning move that drew the fury of the city’s police superintendent and mayor, who called the decision a “whitewash of justice.” Smollett, who is black and gay, told reporters on Tuesday that he had always been truthful when he said two masked men threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs and expressing support for U.S. President Donald Trump in…

Google creates external advisory board to monitor it for unethical AI use

Google today announced a new external advisory board to help monitor the company’s use of artificial intelligence for ways in which it may violate ethical principles it laid out last summer. The group was announced by Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, and it includes experts on a wide-ranging series of subjects, including mathematics, computer science, engineering, philosophy, public policy, psychology, and even foreign policy. The group will be called the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council, and it appears Google wants it to be seen as a…

Slack’s security worries some CEOs, who say that employees ‘never shut up’ on the app

Slack recently entered a quiet period ahead of its public market debut, which is expected later this year. Meanwhile, many corporate executives would like a little more quietness on the Slack messaging app, where employees are prone to saying way too much. div > div.group > p:first-child »> More than 10 million people use Slack every day, mostly to communicate with co-workers. The app has gained so much popularity in the five-plus years since its launch that private investors value the company at over $7 billion. But executives who spoke…

Justin Bieber puts music on hold while struggling not to fall apart

FILE PHOTO – Justin Bieber performs a medley of songs at the 2016 Billboard Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., May 22, 2016. REUTERS/Mario AnzuoniLOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Teen hearthrob Justin Bieber has told fans he is putting new music on hold while he struggles with “deep rooted issues” that he hopes will stop him from falling apart. Bieber, 25, said in a lengthy Instagram post for his 106 million followers, that “music is very important to me but nothing comes before my family and my health.” “I am now…

Trump seeks maximum advantage from Mueller report as Democrats try to change subject

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans on Tuesday sought to capitalize on a conclusion that his campaign did not collude with Russia during the 2016 election, while Democrats tried to change the subject to healthcare. Trump and his top aides attacked unidentified political opponents for starting the campaign investigation, calling the actions treasonous and worth probing. “I think what happened was a disgrace,” Trump told reporters on a visit to the U.S. Capitol, where he had lunch with Republican senators. Republicans also were out for retribution with…

Trump administration ratchets up attack on Obamacare, asks court to overturn law

(Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s administration has stepped up its attack on the Obamacare healthcare law, telling a federal appeals court it agrees with a ruling by a U.S. judge in Texas that the entire statute is unconstitutional and should be struck down. The Justice Department, in a two-sentence letter to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals filed on Monday, said it backed U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s December ruling in Fort Worth finding the Affordable Care Act violated the U.S. Constitution because it required people to buy health…

NASA and the White House want billions so companies will compete to build human moon landers

In a potential boon for private space companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, NASA is asking Congress for billions of dollars over the next five years to speed the development spacecraft capable of flying humans to and from the moon. div > div.group > p:first-child »> NASA requested $363 million for fiscal year 2020 for the Advanced Cislunar and Surface Capabilities (ACSC) program, more than double what the space agency sought last year. More importantly, NASA estimates the budget for the program would grow to $2.4…

Chicago mayor blasts prosecutors for dropping Jussie Smollett hoax charge

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago prosecutors on Tuesday dropped charges accusing “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett of staging a phony hate crime, a stunning move that drew the fury of the city’s police superintendent and mayor, who called the decision a “whitewash of justice.” Smollett, who is black and gay, told reporters on Tuesday that he had always told the truth when he said two masked men threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs and expressing support for U.S. President Donald Trump…

US trade judge recommends import ban on some Apple iPhones

A U.S. trade judge on Tuesday recommended Qualcomm be granted a request for an import ban on some iPhones sold by Apple. An administrative law judge of the U.S. International Trade Commission said the basis for the ban was a finding that Apple infringed a Qualcomm patent relating to smartphone technology. The judge’s initial determination is not binding and will be reviewed by the agency. Apple and Qualcomm did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The ITC is expected to issue a final decision later on Tuesday in a…

Google is rolling out AMP for Gmail to let you shop and fill out forms without leaving your inbox

A year after Google announced it would begin supporting AMP in Gmail, the company is now releasing a beta to the general G Suite audience. AMP for Gmail is designed to make emails feel more like an interactive webpage without punting users to a browser. Users can browse image carousels, RSVP to an event, or fill out a form without leaving their inbox. Google calls these “dynamic emails.” Support will arrive first on the web, but Google says it plans to offer it on mobile as well. However, just like…

Apple’s new credit card holds a lot of promise, but read the fine print before signing up

Apple announced a new credit card issued in conjunction with Goldman Sachs at a launch event at its campus on Monday. Apple is promoting it as a simpler credit card, with nofees, powerful integration with iPhone spending tools and attractive rewards when customers use Apple Pay, Apple’s digital wallet. div > div.group > p:first-child »> But the company glossed over many critical details, including interest rates and who will qualify. In fact, people with bad credit might not even be eligible for Apple Card. CNBC read through the fine print…

Google is getting back into robotics after its last attempt fizzled out

Google is getting back into robotics after its previous effort fizzled out and lost its leader amid allegations of sexual misconduct, The New York Times reported. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Google’s previous robotics arm was led by Andy Rubin, the former Android chief who was reportedly paid a $90 million exit package in 2014 after sexual misconduct allegations were brought against him. Shortly before his exit, Google had gone on a spending blitz beginning in 2013, acquiring six robotics startups which were eventually either sold or squashed, according…

Chicago mayor lashes out after prosecutors drop Jussie Smollett charges

CHICAGO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel angrily lashed out on Tuesday after prosecutors dropped charges that had accused “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett of staging a phony hate crime that hit hot-button issues of race, sexuality and America’s political divide. Smollett, who is black and gay, had earlier described the move as a complete vindication, and said he had told the truth when he said two masked men threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs in January. Emanuel criticized…

Ex-Apple exec Guy Kawasaki: I want a product that makes me ‘wait like a fool outside an Apple store’

Monday Apple announced a slew of subscription services and a credit card, and last week it unveiled the iPad Air and iPad Mini, and an update to its popular wireless earbuds, the AirPods, to mixed reactions. div > div.group > p:first-child »> For Guy Kawasaki — who worked in marketing at Apple from 1983 to 1987 and again from 1995 to 1997 — it’s true the company has lost some of its product innovation mojo, but you can’t count it out as it moves into the service space, he tells…

Here’s another clue that Apple’s long-awaited wireless charging pad is almost ready

There’s another clue that Apple is still planning to and may launch its long-awaited wireless charging pad very soon. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The box for Apple’s second-generation AirPods, which were announced last Wednesday and are now shipping to customers, mentions the charging pad. « Works with AirPower mat and Qi-certified chargers, » the box reads, which you can see in the picture below. Qi is the standard that allows the latest model of AirPods to charge wirelessly, which means they don’t need to be plugged in. AirPower…

Brexit: MPs set out plan to consider alternatives to PM’s deal

MPs have set out details of their plan to consider other Brexit options, as Theresa May was warned more ministers could quit unless she changed course. The Commons will begin voting on alternatives on Wednesday, in a process likely to continue into next week. MPs will fill out a series of ballots testing support for different ideas. Ex-minister Alistair Burt said the PM must recognise a « different answer » was now needed but ex-Brexit secretary David Davis warned of impending chaos. MPs took the unprecedented step of voting to…

Hoax charges dropped against US actor

Media playback is unsupported on your device Prosecutors have dropped all charges against US actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack. The Empire star attended a court hearing in Chicago on Tuesday, where a judge sealed the case. Mr Smollett, 36, pleaded not guilty this month to 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police. The black and openly gay actor thanked his supporters outside court after the hearing. He said: « I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day…

‘My life savings have been wiped out’

« Basically it will mean that my son will not have money for his future ». The depressing reality for Amanda Cunningham, and thousands of others, is that a lifetime of savings have been mostly wiped out, almost overnight. She is one of 11,605 people who invested a total of £236m with London Capital and Finance PLC (LCF). It collapsed into administration in January following an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) into misleading advertising. « He [her son] suffers with autism, I don’t even know if he’ll be…

Ryanair trolling of British Airways’ mistake backfires

A Ryanair attempt to make fun of British Airways on Twitter after a flight mistakenly went to Edinburgh instead of Düsseldorf has backfired. Ryanair’s official Twitter account said it had a « present » for BA – a copy of Geography for Dummies. But Twitter users made a number of suggestions of books Ryanair could read, including « Customer Service for Dummies ». In January Ryanair was again named the UK’s least-liked short-haul airline. On Monday, a British Airways flight that was supposed to go to Germany ended up in…

US drug company settles opioid lawsuit

Purdue Pharma, the drug-maker owned by the billionaire Sackler family, has reached a $270m settlement in a lawsuit which claimed its opioids contributed to the deaths of thousands of people. The deal with Oklahoma is the first settlement the US firm has struck amid some 2,000 other lawsuits it is facing linked to its painkiller OxyContin. Purdue is one of several firms named in the claim which alleged they used deceptive practices to sell opioids. Purdue Pharma declined to comment. The lawsuit claimed that in order to persuade doctors to…

U.S. high court to hear historic electoral map manipulation cases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In two cases that could reverberate through U.S. politics for years to come, the Supreme Court is set on Tuesday to hear arguments over the contentious practice of manipulating electoral district boundaries to entrench one party in power. FILE PHOTO: The Supreme Court building is seen from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File PhotoThe justices last year failed to deliver a definitive ruling on the legality of the practice, called partisan gerrymandering. They will get another chance in cases challenging North Carolina’s…

Apple’s move into banking raises the bar for fintech, traditional credit cards

Thanks to Apple, the iPhone is hardly used as a phone at all. The same thing may very well happen to our wallets — forcing established credit card companies to change the way they do business. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The tech giant unveiled its Apple credit card through a partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard on Monday. Apple is entering a crowded, competitive market filled with banks and newer fintech firms. While many of the perks on the Apple card are already available at competitors, the tech…

UPS is using drones to transport medical supplies between hospitals

UPS is testing a new drone delivery service for medical samples, the logistics company announced Tuesday, in an effort to improve the efficiency of hospitals around the world. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The partnership with autonomous drone company Matternet and hospital WakeMed in Raleigh, North Carolina represents an expansion of a test program begun in August under the supervision of North Carolina’s transportation department. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is also overseeing the program. UPS said the service will utilize Matternet’s M2 « quadcopter » drone, which can…

Charges against Jussie Smollett dropped, was ‘vilified’ over alleged hoax: lawyer

(Reuters) – Illinois prosecutors on Tuesday dropped charges that accused “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett of staging a phony hate crime attack to gain publicity, an incident that attracted international attention, his lawyers said. Actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Criminal Court Building after his hearing in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Kamil KrzaczynskiCook County prosecutors said in a statement that they had dropped the charges but did not make clear if anyone would be charged for the attack, in which Smollett said his assailants put a noose around his…

Roku CEO explains why Apple is putting its streaming services outside its famous walled garden

Apple’s decision to distribute its new streaming TV service through third parties is an unusual choice for a company famous for its isolationist policies. But the choice indicates that Apple sees value in breaking down its walls to reach cord cutters who have already flocked to other platforms, Roku CEO Anthony Wood said in an interview on CNBC Tuesday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « Obviously, they’re counting on jump-starting [the streaming service] with all of their iPhone and iPad and Mac customers, » Wood said on CNBC’s Squawk…

BBC pulls its podcasts from Google Podcasts and Assistant

The BBC has removed its podcasts from the Google Podcasts app and is also making them inaccessible to Google Assistant — and by extension, Google Home speakers. The broadcaster published a blog post taking issue with Google’s tendency to steer users who search for a podcast toward its own app “rather than BBC Sounds or other third-party services.” (The BBC Sounds app is unavailable outside the UK.) Kieran Clifton, the BBC’s director of distribution and business development, said the public service company is “not comfortable” with Google reducing a listener’s…

Oprah had the best explanation for what the weird Apple TV event was really about

Apple talked a lot on stage on Monday about its new services, including Apple News+, Apple TV+, a credit card it’s launching with Goldman Sachs and an all-you-can-eat gaming subscription named Arcade. But Apple provided little detail on how many of those services would work. div > div.group > p:first-child »> It didn’t announce pricing for Apple TV+, perhaps the biggest news of the day, and trotted celebrities on stage to talk about new movies and TV shows instead of showing trailers or revealing a sprawling library capable of challenging…

‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett cleared of charges in alleged hoax attack: lawyers

(Reuters) – Illinois prosecutors on Tuesday dropped charges that accused “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett of staging a phony hate crime attack to gain publicity, his attorneys said in a statement. Actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Criminal Court Building after his hearing in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski“Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him,” attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said. Smollett had pleaded not guilty to the…

To kiss pope’s hand – or not – enters the Catholic culture wars

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – – To kiss the ring on the pope’s hand or not to – that is the question. FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis leads the weekly general audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican March 27, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile On Monday, when Pope Francis visited a Catholic shrine in Loreto, he repeatedly withdrew his right hand as a long line of people bowed and tried to kiss the ring on it. The footage went viral and the pope’s refusal quickly entered what are known as the Catholic…