Massachusetts prosecutors drop Kevin Spacey sex assault case

BOSTON (Reuters) – Massachusetts prosecutors on Wednesday dropped a criminal case accusing former “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man at a Nantucket bar in 2016 after the alleged victim refused to testify. FILE PHOTO: Actor Kevin Spacey is arraigned on a sexual assault charge at Nantucket District Court in Nantucket, Massachusetts, U.S., January 7, 2019. Nicole Harnishfeger/Pool via REUTERSProsecutors said they made the decision to drop the felony indecent assault and battery charge against the Oscar winner after the alleged victim invoked his right…

Netflix says it can spend more on own shows now that it’s not paying for ‘The Office’ and ‘Friends’

NBC | NBCUniversal | Getty ImagesYes, Netflix is losing « The Office » and « Friends » in the next two years. But that may not be a bad thing for the streaming company.On Wednesday, Netflix released its second quarter earnings report, noting that losing these costly programs will free up the company’s budget and allow it to spend more on its own original content. « Much of our domestic, and eventually global, Disney catalog, as well as ‘Friends,’ ‘The Office,’ and some other licensed content will wind down over…

Prosecutors drop sex assault case against actor Kevin Spacey

FILE PHOTO: Actor Kevin Spacey is arraigned on a sexual assault charge at Nantucket District Court in Nantucket, Massachusetts, U.S., January 7, 2019. Nicole Harnishfeger/Pool via REUTERSBOSTON (Reuters) – Massachusetts prosecutors on Wednesday dropped a criminal case alleging that former “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted an 18-year-old man at a bar in Nantucket over three years ago, according to a court filing. Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Dan GreblerOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. Source: Reuters

Netflix just missed hard on the only number that matters — international subscriber growth

« Stranger Things » season three picks up in the summer of 1985. The Hawkins crew are on the cusp of adulthood and faced with enemies old and new.NetflixNetflix shares are tanking almost 11 percent after-hours following the company’s Q2 earnings report on Wednesday afternoon, but before you get wrapped up in false narratives, understand that Netflix trades on international growth.The reason Netflix shares are falling is because international net additions were 2.8 million. Analysts thought that number would be closer to 4.8 million.Netflix can sustain its lofty valuation only if global…

IBM shares jump on earnings beat

Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM on Mad Money to discuss IBM’s acquisition of Redhat. Adam Jeffery | CNBC Shares of IBM rose as much as 4% on Wednesday after the company reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings.Here’s how the company did:Earnings: $3.17 per share, excluding certain items, vs. $3.07 per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.Revenue: $19.16 billion, vs. $19.16 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.IBM’s revenue was down 4% year over year in the quarter even as earnings grew 3%, according to a statement. Revenue has now declined…

U.S. lawmakers challenge Facebook over Libra cryptocurrency plan

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers bashed Facebook on Wednesday over its planned cryptocurrency, after a bruising first bout a day earlier when senators from both parties condemned the project, saying the company had not shown it could be trusted. David Marcus, CEO of Facebook’s Calibra, testifies to the House Financial Services Committee hearing on « Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System » on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua RobertsThe social media company is fighting to get…

Paint makers reach $305 million settlement in California, ending marathon lead poisoning lawsuit

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – After a 19-year legal struggle, three former makers of lead paint have agreed to a $305 million settlement with California county and city governments to mitigate poisoning dangers still present in old housing. Common sources of lead found in homes, including lead-based paint, are seen displayed at the Alameda County Healthy Homes Department in Oakland, California, U.S., June 18, 2019. Picture taken June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Kate MunschUnder the deal, disclosed in a filing in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Wednesday, defendants Sherwin-Williams (SHW.N), Conagra Brands Inc…

Pop culture hit ‘Gossip Girl’ gets a makeover for HBO Max

FILE PHOTO: Blake Lively arrives to attend the Spring/Summer 2019 women’s ready-to-wear collection show for fashion house Dior during Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France, September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo FuentesLOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “Gossip Girl,” the show that became a youth culture phenomenon with its trend-setting fashion and chronicling of the romantic lives of elite New York teens, is on its way back to television, this time in a new series for upcoming streaming service HBO Max. HBO Max, owned by WarnerMedia, said on Tuesday it had ordered a new,…

Philips acquires Boston start-up Medumo to help hospitals communicate with patients

Eva-Katalin | E+ | Getty ImagesDutch technology conglomerate Philips has acquired a small Boston-based health-tech start-up called Medumo for its health care business.Medumo uses a combination of email and SMS to deliver instructions to patients, on behalf of its hospital customers. The company, which has fewer than 30 employees, fits into the so-called « patient engagement » trend, which involves providing tools for medical providers to stay in touch with their patients outside of the four walls of the doctor’s office.For Philips, the acquisition could present an opportunity to build…

Amazon under EU antitrust fire over use of merchant data

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Amazon became the target of an antitrust investigation by the European Union on Wednesday over its use of merchants’ data, underlining regulators’ increasing focus on how tech companies exploit customer information. FILE PHOTO: The company’s logo outside an Amazon pop-up store in Berlin, Germany, November 22, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File PhotoU.S. tech giants Amazon, Google, and Facebook have been in the regulatory spotlight as antitrust enforcers examine how they use data to boost their market power. Some U.S. politicians and even one of Facebook’s co-founders have called for…

U.S. judge blasts drug lord El Chapo’s ‘overwhelming evil,’ imposes life sentence

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Mexican drug lord who twice escaped maximum-security prisons in that country, will spend the rest of his life in a U.S. penitentiary, a federal judge said on Wednesday after accusing him of “overwhelming evil.” Guzman, 62, berated the U.S. justice system, and a former associate described how he had paid a gang $1 million to try to kill her before U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan imposed the mandatory sentence of life plus 30 years. Cogan also ordered Guzman to forfeit $12.6…

Amazon is turning advertising into its next huge business — here’s how

The front desk of the Amazon office is pictured in New York, May 1, 2019.Carlo Allegri | ReutersIf you were browsing Amazon in search of deals for Prime Day, you undoubtedly came across a lot of ads. That’s because Amazon has a trove of information about buying habits that makes it a valuable place for advertisers.Think about it: Amazon knows the last time you bought toothpaste on the site and which brand you typically like to buy. Advertisers can use that information to try to get you to buy their…

Dubai International airport installs 15,000 solar panels

A solar energy system made up of 15,000 photovoltaic panels has been installed at Dubai International airport. In an announcement earlier this week, Dubai Airports said the system would produce 7,483,500 kilowatt hours of energy per year, helping to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 3,243 metric tonnes. Etihad Energy Services Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, was involved in the project’s installation. Michael Ibbitson, who is executive vice president for Infrastructure and Business Technology at Dubai Airports, said in a statement that a number of…

Manchester Arena attack: Bomber’s brother arrested for murder

The younger brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi has been arrested on suspicion of murder after being extradited from Libya. Hashem Abedi has also been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion in relation to the May 2017 suicide attack. Mr Abedi was extradited on a flight which left Mitiga Airport at 10:30 BST. The Home Office has declined to comment. A spokesman for the Rada Special Deterrence Force military group, which has been holding Mr Abedi, said he was handed over to members…

Watch Facebook’s David Marcus testify before the House Financial Services Committee

.embedPlayer_container iframe{width:100%} @media screen and (max-width: 640px){ .embedPlayer_container iframe { height: -webkit-calc(100vw * 9/16); height: -moz-calc(100vw * 9/16); height: calc(100vw * 9/16); } } [embedded content] David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra, is set to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.Marcus appeared on Tuesday in front of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, during which senators grilled him on Facebook’s plans for the digital currency.Libra has already drawn scrutiny from lawmakers around the world. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal…

Renault invests $144 million into China’s electric vehicle sector

Loic Venance | AFP | Getty Images Auto maker Renault and the Jiangling Motors Corporation Group (JMCG) have officially set up a joint venture for electric vehicles in China. In an announcement Wednesday, Renault said that the venture would look to « further promote the development » of China’s electric vehicle industry. Renault will increase its share capital by around 128.5 million euros ($144.1 million) to become a major shareholder of JMEV, a subsidiary of JMCG. Renault’s stake in JMEV will increase to 50%. Francois Provost, senior vice president and…

As Netflix reports earnings, it’ll have to answer what comes next after losing popular shows

Netflix releases Stranger Things Season 3 trailer.Source: NetflixNetflix appears ready to deliver strong quarterly results when it reports earnings Wednesday afternoon, but deeper issues loom on the horizon as the company grapples with losing some of its most popular shows and movies to traditional media companies that are getting into the streaming game.The next year will see Netflix facing more competition than it ever has before, with competing streaming services set to launch from Disney, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. That puts even more pressure on Netflix to continue burning…

Turkish diplomat ‘shot dead’ in Iraqi Kurdistan

A Turkish diplomat has been shot dead in the Iraqi Kurdish city of Irbil, security sources tell the BBC. The victim was reportedly Turkey’s deputy consul in the city. He was among several people dining at a restaurant when gunmen opened fire. No-one has yet claimed the attack. Turkey has regularly carried out offensives against fighters from Kurdish militants operating from Iraq. Initial reports had suggested Turkish consulate employees had been killed. Source: BBC

Bank of America profit beats as healthy economy fuels loan growth

(Reuters) – Bank of America Corp beat estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, as the loan book of the country’s second-largest lender benefited from a healthy economy. A Bank of America logo is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo AllegriConsumer banking has held up for the big Wall Street banks that have reported second-quarter results this week, cushioning a blow from weakness in trading and advisory businesses. But warning signs also emerged with JPMorgan, Citigroup and Well Fargo reporting a…

Microsoft wins multibillion-dollar cloud deal from AT&T

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella smiles during the question and answer portion of the Microsoft Annual Shareholders Meeting in Bellevue, Wash., on Nov. 28, 2018.Stephen Brashear | Getty ImagesMicrosoft just scored a marquee deal for its cloud business, announcing on Tuesday that AT&T will use the company’s Azure infrastructure and move most of its employees to the Microsoft 365 package of productivity apps and security services.The multiyear deal is worth more than $2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the terms…

Manchester Arena attack: Bomber’s brother extradited to UK

The younger brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi is being extradited from Libya to the UK. Hashem Abedi was arrested in the country a day after the May 2017 suicide attack that killed 22 people at the end of an Ariana Grande concert. The Interior Minister’s office in Tripoli confirmed that Mr Abedi was extradited on a flight which left Mitiga Airport at 10:30 BST. The Home Office has declined to comment. A spokesman for the Rada Special Deterrence Force military group, which has been holding Mr Abedi, confirmed…

Ex-White House cybersecurity chief says Peter Thiel is right to call out Google on China

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel was right to call out Alphabet’s Google for working with China, former Barack Obama White House cybersecurity chief Richard Clarke told CNBC on Wednesday. « Here’s what I think is true: Google refused to work for the Pentagon on artificial intelligence, » said Richard Clarke, whose 30-year government career also included stints as White House counterterrorism coordinator under former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Clarke was referencing Google’s contract with the Defense Department, which expired earlier this year and was not renewed. «…

Sicily Mafia raids in uncover ‘renewed’ US mob link

Media playback is unsupported on your device Italian police working with the FBI have arrested 19 people in a wave of raids in Sicily, alleging ties between the Sicilian Mafia and the Gambino organised crime family in New York. Among those held are members of the Inzerillo family, whose powerbase was wiped out in a 1980s Mafia turf war. Survivors of the Inzerillo clan had then gone into exile in the US but police say they have now returned. Officials fear the Mafia is planning a return to its notorious…

Govia Thameslink fined £1m over Gatwick Express window death

A rail firm has been fined £1m after a man died leaning out of a train window. Simon Brown, 24, was killed when he hit his head on a steel gantry on the side of the track while on the Gatwick Express in London in August 2016. In May, Govia Thameslink Railway admitted a health and safety breach because a sign saying not to lean out was not displayed clearly enough. The rail regulator has written to firms demanding « immediate action » over trains with these types of windows.…

IAC invests $250 million in car-sharing company Turo

IAC is set to invest $250 million in Turo, a peer-to-peer car-sharing firm that is often referred to as the « Airbnb for cars. »In a statement on Wednesday, IAC said the new investment would make it the largest shareholder in Turo. The funding brings Turo’s total equity raised to $470 million.Similar to home sharing services, Turo allows users to rent out their personal vehicle to other users and markets itself as a rental car alternative for consumers.Turo has grown steadily in the US and internationally over the past two…

EU says it will investigate Amazon over possible anti-competitive business practices

EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager addresses a press conference on two state aid cases at the European Commission in Brussels on October 4, 2017.Emmanuel Dunand | AFP | Getty ImagesEU antitrust regulators will investigate Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, to see if its use of other merchants’ data breaches EU competition rules, the European Commission said on Wednesday.Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the formal investigation will determine how Amazon uses data from independent retailers who sell on its marketplace. « We need to ensure that large online platforms…

Why does Apple hate falafel?

To celebrate World Emoji Day (which, yes, is apparently a thing now), Apple and Google have released a preview of the new emoji which will be arriving on their mobile operating systems later this year. The actual subjects of the emoji were announced by Unicode back in February, now we’re seeing how they’ll actually look in practice. There are a couple of interesting designs in there. For example, I can’t help but think that Apple’s design for a plate of falafel kinda looks like a big pile of shit? Not…

Google has been accused of working with China. Here’s what they’ve been doing there

In this photo illustration a logo of the American multinational technology company and search engine Google is seen on an Android mobile device with People’s Republic of China flag in the background.Budrul Chukrut| SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty ImagesGoogle and its operations in China have come under the spotlight in the past few days. Billionaire investor Peter Thiel this week accused the U.S. technology giant of working with the Chinese military and called for the U.S. government to investigate Google. In response, President Donald Trump said his administration will « take…

Daphne Caruana Galizia: Malta journalist’s murder suspects to stand trial

Three men are to stand trial in Malta for their alleged involvement in the murder of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, officials say. She was killed by a bomb planted under the seat of her car in 2017. Brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio and their friend, Vincent Muscat, were arrested in a massive police operation soon after the killing. Caruana Galizia investigated several high-profile figures – including Maltese officials and politicians. The three suspects pleaded not guilty during pre-trial proceedings. The bill of indictment lists six accusations against the accused,…

Andrea Camilleri: Inspector Montalbano author dies aged 93

Andrea Camilleri, the Sicilian author behind the popular Inspector Montalbano television series, has died aged 93. He was admitted to a hospital in Rome in June after a cardiac arrest. The crime writer was best-known for his detective books starring inspector Salvo Montalbano based in the fictional Sicilian town of Vigàta. The adapted Rai TV series was loved in Italy and became popular in the UK, US, France, Spain, Germany and Australia. Camilleri lost his sight in recent years but said in 2017 it had allowed him to picture things…