Tesla ‘to be probed by regulators’ over privatisation plan

Shares in Tesla have fallen 4% on reports that US regulators are seeking to question executives at the firm about its privatisation plans. Fox News tweeted that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had sent subpoenas to the electric carmaker and was « ramping up » its investigation. Last week, boss Elon Musk said he was considering taking Tesla private, but some have questioned his intentions. Both Tesla and the SEC declined to comment on the Fox report. On Tuesday, Tesla’s board of directors said it had not received…

Tesla shares down more than 4% on worries about potential SEC probe

Tesla shares fell more than 4 percent Wednesday on continued concern the Securities and Exchange Commission will investigate the electric car maker. The agency has sent subpoenas to the company over CEO Elon Musk’s recent comments about having secured funding to take Tesla private, Fox Business Network’s Charles Gasparino said on Twitter Wednesday, citing a « company source. » Subpoenas sent to Tesla Company Source If Musk’s statements were untrue, Musk could be accused of manipulating Tesla’s stock. Tesla declined to comment. Source: CNBC

Verizon’s 5G sales pitch: Free TV

Here’s why 5G is the future Verizon wants 5G to become a serious competitor to broadband internet. And it thinks free TV will do the trick. The telecom company will start selling 5G service later this year. It won’t appear in smartphones for some time, but 5G will be fast enough to provide internet service to a home. To entice customers to sign on, Verizon will offer a kind of double-play service that Comcast and its competitors offer: Television. Partnering with Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOGL), Verizon will give 5G…

U.S. targets Chinese and Russian firms with breach of North Korea sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on a Russian port service agency and Chinese firms for aiding North Korean ships and selling alcohol and tobacco to Pyongyang in breach of U.S. sanctions aimed at pressuring North Korea to end its nuclear programs. FILE PHOTO: The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File photoIn a statement, the U.S. Treasury said China-based Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co. Ltd and its…

Yemen’s ancient architecture threatened by war

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen’s three-year war has taken a heavy toll on Sanaa’s historic Old City, a dense warren of mosques, bath houses and 6,000 mud brick houses, which date from before the 11th century. Children look from behind a window of a house in the old quarter of Sanaa, Yemen August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Khaled AbdullahPart of the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been razed by bombing. Now only rubble and straggly palm trees remain, where unique tower houses once stood. “Many buildings have been badly damaged…

The WhatsApp founder who left Facebook is still employed, in an apparent move to vest stock

WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum announced his departure from the Facebook-owned subsidiary in April, but he’s still employed, reportedly stalling until his remaining stock options vest. Facebook confirmed to CNBC that Koum is still an employee, despite an April Facebook post in which he said it was time to « move on. » But the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday Koum hasn’t shown up since July and is instead taking advantage of a practice commonly known in Silicon Valley as « rest and vest » in which executives remain on the…

MoviePass parent company lost $100 million in the second quarter

MoviePass’ parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, lost $100 million in the second quarter, according to its most recent quarterly report filed late Tuesday, on pace to blow through its remaining assets in the next quarter if its new turnaround plan doesn’t work out. Helios and Matheson posted a gross loss of $104.6 million, a drastic swing from the year-ago period when it reported a gross profit of $223,000. The company has just $175.3 million of total assets left on hand, including $15.5 million in cash. Shares of Helios and…

Cryptocurrency investor robbed via his cellphone sues AT&T for $224 million over loss

A U.S. investor filed a $224 million lawsuit against AT&T Wednesday accusing the telecommunications giant of negligence that allegedly caused the California resident to lose roughly $24 million in cryptocurrency. In a 69-page complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the plaintiff Michael Terpin claimed that because of « AT&T’s willing cooperation with the hacker, gross negligence, violation of its statutory duties, and failure to adhere to its commitments in its Privacy Policy, » he lost nearly $24 million worth of cryptocurrency. Terpin, who was using AT&T…

US shale growth will offset global production problems over the coming months, analysts say

A sustained upswing in U.S. shale growth is likely to offset global production problems over the coming months, energy analysts told CNBC on Wednesday. The mood music in the energy market has been heavily influenced by a flurry of demand-side developments of late, with investors continuing to monitor an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China, the financial crisis in Turkey and a resurgent U.S. dollar. Yet, industry analysts point out the U.S. shale boom is perhaps the most notable supply consideration not currently receiving the attention it deserves.…

Autonomous vehicles are coming. Now comes the hard part.

Self-driving cars will change your life more than you can ever imagine Would you rather surf a giant wave or get crushed by it? That’s the choice state and national governments face as they stare down the coming influx of autonomous vehicles. Self-driving cars are increasingly common sights on roads in California, Arizona, and a few other pioneering locales. They’re still something of an anomaly, sure, but it won’t be long before autonomous cars go from being an exception to being the norm. Just when that happens remains to be…

Tencent has a major gaming problem

Tencent buys 10% stake in Snap The crackdown on online gaming in China is hurting Tencent. The Chinese tech conglomerate said that its net income for the three months that ended in June was 17.9 billion yuan ($2.6 billion), a decline of 2% compared to the same period last year. Revenue increased to 73.7 billion yuan ($10.7 billion). Revenue fell well short of what experts thought. It was a rare miss for a company that has wowed investors by routinely topping market expectations for sales and user growth. Tencent (TCEHY)…

Uber hires chief security officer to help earn back user trust

Uber failed to disclose 2016 hack Uber has named a former NSA official its chief security officer, bolstering its goal of making safety a major priority. Matt Olsen, a former NSA general counsel who also led the National Counterterrorism Center under President Obama, assumes the role of chief trust and security officer next month, the company announced Tuesday. In an email he sent to employees Tuesday, chief legal officer Tony West stressed the importance of adding the word « trust » to Olsen’s title. « As I’ve said before, earning…

Brazil may probe Google over its cell phone system: report

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s antitrust watchdog Cade is considering opening an investigation into Google over alleged abuses in its cell phone operating system, the president of the agency said in an interview published on Wednesday in newspaper Valor Economico. The brand logo of Alphabet Inc’s Google is seen outside its office in Beijing, China August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas PeterThe reported comments by Alexandre Barreto come just weeks after European antitrust regulators fined Google a record 4.34 billion euros ($4.91 billion) and ordered it to stop using its popular…

Amazon Alexa completes its tie-up with Microsoft Cortana

Users of Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana can now access features of the other’s virtual assistant, the companies announced Wednesday. The integration gives Alexa and Cortana greater powers as they compete with Apple’s Siri and Alphabet’s Google Assistant. For example, a person with Cortana can now order products off Amazon or manage existing orders using voice instructions. Likewise, someone with an Echo could set up new calendar events and respond to emails with Cortana’s help. The move comes almost a year after the tech giants revealed the plan for their…

London’s financial district to introduce green car-parking tariff

On-street parking charges that target high-polluting vehicles are to be implemented in London’s financial district next week. The initiative will make use of RingGo’s Emissions Based Parking product, the City of London Corporation said in a statement Tuesday. The RingGo app can automatically determine the kind of vehicle being parked and, in turn, charge tariffs based on the level of pollution that vehicle emits. The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile, London’s financial and historic center. Around 8,000 people live in the area, while…

‘Wild swings’ likely to rock US stocks as Turkey crisis rages, Wells Fargo’s Chris Harvey warns

Wells Fargo Securities has a new message for investors: Hold on tight. Christopher Harvey, the firm’s head of equity strategy, believes the Turkey debt crisis will spark a crisis of confidence in the United States as earnings season winds down, and headline risks become front and center again. « You can start to have a lot more wild swings in the marketplace, » he said Tuesday on CNBC’s « Futures Now. » « What we’re telling clients is ‘don’t light your hair on fire. Start to take down risk prudently,…

Muja the alligator still alive and snapping in his 80s at Belgrade Zoo

BELGRADE (Reuters) – American alligator Muja arrived at Belgrade Zoo on the eve of the Second World War and is believed to be the oldest of his kind in captivity, and still in good health with a hearty appetite for his age, his handlers said on Tuesday. An alligator named Muja rests in its enclosure in Belgrade’s Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Marko DjuricaGenerations of Belgraders and tourists have come to watch Muja, and though he rarely moves around much, he is still agile at feeding time – when he…

Tesla directors do damage control after Elon Musk tweets

Members of Tesla’s board are scrambling to control a chief executive who some directors think is out of control. Elon Musk, the electric-car maker’s co-founder and chief executive, stirred up a public storm by announcing on Twitter last week that he wanted to turn Tesla into a private company. In recent days, according to people familiar with the matter, some of his fellow board members delivered a stern message: Stop tweeting. Mr. Musk hasn’t heeded that advice. He has continued to post messages on Twitter, publicly plotting the company’s strategy…

Italian soccer giant Juventus switches to an online channel in a bid to grab a global fan base

Italian soccer club Juventus launched a digital channel, replacing its traditional TV station which has closed after 12 years in the wake of disappointing ratings and high running costs. By taking the content online, the Serie A club wants to offer more opportunities for fans to keep up to date from smartphone, tablet and desktop services as the new soccer season begins. Club members can access the service for 2.99 euros ($3.50) per month or 14.99 euros annually, while non-members will be charged 3.99 euros per month and 19.99 euros…

Ripple is ‘definitely’ targeting China with its blockchain-based payments tech, exec says

Ripple is targeting the Chinese market with its distributed ledger technology designed to speed up cross-border payments, an executive at the firm told CNBC. « China is definitely of interest, it is definitely a target, » Jeremy Light, vice president of European Union strategic accounts at Ripple, told CNBC in a phone interview. « China is definitely a country and region of interest. » Earlier this year, the blockchain company struck a deal with Hong Kong-based financial services firm LianLian International, aimed at powering the latter’s cross-border transactions between China,…

Energy giant Vestas warns of rising costs due to US metal tariffs

The CEO of Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas warned about the impact of tariffs and trade barriers Wednesday, with the company lowering its revenue guidance for the year. In its earnings report for the second quarter of 2018, Vestas said that as a result of the implementation of tariffs in the U.S., prices of U.S. steel and imported components were expected to increase. « We are a global company, present in 70 markets with a global supply chain, and of course trade barriers and tariffs is a negative for any…

Xiaomi shares close below IPO price, hitting a record low as major Chinese stocks fall

Shares of China’s Xiaomi slid 5 percent on Wednesday, closing below its initial public offering (IPO) price for the first time since its first day of trade and hitting a record low. The smartphone maker closed at 16.30 Hong Kong dollars ($2.08), below the 17.00 Hong Kong dollar price its stock had when it went public. The last time it did this was on its first day of trade when shares closed at 16.80 Hong Kong dollars. But Xiaomi’s Wednesday closing price represents a more than 24 percent decline from…

How a wily Californian beat Google and Facebook’s influence operation

Amid a national reckoning over the perils of social media, a looming question has been whether — and how — the US government might respond. A series of hearings in Congress raised the specter of onerous new rules without ever quite convincing anyone that regulation was imminent. Amid deep partisan disagreements, the worst that Facebook, Google, and Twitter have had to contend with some sharply worded questions. But all the way across the country, a different story was playing out. A single wealthy man, suddenly radicalized on the subject of…

Saudi fund may only play minor part in Musk’s $72 billion Tesla plan: bankers

RIYADH (Reuters) – Elon Musk told investors this week that “obviously, the Saudi sovereign fund has more than enough capital needed” to finance taking Tesla private. FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/File PhotoThe fund is estimated to have over $250 billion in assets. But it is not that simple. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) has many claims on its resources, both financial…

Afghans, Syrians help German companies to fill training vacancies

BERLIN (Reuters) – German companies last year managed to attract more apprentices to their dual-track vocational training schemes due to a surge in applications from asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Syria, data showed on Wednesday. FILE PHOTO: Ahmad Hosseini, 18-year-old trainee and former refugee from Afghanistan is pictured through a plain vice at the training workshop of Knipex, a 130 year-old family-owned pliers and tools maker company in Wuppertal, western Germany, October 25, 2016. Picture taken October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File PhotoSkilled labor shortages and a lack of young people…

Italy bridge: Grief and anger over collapse in Genoa

Grief in Italy for the 37 victims of a collapsed motorway bridge in Genoa has been mixed with anger that such a vital structure could have simply given way. Rescuers are still searching for survivors underneath the Morandi bridge, where almost 40 vehicles fell 45m (148ft) in Tuesday’s collapse. The cause is not yet known but there have been calls for the heads of the company operating the bridge to resign. Survivors have also been recalling the horror of the bridge’s collapse. What is the latest at the scene? Hundreds…

Omagh anniversary: Bomb ‘could have been prevented’

Former Police Ombudsman Baroness Nuala O’Loan said she believes the Omagh bomb could have been prevented. She also renewed her call for a public inquiry into the greatest single loss of life in the Troubles. A bell will ring in Omagh later to mark the 20th anniversary of the moment a car bomb exploded, killing 29 people. A woman pregnant with twins was among those killed by the dissident republican attack in the County Tyrone town on 15 August 1998. A former senior police officer rejected Baroness O’Loan’s claims. Baroness…

Tencent shares fall as its huge gaming business worries investors ahead of second-quarter earnings

Tencent reports second-quarter earnings Wednesday with investors closely watching the impact of Chinese regulators on the company’s giant gaming business, which is a key driver of revenues. Shares of the Chinese internet giant fell sharply ahead of the earnings report as investors fretted about a potential slowdown in growth in online games and advertising revenue. Here’s what the market expects in the three months to the end of June: Revenues of 77.3 billion yuan ($11.2 billion), according to analysts surveyed by Reuters, up from 56.6 billion yuan in the same…

Y Combinator to set up China arm with former Baidu executive Qi Lu as chief

American start-up incubator Y Combinator is setting up shop in China, with a new unit to be led by former Baidu chief operating officer Qi Lu. Sam Altman, Y Combinator’s president, said in a company announcement Wednesday that China had been « an important missing piece of our puzzle » when it came to sourcing new start-ups to take under its wing. « We think that a significant percentage of the largest technology companies that are founded in the next decade — companies at the scale of Google, Microsoft, Apple,…

Analysis: Facebook doesn’t have an obligation to support journalism

A version of this article first appeared in the Pacific newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. What’s Next: Campbell Brown Does Everyone a Favor: Facebook’s global head of news partnerships has come under fire after a report in Rupert Murdoch’s Australian quoted her telling news executives that Mark Zuckerberg « doesn’t care » about news publishers and that publishers would die unless they cooperated with the company. Brown has denied the report and said her remarks were taken out of context, despite the fact that they were…