Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.
Walt Disney’s ESPN sports network plans to unveil a package of live programming it will offer directly to consumers on the Web, said a person with knowledge of the plans. The move is a baby step towards ESPN becoming a direct-to-consumer service.
5/24/2016: Apple Opening Siri, Developing Echo Rival
Apple is upping its game in the field of intelligent assistants. After years of internal debate and discussion about how to do so, the company is preparing to open up Siri to apps made by others. And it is working on an Amazon Echo-like device with a speaker and microphone that people can use to turn on music, get news headlines or set a timer.
Opening up its Siri voice assistant to outside app developers is the more immediate step. Apple is preparing to release a software developer kit, or SDK, for app developers who want their apps to be accessible through Siri, according to a person with direct knowledge of the effort.
Earlier this year, The Huffington Post got a polite but pointed request from Twitter: Stop using The Huffington Post’s personalized Snapchat logo as its Twitter profile image, according to a person briefed on the situation.
Less than a year ago, leaders at Facebook convened to address a serious problem: people using the social network were posting fewer things about their personal lives for their friends to see, according to confidential company data about several types of content sharing that happen on Facebook, which was viewed by The Information.
Thus began an effort to deal with this long-term threat to Facebook’s primary moneymaker, the News Feed. Facebook set up a team in London to help develop a strategy to stop the double-digit decline in “original” sharing that happens on Facebook, according to four people with knowledge of the situation.
A Fox News spokesperson confirmed O’Reilly will return on April 24.
But according to four network sources, there’s talk inside Fox News that tonight’s show could be his last.
But, according to three people who were present, Bush gave a brief assessment of Trump’s inaugural after leaving the dais: “That was some weird shit.” All three heard him say it.
As Rupert Murdoch seeks to stabilize Fox News in the wake of Roger Ailes’s ouster, a crucial question remains unanswered: How was Ailes able to spend millions of dollars to settle sexual harassment claims without it setting off alarm bells?
According to three highly-placed sources, part of the answer is that there were few checks on Ailes when it came to the Fox News budget. “It was the culture,” one Fox executive said. “You didn’t ask questions, and Roger wouldn’t entertain questions.” One former News Corp executive explained that because Fox made more than $1 billion in annual profits, the funds that were used for settlements amounted to little more than “a rounding error.”
5/12/2015: The New York Times–Facebook deal is here
Tomorrow morning, in what marks a tectonic shift in the publishing industry, the New York Times is expected to officially begin a long-awaited partnership with Facebook to publish articles directly to the social media giant, a source with direct knowledge of the talks told me. According to people familiar with the negotiations, the Times will begin publishing select articles directly into Facebook’s news feed. Buzzfeed, NBC News and NatGeo are said to be also joining the roll out, among others.
Status: We’ll find out tomorrow.
1/12/2017: Inside Twitter, employees reckon with Trump
“The political climate then was still pretty giddy about Trump and how he’s a total joke,” said one employee who quit late last spring. But Trump’s surprise win prompted soul-searching for many of Twitter’s 3,800 employees. “Fast-forward to the day after election,” the former employee said. “I could feel it in my timeline — there was a strong sense of ‘what have we done’ from Twitter employees.”
3/22/2016: Google is making a keyboard for the iPhone
Google has been developing a third-party keyboard for iOS that would put the company’s search engine in a highly used part of the interface, The Verge has learned. The keyboard, which incorporates a variety of search options, has been in development for months, according to people familiar with the matter. It’s unclear whether or when Google plans to release it. The company declined to comment.
A source familiar with the matter said the last thing Facebook wants to do right now is take on Apple in a streaming war. Facebook’s talks with the major labels are still in the early phases, but sources reiterated Facebook wants to create something unique and unlike any other service currently on the market.
As an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, Anthony Noto orchestrated Twitter’s initial public offering. Now Noto is Twitter’s chief financial officer, and he’s changing the score again, moving the social network’s hapless marketing department under his control. Marketing is not typically the purview of a CFO, and a source familiar with the situation told The Verge that the unusual structure was discussed in a meeting at Twitter headquarters Monday. “Noto is consolidating power, so to speak,” the source said.
The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are looking closely into Apple’s business practices in relation to its upcoming music streaming service, according to multiple sources.
— Further down in the story —
“All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat,” one music industry source said.
Facebook has provided some light at the end of that dark tunnel. Media executives who spoke to us on background said their own interactions with Facebook had indicated that Live would indeed have a payoff.
Turkish investigators warned French officials on two separate occasions about Omer Ismail Mostefai, the first gunman identified in the Paris attacks, but never heard back from France, a senior Turkish official confirmed to Mashable Monday.
Facebook is preparing to launch its own real-time news notification app in a bid to lure people away from Twitter.
A source familiar with the matter confirmed to Mashable that the app is indeed in development, although a specific launch date has not been revealed.
Rumors surrounding the app surfaced earlier this week on The Awl, which stated the app would be called Notify. The report also showed screenshots of the app on what appears to be iOS.
Yik Yak, the anonymous messaging app, is testing a new feature that would let users share photos, Mashable has learned.
Yik Yak is in the early stages of testing the feature on some college campuses for limited periods of time, sometimes as brief as several hours, in order to get feedback from users, according to sources familiar with the matter. Yik Yak confirmed the development to Mashable.
Status: I’m confused
Working at Facebook, even as a contractor, was supposed to be the opportunity of a lifetime. It was, instead, the most toxic work experience of my life.
The entire piece is written by an anonymous source.
The leader of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been seriously wounded in an air strike in western Iraq, sources have told the Guardian.
A source in Iraq with connections to the terror group revealed that Baghdadi suffered serious injuries during an attack by the US-led coalition in March. The source said Baghdadi’s wounds were at first life-threatening, but he has since made a slow recovery. He has not, however, resumed day-to-day control of the organisation.
Hillary Clinton is closing in on April 1 as the operational start date of her long-awaited presidential campaign, multiple sources with knowledge of Clinton’s growing operation in Iowa have told the Guardian.
Status: Clinton announced her bid for the White House on April 12.
Apple is preparing three iPhones for launch as soon as this fall, including upgraded versions of the current two iPhone models and a new top-of-the-line handset with an overhauled look, according to people familiar with the matter. For the redesigned phone, Apple is testing a new type of screen, curved glass and stainless steel materials, and more advanced cameras, the people said.
Typically, a handful of Facebook employees manage communications just for him, helping write his posts and speeches, while an additional dozen or so delete harassing comments and spam on his page, say two people familiar with the matter.
Snapchat will seek to raise as much as $4 billion in its planned initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple Inc. has drastically scaled back its automotive ambitions, leading to hundreds of job cuts and a new direction that, for now, no longer includes building its own car, according to people familiar with the project.
Hundreds of members of the car team, which comprises about 1,000 people, have been reassigned, let go, or have left of their own volition in recent months, the people said, asking not to be identified because the moves aren’t public.
10/5/2016: Jack Dorsey Is Losing Control of Twitter
A few days before Twitter’s Sept. 8 board meeting, as the company’s finance team readied a presentation, it received conflicting directions on a crucial question. Should their slides reflect Twitter’s prospects as an independent company or delve into the benefits of getting acquired?
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive officer, argued that the 10-year-old company should remain on its current course and work to capitalize on recent product improvements and success in streaming live video, people familiar with the discussions said. Ev Williams, a former CEO who has a history of clashing with Dorsey, was in favor of exploring a sale. Other directors agreed they had a fiduciary duty to consider that option. The board ultimately decided to consider takeover prospects after getting an expression of interest from a potential acquirer, which led it to hire Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co. to evaluate possible bids.
Pfizer Inc. is close to an agreement to buy Medivation Inc. for about $14 billion, people familiar with the situation said.
The deal may be announced as early as Monday, said the people, who asked not to be identified. The biotech company’s shares closed at $67.16 on Friday, giving it a market value of $11.1 billion.
Apple Inc. has hit roadblocks in making major changes that would connect its Watch to cellular networks and make it less dependent on the iPhone, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The company still plans to announce new watch models this fall boasting improvements to health tracking.
The updated versions will also be able to integrate GPS-based location tracking, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.
Apple Inc. has hired the former head of BlackBerry Ltd.’s automotive software division as new leadership at the iPhone-maker’s car team places increased emphasis on developing self-driving technology, according to people familiar with the project.
Donald Trump plans to create and fund super-PACs specifically aimed at ending the political careers of Ted Cruz and John Kasich should either run for office again, after both snubbed the Republican nominee during his party’s convention this week, a source familiar with Trump’s thinking told Bloomberg Politics on Friday.
Walt Disney Co. agreed to acquire a one-third stake in the video-streaming unit of MLB Advanced Media, in a deal valued at about $3.5 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Disney, the owner of ESPN and ABC, will retain a four-year option to buy an additional 33 percent stake in the digital arm of Major League Baseball, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. WME-IMG, the parent of William Morris Endeavor and the owner of media properties including the Miami Open tennis tournament, was among the bidders for a stake in the business, the person said.
6/2/2016: Snapchat Passes Twitter in Daily Usage
Snapchat Inc. has 150 million people using the service each day, said people familiar with the matter. That makes the four-year-old messaging app more popular than Twitter Inc. by daily active users.
Snapchat has been growing quickly, boosted by its popularity among young people. The app had 110 million daily users in December, said the people, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak about the numbers.
Twitter Inc. will soon stop counting photos and links in their 140-character limit for tweets, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The change could happen in the next two weeks, said the person who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public. Links currently take up 23 characters, even after Twitter automatically shortens them. The company declined to comment.
Sports Authority Inc.’s hopes to avoid liquidation are fading.
With bids for Sports Authority’s assets and leases due Wednesday, Modell’s Sporting Goods Inc. has backed away from a potential deal for the chain that would have kept some of the stores operating under their current name, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
New York-based Modell’s, the only potential buyer to express interest in keeping the Sports Authority brand going, had been in talks with the company and its creditors for weeks, said the people, asking not to be named because the negotiations are private. It walked away because the two sides couldn’t agree on a price, the people said.
Apple Inc. is planning sweeping changes to its year-old music streaming service after the first iteration of the product was met with tepid reviews and several executives brought in to revive the company’s music strategy departed.
Apple is altering the user interface of Apple Music to make it more intuitive to use, according to people familiar with the product who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Apple also plans to better integrate its streaming and download businesses and expand its online radio service, the people said. The reboot is expected to be unveiled at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The changes will be accompanied by a marketing blitz to lure more customers to the $10-per-month streaming service. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
4/26/2016: The Real Story of How Amazon Built the Echo
Bezos declined an interview request to discuss the speaker’s development, but 10 current and former Amazon employees agreed to talk, mostly on the condition of anonymity because they hadn’t been authorized to do so by the company. This is the story of what they built.
Univision Holdings Inc., the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S., is aiming for the second half of the year for its initial public offering that could raise as much as $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The New York-based company is waiting for better market conditions to sell its shares to the public, the people said, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. No final decision has been made on the timing of the deal, the people said.
Verizon Communications Inc. plans to make a first-round bid for Yahoo Inc.’s Web business next week, and is willing to acquire the company’s Yahoo Japan Corp. stake to help sweeten the offer, according to people familiar with the matter.
Google, the main division of Alphabet Inc., is also considering bidding for Yahoo’s core business, a separate person said.
A plan by billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to gain control of Australia’s largest pay-television provider would give the company a freer hand to accelerate price cuts and buy new shows to compete with Netflix Inc.
News Corp. and Telstra Corp., the joint owners of pay-television service Foxtel, are considering a deal that would reduce Telstra’s stake in the venture and take News Corp.’s to 51 percent, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Pressure on Twitter Inc.’s board is mounting.
In the three months since the company started searching for a new chief executive officer, the stock has slipped 22 percent and several product executives have left. A leading internal candidate, according to people close to the board, is interim leader and co-founder Jack Dorsey — who’s already CEO at a company on the verge of an initial public offering.
Twitter’s board meets Thursday and plans to discuss the results from the search so far, said the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. Investors are getting impatient for directors to make a decision, or at least give a detailed update on the process, said Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co.
Square Inc., the mobile-payments company founded and led by Jack Dorsey, the interim chief executive officer of Twitter Inc., filed confidentially for an initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Apple is working on a new larger-screened version of the iPad that could appeal to corporate customers looking to use the device as a replacement for a laptop computer, people familiar with the plans have said.
Ferrari SpA, the supercar maker being spun off by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, picked UBS Group AG to help manage its initial public offering in New York later this year, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Apple Inc. has started early production of new iPhone models with a feature called Force Touch, which senses how hard users are pressing down on a screen, people with knowledge of the matter said.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council are close to agreeing on a $78 billion budget that would increase the number of police officers while suppressing overtime costs, said two people familiar with the talks.
While an exact number hasn’t been determined, it will be fewer than the 1,000 new officers that council members have sought, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly because the negotiations are continuing. An agreement could be announced as early as Monday or Tuesday night, they said.
Status: Now confirmed
5/18/2015: Jawbone gets a loan and a leash
Jawbone, the San Francisco maker of wearable technology, recently got a hefty $300 million investment from BlackRock, the largest and one of the most trusted asset management companies in the world.
But the investment wasn’t a $300 million cash infusion, I learned recently. According to documents filed in California and to people close to the deal, BlackRock is giving Jawbone, which makes speakers, Bluetooth headsets and fitness trackers, a $300 million loan.
Charter Communications Inc. continues to work on a takeover of Bright House Networks LLC, seeing the deal as a precursor to a bid for Time Warner Cable Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said.
The companies are in active discussions to reach a new deal, the people said, during an exclusivity period that lasts through most of May. The talks may continue even after that exclusivity ends, the people said.
Status: Somewhat verified
Greek banks are increasingly being hampered from trading currencies, one of most liquid markets, as international dealers cut back credit lines and costs soar, according to people with knowledge of the trades.
Unit sales in the region plunged 25 percent last quarter, worse than any other location. Avon has been considering a sale of the business or some other deal, according to people familiar with the matter.
Salesforce.com Inc. is working with financial advisers to help it field takeover offers after being approached by a potential acquirer, people with knowledge of the matter said.
There is no certainty any deal will transpire, the people said, asking not to be named because the information is private. The people didn’t identify potential acquirers. Bankers may help rebuff any suitor or work out an eventual sale, one of the people said.
Advisers for Charter Communications Inc. have reached out to Time Warner Cable Inc. to begin friendly talks on an acquisition after Comcast Corp. withdrew its bid for the company, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Status: Somewhat verified
4/23/2015: Comcast plans to drop Time Warner Cable deal
Comcast Corp. is planning to walk away from its proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said, after regulators planned to oppose the deal.
Earlier in 2013 the company was struggling to turn preorders of its vehicles into actual sales. As Musk put his staff on crisis footing to save Tesla, he also began negotiating a deal to sell the company to Google through his friend Larry Page, the search giant’s co-founder and chief executive officer, according to two people with direct knowledge of the deal. Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes and Google spokeswoman Rachel Whetstone declined to comment. “I don’t want to speculate on rumors,” Page said when I asked him if Google had considered buying Tesla, adding that a “car company is pretty far from what Google knows.”
Altera Corp. rejected an offer of about $54 a share from Intel Corp., breaking off talks to be acquired by the world’s largest chipmaker, people familiar with the negotiations said Thursday.
4/2/2015: I want my Snapchat TV
Five days before the March 25 broadcast premiere of Big Time in Hollywood, FL, a new Comedy Central show produced by actor Ben Stiller, the network released its first episode on Snapchat. In January the messaging app, known mostly for letting its young users share annotated photos that vanish shortly afterward, added a “Discover” feature, a menu of free channels from 11 media companies that publish video clips and news stories directly to Snapchat. Two people who work for Snapchat’s channel partners say their daily video clips and written stories average more than 1 million viewers; they declined to discuss specific viewership numbers or revenue. Big Time won’t be Comedy Central’s last Snapchat premiere, says Senior Vice President Steve Grimes.
A Florida eye doctor is expected to soon face federal criminal charges as part of a corruption inquiry into U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, according to two people familiar with the case.
Spotify Ltd. has held talks with potential content partners to add podcasts to its music-streaming service, challenging Apple Inc. in a business it dominates, according to people briefed on the matter.
Slack Technologies Inc., whose software helps people collaborate at work, is in talks with investors to raise financing at a valuation of more than $2 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves has been preparing for the future — and how Time Warner Inc. might be part of it.
Moonves and his counterpart at Time Warner, Jeff Bewkes, discussed the idea of combining their companies in meetings last year, three people with knowledge of the matter said. Bewkes wasn’t interested, said two of the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private.
Dong Energy AS, the Danish state-owned utility, is considering spinning off or selling its oil exploration and production unit, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
Viacom Inc. will cut staff across the company as it grapples with shrinking audiences and advertising sales at cable channels such as MTV and Comedy Central, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest miner, and steelmaker PAO Severstal are among exporters converting more of their dollars and euros into local currency, according to company filings and people with knowledge of the situation. It’s a policy encouraged by the government to help stabilize the ruble after its 47 percent plunge last year.
Barclays Plc will shrink its 2014 bonus pool more than 17 percent to less than 2 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) as the U.K.’s second-largest lender cuts back its investment bank, a person with knowledge of its compensation strategy said.
Vice Media Inc. Chief Executive Officer Shane Smith paid for a $300,000 Las Vegas dinner last month, according to a person who asked not to be identified because the meal was private. Smith, a Vice co-founder, had been on a lucky gambling run, the person said.
The New York Times wrote about this too.
United Steelworkers will resume talks on a national labor contract for 30,000 oil workers on Feb. 10, said two people with knowledge of the negotiations.
In the first half of this year, tweets will start to be visible in Google’s search results as soon as they’re posted, thanks to a deal giving the Web company access to Twitter’s firehose, the stream of data generated by the microblogging service’s 284 million users, people with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.
Google is preparing to offer its own ride-hailing service, most likely in conjunction with its long-in-development driverless car project. Drummond has informed Uber’s board of this possibility, according to a person close to the Uber board, and Uber executives have seen screenshots of what appears to be a Google ride-sharing app that is currently being used by Google employees.
Status: Still unverified
Fox News is preparing to cut ties with its biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, according to people close to the situation.
A final decision on Mr. O’Reilly’s fate could come as early as the next several days, the people said.
Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has told the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional officials investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.
The White House is reviewing whether to retain National Security Adviser Mike Flynn amid a furor over his contacts with Russian officials before President Donald Trump took office, an administration official said Sunday.
Mr. Flynn has apologized to White House colleagues over the episode, which has created a rift with Vice President Mike Pence and diverted attention from the administration’s message to his own dealings, the official said.
“He’s apologized to everyone,” the official said of Mr. Flynn.
When Snap Inc. goes on the road next year to market its initial public offering, it will be touting more than its popular virtual-messaging service.
Evan Spiegel, the company’s 26-year-old founder, is expected to figure prominently in conversations with investors during the marketing process, known as a roadshow, according to people familiar with the matter.
10/21/2016: AT&T-Time Warner Talks Could Set Off Deal Frenzy
Apple Inc. a few months ago approached Time Warner Inc. about pursuing a combination, and though the discussions didn’t progress beyond a preliminary stage, Apple is now monitoring the situation, people familiar with the matter said Friday.
Big ad buyers and marketers are upset with Facebook Inc. after learning the tech giant vastly overestimated average viewing time for video ads on its platform for two years, according to people familiar with the situation.
Apple Inc. has tapped a highly regarded senior executive who helped bring to market many of Apple’s signature products to oversee its fledgling automobile project, according to people familiar with the matter.
Bob Mansfield had stepped back from a day-to-day role at the company a few years ago, after leading the hardware engineering development of products including the MacBook Air laptop computer, the iMac desktop computer, and the iPad tablet. Apple now has Mr. Mansfield running the company’s secret autonomous, electric-vehicle initiative, code-named Project Titan, the people said.
As New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2017 re-election bid draws closer, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is strategizing whether and how to work against his fellow Democrat, a move that would pose a threat to the mayor’s campaign but carry its own political risks for the governor.
Mr. Cuomo has dissected Mr. de Blasio’s poll numbers with political allies, weighing whether the mayor can be defeated, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple Inc. is in exploratory talks to acquire Tidal, a streaming-music service run by rap mogul Jay Z, according to people familiar with the matter.
Chinese Internet major Tencent Holdings Ltd. is in talks with SoftBank Group Corp. to buy the Japanese telecommunications giant’s majority stake in Supercell Oy, the Finland-based maker of some of the world’s most popular mobile games, according to people briefed on the discussions.
Theranos Inc. has told federal health regulators that the company voided two years of results from its Edison blood-testing devices, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Nissan Motor Co. is considering buying about a one-third stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp. for about 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) to become the latter company’s single largest shareholder, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.
Twitter Inc. cut off U.S. intelligence agencies from access to a service that sifts through the entire output of its social-media postings, the latest example of tension between Silicon Valley and the federal government over terrorism and privacy.
The move, which hasn’t been publicly announced, was confirmed by a senior U.S. intelligence official and other people familiar with the matter. The service—which sends out alerts of unfolding terror attacks, political unrest and other potentially important events—isn’t directly provided by Twitter, but instead by Dataminr Inc., a private company that mines public Twitter feeds for clients.
4/26/2016: Facebook Developing Camera-First Format
Facebook Inc. is developing a stand-alone camera app to encourage its 1.6 billion users to create, and share, more photos and videos, people familiar with the matter said.
A prototype of the app developed by Facebook’s “friend-sharing” team opens to a camera, similar to disappearing photo app Snapchat, the people said. Another planned feature allows a user recording video through the app to begin live streaming, they added.
Verizon Communications Inc. and Hearst Corp. are close to buying Complex Media, the online publisher whose readership skews toward young males, according to people familiar with the matter.
Facebook Messenger is getting down to business.
At its annual F8 developer conference this coming week, Facebook Inc. will feature enhanced tools for commerce over its Messenger app, according to people familiar with the matter. The new offerings will use so-called chatbot technology to help users order goods and services through the app, the people said.
The days of waiting six or more years between videogame-console releases are coming to an end.
Sony Corp. is planning to sell a more powerful version of its PlayStation 4 machine to handle higher-end game experiences, including virtual reality, people familiar with the matter said, while continuing production of its existing console that has so far sold more than 36 million units world-wide.
Mr. Dorsey, who was previously chairman of Twitter, had told the company that one condition of returning as CEO was that the entire board must eventually be replaced, according to one of the people familiar with the matter.
The Apple Inc. veteran tasked with spearheading the company’s efforts to build an automobile is leaving the company, according to people familiar with the matter.
Steve Zadesky, a 16-year Apple veteran who has been overseeing its electric-car project for the last two years, has told people he is leaving the company. The timing of his departure isn’t clear. He is still at Apple for now.
A person familiar with the matter said Mr. Zadesky’s departure was for personal reasons and wasn’t related to his performance. Mr. Zadesky didn’t immediately respond to a message sent through LinkedIn.
Merger talks between large cooperative banks in Italy are intensifying as two lenders circle Banca Popolare di Milano Scarl with a view to a potential tie-up.
People familiar with the matter say Banca Popolare di Milano, a small lender based in the wealthy Lombardy region, is in separate talks about merging with either cooperative bank Banco Popolare SC or UBI Banca SpA, Italy’s fourth- and fifth-largest lenders by assets, respectively.
One of Twitter’s most beloved features is set to change: The company is planning to extend its 140-character limit to as many as 10,000, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The fate of troubled Internet portal Yahoo Inc. may be decided in a marathon series of board meetings this week.
Yahoo’s board plans to weigh a potential sale of the company’s core business during a series of meetings beginning Wednesday and continuing through Friday, people familiar with the matter said.
10/27/2015: Walgreens Nears Deal to Buy Rite Aid
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is in advanced talks to buy Rite Aid Corp. in a deal that would unite the nation’s second- and third-largest drugstore chains.
A deal is expected to be announced Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter. Rite Aid had a market value of more than $6 billion Monday afternoon, meaning that with a typical premium, a takeover deal could value the company at close to $10 billion. That doesn’t include its hefty debt load, which totaled $7.4 billion in August.
Four years after Steve Jobs’s death, a new movie is reopening a debate over the Apple Inc. co-founder’s legacy.
Mr. Jobs’s allies, led by his widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, say the film “Steve Jobs,” and other recent depictions, play down his accomplishments and paint Mr. Jobs as cruel and inhumane. Ms. Jobs repeatedly tried to kill the film, according to people familiar with the conversations. She lobbied, among others, Sony Pictures Entertainment, which developed the script but passed on the movie for financial reasons, and Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, which is releasing the $33.5 million production on Friday.
9/21/2015: Apple speeds up electric car work
Apple Inc. is accelerating efforts to build an electric car, designating it internally as a “committed project” and setting a target ship date for 2019, according to people familiar with the matter.
BuzzFeed is eyeing a big expansion in Los Angeles.
The rising digital media star is in discussions to lease a century-old former Ford auto factory on the southeastern edge of Los Angeles’ downtown, according to people familiar with the talks.
The 250,000-square-foot potential lease suggests large West Coast ambitions for the company, which is hot off a $200 million investment from NBCUniversal that valued it at around $1.5 billion. BuzzFeed is considering multiple options in addition to the former Ford factory, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
A group of German auto makers agreed to pay slightly more than €2.5 billion ($2.71 billion) for Nokia’s digital mapping service, prevailing over Silicon Valley bidders in a battle for a key enabling technology for self-driving cars.
German luxury car makers Audi, a unit of Volkswagen AG, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG, and BMW AG have agreed in principle to purchase the telecommunications group’s digital mapping service Nokia Here, according to a person familiar with the situation.
A decline in subscribers as customers trim their cable bills, coupled with rising content costs and increased competition, has ESPN in belt-tightening mode, people familiar with the situation say.
6/21/2015: Dollar Shave Club is valued at $615 million
Lots of videos go viral. Few prove as lucrative as Michael Dubin’s.
Three years ago the Dollar Shave Club founder launched his company with a hilarious video poking fun at the pain and expense of shaving. The video has been viewed 19 million times.
Today the mail-order razor business is valued at $615 million after closing a new $75 million funding round led by Technology Crossover Ventures, according to people familiar with the matter.
Fitbit Inc., the maker of wearable fitness-tracking devices, priced its initial public offering at $20 a share, above already raised expectations, according to a person familiar with the offering.
The deal raised about $732 million for the company and some of its shareholders by selling 36.6 million shares, according to the person familiar with the deal, and gives Fitbit a valuation of about $4.1 billion. That total doesn’t count a so-called overallotment option, which gives underwriters the opportunity to sell additional shares under certain circumstances.
The search to replace New York’s former top financial regulator, Benjamin Lawsky, has attracted the involvement of one of the banking industry’s harshest critics: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.).
In recent weeks, Ms. Warren has placed calls to top staffers for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others assigned to identify a successor to Mr. Lawsky, according to a person with direct knowledge of the search process. Ms. Warren’s advice: Tap Rohit Chopra, the student loan ombudsman and assistant director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which she helped start up and initially ran.
People familiar with the talks don’t expect the de Blasio administration to get its way on a key issue: ending “vacancy decontrol”—the practice of exempting regulated apartments from rent controls once their rents hit a threshold, currently $2,500, and letting them go for market rates. Mr. de Blasio wants to end vacancy decontrol and put a cap on rent increases, a move championed by liberal lawmakers as crucial to strengthening rent laws.
5/28/2015: J.P. Morgan aims to cut 5,000 jobs
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is cutting more than 5,000 jobs in an effort to trim costs and become more efficient.
The cuts already have begun, according to people familiar with the decision, and are part of a broader industry move toward Internet and mobile banking. The bank will cut at least 2% of its current workforce in the next year.
Federal prosecutors are likely to bring criminal charges against General Motors Co. over an ignition-switch defect linked to more than 100 deaths, but they still have to hash out key issues with GM including whether the auto maker will need to plead guilty and how big a fine it will have to pay, people familiar with the matter said.
Prosecutors have conveyed to GM that a settlement is likely and have had initial conversations about a deal in recent months, but the contours have yet to be set, some of the people familiar with the matter said.
One of the major sticking points between prosecutors and the company is likely to center on whether GM will plead guilty or enter a so-called deferred-prosecution agreement, they said. The size of the fine is also likely to be a point of contention, they said.
5/18/2015: Behind Apple’s move to shelve TV plans
Investor Carl Icahn said he expects Apple Inc. to introduce an ultra-high-definition television in 2016. But after nearly a decade of research, Apple quietly shelved plans to make such a set more than a year ago, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple had searched for breakthrough features to justify building an Apple-branded television set, those people said. In addition to an ultra-high-definition display, Apple considered adding sensor-equipped cameras so viewers could make video calls through the set, they said.
5/15/2015: FBI delves into dubious Avon bid
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the origins of an apparently bogus takeover offer for Avon Products Inc. filed with regulators Thursday that rattled traders and raised questions about the U.S. public securities filing system.
The FBI inquiry is in its initial stages and comes amid a parallel civil probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which shared information with the FBI about the matter, according to people familiar with the situation. FBI involvement is an indication those responsible for the apparently fake filing may have violated criminal statutes.
Blue Apron Inc. is assembling the ingredients for a multibillion-dollar valuation.
The New York-based startup, which ships boxes of pre-measured ingredients to home cooks, is in talks to raise money from investors at a valuation of around $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Uber Technologies Inc., the world’s most highly-capitalized private startup, plans to raise yet another large round of funding.
The ride-sharing company has briefed investors on its plans to raise about $1.5 billion to $2 billion in new funding, two people familiar with the matter said. Uber expects the new round of funding to value the company at $50 billion or higher, the people said, though they said Uber’s plans could change.
Facebook Inc. is offering to let publishers keep all the revenue from certain advertisements, in a bid to persuade them to distribute content through the social network, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation helped facilitate a 2012 ransom payment to al Qaeda from the family of kidnapped aid worker Warren Weinstein, senior U.S. officials said, in an unsuccessful bid to secure the release of the American, who was killed in January in a U.S. drone strike.
A key component of the Apple Watch made by one of two suppliers was found to be defective, prompting Apple Inc. to limit the availability of the highly anticipated new product, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Bank of America Corp. broke rules designed to safeguard client accounts, potentially putting retail-brokerage funds at risk in order to generate more profits, according to people familiar with the inquiry.
Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. are slated to sit down for the first time on Wednesday with Justice Department officials to discuss potential remedies in hopes of keeping their $45.2 billion merger on track, according to people familiar with the matter.
Status: We’ll find out April 22.
The U.S. is expanding its role in Saudi Arabia’s campaign in Yemen, vetting military targets and searching vessels for Yemen-bound Iranian arms amid growing concerns about the goals of the Saudi-led mission, according to U.S. and Arab officials.
Only 3% of respondents who had the HBO TV channel said they would drop it for the Web version, say people familiar with the poll.
Quite a few anonymous sources in this story.
The layoffs affected as many as 400 people, according to people familiar with the matter, while the shows being written down include reruns of “CSI,” “Entourage” and “Community,” among others. Charges include an accounting change for programming such as reality and game shows that are losing their allure faster than in the past.
The two companies negotiated through Tuesday evening, past the deadline of their current short-term agreement, to wrap up a deal that will keep Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting channels such as TBS, TNT and truTV in Dish homes.
The deal includes a way to subscribe to HBO through Sling TV, Dish’s Web TV service. A person familiar with the matter said Dish is unlikely to be a distributor at the launch of HBO Now, the standalone app, although Dish does have the right to do so as part of the deal.
As negotiations with Iran on a nuclear deal come down to the wire, the White House is ramping up a yearlong campaign to persuade lawmakers and the public to support an agreement.
In recent days, officials have tried to neutralize skeptical Democrats by arguing that opposing President Barack Obama would empower the new Republican majority, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Federal investigators are preparing to file criminal charges against Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey as early as this week, after a legal battle over how much the Constitution shields lawmakers and their aides, according to people familiar with the investigation.
Status: We’ll find out this week.
3/16/2015: Apple plans web TV service in fall
Apple Inc.’s lofty plans to build an online television service are coming into sharper focus.
The technology giant is in talks with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks this fall, according to people familiar with the matter. The service would have about 25 channels, anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox and would be available on Apple devices such as the Apple TV, they said.
3/12/2015: The WSJ’s ‘people familiar with the matter’
Daring Fireball points out an example of anonymous sourcing in the Wall Street Journal. In this case, the source was wrong.
3/5/2015: Google wireless plan has one catch
Google Inc.’s planned wireless service may launch by the end of March, but it will work only on the company’s latest Nexus brand smartphone and not on other phones using Google’s Android operating system, people familiar with the matter said.
The comedy service would likely feature full episodes of NBC shows such as “The Tonight Show” starring Jimmy Fallon and “Saturday Night Live.” The company also plans to invest in original series for the service and may enlist its TV stars to create exclusive content, according to the people familiar with the plans. NBCU is considering various possible price points—one range under consideration is $2.50 to $3.50 per month, one of the people said.
The Google vice president in charge of the Play store, Jamie Rosenberg, has focused on getting more content and apps in the store, and improving the user experience, before accepting ads or sponsorships, according to two people familiar with the matter.
I don’t understand the need for an anonymous source here.
Apple has asked its suppliers in Asia to make a combined five to six million units of its three Apple Watch models during the first quarter ahead of the product’s release in April, according to people familiar with the matter.
But according to people familiar with the matter, another of the industry’s biggest competitors, Amaya Gaming Group Inc., is still in talks regarding the acquisition of the company or parts of it.
Two other instances of anonymous sourcing in this story.
Ukraine, France and Germany wanted a much quicker start to the cease-fire, according to people familiar with the talks.
Royal Bank of Canada is in talks with several bidders for parts of the Caribbean wealth-management business that it is exiting as part of a pullback in the Caribbean and Latin America, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc. are in advanced talks to combine, according to people familiar with the matter, in what would be a major step toward consolidating the retail market for pens, paper and other office supplies.
One of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s top China executives is expected to resign amid a probe of the U.S. bank’s Asian hiring practices, according to people familiar with the situation.
Status: Still unverified
Apple Inc. is in talks with Comcast Corp. about teaming up for a streaming-television service that would use an Apple set-top box and get special treatment on Comcast’s cables to ensure it bypasses congestion on the Web, people familiar with the matter say.
Status: Still unverified
3/23/14 : US scurries to shore up spying on Russia
I lost count of how many anonymous sources this article references.
Leaders of Citi Bike are moving quickly to raise tens of millions of dollars to rescue the popular bike-share program as it loses money, according to people familiar with the matter. Citi Bike’s bright blue bicycles have become a seemingly indispensable part of some city neighborhoods, but its managers don’t believe it can survive if it doesn’t become more appealing to tourists and expand to new neighborhoods, the people familiar with the matter said.
Status: Still unverified
Airbnb Inc. is in advanced talks to raise funds that would value the online home-rental company at more than $10 billion and place it among the world’s most valuable startups, according to several people familiar with the process.
Status: Still unverified
President Donald Trump is considering adding a veteran Washington lawyer to the White House counsel’s office to deal with Russia-related issues, people familiar with the matter said.
Ty Cobb, a white-collar defense lawyer with the firm of Hogan Lovells and a former federal prosecutor, met with Trump about a week ago, another person said.
The parent of Chuck E. Cheese has begun preparations for an initial public offering (IPO) that could value the U.S. restaurant chain at more than $1 billion, including debt, people familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.
11/15/2016: Snapchat files for IPO
BREAKING: Snapchat has filed confidentially for its IPO – sources
Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company complied with a classified U.S. government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events.
Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable foundation hired the security firm FireEye to examine its data systems after seeing indications they might have been hacked, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Some of the web’s biggest destinations for watching videos have quietly started using automation to remove extremist content from their sites, according to two people familiar with the process.
The move is a major step forward for internet companies that are eager to eradicate violent propaganda from their sites and are under pressure to do so from governments around the world as attacks by extremists proliferate, from Syria to Belgium and the United States.
YouTube and Facebook are among the sites deploying systems to block or rapidly take down Islamic State videos and other similar material, the sources said.
Senator Elizabeth Warren will soon endorse presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and, while not currently interested in serving as her running mate, has not ruled it out, several sources close to Warren told Reuters.
Volkswagen may make significant cuts to bonuses for senior managers, people familiar with the matter said, in an attempt to resolve an internal dispute over executive pay following the diesel emissions scandal at the German carmaker.
Alaska Air Group Inc (ALK.N) is nearing a deal to acquire Virgin America Inc (VA.O) for more than $2 billion, having outbid JetBlue Airways Corp (JBLU.O), a person familiar with the matter said on Saturday.
Amazon.com and Microsoft are in talks to supply cloud computing to digital mapping business HERE, owned by a group of German carmakers developing self-driving cars, sources familiar with the matter said.
Amazon is also considering becoming a shareholder in HERE, two sources said.
Obama will not push through a Supreme Court appointment this week, will wait to nominate until Senate is in session -White House official
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) February 14, 2016
The memo did not give details on how many jobs will be affected but people with knowledge of the matter said 1,000 positions would be axed, the majority of them in Asia, a region where falling trading volumes and stronger competition from local banks has hit profits.
A secretive meeting that Hollywood star Sean Penn orchestrated with Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman in a jungle hideout late last year helped Mexico’s government catch the world’s most wanted drug lord, sources said.
Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has approached the publisher of Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper to discuss buying its media assets, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
A source with knowledge of the ceasefire talks said Russia’s bombing campaign put the deal in jeopardy, however, adding that breaches of the ceasefire were likely to upset Iran.
The source said the airstrikes may have targeted areas within the ceasefire zone and also hit the Homs-Hama highway, forcing the withdrawal of a U.N. team who were due to monitor the truce.
Germany’s top TV broadcaster and the country’s biggest newspaper publisher are again testing the waters for a potential merger that would need to negotiate the same regulatory hurdles that derailed a deal a decade ago.
Broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 (PSMGn.DE) and Axel Springer (SPRGn.DE) have reignited talks with the aim of consolidating their push into digital media markets, sources said late on Monday.
5/19/2015: Altice eyes U.S. with TWC, Suddenlink buys
French telecommunications group Altice SA has held talks to buy Time Warner Cable Inc, and is close to buying smaller peer Suddenlink, moving into the U.S cable market, according to people familiar with the matter.
The negotiations with Suddenlink are more advanced and a transaction could be announced later this week, the people said. That deal could be worth $10 billion, including debt, the people added. Time Warner Cable has a market capitalization of $44.5 billion.
Microsoft Corp currently is not weighing an offer for Salesforce.com Inc, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday, dampening speculation that Microsoft could be drawn into bidding for the cloud software company.
Bloomberg News, citing people with knowledge of the matter, reported earlier this week that Microsoft was evaluating a bid for Salesforce after the latter was approached by another unnamed would-be buyer.
Microsoft considers Salesforce’s current market valuation expensive, one of the people said. It is possible that Microsoft could review a bid for Salesforce in the long term, the other person said.
The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.
4/21/2015: Top Mylan shareholders seek deal with Teva
Some of the top investors at Mylan NV, including Paulson & Co, are encouraging its board of directors to consider a takeover proposal from rival Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc, according to people familiar with the matter.
A handful of these investors have expressed their support in recent weeks for the creation of the world’s largest generic drug maker by sales, these people said, declining to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
4/18/2015: SunGard to explore possible $10 billion sale
Financial technology company SunGard Data Systems Inc is preparing to appoint financial advisers to explore a sale that could value it at as much as $10 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Some top shareholders of IBM, disappointed by 11 straight quarters of falling revenues, are seeking help from activist investors to shake up the company, but have been turned down by both Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square and Jeffrey Ubben’s ValueAct, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
U.S. cable T.V. operator Cablevision Systems Corp (CVC.N) is planning to make an offer for the New York Daily News as early as this week, valuing the troubled tabloid at just $1, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Big Wall Street banks are so upset with U.S. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call for them to be broken up that some have discussed withholding campaign donations to Senate Democrats in symbolic protest, sources familiar with the discussions said.
Representatives from Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, have met to discuss ways to urge Democrats, including Warren and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, to soften their party’s tone toward Wall Street, sources familiar with the discussions said this week.
“The issue has been under discussion for a week,” said a source close to the prime minister’s office. “(Netanyahu) is discussing it with Likud people. Some say he should give up on the speech, others that he should go through with it.”
Four local employees were possibly killed after an armed attack at the al-Mabrook oilfield in Libya this week, a French diplomatic source on Wednesday.
Status: Still unverified
Goldman Sachs mining affiliate CNR has reached a deal with a public port in Colombia to load its coal shipments which have been suspended for a year after its own docks fell foul of environmental regulations, a port source told Reuters on Monday.
Status: Still unverified
A Special Forces soldier on a break in Baghdad this month showed Reuters images on Facebook that are popular with the Iraqi military. The photos showed what he said were dead ISIL fighters in Ramadi. One was splattered in blood. Slogans boasted that the Iraqi forces had “trampled on ISIL’s sniper rats.”
Just back from the front, the soldier – hair dirty, voice tired – used his smartphone to pull up another Facebook picture of a soldier standing over a corpse. The dead man’s body was splayed out in black jeans, his arms stretched above his head in the dirt. A slogan read: “The Golden Division keep trampling them.”
Status: Still unverified
Online home-rental marketplace Airbnb Inc is in advanced talks with private equity firms including TPG Capital Management LP to raise funds that would value the company at about $10 billion, a person briefed on the matter said Thursday.
Status: Still unverified
Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.
Amtrak leaders have discussed closing several tracks at Penn Station for days or weeks at a time in the coming months, according to officials who were briefed on the discussions but did not want to talk publicly about the plan. Weekday track closings would undoubtedly lead to misery, but officials said Amtrak would try to minimize the inconvenience.
Ms. DeVos initially resisted signing off on the order and told President Trump that she was uncomfortable with it, according to three Republicans with direct knowledge of the internal discussions.
Mr. Sessions, who strongly opposes expanding gay, lesbian and transgender rights, fought Ms. DeVos on the issue and pressed her to relent because he could not go forward without her consent. The order must come from the Justice and Education Departments.
But Mr. Trump sided with his attorney general, these Republicans said, telling Ms. DeVos in a meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday that he wanted her to drop her objections. And Ms. DeVos, faced with the choice of resigning or defying the president, has agreed to go along. The Justice Department declined to comment on Wednesday.
One Breitbart journalist, who requested anonymity to describe private deliberations, described divisions in the newsroom over whether Mr. Yiannopoulos could stay on. There was some consensus among staff members that his remarks were more extreme than his usual speech, the journalist said, and executives were discussing by telephone whether his apology was enough to preserve his position at the site.
Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.
12/9/2016: Christie is out as Republican Party chairman
The humiliation of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey just keeps coming: He has been told he will not be named to lead the Republican National Committee, according to several people briefed on the discussions in Mr. Trump’s transition.
Mr. Christie was pushed out of his role overseeing the transition almost immediately after the election.
Mr. Trump has been rattled by the release of the 2005 video recording, according to two people with direct knowledge of his mood who were granted anonymity to candidly describe the situation.
Over the last few weeks, Mondelez floated an offer of about $115 a share, according to a person with knowledge of the talks. Hershey indicated that the figure had to be at least $125 to continue negotiations, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the talks publicly.
But in interviews with more than 20 Republicans who are close to Mr. Trump or in communication with his campaign, many of whom insisted on anonymity to avoid clashing with him, they described their nominee as exhausted, frustrated and still bewildered by fine points of the political process and why his incendiary approach seems to be sputtering.
In conversations late into the evening, Mr. Trump repeatedly hesitated over selecting Mr. Pence, according to people briefed on the tense deliberations, who insisted on anonymity to describe the confidential talks. Even as his emissaries reassured Mr. Pence, Mr. Trump fielded a last-ditch appeal from Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, another finalist, who once again pressed his own case.
Having women make up half of her cabinet would be historic (in recent years, a quarter to a third of cabinet positions have been held by women), and Democrats close to Mrs. Clinton say she may decide to retain Ms. Lynch, the nation’s first black woman to be attorney general, who took office in April 2015.
These Democrats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential conversations with Mrs. Clinton and her advisers, said that Mr. Podesta, her campaign chairman, would have the right of first refusal on becoming her chief of staff, a job he held under Mr. Clinton. If he turns it down, Mrs. Clinton would look at appointing a woman to that job, which has been held only by men.
Miguel told the network that Mr. Mateen felt rejected by Hispanic gays and was angry at Puerto Ricans in particular, because he once had a sexual liaison with a man who later confessed to being H.I.V. positive.
“I believe this crazy horrible thing he did was revenge,” he said in the English-language version of the interview.
Federal authorities looked into his account and do not consider it credible, said a law enforcement official who spoke on background because the information was part of an ongoing investigation.
6/21/2016: Donald Trump Hints He May Fund Race Himself
Mr. Trump is to be feted at two fund-raisers in Manhattan this week, organized by Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets, with one event featuring Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. But the ticket price for that event is only $500, a paltry sum for a presidential campaign, and only 260 people have signed up, according to a person involved in Mr. Trump’s fund-raising, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information was not intended for the public.
The company has acknowledged facing lawsuits with plaintiffs ranging from an individual who claims he invented email to the website of the British tabloid The Daily Mail. Currently, Gawker Media is fighting five defamation-related lawsuits, according to a person who has been briefed on the company’s legal situation but who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss legal strategy. That does not include the invasion-of-privacy lawsuit brought by Hogan, whose real name is Terry G. Bollea; the company plans to appeal the verdict in that case.
Gawker’s strategic review is in its early stages, and Mr. Denton has not decided on how to proceed, according to the people with direct knowledge of plans.
The company has been considering its options for months. Gawker had weighed potential offers earlier this year that were as high as approximately $350 million, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
It was a shot at competitors like Google and Twitter, according to two former news curators who spoke on condition of anonymity because they had signed nondisclosure agreements. Facebook wanted people to search for more content — like news — on its own site instead of on Google, the search king, or Twitter, which was widely regarded as better for real-time news, they said.
Facebook, in a response to Mr. Thune’s letter, said that it was “continuing to investigate whether any violations took place” and that it looked forward to addressing his questions. The company is also planning to brief the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the allegations, according to a congressional aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The fascination also dovetails with interest inside Facebook itself. The feature, called Facebook Live, has largely lived under the radar so far. But it is one of the company’s highest-priority projects, according to three people directly involved with the initiative, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Internally, Facebook Live is seen as a way to move beyond hosting conversations about television and live events to becoming a venue for both. Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, has made Facebook Live one of his pet projects, two of the people said, devoting significant resources and effort to the initiative.
3/24/3016: Playboy Enterprises Said to Explore Sale
Playboy Enterprises, the parent company of the iconic men’s magazine, has retained investment bankers and has begun exploring a sale, people with knowledge of the discussions said on Thursday.
The company, which recently revamped the magazine, dropping most nudity from its pages, had retained the investment firm Moelis & Company to explore an expansion in its media business, said one person briefed on the process, who spoke about internal discussions on condition of anonymity.
For a few hours on Thursday, it looked as if Sharp, the ailing Japanese consumer electronics company, had secured a $5.5 billion takeover from Foxconn of Taiwan, the giant contract manufacturer that churns out products for Apple and other foreign brands.
Then things took a left turn.
Foxconn unexpectedly balked just before the deal was to be sealed. The reason was that the day before, Sharp told its potential new owner that it could be liable for close to $3 billion in potential liabilities, according to a person with knowledge of the talks.
Apple engineers have begun developing new security measures that would make it impossible for the government to break into a locked iPhone using methods similar to those now at the center of a court fight in California, according to people close to the company and security experts.
“If McConnell stonewalls, we will empty the arsenal,” said one top Democratic official, who requested anonymity to discuss party strategy. “We will make sure this is seen as the radical, unprecedented act of obstruction that it is.”
Jack Dorsey is overhauling the very top ranks of Twitter.
The social networking company plans to announce the appointment of two new board members soon, according to two people familiar with Twitter’s plans, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details were private. One of the new board members is a high-profile media personality, the people said. Twitter will also appoint a new chief marketing officer.
“Only one can win,” declared Evan, 6, a somber expression etched on his face.
“This is it,” said Wyatt, 5, earning a nod of approval from Lucas, 6.
The boys, who declined to provide their last names for fear of angering their mothers, had been racing each other by sled down the hill for an hour.
Mr. Bloomberg, 73, has already taken concrete steps toward a possible campaign, and ahs indicated to friends and allies that he would be willing to spend at least $1 billions of his fortune on it, according to people briefed on his deliberations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss his plans.
12/02/2015: Oscars 2016: The Race May Yet Heat Up
“Because it’s perceived as wide open, there’s even more aggressive campaigning,” said one studio executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity because that’s what studio execs are wont to do, especially when it comes to the Oscars. “Because the race doesn’t feel locked up, a lot more films on the margins are trying to make the cut.”
Some of the contours of the inquiry were made clear in a federal grand jury subpoena served on the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, which has played a central role in administering the governor’s program, known as the Buffalo Billion. The subpoena was one of a number issued in recent months, according to people with knowledge of the matter. One of the other subpoenas went to Empire State Development, New York State’s economic development agency, which is providing funding for the program.
People with knowledge of the subpoena to SUNY Polytechnic, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter, described its contents in detail to The New York Times.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Saturday summoned Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, to his Washington residence for a meeting, the latest indication that he is seriously considering a presidential bid.
Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren met for lunch on the veranda at the Naval Observatory with no aides present, according to a Democrat briefed on the conversation.
In the case of some highly sought-after engineers from Yelp last year, Uber offered millions of dollars in restricted stock units, according to two people with knowledge of the recruiting practices, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his associates have begun to actively explore a possible presidential campaign, an entry that would upend the Democratic field and deliver a direct threat to Hillary Rodham Clinton, say several people who have spoken to Mr. Biden or his closest advisers.
One prominent attendee, a supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, suggested Mr. Sanders’s appearance suggested he was more pragmatic than his rhetoric would let on.
“Bernie is attracting throngs and has a wave going preaching against the one percent,” said the attendee, requesting anonymity to speak candidly. “So why would he take the weekend to spend in Martha’s Vineyard with wealthy people who are donating at least $37,000 and change to the DSCC?” (That is the minimum contribution to the Senate Democrats campaign arm in order to attend the event).
(Hat tip to Glenn Greenwald)
In recent weeks, Facebook has held preliminary discussions with the major record companies, seeking licensing deals to insert music videos into Facebook users’ feeds, according to four people briefed on the talks who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
One of the two convicted killers who escaped in early June from a maximum-security prison in northern New York, setting off a three-week manhunt, conducted a dry run of the breakout the night before they fled, two officials with knowledge of the matter said.
David Sweat, the surviving prison escapee on the run in northern New York, was shot by a state trooper on Sunday, according to three people briefed on the matter. His condition was unknown.
Status: Now confirmed
The stakes could be high for Uber, which is based in San Francisco and has made completely clear its global aspirations to upend existing consumer transportation systems. To date, Uber has raised nearly $6 billion in venture capital and is valued at more than $40 billion; the company has plans to raise at least $1 billion more, according to a person with knowledge of the company’s plans, which could value it at $50 billion.
6/11/2015: Twitter’s C.E.O., Dick Costolo, Is to Resign
But ever since his ouster in 2008, Mr. Dorsey has wanted to return to the helm of Twitter, according to two people with knowledge of his thinking. While he has retained a board seat during Mr. Costolo’s tenure, Mr. Dorsey has angled to become more prominent in his influence on Twitter’s direction, these people said.
6/2/2015: Huffington Post in limbo at Verizon
Over the last couple of years, an array of media companies, venture capitalists and wealthy individuals have quietly explored buying a stake in The Huffington Post. The most recent valuation, according to half a dozen people briefed on the matter: about $1 billion.
Those interested have included the European media companies Le Monde and Axel Springer; the Napster founder Sean Parker; and the private equity firm General Atlantic, those people said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Some of the talks were navigated by AOL, The Huffington Post’s parent company, as it sought ways to raise money, others by the site’s well-connected founder, Arianna Huffington.
The battle for mobile software dominance revolves around two companies: Apple and Google. Now both giants are also going head-to-head in mobile payments, as they prepare to push deeper into digital wallets.
Google is set to unveil plans at its annual developer conference on Thursday for an overhaul of its mobile payment products, according to three people familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition they not be named because the details are confidential.
Changes include a service called Android Pay that will let merchants accept credit card payments from inside their mobile apps and can be integrated with loyalty programs at retailers, the people said. Google Wallet, a mobile commerce app, will also be reintroduced as a peer-to-peer payments app that consumers can use to send money to each other directly from their debit accounts, they said.
Status: We’ll find out Thursday.
“You know when a pebble hits a windshield and it goes through a layer and the window fractures and it kind of looks like a spider web? That’s sort of what it looks like,” said a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation, who did want to be identified during a continuing investigation. “It’s a small hole, but the glass around it is broken.”
Status: Anonymous speculation
Islamic State fighters used a sandstorm to help seize a critical military advantage in the early hours of the terrorist group’s attack on the provincial Iraqi capital of Ramadi last week, helping to set in motion an assault that forced Iraqi security forces to flee, current and former American officials said Monday.
One police official from Brooklyn agreed, saying, “It’s a completely vulnerable situation to be in.” The official, like others this week, spoke on the condition of anonymity to keep the focus of attention on Officer Moore, whose funeral took place on Friday in Seaford, N.Y. “You’re trapped.”
“We knew about his dad, though he never brought it up,” said one high school classmate, who, like many people interviewed for this article, requested anonymity to avoid being drawn into the investigation. “But I would get the impression that he wanted to live his life, and he didn’t want to do what was expected of him. I definitely got the sense that he knew there was going to be a certain way and there wasn’t a lot he could do about it.”
Uber has submitted a bid for Here, the main competitor to Google Maps, for as much as $3 billion, according to three people with knowledge of the offer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Here is owned by Nokia, the Finnish telecom giant, which announced last month that it was considering selling the business.
When Apple introduces its new TV box this summer, the remote control will gain a touch pad and also be slightly thicker than the current version, according to an employee briefed on the product, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the device was confidential. The touch pad can be used for scrolling around and there will also be two physical buttons, the person said. The remote’s thicker size is comparable to the remote control for Amazon’s wireless speaker, the Echo, the person added.
Now, Vice is on the verge of getting its own cable channel, which would give the company a traditional outlet for its slate of non-news programming. If all goes as planned, A&E Networks, the television group owned by Hearst and Disney, will turn over its History Channel spinoff, H2, to Vice.
The deal’s announcement was expected last week, but not all of A&E’s distribution partners — the cable and satellite TV companies that carry the network’s channels — have signed off on the change, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks were private.
— Further down in the story —
Vice’s finances are private, but according to an internal document reviewed by The New York Times and verified by a person familiar with the company’s financials, the company is on track to make about $915 million in revenue this year.
4/27/2015: CNN’s Peter Hamby is moving to Snapchat
Roughly one million people view CNN’s Snapchat Discover content every day, according to two people with knowledge of the efforts, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. A CNN spokesman declined to comment on the company’s Snapchat partnership.
Some of President Obama’s email correspondence was swept up by Russian hackers last year in a breach of the White House’s unclassified computer system that was far more intrusive and worrisome than has been publicly acknowledged, according to senior American officials briefed on the investigation.
A person with knowledge of the changes, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that of about 100 employees worldwide, about a dozen were laid off.
Federal prosecutors have begun presenting evidence to a grand jury considering a case against the leader of the New York State Senate, Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, and his son, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Ms. Erdely is working on another article for the magazine, according to a person with knowledge of the assignment, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“We talked to them and told them that we would have to say some things,” said a senior administration official who could not be identified under the protocol for briefing reporters. “We didn’t show them the paper. We didn’t show them the whole list.”
The official acknowledged that it was “understood that we had different narratives, but we wouldn’t contradict each other.”
They have learned thus far that Mr. Lubitz, the co-pilot on the flight, was dealing with psychological problems serious enough to require medication, sources with knowledge of the investigation said, which may have dogged him for many years. Antidepressants were found during the search of his apartment, as were notes from multiple doctors, one of which was torn up and thrown in a wastebasket.
Andreas Lubitz, who was flying the Germanwings jetliner that slammed into a mountain in the French Alps on Tuesday, sought treatment for vision problems that may have jeopardized his ability to continue working as a pilot, two officials with knowledge of the investigation said Saturday.
3/27/2015: Jeb Bush aides consider data-selling plan
Aides to Jeb Bush are considering an ambitious data-selling system that would exist for his eventual presidential campaign and outside groups supporting it, three people briefed on the plan confirmed.
The concept is similar to the Data Trust established by the Republican National Committee and appears to be the first of its kind in a presidential campaign: an entity that will be specific to one candidate, as opposed to a pool of approved candidates or similar-minded groups.
The basic idea involves allies of the former Florida governor using an existing, for-profit entity to sell data to his eventual campaign and the political action committee and “super PAC” that will support his candidacy, the people privy to the plan said.
As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed in relatively clear skies, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.
A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.
In what would be the biggest change to its music strategy in years, Apple is pressing ahead with a sweeping overhaul of its digital music services that would allow the company to compete directly with streaming upstarts like Spotify.
Almost a year after agreeing to pay $3 billion for Beats, the maker of hip headphones and a streaming music service, Apple is working with Beats engineers and executives to introduce its own subscription streaming service. The company is also planning an enhanced iTunes Radio that may be tailored to listeners in regional markets, and, if Apple gets what it wants, more splashy new albums that will be on iTunes before they are available anywhere else, according to people briefed on the company’s plans.
3/23/2015: Facebook may host news sites’ content
Nothing attracts news organizations like Facebook. And nothing makes them more nervous.
With 1.4 billion users, the social media site has become a vital source of traffic for publishers looking to reach an increasingly fragmented audience glued to smartphones. In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site.
Such a plan would represent a leap of faith for news organizations accustomed to keeping their readers within their own ecosystems, as well as accumulating valuable data on them. Facebook has been trying to allay their fears, according to several of the people briefed on the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were bound by nondisclosure agreements.
Facebook intends to begin testing the new format in the next several months, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. The initial partners are expected to be The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, although others may be added since discussions are continuing. The Times and Facebook are moving closer to a firm deal, one person said.
Approximately 30 federal, state and local law enforcement agents have descended upon this small Southern town to investigate the death of a black man whose body was found hanging from a tree. But two federal law enforcement officials said Friday that preliminary indications suggested that the man might have committed suicide, and the local sheriff said that there was no indication that racism had played a role.
Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, has invested $200 million in Snapchat, according to two people familiar with terms of the deal.
Alibaba’s investment values Snapchat, a three-and-a-half-year-old messaging start-up, at $15 billion, according to one of these people, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the deal.
The company is in advanced discussions with its former news chief, Andrew Lack, about returning to the network, multiple NBC executives briefed on the discussions said Tuesday. An announcement is expected in the coming days.
Mr. Lack, 67, is expected to take on the leading role at the NBC News group, which includes NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC, said the people, who spoke on the condition they not be identified because the talks are continuing.
The Post and The News have, in recent years, talked at length about such an agreement, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions, who declined to be named outlining confidential matters. The reason for the collapse of the talks is disputed.
Several anonymous sources in this story.
A second person who checked out the women’s restroom — and who asked not to be identified because she has always wanted to be an anonymous source — reported her findings by email: “Black shiny granite-y sink. Arched faucets by Sloan. Tasteful slate gray and powder gray tiles.”
Seems reasonable to me!
Hat tip to Robert P. Baird.
Mr. Murphy has had discussions about joining Mr. Bush’s “super PAC,” Right to Rise, a high-dollar outfit that will work to promote his candidacy independent of an official campaign, according to people with knowledge of the conversations who spoke under the condition of anonymity to be able to speak freely about discussions within Mr. Bush’s closely held circle.
“On Wednesday, there were reports from several bases that Russian forces and local militias were gathering in anticipation of seizing control, in Novoozornoe, on a lake not far from the city of Yevpatoriaa on the western coast of Crimea.”
Status: Several bases have been taken over by Russia, there has not been a complete pull-out, but this has turned out mostly accurate.