Business

Josip Heit · G999 · GS Partners

Investigative.One has launched a new online media project www.josiphebdo.com

The U.S. editorial collective "Investigative One" has launched a new online project: www.josiphebdo.com. "We want to shed light on dark business networks and illegal methods," says Kaitlin Jackson, who is overseeing the current project around an alleged cryptocurrency and international fraud network. "International crime syndicates can manipulate opinions, deceive people and grab billions via the Internet. With josiphebdo.com, we want to educate and warn." The project was born out of a merger of several editorial offices in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland and an African investigative journalists' network.

Inflation will make a comeback

Deutsche Bank issues dire economic warning for America

As the world economy awakens from the 15-month slumber caused by the pandemic, Deutsche Bank has launched a series of research articles to spark debate and discussion about pressing post-pandemic economic issues. On June 7, Deutsche Bank issued its first report of the new series, titled “Inflation: The defining macro story of this decade.”

Trump Swamp

Fox News hires Mike Pompeo as contributor

Fox News has hired former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a contributor, the network announced Thursday.

Senate Minority Leader

Mich McConnell backs away from warning businesses to stay out of politics

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday backed off his stern warning that major companies such as Major League Baseball, Delta and Coca-Cola should stay out of high-profile political fights after they criticized Georgia’s new election law.

Matt Gaetz Scandal

Showed lawmakers nude photos of women he claimed to have slept with

Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican being investigated by the Justice Department over sex trafficking allegations, made a name for himself when he arrived on Capitol Hill as a conservative firebrand on TV and staunch defender of then-President Donald Trump. Behind the scenes, Gaetz gained a reputation in Congress over his relationships with women and bragging about his sexual escapades to his colleagues, multiple sources told CNN. Gaetz allegedly showed off to other lawmakers photos and videos of nude women he said he had slept with, the sources told CNN.

Apple

Tim Cook joins chorus in denouncing Georgia’s voting law

Apple chief executive Tim Cook joined the chorus of business leaders who have come out in support of voting rights in light of voting restrictions Georgia’s governor signed into law last week.

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian

Delta CEO and Georgia governor get heated in voter law square-off

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp launched a counterattack on Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian Wednesday afternoon, just hours after Bastian said the voting bill Kemp signed last week was "unacceptable," "wrong" and "based on a lie." The clash was an unusual one for two of the state's most powerful executives. But it showed the pressure that both were under because of the controversial voting measure.

$2.25 trillion

Joe Biden's infrastructure proposal prioritizes funds for emerging technologies

President Biden’s newly unveiled infrastructure proposal includes billions of dollars in proposed funding to invest in “technologies of the future,” with a particular focus on ensuring the U.S. can compete on the global stage against countries such as China. The proposed investment package, which totals around $2.25 trillion, proposes that over $180 billion be set aside for enhancing research and development of new and emerging technologies, along with addressing racial and gender inequalities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Media

Washington Post lifts ban on reporter from covering sexual assault

The Washington Post on Monday lifted a ban on breaking news reporter Felicia Sonmez, which she says had barred her from covering stories related to sexual assault and harassment after she criticized newsroom leadership. Sonmez tweeted she had been informed by her editors that the ban was being lifted on Monday afternoon.

The Talk

Sharon Osbourne leaves TV show after row about Meghan and Piers Morgan

Sharon Osbourne has left US chat show The Talk following an on-air row over Piers Morgan’s comments about the Duchess of Sussex, CBS said. Osbourne clashed with her co-hosts while defending Morgan, who left his job on Good Morning Britain following his comments about Meghan. The Talk is off air while CBS investigates the incident.

Chris Cuomo · CNN

Cuomo testing story stirs controversy for CNN anchor

CNN should investigate anchor Chris Cuomo and he should publicly talk about allegations he received prioritized COVID-19 testing — ordered by his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) — while reporting on the pandemic, said Matthew Hall, national president of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Triple Five

American Dream sours for owners of US mega-mall amid 'significant' cash crisis

The owner of the American Dream, the mega-mall in New Jersey once billed as the future of retail, has put up nearly half of the ownership of its two largest malls to stay in business. In March last year, just five months after it opened, American Dream was forced to shut its doors as Covid-19 surged in the US. It stayed closed until October, when some of its attractions and stores reopened.

Lawmakers fume, CEOs dodge

Key moments from tech’s latest grilling in Congress

A congressional reckoning is coming for Silicon Valley, lawmakers told the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter on Thursday at a hearing focused on a rising tide of misinformation and extremism. The House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, which began at noon, is drilling into criticisms about ills including Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, racial hatred and the use of multiple online platforms by the extremists who attacked the Capitol in January. Some lawmakers are also expressing frustration at not getting direct answers about who should bear the responsibility for online toxicity.

Coca-Cola

Georgia activists call for boycott over ‘deafening silence’ on voting rights

Georgia activists are calling for a statewide boycott of Coca-Cola as part of an escalating effort to get major corporations to oppose significant voting restrictions Republicans in the state legislature are on the verge of approving.

EMPLOYMENT & IMMIGRATION

U.S. jobless claims fall to 684,000, fewest since pandemic

Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims fell from 781,000 the week before. It is the first time that weekly applications for jobless aid have fallen below 700,000 since mid-March of last year. Before the pandemic tore through the economy, applications had never topped that level.

GlaxoSmithKline

Trump vaccine chief Slaoui fired from board over sexual harassment allegations

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced Wednesday that Moncef Slaoui, who led the Trump administration's coronavirus vaccine accelerator, was terminated from the board of directors of Galvani Bioelectronics, a GSK joint venture, following sexual harassment allegations.

BetterUp

Prince Harry joins $1bn Silicon Valley startup as senior executive

Prince Harry has been given a job by a $1bn Silicon Valley startup which provides professional coaching, mental health advice and “immersive learning” as its chief impact officer. The Duke of Sussex said he hoped to be able to use his own experiences using the “the power of transforming pain into purpose” to help BetterUp’s clients with “proactive coaching” for personal development, as well as achieve “an all-round better life”.

Boulder Mass Shooting

Someone livestreamed the Boulder shooting, YouTube isn’t taking it down

As the mass shooting that left ten people dead was still unfolding Monday afternoon in Boulder, Colorado, the incident was playing out live on YouTube to an audience of 30,000 people. The livestreamer, Dean Schiller, had left King Soopers supermarket on Table Mesa Drive just before the shooting began. When he heard the first shots fired, he turned on his phone and began to record. More than three hours later, Schiller, who describes himself as a citizen journalist and operates the ZFG Videographer YouTube channel, finally stopped recording.

CYBERSECURITY

Former Trump DHS chief Chad Wolf starts consulting firm

Chad Wolf, the former acting secretary of Homeland Security in the Trump administration, is launching a consulting firm to provide companies, NGOs and government agencies with advice on homeland and national security matters.

The Madagascar fairy tale

How Josip Heit collected 118.8 million euros for nothing

Perhaps the good life for Josip Heit will soon come to an end. The self-proclaimed "banker" owes personally and with his company "Gold Standard Banking Corporation AG" (GSB) 118.8 million euros in Germany alone. This is evidenced by documents that have now also been submitted to the public prosecutor's office. The Croatian, who was once called Josip Curcic, currently operates the criminal crypto network G999 together with globally operating networkers of "Gold Standard Partners". The 44-year-old "banker," who is also believed to have close ties to organized crime (OV), is under investigation not only in Germany.

New Social media Platform

Trump will use 'his own platform’ to return to social media after Twitter ban

Donald Trump will soon use “his own platform” to return to social media, an adviser said on Sunday, months after the former president was banned from Twitter for inciting the US Capitol riot. Trump has chafed in relative silence at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida since losing his Twitter account and the protections and powers of office. Recently he has released short statements which many have likened to his tweets of old. Speculation has been rife that Trump might seek to create his own TV network in an attempt to prise viewers from Fox News.

Circuit Senior Judge Laurence Silberman

Federal judge accuses NY Times, WaPo of being 'Democratic Party broadsheets'

A federal appeals court judge in his dissenting opinion in a defamation case on Friday accused The New York Times and The Washington Post of being “Democratic Party broadsheets.”

Shortnews

The View

ABC Boss tells McCain and Behar to cool it with personal attacks

Following the latest on-air blowup between Meghan McCain and Joy Behar, ABC News President Kim Godwin called a last-minute meeting with the co-hosts and producers of The View to demand an end to the personal attacks. After Monday’s broadcast that featured McCain and Behar lashing out at each other over antisemitism, ABC reportedly received a flood of calls from viewers pleading with the network to get rid of McCain. Godwin said during the virtual chat that the on-air attacks had become too toxic and do not comport with the direction she wanted for the long-running talk show.

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The View

ABC Boss tells McCain and Behar to cool it with personal attacks

Following the latest on-air blowup between Meghan McCain and Joy Behar, ABC News President Kim Godwin called a last-minute meeting with the co-hosts and producers of The View to demand an end to the personal attacks. After Monday’s broadcast that featured McCain and Behar lashing out at each other over antisemitism, ABC reportedly received a flood of calls from viewers pleading with the network to get rid of McCain. Godwin said during the virtual chat that the on-air attacks had become too toxic and do not comport with the direction she wanted for the long-running talk show.

McCain apparently wasn’t thrilled with the message as she reportedly stormed out of the meeting early because she felt she was being personally “attacked.”

Drama on the set of The View is nothing new, especially since McCain arrived four years ago. While tensions between Behar and the conservative host have simmered for years, McCain has also run afoul of other hosts, prompting a seemingly never-ending stream of behind-the-scenes drama and on-air fireworks.

CNN

Chris Cuomo had ‘inappropriate’ strategy meetings with brother Andrew

CNN has given its primetime host Chris Cuomo a slap on the wrist for taking part in “inappropriate” meetings to advise his brother on how to respond to an onslaught of sexual harassment accusations. According to a Washington Post report, Cuomo joined several conference calls with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his top aides to discuss political strategy.

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CNN

Chris Cuomo had ‘inappropriate’ strategy meetings with brother Andrew

CNN has given its primetime host Chris Cuomo a slap on the wrist for taking part in “inappropriate” meetings to advise his brother on how to respond to an onslaught of sexual harassment accusations. According to a Washington Post report, Cuomo joined several conference calls with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his top aides to discuss political strategy.

Cuomo, one of his brother’s few close confidantes, reportedly told him to remain defiant and even invoked “cancel culture,” a term Gov. Cuomo also used publicly when brushing off the allegations made by a half-dozen women.

CNN told the Post that the meetings were “inappropriate,” and Cuomo had acknowledged as much.

“He will not participate in such conversations going forward,” the network said, but he won’t be disciplined.

Women’s group UltraViolet called on CNN to immediately suspend Cuomo following the Post’s report, adding that the network should also launch an immediate investigation into Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s effort to dismiss sexual harassment allegations.

“Anything less is unacceptable, and further harms survivors of sexual abuse, who are already disinclined to come forward for fear of retaliation from men in power like the Cuomo brothers,” UltraViolet communications director Bridget Todd added in a statement.

Voltswagen

Volkswagen accidentally posts new company name

Volkswagen on Monday appeared to accidentally announce a rebranding with the new name “Voltswagen,” before quickly removing the press release from its website. On Monday morning, the German automaker posted a statement on its website announcing the “rebranding,” in an apparent shift towards its investment in electric vehicles, before taking it down, USA Today reported. In the release, the automaker said the rebranding is “more than a name change."

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Voltswagen

Volkswagen accidentally posts new company name

Volkswagen on Monday appeared to accidentally announce a rebranding with the new name “Voltswagen,” before quickly removing the press release from its website. On Monday morning, the German automaker posted a statement on its website announcing the “rebranding,” in an apparent shift towards its investment in electric vehicles, before taking it down, USA Today reported. In the release, the automaker said the rebranding is “more than a name change."

"‘Voltswagen’ is a public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility,” the release said, according to USA Today, which saved a photo of the statement before it was removed.

“The new name and branding symbolize the highly-charged forward momentum Voltswagen has put in motion, pursuing a goal of moving all people point-to-point with EVs,” the statement added.

A person familiar with the company’s plans told USA TODAY that Volkswagen is planning on making the change permanently. The source added that the company was not hacked, that the announcement was not a joke, and that it was not a marketing ploy.

Volkswagen’s plans to rebrand come as several automakers are beginning to invest more in electric vehicles. In November, General Motors announced that it was investing $27 billion through 2025 as part of its commitment to electric and autonomous vehicles. Additionally, the company unveiled plans to launch 30 electric vehicles globally by 2025.

Recovery

White House downplays surprising February jobs gain

Top White House officials took little solace in the better-than-expected February jobs report, insisting Friday that the U.S. was far from a full and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The February jobs report released Friday showed the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs last month, nearly double the consensus estimates of economists. The unemployment rate also dropped 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 percent, its lowest level since March 2020, as businesses prepared for a post-pandemic world.

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Recovery

White House downplays surprising February jobs gain

Top White House officials took little solace in the better-than-expected February jobs report, insisting Friday that the U.S. was far from a full and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The February jobs report released Friday showed the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs last month, nearly double the consensus estimates of economists. The unemployment rate also dropped 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 percent, its lowest level since March 2020, as businesses prepared for a post-pandemic world. President Biden’s top advisers, however, sought to spotlight how much economic damage the U.S. needs to repair and shortcomings of the rebound so far as Democrats push a $1.9 trillion aid bill through Congress.

“If you think today's jobs report is ‘good enough,’ then know that at this pace … it would take until April 2023 to get back to where we were in February 2020,” tweeted White House chief of staff Ron Klain.

If you think today's jobs report is "good enough," then know that at this pace (+379,000 jobs/month), it would take until April 2023 to get back to where we were in February 2020.

— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) March 5, 2021
Even with February’s gain, the U.S. is still 9.5 million jobs short of replacing those lost to the pandemic, and 18 million Americans are on some form of jobless aid, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate has also been artificially depressed by the exit of nearly 5 million Americans from the workforce since the onset of the pandemic.

Cecilia Rouse, chair of Biden’s White House Council of Economic Advisers, highlighted in a Friday analysis how Black and Hispanic women have suffered the greatest declines in labor force participation.

“Black women were only 14 percent of the female labor force in February 2020, but have accounted for a disproportionate 26 percent of female labor force dropouts since then,” she wrote. “Hispanic women were only 17 percent of the female labor force in February 2020 but have accounted for 27 percent of the female labor force dropouts.”

The White House’s concerns are shared broadly by economists, who are generally optimistic in the economy’s prospects for 2021 but concerned about the depth of damage yet to be repaired.

“The pace of job growth in February was a pleasant surprise, but it is still too early to get excited,” wrote Nick Bunker, economic research director at Indeed.com.

“At this pace, it will take about four and a half years to get back to where the labor market would have been without the pandemic. Millions of Americans out of work do not have that time,” Bunker wrote.

Even so, Republicans — who are almost unanimously opposed to Biden's relief bill — touted the surprising February jobs gain as proof the recovery is well underway.

"America’s hard work and perseverance during the challenges of the last year are finally being realized, and more Americans are being vaccinated," said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), former chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. "With a third vaccine now available for distribution, expectations are set for a record recovery from the pandemic-induced recession."

COVID-19

CDC signs off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday formally accepted the recommendation from its advisory panel that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine can be given to people ages 18 and older in the United States. The announcement by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will allow vaccinations to begin as soon as the doses are received. Walensky called the decision "another milestone toward an end to the pandemic."

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COVID-19

CDC signs off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday formally accepted the recommendation from its advisory panel that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine can be given to people ages 18 and older in the United States. The announcement by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will allow vaccinations to begin as soon as the doses are received. Walensky called the decision "another milestone toward an end to the pandemic."

"This vaccine is also another important tool in our toolbox to equitably vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible," Walensky said in a statement.

A senior administration official told reporters Sunday evening that Johnson & Johnson will ship 3.9 million doses immediately, and vaccine distribution centers will start receiving them as early as Tuesday.

Experts have said the vaccine could be targeted at places like rural communities, health centers or individual physician offices because of its relatively easy storage requirements.

However, senior administration officials said the goal is equitable distribution, and doses will be allocated to states by population, just as the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are.

Most communities will have doses of all three vaccines, but not every vaccination site will because of limited availability. Officials stressed people should take whatever vaccine is available.

An administration official said the 3.9 million doses are Johnson & Johnson's entire inventory. There will not be any additional deliveries next week, and the official said governors are aware distribution through the early and middle parts of March will be "uneven."

A total 20 million doses of J&J's vaccine will be sent in March, but they will be concentrated more toward the end of the month. The U.S. has paid for 100 million doses, which the company has pledged will be delivered by June.

The U.S. paid more than $1 billion to aid in the manufacturing and delivery of J&J's vaccine. Nearly a year ago, the company also won $465 million in federal funding for vaccine research and development, bringing its U.S. funding total on the project to almost $1.5 billion.

The nation's third coronavirus vaccine arrives days after the United States surpassed 500,000 COVID-19 deaths.

While nursing home deaths have sharply dropped, as have overall cases and deaths, the CDC is warning the decline in new cases has stalled amid a rise in more contagious variants of the virus.

At the same time, governors across the country are lifting coronavirus restrictions, including mask mandates and capacity limits, despite warning signs of a new spike from the virus mutations.

"This third safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine comes at a potentially pivotal time," Walensky said in the statement.

"CDC’s latest data suggest that recent declines in COVID-19 cases may be stalling and potentially leveling off at still very high numbers. That is why it is so critical that we remain vigilant and consistently take all of the mitigation steps we know work to stop the spread of COVID-19 while we work our way toward mass vaccination," Walensky said.