Perspektiven

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.

Trump Administration

Jeff Sessions claims he’s clueless about his DOJ’s snooping on Congress

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling associates he had no idea his Justice Department seized phone records of two top Democratic congressional critics of then-President Donald Trump. In the hours since The New York Times broke the news on Thursday that prosecutors subpoenaed Apple metadata from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), former Attorney General Sessions has privately told people that he wasn’t aware of, nor was he briefed on, the reported data seizures while he led the Trump DOJ. This week’s revelations were a surprise to him, according to a source familiar with the matter, and another person close to Sessions.

HEALTH CARE

Attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci grow more intense, personal and conspiratorial

For over a year, Anthony Fauci has been a bogeyman for conservatives, who have questioned his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and accused him of quietly undermining then-President Donald Trump. But those attacks took on a whole new level of vitriol this week, to the point that one social media analysis described it as highly misleading and at least one platform pulled down some posts, citing false content. It all stemmed from a tranche of Fauci’s emails that were published as part of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by various news outlets. Within hours of publication, the hashtag #FauciLeaks was trending on Twitter.

Donald Trump responds to Facebook

“Next time I’m in the White House”

Donald Trump has appeared to drop his strongest hint yet at another presidential run in 2024, responding to news of his two-year ban from Facebook on Friday by saying he would not invite Mark Zuckerberg to dinner “next time I’m in the White House”.

US government report

No evidence UFOs were alien – but doesn’t rule it out

US intelligence authorities have not found any evidence that unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen by navy pilots in recent years were otherworldly alien spacecraft– but apparently did not rule it out, either.

Trump Organization

Controller testified before special counsel

Jeff McConney, a senior vice president and controller at the Trump Organization, has testified before a grand jury that was stood up by the Manhattan District Attorney's office to determine if charges should be brought against former President Trump and his company. McConney is one of several witnesses who have testified in front of the grand jury, according to ABC News. His testimony – the first from any employee of the company – indicates that prosecutors have conducted a deep probe into the Trump Organization’s finances.

Facebook

Donald Trump account remains suspended for two years

Facebook is suspending Donald Trump’s account for two years, the company has announced in a highly anticipated decision that follows months of debate over the former president’s future on social media.

French Open

Yana Sizikova arrested in match-fixing investigation

The Russian tennis player Yana Sizikova has been arrested in Paris by French police as part of a match-fixing investigation. Sizikova, a 26-year-old doubles specialist, was taken into custody on Thursday night in relation to an investigation dating back to October for sports corruption and organized gang fraud.

fears of coercion and torture

Detained Belarus dissident Roman Protasevich breaks down in state TV interview

Footage of detained journalist Roman Protasevich that aired on Belarusian state television Thursday has raised renewed concerns that he is being coerced to take part in political propaganda under duress. Last month, a Ryanair jet with Protasevich on board was forced to land in Belarus so that authorities could arrest the 26-year-old dissident journalist. Amid international outrage, Protasevich appeared in a short video in which he appeared to confess to organizing “mass riots” — generating skepticism on the part of family members and human rights groups, who said that his demeanor and bruised face made clear that he had been coerced.

Trump Organization

Bargain hunters pounce as Trump condo prices hit decade lows

The building has stunning Manhattan skyline views, its spa offers deep-tissue massages, and the fancy restaurant off the lobby serves up prime steaks. Best of all, many apartments at the Trump World Tower are selling at a deep discount — assuming the buyer doesn’t mind the name over the door.

Darkest days for American democracy

How Republican leader Mitch McConnell killed the US Capitol attack commission

Days before the Senate voted down the creation of a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Capitol attack, the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, was adamant: he would oppose the bill, regardless of any amendments – and he expected his colleagues to follow suit. The commission that would have likely found Donald Trump and some Republicans responsible for the insurrection posed an existential threat to the GOP ahead of the midterms, he said, and would complicate efforts to regain the majority in Congress. McConnell’s sharp warning at a closed-door meeting had the desired effect on Friday , when Senate Republicans largely opted to stick with the Senate minority leader.

Soccer

Nike split with Neymar amid sexual-assault probe

Nike Inc. and soccer superstar Neymar split ways last year after the company started investigating an allegation by a Nike employee that the Brazilian athlete had sexually assaulted her, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. In August 2020, Nike didn’t publicly give a reason for the early end to its endorsement deal with one of the world’s most recognizable athletes. Nike’s marketing contract with Neymar had another eight years remaining, according to a person familiar with the matter.

New York Times

Prosecutors investigating whether Ukrainians meddled in 2020 election

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have been investigating whether several Ukrainian officials helped orchestrate a wide-ranging plan to meddle in the 2020 presidential campaign, including using Rudolph W. Giuliani to spread their misleading claims about President Biden and tilt the election in Donald J. Trump’s favor, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Deadly DUI Crash

Ex-Astronaut going to prison for 4 years

An ex-astronaut who killed two young Alabama girls while driving under the influence will spend at least four years behind bars after pleading guilty to manslaughter. James Halsell, 64, of Huntsville, was a Space Shuttle commander who flew five missions. Ten years after retirement, he crashed into another car in Tuscaloosa, leaving Niomi Deona James, 11, and Jayla Latrick Parler, 13, dead.

Gun Violence

The colleagues killed in San Jose mass shooting were like family, official says

The death of a San Jose rail transit worker overnight makes Wednesday’s massacre at a rail yard in the California city the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the San Francisco Bay Area. More details emerged on Thursday about the shooting that claimed the lives of 10 people, including the gunman. Santa Clara county sheriff officials identified the shooter at the light rail facility for the Valley Transportation Authority as 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy, a longtime maintenance worker at the facility. Cassidy’s ex-wife said he had talked about killing people at work more than a decade ago. Cassidy shot nine of his co-workers.

Capitol Riots

Most Americans want the people who invaded the Capitol to be prosecuted

The US House of Representatives voted on May 19th to create an independent commission to investigate the invasion of the Capitol building on January 6th. Members voted 252 in favor of, and 175 against, the commission, which was inspired in part by a similar body that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Every Democratic member voted in favor of the bill.

Capitol Riots

Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani ask judge to drop Capitol riot conspiracy case

Former President Donald Trump and his onetime personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Thursday asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to incite the deadly invasion of the U.S. Capitol. The lawsuit, brought by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and 10 other House Democrats, accuses the defendants of violating the federal Ku Klux Klan Act on Jan. 6 by fomenting a mob of Trump's supporters to stop Congress from confirming President Joe Biden's electoral victory. Separate motions to dismiss the suit on Thursday argued that Trump's and Giuliani's remarks at a pre-riot rally near the Capitol were protected under the First Amendment.

Capitol Riots

Former DHS secretaries call on Senate to approve Jan. 6 commission

Four former secretaries of Homeland Security on Thursday urged the Senate to approve an independent commission to investigate the Capitol riots of Jan. 6 as Republicans appear poised to block the creation of such a panel.

COVID-19

Biden shut down Trump, Pompeo effort to prove Wuhan lab theory

The Biden administration has reportedly shut down a discrete State Department operation, launched by former President Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to prove the widely-disputed theory that COVID-19 originated in a lab in Wuhan, China. CNN reported Tuesday that the current administration ultimately halted the effort over concerns regarding the quality of the inquiry’s work, according to three sources familiar with the decision.

Donald Trump Investigation

Prosecutors investigating Trump tell witness to prepare for grand jury testimony

Manhattan prosecutors pursuing a criminal case against former President Donald Trump, his company and its executives have told at least one witness to prepare for grand jury testimony, according to a person familiar with the matter — a signal that the lengthy investigation is moving into an advanced stage. The development suggests that the Manhattan district attorney's office is poised to transition from collecting evidence to presenting what is likely a complex case to a grand jury, one that could result in the jury considering criminal charges.

Gun Violence

‘Horrible Tragedy’: At least 9 dead in mass shooting at San Jose rail yard

A gunman opened fire early Wednesday at the light rail yard where he worked in the California Bay Area, fatally shooting at least eight people in the latest spasm of mass gun violence to rock America. The suspected gunman—identified by multiple outlets as 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy — reportedly set his own home ablaze, then drove to the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) rail yard and began shooting during a union meeting around 6:30 a.m. PT. Authorities confirmed the shooter died in the attack, with multiple reports saying he killed himself.

Custody

Brad Pitt wins joint custody of kids with Angelina Jolie

Brad Pitt has been granted joint custody of his children with Angelina Jolie following a lengthy court battle, Page Six has learned. The Oscar winner, 57, has been fighting Jolie, 46, through the courts for nearly five years for equal rights to their six kids. A source close to the issue said it was a “tentative decision,” adding that Jolie is continuing her legal fight.

Shortnews

COVID-19: USA

Goldman Sachs announces return to work

Goldman Sachs is going back to work. The banking giant told staff on Wednesday that it would start letting people back into its offices in the coming weeks after shutting most of them down in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a memo to staff, Goldman’s chief executive officer, David Solomon, said staff around the world would soon be notified of plans to allow people to return to their offices. Staff will return on a rotational basis in some offices and the plans will vary depending on local, business and personal circumstances.

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COVID-19: USA

Goldman Sachs announces return to work

Goldman Sachs is going back to work. The banking giant told staff on Wednesday that it would start letting people back into its offices in the coming weeks after shutting most of them down in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a memo to staff, Goldman’s chief executive officer, David Solomon, said staff around the world would soon be notified of plans to allow people to return to their offices. Staff will return on a rotational basis in some offices and the plans will vary depending on local, business and personal circumstances.

“Over the coming days and weeks, colleagues in those offices will hear from their divisional, business and/or local leadership about what to expect for the months ahead, including team rotations in the office where possible, with the goal of giving everyone who can do so an opportunity to come in to their office,” Solomon said.

“Importantly, this rotational approach will not look the same for everyone, as we each navigate unique personal responsibilities – for example, planning around adjusted school schedules, managing personal and family health conditions, and not being comfortable commuting to the office during peak hours, among many other considerations,” Solomon said.

JP Morgan announced similar plans last month and is planning to allow staff to cycle between days at the office and at home. But while the banks are making moves to return to a situation closer to their pre-pandemic working arrangements, JP Morgan has estimated a quarter of its close to 61,000 staff could still be working from home for the foreseeable future.

Six biggest tech stocks

More than $1 trillion in value lost in three days

The six biggest tech stocks have lost more than $1 trillion over the last three days alone, but it’s really just a dent coming off a huge rally that peaked last week. Apple, which hit a $2 trillion market cap on Aug. 19, is down about $325 billion in that time period. Microsoft’s down $219 billion, Amazon fell $191 billion, Alphabet cratered by $135 billion, and Tesla, which fell 21% on Tuesday to mark its worst single-day loss in its history, is down $109 billion in the last three days.

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Six biggest tech stocks

More than $1 trillion in value lost in three days

The six biggest tech stocks have lost more than $1 trillion over the last three days alone, but it’s really just a dent coming off a huge rally that peaked last week. Apple, which hit a $2 trillion market cap on Aug. 19, is down about $325 billion in that time period. Microsoft’s down $219 billion, Amazon fell $191 billion, Alphabet cratered by $135 billion, and Tesla, which fell 21% on Tuesday to mark its worst single-day loss in its history, is down $109 billion in the last three days.

Finally, Facebook is off by $89 billion.

“In general, if you think about the market cap loss over the last 3 days for Apple, it’s about $325 billion. To help put that in perspective, that’s about 1.5 Salesforces, and equivalent to Apple’s projected revenues for the next calendar year,” Jefferies’ Jared Weisfeld told CNBC’s “Fast Money” on Tuesday.

Despite the huge number, it’s worth keeping in perspective given the tech giants’ massive rise in value this year.

At the beginning of 2020, the six largest tech companies were worth about $5 trillion. On Wednesday, Sept. 2, they peaked with a value of $8.2 trillion. After Tuesday’s close, they have a combined market cap of $7.1 trillion. While it’s a big loss over a few days, these six companies are still worth $2.1 trillion more than they were at the beginning of the year -- despite the global coronavirus pandemic and record job losses in the U.S.

Apple

Epic Games’ App Store account suspended

Apple on Friday said it suspended Epic Games’ developer account. It follows a temporary restraining order on Monday evening, in which a judge ruled that Apple can block Fortnite but not Epic’s developer account. However, Apple said it terminated an Epic developer account that does not include the Unreal Engine that’s used by third-party developers to make 3D games, which keeps the move in line with the judge’s order. ″We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store. We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases,” Apple said.

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Apple

Epic Games’ App Store account suspended

Apple on Friday said it suspended Epic Games’ developer account. It follows a temporary restraining order on Monday evening, in which a judge ruled that Apple can block Fortnite but not Epic’s developer account.

However, Apple said it terminated an Epic developer account that does not include the Unreal Engine that’s used by third-party developers to make 3D games, which keeps the move in line with the judge’s order.

″We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store. We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases,” Apple said.

“The court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they’ve followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused. Instead they repeatedly submit Fortnite updates designed to violate the guidelines of the App Store.

This is not fair to all other developers on the App Store and is putting customers in the middle of their fight. We hope that we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately that is not possible today.”

An Epic Games spokesperson pointed CNBC to a blog post with earlier comments, including: “Apple is asking that Epic revert Fortnite to exclusively use Apple payments. Their proposal is an invitation for Epic to collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS, suppressing free market competition and inflating prices. As a matter of principle, we won’t participate in this scheme.”

Epic Games’ titles, including Fortnite, have been a huge success, including through Apple’s App Store.

“We estimate that, since January 2012, Epic Games’ mobile titles have been downloaded more than 159 million times across Apple’s App Store globally, generating approximately $1.2 billion in consumer spending,” Stephanie Chan, mobile insights strategist for Sensor Tower, an app analytics company, told CNBC.

“Thirty percent of this revenue, or approximately $360 million, went to Apple.”

The battle between Apple and Epic Games started after Epic included a new direct purchase option inside Fortnite that circumvented Apple’s 30% revenue cut from in-app purchases. Apple pulled the app from the App Store on the same day and, shortly after, Epic Games filed a lawsuit.

Apple said it provided Epic Games 14 days to update Fortnite to meet its app store guidelines, after which it would suspend Epic Games’ account. Apple said this is standard practice for all developers.

The suspension means Epic Games can no longer submit games or updates to games, like Fortnite, for publication to the iOS and Mac App Stores. While people who already have the game installed can still play it, they just won’t get any updates. Players also can’t buy any in-game content. They also can’t play the new Fortnite season, which recently launched.

Apple said that Fortnite’s users have been directed by Epic Games to contact AppleCare, and that those requests have caused refund quality issues and support problems for Apple users around the world.

MGM Resorts lays off 18,000 workers

MGM Resorts lays off 18,000 workers

MGM Resorts International is laying off 18,000 furloughed workers in the U.S. as a global travel slowdown impedes the casino industry’s recovery from the ongoing pandemic. The job cuts, which start Monday, represent about one-fourth of the company’s pre-pandemic workforce of 68,000 U.S. employees. After casino shutdowns and furloughs in March, the continuing spread of coronavirus in the U.S. has prevented the rebound of many industries, including hospitality, airlines and oil extraction.

Google

Noch ein Jahr im Home-Office

Noch ein Jahr Heimarbeit: Google will für die kommenden zwölf Monate Heimarbeit. Firmenchef Sundar Pichai hat die Entscheidung vergangene Woche nach einer internen Debatte getroffen. Die Google-Mutter Alphabet hatte Ende vergangenen Jahres etwa 119.000 Vollzeit-Mitarbeiter. Der Internet-Konzern legt sich damit als eines der ersten großen Unternehmen auf eine sehr späte Rückkehr in die Büros fest. Zugleich gaben einige Tech-Unternehmen wie etwa Twitter ihren Mitarbeiter bereits die Freiheit, auch nach dem Ende der Corona-Pandemie weiter uneingeschränkt von zuhause arbeiten zu dürfen.