News Daypop Archives

Comcast Offers $34 Billion For Sky TV, Topping A Bid From Fox

The bidding war for Sky TV, the European pay-TV service, heated up Wednesday when Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox upped it’s offer, but then later in the day Comcast Corp. countered with an even higher offer. Independent directors of the London company initially approved Fox’s $32.5-billion bid, but they withdrew their support and accepted Comcast’s offer, which valued Sky at $34 billion. Martin Gilbert, Sky’s deputy chairman, said in a statement, “The Independent Committee welcomes this increased offer which presents an attractive premium for Sky shareholders. We have long recognized the unique position that Sky occupies in the European direct-to-consumer landscape and unanimously recommend this offer by Comcast.” It was unclear late Wednesday whether Fox would bid again.  ...Read more

President Trump Issues Harsh Attack On Germany At NATO Summit

President Donald Trump launched a sharp public attack on Germany on Wednesday for supporting a Baltic Sea gas pipeline deal with Russia, saying Berlin had become “a captive to Russia” and he criticized it for failing to raise defense spending more. Trump met reporters with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, before a NATO summit in Brussels, said it was “very inappropriate” that the United States was paying for European defense against Russia while Germany, the biggest European economy, was supporting gas deals with Moscow. ...Read more

Federal Judge Warns Trump Administration To Meet Deadline On Family Reunification

A federal judge on Tuesday told the Trump administration to adhere to the deadline for reuniting children separated from their parents under the “zero tolerance” policy, even as officials have said they’ll be unable to meet it. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw stuck to his Tuesday deadline for the youngest children to be returned to their parents, despite government officials indicating they’d be unable to meet the target.  “These are firm deadlines; they are not aspirational goals,” Sabraw said. “I would like the process to continue as expeditiously as it has been with paramount focus on the children’s welfare.”  The judge additionally asked for an update from the government on the reunification process by Thursday. Government lawyers said that U.S. officials will only be able to reunite 75 of 102 children under the age of 5 in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. The others are not eligible to be reunited because their parents have criminal records, haven’t been verified or have been otherwise ruled unfit. ...Read more

Facebook Faces First Fine Over Cambridge Analytica Scandal

On Tuesday, Facebook was hit with its first fine related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved the data firm obtaining personal information on tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), a privacy and data watchdog office in the United Kingdom, announced Tuesday that it would fine Facebook the maximum allowed penalty of $664,000 for what it said was improperly overlooked warning signs and for lacking overall privacy protections that could have prevented Cambridge Analytica from obtaining the sensitive data. In a statement, Facebook responded to the findings by acknowledging it “should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015.”  Facebook admitted back in April that as many as 87 million people could have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica has maintained that none of the data obtained without the knowledge of Facebook users was shared with or used for the purposes of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.  ...Read more

UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson Resigns Over Brexit Plan

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has become the second cabinet minister to quit, as divisions over Brexit deepen a political crisis threatening Prime Minister Theresa May’s government. Johnson’s departure on Monday came a day after David Davis, the British minister in charge of Brexit negotiations, also stepped down amid disagreement’s over the country’s strategy. The two resignations raise questions over whether May will stand firm in her commitment to pursuing Brexit, or will be faced with more resignations and calls to quit herself. “This afternoon, the Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary,” May’s spokesman said in a statement. “His replacement will be announced shortly. The Prime Minister thanks Boris for his work.” ...Read more

Thai Cave Rescue: Seven Boys Now Freed As Mission To Save Others Continues

Four more youngsters have reportedly been freed from the flooded Thai cave – a day after four boys were pulled from the complex. The second phase of the dangerous operation to rescue the youth football team began on Monday. It was confirmed at 11am BST that a fifth boy had been freed. An hour later, two more were reportedly taken to safety. And an eighth was seen on a stretcher at around 1pm BST, a witness said.  Four boys and their coach remain trapped amid a race against time and water. Those rescued so far are said to be in “good health”. Rescuers have been rushing to save the boys – aged 11 to 16 – and their coach from the cave as monsoon rains bore down on the mountainous region in far northern Chiang Rai province. Authorities said heavy downpours overnight did not raise water levels in the cave, where workers continue to pump water out. Local official Narongsak Osottanakorn said: “Today we are ready like before. And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain.” ...Read more

U.K.’s Senior Official In Charge Of Brexit, David Davis, Resigns

Britain’s senior official in charge of negotiating the country’s exit from the European Union resigned Sunday. David Davis’ resignation comes days after Prime Minister Theresa May secured the cabinet’s backing for her Brexit plan. Davis was a strong pro-Brexit voice in a Cabinet divided between supporters of a clean break with the bloc and those who want to keep close ties. On Friday, Davis and the rest of May’s fractious Cabinet agreed on a plan for ties with the EU after the U.K. leaves next year.  On Monday, May is due to brief lawmakers on the plan agreed by the Cabinet during its 12-hour meeting. It seeks to keep the U.K. and the EU in a free-trade zone for goods, and commits Britain to maintaining the same rules as the bloc for goods and agricultural products. Less than nine months remain until Britain leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019. The EU has warned Britain that time is running out to seal a divorce deal. ...Read more

Puerto Rican Mayor And Two Other Government Officials Arrested On Corruption Charges

A mayor and two former government officials in Puerto Rico face public corruption charges in separate cases that involve a total of $8 million in federal and local funds, authorities said Thursday. The suspects are the mayor of the southwest town of Sabana Grande and the former directors of finance for the northern town of Toa Baja. U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez told reporters that the former officials from Toa Baja are accused of using nearly $5 million worth of federal funds to pay the town’s public employees and municipal contractors. Toa Baja’s former interim finance director, Angel Roberto Santos Garcia, is accused of making similar transactions worth $650,000 using funds from those two federal agencies. A spokeswoman for Ortiz could not be immediately reached for comment. The arrests come as Puerto Rico struggles to recuperate from Hurricane Maria and tries to restructure a portion of its $70 billion public debt load. ...Read more

Scott Pruitt Resigns As EPA Administrator Amid Ethics Scandals

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned after months of ethics controversies, citing “the unrelenting attacks” on himself and his family, which “have taken a sizable toll on all of us.” President Donald Trump first tweeted the news Thursday that Pruitt had resigned. “I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” Trump tweeted. “Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this.” Pruitt’s resignation follows months during which the EPA administrator has been embroiled in controversy. Trump said on Twitter that Pruitt’s recently Senate-confirmed deputy Andrew Wheeler will on Monday assume the duties of acting administrator of the EPA. ...Read more