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Apple Becomes First U.S.-Based Company With A Trillion-Dollar Stock Market Value

Apple Inc. became the first U.S.-based company with a market value of $1 trillion, four decades after it was co-founded by Steve Jobs and later revolutionized the worlds of computing, music and mobile communications. The consumer-technology giant briefly touched the milestone in New York trading Thursday morning, based on share count data the company disclosed in a recent regulatory filing. Other tech giants are not far behind Apple, with Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Microsoft Corp. worth more than $800 billion each. Since its inception in 1976, Apple has consistently reimagined what a computer can be and defined how humans interact with devices and software. The iMac desktop computer, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad have all been hugely successful.  ...Read more

U.S. States Vow To Fight Trump Administration’s Rollback On Auto Emissions

California and 18 other U.S. states promised on Thursday to fight a Trump administration proposal to weaken fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks and force states into line, arguing the United States has an obligation to protect the environment for future generations. The 19 states, and Washington D.C, announced they would sue to halt the proposed rollback. The Trump administration billed the proposed rollback from Obama-era fuel efficiency standards as a way to help car companies and lower vehicle prices for consumers, but critics said the plan would accelerate climate change and increase fuel prices.   ...Read more

Cincinnati Bengals Release Wide Receiver Brandon LaFell

According to reports, the Cincinnati Bengals have released veteran wide receiver Brandon LaFell at his request. “We have been lobbying for his release for some time now and appreciate the Bengals granting our request,” LaFell’s agent Jonathan Feinsod said. LaFell signed a two-year, $9 million extension in March 2017 that would have paid him $2.25 million in base salary this year; he was the Bengals’ No. 2 receiver over the past two seasons, and he caught 116 passes for 1,410 yards with nine touchdown. By releasing LaFell now, the Bengals will have a chance to look at the other young players. ...Read more

New England Patriots Sign Wide Receiver Eric Decker To One-Year Deal

The New England Patriots signed free-agent wide receiver Eric Decker to a one-year contract. Decker will join the reigning AFC champions a day after they released Jordan Matthews, who injured his hamstring early in training camp. Injuries and a four-game suspension to Julian Edelman have depleted the Patriots’ receiving depth, leading them to scour the market for help. Decker reportedly worked out for the team on Monday. Decker spent last season with the Tennessee Titans, collecting 54 catches for 563 yards and one touchdown.  The 31-year-old has split his eight NFL seasons between the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, and Titans, eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark three times. ...Read more

Beyoncé’s Upcoming Vogue Cover Will Make History

Beauty and fashion magazine Vogue is changing how it does business with celebrities for the first time in its history. Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour is giving superstar Beyoncé “unprecedented control” over her photographs and captions when she appears on the cover of its September issue.  Beyoncé will also be writing the photographs’ captions herself, and the singer has used her star power to get the publication to hire its first black photographer to shoot her cover photo.  ...Read more

Fox Developing Two New “24” Spin-Off Series

Fox Network recently revealed they were working on a 24 prequel, but it turns out the network is actually working on two projects based on the action thriller. The first is a prequel that explores the early days of Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland in the original series). The second is actually a legal drama, which will move the iconic ticking clock real-time format into an entirely different genre. Fox CEO and Chairman Gary Newman said “we feel [the 24 format] still has a lot of power and a lot of legs. Times are fraught now, these are emotional times. Security continues to be a big issue. In terms of the prequel, people love Jack Bauer and [we] would tell a story that I think the audience would very much connect with — of how he became that character. It would be set in the same world of security.” ...Read more

CNN Developing Final ‘Parts Unknown’ Season As Farewell To Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown is coming to an end, but CNN has enough material to move ahead with one final season as a tribute to Anthony Bourdain, who died at the age of 61 on June 8. Seven new episodes will premiere this fall. There will only be one episode of the final season to feature Bourdain’s written narration — the still-untitled chapter set in Kenya with W. Kamau Bell — as it was the only one completed before his death. Amy Entelis, CNN’s executive vice president of talent and content, announced that other episodes will feature New York City’s Lower East Side, Texas’ Big Bend area along the Mexican border, Spain’s Asturias region, and Indonesia. According to the Times, the directors who shot these latter episodes will finalize the installments using audio from Bourdain while filming on location, as well as follow-up interviews. Entelis also said the penultimate episode will consist of cast and crew members discussing the creation of Parts Unknown, and the finale will focus on “how Tony affected the world.” Bourdain was on location in France for Parts Unknown when he died.  Parts Unkown earned five Emmys and a Peabody award. ...Read more

Johnny Depp Claims Ex-Wife Amber Heard ‘Punched Him Twice in the Face’ As She Denies Allegations

In a new court filing, Johnny Depp alleges Amber Heard assaulted him during the time they were married, telling a different version of events from the night when Heard claims Depp threw an iPhone at her face. The court documents were filed by Depp as part of a libel case in the U.K., the actor’s most recent legal effort to dispute accusations that he was violent towards Heard. In the court papers, Depp claims Heard assaulted him after he arrived almost two hours late to his then-wife’s 30th birthday dinner on April 21, 2016. “These allegations are totally false.” said attorneys for Ms. Heard. Depp’s court filing also includes his version of events from the night of May 21, 2016, when Heard claimed Depp threw an iPhone at her face. The documents say Depp “tossed the phone on to the sofa and crossed the room away from Ms. Heard … The phone did not hit Ms. Heard on the face or elsewhere.” Heard filed for divorce against Depp on May 23, 2016 and four days later requested a temporary domestic violence restraining order against him, which a judge granted.  The couple were married in February 2015, and Heard filed for divorce after 15 months of marriage. The couple were officially divorced in January 2017. ...Read more

Pennsylvania Catholic Diocese Names Dozens Of Clergy Accused Of Sexual Abuse

A Roman Catholic bishop in Pennsylvania released the names on Wednesday of 71 clergy members and seminarians accused of sexually abusing children since the 1940s, acting in advance of a release of grand jury findings on clergy abuse in the state. The name of every bishop in the diocese in the past seven decades will be removed from buildings in the diocese, in recognition of their failure to properly deal with accusations of abuse. Those on the list would be removed from “any position of honor” throughout the Diocese of Harrisburg in central Pennsylvania, the diocese said in a statement. “I express our profound sorrow and apologize to the survivors of child sex abuse, the Catholic faithful and the general public for the abuses that took place and for those church officials who failed to protect children,” Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Diocese of Harrisburg said in the statement. ...Read more