Online news sites ‘should be regulated’

Last local paper closes, so ring MP for news Amol Rajan’s media predictions for 2019 The independent review, undertaken by former journalist Dame Frances Cairncross, was tasked with investigating the sustainability of high-quality journalism. Its recommendations include measures to tackle “the uneven balance of power” between news publishers and online platforms that distribute their content. Services like Facebook, Google and Apple should continue their attempts to help readers understand how reliable a story is, and the process that decides which stories are shown should be more transparent, it said. “Their efforts should be placed under regulatory scrutiny – this task is too important to leave entirely to the judgment of commercial entities,” according to the report. A regulator would initially …

Mike Ashley cancels Patisserie Valerie bid

The retail tycoon, who also owns English Premier League football club Newcastle United, made his name building budget chain Sports Direct into Britain’s biggest sporting goods retailer. Mike Ashley bids for Patisserie Valerie Mike Ashley: The saviour of the High Street? What is Mike Ashley’s plan for the High Street? He has since become known for buying up struggling retail chains and bought both department store chain House of Fraser and cycle shop Evans out of administration last year. Sports Direct’s sprawling High Street empire also includes lingerie chain Agent Provocateur as well as shareholdings in Debenhams, French Connection and Game Digital. Last week, it emerged as front runner to buy Sofa.com. In addition to Patisserie Valerie, the company’s other …

Will smash hit ‘The Wandering Earth’ change China’s film industry?

(CNN)Millions of moviegoers watched breathlessly over the Lunar New Year week as Beijing and Shanghai were destroyed for the first time in modern Chinese film history. Director Guo Fan says “The Wandering Earth” has been so popular because it has human emotions at its core. “I made the lead role (played by Wu Jing) in memory of my father,” Guo told CNN. “It tells the story of a typical Chinese father’s love. It’s always forbearing and without too many words, but it’s so powerful. That’s my understanding of a father’s love.” In another sign of its unique appeal, authorities allowed the creators to portray the destruction of Beijing and Shanghai — the first time a Chinese-made film has been allowed …

London’s secret billion-pound guilds

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The companies do let out their halls, as the Goldsmith did for a speech by then-Foreign Secretary Lord Hague in 2010. But could they raise more? It’s the older institutions that Mr Ferris feels may not be pulling their weight. Many have investments in companies listed on the stock market. Some have large land holdings. Among the richest are the Mercers, which owns a number of blocks in Covent Garden. No public accounts In fact, the Mercers and Goldsmiths are the 55th and 73rd largest landlords in London respectively, according to Datscha, a commercial property data firm. Together, they are bigger landowners in the city than supermarket chain Sainsbury’s or the National Grid. But …

Ariana Grande breaks UK chart records

Grande also becomes only the second female artist to fill the top two spots at the same time. The last was Madonna, who was at number one and two simultaneously in August 1985 with Into The Groove and Holiday. ‘Peak popularity’ Thank U, Next’s pole position is no surprise. According to the Official Charts Company, it had been outselling the rest of the top five albums combined. Yet the success of Grande’s latest is particularly remarkable given how short the gap has been between her previous album and this one. Her last record, Sweetener, was released just six months ago, in August 2018. The intervening months have been turbulent for the 25-year-old. Her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller died after an accidental …

Huawei is crushing Apple in China, and the US is partly to blame

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Huawei smartphones are killing the iPhone in China. Huawei’s booming sales show how major parts of its business continue to thrive even as the United States tries to persuade other countries to shut Huawei products out of 5G wireless networks and pursues criminal charges against it. The company expects to overtake Samsung as the world’s biggest smartphone maker by next year. Huawei sold 30 million phones in China in the last three months of 2018, nearly three times as many as Apple (AAPL), according to data published this week by research firms Canalys and IDC. Apple’s sales plunged almost 20%. ‘Cult status’ Huawei’s success in China, the world’s largest smartphone market, is about more than geopolitics. Chinese …

May rejects customs union as Britain signs deal with Switzerland

London (CNN)British Prime Minister Theresa May has again rejected calls for the UK to remain in a customs union with the European Union after the country leaves the bloc — but said she remains open to further talks with the opposition Labour Party as the clock ticks toward a potential no-deal Brexit. But May said she would welcome further talks on what “alternative arrangements” should be sought to the backstop — an insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland — which has stalled parliamentary support for her proposals so far. “One of the things I would like our teams to discuss is the exact nature of those alternative arrangements,” May wrote. …

Dow soars 372 points on shutdown deal and oil

New York (CNN Business)Wall Street on Tuesday cheered a reversal of two trends that had been weighing on investors: US politics and oil. Congressional negotiators said late Monday they reached an agreement in principle to avert a partial government shutdown at the end of this week. The deal will not be final until Congress passes it and President Donald Trump signs it — leaving a lot of room for a new development to scuttle the agreement. But Wall Street was optimistic that American lawmakers would avoid another crisis.

6 Books, Movies And Shows That Break Down Why Blackface Isn’t Just Offensive It’s Dangerous

In recent weeks alone, three prominent white male politicians from Virginia ― Gov. Ralph Northam (D), state Sen. Tommy Norment (R) and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) ― have been asked to answer for their use of or association with blackface in decades-old photos. And two major fashion houses, Gucci and Prada,  The deluge of controversy is a reminder that blackface isn’t just a historic offense relegated to the pages of yearbooks. It’s a modern reality with deeply misunderstood roots. Northam, whose 1984 medical school yearbook page shows  But that’s the thing about blackface in 2019: Conversations about the racist act still revolve around its inherent offensiveness and how mocking portrayals of black people date back to 19th century minstrel performances (we’ve written about that …

The case for why 2019 will be a bad year for markets and 2020 will be even worse

New York (CNN Business)Hedge fund manager Mark Yusko sees eerie similarities between today and the implosion of the dot-com bubble. US stocks, as measured by the S&P 500, plummeted nearly 20% between last fall and Christmas Eve. That’s just shy of what typically qualifies for a bear market. Vicious cycle? But Yusko doesn’t think that matters. He believes the stock market is way too expensive and it will ultimately plunge at least 40% to 50% from all-time highs. “Amazon is a bubble. The stock is wildly overvalued. Netflix is even worse,” he said. One crucial difference between now and the dot-com bubble is most of today’s popular tech stocks are profitable. Back then, many money-losing companies were trading on ill-defined …

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FDA Vows To Strengthen Oversight Of Multibillion-Dollar Dietary Supplement Industry

Describing the move as “one of the most significant modernizations of dietary supplement regulation and oversight in more than 25 years,” the agency said this week that it’s rolling out a multi-prong plan aimed at protecting the public from potentially “unsafe and unlawful products.” with little federal supervision.  not authorized to review dietary supplements for safety and efficacy before they are marketed. The agency only has the authority to stop the sale of a supplement if it can prove the product is dangerous. But with tens of thousands of products on the market today, many of which are sold online, the agency has conceded just how challenging this task can be.  FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Monday, announcing the agency’s …

China’s back to business; US shutdown risk; Brexit bites

London (CNN Business)1. Back to business in China: Markets in mainland China zoomed higher Monday as investors returned from a week-long break for Lunar New Year. Trump has threatened to increase existing tariffs and enact a third wave of penalties on Chinese goods if the two sides can’t broker a permanent truce before the March 1 deadline. 2. US government shutdown (round 2): The United States is facing another possible government shutdown later this week. Budget talks between Democrats and Republicans ground to a halt over the weekend in a dispute over immigration policy. The disagreement appeared to dash hopes that a deal could be reached by Monday to allow each chamber of Congress plenty of time to pass legislation …

Nissan cuts profit forecast in its first report since ousting Carlos Ghosn

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Life after Carlos Ghosn is off to a rocky start for Nissan. Nissan’s new leaders have a tough job to turn things around. After an 8% drop in the first three quarters of its financial year, Nissan’s sales in the United States plunged 19% in January. The company is trying to “improve its brand value” and become more competitive in the United States, CEO Hiroto Saikawa said at a news conference Tuesday. Nissan blamed its lackluster performance in Europe, where sales nosedived 13% in the first nine months of its financial year, on uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union and tighter regulations on diesel emissions. Earlier this month, the company said it had scrapped plans …

Trumps Tariffs Sent Solar Jobs Tumbling For The Second Year In A Row

In 2016, the solar industry created new jobs in the United States. A year later, that number for the first time in seven years as President data Green New Deal could dramatically increase demand for solar workers in the next few years. The problem, at least on the federal level, was mostly one of perception. Trump came into office in 2017 to gut incentives for solar and wind energy in an effort to bolster fossil fuels and cut federal spending. The Solar Foundation A chart from the report shows the 159 percent increase in solar employment since 2010.  Roughly three-quarters of Americans employed by the solar industry work in installment and wholesale, sectors bolstered by the availability of cheap panels …