Business

FOX Fake News

Fox News's Tucker Carlson mocked for 'lost in the mail' Biden documents claim

The Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been mocked for his attempt to explain why he could not produce some documents he had promised relating to Joe Biden. He said the only copy of the papers, which he claimed added to claims about Biden’s son Hunter, had been lost.

whistleblower

SEC announces record-breaking $114 million reward

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has awarded a whistleblower more than $114 million, the agency announced Thursday, its highest ever reward for information that led to a successful crackdown. The whistleblower was awarded $52 million for aiding the SEC and another $62 million for helping another unidentified agency with a related enforcement action.

Jennifer Griffin

Trump calls for Fox News journalist to be fired

The row over Donald Trump’s alleged remarks denigrating American soldiers has now seen the US president target one of his core areas of support as he called for a Fox News journalist who reported details of the scandal to be fired.

Stars and Stripes

Outcry as Pentagon orders newspaper to shut down

The Trump administration has ordered the closure of Stars and Stripes, a newspaper that has served US armed forces since 1861, according to a Pentagon memo obtained by USA Today.

The housing market in times of COVID-19

How the Pandemic Gold Rush is remaking the housing market

It may seem counterintuitive that a pandemic-fueled recession could lead to a bullish housing market. But a combination of trends has resulted in a buying frenzy.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

Deficit to reach record $3.3 trillion

The federal deficit is expected to reach a record $3.3 trillion this year, more than twice the largest level on record, but lower than earlier estimates, according to new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections.

Cybersecutity

Hackers test defenses of Trump campaign websites

Hackers have stepped up efforts to knock Trump campaign and business websites offline ahead of the U.S. election, in what a security firm working for the campaign said could be preparation for a larger digital assault, according to emails seen by Reuters.

Fox News

Tucker Carlson defends actions of teen charged in Kenosha killings

The rightwing Fox News host Tucker Carlson has defended the actions of a 17-year-old who was arrested and charged with murder after two people were killed in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as white vigilante agitators shot at Black Lives Matter protesters.

Joe Scarborough

‘Morning Joe’ host calls Melania Trump ‘absolutely shameless’

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough had two words to describe Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention: “Absolutely shameless.”

Wall Street

Business world braces for blue sweep

Wall Street and business groups are bracing for the possibility of a blue sweep in Washington that would leave Democrats in charge of the White House and both chambers of Congress.

TikTok

Company will challenge Trump order banning U.S. transactions

TikTok plans to sue the Trump administration as early as next week over the president’s executive order banning U.S. transactions with the popular video-sharing app and its Chinese parent ByteDance, the company confirmed.

Andrew Napolitano

William Barr told Murdoch to 'muzzle' Fox News Trump critic

The attorney general, William Barr, told Rupert Murdoch to “muzzle” Andrew Napolitano, a prominent Fox News personality who became a critic of Donald Trump, according to a new book about the rightwing TV network.

MAGA Attire

Donald Trump calls for Goodyear boycott

President Donald Trump on Wednesday promoted a boycott of Goodyear, angrily reacting to a viral company policy that banned employees from wearing “MAGA Attire.”

Fox News

I had to call police after Tucker Carlson targeted me on air

Tristan Spinski says people tried to break into his home after Carlson revealed his name over upcoming New York Times piece

Twitter

Pro-Trump pundit Bill Mitchell permanently suspended

Conservative pundit Bill Mitchell has been permanently suspended from Twitter, the social media platform confirmed to The Hill on Saturday.

Kamala Harris

Newsweek sorry for 'birther' op-ed

Newsweek has apologised for an op-ed it published on Kamala Harris that carried disturbing parallels to the “birther” conspiracy theories directed at Barack Obama during his run for the presidency.

Montecito

The super-wealthy enclave Harry and Meghan now call home

There are moments, as you make the 90-minute drive up the coast from Los Angeles to Montecito, where Prince Harry and Meghan have set up their new home, when you can almost imagine you are heading into an unspoilt wilderness.

Kamala Harris in the media

Right-wing media is already hurling racist, misogynist fire

From abhorrent claims that she isn’t really Black to reliving the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, conservative outlets pounced on Joe Biden’s running-mate pick.

Campaign Contributions

Bankers are backing Biden: They saw record profits under Trump

Executives and employees at the nation’s biggest banks are giving a boost to former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign for the White House, despite economic policies under President Donald Trump that produced record profits for the industry.

Bloomberg Billionaires Index

Tim Cook hits billionaire status with Apple nearing $2 trillion

Nine years after Steve Jobs stepped down and thrust Tim Cook to the top of Apple Inc., the company is more valuable than ever - and so is Cook.

Labor Law

Uber and Lyft must classify drivers as employees

A California judge has issued a preliminary injunction that will block Uber and Lyft from classifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.

Mark Zuckerberg

State attorneys general blast Facebook’s civil rights record

Nearly two dozen state attorneys general demanded Facebook do more to stop the spread of disinformation, discrimination and hate in an open letter on Wednesday, the latest volley in a growing campaign targeting the company’s civil rights record.

Shortnews

Palantir

Valued around $10.5 billion ahead of direct listing

As Palantir gears up for its stock market debut, the company has a long way to go to convince potential shareholders that it’s worth the $20 billion price tag that investors gave it almost five years ago. Palantir held a virtual event for investors on Wednesday. The company, whose software helps government agencies and large corporations make sense of vast amounts of data, also released an updated prospectus, indicating that the number of shares outstanding increased in the third quarter, to 1.64 billion from 1.53 billion in the prior period.

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Palantir

Valued around $10.5 billion ahead of direct listing

As Palantir gears up for its stock market debut, the company has a long way to go to convince potential shareholders that it’s worth the $20 billion price tag that investors gave it almost five years ago. Palantir held a virtual event for investors on Wednesday. The company, whose software helps government agencies and large corporations make sense of vast amounts of data, also released an updated prospectus, indicating that the number of shares outstanding increased in the third quarter, to 1.64 billion from 1.53 billion in the prior period.

Based on an average share price transaction in the latest quarter of $6.45, investors are valuing the company at just over $10.5 billion.

In July, Palantir raised $410.5 million by selling shares at $4.75 a piece, according to the filing, which comes out to a valuation of about $7.8 billion. Transactions during the quarter took place at anywhere from $4.17 a share to $11.50 a share, suggesting a range of $6.83 billion to $18.8 billion.

The math gets even fuzzier when considering that Palantir had a reported valuation of $20.4 billion in 2015, when the share price was $11.38. That price, based on the supplied share count as of Sept. 1, would indicate a current valuation of $18.6 billion.

What’s clear is that most investors see a company that’s worth closer to $10 billion than $20 billion. If Palantir’s direct listing values it at around the average private market price, the stock will trade at about 10 times revenue, a healthy ratio but less than one-fourth the price-to-sales multiple for companies like Zoom, Datadog, Shopify and Zscaler.

In the first half of 2020, Palantir’s total revenue jumped 49% to $481.2 million, with just over half its sales coming from government customers. Costs for sales and marketing and research and development dropped, allowing Palantir to narrow its net loss to $164.7 million from $280.5 million.

But Palantir remains a very expensive product that hardly anyone uses — the opposite of Zoom or Slack. It’s not an easy-to-use application that employees try out with a small team and then convince their colleagues to adopt. Rather, Palantir describes its technology as the “central operating system” that companies use for their data.

American Airlines

Employees may wear Black Lives Matter pins

American Airlines will permit its employees to wear Black Lives Matter pins while on the job, a spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday. Several Black employees of American Airlines asked if they could wear Black Lives Matter pins after seeing workers at other airlines wearing them. “In light of the appropriate attention to lives of Black Americans, we will allow team members who wish to wear a Black Lives Matter pin to do so if they choose,” American Airlines announced.

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American Airlines

Employees may wear Black Lives Matter pins

American Airlines will permit its employees to wear Black Lives Matter pins while on the job, a spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday. Several Black employees of American Airlines asked if they could wear Black Lives Matter pins after seeing workers at other airlines wearing them.

“In light of the appropriate attention to lives of Black Americans, we will allow team members who wish to wear a Black Lives Matter pin to do so if they choose,” American Airlines announced.

“Fundamentally, we believe Black Lives Matter is an expression of equality, not a political statement,” she added. “It doesn’t mean other lives don’t matter, rather that in our society Black lives should matter and be valued the same as others.”

The airline will work with Black employees to design the pin.

American Airlines permits its employees to wear up to three pins, including a single Employee Business Resource Groups pin. The airline has developed pins for different groups, including Christian, veteran and LGBTQ groups, among others.

The airline joins several other companies including Delta Air Lines and Starbucks in allowing workers to wear a pin backing the movement.

Starbucks initially banned employees from wearing anything in support of Black Lives Matter in June, shortly after protests erupted over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May.

But the corporation backtracked on its decision within a week and developed a T-shirt for its employees to wear.

There was a mixed reaction on the American Airlines’ decision on social media, with several people labeling Black Lives Matter as a “Marxist” or a “terrorist organization.”

President Trump called Black Lives Matter a “Marxist organization” during an interview last week with Fox News host Laura Ingraham and said the movement is “bad for Black people.”

The president had encouraged a boycott against Goodyear Tire after a local NBC News affiliate in Topeka, Kan., reported that the company named “Black Lives Matter” and “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender pride” as an acceptable slogan to wear, while listing “Blue Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter” and “MAGA attire” as “unacceptable.”

Mark Zuckerberg

Failure to take down Kenosha militia group

Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook failed to take down a page and event calling for an armed response to anti-police brutality protests in Kenosha, Wis., despite users reporting them. The Facebook CEO said during a Q&A with employees Friday that was later posted onto this public page that “it was largely an operational mistake. It's because the team that enforces our policy against dangerous organizations is a specialized team,” he explained.

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Mark Zuckerberg

Failure to take down Kenosha militia group

Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook failed to take down a page and event calling for an armed response to anti-police brutality protests in Kenosha, Wis., despite users reporting them. The Facebook CEO said during a Q&A with employees Friday that was later posted onto this public page that “it was largely an operational mistake. It's because the team that enforces our policy against dangerous organizations is a specialized team,” he explained.

“The contractors and the reviewers who the initial complaints were funneled to basically didn't pick this up, and on second review, doing it more sensitively, the team … that's responsible for dangerous organizations recognized that this violated the policies and we took it down.”

Facebook on Wednesday took down a page for the “Kenosha Guard” and an event promoted by the page called "Armed Citizens to Protect our Lives" for violating the platform’s policy against militia organizations.

The night before it was removed, during protests over the police shooting of a 29-year-old Black man, Jacob Blake, two people were shot dead and another was injured.

Police have charged Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, in connection with the shooting.

A spokesperson for Facebook told The Hill at the time that there was no evidence that Rittenhouse “followed the Kenosha Guard Page or that he was invited on the Event Page they organized.”

Facebook’s failure to take down a page which asked if “any patriots [are] willing to take up arms and defend our city tonight from the evil thugs?” before violence happened falls into a predictable and dangerous pattern for the platform, according to Color of Change Executive Director Rashad Robinson.

“They are never ready for these things,” the head of the civil rights advocacy group told The Hill in an interview. “You’re telling me that they just weren’t ready for this idea of a white nationalist militia rising up?”

Color of Change, along with several other civil rights groups, has been escalating its criticism of Facebook’s handling of hateful and violent content for months.

The organizations put together an advertising boycott that hundreds of businesses signed onto, and have had several discussions with the platform’s leadership concerning concrete steps they say it should take.

Issues with dealing with this content were also highlighted in an independent civil rights audit released last month, which criticized Facebook for failing to develop a mechanism for protecting civil rights and for a hands-off approach when it comes to free speech, even in cases of violent posts.

Internal criticism of Facebook leadership’s approach to violence fomented on its platform has also grown, especially after the platform left up a post from President Trump saying that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in response to protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

Multiple employees have been publicly critical of Zuckerberg. BuzzFeed News reported that during Friday’s employee Q&A, staffers questioned the CEO’s decision-making and approach to violent content.

“At what point do we take responsibility for enabling hate filled bile to spread across our services?” one employee reportedly wrote in the live chat. “[A]nti semitism, conspiracy, and white supremacy reeks across our services.”

Facebook has taken some steps to address hateful and dangerous groups on its platform.

Earlier this month, it expanded its policy on violent rhetoric to crackdown on groups affiliated with the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory as well as militia and anarchist groups.

For Robinson, those changes miss the heart of the problem.

Facebook needs to change the “incentive structures inside their platform,” he said, hitting the company for prioritizing profit over safety.

Commerce Department

U.S. consumer spending rose more slowly

U.S. consumers boosted their spending in July, but more slowly than in prior months as new coronavirus infections rose and the expiration of enhanced unemployment checks loomed. Spending numbers have come back more than the economy as a whole, with the help of a lot of fiscal support. The question going forward is as fiscal support wanes, to what extent will it weaken.” Personal-consumption expenditures, a measure of household spending on everything from haircuts to new cars, increased a seasonally adjusted 1.9% in July from the prior month, the Commerce Department said Friday.

US Economy

Weekly jobless claims jump back above 1 million

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits last week was greater than expected, raising concern about the state of the economy as lawmakers struggle to move forward on a new coronavirus stimulus package. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims for the week ending Aug. 15 came in at 1.106 million. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 923,000. Initial claims for the previous week were also revised higher by 8,000 to 971,000. Last week’s spike in claims came as Democrats and Republicans struggle to move forward on a new coronavirus stimulus bill.

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US Economy

Weekly jobless claims jump back above 1 million

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits last week was greater than expected, raising concern about the state of the economy as lawmakers struggle to move forward on a new coronavirus stimulus package.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims for the week ending Aug. 15 came in at 1.106 million. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 923,000. Initial claims for the previous week were also revised higher by 8,000 to 971,000.

Last week’s spike in claims came as Democrats and Republicans struggle to move forward on a new coronavirus stimulus bill.

Democratic lawmakers want to keep an additional unemployment benefit of $600 per week that was included in previous aid package. Republicans, meanwhile, have indicated they want to extend the additional benefit at a lower rate.