Category Archives: Business

Senate Committee Finds No Trump Russia Collusion | Feb 14 2019

NBC Ignores Own Exclusive: Senate Probe Found No Evidence of Collusion

|| NewsBusters.com

 

“According to an NBC News exclusive that first aired during the 10 o’clock hour of Tuesday morning’s MSNBC Live, both Republican and Democratic sources on the Senate Intelligence Committee admitted they had not found any direct evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Despite the fact the exclusive was filed by NBC News intelligence and national security reporter Ken Dilanian, NBC Nightly News hid it from viewers. Meanwhile, ABC’s World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News also turned a blind eye.

Instead of reporting on their massive breaking news story that drove a flood of reporting by other outlets, NBC Nightly News and anchor Lester Holt chose to hype DNA tests for dogs. [UPDATE: NBC skipped its own reporting again on Today.]

When the story first broke, a seemingly shocked Hallie Jackson came back from a commercial break to announce their discovery. “NBC News exclusive reporting on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Their investigation into Russian election interference and what they have and have not uncovered,” she said as she introduced Dilanian.

Wasting no time in getting to the heart of what his reporting discovered, Dilanian declared: “Hallie, after two years and after interviewing more than 200 witnesses, the Senate Intelligence Committee has not uncovered any direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Dilanian noted that committee chairman, Senate Richard Burr (R-NC), confirmed that finding to another network the other day, but he wanted to see what Democrats on the committee had to say. “[W]hat I’ve been doing since then is checking with my sources on the Democratic side to understand the full context of his remarks because that was essentially a partisan comment from one side, but this is a bipartisan investigation and what I found is that the Democrats don’t dispute that characterization.

….read more @ NewsBusters

 

Trump Demands Gavin Newsom Return $3.5 Billion for Canceled Bullet Train; Newsom: It’s ‘California’s Money’ Now

|| Breitbart

“President Donald Trump demanded Wednesday evening that the State of California return $3.5 billion in federal funds after Gov. Gavin Newsom canceled most of the state’s high-speed rail project, saying it was too expensive.

“California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars,” the president tweeted. “They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a “green” disaster!”

Newsom devoted the opening portion of his first “State of the State” address Tuesday to attacking Trump and his policies on the border. Yet he then bowed to conservative criticism — and, arguably, to fiscal reality — by canceling the high-speed rail project championed by his predecessors.

The governor added that while the bullet train would no longer connect San Francisco and Los Angeles, as first envisioned, the state would still continue “phase one” of the project between the rural towns of Bakersfield and Merced. “I know that some critics will say this is a ‘train to nowhere,’” he said. “But that’s wrong and offensive.”

Newsom added that the state had to continue the project if it wanted to keep the federal funds it had taken: “I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump.”

The money was granted to California as part of President Barack Obama’s stimulus, which set aside “$8 billion in federal stimulus money to create 13 high-speed rail corridors,” the New York Times reported at the time.

Obama pressured states to take the cash — which Democrat-governed states eagerly did. But the Republican wave of 2010 brought new governors to office, and several rejected their state’s high-speed rail plans as costly and unnecessary.

California has already spent over $5 billion on the high-speed rail project — roughly the same amount that Trump had requested for the border wall.”

….read more @ Breitbart

 

Russia Investigation

Senate has uncovered no direct evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia

|| NBC News

“WASHINGTON — After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

But investigators disagree along party lines when it comes to the implications of a pattern of contacts they have documented between Trump associates and Russians — contacts that occurred before, during and after Russian intelligence operatives were seeking to help Donald Trump by leaking hacked Democratic emails and attacking his opponent, Hillary Clinton, on social media.

“If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in an interview with CBS News last week.

Burr was careful to note that more facts may yet be uncovered, but he also made clear that the investigation was nearing an end.

“We know we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel because there’re not new questions that we’re searching for answers to,” Burr said.

On Tuesday, Burr doubled down, telling NBC News, “There is no factual evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

Sen. Mark Warner, D.-Va., ranking member of the committee, told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday that he disagrees with the way Burr characterized the evidence about collusion, but he declined to offer his own assessment.

“I’m not going to get into any conclusions I have,” he said, before adding that “there’s never been a campaign in American history … that people affiliated with the campaign had as many ties with Russia as the Trump campaign did.”

Democratic Senate investigators who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity did not dispute Burr’s characterizations, but said they lacked context.

“We were never going to find a contract signed in blood saying, ‘Hey Vlad, we’re going to collude,'” one Democratic aide said.

The series of contacts between Trump’s associates, his campaign officials, his children and various Russians suggest a campaign willing to accept help from a foreign adversary, the Democrats say.

By many counts, Trump and his associates had more than 100 contacts with Russians before the January 2017 presidential inauguration.

Senate has found no direct evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia

|| NBC News

 

“WASHINGTON — After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

But investigators disagree along party lines when it comes to the implications of a pattern of contacts they have documented between Trump associates and Russians — contacts that occurred before, during and after Russian intelligence operatives were seeking to help Donald Trump by leaking hacked Democratic emails and attacking his opponent, Hillary Clinton, on social media.

“If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in an interview with CBS News last week.

Burr was careful to note that more facts may yet be uncovered, but he also made clear that the investigation was nearing an end.

“We know we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel because there’re not new questions that we’re searching for answers to,” Burr said.

On Tuesday, Burr doubled down, telling NBC News, “There is no factual evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

Sen. Mark Warner, D.-Va., ranking member of the committee, told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday that he disagrees with the way Burr characterized the evidence about collusion, but he declined to offer his own assessment.

“I’m not going to get into any conclusions I have,” he said, before adding that “there’s never been a campaign in American history … that people affiliated with the campaign had as many ties with Russia as the Trump campaign did.”

Democratic Senate investigators who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity did not dispute Burr’s characterizations, but said they lacked context.

“We were never going to find a contract signed in blood saying, ‘Hey Vlad, we’re going to collude,'” one Democratic aide said.

The series of contacts between Trump’s associates, his campaign officials, his children and various Russians suggest a campaign willing to accept help from a foreign adversary, the Democrats say.

By many counts, Trump and his associates had more than 100 contactswith Russians before the January 2017 presidential inauguration.”

….read more @ NBC News

 

Rapid transformation of downtown Los Angeles’ skyline is being fueled by huge investments from Chinese companies now under FBI Investigation | Jan 16 2019

FBI corruption probe of L.A. City Hall focuses on downtown development boom

|| LA Times

“The rapid transformation of downtown Los Angeles’ skyline is being fueled in good measure by huge investments from Chinese companies eager to burnish their global brands and capitalize on L.A.’s real estate boom.

..

The warrant, which was filed in federal court in November but reviewed by The Times this weekend, sheds new light on the investigation and shows federal investigators are seeking records related not only to Huizar but also other City Hall officials, including Councilman Curren Price and current or former aides to Huizar, Council President Herb Wesson and Mayor Eric Garcetti.”

Now some of those projects have become a focus of federal agents seeking evidence of possible bribery, extortion, money laundering and other crimes as part of a corruption investigation at City Hall.

Federal investigators have cast a wide net for information about foreign investment in Los Angeles real estate development, according to a search warrant that names an array of political and business figures.

Among those named are executives of Chinese firms bankrolling two ambitious downtown projects that would result in three new towers on Figueroa Street. Investigators are also seeking records about L.A. development projects involving other foreign investors, including firms with large-scale hotel and residential projects in downtown.

The warrant does not say the FBI has gathered evidence of criminal activity by any of the people or companies named in the document. No one has been arrested or charged in the investigation.

The federal investigation became public in November, when FBI agents descended on the home and offices of L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents the vast majority of downtown. Since then, The Times has reported that investigators have sought records involving a longtime lobbyist and a fundraiser close to City Hall.

The warrant, which was filed in federal court in November but reviewed by The Times this weekend, sheds new light on the investigation and shows federal investigators are seeking records related not only to Huizar but also other City Hall officials, including Councilman Curren Price and current or former aides to Huizar, Council President Herb Wesson and Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Until recently, Huizar headed the powerful council committee that vets development projects. Price, in turn, heads a council committee focused on economic development, which reviews taxpayer subsidies offered by the city to hotel developers in and around downtown.

The warrant is not the only sign of FBI interest in L.A. development.

In recent months, real estate developers with projects in Huizar’s downtown-to-Eagle Rock district have received federal grand jury subpoenas instructing them to turn over communications with the councilman and dozens of current and former Huizar staffers since 2013, according to two sources familiar with the FBI’s instructions.

Those developers also have been told to provide information on any contributions they have made to Huizar’s reelection bid, his officeholder committee, any legal defense fund or his alma mater, Bishop Mora Salesian High School, the sources said. The subpoenas seek information on any donations made to two political committees with ties to Huizar — Community Support PAC and Families for a Better Los Angeles.

Developers in Huizar’s district also have been instructed to provide information on any gifts, meals, trips, vacations, flights, event tickets or rounds of golf they have provided to Huizar, his staff or any other council member, the sources said.

Among the information sought in the warrant were records related to trips to Las Vegas and stays at four hotels, including the Palazzo and Caesars Palace. The document does not explain why investigators want them.

Depending on where it goes, the FBI investigation could spur Angelenos to demand reforms of real estate development and campaign contributions and gifts at City Hall, said Kathy Feng, who was until recently the head of California Common Cause, a watchdog group that monitors ethics and money in politics.

“People already have a level of skepticism about how City Hall decisions are made around major development projects,” she said.

In the warrant, agents sought information from Google about a Gmail account tied to Ray Chan, a former deputy mayor for economic development for Garcetti who once headed the city building department and has worked since then as a consultant. Agents said they were looking for evidence related to an investigation into bribery, extortion, money laundering and other crimes that could involve more than a dozen people.

Among those named were two executives linked to Shenzhen New World Group, a Chinese company that has unveiled plans to redevelop the L.A. Grand Hotel downtown with a 77-story tower and build a 31-story hotel near Universal Studios.

The Times was unable to reach Wei Huang, president of Shenzhen New World Group, and Ricky Zheng, who was identified in state campaign contribution records as a Shenzhen New World LLC executive. Besides evidence of any possible crimes involving the two men, the federal warrant sought records relating to Shenzhen New World Group and two of its hotels.

The warrant, first reported by George Washington University counterterrorism expert Seamus Hughes, also named Fuer Yuan, founder of another company called Shenzhen Hazens. In 2017, the City Council approved a Shenzhen Hazens project on Figueroa Street, allowing the developer to demolish the nine-story Luxe City Center Hotel and replace it with two skyscrapers, one for a hotel, the other for condominiums.

As part of the approval process, the developer signed an agreement to contribute to initiatives long backed by Huizar, including $750,000 to support a planned downtown streetcar and $550,000 to the effort to revitalize the Broadway corridor.

Investigators asked in the warrant about the Luxe Hotel and George Chiang, who city records indicate was involved with the skyscraper project. David Chaiken, a company attorney, told The Times that Shenzhen Hazens was unable to share any information about its activities or the investigation.

 …Read more including comments @ LA Times

Trump Helps America’s Black Communities More Than Obama Ever Did | Dec 16 2018

POTUS Trump Helps America’s Black Communities More Than Obama Ever Did – Media Ignores

  || DC Whispers

 

“As president, Donald Trump has pushed Black unemployment to record lows (far lower than during the Obama years) and helped black entrepreneurs to create thousands of new startup business across the nation. This week he took another big step to ensure that the Trump era prosperity that is lifting so many families out of poverty continues to benefit as many as possible via the creation of a $100 billion dollar Urban Council. And what does the Establishment Media have to say about it? Nothing. Nada. Zip. God forbid they ever report real news – especially if it’s good news for President Trump.

Via Western Journal:

“With the creation of today’s council, the resources of the whole federal government will be leveraged to rebuild low-income and impoverished neighborhoods that have been ignored by Washington in years past,” the president said at a Wednesday event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, where an executive order establishing the council was signed.

“Our goal is to ensure that America’s great new prosperity is broadly shared by all of our citizens. Our country is doing better than ever, economically, and we’re able to do that.”

The council will be led by Ben Carson, head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Today, the nation’s unemployment rate is at a 49-year low. Jobless rates among African-Americans down to a record low of 5.9 percent. Wages on the rise,” Carson said. “While we can all be proud of these achievements, one challenge has remained: There are still communities in our country that have seen little or no new investment in generations.”

According to the Baltimore Sun, the new program will offer breaks on capital gains taxes to investors in distressed zones — obviously a huge boost to predominately black and minority neighborhoods, which are still lagging in indicators like wage growth.

The opportunity zones, Carson said, “are home to approximately 35 million Americans. The Department of Treasury estimates that the Opportunity Zone legislation could attract over $100 billion in private investment, which will go a long way to spur on jobs and economic development.

“This kind of medicine is precisely what a doctor would prescribe to heal communities where nearly 1 in 3 people live in poverty, and unemployment is nearly twice the national average.”

Pastor Donté Hickman, who the president said is “helping lead a groundbreaking project in the newly designated opportunity zone,” hailed the initiative.”

……Read more @ dcWhispers.com

Global Media Companies Continue Slide Against Changing Tech Climate | Sep 28 2017

Shares of U.S. Media Companies Set for Worst Month Since 2015

|| Wall Street Journal

Traditional players struggle to adapt to shift toward streaming services

“By Michael Wursthorn / WSJ

Shares of cable providers and entertainment companies in the U.S. are suffering their worst stretch in nearly two years, as traditional players struggle to adapt to a shift toward streaming services.

Americans are ditching television subscriptions in favor of viewing movies and TV shows through online services. The move disrupts a delicate ecosystem of media companies sustaining themselves on subscription fees from pay-TV providers, and echoes Amazon.com Inc.’s upending of the brick-and-mortar retail landscape.

This development, along with disruptions related to major summer storms, has been pushing down stocks of major cable and broadcast companies.

In a sign of the diverging fortunes, Roku Inc., an early player in streaming television, priced its initial public offering late Wednesday. The IPO price valued the company at about $1.3 billion, according to a person familiar with the deal.

A group of 13 media companies in the S&P 500 have fallen 3.5% so far in September, on track for its steepest monthly decline since December 2015, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.4%.

Media shares got a bit of a reprieve Wednesday, rising 1% in their biggest gain since late July as the group joined an upswing in the broader market. Doug Mitchelson, a media analyst with UBS Group AG, attributed the gains to the Republican tax overhaul, which was unveiled Wednesday and proposed sharply reduced tax rates on businesses and many individuals.

“One of the top reasons for cord-cutting is affordability,” said Mr. Mitchelson. “A healthier consumer is a better spender for media companies.”

A selloff in the sector gathered pace on Sept. 7, when two industry giants gave updates that disappointed investors. Comcast Corp. said it expects to lose as many as 150,000 video subscribers in the third quarter.

“There’s a general level of concern around the major media companies having to do with cord-cutting and audience trends,” said Bryan Kraft, a media analyst with Deutsche Bank. “Those concerns aren’t new, but when there’s data to support they’re getting worse, you tend to see the stocks react accordingly.”

Even as the media sector over all holds on to gains for the year, up 3.9%, analysts say shares could slide further as companies cope with greater competition from rivals who are stepping up spending on content creation, such as Netflix Inc. and Apple Inc., as well as a challenging ratings environment.

National Football League games, usually considered a reliable draw for TV viewers and ad dollars, have been another headache for media companies. Ratings for this season’s NFL games have been mostly flat or down, compared with the year-earlier period, said analysts, who added that disruptions wrought by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could be partly to blame.

NFL ratings could also be affected by players’ national anthem protests after President Donald Trump blasted players who participated. DirecTV is letting at least some customers cancel subscriptions to its Sunday ticket package of NFL games and obtain refunds if they cite the protests as the reason.

“These extraordinary hurricanes have had a pretty severe impact on viewership, but it’s difficult to quantify” the impact from those storms alone, said Mr. Mitchelson. “Investors are nervous NFL ratings could end up down for the season.”

Besides that, new online “skinny bundles”—slimmed-down packages of channels from the likes of Hulu and YouTube TV—have left out many cable channels that are part of the traditional bundle. That will put pressure on some channel owners as more consumers sign up for those services, said Mr. Kraft, the media analyst at Deutsche Bank.

“Those services are seeing a lot of subscriber growth,” Mr. Kraft said, although he added the exact size of that population is hard to peg since some companies don’t release specific numbers.

Still, analysts pointed to Charter Communications Inc. as a bright spot among the media landscape. The company last year bought Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks, making it one of the largest cable operators in the U.S.

Irvine Co. Makes Play for New Amazon Headquarters | Sep 8, 2017

Donald Bren & Irvine Company make rare public pitch for Amazon’s 2nd headquarters

|| OC Register

“When the titan of e-commerce said it needed a second headquarters, an Orange County titan of real estate said come on down.

Donald Bren, the owner and chairman of the Irvine Company issued a rare statement Thursday after Amazon said it was on the hunt for another base of operations in North America.

“We are uniquely qualified to meet Amazon’s needs,” Bren said in a statement to the Register.

The Irvine Co. will work with Irvine officials to identify specific plans and locations, company spokesman Scott Starkey said.

Amazon has a few must-haves: A prime location, close to transit, with plenty of space to grow.

Irvine officials believe the city would “appear to be the perfect location.”

The city plans to submit a proposal to Amazon, though they don’t have a timeline yet.

City Manager Sean Joyce became aware of “this intriguing opportunity today,” city spokesman Craig Reem said. Joyce has assigned staff to create a proposal, Reem said, but added “there is a lot of work ahead.”

The city, Reem said, would still have to explore where to build the headquarters.

“Irvine is nimble and innovative and ready to leverage our changing economy,” Councilwoman Melissa Fox said.

Amazon said Thursday it will spend more than $5 billion to build another headquarters in North America to house as many as 50,000 employees. It plans to stay in its sprawling Seattle headquarters and the new space will be “a full equal” of its current home, said founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Irvine will have to compete with the likes of Los Angeles. Officials there said the city also is planning to bid on the project.

The e-commerce giant has a significant presence in Southern California with warehouses and distributions scattered from Irvine to Moreno Valley. Logistics here also might be favorable with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and cargo airports in Ontario and at LAX.

Amazon’s announcement highlights how fast the company is expanding and is certain to create a scramble among cities and states vying to make the short list. They have a little more than a month to apply through a special website, and the company said it will make a final decision next year.

It didn’t hint about where it might land, but its requirements could rule out some places: It wants to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and wants to be able to expand that headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade. That’s about the same size as its current home in Seattle. Co-headquarters, though, often come about as a result of mergers.

Amazon said its search is open to any metropolitan area in North America that meets the parameters — the city itself doesn’t necessarily have to be a million people — but declined to say how open it was to building outside the U.S.

“We want to find a city that is excited to work with us and where our customers, employees, and the community can all benefit,” the company said on its search website, about why it was choosing its second headquarters through a public process.

Bezos has crowdsourced major decisions before – in June, just before Amazon announced its plan to buy organic grocer Whole Foods, the billionaire took to Twitter seeking ideas for a philanthropic strategy to give away some of his fortune. And tech companies have been known to set places in competition with each other: In vying to land Google’s ultra-fast broadband network, many cities used stunts and gimmickry to get the company’s attention. Topeka even informally renamed itself “Google, Kansas.”

In just the last month, Amazon announced plans to build three new warehouses that pack and ship packages in New York, Ohio and Oregon. And it recently paid close to $14 billion for Whole Foods and its more than 465 stores. The company plans to hire 100,000 people by the middle of next year, adding to its current worldwide staff of more than 380,000.

Amazon’s current campus in Seattle takes up 8.1 million square feet, has 33 buildings and 24 restaurants and is home to more than 40,000 employees. At the second headquarters, Amazon said it will hire up to 50,000 new full-time employees over the next 15 years who would have an average pay of more than $100,000 a year.

Amazon’s website about the search lauds the benefits it can bring to a community. And Amazon’s arrival could transform an area: Until 10 years ago, the neighborhood near Seattle’s campus just north of downtown was dotted with auto parts stores and low-rent apartments. Now the area is a booming pocket of high-rise office complexes, sleek apartment buildings and tony restaurants.

Amazon’s rise has not been without local critics, who say the influx of mostly well-heeled tech workers has caused housing prices to skyrocket, clogged the streets with traffic and changed the city for the worse. The Seattle Times reported Thursday that the median price for a house in August in Seattle was $730,000, up almost 17 percent in a year.”

….Continue reading more @ OC Register

 

| Question: Where is Irvine’s current congress person Rep. Mimi Walters? Missing in action as usual? And curious the Irvine Co. is not working with Walters to get jobs and expand business in Irvine and South Orange County. 

We can either let jobs leave SoCal or fight to get some. Irvine is an amazingly vibrant and major high tech hub. So why is Walters supporting driverless cars as a huge social boon? We don’t make such cars in South Orange County. / CJ

Worst Summer for Hollywood Box Office in a Decade | Aug 26, 2017

Weekend Box Office: Moviegoing Slows to a Standstill Amid Historic August Slump

|| The Hollywood Reporter

“Hurricane Harvey is prompting theater closures in Texas, while Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight will be a big pay-per-view draw.

Mother Nature certainly isn’t helping the dramatic downturn at the August box office, where revenue for the weekend could hit its lowest level in more than 15 years, in addition to being down nearly 50 percent from the same frame last year.

Hurricane Harvey has prompted theater closures in Corpus Christi and other locales along the Texas Gulf Coast. Inland, numerous cinemas have also shuttered in Houston.

Even without the storm, none of the weekend’s new offerings were expected to earn more than $5 million, and that’s proving to be the case.

Animated family film Leap!, from Harvey Weinstein’s shop, is projected to do the best, earning an estimated $1.6 million Friday for a projected $4.8 million-$5 million debut from 2,575 theaters for a third-place finish behind holdovers The Hitman’s Bodyguard ($9 million) and Annabelle: Creation ($7.5 million), respectively. Hitman’s Bodyguard will join only a short list of films to ever win a weekend with less than $10 million, at least in modern times.

Birth of the Dragon, from Blumhouse’s microbudget genre label BH Tilt, looks to open in the $3 million range after grossing $1.1 million Friday from 1,618 theaters. The film, directed by George Nolfi, is a fictionalized account of when Bruce Lee challenged kung fu master Wong Jack Man to a fight in the mid-1960s in San Francisco. Birth of the Dragon stars Hong Kong-born actor and martial artist Philip Ng, Xia Yu, Billy Magnussen, Qu Jingjing, Jin Xing and Simon Yin. The pic earned a B CinemaScore.

Box-office experts say an even bigger threat to moviegoing than Hurricane Harvey is Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight, which is being carried on pay-per-view. It will also be beamed into roughly 500 theaters via Fathom and Mayweather Productions. (Another special offering this weekend is James Cameron’s 4K 3D conversion of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which AMC Entertainment is releasing in select locations).”

….Continue reading more @ THR

 

The 2017 summer box office is Hollywood’s worst since 2006

|| MarketWatch

“It’s official, summer 2017 is on its way to being the first sub-$4 billion summer at the box office in a decade.

With about 10 days left in the summer movie season — defined as the first Friday in May through Labor Day weekend — the box office has garnered $3.6 billion. The summer box office is down 13.4% compared with last year and down 13.8% compared with 2015, according to data from Box Office Mojo.

ComScore media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said he didn’t see a way the summer box office makes it to $4 billion.

There’s nothing for the box office to really feast on until the Oct. 8 release of “Blade Runner 2049.”

“The crazy thing is, there’s not even a single wide release scheduled for the Labor Day weekend,” Dergarabedian said. “To show you how dead the box office really is, ‘Wonder Woman’ is expanding and they’re rereleasing ‘Baby Driver.’ Two films from June are coming back to take advantage of the lull. If that’s not telling, then I don’t know what is.”

Of the new releases and films in theaters this weekend, analysts at Box Office said, “in an already slow box office market, things look to remain very quiet despite three new films opening.””

….Continue reading more @ MarketWatch

“No More Fake News!” Atlanta Protestors Storm CNN | July 23, 2017

WATCH: Protesters Storm CNN Headquarters: ‘No More Fake News!’

|| Breitbart

“Protesters stormed the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia chanting “No more fake news!” at the network’s headquarters to demand an end to the fake news stories about President Trump’s administration.

CNN, most recently, has been engulfed in fake news scandals, as well as getting caught for targeting the creator of an anti-CNN internet meme. The scandals have resulted in at least three CNN employees resigning and forcing the corporation to retract Russia-related stories.

Brian Maloney of the Media Equalizer told protesters outside CNN’s headquarters that the corporate media giant puts down Americans and Trump supporters.

Debbie Dooley, an organizer of the protest, said she wants companies that advertise with CNN to be held accountable for the “very fake news” that has been produced.

“We the people can do this,” Dooley said. “We worked hard to elect Donald Trump. That was just the beginning. We need to continue to fight. We need to continue to take it to the Resist movement. And we depend on Breitbart to give us the truth.”

“CNN, no more fake news and if you continue to do so, we’re going to be out here every month until you report unbiased news,” Dooley said.

The protest against CNN came after the media corporation was slammed for a multitude of scandals. Most recently, three CNN employees were forced to resign, as Breitbart News reported, after releasing a Trump-Russia collusion story that ended up being unfounded.

CNN hosts and reporters were also caught claiming that during the recent G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a “secret dinner,” Breitbart News reported. That narrative was repeated by CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, among others, despite not being true.”

….Continue reading more @ Breitbart