Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Apple invests $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing company

Techno News

Apple Inc. has invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing, the main competitor in China for Uber Technologies Ltd.

Apple will become a strategic investor alongside Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings Ltd., an online games and entertainment service, Didi Chuxing announced Friday.

China's ride-hailing industry has grown rapidly, with competitors spending heavily to subsidize rides to capture market share.

The latest deal reflects Apple's increased emphasis on services as growth in its iPhone business slows, said Jack Kent of IHS Technology in a report.

"The investment in Didi highlights the strategic importance of China and the services segment for Apple's future strategy," Kent said. "It could help Apple gain greater insight into the behavior of users beyond its own ecosystem."

Didi Chuxing, previously Didi Kuaidi, operates in 400 Chinese cities.

In September, the company and Lyft of the United States agreed to link their services to allow travelers to use them in each other's markets. In December, their alliance added India's Ola and Southeast Asia's GrabTaxi.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Inside Patty Duke's Colorful Romantic Life

Scandals, Affairs and, Finally, Lasting Love

Patty Duke died Tuesday at the age of 69. And while her legacy will certainly live on in her many celebrated performances in both film and television, those close to the actress say they'll remember her most for one thing: her ability to love.

"The true story of her life isn't her work and it isn't her advocacy, it's the love relationship she's had with her husband Mike for the last 30 years," Duke's son, actor Sean Astin, told the Associated Press.

But while Duke found happiness with her husband Michael Pearce, she traveled a winding road to get there. Duke was married three times before tying the knot with Pearce, a former military drill sergeant, in 1986.

In a desperate attempt to break free from her abusive surrogate parents and acting managers John and Ethel Ross, Duke married Harry Falk Jr., a 32-year-old assistant director on The Patty Duke Show, at the age of 18.

With a marriage marred by Duke's increasing manic mood swings due to her then-undiagnosed bipolar disorder, which often manifested in bouts of severe drug and alcohol use, the couple split after just two years. They divorced in 1967.

"I didn't know how to be an adult," Duke told PEOPLE in 1999 of that turbulent time. "I had no preparation."

Three years later, Duke, then 23, embarked on an affair with a 17-year-old Desi Arnaz Jr., whose mother, Lucille Ball, publicly opposed the relationship. But they continued to see each other, off and on, for several months.

In June 1970, Duke, in a manic state, impulsively wed Michael Tell, a "total stranger" who had been subletting her apartment (they were together for 13 days and the marriage was annulled a year later). But just prior to their marriage, Duke had discovered she was pregnant.

The actress later deduced that the father of her baby was actor John Astin, star of the Addams Family TV series, who was married at the time. They kept their affair secret until after their son Sean was born and Astin's divorce was final. They ultimately tied the knot in 1972.

Duke and Astin had a second son together, Mackenzie, in 1973.

When Sean was 14, Duke confessed that Astin was not the boy's father. Instead, she explained that Arnaz was, in fact, his biological father.

After his mother told him about Arnaz, Sean and Arnaz developed a relationship. But when Sean was in his 20s, he met a relative of Tell's who suggested they were related. In order to get the final, truthful answer, Sean underwent a DNA paternal test involving all three men.

The outcome: Michael Tell was Sean's father.

"Desi Arnaz Jr. loves me, and I love him. We are so close," Sean told ABC in 2004. "Science tells me that he's not my biological father. Science tells me that Mike Tell is."

Sean has since maintained a relationship with all three men, but regards the man who raised him since birth, Astin, as his father.

"I can call any of them on the phone any time I want to," Sean explained to ABC. "John, Desi, Mikes or Papa Mike ... my four dads."

Duke and Astin divorced in 1985, but remained amicable. "There is a deep and abiding love between us, but we just don't get along," she told PEOPLE in 1987. "It's sort of like fingernails on the blackboard. He does it to me and I do it to him. We even laugh about it sometimes because it's so absurd."

In 1986, Duke married Sgt. Michael Pearce, whom she met while filming A Time to Triumph. Duke became an enthusiastic stepmother to his daughters Raelene, then 10, and Charlene, 8. Kevin was adopted in 1988.

The two remained married and lived happily together on a farm in Idaho until Duke's death on Tuesday.

"He became her 30-year project, and she finally in her life had a protector," Sean told the Associated Press. "And so she showed him the world and he took care of her and until this morning at 1:20 they were connected with a bond that is impossible to describe."

Why No One’s Watching Empire Overseas


When Empire first debuted in the U.S. last year, it was a ratings juggernaut the size of the Super Bowl. Its second season hasn't quite matched that success (did you even know it returns from midseason hiatus tonight?), but it remains one of Fox's biggest hits. So why, then, has Empire been a virtual flop overseas? According to The Hollywood Reporter, both seasons of the show have bombed in the U.K., Australia, Canada, and Germany — and the foreign network's reason for the show's global failure is just as ridiculous as you think. Simply put: International audiences apparently can't relate to a show with an all-black cast.

"These shows are a reflection of our society, but [they are] not a reflection of all societies," Marion Edwards, president of international TV at Fox, says. "Having a diverse cast creates another hurdle for U.S. series trying to break through; it would be foolish not to recognize that. We are telling our units that they need to be aware that by creating too much diversity in the leads in their show means … problems having their shows translating to the international market." Oof.

But experts say it goes beyond just the casting. One professor of African-American studies tells THR that part of the problem is Empire features black actors telling a very black story, whereas international audiences might be more inclined to watch "black faces but non-ethnically specific kinds of stories,” like global smashes CSI and NCIS. In other words, if it's too black, it might be too unwatchable for certain people.

An even more logical reason (or at least one that isn't offensive) is that Empire's kind of format just doesn't work in some overseas markets. German networks say that its audiences are more likely to watch an American procedural or sitcom than a drama with multiple story arcs that play out over an 18-episode season — because not even smart Europeans can keep up with who's having whose baby. Well, that's certainly a better PR look than "our people can't relate to black people," isn't it? Not a word of any of this to Idris, we beg you.

Monday, 15 February 2016

NYPD Investigating Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer in Possible Assault at Hotel

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New York police are investigating an incident at a Manhattan hotel in which a woman said she was assaulted by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, although she declined to press charges, police said.

The alleged incident occurred at the Plaza Hotel at around 8 p.m. Saturday, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the case.

Spitzer, 56, and the woman -- identified by ABC station WABC as a 25-year-old -- had "some sort of romantic relationship for about two years," and it appeared she was going to break up with him, which "may have led to the spat," the official said.

The woman sustained no injuries of substance but was hospitalized to be treated for a non-serious cut on her arm and later released, the official said. The injury was not sustained in the altercation, the official said.

The woman identified Spitzer as her assailant, but then decided she did not want to press charges, but detectives were continuing to investigate, the official said.

The NYPD said in a statement that the victim identified Spitzer and that "through an ongoing investigation" police are working to "further establish the identity of the subject and the nature of the incident."

Lisa Linden, a spokeswoman for Spitzer, said "there is no truth to the allegation."

Spitzer, who was New York State attorney general before being elected governor in 2006, was forced to resign in 2008 after an investigation into a prostitution operation identified him as "Client 9," who had spent $15,000 on call girls. Investigators found he had spent no public funds on prostitutes, and he faced no charges in the case.

Conspiracy kooks shift into overdrive after learning Antonin Scalia was found dead with a pillow over head

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It didn’t take long after news broke that Justice Antonin Scalia had died at a Texas hunting lodge before conspiracy theorists came to the “logical” conclusion that the 79-year-old jurist with health problems had been murdered.

From the first moon landing to the the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers to the slaughter that took the lives of 26 innocents at Sandy Hook — there is no shortage of skeptics in the U.S. who see nefarious actors behind every event big or small.

Even before My San Antonio reported that lodge owner John Poindexter said, “We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled,” people began speculating online that Scalia had been murdered.

Leading the list of reasons was a backlog of cases involving abortion, affirmative actions, unions and the 2nd Amendment before the Supreme Court that could stall out with the loss of the court’s most conservative justice.

No discussion of conspiracy theories in America can begin without first checking in with Alex Jones of Infowars, who immediately posted a “emergency transmission” on his Facebook page Saturday night after news of Scalia’s death was announced.

According to Jones, Scalia had likely been murdered by President Obama in much the same manner the president killed conservative gadfly Andrew Breitbart, who died on a Brentwood sidewalk from a heart attack.

“You just get used to this, ‘Scalia found, it’s natural, nothing going on here, he just died naturally,’” Jones stated. “And you’re like, ‘Whoa. Red flag.’ Then you realize, Obama is one vote away from being able to ban guns, open the borders and actually have the court engage in its agenda — and now Scalia dies. I mean, this is hard core.”

Jones went on to suggest that Associate Justice Clarence Thomas — with a voting record nearly identical to Scalia’s — might “die of a heart attack next week.”

“Are they going to kill Clarence Thomas? Maybe they’ll kill Ron Paul. Maybe they’ll kill Donald Trump next. They all had heart attacks,” he continued. “How many more of these are we going to sit here and put up with? Or maybe their airplane blows up. My gut tells me they killed him and all the intellectual evidence lays it out.”

Conservative trendsetter Matt Drudge also jumped on the “Scalia murdered” bandwagon with a screaming red headline reading: “Scalia found dead with ‘pillow over head’.”

On YouTube, a man identifying himself as the NatureHacker pointed the finger at lodge owner Poindexter, noting he was a Vietnam era veteran who was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation by President Obama in 2009 in a nationally televised ceremony in the Rose Garden.

As usual, Twitter, was a bastion of reasoned thought, with the president the most likely culprit:

SCOTUS Analyst: Loretta Lynch 'Most Likely Candidate' to Replace Scalia

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A leading Supreme Court analyst thinks Attorney General Loretta Lynch is the "most likely candidate" to replace the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Tom Goldstein, who runs the influential SCOTUSblog, had earlier predicted Ninth Circuit Judge Paul Watford would make the top of President Obama's shortlist. But in a revised blog post, Goldstein said he now believes Lynch is the leading contender.

Lynch is a "very serious possibility," Goldstein wrote. "The fact that Lynch was vetted so recently for attorney general also makes it practical for the president to nominate her in relatively short order."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, fearing that whoever Obama picks will tip the ideological balance of the nation's highest court to the left, has already made it clear that he believes next president should be responsible for appointing a justice. GOP presidential candidates, including Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio, have made similar statements.

But tapping Lynch to fill the seat of Scalia, who died suddenly Saturday, poses a perception problem for Republicans because her "history as a career prosecutor makes it very difficult to paint her as excessively liberal," Goldstein wrote.

Lynch would be the first black woman ever nominated to the nation's highest court — and the GOP would have a political problem during an election year if the Republicans refused to even consider her nomination, Goldstein wrote.

"I think the administration would relish the prospect of Republicans either refusing to give Lynch a vote or seeming to treat her unfairly in the confirmation process," Goldstein wrote. "Either eventuality would motivate both black and women voters."

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 2016: What channel time

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If the Puppy Bowl didn't satisfy your appetite for cute dogs, then the 140th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show should help.

More than 3,000 canines are expected to compete for the 2016 "Best in Show" prize, but there's much more fun over the next two days. Here's how to watch, including what channel, what time and live streaming video (embedded below):

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Day 1: Monday, Feb. 15

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. live streaming video on, the WKC Dog Show mobile app and
8 - 11 p.m. airs on CNBC and live streaming at Events include Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting, Herding Groups

CNBC airs in the Syracuse area on Time Warner Cable (channels 37, 205); Verizon FiOS (102, 602); DirecTV (355); Dish Network (208) and New Visions (176).

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Day 2: Tuesday, Feb. 16

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. live streaming video on, the WKC Dog Show mobile app and
8 - 11 p.m. airs on USA Network and live streaming at Events include Sporting, Working, Terrier Groups and Best in Show
USA Network is available in the Syracuse area on Time Warner Cable (channel 31); Verizon Fios (50, 550); DirectTV (242); Dish Network (105); and New Visions (690).

May the best pup win.