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Amazon Signs New Lease for Large New York City Office Space, Renewing Debate Over Tax Breaks

(NEW YORK) — Amazon has signed a lease for a new office space in Manhattan that will house more than 1,500 employees, less than a year after pulling out of a deal for a larger headquarters in the borough of Queens after politicians and activists objected to nearly $3 billion in incentives.

The new office almost immediately renewed a debate over whether the tax breaks and other incentives were excessive, given the likelihood that Amazon would continue to expand in New York City regardless because of the city’s large talent pool. The online retail giant received no incentives for its new 335,000-square-foot complex in a building near Hudson Yards, a high-end commercial and residential development on the west side in midtown Manhattan.

Amazon said the new office will open in 2021 and will house employees from its consumer and advertisement teams. The Seattle-based company already has 3,500 employees in other New York offices, and the headquarters for its subsidiary Audible is in nearby ..

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Why Do Cruise Lines Keep Cutting Their Ships in Half?

A few weeks ago, John Delaney, president of Seattle-based Windstar Cruises, stood on a scaffold at a historic shipyard in Palermo, Italy, and took a blowtorch to the Star Breeze, a 30-year-old, 212-passenger motor yacht.

With sparks flying, and shipyard workers and invited guests cheering him on, Delany made the final vertical cut to chop Star Breeze in half. But he was hardly destroying the small ship — he was doing just the opposite.

In a process called “stretching,” the Star Breeze is getting pulled apart to make room for a new, 84-foot, 1,250-ton prefab midsection addition. Think of it like unsnapping (or unwelding) two Legos and putting another block in between. But with a boat.

After four months of surgery, the all-suite Star Breeze will be bigger, more luxurious, and more profitable. When she debuts again in February, she’ll have 50 new suites to house 100 additional guests, a 50% increase in passenger capacity, and command higher rates for her shiny new cabins. Delaney says ..

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Uber Confirms More Than 3,000 Sexual Assaults Were Reported in 2018, Including 229 Rapes

(SAN FRANCISCO) — More than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported during U.S. Uber rides in 2018, the company said in a long-awaited safety report.

That figure includes 229 rapes across the company’s 1.3 billion rides. Uber noted that drivers and riders were both attacked, and that some assaults occurred between riders.

In 2017, the company said 2,936 sexual assaults were reported. Uber bases its numbers on reports from riders and drivers — meaning the actual numbers could be much higher. Sexual assaults commonly go unreported.

“I suspect many people will be surprised at how rare these incidents are; others will understandably think they’re still too common,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted about the report. “Some people will appreciate how much we’ve done on safety; others will say we have more work to do. They will all be right.”

Uber’s share price dropped more than 1% in after-hours trading.

Uber and competitor Lyft have faced a backlash for not doing enough to protect the saf..

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Airbnb Is Introducing New Rules to Rein in Parties and Nuisance Guests

Airbnb is taking more steps to crack down on parties and nuisance guests in the wake of a Halloween shooting at an Airbnb rental in a San Francisco suburb where five people were killed.

The company said Thursday it’s banning “open invite” parties at all of its accommodations. Those are parties open to anyone and advertised on social media, for example.

Airbnb says boutique hotels and professional event venues will be exempt from the new rule.

The San Francisco-based company is also banning large parties at apartment buildings and condos.

“This policy does not impact parties that are authorized by hosts and convened respectfully by guests,” the company said in a news release. “Instead, our goal with this new policy is to address the small number of guests who act irresponsibly and those rare hosts whose homes become persistent neighborhood nuisances.”

Airbnb says it’s in the process of identifying listings globally that may be violating the party house ban, including accommodations..

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Saudi Arabia’s State-Owned Oil Giant Just Raised $25.6 Billion in the World’s Biggest-Ever IPO

Saudi Aramco raised $25.6 billion from the world’s biggest initial public offering, closing a deal that became synonymous with the kingdom’s controversial crown prince and his plans to reshape the nation.

The state-owned oil giant set the final price of its shares at 32 riyals ($8.53), valuing the world’s most profitable company at $1.7 trillion. It received total bids of $119 billion.

For Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, pulling off the sale could help get his ambitious plan to overhaul the economy back on track. It’s been derailed by problems at home, including the backlash against his purge of the elite, and abroad by the outrage over the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen.

But the deal ended up being very different from what the prince had envisaged when he first floated the idea in 2016 with an ambition to raise as much as $100 billion. Aramco offered just 1.5% of its shares and opted for a local listing after global investors balked at it..

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Baby Yoda Toys Won’t Be Available in Time for Christmas. Here’s Why

In a move reminiscent of the very first scramble for “Star Wars” toys more than four decades ago, Walt Disney is asking fans to preorder Baby Yoda dolls that won’t be delivered until February.

Baby Yoda, or the Child, as Disney calls him, is the breakout star of “The Mandalorian,” the new “Star Wars” TV series that debuted last month on the company’s Disney+ streaming service.

Products available now for preorder online include a $30 Funko Inc. bobble head, a $25 plush toy from Mattel Inc. and an $11 puzzle from Buffalo Games. Some “Mandalorian” merchandise, including T-shirts and coffee mugs featuring the show’s namesake bounty hunter, are already available in Disney stores.

The company said it didn’t want to release products earlier tied to the cuddly creature because doing so would have spoiled his surprise appearance in the show.

“It was important to us that the reveal of the new character, the Child, be a special moment for fans, and we could not be more thrilled with the respo..

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Google Co-Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin Step Down as Execs of Parent Company Alphabet

(SAN FRANCISCO) — The co-founders of Google are stepping down as executives of its parent company, Alphabet, ending a remarkable two decades during which Larry Page and Sergey Brin shaped a startup born in a Silicon Valley garage into one of the world’s largest, most powerful — and, increasingly, most feared — firms in the world.

Sundar Pichai, who has been leading Google as CEO for more than four years, will take on additional duties as Alphabet’s CEO, the position held by Page. The company isn’t filling Brin’s position as president.

Brin and Page met as Stanford University graduate students in 1995 and started the company soon after. What started as a way to catalog the growing internet has now become one of the most powerful companies in the world.

Google dominates online search and digital advertising and makes the world’s most widely used operating system for smartphones, Android. It’s hard to make it through a whole day without using one of Google’s services — ranging from onl..

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Tech Giant Huawei Moving U.S. Research Center to Canada Due to Trump Sanctions

(BEIJING) — The founder of Huawei says the Chinese tech giant is moving its U.S. research center to Canada due to American sanctions on the company.

In an interview with Toronto’s Global and Mail newspaper, Ren Zhengfei said the move was necessary because Huawei would be blocked from interacting with U.S. employees.

Huawei Technologies Ltd. is the No. 2 global smartphone brand and the biggest maker of network gear for phone carriers. U.S. authorities say the company is a security risk, which Huawei denies, and announced curbs in May on its access to American components and technology.

The Trump administration announced a 90-day reprieve on some sales to Huawei. The government said that would apply to components and technology needed to support wireless networks in rural areas.

Ren gave no details but Huawei confirmed in June it had cut 600 jobs at its Silicon Valley research center in Santa Clara, California, leaving about 250 employees. A Huawei spokesman said the company had no f..

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Why Potato Farmers Are Rushing to Stave Off a French Fry Shortage

Potato processors are rushing to buy supplies and ship them across North America in order to keep French fries on the menu after cold, wet weather damaged crops in key producers in the U.S. and Canada.

Cool conditions started to hit growing regions in October, lashing potatoes with frost. Farmers in Alberta and Idaho were able to dig up some damaged crops for storage. But growers in Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota received snow and rain, forcing them to abandon some supplies in fields.

As the wild weather hurt crops, an increase in fry-processing capacity in Canada has boosted demand. The combination will lead to tight supplies, and it’s likely that potato prices could climb this year across North America, Stephen Nicholson, a senior grains and oilseeds analyst at Rabobank, said in a phone interview. International costs may also rise as the U.S. won’t be able to export as much.

“French fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can’t meet the demand,” Travis B..

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China Repeats Demand for Rollback of U.S. Tariffs as Part of Trade Deal

(BEIJING) — China expects the U.S. to roll back some tariffs on its exports as part of a trade deal, an official newspaper said Monday, reiterating Beijing’s insistence that President Donald Trump’s administration be “flexible” and “reasonable.”

The Communist Party newspaper Global Times ran several articles Monday that emphasized there would be no deal without a promise to phase out the tariffs imposed by Washington.

It cited officials saying that China will buy American farm products and the amount “could be substantial, but it cannot promise a specific number in the deal because the amount must be based on market demands.”

The comments come amid negotiations on a preliminary “Phase 1” agreement aimed at resolving the 18-month-old tariff war between the two largest economies.

“Rolling back tariffs is a must. The China-U.S. trade war (was) instigated by the U.S. with tariffs, so the tariffs have to be cut first,” the newspaper quoted Wei Jianguo, a former Chinese commerce minister..

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Davos Reset: New Manifesto Issued for World Economic Forum’s 50th Anniversary, Updating the Forum’s Guiding Document for the Modern Era

What is the purpose of a business? Is it to generate wealth? To further social good? To deliver for shareholders? That question seemed to echo throughout 2019: Leading U.S. presidential candidates took aim at big tech; hit movies like Parasite and Hustlers addressed inequality. Now, one of the world’s top economic forums has issued its own answer.

On Monday, the World Economic Forum issued a new “Davos Manifesto,” titled “The Universal Purpose of a Company in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

“The purpose of a company is to engage all its stakeholders in shared and sustained value creation,” the new Manifesto begins. “In creating such value, a company serves not only its shareholders, but all its stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers, local communities and society at large.”

The Manifesto declares that companies should pay their share of taxes, fight corruption, support human rights, push for fair market competition as well as be stakeholders themselves in the future of ..

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Black Friday Online Sales Hit Record $7.4 Billion as Fewer Shoppers Visit Stores

(NEW YORK) — This year’s Black Friday was the biggest ever for online sales, as fewer people hit the stores and shoppers rang up $7.4 billion in transactions from their phones, computers and tablets.

That’s just behind the $7.9 billion haul of last year’s Cyber Monday, which holds the one-day record for online sales, according to Adobe Analytics. Adobe measures sales at 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers.

Adobe expects online sales to jump to another record this Cyber Monday with an estimated total of $9.4 billion. Much of the shopping is happening on people’s phones, which accounted for 39% of all online sales Friday and 61% of online traffic.

Shoppers have been looking for “Frozen 2” toys in particular. Other top purchases included sports video games and Apple laptops.

All the online shopping may have helped thin the crowd at malls on Black Friday.

Traffic at stores fell 2.1% on Black Friday from a year ago, according to preliminary figures from RetailNext. It tracks in-sto..

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  • Wie aus dem „Pegida“-Handbuch, Bombenticker, Bushido fliegt raus 6. prosince 2019
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