Local billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong takes ownership of the Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times is locally owned for the first time in nearly 20 years, after Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong took ownership of the newspaper Monday, reports CNN Money.

Soon-Shiong acquired the Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and the rest of the California News Group from Tronc for $500 million, telling employees in a memo that he hopes to make the Times competitive with The New York Times and The Washington Post. “I’ve not gone into this transaction from a financial basis at all,” he wrote. “There’s an opportunity to make a major impact on the nation.”

In his optimistic note, Soon-Shiong told Times employees that he considered “fake news” to be “a cancer of our times,” and forecasted positive growth for the paper because of his dedication to “the essential role of journalism.”

The Times was previously owned by Tronc, the Chicago-based newspaper group, but the company announced its intention to sell the Los Angeles paper back in February. Soon-Shiong is a surgeon and part-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, and he has also expressed interest in buying other regional papers around the country like the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, and the New York Daily News, reports NPR. Read more at CNN Money.

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Source:: The Week – Business


Former Mexico President Vicente Fox joins High Times

By Michael R. Blood | Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Former Mexico President Vicente Fox, who calls himself a soldier in the global campaign to legalize marijuana, is joining the board of directors of cannabis publication High Times to advance his agenda.

Fox foresees a day when a robust legal marketplace will produce new jobs and medicines while sharply reducing cartel violence in his home country.

Former president of Mexico Vicente Fox speaks during a news conference at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 19, 2017 in San Francisco, California. Fox criticized U.S. President Donald Trump during a speaking engagement titled “Immigration, the Wall, and the Future of U.S.-Mexican Relations.” (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Speaking with The Associated Press about his views on cannabis and his new appointment, Fox says he also sees pot being part of the North American Free Trade Agreement among Mexico, Canada and the U.S., where some 30 states are embracing legalized marijuana in some form.

Fox’s appointment points to the growing acceptance of the once-scorned industry.

He says the war on drugs has been a failure since the days of former President Richard Nixon. What works, Fox says, “is your own free decision.”

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Source:: The Mercury News – Business


Trump directs Pentagon to create new ‘Space Force’

By Sarah Kaplan and Dan Lamothe | Washington Post

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Monday that he would direct the Defense Department and the Pentagon to create a new “Space Force” – an independent sixth branch of the armed forces.

Trump has floated this idea before – in March, he said he initially conceived it as a joke – but has offered few details about how the Space Force would operate.

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Trump said Monday that the branch would be “separate but equal” from the Air Force. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would oversee its creation.

Saying that he does not want “China and other countries leading us,” Trump said space was a national security issue.

The Outer Space Treaty, which the United States signed in 1967, bars states from testing weapons and establishing military bases on the moon and other celestial bodies. It also prohibits the placement of weapons of mass destruction in orbit around Earth. But the treaty has no enforcement mechanism (indeed, the Air Force’s unmanned space plane, the X-37B, has completed several clandestine missions).

Trump has floated creating a Space Force for months, but the idea goes back at least a year to a proposal by Rep. Mike D. Rogers, R-Ala., and Rep. Jim Cooper, D.-Tenn. Rogers, chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, and Cooper, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, argued that it made sense to have a “Space Corps,” a separate branch of service with its own four-star general serving on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Under their plan, it would have reported to the Department of the Air Force, in similar fashion to how the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


Trump tariffs are pinching US beer giants

By Joe Deaux | Bloomberg News

The Trump administration’s tariffs on aluminum imports are presenting several options, none of them palatable, to the largest American-owned beer company.

Depending on how much the tariffs push up U.S. premiums on the metal, MillerCoors estimates a hit of more than $40 million to its bottom line. The maker of Miller Lite and Coors Light may have to cut back on investments, new hires, or other costs and expenses — or even raise prices.

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“I can’t just go to the shareholders and say, ‘You’re just going to have to accept my profit’s going to be $40 million less,’ ” Chief Executive Officer Gavin Hattersley said in an interview Tuesday. “It doesn’t work that way.”

The tough decisions that the Molson Coors Brewing division must make also face other domestic buyers of the lightweight metal used to make everything from cans to cars. While Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says tariffs won’t have a major impact on U.S. businesses, manufacturers beg to differ.

“It’s costing the American consumer,” Hattersley said. “It’s absolutely not what the president intended, in my view, but it’s a consequence of what he did.”

Molson Coors shares are down 14 percent since Trump announced plans to slap a 10 percent tariff on foreign aluminum shipments and a 25 percent tax on steel imports on grounds of national security.

One of his least favored options would be raising beer prices. Market share would be “hammered” by just a 50-cent increase on a 12-pack, he said. Using less aluminum in cans or shifting more toward bottles don’t appear to be viable solutions.

With international producers selling a greater portion in glass, large domestic brewers are more affected …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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