Thursday, April 26, 2018

Elon Musk Misleading Investors? 8 Tesla ETFs React

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This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

Elon Musk has a lot going on and investors have been on edge as to whether or not he can fulfill the promises he’s made. Short seller Jim Chanos said on CNBC that Elon Musk has made “material misstatements and may be misleading investors” regarding milestones for Tesla on Thursday morning. According to The Street, […]

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Amazon earnings more than double, easily beating estimates

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Amazon will now deliver packages to your car

Money Map Press Chief Technical Strategist DR Barton, Rosecliff Capital’s Mike Murphy and FBN’s Ashley Webster and Liz MacDonald on Amazon delivering packages to parked cars and the company’s plans to expand its grocery business in India.

Amazon reported first-quarter earnings that more than doubled, as the e-commerce giant benefits from a growing number of Prime subscribers and “remarkable acceleration” in its cloud-computing business.

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The company said Thursday it earned net income of $1.6 billion during the quarter, up from $724 million in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, earnings jumped to $3.27 a share, far exceeding Wall Street’s estimate for $1.27 a share.

Revenue surged 43% to $51 billion, beating the consensus estimate of $49.87 billion.

Shares of Amazon rallied in after-hours trading, putting the stock near its all-time high of $1,617. President Donald Trump’s criticism of the company, particularly its relationship with the U.S. Postal Service, had sent the stock 13% lower in recent weeks.

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Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said Amazon Web Services (AWS) has seen accelerated growth for two consecutive quarters. During the first three months of 2018, AWS added new enterprise customers including GoDaddy, Shutterfly and NextGen Healthcare.

Bezos recently revealed that Amazon has more than 100 million paid members of its $99-a-year Prime subscription program.

Ticker Security Last Change %Chg
AMZN AMAZON.COM INC. 1,517.96 +57.79 +3.96%

Bill Cosby sexual assault accusers cry, praise 'Joan of Arc' Andrea Constand for guilty verdict

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From joy and relief to well wishes for other survivors, the women who accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault throughout the years said they finally felt hope after a jury delivered a guilty verdict Thursday.

Cosby was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in his Pennsylvania home in 2004. After less than two days of deliberations, a jury found the man formerly known as “America’s Dad” guilty on three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault charges.

While more than 60 women have come forward over the years to accuse Cosby of sexual misconduct, but only Constand had the information and the statute of limitations on her side. However, five accusers were able to testify at Cosby’s mistrial, too, painting him as a serial rapist.

Her voice, breaking at times, Lili Bernard told reporters outside the courthouse that the jury proved “women are worthy of being believed” with its verdict. The actress also thanked Constand, who she called “the Joan of Arc on the war on rape.”

Bill Cosby accusers (L-R) Caroline Heldman, Lili Bernard and Victoria Valentino (R) react after the guilty on all counts verdict was delivered in the sexual assault retrial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 26, 2018. Mark Makela/Pool via Reuters - RC17C1510F80

Bill Cosby accusers (L-R) Caroline Heldman, Lili Bernard and Victoria Valentino react after the guilty on all counts verdict was delivered in the sexual assault retrial.  (Reuters/Mark Makela)

“It is a victory for womanhood, and it is a victory for all sexual assault survivors, female and male,” Bernard said.

A former guest star on “The Cosby Show,” Bernard has said the comedian drugged and raped her in the 1990s. After the verdict was read, Bernard left the courtroom sobbing.

Janice Baker-Kinney, one of the women permitted to testify against Cosby in the retrial, posted a statement on social media, saying she felt “joy, relief and gratitude.”

“This may be the end for Mr. Cosby but this victory is just the beginning for many of us, to fight for justice, to do the right thing and support every person who has ever been shamed and humiliated and blamed,” Baker-Kinney said. “May this verdict open the floodgates to those who have been hiding their shame for far too long and give them the courage to come forward.”

She later told MSNBC she could “not stop sobbing.”

Baker-Kinney testified that she met Cosby when she was a 24-year-old bartender in Reno. She claimed he gave her two pills after she arrived at his house for what she said she thought was a party and lost consciousness. When she awoke, she was in bed with Cosby — and both were naked, she alleged.

Chelan Lasha, who said Cosby assaulted her after he invited her to his hotel room for what she thought was a photo shoot to help advance her career, reportedly said after the verdict, “Thirty-two years of nightmares and tears are over.”

“I truly hope that his long list of victims will be able to find some kind of peace.”

– Lise-Lotte Lublin

“I truly hope that his long list of victims will be able to find some kind of peace,” Lise-Lotte Lublin said, according to Page Six.

Sunni Welles, who said she met Cosby when she was an aspiring singer, told the New York Daily News she was “in tears” following the verdict.

“I feel like every one of us has been vindicated,” Welles said.

She accused Cosby of taking advantage of her on two separate occasions.

“I’m just so thrilled he’s likely going to spend some time in jail,” Welles said. “I don’t even care if it’s only a short sentence. He just needs to go to jail.”

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

Megan Fox to host new travel series debunking history's greatest myths

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Megan Fox is about to take on a new role as co-creator, executive producer and host of a series for the Travel Channel.

The “New Girl” actress will embark on a journey across the globe where she’ll enlist the help of experts to re-examine history, like whether Amazon women really existed or if the Trojan War was real, Deadline reports.

CALIFORNIA CITY WANTS TO CHARGE FOR EVERY DISPOSABLE TAKEOUT CONTAINER

“When it comes to debunking the myths around some of our greatest historical mysteries, Megan Fox’s passion for discovering the truth is just visceral,” Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America, told Deadline. “We are as delighted to have her fresh and unbiased perspective on these events as we are to have Megan in our Travel Channel family.”

Since an early age, Fox has been obsessed with the history of ancient cultures, people and places, questioning their “documented” story.

“I would describe myself as a seeker. A seeker is someone who is never content to have obtained enough knowledge. History only gives us a one-sided view of the truth. That’s something I know from personal experience. My own history has been rewritten by other people who had a vested interest in changing the narrative,” Fox said in a statement, per Deadline.

“I haven’t spent my entire life building a career in academia so I don’t have to worry about my reputation or being rebuked by my colleagues, which allows me to push back on the status quo. So much of our history needs to be re-examined,” she said.

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“Mysteries and Myths with Megan Fox” (working title) will air with four hour-long episodes set to premiere later this year.

Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.

Corporate Bond Exposure on the Cheap

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This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

Traditional aggregate bond indexes are usually heavily allocated to U.S. government debt while featuring only token exposure to higher-yielding corporate bonds. In fact, many of these benchmarks are lightly allocated to lower risk, investment-grade corporate debt, meaning investors that want exposure to corporate bonds often need to embrace funds dedicated to that asset class. The […]

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Japanese company builds working 'Transformers'-like robot that turns into a car

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A Japanese technology firm has built a robot that can transform into a car.

transformer

 (Reuters)

The “J-deite RIDE” takes 60 seconds to change from being a humanoid robot that can walk – very slowly – into a drivable, but not street legal car.

transformer

 (Reuters)

It’s the culmination of a project that began fifteen years ago and has gone through several smaller permutations.

transformer

 (Reuters)

The 12-foot-tall final product is a joint venture between Brave Robotics, another robotics company named Astric, and amusement park ride builder Sansei Technologies, according to Reuters.

Its creators don’t plan to save the world with it, but will be showcasing it at events in an effort to inspire imagination.

Widespread teacher protests in Arizona, Colorado prompt massive school closings

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 A sea of teachers clad in red shirts flowed toward the Arizona Capitol on Thursday for an unprecedented walkout that closed most of the state’s public schools, part of an educator uprising that bubbled up in other parts of the nation and spread west.

Waving signs and red balloons, tens of thousands of teachers and their supporters headed through downtown Phoenix for a rally at the state Capitol to demand a 20 percent raise for teachers, about $1 billion to return school funding to pre-Great Recession levels and increased pay for support staff, among other things.

Widespread protests also were underway in Colorado, where some schools have shut down.

Teachers in both states want more resources in the classroom and have received offers either for increased funding or raises. But teachers say the efforts aren’t enough, with Arizona educators launching the first-ever statewide strike to press lawmakers to meet their demands.

The crowd in downtown Phoenix began its 2-mile trek to the Capitol, with demonstrators carrying signs saying, “Money for Schools” and “Make Schools Great Again.”

Young women carrying babies joined retired teachers as rock music blared. With temperatures expected to reach at least 100 degrees, many carried water jugs and umbrellas to combat the heat.

The walkouts in two states are the climax of an uprising that spread from West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky. A grass-roots movement known as #RedforEd began weeks ago with protests in Arizona, and Colorado teachers later took up the fight.

More than 10,000 educators rallied around the Colorado Capitol, many using personal time to attend. They chanted, “Education is our right” and “We’re not gonna take it anymore” and drew honks from passing cars. About half of all Colorado students will see their schools shuttered over two days.

Lawmakers have agreed to give schools their largest budget increase since the Great Recession. But teachers say Colorado has a long way to go to recover lost ground because of strict tax and spending limits.

In Arizona, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has offered teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020 and said he has no plans to meet with striking teachers and or address their other demands.

The leader of the state’s largest teacher membership group told Phoenix television station KTVK that Ducey’s unwillingness to meet with organizers makes him believe they “will be out for a while.”

Joe Thomas of the Arizona Education Association has said the walkout has no end date, and educators may have to consider a ballot initiative for education funding if lawmakers do not come up with their own plan.

Ducey told the TV station in a separate interview that he’s “not ignoring anyone” but is focused on meeting with lawmakers to push his plan, which has raised concerns about how it would be funded.

Teachers and some lawmakers say the proposal relies on rosy revenue projections. A key legislative leader says a budget deal that could provide money for teachers is likely still at least several days away.

School districts across Arizona announced closures before Thursday, including the state’s largest — Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson. The walkout has led makeshift day care centers to open for parents who have no place to leave their children when they go to work.

Addie Martinez dropped off her 9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter at a Phoenix Salvation Army that has opened a child care center before she rushed to her job as a medical assistant. The facility has room for up to 100 kids and will provide breakfast, lunch and snacks for $25 per child.

Martinez said she supports the teachers despite the inconvenience because “they are educating our future.” She said she was prepared to take her children back Friday and next week to the center, which offers activities that include arts and crafts and dodgeball.

More than 840,000 Arizona students were expected to be out of school Thursday, according to an analysis from the Arizona Republic that tallied up at least 100 school districts and charter schools that are closing. The state Department of Education said the state has more than 200 districts and more than 1.1 million schoolchildren.

Mike Pompeo owned Kansas aerospace company before political career

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Long before newly confirmed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pursued a career in politics, the West Point graduate embarked on a stint as a business owner.

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The Senate confirmed Pompeo by a 57-42 vote on Thursday. Pompeo, who was previously director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will replace Rex Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil CEO who was dismissed by President Donald Trump in March.

As a businessman, Pompeo is perhaps best known for co-founding Thayer Aerospace with some of his classmates from West Point. A specialized aircraft machinery manufacturer based in Kansas, Thayer expanded through investments from venture capital groups including Bain Capital and Koch Venture Capital, a fund run by billionaire investors Charles and David Koch.

After graduating from Harvard Law School, he entered the business world after receiving a phone call from one of his close friends at West Point.

“I had a buddy in Kansas call and say let’s start a business together,” Pompeo told the Wichita Eagle in 2010.

Pompeo sold his interest in Thayer, which was renamed Nex-Tech Aerospace, to Highland Capital Management in 2006. Pompeo told the Wichita Eagle he left the company on “excellent terms” despite a downturn in the aviation business after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. At the time of its sale, Nex-Tech Aerospace’s customers included Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon.

Pompeo later served as president of Sentry International, a manufacturer of oilfield equipment, from 2006 to 2010. Pompeo earned $238,364 in his final year in that role, the New York Daily News reported.

As of 2011, the Center for Responsive Politics estimated Pompeo’s net worth at roughly $521,000, according to The Washington Post.

Pompeo served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2010 to 2016 and a brief stint as CIA director after Trump was elected in November 2016. He came under fire during the confirmation process for that role after reports that he failed to disclose business interests in China.

“I am pleased with the Senate’s confirmation of Mike Pompeo to serve as our country’s top diplomat,” Trump said in a statement. “Having a patriot of Mike’s immense talent, energy and intellect leading the Department of State will be an incredible asset for our country at this critical time in history. He will always put the interests of America first. He has my trust. He has my support.”

Man charged in Oklahoma killings says he'll talk to families

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A man charged in the 1999 deaths of an Oklahoma couple, their 16-year-old daughter and her friend says he’s willing to speak with the families of the victims.

Ronnie Dean Busick was extradited from Kansas to the Craig County jail in Vinita on Wednesday evening. As he arrived, he said he didn’t know where the missing teens were but that he’d “talk to the families.”

The 66-year-old was charged Sunday with four counts of first-degree murder in the killings of Danny and Kathy Freeman, their daughter Ashley Freeman and her friend Lauria Bible.

Danny and Kathy Freeman were shot in the head and their bodies were left in their burning home. The teens’ bodies were never found.

The initial investigation didn’t get very far, but authorities say a review in recent years uncovered new evidence, including witness statements linking Busick and two other men to the killings. The other two men have since died.

Authorities say several witnesses said the men killed the Freemans over money owed for drugs.

Otto Warmbier's parents sue North Korea for torturing, murdering their son

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The parents of Otto Warmbier are suing North Korea for torturing their son, which ultimately led to his death.

Cindy and Fred Warmbier filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday. The complaint alleges North Korea detained Otto and “forced him to falsely ‘confess’ to an act of subversion on behalf of the United States government.”

OTTO WARMBIER’S PARENTS OPEN UP ABOUT SON’S TORTURE BY NORTH KOREA: ‘THEY ARE TERRORISTS’

The filing also states the communist nation “tortured him, kept him in detention for a year and a half without allowing him to communicate with his family, and returned him to them in a non-responsive state and brain dead.”

Otto, 22, was held captive by North Korea for more than 17 months for allegedly trying to take a sign from a hotel he visited with a tour group. He was medically evacuated June 13, 2017, and died six days later at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Fred Warmbier told “Fox & Friends” in September that when they first saw their son upon his arrival home he “had a shaved head, he had a feeding tube coming out of his nose, he was staring blankly into space, jerking violently.”

“He was blind. He was deaf. As we looked at him and tried to comfort him it looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth,” Fred said, adding: “North Korea is not a victim, they are terrorists. They purposefully and intentionally injured Otto.”

OTTO WARMBIER’S BODY SHOWED NO SIGNS OF TORTURE, CORONER’S REPORT SAYS

Fred Warmbier, in a statement to The Washington Post, said Otto, was “taken hostage, kept as a prisoner for political purposes, used as a pawn and singled out for exceptionally harsh and brutal treatment by Kim Jong Un.”

“Kim and his regime have portrayed themselves as innocent, while they intentionally destroyed our son’s life,” the statement read. “This lawsuit is another step in holding North Korea accountable for its barbaric treatment of Otto and our family.”

The Warmbiers are reportedly being represented by Richard Cullen of McGuire Woods LLP, who also represents Vice President Mike Pence. Both President Trump and Pence’s offices support the lawsuit but have not been involved, according to The Post.

Trump and Pence have been outspoken about Warmbier’s death, which the vice president in June labeled “a tragic example of North Korea’s disregard for human life.”

Trump on Tuesday called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “very open” and “very honorable” after the North announced last week it would suspend its nuclear and long-range missile tests ahead of a potential summit between the leaders to be held in May or early June.

Fox News’ Courtney Stein Lesskis and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.

Bookings for Southwest fall after fatal accident

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Inspections of jet engines at Southwest Airlines turned up one cracked fan blade last year but no others since last week’s deadly accident that investigators believe started when a weakened blade broke off during flight.

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Southwest executives said Thursday that they have checked more than 25,000 fan blades since 2016 for signs of metal fatigue and the remaining 10,000 will be inspected by mid-May.

They also said that bookings have dropped since the April 17 accident and will cost Southwest between $50 million and $100 million.

Last-minute trips fell, but so did bookings into May. Southwest canceled some flights to send planes for inspections, and it stopped advertising on television and social media. President Tom Nealon said the airline’s advertising “has a lot of fun, and we just don’t think it’s appropriate yet to bring that back.”

Southwest disclosed the results of engine inspections and the downturn in bookings as it reported a 22 percent increase in first-quarter profit, to $463 million. The results were in line with Wall Street expectations.

On a conference call with analysts and reporters, the financial figures were overshadowed by the emergency landing of one of Southwest’s planes last week in Philadelphia after an engine blew apart, knocked out a window, and killed Jennifer Riordan, a bank executive and mother of two from Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was the first accident-related death of a passenger in the airline’s 47-year history.

“It was a dark day,” CEO Gary Kelly said at the beginning of the call. He called Riordan “an extraordinary person” and credited the actions of the crew and other passengers during the emergency.

Southwest has 35,500 fan blades for its fleet of more than 700 Boeing 737 jets. After a fan blade broke off and triggered an engine breakup in August 2016, the airline started inspecting other engines as engine manufacturer CFM International recommended, said Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven. Those checks turned up one bad blade in May 2017, and it was discarded, he said.

Since last week’s accident, 8,500 more blades have been checked and none was found to show signs of metal fatigue, or microscopic cracks, Van de Ven said.

Kelly said Southwest never considered grounding any of its planes because it was following inspection recommendations from the engine manufacturer. Van de Ven added that metal fatigue in the widely used CFM fan blades was seen as extremely rare.

Analysts believe that any loss in bookings because of the accident will be temporary. JP Morgan’s Jamie Baker said no other airline has reported gaining at Southwest’s expense — although he noted it would be poor etiquette for other carriers to do so — and that any booking away from Southwest will be short-term.

The airline also announced that it plans to fly to four cities in Hawaii, not just Honolulu. That decision raises the stakes in a looming competition with Hawaiian Airlines and other carriers that fly to the islands from the West Coast. The Southwest flights are expected to start late this year or early in 2019.

Southwest also said it will lease coveted takeoff and landing slots at LaGuardia Airport in New York and Washington Reagan National Airport just outside the nation’s capital from Alaska Airlines, allowing it to expand at two airports that are essentially full.

Lower income taxes helped Southwest overcome cheaper average fares and higher fuel and labor costs in the January-through-March quarter. Taxes dropped 28 percent from a year ago, saving the Dallas-based airline $54 million.

Excluding items such as fuel-hedging contracts, Southwest said it would have earned 75 cents per share, matching the forecast of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $4.94 billion. That was a Southwest record for the first quarter, but it fell short of the $5.02 billion that analysts in the Zacks survey had expected.

Southwest boosted revenue despite a drop of nearly 5 percent in the average one-way fare, to $146.33 — reflecting slightly short trips and competition on key routes. However, the airline carried 6 percent more passengers, and the average flight was fuller — 81.5 percent of seats were sold, compared with 79.9 percent a year earlier.

Labor costs roses 5 percent and fuel costs grew 6 percent.

Southwest shares were down 51 cents to $53.32 in afternoon trading.

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David Koenig can be reached at http://twitter.com/airlinewriter

Suspect in serial killings was obsessed with lawn care

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The California grandfather suspected of killing a dozen people and raping more than 50 women lived a quiet life as a warehouse worker and a suburban homeowner obsessed with lawn care, neighbors and acquaintances said.

Joseph DeAngelo, a former police officer whose law enforcement career ended after he was busted for shoplifting in 1979, had a modest three-bedroom home in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights. He graduated from nearby Folsom High School, served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and worked for 27 years at a cavernous supermarket distribution warehouse.

Now 72, he has been accused of being the Golden State Killer who terrorized suburban neighborhoods in a spate of brutal rapes and slayings in the 1970s and ’80s. The case baffled investigators for decades.

Sierra Creech, 17, said she was friends with DeAngelo’s granddaughter and spent almost every weekend for six months at his home. DeAngelo wasn’t around much and told her he was always at work. The girls, who were about 8 or 9 years old at the time, were supervised by DeAngelo’s daughter.

“Nothing was odd. Everything was normal. He was just nice,” Creech said. She has not seen the family in nine years, she said, because the girl’s mother prohibited their friendship after they cut each other’s hair.

Her mother, Candace Creech, said she was spooked to learn that the man who used to pick up and drop off her daughter was accused of such heinous crimes.

“Scares me to death,” Candace Creech said. “I’m shocked. You just don’t ‘know. It’s really shocking. I started crying and picked her up from school because it’s scary.”

DeAngelo was charged Wednesday with eight counts of murder in three counties after being linked to the crimes through DNA. Authorities said other charges could be filed.

Most of the attacks, predominantly sex assaults but also two slayings, occurred in the three years he was an Auburn police officer in the Sierra foothills outside Sacramento.

The attacks on sleeping women — and sometimes their partners — in middle and upper-middle-class subdivisions east of the state Capitol shattered the security of an area where people didn’t lock their doors and children rode bicycles to school and played outside until dark.

Sales of locks surged. Lights burned all night. There was even talk of vigilantes with CB radios patrolling streets.

“It all changed,” said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who was 12 at the time of the crimes. “The memories are very vivid. You can ask anyone who grew up here. Everyone has a story.”

Betsy Reamer remembers looking out the front window of her Danville, California, home in 1979 when she saw something startling out of the corner of her eye: A masked man on a bicycle, coming down a hill on the street outside.

She called police, who responded with in minutes and asked her to provide a detailed description of what she saw. She could not remember many details they sought, such as the color of the bike and the mask.

For the next two years, until the family moved, she was nervous letting her children play outside. She frequently double-checked that she’d locked the doors and every window before she went to sleep at night.

“It just reinforced the fear — and it was never the same,” she said. “We never had the level of comfort that we did when we first moved there.”

After she learned that DeAngelo had been arrested, she dreamed about what she saw all those years ago.

“It was astounding to me. I hadn’t thought about it for so many years,” she said. “I had flashbacks — nightmares — last night thinking back to that moment.”

Authorities refocused their attention on the case two years ago on the 40th anniversary of the first known attack.

Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones said detectives with “dogged determination” were able to get a sample of DNA from something DeAngelo discarded, though he wouldn’t say what the item was. The genetic material was not a match, but there were enough similarities that investigators got a second sample, which proved conclusive.

Until recently, DeAngelo had never been under suspicion. He built remote-controlled model airplanes and took meticulous care of his house and manicured lawn, neighbors said.

Natalia Bedes-Correnti said the suspect appeared to be a “nice old grandpa” who lived with an adult daughter and granddaughter. But he also had penchant for cussing loudly when he was frustrated.

“He liked the F word a lot,” Bedes-Correnti said.

Deputies monitored his comings and goings for several days and took him by surprise Tuesday afternoon as he walked outside.

As he was being arrested, he told officers he had a roast in the oven. They said they would take care of it.

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Melley reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press Writers Jonathan J. Cooper in Citrus Heights, Sophia Bollag and Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles, Olga Rodriguez, Paul Elias and Juliet Williams in San Francisco and investigative researcher Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.

Hope for US trade visit to China: A delay in harmful tariffs

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When Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin leads a delegation of American officials to Beijing next week, few analysts expect them to defuse a smoldering trade conflict with China. Rather, the likeliest outcome is a more modest one:

That the talks could produce a delay in the series of damaging import tariffs the two nations have threatened to impose on each other’s goods.

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The underlying frictions that have flared between the world’s two largest economies will take much longer to resolve, government officials and China experts say.

At stake are more than the American manufacturing jobs President Donald Trump vows to protect at rallies around the country. Rules that could determine which countries and which companies will dominate the tech, transportation and pharmaceutical industries for years to come are at issue. So is the state of the global economy: Any prolonged trade war would almost surely depress growth.

For now, the two sides seem far apart.

Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, who will accompany Mnuchin, said it would take time to persuade China to conform to fundamental trade rules so that U.S. companies can compete without being forced to surrender their technological know-how as a price of doing business in that country, as Beijing now requires.

“This program over time, hopefully, will be negotiated out,” Kudlow told CNBC on Thursday. “If it’s not, then the United States, President Trump will take action.”

By action, Kudlow meant the tariffs on roughly $150 billion in Chinese goods being threatened by the administration — a threat that has led China to announce its own tariffs on U.S. goods.

Beijing argues that U.S. companies have benefited from both access to its 1.4 billion people — the single largest consumer market in the world — and the investments Chinese companies have made in the United States.

“The Chinese side resolutely opposes any type of unilateralist or protectionist actions,” Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, said Thursday. “Investment by Chinese enterprises in the United States has made important contributions by increasing employment and promoting American economic development.”

Trade experts see in the dueling rhetoric a desire by both the United States and China to avoid the damage that would result from the tariffs. Elizabeth Economy, director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the most realistic outcome from the talks is that China would fully honor a tentative plan it crafted with Trump a year ago.

That plan emerged from a meeting Trump held at his Florida resort with President Xi Jinping. It included expanded U.S. beef exports, rules for importing cooked Chinese poultry, access to liquid natural gas from the United States and guidelines for providing financial services, among other elements.

“The outcome of (next week’s) negotiation should be understood as only the first in an escalating set of moves to force real market opening in China,” Economy said.

She noted that Trump has pushed what she calls a “transactional” approach to China trade policy in which he seeks “a series of short-term wins that may or may not yield a long-term gain.”

Another potential scenario concerns a dispute over auto and auto parts. Beijing could offer to cut its 25 percent tariff on auto imports and make it easier for U.S. carmakers to do business in China. In a recent speech, Xi pledged to do both. China could also offer to limit its steel exports — another source of tension — or announce purchases of U.S. natural gas or other products, analysts say.

In return, the U.S. might have to drop some of its threatened tariffs.

Yet such a deal would leave unaddressed one of the Trump administration’s loudest complaints about China: That its policies force companies in high-tech industries to share their innovations to gain access to China’s market.

The administration has zeroed in on China’s “Made in China 2025” policy, which seeks to bolster Chinese companies in such industries as semiconductors, artificial intelligence, pharmaceuticals and electric vehicles. The plan mostly involves subsidizing Chinese firms. But it also requires foreign companies to provide key details about their technology to Chinese partners.

Derek Scissors, a China economist at the American Enterprise Institute, said that persuading China to amend its Made in China policies would be a brutal battle.

“The Chinese are not going to give up their core industrial policy without a fight,” Scissors said. “It’s a multi-year process. You’re not going to get them to change their mind without the tariffs going into effect (first).”

It’s too early in the dispute for any major breakthroughs, Scissors added. None of the threatened U.S. tariffs against Beijing have taken effect.

“They’re not going to give up anything important now; (the U.S.) hasn’t done anything,” Scissors said.

Li-Gang Liu, China economist for Citigroup, said Beijing agreed to the talks “with an aim to avert a trade war.”

But Liu thinks China will insist on having its “own industrial policy” that enables it to move deeper into high tech sectors where the United States and other nations now enjoy an edge.

By competing to dominate a future of robots, electric cars, computing and other high tech sectors, the United States and China appear to be on a collision course — one that led the administration to announce tariffs in the first place and China to retaliate.

David Dollar, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said the administration should focus on specific parts of the Made in China 2025 plan that are objectionable. Some elements, such as a requirement that automakers in China manufacture more electric vehicles, aren’t that different from some U.S. policies.

Still, “that’s not something that you would nail down in a two day trip,” he said.

China sees it as a violation of its sovereignty for the United States to try to curb its economic ambitions. So even if next week’s talks forestall a broader conflict, they risk hardening the fundamental gaps between the countries.

“China’s logic is that it is totally unfair for the U.S. to initiate a trade war,” said Song Lifang, professor at School of Economics, Renmin University. “The more pressure the U.S. is trying to exert on China, the more unyielding the Chinese government will become.”

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AP writer Joe McDonald and AP researcher Yu Bing contributed to this report from Beijing.

Kanye West rips John Legend for using 'tactic based on fear' to criticize rapper's Trump support

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Kanye West let John Legend know he means business when he supports President Donald Trump.

The controversial rapper tweeted a screenshot on Thursday of a private conversation he had with the singer, blasting his longtime friend for using “a tactic based on fear” to criticize West’s praise of Trump.

Legend, an outspoken liberal, apparently texted West to express concern over his recent pro-Trump rhetoric. “I hope you’ll reconsider aligning yourself with Trump,” Legend said.

“You’re way too influential to endorse who he is and what he stands for. As you know, what you say really means something to your fans,” Legend continued. “They respect your opinion. So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of color. Don’t let this be part of your legacy.”

West, who has been on a Twitter rampage this week, responded and then took a screen grab of the conversation and shared it with his 27.9 million Twitter followers.

“You bringing up my fans or my legacy is a tactic based on fear used to manipulate my free thought.”

– Kanye West

“I love you John and I appreciate your thoughts. You bringing up my fans or my legacy is a tactic based on fear used to manipulate my free thought,” West responded.

Legend replied, telling West that his “words and actions have consequences” before joking, “Since you’re posting texts, let me add that I have a new single out.”

All appears to be well between the longtime friends and collaborators despite the political differences. West ended the conversation by telling Legend that he loves him and eventually tweeted a plug for his new single.

“I really appreciate this dialogue with John Legend because I’m actually very empathetic. Im still the kid from the telethon. I feel when people think of MAGA they don’t think of empathy,” West tweeted shortly after he shared the conversation with Legend. “This is year one. We can’t ad empathy to MAGA by hating. We can only ad empathy with love and time and truly hearing all sides.”

The rapper said he shared the conversation to “show that there are people around me that disagree with me and voice their opinion,” adding, “I stand my ground.”

“You don’t have to agree with trump but the mob can’t make me not love him,”

– Kanye West

West sent dozens of politically charged tweets over the past few days, including a dig at President Obama and numerous pro-Trump messages.

“You don’t have to agree with trump but the mob can’t make me not love him,” West tweeted.

“We are both dragon energy,” he continued. “He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.”

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and musician Kanye West pose for media at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly - RC19E818F8C0

Kanye West has been attacked by liberals for supporting President Trump.

He also shared a photo of a “Make America Great Again” hat, which appeared to be signed by the president. The president took to Twitter to thank the rapper for the praise, adding, “very cool!”

Legend first reacted to West’s tweetstorm on Wednesday.

“I love that great, brilliant artists have the power to imagine a better future. But artists can’t be blind to the truth,” Legend tweeted. “The defining trait of Trump’s campaign and political profile was his embrace of white supremacy. He made it clear every time he spoke. Some serious cognitive dissonance to ignore that for the other x% you might find appealing. I guess I agree with >1% of anyone’s thoughts though.”

The posts were preceded by other comments he made. “I imagine there’s some comfort in imagining a future without racism and projecting that onto the present. Thinking if we just deny the truth, it doesn’t exist.” 

Fox News’ Elizabeth Zwirz contributed to this report.

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.

Why Oil States International, Inc.'s Stock Is Surging Today

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What happened

Shares of Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE: OIS) rallied on Thursday, rising more than 14% by 2:45 p.m. EDT, after the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter results.

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So what

Oil States International recorded $253.6 million in revenue during the quarter, which was 67.4% higher year over year and beat analysts’ expectations by $28.4 million. Further, while the company posted a net loss of $0.8 million, or $0.01 per share, that was $0.14 per share better than the consensus estimate and a significant improvement from the year-ago adjusted loss of $0.35 per share. Driving the stronger-than-expected showing were the contributions from two recently completed acquisitions as well as an increase in service activity levels in the oil and gas market.

The biggest contributor to Oil States’ stronger showing in the quarter came from GEODynamics, which the company acquired in January to form its new downhole technologies segment. This new business line added $45.8 million of revenue and $11.9 million of EBITDA, which was more than a third of the $32.3 million consolidated total.

Now what

With today’s earnings-fueled rally, Oil States’ stock is up more than 18% over the past year. While shares could have more upside from here as the oil market continues improving, they’re not as cheap as they were. Because of that, investors might want to consider going with a cheaper oil stock instead of chasing Oil States right now.

10 stocks we like better than Oil States InternationalWhen investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has quadrupled the market.*

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Matthew DiLallo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Trump deserves a lot of credit for historic North-South Korea summit, diplomat says

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South Korea’s foreign minister – a key player in this week’s inter-Korean summit – said a high-stakes meeting between President Trump and South Korea President Moon Jae-in could end North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threat.

“It does indicate,” South Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told Fox News, “that we have an historic opportunity to resolve the North Korean nuclear and missile threat once and for all.”

She acknowledged that re-starting talks with the top leaders, on all sides, was unusual diplomacy. But brushed off the idea that it was risky.

HISTORIC NORTH-SOUTH KOREA SUMMIT WILL SET THE STAGE FOR EVEN BIGGER TRUMP, KIM JONG UN SUMMIT

“It has been an unusual process,” she noted, “but perhaps the lessons of the past 25 years of negotiations and agreements and agreements broke….are basically 25 years of failure.” 

sk foreign ministern2

The foreign minister is one of several Seoul officials backing the South Korean president as he faces off against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The two were expected to meet in person at the border on Friday. It would be the third time the two Koreas have met since the two nations divided in 1948. The last summit was in 2007.

The foreign minister is one of several Seoul officials backing the South Korean president as he faces off against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The two were expected to meet in person at the border on Friday. It would be the third time the two Koreas have met since the two nations divided in 1948. The last summit was in 2007.

While it was unclear what early commitments Kim would make regarding getting rid of his nukes, Kang sounded determined.

“Our goal is complete, peaceful denuclearization,” she said. “Kim Jong Un has indicated as long as he is guaranteed security then he doesn’t need nuclear weapons.”

But she stressed that a peace mission, while urgent, probably would not be achieved in a few summits.

“The urgency of resolving the issue is something we all share,” she said. “What the time frame will be will come from discussions at the summit level.” 

TRUMP SAYS NORTH KOREA HAS MADE MAJOR NUCLEAR CONCESSIONS

As President Moon’s partner in this peace mission, Minister Kang gives President Trump a lot of credit.

“I think clearly he saw this as an immediate, the most challenging global security agenda, not just for the United States but for the whole world,” she said.

She said President Trump’s tough talk on North Korea has not negatively impacted peace talks.

“The daily messaging is one thing,” she said. “The longer-term effect of those messages is what really mattered and it has forced the North Korean leader to change his calculations.”

Greg Palkot currently serves as a London-based senior foreign affairs correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 1998 as a correspondent. Follow him on Twitter@GregPalkot.

Could an 'insane' Russian nuclear torpedo cause 300-foot tidal waves?

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Russia’s reported development of a formidable nuclear-powered torpedo or underwater drone is fueling concern about the potential devastation if the weapon were ever unleashed against U.S. cities.

While there has been speculation that the purported ‘doomsday’ device could be fake, Russia has offered up some recent hints about the shadowy system. During an address to the country’s Federal Assembly on March 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the development of unmanned submersible vehicles that can move at great depths much faster than submarines. “It is really fantastic. They are quiet, highly maneuverable and have hardly any vulnerabilities for the enemy to exploit. There is simply nothing in the world capable of withstanding them,” he said.

The Russian president explained that the country has completed “innovative” nuclear tests for the vehicle that “enabled us to begin developing a new type of strategic weapon that would carry massive nuclear ordnance.” Carrying either nuclear or conventional warheads, the vehicles could attack a variety of targets, including aircraft groups, coastal fortifications and infrastructure, he said.

MEET THE US MILITARY’S WARSHIP KILLER: THESE NEW MISSILES WILL SINK ENEMY SHIPS

Known as “Oceanic Multipurpose System Status-6” or “Kanyon,” the mysterious weapon system is mentioned in the recent U.S. Nuclear Posture Review.

Business Insider reported this week that Status-6 could potentially generate a 300-foot tsunami, although experts are unsure whether this would be the case.

“There is some dispute over whether it can generate a tidal wave but this hardly matters,” Dr. Mark Schneider, senior analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy, told Fox News, via email. Citing a Kremlin briefing slide that was leaked in 2015, Schneider said that the weapon’s role appears to be the destruction of ports with a massive blast and radiation.

FUTURISTIC NAVY SEAL BOAT DUBBED ‘BATMOBILE’

“If used against major U.S. ports, it could kill millions in each attack,” he explained, via email. “I have called it ‘insane’ because there is no way to limit damage from its use and no way to safely test it.”

Weapons like Status-6, Schneider said, are designed to deter retaliation against the initial Russian use of nuclear weapons. “The Nuclear Posture Review recognized the need for a U.S. deterrent to Russian first use of low-yield nuclear weapons,” he added. “We need such a deterrent very badly. Putin is a dangerous man.”

Pavel Podvig, author of the Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces blog, suspects that, despite the brouhaha over Status-6, Russia is still some way  from making the decision to deploy a warhead on the underwater drone. “My understanding, it’s just an educated guess, but I think that it’s note there yet,” he told Fox News. “As I understand it, it’s still kind of a paper project.”

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

The Latest: Evacuation area expands near Wisconsin refinery

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The Latest on a Wisconsin refinery explosion that injured several people (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

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Authorities have expanded the evacuation zone around a Wisconsin refinery that was rocked by an explosion and are now saying anyone within a three-mile (five-kilometer) radius should leave.

Douglas County authorities also say those in a 10-mile (16-kilometer) corridor south of the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior should leave due to smoke coming from the site.

Evacuees are being told to gather at Yellowjacket Union at the University of Wisconsin-Superior or at Four Corners Elementary School in Superior.

It isn’t clear how many people the evacuation order will effect. The refinery is in an industrial area, but there’s a residential neighborhood within a mile to the northeast. The corridor downwind to the south is sparsely populated.

At least 11 people were injured in the Thursday morning blast. A spokeswoman for Essentia Health says one person was seriously injured, while another nine being treated at Essentia hospitals in Superior and nearby Duluth, Minnesota, have non-life-threatening injuries.

St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth received one patient who is in fair condition.

___

12:55 p.m.

The number of people injured in a refinery explosion in Wisconsin has grown to at least 11.

Essentia Health spokeswoman Maureen Talarico says five patients are being treated at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, Minnesota. She says emergency room physicians describe those patients as awake and alert.

Talarico says another five are being treated at St. Mary’s Hospital in Superior, Wisconsin, where the explosion happened. She says the extent of injuries is unknown.

In Duluth, spokeswoman Jessica Stauber says St. Luke’s Hospital is treating one person. She doesn’t know the condition of that person.

The explosion at the Husky Energy oil refinery happened Thursday morning. Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger has said there are no known fatalities.

Panger earlier said the fire was out, but Superior police tweeted that the fire has reignited but that there is no need for residents to evacuate.

___

12:10 p.m.

Authorities now say five people have been taken to hospitals after an explosion rocked a large refinery in Wisconsin.

Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger initially told The Associated Press that six were taken to hospitals in nearby Duluth, Minnesota, after the explosion Thursday at the Husky Energy oil refinery. The Superior Fire Department later updated that number to five.

The fire chief says there are no known fatalities. Authorities don’t know the extent of injuries. The fire is out.

A contractor who was inside the building told WDIO television that the explosion sounded like “a sonic boom” and that it happened when crews were working on shutting the plant down for repairs.

Owned by Alberta-based Husky Energy, Wisconsin’s only refinery produces gasoline, asphalt and other products.

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11:30 a.m.

Several people have been injured in an explosion at a refinery in Wisconsin.

Authorities in Superior say the explosion at the Husky Energy oil refinery happened at about 10 a.m. Thursday. Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger says six people were taken to hospitals in Duluth, Minnesota. He doesn’t know the extent of their injuries. Others were walking wounded. There are no known fatalities.

A contractor who was inside the building told WDIO television that the explosion sounded like “a sonic boom” that happened when crews were working on shutting the plant down for repairs.

Panger says the fire was out by 11:20 a.m.

Superior police are advising people to stay away from the area and roads around the refinery have been blocked off. There have been no neighborhood evacuations.

US military deaths in Niger attributed to complacency, lack of training, culture of excessive risk: report

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A classified Pentagon report attributes the deaths of four U.S. soldiers — who were ambushed during an operation in Niger in October — to a list of military shortcomings, including complacency and a lack of training.

In addition, low-level commanders took shortcuts to approve operations — with at least one officer lifting orders from a different mission and pasting them onto the “so-called concept of operations to gain approval,” officials familiar with the report told the Wall Street Journal.

President Donald Trump approved recommendations granting lower-level military commanders the ability to make decisions, but the move was not seen as a contributing factor in the Niger deaths, the Journal reported, citing information from the sources.

The report also cited a culture of excessive risk, according to the paper.

Initially, the mission on Oct. 3, 2017, that ultimately sent the Army Special Forces team, along with Nigerian soldiers, into a deadly ambush, was a planned meeting with local officials. However, the team was redirected to assist in a search for Doundou Chefou, a militant suspected of involvement in the kidnapping of an American aid worker.

Upon returning, the team was later attacked by Islamic State-linked militants in a village near Tongo Tongo, resulting in the deaths of four U.S. soldiers and four Nigerien troops on Oct. 4.

The U.S. military members killed were identified as Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright.

The report also includes measures from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis aimed at preventing a similar incident from happening again, including, “reinforce normal protocols within the chain of command,” the sources told the Journal.

The months-long investigation consists of testimony, diagrams, maps and video from the helmet cameras of the soldiers, as well as statements from Mattis, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and from the Africa Command, the paper reported.

Families of the fallen military heroes will be briefed Monday on the 6,000-page report, along with lawmakers, before a declassified version is released to the public in the coming days.

Mattis told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday he has given a 200-page classified summary to Congress.

Mattis acknowledged Thursday there was not one but many problems that led to the American soldiers being ambushed by roughly 50 heavily armed ISIS-affiliated fighters more than six months ago in West Africa.

Mattis said: “I think right now we have found what we believe to be the crux of the problems, not problem but problems that contributed to this. It was not a delegation of authority problem. So we know immediately how to address and we are doing that right now.”

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

Benjamin Brown is a reporter for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bdbrown473.

12-year-old girl abducted on her way home from school, possibly by stepfather, police say

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A 12-year-old developmentally delayed girl was abducted as she walked home from school in Colorado, authorities said.

Raeanna Rosencrans was last seen at about 3 p.m. Wednesday near D ½ Road and Larry’s Meadow getting into a “boxy” car with a balding white man in his late 40s to early 50s and a medium build. The man called out to her by name, police said.

Raeanna — who stands 5 feet 1 and weighs about 135 pounds — was last seen wearing black jeans, a black shirt with white designs and Adidas sneakers. She also had a black and white backpack with Southwestern-style designs on it, police said.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has issued an Amber Alert in connection with her disappearance. Investigators said the girl is developmentally disabled but high-functioning.

Investigators said Raeanna may be with her stepfather, a registered sex offender with no parental rights to the girl. He has been identified as Jody Haskin, 47, of Grand Junction.

“Witness statement indicate that Raeanna entered the vehicle willingly,” police said in a statement. “Haskin is a registered sex offender, and currently has a warrant for his arrest for sex assault on a child out of the Grand Junction Police Department.”

Read more at the New York Post.

Boston to change Yawkey Way back to Jersey Street

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Officials in Boston voted unanimously Thursday to change the name of Yawkey Way, the street running in front of famed Fenway Park, amid ongoing controversy about the racial views of its namesake.

The city’s Public Improvement Commission approved a proposal backed by the Red Sox to resume calling the stretch of road Jersey Street. The name was changed to Yawkey Way in 1977 to honor longtime Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, who had passed away the year before.

Under Yawkey, who owned the club for 43 years before his death, the Red Sox was the last team in the major leagues to cross the color barrier. Pumpsie Green became its first black player in 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson played for the Dodgers.

Prior to that, the team chose not to sign several prominent black players, including Robinson and Willie Mays.

The vote drew immediate condemnation from the Yawkey Foundations, the charity named for Yawkey and his late wife, Jean.

“As we have said throughout this process, the effort to expunge Tom Yawkey’s name has been based on a false narrative about his life and his historic 43-year ownership of the Red Sox,” the organization said.

“The drastic step of renaming the street, now officially sanctioned by the city of Boston (and contradicting the honor the city bestowed upon Tom Yawkey over 40 years ago), will unfortunately give lasting credence to that narrative and unfairly tarnish his name.”

The Red Sox filed a petition with the commission in February and said that restoring the Jersey Street name is intended to reinforce that Fenway Park is “inclusive and welcoming to all.”

Principal owner John Henry told the Boston Herald last year that “I am still haunted by what went on here a long time before we arrived.”

In addition to the Red Sox, the commission noted that other businesses on the street had unanimously approved of the name change.

In its statement, the Yawkey Foundation claimed that it had “always acknowledged that it is regrettable that the Red Sox were the last Major League baseball team to integrate.” But it insisted that the good Yawkey and the foundation have done far outweighs the negative, including the more than $300 million the foundation has provided to organizations throughout the city.

It was not clear when the street signs would be changed.

The city renamed a stretch of the road David Ortiz Drive last summer in honor of the retired Red Sox designated hitter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click for more from Fox25Boston.com.

After a Bumpy Ride, Alkermes Confirms That It's Back on Track

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It’s been a volatile couple of weeks for Alkermes (NASDAQ: ALKS). The commercial-stage biopharma shook investors’ confidence in early April when it announced that it received a refuse to file letter from the Food and Drug Administration for ALKS 5461, an important pipeline candidate designed to treat depression. However, just a few weeks later the agency surprised investors again by announcing that it had overturned its original decision and officially accepted ALKS 5461 for review.

Having put the drama surrounding ALKS 5461 behind it, Alkermes posted first-quarter results featuring double-digit revenue growth and a shrinking loss on the bottom line. Management also provided investors with updated financial guidance for the full year.

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Alkermes Q1 results: The raw numbers

Metric Q1 2018 Q1 2017 Year-Over-Year Change
Revenue $225.2 million $191.8 million 17%
GAAP net income ($62.5 million) ($68.9 million) N/A
Non-GAAP net income ($14.2 million) ($27.9 million) N/A
Non-GAAP earnings per share ($0.09) ($0.18) N/A

What happened with Alkermes this quarter?

  • Sales of Alkermes’ opioid- and alcohol-abuse prevention drug Vivitrol grew 7% to $62.7 million.
  • Sales of the company’s schizophrenia drug Aristada rose 62% to $29.2 million.
  • Manufacturing and royalty revenue related to Johnson & Johnson‘s schizophrenia drugs jumped 15% to $68.8 million.
  • Manufacturing and royalty revenue related to Acorda Therapeutics‘ multiple sclerosis drug fell 3% to $28.3 million.
  • Research and development revenue earned as part of its collaboration with Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB) for BIIB098 — which used to be called ALKS 8700 — was $17.5 million.

Looking beyond the financials, here’s an overview of the key events from the period:

  • ALKS 5461 was accepted for regulatory review, and a target decision date of Jan. 31, 2019, was assigned.
  • Enrollment was completed in the company’s Enlighten-2 study. This six-month trial is comparing weight gain in patients with stable schizophrenia who use ALKS 3831 versus olanzapine. Data is expected by the fourth quarter of this year.
  • The potential approval of Aripiprazole Lauroxil NanoCrystal Dispersion, a drug designed to help patients get started with Aristada, remains on a track. A decision is expected by the end of June.

What management had to say

CFO James Frates was pleased with the company’s first-quarter results, noting that they were “in line with our expectations and reflect the solid growth of our proprietary commercial products and the continued strength of our royalty and manufacturing business.”

For his part, CEO Richard Pops kept his commentary focused on the company’s late-stage pipeline:

Management also restated its belief that the approval of Aripiprazole Lauroxil NanoCrystal Dispersion could help drive meaningful sales growth for Aristada.

Looking forward

Management tweaked its financial forecast for 2018 to reflect the timing and potential launch of ALKS 5461 in 2019. While projections for revenue and spending on R&D were reaffirmed, the company now projects that selling, general, and administrative spending will be about $40 million less than originally planned. As a result, the GAAP net loss was lowered by a similar amount. The company believes that its non-GAAP results will be slightly better than breakeven.

With the uncertainty surrounding ALKS 5461 in the rearview mirror (for now), CEO Richard Pops kept his final comments focused on the excitement that lies ahead:

10 stocks we like better than AlkermesWhen investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has quadrupled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Alkermes wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of April 2, 2018

Brian Feroldi has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alkermes, Biogen, and Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has the following options: short May 2018 $140 calls on Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.