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Matt Gaetz Scandal

Republican snorted cocaine with escort who had ‘No Show’ government job

When Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event. The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex. But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500.

Liz Cheney

Kevin McCarthy should testify about Trump’s views on Capitol attack

The Republican House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, should testify before the commission to investigate the 6 January Capitol attack, the Wyoming representative Liz Cheney said on Friday, because he has “said publicly that he’s got information about the president’s state of mind that day”.

Merrick Garland

Senate Democrats urge not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo

A group of Senate Democrats are urging Attorney General Merrick Garland not to fight a court order demanding the release of a 2019 Justice Department (DOJ) memo that essentially cleared former President Trump of criminal wrongdoing following the special counsel's investigation.

Liz Cheney

Elise Stefanik eventually voted in as House Republican's new No. 3 leader

Elise Stefanik cruised to victory in a vote to replace Liz Cheney as House Republicans' third-ranked leader, capping off a tumultuous month in the GOP conference sparked by its bitter divisions over Donald Trump. Stefanik won in a 134-46 secret-ballot vote, defeating her sole challenger Rep. Chip Roy of Texas — an unsurprising outcome after she aggressively campaigned for the No. 3 spot, scooping up endorsements from top party leaders and Trump. The 36-year-old New Yorker, known as a moderate turned Trump ally who's used her fundraising skills to help elect a new class of GOP women.

The Quick Vote

Republicans removed Cheney from leadership role over Trump ‘big lie’ criticism

House Republicans voted quickly on Wednesday to remove Liz Cheney as their No. 3 leader over her repeated criticism of Donald Trump, a massive shakeup that ties the party tighter to Trump and threatens to create a new litmus test in the GOP. The fast-moving campaign to dump Cheney, Congress' highest-ranking Republican woman, and replace her with a Trump loyalist was orchestrated by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and his top deputies. The California Republican and his allies complained that Cheney’s constant readiness to call out Trump’s lies.

“The Battle For Britney”

Bombshell Claim: Does Britney Spears have dementia?

Last week, Britney Spears posted a video of herself dancing on Instagram, accompanied by an uncharacteristically long, emoji-filled caption. While the post covered an eclectic array of topics—her love of travel, her desire to install a koi pond in her backyard, her pride in her garden—it was her blunt reaction to the recent spate of documentaries about her life and controversial conservatorship that made headlines.

Colonial Pipeline

Gasoline demand spikes in several states after pipeline hack

A growing number of gas stations along the East Coast are without fuel as nervous drivers aggressively fill up their tanks following a ransomware attack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline, a critical artery for gasoline. The panic-buying threatens to exacerbate the supply shock."Panicked buying" is "running stations in the region dry," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told CNN Business.

National Rifle Association

Judge dismisses NRA bankruptcy case

A federal bankruptcy judge dismissed an effort by the National Rifle Association to declare bankruptcy on Tuesday, ruling that the gun rights group had not filed the case in good faith. The ruling slams the door on the NRA's attempt to use bankruptcy laws to evade New York officials seeking to dissolve the organization. In his decision, the federal judge said that "using this bankruptcy case to address a regulatory enforcement problem" was not a permitted use of bankruptcy.

Vanessa & Tiffany Trump

‘Inappropriately close’ to Secret Service agents

Two Trump family members got “inappropriately – and perhaps dangerously – close” to agents protecting them while Donald Trump was president, according to a new book on the US Secret Service. Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, by the Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig, is published next week. The Guardian obtained a copy.

anti-vaxxers

Anti-Maskers ready to start masking — to protect themselves from the vaccinated

A conspiracy ripping through the anti-vax world may finally drive some anti-maskers to do the unthinkable: wear a mask and keep their distance. The conspiracy — which comes in several shapes and sizes — more or less says the vaccinated will “shed” certain proteins onto the unvaccinated who will then suffer adverse effects. The main worry is the “shedding” will cause irregular menstruation, infertility, and miscarriages. The entirely baseless idea is a key cog in a larger conspiracy that COVID-19 was a ploy to depopulate the world, and the vaccine is what will cull the masses.

From the Desk of Donald J. Trump

Trump's blog isn't lighting up the internet

Four months after former President Donald Trump was banished from most mainstream social media platforms, he returned to the web last Tuesday with “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” essentially a blog for his musings. A week since the unveiling, social media data suggests things are not going well. The ex-president’s blog has drawn a considerably smaller audience than his once-powerful social media accounts.

Wuhan

Rand Paul clashes with Dr. Anthony Fauci over coronavirus origins

Anthony Fauci on Tuesday clashed with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) over the role of the Wuhan, China, virology lab in the origins of COVID-19. During a Senate hearing on the pandemic response, Paul alleged that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had been sending funding to the Wuhan lab, which then "juiced up" a virus that was originally found in bats to create a supervirus that can infect human cells.

The Washington Post

Sally Buzbee new executive editor

Sally Buzbee, executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press, has been named the new executive editor of The Washington Post, the paper reported on Tuesday. Buzbee will become the first woman to lead the Post’s newsroom when she begins work next month, replacing former executive editor Martin Baron, who retired in February.

Matt Gaetz Scandal

Federal investigators seeking cooperation from former Gaetz girlfriend, second key witness

Federal investigators scrutinizing Rep. Matt Gaetz are seeking the cooperation of a former Capitol Hill intern who was once a girlfriend of the Florida Republican, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. Investigators could also soon gain the formal cooperation of a second key witness, former Florida county tax collector Joel Greenberg, who is approaching a deadline this week to strike a plea agreement with the government on more than two dozen charges he's facing. The pursuit of the cooperation comes as investigators are nearly finished collecting evidence, one source said.

USA

New study estimates more than 900,000 people have died of COVID-19

A new study estimates that the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. is more than 900,000, a number 57% higher than official figures. Worldwide, the study's authors say, the COVID-19 death count is nearing 7 million, more than double the reported number of 3.24 million.

The far right conspiracy

New York AG sues Jacob Wohl for $2.75 million over robocalls

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that her office has filed a lawsuit against bumbling right-wing conspiracy theorists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman over robocalls the pair allegedly made to suppress the Black vote ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Ex-wife Judith gets $42,000 a month

Money problems: Rudy Giuliani cuts down his entourage

Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer for ex-president Donald Trump, has reduced the size of his personal entourage. Giuliani laid off several staffers and independent contractors in the last few weeks, according to one of the people, who said the ousted employees had been told that the former New York mayor was seeking to cut costs.

FOX NEWS

Tucker Carlson makes BS claim ‘30 people every day’ are dying from vaccines

Fox News host Tucker Carlson continued his reckless mission to mainstream vaccine skepticism on Wednesday night by dangerously speculating that thousands of Americans have died from COVID-19 vaccinations, citing a faulty open-sourced database that has become a haven for misinformation.

Kenneth Braithwaite

Donald Trump’s Navy Chief blew $2M on eight-month traveling spree

Former Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite traversed the globe in his brief tenure under the Trump administration, spending about $2.4 million in air travel, according to figures and documents obtained by USA TODAY. Braithwaite spent $232,000 the week before President Joe Biden's inauguration to fly to Wake Island, a tiny Pacific atoll, where, according to Navy spokesman Capt. Jereal Dorsey, no sailors or Marines are stationed.

Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)

Judge's decision on Bill Barr memo puts spotlight on secretive DOJ office

A small but powerful section of the Department of Justice (DOJ) is under renewed scrutiny after a federal judge tore into former Attorney General William Barr and ordered the DOJ to release a memo that let former President Trump claim he was exonerated by the Mueller probe. Critics of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which provides legal advice to the White House and Cabinet agencies, have long argued it acts as a rubber stamp for the president and essentially drafts laws behind closed doors.

Election 2022

Liz Cheney faces the boot in Washington - Wyoming isn’t looking much better

Rep. Liz Cheney’s colleagues are set to boot her from House GOP leadership this month. Now Republicans back in her home state of Wyoming are plotting how to remove her from Congress entirely. There is no shortage of Republicans eager to take on Cheney in a 2022 primary since her vote to impeach President Donald Trump and her subsequent criticism of him tanked her popularity in Wyoming. But the crowded field is also a risk for the anti-Cheney forces, making it more possible for her to win with a plurality.

Frank Luntz

Donald Trump's 'Big Lie' is working, may cost GOP votes

Veteran GOP pollster Frank Luntz warned that former President Trump’s repeated assertions that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him could hurt Republican efforts to take back the House in 2022. Luntz noted in an interview on the New York Times podcast “Sway” released Thursday that “more than two-thirds of Republicans believe that the election was stolen,” warning that a widespread and unproven belief that there was rampant fraud last November could turn Republicans off from voting in the midterm elections.

Shortnews

COVID-19: USA

Goldman Sachs announces return to work

Goldman Sachs is going back to work. The banking giant told staff on Wednesday that it would start letting people back into its offices in the coming weeks after shutting most of them down in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a memo to staff, Goldman’s chief executive officer, David Solomon, said staff around the world would soon be notified of plans to allow people to return to their offices. Staff will return on a rotational basis in some offices and the plans will vary depending on local, business and personal circumstances.

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COVID-19: USA

Goldman Sachs announces return to work

Goldman Sachs is going back to work. The banking giant told staff on Wednesday that it would start letting people back into its offices in the coming weeks after shutting most of them down in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a memo to staff, Goldman’s chief executive officer, David Solomon, said staff around the world would soon be notified of plans to allow people to return to their offices. Staff will return on a rotational basis in some offices and the plans will vary depending on local, business and personal circumstances.

“Over the coming days and weeks, colleagues in those offices will hear from their divisional, business and/or local leadership about what to expect for the months ahead, including team rotations in the office where possible, with the goal of giving everyone who can do so an opportunity to come in to their office,” Solomon said.

“Importantly, this rotational approach will not look the same for everyone, as we each navigate unique personal responsibilities – for example, planning around adjusted school schedules, managing personal and family health conditions, and not being comfortable commuting to the office during peak hours, among many other considerations,” Solomon said.

JP Morgan announced similar plans last month and is planning to allow staff to cycle between days at the office and at home. But while the banks are making moves to return to a situation closer to their pre-pandemic working arrangements, JP Morgan has estimated a quarter of its close to 61,000 staff could still be working from home for the foreseeable future.

Six biggest tech stocks

More than $1 trillion in value lost in three days

The six biggest tech stocks have lost more than $1 trillion over the last three days alone, but it’s really just a dent coming off a huge rally that peaked last week. Apple, which hit a $2 trillion market cap on Aug. 19, is down about $325 billion in that time period. Microsoft’s down $219 billion, Amazon fell $191 billion, Alphabet cratered by $135 billion, and Tesla, which fell 21% on Tuesday to mark its worst single-day loss in its history, is down $109 billion in the last three days.

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Six biggest tech stocks

More than $1 trillion in value lost in three days

The six biggest tech stocks have lost more than $1 trillion over the last three days alone, but it’s really just a dent coming off a huge rally that peaked last week. Apple, which hit a $2 trillion market cap on Aug. 19, is down about $325 billion in that time period. Microsoft’s down $219 billion, Amazon fell $191 billion, Alphabet cratered by $135 billion, and Tesla, which fell 21% on Tuesday to mark its worst single-day loss in its history, is down $109 billion in the last three days.

Finally, Facebook is off by $89 billion.

“In general, if you think about the market cap loss over the last 3 days for Apple, it’s about $325 billion. To help put that in perspective, that’s about 1.5 Salesforces, and equivalent to Apple’s projected revenues for the next calendar year,” Jefferies’ Jared Weisfeld told CNBC’s “Fast Money” on Tuesday.

Despite the huge number, it’s worth keeping in perspective given the tech giants’ massive rise in value this year.

At the beginning of 2020, the six largest tech companies were worth about $5 trillion. On Wednesday, Sept. 2, they peaked with a value of $8.2 trillion. After Tuesday’s close, they have a combined market cap of $7.1 trillion. While it’s a big loss over a few days, these six companies are still worth $2.1 trillion more than they were at the beginning of the year -- despite the global coronavirus pandemic and record job losses in the U.S.

Apple

Epic Games’ App Store account suspended

Apple on Friday said it suspended Epic Games’ developer account. It follows a temporary restraining order on Monday evening, in which a judge ruled that Apple can block Fortnite but not Epic’s developer account. However, Apple said it terminated an Epic developer account that does not include the Unreal Engine that’s used by third-party developers to make 3D games, which keeps the move in line with the judge’s order. ″We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store. We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases,” Apple said.

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Apple

Epic Games’ App Store account suspended

Apple on Friday said it suspended Epic Games’ developer account. It follows a temporary restraining order on Monday evening, in which a judge ruled that Apple can block Fortnite but not Epic’s developer account.

However, Apple said it terminated an Epic developer account that does not include the Unreal Engine that’s used by third-party developers to make 3D games, which keeps the move in line with the judge’s order.

″We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store. We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases,” Apple said.

“The court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they’ve followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused. Instead they repeatedly submit Fortnite updates designed to violate the guidelines of the App Store.

This is not fair to all other developers on the App Store and is putting customers in the middle of their fight. We hope that we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately that is not possible today.”

An Epic Games spokesperson pointed CNBC to a blog post with earlier comments, including: “Apple is asking that Epic revert Fortnite to exclusively use Apple payments. Their proposal is an invitation for Epic to collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS, suppressing free market competition and inflating prices. As a matter of principle, we won’t participate in this scheme.”

Epic Games’ titles, including Fortnite, have been a huge success, including through Apple’s App Store.

“We estimate that, since January 2012, Epic Games’ mobile titles have been downloaded more than 159 million times across Apple’s App Store globally, generating approximately $1.2 billion in consumer spending,” Stephanie Chan, mobile insights strategist for Sensor Tower, an app analytics company, told CNBC.

“Thirty percent of this revenue, or approximately $360 million, went to Apple.”

The battle between Apple and Epic Games started after Epic included a new direct purchase option inside Fortnite that circumvented Apple’s 30% revenue cut from in-app purchases. Apple pulled the app from the App Store on the same day and, shortly after, Epic Games filed a lawsuit.

Apple said it provided Epic Games 14 days to update Fortnite to meet its app store guidelines, after which it would suspend Epic Games’ account. Apple said this is standard practice for all developers.

The suspension means Epic Games can no longer submit games or updates to games, like Fortnite, for publication to the iOS and Mac App Stores. While people who already have the game installed can still play it, they just won’t get any updates. Players also can’t buy any in-game content. They also can’t play the new Fortnite season, which recently launched.

Apple said that Fortnite’s users have been directed by Epic Games to contact AppleCare, and that those requests have caused refund quality issues and support problems for Apple users around the world.

MGM Resorts lays off 18,000 workers

MGM Resorts lays off 18,000 workers

MGM Resorts International is laying off 18,000 furloughed workers in the U.S. as a global travel slowdown impedes the casino industry’s recovery from the ongoing pandemic. The job cuts, which start Monday, represent about one-fourth of the company’s pre-pandemic workforce of 68,000 U.S. employees. After casino shutdowns and furloughs in March, the continuing spread of coronavirus in the U.S. has prevented the rebound of many industries, including hospitality, airlines and oil extraction.

Google

Noch ein Jahr im Home-Office

Noch ein Jahr Heimarbeit: Google will für die kommenden zwölf Monate Heimarbeit. Firmenchef Sundar Pichai hat die Entscheidung vergangene Woche nach einer internen Debatte getroffen. Die Google-Mutter Alphabet hatte Ende vergangenen Jahres etwa 119.000 Vollzeit-Mitarbeiter. Der Internet-Konzern legt sich damit als eines der ersten großen Unternehmen auf eine sehr späte Rückkehr in die Büros fest. Zugleich gaben einige Tech-Unternehmen wie etwa Twitter ihren Mitarbeiter bereits die Freiheit, auch nach dem Ende der Corona-Pandemie weiter uneingeschränkt von zuhause arbeiten zu dürfen.