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Forecaster MeteoGroup to come under TBG umbrella
Swiss-owned business information provider TBG is to buy MeteoGroup, the weather forecasting giant which supplies data to the BBC and British Airways.
The deal, first reported by Sky News, was confirmed on Monday.
TBG, which is based in Zurich, will fund the acquisition through DTN, a company it acquired last year from the industrial powerhouse Schneider Electric.
It follows a troubled period for MeteoGroup under the ownership of General Atlantic (GA), which initially invested in it in 2013.
The deal is expected to enable TBG to expand its presence in the growing market for weather information services and technologies.
MeteoGroup chief executive Donat Retif said: "We welcome the new owner who has significant experience in metereological intelligence.
"The proposed acquisition will enable Meteogroup to deliver on its strategy and capitalise on a vast global market opportunity."
MeteoGroup, which employs more than 100 meteorologists, has been a rare poor investment for GA, which has been a serial backer of technology "unicorns" such as Buzzfeed and Uber.
The value of the deal was not disclosed, but insiders said that it would crystallise a loss for GA. It is expected to complete next month, subject to regulatory approval.
Pricing pressure across the industry is said to have been a factor in the challenging conditions faced by the business in recent years.
MeteoGroup is a major supplier of weather forecasting information to business customers, competing with companies including StormGeo and IBM, the US technology giant which owns The Weather Channel.
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Clients include British Airways, which uses its data on its in-flight entertainment system, and the BBC, where it replaced the Met Office as the principal supplier of weather-related data earlier this year.
Accurate weather data has become an increasingly important element of business planning processes for companies around the world.
Renationalisation plans not ‘a return to the past’
By Alan McGuinness, political reporter, in Liverpool
John McDonnell has hailed Labour's plans to renationalise the water industry, telling the party's conference it is part of "the greatest extension of economic democratic rights that this country has ever seen".
The shadow chancellor told Labour's annual gathering in Liverpool that the policy would "put this essential service back in the hands of local councils, workers and customers".
Mr McDonnell said the party's plans for sweeping nationalisation of industries like water, energy and rail would not be "a return to the past" but the catalyst for genuine change.
"We don't want to take power away from faceless directors only to centralise it all in a Whitehall office, to swap one remote manager for another," he told delegates.
He said the party was primed to implement a radical programme of nationalisation as soon as it entered Downing Street.
Mr McDonnell told the hall Labour would ensure there would be "unprecedented openness and transparency" in how the water industry was managed, as well as announcing a "large scale consultation" on "democracy in our public services".
Mr McDonnell said an industry shake-up would see it reorganised under new Regional Water Authorities (RWAs).
These would include local councillors, worker representatives and representatives of community, consumer and environmental interests.
He said executive and director level jobs would be re-advertised on "dramatically reduced" salaries and denounced the "scandal" of an industry which has paid out £18bn in dividends as bills rocketed by 40% in real terms.
As for what would happen to shareholders in the existing private companies, Mr McDonnell said they would be compensated with bonds in a way that would be "cost neutral" for the taxpayer.
However, the party has made clear that shareholders' payments could be cut if there is evidence of asset-stripping, pension fund deficits or state subsidies since privatisation – and compensation being forfeited altogether has not been ruled out.
Mr McDonnell promised: "We are ending the profiteering in dividends, vast executive salaries, and excessive interest payments.
"Surpluses will be reinvested in water infrastructure and staff, or used to reduce bills."
Mr McDonnell said aPublic and Community Ownership Unit in the Treasury would take charge of the return of water, energy, rail and the Royal Mail to public ownership.
The shadow chancellor also announced plans to make employees part-owners of their company if the firm employs more than 250 people, a policy the party claims could leave workers up to £500 a year better off.
Mr McDonnell pledged to bring together institutions like churches, unions and pension funds as part of a concerted campaign to apply pressure to firms to stop avoiding taxes.
The Conservatives said the employee ownership policy was "yet another tax rise" which could deter companies from taking on staff, while the Confederation of British Industry warned it would drive down investment.
The business group also expressed concerns about Mr McDonnell's speech more generally, warning "the fallout…would be a drop in living standards".
Director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said: "From renationalisation to dilution of shares, Labour seems determined to impose rules that display a wilful misunderstanding of business.
"Their policies would immediately reduce the value of shares owned by ordinary people by over 10% and hobble UK ambitions to compete on a global stage."
Mr McDonnell also said Labour was ready to fight and win an election, telling the Tories: "Bring it on."
There was loud applause in the hall when he said: "Whenever the general election comes, we are ready.
"Ready to campaign for victory, ready for government, ready to build the future.
"And … we'll be proud to call that future socialism."
Labour's annual gathering has been dominated by calls for it to back a second Brexit referendum.
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Mr McDonnell sparked anger on Monday when he said such a vote would not include an option to stay in the EU, but rather give voters a say on the "nature" of a deal with Brussels.
In his speech he made clear that his preference was for there to be an election to decide the issue, and added: "We are keeping all the options open for democratic engagement."
Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook page makes references some believe are sexual innuendos, and Michael Avenatti wants senators to ask him about them
- Judge Brett Kavanaugh's alleged past as a hard-partying high schooler and college student are at issue after two women accused publicly him of sexual misconduct in the early 1980s.
- Kavanaugh's high school yearbook page includes potentially sexually explicit references and mentions of an alcohol-soaked party culture.
- He has been accused of sexually assaulting a girl in high school and exposing himself to a fellow female student in college. In both instances, the women claim he was intoxicated.
- Kavanaugh denies the allegations.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh's alleged past as a hard-partying high schooler and college student are at issue after two women accused President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee of sexual misconduct during his years at Georgetown Preparatory School and Yale University.
Among the evidence some are pointing to that Kavanaugh and his friends at the elite all-boys high school participated in an alcohol-soaked party culture are references on Kavanaugh's senior class yearbook page, which includes a blurb mentioning "Keg City Club (Treasurer) — 100 Kegs or Bust" and "Devil's Triangle" — slang for sex between two men and a woman.
WUSA, a DC-area CBS affiliate, obtained a copy of the yearbook from an attorney representing a woman who brought it to light after Christine Blasey Ford publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
Kavanaugh’s page includes references to the "Keg City Club" and "100 kegs or bust." pic.twitter.com/kTC5PLaico
— WUSA9 (@wusa9) September 18, 2018
Ford, now a professor of psychology, alleges that Kavanaugh forced himself on her, locked her in a room, groped her, and covered her mouth to mask her screams during a drunken house party when she was 15 and he was 17. Ford is set to testify in open court about her claim on Thursday.
On Sunday, The New Yorker published an allegation from a former Yale University classmate of Kavanaugh's, Deborah Ramirez, who claims he exposed himself to her without her consent at a dorm-room party during the 1983-84 school year.
Kavanaugh has categorically denied both Ramirez and Ford's allegations.
"This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so," he said in response to The New Yorker story on Sunday. "This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth."
Attorney Michael Avenatti said in an email to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sunday that he has "significant evidence" that Kavanaugh, his Georgetown Prep friend Mark Judge, and others plied women with alcohol and drugs "in order to allow a 'train' of men to subsequently gang rape them" during house parties in high school.
Avenatti elaborated to Politico later on Sunday that he represents a group of people, including one victim and multiple witnesses, who can corroborate allegations involving Kavanaugh and Judge. Judge had previously denied knowledge of Ford's allegation.
The attorney, who also represents adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Trump, suggested that another cryptic term on Kavanaugh's yearbook page is a sexually explicit reference.
"Brett Kavanaugh must also be asked about this entry in his yearbook: 'FFFFFFFourth of July,'" Avenatti tweeted Sunday night. "We believe that this stands for: Find them, French them, Feel them, Finger them, F*ck them, Forget them. As well as the term "Devil's Triangle." Perhaps Sen. Grassley can ask him."
Brett Kavanaugh must also be asked about this entry in his yearbook: "FFFFFFFourth of July." We believe that this stands for: Find them, French them, Feel them, Finger them, F*ck them, Forget them. As well as the term "Devil's Triangle." Perhaps Sen. Grassley can ask him. #Basta
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 24, 2018
While delivering remarks at a law school in March 2015, Kavanaugh made a jocular reference to his high school alma mater in a recorded clip that has recently attracted attention.
"We had a good saying that we've held firm to to this day, as the dean was reminding me before the talk, which is what happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep. That's been a good thing for all of us," the judge said, chuckling.
SEE ALSO: Trump says Kavanaugh is 'under assault,' blames Christine Blasey Ford for not going to the FBI when she was in high school
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The CEO of Nasdaq took a project at age 28 that taught her 2 lessons and changed the way she shaped her career
- Adena Friedman was named CEO of Nasdaq in 2017 after being with the company for two decades.
- Friedman said her career was shaped after taking on a project at the company that "people didn't care as much about" when she was 28 years old.
- Friedman said she learned two lessons from heading the project: Take all opportunities and surround yourself with smart people.
After two decades at Nasdaq, Adena Friedman was named CEO of the world's second-largest stock exchange in 2017 — but she doesn't attribute her success within the company to the amount of years she's worked there.
Friedman joined Nasdaq in 1993 after completing her MBA at Vanderbilt University. A few years later, Friedman, then 28, was put in charge of the Mutual Fund Quotation Service — a mini-business that nobody else within the company wanted to touch, she told Business Insider on an episode of our podcast "This Is Success."
"It was a small product that hadn't really been revamped for a long time," Friedman said. "Since it was kind of a pretty standard service, it really hadn't been touched for probably 10 years or more by the time I took it, and I had written a business plan about it a couple of years earlier, saying, 'Well these are the things we could do to maximize the opportunity in the business.' And they said, 'OK, well, here you go.'"
Friedman describes the product as a support to Nasdaq's operations but not central to trading. "And they kind of said, 'Well, she's a young person — let's try to see what she can do with it,' essentially. And they did give me complete autonomy to do with it what I could," Friedman said.
Friedman said heading this project shaped her career because she was able to prove that she could pull resources, build a team, and shine "by taking something that people didn't care as much about."
Friedman said she learned two valuable career lessons that helped her find success after taking on the project. The first takeaway: accepting opportunities that are given to you — even if it doesn't seem like a golden ticket.
"It actually makes it so you can have a lot more impact on it and you can have a lot more autonomy," Friedman said.
The second lesson she learned is finding other people who can help. "Don't assume you're going to do it yourself," Friedman said. "You have to have those people, those experts around you who are better at their jobs than you are, to help you find success."
SEE ALSO: The CEO of Nasdaq asks herself two questions to keep her career and her company moving forward
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The 19 original shows Apple is producing in its push into TV as an ‘expensive NBC’
Apple's $1 billion push into original TV programming has gotten off to a slow start.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that quality control issues from Apple CEO Tim Cook have largely been responsible for the company's delayed production of the more than dozen shows it has ordered.
Cook reportedly scrapped Dr. Dre's original series, "Vital Signs," (which was already shot) over concerns about explicit scenes that included cocaine use, an orgy, and "drawn guns."
Several other shows have faced delays as Apple seeks to keep "gratuitous sex, profanity or violence" from its service's original content, a family-friendly approach that reportedly has the company's own employees referring to the company's project as an "expensive NBC," according to WSJ.
Apple first had a brief, initial run of shows last summer with the release of the unscripted series "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke." But the company shifted its course in June 2017 when it hired former Sony Pictures Television presidents Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to head its original programming.
Since then, the company has announced the production or development of 17 original, scripted series — including a biographical drama on NBA all-star Kevin Durant's youth, an animated show from the creator of "Bob's Burgers," and an untitled series from M. Night Shyamalan.
None of those 17 upcoming series has a release date yet.
Here are the 19 original shows that Apple is producing in its push into TV (including two that have already been released):
SEE ALSO: The 50 best TV show seasons of all time, according to critics
The Wall Street Journal reported in October that Apple's first move under its new programming heads, Van Amburg and Erlicht, would be to revive Steven Spielberg's sci-fi and horror anthology series "Amazing Stories," which aired on NBC in the late 1980s.
WSJ reported that Apple signed a deal with Spielberg's Amblin Television and Universal Television to produce 10 new episodes of the series, with Bryan Fuller (the creator of NBC's "Hannibal") as its showrunner.
Fuller left the series in February, however. A source told Variety that Fuller parted "amicably," and that Fuller's vision for the show did not match the "more family-friendly approach" that Apple reportedly sought.
Untitled Reese Witherspoon/Jennifer Aniston morning show drama series
In November, Apple announced that it ordered two ten-episode seasons of a drama series that is set in the world of morning-TV talk shows and stars Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.
Variety reported that the series will draw from CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter's 2013 book "Top of the Morning," which recounted the morning-TV rivalry between NBC's "Today" and ABC's "Good Morning America."
Jay Carson ("House of Cards") is writing the pilot and will serve as showrunner. It will be produced by Michael Ellenberg's Media Res studio, Aniston's Echo Films, and Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine production company.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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