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Business News Roundup, Jan. 18
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 23:45:58 UT - Social media Pressure over propaganda Lawmakers grilled Facebook, YouTube and Twitter executives on Wednesday about what the companies are doing to prevent terrorists from using their services to spread propaganda and recruit followers. The Senate’s commerce, science and transportation committee hearing comes amid growing government scrutiny over misuse of social media and questions about what the companies are doing to prevent it. ]]

Bitcoin plunges — is it just a normal correction or a bubble deflating?
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 23:01:27 UT - The air has been swiftly leaking out of the virtual currency bubble. A decline in virtual currency prices that began before Christmas has picked up pace in recent days as concern has grown that governments could crack down on the new industry. The price of bitcoin dipped below $10,000 on Wednesday, taking it to about half of what it was at its peak last month. It had recovered to about $11,600 by midafternoon. Other virtual currencies have been falling even faster. Ripple, which was briefly second in value after bitcoin, has lost more than two-thirds of its value from the high it hit early this month. ]]

Google selling AI for building AI
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 21:12:59 UT - Google has been using artificial intelligence to build other artificially intelligent systems for the past several months. Now the Mountain View company plans to sell this kind of “automated machine learning” technology to other businesses across the globe. On Wednesday, Google introduced a cloud computing service that it bills as a way to build a so-called computer vision system that suits your particular needs — even if you have little or no experience with the concepts that drive it. ]]

Assistant accused of stealing $1.2M in wine from Goldman co-president
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:36:21 UT -

Ship traffic, Jan. 18
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:49:37 UT - Ship traffic Due to arrive today SHIP FROM PORT Eminent Ace Long Beach BNC ]]

Selfies get artistic, e-commerce goes ballistic, Steak-umm gets a blue tick
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:42:14 UT - App update If you lack selfie control, you’ll love the latest version of the Google Arts & Culture app. It lets you upload a photo of your face and see what famous portrait from 1,200 museums in 70 countries best matches it, according to the Washington Post. The app was updated in mid-December, but only recently become a viral hit. Celebrities like Kelly Ripa, Josh Gad and Kate Hud son have tried it, entertainment site TooFab reported — though Alyssa Milano hated her doppelganger from the Rijksmuseum. Number of the day $108. ]]

Nutella maker to pay $2.8 billion for Nestlé’s U.S. candy unit
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:25:44 UT - Nestlé will sell its U.S. confectionery unit to Ferrero, the Italian company that makes Nutella, in the first substantial step away from the candy industry by the company that invented milk chocolate. The sale of the unit, which includes the Butterfinger and Baby Ruth brands, is also the first major divestment by the Swiss food giant since CEO Mark Schneider took the helm last year. Nestlé plans to focus on healthier and faster-growing categories like coffee, pet food and water as the food industry grapples with a drop in demand for sugary products. “Our commitment to invest in the U.S. is as big as ever,” Nestlé USA chief Paul Grimwood said on a call. The U.S. ]]

Business News Roundup, Jan. 17
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:19:28 UT - Tax overhaul Banks lose now, see gains later The nation’s banks are finding a lot to love about the Trump administration’s tax cuts. The $1.5 trillion overhaul provides deep and lasting tax cuts to all types of businesses, but financial institutions are among the biggest winners so far, reaping benefits from a lower corporate rate and more preferable tax treatment for entities known as pass-through companies, which include many small banks. ]]

Ferrari plans electric car to challenge Tesla
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 23:30:21 UT - Ferrari will make a battery-powered supercar to challenge Tesla at the high end of the electric-auto market, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said Tuesday. The race-car maker, spun off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has been expanding its lineup to lift sales without losing the exclusivity of a brand associated with Italian design and super-fast roadsters. Marchionne, who heads both companies, also told reporters at the Detroit auto show that Ferrari will introduce its first sport utility vehicle, which will be “the fastest on the market” by late 2019 or 2020. “If there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first,” Marchionne said. ]]

McDonald’s to recycle packaging, use renewable material
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 23:02:28 UT - McDonald’s will recycle packaging in all of its almost 37,000 restaurants globally by 2025, the company announced Tuesday. McDonald’s also announced that all of its packaging will come from renewable, recycled or certified sources where no deforestation occurs by 2025. These are big steps for the burger giant, and the move could pressure other large companies to follow suit. Increasingly, consumers and investors are demanding that corporations make commitments on global issues such as environmental sustainability and animal welfare. Currently, only about 10 percent of McDonald’s restaurants globally are recycling packaging. ]]

Your cryptocurrency masters are getting hilariously rich, and you’re not
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 23:02:04 UT - Recently the founder of something called ripple briefly became richer than Mark Zuckerberg. Another day an anonymous donor set up an $86 million bitcoin-fortune charity called the Pineapple Fund. A Reddit user spotted a Tesla with a BLOKCHN license plate. More people are looking to buy bitcoin on their credit cards. After the Long Island Iced Tea company announced it would shift to blockchain, its stock rose 500 percent in a day. In 2017, bitcoin went from $830 to $19,300, and it now quivers around $14,000. Ether, its main rival, started the year at less than $10, closing out 2017 at $715. Now it’s over $1,100. The wealth is intoxicating news, feverish because it seems so random. ]]

Instacart buys Toronto digital-coupon startup Unata
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 22:59:54 UT - San Francisco’s Instacart Inc. plans to acquire Toronto startup Unata Inc., giving the grocery-delivery company new kinds of e-commerce tools and a path to expand in Canada. The deal totals about $65 million, according to two people familiar with the matter, and signals where Instacart is headed in its battle with Amazon.com. Unata specializes in making and tracking digital coupons and circulars. The company is also developing a voice-activated tool to allow customers to purchase goods online from midsize retailers using devices like Google Home. ]]

Ship traffic, Jan. 17
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 21:18:55 UT - Ship traffic Due to arrive today SHIP FROM PORT Agamemnon Los Angeles OAK ]]

Goodbye, diesel: California school buses drive toward electric age
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:00:00 UT -

Last Update at: Thu Jan 18 02:27:58 PST 2018


Bay Area Sports

Stanford beats No. 16 ASU for 5th win in row
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 07:21:24 UT - Not too long ago, Stanford was coming off a 6-7 nonconference season and a blown lead against Cal in its Pac-12 opener. Not too long ago, Arizona State was ranked No.3 in the country. How things have changed. Getting a big lift from reserve center Josh Sharma, the Cardinal dominated the Sun Devils for most of the second half but had to hang on at the end for their fifth straight win, 86-77 Wednesday night at Maples Pavilion. Sharma, a 7-foot junior averaging 4.1 points a game, unleashed five dunks and scored a season-high 14 points, hitting all seven of his field-goal tries. ]]

Garbiñe Muguruza, Sam Querrey eliminated at Australian Open
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 07:13:08 UT - MELBOURNE, Australia — Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza struggled with the heat and Hsieh Su-wei’s game before losing 7-6 (1), 6-4 on Thursday as the upsets intensified at the Australian Open. Muguruza, seeded third, follows Venus Williams and U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens out of the tournament in the first week, leaving three major winners still in the women’s draw — and two could meet in the third round. Muguruza had five double-faults, including one to give No. 88-ranked Hsieh a match point, and made 43 unforced errors. She needed a medical timeout in the first set, and accidentally hit a ball into a line judge in frustration. ]]

Cal men get blown out by Arizona in fifth straight loss
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:46:55 UT - Cal got its first look at the probable No. 1 pick in the NBA draft Wednesday night. And, while the Bears were marveling at Deandre Ayton, his Arizona teammates were lighting up the scoreboard in a 79-58 victory in front of 7,721 fans mostly clad in gold T-shirts at Haas Pavilion. The No. 14 Wildcats (15-4, 5-1 Pac-12), who have won 11 of their past 12 games, went 11-for-19 from three-point range, including getting a combined 28 points on 8-for-10 shooting from distance from Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Dylan Smith. “You kind of have to pick your poison,” Cal head coach Wyking Jones said. ]]

Ducks, behind 4-goal period, halt Penguins’ run
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:37:00 UT - Anaheim’s Rickard Rakell and Adam Henrique scored 1:35 apart during their team’s four-goal second period Wednesday and the host Ducks ended Pittsburgh’s four-game winning streak by beating the Penguins 5-3. Chris Wagner and Ondrej Kase also scored for Anaheim in the middle period, and Hampus Lindholm added an empty-netter in the final second of the game. John Gibson stopped 30 shots to help the Ducks improve to 7-3-1 in their past 11 games. With the Ducks trailing 1-0, Rakell tied it on a redirect of a shot by Francois Beauchemin at 4:17 of the second. Henrique then put them ahead at 5:42, beating goalie Tristan Jarry with a wraparound. ]]

Cal hires firm to assist in AD search
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:33:05 UT - From outsiders’ perspectives, it might seem like Cal has dragged its feet on the search for an athletic director — waiting five months after Mike Williams announced his plans to retire and leaving fewer than four months until his final day to make the hire. But Cal, which officially launched its search by retaining the Witt/Kieffer firm Wednesday, believes it is on schedule and will obtain a top-notch candidate. “We are all very confident that, given the existing interest and awareness, we have more than enough time to identify, hire and bring on board an excellent candidate,” said Dan Mogulof, the university’s assistant vice chancellor of public affairs. ]]

SMU stops No. 7 Wichita State
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:32:34 UT - Shake Milton scored 33 points on 11-for-14 shooting as SMU surprised No. 7 Wichita State 83-78 on Wednesday night, snapping the Shockers’ 27-game home winning streak. “I don’t know how you play better than that,” SMU head coach Tim Jankovich said. “Shake controlled the game. ... He had control of everything.” SMU (13-6, 3-3 American Athletic ) had not won a road game against a top-10 team since Jan. 16, 1982, at No. 10 Houston. Wichita State (15-3, 5-1) had won 67 of 68 at Koch Arena. ]]

Warriors ride Splash Brothers, big 3rd quarter to win over Bulls
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:32:04 UT - CHICAGO — The Warriors did not lack for offensive threats before they signed Kevin Durant in July 2016. During each of the previous two seasons, Golden State had led the league in scoring and reached the NBA Finals by leaning on two of the best shooters to play the game. In their 119-112 win Wednesday night over the Bulls at the United Center, the Warriors showed that working through the duo known as the “Splash Brothers” is still a reliable blueprint. Klay Thompson (season-high 38 points, season-high-tying seven three-pointers) and Stephen Curry (30 points, six three-pointers) were responsible for 57.1 percent of Golden State’s offense on a night the team tied a franchise record with its 14th consecutive road victory. ]]

Messi’s penalty kick miss spells end to Barcelona’s 29-match unbeaten streak
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:23:04 UT - Lionel Messi missed a penalty and Barcelona conceded a late goal in a 1-0 loss to city rival Espanyol in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarterfinal Wednesday, ending a 29-match unbeaten streak for Barcelona in all competitions. Barcelona hadn’t lost since its second game of the season in August. Messi failed from the spot in the 62nd minute, his shot brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Diego Lopez. Youngster Oscar Melendo netted the winner for the hosts in the 88th minute with his first goal as a professional. The second leg of the Catalan derby is next week at Camp Nou. ]]

Ex-Cal player Layshia Clarendon alleges sexual assault by university employee
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 05:59:33 UT - A former Cal women’s basketball player filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court on Wednesday, alleging negligence on behalf of the university’s regents that resulted in her being sexually assaulted by an athletic-department employee. As first reported by ESPN, Layshia Clarendon of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream — who played at Cal from 2009 through ’13 — claims that Mohamed Muqtar assaulted her when she was a freshman. Muqtar is also a defendant in the suit. “Cal Athletics is and will always be committed to fostering a culture where everyone feels safe, welcome and respected,” the university said in a statement. ]]

Plushenko says men’s event should be best in history
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 05:25:09 UT - MOSCOW — Evgeni Plushenko predicts that next month’s Olympic figure-skating competition in Pyeongchang, South Korea, will be the best ever. Citing the proliferation of quad jumps among the men and top skaters’ fights with injury, Plushenko — a two-time Olympic gold medalist — said there’s “lots of suspense. The Olympics are going to be crazy.” The 35-year-old Russian, who last competed in 2014, says he’s thrilled to watch the men’s quads. As recently as 2010, Evan Lysacek beat Plushenko to Olympic gold without a single quad, but this season, American Nathan Chen became the first man to land five quads in a single program. ]]

Steelers part ways with offensive coordinator Todd Haley
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 05:04:03 UT - Todd Haley spent six seasons helping turn the Steelers’ offense into one of the most dynamic in the NFL. All the yards and all the touchdowns weren’t enough, however, for the offensive coordinator to keep his job. The Steelers chose not to renew Haley’s contract on Wednesday, three days after the AFC North champions were ushered out of the playoffs in a 45-42 divisional-round loss to Jacksonville. “I have made the decision to not renew the contract for offensive coordinator Todd Haley,” head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement. “I would like to thank Todd for his contributions to our offense the past six years, and we wish him the best in his coaching future. ]]

Warriors’ Jordan Bell leaves Bulls game with sprained left ankle
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 04:52:47 UT - CHICAGO — Warriors forward Jordan Bell didn’t return after leaving Wednesday night’s 119-112 win over the Bulls in the opening minute with a sprained left ankle. Twenty-four seconds into the game, Bell landed awkwardly after trying unsuccessfully to block a Robin Lopez dunk. Bell was on the floor for more than a minute, grabbing his left ankle and grimacing, as teammates surrounded him and a team trainer tended to him. Bell tried to walk off the court on his own power, but was in enough pain that he needed to be rolled to the visiting locker room in a wheelchair. X-rays were negative. After Bell undergoes an MRI on Thursday, the team will have a clearer idea of how much time he will miss. ]]

Once coveted by Jay Gruden, Paul Guenther joins Jon with Raiders
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 04:31:31 UT - New Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said he was pursued by a Gruden a year ago — a different one. Guenther, formerly the defensive coordinator in Cincinnati, is close friends with Jay Gruden, head coach in Washington and the brother of new Raiders head coach Jon. Last offseason, Guenther said, Jay Gruden broached the possibility of hiring him. Guenther was still under contract with the Bengals, who would not let him leave. Guenther’s contract in Cincinnati expired after this past season. And when Jon Gruden came calling, there was nothing to stop Guenther from saying yes. “I’ve known Jon a long time,” Guenther said on a conference call Wednesday. ]]

Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson: ‘We grow as Derek Carr grows’
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 04:30:52 UT - Greg Olson and Jon Gruden coached together for just one season in Tampa Bay in 2008. Yet, Olson says his “learning curve greatly increased” in his year as Gruden’s quarterbacks coach. It’s the main reason Olson left the Rams last week to become Gruden’s offensive coordinator with the Raiders. And Olson expects Gruden to have a similar effect on quarterback Derek Carr. “It’s the first time Derek’s going to have an offensive head coach that’s got a quarterback background that will be hands-on with him on a day-to-day basis,” Olson said on a conference call Wednesday. “I just see that growth curve skyrocketing because of that. ]]

Last Update at: Thu Jan 18 02:27:58 PST 2018

Bay Area News

San Leandro official faces misconduct probe after sexual harassment claim
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 03:16:01 UT - San Leandro’s city manager admitted this week that he successfully pushed the City Council to award a $1.5 million loan to a community organization directed by a woman with whom he regularly met in her SUV and who now accuses him of sexual harassment. City Manager Chris Zapata said he is stepping away from his dealings with the nonprofit organization, the Davis Street Family Resource Center, and its leader, Rose Padilla Johnson. San Leandro officials have retained an investigator to probe allegations of misconduct. ]]

Survey predicts big Latino turnout in Calif. June primary in response to Trump
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 02:04:47 UT - Driven by antipathy toward President Trump and concerns about immigration, a record number of Latinos say they are planning to vote in California’s June 5 primary, according to a new survey. The survey of 900 registered Latino voters released Wednesday found that 68 percent said they were “100 percent” certain that they would vote. That turnout would be off the charts for the state’s 4.5 million Latino voters, especially considering that only 25 percent of all registered California voters cast ballots in California’s last midterm election in 2014. ]]

State’s top court refuses to restore firefighters’ award
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 01:48:53 UT - The state Supreme Court refused Wednesday to reinstate a San Francisco jury’s $3.7 million damage award to 15 firefighters who claimed age discrimination in the city’s scoring of a 2008 exam on promotions to lieutenant. The Superior Court jury agreed with the firefighters in 2013 that the Fire Department’s exam unit had weighed some parts of the test more than others, and ranked the test-takers, in ways that were unrelated to fitness for the promotion, and that had an adverse effect on applicants older than 40. Jurors awarded the 15 plaintiffs damages for lost pay and emotional distress. ]]

UC Berkeley student released from ICE detention center
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 01:48:41 UT - After a single wrong turn led to nearly three weeks in Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention, Luis Mora is finally going back to school. Following a five-minute hearing Wednesday, an immigration judge ordered the UC Berkeley junior’s release from custody on the minimum possible bond, $1,500, while his case is pending. Lawyers for ICE made no arguments against bond and waived an appeal, said Prerna Lal, Mora’s attorney. Though he missed the first day of classes at UC Berkeley, Mora will be able to continue pursuing a political science degree as his case progresses through the courts. Lal filed a change of venue to move proceedings from San Diego to San Francisco. ]]

Report: Sea Lion population bounces back to capacity levels
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:58:05 UT - Fishermen and swimmers sure have seen a lot of sea lions — some of them snatching salmon off lines or nipping freestylers in the bay — but a study published Wednesday proves the blubbery pinnipeds are, in fact, all over the place. The sea lion population has not only rebounded after a series of catastrophes — including a lack of food and algae poisonings — but the approximately 250,000 sea lions now living along the California coast also have reached what scientists say is the optimum sustainable population, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. ]]

Peter Sitkin, pioneering lawyer who fought for welfare rights, dies at 77
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:18:02 UT - A celebration of life is planned for Saturday for Peter Sitkin, a pioneer of welfare rights and public interest lawyer, who died Dec. 29 at his home in Sonoma at age 77. Sitkin became a public interest lawyer when the practice of public interest law was relatively new. He worked for the San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation, a predecessor to Bay Area Legal Aid, serving people who couldn’t afford legal assistance, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Sitkin was also a co-founder of the influential Public Advocates Inc., one of the nation’s first public interest law firms serving the poor. His early specialty was welfare rights, and he worked to expand those rights throughout the U.S. ]]

Ex-SF city worker acquitted in disabled Berkeley woman’s traffic death
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 23:48:23 UT - A jury has acquitted a former San Francisco city employee of vehicular manslaughter in the death of a disabled Berkeley woman whose family reached a $2.87 million settlement with the city after she was struck while crossing the street in her wheelchair. Thu Phan was crossing Market Street on her way to work in February 2016 when James Harris, a Department of Public Health employee, crashed into her electric wheelchair while making a left turn from Seventh Street onto Market. “The circumstances surrounding this woman’s death are tragic, but we respect the jury’s decision,” Max Szabo, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said after Harris was acquitted Tuesday. ]]

Oroville sues state water department for dam’s near failure
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 23:37:12 UT - The city of Oroville has sued the state’s Department of Water Resources, alleging that decades of mismanagement were to blame for the Oroville Dam’s near-failure in February 2017 and the emergency evacuation of 188,000 people. The suit, filed Wednesday in Butte County Superior Court, calls on the DWR to cover millions of dollars in economic and infrastructure losses incurred by the dam’s issues. “The alleged failure of the Oroville Dam represents millions of dollars lost to our California economy and, along with the fires that have devastated California, combine to make our rural areas very difficult to live and work in,” said David Janes, one of the attorneys representing the city. ]]

Oroville dam lawsuit: Racism, sexual harassment, theft at state water agency
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 22:15:53 UT - A lawsuit filed Wednesday against the state water agency in charge of the Oroville Dam not only alleges mismanagement and disregard for the public’s safety, but also a toxic work environment rife with racism, sexual harassment and theft. Top officials at the Department of Water Resources are at times referred to as the “water mafia” in a suit filed by the city of Oroville, which is demanding millions of dollars for infrastructure damage and costs associated with dam spillover and the evacuation of 188,000 in February 2017. In 2010 or 2011, DWR supervisors allowed a noose to be hung in a meeting room for several months that was used daily by the staff, according to the complaint. ]]

5 shuttle buses chartered by Google, Apple apparently vandalized on I-280, possibly with pellet gun
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:37:04 UT -

Dense fog brings quarter-mile visibility to some Bay Area spots
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:50:03 UT -

Cool weather in the Bay Area to precede more rain
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:12:26 UT -

‘Adventure’ theme park with zip lines, giant swing, ropes course coming to NorCal
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:00:00 UT -

Feds planning massive Northern California immigration sweep to strike against sanctuary laws
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 06:18:30 UT -

Last Update at: Thu Jan 18 02:27:58 PST 2018