Hollywood’s hacking pains are bigger than movie leaks
NEW YORK (AP) — Piracy is a long-running and even routine issue for Hollywood, whether its street vendors hawking bootleg DVDs on street corners or video uploaded to file-sharing sites like Pirate Bay. Now cybercriminals going after Hollywood’s goodies have also put company plans and people’s personal information at risk — a reputational risk that’s difficult to calculate.
The real revolution in NKorea is rise of consumer culture
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Three generations into the Kim family’s ruling dynasty in North Korea, markets have blossomed and a consumer culture is taking root. The country had little choice but to accept the markets after enduring a devastating famine in the 1990s. But giving up a measure of control over the economy has consequences. So does growing dependent on Chinese imports. The North may be hitting an economic bubble and may face political instability.
Fox’s James Murdoch slams Trump’s Charlottesville response
NEW YORK (AP) — The CEO of 21st Century Fox has denounced racism and terrorists and expressed concern over President Donald Trump’s reaction to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. James Murdoch also told friends in a personal email that he and his wife, Kathryn, will donate $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League. Murdoch is the son of media mogul and Trump ally Rupert Murdoch.
11 US states added jobs in July
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring increased in 11 U.S. states in July, while the unemployment rate tumbled to record lows in two states. The Labor Department says that unemployment rates were relatively stable in most states. They fell in 15 states and rose in 23, but many of the changes were statistically insignificant.
Eclipse mania sends Americans scurrying to find safe glasses
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Eclipse mania is building and so is demand for the glasses that make it safe to view the first total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. in 99 years. Complicating the rising demand from last-minute shoppers was a recent recall by Amazon that forced libraries and health centers around the country to recall glasses they gave away or sold.
China to limit overseas investments in real estate, sports
BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese government is moving to curb domestic companies’ investments abroad in property, sports, entertainment and other fields. The move follows a series of high-profile, multibillion-dollar acquisitions by Chinese companies that have drawn heavy scrutiny. A document released Friday by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, was the latest move by regulators to tap the brakes on a string of foreign acquisitions by Chinese conglomerates, citing concerns they might be taking on too much debt.
A midday rally fades as sporting goods stocks are penalized
NEW YORK (AP) — US stocks can’t maintain a midday rally and finish lower as sporting goods companies sink. Foot Locker plunged in heavy volume after issuing a weak sales forecast. Farm equipment maker Deere also fell. Stocks were coming off their worst day in three months.
Hot stock tip: Chicken Soup for the Soul
NEW YORK (AP) — “These are the times that try men’s souls,” was written more than two centuries ago, but given events this week, they could have popped up in any blog or tweet in recent days. What better time then, for a little Chicken Soup for the Soul? The provider of positive vibes is becoming a publicly traded company Friday.
Former Uber CEO lashes out at VC firm suing company
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is skewering a lawsuit filed by a former ally, describing it as a malicious attempt to sever his remaining ties to the ride-hailing service that he co-founded. Kalanick lashed out in legal documents filed late Thursday in response to a lawsuit filed against Uber last week by one of its major investors and a former Kalanick supporter, Benchmark Capital.
A sports rout on Wall Street
NEW YORK (AP) — Sporting goods retailers can’t shake their losing streak. Shares of sporting goods stores plummeted Friday after Foot Locker and smaller rival Hibbett Sports reported a drop in sales. Both companies also offered gloomy outlooks for the rest of the year.
The S&P 500 lost 4.46 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,425.55. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 76.22 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,674.55. The Nasdaq composite shed 5.39 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,216.53. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 1.15 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,357.79. The index has fallen 6 percent since July 25.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil jumped $1.42, or 3 percent, to $48.51 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, added $1.69, or 3.3 percent, to $52.72 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 4 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Heating oil added 4 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Natural gas lost 4 cents to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces and allied Lebanese militant Hezbollah fighters have captured several Islamic State positions on strategic hilltops along the Syrian-Lebanese border, a military outlet said Friday.
The captures come ahead of an anticipated Lebanese offensive to clear the extremists from their side of the frontier. Separately, the Russian military said Friday that its aircraft are supporting a Damascus government offensive against the Islamic State group in a town in central Syria.
The area taken includes several hilltops in the western Qalamoun mountain range on the Syrian side of the border, according to the Central Military Media outlet. The outlet posted video showing forces fighting their way up the hills, under the cover of artillery fire.
This is the second push by the government in the area — in July, Hezbollah and the Syrian army defeated a pocket of al-Qaida-linked fighters nearby.
In Moscow, Russia’s Defense Ministry said the Syrian army is finalizing its push to encircle IS militants in the town of Akerbat in Hama province.
Syrian troops have already seized key heights in the area, cutting off avenues of supply for the militants, according to the Russian statement. The militants have started fleeing the area in small groups, making their way toward Deir el-Zour, the largest city still under IS control, the ministry said. It added that Russian drones are patrolling the area round-the-clock, directing air strikes.
Russia has waged an air campaign in Syria since September 2015, helping Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces gain ground and achieve key victories.
The ministry also announced that Russian representatives signed a deal on Friday with Faylaq al-Rahman, a Syrian rebel group, to join a de-escalation zone agreement for Eastern Ghouta, an eastern Damascus. The deal was signed in Geneva and is to go into force later in the day, the ministry said.
Last month, another rebel group in the area, Jaysh al-Islam, joined the de-escalation agreement.
The de-escalation zone in Eastern Ghouta is one of four proposed in a plan approved in May by Russia, Turkey and Iran. The plan includes a cessation of hostilities, a halt to Assad’s air force flights over designated areas, and provisions for humanitarian aid access.
Associated Press writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.
RAYMORE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating whether police were targeted when someone tossed an explosive device at a patrol car along a Missouri highway.
No one was injured Thursday when the device detonated on the pavement behind a westbound police patrol vehicle along Missouri 58 in Raymore, a Kansas City suburb. Investigators say the device was thrown from an eastbound vehicle.
John Ham is a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Ham says the device was “likely homemade” and could’ve caused “severe injury.” He declined to provide further details.
Ham says the concern is the unidentified suspect “targeted law enforcement.”
A $5,000 reward is available for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Ham says dashcam video isn’t available because the patrol vehicle’s lights and sirens weren’t activated.
Men’s basketball teams from several U.S. universities, including Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona, were in Barcelona, Spain, when a van drove into pedestrians Thursday in a historic district popular with tourists but school officials said the players and staff were safe.
Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle posted a somber video to social media that conveyed the gravity of what had taken place just outside the Beavers’ team hotel. Players were sharing a meal before an exhibition game when the incident occurred, about 5 p.m. local time, he said.
“People, mad scramble, a car/van driving through,” Tinkle said. “Literally looking out the window, we won’t show you the pictures, but some horrific sights.”
Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in the historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot and several of the teams were staying in the area.
College basketball teams are allowed to travel internationally during the summer once every four years. They are allowed to practice for 10 days and usually play a few exhibition games while abroad.
The trips offer teams a chance to get a jumpstart on the season and also give the players a unique cultural experience.
Oregon State was staying in the same hotel as Clemson, which had been scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team. Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that everyone was well.
“We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together,” Brownell wrote.
Clemson officials said in a statement: “We’ve been in contact with our men’s basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona.”
The Beavers’ game Thursday night was also canceled. Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.
Jeff Macy, Oregon State’s associate athletic director for sports performance, was separated from his wife, Barb, when the alleged attack occurred. He posted a statement on Twitter that she is spending the night with a local shopkeeper’s family because no one is allowed to come to the team hotel.
“Even in these tragic times the beautiful people of Barcelona have opened their arms, hearts and now homes to protect their guests and comfort us during their dire time. What we saw today can never be unseen, but I will forever be grateful for what the people of Barcelona have done for us,” Macy wrote. “Of course most importantly our prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones.”
A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled the third and final exhibition of their tour and “are currently working on travel plans to return home.”
Tulane was also among the teams in Barcelona, staying at a hotel away from the deadly attack. The Grand Canyon University Antelopes were also playing there.
Tulane athletic director Troy Dannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe. The team planned to return as scheduled to the United States on Saturday.
AP Sports Writers Pete Iacobelli, John Marshall and Brett Martel contributed to this report.