'This is just a cover story': Melbourne mates defy corruption inquiry
- But it was the brazenness of explanations given under oath by James Pinder, the man who used to run Victoria's government-owned regional rail business V/Line, and George Haritos, the man who co-owns and runs Melbourne-based cleaning company Transclean, that was breathtaking.
- The gambling story appeared tenuous when Metro Trains operations manager Peter Bollas, who also lost his job this week, said he was given $8000-$10,000 in cash most months by Transclean to ensure it kept its cleaning contracts and got awarded more work.
- The "sprinkle" was a reference to plans to ask Mr Haritos for more money after both Metro Trains and V/Line gave Transclean extra work following the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Bollas said.
- In late April, Mr Bollas complained to Mr Pinder that Metro Trains was spending $1.3 million a month giving Transclean extra work due to COVID-19 (Mr Pinder said V/Line was spending $500,000 a month), but that Mr Haritos had not put more people on to clean trains.
Taiwan just went 200 days without a locally transmitted Covid-19 case. Here's how they did it
- The island of 23 million people last reported a locally transmitted case on April 12, which was Easter Sunday.
- Taiwan's landmark achievement comes in a week when France and Germany are enacting new lockdowns and the United States identified a record 88,000-plus cases in a day.
- The state of Florida, which has a similar population size to Taiwan, with approximately 21 million people, identified 4,188 cases on Wednesday alone.
- Taiwanese authorities began screening passengers on direct flights from Wuhan, where the virus was first identified, on December 31, 2019 -- back when the virus was mostly the subject of rumors and limited reporting.
- Taiwan confirmed its first reported case of the novel coronavirus on January 21 and then banned Wuhan residents from traveling to the island.
- Chen also said that the type of mass-testing schemes undertaken in mainland China, where millions of people are screened when a handful of cases are detected, are also unnecessary.
How Paladin's directors made $71m, then fell out
- The windfall gain delivered on that Wednesday morning in the tropics came just under two years after Paladin inked a $443 million contract with the Department of Home Affairs to provide security and other services for refugees on Manus Island – a contract that later ballooned to $532 million.
- The sheer scale of Paladin's windfall is all the more startling given court documents, filed in an employment dispute with its former chief executive Craig Coleman, allege that just three weeks before being awarded the contract, the company was not prepared to perform its role.
- But despite being asked to step aside from the Home Affairs Manus Island contract over issues of non-compliance and at one stage being barred from entering PNG, the end of Paladin does not mean the end of Thrupp's involvement in the Asia-Pacific region or with the Australian government.
PORTL Hologram raises $3M to put a hologram machine in every home
- If that entrepreneur is David Nussbaum, the founder of PORTL Hologram, the next logical step is to build a machine that can bring the joy of hologram-based communication to the masses.
- That’s the goal thanks to a new $3 million round that Nussbaum’s company raised from famed venture investor Tim Draper, former Electronic Arts executive Doug Barry and longtime awards-show producer Joe Lewis.
- For its next trick, PORTL is looking to build a miniaturized version of its system that would be about the size of a desktop computer and could be used to both record and distribute the holograms to anyone with a PORTL device.
- To build out the business, the PORTL minis will have more than just communications capabilities, but recorded entertainment as well, Nussbaum said.
Melania Trump misleads on Trump's health care record in joint campaign stop
- But in reality, Trump has made repealing the Affordable Care Act a cornerstone of his candidacy and presidency, pledging back in 2016 that he would undo the law that not only gave millions of Americans access to health insurance, but also provided protections for those with pre-existing conditions and entitled people to receive free preventive health care services.
- One of its most popular provisions is its strong protections for those with pre-existing conditions, including barring insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on people's health histories.
- As part of what he touted as his larger health care "vision," the President signed an executive order in September stating that it's US policy that people who suffer from pre-existing conditions will be protected.
Morning Brew, the business newsletter publisher for millennials, is in talks to sell itself to Business Insider
- It’s unclear how much Business Insider intends to pay for Morning Brew, which says it will turn a profit on revenue of $20 million this year.
- But people who have talked to the company’s founders believe they expect to sell it for more than $50 million, and possibly much more; the Wall Street Journal reports that the deal could be worth more than $75 million.
- You can imagine the logic behind this one: Business Insider gets a company with 2 million subscribers to its free newsletter, which it can try to convert into paying subscribers.
- And Morning Brew’s team of 50 people gets more resources to help it build out more iterations of its newsletter and other products, like a podcast arm.
- And Substack, a venture-backed company that helps individual writers launch and run their own newsletters, has generated a lot of media buzz and has brought several high-profile writers into its stable.
YouTube brings in $5 billion in ad revenue as Alphabet and Google bounce back
- Google parent company Alphabet’s third quarter revenue increased 14 percent from the year before, led by a rebound in advertising revenue for both Google and YouTube.
- And in what may be a sign of the times, views for guided meditation videos on YouTube were up 40 percent since March, and DIY face mask tutorials have been viewed over 1 billion times, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on a call with investors to discuss the earnings results.
- Google’s advertising division brought in revenue of $37.1 billion, an increase from $34 billion last year.
- YouTube ads revenue increased 30 percent from $3.8 billion in the third quarter of 2019.
- Google’s Cloud division had revenue of $3.44 billion, up from $2.3 billion a year ago, and its Search segment had revenue of $26.3 billion, up from $24.7 billion.
Twitter's stock plummets after it reports slow user growth
- On the bright side, Twitter posted revenue of $936 million for the quarter, far exceeding analysts expectations of $777 million, and up 14% compared to the same period last year.
- Twitter's quarterly report comes a day after CEO Jack Dorsey appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee, alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
- Dorsey was confronted by Republicans about why Twitter has fact-checked tweets by President Trump and about other claims of bias against conservative content.
- In its earnings release, Twitter stressed that the health of conversations on the platform continues to be a top priority as it works to reduce abuse and misinformation on the platform, including labeling tweets that falsely claim a win for candidates or encourage interference with election results or polling places.
Twitter revenue rises 14%, but user growth fails to impress
- Twitter beat out analyst expectations on revenue and net income; However, Wall Street was stuck on Twitter’s user user figures, which showed minimal growth and sent shares lower in after-market trading.
- That’s a razor thin improvement from the 186 million the company reported in second quarter of this year, although it did represent a 29% rise from the 145 million in the same period last year.
- Twitter reported Thursday net income of $29 million in the third quarter, or 4 cents per diluted share, a decline from the same time period last year, when the company brought in a net income of $47 million at 5 cents per diluted share.
- The company’s revenue came in at $936 million, up 14% from the same period last year and 37% from the second quarter.
Comcast says Peacock has nearly 22M sign-ups
- Comcast’s latest earnings report includes some official user numbers for Peacock, the new streaming service from Comcast-owned NBCUniversal.
- Specifically, Comcast says that Peacock has received nearly 22 million sign-ups since it launched in July, and that it’s “exceeding our expectations on all engagement metrics in only a few months.” What’s not clear, however, is how many of those sign-ups come from paying subscribers.
- That tier includes a large library of classic shows and movies like “30 Rock,” “Parks and Recreation” and “Saturday Night Live.” However, if you want access to a larger library of content (particularly Peacock Originals), as well as earlier access to new NBC shows, you’ll need to pay $4.99 per month for Peacock Premium, or $9.99 per month to remove the ads.