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Blackstone to Acquire Ancestry.com for $4.7B

  • Ancestry.com is the world’s largest provider of DNA services, allowing customers to trace their genealogy and identify genetic health risks with tests sent to their home.
  • The deal is Blackstone’s first acquisition out of Blackstone Capital Partners VIII, the largest-ever private equity fund that raised $26 billion from investors last year.
  • Blackstone is buying Ancestry.com from private equity firms Silver Lake, Spectrum Equity and Permira.
  • Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, another Ancestry.com investor, said it will continue to maintain a significant minority stake in the company.
  • The acquisition’s price tag represents a significant jump to Ancestry.com’s valuation from four years ago, when Silver Lake and GIC invested in the Lehi, Utah-based company at a $2.6 billion valuation.
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Wasabi fire alarm a lifesaver for the deaf (2008)

  • Japan has developed a smoke detector for deaf people that is based on the pungent smell of Japan’s spicy green horseradish, an eye-watering condiment more typically found tucked under fish in a piece of sushi.
  • If it detects smoke, the alarm sprays out a synthesized wasabi smell that wakes up people who might have slept through a conventional fire alarm.
  • Assistant professor Makoto Imai from the Shiga University of Medical Science, who built the alarm in collaboration with Seems, a company that makes perfume, says the smoke detector may save lives among the hard of hearing.
  • He said the Wasabi smoke detector was tested on 14 people, including four deaf people.
  • Imai said trial production of the Wasabi smoke detector would be completed in a year and the product would be sold in shops within two years.

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Coronavirus: US has no cohesive plan to tackle massive second wave

  • WHEN Antoine Dupont started to feel under the weather in mid-July, he immediately wanted to be tested for the coronavirus.
  • Unable to find a facility where he could get this done near his home in West Palm Beach, Florida, a friend told him about an urgent care clinic with a handful of appointments in Boca Raton, 30 minutes away.
  • He secured a test for the next Friday.
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U.S. FAA proposes requiring key Boeing 737 MAX design changes

  • WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday it is proposing requiring four key Boeing 737 MAX design changes to address safety issues seen in two crashes that killed 346 people and led to the plane’s grounding in March 2019.
  • The FAA said in a separate 96-page report released on Monday that it “has preliminarily determined that Boeing’s proposed changes to the 737 MAX design, flightcrew procedures and maintenance procedures effectively mitigate the airplane-related safety issues” in the two fatal crashes.
  • The changes are designed to prevent the erroneous activation of a key system known as MCAS tied to both crashes, to alert pilots if two AOA sensors are receiving conflicting data and to ensure flightcrew can recognize and respond to erroneous stabilizer movement.
  • The FAA said the changes minimize “dependence on pilot action and the effect of any potential single failure” and added that design changes address seven safety issues, including several involving MCAS.

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Google to buy 6.6% stake in ADT in home security push

  • ADT said on Monday the companies will work to combine Nest products like cameras, thermostats, doorbells and alarm systems with ADT’s installation, service and professional monitoring network.
  • ADT expects to offer certain Google devices to its customers beginning this year and to expand the integration in 2021.
  • Google will receive ADT shares of a newly created Class B common stock that will not have right to vote.
  • Each company will commit an additional $150 million, to be used for co-marketing, product development, technology and employee training, ADT added.
  • All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.

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The US may have the most to lose if Donald Trump bans TikTok

  • Video-sharing service TikTok is in a race against time to complete a deal with Microsoft, after US president Donald Trump threatened to ban the app, owned by ByteDance, a Chinese technology company.
  • For Trump, TikTok being overseen by Microsoft would allay a major fear he and others have about the rise of TikTok: that data produced in the app is sent to China, where it could be seen by the country’s ruling Communist Party.
  • In a blog post, Microsoft stated that it is negotiating to run TikTok in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with plans to complete discussions by 15 September.
  • TikTok itself claims that it hasn’t received any requests from the Chinese government to access data – and if approached, it would refuse.
  • India banned 59 Chinese-owned apps on 29 June, including TikTok, while politicians in the UK and Australia have called for TikTok to be banned there.

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Trump gives Microsoft 45 days to clinch TikTok deal

  • NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump only agreed to allow Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) to negotiate the acquisition of popular short-video app TikTok if it could secure a deal in 45 days, three people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
  • Trump said on Friday he was planning to ban TikTok amid concerns that its Chinese ownership represents a national security risk because of the personal data it handles.
  • But following a discussion between Trump and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the Redwood, Washington-based company said in a statement on Sunday that it would continue negotiations to acquire TikTok from ByteDance, and that it aimed to reach a deal by Sept.
  • This is a deadline that was put to ByteDance and Microsoft by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which scrutinizes deals for potential national security risks, according to the sources.

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