Saks credit card user data hacked


Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, which are owned by Hudson’s Bay Co., were both reportedly hacked. Those affected include more than five million credit and debit card clients of these stores. Hudson’s Bay Co., has responded and stated it is working to solve the issue. The company has also declared it will compensate those affected with free identity protection services and web monitoring of the credit card information.

Gemini Advisory, a cybersecurity firm, explained that the hackers, known as JokerStash, took the data and put it up for sale on the dark web, causing this scandal to be the biggest attack on retail chains yet. The most cases of stolen information were in the New York and New Jersey locations of Saks and Lord & Taylor.

How this happened is the real question. According to the Gemini Advisory, the hackers installed unique computer codes into cash registers, sending every in-store purchaser’s information to their own computers. This explanation may be estimated because only in-store purchasers were affected while the online shoppers weren’t.

The news media are explaining what steps will be taken to ensure customer relationships and to fix the reputation of feeling safe to purchase at these megastores. The issue here is the fact that the hacking has supposedly been occurring for a year now. Why has this been able to happen? Focusing on the fact that fraudulent charges are probably unlikely, considering the purchasers of these stores buy expensive items, what are customers supposed to do when their identity is compromised?

The media need to inform customers of what is going on, as Hudson’s Bay Company is continuously investigating and enforcing regulations to prevent future situations and to keep customers’ trust. Providing a change in cybersecurity and communicating with customers is the best step to take for now.

Heineken slammed for racist ad


Oh no, Pepsi 2.0 is here. Heineken released an ad that showed a bartender spotting a light-skinned woman drink a glass of wine. He quickly grabs a Heineken and passed it down to her, but before it arrives, the bottle passes multiple dark-skinned people.

This issue can be previously seen in the Pepsi Co. ad featuring Kendall Jenner, who stops a police barricade with a can of soda. This ad received some of the most negative, traumatizing backlash a company has yet to experience. Critics from all over the world criticized the soda company for mocking true events that happened in the world regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. The ad was denounced from a respectable person as well: Dr. Martin Luther King’s daughter, who posted an image on social media of her father in the middle of a peace protest, captioning: “If only daddy would’ve known the power of #Pepsi.”

Heineken’s damage has received backlash from the hip-hop star Chance the Rapper, who tweeted that the ad was “terribly racist.” This tweet was one among many that denounced the ad and the company.

Most coverage of this issue is focused on the content and the people who criticized it. However, what about Heineken’s past and the company’s values showed before this ad.

For example, last year, Heineken released an ad called “Worlds Apart,” which contained the tagline “open your mind, open your world,” and showed people from all over the world with completely different viewpoints and beliefs, discussing their differences over a bottle of beer. This campaign gained an immense amount of attention and support, completely opposite of the “lighter is better” campaign.

Although it is difficult to forgive, critics must remember to cover all possible tracks before jumping to conclusions about a company. Heineken may have made a huge mistake, but the company has proven its acceptance for all races and people in general.

Toys ‘R’ Us stores to close soon


Recently, out of 735 Toys “R” Us stores, 400 remain open for the next month. The reason behind the recent closing its because the company has failed to find a buyer.

Charles Lazarus founded the company back in 1948 when he was 25 years old. The closing of all the stores is being blamed on its private owners who burdened the company with debt. The company filed for bankruptcy in September 2017 for owing more than $5 billion. Larian, the founder and CEO of MGA Entertainment, said this company ought to be saved.

According to, Larian started a GoFundMe page to try and raise donations to save the few stores that are still open. The page so far has raised more than $200,000. The end goal is to raise publicity about the closing. Toys “R” Us planned to continue business even after filing for bankruptcy, however, the small holiday sales were making things much worse.

The issue with all these stores closing is all the people being laid off. So far 31,000 people have lost their jobs due to the closures of more than 180 stores. Toy’s “R” Us doesn’t have the financial ability to keep themselves afloat let alone employees. An estimated 60,000 employees were working for Toy “R” Us in 2017. So far half of them have lost their jobs.

Larian and two anonymous investors have pledged $200 million to try and save the remaining stores before they close.

World faces tequila shortage


Alcohol has been a very important part of the beverage world for many years. The earliest alcoholic beverages have been traced back to China around 7000 B.C. and was made from fermented grain. Today, there are many different types of alcohol from many different regions of the world.

Tequila was first produced in the city of Tequila, Mexico in the 16th century. When Spanish conquistadors ran out of their favorite brandy drink, they resorted to the blue agave plant. They roasted the “Pina” (the bottom core of the plant) and then fermented it. After the three to 12-month distillation process, the tequila was finally ready to drink.

Tequila soon became very popular and was the first alcoholic drink to be produced in North America. Around the turn of the 17th century, tequila began to be exported to the United States, South America, and Europe and is still an extremely popular choice among drinkers to this day.

Fermented blue agave can be made in different regions of the world where blue agave thrives; however, “tequila” can only be called tequila if it’s from Jalisco, a Mexican state. The multi-billion-dollar tequila industry has thrived since the turn of the 19th century and is one of the worlds most consumed alcohol. For tequila lovers, unfortunately, there is a higher demand and production is decreasing, which is causing a shortage.

The blue agave plant takes around seven years to fully mature, so planning for this year’s harvest began back in 2011. There are only 18 million blue agave plants that were planted in 2011 and are now ready for the tequila making process; however, the estimated demand for this year shot up to around 42 million blue agave plants.

According to Reuters, tequila prices have shot up six-fold over the past two years. Solving the problem wont be quick either. The next time tequila prices are projected to return to normal is 2025, which is when the next planted blue agaves will be ready.

United Airlines under fire, yet again


United Airlines seems to be one of the most controversial airlines after it continues to have crises left and right.

A French bulldog, Kokito was found dead in the overhead bin of the United Airlines flight from Houston to New York City.

Before the flight took off, the flight attendant assured owner of Kokito that her dog would be safe in the overhead bin. Although owner paid $125 to have her French bulldog sit comfortably under her seat, the flight attendant insisted that he was not allowed.

June Lara, who sat behind Kokito’s family, posted on Facebook a summary of his trip with United, according to ABC News.

June Lara reports his story on Facebook, found on ABC News

However, there was a different story told by someone else on the flight. One woman believed the flight attendant didn’t know there was a dog in the bag and that is why she instructed Kokito’s mom to put the bag overhead.

However, many people on the plane said there were barks coming from the bag, which makes this woman’s claim unlikely, reported ABC News 13.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was a dog. I thought it was a normal bag,” the flight attendant reportedly said to Kokito’s pet mom.

Since the upsetting incident, animal rights activists and protesters have had a frenzy with  United, but more importantly, all pet passenger rules. Protesters held a “dog-in” at LaGuardia Airport and displayed a “Kokito’s Law” in honor of the life that was just lost.

There has been a lot of coverage on this topic, mostly by local news like ABC and Time.

U.S. bans purchase of Venezuelan Petro


On March 8, the Florida Senate took action to ban the state from engaging in business with companies supporting the regime in Venezuela and U.S restrictions with the Venezuelan economy continue.

President Donald Trump took recent action to prohibit the purchase of new Venezuelan cryptocurrency called the Petro. This new medium of exchange was created by President Nicolas Maduro as an attempt to fix the country’s weak economy at the moment and the increasing inflation rate, an article on Bloomberg explained.

The executive order was signed on March 19 and prohibits U.S citizens from buying this cryptocurrency.

While Bloomberg gives a brief description of the situation, an article on CNN Money further explains what this means for both countries.

According to CNN, Trump’s recent action follows his previous ban of U.S investors from buying bonds issued by the Venezuelan government or state-run companies, such as the leading oil company in the country, PDVSA.

Maduro stated the currency will be backed by oil, the primary resource in the country. This does not mean, however, that investors would have ownership of this resource.

Additionally, Maduro stated on a tweet that the Petro’s private auction raised $735 million. But CNN reports this amount has not been confirmed.

This executive order is a significant action for the Trump administration, as it actively recognizes the illegitimacy of the Venezuelan government.

Both articles can be found at and

Is Snapchat’s time up?


It all started with a tweet from Kylie Jenner. The 20-year-old influential social media user tweeted on Feb. 21 asking her followers if they still use the app anymore and claiming it is “so sad.” Jenner is one of Snapchat’s most popular users and after that tweet, Snapchat’s market value dropped $1.5 billion. A day before, there was a 1.2 million-signature petition on to bring the old version of the app back.

Jenner was most likely informed of the damage she had done, so she rebutted her tweet with “still love you tho snap.” It was too late, and the downfall continued. Jenner has millions of followers on all of her accounts; this negative feedback from a popular user is horrific news for an app that tried to update itself.

Users all around the world commented on the app’s “upgrade.” The complaints seemed valid, as the upgrade switched around the order of friends on one’s friend list, which made it difficult to see people’s post on a daily basis.

To top it off, Snapchat has been added to another celebrity’s bad list. Rihanna was recently a victim of an ad that users were to see on the app. Just a few days ago, the famous singer posted on her Instagram handle about an offensive advertisement that used her domestic violence incident in 2011 as a game for users.

The ad was called “Would You Rather” and featured an image of Rihanna and Chris Brown, offering users to choose to “Slap Rihanna” or “Punch Chris Brown.” Rihanna responded to the advert and said, “I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb!” Snapchat claimed the ad was approved in error and apologized to Rihanna, saying Snapchat supports the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the VP sits on the Snapchat Safety Advisory Board.

The news media are not covering who approved this message and what the consequences are. This shows negligence as to what Snapchat allows to advertise on the app. Since this incident, “Would You Rather” has been blocked. However, what about who monitors these advertisements as well as who reads through reviews of the upgrades. It is evident that the update was unsuccessful, yet Snapchat has neither made any notice of it nor offer to change the app back to normal.

Rihanna made her point that she could care less about her personal feelings, but worries for other domestic violence victims who see this and feel post-traumatic stress from their experience. Stock continues to fall, at nearly five percent as of now. It doesn’t look too good for Snapchat.

Facebook is the blue-collar LinkedIn


LinkedIn was designed to offer high-skilled jobs, so Facebook decided to offer low-skilled jobs. Facebook is expanding to 40 more countries to help people get jobs as well as help businesses get the needed extra labor.

Partnering with ZipRecruiter, Facebook hoped to bring more job openings to its social media platform. The feature has expanded to Britain, UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. There will be a Jobs tab on Facebook for all information on job offerings. There will also be a Jobs dashboard, Facebook Marketplace, and the News Feed that the business owners can promote with ads, additional information, ways to contact, and any other news they wish to share about their business.

Facebook will offer similar ways of searching for jobs by offering specific filters, such as industry, part-time or full-time, salary and proximity (just like LinkedIn).

The media is focusing on the most amazing part: how more people will have access to more job opportunities right at their fingertips. Facebook is just like LinkedIn, but with so much more. Job applicants who need the chance to grow their resume and educational level will be able to do so while also earning an income and improving the quality of their lives.

Facebook is just getting started, but what about LinkedIn? The news covering this information does not seem to mention the overlap it could potentially bring. Facebook has been to known expand on every endeavor the company chooses to conduct.

For example, Facebook became the new YouTube by posting videos on users’ newsfeeds, even when they weren’t searching for any. This new alternative has caused YouTube celebrities to post more on Facebook to increase viewers and feedback. So what if it suddenly wants to offer a range of white-collared jobs as well?

The news media need to mention how this could potentially lead to a bigger problem, regarding LinkedIn users and the site in general. However, for now, Facebook is enjoying the publicity and corporate social responsibility to help its users enhance their lives.

Spotify and Apple battle for users


Spotify has been around since 2008, when it was released Ken Parks (the chief content officer from its founding until 2015) was asked ” Why wouldn’t Apple just kill this thing while it’s still in the cradle?” The simple answer to this was: Because Apple probably didn’t think it needed to.

When Spotify first started, Apple’s iTunes store had a dominant position in the music industry when it came to downloads, not streaming. Spotify was competing against less dominating services such as Pandora.

When Apple released a service called Apple Music, it was not viewed as an existential threat. Spotify believed its focus on algorithms to personalize the music experience was a better bet than Apple’s push for human curators.

Although, in 2017 Spotify had a net loss of $1.5 billion, more than double the amount from the prior year. Those losses would once have been unfathomable for a startup, but Spotify was able to raise billions in debt despite them.

Today both Apple Music and Spotify are widely used by people all over. It is a personal choice as to which is more your cup of tea.

Since Spotify has been around longer, there are people who had no interest in using Apple Music when it came out. Although, for Apple enthusiasts who weren’t apart of Spotify, Apple Music became more attractive.

This was reported in a very informative matter displaying facts regarding both companies, which I found useful because I had no idea about Spotify having a decrease in subscriptions. The reporter didn’t side with one company at all.

Tweet costs Snapchat $1.3 billion


Kylie Jenner, one of the most influential people in the world today and the wealthiest of the Kardashian-Jenner family, can now add making an impact in the stock market to her list of accomplishments.

Kylie Jenner tweeted on Feb. 21, “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me … ugh this is so sad.”

Exactly one day later, Feb. 22, Snapchat’s stock dropped six percent, which was about $1.3 billion.

Kylie’s tweet referred to Snapchat’s newest update, which made it harder for people to view their friends’ stories in the app. In the past week, Snapchat users have started a petition to get it changed back to the original layout. CNN interviewed Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer and head of technology research at GBH Insights, who stated, “with roughly 25 million followers, Kylie Jenner carries a loud mouthpiece that speaks to today’s knee-jerk reaction in shares.”

In response to this petition, Snapchat released a statement saying, “We hear you, and appreciate that you took the time to let us know how you feel. We completely understand the new Snapchat has felt uncomfortable for many.”

The Kardashian-Jenner clan has an influence among millennials that many other celebrities don’t possess. They are at the top of their game.

However, Fast Company, a progressive American magazine, disagreed that Kylie Jenner had any impact at all on Snapchat’s downfall. Fast Company‘s most recent blog post titled, “No, Kylie Jenner didn’t kill Snapchat” talked about how a week before Jenner tweeted about Snapchat, Wall Street wasn’t fond of the company because of the recent changes in design. This prompted analysts from Citi to lower Snapchat’s stock from “neutral” to “sell” which could have had a large impact on their stock price falling rather than Kylie Jenner’s input.

So the question still begs, which do you think it was?

Could gun violence be curbed by banks?


In a New York Times Dealbook article in the Business & Policy section by Andrew Ross Sorkin, Sorkin suggested that banks such as JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Bank of America should ban the purchase of certain firearms using their credit cards companies in order to curtail gun violence in America.

Sorkin effectively discussed the position that many CEOs and high level executives of banks feel that they should take towards moral and social issues. He claims that they feel a “sense of moral responsibility … to confront social challenges when Washington won’t.”

Truthfully, following the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people on Valentine’s Day, the sales of assault weapons has not yet been limited by lawmakers in Washington, but according to Sorkin there is a “real opportunity for the business community to fill the void and prove that all the talk about moral responsibility isn’t hollow”.

An AR-15: the automatic assault weapon responsible for the most amount of deadly shootings in America

Sorkin suggests that these credit card processing banks should add restrictions in their Terms of Service in which they start by restricting the purchase of assault rifles and bump stocks, the mechanism that makes rifles fire faster.

There is even a precedent for banning the usage of credit cards for certain purchases, so the banks would not be doing something extremely outlandish. In the past month, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America have set restrictions to ban the usage of their credit cards to purchase Bitcoin – a completely legal worldwide payment system.

Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase said that he and his bank “have a moral obligation but also a deeply vested interest [in helping] solve pressing societal issues,” according to Sorkin.

Sorkin’s quoting of high level executives reveals their deeper interest behind solving issues like gun violence, which Sorkin believes could be easily curtailed by simply restricting what could be purchased on bank-issued credit cards.

Most people will not pay for an assault weapon in cash or they will have a harder time figuring out how to pay for it or why they should pay for it when their bank condemns it.

Sorkin includes an important detail in his editorial to show a problem in restricting gun control in this country. He writes that, after 72 hours of phone calls to high level people, nobody wanted to discuss his idea on the record or even at all.

Nobody wants to talk about a world where the purchase of assault weapons would be untraceable – only in cash. But, an America where assault rifles could not be purchased using credit cards would make purchasing them more difficult and would raise national recognition of the level of danger of these guns. According to Sorkin, it would be a great start for a country that has had more than 18 school shootings in just one month.

VW sales booming within a month


Volkswagen cars were first manufactured in the late 1930s … the two-door, five-passenger, rear-engine economy car made its way onto the streets of Germany. Now China, the automaker’s largest market, plays as its biggest contributor to sales.

Volkswagen Group said Friday that it has set a new sales record for January, a record of more than 890,000 cars sold within a month. According to posted sales, China bought more than four million cars in 2017.

However, the company suffered multiple negative headlines in late January when it was accused of using animals such as monkeys to test out their cars. Many campaigns in the world are focused based on the freedom and protection of monkeys alone such as save the primates.

Matthia Mueller, CEO of Volkswagen, released a statement confirming that VW paid to have monkeys tested in 2014 forcing them to inhale fumes from a diesel Beetle.

However, since the release of the animal testing statement, the German government and CEO of Volkswagen stated they would conduct an internal investigation and turn away from animal testing.

Ever since, they have vowed to increase new electric and hybrid vehicle models between now and 2021. A hybrid car “uses a combination of an internal combustion engine and a battery electric drive system to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions.”

Volkswagen brand sold more than 30,000 Tiguan SUVs this passed January through China alone. The sales chief of Volkswagen, Fred Kappler, said in a statement, “There was significant growth in all regions,” which was great news since the company did lose over $30 billion due to the diesel emissions animal testing scandal.

After a heavy cost in sales due to animal testing, Volkswagen and its partners hope to electrify all 300 of its model and become more eco-friendly by 2030.

Choosing bitcoin over homes?


Running low on energy, Iceland has to make a tough decision. As a power shortage is approaching, the region will need to decide if bitcoin mining is more important than powering houses this year.

The time has finally come: questioning the true value of bitcoin. All the fun math (mining) games may come to an end for the Icelandic people. The bitcoin mining tools include computers, servers and cooling devices – so pretty much, electricity. In simple terms, these tools use 840 gigawatt hours of electricity per year while homes in Iceland use 700 per year. Additionally, with more projects looking to jump on the cryptocurrency wagon, the situation could get worse.

This industrial development has been questioned since the day the idea was conceived, and now it’s starting to cause a real problem in Iceland.

Why there? Well, Iceland has cheap electricity and a great portion of the energy comes from renewable resources. The abundance from geothermal and hydroelectric power plants is to thank for the availability. Since these companies pay a low tax bill, for now, the situation continues: the power supply will definitely not be able to keep up with such a high demand. However, things might change to stop a lot of growth from affecting the region.

Companies like Expedia allow for digital currency pay, which increases the need for more bitcoins. One common way to gain bitcoins is by mining for the currency in a computer game. Sounds realistic, right?

The trauma brought on by bitcoins will continue to spread if the demand continues. Losing electricity to a coin that isn’t even in circulation yet seems unnecessary at most.

Iceland will have to chose to either step away or go all in, but hopefully whichever way the situation flows, it will not end with another bank crash.

Fired for being pregnant


In June, Whitney Tomlinson, a 30-year-old single mother and packer at a Walmart Distribution Center in Atlanta, told her supervisor she wasn’t feeling well. She was experiencing morning sickness, which made her supervisor require her to get a doctor’s note in order for her to have a break.

The doctor was not able to identify any worrisome pregnancy complications, but suggested her to avoid heavy lifting while at work. After getting a note from the doctor, she handed it to her supervisor who then sent her to human resources.

She thought she would be granted a break, but it was not the type of break she had sought. It was not legal, according to a new complaint filed by Tomlinson to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Tomlinson was told to apply for an unpaid leave from her job, she was surprised and angry and was curious as to what she had done wrong. Her supervisor told her because of her “restrictions,” she was a “liability” and asked her to call a third party claims management service.

Walmart’s human resources told Tomlinson that she was not permitted to return to work until after she gave birth and she would need to apply for a formal unpaid leave of absence to avoid losing her job.

In 1978, Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This made discrimination based on pregnancy and childbirth related medical conditions illegal.

Elizabeth Gedmark, a senior staff attorney and director for A Better Balance, said that Walmart’s treatment of Tomlinson was a violation of this act and that she needed restrictions to prevent problems before she started.

The news media have portrayed this story in a respectful but worrisome manner due to the immense detail about the issue. Stories don’t try to protect Walmart’s reputation because, at the end of the day, the business was unjust toward this worker.

Women are sexually harassed at work and it’s why women are discriminated against for being pregnant at work and it’s what needs to change.

Keurig, Dr. Pepper unite for $18.7 billion


On Jan. 29, the largest soda deal ever became official. Keurig and Dr. Pepper Snapple teamed up and will now be called Keurig Dr. Pepper.

Keurig, whose corporate family already includes Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme and Pete’s Coffee, will now expand to Dr. Pepper. This deal allows the soda company to become part of the sales and popularity of Keurig, the coffee brewers. The annual revenue of this deal will bring in about $11 billion.

The expansion of this beverage distribution network is portrayed to be a win-win for both sides. While Keurig has helpful relationships with Inc. and Best Buy Co., Dr. Pepper Snapple has the connections to beverage vendors and convenience stores.

With help from multiple sources, Keurig Green Mountain’s investors will own 87 percent of Keurig Dr. Pepper. As JAB Holdings Co. holds the deal as a reverse merger, this new combination of a company based on coffee and soda will boost market share for both industries. Since Keurig was the fourth-largest coffee company and Dr. Pepper was the third-largest soft-drink company in the U.S. in 2017, the influence on the market and the market shares will be worthwhile.

Keurig has had ties with Coca-Cola, which owned 17 percent stake in the business before JAB, resulting in the deal allowing Coca-Cola to gain about $25.5 million on the investment. Dr. Pepper Snapple was bought by Cadbury Schweppes in 1995 but was off the deal in 2008 when Mondelez bought Cadbury.

Helpful sources included in the legalities of the deal were BDT & Co., AFW LP, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Morgan, and Lewis & Bockius LLP. The lead financial advisor to Keurig was Goldman Sachs & Co. while Credit Suisse Group AG. advised Dr. Pepper Snapple.

So far the multi-billion dollar deal has concluded that investors in the soft-drink company will get $103.75 a share and retain about 13 percent of the combined entity.

Bitcoin surpasses expectations


On Wednesday, Nov. 29, Bitcoin, a virtual currency, surpassed the $11,000 mark for the first time. Hours later, the value of Bitcoin dropped by nearly $2,000.

Although the current valuation is nearly $10,000 for each Bitcoin, this shows a hefty return of more than 1,000 percent this year alone. This rise and fall shows not only the power of virtual data, but also the extreme volatility of it as well.

Today’s mass media represents a marketplace where all consumers want to feel represented and connected. This has opened a paradigm where people want to be involved in all things trendy – adjusting diets to be trendy, adjusting products used because they are trendy and adjusting lifestyles based on trendy material seen online.

This virtual paradigm causes a new level on inflation and growth that hasn’t been experienced in the past. Even 10 years ago, a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin would not have been successful, let alone making new millionaires.

The news media love to follow things that are relevant and Bitcoin has been no exception. All business journals and mainstay news networks alike have covered the swift rise in Bitcoin popularity and value.

Although not everyone is an expert on currency trading or this new category of currency, it is a trend that has been supported as such. News media coverage and influence has led to the rise and popularity, but with the uncertainty of all trends, Bitcoin may not be on the rise forever.

Bitcoin value subject to ups and downs


The value of cryptocurrency known as bitcoin has dropped 16 percent, down to $9,600 from the record $11,434 that it had reached on Wednesday.

While not universally accepted, the digital currency is used online due to its entirely-digital nature. Serving as an alternative currency, it is usually considered an attractive to conventional currency, due largely to its financial independence from governments.

However, the digital currency is usually traded like a financial investment; in fact, at its peak, Bitcoin had increased substantially from the $1,000 value it had when the year started.

It’s worth noting that Bitcoin is “prone to wild swings” due to lack of regulations, as well as the lack of traders. Financial analyst Neil Wilson described trading in recent times as a “rollercoaster like nothing I’ve ever seen” and he equated it with small investors that lacked market experience with the coin.

Because they have no way of discerning the coin’s fair value, as well as the perception that the coin is not a currency, bitcoin has been perceived to be going through a bubble similar to the dotcom crisis.

Financial analysts have warned that bitcoin is not an official currency and should not be treated as such. It is simply a commodity with people choosing to invest and trade it whenever they feel like it.

This has led to some scrutiny by financial entities, whom warn investors about the inherent risks with the coin, whom have warned investors that they might lose their entire savings if they are not careful.

Lyft’s major lift by Google


Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is making a $1 billion investment in Lyft; definitively ending their previous partnership with Uber after three years together.

In a blog post by Lyft, the company announced that Alphabet’s venture capital arm, CapitalG, was funding the investment, which Lyft projects to secure their position in going public by 2018.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is throwing its financial support behind ride-hailing service Lyft, deepening its rift with market leader Uber.

While the ride-hailing service has been in deep conversation with many investment banks, so far none have been named as the company’s I.P.O. However, with CapitalG’s investment, Lyft’s new value of $11 billion, a major jump from last year’s $6.9 billion, may help the company reach its goal by 2018.

Lyft is still far from Uber, its biggest rival, which is valued around $70 billion. In the past, Alphabet had partnered with Uber through Google Ventures, which invested $258 million, as well as Alphabet’s chief legal officer David Drummond joining the Uber board. Google also gave Uber an “Uber tab” under their “Map tab.”

Relations took a turn for the worse after Waymo, Google’s self-driving car project, sued Uber after allegations came of Uber’s engineers stealing software and trade secrets. Uber has also had many internal disputations, which resulted in the former chief executive and co-founder Travis Kalanick leaving the company.

Lyft has certainly benefited from Uber’s missteps, and has since increased in 54 percent more Lyft drivers. Lyft also welcomed CapitalG’s partner David Lawee on as one of their board of directors, another ploy to help the company in its race to become public before Uber.

Multiple news media outlets have picked up the story; however, the investment is still new and will most likely go unnoticed until Waymo and Uber go to trial in early December. If Waymo wins, Uber may have to pay billions of dollars in damages and derail its efforts to build its own fleet of self-driving cars.

News media mum on Uranium One


What is shaping to be one of the most bombshell cases of federal corruption and shady politics of the year is receiving little to no attention from the mainstream news media.

According to Newsweek, the case originates around the sale of Canadian mining firm Uranium One “that has licenses to mine American uranium deposits in Kazakhstan, in 2009. The sale ended in 2013 and transferred the uranium—which made up 20 percent of American reserves—into Russian hands.” Additionally, Uranium One’s chairman donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation, while another company he was a major investor in, UrAsia, donated over $8.5 million to the foundation.

Recent information has surfaced that indicates the FBI, under now Trump-Russia-special-counsel-head Robert Mueller, notified then-president Barack Obama and other top officials of the corruption among the Russians involved in the deal. And yet, we notice a news media blackout of this story.

President Trump tweeted early Thursday that the deal is the biggest story the news media are not following. Donald Trump has certainly damaged his credibility in calling out fake news because he’s called almost all mainstream news media fake, but Trump is correct in this latest assessment. What could have shaped up to be the next Watergate should Clinton have won the 2016 election is getting ignored by the television news media and newspapers, who instead are choosing to maintain focus on NFL anthem protesting and private phone calls to gold star families.

It goes without saying that if this story had “Trump” anywhere in it, it would be emblazoned as breaking news across every news station and outlet. We have seen this before, as any and every bit of information about Russia and its alleged tampering in the presidential election (whether the information is legitimate, from an “anonymous source,” or a hoaxed internet dossier) inevitably dominates the news cycle for a week.

Trump is right. This is fake news. These outlets have forfeited their credibility by unjustly steering the focus of their broadcasts away from anything that might justify Donald Trump or harm Barack Obama. This is getting ridiculous. At a certain point, the news media have to understand that the public is entitled to be informed about legitimate news that affects the world.

Enough with the rumors, anonymous sources, or whispers and leaks from inside the campaign; finally the news media have significant evidence of actual collusion with Russia among federal officials and they choose to turn away from it. Forgive me, then, news media, if we choose to turn away from you.

New exec order issued on healthcare


This Thursday, President Trump signed a new executive order that could mean big changes for the nation’s healthcare system.

The order lays the groundwork for cheaper health insurance plans with fewer benefits to enter the marketplace. These new products may be exempt from certain regulations laid out by the Affordable Care Act, a factor that is already sparking heated debate in Congress.

According to President Trump and other prominent Republican lawmakers such as Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, the order is a step towards diversifying healthcare, giving consumers more coverage options at a lower price than was ever possible before.

Prominent Democratic lawmakers, such as New York Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, do not share this view. They are instead concerned that new health coverage plans like the ones outlined could drive up costs for the poor and sick. Because the new plans are targeted towards healthy individuals able to pay for them, the older, more strictly regulated plans would be left to them, with many of the poor and sick being unable to pay for them.

The New York Times does a solid job presenting how both sides could be correct. The coverage includes a statement from Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who warns of the dangers of association health plans. It also has a statement from Dirk Van Dougen, president of the National Association for Wholesaler-Distributors, who is elated at the possibilities the order opens up for small insurance businesses.

Additionally, The Times includes a brief summary of Obama administration policies and stances on healthcare, in relation to the Trump administration policies and how they have been changed. It is an in detailed account of the current events that leaves plenty of room for the reader to form his or her own opinion on the matter.