Latest retail results show department stores need more than touch-ups. They need reinvention

A shopper checks on merchandise at the J.C. Penney department store in North Riverside, Illinois. Kamil Krzaczynski | ReutersFor department stores, there may be no time left for subtlety. A slew of retail earnings the past two weeks makes clear that while Americans continue to shop, they increasingly aren’t ringing registers at department stores. Department stores also can’t turn to the retail trick of selling more groceries to bring in shoppers. With these restrictions, department stores have s


A shopper checks on merchandise at the J.C. Penney department store in North Riverside, Illinois. Kamil Krzaczynski | ReutersFor department stores, there may be no time left for subtlety. A slew of retail earnings the past two weeks makes clear that while Americans continue to shop, they increasingly aren’t ringing registers at department stores. Department stores also can’t turn to the retail trick of selling more groceries to bring in shoppers. With these restrictions, department stores have s
Latest retail results show department stores need more than touch-ups. They need reinvention Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-22  Authors: lauren hirsch
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, reinvention, shoppers, target, kohls, walmart, department, sales, online, retail, store, touchups, results, need, stores, brands, latest


Latest retail results show department stores need more than touch-ups. They need reinvention

A shopper checks on merchandise at the J.C. Penney department store in North Riverside, Illinois. Kamil Krzaczynski | Reuters

For department stores, there may be no time left for subtlety. It is time for reinvention. A slew of retail earnings the past two weeks makes clear that while Americans continue to shop, they increasingly aren’t ringing registers at department stores. J.C. Penney, Kohl’s and Nordstrom all turned in disappointing first-quarter results — despite strong earnings at Walmart and Target. Sales at Kohl’s stores open for at least 12 months fell 3.4%, far steeper than the 0.2% drop analysts were expecting — its first same-store sales miss in two years. Penney’s same-store sales dropped 5.5%, worse than an expected drop of 4.2%. Nordstrom pulled back on promotions to boost profits, and it backfired. Sales dropped and it slashed its profit expectations for the full year. While each department store chain faces its own set of obstacles, all share in common a large store-base that is a burden as shopper foot traffic falls. These brands have declining clout amid the rise of online brands like apparel retailers Reformation and Untuckit. All have made varying degrees of touch-ups and improvements over the past few years, but none have evolved as completely as retailers like Walmart and Target. Walmart paid $3 billion to buy internet retailer Jet.com, through which its built up a coterie of online brands like Bonobos and ModCloth. It’s adding veterinary clinics to its stores and now runs an online pet pharmacy. The retailer also reshaped its geographic hold, making a multibillion dollar bet in India as it looks to move away from England. It’s made investments in same-day delivery in the U.S., and transformed some of its stores into distribution centers. Target, meantime, has turned from discount store into a chic, one-stop destination. It is remodeling its stores to make the apparel section look like a boutique, its make-up section like Sephora and its grocery sections more modern. But whether it be loyalty to brand, fear of losing shoppers or simply business constraints — U.S. department stores today remain what they were a decade ago.

Location, location, location

Department stores are, in part, restricted by geography. Many, aside from Kohl’s, are still located at the mall, even as traffic there declines. That’s in contrast to retailers like Target and Walmart, which are rarely located at malls. That means it’s harder for department stores to transform their e-commerce business through initiatives like “click and collect,” where shoppers have all the convenience of selecting items online and the instant gratification of picking up their items quickly at the store. This option has been a boost to both Walmart and Target’s businesses, but it is less convenient when shoppers need to go to the mall to fetch their purchases. Target’s e-commerce sales this quarter surged 42%, largely due to its curbside pickup service for online orders.

Product mix

The products department stores sell also impact how the businesses perform. Whereas Macy’s, Kohl’s and Nordstrom find themselves somewhere between discount and ultra high-end, Target and Walmart can cater directly to bargain shoppers, without worrying about hurting the image of the higher-end brands sold in their stores. Department stores also can’t turn to the retail trick of selling more groceries to bring in shoppers. Soda would look awkward next to a rack of clothes. Grocery sales and store-branded products have helped propel Walmart’s growth. Profit from Walmart’s store-label grocery brands helped drive its fiscal first-quarter earnings, which topped analysts’ expectations, executives said earlier this month. With these restrictions, department stores have still tried to evolve, in a tempered way. Macy’s introduced rotating marketplaces for popular brands and mobile checkout. Kohl’s is partnering with Amazon for returns and adding partners like Aldi’s and Planet Fitness to its downsized stores, with the hope it will drive foot traffic. But, for the large part, those changes haven’t addressed the fundamental weaknesses department stores are facing, in the same way Target and Walmart have been able to rebuild their business. Even as Macy’s says it plans to start downsizing some of its larger locations, it still has one of the country’s largest fleet of stores, which act as a drag on its earnings as sales stall. Together with the Bloomingdale’s brand it owns, it has 680 department stores across the U.S. Penney’s, which aborted attempts to sell appliances earlier this year, said it was was focused on improving fundamentals like merchandise assortment, but provided “little guidance as it fully develops its turnaround strategy,” wrote Telsey Advisory Group CEO Dana Telsey Wednesday.

True transformation


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-22  Authors: lauren hirsch
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, reinvention, shoppers, target, kohls, walmart, department, sales, online, retail, store, touchups, results, need, stores, brands, latest


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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin won’t release Trump’s tax returns to Congress, says no ‘legitimate legislative purpose’

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday said he will not allow President Donald Trump’s tax returns to be released to Congress by the IRS, as a powerful oversight committee has requested. House Democrats had asked the IRS to release six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. Experts have said the U.S. tax code mandates that anyone’s tax returns “shall” be released to one of the authorized panels if they request them. Trump has repeatedly rebuffed requests to release his tax retu


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday said he will not allow President Donald Trump’s tax returns to be released to Congress by the IRS, as a powerful oversight committee has requested. House Democrats had asked the IRS to release six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. Experts have said the U.S. tax code mandates that anyone’s tax returns “shall” be released to one of the authorized panels if they request them. Trump has repeatedly rebuffed requests to release his tax retu
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin won’t release Trump’s tax returns to Congress, says no ‘legitimate legislative purpose’ Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-06  Authors: dan mangan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, mnuchin, treasury, secretary, returns, trumps, request, house, department, congress, steven, trump, purpose, release, wont, irs, tax


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin won't release Trump's tax returns to Congress, says no 'legitimate legislative purpose'

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday said he will not allow President Donald Trump’s tax returns to be released to Congress by the IRS, as a powerful oversight committee has requested.

The formal denial, coming weeks after acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Congress will never get those tax returns, sets the stage for yet another fight over documents sought by the Democratic-led House of Representatives from the Republican Trump’s administration.

The dispute could end up in court.

In a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., Mnuchin said that after conferring with the Justice Department, he has determined that the request “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose” and that because of that the request would be denied.

“I am informing you now that that [Treasury] Department may not lawfully fulfill the Committee’s request,” Mnuchin wrote to Neal, whose committee is one of three congressional panels with the power to request a president’s income tax returns.

House Democrats had asked the IRS to release six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. Experts have said the U.S. tax code mandates that anyone’s tax returns “shall” be released to one of the authorized panels if they request them.

Mnuchin’s letter called that request “unprecedented” and said it also “presents serious constitutional questions, the resolution of which may have lasting consequences for all taxpayers.”

Mnuchin also said that the Justice Department intends to “memorialize its advice in a published legal opinion as soon as practicable.”

Neal, in a statement, said, “Today, Secretary Mnuchin notified me that the IRS will not provide the documents I requested under Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code. I will consult with counsel and determine the appropriate response.”

Trump has repeatedly rebuffed requests to release his tax returns to the public, saying they are being audited. But Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen has testified to Congress that he has seen no proof that Trump was being audited.

Cohen entered a federal prison in upstate New York on Monday to begin serving a three-year sentence for multiple crimes.

In April, Trump said Americans don’t care if they can see his tax returns.

“Remember, I got elected last time,” Trump told reporters then. “The same exact issue, with the same intensity, which wasn’t very much. Because frankly, the people don’t care.”

However, a poll conducted around the same time found that 51% of voters supported Democrats’ bid to obtain his tax returns, compared with 36% of voters who oppose that effort.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-06  Authors: dan mangan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, mnuchin, treasury, secretary, returns, trumps, request, house, department, congress, steven, trump, purpose, release, wont, irs, tax


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An alarmingly simple cyberattack hit electrical systems serving LA and Salt Lake, but power never went down

Electrical grid operations in two huge U.S. population areas — Los Angeles County in California, and Salt Lake County in Utah — were interrupted by a distributed-denial-of-service attack in March, according to the Department of Energy’s Electric Emergency and Disturbance Report for March. The attack did not disrupt electrical delivery or cause any outages, the Department of Energy confirmed, but caused “interruptions” in “electrical system operations.” In this case, “operations” does not refer t


Electrical grid operations in two huge U.S. population areas — Los Angeles County in California, and Salt Lake County in Utah — were interrupted by a distributed-denial-of-service attack in March, according to the Department of Energy’s Electric Emergency and Disturbance Report for March. The attack did not disrupt electrical delivery or cause any outages, the Department of Energy confirmed, but caused “interruptions” in “electrical system operations.” In this case, “operations” does not refer t
An alarmingly simple cyberattack hit electrical systems serving LA and Salt Lake, but power never went down Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-02  Authors: kate fazzini tom dichristopher, kate fazzini, tom dichristopher
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, county, used, attack, serving, electrical, utilities, simple, systems, department, la, delivery, hit, warned, operations, utah, salt, lake, went, power


An alarmingly simple cyberattack hit electrical systems serving LA and Salt Lake, but power never went down

Electrical grid operations in two huge U.S. population areas — Los Angeles County in California, and Salt Lake County in Utah — were interrupted by a distributed-denial-of-service attack in March, according to the Department of Energy’s Electric Emergency and Disturbance Report for March.

The attack did not disrupt electrical delivery or cause any outages, the Department of Energy confirmed, but caused “interruptions” in “electrical system operations.” In this case, “operations” does not refer to electrical delivery to consumers, but could cover any computer systems used within the utilities, including those that run office functions or operational software.

Although the attack did not interrupt service, denial-of-service attacks are easily preventable, and most large organizations no longer consider them major threats. The fact that it succeeded calls into question whether the utilities are prepared for a far more sophisticated attack, as the U.S. government has warned about.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-02  Authors: kate fazzini tom dichristopher, kate fazzini, tom dichristopher
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, county, used, attack, serving, electrical, utilities, simple, systems, department, la, delivery, hit, warned, operations, utah, salt, lake, went, power


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House Judiciary Chairman Nadler says Attorney General Barr must testify Thursday

U.S. Attorney General William Barr testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget estimates for the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S. April 10, 2019. U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said on Monday that Attorney General William Barr must testify before his panel on Thursday, despite Barr’s reported objections to the format for questions that Democrats intend to use. It’s none of the business of a witness to try to dictate to a c


U.S. Attorney General William Barr testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget estimates for the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S. April 10, 2019. U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said on Monday that Attorney General William Barr must testify before his panel on Thursday, despite Barr’s reported objections to the format for questions that Democrats intend to use. It’s none of the business of a witness to try to dictate to a c
House Judiciary Chairman Nadler says Attorney General Barr must testify Thursday Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-30
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, nadler, william, attorney, lawmakers, judiciary, hearing, committee, barr, justice, chairman, questioning, general, testify, department, house


House Judiciary Chairman Nadler says Attorney General Barr must testify Thursday

U.S. Attorney General William Barr testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget estimates for the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S. April 10, 2019.

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said on Monday that Attorney General William Barr must testify before his panel on Thursday, despite Barr’s reported objections to the format for questions that Democrats intend to use.

“We’ve been very clear. Barr has to come. He has to testify. It’s none of the business of a witness to try to dictate to a congressional committee what our procedures for questioning him are,” Nadler told reporters.

“He is supposed to show up on Thursday and we will take whatever action we have to take if he doesn’t,” he added.

Justice Department officials had no immediate comment on the lawmaker’s remarks.

A Democratic congressional aide on Sunday said that Barr could skip the upcoming hearing because he objects to plans for an extra hour of questioning by lawmakers and committee attorneys and a closed session to discuss classified segments of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation report.

Nadler has subpoenaed the unredacted Mueller report and the Justice Department faces a deadline that expires on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET to provide the full document.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-30
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, nadler, william, attorney, lawmakers, judiciary, hearing, committee, barr, justice, chairman, questioning, general, testify, department, house


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Head of DOJ’s antitrust division says he has not made up his mind on T-Mobile, Sprint deal

Despite reports that it won’t be approved, the chief of the Department of Justice antitrust division said he has yet come to a decision on Sprint and T-Mobile’s planned merger. The most immediate hurdle, according to the Journal, came from Delrahim’s antitrust division, which is reportedly considering whether or not a deal would present an “unacceptable threat to competition.” Shares of Sprint fell as much as 12 percent after that report earlier in April, while T-Mobile dropped by 4 percent. Spr


Despite reports that it won’t be approved, the chief of the Department of Justice antitrust division said he has yet come to a decision on Sprint and T-Mobile’s planned merger. The most immediate hurdle, according to the Journal, came from Delrahim’s antitrust division, which is reportedly considering whether or not a deal would present an “unacceptable threat to competition.” Shares of Sprint fell as much as 12 percent after that report earlier in April, while T-Mobile dropped by 4 percent. Spr
Head of DOJ’s antitrust division says he has not made up his mind on T-Mobile, Sprint deal Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-29  Authors: kate rooney
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, tmobile, antitrust, mind, delrahim, wireless, sure, dojs, sprint, youre, deal, division, head, department


Head of DOJ's antitrust division says he has not made up his mind on T-Mobile, Sprint deal

Makan Delrahim testifies before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary on his nomination to be an Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division of the US on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

Despite reports that it won’t be approved, the chief of the Department of Justice antitrust division said he has yet come to a decision on Sprint and T-Mobile’s planned merger.

“I have not made up my mind,” Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice antitrust division, told CNBC’s David Faber during a “Squawk on the Street ” interview Monday from the Milken Institute Global conference in Beverly Hills, California.

His comments come weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported the $26 billion planned merger is unlikely to be approved in its current structure, citing people familiar with the matter. The report casts doubt on the fate of the mega-deal. The most immediate hurdle, according to the Journal, came from Delrahim’s antitrust division, which is reportedly considering whether or not a deal would present an “unacceptable threat to competition.”

Shares of Sprint fell as much as 12 percent after that report earlier in April, while T-Mobile dropped by 4 percent. Sprint shares were slightly positive after Monday’s CNBC interview, while T-Mobile’s stock was down more than 2 percent.

Delrahim said his department does have an eye on price competition, and potential for more consolidation in the industry to raise bills for the average consumer. The DOJ is looking into “coordinated effects,” meaning companies would not compete on prices anymore if it’s no longer in their best interest.

“Those are the factors and there are strict guidelines that we follow, based on case law handed to us, we are continuing to investigate that,” he said. “My job is to make sure the analysis is done properly and make sure the facts are there.”

The $26 billion deal would combine the third- and fourth-largest wireless providers in the U.S., a market with only two other participants: AT&T and Verizon. Sprint and T-Mobile have argued that the merger is necessary to compete with the two larger carriers, and would provide greater access to 5G. T-Mobile CEO John Legere defended the deal before Congress In February, arguing that the deal would create jobs and lower prices.

“With 5G and other technologies, you’re going to be able to use that phone for more than just communicating with your best friend or texting,” DOJ’s Delrahim said. “You’re getting your media, you’re getting video — we want to be sure to encourage that, but ultimately, is there going to be a price effect when those two combine?”

While more players in any market typically means more competition, Delrahim said there was no ideal number for the total amount of wireless companies.

“There is no magical number — it’s what the facts and the economic evidence shows us,” Delrahim said.

— CNBC’s Christine Wang contributed reporting.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-29  Authors: kate rooney
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, tmobile, antitrust, mind, delrahim, wireless, sure, dojs, sprint, youre, deal, division, head, department


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US exempts foreign entities working with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard from ‘terrorist’ designation

It was the first time the U.S. has formally given the label of foreign terrorist organization, or FTO, to a military branch of another nation. Under the FTO designation, any entity providing “material support” to the Guard would face U.S. sanctions, including denial of visas to the United States. The U.S. retains the right to sanction any individual providing material support to the Guard. Despite the new exemptions, the State Department has yet to comment on how it defines “material support.” N


It was the first time the U.S. has formally given the label of foreign terrorist organization, or FTO, to a military branch of another nation. Under the FTO designation, any entity providing “material support” to the Guard would face U.S. sanctions, including denial of visas to the United States. The U.S. retains the right to sanction any individual providing material support to the Guard. Despite the new exemptions, the State Department has yet to comment on how it defines “material support.” N
US exempts foreign entities working with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard from ‘terrorist’ designation Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-23  Authors: leila gharagozlou, saul loeb, afp, getty images, stringer
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, irans, material, support, fto, united, entities, foreign, department, terrorist, revolutionary, designation, state, working, used, guard, exempts


US exempts foreign entities working with Iran's Revolutionary Guard from 'terrorist' designation

A State Department spokesperson told CNBC that the new exemptions are intended to mitigate complications created by the designation, which was announced on April 8. It was the first time the U.S. has formally given the label of foreign terrorist organization, or FTO, to a military branch of another nation.

Under the FTO designation, any entity providing “material support” to the Guard would face U.S. sanctions, including denial of visas to the United States. This would create difficulties for foreign governments, allies and trading partners — including Iraq, Syria and Turkey — and nongovernmental organizations and businesses that work with Iran closely.

“There is clearly a realization that this will impact the functioning of not only the Iraqi government but also the functioning of the United States and its allies,” said Jonathan Cristol, senior fellow at the Center for Civic Engagement.

The U.S. retains the right to sanction any individual providing material support to the Guard.

Despite the new exemptions, the State Department has yet to comment on how it defines “material support.” This poses a major problem, Cristol says. “For many foreign entities what is considered material support is unclear, and [that] could give the U.S. an incredibly broad reach in punishing those who violate the designation.”

Richard Nephew, former principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy at the State Department, says the term “material support” has been used liberally in the past but typically refers to charity groups funneling funds to nonstate actors, such as ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Nephew said the FTO designation is “not the tool that was meant to be used for state actors. It is meant for actual terrorist groups. That’s why the administration is having a problem defining ‘material support.'”

The Revolutionary Guard and its linked entities are estimated to control about 20% of the Iranian economy, from shipping and petrochemicals to real estate and banking, making it difficult to avoid the group. Plus, a two-year military service is mandatory for men, so many Iranian families have a connection to the group regardless of their politics.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-23  Authors: leila gharagozlou, saul loeb, afp, getty images, stringer
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, irans, material, support, fto, united, entities, foreign, department, terrorist, revolutionary, designation, state, working, used, guard, exempts


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Facebook hires top State Department lawyer as general counsel

Facebook announced on Monday that it’s bringing in a new general counsel and vice president of communications as it tries to rebuild its image following a year filled with scandals. The company said Jennifer Newstead, the legal adviser to the U.S. State Department, is joining the company as its general counsel, replacing Colin Stretch, who said last year that he would be departing. Facebook also named John Pinette as vice president of global communications, succeeding Caryn Marooney, who announc


Facebook announced on Monday that it’s bringing in a new general counsel and vice president of communications as it tries to rebuild its image following a year filled with scandals. The company said Jennifer Newstead, the legal adviser to the U.S. State Department, is joining the company as its general counsel, replacing Colin Stretch, who said last year that he would be departing. Facebook also named John Pinette as vice president of global communications, succeeding Caryn Marooney, who announc
Facebook hires top State Department lawyer as general counsel Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-22  Authors: ari levy, jerry lampen, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, hires, pompeo, counsel, communications, lawyer, facebook, president, newstead, company, department, state, general, vice, worked


Facebook hires top State Department lawyer as general counsel

Facebook announced on Monday that it’s bringing in a new general counsel and vice president of communications as it tries to rebuild its image following a year filled with scandals.

The company said Jennifer Newstead, the legal adviser to the U.S. State Department, is joining the company as its general counsel, replacing Colin Stretch, who said last year that he would be departing. Facebook also named John Pinette as vice president of global communications, succeeding Caryn Marooney, who announced her plans to leave in February.

Newstead, who was confirmed by the Senate in December 2017, is a government veteran, having previously worked at the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Justice and as an associate White House counsel. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked Newstead for her service in a statement, without addressing where she was going.

“Jennifer Newstead is an exceptional lawyer who has served the American people, our State Department team, and the Trump Administration faithfully as our Legal Adviser,” Pompeo wrote. “Her expertise and sharp judgment on an array of critical foreign policy issues will be greatly missed.”

Newstead brings some controversy with her. As part of the George W. Bush administration in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Newstead helped draft the Patriot Act, which granted law enforcement agencies greater surveillance power over ordinary Americans.

Pinette most recently worked as vice president of marketing and communications at Vulcan, the business and philanthropic group started by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Before that, he led communications for Bill Gates’ private office and also worked at Google.

Facebook has seen an exodus of top talent since the company became embroiled in controversy following the 2016 presidential election, when the platform was manipulated by foreign actors and flooded with fake news. The company is now trying to regain the trust of users, lawmakers and even advertisers, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has laid out his plans for a “privacy-focused” future.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-22  Authors: ari levy, jerry lampen, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, hires, pompeo, counsel, communications, lawyer, facebook, president, newstead, company, department, state, general, vice, worked


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Facebook hires top State Department lawyer as general counsel

Facebook announced on Monday that it’s bringing in a new general counsel and vice president of communications as it tries to rebuild its image following a year filled with scandals. The company said Jennifer Newstead, the legal adviser to the U.S. State Department, is joining the company as its general counsel, replacing Colin Stretch, who said last year that he would be departing. Facebook also named John Pinette as vice president of global communications, succeeding Caryn Marooney, who announc


Facebook announced on Monday that it’s bringing in a new general counsel and vice president of communications as it tries to rebuild its image following a year filled with scandals. The company said Jennifer Newstead, the legal adviser to the U.S. State Department, is joining the company as its general counsel, replacing Colin Stretch, who said last year that he would be departing. Facebook also named John Pinette as vice president of global communications, succeeding Caryn Marooney, who announc
Facebook hires top State Department lawyer as general counsel Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-22  Authors: ari levy, jerry lampen, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, hires, pompeo, counsel, communications, lawyer, facebook, president, newstead, company, department, state, general, vice, worked


Facebook hires top State Department lawyer as general counsel

Facebook announced on Monday that it’s bringing in a new general counsel and vice president of communications as it tries to rebuild its image following a year filled with scandals.

The company said Jennifer Newstead, the legal adviser to the U.S. State Department, is joining the company as its general counsel, replacing Colin Stretch, who said last year that he would be departing. Facebook also named John Pinette as vice president of global communications, succeeding Caryn Marooney, who announced her plans to leave in February.

Newstead, who was confirmed by the Senate in December 2017, is a government veteran, having previously worked at the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Justice and as an associate White House counsel. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked Newstead for her service in a statement, without addressing where she was going.

“Jennifer Newstead is an exceptional lawyer who has served the American people, our State Department team, and the Trump Administration faithfully as our Legal Adviser,” Pompeo wrote. “Her expertise and sharp judgment on an array of critical foreign policy issues will be greatly missed.”

Newstead brings some controversy with her. As part of the George W. Bush administration in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Newstead helped draft the Patriot Act, which granted law enforcement agencies greater surveillance power over ordinary Americans.

Pinette most recently worked as vice president of marketing and communications at Vulcan, the business and philanthropic group started by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Before that, he led communications for Bill Gates’ private office and also worked at Google.

Facebook has seen an exodus of top talent since the company became embroiled in controversy following the 2016 presidential election, when the platform was manipulated by foreign actors and flooded with fake news. The company is now trying to regain the trust of users, lawmakers and even advertisers, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has laid out his plans for a “privacy-focused” future.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-22  Authors: ari levy, jerry lampen, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, hires, pompeo, counsel, communications, lawyer, facebook, president, newstead, company, department, state, general, vice, worked


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Homeland Security is reportedly considering labeling fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction

The Department of Homeland Security is considering classifying fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction, or WMD, according to an internal memo attained by military news outlet Task & Purpose. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine. The memo said the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction office would only focus on quantities and configurations of the drug that could be used as mass casualty weapons. In a statement to CNBC, a DHS official sai


The Department of Homeland Security is considering classifying fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction, or WMD, according to an internal memo attained by military news outlet Task & Purpose. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine. The memo said the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction office would only focus on quantities and configurations of the drug that could be used as mass casualty weapons. In a statement to CNBC, a DHS official sai
Homeland Security is reportedly considering labeling fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-16  Authors: ashley turner, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, destruction, mass, fentanyl, memo, department, security, weapon, technology, wmd, task, reportedly, homeland, labeling, according, opioid, dhs, considering


Homeland Security is reportedly considering labeling fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction

The Department of Homeland Security is considering classifying fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction, or WMD, according to an internal memo attained by military news outlet Task & Purpose.

The memo said the painkiller would be labeled a WMD “when certain criteria are met,” and that federal officials have “long regarded fentanyl as a chemical weapons threat.”

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is prescribed to treat severe pain but is also sold illegally in the U.S. Fentanyl-related deaths in the country spiked more than 1,000% from 2011 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2017, more than 28,000 U.S. citizens fatally overdosed on the drug.

The drug’s high toxicity and increasing availability are “attractive” to potential adversaries “seeking nonconventional materials for a chemical attack,” James McDonnell, an assistant secretary at DHS, wrote in the memo, according to Task & Purpose.

McDonnell wrote that “as little as” 2 to 3 milligrams of fentanyl can induce respiratory depression, respiratory arrest and possibly death.

The memo said the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction office would only focus on quantities and configurations of the drug that could be used as mass casualty weapons.

However, the memo leaves out some key details, according to Dr. Michael Kuhlman, chief scientist specializing in WMD issues at Battelle, a science and technology nonprofit organization.

“What the memo doesn’t spell out the details of is: In what quantities and what do they mean by configurations?” Kuhlman said.

Kuhlman said a chemical powder is not in itself a WMD and that it needs to be combined with some form of delivery method for it to be considered so.

“You need something to weaponize it,” he said.

In a statement to CNBC, a DHS official said, “DHS is constantly assessing new and emerging threats that may impact the nation’s security. We coordinate closely with partners at [the Department of Defense], [Department of Justice], and throughout the interagency to better protect the American people.”

The official declined to offer further comment on the specifics of those discussions. The Department of Justice also declined to comment. When CNBC twice called to confirm if the Department of Defense proposed designating fentanyl as a WMD, a person who answered the phone hung up both times.

The memo said the CWMD office would assist in countering fentanyl by managing and developing requirements for technology development, deploying detection technology and providing analytical expertise. It also said the agency would conduct an official analysis of smuggling routes by which fentanyl enters the U.S. Large amounts of the drug have been traced to China and Mexico.

The internal memo comes at the same time the Trump administration touts progress in combating the U.S. opioid epidemic. President Donald Trump has vowed to battle the opioid crisis, securing $6 billion in funding over two years to fight drug abuse. But health experts say there is little evidence that opioid deaths have decreased as a result of administrative action.

Kuhlman said it’s possible the DHS is targeting fentanyl because it is responsible for so many deaths in the U.S. However, he said “the memo that I saw could just have easily have said heroin” in mass quantities could be considered a WMD, too.

“Clearly, I think all of us would wish for a better ability to prevent fentanyl, heroin and other illicit drugs from reaching our country,” Kuhlman said, adding that increased detection methods could help.

Read the full memo at Task & Purpose’s site.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-16  Authors: ashley turner, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, destruction, mass, fentanyl, memo, department, security, weapon, technology, wmd, task, reportedly, homeland, labeling, according, opioid, dhs, considering


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Sprint stock falls 10% on report T-Mobile merger is unlikely to be approved as currently structured

The Justice Department is unlikely to approve a planned $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Shares of Sprint plunged as much as 12% in after-hours trading following the report, while T-Mobile fell more than 4%. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. About a year ago, T-Mobile and Sprint announced they had reached an all-stock stock deal to combine the companies. Read the full report in The Wall Street Jou


The Justice Department is unlikely to approve a planned $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Shares of Sprint plunged as much as 12% in after-hours trading following the report, while T-Mobile fell more than 4%. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. About a year ago, T-Mobile and Sprint announced they had reached an all-stock stock deal to combine the companies. Read the full report in The Wall Street Jou
Sprint stock falls 10% on report T-Mobile merger is unlikely to be approved as currently structured Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-16  Authors: christine wang, brendan mcdermid
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, unlikely, street, currently, merger, justice, department, approved, sprint, stock, trading, journal, structured, deal, wall, report, falls, tmobile


Sprint stock falls 10% on report T-Mobile merger is unlikely to be approved as currently structured

The Justice Department is unlikely to approve a planned $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Staffers from the Justice Department have reportedly told both carriers that the deal may not be approved under its current structure, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Reuters later confirmed the report with one person familiar with the matter, who cautioned that a final decision has not been made.

Shares of Sprint plunged as much as 12% in after-hours trading following the report, while T-Mobile fell more than 4%.

A spokesman for Sprint declined to comment to CNBC. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

About a year ago, T-Mobile and Sprint announced they had reached an all-stock stock deal to combine the companies. Shareholders of both companies approved the deal in October, which later received national security clearance.

But the deal’s greatest regulatory hurdle was that it would combine the third- and fourth-largest wireless providers in the U.S., a market with only two other participants: AT&T and Verizon.

Shares of Verizon slipped about 1% in postmarket trading Tuesday, while AT&T edged 0.6% lower.

Critics of the merger have argued it would lead to job loss, decreased competition and increased prices for consumers, especially in rural America.

In February, T-Mobile CEO John Legere defended the deal before Congress, asserting that the deal would create jobs and lower prices.

Read the full report in The Wall Street Journal.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-16  Authors: christine wang, brendan mcdermid
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, unlikely, street, currently, merger, justice, department, approved, sprint, stock, trading, journal, structured, deal, wall, report, falls, tmobile


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