This Mom Is Firing Back At Mom-On-Mom Shaming: Mind Your Own Motherhood

Being a mom is without a doubt one of the toughest jobs in the world. It’s hard enough to feed and clothe your kids every day, and keep them healthy and safe, without other mom’s constantly interjecting with their opinions about what a mom is supposed to do in order to be considered one of the “good” moms.

Which is where hilarious mom video blogger, Kristina Kuzmic comes in — she is fired up on this topic.

In the first episode of The Truth Bomb Mom With Kristina Kuzmic Kuzmic she goes to town on the moms who are constantly judging each other and butting in at times where it’s quite simply none of their business (you know who you are).

To the moms that constantly voice their opinions about how others breastfeed, feed their kids, and dress their kids for school, according to Kuzmic, enough is enough.

“Let’s all look up wrong and different in the dictionary because they are not the same word,” Kuzmic says. “Unless a child is being abused or neglected let’s just give other moms the benefit of the doubt that they have good reasons for their parenting choices, even if they are completely different from ours.”

Watch Kuzmin’s hilarious rant on mom shaming below!

Totally agree with The Truth Bomb mom about mom shaming? Make sure to SHARE this video with your friends and family!

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Customer Keeps Asking For Change, Then Cashier Realizes She Was Just Scammed

It may seem silly to think that a customer can get away with asking for $150 in change for a $2 purchase made with a $50 bill. If that sounds confusing, that’s the point.

Con artists use this mind game to create confusion. The customer below asks a cashier at a mom-and-pop restaurant called Meat N Fire for change. Then the man claims she gave him too much change back.

Then he asks for change in different bills. Each time he givessome of the money back, he pockets some of the cash, until finally he tellsthe cashier he’ll give her what’s in his hands in exchange for a $100 bill.

The transaction happens so quickly, the cashierdoesn’t know how to respond. Not to mention, there’s the added pressure of providing good customer service who wants to accuse a customer of being a thief?

But this wasn’t the only time the same con artist got away with the scheme. Prior to his stop at Meat N Fire, security cameras caughthim running the same scheme and walking away with $120 from one cashier and $60 from another.

What’s unfortunate is that these seemingly small crimes have serious impacts on local businesses.

“You know, it is a mom-and-pop place here and you know, every penny to us counts. Even down to a two-dollarsweet tea, it counts. One hundred dollars hurts a small business like this,” said Meat N Fire manager Josselyn Downs.

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Corporate Disaster: AT&T Has Called Off Its Upcoming Merger After Time Warner Failed To Disclose That One Of Its Employees Has Diarrhea

Oof, this is definitely not a good look for Time Warner.

When AT&T settled on an agreement to purchase the behemoth media company for $85.4 billion this weekend, its board of directors had all the reason in the world to celebrate. Now, after becoming privy to some new information about its business partner, not so much: AT&Ts called off the merger due to Time Warners failure to disclose that one of its employees has diarrhea.

The telecommunication companys decision to withdraw its offer was made swiftly upon finding out that nowhere in the thousands of pages of documents profiling Time Warners revenue, personnel, and projections was it noted that Jeffrey Marks, a social media coordinator for Time Warner subsidiary HBO, has had flu-related liquid bowel movements for the past five days. Although Time Warner quickly provided a complete and extensive detailing of Marks condition, it was too little, too late: AT&T has elected to end all talks of a merger until further notice.

AT&T chief executive Randall L. Stephenson released a press statement explaining his choice to back out of the deal:

Our company expects good faith from any entity it decides to enter into business with, and by not making the fact that one of its employees has been having diarrhea abundantly clear upfront, Time Warner broke that trust, said Stephenson. Its not the diarrhea employee thats the problem, its the fact that we didnt know about him when we agreed to the sale.

Stephensons words for Time Warner executives only got harsher from there:

Its a total bait and switch, he continued. We thought we were buying a corporation that owns dozens of TV channels, movie studios, and publications and has zero employees with diarrhea. What we were sold was something much different.

Time Warner chief executive Jeffrey Bewkes held an emergency press conference to publicly apologize for not being transparent about Mr. Marks diarrhea, largely shouldering blame for the incident. Bewkes went on to assure current Time Warner business affiliates that he seeks to restore the trust that [Time Warner] jeopardized by concealing Mr. Marks diarrhea and never let another deal transpire where the other party isnt fully aware of how many of its employees were experiencing symptoms of diarrhea.

Considering how quick AT&T was to pull out of the agreement, this apology likely wont be enough to rebuild goodwill. Investors are sure to be furious with Mr. Bewkes as well now that Time Warners stock has already plummeted 15 percent and counting since the public found out that Mr. Marks has been glazing the bowl for the past few days and Time Warner chose to conceal that information from its buyer.

Clearly, someone among Time Warners ranks missed out on an ethics lesson or two in business school, because this is the kind of careless blunder that can sink an entire corporation. Disasters like this are tough to come back from, and the fact the Mr. Marks still has diarrhea is only making things worse for them. Itll be a long time before AT&T considers joining forces with Time Warner again, thats for certain.

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New press regulator faces approval decision – BBC News

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Max Mosley has been calling for more press regulation after winning 60,000 damages following a newspaper report about his private life

A group seeking to become the first officially recognised press regulator is to find out if it has been approved.

Impress, set up by former F1 boss Max Mosley, is seeking formal approval from the Press Recognition Panel (PRP).

The PRP was set up in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry to ensure any future press regulator met certain standards.

Most of Britain’s press has joined the rival regulator, Ipso, or set up their own system, but none has sought official recognition.

If Impress is approved, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley will have to decide whether to activate regulations which say newspapers that refuse to sign up to the new regulator could have to pay the legal fees of a complainant who sued them for libel, even if the paper won the case.

The move has angered many newspapers, who have overwhelmingly rejected the idea of any form of state regulation, warning that it would be a threat to press freedom.

Appearing before the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Monday, Ms Bradley made clear she would be in no hurry to activate the regulations, which are under Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act, 2013, even if Impress was recognised by the PRP.

She told MPs there were fears among local newspapers in particular that they could be forced out of business if the rules were enforced, and she wanted to consider all the options before making a decision.

Impress, which covers 25 small specialist publications, is expected to hear if it has been approved later.

Rival regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, has said it will not seek official recognition from the PRP.

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Model train prices are rising because of pound’s devaluation – BBC News

Image copyright Getty Images

The pound’s recent devaluation after June’s Brexit vote has already led to some price rises, and model railways are one business feeling the effects.

Early in October, the leading manufacturer Hornby told retailers that wholesale prices for many of its trains would rise by an average of 10%.

The company has been making its models in China for more than 20 years.

“We have put prices up, but it’s the first time in two and a half years,” said a Hornby spokesman.

Thanks to manufacturing abroad, the firm’s international trading is denominated in US dollars, so sterling’s 17% devaluation against the US currency since 23 June means that UK prices must inevitably rise.

“It reflects higher input costs as we source in US dollars,” the spokesman explained.

“But it’s part of a package of changes to our trading terms with independent retailers, which will help them in other respects,” he added.

Increased costs

Similarly, the small Welsh model train manufacturer Dapol has warned that the fall in the pound has affected the company “severely” and that the costs of all its imported products have risen between 10% and 20% since 23 June.

“We were hoping that the situation would stabilise and that the pound would regain some of its fallen value,” said Dapol managing director Joel Bright.

“It is now clear that this is not going to be the case and perhaps a weaker pound is here for the longer term. As a consequence, we now need to recoup these increased costs from imported goods.”

Another big model train manufacturer is Bachmann, now owned by a Chinese firm which makes the models in that country, and though it has not revealed its hand it will find it hard to resist the effect of the pound’s devaluation.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The way model trains used to be

Model trains are far more detailed and sophisticated than was once the case.

If you want your model engine to come with digital control and authentic sound effects, you can easily pay more than 300 per loco.

The hobby is especially popular in Germany, whose model firms generally export to the UK via wholesalers such as Golden Valley Hobbies in Herefordshire.

There, Fiona Mulhall says she has little control over the higher prices already being charged by manufacturers such as Busch and Kibri.

“You either put prices up or cut your margin – we have done a combination of both,” she says.

“Customers are understanding [and] seem to be swallowing it for the moment”.

Some smaller retailers are less confident.

Specialist continental model seller Neil Scoggins runs Scograil in Ipswich.

Not essential

He points out that many customers have not yet noticed what is happening.

That is because the higher prices will only filter through next year, once newer and more expensive stock replaces older items still on the shelves.

“Model trains are not an essential item and people buy wisely and vote with their feet,” he warns.

“If we sell at a model exhibition people already pick up items, say they are too expensive and put them down; we might take 500 in a day instead of 1,000 before.

“A wagon set for 80 may now sell for 105 which will be just too expensive, so I think people won’t buy so much if prices go up further” he adds.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Made in China since 1995

The days when every high street had a model shop are long gone, and much of the trade’s sales now take place via post and the internet.

One of the biggest mail order retailers, known dismissively in some quarters as “box shifters”, is Rails of Sheffield.

‘UK attractive’

There, John Barber says the weakness of the pound means that sales to customers abroad are buoyant.

“The fall in the pound has been enough to tip the balance for foreign buyers, the UK for them looks very attractive, and they don’t have to pay VAT either if they are from outside the EU” he says.

“We are doing a lot of overseas sales to America, Australia, Germany, Austria and Switzerland”.

For better or worse, the rise in model train prices will not have any direct effect on the UK’s general rate of inflation.

Toy trains are not included in the shopping basket of 800 goods and services which are sampled every month by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to construct the consumer prices index.

But plenty of other imported items are expected to push up the prices index in the coming year.

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How the GOP’s first female presidential campaign manager manages Donald Trump

(CNN)Morning at the Conway household is like mornings in most homes with children. It’s a scramble to get the kids fed, dressed and out the door on time for school — organized chaos that would look familiar to any parent. But the mother of four young children in the New Jersey home we visited is not just any parent — she is Donald Trump’s campaign manager.

Kellyanne Conway’s real house in Alpine, New Jersey, looks eerily like the one NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” imagined in a parody earlier this month. The bit fantasized what a day off would be like for her — rollerblading, painting, doing yoga — only to be constantly interrupted by demands for television appearances so that she can try to explain fictitious off-the-wall comments from her boss.
    In the few short months since becoming Trump’s campaign manager, Conway has become a constant fixture on television — laying out his agenda, talking points and often trying to smooth over Trump controversies. In dedicating a whole sketch to her, SNL picked up on a question many people are fascinated by: Does she believe what she says when she defends Trump?
    “I think it’s unfair to say I’m always dutifully defending him. I look at my job, Dana, as explaining positions on issues, why he’s running for president and why people should vote for him,” said Conway, 49, who will turn 50 on Inauguration Day.
    Conway has only been on the job since August. She is Trump’s third campaign manager, but the first woman ever to run the campaign of a Republican nominee. She told us that when Trump asked her to take the job, her being a woman was beside the point.
    “I wasn’t hired because of my gender. But it’s a special responsibility,” said Conway, “I want to do right, apart from my gender — I want to do right as a campaign manager.”
    That’s not always easy when Trump is the candidate. Just this past weekend Trump was supposed to give a focused speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, about what he calls “draining the swamp.”
    Instead, he started his remarks by going decidedly off script, attacking the women who say he groped them and vowing to sue them for lying when the election is over.
    “It’s his campaign, and it’s his candidacy, and in the end, yes, I feel comfortable with his voice and his choice,” said Conway.
    Yet when pressed, she admitted that “Donald Trump is at his very best, at his very best, when he talks about the issues.”
    Translation: Going off message hurts Trump.
    Still, Conway insists she’s tough with Trump in private. As an example, she told us what happened when they got on the plane after his Gettysburg speech.
    “I don’t sugarcoat at all,” said Conway.
    She told him after his off script rant, “You and I are in a fight for the next 17 days.”
    When Trump asked why, Conway replied: “Because I know you’re going to win. And that comment you just made sounds like you think you’re going to lose. And we’re going to argue about it until you win.”
    His response?
    “He was like, ‘OK, honey. Then we’ll win,’ ” Conway said.

    Conway did tame Trump — temporarily

    For a time after Conway took over the campaign, Trump was uncharacteristically disciplined. He allowed his staff to add teleprompters to his rallies, a tool he had mocked Clinton for using, in order to stick to prepared speeches. (His off-the-rails Gettysburg address was proof that’s not true anymore.)
    But it is his Twitter feed that has gotten him in the most trouble.
    “People will seriously say, ‘Can’t you delete his Twitter account?'” said Conway.
    “I’m not going to take away — it’s not for me to take away a grown man’s Twitter account,” she added.
    The Friday that the now-infamous tape from 2005 came out of Trump describing lewd behavior, Conway publicly expressed her dismay in her own way — canceling her Sunday TV appearances. But behind the scenes she was in the thick of it helping with damage control.
    “I felt like Rapunzel in the tower all weekend,” said Conway, in this scenario the tower being Trump Tower.
    “I told Mr. Trump in private what I’ve also said in public or a variation thereof,” said Conway. “I found the comments to be horrible and indefensible. And he didn’t ask anybody to defend them, by the way.”
    She said she did not consider quitting.
    “I’m glad he apologized. I was there when he made his apology. I will tell all the people who think he was not sincere and he wasn’t truly contrite, or he wasn’t contrite enough — you’re wrong. He was. I was there,” she said. “And he’s also resolved to see this fight through. And I think the same reason he wouldn’t quit the race is the same reason I wouldn’t quit for him, and it’s very simple.”
    Since then multiple women have come forward saying Trump wasn’t just engaging in locker room talk with Billy Bush on that “Access Hollywood” tape, but he actually groped them.
    Does Conway believe them?
    “I believe — Donald Trump has told me and his family, and the rest of America now, that none of this is true. These are lies and fabrications. They’re all made up. And I think that it’s not for me to judge what those women believe. I’ve not talked to them, I’ve talked to him,” she said.

    Brought up in a house of women, now working in a man’s world

    Conway was raised in Southern New Jersey by a single mom, two aunts and her grandmother — all women. As a political pollster she chose to work in what she calls a man’s world — especially as a Republican.
    “Republican politics can sometimes feel like you’re walking into, you know, an Elks Club or bachelor party,” said Conway.
    She recalled a potential client — a man — asking how she’d balance kids and work.
    “It’s like, ‘I just hope you ask all the male consultants. Are you going to give up your weekly golf game and your mistresses?’ Because they seem really, really busy too,'” recalled Conway.
    The irony of Conway running the campaign of a GOP candidate struggling with female voters is that she made a name for herself as a pollster by teaching politicians and corporate clients how to reach female voters and consumers.
    “We won’t be able to in such a short amount of time be able to execute on the many ideas that we have tried, that we’ve worked so hard on over the years. Because there simply isn’t enough time,” Conway replied when asked about the disconnect between her expertise and the problems her candidate is facing with women.
    Was she hired too late?
    “Well it’s that the — well, it wasn’t — I wasn’t hired too late. I think that if you’re in Donald Trump’s campaign, you work for Donald Trump — every single day you wake up and you wonder, ‘What avalanche of criticism and what road blocks are going to be thrown your way that day?’ And sometimes, your best laid plans hit those road blocks and hit those avalanches.”
    “And that’s OK,” added Conway, without acknowledging what many Trump sources admit privately — some of those road blocks and avalanches have been created by the candidate himself.



      Conway slammed ‘system is rigged’ rhetoric in April


    Unconventional candidate, unconventional campaign manager role

    Though Conway is the campaign manager, an untold story is how much Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband, is also running things — especially when it comes to budgeting.
    He, and Brad Paracale, whose official title is digital director but has known and worked for Trump’s children, are in closest contact with the Republican National Committee. That relationship is much more important in Trump’s campaign than usual because he is relying on the RNC for grassroots get out the vote operations traditionally done by the candidate’s campaign itself.
    Conway gushes when asked about Kushner’s unusually large role in the campaign, including doing jobs often done by the campaign manager.
    “I’m very close to Jared. We talk many times a day. We meet many times a day,” said Conway. “He’s obviously a brilliant businessman. He helps to run his own family’s very successful business.”

    Conway: Working mother

    Like most working mothers, time with her kids is precious. When we visited in the early evening for our interview, Conway took time to listen to her 12-year-old-daughter, Claudia, play piano, asked her twin brother, George, about the birthday party they just returned from and laughed as her younger daughters, Charlotte and Vanessa, belted out raps from the musical Hamilton. (Conway’s husband George, a lawyer who defended Bill Clinton accuser Paula Jones in the 1990s, was upstairs. She called him “too shy” for the television cameras).
    These days, this scene is rare. Her mother has moved in to help the kids while Conway is what she jokingly tells her kids is her “semester abroad.”
    The question is whether she’ll have more time on her hands in two weeks after Election Day.
    When Trump hired her, she told him point blank that he was losing, but that he still had a pathway to win. Does she still think it is possible to win?
    “It is still possible to win,” she replied.
    Is it probable?
    “I think that we have got a very good chance of winning,” she said in her upbeat, on message way that voters and viewers have become familiar with over the last three months. “I think that people have realized it’s very unwise to bet against Donald Trump.”

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    How China’s Dealmakers Pulled Off a $207 Billion Global Spree

    When a Chinese home-appliance company announced a plan in May to become the largest shareholder in one of Germanys most advanced robot manufacturers, the backlash was immediate.

    German politicians and European officials denounced Midea Group Co.s offer for Frankfurt-listed Kuka AG, whose robotic arms assemble Airbus jets and Audi sedans. In a rare public appeal for alternative acquirers, Germanys economy minister argued that Kukas automation technology needed to stay out of Chinese hands.

    And yet in two months, Midea pulled it off. Thanks to a combination of political courtship, guarantees on jobs and security, and support from influential customers like Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche, Midea overcame knee-jerk opposition to the deal. By July the appliance maker had secured an 86 percent stake, valuing Kuka at 4.6 billion euros ($5 billion).

    The experience showed how some Chinese firms are learning to soothe misgivings about the countrys record $207 billion overseas buying spree. While Sinophobia isnt yet a thing of the past and practices among Chinese buyers vary widely, merger-and-acquisition professionals say a new generation of savvy dealmakers is starting to emerge from the worlds second-largest economy.

    Many Chinese companies have become much more adept at navigating international deals in the last few years, and at soothing the concerns stakeholders might have, said Nicola Mayo, a partner at London law firm Linklaters LLP who specializes in China-Europe transactions. In many of the larger Chinese companies, youre dealing with managers who were educated abroad or have worked in international firms. They understand the concerns about China and know they need to move carefully.

    That growing fluency is making Chinese businesses a more powerful force in the M&A world than ever before, particularly in Europe, which has accounted for nearly half of Chinas overseas takeovers this year. While thats a potential boon for slow-growth Western economies in need of fresh sources of capital, it also means stiffer competition for European and U.S. acquirers at a time when global equity prices are already near record highs.

    Keeping Jobs

    Chinas most sophisticated bidders have developed a consistent playbook to minimize backlash. Hostile takeovers are virtually off limits, while friendly offers are often revealed only after years of informal courtship. There are pledges to keep existing management teams in place, investment guarantees lasting half a decade or more and steps to preserve independent oversight.

    For the Kuka deal, Midea pledged to maintain existing plants and jobs until at least 2023 — far longer than the norm for similar deals — and promised to keep customer data walled off from the Chinese parent company. It deployed vice president Andy Gu, a social scientist by training with a doctorate from Cornell University, to make those assurances face-to-face with the German economy ministers senior staff, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

    Meanwhile, Kuka helped ease any concerns among its customers, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. A representative for Midea declined to comment, while a spokeswoman for Kuka said she couldnt immediately comment.

    Midea has been quick to pounce on other opportunities as well. The Chinese company sent a letter stating its willingness to acquire General Electric Co.s appliance arm within 24 hours of an existing deal with Electrolux AB falling through, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Though it lost in the end, the eventual winner was domestic rival Qingdao Haier Co. with a $5.4 billion bid, rather than a more-established Western competitor.

    Planes, Video Games

    This years announced deals have also included China National Chemical Corp.s $43 billion takeover of Switzerlands Syngenta AG, which would be the biggest-ever foreign acquisition by a Chinese company. Tencent Holdings Ltd. led an $8.6 billion deal in June for Finnish video-game maker Supercell Oy, while HNA Group Co. agreed this month to buy a $10 billion aircraft-leasing business from CIT Group Inc.

    The acquisition wave out of China is still broadening and deepening, said Joseph Gallagher, the Hong Kong-based head of Asian M&A at Credit Suisse Group AG.

    For a QuickTake explainer on Chinas M&A boom, click here.

    While Chinese mega-deals have spanned a wide range of industries, the ChemChina-Syngenta transaction may be the most instructive as a guide to the countrys new approach to acquisitions. The offer created almost no controversy in Syngentas home base of Switzerland, even as it gave a state-controlled Chinese company a central role in the global food industry.

    Enthusiastic Endorsement

    The lack of opposition stemmed in large part from Syngentas enthusiastic endorsement of the deal, according to people involved in the transaction. The takeover was structured to keep existing managers in their jobs, retain a Swiss headquarters and work toward a future re-listing of the company.

    Early in negotiations, ChemChina asked Syngenta to propose a governance structure for the combined company, giving the takeover target an unusual lead role in the deliberations, the people said. ChemChina pushed back on a few minor elements, but the structure proposed by Syngenta was largely incorporated in the final agreement, the people said.

    A representative for ChemChina didnt immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Leandro Conti, a spokesman for Syngenta, said the ChemChina offer ensures continued choice for growers at a time when considerable consolidation is taking place in the industry. 

    It is not a merger, but simply a change in share ownership, Conti said in an e-mailed statement. It also ensures that Syngenta remains Syngenta.

    The process isnt always smooth. For all the offers by a ChemChina or Midea, there are also deals like Anbang Insurance Group Co.s aborted $14 billion bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. in April. Chinese property billionaire Wang Jianlins acquisitions in the U.S. entertainment industry have triggered calls to scrutinize Chinese influence in Hollywood from lawmakers including North Carolina Republican Robert Pittenger and Devin Nunes, head of the House Intelligence Committee.

    Then theres the 740 million-euro offer for the AC Milan soccer team by Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing Co. in August. The little-known Chinese consortium provided a false bank report during its initial negotiations, according to people with knowledge of the matter and the lender whose name appeared on the statement. Sino-Europe Sports said in a Sept. 20 e-mail it does not confirm it has ever sent such a document.

    Government Influence

    Even the ChemChina deal hasnt been free of hiccups. Syngenta shares initially fell after Bloomberg News reported Oct. 14 that Chinas government was planning to merge ChemChina with Sinochem Group. The revelation came just as ChemChina and Syngenta were entering the final stages of completing their own deal, sparking concern that the transaction could face delays or further regulatory scrutiny.

    The Chinese governments influence on corporate decisions can make sellers nervous, said Hernan Cristerna, the global co-head of M&A at JPMorgan Chase & Co., which advised Syngenta. He added that its too early to tell whether Chinese acquirers will follow through on the promises they made to secure recent takeovers.

    Theres a large vintage of transformative deals from the last 18 months where market participants will monitor how well pledges are honored to provide hints of future behavior, Cristerna said.

    Despite the uncertainties, Chinas growing interest in foreign markets and technology means more cross-border takeovers are inevitable. Policy makers in Beijing have encouraged local companies to acquire overseas expertise as they try to shift the economys focus from low-end manufacturing to high-tech industries and consumer demand.

    Theres no reason why China wont look back at this as the trickle before the stream turns into a river, said Kenneth Courtis, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker whos now chairman of advisory firm Starfort Holdings. Its going to happen and some will resist it for a while, but they will come to terms with it.

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    Rockwell Collins Bets on Smart Jets With $6.4 Billion B/E Deal

    Rockwell Collins Inc., with its $6.4 billion takeover of B/E Aerospace Inc., is betting big that airplanes will get smarter as everything from lie-flat seats to toilet valves flash data in real time to airline crews and maintenance workers on the ground.

    The acquisition is the largest in the avionics companys 83-year history, eclipsing its $1.39 billion takeover of Arinc Inc. in 2013. That deal, just 11 days after Kelly Ortberg was named chief executive officer, gave Rockwell Collins new ways to pipe data into airplanes. With B/E Aerospace, Ortberg gains the largest equipment supplier for aircraft cabins — and the chance to provide reams of new information to airline operators.

    It sets us up for the future, Ortberg said in an interview Sunday. Weve made major investments in next-generation airplanes. That trend is going to translate into the interiors of aircraft.

    The transaction vastly broadens a product portfolio that has been centered on aircraft communications and computing equipment since Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based company was spun out of Rockwell International in 2001. The deal, which is slated to close in early 2017, is the latest in a spate of mergers involving suppliers to Boeing Co. and Airbus Group SE, which are squeezing suppliers as they brace for slower growth following a decade-long sales cycle.

    Its an opportunity to build a smarter plane, Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace
    analyst at Teal Group, said by telephone. Given the pricing pressure youll probably see more deals like this.

    B/E Aerospace investors will get $34.10 in cash and $27.90 in shares of Rockwell Collins common stock, for a total consideration of $62 a share, the companies said in a statement Sunday. Thats a 23 percent premium over B/E Aerospaces closing price on Friday. With the assumption of $1.9 billion of debt, the purchase comes to $8.3 billion, according to the statement.

    Shares of Rockwell Collins have fallen 8.5 percent this year, while B/E Aerospace gained almost 20 percent.

    Luxurious Seats

    B/E Aerospace is the largest supplier of aircraft cabin equipment, ranging from modular lavatories to luxurious seats as expensive as a Ferrari. On a pro-forma basis, the combined manufacturer would have had almost 30,000 employees, $8.1 billion in revenue and $1.9 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, debt and amortization for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2016, according to the statement.

    There is virtually no overlap in the two companies product portfolios. For the most part they are pretty complementary, Aboulafia said. Rockwell tends to be on the small planes. B/E on the bigger ones, particularly wide-bodies.

    The savings flowing from the merger, pegged at about $160 million, would mostly come from combining suppliers and eliminating overlapping headquarters functions, Ortberg said. Those so-called synergies dont include the potential boost to sales that would open up when the companies are combined, Ortberg said.

    Smart Cabin

    Rockwell Collins has a base of business-aviation dealers that could offer to retrofit private jets with B/E Aerospaces interiors. The Wellington, Florida-based company has very strong ties with airline customers that Rockwell Collins may be able to leverage to sell more of its avionics equipment and inflight entertainment systems.

    The end result may translate to better inflight service. For example, sensors in luxury seats in first- and business-class cabins, could notify flight attendants when a passenger is waking up on a long-haul flight and ready for a hot towel or glass of orange juice.

    The smart cabin is here, Amin Khoury, co-founder and chairman of B/E Aerospace, said in an interview Sunday. Its not something that may happen in the future. Its happening now.

    The boards of both companies have approved the transaction, which will still need to pass muster with shareholders. Werner Lieberherr, B/E Aerospaces chief executive, will be named executive vice-president and chief operating officer of a newly created aircraft interiors division after the merger closes. Khoury will stay on as a consultant to Ortberg.

    Fourth-Quarter Earnings

    Separately, Rockwell Collins said profit from continuing operations in its fiscal fourth quarter rose to $1.58 a share, up from $1.38 a year earlier, according to a statement on Sunday. Analysts expected adjusted earnings of $1.57, according to the average of 17 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. 

    Sales in the period rose 4.4 percent from a year earlier to $1.45 billion, trailing the average analyst estimate of $1.48 billion. Equipment sales were hurt by lower planemaker production rates, including Airbuss A330 widebody jetliner, the company said. For its 2017 fiscal year, the company said it expects revenue between $5.3 billion and $5.4 billion — thats on a standalone basis, and doesnt account for the deal with B/E Aerospace.

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    Westworld episode 4 recap: ‘I’m not crazy, and none of this matters’

    Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and William (Jimmi Simpson) grow closer in ‘Westworld.’
    Image: hbo

    This post contains spoilers for Westworld Season 1, Episode 4, titled “Dissonance Theory.” Read last week’s recap here.

    The Man in Black has remained one of Westworlds most mysterious characters. Whats his end goal? Is he just an agent of chaos, or a really dedicated player hunting the games final level? Or is there something more? Episode 4, Dissonance Theory, provided some pretty big hints.

    We know the MiB seeks the maze. This week, he revealed that he believes the maze was designed by Arnold, Fords disgraced, deceased business partner, as Westworlds final chapter. And what little we know about Arnold paints him as obsessed with the hosts and convinced that they would eventually achieve consciousness. Thats clue number one.

    Clue two: in episode 2, Chestnut, the Man in Black got his first big hint in his quest for the maze, from Lawrences daughter. That thread re-materialized this week with the return of the excellent Ingrid Bols Berdal as Armistice. But recall what the little girl told the MiB: that the maze isnt meant for him.

    So for whom is it meant? If it was indeed created by Arnold, we can assume its meant for a host, not a guest, to find. Bernard confirms this when he sends Dolores seeking after the maze (how Bernie himself even knows about the maze is a question that will hopefully be answered at some point).

    Finally, there was a line of seemingly throwaway dialogue between the Man in Black and Lawrence in Dissonance Theory this week: Im gonna f*cking kill you, Larry threatens, to which the MiB replies: Maybe someday.

    Clifton Collins, Jr. and Ed Harris

    Image: hbo

    I dont believe there is throwaway dialogue in Westworld. The script is tight, nearly every line imbued with meaning and theme. And these clues provide evidence of what the maze may be: a test for the hosts, one that only a conscious being can solve. And at the goal? A cheat menu for the game that is Westworld an aberration that will let the hosts break their most important rule, the one that prevents them from hurting guests, which Elsie this episode calls the Samaritan reflex. Hence, maybe someday. Very coy, Ed Harris.

    Arnold, idealistic guy that he was, knew what would happen when Ford let the money-grubbers into the park. He knew horrible things would be done to the hosts. And if his hope for his creations that theyd eventually become sentient ever bore fruit, he surely must have built them a way out.

    Is any of that right? Will the maze lead to the bloodbath the show seems to be building toward? Does Bernie have any idea of the path hes set Dolores on? Only time (and more episodes) will tell. But that’s where Im placing my bets.

    Maeve, at least, finally began to understand the nature of her reality this episode. The dissonance theory in the episode title refers to cognitive dissonance, of which the hosts, guests and even the parks designers have plenty. But Maeves discoveries, of her memories of being shot, her multiple drawings of the mysterious figures, and the Native American hosts worship of those same beings well, just imagine seeing that from her perspective. It would be quite unsettling.

    The whole storyline raises some important questions about the park itself. Is it possible that the tribe has its own culture and spiritual beliefs that werent written or programmed in? Why havent any of the parks designers noticed that some of the hosts have deified them? Has the virus really spread that far? This week we saw the incredible degree of control the company has over events in the park even the MiBs exploding cigar is just another trick flipped on from the control room like a light bulb. So if the designer-worship was written in as part of the story, why and by whom?

    Rodrigo Santoro

    Image: HBO

    This week I found myself asking similar questions about Wyatt, the villain Ford seemed to make up in last weeks The Stray. In that episode, Ford said Teddys new backstory is rooted in truth, but it hasnt yet become clear exactly how.

    Instead, Wyatt has somehow wormed himself into seemingly every other storyline in Westworld. Or maybe he was always there, and all Ford did was weave Teddys story into Wyatts for the first time. It is possible that Wyatt has been around in the park for ages, and last week was simply the first wed heard of him. How else can it be explained that the Man in Blacks quest for the maze, which was apparently created by the long-dead Arnold, leads him directly to Wyatt? The pieces arent quite lining up, though hopefully thats intentional and it will ultimately all make sense.

    Dissonance Theory answered some questions and deepened the mystery of others, but more than anything it once again highlighted the immense talent of the people working both on-camera and off on Westworld. The script is laden with hidden clues, it seems, and the music much of it by Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi toes the line between sci-fi and Western in a way that perfectly encapsulates this show.

    From Evan Rachel Woods Dolores lamenting that there may be something wrong with this world to Rodrigo Santoros deliberately larger-than-life Hector Escaton and especially Thandie Newtons heart-pounding portrayal of Maeve every actor on this show is putting in the work.

    What does it mean, Maeve? That Im not crazy, and that none of this matters. I got chills.

    What does any of it mean? Well, considering that Ford gave a full-on Bond villain speech this episode and the Man in Black may in fact be working to free the hosts from their tormented slavery, Dissonance Theory may mean that our initial assumptions about many of the shows characters were likely wrong.

    Another guest referenced the MiBs foundation this episode, saying it saved his sisters life so what does that make the Man in Black in the real world? A rich philanthropist whose sadistic streak within Westworld is simply another part of the game, maybe even meant to spur the hosts forward into sentience via the sheer volume of trauma inflicted?

    I know one thing for sure: Im extremely excited to watch Logan and William go black hat next week.

    Westworld airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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    Think a cold is going to stop Taylor Swift from putting on a great show? No way.

    Taylor Swift performs during her ‘1989’ World Tour at AAMI Park on December 10, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.
    Image: Getty Images

    AUSTIN The pop star had a cold.

    When Taylor Swift took the stage in Austin, Texas Saturday evening for her first and only show of 2016, she had a little confession to make to the crowd of 80,000: She was sick.

    “Of course you play one show in one year and get a cold one time. That’s just how life works,” she joked.

    The superstar was brought down to earth by the common cold, occasionally stopping the show for a few seconds to blow her nose onstage. Hardly headline news, but Taylor Swift, celebrating a decade in the business this week, certainly understands more than most that we want our pop stars to be at least a bit of a perfect-alien-from-another-planet, however much we insist they be relatable.

    Swift has walked that impossible tightrope her whole career, and she got a chance to showcase both sides of her image during her disappointingly brief 70ish-minute set Saturday. She confirmed it would be the only show she plays this year (likely putting to rest rumors of an album drop in Q4).

    A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

    Kicking things off as a polished pop star with “New Romantics,” Swift emerged from a cloud of smoke in a sparkly black minidress, the only outfit she would wear the whole night.

    She was sans dancers for the evening, and the minimalist approach continued with just three onstage backup singers and zero “welcome to the stage” special guests to help her out. The star is a pro at working a crowd, so she quickly got everyone dancing to some of her best-loved tunes (“22,” “I Knew You Were Trouble”) to start the evening strong.

    But while “pop superstar playing her recent smashes” is always going to comes across well, the biggest treat of the night was that Swift freed up from promoting a specific work got to dig deep into her strong back catalogue. Fans screamed with joy as she pulled out her acoustic guitar and revisited tracks she hasn’t played in ages, showcasing a gorgeous “Holy Ground” and allowing herself to get fully nostalgic on “Fifteen.”

    Star polish mixed with every-lady charm melded together best about two-thirds of the way through the show, when a ridiculously sparkly silver piano appeared and Swift took fans through some of her most emotionally fulfilling work (though she didn’t play “All Too Well,” which seemed a bit of a missed moment as fans loudly started chanting for it the second they saw the piano).

    Instead, she broke out her first-ever concert performance of the Calvin Harris-Rihanna smash she co-wrote, “This Is What You Came For,” as well as Fearless gem “Sparks Fly” (complete with plenty of actual fireworks, natch). Not to mention a gorgeous mashup of “Enchanted” and “Wildest Dreams,” which will ring familiar to anyone lucky enough to have caught it during 2015’s 1989 tour.

    While the crowd was likely eager to hear from Swift on a variety of topics, the singer eschewed much “Clean”-esque candor in favor of just playing the hits. While she certainly noted her appreciation for the fans, she kept the inspirational stuff to a minimum and didn’t give any clues as to what the future may sound like (or when it might appear).

    Additionally, there was no Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson check in, no sly reference to Tom Hiddleston or a new paramour, and certainly no Kim and Kayne talk.

    Of course, that shouldn’t be surprising. After all, you don’t last a decade in the business without knowing how to shake it off which, backed by some fireworks and flashing lights, is just what she managed to do.

    Full Set List:
    New Romantics
    Blank Space
    I Knew You Were Trouble
    You Belong With Me
    Holy Ground
    We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together/Bad Blood
    Love Story
    This Is What You Came For
    Sparks Fly
    Enchanted/Wildest Dreams
    Out of the Woods
    Shake It Off

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