FTX's Native Token Might Be Relaunched, Putin Personally Approved Arrest Of American Journalist Evan Gershkovich, Fox News-Dominion Voting Systems Trial To Start Monday: Today's Top Stories

Benzinga

FTX's Native Token Skyrockets 96% As Reports Swirl Of A Possible Relaunch

  • Troubled cryptocurrency exchange FTX's native token FTT (FTT/USD) is up 96% in the last 24 hours, as news emerged that the exchange might be considering restarting in the future.
  • According to the legal team representing FTX's debtors, the cryptocurrency firm has recovered around $7.3 billion in liquid assets as of an April 12 hearing in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. 
  • The team also claimed FTX may restart its crypto exchange operations in the second quarter of 2024. 

Youth Vaping Epidemic: Juul Agrees To Pay $462M In Largest Multistate Settlement For Addiction

  • Embattled electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc will pay $462 million to six states and the District of Columbia for its role in the youth vaping surge, said New York Attorney General Letitia James.
  • The states that reached the settlement with Juul are New York, California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Illinois, and Colorado.
  • "There is no doubt that Juul played a central role in the vaping epidemic today," New York Attorney General Letitia James said.

Is Google Sharing International Users' Data With US Intelligence? South Korea's Top Court Wants Company To Disclose

  • South Korea's top court has asked Alphabet Inc's GOOGL GOOG Google to disclose if it had shared local user information with third parties, including the United States intelligence.
  • The court's decision came after four plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the technology giant and its local unit Google Korea in 2014, demanding whether their personal information had been shared with a third party.

Trump-Linked Truth Social SPAC Digital World Acquisition Names New CFO, President

  • Digital World Acquisition Corp DWAC, the special purpose acquisition company, which had agreed to merge with Donald Trump's Trump Media & Technology Group, the parent of the Truth Social platform, announced multiple leadership changes. 
  • The company named Katherine Chiles as its chief financial officer. It also named Alexander Cano as President and secretary. Frank Andrews, an existing director, was named as non-executive chairman of the board.

 

Reuters

Women's Reproductive Rights: US Court Preserves Access To Abortion Pill For Now, But With Tighter Rules

  • A US federal appeals court has temporarily blocked a decision by a Texas judge to halt the FDA's approval of a widely used abortion drug.
  • The abortion pill mifepristone will remain available in the U.S. for now but with some restrictions, including requiring in-person doctor visits to obtain the drug and limiting its use to the first seven weeks of pregnancy from the current ten, a federal appeals court ruled.

Google Prepares To Seek Respite From US Antitrust Lawsuit For Alleged Search Engine Dominance

  • Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL Google proposes to argue Thursday the U.S. Justice Department's alleged breach of antitrust law to build and maintain its search dominance. It intends to request the judge to dump the flawed allegations.
  • The lawsuit dating back to the Trump administration, will likely defend its complaint, which said that Google acts illegally in paying billions of dollars each year to smartphone makers like Apple Inc AAPLLG Electronics Inc LGEIY LGEJYMotorola Solutions, Inc MSI and Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd SSNLF, carriers like Verizon Communications Inc VZ and browsers like Mozilla to be the default search for their customers.

Novavax Plans to Cut $50 Million in Costs, COVID-19 Vaccine Remains Only Marketed Product

  • Novavax Inc's NVAX CEO, newly appointed CEO John Jacobs, said the company would cut about $50 million in costs in Q1 of 2023 and plans further cuts.
  • "We're looking at everything from buildings, leases, land, headcount, and contractors, every aspect of our company and the way we work," Jacobs said in an interview.
  • Jacobs also said the company is in regular talks with the FDA over the potential design of its 2023 COVID-19 booster shot and believes Novavax will have a new shot ready in time for the fall.

Fox News-Dominion Voting Systems' Defamation Case: Jury Selection Begins, Trial To Start Monday

  • Jury selection is expected to begin today in Dominion Voting Systems' defamation case against Fox News, a unit of Fox Corporation FOX
  • The Delaware court seeks 12 residents from a heavily-Democratic county to determine whether Fox News knowingly aired false claims or recklessly disregarded the truth about vote rigging in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
  • Fox has asserted in legal filings that Dominion's damages request is "untethered from reality" and concocted to enhance the company's investors.

ChatGPT Could Return In Italy — But Only If OpenAI Meets Some Demands

  • Almost two weeks ago, Italy became the first Western country to ban ChatGPT, but the tides may soon turn, provided OpenAI meets some of its demands. 
  • On Wednesday, Italy's data protection agency issued a series of requirements that OpenAI must fulfill by April 30. 
  • These demands aim to address the agency's apprehensions regarding ChatGPT, the company's AI-powered chatbot and to enable the service to resume operations in the country. 

 

Washington Post

US Intel Leaks Reportedly Traced Back To Military Base Worker Called 'OG' On Discord

  • The person behind the recent leak of a large amount of confidential U.S. intelligence documents has reportedly been identified as a man who works at a "military base." 
  • The individual reportedly shared the sensitive classified documents with a tightly-knit group of friends on the online chat platform, Discord.
  • The publication reported the bombshell development based on interviews with a teenager who claims to be friends with the leaker, who goes only by "OG" in the Discord group. 

 

Bloomberg

Apple Goes Big On India: Triples iPhone Production In Last Fiscal, Aims 25% Production By 2025

  • Apple Inc AAPL assembled over $7 billion of iPhones in India last fiscal, tripling production after expanding its presence beyond China.
  • India now produces 7% of Apple's iPhones through expanding partners from Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd HNHPF Foxconn Technology Group to Pegatron Corp.
  • India accounted for 1% of iPhone production in 2021.

Chevron Approaching Production-Sharing Deal Closure With Angola And Congo

  • Chevron Corp CVX is nearing finalizing a production-sharing deal with Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo for operating their shared offshore oil block. 
  • Both parties can meet this month to discuss the block development known as both 14c and the common interest zone, stated Congolese Oil Minister Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga.
  • Angola's state-owned Sonangol EP told that the Angola National Agency of Petroleum, Gas, and Biofuels had taken over as national concessionaire in the partnership, which is equally split between the two countries. 

DiDi Global Launches Autonomous Car In First Post-Security Probe Move

  • Transport company DiDi Global Inc DIDIY has reportedly launched a self-driving concept car, DiDi Neuron.
  • The move comes amidst China's intent to contain the sway of powerful technology companies.
  • The report quoted Chief Technology Officer Zhang Bo, who said Didi's level four self-driving technology can be "fully self-reliant and controllable."

Putin Personally Approved Arrest Of American Journalist Evan Gershkovich

  • Russian leader Vladimir Putin personally approved the arrest of American journalist Evan Gershkovich on espionage charges, marking the first instance of such approval since the Cold War era.
  • Putin's decision to detain the WSJ reporter reveals the increasing power of hardliners within the Kremlin who advocate for intensifying a conflict with the U.S. that they believe cannot be resolved.
  • Alina Polyakova, president of the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, said the detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Gershkovich on March 29 "​​should be a real wake-up call, not just to the U.S., but the broader West."

 

Wall Street Journal

IBM Eyes Sale Of Weather Business Worth $1B

  • International Business Machines Corp IBM is reportedly weighing a sale of its weather operation. An auction of the business is at an early stage.
  • A private equity is the most likely buyer in a deal worth over $1 billion.
  • The report adds that IBM is amid a yearslong makeover, focusing on transforming itself into a hybrid-cloud and artificial intelligence business.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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