US manufacturing output falls for a second straight month

U.S. manufacturing output fell for a second straight month in February.
Economy

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Nike Stock Falls 1.7% After Duke Star’s Exploding Shoe Injury

(Bloomberg) — Nike Inc. is looking into what went wrong after college basketball’s biggest star sprained his knee when his shoe fell apart, one of the most high-profile apparel failures in basketball history.

Duke University star freshman Zion Williamson, the consensus No. 1 pick in this year’s National Basketball Association draft, tumbled to the court less than 35 seconds into last night’s loss to in-state rival North Carolina. He’d planted his foot to change direction when his left shoe, the PG 2.5 PE, came apart, causing him to fall awkwardly.

The fallout for the world’s largest sportswear brand was immediate. Twitter lit up with jabs from fans and rival brands, making “Zion” and “Nike” trending topics within the social media network. The company’s stock fell as much as 1.7 percent in New York trading Thursday.

“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said by email. “While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

While the incident, which occurred during one of the most anticipated college basketball games of the year, is certainly embarrassing, it likely won’t affect Nike’s prominent standing within the sport, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Chen Grazutis. If you combine Nike and its Jordan brand, the company has more than 90 percent of the basketball market. Nike reported $ 4.35 billion in wholesale equivalent basketball sales in fiscal 2018, about 14 percent of its overall sales.

“They might get a lot bad press over the next couple days, but I don’t think it will have a direct impact on the shoes,” Grazutis said.

Companies like Nike and Adidas pay tens of millions of dollars for the exclusive right to outfit high-profile college programs like Duke, meaning their athletes are required to wear uniforms and shoes made by the team’s sponsor. Though Duke’s contract with Nike isn’t public, the Durham school is one of Nike’s most important basketball partners. For comparison, the University of Kentucky, another top basketball school, recently extended its Nike deal for eight years and $ 30.6 million.

The malfunction might also hurt Nike’s ability to sign Williamson once he decides to go pro. College athletes can’t sign endorsement deals, but competition for elite draft prospects is fierce every year. Last year’s No. 1 pick, Deandre Ayton, signed a deal with Puma SE that was reported to be the largest rookie deal since Kevin Durant’s seven-year, $ 60 million deal with Nike back in 2007.

Williamson is one of the most highly regarded college prospects in years. The 6-foot-7, 285-pound forward suffered a mild knee sprain, according to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. He did not return to the game, and No. 8 UNC upset No. 1 Duke 88-72.

The timing could not have been worse for Nike. Not only was the game televised nationally on ESPN, it was one of the most anticipated college basketball games of the year. The cheapest resale tickets leading up to tip-off were over $ 2,500, approaching Super Bowl levels.

Former President Barack Obama, courtside at the high-profile clash, was shown on video appearing to say with an incredulous look: “His shoe broke!”

It also comes as Nike draws criticism for a different kind of shoe malfunction. Some people who purchased the company’s newest basketball creation, a laceless shoe that you can control with your phone, were unable to connect to the Android version of the app.

This isn’t the first time that Nike’s had problems with its basketball merchandise. After taking over as the official NBA uniform supplier in 2017, multiple stars including LeBron James had their jerseys rip.

Nike stock is up about 25 percent in the past year, similar to the gains of Puma and Under Armour Inc. while leading the roughly 12 percent gain of Adidas AG.

Puma is an upstart in the basketball market, and one of its few NBA players, Terry Rozier of the Boston Celtics, took advantage of Nike’s stumble to urge others to join him.

Sports – TIME

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Alphabet’s Verily has been working on health-tracking shoes to measure movement, weight and falls

Alphabet's Verily has pitched potential retail partners on the health-tracking shoes, which are still early in development.
Health and Science

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Amazon sales outlook falls short after record holiday quarter

Amazon.com Inc on Thursday forecast first-quarter sales below Wall Street estimates as new regulations in India created uncertainty around one of its key growth markets, even as the online retailer reported record holiday sales and profit.


Reuters: Business News

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Train Burglary Suspect Falls Through Ice While Running From Police

(ABC 7 Screenshot)

A Chicago man who fell through ice on the Douglas Park Lagoon while running from police on Thursday has reportedly been charged with burglarizing a train.

On  Thursday officers spotted a speeding vehicle that was wanted in connection with a train burglary, according to ABC7.

Travonta Turner, 22, and another suspect in the burglary reportedly got out of the vehicle and ran into Douglas Park when officers pursued them, police said.

The officers followed Turner as he tried to run across the ice on the lagoon and fell through, police said. Officers were able to get him out of the water and he was taken into custody.

Turner has been charged with felony counts of burglary and criminal trespass to real property, ABC7 reports.

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‘Fantastic Beasts’ Sequel Falls Short of First Film’s Success, But Still Wins Weekend Box Office

(LOS ANGELES) — “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” crawled, slithered and flew its way to the top of the weekend box office with a $ 62.2 million opening in the U.S. and Canada, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The latest offering from the Harry Potter multiverse fell short of the opening of the first film in the Warner Bros. series, 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which debuted with $ 74 million in a similar November release and went on to earn $ 234 million in the U.S. and Canada.

But all the Harry Potter films have had a broad international reach, and “Fantastic Beasts” had a hearty worldwide weekend gross of $ 253 million, according to the studio’s estimates.

“Clearly it’s a huge phenomenon globally,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros.

Last week’s top film, “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch,” was second with $ 38.1 million, bringing its domestic tally to $ 126 million for Universal Pictures after two weekends.

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” 20th Century Fox’s Freddie Mercury biopic, is still rocking, taking third place with $ 15.7 million for a total of $ 127 million.

“Fantastic Beasts,” the second film in the series of Potter prequels written by J.K. Rowling and starring Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp and Jude Law, had a budget of $ 200 million. Its reviews were largely lackluster, with critics saying Rowling’s magical world is wearing thin after 10 films.

Globally the first nine films have earned $ 8.5 billion, a total that this one’s worldwide take will inflate.

“This is yet another example of a movie whose opening weekend skewed heavily into the international territories,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “This happens a lot with bigger franchise movies. For many of these blockbusters, it’s the international component that comes in and saves the day.”

In the U.S., Warner Bros. is hoping young devotees who are out of school will keep “Fantastic Beasts” in flight through Thanksgiving.

“It’s a big week coming up,” Goldstein said. “Friday is one of the biggest movie days of the year.”

It will have a major challenger in Disney’s “Ralph Breaks The Internet,” which opens Wednesday, as does “Creed II.”

“Fantastic Beasts” continues a year of high points and hits for Warner from a diverse string of movies, including “The Meg,” ”Crazy Rich Asians,” ”The Nun” and “A Star is Born.”

“Warner Bros. is on a roll that every studio would envy,” Dergarabedian said.

In this weekend’s smaller-budget openings, “Instant Family” starring Mark Wahlberg brought in $ 14.7 million for Paramount Pictures, and “Widows,” the latest from “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen, earned $ 12.3 million for 20th Century Fox.

Overall, the weekend was down 14.5 percent from the same timeframe a year earlier, when “Justice League” made for a major pre-Thanksgiving weekend.

Here are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday also are included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” $ 62.2 million.

2. “Dr Seuss’ The Grinch,” $ 38.1 million.

3. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” $ 15.7 million.

4. “Instant Family,” $ 14.7 million.

5. “Widows,” $ 12.3 million.

6. “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” $ 4.7 million.

7. “A Star Is Born,” $ 4.3 million.

8. “Overlord,” $ 3.8 million.

9. “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” $ 2.5 million.

10. “Burn The Stage: The Movie,” $ 2.3 million.


Entertainment – TIME

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We Heart: The #VoteYourMainStreet Campaign to Preserve Feminist History in Seneca Falls

The first American women’s rights convention took place in Seneca Falls. Some of the earliest feminists—among them Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Frederick Douglass—were in attendance. The two-day convention, which produced the historic Declaration of Sentiments and led to a series of women’s rights conventions throughout the United States, took place in the Seneca Knitting Mill.

170 years later, the National Women’s Hall of Fame wants to set up shop in that knitting mill to best honor the achievements of the activists who bravely sparked the modern women’s rights movement—but they need your help. The organization is calling on feminists nationwide to help them secure a grant through the #VoteYourMainStreet campaign and make the move possible.

Paola Franqui, @monaris_

Partners in Preservation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express launched the national grassroots campaign, which is offering grants to significant sites in order to preserve American history. Partners in Preservation has raised over $ 22 million for over 200 sites since its creation in 2006; the National Trust for Historic Preservation has over 60 years of experience in advocating for the preservation of historical sites. Now, these groups want to help local communities educate others about their rich and diverse history.

The Seneca Knitting Mill is one of only two out of 20 competing sites in the campaign related strictly to women’s history, and it’s the oldest and most foundational of the batch related to feminism in the U.S. Should the site win the competition, the $ 150,000 grant would allow the National Women’s Hall of Fame to move to this significant location.

Today is the last day feminists can vote in the campaign, but the old political punchline “vote early and vote often” still applies! You can vote five times today—and all at once, in the click of a button.

Victoria Sheber is an editorial intern at Ms., a debate instructor at Windward School and a member of the JusticeCorps at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Victoria is currently a senior at UCLA studying American Literature & Culture and History; she is also the President of the American Association of University Women chapter on campus and Assistant Section Editor for Fem Newsmagazine. She loves to read and write about feminist literature. 

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The post We Heart: The #VoteYourMainStreet Campaign to Preserve Feminist History in Seneca Falls appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

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Japan Inflation Falls To 1.2% On Year In September

Consumer prices in Japan were up 1.2 percent on year in September, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication said on Friday.
RTT – Economic News

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Paula Abdul Falls Off Stage Mid-Performance, Continues to Sing

The show must go on. Paula Abdul handled a stage snafu like a true professional on Saturday, October 20, after she tumbled off the stage mid-concert.

Fan video captured the former Laker girl, 56, tumbling into the crowd after she ventured a bit too close to the edge of the stage during a performance of “The Promise of a New Day” at Hard Rock Live in Biloxi, Mississippi. An inaudible gasp could be heard from the concertgoers as she slipped and fell and fans nearby tried to catch her.

TMZ reports that the songstress, who was wearing a glittery minidress with ruffles and sky-high pumps, took the fall like a champ, returning to the stage to continue on with the rest of her show. A video posted on Twitter by another fan showed her closing out her concert by telling fans that she will be “forever be your girl.”

It is unclear if Abdul, who is currently in the midst of her Straight Up Paula! 2018 tour, suffered any injuries as a result of the incident. The former American Idol judge previously revealed that she suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a disorder of the sympathetic nervous system with symptoms that include chronic pain.

The fall is the second mishap since the tour began in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Thursday, October 18 — the Grammy winner was unable to perform at her second stop in Lake Charles, Louisiana, due to what she claimed was the venue of Golden Nugget Lake Charles’ inability “to accommodate” her stage and show.

Us Weekly has reached out to the location for comment.

“I am devastated that tonight’s show cannot take place due to an unexpected venue production issue that we learned about once we arrived,” she wrote on Instagram on Friday, October 19. “As you know I’ve been working tirelessly to make this show a memorable experience for you all. I am looking forward to continuing the tour as planned. You have no idea how excited I am to get on stage for all of you. I love you all so much — thank you!! Xo P.”

The Straight Up Paula! 2018 tour is scheduled to run through March 30, 2019.

Us Weekly

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Consumer sentiment falls shy of expectations, but confidence in economic policy is at a 15-year high

Consumer sentiment in October fell just short of expectations on Friday.
Economy

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