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IRS, Treasury Release Second Round Of Opportunity Zone Regulations

IRS, Treasury Release Second Round Of Opportunity Zone Regulations

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the issuance of the second set of regulations Wednesday afternoon, concurrent with a press conference held at the White House with addresses by President Donald Trump, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The announcement addressed what topics within the opportunity zone law were areas of focus in this round, but didn't give many specifics. The full guidance document was posted on the IRS website at around 2 p.m.
Congressional Committees Outline Plans For Marijuana Reform In 2019

Congressional Committees Outline Plans For Marijuana Reform In 2019

If it wasn’t apparent already, passing marijuana reform legislation will be a priority for House Democrats in the 116th Congress. The latest sign is a series of committee reports outlining cannabis-related issues various panels plan to tackle. The reports, compiled by the House Oversight and Reform Committee, are meant to “form a coherent blueprint for Congress to address issues of concern to working families across the country.” To that end, panels dedicated to financial services, health and justice reported on their plans to advance various legislation concerning marijuana.
Amazon Music’s free ad-supported tier goes live, but only for Alexa users

Amazon Music’s free ad-supported tier goes live, but only for Alexa users

Amazon has launched a free tier of its music streaming service in the US that is ad-supported and available to use through the company’s Echo speaker and other Alexa devices. Billboard first broke the news about this free option earlier this week, and the tier went live today. This new version gives access to a selection of ad-supported top playlists and stations for free on compatible Alexa devices. Previously, the only ways to access Amazon’s music offerings were to buy a Prime membership, which has Prime Music bundled in, or to separately pay a monthly fee ranging from $3.99 to $9.99, depending on the tier.
Amazon and Google settle feud, bring YouTube back to Fire TV devices

Amazon and Google settle feud, bring YouTube back to Fire TV devices

Feuding tech giants Amazon and Google have come to an agreement on their streaming services. After over a year of absence, the official YouTube app will return to Amazon Fire TV devices and Fire TV Edition smart TVs. Google pulled the video streaming app in early 2018 after it could not strike a deal with the online retail giant surrounding the availability of its products and services. According to reports at the time, Google was unhappy with Amazon because the retailer didn't sell a number of its products, including Chromecast and Google Home devices. The two companies couldn't strike a business deal that pleased both parties, so Google removed the official YouTube app from Fire TV devices at the start of 2018. This came a
Luci, a New VR Headset Company, Wants to Take You to the Movies

Luci, a New VR Headset Company, Wants to Take You to the Movies

Virtual reality startup Luci is debuting a new headset that is intended for at-home VR movie viewing (though, yes, the devices can be used with video game systems too). The Luci Immers headsets can be used for 3D movies, and the headset can put them in a virtual movie theater for a more immersive experience. The company is following the growing trend of lighter, more mobile VR headsets, like the Oculus Go. The goal is to make the devices more comfortable to wear in public or on a plane.
Americold Realty Trust buying cold storage provider Cloverleaf for $1.24B

Americold Realty Trust buying cold storage provider Cloverleaf for $1.24B

Atlanta-based Americold Realty Trust (NYSE: COLD) said Tuesday morning it plans to buy privately-held Cloverleaf Cold Storage from the company's management and an investor group led by private equity funds managed by Blackstone (NYSE: BX) for $1.24 billion. Founded in 1952 and based in Sioux City, Iowa, Cloverleaf is the fifth largest cold storage provider in the United States by refrigerated cubic feet and serves over 360 customers. Americold will acquire 22 facilities totaling 132 million refrigerated cubic feet. Cloverleaf’s properties are in nine states in the central and southeastern United States, and are complementary to Americold’s existing geographic reach, Americold said.
Colorado’s new U.S. attorney agrees with rescinding of Cole Memo, says “jury is still out” on enforcement around marijuana concentrates

Colorado’s new U.S. attorney agrees with rescinding of Cole Memo, says “jury is still out” on enforcement around marijuana concentrates

Jason Dunn, a President Donald Trump appointee, said his views of cannabis are much like those of his predecessors -- which would mean little impact on the state’s legal marijuana industry Jason Dunn, Colorado’s new U.S. attorney, says he agrees with the Trump administration’s decision last year to rescind an Obama-era directive that largely took a hands-off approach to enforcement in states that legalized marijuana. The President Donald Trump appointee also said he’s also concerned about highly potent cannabis concentrates. “The jury is still out on what kind of enforcement priority that creates.”
NAR slapped with second class-action lawsuit to end buyer broker compensation

NAR slapped with second class-action lawsuit to end buyer broker compensation

A second class-action lawsuit has been filed in protest of the buyer broker compensation rules set forth by the National Association of Realtors. The suit, filed in the Northern District of Illinois on Monday by Minnesota-based corporation Sawbill Strategic, alleges that NAR, Realogy, HomeServices of America, RE/MAX and Keller Williams violated federal antitrust laws by requiring property sellers to pay the buyer’s broker an inflated fee. The suit is nearly identical to one filed last month by a Minnesota home seller, which NAR called “baseless” and filled with “an abundance of false claims.” The suit alleges that the defendants conspired to drive up seller costs and reduce competition by requiring a home seller to pay compensation to the buyer’s broker, even though their involvement in the transaction is minimal.
Apple paid up to $6 billion to settle with Qualcomm, UBS estimates

Apple paid up to $6 billion to settle with Qualcomm, UBS estimates

Apple probably paid Qualcomm between $5 billion and $6 billion to settle the litigation between the two companies, UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri estimated in a note distributed on Thursday. Apple probably also agreed to pay between $8 and $9 in patent royalties per iPhone, estimated UBS, based on Qualcomm’s guidance that it expects earnings per share to increase by $2 as a result of the settlement. The UBS estimate suggests that Apple paid a high price to end a bitter legal battle that spanned multiple continents and threatened Apple’s ability to release a 5G iPhone and put pressure on Qualcomm’s licensing business modelthat contributes over half of the company’s profit.
DJI drones helped track and stop the Notre Dame fire

DJI drones helped track and stop the Notre Dame fire

Parisian firefighters used DJI drones to track the progression of the Notre Dame fire and to find the best positions to aim fire hoses. By flying DJI Mavic Pro and Matrice M210 drones over the Notre Dame cathedral, firefighters were able to get essential data for taming the flames. Notre Dame de Paris was severely damaged by the fire that ravaged its roof, spire, stained glass window, and pipe organ. Police say the fire was likely an accident, potentially caused by ongoing renovation work. Fire brigade spokesman Gabriel Plus told local media that the drones were instrumental in saving the cathedral’s structure. “The drones allowed us to correctly use what we had at our disposal,” Plus said in comments translated from French.


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