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LinkedIn Billionaire Bankrolls Voting Firm Smartmatic As It Fights Fox News In 2020 Election Defamation Case

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Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, offers major financial support to Smartmatic as the voting technology business fights Fox News and Newsmax over the right-wing networks’ repeated airing of 2020 election hoaxes.

Hoffman, a wealthy venture capitalist and major Democratic fundraiser, described his multimillion-dollar investment in Smartmatic as a method to boost the company’s global operations as it pursues costly defamation litigation.

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LinkedIn Billionaire Bankrolls Voting Firm Smartmatic As It Fights Fox News In 2020 Election Defamation Case

“Smartmatic built a global business by using technology to better engage citizens, regardless of party or ideology, by making voting simple and trustworthy,” Hoffman said to reporters in a statement. “After Donald Trump lost in 2020, however, Smartmatic became a target of the defamatory campaign to overturn his defeat.”

Hoffman, who has known Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica for years, said he is “thrilled” to support the company and assist Mugica in recovering “what he is owed.”

The terms of the investment, as first reported by The Washington Post, were not disclosed.

A person who knew the case declined to reveal how much money Hoffman invested in Smartmatic but told CNN that the eight-figure investment exceeded $10 million.

“This isn’t litigation financing,” the individual said, adding that Hoffman “thinks the company is massively undervalued” and will profit from his investment if Smartmatic succeeds. Furthermore, despite Hoffman’s considerable investment, he “doesn’t have the power” to instruct Smartmatic’s lawyers to settle the litigation, according to the person.

“Fox’s strategy was to spend us into the ground,” the insider explained. “This is the response.”

The investment comes as Hoffman increases his criticism of Trump. The LinkedIn co-founder told CNN earlier this month that corporate leaders are afraid to come out against Trump because they fear that the presumptive Republican nominee may retaliate. Hoffman stated that President Joe Biden is the more “pro-business” candidate because he upholds the rule of law, whereas Trump does not.

Mugica, CEO of Smartmatic, praised Hoffman’s support.

“The lies told by Fox News and Newsmax have not only defamed and damaged our business, they have also directly attacked the integrity of the nonpartisan civic work we have supported over more than two decades,” Mugica told reporters.

Smartmatic is demanding billions of dollars in damages from Fox News, Newsmax, and other right-wing individuals who wrongly accused it of rigging the 2020 election. Top Donald Trump allies regularly alleged on social media and in TV interviews that Smartmatic software unlawfully changed millions of votes from Trump to Biden, despite the lack of evidence.

The voting technology company’s defamation case against Fox News is still in the fact-finding “discovery” stage and is not scheduled for trial until 2025. Earlier this year, the New York judge presiding over the case allowed Smartmatic to expand its complaint to include Fox Corporation, the cable news behemoth’s parent firm.

The Smartmatic-Newsmax action will go to trial in Delaware Superior Court in September unless a last-minute deal is reached. One America News, a small pro-Trump propaganda network, recently settled a lawsuit filed by Smartmatic over similar charges.

All of these media outlets and Trump friends have denied any misconduct.

A Fox News Media spokeswoman claimed Smartmatic is attempting to “chill First Amendment freedoms” and criticized its “alliance with a high-profile Democratic donor and longtime supporter of President Biden to fund their lawsuit is entirely predictable.”

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LinkedIn | CNN Image

LinkedIn Billionaire Bankrolls Voting Firm Smartmatic As It Fights Fox News In 2020 Election Defamation Case

In response to Hoffman’s investment, a Newsmax lawyer informed CNN that the organization “reported fairly on both sides of the 2020 election.” The lawyer further stated that the Justice Department recently charged Smartmatic officials in a bribery plot involving a prominent Philippine election official. Smartmatic disputes the charges.

Smartmatic is also suing Sidney Powell, Trump’s 2020 campaign counsel, and Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, two of the most egregious election disinformation propagators. A Powell spokesperson did not immediately reply to calls for comment.

“It appears that Mr. Hoffman is trying to take a page out of the Fox settlement and copy Staple Street’s investment in Dominion to get a quick return,” Lindell attorney Christopher Kachouroff said, referring to the private equity firm that owns a majority stake in Dominion and benefited from its $787 million settlement with Fox News.

SOURCE – CNN

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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The Credit Suisse Review criticizes SNB and Finma, as expressed by SZ.

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Credit Suisse

(VOR News) – According to a report published in SonntagsZeitung, the financial Credit Suisse regulator Finma, the central bank of the country, and the Federal Council have been harshly criticized by the preliminary findings of the Swiss parliamentary commission that is investigating Credit Suisse’s collapse in 2023.

The Federal Council and the Council of the Federal Republic are additional institutions subjected to criticism.

Credit Suisse’s collapse will be investigated by the commission in 2023.

Despite the fact that the bank had been classified as systemically important for a number of years and that its troubles had been evident for a number of months, the publication contended that the authorities were ill-equipped to prevent or contain the company’s dissolution.

This occurred despite the bank’s prolonged financial difficulties.

This would be in accordance with the Credit Suisse findings of a previous study conducted by Paul Tucker, who is presently a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and has served as the deputy governor of the Bank of England. These results would be consistent with the results of the previous evaluation.

The Swiss finance department issued the “Too Big to Fail” study in April, which was based on the foundation provided by this research.

The SonntagsZeitung’s article did not contain any information regarding the legislative report’s origin. Credit Suisse received a request for comment from the Swiss finance minister, members of the committee, and FinMA; however, they declined to comply. The request was received by Bloomberg.

It is anticipated that the investigation will have successfully concluded by the end of the year, in accordance with the most recent forecasts.

Finma, the Swiss agency responsible for overseeing the financial sector, has been subjected to criticism for its lack of firmness, according to SZ. Finma is accountable for overseeing the financial sector.

The Financial Markets Authority (Finma) should be granted additional authority in view of the study’s conclusions. The Swiss government has given some consideration to this matter; however, the regulator has not yet been granted the authority to impose penalties on financial institutions.

Currently, Switzerland is grappling with the challenge of effectively managing a vast financial industry that is dominated by a bank that is more than twice the size of its current economy.

UBS Group AG bought Credit Suisse after it collapsed and this obstacle arose.

Switzerland has been confronted with the challenges of administering a vast financial industry since that time.

The Swiss National Bank was not exempt from the interim conclusion procedure, as indicated by the study’s findings that were disclosed to the public on Sunday. It was explicitly stated that the central bank was overly restrictive in its provision of emergency liquidity during Credit Suisse’s difficulties and that it failed to adequately inform the public about these issues at an early stage.

Furthermore, it was observed that the central bank was unsuccessful in its efforts to raise awareness of these issues among the general public.

Credit Suisse made an effort to contact the Swedish National Bank (SNB); however, they declined to provide a response when approached.

However, the organization responded to the issue in its annual report, which was disseminated prior to the commencement of this year.

The investigation concluded that “Credit Suisse’s preparations were insufficient to fully leverage the potential for liquidity assistance.”

This accusation was made at the outset of the report that is presently being examined. To begin with, the prerequisites that were in place prior to the delivery of specific assets as security were not met in a manner that was both legitimate and enforceable.

This was the situation with respect to specific assets. Secondly, a substantial number of the assets that were eligible for the loan had been encumbered in the past, indicating that they had been committed in addition to previous financial transactions that the bank had conducted. This was the second factor that contributed to the loan’s approval.

SOURCE: YN

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Amazon Prime Day Deals Are Almost Here. Should You Take Advantage Of Them?

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EU Accuses Elon Musk’s X Of Misleading Users

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk

European regulators have charged Elon Musk’s X with violating the wide Digital Services Act, accusing the company of deceiving its consumers, among other things.

“Today, we issue, for the first time, preliminary findings under the Digital Services Act,” Margrethe Vestager, a top official at the European Commission, said in a statement Friday. “In our view, X does not comply with the DSA in key transparency areas, by using dark patterns and thus misleading users, by failing to provide an adequate ad repository, and by blocking access to data for researchers.”

The company’s approach to so-called verified accounts “does not correspond to industry practice and deceives users,” the European Union’s executive arm said. Anyone can subscribe to gain the “verified” status, it stated, and it cited examples of “malicious actors” utilizing the blue check “to deceive users.”

EU Accuses Elon Musk’s X Of Misleading Users

If the Commission’s preliminary findings are verified, X might face a fine of up to 6% of its global annual turnover.

X has yet to react to CNN’s request for comment.

“Back in the day, blue checks used to mean trustworthy sources of information,” Thierry Breton, another senior Commission official, said in the Friday statement. “Now with X, our preliminary view is that they deceive users and infringe the DSA.”

The law took effect in August. Among other things, it prohibits the use of “dark patterns” or subtle design hints that may be designed to persuade users to disclose personal information or make other decisions that the corporation prefers. Consumer organizations frequently mention an example where a firm tries to persuade a user to opt into tracking by displaying an acceptance button in bright colors while downplaying the option to opt-out by reducing the font size or positioning.

EU Accuses Elon Musk’s X Of Misleading Users

The results are the outcome of an ongoing inquiry by EU officials that began in December. As part of the investigation, EU officials are also looking into X’s content moderation policies to determine whether the firm violated the DSA by disseminating illegal content and failing to combat misinformation.

The formal inquiry was launched after EU officials began questioning X early last year, citing rising worries over the prevalence of Hamas-affiliated accounts on the platform following the terror group’s October 7 bombings on Israel.

SOURCE | CNN

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Amazon Prime Day Deals Are Almost Here. Should You Take Advantage Of Them?

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Amazon | AP news Image

NEW YORK — It’s summer, and the deals appear easy at an era when many consumer costs are high.

Since Amazon’s inaugural Prime Day in 2015, July sales events have emerged as a seasonal revenue generator for the retailer. While customers may be lured by claimed can’t-miss bargains on some products, personal finance experts warn against falling for possibly misleading marketing or succumbing to impulse purchases.

Amazon has raised anticipation in recent weeks for its tenth Prime Day event, which will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. This event is only open to consumers who pay $14.99 per month or $139 per year to enjoy free shipping and other benefits as Prime members.

Rival merchants have previously attempted to capitalize on the Prime Day frenzy by providing deals over two days. This year, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, and newcomers TikTok Shop and Temu launched summer sales ahead of Amazon, seeking to steal some of the e-commerce giant’s bargain-hunting customers. Meanwhile, Macy’s will launch its “best summer deals” during an eight-day discount campaign starting on Tuesday.

Amazon Prime Day Deals Are Almost Here. Should You Take Advantage Of Them?

Why are companies offering such large summer discounts?
July sales help merchants attract customers who want to jump on back-to-school shopping, the industry’s second-most crucial shopping season after the winter holiday. The markdowns also attract discretionary spending from buyers eyeing technology, household products, and seasonal items like a bikini or a new summer dress.

According to Coresight Research’s head of global research, John Mercer, discounts can help shops battle “a summer lull in retail spending” as consumers transfer their spending to summer holidays and services, such as dining out.

“It drives a bit of excitement in that mid-year period,” when shops might otherwise struggle to generate additional money, Mercer said. He said that businesses have also used discounts to stimulate consumer spending throughout the recent time of high inflation and interest rates.

Amazon does not disclose how much revenue it generates from Prime Day, but it does provide some clues of its performance. According to the firm, last year’s event was the “single largest sales day” in its history, with buyers purchasing over 375 million things.

According to Emarketer, Amazon’s global Prime Day sales will reach $12.5 billion by 2023. The company expects sales to increase by about 7% this year.

Are the offer prices truly bargains or something else?
It depends on whoever you ask.

Retailers overstate their promos to attract customers. However, the New York Times-owned product review website Wirecutter wrote this month that most of Amazon’s early discounts this year “stink.”

Kirthi Kalyanam, a Santa Clara University management professor preparing a book about Amazon, says Prime Day deals have historically been fantastic. According to Halyanam, the company was able to secure discounts from well-known brands like Apple and persuade third-party vendors to decrease their pricing by promising to feature them prominently on the Amandon website.

However, Prime Day discounts may be less relevant as shoppers acclimate to the ultra-cheap products supplied by Amazon competitors Shein and Temu, founded in China.

“Many of (the) deals may not be as competitive compared to Temu and Shien,” said Kalyanam.

At the same time, he stated that competing stores will most certainly look at Amazon’s prices and attempt to match them overnight. Last week, he reported that Best Buy discounted two products after Amazon announced some of its early bargains.

Numerator, a consumer research company, said that most of the approximately 5,000 Prime Day buyers it surveyed following last year’s event received product discounts of up to 40%. According to survey respondents, one-quarter of items were selling at a discount of 60% or more.

Some buying gurus have claimed that previous Prime discounts were smaller than they appeared.

What are some strategies for finding bargains and sticking to a budget?
If you’re on a tight budget, personal finance experts advise you to think twice before you buy.

“Avoid the false sense of urgency of manufactured holidays,” says Mark Elliot, chief customer officer at financial services startup LendingClub. “The idea that ‘The more you spend, the more you save’ — that’s just definitionally not true.”

According to Dan Egan, a vice president at Betterment, a financial advice and investing firm, buyers should compile a list of what they need before the deals begin so that they may make conscious purchases. He advises customers to avoid purchasing late at night or out of boredom.

“Once you have a list, it’s less likely you’ll get distracted by things you don’t need,” Egan told me. “If that list contains almost nothing, I would recommend deleting the (retailers’) apps from your phone for the next week or two. Or you’ll get a lot of notifications.”

He said any consumer who already has a credit card balance should be aware that the interest spent on that balance may cancel out any perceived savings from a summer sale purchase.

“A deal is not a deal if you have to pay interest on it,” according to Egan.

While it may make sense for shoppers to try out free or temporary memberships to qualify for the best deals during the summer sales, according to Erin Witte, the Consumer Federation of America’s director of consumer protection, those programs usually charge a fee to the customer’s credit card on file after a short period of time.

Amazon Prime Day Deals Are Almost Here. Should You Take Advantage Of Them?

“Set a calendar reminder to cancel if you don’t want to proceed with that subscription,” Witte told me. Think about it from the beginning. Remember that these corporations designed this product to make it simple to sign up but more difficult to cancel.”

Consumer Reports also provides some tips: Download Amazon’s app, sign up for invite-only discounts available to a few buyers, and get in the queue for limited-time specials that have already sold out.

Remember to browse around.
Filling up an online Amazon cart appeals to Prime members because they are paying for Prime Day specials. However, comparing costs from multiple websites before buying is always a good idea.

Unlike Prime Day, Walmart’s monthly discount event was available to anyone. However, the business sweetened the bargain for Walmart+ members by giving them early access.

Target only gave discounts to Target Circle members and utilized the weeklong event to promote a new membership program aimed at increasing sales and traffic.

TikTok Shop, the e-commerce arm of the famous video-sharing app, has made its summer sales event available to everyone. The event began on July 9 and continues till Wednesday.

SOURCE | AP

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