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U.S. Supreme Court hears Google bid to end Oracle copyright suit

Antitrust movement against Big Tech taking shape imminently: Gasparino

Sources tell FOX Business’ Charlie Gasparino that Big Tech is bracing for antitrust enforcement action if Democrats win the White House and take the Senate.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday considered whether to protect Google from a long-running lawsuit by Oracle Corp. accusing it of infringing Oracle copyrights to build the Android operating system that runs most of the world's smartphones.

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The shorthanded court, down one justice following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month, heard oral arguments in Google's appeal of a lower court ruling reviving the lawsuit in
which Oracle has sought at least $8 billion in damages. The arguments were conducted by teleconference because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A jury cleared Google in 2016, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned that decision in 2018, finding that Google's inclusion of Oracle's software code in Android was not permissible under U.S. copyright law.

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Oracle accused Google of copying thousands of lines of computer code from its popular Java programming language without a license in order to make Android, a competing platform that
has harmed Oracle's business.

Google lawyer Thomas Goldstein told the court that the disputed Java code should not receive copyright protection because it was the "the only way'' to create new programs using
the programming language.

"The language only permits us to use those,'' Goldstein said.

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But Chief Justice John Roberts grilled Goldstein about that argument, suggesting Google should still have paid Oracle for a license to Java.

"Cracking the safe may be the only way to get the money that you want but that doesn't mean you can do it,'' Roberts said.

Justice Neil Gorsuch questioned Goldstein on whether Google had simply piggybacked on Oracle's innovation.

Gorsuch asked, "What do we do about the fact that the other competitors — Apple, Microsoft — have in fact been able to come up with phones that work just fine without engaging in this kind of copying?''

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Oracle and Google, two California-based technology giants with combined annual revenues of about $200 billion, have been feuding since Oracle sued for copyright infringement in 2010 in federal court in San Francisco. The case's outcome will help determine the level of copyright protection for software, according to intellectual property lawyers.

Google has said the shortcut commands it copied into Android do not warrant copyright protection because they help developers write programs to work across platforms, a key to software innovation.

DEMOCRAT-LED HOUSE PANEL TO SEEK BREAKUP OF BIG TECH

Even if the commands can be copyrighted, Google has said, its use of them was permissible under the "fair use'' defense to copyright infringement, which can protect copying that transforms an original copyrighted work. Google has argued that its copying was "undoubtedly transformative'' because it resulted in "an entirely new smartphone platform.''

The Federal Circuit in 2018 rejected Google's defense, saying "a mere change in format (e.g., from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and tablets) is insufficient as a matter of law to qualify as a transformative use.''

Oracle will recalculate its damages request if it wins at the Supreme Court and the case is sent back to a lower court, Oracle General Counsel Dorian Daley said in an interview. The
compensation request would exceed the roughly $8 billion Oracle previously demanded, Daley added.

FACEBOOK STEPS UP QANON CRACKDOWN

Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked whether a ruling in favor of Oracle would have the dire consequences that Google has predicted. Kavanaugh noted that it has been years since a lower court said Oracle's commands deserved copyright protection.

"I'm not aware that the sky has fallen in the last five or six years with that ruling on the books,'' Kavanaugh said.

President Donald Trump's administration backed Oracle in the case, previously urging the justices to turn away Google's appeal.

The Supreme Court originally scheduled the argument for March but postponed it due to the pandemic.

The court currently has eight justices rather than its full complement of nine. President Donald Trump has asked the U.S. Senate to confirm Amy Coney Barrett, his nominee to replace Ginsburg, by the Nov. 3 U.S. election.

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Mystery Russian 'sea poison' is making locals sick and causing thousands of fish corpses to wash up on shore

RUSSIAN surfers are complaining of poison-like symptoms after returning from the sea.

According to reports, surfers from the Kamchatka region have been suffering from blurred vision, nausea and fever for weeks, amongst other symptoms.

Камчатка. Авачинская Бухта. Маленькая бухточка Безымянная. Ровно 4 дня назад @lefffu именно там сняла свое видео, которое я опубликовала на своей странице. Это видео снято сегодня утром. Жуткий запах. Мой товарищ нырял сегодня в двух местах. Чуть позже выложу видео, что он там увидел. Сегодня мы на моторной лодке с ним посетили 4 места. Бухта Станицкого, Безымянная, район бухты Гротовой (как раз на выходе из бухты в Тихий Океан), бухту Шлюпочную. Последняя находится на другой стороне Авачинской бухты. Последствия, конечно, видны везде. Местами у берега цвет воды очень мутный, визуально видно границу где вода чище. На берегу Безымянной и Шлюпочной выброшены морские ежи, животные, крабы, рыбы. #спаститихий #safetheocean #kamchatka #pacificocean @_svetlana__radionova_ @greenpeace @greenpeaceru @snowave_kamchatka @lefffu @yuridud.life @yurydud

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There are also multiple reports and images of sea creatures washing up dead.

Yekaterina Dyba, a geographer who runs the Snowave Kamchatka surfing school, wrote a post online which CBS translated as: "For several weeks now, all surfers have experienced problems with their eyes after returning from the water.

"White shroud, blurred vision, dryness. Sore throat. Many had nausea, weakness, high fever."

Lots of marine life including octopuses and shellfish have been found dead.


Greenpeace Russia is calling this an "ecological disaster".

Kamchatka is an extremely remote area but is famous for its volcanoes and nature reserves.

Regional governor, Vladimir Solodov, admitted the sea around the Kamchatka peninsula may have been contaminated with toxic chemicals.


Levels of toxic phenol and petrol in the water were above permitted levels during tests.

They are actually said to exceed the safe level by around four times.

However, where these substances have leaked from is still a mystery.

So far, Russian officials have blamed the dying sea life on a storm and then state media suggested it could have been a leaking oil tanker travelling through the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia.

Russian media hasn't ruled out the military being responsible but the Defense Ministry has denied that any of its ship are the cause.

There are plans to conduct tests on water near two military sites.

A "yellow film" was reportedly spotted on a river nearby.

In other news, an amateur fisherman has snared the first ever "albino" shark caught off the coast of Britain.

Scary megalodon sharks that roamed our oceans millions of years ago could grow to over 50 feet, according to a new study.

And, the Arctic "hasn’t been this warm for three million years", according to scientists who have been studying CO2 emissions.

What do you think of the Russian sea problem? Let us know in the comments…

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ICM Partners’ Hannah Linkenhoker, Chris Silbermann Launch Political Consulting Firm Vivify

ICM Partners’ Hannah Linkenhoker and Chris Silbermann have partnered to create a new political consulting firm called Vivify.

After working together for years supporting progressive candidates and causes, Linkenhoker and Silbermann are launching a consultancy designed to promote activism through public policy and legislative initiatives. Vivify will work with clients who want to be more involved in civic engagement and activism. Linkenhoker had been head of the ICM Politics unit since 2017. With the launch of Vivify, Linkenhoker will shift to serving as a consultant to ICM.

“I’m excited about the work Vivify is doing to empower our clients to make a real difference on the issues they care about — things like racial justice, women’s rights, climate change and education, to name a few,” said Linkenhoker. “So many people are rightly angry with the inequities in our society and the lack of urgency to solve the many challenges facing our country, but we have a real opportunity to hit the ground running after this election. With the potential of a new president and Congress in place, we can work together to change laws that impact people’s lives. That’s what Vivify is committed to doing.”

Linkenhoker served as a political advisor to Silbermann and other high-profile individuals for more than a decade. In 2017, she joined ICM Partners to launch ICM Politics, focused on activism and political engagement. Linkenhoker will continue to steer that work for ICM Politics through the Vivify banner, working with a range of clients in entertainment, business and philanthropy.

(Pictured: Hannah Linkenhoker and Chris Silbermann)

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Kamala Harris and Mike Pence Taking on Each Other in Their First — and Only — Debate: How to Watch

Panes of plexiglass between the two candidates will ensure the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) never strays far from viewers' minds on Wednesday night, as Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris face off in their first — and only — debate.

The viral pandemic was already sure to feature prominently in Wednesday's Salt Lake City event, but the country's attention honed in on the issue over the last week following President Donald Trump's hospitalization with the illness.

The virus swept through Trump's orbit in recent days, with more than 10 senior aides, campaign staffers and other Republicans infected. (The source remains unclear, though many of them attended a Sept. 26 event at the White House showing attendees in close proximity and without masks.)

Because of the president's health scare, the Commission on Presidential Debates took extra steps to ensure there were limited risks with meeting for the in-person event, including clear plexiglass dividing the candidates.

Harris, 55, and Pence, 61, will also sit more than 12 feet apart.

Here's what you need to know about how to watch the debate, what the candidates will discuss and what safety precautions the debate commission is taking.

When It Starts and How to Watch

The debate will last 90 minutes, without interruption, and start at 9 p.m. ET.

All of the major networks will carry the debate, while some — including C-SPAN and PBS — will livestream the debate on YouTube. The debate will also be carried in various places online.

Who Is Moderating?

Susan Page, a longtime Washington bureau chief for USA Today, will be moderating the vice presidential debate on Wednesday night after Fox News host Chris Wallace moderated the first presidential debate last week.

Page has covered the White House for the paper since 1995 and has interviewed nine presidents, most recently publishing a biography about the late First Lady Barbara Bush.

Page, 69, said watching Wallace last week — where he tangled with Trump, who repeatedly interrupted everyone else — only made her more determined to come ready.

"It didn’t change anything," she told USA Today, "but it kind of reinforced the idea that this is an event for which you have to be very, very prepared."

What Is the Format?

Harris and Pence will debate across nine segments, each lasting 10 minutes.

The topics won't be shared ahead of time, according to NBC News, but the coronavirus — and the president's uncertain health — will almost surely come up.

Both candidates will sit more than 12 feet apart from one another, divided by the plexiglass. They will not wear masks while on stage, according to the debate commission.

"There will be a small number of ticketed guests at the debate and we expect tens of millions of viewers from around the world," the commission said in a news release this week.

More than 73 million people tuned in for last week's debate between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The commission also says both candidates will be administered COVID-19 tests prior to entering the University of Utah's Kingsbury Hall, and anyone in the small crowd not wearing a mask will be escorted from the building.

What Should You Watch For?

While vice presidential debates are not widely remembered as influential events in campaign cycles — and with many voters this year saying their minds are already made up — Wednesday's face-off is nonetheless a chance for the public to hear from both candidates at length.

Harris is known to be a fierce debater with years of prosecutorial experience, dating back to her time as California's attorney general and as San Francisco's district attorney.

At the same time, Pence — with a wealth of experience on the debate stage, as a a former Indiana governor who was a longtime congressman and radio host before his time in the White House — will likely be looking to smooth over a hectic week for the Trump campaign.

The debate is widely expected to be nowhere near as chaotic as last week, when the president repeatedly heckled Biden and talked over both the former vice president and Chris Wallace, leading Biden to mock him as a "clown."

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This step-by-step email guide for bringing influencers on board with your marketing campaign helped the founder of a PR firm land 30 influencers and earn $600,000 in 2 years

  • Amanda Whitcroft launched her PR and marketing firm in 2018 and is now earning $300,000 a year.
  • She has worked with the American celebrity chef Todd English, the Oscar-winning couple Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman, and the French professional surfer Johanne Defay.
  • In an interview with Business Insider, Whitcroft revealed her top tips for pitching influencers a social media campaign via email.
  • Companies should always include a personal note from the CEO or founder, she said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The COVID-19 pandemic has moved all aspects of our lives — from work to shopping — online,  and social media is increasingly key to selling and promoting products. Many companies now work with celebrities and influencers on social channels to get their product seen by millions, and organizing these campaigns takes hard work and perseverance, as Amanda Whitcroft knows.

Whitcroft founded the marketing firm Panda PR & marketing in 2018 and now earns more than $300,000 a year helping companies reach influencers and celebrities to promote their products. She tested many email formats for contacting influencers to run campaigns before finding the best one —  writing the perfect email is "labor-intensive and can become a bit tedious at times," but it's crucial to your business, she told Business Insider in an interview. 

Whitcroft, who has worked with the American celebrity chef Todd English, the oscar-winning couple Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman, and the French professional surfer Johanne Defay, revealed the steps she suggests her clients follow when emailing an influencer or a celebrity asking to promote a product for a client.

Find influencers who align with your product and message them individually

Don't just send emails to influencers because they have millions of followers — find those who align with your company, and message them one by one. 

Strategic searching takes time, but after doing this daily, you'll find profiles and accounts who are likely to partner with you, she said.

Include a personal note from the CEO or founder of the brand

Start your email to the celebrity or influencer with a personal note from the CEO or founder of the brand to catch their attention. It can be a sentence or two — enough to show them it isn't a mass email, and that you've reached out for a reason. It "humanizes" the product you're pitching, Whitcroft said.

The quotes can include the brand mission, how the firm wants to partner with the potential influencer or celebrity, or a line that addresses COVID-19 and its impact. 

Use an 'elevator pitch' to keep your email brief

Keep the body of the email simple and concise. Create an "elevator pitch" on what the brand is and why you're trying to get them to promote it, she told Business Insider. 

Mention a trend or relatable activity linked to the influencer you're pitching, she said. For example, if the influencer has been taking photos of his or her dog lately, think about how that can tie into your product or company. 

Hyperlink to whichever platform best sells your product or service, whether that is the company's website or one of its social media accounts, so that the possible client can make up their mind.

If your company has already run other campaigns of the same product or service with other influencers or celebrities, mention them, and share the content in the pitch. This will give them further incentive to partner with you, Whitcroft said.

Squeeze the important information in the body of the email — and use eye-catching images

Don't use attachments for important information — get everything in the body of an email.  "Rarely do people thoroughly go through attachments unless you have a personal connection with them," Whitcroft said.

Using high-quality images is key to gaining the attention of potential influencers or celebrities, too. If you are a small company and don't have high-quality content to share, talk to production houses or freelance photographers that can help you with the campaign.

Keep the requirements for the influencer simple

Keep the requirements of the project clear and easy to understand. Whitcroft usually asks for one post on the influencers' feed, and a story highlight on Instagram, tagging the brand with a specific hashtag to build some buzz. 

If an influencer agrees to just post in their Instagram Stories, make sure they publish at least two to three to maximize reach, she said. "Asking too much can chase them away and asking too little is a disservice for the client," Whitcroft told Business Insider.

Always adapt to the response you receive to your email — "never think you have the perfectly molded email for everyone." 

Don't forget to follow-up!

If you don't receive a response, Following up is another way to show the potential partner that you want them, specifically, for your campaign, especially if you outline why they align with your firm's values. 

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Leslie Marshall: At VP debate, as a Democrat I want to see these 8 things

Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris face off in debate on Wednesday

After President Trump’s constant interruptions, refusal to answer questions and disregard of all rules at his presidential debate with Democratic presidential nominee and former vice president Joe Biden Sept. 29, most Americans are looking for a substantive debate Wednesday night between vice-presidential candidates.

As a liberal Democrat, here are eight things I would like to see in the debate between Republican Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris of California. I think many conservatives would agree with some things on this list as well.

1. An adult debate

We have a right to expect candidates for political office to act like adults, not squabbling children. That means politely listening to your opponent without interrupting, refraining from personal insults, and answering rather than ignoring questions that are asked.

RICHARD FOWLER: AT VP DEBATE, CORONAVIRUS SHOULD BE TOP ISSUE — PENCE MUST ANSWER FOR OVER 210,000 DEATHS

2. A display of leadership

Eight vice presidents have suddenly become president when the president has died in office. In addition, Vice President Gerald Ford became president when President Richard Nixon resigned. So we need to see candidates for our nation’s second-highest office display the leadership qualities they would need as our president.

3. A fact-based debate

President Trump and his campaign have said Biden and Harris are socialists who would destroy our economy, destroy our energy infrastructure, massively raise taxes on just about everyone, send unemployment soaring, sell our country out to China, and turn the American Dream into a nightmare. These wild charges are absurd and not based on reality.

Asking Trump and Pence how to unite America is like asking two arsonists how to fight fires. They are a major cause of our disunity. But still, Pence should be asked how to undo the damage he and Trump have done.

Obviously, a debate requires disagreeing with and criticizing your opponent, but candidates need to be truthful when doing so.

4. A discussion of law and order, but systemic racism as well

Donald Trump and Mike Pence are now in the White House, but they are blaming Biden and Harris for protests against racial injustice that have sometimes turned violent in cities around the country. This is in keeping with Trump’s claims that he is never responsible when things go wrong but deserves all the credit when things go right.

In a truthful debate, Pence will have to stop claiming that Biden and Harris are the enemies of police and the friends of criminals, rioters and anarchists. This is nonsense. Both Democrats have come out strongly against violence, looting and arson at protests.

Harris is a former prosecutor and Biden authored a major anti-crime bill that was signed into law when he was in the Senate. In fact, both have been criticized by some as being too tough on crime.

The real question in the debate should be which ticket can stop violent protests while also bringing about racial reconciliation, ending systemic racism, and ensuring needed police reforms.

5. Defending their records

It’s perfectly appropriate for Pence to have to defend actions by him and Trump, and for Harris to defend actions by her and Biden. Ducking questions and evading responsibility is unacceptable.

For either candidate to claim they have never made a mistake or done anything wrong is absurd.

6. Protecting Americans from COVID-19 and reviving our economy

All of our lives have been disrupted by the raging coronavirus pandemic. Tragically, the virus has killed more than 210,000 Americans and infected more than 7.4 million people in our country, including President Trump and a growing list of staffers in his White House and on his presidential campaign.

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and face financial disaster, many business have closed permanently, millions of children can’t attend school, and we are all tired of social distancing and wearing masks.

Harris will be fully justified to attack Pence for the Trump administration’s incompetent response to the pandemic. He is, after all, the official who Trump put in charge of the response to the disease COVID-19.

And Pence will be fully justified in asking Harris how she and Biden would do a better job and criticizing aspects of their plan.

But above all, Americans want to know where we go from here.

What safeguards will be in place to ensure a coronavirus vaccine and treatments are safe and effective and made available to everyone? What can be done in the meantime to halt the spread of the virus? How can we revive our economy without endangering public health?

What assistance can we make available to people who have lost their jobs and businesses due to the pandemic? While Trump likes to brag about the strong economy Americans enjoyed before the pandemic hit, that doesn’t help people out of work and out of money today.

Both candidates need to be asked these and more questions on the health and economic devastation caused by COVID-19 because this is the top issue on the minds of voters right now.

7. Uniting Americans

Some historians have told us that Americans are now more divided than at any time since the Civil War. President Trump has worsened these divisions, regularly demonizing and insulting his critics and sometimes calling them unpatriotic and criminal.

Asking Trump and Pence how to unite America is like asking two arsonists how to fight fires. They are a major cause of our disunity. But still, Pence should be asked how to undo the damage he and Trump have done.

Harris should be asked to give specifics and what a Biden-Harris administration would do to heal the divisions sowed by Trump and Pence.

8. Talk about themselves

Finally, both candidates should give us a better idea of who they are, what has influenced them, and what they want to accomplish in office.

While some of us follow politics closely and know a lot about Pence and Harris, millions of Americans don’t. The debate should help us all get to know each candidate a bit better.

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Years ago, when my dad was still alive, he used to tell me to use everything I had in my arsenal to my advantage whether in an interview, a debate, or another situation.

There are two areas where Harris trumps Pence. She is both a woman and a person of color. She can speak to women’s issues such as reproductive rights and issues such as racial injustice from a personal perspective — something a White man like Pence just can’t do.

At the same time, Pence can talk about how his religious convictions motivate him to want to help others and how experiences in his life put him in the best position to serve the American people as vice president for another four years.

The bottom line is that as long as the debate doesn’t devolve into a shouting match, as happened with the Trump-Biden debate last week, it could be exciting, informative and consequential.

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Each candidate has a responsibility to give truthful answers, stick to the facts, and explain why he or she should be the second-most powerful leader of our country, ready to step into the presidency if needed.

Will they? We’ll soon know.

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Going public through a SPAC isn't just for the unsexy startups anymore. Here are the 10 biggest deals in the blank-check craze in the last 5 years.

  • A special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, is a firm that raises money through an IPO with the sole purpose of finding another business to later buy.
  • This type of firm, also known as a "blank-check" company, is having a moment on Wall Street.
  • It used to be the case that only startups that were challenged in some way would merge with a SPAC, an event called a "de-SPACing." Now, hot startups like Opendoor and Nikola are piling into the trend.
  • Here are the most 10 valuable SPAC deals since 2015.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

There was a time, not too long ago, when a startup founder would consider selling their business to a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, only as a last resort.

Such a sale would signal that the founder couldn't pull off any better move, because the business had failed to attract a quality buyer, or it didn't have the financial discipline to float an initial public offering on the public markets on its own.

The unpleasant alternative that remained was an acquisition by a SPAC, or "blank-check company," that has no operations of its own. This type of firm raises funds through an IPO for the sole purpose of buying another business. As the two companies merge, the publicly traded SPAC effectively takes the private business public, without the pomp and cork-popping that usually comes with an IPO — or the dreaded scrutiny and negotiations over price.

But the traditional path to the public markets caved this year amid a pandemic and a recession. Many companies delayed their IPO plans until the market swings subsided, and some looked for alternative routes to Wall Street.

Almost overnight, selling to a blank-check company lost its stigma and became a lot more attractive.

And then the SPACs proliferated.

About 110 blank-check firms have raised more than $40 billion on the public markets, according to the website SPAC Research. That's up from the 59 SPACs that pulled in less than $14 billion last year. And everyone who's anyone in the tech and finance worlds seem to have launched their own SPAC from billionaire LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman (partnered with Zynga founder Mark Pincus); to Zillow and Hotwire founder Spencer Rascoff, to billionaire hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman.

The National Venture Capital Association held a webinar on the blank-check boom last week. Its presentation had a slide on the biggest companies that went public through a SPAC in the last five years, ranked by valuation.

The list shows that going public through a blank-check firm isn't just for the unsexy or troubled companies anymore. Hot startups like Opendoor, Clover Health, and electric automaker Nikola are among the firms piling into the craze.

Here are the 10 largest 'de-SPACings' since 2015

We included the valuation of the merged business in parentheses.

  1. United Wholesale Mortgage — merged with Gores Holding IV in September 2020 ($16 billion+)
  2. MultiPlan — merged with Churchill Capital III in July 2020 ($11 billion+)
  3. Vertiv — merged with GS Acquisition in December 2019 ($5.3 billion+)
  4. Advantage Solutions — merged with Conyers Park II in September 2020 ($5.2 billion+)
  5. Opendoor — merged with Social Capital II in September 2020 ($4.7 billion+)
  6. Clarivate Analytics — merged with Churchill Capital in January 2019 ($4.2 billion+)
  7. Vivint Smart Home — merged with Mosaic Acquisition in September 2019 ($4.1 billion+)
  8. Alta Mesa & Kingfisher — merged with Silver Runn II in August 2017 ($3.8 billion+)
  9. Clover Health — merged with Social Capital III in October 2020 ($3.7 billion+)
  10. Nikola — merged with VectoIQ in March 2020 ($3.3 billion+)

Source: NVCA; DealLogic; company filings

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Justice Department asks Supreme Court to hear Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's case

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appeals his death sentence

Tsarnaev’s attorneys argued before the First Circuit Court of Appeals that their client’s trial wasn’t fair.

The U.S. Justice Department asked the nation's highest court Tuesday to review the case of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose death sentence was thrown out over concerns with the jury selection process.

In a petition, Justice Department lawyers called Tsarnaev's case "one of the most important terrorism prosecutions in our nation's history" and said the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong when it ruled Tsarnaev deserves a new trial to decide whether he should be executed.

"Given the profound stakes…the First Circuit should not have the last word," Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall and other lawyers told the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court should "put this landmark case back on track toward its just conclusion," they wrote.

Prosecutors are asking the court to hear and decide the case this term, which ends in June, "to avoid further delay in this long-running and critically important prosecution." The Supreme Court hears only a fraction of the cases it's asked to review every year.

If the justices refuse to hear the case, prosecutors could go forward with another trial or drop their pursuit for capital punishment and agree to life in prison.

Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press in August that they planned to take the case to the high court and "continue to pursue the death penalty."

"We will do whatever's necessary," Barr said.

Tsarnaev's lawyers acknowledged at the beginning of his trial that he and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, set off the two bombs at the marathon finish line, killing three people and wounding more than 260 others. But they argued that Dzhokar Tsarnaev is less culpable than his brother, who they said was the mastermind behind the attack.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died following a gunfight with police and being run over by his brother as he fled. Police captured a bloodied and wounded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hours later in the Boston suburb of Watertown, where he was hiding in a boat parked in a backyard.

Tsarnaev, now 27, was convicted of all 30 charges against him, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction and the killing of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer during the Tsarnaev brothers' getaway attempt. The appeals court upheld all but a few of his convictions.

A three-judge panel of the 1st Circuit that ordered a new penalty-phase trial for Tsarnaev said the judge who oversaw the 2015 trial did not adequately question potential jurors about what they had read or heard about the highly publicized case. The court also said the judge erred in refusing to let the defense tell jurors about evidence tying Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the killings of three people in the Boston suburb of Waltham in 2011.

Defense attorney David Patton declined to comment on Wednesday. He has previously called the 1st Circuit decision "straightforward and fair," and said prosecutors must decide "whether to put the victims and Boston through a second trial, or to allow closure to this terrible tragedy by permitting a sentence of life without the possibility of release."

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Trump Must Turn Over Taxes To Prosecutors, Appeals Court Rules

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s accountant must turn over his tax records to a New York state prosecutor, an appeals court ruled Wednesday in a decision that likely sets up a second trip to the U.S. Supreme Court over the issue.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said in a written decision that a stay of a lower-court decision will remain in effect so Trump’s lawyers can appeal the ruling to the high court.

A district court judge had rejected their renewed efforts to invalidate a subpoena that the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. issued to Trump’s accounting firm.

Part of Vance’s probe pertains to an investigation related to payoffs to two women — porn actress Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal — to keep them quiet during the 2016 presidential campaign about alleged extramarital affairs with Trump. Trump has denied the affairs.

Vance, Jr. is seeking eight years of the Republican president’s personal and corporate tax records, but has disclosed little about what prompted him to request the records. In one recent court filing, Vance’s lawyers have said he was justified in demanding them because of public reports of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.”

A Justice Department spokesperson said the department was reviewing the ruling. 

The Supreme Court in July ruled 7-2 against the president, rejecting Trump’s arguments that he can’t even be investigated, let alone charged with any crime, while he is in office. But the court said Trump can challenge the subpoena on other grounds like anyone else who receives a subpoena.

The likelihood that the taxes would be released was unlikely to be resolved before the November election, especially since the high court is down to eight justices after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Through his lawyers, Trump argued that the subpoena was issued in bad faith, might have been politically motivated and amounted to harassment of him, especially since the wording copied the language in congressional subpoenas.

In its decision, the 2nd Circuit rejected all of those arguments.

“We hold that none of the President’s allegations, taken together or separately, are sufficient to raise a plausible inference that the subpoena was issued ‘out of malice or an intent to harass,’” the appeals court said.

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Senate Homeland Security Committee subpoenas Cambridge professor Stefan Halper in Russia probe

Trump authorizes ‘total declassification’ of Russia probe documents

Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, Trump 2020 campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie react on ‘Hannity.’

The Senate Homeland Security Committee subpoenaed Cambridge professor and longtime FBI informant Stefan Halper for records relating to his work during the Russia investigation as part of their investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.

Fox News obtained a copy of the subpoena, issued on Oct. 5.

“You are hereby commanded to appear before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate on October 14, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. at its committee room,” the subpoena read, adding that there, he is compelled to “produce all records related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation; the Department of Justice Inspector General’s review if that investigation; and the “unmasking” of U.S. persons or entities affiliated, formally or informally, with the Trump campaign, Trump transition, or Trump administration.”

Halper, an American professor who reportedly is deeply connected with British and American intelligence agencies, has been widely reported as a confidential source for the FBI during the bureau’s original investigation into whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia during the 2016 election.

During the 2016 campaign, Halper contacted several members of the Trump campaign, including former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Papadopoulos told Fox News that he met with Halper and his female associate, who went under the alias Azra Turk. Papadopoulos also told Fox News that he saw Turk three times in London: once over drinks, once over dinner and once with Halper. He also told Fox News last year that he always suspected he was being recorded.

Professor Stefan Halper is at the center of a Pentagon whisteblower complaint, documents show.
(Voice of America, File)

The subpoena also requires Halper to disclose documents related to “unmasking,” a process the committee is investigating.

Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, earlier this year, made public a list of Obama officials who purportedly requested to “unmask” the identity of Michael Flynn, who at the time was Trump’s incoming national security adviser.

Unmasking occurs after U.S. citizens' conversations are incidentally picked up in conversations with foreign officials who are being monitored by the intelligence community. The U.S. citizens' identities are supposed to be protected if their participation is incidental and no wrongdoing is suspected.

TRUMP AUTHORIZES FULL DECLASSIFICATION OF RUSSIA PROBE, CLINTON EMAIL DOCS

Officials, however, can determine the U.S. citizens' names through a process that is supposed to safeguard their rights. In the typical process, when officials are requesting the unmasking of an American, they do not necessarily know the identity of the person in advance.

The roster featured top-ranking figures including then-Vice President Joe Biden, then-FBI Director James Comey, then-CIA Director John Brennan, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Obama’s then-chief of staff, Denis McDonough.

The Justice Department also, at the time of the release of the names, revealed that U.S. Attorney John Durham from Connecticut, who is reviewing the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, was also investigating the so-called unmasking of Trump campaign associates as part of his broader review.

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Gregg Sofer is also reviewing the process of unmasking, taking over the probe from former U.S. Attorney John Bash, who announced his resignation from the Justice Department earlier this week.

The subpoena of Halper comes after Johnson was granted authority to issue subpoenas for former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, and other Obama administration officials as part of its broad review into the origins of the Russia investigation.

DNI DECLASSIFIES BRENNAN NOTES, CIA MEMO ON HILLARY CLINTON 'STIRRING UP' SCANDAL BETWEEN TRUMP, RUSSIA

The committee last month held a business meeting to authorize committee Johnson to issue notices for taking depositions, subpoenas, for records, and subpoenas for testimony to individuals relating to the panel’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation, the Justice Department inspector general’s review of that investigation, and the “unmasking” of U.S. persons affiliated with the 2016 Trump campaign, transition team and the Trump administration.

The committee also authorized subpoenas for Sidney Blumenthal, former Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough, former FBI counsel Lisa Page, former FBI agent Joe Pientka, former ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, former FBI director of counterintelligence Bill Priestap, former White House national security adviser Susan Rice, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith – who pleaded guilty to making a false statement in the first criminal case arising from U.S. Attorney John Durham's review of the investigation into links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign – among others.

The committee further authorized subpoenas for “the production of all records” related to the FBI’s original Russia investigation and the Department of Justice Inspector General’s probe, as well as the process of “unmasking” for James Baker, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, DOJ official Bruce Ohr, FBI case agent Steven Somma, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Teftt, former deputy assistant attorney general Tashina Gauhar; and Halper.

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