By Malathi Nayak and Deborah M. Todd NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc said on Monday it would buy Yahoo Inc's core internet properties for $4.83 billion in cash, marking the end of the line for a storied Web pioneer and setting the stage for a big new internet push by the telecom giant. Verizon will combine Yahoo's search, email and messenger assets as well as advertising technology tools with its AOL unit, which it bought last year for $4.4 billion. Verizon has been looking to mobile video and advertising for new sources of revenue outside the oversaturated wireless market. The No. 1 U.S. wireless operator is betting that it can take data on more than 200 million unique monthly visitors to Yahoo sites, many of them on mobile devices, and combine it with data on 150 million or so unique monthly AOL users and data on its own user base of over 100 million wireless subscribers to offer a more targeted service for advertisers. Barclays said last month Verizon could save $500 million a year in costs of acquiring internet traffic and other expenses by buying Yahoo's internet business. The deal likely means more investment in popular content sites such as AOL’s Huffington Post and Yahoo Finance when they become part of a much larger entity. “It now becomes somewhat easier to justify investing in content,” said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research. Verizon said it would provide more detail on the strategy behind the acquisition when it announces second-quarter earnings on Tuesday. [nL4N1AB3HT] LONG WAY DOWN The deal came after activist investors led by Starboard Value LP lost faith in Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer, who was hired in 2012, and forced what became a protracted sale process. Yahoo, founded in 1994, was a dominant player in the early days of the internet, but has long lost its leadership position in internet search and advertising to Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook Inc and others. Mayer said on a conference call with investors that she planned to stay at Yahoo through the deal's close. Marni Walden, head of product innovation and new business at Verizon, will head the combined internet unit and said no decisions had yet been made on the management team. "Yahoo gives us scale that is what is most critical here," said Walden, adding that the company's audience will go from the millions to the billions. "We want to compete and that is the place we need to be." Mayer, in an interview with Reuters, said she still saw a "path to growth" for Yahoo, especially in mobile. "What's exciting about the Verizon transaction is that it brings us back to growth sooner," she said. She said she was "open-minded" about a possible role with the combined companies. But analysts expect AOL CEO Tim Armstrong - like Mayer a one-time Google executive - to be the driving force behind the combined companies. Yahoo is still one of the largest properties on the internet, with hundreds of millions of customers using its email, finance and sports offerings, among others, and a heavily trafficked home page. But Google has a stranglehold on the internet search business and built an industry-leading email service, while Facebook dominates in mobile and social media. Meanwhile, traditional web banner advertising, long Yahoo's strength, has become much less lucrative in the age of mobile and video. "It's a decade of mismanagement that has finally ended for Yahoo," said Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner. "It's the continuation of an extension of Verizon's strategy toward becoming a wireless internet player and a move away from (telecom) regulation for Verizon into an unregulated growth industry. Under Armstrong, AOL has beefed up its advertising technology with a string of acquisitions, and launched the mobile video service go90. Verizon has not disclosed how financially successful the unit has been, but Armstrong, known as a formidable salesman, has clearly won the confidence of Verizon's leaders. FAR BEHIND GOOGLE, FACEBOOK The integration of Yahoo will not come without challenges. In its latest results, it reported a second-quarter net loss of $439.9 million as it wrote down the value of Tumblr, the microblogging and social media service it acquired in 2013 for $1.1 billion. [nL4N1A443O] Even with AOL and Yahoo, Verizon would still be far behind s Google and Facebook. According to eMarketer, Yahoo is expected to generate $2.32 billion in net U.S. digital ad sales, while AOL is expected to make $1.3 billion in 2016. Facebook and Google are forecast to deliver sales of $10.3 billion and $24.63 billion, respectively, by the end of this year. The Verizon deal would transform Yahoo into a holding company, with a 15 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and a 35.5 percent interest in Yahoo Japan Corp <4689.T> as well as Yahoo's convertible notes, certain minority investments and its non-core patents. Yahoo executives said the remaining company is structured to "indefinitely" hold its Yahoo Japan and Alibaba stakes. They are worth about $40 billion based on their market capitalizations, while Yahoo had a market value of about $37.4 billion at Friday's close. Yahoo will continue as an independent company until the deal receives shareholder and regulatory approvals, the companies said. It is expected to close in early 2017. It plans to change its name and become a publicly traded investment company. Yahoo currently has $7.7 billion in cash, in addition to the $4.8 billion it will receive at the close of the deal, which it plans to return to shareholders, Yahoo executives said on the call. Verizon prevailed over rival bidders, including AT&T Inc ; a group led by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and backed by billionaire Warren Buffett; private equity firm TPG Capital Management LP [TPG.UL]; and a consortium of buyout firms Vector Capital and Sycamore Partners. Under pressure from Starboard, Yahoo launched an auction of its core business in February after shelving plans to spin off its stake in Alibaba. (Additional reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru and Jessica Toonkel in New York)
U.S. senators on Wednesday were eyeing potentially significant cuts to President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill as they awaited a ruling on whether the measure can include raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The Senate parliamentarian was expected to decide soon whether Senator Bernie Sanders' proposed minimum wage increase is allowable under a rule allowing a simple majority of the 100-member Senate to approve the sweeping relief measure, instead of the chamber's typical 60-vote majority. The Senate is likely to follow up in early March.
The aircraft had to make an emergency landing after its engine failed, scattering debris over homes below.
'The Simpsons' has replaced Harry Shearer with Black actor Kevin Michael Richardson as the voice of Dr Hibbert
Kevin Michael Richardson will be the new voice of Dr. Hibbert, a character who white actor Harry Shearer voiced for over 30 years.
- Associated Press
Nepal’s Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the reinstatement of Parliament after it was dissolved by the prime minister, in a ruling likely to thrust the Himalayan nation into a political crisis. The order came in response to several cases filed with the court charging that Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli's decision to dissolve the legislature was unconstitutional. The order will cause political trouble for Oli since he will not have a majority of votes in a reinstated Parliament.
- The Independent
A captain in the US Capitol Police force who responded to the 6 January Capitol riot offered a harrowing first-hand account on Tuesday of her experience battling white supremacists and other pro-Trump elements. Rioters nearly broke her arm amid the chaos, Captain Carneysha Mendoza, a veteran of the US Army, told senators at the first official hearing on the 6 January security breach. “I received chemical burns to my face that still have not healed to this day,” Ms Mendoza said.
- The Independent
Virtual meeting with Justin Trudeau will kick off ‘an entire week’s worth of Canada’ with range of policies to foster cooperation on Covid-19 and the climate crisis
- Associated Press
Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points and the Los Angeles Clippers routed Washington 135-116 on Tuesday night, snapping the Wizards’ season-high five-game winning streak. Paul George had 30 points before exiting with 7:19 remaining because of a minutes restriction after a toe injury. The Clippers had four bench players in double figures as their reserves outscored the Wizards’ subs 58-29.
The World Health Organization's global vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX delivered its first COVID-19 shots on Wednesday, as the race to inoculate the world's poorest people and tame the pandemic accelerates. Almost a year after the WHO described the novel coronavirus as a global pandemic, a flight carrying 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India landed in Ghana's capital Accra. Local representatives of the WHO and the United Nations children's agency UNICEF described the vaccines' arrival as a "momentous" step.
- The Daily Beast
Facebook/Lancaster County District AttorneyA Pennsylvania teenager is facing charges after allegedly fatally stabbing her wheelchair bound older sister—then hysterically calling 911 to confess to the crime.Claire Elaina Miller, 14, has been charged with homicide after calling authorities on Feb. 22 to admit she stabbed her older sister, 19-year-old Helen Miller, while her parents were asleep, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office. The elder Miller, who had cerebral palsy, died from a stab wound to her neck.“I stabbed my sister,” Miller repeatedly told police when they arrived at the house. Since Miller is being charged as an adult, she was denied bail during a Monday arraignment.According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, the Manheim Township Police Department arrived at the home just after 1 a.m. to find Miller, a ninth-grader at a local private school, standing in front of the house close to “what appeared to be blood on the snow near the driveway.”“Miller appeared to be attempting to wash her hands in the snow,” the affidavit states, adding that the teenager also had blood on her pants.Police say Miller directed them into her older sister’s bedroom, where Helen was found with a “pillow with blood stains” over her face. One of the officers removed the pillow and “found a large knife in Helen’s neck, just above her chest.”“Helen was lying on her back with her hands up near her head,” the affidavit states, adding that there was a “large amount of blood” pooled near her chest and bed. Lifesaving measures were “unsuccessful” and she was pronounced dead at 4:13 a.m. On Wednesday, the coroner’s office released an autopsy report confirming Helen Miller died from multiple stab wounds. Authorities also confirmed to The Daily Beast that the 19-year-old had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair.Police say the girls’ parents were asleep during the incident that has sent shockwaves through the small Pennsylvania community about 75 miles west of Philadelphia.`“When I heard about this I was almost instantly upset about it myself over the details that had been related to me,” Manheim Township Police Chief Tom Rudzinski told WHTM. “I don’t know that I have ever been a part of something that is quite as sad as this.”Prosecutors and police, however, have not offered any details about a motive. An attorney for Miller did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.“The investigators are going to be asking those types of questions, conducting those interviews of everybody that was involved, and trying to determine a timeline [for what] would have led to this awful event,” Rudzinski said.Lancaster Country Day School officials confirmed to The Daily Beast that Miller was a ninth-grade student at the school of about 550 students. “As a tight-knit school community, we are of course shocked and saddened by this tragic event and are focused on supporting one another,” a school spokesperson said. A spokesperson for the Manheim Township School District confirmed that Helen Miller received educational services from a school within the district.“We were so saddened to learn of Helen’s tragic and unexpected passing,” the district said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the Miller family. This is a devastating tragedy.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Reuters Videos
A state-run Iranian newspaper is urging caution in the nuclear dispute with the West. Warning that radical actions could lead to the country’s isolation. The message comes after Tehran ended snap inspections by the U.N. on its nuclear activities. At midnight on Monday (February 22) Iran ended the agreement that allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency to carry out short-notice inspections. But they will still allow “necessary” monitoring by U.N. inspectors for up to three months.Hardline Iranian lawmakers protested that decision - saying it broke the law. A law passed in parliament states inspections should end from Tuesday (23 February) if sanctions on the country were not lifted – an apparent effort to pressure the U.S. The state-run daily is critical of the protests. The paper says Iran must tread carefully as tough action might help build a consensus against Iran. On Monday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran might enrich uranium up to 60% purity if the country needed it. While also repeating a denial of any Iranian intent to seek nuclear weapons. A U.S. State Department spokesman said Khamenei's comments "sounds like a threat". Washington says it is ready to talk to Iran about both nations returning to the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by former President Donald Trump.
- Business Insider
I flew Southwest for the first time since it stopped blocking middle seats. The friendly service didn't make up for inconsistent social-distancing practices.
Southwest was an early adopter of the popular seat-blocking policy but began filling planes to capacity in December.
- The Week
It's been 1 year since Trump infamously tweeted the 'coronavirus is very much under control' in the U.S.
Well, that didn't age well. It's now been one year since former President Donald Trump infamously tweeted that the "coronavirus is very much under control" in the United States. A year ago today pic.twitter.com/VqvlLW572d — Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) February 24, 2021 At that point, a search through the Trump Twitter Archive reveals, Trump had been discussing the virus publicly, but mostly in the context of how China was dealing with it; in those days, Trump was still speaking glowingly of President Xi Jinping's response. The Feb. 24 tweet was one of the earliest references Trump made to the virus' presence in the United States, and certainly his most direct about its potential effect on the country. The comment looks quite jarring in hindsight — earlier this week the U.S. recorded its 500,000th COVID-19 death, and the pandemic remains a serious public health threat, although there are now signs of hope in the form of steadily declining cases and increasing vaccinations. Trump was far from the only person to downplay the risk of the virus in the U.S. in February 2020, but he did continue to send mixed messages about its danger throughout the rest of his presidency, even after he was infected himself. More stories from theweek.comThe MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chumpInvestors say Trump properties are worthless until his name is removedBiden is leaving Amazon workers out in the cold
Seriously, who is Peacock's new 'Punky Brewster' even for?
- Business Insider
Pence reportedly speaks 'very favorably' of Trump in GOP meeting and intends to launch a new political organization
"I got the sense they speak often and maintain the same personal friendship and relationship now that they have for four years," said Rep. Jim Banks.
- The Independent
Angry Democrat Gerry Connolly tells Trump ally he ‘will not be lectured’ by someone who tried to overturn election
Accusing Jim Jordan of ‘gaslighting,’ Gerry Connolly said ‘I didn’t vote to overturn an election and I will not be lectured by people who did about partisanship’
The White House has 132 rooms and its own restaurant. Here's what it's like inside Joe Biden's new home.
The most famous home in America also comes with a movie theater, bowling alley, and underground bunkers.
- USA TODAY
'His face was in your windshield': Police skeptical South Dakota AG didn't know he fatally struck a pedestrian
In more than three hours of interviews, South Dakota AG Jason Ravnsborg answers investigators' questions about his role in a fatal crash.
- The Independent
Deputy who was first on scene of accident said reaction was ‘not uncommon in traffic collisions’
Eddie Murphy says Ryan Coogler tried to make a 'Coming to America' sequel starring Michael B. Jordan - but he didn't like the idea
Eddie Murphy said that Ryan Coogler's idea had Michael B. Jordan playing his son, "looking for a wife."
- Business Insider
Donald Trump has fought hard to keep his personal tax returns, and the Trump Organization's a secret. The Supreme Court just let prosecutors get them.