President Donald Trump’s proposed tariff on imported steel and aluminum, at 25 percent and 10 percent, is much more than a shot across the bow. Indeed, this could be the official kickoff of the trade war we all anticipated.
A lot has been made about former Penn State star Saquon Barkley and whether the Cleveland Browns should select him No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. Here’s this one scribe’s take on this.
In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.
Monday, March 5
– Xiaomi plans to enter U.S. market within a year: “We’ve always been considering entering the U.S. market,” Xiaomi Chairman Lei Jun said at the sidelines of China’s annual legislative session in Beijing, according to the WSJ. “We plan to start entering the market by end 2018, or by early 2019.”
Commentary: Xiaomi was the world’s fifth-largest smartphone maker in 2017, with an estimated 92.4 million shipments, according to research firm IDC. To be successful in the United States, where Apple and Samsung reign supreme, the Chinese company will need a sales agreement with a big carrier like AT&T.
– Ritual launches Apple Pay promotion: Today through March 16, any customer who orders with the Ritual app and pays with Apple Pay will have access to exclusive daily deals at 1,300 restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston, and Toronto.
Commentary: Ritual is a mobile app for ordering and paying ahead of time at participating restaurants and coffee shops, enabling customers to skip the line and pick up their food instantly upon arrival.
– iPhone X supplier Finisar gives tour of its Texas facility: “We are trying to make this the VCSEL capital of the world,” said Finisar Vice President Curt Barratt, referring to the small town of Sherman, Texas.
Commentary: VCSELs, or vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, are part of the TrueDepth camera system that enables Face ID on the iPhone X. In December, Apple announced it had awarded Finisar $390 million to expand its research and development and production capacity.
– Apple Park: Transcript of 911 calls about injuries from walking into glass: Following reports of some Apple employees walking into glass doors at the company’s new headquarters, The San Francisco Chronicle obtained transcripts of 911 calls about related injuries via a public records request.
Commentary: Many people have accidentally walked into a door or two at some point. Hopefully the employees are okay. Apple is reportedly adding stickers to the glass doors to make them more visible.
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For the debenture holders of Twin Butte Energy, which went into receivership in September 2016, the battle to receive fair value is nearing its end. And the holders have millions of reasons to be pleased with what’s transpired: They are almost five times better off by pursuing their fight than had they acquiesced.
Thanks to the recent 13th filing made by the court-appointed receiver (Calgary-based FTI Consulting), the holders now know they will receive multiples of what they stood to receive had they supported the company-supported takeover offer in the summer of 2016.
According to that report, the debenture holders, who in late 2013 invested $85 million, stand to receive an additional $7.72 million on top of the $58.05 million they’ve already received. There is a chance they may get more given that some claims are still the subject of a dispute.
In all, according to the latest report, an extra $1 million or so is set make its way to the debenture holders. Most of that amount consists of claims made by a former executive and a former employee. In both cases either the courts, or a committee of the debenture holders have decided on amounts less than what have been claimed. As well, there were $3.52 million in disputed claims.
But based on what has already been paid and what is now being proposed, the recovery for the debenture holders stands at 74.24 per cent of the total claims made by the subordinate debenture holders ($88.585 million). The recovery percentage rises to 77.37 per cent when it is measured relative to the face value of the subordinate debentures.
Subsequent to the latest report, following the settlement of another disputed claim, the receiver has moved the percentages even higher, to 76.54 per cent (of total claims) and 79.77 per cent (of face value).
To put that recovery into perspective, the debenture holders were offered 14 per cent of face value when Singapore-based Reignwood Resources Holding offered to buy the company in July 2016. On top of the 14 per cent of face value the debenture holders were also offered accrued and unpaid interest (worth about three cents a debenture).
That offer — being done by way of a plan of arrangement and which was alongside a proposed payment of six cents a share to common equity owners — was backed by the board, by a fairness opinion (confined, at least initially to the shareholders with no reference to the fairness of the deal to the debenture holders) and by the views of the two leading proxy advisory firms, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. and Glass Lewis. There is lots of blame to go round.
But the debenture holders were not about to accept that situation that upset the traditional payout hierarchy in which debenture holders get paid in full before the equity holders receive anything. At the meeting called to vote on the transaction, support from the shareholders was 77/23 but fell to 32/68 from the debenture holders.
But it takes a lot of courage to take on the established convention. First, the holders have to be upset enough to demand something better, then they have to get organized and then they have to hire bankers and lawyers to assist with the fight. A group of holders retained Calgary-based Sandy Edmonstone and Bennett Jones.
That trio — the holders and the two advisers — fought the good fight that was named Project Robin Hood. It was conducted during a period when a new buyer emerged with a high enough offer to pay in full the banks, the creditors and the advisers to Twin Butte.
Edmonstone said that “debenture holders took a firm position that they weren’t being treated fairly, they tried to work with the board but to no avail. They stuck to the game plan and justly received what was ultimately theirs to begin with.”
Cortana is coming to the Outlook email and calendar app for iOS and Android, according to The Verge. The publication cites sources “familiar with Microsoft’s Outlook plans.”
Microsoft is reportedly testing a feature internally that would allow users to verbally ask the virtual assistant Cortana to read their emails to them in both iOS and Android. This would be particularly useful for commuters who depend on Outlook for their email and who want to get caught up while driving into work.
Google Assistant does not offer similar functionality with Outlook. Siri, Apple’s own digital assistant built into iOS, already does this, but not with the Outlook app. In most cases, you must use Apple’s own Mail app to access these kinds of features.
Nemanja Matic scores a stoppage-time winner as Manchester United come from 2-0 down to win at Crystal Palace, who stay in the relegation zone.
Sam Nunberg also suggests the special counsel’s team believes they have something on Mr Trump.
However it was still expected to be most-watched non-sporting US television event of 2018.