People are still dragging ‘St. Louis style’ foods on Twitter – Fox News

Internet 1, St. Louis 0.

Twitter user Alek Krautmann’s bizarre and widely panned method of slicing bagels — as if they were loaves of bread — has been getting the meme treatment, with countless snack brands and restaurants sharing their own interpretations of “St. Louis style.”

The posts have included pictures and gifs of sliced hamburgers, upside-down bowls of cereal and entire bags of cookies with milk poured into them.

“People in St. Louis actually eat cookies like this,” tweeted Chips Ahoy! on Wednesday night.

‘HOT COSTCO DAD’ GOES VIRAL FOR HIS JOY OVER SHOPPING DEALS

“Some things are ridiculously good no matter how you slice them,” wrote the Missouri fast food chain Lion’s Choice, which shared a photo of the chopped-up burger.

PETA even got in on the action.

“Just no, St. Louis,” the group tweeted. “The only thing that makes any of this okay is that #vegan cream cheese exists.”

A day later, “#Bagelgate” was still going strong — with countless Twitter polls popping up on Thursday, asking whether a sliced bagel was really as bad as it sounds.

Many users were comparing the move to Cynthia Nixon’s cinnamon and lox bagel order from last year.

“Which was the worse bagel crime?” asked Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s press secretary Evan Lukaske.

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Krautmann, a meteorologist, did manage to get some support from St. Louisans.

“It’s been a busy week with flooding, hail, and tornadoes, but we always have time for bread-sliced bagels,” tweeted the city’s National Weather Service.

“(Bread slicing bagels) makes it easier to eat, especially if you’re heading somewhere and need a quick bite,” added the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in its coverage. “Bread slice the bagel, and you can still dip it in the cream cheese while walking, driving or typing at your desk. It’s easier to eat.”

Some locals tried to claim that they never heard of the St. Louis bagel “secret” — but Riverfront Times writer Danny Wicentowski says they’re just playing dumb.

“Gotta feign normalcy to the eyes of the outside world, right?” he said in a Wednesday article, in which he begged Krautmann to stop slicing, especially since Panera is gifting him with free bagels.

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“For the love of all that is good, spare your coworkers and slice them like a human,” Wicentowski said. “Our national reputation depends on it.”

This story was originally published by the New York Post.

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As Bayer’s Roundup Cancer Costs Accumulate, Questions Linger About the Wisdom of Its Monsanto Merger – Fortune

Bayer has to pay out $81 million in damages to a man who claims the Roundup weedkiller caused his cancer, a jury ruled Wednesday. In a similar ruling last year, the sum was $289 million, reduced to $78 million on appeal. Since that first verdict, Bayer’s shares have lost 40% of their value—and there are still around 11,300 such cases waiting in the wings.

All of which begs the question: was it foolhardy for Bayer to buy Roundup maker Monsanto?

Some, including activist Bayer shareholder Christian Strenger, say indeed it was. Strenger has filed a motion of no confidence in Bayer’s board ahead of the German giant’s annual general meeting next month, and it includes a litany of complaints about the “almost complete failure to deliver the key objectives presented by [Bayer CEO Werner] Baumann in May 2016 for the Monsanto acquisition.”

But before looking at Strenger’s argument, let’s rewind to examine the rationale behind that $66 billion whopper of a deal.

Why Bayer bought Monsanto

Bayer bought Monsanto as part of its reinvention as a life-science firm with a focus on health and agriculture. At the time the deal was proposed in 2016, the competitive landscape of the agricultural-science space was shifting dramatically—Dow and DuPont were merging, and so were ChemChina and Syngenta. Bayer wanted to become a bigger player in seeds and genetically modified crops, and Monsanto offered just that.

Monsanto was also an early mover in the burgeoning “digital agriculture” arena, explains Sanjiv Rana, the editor-in-chief of Informa crop protection analysis outfit Agrow. “The acquisition gave Bayer an advantage in the field,” he said.

But there were problems from the get-go.

Firstly, the deal raised antitrust concerns in the U.S.—it only went ahead after the companies agreed to the Justice Department’s demands that Bayer sell off its Roundup-competing Liberty herbicide business, along with its cotton, canola, soybean and vegetable seed businesses, various research and development projects, and Bayer’s own digital agriculture business. Chemicals company BASF was the lucky buyer, paying $9 billion.

And then there was the glyphosate issue. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) an agency of the World Health Organization (WHO,) issued a report in early 2015 that said the pesticide, which is Roundup’s active ingredient, was “probably carcinogenic to humans.” A second report from the WHO and United Nations then clarified that glyphosate was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet.” This was in line with other findings on the matter. However, eating Roundup residue is one thing and spraying the stuff over many years—as both successful plaintiffs did—is another.

The IARC report, which established that glyphosate was probably carcinogenic, was partly based on studies of farmers who had been exposed to the substance. So why have regulators not cracked down? “Many regulatory agencies rely primarily on industry data from toxicological studies that are not available in the public domain,” says the IARC in a Q&A on its study. “In contrast, IARC systematically assembles and evaluates all relevant evidence available in the public domain for independent scientific review.” In essence, the IARC, not a regulatory authority itself, looked at different sets of data from those considered by regulators, avoiding industry studies that it couldn’t verify were accurate.

Strenger’s argument

Strenger, who is a prominent German governance expert, told Fortune the most important question as the cancer cases proceed is whether “[Monsanto’s marketing operation did] too little in terms of warning signs.”

“Mr. Baumann from Bayer always refers to 800 opinions that glyphosate is a safe product,” said Strenger. “But the big issue is how was it applied, and was it sold properly with sufficient warning signs.”

A jury awarded plaintiff Dewayne Johnson $289 million after he claimed Monsanto's weedkiller caused his cancer. A judge later cut that award to $78 million. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP)

A jury awarded plaintiff Dewayne Johnson $289 million after he claimed Monsanto’s weedkiller caused his cancer. A judge later cut that award to $78 million. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP)

Strenger argues in his no confidence motion that Bayer underestimated the legal risks of the 3,600 outstanding glyphosate-related lawsuits that were already underway before the deal closed, in part because Monsanto was prohibited by the U.S. Department of Justice from giving Bayer full details of all the cases.

“[Bayer] should have insisted,” he said. “These were not military secrets. Bayer should have told Monsanto, ‘Either you get the DOJ to permit disclosure, or we’re not going to proceed with the transaction.’” However, Strenger suggests, after two years of dealing with issues such as the deal’s antitrust implications, Bayer’s board may have been tempted to be “lenient with a proper analysis of the legal situation.”

Bayer rejects that notion. A spokesperson insists that, in the run-up to the Monsanto acquisition, Bayer’s board “performed this risk assessment based on an information and update process which was in all respects adequate for an acquisition of such a scale.”

“Of course, in the context of the acquisition, the board of management also reviewed the risks connected with Monsanto’s glyphosate business,” the spokesperson said. “This risk assessment clearly showed that, when used as directed, the products of Monsanto containing glyphosate are safe. Based on the views held by regulatory authorities worldwide and scientists, the board of management assessed the legal risks in connection with the use of glyphosate as low.”

Werner Baumann has been CEO of Bayer AG, speaks at the Annual Press Conference. The Bayer Group presents its annual financial statements on February 27, 2019. Photo: Oliver Berg/dpa (Photo by Oliver Berg/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Werner Baumann has been CEO of Bayer AG, speaks at the Annual Press Conference. The Bayer Group presents its annual financial statements on February 27, 2019. Photo: Oliver Berg/dpa (Photo by Oliver Berg/picture alliance via Getty Images)

picture alliance picture alliance via Getty Image

As for Strenger’s point that thousands of lawsuits were already underway before the deal’s mid-2018 closure, the spokesperson argues that only 120 lawsuits had been pending at the time of the merger agreement in September 2016.

Strenger also claims that Bayer underestimated the forced divestitures, saying the sales cut the projected deal synergies by 20%. “Most divestments were generally expected,” said Bayer’s spokesperson. “Some additional divestments were not expected.”

‘Hard to foresee’

In the view of Agrow’s Rana, there “really isn’t much of a case against Monsanto” as regulators hadn’t identified Roundup as being risky, and the company therefore wasn’t obliged to put cancer warnings on Roundup packaging, “but juries get swayed by emotions and that’s what has happened in both cases.”

“So, although a thorough due diligence must have been done by Bayer, it would have been hard to foresee the emotional impact on the outcome of these cases,” he said. “The upcoming annual general meeting will likely be a tumultuous one, but I doubt a no-confidence vote would get through.”

To this point, Bayer’s spokesperson noted that “in its latest meeting, the supervisory board expressly confirmed again that it unanimously supports the board of management and its strategy, including the acquisition of Monsanto.”

As for the potential liabilities, Rana noted that, in the first successful Roundup lawsuit—the one involving groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson—the judge assessing the jury’s damages verdict ended up cutting the damages down to less than a third.

“When judges come into the picture, the decisions are likely to be less emotion-driven,” Rana said. “Bayer just might see it through even though it seems to be facing insurmountable odds at present.”

Evaluating the Bayer board’s judgement ultimately comes down to that: how badly the lawsuits end up hurting the company. Pointing to the share price losses that have taken place since the Monsanto takeover closed last June, Strenger said “the market seems to assume losses in the double-digit billion area.” But with so many suits lined up, it’s hard to know for sure what the final tally will look like.

“From a legal perspective, one has to keep in mind that management’s accountability must be based on the facts that were available at the time the decision was made rather than on the information available with hindsight,” said Andreas Cahn, executive director of the Institute for Law and Finance at the Goethe University in Frankfurt.

But from a business perspective, it’s all about the outcome.

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Your Drone-Delivered Coffee Is (Almost) Here – The Wall Street Journal

On a not-so-blustery day in Reykjavik, a drone rises above a treeless Icelandic landscape. It’s carrying a package, likely someone’s dinner. Once rare and exotic, sorties like this have become routine in just two years’ time.

These deliveries are made by Icelandic subsidiary Aha, the equivalent of DoorDash or Postmates in the U.S. Its drones can carry food and small consumer goods in a 2.5-mile radius, soon to expand to 5 miles with the introduction of more powerful drones from China’s DJI. Aha’s drone-delivery service is…

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TGI Fridays potato skins snacks have no potato skin in them, lawsuit alleges – USA TODAY

A New York City woman sued TGI Friday’s Inc. on Wednesday, claiming the company had engaged in deceptive advertising practices by selling potato skins snacks that do not contain any potato skins.

The proposed class action suit filed by Solange Troncoso claims that the bagged snacks are appealing to some consumers because of the perceived health benefits of potato skins. The lawsuit also claims that those skins are discarded during the manufacturing process of the snacks.

Rather than potato skins, the products contain “potato flakes” and “potato starch,” the lawsuit claims, citing the products’ ingredients list. It goes on to allege that in the industrial creation of potato flakes and potato starch, potatoes are peeled.

March 27: Man awarded $80M in lawsuit claiming Monsanto’s Roundup causes cancer

March 26: $125 million lawsuit filed against Weather Channel for ‘horrific’ crash that killed 3 during a 2017 tornado chase

The lawsuit claims that the “potato skins” branding attempts to capitalize on health-conscious consumers. “This labeling deceives consumers into believing that they are receiving a healthier snack, but Defendant’s products do not live up to these claims,” the lawsuit reads.

Troncoso filed the lawsuit after buying a $1.99 bag of TGI Fridays Sour Cream & Onion Potato Skins chips from a Bronx convenience store in June 2018, the lawsuit says.

A USA TODAY request for comment from TGI Fridays was not immediately returned on Friday evening.

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A similar lawsuit against the makers of Poland Spring water was allowed to move forward this week, the New York Times reports. That lawsuit contends that the water, which markets itself as “100% Natural Spring Water,” does not contain water from a spring.

Contributing: Kelly Tyko

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Lyft Soars on Its First Day of Trading – The Motley Fool

The stock of ridesharing company Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) soared on its first day of trading. The company made its public debut on the Nasdaq stock market, and shares quickly jumped more than 20% from their offering price. However, shares closed the trading day up 8.7% at $78.29

Excitement has been building in advance of Lyft’s debut. The company filed for its initial public offering (IPO) earlier this month and beat rival Uber to the public markets, as its much larger competitor is expected to make its debut sometime in April.

For now, at least, the public stage is Lyft’s.

Lighted Lyft logo in windshield with driver and passengers laughing

Image source: Lyft.

Strong demand for the shares

The company originally intended to price its stock in a range of $62 to $68 per share, which would have raised about $2 billion, thus valuing the company at between $21 billion and $23 billion. Yesterday, Lyft filed a revised S-1, raising the price to a range of $70 to $72 per share.

Late Thursday the company priced its offering at the top end of the range, which would raise about $2.5 billion and value Lyft at more than $24 billion. Apparently, even the higher share price wasn’t enough to dampen investor demand for the newly minted stock. It also makes Lyft one of the most valuable U.S. companies to go public over the past 10 years. But Uber, with a valuation expected to be as high as $120 billion, could soon outdo Lyft. The company is expected to IPO in the coming weeks. 

Show me the money

In its regulatory filings, Lyft reported revenue of $2.2 billion in 2018, up more than 107% year over year. This drove (pun intended) total bookings — the total amount riders paid — to more than $8.1 billion. The company also revealed mounting losses, to $911 million last year, an increase of more than 32% compared to the $688 million Lyft lost in 2017. 

Operational metrics provided further insight into how Lyft might grow from here. The company accumulated 30 million rides last year from nearly 2 million independent drivers. Active riders — which Lyft defines as anyone who has taken at least one ride during the quarter — grew to 18.6 million in the final quarter of 2018, up 48% year over year. Revenue per active rider — which is calculated by dividing total revenue by the number of active riders — increased to $36.04, up 32% compared to the year-ago quarter. The total number of rides last quarter also grew, climbing to 178.4 million.

Some unexpected winners

Some of Lyft’s drivers are likely celebrating today. The company announced in its IPO filing that it would permit a number of its most dedicated drivers to participate in its IPO, allowing them to buy shares at the final IPO price. This benefit was limited to drivers who had accumulated at least 10,000 rides by the Feb. 25 deadline.

That ability to buy shares would be meaningless without money to pay for them, so Lyft also planned to reward its top drivers with one-time bonuses of up to $10,000. They would then have the option to keep the cash or invest in the company. Drivers with more than 20,000 rides were eligible for $10,000 cash, and those with 10,000 rides would receive $1,000, as would drivers who have served on Lyft’s Driver Advisory Council.

As part of its IPO today, Lyft announced that it was committing a minimum of $50 million per year, or 1% of profits (whichever is greater), to three initiatives designed to improve city life: transportation for those in need, developing a transportation infrastructure in underserved areas, and creating a clean-energy future.

Investor takeaway

There’s plenty of debate about whether it’s wise for investors to buy shares on Lyft’s first day of trading. Even legendary investor and Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) CEO Warren Buffett weighed in on the discussion, urging investors to exercise caution, saying in an interview, “I think buying new offerings during hot periods in the market … I don’t think it’s anything the average person should think about at all.” 

While there’s certainly excitement around Lyft’s IPO, the ultimate test will be the company’s financial performance in the months and years to come. With nearly $1 billion in losses last year and because of its battle with Uber for market share, it could be a long time before the company is profitable. The best investors can hope for from Lyft at this point is steady financial improvement.

Buffett might be on to something.

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2020 Jeep Gladiator Pickup – A More Functional Wrangler – Car and Driver

If you’re one of those unique souls who frequently find themselves noodling along the Rubicon Trail in a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited while towing an off-road trailer—yes, these exist—boy howdy, has Jeep got just the thing for you. Enter the 2020 Jeep Gladiator (perhaps you’ve heard of this?), the first Jeep pickup truck in more than 25 years.

We mean it. It’s real. We’ve driven it. Not just driven it, mind you. Oh, no. We drove it. Mud. Rocks. Angles. Four low. Locked diffs. Did we mention angles? What about fear? Off-roading is like that, a tiny niche of the automotive universe which has perverse angles, ridiculous articulations, and insatiable need for grip that rearrange our perspective on life every time we shift a real transfer case. Also, it’s fantastic. And in a truck like this one there’s no need for a trailer. Beds, baby: they’re not just for sleeping.

Anyway, about this Gladiator thing. It’s a real truck. And by real truck, we mean the kind with a ladder frame topped by a cab and a separate cargo bed. The kind with two live axles. It’s just not the monstrously big kind. It’s what they call a mid-size, which means next to nothing since there are no mid-size trucks. Call the Jeep what you want, but know that it’s not as big as a Ford F-150 or a Chevy Silverado. With the Gladiator, we’re talking about a truck that’s roughly the size of a Chevy Colorado, a Ford Ranger, or a Honda Ridgeline. It’s available only with four full-size doors and a five-foot bed. Every Gladiator has selectable four-wheel drive and uses a two-speed transfer case. Both hard and soft tops are available, and like its Wrangler brethren, its windshield folds down flat.

Four trims are available: Sport, Sport S, Overland, and Rubicon. Every Gladiator at launch will be powered by Fiat Chrysler’s Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6, rated at 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but ZF’s eight-speed automatic is optional across the board. A turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V-6 good for 260 horses and 442 lb-ft, paired exclusively with the eight-speed automatic, is coming in 2020.

A Simple Yet Solid Formula

Jeep is keenly aware that its bread is buttered with the anachronism of stick axles, but that, alas, is a Jeep thing, endowing the Wrangler lineup and the Gladiator with usable suspension articulation and supreme off-road capability. Those axles, however, necessarily burden the truck with recirculating-ball steering, something that departed from virtually every other production vehicle, oh, about 30 years ago. And that means the Gladiator is not blessed with laser-precise steering.

Couple that with the fact that its heavy axles compel it to do a dynamic tango on certain surfaces, and you’ve got a recipe for a modern-day Conestoga wagon. Sure, other, more contemporary suspensions might not dance so much on washboard terrain, but the truth is, if you’re a truck person, this probably is not going to matter. These are components of the Gladiator’s personality but hardly true demerits. We noticed them, sure, but in light of the Gladiator’s other virtues, they wouldn’t persuade us to avoid it. And if you’re thinking of buying a Gladiator, we aren’t going to convince you otherwise. After all, no one really needs a convertible truck with a windshield that folds flat. But we suspect lots of people will want one.

The Gladiator is not quick. We know this because we’ve driven two of them: a Rubicon, the top trim level and leader of Jeep’s off-road armada, and an Overland, which sits one step down the Gladiator trim tower. The Overland tester needed 7.2 seconds to hit 60 mph. That’s off the pace of the rest of the mid-size-truck field by at least half a second. It’s not much for cornering—0.75 g around our skidpad—but then again, neither are the rest of these trucks. Plus, if you’re measuring success in life by how quickly your Jeep accelerates or how well it turns, perhaps it’s time to revisit the Xanax. Also, we know just the thing that’ll clean that retentiveness out of your veins: How about a day slopping through mud and bulldozing over rocks in a topless Jeep pickup?

Off-Road Gold

Our off-roading experience in the Gladiator combined both rocks and mud during the onset of an epic winter low-pressure system in Northern California. The relentless deluge turned Jeep’s makeshift rock-crawl course into a sloppy fiasco, one in which Gladiators found themselves sliding sideways off rocks that never posed a problem in the dry conditions for which the course was designed. Despite the slop, the Rubicon, with its locked differentials and disconnected anti-roll bars (standard fare on this trim), hauled from rock to river without divesting itself of its dignity. In fact, it didn’t care at all that everything was covered in slop.

Jeep’s Selec-Speed Control, a kind of low-speed cruise control, managed speed in crawl situations and can be trimmed in 1-mph increments using the shifter’s manual gate. Aiding the Rubicon through the muck were the optional 33-inch-tall Falken Wildpeak Mud Terrain tires. All-Terrain Wildpeaks of the same diameter are standard. It should be noted that the Gladiator’s enormous 137.3-inch wheelbase will be a liability in certain off-road and parking-garage scenarios, but what’s another cut of the wheel among the off-road faithful?

Built for Truck Stuff

Gladiators are rated to tow up to 7650 pounds, but to hit that number you’ll need the Sport trim level equipped with the Max Tow package. Rubicons are good for 7000 pounds when equipped with the automatic transmission. An Overland or Sport trim with a manual transmission (and no tow package) is good to yank only 4000 pounds. We drove a Rubicon hitched to a 6000-pound boat trailer and can say this: It was slow. And sometimes loud. And you’re certainly aware that you’re moving some weight, but it behaved itself well enough, pulling the dinghy and trailer with stability and confidence.

Equipping the Sport with the Max Tow package upgrades it to the beefier Dana 44 axles used in the Rubicon, which are 1.5 inches wider than the standard Gladiator axles and have an additional 10 mm of tube thickness versus the Dana 44 used on the JL Wrangler. They also come with a lower 4.10:1 final drive than the 3.73:1 gears in other trims. In the Rubicon, the wider stance is covered with broader and taller fenders. Sport and Overland trims can be equipped with a clutch-type limited-slip differential in the rear axle.

Also, that five-foot bed is relatively useful. Payload capacities range from 1105 to 1600 pounds depending on powertrain configuration and trim. The tailgate itself is rated to hold 1800 pounds, despite that exceeding the truck’s full payload capacity, and there’s a bumper step that can support 500 pounds.

Inside, the Gladiator is a mix of modern design and necessary function, including a waterproof start button for when you forget your truck is a roadster. Infotainment touchscreens come in either 7.0- or 8.4-inch sizes. Large secondary controls include knobs for volume and fan speed adjustments. The 60/40 split rear seatbacks fold flat, and the seat bottoms fold up. When both are deployed to make a seat, there’s more rear legroom than in any other mid-size truck.

If a convertible truck with a pair of solid axles is your bag of tricks, know that they start at $35,040 and will be available about the time you read this. Gladiator Rubicons begin at $45,040. Those might seem like precious prices because, well, they are. Witness our test truck’s $55,485 final tally. But Jeeps—even this truck—are lifestyle vehicles, the kind people buy with passion rather than purpose. That the Gladiator brings the additional utility of real payload capacity and a heavier tow rating than a Wrangler will certainly justify the cost hike among the Jeep faithful. Well, that, and they’ll not need an off-road trailer.

Specifications

SPECIFICATIONS

2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland 4×4


VEHICLE TYPE
front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup

PRICE AS TESTED
$55,485 (base price: $41,890)

ENGINE TYPE
DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads

Displacement: 220 cu in, 3605 cc
Power: 285 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm

TRANSMISSION
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

CHASSIS
Suspension (F/R): live axle/live axle
Brakes (F/R): 13.0-in vented disc/13.6-in vented disc
Tires: Bridgestone Dueler H/T 685, 255/70R-18 113T M+S

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 137.3 in
Length: 218.1 in
Width: 73.8 in
Height: 73.1 in
Passenger volume: 104 cu ft
Curb weight: 4812 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS
Zero to 60 mph: 7.2 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 21.1 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.6 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.5 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.5 sec @ 89 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 110 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 185 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.75 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 14 mpg

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 19/17/22 mpg

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T-Mobile Spells Out CFO Exit Plan – Wall Street Journal

T-Mobile US
Inc.

on Friday filed an amended employment agreement for its finance chief that spells out a plan for him to leave the company as it awaits regulatory review of a proposed merger with rival

Sprint
Corp.

CFO Braxton Carter has been a key figure in the mobile carrier’s pending deal to buy Sprint. A spokeswoman for T-Mobile declined to comment on whether a successor had been chosen.

Mr. Carter’s last day at T-Mobile will be decided by the status of the merger, the company said in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Carter is scheduled to leave at one of three fixed dates, depending which arrives first: the end of 2019; 20 days after the first quarterly filing of the merged company; or 20 days after an announcement the deal is off.

Analysts speculated about the departure of Mr. Carter in September, when T-Mobile said Sunit Patel would join the company to lead its expected integration with Sprint. Mr. Patel had been chief financial officer at CenturyLink Inc.

“We believe this offers an interesting read through for the future of current TMUS CFO Braxton Carter,” analysts at Wells Fargo Securities wrote of the hire in a Sept. 25 note. “Language in the merger documents led us to believe Carter may retire post the close of the merger.”

Last year, T-Mobile announced a $26 billion deal to buy Sprint. The combined company would be called T-Mobile and would be run by T-Mobile CEO John Legere. It is the third time in recent years the two rivals have attempted the combination.

In 2017, Sprint and T-Mobile entered merger negotiations but walked away after the companies failed to agree on who would control the combined company, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal at the time. SoftBank Group controls 83% of Sprint. Germany’s

Deutsche Telekom
AG

owns 62% of T-Mobile.

If the merger is successful, the resulting company would create a wireless carrier that could challenge

Verizon Communications
Inc.,

which reported about 118 million wireless customers at the end of 2018.

The amended employment agreement increases Mr. Carter’s base salary to $950,000, among other changes to his compensation. Mr. Carter has been CFO since April 2013. Previously, he was CFO for MetroPCS Communications Inc. beginning on March 2005 until it was acquired by T-Mobile US in 2013.

T-Mobile disclosed details of the contract after the close of regular trading on the

Nasdaq
.

Shares of the company closed at $69.10, down 0.07%.

Write to Ezequiel Minaya at ezequiel.minaya@wsj.com

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Death Toll from Takata Air Bag Explosion Climbs to 24 – KTLA Los Angeles


(Credit: Los Angeles Times)

(Credit: Los Angeles Times)

An Arizona man killed by an exploding Takata air bag inflator brings the worldwide death toll to at least 24.

Armando V. Ortega, 55, of Yuma, died June 11, 2018, three days after his 2002 Honda Civic was involved in a crash in near Phoenix, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Honda said in a statement that the Civic driver was hit by shrapnel and injured. He later died at a hospital.

The death, which wasn’t reported to a federal agency until this month, is the 16th in the U.S. caused by the air bags, which can explode with too much force and hurl shrapnel into drivers and passengers. Seven people were killed in Malaysia and one in Australia.

More than 200 people also have been hurt by the inflators, which have caused the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history involving with as many as 70 million inflators to be recalled by the end of next year. About 100 million inflators are to be recalled worldwide.

“This is a critical reminder of the serious nature of the Takata airbag recall and serves as an important call to action,” NHTSA said in a statement Friday. The agency urged owners to check for open recalls by keying in their 17-digit vehicle identification number into the NHTSA website, www.nhtsa.gov/recalls.

Takata used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the bags. But it can deteriorate due to high temperatures and humidity and explode too forcefully, spewing metal fragments. The deaths and recalls forced Takata into bankruptcy with its assets purchased by a company owned by a Chinese investment firm.

The owner of the Civic, identified by Arizona officials as Ortega, purchased the Civic used less than three months before the death. But there is no federal requirement that used car sellers have the cars repaired or inform buyers of any unrepaired recall problems. Honda said it did not know the car had been sold until recently.

The Civic in the crash has been under recall since December 2014 due to a faulty driver’s front air bag inflator. Honda said it mailed 12 recall notices over three years to the previous owners. The company also said it made more than 20 phone calls in an effort to reach the owners, but Honda records show the repairs were never done.

Honda said the death was first reported to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on March 11 of this year. The safety agency notified Honda on March 14, and it inspected the car with Honda on Friday and determined that the inflator was blown apart in the crash. “The rupture was confirmed at this inspection, and we announced the findings the same day,” Honda spokesman Chris Martin said.

Honda said it has sufficient supplies of replacement inflators, and it urged people to get recalled vehicles repaired as soon as possible. Older vehicles, especially from the 2001 through 2003 model years, are most at risk, the company said.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said Ortega’s Civic collided with another vehicle at an intersection in Maricopa County near the city of Buckeye. He did not know further details of the crash.

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Passengers Hospitalized After United 737-800 From Baltimore Diverts To Washington Dulles – Matthew Klint

A United flight from Baltimore diverted to Washington Dulles after passengers and crew became sickened by noxious fumes.

The smell of fumes was present upon boarding only worsened as the flight took off. Passengers complained of nausea, headaches, chest pain, and inhibited breathing.

United 1675, operated by a 737-800, was bound for San Francisco but only made it the 45-miles over southern Maryland and the District of Columbia to Dulles Airport in northern Virginia.

Fire trucks and paramedics met the flight. Seven passengers were taken to a hospital and carefully examined. All but one have now been released. United quickly volunteered to cover any hospital or related medical expenses.

One Twitter user, BarredinDC, live-tweeted about the incident:

Did not expect to be in a hospital this morning. Faint fuel smell was on plane before we departed and was quite strong while in air. Tons of firetrucks, about 20 people complaining of nausea, chest pains, headaches, anxiety attacks and/or trouble breathing.

In an e-mailed statement, United said:

United 1675 from Baltimore-Washington to San Francisco diverted to Washington Dulles because a strong odor in the cabin. The aircraft landed safely and taxied to a gate. Customers were immediately deplaned and evaluated by medical personnel. Several customers were transported to local hospitals. Customers will be rebooked on flights to San Francisco from Washington-Dulles.

Flight 1675 was originally re-scheduled to continue onward to San Francisco but was later canceled. Passengers were re-accommodated on other flights to their final destination.

CONCLUSION

Encountering a gas chamber onboard an airplane is a horrific nightmare. I am thankful the plane was quickly able to land and all passengers appear okay.

image: BarredinDC / Twitter

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