Congress Probes Big Tech; DOJ Investigates Olympic Groups
You're invited to travel the world and discover what it means to live. The intercontinental life with more than two hundred properties worldwide intercontinental hotels and resorts welcomes you to who I conned properties in global destinations including New York London and Shanghai discover more about these cities and the tails inspire with stories of the intercontinental continental life a collection of stories that will excite your curiosity and offer New Perspective on the world here more at intercontinental dot com forward slash life Congress expands its probe into big tech companies demanding emails and other records plus the US US Justice Department investigate sexual abuse in US Olympic organizations going into two thousand twenty. They're gonNA resolve this. I mean not only do you. WanNa make sure people are safe going to the Olympics but also it looks bad if the USOC is heading to the next Olympics with this cloud of uncertainty investigations over their head. This is what's news from the Wall Street Journal. I'm angry for totally New York before we get to our stories on big tack heck and the Olympics here are some other top stories. We're following today. As we work struggles with lagging investor demand we report the Japan's Softbank is planning to buy at least seven hundred fifty million dollars worth of we work shares. The company is gearing up for its initial public offering. We work is hoping to raise at least three billion dollars at inside. Peo- putting its valuation between fifteen and twenty billion dollars that is far less than the forty seven billion private investors valued the company. It's last round of fundraising as we reported this morning we work has announced governance changes at the company and will listed shares on Nasdaq the Food and Drug Administration when is evaluating heartburn drug Zantac after learning of a probable carcinogen found at low levels in some versions of the drug officials are looking into whether the chemical no known as N. D. M. A. poses a risk to patients the. FDA says the levels of the chemical in preliminary test quote barely exceed amounts you might expect to find in common and foods the FDA says it will make its assessments available to the public as soon as possible. China has agreed to exempt purchases of US soybeans pork any other agricultural products from tariffs that have hit hard in the US Farm Belt The Wall Street Journal's Josh Zoom Brune explains. It's been devastating for the US farmers and it's not just the terrorists themselves you know. China controls a lot of the companies that do the importing of these products their government has a lot of control over these companies and they've essentially just shut off purchasing from the US and instead they've been buying their their food from Brazil and Europe and other places and this is just raw total havoc on soybean prices and other crop prices so it's been extremely hard and you look at the numbers you know the US just on soybeans used to export around twelve thirteen fourteen billion dollars a year and that market has almost entirely disappeared for American farmers and then gone almost entirely to farmers from other countries and so it's it's a good sign if these tariffs come off and people can start selling back into China again but you really need to see large scale purchases sustained for a very long period of time time before farmers would even be back to where they were before. This trade war had started. You know any idea that farmers are going to come out. Ahead is months and maybe years away way I mean this is just this is really the very first step of climbing out of a very deep hole for American farmers. China made the exemptions. After president trump delayed a new round round of tariff increases the US and China are expected to resume trade talks in Washington next month. The London Stock Exchange has rejected a thirty six point six billion dollar bid from the Hong Kong Exchange our Margo Patrick explains that the lse expressed fundamental concerns about the deal in a letter on Friday Eddie including calling into question Hong Kong status as a financial gateway to Asia that was interesting because Hong Kong has had that sort of unquestioned -sition an as the way to tap into Chinese markets for a very long time now and with this letter LLC is saying we doubt that Hong Kong may even NBA The the financial city that companies will use to raise capital in China in that Western investors will wanNA connect with so they really called into question whether Hong Kong Hong Exchange even had something to offer them meanwhile LLC says it is committed to buying financial information and Terminal Company reflective actress Felicity Huffman has been sentenced to fourteen days in prison after she admitted to paying a college counselor fifteen thousand dollars to boost her daughters sat score core. Huffman is the first parent to be sentenced in the widespread college admissions cheating scandal. She has also been sentenced to a year of supervised release two hundred fifty hours community service and a thirty thousand dollar fine. You're invited to travel the world and discover what it means to to live the intercontinental life with more than two hundred properties worldwide intercontinental hotels and resorts welcomes you to conic properties in global destinations including including New York London and Shanghai discover more about these cities and the tails inspire with stories of the intercontinental life a collection of stories that were excited site your curiosity and offer new perspectives on the world here more at intercontinental dot com forward slash life house lawmakers are seeking a range of documents from companies including facebook Google Amazon and Apple The Wall Street Journal's Brian Tracy says the House Judiciary Committee launched its probe which is one of several into big tech companies in June. It's notable that it's bipartisan that both Republicans and Democrats have signed onto onto these letters to Apple Amazon facebook and alphabet which owns Google. There's a lot of detail in these letters and it's more than we've previously known about about where authorities might look when they investigate these companies so for Amazon. There's questions about Amazon prime pricing about the fees that are charged to Amazon sailors with Apple. There's a number of questions about the APP store with Google. There's questions about dozens of its businesses from its Web browser to its mobile operating system to search and with facebook there are questions about its acquisition of companies like instagram and WHATSAPP and that's only a small summary of what Congress is asking you name it with these tech companies. Congress has asked a question about it in these letters and the most interesting thing about the questions that they have not only sought business records financial statements and things like that but also communications emails from some of the celebrity founders of the companies and and other communications about these issues. Tracy says clashes are expected over what documents get turned over to lawmakers makers the House investigation comes as tech companies are facing greater scrutiny in Washington. We also report that national security officials and tech leaders have I've been working to better protect. US elections facebook organized a meeting at its headquarters in Silicon Valley last week our DC the Rahman says the meeting laid bare the tensions on both sides for all intents and purposes intelligence and tack didn't work together at a two thousand sixteen and now there's this understanding that Russia was able to manipulate public discussion through facebook and twitter and Youtube and that there were no guardrails. Nobody knew how how to stop it but at the same time there there is this tension around how much tha companies can actually share with the government. Everyone wants to avoid to repeat of two thousand sixteen but it's not at the expense of just handing over user information in the tech companies have a business imperative right. They can't just do this because people will leave their platforms and get angry at them and they'll be continued regulation and you know new laws could impair their ability to do business but you know from the government side they they want more too on so there's this tension that emerges in this meeting and it shows that the relationship they're still working out the kinks and fourteen months before twenty twenty and you can read the full story about the meeting on our website wsj.com or on the W J APP. The US Justice Department is investigating sexual abuse within US Olympic organizations the following the case against former national gymnastics team Dr Larry Nassar currently serving ineffective life sentence for sexually assaulting women and girls. The Federal Inquiry Creek comes ahead of the two thousand twenty Olympics in Tokyo joining me now with more details is Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca O'Brien Rebecca. This seems like a widespread investigation allegation which groups have you found that are under investigation right now by the Justice Department so it is a wide ranging investigation and it's actually I think best thought of as multiple investigations that interconnect and the important bodies to think about here are the US Olympic Committee the Center for Safe Sport USA gymnastics and and USA Taekwondo and the FBI which is sort of a side issue but think of it as like a layer cake right this mitigation which is being led by multiple offices offices in the Justice Department along with irs criminal investigators is looking at bad actors who are coaches or doctors in the gym level of various Olympic Sports. It's across the United States and then secondarily. There's an investigation into potential cover ups and maybe financial and business wrongdoing by the national governing bodies are N. G. Bees like USA gymnastics or USA Taekwondo and the third level here. Is You limit committee to the big overarching organization Asian. They're looking you know as well their response to sexual abuse allegations another potential financial wrongdoings now how big of an impact did the Larry Nassar Sir case have on the current investigations. This was pretty blockbuster case shook up the world of gymnastics in the Olympics too large extent what I think I mean the Larry Nassar case it slowly began building came first surfaced right after the Rio Olympics more than three years ago now and what I find incredible is that what the Nassar case not only did it first of all you know hundreds of women came forward with allegations but it really also opened shed light on all these other cases like in USA taekwondo or there had been allegations and some mm cases convictions of coaches that had kind of been lost to history and these this repeated. There's a trend over decades of misconduct induct and sex-abuse in a number of different sports that no one really had paid close attention to on a grand scale so the national case really not only was had a tremendous impact on on gymnastics in the Olympic Committee but it also just opened the floodgates as it were now we are looking ahead to the twenty twenty games in Tokyo what under the implications for the US Olympic system as we have been talking about the Nassar case did cause a lot of damage to the institution yet national case did a lot of damage image to USA gymnastics but it also had some blowback on the US Olympic Committee because of executives there who were informed of it and didn't necessarily take steps that many people in the public thing you know they they didn't talk about it more publicly. They didn't take steps to advance the investigation and they leave with egging their face and what is important about these investigations. I the thing is that they show the continued legal pressure on the USOC. There's political pressure with also legal and potentially criminal pressure on some of the executives or former executives of these organizations and going into twenty twenty. They're going to want to resolve this. I mean not only do you. WanNa make sure people are safe going to the Olympics but also it looks bad if the USOC he is heading to the next Olympics with this cloud of uncertainty and investigations over their head and of course you know in nine years they're going to be hosting the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles so oh you know we'll see how they resolve this Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca O'Brien. Thank you so much thank you. We'd like to hear more from you on this story war reforms do you think are needed to the US Olympic system ahead of the twenty twenty games. Let us know by tweeting US at W. S. J. podcasts and that's what's news for this Friday Friday afternoon. I'm Anne Marie for totally for the Wall Street Journal. Thanks for listening.