Nothing Comes Between Brooke Shields and Her New Line for QVC

anastasios pallis

As Rachel Ungaro, the vice president of fashion merchandising and design development for QVC said, “she transcends the decades”: fixed firmly in home viewers’ imaginations as paradoxically tough and alluring but approachable.

“Our customer is going to love her,” Ms. Ungaro said, “because to their minds she is very real.”

Some of the pieces from Ms. Shields’s line. Credit Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

From ‘Pretty Baby’ to Menocore

Still, the notion of Ms. Shields tweaking hemlines and adjusting seams seems a bit improbable.

True, during his first season as creative director for Calvin Klein, Raf Simons resurrected her famous jeans-clad image on a series of T-shirts. And last year a taut, preternaturally youthful Ms. Shields modeled Calvin Klein lingerie in Social Life magazine. But full lips and furred brows aside, her influence on fashion is debatable.

Unlike many models who are over 50 or performers parlaying their celebrity into late-life fashion careers — Jaclyn Smith and Marlo Thomas come to mind — Ms. Shields, surprisingly, has never put her name to a fashion line.

Still the QVC partnership seems promising. Her new label, Brooke Shields Timeless, is trend free, as the name suggests. It is aimed unabashedly at the “menocore” crowd, a cohort archly defined by Harling Ross on Manrepeller as “like Normcore, if its inspiration were women of a certain age.” (Its members venerate role models like Diane Keaton in a Nancy Meyers movie, or Blythe Danner in any number of roles — women who, like Ms. Shields herself, are white, rich and thin.)

But Ms. Shields will tell you she is not all that readily typecast.

Members of the 35-to-65-year-old QVC demographic may recall her as the paradoxically chaste pinup who courted notoriety playing a preadolescent prostitute in Louis Malle’s 1978 film, “Pretty Baby.” They may also remember her the demiclad nymph cavorting on a desert island in “The Blue Lagoon” (1980), her breasts curtained by nothing but her waist-length hair. A disconcertingly sultry naïf, she made her mark on a culture skittishly poised between prurience and an uneasy Puritanism.

Left, Ms. Shields in “Pretty Baby,” 1978. Right, Ms. Shields in “The Blue Lagoon,” 1980. Credit Left: Paramount/Getty Images; Right: Bettmann/Getty Images

“I think in my life I’ve really embodied both the sexy and the wholesome,” said Ms. Shields, a tutor’s pet on her early movie locations who eventually attended Princeton University. “In school I was a goody-goody. I would do all my homework. But if I’m in a rock ’n’ roll setting, I want to be able to channel whatever it is that’s behind it.”

Still, as she’ll also tell you matter-of-factly, she remains a work in progress. Days after introducing the QVC line at the Beekman, she gusted into Maison Kayser, a friendly West Village bakery near the townhouse she shares with her husband, Chris Henchy, a television writer and producer, and their two daughters, who are 11 and 14. Seasoning her eggs with a vial of Tabasco she produced from her purse, she was easygoing but reflective.

“At the end of the day, you’re sort of asking yourself, ‘Who am I?’” she said. “Am I honestly O.K. with being more than just one thing?”

And yet her variability is arguably what has extended her appeal. Recurrent gossip column fodder, the youthful Ms. Shields dated John Travolta and crushed on a baby-faced George Michael. Later in life she found herself deflecting the advances of Donald Trump, who had suggested that they date, telling her, as she amusedly told the talk show host Andy Cohen, “‘you’re America’s sweetheart and I’m America’s richest man.’”

She was briefly married to the tennis pro Andre Agassi, who portrayed her in “Open,” his 2009 autobiography, as a socially ambitious gadabout to his off-the-courts homebody. They were a mismatch, not least because, as he writes, when friends appear, “It feels as if we’re actors and our guests are an audience.

“She playacts,” he adds, “even when the audience isn’t here.”

Protected From Predators

In her 2014 memoir, “There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me,” Ms. Shields confides that she pulled away from Mr. Agassi by degrees, their rift widening after she learned of his former substance abuse. “I feared our life together was not based in absolute truth,” she writes.

Throughout her marriage and well into Ms. Shields’s adulthood, Teri Shields, her notorious hovercraft of a mother, was both her bulwark and her bane. Energetic and capable, but often drunk, the senior Ms. Shields is portrayed in her daughter’s memoir with an unlikely blend of solicitude and pain. (Teri died of Alzheimer’s disease in 2012.)

Teri Terrific, as she was known among friends, was much maligned in the film industry as a harpy who exploited Ms. Shields and turned her into an unprotesting meal ticket. She encouraged Brooke, who was scarcely out of puberty, to act as camera bait, strutting provocatively at movie premieres and Hollywood galas. And she looked on, apparently unfazed, as her daughter danced the night away at Studio 54.

At the same time, Teri Shields made certain no drugs or whiff of scandal would ever taint her charge. But if she guarded Brooke’s virtue with a gorgon-like ferocity, it was partly in the interest of a payoff.

You may expect the mature Ms. Shields to claim the status of poster woman for the #MeToo movement, calling out a long line of predatory studio honchos who beat a path to her trailer. She does not.

“There were no Harveys or James Tobacks in my life,” she said evenly. “My mother absolutely was the barrier between me and all of them. They couldn’t get to me. They were not going to get through because it was too much work.”

Her already formidable celebrity was an additional hurdle. “Going after me,” she said, “may have been too much of a risk.”

Her real harassers were a prurient media and psychically assaultive public. “There seemed to be no boundaries,” she writes in one of her memoirs. “The sense of obligation and the fear of losing a fan’s devotion were often too much for me to take.”

To the hordes of autograph seekers nipping at her heels, “I could never say no,” she recalled. “I felt as if the world owned me. It was the feeling that everybody wanted to take a piece.”

Over the course of her somewhat patchy upbringing, Ms. Shields acquired a robust armor. Teri Shields spent part of her girlhood in Newark, cleaning other peoples’ houses. Divorced when Brooke was a toddler from Frank Shields, a well-born and glamorous business executive, she and Brooke spent summers in Southhampton, N.Y., in a relatively shabby part of town, so that Brooke could see her father.

“I was the person who was living above the hardware store and was fine with it,” Ms. Shields said. “At the same time, I was going to day camp with all these extremely wealthy kids and, you know, I could fit in there.” Learning to straddle the class divide was liberating. “I found that I could put on these different hats and thrive,” she said.

That duality is reflected in the QVC collection. Priced from $29 to $109, it veers in tone and style from classically upscale to breezily accessible. The company had planned to introduce the line at the Beekman in a setting the designer dismissed as not quite up to snuff. In a misguided play on the “Timeless” label, QVC had installed clocks on every available wall.

Ms. Shields at her clothing event. Credit Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Ms. Shields wasn’t having it. “I wanted the space to feel inviting, not kitschy,” she said. That meant, in her words, “lighter furniture, darker woods on the floor, and Aubusson rugs, a mixture that’s very much what my house looks like.”

Ms. Shields and her manufacturing partner, the KBL Group International, had approached QVC, a move that she said took courage. The prospect of fusing her country club-inflected aesthetic with something a bit more democratic was daunting at first.

Even simply getting dressed has sometimes proved a challenge. “I was afraid that I didn’t have a through line to my style,” she said, “that when I went into my closet I was too many people, that there was no continuity there, no order.”

She struggled to make sense of her more than 50 pairs of jeans and more rarely worn high-end togs from labels including Carolina Herrera, Rodarte and Saint Laurent.

“I had nice things, but I was afraid I was going to sweat in them and spoil them,” she said. Instead of picking up fancy labels, she said, “I would buy 10 identical pieces from Uniqlo.” More pointedly, she said, “I didn’t want to seem better than anyone else.”

Her egalitarian tendencies gave rise to a collection of discreetly striped shirts, tank tops with jeweled necklines, trench jackets, tunics and wide leg pants, a wardrobe that highlights and simultaneously downplays the signifiers of wealth and class.

When she is not overseeing the placement of zippers, buttons and seams, Ms. Shields is shuttling between New York and Los Angeles, where she is taping “Jane the Virgin,” parodying herself as an actress and supermodel called River Fields.

Off set, though, she plans to stay sharply focused on Brooke, the brand. “At first I shied away from that,” she said. “I didn’t want to be a commodity. I wanted to be real. But the flip side was that I wanted to sell. And you can’t have it both ways.”

Continue reading the main story

This article is from NYT – go to source

‘Good for Him’: Readers React to the Most Ignorant Man in America

anastasios pallis
anastasios pallis

It does rattle me that someone CHOOSES to ignore the news. On purpose. Solely because the world around them is too harsh or the election results too unfavorable. The NYTimes subject isn’t anti-news as a philosophy. He admits to doing this because Trump won. 6/

Again, I’m not angry if Hagerman does not want to read The Messenger, or any other news outlet. However: while he enjoys a fun “experiment” of ignoring the world around him, his fellow residents of Glouster, Athens County, Ohio & beyond are living in the real world. 10/

This article is from NYT – go to source

A Mysterious, Debt-Laden Oil Company Draws China’s Scrutiny

anastasios pallis

Beijing is trying to rein in the unruly side of its corporate giants — plucky, privately run companies that burst onto the global scene just a few years ago, scooping up billions of dollars worth of hotels, properties, companies and even high-profile soccer teams. They financed their acquisitions by borrowing large sums, posing a challenge for China’s pledge to tackle rapidly growing debt in its financial system.

Mr. Xi has sent a strong message to China’s billionaires and entrepreneurs that such unrestrained deal-making will no longer be tolerated. In February, the government seized Anbang Insurance, the owner of the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan and the buyer of billions of dollars worth of other properties around the world. Wu Xiaohui, Anbang’s chairman who was detained in July of last year, was charged with economic crimes.

Like Anbang, CEFC appears to have taken on significant debt. Two Chinese ratings firms, China Chengxin and United Credit Ratings, have downgraded their outlook on the company’s finances, citing mounting debt. United Credit also cited the report of the investigation of Mr. Ye.

This week, an employee in the Hong Kong office of CEFC’s nonprofit arm said the office was closing and other employees had resigned.

But much of CEFC’s rise, and the reasons behind its latest stumbles, remain murky. “I had never heard this company being talked about before the Rosneft deal,” said Xizhou Zhou, head of power, gas, coal and renewables at IHS Markit, an information provider. “It wasn’t on people’s radar at all,” he said.

A security guard at the entrance of an unmarked building in Shanghai listed as an address for CEFC. A Chinese business publication reported this month that Mr. Ye was under investigation. Credit CHINATOPIX, via Associated Press

CEFC also faces a legal challenge in the United States.

American officials arrested a top executive of its nonprofit arm in November and charged him with offering bribes to officials in Uganda and Chad in exchange for oil rights. While court documents do not mention CEFC, the details of the case show prosecutors have evidence that Mr. Ye and other executives were apprised of the executive’s activities.

In a rare interview in 2016 with Fortune, which ranked him on its list of top business executives under 40 years old, Mr. Ye said he got his start buying oil assets that once belonged to Lai Changxing, a Chinese businessman who fled to Canada to avoid charges of running a smuggling ring. To get the funding, Mr. Ye said, he sold investors on a business that would find opportunities where China’s state oil companies could not compete. He was in his mid-20s at the time.

In the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis, CEFC scooped up European oil assets and built up a network of oil storage facilities and transport services through Central Asia and Europe.

Eventually, CEFC was able to secure highly coveted licenses to import oil as the government began to open up the oil sector. In Hainan province, CEFC’s oil storage facilities are used as part of the country’s strategic reserves.

By 2015, it had posted nearly $40 billion in revenue.

While not state run, CEFC showed it knew how to navigate politics. Mr. Ye, for example, has said in his official biography that he was once deputy secretary of an organization called the China Association for International Friendly Contact. That group is part of China’s People’s Liberation Army, according to researchers for the United States Congress, and according to Mark Stokes, a former United States military attaché in China and the executive director of a defense research group, the Project 2049 Institute.

It also has direct ties to the ruling Communist Party, through an internal party committee and the Communist Youth League, a training ground for many officials, according to its website.

The president of CEFC China Energy, Chan Chauto, seated second from left, at an investment forum in Moscow last year where Russian President Vladimir V. Putin spoke. Credit Mikhail Metzel\TASS, via Getty Images

Mr. Ye also cultivated the image of someone with political connections. A framed calligraphy of Mr. Xi’s hung on the wall in Mr. Ye’s Shanghai office, according to the Fortune article. On his desk sat a red phone made to look like the famous “red machines” that the Communist Party’s most important members would use to tap into a secure line of communication.

The company also played to China’s geopolitical ambitions with investments spanning Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. Its deals have promoted China’s Belt and Road initiative, Mr. Xi’s push to spread China’s influence abroad.

Overseas, Mr. Ye and other CEFC executives have worn diplomatic hats. In the Czech Republic, where CEFC bought a majority stake in a bank, a brewery, a publishing house and one of the two national soccer teams, Mr. Ye is an economic adviser to President Milos Zeman. Weeks after CEFC said it would acquire the Rosneft stake, the president of CEFC, Chan Chauto, met with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Moscow.

In Hong Kong, Mr. Ye is a political adviser to Regina Ip, a pro-Beijing member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council. Ms. Ip said Mr. Ye was appointed in 2015 because of his support of the Belt and Road initiative. Mr. Ye “never attended any activities of our party, and never gave advice on our political development,” Ms. Ip said in an email.

The Rosneft deal gave CEFC a global profile. It agreed in September to buy a 14.2 percent stake in Rosneft from the oil trader Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority. Rosneft needed the support after Western governments grew increasingly critical of Mr. Putin and issued sanctions against Rosneft and other Russian companies. The deal broke a mold for Russian-Chinese energy deals, which had been tightly limited to state companies in both countries.

It is not clear how CEFC’s troubles will affect the Rosneft deal. In January, the head of Russia’s second largest bank, VTB, said the bank would lend CEFC about $5 billion to help with the acquisition. Two Rosneft spokesmen did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Patrick Ho, the top executive of CEFC’S nonprofit arm, is accused by American authorities of using the charity to hide bribes. Credit Associated Press

CEFC is facing financial pressures. In a September filing, it disclosed debts of about $20 billion, an increase of 20 percent from the previous year. Last week, China Chengxin and United Credit downgraded CEFC on concerns about its mounting debt, saying that it faced “high pressure to pay back in the short term” and adding that if the Rosneft deal were to fall through, “the company will bear a huge loss.”

The arrest in the United States of Patrick Ho, the top executive at CEFC’s nonprofit arm, has extended its troubles beyond China. A former civil servant, Mr. Ho has been accused of offering millions of dollars in bribes to President Idriss Déby of Chad and Uganda’s foreign minister, Sam Kutesa, in exchange for oil rights in the two countries, according to United States government. Mr. Déby and Mr. Kutesa have denied the allegations.

Federal prosecutors have said that Mr. Ho was using the charity as a scheme to hide the passing of bribes on behalf of CEFC, the company. The nonprofit hosted networking events that featured former American military officials and Chinese People’s Liberation Army generals.

Mr. Ho, a former home affairs secretary in Hong Kong, has denied the charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and awaits trial in New York.

The American government’s complaint against Mr. Ho, 68, includes references to CEFC executives as well as the chairman, without naming Mr. Ye. The complaint also describes emails between Mr. Ho and CEFC’s chairman about the suspected bribes.

In court hearings, prosecutors have said the company and Mr. Ye are not a target. But, they have added, the investigation proceeds. To add to the mystery, the court in New York recently appointed a special officer to deal with documents that are expected to be classified.

Continue reading the main story

This article is from NYT – go to source

Disney Reorganization Anticipates 21st Century Fox Assets

anastasios pallis
Disney’s chief executive, Robert A. Iger, said the reorganization was aimed at “strategically positioning our businesses for the future,” but did not mention the pending acquisition of various 21st Century Fox businesses. Credit Andrew Gombert/European Pressphoto Agency

The Walt Disney Company unveiled a sweeping reorganization on Wednesday, promoting a pair of executives and preparing the entertainment conglomerate for the eventual integration of assets from 21st Century Fox.

Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, did not mention Disney’s pending $52.4 billion acquisition of various Fox businesses, which still must receive government approval, in Wednesday’s announcement. Instead, he described the new structure as “strategically positioning our businesses for the future.”

Kevin Mayer, who has recently served as chief strategy officer, working on the purchases of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and BamTech, a streaming-focused company, was named chairman of a new Disney division: Direct-to-Consumer and International. The unit will be made up of Disney’s overseas media businesses; global advertising sales for ESPN, ABC and other channels; syndicated television sales; and — most importantly — a portfolio of subscription streaming services.

Those services, designed to make Disney competitive with the likes of Netflix and Amazon, include ESPN Plus, which will roll out this spring. A second and still unnamed offering, built around the Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar brands, is expected late next year. Rounding out Disney’s streaming portfolio will be Hulu, an established service that focuses on older viewers with programming that includes ABC shows.

Disney promoted two executives: Kevin Mayer, left, will head a new division that includes TV and streaming services; and Robert Chapek will oversee theme parks, consumer products, video games and other units. Credit From left: Valerie Macon/Getty Images; Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Invictus

Disney also promoted Robert Chapek, who has been chairman of Disney’s theme park division for the last three years. Mr. Chapek was named chairman of a new division called Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, which adds merchandising, video games, book publishing and the Disney Store chain to his purview. Mr. Chapek was in charge of consumer products for Disney before he was promoted to theme park chairman in 2015.

The reorganization, which involves significant changes for every part of Disney except for the movie division, sets up a structure for Disney to absorb the Fox businesses. They include the Fox movie and television studio, a large portion of Hulu, 22 regional cable networks dedicated to sports, the FX and National Geographic channels, and stakes in two behemoth overseas TV service providers, Sky of Britain and Star of India.

Continue reading the main story

This article is from NYT – go to source

Trump Expected to Name Larry Kudlow as Top Economic Adviser

anastasios pallis
anastasios pallis

But Stephen Moore, a friend of Mr. Kudlow’s who was one of the authors of the critical column, said earlier this week that the administration’s tweaks to its tariff plan, such as providing country exclusions, had made it significantly more palatable to Mr. Kudlow.

Mr. Kudlow would represent the rare revival in Mr. Trump’s circle — he criticized the president after the emergence of the “Access Hollywood” tape in October 2016. He later re-endorsed him, but Mr. Trump, who nurses grudges, was angry for some time, according to people close to him.

Mr. Kudlow is also a radio host and a former Wall Street economist. He is a disciple of Arthur Laffer, the godfather of supply-side tax cuts, whom Mr. Kudlow credits for helping him overcome an alcohol- and substance-abuse problem about 25 years ago.

During the campaign and throughout Mr. Trump’s first year in the White House, Mr. Kudlow urged the president to go big with his tax-cut plan.

After Republicans pushed a $1.5 trillion cut through Congress late last year, Mr. Kudlow praised it effusively, predicting it would usher in long-term annual growth of 3 to 4 percent — a more optimistic assessment than most independent economists have offered — and would help Republicans in this year’s midterm elections.

“Trump and the G.O.P. are on the side of the growth angels with the passage of powerful tax-cut legislation to boost business investment, wages and take-home family pay,” Mr. Kudlow wrote in December. “The Democrats, meanwhile, are left with stale class-warfare slogans about tax cuts for the rich.”

Continue reading the main story

This article is from NYT – go to source

Facebook Blocks Britain First, a Far-Right Anti-Muslim Group Promoted by Trump

anastasios pallis
anastasios pallis

Britain First, a Christian nationalist group estimated to have about 1,000 members, has used inflammatory tactics like confronting Muslims on the street and entering mosques to spread its belief that Islam is destroying Britain.

In November, it got an unexpected boost from President Trump, who helped to promote its message by sharing with his tens of millions of Twitter followers three videos Ms. Fransen, the deputy leader, had posted on her own account.

One video was titled “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” but featured an assailant who was not, in fact, a “Muslim migrant.” The other two, titled “Muslim destroys a statue of Virgin Mary!” and “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” were several years old and included no context.

Before Mr. Trump retweeted those videos, no modern American president had amplified inflammatory content of that nature from an extremist organization.

Mr. Golding, Britain First’s leader, and Ms. Fransen were both convicted last week on counts of religiously aggravated harassment stemming from videos they posted online. Mr. Golding was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison while Ms. Fransen was sentenced to 36 weeks.

The videos, from May, showed Ms. Fransen knocking on doors that she believed — incorrectly, according to prosecutors — were hiding the Muslim defendants in a rape trial. She insulted the men and challenged them to come out.

Facebook and other social networks have come under increased scrutiny in recent months amid rising concern about the proliferation of hate speech and conspiracy theories online.

Continue reading the main story

This article is from NYT – go to source

Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos C.E.O. and Silicon Valley Star, Accused of Fraud

anastasios pallis
Elizabeth Holmes became a Silicon Valley darling after persuading high-profile investors to back her blood-testing company, Theranos. Credit Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and chief executive of the blood-testing company Theranos, was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday for raising more than $700 million from investors by falsely promoting a key product, the commission said.

In announcing the charges, the S.E.C. also said that Theranos and Ms. Holmes had agreed to settle them, with Ms. Holmes agreeing to pay a $500,000 penalty. As part of the settlement, she was stripped of control of the company and barred from being an officer or director of any public company for 10 years.

Ms. Holmes was a self-made billionaire and Silicon Valley darling who persuaded high-profile investors to back Theranos, a private company, based on promises that it would revolutionize the lab-testing industry. She promoted tests that used a finger prick of blood and cost a fraction of traditional lab tests. But a series of articles in The Wall Street Journal in 2015 cast doubt on whether the technology worked.

It turned out that Theranos was exaggerating the promise of its proprietary blood tests and was actually conducting the vast majority of blood tests using traditional machines made by other companies, according to the S.E.C. complaint. Ms. Holmes also claimed that the Defense Department was deploying the company’s test in battlefield settings, which was untrue.

Theranos announced in October that it was closing its lab and laying off about 340 employees, or more than 40 percent of its work force.

In a separate complaint, the S.E.C. also accused Theranos’s former president, Ramesh Balwani, with participating in the fraud. The commission said it planned to pursue its claims against Mr. Balwani in Federal District Court for the Northern District of California.

Continue reading the main story

This article is from NYT – go to source

Former Equifax Executive Charged With Insider Trading by S.E.C.

anastasios pallis
anastasios pallis

After conducting its own investigation, the Equifax board concluded that none of the four executives knew of the breach when they made their trades.

Mr. Ying’s trades were different. He was not among the executives whose trades initially came under scrutiny.

On a Friday afternoon in late August, an email went out to several top executives at Equifax asking them to begin work immediately on an emergency project related to a “VERY large breach Opportunity,” according to the S.E.C. complaint. Mr. Ying was one of the recipients.

Later that day, after a brief conversation with Equifax’s global chief information officer, Mr. Ying began to understand the extent of the problem, the S.E.C. said. He texted one of his employees: “We may be the one breached … Starting to put 2 and 2 together.”

Three days later, a Monday, Mr. Ying exercised all of his vested options to buy Equifax shares, and then sold them immediately.

In an interview on Wednesday, Julia Houston, Equifax’s chief transformation officer, said the company learned of Mr. Ying’s trades during an internal investigation. On Oct. 16, the company summoned him to a meeting at which it planned to fire him, she said. Mr. Ying resigned instead.

Equifax alerted the S.E.C. and the Justice Department about Mr. Ying’s trading, Ms. Houston said.

“We take corporate governance and compliance very seriously, and will not tolerate violations of our policies,” Paulino Do Rego Barros Jr., Equifax’s acting chief executive, said in a statement.

Ms. Houston declined to comment on whether the company is investigating any other suspicious trading activity.

Mr. Ying did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His LinkedIn page shows that he left Equifax in October. It lists his current job as “a little bit of everything. Stay tuned.”

Continue reading the main story

This article is from NYT – go to source

Toys ‘R’ Us to Close All Stores in Britain After Failing to Find Buyer

anastasios pallis
anastasios pallis

LONDON — Toys “R” Us said on Wednesday that it would close all of its stores in Britain after failing to find a buyer, another ominous sign for a once-dominant toy retailer that has struggled under pressure from Amazon and other online sellers.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy in the United States last year, said it would close its remaining 75 stores in Britain in addition to the 25 it has already shut.

Toys “R” Us has also closed more than 100 stores in the United States in hopes of avoiding liquidation. The company, which is owned by the private equity firms Bain Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, has been hampered by the debt load it was saddled with by the real estate firm Vornado Realty Trust, which bought Toys “R” Us in 2005.

The British arm of the toy seller went into administration, which is similar to a bankruptcy, in February. It had set a deadline of Wednesday to find a buyer for its remaining stores.

“We have made every effort to secure a buyer for all or part of the company’s business,” Simon Thomas, the joint administrator for the British arm, said in a news release. “This process attracted some interest, but ultimately no party has been able to move forward with a formal bid prior to the expiration of the stated deadline.”

The administrator said the company’s remaining 75 Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores would stay open to sell off existing stock, and that the process of closing them would take about six weeks.

Continue reading the main story

This article is from NYT – go to source

CNN Moves Chris Cuomo to Prime Time

anastasios pallis
Chris Cuomo’s coverage of the Trump administration has drawn plaudits and some right-wing blowback. Credit Krista Schlueter for The New York Times

CNN is turning to one of its morning anchors to shore up prime time.

Chris Cuomo, the outspoken co-host of “New Day” who has gained prominence — and received some right-wing blowback — for his coverage of the Trump administration, is set to take over the network’s 9 p.m. slot on weeknights, according to two people familiar with CNN’s plans who spoke on condition of anonymity because no formal announcement had been made.

The move would catapult Mr. Cuomo, 47 — a son of Mario Cuomo, the former New York governor, and the brother of Andrew Cuomo, the current governor — into the highest echelon of cable news, pitting him directly against Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Sean Hannity of Fox News.

CNN has struggled recently in prime time, falling to third-place behind Fox News and MSNBC, as viewers are increasingly drawn to partisan commentary. Anderson Cooper, who hosts the network’s coverage between 8 and 10 p.m., attracted about a third of Mr. Hannity’s audience last month, for instance.

Shifting Mr. Cuomo to weeknights would reduce Mr. Cooper’s prime-time footprint from two hours to one. And the network would need to find a new host to help lead its morning coverage, which Mr. Cuomo co-anchors with Alisyn Camerota.

CNN declined to comment on Wednesday.

The shift for CNN comes as the network remains a lightning rod for President Trump, the target of “fake news” chants at rallies and the president’s own vicious tweets. Its prime-time coverage remains focused on analysis by experts and political veterans — a contrast to the deeply partisan monologues by the likes of Ms. Maddow and Mr. Hannity, both of whom regularly draw more than 3 million viewers a night.

Continue reading the main story

This article is from NYT – go to source