Archive for Zahra Tayeb

Elon Musk will improve Twitter by allowing for greater free speech without it being disruptive to society, according to entrepreneur Eric Schiffer

Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition in Washington.
Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk.
  • Elon Musk will likely improve Twitter, according to entrepreneur and finance expert Eric Schiffer. 
  • Musk always understood the power of Twitter for its ability to influence news and society, he said. 
  • He added Musk will find ways to make Twitter "more inspiring and more exciting" to participate in. 

Elon Musk is a forward-thinking entrepreneur, according to finance expert Eric Schiffer. 

Schiffer, who heads The Patriarch Organization, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, spoke to Insider about the effect he thinks Musk will have on Twitter, following his recent acquisition of the platform.

At the beginning of April, Musk bought a 10% stake in Twitter for almost $3 billion, automatically becoming its biggest shareholder. Just weeks later, he offered to buy the company outright for $44 billion. The offer was accepted by Twitter's board, causing distress and disappointment among some of its employees

Recently, one Twitter employee even changed their Twitter profile name to "elon musk is a racist demagogue with a god complex," following the takeover, Insider's Kali Hays reported.

Many have been vocal about Musk's buyout of Twitter, and while some leading figures approve of the deal, others haven't. 

Schiffer among others, including Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, expressed positivity over Musk's Twitter deal.

Haugen, for instance, recently told Fox Business she is "cautiously optimistic" about Musk's takeover of Twitter. She also contrasted Musk to her former boss, Mark Zuckerberg, saying she thinks Musk can receive feedback better and make meaningful changes.  

Her views mirror that of Schiffer who says he thinks Musk will improve Twitter in the long term while also highlighting his leadership qualities. 

"I think [Musk] will be able to thread the needle to be able to benefit society with greater free speech without it going too far that it could be disruptive to society," Schiffer said. 

According to Schiffer, Twitter has in many ways, "gone over the line" in regulating speech. In some cases, he noted, it can be a good thing to filter out voices that have not been helpful to society, but the vast majority of Twitter users are on the platform because they want to speak without prevarication. 

"I think what he'll try to do is find an even better balance, in accordance with laws, that doesn't have a brutal backlash from a user utilization standpoint, but also empowers free speech," Schiffer said of Musk. 

Musk has previously spoken about wanting to bring greater free speech to Twitter in an effort to create a platform that is "maximally trusted and broadly inclusive."

Schiffer further added that Musk understands what the current standard is in terms of engaging people on social-media platforms. "I would imagine he would enable opportunities for Twitter to have more entertainment components," he said. 

He added: "[Musk] will want to look for ways to make things more inspiring and more exciting to participate in," and that could include changes to Twitter's algorithm and the way users interact with each other on the platform. 

Musk is one of the few entrepreneurs that has always understood the power of social media, and particularly the power of Twitter, Schiffer said. This is true "from a revenue perspective but also its ability to influence news, culture, society and certainly commerce," Schiffer added.

"It's first nature for Musk to want to purchase Twitter because it has great asset potential, he can leverage it in a way that will benefit his businesses and more importantly, has a greater voice in the media and in culture," Schiffer said. 

It's more than about just being a player but also an orchestrator, he added, alluding to Musk's Twitter purchase.

Schiffer's views towards the purchase and the benefits that it may bring contrast with the views of Bill Gates, who recently said Musk could make the platform worse.










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Finland will return $46 million worth of Russian artwork that was seized as part of sanctions, officials say

medical supplies that will be shipped to Ukraine
The shipments comprised paintings, statues, and antiques.
  • Finland will return seized Russian artwork worth around $46 million, Reuters reported. 
  • Earlier this month, Finnish authorities seized three shipments due to EU sanctions.
  • New legislation that will come into effect on April 9 will allow the release of the artwork.

Finland will return a multimillion-dollar collection of artwork to Russia after Finnish customs officers seized three shipments of the artwork, Reuters reported

Finnish customers confirmed the news about the seizure earlier this week. 

According to Bloomberg, the pieces were being returned to Russia from museums in Italy and Japan where they had been temporarily loaned. 

The artwork was instead taken into custody by Finnish authorities on the apparent basis that it could be classified as luxury goods. This made them vulnerable to economic sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. 

Reuters reported that legislative changes that exclude cultural artworks from being seized under European Union sanctions will come into effect on April 9 when the Finnish foreign ministry will permit customs officials to release the artwork. 

Russian culture minister Olga Lyubimova confirmed the paintings would return to Russia over the weekend, per Reuters. 

The shipments comprised paintings, statues, and antiques. Bloomberg reported that they were worth $46 million but  Finnish customs enforcement director Hannu Sinkkonen said they "cannot be valued; they are priceless," a local China-based media outlet reported

"Professionals have been consulted in the moving and storage of the goods," he said. "We are not going to open the packages."

Per the local outlet, the artworks being returned from Italy originated from collections in some of Russia's leading art galleries including The Hermitage Museum and Tsarskoye Selo state museum in St. Petersburg.

The other pieces returning from Japan apparently came from Moscow's Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. 

Russia has been the subject of foreign sanctions since it invaded Ukraine in an unprecedented attack. While the penalties imposed by Western nations have targeted the Russian economy, they've also taken aim at Russia's wealthiest individuals. 

From yachts to private jets, many Russian oligarchs have had their luxury assets seized amid the war. One sanctioned Russian oligarch reportedly broke down in tears over their inability to book private jets, while another said he didn't know how to live after being hit with the sanctions. 

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The US sanctions Gennady Timchenko’s wife and two daughters, making him the wealthiest Russian oligarch with relatives targeted by restrictions

Gennady Timchenko
Russian oligarch Gennady Timchenko.
  • The family members of Russian oligarch Gennady Timchenko have been sanctioned by the US. 
  • Timchenko's wife and two daughters were hit by restrictions as the US amplifies pressure on Russia. 
  • According to Bloomberg, Timchenko's son, Ivan, escaped the sanctions. 

The family of sanctioned Russian oligarch Gennady Timchenko have been hit by new restrictions as the US government moves to freeze assets of wealthy Russians amid the war in Ukraine. 

Timchenko, a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin, founded the private investment firm Volga Group, which was recently sanctioned, per Bloomberg

He had stakes in various Russian businesses, including Russia's largest and private gas company Novatek. He resigned from the board last week, however. 

According to the US Department of State, Timchenko's wife and two daughters were targeted by US sanctions. The restrictions come amid their ties to the Western world. 

Timchenko's daughter, Ksenia Frank sat on the board of Transoil, one of her father's companies, and has Finnish nationality, per Bloomberg

Elena, Timchenko's wife, who is the founder of the Timchenko Foundation, a family fund "aimed at intellectual, spiritual and physical development of people of all generations," also has Finnish nationality. 

Timchenko's son Ivan, however, was not sanctioned, the outlet reported. 

Timchenko and his family were sanctioned alongside more than 400 individuals and entities identified by the US that "fuel Putin's war machine." 

"They personally gain from the Kremlin's policies, and they should share in the pain," Joe Biden said in a tweet

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the US has imposed sanctions on Russia and Kremlin elites, leaders, oligarchs, and family members. 

According to the US Treasury Department, "Putin enablers and elites," including the family of Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, were sanctioned this month.

The department said they lived "luxurious lifestyles that are incongruous with Peskov's civil servant salary and are likely built on the ill-gotten wealth of Peskov's connections to Putin."

In a recent interview, Russian oligarch, Petr Aven, said he said he was struggling to pay bills and didn't "understand how to survive," following the sanctions imposed on him. 




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Elon Musk suggests SpaceX can protect the ISS, following a Russian space chief’s claims it could crash into Earth

SpaceX founder Elon Musk addresses members of the media during a press conference announcing new developments of the Crew Dragon reusable spacecraft, at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California on October 10, 2019.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
  • Elon Musk suggested on Saturday that SpaceX would protect the ISS from crashing to Earth. 
  • It was a response to Russia's space chief's comments on the impact of sanctions on the ISS.
  • Musk posted a photo of a SpaceX logo when the chief asked who will save the ISS from falling.

Elon Musk has responded to the suggestion by Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin that the International Space Station (ISS) could come crashing down onto Earth, due to new US sanctions against the country. 

Rogozin, who leads the Roscosmos agency, tweeted Thursday: "If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or Europe?" On Saturday, Musk responded by posting the logo of his company, SpaceX. 


The new set of US sanctions on Russia came in reaction to the country's invasion of Ukraine, which occurred early Thursday morning. 

President Joe Biden said Thursday that the "additional strong sanctions" will "degrade (Russia's) aerospace industry, including their space program," per CNN.

In Rogozin's series of tweets, he claimed the sanctions could have severe consequences for the ISS and "destroy" international co-operation related to the ISS. 

Another of his tweets said: "There is also the option of dropping a 500-ton structure to India and China. Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect? The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?" 

Musk appeared to confirm that SpaceX would get involved, should the ISS fall out of orbit. A Twitter user  asked if that's what the tech mogul really meant. To which Musk simply replied: "Yes."

NASA, meanwhile, said it "continues working with Roscosmos and our other international partners in Canada, Europe, and Japan to maintain safe and continuous ISS operations," in a statement to Euronews.

Musk's comments come shortly after he announced Saturday evening that SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet was activated in Ukraine, after the Russian invasion was said to have disrupted access to the internet. 




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Canadian government offers up to $20 million in relief funds to small businesses affected by trucker protests

Protesters of the Freedom convoy gather near the parliament hill as truckers continue to protest in Ottawa, Canada on February 7, 2022.
Small businesses will be eligible to apply for up to $10,000 in funds.
  • The Canadian government is allocating up to $20 million in relief funds to local Ottawa businesses. 
  • The move is an effort to support small business owners affected by ongoing protests.
  • Small businesses will be able to apply for up to $10,000 in funds, per the federal government

The Canadian government will provide up to $20 million in relief funds to small businesses affected by the ongoing trucker protests. 

The decision was announced Saturday in a statement by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). It said that the funds granted will be non-repayable contributions to Ottawa businesses that have suffered losses due to street blockades from the demonstrations. 

Small businesses will be eligible to apply for up to $10,000 in funds for non-deferrable payments not covered by other federal programs, the agency said. 

Helena Jaczek, minister responsible for the FedDev Ontario, said in the statement: "Our government's investment of up to $20 million to Invest Ottawa will help local businesses get the support they need to recover."

The so-called Freedom Convoy protests have pervaded the streets of Canada's capital since the end of January. The demonstrations were started by Canadian truckers who opposed COVID-19 lockdown measures and vaccine mandates in the country. 

Organizers of the protests said policies like vaccine mandates were "political overreach" and "destroying the foundation of our businesses, industries, and livelihoods."

But some local businesses have had to shut their doors due to the demonstrations and suffered as a result.

"Many Downtown Ottawa businesses have been forced to close their doors or have seen a significant decrease in business, which has resulted in loss of revenue," Mona Fortier, president of the Treasury Board of Canada, said in a statement. 

The relief funds reinforce the Canadian government's "commitment to helping communities, families, and businesses continue to build a strong and resilient economic recovery," the agency said. 

After some of the protests turned violent, Ottawa police used pepper spray and stun grenades to clear the blockade, The Guardian reported

Police said more than 100 people had been arrested and 21 vehicles were towed as of Friday night. 


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Exclusive restaurant bans customers with tattoos, ‘heavy’ jewellery, and designer clothes as part of its strict dress code

The rules are intended to "discourage intimidating appearances."
  • A ritzy Sydney restaurant is banning customers with tattoos, 'heavy' jewelry, and designer apparel. 
  • Bedouin told The Daily Telegraph the rules come in an effort to deter "intimidating appearances." 
  • The restaurant is known for attracting celebrities like Rita Ora and tennis star Nick Kyrgios. 

An upmarket restaurant has implemented a strict dress code policy, which bans people with tattoos, "heavy" jewellery, and designer attire. 

The celebrity hotspot, which has attracted the likes of Rita Ora, Nick Kyrgios, and Scott Eastwood is based in Sydney, Australia in the eastern suburb of Double Bay. 

According to The Daily Telegraph, Bedouin put up a sign on its front window stating the venue's dress code. It read: "No Visible Tattoos," "No Designer Labelled Apparel," and "No Heavy Jewellery." 

Poata Okeroa, co-licensee of the restaurant, told the outlet that the dress code was implemented to "discourage intimidating appearances." 

"We value our customers and community stakeholders and have always implemented house rules that include a dress policy that discourages intimidating appearances," Okeroa said, per the outlet.

Bedouin did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of normal working hours. 

According to its website, the Bedouin is a restaurant, bar, and lounge. It "pays homage to the Middle East," serving customers traditional Lebanese food. 

Since the sign went up, the dress code has not taken well with the public. Chef Michael Mcelroy, who works in another Sydney restaurant told 7News he was shocked to hear about the rules. 

"I've never heard of this policy in Australia, I have head and arm tattoos and not once when dining out has this come up until recently," he said.

He added: "I love to eat out at restaurants so sooner or later this will start to affect my dining experiences."

Others, however, have no issue with it. Mary-Lou Jarvis, vice president of the Liberal Party of New South Wales, told 7News that businesses can choose the type of people they want to serve. 

Recently, a sushi restaurant came under fire for a dress code that was classed as "sexist." The restaurant suggested that women wear "skinny jeans with sexy black ankle-strap heels and with a form-fitting top," according to media reports. The restaurant later said it had mistakenly posted the dress code. 



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California jury orders Albertsons to pay $4.3 million to a man who broke his nose and suffered a severe brain injury after slipping on a wet floor

The incident occurred in 2016 at an Albertsons in Taft, California.
  • Albertsons was ordered to pay $4.3 million to a man who slipped in a puddle while shopping. 
  • The victim suffered a broken nose and a traumatic brain injury after the fall, Morningstar reported.
  • Albertsons denied the injury resulted from the in-store fall and said it was caused by depression.

A jury in Kern Country, California ordered grocery store company Albertsons to pay $4.3 million to a man who broke his nose and suffered from a brain injury after his visit to the store. 

A local news outlet first reported on the incident, which occurred in 2016 at an Albertsons in Taft, California. 

According to Morningstar, the victim who goes by the name Mr. M., was shopping in the meat section of the store when he slipped on water that had accumulated on the floor nearby. He fell face down and hit his head on the floor and broke his nose as a result. 

The incident led Mr. M. to receive medical treatment for his broken nose a week later. No other severe injuries were reported at the time. 

Months after the incident, Morningstar reported that Mr. M. complained he was having memory issues and lost his sense of taste and smell. It was later discovered through a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan that Mr. M. had a "subdural hematoma."

He subsequently had to undergo surgery to remove fluid from his brain but carried on experiencing symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, the outlet reported.

Mr. M's lawyer Steven R. Andrade of Santa Barbara-based law firm, Andrade Law Offices secured the multimillion-dollar verdict in recent weeks. 

Mr. M's lawyers and Albertsons did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

During the trial, however, the lawyers defending Albertsons testified that the brain injury was not caused by the fall but rather by "depression." 

The outlet reported that the verdict will allow Mr. M. to relocate back to his hometown where he can live closer to his children.  

Last year, a South Carolina jury ordered Walmart to pay $10 million to a woman who underwent multiple amputation surgeries after she stepped on a rusty nail while shopping in a South Carolina store.


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Crystal Cruises ships have reportedly been arrested by authorities in the Bahamas over an unpaid fuel bill

Crystal Symphony
The Crystal Symphony ship.
  • Two Crystal Cruises ships were arrested in the Bahamas, Cruise Law News reported.
  • According to multiple outlets, only crew members were on board at the time of the seizure. 
  • A warrant for the arrests was issued over an unpaid fuel bill.

Two Crystal Cruises ships were seized Friday by authorities in the Bahamas over unpaid fuel bills, Cruise Law News first reported

Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity were arrested in the waters off Freeport, Bahamas after disembarking passengers on the island of Bimini. Only crew members were on board at the time of the seizure. 

In an announcement made to the crew, a recording of which was posted to Twitter, the captain of the Crystal Symphony said the seizure was "unfortunate" but "actually quite expected."

"The ship has been placed under arrest by the local authorities over some unpaid bills, and as bad as it sounds it's actually quite a good thing to happen," the captain says on the recording.

In a statement to Insider, Crystal Cruises said it could not comment on "pending legal matters at this time."

But it added: "Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony's voyages ended last month and there are no guests onboard." 

It added that officers and crew on board were "being well cared for."

"Crew members have been paid all wages due and we are meeting and exceeding all contractual obligations," the statement continued.  

Last month, the Crystal Symphony diverted from its scheduled stop in Miami with 700 passengers on board.

The ship was due to return to Miami after a 14-day Caribbean voyage but instead traveled to Bimini because the warrant empowered US Marshals to seize the ship if it entered US waters.

Earlier this month, the Crystal Serenity also diverted to the Bahamas after being denied entry to Aruba. 

The unpaid bill amounted to $1.2 million, according to Bloomberg.

Fuel supplier Peninsula Petroleum Far East secured the warrant against Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises Limited, which is owned by Crystal Cruises operator, Genting Hong Kong Ltd.

In January, Crystal Cruises announced plans to pause voyages through April 2022.

"This was an extremely difficult decision but a prudent one given the current business environment and recent developments with our parent company, Genting Hong Kong," Jack Anderson, Crystal's president said in a press release

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Delta’s CEO wants convicted unruly passengers placed on a national no-fly list

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian
Delta CEO Ed Bastian.
  • Delta CEO Ed Bastian wants convicted unruly passengers put on a national no-fly list.
  • He outlined his request in a letter sent Thursday to US Attorney General Merrick Garland. 
  • Bastian's call comes amid a surge in on-board disruptions since 2020.

The boss of Delta has asked the federal government to place convicted unruly passengers on a national no-fly list.

In a Thursday letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, first reported by Reuters, Delta CEO Ed Bastian called on the government to put passengers convicted of on-board disruptions on the national no-fly list, which would prevent them traveling on commercial US airlines.

Bastian said the move would "help prevent future incidents" and "serve as a strong symbol" of the consequences travelers could face if they don't comply with crew member instructions. 

Delta has put nearly 1,900 people on its own no-fly list for refusing to wear face coverings. The airline has also asked the Transportation Security Administration to seek civil penalties from 900 people banned from flying on Delta.

Bastian's call for federal intervention comes amid a surge in airplane conflicts since 2020. Recently, two Delta passengers were removed from a flight after becoming aggressive toward flight crew. 

In 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) took action against unruly passengers by sending 37 of the "most egregious" disruptive cases to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for prosecution. Those cases are a fraction of the 5,033 incidents reported to the FAA in 2021. 

Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg said previously that adding unruly passengers to the federal no-fly list should be "on the table." His comments came after an American Airlines flight attendant suffered multiple broken bones in her face after being attacked by a passenger in 2021.

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Diners at a Florida waterfront restaurant fell into the water after a deck suddenly collapsed, injuring two of them

waterfront restaurants
The incident occurred at Flip Flops Dockside Eatery in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Visitors to a Florida waterfront restaurant swam to safety after a dining-area deck collapsed.
  • The incident occurred at Flip Flops Dockside Eatery in Fort Lauderdale, per AP
  • Fire officials said the dock appeared to show signs of decay and they were investigating further. 

A group of people dining at a Florida waterfront restaurant suddenly fell into the water after the deck below them collapsed, AP reported.

Two diners received minor injuries as a result and had to be taken to a hospital. 

The incident occurred at Flip Flops Dockside Eatery in Fort Lauderdale. Diners were eating outside when a chunk of the deck fell away, fire officials told local news reporters.

Flip Flops Dockside Eatery did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

Following the collapse, at least three adults swam to a boat near the dock and were pulled out of the water by other people. 

The dock appeared to have signs of decay. Fort Lauderdale fire rescue battalion chief Stephen Gollan told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. It also appeared that repairs had recently been carried out, he said. 

According to WPLG Local 10, Fort Lauderdale building officials were investigating the structural integrity of the dock. 

In a mission statement on its website, the restaurant states that it wants everyone "to feel at home and to relax." It describes itself as a place where people can escape their worries "and chill out dockside watching the boats sail along the Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal while listening to the sounds of the islands."





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