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American Airlines plans to raise $1.5 bln in stock, convertible notes sale

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American Airlines plans to raise $1.5 bln in stock, convertible notes sale

On Sunday, American Airlines Group announced its plans of raising $1.5bn by selling off shares as well as convertible notes to enhance the liquidity of the airline as the US carrier grapples with restrictions on travel triggered by COVID-19.

The airline expects to utilize a part of the proceeds to improve its liquidity position and for usual corporate purposes, said the air carrier.

The notes and stock offerings include a thirty-day option for underwriters to buy around $112.5mn of extra common stocks and around $112.5mn of extra notes respectively, said American Airlines Group in a statement.

JP Morgan, Citigroup, BofA Securities and Goldman Sachs & Co. will act as the representatives for underwriters.

Bloomberg News was the first to report about the offerings, which is expected to be due by the year 2025. After the closure of the note offering, American Airlines Group aims at getting into an all new $500mn term loan B facility by 2024.

American Airlines Group has been shelling out billions of dollars during the Q1 of this year, incurring large losses as well as implementing wide cost-cutting strategies, and also taking measures to boost its cash buffer.

Notably, on Friday, the share price of American Airlines Group fell 3 per cent to $16.

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China’s Huawei and ZTE officially designated ‘national security threats’ by the FCC

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China’s Huawei and ZTE officially designated ‘national security threats’ by the FCC

The US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has designated China’s ZTE and Huawei as national security risks officially. This implies that the two firms cannot utilize an $8.3bn government subsidy initiative, called the Universal Service Fund for purchasing, maintaining or supporting any services or equipment from these two telecommunications giants.

With these new orders and considering the overwhelming evidence, the FCC has designated ZTE and Huawei national security threats to the communications networks and the future 5G technology of American, said Ajit Pai, Chairman, FCC through a statement.

The orders formalize a unanimous vote casted by the FCC in last November wherein the regulator had declared both these firms as threat to national security.

ZTE and Huawei are yet to comment on the matter.

This move is yet another major blow to ZTE and Huawei, adding on the nation’s bigger campaign in the last eighteen months against these companies. In 2019, Huawei was placed on a United States blacklist known as Entity List. Later, a new ruling in the month of May focused to cut off the company from major semiconductor supplies.

Meanwhile, the Donald Trump administration also has been making efforts to convince the other nations to boycott Huawei from rolling out its 5G network.

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Disney’s Splash Mountain to get new theme amid calls to ditch racist history

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Disney’s Splash Mountain to get new theme amid calls to ditch racist history

Amid calls to ditch racist stereotypes in famous culture, Disney now is giving a new theme to its Splash Mountain ride which will be based on its first Black-princess centered movie ‘The Princess and the Frog.’

The decision comes following a petition asking Disney to forgo the original or initial inspiration meant for Splash Mountain, i.e. the 1946 movie ‘Song of the South.’ It was a controversial movie since the beginning, with the critics considering it an underrated portrayal of labor or slavery.

The movie is basically a live-action narrator, a Black man known as Uncle Remus, played by the second African-American James Baskett. He did not attend the movie’s premiere held at a theatre in Atlanta where the Blacks were asked to sit in balcony separately.

The movie hasn’t been available on the home video across the United States and is also not included in Disney+.

The petition demanded Disney to base the theme of Splash Mountain upon Princess Tiana’s story.

As per Disney, the firm has been thinking to change the theme since the previous year and has now finalized ‘The Princess and the Frog’ as the new theme for Splash Mountain at both, Florida’s Disney World and California’s Disneyland.

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Facebook, Google and Amazon CEOs willing to testify in antitrust probe

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Facebook, Google and Amazon CEOs willing to testify in antitrust probe

The Chief Executive Officers of Google, Amazon and Facebook say that they are ready to testify in the anti-trust investigation into huge tech giants.

The House Judiciary Committee has received letters from the representatives of Google and Facebook last weekend indicating that their CEO’s Sundar Pichai and Mark Zuckerberg are ready to testify before the Congress. However, Google and Facebook have conditioned their respective testimony upon testimony of the top-ranking executives at other huge tech companies as well.

Meanwhile, the commitments come in just one day post a lawyer representing Amazon said that Jeff Bezos, the company’s CEO, is also willing for being testified.

Of the ‘four large’ tech companies, Apple is the one still remaining to announce whether its CEO Tim Cook would testify or not. A spokesperson for Apple refused to comment on the matter on Tuesday afternoon.

The anti-trust subcommittee of the House Judiciary has been probing into the four large tech companies, analyzing whether their strong market presence poses any threat to the competition & harms the consumers.

If the hearing really happens, it is expected to be conducted this summer. However, whether it will be conducted virtually or in-person, given the COVID-19 pandemic, still remains unclear.

Notably, The Washington Post was the first to report about these commitments which were confirmed by news outlet NBC News later with people from the firm.

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