Business
April 17, 2014
CC: By leighklotz

When Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba goes public in the United States later this year, it could raise up to $15 billion, valuing the company at up to $200 billion. "We expect it to be the largest tech IPO ever, the largest IPO of the year, the largest Chinese IPO of the year," Max Wolff, chief economist and strategist at Citizen VC, tells the Los Angeles Times. "It's a big number, probably a record-breaker by any metric."

Alibaba — which generates more sales and net income than Amazon and eBay put together — is just one of several Chinese companies going public in the United States this year; Weibo, China's version of Twitter, will begin trading on the NASDAQ Thursday, and Alibaba competitor JD.com filed for a $1.5 billion listing in January. (One cautionary note for Alibaba: Weibo raised $286 million in its U.S. IPO, selling fewer shares than expected at the bottom end of the projected share price range.)

Yahoo, an early investor in Alibaba, now has a 24 percent stake worth $42 billion. "Yahoo made a huge and, in retrospect, very smart investment in Alibaba when Alibaba was very small and Yahoo wasn't," Wolff says. As for Alibaba, they are preparing for the future by investing $692 million in the Chinese department store chain Intime Retail Group and leading a $280 million round of financing for Tango, a messaging app. Catherine Garcia

you're fired
11:03 a.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Macy's is joining NBC and Univision in severing ties with Donald Trump. "We have no tolerance for discrimination in any form," the company said in a statement.

The business mogul and 2016 Republican presidential candidate has come under fire for saying during his presidential announcement that Mexican immigrants are "bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people."

A petition calling for the elimination of Trump merchandise from Macy's had already received 700,000 signatures, Business Insider reports. An earlier petition that gained more than 200,000 signatures called for NBC to fire Trump over his comments about Latinos. NBC has since dumped Trump.

Likewise, Spanish-language network Univision announced last week that it would not broadcast the Miss Universe pageant, which Trump co-owns. Yesterday, Trump responded with a $500 million lawsuit against the network, claiming they were infringing on his right to free speech. Jeva Lange

Keeping up with the Clintons?
10:35 a.m. ET
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Variety

Rapping celebs such as Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent are nice endorsements to have for a presidential campaign, but until a Kardashian anoints your aspirations as worthy, do they even exist?

Rest easy, Hillary Clinton, for your bid for the presidency is now as much a reality as the lives of Kris, Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and all the rest that don't spell their names with "K" but sometimes show up for added drama.

The Daily Beast reports that in an interview at the Commonwealth Club of California on Tuesday night, Kim Kardashian took a break from promoting her book of selfies to weigh in on a topic of equal importance: the 2016 race. When asked if Clinton should be the first female president, Kardashian replied, "I hope so!"

She went on to note that she doesn't like labels such as "feminist," but I'm guessing "leader of the free world" probably gets a pass. Sarah Eberspacher

The more things change...
10:33 a.m. ET
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" — "the more things change, the more they stay the same" — wrote Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) Judge Michael Mosman in his Tuesday ruling that the National Security Agency (NSA) can continue mass surveillance on millions of innocent Americans for another 180 days.

Following Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) charge against the renewal of the Patriot Act, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act, a more limited reform that allowed the NSA 180 final days of spying before transferring mass metadata collection to phone companies, which the NSA can query. In response, civil libertarian advocacy group FreedomWorks filed suit to block those additional months of surveillance, an effort which Mosman's ruling rejected. Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is still pursuing an injunction against the NSA's 180 days of spying at another court.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a consistent ally of Paul in his opposition to warrantless mass surveillance, criticized the FISA decision, arguing that there is "no reason for the Executive Branch to restart bulk collection, even for a few months." He added, "This illegal dragnet surveillance violated Americans' rights for fourteen years without making our country any safer." Bonnie Kristian

Huh?
10:19 a.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Apparently, for many upstate New Yorkers the hunt for prison escapees Richard Matt and David Sweat — who were convicted of murder, mind you! — was the most excitement they'd seen... maybe ever? In fact, some are even a little disappointed the fun is over.

"I wanted them to keep running," Courtney Lord, 28, of Malone, New York, told The New York Times, pausing before amending, "But I also wanted them to be caught."

"I'll give them boys some props. Those boys had some serious testicular fortitude, I'll tell you that right now," raved Lord's boyfriend. "They really gave law enforcement a run for their money."

"My favorite kind of movie has always been prison escape movies, so it kind of played like a really good prison escape movie,” 85-year-old librarian Lofton Wilson told the Times, adding that, "I felt guilty about hoping that they would get away because they were such horrible guys."

A 23-year-old tattoo artist also weighed in, claiming he and his friends had rooted for Sweat to reach the border.

"He must've been thinking, 'Damn, I was so close!'" the tattoo artist, Adrian Sparkman, said. "He should go in the history books, as far as I'm concerned, murder or not."

Sparkman added, "Honestly, man, this is the most I've watched the news." Jeva Lange

capitol hill blues
10:01 a.m. ET
Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)

This week, President Obama proposed new workplace rules that would make employees salaried at up to $50,440 eligible for overtime — but the president's largesse won't be available to one key group of workers: congressional staff.

As Roll Call reports, the legislative branch operates under its own labor rules, so the Senate Chief Counsel for Employment, the Office of Compliance, and the House Employment Counsel would have to explicitly update their guidelines to apply the new overtime policy to Hill workers. So far, none of the three have indicated they have any intention of doing so.

However, individual representatives can adjust overtime benefits for their own staffers at will. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for instance, has announced she plans to increase her office's overtime cap from $50,000 to $50,440 to match the president's figures. Bonnie Kristian

happening in iraq
9:45 a.m. ET
HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP/Getty Images

At least 1,466 Iraqis were killed by armed conflict in June, says a U.N. report released today. That death toll is a 40 percent jump from May, and the highest tally since July 2014, when the U.N. reported that at least 1,737 Iraqis were killed. Moreover, the U.N. warns that its estimates are likely on the low end.

June's deadly spike coincides with the increased efforts of security forces battling the Islamic State. "The terrorists of the so-called ISIL and sectarian extremists are largely responsible for this violence, which has affected all aspects of life in Iraq," U.N. envoy Jan Kubis said. Just on Wednesday, there were three bomb attacks nearby Baghdad that killed an estimated seven civilians and wounded another 22, The Associated Press reported. Becca Stanek

security
9:34 a.m. ET
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Although the technical term isn't "spikes" — it's actually a "removable anti-climb feature" — for all intents and purposes the latest security measure at the White House involves barbing an iron fence.

The measures are perhaps overdue: In September, a man carrying a knife scaled the fence, ran across the North Lawn, and entered the White House before being tackled by a Secret Service officer. Last April, in a similar incident, an individual jumped over the White House fence and was also taken into custody by the Secret Service.

As a result, over approximately the next six weeks, The New York Times reports that the U.S. Secret Service and National Park Service will be attempting to thwart potential fence-climbers with scary metal "pencil points." The spikes will be bolted to the top of the fence around the White House, facing outward. And — because apparently spikes need to be designed the job of creating the barbs went to the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center. One can only imagine how that design meeting went: "Let's make them pointy!" Jeva Lange

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