BlackBerry will do anything to keep you as a user, including sending its top brass to your house. Recently, CEO John Chen traveled to the White House to beg Barack Obama and other high-ranking officials to keep using their devices. He didn't offer any specifics on the meeting besides labeling it as "customer outreach."
Chen said the meeting was about "some of the stuff they like and some of the stuff they would like us to work on." Since taking over as CEO in November, Chen has met with more than 100 clients, but President Obama is without a doubt one of the most high-profile of the bunch.
Whether he likes it or not, Obama is probably stuck with a BlackBerry because its unique security features aren't (yet) present in iPhone or Android devices. To that end, BlackBerry hopes angling its products toward the government will help turn the beleaguered company around. Jordan Valinsky
The Italian coast guard says on Monday it rescued roughly 6,500 migrants off the coast of Libya.
— AP Images (@AP_Images) August 29, 2016
The migrants, most from Eritrea and Somalia, were in overcrowded and poorly-built vessels that had enough fuel to make it 12 miles off the coast of the Libyan town of Sabratha, The Associated Press reports. There, rescue boats from Italy, the EU's border agency Frontex, Medecins Sans Frontieres, and Proactiva Open Arms were waiting for them, the BBC says. The coast guard said more than 1,100 migrants were rescued from the same area on Sunday.
Because of Balkan nations closing their borders to migrants and a EU deal with Turkey to prevent refugees from crossing to Greece, there are fewer people making it to Europe from Syria. There are still plenty of migrants from African countries like Nigeria, Eritrea, and Somalia trying to get from Libya to Italy, with 106,000 people arriving in the country so far this year and 2,726 who died trying, the International Organization for Migration said. The IMO says there are still 275,000 migrants in Libya waiting to make the journey to Italy. Catherine Garcia
The passing of Gene Wilder at the age of 83 is hitting Hollywood hard, with friends and co-workers remembering the man who brought Willy Wonka, the Waco Kid, and Dr. Frankenstein to life.
Mel Brooks, his director in Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and The Producers, called Wilder one of the "truly great talents of our time," and said he "blessed every film we did with his magic and he blessed me with his friendship." Steve Martin said Wilder was "one of the great screen comedians," who was "original and surprising every time," while Billy Crystal called him a "true genius" and "giant of comedy" whose "legacy of films is inspiring."
Gene Wilder-One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship.
— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) August 29, 2016
Rain Pryor tweeted a photo of Wilder with her father, the late Richard Pryor, a frequent co-star. She told The Hollywood Reporter her dad thought Wilder "was amazing," and always said, "'That man's a genius, and he's a good man, that's for sure.'" She believes the pair "helped each other grow as artists in their art form and who they were outside of their art form. They are the people who set the stage outside of the Laurel and Hardy type of thing."
— Rain Pryor (@RainPryor) August 29, 2016
Julie Dawn Cole, who played Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, told BBC Radio 5 he was a "wonderfully kind, generous, and mega-talented man, but without an ego. He was not grand, he was not a star, he want not a diva, he was just very sweet and kind." Jim Carrey recalled Willy Wonka in his remembrance, saying Wilder was "one of the funniest and sweetest energies ever to take a human form. If there's a heaven, he has a Golden Ticket." Catherine Garcia
Fox News on Monday denied claims made by former anchor Andrea Tantaros, who filed a lawsuit earlier this month saying she was taken off the air in April in retaliation for ignoring advances from former chairman Roger Ailes.
The network said Tantaros is an "opportunist," piggybacking off the publicity of an earlier sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Ailes by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. In a filing made Monday in a New York state court, lawyers for Fox News said Tantaros's lawsuit "bears all the hallmarks of the 'wannabe,'" and said she signed an agreement to keep employment-related disputes out of court. The lawyers also asked to send her lawsuit to arbitration.
In her lawsuit, Tantaros said the alleged harassment began in 2011, with Ailes making comments about her looks and asking her to "twirl" for him, Reuters reports. Fox News says Tantaros was removed from the air because she wrote a book, Tied Up In Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable, without permission, and when it came out in April, she promoted it without authorization. Catherine Garcia
President Obama has presided over some of the best years to invest of the last century, The New York Times reports. The stock market has risen 11.8 percent on an annualized basis since Obama took office, the third best performance during an American presidency since 1900. Market performance was only better under Calvin Coolidge (25.5 percent) and Bill Clinton (15.9 percent).
Consider that had you been prescient enough to buy shares of a low-cost stock index fund on Mr. Obama's first inauguration day, on Jan. 20, 2009, you would now have tripled your money. Stock market performance of this level has rarely been surpassed. [The New York Times]
Now, presidents often don't deserve direct credit for market performance. Part of the trend just comes down to timing: With the economy in such a sorry state around the time Obama came into office, any vague signs of recovery naturally sent the market marching upward. The Federal Reserve has also pushed an "extraordinarily accommodative monetary policy," which began before Obama even took office. You can read more about the reasons behind the stock boom of the Obama years at The New York Times.
Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke has recorded a robocall touting his candidacy for Senate in Louisiana, and in the recorded message he explicitly ties his campaign to Donald Trump's. Duke has been piggybacking on Trump's increasingly prominent campaign for months; this winter, Trump was forced to disavow Duke's endorsement several times after initially offering a muddled response.
In the call, Duke issues a joint plea to voters on behalf of both men. "It's time to stand up and vote for Donald Trump for president and vote for me, David Duke, for the U.S. Senate," he says:
In announcing his candidacy for Louisiana's Senate seat last month, Duke again drew comparisons to Trump's movement, saying he was "overjoyed to see Donald Trump, and most Americans, embrace most of the issues that I've championed for years." The Trump campaign has already distanced itself from the robocall, telling Politico: "Mr. Trump has continued to denounce David Duke and any group or individual associated with a message of hate. There is no place for this in the Republican Party or our country. We have no knowledge of these calls or any related activities, but strongly condemn and disavow." Kimberly Alters
Gene Wilder passed away at the age of 83, his family said Monday. Wilder was best known for playing Willy Wonka in the titular 1971 film, as well as for having roles in the Mel Brooks comedies The Producers and Young Frankenstein.
Wilder was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1989, but had been in remission since 2000. Wilder's nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman told Variety the actor died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. Jeva Lange
Children in Greensville, South Carolina, are claiming that a clown is trying to lure them into the forest, CBS News reports. "There has been several conversations and a lot of complaints to the office regarding a clown or person dressed in clown clothing … trying to lure children into the woods," the property manager of Fleetwood Manor wrote to residents in a letter, which requested that if the clown was spotted, residents immediately call the police.
Greensville County deputies said that a woman and her son reported seeing "a clown in the woods" around 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 21. Another witness said she saw a clown near the garbage dumpster, and that the clown waved at her, she waved back, but the clown did not walk toward her. Some children additionally reported that "several clowns" had tried to pursue them into the woods with money, CBS News reports, although the Greensville County Sheriff's Office said it only has one filed incident report about the clown sightings.
"Witnesses told investigators that they believed the clowns lived in a nearby home, but a deputy wrote in the Aug. 21 police report that he followed a trail through the woods to the home and found no evidence related to the clown sightings," CBS News writes. Jeva Lange