1. Disney to buy 21st Century Fox
Disney is slowly taking over the entertainment industry. The company recently announced that it will be buying 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets for $52.4 billion. This includes Fox’s 39% stake in the satellite broadcaster Sky and of course the 20th Century Fox film studio. The remaining assets of Fox including Fox News and Sports will form a new company. The deal ends the era of media expansion for Fox by owner Rupert Murdoch who acquired his Father’s Australian newspaper at age 21 and turned it into one of the world’s largest news and film empires. This deal adds to Disney’s growing catalog of hit movies including Avatar, Deadpool, X-Men and Fantastic Four, as well as TV hits including The Simpsons and Modern Family.
2. Apple invests in Finisar
Apple recently invested $390-million into Finisar Corp to revive a plant in Sharman, Texas, which will boost production of laser chips that power high-profile iPhone X features including Face ID and portrait mode photos. The lasers will also be used for 3D sensors in AirPods, Apple’s wireless headphones. Unsurprisingly, shares of Finisar rose more than 30% yesterday morning after the announcement. This takes a stab at Finisar’s rival Lumentum Holdings Inc, whose shares fell 12%. The company is the top supplier of VCSELs but also a single source of risk for Apple. Not only will this investment improve the 3D technology in future iPhones and allow us to make animated emojis to match our faces it also will create more than 500 high-skill jobs at Sherman – it’s a win-win.
3. Oprah Winfrey to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award
Morgan Freeman made the announcement on Wednesday during the Golden Globes 75th Anniversary special that Oprah will be receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes in January. The award is annually given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) board of directors to an “individual who has made an incredible impact on the world of entertainment.” Past recipients include Freeman, Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Barbra Streisand, Sidney Poitier and Lucille Ball. HFPA President Meher Tatna called Winfrey “one of the most respected and admired figures today” and “one of the most influential women of our time.” Catch Oprah’s receiving speech during the Golden Globes on January 7, 2018.
The EU Summit kicks off today and British Prime Minister Theresa May will make her argument for her case for unlocking negotiations to unravel more than 40 years of the union to allow for a discussion of trade relations. It seems certain that the other 27 EU leaders will approve the deal and move into the second phase on Friday. Although there is still legislation that needs to be passed to sever ties with the block before Britain leaves in March 2019, Theresa May says they’re still on course to deliver on Brexit. According to Donald Tusk, chairman of the EU leaders, says that real test of the EU unity will be the second phase of Brexit talks. Other items on the EU summit agenda: defence and migration.
5. What Canadians searched in 2017
Google has released its 17th annual survey of top-trending searches and over here in Canada we’re a pretty broad-minded group. “These lists are a barometer of what was interesting, what Canadians were curious about in 2017.” It highlights what short-term news stories Canadians found the most interesting or wanted to know more information about. Alexandra Hunnings Klein, trends expert for Google Canada says that you can tell what kind of year it was, what went wrong and how the economy is doing based on search trends. Our list ranged from devastating hurricanes to deceased rock icons to the continuing political circus south of the border. The top search this past year was Hurricane Irma in the fall checking up on Florida and the Caribbean. Runner-up was Meaghan Markle, the Royal Suits actress. The year was also the year of “how” queries, top three were: how to make slime, how to make solar eclipse glasses, and how to buy Bitcoin.