A theatre shooting in Louisiana that left two dead and nine injured, some critically, tops our roundup of the day's top news stories.
Anthem Buying Cigna
Anthem announced Friday it is going to buy Cigna for $54.2 billion, and the combined companies will be the largest health insurer in the United States. The deal comes three weeks after Aetna agreed to buy Human for #47 billion. The industry is in a consolidation mood as a result of changes in the health care system as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Cigna shareholders will get $103.40 per share in cash and half a share of Anthem stock.
Two Dead, 9 Wounded in Louisiana Theater Shooting
A 58-year-old man described as a "drifter" from Alabama shot and killed two people in a theater in Lafayette, Louisiana Thursday night before turning the gun on himself. John Russel Houser opened fire about 20 minutes into a showing of the movie “Trainwreck”, killing two people sitting in front of him. He continued shooting, wounding nine other people, before police showed up, at which point he killed himself. Police reportedly were on the scene within about one minute from the time the shooting started. Some of the wounded are in “very critical’ conditions. The gunman reportedly had a criminal history.
Amazon Thursday reported higher than expected quarterly earnings and revenues estimates thanks to growth in North America and a bump from its cloud computing segment. The company posted second-quarter profit of 19 cents per share on $23.18 billion in revenue. Its sales jumped 20 percent from the year previous and were $300 million higher than the estimates gathered by Thomson Reuters. The news caused shares to jump 18 percent at the end of trading Thursday.
Carnival Corp Reaches Settlement with Justice Department
Miami-based Carnival Corp. will pay a civil penalty of $55,000 to the government and $350,000 in damages according to a settlement with the Justice Department announced Thursday regarding access for people with disabilities on 62 ships in the Carnival, Holland America and Princess Cruises brands. The world’s largest cruise line faced allegations that it failed to properly provide and reserve accessible cabins for individuals with mobility disabilities; afford individuals with disabilities the same opportunities to participate in programs and services, including leaving the ship and returning; and provide effective communication during emergency drills, the Associated Press reports. Under the settlement, the government will for the first time require a cruise company to provide a minimum number of accessible cabins and to develop a remediation plan to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Nikkei to Acquire Financial Times
Japanese media company Nikkei Inc., the largest independent business media group in Asia, is buying the salmon-colored Financial Times as part of an 844 million-pound ($1.3 billion) deal with Britain's Pearson PLC, the Associated Press reports. John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson, said the company has been a proud proprietor of the Financial Times for nearly 60 years, but the rapidly changing media landscape meant it's time for the business daily to change hands. As part of the deal, Pearson has agreed to sell the vast majority of the assets in FT Group, including the Financial Times newspaper and the popular FT.com. Pearson will retain its 50 percent stake in The Economist Group as well as the FT's London headquarters on the banks of the Thames River. The paper has always been British owned.
Mitsubishi Shutting Down U.S. Car Production?
Mitsubishi has no comment about a report from the Nikkei news service that the company plans to quit building cars in the United States. The plan to cease production at Mitsubishi's sole U.S. plant in Normal, Illinois, is part of a strategic shift to the growing Asian market, the report said. The plant opened in 1988 as a joint venture with its then-partner Chrysler, The Nikkei report said Mitsubishi would look for a buyer for the plant and that Mitsubishi would begin negotiations with labor representatives to maintain employment for the plant's workers, who are represented by the United Auto Workers union. Mitsubishi, one of Japan's smallest carmakers, built 1.26 million vehicles last year. In the early 2000s, the Normal plant built more than 200,000 cars a year. Last year, production totaled 69,178, the Associated Press cites Mitsubishi figures.