Charter Communications offers $55 billion to buy Time-Warner, home prices rise nationally by 5 percent, and four flights get affected by anonymous phone calls Monday. Here are the top news stories for May 26, 2015.
The Sun Comes Out for “Tomorowland”
Disney’s “Tomorrowland’s” $41.7 million at the box office did not meet studio expectations but it was enough to top the box office over the four-day Memorial Day weekend. “Pitch Perfect 2” came in second to the tune of $38.5 million. To date it has made an estimated $126 million in North America. “Max Max: Fury Road,” also in its second weekend, brought in $32.1 million. Rounding out the top five were “Avengers: Age of Ultron” with $27.8 million and “Poltergeist,” a remake that scared up $26.5 million. Memorial Day is traditionally one of the industry’s biggest weekends, but this year’s estimated $192 million haul is a far cry from previous years. In 2013, for example, “Fast & Furious 6” drove the four-day total to $314.2 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Charter Buying Time Warner Cable
Charter Communications In. has offered to purchase Time Warner Cable for $55 billion, the company announced Tuesday. Charter and Time Warner are the second and third largest cable companies in the U.S. and would create a viable competitor with Comcast. The new company would control more than 20 percent of the broadband market and could have as many as 23 million customers. Charter also announced it would purchase Bright House Network as well. The deal still must face federal regulatory approval.
China Cuts Import Tax to Spur Spending
China, the world’s second-largest economy, announced Monday it will cut import taxes of clothing, cosmetics and other goods by half in a new initiative to spur consumer spending and economic growth, the Associated Press reports. The cuts will take effect June 1, and will apply to clothing, shows, skin care products, baby food and supplies and kitchen utensils. Retail sales growth declined in April from 10.2 percent the previous month to 10 percent. Imports plummeted to 16.2 percent compared with a year earlier.
Four separate international flights Monday were affected by anonymous telephone threats, U.S. aviation officials reported. The flights all originated in New York or New Jersey. Authorities said the threats did not seem credible, but were taken seriously in each case. In the most problematic case, U.S. military jets escorted an Air France flight into New York City after someone claimed a chemical weapon was onboard. The FBI said the flight escort was ordered immediately after the threat, but that there were no incidents or hazards reported on the plane. Three other flights were delayed or cancelled due to the anonymous phone threats.
House Prices Climb
The S&P/Case Shiller 20-city composite of housing prices shows home prices climbed 5 percent year over year in March, matching the pace set in February. The research on 20 cities saw an increase in 10 cities over the past 12 months, while 10 urban areas reported a decrease year-over-year. The gains were led by prices in San Francisco and Denver, which increased by at least 10 percent in the 12-month period. Cleveland reported the greatest drop, with home prices failing 1.2 percent since March of 2014.