TIME Media

These Are the Theaters That Have Pulled The Interview After Threat

Law enforcement says there's no credible threat

An increasing number of movie theaters and chains are deciding not to show Sony Pictures Entertainment’s The Interview, following a threat believed to come from the same group claiming responsibility for a devastating hack against Sony.

The Regal, AMC, Cinemark and Carmike theater chains won’t show The Interview until federal law enforcement groups finish their investigation of the threats made against the film, the Wall Street Journal reported citing anonymous sources Wednesday. Those chains control nearly half of the movie screens in the U.S., according to the Journal.

NBC News previously reported that Carmike had decided to pull the plug on The Interview. Deadline reported late Tuesday that California’s ArcLight Cinemas, which runs five theaters across the state, also won’t show the film, but a spokesperson later said no official decision had yet been made.

Meanwhile, Landmark Cinemas has cancelled The Interview’s New York City premiere, which was set for Thursday evening. That cancellation comes as the film’s co-stars, Seth Rogen and James Franco, already backed out of several media events around the films.

The threat, which may or may not have come from the same people who hacked Sony Pictures, intimated at the possibility of attacks on theaters that choose to show the movie, a completely fictional comedy about journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong Un. “We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time,” read the message, with “the places” apparently referring to theaters showing the film. The message also invoked the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

While Sony is at this point going ahead with the film’s Christmas Day release, sources told NBC News that the company won’t punish theaters that back out. The Department of Homeland Security, meanwhile, has said there’s no “credible intelligence” regarding an attack on movie theaters in the U.S.

The threat also coincided with a new release of Sony employees’ emails, several weeks after hackers breached Sony Pictures’ systems and posted troves of company and employee confidential data online. Early reports linked the hacks to North Korea, which is reportedly furious over The Interview’s plot about killing the North Korean leader. However, North Korea denied conducting the attack, and the little evidence thus far tying the country to the incident is circumstantial.

The total fallout of the Sony attack is still incalculable, but it could amount to the most damaging corporate cyberattack in history.

Read next: 3 Reasons People Think North Korea Hacked Sony

TIME society

More Proof That Mondays Are Terrible: It’s the Most Common Day for Workplace Injuries

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Getty Images

Ban Mondays.

The one thing all of humankind has in common — besides the sandwich — is a shared hatred for Mondays, because obviously, they’re just the worst in general. But it also turns out Monday is the day when the most workplace injuries occur.

According to the annual report on “nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses” by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 167,000 workplace injuries took place on Mondays in 2013 — more than any other day of the week. And this is not a new trend, as FiveThiryEight points out. Monday has consistently been the most injury-prone day for the past several years. And while there’s no explicit correlation between the day and the numbers, we still have one main takeaway: Ban Mondays.

(h/t FiveThirtyEight)

TIME Companies

China’s Baidu Inc. Confirms Investment in Uber

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (L) and Baidu Chairman and CEO Robin Li at a signing ceremony and press conference in Beijing on Dec. 17, 2014.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (L) and Baidu Chairman and CEO Robin Li at a signing ceremony and press conference in Beijing on Dec. 17, 2014. Greg Barker—AFP/Getty Images

The ride-hailing app will have to work on a new maps system and faces a stiff challenge from local rivals

China’s Baidu Inc. confirmed Wednesday it had taken a stake in ride-hailing app Uber Technologies Inc., but still refused to say how much it had invested, and what kind of stake it had got in return.

Chinese public radio had speculated that Baidu’s investment could be up to $600 million, representing half of the $1.2 billion it raised in a new round of funding earlier this moth.

At a joint press conference in Beijing, Baidu’s founder Robin Li and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said that they would work together to build a presence in the Chinese car-booking market, which is growing fast from a low base but is currently dominated by Baidu’s biggest internet rivals, Alibaba Group Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

In a joint statement, the two companies said Baidu will connect its map and mobile-search features with Uber’s service. The Google map app that Uber runs on across the rest of the world is banned in China.

“The goal of this agreement is not for the sake of investment alone, it is more for strategic cooperation and commercial cooperation,” Bloomberg reported Li as telling a joint press conference in Beijing. “Some people think that for investments, Baidu only goes for the full acquisition or taking a controlling share and that Baidu would not take a minority investment. This is a misunderstanding.”

So far, Uber is only present in nine Chinese cities and focuses on the premium segment of the market. It said in July it would expand to 14 cities in the near future.

The start of what could be a major new departure for the U.S. company is a welcome break from the governance scandals and regulatory problems it has been embroiled in recently across the world.

Kalanick told the press conference that Uber is working “pretty well” in China today and doesn’t have any pressing regulatory issues in the nation, according to Bloomberg.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME russia

Apple Stops Online Sales in Russia As Ruble Plunges

People wait to exchange their currency as signs advertise the exchange rates at a currency exchange office in Moscow, Dec. 16, 2014.
People wait to exchange their currency as signs advertise the exchange rates at a currency exchange office in Moscow, Dec. 16, 2014. Alexander Zemlianichenko—AP

The tech giant fears the currency is too volatile

Apple halted online sales of its iPhones, iPads and other products in Russia after this week’s “extreme” ruble fluctuations. The Russian currency lost over 20% this week and bonds and stocks also tumbled.

“Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing,” wrote Alan Hely, an Apple spokesman, in an email to Bloomberg.

Apple had earlier tried to deal with the fluctuations by increasing its prices in Russia by about 25%. Apple doesn’t have any of its own stores in the country, so the online store is its main outlet for Russian consumers. But now with the ruble’s value at an all-time low, Apple believes the currency is too volatile to set prices.

[Bloomberg]

Read more: Putin watches Russian economy collapse along with his empire

TIME movies

Theaters Pull Sony’s The Interview After Hacker Threat of Violence

Stars of 'The Interview' James Franco and Seth Rogen, left and center, appear on 'Good Morning America' on Dec. 15, 2014 Ida Mae Astute

The studio said it would support theaters' decisions not to show the movie

Some movie theater chains are pulling Sony’s film The Interview from their lineups in the face of the threat of a Sept. 11-style attack against theaters who screen the upcoming movie. Hackers who go by the name Guardians of Peace and who stole untold amounts of sensitive data from Sony Pictures Entertainment made the threat on Tuesday. The hackers oppose the release of Sony’s comedy, which portrays the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Sony reached out to movie theater owners following the threat to say the studio is going forward with plans to release the film, but that it would support theaters’ decisions not to show the movie…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Environment

Obama Has Taken Alaska’s Bristol Bay Off the Market for Drilling

Pebble Mine in Alaska
Dillingham, Alaska, a fishing community of 2,300 is the largest town and hub of the Bristol Bay region. Anchorage Daily News—MCT via Getty Images

The order indefinitely extends protection that was due to expire in 2017

President Barack Obama on Tuesday listed Alaska’s Bristol Bay as a no-go zone for oil and gas drilling, promising to protect the coastal area’s booming fisheries, as well as preserve a linchpin of Native American heritage.

The bay, home to a $2 billion annual fishing industry, supplies some 40 percent of America’s wild-caught seafood and supports local indigenous communities, the White House said in a press statement. Obama’s order indefinitely extends short-term protection for the area that was granted in 2010 and due to expire in 2017.

The Alaskan region is home to the biggest wild sockeye salmon run in the world, as well as numerous threatened species, including the endangered North Pacific Right Whale.

TIME Companies

Sony Hit with Another Lawsuit by Two Former Employees

An entrance gate to Sony Pictures Entertainment at the Sony Pictures lot is pictured in Culver City
An entrance gate to Sony Pictures Entertainment at the Sony Pictures lot is pictured in Culver City, Calif., on April 14, 2013 Fred Prouser—Reuters

The suit says the company “failed to effectively encrypt sensitive information”

In a suit similar to one filed on Monday, two former Sony employees are suing Sony Pictures Entertainment for not only failing to protect their private information but also putting employees at risk by moving forward with The Interview while knowing it would cause backlash.

In Tuesday’s suit, Susan Dukow and Yvonne Yaconelli claimed that executives had “expressed apprehension” about The Interview, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The suit claims that the original script included a fake villain, but that Sony “specifically” changed the script to make that villain Kim Jong-un.

Dukow and Yaconelli’s lawyer, Neville Johnson, claims that Sony was aware that there was “real and imminent risk of backlash” if they decided to move forward with The Interview, pointing to the Center for Korean-American Peace leader ‘s public criticism of the film, and North Korea’s U.N. ambassador equating it to “an act of war.”

They say “Sony’s actions and inactions related to the forthcoming release of The Interview created an unreasonable risk” that employees’ private information would be exposed.

The suit also addresses the company’s failure to protect private employee information, including their Social Security numbers, salaries, and medical history. It claims that the company was warned “multiple times” that its security policies were inadequate, pointing to several prior instances when the company was hacked, including 2011’s hacking of PlayStation Network.

“Upon information and belief, prior to the Breach, Sony was aware of reports that it was vulnerable to a security threat and that it could do more to reduce specific attacks,” the suit claims. It adds that the company stored thousands of passwords in a file named “password” and “failed to effectively encrypt sensitive information.”

The suit claims that Sony Pictures Entertainment violated the California Data Breach Act, the Constitutional Invasion of Privacy and the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act. Dukow and Yaconelli are seeking unspecified monetary damages.

A rep for Sony did not immediately return EW’s request for comment.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Companies

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Sounds Off on Racism in America

Schultz talks with employees after grand jury announcements in Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is well known for taking a stand on political issues, from veterans rights to overcoming political gridlock (remember those Come Together cups during the debt ceiling debacle and government shutdown?). Over the last few days, he’s stepped into the tricky terrain of racial issues and police brutality, with an impromptu Open Forum at the Starbucks Support center in Seattle, in which he offered Starbucks employees a chance to sound off about their own experiences with racism and racial issues. On Tuesday, he released the highly emotional video from that meeting to all 135,000 Starbucks employees in the U.S., along with a letter (below) provided exclusively to TIME in which he outlined his concern about the economic and political effects of racism and increasing social polarization in America. “I’ve watched with a heavy heart as tragic events and unrest have unfolded across America, from Ferguson, Missouri to New York City to Oakland, California,” wrote Schultz. “I’m deeply saddened by what I have seen, and all too aware of the ripple effect.”

Indeed, it’s an issue I’ve spoken about in depth with Schultz. As I wrote several days ago, Starbucks is a perfect retail proxy for the American economy, which is increasingly bifurcated, a nation of latte buyers and those who sell the coffee. The minute-by-minute data that Starbucks gets on consumer spending is perhaps the most sensitive indicator of U.S. consumer confidence around, so it was startling to hear from Schultz that coffee sales took a hit during the riots in Ferguson, which is something that concerns him not only from the point of view of the economy and U.S. consumers — whom he calls “fragile” — but from a political stability point of view as well. “I don’t want to go into specifics,” Schultz told me the day after riots in New York City, following the announcement that a grand jury would not indict a police officer in the chokehold-related death of Eric Garner, “but I can tell you that the volatile situation in Ferguson and the situation in New York had an immediate negative effect on consumer behavior across the country.” What’s more, Schultz says he believes there’s a growing despondency amongst the public that government officials simply aren’t up to the task of dealing with these issues, something that will have an effect on business and the economy, even in the midst of a so-called “recovery.”

“I talk to other people who are running national retail companies,” says Schultz. “We’re at the heart of the holiday season, and there are protests going on throughout the country, but aside from that, the American people have a fractured level of trust and confidence in government today. That’s a fact. Over the last year, if you track the bar graph of where that [trust] was a year ago and where it is today, it has continued to go down,” he adds. “So I think every consumer business, no matter who you are or what you do, is fighting against the cloud that is hanging over the American people, about how they’re feeling about the country, how they’re feeling about their future — and all of that is directly linked to their lack of faith and confidence and trust in the leadership in Washington.”

Those sentiments mirror some of the political statements Schultz made during his investor conference in Seattle a few days ago, leading to speculation that he may be considering a push into politics, or even contemplating a run as a third-party candidate (Schultz has stopped giving personal political donations out of disgust with both parties). While sources close to him say he’s considered politics in the past, Schultz tells me he feels he can “do more to effect change where I am right now” and isn’t considering a run at the moment.

That said, he won’t shy away from political discussion, and from sounding off on his own experiences. (Schultz, now a billionaire, grew up in the projects in Brooklyn.) He’s planning more Open Forum meetings in the coming weeks to discuss race issues, and beyond that he also has big plans to do more around veterans hiring, youth employment and student debt issues in the coming months.

“If I feel like I can sincerely attack a problem and make a difference, I’m going to jump in and try and do it. There are clearly such significant and substantive problems that need to be addressed, and this long tail, which has been going on for years, is getting to the point where it’s going to have a systemic effect on — forget the national economy, on the country [as a whole]. The conscience of the country. The ability of the country to continue to succeed at the level it once did,” Schultz says. “I came from a family that lived on the other side of the tracks and the American promise and the American dream was available to me; what I think about and what I’m concerned about is, is that going to be possible for those kinds of young people who grew up on the other side of the road today?” It’s a question that even in the midst of an economic recovery is becoming more and more pressing, for citizens, business people and politicians alike.

The full text of Schultz’s letter is below:

To: Starbucks partners; managing directors for company-operated and joint venture markets

Date: December 16, 2014

Re: Message from Howard: It Starts with Conversation

Dear partners,

Like many of you these past weeks, I have watched with a heavy heart as tragic events and unrest have unfolded across America, from Ferguson, Missouri to New York City to Oakland, California. Personally, I am deeply saddened by what I have seen, and all too aware of the ripple effect.

I have asked myself what it means not to be a bystander, as a citizen and as a Starbucks partner. What are our individual and collective responsibilities to our country, as well as to our own company?

Last week, one thing became clear: we cannot continue to come to work every day aware of the difficult and painful experiences facing our nation, and not acknowledge them, together, as a company. Indeed, despite the raw emotion around the events and their underlying racial issues, we at Starbucks should be willing to talk about them internally. Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are.

On Wednesday, December 10, the morning after the protests in Berkeley, California, I called an impromptu Open Forum at our Starbucks Support Center in Seattle. The meeting was strictly internal, solely for Starbucks partners. There was no planning and I did not announce the meeting’s topic. All I knew was that we needed to come together, in a safe space, and have a conversation about what was happening in our nation.

For an hour a microphone was passed from partner to partner. People spoke with grace and emotion. Many shared personal experiences going as far back as childhood, and offered ideas about how to move the conversation, our company and our country forward. People spoke with such conviction and vulnerability. Everyone demonstrated compassion and personal courage. The Forum was at times uncomfortable, yet overall it was enlightening. It provided many of us, myself included, with a deeper understanding around issues of race and the realities facing our country.

What struck me most was how open our partners were to one another. Despite differences in life experiences, people showed civility and respect for the subject matter as well as for each other. I was not surprised, but I was incredibly proud. Wednesday’s Open Forum was the most powerful I’d ever attended in the 25 years that Starbucks has been holding them for our partners around the world. As you watch the video from that Open Forum, you too may agree.

The dialogue did not end once we returned to our work. In an unprecedented outpouring of emails, in our hallways, in my office, in our partner networks, many of you shared more thoughts. Most significantly, you expressed gratitude for having the opportunity to share, to listen and to learn. That sentiment alone made it clear to me that Starbucks could continue to do something we’ve always done: foster community and conversation.

That is why the Leadership Team and I have decided to expand opportunities for civil discourse within Starbucks, among our partner communities. We plan to host internal-only Open Forums around America and will begin in January in Oakland, St. Louis and New York City. Details about these events will be shared in the coming days.

I’ve always believed that core to our success has been our commitment to achieve the balance between our social conscience and responsible commerce. This is one of those times. Starbucks is far from perfect, and we do not claim to have solutions to our country’s complicated social issues. However, doing what is right for society and doing what is right for business cannot be mutually exclusive endeavors. While it is always safer to stand on the sidelines, that is not leadership. Today more than ever companies such as Starbucks must use their platforms and resources to create opportunities for their people, as well as for the communities they serve.

So today, we choose to act in a way that is authentic to us, by nurturing a sense of community and bringing people together through the lens of humanity. At this trying time, it is important for all of us to be open and to be present.

Onward,

Howard

Read next: Inside Starbucks’ Radical New Plan for Luxury Lattes

TIME Companies

American Apparel Fires Dov Charney, Names New CEO

Dov Charney, former CEO of American Apparel.
Dov Charney, former CEO of American Apparel. Keith Bedford—Bloomberg/Getty Images

American Apparel has fired CEO Dov Charney six months after suspending him for alleged misconduct.

The clothing retailer said on Tuesday that it had appointed Paula Schneider, a veteran fashion executive, as his replacement. Schneider has previously worked at clothing group Warnaco and women’s apparel company Big Strike, will take the reins of the struggling clothing retailer on January 5, 2015.

American Apparel says it has terminated Charney, who was removed from the CEO role in June after the company alleged he had misused corporate money and violation of sexual harassment policies. Over the years, Charney has faced repeated accusations of sexually harassing employees and of discriminating against less attractive staff on the grounds that they undermined the corporate aesthetic.

Charney had been serving as a consultant to the company in recent months, but American Apparel said on Tuesday that he has been terminated for cause.

Charney, who founded American Apparel 25 years ago, was initially replaced by interim CEO John Luttrell, who also served as the company’s chief financial officer. But, Luttrell was removed from both roles in September, when turnaround expert Scott Brubaker of restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal took over as the new interim CEO. Brubaker will continue in that role until Schneider takes over in early January.

David Danziger, co-chairman of American Apparel’s board, said in a statement that the retailer “needs a permanent CEO who can bring stability and strong leadership in this time of transition, and we believe Ms. Schneider fits the bill perfectly.”

Once one of the trendier, youth-focused retailers in the industry, American Apparel has seen its sales fall off in recent years. The company’s same-store sales declined 7% last quarter and it reported another net loss.

In a statement, Schneider said “My goal is to make American Apparel a better company, while staying true to its core values of quality and creativity and preserving its sweatshop-free, Made in USA manufacturing philosophy.”

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Companies

Al Franken Blasts ‘Lack of Detail’ in Uber’s Answers to Privacy Questions

"Quite frankly, they did not answer many of the questions I posed directly to them"

Senator Al Franken expressed concern this week with the way Uber’s privacy policies remain unclear, in the wake of criticism over the company’s use of customer data.

I recently pressed Uber to explain the scope, transparency, and enforceability of their privacy policies. While I’m pleased that they replied to my letter, I am concerned about the surprising lack of detail in their response,” Franken said in a statement. The senator chairs the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law.

“Most importantly, it still remains unclear how Uber defines legitimate business purposes for accessing, retaining, and sharing customer data,” Franken said. “I will continue pressing for answers to these questions.”

Franken’s letter, dated Nov. 19, addressed reports that execs had planned to dig up dirt on critical journalists, and that employees had abused Uber’s “God View,” which shows the location of all of Uber’s cars, to spy on riders’ whereabouts. In the letter, Franken listed 10 specific questions, ranging from what happens to customers’ data after they delete their account, to what training is provided to ensure employees abide by company policies.

Uber’s response to Franken’s letter described how the two incidents violated company policy. In particular, Uber clarified its policies regarding “God View,” stating that it is available only to certain employees, such as those working in operations. The company also said that recent press articles have “continued to generate misperceptions about how Uber employees treat the personal data of Uber riders.”

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