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‘New Fox’ focused on being growth company, sources say

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New Fox is focused on being a growth company, sources tell CNBC.

The trimmer version of the news company said in a regulatory filing on Friday that it has “no intention’ of bidding for the regional sports networks that were part of its sale of assets to Disney last year.

The second round of bids for those regional sports networks are due at the end of January, the sources said. Sinclair seems to be the sole bidder. Amazon is not bidding after considering a deal. The private equity firms Blackstone and Apollo had hoped to partner with Fox on a bid, the sources said.

Twenty-first Century Fox sold movie studio and television assets to Disney last year, and the new Fox, run by Lachlan Murdoch, is focused on news. Disney, which owns the sports network ESPN, has said it would sell the regional sports networks acquired in the Fox deal.

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‘Game of Thrones’ star Emilia Clarke opens up about brain bleed attacks

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The actor who plays Daenerys Targaryen, the formidable mother of dragons on “Game of Thrones”, has revealed that she suffered two aneurysms in between filming seasons of the hit show.

Writing in “The New Yorker”, British actor Emilia Clarke opened up about experiencing a life-threatening type of stroke, which happened shortly after the first season of the HBO show had wrapped.

On Thursday, Clarke broke her silence by detailing how she suffered from two aneurysms during her twenties, the first one of which came in 2011 while Clarke was working out at a London gym.

The actress said she suddenly began to feel “shooting, stabbing, constricting pain” and soon after at hospital, was diagnosed with a “life-threatening” subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH); which is triggered by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain.

Many SAH patients can often die immediately, and those who survive need urgent treatment, Clarke wrote. Weeks after her initial surgery, Clarke recalled that she temporarily had trouble remembering her name, and it caused her to go “into a blind panic.”

“In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die. My job — my entire dream of what my life would be — centered on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost,” the actor wrote in “The New Yorker.”

When Clarke returned to shooting the second season of “Game of Thrones”, she still suffered pain and exhaustion. Further, doctors said that they would have to keep careful watch as she had another, smaller, aneurysm on the other side of her brain, which could “remain dormant.”

Two years later, a brain scan revealed that this growth had doubled in size and Clarke had to undergo more operations, after sustaining a bleed on the brain. She said her recovery has been beyond her expectations.

“In the years since my second surgery I have healed beyond my most unreasonable hopes. I am now at a hundred percent.”

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Uber faces fresh legal challenge over driver data

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Uber drivers in the U.K. are filing a lawsuit against the company over allegations the firm has continuously broken European data protection laws.

Four drivers are taking legal action against the ride-hailing giant, claiming the company is “failing to honour its obligations” under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation.

Under GDPR rules, individuals have the right to access personal data held by any company — even their employer. Companies have one month to respond to a request for data, whether it is made verbally or in writing.

In a letter sent to Uber this week, the drivers claimed it had breached the regulations by repeatedly failing to provide them with information, such as the duration of time they spent logged onto the platform, their individual GPS data, and trip ratings.

Speaking to CNBC on the phone Friday, James Farrar — the driver jointly leading the case — said he had been “back and forth” with Uber over his data since July. He alleged that Uber was withholding GPS data that showed the “dead mileage” he accrued on the job, making impossible for him to calculate his hourly wage.

“I can only calculate the hourly pay that they want me to,” he said. “(They’ve given me) trip information that includes start to finish location points, fares and durations for individual journeys, but providing all of my GPS data and log on and off times would allow me to calculate my hourly pay.”

Farrar added that he was “totally” sure Uber was purposely withholding the information.

“Giving us the data will help drivers understand if they can get a better deal or not,” he told CNBC. “I also see lots of drivers being deactivated from the platform for little or no reason and because they’re self-employed there’s no need for due process – if we’re given access to our data we can begin to challenge that.”

Farrar is one of the drivers currently embroiled in a separate case against Uber, in which U.K. drivers are fighting to be legally acknowledged as employees of the company and therefore entitled to rights such as paid holiday and a minimum wage.

In a statement emailed to CNBC, an Uber spokesperson said: “Our privacy team works hard to provide as much information as we can, including explanations when we can’t provide certain data (because) the data doesn’t exist or disclosing it would infringe on the rights of another person under GDPR. Under the law, U.K. citizens also have the right to escalate their concerns by contacting Uber’s Data Protection Officer or the ICO for additional review.”

Ravi Naik, one of the lawyers representing the drivers, said in a press release Thursday that his clients had made “numerous requests” for their data.

“It is regrettable that our clients have had to seek legal advice to assert their rights, rather than Uber simply complying with the law. How they now respond will be a stress-test of Uber’s commitment to data protection,” he said.

The legal action is being backed by Worker Info Exchange, an organization founded by Farrar that campaigns for workers to be given access to data collected by their employers.

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Swedbank board reaffirms support in CEO after money-laundering report

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Swedbank‘s board has continued confidence in the bank’s chief executive after seeing the results of an external report into its alleged involvement in money-laundering in the Baltics, the head of the company’s board said on Friday.

“After reviewing the FRA Update, the board confirms its continued confidence in the CEO and her ability to lead and manage the bank’s work in the fight against money laundering,” Swedbank chairman Lars Idermark said in the statement.

Still, the board said it would also conduct a deeper review in cooperation with the “relevant authorities”, without specifying which ones.

Forensic Risk Alliance (FRA) was hired by Swedbank last month to investigate allegations in the media that at least 40 billion Swedish crowns ($4.3 bln) of suspicious payments moved between accounts held at its Baltic branches and suspect accounts at Danske Bank between 2007-2015.

Swedbank is one of several banks pulled into a widening scandal engulfing Danske Bank, whose Estonian branch was used for some 200 billion euros ($227 billion) of suspicious payments between 2007 and 2015.

The FRA report, published by Swedbank but redacted in parts, focused on the 50 clients identified in a media report by Swedish Television.

It did not include findings of a previous internal and undisclosed report or cover allegations made by activist fund manager Bill Browder.

Swedbank said it would continue to strengthen its anti money-laundering capabilities.

“I have also decided to establish a specialized Financial Crime Intelligence Unit to secure a continued focused approach as criminal behaviour develops over time,” Swedbank CEO Birgitte Bonnesen said in the statement.

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