Elon Musk, pictured in a 2013 archive photo at the Dublin Web Summit, cedes chair of the board of Tesla to Robyn Denholm Photo: Web Summit/Flickr
Tesla appoints woman as board chair, possible Facebook tax probe by European competition commissioner and 12 killed in LA mass shooting. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
Tesla leadership switch
Electric car maker Tesla has appointed Australian businesswoman Robyn Denholm as chair of its board, replacing founder Elon Musk, The Guardian reports. US financial regulators forced the change to settle fraud allegations against Musk. Musk remains chief executive. He agreed to step down for three years and pay a fine in a settlement reached with the Securities and Exchange Commission in September after he tweeted about taking the firm into private ownership. The New York Times cited professor Erik Gordon who questioned whether Denholm, a Musk supporter, would be able to “push back against a personality like Mr Musk”.
Tax probe turns to Ireland
EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager may open a probe into Facebook’s European tax arrangements as part of investigations into sweetheart tax deals, Politico reports. Vestager’s crackdown since 2014 saw Luxembourg claim back millions in unpaid taxes from Amazon and Engie. Sources close to the commissioner say that her team has seized documents related to Facebook’s tax arrangements in Ireland. The Irish Independent focused on the planned EU tax on big tech firms, in which Ireland stands to lose up to €160m per year, saying it had been “fended off for now amid opposition”.
Mass shooting in California
A veteran marine is suspected of opening fire on a crowd in a packed bar in an LA suburb on Wednesday, killing 12 people. Reuters identified the gunman as 28-year-old Ian David Long, who was found dead after apparently shooting himself. Officers had visited the man’s home in April following a disturbance. The New York Times interviewed survivors of the shooting which took place at a Thousand Oaks bar, some of who survived a shooting a year earlier at a country music festival in Las Vegas. The Guardian, meanwhile, focused on the community response to the mass shooting, demanding stricter gun control laws.
The Washington Post focused its attention on a manipulated video tweeted by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, to justify the withdrawal of CNN journalist Jim Acosta’s press credentials. They cite experts who say the video footage of Acosta refusing the press aide’s attempt to take a microphone was doctored to “exaggerate the aggressiveness” of his actions. The video also deleted Acosta’s comment “Pardon me, ma’am” as he continued to question the president about the migrant caravan.
A Saudi think tank is studying what would happen to oil markets if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) did not exist, Bloomberg reports. The study’s goal is to see what happens if there’s no spare oil capacity, a researcher told the newspaper. Meawhile, Oilprice.com said Saudi Arabia and Russia would explore the possibility of a production cut for 2019, a move intended to head off a renewed supply glut and stabilise the past month’s price decline.
The number of children being born to women has dropped globally, BBC news reports, saying the findings came as a “huge surprise” to researchers. The rate fell from 4.7 children in 1950 to 2.4 children in 2017. The “baby bust” could have profound consequences for societies with more grandparents than grandchildren.