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NYC sues Hyundai and Kia over car thefts

A surge in Kia and Hyundai thefts began last year after viral videos appeared on social media sites showing how to exploit the lack of antitheft computer chips in the cars.Justin Sullivan/Getty


NYC sues Hyundai and Kia over car thefts

New York City has filed a lawsuit against Hyundai and Kia, joining a host of other cities beset by a social media fueled wave of car thefts due to a flaw that made some car models highly susceptible to theft. Viral how-to videos on TikTok and other sites show how to start the cars using only USB cables and a screwdriver. The reason is that some models sold by Hyundai and Kia in the United States came without engine immobilizers, a standard feature on most cars since the 1990s that prevent the engine from starting unless the key is present. The lawsuit, which was filed with the US District Court in the Southern District of New York late Tuesday, alleges that Hyundai Motor America and Kia America Inc. failed to keep up with other automakers by not adopting immobilizer technology that ensured car ignitions could not be started without their keys. The New York City police department reports that about 287 Kias were stolen last year, compared with approximately 119 in 2021. Approximately 415 Hyundais were reported stolen in 2022, compared with 232 a year earlier. And the problem has continued, with an estimated 977 Hyundai and Kia vehicles reported stolen in the first four months of this year. There were only 148 such thefts in the same months last year. New York, the nation’s biggest city by population, joins a growing list of cities going after the carmakers following a raft of thefts, including Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Milwaukee, San Diego, and Seattle. Last month Hyundai and Kia reached a settlement to resolve a class-action lawsuit prompted by a surge in vehicle thefts. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Goldman Sachs looking to sell Ireland’s biggest mall at a loss

Goldman Sachs is weighing a sale of Ireland’s largest shopping mall for less than the value they acquired it for just over two years ago. The US investment bank is seeking about €650 million ($695 million) for the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre in west Dublin, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because it is private. Goldman acquired the asset from Blackstone when it was valued at about €750 million in late 2020. The Irish Times reported the sale plans earlier. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



LA Times to cut 10 percent of newsroom jobs

The Los Angeles Times is cutting more than 10 percent of its newsroom jobs, its executive editor, Kevin Merida, said Wednesday. In an e-mail to staff, Merida said the company was restructuring and would eliminate 74 roles as a result. A spokesperson for the news organization, Hillary Manning, said about 500 people would remain. “The restructuring stems from the same persistent economic headwinds facing news media across the country,” Merida said in the e-mail, which was obtained by The New York Times. The Los Angeles Times is owned by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a billionaire biotech entrepreneur, and his wife, Michele B. Chan, who bought the paper and other publications in 2018 from Tribune for $500 million. Soon-Shiong invested in the newsroom, adding around 150 journalists. — NEW YORK TIMES

FILE - Local residents sing a theme song written by protesters "Glory to Hong Kong" at a shopping mall in Hong Kong on Sept. 11, 2019. Hong Kong’s government said Tuesday, June 6, 2023, it is seeking a court order to prohibit people from broadcasting or distributing the protest song “Glory to Hong Kong” after it was mistakenly played as the city’s anthem at several international sporting events in the past year.Vincent Yu/Associated Press


Hong Kong residents make protest song the leader on iTunes

Hong Kongers rushed to download a song associated with the 2019 protests after the government sought to get the courts to outlaw the unofficial anthem. Variations of “Glory to Hong Kong” accounted for all of the top 10 slots on Apple Inc.’s iTunes charts in the city on Wednesday. The justice department on Monday applied for a court injunction to ban anyone with criminal intent from “broadcasting, performing, printing, publishing, selling, offering for sale, distributing, disseminating, displaying, or reproducing” the song. “Glory to Hong Kong” caused a showdown between the government and Alphabet Inc.’s Google last year after it appeared at the top of searches for Hong Kong’s national anthem, instead of China’s “March of the Volunteers.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Omega employees accused of faking watch that sold for more than $3 million

Swiss watchmaker Omega alleged three former employees were involved in a criminal plot that resulted in the sale of a faked Speedmaster at auction for more than $3 million. The timepiece, an Omega Speedmaster with ‘Broad Arrow’ hands from 1957, was in fact a “Frankenstein” watch, composed of an amalgam of mostly authentic parts from other vintage watches, the Biel, Switzerland-based company said in a statement in response to questions from Bloomberg. The timepiece sold for just over 3.1 million Swiss francs ($3.3 million) through auctioneer Phillips in November of 2021, the highest price ever paid for a Speedmaster at auction. The watch was purchased by Omega itself, the company said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Amazon to allow US retailers to offer buy now, pay later

Amazon will allow eligible US retailers using the online retail giant’s Amazon Pay service to offer Affirm’s buy now, pay later product under a new agreement between the two companies. The service, known as Adaptive Checkout, offers biweekly and monthly payment options for purchases of more than $50 with annual percentage rates starting at zero, according to a statement Wednesday. Millions of customers using Amazon and the Amazon mobile app already have access to the pay-over-time service, the companies said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


The BBC sign is seen outside the entrance of the company's headquarters on July 19, 2017, in London. Frank Augstein/Associated Press


BBC, British Airways hit by attack

Britain’s cybersecurity agency on Wednesday urged companies to be vigilant after the BBC, British Airways, and other firms said their employees’ personal details may have been compromised in a software hack. The companies were the first major victims after hackers successfully breached a popular file transfer software called MOVEit. The Clop ransomware group, thought to be based in Russia, has threatened on its dark Web site that stolen data, including personal details such as names and home addresses, could be published. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Google starts AI consulting unit

Google’s cloud-computing unit will begin offering consulting services to help clients use generative artificial intelligence as businesses across industries seek to capitalize on the wave of interest in the new technology. Google Cloud will provide advice and tools for customers to harness AI to identify trends, summarize information, boost automation, and generate content, the company said Wednesday. Generative AI powers chatbots such as ChatGPT and image maker Dall-E produce text, images, or video by responding to prompts from users. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Volvo unveils small, electric SUV

Volvo has unveiled its new entry-level SUV, the Volvo EX30. The all-electric vehicle is the fourth EV from the Sweden-based automaker and its lightest, most compact SUV to date. With a starting price of $34,950, the EX30 notably does not charge a premium over internal combustion vehicles of similar power output. (Volvo’s gasoline-powered XC40, for instance, costs $36,350.) It is expected to contribute significantly to Volvo’s profitability as the automaker moves to make half its vehicles fully electric by 2025 and to sell only EVs by 2030. — BLOOMBERG NEWS