The Cutline
  • (Apple)

    Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and technology industry visionary, has died. He was 56.

    Apple's statement to customers:

    Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

    Visitors to Apple's homepage were greeted with a large black-and-white image of Jobs (above) adjacent to the dates of his life span: "1955-2011." And flags are flying at half-staff at Apple's Cupertino, Calif., campus.

    Here's a brief statement issued by the company's board of directors:

    We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve. His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.

    Here's the statement from Jobs' family:

    Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.

    In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve's illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.

    We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.

    And one from President Barack Obama:

    Read More »from Steve Jobs: 1955-2011
  • (AP)

    At first, the Occupy Wall Street protesters complained that the media were not covering the movement. Now protesters are complaining that the media are not taking it seriously enough.

    Two of the protesters, however, have taken an old-school approach to get their message across--launching the Occupied Wall Street Journal, a free print publication, with more than $46,000 in donations on Kickstarter.

    The first issue quickly ran out of its 50,000 issue print-run when it hit Zuccotti Park on Saturday. The paper's editors--Jed Brandt and Michael Levitin--ordered a second printing of 20,000 copies on Monday night, and are planning publishing a second issue on Thursday. Brandt did not immediately respond to a message sent through the group's Kickstarter page.

    While the protest paper appears to be the only publication dedicated to Occupy Wall Street, the founders emphasize that the paper "is not the 'official' media of the occupation -- there is no official media!"

    Ironically, the Occupied Journal was covered by the real Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

    Read More »from Protesters plan more ‘Occupied Wall Street Journal’ issues with Kickstarter cash
  • Knox in Seattle on Oct. 4, 2011. (AP/Elaine Thompson)

    The media has found a fresh pursuit to punctuate its recent frenzy over the Amanda Knox verdict: the race to get the first post-release interview with the American college student, recently released on murder charges in Italy.

    Both ABC and NBC are said to be pushing hard for a sit-down with Knox, whose family has said it is nearly bankrupt from the more than $1 million in legal fees related to the case.

    "I don't even look at how deep the financial hole is," Edda Mellas, Knox's mother, said last week. "When Amanda gets out we'll think about that." Elizabeth Huff, Knox's grandmother, took out a $250,000 loan.

    All of which could present a delicate situation for the outlets pursuing a Knox exclusive, given that the practice of paying for interviews has come under fire.

    In July, ABC News said it would stop paying licensing fees for photos and videos in the case of exclusive bookings--a common arrangement in the television industry--after the network's payments to Casey Anthony and others were criticized. (ABC paid Anthony more than $200,000 in licensing fees in 2008, before she was charged with murdering her two-year-old daughter; Anthony was acquitted earlier this year.) ABC executives told the Daily Beast that the new policy was "not an absolute ban" but that it "would take an extraordinary circumstance to allow a licensing fee—perhaps once every couple of years—that would require approval at the highest levels."

    Is Knox an extraordinary circumstance?

    "No," a spokeswoman for ABC News told The Cutline. The network, she said, will not loosen the new strictures on paying for interviews just because of the Knox family's large legal debt.

    Read More »from Why there won’t be an uproar if news outlets pay for Amanda Knox interviews

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  • China closes 66 'illegal' golf courses
    China closes 66 'illegal' golf courses

    China's Communist rulers have turned against the exclusive sport of golf with the government saying nearly 70 "illegal" courses have been closed, seemingly enforcing a decade-old ban for the first time. The announcement by the ministry of land and resources comes amid a high-profile anti-graft campaign spearheaded by President Xi Jinping, which has seen crackdowns on banquets, lavish gift-giving and other official excesses. The ruling Communist Party has long had an ambivalent relationship with golf, which is a lucrative opportunity for local authorities and a favoured pastime of some officials, but is also closely associated with wealth and Western elites. "Presently, local governments have shut down a number of illegally-built golf courses, and preliminary results have been achieved in clean-up and rectification work," read the announcement on the ministry's website late Monday.

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