Governments around the world want more information from Twitter, which is under growing pressure to release users’ private information. Twitter’s semi-annual transparency report says requests from governments rose 40 percent in the first six months of this year. Most of the demands came from government agencies in the US. The San Francisco-based company says 1,157 requests for data covering 1,697 users were made, and that attempts to censor its content have risen sharply. The largest number of cases were in Brazil, where courts ordered the removal of more than three dozen defamatory tweets.
The court battle over who can sell Martha Stewart merchandise continues today. Attorneys for Macy’s and JC Penney are due back in a New York State court after a three-month break to present closing arguments in a contract dispute. A ruling could come as soon as tomorrow. The arguments put the CEOs of both companies and Martha Stewart herself on the stand. The case centers on whether Macy’s has exclusive rights to sell certain Martha Stewart merchandise, including bath items and kitchenware. Macy’s sued Penney and Martha Stewart for violating an exclusive deal.
New car sales continue to rise. General Motors, Ford and other automakers are set to release strong July car sales numbers today. A boom in leasing and more lending by banks is helping to fuel the recent boom. So far 2013′s new car sales are running about 15 percent ahead of last year. Alec Gutierrez senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book tells ABC News Radio: “We’re expecting to see continued strong sales of pickup trucks and compact SUVs.” Consumers are replacing old cars, he says. “We’re also seeing a number of small businesses jump back in the market to purchase full-sized pick-up trucks.” A rise in home values is one reason why more people feel they can now afford a new car.
The energy services company Halliburton has been arraigned on a charge that it destroyed evidence following BP’s 2010 Gulf oil spill. Lawyers for the company entered a plea of not guilty to one count of destruction of evidence in federal court in New Orleans. But they say Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty at a future date as part of a plea deal. The firm was BP’s cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded.
A Rhode Island firm is the high bidder in an auction to build a wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. It’s the first time the federal government has sold competitive leases for wind energy on the outer continental shelf.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio Twitter: daviesabc