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Boeing

The Boeing Company reached an agreement with the US Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday that requires it to pay at least $17 million in penalties, after the Chicago-based manufacturer installed equipment with unapproved sensors in hundreds of 737 Max and NG aircraft.

“Keeping the flying public safe is our primary responsibility,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “That is not negotiable, and the FAA will hold Boeing and the aviation industry accountable to keep our skies safe.”

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The settlement comes as the FAA seeks to step up its scrutiny of airline production and safety. In February, the Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s office said the FAA needed to strengthen its aircraft review process and issued a 55-page report detailing how the agency had misunderstood the 737 Max’s MCAS flight control system. Though not related to today’s settlement, that system was ultimately blamed for two crashes that, combined, killed 346 people.

In addition to the penalties, Boeing has agreed to take a number of corrective actions, including measures meant to ensure future compliance with FAA regulations and to reduce the chance that Boeing again submits aircraft with nonconforming parts for airworthiness certification. If Boeing fails to comply within 30 days, the FAA will direct the company to pay up to $10.1 million in additional penalties.

“We take our responsibility to meet all regulatory requirements very seriously,” a Boeing spokesperson told CNET. “These penalties stem from issues that were raised in 2019 and which we fully resolved in our production system and supply chain. We continue to devote time and resources to improving safety and quality performance across our operations. This includes ensuring that our teammates understand all requirements and comply with them in every way.”

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If you’re flying with American Airlines through July 15, be prepared.


American Airlines

American Airlines is canceling some flights through mid-July due to a surge in travel demand as the pandemic fades in the US, as earlier reported by CNN. Weather and labor shortages are factoring into the cancellations as well, a spokesperson said.

The airline apparently had 120 cancellations on Saturday and expects to cancel 50 to 80 flights each day. If you’re due to fly with the airline through July 15, you should already have a notification if your flight has been canceled.

For context, American Airlines confirmed it had a total of 5,930 flights scheduled for Monday.

“The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights and disruptions to crew member schedules and our customers’ plans,” a spokesperson said in a statement emailed to CNET. 

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“That, combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp-up of customer demand, has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July.”

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella speaks at a Microsoft event in 2019.


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Microsoft’s board of directors this week voted to appoint CEO Satya Nadella as the chairman of the board, making him even more influential in steering one of the world’s tech giants.

In a press release, Microsoft said the board unanimously elected Nadella to the new position. He replaces John Thompson, who will move into a lead independent director role, on the heels of a blockbuster fiscal year — and as the company approaches a $2 trillion market capitalization. Apple has been the only company to reach that value.

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Microsoft has a typically busy year ahead of it, starting with its expected unveiling of a redesigned Windows operating system next week. The company is also in the midst of rolling out its newest gaming systems, the Xbox Series X and Series S — which have sold out within hours of nearly every restock since last year.

Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook and President Donald Trump in March 2019

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks with President Donald Trump during a meeting at the White House in March 2019.


Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trump administration officials subpoenaed Apple for data from at least a dozen people connected to the House Intelligence Committee in an attempt to root out the source of leaks of classified information, The New York Times reported this week. The targets included at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, aides and family members — one of whom was a minor.

Prosecutors, who seized the records in 2017 and early 2018, were searching for the source of media leaks about contacts between Trump associates and Russia, the Times reported. Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, then the panel’s top Democrat, was one of the members of Congress targeted, sources told the newspaper.

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Apple provided metadata and account information, but not photos, emails or other content, a person familiar with the inquiry told the Times. Ultimately, the data subpoenaed didn’t tie the committee to the leaks, the newspaper reported.

The report follows recent revelations that former President Donald Trump’s administration had secretly obtained phone and email records from a number of journalists, including reporters for CNN and the Washington Post. President Joe Biden said last month he had directed the Justice Department to end the practice of seizing phone or email records of reporters.

As it did with the news organizations, the Justice Department obtained a gag order that prevented Apple from disclosing the subpoenas, a source told the Times. Lawmakers only learned of the probe last month from Apple, after the gag order had expired, the newspaper reported.

Schiff called the investigation “baseless” and said it highlighted how Trump used the system to target political enemies.

“This baseless investigation, while now closed, is yet another example of Trump’s corrupt weaponization of justice,” Schiff said in a tweet Thursday evening.

Trump repeatedly demanded the DOJ go after his political enemies.

It’s clear his demands didn’t fall on deaf ears.

 

This baseless investigation, while now closed, is yet another example of Trump’s corrupt weaponization of justice.

And how much he imperiled our democracy.

— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 11, 2021

Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, another prominent Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, told CNN on Thursday evening he had been notified that his data was seized as part of the probe. Representatives for Swalwell, a longtime critic of Trump, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple typically receives thousands of requests each year for individual data from governments and private parties in litigation around the world. In April, the company reported that requests it received in 2020 had targeted 171,368 devices, a drop of 12% from the same time in 2019. Apple provided the information requested 80% of the time.

Representatives for Apple and the Justice Department didn’t respond to a request for comment. On Friday, however, Apple said it didn’t know that the DOJ’s subpoena targeted Democrats‘ data. The subpoena sought data belonging to a seemingly random collection of email addresses and phone numbers and “provided no information on the nature of the investigation,” a company spokesman told CNBC in a statement. “It would have been virtually impossible for Apple to understand the intent of the desired information without digging through users’ accounts.”

CNBC also reported Friday that Microsoft received a similar DOJ subpoena. “In this case, we were prevented from notifying the customer for more than two years because of a gag order,” the company told the news outlet in a statement. “As soon as the gag order expired, we notified the customer who told us they were a congressional staffer. We then provided a briefing to the representative’s staff following that notice. We will continue to aggressively seek reform that imposes reasonable limits on government secrecy in cases like this.” 

Also on Friday, the Justice Department’s independent inspector general opened an investigation into the subpoena for the data, The New York Times reported.

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