Most people driving through Napa County, California’s famed wine region, see only beauty. Steven Burgess sees something different. Spotting clumps of juniper along the edge of a multimillion dollar property, he calls out the combustible shrub’s local nickname: “green gasoline!”
The 49-year-old volunteer firefighter and former vintner is giving the Financial Times a history tour, pointing out the scars of mega blazes that have intensified here and around the world over the past decade, capturing global attention and concern.
Lina Khan took charge of the US Federal Trade Commission on the promise of recasting the debate on anti-competitive behaviour in the Big Tech era. Her agency’s lawsuit this week to stop Meta from buying a small start-up is the first major act to put that philosophy to the test.
Amazon has stepped up plans to crack the QVC-style livestream shopping market as the $1tn ecommerce giant aims to replicate the success of social media rivals in an attempt to revive flagging online sales.
The group has been increasing investment in Amazon Live, a platform it quietly launched in 2019 but is now a central focus as it fights to grab a slice of a growing market that is viewed as the future of shopping by social media platforms. This year, the company has hosted at least four events designed to attract more influencers to its platform, including a glitzy retreat at a Mexican beach resort.
To the top names, it has offered up generous bonuses: thousands of dollars in added incentives to stream live on Amazon instead of elsewhere, according to leading influencer agencies.
The Tadich Grill, the oldest restaurant in California, has stared down a crisis or two: earthquakes; several recessions; Covid-19. Founded in 1849, its current home on California Street puts it in the heart of the city’s downtown Financial District, known as “FiDi”. And it is ground zero in the city’s struggle to get people back to work.
Jure Bracanović, one of the white-coated waiters, says the restaurant, like others nearby, has suffered as the lunch and dinner crowd switched to working from home, and convention business collapsed. The stream of delegates at tech events has almost entirely evaporated, in part due to the perception the city’s streets are “dangerous”, he says.