Chicago grocery chain Treasure Island Foods to shut down after 55 years

The longtime family-owned Chicago grocery chain Treasure Island Foods informed employees last week that it will permanently shut down its six remaining locations next month.

“As you have recently found out, we made the very difficult decision to wind down operations as a company,” Treasure Island CEO and president Maria Kamberos said in a note sent to workers on Wednesday.

“We are sorry it has had to come to this point and we know how detrimental this is to each and every one of you and your families. We have done everything we could to attempt to get the company on solid ground to try to operate for another 55 years,” Kamberos said in the note, which was shared on social media. “Unfortunately, given the current industry conditions, it has been impossible for us to continue to operate without losing money.”

Managers at several Treasure Island locations referred questions to the company’s corporate officers, who did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

A representative from the Streeterville location said the chain would shut down Oct. 12, according to The Chicago Maroon, the University of Chicago’s student newspaper which first reported Treasure Island’s pending closure. Prices on remaining inventory at the Hyde Park location were slated to be cut in half.

In addition to the Streeterville and Hyde Park stores, Treasure Island has anchored locations in Lake View, Gold Coast, Old Town and Wilmette. Their Lincoln Park operation went out of business earlier this month, and the company recently had apparently pulled out of a planned location at an Uptown development.

Founder Christ Kamberos was born on the West Side to Greek immigrants, and his father sold produce out of a cart, sparking an interest in the grocery business that never waned, according to a Chicago Sun-Times obituary following his death in 2009 at age 83.

Christ Kamberos opened the first Treasure Island Foods store on Broadway near Cornelia with his brothers in 1963, building up the chain’s reputation by traveling the world to bring unusual organic produce to Chicagoans.

The Sun-Times obituary noted that legendary celebrity chef Julia Child once described his family’s store as “America’s most European supermarket.”

Kamberos was remembered as a curious innovator always on the lookout for the next big thing in food, though he didn’t always succeed. Organic produce wasn’t a hit when he introduced it in the 1970s.

“We were ready, but the people were not,” the chain’s vice president of operations Lee Zarras said in 2009. Organic produce “didn’t look as good as the conventional stuff.”

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Elon Musk Steps Down as Tesla’s Chairman in Settlement With SEC

Elon Musk, under pressure from his lawyers and investors of Tesla, the company he co-founded, reached a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Saturday to resolve securities fraud charges. The settlement will force Mr. Musk to step aside as chairman for three years and pay a $20 million fine.

The S.E.C. announced the deal two days after it sued Mr. Musk in federal court for misleading investors over his post on Twitter last month that he had “funding secured” for a buyout of the electric-car company at $420 a share.

The deal with the S.E.C. will allow him to remain as chief executive, something he could have jeopardized if he had gone to battle with the agency.

It is not clear why Mr. Musk changed his mind so quickly.

People familiar with the situation, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said lawyers for Mr. Musk and the company moved to reopen the talks with the S.E.C. on Friday. During that time, one of Tesla’s lawyers became instrumental in securing a deal with the S.E.C., according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The whipsaw events of the past few days followed a series of self-inflicted wounds by Mr. Musk.

His tweet about taking his company private, along with attacks on critics on social media, raised concerns with investors about whether Mr. Musk has become too focused on criticism from so-called short-sellers who had been making bets against him and Tesla. The company has recently been struggling to meet audacious production goals for its Model 3 sedan.

Mr. Musk is widely regarded by analysts and investors as the creative engine behind Tesla, and he has helped the company become one of the most valuable American carmakers. But Tesla has lurched from crisis to crisis over the past year, and has since scrambled to contain the fallout from Mr. Musk’s tweet.

The company, whose shares have been hit hard since the S.E.C. filed the lawsuit, did not immediately comment on the settlement. On Friday, its stock dropped almost 14 percent.

The terms of the settlement are slightly tougher than those that two people briefed on the talks said Mr. Musk had rejected on Thursday, which called for a two-year bar on serving as chairman and a $10 million fine.

Tesla, which is also settling with the S.E.C., will pay a $20 million penalty. The company was not charged with any fraud.

In addition, the company will add two independent directors and take steps to monitor Mr. Musk’s communications with investors. It will also create a permanent committee of independent directors to monitor disclosures and potential conflicts of interest.

Jay Clayton, the S.E.C. chairman, said the settlement with Mr. Musk and Tesla sent a message that “when companies and corporate insiders make statements, they must act responsibly, including endeavoring to ensure the statements are not false or misleading.”

In settling, Mr. Musk neither admitted nor denied misleading investors under the civil fraud charge, which means he cannot later say he did nothing wrong.

The settlement with the S.E.C. faulted Tesla for failing to make sure that information important to investors was disclosed in a proper and timely manner.

Mr. Musk had a good reason to reopen the settlement talks: The S.E.C., in suing him, had sought to bar him permanently from serving as a top executive or officer of Tesla or any other public company. Under the deal reached on Saturday, he will not only remain as chief executive, but will also stay on as a board member, just not as chairman.

“The total package of remedies and relief announced today are specifically designed to address the misconduct at issue by strengthening Tesla’s corporate governance and oversight in order to protect investors,” said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the S.E.C.’s enforcement division.

Mr. Musk, according to people familiar with the negotiations, had been concerned about whether settling a civil fraud charge might affect the ability of Tesla and the other companies he runs, including SpaceX and the Boring Company, to raise money from investors in private placements and the debt markets.

But a Tesla spokesman said the S.E.C. had granted waivers to all of those companies so his settlement would not be held against them.

Waivers in such a situation are not uncommon, legal experts have said.

A Tesla spokesman said that Mr. Musk, a billionaire, would be buying $20 million in Tesla stock. The amount of stock being bought by Mr. Musk matches the penalty the company has to pay under the settlement, which was filed in federal court in Manhattan.

The S.E.C. reacted quickly after the Aug. 7 tweet, which caused an immediate surge in Tesla shares. Regulators served a subpoena on the company seeking information and moved to take testimony from Mr. Musk and others at the company, people familiar with the matter said.

Negotiations toward an initial settlement began about a week ago, after the S.E.C. said it was planning to send an official notice to Mr. Musk and Tesla that it was considering filing an enforcement action, those briefed on the talks said. By their account, all the parties thought a deal had been reached by Wednesday evening, and the plan was for a settlement with Mr. Musk and Tesla to be announced on Thursday.

Mr. Musk was said to have backed away from a settlement, in part, because he was concerned that he could not later tell investors that he had not done nothing wrong. But the settlement on Saturday requires him to do that.

In a so-called “admit nor deny” settlement, a settling party cannot later disavow the terms of the settlement.

After Mr. Musk was said to have rejected the deal on Thursday, his lawyers asked the S.E.C. to wait a couple of days so they could talk him into it, but the regulators said no, said another person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly.

Once the S.E.C. sued Mr. Musk, his lawyers continued to talk to him about moving forward with a settlement and eventually he agreed, this person said.

In the meantime, Mr. Musk had conversations with investors and friends like Mark Cuban, an entrepreneur who has had his own battles with the S.E.C., and they gave him a sense of how difficult it is to fight one of these suits, even if he eventually won, said people familiar with the negotiations.

The parties worked much of Friday and Saturday to get a deal done.

The settlement clears a big headache for Tesla, but other problems remain.

The S.E.C. is continuing to look into the company’s past claims about its production goals. And now with Mr. Musk agreeing to step down as chairman, Tesla’s board must decide who should replace him.

Emily Flitter, David Gelles and Andrew Ross Sorkin contributed reporting.

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On Crowded London Streets, Councils Fight a Flood of Phone Boxes

LONDON — The British telephone box is not dead yet. In parts of central London, a box stands sentinel every 100 feet — and if phone companies got their way, they’d plant one every 50 feet.

But these are not the red cast-iron cubicles that for generations were emblems of Britain. Instead, critics say, they are eyesores, covered in digital ad screens and capable of being turned into surveillance posts.

Worst of all, perhaps, some are being imported from New York.

The result is a battle over Britain’s public space, waged between local city planners and telecommunications firms. The most contentious fight is in Westminster, in the heart of London, where new phone kiosks are being squished between construction barriers and bus stops on crowded streets.

The classic red booths, with domed roofs and molded royal crowns, were rendered obsolete by the rise of mobile phones. Yet, phone companies never relinquished their rights to the sidewalk. Under British rules that have effectively been in place since before the iPhone existed, phone boxes are still considered vital infrastructure, and companies with proper licenses can keep building them so long as local councils cannot credibly object to the particular site or design.

And so the phone companies set about to put up a new kind of booth: two-sided digital displays with internet connectivity and touch-screen maps that flash craft beer and credit card ads — and also have a phone attached.

“A lot of them are advertising totems with a telephone handset on it,” said John Walker, the director of planning for Westminster City Council. “They’re just a blot on the landscape.”

Some councils are being flooded with phone box proposals at numbers 900 percent higher than a few years ago, according to an association of councils in England and Wales. Companies have submitted proposals for 300 new and replacement kiosks in the last two years in Westminster alone, where the boxes already stand six to a block on a stretch of busy Edgware Road.

The councils are lobbying the central government to change the law.

Critics call the profusion of high-tech, advertising-centric booths — kiosks, in the new parlance of phone companies — one piece of a broader sell-off of Britain’s public space. The phone boxes passed from public into private hands in the 1980s when British Telecom was privatized under Margaret Thatcher and its monopoly over the booths ended.

Now, with austerity measures slashing maintenance budgets and leaving streets gashed with potholes, councils are also contending with proposals for what they call glorified billboards.

Some of the proposals in Westminster are for traditional booths with a wall for advertising. Others, like the New York imports, called InLink kiosks, are sleek-looking internet-connected posts with touch-screen maps and electronic signs that flash at passers-by while also, privacy advocates say, harvesting data from their phones. They’re a collaboration between BT, the descendant of British Telecom; Intersection, a smart cities firm with links to Google’s parent company, Alphabet; and an outdoor advertising giant.

Planning documents say the InLink kiosks are expected to be able to “anonymously monitor” things like “pedestrian movement,” raising concern that they can follow anyone whose phone passes within Wi-Fi range. The kiosks also come equipped with cameras, though BT says they have not yet been turned on.

“The infrastructure for building a surveillance network is being installed on British streets,” said Adrian Short, a data analyst who has built a web portal to track InLink applications. “And councils either don’t have or don’t feel they have the right to refuse them.”

The new boxes would join or, in some cases, replace a hodgepodge of grimy 1990s-era phone boxes already on the street.

And because each of London’s 33 local authorities deals separately with planning, it falls to teams of local planners to sift through stacks of phone box proposals.

Mr. Walker said they arrive at his Westminster office in paper stacks dozens at a time, sometimes just before the Christmas holiday. Then the clock starts ticking: 56 days until, in the absence of an objection from the council, the phone company has the right to start work.

Establishing credible objections is a laborious process, forcing planners to solicit input from nearby businesses and traffic specialists. The phone companies often promise to remove two 1990s-era boxes for every new one they add, but Mr. Walker said Westminster did not want any, period.

Matthew Carmona, a professor of planning and urban design at University College London, said the situation “has, in a way, caught policymakers by surprise.” After removing phone boxes that fell into disuse with the rise of mobile phones, he said, “the phone companies have realized they can make money from them in a different way, and in doing that they can bypass any regulations.”

The spread of the phone boxes has also exposed the drawbacks of London’s fragmented planning system. Accommodations for the visually impaired, for example, differ in each of London’s boroughs.

Sarah Gaventa, a former design adviser to the British government, said a public art project she was working on had required dozens of applications to seven different local authorities, a barrier that she said did not exist in other major European cities.

New York City, faced with corner after corner of disused pay phones, took a different tack. It solicited proposals for a custom-designed phone box, and though problems have cropped up with the internet-connected kiosks, the city is now expected to earn half a billion dollars over 12 years from its cut of the advertising revenue.

London, on the other hand, has largely been left to watch as rival companies vie for space on the streets.

By replacing old booths with internet-connected kiosks, the phone companies say they are decluttering streets and giving Britons and tourists alike modern tools for navigating the city, resulting in more calls and frequent use of the touch screens. Neil Scoresby, BT’s general manager for pay phones and InLink, said the company complied with planning laws and, on occasion, agreed to remove a box a council didn’t want.

InLink said the company only stores unique identifiers for people’s phones after they sign up for the service and does not currently track pedestrian movement.

Westminster City Council has rejected around 175 applications for additional or replacement phone boxes over the past two years. But the phone companies can appeal to a government planning inspector to erect them anyway.

Now, the Westminster council is seeking broader powers. It filed a claim in the High Court of Justice in August seeking to force the planning inspector to consider, beyond the site and appearance of new boxes, whether there was a need for them.

Mr. Walker said the Westminster council has a better idea about what to add when old phone boxes get yanked out: “We’d rather have a tree,” he said.

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Here’s how many scooters Lime launched in Bloomington



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Nathan Hasse, Indianapolis Operations Manager with Lime Scooters, talks about the return of the scooter to Indy streets.
Kelly Wilkinson, kelly.wilkinson@indystar.com

Lime scooters has officially launched in Bloomington.

Saturday morning, Lime deployed 450 electric scooters in the city and near the Indiana University Bloomington campus. Lime city launcher Lauren Bell said none have been specifically placed on the IU campus, but users are allowed to ride them on campus.

For each launch, Bell said Lime employs people living in the new city to learn more about ideal places to start the scooters. This morning, Bell said she helped unload the scooters near bike racks around the city.

“People were taking them right out of the van,” she said. “We couldn’t get them out fast enough.”

Bloomington is no stranger to the growing electric scooter trend. Bird scooters first launched in the city on Sept. 13.

“Bloomington is a forward-thinking city that shares Bird’s mission of getting cars off the road to reduce traffic and carbon emissions,” a Bird spokesperson said in an email to IndyStar. “In our time here, we have been inspired by how willing the community is to trade short car trips for Bird rides.”

Chuck Carney, an Indiana University Bloomington spokesperson, said students quickly took to the mobility option on the sprawling Bloomington campus.

How to ride the scooters: An IndyStar reporter tries it out
Bird vs. Lime: Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to scoot

“They’re well used by the students,” Carney said. “As soon as they appeared here the students picked up on it right away.”

Bell said the scooters can be a simple solution for students near college campuses where parking is often limited.

Lime currently has scooters in other major college towns, such as Columbus, Ohio. In Indiana, Lime has bicycles in South Bend near the University of Notre Dame campus.

Lara Beck, a Lime spokesperson, said the company works with city and university officials when orchestrating a new launch to ensure local ordinances are being observed.

Beck said the company has been working with Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton, who tweeted about the scooters’ launch this morning.

Bird’s spokesperson also said the company is working with the city “to ensure Bird can be a reliable, affordable, and environmentally friendly transportation option for the community.” 

IU Bloomington modified school policy shortly after Bird moved into town. Like in Indianapolis, IU considers the scooters motorized vehicles and does not allow them to be used on sidewalks.

Instead, Carney said the scooters can be ridden on streets and designated bike paths. They should be parked near bike racks and clear of sidewalks, he said.

Carney added that the school’s updated policy, which went into effect this week, requires riders to exchange contact information and contact the IU Police Department in the event of an accident.

“We want to make sure people are safe,” he said. “We see them on sidewalks quite a bit. We just ask that people be careful.”

Lime posts safety instructions in its app and in video on its website.

Bloomington riders looking to ride for the first time can download the Lime app to get started. Users can use Lime’s map feature to search for a scooter near them.

Each ride starts with a $1 payment and adds 15 cents for each minute of use.

“We’ve seen crazy ridership,” Bell said of Lime’s first day in Bloomington. “People are really excited about them.”

Contact Carley Lanich at 317-444-6487 or clanich@gannett.com. Or follow her on Twitter at @carleylanich.

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Powerball Winning Numbers For Saturday, Sept. 29: $213M Jackpot

There seems to be no limit on how high the Powerball jackpot can go, and it has reached a $213 million prize for Saturday night’s drawing. The one-time cash amount will pay an estimated $124.6 million to the person who correctly picks all of tonight’s Powerball numbers.

What time are the winning Powerball numbers drawn? Numbers are selected every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. Eastern time, with Powerball results typically posted within five minutes.

The winning Powerball numbers for Saturday, Sept. 29, are: 09, 17, 34, 59, 64 and the Powerball of 22.

The Powerball game is played by matching all five white balls in any order and the red Powerball number. The odds of picking the correct Powerball grand prize numbers are one in 292,201,338. Powerball tickets cost $2 each, and are sold at thousands of Lottery retailers. Find out where you can buy your Powerball tickets here.

In most states, ticket sales cut off at least an hour before the drawing, but a state may cut off sales earlier, such as Illinois, which ends sales three hours before the drawing. In Maryland and New Jersey, ticket sales end at 9:59 p.m.; in Virginia, they close at 10 p.m. Check with your state lottery for the sales cut-off time.

You have a better chance of hitting the jackpot if you let the computer pick your numbers, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which operates the Powerball game and reports that about 75 percent of winning tickets have numbers chosen by a computer.

The largest Powerball jackpots ever are as follows:

  • $1.586 billion, Jan. 13, 2016
  • $758.7 million, Aug. 23, 2017
  • $590.5 million, May 18, 2013
  • $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012
  • $564.1 million, Feb. 11, 2015
  • $559.7 million, Jan. 6, 2018
  • $487.0 million, July 30, 2016
  • $456 million, March 17, 2018
  • $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013
  • $447.8 million, June 10, 2017
  • $435.3 million, Feb. 22, 2017

The lottery game is played in 44 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball drawings can be seen on 125 TV stations nationwide. They may also be available on cable or your mobile device. Drawing shows are also posted to Powerball.com under the video section and to YouTube.

Claiming, Safeguarding Winnings

So, what should you do if you are lucky enough to claim the Powerball jackpot? Many lottery winners hire an attorney, financial planner or both, since most people don’t exactly know what to do when they suddenly come into so much money. Some even bring their lawyer with them to claim their prize. The lottery does not offer any counseling services or financial advice for winners.

You have two choices when you claim your prize: the full value paid in 30 installments over 29 years, or a one-time lump sum that is smaller than the actual total. Then there are the taxes. The federal tax on lottery winnings is 25 percent. Then, any extra income taxes like state or city would apply.

Financial experts say that if you can get more than a 3 or 4 percent return on an investment, the lump sum is actually the best way to go in the long-term.

(For more news like this, find your local Patch here. If you have an iPhone, click here to get the free Patch iPhone app; download the free Patch Android app here.)

Patch file photo courtesy of Powerball

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You can now bring weed to the LAX airport, but will you make it on the plane?

You can now bring weed to one of the busiest airports in the country.

Los Angeles International Airport changed it’s policy, allowing travelers 21 or older to stroll onto their flights carrying cannabis.

It’s an idea that had local travelers shocked.

“I can’t take certain cosmetics of a certain size on an airplane… drugs? That’s insane!” said Deborah Sampson, a Nipomo resident.

“If it’s a medical concern, everyone brings their prescriptions on, that’s fine,” said Rebecca Lilley, a San Luis Obispo Resident.

There are limits. Passengers won’t be allowed to toke one up on the flight or in any public place. Any more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated marijuana is not allowed.

Some local travelers say any amount is too much.

“I’m allergic to cannabis, so when someone has it on their person, like they just smoked it or have it in their bag, I react to it. It makes me sick,” Sampson said.

While Los Angeles police may give it the green light, don’t expect to sail through TSA with weed.

Lorie Dankers, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in part: “TSA’S response to the discovery of marijuana is the same in every state and at every airport – regardless of whether marijuana has been or is going to be legalized.”

That means if a TSA officer discovers an item that may violate the law, they’ll call law enforcement who will then decide if it’s a crime.

Some worry that will slow down the security process.

“Needing to possibly have a whole other line for those who have a substance that isn’t legally allowed in other states could get really complicated,” Lilley said.

LAX’s policy also states the weed in your bag may be illegal wherever you land.

Officials with the Santa Maria Airport say they don’t have specific regulations on marijuana, but they discourage it. If TSA finds drugs they’ll call the police and it will slow down the already stressful process of getting through security.

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Elon Musk Had a Deal From the SEC It Unraveled in a Morning.

When Thursday began, Elon Musk had a deal on the table.

After days of tense negotiations, the Securities and Exchange Commission and lawyers for Mr. Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, had agreed on a settlement that would bring to a close a drama that has riveted Wall Street and Silicon Valley for the past two months.

Under the terms of the agreement, what started on Aug. 7 — when Mr. Musk posted on Twitter that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private for $420 a share — would end with some modest penalties and Mr. Musk staying on as chief executive, according to two people briefed on the talks.

The plan, as it was negotiated by lawyers, was for Mr. Musk to step down as chairman of Tesla within 45 days and not resume that post for two years. The company, also a party to the proposed agreement, would add two new directors to its board. Mr. Musk and the company would pay tens of millions of dollars in fines, according to the people, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The negotiators planned to announce the agreement on Thursday after the markets closed.

But for Mr. Musk — an emotional, volatile and cocksure billionaire — the deal was unacceptable.

The settlement with the S.E.C. was a “neither admit nor deny” deal, meaning that Mr. Musk would not have acknowledged knowingly committing a violation. Mr. Musk, however, would not have been allowed to publicly state that he had done nothing wrong — and that was something he couldn’t accept, according to three people familiar with the talks.

So on Thursday morning, as settlement papers were being drawn up and news releases were being drafted, Mr. Musk walked away. Lawyers, Tesla executives and advisers to the company were stunned that he would turn away from such a favorable settlement.

And the S.E.C., taken aback, quickly changed course and upped the ante significantly. On Thursday afternoon, the agency sued Mr. Musk, seeking to bar him from serving as an executive or a director of a public company. If it wins, Mr. Musk will lose the company he co-founded. Tesla stock fell 14 percent on Friday.

“The company’s brand and stock will suffer if he leaves,” said Mike Ramsey, an auto analyst at Gartner. “But I hate to say it, they might be better off.”

Tesla has lurched from crisis to crisis over the past year, and has been scrambling to contain the fallout from Mr. Musk’s tweet, which touched off a market frenzy that sent Tesla’s shares soaring, and prompted federal regulators to examine whether Mr. Musk had misled investors with a surprise declaration that vastly overstated reality.

On Friday, the S.E.C. set a date of Feb. 1 for a preliminary hearing on the case, leaving plenty of time for Mr. Musk to change his mind and agree to a settlement, albeit a potentially less favorable one. But the lawsuit, which could take years to come to trial, will cast a cloud over the company as long as the matter remains unresolved.

In recent weeks, the S.E.C. was preparing to send Tesla a Wells Notice, signaling that it intended to bring civil charges against the company and Mr. Musk. But by Thursday, after the settlement talks fell apart, the S.E.C. narrowed its focus. Instead of looking to settle with the company and Mr. Musk, it sued Mr. Musk alone, according to a person close the company.

After the commission began to investigate Mr. Musk’s assertion on Twitter, his lawyers sent two lengthy letters to regulators making their case that he had done nothing wrong, according to that person.

The letters outlined meetings that Mr. Musk had had with officials from a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, which had led him to believe he had financial support to take Tesla private, the person said.

On an evening in March 2017, for example, Mr. Musk and Tesla’s chief financial officer dined at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., with Larry Ellison, the chairman of Oracle, and Yasir Al Rumayyan, the managing director of the Saudi Public Investment Fund. During the meal, the letters said, Mr. Rumayyan raised the idea of taking Tesla private and increasing the Saudi fund’s stake in it.

More than a year later, the lawyers said, Mr. Musk and Mr. Rumayyan met at the Tesla factory on July 31. When Mr. Rumayyan spoke again of taking the company private, Mr. Musk asked him whether anyone else at the fund needed to approve of such a significant deal. Mr. Rumayyan said no, according to the person familiar with the letters.

Representatives for Mr. Ellison and the Saudi investment fund did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Friday evening. People familiar with the workings of the Saudi fund previously said it had taken none of the steps that such an ambitious transaction would entail, like preparing a term sheet or hiring a financial adviser to work on the deal.

Mr. Musk and other Tesla executives told Tesla’s board about the talks with the Saudis, the lawyers wrote, according to the person familiar with the letters. On Aug. 3, Mr. Musk shared his idea for the $420 share price with the board.

It was an Aug. 7 Financial Times story that spurred Mr. Musk to action, the lawyers said in the letters to the commission. An alarm bell went off when he saw the newspaper’s report that the Saudis had built up a significant stake in Tesla. He feared that word would get out that a deal to take Tesla private was possible. So he began to tweet, the lawyers said.

His tweets, the lawyers wrote, were sent in good faith. He believed that the Saudis were capable of doing a deal and interested in doing one, and that what remained was a matter of details, according to the person familiar with the letters.

One sticking point for Mr. Musk in the tentative S.E.C. settlement was the particular statute which he was said to have violated.

That statute contains language about misleading investors. Mr. Musk’s lawyers wanted the commission to change its claim to say he was merely negligent in his statement, according to a person familiar with the details of the negotiations.

Mr. Musk was concerned about what those terms might mean for his other businesses, SpaceX and the Boring Company. He was worried the agreement could jeopardize those companies’ ability to continue working for the government, the person said.

In a statement after the commission filed its suit on Thursday, Mr. Musk called the agency’s enforcement effort “unjustified.”

“I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors,” he said. “Integrity is the most important value in my life, and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way.”

Mr. Musk’s decision to back away from the settlement could complicate Tesla’s future. He has said the company will be consistently profitable by the end of this year, propelled by sales of its newest car, the midsize Model 3 sedan. But Tesla has struggled to meet its production targets for the Model 3, and has continued to burn through cash while two bond payments totaling more than a billion dollars will come due in the next six months.

Tesla had $2.2 billion in cash at the end of the second quarter, but has been using up nearly a $1 billion every three months. It also has about $11 billion in debt, and owed its suppliers $3 billion as of June 30.

Mr. Musk has said Tesla won’t seek additional capital. But Garrett Nelson, an analyst at CFRA Research, said he believed Tesla will have do so in the first half of 2019.

Mr. Musk’s legal troubles will only make it more difficult for the company to issue bonds or secure other financing.

“The best case is they can get access to capital but it’s more expensive than they would like,” Mr. Nelson said. “The worst case is they won’t be able to raise capital.”

Another uncertainty for investors is who will ultimately be at the helm of Tesla. Mr. Musk is Tesla’s visionary, much like Steve Jobs was at Apple, Mr. Nelson said, and belief in him is one of the reasons investors have bet on Tesla shares.

“He’s critical, in our opinion,” Mr. Nelson said.

Neal E. Boudette contributed reporting.

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CBS Faces Probes in New York Tied to Moonves Allegations and Workplace Culture Concerns

CBS Corp. is facing investigations by city and state officials in New York stemming from the reports of alleged sexual misconduct by former chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves and concerns about the working environment at the company.

CBS disclosed Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it has received subpoenas from the New York District Attorney’s office and the city’s Commission on Human Rights. New York’s state Attorney General’s office has also “requested information about these matters,” the filing added.

CBS declined to comment beyond the filing.

“The Company is cooperating with the ongoing investigation and related inquiries,” the filing stated.

CBS is in the midst of an investigation being conducted by two outside law firms into allegations involving Moonves, as reported in two exposes published by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker.

The New York investigations could add significantly to the upheaval at the company in the wake of Moonves’ forced resignation on Sept. 9 and the ongoing internal probe. Moonves is accused of sexual misconduct dating back years and of using his clout to harm the careers of women who rebuffed him; he has denied most of the allegations. The New Yorker expose also zeroed in on what numerous sources told Farrow was a frequently hostile working environment for women at CBS News, particularly “60 Minutes,” where longtime executive producer Jeff Fager was fired earlier this month.

CBS has been engulfed in corporate drama in recent months after launching a legal battle in May against its controlling shareholder, National Amusements Inc. That case was also settled on Sept. 9 amid Moonves’ ouster along with the installation of six new board members on the 13-member panel. Two other longtime board members resigned earlier this week as new member Richard Parsons, former head of Time Warner, was named interim chairman.

CBS is also in the midst of a search for a new CEO. Joe Ianniello, CBS’ chief operating officer, has taken on acting CEO duties in the interim.

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Brent hits 4-year high as US sanctions on Iran tighten supply

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices rose more than 1 percent on Friday, with Brent climbing to a four-year high, as U.S. sanctions on Tehran squeezed Iranian crude exports, tightening supply even as other key exporters increased production.

FILE PHOTO: A worker holds a cup of heavy oil south of Fort McMurray, Alberta, August 15, 2013. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo

Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose $1 to settle at $82.72 a barrel. The session high of $82.87 was the contract’s highest since Nov. 10, 2014. In the third quarter, Brent has gained about 4 percent.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose $1.13 to settle at $73.25 a barrel. The session high of $73.73 was the highest since July 11. The contract is up about 5 percent this month but down around 1 percent for the quarter.

A new round of U.S. sanctions on Iran, the No. 3 producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), kicks in on Nov. 4.

“Potential for a supply shock because of declining oil production in Iran and Venezuela will remain bullish on oil prices, and the second round of U.S. sanctions on Iran in November will further support the sentiment,” said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy in London.

Amid concerns about supply shortages, hedge funds raised their combined futures and options position in New York and London by 3,728 contracts to 346,566 in the week to Sept. 25, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said.

Washington is demanding that buyers of Iranian oil cut imports to zero to force Tehran to negotiate a new nuclear agreement and to curb its influence in the Middle East.

China’s Sinopec Corp is halving loadings of crude oil from Iran this month, as the state refiner comes under intense pressure from Washington, said people with knowledge of the matter.

However, India, another top buyer, is committed to buying oil from Tehran, the Iranian foreign minister said.

Other OPEC countries have been boosting production, but global inventories have still been falling, analysts said.

Saudi Arabia is expected to add oil to the market to offset the drop in Iranian production. Two sources familiar with OPEC policy told Reuters Saudi Arabia and other OPEC and non-OPEC producers had discussed a possible production increase of about 500,000 barrels per day (bpd).

However, ANZ said in a note that major suppliers were unlikely to offset losses from sanctions, estimated at 1.5 million bpd.

At its 2018 peak in May, Iran exported 2.71 million bpd, nearly 3 percent of daily global crude consumption.

Looking to 2019, Saudi Arabia is concerned that rising U.S. shale production could create another glut, especially if a stronger dollar and weaker emerging market economies reduce global demand for oil, sources familiar with OPEC policy say.

U.S. crude production rose 269,000 bpd to a record 10.964 million bpd in July, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report.

However, drillers cut three oil rigs in the week to Sept. 28, General Electric Co’s (GE.N) Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday. New drilling has stalled in the third quarter with the fewest additions in a quarter since 2017 due to pipeline constraints in the nation’s largest oil field.

The Permian Basin is forecast to produce 3.5 million bpd in October, just below output from Iran, OPEC’s third largest producer.

Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York, Christopher Johnson in London and Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen in Beijing; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Chizu Nomiyama

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