Chinese Web site accused by M Resort

M Resort is suing the operators of a Chinese Web site for trademark infringement and cybersquatting. The federal lawsuit also accuses the China-based site of selling adult content and displaying “provocative” images of women.

M Holdings LLC filed the complaint Tuesday against Chinese resident Hu Mei Li. The complaint also alleges common law trademark infringement, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices and intentional interference with perspective economic advantage. M Resort’s operators are seeking a preliminary injunction against Li’s site, and unspecified damages.

The Chinese site provided access to competing reservation services and used provocative pictures of women to attract traffic, according to the complaint. The images attached to the court filing show women in string bikinis in suggestive poses, accompanied by text saying “Slip into something more suitable” and “adult personals.”

The Chinese site has been using the domain name since September of this year, but M Resort has a trademark “federal priority date of Oct. 1, 2007,” the complaint states.

New report says LV has top foreclosure rate

Las Vegas had the highest U.S. foreclosure rate in the third quarter, followed by cities in California and Florida, as unemployment left more borrowers unable to make their mortgage payments, RealtyTrac Inc. said Wednesday.

The largest increases in home loan defaults came in metropolitan areas where foreclosures hadn’t been a “focal point” previously, the Irvine, Calif.-based seller of default data said.

The pace of prime and alt-A loan defaults is accelerating as subprime defaults slow, Standard & Poor’s said in an Oct. 13 report. More than $400 billion in U.S. home mortgages that were packaged into securities and sold by companies other than government-supported Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in default and may be foreclosed on, S&P said. Those defaults may depress home prices for years, the analysts said.

The sharpest increases in foreclosure activity among the 50 metropolitan areas with the highest rates were in Boise City, Idaho; Salt Lake City and Provo-Orem, Utah, RealtyTrac said. Foreclosure filings more than doubled in all three areas.

New “hot spots” developed in Chico, Calif., where the foreclosure rate almost doubled, and Reno where the rate rose 80 percent from a year earlier, RealtyTrac said.

Sears launching Black Friday effort

Black Friday will arrive before Halloween this year, as the recession upends the retail calendar.

Sears announced Wednesday that it is launching a sales campaign called Black Friday Now that will feature weekly big discounts through Thanksgiving. The sale, which will begin Friday at 5 p.m., includes $80 diamond earrings and 50 percent off a 302-piece Craftsman tool set.

Retailers have been champing at the bit to go after Christmas sales this year. Price warfare has already erupted for sales of books and toys. Wal-Mart began slashing prices on holiday staples and gifts last week, discounting a popular skateboard/snowboard called the RipStick by 27 percent, to $49. Toys R Us unveiled its plan to open 80 temporary stores across the country back in September.

“They’re definitely thinking about the holidays sooner rather than later this year,” Sears spokeswoman Natalie Norris-Howser said of the chain’s shoppers.

Black Friday refers to the shopping bonanza that occurs the day after Thanksgiving, when stores typically offer dramatic discounts to start the holiday season.


Verizon’s challenger to iPhone nears debut

Verizon Wireless’ answer to the iPhone — the Droid — will go on sale for $200 next week as the company taps into the growing appetite for smart phones that go far beyond making calls.

The Droid could help Verizon retain its status as the nation’s largest wireless carrier and contribute to a turnaround of its manufacturer, Motorola Inc., which hasn’t produced a hit since the wildly popular Razr phone in 2005.

The new device also could give a boost to Google Inc., which used the Droid to unveil new mapping software that could challenge standalone navigational devices, sending GPS gadget maker Garmin Ltd.’s stock plunging after Wednesday’s announcement.


Ex-client of UBS avoids prison for tax charge

A wealthy accountant who provided extensive help in the tax evasion investigation of Swiss bank UBS AG was sentenced to a year of house arrest Wednesday after admitting he concealed about $6 million in assets from the IRS.

Steven Michael Rubinstein, 55, was the first U.S. citizen charged in the probe. U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke said his prosecution sent a message around the globe about the risks of hiding assets in offshore accounts — and that he deserved credit for helping U.S. investigators find more tax cheats and crooked bankers within UBS and other institutions in Switzerland and elsewhere.

Rubinstein will be on probation for three years, including the year of house arrest with electronic monitoring and travel restrictions. He also must pay a $40000 fine.


Yahoo tells investors troubles nearly over

With its stock in a three-year funk, Yahoo Inc. set out Wednesday to persuade investors that the Internet company’s struggles are nearly over.

“We have fallen and we really want to get back up,” Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz said as she kicked off an all-day meeting with financial analysts. “We really want to get back on our tippy toes.”

Bartz vowed to make the company more profitable, and said she hoped Wednesday’s session would win back some of the respect lost from previous unfulfilled promises.

Yahoo pledged to boost its operating profit margin to a range of 15 percent to 20 percent by 2012, up from just 6 percent this year.


Dunkin’ Donuts exec settles with Starbucks

Competition between Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts has gone beyond mochas and lattes to high-level executives.

Paul Twohig of Hilton Head, S.C., a former Starbucks Coffee U.S. senior vice president who jumped ship to work for Dunkin’ Donuts, has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a lawsuit that accused him of violating a noncompete agreement, according a statement issued late Tuesday by Stacey Krum, a spokeswoman for Starbucks.

Twohig also promised not to share Starbucks Corp. trade secrets or other confidential information with Dunkin’ Donuts, a division of Dunkin’ Brands Inc. of Canton, Mass., or to start work before Jan. 15, Krum wrote.

Starbucks shares fell 35 cents, or 1.83 percent, Wednesday to close at $18.74 on the Nasdaq National Market.

Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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