In President Trump’s first primetime address to the nation from the Oval Office, he launched a full-court press to convince Americans, and skeptical lawmakers, that there is a crisis on the Southern border, and that the only way to fix it is to approve billions of dollars for his long-promised border wall. Blaming Democrats for a partial government shutdown that is now in its third week, Trump stopped short of declaring a national emergency; here’s an annotated transcript of the speech. All the major TV networks acquiesced and provided a chunk of their primetime schedules; news organizations including the New York Times and CNN fact-checked Trump’s statements in real time. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer delivered the brief Democratic response and accused Trump of fearmongering and taking the government hostage. “We don’t govern by temper tantrum,” Schumer said. [Felicia Sonmenz, John Wagner, Josh Dawsey, and Mike DeBonis / The Washington Post]
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Apple CEO Tim Cook collected his biggest-ever annual bonus — $12 million for fiscal 2018 — after the iPhone maker posted record revenue and profit and its market value temporarily eclipsed $1 trillion. The payout was decided before the company cut its revenue forecast; Apple stock has lost more than a third of its value since August 2018. Cook also got a $3 million salary and shares worth $121 million from his 10-year stock award, bringing his total haul to $136 million, along with perks of about $682,000. Four other Apple execs got bonuses of $4 million, bringing their total pay to about $26.5 million each, including salary and stock awards. [Anders Melin / Bloomberg]
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s annual New Year’s resolution is to talk more about the future of technology. (His 2018 resolution was to fix Facebook; whether or not he accomplished that depends on who you ask.) In a post on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg said his self-imposed challenge for 2019 is to host a series of public discussions about the opportunities, challenges, hopes, and anxieties faced by society. A lot of people won’t care to hear from Zuckerberg right now — his company is at the center of virtually every major issue facing the internet today — from so-called fake news to hate speech to internet addiction to digital privacy mishaps and creepy ad targeting. But maybe that’s all the more reason that we should hear more from Zuckerberg more regularly — understanding how he views the future will be key to the rest of us preparing for it. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]
Coworking startup WeWork is rebranding as The We Company and has a new structure comprised of three main business units: WeWork, its main office business; WeLive, a fledgling residential unit; and WeGrow, a still-evolving business that currently includes an elementary school and a coding academy. Announced in the wake of disappointing funding news, the reorg is part of CEO Adam Neumann’s ambition to push the company’s market and opportunity beyond commercial real estate; rather than just renting desks, the company aims to encompass all aspects of people’s lives, in both physical and digital worlds, he said. [Katrina Brooker / Fast Company]
Amazon is quietly piloting a program to let brands like Maybelline and Folgers pay to send free samples to consumers — all based on what the retail giant already knows they’re likely to buy. Amazon is betting that its new strategy — turning free samples of actual products into new targeted ads — is something its biggest competitors, Google and Facebook, can’t match, and could be more effective than display ads on Facebook or search ads on Google for certain kinds of consumer packaged goods brands. Customers can opt out of receiving samples through the settings section of their Amazon account. [David McCabe and Sara Fischer / Axios]
Sears chairman and former CEO Eddie Lampert has one last shot at rescuing the venerable retailer from liquidation. Lampert, a hedge fund manager who took control of Sears in 2005, has made a $4.4 billion offer to acquire Sears and keep its 400 stores operating. He must put up $120 million by today to officially bid for the company at a court-supervised auction next Monday. As many as 50,000 jobs are at stake. The company’s largest creditors will ultimately decide whether they would recover more money by letting Lampert keep the company going or by selling Sears off piecemeal. [Michael Corkery / The New York Times]
Canada is suffering a shortage of legal weed that could last up to three years, as growers grapple with the execution risks of growing at breakneck speed. Supply shortages have plagued the country since recreational marijuana was legalized in October. In response, Quebec’s government-controlled stores have closed three days a week; Ontario will initially open just 25 stores when cannabis is legalized across Canada’s most-populous province on April 1. The shortage hasn’t stopped Canadian marijuana money from finding its way into the US: Canopy Growth, the venture capital arm of the world’s most valuable cannabis company, is investing more than $3 million in Seattle-based Headset, which provides data on the US marijuana industry and tracks sales numbers in markets like California and Colorado. The cash infusion is part of a $12.1 million Series A round that values Headset at about $30 million. [Kristine Owram / Bloomberg]
Top stories from Recode
Aurora, the hot self-driving startup, will be worth $2 billion after an investment by Sequoia. Aurora’s appeal is predicated on three well-credentialed founders from Google, Tesla, and Uber. [Theodore Schleifer]
The holidays ushered in a smart speaker explosion starring Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Smart speaker sales grew 78 percent in 2018. [Rani Molla]
Food delivery company DoorDash wants to bring you more than just food. On the latest episode of Recode Decode, CEO Tony Xu and COO Christopher Payne talk about building a last-mile logistics platform that lets little businesses compete with the big businesses. [Kara Swisher]
This is cool
“Commodified wellness”: How to make a millennial feel cozy in just one beverage.
Hotels are turning their lobbies into WeWork-inspired coworking spaces that are like the office, but cooler.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.