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Apple says ‘it’s show time’ March 25: TV service announcement expected

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Apple Inc on Monday invited media to a March 25 event at the Steve Jobs Theater on its campus in Cupertino, California, where it is expected to launch a television and video service.

Sources previously told Reuters that the company is targeting April for the launch of a streaming television service that will likely include subscription TV service. Apple often launches products and services in the weeks following an event.

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In its invitation, Apple did not specify the focus of the event and gave a single-line description: “It’s show time.”

Apple has long hinted at a planned video service, spending $2 billion in Hollywood to produce its own content and signing major stars such as Oprah Winfrey. Sources familiar with the matter earlier told Reuters that the service may resell subscriptions from CBS Corp, Viacom Inc and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp’s Starz among others, as well as Apple’s own original content

The TV service is expected to launch globally, an ambitious move to rival services from Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video. Apple’s App Store, where the service is likely to be distributed, is currently available in more than 100 countries.

Apple has long hinted at a planned video service, with Chief Executive Tim Cook speaking openly about the company’s interest on earnings calls with investors but declining to give any details about what the service might look like.

The potential sales from a television service have become a focus of investors after Apple in January reported the first-ever dip in iPhone sales during the key holiday shopping period and said it would lower iPhone prices in some markets to account for foreign exchange rates.

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Apple aims to bring together its own shows into one central location with content from media companies, saving iPhone and other Apple device users from having to juggle multiple apps for those channels, sources earlier told Reuters.

Apple is aiming to resell TV channels subscriptions similar to Amazon, whose Prime Video Service resells Starz and other channels and keeps a cut of the sales.

Apple is also in discussions with HBO, part of AT&T Inc-owned WarnerMedia, to become part of the service and it could yet make it in time for the launch, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Kenneth Li in New York; editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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California confirms third case of China virus in US

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A patient in California's Orange County was Saturday confirmed as the third person on US soil infected with the new deadly virus that originated in China, health officials said.

The infected person was a traveler from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the outbreak, the Orange County Health Care Agency said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the patient had tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus, it said.

The individual was in isolation in a local hospital and was in good condition.

"There is no evidence that person-to-person transmission has occurred in Orange County. The current risk of local transmission remains low," the health care agency said.

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Japan will evacuate nationals from China virus city: Prime Minister Abe

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Japan will evacuate all its nationals from China's quarantined city of Wuhan, the epicentre of a deadly virus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday.

"We have decided to send back all (Japanese citizens in Wuhan) to Japan if they wish so, by every means including a chartered flight," Abe told reporters.

"We are coordinating with the Chinese government at various levels, and we will accelerate the process to realise a swift implementation" of the evacuation from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in central China, Abe said.

Earlier, a foreign ministry official told AFP that 430 Japanese were in Hubei province.

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Netanyahu hopes to ‘make history’ at talks on Trump peace plan

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced hope Sunday that he can "make history" in Washington this week during talks on US President Donald Trump's peace plan for the Middle East.

Netanyahu has been invited to meet Trump at the White House on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the project, which has already been dismissed by the Palestinians.

"We are in the midst of very dramatic diplomatic developments, but the climax is still ahead of us," Netanyahu told reporters ahead of a weekly cabinet meeting.

"In a short while, I'll leave for Washington to meet my friend, the President of the United States Donald Trump, who will present his deal of the century... I'm full of hope that we can make history," he added.

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