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Bono: I Will Follow

Irish rock icon Bono leads a widely acclaimed, data-driven, global organization that influences governments, rallies C-suites, and raises hundreds of millions of dollars for people living in poverty. What's his secret? An ability to convince others that they are the true leaders of change, not him. Here's what business can learn from a music legend.

http://fortune.com/bono-u2-one/

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Fender board director gets own signature

By MusicRadar/Total Guitar/Guitarist

NAMM 2016: In a move that's taken pretty much no-one by complete surprise, two years after The Edge joined the Fender board of directors the U2 guitarist finally has his widely-rumoured signature guitar, alongside a suitably desirable signature amp.

The Edge Strat will apparently replace the guitarists' usual collection of vintage instruments on tour, so it's safe to assume that the design was a genuinely considered, close collaboration between endorsee and luthier.

Features include two special Custom Shop Fat 50s single-coil pickups in the neck and middle position, cranking out versatile tone with enhanced bass response, a DiMarzio® FS-1™ pickup at the bridge and a quartersawn maple neck for an Edge-ish bright tone.

The Edge Deluxe amp, released alongside the Strat, is essentially an update of the '57 tweed Deluxe he currently uses - a 12-watt hand-wired amp configured for a tighter low end response.

The Fender Strat will retail for approx $1800/£1260, while the Deluxe will set you back $2399/£1740.

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by Nita Lelyveld, LA Times

For years, U2 guitarist the Edge has sought to build five homes atop an undeveloped ridge in an unincorporated area of Malibu.

For nearly a decade, environmental groups and many residents have objected, saying to do so would needlessly despoil sensitive habitat and mar the visual landscape.

On Thursday, after numerous hearings of the California Coastal Commission, the Irish musician finally prevailed.

At a meeting in Monterey, the panel voted unanimously to approve David Evans' project -- although much has changed since the initial proposal in 2011.

Five houses will be built on the property in the Sweet Mesa area, each one more than 10,000 square feet and featuring its own swimming pool.

But where they once were to stand proudly spread out along the upper ridge line, the homes instead will be clustered closer together on a lower plateau.

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By Kerry Flynn, International Business Times

The world is not wired -- at least, not yet. Governments and businesses must take more responsibility and better address Internet access in areas of poverty, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and U2 singer Bono urged Saturday as the businessman and the entertainer announced their "Connectivity Declaration."

The campaign, a part of Bono's antipoverty ONE Foundation, emphasizes that Internet access is necessary for alleviating poverty and spurring development worldwide. The mission, laid out in a New York Times editorial, urges governments to follow initiatives that prioritize energy investments and Internet access, as well as calls for the tech industry to do more to act on global issues like education, health care and the refugee crisis.

"Where governments lay the foundation, the private sector can build," Zuckerberg and Bono wrote in the editorial. "Silicon Valley should look beyond itself ... We challenge the tech industry to do far more for those most marginalized, those trapped in poverty and those beyond or on the edge of the network."

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by Jon Swartz, USA TODAY

SAN FRANCISCO -- U2's tech-rich tour keeps getting richer and richer.

The legendary rock band, which christened its U.S. tour in San Jose, Calif., last month with a high-tech spectacle of immersive video and sound, has partnered with Meerkat to live stream in each show.

The streams are distributed on Twitter and Facebook, as well as displayed at the venue.

The arrangement started during shows in Phoenix and Los Angeles, and has continued.

The live-streaming experience, filmed by a fan onstage with the band, is projected on a gigantic oblong screen at the show and is available to anyone who uses the Meerkat app.

By Gordon Deegan, Irish Examiner

Accumulated losses at U2's main Irish firm increased by over €2m last year to nearly €10.5m.

New figures for the band's Not Us Ltd show that the firm plunged further into the red, with accumulated losses going from €8.35m to €10.49m in the 12 months to the end of December last.

The firm is being supported by Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr, and Adam Clayton, who provided a directors' loan of €2.25m last year. A note attached to the accounts states that the directors' loan attracts an annual interest rate of 3% per annum.

The figures, recently lodged with the Companies Office, show that the cash pile at the band's firm last year dropped from €545,706 to €160,196.

A former personal assistant to U2 star Adam Clayton has lost an appeal against her conviction for stealing more than 2.8m euros (£2.2m) from the guitarist.

BBC News

In 2012, Carol Hawkins was found guilty of 181 counts of theft from his bank accounts. The judge said she had used the money to fund a "lavish lifestyle"

The expensive items she bought included 22 racehorses and a New York apartment.

The Irish Court of Criminal Appeal has upheld the conviction. It has still to rule on the severity of her jail term.

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Couple claim they suffered significant loss due to alleged unsuitable investment advice

by Mary Carolan, Irish Times

U2 drummer Larry Mullen and his partner have sued their former accountants claiming they have suffered significant loss of more than €11 million due to alleged unsuitable investment advice.

The alleged advice related, among other matters, to a €3 million investment in a 'European hotel fund' and a €4.5 million loan for an investment in Romania, it is claimed.

In addition to at least €7 million investment losses, the couple claim they have incurred further significant liabilities related to loans issued in connection with the investments and bank funding costs.

The case relates to agreements dating from late 2000 under which Mr Mullen and his partner Ann Acheson allege they retained Gaby Smyth and Company accountants and/or Gaby Smyth as a sole trader in relation to their financial, taxation and investment affairs.

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"They might as well be selling Buicks," writes the host of KCSN's morning show

By Nic Harcourt, The Hollywood Reporter

U2 has always been about messages.

In the band's early days in Dublin, beginning with the 1980 album Boy and its hit single "I Will Follow," they openly addressed Bono and the Edge's Christianity, along with commentary on the Troubles in Northern Ireland. As the group got bigger, some 2 billion TV viewers watched in 1985 as U2 delivered their socially conscious lyrics at Live Aid, playing anthemic music with unbound zeal and earnestness. By the beginning of the 1990s, as Communism fell in Eastern Europe, the albums Achtung Baby and Zooropa reflected the hopes of a generation while taking a sarcastic swipe at the commercialism of modern culture that they themselves were a part of.

Make no mistake, U2 are an important part of rock 'n' roll history.

But what happens when the art becomes the ad? Complete with a $100 million media spend and the subtlety of an Ikea catalog stuffed in your mailbox or phone book chucked at your front door? What's the message today: Show us the money?

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