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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.

U2: When Art Becomes the Ad (Guest Column)

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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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U2 and Apple: The latest announcement has more to do with medium than music.

by Zack O'Malley Greenburg, Forbes Staff

If for some reason you've still got a collection of cassette tapes, you'll probably find it very difficult to sell, trade, or even give them away. Compact discs are rapidly approaching a similar status. And, if U2′s Apple (AAPL -0.73%) album launch is any indication, so are MP3s.

Last week the band distributed free copies of its latest album, Songs of Innocence, to over half a billion iTunes customers as part of a deal with Apple valued as high as $100 million. Judging by some reactions, however, you'd think Tim Cook's company was offloading bedbug-ridden mattresses instead of new music by one of the most successful bands of our age.

"It's a gift from Apple," said U2 manager Guy Oseary. "If someone doesn't like the gift, they should delete it."

It's fascinating that anybody had to make such an announcement-and, in this writer's opinion, it's much more a symptom of the demise of the digital download than it is an indicator of intense antipathy toward U2.

U2 Destroy 30 Years Of Legacy In One PR Stunt

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U2's album spam PR stunt has destroyed decades of legacy quicker than hitting a delete button. In fact, many millions of Apple customers were looking for their delete button as soon as they were spammed with a product they did not opt-n for.

by Paul Cashmere

Angry Apple customers were loud and fast on social media to complain about the digital violation after hundreds of millions downloads were shoved onto people's devices without permission.

What both Apple and U2 failed to understand is that not everyone is a U2 fan, especially not now. The band's reputation went immediately to tatters but their bank balance is looking good.

Depending on various sources, including the Wall Street Journal, U2 is estimated to have done a $100 million deal with Apple to give their album away "for free". The figure was not disputed by U2 manager Guy Oseary.

What U2's Apple Album Launch Means For U2

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by Zack O'Malley Greenburg, Forbes Staff

Yesterday, I wrote about Apple (AAPL +0.43%) and U2′s decision to team up for the launch of Songs of Innocence and what it means for Apple. As promised, today I'll explore the other side: what it means for U2.

For the Irish rockers, there's little left to accomplish. Already hailed as one of the top pop-rock acts of all-time, U2′s financial success has matched its outsized popularity. The group has sold tens of millions of records, and its last tour grossed $736 million, the highest total in history.

That sort of success has given the band an immense platform for its philanthropic agenda and often placed its members in the most esteemed company-witness Bono serenading Warren Buffett with a customized ode.

What Apple's U2 Album Launch Means For Apple

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Zack O'Malley Greenburg, Forbes Staff

Love Apple or hate it, there's no denying it's a unique company. Additional proof came at yesterday's product launch event in Cupertino, where Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 and a new smart watch-and managed to secure U2 as a featured act.

The Irish rockers debuted their a new single, "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)" at the end of the proceedings, part of a deal to release their new album, Songs of Innocence, for free to all iTunes customers. The LP will also be available for Beats Music subscribers, too; after October 14th, it will appear on other streaming services as well as bricks-and-mortar stores.

For U2 and Apple, a Shrewd Marketing Partnership

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By Ben Sisario, New York Times

U2 may be giving a new album away, but it is still getting paid.

As part of what Timothy D. Cook, Apple's chief executive, called "the largest album release of all time," the company released U2's new "Songs of Innocence" free through iTunes on Tuesday, just after the band performed a new song, "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)," at the close of Apple's product announcement event in Cupertino, Calif.

For what Apple said were up to 500 million customers in 119 countries, "Songs of Innocence" simply appeared in their iTunes accounts on Tuesday afternoon. But the deal that led to that release was carefully negotiated between U2 and some of the most powerful entities in music, including Apple; Universal, the band's label; and Guy Oseary, U2's new manager. Mr. Oseary works in the management division of Live Nation Entertainment, the global concert conglomerate.

By Daragh Brophy, TheJournal.ie

U2′s net worth has been revised down to a mere €516 million -- down from over €638 million on last year, according to this year's Sunday Times Irish Rich List.

Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry are at 19th in the 2014 league table, which was compiled by Colm Murphy and covers the Republic and Northern Ireland.

Their income was previously split with manager Paul McGuinness, who resigned last year after more than three decades in the job.

McGuinness is now listed as a separate entry, with an estimated wealth of €104 million. He's at number 87 in today's list.
Top spot is taken once again by Brown Thomas owner Hilary Weston and her family, whose fortune is estimated at €8.7 billion.

Media magnate Denis O'Brien is in second, with an estimated personal wealth of €4.6 billion. Investor Dermot Desmond comes fourth in the latest list, at €1.7 billion.

The family of the late Edward Haughey, who died in a helicopter crash this year, are the wealthiest people in Northern Ireland according to the paper, with an estimated fortune of €1.68 billion.

Copyright © 2014 Journal Media Ltd.

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