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A jury will decide whether British pop star Ed Sheeran is guilty of copying parts of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” for his Grammy-award winning hit “Thinking Out Loud.”

In his decision made public Thursday, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton refused to grant Sheeran’s request to throw out the lawsuit, which has been brought by the estate and heirs of the late producer Ed Townsend who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Gaye, according to a Reuters report.

“Thinking Out Loud” was released on Sheeran’s “X” album in 2014 and won two Grammys in 2015, while Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” single reached number one on the U.S. Billboard chart in 1973.

Judge Stanton found “substantial similarities between several of the two works’ musical elements,” and said a jury should decide whether Sheeran and labels Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Atlantic Records infringe copyright.

Sheeran was originally sued in 2016 by Kathryn Townsend Griffin and other relations of Townsend, and court documents allege that Sheeran and his representatives “copied the ‘heart’ of ‘Let’s’ and repeated it continuously throughout ‘Thinking’.”

The judge also cited footage of Sheeran performing “Thinking Out Loud,” “which shows him seamlessly transitioning between (the two songs),” Stanton wrote, and the video is set to be played at the trial.

This is the second lawsuit against Sheeran being overseen by Judge Stanton. Structured Asset Sales, founded by banker David Pullman, says it owns part of “Let’s Get It On” and is suing for $100 million.

Paul Williams, a spokesperson at Sony/ATV Music Publishing, declined to comment on the case when contacted by CNBC.

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Macron says he would back Merkel if she runs for EU leadership



French President Emmanuel Macron receives German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Elysee Palace on March 16, 2018 in Paris, France.

Aurelien Meunier | Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that he would support German Chancellor Angela Merkel if she were to seek to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission.

The German leader has said she will retire from politics when her fourth term runs out in 2021. But some in the bloc hope she will reconsider, given her vast experience and commitment to the EU.

Macron, asked in an interview with Swiss French-language television RTS whether he would support a Merkel candidacy, said that he could not speak for her.

“But if she wanted it, I would support her,” he said. “Of course I would, because firstly I think we need someone strong. Europe needs new faces and strong faces, so we need personalities that in effect embody that.”

Macron and outgoing Council President Donald Tusk are among those demanding that women be chosen to fill two out of four senior posts – Commission chief, Council president, head of the European parliament and the EU’s top diplomat.

“We need parity”, Macron told RTS. In Brussels on Tuesday, Juncker, who steps down on October 31, was asked if he thought Merkel could change her mind and go for a top EU job: “I don’t think so,” he said.

Macron and Merkel each addressed the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva earlier in the day, but had no scheduled bilateral meeting, diplomats in each delegation said.

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Current Hong Kong protests are much more than just extradition law



Police officers stand guard as protesters block a street near the government headquarters during a rally on June 12, 2019 in Hong Kong, China.

Anthony Kwan | Getty Images

Tensions remained high in Hong Kong on Wednesday with tens of thousands of protesters gathered around the local legislature and lawmakers postponing debate on the proposed legal changes that incited the demonstrations.

More than 200,000 protesters — and potentially just in excessive of 1 million — took to the city’s streets on Sunday to oppose a local government proposal allowing fugitives to be handed over to authorities in mainland China. By most counts, the ongoing demonstration is one of the biggest since the British handed over the territory to China in 1997.

The Chinese government has called the pushback on the introduction of the bill an internal affair of Hong Kong, but is also on record as supporting the changes.

“(The changes) will only improve instead of undermining the rule of law in (Hong Kong), and better safeguard the rights and freedoms that Hong Kong residents enjoy in accordance with law,” the foreign ministry’s local office said on its website on May 31.

On the surface, the people of Hong Kong are fighting over the amendment of a set of extradition laws, but some say the demonstration has become part of the movement for the bigger-picture fight for autonomy.

When it took over from the British, China promised that Hong Kong would retain certain liberties, such as freedom of speech and an independent judiciary, through 2047. That’s led to a political situation often described as “one country, two systems. “

Since the merger of Hong Kong and the mainland began, however, the two systems have often appeared to be at odds. So while many signs and chants at the ongoing protest are focused on opposing the extradition proposal, they’re fundamentally underpinned by that long-simmering conflict.

Opposition leaders acknowledge that the protest highlights concerns about the legal independence of Hong Kong, and the weakening of local law. The independence of the judiciary is not only a political sentiment valued by the people of Hong Kong but also often an incentive for international companies using the city as a commercial base of operations.

To understand the extent to which the ongoing protests are about more than just extradition, it’s important to see how they connect to Hong Kong’s recent history of large-scale demonstrations.

A history of protest

The Hong Kong government says the legal changes are necessary, citing a case last year when a Hong Kong man allegedly killed his girlfriend while in Taiwan before subsequently returning home. The government says he can’t currently be extradited to Taiwan because the two territories do not share an agreement, though legal critics reject that interpretation and say there are various ad hoc measures that could be taken.

This demonstration comes at a sensitive time, only a few days after the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4 and just two weeks before the 22nd anniversary of the handover.

The city has a long history of protests marking the date of the handover: On July 1 in recent years, some Hong Kongers have assembled to make their political opinions — including calls for universal suffrage — known. That practice attracted international attention in 2003 when it drew 500,000 marchers to the streets.

The protest was focused on opposing a proposed national security bill aimed to amend the laws dealing with treason, sedition, subversion and other acts. The attempt to implement the article caused great controversy and worries regarding Beijing’s control of civil rights in Hong Kong.

Umbrella Movement

Hong Kong protests last made international news in 2014, during what has been deemed the Umbrella Movement.

That year, the Chinese government released a white paper proclaiming that Hong Kong doesn’t enjoy full autonomy from Beijing. That was perceived as a sign the Chinese government was suggesting it could intervene in Hong Kong affairs, redefining “one country, two systems.”

Protesters and student demonstrators hold up their cellphones in a display of solidarity during a protest outside the headquarters of Legislative Council in Hong Kong on September 29, 2014

Xaume Olleros | AFP | Getty Images

The protests began after the Chinese government proposed reforms to the Hong Kong electoral system, subjecting candidates for Hong Kong’s leadership post to be pre-screened by the Chinese Communist Party.

The demonstration earned its internally known name due to the significant number of protesters using umbrellas to defend themselves from the pepper spray used by the police. The rally was an act to demand universal suffrage, in particularly.

But the crowds dissipated without achieving any concessions from the local government or Beijing. 

In fact, in April of this year, nine democracy activists were convicted by a Hong Kong court on public nuisance charges for their participation in leading the protests five years ago. The movement has galvanized protesters’ continued demand for democracy, autonomy and universal suffrage.

— Kelly Olsen and Reuters contributed to this report.

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Nintendo shares after delay announcement of Animal Crossing game at E3



Attendees wait to enter the Nintendo Co. Pokemon Sword and Shield booth during the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

Kyle Grillot | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Shares of Japanese video game maker Nintendo plunged on Wednesday after the company announced a delay in the launch of a highly-anticipated video game.

By the end of the trading day in Tokyo on Wednesday, shares of Nintendo were down 3.53%.

The shares took a beating after Nintendo announced on Tuesday, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), that it was delaying the launch of the latest installment in its “Animal Crossing” franchise, titled “New Horizons.”

Originally scheduled to be released later in 2019, it has since been pushed back to March 20, 2020.

A simulation game that puts players in a village where they engage in activities such as fishing and bug catching, the series is highly popular among gamers. Data from Nintendo showed past editions being sold in the millions. Sometimes, the game even came up among the top selling titles for previous consoles other than the current flagship Switch console.

Analysts had previously told CNBC that the title was among those that they expected to help boost sales of Nintendo’s Switch console, a hybrid device that allows gamers to play on the go and at home when connected to a TV. Switch has been a significant contributor to the company’s revenues.

Previous reports have also suggested that at least one new version of Switch hardware could be in the works — a move that analysts said could propel sales of the device and extend the product’s life cycle. Nintendo did not release any details at the E3.

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