Wednesday's Breakfast Briefing: Bloomberg backs gun control nationally; Alibaba numbers impress

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Bloomberg puts wallet behind gun control
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is putting his considerable wealth behind building a national grassroots gun-control network. The longtime advocate on the issue has pledged $50 million of his own money to found Everytown for Gun Safety, with the goal of motivating voters and countering the National Rifle Association’s clout around the country.

Alibaba wows ahead of IPO
Yahoo unveiled its quarterly earnings on Tuesday afternoon, but the real story was Alibaba’s growth: $1.4 billion in profit in the fourth quarter and revenue up 66% to $3.1 billion. (Yahoo owns a quarter of Alibaba and must disclose some of its financial performance during its own earnings calls). The Chinese company is expected to file for an IPO in the US next week billed as the biggest since Facebook went public. Its growth comes as the Chinese economy slows down.

Obama touts job-training, community colleges
President Barack Obama will visit western Pennsylvania on Wednesday to unveil the White House’s $600 million job-training and community college program. Senior White House officials briefed journalists on Tuesday afternoon about how the Obama administration is trying to close the "skills gap" that holds people back from higher-paying jobs.

Investors approve of Twitter data-provider acquisition
Twitter’s shares were up big late Tuesday after the microblogging platform said it bought social data provider Gnip. The deal indicates that Twitter will take on a bigger role packaging and selling data. It also hired VP of product Daniel Graf away from Google.

Barra tries to reassure dealers, execs
We’re fixing the problem. That was General Motors CEO Mary Barra’s point of emphasis when she spoke to automobile executives and dealers Tuesday in New York in a speech sponsored by the National Automobile Dealers Association. GM comms leader Selim Bingol stepped down on Monday, and the automaker is conducting an external search for his replacement.

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