Survey: Only half of Americans think they know when online shopping is safe
35% have stopped an online purchase for security reasons.
Bonobos guide Reynaldo Sanchez inputs clothing information into the store's customer website. Photo: Bebeto Matthews / AP
Only half of consumers report they think they can tell which web sites are safe for online shopping and 35% of Americans claim they have stopped an online purchase out of security fears, according to the Global Cybersecurity Alliance (GCA) and Zogby Analytics survey.
Why it matters: Cyber Monday is next week. More fake web sites are launched during the holiday shopping season than at any other point during the year.
The state of online shopping:
A man exits the Uber offices in Austin, Texas. Photo: Eric Gay / AP
Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut are planning investigations into Uber's recently announced 2016 breach that left 57 million customers' and drivers' data vulnerable to criminals, and the FTC might launch a probe as well, according to Recode.
Why it matters: Most states (48) have some form of a law requiring companies to reveal data breaches to consumers, but Uber did not immediately disclose the details to consumers and reportedly tried to cover up the hack.
The FTC may also launch a probe into Uber, Recode reports, citing two sources who say Uber has already briefed the agency. The FTC said it was looking into the matter.
Bottom line: The news is not good for Uber on a global scale. It could face penalties and fines in addition to paying the steep legal price associated with suits after a year filled with other headaches related to security, privacy, and its culture.
Photo: United Nations Command via AP.
A video just released by the United Nations shows the North Korean soldier who defected to the South on November 13th making his getaway in a green jeep, running towards the border separating Panmunjom, North Korea from the South, and then collapsing on the South Korean side.
Why it matters: The event amounts to a violation of the armistice, since he was shot five times in his successful effort to defect from the North Korean regime, South Korea says. He was ultimately rescued by South Korean soldiers. Pyongyang has yet to say anything about the defection but the UN Command says it has requested a meeting to discuss the apparent armistice violations.
The scene, per the AP's Foster Klug: "It's 3:11 p.m. on a cold, gray day on the North Korean side of the most heavily armed border in the world, and a lone soldier is racing toward freedom."
A clue to life in North Korea: The defector had two surgeries to repair internal organ damage and is conscious. Surgeons "removed dozens of parasites from the soldier's ruptured small intestine, including presumed roundworms that were as long as 27 centimeters (10.6 inches), which may reflect poor nutrition and health in North Korea's military."
Anita Hill in 1991 and Joe Biden in 2017. Photos: John Duricka and Patrick Semansky / AP
A new look at Anita Hill's 1991 testimony against now-Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas puts a harsh spotlight on Joe Biden's handling of her allegations of sexual harassment. Biden was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, and the Washington Post magazine reports that Hill believes Biden hasn't taken responsibility for how unfairly she was treated.
Why it matters: Here's what Hill told the Post: “[W]omen were looking to the Senate Judiciary Committee and his leadership to really open the way to have these kinds of hearings. They should have been using best practices to show leadership on this issue on behalf of women's equality. And they did just the opposite."
The bottom line: Biden apologized to Hill at a Glamour magazine event earlier this month, saying he was "so sorry" for what Hill went through. Hill said she still doesn't think his comment "takes ownership of his role in what happened," and said it was a qualified apology: "That's sort of an 'I'm sorry if you were offended.'“
Biden declined to be interviewed by The Washington Post and declined to comment on Hill's response.
On Biden's speedy process:
On Biden's lack of control:
On how the media covers sexual misconduct allegations:
Memorials and tributes in the aftermath of the mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. Photo: gotpap / STAR MAX / IPx via AP
More than 450 victims of the Las Vegas massacre are suing MGM Resorts International and the concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment, which they claim did not properly protect them, per the NYT. The five lawsuits, filed Monday in California, also target the estate of the shooter, Stephen Paddock, security firm Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC), and businesses related to MGM and Live Nation.
Why it matters: Businesses and open-air concert promoters will be paying attention to the proceedings to see if they're expected to police against gunmen and similar attacks that almost certainly will continue to take place in the U.S., barring any gun restrictions legislation issued on Capitol Hill.
The case: The five suits include one mass tort for 450 victims who were shot, trampled, or who are suffering from post-traumatic stress from the Oct. 1 massacre. Details from the suits, per the NYT:
A worker's shadow is cast against boxes as he unloads them from a truck trailer at Worldport in Louisville, Ky. Photo: Patrick Semansky / AP
For the first time, UPS is charging 27 to 97 cents extra on packages shipped to homes around Black Friday and the week before Christmas, so retailers are offering delayed shipping as a work-around, WSJ reports.
Impact: Clothes, toys, and electronics may not be shipped right away, since those kinds of purchases at this time of year tend to be gifted, per UPS's president of retail, Greg Brown. UPS could make $200 million in revenue off the surcharges this year, per Moody's forecasting.
Some retailers are considering switching to shipping through cheaper options, such as through FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service, per WSJ.
Why UPS added a surcharge: UPS either wants to make more money off of the holiday season or wants to get retailers to ship outside the busy periods of the holiday season, like Black Friday and Christmas.
Specifics of the fees:
FedEx is not adding additional charges but is adding extra fees for oversize packages shipped during the holiday.
People walk around to banner reading "Je suis Charlie", "I am Charlie" on the Place de la Republique. Photo: Francois Mori / AP
French counterterrorism police have arrested three people who are suspected weapons suppliers in the January 2015 terror attack against the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher store in Paris, per the AP.
Why it matters: U.S. federal law (the 2005 federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act) exempts gun makers from most liability that might arise over criminal use of their products. Judges in the U.S. have cited the law to reject lawsuits against gun makers and dealers in the Colorado movie theater shooting and the Washington, D.C. sniper shootings, per the AP.
Cooling towers, right, and nuclear reactor containment buildings area, left, at Plant Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Waynesboro, Ga. Photo: John Bazemore / AP
Westinghouse is negotiating with other U.S.-based companies to make a group bid worth about $12 billion for nuclear power reactors in Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters, which cited three industry sources.
Big picture: The U.S. would be signaling it still has skin in the game if the bid goes through, especially since the group of industry leaders involved in nuclear reactor construction is so small.
Context: Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and U.S. utilities abandoned two Westinghouse reactors, so this group deal is a big move for the Toshiba-owned company. Toshiba is looking for a buyer for Westinghouse.
Who's involved: One industry source said Bechtel Corp. was involved in talks, another said Exelon was.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Sochi to discuss potential peace efforts, championed by Russia, Iran, and Turkey, the AP reports.
The backdrop: Putin told Assad that he's going to cut back Russia's military presence in Syria, though in the past, Moscow hasn't followed through on its announced military curtailments.
Demonstrators against the Keystone XL pipeline march in Lincoln, Neb. Photo: Nati Harnik / AP
Nebraska's Public Service Commission has approved construction of the Keystone XL pipeline across Nebraska in a 3-2 vote, removing the last regulatory hurdle for the $8 billion project, per the Omaha World-Herald.
Why it matters: Oil prices go a lot further than any government permit to determine whether the Keystone XL pipeline will ever actually be built. Companies' appetites to tap into the expensive oil sands region in Canada are much less than what they were several years ago, as crude oil is trading at about three times less the price it was trading when the pipeline was first proposed.
Impact: Just because it's been approved, it doesn't mean the pipeline will be built for a few reasons, including: