The Washington Post Sunday - - TAKING STOCK - From news ser­vices and staff re­ports


The Jus­tice Depart­ment an­nounced the in­dict­ments of two Rus­sian spies and two crim­i­nal hack­ers in connection with the heist of 500 mil­lion Ya­hoo user ac­counts in 2014, mark­ing the first U.S. crim­i­nal cy­ber charges ever against Rus­sian gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials. Gold­man Sachs re­duced chief ex­ec­u­tive Lloyd Blank­fein’s an­nual com­pen­sa­tion 27 per­cent, award­ing him $22 mil­lion for 2016 af­ter elim­i­nat­ing a long-term in­cen­tive award. Gold­man Sachs re­designed its com­pen­sa­tion struc­ture for 2016 af­ter in­vestors told the com­pany that the long-term in­cen­tive part of the pack­age was overly com­plex. Ger­many has threat­ened to fine so­cial net­works such as Facebook as much as $53 mil­lion if they fail to en­able users to com­plain about hate speech and fake news or refuse to re­move il­le­gal con­tent. If passed, the leg­is­la­tion would be the stiffest reg­u­la­tion Facebook faces in any coun­try in which it op­er­ates. Swatch Group said it’s de­vel­op­ing an al­ter­na­tive to the iOS and An­droid op­er­at­ing sys­tems for smart­watches as Switzer­land’s largest maker of time­pieces vies with Sil­i­con Val­ley for con­trol of con­sumers’ wrists. Neiman Mar­cus, the lux­ury re­tailer, says it’s ex­plor­ing strate­gic al­ter­na­tives, in­clud­ing a pos­si­ble sale of the com­pany. Like many depart­ment stores, Neiman Mar­cus has been wrestling with de­clin­ing cus­tomer traf­fic as shop­pers in­creas­ingly buy on­line at sites like eBay or con­sign­ment shops. McDon­ald’s has started test­ing mo­bile or­der-and-pay, not­ing the or­der­ing process in its restau­rants can be “stress­ful.” The com­pany also said that it was no­ti­fied by Twit­ter that its ac­count was “com­pro­mised” af­ter it ap­peared to send a mes­sage call­ing Pres­i­dent Trump “a dis­gust­ing ex­cuse of a Pres­i­dent.” The tweet to Trump from the of­fi­cial ac­count for McDon­ald’s Corp. said it would love to have Barack Obama back in the White House.

Cap­i­tal Busi­ness Hold­ings, the North­ern Vir­ginia com­pany that al­lows peo­ple to run their home from a smart­phone, is ex­pand­ing into fa­cial recog­ni­tion that will al­low cus­tomers to re­motely iden­tify ac­tiv­ity in and around their home and busi­ness. The com­pany is buy­ing Ob­jec­tVideo, a Re­ston-based com­pany that uses video mon­i­tor­ing to an­a­lyze pat­terns in real time. Terms were not dis­closed.


In­tel agreed to buy Mo­bil­eye, an Is­raeli self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy firm, for $15.3 bil­lion in a deal that could thrust the U.S. chip­maker into di­rect com­pe­ti­tion with ri­vals Nvidia and Qual­comm to de­velop driver­less sys­tems and com­po­nents for global au­tomak­ers. The ac­qui­si­tion of Mo­bil­eye could pro­pel the world’s largest chip­maker into the front ranks of au­to­mo­tive sup­pli­ers.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX won its sec­ond launch con­tract from the U.S. mil­i­tary by un­der­bid­ding an al­liance of de­fense in­dus­try giants. Cost was a deter­min­ing fac­tor in award­ing the $96.5 mil­lion con­tract to Space Ex­plo­ration Tech­nolo­gies, said Claire Leon, the Air Force’s launch en­ter­prise direc­tor. SpaceX is to launch an Air Force GPS satel­lite on an up­graded Fal­con 9 rocket in 2019.


The Fed­eral Re­serve raised its bench­mark in­ter­est rate, launch­ing into what in­vestors ex­pect to be a more rapid se­ries of in­creases that will help ward off the threat of in­fla­tion but also raise costs for in­debted U.S. house­holds. Fed of­fi­cials voted nearly unan­i­mously af­ter a two-day pol­icy meet­ing in Washington to raise the key in­ter­est rate for overnight lend­ing by a quar­ter-point, from a range of 0.5 to 0.75 per­cent to a range of 0.75 to 1.0 per­cent. “The sim­ple mes­sage is the econ­omy is do­ing well,” Fed Chair Janet L. Yellen said in a news con­fer­ence af­ter the an­nounce­ment. Puerto Rico’s fed­eral over­sight board voted unan­i­mously to cer­tify the gov­ern­ment’s fis­cal turn­around plan, on the con­di­tion that it be amended to elim­i­nate Christ­mas bonuses, im­pose em­ployee fur­loughs and fur­ther re­duce pen­sion spend­ing. The plan, a cor­ner­stone of the fed­eral Puerto Rico res­cue law known as PROMESA, will serve as the base­line for loom­ing re­struc­tur­ing talks with hold­ers of some $70 bil­lion in debt that has pushed the U.S. ter­ri­tory to the brink of eco­nomic col­lapse.


The Fed­eral Re­serve Bank of

At­lanta named Raphael Bos­tic as its new pres­i­dent, an economist, pro­fes­sor and former housing of­fi­cial un­der Obama. Bos­tic, 50, is the first African Amer­i­can pres­i­dent at a Fed re­gional bank. Trump has nom­i­nated a Boe­ing ex­ec­u­tive to serve as De­fense Sec­re­tary Jim Mat­tis’s sec­ond-in­com­mand. If con­firmed by the Se­nate, Pa­trick Shanahan, the se­nior vice pres­i­dent of sup­ply chain oper­a­tions for Boe­ing, will suc­ceed Robert Work, who had agreed to stay on as deputy un­til his re­place­ment was nom­i­nated. The Con­sumer Fed­er­a­tion of Amer­ica found that mil­lions of peo­ple had not made a pay­ment on $137 bil­lion in fed­eral stu­dent loans for at least nine months in 2016, a 14 per­cent in­crease in de­faults from a year ear­lier. The watch­dog used the lat­est data from the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment, which man­ages $1.3 tril­lion in fed­eral stu­dent debt owed by 42.4 mil­lion Amer­i­cans.

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