Embassy in Sweden receives threat
WASHINGTON — The State Department says the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, has stepped up its security after receiving an unspecified threat.
The embassy said in a notice to American citizens in Sweden on Monday that it decided to boost its security posture in light of the threat, a suicide bombing last week and an increased threat level in the country.
FCC to adopt new Internet use rules
WASHINGTON — The head of the Federal Communications Commission has enough support to pass controversial new rules that will prohibit phone and cable companies from discriminating against or favoring Internet traffic flowing over their broadband networks.
More than a year after FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski pledged to put in place so-called “network neutrality” regulations, the agency is poised to adopt those rules at a meeting today.
The three Democrats on the commission are expected to vote for it and the two Republicans against.
The proposal also would give broadband companies a green light to charge heavy Web users more than casual ones. People who stream a lot of video might pay more than those who only send e-mails.
Gas demand falls for a 4th year
NEW YORK — The world’s biggest gas-guzzling nation has limits after all.
Demand has fallen for fourth straight year.
Americans are burning an average of 8.2 million barrels — 344 million gallons — of gasoline per day in 2010, a figure that excludes the ethanol blended into gasoline. That’s 8 percent less than at the 2006 peak, according to federal data.
Online holiday shopping up 12%
November and December have been good for online retailers. Holiday shoppers spent 12 percent more than they did during the 2009 season, according to research firm ComScore.
During the 47-day period ending Dec. 17, buyers dropped $27.5 billion online — $5.2 billion of it last week. Four of those days brought in a haul that surpassed $900 million, making it the heaviest week of online spending in U.S. history.
Dance, protests mark secession
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A civil rights group protested a gala ball commemorating South Carolina’s decision 150 years ago to secede from the Union.
Members of the NAACP on Monday marched and held a vigil in Charleston. They said they were disgusted with the so-called “Secession Ball” and believe it is honoring men who committed treason in order to keep slavery in place. They likened the secessionists to terrorists.
Organizers say it is not a celebration of slavery. Confederate Heritage Trust Vice President Randy Burbage says the ball is to honor men who were willing to die to protect states’ rights.
Burbage says he is disgusted the NAACP is comparing his Confederate ancestors to terrorists.
— Wire services