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5 Things To Know Today
CIA Investigating Former Chief Petraeus
FBI officials have already said their investigation into the scandal that brought down David Petraeus hasn’t turned up any threat or damage to national security. But, since his affair with Paula Broadwell occured while Petraeus was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA’s inspector general has begun an internal investigation, CBS reports. Sources say the CIA is looking into the general conduct of Petraeus over the 14 months he headed the agency before resigning last week after acknowledging the affair. Petreaus was to testify behind closed doors to two congressional panels Friday about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
FedEx, UPS Probed Over Online Pharmacies’ Packages
FedEx and UPS have disclosed they are targets of a federal criminal investigation related to their dealings with online pharmacies, which are at the center of an international crackdown on prescription drug abuse. The shipping companies made the disclosures in regulatory filings over the last several weeks. FedEx spokesman Patrick Fitzgerald confirmed the probe in a prepared statement and a phone interview Thursday. The investigation of the country’s two largest shippers stems from a blitz against online pharmacies that was launched in 2005. Since then, dozens of arrests have been made, thousands of websites shuttered and tens of millions of dollars and pills seized worldwide as investigators continue to broaden the probe beyond the operators.
Facebook Takes Another Shot At Settling Privacy Lawsuit
A U.S. judge said he would consider whether to preliminarily approve Facebook’s second attempt to settle allegations the social networking company violated privacy rights, Reuters reports. Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg rejected a proposed class action settlement over Facebook’s ‘Sponsored Stories’ advertising feature. But at a hearing on Thursday in San Francisco federal court, Seeborg was much less critical of a revised proposal and promised a ruling “very shortly.” Five Facebook Inc members filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against the social networking site, saying its Sponsored Stories feature violated California law by publicizing users’ “likes” of certain advertisers without paying them or giving them a way to opt out. The case involved over 100 million potential class members.
Budget Shortfall Closes 10 Los Angeles Courthouses
Los Angeles Superior Court officials say they plan to shutter 10 regional courthouses to address a projected $50 to $80 million budget shortfall, The Wall Street Journal reports. The impact on the 9.9 million residents of L.A. County, the nation’s most populous, is expected to be considerable. Expect bigger lines, slower case resolution, and longer trips to court. The number of locations handling small claims cases will shrink from 26 to six, according to the court. Collections will be handled in just two places instead of 24. Under the courtroom reorganization plan, all personal injury cases will be concentrated at a single court downtown. All told the changes affect facilities that now serve 2.9 million people, from courthouses on L.A.’s well-heeled West Side to those in working-class neighborhoods to the east and south. The changes will take place over the next eight months, according to the Los Angeles Times.
National Strike Forces Hostess To Close Doors
Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of iconic treats such as Twinkies and traditional pantry staple Wonder Bread, is shuttering its plants and liquidating its 82-year-old business. A victim of changing consumer tastes, high commodity costs and, most importantly, strained labor relations, Hostess ultimately was brought to its knees by a national strike orchestrated by its second-largest union. The work stoppage, launched Nov. 9 by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union to protest a fresh labor contract, affected about two-thirds of Hostess’s 36 plants. The strike was making it impossible for the Irving, Tex., company to continue producing its baked goods, Chief Executive Gregory Rayburn said.