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Mayor details explosion near Times Square

CNN - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:55
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says the explosion in the New York Port Authority bus terminal was a terror-related attack.

Op-Ed Contributor: Why Team Trump Needs to Lay Off the Mueller Probe

NY Times - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:55
If it goes to the question of impeachment, Congress will need help.

American Express, Mastercard and Discover to Eliminate Signature Requirement for Purchases in April 2018

MacRumors - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:52
American Express today announced plans to eliminate signature requirements when customers make credit or debit card purchases, joining both Mastercard and Discover.

All three companies plan to stop asking customers to provide a signature when making a purchase in the United States and Canada starting in April of 2018. The change is designed to allow for a more consistent, streamlined, and speedy checkout experience for both merchants and cardholders.

Credit and debit card companies have long required signatures for purchases as an added security measure, but with technology improvements that include contactless payments and the adoption of EMV chip technology, signatures are no longer a necessity."The payments landscape has evolved to the point where we can now eliminate this pain point for our merchants," said Jaromir Divilek, Executive Vice President, Global Network Business, American Express. "Our fraud capabilities have advanced so that signatures are no longer necessary to fight fraud. In addition, the majority of American Express transactions today already do not require a signature at the point of sale as a result of previous policy changes we made to help our merchants."American Express has already phased out signature requirements for purchases under $50 in the United States, as have other credit card companies, and the complete elimination of the signature is a shift that consumers are likely to welcome.

Doing away with signature requirements for credit and debit card transactions will also streamline the Apple Pay process in the United States when using a Mastercard, Discover, or American Express card. With Apple Pay, a signature can on occasion be required for purchases over $50 in the United States, a step that may be eliminated once the card changes are introduced.

Apple Pay customers in other countries that have similar restrictions may also see them lifted when using American Express, but there are locations like Canada where contactless payments are not permitted for large purchases. In these situations, there will be no improvements to the Apple Pay process.

While Mastercard and Discover have said the change applies to the United States and Canada, American Express plans to eliminate signature requirements globally on purchase transactions of all amounts. Merchants are, however, still able to collect signatures if required to do so by an applicable law in a particular jurisdiction.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
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The Carpetbagger: Jessica Chastain Feared Speaking Out Would Hurt Her Career

NY Times - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:49
The Golden Globe nomination on Monday was especially gratifying for the “Molly’s Game” actress, who has been an outspoken critic of sexual harassment.

Journalist and Sanders spar over media mistakes

CNN - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:46
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defends President Donald Trump's attacks against the media, saying there's a difference between journalists making "honest mistakes and purposefully misleading the American people."

It will take more than a visit to a museum for Trump to win over black voters

Washington Post - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:30
Black voters aren't convinced that Trump is genuinely concerned about issues affecting them.

In Franken's wake, three senators call on President Trump to resign

Washington Post - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:30
Sanders, Merkley and Booker ask Trump, who has been dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct, to step down.

FBI director again laments strong encryption in remarks to Congress

Ars - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:25

Enlarge / FBI Director Christopher Wray is sworn in prior to testifying before the House Judiciary Committee December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. (credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In recent testimony before Congress, the director of the FBI has again highlighted what the government sees as the problem of easy-to-use, on-by-default, strong encryption.

In prepared remarks from last Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that encryption presents a "significant challenge to conducting lawful court-ordered access," he said, again using the longstanding government moniker "Going Dark."

The statement was just one portion of his testimony about the agency's priorities for the coming year.

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Christoph Waltz, Directing Opera, Moves From Tarantino to Verdi

NY Times - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:13
The Oscar-winning actor concentrates on subtle acting in his new production of “Falstaff” at Opera Vlaanderen in Belgium.

Ready Player One arrives—abundant references intact—in its first full trailer

Ars - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:12

It's here, folks.

After an initial glimpse at this summer's San Diego Comic-Con, the first full trailer for Ready Player One premiered this weekend. Author Ernest Cline brought the footage to his hometown theater—Austin, Texas' Alamo Drafthouse—and live-streamed it (with a post-roll Q&A) for fans worldwide on the film's Facebook page.

"If Willy Wonka was a game designer instead of a candy maker and held his golden-ticket contest inside the world's greatest video game, that's kind of the essence of what the story is," Cline said.

For those unfamiliar with Cline's best-seller, Ready Player One is the story of a kid growing up in the near future, dreaming of escape from his life in a massive, dystopian trailer park. Our hero Wade Watts only finds real happiness in The OASIS, a massive multiplayer VR world where he can indulge his love for 1980s pop culture. (See flashes of The Iron Giant, Battletoads, Lara Croft, Chun-Li, Overwatch characters, and many, many more.)

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Under Trump, E.P.A. Has Slowed Actions Against Polluters, and Put Limits on Enforcement Officers

NY Times - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:10
An analysis of enforcement data at the E.P.A. shows a substantial drop in activity against polluters when compared with the Obama and Bush administrations.

Golden Globes Briefing: ‘The Shape of Water’ and ‘Big Little Lies’ Lead Golden Globe Nominations

NY Times - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:02
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy, led the way with seven nominations, while the newspaper drama “The Post” had six.

Shelby says ‘Alabama deserves better’ than Moore

Washington Post - Mon, 2017-12-11 14:00
Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) and politicians from both parties on Dec. 10 weighed in on the accusations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Alabama.

Campaign to Drive Out Migrants Slams Beijing’s Best and Brightest

NY Times - Mon, 2017-12-11 13:59
Tens of thousands of hopeful college graduates moved to the city seeking better jobs and better lives. Now the authorities are telling them to leave.
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