Thanks to court, IRS returns small business owner's cash seized last October: "civil forfeiture" doesn't require proof, due process, or priors for confiscation (BI). For second month in a row, foreigners sell some their US Treasury Securities, mostly held by foreign governments, for a $7.5 billion drop (NZH). Pennsylvania shooter on the run, leaving 6 dead and three wounded behind (BBC). Despite efforts, US Mint still in the red, pennies cost of 1.7 cent; taxpayer-funded loss of $90 million (LAT). Last week for outgoing democrat Senate majority, and last chance to fill some vacancies (NYT). Texas Senator Ted Cruz unpopular among his peers as he forces them to spend the weekend finalizing spending bill (WP). Surviving Boston Marathon bomber goes to court this week, after a year spent mostly in isolation (Yahoo). A northern white rhino died in San Diego zoo; only five still alive for a species on its way to extinction (CNN). Carbon monoxyde leak from Zamboni ice rink resurfacing machine in Wisconsin leaves 81 people hospitalized after minor league hockey game (CNN). Jeb Bush to release emails from his time as FL governor, as he's writing an ebook and considering a 2016 run (CT). Democrats split for 2016 between more purist / populist candidates like Warren and more centrist / pragmatic candidates like Clinton (WP). Biggest Pinocchios of 2014 (WP).
Increasing job threats from ever-smarter robots, partly explaining income inequality (NYT). US Manufacturing highest increase in 9 months, signaling strengthening economy (Reuters). Samsung still #1 phone maker, but sales down; sales up for Apple, Huawei, and Xiaomi (CNET). Xiaomi Chinese smartphone maker's 2013 profits now public: ~$56 million in 2013 (IBT). With falling crude oil prices, some oil producing states show signs of slowdown, affecting budgets, housing, and employment (IBT). New data: raising taxes on the rich won't fix global inequality (BW). Now 13 states have gas under $2/gallon: AL, AZ, CO, IN, LA, MI, MO, NE, NM, OH, OK, TX and VA (CNN). IRS' aggressive rules against tax evasion -FATCA- create difficulties for expats and foreign banks - in this case study, Asia (Forbes). China supplies 90% of the world's increasingly popular but largely unregulated e-cigarettes; concerns about explosions and carcinogenic and/or dangerous compounds (Age). China National Tobacco, larger than next five competitors combined, enriches its owner, the Chinese government: in-depth look (BW). PetSmart sold for $8.7 billions to private equity firm BC Partners and consortium (Forbes).
Yahoo makes $68 million from investment in big data software company Hortonworks, following $45 billions from Alibaba IPO earlier this year (BI). Volvo starts selling cars online, direct-to-consumer (Reuters). 3D map shows weather information in real time (PS). One step closer to human cell: DNA anchored to silicon chip synthesizes protein (IBT). US Navy's spy fish, "Silent Nemo", spies in hostile waters and protects US fleet - video (CNN). Bird songs related to human speech: genome sequencing could help human speech disorders (SA). One's initial product assessment is mostly based on color; employee satisfaction is linked to workplace colors (NZH). In a legal hard-sell, Sony forbids viewing or distributing materials leaked during last month's massive hack of the company's computer systems (CBC). Initial outrage in Australia at Uber's surging prices (automatically adjusted by app during high demand) for rides out of Sidney, during the hostage situation; rides are now free (Age). Increasing discontent with Google's crowdsourced map app "Waze", which guides freeway traffic onto faster routes through residential areas (CNET).
"The unlikely love affair between two countries" - Mary Harper, BBC News Belgium brought to a halt from transport unions' strike: air, sea, rail (TG). Brazil fatalities over 30 from bus crash with tanker truck (NZH). German Amazon workers start three-day strike for higher pay (TL). Australia: Sidney cafe stormed, Iranian hostage taker dead, siege over; 2 hostages died, 15 survived (TG). India: despite deactivating a pro-ISIS Twitter account and bringing-in his creator, the account is back up (Reuters). Indonesia mud slide death toll rises to 51, with 55 still missing (NZH). France: 10 arrested in jihadi recruiting network (NZH). ISIS now demands guarantor to ensure that anyone leaving Mosul -Iraq- returns within 10 days (Age). South Korean plastic surgery craze, fueled by locals and fly-in tourists, under increasing scrutiny following botched operations (BBC). In Australia, Sidney cafe under siege by gunman forcing hostages to hold Islamic flags against windows (Age). Russia increases military and weapons purchases by 20%, despite gloomy domestic economy and global downtrend for such purchases (CNN) Denmark argues that connective sub-oceanic ridge between Greenland and Artic Ocean gives the country claims to North Pole's potential energy sources, following similar claims by Russia and Canada (CBC). Hong Kong police clears last pro-democracy protest encampment, unlikely to end the local youth's aspirations at a freer society (NZH). China claims that portions of the latest US spending bill represents unfair trade practices, like barring those funds from buying Chinese processed poultry for school lunches (Reuters).