Obama to end the year with open-question news conference at 1.30pm Eastern. It's official: FBI confirms that North Korea is responsible for hacking Sony. Child landing at O'Hare with fever under observation in Chicago to rule out Ebola. Judge: consumers can sue Target over 2013 data breach, ID theft risk for 110m people. North Dakota eyes waiving taxes for oil drillers facing tumbling crude prices. White House releases plan to rate colleges and tie federal aid to custom metrics. Leaked CIA report says targeting top taliban leaders has little effect on organization. Colbert Report ended, the man now replaces Letterman as CBS's "Late Show" host. In January, doctors get less money for Medicaid patients, as per Obamacare. Newly activist president, Obama shows how the last two years of his second term may go.
Apple CEO Tim Cook "deeply offended" by BBC report on Chinese factory workers. As it releases the Classic, Blackberry maker RIM's Q3 numbers out: $148m loss. End of Ally bank bailout as US government sells remaining stake, from 74% high point. Uber faces IRS scrutiny for employee / contractor status of its drivers. European exporters hurt by Russian crisis and sanctions; ruble 43% down vs. euro. India to set up global nuclear insurance pool against liability to encourage major US companies investment in the country. Chrysler recalls 288,000 Ram pickup trucks, 2005 model-year, for rear axle issue. Facebook must show that its ads yield brick-and-mortar traffic, where most purchases are still made; YOY ad revenue 64% up. Between presents and off-time to recover, Xmas busiest time for plastic surgeons. Uber, sued by Portland for illegally operating in the city, halts local operation until April. Awesome collection of charts: what data should you watch for in 2015, and why. Despite buzz, Airbus double-decker A380 doesn't sell: not a single order in 2014. Largest Asian stocks rebound in 15 months, on good news from US stocks and the Fed. Thai Union Frozen Products, world's largest canned tuna producer, buys US rival Bumble Bee Food for $1.5 billion. China promises to speed up imports of drugs and medical devices from the US, and to equally enforce local antitrust laws. PR backlash vs. cosmetics giant Sephora and promises not to price-gouge in Australia.
Google slams MPAA for wanting to revive SOPA following Sony hack. Microsoft sues tech-support scammers (you've seen their ads), offers tips. Facebook-owned Instagram deletes million of suspected-spam accounts. Elon Musk's Hyperloop 800mph train kept alive without funding thanks engineers working for shares instead of cash. Israel: 8,000 years-old olive oil discovered in Israel, oldest to date; most common crop in the Bible, along with grain and must. Whopping 469 new top-level domain names (gTLDs) in 2014, including ".pizza" and ".florist"; 3.6 million already registered. Tracking devices on birds shows they can hear / feel tornadoes while still time to escape, and come right back when it's over. littleBits releases do-it-yourself, smart-home automation kit: SMS text when the laundry's done, curtain up when the sun's up... Cyberattack via malicious email against German iron plant causes physical damage. Australian magistrate taken off a case after admitting she had googled the accused. Android M project will bring Google's operating system into cars in 2015. German researchers find security flaws allowing anyone to tap into cell phone calls. After Sony hack, companies completely revisit IT and data security measures. Apple under attack over employees treatment in contractors' Chinese factories. U. of Toronto professor creates algorithm to scan deep into DNA to find diseases. Lawsuits vs. SXSW after car fleeing cops crashes through barricade on concertgoers. By the numbers: should Google compete with Amazon in the e-commerce space? Following backlash, Yahoo-owned Flickr discontinues selling picture prints, never sharing profits with copyright owners.
Top Sierra Leone doctor Victor Willoughby dies from Ebola hours after experimental drug ZMab arrives in the country. Belarus, economically close to Russia, imposes 30% duty on foreign currency purchases to encourage using its own ruble. Turkish court pressured to issue arrest warrant for US-based opposition cleric who wants to overthrow current president. Tunisia: former official, 88 years old, runs for president, trying to distance himself from pre-Arab-Spring regime abuses. High tensions with North push South Korean Christian group to cancel illuminated, Christmas-tree shaped tower at border. One of Belgium's 7 nuclear reactors back online 4 months after unsolved sabotage. In depth look at Iraqi air base as ISIS forces close in, on increasingly winning streak. Kenya president signs controversial surveillance bill to fight islamists. Nigeria government "outraged" by Boko Haram islamists' kidnap of 200 civilians. Major western brands particularly hurt by Russian crisis, from Adidas to VW. Iraq: Mosul life deteriorates under ISIS; unpurified water, widespread poisonings. Benghazi: 25 killed, over 100 wounded in pro-government / islamists fighting. Backed by US airstrikes, Kurds push back ISIS siege against Syrian border town. Peru destroys 77k acres of coca crops (used for cocaine) in 2014, highest since 1983. In pictures: Bangladesh oil spill, threatening rare dolphin sanctuary, cleaned up by locals.