Amazon renews credit card deal with JPMorgan

Amazon boxes are seen stacked for delivery in the Manhattan borough of New York City(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc, the world's No. 1 online retailer, has renewed its long-running credit card relationship with JPMorgan Chase & Co, a spokesman for Amazon said on Thursday. The Amazon Chase credit card, which runs on Visa Inc's payment network service, provides shoppers on Amazon.com with instant savings of 3 percent, amongst other benefits.



Virginia Tech students plotted to kidnap and kill girl: reports

Natalie Marie Keepers is pictured in this undated handout booking photoThe details emerged during a bail hearing for one of the students jailed in the death of Nicole Lovell of Blacksburg, Virginia, the town where the university is located. Natalie Keepers, 19, is charged with being an accessory before and after the fact of the murder, as well as with concealing a dead body. David Eisenhauer, 18, a fellow first-year engineering student, is charged with murder and abduction.



Shkreli insults Congress on Twitter after refusing to testify
"Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government," said Shkreli, using his @MartinShkreli Twitter handle. Earlier, Shkreli invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and declined to answer questions from lawmakers about drug price increases he engineered such as hiking the price of 62-year-old Daraprim to $750 a pill from $13.50. During the hearing, Shkreli, whose youth and attitude have prompted some critics to label him "Pharmabro," responded to questions by continuing to laugh, twirling a pencil and yawning.

EU watchdog says needs time to study data deal with United States

Illustration file picture shows a man typing on a computer keyboard in WarsawBy Philip Blenkinsop BRUSSELS (Reuters) - An EU watchdog said on Wednesday it needed time to study a new EU-U.S. agreement on data transfers to determine whether the United States was committed to limiting intelligence surveillance of Europeans. Negotiators from the European Union and the United States agreed the data pact on Tuesday. It will replace the Safe Harbour framework, which a top EU court ruled illegal last year amid concerns over mass U.S. government snooping.



U.S. House panel subpoenas hacked federal agency for documents

An illustration picture shows projection of binary code on man holding aptop computer in WarsawThe U.S. House of Representatives has subpoenaed the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for documents related to the hacking of the agency’s files that compromised sensitive information of roughly 22 million people, Representative Jason Chaffetz said on Wednesday. Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who heads the House’s oversight panel, said that Office of Personnel Management acting director Beth Cobert was not cooperating with his committee’s investigation by failing to produce unredacted versions of network security guides that were stolen in the data breach. The files, which Chaffetz has requested for several months, were “outdated security documents” seized during the hack, according to June 2015 testimony by Donna Seymour, the agency’s chief information officer.



IRS says experiencing computer failure

A security camera hangs near a corner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in WashingtonThe U.S. Internal Revenue Service said on Wednesday it is experiencing computer failure across several systems and temporarily cannot accept many taxpayer returns. "A number of taxpayer and tax practitioner tools are unavailable," it said.



U.S. gun traders rush to set up new sites after Facebook firearms ban
U.S. gun traders are setting up new websites to arrange deals after Facebook Inc barred private gun sales on its platform. With gun rights and safety registering as a hot-button issue on the U.S. presidential campaign trail after several mass shootings last year, Facebook said on Friday it would no longer allow users to arrange private gun sales via the site. Reaction was swift among some Facebook gun trader groups, hundreds of which are based in the United States.

Video of Pomeranian doing Chinese lion dance goes virtual with three million hits
(Reuters) - Optimus, a two-year-old Pomeranian in Thailand, has become an Internet hit after his owner posted a video on Facebook of the tiny dog doing a traditional Chinese lion dance ahead of the  Lunar New Year. Since the dog's owner, Natthakrita Brompunya, dedicated a Facebook page to Optimus and his canine friends the video has been viewed more than 3 million times. The Year of the Monkey begins on Feb. 8. 

San Francisco Fed reins in Twitter use after wayward tweet

A 3D printed Twitter logo is seen in this illustration picture made in ZenicaThe Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on Wednesday imposed a new policy banning staff from tweeting from its official Twitter account on their personal devices, a day after the bank apologized for an employee's unauthorized tweet dismissing the Iowa caucuses as irrelevant. On Monday night, as results were coming in from the Iowa caucuses, a San Francisco Fed staffer used the bank's confirmed Twitter handle @sffed to send a tweet deriding the first-in-the-nation presidential nominating contest.



Zika virus a trending topic on social media platforms

The larvae of Aedes aegypti mosquito are seen inside Oxitec laboratory in Campinas, BrazilBy Anjali Athavaley and Melissa Fares NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Zika virus was a trending topic on several social media platforms on Wednesday, with users expressing concern over travel plans. According to social analytics firm Zoomph, there were 50 tweets per minute on Zika, with top related hashtags that included #salud, the Spanish word for health, and #who, referring to the World Health Organization. The mosquito-borne virus, which has been linked to a rise in severe birth defects in Brazil, is rapidly spreading in the Americas, and WHO has declared an international health emergency over Zika.     According to Google, the Texas cities of Garland, Dallas and Grapevine topped the list for Zika searches in the past 48 hours.



PewDiePie, others set to star in YouTube's first original shows

YouTube star Lilly Singh unveils YouTube's new paid subscription service at the YouTube Space LA in Playa Del Rey, Los AngelesYouTube's viral video stars, many of whom have a fan following in the millions, are set to appear next week in original movies and a show, as the video site attempts to attract users to its paid service. Other YouTube stars such as comedian Lilly Singh and comedy producer Rooster Teeth and teen network Awesomeness TV will be involved in full-length movies that will premiere on YouTube Red on Feb. 10. The original movies and show are part of Google parent Alphabet Inc's efforts to offer more to customers on YouTube Red, the $10-a-month service that allows viewers to watch videos across YouTube without ad breaks.



Yahoo to explore strategic alternatives alongside spin-off

A Yahoo logo is pictured in front of a building in Rolle(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc said on Tuesday it was exploring strategic alternatives in addition to the continued pursuit of the reverse spin-off of its Internet business. Yahoo said it would simplify its product portfolio and that it had begun to explore divesting non-strategic assets. The company also said it would cut about 15 percent of its workforce and close offices in five locations as it faces intense competition for ad dollars from Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google.



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