Directly after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary in Newton, Connecticut, the National Rifle Association fell silent. The NRA with roughly 4.3 million members, deactivated its Facebook page, had stopped tweeting on its Twitter account and had been issuing a “no comment” to any media outlet, until late Tuesday night releasing the following statement. ”The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters — and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown. Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting. The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again,” the group said. It plans to hold “a major news conference” on Friday.
Instagram, the popular mobile photo-sharing service now owned by Facebook, said Tuesday that it will remove language from its new terms of service suggesting that users’ photos could appear in advertisements. The language in question had appeared in updated policies announced Monday and scheduled to take effect Jan. 16. After an outcry on social media and privacy rights blogs, the company clarified that it has no plans to put users’ photos in ads. That said, Instagram maintains that it was created to become a business and would like to experiment with various forms of advertisements to make money. Instagram doesn’t currently run any ads. As of now, the free service has no way to make money and brings in no revenue to Facebook. Kevin Systrom, a co-founder of Instagram, wrote a blog post that the company would change the new terms of service to make clearer what would happen to users’ pictures, reports Jenna Wortham of The New York Times.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which had been expected to wrap up an anti-trust probe into Google within days, will now delay its decision for weeks, a source said on Tuesday.Reuters reports Google has been accused of giving competitors in lucrative areas like travel a lower ranking in search results, thus making it harder for their customers to find them. Google has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz had hoped to wrap up the long-running investigation this month. Talk of a potential settlement in recent days had suggested Google would emerge from the more than two-year probe with little more than a slap on the wrist from the commission. The delay, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, came after the European Union took a hard-line with the search engine giant on Tuesday in a parallel investigation. The EU’s antitrust chief, Joaquin Almunia, gave Google a month to come up with detailed proposals to resolve a two-year investigation into complaints that it used its power to block rivals, including Microsoft.
Thirteen of the 22 people facing hazing-related charges following a Northern Illinois University student’s death have turned themselves in to police. A DeKalb Police Department spokesman said Tuesday seven people surrendered to police in DeKalb. All seven posted bond and were released. The other suspects turned themselves in to other police departments. The spokesman did not know if they also had posted bond. Nineteen-year-old David Bogenberger died after drinking heavily during a Nov. 1 party at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house. Police said Bogenberger and other pledges drank large quantities of liquor during a two-hour period. The university said 31 students could face penalties from reprimand to expulsion. Bogenberger’s family said in a statement that they appreciate law enforcement professionals who investigated David Bogenberger’s death and “seek accountability for a horrible event.”
Switzerland’s UBS AG agreed Wednesday to pay some $1.5 billion in fines to international regulators following a probe into the rigging of a key global interest rate, CBS reports. In admitting to fraud, Switzerland’s largest bank became the second bank, after Britain’s Barclays PLC, to settle over the rate-rigging scandal. The fine, which will be paid to authorities in the U.S., Britain and Switzerland, also comes just over a week after HSBC PLC agreed to pay nearly $2 billion for alleged money laundering. The settlement caps a tough year for UBS and the reputation of the global banking industry. As well as being ensnared in the industry-wide investigation into alleged manipulations of the benchmark LIBOR interest rate, short for London interbank offered rate, UBS has seen its reputation suffer in a London trial into a multibillion dollar trading scandal and ongoing tax evasion probes. As a result of the fines, litigation, unwinding of real estate investments, restructuring and other costs, UBS said it expects to post a fourth quarter net loss of between $2.2-2.7 billion.