NEW YORK — U.S. insurer Prudential Financial is investigating whether Wells Fargo employees signed up customers for its life insurance policies without their knowledge, a spokesman said on Saturday, Dec. 10. Sales practices at Wells Fargo have been under a spotlight since September when federal regulators ordered the San Francisco-based bank to pay $190 million in fines and restitution because they said its high pressure sales environment pushed employees to open as many as 2 million deposit and credit card accounts without customers' permission.
WASHINGTON — U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name the chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp as the country's top diplomat, NBC News reported Saturday, Dec. 10. Exxon chief Rex Tillerson emerged on Friday as Trump's leading candidate for U.S. secretary of state and met with him Saturday morning, a transition official told Reuters.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. said on Friday that a software update for Galaxy Note 7 smartphones will be released mid-December in the United States preventing them from charging and functioning as mobile phones, rendering them useless. The smartphone maker said that more than 93 percent of all recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices had been returned as a part of its exchange program in the United States.
WASHINGTON — The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help President-elect Donald Trump win the White House, and not just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, the Washington Post reported on Friday. Citing U.S. officials briefed on the matter, the Post said intelligence agencies had identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, to WikiLeaks.
CANNON BALL/FORT YATES, N.D. - U.S. veterans, thousands of whom last week helped stop a contested oil pipeline running through North Dakota, could become important partners of activists on the environment, the economy, race and other issues that divide Americans. Several academics said the effort to support the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others opposed to the pipeline project was likely the biggest gathering of its kind of former military personnel since the early 1970s when U.S. veterans marched against the Vietnam War.
John Glenn, who became one of the 20th century's greatest explorers as the first American to orbit Earth and later as the world's oldest astronaut, in addition to a long career as a U.S. senator, died on Thursday, Dec. 8, at age of 95. Glenn was the last surviving member of the original seven "Right Stuff" Mercury astronauts. "John Glenn is, and always will be, Ohio's ultimate hometown hero, and his passing today is an occasion for all of us to grieve," Ohio Governor John Kasich said in a statement.
NEW YORK - Almost 60 percent of transgender Americans have avoided using public restrooms for fear of confrontation, saying they have been harassed and assaulted, according to the largest survey taken of transgender people in the United States. The survey of 27,715 respondents reached an estimated 2 percent of the adult transgender population in 2015, seeking to fill a gap in data about a severely understudied group whose experiences and challenges from medicine to law to economics and family relations are poorly understood.
NEW YORK — President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate a third retired general for a top job in his new administration with the choice of a battle-hardened Marine commander to lead the agency set up after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to protect the U.S. homeland. Trump is expected to name former Marine General John Kelly, 66, as head of the Department of Homeland Security, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
VATICAN CITY - Media that focus on scandals and spread fake news to smear politicians risk becoming like people who have a morbid fascination with excrement, Pope Francis said in an interview published on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Francis told the Belgian Catholic weekly "Tertio" that spreading disinformation was "probably the greatest damage that the media can do" and using communications for this rather than to educate the public amounted to a sin.
LOS ANGELES/HONOLULU - It has been 75 years, but U.S. Navy veteran James Leavelle can still recall watching with horror as Japanese warplanes rained bombs down on his fellow sailors in the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War Two. Bullets bounced off the steel deck of his own ship, the USS Whitney, anchored just outside Honolulu harbor, but a worse fate befell those aboard the USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, USS Utah and others that capsized in an attack that killed 2,400 people.