RSS
10 things you need to know today: July 17, 2012
HSBC may have allowed money laundering, Marissa Mayer will lead Yahoo, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
A new Senate report alleges that HSBC bank worked with companies with ties to Mexican drug cartels, terrorists, and other criminals and failed to prevent money-laundering violations.
A new Senate report alleges that HSBC bank worked with companies with ties to Mexican drug cartels, terrorists, and other criminals and failed to prevent money-laundering violations.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

1. GOOGLE'S MAYER HEADS TO YAHOO
In a move that shocked the tech world, Google's Marissa Mayer, 37, announced Monday that she is leaving the tech giant to be Yahoo's new CEO. Mayer was Google's 20th hire and its first female engineer. She is credited with giving Google's search engine homepage its clean, modern aesthetic. She also oversaw the launch of a number of Google's biggest services, including Gmail, Google Maps, and iGoogle. Commentators and Silicon Valley insiders say she could be just what struggling Yahoo needs. One tech writer noted that Mayer, "could legitimately make Yahoo respectable again. At the very least, she will command attention." [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. FIGHTING INTENSIFIES IN DAMASCUS
Opposition activists say fierce fighting erupted for a third day in the Syrian capital Tuesday and that a major battle for the key city is on the horizon. "The battle for Damascus is coming," says a former Syrian army colonel who defected to join the rebel fighters. An opposition group reports that 97 people were killed in Syria on Monday. On Tuesday in Moscow, U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin; Russia is a member of the U.N. Security Council, and, along with China, it has used its power to veto some of the toughest resolutions against President Bashar al-Assad and his regime. [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. REPORT: HSBC ALLOWED MONEY LAUNDERING
According to a new Senate report, HSBC worked with companies with ties to Mexican drug cartels, terrorists, and other criminals and failed to prevent money-laundering violations. "HSBC sets up a U.S. bank affiliate as its gateway into the U.S. financial system and lets its global network of affiliates abuse that gateway," says Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the head of the subcommittee behind the investigation. "The failure of accountability here is dramatic." [Bloomberg]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. ZIMMERMAN'S COUSIN SAYS HE MOLESTED HER
Prosecutors have released a recorded statement in which George Zimmerman's cousin — a witness in the case, but not a witness to Trayvon Martin's shooting — says that Zimmerman molested her for a decade, starting when she was 6 years old. The cousin's name has not been released, but she is known to be a 26-year-old woman living in central Florida. Shortly after Zimmerman was arrested in the shooting death of Martin, she contacted investigators and alleged that he and his family were racists. [McClatchy Newspapers]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. N. KOREA PROMOTES MILITARY GENERAL 
North Korean state media reports that General Hyon Yong Chol has been promoted to the position of vice marshal, leading to speculation that he'll replace Ri Yong Ho, the military chief who was fired two days ago in the biggest power shift since Kim Jong Un took control of the country late last year. [Bloomberg]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. MICROSOFT TAKES OFFICE TO THE CLOUD
The software titan showed off the latest version of Office on Monday. Microsoft has overhauled its popular software package for the age of cloud computing, social networking, and touch screens. Chief executive Steve Ballmer calls it "the most ambitious release of Microsoft Office that we've ever done." [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. DARK KNIGHT RISES PREMIERES
Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises had its world premiere in New York City on Monday. In early reviews, critics are heaping praise on the final installment in Nolan's trilogy, calling it "staggering" and "fresh and brilliantly rendered." The film opens officially on Friday and stars Christian Bale as Batman and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. [Daily News]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. COUNTRY MUSIC'S KITTY WELLS DIES AT 92
Kitty Wells, known as the "Queen of Country Music," passed away Monday morning at her home in Nashville with family at her side. In 1952, Wells released "It Wasn't God Who Made Hony Tonk Angels" and became the first woman to reach the top of the country charts. Country great Loretta Lynn mourned her death, releasing a statement saying, "Kitty Wells will always be the greatest female country singer of all times." [Reuters]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. FDA APPROVES HIV RISK-REDUCTION DRUG
In a milestone in the battle against H.I.V. and AIDS, the Food and Drug Administration has issued its approval for the first drug shown to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. The Truvada pill has been approved as a preventive measure for those who are at a high risk for contracting HIV through sexual intercourse, such as individuals with a partner who is HIV-positive. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. REPORT: NEXT IPHONE TO HAVE THINNER SCREEN
Sources tell The Wall Street Journal that the next iPhone will have a thinner screen, thanks to a new technology that will integrate touch sensors within the LCD display panel. [Wall Street Journal]

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week