Harassment alleged as Facebook employee quits

Sophie Alpert says she has resigned as an engineering manager at Facebook after facing harassment from colleagues regarding her opinion of diversity at the company. Alpert says she has been attacked on anonymous workplace app Blind after criticizing a lack of diversity at Facebook.

How is student debt affecting rural America?

Research from the Federal Reserve shows that rural students who have the most college debt are more likely to move to bigger cities to find higher-paying jobs. The study also shows that two-thirds of students who had not taken out loans remained in rural areas six years later while about half of their peers with loans had moved away.

House Financial Services chair pledges scrutiny of regulators

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, says she will keep a "watchful eye" on financial regulators, ensure banks comply with the Dodd-Frank Act and guarantee that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is strong. The committee will give much attention to financial-technology firms that promise to provide financial services to people without access to the banking system, Waters says.

Walmart picks more partners to expand grocery delivery

Walmart will team with Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire and Roadie to grow its grocery delivery service in four states, as part of the retailer's ongoing efforts to bring grocery delivery to 1,600 stores. The company offers delivery from 800 stores with partners including Postmates, Deliv and DoorDash.

Swapping 30 minutes of sitting with physical activity cuts death risk

Replacing 30 minutes of sitting per day with physical activity lowers the risk of premature death by up to 35% in older adults, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Moderate to vigorous activity was most effective, but even light-intensity activity was associated with a 17% lower risk of premature mortality.

Facebook removes "inauthentic" Russian-initiated accounts

Facebook has removed around 364 Russian-sourced pages and accounts for coordinated inauthentic activity; some of them have ties to Sputnik, a Russian state-owned news agency. Additionally, the platform eliminated 41 Instagram accounts and 107 Facebook groups, accounts and pages that also were initiated in Russia based on information from US law enforcement.

Sears creditors object to Lampert's buyout plan

Sears has confirmed that Chairman Edward Lampert's ESL Investments won an auction to acquire the company with a $5.2 billion bid and a plan to keep about 400 stores operating. Unsecured creditors who blame Lampert for the retailer's struggles have raised objections to the plan and have requested a public hearing.

Google to buy Fossil smartwatch IP for $40M

Google will buy the intellectual property rights to Fossil's smartwatch in a deal worth $40 million. The purchase will include some of Fossil Group's research and development team moving over to Google.

Azar vows to work with Congress to lower drug prices, Cummings says
The Hill

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said HHS Secretary Alex Azar pledged to work with him to lower prescription drug prices. "We are headed for the same goals, but not necessarily the exact same legislation, so I've got to tell you I came out of the meeting feeling hopeful that this is something that we can do on a bipartisan basis," said Cummings, one of a group of lawmakers who recently unveiled sweeping legislation to lower drug prices by permitting drug importation and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

AI to come to the fore for telecom sector in 2019

Artificial intelligence will be implemented in networks, industrial applications, services and virtualization in the coming year, analysts say. It will also play a part in 5G cellular communications, the internet of things and expanding bandwidth for video streaming, they note.

2 state DOTs delay bidding amid partial shutdown

Uncertainty over federal funding due to the partial government shutdown has caused transportation officials in Oklahoma and New Mexico to delay seeking construction bids for upcoming projects. State agencies can still access funds from the Highway Trust Fund during the shutdown, but the agencies say operating in the current funding environment is "a very risky thing."

Colo. may boost local government involvement in decisions on oil, gas

New Colorado Gov. Jared Polis unveiled plans for legislation that would grant more power to local governments in decisions related to the state's $32 billion oil and natural gas industry. Polis said that solidifying local control would improve market confidence and investor certainty.

SpaceX moves one step closer to manned Crew Dragon flight

SpaceX took one step closer to a manned mission as the company raised a Falcon 9 rocket with its Crew Dragon capsule into position at its Florida launchpad. A test flight anticipated within about a month and the Crew Dragon will eventually take astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

Impact of shutdown varies at airport checkpoints across the US

Effects of the partial government shutdown in the US vary at airports across the country. Many are experiencing normal security checkpoint operations while others report long lines due to increased numbers of Transportation Security Administration officers calling in sick.