7% of Verizon workers take buyout

About 7% of employees worldwide at Verizon, or 10,400 workers, have accepted a buyout as part of a strategy to save the company $10 billion by 2021. The package, which includes 60 weeks of salary bonus, plus benefits, was offered to 44,000 employees.

How tech is reviving language, unlocking history
BBC

Researchers are training algorithms to machine translate 69,000 Mesopotamian records from the 21st-century BC. Researchers on the project say about 90% of cuneiform texts remain untranslated, and if these texts can be translated, more can be learned about ancient Mesopotamia and extinct languages.

US: Tariffs on China to rise if trade deal isn't set by March

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said if a trade deal with China hasn't been agreed upon by March 1, the US will proceed with new tariffs. "As far as I am concerned it is a hard deadline," he said.

Costco adds tighter limits on antibiotics for meat producers

Costco has issued higher standards for its meat suppliers regarding the use of antibiotics as it looks to limit the exposure to uses that are only most necessary. The shift comes as meat producers are revising their practices to conform to new Food & Drug Administration guidelines.

CMS: 5-week ACA sign-up rate down 11% from last year
The Hill

The latest figures from the CMS show that about 3.2 million people chose Affordable Care Act plans through the federal exchange in the first five weeks of open enrollment this year, down 11% from 3.6 million during the same period last year. The number of new consumers is down 17% from last year with only a week remaining in the open enrollment period, which ends Dec. 15.

Instagram adds voice messaging to Instagram Direct

Users can send voice messages through Instagram Direct, and those messages can be shared with individuals or groups. The messages are created by holding down the microphone button in the app and recording.

US cargo ports set Oct. record as retailers stocked up

Cargo volumes at major US container ports grew 13.6% in October from the same month in 2017 to a record 2.04 million 20-foot equivalent units, according to NRF's Global Port Tracker report. Retailers were stocking up ahead of tariff increases on goods from China, which have since been postponed, said Jonathan Gold, NRF's vice president for supply chain and customs policy.

Hong Kong a multimillion-dollar cyberattack target

Hong Kong companies and residents have lost more than $250 million in more than 9,000 cyberattacks this year, making the city one of the prime global targets for hackers, a new report states. Experts say that Hong Kong's lack of investment in cybersecurity is one of the reasons the city has been so vulnerable, especially to scams involving financial transactions.

Price-fixing lawsuit expands to 16 companies and 300 drugs

An antitrust lawsuit that began over two drugs in 2016 has expanded to an investigation of alleged price-fixing at over 16 companies and 300 drugs. Joseph Nielsen, an assistant attorney general and a lead antitrust investigator in the case, said, "This is most likely the largest cartel in the history of the United States."

White House orders reports on national 5G strategy

The White House has issued a memorandum calling for reports and recommendations related to wireless technology, setting in motion a process intended to produce a national 5G connectivity strategy. At the same time, it made a blog post headlined "America Will Win the Global Race to 5G."

Overview: Stadium construction to monitor in 2019
Forbes

Professional sports teams across the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB and MLS could all reach turning points in stadium construction next year. Tim Newcomb provides an overview of major developments, including Chase Center in San Francisco, Las Vegas Stadium, Los Angeles Stadium, Globe Life Field in Texas and the Seattle Center Arena.

Trump administration seeks to roll back sage grouse protections
The Hill

The Bureau of Land Management has proposed loosening Obama-era regulations protecting the greater sage grouse in seven Western states to open more land for oil and natural gas drilling and other activities.

Delta debuts US' 1st biometric terminal at Ga. airport

Delta Air Lines has launched a biometric international terminal at Georgia's Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, featuring facial-recognition technology at check-in, the security checkpoint, boarding and Customs.

Calif.'s Hotel Petaluma hosts 3rd gingerbread city

The Hotel Petaluma in Petaluma, Calif., held its third annual Gingerbread House Showcase and Competition over the weekend, with an array of imaginative renderings of sweet building materials and faux snow frosting. Children's creations shared the stage with elaborate replicas of local structures.