Wal-Mart settles lawsuit with Tracy Morgan, and Walt Disney World goes solar. Here are the top news stories for May 28, 2015.
Wal-Mart, Morgan Settle
The lawsuit filed by comedian Tracy Morgan and two others against Wal-Mart Stores has been settled, although the terms of the agreement are confidential. Wal-Mart announced the agreement in the case in which a Wal-Mart delivery truck hit the car in which Morgan and others were inside, killing comedian James McNair, last June 7. Wal-Mart had already settled with McNair’s children. Morgan, the former star of “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” suffered a serious brain injury and several broken bones and spent weeks in rehabilitation.
IRS Blames Russians
The Internal Revenue Service believes Russian hackers were responsible for stealing information from their system on more than 100,000 taxpayers. The Associated press reports that the IRS is blaming foreign hackers for the theft, which includes tax returns and other tax information on file with the IRS. Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday the hacking was conducted in an organized manner, and that there were approximately 200,000 attempts to steal information, with about half of them being successful. “We are confident these people are not amateurs, these are actually organized crime syndicates that not only we but everyone in the financial industry are dealing with,’’ Koskinen said.
NASDAQ Breaks Record
The NASDAQ composite index settled at a record close on Wednesday, ending the day at 5106.59. Tech stocks were seen as the reason for the record-high mark, with Apple, Amazon and Netflix seeing high numbers. The Index is up 22 percent in the past year. The intra-day record still stands at 5132.52, which occurred during the last dot-com boom in March of 2000. Many investors are asking whether we are in another tech bubble, but tech supporters say the focus on revenue among tech companies sets this market rate apart from the past.
FCC Slams Telemarketers
The Federal Communication Commission plans to vote this summer on a proposal to make it harder for telemarketers and other businesses to place unwanted robocalls and text messages. A new autodialing rules proposed this week would give legal cover to telephone companies to offer consumers the technology that would block robocalls no matter where they originate. “The FCC wants to make it clear: Telephone companies can and in fact should offer consumers robocall-blocking tools,’’ said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a blog post. The proposal would clarify that consumers have to agree to receive automated calls and texts. Robocalls and robotexts are by far the most common complaint to the FCC from consumers.
Mickey Goes Solar
Walt Disney World and Duke Energy have signed an agreement in which the energy company will build a solar power facility at the Orlando theme park and resort to provide power to the area. The new solar plant will be built near Epcot on 20 acres of land and it will contain 48,000 solar panels to provide enough energy to operate 1,000 residential homes. The solar panels will be constructed in the shape of the iconic Mickey Mouse head. The plant is expected to be online by the end of 2015.
Jobless Claims Jump
The number of Americans filing new unemployment benefit claims jumped unexpectedly last week, according to the Labor Department. The Thursday report showed that claims rose to 272,000 for the week ending May 23, much higher than the anticipated 271,000. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications than previously reported. Claims still remain below 300,000 which is seen has an indication that the job market remains firm and is improving.