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Fed survey show modest growth

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy was growing at a modest pace at the end of 2021 but was still being held back by ongoing supply-chain disruptions and labor shortages.

In its latest survey of business conditions around the country, the Fed said its 12 regional banks found that the economy was continuing to grow. But many regions reported a sudden pullback in spending on leisure travel, hotels and restaurants because of the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

"Although optimism remained high generally, several districts cited reports from businesses that expectations for growth over the next several months cooled somewhat during the last few weeks" of 2021, a period when COVID cases were rising sharply.

 

Holmes sentencing delayed to September

Elizabeth Holmes, the Theranos founder convicted of four counts of felony criminal fraud by a jury earlier this month, probably will not receive her sentence until after Labor Day, according to a new court filing.

Federal prosecutors and her defense team have agreed to put off a sentencing hearing until Sept. 12, after the Sept. 5 holiday, the joint motion filed Tuesday said. Sentencing in federal criminal trials usually takes place within a few months.

The filing describes the reason for the delay as related to "ongoing proceedings in a related matter." The federal fraud trial of Holmes' co-accused, former Theranos chief operating officer Sunny Balwani, is expected to start in March.

Holmes' jury in U.S. District Court in San Jose on Jan. 3 found her guilty of four charges of defrauding investors, not guilty on four charges of defrauding patients, and they were unable to agree on three charges of defrauding investors.

She is free on a $500,000 bond secured by her signature, but the filing said her lawyers have agreed with the prosecution to have the bond secured by property.

 

Nigeria lifts ban on Twitter use

The Nigerian government has lifted its ban on Twitter in the West African country, seven months after the country's more than 200 million people were shut out of the social media network.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari directed that Twitter's operations will resume in the country on Thursday, according to the director-general of the country's National Information Technology Development Agency. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi said that was only after Twitter agreed to meet some conditions, including opening an office in Nigeria.

Nigeria suspended Twitter's operation on June 4, citing "the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence." The action triggered criticisms as it came shortly after the social media network deleted a post by Buhari in which he threatened to treat separatists "in the language they will understand."

"Our action is a deliberate attempt to recalibrate our relationship with Twitter to achieve the maximum mutual benefits for our nation without jeopardizing the justified interests of the company. Our engagement has been very respectful, cordial, and successful," Abdullahi said in a statement.

 

Researcher claims hack into 25 Tesla vehicles

A 19-year-old security researcher claims to have hacked remotely into more than 25 Tesla Inc. cars in 13 countries, saying in a series of tweets that a software flaw allowed him to access the EV pioneer's systems.

David Colombo, a self-described information technology specialist, tweeted Tuesday that the software flaw allows him to unlock doors and windows, start the cars without keys and disable their security systems.

Colombo also claimed he can see if a driver is present in the car, turn on the vehicles' stereo sound systems and flash their headlights.

The teenager didn't reveal the exact details of the software vulnerability, but said it wasn't within Tesla's software or infrastructure, and added that only a small number of Tesla owners globally were affected. His Twitter thread elicited a robust response, with more than 800 retweets and over 6,000 likes.

"It's primarily the owners (& a third party) fault," Colombo said in a response to questions from Bloomberg News. "This will be described more in detail in my writeup. But glad to see Tesla taking action now."

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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