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February 28, 2015

The US Congress narrowly avoided a partial Homeland Security shutdown Friday

  Congress passed a one-week stopgap measure to keep the agency in operation late Friday night. Earlier, Republican House Speaker John Boehner got into a tussle with conservatives, who voted down a longer extension that didn’t block President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. Negotiations ended near midnight, when President Obama signed the bill.
February 27, 2015

Mexico captures its most-wanted drug lord.

  Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, head of the Knights Templar cartel, was a major target in president Enrique Peña Nieto’s efforts to crack down on drug-related violence in the western state of Michoacan. It’s a timely win for Peña Nieto, who was recently slammed by business groups for failing to halt crime and corruption.
February 27, 2015

Italy symbolically acknowledges a Palestinian state.

  Lawmakers passed a non-binding resolution recognizing Palestine as a state, in the hopes of encouraging fresh negotiations “to reach a two-state solution” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This doesn’t change the government’s official stance, which is that a Palestinian state cannot exist unless it results from talks with Israel.  
February 27, 2015

The US attorney general says it’s time for shopping malls to “step up” security.

  Referencing a recent video from terrorists threatening attacks on shopping centers in the US and other western countries, Eric Holder said that malls should “increase their capabilities when it comes to keeping people safe who are just going about their everyday lives.” Holder, who will soon be out of office, was giving an exit interview to CNN.
February 27, 2015

Apple’s patent troll strikes again.

  One day after a jury in Tyler, Texas, ordered Apple to pay Smartflash $533 million for using its patents without permission, Smartflash sued Apple again. This time it wants damages based on sales of Apple’s newer devices. Apple was also hit with a fresh patent infringement suit from Swedish telecom giant Ericsson.
February 27, 2015
Chart of the Moment

Brazil’s unemployment rate is spiking after a long decline.

February 27, 2015

Alibaba’s payment arm is preparing for an IPO.

  Ant Financial, controlled by Alibaba executives but separate from the Chinese e-commerce giant, could go public in mainland China as early as 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). The company, which owns Alibaba’s massive e-payment service Alipay, is currently worth “tens of billions of dollars.”

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