While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 15 edition

The US Federal Reserve building in Washington, DC.
The US Federal Reserve building in Washington, DC.PHOTO: AFP

Fed lifts rates, sees faster pace of hikes in Trump’s first year

The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter point and signalled a faster pace of increases in 2017 as the Trump administration takes over with promises to boost growth through tax cuts, spending and deregulation.

The rate increase, regarded as a virtual certainty by financial markets in the wake of a string of generally strong economic reports, raised the target federal funds rate 25 basis points to between 0.50 per cent and 0.75 per cent.

US bond yields moved higher and the dollar rose against a basket of currencies after the Fed’s unanimous policy decision. US stocks were trading marginally lower, but selling picked up speed during Fed chair Janet Yellen’s subsequent news conference.

Yellen indicated the central bank was, at the margins, adapting to Trump as “some of the participants” on the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee began shifting fiscal policy assumptions.


Ashley Madison dating site to pay $2.28 million over breach

The operators of the Ashley Madison affair-minded dating website agreed to pay a US$1.6 million (S$2.28 million) penalty over a data breach exposing data from 36 million users, US officials announced.

Ashley Madison's Canadian parent company Ruby agreed to the penalty to settle charges with the US Federal Trade Commission and state regulators for failing to protect confidential user information.

The settlement comes after a hacker group last year released what was said to be personal data on millions of members of Ashley Madison, who were based in 46 countries. The fallout led to reports of blackmail and even suicides.


With an airdrop of popcorn, Amazon makes its first drone delivery

Amazon said it had completed its first delivery by drone, in what the global online giant hopes will become a trend in automated shipments by air.

The delivery of an Amazon Fire TV box and a bag of popcorn to a customer near Cambridge, England, was announced in a tweet by Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos.

"First-ever #AmazonPrimeAir customer delivery is in the books. 13 min - click to delivery," he wrote of the Dec 7 order.


Woman gives birth using ovary frozen in her childhood in 'world first'

A woman has given birth after doctors restored her fertility using frozen ovarian tissue removed when she was a young child.

The 24-year-old is thought to be the first in the world to have a baby after having an ovary frozen before the onset of puberty, says a BBC report.

Moaza Al Matrooshi, whose son was delivered at the privately-run Portland Hospital in London on Dec 13, told the British broadcaster: "It's like a miracle... We've been waiting so long for this result - a healthy baby."


US swimmer Ryan Lochte expecting first child with fiancee Kayla Rae Reid

US swimmer Ryan Lochte and his fiancee are expecting a baby.

The 12-time Olympic medalist, 32, announced the news on social media, together with a photo of him kissing Reid's stomach - underwater, at a swimming pool, naturally.

"My Christmas gift came early this year, can't wait for next year," Lochte captioned the photo. "Best news I've ever received #CLOUD9 #excited #family #love #2017."