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In brief: Numerica, SECU announce merger

Numerica Credit Union, based in Spokane, has merged with Richland-based School Employees Federal Credit Union (SECU).

SECU has assets totaling $12 million and about 3,000 members in the Tri-Cities.

Numerica has more than 4,000 members in the Tri-Cities, having opened a branch in Kennewick in 2004. It has more than 80,000 members throughout Central and Eastern Washington and North Idaho and $997 million in assets.

The merger is effective May 31.

Staff report

Google collected Wi-Fi users’ data

San Francisco – Google Inc. has been vacuuming up fragments of people’s online activities broadcast over public Wi-Fi networks for the past four years, a breach of Web etiquette likely to raise more privacy worries about the Internet search leader.

Even Google was troubled by its behavior, and issued a public apology Friday. The company said it only recently discovered the problem in response to an inquiry from German regulators.

“Maintaining people’s trust is crucial to everything we do, and in this case we fell short,” Alan Eustace, Google’s top engineering executive, wrote in a blog post.

Google characterized its collection of snippets from e-mails and Web surfing done on public Wi-Fi networks as a mistake, and said it has taken steps to avoid a recurrence. About 600 gigabytes of data was taken off the Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries, including the U.S. Google plans to delete it all as soon as it gains clearance from government authorities.

None of the information has appeared in Google’s search engine or other services, according to Eustace.

Associated Press

Waddell & Reed sale of futures brings heat

Overland Park, Kan. – Shares of money manager Waddell & Reed Inc. fell Friday as it was identified as the stock trader that sold off a large number of index futures contracts during last Thursday’s market collapse.

The company’s stock fell $1.81, or 5 percent, to $32.25, on a day when broader markets fell nearly 2 percent.

Waddell’s sale of 75,000 e-mini futures contracts in a 20-minute span on May 6 drew the attention of regulators, Thomson Reuters reported.

E-minis are tied to the value of the S&P 500 index. They’re traded electronically on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Overland Park, Kan.-based Waddell & Reed, which provides mutual funds and asset management services, said its trading of e-mini contracts was part of its normal operation to protect fund investors from risk.

Associated Press

Airbus maker sees 1Q profits plunge

Paris – Airbus parent company EADS NV on Friday reported that first quarter net profit fell 39 percent as its plane-maker unit struggled with the “challenges” of producing its A380 superjumbo.

Paris-based European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. said that net profit in the January to March period fell to euro103 million ($129 million) from euro170 million a year earlier.

Revenue fell 6 percent to euro9 billion in the period, EADS said in a statement.

Airbus is struggling to ramp up production of the A380 because the cabins of the hulking plane require greater customization than other plane models.

The plane “will continue to weigh substantially on” earnings in 2010, EADS said.

Associated Press


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Zimbabwe leader calls assassination attempt ‘cowardly act’

UPDATED: 8:14 p.m.

Zimbabwe’s president was unscathed Saturday by an explosion at a campaign rally that state media called an attempt to assassinate him, later visiting his two injured vice presidents and declaring the “cowardly act” will not disrupt next month’s historic elections.