Roundup: Starbucks GCs and CIA, No More Senior Discounts at Southwest, Roosevelt Island Trip Report, Alitalia Rescue Hopes, Wells Fargo $1.6B Hit

This is a list of news from around the web which I came across in the last few days. I found these articles interesting and somewhat related to the travel and deal content you regularly see here at Danny the Deal Guru. Sometimes just interesting and not related at all, but I hope you enjoy them just the same. If you come across any interesting articles, or if you have your own blog and have something relatable please send them my way.

news roundup

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How the CIA Uses Starbucks Gift Cards

“He gives one [gift card] to each of his assets and tells them, ‘If you need to see me, buy a coffee.’ Then he checks the card numbers on a cybercafé computer each day, and if the balance on one is depleted, he knows he’s got a meeting. Saves him having to drive past a whole slew of different physical signal sites each day [to check for chalk marks and lowered window blinds]. And the card numbers aren’t tied to identities, so the whole thing is pretty secure.” I first saw this at VFTW, and you can read more here.

Southwest Airlines getting rid of its senior discount fares

The airline quietly announced the news on its website: “Notice: As of Dec. 11, 2019, senior fares are no longer available for purchase. Our customers mean everything to us. We’re committed to providing friendly, reliable service and low fares with heart. You’ll still get all that with our other fare features.” Southwest added that refundable fares are still available with its “Anytime” and “Business Select” fares. Read more here.

Roosevelt Island Trip Report – A NYC Gem Not Many People Know About

Roosevelt Island is one of the many interesting islands in New York City. It’s cheap and easy to get to it. The Tramway is probably the more scenic option. It looks like you have stepped into another side of the country and not just a mere half a mile away from Manhattan and Queens. Read more here.

Alitalia rescue hopes rise as Lufthansa looks set to step in

Alitalia’s rescue hopes received a boost on Thursday with signs that Lufthansa could take a stake in the Italian carrier, while Rome agreed to a 350 million euro ($389 million) bridging loan to ease immediate cash worries. Read more here.

Wells Fargo takes $1.6 billion hit linked to fake-account scandal

Wells Fargo revealed a 23% drop in third-quarter profit that disappointed investors. The decline was driven by a $1.6 billion charge for legal costs linked to the bank’s infamous retail sales tactics. Wells Fargo has yet to resolve a trio of investigations launched in 2016 by the SEC, Justice Department, and Labor Department. Read more here.

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