Outlook for Sun Fun Festival on Strand in 2013 looks dim
MYRTLE BEACH There was no Sun Fun Festival to kick off the tourist season in Myrtle Beach this year. The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports it doesn’t look like the festival will return next year, either. Richard Singleton with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce said no group has responded to a call to overhaul the festival. The chamber had sponsored it for 60 years until this year. The chamber says the event no longer pays for itself. It had said it April that it would overhaul the festival and bring it back next year. It had put out a request for proposals from event planners or others interested in running the event. Fewer than 12,000 people attended in 2011.
Moody’s outlook for U.S. banking still negative
Moody’s Investors Service says its outlook for the U.S. banking industry remains negative, as low interest rates and tepid economic growth will continue to hurt banks’ finances over the next 12 to 18 months. The rating agency also says in a report issued Tuesday that uncertainty over a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit as well as the debt crisis in Europe create a difficult environment for U.S. banks. Moody’s has raised its credit rating outlooks for most U.S. banks to “Stable” from “Negative” since early 2010 as banks have increased their cushions against losses. But Moody’s says problems in the broader economy override that, as banks still carry many loans prone to default on their books and gains could be reversed if the economy turns downward.
Hacker group claims to have stolen 12 million Apple ID numbers
LOS ANGELES A hacker group known as AntiSec claims it stole the identification numbers for 12 million Apple devices and has posted information on a million of them on a website. AntiSec, which is short for anti-security, alleges it gained access to a file containing the list of the Apple IDs after hacking into the computer of an FBI agent. It did not identify the agent or who the ID numbers belonged to. AntiSec said it chose to release a portion of the Apple IDs list to get people’s attention to its claims that the FBI is gathering people’s Apple device details. The group claims that some of the devices on the list also contain names, telephone numbers, addresses and ZIP codes. But AntiSec said it chose to reveal only user IDs, device types and device names in the portion of the list it released. It wasn’t immediately clear what damage could be done with a device’s ID or how users can protect themselves. The FBI said it was aware of the alleged hack but could not comment further.
Wal-Mart lowering layaway fee to $5
NEW YORK Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is announcing that it will be lowering its fee that shoppers pay for its interest-free pay-over-time program that it’s resurrecting for the winter holidays. The fee to open up a layaway account will now be $5 instead of $15, the world’s largest retailer said Tuesday. Wal-Mart says the move to cut the fee is in response to customer feedback since announcing last month it would bring back its layaway program for Christmas. The program starts on Sept. 15 and runs through Dec. 14. The announcement comes a day after Toys R US announced it was waiving the upfront service fee for layaway orders created in store from Sept. 4 through Oct. 31. After Oct 31, a $5 service fee will apply.
The Associated Press and Los Angeles Times contributed.