The second ever Christmas Eve spacewalk was a success. Two flight engineers spent seven hours and thirty minutes outside the international space station Tuesday installing a pump that's part of the cooling system. The last Christmas Eve spacewalk was in 1999, when two Discovery astronauts spent more than eight hours working on the Hubble telescope.
Today is the first day Kwanzaa. The week-long, non-religious holiday started back in 1966. It celebrates African-American cultures and traditions. For seven days, Kwanzaa calls for focus on seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Kwanzaa runs through January 1.
A government agency has ordered American Express to refund millions of dollars to it's customers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says the credit card company practiced unfair billing tactics and deceptive marketing. Among the offenses, charging for identity protection products it didn't provide, and charging unfair monthly fees. American Express has begun refunding $60 million to more than 300,000 customers, plus government fines.
The price of postage is about to go up. A panel that oversees the U.S. postal service has approved a three cent hike on stamps, bringing the cost to 49 cents. The hike includes a one cent increase to keep pace with inflation. The additional two cents are intended to be temporary, and recoup the losses the postal service suffered during the recession. The stamp price change will take effect on January 26.
There may have been some I.O.U.'s under Christmas trees yesterday. U.P.S. and FedEx are backlogged, meaning some holiday gifts didn't get delivered in time. A U.P.S. spokeswoman apologized, saying one factor was that the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas was shorter this year. She also said the consumer trend of more online shopping was a contributing factor.