What the other papers say this morning - 17 December 2013

FINANCIAL TIMES

US judge ruling on NSA surveillance
The National Security Agency’s surveillance methods have suffered a significant legal setback after a federal judge ruled yesterday that a programme that collects bulk phone records was likely to be unconstitutional. In an often scathing ruling about the activities of the NSA, the court said the programme to collect the phone records of most Americans was based on “almost-Orwellian technology”.

Zions bank is early Volcker casualty
One of the first casualties of the Volcker rule is a small Utah-based bank that is far from the large Wall Street institutions that regulators had sought to rein in. Zions Bancorp said yesterday it would no longer be able to hold certain types of securitised debt as it seeks to comply with the Volcker rule, raising concerns about the cost of the new regulations to smaller banks.

Beyonce album tops iTunes record
The new album from the singer Beyonce has become the fastest-selling release in the history of iTunes, reinvigorating Apple’s music store at a time when streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer and Rdio have stolen some of its thunder.

Apple said it sold 828,773 downloads of the album worldwide in its first three days, while the US store’s sales record was broken with 617,213 copies sold. Last year, Taylor Swift’s album Red sold 465,000 copies in the US in its first week.

THE TIMES

Cameron attacks EU frack threat
New EU laws could kill investment in fracking at a “critical and early stage,” David Cameron warned Brussels in an attempt to protect British industry. In a letter to the European Commission, Cameron argued long delays and uncertainty caused by new legislation were a “major case for concern”.

Auto-enrol pensions attract 2.2m
More than 2m low and moderate earners are saving in a workplace pension scheme for the first time, according to the latest snapshot on automatic enrolment, the flagship policy to pressure more people to save for retirement.

The Daily Telegraph

UK accuses Argentina of bullying
Britain has formally protested to Argentina over a threat to punish oil firms operating off the Falkland Islands with heavy fines, the seizure of assets and jail sentences of up to 15 years. The Foreign Office insisted the Falklands were not subject to a new law passed by the Argentine Congress and accused Buenos Aires of “bullying.”

Campaigners want to sue Google
An internet privacy group has in the High Court accused the search engine of bypassing security settings to collect information on browsing habits. Google has asked to throw out the case, claiming it is not governed by the British justice system.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

GM considers shareholder dividend
General Motors chief executive Dan Akerson said yesterday that the automaker could consider paying a dividend next year even as it looks to raise executive salaries and invest $1.3bn in modernising five US factories.

Global car sales forecast to rise
The global auto industry is expected to produce 85m sales in 2014, up from an estimated 82m this year, IHS Automotive said in a forecast yesterday.

By 2018 sales are forecast to break 100m, with global growth driven by rising wealth in emerging markets and moderate gasoline prices.