Afternoon intel: Peter Thiel reigns over Trump team, Apple faces yet another tax controversy

• PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel continues to influence the incoming Trump administration, with Zenefits CFO Mark Woolway and Thiel Capital managing director Kevin Harrington expected to join the Treasury’s transition team and the Commerce department, respectively. 

Bloomberg reports that Apple is being paid by the U.S. to tax-shelter corporate profits: “Apple stashed much of its foreign earnings—tax-free—right here in the U.S., in part by purchasing government bonds … in return, the Treasury Department paid Apple at least $600 million,” writes Andrea Wong

• Russia and the U.S. could be going head-to-head over what their respective diplomats have the ability do in each country if a pending U.S. bill with travel restrictions for Russian diplomats gets signed into law, Reuters reports. 

• The New York Times today published an inside look into the violent anti-drug measures being taken in the Philippines at the call of the country’s President Rodrigo Duterte

• And here’s something for your holiday wish list: A new futuristic lamp from GE with Amazon Alexa built right in. CD