Credit giant Equifax says Social Security numbers, birth dates of 143 million consumers may have been exposed
LA Times' PARESH DAVE: "Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting firms, announced Thursday that its computer systems had been breached, leading to the unauthorized accessing of Social Security numbers and birth dates of up to 143 million U.S. consumers."
"The Atlanta-based company said the intrusion — enabled by a website vulnerability — occurred from mid-May through July. The issue was discovered July 29, and the company spent recent weeks working with a cybersecurity consultant and authorities on an investigation, which is continuing."
"Equifax said it launched a website for people to check whether their data were affected and to sign up for the company’s credit-monitoring services. But a form on the website purportedly offering to “check potential impact” instead just gives users a date on which they must return to Equifax’s website to enroll in credit monitoring."
READ MORE related to Identity Theft Crisis: Equifax hack gives criminals data to loot your bank account, shop with your money, expert says -- Mercury News' ETHAN BARON
Federal court rejects part of Trump travel ban
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "Grandparents, grandchildren and other close relatives who hail from six mostly Muslim nations can enter the United States to join their family members during a legal challenge of President Trump’s ban on travel from those countries, a San Francisco-based federal appeals court ruled Thursday."
"The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also opened the door to U.S. admission of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing violence and hardship in their homelands. The three-judge panel rejected Trump administration rules that would have barred those admissions while the legality of the president’s executive order is before the U.S. Supreme Court."
With Amazon.com looking for giant new HQ, Bay Area raises hand
The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI/JK DINEEN: "Amazon.com launched a nationwide search Thursday for a place to plant a second headquarters, and its ideal spot sounds a lot like the Bay Area: a metropolitan region with plenty of public transit, an international airport, good universities and strong allure for technical talent."
"But the Seattle company is looking far beyond Silicon Valley, where it already has a handful of outposts, and soliciting bids from across North America. The announcement set off a scramble among cities to score the massive development — which could be as big as 8 million square feet, cost as much as $5 billion to develop, and employ up to 50,000 people making an average salary of $100,000 a year."
Hurricane Irma slams Turks and Caicos on path to Florida
AP: "Hurricane Irma battered the Turks and Caicos Islands early Friday and Cuba evacuated tourists from beachside resorts as the fearsome storm continued a rampage through the Caribbean that has killed at least 11 people, with Florida in its sights."
"Waves as high as 20 feet were expected in the Turks and Caicos. Communications went down as the storm slammed into the islands, and the extent of the devastation was unclear."
"The first hurricane warnings were issued for parts of southern Florida as the state braced for what could be a catastrophic hit over the weekend. Following in Irma's wake was Hurricane Jose, with some of the islands hit hardest by Irma in its expected path."
READ MORE related to Natural Disasters/Environment: Mexican authorities report an 8.4 earthquake off southern coast, raising tsunami fears -- LA Times' KATE LINTHICUM/RONG-GONG LIN II; Is climate change wreaking weather havoc? Evolving science seeks answers -- The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER; Scientists say decline in monarch butterflies brings risk of extinction -- The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE; Florida State, Florida cancel football games because of Irma -- AP; 4 teens playing with fireworks suspected of causing 100-acre Gilroy wildfire -- The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN; Hurricane Irma crashes through Caribbean islands and is heading for Florida -- WaPo's JOEL ACHENBACH/MARK BERMAN
More opioid prescriptions than people in some California counties
Sacramento Bee's JIM MILLER: "Trinity County is the state’s fourth-smallest, and ended last year with an estimated population of 13,628 people."
"Its residents also filled prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone and other opioids 18,439 times, the highest per capita rate in California."
"Places like West Virginia, Ohio and rural New England have become synonymous with prescription painkiller abuse, a scourge blamed for more than 183,000 deaths from 1999 through 2015."
A year after accounts scandal broke, problems are still surfacing at Wells Fargo
LA Times' JAMES RUFUS KOREN: "One year ago today, Wells Fargo & Co. made the stunning admission in a settlement with regulators that it created perhaps 2 million accounts for customers without their permission."
"The disclosure ignited a scandal that led in a matter of weeks to the ouster of its chairman and chief executive, John Stumpf, and to a host of promised reforms, including the removal of onerous sales goals that were widely acknowledged to be the source of the problem."
"But a year later, the scandal that started with outrage over sham accounts has ballooned and that sin is just one of many the San Francisco bank has either copped to or been accused of."
Lawmaker wants California public schools to provide free tampons