Identity crisis

Sep 8, 2017

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 CrisisEquifax 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."

"Thursday’s decision was a defeat for the administration which had appealed a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii allowing the relatives and refugees to enter while the high court considers a challenge by Hawaii and other states to the president’s order. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the travel ban on Oct. 10 and is expected to rule before the end of the year."


READ MORE related to Immigration/DACA: The unfairness of DACA -- National Review's HRISHIKESH JOSHI; With DACA gone, Black Immigrants find themselves in the cross hairs -- The Nation's COLLIER MEYERSON


With looking for giant new HQ, Bay Area raises hand


The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI/JK DINEEN: " 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."

"Among them is San Jose, which plans to make a bid, city officials said."


READ MORE related to Economy: Sacramento plans to bid for Amazon headquarters -- and 50,000 jobs -- Sacramento Bee's RYAN LILLIS


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/EnvironmentMexican 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."


READ MORE related to Transportation: That speed trap for out-of-staters? Yes, it's a real thing -- Mercury News' GARY RICHARDS


Lawmaker wants California public schools to provide free tampons


The Chronicle's MELODY GUTIERREZ: "A California lawmaker wants public schools in the state to provide free feminine hygiene products in campus bathrooms, saying she too often hears of girls missing school because they can’t afford pads or tampons or putting themselves at risk for infection by not changing the products as often as they should to cut costs."

"AB10 by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, would require schools that serve students from sixth grade and up and receive Title 1 funding for low-income students to provide free tampons and pads in at least half of the restrooms on campus. Many schools already provide free feminine hygiene products in their front office, but Garcia said campuses need to do more."

"I remember having to use pads for more than 10 hours because I knew we couldn’t afford to buy a new box of pads,” said Yesenia Jimenez, who testified in support of the bill in June, saying she and her sisters would skip school sometimes when they didn’t have menstrual products."


READ MORE related to Education: The Department of Jusice is overseeing the resegregation of American schools -- The Nation's EMMANUEL FELTONWrongly accused: Team from Santa Clara University's 'Innocence Project' clear man's name -- Mercury News' ERIC KURHI; 'Friendly critic' of California's school district reforms issues warning -- EdSource's JOHN FENSTERWALD


Germany rejects Polish demand for WW2 reparations


AP: "The German government says the question of paying reparations to Poland for World War II has been resolved for over 60 years and there's no reason to reopen it."

"Poland's government said recently that Germany has a moral obligation to pay for the massive destruction of many towns and cities by the Nazi war machine."

"Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman told reporters on Friday that while Germany "stands by its responsibility for WWII" it has already paid reparations to Poland in the past."


READ MORE related to World: Nobel institute: Myanmar leader can't be stripped of prize -- AP


Thousands pack memorial service for Sacramento county deputy slain in hotel shootout


Sacramento Bee's NASHELLY CHAVEZ: "More than 3,000 law enforcement officers, family and community members gathered on Thursday to remember the life of Robert French, the veteran Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed last week."

"The memorial was held at the Adventure Christian Church in Roseville, which was packed full during the ceremony. The sanctuary seats just under 3,000 people. Several officers watched the service on television screens set up in the lobby, as co-workers and friends recalled the jokester with the southern drawl who was passionate about protecting his community."

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, who spoke during the ceremony, said while he felt both anger and hurt following the shooting, he also felt honored to be part of the law enforcement community in Sacramento."


OP-ED: The path to carbon-free electricity


ERICA MARTINEZ in Capitol Weekly: "Powering our state with entirely clean energy is not a pipe dream. At a time when the Trump administration is making harmful and backward decisions on our climate and energy future, Senate Bill 100 presents a golden opportunity for California to lead the nation."

"California already sources over a quarter of our electricity from wind and solar sources, empowering us to reach 50 percent renewable energy well before 2030. Solar energy prices have dropped 78 percent between 2009 and 2014 and renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels. Most of all, innovation in the energy storage sector will soon be able to store and provide affordable renewable energy, literally rain or shine."


"We can jumpstart that transition to a clean grid with SB100, which is now making its way through the Capitol in Sacramento. This bill spurs California’s renewable goals, pushing our current goal to achieve 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 to a 60 percent target, and setting California on a path to a 100 percent zero-carbon grid by 2045."


READ MORE OP-EDs: Borenstein: Union bill would endanger help for the needy -- Mercury News' DANIEL BORENSTEIN; Freedberg: Long shadow is cast over DACA debate by 9/11 attacks -- EdSource's LOUIS FREEDBERG; Trump just doesn't get it -- National Review's JONAH GOLDBERG


Team from Santa Clara University's 'Innocence Project' clear man's name


Mercury News' ERIC KURHI: "A team with the Northern California Innocence Project based at Santa Clara University ended 12 years of dogged legal wrangling last week when their client was cleared of molestation charges that put him in prison and made him register as a sex offender."

"Ed Easley, a 62-year-old electrician, was accused and convicted of molesting a 7-year-old in Shasta County 24 years ago. Since then, it came to light that he had been scapegoated because the young victim was protecting a juvenile male cousin at the behest of family members."


"Easley served eight years in prison and spent five years on parole, and after his release the victim came clean as a remorseful adult who contacted the Innocence Project."


SF mayor lays out ways to help businesses hurt by city improvement projects


The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN/DOMINIC FRACASSA: "Facing increased pressure from Chinatown merchants who say the prolonged Central Subway construction project is causing them to lose income, Mayor Ed Lee has come up with an assistance plan for businesses impacted by city improvement projects."

"The Construction Mitigation Program would offer up to $10,000 for businesses that are negatively affected when city crews work outside their shops. Those services could include new paint and signs, consulting services, free parking for customers or even a “buy local” campaign to highlight a particular corridor while the street gets torn up."

"The city already offers many of these benefits through its Office of Economic and Workforce Development but the new program codifies them, categorizes projects based on their severity and creates a more organized triage system."


Transit agency sues ex-worker who called it 'runaway train'


AP's JOSH CORNFIELD: "New Jersey Transit has filed a lawsuit against a former compliance officer who told lawmakers he was fired for raising safety and other concerns but who the agency says was actually fired for misusing a company car and failing at his job."

"Todd Barretta told a joint legislative oversight committee last month that the nation's third-largest bus and rail agency was a dysfunctional "runaway train" and that he catalogued problems including inadequate staffing levels and failures to update outdated policies."

"The lawsuit, filed by the agency in a state court on Thursday, alleges that Barretta "set out on a campaign to malign NJ Transit and its leadership" after he was fired last month from his $175,000-a-year job. The lawsuit comes after Republican Gov. Chris Christie last week labeled Barretta's Aug. 25 testimony "false and retaliatory" and an attempt to manufacture a scandal."


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