A huge security breach at credit reporting company Equifax has exposed sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers and addresses, of up to 143 million Americans. Others in the U.K. and Canada were also impacted, but Equifax hasn’t said how many. The data breach is considered one of the worst ever because of its reach and by the sensitivity of information exposed to the public.
The hackers have accessed sensitive information — including names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and the numbers of some driver’s licenses. Credit card numbers for about 209,000 U.S. customers were compromised, in addition to “personal identifying information” on about 182,000 U.S. customers.
Equifax (EFX) is one of three nationwide credit-reporting agencies that track and rate the financial history of consumers. The company gets its data from credit card companies, banks, retailers and lenders. The data breach is among the worst ever because of the amount of people affected and the sensitive type of information exposed. The company said it found no evidence that consumers in other countries were affected beyond the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
Equifax said the breach happened between mid-May and July 2017. They discovered the hack on July 29th and promptly engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm which has been conducting a comprehensive forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion, including the specific data impacted. Equifax also reported the criminal access to law enforcement and continues to work with authorities.
They reported the breach to the public on September 7th. They said hackers exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files and they are investigating the breach. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has also launched a formal investigation into the hack. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking into the breach as well.
Equifax said it will send notices in the mail to people whose credit card numbers or dispute records were breached. They have also established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to help consumers find out if they have been impacted. To find out if you are potentially impacted, you can go the website-click on “Potential Impact,” and enter your last name and last 6 digits of your Social Security number.
The company is also offering a program called TrustedID Premier. It says that includes 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; copies of Equifax credit reports; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and Internet scanning for Social Security numbers – all complimentary to U.S. consumers for one year. You must complete the enrollment process by November 21, 2017. Consumers should be aware that buried in the terms of service of this program, is language that bars those that enroll in the Equifax checker program from participating in any class action lawsuits that may arise from the incident.
The best defense against identity theft and credit fraud is to monitor your credit report frequently to check for any suspicious activity, such as accounts you didn’t open, address changes, or anything else that you don’t recognize.
In an effort to broaden the company’s “social interaction” with our clients and FaceBook fans, Daily Trivia Questions are posted on both of our business pages. Here are the weekly standings for this past week, and the winner of the Sunday night Weekly Drawing for an AmEx gift card!
Congratulations – To this past week’s Trivia Contest Winner!! Our latest contest winner for the weekly FaceBook HealthInsurance4Everyone/Health & Life Solutions, LLC Trivia Contest, drawn randomly by computer late Sunday evening, September 17th, 2017 was:
Winner Of A $25.00 AmEx/VISA Gift Card
Each day, fans who have “liked” either of our company FaceBook pages (HealthInsurance4Everyone or Health & Life Solutions LLC) are able to test their skills with our Daily TRIVIA QUESTION. The first 20 winners who post the correct answer to the TRIVIA QUESTION, will then get entered into the weekly drawing held late on Sunday evenings for a $25.00 Am Ex Gift. Card
Weekly Gift Card winners will be posted in our blog at this site. Remember to become a FaceBook “fan” on either of our company pages to enter and post your answers.
Here are the daily contestants from last week’s Trivia Contest that were entered into the Sunday drawing:
Heather Marie Stacy
Brandi K Chaney
Crystal Dougherty Merrill
Brittany Marie Thompson
Kelly Jo Francisco
Emily Rice Bowersock
David M Still
Tiffany Greene Elliott
Melissa Ann Stura-Bassett
Farrah Miller King
Kelly Jo Francisco
Leslie Wagner Hobson
Holly D Lawson
Pam Johnson Rowland
Amy Marie Wilkinson
Dana Marie Germain
Tiffany Greene Elliott
Brandi K Chaney
Peggy Burdick Buchanan
Anne Delos Reyes-Villafuerte
Melissa Turner Baker
Kimberly Taylor Hall
Pam Johnson Rowland
Be sure to watch both of our FaceBook pages for your chance to win and enter again next week, with questions posted daily on HealthInsurance4Everyone or at Health & Life Solutions, LLC!!
Remember that if you try your hand at answering the Trivia Question several days each week, your odds of winning the Sunday weekly drawing are much better. Also note that a number of the posted answers each day are from contestants who have forgotten to “Like” one of our pages, so their names WILL NOT be entered at the end week drawing for the gift card, giving our fans a better chance!
You may also find that if you “Like” BOTH of the business pages, you will receive faster notifications of the other players as they post their answers to compete with you!
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Hurricane Irma made its first landfall in the northeast Caribbean early Wednesday after growing into one of the most powerful storms ever recorded over the Atlantic Ocean. The storm is one of three (Irma, Jose and Katia) hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, the first time since 2010 that three active hurricanes have been in the Atlantic. Jose, in the open Atlantic far to the southeast of Irma, became a hurricane. Katia, in the Gulf of Mexico, also became a hurricane.
Irma has maintained intensity above 180 mph longer than any storm in Atlantic basin history. Late Wednesday night, Irma’s core was spinning about 85 miles northwest of San Juan, with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph. In the US Virgin Islands, Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp ordered a 36-hour curfew.
Irma’s core slammed the tiny island of Barbuda before moving over St. Martin and Anguilla and parts of the British Virgin Islands. Its maximum sustained winds of 185 mph were well above the 157 mph threshold of a Category 5 storm. Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne said that the telecommunications system in Barbuda, where 1,800 people live, was wiped out and cell towers were knocked over. Both of the island’s hotels were demolished, he added. There is also no way to land airplanes on the islands, Browne said from Antigua, whose 80,000 people comprise most of the two-island nation’s population.
French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said Irma destroyed four of the most solid government buildings on the French-administered portion of nearby St. Martin, an island of about 75,000 people. Puerto Rico and Storm surge is a concern for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Central Bahamas (up to 20 feet), as is heavy rain (up to 20 inches in the Virgin Islands, and up to 20 in parts of Puerto Rico).
Computer models show that on Thursday the storm will move very near or over the Turks and Caicos, with catastrophic damage likely. The storm will also pass just north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, bringing hurricane force winds to northern sections of the island, with flooding and mudslides probable.
In the Bahamas, emergency evacuations have been ordered for six southern islands — Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay and Ragged Island. “This is the largest such evacuation in the history of the country,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said.
It’s too early to tell whether it will make landfall on the US mainland but models show it could hit near Florida’s east coast by late Sunday, and forecasters warn the core still could hit the Florida peninsula.
Emergency management officials are requiring visitors to the Florida Keys to begin evacuations by sunrise Wednesday due to incoming Hurricane Irma; resident evacuations begin 7 p.m. Wednesday. Floridians should heed any evacuation order, Gov. Rick Scott said. “A storm surge could cover your house. We can rebuild homes — we cannot rebuild your family,” he said.
2 weeks ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on North Korea Fires Missile Over Japan
North Korea carried out a missile test directly over Japan that prompted the government in Tokyo to warn residents in its path to take cover. After a flight of nearly 1, 700 miles, the missile flew over the northern island of Hokkaido, broke into three pieces and landed in the sea. Public television programs in Japan were interrupted announcing the missile’s flight over the country and warned citizens to take cover in a sturdy building or basement.
North Korea has fired projectiles over Japanese territory twice before. Once in 1998, prompting a minor diplomatic crisis in Asia, and once again at the beginning of the Obama administration in 2009. In both those cases, the North said the rockets were carrying satellites into orbit but they made no such claim in this case.
The missile was launched from a site near Pyongyang’s international airport, not the usual launch site in the northeast, according to the South Korean military. They are still trying to determine what type of missile was launched but it’s believed to be a Hwasong-12, a newly developed intermediate range weapon. North Korea’s usual launch sites are in remote areas, where there would be little concern about civilian casualties. A strike near Pyongyang would risk many civilian deaths, suggesting that the real goal was to strike at the regime.
The commander of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s Air Defense Command said that the armed forces did not try to shoot down the missile from North Korea because they did not detect a threat to Japanese territory. They warned citizens in its path to take cover in case any parts fell on Japan. This latest launch appears to be the first of a missile powerful enough to potentially carry a nuclear warhead.
North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, Han Tae-song, defended his country’s actions saying they were a response to military drills carried out by the US and its allies in the region. “Now that the US has openly declared its hostile intention towards North Korea by raising joint aggressive military exercises despite repeated warnings… my country has every reason to respond with tough counter-measures as an exercise of its rights to self-defence.”
US and Japanese forces have just finished a joint drill in Hokkaido while another annual exercise involving tens of thousands of South Korean and US military personnel is still under way in South Korea. China warned that tensions on the Korean peninsula had reached a “tipping point” but said the US and South Korea were partly to blame. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying criticised the two countries for their repeated military drills, which North Korea perceives as practice for an invasion.
North Korea has been working on its missile program for decades, with weapons based on the Soviet-developed Scud. While it has conducted short and medium-range tests on many occasions, the pace of testing has increased. Experts speculate that North Korea has made significant advances towards its goal of building a reliable long-range nuclear-capable weapon. Though, no one knows how close North Korea is to miniaturizing a nuclear warhead to put on a missile.
As the flood waters left behind from Hurricane Harvey recede, the search continues for victims not yet counted in the death toll. The number of confirmed deaths attributed to Harvey has reached 63 and that number is expected to rise as Houston emergency officials continue to search flooded homes. Emergency officials have said the number of calls for service and rescue has been steadily diminishing.
Hurricane Harvey hit Corpus Christi, Texas on August 25th and continued to batter cities and towns along the Gulf of Mexico with rain. Some areas got as much as 50 inches of rain. Some climatologists are calling Harvey the worst rainfall event in the country’s history. Officials have estimated the damage to be as much as $108 billion but it’s too early to know the full scope of the Texas disaster.
Across Southeast Texas, police, firefighters, the National Guard, the Coast Guard and other agencies responded with immense force trying to help those in need. With hundreds of miles of heavily flooded area to cover and days of rain- no government response could have been enough.
As first responders were overwhelmed with calls for rescue, emergency lines were jammed and people were posting desperate pleas for help on social media. Many had been stranded for days with no electricity, food or water. Civilians with boats, high water vehicles and small watercrafts, took to the murky waters to help save lives. Texans hours away-loaded up fishing boats, kayaks, canoes and flat-bottomed skiffs and headed to areas inundated with flood water and over the next six days, rescued hundreds of people and animals.
Others without boats stepped up to help as well. Stories of people who were out of harms way using social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Nextdoor and Snapchat along with google maps to connect civilian rescue boats with people who posted pleas for help from their smartphones. Boaters used Zello, a free “walkie-talkie” app to help each other navigate through rescues.
Three friends created the website “Houston Harvey Rescue,” in under 3 hours, in a leaky office, with intermittent power. The site allowed users to drop a pin on a Google map to alert rescuers to people in trouble. The color of the pin could be changed to indicate the degree of urgency, and the pin could be removed when the rescue was completed, giving rescuers a real-time view of needs across the city.
While it’s too soon to know how many of the more than 37,000 heavily damaged homes in Texas are salvageable. Officials say some will be submerged in water for up to a month and the longer a house is under water, the greater the damage. Thousands have already been destroyed in the state and evacuees are slowly returning to their homes to try to assess the damage and gather any salvageable belongings.
At least 33,000 people in Texas have fled to more than 230 shelters, with 11,000 people inside Houston’s largest sports stadium. Churches and many businesses have opened their doors to evacuees as well. Hundreds of thousands could seek some kind of disaster assistance, officials said. It will likely take years for some areas of Texas to rebuild while other areas will never be the same. The power of social media and people compelled to help others saved hundreds of lives during this disaster. The heroes that emerged to help those in need remind us all that our country is not as divided as it sometimes seems.
Tens of thousands of residents began evacuating coastal communities in Texas as forecasters predicted Hurricane Harvey could make landfall late Friday as a major category-three storm, delivering a life-threatening 35-40 inches of rain to some parts of the Gulf Coast. Several counties along the Gulf coast, including Nueces county, Calhoun county and Brazoria county, have ordered mandatory evacuations in low-lying areas.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has activated about 700 members of the state National Guard and put military helicopters on standby in Austin and San Antonio in preparation for search and rescues and emergency evacuations. In the Gulf of Mexico, oil and natural gas operators had begun evacuating workers from offshore platforms.
Harvey intensified on Thursday from a tropical depression into a category 1 hurricane. Early on Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center reported it had become a category 2. Fuelled by warm Gulf of Mexico waters, it was projected to become a major category 3 hurricane. Typical category 3 storms damage small homes, topple large trees and destroy mobile homes. The wall of water called a storm surge poses the greatest risk.
Hurricane trackers expect the storm’s eye to come ashore near the city of Corpus Christi, where Mayor Joe McComb called for a voluntary evacuation. Forecasters predict that if Harvey stalls over Texas it could deliver catastrophic flooding before drifting back over the Gulf of Mexico towards Louisiana.
The National Hurricane Center said it expected flash flooding along the middle and upper Texas coast. The storm is expected to stall and unload torrents of rain for four to six straight days. In just a few days, the storm may dispense the amount of rain that normally falls over an entire year, shattering records. The storm is also predicted to generate a devastating storm surge — raising the water as much as 13 feet above normally dry land at the coast.
The National Weather Service office in Corpus Christi said that due to the combination of flooding from storm surge and rainfall, “locations may be uninhabitable for an extended period.” It warned of “structural damage to buildings, with many washing away” and that “streets and parking lots become rivers of raging water with underpasses submerged.”
Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane at 11 p.m. Friday between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, Texas. With 130 mph winds, the storm became the first major hurricane, rated Category 3 or higher to strike U.S. soil in 12 years. In 2008, Hurricane Ike hit near Galveston, Texas as a Category 2 storm that killed 113 in the US and caused $37.5 billion in damages.
3 weeks ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Barcelona Terror Attacks
In Barcelona, Spain, 13 people died and over 100 were injured when a van plowed into a pedestrian walkway on La Rambla during a terrorist attack. The driver of the van then fled on foot, killing a 14th victim during a carjacking while escaping the scene of the van attack. Two hours later, the attacker then rammed a police barricade, exchanged gunfire with an officer who was injured and fled the scene, later abandoning the car.
Nine hours after the Barcelona attack, five men wearing fake suicide vests, drove into pedestrians in nearby Cambrils, before emerging and attacking people with knives. One woman was killed and six others injured in this attack. All five attackers were shot by police as they were carrying out the attack.
Police have now connected an explosion that occurred in a house in Alcanar the night before to the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks. The explosion was initially thought to be a gas leak but the investigation revealed the home had over 120 gas canisters inside, which police believe were planned to be used in a larger terror attack.
Police say that the 40-year-old imam, Abdelbaki Es Satty, thought to be the mastermind of the terrorist cell, accidentally caused the explosion. The second man police believe was in the house, identified as Youssef Aalla, brother of one of the Cambril attackers- is missing and presumed dead.
In the aftermath, 15 people of nine different nationalities were killed, 13 died during the La Rambla attack, one stabbed during the carjacking and and one in the Cambrils attack. Over 100 people from over 34 nations were injured, 15 critically.
The police believe a terrorist cell of twelve members is responsible for the attacks. Eight of them are dead and four are in police custody. The imam Abdelbaki Es Satty died in the Alcanar gas explosion and Youssef Aalla is believed to have also died in the explosion.
The five attackers killed in Cambrils were identified as Moussa Oukabir, Omar Hychami, El Houssaine Abouyaaqoub, Said Aallaa and Mohamed Hychami. The man believed to have been the van driver in the Barcelona attack, Younes Abouyaaqoub, was killed by police on August 21st. Four additional suspects have been detained by police. The men arrested are the owner of the car used in the Cambrils attack, the brother of Moussa Oukabir, a 20-year-old who survived the Alcanar explosion and a fourth man.
A federal judge in Michigan has blocked the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals, giving them time to make their cases in court before the government may deport them. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith granted a preliminary injunction request made by attorneys for the Iraqi nationals who had asked him to halt their deportation, saying they would be persecuted in Iraq. Goldsmith said the possible deportees, many whom are Chaldean Christian, would face “grave harm and possible death” in Iraq because there they are members of a persecuted minority.
In June, 234 Iraqi nationals were arrested and detained on removal orders that in most cases had been dormant for five to 10 years. For many years Iraqi has refused to accept deportees from the U.S. but they recently agreed to start accepting them after their country was taken off of the travel ban.
In addition to the 114 arrested during the ICE raids in Michigan in June, the judge’s order applies to 85 other Iraqis arrested outside the state. In total, there are 1,444 Iraqi nationals in the U.S. with final orders of deportation who could be affected by the judge’s ruling.
Judge Goldsmith entered a preliminary injunction to give the Iraqis 90 days to argue their cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals and the courts before the government can deport them back to Iraq. Goldsmith said that the government made legal representation of the immigrants difficult because many of them have been moved around from state to state to different immigration centers. Many of those targeted entered in the U.S. as children, and more than half of them have been in the country for more than a decade because Iraq refused to take them back, according to the ruling.
The court said that those detained have been housed around the country in federal detention facilities with limited access to legal advocates and their families. Most of them are from Detroit, which has a large Chaldean Christian population. They were targeted for deportation because they overstayed their visas or committed crimes — typically misdemeanors, according to advocates.
Clarence Dass, an attorney who represents about 25 of the 114 Iraqis arrested last month said “For people who have been learning their fate every two weeks, 90 days is a lifetime,” Dass said. “All we are asking is for a chance to show that deportation of these particular individuals is a death sentence, and the judge’s decision today allows us to do that. Once we show those facts and circumstances, I am hopeful we will be able to save their lives.”
A spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said the agency declined to comment on the ruling. ICE has said previously that the Iraqis detained have criminal records, pose safety threats, and have already had their cases heard in courts. The crimes they were convicted of range from marijuana possession to homicide.
Longtime Arizona senator and former presidential candidate John McCain has been diagnosed with primary glioblastoma, a malignant form of brain cancer. Senator McCain’s office said the diagnosis came after McCain had surgery last week to remove a blood clot above his left eye at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. Lab results from the surgery confirmed the presence of glioblastoma.
McCain is reportedly weighing whether to undergo an aggressive treatment of radiation and chemotherapy, and has not said when he might return to Capitol Hill. Glioblastoma is the most common of all malignant brain tumors, representing 15.4% of all primary brain tumors, according to the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA), who estimate there will be over 12,000 cases before the end of 2017.
With the permission of McCain’s family, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke to doctors involved in the senator’s care. Gupta learned McCain had felt tired over the last few months and had a bout of double vision, but blamed it on his intense travel schedule. Doctors ordered a CAT scan and an MRI scan of McCain’s brain that revealed the tumor.
The symptoms of glioblastoma are usually a result of increased pressure on the brain. The ABTA lists headaches, nausea, vomiting and drowsiness as symptoms for the tumor. Depending on where the tumor is, however, weakness on one side of the body, memory and speech difficulties and visual changes can all be developed as a result.
The ABTA labels the prognosis for glioblastoma survival in terms of median survival — the length of time at which an equal number of patients do better and an equal number of patients do worse. Depending on the type of glioblastoma and treatment used, this can range from 14 months to three years. The association also cites a 2009 study that found 10% of patients with glioblastoma may live five years or longer. The average survival time for malignant glioblastoma is around 14 months with treatment.
There is no specific treatment used for glioblastoma but there are a few different approaches doctors can take. Gupta said “This is a malignant cancer, what that means in this case is that you operate on this,” “It needs to be treated as well with chemotherapy and radiation.”
When a cancer is malignant, cells are dividing uncontrollably and can invade nearby tissues. The cancer cells may also spread to other parts of the body through the blood stream or lymph system in the body. Gupta added because of the nature of the tumor, McCain will likely need more procedures in the coming weeks. “The concern is that it will come back. That’s the big concern with these types of tumors,” he said. “In order to try to give him the best chance at that, it is likely he’ll undergo further treatments over the next several days.”
McCain’s cancer is the same form that claimed the lives of Senator Ted Kennedy and Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Beau Biden. This is not McCain’s first battle with cancer; in 2000 he underwent a procedure to remove a type of skin cancer called melanoma from the left side of his face. McCain, 80, also had a melanoma removed from his left arm in 2000 and another removed from his nose in 2002. Both were determined to be the least dangerous types of melanoma.
A Stockton,CA teen livestreamed a gruesome video of the fatal car wreck that killed her 14 year old sister Jacqueline Sanchez. Obdulia Sanchez, 18, filmed herself singing along to a song and dancing while at the wheel. Her sister Jacqueline and a pal, 14, can be briefly seen in the back seat.
The video, which was livestreamed to her Instagram, shows Obdulia turning the camera from herself to the roadway a few times before losing control of the car. With the camera still rolling, screams can be heard as the car swerved across both lanes, crashed into a barbed wire fence and overturned in a field just off of Highway 165 in Los Banos, California.
Still filming, Obdulia exited the vehicle where she filmed her sister’s bloodied, fatally injured body. She is seen shaking her sister’s lifeless body, saying: “I killed my sister, but I don’t care…I killed my sister. I know I’m going to prison, but I don’t care. I’m sorry baby. I’m a hold it down.”
Obdulia Sanchez was arrested and booked at the Merced County Jail, charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causing bodily injury and with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. She is being held on a $300,000 bond.
Sheriff Vern Warnke said Jacqueline Sanchez was not wearing her seat belt at the time and was ejected as the vehicle was rolling over. She died of severe head injuries. Her friend who was also not wearing her seatbelt, suffered severe but non-life threatening injuries.
Officials said they believe the July 21st crash was caused when Obdulia Sanchez over corrected a turn which caused the vehicle to swerve across both lanes, crashing through a wire fence and overturning into a field south of the road. The highway patrol said alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.
The girl’s parents, Nicandro and Gloria Sanchez say they believe their 18 year old daughter is still in shock and that they both are numb and unsure of what to feel. Jacqueline Sanchez was heading into her sophomore year of high school and was about to celebrate her Quinceanera. Instead, her parents have to bury one daughter while the other is in jail.
A California Highway Patrol officer told the media that Obdulia became combative at the scene of the accident while screaming that her sister was dead. He was quoted as saying “The video is very disturbing,” “It’s very disturbing to us because of the callous nature of her actions, both leading up to this tragedy and in the immediate aftermath.” The highway patrol said it is still looking into whether Obdulia Sanchez dialed 911 to report the crash.