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3 days ago · by · Comments Off on Man Charged In Deaths of 4 Homeless Men

Man Charged In Deaths of 4 Homeless Men

 

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A suspect has been arrested after four homeless men were killed and one was critically injured when they were attacked in New York City early Saturday morning.  Police said Randy Rodriguez-Santos, 24, who is homeless, wielded a 15-pound metal pipe and apparently attacked the men randomly as they slept on the sidewalks of Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown.  Santos is reportedly also homeless and has struggled with addiction.  He is charged with four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Police responded to reports of an assault in progress at Doyers Street and Bowery around 2:10 a.m. and found two men with head wounds. One victim was pronounced dead at the scene and another was taken to the hospital in critical condition.  Over the next hour, police discovered additional victims in the area, two men were found outside of 2 East Broadway and another was found outside of 17 East Broadway.

Two witnesses told responding officers that the suspect was wearing a black jacket and black pants, which helped police find him quickly just a few streets away.  Rodriguez-Santos was apprehended a few blocks from the scene of the attacks and the weapon was recovered nearby.  The attacks left blood splattered on the doorways and sidewalks where the men had been sleeping.

The victims, whose ages range from 48 to 83, were bludgeoned as they slept on the street.  Three of the four men killed were identified Monday, as lawmakers and mourners gathered at an emotional memorial for the men at Chatham Square.  Several sidewalk tributes of flowers, candles and food were placed for the men who were allegedly killed by another homeless man as they slept.  One of the mourners cried as she recalled the oldest victim, 83-year-old Chuen Kwok, always being grateful for the food she gave him.  New York State assembly woman Yuh-Line Niou choked back tears as she spoke on the mens’ deaths. “If the change isn’t now, after this, I don’t know when it is.”

The medical examiner’s office later confirmed his identity and those of two other victims: 55-year-old Nazario Vazquez Villegas and 49-year-old Anthony Manson.  Santos was arraigned on charges of murder and attempted murder for the bloody rampage. He did not enter a plea and was ordered held without bail.  Police officials said Santos has been arrested 14 times, some of those for assault, including one in May for an alleged assault at a Brooklyn homeless shelter.

The suspect’s mother, Fioraliza Rodriguez, 55, told news outlets she had kicked him out about three years ago. He struggled with drugs, assaulted her and his grandfather, and stole from the family, she said.  “I never thought he would kill someone,” she said. “I was afraid of him, though, because he punched me. That’s when I told him to get out of my house.”

 

 

 

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1 week ago · by · Comments Off on Coast Guard Lieutenant Pleads Guilty To Drug & Weapons Charges

Coast Guard Lieutenant Pleads Guilty To Drug & Weapons Charges

 

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In Maryland, a self-described white nationalist Coast Guard lieutenant pleaded guilty to four federal weapons and drugs charges, after investigators uncovered his plot to kill high-profile liberal figures, including Democratic lawmakers, media personalities and judges. Fifty-year-old Christopher Hasson was arrested with a stockpile of 15 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, after he used his work computer at the Coast Guard to read the manifestos of mass killers and to research sniper attacks.

Hasson worked as an acquisitions officer and was arrested at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington in February. Investigators said they found 15 firearms, two homemade silencers and more 1,000 rounds of ammunition in his Maryland home, as well as at least 100 pills of the painkiller Tramadol and more than 30 bottles of purported human growth hormone.  Two of the four counts in Hasson’s indictment charged him with illegally possessing unregistered and unserialized silencers. He also was charged with possession of a firearm by an unlawful user or addict of a controlled substance, and illegal possession of tramadol, an opioid painkiller.

Inspired by the manifesto of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, Hasson spent hours researching the tactics of domestic terrorists, prosecutors said. “I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on earth,” he wrote on his computer, saying he would “have to take serious look at appropriate individual targets, to bring the greatest impact.”  Among the targets on a list found on Hasson’s computer were Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes and Democratic Senator Kamala Harris.  Hasson also targeted two Supreme Court justices and two social media company executives and searched online for their home addresses in March 2018, within minutes of searching firearm sales websites, according to prosecutors.  Prosecutors wrote that the former Marine considered them “traitors.”

In a 2017 letter he sent to himself as a draft and apparently wrote to a neo-Nazi leader, Hasson identified himself as a white nationalist for over 30 years and “advocated for ‘focused violence’ in order to establish a white homeland,” prosecutors said.  He researched how to make homemade bombs and mortars, studied sniper training and used his government computer to search for information about Nazis and Adolf Hitler, prosecutors said.

Federal prosecutors did not file terrorism charges against Hasson.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Windom indicated the government may seek the maximum sentence of up to 31 years in prison at the sentencing hearing scheduled for January 31, 2020.  Hasson’s attorney, Elizabeth Oyer, said she intends to seek a 3.5-year sentence for her client.  Oyer said Hasson “was not plotting a terrorist attack or any of the abhorrent acts that the prosecution has repeatedly speculated about but never actually charged.  Mr. Hasson never meant any harm to anyone. He deeply regrets the pain and embarrassment that he has caused his family and the U.S. Coast Guard”.   Oyer has said prosecutors found no evidence to back up terrorism allegations. She accused them of seeking to punish Hasson for “private thoughts” he never shared.

 

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2 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on MGM Resorts Settles With Vegas Shooting Victims

MGM Resorts Settles With Vegas Shooting Victims

 

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MGM Resorts International has agreed to an $800 million settlement with more than 4,000 survivors of the 2017 massacre outside the Mandalay Bay casino. The settlement was announced after survivors joined friends and families of those killed at a commemoration ceremony marking the second anniversary of the massacre.   An independent claims administrator will be appointed by a court to distribute money from a settlement fund. The payout process is expected to be completed by late 2020, lawyers said.

It was October 1, 2017, when a lone gunman named Stephen Paddock used semiautomatic rifles altered with bump stocks to open fire from the resort’s 32nd floor on a country music festival below, killing 58 people and wounding 851 others.  Paddock, a reclusive 64-year-old gambler, sprayed bullets on a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, which is owned and operated by MGM Resorts. He fired for between 10 to 15 minutes at the country music festival.

It remains the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.  Lawyers representing survivors and victims’ wanted MGM held liable for negligence because the shooter was able to enter the hotel with luggage that held an arsenal of high-powered, assault-style weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition.  Paddock was found dead in his hotel room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Federal investigators have still not been able to identify a motive for the shooting.

Police found 23 guns inside his hotel suite and discovered that he had brought more than 10 suitcases to the room over several days, authorities said. Lawsuits filed since the shooting questioned how and why the hotel did not know he was hoarding high-powered weapons and ammunition in his hotel room in the days leading up to the attack.  Attorney Jim Frantz, who represents nearly 200 survivors and the families of four victims, said the settlement “should be a message to all the other corporations and businesses around the country-that they need to step up their security.”

MGM Resorts International and attorneys for about 4,440 plaintiffs, said the final amount of money awarded will depend on the number of plaintiffs who choose to take part in the settlement.  “While nothing will be able to bring back the lives lost or the undo the horrors so many suffered on this day, this settlement will provide fair compensation for thousands of victims and their families,” Robert Eglet, one of the lead lawyers for the plaintiffs, told reporters.  Eglet called the settlement a “milestone in the recovery process for the victims of the horrifying events” of Oct. 1, 2017.  Eglet and lawyers from two California firms represent about 2,500 plaintiffs.

In July 2018, MGM spurred outrage when it aggressively tried to avoid liability by filing federal lawsuits against more than 1,000 victims in a legal maneuver aimed at avoiding liability. In its civil actions, MGM claimed it did not have to pay damages to shooting victims because the company was protected by 2002 legislation, the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies, or Safety Act.  It protects corporations in the event of mass attacks committed on U.S. soil, provided services certified by the Department of Homeland Security were deployed.  The company cited a federal law passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that encouraged companies to deploy anti-terrorism security technology without fear of being held responsible for damages in the event of a terrorist attack.

MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren now says that “prolonged litigation around these matters is in no one’s best interest. It is our sincere hope that this agreement means that scenario will be avoided.”  The deal is not an admission of any wrongdoing by MGM, Murren said in the statement

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2 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Thomas Cook Collapse Strands Thousands

Thomas Cook Collapse Strands Thousands

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The world’s oldest travel company, the British firm Thomas Cook, shut down abruptly, leaving 600,000 customers stranded abroad.  The company has been hit hard by online competition and world events, including a 2018 Europe-wide heat wave that discouraged summer travel, and the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, a key destination.  It collapsed after failing to strike a rescue deal with lenders as it struggled with $2.1 billion of debt.

The company’s stock has ceased trading on the London Stock Exchange, leaving the company insolvent. All bookings, including flights and vacation packages, have been canceled effective immediately.  CEO Peter Fankhauser apologized to customers and employees.  The UK Department for Transport launched its largest ever peacetime repatriation operation to help stranded UK citizens return home. The UK Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) hired dozens of charter planes to fly customers back to the UK free of charge. The government tried to fly people as close to their original travel dates as possible and urged customers not to cut their vacation short or make alternate arrangements until checking the website it established (thomascook.caa.co.uk) for this matter.

Founded in 1841 by businessman Thomas Cook, the company started out in 1841 organizing local rail trips. It later pioneered European package vacations, and ran hotels, resorts, and airlines in 16 countries.  Some 178 years later, it had grown to a huge global travel group, with annual sales of £9bn, 19 million customers a year and 22,000 staff operating in 16 countries.

Along with weather issues, stiff competition from online travel agents and low-cost airlines, there were other disruptive factors, including political unrest around the world that played a role in the company’s collapse.  Last summer, shares in Thomas Cook were trading at just below 150p. But after a series of profit warnings, the price had fallen to just a fraction of that. Earlier this year, analysts at Citigroup bank described the travel firm’s shares as “worthless”.  In May, Thomas Cook reported a $1.5 billion loss for the first half of its financial year, with $1.1 billion of the loss caused by the decision to write down the value of My Travel, the business it merged with in 2007.

The company then put its airline up for sale in an attempt to raise badly-needed funds.  Then they announced it was in advanced talks with its banks and largest shareholder, China’s Fosun.   They had hoped to seal a rescue led by Fosun, but the creditor banks issued a last-minute demand that the travel company find an extra $200 million which it was unable to do.  The company’s CEO, Peter Fankhauser, said the firm had “worked exhaustively” to salvage the rescue package and it was “deeply distressing” that it could not be saved.

During the company’s downward spiral, Fankhauser and other executives received millions in bonuses, salary and other perks to retain their talents.  Fankhauser defended the $8.3 million salary package he received as the company’s financial future plummeted.  He said his pay was not “outrageous” compared with other bosses in the FTSE 250 index and also said pay-packages had been set by the firm’s remuneration committee and approved by shareholders. cook.jpg

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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on GM Strike Enters 3rd Week

GM Strike Enters 3rd Week

 

 

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General Motors has told the UAW that it will continue to pay for health coverage for striking workers.   GM told the union after it went on strike Sept. 16 at company sites nationwide that it was kicking health care costs to the union, a move that UAW leaders said blindsided them, even though they had anticipated picking up those costs at some point through the strike fund.  GM stated they have chosen to work with their providers to keep all benefits fully in place for striking hourly employees, so they have no disruption to their medical care, including vision, prescription and dental coverage.

The strike is the UAW’s first since the Great Recession and GM’s federally induced bankruptcy in 2009. Experts say as the strike continues toward the end of its second week, it has left a lasting economic impact.  Strike pay is $250 per week, but it won’t be distributed until the 15th day of picketing. The starting wage for temporary production workers at GM is $15.78 per hour, which is about $630 per 40-hour week. Top-paid production employees, however, earn $30.46 per hour, or about $1,218 per week.

The UAW says that temporary workers are union members doing the same work as permanent employees, but they get half the pay and far fewer benefits.  The union wants those workers to get a path to being permanent and get pay and benefits that more closely match their permanent counterparts, even when they’re temporary.  GM counters that employing temporary workers is good for permanent employees because they enable the full-time staff to take time off. Hiring temps also gives the company flexibility to scale up production for new models and combat employee absenteeism

The UAW is also fighting for the retention of a health insurance plan in which workers pay about 4% of the costs, an improved pension and assurances that GM — the maker of Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Chevrolet — will not close four plants in Maryland, Ohio and Michigan.

The strike has affected GM facilities in Ohio and Ontario not represented by the UAW. All told more than 3,200 GM workers represented by other unions have been laid off. On Monday, the automaker notified 525 employees at its DMax Ltd. engine plant in Moraine, Ohio, that they temporarily were laid off.  GM suppliers, such as Magna International Inc. and Nexteer Automotive, also said they temporarily have had to lay off employees during the strike.

Analysts agree that the cost of the strike is mounting daily for both GM and striking workers, as well as for the broader community.  Anderson Economic Group, an East Lansing-based consultant, said in a new analysis Thursday that GM probably has lost profits of $113 million so far, and is now losing money at the rate of $25 million a day.  As talks continue toward a UAW-GM contract, negotiations have entered a new stage and moved to the main table. In recent days, talks have been confined to smaller committees as the two sides struggled to hammer out details.

Union leaders have argued that GM workers deserved a bigger slice of the company’s profits, which they say have totaled $35 billion in North America over the last three years. Union members are calling for fair wages, saying for every $1 a GM employee made, CEO Mary Barra made $281.  As the strike enters its 3rd week, the national impact will continue until an agreement is reached.

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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Felicity Huffman Sentenced In College Admissions Scandal

Felicity Huffman Sentenced In College Admissions Scandal

 

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U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani sentenced actress Felicity Huffman to two weeks in prison for paying $15,000 to get her daughter into college by having someone correct her answers on the SATs.  Huffman also received a $30,000 fine and 250 hours of community service.  She had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Her lawyers asked for no jail time, one year of probation, 250 hours of community service and a $20,000 fine.  Her sentence likely means other parents who’ve pleaded guilty in the nation’s college admissions scandal will spend time behind bars. It could also mean that others who made significantly larger payments will end up with more lenient prison terms than prosecutors say are fair.

During Huffman’s sentence she told the courtroom she was deeply ashamed.  Judge Indira Talwani said, “Ultimately, you knew it was fraud, it was not an impulsive act.  Trying to be a good mother doesn’t excuse this.”  Talwani added that the sentence she handed down was “the right sentence here,” but also told Huffman “You can rebuild your life after this,” the judge said. “You’ve paid your dues.”  Huffman will report to prison in six weeks, on October 25. Where she’ll serve her sentence has not been announced and will ultimately be decided by the Bureau of Prisons.

Fifty-two people have been charged as part of the college admissions bribery scandal known as “Varsity Blues.”   Of the 52 people charged in the scandal, 35 are parents.  Fifteen, including Huffman, have pleaded guilty in deals with prosecutors, while 19, including actress Lori Loughlin, have pleaded not guilty and are preparing for trial.  Rick Singer, the mastermind of the nationwide college admissions scandal, was paid to have cheat on their children’s SAT or ACT while others paid substantially more to get their children falsely tagged as athletic recruits as a way into prestigious schools.  Huffman is the first parent to be sentenced and prosecutors sought one month prison time for Huffman.  Prosecutors are pushing for longer sentences for other defendants — more than three years in some cases.

The next parent to be sentenced in Boston federal court is Devin Sloane, CEO of Los Angeles-based waterTALENT.  He pleaded guilty to paying $250,000 to Singer’s sham nonprofit to falsely designate his son as a water polo player to gain acceptance into the University of Southern California. Prosecutors are seeking one year in prison for Sloane.  Sloane’s hearing is scheduling for September 24th.  Two days later, Stephen Semprevivo, a former executive at Cydcor, also based in Los Angeles, will be sentenced. He pleaded guilty to paying $400,000 to Singer to get his son admitted into Georgetown University as a fake tennis recruit.  Prosecutors have asked that Semprevio receive 15 months in prison.

Both upcoming cases will reveal whether the judge treats the recruiting scheme the same as the testing scam, and whether she comes down harder on parents who paid more to Singer.   Longer sentences could be in store for parents who participated in the recruitment scheme because it had a more “direct effect” on the admissions process than test tampering. Such parents, including Loughlin, accused of paying $500,000 to Singer, have argued they made “legitimate donations” to Singer’s nonprofit, which they said had a history of donating to colleges.

Prosecutors have argued parents who paid more money to Singer should receive longer prison terms.  An order by the judge released hours before Huffman’s sentencing could cap sentences at six months for parents regardless of their how much they paid.  Judge Talwani ruled against the government’s request to sentence defendants under the federal commercial bribery statute, which allows more severe sentences depending on the amount of money paid. Instead, all sentences will be based on fraud statute guidelines, which recommend six months or less in prison for the offense.

 

 

 

 

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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on First Death Linked To Vaping Reported in Illinois

First Death Linked To Vaping Reported in Illinois

 

vapingdeath.jpgA patient in Illinois is believed to be the first death linked to vaping. Health officials said the patient died after contracting a severe respiratory illness, but did not give details about what the patient was vaping or which device was used. They did not provide details about the patient’s identity, saying only that the person was an adult who had vaped recently and then succumbed to a severe respiratory illness.

This comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified nearly 200 possible cases of lung disease linked to vaping in at least 22 states, including 22 cases in Illinois.  The Illinois patients range in age from 17 to 38.  Illinois state officials are working with local health departments to investigate another 12 individuals.  Officials said earlier this week that many patients, most of whom were adolescents or young adults, had described difficulty breathing, chest pain, vomiting and fatigue.  The most seriously ill patients have had extensive lung damage that required treatment with oxygen and days on a ventilator. Some are expected to have permanent lung damage.

Many patients have acknowledged vaping of tetrahydrocannabinol, or (T.H.C.), the high-inducing chemical in marijuana, according to statements from federal and state health agencies.  Officials still don’t know whether the ailments have been caused by marijuana-type products, e-cigarettes, or some type of street concoction that was vaped, or whether a contaminant or defective device may have been involved.

The F.D.A. does not regulate what ingredients are used in vaping devices.  The e-cigarette market has broadened to counterfeiters and a range of devices that can be packed with different substances, including marijuana, but also various flavors and concoctions that may be mixed inexpertly.  Some speculate that people are emptying out commercial nicotine pods and filling them up with a combination of T.H.C. oil and other chemicals.  Cannabis liquids and oils have become more widely available online and in many stores. The ingredients may not be disclosed at all so unsuspecting consumers may be exposed to a cocktail of hazardous chemicals.

State health departments are handling most investigations into the respiratory illnesses.  So far, public health officials have declined to say if they are seeing a pattern that would make clear whether the problematic products are made by mass-market companies or counterfeiters, or whether the inhalants involved are standard to many vaping products or made or mixed by consumers themselves.  Even though cases appear similar, it is not clear whether all these cases have a common cause or whether they are different diseases with similar symptoms.

Dozens of young people with an unidentified lung illness have been hospitalized around the country in recent weeks. It’s unclear if the condition is linked to the vaping devices or what the patients were smoking before they became sick. A recent study says that e-cigarettes impact people’s blood vessels after a single use.  Officials said they don’t know why a surge of illnesses is surfacing now since various forms of the battery-powered e-cigarette devices have existed for more than a decade.  E-cigarettes have grown in popularity over the past decade despite little research on their long-term effects.  Millions of Americans use e-cigarettes, with the greatest use among young adults. Lat year, more than 3.6 million U.S. middle and high school students said they had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, according to the CDC.

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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Judge Orders Johnson & Johnson To Pay $572 Million For Role In Opioid Crisis

Judge Orders Johnson & Johnson To Pay $572 Million For Role In Opioid Crisis

 

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Oklahoma Judge Thad Balkman has found that Johnson & Johnson helped fuel the state’s opioid crisis, and ordered the pharma giant to pay over half a billion dollars — $572 million. It’s the first major ruling against a drug company as part of the opioid epidemic, which has led to hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths around the country.  The decision is the first to hold a drugmaker culpable for the fallout of the liberal opioid dispensing that began in the late 1990s which led to a nationwide epidemic of overdose deaths and addiction.

More than 400,000 people in the US have died of overdoses from painkillers, heroin and illegal fentanyl since 1999.  In Oklahoma, more than 6,000 people have died of painkiller overdoses since 2000, the state charged in court papers, as the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies reached 479 every hour in 2017.  Johnson & Johnson’s products — a prescription opioid pill and a fentanyl skin patch sold by its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, were a small part of the painkillers consumed in Oklahoma.  Two other companies it owned had grown, processed and supplied 60 percent of the ingredients in painkillers sold by most drug companies in the US.

The decision has been hailed as a victory but the damages are much lower than the $17 billion Oklahoma had sought in the case.  Balkman did not give the state everything it sought, the state attorneys asked for $17.5 billion over 30 years for treatment, emergency care, law enforcement, social services and other addiction-related needs.  Judge Balkman concluded it would cost $572 million to address the crisis in the first year based on the state’s plan. He said the state did not provide “sufficient evidence” of the time and money needed to respond after that.

There are about 2,000 lawsuits in 40 other states against opioid manufacturers and distributors that are pending around the country.  A massive federal lawsuit brought by almost 2,000 cities, counties and Native American tribes is scheduled to begin in October.  The ruling in the first state case to go to trial could influence both sides’ strategies in the months and years to come.

Moments after the judge ruled, Johnson & Johnson, which has denied wrongdoing, said it would appeal. Company attorney Sabrina Strong said at a news conference, “We are disappointed and disagree with the judge’s decision. We believe it is flawed.  We have sympathy for those who suffer from opioid use disorder but Johnson & Johnson did not cause the opioid abuse crisis here in Oklahoma or anywhere in this country.”

Oklahoma settled in March with Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of OxyContin, accepting $270 million from the company and its owners, the Sackler family, who were not named as defendants in the lawsuit. Most of that will go to a treatment and research center at Oklahoma State University, although the federal government is seeking a portion of the money. In May, two days before the trial began, the state settled with Teva Pharmaceuticals, an Israeli-based manufacturer of generic drugs, for $85 million.  The Sackler family has also offered to settle the more than 2,000 lawsuits against them for their role in the opioid crisis for $10 billion to $12 billion which includes $3 billion from the Sackler family fortune. The deal was reportedly discussed last week by Purdue’s lawyers and includes a plan for Purdue to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy before restructuring into a for-profit “public benefit trust” that would allegedly serve the many plaintiffs suing the company. The Sackler family would also relinquish ownership of Purdue under the deal.

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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Gunmen Kills 3 At California Garlic Festival

Gunmen Kills 3 At California Garlic Festival

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A Northern California gunman, 19-year-old Santino William Legan, killed three people and wounded at least 19 others at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival. Legan died at the scene of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while exchanging fire with police.  Authorities say they are still determining a motive for the attack, but the gunman’s social media activity shows him promoting a manifesto on white supremacy just moments before the rampage. He also wrote in a post Sunday, “Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?”

Authorities say the gunman used an assault rifle that was purchased legally in Nevada. The AK-47-style weapon could not have been legally purchased in his home state of California because of stricter gun regulations.  Six-year-old Stephen Romero was the youngest victim of the shooting. Another child, 13-year-old Keyla Salazar, and 25-year-old student Trevor Irby also lost their lives in the massacre.  At least 19 victims were treated at area hospitals, including some who were treated but not admitted. The patients ranged in age from 12 to 69; 11 had gunshot injuries and eight had other injuries.

Police say Legan entered the festival by cutting through a wire fence along Uvas Creek, thus evading security screening.  He began shooting at random with an assault-style rifle he bought in Nevada weeks earlier, authorities said.  Police believe he acted alone.  Officers at the scene reportedly engaged the shooter within a minute of the start of the shooting.  The police chief credited the fast response to a heavy police presence with “many, many officers in the park”.  The three officers who fired their handguns have been hailed heroes for engaging the shooter so quickly.  All three have been placed on administrative leave.

Legan appeared to post a photograph from the festival on his Instagram account soon before the shooting, with captions expressing his disdain for the event.  “Ayyy garlic festival time,” he wrote beneath a picture of people walking through the festival grounds. “Come get wasted on overpriced s***.”  Another photograph posted on Sunday showed a sign warning of a high danger of forest fires. Its caption urged people to read “Might is Right,” a racist and sexist treatise written in the 19th century.

“Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?” the caption said, referring to people of mixed race. The account was only a few days old, and was deactivated a day after the shooting.

The city’s Police Chief Scot Smithee identified the officers as Eric Cryar, a 23-year law enforcement veteran; Hugo Del Moral, a 17-year veteran and Robert Basuino, a 13-year veteran of the Gilroy department.  Smithee described his officers as incredibly humble.  “I think they’re heroes. I don’t think they view themselves that way,” Smithee said. “I think they view themselves that they were just doing their job.  And I don’t think they’re particularly excited about being in the limelight, but I certainly think that they deserve recognition for what they did.”

Police and FBI agents were trying to determine a motive for the shooting.  “As we look at the injuries and the victims that are out there, it doesn’t seem clear that he was targeting any particular group,” said John Bennett, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Francisco office.

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3 months ago · by · Comments Off on Capital One Data Breach

Capital One Data Breach

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Capital One says a hacker exposed the personal data of its customers, including about 140,000 Social Security numbers and tens of thousands of bank account numbers. Tens of millions of credit card applications were also stolen.  The hack comes a week after the settlement reached between Equifax and the Federal Trade Commission concerning a hack in 2017 that affected 147 million customers.

The FBI arrested Seattle software engineer Paige Thompson over the breach and charged her with computer fraud and abuse. Thompson’s online activity led investigators to her, as she allegedly boasted about the hack on social networking sites.  Thompson was allegedly able to find an opening in Capital One’s systems and exploit a weakness in some misconfigured networks, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of hundreds of Ms. Thompson’s online messages and interviews with people familiar with the investigation.

Security professionals for years have warned about that gap, which the messages and interviews suggest she used to trick a system in the cloud to uncover the sensitive credentials she needed to access the vast number of customer records.  Once she found the Capital One data, she was able to download it, the people familiar with the investigation said. All, apparently, without triggering any alerts.

In online messages in accounts that prosecutors have said were Thompson’s, she claimed to have also applied those techniques to access a trove of online data from other organizations. The messages were posted in online forums.  Her lawyer didn’t respond to requests for comment and she remains in custody until a bail hearing scheduled for Aug. 15.

The data breach to Capital One servers on March 22nd and 23rd exposed the personal information of nearly 106 million of the bank’s customers and applicants. The breach resulted in the hacker gaining access to personal information related to credit card applications from 2005 to early 2019 for consumers, applicants and small businesses. Capital One detected the breach on July 19. Among the personal data exposed were names, addresses, dates of birth, credit scores, transaction data, Social Security numbers and linked bank account numbers.

About 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 linked bank account numbers were exposed, Capital One said. And for Canadian credit card customers and applicants, approximately 1 million Social Insurance Numbers. Capital One said, however, that no credit card account numbers or login credentials were revealed in the hack.  Capital One said it will notify customers and credit card applicants whose data was exposed in the breach.

 

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