On Air Now
Bruce Newbury
Bruce Newbury
9:00am - 12:00pm
Talk of the Town w/Bruce Newbury
Contact Me
My Blog
Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Business News
Subscribe To This Feed

Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A projected price increase pushed stocks lower on Thursday.

The Dow closed down 196 points to close at 18,143.45. The NASDAQ fell 49 to close the session at 5,269.15 and the S&P gave up 20 to end the day at 2,151.13.

Healthcare stocks took a plunge with EpiPen maker Mylan giving up more than 2 dollars a share. The stock is down 22 percent as the company's been criticized for repeatedly raising EpiPen's price.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Xinhua/Bao Dandan via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — (WASHINGTON) -- Just over a week after facing blistering questions in front of a Senate panel, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf went back to Capitol Hill on Thursday, where he received verbal lashings and further calls to resign from members of the House Financial Services Committee over the unauthorized accounts scandal that is engulfing his company.

For over four hours, Democratic and Republican members of the committee lambasted the bank boss with heated exchanges that echoed the Senate hearing.

Stumpf has spent the last several weeks defending Wells Fargo after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulators fined the bank a combined $185 million earlier this month, with the CFPB saying that "employees opened more than two million deposit and credit card accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers."

The bipartisan derision began early, with the committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, telling Stumpf during his opening remarks: “Fraud is fraud. Theft is theft. And what happened at Wells Fargo over the course of many years cannot be described any other way.”

His Democratic counterpart, Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., called the misconduct "some of the most egregious fraud we have seen since the foreclosure crisis."

Stumpf, who again faced calls today to resign, opened by saying that he was "deeply sorry that we failed to fulfill our responsibility to our customers, to our team members, and to the American public."

He also announced that the company would be ending its controversial product sales goals program on Oct. 1. Shortly after the scandal erupted, the company had said that the sales goals program would be ended effective Jan. 1, 2017.

At times, tempers flared during Thursday’s hearing.

Seemingly incensed that Stumpf was still in charge at the bank, Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y, said, "If the buck stops with you, as you came out here and said ... and you have to also admit that criminal activity was going on in your bank, then you should be fired because it stops with you."

Stumpf responded by saying that the bank's board has the power to remove him.

Meeks replied, "Who is paying for it? Who's taking responsibility for it? Don't come tell me you’re sorry," and then slapped the microphone.

One representative said that he wouldn't call for the CEO's resignation, because Stumpf was "in denial," and therefore he didn't "think it would do any good."

Earlier this week, Wells Fargo's board announced that Stumpf's salary would be suspended and that he would forgo some $41 million worth of promised compensations as well as a yearly bonus as an investigation is launched.

Despite the board's move ahead of today's hearing, it did not seem to satisfy those on the panel.

Waters said that the board's announcement was "welcomed, but let me be clear, it's not enough."

In other instances, snark took the place of anger.

“Mr. Stumpf, welcome to Washington," Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., said wryly, before noting that those assembled were "now engaged in an important national ritual where the CEO comes before the representatives of the American people to apologize, to take full responsibility, to do so humbly."

Sherman, who said that large banks were "too big to manage, too big to regulate," and therefore should be broken up, raised the issue of the 5,300 employees who were fired in relation to the accounts scandal.

"You took 5,300 good Americans and turned them into felons with a system that you created, benefited from and drove your stock price up," Sherman said.

His concerns about the employees were shared by Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., who said, "I would not be surprised if a number of those people ended up losing their homes, going into massive debt after they were dismissed."

"We have a problem in this country where it would seem, as we've seen previously, that the well connected ... the elite, if you will, in Washington and on Wall Street seem to play by a different set of rules while everyone else has to play by another," Garrett added.

For his part, Stumpf argued that the bank did not benefit from the unauthorized accounts.

"It cost us $10 million to open those accounts and close them; forget even the cost of the team member and the dismissal. This is a loser for us, it only helps when a customer uses it," he said.

Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wisc., snapped back: "It's a loser for you, I guarantee that."

Duffy also asked if employees had "stolen" from customers, and Stumpf admitted, "In some cases, they did."

However, the bipartisan scorn was largely limited to Stumpf.

Republicans broke with their Democratic colleagues to heap some criticism on the CFPB.

"The financial regulators apparently were -- more than apparently completely asleep at the wheel as this massive fraud was occurring," Garrett said. "CFPB has only one job in a regulatory framework and they completely blew it."

The CFPB defended its work in response to Garrett's criticism, noting that "there were different pieces of this case and it took time to untangle conflicting accounts."

"It takes some time to bring various issues into focus as we conduct investigations, and develop more information about the underlying facts," agency spokesman David Mayorga said in a statement to ABC News today. "We are proud of our work together with the [Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller of Currency] and the Los Angeles City Attorney to achieve nationwide relief for consumers harmed by Wells Fargo."

Wells Fargo stock was trading down about 1.7 percent at the end of today's hearing. Since the day before regulators made their allegations, Wells Fargo's stock has fallen about 11 percent, according to Reuters, and is at its lowest point since early 2014.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims climbed higher last week, increasing by 3,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending Sept. 24, the number of people filing for benefits fell from a revised level of 251,000 the previous week to 254,000, marking the 82nd consecutive week initial jobless claims came in below 300,000. It’s the longest streak since 1970, the Labor Department says.

The Labor Department said there were no "special factors" impacting that week's figures.

The four-week moving average, however, decreased by 2,250 to 256,250.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for Amazon(NEW YORK) -- Actor Kellan Lutz is a classic Hollywood heartthrob. His face has graced the ad campaigns of Abercrombie & Fitch, Levi’s and Calvin Klein, he’s landed leading roles in the Twilight film franchise and The Legend of Hercules, and makes cameos on TV series, including HBO's The Comeback.

When Lutz is not on set or posting inspirational quotes on Instagram, the North Dakota native spends his time traveling the world and working with philanthropies like PETA, the Royal Family Kids’ Camp and the St. Bernard Project.

On a recent episode of "Real Biz with Rebecca Jarvis," Lutz shared details about his past -- like growing up in a big family -- and how he manages to stay on top of his busy Hollywood career.

Here are three things you might not know about Lutz:

1. He is an entrepreneur with multiple patents

For anyone ever caught wearing an unflattering sleeping mask, Lutz has solved your problem with Blackout Bands.

“It’s pretty much a new age sleep mask,” said Lutz. “They’re sunglasses that are completely blacked out.”

His other inventions span the spectrum, from gadgets to games. Partnering with friends and family, Lutz has over 30 patents that he’d like to test out -- where else, on the entrepreneurial ABC reality show Shark Tank.

“That’s a huge dream of mine to be in there,” he said. “That’s just always where I envisioned the products.”

2. He was almost a chemical engineer


“I was going to school at Chapman University for chemical engineering, and then you know, doors opened up,” Lutz said. “Modeling turned into commercial work and acting, and I kind of caught the acting bug. I found a passion for myself at the age of 19 and I just followed it.”

And because Lutz never grew up seeking stardom, it doesn’t break his stride if he doesn’t get called back from an audition.

“I don’t get desperate acting because it never was a dream of mine,” he said. “So if I don’t book a role, it wasn’t meant for me.”

3. Having seven siblings might have helped him become a successful actor

Sharing everything with six brothers and one sister can’t be easy, but it did teach Lutz some of the skills that have pushed him to Hollywood stardom.

“We had to fight for our food so I’m very competitive at heart but not with myself,” he shared. “I had a lot of alone time and I took advantage of that by building, drawing, painting, creating and just using my imagination. That’s a big part of what acting is.”

With a family farm in Iowa, Lutz and his siblings grew up working outside and staying active.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Ingram Publishing/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- When it comes to consumer complaints about account management and credit cards, Wells Fargo doesn’t at first appear to be much worse than other big banks, despite being the subject of a scandal over the unauthorized opening of accounts.

What the bank does have is a higher number of complaints by amount of credit card loans.

Consumer complaints do not equate to illegal or even improper activity, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) uses them as a source of information to determine where they may need to investigate banks further.

Banks other than Wells Fargo appeared to receive a comparable -- and in some cases greater -- number of complaints from consumers, according to a report from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The report analyzed a database of complaints maintained by the CFPB, which is one of three regulatory agencies which fined Wells Fargo $185 million earlier this month, while alleging that bank "employees opened more than two million deposit and credit card accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers."

The report found that between Jan. 1, 2015 and Sept. 20, 2016, the CFPB received 1,576 complaints regarding "Account opening, closing or management" at Wells Fargo.

By comparison, Citigroup was the subject of 1,722 complaints of the same type; 1,409 were filed by consumers against JPMorgan Chase & Co; and consumers filed 2,119 against Bank of America.

Looking at it a different way, about 1.26 of these complaints were filed for every billion dollars deposited with the company, based on deposit data collected by S&P on June 30th.

This falls right in the middle of four major banks: Citigroup had a ratio of complaints of 1.84 per billion dollars and Bank of America had a rate of 1.74. JPMorgan Chase & Co. was lower at 1.06 complaints per billion deposited.

The report also looked at complaints regarding unsolicited credit cards that were issued, which was at the core of the allegations made against Wells Fargo earlier this month.

Interestingly, Wells Fargo generated the lowest number of these complaints among the four comparable banks -- just 28 between Jan. 1, 2015 and Sept. 20, 2016.

Meanwhile, Citi spurred 83, JPMorgan Chase caused 59 complaints to be filed and Bank of America generated 31.

While Wells Fargo’s number initially appears to be the lowest among the four, when looked at in relation to the amount of credit card loans it makes, it is actually generating more complaints than the other three banks.

It is important to note that these are only consumer complaints and the CFPB has not verified the claims are true.

"We don’t verify all the facts alleged in these complaints," the CFPB states on its website, "but we take steps to confirm a commercial relationship between the consumer and the company."

And while any allegations in the complaints are unproven, the CFPB has said that it can use them as leads to pursue investigations.

"Consumer complaints are the CFPB’s compass and play a central role in everything we do. They help us identify and prioritize problems for potential action," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in July 2015.

A spokeswoman for Citi said, "We regularly review our policies and practices to make sure colleagues only offer appropriate solutions to clients that deliver value and transparency ... With regard to the 'account opening, closing or management' category, from the creation of the database in 2012 through 2015, Citi is again amongst the lowest compared to peers. In fact, many of the 2016 complaints pertain to promotional offers for which some customers were not eligible."

The Citi spokeswoman also said that in the credit card category, when considering the "the total number of credit card accounts-in-force for each issuer ... Citi's complaint volume would be among the lowest in the industry." She added that 18 of the 52 complaints mentioned in the S&P report were due to a misunderstanding around a promotional credit card.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman said, "We take customer complaints we receive through any channel, including the CFPB database, very seriously."

A spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase & Co. did not immediately return ABC News' requests for comment.

A spokeswoman for Bank of America declined to comment.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(COLUMBUS, Neb.) -- Avon, the direct-selling company for beauty products, first started employing women as sales representatives 130 years ago, in 1886 -- that's 34 years before women earned the right to vote.

Opal Greene’s history with the company goes far back as well. She received her first brochure from Avon in July of 1962. Today, more than 50 years later, she is 94 years old and still going strong.

She now has a friend helping her out but she still goes door to door to her customers every two weeks in Columbus, Nebraska, and passes out about 40 catalogs each time.

Her customers are no longer just customers -- they're dear friends.

"I love them and they love me too," she told ABC News.

This interaction, according to her grandson, Ben Greene, is what keeps her going.

“I just can’t say enough about her determination. She’s built so many great relationships with people and it’s not just about selling lipsticks anymore,” he said. "To be honest, I don't know if there's one person in Columbus that doesn't know my grandmother."

Greene is a tough cookie. She’s endured a plane crash, a brain aneurysm, colon cancer, and a year and a half ago, a car accident.

“I walked around selling Avon two days before,” she said of the time she was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm.

Will she ever stop selling products for the beauty company? “When my day is up, I imagine,” she said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Almost 25 years after "Mrs. Doubtfire" was filmed, the home used in the famed Robin Williams comedy is on the market for $4.45 million.

The 4-bedroom, 3,300-square foot home, located in San Francisco, was used by Williams' character, Mrs. Doubtfire, so that he could be close to his kids during a tumultuous divorce.

The listing, by realtor Steve Gothelf, features plenty of pics and exclusive looks from the inside of the house.

 It has changed a bit, of course, with a "remodeled kitchen" and "lower-level family room or office with hardwood floors and remodeled full bath with shower" since the film's 1993 release.

Williams committed suicide in 2014 and local San Francisco news site SF Gate adds that the home is "a shrine of sorts" to the late comedian, with flowers often left on the sidewalk.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — There's a lot of appeal in the idea of a volunteer vacation: giving back while getting away, getting to know the "real" people of a the place you're visiting and using your skills to help others.

But volunteer vacations are being questioned on how much good they actually do the local population, and at the same time, volunteering overall has become less popular, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the year ending September 2015, the number of Americans who volunteered had declined from the previous year.

Still, many travelers are interested in being more than tourists.

Rob Harper, co-owner and director of business development at Namu Travel, said his clients are excited about giving a day of their vacation over to the local community. The company, which interviews each client before putting together their trip itinerary, books trips to Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica.

"It's not that people don't want to give a week or more to volunteer," he said, "but logistically that can be very difficult. When they find out we can book it for them, they build it into their trip."

For example, clients who fly into San Jose, Costa Rica, have the opportunity to volunteer in a soup kitchen in Alajuelita for a full or half day. The client has transportation to and from the soup kitchen.

"They pay for the experience," Harper said. "Let's face it, these places need your time and your money."

In Nicaragua, guests that book the Jicaro Island Ecolodge have the opportunity to visit a school on a nearby island where the children have outdated books and limited bathroom facilities. "The client may plan ahead and coordinate with the school on bringing down the supplies they need, or they can participate in a clean-up effort," Harper said.

Even cruise ships, primarily associated -- whether fairly or not -- with high seas hi-jinks are getting in on giving back. In June 2015, Carnival Corp. debuted the new brand Fathom, with itineraries that are either Cuba or Dominican Republic-based. The Cuba trips are based on cultural immersion, but the trips to the DR are focused on volunteering. Cruisers can participate in activities ranging from supporting English language skills -- a skill demanded by the local tourism industry -- to working in a women's cooperative to pouring the foundation in community homes.

The "impact activities" range in price from free to $20.

For those who don't want to give up time off, there's a new way to book travel and donate to a charity of choice. Book Here, Give Here was started by Loulu Lima last year and donates to vetted charities with each booking. It's no cost to the client, she said, and instead comes out of the company's commission. Group, wedding and corporate travelers can customize their charitable donation.

The company also asks suppliers to match the donation, potentially doubling the impact.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Thaxton Family/ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a warning about certain top-loading Samsung washing machines after reports that some had exploded, ABC News has learned exclusively.

The agency said it is working with Samsung on a remedy to fix the issue that apparently affects some units made between March 2011 and April 2016.

At first, Melissa Thaxton, 32, of Dallas, Ga. thought her Samsung washing machine was a lifesaver.

“It was just perfect,” Thaxton said.

But she says that changed on the morning of April 8, 2016. Thaxton says she was standing next to the running machine when it exploded.

“It was the loudest sound. It sounded like a bomb went off in my ear,” Thaxton said. “There were wires, nuts, the cover actual was laying on the floor.”

Thaxton says what made it even more frightening was that her then- 4-year-old son, Luke, was right next to her.

“I just remember covering my head and leaning towards my son and just screaming this scream that I didn’t even know I could scream,” she said.

In a similar case in Holly Springs, NC, Sarah Price, said her two-month-old top loading Samsung washing machine flew apart, too.

“Any one of us could’ve been in here,” Price said.

These aren’t the only cases.

GMA Investigates has learned that since early last year, 21 people have reported to the CPSC that their top-loading Samsung washing machines have exploded or blown apart.

Thaxton and several other plaintiffs are suing Samsung in federal court in New Jersey. Their lawyer, Jason Lichtman, argues that a support rod in the top-loading Samsung washing machine is insufficient to hold the tub in place and can become unfastened during the spin cycle.

“The rod can slide right out,” Lichtman said. “And that’s what causes the washing machine to blow apart.”

In a statement late yesterday Samsung told GMA Investigates: “In rare cases, affected units may experience abnormal vibrations that could pose a risk of personal injury or property damage when washing bedding, bulky or water-resistant items. It is important to note that Samsung customers have completed hundreds of millions of loads without incident since 2011.”

Until the remedy to this safety issue is in place, the CPSC and Samsung Wednesday are advising consumers to only use the delicate cycle when washing bedding and bulky items. They say the lower speed lessens the risk of impact injuries or property damage due to the washing machine becoming dislodged. Consumers can contact Samsung for more information and to determine if they have an affected washing machine.

Thaxton said that Samsung offered her a refund, but she said she’s taking it to court instead because she wants to warn other people about the problem.

“If that would have hit my child there is no telling. It would have been catastrophic,” Thaxton said. “And that’s why I’m speaking out.”


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Two days before Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf was set to testify at a House hearing over an accounts scandal that has gripped the company, the bank's independent directors have announced that he will forgo $41 million worth of promised compensation as well as his usual salary as it launches an investigation.

The directors also announced that Carrie Tolstedt, who until July was the head of Wells Fargo's community banking division -- where workers opened bank and credit accounts using customer information without permission -- has left the company.

She was slated to leave at "year's end," according to a retirement announcement.

Tolstedt, who has been the subject of scrutiny in recent weeks, will not receive a bonus for the year and will not receive severance pay, the directors said in a statement. Similar to Stumpf, she will forgo promised share compensation worth about $19 million.

Stumpf, who has been CEO since 2007, will also not receive a bonus, the statement said.

Separately, in remarks prepared for Stumpf's appearance before the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday, which were obtained and reviewed by ABC, the CEO is expected to say that the bank is moving up the date it will end its controversial sales program from Jan. 1, 2017 to Oct. 1, 2016.

The compensation and investigation announcement comes as Wells Fargo attempts to recover from a scandal that kicked off on Sept. 8, when regulators alleged that employees opened or applied for accounts without customers' knowledge or permission.

A portion of the accounts generated more than $2 million in fees, according to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau documents, and some 5,300 employees were fired, authorities said.

The company was fined $185 million and a federal investigation has been launched. The Los Angeles city attorney said that bank workers were opening the accounts to receive monetary rewards by meeting sales goals.

On Sept. 8, the company issued a statement which said, "we regret and take responsibility for any instances where customers may have received a product that they did not request."

The directors did not rule out that previous compensation could be clawed back, as some have called for.

"Based on the results of the investigation, the Independent Members of the Board will take such other actions as they collectively deem appropriate, which may include further compensation actions," Lead Independent Director Stephen Sanger said in the statement, where he noted that "clawbacks" were on the table.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

HEIKO JUNGE/AFP/Getty Images(GUADALAJARA, Mexico) -- Humans could set foot on Mars within the next 10 years -- at least if SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has his way.

The billionaire entrepreneur, who also happens to be the CEO of Tesla Motors, chairman of renewable energy company Solar City and co-founder of PayPal, Tuesday unveiled his ambitious plan for colonizing the Red Planet.

His concept -- which he offhandedly admits amounts to a “fairly significant technical challenge” (it is rocket science, after all) -- involves building and launching a 400-foot carbon-fiber spacecraft, sending a reusable rocket to refuel it mid-orbit, then deploying the spaceship’s built-in solar array and sending it off on a 3- to 4-month journey to Mars, only to be refueled by methane gas produced on Mars and sent back to Earth.

Musk’s so-called “interplanetary transport system” is designed to dramatically reduce the cost of the trip, currently estimated at around $10 billion per person, to just $200,000 or so per person, the 45-year-old explained at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. Eventually, he hopes to build up a “fleet” of 1,000 or more, each carrying 100 to 200 passengers bound for a new life on Mars.

In Musk’s view, a self-sustaining Martian city could serve as humankind’s insurance policy against a “doomsday event” which could out intelligent life on our home planet.

But for those first intrepid explorers -- who Musk has repeatedly compared to America’s early colonists -- the trip will be a perilous one.

"Basically, are you prepared to die?" Musk asked. "If that’s okay, you know, you’re a candidate for going."

Once you get over the fear of death, of course, “it’d be, like, really fun to go!” Musk said, noting that his plan includes movie screenings and lectures en route.

Eventually, SpaceX wants to send a million people to Mars, a feat Musk believes they could achieve within about 100 years of the first manned mission, which could be launched as early as 2024.

Building such a complex system will cost a lot of money -- so much that Musk hasn’t yet named a dollar figure. But funding the dream is the main reason Musk is “personally accumulating assets,” he said -- and once they make some progress, he hopes public support will “snowball.”

(Tuesday's announcement, however, comes just weeks after a high-profile, dramatic explosion on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, which destroyed one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets and its payload. The company has since said a helium system breach is likely to blame for the "anomaly," and announced it would return to flight as early as November.)

Travel to Mars “would be an incredible adventure,” Musk mused. “I think it would be the most inspiring thing that I could possibly imagine.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In a letter to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Tuesday, six Democratic senators have asked the tech company to provide further details of a massive data breach the company revealed last week, including when exactly the company became aware of it.

Since the hack was publicly revealed on Sept. 22, questions have mounted over Yahoo’s handling of the data breach, including what it knew and when, and whether it violated securities laws by not disclosing news of the hack earlier.

More: Senator Questions Yahoo's Handling of Data Breach Disclosure, Calls for SEC Investigation

Yahoo said when it announced the breach that a “recent investigation” led them to believe that data associated with 500 million accounts was stolen from its servers in late 2014 by a “state-sponsored actor.” The company has not been specific about when it first detected the breach.

The company said that the stolen data may have included password information, names, email addresses, dates of birth and telephone numbers.

“This is highly sensitive, personal information that hackers can use not only to access Yahoo customer accounts, but also potentially to gain access to any other account or service that users access with similar login or personal information, including bank information and social media profiles,” the senators wrote in the letter to Mayer.

“We are even more disturbed that user information was first compromised in 2014, yet the company only announced the breach last week," the senators added. "That means millions of Americans’ data may have been compromised for two years.”

The letter was signed by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Al Franken, D-Minn., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Edward Markey, D-Mass.

The senators said it was “unacceptable” that there was a nearly two-year gap between the time when the hack is believed to have taken place and when it was revealed. They asked Yahoo to brief their staff "on the company’s investigation into the breach, its interaction with appropriate law enforcement and national security authorities, and how it intends to protect affected users.”

The lawmakers also demanded a timeline "detailing the nature of the breach, when and how it was discovered, when Yahoo notified law enforcement or other government authorities about the breach, and when Yahoo notified its customers."

They asked if anyone within the U.S. government had warned Yahoo "of a possible hacking attempt by state-sponsored hackers or other bad actors," and if so, when that warning took place.

"Press reports indicate the breach first occurred in 2014, but was not discovered until August of this year," the senators added. "If this is accurate, how could such a large intrusion of Yahoo's systems have gone undetected?"

In early August, multiple media reports surfaced claiming that a hacker identifying himself or herself as “Peace” was attempting to sell information associated with some 200 million Yahoo accounts on the dark web. Those claims were reported by the BBC, Ars Technica, and Motherboard, among others.

Shortly after the breach was revealed last Thursday, a source familiar with the matter who requested anonymity as they were not permitted to speak publicly about the matter, told ABC News in an email that Yahoo launched an internal investigation "following a report earlier this summer (July 2016) of a hacker indicating that 280 million user credentials were for sale on the black market."

According to the source, the company "found no evidence to substantiate the hacker’s claims," but when an internal security team broadened the scope of its investigation, “they identified evidence of the theft by a state-sponsored actor occurred in 2014.”

The source did not make clear when the discovery of the data breach revealed on Sept. 22 was made.

The Financial Times, a U.K. newspaper, published a report on Friday, citing an unnamed source that made very similar claims about how Yahoo discovered the massive breach.

“The initial investigation found no evidence for the claim in July by a hacker known as Peace that details of more than 200m accounts had been accessed, this person said, but concern about the allegation triggered a deeper probe,” the newspaper reported. “That investigation uncovered what Yahoo on Thursday called a state-sponsored hack affecting more than 500m accounts.”

“Marissa Mayer has known since July that Yahoo was investigating allegations of a serious data breach,” The Financial Times reported. ABC News has not been able to independently verify this detail.

In a statement issued on Friday, Yahoo said: “As we disclosed yesterday, a recent investigation by Yahoo has confirmed that a copy of certain user account information was stolen from our systems in late 2014 by what we believe is a state-sponsored actor. Our investigation into this matter is ongoing and the issues are complex.”

“Some things, however, are clear: Yahoo has never had reason to believe there is any connection between the security issue disclosed yesterday and the claims publicized by a hacker in August 2016. Conflating the two events is inaccurate,” the statement also said.

The senators’ letter Tuesday comes a day after Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Yahoo “fulfilled its obligations under federal securities laws to keep the public and investors informed.” Warner was not among the signatories of the letter sent Tuesday.

“Press reports indicate Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, knew of the breach as early as July of this year,” Warner wrote in the letter to SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White. “Despite the historic scale of the breach, however, the company failed to file a Form 8-K disclosing the breach to the public.”

“Disclosure is the foundation of federal securities laws, and public companies are required to disclose material events that shareholders should know about via Form 8-K within four business days,” Warner added.

Yahoo did file a Form 8-K with the SEC on Sept. 22 pointing investors to a news release it issued, in which the company revealed the data breach.

Yahoo and Verizon announced on July 25 that Verizon would acquire Yahoo for around $4.83 billion. That deal is still pending.

On Sept. 22, the day the breach was revealed, Verizon released a statement saying that it found out about it "within the last two days."

"We understand that Yahoo is conducting an active investigation of this matter, but we otherwise have limited information and understanding of the impact," Verizon said in that statement. "We will evaluate as the investigation continues through the lens of overall Verizon interests, including consumers, customers, shareholders and related communities. Until then, we are not in position to further comment."

Yahoo did not immediately return a request for comment on the letter sent Tuesday by the six senators.

Yahoo is a content partner of ABC News.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Almost two weeks after announcing an official government recall of its Note7 smartphones, Samsung said on Tuesday that more than 60 percent of the phones sold in the U.S. that were affected by the battery issue have been exchanged or replaced.

Users of the affected Note7 smartphones could choose between a replacement of the same model, exchange for a different model or a refund.

Samsung said on Tuesday that about 90 percent of owners have elected to receive a replacement of the same model.

The statistics were announced six days after replacement Note7 smartphones became available in the U.S. At that time, the company said that about 130,000 of the approximately 1 million affected devices in the U.S. had been exchanged.

Owners who have not exchanged their phones now face nagging warning messages and a cap on how much they can charge the batteries after the company rolled out a software update for affected devices.

The government recall, announced on Sept. 15, and Samsung's exchange program followed several reports that Note7 smartphones were exploding or catching fire. When the official recall was announced, government officials said that "Samsung has received 92 reports of the batteries overheating in the U.S., including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Investors were pleased with the outcome of the first presidential debate as stocks boasted moderate gains Tuesday.

The Dow jumped 133.47 ( 0.74 percent) to finish at 18,228.30.

The Nasdaq gained 48.22 ( 0.92 percent) to close at 5,305.71, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,159.93, up 13.83 ( 0.64 percent) from its open.

Crude oil sunk 3 percent with prices hitting above $44 a barrel.

Presidential Debate: Stocks and currencies called Monday night's debate for Hillary Clinton by posting gains on Wall Street. Investors see Clinton as a “known commodity,” and they can anticipate what her policies will look like, while Trump “is a wild card” and against the status quo for investors.

The U.S. dollar and the Mexican peso also had a bump from the debate results.

Winners and Losers: EndoChoice Holdings Inc.'s stock skyrocketed 89 percent on news that Boston Scientific Corp. would acquire the medical device-making company for $210 million.

Shares in Caesars Entertainment Corporation sunk 19 percent after the gaming corporation announced it had agreed on a reorganization deal with its major creditor groups.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

U.S. Food and Drug Administration(NEW YORK) -- The New York-based Mt. Kisco Smokehouse has announced a voluntary recall of two types of smoked salmon products over concerns they could be contaminated with Listeria bacteria.

The products were distributed in New York and Connecticut between Sept. 6 and Sept. 16, according to a company statement released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Monday. No illnesses have been reported in connection to the recalled products.

Hernan Hurtado, vice president of Mt. Kisco Smokehouse, told ABC News Tuesday that the bacteria was found in a drain and floor cracks during a routine inspection by the FDA.

Hurtado said that, after an extensive cleaning, the company brought in technicians who "conducted a thorough swabbing for listeria."

"The whole place was swabbed and we're clean right now," he said.

Concerned customers can contact the company at 914-244-0702, Monday through Saturday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm EST.

The whole fish product was packed in unlabeled paper boxes and delivered to restaurants, according to the company's statement. The sliced product was sold in a clear plastic package and labeled on the back with lot numbers and "Use By" dates as follows:

Atlantic Smoked Salmon Whole

  • lot # 13723516 USE BY 09 12 16
  • lot # 12125316 USE BY 09 30 16

Sliced – Smoked ATLANTIC SALMON, Net Wt. 8 Oz (225.89)

  • lot # 12125116 USE BY 09 28 16
  • lot # 12125216 USE BY 09 29 16
  • lot # 11325716 USE BY 10 03 16
  • lot # 11325816 USE BY 10 05 16

The company issued the recall as a precaution, though no food products have been confirmed to be contaminated.

Listeria contamination, caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, can cause dangerous infections, especially in pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems.

Symptoms of the foodborne illness include fever, muscle aches, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms. In severe cases, the infections can cause stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly everyone infected with the bacteria ends up with an invasive infection, meaning it moves outside the gastrointestinal tract.

The disease causes 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths every year in the U.S., according to the latest CDC statistics from 2011. In pregnant women, the infection is associated with miscarriage and stillbirth.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Hurricane Warnings

Click here for severe weather information.


Weather

 


On Facebook


LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services