All posts by Tim Palin

Marriott Starwood hotel data breach FAQ: What 500 million hacked guests need to know

What was stolen?

Marriott is still sorting through the data it was able to recover, but for most customers, the following data may have been stolen: name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information, date of birth, gender, and arrival and departure information, along with reservation dates and communication preferences.

It’s been a couple of months since a major company unveiled a data breach that affected millions of people, so it’s time for a new one. The Marriot hotel chain has announced a major database breach that could affect anyone who stayed at its 6,700 worldwide Starwood hotel properties since 2014—up to 500 million people in total.

That’s a lot of people an a long stretch of time, so check out our FAQ for all of the information:

What happened?

Marriott says it received an alert from an internal security tool on September 8 warning of an attempt to access the Starwood guest reservation database in the United States. In its investigation of the incident, Marriott learned that an unauthorized party gained access to the company’s customer database and “copied and encrypted information, and took steps toward removing it.”

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How Airbnb pushed Marriott to nab Starwood

The combination of two storied hotel brands announced this week creates the world’s largest lodging company, with more than a million rooms. But the $12.2 billion agreement by Marriott International (MAR) to acquire Starwood International (HOT) isn’t a mark of hotel industry triumph.

It’s more of an anti-Airbnb defensive maneuver. If you listen closely, you can hear the ominous hoof beats of online competition closing in on the traditional hospitality business. Hotels want to bulk up against threats from the likes of Airbnb, a digital service that allows travelers to book private homes for stays.

The hotel industry is doing well, for now. Since the recession, business has been great, and mergers also give it scale to take advantage of that. Revenue per available room (the sector’s main metric) will grow a health 6.8 percent this year, research firm STR estimates, followed by a similar expansion next year.

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Defaming Muhammad does not fall under purview of free speech, European court rules

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that insulting the Prophet Muhammad does not fall under the purview of free speech. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

The freedom of speech does not extend to include defaming the prophet of Islam, the European Court of Human rights ruled Thursday.

The Strasbourg-based ECHR ruled that insulting Islamic prophet Muhammad “goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate” and “could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace.”

The court’s decision comes after it rejected an Austrian woman’s claim that her previous conviction for calling Muhammad a pedophile, due to his marriage to a 6-year-old girl, violated her freedom of speech.

The ECHR ruled Austrian courts had “carefully balanced her right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected.”

The woman, in her late 40s and identified only as E.S., claimed during two public seminars in 2009 that Muhammad’s marriage to a young girl was akin to “pedophilia.”

According to Islamic tradition, the marriage between Muhammad and a 6-year-old girl was consummated when she was 9 years old and he was about 50.

The Austrian woman stated in her seminars that Muhammad “liked to do it with children” and “… A 56-year-old and a 6-year-old? … What do we call it, if it is not pedophilia?”

A Vienna court convicted her in 2011 of disparaging religious doctrines, ordering her to pay a $547 fine, plus legal costs. The ruling was later upheld by an Austrian appeals court.

The woman argued her comments fell within her right of freedom of expression and that religious groups must tolerate criticism. She also argued her comments were intended to contribute to public debate and not designed to defame Muhammad.

The ECHR said the Austrian court’s decision “served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace.”

The court also said the woman’s comments were not objective, failed to provide historical background and had no intention of promoting public debate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ORIGIONAL

Liberals knocked out of power by François Legault’s right-of-centre party

Benjamin Shingler · CBC News · Posted: Oct 01, 2018 7:14 PM ET | Last Updated: 7 minutes ago

CBC’s election night special with Debra Arbec, Nancy Wood, Eric Grenier and Sean Henry. Results, analysis and live reports from our journalists across the province. Begins when polls close at 8 p.m. ET. 0:00
Coalition Avenir Québec will form a majority government in Quebec, according to a CBC News projection — issued just 33 minutes after polls closed across the province.

“We did it!” CAQ candidate Geneviève Guilbeault exclaimed, beaming, as news of the majority was broadcast on a giant screen behind her at the party’s Quebec City headquarters.

“We have been working so hard, for so much time,” said Guilbeault, the candidate for Louis-Hébert, who may become deputy premier under CAQ Leader François Legault.

“This is finally happening, this big change for all Quebecers,” Guilbeault told CBC News.

The CAQ needs 63 seats for a majority. As of 9 p.m., ET it was leading or elected in 78 ridings. The Liberals were leading or elected in 31.

Appetite for change

The right-of-centre party, which promises to lower taxes, privatize some aspects of the health-care system, and cut the number of immigrants, capitalized on an appetite for change among Quebec voters.

The party, founded in 2011, was the favourite heading into the campaign, thought Legault stumbled badly at times, particularly when pressed to explain his party’s immigration policy.

But he regained momentum in the final week of the campaign, much of which he spent in the regions outside Montreal, where he enjoys broad support among key francophone voters.

The Liberals, led by Philippe Couillard, campaigned on their strong economic record and a promise to improve the everyday lives of Quebecers.

But they were subject to criticism for the deep cuts to education and health care made in the first two years of their mandate as they wrestled to balance the budget.

Scant talk of sovereignty

For the first time in decades, the question of whether Quebec should become independent didn’t figure prominently in the campaign.

Either the federalist Liberals or the pro-independence Parti Québécois have held power in the province since the defeat of Union Nationale in 1970.

But with support for sovereignty waning, the PQ, led by Jean-François Lisée, said it would put off holding a referendum until a second mandate.

The PQ lost votes to another sovereigntist party, the smaller, left-wing Québec Solidaire​, led by two popular “co-spokespeople,” Manon Massé and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

The Parti Québécois and Québec Solidaire were tied with eight seats each as of 9 p.m.

Québec Solidaire’s platform, which includes a series of bold environmental proposals, is particularly popular among young voters.

When the election was called, the Liberals held 68 seats, the PQ held 28, the CAQ 21 and Québec Solidaire​ three, along with five independents in the province’s 125-seat National Assembly.

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London loses top spot in global financial centre rankings

Closely-watched rankings suggest uncertainty over Brexit has had a short-term impact on the City of London’s status.

London has lost its status as the world’s top financial centre, according to rankings showing gains for post-Brexit rivals.

The latest Z/Yen Global Financial Centres Index showed New York overtaking the UK’s capital for the first time since 2015.

The City think tank, which compiles its lists using data from international bodies such as the World Bank and responses to a survey, said there was evidence London had been knocked, but only slightly, by uncertainty over Brexit.

:: Why Brexit may not spell end of London

Rivals within the EU for financial services business currently in the UK were among the cities making the greatest strides, the report said, though Asian centres stood out.

“Zurich, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Milan moved up the rankings significantly.

MORE

ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME BEHIND MEDIA PROGRAMING


THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2018
7:00PM Screening & Panel Discussion
Meet the creative forces behind some of America’s favorite unscripted TV shows
Reception to follow

Saban Media Center at the Television Academy
Wolf Theatre
5210 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

PANELISTS*:
Mary Connelly
Executive Producer, Ellen’s Game of Games, The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Jenny Groom
SVP, Alternative Programming and Development, NBC Entertainment

Alison Holloway
Executive Producer, Little Big Shots and the upcoming The World’s Best

Brooke Karzen
EVP Unscripted and Alternative, Warner Horizon Television

Audrey Morrissey
Executive Producer, The Voice

And more surprise guests…

MODERATED BY:
Retta
Actress, Comedian and Author
Good Girls, Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Parks and Recreation

Attorney Lisa Bloom, Gloria Allred’s Daughter, Offered to Pay Woman $750K to Accuse Trump

Lisa Bloom, a California lawyer and daughter of Gloria Allred, who also represents Trump accusers, arranged payments for women to publicly accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct before the election. Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell the story to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off the accuser’s mortgage, and attempting to secure as much as $750,000 to another woman who ultimately declined. The unidentified woman had an email from Bloom indicating that a Clinton Super PAC would help finance her legal costs if she agreed to do it. Earlier this year, Bloom was shamed into dropping Harvey Weinstein, asexual predator and alleged rapist, as a client. -GEG

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Trump disses Gloria Allred: ‘Any time you see her, you know something’s going wrong’

President Trump mocked women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred after her client, Beverly Young Nelson, admitted Friday she added “notes” to what she says is Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s signature in her yearbook in 1977.

“So, did you see what happened today? Do you know the yearbook? Did you see that? There was a little mistake made. She started writing things in the yearbook,” Trump continued. “Oh, what are we going to do? Gloria Allred, any time you see her, you know something’s going wrong.”

Original

Gloria Allred blocked Judge Roy Moore from Jeff Sessions open Senate Seat. Now it will be harder for Trump to move an agenda.

Speak No Evil: Witchcraft’s popularity on the rise in Hudson Valley

Despite its fearsome legacy, witchcraft is rising in popularity in New York state and especially in the Hudson Valley.

News 12’s Tara Rosenblum spent four months exploring and gaining access to a mysterious, secretive world that most people don’t even know exist: a thriving underground community of witches.

Watch “Speak No Evil,” only on News 12, starting Tuesday to learn about the modern-day magic and ancient rituals at the center of their faith. Tune in to meet some of the most powerful witches in New York and see what happens when they come together to perform a white magic ritual and summon sacred spirits.

Part one of the series airs Tuesday starting at 4:30 p.m., and part two airs on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m

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