Equifax says data from 143 million Americans exposed in hack
ATLANTA (AP) — Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed social security numbers and other data from about 143 million Americans. The Atlanta-based company said Thursday that “criminals” exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year. It said consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers were exposed. Credit card numbers for about 209,000 U.S. consumers were also accessed.
Top Florida home insurer could face big hit from Irma
NEW YORK (AP) — A decade-long lucky streak of decent weather that helped rescue one of Florida’s biggest home insurers from collapse could come to a wet, violent end if predictions about Hurricane Irma prove true. Industry experts say Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is strong enough to absorb the blow from the storm, but that claims could punch a big hole in its finances and lead to higher premiums.
Prime real estate: Amazon looks for 2nd headquarters
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has opened the search for a second headquarters at a cost of more than $5 billion. The online giant, based in Seattle, said that the new site would come with up to 50,000 jobs.
Governors back bipartisan Senate bid to control health costs
WASHINGTON (AP) — Some Republican and Democratic governors are the latest voices endorse a bipartisan Senate drive to control health insurance costs in defiance of President Donald Trump. He’s has threatened several times to block federal subsidies to insurers for lowering deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for millions of lower-earning customers. Analysts and the insurance industry say halting the payments would lead to new premium increases.
AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — With Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida, an Associated Press analysis finds a steep drop in flood insurance across the state. In just five years, the state’s total number of federal flood insurance policies has fallen by 15 percent, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency data. Florida’s property owners still buy far more federal flood insurance than any other state, but 59 percent of residents in flood hazard zones are badly exposed.
Irma could test strength of Florida’s strict building codes
MIAMI (AP) — It took a catastrophic hurricane to reveal how lax building codes in the country’s most storm-prone state had become. Experts say a monstrously strong Hurricane Irma now could be the most serious test of Florida’s resilience since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Structures statewide now must be built to withstand major hurricanes, and the Miami area has even stronger wind requirements.
Disney streaming service just got a lot bigger
NEW YORK (AP) — Disney is adding more firepower to the kids streaming service expected in 2019. The company says its “Star Wars” and Marvel comic-book movies will be included in the service as well as Disney and Pixar movies and TV shows.
At democracy’s birthplace, France’s Macron dreams of EU 2.0
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Standing at a Greek site where democracy was conceived, French President Emmanuel Macron called on members of the European Union to reboot the 60-year-old bloc with sweeping political reforms or risk a “slow disintegration.” Macron, on a visit Thursday to Athens, vowed to back efforts for closer integration in the EU but signaled his distance with Germany’s approach to fiscal issues.
Ryan aiming for mid- to low-20 percent corporate tax rate
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan says the Republican tax plan will aim to reduce the corporate tax rate to mid- to low-20 percent — a smaller cut than what President Donald Trump wants. Ryan’s providing some specifics as the GOP starts to write tax legislation — with help for the middle class a main goal. Trump has called for a 15 percent tax rate for corporations. The rate now ranges from 15 percent to 35 percent. Some experts say a 15 percent rate isn’t possible without blowing a hole in the deficit.
Hurricane Harvey spikes US jobless aid applications to 298K
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits leapt last week by the most in nearly five years, driven mostly by Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Texas and Louisiana. The Labor Department says weekly applications for jobless aid jumped 62,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000, reaching the highest level in two years.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index edged down 0.44 of a point to 2,465.10. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 22.86 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,784.78. The Nasdaq composite rose 4.55 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,397.87. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 3.52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,398.67.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell 7 cents to $49.09 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 29 cents to $54.49 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 1 cent to $1.66 a gallon. Heating oil rose 3 cents to $1.79 a gallon. Natural gas dipped 2 cents to $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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