23. 11. 2018
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JPMorgan investigating possible cyber attack – National

JPMorgan investigating possible cyber attack – National

NEW YORK – JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s biggest bank by assets, is working with law enforcement officials to investigate a possible cyberattack, said a person familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity, though the bank isn’t currently seeing any unusual fraud activity at the time.

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Jamie Dimon, the bank’s CEO, said in this year’s annual report to shareholders that despite spending millions on cybersecurity, JPMorgan remained worried about the threat of attacks. By the end of this year, the bank estimates that it will be spending about $250 million annually on cybersecurity and employing 1,000 people in the area.

The FBI said in a statement Wednesday that it was working with the Secret Service to determine the scope of recent cyberattacks against “several American financial institutions.” The agency did not name the companies that had been targeted.

Major U.S. banks said that they had been unaffected by the attacks.

READ MORE: PlayStation network back online after cyber attack

Bank of America spokesman Dan Frahm said the bank had not seen any unusual activity regarding cyberattacks. Citigroup had no information to suggest that it was the victim of an attack, said a person familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity. Wells Fargo said in a statement that it had not been seen an impact from the attacks.

Banks face “thousands” of attempted attacks on their computer systems every day, though the majority of incidents remain unreported, said Avivah Litan, a cyber security expert at Gartner.

“There are lots of bad guys out there, continually probing bank networks, trying to get in,” Litan said.

READ MORE: What you need to know about the BlackShades malware

The perpetrators of the attacks range from financial hackers, who are typically based in Eastern Europe and Russia, to “hactivist” groups such as Anonymous, who are trying to make social and political statements, she said. Countries such as China also engage in cyberattacks in an attempt to steal intellectual property.

Customers who notice any suspicious activity on their accounts should contact the bank, said JPMorgan spokesman Michael Fusco. He also noted that JPMorgan customers are protected against losses from fraud.

©2014The Canadian Press

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23. 11. 2018
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New school zone speed limit could save lives: Edmonton Traffic Safety – Edmonton

New school zone speed limit could save lives: Edmonton Traffic Safety – Edmonton

Watch above: When students head back to class on Tuesday, drivers will be required to slow down around elementary schools. Kendra Slugoski explains the difference 20km/h can make.

EDMONTON – It’s back-to-school for most Edmonton students next week, and with it will come a significant change outside elementary schools for drivers.

The new school zone speed limit of 30 km/h will take effect around Edmonton’s elementary schools on Tuesday, and the city is reminding motorists to be aware of the bylaw.

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Traffic Safety Supervisor Dennis Tetreault says the lowered speed limit could save lives.

“We know that braking distances for a car at 30 kilometres are 12 metres versus 50 kilometres are 28 metres. Basically, you’re cutting your braking distance in half,” he explains.

According to Tetreault, the survival rate for pedestrians who are hit by a vehicle travelling at 50 km/h is about 45 per cent. That number jumps up to 95 per cent when a vehicle is travelling at 30 km/h.

“Then it’s all about inertia, so the faster a car is travelling the more damage it can cause to a pedestrian.”

Watch: ‘Why 30′ school zone video

Councillor Dave Loken says the city’s growing population and added distractions for drivers have made it necessary for the reduced speed limit.

“People are so busy and people aren’t paying attention like they used to. We’re busy rushing from one point to another.”

Student Nicholas Kolber agrees with the councillor. He’s witnessed the dangerous habits of drivers as a school patroller.

“You’re holding out your hand for the point, just to kind of let the drivers know that you’re trying to cross, and they’ll speed right through your hand. They won’t even pay any attention or anything,” says Nicholas.

Read More: 30 km/h school zones coming to Edmonton

Councillor Bev Esslinger hopes the reduced speed limit will encourage more parents to allow their children to walk to school.

“‘When you ask parents ‘why don’t your children walk to school?’ They don’t feel safe,” says Esslinger.

The city has left the door open for potentially reducing the speed limit to 30 km/h around all schools.

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23. 11. 2018
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SNEAK PEEK: Inside Canada’s first Nordstrom store

SNEAK PEEK: Inside Canada’s first Nordstrom store

CALGARY – It’s just three weeks until American retailer Nordstrom opens their first store in Canada, but there’s still lots of work to be done.

Shelves in the 140,000 square foot retail space at Chinook Centre remain bare, as hundreds of newly hired employees work to assemble racks and get familiar with the high-end merchandise they’ll soon be selling.

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Officials with the upscale fashion merchant offered media a sneak peek inside their soon-to-open Calgary location on Thursday, touring through the two floors previously occupied by Sears.

Over 500 people were hired to work at the Chinook Centre location, and hundreds were gathered in the store on Thursday for training in various departments.

Calgary’s Nordstrom location opens at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, September 19th, although representatives say there will be no actual ‘ribbon cutting’ due to superstition.

Spokesperson John Bailey explains that they know they have a long road ahead, and they don’t want to jinx their potential success.

Nordstrom could be exercising caution during their Canadian expansion due to the struggles American retailer Target has seen during their move up north. Target suffered a lukewarm opening, and has been victim of critical online reviews and complaints since it opened.

In fact, Target’s chief financial officer John Mulligan recently admitted the retailer “bit off way too much, too early,” and should have opened fewer stores in their first year.

During the tour on Thursday, media were assured that officials with Nordstrom hope to get prompt feedback from customers as soon as they open, and know the store won’t be perfect until they do.

INSIDE CANADA’S FIRST NORDSTROM

The store features new design concepts, different than that at other locations. For example, the Calgary location will offer a single-surface floor with no carpet, so that departments can grow and move depending on the feedback from customers.

Officials have also made an attempt to incorporate natural light throughout the southwest location.

Nordstrom at Chinook Centre will feature eight personal stylists whose services are complimentary and don’t require a minimum purchase, as well as beauty stylists in the cosmetics area.

The store will also offer certified bra fitters and shoe fitters to help people find the perfect fit.

Patrons who are hungry or thirsty can stop for a bite to eat at Bazille, the store’s full-service (and licensed) restaurant on the second floor, or grab a coffee and sandwich at Ebar.

GALLERY: Calgary’s Nordstrom location at Chinook Centre

Inside Calgary’s Nordstrom location

Global News

The children’s area will feature a playhouse with interactive TV

Global News

Empty shelves inside Calgary’s Nordstrom location will soon be packed with merchandise.

Global News

Empty shoe racks in the back of Calgary’s Nordstrom location – which will soon old thousands of shoes.

Global News

Empty shelves inside Calgary’s Nordstrom location will soon be packed with merchandise.

Global News

Bazille, Nordstroms eatery at their Calgary location.

Global News

Inside ‘the apartment’ – the change rooms in the junior apparel section

Global News

Calgary’s Nordstrom location

Global News

Employee training at Calgary’s Nordstrom location.

Global News

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23. 11. 2018
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Want to get rid of U.S. citizenship? Fee just quadrupled – to $2,350 – National

Want to get rid of U.S. citizenship? Fee just quadrupled – to $2,350 – National

Renouncing your U.S. citizenship will set you back a cool $2,350(US) starting Sept. 6, when the fee will more than quadruple – up from $450.

The State Department, which announced the change this week, claims the new fee is the real cost of processing an application to lose citizenship.

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“Demand for the service has increased dramatically, consuming far more consular officer time and resources,” Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy wrote. “Documenting a U.S. citizen’s renunciation of citizenship is extremely costly, requiring American consular officers overseas to spend substantial amounts of time to accept, process, and adjudicate cases.

“The Department believes there is no public benefit or other reason for setting this fee below cost.”

That’s a policy change from 2010, when the State Department explained it had decided to set the $450 fee lower than the cost of handling a renunciation “in order to lessen the impact on those who need this service and not discourage the utilization of the service, a development the Department feels would be detrimental to national interests.”

In the latest memo, Kennedy describes the process as involving a “minimum of two intensive interviews.” That’s not what Patricia Moon went through when she renounced her citizenship at the Toronto consulate in 2012.

“The questions are minimal and I didn’t spend more than 15 minutes at the window either time. It’s not intensive. They ask you: ‘Are you aware of the ramifications of your actions?” And ‘Are you doing this of your own accord?'”

The Toronto consulate has since switched to a one-interview system. In 2011, officials there held the first meeting in a group format to cope with demand.

Global News reported that the waiting list to renounce U.S. citizenship at the Toronto consulate stretched into late January of 2015. The backlog swelled after Ottawa signed a deal obliging Canadian banks to give the personal information of American clients to the IRS.

But the memo suggests the State Department expects applications to drop after the fee is implemented: to about 2,700 from the current 3,000 a year.

“We can’t speculate on the reasons potential renunciants choose to renounce citizenship,” a department spokesperson said in an email. “We can’t speculate on whether the backlog for renunciation appointments will ease” as a result of the fee increase.”

A department spokesperson said the fee hike is not meant as a deterrent.

READ MORE: How to get rid of U.S. citizenship

“It’s supposed to be a cost recovery change, and not a tax or revenue generator,” said Toronto-based cross-border tax accountant Kevyn Nightingale, who specializes in tax advice for people giving up U.S. citizenship.

“Having watched the process with so many of my clients, I have trouble believing that it really costs $2,300 apiece.”

The notice published this week estimates consular officers’ time at US$135 an hour, Nightingale points out.

“That means that they feel they’ve got almost 20 hours for each person who is expatriating, and that seems like a lot of time to process the paperwork. I have trouble believing that it’s 20 hours of time. This is, like most government fees, an arbitrary amount. I don’t think you can say much more about it.”

But the change isn’t so arbitrary for the people who’d have to pay it.

One elderly woman in Southwestern Ontario – who wouldn’t give her name because she’s “terrified” of being tracked by the IRS – says the new fee puts renouncing U.S. citizenship “totally out of reach”.

Originally from Boston, she immigrated to Canada in the 1970s and became a dual citizen in the 1990s.

“I live on a fixed income,” she said.”I don’t have the money to be [U.S. tax-]compliant, let alone pay this fee. … It puts my ability to renounce, to get out of this, a year or two away for me to save that kind of money.”

A south-central Ontario man scheduled to get rid of his U.S. citizenship in January says he’ll come up with the extra money but is “outraged”.

Born in New Jersey to Canadian parents, he came to Canada as a toddler. He also asked not to be identified, saying he’d “rather not bring that trouble on myself and my family”.

“I think it incredibly exploitative,” he said. “It’s a huge sum of money to pay for an internal U.S. process that none of us asked for. I’ve never chosen U.S. citizenship, I’ve never taken advantage of U.S. citizenship – until three years ago I didn’t even know that I had U.S. citizenship.”

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23. 11. 2018
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Lawyers for accused in Lac-Megantic disaster want charges dropped

Lawyers for accused in Lac-Megantic disaster want charges dropped

MONTREAL – Criminal charges against two men accused in the Lac-Megantic tragedy should be dropped, their union and lawyers argued Thursday.

Train engineer Tom Harding, railway traffic controller Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre, the manager of train operations, are each charged with 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death — one for each victim of the July 2013 train derailment.

A conviction carries a maximum life sentence.

Harding and Labrie are members of the United Steelworkers union, while Demaitre is not unionized.

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READ MORE: Quebec police take Lac-Megantic probe to U.S.

Union spokesman Daniel Roy and lawyers for Harding and Labrie say the charges should be dropped in light of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s final report into the tragedy.

In last week’s report, the TSB criticized the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic railway for its “weak safety culture” and also targeted Transport Canada for its poor oversight of railways, particularly amid a booming oil-by-rail industry across the continent.

“It should now be obvious that the charges against each of these workers no longer have their place,” said lawyers Thomas Walsh and Marc-Antoine Cloutier.

“To continue along this path would not serve the public interest and would in no way help prevent such an incident from happening again.”

Walsh is representing Harding, while Cloutier works for a legal clinic that is defending Labrie.

Walsh also called for a public inquiry into the tragedy, going so far as to say it would be more important than the long-running Charbonneau Commission looking into corruption in the construction industry.

Roy, meanwhile, took particular aim at federal cabinet ministers for their reactions to the TSB document.

“Transport Minister Lisa Raitt hadn’t even finished reading the report, which blamed her department, and she was already trying to deflect attention by reminding people that criminal charges had been laid,” he said.

“While she and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney shy away from their responsibilities, it’s average workers who are taking the rap.”

The TSB report said Harding applied an insufficient number of hand brakes on the train — seven — and conducted an inadequate test before he left the convoy unattended and retired to a local inn for the night.

WATCH:  Lawyer Thomas Walsh defends accused in the tragic train derailment.

Before he left the scene, Harding called MMA’s rail-traffic controller to report mechanical problems on the locomotive and thick smoke belching from its exhaust. They agreed he could leave the engine for the night.

Later that night, a fire broke out on the locomotive. Firefighters called to the scene shut down the locomotive, which gradually disengaged the engine’s air brakes.

An MMA track foreman with no background in locomotives met the firefighters at the scene and, after consulting the rail-traffic controller, they left without restarting the locomotive. Eventually, the train started rolling toward Lac-Megantic, where it derailed and exploded.

TSB chair Wendy Tadros has said, however, that the underlying causes of the accident go well beyond the number of hand brakes applied and the engineer’s actions that night.

The three accused were arraigned in Lac-Megantic last May. At the time, Walsh said Harding intended to plead not guilty to the charges and that the defence asked the court for a jury trial in the devastated community.

Several locals who watched the suspects enter the courtroom said they hoped authorities would eventually lay charges against railway and government officials.

The next court appearance in the case has been set for Sept. 11.

Quebec provincial police said recently the investigation remains active, which could lead to more arrests.

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