The past two weeks have been sobering for Waffle House Chairman Joe Rogers, Jr. The chain of no-frills, 24-hour breakfast spots has remained defiantly open in the face of so many disasters that the Federal Emergency Management Agency uses a Waffle House Index to measure their severity.
Hurricane Hugo couldn’t shut the doors for long in Charleston in 1989. The same in Georgia when Irma crashed through two years ago. The index was solid green in Joplin, Mo. after a tornado killed 158 people there in 2011.
Then came the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve never seen anything like this,” said Rogers, 73, a co-founder’s son who has been running the 65-year-old chain since the 1970s. “Any disaster, momentarily, cripples some pieces of the business and we rush in to rescue it. But we have the rest of the system healthy to go do that. There is no healthy portion of this system today. We are burning cash every week.”
The FEMA index uses the time it takes for Waffle House locations to re-open after calamity strikes. Normally it doesn’t take long, if they even shut down. His system of 2,000 diners in 25 states is “almost comically” well positioned to mobilize in a crisis, Rogers said: It’s family owned, tightly controlled and able to shift resources and supplies from unaffected restaurants to those in need with alacrity.
This week he’s had to close 20% of locations, about 420 in all. Waffle House typically has annual revenue of more than $1.3 billion but with the country on lockdown — and only one drive-thru location and a marginal take-out business — sales are about 30% of what they should be, Rogers said. Thousands of his 40,000 workers are now furloughed.
FEMA’s appreciation for the chain took route a half century ago when Rogers took over and began chasing every hurricane, snow storm and tornado that affected a location. He found that when he showed up to help keep the bacon sizzling and the coffee pouring, so did lots of other employees.
He was 26 in 1973 when he took the helm of the company that had four family ownership groups, mounting debt and control of only 30% of the locations. He changed all of it five years later when a financial crisis hit and gas shortages were looming, first consolidating ownership within his family, which now has a controlling share. He created an employee ownership plan that now provides 3,500 workers with a piece of the business. And ended the company’s reliance on debt.
It fits the slow-growth strategy he has pursued from the start. Rogers had planned to open around 80 new locations this year, while Burger King, which franchises 99% of all locations, added 1,000 last year.
“Most of why we are here today is learning what not to do,” said Rogers. “We don’t have the most creative restaurant concept you’ve ever seen. We’re just a throwback to a diner.”
“We tried to show them the love over the years in those disasters,” said Waffle House’s Rogers. “We might need a little of that in reverse now.”
A throwback diner with a devoted cult following that returns over and over, at all hours of the night. During a crisis it is a source of comfort food and community for regulars, drivers trucking supplies and first responders, even if they don’t quite get it at first.
When Hugo hit Charleston, Rogers duked it out with a National Guardsman who wanted them to shut down, until he realized it was the only restaurant open in the area that was able to feed 3,000 emergency workers. A fire department in Georgia tried shutting one location down after Irma struck the state in 2018. The manager refused and the firefighters ordered 15 meals instead.
“As we tried to show them the love over the years in those disasters, it hasn’t always been easy,” said Rogers. “We might need a little of that in reverse now.”
So far, he’s getting the opposite, he said, and the staunchly right-wing businessman is not the least bit happy about it. He’s in the camp of business leaders who are questioning whether “the cure is worse than the ailment” when it comes to dealing with the spread of COVID-19, putting him at odds with scientists leading the effort to stop it.
“When you lose the Waffle House, you’re losing the local economy,” he said, noting that quarantine and shelter-in-place measures will leave the restaurant industry, along with the broader economy, in a state of disrepair.
“If we let this economy keep going the way it’s going, we are leading people to ruin. How many people are you sacrificing to the poor house?”
Rogers said he won’t pay hourly workers if locations are closed, a contrast to the decisions made at other chains, including Starbucks. “We’re deciding about benefits to the hourly associates that aren’t working, but we have to look at the week-to-week cash reality,” he said, explaining how Waffle House’s cash reservers were already used to cover furloughed employees on the corporate side. He and other family employees have also given up their salaries until the crisis is over.
“We’re going to do our best to protect their incomes,” he said. “But if our business is 30% of what it used to be, how long can we protect them? You have to save the business. Otherwise, you’ll be no good for anybody.”
What’s the worst-case scenario? Rogers controls more than 90% of the system now and says he can always shut down more locations, ride out the downturn and re-open when the economy turns around. He estimates if the recession turns into a full-blown depression, “then in a lasting way, we can only operate probably half the restaurants.”
I cover all things food and drink as a staff writer at Forbes, from billionaires and ag tech startups to CPG entrepreneurs and wine. I head up the 30 Under 30 Food and Drink list, as well as Forbes’ 25 Most Innovative Ag Tech Startups list. My reporting has brought me to In-N-Out Burger’s secret test kitchen, had me trekking through drought-ridden farms in California’s Central Valley and even sent me to a chocolate factory designed like a castle in Northern France. I gravitate towards the intersection of food and mass manufacturing. I also cover beauty and personal care. Send tips to email@example.com.
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Coinpayments, Inc. is a company that specializes in cryptocurrency payments and transactions. The company created the site coinpayments.net, which is both a crypto trading platform and a digital currency storing wallet.
The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Vancouver, Canada. It’s business model mainly targets potential investors and cryptocurrency traders. The company aims to attract these people by offering a flat fee of 0,5% – this means that whenever you buy, sell or trade cryptocurrencies, 0,5% of the sum is taken as a tax by the company.
I will talk about this more extensively in the chapters ahead, but it’s worth mentioning now that Coinpayments’ fees are a big part of the discussion surrounding the company and the platform. It is also a strategic business plan by the establishment itself.
Coinpayments strives to become the leading trading and crypto exchange platform in the world, along with achieving the status of the most popular cryptocurrency storing wallet out there. The platform offers a lot of features to back these aims up – let’s cover them next in this Coinpayments review.
One of the things that the company is very proud of is its assortment of features. A lot of online Coinpayments wallet reviews emphasize this fact as one of the leading reasons for the platform’s success. Let’s take a closer look at the individual features that the Coinpayments offer.
App Version of the Wallet
Coinpayments is generally an online wallet and trading platform, but it is also available as a mobile app.
The app is considered to be well-optimized and easy to use. It allows you to access your wallet, perform transactions (buy, sell and trade) and accept payments in person.
Because the Coinpayments wallet is primarily an online one, you would think that the mobile version of it won’t be that functional or, well… that good. But according to user Coinpayments, reviews found online, the mobile version of the wallet is actually pretty good and works perfectly.
The mobile version of the Coinpayments wallet is available on Android and Apple mobile devices.
Probably one of the most acclaimed features that Coinpayments offers (and that no Coinpayments review forgets to mention) are the number of altcoins that the company accepts and offers to its users.
Before I reveal the magic number, it would probably be a good idea to tell you what an altcoin is.
Altcoins are all the different cryptocurrency coins in the market that are not Bitcoin. Bitcoin is considered to be *the* original coin – a staple of cryptocurrencies. All of the other cryptos that entered existence (and the market) after it is given the name “altcoins”. “Alt” simply means alternative.
To give you an idea of the number of altcoins that are currently circulating the market, I want you to, first of all, guess a number in your head. What do you think – how many altcoins are there right now? Continue reading this Coinpayments review only when you think of a specific number!
Got your number? Good.
As of writing this tutorial, there are currently 1658 crypto coins in the world.
Now, why is Coinpayments noteworthy in this scenario?
Because, at present time, the site supports a wapping 1015 cryptocurrencies. And this number is constantly increasing.
This is, without a doubt, one of the strongest and most notable features that Coinpayments has. As I’ve said, all of the Coinpayments reviews online emphasize this fact – and for good reason! This is an astonishing number – a lot of people try to avoid Bitcoin and are more interested in other, lesser-known cryptocurrencies. Coinpayments allows it’s users to not only have a huge variety of crypto coins in their wallet but to also easily swap and exchange them – there’s no need for long waiting periods or tedious confirmation processes.
BitGo Instant is a software that’s integrated into the Coinpayments system. It’s a special type of a program that makes the processes that happen within Coinpayments a lot easier and faster.
It is no secret that Bitcoin transaction rates are pretty slow – on a bad day, it can take up to a few solid hours until your payment or exchange is confirmed. This is due to a couple of reasons, but the main one is security (one could make a whole separate Coinpayments review on this alone).
You see, to keep the Bitcoin-based transactions safe and anonymous, each sale, purchase or exchange that you make with the coin generally has to be verified by the blockchain. This is great in theory, but it tends to be a very slow process. This is where BitGo Instant comes in.
The software allows you to perform transactions in almost a blink of an eye. As soon as the system receives a receipt, the transaction is verified and completed. What’s great about this is that it doesn’t sacrifice any security or anonymity – BitGo simply smoothens out the process and makes it more fluid.
If you’ve ever seen Harry Potter, you probably remember the Gringotts Wizarding bank from the first movie. Think about all of the different obstacles, chains, and locks that Harry had to bypass to access the vault. Now, imagine that he didn’t find the Philosophers Stone in the vault, but rather a huge stash of crypto coins.
That would be the exact scenario if Harry attempted to access the Coinpayments vaults, except that they aren’t accessible – physically, at least.
The Coinpayments vaults are a feature that allows users to store their cryptocurrencies into a super-secure online database. What’s special about this database is that once the coins are stored within it, you can set a time for which they won’t be accessible by any means. This becomes like a treasure hidden within a vault – there is no possible way to break into the database.
Since people kept on asking “is Coinpayments safe?”, this option was introduced as a preventive mechanism. In case of a hacking attempt or a security breach, the culprits couldn’t steal whatever amount of cryptocurrencies that users would have stored in the vault because it would require for a specific period to pass.
It should be noted, though, that this is proven in a real-time scenario. I’ll talk about this more extensively later on, but Coinpayments has had a security breach – needles to say, it didn’t do the company’s reputation justice. But more on this topic in later chapters.
One of the most unique features that Coinpayments offers is called “Pay-by-Name”.
A lot of Coinpayments reviews explain this feature in many different ways, but probably the clearest one out of the possible explanations is a fingerprint comparison.
Just like every single person in this world has a unique fingerprint, Coinpayments offers it’s users the ability to create a unique and one-of-a-kind name tags. Once you have your name tag, you can use it to make quick and worry-free transactions.
Your tag would look something like this:
So, if, for example, your name is Tim, your tag would be $Tim. Simple, right?
Other than the available features, a lot of people often want to know about Coinpayments fees. I’ve already mentioned it while talking about the company itself, but a proper Coinpayments wallet review requires a designated section for this topic.
The fees that they charge are one of the main promotional tools that Coinpayments uses. They relentlessly advertise their flat 0,5% tax – when compared with other company fluctuating fees, this seems like a great deal, especially when you’re talking about bigger sums of crypto coins.
The Coinpayments fees start to differ only when we start talking about service fees, conversions, and withdrawals. These taxations depend on transaction rates and prices of the coins in question.
Is Coinpayments a Safe Platform?
We’ve covered some of the main features that the platform offers. What’s the next step in this Coinpayments review? Well, this is a Coinpayments wallet review after all, and when you’re picking your cryptocurrency wallet, one of the main criteria you’re going to want to be looking for is security.
So is Coinpaymments safe? I’ll present a certain specific event that occurred back in 2017, and let you be the judge.
During June 2017, hackers managed to break into the Coinpayments’ Ripple storing security databases. Huge amounts of Ripple were stolen from the users that held this coin. Naturally, the people that kept their XRP coins in vaults managed to avoid this hacking – however, others weren’t as fortunate.
Coinpayments issued a few statements as time went on, and in December of that same year (6 months after the breach occurred) managed to give back every single Ripple coin that was stolen to the people that were affected.
The team ensured their community that a situation like this wouldn’t happen again, but the reactions varied.
The biggest amount of people, however, seemed to be quite understanding. A lot of these Coinpayments users emphasize the fact of how well the company dealt with the situation and how transparent they were through ought the process of recovery. Sure, Coinpayments lost a lot of users and reputation because of this, but to say that this breach was detrimental to their future success would be a huge overstatement.
Other than this one event, Coinpayments truly do have a spotless track record. This is quite rare for companies as ambitious with their projects as this one. So, did you make a decision is Coinpayments safe?
Coinpayments Review Summary
Any good Coinpayments review requires bullet point-based summaries to be successful, right? Well, that’s just what I’m going to provide.
Secure (despite that one event that we don’t talk about);
Supports more cryptocurrencies that you might ever need;
The fees are great;
The only real con that Coinpayments has is the break-in that happened back in 2017.
So is there a clear verdict when it comes to Coinpayments?
Honestly, if you manage to overlook (or simply forgive and forget) the infamous Ripple break-in, Coinpayments becomes a very interesting and awesome wallet. It offers a lot of interesting features, has stronger security measures than ever before and the team behind the company is highly motivated to keep on advancing the platform to new heights.
The features that I’ve presented in this Coinpayments review are just a few key ones out of many, many more. The team behind the company is adamant on building a multi-functional platform that would be the leading example of both cryptocurrency wallets and their trading platforms.
Walmart (WMT), the nation’s largest private employer, has created an emergency leave policy amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak after one of its associates tested positive for the virus.
“Your health is our priority, and, as we’ve said before, we want any associate who is not feeling well to stay home,” U.S. CEO John Furner wrote in a memo to Walmart’s 1.4 million U.S. associates.
According to the memo, an associate at a store in Cynthiana, Kentucky tested positive for COVID-19.
“The associate is receiving medical care, and her condition is improving. We wish her a speedy recovery,” Furner wrote.
Walmart said it worked with state and local health experts and “reinforced” its cleaning and sanitizing protocol and the store is still open.
The memo listed three different circumstances for employees to take advantage of the new emergency leave policy. First, if an associate is “unable to work” or “uncomfortable to work,” they can stay home. Furner said that the company will waive its attendance occurrence policy through the end of April.
“In order to be paid for this time, you may use your regular paid time off options,” the memo said.
Second, if a store, club, office, or distribution center is under a mandated quarantine, those workers will receive up to two weeks of pay and absences during that time will not count against attendance.
“We’ve chosen two weeks because it matches the recommended time for quarantines related to this virus,” Furner wrote.
Third, anyone who tests positive for the virus will receive up to two weeks of pay and additional pay replacement if needed.
“If they’re not able to return to work after that time, additional pay replacement may be provided for up to 26 weeks for both full-time and part-time hourly associates.”
Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.
Kevin Connolly says his father-in-law credits the Life Care Center of Kirkland, Washington with “giving him his life back.” It’s where he recovered from hospice care, flirted with nurses and enjoyed eating chicken pot pie. But now, it’s where Connolly worries the 81-year-old will die because of what he says has been a bungled response to the coronavirus outbreak that has devastated the nursing home facility, which is linked to at least 13 of the 19 coronavirus deaths that had been reported in the U.S. as of Sunday morning.
“I can no longer sit around and wait for a phone call to tell me my loved one has died. Our loved ones that live here are already amongst the most vulnerable in the community, and they are being left to be picked off one by one by this disease,” Connolly said Thursday at a press conference held by relatives of Life Care Center residents.
“We have limited resources to battle this disease, and I think somebody somewhere decided that this population of people wasn’t worth wasting resources on. That’s how it feels.”
The arrival of the coronavirus in the United States has intersected with the persistent problems associated with caring for the elderly, one of the country’s most vulnerable populations, especially as long-term care is often understaffed and underfunded.
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There comes a point in the unfolding of every epidemic when public-health officials acknowledge that despite their best efforts, an invisible microbial foe has managed to outwit them. That time has come.
As health experts urge nursing homes to plan ahead and take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus in their communities, some are cancelling bingo games and family dinners, encouraging relatives to take advantage of the ability to “visit” via Skype, and stocking up on the supplies they would need to combat an outbreak in their facilities.
“The data from China and from Italy seems to suggest that this virus disproportionately affects older adults. We’re looking at mortality rates for people over the age of 80 close to 15%,” says Dr. David Dosa, an associate professor of medicine at Brown University and a geriatrician who has researched nursing home infections, referencing a study of the outbreak in China published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. (While hard to assess, the overall coronavirus fatality rate is far lower — 3.4%, according to the World Health Organization on March 3.)
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About 1.3 million Americans live in nursing homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more than half are over the age of 75.
“They do need to take it very seriously,” Dosa says. “I think that the Washington case is the proverbial canary in the coal mine.”
He said the virus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, can spread quickly in nursing home settings, where people with existing medical conditions and compromised immune systems live in close proximity and depend on help for daily activities, including bathing, dressing and eating. On Friday, another nursing home and a senior living complex in Seattle each reported a case of coronavirus among their residents, the New York Times reported.
Brenda Chrystie says she was reassured by an email she received Monday from her father’s memory care facility in King County, the same county where the Life Care Center of Kirkland is located. Leaders at Aegis Living said they are disinfecting “high touch surfaces” daily, preparing a containment plan in case residents or staff members become infected, stocking up on both CDC-approved cleaning agents for the virus and enough food to feed staff and residents “for an extended period of time” if necessary, and canceling events for large groups. The facility has also asked anyone who traveled outside of the U.S. in the past 30 days to postpone their visit.
Su Wilson hands flowers to a staff member (in red uniform) to give to her mother, Chun Liu, who is a patient at the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, on March 6, 2020.
Karen Ducey—Getty Images
“For all of us who care for the elderly, the coronavirus is presenting an unprecedented challenge,” Kris Engskov, Aegis Living president, said in a statement on Thursday. “Over the last few days, we’ve put extraordinary protocols in place in all of our communities to ensure we were doing everything possible to protect our residents and staff from infection.”
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“They’re having to ratchet it up and take it to another level and just hoping that all of us, the loved ones, don’t freak out and panic too much,” Chrystie says. “But who knows? Who knows how this is going to spread?”
She says she’s trying to protect her 80-year-old father, who has Alzheimer’s, from any of that panic because stress can be harmful to his health. “I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know about the coronavirus,” she says. “And I’ll keep it that way.”
Bethany Retirement Living in Fargo, North Dakota has cancelled group activities, including bingo, music and group exercise as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of germs.
“A lot of times, bingo is passing around cards. Group exercise might be throwing around the same ball,” says Shawn Stuhaug, president and CEO of Bethany Retirement Living. “We’re just trying to be precautionary until we know more.”
The organization has started directing visitors through certain entrances to guarantee they pass a hand sanitizing station, and asking people not to visit if they have a fever or cough, have been on a cruise or have traveled to a country affected by the outbreak. The facility allows family members to Skype or FaceTime their loved ones if they can’t come in person.
Sandy Sidler, a 67-year-old retired teacher, visits her 91-year-old mother, who has been recovering from the flu, almost every day at Bethany, sitting beside her until she wakes up from her afternoon nap and keeping her company during supper. Sidler says she’s not worried about the spread of coronavirus yet, but she always uses hand sanitizer before entering her mother’s room.
Because there have not yet been any cases of coronavirus identified in North Dakota, Stuhaug says his biggest priority right now is preventing the spread of the seasonal flu, which is more likely to be deadly in an elderly population. “It’s just as important to pay attention to the flu,” he says. “Every year, I wish everybody would get this excited about the flu.”
In Rhode Island — where officials have identified three “presumptive positive” cases of COVID-19 — former state senator Gloria Kennedy Fleck says she has been asking her 90-year-old mother’s nursing home, the West Shore Health Center in Warwick, R.I., for its contingency plan in case the virus spreads there. She has wondered if residents would be temporarily moved or separated if they test positive for the virus, but she hasn’t received a clear answer.
“The biggest concern is that no preparations are being made, and if and when it happens, then what? They’re just going to let them sit there in the petri dish?” she says. “I’m not trying to be an alarmist. We have to take precautions. There has to be a plan.”
On Thursday, she spoke with an administrator who told her plans are underway. Representatives from the West Shore Health Center directed inquiries from TIME to Scott Fraser, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Health Care Association, who said the nursing home was screening visitors, had put up signs asking them not to enter if they’re ill and would be following its existing contingency plans for seasonal flu and norovirus outbreaks, but he could not elaborate on what those plans entail.
“We’re following state guidelines and CDC guidelines, and we’re following them very closely because obviously the residents in all our homes are some of the most vulnerable,” he said.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released guidelines last week aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes, asking facilities to screen visitors for symptoms such as a cough, fever and sore throat and for international travel to restricted countries within 14 days. Any health care workers who develop symptoms on the job should stop work, put on a face mask and self-quarantine at home, the guidelines say.
Richard Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, says he’s advising families to ask more questions of the facilities housing their elderly relatives. “We’re telling people, ‘Look to see, is your nursing home implementing better practices, doing more cleaning, ensuring that everyone is on board with hand washing,’” he says. “I would ask the administrator, ‘Are you prepared for what is going to come?’”
Fleck — who brings her mother lemon-filled donuts and Hershey’s kisses each time she visits — says she worries about exactly that. Last month, healthcare workers protested at the Rhode Island state house over under-staffed nursing homes in the state, and Fleck worries staffing levels will worsen because of COVID-19.
In Washington state, the leader of the union representing home care and nursing home workers says that’s already happening. Sterling Harders, president of the SEIU 775, says the outbreak is “making the chronic understaffing in nursing homes even worse,” as more workers call in sick.
Sherylon Hughes — a direct caregiver at the North Cascades Health and Rehabilitation Center in Bellingham, Washington — says at the start of their shift, workers are now required to report to the nurse on duty to have their temperature checked and fill out a short questionnaire about whether they’ve come in contact with anyone who is potentially infected.
“Everyone is just really concerned,” Hughes says. “There’s a lot of frustration among some of the workers. We feel like the people who are in charge haven’t really come up with a plan for what we are supposed to do.”
She and her coworkers have wondered what would happen if someone at her nursing home tests positive for the coronavirus. Will the facility shut down? Will all the workers be tested? Will they have to pay for it themselves?
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington address a news conference on the coronavirus in his state as Vice President Mike Pence looks on, in Tacoma on March 5, 2020.
Chona Kasinger—Bloomberg/Getty Images
“I’m very concerned about the health care workers, the people who are on the front lines,” says Hughes, who makes about $17 an hour. “The potential loss of livelihood is devastating, especially for caregivers. We do not make very much money at all, and none of us can afford to miss work for any extended period of time, and very few of us have healthcare that’s affordable.”
At a press conference on Friday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the state would cover the cost of the test for anyone who does not have insurance. As officials work to contain the spread of the virus, he said the state would dedicate assistance specifically to long-term care facilities. “We know that the first potential victims of this virus are elderly and those who are medically compromised,” he said. “We are standing up a separate incident command post in the structure to specifically give assistance to long-term care facilities, both to help them prevent infection from entering the facilities and to help them deal with it in the event that that happens.”
But questions linger for many of the Life Care Center relatives, who on Thursday expressed their frustration with a lack of communication, demanding clear guidance on when their relatives would be tested for the virus and asking to speak with CDC health officials and to relocate healthy residents to a different facility.
King County Executive Dow Constantine said Friday that the Life Care Center has not been shut down or evacuated because the more than 60 residents remaining there require 24-hour medical care, and there were no hospitals or nursing homes with the capacity to take them in. “This is, for many of the residents, the best place that they can be — those who are asymptomatic but have these health conditions that have to be attended to in a 24-hour care facility,” he said.
Connolly’s father-in-law is one of those residents, but he is still seeking more answers. Constantine said all Life Care Center residents and staff members will be tested for COVID-19 now that there is increased testing capacity at the University of Washington.
On Saturday, Connolly said his father-in-law, who has not been showing symptoms for coronavirus, had not yet been tested.
“Still no one has reached out to us,” Connolly said in a text to TIME. “Still we are in the dark.”
After a difficult year battling stage 4 breast cancer, Olivia Newton-John wants fans to know she’s doing well.
“I just want everyone to know, I’m here, I’m doing great,” she told Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday. “I’m doing really well and I’m really healthy.”
Newton-John, 70, is battling cancer for the third time. In 1992, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a car accident in 2013, doctors found cancer in her shoulder. Last year, the “Physical” songstress revealed her breast cancer had spread to her back with a tumor at the base of her spine.
She opened up Wednesday about struggling through her battle this year, but reiterated she’s feeling better.
“It was a challenging year because I broke my sacrum and I had to learn to walk again and all these things,” Newton-John said. “But I am strong and I am back and I’m feeling good and loving every minute.”
The “Grease” star added that she’s “very touched” by the outpouring of support from fans over her diagnosis and proud to be inspiring others by talking her health.
“It’s a responsibility,” she said. “I am positive about my life and about my journey and I hope that can touch other people to be positive about theirs … I’m happy if I’m entertaining people but I’m happiest when I’m helping people.”
Actress, author and singer Olivia Newton-John, 71, is battling breast cancer for the third time. “I’m happy. I’m lucky. I’m grateful. I have much to live for. And I intend to keep on living it,” she tells “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King in an emotional interview at her Los Angeles home. Newton-John talks about her diagnosis two years ago and how, while the pain can be unbearable, her spirit remains unshakable. Subscribe to the “CBS Sunday Morning” Channel HERE: http://bit.ly/20gXwJT Get more of “CBS Sunday Morning” HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1PlMmAz Follow “CBS Sunday Morning” on Instagram HERE: http://bit.ly/23XunIh Like “CBS Sunday Morning” on Facebook HERE: http://on.fb.me/1UUe0pY Follow “CBS Sunday Morning” on Twitter HERE: http://bit.ly/1RquoQb Follow “CBS Sunday Morning” on Google+ HERE: http://bit.ly/1O3jk4x Get the latest news and best in original reporting from CBS News delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to newsletters HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1RqHw7T Get your news on the go! Download CBS News mobile apps HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1Xb1WC8 Get new episodes of shows you love across devices the next day, stream local news live, and watch full seasons of CBS fan favorites anytime, anywhere with CBS All Access. Try it free! http://bit.ly/1OQA29B — “CBS Sunday Morning” features stories on the arts, music, nature, entertainment, sports, history, science, Americana and highlights unique human accomplishments and achievements. Check local listings for CBS Sunday Morning broadcast times.
Captain Ellen Roz and First Officer Heidi McDiarmid operate multi-stop cargo flights ahead of International Women’s Day.
Dubai: On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Emirates is highlighting one aspect of how women in aviation are supporting economies and touching lives across the world.
The airline has released a video that follows an all-women flight deck crew operate multi-stop cargo flights across four continents on Emirates SkyCargo’s Boeing 777 freighter aircraft. Captain Ellen Roz from the United States and First Officer Heidi McDiarmid from Australia cover close to 30,000 kms in 10 days on five freighter flights from Frankfurt to Mexico City onwards to Quito, Aguadilla, Amsterdam and finally to Dubai transporting over 300 tonnes of cargo ranging from fresh flowers and fruits to pharmaceuticals. The two pilots were also joined by Captain Heather Wolf from Canada for operating the flight from Frankfurt to Mexico City.
Women in Emirates
Women constitute more than 40 per cent of the total workforce at Emirates with the majority working as cabin crew. Emirates’ female pilots come from over 30 nationalities, covering an age range from 23 to 62 years. Women from over 160 nationalities, including more than 1,100 Emiratis, are employed across the Emirates Group in operational roles in functions including flight operations, engineering, aircraft maintenance & appearance, catering, cargo and ramp operations; in customer facing roles in airport services, sales and customer affairs and corporate roles across business support functions.
“From the very start, Emirates’ success story has been powered to a large extent thanks to the hard work and talent of our female employees across all our business functions. On the occasion of International Women’s Day we celebrate their immense achievement not just at Emirates but within the global aviation industry. We are happy and proud that our multinational women employees act as trail blazers in connecting the world and also as role models encouraging women and girls everywhere to pursue careers in aviation,” said Abdulaziz Al Ali, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Emirates Group.
Emirates is also celebrating with its customers on board. In recognition of International Women’s Day, Emirates’ award-winning in-flight entertainment, ice, is featuring over 120 female directed films. Movies include Hollywood blockbusters such as Charlie’s Angels directed by Elizabeth Banks; Mamma Mia! by Phyllida Lloyd; and Oscar winning films such as The Hurt Locker by Kathryn Bigelow and Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola. The catalogue also features foreign language films like Shonali Bose’s The Sky is Pink and Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Wadjda.
Unlike operations for flying passengers, Emirates’ freighter flights are dedicated to transporting cargo and do not always originate and end in Dubai. Instead, the flights cover multiple origins and destinations over rotations that last several days. This allows for additional flexibility in cargo operations along with the ability to rapidly and efficiently cargo from where it is produced to markets where it is required by customers.
Additionally Emirates’ freighter aircraft also operate to destinations that are not covered by passenger flights. Ecuador, for example, is one of the largest flower producing markets in the world and is a cargo-only destination on Emirates’ global network. Emirates’ freighter aircraft transport fresh cut flowers from Quito to Amsterdam via Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. This ensures that the flowers are transported more rapidly from Ecuador to the Netherlands than if the flight had to travel to Dubai and then proceed onwards from Dubai to Amsterdam.
Over 75 tonnes of fresh flowers were transported on the freighter flights operated by Captain Roz and First Officer McDiarmid from Quito to Aguadilla and from Aguadilla to Amsterdam. Emirates’ freighter flights from Quito create a direct channel for exports for the Ecuadorean floriculture industry to Amsterdam, the world’s largest flower distribution hub. This supports the local economy in Ecuador and the livelihoods of over 100,000 people in the country who work to cultivate and harvest flowers.
Freighter flights also allow for rapid transportation of goods such as life saving medication from the location where they are manufactured to patients who may urgently need them for treatment. Close to 10 tonnes of valuable pharmaceuticals were transported on the freighter flight from Frankfurt to Mexico City operated by the all-women flight deck crew.
Emirates SkyCargo operates scheduled freighter flights to over 40 global destinations every week. In addition, Emirates’ Boeing 777 freighter aircraft also execute a number of on-demand charter operations for clients to deliver a range of commodities from outsized machinery to relief materials. In 2019, Emirates SkyCargo operated over 300 charter operations globally.
Follow the high-flying adventures of our all-women flight deck crew who operated a multi-stop Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777 Freighter trip covering 6 cities across 4 continents to mark International Women’s Day. Captain Ellen Roz from the United States and First Officer Heidi McDiarmid from Australia flew 30,000 kilometres in 10 days carrying over 300 tons of cargo ranging from fresh flowers and fruits to pharmaceuticals. They operated the Boeing 777 Freighter on 5 flights serving the Frankfurt-Mexico City-Quito-Aguadilla-Amsterdam-Dubai World Central Emirates SkyCargo route. They were joined by Captain Heather Wolf from Canada on the Frankfurt-Mexico City sector. #InternationalWomensDay#EmiratesAirline#EmiratesSkyCargo #FlyEmiratesFlyBette
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It has been a tough few weeks for online payments giant PayPal. First came the confirmation that an authentication hack would enable an attacker to access an account once credentials had been phished, bypassing the financial firm’s authentication tools. And now another security report claims the entire authentication process can be bypassed, enabling an attacker to gain access to an account with nothing but stolen credentials, available for purchase on the dark web “for as little as $1.50.”
The report comes from the research team at CyberNews, and includes a complaint that the findings were not taken seriously by PayPal or by the team at HackerOne who field such reports. “When our analysts discovered six vulnerabilities in PayPal,” CyberNews said, “ranging from dangerous exploits that can allow anyone to bypass their two-factor authentication, to being able to send malicious code through their SmartChat system—we were met with non-stop delays, unresponsive staff, and lack of appreciation.”
For its part, PayPal told me it always takes such submissions seriously, “and reviews each with an appropriate sense of priority.” I was assured the team had investigated this in detail, but, after review, “found that the submissions did not pose a threat, and that the assertions being advanced by CyberNews are inaccurate and misleading.”
HackerOne did not comment, and deferred instead to PayPal’s statement.
“We would like PayPal to take this vulnerability more seriously,” CyberNews told me. “At the moment, [PayPal is] writing it off as something ‘out-of-scope’ just because it involves stolen credentials.” The research team went to great lengths to show me the exploit working. While there is no way of knowing the state of the back-end algorithm checking the process, it did appear at face value to bypass the check.
To understand the debate between PayPal and CyberNews, it’s critical to understand some of the ways in which PayPal safeguards your account. First, PayPal is in the somewhat unique position of knowing everything about both sides of every transaction, including the behavioral track record, login environment, recent activity and risk potential that a transaction may be fraudulent. The detail is closely held, but there are numerous data points captured by the company’s systems.
That becomes apparent when you login from a new device or location as identified by the IP address of your connection. PayPal will then seek to ensure it’s you—they have a successful username and password login, but they will run a system check to look for further assurance that it’s you. Once in, the company will then run further checks on each transaction that you attempt, again to determine whether to approve or challenge.
CyberNews claims—and the company showed me a demonstration—that it can successfully login to an account using basic credentials on a new computer. Essentially, they claim to have intercepted the backend data from the login process to prevent the backend system challenging the login attempt. This is in itself serious. In essence, it would work with phished credentials just as well as with stolen ones, and it links back to that bypassing of the system checks at the login point of the process.
Unfortunately for CyberNews, they described this as “two-factor authentication,” saying the team “was able to bypass PayPal’s phone or email verification, which for ease of terminology we can call two-factor authentication (2FA). Their 2FA, which is called ‘Authflow’ on PayPal, is normally triggered when a user logs into their account from a new device, location or IP address.”
Two-factor authentication means something very specific these days—it is a secondary identity check at the point of every login or every new login that is intended to be a user controlled identity confirmation over and above a username and password. This is normally an SMS one-time code, but it can be a PIN number that’s separate from your password, or an authenticator app or even an external security key.
There have been plenty of stories of the defeat of 2FA—SIM jacking and the high-profile hacks of celebrity Twitter accounts, for example. And last year the FBI—somewhat controversially—warned that secondary authentication was being spoofed by attackers and only biometrics could be seen as attack-proof.
Paypal does have genuine two-factor authentication—you can see its set-up in the image below. This would prevent any attacker gaining access to an account without the user’s cellphone or authenticator app, rendering a back-end security check bypass useless. CyberNews does not claim to have hacked this 2FA process.
CyberNews accepts that the terminology in its report is confusing, telling me “by 2FA, we really meant the default security measure that PayPal’s algorithm triggers when there’s a suspicious login on an account. Since this security measure requires a separate device beyond the person’s username and password, we used the term 2FA as a reference or similarity. And we think that’s where the confusion stemmed from.”
This wasn’t helped by a quote given to a U.K. newspaper by one of the CyberNews team: “PayPal and other sites such as Amazon and banks use two-factor authentication, so if an important change is made to the account this is double-checked, for instance through a security code being texted to the user’s mobile phone. We alerted [PayPal] last month that this double-check can currently be bypassed, rendering it ineffective to any hacker who gains a person’s email and password.”
Again, CyberNews explained that this had been misunderstood, “this specific quote was a general one, in response to all the six vulnerabilities we discovered. Now that we can agree to your definition of 2FA, we’d phrase it differently.”
And that’s the crux here. Because the vulnerabilities found are clearly important in themselves, the confusion has obfuscated the debate. CyberNews seems to feel very strongly that the issues should be disclosed and patched, and the team seems very frustrated that they haven’t been. “We still want to emphasize,” one of the team told me, “that these ‘double checks’ from PayPal’s side, whether this main security bypass, name change, or phone verification, were easily bypassed.”
CyberNews also questions the extent to which the misunderstanding actually matters, suggesting that not many users have enabled the genuine 2FA, relying instead on the systems checks to look after account security. I asked PayPal for the percentage of users with the genuine 2FA enabled, but that information is not available. “It really does put a huge risk on many people’s accounts that don’t have user-enabled 2FA,” CyberNews told me, “which is most PayPal users. We believe the patch for this issue should be pretty straightforward and we essentially want [PayPal] to take action.”
PayPal didn’t dismiss the issue when I spoke with them, but told me it was a risk they believed was managed by their system. And unless or until we have examples of accounts emptied through the hack, it’s difficult to argue the point. PayPal’s spokesperson also told me that users would be made financially whole for any loss through a bug on their system and security checks. As such, I was told, there’s not really a financial risk of “bank accounts being emptied,” as such.
For the time being, defeating 2FA requires either a hijack of a victim’s mobile device or other authentication medium, or else intercepting one-time codes input by the victim into their system. There is clearly the risk that if an attacker can gain remote access to a target machine, they can steal credentials and then the 2FA code in real time. It’s complex and requires a real-time attack, but it’s not technically complicated.
“We are making these vulnerabilities public to warn [PayPal’s] 305 million account holders and compel PayPal to fix them before hackers exploit these security flaws,” CyberNews told the media on the release of their findings last week. Then, just ahead of publishing, CyberNews told me they thought PayPal might be patching the issue, although they said they could still bypass that backend system check.
The other vulnerabilities raised by CyberNews in its report included intercepting a check on the registering of a new phone to an account as well as bypassing system checks when money is sent from a new device. I didn’t see either of those vulnerabilities demonstrated, albeit they have now been made public and disclosed to PayPal.
So, should you worry? Given the volume of stolen credentials available for purchase, one defense is to change your PayPal password and keep it unique to that app. Adhering to good password advice will also help. And then Paypal does provide security tools that will ensure this hack cannot impact you. You can set up 2FA using the web portal. To be frank, as inconvenient as that might be for the login process, given the current climate of credential theft and large-scale data breaches, 2FA is always a good move.
I am the Founder/CEO of Digital Barriers—developing advanced surveillance solutions for defence, national security and counter-terrorism. I write about the intersection of geopolitics and cybersecurity, as well as breaking security and surveillance stories. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the 2016 election, the notion of hacking has become inextricably intertwined with one country: Russia. But cyber crimes emanating from Russia and Russian speaking countries have been around for years, fueling attacks like a 2014 data breach of more than 500 million Yahoo! accounts and a scheme that stole 160 million credit cards from American corporations. “If someone wants to hack you, they’re gonna be able to” former NSA hacker Patrick Wardle told VICE News. And if a Russian wants to hack you, they’ve certainly got the tools: A 2016 report by the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that 75 percent of all ransomware was created in Russia. The apparent lack of ethical consideration in the buildup of Russian information technology and cyber security is rooted in decades of technical education under Stalin, who launched polytechnic schools to train engineers for his military-industrial complex. Russia’s cyber capabilities can now be used for just about everything, ranging from digital bank robberies to tampering with critical infrastructure. “This is the website of a big online store.” Kostya, an anonymous Russian hacker who agreed to show VICE News how easy it is to steal digital data. “I can get into their configurations and download their client database.” Spurred by the trillions of dollars online and in a generation raised on the web, hacking from Russia and around the world is flourishing. VICE News went to Moscow to see the country’s expert hackers in action. Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News Check out VICE News for more: http://vicenews.com Follow VICE News here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideo