Other Informative Stories That We are Following on September 15, 2015

Article posted on September 15th, 2015 by WhatAmIMissingHere

Washington Does Not Take Cybersecurity Seriously – Wired  …   “But you probably already knew that if you’ve read anything about the massive OPM data breach. To recap the news from OPM, since 2013, a malicious attacker—likely the Chinese government—breached government databases and stole information on some 21 million federal employees. This included personal information like addresses and Social Security numbers. Most of these people held security clearances and are called Standard Form 86s (SF-86), which detail nearly every aspect of their lives. Most news coverage has centered on federal employees. But that’s an incomplete picture because it’s now clear many victims never worked for the federal government. When for them it also included nearly 150 pages of material in what applying for a security clearance with the SF-86, applicants list their family members, neighbors, co-workers, foreign contacts, and even college roommates.”

“What this means is that not only do the hackers know lots of sensitive information about millions of government employees, they also know a great deal about many of the people they know and love. The implications for threats, intimidation, and blackmail are chilling. ‘Oh, you don’t want to sell out your country? OK, we get it. By the way, your parents still live at 2911 Rainbow Drive, right?’ China may now have the largest spy-recruiting database in history. Bottom line: If you have any family or friends who work for the government and put your name down on an SF-86, a foreign government might well know a lot more about you and your kids than you’d like.”

Baltimore Prepares To Accept More Syrian Refugees – CBS Baltimore  …  “The war in Syria is forcing millions to flee their homes, and the United States is working to accept 10,000 of the fleeing refugees over the next year. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Baltimore has resettled more than two dozen Syrians so far this year, and they are preparing to help more. “They are desperate to seek safety,” the IRC’s executive director, Ruben Chandrasekar, said. “They are desperate to be given a new chance at a new life. The International Rescue Committee in Baltimore has welcomed 26 Syrians by providing them with the tools to succeed, including a furnished apartment and even employment.”

“They say their program is successful because refugees are eager to start their new lives free from persecution. ‘They want nothing more than to get employed, play their taxes and be able to do the normal stuff you and I take for granted,’ said Chandrasekar. ‘When you get a safe place like Baltimore or the U.S. and you have the opportunity to rebuild your whole life,’ said Chandrasekar, ‘how motivated do you think you would be? That’s what we see everyday when we welcome a refugee into the Baltimore area.’ The Baltimore office is primarily funded through federal dollars, but a lot of donations come from the community. Over the last 15 years, the IRC has resettled 12,000 refugees from all over the world here in central Maryland.”

COMMENT: This sounds like an interesting program to help, if it can continue to be done on a relatively small and workable scale. I must admit to wondering how the African-American leaders in Baltimore, who are usually rather outspoken, will react, when they realize that these ‘refugees’ are being given furnished apartments, and directed access to employment?

Things to Know About a Fed Rate Hike – Newsmax  …  “Since 2008, the Federal Reserve has kept the federal funds rate—the banks’ overnight borrowing rate—near zero. Now more confident about prospects for growth and inflation, policymakers are preparing to raise those short-term rates—perhaps at the conclusion of their two day meeting or later this year. Higher borrowing costs for banks can cause mortgage rates to jump, jobs to become scarcer and stock to tumble—but not always.”

“Here are five things you need to know. Mortgage Rates Are Not Likely to Rise Much. Bank fees and car loans will get more expensive. Unemployment Won’t Be Much Affected. Economic Growth and Inflation Will Pick Up. Stock Prices Will Continue to Be Strong. With a strengthening economy, if you are planning a new car or home improvement, do it now, and if you are an investor on the sidelines, gradually start buying in. America is not going out of business—it doesn’t need free money to thrive.”

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