Facebook Flaw May Have Exposed Private Photos

Facebook says a software flaw may have exposed private photos of nearly 7 million users, the latest in a series of privacy issues facing the social media company.

Facebook said Friday that the photo glitch gave about 1,500 software apps unauthorized access to private photos for 12 days in September. 

“We’re sorry this happened,” Facebook said in a blog. It said it would notify users whose photos might have been affected.

Irish regulator  to investigate

The software flaw affected users who gave third-party applications permission to access their photos. Facebook usually allows the apps to access only photos shared on a user’s timeline. However, the glitch would have allowed the apps to see additional photos, including those on Marketplace and Facebook Stories, as well as ones uploaded but not shared. 

It is not known whether any of the photos were actually accessed. 

The lead regulator of Facebook in the European Union, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), said it was investigating the situation to determine whether the company complied with strict new EU privacy rules.

While Facebook says the bug has been fixed, the revelation brought new scrutiny to a company that has faced a series of security and privacy breaches. 

Earlier issues

Earlier this year, Facebook acknowledged that a political consultancy firm, Cambridge Analytica, gained access to the personal data from millions of user profiles. 

In September, the company said it discovered a security breach affecting about 50 million user accounts that could have allowed hackers to access the accounts. The company said hackers exploited the “View As” feature, which lets users see how their own profiles would look to other people. 

Facebook has also come under criticism for fake political ads posted on its site from Russia and other countries. 

The company has more than 2 billion users worldwide.

From: MeNeedIt

Stocks Plunge to 8-month Lows on Growth Fears; J&J Nosedives

Stocks staggered to eight-month lows Friday after weak economic data from China and Europe set off more worries about the global economy. Mounting tensions in Europe over Britain’s impeding departure from the European Union also darkened traders’ moods.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped as much as 563 points. On the benchmark S&P 500 index, health care and technology companies absorbed the worst losses. Johnson & Johnson plunged by the most in 16 years after Reuters reported that the company has known since the 1970s that its talc Baby Powder sometimes contained carcinogenic asbestos. The company denied the report.

China said industrial output and retail sales both slowed in November. That could be another sign that China’s trade dispute with the U.S. and tighter lending conditions are chilling its economy, which is the second-largest in the world. Meanwhile, purchasing managers in Europe signaled that economic growth was slipping.

Running out of steam?

Sameer Samana, senior global market strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said investors are concerned that weakness will make it way to the U.S. They’re wondering if the U.S. economy is likely to run out of steam sooner than they had thought.

“Market consensus has been that the next recession is probably in 2020 or beyond,” he said. Now, he said, the market is “really testing that assumption and trying to figure out whether it’s sooner.”

The S&P 500 index lost 50.59 points, or 1.9 percent, to 2,599.95, its lowest close since April 2. The Dow retreated 496.87 points, or 2 percent, to 24,100.51.

The Nasdaq composite slid 159.67 points, or 2.3 percent, to 6,910.66. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 21.89 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,410.81.

December is typically the best month of the year for stocks and Wall Street usually looks forward to a “Santa Claus rally” that adds to the year’s gains. With 10 trading days left this month, however, the S&P 500 is down 5.8 percent. That followed a small gain in November and a steep 6.9 percent drop in October. 

Market value falls

Johnson & Johnson dropped 10 percent to $133 in very heavy trading. Its market value fell by $40 billion.

Reuters reported that court documents and test results show Johnson & Johnson has known for decades that its raw talc and finished Baby Powder sometimes contained asbestos, but that the company didn’t inform regulators or the public. The company called the story “false and inflammatory.”

In July the company lost a lawsuit from plaintiffs who argued that its products were linked to cases of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. A St. Louis jury awarded plaintiffs $4.7 billion. Johnson & Johnson faces thousands of other lawsuits. 

For more than 20 years, China has been one of the biggest contributors to growth in the global economy, and when investors see signs the Chinese economy is weakening, they expect it will affect other countries like the U.S. that sell things to China. 

Protests hurt France

In Europe, the index of purchase managers fell in France, which is racked by protests, to a level that points toward economic contraction. Germany’s reading still pointed to growth, but it fell to its lowest level in four years.

Those reports canceled out some potential good news on trade: the Chinese government announced a 90-day suspension of tariff increases on U.S. cars, trucks and auto imports. It’s part of a cease-fire that China and the U.S. announced earlier this month to give them time to work on other issues.

Among technology companies, Apple dipped 3.2 percent to $165.48. Adobe skidded 7.3 percent to $230 after its fourth-quarter profit disappointed investors and it also forecast lower-than-expected earnings in the current fiscal year. Industrial companies sank as well. Boeing lost 2.1 percent to $318.75.

Oil prices again turned lower, as a slower global economy would weaken demand for oil and other fuels. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 2.6 percent to $51.20 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 1.9 percent to settle at $60.28 a barrel in London.

European Union leaders rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May’s request to make changes to their deal covering Britain’s departure from the EU on March 29. British legislators aren’t satisfied with the terms May negotiated, and she canceled a scheduled vote earlier this week because it was clear Parliament wouldn’t approve it. Britain’s economy and financial markets across Europe face severe disruption without an agreement.

European bonds slide

European bond prices rose and yields fell. Both the British pound and the euro weakened. The pound slipped to $1.2579 from $1.2660 and the euro fell to $1.1303 from $1.1367.

Germany’s DAX declined 0.5 percent and the CAC 40 in France declined 0.8 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.5 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index slid 2 percent and the Kospi in South Korea lost 1.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.6 percent. 

Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.89 percent 2.90 percent.

In other commodities trading, wholesale gasoline lost 3 percent to $1.43 a gallon. Heating oil fell 1.7 percent to $1.85 a gallon and natural gas dropped 7.2 percent to $3.83 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold fell 0.5 percent to $1,241.40 an ounce. Silver dipped 1.5 percent to $14.64 an ounce. Copper was little changed at $2.77 a pound.

The dollar fell to 113.29 yen from 113.60 yen.

From: MeNeedIt

Nigerian Governor: Buhari Says Economy in ‘Bad Shape’

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said the country’s economy was in “bad shape,” the governor of a northwestern state told reporters Friday after a meeting with governors from across the country. 

Buhari will seek a second term in an election to be held in February in which the economy is likely to be a campaign issue. 

Africa’s top oil producer last year emerged from its first recession in 25 years, caused by low crude prices, but growth remains sluggish. 

“Mr. President, as usual, responded by telling us that the economy is in a bad shape and we have to come together and think and rethink on the way forward,” Abdulaziz Yari, who chairs the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, told reporters when asked how Buhari answered requests for a bailout to some states. 

“Mr. President talked to us in the manner that we have a task ahead of us. So, we should tighten our belts and see how we can put the Nigerian economy in the right direction,” said Yari, governor of Zamfara state. He spoke to journalists in the capital, Abuja. 

The main opposition candidate, businessman and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has criticized Buhari’s handling of the economy and said that, if elected, he would aim to double the size of the economy to $900 billion by 2025. 

Nigeria’s economy grew by 1.81 percent in the third quarter of this year, the statistics office said Monday. And on Friday, it said consumer prices had risen 11.28 percent in November compared with a year ago. 

From: MeNeedIt

Urgency of Climate Talks Seen in Coal Plants, Ice

As politicians haggle at a U.N. climate conference in Poland over ways to limit global warming, the industries and machines powering our modern world keep spewing their pollution into the air and water.

The fossil fuels extracted from beneath the Earth’s crust — coal, oil and gas — are transformed into the carbon dioxide that is now heating the planet faster than scientists had expected even a few years ago.

The devastating wildfires, droughts, floods and hurricanes of recent months and years are intensifying the urgency of the two-week conference in Katowice, which is due to end Friday.

But not far from the conference center, plumes of smoke rise from Europe’s largest lignite, or brown coal, power plant, in the central Polish town of Belchatow. Of the 50 most polluted cities in the European Union, 36 are in Poland.

IN PHOTOS: The Urgency of Climate Talks 

Elsewhere, from the U.S. to Japan and China, the coal plants, oil refineries and other installations needed to power factories and heat homes are playing their role in a warming Earth.

The negotiators at the international talks are also discussing financial support to poor countries, which are bearing the brunt of drought and flooding, which translate often into agricultural disaster and famine and are a factor behind greater migration.

The challenge of reducing emissions is made more difficult by the growing demand in the developing world for fuel as people there also seek to achieve the benefits and comforts of the industrialized world.

In Africa and Asia, which have become dumping grounds for the rich world’s waste, it is now common to see poor people scavenging for scraps of paper and other recyclable materials at garbage dumps, competing sometimes with crows or storks.

Fumes from cars are also playing their role in poisoning the air in many cities, from Jakarta and Katmandu to Moscow to Brussels.

Environmentalists in Katowice are warning that time is running out to prevent ecological disaster, a message also being taken up by artists.

In London, 24 large blocks of glacial ice from the waters surrounding Greenland have been placed in front of the Tate Modern and six at other city locations. Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson hopes his installation, called “Ice Watch” and launched Tuesday to coincide with the climate conference in Katowice, will impact people emotionally and inspire urgent public action.

The installation will be on show until the ice melts.

From: MeNeedIt

Nancy Wilson, Grammy-Winning Jazz Singer, Dies at 81

Nancy Wilson, the Grammy-winning “song stylist” and torch singer whose polished pop-jazz vocals made her a platinum artist and top concert performer, has died.

Wilson, who retired from touring in 2011, died after a long illness at her home in Pioneertown, a California desert community near Joshua Tree National Park, her manager and publicist Devra Hall Levy told The Associated Press late Thursday night. She was 81.

Influenced by Dinah Washington, Nat “King” Cole and other stars, Wilson covered everything from jazz standards to “Little Green Apples” and in the 1960s alone released eight albums that reached the top 20 on Billboard’s pop charts. Sometimes elegant and understated, or quick and conversational and a little naughty, she was best known for such songs as her breakthrough “Guess Who I Saw Today” and the 1964 hit “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am,” which drew upon Broadway, pop and jazz.

No labels, please

She resisted being identified with a single category, especially jazz, and referred to herself as a “song stylist.”

“The music that I sing today was the pop music of the 1960s,” she told The San Francisco Chronicle in 2010. “I just never considered myself a jazz singer. I do not do runs and — you know. I take a lyric and make it mine. I consider myself an interpreter of the lyric.”

Wilson’s dozens of albums included a celebrated collaboration with Cannonball Adderley, “Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley,” a small group setting that understandably could be called jazz; “Broadway — My Way”; “Lush Life”; and “The Nancy Wilson Show!” a best-selling concert recording. “How Glad I Am” brought her a Grammy in 1965 for best R&B performance, and she later won Grammys for best jazz vocal album in 2005 for the intimate “R.S.V.P (Rare Songs, Very Personal)” and in 2007 for “Turned to Blue,” a showcase for the relaxed, confident swing she mastered later in life. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded her a “Jazz Masters Fellowship” in 2004 for lifetime achievement.

Wilson also had a busy career on television, film and radio, her credits including “Hawaii Five-O,” “Police Story,” the Robert Townshend spoof “Meteor Man” and years hosting NPR’s “Jazz Profiles” series. Active in the civil rights movement, including the Selma march of 1965, she received an NAACP Image Award in 1998.

Wilson was married twice — to drummer Kenny Dennis, whom she divorced in 1970; and to Wiley Burton, who died in 2008. She had three children.

Chose her profession at age 4

Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, the eldest of six children of an iron foundry worker and a maid, Wilson sang in church as a girl and by age 4 had decided on her profession. She was in high school when she won a talent contest sponsored by a local TV station and was given her own program. After briefly attending Central State College, she toured Ohio with the Rusty Bryant’s Carolyn Club Big Band and met such jazz artists as Adderley, who encouraged her to move to New York.

She soon had a regular gig at The Blue Morocco and got in touch with Adderley’s manager, John Levy.

“He set up a session to record a demo,” Wilson later observed during an interview for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. “Ray Bryant and I went in and recorded ‘Guess Who I Saw Today,’ ‘Sometimes I’m Happy,’ and two other songs. We sent them to Capitol and within five days the phone rang. Within six weeks I had all the things I wanted.”

First album in 1959

Her first album, “Like in Love!,” came out in 1959, and she had her greatest commercial success over the following decade despite contending at times with the latest sounds. Gamely, she covered Beatles songs (“And I Love Her” became “And I Love Him”), Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” and “Son of a Preacher Man,” on which she strained to mimic Aretha Franklin’s fiery gospel style. She was so outside the contemporary music scene an interviewer once stumped her by asking about Cream, the million-selling rock trio featuring Eric Clapton.

“It took me years to know what that question was about. Remember, I was constantly working or I was traveling to perform. The ’60s for me were about work,” she told JazzWax in 2010.

In the 1970s and after, she continued to record regularly and perform worldwide, at home in nightclubs, concert halls and open-air settings, singing at jazz festivals from Newport to Tokyo. She officially stopped touring with a show at Ohio University in September 2011, but had been thinking of stepping back for years. When she turned 70, in 2007, she was guest of honor at a Carnegie Hall gala. The show ended with Wilson performing such favorites as “Never, Never Will I Marry,” “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and the Gershwin classic “How Long Has This Been Going On?”

“After 55 years of doing what I do professionally, I have a right to ask how long? I’m trying to retire, people,” she said with a laugh before leaving the stage to a standing ovation.

In accordance with Wilson’s wishes, there will be no funeral service, a family statement said. A celebration of her life may be in February, the month of her birth.

She is survived by her son, Kacy Dennis; daughters Samantha Burton and Sheryl Burton; sisters Karen Davis and Brenda Vann and five grandchildren.

From: MeNeedIt

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Janet Jackson joins her brother Michael and the Jackson 5 as members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, earning induction on Thursday along with Stevie Nicks and the top fan vote-getter, Def Leppard.

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in next spring at the 34th induction ceremony. It will be held March 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Jackson’s induction comes after her third time as nominee and many saw it as overdue, given her prowess as a hitmaker with “All For You,” “That’s the Way Love Goes,” “Nasty,” “Together Again” and “What Have You Done For Me Lately.”

Her career suffered from the fallout after the infamous 2004 Super Bowl appearance where her bare breast was briefly exposed by Justin Timberlake; both said it was a mistake.  

Jackson became eligible for the rock hall in 2007 and wasn’t nominated until 2016.

The Roots’ Questlove, in a social media post earlier this year, said her exclusion had been “highly criminal.” He cited the influence of her 1986 album “Control,” which he said set off the New Jack Swing trend.

 “This was no one’s kid sister,” he wrote.

Jackson said on Thursday: “Thank you Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I am truly honored and I am happy to be in there with my brothers.” 

It will be Nicks’ second induction into the rock hall, since she’s already there as a member of Fleetwood Mac. She launched a solo career in 1981 with her duet with the late Tom Petty, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” Other hits followed, including “Edge of Seventeen,” “Stand Back” and “I Will Run to You.”

Def Leppard earned more than half a million votes from fans, which are incorporated into more than 1,000 ballots from artists, historians, industry professionals and past winners in deciding who gets honored. The British heavy metal band with a pop sheen were huge sellers in the 1980s on the back of songs like “Photograph” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”

Thanks to Jon Bon Jovi

Frontman Joe Elliott said he was initially ambivalent toward the honor until Jon Bon Jovi suggested it would change his life.

“When I look at the list of who’s in, it’s just obvious you’d want to be in that club, isn’t it?” he told Billboard earlier this year. “When you think that every band that means anything in the world, starting from the Beatles and the Stones and any artist that influenced them — your Chuck Berrys, your Little Richards, etc., etc. — then of course you want to be in. Why wouldn’t you?”

Def Leppard, Nicks and Roxy Music were voted in during their first years as nominees. Other 2019 nominees who didn’t make the cut included LL Cool J, Devo, Rage Against the Machine, MC5, John Prine, Todd Rundgren and Kraftwerk.

There’s some question about whether Radiohead will shrug its collective shoulder as an inductees. The English band seemed like generic grunge rockers on their initial hit “Creep,” but with the album “OK Computer” and beyond have become consistent sonic pioneers. Among its rock hall class, Radiohead has the most impact on the current music scene.

An ‘American thing’

In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood said “I don’t care” when asked about the rock hall. Bandmate Ed O’Brien said, “culturally, I don’t understand it. I think it might be a quintessentially American thing.”

The Cure and frontman Robert Smith resist their initial label as goth rockers, champions of fans who like black makeup, black clothes and darkly romantic songs. They have a durable catalog of hits, including “Friday I’m in Love,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Pictures of You” and “Let’s Go to Bed.”

Roxy Music came out of the 1970s progressive rock scene and had hits with “Love is the Drug” and “More Than This.” Dapper member Bryan Ferry had a successful solo career and Brian Eno has been an influential producer.

The heyday of British rockers the Zombies’ career was the 1960s, with big sellers “She’s Not There” and “Time of the Season.”

The hall will announce ticket sales for March’s ceremony next month. HBO and SiriusXM will carry the event.

From: MeNeedIt

Sondra Locke, Oscar-Nominated Actress, Dies at 74

Actress and director Sondra Locke, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her first film role in 1968’s “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” and went on to co-star in six films with Clint Eastwood, has died.

Locked died Nov. 3 at her Los Angeles home of cardiac arrest stemming from breast and bone cancer, according to a death certificate obtained by The Associated Press. She was 74. Authorities were promptly notified at the time, but her death was not publicized until RadarOnline first reported it Thursday. It is not clear why it took nearly six weeks to come to light.

Locke was best known for the six films she made with Eastwood, whom she dated for 13 years, starting with the Western “The Outlaw Josey Wales” in 1976 and ending with the Dirty Harry movie “Sudden Impact” in 1983.

Praised by critics

Born Sandra Louise Smith, she would later take on a stepfather’s last name and take on the stage name Sondra, Locke grew up in Tennessee, where she worked at a radio station and appeared in a handful of plays before winning a nationwide talent search in 1967 to be cast opposite leading man Alan Arkin in the movie adaptation of Carson McCullers’ 1940 novel “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.”

She would win raves for the role along with nominations for a Golden Globe and an Oscar. Both awards went to Ruth Gordon for “Rosemary’s Baby.”

She had a run of unmemorable film and TV roles until meeting Eastwood on the set of “Josey Wales,” which he both directed and starred in.

Her career would mirror his for the next several years. The pair’s hit films also included the 1978 street-fighting and orangutan comedy “Every Which Way But Loose” and its 1980 sequel “Any Which Way You Can.”

Locke also played singer Rosemary Clooney in a 1982 TV biopic, and directed the 1986 film “Ratboy,” which flopped in the U.S. but was popular with critics in Europe.

End of charmed life

In 1989, Locke’s charmed life came to an end as Eastwood broke up with her, she later wrote. The locks were changed and her things were placed outside a home she thought had been a gift from Eastwood.

She sued Eastwood for palimony then later sued him for fraud saying a movie development deal he arranged for her was a sham to get her to drop the palimony suit. They settled the highly publicized lawsuit for an undisclosed amount during jury deliberations in 1996.

The following year she released her memoir, titled “The Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly: A Hollywood Journey,” which also detailed the double mastectomy and chemotherapy that came with her first bout with breast cancer.

She told the AP at the time that the title, a play on one of Eastwood’s films, was “applicable to the story.”

“I try to cover the good years as well as the bad and the ugly,” Locke said. “Also, that in even the worst ugly things there can sometimes be a lot that will make you a better person.’’

Locke had married actor Gordon Anderson in 1967. According to her death certificate, the two were still legally married when she died, and he was the person who reported her death. She described their relationship to the AP in 1997 as just good friends. A phone number listed in Anderson’s name rang without being picked up.

From: MeNeedIt

Negro League Bobbleheads Part of Fundraising Campaign

Fans of the former Negro League are being asked to help a campaign to create bobbleheads of 30 stars from the league — with a goal of commemorating the league’s upcoming centennial.

Organizers of the effort, which was unveiled Wednesday, have created a team of 30 Negro League stars who would be honored with bobbleheads if the campaign raises enough money. The first bobblehead of pitcher Satchel Paige of the Kansas City Monarchs has already been produced.

The Paige bobblehead stands on a baseball-shaped base in front of a replica of the Kansas City YMCA at 18th Street and the Paseo, where the Negro National League was organized on Feb. 13, 1920, The Kansas City Star reported.

Kickstarter campaign underway

Production of the rest of the licensed, limited-edition bobbleheads will depend on a Kickstarter campaign launched Wednesday by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum and Dreams Fulfilled, which was formed to promote the Negro League centennial.

“The Negro Leagues Centennial Team series will bring long overdue recognition to players who were not only among the best to play the game, but also early civil rights pioneers who helped pave the way for integration in baseball and the country,” Dreams Fulfilled founder Jay Caldwell said in a statement.

The goal is to raise $10,000 by Jan. 7. Any donation is welcome but those who give $20 or more will get first choice and better pricing for the bobbleheads, which will be individually numbered up to 2,020.

The bobblehead series is licensed by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. 

Centennial Team

Museum President Bob Kendrick and Caldwell on Wednesday announced the African-American and Hispanic players selected for the Centennial Team. They played between 1895 to 1947, when Jackie Robinson became the first African-American in the major leagues.

“This is really important because not only is it a way to perpetuate the legacy of the Negro leagues but it’s such a tremendous way to educate the public about these legendary athletes who the majority of people have no idea about,” Kendrick said.

Paige’s eldest child, Pamela, who attended the announcement, said she wasn’t aware her father was famous while she was a child.

“When my father came home off the road, it was all about his children and family and we did family things,” Pamela Paige O’Neil said.

If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, bobbleheads of the 30 Centennial Team players, plus a manager and an owner, will be introduced on average of two a month through February 2020.

Available online

The bobbleheads will be available at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s online and retail stores, at the Dreams Fullfilled website and at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum store and other outlets. They are expected to retail for $30 plus $8 shipping.

A portion of the proceeds of each sale will go to relatives of the players and to the Negro Leagues museum.

From: MeNeedIt

Maldives Asks: What’s the Point of UN Climate Talks?

The head of the Maldives delegation to the U.N. climate conference questioned on Thursday the point of the yearly summits, saying they are failing to produce meaningful results. 

 

Former President Mohamed Nasheed attended the 24th edition of the U.N. talks, being held this year in Poland and set to end Friday. After almost two weeks of talks, negotiators from almost 200 countries have not yet agreed on the rules for implementing the 2015 treaty from Paris on fighting global warming. 

 

“What’s the point,” Nasheed asked, of having such negotiations if they don’t lead to progress or solutions to problems that are related to the lives of people worldwide? 

 

“There is a view among many of us that this is failing,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. 

 

Nasheed said there is an urgent need to implement the Paris Agreement’s call for keeping global warming at no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) during this century. Without that, he said, the existence of the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, will be threatened. 

 

He said a lack of agreement in Katowice would only worsen the situation. 

 

He said the Indian Ocean nations, thousands of years old, want to live “in our own homelands. We want to live with our communities with our culture, with our people.” 

 

“We don’t think that this is asking for much,” Nasheed said. “We are just only saying: Please do not kill us.”  

From: MeNeedIt