From the Federal Trade Commission Tech support scammers want you to believe you have a serious problem with your computer, like a virus. They want you to pay for services you don’t need to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. They often ask you to pay by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card, or cash reload card, or using a money transfer app, because they know those types of payments can be hard to reverse.Courtesy of FTC/Military Consumer Protection MonthIf you’re looking for tech support, go to a company you know and trust, or get help from a knowledgeable friend or family member. If you search online for help, search on the company name plus “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.”If you get a phone call you didn’t expect from someone who says there’s a problem with your computer, hang up.Never call a number in a pop-up that warns you of computer problems. Real security warnings will never ask you to call a phone number.If you spot a tech support scam, tell the Federal Trade Commission: ftc.gov/complaint. Check out this article https://go.usa.gov/xmeSp or this video https://youtu.be/6nSP_cnipTY about how to avoid tech support scams.For more information on protecting your online identity, attend our webinar today, July 30 at 11 a.m. ET. Federal Trade Commission Attorney Carol Kando-Pineda will discuss ways to protect your smart devices and your identity while conducing business on the internet. CEUs are available for Accredited Financial Counselors and Certified Personal Finance Counselors. RSVP here.
More than 230 scientific researchers, bioethicists and health experts from around the world have written an open letter charging that it is unethical to hold this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, center of the world’s Zika crisis.World Health Organization director-general Margaret Chan rejected the claims, saying the Olympics would not significantly alter the international spread of the virus.The scientists accuse the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of being in the back pocket of the International Olympic Committee and of supporting private developers linked to Brazil’s new right-wing cabinet who stand to gain big profits by hosting the games.Brazilian developer Carlos Carvalho made $1 billion from publicly funded development when Rio hosted the 2014 soccer World Cup. Cities hosting the Olympics may only break even financially, but landowners, developers and private business people profit from an increase in land acquisition, construction, tourism and foreign investment.‘Judicial coup’ gov’t protects wealthy profiteersThis May, in a maneuver described as a “judicial coup,” the government of President Dilma Rousseff of the center-left Workers Party was ousted in a supposed “anti-corruption” campaign led by Michel Temer, who immediately appointed an all-white, all-male, right-wing cabinet. The new government has already eliminated 4,000 public sector jobs and announced a labor “reform” that weakens workers’ rights.Many of the new cabinet members have themselves faced charges of embezzlement and corruption. The new minister of science is a creationist, an evangelical bishop. The minister of agriculture is a soybean tycoon who deforested large areas of the Amazon rain forest.Ricardo Barros, Temer’s new minister of health, has no background in medicine or health. He wants to bring the church into debates about abortion and contraception. In the middle of the Zika crisis, he said the new government may not be able to continue Brazil’s constitutionally guaranteed right to universal health care, which is facing cutbacks in the name of austerity. Barros is paying back more than a million reals — $296,000 — for fraud regarding the sale of garbage compactors and collectors when he was mayor of the city of Maringa.Barros claimed there would be practically “zero” risk of contracting Zika during the Olympics because mosquito populations will drop during July and August, Brazil’s winter months. However, many have pointed out that temperatures frequently rise to nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit during those months. Brazil spent 25 times more on the 2014 World Cup than on this year’s annual budget to combat the Zika-borne mosquito Aedes aegypti.Preparations for the games in Rio include sending in the National Guard to terrorize and remove over 400 families who live in favelas (shanty towns) around the site of the Olympics. Brazil, with one of the highest levels of income inequality in the world, has about 18 million poor people living on less than $1.30 a day, the largest number in the Western Hemisphere. They are not among those profiting or pushing for the Olympics to be held in Brazil.Zika is spreadingMeanwhile, Zika is spreading rapidly throughout Colombia. More than 12,000 pregnant women in Colombia have tested positive for the virus. The number of pregnant Zika-infected women in the United States has risen to 234 and the CDC says that thousands of pregnant women in Puerto Rico could be infected, which could mean dozens or even hundreds of infants being born with microcephaly, a birth defect causing slow brain development and abnormally small heads.In their letter published May 28, scientists argue that Zika is more dangerous and extensive than it was first thought to be. They say too little is known about Zika transmission or its effects on a developing fetus during various stages of pregnancy. The strain of Zika in Brazil has already resulted in 1,489 cases of babies born with microcephaly and other neurological disorders. About 30 percent of pregnant women there have been infected with Zika. (Harvard Public Health Review, May 2016)Replying to the scientists, the WHO argued that only a small number of tourists will contract Zika at the Olympics. But the scientists pointed out that a single infected person carried the virus into Brazil in 2013. Now, as many as 1.5 million people have been infected and it continues to spread rapidly.Sexual transmission, oral, vaginal and anal, plays a more important role in the spread of Zika than was previously realized. The CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases reports that Zika may live in sperm 62 days after the onset of symptoms, which are not always obvious. This could increase the potential and rate of sexual transmission of Zika.Wealthy sports fans staying in air-conditioned hotels in Rio may not feel they risk catching Zika. However, if Zika is spread internationally, it is women and poor people who will be impacted the most, especially those living in poor countries that haven’t got the resources to fight Zika. Seventy percent of the families affected by Zika-related illnesses live in extreme poverty.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Industry and Consumer Groups Line Up Against U.S. Coal Bailout FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal:A Trump administration proposal aimed at shoring up coal-fired and nuclear power plants across the nation has generated opposition from an array of energy and consumer interests, including some who are often at odds on energy policy.Oil and gas companies, wind and solar power producers, some public utilities, electricity consumers and environmentalists—rarely natural allies—are all publicly opposing the Energy Department’s proposal. The plan would effectively guarantee profits for some nuclear and coal-fired power plants, prompting critics that also include former federal regulators to call it a bailout for struggling plants that undermines competitive markets.The Trump administration, in its proposal late last month, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to implement market reforms to better reward power plants that can continue running in extreme weather, during attacks or other crises. The effort, led by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, is rooted in the argument that if nuclear and coal-fired plants keep going out of business, there is an increased national security risk and chance of power shortages.The unusual battle lines that have ensued put coal miners and a small group of power companies that stand to benefit up against nearly the entire rest of the energy industry—both fossil and renewable fuels—plus consumers and environmentalists. It has also flipped some traditional economic orthodoxies, with Democrats saying they are arguing for free markets while Mr. Perry and some Republicans are justifying subsidies to help nuclear and coal compete.Executives at NRG Energy Inc. and even Exelon Corp. , which has lobbied for some state-level subsidies, have publicly expressed concerns about how far the proposal goes. FirstEnergy Corp. appears to be one notable supporter among power companies, with its chief executive commending the effort in a news release. The controlling owner of coal miner Murray Energy Corp. also said the proposal could save thousands of jobs and called it the best action taken in decades for low-cost power.Industry groups have organized much of the opposition. The American Petroleum Institute, the Washington, D.C., lobbying powerhouse for U.S. oil and gas producers, has already released one joint statement against the proposal with the American Wind Energy Association, the Electricity Consumers Resource Council, the Solar Energy Industries Association and others.“Competition in power generation over the past 25 years has brought enormous benefits to consumers,” said Marty Durbin, executive vice president of the petroleum group. “We’ve got to let the markets continue to be the driver.”More: ($) Trump Plan for Coal, Nuclear Power Draws Fire From Environmental, Oil Groups