Home Depot, which calls itself “the world’s largest home improvement retailer,” can add a new distinction. It is now the scene of the world’s largest known theft of consumer credit card information. A cyberattack has put at risk the data of about 56 million customers between April and September. This exceeds the approximately 40 million credit accounts breached at Target stores, the previous all-time high.
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For the sake of the cameras, President Barack Obama assured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at a White House meeting Thursday that “not only do we support Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence in words, but we’ve also been supporting it in deeds.” If only that were true. The reality is that the beleaguered Ukrainian leader left Washington backed by considerable rhetoric from the Obama administration but little with which he can turn back the continuing Russian aggression against his country.
Amid other good news about the U.S. economy — a declining unemployment rate, lower child poverty — the Federal Reserve has just reported that the net worth of U.S. households rose $1.4 trillion, to $81.5 trillion, during the second quarter of 2014. This means that families’ assets, such as homes and stocks, have risen roughly $23 trillion in value since the depths of the “Great Recession” in 2009. Credit the market on Wall Street and recovering real estate prices, both partly attributable to the Fed’s easy-money policies.
President Barack Obama’s zigs and zags in pursuit of immigration reform are a long-unfolding narrative now assuming epic dimensions. In the latest installment, Obama has postponed the unilateral reforms he promised to have unveiled by now. He did so not for any high-minded purpose but rather to avoid dealing mortal blows to the re-election of a handful of Democratic senators who begged the president to hold off.
With people dying in the streets of the Liberian capital, President Barack Obama has at last ramped up the U.S. response to the worst outbreak ever of the Ebola virus in West Africa. The fresh surge of support announced Tuesday represents a welcome change of course. No one knows if the package outlined by Obama at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be sufficient, but at least the United States has started to act like the world’s indispensable nation.
In launching two previous wars in Iraq, the United States assembled formidable coalitions of dozens of countries. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Oman were among the Arab states that deployed substantial ground forces during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Though derided by some as a “unilateral” U.S. action, the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq was supported by troops from 39 countries, nine of which deployed more than 1,000 soldiers.
The Ferguson, Mo., city council last week took its first official actions following the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Among them: easing various municipal fines and fees.
It’s ironic that the uproar over Ray Rice’s brutal beating of his now-wife and the NFL’s shamefully lenient response is occurring exactly 20 years after Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act. The legislation was designed in part to bring public recognition and more government resources to the problem of domestic violence.
President Barack Obama promised Wednesday night to meet the terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria “with strength and resolve.” His commitment to “ultimately destroy” the Islamic State was bold and necessary. But it was also incomplete.
For the first time since Russia annexed Crimea six months ago, the European Union has surprised President Vladimir Putin instead of the other way around. Despite a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, and despite Russia’s apparent withdrawal of troops from the region, the EU decided Thursday morning to impose new sanctions on Russia, starting Friday.
The police can take your car and everything in it — including the cash you are transporting to buy a used truck, a fixer-upper house or equipment for your restaurant — even if you’re not guilty of any crime. Getting your property back can take months and cost thousands. Sometimes authorities will offer to give those who complain half their money back, which makes little sense if the cash is free from association with a serious crime — or if it isn’t.
The Ebola epidemic now sweeping West Africa is a public health catastrophe, yet the world’s response has been to treat it like a faraway monsoon or volcano, perhaps frightening but not something that much can be done about. This complacency is wrong-headed and dangerous. The catastrophe is worsening by the day because of the actions and inactions of people, those on the ground and those far away.
Last week’s NATO summit in Wales, attended by President Barack Obama, attempted to adapt the organization’s current configuration to the problems of 2014.
One of the chief arguments for making health insurance, and therefore health care, accessible to more Americans is so that routine treatment can be obtained in the doctor’s office rather than in the more specialized, more costly emergency room.
The recent disclosures that hackers had made off with nude celebrity photos stored on Apple’s iCloud and credit card information collected by Home Depot were just the latest in a seemingly endless series of headline-grabbing data thefts. But the timing was propitious, given that the Senate is resuming work on a long-overdue bill to protect online data and corporate networks by letting government and the private sector share more information about cyberthreats. Sadly, this year’s version and the House’s counterpart have at least as many problems as their predecessors, putting far too much trust in the government and the private sector to do the right thing.