Data breach hits Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor stores


Data breach hits Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor stores

A data breach at department store chains Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off Fifth and Lord & Taylor has compromised the personal information of customers who shopped at the stores.

The chains’ parent company, Canada-based Hudson’s Bay Co., announced the breach of its store payment systems Sunday. The company said it was investigating and taking steps to contain the attack.

The disclosure came after New York-based security firm Gemini Advisory LLC revealed Sunday that a hacking group known as JokerStash or Fin7 began boasting on dark websites last week that it was putting up for sale up to 5 million stolen credit and debit cards. The hackers named their stash BIGBADABOOM-2. While the extent of its holdings remains unclear, about 125,000 records were immediately released for sale.

The security firm confirmed with several banks that many of the compromised records came from Saks and Lord & Taylor customers.

Hudson’s Bay said in a statement that it “deeply regrets any inconvenience or concern this may cause,” but it hasn’t said how many Saks or Lord & Taylor stores or customers were affected. The company said there’s no indication that the breach affected its online shopping websites or other brands, including the Home Outfitters chain or Hudson’s Bay stores in Canada.

#MeToo movement looms over jury selection in Cosby case

PHILADELPHIA

The #MeToo movement will be looming over the proceedings when jury selection gets underway today in Bill Cosby’s sexual- assault retrial. But experts say that could cut both ways for the comedian.

It could make some potential jurors more hostile toward him and others more likely to think men are being unfairly accused.

“We really have had this explosion of awareness since that last trial, and it has changed the entire environment,” said Richard Gabriel, a jury consultant who has worked on more than 1,000 trials. “It is a huge challenge for the defense, but it could also provide an avenue and open up the topic.”

A jury deadlocked last June at the former TV star’s first trial after Cosby’s lawyers managed to sow enough doubt in the minds of a few jurors.

That was before the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct started toppling famous men in rapid succession, among them Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey and Sen. Al Franken.

Veteran lawyers and jury consultants say #MeToo will make the process of picking 12 jurors more complex and raise the stakes even higher.

The defense is likely to use attitudes toward the movement to weed out jurors.

N. Korean leader Kim watches performance by S. Korean pop stars

SEOUL, South Korea

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un clapped his hands as he, along with his wife and hundreds of other citizens, watched a rare performance Sunday by South Korean pop stars visiting Pyongyang, highlighting the thawing ties between the rivals after years of heightened tensions over the North’s nuclear program.

A South Korean artistic group, including some of the South’s pop legends and popular girl band Red Velvet, flew to Pyongyang over the weekend for two performances in the North Korean capital, one Sunday and the other Tuesday.

How North Koreans would react to Red Velvet was particularly the focus of keen media attention in South Korea.

During Sunday’s performance at the packed East Pyongyang Grand Theater, Kim made a surprise visit with his wife, Ri Sol Ju, sister Kim Yo Jong and other senior North Korean officials including nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam.

Kim applauded during the event and shook hands with South Korean performers, even taking a group photo with them after their performance, according to South Korean media pool reports from Pyongyang.

Short pool TV footage also showed Kim, clad in a dark Mao-style suit, clapping from the second-floor VIP stand as South Korean Culture Minister Do Jong-hwan bowed and greeted North Korean spectators looking on from the first floor.

“We should hold culture and art performances frequently,” Kim told South Korean performers. Mentioning the performance’s title “Spring comes,” Kim also asked the performers to tell South Korean President Moon Jae-in that the two Koreas should hold a similar event in Seoul in the autumn, the pool reports said citing an unidentified South Korean performer.

Syria: Fighters begin leaving Ghouta’s last rebel-held town

BEIRUT

A rebel faction trapped by government forces outside the Syrian capital agreed to evacuate to northern Syria on Sunday as reports swirled of a larger agreement that would have the government retake full control of the eastern Ghouta region after seven years of revolt.

Fighters from the Faylaq al-Rahman group left Douma on buses sent by the Syrian government to the rebel-held province of Idlib, SANA state news agency reported. Some 1,300 fighters, activists and civilians signed up to leave the town, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

It was the first organized evacuation of fighters from Douma, one of the earliest centers of the anti-government demonstrations that swept through the country in 2011. Security forces responded by putting the town and other suburbs around Damascus under siege, bombing hospitals and residential areas, and blocking the entry of food and medical relief.

Douma is a stronghold of the powerful Army of Islam rebel group. The town is one of the last around the capital to hold out against the government.

Later Sunday, a media outlet linked to the Syrian military reported that the Army of Islam also agreed to leave to north Syria, effectively transferring control of Douma to Damascus.

Florida: Gator in backyard pool as reptiles warm to spring

SARASOTA, Fla.

Florida homeowners beware: One big gator has been found splashing in a backyard swimming pool, and it took a trapper to drag it away.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office posted images of the floating gator late Friday on Twitter, saying it measured 11 feet long.

With temperatures warming, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission warns that the state’s estimated 1.3 million gators are becoming more active – and should be treated with “caution and respect.” There’ve been at least two other gator sightings in yards recently, one mistaken for a burglar.

Injuries from alligators are rare, but the commission urges swimming only in designated areas of rivers and lakes.

As for backyard swimming pools, it makes no mention. But for some homeowners, that too is “swim at your own risk.”

Police: Man leads officers on chase ending in river

DAYTON

Police in Dayton say a man fired shots at officers during a traffic stop and led them on a chase that ended with the suspect’s vehicle going off an embankment into the Great Miami River, where he was pulled out of the water.

Dayton police say officers assisted in getting the man out of the river after the Sunday morning chase that ended about 1 a.m.

They say the suspect was taken to a hospital due to the temperature of the water. The man’s name and condition weren’t immediately released.

Dayton police Maj. Eric Henderson says no officers were injured.

Police say their investigation is continuing.

Associated Press

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