Equifax data breach leaves millions of consumers vulnerable

Atlanta-based company Equifax once trusted to handle our credit scores, has become a pariah in the financial world since hackers stole the vital information of 145 million Americans in Equifax’s system. The breach announced this September included Social Security numbers, names, addresses and dates of birth. How did Equifax get into the mess? A security patch for a known system bug was issued but Equifax hadn’t installed it. Lawmakers asked questions, the CEO resigned, and a good chunk of America freaked out. One way consumers tried to protect themselves was by freezing their credit, but since everyone tried to do it at once, there were problems. Here’s how to protect yourself from a breach.



Trump travel ban found trouble in paradise

The Aloha State was not a welcoming place for President Trump’s plans to ban travel from a group of predominantly Muslim countries. The administration issued three versions of the ban in 2017 and all three were blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii. But despite the Hawaii bench’s best efforts to thwart the ban, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this month that Trump’s order can take full effect while legal challenges against the latest version are still tied up in courts. By allowing the full travel ban to take effect, for now, the justices may be signaling that they are likely to uphold it on the merits at a later date.


Bergdahl avoids jail time for disappearing from Afghanistan base

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. Army soldier who disappeared from his base in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban, avoided jail time despite pleading guilty to desertion and misbehavior in front of the enemy. Former President Barack Obama won freedom for the Idaho native in 2014 by negotiating a prisoner swap with the Taliban militants. His case even became the subject of the second season of the podcast Serial. Bergdahl faced a life sentence for abandoning his post, but a military judge ruled to reduce him in rank to private and dishonorably discharge him. President Trump slammed the decision in a tweet, calling it, “a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military.”


Conspiracy, obstruction charges in Laquan McDonald killing

The dash cam footage was chilling. Sixteen shots fired at Laquan McDonald as the 17-year-old walked away from police. Now prosecutors say three Chicago police officers were trying to “conceal the true facts” in McDonald’s death. A Cook County grand jury indicted the officers in June with state charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and misconduct. “These defendants did more than merely obey an unofficial ‘code of silence,'” special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes said of the alleged coverup. Officer Jason Van Dyke previously pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges.


A canceled wedding, but love prevails

When an Indiana couple called off their $30,000 wedding a week before the big day, they were stuck with a non-refundable reception. What did would-be bride Sarah Cummins do? She invited guests from four area homeless shelters. Her generosity inspired a local man to donate suits for guests, his tailor donated a few more and another local business contributed dresses and accessories. The July dinner, which included chicken, salmon, wedding cake and even a late-night snack of pizza, turned a painful situation positive, Cummins said. She now volunteers for a center for homeless families in Indianapolis.


A giant wave connects sick kids to the outside world

The new children’s hospital practically hangs over the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Before the season kicked off, a fan named Krista Young had an idea: “Kinnick should hold a ‘wave to the kids’ minute during every game.” The Facebook post went viral and on Sept. 2, when the Hawkeyes’ football team hosted the Wyoming Cowboys, 68,000-plus fans rose, turned to the hospital and offered a long, sustained wave to sick children — some of whom haven’t left in months — gathered near the windows to watch the game. Kristen Brown, a nurse at the Stead Family Children’s Hospital, said the now-regular waves connect kids to the outside world. “Anytime we can make them feel normal and a part of something, it’s very meaningful,” she said.


CBS News

Principal resigns after student journalists questions her credentials

A team of high school journalism students in Kansas published an investigative story questioning their incoming principal’s qualifications. And then she resigned. The student reporters received national recognition after they revealed that Amy Robertson, their would-be new principal, received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Corllins University, an unaccredited online school. Robertson, who currently works with an education consulting firm in Dubai, said she received her degrees from the university lost accreditation. The Pittsburg School Board accepted Robertson’s resignation in April.


Passenger’s removal from United flight sparks uproar

On April 9, Kentucky doctor David Dao was shown on video being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville. Dao was among four passengers scheduled to be removed to accommodate crew members. The footage of Dao screaming as he was pulled from the plane went viral. Days later, Dao’s lawyer said he suffered a concussion and broken nose. The incident prompted United to make changes to its passenger policies. Two security officers involved in the incident were fired.


I’m back’: Steve Scalise returns to Congress after shooting

With two words, “I’m back,” Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise (R)  made his remarkable return to the U.S. Capitol after a gunman critically wounded him during a congressional baseball team practice on June 14 just outside D.C. Four others were shot before the gunman was killed. Scalise spent six weeks in the hospital and was discharged to go through a process of intensive rehabilitation. On September 28, he got back to work. “I’m back,” he tweeted, along with a photo of him and his wife Jennifer looking out at the National Mall from the Capitol. His return to the House floor was met by a standing ovation. “You have no idea how great this feels to be back here at work in the people’s House.”


Thousands send Christmas cards to dying Maine boy

Jacob Thompson just wanted to celebrate one more Christmas. The 9-year-old from Maine, who had been diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma in February 2014, made a simple request when he has admitted to the hospital this October and was told he had only a month to live: Send Christmas cards. Tens of thousands of cards flew into Jacob’s small hospital room as the boy’s story captured the hearts of people across the nation. Having a love for penguins, he even got a special visit when the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut brought the tuxedo birds to meet their young fan. Thompson died Nov. 19.