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Hackers were paid a ransom, Colonial Pipeline boss confirms

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Colonial Pipeline's petroleum farm.

The boss of one of the United States’ biggest fuel pipelines says his company paid a $USD 4.4 million ransom to hackers.

The Colonial Pipeline experienced a cyberattack that shut down its nationwide network on 7 May. As such, millions of barrels of petrol, diesel and jet fuel stopped flowing.

Joseph Blount is the CEO of the Colonial Pipeline. He told the Wall Street Journal the ransom was a “highly controversial decision”. But he conceded it “was the right thing to do for the country”.

The 8,900 kilometre pipeline carries 2.5 million barrels a day, or 45 percent of the east coast’s supply of critical fuel supplies.

“I will admit that I wasn’t comfortable seeing money go out the door to people like this,” Mr Blount explained

However, President Biden believes there was evidence that Russian hackers were involved in the attack.

“So far there is no evidence from our intelligence people that Russia is involved. Although, there is evidence that the actors, ransomware is in Russia… they have some responsibility to deal with this.”

The hackers are from DarkSide, who allegedly steal from larger corporations and give the ransom funds to charity.

The group released a statement on the dark web. “From today, we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future.”

After the cyberattack, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to strengthen cybersecurity defences across the US.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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Reports of discrimination against pregnant and disabled workers at Amazon

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Amazon is under fire for allegedly discriminating against some of its pregnant workers and workers with disabilities

New York’s Division of Human Rights filed a complaint against the company with Governor Kathy Hochul announcing the move on Wednesday.

Amazon is being accused of failing to provide these workers with the correct pay, forcing them to take unpaid leaves of absence.

There are multiple reports that the company did not follow guidelines with its workers, one pregnant worker was initially given approval to avoid lifting packages over 11 kilograms, but was then made to lift heavy items anyway by a manager.

Amazon did not provide this worker with accommodation after they were injured and instead placed them on indefinite unpaid leave, according to the complaint.

The company is being examined for its failure to accommodate these workers, and allowing managers to override safety recommendations.

Such actions are against breach New York’s Human Rights Law which protects pregnant and disabled workers from discrimination within a workplace.

Amazon is now being urged to “pay civil fines and penalties to the State of New York” and to fix its discriminatory practices.

Amazon’s spokesperson has denied its wrongful conduct saying the company offers “the best available options to accomodate” such employees.

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New York man sues McDonalds for burgers not looking like photos on ads

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Those late night McDonalds ads with the crispy lettuce and soft bun, makes the mouth water…. but one New York man has beef to pick

The man says McDonalds and Wendy’s have misleading adverts that are unfair and deceptive.

He says make their burgers look much bigger than they actually are.

In a proposed class-action lawsuit, he is seeking $50 million in damages for himself and other similarly duped customers.

The chains did not comment immediately on the suit.

Rival Burger King was hit with a similar lawsuit in Florida in March, by the same law firms representing New Yorker Justin Chimienti.

While Burger King has yet to respond in court, an amended complaint shows that more unhappy customers have signed onto the suit.

According to complaints quoted in the BBC, the companies’ adverts are “unfair and financially damaging consumers as they are receiving food that is much lower in value than what is being promised.”

The “actions are especially concerning now that inflation, food, and meat prices are very high and many consumers, especially lower income consumers, are struggling financially,” they add.

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U.S. stocks plunge – markets have biggest daily drop in 2 years

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U.S. markets have had their biggest daily drop in almost two years, as investors evaluate the impacts of higher prices on earnings and the possibility of monetary policy tightening

The S&P 500 dropped by 4 per cent, while the Nasdaq fell the most amongst other major benchmarks.

Meanwhile, retailer Target down was down more than 20 points in its worst performance since 1987, and Apple and Amazon.com both slid.

The U.S. dollar rose against all Group-of-10 counterparts, except the yen and Swiss franc.

The S&P is slowly emerging from its longest slump since 2011, but rebounds are fragile amid tightening policy, the war in Ukraine and lockdowns in China.

It comes as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warns U.S. central bank will raise interest rates until there is “clear and convincing” evidence inflation is in retreat.

Looking to other parts of the world, and Europe saw new-vehicle sales shrink for a 10th month in a row.

Over in the United Kingdom, inflation rose to its highest level since Margaret Thatcher’s reign 40 years ago.

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