Current Events in March 2018

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    FDA approves 23andMe test to evaluate cancer risk

    The test can report on genetic risk for breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer, but there are limitations

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared 23andMe to launch a direct-to-consumer DNA test for gene mutations connected to various forms of cancer.

    The test, which will be made available without a prescription, will provide information on three genetic variants found on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes known to be associated with higher risk for breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer.

    "We believe it’s important for consumers to have direct and affordable access to this potentially lifesaving information. We will continue pioneering a path for greater access to health information and promoting a more consumer-driven, preventive approach to health care," said Anne Wojcicki, CEO and co-founder of 23andMe.

    Not a replacement for screening

    The FDA calls the test a “step forward in the availability of DTC genetic tests,” but emphasized that there are “a lot of caveats.”

    The three DNA mutations searched for in the screening make up a small percentage of hundreds of known BCRA mutations. The variants are found most commonly in people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent -- they are “not the most common BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations in the general population,” the FDA said in a statement.

    The agency stressed that this test should not be used as a replacement for a visit to the doctor for cancer screenings or counseling on genetic and lifestyle factors that can increase or decrease cancer risk.

    "Consumers who test positive for these mutations need to be retested in a clinical setting under the supervision of a medical professional before moving forward with any medical decisions," the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) told NBC News.

    "Anyone who has a strong personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer and is interested in finding out more about their individualized risk should consult with a genetic counselor to discuss their genetic testing options, or to discuss their results,” said Erica Ramos, the group's president.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared 23andMe to launch a direct-to-consumer DNA test for gene mutations connected to various forms of ca...

    New HIV drug wins FDA approval

    Trogarzo is for patients who are running out of options

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new drug to treat HIV patients who have not responded to other therapies and who have limited treatment options.

    Trogarzo, with the generic name ibalizumab-uiyk, is an antiretroviral medication for adult patients living with HIV who have tried multiple HIV medications in the past. Specifically, the drug will be given to a small percentage of patients -- estimated to be around 1 percent -- whose HIV infections cannot be successfully treated with other currently available drugs.

    Jeff Murray, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Antiviral Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, says this small number of HIV patients, who have been treated with a combination of drugs, can build up a resistance which reduces the effectiveness of drugs they may take for their condition.

    "Trogarzo is the first drug in a new class of antiretroviral medications that can provide significant benefit to patients who have run out of HIV treatment options," Murray said. "New treatment options may be able to improve their outcomes."

    Trogarzo will be administered in the form of a shot once every 14 days by a trained medical professional. It can also be used in combination with other antiretroviral medications without losing its effectiveness.

    Promising results in clinical trials

    The FDA says Trogarzo was proven safe and effective in clinical trials that enlisted 40 patients who continued to have very high levels of the HIV virus in their blood despite being on current antiretroviral drugs.

    Most of the patients experienced a significant decrease in their HIV-RNA levels one week after Trogarzo was added to their treatment. After 24 weeks of Trogarzo, plus other antiretroviral drugs, 43 percent of the trial's participants saw their HIV RNA levels drop.

    The most common adverse side effects to Trogarzo were diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, and rash. Severe side effects included rash and changes in the immune system, a condition called immune reconstitution syndrome.

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new drug to treat HIV patients who have not responded to other therapies and who have limited treatme...

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      Chrysler recalls model year 2017 Jeep Renegades

      The oil pump could fail causing the engine to stall

      Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling nine model year 2017 Jeep Renegades equipped with a 2.4L engine.

      The vehicles may have a cracked oil pump housing/balance shaft module (BSM), which can cause the oil pump to fail and the engine to stall, increasing the risk of a crash.

      What to do

      Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the oil pump for its production information, and replace the BSM as necessary, free of charge.

      The recall is expected to begin April 13, 2018.

      Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is U18.

      Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling nine model year 2017 Jeep Renegades equipped with a 2.4L engine.The vehicles may have a cracked oil pump housing/bal...

      Washington state passes law restoring net neutrality

      Providers will have to follow a different policy within the state's boundaries

      Washington, home to tech giants Amazon and Microsoft, is the first state to pass a net neutrality law, negating the federal government's rollback of that internet-guiding policy.

      In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formalized a long-standing policy with rules against blocking legal content, throttling traffic, and using paid prioritization for some traffic. In December, the FCC reversed these net neutrality rules and last month published its new order in the Federal Register.

      Washington’s new law, House Bill 2282, reinstates those net neutrality rules at the state level and protects citizens in the state from manipulated broadband speeds and measures that would limit certain types of content.

      First in the nation

      “Washington will be the first state in the nation to preserve the open internet,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said during a bill signing ceremony. “We’ve seen the power of an open internet. It allows a student in Washington to connect with researchers all around the world — or a small business to compete in the global marketplace. It’s allowed the free flow of information and ideas in one of the greatest demonstrations of free speech in our history.”

      The law means that national internet service providers (ISP) may have to have one set of operating policies for Washington and another for the other states in which they operate. If other states follow Washington's lead, ISPs in those states would also operate under different rules.

      “Internet service providers cannot be allowed to substitute their money-motivated judgment on how you spend your time online," said Sarah Bird, CEO of Seattle-based search engine optimization company Moz. "Our internet economy is the envy of the world. Washington lawmakers are helping make sure that remains true.”

      National efforts continue

      Washington's action comes amid national efforts to overturn the FCC's new order. Those efforts are following both legislative and judicial paths.

      With the publishing of the FCC's order in the Federal Register late last month, Congress has 60 days in which to pass a resolution of disapproval that would reverse the FCC action. Supporters are a single vote short in the Senate but have more ground to make up in the House.

      Opponents of the FCC action are also suing the agency and asking the courts to reverse the order. Consumer advocates, joined by major technology companies, are challenging the legality of the FCC's action.

      In the latest suit, the plaintiffs argue that the Administrative Procedure Act bars federal agencies from “arbitrary and capricious” changes to existing policy and rules.

      In late February, 23 state attorneys general filed suit in federal court to restore net neutrality as a national policy. That raises the possibility that at least a few of the states might take action, just as Washington did, to restore the policy within their boundaries.

      Washington, home to tech giants Amazon and Microsoft, is the first state to pass a net neutrality law, negating the federal government's rollback of that i...

      Uber sued by Pennsylvania AG for not disclosing hack fast enough

      The company admitted over a year after a data breach that it had paid hackers $100,000 to keep quiet

      Uber admitted last year that its former security officer and deputies had paid hackers $100,000 to destroy consumer data they had accessed and to keep the breach under wraps.

      Over a year after the hack occurred, the company fired the employees who made the payment, publicly apologized, and promised to investigate, but for the Pennsylvania Attorney General, the company-led investigation was too little, too late.

      Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro is now suing Uber under a state law that requires companies to warn consumers about data hacks within a reasonable time, though the law does not specify exactly how long that time frame is.

      Data breach not disclosed for over a year

      The names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million riders and seven million drivers were compromised in October 2016. However, Uber did not warn its customers or launch a public investigation until Bloomberg reported on the beach over a year later, in November 2017.

      Among the seven million drivers, 600,000 of those also had their driver’s license numbers accessed, Uber told the news agency. .

      “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” CEO Dara Khosrowshi told Bloomberg at the time. “We are changing the way we do business.”

      The Pennsylvania AG’s office determined that approximately 13,500 drivers in the state had their driver’s license information accessed in the hack. Shapiro is seeking to penalize the company $1,000 for every person affected by the breach, bringing the potential fine to $13.5 million.

      “Instead of notifying impacted consumers of the breach within a reasonable amount of time, Uber hid the incident for over a year — and actually paid the hackers to delete the data and stay quiet,” Shapiro said in an announcement.

      Uber’s new Chief Legal Officer Tony West told Recode that he was surprised by the lawsuit.

      “While we do not in any way minimize what occurred, it’s crucial to note that the information compromised did not include any sensitive consumer information such as credit card numbers or social security numbers, which present a higher risk of harm than driver’s license numbers,” West told the site.

      Drivers can find out if their license information was stolen by searching on the Uber website.

      Uber admitted last year that its former security officer and deputies had paid hackers $100,000 to destroy consumer data they had accessed and to keep the...

      Harvard economist expects huge drop in Bitcoin value within next decade

      Regulation will drive down the price of Bitcoin, economist Kenneth Rogoff says

      A Harvard professor and economist has suggested that it’s far more likely that Bitcoin will be trading at $100 in ten years rather than $100,000.  

      “I think Bitcoin will be worth a tiny fraction of what it is now if we’re headed out 10 years from now,” Kenneth Rogoff, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) former chief economist, told CNBC. “I would see $100 as being a lot more likely than $100,000 10 years from now.” 

      The value of the digital currency fell from $19,000 in December to just above $6,000 at the start of February, but has since recouped some of its losses. Its value currently sits at around $11k per coin.

      Regulation will trigger falloff

      Rogoff believes regulation will trigger a fall in the price of Bitcoin, but he says it isn’t likely to happen any time soon. It will take time for regulators to come up with a way to regulate cryptocurrency around the world, he said.

      “It really needs to be global regulation,” said Rogoff. “Even if the U.S. cracks down on it and China cracks down, but Japan doesn’t, people will be able to still launder money through Japan.”

      Money laundering and tax evasion are fueling Bitcoin’s success at the moment, he suggested.

      “Basically, if you take away the possibility of [Bitcoin] money laundering and tax evasion, its actual uses as a transaction vehicle are very small,” said Rogoff.

      Rogoff isn’t the first economist to have a less-than-optimistic outlook for the future of the cryptocurrency. Last month, Berkshire Hathaway vice president Charlie Munger told the audience during an AGM speech that Bitcoin was “totally asinine” and that people investing in it “disgusted” him.

      Rogoff has also previously spoken out against the digital currency, telling CNBC last October that Bitcoin prices would “collapse” under attempts by governments to regulate the market.

      Key members of Congress recently said they are open to developing new rules to address the risks that have surfaced in the volatile cryptocurrency market.

      A Harvard professor and economist has suggested that it’s far more likely that Bitcoin will be trading at $100 in ten years rather than $100,000.  “I t...

      Your entire identity sells for less than $1,200 on the dark web

      A security firm breaks down what your personal information is worth

      What happens to your personal identity information once it has been compromised, such as in the Equifax data breach?

      It often ends up for sale on the dark web, where one security firm says a consumer's entire identity, from Social Security number to Gmail login, can be purchased for less than $1,200.

      Simon Migliano, editor-in-chief at Top10VPN.com, which reviews virtual private networks (VPN), writes that every aspect of your online identity is a commodity that can be sold to scammers. The company has broken down what each part of that identity is worth, creating what it calls the Dark Web Market Price Index (DWMPI).

      Let's start with your proof of identity, such as a Social Security number or other data to prove who you are. According to the DWMPI, that can sell for around $92.

      With it, a scammer can take out a loan or apply for a credit card, netting thousands of dollars. That's a pretty good return on investment, but it doesn't command the highest price on the dark web.

      A premium for PayPal

      Scammers will pay the most for a consumer's PayPal account log-in. That goes for an average of $247, allowing a thief to quickly clean out the account. After all, it's safer for the thief than trying to use a fake identity to take out a loan.

      Your online shopping account login information is also a valuable commodity in the underworld. Thieves pay nearly $165 for account logins for Amazon, Walmart, ebay, Costco, and Macy's, although some individual accounts can go for as little as $10.

      Again, it's neat and clean. Thieves can order merchandise that will go on your credit card. They can either use what they purchase or sell it for cash.

      Bargain-priced data

      Other parts of your identity go for a lot less. While it may be no surprise to learn credit card details are among the most traded on the dark web, fraudsters buy and sell access to Uber, Airbnb, and Netflix accounts for less than $10 each.

      "Would-be scammers can easily spend more on their lunchtime sandwich than buying up stolen customer logins for online stores," Migliano writes.

      Why so cheap? The sad fact is there is so much competing stolen data to choose from that it tends to drag down the price.

      Last year's Equifax hack alone, which compromised more than 148 million consumers, has saturated the dark web with stolen personal data. It means someone could purchase your stolen Spotify account log-in for as little as 21 cents.

      Migliano says clever dark web marketers are packaging some of the stolen data into bundles. He says the company found listings offering individuals’ name, billing address, mother’s maiden name, social security number, date of birth, and other personal data.

      What happens to your personal identity information once it has been compromised, such as in the Equifax data breach?It often ends up for sale on the da...

      Spotify lays down the law to users trying to pirate its Premium features

      The company warns users that if they try it again, their accounts may be terminated

      Spotify has had enough of hackers trying to engineer ways around paying for its Premium features, and it’s giving customers using those workarounds one last chance to stop.

      TorrentFreak, a pirating watchdog, reported that Spotify sent emails to an undisclosed number of recipients warning that the use of such services was against its terms of service and could cost them their account.

      The email notifications read: “Dear user: We detected abnormal activity on the app you are using so we have disabled it. Don’t worry — your Spotify account is safe. To access your Spotify account, simply uninstall any unauthorized or modified version of Spotify and download and install the Spotify app from the official Google Play Store.”

      Spotify didn’t specify what apps it’s focusing on, but as with many paid-for services, there’s always someone somewhere who’s engineered a way around having to pay for services.

      While many users probably know full well they’re tricking the system by using one of the service-pirating apps, there are those caught off guard by the notice and, on Spotify’s community forum, some claimed naivete.

      Spotify feels one mulligan is sufficient and reaffirmed its intent saying, “If we detect repeated use of unauthorized apps in violation of our terms, we reserve all rights, including suspending or terminating your account.”

      What people are trying to get for free

      For an average of $120 a year, Spotify’s Premium subscribers get ad-free streaming, the option to download songs so they can listen offline, unlimited skips, shuffle play, and high quality audio. Non-paying users are limited to shuffle play.

      The service’s Premium tier ranges from $4.95 a month for students, $9.95 for the general public, and $14.95 a month for its family plan.

      Tightening the security of its service is of prime importance for the music streaming company. Just last week, Spotify filed for an IPO in hopes of capitalizing on an estimated worth of $23 billion, and it can’t afford to let its revenue stream be watered down.

      In its filing, the company claimed 71 million paying subscribers -- nearly 45 percent of its total user base -- going as far as saying it believed that figure “is nearly double the scale of our closest competitor, Apple Music.”

      Not your grandfather’s transistor radio

      With traditional terrestrial radio and record stores flat on its back in today’s digital world, personalized music streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music have broken out as the music industry’s saviors. Or, to put it in Spotify’s words, “You are what you stream.”

      There’s no telling where music stream subscriptions will end up, but devices like the Amazon Dot and Google Home are carving out new space in the digital world in hopes of making music available anywhere, anytime, anyhow.

      Amazon said it sold “tens of millions” of Alexa-enabled devices worldwide over the 2017 holidays, and Google claims it sold “more than one Google Home device every second since Google Home Mini started shipping (in October).”

      Spotify has had enough of hackers trying to engineer ways around paying for its Premium features, and it’s giving customers using those workarounds one las...

      United Airlines reverses its plans for a lottery bonus program

      ​The airline’s president said executives ‘misjudged’ how employees would receive the plan

      Following swift backlash from employees, United Airlines has scrapped its plans to replace quarterly employee bonuses with a lottery-based employee reward system.

      The lottery would have caused a majority of the airline’s 90,000 workers to lose bonuses that paid up to $1,500 over the course of the year. Instead, it would pay $100,000 to one employee selected at random and smaller bonuses of $2,000 or $5,000 in cash, vacations, or prizes to about 1,300 or more.

      "Our intention was to introduce a better, more exciting program, but we misjudged how these changes would be received by many of you," United's president, Scott Kirby, said in a note to employees.

      ‘Pressing the pause button’

      When United first unveiled its plans for the program, called “core4 Score Rewards,” the airline said it hoped offering meaningful rewards would “build excitement and a sense of accomplishment with more bang for the buck.”

      But employees were quick to voice their dissatisfaction with the program.  

      “This is a horrible idea. Completely against what the word United means,” wrote a flight attendant on the airline employees’ private Facebook page. “It is obviously a method of cutting costs, but to come at the expense of employee morale is a wondrous thing to behold.”

      “It is beyond interesting to see you try to spin a fraction of a percent chance at winning anything as better than an actual quarterly bonus for our performance as a company.”

      Now, United says it is “pressing the pause button” on the program as it reviews employee feedback.

      Following swift backlash from employees, United Airlines has scrapped its plans to replace quarterly employee bonuses with a lottery-based employee reward...

      Amazon considers launching its own checking account

      The product would target millennials and people without bank accounts

      Amazon is said to be in early talks with JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, and other banks and financial firms about creating a “checking-account-like” product for its customers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

      The Amazon-branded checking accounts would primarily target young customers and people without bank accounts.

      Creating its own checking accounts would also help the e-commerce giant reduce fees it pays to financial institutions on every transaction and give the company a better look at customers’ income and spending habits.   

      The initiative wouldn’t result in Amazon becoming a bank itself due to the capital rules and regulations that would accompany that move, sources tell the WSJ. The checking accounts would simply be a partnership with a bank that makes the best offer.

      Expanding the Amazon ecosystem

      The report indicates that talks are in the initial stages and may not ultimately result in the creation of a final product. Few details are currently available about how the checking account would actually work.

      However, if the plan becomes a reality, it would give the online retailer another avenue for engaging customers offline.

      The company has already targeted the grocery space through the acquisition of Whole Foods Markets. It also recently targeted the healthcare space by teaming up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to form an independent healthcare company for their employees in the United States.

      Amazon-branded bank accounts wouldn’t be the company’s first foray into the financial sector. Amazon already offers “Amazon Cash,” which lets customers add cash to a digital wallet and purchase items online with it.

      Amazon has been trying to bring Amazon Pay to brick-and-mortar stores and is likely to begin with Whole Foods, the WSJ report added.

      Amazon is said to be in early talks with JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, and other banks and financial firms about creating a “checking-account-like” product...

      McDonald's rolls out fresh beef in select burgers

      The chain is targeting consumers who want quality as well as value

      In another sign that the burger war is heating up, McDonald's is launching the use of fresh ground beef in its Quarter Pounders and other signature sandwiches. Fresh beef is already being used in about 3,500 U.S. restaurants. The chain plans to extend that to 14,000 locations within the next two months.

      Competing hamburger chain Wendy's has advertised the fact that its ground beef is "fresh and never frozen," comparing itself to an unnamed hamburger chain that uses frozen patties.

      McDonald's USA CEO Chris Kempczinski says the move to fresh ground beef is part of what he calls a "food journey," noting the fast food chain has made a number of important changes in recent years -- committing to only sourcing cage-free eggs by 2025 in the U.S. and serving chicken not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine.

      “The switch to fresh beef quarter-pound burgers is the most significant change to our system and restaurant operations since All Day Breakfast,” Kempczinski said. “Over the past two years, we have been listening to our customers and evolving our business to build a better McDonald’s. We are proud to bring our customers a hotter and juicier quarter-pound burger at the speed and convenience they expect from us.”

      A year in the making

      McDonald's announced the transition a year ago and began test marketing the concept in a number of markets. It said customer response was particularly strong in Dallas and Tulsa. The company expects the national rollout, which excludes Alaska and Hawaii, to give it an advantage in reaching consumers who want quality as well as value.

      The decision coincides with other major changes at the fast food chain, which has remodeled restaurants using a sleek, modern design, installed ordering kiosks, and implemented limited table service, along the lines of more upscale chains like Panera Bread.

      According to CNBC, the transition to fresh beef could help McDonald's speed up its service. It notes that a fresh patty can cook up to 40 seconds faster than a frozen one, helping to move cars through the drive-thru line a little faster.

      With the move to fresh beef, McDonald's is also introducing a new menu item -- the Galic White Cheddar sandwich, made with either fresh beef or chicken.

      In another sign that the burger war is heating up, McDonald's is launching the use of fresh ground beef in its Quarter Pounders and other signature sandwic...

      Sensenig Turkey Farm recalls turkey sausage

      The product contains wheat and soy, allergens not declared on the label

      Sensenig Turkey Farm of Lititz, Pa., is recalling approximately 1,925 pounds of turkey sausage.

      The product contains wheat and soy, allergens not declared on the label.

      There are no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

      The following item, produced from September 25, 2017, to February 26, 2018. is being recalled:

      • 10-lb. cases, each case containing two 5-lb. bulk packages of “Sensenig Turkey Farm LLC BREAKFAST TURKEY SAUSAGE.”

      1-lb. vacuum-sealed packages containing “Chestnut Farms BREAKFAST TURKEY SAUSAGE.”

      The recalled product, bearing establishment number “P-38466” inside the USDA mark of inspection, was shipped to retail locations in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

      What to do

      Customers who purchased the recalled product should not consume them, but discard them or return them to the place of purchase.

      Consumers with questions may contact Merlin Sensenig at (717) 278-2014.

      Sensenig Turkey Farm of Lititz, Pa., is recalling approximately 1,925 pounds of turkey sausage.The product contains wheat and soy, allergens not declar...

      TruPet recalls Treat Me Crunchy Beef Delight pet treats

      The product may be contaminated with Salmonella

      TruPet of Milford, Ohio, is recalling a limited amount of 2.5-oz. packages of Treat Me Crunchy Beef Delight pet treats

      The product may be contaminated with Salmonella.

      No illnesses have been reported to date.

      The recalled product, lot # 20190514 13753, was distributed in the continental U.S. through direct delivery by online retailer Chewy.com and TruDog.com.

      What to do

      Customers who purchased the recalled product should return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

      Consumers with questions may call the company at 800-476-8808.

      TruPet of Milford, Ohio, is recalling a limited amount of 2.5-oz. packages of Treat Me Crunchy Beef Delight pet treatsThe product may be contaminated w...

      Partial rollback of financial reform law on track to pass Senate

      Some Democrats are joining Republicans to ease rules on smaller banks

      Ten years after the financial crisis nearly crashed the world's economy, Congress is removing some of the rules put in place to prevent a future crisis.

      The financial reform framework falls under what is known as the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), required banks to increase the amount of capital held in reserve, and placed limits on certain types of investments.

      Almost from the start there were claims that the rules needed tweaking, especially when it came to treating small community banks the same as large national banks. While leaving the law's major provisions in place, the proposed legislation reduces the law's regulatory impact on smaller financial institutions.

      Community banks rally support

      The Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA) is backing the legislation, saying its provisions relieve much of the regulatory burden on smaller banks. For example, it would:

      • Exempt many community banks from escrow requirements

      • Simplify capital requirements for community banks

      • Ease appraisal requirements to facilitate mortgage credit in local, rural communities,    

      • Exempt most community banks from the Volcker Rule, which restricts banks investments

      “S. 2155 (the rollback bill) offers much-needed relief for our nation’s nearly 5,700 community banks to promote localized lending and economic growth,” ICBA CEO Camden Fine said. “This important legislation is the culmination of a years-long effort to tailor regulations to our nation’s smaller and less risky community banks. If you’re against S. 2155, you’re against community banks and the communities they support.”

      Democrats are split

      Some Democrats agree, but some don't, revealing a split in the party on the issue. The measure has gained the support of a handful of moderate Democrats, many of whom are up for re-election in the fall.

      The rollback measure also has the support of Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) who worked on drafting the Dodd Frank bill in the Senate a decade ago.

      Liberal Democrats largely oppose the changes to the financial reform law. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told the Chicago Tribune the proposed bill would allow 25 of America's 40 largest banks to fall under the same regulatory rules as small town community banks.

      But enough Democrats have joined Republicans in the Senate to nearly ensure the bill's passage when it comes up for a vote later this week.

      The House has already passed similar rollback legislation that goes farther than the Senate bill. If the Senate passes its version, the two chambers will have to arrive at a consensus before the bill heads to President Trump's desk.

      Ten years after the financial crisis nearly crashed the world's economy, Congress is removing some of the rules put in place to prevent a future crisis....

      Child opioid overdoses have nearly doubled since 2004

      Researchers say kids are becoming ‘second victims’ in the adult opioid epidemic

      The number of children hospitalized for opioid overdoses has doubled since 2004, a new study published in Pediatrics finds.

      For the study, researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital looked through the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS), which records the most serious overdose cases.

      They found that from 2004 to 2015, 3,647 children across 31 hospitals were admitted to pediatric intensive care units with opioid-related diagnoses.

      The number of hospitalizations requiring intensive care nearly doubled between 2012 to 2015, rising from 797 patients between 2004 and 2007 to 1,504 patients during the most recent time frame analyzed.

      Accidental consumptions common

      The majority of the overdoses involved children between 12 and 17 years old, but one-third of cases involved children under the age of six

      “Even in children under 6 years old, opioids now account for the majority of drug poisonings,” the researchers wrote in their report.

      “In this study, we demonstrate a significant and steady increase in the diagnosis of opioid ingestion and poisoning across all age groups in U.S. children’s hospitals from 2004 to 2015. Not only did the absolute number of opioid-related admissions increase, but the rate of both hospital and PICU admissions increased as well.”

      The study didn’t differentiate between kids who ingested prescription painkillers or other opioids intentionally and those who did so accidentally. However, the researchers said many overdoses in children under six were probably caused by kids finding their parents’ prescribed and non-prescribed medications.

      Safely using medication

      "I think there needs to be a stronger emphasis to the adults receiving these drugs -- these prescription medications -- about the consequences that may happen to their families as a result of those drugs being in their homes," lead author Dr. Jason Kane told CNN.

      Parents taking these substances are advised to take preventative measures, such as using a “lockbox” to store the medication. If they are expired or no longer being used, experts recommend taking them to a pharmacy or a facility that can appropriately dispose of them.

      “Current efforts to reduce prescription opioid use in adults have not curtailed the incidence of pediatric opioid ingestion, and additional efforts are needed to reduce preventable opioid exposure in children,” the authors wrote.

      Around 2 million Americans have an opioid use disorder, according to federal estimates. That includes abuse of prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin, as well as illegal drugs like heroin.

      The number of children hospitalized for opioid overdoses has doubled since 2004, a new study published in Pediatrics finds.For the study, researchers a...

      Walmart is launching its own line of meal kits

      ​The company is hoping to compete with Amazon and meal kit providers for shoppers’ dollars

      Walmart announced Monday that it will roll out its meal kit service to as many as 2,000 stores nationwide this year, following an initial test in some of its stores.

      The meal kits feed two people and range in price from $8 to $15. Consumers can either buy kits in store or order them online and pick them up later that day. Three different kinds of kits are available to choose from, depending on how much cooking shoppers want to do.

      “On shelves in the deli, options include pre-portioned cooking kits, kits to accompany the grocers’ best-selling rotisserie chicken, along with options that can be heated up and on the table in less than 15 minutes,” Walmart said in a statement.

      Competing with meal kit providers

      The push to add its own line of meal kits will help the retail giant compete with Amazon, which started selling ready-to-cook meals last summer and began delivering groceries from Whole Foods through its two-hour Prime Now delivery service last month.

      Walmart also hopes to compete with subscription-based meal kit programs like Blue Apron and Hellofresh. However, its meal kits won’t require a subscription or involve a complex delivery process, which may help it appeal to a wider range of consumers.

      “Customers are busier than ever and we know getting a delicious dinner on the table can be a chore. We’re here to help,” said Tyler Lehr, senior vice president and general merchandise manager, Deli Services, Walmart US.

      “These delicious meals give the best or worst of cooks a fresh, easy option for dinner tonight, or later this week.”

      Walmart announced Monday that it will roll out its meal kit service to as many as 2,000 stores nationwide this year, following an initial test in some of i...