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Current Events in March 2019

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    Climate change could lead to financial crisis, Fed researcher warns

    Environmental changes and the cost of adapting could adversely affect the economy

    A senior policy adviser working with the Federal Reserve says that the negative impact of climate change won’t just stop at the environment; it could also lead us into our next financial crisis.

    In an economic letter published on Monday, Glenn D. Rudebusch explained that environmental changes, as well as the way that society prepares for those changes, could have important consequences for the U.S. economy. He urges policymakers to plan accordingly to avoid the worst possible outcome.

    “Some central banks...recognize that climate change is becoming increasingly relevant for monetary policy,” he said. “For example, climate-related financial risks could affect the economy through elevated credit spreads, greater precautionary saving, and, in the extreme, a financial crisis.”

    The costs of natural disasters

    In his report, Rudebusch says that natural disasters and changing conditions could cause great harm to certain industries. Hurricanes, extensive flooding, or droughts could lead to infrastructure damage, agricultural losses, and price spikes for certain commodities that will hurt consumers and businesses financially.

    Of course, those risks aren’t just present in the U.S. Rudebusch says that disasters in different areas of the world affect everyone because of the connectedness of the global economy.

    “Even weather disasters abroad can disrupt exports, imports, and supply chains close to home,” he said.

    Greener technologies and policies

    While many nations are exploring options when it comes to converting to a low-carbon, environmentally friendly economy, Rudebusch says that the Fed is not able to tailor all of its policies towards these initiatives. However, he does say that certain government actions, such as introducing a carbon tax, could spur industries to adapt to cleaner technologies.  

    “A carbon tax that is set at the proper level can appropriately incentivize innovations in clean technology and the transition from a high- to a low-carbon economy,” he said.

    “A comprehensive set of government policies may be required, including clean-energy and carbon-capture research and development incentives, energy efficiency standards, and low-carbon public investment.”

    Rudebusch’s full report can be viewed here.

    A senior policy adviser working with the Federal Reserve says that the negative impact of climate change won’t just stop at the environment; it could also...
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    McDonald’s to acquire tech company to personalize drive thru menu displays

    Dynamic Yield will help the company increase personalization and improve the customer experience

    As part of a larger effort to modernize its stores and better compete in the fast-food industry, McDonald’s has announced that it plans to purchase a technology company called Dynamic Yield.

    The deal is valued at $300 million, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal, making it the chain’s biggest acquisition since buying Boston Market in 1999 for $173.5 million.

    Dynamic Yield will help the fast-food giant personalize its drive-thru experience through the addition of technology that will enable the menu displays to change based on different factors, such as current weather. On a very hot day, for instance, the display could suggest an ice cream cone.

    The technology can also display additional menu items based on customers’ selections.

    “Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms,” McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.

    McDonald’s said its purchase of Dynamic Yield will help promote “the continued advancement and elevation of the McDonald’s customer experience with technology and innovation.”

    “With this acquisition, we’re expanding both our ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future and the speed with which we’ll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalized experiences for our customers,” Easterbrook said.

    Incorporating technology

    The restaurant chain said it tested the technology in several U.S. locations last year and “will begin to roll this technology out in the Drive Thru at restaurants in the United States in 2019,” with plans to expand its use to other top international markets later.

    Last August, the company detailed its plan to incorporate more technology into its locations. To increase customer convenience and boost revenue, McDonald’s said it planned to add self-serve kiosks, digital menu boards, and modernize dining rooms with new furniture.

    The company has also partnered with Uber Eats to add “McDelivery” at thousands of locations. McDonald’s CFO Kevin Ozan said earlier this year that the restaurant chain wants to focus on promoting its delivery service in 2019 as he Easterbrook both view delivery as a clear growth opportunity.

    As part of a larger effort to modernize its stores and better compete in the fast-food industry, McDonald’s has announced that it plans to purchase a techn...
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    Apple TV+ to launch this Fall

    Apple’s new streaming platform will feature exclusive programming

    At a special event on Monday, Apple announced that its new streaming service, called “Apple TV+,” will be launching this Fall in more than 100 countries.

    No pricing details were given, but the company said its forthcoming subscription service “will feature a brand new slate of programming from the world’s most celebrated creative artists, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, M. Night Shyamalan, Jon M. Chu and more.”

    • Steven Spielberg will be leading a reboot of the sci-fi series Amazing Stories;

    • Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell will be in a comedy/drama about a TV morning news show which focuses on male-female dynamics at work;

    • Jason Momoa will star in a drama/horror series called See;

    • Kumail Nanjiani will produce a show about immigrants and children of immigrants;

    • Oprah will be producing two documentaries for the service;

    • Sesame Workshop is teaming up with Apple to develop a new show called Helpsters that helps kids learn computer coding skills.

    Several big-name talents were present at the “It’s Showtime” event to speak about their new projects, but no trailers were shown.

    Apple promised that subscribers to the new platform will “enjoy inspiring and authentic stories with emotional depth and compelling characters from all walks of life, ad-free and on demand.” New programming will be added every month.

    Apple TV+ will work on the TV app for iOS and Apple TV, on the Mac via a TV app to be released later this year, and on smart TVs that can now run Apple's software.

    Additional details to come

    The tech giant provided a few details about projects that are currently in the works but left several questions unanswered. For example, Apple didn’t say which shows will go live at the launch of the service or if its lineup of shows will be distributed all at once or weekly.

    Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, described the initial unveiling as a “sneak peak of Apple TV+” and added that the company “cannot wait” for viewers to tune in starting this fall.

    “Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet,” Cue said in a press release. Apple said pricing and availability for Apple TV+ will be announced later this fall.

    Crowded streaming market

    Apple’s new streaming product will enter into a crowded streaming market -- one that is causing many consumers to experience “subscription fatigue.”

    “Consumers may be entering a time of subscription fatigue,” said Kevin Westcott, vice chairman of the consulting firm Deloitte, which last week released its latest Digital Media Trends survey. The survey found that nearly half of consumers felt there are too many options and too many monthly fees to keep track of.

    Media companies eyeing a piece of the streaming market share need to “keep a close eye on consumer frustrations, including advertising overload and data privacy concerns,” Wescott said.

    At a special event on Monday, Apple announced that its new streaming service, called “Apple TV+,” will be launching this Fall in more than 100 countries....
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      Top oil and gas producers have spent $1 billion to fight climate policy, report says

      The world’s top oil corporations were on board with the Paris Agreement but have spent $1 billion lobbying since then

      The world’s five biggest publicly traded oil and gas companies in recent years have fought against measures to curb emissions even as they claimed to support environmental measures like the Paris Agreement, according to new research by InfluenceMap, a UK-based nonprofit that tracks corporate spending.

      InfluenceMap analyzed public disclosures that the corporations made in financial filings, as well as donations that the corporations made to outside lobbying and trade groups. The researchers found that ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP, and Total spent a combined $1 billion on “misleading climate-related branding and lobbying” since the historic Paris Agreement made headlines in 2016.

      “These efforts are overwhelmingly in conflict with the goals of this landmark global climate accord and designed to maintain the social and legal license to operate and expand fossil fuel operations,” InfluenceMap writes.

      The lobbying work and branding took various forms. ExxonMobil, for example, engaged in direct government lobbying, as it has for decades. But the oil giant also spent $2 million on targeted Facebook and Instagram ads promoting the benefits of fossil fuels.

      In recent years, major oil corporations such as Exxon have stressed that climate change is a real problem that it plans to help solve. But behind closed doors, the oil industry appears to be betting on a future that is increasingly dependent on fossil fuels, as ConsumerAffairs has previously reported.

      Meanwhile, the European Union appears to be attempting to crack down on corporate lobbying efforts. Following the release of the InflencueMap report, the EU parliament is reportedly now discussing whether Exxon should lose its lobbying privileges in the EU altogether. A vote on the matter is scheduled for April.

      The world’s five biggest publicly traded oil and gas companies in recent years have fought against measures to curb emissions even as they claimed to suppo...
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      Implanted defibrillator devices could be vulnerable to hackers

      Officials say the device settings could be changed remotely

      The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced last week that implanted cardiac defibrillators manufactured by Medtronic are vulnerable to hacking attempts.

      An advisory states that it would take a relatively “low skill level” for hackers to gain access to one of the affected products and change its settings, which could cause harm to the consumer it’s implanted in. Malicious parties may also be capable of gathering sensitive information about consumers through the device.

      Officials say that the devices are vulnerable to hacking because they do not use adequate authentication or authorization protocols. When the devices’ RF radio function is turned on, hackers can “inject, replay, modify, and/or intercept data within the telemetry communication,” according to the report.

      Twenty models affected

      Medtronic says that up to 20 of its products are vulnerable due to the inadequate protocols. They include:

      • MyCareLink Monitor, Versions 24950 and 24952;

      • CareLink Monitor, Version 2490C;

      • CareLink 2090 Programmer;

      • Amplia CRT-D (all models);

      • Claria CRT-D (all models);

      • Compia CRT-D (all models);

      • Concerto CRT-D (all models);

      • Concerto II CRT-D (all models);

      • Consulta CRT-D (all models);

      • Evera ICD (all models);

      • Maximo II CRT-D and ICD (all models);

      • Mirro ICD (all models);

      • Nayamed ND ICD (all models);

      • Primo ICD (all models);

      • Protecta ICD and CRT-D (all models);

      • Secura ICD (all models);

      • Virtuoso ICD (all models);

      • Virtuoso II ICD (all models);

      • Visia AF ICD (all models); and

      • Viva CRT-D (all models).

      Taking precautions

      Medtronic says it has applied some additional controls to respond to improper access to the above products, and it plans to roll out more updates and solutions in the near future. However, to reduce the risk of being hacked, the company advises consumers to take the following precautions.

      • Maintain good physical control over home monitors and programmers;

      • Use only home monitors, programmers, and implantable devices obtained directly from your healthcare provider or a Medtronic representative to ensure integrity of the system;

      • Do not connect unapproved devices to home monitors and programmers through USB ports or other physical connections;

      • Only use programmers to connect and interact with implanted devices in physically controlled hospital and clinical environments;

      • Only use home monitors in private environments such as a home, apartment, or otherwise physically controlled environment; and

      • Report any concerning behavior regarding these products to your healthcare provider or a Medtronic representative.

      Consumers with questions on the above information can contact the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), which is handling the case. The agency can be emailed here or called toll-free at 1-888-282-0870.

      The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced last week that implanted cardiac defibrillators manufactured by Medtronic are vulnera...
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      Model year 2019 BMW X5 xDrive40i and xDrive50i vehicles recalled

      The attachment bolts for the driver's seat and/or seat belt may not be properly tightened

      BMW of North America is recalling 68 model year 2019 X5 xDrive40i and xDrive50i vehicles.

      The attachment bolts for the driver's seat and/or seat belt may not have been properly tightened, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a crash.

      What to do

      BMW will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the attachment bolts for the driver's seat and seat belt, and torque them to the correct specifications as necessary free of charge.

      The recall is expected to begin April 5, 2019.

      Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.

      BMW of North America is recalling 68 model year 2019 X5 xDrive40i and xDrive50i vehicles.The attachment bolts for the driver's seat and/or seat belt ma...
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      Kubota recalls zero turn mower

      The throttle cable can make contact with internal electric wiring

      Kubota Manufacturing of America Corporation of Gainesville, Ga., is recalling about 3,850 Kubota zero turn mowers.

      The throttle cable can make contact with internal electric wiring, posing a fire hazard.

      No incidents or injuries are reported.

      This recall involves model years 2018 and 2019 Kubota ZD100 series gasoline-powered zero turn mowers. The model is printed on the side of the mowers. The data plate is located on the lower frame of the unit and contains the serial number and model number. 

      Model:

      Serial Number Range:

      Z122EBR-48

      BEGIN

      END

      21408

      22007

      Z121SKH-48

      BEGIN

      END

      31302

      32882

      Z125EBR-54

      BEGIN

      END

      16242

      16547

      Z125SKH-54

      BEGIN

      END

      29458

      31138

      Recalled units are orange and black.

      The mowers were sold at authorized Kubota dealers nationwide from July 2018, to January 2019, for between about $5,000 and $6,000.

      What to do

      Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled mowers and contact an authorized Kubota dealer to schedule a free inspection and repair. Kubota is contacting all known purchasers directly.

      Consumers may contact Kubota Tractor Corp. at (800) 752-0290 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (PT) Monday through Friday or online at www.kubotausa.com for more information.

      Kubota Manufacturing of America Corporation of Gainesville, Ga., is recalling about 3,850 Kubota zero turn mowers.The throttle cable can make contact w...
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      Experts recommend Facebook users make changes in light of the social media giant’s latest privacy gaffe

      One change is a snap; the other enhances security but requires caution

      Even though what happened in Facebook’s recent password bungle was likely more an “oversight” than a hacking invasion, experts recommend that consumers double down to protect their accounts and their personal data when using the platform.

      Tech security gurus at the International Institute of Cyber Security told ConsumerAffairs there are two recommended steps to enhance online protection.

      The first recommendation is straightforward enough -- change your Facebook password. The second one will take a little effort but could have a huge payoff on securing your account. It’s called two-factor authentication.

      The process is basically an authentication method where a computer user is allowed access to a site or an app only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication widget.

      In Facebook’s case, you can use a text-message code sent to your mobile phone or you can use a login code from a third-party authentication app approved by Facebook.

      The steps to take

      To employ two-step authentication on your Facebook account, here are the steps it recommends:

      1. Go to your Security and Login Settings by clicking the down-arrow in the top-right corner of Facebook and clicking Settings > Security and Login.

      2. Scroll down to Use two-factor authentication and click Edit.

      3. Choose the authentication method you want to add and follow the on-screen instructions.

      4. Click Enable once you've selected and turned on an authentication method.

      The pluses and minuses of two-factor authentication

      Two-factor authentication has grown into a critical-level nudge from both government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service and large portals like Yahoo. Given the multitude of devices consumers have, taking the time to put the process into play may be a hassle, but it’s considered a win-win for both the user and the platform.

      “Think of it as an extra layer of security … that keeps your account secure even if somebody gets your password,” commented Apple in a two-step authentication how-to video.

      However, at least one tech researcher says to proceed cautiously.

      “Before you require a second factor to log in to your accounts, you should understand the risks, have a recovery plan for when you lose your second factor(s), and know the tricks attackers may use to defeat two-factor authentication,” wrote authentication technology specialist Stuart Schechter.

      Schechter says there are two predominant risks that might make even the most rational, safety-conscious user proceed with caution before flipping the switch on two-factor authentication.

      1. You could lose access to your account

      “If attackers cannot use a password alone to access your account without your second factor, you won’t be able to either. You may be unable to recover your second factor if your security key, or the phone with your authenticator app, is lost, stolen, or broken. If your phone is out of battery, left at home, or lent to someone else, you may lose access for hours or days,” Schechter said.

      2. Confidence in two-factor authentication could make you careless

      “People behave less safely when they believe they are being kept safe by others: drivers who wouldn’t choose to wear seat-belts drive faster if forced to wear them and computer users who run anti-virus software are more likely to install risky software,” Schechter continued.

      “If you believe that turning on two-factor authentication is a fool-proof way to protect your accounts, you may be more willing to log in from a computer you don’t trust or more likely to risk installing software from an unknown or unfamiliar publisher,”

      Even though what happened in Facebook’s recent password bungle was likely more an “oversight” than a hacking invasion, experts recommend that consumers dou...
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      FEMA wrongly shared personal information of millions of disaster survivors

      The agency has acknowledged the situation as a ‘major privacy incident’

      The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) inappropriately shared the personal information of more than 2 million survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the California wildfires in 2017.

      The agency said it “provided more information than was necessary” while transferring survivor information to a third-party contractor that helps provide temporary housing to people affected by disasters under the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program.

      “We believe this oversharing has impacted approximately 2.5 million disaster survivors,” an unnamed Department of Homeland Security official told the Washington Post.

      Vulnerable to identity theft and fraud

      The error was recently discovered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and detailed in a report dated March 15. Individuals who had personal data shared could be vulnerable to identity theft and fraud, the Inspector General report said.

      However, FEMA has said that it’s “found no indicators to suggest survivor data has been compromised” and that it has taken “aggressive measures”  to correct the error.

      “FEMA is no longer sharing unnecessary data with the contractor and has conducted a detailed review of the contractor’s information system,” FEMA Press Secretary Lizzie Litzow said in a statement.

      The name of the contractor who wrongly received the information hasn’t been released, but the agency said it "worked with the contractor to remove the unnecessary data from the system."

      “FEMA’s goal remains protecting and strengthening the integrity, effectiveness, and security of our disaster programs that help people before, during, and after disasters,” Litzow said.

      The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) inappropriately shared the personal information of more than 2 million survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma,...
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      Google adds ability to create public events on Google Maps

      The feature is live for Android users

      ​Google appears to be testing a new feature that lets users create public events on Google Maps.

      Android Police reported that the company has rolled out the new functionality to some Android users, though its behavior was “laggy” in initial tests. The tech website said it had issues adding photos and that it had to wait an hour for an event to appear on Google Maps.

      The feature, when it works, “could allow users to submit events akin to the public events being shown in Maps,” Android Police said. “Maps has heavily relied on crowdsourced information for a while, so adding a means for the public to make a note of public events would be consistent with that approach.”

      Users can set an event name, location, date, and time through the app’s existing Contribute tab. The event can also be given a description and an image header.

      After the feature was spotted by Android Police, Google confirmed on its Support page that the feature is currently available to Android users.

      Google said the feature may not be available in some regions, but users can check to see if it’s available to them by opening Google Maps, tapping “Contribute,” tapping “Events,” and tapping “+” to add a public event.

      Google has not provided a timeline for the wider rollout of the feature.

      ​Google appears to be testing a new feature that lets users create public events on Google Maps. Android Police reported that the company has rolled ou...
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      Verizon to adopt anti-spoofing technology to combat robocalls

      The move follows repeated pleas from the FCC to address the issue

      Another major phone carrier is taking additional steps to block unwanted robocalls from reaching consumers.

      Forbes reports that Verizon is joining T-Mobile and Comcast in adopting the SHAKEN/STIR protocol, which uses authentication technology to expose spoofed calls that show a false number on consumers’ caller ID.

      Up until now, Verizon has offered a third-party app to Verizon Fios customers called Nomorobo. The service worked by comparing incoming calls to a large, known list of numbers associated with robocallers and telemarketers. If the number was on that list, then it was cut off before consumers’ phones could ring.

      Following FCC demands

      Verizon’s decision to adopt the SHAKEN/STIR protocol falls in line with demands made by Commissioner Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission. The regulator has been a staunch opponent of robocalls and has demanded that carriers adopt practices to address the ever-growing threat.

      The SHAKEN/STIR protocol seems to fit the bill when it comes to addressing Pai’s concerns about spoofed calls. He previously said that such a system would “ensure that consumers can answer their phones with confidence.”

      “American consumers are sick and tired of unwanted robocalls, this consumer among them,” Pai said. “Caller ID authentication will be a significant step towards ending the scourge of spoofed robocalls. It’s time for carriers to implement robust caller ID authentication.”

      Scam calls continue to rise

      While these improved protocols may go a long way toward reducing unwanted calls, the telecom industry has a long way to go if it wants to make a meaningful impact. This past October, robocalls eclipsed the 5 billion mark in a single month, with scam telemarketing calls making up around 60 percent of calls.

      The high volume of malicious calls explains why the FCC made robocalls its number one consumer priority.

      “We know that these calls are a major concern of millions of Americans, and scam calls in particular can result in very real financial losses and serious consumer frustration,” the agency stated. “We are therefore committed to using every resource in our tool box and working closely with private, public, and international partners to combat unlawful robocalls and spoofing.”

      Another major phone carrier is taking additional steps to block unwanted robocalls from reaching consumers.Forbes reports that Verizon is joining T-Mob...
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      Hackers win Tesla Model 3 after exposing vulnerability

      The award is one of the latest the automaker has given to white-hat hackers for finding bugs

      When most consumers think of a hacker, they might conjure up images of a sinister, obscure figure in front of a computer causing mischief. While those individuals certainly do exist, they aren’t the only ones breaking into systems and finding flaws.

      Electrek reports that Tesla recently awarded a pair of hackers with one of its Tesla Model 3’s after the team was able to expose a vulnerability in the vehicle. Amat Cama and Richard Zhu came upon their discovery on the last day of the Pwn2Own hacking event in Vancouver.

      The vulnerability the team discovered was found in the vehicle’s infotainment system. Using a special type of bug, the white-hat hackers found that they could take control of the system. In appreciation for identifying the shortcoming, Tesla said it would give away the vehicle that the test was performed on.

      Bug bounty programs

      Hacking events like Pwn2Own aren’t the only incentive for hackers that use their prowess for the good of companies and consumers.

      Many tech companies use bug bounty programs that give away thousands of dollars to individuals who can exploit vulnerabilities and warn the companies before more nefarious hackers can take advantage of them. For example, ConsumerAffairs reported on another hacking conference which found vulnerabilities in voting machines back in 2017.

      In Tesla’s case, the automaker offers between $100 and $15,000 for hacks related to its vehicles and systems.

      When most consumers think of a hacker, they might conjure up images of a sinister, obscure figure in front of a computer causing mischief. While those indi...
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      Weight loss can help alleviate migraines in obese consumers

      Researchers say the way the weight is lost doesn’t matter

      Migraines can cause debilitating pain when they hit, and regular sufferers know it can be hard for the headaches to pass.

      However, a new study found that for migraine sufferers with obesity, losing weight can not only decrease headaches but also improve overall quality of life.

      “If you suffer from migraine headaches and are obese, losing weight will ameliorate the quality of your family and social life as well as your work and school productivity,” said researcher Dr. Claudio Pagano. “Your overall quality of life will greatly improve.”

      Starting to feel better

      The researchers examined how weight loss affected migraines by analyzing 10 different studies that included nearly 500 participants.

      In all of the studies, the participants either underwent bariatric surgery to lose weight or changed their eating/exercise habits. Additionally, all of the studies included information about pain severity, frequency, and how long a migraine would typically last.

      The researchers found that in all of the studies, losing weight led to less frequent migraines, less severe migraines, and migraines that didn’t persist as long as usual.

      “Weight loss in adults and children with obesity greatly improves migraine headache by improving all the main features that worsen migraineurs’ quality of life,” Dr. Pagano said. “When people lose weight, the number of days per month with migraine decreases, as does pain severity and headache attack duration.”

      The study also revealed that how participants went about losing weight, whether surgical or not, did not affect the results. There was also no minimum weight loss necessary to see positive migraine-related results.

      “Weight loss reduces the impact of conditions associated with obesity, including diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, and respiratory diseases,” said Dr. Pagano. “Obesity and migraine are common in industrialized countries. Improving quality of life and disability for these patients will greatly impact these populations and reduce direct and indirect healthcare costs.”

      Other health risks

      While obesity is linked to several health concerns, one recent study found that migraines could be more than what they appear. Researchers found that women who experience migraines have a greater risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues.

      “Our analysis suggests that migraine should be considered an important risk marker for cardiovascular disease, particularly in women,” said researcher Tobias Kurth.

      Migraines can cause debilitating pain when they hit, and regular sufferers know it can be hard for the headaches to pass.However, a new study found tha...
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      Henry Avocado recalls whole avocados

      The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

      Henry Avocado Corporation is recalling California-grown whole avocados that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

      No illnesses have been reported.

      The recalled California-grown conventional and organic avocados were packed at Henry Avocado’s packing facility in California and distributed in Arizona, California, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin, and sold in bulk at retail stores.

      The recalled products can be identified by the “Bravocado” stickers. Henry Avocado organic products do not carry the “Bravocado” label on the sticker. Instead those products are labeled “organic” and include “California” on the sticker.

      What to do

      Customers who purchased the recalled products should not consume them, but discard or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

      Consumers with questions may contact Henry Avocado at (760) 745-6632, Ext 132.

      Henry Avocado Corporation is recalling California-grown whole avocados that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.No illnesses have been repo...
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      Model year 2019 Toyota Camry and Avalon Hybrids recalled

      The vehicles may leak fuel

      Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 205 model year 2019 Camry and Avalon Hybrids.

      The fuel filler pipe may not have been properly reconnected to the fuel tank during an inspection after vehicle assembly

      The improperly connected filler pipe may leak fuel, which, in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire.

      What to do

      Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the fuel filler pipe, replacing it if necessary, free of charge.

      The recall is expected to begin in March 2019.

      Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota's number for this recall is K0I.

      Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 205 model year 2019 Camry and Avalon Hybrids.The fuel filler pipe may not have been properly reco...
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      Stromer recalls electric bicycles

      The bicycle stem can break, posing crash and injury hazards

      Stromer of Vista, Calif., is recalling about 195 Stromer ST5 electric bicycles.

      The bicycle stem can break, posing crash and injury hazards to the rider.

      The firm has received one report of a stem breaking. No injuries have been reported.

      This recall involves all Stromer ST5 pedal-assist electric bicycles sold in a black or gray aluminum frame.

      The e-bikes have hydraulic disc brakes, an integrated lithium battery located inside the down tube, a motor on the rear hub and a three-button switch on the handlebars.

      Stromer is printed on the top tube of the bicycle frame and on the seat and chain guard., with ST5 printed on the downtube.

      Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) TBNST5S700SJA0001 through TBNST5S700SKF0065 is etched on the bottom of the right-side chainstay.

      The bicycles, manufactured in Switzerland, were sold exclusively at Stromer authorized dealers nationwide from April 2018, through February 2019, for about $10,000.

      What to do

      Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled bicycle and take it to an authorized Stromer dealer for a free repair. myStromer is contacting all known purchasers directly.

      Consumers may contact myStromer at (800) 819-4262 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PT) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PT) Saturday and Sunday, by email at stem@stromerbike.com or online www.stromerbike.com and click on “Voluntary Product Recall” at the bottom of the page for more information.

      Stromer of Vista, Calif., is recalling about 195 Stromer ST5 electric bicycles.The bicycle stem can break, posing crash and injury hazards to the rider...
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