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    Nissan recalls 1.2 million model year 2018-2019 vehicles

    The back-up camera may not display an image

    Nissan North America is recalling 1,228,830 model year 2018-2019 Nissan Altimas, Frontiers, Kicks, Leafs, Maximas, Muranos, NVs, NV200s, Pathfinders, Rogues, Rogue Sports, Sentras, Titans, Versa Notes, Versa Sedans, Infiniti Q50s, Q60s, QX30s and QX80s.

    Also being recalled are model year 2019 Nissan GT-Rs& Taxis and Infiniti QX50s, QX60s, Q70s and Q70Ls.

    The back-up camera and display settings can be adjusted such that the rear view image is no longer visible and the system will retain that setting the next time the vehicle is placed in reverse.

    The lack of an image in the back-up camera display increases the risk of a crash.

    What to do

    Nissan will notify owners in phases, and have dealers update the back-up camera settings software free of charge.

    The recall is expected to begin October 21, 2019, and all affected VINs should be activated by November 11, 2019.

    Owners may contact Nissan customer service at (800) 867-7669 or Infiniti customer service at (800)662-6200.

    Nissan North America is recalling 1,228,830 model year 2018-2019 Nissan Altimas, Frontiers, Kicks, Leafs, Maximas, Muranos, NVs, NV200s, Pathfinders, Rogue...
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    Boeing will pay families of 737 MAX crash victims $144,500 each

    The company is also creating a new committee tasked with oversight of all safety-related aspects

    Boeing announced that it will compensate the families of the 346 victims of two fatal 737 MAX crashes, paying out approximately $144,500 each. That amount comes from a financial assistance fund of $50 million the company set up in July.

    As reported by Reuters, Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg called the endeavor “an important step in our efforts to help affected families.”

    “The recent 737 MAX tragedies weigh heavily on all of us at Boeing, and we continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of all those on board,” the executive said.

    In addition to the $50 million in immediate assistance to the victims’ families, Boeing is also setting up a separate $50 million endowment to be used toward education and economic empowerment for communities and families impacted by the crashes.

    Recommitment to safety

    Boeing’s return to normalcy is far from complete. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says there’s still work the aircraft manufacturer needs to do regarding the software that was apparently at the heart of the crashes.

    Nonetheless, Boeing publicly reaffirmed its “longstanding commitment to aerospace safety and the safety of its products and services” on Wednesday. In a news release, Muilenburg introduced the creation of a permanent Aerospace Safety Committee as part of Boeing’s Board of Directors. The committee will be tasked with guaranteeing design safety, as well as monitoring other production processes.

    Adding to the company’s recommitment to safety, the board also established other measures to minimize the possibility of future mishaps. These include:

    • A change in Boeing’s governance principles that will require safety-related experience as one of the factors it will utilize in choosing future board members. Until this change, the company’s governing principles had no references to safety at all.

    • The creation of a Product and Services Safety organization that will oversee all aspects of product safety, “including investigating cases of undue pressure and anonymous product and service safety concerns raised by employees.”

    • Amplifying the role and extending the reach of the Safety Promotion Center to include all of the company’s employees, offices, and factories in an effort to “reinforce Boeing's … safety culture and remind employees and the flying public of the company's unyielding commitment to safety, quality and integrity.”

    “The safety of the global aviation industry is rooted in its dedication to continuous improvement and learning," said Adm. Edmund Giambastiani, Jr., former chairman of the Committee of Airplane Policies and Processes and newly appointed chairman of the Aerospace Safety Committee. "The independent committee review was extensive, rigorous and focused on delivering specific recommendations to ensure the highest levels of safety in Boeing airplanes and aerospace products and services and for all who fly on Boeing airplanes.” 

    "The committee and the board believe these recommendations, along with actions already taken by the board, will strengthen engineering at the company, bolster the safety policies and procedures for the design, development and production of Boeing products and services, and further improve board and management oversight and accountability for safety not only at Boeing, but throughout the global aerospace industry.”

    Boeing announced that it will compensate the families of the 346 victims of two fatal 737 MAX crashes, paying out approximately $144,500 each. That amount...
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      FTC suit claims major dating site exposed users to fraud

      Match Group denies the charges and says it will defend itself in court

      The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit against the Match Group, which owns the dating sites Match.com, Tinder, OkCupid, and PlentyOfFish

      The agency claims the company created phony ads expressing romantic interest on Match.com as a way to push consumers to purchase paid subscriptions on the site. It also charges Match of unfairly exposing consumers to the risk of fraud and engaging in other allegedly deceptive and unfair practices.

      “We believe that Match.com conned people into paying for subscriptions via messages the company knew were from scammers,” said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Online dating services obviously shouldn’t be using romance scammers as a way to fatten their bottom line.”

      Not good for business

      Match Group called the FTC’s charges “outrageous” and said it plans to vigorously defend against them in court. It also suggests the FTC filed the suit only after the Justice Department declined to take action.

      “Fraud isn't good for business. That's why we fight it,” the company said in a statement. We catch and neutralize 85 percent of potentially improper accounts in the first four hours, typically before they are even active on the site, and 96 percent of improper accounts within a day.”

      Consumers can create profiles on Match.com without subscribing, but a paid subscription is required if you want to respond to a message from someone who has viewed your profile. The FTC claims Match emailed non-subscribers to say someone had expressed interest in contacting them.

      The government’s complaint contends that “millions” of these contacts came from accounts that had already been identified as fraudulent, such as from criminals who were running romance scams. At the same time, the FTC charges that Match blocked these kinds of suspect communications when they were directed at paid subscribers.

      Allegations

      The suit accuses Match of violating federal consumer protection laws, including the FTC act. It asks for monetary damages without specifying an amount.

      According to Match, the FTC offered to resolve the complaint last November if it agreed to change its business practices and pay a $60 million settlement.

      “Discussions between Match Group and the FTC ensued but no resolution was reached,” the company said.

      The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit against the Match Group, which owns the dating sites Match.com, Tinder, OkCupid, and PlentyOfFish....
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      Uber to launch in-app 911 text feature

      The company is taking steps to increase passenger safety amid reports of sexual assaults

      As part of CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s mission to put safety “at the core of everything we do,” Uber has announced that it’s giving riders the ability to text 911 from within the app. 

      The ride-hailing giant said Thursday that it will soon launch a feature that lets riders send a text message to 911 with information such as the car’s license plate, their exact location, and where they’re going already filled in. 

      “We know that in an emergency, every second counts,” Uber Senior Director of Product Management Sachin Kansal said at an Uber event in San Francisco. “The combination of being able to text 911 through the app and being able to send the exact location through the Uber app is an absolute game changer, and law enforcement professionals tell us that this can potentially save lives.”

      Additional security features

      The addition of the feature comes more than a year after Uber added the ability to call 911 through its app under a partnership with RapidSOS. The new 911 text feature will deploy next month to users in Los Angeles. Uber said it’s aiming for a wider U.S. rollout following the initial launch.

      Uber also announced on Thursday that its app will soon include an optional security feature that sends passengers a four-digit code which should match the driver’s. The feature will help riders confirm that they are getting into the vehicle that was sent for them. 

      “The driver will only be able to start your trip in the app once the correct PIN has been entered,” Uber said in an announcement. “We’re also developing new technology that uses ultrasound waves to automatically verify you’re in the right car, no PIN needed.” 

      As part of CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s mission to put safety “at the core of everything we do,” Uber has announced that it’s giving riders the ability to text...
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      Apple cautions against using third-party technicians for display repairs

      The company has advised iPhone 11 users to get their phone fixed at company-approved locations

      Two weeks after unveiling three new iPhone models, Apple is advising iPhone 11 users not to go to third-party technicians for display repairs. 

      The company said iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max users need to ensure their device gets fixed using genuine parts. Failure to go to a service provider or technician that hasn’t been vetted by Apple could result in incorrect color calibration, multi-touch issues, ambient light sensor problems, or other issues. 

      “Additionally, repairs that don't properly replace screws or cowlings might leave behind loose parts that could damage the battery, cause overheating, or result in injury,” Apple said in a statement on its website.

      Apple said iPhone 11 users who replace their screens with an aftermarket component will see a message that reads, "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple display." The message will remain on the lock screen for four days. After that, it can be found under the “About” section in “Settings.” The warning will not affect the ability to use the iPhone or its display.

      “If you need to replace your iPhone display, it's important for certified technicians who use genuine Apple display parts to repair it,” the company said. “Only technicians who have completed Apple service training and who use Apple genuine parts and tools should replace iPhone displays.” 

      Two weeks after unveiling three new iPhone models, Apple is advising iPhone 11 users not to go to third-party technicians for display repairs. The comp...
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      Children exposed to air pollution could be at increased risk of mental health issues

      A study shows that those in poorer neighborhoods could be at even greater risk

      While it’s no secret that air pollution has an enormous effect on consumers’ physical health, a new study conducted by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found that the toxins could also have an effect on children’s mental health. 

      The study revealed that regular exposure to air pollution increased children’s risk of developing mental health issues. 

      “The study is the first to show the association between daily outdoor air pollution levels and increased symptoms of psychiatric disorders, like anxiety and suicidality, in children,” said researcher Cole Brokamp, PhD. “More research is needed to confirm these findings, but it could lead to new prevention strategies for children experiencing symptoms related to a psychiatric disorder. 

      How air pollution plays a role

      The researchers evaluated data from the psychiatry unit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to determine how air pollution played a role in children’s mental health. 

      Studying psychiatric emergency room data from 2011 through 2015, the researchers were able to track fine particulate matter (PM2.5), humidity, and temperature to understand how shifts in any of these variables affected the likelihood that children would seek treatment for mental health issues. 

      Overall, children were more likely to be in the psychiatric emergency department during periods of particularly high air pollution, whereas these instances weren’t as common when PM2.5 levels were lower. 

      The researchers also learned that children in lower-income areas were affected more than children from wealthier neighborhoods, emphasizing the need for proper care and treatment options for children -- particularly those who may not have the resources to seek out that kind of care. 

      “The fact that children living in high poverty neighborhoods experienced greater health effects of air pollution could mean that pollutant and neighborhood stressors can have synergistic effects on psychiatric symptoms and frequency,” Dr. Brokamp said. 

      The findings from this study are consistent with two other recent studies that were conducted by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, both of which found that traffic related air pollution (TRAP) was linked with higher incidences of anxiety and depression in children, further highlighting how pervasive this issue is. 

      “Collectively, these studies contribute to the growing body of evidence that exposure to air pollution during early life and childhood may contribute to depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems in adolescence,” said researcher Patrick Ryan, PhD. “More research is needed to replicate these findings and uncover underlying mechanisms for these associations.” 

      While it’s no secret that air pollution has an enormous effect on consumers’ physical health, a new study conducted by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s...
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      Home prices were 3 percent higher in July

      Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Charlotte saw the biggest price jumps

      After dipping earlier in the year, home prices are moving higher again -- and that may be prompting some potential buyers to get off the sidelines.

      The monthly S&P Dow Jones Indices for July show home prices rose 3.2 percent on a year-over-year basis. Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Charlotte showed the biggest gains in the 20-City Composite Index.

      In July, the median home in Phoenix increased in value by 5.8 percent year-over-year, followed by Las Vegas with a 4.7 percent increase. Charlotte was close behind with a 4.6 percent increase in the median home price.

      "Year-over-year home prices continued to gain, but at ever more modest rates," said Philip Murphy, managing director and global head of Index Governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Charlotte surpassed Tampa to join the top three cities, and Seattle may be turning around from its recent negative streak of YOY price changes, improving from -1.3 percent in June to -0.06 percent in July.

      Still affordable

      Despite the uptick in home values, affordability may be slightly improved because mortgage interest rates have trended lower recently. Mortgage News Daily reported this week that the most prevalent rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 3.75 percent.

      The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that applications for new home purchases surged 33 percent in August

      Rising prices and still-low mortgage rates may be sending more buyers into the market, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The group reports that more than half of the consumers it surveyed said now is a good time to buy a home.

      “Mortgage rates are at historically low levels, so I see no sign of the optimism about home buying fading,” said NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun. “However, the fact that slightly fewer are expressing strong intensity compared to recent prior quarters is implying some would-be buyers have concerns about the direction of the economy.”

      Broken down demographically older consumers -- those born between 1925 and 1945 -- were most likely to believe it’s a good time to buy. Boomers were almost as bullish on the housing market.

      Sales have slowed in recent months, and a major reason, housing economists say, is current homeowners have been reluctant to move and therefore have hesitated to put their homes on the market.

      After dipping earlier in the year, home prices are moving higher again -- and that may be prompting some potential buyers to get off the sidelines.The...
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      TDBBS recalls pig ear pet treats

      The products may be contaminated with Salmonella

      TDBBS is recalling two pig ear pet treat products that may be contaminated with Salmonella.

      No illnesses have been reported.

      The following products, sold through Amazon.com and shipped to customers between April 22, 2019, and August 13, 2019, are being recalled:  

      TDBBS, LLC USA Thick Pig Ear 8 PackTDBBS, LLC USA Thick Pig Ear 20 Pack
      UPC: X001768PNBUPC: X000RBC5VF
      Best By Date: 4/22/2021 Lot Code: 1129T1Best By Date: 4/22/2021 Lot Code: 1129T1
      Best By Date: 6/06/2021 Lot Code: 1549T1Best By Date: 5/13/2021 Lot Code: 1339T1
      Best By Date: 8/05/2021 Lot Code: 2179T1

      All UPCs, Best By Dates and Lot Codes are located on the package back.

      What to do

      Customers who purchased the recalled products should dispose of them.

      Consumers with questions may contact customer service at (877) 483-5853, Monday through Friday 9 – 5pm or by email at customerservice@tdbbsllc.com.

      TDBBS is recalling two pig ear pet treat products that may be contaminated with Salmonella.No illnesses have been reported.The following products,...
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      Chrysler recalls Mopar replacement passenger airbag modules

      The airbag modules may not perform as designed

      Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling 26 Mopar replacement passenger airbag modules, part number 68335088AA.

      The airbag modules did not complete developmental testing.

      A passenger airbag module that has not completed developmental testing may not perform as designed when deployed in a vehicle crash, increasing the risk of an injury.

      What to do

      Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the suspect passenger airbag modules with passenger airbag modules that have completed validation testing free of charge.

      The recall is expected to begin November 1, 2019.

      Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at (800) 853-1403.Chrysler's number for this recall is VA4.

      Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling 26 Mopar replacement passenger airbag modules, part number 68335088AA.The airbag modules did not complete developmen...
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      GM recalls model year 2015-2018 Chevrolet Trax vehicles

      The lower-control arm could separate from the vehicle, affecting steering

      General Motors is recalling 93,693 model year 2015-2018 Chevrolet Trax vehicles.

      A joint in one or both of the front lower-control arms may have been improperly welded, resulting in the partial separation of the lower-control arm from the vehicle.

      This could cause the attached front wheel to toe outward, affecting the vehicle's handling and steering and increasing the risk of crash.

      What to do

      GM will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the left and right front lower-control arms, replacing them as necessary free of charge.

      The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

      Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at (800) 222-1020. GM's number for this recall is A192261870.

      General Motors is recalling 93,693 model year 2015-2018 Chevrolet Trax vehicles.A joint in one or both of the front lower-control arms may have been im...
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      Over one million more workers now eligible for overtime pay

      The Labor Department finalized the pro-worker rule change on Tuesday

      On Tuesday, the Department of Labor finalized a rule that will make roughly 1.3 million more American workers eligible for overtime pay. 

      Starting January 1, the minimum salary threshold will be raised to $35,568 per year. Previously, only workers who earned less than $23,000 a year could receive overtime pay under federal law. 

      "This rule brings a commonsense approach that offers consistency and certainty for employers as well as clarity and prosperity for American workers,” acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella said in a statement

      However, an earlier rule proposed by the Obama administration would have made 2.8 million other workers eligible to receive overtime pay. 

      Critics say the rules don’t go far enough

      Critics of the Labor Department’s new rule take issue with the fact that fewer workers will be eligible for overtime than they would have under an Obama-era rule, which proposed raising the threshold to more than $47,000. 

      That rule would have made close to 3 million more workers eligible for either more pay or a shorter workweek, but it was challenged by states and business groups and ultimately never implemented 

      "It's a missed opportunity in the sense that millions more could have been helped," Heidi Shierholz, a former Labor Department chief economist under Obama, told NPR. 

      The Labor Department says the modified overtime rule will transfer about $400 million per year from U.S. employers to their workers over the next decade.

      "Today's rule is a thoughtful product informed by public comment, listening sessions, and long-standing calculations," the Labor Department's wage and hour division administrator Cheryl Stanton said in a statement.

      On Tuesday, the Department of Labor finalized a rule that will make roughly 1.3 million more American workers eligible for overtime pay. Starting Janua...
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      FTC struts its consumer-oriented focus in front of two Congressional subcommittees

      Data privacy, anti-competitive behavior, and other consumer interests highlighted the testimonies

      The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was in full force on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. 

      In one hearing, the Commission testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights about how U.S. antitrust laws apply to acquisitions of emerging competitors by digital platforms. 

      While that hearing was going on, the agency was also addressing its efforts to protect consumers and adapt to marketplace shifts before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.

      As its investigation into Big Tech continues to swirl, Congress seems to be picking up the pace of getting the answers it’s looking for. It was only a week ago that Congress decided to press Department of Justice and FTC officials about their handling of Big Tech, wanting those regulators to get to consumer protection issues earlier than it has in the past.

      Disruption from technology

      Appearing before the Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights subcommittee, the centerpiece of FTC Bureau of Competition Director Bruce Hoffman’s testimony was how many sectors of the economy have experienced significant turmoil as technology burrowed its way into various aspects of consumers’ lives.

      “Many sectors of the economy have experienced significant disruption -- disruption brought about by the widespread use of technology to support new and evolving business models,” Hoffman said.

      “Consumers have come to expect that ‘there’s an app for that,’ and many technology-enabled businesses, particularly digital platforms, have thrived in the new digital economy. Digital platforms have played a large role in this change,” the regulator continued. “But change of this magnitude makes it all the more critical for the Commission to pay close attention to this space and vigorously enforce the antitrust laws. Otherwise, our country will fail to reap the full panoply of benefits that could be made possible by digital platforms and other technological innovations.”

      But will the FTC put pro-consumer action where its mouth is? On the surface, it appears so. In his testimony, Hoffman did everything he could to champion the consumer’s cause.

      “As demonstrated by FTC actions in technology and other dynamic markets, current law provides the Commission with several potential avenues to counter anticompetitive conduct by large technology firms to thwart nascent and potential threats by acquisition or other means,” Hoffman said in his closing statement.

      “Given the importance of these markets to consumers and to the economy, the Commission is committed to vigorous enforcement of the antitrust laws to promote current and future competition in critical technology markets.”

      Protecting consumers through competition

      In separate testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, the FTC repledged its commitment to protecting consumer interests while promoting healthy competition through “vigorous” enforcement, education, and policy adjustments. 

      Speaking on behalf of the Commission were Chairman Joseph Simons and Commissioner Rohit Chopra. The pair flashed their pro-consumer badges at the get-go and didn’t let up -- referring to consumers 142 times.

      “The FTC is the only federal agency with a broad mission to both protect consumers and maintain competition in most sectors of the economy,” Simon said.

      “Its jurisdiction includes privacy and data security, consumer fraud, mergers and acquisitions, and anti-competitive tactics by pharmaceutical and other companies. We enforce the law across a range of sectors, including health care, high technology, and emerging industries. The FTC has a long history of bipartisanship and cooperation, and we work hard to maintain it.”

      What does “working hard to maintain it” mean? In Simon’s view, it looks like this:

      • Over $789 million returned to consumers through the third quarter of 2019.

      • More than $459 million in restitution distributed to consumers.

      • More than $317 million paid by FTC defendants through self-administered consumer refund programs.

      • The agency saving consumers an average of $38.90 for every $1 of resources devoted to its consumer protection program; $50.16 for every $1 of resources devoted to the merger enforcement program; and $40.12 for every $1 of resources devoted to the non-merger antitrust enforcement program.

      • A record-breaking $5 billion civil penalty against Facebook -- a judgment many thought let Facebook off too easily -- and a $170 million penalty against Google and YouTube over purported violations of children’s privacy law.

      • The FTC’s fight against robocalls that’s led to 147 enforcement actions against 490 corporations and 393 individuals to date.

      • Giving the agency’s IdentityTheft website a much needed update to “make sure consumers are aware of their new rights”.

      • A free credit monitoring given to active military.

      Simon did raise one important point of caution when it came to consumers. He noted that the U.S. SAFE WEB Act -- an act that allows the FTC to work with other countries on privacy and data security issues involving spam, spyware, misleading health and safety claims, privacy violations, data security breaches, and telemarketing fraud -- will “sunset” in 2020. Simon appealed to the subcommittee to reauthorize the commission’s authority and eliminate the sunset provision so that it can continue to protect consumers.

      The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was in full force on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. In one hearing, the Commission testified before the U.S. Senate Subcom...
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      FCC finds Sprint wrongly collected millions from 885,000 consumers

      The mistake could affect the FCC’s decision to support the carrier’s merger with T-Mobile

      The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Tuesday that it has opened an investigation into Sprint after finding that it improperly collected millions of dollars in federal subsidies. 

      The funds were taken in through the FCC’s Lifeline program, which helps low-income consumers with a $9.25 monthly subsidy on phone and broadband services. Sprint argues that the money in question was collected due to confusion about a rule change that occurred in 2016. 

      FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called it “outrageous” that the funds were taken from roughly 885,000 consumers who weren’t active subscribers of Sprint’s service. The FCC said Sprint disregarded its “non-usage rule,” which requires Lifeline providers to de-enroll subscribers who don’t use their phones. 

      “Lifeline is an important component of our efforts to bring digital opportunity to low-income Americans, and stopping waste, fraud, and abuse in the program has been a top priority of mine since I’ve been at the Commission,” Pai said in a statement

      “It’s outrageous that a company would claim millions of taxpayer dollars for doing nothing. This shows a careless disregard for program rules and American taxpayers,” he said. “I have asked our Enforcement Bureau to investigate this matter to determine the full extent of the problem and to propose an appropriate remedy.” 

      Collected in “error”

      In statements to the media, Sprint claimed the subsidy payments were collected in error after a rule change regarding how usage and eligibility for Lifeline subscribers must be calculated went into effect.

      “While immaterial to Sprint’s financial results, we are committed to reimbursing federal and state governments for any subsidy payments that were collected as a result of the error,” a company spokesperson said. 

      Sprint noted that it immediately reported the error to the FCC and state regulators. 

      “When the error was discovered, we immediately investigated and proactively raised this issue with the FCC and appropriate state regulators. We also engaged an independent third party to review the results of our review and the effectiveness of our operational changes,” the spokesperson added. 

      Possible impact on merger with T-Mobile

      The FCC had previously expressed its support of Sprint’s plan to merge with T-Mobile, but FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said Sprint’s mistake “directly impacts” the agency’s views on the matter. 

      In a statement, Starks said the alleged misconduct “amounts to corporate malfeasance” if found to be true. 

      “There is no credible way that the merger before us can proceed until this Lifeline investigation is resolved and responsible parties are held accountable,” he said. “Without the benefit of the findings of this investigation into what appears to be the worst case of Lifeline violations in FCC history, it is impossible for us to trust in the integrity and completeness of the record, evaluate the character and fitness of the applicants, and exercise our statutorily defined obligation to grant only license transfers that serve the public interest.” 

      The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Tuesday that it has opened an investigation into Sprint after finding that it improperly collected...
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      Social support could be the key to beating imposter syndrome

      Researchers suggest it’s common to experience feelings of self-doubt in many professional settings

      Feelings of doubt can creep up on consumers when they least expect it -- and they may not even know the name for what they’re feeling. 

      Despite being qualified for a job or university, employees and students can feel like they don’t really belong in their roles and that their acceptance was somehow an accident. This is imposter syndrome in a nutshell: feeling fraudulent, though success has been documented. 

      Because this feeling is so pervasive in many professional settings, researchers from Brigham Young University discovered a helpful way for consumers to cope with imposter syndrome. They say that cultivating a support group of people outside of the circle where one feels like an imposter could be helpful.

      “Those outside the social group seem to be able to help students see the big picture and recalibrate their reference groups,” said researcher Jeff Bednar. “After reaching outside their social group for support, students are able to understand themselves more holistically rather than being so focused on what they felt lacked in just one area.” 

      Building encouraging support groups

      The researchers conducted a two-part study to better understand imposter syndrome and what tactics were helpful -- and unhelpful -- in trying to overcome those fraudulent feelings. 

      College students in a rigorous academic environment were interviewed for the first part of the study. Researchers gauged the prevalence of imposter syndrome to see if participants identified with these feelings. They then asked those who had those feelings about how they coped on a day-to-day basis.

      One of the biggest takeaways from this portion of the study was that the majority of the students who reported feeling like an imposter academically all shared a common coping mechanism: finding friends outside of their program.  

      In the latter portion of the study, the opposite also revealed itself to be true. Following the interviews, the researchers surveyed over 200 college students to see if a pattern would emerge that was similar to the results from the first part of the study. 

      Ultimately, students who sought out friends outside of their major were able to reduce how fraudulent they felt in school, whereas having friends in the same area of study was found to exacerbate the feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. 

      The researchers were pleased with these findings, as they certainly speak to the professional environment more generally and can be beneficial for consumers struggling with feelings of imposter syndrome in the workplace. 

      “It’s important to create cultures where people talk about failure and mistakes,” said Bednar. “When we create those cultures, someone who is feeling strong feelings of imposterism will be more likely to get the help they need within the organization.” 

      Feelings of doubt can creep up on consumers when they least expect it -- and they may not even know the name for what they’re feeling. Despite being qu...
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