Insurance industry gears up for claims from Cyclone Maria
The insurance industry in Australia is once again preparing to settle thousands of claims from households and businesses that have been hit by extreme weather conditions. The Queensland state has been hit by Cyclone Maria, which was downgraded from a category five storm when it met land on Friday to a tropical low however it has caused much damage already and the risk of flooding is the main concern currently. The Insurance Council of Australia has been quick to reassure people that they are ready to deal with claims and will prioritise those losses that have resulted from the cyclone. The insurance body’s CEO Rob Whelan commented: “The impact of Tropical Cyclone Marcia is likely to be felt for many days, and it is much too early to estimate insurance losses or provide claims numbers.”
6.2-magnitude earthquake shakes Mexico’s Pacific coast
An earthquake has shaken the Pacific coast of Mexico but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries according to the US Geological Survey.. The 6.2-magnitude quake struck the southwest of the state of Jalisco on Sunday morning and emergency teams were sent to monitor the situation.
When is the right time to make a cyber breach public?
Last summer a cyber attack targeted Canada’s National Research Council but it has emerged that it was three weeks before stakeholders, staff and the public were informed. A report by CBC News based on official papers obtained under information freedom laws says that federal officials spent much of those three weeks discussing how to deal with the attack but it is not clear what steps were taken, if any, to prevent further information being stolen. There is a debate underway as to the right time to make such attacks public. While it is easy to say that those who may be affected should be informed immediately some experts in cyber security say that could make the situation worse. Cherie McGuire, VP of cyber security for the Symantec Corporation and a former employee of the US Department of Homeland Security told CBC: “If you haven't had time to patch the hole, you might actually open up your networks and your customers, and your partners, to more vulnerability.”
Climate change skeptic paid by fossil fuel firms
A leading scientist who has often been cited by those with doubts over tougher climate change legislation has been accused of accepting payments from the fossil fuel industry without disclosing them. The Seattle Times
reports that Wei-Hock Soon of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who says that variations in the sun’s energy could be responsible for global warming, has published at least 11 papers on the subject since 2008 that do not disclose payments from the fossil fuel industry. The payments are thought to be more than $1.2 million over a decade. Soon has always denied that his funding influences his scientific findings. Read the full story.