April 8, 2021

Day: April 8, 2021

Pressure Builds on Congress to Help People Afford Pricey Flood Insurance

Congress is under pressure to subsidize flood insurance costs for low-income households after the federal government announced last week that it would increase flood insurance premiums for millions of homeowners.

Of the 5 million properties insured by the National Flood Insurance Program, about 3.9 million soon will see a hike in premiums—and 200,000 substantially so. The new rates will go into effect in October for new policyholders and April 2022 for homeowners renewing policies (Climatewire, April 2).

“An affordability plan is still needed,” said David Maurstad, the Federal Emergency Management Agency official in charge of the program. FEMA

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Google will stop using Oracle finance software, switch to SAP

Google parent Alphabet plans in the coming weeks to stop using Oracle financial software and instead start using software from SAP, CNBC has learned.

Alphabet and Google core financial systems will move to SAP in May, Google told employees in an email that CNBC viewed. The move relates only to the software Google uses to track finances, and there’s no indication that the company is moving other systems off Oracle.

The change comes as Google and Oracle increasingly compete in the cloud computing market, and follows a similar move from cloud leader Amazon, which over the course of several years

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Stimulus payments: More money is on the way for people who lost their jobs last year

The original payments were based on 2018 or 2019 tax returns. That means people who earned less in 2020 could be owed more money. Once they file their 2020 tax return that shows a lower income amount, the IRS will automatically send them an additional payment.

Separately, families that welcomed new children in 2020 could also be eligible for additional dependent payments.

As of last week, the government had sent out 130 million stimulus payments to those who qualify for the third round of checks approved by Congress in March.

The new payments are worth up to $1,400 per person

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533 million Facebook users’ phone numbers and personal data reported leaked online

A user in a hacking forum has published the phone numbers and personal data of hundreds of millions of Facebook users for free online, Business Insider reported Saturday.

The exposed data includes personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and in some cases email addresses.

Insider reviewed a sample of the leaked data and verified several records by matching known

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California Aims to Fully Reopen for ‘Business as Usual’ by June 15

Tuesday’s announcement signals a potential end date to more than a year of isolation. While many other states have pushed ahead, California has generally resisted reopening too quickly and, in several instances, has moved to reinstate restrictions to stem rising new cases and hospitalizations.

But the pandemic has taken its toll, killing more than 58,000 Californians, while shuttering scores of businesses and forcing millions of students to attend school remotely for much of the year.

In the short term, California’s vaccination progress means that counties can more easily shift to less-restrictive tiers, allowing them to increase capacity limits for various

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American Rescue Plan cuts health insurance costs for thousands of Vermonters

A hospital bill from the University of Vermont Medical Center. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger

The American Rescue Plan will save millions of dollars for Vermonters who buy health insurance on the state exchange, according to officials. 

The newly enacted federal stimulus package dramatically expands access to tax credits that subsidize health insurance, effectively cutting the cost of health care for thousands of Vermont residents across nearly every income level.

“The big message I think for Vermonters is that this is a really good thing,” said Addie Strumolo, deputy commissioner for the Department of Vermont Health Access.

The law caps the

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