National / International News
The Oklahoma Supreme Court will soon rule on a case that could hold oil and gas companies liable for earthquake-related damage.
Since 2009, Oklahoma has experienced earthquakes at a rate nearly 300 times higher than previous decades. Several peer-reviewed studies link seismic activity with oil and gas development — in Oklahoma's case, that's fracking.
The high court case is a personal-injury dispute. Four years ago in Prague, Oklahoma, a 5.7 earthquake struck and pieces of homeowner Sandra Ladra’s chimney fell on her leg. Ladra may need a knee replacement, and sued two companies in the fracking wastewater business, arguing they caused the quake.
West Virginia law professor Josh Fershee says science links injection wells with earthquakes, but says Ladra’s challenge is to prove wastewater disposal caused the 2011 tremor. If the companies lose, he expects industry to support new rules stipulating what the energy industry can do to avoid or limit quake liability.
Such changes cost money, as do new efforts to take fracking wastewater and recycle it. Still, if more lawsuits come, or more large quakes, the price of safety could be worth it to industry.
On Business Insider, we found a piece pegged to a pledge by Russian President Vladimir Putin to reduce his salary by 10 percent because of economic sanctions that have been imposed on the country.
Putin's official salary, by the way, is $136,000.
Business Insider compiled what other world leaders make, and Barack Obama is right up there at $400,000 — just above Canada's Prime Minister Steven Harper, and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Narendra Modi of India earns about $30,000 a year — the lowest on the list. The highest? Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at $1.7 million.
Target will establish a $10 million fund for reimbursement of data breach victims up to $10,000.
The breach, in which customer data was stolen by hackers, affected some 40 million shoppers in 2013 and has already cost Target upward of $100 million in security upgrades and legal fees.
The settlement is noteworthy for the fact that Target is admitting fault.
"Target is admitting that data breaches cause real consumer harms," says Ed Mierzwinski with U.S. Public Interest Research Group in Washington D.C
The case could also set a precedent for future data security cases.
"Settlements are negotiations and any time another settlement happens it helps set what is the going price," says Bill McGeveran of the University of Minnesota School of Law.
A class-action suit is currently underway in Atlanta against Home Depot for its 2014 data breach.
The case created an uproar after photos emerged showing a member of UVA's Honor Committee bleeding as he lay on the sidewalk with a uniformed ABC agent crouching over him.
Hospitals are notoriously difficult places to sleep, despite efforts to make them less noisy. Cheap, simple workarounds can help, a study says. Taking the sleep hormone melatonin helped the most.
The recipient is a 21-year-old from a tribe in South Africa, whose organ was amputated due to complications from the circumcision. The hope is that transplants could be one way to aid other victims.
The results are in from a long-running study of three different ways to house egg-laying chickens. It found that more hens survive in cages, and cages are cheaper. But consumers prefer cage-free eggs.