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Debbie Maples named Vice President Global Security Intelligence &
Investigations for Salesforce

Before being named VP Global Security Intelligence & Investigations for Salesforce, Debbie spent 15 months at Williams-Sonoma as VP Global LP, Corporate Security & Facilities and VP Global LP & Corporate Security. Prior to that, she spent more than two decades with Gap Inc, starting there as Director of LP for Banana Republic for more than two years, then serving as Sr. Director - LP Investigations & Training for over a year, and 18 years as VP Global LP & Corporate Security. Before Gap, she was with Macy's West for over four years as Director of Security Operations and other retail/LP roles. She will join industry veteran Keith White at Salesforce. Congratulations, Debbie!

Amanda Bowen, CFE, LPC promoted to Manager, Global Revenue Assurance for Coinstar

Amanda has served Coinstar for 8 years and held Analyst and Investigator roles prior to her recent promotion. Amanda has been in the Loss Prevention industry for over 17 years, working for Fred Meyer earlier in her career. In her new position, Amanda will hold a key leadership role on the Asset Protection/Business Enablement team and lead all internal investigations, claim management, and cash/coin revenue assurance in 9 countries across North America and Europe. Amanda recently earned her CFE and is a Certified Mixxedfit Instructor. Congratulations, Amanda!

Cliff Bennett, CFI named Manager, Global Asset Protection for Coinstar

Before joining Coinstar, Cliff served the jewelry industry for the past 20 years as the Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Signet/Zales. In his new position at Coinstar, Cliff will hold a key leadership role on the Asset Protection/Business Enablement team and lead all external investigations, Safety, Business Continuity, and Fleet across 9 countries. Cliff has a Master's Degree in Business & Organizational Security and competes in ironman races. Congratulations Cliff!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   |   Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position







'Million Militia March' on All State Capitals Being Planned
Far Right Group Plans DC Rally 1/20 & in Other Cities on 1/17
Police Reassess Security for Inauguration & Demonstrations After Capitol Attack
In the wake of last week's assault on the Capitol, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser of Washington called for officials to expedite security preparations for the inauguration.

Federal and local authorities across the country pressed their hunt this weekend for the members of the angry mob that stormed the Capitol building last Wednesday, as Washington's mayor issued an urgent appeal to start preparing immediately for more potential violence before, during and after the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Security experts warned this weekend that some far-right extremist groups have now started to focus attention on Inauguration Day and are already discussing an assault similar to the one on the Capitol.

As of Sunday, nearly 400 people had joined a private group online dedicated to what is being billed as the "Million Militia March," an event scheduled to take place in Washington on Jan. 20.

On Parler, a social media site popular on the far right that is in danger of being taken offline because of rampant talk of violence, commenters were debating what tools they should bring to the march, mentioning everything from baseball bats to body armor to assault rifles.

"We took the building once," one person posted. "We can take it again."

'Armed March on all state capitals.'

While most of the chatter online appears to be directed toward Inauguration Day, some on the right have argued that pro-Trump activists should instead gather once again on Capitol Hill and hold other rallies in cities outside Washington on Jan. 17. Over the weekend, fliers began to circulate on Parler and in private groups on the chatting services WhatsApp and Signal, calling for an "Armed march on Capitol Hill and all state capitols" at noon that day.

The F.B.I. has said that it has received more than 40,000 tips online about the Capitol mob, including photographs and video clips and are continuing to make arrests around the country. nytimes.com

DC PD Looking for 3,000 Officers From Around U.S.
NYPD Sending 200 Members to DC to Help Police on Inauguration Day
The district is seeking the assistance of 3,000 officers from departments across the country for the swearing-in ceremony, law enforcement sources said.

The inaugural festivities will be much smaller than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden urged his supporters not to travel to DC and the traditional parade on Pennsylvania Avenue was scrapped in favor of a "virtual" parade.

But after last week's deadly Capitol Hill mayhem at the hands of a pro-Trump mob, Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has asked federal officials to execute several safety measures ahead of this year's inauguration.

Bowser, in a Saturday letter to the Department of Homeland Security, asked officials to cancel permit gatherings from Jan. 11 to Jan. 24.

The mayor is also seeking an extension of "national security event period," allowing for more inaugural preparation time "given the new threats from insurgent acts of domestic terrorists." nypost.com

DC Rioters Getting Fired - Gotta Love All the Cameras in DC
Here are the rights employers have to fire workers identified as Capitol Hill rioters
Reuters reported Thursday that "internet detectives" identified some participants who were later fired by their employers. Even for those fired Trump supporters who did nothing illegal, it may still be perfectly legal for their employees to fire them - at least under federal law.

Under federal law, aside from workplace complaints, there are few limits on a private employer's right to terminate a worker over forms of speech, such as participating in a protest. However, some states and local jurisdictions do offer employees protection from being fired over their lawful, off-duty activities, including political activities.

"Most famously, California has an expressed protection of employees' right to speak on political issues, and limitations on an employer's ability to take action for employees' off-duty conduct or off-duty political speech." Cities including New York, San Francisco, and Chicago have adopted their own laws against firing workers over political activities.

You can always be fired for engaging in criminal activity'

Continue Reading - Illegally Trespass - At-Will-Employment & Exceptions

What Went Wrong in DC
Sounds like they had no plan

In Capitol Riot, Communications Between Agencies Hampered Forceful Response

Calls for some reinforcements took hours to approve as police and federal agents tried to squelch uprising

Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy got the first of several calls from Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Pentagon officials asked for clarification, saying they needed a request based on capabilities rather than number of forces, defense officials said.

About 90 minutes passed sorting out those needs, with Mr. McCarthy approving the redeployment of 200 troops already at traffic checkpoints and subway stations in the city. More time went by before the soldiers retrieved protective gear and arrived at the Capitol.

In those hours, the mob rioted through the halls and offices of Congress, in the first siege of the building by American citizens. Five people died, including a woman shot by police as she climbed through a smashed door pane outside the House chamber and a police officer fatally injured after being struck in the head with a fire extinguisher. wsj.com 

Veteran Capitol cop reportedly commits suicide days after DC riot
The department itself is under intense scrutiny for the ease with which the mob overwhelmed Capitol Police and forced their way into the seat of American democracy.

Liebengood's death came as the department was still mourning Officer Brian Sicknick, who was pepper-sprayed and fatally bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher when supporters of President Trump stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear if Liebengood, like Sicknick, was on-duty at the time of the deadly riot. Chief Steven Sund has announced his resignation from the force, effective Jan. 16. nypost.com

May Be the Deadliest Year for Law Enforcement in History
Law Enforcement Line of Duty Deaths Up 105% in Dec. 2020 over Dec. 2019
YTD - Gun - 50 / Auto - 47 / Heart - 6 / Other - 206

In the final month of 2020, a total of 26 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty. Of those line of duty deaths, 19 were the result of COVID, 4 were the result of gunfire (3 felonious, 1 inadvertent), 2 were auto-related (1 motorcycle crash, 1 struck by vehicle), and 1 was the result of 9/11-related cancer.

The final number of line of duty deaths in 2020 currently stands at 304, which is more than double the 2019 total. Without doubt, 2020 was the deadliest year for law enforcement in almost a century. The last time annual line of duty deaths topped 300 was in 1932.

In addition, a further 200+ potential line of duty COVID deaths are still pending verification, which means that 2020 may end up being the deadliest year for law enforcement in all of U.S. history.

304 + 200 = 504 & pending.

Tech giants crack down on Parler app, citing further threats of violence
Tech giants Apple, Google and Amazon are cutting off the social media app Parler, citing concerns over threats of violence and a lack of content moderation. Apple and Google suspended it from their respective app stores; Amazon said it would remove Parler from its web hosting service.

Twitter permanently blocked President Trump late last week following the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol building, citing the "risk of further incitement of violence."

Trump has also been banned from posting on Facebook and Instagram "for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete." linkedin.com

19 DC Rioters Charged So Far

A day before Capitol attack, pro-Trump crowd (dozens) stormed meeting, threatened officials in rural California

Notable Arrests After the Riot at the Capitol

Heroic Capitol cop led DC rioters from open Senate chamber door before it was locked


COVID Update

US: Over 22.9M Cases - 383K Dead - 13.4M Recovered
Worldwide: Over 90M Cases - 1.9M Dead - 64M Recovered

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 260   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 189
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Infections - Hospitalizations - Deaths Still Climbing

The Vaccine Rollout - A Nation Struggles
Christmas Surge Hits This Week
Increased Threats & Extended 'Duty of Care'
Security's Vaccine Role

U.S. Hospitalizations and Reported New Cases, Deaths Edge Down
Newly reported Covid-19 cases, as well as deaths and hospitalizations related to the disease, were down from recent highs, but that doesn't necessarily indicate a downward trend.
Newly reported cases and deaths each day tend to be lower at the beginning of the week and higher toward the end, as fewer people are tested on weekends.

The nation reported more th
an 213,000 new cases for Sunday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, down from 264,830 reported for Saturday and 292,521 for Friday. Sunday's case number is higher than the 209,895 reported a week earlier, according to Johns Hopkins data.

were 1,814 deaths reported Sunday in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins data. That was down from 3,253 reported Saturday and a high of 4,194 reported Thursday. Sunday's figure was higher than the 1,358 deaths reported a week earlier.

There w
ere 129,229 hospitalizations on Sunday, according to the Covid Tracking Project, the first time since Jan. 4 that the number has been below 130,000. There were 23,625 people in intensive-care units, the lowest number since Jan. 5. wsj.com

Experts Say Worst May Still Be Ahead With Expected Holiday Covid-19 Surge
Health experts say that even with an expected acceleration of vaccinations in coming weeks, January is likely to be a difficult month for Americans, with expected surges in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths after December's holiday gatherings and travel.

Still, newly reported cases, deaths and hospitalizations have been broadly increasing in large swaths of the U.S. for several months, and by nearly every measure, December was the worst month of the pandemic. wsj.com

Pressure Grows for States to Open Vaccines to More Groups of People
Some states are already expanding eligibility to people 65 and over, even though millions of people the C.D.C. recommends go first - health care workers and nursing home residents - have yet to get shots.

Just weeks into the country's coronavirus vaccination effort, states have begun broadening access to the shots faster than planned, amid tremendous public demand and intense criticism about the pace of the rollout. nytimes.com

Where's the Vaccines? Retailers Are Waiting
Retailers Hitting Bureaucratic Obstacles in Vaccine Distribution
Kroger and other grocers want to accelerate their COVID-19 vaccination efforts, but they say they are hitting bureaucratic obstacles.

Kroger Health president Colleen Lindholz told The Wall Street Journal that the grocer is getting only a small number of doses, a fraction of what it has the ability to handle. The company told the Journal it has given about 4,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations. On average, Kroger provides roughly 200,000 doses of the flu vaccine each week during flu season.

Inconsistency among state guidelines is causing a slowdown, Lindholz said, adding that she hopes the federal and state governments can come together to create a more uniform plan.

Kroger also told the Journal it is exploring ways to hold large events in community centers and stadiums that would allow it to vaccinate 600 to 800 people at a time. Lindholz added that the grocer could immunize a tremendous number of people if it had more access to inoculations.

Stop & Shop told the Journal it is communicating with Massachusetts and other states to learn how its pharmacies can help sooner.

Rite Aid, the third-largest U.S. pharmacy chain, told the Journal that a mounting number of states and other jurisdictions are reaching out to ask for help with administration.

Giant Eagle Inc., said the retailer is discussing with various states how to repurpose underused spaces such as county fairgrounds and courthouses to set up clinics.

The vaccine will roll out to the all 77 Ralphs Pharmacies (Kroger banner) throughout Southern California and the Central Coast as soon it becomes available through local health departments. drugstorenews.com

A Time for Leadership From the Retail Leaders
Let Mikey Do It - The 'Last Mile' Experts

U.S. Covid-19 Vaccination Plan Limits Speed of Rollout, Supply-Chain Experts Say
The decentralized effort focuses on supply with less attention to the last mile, or getting the 'vaccine from storage into people's arms'

A sluggish rollout of Covid-19 vaccines across the U.S. highlights the challenges of a decentralized distribution plan that relies on states and localities to handle the complicated last-mile logistics of getting shots into people's arms, supply-chain experts say.

Supply-chain experts attribute the delays in part to the burdens faced by often underfunded state and local health agencies already stretched to their limits by the coronavirus pandemic, along with communication problems including confusion over how many doses states were set to receive.

But experts also point to guidance from a federal vaccine advisory panel on who should be inoculated first, which recommended that the limited initial supply of doses be administered to health-care workers and residents of long-term-care facilities. wsj.com

Editor's Note: The NRF, RILA, FMI, and all of the retail pharmacy CEO's involved should be lobbying the outgoing and the incoming new administration about the logistics and distribution. It's retails time to shine. Wasn't there a business leaders group formed last year? Comprised of a number of retail CEO's. Where are they now? Hey just a thought - and who am I to even make such a statement given the chaos in DC.

'It Became Sort of Lawless': Florida Vaccine Rollout Turns Into a Free-for-All
Florida decided people 65 and older should get the coronavirus vaccine first. But demand has overwhelmed supply, and people are frustrated.

Florida is in an alarming new upward spiral, with nearly 20,000 cases of the virus reported on Friday and more than 15,000 on Saturday. But the state's well-intended effort to throw open the doors of the vaccine program to everyone 65 and older has led to long lines, confusion and disappointment.

States across the country, even as they race to finish vaccinating health care employees, nursing home residents and emergency workers, are under pressure from residents to reach a broader section of the public. Florida, which has already prioritized a large swath of its population to receive the vaccine, illustrates the challenges of expanding a vaccination program being developed at record speed and with limited federal assistance.

Some states, including Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska, decided to vaccinate people 65 and older, even before most essential workers, and other states are following suit.

But with states and counties left to largely sort out logistics by themselves, the rollout has gone anything but smoothly.

Florida has used only about 30 percent of the vaccine doses it has received, behind 29 other states. nytimes.com

The Christmas Infection Surge Starts This Week
You can extrapolate this nationwide - How Did You Manage Christmas Gatherings?

How much worse will coronavirus crisis get in L.A. County?
Here is what next few weeks could look like

The number of COVID-19 deaths in California and Los Angeles County - an epicenter of the pandemic - is setting records or near-records almost daily. There is clear evidence that the post-Christmas holiday surge in cases is worsening, as the numbers continue to spike, particularly in L.A. County.

For as dire as the crisis has become, most hospitals have yet to enter a sustained, widespread period of rationed care. But that would probably come if the Christmas surge is dramatically worse.

But the effect of holiday gatherings over Christmas will soon begin to show up in hospitals. Soon, a certain percentage of people who got infected over Christmas and have tested positive will begin getting so sick they'll need hospital care. If the number of new daily hospital admissions for COVID-19 patients worsens, that's a big sign of trouble.

"The fear, or the intuition, of most of the people doing predictive modeling is that it is going to get worse. The uncertainty is in how much worse. And in order to quantify how much worse, that requires the data that will only be available to us next week," Lewis said. latimes.com

Increased Threats & Disgruntled Employees - With Extended 'Duty of Care'
Surge in Physical Threats During Pandemic Complicates Employee Security Efforts

Security consultants say companies are looking for ways to manage increased threats targeting a workforce that is less secure and more spread out.

High-profile executives and rank-and-file staff have faced increased physical threats this year from inside and outside their companies, leading corporate security teams to search for ways to better protect employees-particularly those working from home, security executives say.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a raft of layoffs, spurring an increase in disgruntled former employees, they say. And corporations that have taken stances on social issues have increasingly become targets of threatening language on social media. The same goes for some companies that haven't taken a stance.

Dramatic Increase in Threats - Extended Duty of Care - Biggest Concerns - Continue Reading

Private Security's Role in the COVID-19 Vaccines
Safe Guarding - Protecting - Identifying Suspicious Activity

Pharmaceutical Companies Strengthen Security At Manufacturing Facilities
Both Pfizer and Moderna already had security staff on duty at their manufacturing facilities as well as at their offices but upon receiving the green light to develop the vaccines, additional security was brought in to ensure and enforce stricter security protocols at their labs and manufacturing plants.
Pfizer would not release the exact security protocols that were put in place but stated that besides their electronic security methods, physical security was also stepped up to prevent intrusion or any attempts of burglary of thefts.

Security officers were also used to guard the finished product and in the transportation of some of the shipments of the vaccines.

The vaccine supply chain is a complex, interconnected web of manufacturing, shipping, and precise preparation. The process begins at pharmaceutical plants around the country and ends with a needle in the arms of the patient.

In between, there are medical-grade refrigerators, ultra-cold freezers, advanced tracking software and security guards.

Security protocols are so sensitive, in fact, that no one would discuss them.

Security officers are also used to protect the shipments once received at hospitals and medical facilities throughout the country as well as during the distribution of the vaccine shots.

At a Wisconsin health care center, a security officer found a pharmacy employee acting suspiciously around a supply of the vaccines and called supervisors to investigate.

They found that 57 vials of Moderna coronavirus vaccine - enough for more than 500 doses -- were ruined and had to be discarded after the hospital employee intentionally removed the vials from a refrigerator, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Police said that the employee, a pharmacist, has been arrested. privateofficernews.org

Fed OSHA Never Developed a COVID-19 Strategy
Biden pledged COVID-19 workplace standards & more inspectors

U.S. regulators ignored workers' COVID safety complaints amid deadly outbreaks
A COVID-19 outbreak infected more than 40 Tucson UPS workers - including a manager who eventually died - and caused delivery delays throughout southern Arizona, according to interviews with six Tucson UPS workers and local union officials of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The UPS outbreak is among dozens of cases identified by Reuters where OSHA largely disregarded workers who reported lax pandemic safety practices, according to agency records.

Reuters identified 106 U.S. workplaces where employees complained of slipshod pandemic safety practices around the time of outbreaks - and regulators either never inspected the facilities or, in some cases, waited months to do so, according to the OSHA records. The agency never inspected 70 of those workplaces, where at least 4,500 workers were infected by the coronavirus and 26 died after contracting COVID-19, according to the Reuters analysis.

Continue Reading

Minnesota reports first cases of coronavirus variant

As COVID-19 rages, an L.A. hospital, Olympia Medical Center, plans to close its doors

NYC Opens Two Massive COVID-19 Vaccine Hubs

UK shopper numbers plummet 27.1% last week as lockdowns impact


2020 Vital Victory for Progressive Prosecutors
But Claims of "Disastrous Consequences for Crime Rates"

New 'Progressive DA Takes Office in New Orleans for Orleans Parish
Jason Williams on Monday takes over the top prosecutor role in Orleans Parish after becoming the latest in a long line of progressives across the U.S. to win a district attorney election by vowing to combat mass incarceration and curtail overly punitive policies.

Williams, who served as a City Council member since 2014, campaigned on reforming the mission of the prosecutor's office and decriminalizing certain crimes stemming from nonviolent offenses and poverty. He's pledged to curtail the cash bail system, end prosecutions of people for marijuana possession and to never transfer minors from juvenile court to be prosecuted as adults.

Part of the Progressive Wave

2020 marked a vital victory for the progressive movement, however, with reform-minded candidates winning elections in regions including Chicago, Texas, Michigan, Arizona and Los Angeles, the largest prosecutor's office in the country.

Some Prosecutors Say Progressives Present a Threat to Public Safety.

Read What The Other Side is Saying

The Consumer Electronics Show - Biggest Show in U.S.
CES Last Year: 170,000 Attendees & 4,500 Exhibitors
Going Virtual Hybrid This Week - What Happens If It Doesn't Work?

CES 2021: The World's Largest Tech Show Trades Las Vegas for Cyberspace

Here's the one show that may show everybody how to do a hybrid virtual show.

For CES 2021, which starts today, its organizers had to pivot hard into digital space that, perhaps ironically, is unfamiliar-and a bit of a gamble.

The Consumers Electronics Show main attraction will be the exhibitors' "digital activations." These are interactive portals for presenting content, networking with attendees and conducting meetings. Companies with bigger budgets have developed highly visual, interactive experiences for people to try. Some exhibitors are adding live components.

There will also be live anchors hosting the show itself-something that wouldn't make sense at a massive convention center-but it will also feature a wide variety of keynotes and roundtable talks, a mainstay of CES. After 2020, we all know how video chats can go awry-but it will certainly be more convenient, avoiding the long lines to hear remarks in overcrowded Vegas theaters.

Gary Shapiro, chief executive of the Consumer Technology Association, which hosts CES, says it's actually easier to book marquee speakers, since people don't have to travel. Keynotes this year will feature General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon; Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish will also make appearances.

What does worry him: "What do we do if it doesn't work?" Here's the Cost - Continue Reading

Enterprise Risk - Crisis Mgt. - Business Continuity
Same Pattern Coming Next Few Weeks - as Frigid 2014 Winter & -16+

As Polar Vortex Stirs, Deep Freeze Threatens U.S. and Europe
High in the atmosphere above the North Pole, a spike in temperatures may soon send bone-rattling chills spilling down through the Northern Hemisphere.

The icy blasts threatening to sweep across North America, Europe and Asia starting in late January are from the same weather pattern that triggered the 2014 cold snap known as the polar vortex, which plunged temperatures in Chicago to minus 16 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 27 Celsius). "Things are really setting up for an exciting period for cold and snow," said Todd Crawford, lead meteorologist with the Weather Co., an IBM business.

The vortex of seven years ago kept shoppers indoors, grounded flights and made it harder for shippers to fill product orders. This year, the pandemic has already hobbled travel and in-store shopping. Snowstorms, however, could be a nightmare for delivery services.

A wave of deep cold could give the Great Lakes and East Coast their first real blast of frigid winter weather, along with a storm pattern that delivers snow storms as well. It will be a big shift for the U.S., where winter has been a bit lackluster so far. bloomberg.com

Walmart - Amazon - Target - Say Hey Just "Keep It"
Amazon, Walmart Tell Consumers to Skip Returns of Unwanted Items

Cheaper for the retailers to refund the purchase price & let customers 'Keep It'

Amazon, Walmart and other companies are using artificial intelligence to decide whether it makes economic sense to process a return. For inexpensive items or large ones that would incur hefty shipping fees, it is often cheaper to refund the purchase price and let customers keep the products.

The relatively new approach, popularized by Amazon and a few other chains, is being adopted more broadly during the Covid-19 pandemic, as a surge in online shopping forces companies to rethink how they handle returns. "We are getting so many inquiries about this that you will see it take off in coming months," said Amit Sharma, chief executive of Narvar Inc., which processes returns for retailers.

A Target spokeswoman said the retailer gives customers refunds and encourages them to donate or keep the item in a small number of cases in which the company deems that option is easier than returning the purchase.

A Walmart spokeswoman said the "keep it" option is designed for merchandise it doesn't plan to resell and is determined by customers' purchase history, the value of the products and the cost of processing the returns.

Cybercriminals are getting wise to these new return techniques. Continue Reading

184,886 - 2020 Retail Job Cuts Up 139% over 2019 - 3rd Overall in Cuts
More than 2.3 million job cuts in 2020 - here's how retail fared
The retail industry has led all industries in job cut announcements in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Retail also had the highest number of announced hires this year with 1.183 million of the record 3.191 million hiring announcements tracked this year. (The majority of these hires occurred at grocers in March and April.)

Talk About Blood in the Water - Entertainment & Transportation Got Stripped

Not surprisingly, the entertainment/leisure sector, which has been devastated by the pandemic and includes hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, and movie theaters, announced the highest number of cuts in 2020 with 866,046, an astounding 5,688% higher than the 14,963 announced in all of 2019. Transportation, which includes airlines, announced the second-highest number of cuts this year with 199,599.

"The pandemic dramatically accelerated the consumer behavior shifts online, with big winners being the retailers with existing online ordering and delivery infrastructure." chainstoreage.com

Pandemic Sparks 1,000 Workplace Lawsuits
Layoffs Drive Uptick In Virus-Related Lawsuits, Seyfarth Says
The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a swell of lawsuits from workers challenging layoffs in 2020, while the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission launched fewer enforcement actions and the plaintiffs bar continued to notch wins in the wage and hour arena, according to a report released Tuesday by Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

In the latest edition of the management-side employment firm's annual Workplace Class Action Litigation Report, Seyfarth found that the health crisis sparked more than 1,000 workplace lawsuits, and employee claims over firings landed front and center in nearly three-quarters of the disputes.

Workers' concerns about on-the-job safety accounted for the next most common complaints in these cases, trailed by grievances over family leave, disability discrimination, and wage and hour issues, according to the report. law360.com

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Click here to download your free e-book.

Retail Rents Plunge 25% in NYC With More Vacancies Coming

Chipotle To Fill 15,000 Jobs Via National Career Day

Staples plans $2.1B takeover of Office Depot

Ahold Delhaize USA Pilots UV Disinfection Robot in Workplace

Last week's #1 article --

Ashli Babbitt, protester killed at Capitol, was Air Force vet from California

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The unprecedented challenges retail and restaurants are facing require a serious relook at IT networking and security infrastructure. Join us for a webinar to understand how retailers and restaurants can tackle these challenges while dealing with the constraints imposed by legacy infrastructure and budget cuts.

Listen to our experts, Steve Womer, VP Customer & Solutions Engineering, Interface Security Systems, and Courtney Radke, Retail CISO, Fortinet, share their practical insights.

Here is what you will learn from this webinar on January 20, 2021 at 1 pm CT:

• What are the key drivers of change that retail and restaurant chains should watch for

• How to design and deploy secure networks that optimize BOPUS, contactless stores and fulfillment centers

• How to protect against advanced cyber threats at the branch, the data center, and in the cloud

• How to scale your network infrastructure to support video analytics/business intelligence

• How to plan for new technologies like SASE and 5G








SolarWinds Hires Top Talent in Wake of Massive Breach
SolarWinds hires Chris Krebs and Alex Stamos as part of security review
Former CISA chief Chris Krebs has been brought in alongside ex-Facebook CSO Alex Stamos to help improve security after Russian hackers compromised the company's software as a stepping stone to further cyberattacks.

The software company targeted by Russian hackers as part of one of the most wide-ranging cyber-espionage campaigns in recent years has the hired former US government cybersecurity chief Chris Krebs to help recover and learn lessons from the incident.

Hackers breached the network of SolarWinds before planting Sunburst malware into its Orion software update packages. As a result of this supply-chain attack, hackers had access to the networks of around 18,000 SolarWinds customers around the world, including the US government. zdnet.com

CISA: SolarWinds hackers also used password guessing to breach targets
The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said today that the threat actor behind the SolarWinds hack also used password guessing and password spraying attacks to breach targets as part of its recent hacking campaign and didn't always rely on trojanized updates as its initial access vector.

The new developments come as CISA said last month in its initial advisory on the SolarWinds incident that it was investigating cases where the SolarWinds hackers breached targets that didn't run the SolarWinds Orion software. zdnet.com

  Sealed U.S. court records possibly accessed by SolarWinds attackers

  SolarWinds hackers linked to known Russian spying tools, investigators say

  FBI probe of major hack includes project-management software from JetBrains



Sentencing in Largest-Ever Financial Institution Hack
Data from over 100 million customers stolen

Russian Hacker Gets 12 Years Prison for $19M Breach of JP Morgan, Others
Russian national Andrei Tyurin will serve 12 years in prison for his role in a global hacking campaign that pilfered personal information from more than 80 million JP Morgan Chase customers in the largest-ever breach of a financial institution in the US.

Tyurin from 2012 to 2015 hacked multiple financial institutions, brokerages, and financial news publications, including JP Morgan, E*Trade, Scottrade, and The Wall Street Journal, stealing personal data of more than 100 million customers of those organizations - all from his home in Moscow. He worked with co-conspirators including Gery Shalon, who together also perpetrated securities fraud and other nefarious activity.

According to the US Secret Service, Tyurin made some $19 million from his crimes. He was extradited from the nation of Georgia in September 2018 and has been in US custody since then. darkreading.com

Fortinet Extends Availability of Free Self-Paced NSE Cybersecurity Training Courses to Further Build Industry's Workforce
Fortinet®, a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, announced that all self-paced advanced security training courses will remain free beyond 2021. Fortinet is committed to developing a diverse cybersecurity workforce by continuing to offer free security training for anyone around the world. Fortinet's free training initiative provides learners with the following:

Access to more than 30 free security courses: These courses are on topics ranging from secure SD-WAN to operational technology (OT) security to cloud security with more courses expected to be added throughout the year. Additionally, pre-recorded lab demos by cybersecurity experts are available for on-demand viewing.

Preparation for NSE Certification exams: Most of the free courses are official curriculum for the Fortinet NSE Certification Program. Fortinet's Certification Program is an eight-level program that has issued more than half a million certifications.

Continuing professional credits: Through a partnership with (ISC)2, individuals can use their free training completion - as well as any NSE training course - to gain Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits for CISSP and other (ISC)2 designations. Learners earn one credit for every hour of NSE Training Institute training they do with Fortinet.  Learn more here: fortinet.com

We got used to SMS notifications and phishers are capitalizing on it

40% of small business employees worried they'll be blamed for data breaches at work







Protecting E-Commerce Sites From Fraud

Equifax to Tackle E-Commerce Fraud With $640 Million Kount Deal

Equifax Inc. agreed to acquire Kount Inc., which offers fraud protection for e-commerce retailers, for $640 million.

The credit-reporting firm has been building out its identity- and fraud-protection business for existing customers, which includes many of the world's largest banks and telecommunications companies. With Kount, the company will begin selling those same services to e-commerce sites.

"There's been an explosion in the last three to four years of consumers doing everything online and that's only accelerated during Covid," Equifax Chief Executive Officer Mark Begor said in an interview. "What comes with that is the challenge of making sure that individual who's trying to complete that transaction, apply for that credit card, buy that product online, is really that individual."

Many of the world's largest retailers have seen their fraud costs balloon in recent years as hackers have increasingly set their sights on using stolen credit-card information online. Kount's software helps retailers catch those fraudsters as well as stop hackers from taking over customer accounts.

Equifax will also be able to use Kount's data to help its existing customers manage fraud. Kount's network uses data from more than 17 billion unique devices and 5 billion transactions annually made across 200 countries and territories, Equifax said in the statement. bloomberg.com

Online shopping has boomed during COVID. But what about all the packaging?

With the holiday return season upon us, e-commerce packaging is at an all-time high.

As packages flood into homes, however, so does the packaging that keeps their contents intact. Environmentalists were already bracing themselves for the glut of padded mailers, corrugated fiberboard, shrink wrap, and bouncy air pillows the rise in online shopping promised to leave in its wake. The pandemic has only accelerated the timeline.

Corrugated box shipments have climbed since March, when they jumped 9 percent year over year, according to the Fiber Box Association. Technavio, a market research firm, estimates that demand for filled-air products is poised to swell by $1.16 billion between 2020 and 2024 because of the spike in online sales. vox.com

Amazon Pantry discontinued as Amazon consolidates grocery delivery services
Amazon has announced that it's discontinued its Amazon Pantry (originally known as Prime Pantry) service, instead rolling those household goods and shelf-stable pantry items into the main Amazon website where they can be ordered alongside the rest of Amazon's products. theverge.com

Would It Benefit Consumers to Break Up Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google?







Muskegon, MI: Four accused of stealing $10.5K in goods from area stores then crashing car on I-96
Four people from the Kalamazoo area were arrested after police found more than $10,500 in merchandise they allegedly stole in a car they crashed on I-96, according to police. The Muskegon County incident began Wednesday, Jan. 6, with a call from a business in the area of the Lakes Mall on Harvey Street reporting a shoplifting, according to information provided by the Fruitport Township Police Department. Merchandise from three businesses, with a value of $10,542, was found inside the vehicle, according to the report. mlive.com

El Paso, TX: Police seek thief who stole more than $7K worth of cell phones
El Paso police and Crime Stoppers are asking for the public's help in finding a thief who burglarized a west El Paso business and stole dozens of cell phones. The incident happened on Saturday, Jan. 2, at about 5:10 a.m. A man approached the Metro By T-Mobile store located along the 2600 block of Mesa. The unidentified man broke the glass front door and entered the business. kvia.com

Newark, OH: Reward offered for Licking County theft of 25 i-Phones, cash from store
Licking County Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of suspects in an armed robbery of a cell phone store in Newark. According to crime stoppers, a man entered the T-Mobile store on North 21st Street Friday at approximately 7:35 p.m. The man allegedly pointed a gun at an employee and ordered him to go into the back room where a safe was located. Crime stoppers said at this point, a second suspect entered the store. The men fled the store with an undisclosed amount of money and 25 i-Phone 12s. nbc4i.com

Ocala, FL: Man wearing work uniform in company vehicle nabbed after Wal-Mart thefts
An Ocala man who works for Spectrum was jailed Monday after being accused of ripping off merchandise from a local Wal-Mart at least 20 times - sometimes while wearing his uniform and driving a company vehicle. Marion County sheriff's deputies responded to the store, located at 9570 S.W. Hwy. 200, in December and spoke with a loss prevention associate about thefts that had occurred over a period of several months. She claimed that 40-year-old Enoch Gray had taken multiple items valued at several hundred dollars. ocala-news.com

Yorktown, NY: Feamle Shoplifter arrest with over $5,500 of Macy's merchandise
Arrested a 31-year-old Poughkeepsie woman. Charged with third-degree grand larceny. Accused of stealing $5,503.86 worth of merchandise from Macy's. Released without bail. Due back in court on Feb. 4. tapinto.net

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Shootings & Deaths

Chicago, IL: Man goes on random shooting spree killing four, injuring four
A gunman 'randomly' killed four people and wounded no less than four others in a series of shootings in the Chicago area Saturday, including shooting a woman at an IHOP in nearby Evanston, before being shot and killed by police authorities said. The shootings which lasted four hours over a ten mile radius - first began when Jason Nightengale, 32 - entered a parking garage Saturday afternoon circa 1.50 p.m in the Hyde Park district and shot a 30-year-old man sitting in his vehicle. The victim -Yiran Fan a university exchange student - died from his injuries at the scene according to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown. Moments later, the gunman entered the vestibule of an apartment building a few blocks away in the area of Kenwood. He asked to use a phone and fired shots at a building female security guard. The victim identified as Aisha Newell was shot in the chest and was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later. A 77-year-old woman getting her mail in the same building was also shot in the head, officials said. Police said she is currently in critical condition.

Around 3:45 p.m., Brown said the gunman fired shots inside a convenience store located in the district of South Halsted after announcing a robbery. A 20-year-old man, identified as Anthony Faulkner was shot in the head and pronounced dead a short time later. An 81-year-old woman was shot in the back and neck and is currently in critical condition. Evanston Police Chief Demitrous Cook said Saturday evening that police responded to reports of a man firing shots at a CVS around 5:38 p.m. The gunman, now known by police to be Nightengale, ran across the street to an IHOP restaurant where he took a woman hostage, Cook said, shooting her (later died) before fleeing on foot to another business. Evanston police officers engaged Nightengale in the parking lot, where he was killed at the scene, Cook said. scallywagandvagabond.com

Los Angeles, CA: Police launch hunt for gunman after one killed and two injured in rampage at local grocery store
LA Police Department said one man was killed when the suspect opened fire on a group of people near Fickett Market in the Boyle Heights area of the city. Los Angeles Fire Department said the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials said a 27-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man were also seriously injured in the attack and were in a critical condition in a local hospital. express.co.uk

Eatontown, NJ: Police searching for the people responsible for firing two shots outside of a restaurant at Monmouth Mall Saturday night
Police responded to a report of shots fired outside the TGI Fridays at the Monmouth Mall in Eatontown at 9:12 p.m., according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. Someone fired two shots after two groups of people left the restaurant, authorities said. Two cars then fled the parking lot. nj.com

Nashville, TN: Police searching for getaway car after woman shot outside
Opry Mills Mall
Metro police are investigating a shooting at the Opry Mills Mall that sent a woman to the hospital with critical injuries Friday night. According to police, a 20-year-old woman was walking to her car on the west side of the mall when a male came up behind her and attempted to rob her at gunpoint. wkrn.com

Madison, WI: Man shot near East Towne Mall; stable condition
Madison Police are investigating a shooting Sunday evening on the city's east side. Police say someone called them just before 6:30 p.m. saying they'd been shot on East Washington Avenue, an area near East Towne Mall. Both Madison Police and Madison Fire responded and found an adult man with a single gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition. wkow.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Independence, MO: 3 men taken into custody following disturbance at Independence Center
A possible shooter situation sends people into panic mode at the Independence Center Sunday afternoon. One family, who was inside the mall ran for their lives after being warned multiple people had guns in the food court. Turns out, they were toy guns. Police said three men were taken into custody. Investigators said no real guns were found and no shots were fired. The scare is on the heels of multiple violent situations at the Independence Center - including two shootings in the last two weeks. One inside, the second outside. Police extended a 3 p.m. teen curfew to everyday to combat part of the problem.  fox4kc.com

Las Vegas, NV: Fights break out at Meadows Mall; 150+ juveniles involved
Officers had to respond after several fights broke out among a large number of kids at a Las Vegas mall Saturday, according to police. About 150 to 200 juveniles at Meadows Mall on Valley View Boulevard grew disruptive after being denied entry to one of the businesses, said Lt. Ken Nogle with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. Several fights broke out, leading to police responding to the scene. The kids were escorted off the property, and some were cited or arrested for fighting or obstructing, Nogle said. news3lv.com

South Jordan, UT: Man with multiple facial fractures sues Officer who arrested him for shoplifting at Walmart

New London, CT: Former employee at Fiddleheads Natural Food Cooperative charged with theft of $229,000

Houston, TX: Manager charged with theft of $88,000 from Kolache Factory restaurant

Miamisburg, OH: Suspicious package prompts bomb squad response at Best Buy Saturday




Auto - Sparks, NV - Burglary
C-Store - Davenport, IA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Chicago, IL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Brazil, IN - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Houston, TX - Robbery
C-Store - Cleveland, OH - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Lee County, FL - Armed Robbery
CVS - Chicago - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Gates County, TX - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Ocean Springs, MS - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Greenville, SC - Armed Robbery
Family Dollar - Omaha, NE - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Niagara Falls, NY - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - San Diego, CA - Armed Robbery
Grocery - Los Angeles, CA - Armed Robbery / 2 killed
Hardware - Longmont, CO - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Lincoln, NE - Burglary (Wendy's)
Restaurant - Zachary, LA - Robbery
T-Mobile - Licking County, OH - Armed Robbery
T-Mobile - Houston, TX - Armed Robbery
Target - Milford, MA - Robbery
7-Eleven - Hampton, VA - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 20 robberies
• 2 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 2 killed

Click to enlarge map



Sabrina Williams, CFI promoted to District Asset Protection Manager for Lowe's Companies, Inc.

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