MasterCard, Visa report possible card data breach

LOS ANGELES — MasterCard Inc. and Visa Inc. warned Friday that some of the data in their cardholder accounts may have been breached.

The companies don’t directly issue credit cards – they process card transactions for the banks that do. MasterCard said that it had notified banks – as well as law enforcement – of a potential problem with a third party, “U.S.-based entity.”

An independent data security organization is conducting a forensic review, MasterCard said. The company’s own systems haven’t been compromised. Visa said the same.

“MasterCard is concerned whenever there is any possibility that cardholders could be inconvenienced, and we continue to both monitor this event and take steps to safeguard account information,” the company said in a statement without specifying how many cards may be at risk.

Visa said in a statement that it had handed over affected account numbers to card issuers, who would, if necessary, reissue cards. Cardholders won’t be held responsible for fraudulent purchases, Visa said.


US Airways flight attendants reject contract by 75 percent

Flight attendants at US Airways voted down a tentative agreement that would have been their first joint contract since the merger with America West in 2005.

The deal was rejected by 75 percent of 5,832 voting flight attendants, according to their union.

America West bought the old US Airways out of bankruptcy protection in 2005 to form the current US Airways Group Inc. But flight attendants and pilots have both continued to operate under separate contracts. That has meant the airline has to schedule them separately, in some ways running two separate airlines.

Flight attendants from the old US Airways are still working under pay cuts they took under a 2005 contract while the airline was still operating under bankruptcy protection. The rejected deal would have given them 11 percent raises.

America West flight attendants would have gotten raises of 22 percent to 65 percent, although they would have also given up vacation time and paid more for health insurance, according to materials distributed by the union before the vote.


Great Lakes wind farms plan gets speed-up agreement

The Obama administration and five states announced an agreement Friday to speed up consideration of plans for offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes, which have been delayed by cost concerns and public opposition.

Under the deal, state and federal agencies will craft a blueprint for speeding regulatory review of proposed wind farms without sacrificing environmental and safety standards. The Great Lakes have no offshore wind turbines, although a Cleveland partnership announced plans last year for a demonstration project that would place five to seven turbines in Lake Erie about 7 miles north of the city, generating 20-30 megawatts of electricity.

Offshore wind projects have been proposed elsewhere in the region, including Michigan and New York, stirring fierce debate.

Critics say they would ruin spectacular vistas, lower shoreline property values and harm birds and fish.


— From news service reports