Trending News for Today

Microsoft Data Breach Exposes 38 Million Personal Information; Beyoncé Becomes the First Black Woman to Model Tiffany’s Iconic 128.54-Carat Diamond; R. Kelly Admitted To Marrying Aaliyah To Obtain An Abortion, According To Witness; Mayim Bialik Will Take Over as Interim Jeopardy! Host; A California Teacher’s Outdoor Kindergarten Classroom Is a Success


Microsoft Data Breach Exposes 38 Million Personal Information, Including Social Security Numbers and Vaccination Records

According to reports, 38 million personal information was mistakenly exposed onto the open internet due to a weakness in over a thousand Microsoft web applications. The personal data breached includes phone numbers, home locations, social security numbers, and COVID-19 immunization status.

The corporations and organizations impacted by the error were J.B. Hunt, American Airlines, the Maryland Department of Health, Ford, the New York City Municipal Transportation Authority, and New York City public schools.

Wired reported that the data that was accidentally released online included information from various COVID-19 contact tracing sites, vaccination sign-up forms, job application portals, and employee databases.

Microsoft’s PowerApps portal service had been used to store all of the data. The portal is a development platform that enables the creation of online or mobile applications for external use. It can be used to establish a public-facing website for services such as vaccine registration and a database for internal usage.

However, experts from security firm Upguard discovered that the backend database was accessible to anyone who could locate it in some situations.

In May, it initiated an investigation into thousands of PowerApp portals that exposed what should have been private data to the public. The firm discovered that the mistake occurred when the pre-built application programming interfaces for Power Apps were utilized for communicating with data.

According to a study issued on Monday, when an API was enabled for data interaction, the data was immediately made public. Although consumers could modify their privacy settings manually, many were ignorant and left their apps on the default setting, which meant that any data collected was automatically made publicly accessible.

“We found one of these that was misconfigured to expose data, and we thought, we’ve never heard of this, is this a one-off thing, or is this a systemic issue?” According to UpGuard’s vice president of cyber research, Greg Pollock.

“Because of the way the Power Apps portals product works, it’s very easy to quickly do a survey. And we discovered there are tons of these exposed. It was wild.”

It is unlikely that any of the information discovered had previously been exposed by hackers, and Microsoft has now corrected the error.


Beyoncé Becomes the First Black Woman to Model Tiffany’s Iconic 128.54-Carat Diamond

In Tiffany & Co.’s new “About Love” campaign, Beyoncé wears a beautiful piece of jewelry that features the famed 128.54-carat Tiffany Diamond, one of the world’s largest yellow diamonds. The Grammy-winning singer made fashion history as the first Black woman to wear the iconic diamond.

“Love is the diamond that the jewelry and art decorate,” Beyoncé and Jay-Z stated in a Monday news release.

The Tiffany Diamond was discovered in South Africa in 1877. Mary Whitehouse, the wife of American diplomat Edwin Sheldon Whitehouse, Audrey Hepburn, and singer Lady Gaga, have worn it in the past.

Beyoncé shared many of the visually arresting photographs on her Instagram account. Jay-Z, 51, reclines in a chair and gazes at Beyoncé, who mimics Audrey Hepburn in a black gown paired with black opera gloves and an updo. An artwork from Jean-Michel Basquiat’s private collection titled “Equals Pi” provides an appropriate backdrop, as it evokes a Tiffany Blue signature.

Jay-Z elevates his black tuxedo with a pair of one-of-a-kind cufflinks recreated from Jean Schlumberger’s iconic Bird on a Rock brooch.

“Beyoncé and Jay-Z are the epitome of the modern love story,” Alexandre Arnault, executive vice president of product and communications, said in the release. “As a brand that has always stood for love, strength, and self-expression, we could not think of a more iconic couple that better represents Tiffany’s values. We are honored to have the Carters as a part of the Tiffany family.”

The global debut of “About Love” campaign, shot by Mason Poole, is scheduled for September 2.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z have also collaborated on a video advertisement including Beyoncé’s performance of “Moon River,” the iconic song from the 1961 film “Breakfast At Tiffany’s.”

Tiffany & Co. announced a $2 million donation to Historically Black Colleges and Universities scholarship and internship programs (HBCUs). These are United States institutions of higher education that were founded prior to the 1964 Civil Rights Act with the express purpose of serving the African-American population.

Tiffany’s announced in a news release that the shoot with Beyoncé and Jay-Z marks the first time the diamond has been featured in an advertising campaign.


R. Kelly Admitted To Marrying Aaliyah To Obtain An Abortion, According To Witness

R&B artist R. Kelly married 15-year-old Aaliyah Haughton in 1994, and a sinister motive for the union was alleged in a court proceeding on Monday.

A second Jane Doe testified in New York City’s Brooklyn Federal Courthouse that R. Kelly told her that he married the singer known simply as Aaliyah when she was 15 in order for her be qualified to get an abortion.

Doe, 23, testified that Kelly got several of his girlfriends together to allow them to ask him whatever they pleased. She claimed that when questioned about why he married Aaliyah, who died in a 2001 airplane crash, he stated that only parents and spouses could legally grant consent for a minor to obtain an abortion.

Additionally, she stated that he gave Aaliyah money and a secret “bat phone” so she could reach him if an emergency arises.

Aaliyah is also identified as a Jane Doe in the federal case against R. Kelly, who faces a charge for racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act, which forbids transporting juveniles across state borders for prostitution purposes.

Aaliyah was only 12 years old when R. Kelly first met her and immediately began writing and producing music for her, including her debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.”

Demetrius Smith, R. Kelly’s former tour manager, admitted to bribing someone he knew at the welfare office with $500 for Aaliyah to obtain a phony ID, so she and R. Kelly, who was 27 at the time, could marry.

Smith said in court that he was present when the couple received a marriage license and married in casual attire at a Chicago Sheraton. R. Kelly headed off to perform at his act shortly after they exchanged vows, he added.

“It shouldn’t have happened. It was wrong,” Smith testified. Before getting cut off by Judge Ann Donnelly, he added, “I shouldn’t be talking about Aaliyah ’cause she’s not here.”

Tuesday, Doe will continue her witness testimony.


Mayim Bialik Will Take Over as Interim Jeopardy! Host After Mike Richards’s Departure Amid Controversy

Mayim Bialik has taken over as host of Jeopardy! after the previously announced host, Mike Richards, stepped down amid controversy.

Bialik, who was recently named as the host of the Jeopardy! primetime and spinoff programs will take over the platform this week in Richards’ absence, a Sony Pictures Television spokeswoman confirms to PEOPLE.

Sony revealed earlier this month that executive producer Richards, 46, had been chosen as the new permanent host, around nine months after veteran presenter Alex Trebek died.

Richards, however, informed workers on Friday in a note obtained by PEOPLE that he was resigning from the hosting role following the reemergence of footage of him making insulting remarks about women and other oppressed groups.

Richards’ controversy stems from a podcast he aired from 2013 to 2014 called The Randumb Show, which was shot as a behind-the-scenes look at his former show, The Price Is Right, according to an August 18 report published by The Ringer.

Along with making insulting statements about women, The Ringer stated that Richards used a harsh phrase for little people, a slur for persons with mental problems, and made disparaging comments about people’s economic situation during podcast chats.

He also remarked on the show about Jewish people having large noses, causing the Anti-Defamation League to demand an investigation into his actions.

He also apologized for previous statements in a statement to PEOPLE prior to the announcement of his departure, stating, in part, “It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago.”

Although Richards is no longer the host of Jeopardy!, PEOPLE recently verified that the show would run episodes that he taped before his departure on Friday. On Thursday, five episodes were filmed and will show as scheduled. Richards will also continue as executive producer of Jeopardy!

The 38th season of Jeopardy! debuts on September 13.


A California Teacher’s Outdoor Kindergarten Classroom Is a Success

Last year, the world was in lockdown, but kindergarteners at Penryn Elementary School in Penryn, California, found sanctuary in the forest thanks to teacher Joyce Mucher’s idea of outdoor learning.

Mucher’s ambition of bringing children outside the classroom and into nature has percolated for the most of her 34-year teaching career, but COVID-19 constraints enabled her dream to become a reality.

“Sometimes, it’s a slow process to do anything that’s new or different,” Mucher tells PEOPLE. “So [the restrictions] became the opportunity to do things that in the past may not have been received as open-mindedly.”

When Mucher discovered just before the start of the school year that her kindergarteners would be completing all of their education digitally, she was determined to find a better option.

“Kindergarten is supposed to be magical,” an emotional Mucher says. “I fear for them at this time right now. So as long as I’m making it magical, I’m doing what I’m here to do.”

She expressed her concept of being able to teach outside in a true “kindergarten” or “child’s garden” similar to those seen in Canada and Europe, and the parents enthusiastically agreed.

The rural K–8 school, located north of Sacramento, has a magnificent area nearby that was just waiting to be transformed into an elfin forest. Parents organized a work party, bringing weed whackers, shovels, and a tractor to clear the wooded area, including a creek, blackberry brambles, and trees. All of the children pitched in.

A parent constructed a little stage for the children’s play and performances. Another donor provided seated stumps. Another created an outdoor dry erase board that could be closed off to protect it from the elements.

Suddenly, it became more than a kindergarten area. It became a resource for children of all ages.

“It just turned into a very beautiful, versatile space,” Mucher, who will be retiring after this school year, says. “Everything I thought could happen with it happened.”

“Being outside showed them in a different light than what we see in the classroom,” Mucher says. “They were able to problem solve and use skills that go beyond pencil and paper.”

The following year will see an increase in outdoor activities.