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Visa, MasterCard form group to fight credit card theft

Group to be created to fight data theft

Visa and MasterCard are forming a group that is intended to help the retail and banking industries come together on more-secure credit card payments.

Credit card breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other retailers have put a spotlight on the weak spots in the security of credit card payments.

Visa and MasterCard, which run the networks that carry the payments, said Friday that the new group will include banks, retailers, the makers of credit card readers, and others with an interest in credit card security.

The group’s initial focus will be on banks’ adoption of embedded digital chips for storing account information on debit and credit cards. Compared with the current magnetic strips, it is a system that typically makes data theft harder and is common in other countries. While it is unclear whether the chips would have prevented the Target breach, experts say they make it tougher for thieves to make counterfeit cards using stolen credit and debit card numbers.

Many retailers want the chips, but they also want each debit or credit card transaction to require a personal identification number instead of a signature. Experts say it is harder for criminals to steal PINs than to forge signatures. Some retailers are resisting the switch to PINs — planned to take effect by fall 2015 — because they will be forced to buy more expensive card readers.

— Associated Press

Ted Turner rushed to Argentine hospital

CNN founder Ted Turner was rushed to a hospital in Buenos Aires on Friday from his ranch in southern Argentina for appendicitis surgery.

Turner, 75, was admitted to a Buenos Aires hospital, CNN said in a message on Twitter. Argentine television network TN broadcast images of Turner walking from a clinic to a car in the mountain resort town of San Carlos de Bariloche, 835 miles southwest of the capital, before boarding a private plane. Turner Enterprises chief communications officer Phillip Evans confirmed his hospitalization but said that “no further details will be provided.”

Turner, who owns three ranches in Argentina’s Patagonia region spread over more than 125,000 acres, turned CNN into one of the United States’ biggest cable-television systems before selling it to Time Warner in 1996. He also founded the Turner Foundation, which seeks to protect and restore the natural world, according to the organization’s Web site.

— Bloomberg News

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