US Intel Chief Warns of Devastating Cyber Threat to US Infrastructure

Posted: July 14, 2018, 12:05 pm

US Intel Chief Warns of Devastating Cyber Threat to US Infrastructure Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. WASHINGTON — The U.S. intelligence chief warned on Friday that the threat was growing for a devastating cyber assault on critical U.S. infrastructure, saying the “warning lights are blinking red again” nearly two decades after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are launching daily cyber strikes on the computer networks of federal, state and local government agencies, U.S. corporations, and academic institutions, said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
Of the four, “Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, no question,” he said.
Coats spoke at the Hudson Institute think tank shortly after the Department of Justice announced the indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers on charges of hacking into the computers of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and Democratic Party organizations.
The indic..

Read more >

Trump Faults Obama for US Response to Russian Hacking

Posted: July 14, 2018, 9:01 am

Trump Faults Obama for US Response to Russian Hacking FILE – President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Dec. 16, 2016. He imposed sanctions on Russian officials and intelligence services in retaliation for Russia's interference in the U.S. presidential elections. WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Saturday tried to blame the Obama administration for not responding aggressively enough to Russian hacking of Democratic targets in the 2016 U.S. election — cyberattacks underpinning the indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers.
Trump’s first response to special counsel Robert Mueller’s initial charges against Russian government officials for interfering in American politics came in tweets the president posted while at his golf resort in Scotland, two days before a high-stakes summit in Finland with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
“The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during..

Read more >

Trump Says He’ll ‘Firmly’ Ask Putin About Russia’s Interference in US Presidential Election

Posted: July 14, 2018, 8:37 am

Trump Says He'll 'Firmly' Ask Putin About Russia's Interference in US Presidential Election FILE – Russia's President Vladimir Putin talks to U.S. President Donald Trump during their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he would “firmly” ask Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about his country's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election that has triggered a U.S. federal investigation Trump claims is a “rigged witch hunt.”
“I think it really hurts our country,” Trump said at a news conference in Britain after meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May. “It really hurts our relationship with Russia. I think that we would have a chance at a very good relationship with Russia and a very good chance, a very good relationship with President Putin. I would hope so.”
Trump said he does not anticipate a “Perry Mason” moment when he confronts Putin on the issue, a reference to a decades-ol..

Read more >

Criminal Gangs in Guatemala Drive Many to Flee

Posted: July 14, 2018, 2:04 am

Guatemalan Yeni González is one of the few mothers able to see their children after they were separated earlier this year under the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy when they tried to cross the southern U.S. border illegally. VOA's Celia Mendoza reported last week when González traveled to New York to see her children at the Cayuga Care Center, where they remain until reunification can be arranged. In this third installment, Mendoza goes to the Guatemalan village where Yeni González used to live and spoke with her relatives about why the mother of three decided to embark on such a dangerous journey.

Read more >

12 Russians Accused of Hacking Democrats in 2016 Campaign

Posted: July 14, 2018, 12:44 am

The investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election took another serious turn Friday when the Justice Department announced the indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers for conspiring to interfere in the elections. The charges come just days before President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and on the same day that Trump once again dismissed the Russia probe as a “witch hunt.” VOA National correspondent Jim Malone reports from Washington.

Read more >

Maryland Elections Vendor Owned by Russian Firm

Posted: July 14, 2018, 12:32 am

Maryland Elections Vendor Owned by Russian Firm Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, left, and House Speaker Michael Busch discuss an FBI briefing they received about Russian links to a company that maintains part of the state election board's voter registration platform during a news conference in Annapolis, Md., July 13, 2018. ANNAPOLIS, MD. — A vendor that provides key services for Maryland elections has been acquired by a parent company with links to a Russian oligarch, state officials said Friday after a briefing a day earlier from the FBI.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch made the announcement at a news conference in the Maryland State House, a gathering that included staff members of Gov. Larry Hogan.
“The FBI conveyed to us that there is no criminal activity that they’ve seen,” Busch said. “They believe that the system that we have has not been breached.”
In a letter Friday, Hogan, Busch and Miller asked the U.S. Departm..

Read more >

Judge Commends Family Reunification, Eyes Next Deadline

Posted: July 13, 2018, 10:07 pm

Judge Commends Family Reunification, Eyes Next Deadline In this image taken from video, Javier Garrido Martinez, left, and Alan Garcia, right, sit with their 4-year-sons at a news conference in New York, July 11, 2018. They men were reunited with their children after almost two months of separation. Authorities took their boys from them when they stopped at the U.S. southern border. SAN DIEGO — A federal judge on Friday commended Trump administration efforts to reunify young children and families separated at the border but also said he planned to watch closely as a deadline approaches involving older children.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said at a hearing in San Diego that the government had demonstrated good faith and had largely complied with a deadline this week to reunite families with children under 5.
At the same time, he indicated he would be monitoring the administration's actions ahead of a July 26 deadline to reunite more than 2,500 older children with their famil..

Read more >

White House Declares War on Poverty ‘Largely Over’

Posted: July 13, 2018, 6:26 pm

White House Declares War on Poverty 'Largely Over' FILE – A lunch is served in a New York City soup kitchen. The White House released a report Thursday contending that the United States' war on poverty — a drive that started over 50 years ago to improve the social safety net for the poorest citizens of the world's largest economy — is “largely over and a success,” contrasting with other reports on the nation's poor.
The report, authored by President Donald Trump's Council of Economic Advisers, called for federal aid recipients to be pushed toward work requirements.
The report says poverty, when measured by consumption, has fallen by 90 percent since 1961. It also says that only 3 percent of Americans currently live under the poverty line.
“The timing is ideal for expanding work requirements among non-disabled working-age adults in social welfare programs,” according to the report. “Ultimately, expanded work requirements can improve the lives of current ..

Read more >

12 Russians Accused of Hacking Democrats in 2016 Election

Posted: July 13, 2018, 12:26 pm

12 Russians Accused of Hacking Democrats in 2016 Election FILE – People stand outside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in Washington. The Justice Department announced charges Friday against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 presidential election.
The indictments were announced Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as part of the ongoing special counsel probe into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The Russians are accused of hacking into the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, and then releasing stolen emails on the internet in the months before the election.
“The internet allows foreign adversaries to attack Americans in new and unexpected ways,” Rosenstein said. “Free and fair elections are hard-fought and contentious and there will always be adversaries who work to exacer..

Read more >

US Farmers Brace for Long-Term Impact of Escalating Trade War

Posted: July 13, 2018, 8:19 am

US Farmers Brace for Long-Term Impact of Escalating Trade War POLO, ILLINOIS — As farmer Brian Duncan gently brushes his hands over the rolling amber waves of grain in the fields behind his rural Illinois home, this picturesque and idyllic American scene belies the dramatic hardship he currently faces.
“We’re in trouble,” he told VOA.
Wheat is just one product that grows on Duncan’s diverse farm, also home to about 70,000 hogs annually, which Duncan said “were projected to be profitable this year.”
Were, but not anymore.
Pork is now subject to a 62 percent Chinese tariff, and demand is drying up in one of the world’s largest pork markets.
“Once that tariff went on, the pork stopped going into China. Not going to Taiwan, either. Not finding other routes. That market just disappeared,” said Duncan, who expected to see a $4 to $5 profit on each pig, then watched it become a $7 to $8 loss per head.
“The difference between making and losing money in the hog industry is exports,” said ..

Read more >