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Search for tiger continues as alleged owner returns to jail From “World News Headlines, Latest International News, World Breaking News – Times of India”



Victor Hugo Cuevas . AP PhotoRICHMOND: While a Texas man who police allege is the owner of a tiger that frightened residents after it was seen briefly wandering around a Houston neighborhood was ordered back behind bars on Friday, the animal’s whereabouts remain a mystery. An all-day court hearing Friday didn’t reveal any new information on the tiger’s whereabouts as Houston police say about 300 tips they’ve so far received haven’t panned out. Police allege Victor Hugo Cuevas is the owner of the tiger, a nine-month-old male named India, and he is facing a charge of evading arrest after authorities allege he fled from Houston officers who responded to a call about a dangerous animal on Sunday night. After a court hearing in a separate case Cuevas, 26, is facing in neighboring Fort Bend County, his attorney, Michael W. Elliott, reiterated his client doesn’t own the tiger. Elliott said he only knew the first name of the owner, that he has been working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to find India and that Cuevas only wants for the animal to be safe. “We want to find India. Somebody knows where India is at. Hopefully the cat is still doing well,” Elliott said. At a separate news conference in Houston earlier Friday, police Cmdr. Ron Borza said some of the tips officers have received on the tiger’s possible location have been “a little bit crazy.” “We know the group of people that are involved in the exotic animal trade here in Houston … We have visited all of them and no luck so far,” Borza said. Investigators believe the tiger has likely been passed around between six and eight different locations in Houston in an effort to hide it but that the animal is probably still in the city, Borza said. Carole Baskin has offered a $5,000 reward for the tiger’s safe return. At the time of his arrest on Monday for allegedly evading Houston police, Cuevas was already out on bond for a murder charge in a 2017 fatal shooting in Fort Bend County. Cuevas has maintained the shooting was self-defense, Elliott said. Cuevas had been released on a separate bond for the evading arrest charge on Wednesday. During a court hearing Friday, Fort Bend County prosecutor Christopher Baugh asked Cuevas be held without a bond for the murder charge, alleging the incident with the tiger showed Cuevas “has a total disregard for the public safety.” State District Judge Frank J. Fraley did not grant the request, but instead revoked Cuevas’ current $125,000 bond and issued a new bond for $300,000. It was the fifth time that Cuevas’ bond had been revoked in the murder case. Borza said that Cuevas and his attorney have not cooperated with Houston police in the search for the tiger but “maybe if he goes to jail he’d be more cooperative with us. We’ll see how that goes.” During Friday’s court hearing, Waller County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Wes Manion testified he lives in the Houston neighborhood and was alerted about the tiger by a neighbor. Manion testified he interacted with the tiger for about 10 minutes to make sure it didn’t go after someone else and that Cuevas came out of his house yelling, “Don’t kill it” and that it was his tiger. “He approached the tiger, grabbed it by the collar, kissed its forehead,” Manion said. The deputy said he identified himself to Cuevas and told him not to leave after he loaded the animal in the back of a white Jeep Cherokee but that Cuevas fled the scene just as Houston police arrived. During the court hearing, Elliott argued Cuevas was not aware that Houston police wanted to question him and that he only left because he feared for the tiger’s safety because Manion had been aggressive. Elliott said the tiger’s release was an accident as it likely jumped a fence. Elliott also said Cuevas did nothing illegal as Texas has no statewide law forbidding private ownership of tigers and other exotic animals. Tigers are not allowed within Houston city limits under a city ordinance unless the handler, such as a zoo, is licensed to have exotic animals. After the court hearing, Elliott described the tiger as more of a pet, like a dog, and that Cuevas would occasionally take care of the animal for its owner. Elliott provided copies of pictures that showed Cuevas cuddling with the tiger and kissing it. Elliott said Cuevas, who is a mixed martial arts fighter and has also worked as a barber, first met the tiger’s owner after buying a dog from him and that the man later informed him he had other animals, including the tiger. “This (tiger) is loved like a dog. Victor’s love for this cat … is real,” Elliott said. Elliott said he did not know if Cuevas would be able to post his new bond but if he is again released, Cuevas will do all he can to find the tiger and have it live the rest of its life in a wildlife preserve. FacebookTwitterLinkedinEMail







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Racist attacks revive demand for Asian American Studies From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



As Dartmouth College sophomore Nicholas Sugiarto flipped through the course catalog last semester, two words caught his eye: “Asian American.”The 19-year-old Chinese Indonesian American didn’t know Asian American-focused classes were even an option at the Hanover, New Hampshire, campus. The biomedical-engineering major ended up enrolling in “Gender and Sexuality in Asian American Literature” and now wishes he could minor in Asian American Studies.“I never realized how long and storied the history of Asians in America has been,” Sugiarto said. “You also hear about stories that just never made the news or never made it into the standard AP U.S. history textbooks.”That feeling of being seen resonates now more than ever for Asian American and Pacific Islander students and faculty at college campuses around the country. For all the “Stop AAPI Hate” hashtagging, accounts keep emerging of new incidents of Asian Americans being coronavirus scapegoats or made to feel like foreigners in their own country.Ongoing anti-Asian attacks along with the March massage business shootings in Georgia that left six Asian women dead have provoked national conversations about visibility.The debate has renewed an appetite at some colleges for Asian American Studies programs. As student diversity grows, so does the desire for representation in the syllabus. But qualified professors of color say such programs won’t last if they aren’t being offered permanent decision-making power.Inspired by his literature class, Sugiarto added his signature to the nearly 1,000 on a petition calling on Dartmouth to establish an Asian American Studies major, a challenge that’s been brought to the Ivy League school on and off for four decades.Sugiarto and his classmates hope this time will be different given recent events.Eng-Beng Lim, the Dartmouth professor who taught Sugiarto’s class, said the petition gained momentum after the massage business killings, and even fueled discussions with administrators.Story continuesThose talks recently stalled, though Lim still described it as a “promising and critical impasse.”“When U.S. universities refuse to support Asian American Studies that are framed in a way that we have framed it, it’s really a missed opportunity to think about how we might have a more nuanced understanding of American racism beyond binary terms of Black and white,” Lim said.Pawan Dhingra, a professor at Amherst College and the incoming president of the Association for Asian American Studies, said he is aware of a few other East Coast schools either considering Asian American Studies or renewing their commitment to it.“A lot of ethnic studies programs grew out of student demand during key inflection points in American history,” Dhingra said. “This is an inflection point. The push for ethnic studies — in this case Asian American Studies — fits the tradition of how these programs come to be. It’s rarely the brainchild of administrators or faculty.”The concept of ethnic studies is believed to have started in California, where it became state law in August that California State University students take one ethnic studies course to graduate.In 1968, students of color at San Francisco State University, which was named San Francisco State College at the time, joined Black classmates demanding a curriculum that wasn’t just Euro-centric. What followed was five months of protests — the longest student strike in U.S. history — and hundreds of arrests.In March 1969, after intense negotiations, the university officially launched a College of Ethnic Studies. Other schools also devised similar programs.Alumni who were on strike 53 years ago see parallels with today’s “Stop Asian Hate” rallies, said Mai-Nhung Le, chair of San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies program. Young Asian Americans are again demanding classes relevant to them — not just history but everything from popular culture to environmental justice.But while the backdrop in the ’60s was the Vietnam War, today it’s “two concurrent pandemics”: COVID-19 and structural racism, Le said.Establishing an Asian American Studies department is one thing — nurturing it is another. Ethnic studies programs are on shaky ground if schools don’t recruit instructors who can plan courses and mentor students.Of more than 428,000 faculty who were tenured or on tenure-track at degree-granting institutions nationwide in 2019, 70% were white, 11% were Asian or Pacific Islander, 5% were Black, and 5% were Latino. Native Americans and Alaska Natives comprised just 0.4%, according to data gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics.A furor erupted at Dartmouth in 2016 when Aimee Bahng, an assistant English professor, was denied tenure. She had unanimous support from a departmental committee but not with higher-ranking campus officials. The rejection came as students were making another push for Asian American Studies. Bahng had even started planning potential classes.She recalls receiving hundreds of sympathetic messages from female academics in the U.S. and abroad.“I had an electronic folder of just women or women of color who had been denied tenure,” said Bahng, who now teaches at Pomona College. “It was amazing but also depressing. … I always know when it’s tenure-denial season because I still get a handful of emails.”Dartmouth freshman Anais Zhang, 18, never gave Asian American Studies much thought until she was assigned to write about it for the school newspaper after the Atlanta-area massage business shootings. In her research, Zhang learned of all the attempts to start a program that ultimately went nowhere. It left her frustrated.“I talked to a lot of my friends about the article and my shock at how we really don’t have an institutionalized program and just my reaction learning about how previous students had put so much effort in petitioning the college and hiring professors … only to have this support trickle away and have all this progress undone in the subsequent years,” Zhang said.A lot of times fledgling ethnic studies programs decline because junior professors who aren’t full time or permanent have to carry them, according to Dhingra.“It’s just creating extra labor for faculty that burns people out and it isn’t able to grow because it wasn’t created with enough infrastructure in the first place,” Dhingra said.At the University of Arizona in Tucson, an Asian Pacific American Studies minor launched last month. While it is an “example of the way the university is combating anti-Asian hate and ignorance,” it was a culmination of efforts that started several years before the pandemic, said Brett Esaki, an assistant professor who helped come up with the coursework.“The short- and long-term goals are definitely about stability,” said Esaki, who is not tenured. “We can’t just hope for another disaster to get people to say, ‘You’re important.’” ___Tang reported from Phoenix and is a member of The Associated Press’ Race and Ethnicity team. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ttangAP







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Former Italian PM Berlusconi slips out of hospital unseen From “World News Headlines, Latest International News, World Breaking News – Times of India”



MILAN: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has left Milan’s San Raffaele hospital after a five-day stay, a spokesman for his Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party said on Saturday. Berlusconi, 84, exited via a side entrance and was not seen by photographers and cameramen waiting outside the main doors. Speculation has mounted in recent days that Berlusconi’s health is deteriorating badly. His doctors have not released a detailed update on his condition for weeks, however, his party denied on Friday that he was in a critical condition. “This is not the moment for obituaries,” one party source said. The billionaire businessman has checked into hospital on a number of occasions after coming down with coronavirus last September. He told reporters at the time he had survived “the most dangerous challenge” of his life, but sources later said he continued to suffer ill effects from the deadly virus. He was hospitalised in March and twice in April. He also went to hospital in January due to a heart problem. Political ally Matteo Salvini told reporters on Friday that Berlusconi was “not very well”, but predicted he would swiftly bounce back.







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US climate envoy Kerry meets with pope on climate crisis From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



VATICAN CITY (AP) — John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, met privately with Pope Francis on Saturday, afterward calling the pope a “compelling moral authority on the subject of the climate crisis” who has been “ahead of the curve.”The former U.S. Secretary of State told Vatican News that the pope’s embrace of climate issues “hopefully can push people to greater ambition to get the job done.”Kerry is visiting European capitals to strengthen cooperation on climate change ahead of the next round of U.N. climate talks in Glasgow this November.Kerry said United States, the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China, must take a lead in cutting emissions and be joined by other big emitting countries.“Everybody shares an obligation here. No one country can get this job done. If the United States was at zero emissions tomorrow, we’d still have crisis,” Kerry said.The United States, which is responsible for 11% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, has set a target under Biden of reducing emissions over the next decade by 50% to 52%, Kerry said.Another 20 developed countries are responsible for 73.75% of emissions, he added.“We need other big emitting countries to step up and also offer some reductions. You can’t just keep going along with a coal-fired power plant or with more coal coming online and really be the part of the solution that we need,’’ Kerry said.___Follow all AP stories on climate change at https://apnews.com/hub/climate.







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Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene’s combative behavior could spark ethics review From “World News Headlines, Latest International News, World Breaking News – Times of India”



Marjorie Taylor Greene. AP PhotoWASHINGTON: A year before her election to Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene searched for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at her Capitol office, taunting the New York Democrat to “get rid of your diaper” and “talk to the American citizens,” as shown in video unearthed Friday by CNN. “I am an American citizen. I pay your salary through the taxes that you collect from me through the IRS,” Greene says through the mail slot of a locked door. “I am a woman. I am a female business owner and I’m proud to be an American woman. And I do not support your socialist policies.” The Georgia Republican continued: “If you want to be a big girl, you need to get rid of your diaper and come out and be able to talk to the American citizens.” Two men appear along with her in the video, also mocking Ocasio-Cortez and her staff through the mail slot. The release of the since-deleted video, which was initially broadcast in February 2019 on Facebook Live, came the same week that Greene followed Ocasio-Cortez off the House floor, shouting that the Democrat supported “terrorists” and doesn’t “care about the American people,” as first reported by The Washington Post. She has been challenging Ocasio-Cortez to a debate on Twitter, entreaties that Ocasio-Cortez had been ignoring. Asked Friday about the “context” of the 2019 video, Greene told reporters, “Walking around and talking to members of Congress who serve the taxpayers that, now we’ve got taxpayers aren’t even allowed to come talk to us, that’s the context.” The incidents add to a portrait of the activist-turned-lawmaker who has shown little interest in governing, but has instead used her platform to float conspiracy theories, push Donald Trump’s false claims about a stolen 2020 election and further her own notoriety. Her combativeness toward colleagues has only grown after an unprecedented rebuke where the House stripped her of committee assignments, effectively ending her ability to shape legislation. Another confrontation Friday involved a member of her staff. Rep. Eric Swalwell said a staffer for Greene yelled at him to take his mask off after stepping off the House floor, an unusual of breach of decorum. Though the CDC has relaxed mask-wearing guidelines for those who have been vaccinated, many lawmakers continue to wear them, and they are still required on the House floor. “I had a mask on as I stepped off the Floor. An aide with @mtgreenee yelled at me to take my mask off. No one should be bullied for wearing a mask,”‘ Swalwell tweeted. “So I told the bully what I thought of his order.” On Twitter Friday, Greene said she had witnessed the confrontation and claimed, “No one yelled.” Greene’s behavior has alarmed some members of Congress, where feelings remain raw after the deadly Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters intent on overturning the outcome of the 2020 election. “This is a woman that’s deeply unwell and clearly needs some help,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters Friday. “Her kind of fixation has lasted for several years now” and the “depth of that unwellness has raised concerns for other members, as well.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Greene’s behavior was “beyond the pale” and raised the possibility of an ethics investigation. “This is beneath the dignity of a person serving in the Congress of the United States and is a cause for trauma, and fear among members, especially on the heels of an insurrection,” Pelosi said Thursday.. Yet so far, Republicans have shown little appetite for punishing Greene. They rallied around her in February after some of her past comments came to light, including her endorsement of calls to assassinate leading Democrats. That left it to Democrats, who were joined by 11 Republicans, in voting to strip her of her committee assignments. As a congressional candidate, Greene posted a photo in 2020 of herself with a gun next to images of Ocasio-Cortez and fellow Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Before her election, she also supported Facebook posts that advocated violence against Democrats and the FBI. One suggested shooting Pelosi in the head. In response to a post raising the prospect of hanging former President Barack Obama, Greene responded that the “stage is being set.” In one 2018 Facebook posts, she speculated that “lasers or blue beams of light” controlled by a left-wing cabal tied to a powerful Jewish family could have been responsible for sparking California wildfires. And in February 2019, Greene appeared in an another online video filmed at the US Capitol, arguing that Omar and Tlaib weren’t “really official” members of Congress because they didn’t take the oath of office on the Bible. Both women are Muslim. FacebookTwitterLinkedinEMail







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Palestinian march in Paris defies ban, is met by tear gas From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



Palestinian march in Paris defies ban, is met by tear gas







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China completes historic Mars spacecraft landing From “World News Headlines, Latest International News, World Breaking News – Times of India”



The Long March 5 Y-4 rocket, carrying an unmanned Mars probe of the Tianwen-1 mission, takes off from Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang, Hainan Province (File Photo)BEIJING: An uncrewed Chinese spacecraft successfully landed on the surface of Mars on Saturday, state news agency Xinhua reported, making China the second space-faring nation after the United States to land on the Red Planet. The Tianwen-1 spacecraft landed on a site on a vast plain known as Utopia Planitia, “leaving a Chinese footprint on Mars for the first time,” Xinhua said. Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a message of congratulations to all the people involved in the mission. “You were brave enough for the challenge, pursued excellence and placed our country in the advanced ranks of planetary exploration,” he said. “Your outstanding achievement will forever be etched in the memories of the motherland and the people.” The craft left its parked orbit at about 1700 GMT Friday (0100 Beijing time Saturday). The landing module separated from the orbiter three hours later and entered the Martian atmosphere, the official China Space News said. It said the landing process consisted of “nine minutes of terror” as the module decelerates and then slowly descends. The official landing time was 2318 GMT (0718 Beijing time), Xinhua said, citing the China National Space Administration. The rover took more than 17 minutes to unfold its solar panels and antenna and send signals to ground controllers more than 320 million kilometres away. The rover, named Zhurong, will now survey the landing site before departing from its platform to conduct inspections. Named after a mythical Chinese god of fire, Zhurong has six scientific instruments including a high-resolution topography camera. It will study the planet’s surface soil and atmosphere. Zhurong will also look for signs of ancient life, including any sub-surface water and ice, using a ground-penetrating radar. Tianwen-1, or “Questions to Heaven”, after a Chinese poem written two millennia ago, is China’s first independent mission to Mars. A probe co-launched with Russia in 2011 failed to leave the Earth’s orbit. The five-tonne spacecraft blasted off from the southern Chinese island of Hainan in July last year, launched by the powerful Long March 5 rocket. After more than six months in transit, Tianwen-1 reached the Red Planet in February where it had been in orbit since. If Zhurong is successfully deployed, China would be the first country to orbit, land and release a rover in its maiden mission to Mars. Tianwen-1 was one of three that reached Mars in February, with U.S. rover Perseverance successfully touching down on Feb. 18 in a huge depression called Jezero Crater, more than 2,000 km away from Utopia Planitia. Hope – the third spacecraft that arrived at Mars in February this year – is not designed to make a landing. Launched by the United Arab Emirates, it is currently orbiting above Mars gathering data on its weather and atmosphere. The first successful landing ever was made by NASA’s Viking 1 in July 1976 and then by Viking 2 in September that year. A Mars probe launched by the former Soviet Union landed in December 1971, but communication was lost seconds after landing. China is pursuing an ambitious space programme. It is testing reusable spacecraft and is also planning to establish manned lunar research station. In a commentary published on Saturday, Xinhua said China was “not looking to compete for leadership in space” but was committed to “unveiling the secrets of the universe and contributing to humanity’s peaceful use of space.” FacebookTwitterLinkedinEMail







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Ethiopia again delays national election amid deadly tensions From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



The New York TimesPipeline Attack Yields Urgent Lessons About U.S. CybersecurityFor years, government officials and industry executives have run elaborate simulations of a targeted cyberattack on the power grid or gas pipelines in the United States, imagining how the country would respond. But when the real, this-is-not-a-drill moment arrived, it didn’t look anything like the war games. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times The attacker was not a terror group or a hostile state like Russia, China or Iran, as had been assumed in the simulations. It was a criminal extortion ring. The goal was not to disrupt the economy by taking a pipeline offline but to hold corporate data for ransom. The most visible effects — long lines of nervous motorists at gas stations — stemmed not from a government response but from a decision by the victim, Colonial Pipeline, which controls nearly half the gasoline, jet fuel and diesel flowing along the East Coast, to turn off the spigot. It did so out of concern that the malware that had infected its back-office functions could make it difficult to bill for fuel delivered along the pipeline or even spread into the pipeline’s operating system. What happened next was a vivid example of the difference between tabletop simulations and the cascade of consequences that can follow even a relatively unsophisticated attack. The aftereffects of the episode are still playing out, but some of the lessons are already clear, and they demonstrate how far the government and private industry have to go in preventing and dealing with cyberattacks and in creating rapid backup systems for when critical infrastructure goes down. In this case, the long-held belief that the pipeline’s operations were totally isolated from the data systems that were locked up by DarkSide, a ransomware gang believed to be operating out of Russia, turned out to be false. And the company’s decision to turn off the pipeline touched off a series of dominoes including panic buying at the pumps and a quiet fear inside the government that the damage could spread quickly. A confidential assessment prepared by the Energy and Homeland Security Departments found that the country could only afford another three to five days with the Colonial pipeline shut down before buses and other mass transit would have to limit operations because of a lack of diesel fuel. Chemical factories and refinery operations would also shut down, because there would be no way to distribute what they produced, the report said. And while President Joe Biden’s aides announced efforts to find alternative ways to haul gasoline and jet fuel up the East Coast, none were immediately in place. There was a shortage of truck drivers and of tanker cars for trains. “Every fragility was exposed,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, who co-founded CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm, and chairs the think tank Silverado Policy Accelerator. “We learned a lot about what could go wrong. Unfortunately, so did our adversaries.” The list of lessons is long. Colonial, a private company, may have thought it had an impermeable wall of protections, but it was easily breached. Even after it paid the extortionists nearly $5 million in digital currency to recover its data, the company found that the process of decrypting its data and turning the pipeline back on was agonizingly slow, meaning it will still be days before the East Coast gets back to normal. “This is not like flicking on a light switch,” Biden said Thursday, noting that the 5,500-mile pipeline had never before been shut down. For the administration, the event proved a perilous week in crisis management. Biden told aides, one recalled, that nothing could wreak political damage faster than television images of gas lines and rising prices, with the inevitable comparison to Jimmy Carter’s worse moments as president. Biden feared that, unless the pipeline resumed operations, panic receded and price gouging was nipped in the bud, the situation would feed concerns that the economic recovery is still fragile and that inflation is rising. Beyond the flurry of actions to get oil moving on trucks, trains and ships, Biden published a long-gestating executive order that, for the first time, seeks to mandate changes in cybersecurity. And he suggested that he was willing to take steps that the Obama administration hesitated to take during the 2016 election hacks — direct action to strike back at the attackers. “We’re also going to pursue a measure to disrupt their ability to operate,” Biden said, a line that seemed to hint that U.S. Cyber Command, the military’s cyberwarfare force, was being authorized to kick DarkSide offline, much as it did to another ransomware group in the fall before the presidential election. Hours later, the group’s internet sites went dark. By early Friday, DarkSide and several other ransomware groups, including Babuk, which has hacked Washington D.C.’s police department, announced they were getting out of the game. DarkSide alluded to disruptive action by an unspecified law enforcement agency, though it was not clear if that was the result of U.S. action or pressure from Russia before Biden’s expected summit with President Vladimir Putin. And going quiet might simply have reflected a decision by the ransomware gang to frustrate retaliation efforts by shutting down its operations, perhaps temporarily. The Pentagon’s Cyber Command referred questions to the National Security Council, which declined to comment. The episode underscored the emergence of a new “blended threat,” one that may come from cybercriminals, but is often tolerated, and sometimes encouraged, by a nation that sees the attacks as serving its interests.That is why Biden singled out Russia — not as the culprit, but as the nation that harbors more ransomware groups than any other country. “We do not believe the Russian government was involved in this attack, but we do have strong reason to believe the criminals who did this attack are living in Russia,” Biden said. “We have been in direct communication with Moscow about the imperative for responsible countries to take action against these ransomware networks.” With DarkSide’s systems down, it is unclear how Biden’s administration would retaliate further, beyond possible indictments and sanctions, which have not deterred Russian cybercriminals before. Striking back with a cyberattack also carries its own risks of escalation. The administration also has to reckon with the fact that so much of America’s critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector and remains ripe for attack. “This attack has exposed just how poor our resilience is,” said Kiersten E. Todt, managing director of the nonprofit Cyber Readiness Institute. “We are overthinking the threat, when we’re still not doing the bare basics to secure our critical infrastructure.” The good news, some officials said, was that Americans got a wake-up call. Congress came face-to-face with the reality that the federal government lacks the authority to require the companies that control more than 80% of the nation’s critical infrastructure to adopt minimal levels of cybersecurity. The bad news, they said, was that U.S. adversaries — not only superpowers but terrorists and cybercriminals — learned just how little it takes to incite chaos across a large part of the country, even if they do not break into the core of the electric grid, or the operational control systems that move gasoline, water and propane around the country. Something as basic as a well-designed ransomware attack may easily do the trick, while offering plausible deniability to states like Russia, China and Iran that often tap outsiders for sensitive cyberoperations. It remains a mystery how DarkSide first broke into Colonial’s business network. The privately held company has said virtually nothing about how the attack unfolded, at least in public. It waited four days before having any substantive discussions with the administration, an eternity during a cyberattack. Cybersecurity experts also note that Colonial Pipeline would never have had to shut down its pipeline if it had more confidence in the separation between its business network and pipeline operations. “There should absolutely be separation between data management and the actual operational technology,” Todt said. “Not doing the basics is frankly inexcusable for a company that carries 45% of gas to the East Coast.” Other pipeline operators in the United States deploy advanced firewalls between their data and their operations that only allow data to flow one direction, out of the pipeline, and would prevent a ransomware attack from spreading in. Colonial Pipeline has not said whether it deployed that level of security on its pipeline. Industry analysts say many critical infrastructure operators say installing such unidirectional gateways along a 5,500-mile pipeline can be complicated or prohibitively expensive. Others say the cost to deploy those safeguards are still cheaper than the losses from potential downtime. Deterring ransomware criminals, which have been growing in number and brazenness over the past few years, will certainly be more difficult than deterring nations. But this week made the urgency clear. “It’s all fun and games when we are stealing each other’s money,” said Sue Gordon, a former principal deputy director of national intelligence, and a longtime CIA analyst with a specialty in cyberissues, said at a conference held by The Cipher Brief, an online intelligence newsletter. “When we are messing with a society’s ability to operate, we can’t tolerate it.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company







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Water crisis ‘couldn’t be worse’ on Oregon-California border From “World News Headlines, Latest International News, World Breaking News – Times of India”



The water crisis along the California-Oregon border went from dire to catastrophic this week. AP PhotoPORTLAND: The water crisis along the California-Oregon border went from dire to catastrophic this week as federal regulators shut off irrigation water to farmers from a critical reservoir and said they would not send extra water to dying salmon downstream or to a half-dozen wildlife refuges that harbor millions of migrating birds each year. In what is shaping up to be the worst water crisis in generations, the US Bureau of Reclamation said it will not release water this season into the main canal that feeds the bulk of the massive Klamath Reclamation Project, marking a first for the 114-year-old irrigation system. The agency announced last month that hundreds of irrigators would get dramatically less water than usual, but a worsening drought picture means water will be completely shut off instead. The entire region is in extreme or exceptional drought, according to federal monitoring reports, and Oregon’s Klamath County is experiencing its driest year in 127 years. “This year’s drought conditions are bringing unprecedented hardship to the communities of the Klamath Basin,” said Reclamation Deputy Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton, calling the decision one of “historic consequence.” “Reclamation is dedicated to working with our water users, tribes and partners to get through this difficult year and developing long-term solutions for the basin.” The canal, a major component of the federally operated Klamath Reclamation Project, funnels Klamath River water from the Upper Klamath Lake just north of the Oregon-California border to more than 130,000 acres (52,600 hectares), where generations of ranchers and farmers have grown hay, alfalfa and potatoes and grazed cattle. Only one irrigation district within the 200,000-acre (80,940-hectare) project will receive any water from the Klamath River system this growing season, and it will have a severely limited supply, the Klamath Water Users Association said in a statement. Some other farmers rely on water from a different river, and they will also have a limited supply. “This just couldn’t be worse,” said Klamath Irrigation District president Ty Kliewer. “The impacts to our family farms and these rural communities will be off the scale.” At the same time, the agency said it would not release any so-called “flushing flows” from the same dam on the Upper Klamath Lake to bolster water levels downstream in the lower Klamath River. The river is key to the survival of coho salmon, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In better water years the pulses of water help keep the river cool and turbulent – conditions that help the fragile species. The fish are central to the diet and culture of the Yurok Tribe, California’s largest federally recognized tribe. The tribe said this week that low flows from drought and from previous mismanagement of the river by the federal agency was causing a die-off of juvenile salmon from a bacterial disease that flourishes when water levels are low. Yurok fish biologists who have been testing the baby salmon in the lower Klamath River are finding that 70% of the fish are already dead in the traps used to collect them and 97% are infected by the bacteria known as C. shasta. “Right now, the Klamath River is full of dead and dying fish on the Yurok Reservation,” said Frankie Myers, vice chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “This disease will kill most of the baby salmon in the Klamath, which will impact fish runs for many years to come. For salmon people, a juvenile fish kill is an absolute worst-case scenario.” Irrigators, meanwhile, reacted with disbelief as the news of a water shut-off in the canals spread. A newsletter published by the Klamath Water Users Association, which represents many of the region’s farmers, blared the headline, “Worst Day in the History of the Klamath Project.” Farmers reported already seeing dust storms that obscured vision for 100 yards (91 meters), and they worried about their wells running dry. About 30 protesters showed up Thursday at the head gates of the main dam to protest the shut-off and ask the irrigation district to defy federal orders and divert the water. The Herald and News reported that they were with a group called People’s Rights, a far-right organization founded by anti-government activist Ammon Bundy. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, both Democrats, have declared drought emergencies in the region, and the Bureau of Reclamation has set aside $15 million in immediate aid for irrigators. Another $10 million will be available for drought assistance from the US Department of Agriculture. Ben DuVal, president of the Klamath Water Users Association, urged his members to remain peaceful and not let the water crisis “be hijacked for other causes.” The seasonal allocations are the region’s most dramatic development since irrigation water was all but cut off to hundreds of farmers in 2001 amid another severe drought – the first time farmers’ interests took a backseat to fish and tribes. The crisis made the rural farming region hundreds of miles from any major city a national political flashpoint and became a touchstone for Republicans who used the crisis to take aim at the Endangered Species Act, with one GOP lawmaker calling the irrigation shutoff a “poster child” for why changes were needed. A “bucket brigade” protest attracted 15,000 people who scooped water from the Klamath River and passed it, hand over hand, to a parched irrigation canal. The situation in the Klamath Basin was set in motion more than a century ago, when the U.S. government began draining a network of shallow lakes and marshlands, redirecting the natural flow of water and constructing hundreds of miles of canals and drainage channels to create farmland. Homesteads were offered by lottery to World War II veterans. The project turned the region into an agricultural powerhouse – some of its potato farmers supply In ‘N Out burger – but permanently altered an intricate water system that spans hundreds of miles and from southern Oregon to Northern California. In 1988, two species of sucker fish were listed as endangered under federal law. Less than a decade later, coho salmon that spawn downstream from the reclamation project, in the lower Klamath River, were listed as threatened. The water necessary to sustain the coho salmon downstream comes from Upper Klamath Lake – the main holding tank for the farmers’ irrigation system. At the same time, the sucker fish in the lake need at least 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 centimeters) of water covering the gravel beds they use as spawning grounds. The drought also means farmers this summer will not flush irrigation water into a network of six national wildlife refuges that are collectively called the Klamath National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The refuges, nicknamed the Everglades of the West, support up to 80% of the birds that migrate on the Pacific Flyway. The refuges also support the largest concentrations of wintering Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states. FacebookTwitterLinkedinEMail







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10 things you need to know today: May 15, 2021 From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



1.Despite Israeli officials and Hamas signaling openness to a cease-fire on Friday, violence continued early Saturday when an Israeli air raid in Gaza City killed at least 10 Palestinians, reportedly mostly children, in a refugee camp. It appears to be the deadliest individual strike since the latest phase of the conflict broke out last week, The Associated Press reports. Later, an airstrike flattened a tower in Gaza, which housed both Al Jazeera and AP’s offices. People were reportedly notified to evacuate beforehand. Hamas said it was firing rockets at Tel Aviv in return. More than 130 people have been killed in Gaza, as well as eight people in Israel, since the violence began. Hady Amr, an envoy from the United States, arrived in Israel on Friday and is scheduled to join Israeli and Palestinians officials for de-escalation talks in Jerusalem on Saturday. [The Associated Press, BBC]2.State and local officials across the country are “scrambling” to adjust masking and social distancing guidelines and messaging, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that it was safe for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to go without a mask or practicing social distancing in most situations, indoors or outdoors. Though existing mask policies vary greatly by city and state, officials spent much of Friday determining how to implement the CDC’s new guidelines, or whether they should continue to advise masking. As of Friday, 36 percent of adults in the U.S. are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 64 percent are not. One of the major points of confusion for local officials in implementing the new guideline is how to determine who is vaccinated. [The New York Times]3.Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) has officially replaced Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as the new chair of the House Republican Conference. Republicans on Friday voted to elect Stefanik to Cheney’s former post after Cheney was ousted from that position this week for criticizing former President Donald Trump over his false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Stefanik, meanwhile, is a Trump ally who has backed numerous false election claims he has made, and the former president endorsed her for the leadership position. She thanked Trump for his support after the vote, calling him a “critical part of our Republican team.” Cheney has vowed to continue her fight against Trump and ensure he doesn’t serve another term as president. [C-SPAN, Axios]Story continues4.Joel Greenberg, Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-Fla.) former confidant, has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and admitted to sex trafficking a minor, The New York Times reports. Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector, reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to six federal charges against him, including sex trafficking of a child. He admitted that he and others paid a 17-year-old girl for sex, saying that he “introduced the minor to other adult men, who engaged in commercial sex acts” with her. Prosecutors reportedly say they have evidence corroborating Greenberg’s admissions. Gaetz has been facing an investigation into whether he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and violated sex trafficking laws. Though Greenberg didn’t implicate Gaetz by name in the new filings, according to the Times, he “has told investigators that Mr. Gaetz had sex with the girl and knew that she was being paid.” [ The New York Times, CNN]5.The China National Space Administration successfully landed its Zhurong rover on Mars on Saturday, state media reports, making China the third country after the United States and Soviet Union to touch down on the Red Planet (the 1971 Soviet mission failed shortly after landing.) Zhurong will eventually be deployed from the lander for a three-month mission in search of evidence of ancient life on Mars’ surface, much like the multiple NASA rovers that have scoured the planet over the years, including Perseverance, which made its way to Earth’s neighbor earlier this year. The landing is considered a major advancement for China’s space program. [CNN, The South China Morning Post]6.Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Publix on Friday were among the first major retailers to announce that shoppers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 would no longer have to wear masks in their stores, unless required by state or local law. The change in company policies comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines earlier this week to say that it’s safe for vaccinated people to go maskless indoors in most cases. People who have not received their shots will still need to wear face coverings, though it’s not clear how the stores will verify who has been vaccinated. Several other major retailers, including Apple and Target, are keeping their mask requirements in place for now, but said they could update the policies soon. [CNBC, USA Today]7.South Carolina officials on Friday released hours of police body-camera footage, which shows a Charleston County sheriff’s deputy repeatedly tasing Jamal Sutherland, a 31-year-old Black man, before he died in custody in January. Sutherland was arrested after a fight broke out at the psychiatric facility were he was receiving mental health treatment, and the next morning two deputies were trying to remove him from his cell for a bond hearing when one deployed a taser. Sutherland was pronounced dead over an hour later, and the county coroner’s office said the cause of death was an “excited state with adverse pharmacotherapeutic effect during subdual process.” Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano said she has implemented changes to bond hearing protocol, including allowing detainees to waive their appearances at hearings and adding technology to allow for remote hearings. She also promised to improve the department’s response to mental health needs. [CNN, NBC News]8.Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) described Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) as a “deeply unwell” person who “clearly needs some help” as video of Greene harassing her office in 2019 resurfaced. CNN on Friday reported on a since-deleted Facebook Live video showing Greene outside of Ocasio-Cortez’s locked office door taunting her staff through a mailbox slot during a Capitol Hill visit in Feb. 2019, before she was elected to Congress. Earlier this week, Greene “aggressively confronted” Ocasio-Cortez as she exited the House chamber, shouting at her in an incident House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described as a “verbal assault” that should “probably” be investigated by the House Ethics Committee. “Her fixation has lasted for several years now,” Ocasio-Cortez said Friday. “At this point, I think the depth of that unwellness has raised concerns for other members as well.” [CNN, The Washington Post]9.Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s judiciary chief, registered Saturday as a candidate in the country’s upcoming presidential election. The cleric is considered a hard-liner, as opposed to the more moderate incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, and a close ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. His ties with Khamenei, his role in a televised anti-corruption campaign, and the fact that Iran’s hard-liners are considered to hold an edge, may make Raisi the favorite going into the race, The Associated Press reports. In a statement Saturday, Raisi said he would fight “poverty and corruption, humiliation and discrimination” and run a “popular administration for a powerful Iran” if elected. Raisi has never publicly acknowledged his role on a panel involved in the mass execution of thousands of prisoners at the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988. [The Associated Press]10.Medina Spirit, the winner of the Kentucky Derby, has been cleared to run in the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, on Saturday after passing three prerace drug tests. Medina Spirit, trained by Bob Baffert, failed a post-Derby drug test, which led to Baffert’s suspension from Churchill Downs and skepticism about whether the horse would run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore this weekend. Medina Spirit’s stablemate and fellow Baffert trainee, Concert Tour, also passed the three tests agreed upon by Baffert and Maryland racing officials. The race will begin at 6:47 p.m. ET on Saturday. As of Friday night, Midnight Bourbon had supplanted Medina Spirit as the betting favorite. [ESPN]More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Liz Cheney’s ousterThere’s growing speculation that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will name their daughter ‘Philippa’Republicans’ dishonest war against ‘critical race theory’







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