TL;DR – TOP 10 STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. Obama allows NSA to share more private information collected without warrants
  2. Report finds that Ukraine attempted to influence US election
  3. Probe into Chicago police finds history of abuses
  4. Unverified dossier released by Buzzfeed makes claims about Trump and Russia
  5. Guy who shot up a church is given death sentence
  6. Bombs in Afghanistan kill 50
  7. US sends thousands of troops into eastern Europe
  8. Takata agrees to pay penalties over dangerous airbags
  9. Volkswagon agrees to pay penalties over emissions scandal
  10. SpaceX deploys satellites

Further information and more stories:

UNITED STATES

“…the Obama administration on Thursday announced new rules that will let the NSA share vast amounts of private data gathered without warrant, court orders or congressional authorization with 16 other agencies, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security.” (TI)

An investigation by Politico found that the Ukrainian government tried to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Their anti-Trump efforts didn’t make enough impact for the candidate to lose. Now, the Ukrainian government is “scrambling to make amends.” This includes paying $50,000 a month to a U.S. lobbying firm.

“Chicago police showed racial bias and a ‘pattern’ of excessive use of force, the US Justice Department has found. A scathing report was released on Friday after a year-long probe into the police force found serious civil rights abuses.” (BBC)

President Barack Obama ended a policy that granted residency to Cubans who arrived in the US without visas and awarded Vice President Joe Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Buzzfeed released a dossier which had circulated through the hands of journalists and politicians for months. It wasn’t released by anyone because all claims seemed “impossible to verify” (despite many people working to find supporting evidence). Releasing the dossier as fact could result in being sued for libel, because no part of it has been proven true (portions are even blatantly false). It was allegedly created by a former British spy who was paid by anti-Trump groups in the USA. Wikileaks questioned if the UK government was attempting to interfere in U.S. elections. Internet trolls from 4chan claimed credit for a portion of the dossier, but this seems unlikely to be true, even as intelligence officials called the dossier “disinformation” and some journalists called it a “total sham.”

“A jury has sentenced Dylann Storm Roof to die for the murder of nine black parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. Roof was found guilty in December of 33 counts of federal hate crimes.” (TH)

And there was some unimportant news about the Golden Globes.

MIDDLE EAST

“The U.S. military’s Delta Force killed an Islamic State official during a raid in eastern Syria over the weekend that was meant to capture the militant leader, a U.S. official said Monday.” (WSJ)

“An Israeli embassy official has been caught on camera in an undercover sting plotting to ‘take down’ MPs regarded as hostile, including foreign office minister Sir Alan Duncan, an outspoken supporter of a Palestinian state.” (TG)

“Four people have been killed in Jerusalem by a Palestinian man who drove a lorry into a group of soldiers, in what police called a terror attack.” (BBC)

“[A] U.S. Navy destroyer… fired three warning shots Sunday toward four Iranian vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, a politically strategic and often disputed strait between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. The incident was spurred after the four Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ships sped toward the Navy warship, seemingly out of nowhere, while failing to respond to U.S. officials repeated requests for them to slow down…” (IBT)

south asia

A series of bombings in Afghanistan killed about 50 people. The Taliban was cited as being responsible for the attacks.

“Pakistan fired its first submarine-launched cruise missile on Monday, the military said, a show of force for a country that sees its missile development as a deterrent against arch-foe India.” (Reuters)

Flooding in Thailand has killed at least 21 people.

europe

The Obama Administration sent more than 3,000 U.S. troops into Poland, allegedly “to reassure NATO allies concerned about a more aggressive Russia.”

“Millions of commuters cycled, trudged and waited in snaking bus queues Monday as a strike by London Underground station staff shut down much of the city’s subway network.” (AP)

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

“Japanese car parts maker Takata has agreed to pay $1bn (£820m) in penalties in the US for concealing dangerous defects in its airbags. The firm also pleaded guilty to a single criminal charge, the US Justice Department said on Friday.” (BBC)

Volkswagen agreed to settle with the U.S. Justice Department for $4.3 billion.

“Despite hiccups, Yahoo’s planned sale to Verizon appears to be moving forward… portions of the company will be left behind and renamed Altaba Inc. Yahoo is hanging on to its 15 percent stake in Alibaba and its 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan, and those assets will survive as an investment company under the new name Altaba Inc., as the rest of Yahoo integrates with Verizon. The assets had previously been nicknamed Remain Co.” (TC)

SpaceX successfully deployed 10 Iridium satellites.

“A superbug that could not be treated with 26 different antibiotics has killed a woman in the US, officials report…. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said the infection was ‘resistant to all available antimicrobial drugs’.” (BBC)

environment and wildlife

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the rusty patched bumblebee an endangered species — the first such designation for a bumblebee and for a bee species in the continental U.S.” (NPR)

“U.S. regulators accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of violating emissions standards in more than 100,000 diesel vehicles, spawning concerns that the company could become ensnared in a scandal like the one that engulfed Volkswagen Group.” (UT)