This week in news: January 1-7 rundown

TL;DR – TOP 10 STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. Fort Lauderdale airport shooting
  2. FBI/CIA/NSA report on allegations of Russian hacking
  3. Protests in Mexico over gas prices
  4. Brazilian prison massacres kill at least 80
  5. Finland starting basic monthly income experiment
  6. Bombing in Iraq kills or injures over 100
  7. Car bomb kills 43 in Syria
  8. Battle for Mosul continues
  9. Turkey questions level of U.S. participation in fighting ISIS
  10. Swiss scientists develop solar prototype to power pacemakers

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This week in news: December 25-31 rundown

TL;DR – TOP 10 STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. USA announces sanctions versus Russia over alleged hacking
  2. Obama creates new national monuments in Utah/Nevada
  3. Minimum wage increases for 20 states
  4. Nationwide ceasefire for Syria
  5. Israel announces plans to ignore UN resolution condemning settlements
  6. Terrorists strike Turkey
  7. Bombs explode in Iraq
  8. Russian plane with choir crashes
  9. India tests nuclear missile
  10. First trial using gene editing to attempt combating cancer

A number of celebrations occurred around the globe for Christmas, Hanukkah, News Years, and others.

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Does the CIA Believe Russia Influenced U.S. Elections?

tl;dr It’s unclear. Even if they do, it’s not the opinion of every U.S. intelligence agency.

The Washington Post, not necessarily a bastion of quality journalism these days, recently posted an article with an extraordinary claim as a headline: “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House“!

If you read through the article, that’s not quite what happened. The headline is (unsurprisingly) sensationalized.

CIA agents supposedly held a secret meeting with some members of Congress about a secret report on alleged Russian interference with the U.S. election. Agents were said to have potentially “identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others.” Those individuals are not employed by the Russian government and may not have direct ties to the Kremlin. The CIA further claimed “it was now ‘quite clear’ that electing Trump was Russia’s goal,” according to the report. It’s important to note that the Washington Post’s article is not based on statements from the CIA. It’s based on statements from someone (likely a member of Congress) who attended the “secret meeting” or read a Senate-written summary about it. Therefore, this is all second-hand unverified information.

The New York Times ran a similar story, seemingly using another source (of course, also anonymous). The source said “We now have high confidence that [Russia] hacked the DNC and the RNC, and conspicuously released no documents [from the RNC hack].” This seems to be the basis of the “Russia helped Trump” claim. Meanwhile, there is no proof that the RNC was hacked. The RNC denied that their systems were breached, saying the FBI had personally reviewed RNC cybersecurity.

Many of the Wikileaks documents from government officials came from whistleblowers, FOIA requests, and unsophisticated phishing scams. It can also be argued that the contents of those documents and emails were more damaging than the leaks themselves. If so, certain officials would rather point fingers at a nuclear power (without proof) than accept personal responsibility for their own words and actions. Of course, cybersecurity is a serious issue and the source of alleged hacks should be discovered. That investigation is ongoing. But finger-pointing isn’t helping at all.

Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, was quoted in the Guardian as saying the CIA claims were “bullshit.” Murray said he knew who gave information to Wikileaks, claiming that it was an ‘insider’ – who wasn’t Russian and wasn’t a hacker. He also said “America has not been shy about arresting whistleblowers and it’s not been shy about extraditing hackers. [The CIA] plainly [has] no knowledge whatsoever.” He believes that if the CIA really found out who performed the hackings, that person (or persons) would already be in an American prison.

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This week in news: October 16-22 rundown

TL;DR – TOP STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. Third presidential debate between Clinton and Trump
  2. Wikileaks releases more emails
  3. British spies had unlawful databases of citizen private data for 17 years
  4. Russian and Syrian governments announce pauses in Syria conflict, humanitarian corridor
  5. Yemen cease-fire
  6. Operation begins to retake Mosul, Iraq, from Islamic State militants
  7. Protests in Philippines
  8. Train derailment in Cameroon
  9. Rockets lift off for the International Space Station
  10. Large-scale attack on DNS provider leads to global internet interruptions

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This week in news: September 18-24 rundown

This week in news

tl;dr

  • USA accidentally gives citizenship to 858 people who were to be deported
  • Obama vetoes 9/11 bill
  • Manhattan bomber found and charged
  • Mass shooting in Washington state
  • Charlotte protests
  • Continued email controversies
  • Syrian cease-fire ends, UN convoy attacked
  • Fighting and protests in Congo
  • Puerto Rico without power
  • North Korean websites revealed
  • Yahoo hacked, with information stolen from half a billion accounts

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This week in news: August 28 to September 3 rundown

tl;dr

  • Hurricanes for each US coast, Louisiana still struggling to recover
  • Foreign hackers broke into US election databases
  • Trump visits Mexico, FBI releases notes on Clinton
  • First US-Cuba commercial flight since 1961
  • Continued clashes in the Middle East
  • Brazilian president impeached
  • Colombia cease-fire
  • Samsung recalling faulty phones
  • EU rules that Apple owes billions in unpaid taxes
  • Oldest fossil on Earth may have been found

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