2022-01-01 06:02:19 ..
2022-05-24 10:39:01 UTC
2022-05-26 12:31:44 UTC --fnord666
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MOSCOW/KYIV, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Russian forces fired missiles at several cities in Ukraine and landed troops on its coast on Thursday, officials and media said, after President Vladimir Putin authorised what he called a special military operation in the east.
Shortly after Putin spoke in a televised address on Russian state TV, explosions could be heard in the pre-dawn quiet of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
Gunfire rattled near the capital's main airport, the Interfax news agency said, and sirens were heard over the city.
Russian troops and tanks pushed into Ukraine and airstrikes hit the country's capital and more than a dozen other cities early Thursday after President Vladimir Putin said he ordered a military operation to "demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine" and bring its leaders to trial.
Ukrainian officials said an initial wave of strikes targeted military installations, airfields and government facilities across the country. Ukraine's border service said its troops came under attack all along the country's frontiers with Russia and Belarus as well as Crimea. Heavy shelling targeted the city of Mariupol on the Azov sea. Air-raid sirens sounded in Kyiv after 7 a.m. and the city's airport came under attack. Ukraine's military said it shot down five Russian warplanes and one helicopter. Russia denied any of its aircraft were hit.
Russia has begun attacking Ukraine, NATO officials confirmed. The late-night attack began moments after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he had "decided to conduct a special military operation" to protect eastern Ukraine's Donbas region. CBS News correspondents reported hearing loud blasts in the capital city, Kyiv, and in the eastern city of Kharkiv.
A Ukrainian government spokesperson said early Thursday that "cruise and ballistic missile strikes are underway at the control centers" in Kyiv.
Russian forces have launched a military assault on neighbouring Ukraine, crossing its borders and bombing military targets near big cities.
In a pre-dawn TV statement Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia did not plan to occupy Ukraine and demanded that its military lay down their arms.
Moments later, attacks were reported on Ukrainian military targets.
Ukraine said that "Putin has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine".
Russian military vehicles were said to have breached the border in a number of places, in the north, south and east, including from Belarus.
[Editor's Note: This is how we received it. We are searching for anything else but the claim that Assange is (being) extradited is currently unsubstantiated.]
Assange is extradited to die in the US empire.
Wikileaks now puts EVERYTHING online in return.
US President Joe Biden has pledged support to states affected by a swarm of devastating tornadoes that demolished homes, levelled businesses and left at least 100 people feared dead.
Describing the tornadoes as likely "one of the largest" storm outbreaks in history, Biden on Saturday approved an emergency disaster declaration for the worst-hit state of Kentucky, where at least 22 people have been confirmed dead.
"It's a tragedy," said a shaken Biden. "And we still don't know how many lives are lost and the full extent of the damage."
He added, "I promise you, whatever is needed – whatever is needed – the federal government is going to find a way to provide it."
The powerful twisters, which weather forecasters say are unusual in cooler months, destroyed a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, ripped through a nursing home in neighbouring Arkansas, and killed at least six workers at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said the collection of tornadoes was the most destructive in the state's history. He said about 40 workers had been rescued at the candle factory, which had about 110 people inside when it was reduced to a pile of rubble.
[...] Mayfield Fire Chief Jeremy Creason, whose own station was destroyed, said the candle factory was diminished to a "pile of bent metal and steel and machinery" and that responders had to at times "crawl over casualties to get to live victims".
[...] The tornado outbreak was triggered by a series of overnight thunderstorms, including a supercell storm that formed in northeast Arkansas. That storm moved from Arkansas and Missouri and into Tennessee and Kentucky.
Unusually high temperatures and humidity created the environment for such an extreme weather event at this time of year, said Victor Gensini, a professor in geographic and atmospheric sciences at Northern Illinois University.
"This is an historic, if not generational event," Gensini said.
If early reports are confirmed, the twister may have touched down for nearly 250 miles (400km), he said, a path length longer than the longest tornado on record, which tracked for about 220 miles (355 km) through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana in March 1925.
[...] The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center said it received 36 reports of tornadoes touching down in Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
[...] In Edwardsville, Illinois, Fire Chief James Whiteford said at least six people were killed when an Amazon warehouse collapsed. Some 45 people survived.
[...] In Monette, Arkansas, one person was killed and five seriously injured when a tornado tore through a nursing home with 90 beds.
Facebook and its sister properties Instagram and WhatsApp are suffering from ongoing, global outages. We don't yet know why this happened, but the how is clear: Earlier this morning, something inside Facebook caused the company to revoke key digital records that tell computers and other Internet-enabled devices how to find these destinations online.
Doug Madory is director of internet analysis at Kentik, a San Francisco-based network monitoring company. Madory said at approximately 11:39 a.m. ET today (15:39 UTC), someone at Facebook caused an update to be made to the company's Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) records. BGP is a mechanism by which Internet service providers of the world share information about which providers are responsible for routing Internet traffic to which specific groups of Internet addresses.
In simpler terms, sometime this morning Facebook took away the map telling the world's computers how to find its various online properties. As a result, when one types Facebook.com into a web browser, the browser has no idea where to find Facebook.com, and so returns an error page.
In addition to stranding billions of users, the Facebook outage also has stranded its employees from communicating with one another using their internal Facebook tools. That's because Facebook's email and tools are all managed in house and via the same domains that are now stranded.
[...] This is a developing story and will likely be updated throughout the day.
About 200 US businesses have been hit by a "colossal" ransomware attack, according to a cyber-security firm.
Huntress Labs said the hack targeted Florida-based IT company Kaseya before spreading through corporate networks that use its software.
Kaseya said in a statement on its own website that it was investigating a "potential attack".
Huntress Labs said it believed the Russia-linked REvil ransomware gang was responsible.
The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, a federal agency, said in a statement that it was taking action to address the attack.
The cyber-breach emerged on Friday afternoon as companies across the US were clocking off for the long Independence Day weekend.
The two big things that are keeping cyber-security professionals up at night lately are ransomware attacks and supply chain attacks. This latest incident combines both nightmares into one big Independence Holiday weekend-ruining event for hundreds of US IT teams.
Ransomware is the scourge of the internet. Multiple organised criminal gangs are constantly attempting to gain access to computer networks to hold them hostage. The rate of attack is relentless but it can take a lot of time and effort on the criminals part to successfully hijack one victim's computer system.
(This is from the first link I found online.)
Derek Chauvin Sentenced to 22.5 Years for George Floyd Murder:
Derek Chauvin, the white former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing George Floyd, a Black man, was sentenced to 22 and half years in prison Friday.
[...] The 22 1/2-year sentence is 10 years more than the state’s guidelines and Cahill justified the longer sentence citing “aggravating factors”.
In his ruling last month, Cahill found that prosecutors had shown there were four aggravating factors that would allow him to hand down a longer prison term than sentencing guidelines would dictate.
The judge agreed that Chauvin abused his position of trust and authority; that he treated Floyd with particular cruelty by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes, even as Floyd declared “I can’t breathe”; that he committed the crime as part of a group with three other officers; and that he committed the murder in front of children.
The prosecution had requested Derek Chauvin serve 360 months (30 years) in prison. The defense requested 150 months (12.5 years).
On April 20, 2021, a jury, consisting of six white people and six people of color, found Chauvin guilty on three counts: unintentional second-degree murder; third-degree murder; and second-degree manslaughter
Derek Chauvin, 45, was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The jurors deliberated for more than 10 hours over two days before coming to their decision.
The case concerned about 12,000 lines of code that Google used to build Android that were copied from the Java application programming interface developed by Sun Microsystems, which Oracle acquired in 2010. It was seen as a landmark dispute over what types of computer code are protected under American copyright law.
Oracle had claimed at points to be owed as much as $9 billion, while Google claimed that its use of the code was covered under the doctrine of fair use and therefore not subject to copyright liability. Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world.
In addition to resolving a multibillion-dollar dispute between the tech titans, the ruling helps affirm a longstanding practice in software development. But the Court declined to weigh in on the broader question of whether APIs are copyrightable.
Several of the other justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, suggested they were sympathetic to Oracle's copyright claims.
Still, they appeared reluctant to rule in Oracle's favor because of arguments made by leading computer scientists and Microsoft, in friend-of-the-court briefs, that doing so could upend the industry.
Held: Google's copying of the Java SE API, which included only those lines of code that were needed to allow programmers to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, was a fair use of that material as a matter of law. Pp. 11–36.
[Updated 2021-03-29 19:40:51 UTC] Ed. note: At the time of originally writing this story, the only information I could find on the ship's freeing was from directly watching it happen in real time. As originally reported here, that was on VesselFinder.com. There had been some reports last night of Ever Given having been freed, but those were later retracted. News reports were, therefore, suspect. The ship was still stuck. But then I was able to see it underway! I was also monitoring our news feeds and failed to find any reports concurrent with the apparent time of the ship's freeing. Again, the only certain information I had was watching it unfold online. In the interest of getting this breaking news to the community, accurately, and as quickly as possible, I could only refer the information I had at hand.
I'd read discussions elsewhere suggesting various approaches for freeing the ship, none of which held up to closer scrutiny. It's not just a matter of "pull harder!" The structural integrity of the ship was in question. A ship of that size undergoing an abrupt stop due to impact had the distinct possibility of breaking open and sinking. That would make the situation much, much worse. That it did no happen immediately was fortuitous. It was very much possible that a hasty attempt to free it could break it apart and sink it. That would make things much worse. Careful planning was required. Hence, the inclusion of a memorable example of Smit Salvage's successful raising of the Kursk. They knew what they were doing. Anything we could come up with was certainly already considered.
[Update 2] It's a few hours later and I'm finally seeing reports in the regular media that contains more detail. Take a look at Ship stuck in Suez Canal is freed: Everything you need to know. Sadly, even that lacks the details that I want to see. Just how did they get it free? How much and what kinds of equipment did they use? What process did they follow? What ideas did they consider and then reject, and why? If you come upon these kinds of details, please post them to the comments! --martyb
The original story appears below.
According to real-time updates, the container ship "Ever Given" has now been freed and is under way:
You can follow its progress at VesselFinder.com. (The web site seems to be struggling under the load.) At the moment of this writing, it is heading on a Course of 349.2° (nearly due north) at a speed of 2.3 knots.
It is headed to Great Bitter Lake. Once there and out of the path of other shipping, it will undergo technical inspections.
According to various reports, the Suez Canal carries anywhere from 10-15% of the world's shipping. The effort to dislodge the ship is led by Smit Salvage who is renowned in the ship salvage industry. They successfully took on the task of raising the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk. Powered by two nuclear reactors, it sank August 14, 2000 while a full complement of torpedoes and missiles.
How will the backlog of hundreds of ships be prioritized for passage? That backlog is clearly visible from space. The canal's capacity is on the order of 55 ships per day. Will they take each ship first-come first-served? What about perishable and time-sensitive cargo? Take advantage of supply and demand to set up a bidding war? With the whole world watching and second guessing every decision, what should they do?
First image from surface. (Members of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover team watch in mission control as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls)
The largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world touched down on Mars Thursday, after a 203-day journey traversing 293 million miles (472 million kilometers). Confirmation of the successful touchdown was announced in mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California at 3:55 p.m. EST (12:55 p.m. PST).
Packed with groundbreaking technology, the Mars 2020 mission launched July 30, 2020, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The Perseverance rover mission marks an ambitious first step in the effort to collect Mars samples and return them to Earth.
“This landing is one of those pivotal moments for NASA, the United States, and space exploration globally – when we know we are on the cusp of discovery and sharpening our pencils, so to speak, to rewrite the textbooks,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission embodies our nation’s spirit of persevering even in the most challenging of situations, inspiring, and advancing science and exploration. The mission itself personifies the human ideal of persevering toward the future and will help us prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet in the 2030s.”
About the size of a car, the 2,263-pound (1,026-kilogram) robotic geologist and astrobiologist will undergo several weeks of testing before it begins its two-year science investigation of Mars’ Jezero Crater. While the rover will investigate the rock and sediment of Jezero’s ancient lakebed and river delta to characterize the region’s geology and past climate, a fundamental part of its mission is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. To that end, the Mars Sample Return campaign, being planned by NASA and ESA (European Space Agency), will allow scientists on Earth to study samples collected by Perseverance to search for definitive signs of past life using instruments too large and complex to send to the Red Planet.
Image Gallery: Perseverance Rover.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) today revealed that some of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine data stolen from its servers in December was leaked online.
EMA is a decentralized agency responsible for reviewing and approving COVID-19 vaccines, as well as for evaluating, monitoring, and supervising any new medicines introduced to the EU.
"The ongoing investigation of the cyberattack on EMA revealed that some of the unlawfully accessed documents related to COVID-19 medicines and vaccines belonging to third parties have been leaked on the internet," EMA said today. "Necessary action is being taken by the law enforcement authorities."
"The Agency continues to fully support the criminal investigation into the data breach and to notify any additional entities and individuals whose documents and personal data may have been subject to unauthorized access."
EMA also said that European medicines regulatory network is fully functional and COVID-19 evaluation and approval timelines are not affected by the incident.
On December 31st, BleepingComputer became aware of threat actors leaking what they claimed was the stolen EMA data on several hacker forums. Below is a screenshot of one of the leaks seen by BleepingComputer at the time.
The hacked files show that the clinical vaccines had 78% RNA integrity which dropped to only 55% in the commercial batches:
The US House of Representatives has impeached President Donald Trump for "incitement of insurrection" at last week's Capitol riot.
Ten Republicans sided with Democrats to impeach the president by 232-197.
He is the first president in US history to be impeached twice, or charged with crimes by Congress.
Mr Trump, a Republican, will now face a trial in the Senate, where if convicted he could face being barred from ever holding office again.
But Mr Trump will not have to quit the White House before his term in office ends in one week because the Senate will not reconvene in time.
Mr Trump will leave office on 20 January, following his election defeat last November to Democrat Joe Biden.
The Democratic-controlled House voted after several hours of impassioned debate on Wednesday as armed National Guard troops stood guard inside and outside the Capitol.
[...] Impeachment charges are political, not criminal.
[Ed Note - The linked article has been revised since submission. The quoted text has been revised accordingly. - Fnord]
2021-01-07 14:44:44 UTC: UPDATE (See below the fold).
Supporters of President Donald Trump breached the US Capitol on Wednesday while Congress was meeting to certify the Electoral College's votes for president and vice president.
The Capitol has been put on lockdown and the certification vote has been paused. Vice President Mike Pence was evacuated from the building. House and Senate leadership is safe and in undisclosed locations, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Congress' counting of electoral votes is typically little more than an afterthought. But this joint session was expected to be a contentious affair that would last late into the evening and possibly on Thursday. Some Republicans are objecting to the count and delaying the inevitable certification of President-elect Joe Biden's win.
Also at AlJazeera (In Pictures: Pro-trump mob storms US Capitol building) and c|net (Mob storms Capitol forcing halt of election vote count).
[2021-01-06 22:33:53 UTC; UPDATE] NOTE: This is a chaotic time.
The Electoral College votes are currently being confirmed and tallied. Runoff votes in Georgia are being tallied and the results may swing the balance of power in the US Senate. The Georgia secretary of state [has been] relocated from [State] Capitol for security reasons. Mitch McConnell goes off on Trump. Pro-Trump reporter gloats over access to fleeing Hill staffer's computer. And Trump hand-picks replacement for Atlanta's US attorney after surprise resignation.
Let's please try and keep the discussion civil.
Also, please be polite and share your popcorn!
(1) Fox News reports Biden's Electoral College victory certified -- hours after Capitol chaos:
The U.S. Congress early Thursday certified the Electoral College vote that gave Democrat Joe Biden his presidential victory -- after a day in Washington that was marred by pro-Trump protesters storming the U.S. Capitol.
Vice President Mike Pence, who had announced he would not overturn the will of voters, confirmed the Biden victory at 3:41 a.m. ET.
Lawmakers had returned to the chamber in an act of defiance, with some Republicans who initially vowed to challenge states' results due to voter fraud concerns announcing they'd instead vote to certify.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the breach of the Capitol a "failed insurrection," adding that those who "tried to disrupt our democracy" had not succeeded.
Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Electoral Certification:
"Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our...
...fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!"
- Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday said they would lock the account of President Donald Trump after he continued to make false claims about the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
- Facebook, YouTube and Twitter on Wednesday removed a video by President Donald Trump addressing Washington rioters.
- Meanwhile, calls are mounting for Twitter and Facebook to suspend Trump's accounts.
(4) The Associated Press has called the results for the Georgia Senate elections: both Democratic candidates defeated their GOP opponents:
With projected victories in the twin races of Warnock and Ossoff, President-elect Joe Biden will have the narrowest majority in the Senate, with both parties holding 50-50 seats apiece, allowing the tie-breaking vote to be cast by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Also at The New York Times.
The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency issued a directive Monday that ambulance crews should only administer bottled oxygen to patients whose oxygen saturation levels fall below 90%.
In a separate memo from the county's EMS Agency, paramedic crews have been told not to transfer patients who experience cardiac arrest unless spontaneous circulation can be restored on the scene.
Both measures announced Monday, which were issued by the agency's medical director, Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill, were taken in an attempt to get ahead of an expected surge to come following the winter holidays.
Many hospitals in the region "have reached a point of crisis and are having to make very tough decisions about patient care," Dr. Christina Ghaly, the LA County director of health services said at a briefing Monday.
[...] "We do not believe that we are yet seeing the cases that stemmed from the Christmas holiday," Ghaly added. "This, sadly, and the cases from the recent New Year's holiday, is still before us, and hospitals across the region are doing everything they can to prepare."
Los Angeles County hospitals are so inundated, officials said they're just trying to provide the best care they can for the people who need it.
The memo sent out on December 28 by the medical director of L.A. County's Emergency Medical Services agency, Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill, addressed how first responders should treat stroke and heart attack patients, saying a patient should be treated at the scene first and have a pulse during resuscitation before transporting them to the hospital.
[...] The medical director of L.A. County's Emergency Services Agency, Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill, assured CBS2 that officials continue to do all they can to save patients' lives at the scene and the hospital, as they always have.
"We are not abandoning resuscitation," Gausche-Hill said. "We are absolutely doing best practice resuscitation and that is do it in the field, do it right away... What we're asking is that — which is slightly different than before — is that we are emphasizing the fact that transporting these patients arrested leads to very poor outcomes.
A UK judge has just announced that Assange cannot be extradited to the USA because his treatment by the US would cause him to be a suicide risk. However, he is not released as the prosecution and the USA may decide to appeal. He remains in Belmarsh prison but the courts still have to decide whether he should be released.
The political arguments were all dismissed by the Judge but her decision is based solely on the treatment he will receive in the USA.
The UK Westminster Magistrates' Court decision is now public, Wikileaks journalist Julian Assange will not be extradited from the UK to the US...
407. The defence complains that the late service of the second superseding indictment has resulted in unfairness in the preparation of its case. Mindful of any potential unfairness flowing from the late service of this amended indictment, on Friday 14 August 2020, I invited the defence to consider applying to adjourn the evidential hearing which was due to commence on 7 September 2020. I gave them the opportunity to consider this invitation over the course of a week but, on 21 August 2020, the defence confirmed that itwould not be seeking to adjourn proceedings. No further applications were made between that date and 7 September 2020.
408. In my judgment the appropriate remedy for any unfairness arising from the late indictment would have been to allow the defence sufficient time prepare its case and advance any relevant arguments. That time was offered in August 2020 and declined.
409. I reject the defence submissions concerning staying extradition as an abuse of the process of this court.
... unless the decision is appealed by either the outgoing US administration or the incoming one.
Many sources are reporting that Trump finally signed the pandemic relief bill:
Not gonna summarize all the bits in it - it's some 5k pages of legalese gobbledygook, but I understand it continues augmented unemployment benefits, eviction suspension, funding to prevent government shutdown, and another direct cash payment.
I'm sure it also has a bunch of "porky pork", but the people are suffering, time is of essence, and it should have been done months ago.