Saturday, June 27, 2015

European Intelligence Agencies Prepare for More Attacks

European Intelligence Agencies Prepare for More Attacks

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European countries raised their terrorist threat levels this weekend fearing that Ramadan, the holy month when Muslims seek to exercise humility and charity and come closer to Allah, may hold more attacks similar to those on Friday that left over 60 dead and hundreds wounded across three continents. Jihadists have a history of pulling off terrorist outrages during Ramadan and this year they added to the "catalog," with more attacks suspected of being in the offing. When then...

ISIS marks first anniversary with calls for violence during holy Ramzan - Financial Express

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Daily News & Analysis

ISIS marks first anniversary with calls for violence during holy Ramzan
Financial Express
The latest message released by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on completing a year as a self-proclaimed caliphate has urged its supporters to take up arms and carry out acts of terror. By: ANI | June 27, 2015 8:00 pm ...
Isis, a year of the caliphate: How powerful is the 'Islamic State' and what threat...The Independent 
'Ramadan will have lots of surprises', ISIS warn after Tunisia attackDaily Mail

ISIS marks first anniversary with calls for violenceDaily News & Analysis 
Daily Beast-
 Breitbart News-Al-Bawaba
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Fox News
all 72 news articles »

Thousands attend London Pride march - BBC News

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BBC News

Thousands attend London Pride march
BBC News
Thousands of people are taking to the streets of London for the annual Pride parade. More than 250 groups are taking part in the parade, which started in Baker Street at 13:00 BST. Police said there was extra security on the route following terror attacks in ...
Thousands march for London Pride paradeBusiness Standard
Filipino LGBT community rejoices after US legalizes gay marriageCNN
LGBT rights are good for the tech industry, SF Pride Parade chief saysCNET
The Independent-New Zealand Herald- ITV News
all 349 
news articles »

Eurozone Denies Extension to Greek Bailout 

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(BRUSSELS) — The latest news about the Greek bailout talks (all times local):
6:10 p.m.
Greece’s finance minister says there is still a chance his country could reach a bailout deal with creditors, despite the latest breakdown in talks.
Eurozone finance ministers on Saturday rejected Greece’s request for an extension to its bailout program so that it could put the creditors’ bailout proposals to a popular vote July 5. Greece’s bailout program expires on Tuesday and it is unclear whether it can support its banks after that date without a deal with creditors.
Yanis Varoufakis says the eurozone finance ministers would continue their meeting without Greece on Saturday night to evaluate the consequences of the recent decisions.
He told reporters, however, that there is still the “possibility of negotiating through the day and through the night and through the day ahead of us in the coming days to improve the agreement.”
5:40 p.m.
The eurozone’s top official, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, says the bailout program for Greece will expire on Tuesday. The country had requested an extension so that it can hold a referendum July 5 on the reform program demanded by creditors.
Without a bailout program, it is uncertain whether Greece will be able to continue to receive emergency support for its banks.
Dijsselbloem said Saturday at the end of a eurozone finance ministers’ meeting that “however regretful, the program will expire on Tuesday night. That is the latest stage we could have reached an agreement, and it will expire on Tuesday night.”
After Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis left, the 18 remaining ministers are to continue talks in an informal session to see what action to take to assure the continued stability of their shared currency.
5:25 p.m.
The finance ministers of the eurozone have rejected a Greek request to extend the deadline of its bailout program until after a planned July 5 referendum.
Two eurozone officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the decision was not yet officially announced, said the finance ministers would continue meeting in an informal session without Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.
One official said there could not be an extension of the program now because there was no basis for cooperation. Many among the 19 eurozone ministers said that they were surprised and disappointed by the announcement of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to seek a referendum.
2:50 p.m.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says that by calling for a referendum on the creditors’ proposals to keep Greece solvent — and by advising Greeks to reject them — the country appears to have ended the negotiations on its bailout program.
Schaeuble said as he arrived at a meeting with other eurozone finance ministers that “the negotiations apparently have been declared at an end” by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Schaeuble said that “if I understood correctly … we now have no basis for further negotiations.”
He was looking forward to hear what his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis would have to say about the latest developments. “We’ll see what he says. With Greece, apparently you must never rule out surprises,” Schaeuble said. “But to be honest, none of the colleagues I spoke to beforehand sees any possibility for what we can do now.”
2:35 p.m.
Finland’s finance minister, Alexander Stubb, warns that Greece’s referendum announcement has forced eurozone nations to assess other options if the bailout talks fail.
The referendum decision would require Greece’s creditors, which include eurozone states, to extend the country’s bailout program by a few days.
He says that “there is pretty much a consensus inside the eurogroup that we cannot extend the program as it stands,” he said. “Consequently I would argue that Plan B becomes Plan A,” he said, without elaborating.
(This item has been corrected to show that Stubb did not specify that the eurozone should discuss Greece’s exit from the euro.)
2:20 p.m.
The EU’s economics and monetary affairs chief, Pierre Moscovici, says the differences between Greece and its creditors can be bridged, and he emphasizes the importance of Greece remaining in the 19-nation euro bloc.
He said before a eurozone finance ministers’ meeting Saturday that “proposals are on the table. These proposals are favorable to Greece, favorable to the Greek people.”
The Greek government has called for a referendum to be held in a week on the creditors’ proposals for reforms in exchange for loans. It has urged the people to vote against the deal, leaving open what would happen to the country in such a case.
Moscovici added: “I see that there are differences, but the differences are quite limited, and they are identified.”
“The place of Greece is in the eurozone and we are working on that.”
2:15 p.m.
The head of the International Monetary Fund says that Greece’s rescue creditors “will continue to work” for a deal to save the country — even though Athens called for a referendum and advised Greeks to reject the proposals of international creditors.
Christine Lagarde says that the creditors “always showed flexibility to adjust to the new political and economic situation in Greece,” thus rejecting claims from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that his country was facing an ultimatum.
But Lagarde insists Greece needs to do more. “It requires a balanced approach, on the one hand there has to be structural reforms, deep ones, to change the Greek economy, to make it more productive, more efficient so that it generates growth and jobs.”
Once that’s done, “it requires financial support” from the international partners.
2:10 p.m.
The eurozone’s top official, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, says that Greece has closed the door on further talks to end the standoff with its creditors because it called for a referendum on the proposals of the creditors, with an advice to reject it.
He said before entering a eurozone finance ministers’ meeting Saturday: “I am very disappointed. After our last meeting, the door on our side was still open, but that door has closed on the Greek side.”
Greece has a debt repayment on Tuesday it cannot afford and its bailout program expires the same day. To be able to hold a referendum on July 5, as it has called for the Greek government would need an extension to the bailout program from its creditors. It would also need continued support for its banks from the European Central Bank.
1:25 p.m.
The Netherlands cautions against granting any more time to Greece, which faces a debt deadline on Tuesday, when it has a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) repayment to make and its bailout program expires.
Dutch state secretary Eric Wiebes said before the start of a eurozone finance ministers’ meeting: “I see no reason for delay. The positions are very clear. We have known the deadline for four months.”
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called for a referendum on the creditor’s bailout proposal on July 5, well after the country’s debt deadline. He even advised Greeks to not accept the proposal, leaving it unclear what the country’s prospects would be in such a case.
Wiebes stressed that those involved in the talks must “consider a deadline as a deadline.”
1:15 p.m.
The head of a major German economic think-tank says the only way Greece could stay in the eurozone if Greeks reject reform conditions in a popular vote next week would be for creditors to agree to debt relief and Greek banks to be rescued without outside help — largely by customers forfeiting part of their deposits.
Clemens Fuest of the Center for European Economic Research says that “that is not practically workable.”
As Greeks withdraw money from cash machines, the banks are under increasing financial strain. So far, the European Central Bank is supporting the Greek banks by allowing them to draw on emergency credit.
Fuest says that, unless Greece puts limits on money withdrawals and transfers, the ECB will face the choice on Monday of accepting the collapse of Greek banks or further expanding the emergency credit.
Fuest says that “only with capital controls from Monday can Greece be given time until July 5 to hold a referendum on the rescue program.”
11:50 a.m.
Germany’s vice chancellor says that a Greek referendum on the bailout talks could in principle make sense, but notes that it should be clear to voters what they will be deciding on.
Sigmar Gabriel told Deutschlandfunk radio: “We would be well-advised not simply to push this proposal from Mr. Tsipras aside and say that it’s a trick. If the questions are clear — if it’s really clear that they are voting on a program that has been negotiated, it could make sense.”
The agenda of the Greek Parliament showed the referendum would be on a proposal of reforms that creditors offered to Greece on Thursday. Should Greeks reject the proposal, it is unclear what Greece’s options would then be.
Gabriel added: “There must be a clear program. And what he (Tsipras) would like — for Europe to send 20 or 30 billion in aid programs to Greece, but without any conditions — Europe cannot accept.”
He said that “Europe is offering a great deal” and that “many of the tough measures that were being debated at the beginning are off the table.”
He pointed to EU efforts to invest in growth, softening the previous focus on austerity.
11:30 a.m.
The Greek Parliament will open a debate at noon local time on whether or not to approve the government’s planned referendum on the creditors’ latest proposal for a bailout.
The Parliament has posted Saturday’s agenda on its website, saying it will vote on the referendum at about 7 p.m.
It says the July 5 referendum announced by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras late Friday will be on whether voters approve or reject the bailout proposal submitted by Greece’s creditors Thursday.
The proposal, according to Parliament’s agenda, is made up of two documents: one called “Reforms for the completion of the Current Program and Beyond” and another called “Preliminary debt sustainability analysis.”
Aside for the issue of making these documents accessible to all voters, the Parliament must also deal with a likely contingency of creditors withdrawing those proposals at the Eurogroup meeting later Saturday.
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ISIS Fighters Kill 200 Civilians in Syrian Town

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(BEIRUT)—Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria fighters who launched a surprise attack on a Syrian border town massacred more than 200 civilians, including women and children, before they were killed and driven out by Kurdish forces, activists said on Saturday.
Kurdish activist Mustafa Bali, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Kurdish official Idris Naasan put at 40-50 the number of elite IS fighters killed in the two days of fighting since the militants sneaked into the town of Kobani before dawn on Thursday.
Clashes, however, continued to the south and west of the predominantly Kurdish town on the Turkish border on Saturday, they said, although the fighting in the south quietened down by nightfall.
Naasan said 23 of the city’s Kurdish defenders were killed in the fighting, but the Observatory put the number at 16. The discrepancy could not immediately be reconciled, but conflicting casualty figures are common in the aftermath of major fighting.
“Kobani has been completely cleared of Daesh, and Kurdish forces are now combing the town looking for fighters who may have gone into hiding,” Bali, using the Arabic acronym for the IS, told The Associated Press by telephone from Kobani. The official Syrian news agency, SANA, also reported that Kobani has been cleared of IS fighters.
The more than 200 civilians killed in the last two days include some who perished in IS suicide bombings, including one at the border crossing with Turkey, but they were mostly shot dead in cold blood, some in their own homes, the activists said.
“They were revenge killings,” Rami Abdurrahman, the observatory’s director, told the AP.
Others were caught in the cross-fire as gun battles raged in the town’s streets or were randomly targeted by IS snipers on rooftops.
Bali, Abdurrahman and Naasan all said the number of Kobani civilians and IS fighters killed was likely to rise as rescue teams continue to search neighborhoods where the fighting took place.
Massacring civilians is not an uncommon practice by the Islamic State group, whose men have slaughtered thousands in Syria and neighboring Iraq over the last year, when its fighters blitzed through large swathes of territory and declared a caliphate that spans both nations.
The Islamic State group often posts on social media networks gruesome images of its fighters executing captives as part of psychological warfare tactics designed to intimidate and inspire desertions among their enemies. Last week, it posted one of its most gruesome video clips, showing the execution of 16 men it claimed to have been spies. Five of the men were drowned in a cage, four were burned inside a car and seven were blown up by explosives.
The killing of so many civilians in Kobani, according to Abdurrahman, was premeditated and meant by the Islamic State to avenge their recent defeats at the hands of Kurdish forces.
The Western-backed Kurdish forces have emerged as a formidable foe of the extremist group, rolling them back in the north and northeast parts of Syria, where the Kurds are the dominant community, as well as in northern Iraq, where they have also made significant gains against the IS.
Kobani has become a symbol of Kurdish resistance after it endured a months-long siege by the Islamic State group before Kurdish forces, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, broke through and drove the militants out in January.
Thursday’s surprise attack on the town and a simultaneous one targeting the remote northeastern town of Hassakeh came one day after the Islamic State group called for a wave of violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting and piety that is now in its second week.
“You Muslims, take the initiative and rush to jihad, rise up you mujahideen everywhere, push forward and make Ramadan a month of calamities for the nonbelievers,” IS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani said in an audio message released Tuesday.
In what also appears to be a response to that call, terror attacks took place Friday across three continents: shootings in a Tunisian beach resort that left 39 people dead, an explosion and a beheading in a U.S.-owned chemical warehouse in southeast France and a suicide bombing by an Islamic State affiliate at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait that killed at least 27 worshippers.
The attacks also came after the group suffered a series of setbacks over the past two weeks, including the loss last week of the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad — one of the group’s main points for bringing in foreign fighters and supplies.
Fighting is continuing in Hassakeh for the third successive day, with government and Kurdish forces separately fighting IS militants who have seized several neighborhoods in the mostly Kurdish town, according to the Observatory. Forces loyal to embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad have brought in reinforcements from the town of Deir el-Zour to the south while the Syrian air force pounded IS positions inside the town.
Read the whole story
· · · ·

U.S., allies target Islamic State in Syria with 14 air strikes

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and coalition forces launched 14 air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and seven in Iraq on Friday, the U.S. military said, amid reports the militant group killed 145 civilians in the town of Kobani.
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Page 2

On ISIS’ Terms: Courting a Young American

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For months, Alex had been growing closer to a new group of friends online – the kindest she had ever had – who were teaching her what it meant to be a Muslim.

ISIS and the Lonely Young American 

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For months, Alex had been growing closer to a new group of friends online – the kindest she had ever had – who were teaching her what it meant to be a Muslim.

Suspect in Attack in France Had Ties to Radical Islamist

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Yassine Salhi, who the authorities say decapitated his boss before setting off an explosion at a chemical plant on Friday, belonged to the circle around a radical Islamist.

University won't take back 'sexist' scientist: More Nobel winners back Sir Tim Hunt but ex-boss say gender equality comes first

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Professor Michael Arthur, president and provost of University College London, broke his silence over the row and ruled out reversing his decision to accept Sir Tim Hunt’s resignation.

Drone flies abortion pills to Poland

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A Dutch women's rights group uses a drone to fly abortion pills into Poland, in protest at the country's restrictive laws.

Armenia suspends power price hike

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The president of Armenia suspends an increase in electricity prices, but protesters who have held days of demonstrations remain on the streets.
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Page 3

Some gay marriage opponents balk, while couples rush to wed

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CINCINNATI (AP) -- With the mayor of Dayton declaring "you are now husband and husband," the wait for Ohio to allow same-sex marriage ended for a gay couple in the city just as it is ending for couples across the last states with bans on such unions - even if the opposition isn't over....

US same-sex marriage ruling likely to impact other countries

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LONDON (AP) -- The landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriages has no legal force outside the United States, but gay rights activists in many parts of the world believe the court ruling will help their cause....

Terror on the beach: Tourists recount Tunisia attack horrors

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SOUSSE, Tunisia (AP) -- Tunisia's postcard destination for tourists is reeling from the terror that blighted another day of play at the Mediterranean seaside resort of Sousse. A man armed with a Kalashnikov and grenades gunned down tourists on a private beach, and then moved methodically through the grounds of a luxury hotel - to the swimming pool, reception area and offices....

Deadly Blasts Hit Baghdad; Fugitive Baathist Captured

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A series of attacks targeting public places killed 12 people in Baghdad on Saturday, Iraqi authorities said, as the prime minister announced the arrest of an aide to Saddam Hussein.

Rush of Same-Sex Marriages Follows US Supreme Court Ruling

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Gay couples have been celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage with spontaneous weddings and gatherings across the United States, while some conservative politicians and religious groups are demanding stronger legal protections for those wishing to avoid endorsing those unions. Marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples minutes after the ruling in at least eight states in the South and Midwest where gay marriage was previously banned. In...

GOP WH Hopefuls Deride Gay Marriage Ruling

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GOP presidential hopefuls deride gay marriage ruling, but differ on what to do about it
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Page 4

Is Tunisia the next hotbed of terror activity?

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Once a bright spot of democratic success, Tunisia is now "facing a growing sense of terrorist threat and dread," an expert says

U.S., eyeing Russia, urges NATO allies to harden cyber defenses

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World | Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:49pm EDT
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (C) and U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (R) chat after a family photo, following a meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC)  in Defense Ministers session at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium June 24, 2015. NATO defence ministers met in Brussels on Wednesday, where they were expected to discuss security in the eastern European region as well as budgetary matters. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (C) and U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (R) chat after a family photo, following a meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) in Defense Ministers session at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium June 24, 2015. NATO defence...
Reuters/Eric Vidal
BRUSSELS U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter urged NATO allies on Wednesday to strengthen their cyber defenses, a senior U.S. defense official said, citing an advanced threat from Russia.
Cyber vulnerabilities within NATO have come into focus following Russia's annexation of Crimea last year, which raised concerns about unconventional warfare techniques that can range from use of unidentified troops to information campaigns.
A major cyber attack on a NATO member by any adversary could trigger a collective response by the alliance, perhaps extending beyond cyberspace.
"In his message today, (Carter) underscored the importance of cyber defense – both of NATO networks and critical infrastructure," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that many NATO members were vulnerable.
Carter said ensuring a strong cyber defense was more important than developing offensive capabilities, according to the official.
The United States in April disclosed a cyber intrusion this year by Russian hackers it said had accessed an unclassified U.S. military network. The Pentagon's new cyber strategy document singles out Russian cyber actors for their stealth.
Carter, during a trip to Estonia, announced on Tuesday a new U.S. initiative meant to bolster NATO members' defenses. The effort would be coordinated through an Estonia-based, NATO-accredited cyber center and would include planning to better protect critical infrastructure. [ID:nL3N0Z93XL]
Estonia, which borders Russia, is acutely aware of the cyber challenge. When the ex-Soviet Baltic state fell victim to a cyber attack in 2007 and blamed Moscow, the Kremlin responded that it could not always control patriotic Russian hackers.
"You absolutely should look at what the secretary announced through the lens of trying to deter Russia and bolster the resilience of NATO partner nations. The Russians are very good at cyber," the defense official said.
Carter's plan involves bolstering the role of NATO's Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Estonia and working with it to help allies develop cyber defense strategies.
"We want to have the center of excellence become less academic and less like a think-tank and more active and involved in doing real things," the official said, noting past efforts in the Gulf and east Asia.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart)
Our top news photos from the past week.   Slideshow  
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· · · ·

Obama Ignores Red Line Amid Chinese...

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Obama Ignores Red Line Amid Chinese Cyberattack

Investor's Business Daily - ‎16 hours ago‎
Cyberwar: The damage done by Chinese hackers grows worse by the day, with news that they stole a treasure trove of blackmail-worthy material on those with high security clearances. What's Obama's reaction? When the Office of Personnel Management ...

Keep Calm and Spy On: Why the OPM Hack Won't Bring Down US Intelligence

Defense One - ‎Jun 26, 2015‎
For starters, there are very few known cases in which blackmail was involved in getting government employees to give up classified information. China; /; Intelligence. NSA Chief: Don't Assume China Hacked OPM · Why the US Hasn't Pinned the OPM Hack ...

The OPM Hack: Weighing the Damage to US Intelligence

Council on Foreign Relations (blog) - ‎Jun 26, 2015‎
I finally got my letter from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). What a relief. I was worried my credibility as a commentator would be damaged if my data wasn't stolen. Imagine how Dan Rather would have felt had he not received Anthrax. In any case ...

How to find the best cyber security insurance for your firm

Yahoo Finance UK - ‎Jun 26, 2015‎
(Reuters) - A robust cyber security insurance policy can be tricky to procure, even for the most meticulous wealth management firms. Interest in cyber insurance has surged over the past year following a number of high-profile hackings, including one ...

Cyber-attacks: threats, regulatory reaction and practical proactive measures to ...

Lexology (registration) - ‎Jun 26, 2015‎
In the past few months, the White House, Home Depot, JP Morgan, Hard Rock Hotels, Tesla, the St. Louis Federal Reserve, the Internal Revenue Service and many other institutions have suffered well-publicized cybersecurity breaches.[1] In fact, very recently ...

US-China cybersecurity talks should focus more on trade secret theft than ...

The Conversation US - ‎Jun 26, 2015‎
Peter K Yu does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations. The Conversation is funded by Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Howard ...

Study: Government Cybersecurity Lax

Sci-Tech Today - ‎Jun 26, 2015‎
The federal government has for years failed to take basic steps to protect its data from hackers and thieves, putting at risk everything from nuclear secrets to the private tax information of hundreds of millions of Americans, records show. In the latest example, ...

Director of the NSA stops by GRU

WRDW-TV - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) - The Director of the National Security Agency stopped by Georgia Regents University today to talk to students about cyber security classes. Local high schools are adding their first classes this fall, and GRU is creating a Cyber ...

JED BABBIN: The high cost of cyber-espionage

Washington Times - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎
On June 4, the media reported that for the second time in a year, the Office of Personnel Management's computer network was the target of a successful penetration by the People's Republic of China. It now appears that OPM was aware of the ...

NSA director visits GRU cyber-campers for graduation

WTOC - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎
AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A group of local students got the chance to dig deep into the cyber world during a week-long summer camp at Georgia Regents University. Adm. Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency opened with this question: ...

OVERNIGHT CYBERSECURITY: US official nearly blames China for OPM hack

The Hill - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎
Welcome to OVERNIGHT CYBERSECURITY, your daily rundown of the biggest news in the world of hacking and data privacy. We're here to connect the dots as leaders in government, policy and industry wrap their arms around cyberthreats. What lies ahead ...

Excerpts from recent North Dakota editorials

<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> (press release) - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎
No wonder it took government officials so long to admit the gravity of a computer security breach a few weeks ago. It may be the most significant intelligence failure of all time. Though hackers gained access to personal information about hundreds of ...

Lawmakers unimpressed with OPM's cyber action report

Federal Times - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎
The Office of Personnel Management released a "Cybersecurity Action Report" June 24 detailing the actions taken to shore up network security since the agency's systems were hacked, though legislators aren't satisfied with the efforts to-date. The document ...

Feds Slow to Confront China about Cyberattacks

Government Technology - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎
While the U.S. side is sure to raise concerns over hacking of the Office of Personnel Management, few analysts think anything of substance will be announced this week. by Stuart Leavenworth, McClatchy Foreign Staff / June 25, 2015. (TNS) — For nearly a ...

Reports: NSA Chief Michael Rogers Declines to Attribute OPM Hack

ExecutiveGov - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎
Adm. Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, has declined to identify the perpetrator of the recent data breach at the Office of Personnel Management, Breaking Defense reported Wednesday. Colin Clark writes that ...

NSA Not Yet Pointing Finger at China as Suspect in OPM Data Theft (UPDATED)

National Defense Magazine (blog) - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎
The National Security Agency is not yet saying whether China was to blame for the massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management that resulted in the theft of millions of government worker records, according to its director. Director of the NSA and ...

Burnin' Down the House

Huffington Post - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎
Smokey the Bear says, "Only you can prevent wildfires." Now, that wildfire is the OPM breach. Yesterday it was the IRS. The day before that, it was Snowden. Tomorrow, it'll spark up somewhere else. Federal cyber pros are sounding the alarm. They are ...

Cyber Commander: OPM Hack Highlights Data Theft Danger

Washington Free Beacon - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎
The massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management that compromised personal records of tens of millions of federal workers highlights the danger of cyber attacks, the commander of the U.S. Cyber Command said Wednesday. Adm. Mike Rogers ...

U.S. government is vunerable to hacks, 100K tax accounts taken

Crain's New York Business - ‎Jun 24, 2015‎
The latest hack by suspected Chinese cyberspies is considered to be one of the worst breaches in U.S. history. By Associated Press. Comments Email Print. ×. Photo: Bloomberg News. The number of government cyberincidents has grown significantly within ...

NSA's Rogers Won't Say China Did OPM Hack

Breaking Defense - ‎Jun 24, 2015‎
“So what really makes you think that, as the head of NSA and Cyber Com, I'm going to talk with you about this,” he told a reporter here today. Breaking D readers can rely on the expert analysis done for us by John Quigg in his recent op-ed on the subject, but ...

Obama Administration Bent Rules to Avoid Disclosing Full Extent of OPM Attack

Breitbart News - ‎Jun 24, 2015‎
Obama administration officials avoided immediately disclosing the severity of the government employee data hack by defining it as two distinct breaches, according to people familiar with the matter, in an incident that underscores the tensions within the ...

NSA Chief: Don't Assume China Hacked OPM

Defense One - ‎Jun 24, 2015‎
Attribution, which came so quickly when North Korea hacked Sony, is proving trickier when China stands accused. China; /; Cyber; /; Intelligence. Why the US Hasn't Pinned the OPM Hack on China · 5 Chinese Cyber Attacks That Might Be Even Worse Than ...

Hack May Have Hit 18 Million Social Security IDs

Nasdaq - ‎Jun 24, 2015‎
WASHINGTON—The Obama administration for more than a week avoided disclosing the severity of an intrusion into federal computers by defining it as two breaches but divulging just one, said people familiar with the matter. That approach has frustrated ...

NSA Confident in Ability to Attribute Massive Government Data Breach

Sputnik International - ‎Jun 24, 2015‎
According to NSA Chief and head of US Cyber Command Admiral Mike Rogers, US National Security Agency has a high degree of certainty that the intelligence community will be able to find out who are the perpetrators of the massive hack against the Office ...

US Should Establish Systemic Response to Cyber Threats - NSA Director

Sputnik International - ‎Jun 24, 2015‎
The United States should broaden its policies of responding to individual cases of cyber theft and cyber attacks, US National Security Agency (NSA) director and head of US Cybercommand Michael Rogers said on Wednesday. WASHINGTON (Sputnik) ...

Investigators are closer to knowing how many people's security clearance ...

Washington Post (blog) - ‎Jun 24, 2015‎
The Office of Personnel Management plans to arrive at an estimate by Friday of the number of people whose highly sensitive security clearance information was in a system breached by Chinese hackers. As a third congressional hearing on the massive ...

Worst US cyber intrusion: Data of 18 million fed employees exposed

ChristianToday - ‎Jun 24, 2015‎
An illustration picture shows a projection of binary code on a man holding a laptop computer. Security experts point at China as the culprit in the worst ever cyber intrusion in the US. The personal data of an estimated 18 million current and past US federal ...

IRS employees can use 'password' as a password? No wonder we get hacked

The Guardian - ‎Jun 24, 2015‎
Why should anyone trust what the US government says on cybersecurity when they can't secure the systems they have full control over? data. Encryption won't protect you if the government is lax with your data Photograph: Mal Langsdon/Reuters. Contact ...

Law Firms Can Learn from Government Data Breaches

Bloomberg Big Law Business - ‎Jun 23, 2015‎
Editor's Note: The author of this post is a consultant on legal, regulatory and policy issues related to cyber security. By Joseph Abrenio, Vice President of Advisory Services and General Counsel, Delta Risk. Earlier this year, the United States government ...

IRS-OPM teamwork and a China cyber warning

<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> - ‎Jun 23, 2015‎
Sen. Mark Warner has asked the IRS to help the Office of Personnel Management deal with the fallout of its massive breaches that exposed millions of current, former and retired federal workers' personal data. "[F]iling and claiming a false [tax] return is ...
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Cyber Commander: OPM Hack Highlights Data Theft Danger

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Katherine Archuleta
OPM Director Katherine Archuleta / AP
BY: Bill Gertz 
The massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management that compromised personal records of tens of millions of federal workers highlights the danger of cyber attacks, the commander of the U.S. Cyber Command said Wednesday.
Adm. Mike Rogers, who is also director of the National Security Agency, declined to name China as the main culprit in the attacks but would not reveal who the intelligence agencies believe conducted the intelligence-gathering operation.
Asked after a speech on what basis Cyber Command is linking the OPM hack to China, Rogers said: “I’m not going to accept the assumption” that China played a role in the cyber attacks.
“First of all I’m not going to get into the specifics of attribution,” the four-star admiral said at a conference in Washington called GEOINT 2015. “That’s a process that we’re working through on the policy side. That’s ongoing.”
Other U.S. intelligence officials have said intelligence agencies have moderate confidence that China carried out the attacks. The evidence is said to include technical forensic information based on the malicious software used by the hackers, the sophistication of the data exfiltration operations, and the Internet domains that were used to store information taken from OPM networks.
However, Rogers said the OPM hack is typical of the growing danger of cyber attacks data theft in the current global environment.
“I think the important thing for us to take away from OPM is that it is another reminder to us—and I don’t care if it’s the government or the private sector—we are in a world in which increasingly data has value as a commodity to a wide range of people,” Rogers said.
“And there’s a wide range of people and groups and nations states out there aggressively attempting to gin access to that data, whether it resides in the U.S. government, whether it resides the private sector, whether it resides in our own homes as private citizens and individuals.”
Rogers said he believes “we’re in for a period of time, much like we’re seeing now, we’re in a constant fight to safeguard our networks, to safeguard our data.”
Damage from the OPM attack appears to be increasing.
On Capitol Hill Wednesday, OPM Director Karen Archuleta revealed that as many as 18 million Social Security numbers contained in a database on federal security clearance holders appear to have been compromised. She declined to comment when asked if the total number of federal workers who were victimized in the OPM hack could be as many as 32 million.
OPM’s official estimate of the total number is that 4.2 million current and former federal workers were victims of the cyber attacks that was discovered in April and appears to have been carried out since at least December.
So far, two OPM databases were breached, a central personal network and a separate security clearance database used to check the backgrounds of federal employees involved in classified work. That database involves millions of people who are questioned about security clearance renewals or new clearances.
Rogers also was asked what he will recommend to the president in terms of a response to the OPM hacking. He declined to discuss internal deliberations on the matter.
Rogers suggested the current U.S. policy of taking mainly defensive steps to block computer attacks may not be working to solve the problem.
A long-term approach to the problem of cyber attacks will require changing the current approach of solely responding to individual attacks, he said.
“Quite frankly just continually responding to individual incidents, I don’t think in the long run is going to get us to where we need to be,” Rogers said.
Rogers did not say what approach he favors. However, in congressional testimony earlier this year he urged a more proactive strategy of conducting some offensive counter attacks as a way to deter cyber attackers.
On the general question of identifying the origin or cyber attacks, called attribution, Rogers said “attribution has sure come a long way and is not the challenge it was 10 years ago.”
The cyber attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment in November was quickly identified as coming from North Korean government hackers, he said.
The solid intelligence from NSA, FBI, and DHS allowed senior U.S. political leaders to have “high confidence” that Pyongyang conducted the attacks that stole sensitive company information and damaged the companies computers. The administration responded with imposing sanctions on North Korea.
“Every incident is different,” he said, noting that tracking down hackers is “a bit of a cat and mouse game.”
“As you generate and gain more insights on what actors are doing, you watch them try to change what they do in a way to obfuscate how they do it,” he said.
For example, hackers have formed new partnerships with other hackers in an effort to thwart intelligence agencies from identifying them, sometimes with success, he said.
“But in general, I remain pretty confident in our ability to generate insights into who’s doing what,” Rogers said.
President Obama met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and other Chinese officials at the White House and raised U.S. concerns about cyber issues, according to a White House statement.
Earlier this week, State Department officials would not say whether China’s role in the OPM hacking was raised during this week’s meetings of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue with the Chinese.
The president and his advisers are keeping secret the intelligence linking China to the cyber attacks to avoid upsetting relations with Beijing, according to a U.S. intelligence official.
Forensic technical details of the OPM hacking, including an access malware called Sakula, have been linked to Chinese state-run hackers in the past. The malware gives remote users broad access to closed computer networks.
A second U.S. official with access to details of the investigation of the OPM hack said there is clear technical evidence linking the cyber attacks to China’s military.
China’s military has a special unit for foreign cyber attacks that is under the Third Department of the People’s Liberation Army General Staff known as 3PLA.
Lisa Monaco, the White House homeland security director, said on Friday that among the options being considered for a future response to the OPM hack are sanctions and unspecified legal, diplomatic, and intelligence actions.
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NSA Chief: Don’t Assume China Hacked OPM

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The U.S. military’s top cyber warrior says it’s merely an “assumption” that the Chinese government was behind the recent hack at the Office of Personnel Management, or OPM — and not necessarily one he shares. That puts Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, in opposition to unnamed sources within the U.S. government who blamed Beijing in June 4 interviews with the New York Times and Washington Post.
Rogers spoke in response to a question about how the National Security Agency was going about attributing the breach to the Chinese government. “You’ve put an assumption in your question,” he said. “I’m not going to get into the specifics of attribution. It’s a process that’s ongoing.”
The OPM hack may have exposed as many as 18 million records of government employees and job applicants, including people who applied for—and received—top-secret clearances.
Rogers’s hedged response, given during a question-and-answer session at the GEOINT symposium in downtown Washington, comes in stark contrast to the NSA’s approach to attribution during the Sony hack. In that case the FBI, working with the NSA and DHS, quickly named North Korea as the perpetrator, resulting in the prompt issuance of sanctions.
Rogers called that a great example of cross-agency collaboration. “Working across the United States government, DHSFBI and the National Security agency, we were able to relatively quickly come to consensus about the characterization of the activity we were seeing coming in, which formed the basis of our attribution, and with a relatively high confidence factor, which allowed us to respond in a very public and direct way.”
Why hasn’t that collaboration worked in the case of the OPM hack? Said Rogers: “every dataset is different.”
If you’re a conservative politician or a presidential candidate, there’s a good chance that you believe that the Chinese government is behind the OPM hack and that the Obama administration is being too easy on Beijing. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, toldthe Associated Press on June 5 that Beijing backed the intrusion. She called it “yet another indication of a foreign power probing successfully and focusing on what appears to be data that would identify people with security clearances.”
More recently, former Arkansas governor and 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee wrote on his blog, “We should hack the cell phones of some prominent Communist party leaders, hack the bank accounts of intelligence officials, publicly humiliate Chinese families for political corruption, or wipe-out a few critical Chinese computer systems.”
The Obama administration has been more reluctant to publicly blame the Chinese government. “I can’t promise you that we’ll be in a position at any point in the future to make a grand pronouncement about who may have been responsible for this particular intrusion,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said at a June 9 briefing.
The cybersecurity group FireEye says it’s “highly confident” that Chinese hackers did it, based on the kind of cables and telecommunications equipment involved, the type of data stolen, and the specific backdoors that the thieves used. “These backdoors, they’re commonly used by Chinese threat actors,” Michael Oppenheim, the intelligence operations manager at FireEye, told Defense One.
Oppenheim stopped short of formally accusing the Chinese government but added, “We believe that this aligns with Chinese interests.”
Oppenheim said that he was sympathetic to Rogers’s reluctance to formally attribute the breach to the Chinese government. “For someone in his position, you want to be 100-percent sure,” he said.
Meanwhile, we asked Rogers: what is he doing to shore up defenses or retaliate for the hack? “Now tell me,” he said, “you really think that as the director of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, I’m going to talk to you about that?”
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was fbi operational data hacked? - Google Search

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Story image for was fbi operational data hacked? from Business Insider

Those Chinese hackers got into FBI files too

Business Insider-Jun 25, 2015
Hackers who infiltrated the Office of Personnel Management and stole ... two decades' experience in the US Special Operations Command, told ...
Officials Masked Severity Of Hack
Wall Street Journal-Jun 24, 2015
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Report: Chinese Hackers Got Into FBI Personnel Files

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One of those implications is that the FBI is responsible for investigating all the other data breaches, and protecting America against terrorism and espionage. As always, the breach was hushed up, and its full extent is still either unknown or being kept from the public, including potential primary and secondary identity theft victims. (When personnel files are raided, the friends and family of the targets have reason to be nervous that they might be the next targets.)
In this case, some degree of secrecy might have been defensible given the extreme sensitivity of FBI operations, but it’s weird that we’re suddenly hearing about it now, as a staggered release of bad news while public attention is elsewhere, thanks to a “veteran agent” speaking anonymously to Newsweek.
Said agent is having a very bad year, because he said he was also a victim of the Anthem Blue Cross hack in February. In May, he received a letter from the Office of Personnel Management that China’s data pirates had gotten into his personnel file.
When Newsweek asked this agent if he thought the entire 36,000-strong FBI workforce had been compromised, his answer was not encouraging, and it lent support to the contention that Chinese cyber-spies were essentially handed user names and passwords by the Administration: “I don’t think so…. but it’s pretty ugly. I guess [OPM staff] outsourced some of their software to a Chinese company. Unfortunately I don’t think anyone’s going to be fired like they should be.”
The agent concluded by warning that a large-scale penetration of the FBI could have “mind-boggling” implications for counter-intelligence and national security.
In the interests of fairness, Newsweek quotes a cyber security writer who thinks the damage to the FBI might be exaggerated by reading too much into the testimony of a single agent, which is a fair point.
Actually, the writer in question, Steve Ragan of CSO Online, went further and suggested Newsweek was essentially sensationalizing an existing story by reporting the news as an additional data breach or previously unsuspected extension of the OPM breach, because the FBI agent who spoke to Newsweek, and anyone else at the Bureau who might have been raided, were really just part of the ever-growing number of victims from the original hack – 4 million, 12 million, 18 million, you have to watch the congressional hearings on C-SPAN every day to keep track of what it’s up to. In other words, it’s not so much that “the FBI got hacked” as that “the entire U.S. government got hacked.”
That’s not exactly a comforting thought. Ragan goes way overboard in trying to under-sensationalize the story, putting an astonishing degree of faith in the idea that Chinese hackers can’t be responsible because the Obama Administration hasn’t formally accused China of perpetrating the assault: “For all we know, it was someone in Iceland using a really, really slow 3G connection. Then again, maybe it was Russia – pretending to be China. Perhaps it was an army of squirrels.”
But the situation is messy enough that some precision about which systems have been compromised, to the extent possible given how little reliable information we’ve been given by this secretive, inept, spin-obsessed Administration. “FBI employees were compromised by the OPM breach” is a very different story than “Chinese hackers broke into the FBI’s computer system, too,” but at the end of the day, if a large number of FBI personnel files were stolen, we’re still looking at a very big problem.
Is it plausible that the agent who spoke to Newsweek is the only FBI employee whose files were compromised? That seems like even more of a stretch than extrapolating from his account that everyone who works for the agency was hit. All 36,000 of them being affected is far more plausible than just one individual, especially as the scope of the breach keeps growing, and OPM testimony makes it clear just how completely the Administration was outmaneuvered by this army of squirrels, for a very long span of time.
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Boehner doles out new punishment

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Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his allies are charging ahead with their effort to punish conservatives who have been a thorn in leadership’s side — a purge that is roiling the GOP conference.
The latest victim is Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, who could be stripped of his title as GOP freshman class president on Thursday morning.
Boehner allies have been retaliating against rank-and-file members who voted against a procedural motion earlier this month, nearly derailing a major trade package favored by Republican leaders that is set to clear the House 
on Thursday
While the Speaker has lashed out at conservative rebels before, the latest intraparty purge has been particularly aggressive, this time targeting members of the new, conservative House Freedom Caucus who voted against the rule.
Three members of that caucus have been booted from the whip team, and another was stripped of his subcommittee gavel. Buck, meanwhile, faces being ousted as head of the freshman class just months after being elected to that position by his peers.
“It’s clear that leadership has decided there’s going to be retaliation,” he told reporters in the Speaker’s lobby just off the House floor.
But GOP lawmakers and aides close to leadership contend the political payback is being divvied out at the behest of the Republican Conference.
Roughly 200 Republicans believe the retaliation is completely appropriate, they say, and many have reportedly been privately imploring Boehner’s team to take more aggressive actions like stripping the rebels of gavels, denying them travel, halting campaign cash and blocking their bills from the floor.
“The fact is we’ve got more than 200 rank-and-file members who are royally pissed off at those guys for voting to turn the House floor over to Nancy Pelosi,” said a senior GOP leadership aide. “There’s plenty of anger to go around, but the large majority of it is from members who believe much more punishment should be doled out.”
The deep fissures in the party were apparent during Wednesday’s closed-door conference meeting in the Capitol, where Boehner announced he fully supported Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz’s (R-Utah) decision to sack one of his subcommittee chairmen, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a Freedom Caucus co-founder.
“We are in the majority. Part of being in the majority is advancing an agenda — a conservative agenda,” Boehner said, according to a source in the meeting. “You may not agree with every part of the agenda, and when you don’t, you can vote your conscience. But voting against rules is not a vote of conscience; it is a vote to hand the House floor over to Nancy Pelosi.”
Boehner’s remarks sparked a debate in the room. Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) defended colleagues who voted against the rule, saying it was poorly structured and “convoluted.” But two other Republicans close to leadership, Reps. John Kline (Minn.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), said Chaffetz was right to take action against Meadows.
“Committee chairs have to be able to manage their committee,” Kline, the Education Committee chairman, told The Hill. “I hope we don’t need to do that again, but I certainly support that decision, because he’s got to make that committee work.”
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who along with Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) was kicked off the whip team in the trade vote melee, typically has harsh words for leadership. This time, he took direct aim at Chaffetz.
“Jason Chaffetz has hurt himself far more than he hurt Mark Meadows,” Franks told The Hill.
Votes on the procedural motions, known as “rules,” are viewed as a referendum on the majority party’s strategy of bringing legislation to the floor. Opposing a rule is interpreted as public rejection of the leadership, which is why the votes are considered tests of party unity.
Centrist Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) said enforcing leadership’s rule over committee and whip team assignments is an effective way to instill party discipline.
“When you’re elected to serve in the majority it’s a great honor and privilege. And with that honor comes a governing responsibility. And by taking down rules and empowering, in this case Nancy Pelosi, you’re really undermining the majority,” Dent said.
“Look, if you vote against the rule, you know you’ve got to get off the whip team. It’s that simple,” he added. “Nobody should be surprised or upset about that.”
Dent shared his own experience of deciding to vote against a rule while serving on the whip team as Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown in 2013. He disagreed with the leadership’s strategy of refusing to bring a bill to the floor that didn’t defund ObamaCare.
But he gave the leadership a heads-up about his vote against the rule before voluntarily resigning from the whip team. Dent, who is now the House Ethics Committee chairman, did not hold any gavels at the time.
“I did it with my eyes wide open understanding the consequences,” Dent said.
The move against Meadows wasn’t just about his rule vote. In February, he had stopped paying dues to the House GOP’s campaign arm. More importantly, Meadows apparently had given Boehner and Chaffetz his word he would back Boehner for Speaker before getting his gavel last year, said GOP aides familiar with the conversations; when the vote was held in January, Meadows reneged and cast his vote for Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.).
Meadows denied ever promising to vote for Boehner as Speaker.
“No one asked me about the Speaker’s vote, including Chairman Chaffetz, as a condition of anything,” Meadows told The Hill. “It’s a bold-faced lie.”
The latest round of retribution has encouraged other Republicans to speak out. In an interview, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) accused Boehner of removing him from a spring congressional delegation to attend the Summit of the Americas in Panama. Yoho was one of three Republicans who had challenged Boehner in the Speaker’s race.
The response from a leadership aide: “Taxpayer-funded travel is a privilege and not a right.”
More Freedom Caucus lawmakers could be next on the hit list. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), one of the caucus’s founding members, chairs a subcommittee on the powerful House Financial Services panel. Jordan holds a subcommittee gavel on the House Oversight Committee. And Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) leads a Natural Resources subcommittee.
Buck told reporters a freshman colleague approached him on Tuesday night and gave him a choice: Resign or get ousted by his peers. When Buck refused to step down, his colleague issued a threat: “Well, then we’re going to call a meeting.”
Later that evening, the chief of staff to Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.), the freshman liaison to leadership, sent out an email asking for freshman members to gather at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.
In a brief interview, Walters declined to disclose exactly what the meeting would be about. But in a statement, she said, “a majority of the freshman class has expressed concerns I share regarding the leadership of our class president.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) joked that he’s “still got the record for being kicked off two committees.” House GOP leaders removed him from the Budget and Agriculture panels in 2012 as payback for repeatedly bucking the party line.
He accused the GOP leadership of having misplaced priorities.
“Leaders unite, they don’t divide. That’s been the Republican concern about President Barack Obama, that he’s a divider. And we have our leadership doing the same thing,” he said.
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Hackers got FBI files as part of OPM breach

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Suspected Chinese hackers breached FBI agents’ personnel files as part of the broader attack on the federal government that has laid bare millions of people’s data, Newsweek reported.
Putting FBI agents' data at risk could have national security implications; many investigate domestic terrorist plots and foreign spies.
It’s still unclear exactly whose information has been pilfered following a massive digital siege on the Office of Personnel Management.
Initially, the OPM said a hack had exposed 4.2 million current and former executive branch employees.
A week later, the personnel agency revealed a second breach of a security clearance database that contained the background check files of millions of military and intelligence community. The FBI is part of the intelligence community.
A widely reported estimate that 18 million people were affected by the second intrusion was disputedby OPM Director Katherine Archuleta on Thursday, who said that number could rise even higher.
It’s not clear whether the reported FBI infiltration was part of the first or second breach. As an intelligence community agency, it would make sense it was part of the larger hack.
But an unnamed FBI source told Newsweek the OPM notified him in May that his personnel file had been compromised, which was before the agency had started sending notices about the second breach.
The FBI has more than 35,000 employees.
The ramifications of those employees’ info getting out could be “mind boggling,” the source toldNewsweek, “because there are counterintelligence implications, national security implications.”  

Kurds 'drive IS from border town'

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Islamic State militants are reportedly driven out of the Syrian border town of Kobane but are said to have massacred more than 200 civilians.

Some Gay Marriage Opponents Balk, While Couples Rush to Wed

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As couples rush to wed, some same-sex marriage opponents balk in states with bans

Denmark to Get a 1-Party Minority Government

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Danish Liberal leader to form minority Cabinet, needs support from anti-immigration party
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Page 6

Crisis meeting over Greek referendum

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Greece's creditors hold a crisis meeting with the Greek finance minister after Athens calls a surprise referendum on the terms for a fresh bailout.

Japanese women go ape over surprisingly handsome gorilla

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Who could resist that striking countenance, that chiseled brow -- and that toned, furry butt?

Sightseeing plane carrying 9 crashes in Alaska

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Holland America cruise ship passengers were on aerial tour; plane hit granite rock face of a cliff

Iran nuclear talks: Kerry begins final round to seal accord

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Iran was making its red lines clear in Vienna on Saturday, in the first of what should be several days of negotiations ahead of a Tuesday deadline
Iran was making its red lines clear as talks on a final nuclear deal got under way in Vienna on Saturday.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif were meeting in a Vienna hotel in the first of what should be several days of negotiations ahead of a Tuesday deadline.
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Drone set to deliver abortion pills to Poland

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A drone is set to deliver medical abortion pills to Poland where nearly 50,000 dangerous underground abortions are reported to take place every year.
The “abortion drone” is being sent by a Netherlands-based non-profit organization, Women on Waves, and will arrive in the Polish town of Slubice on Saturday.
Since 1993, Poland has initiated strict pregnancy termination laws, which only permit women to have abortions for severe health reasons or in the case of rape or incest.
The drone’s mission is to drop several packages of World Health Organization-approved pills that will be picked up by women’s groups and distributed to those in need.
Although abortions are illegal in Poland, women cannot be imprisoned for terminating a pregnancy, but the doctor who carries out the operation can face up to two years in jail.
“We can’t stop pointing out the lack of safe access to abortion and medical abortion pills. It’s a violation of women’s rights. We have to make every effort to make sure they get that access,” RT quoted Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, the founder of the rights group, as saying on Monday.
Gomperts said although the move is not “illegal” under present “regulations or laws”, she was not sure “what the government’s going to do” in reaction to the abortion drone.
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The Latest: Germany says Greece vote move seems to end talks -

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The Latest: Germany says Greece vote move seems to end talks
BRUSSELS (AP) — The latest news about the Greek bailout talks (all times local): ___. 2:50 p.m.. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says that by calling for a referendum on the creditors' proposals to keep Greece solvent — and by advising ...

and more »
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Migrants Board Trucks, as Calais Strike Snarls Traffic

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A strike by workers in the port city of Calais, France gave migrants the opportunity to storm trucks caught in traffic on their way across the English Channel to the U.K.

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