Thursday, March 3, 2016

Google Teams with UNICEF to Map Spread of Zika Virus

Google Teams with UNICEF to Map Spread of Zika Virus

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Tech giant Google said Thursday that it is working with the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to help "map and anticipate" the spread of the Zika virus, which is linked to birth defects in children. "A volunteer team of Google engineers, designers, and data scientists is helping UNICEF build a platform to process data from different sources in order to visualize potential outbreaks," said Google.org director Jacquelline Fuller in a statement posted on the company's blog. "Ultimately, the goal of this open source platform is to identify the risk of Zika transmission for different regions and help UNICEF, governments and NGO’s decide how and where to focus their time and resources." Fuller added that this set of tools, although prototyped for the Zika response, will also be useful for future emergencies. Google also announced that it is donating $1 million to support UNICEF's efforts, such as reducing mosquito populations; developing diagnostics and vaccines; awareness, and prevention. The World Health Organization has warned that the mosquito-borne virus is spreading rapidly through the Americas and could affect as many as four million people.   The Zika virus has been tentatively linked to 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil, a condition that results in abnormally small heads and brains in newborns. There is no treatment for microcephaly. Experts say the best way to prevent Zika is to avoid mosquito bites.No vaccine or treatment is available.

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Amnesty: Russian, Syrian Airstrikes Target Hospitals Deliberately 

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Amnesty International accused Russian and Syrian forces Thursday of deliberately targeting Syrian hospitals and medical facilities with airstrikes to ease the path for pro-regime ground forces advancing on northern Aleppo. Tirana Hassan, the humanitarian group's crisis response director, said of the past three months of air raids: “Syrian and Russian forces have been deliberately attacking health facilities in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. But what is truly egregious is that wiping out hospitals appears to have become part of their military strategy." Amnesty International said it had "compelling evidence" of attacks on six health-care facilities that killed three civilians, including a medical worker, and injured 44 others. The group said information gathered from medical workers in Anadan and Hreitan, two towns near Aleppo, made clear that the strategy of Syrian government forces and their Russian military supporters was to empty a town of its population by destroying health-care facilities, water and electricity systems, to facilitate a ground invasion. Cease-fire largely holding Amnesty International's broadside against Russia and Syria came as the United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said a six-day-old partial cease-fire in the civil war is largely holding. Despite sporadic clashes, de Mistura told reporters, the truce has "greatly reduced" violence after five years of devastating civil war in Syria. The U.N. envoy is in Geneva for a meeting of a task force led by the United States and Russia to monitor the situation in Syria. Diplomats said the partial cease-fire that began last week is "a cessation of hostilities" that permits continuing attacks on the Islamic State group and al-Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate. "The situation is fragile. Success is not guaranteed, but progress is visible," de Mistura said. He is planning to start a new round of Syrian peace talks on March 9. A U.N. humanitarian official reported progress is being made to dispatch food and medical supplies to parts of Syria that have been trapped by fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels trying to overthrow his regime. Meanwhile, Syrian state television reported that a nationwide power outage hit the country Thursday, but the cause was not immediately known. Damascus residents said that mobile Internet connections were also not working.

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Syria Suffers Nationwide Power Blackout

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For the first time since the eruption of civil war in 2011, a nationwide electricity blackout hit Syria in the early hours Thursday. The country’s official news agency, SANA, reported that the cause of the shutdown is not known and that workers are trying to restore power region-by-region. Government experts said they expect to the power to be resorted in the next 12 hours in the entire country. Power outage, shortage “This is a just technical issue that happens in many...

New Polish law gives justice minister power over prosecutors

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Poland’s opposition said Thursday that a new law that gives the justice minister power over prosecutors spells the end of independent investigations and ushers in an era of politically-driven inquiries.









Lawyer for Oscar Pistorius says South Africa’s highest court has dismissed his appeal of murder conviction; he will be sentenced for murder 

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Lawyer for Oscar Pistorius says South Africa’s highest court has dismissed his appeal of murder conviction; he will be sentenced for murder.









US: Pscyhoactive Drugs Pose Worldwide Threat

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Illegal heroin and psychoactive substances pose emerging worldwide threats, an annual State Department report to Congress said. The International Narcotics Control Strategy report, released Wednesday, offers details on efforts by foreign governments to reduce drug production and trafficking and related money laundering and terrorist financing. Improved international reporting on drug use has led to a better understanding of heroin and psychoactive drug problems worldwide, a State...

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Syrian Opposition Says Truce on Verge of Collapse

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The Syrian opposition’s top negotiator said the country’s fragile truce was on the verge of collapse, the group’s most pessimistic assessment yet of the six-day-old cease-fire effort.

Middle East Drought That May Contribute to Syrian War is Worst in 900 Years, Study Says 

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Social scientists have warned in recent years that drought along the Mediterranean Sea in the Middle East may contribute to instability and conflict in the region. Now, new research shows the drought may be the most devastating to strike the region in 900 years.
Researchers behind the study, conducted by NASA and published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, used tree rings to show that the period from 1998 to 2012 was 10% to 20% drier than the worst period in the previous 900 years. Man-made climate change is at least in part to blame for the severity of the drought, according to the study.
The devastating drought has contributed to a slew of problems in the region, including poverty and food insecurity. In turn, those issues have contributed to conflicts that have driven millions to migrateaway from the region. Some social scientists have even linked climate change and terrorism.
“I’m not telling you that the crisis in Syria was caused by climate change,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a speech in October. “But the devastating drought clearly made a bad situation a lot worse.”

Schulz: Russia Filling Vacuums Created By EU Paralysis

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European Parliament President Martin Schulz says the EU's focus on the multiple crises that have hit the bloc has allowed Russia to play geopolitical games at its expense.

Mexico government says it won’t pay for Trump wall

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The Mexican government has made his first direct response to Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the two countries’ border — and make Mexico pay for it.









World's top oil producers to meet in Russia to discuss output freeze - RT

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RT

World's top oil producers to meet in Russia to discuss output freeze
RT
This prompted talks between the world's two biggest oil producers – Russia and Saudi Arabia - who have agreed on an oil production freeze at January levels. Qatar, Venezuela, Ecuador, Algeria, Nigeria, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates said they ...

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Gazprom, Bank of China Sign $2.2 Billion, 5-year Loan

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The Bank of China will give Gazprom a $2.2 billion, five-year loan, the Russian state-run energy company's largest loan agreement from a single credit institution. In a Thursday press release, Gazprom said this is the company's first loan deal with the Bank of China. Driven by China's growing energy needs, Beijing has been investing tens of billions of dollars abroad to help other countries develop their natural gas resources that can then be exported to China. In May 2014, the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation signed a $400 billion contract to buy natural gas from Gazprom over 30 years. Gazprom, a state-owned oil monopoly, has been hard hit by Western sanctions, which tightened the terms and restrictions on loans from Western lenders to the company.

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Trolls With Fake Online Profiles Could Be Prosecuted in Britain

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(LONDON) — Britain’s prosecution service says people could be charged if they create fake online profiles in order to harass or humiliate others.
The Crown Prosecution Service says it is updating its guidelines to reflect “new and emerging crimes” in the social media age.
Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said Thursday that “we are seeing more and more cases where social media is being used as a method to facilitate both existing and new offenses,” including domestic abuse and violence against women.
The new guidelines say that it may be an offense to create a fake online profile in someone else’s name in order to “damage their reputation and humiliate them.”
Prosecutors are starting a six-week public consultation on revising the rules for online crime, which were last updated in 2012.

Former CIA Director: Obama Threw Us under the Bus - American Thinker

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Former CIA Director: Obama Threw Us under the Bus
American Thinker
The current CIA director, Brennan, appeared to have a revisionist memory when he recently said on 60 Minutes that he had misgivings and concerns about the Enhanced Interrogation Program. When asked, Hayden referred to the Showtime documentary ...

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The surprising House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Apple encryption case - American Enterprise Institute

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American Enterprise Institute

The surprising House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Apple encryption case
American Enterprise Institute
The abominable 5-minute rule for committee members remains an obstacle to developing a serious line of questioning — but that said, what was surprising to me was the preparedness of the congressmen (good staff work?) and the fact that, by and large, ...
House of Judiciary Committee might file for a legal brief on Apple's case urging for order to be decided by CongressLawyer Herald
FBI and Apple take iPhone battle to House committee hearingThe Verge
Apple and FBI grilled by House Judiciary Committee in encryption caseGeekWire
LA Daily News -Quartz
all 3,650 news articles »

Rape victims who flirt are 'partially to blame', four in ten French people believe 

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Survey finds that 40 per cent believe that a woman who acts provocatively in a public place can be held partially responsible if she is raped

Child Murder Sparks Calls for Stricter Russian Immigration Rules 

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Russia's Communist Party has called for a curtailment of "illegal migration" to the country and illustrated its appeal by a drawing of a woman wearing a Muslim head covering and veil and holding a severed human head.

Venezuela opposition picks strategy to oust President

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Venezuela’s opposition coalition has decided on a triple-barreled strategy to oust President Nicolas Maduro before the end of his term.















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"Мы хотим добиться справедливости". Трагедия на шахте "Северная" 

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From: SvobodaRadio
Duration: 05:48

Наталья Гуренко и Анна Донова, супруги горняков, пострадавших при взрывах на шахте "Северная" 25 и 28 февраля, с первых дней трагедии обивают пороги различных учреждений, чтобы добиться компенсационных выплат. Глава правительства республики Коми Владимир Тукмаков заявил журналистам, что выплаты будут производиться из пяти источников: от владельца шахты - компании "Северсталь", страховой компании "Согаз", фонда социального страхования, от республики Коми и Российской Федерации. Пока что с шахтёрами рассчиталась лишь Республика Коми, федеральные деньги должны прийти со дня на день, по остальным выплатам информации нет - ни от чиновников, ни от работодателя, ни от профсоюзов.
Ссылка на источник - http://www.svoboda.org/media/video/27587446.html

Somali Journalist Gets Death Sentence for Fellow Reporter Killings 

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A military court in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, has sentenced to death a former journalist who helped al-Shabab kill five fellow reporters in Mogadishu.   According to the court verdict, Hassan Hanafi assisted the Islamist militant group by identifying possible targets among journalists between 2007 and 2011.   Mohamed Shute, the chairman of Somali military tribunal, said the evidence against Hanafi proved his involvement in the killings. “We first confirmed that he was member of al-Shabab militants and then he was found guilty of assisting al-Shabab to target and kill journalists,” Shute said. In an interview last month with Somali government radio, Hanafi admitted to playing a role in some of the killings, saying that besides naming targets, he told al-Shabab where the journalists could be found.   Hanafi once worked with IQK, a local radio station that was seized by al-Shabab eight years ago. He later worked for Radio Andalus, al-Shabab's mouthpiece in Somalia, before joining the militant group's armed wing.   In August 2014, Kenyan security forces working with Somali intelligence arrested him in Nairobi and handed him over to the Somali government.   According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, more than 25 journalists have been murdered in Somalia since 2007.

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Video Suggests Syria Motive In Moscow Child Murder, Beheading

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An Uzbek woman accused of murdering and decapitating a 4-year-old girl in Moscow has said that she had acted to avenge Muslims killed in Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria.

US conducts submarine drill in Arctic

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The U.S. Navy’s submarine force is setting up a temporary command center on a sheet of Arctic ice, where U.S. underwater capabilities will be put to the test in the increasingly strategic High North.
     

World considers a Trump presidency, and many shudder

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Trump: Worldwide politicians, writers and ordinary people express fear at the growing possibility that a brash New York billionaire might become the U.S. President.

US returns stolen archival material to Russia

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MOSCOW (AP) - The U.S. has returned nearly 30 documents from the 18th and 19th centuries to the Russian government.
During a Thursday ceremony at the ambassador's residence in Moscow, a branch of the U.S. Homeland Security Department repatriated 28 documents ranging from imperial decrees to architectural drawings that were ...
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Syria's power grid collapses; cellular and internet services disrupted

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March 3, 2016, 2:39 PM (IDT) The Syrian media reported that the country's power grid collapsed at about 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, cutting off the supply of electricity to the entire country. The blackout is causing serious disruptions of the war-ravaged nation's cellular networks, which can operate for a limited time using backup batteries, and of Internet services that rely on the power supply. The exact cause of the nationwide outage has yet to be disclosed.

Protesting Refugees Block Train At Greece-Macedonia Border

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More than 10,000 refugees and migrants remained stuck on the Greek side of the border with Macedonia, in increasingly dire conditions. Hundreds took part in a demonstration in the town of Idomeni, at one point blocking a freight train from traveling into Greece. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)

Obama Prolongs Sanctions on Russia Over Ukraine Crisis - ABC News

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KIRO Seattle

Obama Prolongs Sanctions on Russia Over Ukraine Crisis
ABC News
President Obama has extended for another year U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine, according to a White House statement. Obama signed an executive order to prolong the raft of measures that target senior Russian ...
Ukrainian pilot on trial in Russia goes on hunger strikeKIRO Seattle
Russia trial of Ukraine pilot Savchenko enters its last dayBBC News
Ukraine pilot Savchenko vows hunger strike at Russian trialBBC News
The Moscow Times (registration) -Reuters
all 270 news articles »

Europe’s harsh new message for migrants: ‘Do not come’

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The warning comes amid tightening border controls and unrest.















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ОИС «Адмирал Владимирский», завершив основной этап экспедиции в Антарктиду, прибыло в Кейптаун

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Стоянка в порту Кейптаун продлится до 8 марта. Пополнив запасы, судно продолжит движение по утвержденному маршруту и в апреле возвратится в Кронштадт.

The Daily Vertical: RIP Minsk 

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The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.
A transcript of today’s Daily Vertical can be found here.
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Today's Headlines and Commentary 

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FBI Director James Comey acknowledged that his agency may have lost the chance to extract data from the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino attackers. During a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, Director Comey stated, “There was a mistake made in the 24 hours after the attack.” Shortly after the attack in California, the FBI ordered the iCloud password be reset. The New York Times writes that FBI personnel believed that by resetting the password they could obtain access to information stored on the phone. However, the change did the exact opposite by locking out investigators and eliminating means of unlocking the data.
During the same hearing on Capitol Hill, Director Comey also told members of Congress that a final court ruling that would force Apple to provide the FBI with data from the iPhone would be “potentially precedential in similar cases where the Bureau might request cooperation from technology companies. Reuters reports that this statement by the FBI Director was slightly different than his remarks from last week where he indicated that unlocking the iPhone was “unlikely to be a trailblazer” for setting precedent.
The Wall Street Journal tells us that Attorney General Loretta Lynch is disappointed by a federal judge’s ruling that the government cannot compel Apple to help extract information from a locked iPhone. In a separate case from the San Bernardino controversy, Judge James Orenstein rejected the Justice Department’s argument that the All Writs Act, a 1789 law, allows prosecutors the authority to compel Apple to provide access to an iPhone seized during a drug investigation. The iPhone in issue runs an operating system for which Apple retains the capacity to extract the data in question. The ruling provided Apple with its biggest win to date in the ongoing feud with the FBI.
However, Wired’s Kim Zetter outlines how the federal government could get into iPhones without Apple’s help. Read that report here.
U.S. Special Operations forces have captured the first suspected Islamic State operative in Northern Iraq as part of the secretive targeting team led by the U.S. Army’s Delta Force. According to the New York Times, the Special Operations forces are expected to apprehend and interrogate more Islamic State operatives in the coming months that will usher in “a new and potentially fraught phase in the fight against the extremist Sunni militant group.” Additionally, the Times writes that “the Pentagon is now faced with the prospect of detaining a larger group of captives and potentially reprising some of the darkest images of the war in Iraq, particularly the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.”
Elsewhere, four Islamic State suicide bombers disguised as soldiers attacked an Iraqi military headquarters in Haditha yesterday, killing eight army officers including a local commander. The Associated Press reports that one of the suicide bombers struck the military compound’s gate and, as soldiers gathered to help the victims the three other bombers detonated their explosives.
The United Nations is now aiming to start the next round of the Syrian peace talks on March 9. The decision to delay will allow the “cessation of hostilities” implemented since Saturday to take hold. Reuters shares that U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura stated, “We are delaying it to the afternoon of March 9 for logistical and technical reasons and also for the ceasefire to better settle down.”
In other news, Israel is accusing the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against civilianssince the implementation of the cessation of hostilities last weekend. The Jerusalem Post tells us that Israel’s defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, stated during a news conference that, “The Syrians used military grade chemical weapons and lately have been using materials, chlorine, against civilians...dropping barrels of chlorine on civilians.” He did not provide any further details on his claim.
The New York Times reports that Jordanian security forces killed several Islamist militants during “one of the largest sweeps against sleeper cells of sympathizers of hard-line Islamist groups in recent years.” The manhunt involved hundreds of troops in Jordan’s northern city of Irbid. The Times writes that Jordan did not confirm the targets’ identities, but indicated that security forces killed a number of “fugitive outlaws.” One Jordanian police officer was killed during the counterterrorism operation.
Over in Pakistan, two local employees of the U.S. consulate in Peshawar were killed by an IED yesterday. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the news during a countering violent extremism event stating, “An IED exploded and several were lost; a few of the soldiers who were there to guard them also.” The New York Times tells us that Jamaat-e-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Today, U.S. Army General John Nicholson took command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The Associated Press writes that Nicholson now takes command of around 13,000 international troops, including 9,000 Americans, in Afghanistan as the Afghan Taliban are extending their reach to previously peaceful areas.
Speaking of the Taliban, the insurgent group claimed credit for an insider police attack yesterday. The Chicago Tribune shares that an Afghan police officer shot and killed four of his colleagues at a checkpoint between the Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces. Another 11 officers who were in charge of manning the checkpoint when the shooting happened are still missing.
Reuters reports that Afghan security forces killed four suicide bombers who attempted to target the Indian consulate in Jalalabad today. One suicide bomber detonated a car bomb near the consulate while the remaining attackers were killed before entering the location. Two people were killed and 19 were wounded in the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Russia’s foreign minister has called for negotiations on a new international treaty to counter the threat of chemical warfare by terrorists. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated, “Chemical terrorism is emerging not as an abstract threat but a grave reality of our time.” Read the rest from the New York Times.
In East Asia, China seized a disputed atoll off the coast of the Philippines in the South China Sea today and denied Filipino fisherman access to the waters. According to TIME, the Chinese ships now effectively control Quirino Atoll, also known as Jackson Atoll, which is a spot heavily frequented by Filipino fishermen from the Palawan province and other parts of the country. Chinese ships allegedly chased local fishermen from the area last week.
The atoll’s seizure by China comes as Secretary of Defense Ash Carter warned China against its aggressive actions in the South China Sea. During a speech in San Francisco yesterday, Secretary Carter stated, “China must not pursue militarization in the South China Sea. Specific actions will have specific consequences.” Reuters tells us that these consequences would include the United States’ increased deployments to the Asia-Pacific region and a plan that would spend $425 million through 2020 to pay for more exercises and training with regional countries.
The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted heavy sanctions against North Korea today in response the DPRK’s recent nuclear weapon test and subsequent satellite launch. TheWashington Post describes the sanctions as “some of the strongest measures ever used to pressure Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons program.” Read the rest by the Post here.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Germany’s Federal Cartel Office is investigating whether Facebook is abusing its dominance as a social network to collect personal information. The investigation is the latest in a set of challenges to the social network’s privacy policies. The Journalwrites, “privacy advocates argue that a handful of companies, including Facebook, are leveraging their ubiquity to amass data on hundreds of millions of people, trampling privacy laws and stifling competitors in the online ad market.” The Journal has more.
Want to get paid to hack the Pentagon? Defense News shares that the Pentagon is now launching a new program that will invite hackers to target Department of Defense websites for potential financial rewards. The “bug bounty” program is the first in the nation, which will involve DoD selecting a group of hackers to “do as much damage as possible.” The cyber security initiative will begin in April.
Speaking of cyber security, Defense One reports that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter “acknowledged that the Pentagon is as reliant on encryption and other technologies as anyone.”Following reports that the U.S. military is now employing cyber attacks against the Islamic State to limit their ability to control its forces in Syria; DoD cannot risk the same weapons being used against them. Adding to his comments, Carter also touched on the encryption debate dominating headlines and indicated that encryption is essential to data security.
Yesterday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a new batch of documents collected during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011. The Washington Post tells us that thebin Laden “spent his final years engaged in a futile struggle to present his terror network from unraveling and embracing the brutal tactics that have since become the signatures of the Islamic State.” Read the rest from the Post here. Also, bin Laden was apparently paranoid that his wife had a tracker embedded in her tooth. Read that story from the Hill.
In the latest Guantanamo Bay news, the Hill reports that Representative Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, signaled that an annual defense policy bill could include a provision that would block the Obama administration’s attempts to hand over GTMO back to Cuba. Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL) suggested the policy during the committee’s annual “Member Day,” when lawmakers not serving on the Armed Services Committee may suggest what they would like to see added to the National Defense Authorization Act.
In space news, NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly has returned to Earth after a year in space. Welcome back!
Super Tuesday-ed out? How well did your candidate do? With the 2016 election season in full swing, be sure to check out where all of the candidates stand on national security issues from the Council on Foreign Relations. Oh, and speaking of national security issues and presidential candidates,Lawfare’s Ben Wittes outlines why Donald Trump is a national security threat.
Parting Shot: Terrorist attacks seem like one of the least predictable events, right? Not necessarily now. The Washington Post tells us that new research shows that terror attacks may not be as unpredictable as we think. According to math and terrorism experts, terrorist attacks often follow a general pattern that can be modeled and predicted using math. Yes, you read that right.
ICYMI: Yesterday, on Lawfare
Robert Chesney provided another Apple vs. FBI primer. This FAQ format focuses on Magistrate Judge Orenstein’s ruling that Apple does not have to provide assistance to the FBI to unlock an iPhone.
Ian Brown, Vivek Krishnamurthy, and Peter Swire argued that U.S. efforts to reform MLATs must occur in tandem with reform efforts in Europe and globally.
Ben Wittes wondered what Estonia could do if the San Bernardino shooter were an Estonian digital resident (like himself) and had encrypted communications. Naturally, Ben tweeted at Estonia’s president to ask, and Estonia’s president  tweeted back at him.
Paul Rosenzweig flagged the Chertoff Group’s executive summary of its new white paper entitled “The Ground Truth About Encryption and the Consequences of Extraordinary Access.”
Shane Reeves and Winston Williams asserted that it is time for a national security expert on the Supreme Court.
Susan Hennessey and Ben Wittes shared their questions for Apple and also provided a link to the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on encryption and “going dark” matters.
Charlie Dunlap was disappointed and puzzled with the Stimson Center’s grading of the Obama administration’s drone policy.
Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us onTwitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.
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Zika is expected to infect 1 in 5 Puerto Ricans, raising threat to rest of U.S.

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Zika has landed forcefully in America, in one of its poorest and most vulnerable corners, a debt-ridden territory lacking a functioning health-care system, window screens and even a spray that works against the mosquitoes spreading the virus in homes, workplaces, schools and parks.
There are 117 confirmed cases of the virus in Puerto Rico, four times the number at the end of January. The island territory, which has a population of 3.5 million people, is “by far the most affected area” in the United States, Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said Friday. The number will almost certainly rise sharply in coming weeks, making it ever more likely that the virus will spread to the continental United States.
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Dozens of flights move daily between San Juan and Orlando, Washington, New York and other major cities on the mainland. Cruise ships stop here as part of their Caribbean tours. College students will soon head here on spring break.
The growing outbreak has laid bare how deeply Puerto Rico’s debt crisis has cut public programs, including basic health and environmental control services needed to fight the virus. Most homes and public schools — and even some medical facilities — don’t have window screens. A specialist in birth defects at Puerto Rico’s top hospital has trouble obtaining basic supplies, such as toner for his office printer. There are hundreds of abandoned houses — not only in low- and middle-income neighborhoods but also in gated communities — because owners have fled to the mainland as a result of the economic crisis.

At dusk, health department workers spray permethrin in the middle-class neighborhood of Riveras de Cupey in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The government is beefing up anti-mosquito measures as the Zika virus spreads through the island. (Allison Shelley for The Washington Post)
Experts say urgent action is needed before mosquitoes reach their peak with the start of the rainy season in April. Experts from the CDC estimate that 700,000 people — about 20 percent of the population — could be infected across the island by the end of the year, based on previous outbreaks of dengue and chikungunya, related viral diseases.
In response, the CDC has sent 30 experts from its Atlanta headquarters and elsewhere to Puerto Rico, adding to the 70 CDC staff members based here who usually work on dengue fever but now are focusing on Zika. Frieden is expected to visit soon. President Obama’s $1.9 billion emergency Zika request to Congress includes $250 million for Puerto Rico.
“I don’t think we’re going to be able to stop the Zika outbreak,” said Steve Waterman, chief of the CDC’s dengue branch, located on the city’s west side. “There will be a substantial Zika outbreak that will peak in the summer and fall. It’s likely that thousands of pregnant women will be exposed and infected, so that’s why our efforts are focused on protecting as many pregnant women as possible.”
Five of the 117 confirmed cases involve pregnant women. And unlike in the continental United States, where cases are the result of infected travelers to Latin America and elsewhere bringing the virus back home, almost all the cases in Puerto Rico involve people bitten here by infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which also spreads dengue fever and chikungunya.
What you need to know about the Zika virus and how it spreads
Because of the suspected link between Zika and potentially devastating birth defects, authorities are focusing on protecting as many pregnant women as possible. That includes 4,000 expectant mothers living in parts of the island where mosquitoes are spreading the virus. That’s more than one-third of Puerto Rico — primarily San Juan, the northeast and the southern coast.
Only the CDC and Puerto Rico’s health department labs can perform the special Zika testing. The labs expect to run 100,000 tests over the year for pregnant women, five times as many as they handle now, Waterman said. Determining whether someone is infected is complicated because most people don’t show symptoms. It’s also hard for tests to easily differentiate between dengue and Zika infections.
On Monday, authorities in Puerto Rico began distributing free Zika prevention kits to pregnant women that were created by the CDC and the CDC Foundation. The kits include information and tools to help them reduce risk of infection and include repellent, products that kill mosquito larvae, and condoms.
Mosquitoes have ample breeding grounds here. In the Villa Palmeras cemetery in barrio Obrero, a low-income neighborhood in northeastern San Juan, virtually all of the thousands of graves have built-in flower stands where water, and mosquito larvae, collect. There are 109 cemeteries across Puerto Rico and thousands of flower holders.
Mosquito larvae also flourish underground, in water meters and vent pipes of septic tanks, which contain more water than elsewhere in the United States, said Roberto Barrera, a CDC entomologist.
And then there are the mountains of used tires, which mosquitoes flock to, said Johnny Rullan, a former health secretary who is helping the government eliminate breeding sites. Puerto Rico has accumulated more used tires than anywhere else in the United States, experts said. In the past three weeks, temporary collection centers have received more than 561,000 tires.

Elwin Moran, 26, helps pile used tires at a former shoe factory in Humacao, Puerto Rico. The Humacao environmental board is collecting abandoned tires from neighborhoods. (Allison Shelley for The Washington Post)
‘Part of living on the island’
Perhaps the most difficult challenge is changing people’s attitudes and behavior about an ever-present pest that is as much a part of life here as steamy weather and graceful old banyan trees.
“What can I say, it’s part of living on the island,” said José Fernandez, a supervisor at a tire collection center in Humacao, in the southeast.
Emeris Canales Morales, 27, a single mother who is 23 weeks pregnant, lives in a home that overlooks a small cemetery on one side and a fetid canal on the other. Plastic bottles and other trash collect along the banks of the canal. Her windows have no screens. In December, the mosquitoes were biting so hard that she woke up with red welts covering her arms.
At a prenatal clinic for high-risk pregnancies at San Juan’s University Hospital at the Puerto Rico Medical Center, she was among the first to sign up for free Zika screening for women in their first and second trimesters.

Tourists visit two of Puerto Rico’s most famous landmarks — Fort San Felipe del Morro fortress and Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis cemetery. Mosquitoes thrive in wet conditions, such as cemeteries. (Allison Shelley for The Washington Post)
She won’t know the results for at least another week. Her first two pregnancies ended in miscarriages because of complications from diabetes. She is hoping for the best this time.
“I haven’t had the fever or the red eyes or the rash,” said Canales, who lives in Loiza, a northeast community that is one of the island’s poorest areas.
But even for pregnant women, it’s hard to stay vigilant against the mosquito.
“When there was chikungunya, we joked about it until everyone had it,” she said. “Until people have the sickness, nobody in Loiza will take it seriously.”
Said Brenda Rivera, chief epidemiologist for Puerto Rico’s health department: “Controlling Zika is going to be a daunting task.” The department is coordinating the island’s response to the public health emergency.

Entomologist Roberto Barrea examines materials at a lab where his team breeds thousands of mosquitoes for research at the CDC’s dengue branch in San Juan. (Allison Shelley for The Washington Post)
Poor and unprepared
Women in Puerto Rico give birth to about 33,000 babies a year. The island has one of the highest teenage birth rates in the United States, and many public high schools have no window screens. The government is estimating how much it would cost to add screens, said Grace Santana, chief of staff to Gov. Alejandro Javier García Padilla.
Nearly half of Puerto Rico lives below the poverty line. The thousands of pastel-hued public housing projects that dot the island don’t have air conditioning. Residents don’t have window screens, in part because they can’t afford them, but also because they don’t want to block the breeze. Adding screens to those homes would cost about $70 million, said Santana.
At dusk on a recent day, a maroon pickup truck drove through the streets in the middle-class neighborhood of Riveras de Cupey, in San Juan’s south, spraying permethrin, a commonly used insecticide, from a machine mounted on the back.
But Aedes aegypti mosquitoes already have developed resistance to permethrin in some parts of Puerto Rico, said Audrey Lenhart, a CDC research entomologist. She is testing which insecticides are most effective, something that was never done before.
How a bloodsucker transmits the Zika virus
“The Puerto Rican government doesn’t really have a well-developed vector control and surveillance program,” she said, referring to basic programs to eliminate insects, birds and other vectors that transmit disease.
CDC teams are helping authorities rebuild mosquito control programs, expand testing, and monitor and track thousands of pregnant women and their babies. They also are working with U.S. companies to provide window screens for women’s homes, and to bring to market a CDC-invented trap that could be a potent and cheap way to snare and kill adult mosquitoes.
For doctors such as Alberto De La Vega, an expert in high-risk pregnancies at the University Hospital in San Juan, Zika is one of many serious concerns. He worries that additional Zika testing will create huge demands on an already burdened health system.
“We’re having problems getting supplies, but we have to uphold U.S. standards,” he said. He has modern ultrasound equipment, but he pays out of his own pocket for the paper sheets that cover exam room beds.
He tells his patients they need to remove standing water and wear repellent.
“What we can do as physicians is very little,” he said. “By the time we identify problems with the fetus, it’s usually well into the second trimester, and by then it’s too late.”
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Zika virus and its spread across North and South America. (Daron Taylor,Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)
‘I’m going to have the baby’
The new mystery disease has infected Zulmarys Molina Paredes, 29. She’s one of the five pregnant women with a confirmed Zika diagnosis. But at 16 weeks in her pregnancy, an ultrasound shows her baby developing normally.
Molina and her 2-year-old son, Marco, live in Humacao in a peach-colored public housing project with her mother, aunt and brother. She is the sole breadwinner. She thinks she became infected at the private university where she works as an admissions officer, during tours of the campus. The campus has an artificial lake surrounded by trees full of mosquitoes.
Her headaches began Feb. 5. The following Monday, she looked in the mirror and was stunned.
“I was starting to put on my makeup and realized I was covered in a rash,” she said. “I got really scared.”
The emergency room doctor sent Molina’s blood to be tested. Nine days later, she was told her test was positive for Zika. But the doctor also said scientists didn’t know how often women with Zika infections have babies with birth defects such as microcephaly, where they are born with abnormally small heads.
Given the uncertainty, she is choosing to believe — and to pray — that everything will be fine. An amniocentesis is scheduled for next week. More ultrasounds will follow.
“I don’t care what happens. I’m going to have the baby,” Molina said. “I have faith that she’s going to be fine.” Her due date is Aug. 6. She will name her daughter Michaela.
Lena H. Sun is a national reporter for The Washington Post, focusing on health.
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Russian protests blamed for draining police resources

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Russia's repressive anti-protest laws have created a quagmire for law enforcement, according to a top official. First Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Gorovoy told reporters Tuesday that the government's growing reluctance toward political rallies has led to a surge in unsanctioned gatherings where police can't guarantee public safety.
Mr. Gorovoy said ...

Officials: US holding an IS leader in Iraq

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WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials say the military is holding an Islamic State leader who was captured in a raid by American special operations forces.
The militant has been in custody in Iraq for about two to three weeks. Officials say they believe he is the first significant Islamic State ...

James Comey, FBI director, says he's 'very close personally' to overseeing Clinton email probe 

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FBI Director James Comey told a House panel Tuesday that he is personally reviewing the probe of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server while she ran the State Department.
Responding to a question from Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio Republican, Mr. Comey said during a House ...

FBI director says bureau asked NSA for help cracking San Bernardino shooter's iPhone 

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As the FBI remains committed to cracking the Apple iPhone at the center of a high-stakes national security case, Director James Comey told Congress on Tuesday that the bureau has appealed to other government agencies for assistance without avail.
Appearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Comey testified that even ...
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U.S. Anticipates More Than 4 Million Cases of Zika Virus

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The United States is expecting more than 4 million cases of the Zika virus to occur in just the Western hemisphere, with over 100 cases having been reported in America as of February, according to a new government oversight report, which further disclosed that the origins and transmission of the virus are still not “fully understood.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recorded “107 cases of continental U.S. travel-associated Zika virus” as of Feb. 24, according to the report, which notes that several U.S. states have mosquito populations capable of transmitting the virus. At least 39 additional cases have been reported in U.S. territories.
Government officials warned that the virus is likely to spread throughout the Americas, with intelligence community insiders predicting more than 4 million cases in the Western hemisphere alone.
As the Zika virus outbreak reaches “epidemic levels,” the CDC is warning that aspects of the disease have yet to be understood. This includes information about Zika’s transmission.
“The virus has continued to spread to the Americas, with the outbreak in Brazil that began in May 2015 and is ongoing,” according to the report. “Zika has spread to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, where the outbreak has reached epidemic levels.”
Zika, which primarily is transmitted through infected mosquitos and has been tied to various birth defects, has been spotted “in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa,” according to the report.
“The first locally-acquired case of Zika virus disease in Puerto Rico was reported in December of 2015,” with even more cases identified in the ensuing months.
“Through late January of 2016, about 30 additional laboratory-confirmed cases were identified in Puerto Rico, including one pregnant woman,” the report disclosed. “In January of 2016, the CDC issued travel guidance for travel to affected countries, including the use of enhanced precautions for all travelers, as well as the recommendation that pregnant women postpone travel to affected areas.”
The CDC also has determined the virus can be spread through sexual contact.
“Sexual transmission of the disease— acquired outside of the United States—has been reported in the United States,” according to the report. “As of February 23, 2016, the CDC and state public health departments are investigating 14 additional reports of possible sexual transmission of the virus, including several involving pregnant women.”
The CDC remains particularly concerned that the virus could taint the U.S. blood supply.
“While there have been no reports to date of Zika virus entering the U.S. blood supply, the risk of blood transmission is considered high based on the most current scientific research of how Zika virus and similar viruses (i.e. flaviviruses) are spread, as well as recent reports of transfusion-associated infection outside of the United States,” according to the report.
The virus is particularly difficult to spot and contain because a large number of infected individuals do not exhibit symptoms.
“Researchers have reported that an estimated 80 percent of the individuals infected with the Zika virus are asymptomatic, that is, they have the virus but do not manifest clinical symptoms,” the report found.
This has led governments to significantly undercount the number of infected individuals.
The United States lacks methods to definitively test for the virus for a large number of individuals.
The CDC relies on two Zika diagnostic tests. One test can only detect infection while an individual is showing symptoms. The second test is more specific, but is “cumbersome and not suitable for screening a large number of individuals,” according the report.
There are currently no commercially available diagnostic tests in the United States.
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New U.S. General Takes Command of Coalition Forces in Afghanistan 

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Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr. will lead a combined United States and NATO force of 13,000 troops, replacing Gen. John F. Campbell, who is retiring after a 37-year military career.

A Swedish Girl, ISIS and a Cautionary Tale of Global Terrorism

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The story of Marilyn Nevalainen stands out as a rare case in which a young European went unwittingly into the heart of jihadist territory and was freed.

The Early Edition: March 2, 2016 

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.
IRAQ and SYRIA
Ceasefire violations. Charges that the Syrian ceasefire has been violated have been numerous, American and international officials recording a “near-constant flow of accusations” since the truce went into effect on Saturday. However, the task force responsible for adjudicating them has so far publicly verified none of the accusations. [Washington Post’s Karen DeYoung] The State Department hotline responsible for monitoring the reports had a “shaky start,” reports Felicia Schwartz, noting that many Arabic callers struggled to communicate with the American officials manning the line. [Wall Street Journal]
Residents of Aleppo are preparing for the worst as the ceasefire agreement comes under strain, making plans in case of a siege by the Assad-regime. [Wall Street Journal’s Raja Abdulrahim] 
The House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted a resolution yesterday, accusing the Assad regime and its allies – including Moscow and Tehran – of committing war crimes in Syria, reports Nahal Toosi. [Politico]
US-led airstrikes continue. The US and coalition military forces carried out seven strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on March 1. Separately, partner forces conducted a further 14 strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]
A nanny who beheaded a child and carried it on the Moscow metro has said she was taking revengeagainst Russia’s role in killing Muslims in Syria. There are reports that the woman is mentally ill. [Reuters]
SURVEILLANCE, PRIVACY and TECHNOLOGY 
Digital privacy advocates have submitted amicus briefs calling on a federal judge to approve Apple’s request not to be forced into building software to assist the FBI break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. [Reuters]
Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson is supporting a compromise bill on encryption, an alternative to the approach being pushed by Sens Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein that would force companies to provide assistance under court order. [The Hill’s Cory Bennett] 
The New York Times editorial board comments on a federal judge in Brooklyn’s ruling in Apple’s favor against the Justice Department, concluding with Judge Orenstein’s point that “it is the responsibility of the courts and Congress to put sensible limits on how law enforcement collects evidence.”
The executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company will head up a new Defense Department board tasked with bringing Silicon Valley’s culture to the Pentagon. [The Hill’s Rebecca Kheel]
TURKEY 
Two clashes in southeast Turkey have resulted in the deaths of three Turkish soldiers and ten Kurdish militants, the Turkish army reported yesterday. They are the latest of hundreds of deaths since a ceasefire collapsed last summer. [Reuters]
Two women were shot and killed by police in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday as they hid following an attack with guns and a hand grenade, which failed to explode, on a police bus outside a riot police station. The police are trying to identify the women. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but both Kurdish rebels and a far-left militant organization have recently attacked police in the area. [AP]
NORTH KOREA
The UN Security Council has voted unanimously in favor of imposing tougher sanctions against North Korea. [New York Times’ Somini Sengupta and Choe Sang-Hun; Wall Street Journal’s Farnaz Fassihi] Secretary of State John Kerry said in a press statement that he welcomed the result, which signified a renewal of “our collective resolve to take concerted action” to counter the threat of North Korea’s “increasingly provocative behaviour.” Echoing Kerry’s sentiments, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement via his spokesperson in which he called the decision a “firm response” that “should put an end to the cycle of provocation and lead to the resumption of dialogue in accordance with the unified view of the international community.” [UN News Centre]
North Korea has fired six short-range projectiles into the sea, just hours after the UN vote was announced, in what is being seen as an act of defiance against the sanctions. South Korea’s defense ministry has confirmed that they were fired from Wonsan, a coastal city in the east of North Korea, and flew around 100 miles before dropping into the ocean. [Washington Post’s Anna Fifield]
The US has imposed its own sanctions on North Korea, to coincide with the UN’s. Among the blacklisted are the National Defense Commission and the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Military Commission, both of which allegedly took on central roles in administering North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. [Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon]
RUSSIA
A new US Navy Arctic exercise was announced yesterday, as Russia increases its military activities in the region. The focus of the exercise is officially scientific, however, rather than military. It also involves Canada, Norway and Britain. [Wall Street Journal’s Julian E Barnes]
The EU is to extend sanctions against Russian officials and pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine. A “far more contentious” decision is due to be made in July, on whether to continue broader economic sanctions against Russia. [Wall Street Journal’s Laurence Norman]
SOUTH CHINA SEA
The restoration of an informal naval coalition between the US, Japan, Australia and India has been proposed by the chief of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry B Harris Jr, as a balance to China’s naval expansion in the South China Sea. He was speaking in India on Wednesday. [New York Times’ Ellen Barry]
China’s “self-defeating” military deployments antagonize other nations, which build up their own defenses, recruit the US and Japan as allies, and ultimately weaken China’s strategic position in the South China Sea. Dennis C Blair and Jeffrey W Hornung examine China’s recent activity in the region and conclude that the only real concerns other nations need have are about the “timing and precedent” of China’s actions. [The Washington Post]
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
A new US-Israel defense deal is likely to be at the top of the agenda when Vice President Biden visits Israel next week. The Vice President’s trip will also include a visit to the UAE. [The Hill’s Jordan Fabian]
Recidivism of former Guantánamo Bay detainees is “clearly a very real issue” but is being “underestimated” by the Obama administration, House Republican Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) put to the President in a letter sent this week. She also demanded an explanation as to why detainees are being transferred to countries that are recognized as state sponsors of terrorism, a reference to the fact that one detainee who was sent to Sudan is now a leader in the terrorist group AQAP. [The Hill’s Rebecca Kheel]
Two Italians held hostage in Libya were likely killed in a raid on an Islamic State hideout in Sabratha on Wednesday, the Italian Foreign Ministry has confirmed. The possible victims have been named as Fausto Piano and Salvatore Failla, employees of the Italian construction company, Bonatti, who were kidnapped in July 2015. [Reuters]
An Egyptian flight school student has been detained by immigration authorities in California after he posted a “hostile” comment on Facebook about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The gist of the comment, according to the student’s attorney, was “if I killed this guy I wouldn’t mind serving a life sentence and the world would thank me.” [The Intercept’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous]
The Justice Department has granted immunity to a staffer under former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Brian Pagliano, in return for his assistance in the criminal investigation into classified information stored on Clinton’s private email server. [Washington Post’s Adam Goldman; The Hill’s Harper Neidig] A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign said that they were “pleased” that Pagliano is speaking with investigators. [Politico’s Rachael Bade and Josh Gerstein]
Britain is to spend another £642 million on replacements for Trident nuclear submarines, Defense Secretary Brian Fallon will announce tomorrow, despite the fact that parliament is not due to vote on whether to proceed with the nuclear program until later in the year. His announcement will make it harder for parliament to pull out of the project. [The Guardian’s Ewen McAskill]
Saudi Arabia has cut aid to Lebanon, in what is being viewed as “the latest of a series of newly assertive – critics say impulsive – foreign policy moves” by the new Saudi king and his son, the deputy crown prince, which are leaving Lebanon in the hands of Iran and its most powerful political and military organization, Hezbollah. [New York Times’ Anne Barnard]
Some 79 Boko Haram members have surrendered to the military in northeast Nigeria, including women and children, all of them starving. They are all currently being detained in military headquarters in Maiduguri, the current command center in the fight against extremists. According to those detained, many more fighters want to surrender due to food shortages. [AP]
Libya is now the “top military priority” for the West, replacing Iraq and Syria, says Olivier Guitta, citing the “rapid expansion of the ISIL in Libya in terms of fighter, leaders and territory” and the “political stalemate” that is “ongoing.” [Al Jazeera]
Read on Just Security »
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· · · · · · ·

FBI vs. Apple: Holy War or Just Another Whinge? - Huffington Post

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Huffington Post

FBI vs. Apple: Holy War or Just Another Whinge?
Huffington Post
In 2014, current FBI director James Comey was on Capitol Hill complaining about encrypted cellphone calls. Ironically, he was talking about the latest Apple iPhone operating system. "We aren't ... If history tells us anything, it's that a) we've seen ...

Washington, Kabul Losing War on Drugs in Afghanistan - US State ... 

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States and the Afghan government are losing the war ondrugs in Afghanistan, the 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) from the US Department of State admitted. "The cultivation ... The State Department explained that drug traffickers provide weapons and funding to the Afghan insurgency in exchange for the protection ofdrug trade routes, cultivation fields, laboratories and trafficking organizations.
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Apple Lawyer Pushes Back Against FBI Testimony to Judiciary Committee - E-Commerce Times

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E-Commerce Times

Apple Lawyer Pushes Back Against FBI Testimony to Judiciary Committee
E-Commerce Times
Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell on Tuesday testified before the House Judiciary Committee that his company should not be required write new code for software that would weaken the security of the iPhone in the wake of the San Bernardino, California, ...

Attorney general wades into Apple vs FBI, raising fundamental questions - Christian Science Monitor

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Christian Science Monitor

Attorney general wades into Apple vs FBI, raising fundamental questions
Christian Science Monitor
As the US attorney general Loretta Lynch shared her thoughts Tuesday on the battle between Apple and the FBI, she spoke of some of the deeper issues at stake, the precedents that could be set as passions swirl around this single iPhone.
Video: Apple lawyer Ted Olson on Apple/FBI: 'There isn't a middle ground'9 to 5 Mac

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FBI vs Apple: FBI director admits major mistake - TechnoBuffalo

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TechnoBuffalo

FBI vs Apple: FBI director admits major mistake
TechnoBuffalo
Apple's public battle with the FBI came to a head on Tuesday with a congressional hearing. A lot of ground was covered during the five-hour-long meeting, but one particularly interesting bit of information came from FBI Director James Comey. Responding ...
FBI Director Comey Admits 'Mistake Made' in Changing Apple PasswordRe/code 
Everything you need to know about Apple's heated battle with the FBI over the locked San Bernardino iPhoneBusiness Insider

FBI director admits mistake was made with San Bernardino iCloud resetComputerworld 
Motherboard
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Read a CIA manual on assassination - Boing Boing

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Boing Boing

Read a CIA manual on assassination
Boing Boing
If you're searching for some uplifting bedtime reading, you might enjoy this e-book of a 1953 CIAreport titled "A Study of Assassination," made public in 1997 as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. Here are a few choice nuggets ... 

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Assassination: A CIA “How To” Guide, Pt. 1 | Mysterious Universe 

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But, there's no denying that one of the most eye-opening of all is a 1953 document found in the archives of the CIA. Its title “A Study of Assassination.” As you might have quickly deduced, it's a guideline for CIA personnel on ...

Google Executive Schmidt To Head New DoD Advisory Board

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Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, will head up a new Pentagon advisory board.
       
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Pentagon Official Decries Russian Flights Over US

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WASHINGTON — The US defense intelligence chief warned Wednesday that he has “great concern” about Russia’s intentions to fly sophisticated surveillance planes over the United States, saying it would give Russia “a significant advantage” against the U
       

Top US military officer Dunford, in Israel, meets counterpart Eisenkot

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March 3, 2016, 1:14 PM (IDT)
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Israel on Tuesday for a visit at the invitation of the Israeli chief of staff, Lieut. Gen. Gady Eisenkot. It was Dunford's second trip to the country since the beginning of the year. Dunford and Eisenkot discussed developments in the region and cooperation between the two militaries as well as between the defense industries of the two countries.

Russia Pushing Continuation of Truce in Syria with Local Deals - Foreign Policy (blog)

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Foreign Policy (blog)

Russia Pushing Continuation of Truce in Syria with Local Deals
Foreign Policy (blog)
The Syrian opposition has accused Russia and the regime of not abiding by the agreement in the northwest of the country, where clashes in Latakia and Idlib Provinces have continued. “What is the value of a truce if its overseers – meaning America and ...
Syrian villagers hope for calm as Russia keeps eye on truceStars and Stripes
Syrian Forces With Russian Backing Strike at Rebels, Despite TruceWall Street Journal
Is Russia afraid to face Saudi and Turkey in Syria?Middle East Monitor
Sputnik International -BBC News
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Spain: Princess’ husband quizzed for 3rd day in fraud case

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The husband of Spain’s Princess Cristina is testifying for a third day in the tax-and-embezzlement trial in which he, the princess and 15 others are accused.















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· · ·

The Latest: Syria TV: Nationwide power blackout - Washington Post

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euronews

The Latest: Syria TV: Nationwide power blackout
Washington Post
BEIRUT — The Latest on Syria's conflict as a partial cease-fire enters its sixth day (all times local): 2:20 p.m.. Syrian state TV is reporting an electricity blackout across the country for unknown reasons. Syria TV reported Thursday that the ...
Electricity supply cut across Syria, Internet partly down: state mediaReuters
Syria conflict: Nationwide power cut - state mediaBBC News
Nationwide power blackout hits SyriaDaily Mail
Sky News
all 20 news articles »

Online video suggests Syria motive in Moscow child murder - Fox News

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Online video suggests Syria motive in Moscow child murder
Fox News
MOSCOW – A nanny accused of decapitating a 4-year old girl and brandishing her head outside a Moscow subway station said during an apparent interrogation captured on video that the killing was an act of revenge against President Vladimir Putin for ...

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