- Israel spied on Kaspersky Lab and discovered that Russian intelligence agencies were using the company’s antivirus software to search American computers for information. The Israelis informed the U.S. of their discovery, and that led to the U.S. government banning the use of Kaspersky’s software.
The Russian operation, described by multiple people who have been briefed on the matter, is known to have stolen classified documents from a National Security Agency employee who had improperly stored them on his home computer, on which Kaspersky’s antivirus software was installed. What additional American secrets the Russian hackers may have gleaned from multiple agencies, by turning the Kaspersky software into a sort of Google search for sensitive information, is not yet publicly known.
- North Korean hackers reportedly stole 235GB worth of military documents from South Korea’s Defence Integrated Data Centre: “Plans for the South’s special forces were reportedly accessed, along with information on significant power plants and military facilities.”
The U.N. Security Council instructed all countries to deny four ships access to their ports. All four ships have a history of smuggling goods to North Korea.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposed rule that repeals the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which effectively forces power companies to shut down coal-fired plants. The Clean Power Plan was never implemented because the U.S. Supreme Court blocked it while challenges to it were heard in lower courts. The public will have 60 days to comment on the new rule.
Hina Alvi turned on her husband Imran Awan as the criminal cases against them progressed:
Alvi was arraigned Friday on four felony counts, and Awan, who has already been arraigned, requested that his GPS monitoring bracelet be taken off — citing the fact that his wife was in America as the reason he was not a flight risk.
Yet the couple entered and left the court separately, have different lawyers, and Awan’s lawyer told the judge that the husband and wife are staying “in a one-bedroom apartment and then also a house.”
Pakistani legal papers published by the news channel show Alvi recently accused Awan of illegally marrying another woman, and of fraud. “My husband Imran Awan son of Muhammad Ashraf Awan, committed fraud along with offence of polygamy,” she charges in the papers.
- A former chief of staff to Senator Mike Lee, Boyd Matheson, is considering a run for U.S. Senate in Utah. The current occupant of that seat, Orrin Hatch, hasn’t said whether he’ll run for re-election in 2018. Matheson currently runs a conservative think tank in Salt Lake City, the Sutherland Institute.
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, is running for the Missouri U.S. Senate seat held by Claire McCaskill. Hawley is likely to win the Republican nomination, and polls suggest he could beat McCaskill.
John Daniel Davidson writes that a new Pew Research Center study confirms that the American political left and right began splitting sharply in 2010, and the divide has only deepened since then:
That brings us to something else that might get lost in the Pew numbers: the median Democratic voter has radicalized much faster than the median Republican voter, and most of this radicalization happened while a Democratic president was in office. That counterintuitive trend points to a larger problem with how the Left in particular understands the American project and our prospects for living together in peace and prosperity. Although it’s true that Republicans have moved further to the right as Democrats have moved further to the left, it’s the leftward slide that should worry us.
The rapid radicalization of Democrats along these lines follows a ruthless logic about the entire premise of the American constitutional order. If you believe, as progressives increasingly do, that America was founded under false pretenses and built on racial oppression, then why bother conserving it? And why bother trying to compromise with those on the other side, especially if they reject progressives’ unifying theory that America is forever cursed by its original sin of slavery, which nothing can expiate?
The USS Chafee conducted a freedom of navigation exercise in the South China Sea, sailing near the Paracel Islands, which are claimed by China.
Andrew Doran profiled the Syriac Military Council, a small Christian unit that’s part of the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. The unit also includes Muslims (Arabs and Kurds) and foreigners.
A Russian Su–24 bomber crashed as it attempted to take off from an air base in Syria, killing both pilots.
Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to limit the number of asylum seekers admitted to Germany as part of her negotiations to form a new coalition government. The limit is 200,000 people, although the number can “fluctuate depending on circumstances.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Turkey for the latest diplomatic crisis over visa issuances. Ambassador John Bass is moving on to become ambassador to Afghanistan.