President Donald Trump’s director of national intelligence warned on Tuesday that Russia would increase its attacks on American elections.
“We have entered a period that can best be described as a race for technological superiority against our adversaries who seek to sow division in the United States and weaken U.S. leadership,” Director Dan Coats told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “This is more important than ever that we remain vigilant to the range of threats worldwide as we seek to do all we can to provide security to the American people.”
Coats said that one of his “greatest concerns” is the “cyber threat.”
“We are under cyber attack,” he announced. “While state actors pose the greatest cyber threat, the democratization of cyber capabilities worldwide has enabled and emboldened a broader range of actors to pursue their activities against us.”
“We assess that Russia is likely to continue to pursue even more aggressive cyber attacks with the intent of degrading our democratic values and weakening our alliances,” Coats added.
The New York Times reported this week that the State Department has spent none of the $120 million that has been allocated to fight against foreign interference in elections.
Coats later admitted under questioning from Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) that “we don’t” have an official government policy on Russian election interference.
GOP senator on Senate Armed Forces committee Sen Tillis asks DNI chief Dan Coats if we have a policy regarding Russian meddling in the upcoming midterm election. Coats answers ‘We don’t.’ #russianmeddling #midterms pic.twitter.com/EhwZwDPkOO
— Barry Thomas Goldberg (@barrytgoldberg) March 6, 2018
Watch the video below from the Senate Armed Services Committee.
We are witnessing the birth of a movement — and the downfall of a president
They almost always begin to right wrongs: illegitimate wars; decades of discrimination on the grounds of gender or racial or sexual identity; killings of innocents by police or gun-toting lunatics; oppression by governments wielding unequal laws; the deeply embedded legacy of centuries of racism.
This article first appeared in Salon.
They are imperfect. Arising out of rage, they can be unfocused, inchoate, contradictory. Protesting violence, they often involve violence. Protesting oppression, they sometimes oppress by destroying public spaces, small businesses, even entire neighborhoods.
COVID-19 research scandal: Unwanted diversion during pandemic
The first research scandal of the coronavirus pandemic has created unnecessary distraction around the politically divisive drug hydroxychloroquine, scientists say, as questions swirl around the tiny health care company at the center of the affair.
On Thursday, most of the authors of major studies that appeared in The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) retracted their work and issued apologies, saying they could no longer vouch for their data after the firm that supplied it -- Chicago-based Surgisphere -- refused to be audited.
Marriott ceases Cuban operations after new Trump sanctions
Marriott has been ordered by the US Treasury Department to close its Four Points Sheraton hotel in Havana by the end of August and abandon plans to open others in Cuba, a spokeswoman for the American hotel group told AFP on Friday.
"We entered the Cuban market in 2016, with permission from the US government," the spokeswoman said.
"Our operating license was reviewed and renewed in 2018. We have recently received notice that the government-issued license will not be renewed, forcing Marriott to cease operations in Cuba."
Marriott's entry into the Cuban market came during the administration of US president Barack Obama, a Democrat.