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DOJ indicts seven Russian GRU intelligence officers for allegedly conspiring to steal data

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The United States on Thursday indicted seven Russian intelligence officers for conspiring to hack computers and steal data in a bid to delegitimize international anti-doping organizations and expose officials who revealed a Russian state-sponsored athlete doping program.

The charges of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse and to commit wire fraud and money laundering came hours after Dutch authorities said they had disrupted an attempt by Russian intelligence agents to hack into the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in April.

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Britain and the Netherlands have accused Russia of running a global campaign of cyberattacks to undermine democracies.

In some of the strongest language used by the West since the Cold War, Britain has said Russia was acting like a “pariah state.” The accusations were backed by other Western countries including the United States, which said Moscow must pay a price.

The Justice Department accused the hackers of using fictitious personas, proxy servers, spearfishing emails and malware to take control of servers.

The Justice department alleged one of the Russian intelligence officers performed reconnaissance of Westinghouse Electric Co’s networks and personnel. The nuclear power company, which is located outside of Pittsburgh, provides fuel, services and plant design to customers. Among its customers are Ukraine.

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Arctic ‘doomsday vault’ stocks up on more food seeds in preparation for a global catastrophe: report

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An Arctic "doomsday vault" is set Tuesday to receive 60,000 samples of seeds from around the world as the biggest global crop reserve stocks up for a global catastrophe.

The seeds are to be deposited in the vault inside a mountain near Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen Island in Norway's Svalbard archipelago, about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from the North Pole.

"As the pace of climate change and biodiversity loss increases, there is new urgency surrounding efforts to save food crops at risk of extinction," said Stefan Schmitz, who manages the reserve as head of the Crop Trust.

"The large scope of today’s seed deposit reflects worldwide concern about the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss on food production," Schmitz added.

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World Health Organization warns COVID-19 coronavirus could be a ‘potential pandemic’

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The new coronavirus has peaked in China but could still grow into a pandemic, the World Health Organization has warned, as infections mushroom in other countries.

Financial markets have gone into a tailspin after grim news of deaths and outbreaks in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, even as the Chinese epicentre appeared to be calming, with the death toll at its lowest for three weeks.

But the situation is worsening in other countries, with more than 2,000 cases and 30 deaths reported abroad, prompting a raft of restrictions on travellers from infected nations.

South Korea, Italy and Iran have logged particularly sharp increases in infections and deaths, while several countries in the Middle East reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus.

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‘They are investigating Matt Gaetz’: Miami Democrats celebrate Florida Bar probe into GOP lawmaker

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Controversial Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) could suffer professional sanction -- or even lose his law license -- after a stunt Republicans pulled in an attempt to derail the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Three weeks ago, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party filed an official complaint over Gaetz storming a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in October.

"Impeachment proceedings are a legal process leading to a trial, and therefore covered by the Florida Bar's rules of conduct," Chairman Steve Simeonidis said at the time.

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