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DOJ indicts four members of Chinese military for masterminding 2017 Equifax data breach

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On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Justice Department is indicting four members of the Chinese military for engineering the 2017 cyberattack on Equifax that exposed 147 million U.S. consumers’ personal information.

In a press conference today, Attorney General William Barr and FBI Deputy Director David Bowditch announced the nine-count indictment to the public. Bowditch declared the Equifax breach to be “the largest theft of sensitive PII by state-sponsored hackers ever recorded,” and thanked Equifax for its cooperation in the investigation.

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The breach, one of the most severe cyberattacks in history, resulted in millions of people freezing their credit scores for fear hackers could sell their social security numbers and other unalterable identifying information and secure lines of credit in their name, and a gigantic class action lawsuit against Equifax for failing to secure the information. The identify of the hackers and the way the data were used has been a massive mystery for the past few years.


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‘Empty the Pews’ chronicles the ‘nurtured insanity’ of a fundamentalist upbringing

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There is a great exodus taking place in Christian circles. Can it be called a loss of faith? I don’t think so. It is rather a loss of confidence in everything at once. Christianity has always been about “the Word,” but these days, words don’t seem to matter. They’ve lost their power to describe and convince in the face of horrible deeds, from climate-change denial to the persecution of trans people to the wholesale abandonment of Christ’s teachings in favor of abusive meanness. The hard-right white evangelical voter gave us Trump. The church sat silent as industrial oligarchs ruined the earth.

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‘Impeach him again!’ Assange sets off bombshells with Trump pardon claim

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims President Donald Trump dangled a pardon through a Republican lawmaker if he agreed to cover up Russia's involvement in 2016 election hacking.

Assange's lawyer Edward Fitzgerald told a London court Wednesday that former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher had passed along the offer in exchange for testimony that Russia had nothing to do with DNC leaks -- and the allegation shocked legal experts and other social media users.

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Religious leaders need ‘Empty the Pews’ — which chronicles the darker side of the ‘Nones’ phenomenon

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Empty the PewsEdited by Lauren O’Neal and Chrissy StroopEpiphany Publishing (November, 2019)

In 2020, the rise of the so-called religious “Nones”—those who claim no religious affiliation—has evolved from a story of interest to a small niche of readers into an entire genre on the religion beat. While the term None has some usefulness as a blanket descriptor, we are beginning to understand that most individual stories about religious disaffiliation are far more complicated than just checking “none of the above” on a survey. Stories about the decline in Gen Z, Millennial and Gen X believers are a regular feature in secular news—Religion News Service even publishes an entire column dedicated to statistical data on Nones, compiled by the sociologist Ryan Burge—and a growing number of books exploring the narrative stories of Nones have appeared in recent years, including a book of my own.

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