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Bomb blasts rock Nigeria’s capital of Abuja as people gather to watch World Cup match against Argentina. The attack occurred near a popular shopping plaza as people gathered to watch the match. Initial reports place 21 dead and at least 17 wounded. Although no group has taken responsibility for the attack yet it is believed to be the work of militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28019433

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The Washington Post is exclusively reporting U.S. Special Forces captured suspected ringleader of the 2012 Benghazi attacks, Ahmed Abu Khattala, in a secret raid in Libya over the weekend. There were no casualties of US personnel involved in the mission and Abu Khattala is currently in custody in a secure location.

The 2012 attack on the US diplomatic mission and a nearby CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya left four Americans dead. Following the attacks controversy erupted over how the events were portrayed the press, a perceived delay in sending aid to those under attack, and misattribution of the perpetrators.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-captured-benghazi-suspect-in-secret-raid/2014/06/17/7ef8746e-f5cf-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html

 

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The Guardian has fascinating coverage of the intelligence operations regarding the ISIL and the group’s funding. The ISIL’s three day offense has stunned many and crippled the nation as major cities have fallen and Baghdad’s security is threatened.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/15/iraq-isis-arrest-jihadists-wealth-power

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Gazprom Cuts off Supplies to Ukraine After Efforts at Last Minute Deal Fail

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Russia’s state-owned Gazprom has cut off Ukraine’s gas supply after Kiev failed to meet a deadline to pay the 1.95 billion USD debt it owes the company. Negotiations to settle the debt and reach a deal failed this weekend resulting in a 0600 GMT deadline being set for Ukraine to either pay the debt or have supplies cut off.

The move could disrupt European supplies as the pipelines running through Ukraine are a significant source of European energy. Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan announced;

“We have been informed that gas deliveries to Ukraine have been reduced to zero, with only the volumes sent for transit to European states.”

He warned there was a possibility for Europe to face disruptions to service and that a lawsuit against Ukraine for the unpaid debt had been filed at a court in Stockholm. Kiev has also a filed a suit against Russia for past “overpayments” for gas supplies.

Ukraine currently has a 3-month gas reserve and when those reserves run out, gas shortages and a European energy crisis could be severe.

-Polive

Coup d’etat Confirmed in Thailand

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Following the declaration of martial law, Thailand’s military has confirmed it has taken over the country in a coup.  The military’s actions follow months of protests, some of which turned violent as supporters of the Pheu Thai government and their royalist opponents clashed.

The Martial Law Act of 1914 gives broad powers to the military including the right to censorship, to detain citizens and to impose curfews. Thailand’s justice minister, Chaikasem Nitisiri, told the AP the cabinet had not been consulted by the army over the imposition of martial law.

Troops are currently deployed around Bangkok, and the city is currently reported as being peaceful with people going about their day and commuting to work. However, concerns are mounting about the possibility of an overthrow of a democratically elected government.

The current ruling party was voted into power in 2011 in what were considered legitimate and fair elections. The military has currently taken over a dozen channels off of the air and some media publications are being censored in the name of national security.  Continue reading

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The Intercept reveals the NSA has been recording the audio of almost every cell phone conversation in the Bahamas as part of the agencies MYSTIC program. The SOMALGET program, run without the knowledge or consent of the Bahamian government allows the agency to record the audio of cell phone conversations and store them for up to a month.

The NSA released a statement regarding the disclosure asserting “the implication that NSA’s foreign intelligence collection is arbitrary and unconstrained is false.” The full article may be viewed at First Look here.

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U.S. Accuses PLA Officers of Economic Espionage

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In a press conference today, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced charges against members of the Chinese military for economic espionage. Holder publicly named the five senior officers in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) accused of committing economic espionage; Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu and Gu Chunhui,

All of the officers named are in the PLA’s Unit 61398, alleged to be the source of many hacking attacks originating out of China. In 2013 the cybersecurity firm Mandiant issued a report documenting timelines and details of consistent, sustained attacks linked to the 2nd Bureau of the PLA General Staff Department’s 3rd Department (Military Designator 61398) which brought widespread media attention to the issue.

Holder said a “significant” number of sensitive information and trade secrets were stolen by the PLA members who maintained unauthorized access to victim’s computers. In an indictment the U.S. DOJ alleged state-owned enterprises benefitted from the information and used it to to hurt their American competitors.  Continue reading

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US Gov’t To Charge China with Cyber-Crimes

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The United States Justice Department will announces charges against individuals within the Chinese military today in an unprecedented move in which the US will accuse specific employees of a foreign nation with cyber crimes. The Wall Street Journal reports five members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will be accused of stealing trade secrets from American firms in a press conference today.

The unusual move signals an escalation in the growing conflict between the US and Chinese government’s over alleged cyber espionage. The US government has accused the Chinese government of aiding and abetting Chinese firms in stealing information from US companies and of hacking into US government networks for years.

The Chinese government alleges the US government and agencies like the NSA have sustained cyber campaigns against Chinese government officials and companies. An announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI officials is expected to be made around 10 a.m ET.

-Polive

 

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Security Concerns Grow Over Heartbleed Bug

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Following the announcement of the “Heartbleed” bug, a security flaw within the web encryption program known as OpenSSL, Cisco and Juniper have found some of their networking products are susceptible to the bug. In a bulletin to customers Cisco warned;

Multiple Cisco products incorporate a version of the OpenSSL package affected by a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to retrieve memory in chunks of 64 kilobytes from a connected client or server.

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