Connect with us

World

FBI missed signals for Florida massacre due to Russia probe

Published

on

President Donald Trump took his battle with the FBI to a new level late Saturday night, when he tweeted that the bureau was too caught up in the Russia probe and failed to see the signals leading to Wednesday’s shooting massacre at a south Florida high school.

“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable,” the president tweeted. “They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion.”

Trump was referring to the FBI’s admission earlier this week that it failed to investigate a Jan. 5 tip that warned that Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old man who is accused of killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., posed a deadly threat.

The information was not passed to the bureau’s Miami field office. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a review of the FBI’s handling of the matter. Florida Gov. Rick Scott called on FBI DIrector Christopher Wray, a Trump appointee, to resign.

For his part, Wray said earlier this week: “We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy.”

The FBI has 35,000 employees, including special agents and various other staffers. A representative of the bureau was not immediately available for comment.

Trump has routinely targeted the FBI for criticism as a probe into potential collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Kremlin has cast a shadow over his presidency.

In May, he fired then-FBI Director James Comey, and then told NBC’s Lester Holt that he had been thinking about the Russia probe when he decided to sack him. In January, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, whom Trump often accused of political bias, retired from the agency. McCabe also led the FBI on an interim basis before Wray was confirmed to replace Comey.

The president’s tweet Saturday night follows a slew of federal grand jury indictments Friday that stem from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller to take over the probe last year after Trump fired Comey. Trump has repeatedly denied collusion and has called the investigation a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.”

Trump changed his tune somewhat Friday, acknowledging Russian efforts to interfere in U.S. affairs while claiming that the indictments had vindicated him.

“Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President,” Trump tweeted late Friday evening. “The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!”

In a press conference Friday, Rosenstein said this particular indictment didn’t have any allegation of American involvement or impact on the election. The special counsel accused 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities of meddling in the 2016 election, with the intention of sowing chaos and aiding Trump’s push for the White House.



Source link

World

Bitcoin (BTC) price slides as US seizes most of Colonial ransom

Published

on

A banner with the logo of bitcoin is seen during the crypto-currency conference Bitcoin 2021 Convention at the Mana Convention Center in Miami, Florida, on June 4, 2021.

Marco Bello | AFP | Getty Images

Bitcoin’s price slipped again Tuesday. The reason for the move was unclear, however it may be related to concerns over security of the cryptocurrency after U.S. officials managed to recover most of the ransom paid to hackers that targeted Colonial Pipeline.

Court documents said investigators were able to access the password for one of the hackers’ bitcoin wallets. The money was recovered by a recently launched task force in Washington created as part of the government’s response to a rise in cyberattacks.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency slid over 7% at 5 a.m. ET to a price of $32,952, according to Coin Metrics data. Smaller digital coins also slumped, with ether falling 7% to $2,524 and XRP losing around 6%.

In April, 2021 was looking to be a banner year for digital assets, with bitcoin having topped $60,000 for the first time ever. But a recent plunge in crypto prices has shaken confidence in the market. Bitcoin sank to nearly $30,000 last month, and is currently down almost 50% from its all-time high.

The digital currency is now up only 14% since the start of the year, though it’s still more than tripled in price from a year ago.

U.S. recovers most of Colonial ransom

On Monday, U.S. law enforcement officials said they had seized $2.3 million in bitcoin paid to DarkSide, the cybercriminal gang behind a crippling cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline.

According to a court document, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to access the “private key,” or password, for one of the hackers’ bitcoin wallets. Bitcoin has often been the currency of choice for hackers demanding ransom payments to decrypt data locked by malware known as “ransomware.”

Crypto media outlet Decrypt reported there were unfounded rumors that the attackers’ bitcoin wallet had been “hacked,” an unlikely scenario.

DarkSide, which reportedly received $90 million in bitcoin ransom payments before shutting down, operated a so-called “ransomware as a service” business model, where hackers develop and market ransomware tools and sell them to affiliates who then carry out attacks.

According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, the seized funds represented the bulk of the DarkSide affiliate’s share of the ransom paid out by Colonial.

John Hultquist, vice president of analysis at Mandiant Threat Intelligence, called the move a “welcome development.”

“It has become clear that we need to use several tools to stem the tide of this serious problem, and even law enforcement agencies need to broaden their approach beyond building cases against criminals who may be beyond the grasp of the law,” said Hultquist.

“In addition to the immediate benefits of this approach, a stronger focus on disruption may disincentivize this behavior, which is growing in a vicious cycle,” he added.

Crypto crackdown

Source link

Continue Reading

World

Alibaba expands cloud products with livestream shopping in its battle against Amazon

Published

on


Alibaba trails Amazon and Microsoft in the global cloud computing market and hopes new products such as livestreaming e-commerce can help it stand out.

Source link

Continue Reading

World

Industry has to remain competitive as it goes green: RWE Krebber

Published

on

Electricity pylons and wind turbines stand beside the RWE Niederaussem coal-fired power plant while Steam rises from cooling towers on February 16, 2016 near Bergheim, Germany.

Volker Hartmann | Getty Images News | Getty Images

A transition to greener industry has become a priority in Europe but the head of a major German energy producer said there needs to be a “level playing field” so the region’s companies can compete globally.

“What we need is a global level playing field,” Markus Krebber, chief executive of RWE, the biggest producer of energy in Germany, told CNBC on Monday. “[Otherwise] it will be very difficult to compete with CO2-intensive imports when you are forced, in Europe, to decarbonize your industries.”

“It needs to be clear that, whatever politicians come up with [in terms of] a regulatory framework, we need to keep that level playing field otherwise we risk not only losing jobs but also risk losing the acceptance of our societies,” he added.

Germany’s government has recently increased its carbon emission cutting targets, with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approving draft legislation in May that aims to see carbon emissions cut by 65% from 1990 levels by 2030. The country is also aiming to be carbon neutral by 2045.

Germany’s emission levels are already 40% lower than they were in 1990, according to the country’s environment minister.

The more ambitious government targets have been set amid an upswing in support for Germany’s Green Party, which polls suggest is likely to become a partner in a coalition government following a federal election in September.

RWE’s Krebber said that, in the long-term, he was not concerned by government policies aiming at “greening” industry because the public supported the transition.

“If it’s wanted by the consumer and he pays for it you don’t need a support scheme, you just need a regulatory framework. But that will not happen overnight,” he noted.

“So I think that, in the beginning, we need support. But I would really urge everybody to think about market-based systems and not direct subsidies, which are not based on a competitive process, because we cannot risk to implement very expensive technologies in Germany. We currently have the highest power prices across Europe.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending