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Defense Intelligence Agency worker arrested for leaking to reporters

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Gen. Robert Ashley, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testifies during the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on “Worldwide Threats” on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2018.

Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

A counter-terrorism analyst for the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency was arrested Wednesday on federal charges that he leaked top secret and other classified information — including details of a foreign country’s weapons systems — to two reporters in 2018 and this year.

The worker, Henry Kyle Frese, 30, held top-secret clearance at the DIA, where he began as a contractor in January 2017, and eventually became a full-time employee.

One of the journalists who allegedly received secret information from Frese had apparently been involved in a romantic relationship with him, authorities said.

That reporter ended up writing at least eight articles based on at least five compromised intelligence reports leaked by Frese, according to a criminal indictment. Frese re-tweeted a link to the first article that reporter wrote based on information he had allegedly leaked to her, the indictment says.

“Frese was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers.

An indictment alleges that Frese accessed classified intelligence reports, some which were not connected to his job duties, in spring 2018 and provided top secret information about another country’s weapons systems to a journalist who lived at the same Alexandria, Virginia, residential address as Frese.

The Justice Department said that it “based on reviews” of the public social media pages of Frese and that reporter, “it appears that they were involved in a romantic relationship for some or all of that period of time” in which Frese allegedly leaked the information to her.

“The unauthorized disclosure of TOP SECRET information could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security of the United States,” the Justice Department said in a press release announcing Frese’s indictment in U.S District Court in Virginia.

A week after Frese allegedly accessed one of the intelligence reports, the first journalist sent Frese a direct message on Twitter asking whether he would speak with another journalist, according to the department.

“Frese stated that he was ‘down’ to help Journalist 2 if it helped Journalist 1 because he wanted to see Journalist 1 ‘progress.’ “

The identities of the reporters and their employers were not disclosed by authorities.

The indictment against Frese says that on Sept. 24, 2019, surveillance of Frese caught him  on a cell phone call transmitting national defense information to the second reporter. 

Those disclosures allegedly contained information classified as secret, “meaning that the unauthorized disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to cause serious harm to the national security of the United States,” the department said.

Frese faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted of each of the two counts of wilful transmission of national defense information with which he was charged.

“Henry Kyle Frese was entrusted with TOP SECRET information related to the national defense of our country,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“Frese allegedly violated that trust, the oath he swore to uphold, and is charged with engaging in dastardly and felonious conduct at the expense of our country,” Terwilliger said.

“This indictment should serve as a clear reminder to all of those similarly entrusted with National Defense Information that unilaterally disclosing such information for personal gain, or that of others, is not selfless or heroic, it is criminal.”

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Trade war may give China a head start in race for Middle East, Africa

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Ben Harburg, Managing Partner of MSA Capital and Rafik Nayed, Group Chief Executive Officer of Al Salam Bank Bahrain speak with Geoff Cutmore, anchor of CNBC on Day 3 of CNBC East Tech West at LN Garden Hotel Nansha Guangzhou on November 20, 2019 in Nansha, Guangzhou, China.

Zhong Zhi | Getty Images

The ongoing U.S.-China trade war may be prematurely pushing the world’s second largest economy toward greater self-sufficiency, but that could prove a win for the country as it seeks to make inroads into some of the world’s biggest untapped markets.

Ben Harburg, managing partner of Beijing-based venture capital firm MSA Capital, told CNBC the “decoupling” of China from its largest trade partner has forced Chinese businesses to innovate and diversify beyond their preferred timeline. However, he added that that has also served to accelerate their already planned push into the Middle East and Africa.

“This forced self-sufficiency and forced decoupling has yielded them a really attractive market,” Harburg said of Chinese companies — most notably those in tech — at CNBC’s East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China.

“The chip industry here would have loved another five years to get its feet underneath it. Operating systems locally would have preferred more time for maturation,” he continued during a panel hosted by CNBC’s Geoff Cutmore entitled “Beyond One Belt, One Road.”

“But it’s kind of the necessity of innovation at this moment to survive. It’s pushing these companies to emerging technology markets and what they’re finding there are incredibly attractive conditions.”

Harburg highlighted particular opportunities in the e-commerce and banking sectors, within which many of the regions’ markets have a penetration rate of less than 10%.

“China (has) an e-commerce penetration rate of around 30%. In the Middle East today it’s 2%,” said Harburg. “(It’s) hugely attractive to walk millions of people online and find them a place in e-commerce that’s obviously mobile-first.

Ben Harburg, Managing Partner of MSA Capital speaks with Rafik Nayed, Group Chief Executive Officer of Al Salam Bank Bahrain and Geoff Cutmore, anchor of CNBC on Day 3 of CNBC East Tech West at LN Garden Hotel Nansha Guangzhou on November 20, 2019 in Nansha, Guangzhou, China.

Zhong Zhi | Getty Images

Rafik Nayed, CEO of Bahrain’s Al Salam Bank and fellow panelist, seconded Harburg’s remarks, noting that Chinese companies have been attracted to the region by “organic” market opportunities and “shared geopolitical structures” which unite the regions.

“Chinese technology is genuinely interested in opening up new markets of half a billion people, $1.5 trillion economy in the region,” said Nayed.

However, he noted that recent shifts in U.S. policy toward the Middle East have created a “vacuum” that has enabled China to curry favor in the region and demonstrate its business capabilities.

“In that pivot, we’ve discovered that on the tech side it’s actually a lot more advanced than what we were used to in the West,” he said.

To leverage off those opportunities, Nayed revealed at the conference that Al Salam Bank has partnered with MSA Capital to establish a $50 million fund to assist with the Middle East expansion of Chinese companies, as well as to help create new regional businesses based on “proven Chinese business models.”

When asked by Cutmore about possible security concerns surrounding Chinese technology companies’ entrance into the region, Nayed said: “I have not felt there is a lack of trust in China tech … I’m not feeling it.”

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Can A.I. ever replace human doctors? Health tech experts weigh in

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From detection to diagnosis, digitization is widely being accepted as the new approach to medicine.

Health care practitioners and patients are quickly embracing digital apps and advanced technology to get to the bottom of an ailment.

But can technology and artificial intelligence ever replace doctors?

“I don’t think at this stage, we are 100%, or even close to 100%, sure that AI can replace a historical high-touch type of doctor-patient relationship,” said Dr. Chun Yuan Chiang, a health practitioner and founder of IHDPay Group, a health care payments firm.

“In terms of diagnostic aid, it’s a different category. So, I would say at the end of Day 4, the patient wants recovery,” he told CNBC’s Nancy Hungerford at a panel discussion at East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China on Tuesday.

Changing landscape

Still, experts say AI — defined broadly as machines programmed to mimic human intelligence in areas such as problem-solving and learned behavior — has reshaped the medical landscape.

“We used to use x-rays to detect lung cancer. The problem is you can only go to stage 3 or stage 4 with x-ray,” said another member of the panel Dai Ying, chief innovation officer for GE Healthcare in China.

“Now, with CT you can see all lung modules, and with AI can tell where it is and how big it is. It’s much more advanced than before,” he said referring to computed tomography scans used to detect medical conditions.

Diagnosis of ailments and diseases is being done remotely these days. Health care providers are connected via centralized systems that can monitor patients remotely. But can AI replace a doctor’s visit for those that are remote?

“We are building telemedicine in our apps today where you can consult a doctor from the convenience of your homes, not for emergency,” said Jai Verma, CEO and board member of insurance company Cigna DIFC, and global head of government solutions at Cigna International. “I think AI, internet of things, are going to change the way we deliver health care in the future.”

Verma also believes that along with AI, blockchain technology will make it easier for heath care companies, professionals and patients to share medical records, and that many insurance companies are already looking at integrating blockchain into their modern systems.

Blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, is a public ledger of every transaction that has taken place.

Fraud and costs

As health-care providers plough millions into AI-powered machines, blockchain and other expensive innovative technologies to improve the future of medicine, there are concerns that health care costs could go up.

Experts think otherwise.

“I think the technology is going to help us streamline the operations and reduce our operating costs,” said Verma, pointing out that most costs these days are associated with manual work. “AI would help you to make it automated, so the future systems are going to help reduce your costs.”

In China, one of the largest health care markets in the world, Dai said AI can play an important role in improving efficiency for the hospitals. “I don’t think AI is all the time adding to costs,” he said. “In most cases, it saves the costs.”

However, concerns about fraud and data privacy persist as medical records get exchanged electronically.

Verma, who works for insurer Cigna, noted that many people misuse health care identities. “We lost a lot of money on fraud with people using the (ID) card and accessing the care for someone else,” he said adding that dispersing of incorrect medicine is a big risk with digitization.

Chiang pointed out that efficiency can be brought about by preventing fraud or moral risks, and that his company is committed to safety and authentication. “We provide a platform that everybody can use … to make sure it’s the right doctor, real doctor, real pharmacists, real drug, real insured person etc.”

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Aston Martin debuts first-ever SUV with $189,900 DBX

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Aston Martin DBX

Source: Aston Martin

LOS ANGELES — Aston Martin is entering the SUV segment for the first time in the company’s 106-year history with the $189,900 DBX.

The famed luxury British car brand touted the unveiling of the vehicle Tuesday as a “bold new chapter and landmark moment” for the automaker.

Aston Martin DBX

Source: Aston Martin

“I can’t emphasize enough how incredibly exciting and significant DBX is for Aston Martin,” said Aston Martin President and CEO Andy Palmer. “Through its development alone, this beautiful SUV has already taken the company into new territories and in inspiring directions.”

The DBX is a crucial vehicle for Aston Martin, which has not performed as well as expected since going public on the London Stock Exchange in October 2018. The company has lost roughly three-fourths of its market value since going public.

Aston Martin DBX

Source: Aston Martin

Aston Martin is the most recent traditional luxury or premium-luxury car brand to release a crossover or SUV. Others have included Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati and Porsche. Ferrari also has announced plans for a utility vehicle.

The DBX, according to Aston Martin, features luxury amenities buyers have come to expect from the brand as well as more capable, utilitarian features.

The DBX is powered by a four-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine found in DB11 and Vantage that features 542-horsepower and 516 ft.-lb of torque. It has a top speed of 181 mph and can achieve 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds.

Aston Martin DBX

Source: Aston Martin

The vehicle features an “adaptive triple volume air suspension” with a 48-volt electric “anti-roll control system” and electronic active dampers to provide groundbreaking ability never before seen in an Aston Martin.

The inside of the vehicle includes a 10.25-inch screen in the center of the dash as well as a 12.3-inch screen in front of the driver. Apple CarPlay comes as standard, as does a 360-degree camera system and ambient lighting that offers 64 different colors in two zones.

Aston Martin DBX

Source: Aston Martin

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