Chinese hackers indicted
Three Chinese nationals have been indicted by U.S. courts in Pittsburgh, Pa. for hacking into a number of global corporations including Moody’s Analytics, Siemens and Trimble. According to the indictment, the three men—Dong Hao, Wu Yingzhuo and Xia Lei—utilized malware and email phishing to conduct coordinated cyber attacks against several companies, accruing data such as employee email addresses and other personal, business and commercial information. At the moment, the whereabouts of the three men remain unknown, although it is suspected that they are in or near Guangzhou, China, where they run a cyber security firm. These charges come amidst an increase in U.S. attention to Chinese cyber attacks. In recent years, two other Chinese citizens have been found guilty of cyber-crimes in the U.S., including selling malware and deliberate hacking with intent of stealing and collecting sensitive information. These acts do not appear to have been sponsored by the Chinese government.
Bali volcano eruption evacuees to be forced from homes
Mount Agung, a volcano in Bali, Indonesia erupted last Tuesday, Nov. 21, for the first time in over half a century. The eruption had been anticipated since initial tremors were recorded in late August. Roughly 140,000 people preemptively left their homes near the base of Mt. Agung in accordance with the initial reports. As of Nov. 27, approximately 70,000 more people have been instructed to evacuate to nearby villages that are a safe distance away from the volcano and have prepared to accommodate dislocated persons. Indonesia’s National Board for Disaster Management raised the state of its volcano alert to the highest level on Nov. 27, insisting that people evacuate immediately, expanding the evacuation area and closing down the airport. The board issued a statement explaining its decision, saying that “the rays of fire are increasingly observed at night. This indicates the potential for a larger eruption is imminent.” Responding to reports that several people are remaining in their homes due to a sense of safety or a refusal to leave their livestock behind, Indonesian authorities have warned that people who ignore the evacuation order might be “forcibly evacuated” by emergency personnel who are doing checks throughout the area.
Bangladesh and Myanmar reach refugee agreement
Due to ethnic violence in Myanmar’s western region this past August, over 600,000 Rohingya, members of a majority-Muslim minority group, have fled across the border into neighboring Bangladesh. After several months of negotiation between the two nations, it appears that an agreement regarding the handling of the Rohingya refugees is beginning to form. Some details of the deal, announced Thursday, Nov. 23 in a memorandum from a spokesman for State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, outline a plan to repatriate hundreds of thousands of the Rohingya in Bangladesh back to the Rakhine state from which they fled. There will be no cap on the number of refugees that may return to the region. This contradicts earlier statements issued by Myanmar’s military—the same group accused of targeting the Rohingya. Incomplete plans from the agreement propose that refugees be temporarily relocated to camps set up in the Rakhine state. Given the remaining fear that many of the minority group have of returning to the land from which they were brutally expelled, it is unclear how many will wish to return, especially as the details released in the agreement did not state how long refugees would be required to remain in camps. One refugee said, “We can’t trust the government and military at all. No one should go back if they have to stay in a camp, if they are not allowed to live back in their original village.”
Trump ambiguous on Moore support
Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore stands accused by seven women of inappropriate advances, touching, harassment and molestation. At the time, he was in his 30s and they were in their teens. Several Republican senators still back Moore, while others, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have asked Moore to drop out of the upcoming elections if the allegations are true. President Trump’s statements have been limited in this affair. While he has not proclaimed condemnation or support of Moore, he has stressed that Moore “totally denies” the claims of abuse against him. Over the weekend, President Trump tweeted criticism for Moore’s Democratic competitor in the race, Doug Jones, writing that “Liberal Jones would be BAD!” Following this tweet, Lindsay Walters, the White House deputy press secretary, has insisted that this does not equate to support for Moore. According to Walters, Trump will not be making any appearances with Moore during his Senate campaign. She told The Hill at a press conference that when it comes to the president’s travel plans, “there is nothing on his schedule at this time” for a venture down to Alabama.