February 3, 2017

Norway: Russian hackers hit spy agency, defense, Labour party

Norway’s security service says nine email accounts — including those belonging to the Labour party, the foreign ministry and defense ministry — have been targeted by hackers believed to be the same Russia-linked group blamed for breaking into Democratic National Committee computers.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg told TV 2 that the hacking is “a serious attack on our democratic institutions,” although security officials say no classified material was taken.

Targets also included the Police Security Service (PST), Norway’s Radiation Protection Authority and an unidentified college, Arne Christian Haugstøyl, section chief for the Police Security Service told Norway’s TV2.

PST also told TV2 it believes the attack came from a hacking group known as “Cozy Bear” that is linked to the Russian Security Service, or FSB…



Louvre museum is locked down in Paris after soldier shoots knifeman who tried to enter the building with a suitcase

  • A man armed with a machete was shot five times in the stomach after attempting to storm the museum
  • Police source said the attacker was shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ before being gunned down
  • Streets around the Louvre have been evacuated
  • France’s interior ministry have branded the incident ‘serious’ 

A huge security operation is underway in Paris after a man was shot while trying to storm the Louvre art gallery armed with a machete.

The suspect was shot five times in the stomach and is in a critical condition.

He was shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ – Arabic for ‘God is the greatest’ – according to the Paris prefect.

After being refused entry, he pulled out the weapon and was shot by a soldier, according to sources at the scene. A solider is believed to have suffered a head injury.

Streets around the Louvre in the French capital have been evacuated, and it has been branded a ‘serious security incident’ by the Ministère Intérieur on Twitter.

The man was trying to get into the museum’s underground shop, according to a police source.


Louvre ‘attacker’ was Egyptian: Machete-wielding man shot five times after attacking French soldiers outside Paris museum ‘had been in the country for just over a week’

  • A man armed with a machete was shot five times in the stomach after attempting to storm the museum
  • Police source said the attacker was shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ before being gunned down
  • Streets around the Louvre have been evacuated and France’s interior ministry branded the incident ‘serious’
  • French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has described the attack as ‘terrorist in nature’ 
  • A second person has been arrested, but it is not known if they were linked to the attack
  • The identity and nationality of the attacker are not yet known, the interior ministry has said 

A terror probe has been launched in Paris after a machete-wielding man was shot while attacking four soldiers outside the Louvre.

The suspect was shot five times in the stomach and is in a critical condition.

He was shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ – Arabic for ‘God is the greatest’ – according to the Paris chief of police, and reportedly had paint bombs in his backpack.

A source close to the investigation claims the suspect is an Egyptian man who arrived in France at the end of last month.

An unconfirmed report by TV network LCI names the suspect as 29-year-old Abdallah EH, who arrived in France on a flight from Dubai on January 26. He was not known to security services, the network states.


Two Tweets Say How the Paris Louvre Attack Could have been Prevented

Olivier Guitta, who is the Managing Director of London-based Global Strat has proposed that the Egyptian man who carried out the attack in Paris could have been spotted.  Origone, a French-British company specializing in Israeli-security technology, last year offered the French Gendarmes and DST (French intelligence) access to superb analytical tools that would have prevented this attack.  The French, however, rejected the offer and instead tried to put Origone out of business, a foolish attack on a genuine security expert who was offering valuable help.  Perhaps the next French government will look into the matter.

Below are the tweets from Mr. Guitta.  They are self-explanatory.

  1. Someone missed the clues:-ian terro had expressed support of on social media,said he was traveling to

  2. Just before the attack, the terrorist in a way claimed responsibility 4 by writing on for our brothers in

Trump: Louvre attack was committed by ‘radical Islamic terrorist’


How France has become the number one target for extremists in Europe and has been repeatedly brutalised in terrifying new war against terror

Horrific attacks have seen scores of citizens murdered

FRANCE has become the number one target for extremists in Europe, with yet another attack increasing tension in the country today.

A series of horrific attacks have seen scores of citizens murdered as they go about their day-to-day lives and as a machete-wielding man pulled a knife on guards at the Luovre this morning many will have feared that total would rise again.


Merkel humiliates Theresa May as she cancels planned Brexit talks on sidelines of Malta EU summit

  • British officials were left red-faced when news of the schedule change came 
  • Mrs May had to settle for a brief walk and talk with Angela Merkel in Malta
  • Following the chat the prime minister flew home after lunch whilst EU leaders continued discussions on Brexit 

British officials were left red-faced when news of the schedule change came through.

Mrs May had to settle for a brief walk and talk with Angela Merkel in the capital, Valetta.

Following the chat the prime minister flew home after lunch whilst EU leaders continued discussions on the impact of Brexit.

The short meeting saw the chancellor criticise Mrs May for wooing firms with low taxes, adding there was no need for ‘a race for the lowest corporation taxes’.



North Korea fires its state security chief, South Korea says

FILE - In this photo distributed on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, by the North Korean government, Kim Won Hong, elected as a member of the Political Bureau of the Workers' Party at the Workers' Party congress on May 9, poses for a photo.

FILE – In this photo distributed on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, by the North Korean government, Kim Won Hong, elected as a member of the Political Bureau of the Workers’ Party at the Workers’ Party congress on May 9, poses for a photo.  (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

North Korea fired its state security minister last month, presumably over corruption, abuse of power and torture committed by his agency, according to rival South Korea’s government on Friday.

Jeong Joon Hee, spokesman for the Unification Ministry, said the sacking of Kim Won Hong, who had been seen as close to leader Kim Jong Un, might cause instability in the country’s leadership by causing more fear into the ruling elite. North Korea has not said anything about Kim Wong Hong, and Jeong did not say how the South’s government obtained the information.

There’s a possibility that Kim Won Hong will face stronger punishment as the investigation into his actions is ongoing, said Jeong.

South Korea has a spotty record of tracking developments in North Korea as information about the secretive, authoritarian state is often impossible to confirm.


US threatens North Korea with ‘overwhelming’ retaliation if it uses nuclear arms

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday threatened North Korea with an “effective and overwhelming” retaliation if the country decided to utilize its nuclear arsenal.

According to Reuters, Mattis issued the warning during his two-day visit to the South Korea, where he sought to reassure U.S. allies in the region that President Donald Trump‘s administration is fully committed to their security.

“Any attack on the United States, or our allies, will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons would be met with a response that would be effective and overwhelming,” the Defense secretary said.

“North Korea continues to launch missiles, develop its nuclear weapons program and engage in threatening rhetoric and behavior,” Mattis added.

Pyongyang’s nuclear program has advanced rapidly in the the last few years, forcing U.S. to make plans for a missile defense project in South Korea.

EU leaders attack Donald Trump at Malta summit

French President Francois Hollande, bottom left, hit out at Trump at the Malta summit

  • French President attacks Trump’s comments on Europe
  • Largest party in European parliament calls Trump’s likely pick for EU envoy “hostile”

Valletta, Malta (CNN)EU leaders, led by French president Francois Hollande, have denounced recent attacks on Europe by Donald Trump as they met for a summit to debate the future of the union.

Hollande described Trump’s statements as “unacceptable”, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on the EU to press ahead with its own plans whatever the US says.

EU leaders have been rattled by Trump’s comments on Europe and the NATO transatlantic alliance. He has voiced his support for Britain’s departure from the EU, criticized European refugee policies and called NATO “obsolete”.
Hollande hit out at Trump as he arrived at an informal summit on the future of the EU in Malta. “There are threats, there are challenges. What is at stake is the very future of the European Union,” he said.

U.S. defense chief, in Japan, reaffirms commitment to defense treaty

By Phil Stewart and Kiyoshi Takenaka | TOKYO

U.S. President Donald Trump’s defense secretary on Friday reaffirmed America’s commitment to its mutual defense treaty with Japan during a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

Jim Mattis, who was on his first trip since taking over the Pentagon, appeared eager to reassure Japan of U.S. resolve, after an election campaign that saw Trump question the value of U.S. alliances.

Mattis said provocations from North Korea left no room for doubt about U.S. commitment, a similar message he delivered over the past two days in South Korea.

“I want to make certain that Article 5 of our mutual defense treaty is understood to be as real to us today as it was a year ago, five years ago – and as it will be a year, and 10 years, from now,” Mattis said.


Trump administration imposes sanctions on 13 people, 12 companies in response to Iranian ballistic missile test

President Trump issued a fresh round of sanctions against Iran on Friday in retaliation for the country’s decision to test a ballistic missile over the weekend in violation of a United Nations resolution against such activity.

The sanctions apply to 13 individuals and 12 companies in Iran, according to the Treasury Department, which unveiled the measures Friday morning.

Iran’s missile launch on Jan. 29 provided Trump with the first real test of his foreign policy toughness.


U.S. sends Navy destroyer to patrol off Yemen amid Iran tensions: officials

[Editor’s Note: The USS Cole is the same ship that was attacked by a boat stuffed with explosives on 12 October 2000 in Aden harbor, resulting in the deaths of 17 sailors and the wounding of 39 others.  The ship was towed back to the United States and rebuilt.  The Cole has a score to settle.]

The United States has placed a Navy destroyer off the coast of Yemen to protect waterways from Houthi militia aligned with Iran, two U.S. officials said on Friday, amid heightened tension between Washington and Tehran.

The USS Cole arrived in the vicinity of the Bab al-Mandab Strait off southwestern Yemen where it will carry out patrols including escorting vessels, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Earlier this week the armed Houthi movement attacked a Saudi warship off the western coast of Yemen, causing an explosion that killed two crew members.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)


Obama plan to arm Kurds to fight Islamic State in Syria quickly discarded by Trump team

Adam Entous, Greg Jaffe, Missy RyanThe Washington Post

Planning for the final assault on Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State‘s caliphate, had been grinding on for more than seven months. There had been dozens of meetings of President Barack Obama‘s top national security team, scores of draft battle plans and hundreds of hours of anguished, late-night debates.

There were no good options, but Obama’s top foreign policy advisers were convinced that they had finally settled on an approach that could work – arming Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, current and former U.S. officials said. There was just one problem: The Obama team had deliberated for so long that there was no time left to pull the trigger. Donald Trump‘s advisers had also sent word that they wanted to make the decision.


Germany to admit 500 refugees from Turkey each month: Merkel

By For Citizen Digital
Germany to admit 500 refugees from Turkey each month: Merkel

Germany is going to receive 500 refugees from Turkey each month, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday in Ankara, while paying a one-day working visit to Turkey.

Merkel held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim during her visit.

The Chancellor praised Turkey’s great efforts in arranging refugees. She said the refugee deal signed between Turkey and the European Union in 2016 worked for the interest of both Turkey and the EU and should be kept alive.

According to the deal, Turkey will stop refugees from smuggling to Europe, while the EU offers six billion euros in aid for refugees being sheltered in Turkey.

The Turkish Coastal Guard’s data showed that they captured 756 smuggling refugees in January 2017, 86 percent less than the same period of last year. The EU has paid Turkey 2.2 billion euros for construction of refugee schools and humanitarian assistance.


Wife interview deepens woes for France’s Fillon


Paris (AFP) – Embattled French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon warned Thursday of a plot to “steal” his voters as a scandal over payments to his wife rumbled on, fuelled by new footage from an interview.

Fillon’s campaign has been struggling since it emerged that his Welsh-born wife Penelope was paid 830,000 euros ($900,000) as a parliamentary assistant over more than a decade — despite almost no one recalling her on the job.

On Thursday, one of France’s main investigative news programmes, Envoye Special, aired previously unseen footage from a 2007 interview in which she said, referring to her husband: “I’ve never been actually his assistant.”

The candid remarks in the interview with Britain’s Sunday Telegraph were likely to compound suspicions that she was paid for a fake job.

The Canard Enchaine newspaper has unearthed payslips showing she earned thousands of euros a month from 1998 to 2007 and again in 2012, as an assistant to Fillon and his 2002-2007 replacement in parliament.

Her lawyer, Pierre Cornut-Gentille, insisted her remarks had been “taken out of context.”


Why did Russia offer autonomy for Syria’s Kurds?

Russia seizes diplomatic momentum on Syria

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura praised the Russian-brokered Syria talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, which ended Jan. 24, as a “concrete step” toward implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions dealing with Syria, commending Russia, Turkey and Iran for setting up a mechanism to ensure compliance with the cease-fire announced last month.

Russia’s diplomatic blitz did not end in Astana, however. On Jan. 27, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Syrian opposition parties in Moscow for further discussion of a Russian draft of a new Syrian Constitution that had been offered in Astana. While representatives of the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee of the Syrian opposition and the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces refused to attend, the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey had excluded from the Astana talks, participated in the Moscow meeting.

Maxim Suchkov reports that the draft constitution includes restrictions on the power of the Syrian presidency, with most powers deferred to the parliament and a newly created “Assembly of Regions.” Under the draft, the president would serve for seven years with no option for a second consecutive term.


Venezuela: Chavistas Shut Down Mass, Force Faithful to Listen to Anti-Catholic Rant

The head of Venezuela’s opposition coalition in the legislature denounced the violent takeover of a Catholic Mass in late January by armed Chavista gangs known as colectivos, who forced those congregated to listen to a disparaging rant against the Catholic Church instead of prayer.

Jesús Torrealba, the secretary general of Venezuela’s Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), tweeted this week that colectivos stormed into Caracas’s San Pedro Claver Church on January 23 mid-Mass. “The violent government supporters closed the door, prevented the parishioners from leaving, and forced them to listen to a political speech,” Torrealba denounced on Twitter. “The violent colectivos offended the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference and social leaders in the area in their speech.”


Record radiation level detected inside damaged Fukushima reactor

A record radiation level has been detected inside the No. 2 reactor at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, with the estimated reading of up to 530 sieverts per hour, the plant operator said Thursday.

The reading means a person could die from even brief exposure, highlighting the difficulties ahead as the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. grope their way toward dismantling all three reactors that melted down in the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

The plant operator also announced that based on an image analysis, a 1-square-meter hole has been found on a metal grating beneath the reactor pressure vessel, likely caused by melted nuclear fuel that fell through the vessel.

The new radiation level, described by some experts as “unimaginable,” far exceeds 73 sieverts per hour, the previously highest radiation reading monitored in the interior of the reactor.

An official of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences said medical professionals have never considered dealing with this level of radiation in their work.

According to TEPCO, the extremely high radiation level was detected inside the containment vessel, in the space around 2.3 meters away from the base of the reactor pressure vessel.



11 arrests in NYU protest at event by conservative speaker

Fights that broke out at a New York University protest during an appearance by a conservative speaker have led to 11 arrests

NEW YORK (AP) — Fights that broke out at a New York University protest during an appearance by a conservative speaker have led to 11 arrests. School officials also say the speaker, Gavin McInnes, was hit by pepper spray.

McInnes is an actor, comedian and co-founder of Vice Media. He was invited to speak on campus Thursday night by the NYU College Republicans.

His appearance sparked a protest by a group called the NYU Anti-Fascists, who said that McInnes has a track record “of using incendiary language.”


ISIS could establish a EUROPEAN base if they are outed from the Middle East… with Bosnia the most likely location, say experts

  • ISIS could set-up a base in Europe should they get outed from the Middle East
  • Security experts agree that Bosnia and Herzegovina could become a terror hub 
  • Bosnian activist Djevad Galijasevic said the Balkans nation would fertile ground
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina has a Muslim majority and has produced extremists

The Balkans nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been earmarked as an ‘ideal refuge of last resort’ for the Sunni terror faction, said political activist Djevad Galijasevic.

Galijasevic said the country, which is bordered by holiday hot-spot Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, could be fertile ground for the jihadists to spread their ideology.


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