Laura Widener


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a joint warning to the public on Wednesday about Chinese hackers targeting organizations researching coronavirus.

The warning calls out Chinese state-affiliated hackers who were “observed attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property (IP) and public health data related to vaccines, treatments, and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with COVID-19-related research.”

“The potential theft of this information jeopardizes the delivery of secure, effective, and efficient treatment options,” the warning added.

The agencies called on U.S. organizations to expect increases in cyber activity, and recommended those organizations strengthen cybersecurity measures and resolve vulnerabilities for their networks, as well as actively scan and monitor systems for unauthorized activities.

“Health care, pharmaceutical, and research sectors working on COVID-19 response should all be aware they are the prime targets of this activity and take the necessary steps to protect their systems,” said an additional FBI statement.

“China’s efforts to target these sectors pose a significant threat to our nation’s response to COVID-19. This announcement is intended to raise awareness for research institutions and the American public and provide resources and guidance for those who may be targeted,” the statement added.

The public warning comes after CISA and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Agency identified state-sponsored hackers using password spraying tactics to steal data from U.S. pharmaceutical companies and research institutes, although their report did not identify the hackers’ country of origin.

China’s attempts to hack and steal coronavirus vaccine research comes after President Donald Trump announced ”Operation Warp Speed” to accelerate the vaccine development process.

China has already been involved in disinformation campaigns against the U.S. throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. State Department has determined that China, Russia, and Iran have been propagating identical disinformation narratives, which blame the U.S. for inadequate coronavirus response, while praising China and avoiding discussions of the virus’ origin in Wuhan, China.

Author: Laura Widener

Source: American Military News: FBI Public Alert: China trying to steal US coronavirus vaccine research – releases public warning

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now a target of scrutiny after officials learned Pompeo listened in on the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and the Ukrainian president – but Pompeo is pushing back.

After Pompeo received a letter from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Friday requesting the State Department make five current former officials available for testimony in the ongoing impeachment hearings, Pompeo replied with a fiery letter of his own.

“I’m concerned with aspects of the Committee’s request that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully, & treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State, including several career FSOs,” Pompeo tweeted on Tuesday morning, echoing some of the contents of the letter.

“Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,” he clarified in a follow-up tweet.

Pompeo’s letter pointed out that proper notices were not provided to the Department, nor were any requests for appearance provided, as House rules stipulate.

Pompeo went on to note that the lack of notice given to the Department has left officials with inadequate time to prepare or secure legal representation before such a deposition.

“You have asserted that failure by Department officials to meet your demonstrably inadequate timeline for voluntary appearances ‘shall constitute evidence of obstruction.’ There is no legal basis for such a threat,” Pompeo wrote.

“Given the serious substantive and procedural deficiencies in the Committee’s requests, including the Committee’s apparent effort to circumvent Executive Branch constitutional interests in having Department counsel present at any depositions, the Committee’s assertion lacks any recognized legal basis,” Pompeo wrote.

“I urge you to exercise restraint in making such unfounded statements in the future,” he added.

“Based on the profound procedural and legal deficiencies noted above, the Committee’s requested dates for deposition are not feasible,” Pompeo wrote.

Author: Laura Widener

Source: American Military News: Pompeo defiantly fires at Congress: ‘Won’t let you bully State Dept. officials’ for impeachment probe

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently voiced her support for lowing the legal voting age to 16 years old.

During a press conference last week, Pelosi said lowering the voting age to 16 was “really important,” and that it’s a view she has held for a long time.

Pelosi said she has always supported lowering the voting age.

“It’s really important to capture kids when they’re in high school, when they’re interested in all of this, when they’re learning about government, to be able to vote,” she said.

“My view is that I would welcome it, but I’ve been in that position for a long time,” Pelosi added.

She doubled down the idea during a press conference in Ferguson, Mo. on Monday.

“We’re obviously collecting thoughts about it. Just because someone has a good idea — any of us — doesn’t mean it’s going to the Floor next,” Pelosi said. “It means you go through the process. You build consensus. You build a crescendo.”

“When they are in high school, we see such a heightened interest in history and civics and climate and gun safety and you name it. And that would be a time for them to be registered to vote,” she added.

Her comments appear at about 23:08 in the video below:

“You have an idea?” Pelosi said. “Let’s see how many people you can convince. Let’s see what the other views are that we can enhance this.”

Pelosi was in Ferguson to rally Congressional support for H.R. 1, the “For The People Act of 2019,” as well as H.R. 4, “The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019.”

Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley attempted to add an amendment to H.R. 1 to lower the voting age to 16. The amendment was struck down in a 126 to 305 vote, according to The Washington Examiner.

During arguments on the amendment, Republican Rep. Rodney Davis said, “I’m of the opinion that we shouldn’t arbitrarily lower the voting age just because right now, I believe Democrats think they’ll gain more votes.”

“I believe it will institutionalize a Democrat majority here in this House of Representatives,” he added.

A new Rasmussen poll released Tuesday found that only 17 percent of likely voters favored lowing the voting age to 16, while 74 percent opposed such a measure.

House Democrats’ ultimately passed H.R. 1 without the amendment. The bill seeks to overhaul campaign laws and would require the disclosure of names and addresses of many political donors, impose penalties on companies with 20 percent or more foreign ownership, establish a public matching system for political donations, redraw congressional districts and more, according to The Washington Post.

Author: Laura Widener

Source: Americanmilitarynews: VIDEO: Pelosi: ‘Really important’ to lower legal voting age to 16

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

The Connecticut Supreme Court decided on Thursday to allow Sandy Hook victims’ families to sue gunmaker Remington.

In a 4-3 decision, the court decided to reverse a ruling made by the lower court, Bridgeport Superior Court, which originally dismissed a lawsuit filed by Sandy Hook families against Remington in 2015.

Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster AR-15 – which was legally owned by his mother – in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. He killed 26 people, including 20 first-grade students, before killing himself. After killing his mother in their Newtown, Conn. home, Lanza had traveled to the elementary school where his mother worked and he formerly attended, and opened fire on students and teachers in two classrooms.

Gunmakers have been protected from lawsuits via the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), however, the justices contend that the victims’ families are permitted to argue Remington’s alleged violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), the Hartford Courant reported Thursday.

“We further conclude that PLCAA does not bar the plaintiffs from proceeding on the single, limited theory that the defendants violated CUTPA by marketing the XM15- E2S to civilians for criminal purposes, and that those wrongful marketing tactics caused or contributed to the Sandy Hook massacre,” Justice Richard Palmer wrote. “Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings.”

“Following a scrupulous review of the text and legislative history of [the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act] we also conclude that Congress has not clearly manifested an intent to extinguish the traditional authority of our legislature and our courts to protect the people of Connecticut from the pernicious practices alleged in the present case. The regulation of advertising that threatens the public’s health, safety, and morals has long been considered a core exercise of the states’ police powers.” Justice Palmer added.

“Accordingly, on the basis of that limited theory, we conclude that the plaintiffs have pleaded allegations sufficient to survive a motion to strike and are entitled to have the opportunity to prove their wrongful marketing allegations,” Palmer concluded.

The families filed a lawsuit against Remington in 2015, alleging that the company manufactured and marketed a military weapon that ended up in the hands of a civilian.

Bridgeport Superior Court decided in 2016 to dismiss the lawsuit, declaring that it “falls squarely within the broad immunity” provided under the PLCAA.

“There is no need for a legal re-examination of the law,” said James Vogts, Remington’s attorney. “Under the law, the manufacturer of the gun used by the criminal that day isn’t responsible legally for his actions.”

Legal analysts say Remington could be held liable under the “negligent entrustment” exception in the law, which defines the “supplying of a qualified product by a seller for use by another person when the seller knows, or reasonably should know, the person to whom the product is supplied is likely to, and does, use the product in a manner involving unreasonable risk of physical injury to the person or others.”

Author: Laura Widener

Source: Americanmilitarynews: Sandy Hook families can sue AR-15 gunmaker Remington, court rules

Fall back, spring ahead – or not.

President Donald Trump would be OK with not changing his clocks twice a year for Daylight Saving Time, that time of year when one loses a precious hour of sleep on the second Sunday in March.

“Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!” Trump tweeted Monday morning.

Daylight Saving Time (DST) took place this past Sunday, prompting most Americans to set their clock forward at 2 a.m. The time change is widely known as an annoyance for its inconvenience and the disappearing hour that cuts back on one’s sleep schedule every year toward the end of winter.

To change the law would require the power of Congress, which could soon vote on such a measure.

Just last week, Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, as well as Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan, introduced a bill called “Sunshine Protection Act of 2019” that calls for enacting DST permanently, thus ending the time change that takes place in November.

Each year in modern history, millions of citizens have taken to online petitions to voice their discontent with DST. Websites such as and make the case to eliminate the practice.

Most of the dissenters cite scientific research showing the negative implications of DST. Some of those include negative affects on sleep patterns, emotions and behaviors, which some say makes people less productive, thus costing money. Others argue that the prolonged darkness brought on by DST makes people less safe due to crime and vehicle accidents that take place during night hours.

DST now begins every second Sunday in March, after a series of changes since it was implemented.

Benjamin Franklin is thought to be the one who originally thought up Daylight Saving Time. In an essay titled “An Economic Project” he penned in 1784, he lamented the cost spent on burning candles.

“An immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles,” Franklin wrote.

However, it did not become practiced until 1918 during World War I, “as a way of conserving fuel needed for war industries and of extending the working day,” according to the Library of Congress.

The law was repealed just a year later after the war was over, although time zones created by the law have remained.

When World War II came about, Congress reestablished DST on Jan. 20, 1942. It was again repealed in 1945 after the war ended.

The Uniform Time Act was signed into law in 1966 by former President Lyndon B. Johnson, and it enacted a permanent DST across the nation. The dates of the time changes were later amended by President Ronald Reagan after 20 years, and again by President George W. Bush nearly 20 years after that.

Author: Laura Widener

Source: Americanmilitarynews: Trump tweets approval of ‘permanent’ Daylight Saving Time

As Congressional Democrats try to impose stricter gun laws, the White House has announced that President Trump would be advised to veto any gun control bills that come across his desk.

The White House on Monday issued a statement of administration policy and took aim at House bills H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 – both of which seek to impose stricter background checks for gun purchases – and declared that neither one would receive the President’s signature because the bills violate the Second Amendment.

“The extensive regulation required by H.R. 8 is incompatible with the Second Amendment’s guarantee of an individual right to keep arms,” the White House said. “By overly extending the minimum time that a licensed entity is required to wait for background check results, H.R. 1112 would unduly impose burdensome delays on individuals seeking to purchase a firearm.”

H.R. 8 seeks to impose background checks on nearly all private gun transfers. The bill would force everyday gun owners to pursue a third party retailer or other licensed entity to oversee government procedures that would be mandated for the transfer of their private guns.

“H.R. 8 would require that certain transfers, loans, gifts, and sales of firearms be processed by a federally licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer of firearms. H.R. 8 would therefore impose permanent record-keeping requirements and limitless fees on these everyday transactions,” the White House noted.

The bill does not currently provide exemptions that would authorize temporary transfers of guns, such as leaving a gun in someone else’s care during travels.

H.R. 1112 authorizes delays in background checks of up to 20 business days.

An initial 10-day waiting period would be required before processing the sale of a gun. If the background check is not completed during that time period, the buyer must file a petition with the federal government and wait an extra 10 days before the transaction may go through.

The latter bill presents a major problem, however.

The 20 business days mandated by H.R. 1112 may cause the background check to exceed 30 calendar days from the date of initiation, thus becoming invalid by current law.

“Allowing the Federal Government to restrict firearms purchases through bureaucratic delay would undermine the Second Amendment’s guarantee that law-abiding citizens have an individual right to keep and bear arms,” the White House said.

“If H.R. 8, or H.R. 1112, are presented to the President, his advisors would recommend he veto the bill,” the statement said in closing.

House Democrats recently rejected an amendment to H.R. 8 introduced by Republican Rep. Greg Steube that would require notification to specific law enforcement agencies when an individual fails a background check, and would require Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be notified upon the failed background check of an illegal immigrant.

Author: Laura Widener

Source: Americanmilitarynews: Trump vows to veto gun control bills in Congress, White House says

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