FBI investigation expands. Kavanaugh, Ford not interviewed.

Ford and Kavanaugh weren’t on the initial list the White House provided for the FBI to interview, and the sources tell CNN they still aren’t.
The White House counsel’s office, which is coordinating the FBI, believes the sworn testimony from the two is enough and there’s no need for an FBI interview. This despite the fact that the interview list has grown to include other possible witnesses, CNN has reported based on attorneys for people who have been contacted.
Friend of Kavanaugh accuser disputes polygraph controversy

While the key senators — which includes Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Jeff Flake of Arizona — aren’t dictating the terms of the investigation (that responsibility resides with the White House), their role as undecided votes who will determine whether Kavanaugh is the next Supreme Court justice has been crucial, senators and aides say. The three were responsible for pushing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to ask the White House for the inquiry to begin with — a move McConnell made clear he opposed.
And their efforts to ensure the FBI hasn’t been unnecessarily hemmed in as they do their work continued through last weekend.
The senators have been in consultation with the White House about the scope of the investigation and were instrumental in the decision on the original list of four individuals the FBI would interview — a list that didn’t include Ford or Kavanaugh. Since then, all have made clear that the FBI should be free to follow any new leads, but to this point haven’t asked the FBI to sit down with Ford or Kavanaugh.
Flake told CNN’s Manu Raju that Ford “gave testimony before the committee,” and that he is “more concerned about corroboration and people,” than an FBI interview with Ford. Flake said the FBI should follow “leads that she had mentioned, people that she had talked to, particularly Mark Judge and others that she places in the room. That is where they needed to start and then follow those leads wherever they go.”
With the White House’s blessing, the FBI has expanded its inquiry into allegations against Kavanaugh beyond the initial four interviews that the White House directed to be conducted, and have now also spoken with more of Kavanaugh’s classmates from Georgetown Prep who attended a party entered onto Kavanaugh’s 1982 calendar.
Ford’s lawyers have demanded the FBI interview her, and in a letter yesterday to the FBI said, “It is inconceivable that the FBI could conduct a thorough investigation of Dr. Ford’s allegations without interviewing her, Judge Kavanaugh, or the witnesses we have identified in our letters to you.”
The FBI has been working very closely with the White House and has been keeping White House counsel Don McGahn updated on its work. The details of the first interviews were shared with the White House and that is how some of the additional interviews then came about.
This is the GOP's strategy to save Kavanaugh

This is the GOP's strategy to save Kavanaugh

One of those interviewed by the FBI is Deborah Ramirez who alleges that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and others in a dorm room when they were Yale freshmen. Kavanaugh has denied Ramirez’s allegations. Ramirez’s lawyers have provided the FBI with the names of more than 20 individuals who they say can help corroborate Ramirez’s story. Only a small number of those, however, may have witnessed the alleged incident. It is those individuals to whom the FBI may also be talking. Those interviews would require the White House’s approval.
The FBI is still constrained by the parameters set by the White House, which is a very limited supplemental background investigation — not a criminal investigation.
A source familiar with the work so far says the FBI is currently in information collection mode. Just because they haven’t spoken with Ford doesn’t mean they won’t eventually want to do so after all key info is collected — it’s not unusual to wait to interview a key witness after other witnesses have been interviewed — that said it will ultimately be up to the White House to greenlight a Ford interview.
The FBI could complete its interviews Wednesday and provide investigative summaries to the White House and Senators soon after.

Sanders claims Trump’s mockery was just ‘stating facts’

Sanders insisted Trump was simply “stating the facts” during his rally Tuesday night when he launched into a mocking impression of Ford’s testimony before Congress in which she accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
Sanders instead sought to turn the tables on Democrats, accusing them of tarnishing the judicial confirmation process to the detriment of both Ford and Kavanaugh.
“I think both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh are victims at the hands of the Democrats,” she said. “I think it is absolutely disgraceful what they’ve done and exploiting this process. They’ve exploited Dr. Ford, they’re exploiting all of the women that have come out to make any type of accusation. This isn’t the process that should’ve been done and certainly everybody deserves to be heard; but that includes Judge Kavanaugh.”
Key Republican senators condemn Trump's mockery of Ford

Sanders sought to bolster Trump’s claims about Ford’s testimony by pointing to a report compiled by the prosecutor Senate Republicans tapped to question Ford during her testimony before Congress last week. That prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, complied a multi-page report that questioned Ford’s credibility, even though Mitchell said her questioning of Ford during the Senate hearing was imperfect and not the best way to ascertain the truth about her allegations.
At a rally in Mississippi on Tuesday night, Trump delivered an impression of Ford’s testimony before Congress, mocking her for not remembering details about the night she claims she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh.
“I had one beer. Well, do you think it was — nope, it was one beer. How did you get home? I don’t remember. How’d you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember. How many years ago was it? I don’t know,” Trump said, drawing laughter and applause from the crowd. “I don’t know, I don’t know.”
Ford did not recall some details about how she arrived at the party where she says Kavanaugh assaulted her nor how she got home after she says she fled the house, but offered a vivid recollection of the alleged assault itself.
But Trump also accused Ford of not remembering details that she recalled confidently, suggesting she did not remember where in the house the assault took place and had no recollection of the general time period or area when and where it occurred.
“The President was stating the facts,” Sanders said on Wednesday.
Trump mocks Christine Blasey Ford's testimony, tells people to 'think of your son'

Trump mocks Christine Blasey Ford's testimony, tells people to 'think of your son'

Earlier in the day, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the President, offered a similar take.
“The woman has been accommodated by all of us, including Senate Judiciary Committee,” Conway told reporters. “She’s been treated like a Faberge egg by all of us, beginning with me and the President. He’s pointing out factual inconsistencies.”
Trump and White House officials have repeatedly offered contradictory statements about Ford, at times calling her “credible” and describing her as a “victim” while also seeking to undermine the credibility of her allegation against Kavanaugh.
Sanders made clear on Wednesday that Trump continues to support Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
The FBI is continuing to conduct a supplemental background investigation into the allegations leveled against the judge, but the law enforcement agency has yet to interview Ford or Kavanaugh.
Responding to a report that the FBI has not conducted those interviews because of a lack of authorization from the White House, Sanders said Trump has “indicated that whoever the FBI deems necessary to interview, he’s fine with that.”
But she also said Trump believes the Senate should be the ones “to determine” the scope of the FBI investigation.
Sanders also pointed out that both Kavanaugh and Ford “were questioned in the most public way possible by the members of the Senate who ultimately have to make the determination.”

Pret a Manger to label food after schoolgirl’s death

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse fell ill on a British Airways flight to Nice, France after buying an olive tapenade and artichoke baguette from a branch of Pret a Manger at London Heathrow Airport. She died later of anaphylactic shock, a UK medical coroner ruled last week.
Pret a Manger Chief Executive Clive Schlee said in a statement that the fast-food chain was “deeply sorry” for her death and hopes the food-labeling measures “set us on course to drive change in the industry so people with allergies are as protected and informed as possible.”
The company will begin a trial of full ingredient labeling from November and in the coming weeks will ensure that “prominent allergen warning stickers are placed on all individual freshly made products” and add additional allergen warning signs in shops, it said in a statement seen by CNN.
Coroner Sean Cummings said that Pret a Manger’s labeling was “inadequate.” “There was no specific allergen information on the baguette packaging or on the (food display cabinet) and Natasha was reassured by that,” Cummings said on September 28.
Pret a Manger said it was "deeply sorry" for Natasha's death.

Cardiac arrest on plane

Around 25 minutes into the flight Natasha’s throat became itchy, her face went red and then hives appeared on her body, the coroner said.
Her father used Epipen injections, which are used to treat severe and life-threatening allergic reactions, but the teenager’s condition continued to deteriorate.
She said “daddy, help me, I can’t breathe,” the coroner wrote. Oxygen was provided but Natasha lost consciousness.
As the plane came in to land she suffered a cardiac arrest, and she died despite a doctor’s attempts to revive her and the use of a defibrillator at Nice airport.
BA crew had not told the doctor that there was a defibrillator on board the aircraft. “Whilst I consider this to be an omission on the part of the BA crew, I do not believe this made a material difference to the outcome,” the coroner said.
Pret says an “allergen guide” is available for consultation in all stores and online. In line with UK regulatory requirements for food labeling, there is allergen signage on refrigerators and at checkouts that direct patrons to ask store managers about allergens.
Her family issued a statement after the coroner’s report saying the “inquest has shown that she died because of inadequate food labeling laws.”
“We were also shocked to learn that there have been a number of previous serious allergic incidents, involving sesame seeds in Pret a Manger food, before our daughter died. It feels to us that if Pret a Manger were following the law, then the law was playing Russian- Roulette with our daughter’s life,” the statement said.
“It is clear that food labeling laws as they stand are not fit for purpose and it is now time for the law to change. Natasha’s inquest should serve as a watershed moment to make meaningful change to save lives.”

Is this the first moon found outside our solar system?

Although moons are common in our solar system, which has nearly 200 natural satellites, the long search for interstellar moons has been an empty one. Astronomers have had success locating exoplanets around stars outside our solar system, but exomoons are harder to pinpoint because of their smaller size.
“This would be the first case of detecting a moon outside our solar system,” said David Kipping, an assistant professor of astronomy at Columbia University and one of the discoverers of the potential exomoon. “If confirmed by follow-up Hubble observations, the finding could provide vital clues about the development of planetary systems and may cause experts to revisit theories of how moons form around planets.”
Kipping has spent a decade working on the “exomoon hunt.”
But the scientists behind this discovery are hesitant to confirm that the new find is an exomoon due to some of its peculiarities and the fact that more observation is needed. Their results were published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.
The hunt for Planet X turns up a new solar system object

“This is not by itself a proof of an exomoon,” Kipping said. “It’s the unknown of unknowns which are ultimately uncharacterizeable.”
However, the finding is both promising and intriguing. The moon is incredibly large, comparable to the size of the gas giant Neptune in our solar system, which is highly unusual. There’s no analog for such a large moon in our own system. In our sky, it would appear two times bigger than Earth’s moon, the researchers said.
But that size is why it was easier to find, the researchers said. It’s comparable to so-called hot Jupiters, gas giant exoplanets that are closer to their stars than Jupiter is to its own, and warmer. These were common discoveries during the early days of exoplanet hunting because they were easy to find, but they represent only about 1% of known exoplanets now.
The planet that the potential exomoon orbits, Kepler-1625b, is several times the mass of Jupiter, which means their mass-ratio is similar to that of Earth and its moon.
It was discovered when Columbia astronomers Kipping and Alex Teachey used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to follow up on an intriguing find from data in the Kepler Space Telescope’s exoplanet catalog. This catalog included 284 planets found by Kepler with wide orbits around their host stars. Kepler-1625b stood out.
“We saw little deviations and wobbles in the light curve that caught our attention,” Kipping said. The researchers were awarded with 40 hours of observation time using Hubble, and the data they gathered were four times more precise than what Kepler had captured.
During a transit period, in which the planet passed in front of its star, Hubble detected a second decrease in the star’s brightness after the planet. It was like “a moon trailing the planet like a dog following its owner on a leash,” Kipping said. “Unfortunately, the scheduled Hubble observations ended before the complete transit of the moon could be measured.”
Hubble was also able to measure that the planet began its transit earlier than expected, consistent with the “wobble” that occurs when a planet and moon orbit the same center of gravity. This also happens with Earth, the moon and the sun.
Paging Mr. Spock: 'Star Trek' planet Vulcan found?

Paging Mr. Spock: 'Star Trek' planet Vulcan found?

Perhaps that wobble could be due to the presence of a second planet, the researchers thought. But Kepler didn’t find any other planets around this star.
“A companion moon is the simplest and most natural explanation for the second dip in the light curve and the orbit-timing deviation,” Teachey said. “It was a shocking moment to see that light curve. My heart started beating a little faster, and I just kept looking at that signature. But we knew our job was to keep a level head, testing every conceivable way in which the data could be tricking us until we were left with no other explanation.”
Although the planet and its possible moon are within the habitable zone of their star, both are considered to be gas giants and “unsuitable for life as we know it,” Kipping said.
It’s not like the exomoon in “Avatar” or Endor from “Star Wars,” Teachey said, “but going forward, I think we’re opening doors to finding worlds like that.”
The researchers believe the star system to be 10 billion years old, which means it’s had time to evolve. This could explain why the moon is 3 million kilometers from its planet; they were probably closer in the past.
Water ice found at the moon's poles, study says

Water ice found at the moon's poles, study says

They estimate the surface temperature of both to be 176 degrees Fahrenheit. The star was probably cooler in the past, so this heat could be a reason for the size of the moon, inflating the gas giant as the temperature rises. But until they have more data, this is only speculation, Kipping said.
How did this moon form in the first place? There are three primary theories about how moons form. One is when planets impact larger bodies and the blasted-off material becomes a moon. Another is capture, when objects are captured and pulled into orbit around a large planet — like Neptune’s moon Triton, which is believed to be a captured Kuiper Belt object. And the third is moons forming from the disc materials that created the planets in the early days of the solar system.
Impact isn’t possible here because these are both gaseous objects. And this moon’s size defies explanation. So it remains a mystery — for now.
12 new moons discovered around Jupiter

12 new moons discovered around Jupiter

Teachey and Kipping are submitting proposals for more time on Hubble to observe this planet and its moon during another transit. If they are able to observe a full transit, representative of a “clean moonlike event, then I think we’re done,” Kipping said. That would confirm that the find is an exomoon. But for now, the researchers welcome comment and criticism of their hypothesis from other astronomers as part of the scientific process.
In the Kepler exoplanet catalog, there are only a few Jupiter-size planets that are farther from their star than Earth is from the sun — good candidates for moons due to the distance. Once the James Webb Space Telescope launches in 2021, the search for exomoons may be full of possibilities. “We can expect to see really tiny moons,” Kipping said.

Australia set to ‘eliminate’ cervical cancer by 2028

The country is on track to meet the threshold of four or less new cases per 100,000 women each year, effectively eliminating the cancer by 2028, finds the new study published Wednesday.
The cancer could be classified as “rare” as early as 2022, meeting a threshold of six new cases per 100,000 and deaths due to the diseases are expected to decline to one new case per 100,000 women by 2034.
But this is all contingent on Australia’s high vaccination coverage and screening being maintained, write the study authors.
“This is such exciting news for women across Australia,” said professor Karen Canfell, director of research at Cancer Council NSW, whose organization led the study.
James Allison and Tasuku Honjo win Nobel Prize in Medicine

“We’ve been leading the way in cervical cancer control for many years and we’ll be sharing our research and approaches with the rest of the world as part of a global push to eliminate this highly preventable cancer.”
An estimated 99.7% of cervical cancer cases are caused by infection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a group of viruses that spread though sexual intercourse and skin-to-skin contact around the genitals.
Australia was one of the first countries to introduce a national HPV vaccination program for girls in 2007, and it has since been extended to achieve high vaccination coverage across both sexes, according to the study. Its National Cervical Cancer Screening Program began in 1991.
HPV test more effective than Pap smear in cancer screening, study suggests

HPV test more effective than Pap smear in cancer screening, study suggests

In their new study, the researchers at Cancer Council NSW modeled data on HPV vaccination, natural history of the disease, and cervical screening to estimate the age-incidence of cervical cancer in Australia from 2015 to 2100.
Currently, Australia reports seven cases of cervical cancer per 100,000 women, according to the study.
As well as eliminating the disease within 20 years, the data showed that the annual incidence of cervical cancer will decrease and remain at fewer than one case per 100,000 women if screening for HPV every five years continues and as long as people have been offered the vaccine.
“There are constant advancements in cervical cancer prevention and Australia has been ahead of the UK in adopting many of them, this means they are well and truly on the path to eliminating cervical cancer,” said Robert Music, Chief Director of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in the UK.
Music added that progress is also being seen in the UK. “Our research has shown that elimination is firmly on the horizon in the UK with deaths almost disappearing among vaccinated generations by 2040. We must not lose sight of this goal and should strive to increase uptake of the preventative vaccination and screening programmes, especially among non-vaccinated women where incidence is set to rise,” he said.
HPV vaccines prevent cervical cancer, global review confirms

HPV vaccines prevent cervical cancer, global review confirms

The Cancer Research UK charity recorded 3,126 new cases per 100,000 women in the UK during 2015, making it the 14th most common cancer in the country for females.
For the same year the CDC reported 12,845 new cases of cervical cancer; for every 100,000 women eight were diagnosed with cervical cancer, making cervical cancer the 20th most common cancer in the US.

Australia’s road to success

Australia was called the “global front runner in cervical cancer prevention” in the study. The country already has one of the lowest cases of cervical cancers and deaths due to the disease, according to the study.
After introducing its National Cervical Screening Program in 1991, the number of women, older than 25, being diagnosed with cervical cancer dropped by at least 50% by 2010, one study found.
Last year the country transitioned from a Pap cervical screening, that detects any changes in the cervix, every two years to a new HPV cervical test every five years for women ages 25 to 74. The new test can find cell abnormalities from HPV infections before these have surfaced and is expected to lower mortality and cervical cancer cases by 20% according to the study.
Ian Frazer, professor at the University of Queensland who co-authored the study said, “We have taken major steps forward with HPV vaccination, and with the introduction of the new screening program and now this new Cancer Council research predicts that we will be the first country in the world to achieve the elimination of cervical cancer.”
Iacopo Baussano and Freddie Bray of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France stated in a comment that the study “is a clear example of how modeling can contribute to assessing national progress in cancer control.”
“Access to models and high-quality data are key in enabling countries to plan and effectively monitor health problems generally, and in tailoring preventative actions that one day will lead to the global elimination of cervical cancer as a major public health problem.”
Cervical cancer is diagnosed in more than half a million women yearly, and the disease kills a quarter of a million women, mostly in low and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization. It is the fourth most common cancer in women in the world.
Earlier this year, WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on the global community to act against cervical cancer, one of the “most preventable forms of cancer as long as it is detected early and managed effectively.”

Baseball star shaves hair for TV role

New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) throws against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

As if New York Mets fans didn’t suffer enough during a difficult 2018 season, All-Star pitcher Noah Syndergaard had to shave his head for a guest role on the History Channel show Vikings.

Sporting News shared an image of Syndergaard—who earned the nickname Thor for his hair that resembles that of the Marvel superheroin the barber’s chair getting a new look:

The news isn’t all bad for anyone who grew attached to Syndergaard’s long blond locks. He described the look on Twitter as “party on top, business on the sides.”

Any Mets fans concerned that Syndergaard might lose some of his baseball skills after cutting his hair can rest easy.

Thor got his head shaved in Thor: Ragnarok, yet he still managed to knock out Hulk during their one-on-one encounter in the Grandmaster’s contest of champions.

All Syndergaard has to worry about next season is how to avoid breaking his bat.

Texas water resort closed, tested for ‘brain-eating amoeba’ after man’s death

CNN affiliate KVTV identified the man as Fabrizio Stabile of New Jersey, who visited a surf resort at Waco’s BSR Cable Park before developing symptoms in September.
“There have been no reports of other illnesses, and Naegleria fowleri infection does not spread from person to person,” Brittany Behm, spokeswoman at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in an email.
Six questions about the brain-eating amoeba, answered

“CDC is testing water samples for Naegleria fowleri and will be working with the local and state health departments on recommendations to provide the facility on how to reduce potential exposures,” she added.
The amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, can be found in warm bodies of fresh water such as lakes and hot springs. It infects people by entering the nose and making its way to the brain. There, it can cause a brain infection that the CDC calls “rare and devastating,” known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis. It is almost always fatal, though a handful of people have survived.
“We understand from the New Jersey Department of Health that the patient went to the park on 9/8/18 and became ill on 9/14/18,” Behm said. Health officials did not identify Stabile by name, though family and friends have spoken out.
A GoFundMe page launched by those close to Stabile says that he was mowing his lawn when a severe headache struck. It hadn’t gone away by the following morning, and his symptoms progressed until he was unable to speak coherently or get out of bed. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors found the amoeba in his spinal fluid.
“The worst-case scenario was unfolding in front of our eyes,” the site says.
An anti-parasitic drug called miltefosine (sold as Impavido) has been used to treat patients and even, in two cases in 2013, was credited with saving lives. However, according to the GoFundMe page, “by the time Fabrizio was diagnosed, it was too late.”
There have been nine cases of primary amebic meningoencephalitis in Texas since 2005, according to the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District. CDC data dating to the 1960s show between zero and eight cases per year nationwide, with five cases in 2016, none last year and no other cases reported this year.
The resort is cooperating with an investigation to locate where in its water system the amoeba might be, according to the local health department. Samples were taken from across the park, but the results are pending. “Out of an abundance of caution,” the resort has closed for the time being.
The resort has not responded to requests for comment. Its website says, “Now closed for Winter.”
The health department recommends keeping water out of your nose while swimming in warm or untreated freshwater, by either holding your nose, keeping it above water or using a nose clip.

Scandal sends Pope’s approval to new lows

According to a poll from the Pew Research Center, the Pope’s popularity is taking a hit as Catholics — especially those who regularly attend Mass — frown on his handling of the sex abuse scandal plaguing the church.
Overall, 72% of Catholics in the United States view Francis in either a very or mostly favorable light — down from 84% in January — but when asked specifically about how he’s addressed sex abuse in the church, the numbers have been on a precipitous decline.
In February 2014, more than seven in 10 Catholics who attended Mass weekly said they were pleased with Francis’ handling of the scandal, but in the September Pew survey, only 34% approved.
Approval was even lower among less-regular Mass-goers (30%), but they have long disapproved of how Francis addressed the scandal. In February 2014, only 46% said he was doing a good job with it.
Displeasure with Francis’ handling of the scandal was fairly consistent across multiple demographics in the church, with only 28% of older parishioners, 27% of men, 36% of women, 24% of conservatives and 37% of liberals giving him a thumbs-up.
Conversely, the Pope received much higher marks across all Catholic demographics for “standing up for traditional morals,” though those approval numbers also remain on a significant decline since February 2014.
The Pew poll arrives just weeks after a CNN poll showed that only 48% of all Americans had a favorable view of Francis, down from 66% in January 2017. The CNN poll also showed a 20-point drop — from 83% to 63% — in his favorability rating among Catholics.
When Francis ascended to the church’s top spot in March 2013, he quickly earned a reputation as open-minded and bent on reform. His work with the poor was particularly lauded.
As the sex abuse scandal has progressed, however, he has increasingly come under fire, most recently by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who has accused Francis of, among other things, lifting sanctions that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI placed on former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
McCarrick was forced to resign earlier this year over accusations that he molested an altar boy and sexually abused young seminarians.
More than 46,000 Catholic women have signed an open letter to Francis, urging him to be more forthcoming about Vigano’s accusations.
“We need leadership, truth and transparency,” the women wrote. “We, your flock, deserve your answers now.”
While Francis, over the course of his tenure, has generally been viewed more favorably than his predecessor, Benedict, the Pew survey suggests that may no longer be the case.
Benedict’s lowest approval rating came in 2005 when only 67% of Catholics viewed him favorably, but when he stepped down in 2013, his approval rating was 74%.
That’s two points higher than the most recent numbers for Francis.

North Korean hackers tried to steal over $1 billion, report says

The report from FireEye says a group called APT38 has conducted operations against 16 organizations in at least 11 countries “sometimes simultaneously,” which indicate the group has a “large, prolific operation with extensive resources.”
The report also states that the probable number of institutions targeted by the group is likely higher and it has successfully stolen over $100 million through its operations since 2014.
Pyongyang’s increasingly bold attacks in the virtual space have come in tandem with the hermit nation’s rapidly progressing ballistic missile and nuclear programs. Those operations have continued despite ongoing diplomatic talks with the US and South Korea.
US runs into opposition from Russia, China on North Korea sanctions

The Trump administration has made it clear that it will not lift economic sanctions that have been levied against North Korea until denuclearization is achieved, prompting Pyongyang to consider alternative sources of revenue.
“The heavily sanctioned and cash-strapped North also uses cyberattacks to generate illicit funds from ransom payments, cryptocurrency exchange hacks, and fraudulent inter-bank transfer orders,” according to a new report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
North Korea could also use its cyber capabilities to attack the US economy, warns FDD’s Samantha Ravich, senior adviser and Principal Investigator of FDD’s cyber-enabled economic warfare (CEEW) project.
US warns of North Korea cyber campaign, days after historic summit

US warns of North Korea cyber campaign, days after historic summit

“Fifteen or even 10 years ago, when analyzing potential blowback to US sanctions on North Korea or US-South Korean military exercises, there was never a consideration of the Kim regime’s ability to target the US economy,” said Ravich.
“Now, North Korea has one of the most capable and aggressive cyberoperations. Facing intense US economic sanctions, Pyongyang may consider using its cybercapabilities to attack the US economy,” she said.
North Korea’s hackers have been accused of carrying out some of the most audacious cyberattacks of the past few years, from siphoning millions of dollars to stealing state secrets.
US, allies readying effort to expose North Korean sanctions violations

US, allies readying effort to expose North Korean sanctions violations

Last month, the Justice Department announced cyberhacking charges against a North Korean national linked to the computer hacking of Sony in 2014, the WannaCry ransomware attack, and other significant cyberintrusions.
The country’s hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment led the Obama administration to impose economic sanctions against North Korean government agencies and senior officials.
The DOJ announcement marked the first time US prosecutors have brought criminal charges against an official associated with the Sony breach and other attacks, with the DOJ targeting North Korean computer programmer Park Jin Hyok.
In February 2016, $101 million was fraudulently transferred out of the Bangladesh central bank’s account at the New York Federal Reserve and eventually made its way to the Philippines.
Justice Dept. announces charges against North Korean programmer for Sony hack

Justice Dept. announces charges against North Korean programmer for Sony hack

Researchers found that the hackers responsible for the theft carefully routed their signal through France, South Korea and Taiwan to setup their attack server, but made a critical mistake that established a connection to North Korea.
Most of the funds have not been recovered.
Analysts say North Korea has been preparing similar operations targeting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, as international sanctions make it harder for North Korea to use the dollar.

Harvard puts head diving coach on leave amid claims of sexual misconduct

Though not named as a defendant, Chris Heaton, 31, is described in the class-action suit filed Sunday as having solicited nude pictures from female athletes at an Indiana diving academy and having sent pictures of his penis to young female athletes there, court documents show.
The athletes complained about the conduct beginning in 2015 to Heaton’s superiors at the Indiana Diving Academy, known as Ripfest, the suit claims.
This is why people hesitate to report sexual misconduct

Heaton did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment. USA Diving’s website shows he is a member of the organization.
“Harvard Athletics was unaware of any allegations of misconduct when Mr. Heaton was hired as the Head Coach for Diving in August 2018,” university spokeswoman Rachael Dane told CNN in a statement.
“Upon learning of allegations of sexual misconduct from media reports, Harvard immediately placed Mr. Heaton on leave, pending a review by Harvard University,” she said.
The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of Indiana, accuses the sport’s national governing body — USA Diving — and its state-level arm — the Indiana Diving Association — of turning a blind eye to Heaton’s behavior, as well as to alleged sexual abuse and other sexual misconduct by other coaches.
It follows a recent stream of cases involving sexual misdeeds alleged by athletes against USA Gymnastics and Ohio State University and also comes against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement.
Under cover of goodness: How pillars of the community can prey on kids

Under cover of goodness: How pillars of the community can prey on kids

Also named as defendants in the federal suit are the Ripfest diving school and two Ripfest employees, including president John Wingfield.
After Wingfield was “dismissive of his female athletes’ complaints about Heaton,” the athletes turned to Chris Zukas, another Ripfest coach, the lawsuit states.
“Zukas was instrumental in getting Heaton to leave Ripfest,” the court document states without describing why or when Heaton left.
CNN could not immediately reach Wingfield for comment. USA Diving and the Indiana Diving Association did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
Zukas, who is not a defendant in the suit, now works as national events manager for USA Diving, the group’s site shows. CNN could not immediately reach him for comment.
At the time Heaton was hired as head coach for men’s and women’s diving, Harvard’s athletics director, Bob Scalise, said in a statement: “Chris (Heaton) is an outstanding coach and educator. He brings a great track record of helping students achieve success at the highest level.”