Daily Bread for 3.15.17

Good morning.

Wednesday in this small Midwestern town will be mostly sunny with a high of thirty-three. Sunrise is 7:04 AM and sunset 5:02 PM, for 11h 57m 39s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 91.9% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the one hundred twenty-seventh day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

Whitewater’s Park & Rec Board meets at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 44 B.C., Caesar meets his end.  On this day in 1862, the 17th and 18th Wisconsin Infantry regiments muster in at Madison and Milwaukee, respectively.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Stand Up Republic has a new video online, entitled Sunshine, on Trump’s ties to Vladimir Putin:

Charles V. Bagli and Michael Forsythe report Kushners, Trump In-Laws, Weigh $400 Million Deal with Chinese Firm: “A New York real estate company owned by the family of President Trump’s son-in-law has been negotiating to sell a $400 million stake in its Fifth Avenue flagship skyscraper to a Chinese insurance company with ties to leading families of the Communist Party. The Chinese company, Anbang Insurance Group, would pay to get a high-profile piece of Manhattan real estate and would commit to spending billions more to completely transform the 60-year-old tower into a chic condominium and retail citadel. If signed, the potential agreement would create a financial marriage of two politically powerful families in the world’s two biggest economies, but it would also present the possibility of glaring conflicts of interest. The Kushner family, owners of the tower, would reap a financial windfall courtesy of a Chinese company, even as Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump as well as his son-in-law, helps oversee American foreign policy. News of the negotiations surfaced as President Trump and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, were preparing for their first meeting, to be held next month.”

Evgeniy M. Bogachev. The F.B.I. has offered a $3 million bounty for his capture, the most ever for a cybercriminal. Credit FBI via NYT

Michael Schwirtz and Joseph Goldstein describe how Russian Espionage Piggybacks on a Cybercriminal’s Hacking: “To the F.B.I., Evgeniy M. Bogachev is the most wanted cybercriminal in the world. The bureau has announced a $3 million bounty for his capture, the most ever for computer crimes, and has been trying to track his movements in hopes of grabbing him if he strays outside his home turf in Russia. He has been indicted in the United States, accused of creating a sprawling network of virus-infected computers to siphon hundreds of millions of dollars from bank accounts around the world, targeting anyone with enough money worth stealing — from a pest control company in North Carolina to a police department in Massachusetts to a Native American tribe in Washington. In December, the Obama administration announced sanctions against Mr. Bogachev and five others in response to intelligence agencies’ conclusions that Russia had meddled in the presidential election. Publicly, law enforcement officials said it was his criminal exploits that landed Mr. Bogachev on the sanctions list, not any specific role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee. But it is clear that for Russia, he is more than just a criminal. At one point, Mr. Bogachev had control over as many as a million computers in multiple countries, with possible access to everything from family vacation photographs and term papers to business proposals and highly confidential personal information. It is almost certain that computers belonging to government officials and contractors in a number of countries were among the infected devices. For Russia’s surveillance-obsessed intelligence community, Mr. Bogachev’s exploits may have created an irresistible opportunity for espionage.”

Matthew Fay, addressing Trump’s proposed military spending increase, asks $54 Billion for What?: “As noted above, America is already relatively immune to conventional military threats. So unless he is serious about deterring threats against American allies—whom he has accused of being “obsolete” free riders—the idea that additional defense spending is necessary for deterrence seems like overkill. It also comes at the expense of complementary “soft power” measures in the form of diplomacy and foreign aid. But for someone who reports suggested thought his inauguration should include rocket launchers as part of a military parade, the forty-fifth president might be thinking about a military build-up in symbolic, rather than strategic, terms.”

Tech Insider tells What you need to know about world’s largest telescope: