Friday in Whitewater will be rainy with a high of 49. Sunrise is 5:20 AM and sunset 8:24 PM, for 15h 03m 38s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 94% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1987, an 18-year-old West German pilot, Mathias Rust, evades Soviet Union air defenses and lands a private plane in Red Square.
Recommended for reading in full —
David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth report Russia Appears to Carry Out Hack Through System Used by U.S. Aid Agency:
Hackers linked to Russia’s main intelligence agency surreptitiously seized an email system used by the State Department’s international aid agency to burrow into the computer networks of human rights groups and other organizations of the sort that have been critical of President Vladimir V. Putin, Microsoft Corporation disclosed on Thursday.
Discovery of the breach comes only three weeks before President Biden is scheduled to meet Mr. Putin in Geneva, and at a moment of increased tension between the two nations — in part because of a series of increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks emanating from Russia.
The newly disclosed attack was also particularly bold: By breaching the systems of a supplier used by the federal government, the hackers sent out genuine-looking emails to more than 3,000 accounts across more than 150 organizations that regularly receive communications from the United States Agency for International Development. Those emails went out as recently as this week, and Microsoft said it believes the attacks are ongoing.
Nate Schenkkan writes of The Authoritarian Assault on Exiles:
The main factor driving such transgressions is simple: a sense of impunity among authoritarians. Despite his clear complicity in Khashoggi’s killing, Mohammed bin Salman remains the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia. Rwandan President Paul Kagame has given interviews to international media in which he has bragged about the operation his government carried out in August 2020 to abduct the exiled dissident Paul Rusesabagina. Lukashenko and others have clearly taken note. In hijacking the Ryanair flight and seizing Pratasevich, Belarus was not setting a new precedent but merely following an existing one.
Behind all acts of transnational repression is a presumption that the targets “belong” to the state from which they hail and a bet that their host countries—the places where they live, work, raise their families, and maybe even enjoy citizenship—will not risk a fight over someone who is not “native.” The only way to put a stop to this ugly trend is to make that gamble far riskier by hitting back hard against perpetrators—including Lukashenko—and demonstrating to autocrats that they will pay a steep price for carrying out such crimes.
Assorted news reports have identified Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, as a key figure in the criminal and civil investigations of the Trump business being conducted by the New York attorney general and the Manhattan district attorney, who recently empaneled a grand jury to review evidence against the Trump company, its executives, and possibly Trump. Moreover, the New York Times recently reported that Weisselberg himself is being criminally investigated for possible tax fraud, raising the prospect that investigators are looking to flip the longtime Trump executive into a cooperating witness. Now there’s more trouble for Weisselberg and Trump World. Previously unreported emails attached to a little-noticed court document filed last year show that Weisselberg is tied to another Trump financial scandal: the Trump inauguration case, which is currently being investigated by the attorney general of Washington, DC.