By Alina Selyukh and Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fledging cooperation between the United States and China on fighting cyber crime has ground to a halt since the recent U.S. indictment of Chinese military officials on hacking charges, a senior U.S. security official said on Thursday. At the same time, there has been no decline in Chinese hackers' efforts to break into U.S. networks, the official said. In May, the Justice Department charged five Chinese military members with hacking the systems of U.S. companies to steal trade secrets, prompting Beijing to suspend a Sino-U.S. working group on cyber issues. China denies the charges and has in turn accused Washington of massive cyber spying. U.S. and Chinese officials had started working together to combat certain types of online crime, including money laundering, child pornography and drug trafficking, the U.S. official said. But that cooperation has stopped. "We are in time out," the official told Reuters. "They don't want to talk to us. Everything is really cold." Asked whether attempts to hack into U.S. networks that originate in China had slowed, the official said: "They have been very active and this hasn't changed a bit." The new chill underscores the fragility of the efforts to ease tensions and mutual accusations of hacking and Internet theft between China and the United States, at the expense of the security areas where the nations had reached some understanding. The indictments, the first criminal hacking charge the United States has filed against specific foreign officials, put more strain on a complex commercial relationship between the two economic powers and created new troubles for some U.S. technology companies doing business in China. Beijing has responded with a promise to investigate all U.S. providers of important IT products and services, though it has not specified the move was a direct retaliation. Chinese state media has also lashed out, without indicating a connection, at U.S. firms including Google, Apple, Yahoo, Cisco Systems, Microsoft and Facebook with allegations of spying and stealing secrets. The charges added to the existing tensions stemming from revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of vast U.S. Internet surveillance. Some technology executives have privately complained about the lack of warning from the U.S. Justice Department. The U.S. official said only "a small group" was informed about the indictments ahead of time. Though unlikely to result in arrests, U.S. observers saw the charges as an aggressive move to thwart the theft of trade secrets. Max Baucus, the new U.S. ambassador to China, called Chinese cyber espionage a threat to U.S. national security in his first major public address on Wednesday. "We will continue to use diplomatic and legal means to make clear that this type of behavior must stop," Baucus said. (Reporting by Alina Selyukh and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by Ros Krasny and Leslie Adler)
- The Week
George P. Bush applauds Liz Cheney's ouster, claims she doesn't 'stand up for conservative Republican ideology'
George P. Bush, the Texas land commissioner and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), applauded House Republicans on Wednesday for ousting Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from her position as the No. 3 House GOP leader. Bush tweeted that "we need leaders in Congress that stand up for conservative Republican ideology, and Liz Cheney is not that leader," over a quote in which he says Cheney should be "reigning [sic] fire" down on Biden, not "the president," presumably referring to former President Donald Trump. Republicans deserve leadership that represents the views of their constituents, not their own personal vendettas. We need leaders in Congress that stand up for conservative Republican ideology, and Liz Cheney is not that leader. pic.twitter.com/oqaoxAMTYQ — George P. Bush (@georgepbush) May 12, 2021 Bush, 45, has broken with the rest of his family by supporting Trump, but the Bushes also have a long, amicable history with the Cheney family, which "has deep ties to Texas," The Texas Tribune notes. "Former Vice President Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney's father, lived in Dallas between his tenure as President George H.W. Bush's secretary of defense and as President George W. Bush's vice president. In that time, he was the CEO of Halliburton, an oilfield services company." House Republicans demoted Cheney in a voice vote, so there's no record of how Texas Republicans voted, but several GOP House members from the state tweeted that they were proud to kick her out of leadership. "Prior to the insurrection, Cheney was considered one of the fastest rising GOP stars and among the toughest of hard-line conservatives — particularly on foreign policy," the Tribune reports. "She spent much of her career working in the State Department and as a Fox News contributor," before easily winning her House seat in 2016. Cheney now says she's playing a long game to wrest her party from the grasp of Trump's "destructive lies." More stories from theweek.comThe doom-loop of a falling fertility rateThe real reason Liz Cheney lost her jobDemocrats are fiddling while Republicans prepare to burn down Rome
'The Ellen Show' is ending, prompting dozens of jokes about Dakota Johnson and her iconic appearance on the talk show
The actress' 2019 interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" went viral after she called out the host for skipping her 30th birthday party.
- Raleigh News and Observer
Everyone walked away uninjured, officials said.
- Business Insider
GOP Rep. Paul Gosar said police 'executed' Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol riot and that the feds are 'harassing peaceful patriots'
Gosar criticized the Justice Department, which has charged hundreds in the attack, and called Babbitt a "young lady, a veteran wrapped in a US flag."
Muslim countries must show a united and clear stance over Israel's conflict with the Islamist Hamas movement in Gaza, Turkey's vice president, Fuat Oktay, said on Thursday, criticising world powers for condemning violence without acting. "What we desire is that active measures are taken," Oktay told reporters after morning prayers marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. In several days of conflict, Hamas has fired volleys of rockets towards Israeli cities and Israel has launched air strikes against the Islamist faction in the Gaza Strip.
- LA Times
Does it matter that Dakota Johnson's tense Ellen DeGeneres interview didn't bring about the end of the host's talk show? Not to folks on social media.
- Business Insider
GOP leader claims no one 'is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election' just hours after ousting Liz Cheney for refusing to support Trump's election lies
In May alone, Trump has released eight statements falsely claiming the election was "rigged," "stolen," or corrupted by widespread voter fraud.
- Business Insider
The Voyager 1 probe left our solar system nearly a decade ago. It recently detected a faint hum made by interstellar gas.
The vaquita marina in Mexico is threatened by a clash of interests between fishing and conservation.
- Associated Press
The Biden administration on Wednesday took aim at China and a number of other countries for repressing religious freedom as it forges ahead with its aim of restoring human rights as a primary focus of American foreign policy. The condemnation was similar to that lodged by the Trump administration, which had been criticized for prioritizing religious freedom over other rights, and reflected continuity in the U.S. position that China’s crackdown on Muslims and other religious minorities in western Xinjiang constitutes “genocide.” Much as his predecessor did, Secretary of State Antony Blinken used the release of the State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom Report to lambaste China for severe restrictions on its citizens’ ability to worship freely.
- Associated Press
For pro-Trump Republicans, removing Rep. Liz Cheney from House GOP leadership was relatively easy. The rush to punish Cheney for her criticism of former President Donald Trump and his loyalists is drawing a cast of Wyoming primary challengers so big it could ultimately help her win again next year. Another boost for Cheney is a pile of campaign money and a family legacy that has helped her before.
- Business Insider
Netanyahu says Israel will strike Hamas 'like they've never dreamed possible': 'This is just the beginning'
At least 56 people in Gaza and six people in Israel have been killed amid violence between Israel and Hamas.
- The Daily Beast
Bill Clark/Pool/GettyA Democratic lawmaker called former acting defense secretary Chris Miller “ridiculous” on Wednesday for trying to walk back his claims that former President Donald Trump incited the violent Jan. 6 insurrection.In written remarks prepared for his testimony before a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on the riot, and in a March interview with VICE, Miller had called out Trump for directly inciting thousands of MAGA supporters to attack the Capitol after repeated claims that the 2020 election was “stolen.”“You said the insurrection happened because of Trump’s speech,” Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) said during the hearing.But Miller then tried to walk back his original claims, saying he’d had a change of heart after seeing information from the ongoing criminal investigation into the siege and statements from D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee. He said he now believed there was “some sort of conspiracy where there were organized assault elements that intended to assault the Capitol that day.”‘Fuck All of You!’: Capitol Rioter Raises Hell During Off-the-Rails Court Hearing“I’d like to modify my original assessment,” Miller said, to which Lynch snarked,” Why am I not surprised about that?”“We are getting more information by the day, by the minute,” Miller said. “There was some sort of conspiracy... that intended to storm that Capitol that day… I have reassessed. [Trump was] not the unitary factor at all.”An incredulous Lynch told Miller, “For your written testimony for today, for today, this morning, you stated the following about the president, quote, 'I personally believe his comments encouraged the protesters that day.'”Unsatisfied with Miller’s response, Lynch called him out for his “very recent reversal of your testimony.”“Absolutely not. That’s ridiculous,” Miller responded, clearly agitated.“You’re ridiculous!” Lynch hit back. Miller seemed stunned by insult, before sarcastically thanking the lawmaker for his thoughts. He later slammed Lynch for the “partisan attack.”Miller’s new reasoning doesn’t quite hold water. Of the 400 individuals charged in connection with the riot, dozens have been accused of planning and training to storm the Capitol. But prosecutors say those alleged conspirators, most of whom belong to MAGA-loving paramilitary group the Oath Keepers, openly admitted that they felt compelled to protest widespread election fraud in D.C. on Jan. 6 at Trump’s behest.Dem Hearings Bend Over Backward to Ignore GOP Complicity in Capitol RiotMiller previously has been criticized for waiting too long to authorize National Guard troops amid the insurrection and for ignoring pleas from D.C. leaders for help.Defending his own actions, he said in his prepared remarks that he was concerned about sending U.S. troops into the Capitol out of the “possibility of a military coup or that advisers to the President were advocating the declaration of martial law.”Miller said that he wanted to ensure the operation to deploy the National Guard was finalized before making the call for military assistance to ensure the optics were carefully considered.“I was also cognizant of the fears promulgated by many about the prior use of the military in the June 2020 response to protests near the White House and fears that the President would invoke the Insurrection Act to politicize the military in an anti-democratic manner,” Miller added in his statement, stressing that he was not going to allow a coup under his watch.But Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) slammed Miller for not taking accountability or having any “sense of shame” for his role in the siege.“Will you apologize to the American public for what happened on your watch? Will you apologize to the troops for what happened on your watch?” Khanna asked. “I can’t believe we had someone like you in that role... it’s total self-promotion. All you're trying to do is cover your own reputation.”Dodging Khanna’s request to apologize, Miller instead said he wanted to “highlight the incredible job of the members of our armed forces.”“I stand by every decision I made on January 6,” Miller said.Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) also tore Miller to shreds on the crucial “1.5-hour gap” between D.C. Mayor Muriel Bower’s request for National Guard backup at about 1:30 p.m. and Miller’s authorization at 3:04 p.m. on Jan. 6. He noted that Trump had told Miller on Jan. 3 to grant Bowser’s request for resources.“Sir, she requested additional support from you. And during that 1.5 hours either you disobeyed an order given to you by the president to help Mayor Bowser, or the president changed his order and asked you to delay the support, or you just plain froze and were being indecisive as people were being injured, killed, while hundreds of rioters breached the Capitol and a nation was traumatized,” Krishnamoorthi said.When Miller insisted there were “8,000 badged and credentialed police officers on duty,” Krishnamoorthi asked him specifically why he was missing in action.“That’s completely inaccurate!” Miller hit back, to which Krishnamoorthi responded, “Sir, you partially own this mayhem and that why I’m going to ask for a Department of Defense investigation into your actions.”“I already requested that before I left the DoD,” Miller said.In his March interview with VICE, Miller said he believed Trump played a clear role in the insurrection, stating that “it’s pretty much definitive” the event wouldn’t have happened if the president had not encouraged it in his speech that day.“It seems cause-and-effect,” Miller said at the time. “The question is, did he know he was enraging people to do that? I don’t know.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Business Insider
More than 100 Republicans, including former governors and lawmakers, are threatening to form a third party if the GOP doesn't split from Trump
The group plans to release a letter outlining its threat on Thursday, The New York Times and Reuters reported.
- Associated Press
Political turmoil has returned to Nepal, which has had eight different governments in a decade and is experiencing its worst COVID-19 surge with acute shortages of health facilities and oxygen for patients. “The leaders have failed us again while people are dying in their homes, street and hospital parking lots while the politicians are fighting on who gets to be the prime minister,” said Hari Sah, a plumber who was trying to buy rice and lentils for his family in the two hours people are allowed to shop during an ongoing virus lockdown. Khadga Prasad Oli became prime minister in 2018 with strong support from two-thirds of Parliament, but two splits in his ruling party this year helped push him out of office Monday.
- Yahoo News
The White House is alarmed over the GOP’s barrage of attacks on now former Republican conference leader Rep. Liz Cheney, casting its Wednesday morning ouster of the Wyoming lawmaker as “disturbing.”
- Associated Press
Israel on Wednesday pressed ahead with a fierce military offensive in the Gaza Strip, killing as many as 10 senior Hamas military figures and toppling a pair of high-rise towers housing Hamas facilities in airstrikes. The Islamic militant group showed no signs of backing down and fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli cities. The fighting has triggered the worst Jewish-Arab violence inside Israel in decades.
- Associated Press
As Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega seeks a fourth consecutive term in November, he is pulling all the levers at his disposal to ensure his Sandinista National Liberation Front retains power, and on Wednesday the country's divided opposition appeared to confirm that it will remain so. Last week, the country’s Sandinista-dominated congress chose new members of the Supreme Electoral Council, who immediately set the electoral calendar to make Wednesday the deadline to register political alliances. Days of intense negotiations ensued, culminating in a last-ditch attempt to find common ground mediated by Dennis Martínez, the first Nicaraguan to play Major League Baseball.
- Business Insider
Trump's defense secretary confirms he didn't approve plan to deploy National Guard until after Pence called him - over 3 hours after the Capitol riot began
Ex-Acting Defense Sec. Chris Miller testified about the Guard's response during questioning by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a hearing Wednesday.
- Miami Herald
A Miami businessman was sentenced to more than six years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to fleecing millions from a federal COVID-19 relief program and buying luxury items with the money, including a $318,000 Lamborghini Huracán Evo.