The Food and Drug Administration has proposed banning menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars once and for all. Ben Tracy explains why.
- The Daily Beast
FacebookFor the past three years, 11-year-old Rylee Abbuhl had been working with a counselor to “process her own death” after being repeatedly told she had an incurable medical condition that could cause her central nervous system to fail.While grappling with the reality that she could never play college softball for Notre Dame or enter high school, Rylee was also capturing national attention.Her plight earned her and her mom tickets to Sea World, made her the guest of honor at a Texas A&M softball game, and raised thousands of dollars.“At this point, the doctors are focused on Rylees quality of life versus quantity of life. To meet Rylee in any setting is to love her, she is a friend to all and her sense of humor will have you laughing until it hurts,” a GoFundMe titled “calling all Rylee’s Warriors” states. “Unfortunately, Rylees health continues to decline and although she continues to fight this courageous fight she not only needs prayers but she needs her mom. Please help show your support.”But local authorities in Canton, Ohio revealed this week that Rylee is not sick—and her mother, Lindsey Abbuhl, made it all up to fund trips, their house, and other expenses for years.U.S. Marshal Framed Ex-GF as Rape Predator, Had Her Jailed for Months: Docs“There is no evidence to support [the] mother’s claim that Rylee is terminally ill,” says a neglect and abuse complaint, filed in Family Court this week by the Stark County Division of Children Services and obtained by the Canton Repository. The complaint noted that a medical professional reviewed all of Rylee’s medical records and found no illness.The shock revelation prompted the Stark County Sheriff’s Office to remove Rylee from her mother’s home and open an investigation into allegations Abbuhl used her daughter for personal gain.After temporarily placing Rylee with a family friend, a Stark County Family Court Judge on Friday placed her with her dad, Jamie Abbuhl, who had been increasingly concerned about his ex-wife’s claims about their daughter. Lindsey Abbuhl, 34, has not been charged with any crime.“If she needed my heart, I’d give it to her today,” Jamie Abbuhl told the Repository. “As far as her going to die... no.”Abbuhl did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Saturday.News reports show Rylee received national attention for her illness, including a personalized video message from pro softballers like Sierra Romero. In a March 1 interview with News Talk 1480 WHBC, Abbuhl said that 25 colleges and universities had reached out to Rylee to show their support.The most amazing young woman we’ve ever met! Rylee Abbuhl!! pic.twitter.com/2qMq1DxYqx— Walsh Softball (@WalshUSoftball) February 26, 2021 She even threw the first pitch for a Feb. 16 rival game between Walsh University and Malone University after meeting team members and coaches.The opportunity to pitch—which Rylee told FOX 8 was her “favorite part” of the game—was especially meaningful since she was apparently forced to stop playing last year as her condition supposedly worsened.“Her doctors were concerned that the sport was a little bit too physical for her with her medical condition. So we had to make the tough decision last year that she was going to walk away and not be able to play anymore,” her mom told FOX 8.The same day, Abbuhl told the Repository her daughter had “two months” to live, according to the outlet.Abbuhl often posted on social media about her daughter’s illness—and fundraisers to help cover expenses. In several posts, she mentions hospital stays with Rylee.“I’m looking for a place for a party, that doesn't have restrictions [on] the amount of people due to covid. We want to make Rylee's birthday party super special this year - and need room to have all of her family, friends, and supporters there,” Abbuhl wrote in a February 28 Facebook post.About a month later, Abbul posted about a “Rylee Warriors” youth softball “benefit” tournament that took place between April 30 and May 2. “All proceeds will be going to Rylee Abbuhl and her family for medical and living expenses,” the post said.According to the Repository, the neglect and abuse complaint stated that, despite Abbuhl’s insistence her daughter was sick, Rylee’s counselor found out this year that the girl was healthy.“[Lindsey Abbuhl] also told the counselor, who is going on maternity leave, that Rylee may not be alive when the counselor returns," the complaint states.The Repository added that they had received several questions about Rylee’s illness from readers. They asked Abbuhl for the girl’s medical records but were denied. Abbuhl also previously told the Repository that she had former friends who were trying to cast doubt on her daughter’s illness to disparage them.“She has a whole team of doctors [at Akron Children’s Hospital] working on her,” Abbuhl previously told the outlet, adding that the root of Rylee’s illness was unknown. “That’s sad people have to cause drama. Rylee sits in during her [doctor] appointments; she knows what’s happening to her. So calling me a liar is calling her a liar.”Abbuhl also detailed Rylee’s illness to News Talk 1480 WHBC, stating that Rylee started having medical issues “four years ago” and began seeing a neurologist two years later to look at her issues “as a whole.” Abbuhl said that after countless MRIs, CT scans, and speed studies, doctors discovered that “Rylee’s central nervous system does not work correctly.”When authorities confronted Abbuhl on Thursday, she allegedly denied making up her daughter’s medical condition. After that, authorities immediately removed Rylee for her own safety, the Repository reported.Rylee will now stay with her father until a hearing next month. Lindsey had been awarded sole custody following her 2017 divorce but Stark County Family Court Judge Rosemarie Hall on Friday had to supersede the custody agreement.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.
- The Independent
‘I don’t think it’s out of Houston yet, maybe out of county, but I don’t think so,’ Police Commander says
At least 12 people are killed in the Afghan capital on day two of a ceasefire to mark Ramadan's end.
- The Independent
‘Do Palestinians have a right to survive?’ AOC makes impassioned speech against Biden policy on Israel crisis
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that the United States ‘must acknowledge its role in the injustice and human rights violations of Palestinians’
- The Independent
Donald Trump ‘will hold first rallies this summer’ - six months after DC event which sparked Capitol riots
The former president will reportedly hold two rallies in June and one in July, insiders have claimed
- Business Insider
Walmart and Sam's Club stores will still enforce mask requirements in areas where local and state mask laws remain in place.
- The Independent
‘Inaction – or just moving on – is simply not an option,’ Rep Bennie Thompson says as he announces new bill, which took months to agree on
- The New York Times
For years, government officials and industry executives have run elaborate simulations of a targeted cyberattack on the power grid or gas pipelines in the United States, imagining how the country would respond. But when the real, this-is-not-a-drill moment arrived, it didn’t look anything like the war games. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times The attacker was not a terror group or a hostile state like Russia, China or Iran, as had been assumed in the simulations. It was a criminal extortion ring. The goal was not to disrupt the economy by taking a pipeline offline but to hold corporate data for ransom. The most visible effects — long lines of nervous motorists at gas stations — stemmed not from a government response but from a decision by the victim, Colonial Pipeline, which controls nearly half the gasoline, jet fuel and diesel flowing along the East Coast, to turn off the spigot. It did so out of concern that the malware that had infected its back-office functions could make it difficult to bill for fuel delivered along the pipeline or even spread into the pipeline’s operating system. What happened next was a vivid example of the difference between tabletop simulations and the cascade of consequences that can follow even a relatively unsophisticated attack. The aftereffects of the episode are still playing out, but some of the lessons are already clear, and they demonstrate how far the government and private industry have to go in preventing and dealing with cyberattacks and in creating rapid backup systems for when critical infrastructure goes down. In this case, the long-held belief that the pipeline’s operations were totally isolated from the data systems that were locked up by DarkSide, a ransomware gang believed to be operating out of Russia, turned out to be false. And the company’s decision to turn off the pipeline touched off a series of dominoes including panic buying at the pumps and a quiet fear inside the government that the damage could spread quickly. A confidential assessment prepared by the Energy and Homeland Security Departments found that the country could only afford another three to five days with the Colonial pipeline shut down before buses and other mass transit would have to limit operations because of a lack of diesel fuel. Chemical factories and refinery operations would also shut down, because there would be no way to distribute what they produced, the report said. And while President Joe Biden’s aides announced efforts to find alternative ways to haul gasoline and jet fuel up the East Coast, none were immediately in place. There was a shortage of truck drivers and of tanker cars for trains. “Every fragility was exposed,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, who co-founded CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm, and chairs the think tank Silverado Policy Accelerator. “We learned a lot about what could go wrong. Unfortunately, so did our adversaries.” The list of lessons is long. Colonial, a private company, may have thought it had an impermeable wall of protections, but it was easily breached. Even after it paid the extortionists nearly $5 million in digital currency to recover its data, the company found that the process of decrypting its data and turning the pipeline back on was agonizingly slow, meaning it will still be days before the East Coast gets back to normal. “This is not like flicking on a light switch,” Biden said Thursday, noting that the 5,500-mile pipeline had never before been shut down. For the administration, the event proved a perilous week in crisis management. Biden told aides, one recalled, that nothing could wreak political damage faster than television images of gas lines and rising prices, with the inevitable comparison to Jimmy Carter’s worse moments as president. Biden feared that, unless the pipeline resumed operations, panic receded and price gouging was nipped in the bud, the situation would feed concerns that the economic recovery is still fragile and that inflation is rising. Beyond the flurry of actions to get oil moving on trucks, trains and ships, Biden published a long-gestating executive order that, for the first time, seeks to mandate changes in cybersecurity. And he suggested that he was willing to take steps that the Obama administration hesitated to take during the 2016 election hacks — direct action to strike back at the attackers. “We’re also going to pursue a measure to disrupt their ability to operate,” Biden said, a line that seemed to hint that U.S. Cyber Command, the military’s cyberwarfare force, was being authorized to kick DarkSide offline, much as it did to another ransomware group in the fall before the presidential election. Hours later, the group’s internet sites went dark. By early Friday, DarkSide and several other ransomware groups, including Babuk, which has hacked Washington D.C.’s police department, announced they were getting out of the game. DarkSide alluded to disruptive action by an unspecified law enforcement agency, though it was not clear if that was the result of U.S. action or pressure from Russia before Biden’s expected summit with President Vladimir Putin. And going quiet might simply have reflected a decision by the ransomware gang to frustrate retaliation efforts by shutting down its operations, perhaps temporarily. The Pentagon’s Cyber Command referred questions to the National Security Council, which declined to comment. The episode underscored the emergence of a new “blended threat,” one that may come from cybercriminals, but is often tolerated, and sometimes encouraged, by a nation that sees the attacks as serving its interests.That is why Biden singled out Russia — not as the culprit, but as the nation that harbors more ransomware groups than any other country. “We do not believe the Russian government was involved in this attack, but we do have strong reason to believe the criminals who did this attack are living in Russia,” Biden said. “We have been in direct communication with Moscow about the imperative for responsible countries to take action against these ransomware networks.” With DarkSide’s systems down, it is unclear how Biden’s administration would retaliate further, beyond possible indictments and sanctions, which have not deterred Russian cybercriminals before. Striking back with a cyberattack also carries its own risks of escalation. The administration also has to reckon with the fact that so much of America’s critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector and remains ripe for attack. “This attack has exposed just how poor our resilience is,” said Kiersten E. Todt, managing director of the nonprofit Cyber Readiness Institute. “We are overthinking the threat, when we’re still not doing the bare basics to secure our critical infrastructure.” The good news, some officials said, was that Americans got a wake-up call. Congress came face-to-face with the reality that the federal government lacks the authority to require the companies that control more than 80% of the nation’s critical infrastructure to adopt minimal levels of cybersecurity. The bad news, they said, was that U.S. adversaries — not only superpowers but terrorists and cybercriminals — learned just how little it takes to incite chaos across a large part of the country, even if they do not break into the core of the electric grid, or the operational control systems that move gasoline, water and propane around the country. Something as basic as a well-designed ransomware attack may easily do the trick, while offering plausible deniability to states like Russia, China and Iran that often tap outsiders for sensitive cyberoperations. It remains a mystery how DarkSide first broke into Colonial’s business network. The privately held company has said virtually nothing about how the attack unfolded, at least in public. It waited four days before having any substantive discussions with the administration, an eternity during a cyberattack. Cybersecurity experts also note that Colonial Pipeline would never have had to shut down its pipeline if it had more confidence in the separation between its business network and pipeline operations. “There should absolutely be separation between data management and the actual operational technology,” Todt said. “Not doing the basics is frankly inexcusable for a company that carries 45% of gas to the East Coast.” Other pipeline operators in the United States deploy advanced firewalls between their data and their operations that only allow data to flow one direction, out of the pipeline, and would prevent a ransomware attack from spreading in. Colonial Pipeline has not said whether it deployed that level of security on its pipeline. Industry analysts say many critical infrastructure operators say installing such unidirectional gateways along a 5,500-mile pipeline can be complicated or prohibitively expensive. Others say the cost to deploy those safeguards are still cheaper than the losses from potential downtime. Deterring ransomware criminals, which have been growing in number and brazenness over the past few years, will certainly be more difficult than deterring nations. But this week made the urgency clear. “It’s all fun and games when we are stealing each other’s money,” said Sue Gordon, a former principal deputy director of national intelligence, and a longtime CIA analyst with a specialty in cyberissues, said at a conference held by The Cipher Brief, an online intelligence newsletter. “When we are messing with a society’s ability to operate, we can’t tolerate it.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
LONDON (Reuters) -Tycoon Sanjeev Gupta's commodities empire is being investigated by Britain's Serious Fraud Office in a probe that encompasses the conglomerate's links to collapsed lender Greensill Capital, the SFO said on Friday. The probe piles pressure on Gupta, who has been scrambling to refinance his international web of businesses in steel, aluminium and energy after supply chain finance firm Greensill filed for insolvency in March. In a statement, the anti-graft agency said it was "investigating suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering in relation to the financing and conduct of the business of companies within the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG), including its financing arrangements with Greensill Capital UK Ltd."
- Raleigh News and Observer
Miles Bridges cleared from COVID-19 protocols for last two Hornets games
- The State
Miles Bridges cleared from COVID-19 protocols for last two Hornets games
- Charlotte Observer
Bill Elliott and Michael Waltrip are getting ready for their next racing adventure as drivers in Tony Stewart’s new star-studded series.
Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene reportedly shouted at the Democrat in a Capitol Hill corridor
- Associated Press
Now that Sam Burns has figured out how to turn an early lead into a victory, it's already time to try again. Burns birdied six of his last eight holes Friday for a 10-under 62 and a two-stroke lead over Alex Noren at 17 under after the second round of the AT&T Byron Nelson. J.J. Spaun was 12 under, following a first-round 63 that left him tied with Jordan Spieth with a 69.
- Business Insider
Five of the deaths were reportedly connected to stone-throwing clashes. A sixth person had attempted to stab an Israeli soldier, Israel's army said.
- NBC News
The unidentified boy was discovered with multiple wounds about 5:30 a.m. Saturday, Dallas police said. Investigators believe an "edged weapon" was used.
"I am very happy in love, and in life. I’d be enormously grateful if you were happy with me," Cavill wrote on Instagram.
The Heat pay a 40-year-old veteran $2.5 million even though he never plays, and players think more teams should do it
Udonis Haslem may not play much for the Heat, but he plays a huge role as a mentor and leader in the locker room.
- LA Times
Albert Pujols signing with the Dodgers might not make a lot of sense on the surface, but the Dodgers have plenty of reasons to sign a player like him.
- Business Insider
Mitt Romney rebuked some of his Republican Senate colleagues, calling January 6 Capitol riots an 'insurrection against the Constitution'
Sen. Mitt Romney has repeatedly pushed back on fellow Republican lawmakers who have sought to downplay the events of January 6.