'Loki' Marvel's third live-action Disney+ show, Biden's first overseas trip as president: 5 Things podcast

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On today's episode of the 5 Things podcast: International correspondent Kim Hjelmgaard tells us what to follow on Joe Biden's first trip to Europe as president. Plus, the latest from a global internet outage, how the FBI's phone encryption program caught hundreds of criminal organizations, Biden's infrastructure talks with Republicans break down and a new Marvel series hits Disney+.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below.

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning, I'm Taylor Wilson. And this is 5 Things you need to know Wednesday, the 9th of June, 2021. Today, President Joe Biden heads out for his first overseas trip in office. Plus, the latest on a global internet outage Tuesday morning, and more.

Taylor Wilson:

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling a truck attack a hate crime against Muslims. The driver of the truck killed four members of an immigrant family in London, Ontario on Sunday.

  2. Authorities are searching for a suspected hit-and-run driver who killed three children in Southern California. A fourth child was also injured as the girls, including two in wheelchairs, walked along a desert highway at night over the weekend, and a pickup truck drifted onto the shoulder and hit them from behind.

  3. And the Pittsburgh Pirates' Ke'Bryan Hayes had a home run taken off the board during their game Tuesday night because he did not touch first base when running the bases.

Taylor Wilson:

President Joe Biden is leaving Wednesday for his first overseas trip in office. The European journey will last eight days. He'll attend the Group of Seven Summit in Cornwall, England before heading to Brussels for a NATO summit and a meeting with European Union chiefs, then Biden heads to Geneva, Switzerland for the most high profile leg of his trip, a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. USA TODAY international correspondent Kim Hjelmgaard has more.

Kim Hjelmgaard:

In terms of the impacts or the lessons or the conclusions that US audiences might draw from Biden's first overseas trip, I think that one will be kind of symbolic, and this'll be Biden going out in the world and confirming a lot of the stuff that he came up with on the campaign trail and has tried to sort of implicitly live by since becoming president, which is about saying America's back in the world after those Trump years, where there was a relative kind of retrenchment in terms of engaging with allies and being a cooperative player.

Kim Hjelmgaard:

So I think Biden will talk a lot about the value of democracies kind of banding together to fight various issues. There'll be a lot of kind of fanfare, I think, associated with this summit. Will they hold a joint press conference? Will it be separate? Will Biden look Mr. Putin in the eye and say something macho and slightly antagonistic, because let's be honest, Biden is a bit macho, right? As is Mr. Putin. Putin, every year you can buy a calendar of Mr. Putin available for purchase in Russia, showing him bare-chested on horseback out hunting, catching the most amazing trout in a Siberian river, just looking like a dude who knows how to do stuff, not just pass policy, right? And so news isn't entertainment, but for some people that will be of interest to them.

Kim Hjelmgaard:

But in terms of sort of more substantive points, I mean, I think Americans will want to know how long these sort of hacking things are going to go on. And there is a very real-world impact when a gas pipeline is hacked, has an impact. There is obviously a real-world impact when an election is meddled in, in some form. So Biden will be pressing these points. Putin on the other hand, it remains to be seen how much ground he could give, he will give because he's not going to admit to any of these transgressions. And on the other hand, Biden will make it clear that the US doesn't do transactional kind of politics. It doesn't say let a human rights person out of jail and then we'll drop this sanction or what have you. It will be one to watch. It'll have some historical significance because US and Russian leaders appearing in places like Geneva or Vienna or Helsinki, they always end up in history books. So I think Americans will be fascinated by that as well.

Taylor Wilson:

For more on the trip and what's happening around the world, you can find Kim's work on the World Section at usatoday.com/news.

Taylor Wilson:

If you were up early Tuesday morning in the US, you probably noticed you could not access a huge chunk of the internet. A widespread outage took down websites, including Google, Amazon, Reddit, CNN, and even USA TODAY. Problems started just after 5:30 AM Eastern Time and lasted nearly an hour in some spots. So what happened? Brett Molina and Mike Snider discussed on the Talking Tech podcast.

Brett Molina:

The roughly hour-long disruption has been linked back to the cloud content company, Fastly, saying it was caused by a service configuration that they've since disabled.

Mike Snider:

That's right, Brett. So most of us have not heard of Fastly, but it's a San Francisco based content delivery network or CDN. Now, other big CDNs are Amazon, Akamai and CloudFare. And what they do for companies such as the New York Times or USA TODAY, GitHub, Pinterest, and others is they have thousands of computer servers around the US and around the globe where they cache or store content. So when you click and want to read a story or a page, or watch a video, it's faster than if you had to go to New York or wherever the online site is in the physical world. Now it's likely interruptions like this will happen again and again, because so much of what we do now involves cloud computing with everything, from the software, with which we communicate with our co-workers to our entertainment systems, to online delivery and all these things we do on our phones.

Mike Snider:

Now, redundancy of networks, having backup systems, probably prevents outages from happening more often. And the experts I talked to about the situation suggest that's a lesson we should all take personally. For instance, if you only have important files on your computer or they're stored in the cloud, you might want to add another layer of redundancy. So maybe a second computer holds copies of the files and they're encrypted, or perhaps you store them on an external hard drive or USB memory stick and keep them somewhere, not at your home. These precautions could come in handy, should there be a flood or disaster, or maybe your computer gets hit with malware or ransomware, or should there be an outage that prevents you from getting to your cloud service. So these are all good things to think about. Whenever you have a situation where you can't get on to Twitter or get on to Facebook or get onto whatever service you're trying to do, that could happen to you.

Brett Molina:

Yeah. As one analyst told me, you can't really guarantee 100% availability for any of these services. Something's bound to happen. So it's always good to be prepared.

Mike Snider:

Yeah. I mean, in the old days we had a wire that went from our house to the TV system, the paid TV system, whatever. Everything worked great until like somebody chopped the line. Right? Well, now we have so many things connected through wireless networks and they're stored on computers all over the world that there's going to be an issue once in a while.

Brett Molina:

Yeah, absolutely.

Taylor Wilson:

For more, subscribe to Talking Tech, wherever you get your pods, and you can find more of Brett and Mike's work on the Tech Section of USA TODAY.

Taylor Wilson:

Hundreds of people face charges after a years-long FBI sting involving a phone encryption program. Officials say that criminals without knowing it, use the program to run drug transactions around the world. ANOM, the FBI's encrypted device company was used by more than 300 criminal organizations in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Adam Scott Wandt from John Jay College of Criminal Justice explained to the AP.

Adam Scott Wandt:

This software was in pretty widespread use around the world. So it's going to be extremely disruptive to criminal enterprises all across the world. The FBI certainly did an amazing job getting this software out there and being used by 9,000 devices. And not only are they able to look at who the people are communicating with, they're able to see what was said, and basically have copies of all the information on their own servers. I think that the average criminal has an inherent distrust in the system, so they don't want to use mainstream technologies and communicating, thinking that they're being spied on. So they went and they found a third-party app in this case. And in this case, it was a third-party app that was run directly by the FBI.

Taylor Wilson:

The subject of encryption has been a controversial one for law enforcement officials, technology companies, and privacy advocates alike. In one instance, the Justice Department and Apple had been in a tug of war over whether Apple should help investigators by unlocking iPhones used by suspects in high-profile shootings. The tech giant last year refused to create a backdoor that would allow investigators to bypass encryption features in phones, linked to the shooter who killed three people at a Florida naval base.

Taylor Wilson:

President Joe Biden is shifting negotiations for his infrastructure plan away from Republicans and toward a group of moderate senators on both sides of the aisle. Biden is ramping up talks with a group of senators, including Democrats Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, and Republicans Mitt Romney, Rob Portman, and Bill Cassidy. At the same time, House Democrats are going ahead Wednesday to begin drafting infrastructure legislation, but Biden's push for an infrastructure bill comes after Senator Manchin said he supports keeping the filibuster, a 60-vote rule that can be used by the minority party, currently Republicans, to block legislation. That means Democrats would need the support of 10 Republicans to pass most bills in a Senate that's split 50/50.

Taylor Wilson:

The latest series from the Marvel Cinematic Universe hits Disney+ on Wednesday. Loki follows Tom Hiddleston as a Norse god after his escape in Avengers: Endgame.

Trailer clip:

We protect the proper flow of time. You picked up the Tesseract, breaking reality, I want you to help us fix it.

Loki:

Why me?

Speaker:

I need your unique Loki perspective.

Loki:

Do I get a weapon?

Speaker:

Nah.

Taylor Wilson:

In the first episode, Loki is apprehended by the Time Variance Authority. There, an employee played by Owen Wilson uses the anti-hero to help track down a dangerous fugitive who's hurting the timeline and killing Time Variance agents. USA TODAY TV Critic, Kelly Lawler likes what she's seen so far. She wrote, "This is the first Marvel series on Disney+ to have a firm hold of its identity from the word go."

Taylor Wilson:

Thanks for listening to 5 Things. A reminder, you can subscribe for free and also rate and review on Apple Podcasts. You can also find us wherever you get your audio. Thanks as always to Shannon Green and Claire Thornton for their great work on the show. 5 Things is part of the USA TODAY Network.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Marvel's 'Loki' premieres on Disney+, Biden visits Europe: 5 Things podcast

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