Ransom recovered

·5 min read

Sorry, hackers: Most of the $4.4 million ransom in the Colonial Pipeline breach has been recovered. The FDA has approved the first new Alzheimer's drug in almost 20 years. And two people have been arrested in the road-rage-related shooting of a 6-year-old.

👋 It's Laura. It's Monday, and I've got some news for you.

But first, 'here we go again': A town in Rhode Island that dealt with a runaway steer this year is back in the news with a mysterious donkey sighting. Where did it come from? Where did it go?

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How the tables have turned ...

In a lesson about not taking what isn't yours, federal authorities dealt a blow to a criminal hacking group that forced the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, recovering the "majority" of the $4.4 million in cryptocurrency ransom paid to restore the energy system, Justice Department officials said Monday. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the FBI was able to "turn the tables" on the group known as the "Darkside," suspected to be based in Russia. Last week, Monaco issued an extraordinary plea to the nation’s CEOs to bolster their digital systems against an expected onslaught of devastating ransomware attacks, saying the malicious hacks that shut down the Colonial Pipeline and meat supply networks were just the beginning. “If you are not taking steps – today, right now – to understand how you can make your company more resilient, what is your plan?” she said.

Caution tape is wrapped around fuel pumps at an Exxon gas station in Lynchburg, Va., on May 11. More than 1,000 gas stations in the Southeast reported running out of fuel, primarily because of what analysts say is unwarranted panic-buying among drivers alarmed by the shutdown of a major pipeline by hackers. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency.
Caution tape is wrapped around fuel pumps at an Exxon gas station in Lynchburg, Va., on May 11. More than 1,000 gas stations in the Southeast reported running out of fuel, primarily because of what analysts say is unwarranted panic-buying among drivers alarmed by the shutdown of a major pipeline by hackers. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency.

🧠 New Alzheimer's drug OK'd

It's a bit controversial, but the Food and Drug Administration approved a high-profile Alzheimer's drug Monday, greenlighting the first new drug to slow the mind-robbing disease in nearly two decades. The FDA's landmark approval of Biogen's aducanumab will require the drug company to conduct a post-approval study to monitor its effectiveness. The company said it will market the drug under the name Aduhelm.

The FDA's approval comes despite a contradictory recommendation from experts on the agency's Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee, which last November cited conflicting results from two main clinical trials. The FDA concluded the drug may provide "meaningful therapeutic benefit over existing treatments," Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

Sam Bennett got a tattoo of the last words by his father, who suffered from Alzheimer's: "'Don't wait to do something.' – Pops 6/12/2020." Bennett, a Texas A&M golfer who earned a spot in the PGA Tour, looks at these words before every shot.
Sam Bennett got a tattoo of the last words by his father, who suffered from Alzheimer's: "'Don't wait to do something.' – Pops 6/12/2020." Bennett, a Texas A&M golfer who earned a spot in the PGA Tour, looks at these words before every shot.

What everyone's talking about

  • A Texas mom was arrested after posing as her teenage daughter at school "to prove a point."

  • Prosecutors want prison. She wants to be set free. Daughter of cartel kingpin El Mencho fights for release from a US jail.

  • Big buzz caused a fuzz: National Weather Service radar goes fuzzy. The likely culprit? Cicadas. Of course.

  • 'Our hearts are broken': Cobby, the oldest male living chimpanzee in a US zoo, dies at 63. 💔

Arrests made in road rage shooting death of 6-year-old

One day after the mother of a 6-year-old boy killed in a road rage shooting pleaded for justice at his memorial service, two people were arrested in connection with the boy's death. The California Highway Patrol said Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, and Wynne Lee, 23, were taken into custody Sunday outside their home in Costa Mesa and are likely to be charged with murder. The fatal shooting of Aiden Leos, 6, occurred May 21 on State Route 55 in the city of Orange as Aiden's mother, Joanna Cloonan, drove her son to kindergarten. Eriz and Lee were held in Orange County jail, each on $1 million bail, and are likely to appear in court Tuesday. It was unclear whether they had attorneys who could speak on their behalf, and their relationship was not immediately known.

A large stuffed toy bear and a poster board adorned by a photo and notes are part of a memorial on an overpass in Orange, Calif., for Aiden Leos, 6, who was shot and killed during a road rage attack.
A large stuffed toy bear and a poster board adorned by a photo and notes are part of a memorial on an overpass in Orange, Calif., for Aiden Leos, 6, who was shot and killed during a road rage attack.

First stop: Guatemala

Vice President Kamala Harris is visiting Guatemala and Mexico on a two-day trip aimed at addressing the flow of Central American migrants coming to the U.S.-Mexican border. Monday in Guatemala City, she announced initiatives to address corruption and human trafficking in the region and urged migrants not to attempt an illegal journey to the USA. She said a task force would be created to work with the Justice, Treasury and State Departments to investigate corruption in the region. U.S. officials will train law enforcement in Guatemala to conduct their own investigations.

Vice President Kamala Harris is greeted by Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo upon arrival in Guatemala City on June 6.
Vice President Kamala Harris is greeted by Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo upon arrival in Guatemala City on June 6.

Real quick

Bezos brothers go to space

Jeff Bezos' first move after formally stepping down as CEO of Amazon? A trip to space with his brother. Can I join this family? The founder of the retailing giant confirmed Monday he and his brother, Mark, will ride on the first human flight of New Shepard, a suborbital rocket system developed by his aerospace company Blue Origin. The brothers Bezos will join the winner of an auction of a seat aboard the New Shepard to participate in the flight. The current top bid is $3.2 million.

  • Who is Mark Bezos? Brother of Jeff Bezos to join Amazon founder on trip to space.

Mark, left, and Jeff, the space-bound Bezos brothers, plan to boldly go, etc.
Mark, left, and Jeff, the space-bound Bezos brothers, plan to boldly go, etc.

A break from the news

🗣 Hey, America, we need to talk

One conversation, even multiplied thousands of times, won’t heal America. But it’s a start. Join us and thousands of other Americans on June 12 for America Talks. We will meet one-on-one in hourlong video conversations across political divides.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Colonial Pipeline ransom recovery, Alzheimer's drug, Bezos in space, VP Harris in Guatemala. It's Monday's news.

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