Top News Stories For Today – Dec 28, 2017
Russian hacker says he hacked DNC on Kremlin’s order
In an interview with an RAIN, an independent Moscow-based television channel, jailed Russian computer hacker Konstantin Kozlovsky said he was ordered by the Kremlin to hack the DNC computers during the 2016 presidential campaign, and he can prove it.
Kozlovsky said he worked with the Russian intelligence agency FSB, and because he was worried his minders might turn on him, he left behind a “poison pill” during the DNC hack — his passport number and other personal information hidden in a .dat file. Kozlovsky was jailed earlier this year, accused of being part of a hacking group that stole more than $50 million from Russian bank accounts. He also confessed online to having hacked investigators looking into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, brought down in July 2014 by a missile near the disputed Ukrainian border with Russia. McClatchy DC
Suicide attack killed 40 in Afghanistan
Nusrat Rahimi, a deputy spokesman at Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry said, a suicide attack on a building in Kabul killed 40 people and30 more wounded. He expects the casualty toll will increase. The attack was happened on a building that houses a Shi’ite Muslim cultural center with ties to Iran.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. An online statement said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber and that three other bombs were also used. Previous attacks on Shi’ite worship places and processions in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan were also claimed by Islamic State. VOA
Roy Moore files lawsuit to block Alabama election results
More than two weeks after Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore in Alabama’s special Senate election by more than 20,000 votes, Moore has filed a lawsuit to block the results. His complaint, filed just hours before Jones was to be officially declared the winner Thursday, calls for an investigation into possible voter fraud and a new election.
He claims the Dec. 12 vote was riddled with “irregularities,” such as a higher-than-expected turnout in some counties. Throughout the race, Moore was accused by multiple women of unwanted sexual advances when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. He denied the allegations. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said the complaint would not delay Jones’ certification. Moore is the first Republican to lose a US Senate race in the state in 25 years. CNN, Washington Post
US economic drive expected to continue in 2018
Despite initial concerns about an untested new leader, the world’s largest economy will end the year on a high note. The US economy is expanding at the fastest pace in more than two years, buoyed in part by low unemployment, soaring stock prices and a broad economic recovery around the globe.
The momentum is expected to carry into 2018, but, as Mil Arcega reports, economists say the new year is likely to bring new challenges. VOA
The WH is preparing to attack Flynn’s credibility
President Trump’s legal team is gearing up to paint former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as a liar who will say anything to get himself out of trouble, three people with knowledge of the strategy told The Washington Post Wednesday.
Flynn is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and earlier this month, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. While Trump’s attorneys have said privately they don’t think Flynn has evidence that could harm Trump or White House officials, they are preparing themselves for anything he might say against the president. The Washington Post
Record setting cold in Northern US
Bitter cold weather has taken hold of much of the northern United States and is expected to stay put for days to come as two Minnesota cities set record low temperatures and a city in Pennsylvania continues to dig out from a record snowfall. Forecasters warned of hypothermia and frostbite from arctic air settling in over the central US and spreading east.
The National Weather Service reported International Falls, Minnesota, plunged to 37 degrees below zero, breaking the old record of 32 below set in 1924. Hibbing, Minnesota, bottomed out at 28 below, breaking the old record of 27 below set in 1964. People in Erie, Pennsylvania, continued to dig out from a storm that brought more than 65 inches (165 centimeters) total fell on the city in just a few days. VOA
Zimbabwe general who ousted Mugabe becomes VP
Constantino Chiwenga, a former head of military, who led the ouster of Zimbabwe’s founding leader, Robert Mugabe, has been sworn in as vice president. The appointment had been widely predicted amid concerns about the military’s influence on new President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The military stepped in last month and forced the departure of Mugabe.
Kembo Mohadi, a former state security minister, was sworn in Thursday as the other vice president. VOA
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