News Briefs-National and International



Several Popular Sites Hacked

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating cyber attacks targeting internet infrastructure provider Dyn that occurred on Friday. Last week, Homeland Security issued a warning about new technology that turns infected devices into forces that overwhelm servers. Dyn resolved one attack after two hours on Friday, but was unable to solve a second one that occurred a few hours later. The attack disrupted popular sites like Twitter, Spotify and Amazon. Dyn connects internet traffic for corporations such as Pfizer and Netflix. The company says that they their first concern is restoring service, although they are unable to determine how the attack caused the outages.


Independent Presidential Candidates Plan for Election

Evan McMullin is gaining voter popularity in Utah, which he hopes could lead to a deadlock of the Electoral College. McMullin is a former CIA operative, and is on the ballot in 11 states. His popularity in Utah is due to the large Mormon population, which is widely against both Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. In order for an independent candidate to win, he needs to gather enough Electoral College votes that neither the Democratic nor Republican candidate has the 270 needed for election. At this point, the election would fall to the House of Representatives, where each state delegation gets one vote. Third-party candidates also hoping for the chance of election include Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.


USA Sails Warship Near Islands In South China Sea

On Friday, the ship USS Decatur passed near disputed islands claimed by China in the South China Sea. China has accused the USA of committing an “illegal” and “intentionally provocative” act, but the USA says that the boat passed through the area in “a routine, lawful manner.” The route came near the Paracel islands that are claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam. In July, an international tribunal ruled against China’s claims to the area, but China continues to ignore the ruling and holds fast to their ownership of the islands.



UN Reports Of ISIS Using Human Shields

In a statement Friday, the United Nations said that it was “gravely worried” that ISIS has taken families to use as “human shields.” The families were taken from villages around Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul. It is estimated that around 550 families have been taken. Iraqi and Kurdish forces are fighting ISIS for control of Mosul. Ravine Shamdasani, deputy spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office, said that families from the villages of Samalia and Najafia were taken for “an apparent policy by ISIS to prevent civilians escaping.” The UN Commissioner for Human Rights said that his office has received reports that civilians had been killed for disloyalty to the terror group. ISIS forces have been targeting Kirkuk, a city outside of Mosul. The situation for civilians there is also extremely dangerous.


Trade Deal Between EU And Canada Collapsing

Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the EU was “not capable” of signing a trade agreement after talks in Brussels. The countries worked on the deal, called Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta), for seven years and planned to sign it next week. The agreement fell through because a Belgian region, Wallonia, consisting of 3.6 million people, opposes it. Wallonia stands against the agreement because is sees it as a threat to welfare standards and farmers in the area. Canadian officials have been under pressure to improve the country’s economy and were hoping to use Ceta to achieve this goal. Wallonia voted last week to reject it, representing a tiny portion of the millions of people who would be affected by Ceta.


Philippines Announces US Alliance Split

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines made remarks that suggested that the country is leaving its long-term alliance with the US. Trade Minister Ramon Lopez said that the country “would not stop trade and investment with the US.” The announcement suggested that Duterte would seek closer military and economic ties with China instead of the US. US Embassy spokeswoman Molly Koscina said that the US will not abandon its alliance commitments or treaty obligations, adding that the Philippines are expected to do the same. Lopez said that the US-Philippines relationship “cannot just be eliminated,” and that the countries are still in good relations with each other.

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