WikiLeaks Stings CIA, Obamacare Popular
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 60
Vault 7: The CIA has the ability to spy on people through smart phones, computers, and even smart televisions, according to a trove of documents posted on WikiLeaks. The documents reveal the CIA’s computer hacking codes and methods, According to the website, including “malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized ‘zero day’ exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation.”
Some analysts say the leak may be as damaging as the Edward Snowden NSA leak.
The website refers to the collection of documents as “Vault 7,” like something out of a Robert Ludlum spy novel. A statement by WikiLeaks says, “The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.”
The CIA has refused to confirm or deny that the WikiLeaks files are real.
To Your Health: On the eve of its probable destruction, the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare is more popular than ever. Polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation says 48 percent of Americans favor Obamacare while 42 percent don’t like it.
The polling on what to do next is split. Forty-seven percent of Americans say Obamacare should be repealed, and 48 percent say keep it.
The new bill is in the rough already, with Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Indiana declaring it “dead on arrival.” Some Republicans say the new plan is too much like Obamacare and they don’t like the “refundable” tax credit. People whose tax credit is greater than their federal income tax would get a check from the government.
So far, the Republicans have not said, or more likely, they don’t know how much their Obamacare replacement would cost.
Assuming for a moment that Democrats vote “no” in a block, the bill is dead if 12 House Republicans do the same. Nonetheless, President Trump said yesterday in brief remarks that, “I think really that we’re going to have something that is much more understood and much more popular than people can even imagine.”
Kimchi Krisis: A long-range American anti-missile system arrived in South Korea yesterday, just two days after the North fired a volley of four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan. Tensions always rise this time of year when the US and South Korea stage joint military exercises, but this is a new twist. The North said it is perfecting its missiles to be able to hit US military bases in Japan.
That’s not the only problem. Tensions are rising between North Korea and Malaysia over the assassination of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother in the Kuala Lumpur airport. Both countries have banned each other’s visiting citizens from leaving the country, although the actions affect mostly diplomatic staffs. This comes after both countries ejected each other’s ambassadors.
Malaysia has been one of North Korea’s few friends in the world.
The North denies having anything to do with the murder and claims Kim Jong-nam was in poor health and died of a heart attack. Malaysian authorities say he was killed by two women who dashed the victim’s face with the internationally-banned VX nerve agent. Both women, who have been charged with murder, say they thought they were taking part in a television prank. Two suspects are holed up in the North Korean embassy and the Malaysians say they are willing to wait it out even if it takes years.
Nation: At least six people are dead in wildfires that have broken out in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and other states. Hundreds of square miles of open land have burned. — Four people were killed and 30 injured yesterday when a train slammed into a bus in Biloxi, Miss. Witnesses said the bus appear to have been stuck on the tracks. The bus from Austin, Tex. was on its way to casinos in Biloxi.
The Obit Page: Lynne Stewart, a lawyer who represented radical activists who spent four years in prison for aiding terrorism, died at home in Brooklyn at 77.
She defended Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric behind the 1995 plot to blow up New York City landmarks, including the World Trade Center. Stewart was convicted of carrying messages from the sheikh in prison to his followers in Egypt.
French Poach: A four-year-old white rhinoceros was shot and killed for one of its horns in a game park outside Paris. It’s the kind of poaching that takes place in the wild. French authorities say the killer sawed off one of the animal’s horns and got away.
The rhino horn, which is valued by some idiots for curing headaches and hangovers, is worth $30,000 to $40,000 on the black market.