White House has no clear plan for next steps in Syria after missile strike

Tensions mount with Russia as Sean Spicer says Assad must ‘abide by agreements not to use chemical weapons’ but fails to outline US objectives

The White House appeared to back away from wider military involvement in Syria less than 24 hours after launching Tomahawk missiles at one of Bashar al-Assad’s airbases.

The press secretary, Sean Spicer, refused to discuss any next steps – military or diplomatic – by the US in Syria, as the world struggled to understand Trump’s policy toward the grueling civil war.

Meanwhile, Syrian warplanes were reported to have taken off from the airbase targeted by the US missiles, suggesting that the military impact of the overnight attack had been minimal. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said that government aircraft had bombed the outskirts of Khan Sheikhun, the town targeted in Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack

Spicer called the missile strike on the airbase “very decisive, justified and proportional” and entirely justified by “humanitarian purposes”.

Continue reading “White House has no clear plan for next steps in Syria after missile strike”

Trump says cyberattacks had “no effect” on election outcome after briefing

Four top intelligence officials briefed the president-elect Friday on a classified report on Russian hacking and interference in the election

 

Top intelligence officials briefed President-elect Donald Trump Friday on Russia’s hacking efforts to interfere with the U.S. election.

Following the briefing at Trump Tower in New York, Mr. Trump released a statement on what he called a “constructive meeting and conversation” saying that the cyberattacks had “no effect on the outcome of the election.”

Continue reading “Trump says cyberattacks had “no effect” on election outcome after briefing”

Vermont power company finds malware linked to Russian hackers

A malware signature linked to ‘Grizzly Steppe’ by the FBI and DHS was found on a single laptop.

Just a few days ago, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security released a report detailing their assessment that Russian hackers were behind a series of attacks on US agencies and citizens. While the Obama administration issued sanctions, code linked to those hackers has been shared with other agencies, and on Friday, the Burlington Electric Department found malware with a matching signature on one of its laptops. The discovery raises more questions than it answers, but with recent reports of Russian hackers attacking the power grid in Ukraine, it obviously has raised alerts all over.

Continue reading “Vermont power company finds malware linked to Russian hackers”

What’s their angle? Breaking down the Putin, Trump and Obama spy games

A tweet from the Russian government responding to US sanctions is shown.

President Barack Obama and his first secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, entered the White House in 2009 with visions of a “Russian reset.” But Obama will leave office next month in the midst of a shadowy Cold War-era fever dream, as Washington and Moscow are, once again, beset by accusations of diplomatic chicanery and outright espionage.

Continue reading “What’s their angle? Breaking down the Putin, Trump and Obama spy games”

Obama announces sanctions for Russian election hacking

The Obama administration announced today that it will impose sanctions on Russian intelligence services and officials in response to the hacks of American political institutions during the election season.

Continue reading “Obama announces sanctions for Russian election hacking”

Trump announces plans to dissolve his family’s foundation

President-elect Donald Trump announced Saturday afternoon that he plans to dissolve his family’s foundation in the wake of questions regarding possible conflicts of interest once he takes office.

Mr. Trump issued the decision in a press release, which said the Donald J. Trump Foundation has contributed millions of dollars to groups that support veterans, law enforcement officers and children.

Continue reading “Trump announces plans to dissolve his family’s foundation”

President Obama signs nationwide ticket-bot ban into law

The bill aims to ensure equal access to popular events for the general public.

New York already passed legislation banning the use of ticket buying bots, but President Obama has just made the ban a nationwide law. Today, the president signed the “Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016” which makes it illegal to use software to purchase tickets to popular events. Of course, the end goal of doing so is to resell them at a higher price. As you might expect, the law aims to give the general public a fair shot at concerts, sporting events and more that sell out quickly.

Continue reading “President Obama signs nationwide ticket-bot ban into law”

Why the Trump administration needs a chief data officer

After President-elect Donald Trump’s surprising win — despite almost all national polls showing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton a virtual lock for victory — a narrative has emerged that the stunning result was a loss for big data, too. “Tonight, data died,” Republican strategist Mike Murphy said on MSNBC.

Continue reading “Why the Trump administration needs a chief data officer”

Illinois explosion kills 1, injures several

CANTON, Ill. — Authorities say one person was killed and several people injured in a natural gas explosion in the central Illinois community of Canton.

Officials say the explosion Wednesday evening occurred near the downtown square and damaged several buildings. Authorities say the cause of the explosion hasn’t been determined.

Canton, with a population of about 14,000, is about 30 miles southwest of Peoria.

Authorities say 11 victims were taken to Graham Hospital in Canton. Fulton County Coroner Steve Hines said one of the victims – an employee of Ameren Illinois, a gas and electric company – later died at the hospital. One victim was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria with non-life threatening injuries.

The Fulton County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency reported that the multiple buildings had been damaged and that large amounts of debris were scattered around the Canton square.

Onlookers reported that Canton’s historic Opera House had been leveled by the blast.

“We have structural engineers in the area checking area buildings. This is a very slow and methodical process. They are working hard and as fast as possible,” the agency said in a statement shortly after 9:30 p.m.

The agency has advised residents to avoid the area around the square. Displaced residents were being directed to a Salvation Army facility.

 

Can president-elect Trump follow through on ISIS?

With U.S. forces fighting and advising in Syria and Iraq, CBS News compares his campaign rhetoric with the campaign against ISIS

 

In two months, President-elect Donald Trump will be commanding troops in combat for the first time.

With U.S. forces fighting and advising in Syria and Iraq, CBS News is comparing the Trump campaign rhetoric with the campaign against ISIS.

Continue reading “Can president-elect Trump follow through on ISIS?”