Tag Archive | "government officials"

Chinese Hackers Attacked Gmail

Chinese computer hackers broke into a lot of Gmail accounts, including US government officials and military personnel, said Google Incorporated on Wednesday.

The hacker attacks are not believed to be linked to a similar, yet more sophisticated, assault from China in 2009. The latest attack appeared to have relied heavily on “phishing” scams that many hackers use to get passwords from unsuspecting people.

Google took pride in their security measures for detecting the intrusion in a timely manner. Their system was able to disrupt the hacker attack and all the victims have been notified. In addition, their Gmail accounts have been secured.

Google refused to confirm if any top secret information were tampered during the breach or which specific department of the United States Government was attacked. The company only said that among the hundreds of user accounts that have been hacked are Chinese political activists, journalists, military personnel and officials in several other countries but mainly South Korea.

Google said that they have traced the origin of the hacker attacks and confirmed that it is from Jinan, China. Jinan is the location of a vocational school whose computers were allegedly used to hack Google computer systems over a year ago. More than 20 US companies were also included in the said attack.

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Crisis Center in Brazil to Stop Deforestation

On Wednesday, the environmental minister of Brazil said that they have built a crisis center to address the issue of increasing deforestation in the rainforests in the Amazon.

Minister Izabella Teixeria told the press that they had to do something to address this issue after data taken from a satellite feed showed a very significant rise in deforestation in just the last two months. Last year, Brazil had the lowest yearly deforestation rate ever since they started recording the data more than 20 years ago.

Teixeria mentioned that a crisis committee is now in place to determine the causes of the increase and do something about it in a timely manner. The committee includes federal police, environmental agents, state agents, and highway federal police. The committee is set to meet weekly from here on forward.

Last year, deforestation in the Amazon rainforest dropped to its lowest in 22 years. Now, a total of 230 square miles of deforestation were observed between March and April; almost six times more than the deforestation rate in the same period in 2010.

Government officials were very happy with the data they collected last year. However, experts have already predicted that it may be just a result of the global economic decline and the deforestation rate will shoot up again as the world’s finances improve. Once it does, the demand for cattle and soy from the Amazon will also increase and farmers will start clearing the rainforests again to make way for those commodities.

The new crisis center in Brazil is working double time to make sure that the increase in deforestation does not persist.

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Alleged Rape Victim Still in Custody of Gadhafi’s Brigades

Eman al-Obeidy, the woman who claimed to have been raped and beaten by Moammar Gadhafi’s troops is still in custody, said her mother. This is contrary to the statement the government of Libya released to the press. They said, Sunday, that al-Obeidy has been released and is safe with her family.

Eman’s mother, however, said in an interview Monday with the Al-Jazeera television that she received a call at around 3am from Gadhafi’s compound. They told her to make her daughter Eman al-Obeidy change her statements and she will be released.

The government’s spokesperson Moussa Ibrahim said that they offered the al-Obeidy family an interview with one or two reporters, but they refused. He also said that Eman al-Obeidy is safe, healthy, and free. He, however, refused to take more questions regarding the issue saying that Libya has a very conservative society.

Al-Obeidy’s family said that Eman is a lawyer as opposed to being a mentally ill or a prostitute as the Libyan government initially said about her. The government was quick to re-track this statement and said that she is sane. The father of Eman said that his daughter is mentally healthy, and a lawyer who is taking-up higher education in Tripoli.

Eman’s story began when she emerged in a hotel Saturday, body bruised, saying that she has been held against her will and was raped by 15 men. She said that Gadhafi’s brigades violated her honor. Government officials in the area tried to stop her but she persisted on “telling her story.”

As of the moment, no one can confirm her story as the Libyan government decided to stay mum about the issue.

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