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Monday, May 19, 2014

Police investigate the death of a 3 year old

Police are questioning a person of interest in the death of a 3-year-old girl on the Northwest Side of Chicago.

Officers found the girl dead inside her home in the 3300 block of North Natchez Avenue about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, police said. She was pronounced dead on the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office, which has not yet released the girl's name.

The child appeared to have died from blunt force trauma to the head, police said, citing preliminary information.

The circumstances of the death have not been released, but police remained on the scene past 1 a.m. today. As detectives holding clipboards stood outside a white multifamily home on the block, a forensic investigator shot video and photographs both inside and outside the home.

Several police vehicles remained parked in the middle of Natchez for hours, blocking traffic on a street so narrow that overlapping branches from trees on both sides form a canopy in places.

The scene drew the attention of several groups of neighbors who gathered on the sidewalk and a nearby porch to watch.

Police said Area North detectives are interviewing a person of interest as they conduct a homicide investigation.

A police supervisor on the scene declined to comment.

U.S. accusing China of Cyber Spying

WASHINGTON — The United States is preparing to announce criminal charges Monday against Chinese military officials in an international cyber-espionage case, a government official said.

Attorney General Eric Holder and other federal law enforcement officials were expected to reveal the new indictments later Monday, the official told The Associated Press.

The indictments will accuse individuals of participating in cyber-espionage on behalf of a foreign government, said the official, who revealed this information only on grounds of anonymity because this person wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the case in advance of the official announcement.

The official described the prosecution as the first of its kind for the U.S. government.

The official said Chinese government officials are being charged in the United States with hacking into private-sector companies to gain trade secrets, adding that Holder and other top-level law enforcement officials were poised to announce charges that include economic espionage and trade-secret theft.

The Chinese to be named, the official said, are current members of Beijing's military establishment. The U.S. official did not identify the companies or industries with which they were engaged.

John Carlin, recently installed as head of the Justice's National Security Division, earlier this year cited prosecution of state-sponsored cyber-threats as a key goal for the Obama administration.

U.S. officials have accused China's army and China-based hackers of launching attacks on American industrial and military targets, often to steal secrets or intellectual property. China has said that it faces a major threat from hackers, and the country's military is believed to be among the biggest targets of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command.

Last September, President Barack Obama discussed cybersecurity issues on the sidelines of a summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

White House spokesman Ben Rhodes said at the time that Obama had addressed concerns about cyber threats emanating from China. He said Obama told Xi the U.S. sees it not through the prism of security but out of concern over theft of trade secrets.

In late March, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel revealed that the Pentagon planned to more than triple its cybersecurity staff in the next few years to defend against Internet attacks that threaten national security.

Hagel's comments at the National Security Agency headquarters in suburban Washington came as he prepared to visit China.

"Our nation's reliance on cyberspace outpaces our cybersecurity," Hagel said at the time. "Our nation confronts the proliferation of destructive malware and a new reality of steady, ongoing and aggressive efforts to probe, access or disrupt public and private networks, and the industrial control systems that manage our water, and our energy and our food supplies."

Oval Office chimp asked NSA to widen surveillance

The NSA's wide-ranging surveillance programme should be curtailed, says hardware-maker Cisco in a letter to President Obama.

Cisco boss John Chambers said faith in US technology companies was being eroded by the NSA's activities.

The letter comes after whistleblowers revealed the NSA regularly intercepted Cisco hardware to help it gather information on potential targets.

Mr Chambers said the NSA should be held to higher "standards of conduct".

The first allegations about NSA staff intercepting deliveries of Cisco hardware came from papers given by whistleblower Edward Snowden to journalist Glenn Greenwald.

"If these allegations are true," wrote Mr Chambers in a letter published in the Financial Times, "these actions will undermine confidence in our industry and in the ability of technology companies to deliver products globally."

In addition, pictures have circulated online of NSA staff opening packing crates containing Cisco gear. The NSA is believed to have intercepted and altered the networking hardware so the agency can more easily gather information about the people and companies it targets.

"We simply cannot operate this way," Mr Chambers wrote. "Our customers trust us to be able to deliver to their doorsteps products that meet the highest standards of integrity and security."

To restore confidence in Cisco and other tech firms, President Obama should draw up new rules to govern the way the NSA operates to ensure its conduct was held to a high standard, he said.

The allegations about Cisco were not the last to be published about NSA surveillance, said Glenn Greenwald in a wide-ranging interview with GQ. Mr Greenwald said he was saving some of the biggest leaks until last.

This final tranche of information would detail who in the US the NSA has been targeting and why it chose those targets, said Mr Greenwald.

"Are they political critics and dissidents and activists? Are they genuinely people we'd regard as terrorists?" he said to the magazine. "What are the metrics and calculations that go into choosing those targets and what is done with the surveillance that is conducted?"

Freedom banner

The continuing revelations about the NSA have also prompted action by China which has said it plans to beef up its internet security defences in response to "overseas hostile forces".

Such forces were using the net to "penetrate and destroy" China, said Wang Xiujun, the state official in China's Internet Information Office who directs the nation's net regulation system.

"A few countries have used their superiority in internet resources and information technology to conduct large-scale internet surveillance and to steal a large volume of political, economic, military and corporate secrets", Mr Wang is reported to have said.

Information from documents released by Edward Snowden suggest the NSA had managed to get at servers run by Chinese communications giant Huawei to look at documents and monitor messages passing between executives.

In addition, he said, many people were using the banner of "internet freedom" to attack and slander China and undermine its stability.

The improved defences against external threats and improved monitoring and censorship of internal activity would help China win "the struggle for ideological penetration", Mr Wang said.

Pentagon releases battle plan for fighting Zombies

Washington (CNN) — Never fear the night of the living dead -- the Pentagon has got you covered.

From responses to natural disasters to a catastrophic attack on the homeland, the U.S. military has a plan of action ready to go if either incident occurs.

It has also devised an elaborate plan should a zombie apocalypse befall the country, according to a  Defense Department document obtained by What's on the Sarge ' s mind

In an unclassified document titled "CONOP 8888," officials from U.S. Strategic Command used the specter of a planet-wide attack by the walking dead as a training template for how to plan for real-life, large-scale operations, emergencies and catastrophes.

And the Pentagon says there's a reasonable explanation.

"The document is identified as a training tool used in an in-house training exercise where students learn about the basic concepts of military plans and order development through a fictional training scenario," Navy Capt. Pamela Kunze, a spokeswoman for U.S. Strategic Command, told CNN. "This document is not a U.S. Strategic Command plan."

Nevertheless, the preparation and thoroughness exhibited by the Pentagon for how to prepare for a scenario in which Americans are about to be overrun by flesh-eating invaders is quite impressive.

A wide variety of different zombies, each brandishing their own lethal threats, are possible to confront and should be planned for, according to the document.

Zombie life forms "created via some form of occult experimentation in what might otherwise be referred to as 'evil magic,' to vegetarian zombies that pose no threat to humans due to their exclusive consumption of vegetation, to zombie life forms created after an organism is infected with a high dose of radiation are among the invaders the document outlines."

Every phase of the operation from conducting general zombie awareness training, and recalling all military personnel to their duty stations, to deploying reconnaissance teams to ascertain the general safety of the environment to restoring civil authority after the zombie threat has been neutralized are discussed.

And the rules of engagement with the zombies are clearly spelled out within the document.

"The only assumed way to effectively cause causalities to the zombie ranks by tactical force is the concentration of all firepower to the head, specifically the brain," the plan reads. "The only way to ensure a zombie is 'dead' is to burn the zombie corpse."

There are even contingency plans for how to deal with hospitals and other medical facilities infiltrated by zombies, and the possible deployment of remote controlled robots to man critical infrastructure points such as power stations if the zombie threat becomes too much.

A chain of command from the President on down along with the roles to be played by the State Department and the intelligence community for dealing with the zombie apocalypse are clearly spelled out in the document.

'Walking Dead' finale: The biggest reveals

The training document was first reported by Foreign Policy magazine.

This is also not the first time zombies have been used as the antagonist in U.S. government training operations.  Both the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Homeland Security have used the creatures as a vehicle for training their personnel in the past.

Defense officials stress the report in no way signals an invasion of zombies is on the horizon. The only real purpose of the document was to practice how to execute a plan for handling something as large and serious a situation like flesh-eating beings trying to overrun the United States.

And why zombies?

Officials familiar with the planning of it say zombies were chosen precisely because of the outlandish nature of the attack premise.

"Training examples for plans must accommodate the political fallout that occurs if the general public mistakenly believes that a fictional training scenario is actually a real plan," the document says.  "Rather than risk such an outcome by teaching our augmentees using the fictional 'Tunisia' or 'Nigeria' scenarios used at (Joint Combined Warfighting School), we elected to use a completely impossible scenario that could never be mistaken as a real plan."

So, practice for the when, where and how to plan for a more likely disaster scenario?  Yes. But zombies of all stripes would be well advised to take note of this directive to Strategic Command personnel buried within the document."Maintain emergency plans to employ nuclear weapons within (the continental United States) to eradicate zombie hordes."


A 22-year-old woman was hospitalized after she fell down an elevator shaft at Fenway Park in Boston late Friday, authorities said.

The unidentified woman was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Jerry Berger, a hospital spokesman, said he had no information on the patient, but the Boston Red Sox said she suffered serious injuries.

"Somehow (the) elevator shaft doors on floor 4 opened," the Boston Fire Department said on Twitter. The woman fell into the shaft, landing on the roof of the elevator, the department said.

She'd fallen "anywhere from 20 to 30 feet," fire department spokesman Steve McDonald told CNN affiliate WCVB.

"The firefighters went to the upper floors and were able to look down and see her," McDonald added. "She was not moving."

Firefighters cut power to the elevator after stopping it on the 2nd floor, the fire department said.

Rescuers did not wait for a ladder; they used a chair and boosted themselves up through a hatch to the roof. They immobilized the victim and lowered her through the hatch, the fire department said. 

In a statement before Saturday night's game against the Detroit Tigers, the Red Sox said: "The Massachusetts Department of Public Safety and the Boston Police Department are working to determine exactly what happened. Due to the ongoing investigation, and out of respect for the family of the young woman who was injured, the Red Sox will have no further comment at this time."

The cause of the accident is unclear.

A state elevator inspector was called to the scene and Boston police will investigate, the fire department said. The Red Sox lost Friday night to the Tigers 1-0. The incident occurred shortly after the game ended.