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China is 'greatest long-term threat' to the US, FBI director Christopher Wray says

08.07.2020 5:30

China is seeking to become the world's only superpower by usurping the United States with a government-directed "campaign of theft and malign influence", the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director said on Tuesday.In a wide-ranging attack on Beijing's behaviour on the world stage delivered at the conservative think tank Hudson Institute, Christopher Wray said that the counter-intelligence and economic espionage threat from China represented the "greatest long-term threat to our nation's information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality".China's "generational fight" to usurp the US was playing out in fields ranging from local politics to industries including aviation, agriculture, robotics and health care, said Wray, accusing Beijing of working to compromise American institutions conducting "essential" Covid-19 research.The charges come at a nadir in US-China relations, with tensions boiling on a number of fronts including the coronavirus pandemic, Beijing's handling of Hong Kong, and treatment of each other's respective journalists.Those spats have come on top of long-standing concerns in the US of a state-orchestrated theft of American technology by China, allegations that in part fuelled the still-simmering trade war that began two years ago.Wray revealed on Tuesday that the FBI opens a new China-related counter-intelligence investigation every 10 hours, and that around half of the bureau's approximately 5,000 open cases relate to China. Investigations into alleged attempts to steal US-based technology by Chinese entities are under way in all of the FBI's 56 field offices."That's not because we're just trying to spread the work around," said Wray. "That's because the threat is all over the country, in rural areas and big cities. And it's in Fortune 100s all the way down to small start-ups."The US Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are preparing to unveil new actions to address the threat from China in the coming weeks, said Wray, a Trump appointee who took over the FBI in 2017.Wray reserved particular criticism for China's "Fox Hunt" operation, an extraterritorial campaign launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping to repatriate individuals to be charged in China for crimes relating to corruption.Though presented as an anti-graft effort, the operation was "a sweeping bid by General Secretary Xi to target Chinese nationals who he sees as threats," charged Wray, who said it violated "established processes for foreign law enforcement to cooperate with each other".President Donald Trump said in April that Beijing would do "anything they can" to thwart his re-election. Photo: Reuters alt=President Donald Trump said in April that Beijing would do "anything they can" to thwart his re-election. Photo: ReutersIn cases where targets were not cooperative, the Chinese government had threatened or even arrested their family members still in China for leverage, said Wray.In one instance, a Chinese emissary told the US-based relatives of a target to pass along a message to the individual, saying the target had two options: "return to China promptly or commit suicide," said Wray, without giving specifics of the case.Wray appealed to anyone in the US who believed they were being targeted by the Chinese government in such a campaign to reach out to their local FBI field office.Beyond economic espionage and extraterritorial law enforcement, Beijing was also actively interfering in US politics, said Wray, alleging that China was targeting US local officials and lawmakers with direct or indirect pressure campaigns to prevent them from travelling to Taiwan."China does not want that to happen, because that travel might appear to legitimise Taiwanese independence from China," said Wray, who suggested that Chinese state actors had threatened retaliation against companies within local officials' constituencies to dissuade them from going to Taiwan.Wray did not provide specific examples of such events, and the FBI declined to comment further when asked for clarification.Asked during Tuesday's event whether the FBI was concerned about the prospect of Chinese interference in the fall elections, Wray said China's "malign foreign influence campaign" was a year-round threat rather than "an election specific threat".Nonetheless, China's attempts to sway US policy had "implications for elections, and they certainly have preferences that go along with that," he said.China has been accused of hacking into US government systems in the past, notably the alleged infiltration of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), acquiring sensitive data on around 20 million US federal government employees.The hack was part of broader attempts by China to "identify people for secret intelligence gathering," Wray said on Tuesday.The data breach also suggested there are possible cybersecurity vulnerabilities heading into the 2020 election, said Nina Jankowicz, a former Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellow at the US State Department who is now disinformation fellow at Washington-based think tank the Wilson Centre.Nina Jankowicz, an expert on Russian disinformation at the Wilson Centre. Photo: Prophet alt=Nina Jankowicz, an expert on Russian disinformation at the Wilson Centre. Photo: Prophet"It would be difficult to hack all of [the US voting systems] at once, but you might not need to hack all of them at once. What you need to do is just cast doubt on to the vote tallying" in one race, said Jankowicz at a Wilson Centre event."Once you've cast that doubt, then people aren't going to trust in the results and we get into a very sticky situation as we're trying to declare a winner."Chinese officials said earlier this year they have no interest in interfering in the fall elections, after Trump said in April that Beijing would do "anything they can" to thwart his re-election."We've made some sparing investments in our election infrastructure, but I think we need to do a lot more," Jankowicz said. "Unfortunately that issue has been politicised, but hopefully we've gotten up to the point where those basic security loopholes are not exploited ahead of the vote in November."Additional reporting by Robert DelaneyThis article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

[Ticker] EU to mediate between Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey

08.07.2020 1:22

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed the possibility of European Union mediation between Turkey, Greece and Cyprus during a meeting in Ankara on Monday, Ekathimerini reports. "I am here [in Turkey] to find a solution to the conflict between Turkey and Greece over the eastern Mediterranean. We plan to organise negotiation talks between the two sides," Borrell said.

From: euobserver.com

Marine dies from self-inflicted gunshot after police confrontation at Twentynine Palms base in California

08.07.2020 1:18

A Marine is being transported to a hospital for a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a two-hour interaction with police at the Twentynine Palms base.

From: rssfeeds.usatoday.com

California active shooter alert: Man hospitalised with self-inflected gunshot wound

08.07.2020 0:18

A gunman has been taken to hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wounds after an active shooter was spotted the largest Marine Corps base in the US in Southern California.

From: feedproxy.google.com

China blackmailing dissenters in US to return home – FBI chief

07.07.2020 23:01

Christopher Wray condemns campaign against ex-pats and says Beijing espionage is ‘greatest threat to US economic vitality’Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, the FBI director has said.In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property and to our economic vitality”, Christopher Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves.Fox Hunt was launched six years ago by President Xi Jinping, ostensibly to pursue corrupt officials and business executives who had fled abroad. Beijing has celebrated its claimed successes, publicising the return of hundreds of economic fugitives, and issuing wanted lists of those still at large. The Obama administration complained about the activities of undercover agents in 2015.Wray said the operation’s principal aim now was to suppress dissent among the diaspora.He told the Hudson Institute in Washington: “China describes Fox Hunt as some kind of international anti-corruption campaign. It is not. Instead, Fox Hunt is a sweeping bid by Xi to target Chinese nationals who he sees as threats and who live outside of China, across the world.“We’re talking about political rivals, dissidents and critics seeking to expose China’s extensive human rights violations.”The FBI director said: “Hundreds of these Fox Hunt victims that they target live right here in the United States, and many are American citizens or green card holders. The Chinese government wants to force them to return to China, and China’s tactics to accomplish that are shocking.“For example, when it couldn’t locate one Fox Hunt target, the Chinese government sent an emissary to visit the target’s family here in the US. The message they said to pass on: the target had two options, returned to China promptly or commit suicide.”Wray said that Fox Hunt operations, directed by China’s ministry of public security, were also under way in other countries, and the FBI had been cooperating with its partners to foil Chinese efforts at intimidation. He said Chinese nationals in the US were often coerced by thinly veiled threats against their families back in China.Asked about other coercive tactics used, he replied: “Use your imagination. You’re not going to be far off.”He appealed to anyone in the US who thought they were a Fox Hunt target to “please reach out to your local FBI field office”.Wray portrayed China as an aggressive rival with little or no regard for international or national laws. He said that nearly half the FBI’s 5,000 active counter-intelligence cases were China-related.“We’ve now reached a point where the FBI is now opening a new China-related counterintelligence case every 10 hours,” he said. “Of the nearly 5,000 active counterintelligence cases currently underway across the country, almost half are related to China.”China was using leverage, pressure or persuasion through intermediaries on federal, state and local officials, as well as US corporations and media, to win support for Chinese foreign policy positions. Wray said such efforts had been stepped up during the coronavirus outbreak, aimed at generating praise for Beijing’s handling of the pandemic.Although he did not say whether China backed either Donald Trump or his presumptive Democratic rival, Joe Biden, he claimed China was pushing its preferences for the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.“China’s malign foreign influence campaign targets our policies, our positions, 24/7, 365 days a year,” Wray said. “So it’s not an election-specific threat; it’s really more of an all-year, all-the-time threat. But certainly that has implications for elections and they certainly have preferences that go along with that.”The FBI director said that China was also involved in mass hacking, identity theft and intellectual property espionage, and there are 1,000 investigations into “China’s actual and attempted theft of technology” in all the bureau’s 56 field offices.“The people of the United States are the victims of what amounts to Chinese theft on a scale so massive that it represents one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history,” Wray said.He said China was “engaged in a whole-of-state effort to become the world’s only superpower by any means necessary”. “The stakes could not be higher.”In an interview on Tuesday, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said that the US was considering banning the social media platform TikTok and other Chinese-made apps.India banned TikTok and over 50 other Chinese apps last week, in the wake of clashes on the China-India border in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.“We’re certainly looking at it,” Pompeo told Fox News. “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cellphones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right. I don’t want to get out in front of the president, but it’s something we’re looking at.”

NFL players' on-field discussion about giving a gift to a baby goes viral

07.07.2020 22:37

A sweet on-field discussion between two Jaguars players, Keelan Cole and Chris Conley, was caught on tape. The NFL players discussed giving a gift to a baby who was watching from the sidelines – and the exchange will melt your heart.

Tags: NFL, Players
From: feeds.cbsnews.com

Scientists offer roadmap for studying link between climate and armed conflict

07.07.2020 22:29

Climate change -- from rising temperatures and more severe heavy rain, to drought -- is increasing risks for economies, human security, and conflict globally. Scientists are leading an effort to better assess the climate-conflict link to help societies manage the complex risks of increased violence from a changing climate.

From: www.sciencedaily.com

Banzai 7 ft Kick ‘N Stick Foot Dart Game & Super Slide ‘N Bouncer Outdoor Inflatable Combo Pack - $499.99

07.07.2020 21:32

This Banzai 7 ft Kick 'N Stick Foot Dart Game & Super Slide 'N Bouncer Outdoor Inflatable Combo Pack ...

Tags: NFL
From: www.dealepic.com

Neuroarchitecture Applied in Children's Design

07.07.2020 21:30

It is unquestionable that environments directly influence the behavior and emotions of their users. Human beings spend approximately 90% of their lives indoors, making it imperative that the spaces we inhabit stimulate positive behavior and emotions, or at least don't influence us negatively. There exists a specific term describing the stimuli that the brain receives from its environment: neuroarchitecture. Several studies have been published on this topic, most focusing on its impact on work environments. This article approaches this concept through a different, yet essential lens: emphasizing its importance in the design of spaces for children in early childhood.

Tags: Children, EU, NFL, SPA
From: feedproxy.google.com

US notifies UN of withdrawal from WHO

07.07.2020 21:15

Washington: The Trump administration has formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the World Health Organization, although the pullout won't take effect until next year, meaning it could be rescinded under a new administration of if circumstances change. The withdrawal notification, delivered on Monday, makes good on President Donald Trump's vow in late May to terminate US participation in the WHO, which he has harshly criticized for its response to the coronavirus pandemic and accused of bowing to Chinese influence. The move was...

From: article.wn.com

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