Daily Dispatches
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Midday Roundup: Russian gang commits worldwide email hack

Newsworthy

Security breach. A Russian cyber gang has hacked email accounts around the world. Experts say the Russian crime ring has hacked almost one-third of the world’s email accounts. That’s more than 1 billion usernames and passwords stolen in what may be the largest data breach ever. The Milwaukee firm Hold Security revealed the breach, but gave no details of how it was done or who the targets were. Victims of the breach range from individuals to small businesses to multinational corporations. Experts say the best defense against hackers is to change passwords frequently.

Symbolic justice. A UN-backed tribunal today convicted two former leaders of the Khmer Rouge, the communist group that exterminated a quarter of the Cambodian population in the 1970s. The verdicts are the first and possibly the last to be issued against the group’s aging, top members. Though survivors welcomed the decision to impose life sentences against Khieu Samphan, an 83-year-old former head of state, and Nuon Chea, the movement’s 88-year-old chief ideologue, they also said justice has come far too late.

Ebola’s track. Five confirmed cases of Ebola in Nigeria have led to a national health emergency. The victims in Africa’s most populous nation are health care workers who cared for an American of Liberian descent who flew into Nigeria last month. The man, Patrick Sawyer, was Nigeria’s first Ebola death. The second happened Wednesday when one of his nurses died. Sawyer came into contact with 70 people, all of whom are being monitored and some who have been quarantined. The situation in Nigeria is causing concern that the disease might spread around the world. Anthony Fauci with the National Institutes of Health told CBS that someone appearing healthy in West Africa could board a flight to the United States and later get sick from the virus after landing. But if that happened, U.S. officials could contain the virus by putting the traveler under the appropriate isolation.

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Supermarket sanctions. Russia banned most food imports from the West on Thursday in retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine. The ban covers all imports of meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, milk, and milk products from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada, and Norway. It will last for one year and cost farmers in North America, Europe, and Australia billions of dollars, but it likely also will lead to empty shelves in Russia. The announcement shows President Vladimir Putin is prepared to inflict significant damage on his own nation in an economic war with the West. U.S. and the EU officials have sanctioned individuals and companies in Russia in retaliation for Moscow’s support of separatists in Ukraine. Moscow denies supporting the rebels and accuses the West of blocking attempts at a political settlement by encouraging Kiev to use brutal force to crush the insurgency.

The Associated Press, Kent Covington, and Jim Henry contributed to this report.

Lynde Langdon
Lynde Langdon

Lynde lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. She holds degrees from the University of Missouri in journalism, Russian, and business administration. She is in a long-term, committed relationship with the Lutheran church. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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