Trump orders hardening of satellites against cyber treats

Over the past years, the Pentagon has become increasingly reliant on satellites to provide missile defense, secure communications, reconnaissance and global positioning systems. But those system are vulnerable to attack—not just by missiles that could knock them out but by an array of other means, including cyber attacks.

“Cyberthreats happen all the time, not just from China but also from non-state actors,” a senior administration official, not authorized to speak publicly told reporters. “So we need to secure our systems against a wide, wide range of potential threats. The threats are only getting more serious.”

The policy, however, lays out a series of broad principles — but not enforceable regulations — that encourage satellite operators to better harden their systems, in space and on the ground, against attacks and to abide by best practices. In many cases, the practices, such as encrypting satellite to ground links, are already in use.

But the policy highlights a vulnerability space and national security experts have been warning about for years. And it gives the issue the weight of the White House, which cast the measure as a broader attempt to combat cyberattacks, at a time when hackers are threatening to disrupt many facets of life.

In a report issued last year, the Aerospace Corporation, a federally funded research and development center, said that the “vulnerability of satellites and other space assets to cyberattack is often overlooked in wider discussions of cyber threats to critical national infrastructure.”

It said that generally “spacecraft have been considered relatively safe from cyber intrusions; however, recent emerging threats have brought spacecraft into play as a direct target of an adversary.”

In 2014, for example, American officials said China hacked a NOAA weather satellite. The hack only had a limited impact on its weather forecasts. But it showed how vulnerable the system was and how another nation could take advantage of it.

Like cyberattacks on the ground, hacks of satellites can have significant consequences, even allowing an adversary to seize control of a satellite, according to a report released earlier this year by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“A cyberattack on space systems can result in data loss, widespread disruptions, and even permanent loss of a satellite,” the report said.

In addition to national security, commerce and everyday life in the United States has become bound to space — from weather forecasts, to television, as well as the little blue GPS dot on many people’s phones that tracks their location as they navigate through a city. And so the White House said it needed to act.

“From communications to weather monitoring, Americans rely on capabilities provided by space systems in everyday life,” Scott Pace, the executive secretary of the National Space Council, said in a statement. “President Trump’s directive ensures the U.S. Government promotes practices to protect American space systems and capabilities from cyber vulnerabilities and malicious threats.”

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2022 Volkswagen ID4 EV Shows Off Its Simple, Tesla-Like Interior

A few months ago, we got a glimpse at the Volkswagen ID4 EV’s somewhat vanilla exterior. Well, it looks like the new electric car’s interior follows the same simple-is-better philosophy. In fact, we rather like the clean, uncluttered look, which reminds us of the Tesla Model 3’s pared-back cabin.

Like the most modern cars, the ID4 keeps the number of physical buttons at a minimum through a reliance on digital touchscreen displays. Both the instrument display—the ID4’s key difference from the Model 3 and Model Y, which lack a formal gauge cluster ahead of the driver—and the larger central touchscreen sit above the dashboard. The steering wheel, display housings, and control panels in the doors can be had in Piano Black or Electric White, depending on the buyer’s preference. Other noteworthy details? The brake pedal features a “pause” sign, and the accelerator features a “play” sign. Cheeky.

The Volkswagen ID4 will offer a fixed panoramic glass roof giving the cabin an airy feel. Also available is ambient interior lighting with 30 color choices, which is an easy way to spice up the plain interior. There’s another feature called ID Light, which is a light strip below the windscreen that signals whether the vehicle is locked or unlocked and notifies the driver of incoming calls. It also tells drivers if they need to brake to avoid a collision. Occupants sit up high in the ID4, and there are large door openings for easy access into the cabin. When the rear seats are up, the cargo bay measures 30.3 cubic feet, more than twice the amount of space offered in the Jetta sedan.

Volkswagen will fully unveil the ID4 on September 23. Hopefully by then, we’ll know all the U.S.-market specs. The first copies of the ID4 will hit dealerships in the U.S. by the end of the year, with the initial run of the small EV crossovers being imported from Europe initially. Eventually, copies for the U.S. will come from VW’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The ID4 will be sold across all 50 states through more than 600 VW dealers. Stay tuned for more details coming soon.

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1 of 3 orphaned black bear cubs found in Banff bathroom spotted on trail camera

One of the three orphaned black bears found in a washroom in Banff National Park three years ago was spotted on a wildlife camera Aug. 2.

“We captured a picture of this black bear, 1803, one of our rehab cubs from 2017,” said Blair Fyten, a human wildlife co-existence specialist with Parks Canada. “That was our first sighting of this particular bear.”

The bear’s identification number comes from the year on her ear tag (2018), and the three represents that she was the third black bear Parks Canada worked with that year.

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‘We may never know’ how bear cubs became stranded in Banff bathroom: Parks Canada

The female black bear, who’s now three-and-a-half years old, was photographed just three kilometres from where the cubs were released back into the wild in July 2018.

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“Our staff was very happy to see that one of these bears has survived,” Fyten told Global News.

“She looked in pretty good shape — a bit on the lanky side, but that’s what you’d expect for a teenager. It’s kind of typical for bears that age… scraggly hair,” he said.

After two years in the Banff National Park backcountry on her own, “she’s doing quite well.”






Bear cubs found in bathroom in Banff explore their enclosure at Ontario rehab facility


Bear cubs found in bathroom in Banff explore their enclosure at Ontario rehab facility

The three bear cubs were found in a roadside bathroom on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Banff on April 1, 2017.

After searching for three days and checking wildlife cameras, workers could not find the mother bear.

Due to provincial rules regarding rescue and rehab of bears in Alberta, Parks Canada sent the three female cubs to Ontario for rehabilitation. More than a year later, on July 17, 2018, the trio was released back into Banff’s backcountry.

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Orphaned bear cubs heading back to Banff National Park in July


Orphaned bear cubs heading back to Banff National Park in July

Parks Canada confirmed one cub didn’t make it. Staff tracked her GPS collar to a location and found her carcass and evidence that she likely died from a grizzly bear attack.

Three orphaned black bears were released back into the Banff backcountry July 17, 2018.

Three orphaned black bears were released back into the Banff backcountry July 17, 2018.


Courtesy: Parks Canada

Fyten said it was encouraging to see footage proving at least one of the three cubs was alive and well. The status of the third one is unknown. The GPS collars on the surviving two bears slipped off that first spring in the wild, but there was no evidence they died or were attacked, Fyten said.

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“There’s still one we don’t know about,” he said. “It could be out there. It might not be.”

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Future uncertain

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Schiff asks intel officials to brief House panel on election security threats

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffRussia ‘amplifying’ concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election: report Democrats demand answers on report DHS withheld Russian election interference intelligence Top House Democrats demand Ratcliffe hold previously scheduled election security briefings MORE (D-Calif.) on Friday formally requested that senior officials within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) brief the House panel on election security threats later this month.

The request to participate in the classified briefing came days after Director of National Intelligence John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeRussia ‘amplifying’ concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election: report Top Democrats press Trump to sanction Russian individuals over 2020 election interference efforts Democrats demand answers on report DHS withheld Russian election interference intelligence MORE announced that ODNI would no longer conduct in-person congressional election security briefings and would instead submit written assessments.

Schiff requested that William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, along with Intelligence Community Threats Executive Shelby Pierson and other ODNI officials who previously briefed Congress on election security concerns participate in a Sept. 17 classified House Intelligence briefing.

The House chairman wrote that the briefing would focus on “election security, foreign malign influence, and election interference,” with Schiff noting that he “expects” Evanina and Pierson to participate.

The chairman also sent the request for a briefing to other agencies that have participated in classified election security briefings in February and July, including the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and their Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

ODNI did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment on the requested briefing.

Democrats including Schiff have criticized Ratcliffe for suspending the in-person briefings, with Schiff and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Mnuchin, Pelosi reach informal deal to avoid government shutdown | Trump eviction ban tests limits of CDC authority | Initial jobless claims hit 881,000; unadjusted claims tick up Mnuchin, Pelosi reach informal deal to avoid government shutdown Ending counterproductive, counterintuitive regulation MORE (D-Calif.) saying in a joint statement last week that the decision constituted a “shocking abdication” of ODNI’s “lawful responsibility to keep the Congress currently informed.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGermany says Kremlin critic was poisoned with same nerve agent used in UK attack Democrats demand Ratcliffe resume in-person congressional election security briefings The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump encouraged to call for calm during Wisconsin visit MORE (R-Fla.) put out a statement earlier this week noting that Ratcliffe had promised to continue providing in-person briefings to the Senate panel on election security, but emphasizing that “congressional oversight of intelligence activities now faces a historic crisis.”

Ratcliffe said during an appearance on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures” earlier this week that he made the decision to suspend the in-person briefings following “leaks” of information from past briefings.

“I reiterated to Congress, look, I’m going to keep you fully and currently informed, as required

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Billy Joel reschedules Madison Square Garden concerts for late 2021, early 2022

MANHATTAN — Billy Joel is rescheduling six of his regular Madison Square Garden concerts for late in 2021 and early in 2022.

The Long Island piano man will resume his monthly residency at the Garden on Nov. 5, 2021 for a show that was initially slated to take place 19 of 2020. Shows originally scheduled for April through August of this year will be rescheduled.

Tickets for the original show dates and initial rescheduled show dates will be valid for the corresponding new rescheduled dates in 2021 and 2022.

Ticketholders can request a refund over the next 30 days, beginning today, if they cannot commit to the new rescheduled show date. If a refund is not requested during the allotted time, tickets will automatically be transferred to the new rescheduled show date and no action is needed by the ticketholder.

Billy Joel began his residency at Madison Square Garden in January of 2014. The run of shows has lasted 73 sold out concerts at the World’s Most Famous Arena.

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House Democrats decry efforts to shut down Stars and Stripes newspaper

House Democrats who served in the armed forces harshly criticized the Trump administration’s decision to pull the plug on the Stars and Stripes news outlet, and vowed to fight to keep the military newspaper funded.

“I read it on active duty when I served in Guam, and it is something that is improving the quality of life for military families and military personnel, and I cannot understand why we would get rid of the Stars and Stripes,” Rep. Ted Lieu, California Democrat, told reporters on a press call Friday afternoon.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the $15.5 million typically set aside for the independent newspaper needed to be reallocated to more critical programs at the Pentagon.

The money was left out of the department’s annual budget request this year and officials on Capitol Hill said there was a request to cease publishing Stars and Stripes by September 30 and “completely dissolve” the paper by the end of January.

USA Today reported on Friday that the Pentagon circulated a memo saying the paper will implement a shutdown plan by September 15th.

The paper’s supporters on Capitol Hill pushed back earlier this week, sending a letter to Mr. Esper calling for him to restore its funding.

Mr. Lieu, who served in the United States Air Force and currently serves as a colonel in the reserves, and Rep. Jason Crow, Colorado Democrat, a former Army Ranger, said Friday they plan on keeping pressure on the administration— and hope to get some support from Republicans.

“If the president doesn’t care about the quality of life of our service members and our families, which is quite evident at this point, Congress does, and we’re going to make sure that that doesn’t happen,” Mr. Crow said.

Their comments about the military newspaper came as part of a larger critique from a handful of former service members now working in the House on the president’s performance as commander in chief.

In particular, they slammed the president in light of allegations he called fallen troops ‘suckers’ and ‘losers’ during a trip to France.

The Atlantic released a report late Thursday night citing four anonymous sources “with firsthand knowledge” that claimed the president canceled his visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in November 2018 by falsely blaming rain and a helicopter that couldn’t fly.

“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” the president allegedly told aides. The article also states that the president referred to the more than 1,800 Marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood in World War I as “suckers” for getting killed.

Despite the story relying on unnamed sources, the Democratic lawmakers said it fit with a pattern of Mr. Trump disrespecting others who sacrificed like the late Sen. John McCain and the Gold Star Khan family, who lost their son in the line of duty.

— Mike Glenn contributed to this report.

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Find a Touch of Tranquility With a Zen Garden

A Zen garden is a dry Japanese garden composed of sand and rocks. Miniature ones can live on your desk or on a windowsill, where you can rearrange the stones or mini bonsai trees and rake through the fine sand to your heart’s content. Here are the ones we’re shopping for.



a vase of flowers sitting on top of a wooden table: Take a much-needed work break to rake through your garden.


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Take a much-needed work break to rake through your garden.



a close up of a piece of paper: Rearrange the small stones into delightful patterns.


© Provided by BetterYou
Rearrange the small stones into delightful patterns.

The ripples or swirls caused by raking the sand in Zen gardens are meant to represent water. This is called samon. As a calming exercise, you can create your own designs in the sand using miniature bamboo rakes that come in each kit.



This option is smaller than a sheet of paper, and also comes in a dreamy shade of pale blue.


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This option is smaller than a sheet of paper, and also comes in a dreamy shade of pale blue.

You can also rearrange the small rocks in Zen gardens to make custom patterns, or follow classical patterns, in which the stones represent waterfalls, mountains or boats journeying on the river of life.



a vase of flowers sitting on top of a wooden table: Take a much-needed work break to rake through your garden.


© Hubert & Quinn
Take a much-needed work break to rake through your garden.

A Zen garden is meant to be a meditative experience—so look for one with a variety of rakes or stones to comb through when your mind is running a million miles an hour. You can always add your own accessories for more variety.

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No more chokeholds, no-knock warrants, Virginia House says in mostly party-line votes

The passage of the 11 police-overhaul bills, which now must be voted on by the state Senate and signed by Gov. Ralph Northam (D) if they are to go into effect, mark key points in the House Democrats’ legislative agenda for the special session, which began in person on Aug. 18 and has since been conducted online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats won the majority in both chambers of the General Assembly last fall after decades of control by the Republican Party.

Also on Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed into law a package of bills, advanced by Democrats and passed by both chambers last week, that would broaden access to absentee voting, including creating drop boxes for ballots — another key issue for Democrats.

“Virginia is making it easier to vote in the upcoming election—not harder,” Northam tweeted Friday afternoon.

Only one measure Democrats put forward was defeated — a bill that would have allowed victims to sue police if an officer failed to intervene when a victim was deprived of their rights by another officer. That bill was defeated by a single vote.

Republicans attacked the bills as “anti-police,” but Democrats asserted that elected officials ought to listen to their constituents as well as police, many of whom supported some of the bills.

“While people say we’ve been rushing, we’ve been waiting for quite some time,” Del. Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico) said during debates on the bills Thursday. “This is not a war against police. This is a war for justice, for each and every citizen of the Commonwealth.”

Del. Ronnie Campbell (R-Rockbridge), objecting to the proposal to ban police use of neck restraints such as chokeholds, noted that the Senate has amended its bill to allow exceptions if the officer is in fear for his life. Without chokeholds, police would have no option when in a fight but to pull their gun, he said.

But House Democrats would not allow a similar amendment, asserting that police have other options to control suspects.

House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) said some members of his party would have supported some of the bills if the majority had been willing to compromise.

“Much of the legislation rammed through today by Democrats had the potential to be thoughtful reforms of how police do businesses,” he said in a statement after Friday’s session. “Sadly, the majority was so bent on punishing law enforcement that they refused to listen to reason.”

The bills that passed the House would:

● ban sexual relations between officers and arrestees;

● eliminate minor pretexts for traffic stops;

● codify the ability of prosecutors to dismiss charges;

● ban no-knock search warrants;

● require any officer to report the misconduct of another;

● require police to stop the use of excessive force by another officer;

● allow decertification of an officer who is fired or resigns due to violation of law or departmental policies and procedures, or during an internal investigation;

● ban the use of chokeholds;

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Eli Broad gives sleek Malibu beach house a $5.5-million price chop

Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad just lowered the price of his Malibu beach house a second time, trimming the tag down to $62 million. It originally hit the market in February for $75 million and resurfaced in July at $67.5 million, records show.



a large lawn in front of a building: The Malibu beach house of billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad was designed by Getty Center architect Richard Meier. (Berlyn Photography)


© (Berlyn Photography )
The Malibu beach house of billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad was designed by Getty Center architect Richard Meier. (Berlyn Photography)

The 87-year-old Broad, whose net worth is estimated at $6.9 billion, still stands to make a hefty profit. Broad paid $5.65 million for the two parcels in the late 1990s, records show, and commissioned Richard Meier to design the sleek, futuristic home now for sale.

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Completed in 2002, Meier’s slightly curvaceous modern design bears a strong resemblance to the Getty Center, one of the Pritzker Prize-winning architect’s other projects.

The gated estate spans nearly half an acre, centering on a waterfront home of roughly 5,400 square feet. Dramatic walls of glass overlook the ocean, and multiple decks and lawns descend to 105 feet of beach.

Clean, whitewashed living spaces include a two-story entry and a spacious living and dining area with modern fixtures and a fireplace. The master suite — one of five bedrooms and seven bathrooms — includes a balcony, sauna and scenic lounge. A similarly styled guest house completes the property.

Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency holds the listing.

A native of New York, Broad co-founded Kaufman & Broad Home Corp. and founded the Los Angeles-based retirement savings firm SunAmerica, which he sold in 1999 in a multibillion-dollar stock deal.

A major influence on L.A.’s art scene, Broad helped create and establish the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1979 and is a life trustee of the L.A. County Museum of Art. He also founded the Broad museum in downtown Los Angeles to house the collection of contemporary art that he and his wife, Edythe, have amassed.

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Stunning gardens owned by finalists of our National Garden Competition: but who will win?

Over the 25 years it’s been running, the Daily Mail’s National Garden Competition has shown how many wonderful gardens there are in Britain. 

For many of us, it’s our gardens that have kept us going this year, so it’s not surprising that the standard for 2020 was so high that the judges, led by renowned garden designer Tim Sharples, had a hard job whittling the 2,000 or so entries down to just four finalists.

‘It amazes us that we still flush out such fantastic gardens after all these years,’ says judge Hamish Webb. ‘The final four are all so different, yet perfectly reflect their creators. One thing we heard again and again was that gardens had saved these folk during the lockdown.’

Our winner will receive £2,000 and the legendary winner’s blue plaque. Read about the four finalists here, and decide which would be your choice. 

The judges’ verdict will be announced at the end of September in Weekend.

A TASTE OF JAPAN IN SOUTH YORKSHIRE 

Terry Wallace, 84, and his wife Rita, 80, both worked in supermarkets before retiring. They live in Sheffield.

‘We’ve lived here for 52 years. The house was a year or two old when we bought it, and the garden was just lawn front and back,’ says Terry. 

‘We started working on the garden within a week of moving in, even though we were also working on the house and didn’t have much money to spend. 

Terry Wallace, 84, and his wife Rita, 80, both worked in supermarkets before retiring. They live in Sheffield

Terry Wallace, 84, and his wife Rita, 80, both worked in supermarkets before retiring. They live in Sheffield

‘We were so impatient to get started. The front garden and the back garden are quite different. We call the front garden, which is about 21ft by 30ft, our Spanish Garden. 

‘It has a 16ft tall palm, and colourful plants like fuchsias, lobelias, agapanthus and pelargoniums. 

‘There’s a small trough with a pool and some of my collection of bonsai. It’s popular with the neighbours – we get lots of nice comments as people walk by. 

Japanese statues nestle among Lobelia cardinalis in the back garden - and Terry says they get lots of nice comments as people walk by

Japanese statues nestle among Lobelia cardinalis in the back garden – and Terry says they get lots of nice comments as people walk by

‘The back garden is slightly bigger and has a different feel. It’s largely inspired by my love of Japanese art and my admiration for Japanese gardens.

‘I’ve never been to Japan, although I feel a connection with it. 

‘There are a lot of Japanese-style ornaments and figures, little pagodas and statues, which I made myself from concrete, and rocks and stone which I’ve brought into the garden, carrying them all myself. 

What the judges said

 ‘A truly individual and life-long project, marrying an eclectic range of gardening influences to create a very personal and beautiful oasis.’ 

‘My grandchildren – Rita and I have a total of 18 grandchildren and great-grandchildren – can’t believe I used to carry all that weight myself.

‘One of my passions is for bonsai. My oldest is 45 years old and I have about 16 of them. 

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