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Failed Levee Near Taylor Bayou Could Compromise Portion of Jefferson County - Texas

A hole in the basin near Taylor Bayou created a shift in the dirt and the wall where the levee exists, County Judge Jeff Branick tells KFDM/KBTV. It is not clear what caused the hole. There is no timetable for repairs but workers are attempting a temporary fix. They were building a pad at the levee late Monday morning. There is also no official cost estimate of the fix. The levee is close to the Valero docks. (KFDM/KBTV photo)

kfdm.com - by Angel San Juan and Brandon Scott - August 7, 2017

A failed levee near Taylor Bayou could compromise a portion of Jefferson County south of Beaumont - mainly Port Arthur and its surrounding refineries - if a tropical storm or hurricane hit the area, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In a news release dated Aug. 4, the Corps states it was notified by Jefferson County Drainage District-7 of a failure of a section of floodwall near Taylor Bayou last Tuesday morning.

A hole in the basin created a shift in the dirt and the wall where the levee exists, County Judge Jeff Branick tells KFDM/KBTV.

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Haitians Found at Sea Show Dire Conditions Could Worsen on Island Nation

reuters.com - by Sebastien Malo - July 13, 2017

U.S. authorities sent home some 100 Haitian immigrants discovered on a rickety boat this week, the most found at sea in more than a year and a sign of more people likely to flee the impoverished island, advocates said on Thursday.

Haitians are struggling to survive a homeland devastated by natural disasters and disease, and the situation could worsen if U.S. officials return home more than 50,000 Haitians in the United States on temporary visas, they said.

Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has cast uncertainty over whether to extend a special immigration status that has been granted to Haitians since a 2010 earthquake.

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Elon Musk: Artificial Intelligence Is Society's Biggest Risk

           

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk responds to a question by Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval during the National Governors Association's meeting Saturday Providence, R.I. (STEPHAN SAVOIA/AP)

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO urged governors to regulate artificial intelligence before it's too late.

usnews.com - by Casey Leins - July 16, 2017

Artificial intelligence is the "biggest risk that we face as a civilization" Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said Saturday, speaking to state leaders on the last day of the National Governors Association summer meeting.

The business magnate participated in a question and answer session with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, the incoming chair of the National Governors Association, whose initiative explores how state leaders can prepare for and benefit from innovative technologies.

Musk made his stance clear that governors must address artificial intelligence proactively, or it will be too late.

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Here’s the public evidence that supports the idea that Russia interfered in the 2016 election

washingtonpost.com - by Philip Bump - July 6, 2017

. . . “I think it was Russia,” Trump said, “but I think it was probably other people and/or countries, and I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.”

There’s a lot packed into that statement: a cursory acceptance of the consensus view that Russia was involved, a shadow of doubt overlaid with the idea that Russia didn’t act alone, and a blanket shrug at the idea that the truth was really knowable . . .

. . . we’ve cobbled together the publicly available information to demonstrate why a layperson might have reasonable confidence that Russia was behind the election hacks — even if Trump, with access to a fuller set of information, does not concur.

CLICK HERE - READ COMPLETE ARTICLE

(LINKS TO SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION FOR THIS ARTICLE WILL BE PROVIDED WITHIN A COMMENT BELOW THIS POST)

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U.S. Warns Businesses of Hacking Campaign Against Nuclear, Energy Firms

Department of Homeland Security emblem is pictured at the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) located just outside Washington in Arlington, Virginia September 24, 2010. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang/File Photo

reuters.com - by Jim Finkle - June 30, 2017

The U.S government warned industrial firms this week about a hacking campaign targeting the nuclear and energy sectors, the latest event to highlight the power industry's vulnerability to cyber attacks.

Since at least May, hackers used tainted "phishing" emails to "harvest credentials" so they could gain access to networks of their targets, according to a joint report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The report provided to the industrial firms was reviewed by Reuters on Friday. While disclosing attacks, and warning that in some cases hackers succeeded in compromising the networks of their targets, it did not identify any specific victims.

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United States - Russia - Cyber Weapons

In January 1982, President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline.

This week it is being reported that former President Barack Obama authorized the planting of cyber weapons in Russian infrastructure in the final weeks of his presidency in response to Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The project, not completed before the end of Obama’s term, reportedly left the weapons in President Trump’s control after he took office.

In 1982 the Soviets were at least a decade behind the West in computers and microelectronics. Since then, the Russians are thought to have caught up with western technology, and might now have the same capabilities as the United States.

If a cyber war of this nature were to break out in the future . . . who would be on the front lines?

Documentation for these occurrences will be posted within the links below, including a summary on the 1982 incident from the C.I.A. . . .

CLICK HERE - Reagan Approved Plan to Sabotage Soviets

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Infectious Disease Is the Next Big Global Security Risk

The World Is Not Ready for the Next Pandemic

           

John Hackett and Charles Chiu handle Zika samples at the University of California, San Francisco-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center - Cody Pickens for TIME

time.com - by Bryan Walsh - May 4, 2017

 . . . From Ebola in West Africa to Zika in South America to MERS in the Middle East, dangerous outbreaks are on the rise around the world . . . 

 . . . The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks H7N9 as the flu strain with the greatest potential to cause a pandemic--an infectious-disease outbreak that goes global. If a more contagious H7N9 were to be anywhere near as deadly as it is now, the death toll could be in the tens of millions.

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The Real Threat to National Security: Deadly Disease

Credit Niv Bavarsky

nytimes.com - by MICHAEL T. OSTERHOLM and MARK OLSHAKER
March 24, 2017

While the Trump administration is proposing significantly increased military spending to enhance our national security, it seems to have lost sight of the greatest national security threat of all: our fight against infectious disease.

We already spend far more on our military than any other country in the world. To help pay for the increases, President Trump wants to cut back many federal programs, including those that prepare us to wage war against microbes, the greatest and most lethal enemy we are ever likely to face. This is where “defense spending” needs to increase, significantly.

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Trump’s Defense Secretary Cites Climate Change as National Security Challenge

           

James Mattis, then the secretary of defense nominee, arrives at a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing on Jan. 12, 2017. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

propublica.org - by Andrew Revkin - March 14, 2017

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has asserted that climate change is real, and a threat to American interests abroad and the Pentagon’s assets everywhere, a position that appears at odds with the views of the president who appointed him and many in the administration in which he serves.

In unpublished written testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee after his confirmation hearing in January, Mattis said it was incumbent on the U.S. military to consider how changes like open-water routes in the thawing Arctic and drought in global trouble spots can pose challenges for troops and defense planners. He also stressed this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if.

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Bill Gates Warns Tens of Millions Could be Killed by Bio-Terrorism

           

Bio-terrorism could kill 30 million people in a year, says Bill Gates

Microsoft founder and philanthropist tells Munich security conference genetic engineering could be terrorist weapon

theguardian.com - Bill Gates / Ewen MacAskill - February 18, 2017

A chilling warning that tens of millions of people could be killed by bio-terrorism was delivered at the Munich security conference by the world’s richest man, Bill Gates

Gates, who has spent much of the last 20 years funding a global health campaign, said: “We ignore the link between health security and international security at our peril.”

Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft who has spent billions in a philanthropic drive to improve health worldwide, said: “The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus ... or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu.”

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CLICK HERE - Munich Security Conference

 

 

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