Our picksFlesh-Eating Bacteria Spreads | Virtual Border Fence | Terrorism After the Pandemic, and more

Published 3 July 2020

·  Australia Has a Flesh-Eating-Bacteria Problem

·  Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops

·  CBP’s Outgoing Biometrics Lead on Law Enforcement Use of Facial Recognition

·  Government Seeks to Halt Release of Noncitizen Who Served Terrorism Sentence

·  Trump Administration Hires Tech Firm to Build a Virtual Border Wall, an Idea Democrats Have Praised

·  House Subcommittee Again Takes Aim at Amazon over Ring Surveillance

·  Court Nixes Use of DoD Funds for Border Wall

·  Prospect of a Coronavirus Vaccine Unites Anti-Vaxxers, Conspiracy Theorists and Hippie Moms in Germany

·  QAnon Conspiracy Theorists on the Ballot show Trump’s Influence on the GOP

·  Terrorism After the Pandemic

Australia Has a Flesh-Eating-Bacteria Problem (Brendan Borrell, The Atlantic)
In the beach towns south of Melbourne, everyone, it seems, knows someone who’s been attacked by a flesh-eating bacteria. Hundreds of Australians have gotten seriously ill with Buruli, a slow-moving horror show that has proved, in many ways, even more baffling to infectious-disease researchers than the novel coronavirus. After decades of research, scientists still aren’t certain who, or what, is spreading this strange malady around the world.

Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops (Eric Schmitt, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos, New York Times)

·  “United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, according to officials briefed on the matter. They believed at least one U.S. troop death was the result of the bounties.”

·  “The crucial information that led the spies and commandos to focus on the bounties included the recovery of a large amount of American cash from a raid on a Taliban outpost that prompted suspicions. Interrogations of captured militants and criminals played a central role in making the intelligence community confident in its assessment that the Russians had offered and paid bounties in 2019, another official has said.”

·  “Mr. Trump defended himself by denying the Times report that he had been briefed on the intelligence, expanding on a similar White House rebuttal a day earlier. But leading congressional Democrats and some Republicans demanded a response to Russia that, according to officials, the administration has yet to authorize. … But another official said there was broad agreement that the intelligence assessment was accurate, with some complexities because different aspects of the … resulted in some differences among agencies in how much confidence to put in each type.