10.11.2022

Airport Cyberattack, North Korea, and Italy's Stromboli Volcano Everything you need to know for the day in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, Oct. 11, and we're covering a Russia-affiliated cyberattack on US airports, the latest on North Korea's string of missile tests, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

 

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Russian Hack Hits US Airports

The websites of several major US airports temporarily went offline yesterday, taken down by what is believed to be a cyberattack by a Russia-affiliated hacker group. Locations affected included Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International, Chicago's O'Hare International, and Los Angeles International—each among the top 10 busiest airports in the world. Officials reported minimal disruption from the denial-of-service attack (see 101), which prevents access to a website by overwhelming servers with false traffic. 

 

The cyberattacks came in parallel to intense Russian shelling of a number of Ukrainian cities, retaliation for a weekend attack that significantly damaged the lone bridge connecting Russia with the Crimean Peninsula. At least 11 people were killed and more than 60 injured in strikes that fell from the western city of Lviv to Kharkiv in the northeast.  

 

Meanwhile, reports suggest the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south has pushed to within about 16 miles of the outskirts of the city of Kherson, which has been occupied by Russian forces since March. See updates here.

Harvey Weinstein Trial

Jury selection began yesterday in Los Angeles in the sexual assault trial of former film producer Harvey Weinstein, who is already serving more than two decades in prison for a 2020 rape conviction in New York. The latest criminal charges of rape and sexual assault are based on accusations from five women who say Weinstein assaulted them in separate incidents between 2004-13. If convicted, 70-year-old Weinstein faces life in prison in California. 

 

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), is among the five women who are set to testify. The trial begins as the film "She Said," based on the 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times exposé of Weinstein, debuts at the New York Film Festival this week.

 

The multiple probes into Weinstein's behavior are considered one of the most significant catalysts for the #MeToo movement

North Korea Missile Launches

North Korea's state-run media shared images yesterday of leader Kim Jong Un overseeing recent weapons tests, with officials describing the tests as a simulation of an attack on South Korea. The press blitz came as the country marked 77 years under its ruling Korean Workers' Party. 

 

The country has conducted a record number of missile tests this year—25 total, with seven in the last two weeks—including its first simulated launch of a tactical nuclear weapon. Observers say the tests underscore North Korea's plans to build military capabilities following failed disarmament talks with the US in 2019.

 

US intelligence has long viewed North Korea's nuclear ambitions as both a deterrent against attacks and a tool of coercive diplomacy, leveraging the threat to force Western countries to lift sanctions. Reports suggest the country may soon carry out its first nuclear test since 2017 (how underground tests work). 

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with Mizzen+Main

> The 2022-23 NHL regular season begins in earnest tonight; see season preview for all 32 teams (More)

 

> "That 70's Show" actor Danny Masterson's rape trial begins today; Masterson faces 45 years in prison if convicted of all three charges (More)

 

> MLB Playoffs Division Series begins today; see preview for all four of today's matchups (More) | See full schedule and bracket (More)

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Science & Technology

> Intel confirms parts of the source code to its 12th generation Intel Core processer leaked to the 4chan message board; unclear whether data were obtained via a hack or company insider (More)

 

> New study maps more than 200 direct surface-to-surface contacts between SARS-CoV-2 and human cells; findings expected to aid in development of vaccines for future coronaviruses (More) | See US COVID-19 stats here (More)

 

> Researchers develop technique to noninvasively measure 3D blood flow in the brains of preterm infants; technique may allow easier diagnosis of heart and blood vessel conditions following birth (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.8%, Dow -0.3%, Nasdaq -1.0%); Nasdaq falls to lowest level since September 2020 (More)

 

> Amazon to invest more than 1 billion euros in European electric vehicle fleet over next five years (More)

 

> PayPal, Alibaba, and Walmart top Fortune’s annual Change the World list of companies combining profit and purpose (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Nobel Prize in economic sciences awarded to former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, University of Chicago professor Douglas Diamond, and Washington University in St. Louis professor Philip Dybvig (More)

 

Trial begins today for Igor Danchenko, an analyst who helped compile a heavily disputed dossier alleging ties between former President Donald Trump and Russia during the 2016 election (More) | Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez resigns following leaked audio of racist comments (More) | Uvalde, Texas, school district superintendent Hal Harrell announces retirement (More

 

> Iranian oil workers went on strike yesterday, joining ongoing mass antigovernment protests across the country over morality laws and the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

The Journalist and the Cartel

The Guardian | Jessica Loudis. In July 2021, one of the best-known journalists in the Netherlands was shot and killed after leaving a television studio in broad daylight. Who killed him and why? (Read)

The Republic of Molossia

Insider | Joshua Zitser. An introduction to Kevin Baugh, president of Molossia, a one-acre micronation in the Nevada desert that has currency tied to the value of cookie dough. (Read)

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ETCETERA

 

Photos of this month's glowing Hunter's Moon

 

An animated map of water on Mars.

 

Watch Italy's Stromboli volcano erupt

 

Why "Star Trek" actor William Shatner felt sad visiting space

 

The 5,000-year-old history of writer's block

 

... and a visual history of WNBA sneakers.

 

A 1950s purse found inside former Texas school.

 

An adorable bunny with a very important job. (via Reddit)

 

Clickbait: The iPhone 14 keeps calling 911 on rollercoasters.

 

Historybook: Earthquake in Aleppo, Syria, kills 230,000 people (1138); Eleanor Roosevelt born (1884); "Saturday Night Live" premieres (1975); Kathryn D. Sullivan becomes first American woman to perform spacewalk (1984); ... and Alexei Leonov, first person to ever perform spacewalk, dies (2019).

 

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face."

- Eleanor Roosevelt

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