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First ever criminal trial of former US President goes to jury


Jurors in Donald Trump’s hush money trial finished their first day of closed-door deliberations on Wednesday without reaching a verdict. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Prague on Wednesday to attend an informal gathering of NATO foreign ministers. Polling stations closed across South Africa on Wednesday after a day of long lines as voters turned out in force for a pivotal election that could see the African National Congress (ANC) party lose its majority after 30 years in power. And giant pandas are returning to the National Zoo in Washington.

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Hong Kong Convicts 14 Activists, Acquits 2 in ‘Trial of the Pro-Democracy Movement’


Hong Kong Finds 14 Guilty in Biggest National Security Case

A Hong Kong court found 14 opposition figures guilty in the city’s largest-yet national security trial that targeted scores of pro-democracy activists.

Judges in the once-freewheeling finance hub convicted the defendants of subversion charges under a 2020 national security law imposed by Beijing in the wake of mass street protests calling for greater freedoms.

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A total of 47 people, including prominent activist Joshua Wong and former lawmaker Claudia Mo, were accused of conspiring to subvert state power by holding unofficial primary elections. Sixteen contested the charges and received verdicts Thursday.

Read More: How Hong Kong’s Fight for Freedom Is a Global Battle

The defendants had hoped to secure a majority in the former British colony’s legislature. That would have given them the power to block the city leader’s agenda, and even theoretically force the chief executive to resign by rejecting budget proposals.

“This is a trial of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong,” said Eric Lai, research fellow at Georgetown Center for Asian Law. “The court verdict would set examples of whether non-violent assemblies or civil voting, activities that have a long tradition in Hong Kong, are now deemed national security crimes.”

Two of the defendants, former district councilors Lawrence Lau and Lee Yu-shun, were found not guilty.

The verdicts signaled the government’s determination to crack down on political dissent, after China’s sweeping national security law silenced street protests and pressured dozens of opposition groups to disband. They were handed down by three High Court judges selected from a panel handpicked by the city’s former leader.

Read More: How Beijing’s National Security Crackdown Transformed Hong Kong in a Single Month

More than 200 members of public watched the trial at the court in western Kowloon, with some lining up overnight. Diplomats including those from the E.U., France and U.S. were among foreign representatives observing the hearing.

Most defendants were denied bail since their arrests three years ago, and face a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced. The severity of punishments will reflect the extent of pressure faced by courts to “fully toe the government’s line on all elements of the national security law,” said Thomas Kellogg, executive director at Georgetown Center for Asian Law.

The rulings come as authorities seek to burnish the city’s reputation as a destination for businesses and tourists after its image was dented by its pandemic self-isolation and political unrest.

Authorities signaled its intent to continue cracking down on perceived threats this week by using a new national security law for the first time, arresting an imprisoned former activist for allegedly making seditious Facebook posts from behind bars with the help of others.

At least 299 people have been arrested and 159 charged under the national security law or a colonial-era sedition law since July 2020, according to research by ChinaFile and data compiled by Bloomberg. That includes Jimmy Lai, the 76-year-old media mogul who faces life in prison in a months-long trial over security charges.


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International Authorities Arrest Man Allegedly Behind ‘Likely the World’s Largest Botnet Ever’


Hacker using laptop. Lots of digits on the computer screen.

WASHINGTON — An international law enforcement team has arrested a Chinese national and disrupted a major botnet that officials said he ran for nearly a decade, amassing at least $99 million in profits by reselling access to criminals who used it for identity theft, child exploitation, and financial fraud, including pandemic relief scams.

The U.S. Department of Justice quoted FBI Director Christopher Wray as saying Wednesday that the “911 S5” botnet—a network of malware-infected computers in nearly 200 countries—was “likely the world’s largest.”

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Justice said in a news release that Yunhe Wang, 35, was arrested May 24. Wang was arrested in Singapore, and search warrants were executed there and in Thailand, the FBI’s deputy assistant director for cyber operations, Brett Leatherman, said in a LinkedIn post. Authorities also seized $29 million in cryptocurrency, Leatherman said.

Read More: Influencers Are Scamming Their Fans Through Crypto. Here’s How Their Tactics Have Evolved.

Cybercriminals used Wang’s network of zombie residential computers to steal “billions of dollars from financial institutions, credit card issuers and accountholders, and federal lending programs since 2014,” according to an indictment filed in Texas’ eastern district.

The administrator, Wang, sold access to the 19 million Windows computers he hijacked—more than 613,000 in the United States—to criminals who “used that access to commit a staggering array of crimes that victimized children, threatened people’s safety and defrauded financial institutions and federal lending programs,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in announcing the takedown.

Read More: Why Gen Z Is Surprisingly Susceptible to Financial Scams

He said criminals who purchased access to the zombie network from Wang were responsible for more than $5.9 billion in estimated losses due to fraud against relief programs. Officials estimated 560,000 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims originated from compromised IP addresses.

Wang allegedly managed the botnet through 150 dedicated servers, half of them leased from U.S.-based online service providers.

The indictment says Wang used his illicit gains to purchase 21 properties in the United States, China, Singapore, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and St. Kitts and Nevis, where it said he obtained citizenship through investment.

In its news release, the Justice Department thanked police and other authorities in Singapore and Thailand for their assistance.


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ENISA: Число кибератак в ЕС удвоилось за последние месяцы


За многими атаками на европейскую инфраструктуру могут стоять хакеры, связанные с Россией, полагает глава ENISA Юхан Лепассаар.

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Бросили вызов Западу: эксперт проанализировал сотрудничество России и Китая


Визит Путина в Китай подчеркивает меняющуюся динамику формирования мирового порядка.

В сфере глобальной геополитики каждый внешнеполитический шаг имеет значительный вес, особенно когда в нем участвуют лидеры ведущих стран мира. Недавний визит президента России Владимира Путина в Китай вызвал значительный интерес и спекуляции, особенно относительно его последствий для Индии. В условиях, когда две такие влиятельные державы мира, как Россия и Китай, налаживают все более тесные связи, несомненно, что это имеет последствия, выходящие за рамки их двусторонних отношений. В последнее время президент Путин и председатель КНР Си Цзиньпин провели ряд личных встреч на высшем уровне, помимо многочисленных онлайн-контактов.

Началу специальной военной операции России на Украине в феврале 2022 года предшествовала встреча глав двух государств. Здесь две страны объявили друг другу о “партнерстве без границ”. Для Индии, расположенной в середине этого геополитического разворота, последствия оказываются весьма многогранными и требующими тщательного анализа.

Фон, на котором разворачивался визит Путина в Китай – новое российское наступление в Харьковской области – может помочь оценить эти последствия для нашей страны. Связи между Россией и Китаем за последние годы претерпели значительную трансформацию: от отношений, характеризовавшихся подозрительностью и конкуренцией в эпоху холодной войны, к стратегическому партнерству в XXI веке. Эти отношения “без границ” обусловлены различными факторами, включая общие опасения по поводу гегемонии Соединенных Штатов, экономические интересы и совпадение взглядов по многим международным проблемам.

Тревожное товарищество

Одним из заявленных ключевых направлений сотрудничества России и Китая является сфера энергетики. Две страны заключили большие энергетические соглашения, включая строительство трубопроводов и продажу природного газа, что укрепило их экономические связи. Визит Путина в Китай включал обсуждение дальнейшего углубления энергетического сотрудничества за счет ввода в эксплуатацию газопровода “Сила Сибири-2”, что может иметь последствия и для энергетической безопасности Индии. В условиях, когда Россия укрепляет свое партнерство с Китаем в сфере энергетики, Индии, возможно, придется диверсифицировать свои источники энергоресурсов, чтобы уменьшить зависимость от какого-либо одного поставщика.

В широком смысле, визит Путина может иметь последствия для стратегического баланса в Индо-Тихоокеанском регионе, где Индия и Китай имеют конкурирующие интересы и геополитические амбиции. Более тесная дружба между Москвой и Пекином потенциально может придать смелости последнему в его напористых действиях в регионе, включая территориальные споры с Индией вдоль гималайской границы. Молчаливая поддержка или нейтралитет России в таких конфликтах может усложнить стратегические расчеты Индии и вызвать необходимость переоценки ее внешнеполитических приоритетов. Учитывая “партнерство без границ” и то обстоятельство, что Китай, несомненно, поддерживает спецоперацию России на Украине, Индия больше не может рассчитывать на помощь России в обуздании Китая в случае конфликта с ним.

Еще один аспект, который следует учитывать, — это влияние российско-китайского сотрудничества на отношения Индии с США. Индия стремится сохранить хрупкий баланс между своим традиционным партнерством с Россией и растущими стратегическими связями с США. Более жесткая ось Россия-Китай может еще больше подтолкнуть Индию в объятия Америки. Нью-Дели, конечно, попытается как-то уравновесить такое растущее давление китайско-российского партнерства. Это может проявиться в расширении оборонного сотрудничества между Индией и США, а также в более тесном сотрудничестве с Америкой по региональным и глобальным вопросам. Однако остается фактом то, что один из важнейших краеугольных камней внешней политики Индии – стратегическая автономия – подвергнется серьезному испытанию в условиях углубления российско-китайских связей.

Более того, визит Путина в Китай подчеркивает меняющуюся динамику формирования нового мирового порядка. Геополитическая мощь постепенно переходит от западных стран к развивающимся экономикам на Востоке. По мере того, как Россия и Китай укрепляют свое партнерство, они, вероятно, бросят вызов существующему международному порядку, в котором доминируют западные институты и нормы. Это может создать для Индии возможности играть более активную роль в формировании крепнущего многополярного мира, с использованием при этом своего стратегического положения и растущего экономического влияния. Усилия Индии по собственной активизации и тому, чтобы стать голосом Глобального Юга, получившие серьезную поддержку в “Большой двадцатке”, являются шагом в этом направлении.

Индия должна быть осторожной

Однако в обеспечении своих интересов Индия должна действовать осторожно. Ей следует осознавать, что более тесные связи между Россией и Китаем также открывают и Индии возможности для расширения взаимодействия с обеими странами по вопросам, представляющим взаимный интерес, таким как борьба с терроризмом, региональная стабильность и экономическое развитие.

Отношения России и Индии, сложившиеся десятилетиями, не могут быть легко отброшены в сторону, особенно в контексте имеющегося двустороннего военного сотрудничества. На протяжении десятилетий Индия приобретала разнообразное российское вооружение, включая такие знаковые платформы, как истребитель Су-30МКИ, танки Т-90 и сверхзвуковую крылатую ракету BraMos. Не говоря уже о ракетной системе С-400, контракт на которую был заключен в условиях жесткого сопротивления США под прикрытием американского закона CAATSA (Закона о противодействии противникам Америки посредством санкций).

Более того, Россия готова передать Индии важнейшие оборонные технологии, что позволит обеспечить локальное производство и настройку некоторых систем вооружения. Дружелюбие России и Китая и балансирование Индии между Москвой и Вашингтоном только лишний раз подтверждают то, что, однажды сказал британский государственный деятель и премьер-министр XIX века лорд Пальмерстон: “У крупных держав нет постоянных врагов и постоянных друзей, есть только постоянные интересы”.

Генерал Манодж Мукунд Нараване — полный генерал сухопутных войск в отставке, служивший 28-м начальником Генерального штаба индийской армии.


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Тоска по ядерному взрыву


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Все, что нужно знать рано утром 30 мая


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‘We Have Adapted and Adjusted’ – Ukraine at War Update for May 30


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US hints at flexibility on policy on attacks in Russia; Photos show new Russian hangars; Body count from hypermarket is 19; Finland OKs use of its weapons over the border; Moscow gains near Kharkiv


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“I don’t even know what the charges are!” – Donald Trump goes on completely senile bender


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Based on his social media posts last night and this morning, Donald Trump went into today expecting to be convicted in his criminal trial. Based on the questions that the jury asked during deliberations today, which strongly suggest that he will indeed be convicted, Trump appears to have snapped entirely.

Trump announced tonight that “I don’t even know what the charges are!” Wow is that ever a dumb thing to say. We understand the point he’s trying to make – the one that his babysitters told him to go out and make – which is that the criminal charges against him are complex. But what Trump ended up saying was the direct equivalent of “I have no idea what’s even going on around me!”


. . .



Those are bad words for Trump to be putting into his own mouth at a time when questions are mounting about his cognitive abilities and dementia-like symptoms. He already thinks Biden is Obama and Haley is Pelosi. Now he’s saying has no idea what’s going on in his criminal trial? Trump just keeps admitting he’s senile. It’s just a question of when the media is going to start properly talking about it.

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Embarrassing: Donald Trump’s attorney had to shake him awake today as jurors were filing out


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Today was one of the most consequential days of Donald Trump’s shrinking life, so you’d think he’d have found a way to stay awake. You’d be wrong. Not only did Trump nod off during court, his own attorney had to forcibly wake him up.

Trump was asleep while the alternate jurors were filing out, and attorney Todd Blanche had to shake Trump awake, according to Molly Crane-Newman of the New York Daily News. This serves to once again underscore that Trump is so far gone, he has no idea what’s even going on.

There’s no way that a cognitively functioning person sits there and sleeps through his own criminal trial, and is so thoroughly asleep on verdict day that his attorney has to wake him up at the end of it.


. . .



Now that the verdict has been pushed to tomorrow because the jurors want to have specific testimony read back to them, we’ll see if Trump can keep himself awake for the reading of the verdict. At this point it’s almost doubtful.

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Marc Klein, Bay Area editor who led Jewish journalism into the digital age, dies at 75


(J. via JTA) — In 1984, when Marc Klein showed up in San Francisco, the Jewish Bulletin was just that: a community bulletin that ran on mimeographs, manual typewriters and carbon paper. By the time he completed his nearly 28-year tenure as editor and publisher, a thoroughly modernized Bulletin — renamed J. in 2003 — had become inarguably one of the nation’s best Jewish newspapers.

Klein, the old-school newsman who guided J. into the digital age, died on May 25 from complications of transplant-related cancer. He was 75.

“He thought the paper was essential,” recalled former J. publisher Nora Contini. “Marc felt an independent Jewish publication was really important, and he wasn’t afraid of standing his ground about that.”

Added former J. managing editor Sherwood Weingarten, “Under his auspices, the paper went from a small community weekly into a much larger operation that concentrated much better on news than it had before.”

Marc Klein grew up in a tight-knit Jewish neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia. As a student at Lincoln High School, he became a reporter for the school paper. He later attended Penn State University where he majored in journalism and served as a staff writer for the Daily Collegian. While at Penn State, he met his future wife, Sandy, at a 1968 Hillel Shabbat service.

After graduating, Klein worked as a reporter for the Evening Bulletin in Philadelphia, becoming assistant managing editor of the newspaper when he was just 30. He polished his skills in the Jewish press serving as editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent before landing the post of editor and publisher of the Jewish Bulletin, the fifth in the paper’s history up to that time. He moved to the Bay Area in 1984 with his wife and daughters, Emily and Suzy, settling in Alameda.

What he found at the Bulletin was a nearly 100-year-old newspaper in desperate need of an upgrade.

“It was a great challenge to take a paper that some people still called the ‘shmooze gazette’ and turn it into a publication that reflected the community it covered,” Klein said in a 2011 J. story about his impending retirement.

Contini, whom Klein hired to serve as business manager, remembered those early days.

“It was 1984, but it was like 1960,” she said. “So that first year there was rapid change. We moved offices. We bought computers. We went from going to a typesetting shop, to desktop publishing, to the internet. We were the first Jewish newspaper to create a website.”

The website launched in 1995. Besides his flair for technology, Klein had an eye for talent, hiring newsroom personnel who stayed for years and many who went on to work at prominent publications. He also deftly handled the politics of the diverse Bay Area Jewish community. Weingarten, who served as managing editor for 23 years, took note of Klein’s skills.

Marc Klein, right, with Nora Contini, the former publisher of J., and Rich Waloff, the former publisher of the New York Jewish Week, Oct. 2023. (Courtesy rich Waloff)

“He was able to keep most of the board members, local politicians and loudmouths at bay,” Weingarten said. “I think we had the best writers available, better than any other small publication. Marc also had contacts through JTA and the American Jewish Press Association who were all over the country, and he used them for the benefit of the Jewish Bulletin.”

One of the reporters Klein hired was Alix Wall, a staff writer from 2000 to 2006. She continues to write for J. as a freelancer.

“I cold-called him from New York and told him I was thinking of moving to the Bay Area,” recalled Wall. “He said, ‘Your timing is impeccable. I just had a reporter give notice. I would love you to take this job.’ In the end I took the job because of Marc and how he made me feel. I knew I wouldn’t have a better boss than him.”

Joe Eskenazi is today the managing editor of the Bay Areas news site Mission Local and has served in senior editorial posts at the SF Weekly and San Francisco Magazine. But his professional reporting career began at the Jewish Bulletin, where he served as staff writer from 2000 to 2008.

“It was like a newsroom from a different time: a louder time,” Eskenazi said. “Lots of talking, lots of yelling. A more familial atmosphere. You could do a lot of things. It was a great place to build up skills… in reporting, writing, time management and diplomacy. We also put out a pretty good paper. I think Marc faced a lot of blowback. For all of the constriction one might feel with the politics of the Jewish community, Marc deserves credit for getting the fair multiplicity of voices into the paper.”

One of those voices was his own. In 2008, Klein won a first-place Rockower Award from the American Jewish Press Association for his cover story “Why Is Hibuki Unhappy?” about Israel’s use of play therapy to treat children traumatized by war.

Klein also served as president of the AJPA for multiple terms and as president of his congregation, Temple Israel of Alameda.

With the economics of journalism in America shifting rapidly, Klein, along with the newspaper’s board and senior management team, decided the best way to ensure the publication’s future viability was to become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

“We came to recognize toward the end of the ’90s that the Jewish Bulletin, in its old print newspaper approach, was a dinosaur,” remembered longtime J. board member Lou Haas. “So we got busy changing the format, changing the name [to J.]. Marc absolutely supported the name. Federation got on board. And it was a fait accompli.”

In August 2013, after a two-year process, J. became a nonprofit.

In a 2011 column, Klein wrote of his pride in the thousands of “routine stories we covered over the years,” touching on everything from the work of Jewish Family and Children’s Services to the construction of new Federation buildings, three JCCs on the Peninsula, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, two Jewish high schools and other Jewish facilities across the Bay Area.

“The telling of that history was more important than writing award-winning stories,” Klein wrote. “The quality of a newspaper can be judged only by the work it does educating its readers week in and week out.”

There were also times when major stories broke, including one that nearly broke the Bay Area: the Loma Prieta earthquake, which struck on Oct. 17, 1989, killing 57 people, damaging the Bay Bridge, collapsing a portion of I-880 and disrupting the third game of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s. (Klein was a loyal A’s fan.)

Despite the calamity, he insisted that the Jewish Bulletin publish that week.

“He really engineered the paper coming out and being printed despite the earthquake,” Weingarten recalled. “We all went into the office, a few worked from home by phone, and everyone did their jobs. The trucks went out, and everything worked like clockwork after the clock had stopped.”

There was another time Klein himself made news. In early 2012, he began experiencing renal failure, and J. wrote about his search for a match for a kidney transplant. A local woman named Toby Adelman, a longtime reader and fan of the paper, responded and turned out to be a perfect match. And it made a perfect cover story for J.

By then, Klein had retired from J., gearing up for the next great adventure in his life. Both his daughters had become pregnant around the same time, and soon, Klein and Sandy were busy with the joys of grandparenting. “He was able to do that deep dive into grandpa life,” said daughter Emily. “That was a full and satisfying life for him.”

Klein never stopped consuming the news. His daughter said that even in retirement, her father “wanted to have his finger on the pulse of the Jewish community. He didn’t really have hobbies. He wanted to read the news and talk to people all the time, all in the service of being on top of every breaking story.”

As for his legacy, it’s available for all to see in the pages of the publication he guided over nearly three decades.

“I was never one to rest on our laurels,” Klein said in 2011. “Even today I don’t like to reminisce about one story being more important than another. I don’t want to be known for any one specific issue or one piece of history we covered. Instead I’d like to be known for consistently publishing one of the best Jewish papers in the country.”

He is survived by wife Sandy Klein of Alameda; daughters Suzy Klein and Emily Klein; and three grandsons.

This article originally appeared on JTA.org.

The post Marc Klein, Bay Area editor who led Jewish journalism into the digital age, dies at 75 appeared first on The Forward.