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Hacking The Whole Wide World

Russian daily Kommersant reports today that more athletes' medical files from the World Anti-Doping Agency have been leaked, including three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. With

tensions rising between Russia and the West, such an information security breach — whether about alleged banned substances in sports or gossipy emails from retired generals — tend to look like an act of geopolitical aggression. But in the digital world, reality has even more layers than offline espionage.

Since the advent of computing technologies, experts have been forced to face the threat of "hacking," when a digital systems is compromised remotely by those with the same skill set as the builders of the system itself. But beyond governments, individual hacking, be it to demonstrate political beliefs, fight for justice, or simply to display talent, is no less of a threat.

To avoid being detected, hackers use a variety of tools to disguise their identity or hide their location. Tricking a computer into thinking that you are at the North Pole can be as simple as editing your browser settings. Tracing a hack can be more difficult than executing it, and is the reason why many so-called "hacktivist" groups — like Anonymous or Fancy Bear — remain beyond the reach of authorities.

Cyber security is no doubt a major new foreign policy challenge, but jumping to conclusions about the source or motivation of a hack is also a risk in our real-time world.

It's important to remember that just about anything with a network connection can be compromised and manipulated, from the Pentagon to the Kremlin, Democratic Party servers and World Anti-Doping Association databases — and yes, as the Moscow daily Kommersant reports: to your very own refrigerator.



Brazil's former president, Lula da Silva, was charged with corruption, with prosecutors describing him as the "commander-in-chief" of a vast kickback scheme that diverted more than $26 million from state oil company Petrobras, Folha de S. Paulo reports. His wife was also among seven other people charged. Lula's hopes of returning as president now appear slim.


The British government green-lighted plans for a $24 billion nuclear power plant that will be built by a French company and partly financed by China, The Guardian reports.


It's been 195 years since Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica all said ¡adiós! to Spain … That, and more, in your 57-second shot of history.


U.S. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton "continues to improve" after contracting a "mild, non-contagious" form of pneumonia, according to a letter from her doctor which was released by her campaign yesterday. More from The New York Times.


"You need to be as arrogant as men are to believe that we have changed the climate," Nicolas Sarkozy told a panel of business leaders, in comments reported by French magazine Marianne. "The climate has been changing for 4 billion years," the French presidential hopeful said.


After seven years of research, a determined academic says he has definitive proof that Robert Capa's legendary Spanish Civil War photograph, The Falling Soldier, was a fake. For French daily Le Figaro, Mathieu de Taillac spoke to myth-buster Professor José Manuel Susperregui: "Susperregui's discovery is due to his determination but also to chance. After he realized the scenery was nowhere to be found in Cerro Muriano, he sent the three photos to the towns that were at war at the time when Capa was passing through the region. The series fell into the hands of a teacher who showed it to his pupils. One of the students recognized the Batan plateau. ...

‘Robert Capa came to Spain to witness the war,' Susperregui explains. ‘He went to Madrid, Aragon and Barcelona before coming to Andalusia. But he never got to find an active front and he realized that he could not go back home empty-handed. So he created a simulation.'"

Read the full article, From Spain, New Evidence That Robert Capa Staged Iconic War.


Agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation Monsanto has accepted German chemicals giant Bayer's whopping $66 billion takeover offer, after months of courtship. Read more about the deal from Bloomberg here.


Five Hong Kong journalists were arrested, questioned and later expelled from a fishing village in China's Guangdong province, this morning. Among them was a reporter from the South China Morning Post, with the newspaper saying it is "highly concerned about the incident." Protests over disputed land erupted days ago in the village, leading to clashes with the police, and local authorities are reportedly offering rewards for information leading to "foreign forces," meaning journalists.


A Tombstone Maker's Death — Salzburg, 1963


French tennis player Alizé Cornet set a new Frame Challenge record, bouncing a tennis ball off the frame of her racket 236 times in a row — blowing Italian player Sara Errani's 219 bounces out of the frame.



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Is Disney's "Wish" Spreading A Subtle Anti-Christian Message To Kids?

Disney's new movie "Wish" is being touted as a new children's blockbuster to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary. But some Christians may see the portrayal of the villain as God-like and turning wishes into prayers as the ultimate denial of the true message of Christmas.

photo of a kid running out of a church

For the Christmas holiday season?

Joseph Holmes

Christians have always had a love-hate relationship with Disney since I can remember. Growing up in the Christian culture of the 1990s and early 2000s, all the Christian parents I knew loved watching Disney movies with their kids – but have always had an uncomfortable relationship with some of its messages. It was due to the constant Disney tropes of “follow your heart philosophy” and “junior knows best” disdain for authority figures like parents that angered so many. Even so, most Christians felt the benefits had outweighed the costs.

That all seems to have changed as of late, with Disney being hit more and more by claims from conservatives (including Christian conservatives) that Disney is pushing more and more radical progressive social agendas, This has coincided with a steep drop at the box office for Disney.

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