As government reports brought optimistic job data in the past few days, the private sector was largely surprised and remained suspicious. U.S. initial jobless claims, a weekly figure that reflects firings and employment tendency, plummeted to 339,000 in the week ending Oct. 6, a downturn as sharp as 30,000, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. In seven days the fresh figure hit the lowest level since February 2008, back to its pre-recession range of roughly 280,000 to 350,000. Six days ago, the Labor Department monthly employment report in September, a broader view of job market, said U.S. jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent, the first time below 8 percent in almost four years and matching the level when President Barack Obama took office. Brighter job prospects came at a perfect time for the incumbent president when economic issues are central to the presidential race and the November elections draw nearer. However, the private sector remains cool over the government's upbeat … [Read more...] about Recent U.S. government job data surprise private industry
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Somewhere in China, a man typed his user name, “ghost,” and password, “hijack,” and proceeded to rifle the computers of a utility in the Northeastern U.S. He plucked schematics of its pipelines. He copied security-guard patrol memos. He sought access to systems that regulate the flow of natural gas. He cruised channels where keystrokes could cut off a city’s heat, or make a pipeline explode. That didn’t appear to be his intention, and neither was economic espionage. While he was one of the Chinese officers the U.S. charged last month with infiltrating computers to steal corporate secrets, this raid was different. The hacker called UglyGorilla invaded the utility on what was probably a scouting mission, looking for information China could use to wage war. UglyGorilla is one of many hackers the FBI has watched. Agents have recorded raids by other operatives in China and in Russia and Iran, all apparently looking for security weaknesses that could … [Read more...] about UglyGorilla hack of U.S. utility exposes cyberwar threat
He said all sides in the U.S. presidential campaign were misusing rhetoric about Russia for their own purposes. Even as WikiLeaks released another trove of internal documents from Hillary Clinton's campaign on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted his country was not involved in an effort to influence the U.S. presidential election. Last week, the U.S. government formally accused Russia of launching a hacking campaign to "interfere with the U.S. election process." Clinton's campaign, which has charged the Kremlin is trying to help Republican Donald Trump win the White House on November 8, took its allegations a step further on Tuesday when John Podesta, chairman of the Democratic nominee's campaign, accused the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia. In Moscow, Putin said nothing in the hacking scandal is in Russia's interests and said all sides in the U.S. presidential campaign were misusing rhetoric about Russia for their own purposes. "They started this hysteria, … [Read more...] about Putin dismisses accusations of meddling in U.S. election
Twitter Inc is being sued by the widow of an American killed in Jordan who accuses the social media company of giving a voice to Islamic State, adding to the pressure to crack down on online propaganda linked to terrorism. Tamara Fields, a Florida woman whose husband Lloyd died in the Nov. 9 attack on the police training center in Amman, said Twitter knowingly let the militant Islamist group use its network to spread propaganda, raise money and attract recruits. Lawyers specializing in terrorism said Fields faces an uphill battle, though the case could lead to more calls for social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook Inc (FB.O) to take down posts associated with terrorist groups. In her complaint filed on Wednesday, Fields said San Francisco-based Twitter had until recently given Islamic State, also known as ISIS, an "unfettered" ability to maintain official Twitter accounts. "Without Twitter, the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most-feared terrorist … [Read more...] about Twitter sued by U.S. widow for giving voice to Islamic State
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he’s considering buying weapons from Russia and China while also ending joint patrols with U.S. forces in the South China Sea. In a televised speech Tuesday before military officers in Manila, Duterte said that two countries -- which he didn’t identify -- had agreed to give the Philippines a 25-year soft loan to buy military equipment. Later, he said that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and “technical people” in the armed forces would visit China and Russia “and see what’s best.” While Duterte said he didn’t want to cut the “umbilical cord” with his allies, the remarks were the latest to signal a shift away from the Philippine-U.S. defense treaty in place since 1951. Since engaging in a public spat with U.S. President Barack Obama last week, Duterte has denounced American military killings during the early days of colonial rule and called for U.S. forces to leave the southern island … [Read more...] about Duterte seeks arms from China, ends joint patrols with U.S.