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The founder is the second high-profile Virgin Galactic investor to sell shares of the company in recent weeks.
When federal health officials said on Thursday that fully vaccinated Americans no longer needed to wear masks in most places, it came as a surprise to many people in public health. It also was a stark contrast with the views of a large majority of epidemiologists surveyed in the last two weeks by The New York Times. In the informal survey, 80% said they thought Americans would need to wear masks in public indoor places for at least another year. Just 5% said people would be able to stop wearing masks indoors by this summer. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times In large crowds outdoors, like at a concert or protest, 88% of the epidemiologists said it was necessary even for fully vaccinated people to wear masks. “Unless the vaccination rates increase to 80% or 90% over the next few months, we should wear masks in large public indoor settings,” said Vivian Towe, a program officer at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The responses came from of 723 epidemiologists, submitted between April 28 and May 10, before the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey asked the public health experts about being outdoors in groups of various sizes, and about being indoors with people whose vaccination status was unknown. The situations were consistent with the new guidance, which governs behavior in public places, regardless of size, where it is impossible to know the vaccine status of others. Federal health officials have already said that vaccinated people can be indoors with other vaccinated people, and epidemiologists mostly agreed. But the CDC’s new guidance said masks were no longer necessary for fully vaccinated people regardless of the size of the gathering and whether it was indoors or outside, except in certain situations, like in a doctor’s office or on public transit. Epidemiologists are, on the whole, very cautious when it comes to COVID-19, by nature of their training in understanding risk and preventing the spread of infectious disease. Nearly three-quarters described themselves as risk-averse, and they are likely to have been able to work from home over the past year, unlike many Americans. But they also have the same training as many of the scientists at CDC who devised the new policy, and about one-third of the survey respondents work in government, mostly at the state level. They acknowledged that many Americans would not want to continue to wear masks — and that many have already stopped. Wearing masks “will be a need, which is a very different question than how long will it continue to occur,” said Sophia K., an epidemiologist at the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council. “I expect that most people will refuse to wear masks, even in public, by the end of 2021, whether there is still a pandemic or not.” Many epidemiologists echoed the CDC in saying that as long as people were fully vaccinated, they could gather without precautions. But the CDC went further than the epidemiologists by giving the OK for vaccinated people to stop masking in groups with an unknown number of unvaccinated people. “It is either you trust the vaccine, or you do not,” said Kristin Harrington, an epidemiology Ph.D. student at Emory. “And if we trust the vaccine, that means an unlimited number of vaccinated individuals should be allowed to gather together.” Others acknowledged that policy decisions are based on many goals, such as invigorating the economy and incentivizing people to get vaccinated. Yet most said mask-wearing continued to be necessary for now, because the number of vaccinated Americans had not yet reached a level that scientists consider necessary to significantly slow the spread of the virus. Until then, there are too many chances for vaccines, which are not 100% effective, to fail, they said. “Crowded circumstances, indoors or outdoors, necessitate a mask until community levels of COVID are much lower,” said Luther-King Fasehun, a doctor and an epidemiology Ph.D. student at Temple University. Sally Picciotto, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Berkeley, said the decision to stop wearing masks indoors “depends on more people rolling up their sleeves to get the shot.” Respondents also said that as long as the virus was still spreading, masks were important to protect high-risk people and those who cannot be vaccinated, like children or people who have underlying health conditions. “Until community transmission is lower, it protects the whole community and the other people in the room to wear masks,” including children, immuno-suppressed people and Black and Latino communities who have been hit harder by COVID-19, said Julia Raifman, an assistant professor of public health at Boston University. One-quarter of the epidemiologists in the survey said they thought people would need to continue wearing masks in certain settings indefinitely, and some said they planned to continue to wear them in places like airplanes or concert halls, or during the winter virus season. “Heck, I may wear a mask for every flu season now,” said Allison Stewart, the lead epidemiologist at the Williamson County and Cities Health District in Texas. “Sure has been nice not to be sick for over a year.” Alana Cilwick, an epidemiologist at the Colorado Department of Public Health, said, “I plan to wear a mask indoors for the foreseeable future given the amount of vaccine hesitancy we are seeing, especially in higher-risk settings like the gym or on an airplane.” Just one-fifth of epidemiologists said it was safe for fully vaccinated people to socialize indoors without masks in a group of unlimited size. A majority said indoor gatherings should be limited to five or fewer households. Even outside, where the coronavirus is much less likely to spread, nearly all the epidemiologists said it was necessary to keep wearing masks in crowds, when people are near others whose vaccination status they don’t know. “Masks are the second-most helpful prevention strategy we have to vaccines,” Raifman said. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that the United States ‘must acknowledge its role in the injustice and human rights violations of Palestinians’
The rally and march took place on an annual day to remember the displacement of Palestinians in the 1940s and with violence escalating in the Middle East.
‘Inaction – or just moving on – is simply not an option,’ Rep Bennie Thompson says as he announces new bill, which took months to agree on
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For years, government officials and industry executives have run elaborate simulations of a targeted cyberattack on the power grid or gas pipelines in the United States, imagining how the country would respond. But when the real, this-is-not-a-drill moment arrived, it didn’t look anything like the war games. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times The attacker was not a terror group or a hostile state like Russia, China or Iran, as had been assumed in the simulations. It was a criminal extortion ring. The goal was not to disrupt the economy by taking a pipeline offline but to hold corporate data for ransom. The most visible effects — long lines of nervous motorists at gas stations — stemmed not from a government response but from a decision by the victim, Colonial Pipeline, which controls nearly half the gasoline, jet fuel and diesel flowing along the East Coast, to turn off the spigot. It did so out of concern that the malware that had infected its back-office functions could make it difficult to bill for fuel delivered along the pipeline or even spread into the pipeline’s operating system. What happened next was a vivid example of the difference between tabletop simulations and the cascade of consequences that can follow even a relatively unsophisticated attack. The aftereffects of the episode are still playing out, but some of the lessons are already clear, and they demonstrate how far the government and private industry have to go in preventing and dealing with cyberattacks and in creating rapid backup systems for when critical infrastructure goes down. In this case, the long-held belief that the pipeline’s operations were totally isolated from the data systems that were locked up by DarkSide, a ransomware gang believed to be operating out of Russia, turned out to be false. And the company’s decision to turn off the pipeline touched off a series of dominoes including panic buying at the pumps and a quiet fear inside the government that the damage could spread quickly. A confidential assessment prepared by the Energy and Homeland Security Departments found that the country could only afford another three to five days with the Colonial pipeline shut down before buses and other mass transit would have to limit operations because of a lack of diesel fuel. Chemical factories and refinery operations would also shut down, because there would be no way to distribute what they produced, the report said. And while President Joe Biden’s aides announced efforts to find alternative ways to haul gasoline and jet fuel up the East Coast, none were immediately in place. There was a shortage of truck drivers and of tanker cars for trains. “Every fragility was exposed,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, who co-founded CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm, and chairs the think tank Silverado Policy Accelerator. “We learned a lot about what could go wrong. Unfortunately, so did our adversaries.” The list of lessons is long. Colonial, a private company, may have thought it had an impermeable wall of protections, but it was easily breached. Even after it paid the extortionists nearly $5 million in digital currency to recover its data, the company found that the process of decrypting its data and turning the pipeline back on was agonizingly slow, meaning it will still be days before the East Coast gets back to normal. “This is not like flicking on a light switch,” Biden said Thursday, noting that the 5,500-mile pipeline had never before been shut down. For the administration, the event proved a perilous week in crisis management. Biden told aides, one recalled, that nothing could wreak political damage faster than television images of gas lines and rising prices, with the inevitable comparison to Jimmy Carter’s worse moments as president. Biden feared that, unless the pipeline resumed operations, panic receded and price gouging was nipped in the bud, the situation would feed concerns that the economic recovery is still fragile and that inflation is rising. Beyond the flurry of actions to get oil moving on trucks, trains and ships, Biden published a long-gestating executive order that, for the first time, seeks to mandate changes in cybersecurity. And he suggested that he was willing to take steps that the Obama administration hesitated to take during the 2016 election hacks — direct action to strike back at the attackers. “We’re also going to pursue a measure to disrupt their ability to operate,” Biden said, a line that seemed to hint that U.S. Cyber Command, the military’s cyberwarfare force, was being authorized to kick DarkSide offline, much as it did to another ransomware group in the fall before the presidential election. Hours later, the group’s internet sites went dark. By early Friday, DarkSide and several other ransomware groups, including Babuk, which has hacked Washington D.C.’s police department, announced they were getting out of the game. DarkSide alluded to disruptive action by an unspecified law enforcement agency, though it was not clear if that was the result of U.S. action or pressure from Russia before Biden’s expected summit with President Vladimir Putin. And going quiet might simply have reflected a decision by the ransomware gang to frustrate retaliation efforts by shutting down its operations, perhaps temporarily. The Pentagon’s Cyber Command referred questions to the National Security Council, which declined to comment. The episode underscored the emergence of a new “blended threat,” one that may come from cybercriminals, but is often tolerated, and sometimes encouraged, by a nation that sees the attacks as serving its interests.That is why Biden singled out Russia — not as the culprit, but as the nation that harbors more ransomware groups than any other country. “We do not believe the Russian government was involved in this attack, but we do have strong reason to believe the criminals who did this attack are living in Russia,” Biden said. “We have been in direct communication with Moscow about the imperative for responsible countries to take action against these ransomware networks.” With DarkSide’s systems down, it is unclear how Biden’s administration would retaliate further, beyond possible indictments and sanctions, which have not deterred Russian cybercriminals before. Striking back with a cyberattack also carries its own risks of escalation. The administration also has to reckon with the fact that so much of America’s critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector and remains ripe for attack. “This attack has exposed just how poor our resilience is,” said Kiersten E. Todt, managing director of the nonprofit Cyber Readiness Institute. “We are overthinking the threat, when we’re still not doing the bare basics to secure our critical infrastructure.” The good news, some officials said, was that Americans got a wake-up call. Congress came face-to-face with the reality that the federal government lacks the authority to require the companies that control more than 80% of the nation’s critical infrastructure to adopt minimal levels of cybersecurity. The bad news, they said, was that U.S. adversaries — not only superpowers but terrorists and cybercriminals — learned just how little it takes to incite chaos across a large part of the country, even if they do not break into the core of the electric grid, or the operational control systems that move gasoline, water and propane around the country. Something as basic as a well-designed ransomware attack may easily do the trick, while offering plausible deniability to states like Russia, China and Iran that often tap outsiders for sensitive cyberoperations. It remains a mystery how DarkSide first broke into Colonial’s business network. The privately held company has said virtually nothing about how the attack unfolded, at least in public. It waited four days before having any substantive discussions with the administration, an eternity during a cyberattack. Cybersecurity experts also note that Colonial Pipeline would never have had to shut down its pipeline if it had more confidence in the separation between its business network and pipeline operations. “There should absolutely be separation between data management and the actual operational technology,” Todt said. “Not doing the basics is frankly inexcusable for a company that carries 45% of gas to the East Coast.” Other pipeline operators in the United States deploy advanced firewalls between their data and their operations that only allow data to flow one direction, out of the pipeline, and would prevent a ransomware attack from spreading in. Colonial Pipeline has not said whether it deployed that level of security on its pipeline. Industry analysts say many critical infrastructure operators say installing such unidirectional gateways along a 5,500-mile pipeline can be complicated or prohibitively expensive. Others say the cost to deploy those safeguards are still cheaper than the losses from potential downtime. Deterring ransomware criminals, which have been growing in number and brazenness over the past few years, will certainly be more difficult than deterring nations. But this week made the urgency clear. “It’s all fun and games when we are stealing each other’s money,” said Sue Gordon, a former principal deputy director of national intelligence, and a longtime CIA analyst with a specialty in cyberissues, said at a conference held by The Cipher Brief, an online intelligence newsletter. “When we are messing with a society’s ability to operate, we can’t tolerate it.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
The pipeline supplies nearly half of the East Coast’s gasoline and diesel
Jasiel Correia was found guilty of extortion, fraud and filing false tax returns after 23 hours of jury deliberations over four days.
Miles Bridges cleared from COVID-19 protocols for last two Hornets games
Ousted top GOP messenger says cable news channel has ‘particular obligation to make sure people know election wasn’t stolen’
The unidentified boy was discovered with multiple wounds about 5:30 a.m. Saturday, Dallas police said. Investigators believe an "edged weapon" was used.
The newly announced limited series will also hone in on Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury's stories.
KOB4/Metropolitan Detention CenterA suspected white supremacist is facing charges after allegedly ditching a bullet-riddled car containing three dead men in the parking lot of an Albuquerque hospital this week.Richard Kuykendall, a 41-year-old with an “apparent association” with the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, was charged Friday with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition for his role in the Wednesday triple homicide, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for New Mexico.Prosecutors allege that after a deadly shootout in a nearby alley, Kuykendall drove to Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital with the victims, removed his shirt and told a security officer “that there were three dead guys in the Chevy” before he walked away.The criminal complaint—first obtained by Seamus Hughes, a researcher at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism and a Daily Beast contributor—notes that authorities only believe Kuykendall “may be responsible for the death of one of the three men.”The victims, who have not yet been identified, were also members of the gang. Kuykendall is being held on bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque.SHOOTING VIDEO: @ABQPOLICE said three bodies showed up at Kaseman Hospital around 3pm yesterday. They have not confirmed these videos are connected, but show a what appears to be a barrage of bullets at 2:40p yesterday. 2 miles away a bloodied man is seen leaving the scene @KOB4 pic.twitter.com/jqnvdcW4Tn— Ryan Laughlin (@RyanLaughlinKOB) May 13, 2021 Prosecutors described the Aryan Brotherhood as a “nationwide prison gang that strives to control drug distribution and other illegal activity within state and federal prisons.” Formed by white inmates, it has about 20,000 members both in and out of prison and is known for using Nazi symbols, including swastikas and SS lightning bolts, the complaint states.While authorities have not provided a motive for Wednesday’s slaying, the complaint notes that the gang is known for murdering or threatening members who do not remain loyal or pose a threat to the enterprise.“The [Aryan Brotherhood] uses murder and the threat of murder to maintain a position of power within the prison and jail system,” the complaint states. “Inmates and others who do not follow the orders of the [Aryan Brotherhood] are subject to being murdered, as is anyone who uses violence against an [Aryan Brotherhood] member.”Prosecutors state Kuykendall was walking in an alley behind a local pizza shop on Wednesday when a dark-colored Chevy Malibu pulled up behind him. When Kuykendall tried to get in the car, shots were immediately fired at him.Kuykendall “ducked and maintained a low center of gravity as he ran around the front” of the car while shots were still being fired. He was able to jump in the car.She Masqueraded as an Aryan Princess to Take Down Neo-NazisA few seconds later, Kuykendall exited the car and walked toward a dumpster, the complaint states. “Kuykendall remained next to the dumpster for nine seconds and then went back to the car.” The Albuquerque Police Department later found a 9mm pistol in the dumpster.Prosecutors state that after possibly moving a person inside the car, Kuykendall got into the driver’s seat—on top of the presumably dead driver—and drove to the nearby hospital.Once there, he took off his shirt, revealing several tattoos associated with the neo-Nazi group, including “a large letter B on his left shoulder and an iron cross on his left breast,” the complaint states.When authorities arrived, they found a car “riddled with bullet holes” with a loaded pistol under the driver’s seat, an empty pistol on the back seat and spent bullet casings throughout the car, the complaint says.It’s far from Kuykendall’s first run-in with the law. “Kuykendall has an impressive criminal history, with at least 35 arrests in New Mexico and Massachusetts,” the complaint states. His crimes range from forgery and identity theft to larceny and conspiracy, to an assault of a family member in 2018.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Trevor Lawrence opened Jacksonville’s rookie minicamp on a pitch count. Lawrence is three months removed from labrum surgery on his left, non-throwing shoulder. “The No. 1 issue is falling,” coach Urban Meyer said Saturday.
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If ever there was a time to want to be driving an electric car, it may have been last week — after the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack forced the company to take some of its systems offline.
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Sen. Mitt Romney has repeatedly pushed back on fellow Republican lawmakers who have sought to downplay the events of January 6.