Hacker faces more charges
Federal prosecutors in New York on Thursday slapped two extra charges on a British man accused of hacking into thousands of government computer systems, officials said. They indicted Lauri Love, 28, on one count of hacking into the Federal Reserve and one count of aggravated identity theft. He was already facing charges in New Jersey for hacking the computer networks of the army, the Missile Defense Agency, NASA and other agencies.
Blast, militants kill 52
At least 52 people were killed on Thursday as a motorcycle rigged with explosives detonated in Baghdad’s Sadr City and militants targeted mostly Shiites around the country. The motorcycle was parked in a second-hand bike market in the Shiite Muslim neighborhood that was filled with people, mostly young men, when it exploded on Thursday afternoon, killing 31 and wounding 51 others, medical and police sources said. It was not clear who was behind the bombing, but violence against Shiites is often blamed on the Sunni Muslim Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Syrian convoys attacked
There were two attempted attacks on Syrian convoys transporting chemical weapons late last month, Syrian authorities told the international mission overseeing the removal and destruction of its toxic arsenal, according to a UN report on Thursday. The monthly report to the UN Security Council of the joint mission of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said the attempted attacks happened on Jan. 27. It gave no details on the location of the convoys. “In addition, Syrian authorities indicated that ongoing military activities rendered two sites inaccessible during most of the reporting period,” the five-page report said.
Rome faces shutdown
Rome’s mayor says the capital next week risks a shutdown of mass transit, trash collection and other city services unless Parliament quickly frees up funds. Mayor Ignazio Marino said on Thursday that he was not seeking a bailout. The 320 million euros (US$440 million) blocked in Parliament are Roman taxpayer money that the national government was supposed to give back to the city by yesterday. However, Parliament is suffering gridlock as opposition lawmakers use stalling tactics to protest that Italy last week got another premier who was not elected. Marino says if the funds do not arrive, city buses will not have fuel, trash collection will halt and daycare and other public services will close. “I can’t blow on buses to make them go,” he said.
Sinaloa state authorities said on Thursday that they are investigating who organized a march in which hundreds demanded the release of cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, a display of public support for the crime boss in a state that many say he controls. Govenor Mario Lopez Valdez told Televisa that officials suspect Guzman’s family and friends. “We don’t know at this time, but the investigation should reveal that,” Lopez said. Hundreds of people marched on Wednesday demanding that authorities free the boss of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel. Many said he provides needed jobs in poor mountain areas.