July 17, 2018

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US spies bilked for $100,000 by Russian peddling Trump secrets: report

US spies bilked for $100,000 by Russian peddling Trump secrets: reportA Russian man promising stolen hacking tools and compromising information on President Donald Trump fleeced American spies for $100,000 last year, The New York Times reported Friday. In a story worthy of a John le Carre novel that included secret USB-drive handovers in a small West Berlin bar and coded messages delivered over the National Security Agency's Twitter account, CIA agents reportedly spent much of last year trying to buy back from the Russian hacking programs stolen from the NSA. The seller, who was not identified but had links to both cyber criminals and Russian intelligence, tantalized the US spies with an offer of the NSA hacking tools that had been advertised for sale online by a shady group called the Shadow Brokers.

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Two Koreas hold top-level talks in Olympic rapprochement

Two Koreas hold top-level talks in Olympic rapprochementSouth Korea's president held landmark talks with the North's ceremonial head of state and the sister of its leader Kim Jong Un Saturday, even as the US warned against falling for Pyongyang's Olympic charm offensive. Moon hosted the elderly Kim Yong Nam -- technically the highest-level Northern official ever to go to the South -- and Pyongyang's star representative Kim Yo Jong at the presidential Blue House. Smiling, he shook hands with each of the delegates ahead of their talks, and television footage showed that Kim Yo Jong -- who analysts expected to bring a personal message from her brother -- was carrying a blue folder emblazoned with a seal.

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Trump blocks release of Russia memo drafted by Democrats

Trump blocks release of Russia memo drafted by DemocratsBy Ayesha Rascoe WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Friday blocked the release of a classified memo written by congressional Democrats to rebut a Republican document that he allowed to be made public last week that claimed FBI and Justice Department bias against him in the federal probe of Russia and the 2016 U.S. election. The Republican president's decision -- the latest controversy relating to an investigation that has hung over his year in office -- infuriated Democrats. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said, "Millions of Americans are asking one simple question: what is he hiding?" White House Counsel Don McGahn said the Justice Department had identified portions of the 10-page memo written by Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee that "would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests" of the country.

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