United States Blames Russia For Hacking: The On-Going Accusation

United States Blames Russia For Hacking: The On-Going Accusation

U.S. intelligence has been trying to track down the hackers that administered the leak of private government information.
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Early October, the Obama administration officially acknowledges Russia for interfering with the 2016 Election. They accuse the Russian government of using computer hackers on the National Committee and other political organizations.

The presidential elections are coming near, and media circuits have been more attentive towards Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton.

As they go through various presidential debates seeking voters prior to election, the conflict between two powerful governments will be important in where the course of it will go as the seat for president is in a pending transition. Hopefully, there will be no escalation and sensitivity, politically and publicly.

This investigation and the on-going accusations against Russia is only a prelude for what is to come after the Obama Administration leaves and the next president takes the responsibility and actions to go forth on the cyber-attack. Hilary Clinton stated during the presidential debate in Las Vegas that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies overall blame Russia:

“What is really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans. They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions. Then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the internet. This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government. Clearly from Putin himself in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.” — Hillary Clinton

FINGER POINTING

How did the United States know that Russia is the culprit of tampering with U.S. government information?

According to the Washington Post, the denouncement was made by the Office of the Director of the National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security. Pressure within the administration due to the breach led to the lawmakers from both branches of Democrats and Republicans agreeing on Moscow being the source of the computer hacks.They also believe the Russian government hired hackers to fissure the presidential campaigns.The hacks have appeared on WikiLeaks and DC leaks, sharing private emails, addresses and cellphone numbers of Democratic lawmakers. The U.S. government wants Moscow to be punished for their interference.

SO WHAT IS GOING ON NOW?

Obama referred to senior officials who orchestrated the cyber-attack, vaguely identifying Russian President Vladimir Putin to be the main guy behind the scenes. Since the blame game has started, Putin has denied multiple times that he had any hand in the hacks.

U.S. intelligence has been trying to track and obtain the hackers that have administered the leak of private government information. According to the New York Times, a Russian hacker has been arrested in Czech Republic this last Tuesday. He has been a suspect by the Federal Bureau of Investigations for pursuing targets to the United States.Officials will not give out his name.The capture of this man involved Interpol and the F.B.I. Interpol authorized the arrest warrant needed to arrest him.

As of now, it is uncertain this person is one of the hackers affiliated with the hacking to the DNC. There is also uncertainty regarding if the man will be extradited to the United States government as the man is a Russian citizen detained in Prague.

For other recent news regarding the hacks, an American computer hacker called "The Jester," blemished the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Jester made remarks to Putin and to Russia to basically stop with the hacks and the referral of Putin's so called non-affiliation with cyber-breach.

More will come on this cyber warfare that is increasingly being used in this generation. The U.S. government does not want to carry these high alerts to the public, but this situation between Russia and the U.S. will ascend future agendas between two powerful nations.

Cover Image Credit: Russia's President Vladimir Putin / Tweaktown

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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