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Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco Home Vandalized

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Early Friday morning, Police responded to reported vandalism at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home.

What We Know:

  • On New Year’s Day, around 2 a.m., police were called to Pelosi’s house after her garage door was defaced with graffiti reading, “2k? (crossed out), CANCEL RENT! We want everything!” The words were accompanied by the letters “UBI,” referring to Universal Basic Income- a government program where all adult citizens receive a set amount of money on a regular set basis. The vandals also included a circled letter “A” usually associated with the anarchist symbol and a severed pig’s head in her driveway surrounded by fake blood.
  • The vandalism follows the rejection of $2000 stimulus checks for coronavirus relief as insisted by Trump and many Democratic leaders, such as Pelosi. The House Speaker was among the 275 representatives who voted in favor of the increased stimulus against the 134 who did not.

“Every Republican vote against this bill is a vote to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny the American people the relief they need,” said Pelosi in regards to the legislation.

  • Ultimately the increased relief checks were blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He attacked efforts to provide people with $2000, calling the proposal “socialism for the rich.” McConnell alleged that Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were creating a bill that would give “thousands of dollars to people who don’t need the help.”
  •  The vandalized garage door was covered with trash bags by Friday afternoon while the pig’s head and blood were removed. It is believed Pelosi was present at her Washington DC home when the events took place. As of now, the San Francisco police have not shared any details about suspects. The house and neighborhood both have several cameras that may be of use to police in their investigation.
  • Residents of the Pacific Heights neighborhood disclosed mixed feelings about the vandalism. “There are a lot of unresolved issues, and I don’t think this is a useful way to go about it and a terrible start to this New Year,” said Audrey Carlson, who has lived there for 38 years. Another resident, Bell Wahlen, said, “Government should be doing all they can to give people assistance during this time.”
  • San Francisco State Associate Political Science Professor Jason McDaniel believes this type of protest is a display of the “understandable frustration” people have. However, he cautions people to “see leaders as reflections of us.” “They are human – people,” he says.

On Tuesday evening, millions of Americans began to receive $600 stimulus payments, much less than the proposed $2000 Americans in need were hoping for. Saturday morning, McConnell’s home was also vandalized with the words “Where’s My Money?” spray-painted on his door.

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Crime

Dallas Police Officer Arrested and Charged in Connection with Two 2017 Murders

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A Dallas police officer has been taken into custody for allegedly ordering the deaths of two people.

What We Know:

  • According to NBC News, Officer Bryan Riser, 36, was arrested on Thursday morning and charged with two counts of capital murder. Riser is believed to be connected to the murders of Lisa Saenz, 31, and Albert Douglas, 61. Saenz was found shot to death in the Trinity River in March of 2017. Douglas was reported missing in February of 2017, but his body was never found.
  • Despite being murdered just two weeks apart, the incidents are believed to be unrelated. Dallas Police Department Chief Eddie Garcia held a press conference to address the public.

“We received information from a witness that implicated Riser in both murders,” Garcia stated. “The motive for these murders is unknown at this time, and this remains an ongoing investigation.”

  • According to the affidavit for the arrest warrant, Riser offered $3,500 for a hit on Albert Douglas and another $6,000 to one of the three people who was arrested in connection to Saenz’s murder in 2017. Riser instructed the witness and others to kidnap and kill both individuals and dump their bodies in the Trinity River.
  • Riser joined the department in August of 2008 and has been patrolling South-Central Dallas while under investigation for the killings. This is not Riser’s first known offense either. In May of 2017, Riser was arrested after being accused of misdemeanor assault family violence, causing bodily injury towards an ex-girlfriend. An Internal Affairs investigation was conducted at the time, but no further details have been released.
  • As the Internal Affairs administrative investigation continues, Riser has been put on administrative leave pending the outcome. The department is moving as quickly as possible toward termination. Chief Garcia said they would be looking deeper into Riser’s arrest record in light of the charges against him.

Jail records show Riser’s bond has been set at $5 million, $2.5 million per charge.

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Mom Arrested After Leaving 4-Year-Old Girl on NYC Streets

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A mother has been arrested after her daughter was found alone on a street in the Bronx.

What We Know:

  • Sadeekah Abdul Salaam, 32, was released from custody on Wednesday after being charged with abandonment of a child, acting in a manner injurious to a child, and reckless endangerment. Her release comes four days after she allegedly abandoned her child while she went to a homeless shelter.
  • Fox News reports that four-year-old Sidaya was found wandering the streets after midnight wearing only a sweater in 40-degree weather. She was picked up by the NYPD at the corner of East 156 Street and Prospect Avenue and taken to NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, where she was determined to be in good health.
  • Police were able to recover surveillance footage of Sidaya walking with her mother just 10 minutes before she was found wandering alone. They released the video on Sunday, uncertain of the woman’s identity.

  • Salaam has refused to answer why she abandoned her daughter. She is scheduled to reappear in Bronx Criminal Court on April 22nd. It is not clear if Salaam has entered a plea deal or retained an attorney to speak on her behalf.

Sidaya is being cared for by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services and will have no contact with her mother before the trial.

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U.S Issues Warning After Microsoft Says China Hacked Its Mail Server Program

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The U.S Department of Homeland Security issued an emergency directive on March 3rd in response to recent cyber attacks deemed unacceptable risks to federal agencies.

What We Know:

  • Exchange Server is an enterprise-class collaboration product that primarily focuses on sending, receiving, and storing e-mail messages. Microsoft urges customers to update their Exchange Server in order to patch out vulnerabilities that were most recently exploited by a hacker group called Hafnium. The vulnerabilities in question were first discovered in early January by researchers at a cybersecurity firm called Volexity Inc. Hafnium is suspected as having backing from the Chinese government.
  • Last year, two groups of hackers exploited a flaw in software designed by SolarWinds corp. Federal officials claim the suspected group had Russian and Chinese origins. Together the two groups impacted at least nine U.S agencies and 100 companies, including Microsoft. The SolarWinds breach was also labeled a national security emergency by U.S lawmakers. A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbin, asserts that they “hope that relevant media and company will adopt a professional and responsible attitude and underscore the importance of having enough evidence when identifying cyber-related incidents, rather than make groundless accusation.”
  • The goal of Hafnium was to steal information from U.S targets like universities, defense contractors, law firms, and infectious-disease researchers. The attacks specifically allow Hafnium access to user e-mail accounts and install malware on devices. Although Microsoft has responded promptly to the situation by creating a patch fix to the breach, there is still concern on whether or not users will be able to install the update correctly. Satnam Narang, a staff research engineer at cybersecurity company Tenable Inc., describes the severity of the problem as quite intense because Microsoft decided to patch the problem now instead of a later date in a regular update.
  • According to cybersecurity firm Huntress’ research, 400 exchange servers were found to be vulnerable out of the total 2,000. John Hammond, a senior security researcher at Huntress, warns that these attacks may very well spread if proper action is not taken. Once access has been granted to hackers, they can then create a web-shell called a web-shell that allows them to take control remotely.

There doesn’t appear to be a timeline on the future of these attacks or when they will stop, but if the matter is not treated seriously, hackers will surely continue.

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