• Oct, 2021
  • Oct 13, 2021
  • Netherlands struggles with drug mafia threats

    Earlier this year, a journalist covering the 'Mocro Mafia' trial of 17 members was killed. Now the PM of the country has to step up his security following threats.

    "This is completely undermining our rule of law, which has led many Dutch people to be terrified..." one of their suits said at Congress.

    Analysts drew comparisons with other drug cartel leaders, like ones in days gone by in Latin America: "It's them showing how powerful they are... saying, 'Look, we are even considering doing this.' The threats to (PM) Rutte show that in a way the Netherlands is descending into a narcostate. Not in the sense of that we have a lot of corruption at government level, or that police are crooked, but in the sense that organized crime is so big."

    Drugs in this story means cocaine and MDMA/ecstasy. These are the two drugs that follow at a distance marijuana as the most popular recreational substances there. Drug use is concentrated among young adults age 15-34.

  • Bow and arrow attack in Norway left some dead, others wounded

    First question that arises in my (everyone's?) mind: Was it a Muslim extremist or an anti-immigration native extremist?

  • Sep, 2021
  • Sep 28, 2021
  • Murders up 30% in US in 2020

    ... according to the FBI's annual report. Largest increase since the report started in the 60s.
  • Aug, 2021
  • Aug 26, 2021
  • Australian whistleblower's house attacked

    ... reportedly they smashed her windows in, and when she called local police they took 40 minutes to arrive, because when she called a second time while waiting she was told they were already there (they were at a different address).

    'Captain Louise' served in Afghanistan 2012-2013. She blew the whistle on a patrol who killed a group of farmers (10 civilians, goes the report) after the patrol commander accidentally shot one and they decided they couldn't leave witnesses.


    News reporting on this reference another story, from 2020, in which an Australian intelligence officer who said he had evidence of crimes in Afghanistan was found dead at a Canberra headquarters.

  • Aug, 2021
  • Aug 18, 2021
  • Nigeria governor tells locals to arm themselves against bandits

    For years there've been kidnappings of schools full of students in Nigeria. Sometimes they're held for years waiting for ransoms. Sometimes ransoms are paid, sometimes other strategies are used.

    Katsina State's governor has told people there to pick up guns and protect themselves, that they are not currently doing enough. He said it was morally wrong for people to sit back and allow bandits to take control of their lives.

    Katsina is the home state of the president of Nigeria. For many, if the pres can't secure that state he can't secure any part of the country, and last December bandits abducted around 300 students there. Those in charge have reportedly blamed the citizens, saying that because they're not fighting back, it's emboldening the criminals.

    Other officials have said the same thing in the past. The defense minister recently said the defense of the people should be in the hands of the people. They feel that because the government has problems protecting people, it sends the wrong message to the bandits.

  • Jun, 2021
  • Jun 12, 2021
  • Most disruptive infrastructure attack ever on U.S. soil

    Apparently. Colonial Pipeline hack. This pipeline sends a lot of the oil from Texas to New Jersey, from where it's distributed to other places. Hackers gained control of Colonial's system and are doing a ransomware action. Colonial took their all their operations offline because they didn't want the hackers to gain access to the IT that controls the pipes. They're currently handling some segments of the pipelines manually.

    We don't know too many details because Colonial hasn't given them to the DHS, reportedly.

    Some gas stations have run dry. Price of gas has already gone up 7 cents in the week, following the regular demand-supply equation. There's been panic buying and long queues, and the airline industry has been affected. Flights have been stopped and they've additional stops in order for planes to fuel up.

    The pipelines serve 90 U.S. military installations and 26 oil refineries, so the ripple effects are still to be seen.

    FBI is saying the hacker is Darkside from Russia, who usually works on big money ransom projects. They have a published list of things they won't hack, and don't seem to want to hurt normal people, although in this case gas prices effects everyone.

    A massive effort is expected to get things running again about a week after the problem started, involving the FBI and other government agencies and a task force assembled by the White House. But it depends whether they can resolve the ransomware situation.

    In recent years, the U.S. has scaled up its oil production and became a net exporter, but is now looking at returning to being an importer of oil.

  • Apr, 2021
  • Apr 30, 2021
  • Haiti, kidnapped priests, nuns and others

    All nine people have all been released - including the two Frenchmen. No word made public if the $1m ransom was paid. The local religious society of the kidnapped Haitians thanked the French and American ambassadors for their 'discreet and effective diplomatic support.' [RFI]

    Some have noted a rise in gang kidnappings for ransom in the country over the past year.

    #Haiti #Ransom

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