Trump cuts red tape for cyberattacks

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser warned U.S. adversaries on Wednesday that the U.S. is prepared to respond offensively to cyberattacks on the United States.

John Bolton said that even before the administration released its cyber strategy last year, Trump had issued a classified executive order effectively reversing the Obama administration’s approach to offensive cyber operations. He said Trump has reduced red tape and procedural restrictions to make it less cumbersome for the U.S. to take offensive action in response to cyberattacks.

“I think that’s critical, because I think that if our adversaries can take steps against us in cyberspace and feel no consequences, feel no pain, bear no costs, they have no incentive to stop attacking us in cyberspace,” Bolton said at an event in Washington hosted by the Alexander Hamilton Society.

“The objective is not to have unrestricted cyber warfare, the object is to create structures of deterrence by making our adversaries understand that when they engage in offensive cyberactivities themselves, they will bear a disproportionate cost — so they think about it a lot harder before they launch a cyber operation to begin with.”

President to get security briefing

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is set to receive his final briefing on election security Thursday before polls close next Tuesday.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump asked for a “status update on the security and integrity of Tuesday’s election.”

Sanders says top homeland security and intelligence officials will be present, including FBI Director Christopher Wray, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

The Justice Department last month charged the first person, a Russian national, with attempting to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections.

U.S. intelligence agencies also jointly asserted last month that Russia, China, Iran and other countries are engaged in continuous efforts to influence American policy and voters in the upcoming elections and beyond.

2 charged for setting woman on fire

WASHINGTON — Two people have been arrested in the nation’s capital after a woman was doused with gasoline and set on fire during a street brawl.

News outlets report 39-year-old Darielle Gross and 17-year-old Mylan Barnes were arrested Wednesday night. Metropolitan police said both are charged with assault with intent to kill while armed.

The victim has been identified by her family as 46-year-old Stephanie Chase Wheeler. They say she was attacked Sunday while trying to break up a fight that began as a social media feud between groups of teens.

Chase Wheeler’s daughter, Sade, says her mother will be hospitalized for months.

Russia blames rocket failure on mistake

MOSCOW — A Russian space investigation has found that sensor that was damaged during assembly forced a Russian rocket to abort its trip two minutes after it was launched, a top Russian official said Thursday.

The Soyuz-FG rocket carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin failed shortly into the Oct. 11 flight, sending their capsule into a sharp fall back to Earth. The two men landed safely on the steppes of Kazakhstan despite the failed launch, the first of its kind for Russia’s manned program in over three decades.

The head of the Russian space agency had earlier blamed the failure on a malfunction of a sensor, but didn’t explain why it didn’t work.

Oleg Skorobogatov, who led the probe into the accident, told reporters Thursday that the investigation found that the sensor was damaged during the final assembly at the launch pad in Kazakhstan.

Russian rockets are manufactured in Russia and then transported by rail to the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The last time Russia saw an aborted manned launch was in 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts jettisoned and landed safely after a launch pad explosion. More recently, Russia’s space program has been dogged by a string of failed satellite launches involving unmanned vehicles.

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