Daily Brief 10/03/2017: Trump to Visit Puerto Rico, Terror Trial Starts in New York and Russian Company Gives North Korea Another Internet Connection

U.S. News:

President Trump Set to Visit Puerto Rico Today-

In his first visit to Puerto Rico to view the devastation left behind by Hurricane Maria and check on the federal response to the disaster, President Trump will spend “significant time” meeting with U.S. and Puerto Rican officials and leaders today to discuss the progress being made in recovery efforts on the island.

The President, who will be accompanied by the First Lady, plans to tour various distribution facilities on the island responsible for making sure that relief supplies make it to those in need, and the headquarters of the recovery effort to get an update on how operations are being coordinated by local and federal agencies.

The White House has come under fire from politically motivated adversaries, including the mayor of San Juan Carmen Cruz, for the administration’s response to the the disaster situation on the island, however the governor of Puerto Rico has come out in support of the president and the actions of federal agencies so far on the island.

After his visit to Puerto Rico, the president is set to travel to Las Vegas and meet with the victims of Sunday’s horrific mass-shooting.

‘Chelsea Bomber’ Trial Gets Underway in New York-

The federal trial against Ahmad Khan Rahimi, the man prosecutors say planted numerous homemade explosive devices across New York and New Jersey leaving 30 people injured, has started this week in a New York federal court.

Rahimi has pled not guilty on charges that include using a weapon of mass-destruction to inflict great bodily harm, and could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty.

Federal prosecutors allege that Rahimi used a cellphone to detonate the devices, which were made out of pressure cookers, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

Court officers have already had to remove Rahimi fro the courtroom once for outbursts and speaking to jurors directly during the proceedings.

Former Equifax Head to Answer Questions From Lawmakers-

Lawmakers are set to question Richard Smith, the former chief executive of Equifax, over the recent security breach that has allowed over 145 million American’s personal information to potentially be exposed to online hackers and identity thieves.

Smith, who retired last week after fierce criticism of his handling of the events leading up to the breach, will answer questions as to why the company ignored numerous alerts by security firms and entities, to include he Department of Homeland Security, who in March issued a formal warning to Equifax about a “gap” in its online security measures.

Smith will face the House Energy and Commerce Committee today, but 3 additional hearings are set for this week alone with multiple congressional inquires currently ongoing.

World News:

Violence Increasing in Disputed Kashmir Region of India/Pakistan Border-

Another attack on India’s security forces in a highly disputed part of that country’s border with Pakistan has left a security officer dead, two others wounded and two of the attacking militants deceased as well.

India, who has long accused the Pakistani government of funding and supplying the militants in the region who are carrying out the recent attacks, has seen a rise in violence against its forces in the region and have seen these attacks become noticeably more frequent and targeted.

The area in which the latest attacks have occurred is responsible for disputes that led to two of the three wars that India and Pakistan have fought over the course of their existence as independent nations after gaining independence from the UK.

Australian Leaders Announce New Anti-Missile Systems to be Installed on Future Frigates-

Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said during a speech on Monday that nine of the new warships that country plans to build in 2020 will be equipped with medium and long-range anti-missile defense systems to combat the growing threat from “rogue nations.”

The systems will be variants of the Aegis Combat System that is produced Lockheed Martin and in conjunction with SAAB Australia Technologies.

“Recent events in our region have proven that Australia’s future frigates must be equipped to defend Australia from the threat of medium and long-range missile attacks.” Turnbull said during his speech in Sydney.

Australia is one of the strongest U.S. allies in the pacific, and has already vowed “substantial military support” to America and South Korea in the event that a military conflict breaks out on the Korean peninsula.

Russian Company Gives North Korea a Second Internet Connection-

The Russian communications company, TransTeleCom, has secured a deal with the North Korean government that has secured the rogue nation a second internet connection to the global web.

The news comes from Dyn Research, a company tasked with monitoring international internet traffic, who said that the Russia-based company have been routing North Korean traffic since Sunday.

The company has already become the leading provider of internet in the North and already handles over 60% of North Korean internet activity.

38 North, an international entity monitoring the North Korean crisis, confirmed the new development in the region, and said that this connection could potentially lead to more powerful cyber attacks by the North like the ones that targeted Sony and multiple banking institutions with ransom-ware style viruses.

No official comment from the state department or White House on the news as of Tuesday morning.


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