What Cuba means for 2016

Saturday December 20th, 2014 03:24:19 PM
What will the U.S. shift in policy with Cuba mean for presidential candidates wanting to win over Cuban immigrants and Cuban Americans in Florida? Adam Smith from the Tampa Bay Times joins to discuss.

Cuba thaw a 'win' for American capitalism?

Saturday December 20th, 2014 03:15:20 PM
There is one group that's quite happy about the thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations: American corporations. Charles Sennott, Sujatha Fernandes, Lisa Cook and John Gutierrez join to discuss.

North Korea wants joint probe into Sony hack

Saturday December 20th, 2014 03:11:00 PM David Taintor
The repressive regime released a statement Saturday warning of 'serious consequences' if the U.S. doesn't cooperate in a joint investigation into the hack.

What will opening the door to Cuba lead to?

Saturday December 20th, 2014 03:00:09 PM
President Obama announced a historic shift this week with U.S.-Cuba relations. NBC's Jacob Rascon, GlobalPost's Charles Sennott, Sujatha Fernandes from Queens College, Lisa Cook from Michigan State University and John Gutierrez from the John Jay College o

An Up Against the Clock post-game

Saturday December 20th, 2014 02:56:11 PM
The contestants kick back and debrief their dramatic round of Up Against the Clock.

Up Against the Clock, full of intensity

Saturday December 20th, 2014 02:40:45 PM
MSNBC’s Craig Melvin, Republican strategist Mercedes Schlapp, and Slate’s Jamelle Bouie compete in a faced-paced, exciting round of Up Against the Clock.

President Obama calls on all women at presser

Saturday December 20th, 2014 02:26:06 PM
For the first time ever at a presidential news conference, President Obama took questions only from female reporters. Steve Kornacki’s guests look at why the president chose to do that and why he was also in such a jovial mood.

Quick! Read these 5 stories

Saturday December 20th, 2014 02:22:28 PM msnbc staff
Each week, msnbc.com collects the standout work published by our reporters in one convenient place.

President Obama vows US response to Sony...

Saturday December 20th, 2014 02:15:51 PM
Steve Kornacki talks with The New York Times’ Dave Itzkoff and David Sanger about why this hacking attack is different, President Obama’s response, and the factors that drove Sony to ultimately choose to pull "The Interview."

This Week in God, 12.20.14

Saturday December 20th, 2014 02:08:57 PM Steve Benen
Who's more likely to support a policy of U.S. torture of detainees, religious Americans or non-religious Americans?


Ferguson Prosecutor: I Knew Witnesses Lied To The Grand Jury

Friday December 19th, 2014 10:50:23 PM
St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch told a St. Louis radio station on Friday that he knew some of the witnesses who testified before the Ferguson grand jury were lying. In an interview flagged by BuzzFeed, McCulloch told radio station KTRS that he allowed the witnesses to testify because he wanted to present as much testimony as possible.The grand jury eventually decided not to indict white Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown."I thought it was much more important to present everything and everybody, and some that, yes, clearly were not telling the truth," McCulloch told the radio station. "No question about it."McCulloch returned to the point several times, describing at least one witness who "clearly wasn’t present when this occurred.""Witness 40" submitted diary entries containing racist remarks that later appeared to have been fabricated after the fact. There is evidence the person lied about witnessing the shooting by piecing together information based on the officer's already-published account, according to a report by The Smoking Gun.McCulloch said he had no plans to pursue perjury charges against the witnesses, however."There were people who came in and yes, absolutely lied under oath," he said. "Some lied to the FBI. Even though they’re not under oath, that’s another potential offense — a federal offense.""I thought it was much more important to present the entire picture and say, 'Listen, this is what this witness says he saw,'" he added.Before he announced the decision on Nov. 24, McCulloch faced scrutiny and some criticism from the Brown family and former prosecutors, both for his personal history and approach toward presenting evidence to the grand jury.

Sony CEO: "We Have Not Backed Down"

Friday December 19th, 2014 10:33:41 PM
Sorry, Sony dude. If you want a mulligan you're gonna have to ask for it.

Sony CEO Hits Back At Obama: 'We Have Not Backed Down'

Friday December 19th, 2014 10:03:37 PM
The CEO of Sony Entertainment criticized President Obama on Friday for shaming the company over its decision to cancel the release of the movie "The Interview" after threats from hackers. President Obama told reporters earlier Friday that he believed Sony had made a mistake by bailing on the film's Christmas Day release."I'm sympathetic to the concerns that they faced. Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake," Obama said.Michael Lynton, the head of Sony Entertainment, disputed the President's interpretation later in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria."I don't know exactly whether he understands the sequence of events that led up to the movie not being shown in the movie theaters," Lynton said."Therefore I would disagree with the notion that it was a mistake," he said.Sony Entertainment cancelled the release of "The Interview" on Wednesday, after threats from hackers calling themselves "Guardians Of Peace" caused several major theater chains to back out of showing the film.On Friday, the FBI released a statement saying the North Korean government — parodied in the film — was responsible for the threats and hacking."We have not given in. And we have not backed down. We have always had every desire to have the American public see this movie," Lynton told CNN.

Obama Flubs 'The Interview' Actor's Name: 'James Flacco'

Friday December 19th, 2014 08:14:14 PM
President Barack Obama caught the attention of NFL quarterback Joe Flacco on Friday after he misstated the name of one of the actors in Sony Picture's "The Interview" during a year-end press conference. Obama was responding to a question about Sony's decision to cancel the theatrical release of "The Interview" amid threats of violence that the FBI has since tied to North Korea."It says something interesting about North Korea that they decided to have the state mount an all-out assault on a movie studio because of a satirical movie starring Seth Rogen and James Flacco," he said. "I love Seth, and I love James. But the notion that that was a threat to them, I think gives you some sense of the kind of regime we're talking about here."The actor's name is actually James Franco.Twitter quickly lit up over the flub, prompting Flacco, the Baltimore Ravens' quarterback, to correct the President:.@barackobama It's James Franco, not James Flacco ;)— Joe Flacco (@TeamFlacco) December 19, 2014

Obama Calls On Only Women Reporters At Year-End Presser

Friday December 19th, 2014 08:00:34 PM
President Barack Obama took questions from only women reporters at his year-end press conference on Friday — eight of them. The first question went to Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico. The next seven went to female reporters from Bloomberg BNA, The Associated Press, McClatchy, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and American Urban Radio Networks.The news conference lasted for about an hour.Reporters who asked questions today during Obama's final press conference of 2014. pic.twitter.com/YwHB2RVBzx— Chris Moody (@moody) December 19, 2014

Obama: 'Change Is Going To Come To Cuba -- It Has To'

Friday December 19th, 2014 07:28:05 PM
President Barack Obama declined Friday to say where he expects Cuba to be by the end of his presidency, after his decision to open formal relations with the country, but he did assert that the new policy will result in change."It would be unrealistic for me to map out exactly where Cuba will be. But change is going to come to Cuba," Obama said at his end-of-the-year press conference. "It has to." "They've been reliant for years on subsidies from the Soviet Union and then on subsidies from Venezuela. Those can't be sustained," he continued. "And the more the Cuban people see what's possible, the more interested they are going to be in change.""It could happen fast. It could happen slower than I would like," he concluded. "It's going to happen and this change in policy is going to advance that."

Obama Mocks: 'What Belgium Needs Is A Version Of Politico'

Friday December 19th, 2014 07:25:47 PM
President Barack Obama took a not-so-subtle dig at Politico during his year-end press conference on Friday. After answering a question from Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown, the President said he'd heard the reporter was moving to Europe. Brown replied that she would be relocating to Brussels, Belgium, which is the capital of the European Union, to help the publication expand into Europe."I think there's no doubt that what Belgium needs is a version of Politico," Obama said to hearty laughter from the reporters."The waffles are delicious there, by the way," he added.

Obama Shames Sony For Pulling Movie: 'That's Not Who We Are'

Friday December 19th, 2014 07:44:08 PM
President Barack Obama said Friday that Sony had "made a mistake" pulling the film "The Interview" after its email archives were hacked, the contents were leaked, and threats were made against theaters if they showed the film."Sony is a corporation. It suffered significant damage. There were threats against its employees. I'm sympathetic to the concerns that they faced," Obama said at his end-of-the-year press conference. "Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake." The FBI announced Friday it had concluded that North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un is assassinated in the film, was responsible for the attack."We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States," he said. "Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary that they don't like or news reports that they don't like.""Or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of somebody's sensibilities who probably need to be offended," he continued. "So that's not who we are. That's not what America is about."The president also referenced the running of the Boston marathon a year after the attacks there."We can't start changing our patterns of behavior anymore than we stop going to a football game because there might be the possibility of a terrorist attack. Any more than Boston didn't run its marathon this year because of the possibility that somebody might try to cause harm. Let's not get into that way of doing business."Obama added that he wish Sony "had spoken with me first" before pulling the film, which starred Seth Rogen and James Franco. He also pledged a response."They caused a lot of damage, and we will respond," he said. "We will respond proportionately and we'll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose."

WATCH LIVE: Obama Holds Year-End Press Conference

Friday December 19th, 2014 06:38:32 PM
President Barack Obama is expected to address a number of issues, including U.S.-Cuban relations and the cyberattack on Sony Pictures, in a year-end press conference Friday.The President is expected to speak at 1:30 p.m ET. Watch below via NBC News.

Here's Every Cameo In The Epic Finale Of 'The Colbert Report'

Saturday December 20th, 2014 12:58:26 AM
Stephen Colbert's final episode of "The Colbert Report" was filled with a mind-boggling amount of cameos from his friends in politics, the media and Hollywood. Some guests, like actor James Franco, seemed to pop up everywhere. Others, like Gloria Steinem, nearly managed to avoid the cameras altogether. Trying to determine just who was on set Thursday night is almost like playing a real-life game of Where's Waldo.So here's a list of everyone that bid farewell to Colbert with a group rendition of "We'll Meet Again" -- at least everyone that we could identify.Randy Newman plays the piano as Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart kick off "We'll Meet Again."From left to right: Willie Nelson, Bryan Cranston, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Francis Collins.From left to right: Tom Brokaw, Mandy Patinkin, Lil' Buck, Yo Yo Ma and Neil deGrasse Tyson.From left to right: Sam Waterston, Jeff Daniels, Cyndi Lauper, Big Bird, Trevor Potter and Keith Olbermann.From left to right: Andrew Sullivan, David Hallberg, Katie Couric, Ken Burns and Ric Ocasek.From left to right: Charlie Rose, Samantha Power, Michael Stipe, James Franco and Cookie Monster.From left to right: Toby Keith, Dean Kamen and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. From left to right: James Franco, David Gregory, Jeff Tweedy, Christiane Amanpour, Sir Patrick Stewart and Andy Cohen.The cameos start getting harder to spot from here on out. Behind Colbert and Stewart are Bill de Blasio and Andrew Young. To the right is U.S. Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno and Barry Manilow, with George Saunders lurking behind them.Stone Phillips, Peter Frampton, Arianna Huffington and Naquasia Legrand, who is a fast food worker and activist.From left to right: Alan Alda, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), George Lucas, Alexi Lalas and Jonathan Batiste.From left to right: James Franco, Andy Cohen, Sir Patrick Stewart, Elijah Wood, Henry Kissinger, Mike Huckabee, Bob Costas and Tim Meadows.Pussy Riot.Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.U.S. forces in Afghanistan.Former President Bill Clinton.Astronaut Terry Virts joins in from the International Space Station.J.J. Abrams.From left to right: Jake Tapper, astronaut Garrett Reisman, Lesley Stahl, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Terry Gross, Jeffrey Toobin, Norm Ornstein and Ed Viesturs.From left to right: Ed Viesturs, Shepard Fairey, Emily Bazelon, David Leonhardt, Matt Taibbi, Steven Pinker (back row), Jonathan Alter, Father Jim Martin (back row) and Eliot Spitzer.Front row, from left to right: Colbert's son John, his daughter Madeleine, his wife Evie and Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless. Back row, from left to right: cosmologist Brian Greene, Colbert's son Peter, and Paulina Porizkova. Nate Silver, who isn't pictured, is standing behind John.From left to right: Cliff Sloan, Thomas Friedman, David Remnick, Paul Krugman and Bing West. CNBC's Jim Cramer is hanging out behind Krugman's head.From left: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), Richard Clarke, Jimmy Wales, Grover Norquist, Maureen Dowd, Paul Rieckhoff, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Ann Patchett, Dan Savage and Robert Pinsky.You can spot Mark Cuban hiding behind Charlie Rose and Cass Sunstein hanging out to the far right. Marvel Comics' Joe Quesada stands to the left of Sunstein and behind Robert Pinsky.Watch the segment below: The Colbert Report Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,The Colbert Report on Facebook,Video ArchiveThis post has been updated.

Conservatives Just Forgot Nearly 150 Years Of History With Cuba

Friday December 19th, 2014 06:07:17 PM
The critics of President Obama’s actions on Cuba are trying to fit a decades-old problem into a post-9/11 “Axis of Evil” mindset. But while conservatives are condemning Obama for “coddling dictators” (just as they once attacked him for “palling around with terrorists”), their attack requires forgetting a huge amount of history. Here is what you need to know—and what they have forgotten. Many Americans have thought of Cuba as an enemy for more than half a century. Today’s critics of President Obama argue as if tensions began during the Cold War, when in 1960 Fidel Castro’s Cuba partnered with the Soviet Union, and have simmered ever since, almost bringing the world to war in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.A deeper view of history offers a very different picture. For more than 150 years, both American and Cuban leaders have dreamed of tying the nations together.In the late 1840s, Cuban slaveowner Narciso López led a series of revolts in an effort to gain independence from Spain, preserve slavery on the island, and ally with the United States—specifically, with the slave South. López’s efforts failed and he was executed in 1851, but a few years later, Franklin Pierce’s pro-slavery Minister to Spain, Pierre Soulé, pursued a similar plan on behalf of the United States. Soulé and others drafted the secret Ostend Manifesto (1854), which argued for a U.S. purchase or annexation of the island and, when made public, led to a diplomatic crisis that almost erupted in war.When military conflict came, in the Spanish American War of the late 1890s, the United States and Cuban revolutionaries allied in opposition to Spanish rule. This time, the Cuban leader was far more radical than López: José Martí, a poet, journalist, professor, and revolutionary who had spent decades as an exile in New York City and whose writings and efforts contributed greatly to the resistance against Spain. Martí’s death at the Battle of Dos Ríos in 1895 produced a surge of Cuban and American sympathy for the revolution, and thus in both life and death Martí played a prominent role in bringing the United States into the Spanish American War and into a relationship with Cuba that would last for half a century after the war’s end.Over the course of those decades, from 1895 until 1959, the United States participated both openly and covertly in Cuba’s political evolution, helping install and remove numerous leaders. Fulgencio Batista was at the center of those histories, from the time he led a 1933 military revolt that overthrew Cuba’s president through his own 1940 election to the presidency and finally a 1952 coup that returned him to power. In his earlier days Batista was more like Martí, a revolutionary dedicated to social reform and the people. But by the 1950s, he had evolved into a strident anti-Communist with deep ties to U.S. corporate interests on the island. So when Fidel Castro and his fellow Communist rebels led the 1959 revolution that overthrew Batista, the U.S. severed its longstanding ties to Cuba.Here is what Obama’s critics are missing: the fact that Cuban-American connections have evolved, shifted, and most of all, endured, across nearly two centuries. Pioneering Caribbean scholar Edouard Glissant described the Americas as created through a process of “creolization,” of interdependent relationships and influences across many nations. In announcing his decision, President Obama put it more simply, quoting none other than José Martí: “Todos somos Americanos.” Indeed we are, and if we start there, we can realize that 1960 to 2014 need not define the future of the U.S.-Cuba relationship. Indeed, it doesn’t even define the past.Ben Railton is an Associate Professor of English Studies at Fitchburg State University and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network.

Good Lord, People

Friday December 19th, 2014 06:06:25 PM
Michigan woman files trademark on phrase "I Can't Breathe" for hoodies and t-shirts.

How Can Politicians Oppose Reproductive Rights In Public—Yet Demand Risky Sex In Private?

Friday December 19th, 2014 06:05:34 PM
The tendency of many Texas districts to elect anyone, no matter how obviously embarrassing, to Congress so long as he has an “R” by his name, strikes again. This time, it’s Rep. Blake Farenthold, out of Corpus Christi, who is being sued by former communications staffer Lauren Greene for sexual harassment. The details of the lawsuit are just what you’d hope they’d be when considering a conservative Texas congressman who had a prior career as a Rush Limbaugh wannabe at a local talk radio station: Heavy drinking leading to harassing women at parties, hitting women up for pity sex by trotting out the “my wife won’t sleep with me” line, bragging that a lobbyist tapped him for a threesome. Greene-specific leering accusations include suggesting she had semen on her skirt, telling her he had “wet dreams” about her and talking about her nipples. These stories are still firmly in the “allegations” category; still, Farenthold’s comfort with lewdness and leering at women is evident from this picture of him in duck pajamas posing with lingerie models. But while Farenthold is inarguably comfortable being around sexed-up women and is alleged to be highly interested in committing adultery, when it comes to the basic health care women need in order to have all that sex safely and healthily, Farenthold, citing his strong Catholic values, cannot stand for it.Farenthold has a long anti-abortion record, sponsoring a bill that would ban abortion at the federal level and voting for a bill that would ban women from using their own insurance plans to cover abortion. He’s not particularly keen on contraception, either, co-sponsoring a bill that would ban Planned Parenthood from getting federal funding for contraception provision. When Hobby Lobby won their Supreme Court case, giving them the right to deny contraception coverage to employees, lingerie-loving but contraception-sour Farenthold celebrated on Facebook.It’s a story that gets told over and over in many ways and in many forms over the years: Conservatives who get high and mighty about the sexual choices of others, while using that same sexual freedom in order to have some fun of their own. And, since most of them aren’t hitting up post-menopausal women, we can guess they’re relying on the same reproductive technologies they denounce in the daylight to do so without baby-making. After all, the only love child to be produced in a political sex scandal, in my lifetime at least, was born to a pro-choice Democrat. Newt Gingrich, David Vitter, John Ensign: All eager to tell you that you have to live with the “consequences” of having sex, all eager to avoid those consequences themselves. Scott DesJarlais is opposed to abortion, except when he wanted his mistress to get one. Hell, the author of one of the most enduring bits of anti-abortion legislation, the Hyde Amendment—and who went hard after President Clinton for adultery—had been having an affair just a few short years before he decided that women on Medicaid should not be able to say no to giving birth if they accidentally get pregnant.How do these guys compartmentalize like this? There’s a temptation to call all this “hypocrisy” and leave it at that, but really, it happens so often and so egregiously that the word “hypocrisy” doesn’t seem to encompass all that is going on here. Really, what we’re seeing is an inability to even consider the internal lives, needs, and wants of women. Certainly, the past couple of years have exposed how many prominent conservative men who feel entitled to shame and stigmatize women for using contraception inadvertently reveal, at the very same time, that they have no idea how contraception works or how central it is to the life of nearly every single woman who has ever had intercourse, ever. Putting two and two together—realizing that female sexual accessibility that you want to enjoy requires women having access to reproductive health care—requires giving women minimal consideration as people, as opposed to just bodies in skirts for you to leer at. And once again we’re reminded how many conservative men just don’t want to go there.Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist who writes frequently about liberal politics, the religious right and reproductive health care. She's a prolific Twitter villian who can be followed @amandamarcotte.

Rand Paul Slams Marco Rubio Over Cuba As Feud Escalates

Friday December 19th, 2014 06:02:33 PM
The disagreement between Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rand Paul (R-KY) over America's changing relationship with Cuba is escalating quickly.Rubio was among the loudest opponents to President Barack Obama's announcement that the United States would begin normalizing relations with its Caribbean neighbor. After Paul said he supported the change, Rubio lashed out, saying Paul "has no idea what he's talking about."Both are considered potential 2016 presidential contenders, and Paul struck back on Friday on both Twitter and Facebook. Hey @marcorubio if the embargo doesn't hurt Cuba, why do you want to keep it?— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) December 19, 2014Senator @marcorubio is acting like an isolationist who wants to retreat to our borders and perhaps build a moat. I reject this isolationism.— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) December 19, 2014The United States trades and engages with other communist nations, such as China and Vietnam. So @marcorubio why not Cuba?— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) December 19, 2014.@marcorubio what about the majority of Cuban-Americans who now support normalizing relations between our countries? http://t.co/0qhSOeD9Va— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) December 19, 2014 (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Woman Tries To Trademark 'I Can't Breathe' To Sell Merchandise

Friday December 19th, 2014 05:50:57 PM
An Illinois woman has applied for a trademark to the phrase "I Can't Breathe," made famous as the last words of New York man Eric Garner, who died in July after a police officer placed the unarmed black man in a chokehold. Catherine Crump, 57, submitted a petition to the the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Dec. 13, the Smoking Gun reported Thursday.Crump says she has made use of the phrase as early as August 18, one month after Garner was killed, according to the site. She intends to print the phrase on hoodies and t-shirts for sale.Since Garner's death, and the subequent grand jury decision on Dec. 3 not to indict the officer who choked him, protestors across the country have turned "I can't breathe" into a chant at demonstrations.Crump told The Smoking Gun she did not apply for a trademark to make money.

FBI: North Korean Government Was Behind Sony Hack

Friday December 19th, 2014 05:09:50 PM
The FBI released a statement on Friday formally accusing the North Korean government of being responsible for hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment on Nov. 24. "As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. Government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions" the statement read.Read the full statement below: Today, the FBI would like to provide an update on the status of our investigation into the cyber attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). In late November, SPE confirmed that it was the victim of a cyber attack that destroyed systems and stole large quantities of personal and commercial data. A group calling itself the “Guardians of Peace” claimed responsibility for the attack and subsequently issued threats against SPE, its employees, and theaters that distribute its movies.The FBI has determined that the intrusion into SPE’s network consisted of the deployment of destructive malware and the theft of proprietary information as well as employees’ personally identifiable information and confidential communications. The attacks also rendered thousands of SPE’s computers inoperable, forced SPE to take its entire computer network offline, and significantly disrupted the company’s business operations.After discovering the intrusion into its network, SPE requested the FBI’s assistance. Since then, the FBI has been working closely with the company throughout the investigation. Sony has been a great partner in the investigation, and continues to work closely with the FBI. Sony reported this incident within hours, which is what the FBI hopes all companies will do when facing a cyber attack. Sony’s quick reporting facilitated the investigators’ ability to do their jobs, and ultimately to identify the source of these attacks.As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. Government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions. While the need to protect sensitive sources and methods precludes us from sharing all of this information, our conclusion is based, in part, on the following:- Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed. For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks.- The FBI also observed significant overlap between the infrastructure used in this attack and other malicious cyber activity the U.S. Government has previously linked directly to North Korea. For example, the FBI discovered that several Internet protocol (IP) addresses associated with known North Korean infrastructure communicated with IP addresses that were hardcoded into the data deletion malware used in this attack. - Separately, the tools used in the SPE attack have similarities to a cyber attack in March of last year against South Korean banks and media outlets, which was carried out by North We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there. Further, North Korea’s attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States. Though the FBI has seen a wide variety and increasing number of cyber intrusions, the destructive nature of this attack, coupled with its coercive nature, sets it apart. North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves. Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior. The FBI takes seriously any attempt – whether through cyber-enabled means, threats of violence, or otherwise – to undermine the economic and social prosperity of our citizens.The FBI stands ready to assist any U.S. company that is the victim of a destructive cyber attack or breach of confidential business information. Further, the FBI will continue to work closely with multiple departments and agencies as well as with domestic, foreign, and private sector partners who have played a critical role in our ability to trace this and other cyber threats to their source. Working together, the FBI will identify, pursue, and impose costs and consequences on individuals, groups, or nation states who use cyber means to threaten the United States or U.S. interests.

FBI Statement on Sony Hack

Friday December 19th, 2014 05:02:38 PM
Here's the FBI statement placing blame on North Korea for the cyber attacks on Sony. Full statement after the jump ... UPDATE IN SONY INVESTIGATIONToday, the FBI would like to provide an update on the status of our investigation into the cyber attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). In late November, SPE confirmed that it was the victim of a cyber attack that destroyed systems and stole large quantities of personal and commercial data. A group calling itself the “Guardians of Peace” claimed responsibility for the attack and subsequently issued threats against SPE, its employees, and theaters that distribute its movies.The FBI has determined that the intrusion into SPE’s network consisted of the deployment of destructive malware and the theft of proprietary information as well as employees’ personally identifiable information and confidential communications. The attacks also rendered thousands of SPE’s computers inoperable, forced SPE to take its entire computer network offline, and significantly disrupted the company’s business operations.After discovering the intrusion into its network, SPE requested the FBI’s assistance. Since then, the FBI has been working closely with the company throughout the investigation. Sony has been a great partner in the investigation, and continues to work closely with the FBI. Sony reported this incident within hours, which is what the FBI hopes all companies will do when facing a cyber attack. Sony’s quick reporting facilitated the investigators’ ability to do their jobs, and ultimately to identify the source of these attacks.As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. Government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions. While the need to protect sensitive sources and methods precludes us from sharing all of this information, our conclusion is based, in part, on the following: Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed. For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks.The FBI also observed significant overlap between the infrastructure used in this attack and other malicious cyber activity the U.S. Government has previously linked directly to North Korea. For example, the FBI discovered that several Internet protocol (IP) addresses associated with known North Korean infrastructure communicated with IP addresses that were hardcoded into the data deletion malware used in this attack.Separately, the tools used in the SPE attack have similarities to a cyber attack in March of last year against South Korean banks and media outlets, which was carried out by North Korea.We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there. Further, North Korea’s attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States. Though the FBI has seen a wide variety and increasing number of cyber intrusions, the destructive nature of this attack, coupled with its coercive nature, sets it apart. North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves. Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior. The FBI takes seriously any attempt – whether through cyber-enabled means, threats of violence, or otherwise – to undermine the economic and social prosperity of our citizens.The FBI stands ready to assist any U.S. company that is the victim of a destructive cyber attack or breach of confidential business information. Further, the FBI will continue to work closely with multiple departments and agencies as well as with domestic, foreign, and private sector partners who have played a critical role in our ability to trace this and other cyber threats to their source. Working together, the FBI will identify, pursue, and impose costs and consequences on individuals, groups, or nation states who use cyber means to threaten the United States or U.S. interests.

Marco Rubio: Rand Paul 'Has No Idea What He's Talking About' On Cuba

Friday December 19th, 2014 04:23:55 PM
When it comes to Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) support for the Obama administration's new policy on Cuba, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said the senator from Kentucky doesn't know what he's talking about. "Like many people who have been opining, he has no idea what he's talking about," Rubio said during an appearance on Fox News' "The Kelly Report" that was flagged by Politico. The comments came a day after President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. would open diplomatic relations with Cuba. Rubio has been one of the most energetic lawmakers bashing the move but Paul, slower than some of his Republican colleagues to weigh in, said that the U.S.'s half century embargo on Cuba "just hasn't worked.""If the goal was regime change, it sure doesn't seem to be working," Paul said in an interview earlier in the week on West Virginia radio station WVHU. "Probably it punishes the people more than the regime because the regime can blame the embargo for hardship." Rubio, of Cuban descent, and Paul have both been mentioned as possible 2016 presidential contenders.

Arff

Friday December 19th, 2014 04:21:00 PM
Dog shoots Wyoming man after stepping rifle.

Video Shows White NYC Cop Repeatedly Punching Young Black Male

Friday December 19th, 2014 04:16:05 PM
In a video posted online, a white plainclothes New York City cop was seen running up to a young black male being placed under arrest and punching him several times in the torso. The footage, shot from the sidewalk, shows several officers surrounding a young male on the hood of a car, the New York Daily News reported on Friday.Suddenly, what appeared to be a plainclothes officer ran into frame and began punching the young male as the other cops continued to press him against the car."Hey, hey, hey stop it! Get off of him!" a woman outside of the shot shouted."He's 12! Why did you just do that?" another woman is heard saying to the police. "I'm a lawyer, I can't believe you just did that."The crowd continued to confront the police over the course of the 8-minute video, which eventually showed another young man against the hood of a different car complaining and shouting at the cops.NYPD Internal Affairs was investigating the episode, police told the paper. Police said the two were arrested for assaulting someone with a cane. The date of the apparent assault remains unclear.h/t Gawker


‘I Don’t Deserve To Die On The Street': Inside A Funeral For The Homeless

Friday December 19th, 2014 08:45:16 PM Alan Pyke

For the 25th year in a row, homeless people and their advocates around the country commemorated National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day on Friday.The post ‘I Don’t Deserve To Die On The Street': Inside A Funeral For The Homeless appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Wealth Gap Between Rich And Poor Is The Widest Ever Recorded

Thursday December 18th, 2014 06:17:32 PM Joaquim Moreira Salles

It’s common knowledge that the wealth gap in the United States is growing, but what few seem to realize is just how wide that gap already is. The top 0.1 percent of Americans are now worth more than the entire bottom 90 percent.The post The Wealth Gap Between Rich And Poor Is The Widest Ever Recorded appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Why Is This City’s Democratic Mayor Threatening To Veto A $10.10 Minimum Wage?

Thursday December 18th, 2014 02:43:16 PM Alan Pyke

There's a minimum wage fight brewing in Kentucky's biggest city.The post Why Is This City’s Democratic Mayor Threatening To Veto A $10.10 Minimum Wage? appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Walmart’s New Pregnant Worker Protections Aren’t Protecting Pregnant Workers, Advocates Charge

Wednesday December 17th, 2014 05:16:39 PM Alan Pyke

Walmart revamped its pregnancy policies in March, but worker advocates filed a complaint on Wednesday saying the policy is failing.The post Walmart’s New Pregnant Worker Protections Aren’t Protecting Pregnant Workers, Advocates Charge appeared first on ThinkProgress.

How Congress Could Finally Change The Nonsensical Way We Fund Schools

Wednesday December 17th, 2014 05:13:38 PM Lisette Partelow - Guest Contributor

A 1965 law might be getting a much-needed overhaul soon.The post How Congress Could Finally Change The Nonsensical Way We Fund Schools appeared first on ThinkProgress.

iTunes Is Not A Digital Music Monopoly, Jury Decides

Tuesday December 16th, 2014 08:46:35 PM Lauren C. Williams

Apple wins decade-long iTunes lawsuit after jury decides the company didn't break the law by using encryption that kept customers from playing music bought from third-parties.The post iTunes Is Not A Digital Music Monopoly, Jury Decides appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Payday Loan Mogul May Face Criminal Charges Under Laws That Targeted Mafia Loan Sharks

Tuesday December 16th, 2014 02:38:03 PM Alan Pyke

A law designed to crack down on mob loan sharks may soon bite online payday lending mogul Scott Tucker, whose business arrangements with Native American tribes have drawn legal scrutiny.The post Payday Loan Mogul May Face Criminal Charges Under Laws That Targeted Mafia Loan Sharks appeared first on ThinkProgress.

What Amazon Stands To Lose In Apple’s E-Book Price-Fixing Case

Tuesday December 16th, 2014 02:33:28 PM Lauren C. Williams

While Amazon is not a party in the case, the case has everything to do with the mega e-retailer.The post What Amazon Stands To Lose In Apple’s E-Book Price-Fixing Case appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Top Financier Skips Out On Train Fare, Gets Barred From His Profession For Life

Monday December 15th, 2014 08:39:36 PM Alan Pyke

A millionaire financier has been banned from his profession for life for skipping out on train fare. What can the story tell us about the industry?The post Top Financier Skips Out On Train Fare, Gets Barred From His Profession For Life appeared first on ThinkProgress.

How Citigroup Lobbyists Just Gutted Accountability For Wall Street

Friday December 12th, 2014 08:32:40 PM Alan Pyke

The Wall Street deregulation measure that inspired a lefty revolt against the "cromnibus" spending deal shares some worrying characteristics with a fateful 2000 deregulatory move.The post How Citigroup Lobbyists Just Gutted Accountability For Wall Street appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Bosses Can’t Stop Workers From Using Company Email To Unionize

Friday December 12th, 2014 03:28:08 PM Lauren C. Williams

In a major win for labor unions, federal regulators ruled that workers can now organize via work email. The post Bosses Can’t Stop Workers From Using Company Email To Unionize appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Major U.S. City To Eliminate Homelessness Among Veterans In the Next 3 Weeks

Friday December 12th, 2014 01:49:09 PM Kira Lerner

"We were soldiers but I’m not a soldier no more,” one homeless veteran said. “I barely feel like a person sometimes." The post Major U.S. City To Eliminate Homelessness Among Veterans In the Next 3 Weeks appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Congress Is Showing How Eager It Is To Gut Financial Reform

Thursday December 11th, 2014 09:37:52 PM David Sanchez - Guest Contributor

A controversial Wall Street giveaway might sink Congress' last-minute deal to keep the government open. But it's just a preview of what legislators have in store for Dodd-Frank this spring.The post Congress Is Showing How Eager It Is To Gut Financial Reform appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Pope Francis’ Plan To Rescue Millions From Modern-Day Slavery

Thursday December 11th, 2014 09:21:01 PM Jack Jenkins

Pope Francis thinks we should all think twice before purchasing “items which may well have been produced by exploiting others.”The post Pope Francis’ Plan To Rescue Millions From Modern-Day Slavery appeared first on ThinkProgress.

A New Approach For How State Leaders Can Fight Concentrated Poverty

Thursday December 11th, 2014 05:30:27 PM Tracey Ross

After years of facing cuts to federal anti-poverty programs, frustrated advocates might consider looking toward another venue to make change for vulnerable communities.The post A New Approach For How State Leaders Can Fight Concentrated Poverty appeared first on ThinkProgress.

This Texas City’s Attempt To Fight Charities That Feed The Homeless Cost It 8 Years And $250,000

Thursday December 11th, 2014 02:36:45 PM Alan Pyke

One big city's attempt to restrict charities from feeding the homeless cost it most of a decade in court and a quarter-million dollars, only to arrive at a compromise solution that restores feeding programs. The experience should be a lesson to other towns, one advocate says.The post This Texas City’s Attempt To Fight Charities That Feed The Homeless Cost It 8 Years And $250,000 appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Supreme Court Just Rejected A Wage Theft Suit Against Amazon. What Does It Mean For Other Workers?

Wednesday December 10th, 2014 09:14:10 PM Alan Pyke

Justices struck down wage theft complaints by Amazon.com's exploited warehouse workers, but the case differs in important ways from other high-profile efforts to combat corporate wage theft.The post The Supreme Court Just Rejected A Wage Theft Suit Against Amazon. What Does It Mean For Other Workers? appeared first on ThinkProgress.

35 Hours Before Deadline, Agreement To Keep Government Open Breaks Down

Wednesday December 10th, 2014 05:58:16 PM Judd Legum

With just 35 hours before funding for the federal government runs out, that agreement is in serious Jeopardy. The post 35 Hours Before Deadline, Agreement To Keep Government Open Breaks Down appeared first on ThinkProgress.

8 Things To Know About The ‘Cromnibus’ Budget Deal Congress Just Unveiled

Wednesday December 10th, 2014 05:26:27 PM Alan Pyke

The "cromnibus" has a cute name, but the details are devilish.The post 8 Things To Know About The ‘Cromnibus’ Budget Deal Congress Just Unveiled appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Big Banks Balk, So Colorado Has Created A Credit Union For The Marijuana Industry

Tuesday December 9th, 2014 02:40:47 PM Alan Pyke

Marijuana companies in Colorado must use cash and take the risks inherent in dealing with large amounts of paper money because banks won't do business with them. State officials hope a new credit union can change that.The post Big Banks Balk, So Colorado Has Created A Credit Union For The Marijuana Industry appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Welcome To Machine Gun America, Where 13-Year-Olds Can Fire AK-47s

Friday December 19th, 2014 07:53:23 PM Nicole Flatow

The new amusement attraction opens this week in Orlando, Florida — six miles away from Disney World. The post Welcome To Machine Gun America, Where 13-Year-Olds Can Fire AK-47s appeared first on ThinkProgress.

9 Travesties Of Justice In 2014 That Would Be Totally Unbelievable If They Weren’t True

Friday December 19th, 2014 02:44:19 PM Nicole Flatow

Every year, stories emerge that serve as a reminder that the American system of justice means injustice for too many, with some receiving little or no punishment for egregious offenses, while others receive harsh or faulty punishment for much less.The post 9 Travesties Of Justice In 2014 That Would Be Totally Unbelievable If They Weren’t True appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Video: NYPD Officers Caught Arresting, Repeatedly Punching Boy

Friday December 19th, 2014 02:09:00 PM Carimah Townes

NYPD officers are in hot water again. The post Video: NYPD Officers Caught Arresting, Repeatedly Punching Boy appeared first on ThinkProgress.

ACLU Sues To End Almost Total White Control Over Ferguson’s Majority Black School System

Thursday December 18th, 2014 09:51:03 PM Ian Millhiser

The election rules in Ferguson all but ensure that white school board members will set policies for black students.The post ACLU Sues To End Almost Total White Control Over Ferguson’s Majority Black School System appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Federal Court Stands Up For Gun Rights For People Who Have Been ‘Committed To a Mental Institution’

Thursday December 18th, 2014 07:03:58 PM Ian Millhiser

A man who was once determined to be a serious threat to himself and others is likely to be allowed to own a gun again soon.The post Federal Court Stands Up For Gun Rights For People Who Have Been ‘Committed To a Mental Institution’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Justice Department Declares Victory Over Town That Barred Muslims From Setting Up A Worship Center

Thursday December 18th, 2014 04:16:55 PM Ian Millhiser

The Islamic Center was rejected after many residents reportedly made “disparaging remarks about the Muslim faith" in opposing their plan. The post Justice Department Declares Victory Over Town That Barred Muslims From Setting Up A Worship Center appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Why Obama Just Sent 8 Drug Inmates Home Early

Thursday December 18th, 2014 02:08:46 PM Nicole Flatow

Among those who will be released in the spring are Barbara Scrivner, who has already spent 19 years in prison for a minor conspiracy and possession role in assisting her then-husband sell methamphetamine. The post Why Obama Just Sent 8 Drug Inmates Home Early appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Even John Yoo Says The Court Decision Rejecting Obama’s Immigration Policy Is Problematic

Wednesday December 17th, 2014 06:46:35 PM Ian Millhiser

When even the torture lawyer thinks you've gone too far, it might be time to rethink.The post Even John Yoo Says The Court Decision Rejecting Obama’s Immigration Policy Is Problematic appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Largest City To Implement Policy Body Cam Policy In America

Wednesday December 17th, 2014 02:31:43 PM Carimah Townes

A step in the right direction. The post The Largest City To Implement Policy Body Cam Policy In America appeared first on ThinkProgress.

ACLU Says Immigrants Are Being Indiscriminately Held In Detention As A ‘Deterrent’

Wednesday December 17th, 2014 02:18:51 PM Nicole Flatow

Before an influx of southern border crossings this summer, most migrant families who asserted potential claims of asylum were not held in lock-up while they waited for a court date. The post ACLU Says Immigrants Are Being Indiscriminately Held In Detention As A ‘Deterrent’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

BREAKING: Republican Judge Strikes Down Obama’s Immigration Order

Tuesday December 16th, 2014 08:06:07 PM Ian Millhiser

Judge Schwab's legal analysis is thin. He spends nearly as much time making what appear to be political attacks on the president as he does evaluating actual legal matters. And what little legal analysis he does provide fails to cite key Supreme Court decisions that seem to contradict his conclusion.The post BREAKING: Republican Judge Strikes Down Obama’s Immigration Order appeared first on ThinkProgress.

In Immigrant-Heavy Cities, Law Enforcement Leaders Say Executive Action Will Make Communities Safer

Tuesday December 16th, 2014 04:33:41 PM Esther Yu-Hsi Lee

Law enforcement officials who oversee counties with many undocumented immigrants believe that the president's executive action is necessary to curb dangerous mistrust between immigrants and the police. The post In Immigrant-Heavy Cities, Law Enforcement Leaders Say Executive Action Will Make Communities Safer appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Game-Changing Election Reform That Could Soon Be The Law In Maine

Tuesday December 16th, 2014 02:52:39 PM Scott Keyes

Maine voters will likely decide whether to adopt Ranked-Choice Voting next year.The post The Game-Changing Election Reform That Could Soon Be The Law In Maine appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Shady For-Profit Company Poised To Take Over DC Prison Healthcare (Updated)

Tuesday December 16th, 2014 02:07:10 PM Alice Ollstein

The contract would give the company jurisdiction over the medical care of the more than 10,000 DC residents that cycle through the jail every year.The post The Shady For-Profit Company Poised To Take Over DC Prison Healthcare (Updated) appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Judicial Ethics of Serial

Tuesday December 16th, 2014 01:58:45 PM Billy Corriher - Guest Contributor

Will judges feel pressure to overturn the conviction of celebrity defendant Adnan Syed? The post The Judicial Ethics of Serial appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Supreme Court Says Ignorance Of The Law Is An Excuse — If You’re A Cop

Monday December 15th, 2014 08:00:33 PM Nicole Flatow

A fundamental legal concept is that ignorance of the law is no excuse. Except, the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday, if you're a cop. The post Supreme Court Says Ignorance Of The Law Is An Excuse — If You’re A Cop appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Today’s Good News For Abortion Rights Is Brought To You By The Supreme Court

Monday December 15th, 2014 06:39:15 PM Ian Millhiser

In the conservative Roberts Court, no news is typically good news for abortion rights supporters.The post Today’s Good News For Abortion Rights Is Brought To You By The Supreme Court appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Why People Of Color Don’t Call For An Ambulance

Monday December 15th, 2014 06:09:02 PM Sam P.K. Collins

A new study suggests that many low-income Latinos are too wary of the police to call 911.The post Why People Of Color Don’t Call For An Ambulance appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Texas Cop Shoots His Neighbor’s Dog, Gets Away With It Under Law Authorizing Vigilantism

Monday December 15th, 2014 02:06:00 PM Ian Millhiser

It's like Stand Your Ground, but for dogs.The post Texas Cop Shoots His Neighbor’s Dog, Gets Away With It Under Law Authorizing Vigilantism appeared first on ThinkProgress.

‘Sorry For The Inconvenience, We Are Trying To Change The World': Inside The Police Protests That Swept The Nation

Sunday December 14th, 2014 10:37:27 PM Sam P.K. Collins

"This stuff hasn’t stopped since slavery. Police need to stop harassing us and coming at us with so much anger and hostility."The post ‘Sorry For The Inconvenience, We Are Trying To Change The World': Inside The Police Protests That Swept The Nation appeared first on ThinkProgress.



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