Category Archives: World Authors

Feds Bust Major ‘Dark Web’ Marketplace For Illegal Drugs

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The Justice Department Thursday announced the seizure of the largest criminal marketplace on the internet, AlphaBay, which operated for over two years on the dark web and was used to sell among other items deadly illegal drugs including fentanyl and heroin throughout the world. The bust — led by federal agents in California — was done with the help of authorities in Thailand, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France as well as the European law enforcement agency Europol. “This is likely one of the most important criminal investigations of the year – taking down the largest dark net marketplace in history,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Make no mistake, the forces of law and justice face a new challenge from the criminals and transnational criminal organizations who think they can commit their crimes with impunity using the dark net. The dark net is not a place to hide.” Alexandre Cazes — aka Alpha02 and Admin — was been taken into custody in Thailand on July 5th and subsequently committed suicide while in custody. Cazes was charged in an indictment filed in the Eastern District of California with one count of conspiracy to engage in racketeering, one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, six counts of distribution of narcotics, one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft, four counts of unlawful transfer of false identification documents, one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, one count of trafficking in device making equipment, and one count of money laundering conspiracy. Law enforcement authorities in the United States have worked with numerous foreign partners to freeze and preserve millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrencies that were the subject of forfeiture counts in the indictment and that represent the proceeds of the AlphaBay organization’s illegal activities. On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California filed a civil forfeiture complaint against Cazes and his wife’s assets located throughout the world including in Thailand, Cyprus, Lichtenstein, and Antigua & Barbuda. Federal authorities said Cazes and his wife had amassed numerous high value assets including luxury vehicles, residences and a hotel in Thailand. Cazes also possessed millions of dollars in cryptocurrency, which has been seized by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration. According to publicly available information on AlphaBay prior to its takedown, one AlphaBay staff member claimed that it serviced over 200,000 users and 40,000 vendors. At the time of takedown, there were over 250,000 listings for illegal drugs and toxic chemicals on AlphaBay, and over 100,000 listings for stolen and fraudulent identification documents and access devices, counterfeit goods, malware and other computer hacking tools, firearms, and fraudulent services. Comparatively, the Silk Road dark web marketplace, which was seized by law enforcement in November 2013, had reportedly approximately 14,000 listings for illicit goods and services at the time of seizure and was the largest dark web marketplace at the time. “AlphaBay was the world’s largest underground marketplace of the dark net, providing an avenue for criminals to conduct business anonymously and without repercussions,” said Chief Don Fort of IRS-CI. The Department will continue to find, arrest, prosecute, convict, and incarcerate criminals, drug traffickers and their enablers wherever they are. We will use every tool we have to stop criminals from exploiting vulnerable people and sending so many Americans to an early grave. I believe that because of this operation, the American people are safer – safer from the threat of identity fraud and malware, and safer from deadly drugs.” “The so-called anonymity of the dark web is illusory,” said Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg of the DEA. “We will find and prosecute drug traffickers who set up shop there, and this case is a great example of our commitment to doing exactly that. More to come.” The investigation into AlphaBay revealed that numerous vendors sold fentanyl and heroin, and there have been multiple overdose deaths across the country attributed to purchases on the site. According to a complaint affidavit filed in the District of South Carolina against Theodore Vitality Khleborod and Ana Milena Barrero, an investigation into an overdose death on February 16 in Portland involving U-47700, a synthetic opioid, revealed that the drugs were purchased on AlphaBay from Khelborod and Barrero. According to another complaint affidavit filed in the Middle District of Florida against Jeremy Achey, an investigation into a fentanyl overdose death in Orange County, Florida, on February 27 revealed that the lethal substance was purchased on AlphaBay from Achey. The operation to seize the AlphaBay site coincides with efforts by Dutch law enforcement to investigate and take down the Hansa Market, another prominent dark web market.

History’s Most Polarizing; The Drive – 07/20/17

O.J. Simpson sits in courtroom

(Photo Credit: Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

Dave and Kayte talk about OJ Simpson’s parole hearing, Pablo Sandoval considering returning to the Giants, and the Golden State Warriors charging for personal seat licenses. Then, more on OJ Simpson’s parole hearing today. Finally, some conversation on Pablo Sandoval’s career and his alleged return to the Giants. Listen to the whole hour here:
  HOUR 2:
richard sherman Historys Most Polarizing; The Drive   07/20/17

Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Dave and Kayte talk about the Down in the Valley 30 for 30 on the Sacramento Kings that was never released before Threefer Madness featuring the Big 3 League, the Portland Trail Blazers, and changing some of the biggest sports moments of all time. Then, former NFL receiver Donte Stallworth joins The Drive to talk about Richard Sherman’s comments on players forcing change in the NFL. Listen to the whole hour here:
Listen to the Donte Stallworth interview here:
  HOUR 3: oj simpson1 Historys Most Polarizing; The Drive   07/20/17Dave and Kayte spend some extended time on OJ Simpson’s parole hearing today, his legacy as a player and criminal, and how his story has made history. Then, Garrett Johnson joins the show for a brief British Open golf tournament update. Finally, Re-Brew to end the show. Listen to the whole hour here:

New Mexico lawmakers question utility’s exit from coal

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) – State lawmakers from coal industry-dependent regions of northwestern New Mexico urged utility regulators to consider the local economic consequences of utility plans to shut down two coal-fired power plants and related mining operations. Investor-owned utility Public Service Company of New Mexico has proposed phasing out the use of coal-fired electricity by retiring the San Juan generating station near Farmington in 2022 and abandoning the Four Corners power plant in Fruitland by 2031. Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Patricia Lundstrom of Gallup on Wednesday questioned whether it makes sense for the utility to walk away from investments in the San Juan plant. She says consideration should be given to attracting energy-intensive industries to share the San Juan site. Lawmakers met with utility executives and officials from the state Public Regulation Commission.
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For 1st Time, Over Half Of People With HIV Taking AIDS Drugs

LONDON (AP) — For the first time in the global AIDS epidemic that has spanned four decades and killed 35 million people, more than half of all those infected with HIV are on drugs to treat the virus, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday. AIDS deaths are also now close to half of what they were in 2005, according to the U.N. AIDS agency, although those figures are based on estimates and not actual counts from countries. Experts applauded the progress, but questioned if the billions spent in the past two decades should have brought more impressive results. The U.N. report was released in Paris where an AIDS meeting begins this weekend. “When you think about the money that’s been spent on AIDS, it could have been better,” said Sophie Harman, a senior lecturer in global health politics at Queen Mary University in London. She said more resources might have gone to strengthening health systems in poor countries. “The real test will come in five to 10 years once the funding goes down,” Harman said, warning that some countries might not be able to sustain the U.N.-funded AIDS programs on their own. The Trump administration has proposed a 31 percent cut in contributions to the U.N. starting in October. According to the report , about 19.5 million people with HIV were taking AIDS drugs in 2016, compared to 17.1 million the previous year. UNAIDS also said there were about 36.7 million people with HIV in 2016, up slightly from 36.1 million the year before. In the report’s introduction, Michel Sidibe, UNAIDS’ executive director, said more and more countries are starting treatment as early as possible, in line with scientific findings that the approach keeps people healthy and helps prevent new infections. Studies show that people whose virus is under control are far less likely to pass it on to an uninfected sex partner. “Our quest to end AIDS has only just begun,” he wrote. The report notes that about three-quarters of pregnant women with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, now have access to medicines to prevent them from passing it to their babies. It also said five hard-hit African countries now provide lifelong AIDS drugs to 95 percent of pregnant and breast-feeding women with the virus. “For more than 35 years, the world has grappled with an AIDS epidemic that has claimed an estimated 35 million lives,” the report said. “Today, the United Nations General Assembly has a shared vision to consign AIDS to the history books.” The death toll from AIDS has dropped dramatically in recent years as the wide availability of affordable, life-saving drugs has made the illness a manageable disease. But Harman said that “Ending AIDS” – the report’s title – was unrealistic. “I can see why they do it, because it’s bold and no one would ever disagree with the idea of ending AIDS, but I think we should be pragmatic,” she said. “I don’t think we will ever eliminate AIDS, so it’s possible this will give people the wrong idea.” © Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Rick Hahn: Look For A Few More White Sox Prospects To Be Promoted In August, September

(CBS) The headlining figure in the White Sox’s rebuilding process surfaced at the big league level Wednesday night when top-rated prospect Yoan Moncada made his debut with the team, playing second base and going 0-for-2 with a walk. So how quickly could other key young players of this rebuild follow to the big league level for the White Sox? Maybe late in the season, general manager Rick Hahn said in an interview with Brian Hanley and Barry Rozner on 670 The Score on Thursday morning. “There’s a handful of guys, especially at the Triple-A level, who are starting to force the issue a little bit and showing that they’ve mastered most everything that you could hope they would at the Triple-A level,” Hahn said. “Similar to Yoan, it might be time for that next challenge that the big leagues present for a young player. So we’ve had conversations about who potentially could be next and whether it’s August or September, you know, it’s certainly conceivable we could see a couple more young faces up here.” Though Hahn didn’t name names, right-hander Reynaldo Lopez is getting close to big league-ready. He has a 3.78 ERA with 101 strikeouts in 100 innings, and White Sox officials have previously praised his progress and development. Right-hander Lucas Giolito and right-hander Carson Fulmer would be options as well, with both having previous MLB experience, but they’ve struggled to the tune of a 5.00 ERA and 5.42 ERA this season, respectively. Hahn stressed that the White Sox won’t adjust a timeline for any prospect just because rosters expand in September. “It’s more about the individual player than anything with regards to where the big league club is right now,” Hahn said. “It’s nice and it’s different from where perhaps we’ve been in recent years and that we have the luxury to just focus on what’s best for Player X’s development as opposed to, ‘Oh, we have a need here in Chicago, we need an arm tomorrow — who’s the best we can bring to help us win that game?'” Listen to Hahn’s full interview below. < div id="embed-audioplayer-1" class="embed-item embed-audioplayer shortcode" >

Sessions Staying As Attorney General Despite Trump Rebuke

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday he has no immediate plans to resign after President Donald Trump excoriated the nation’s top prosecutor for recusing himself from the probe of suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. political campaign. “We love this job, we love this department and I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate,” Sessions said. A former senator from Alabama, Sessions was one of Trump’s earliest and ardent supporters and became attorney general in February. A month later, he took himself out of a Justice Department-led inquiry into the election following revelations he’d failed to disclose his own meetings with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. At a news conference Thursday on an unrelated matter, Sessions was asked how he could continue to serve as attorney general without the confidence of the president. His response: “We’re serving right now. The work we’re doing today is the kind of work we intend to continue.” But in a sign of his challenges, Sessions was unable to focus public attention on the case he wanted to talk about – an international takedown of a hidden Internet marketplace that officials said was 10 times larger than the Silk Road bazaar. The news conference on that case was ended once it was clear reporters had no questions on the investigation. Trump on Wednesday told The New York Times he never would have tapped Sessions for the job had he known a recusal was coming. “Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” Trump told the newspaper. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair – and that’s a mild word – to the president.” Trump’s blistering rebuke underscored his continuing fury with Sessions more than four months after the recusal and came during an interview in which he also lashed out at Robert Mueller, the special counsel now leading the federal probe; James Comey, the FBI director Trump fired; Andrew McCabe, the acting FBI director who replaced Comey; and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed the special counsel. Trump’s denouncement reflected a long-simmering frustration with one of his staunchest allies, but was not a calculated attempt to force Sessions from the Cabinet, according to two Trump advisers. For weeks, the president has seethed about Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the federal investigation into whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia during last year’s election. The White House notably made no effort to walk back Trump’s comments in the interview or display confidence in the attorney general. Instead, the two Trump advisers acknowledged that the president’s public comments largely reflected what they have heard him say about Sessions privately. The advisers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the president’s thinking. The Justice Department declined to comment on the president’s remarks. Sessions, one of Trump’s earliest supporters, stepped away from the Russia probe following revelations that he had failed to disclose meetings with the Kremlin’s ambassador to the U.S. His decision was made without consulting with the president and essentially paved the way for the appointment of Mueller as special counsel. Mueller’s investigation, along with separate congressional probes, has overshadowed much of Trump’s agenda and ensnared several of his associates, including son Donald Trump Jr. and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. Despite his protest to the contrary, Trump continues to heavily watch cable news coverage of the Russia investigations. At times he has told allies he’s convinced that the White House has turned the corner and the controversy will soon be behind him. But at other points, he has expressed fears that it will dog him for his entire time in office. Few developments in the snowballing controversy have irked Trump more than Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the investigations. The advisers said the president viewed the move as an act of disloyalty – arguably the most grievous offense in the president’s mind – and was angry that Sessions did not consult with him ahead of time. At one point, Sessions privately told Trump he was willing to resign his post, but the president did not accept the offer. One adviser said the president’s comments to the Times did not reflect any new desire by Trump to fire Sessions, though they acknowledged that the attorney general’s response to the public denigration was less certain. Sessions was the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump during the presidential campaign, and the two bonded over their hard-line immigration views. Some of Sessions’ long-serving advisers are now working alongside the president in the West Wing, including senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, who was one of the architects of Trump’s controversial travel ban. A potential Sessions resignation could throw Mueller’s investigation into a state of uncertainty. Trump would nominate a replacement and could seek assurances that his pick would not recuse himself from the investigations. Trump raised the prospect of firing Mueller in his interview with the Times, suggesting he had damaging information on the former FBI director. The president said Mueller’s selection for the job was a conflict of interest because Trump had spoken with him about returning to the FBI after the firing of James Comey in May. “There were many other conflicts that I haven’t said, but I will at some point,” Trump said. He lobbed similar conflict of interest charges at acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He also accused Comey of briefing him on a dossier of unverified, incriminating information in an effort to gain leverage over the soon-to-be president. The president has repeatedly told those close to him that he fears there is a movement underway, fueled in part by Comey, Rosenstein and potentially Mueller, to discredit his presidency. He has denied that his campaign had any contacts with Russia during the election, though that assertion has been challenged by his son’s acknowledgment that he accepted a meeting that was billed as part of the Russian government’s efforts to help the Republican win the election. © Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.