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Bibi1581 Blog For 06/19/2018: Morning Edition

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1…………> Another “Deep State” Leak: CIA 

A former CIA employee identified as Joshua Adam Schulte, 29 is charged in a 13-count indictment that includes illegally obtaining and disseminating classified U.S. government information hacking tools to Wikileaks, lying to federal investigators, and with receiving, possessing and transporting child pornography

Schulte has been the source of the “Vault 7” leak of the agency’s tools it developed to compromise a wide array of electronic devices, including smart TVs, as well as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile operating systems. 

He faces up to 135 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

2…………> A Commi Officer: US Army

When now-second lieutenant flashed a Che Guevara T-shirt under his uniform at West Point’s 2016 graduation and commissioning ceremony, the Army has drawn the fury of everyone from active-duty soldiers to a Florida senator, which in turn led to the less than honorable discharge of 2nd Lt. Spenser Rapone, who is assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, after being  under investigation for his subversive political views by both his unit and West Point.

West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen responded to the outrage in a letter addressed to the men and women of the U.S. Military Academy. 

“I ask that you help me prevent the negativity associated with the alleged behavior of one graduate from causing us to lose sight of the thousands of graduates who sacrifice and serve honorably every day,” he wrote.

3…………> Trump’s Space Command: Reactions 

After President Trump ordered the US Department of Defense to create the Space Force as the sixth branch of the US Armed Forces, Victor Bondarev, head of the Russian Upper House Committee on Defense and Security, stated that if the US violates the Outer Space Treaty, there would be a “tough response.” 

“Considering the way, the US behaves in other spheres, there is a high possibility of the violations from their part, which could endanger international security and stability,” the lawmaker stated. 

4…………> Tariffs Retaliation: Russia 

Russia will soon introduce counter-measures on imports from the US in response to tariffs on steel and aluminum, these measures will only affect products that have analogs in Russia, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Maxim Oreshkin said. 

“Because the US continues to apply protective measures in the form of additional import duties on steel and aluminum and refuses to provide compensation for Russia’s losses, Russia is using its WTO rights and introducing balancing measures with respect to imports from the United States,” Oreshkin said in a comment circulated by the ministry’s press service. 

Such measures in the form of additional import duties on American goods will be applied in the near future, according to the minister. 

“They will only affect products that have substitutes on the Russian market and will not have a negative impact on macroeconomic indicators,” Oreshkin noted. 

At the end of May, Russia notified the WTO about a possible introduction of tariffs on US goods at $537.6 million a year in response to tariffs on steel and aluminum. 

5…………> “Interest Only Loans”: An Aussie Nightmare

As property prices in Australia have climbed over the past few years, thousands of Australians desperate to get into the property market has used interest-only loans, but over the next three years, interest-only loans worth a combined total of about $360 billion will roll over to interest plus principal — and that means borrowers will face higher repayments. 

“The kind of nightmare scenario is where a lot of people need to sell at once, and that’s when you see a kind of fire sale mentality and could see very significant downward pressure on prices,” said Professor Richard Holden from the University of New South Wales Business School. 

“That puts the banks under stress, and their balance sheets under stress, and it could lead to significant financial instability.” 

Six months ago Professor Holden said there was a risk the Australian housing market could face a US-style meltdown, and he maintains there is a risk that downward pressure on prices could lead to financial instability. 

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