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Bibi1581 Blog For 06/09/2018: Morning Edition

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1…………> Chinese “Five Fingers”: A CIA Mole 

A federal jury convicted Kevin Patrick Mallory, 61, a former Central Intelligence Agency case officer of Leesburg, Virginia, on espionage charges related to his transmission of classified documents to an agent of the People’s Republic of China. 

“It is a sad day when an American citizen is convicted of spying on behalf of a foreign power,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers. “This act of espionage was no isolated incident. The People’s Republic of China has made a sophisticated and concerted effort to steal our nation’s secrets. Today’s conviction demonstrates that we remain vigilant against this threat and hold accountable all those who put the United States at risk through espionage.” 

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, in March and April 2017, Mallory traveled to Shanghai and met with an individual, Michael Yang, whom he quickly concluded was working for the People’s Republic of China Intelligence Service (PRCIS). During a voluntary interview with FBI agents on May 24, 2007, Mallory stated that Yang represented himself as working for a People’s Republic of China think tank, however, Mallory stated that he assessed Yang to be a Chinese Intelligence Officer. 

Mallory, a U.S. citizen who speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, told FBI agents he traveled to Shanghai in March and April to meet with Yang and Yang’s boss. After Mallory consented to a review of a covert communications (covcom) device he had been given by Yang in order to communicate covertly with Yang, FBI agents viewed a message from Mallory to Yang in which Mallory stated that he could come in the middle of June and he could bring the remainder of the documents with him at that time. Analysis of the device, which was a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, also revealed a handwritten index describing eight different documents later determined to be classified. Four of the eight documents listed in the index were found stored on the device, with three being confirmed as containing classified information pertaining to the same U.S. government agency. One of those documents was classified TOP SECRET, while the remaining two documents were classified SECRET. FBI analysts were able to determine that Mallory had completed all of the steps necessary to securely transmit at least four documents via the covcom device, one of which contained unique identifiers for human sources who had helped the U.S. government. 

Mallory was convicted of conspiracy to deliver, attempted delivery, delivery of defense information to aid a foreign government and making material false statements. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on Sept. 21. The statutory maximum penalty is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. 

2…………> “Barbed Wire Renaissance”: Turkey 

Obviously enlightened by Israel and President Trump’s much heralded “Mexico will pay for it, and gladly” wall along the Mexico border, all designed to keep “unwanted” friends and relatives out, Turkey has completed the construction of a 475-mile concrete wall along its border with Syria. 

A part of Turkey’s effort to increase security and combat smuggling and illegal crossings on a 566-mi border with civil war embroiled Syria, the wall will seal provinces of Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Kilis, Hatay, Mardin, and Sirnak from hostiles intrusions. 

The border wall project incorporates physical, electronic and advanced technology layers, includes modular concrete walls, patrol routes, manned and unmanned towers and passenger tracks. 

3…………> “Markets Up”: To Duterte Prison 

Eight Israeli fraudsters and nearly 500 Philippines call centers agents are now locked in the prisons of President Duterte, accused of promulgating a multimillion-dollar online investment scam, the Philippine National Police said. 

Following complaints from Australian and South African investors who had been victimized out of millions of dollars, the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) and the Special Action Force raided three buildings in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga province being used as the company’s offices. 

ACG director Chief Superintendent Marni Marcos Jr. said the company was allegedly involved in a fictitious stock trading business which held a portfolio of stocks that kept rising. 

“They showed their victims that they will invest in this because you saw it — the graph is going up, and you are going to earn money,” Marcos said at a press conference Thursday as quoted by Rappler, a Philippine-based online news portal. 

4…………> Comrade UN’s Jet: IL62M 

Following a family tradition, Mr. Kim is known to use a special armored train for travel, but that’s not an option for getting to a state like Singapore, hence an Ilyushin-62M with a range of about 6000 miles puts the island safely within non-stop flying distance.  But there have been questions about the mechanical reliability and absence of advanced communications systems typical of modern planes, and Mr. Kim’s cargo plane, carrying heavy things like his limousine, can’t fly as far with a full load and might need to stop for refueling along the way.

5…………> The Crabs Of Wrath: Hooper Islands

Maryland’s remote Hooper Islands are beautiful and conservative, quiet and industrious, hence the mostly older population voted heavily for Donald Trump with his promise of a border wall, but now that immigration rhetoric risks their most important crab meat industry that for decades relied on Mexican “slave” workers employed under H2-B visas to do the labour-intensive work of picking tasty white flesh from the shells. 

“We’ve been getting these workers for 25 years and we depend on them,” says 81-year-old Dot Ruark who runs one of the picking factories that rely on Mexican workers. 
“And I don’t think we should have to go through what we have to go through every year.” Ms. Ruark’s picking factory is bustling with mostly female Mexican workers who laugh in Spanish as they finish a shift and collect their pay cheques. She is one of the lucky few to get visas for her workers this year. But she is watching friends have their workshops shut down as the President’s immigration crackdown bites with unintended consequences. “I mean it’s just hard, it’s hard to think that they’re sitting there and you don’t like that because we all work together down here and it’s just devastating you know,” Ms. Ruark said of her fellow factory owners. 
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