Man accused in deaths of 18 elderly women in Texas killed in prison by his cellmate
Billy Chemirmir, a man accused of killing almost two dozen older women, has been killed by his cellmate in a Texas prison. Chemirmir was found dead in his cell and his cellmate, who is serving a sentence for murder, has been named as the assailant. Chemirmir was caught after a 91-year-old woman survived an attack in 2018 and told police that he had tried to smother her with a pillow and taken her jewelry. He was later convicted in two separate trials for the murders of two women.
Hurricane Nigel remnants to bring ‘increased’ rainfall and winds to UK
The remnants of Hurricane Nigel are set to bring heavy rain and unsettled weather to the UK later this week, following the tail end of Hurricane Lee. The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, with western regions expected to see between 50mm and 100mm of rainfall. Higher altitude areas such as Snowdonia in Wales could see up to 200mm. Bus and train services are likely to be affected, with longer journey times anticipated. The Met Office said that while flooding could occur, it is not expected to be widespread.
Both politically and legally, Trump’s classified docs defense weakens
New details have emerged regarding an aide to former President Donald Trump, Molly Michael, who served with him in the White House and at Mar-a-Lago. Michael is identified as "Trump Employee 2" in a Florida indictment, which alleges that she played a central role in Trump's efforts to withhold material from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). According to the indictment, Michael helped Trump load boxes of material from Mar-a-Lago onto a truck for shipment to Washington, DC. The indictment also claims that Trump told Michael that she "didn't know anything about the boxes." The ABC News report reveals that Michael had received work-related messages from Trump on the back of notecards containing classified briefing material from his time as president. Michael is said to have turned over the notecards to the FBI. The revelations have significant legal and political implications for Trump. They suggest that Trump may have been attempting to mislead the investigation and obstruct justice. They also challenge the assumption that Trump is a conscientious protector of classified information, which could undermine his defense against the indictments he is facing.
US issues more sanctions over Iran drone program after nation's president denies supplying Russia
The Toronto Star
The US has imposed sanctions on seven individuals and four companies in China, Russia, and Turkey, accusing them of being connected to Iran's drone program. The US claims that Iran supplied Russia with drones used to bomb Ukrainian civilians, amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi denied the allegations, stating that his country is against the war in Ukraine. The individuals and companies sanctioned will have their access to US property and financial assets blocked, and US companies and citizens will be prohibited from doing business with them.
Toronto man pleads guilty to 2nd-degree murder in death of girl poisoned by cereal
A Toronto man named Francis Ngugi has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of a three-year-old girl who was poisoned. The girl, Bernice Nantanda Wamala, died after eating poisoned breakfast cereal at home. Ngugi allegedly obtained a "controlled substance" from his work and placed it in the cereal. Two children in the home ate the cereal and required hospitalization. One of the children died, while the other recovered after a long hospital stay. Ngugi will be sentenced on November 2.
Dallas legal market draws more law firms as Seyfarth joins the club
Law firm Seyfarth Shaw has opened an office in Dallas, Texas, as part of its ongoing expansion. Seyfarth has hired a team from rival firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, including partners Amy Simpson and Tricia Macaluso. Randa Barton and Jibril Greene have joined as counsel. Seyfarth already has an office in Houston.
#ShareTheMicInCyber Fellows in DC: A Recap
On September 14th and 15th in Washington, D.C., a few of our inaugural #ShareTheMicInCyber Fellows made the rounds to several agencies leading our nation's cybersecurity.
Fellows Michael Garcia, Dr. Safi Mojidi, and Thomas Rowland had an opportunity to meet with high-level officials and staff at the House Committee on Homeland Security, the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency, and the White House’s Office of the National Cyber Director over their two day visit. Google, one of the funders of this program, also hosted a lunch and learn with their privacy team at their offices. In addition to private meetings, our Fellows also participated in a publicly livestreamed roundtable discussion with CyberScoop reporter Tonya Riley on the future of cybersecurity.
During each of their visits, Fellows had the opportunity to share about their specific research topic, learn more about the current and future initiatives of each agency, and engage in conversation with officials about each others’ work. Some of the Fellows’ questions focused on specific initiatives directly impacting their individual research topics, clarifying how these offices engage with outside researchers like the #ShareTheMicInCyber Fellows, or how the offices envision their future role in cybersecurity governance. Officials also engaged directly with our Fellows, asking their own follow-up questions about their research and policy recommendations.
As we continued to meet individuals across these different offices, there were a two main takeaways that became evident. The first is that when it comes to diversifying cybersecurity, providing access is just as key as platforming diverse voices in cybersecurity. All of these visits would not have been possible without the #ShareTheMicInCyber network, which grew out of a social media movement to have open conversations about diversity and equity within the cybersecurity profession. Allies leveraged their time and professional networks to help Fellows in the door to get key decisionmakers to hear and engage with their work. Knowing where and how to tap into these networks are just as crucial to providing opportunities, like this fellowship, to elevate and empower those traditionally underrepresented in cybersecurity.
The second is that there will always be space for any research topic beyond what’s trending in the news. The Fellows’ meetings and conversations in Washington underscored that there is always appetite for information to inform decision-making, and there are often occasions where people don’t know what research is possible until it’s presented to them. Our Fellows worked on research topics of their choosing, informed by their own perspectives, and have each argued in their applications why their work is consequential in the future of cybersecurity. Our inaugural cohort investigated a range of topics, but they all tied back to cybersecurity and will be contributing to a rapidly-changing policy issue.
As our inaugural cohort begins shifting to publishing their work in the final months of 2023, we’re looking forward to the opportunity to not only share their research with these offices, but with the larger cybersecurity community.
Prosecutor begins to review whether Minnesota trooper’s shooting of Black man was justified
An investigation into the fatal shooting of a Black man by a Minnesota trooper has concluded, and now prosecutors will decide whether to press charges. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension found that Trooper Ryan Londregan, who appears to be white, shot Ricky Cobb II after he refused to leave his car during a traffic stop. Prosecutors have been urged to make a decision quickly, but the Hennepin County Attorney's Office expressed disappointment over a lack of cooperation from some patrol employees who may have had relevant information.
Trump’s Georgia co-defendants start to turn on ex-president
Jeffrey Clark, a former assistant attorney general for the US Justice Department, has claimed that he was pushed by former President Donald Trump to investigate claims of fraud in the 2020 election. Clark made the claim as part of an effort to move his case to federal court. He had previously drafted a letter to Georgia election officials stating that the Justice Department was investigating irregularities in the state’s election. Clark and Trump were among 18 people indicted in August for alleged efforts to overturn the election. Clark has been charged with making a criminal attempt to create false statements and writings.
Immigration detention centres need time limit on holding migrants, Home Office told by inquiry
The UK Home Office has been urged to introduce a time limit on the detention of migrants in immigration removal centres. The recommendation follows an inquiry into the treatment of detainees at the Brook House Immigration Removal Centre in Gatwick between April and August 2017. The inquiry found “serious failings” in safeguarding, including widespread disregard of safeguarding rules, inappropriate use of force, drug use and violence among detainees, and the use of force against individuals with mental ill health. The UK is the only European country without a maximum time limit on immigration detention.
Canada-India dispute the latest blow to strained economic ties
The Globe and Mail
Canada's worsening diplomatic feud with India over allegations of Indian involvement in the murder of a Canadian citizen could have significant economic consequences. While India is Canada's eighth-largest trading partner, accounting for less than 19% of Canada's exports to China, the dispute could lead to the imposition of arbitrary phytosanitary measures on Canadian agricultural products, as happened in the past. Moreover, India accounted for 7.5% of Teck Resources' revenue, and is a major customer of Canpotex, an export organization owned by Nutrien and Mosaic. Furthermore, Canadian pension funds have significant investments in India, as a way of diversifying their exposure to Asia as tensions with China rose. However, Canada will not be able to rely on the support of its Western allies, which see India as a critical force to contain China's global influence. The dispute has already led to the cancellation of Canada's trade mission to India in October, as well as the suspension of talks toward a much-delayed trade agreement.
California truck drivers ask Gov. Newsom to sign job-saving bill as self-driving big rigs are tested
A new bill in California would ban self-driving trucks weighing more than 10,000 lbs (4,536 kg) from operating on public roads unless there is a human driver present. Supporters of the legislation say it would address concerns about safety and protect truck driving jobs. The bill, which would be in effect until at least 2029, has been widely approved by lawmakers. However, Governor Gavin Newsom, who has typically enjoyed strong union support, has been urged by his administration not to sign it. The Department of Finance estimated the cost of implementing the bill at $1m per year and the Office of Business and Economic Development warned it could push autonomous vehicle companies out of the state. Critics of the legislation argue that the Department of Motor Vehicles should be responsible for regulating self-driving trucks. Proponents say that human drivers have the experience to quickly adapt to unexpected events and that self-driving technology does not understand the value of life.
Texas prisoner accused of killing 22 older women is slain by cellmate while serving life sentence
The Toronto Star
Billy Chemirmir, a Texas prisoner who was accused of killing 22 older women over two years to steal their jewelry and other valuables, was killed by his cellmate while serving a life sentence. Chemirmir was found dead in his cell at a prison in rural East Texas, with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice not releasing the name of the cellmate, how Chemirmir was killed, or what may have led to the slaying.
Biden to create new office of gun violence prevention
President Biden is set to create a new office for gun violence prevention in the wake of stalled progress on the issue in Congress. The move is seen as an escalation of his administration’s efforts to tackle gun violence and will be announced by Biden and Vice President Harris on Friday. The new office is expected to coordinate efforts across the federal government to reduce gun violence and will report to Stefanie Feldman, the White House staff secretary. Gun violence prevention groups have long been pushing for the creation of such an office to increase leadership and coordination on the issue.
HS2 costs set to jump as inflation undermines rail project’s future
The cost of the UK's High-Speed Rail 2 (HS2) project is expected to rise to around £91bn ($124bn), up from the current estimate of £70bn, according to calculations by the Financial Times. The expected increase in costs comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt consider further cuts to the project. The future of HS2 beyond Birmingham is also in doubt, as ministers and officials refuse to guarantee the line will be built to northern cities such as Manchester. The project has faced numerous delays, budget overruns and management issues, and there are growing concerns about whether the significant investment would be better spent on other projects. Sunak is said to be unhappy with the amount of money being spent on the project, and a review is underway to determine the future of HS2. The Treasury has said that the revised cost estimate, which takes into account significant inflation, may not be completed until next year.
Trump ex-aide claims he wrote ‘to-do lists’ on classified documents
Former President Donald Trump allegedly tried to silence a former aide who knew about boxes of classified documents he kept at Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House, according to a report by ABC News. Molly Michael, who worked as an assistant to Trump at the White House and after he left office, reportedly told federal investigators that he told her to stay quiet when he learned they wanted to speak to her. Trump denied the claims, with a spokesperson stating that he "did nothing wrong." It is also reported that Trump responded to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's challenge during his speech at the UN General Assembly to reveal his plans to end Russia's war with Ukraine in a single day by joining in the far-right outrage over the US's spending on Ukraine.
Azerbaijan and Armenian forces reach cease-fire deal for breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh, reports say
The Toronto Star
Azerbaijani and Armenian forces have agreed to a ceasefire to end two days of fighting in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region. The truce was announced an hour before Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that the intensity of hostilities had decreased drastically. The cessation of military operations was announced by Azerbaijan after separatist officials stated they were laying down their arms. Talks are scheduled for Thursday on the reintegration of Nagorno-Karabakh into Azerbaijan, which is being viewed as a victory for Baku. The conflict has seen scores of people killed and wounded, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation. The recent escalation raised concerns that a full-scale war could resume between the two countries, which have been embroiled in a struggle over the region since the Soviet Union's collapse. Russia and Turkey are among the powerful regional players supporting opposing sides in the conflict. While Turkey backed Azerbaijan, Russia mediated and brokered an armistice that ended fighting in 2020.
Live Net zero latest: Climate pledges can't just work for 'metropolitan bubble', insists Kemi Badenoch
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has defended his decision to delay key green policies, saying that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would have supported his position on achieving net zero emissions. Sunak announced on Wednesday that the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars would be postponed from 2030 to 2035, and that some households would be exempt from the forthcoming ban on oil and gas boilers. Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Sunak said that while the government is committed to combating climate change, it is important to have a clear and deliverable plan for achieving net zero, rather than simply chasing short-term popularity. The delay in implementing certain policies has attracted criticism from environmentalists and opposition politicians.
Government borrowing rose to £11.6bn in August
UK government borrowing in August was higher than expected, reaching £11.6bn ($16bn), according to official figures. The figure was £3.5bn higher than in the same month in 2020 and is the fourth-highest borrowing level for August on record. Experts had predicted borrowing of £11.1bn. Borrowing for the financial year to date has reached £69.6bn, £19.3bn more than in the same five-month period in 2020, but £11.4bn lower than predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility.
Live Markets Government borrowing rises in blow to tax cut hopes - latest updates
The pound has fallen to its lowest level since April as markets await the Bank of England's decision on interest rates. Traders are giving a 50-50 chance of a rate hike to 5.5%, the highest since February 2008, compared to an 80% chance predicted on Monday. This follows a surprise fall in inflation figures this week. The FTSE 100 was down 0.4% after the US Federal Reserve indicated rates could remain higher for longer. The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee is divided on what to do with interest rates.
Norway’s central bank has raised its rates for the 13th time in two years, with one more hike “likely” in December. The bank increased the rate to 4.25% after August’s annual inflation rate fell to 6.3% from June’s 7%. The pound fell to its lowest level in six months ahead of the Bank of England’s decision on interest rates. The pound fell to 0.3%, its lowest level since March. The Swiss National Bank has left its interest rates unchanged at 1.75%, but warned that further increases may still be needed.
The FTSE 100 has fallen ahead of the Bank of England’s decision on whether to raise interest rates, dipping 0.5% to 7,692.33. The FTSE 250 has dropped 0.4% to 18,635.90. Toshiba is set to be taken private as a Japanese consortium has completed a £11bn tender offer. The company will be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange within a month. Government borrowing has been lower than forecast, with self-assessment tax receipts of £13.3bn for July and August, £0.9bn more than predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility. The Treasury borrowed £11.6bn in August, £1.4bn below the forecast by the OBR but the fourth highest August borrowing figure since 1993.