Louisiana, cyberattack, National Guard, presidential election
The author writes, “The Louisiana National Guard was called in to stop a series of cyberattacks aimed at small government offices across the state in recent weeks, according to two people with knowledge of the events, highlighting the cyber threat facing local governments in the run up to the 2020 US presidential election. The situation in Louisiana follows a similar case in Washington State, according to a cybersecurity consultant familiar with the matter.” Photo credit: Dennis Sparks / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

19 Women Allege Medical Abuse in Georgia Immigration Detention ; An Insider’s Account of the Reza Zarrab Conspiracy ; and More Picks 10/27

These Voters Sat Out in 2016. Now They Could Determine the Next US President (Dan)

The author writes, “Opinion polls and early voting returns indicate that millions of Americans who typically don’t participate in elections are coming off the sidelines this year and backing the Democrat by wide margins. Roughly 7.3 million infrequent and first-time voters had cast their ballots as of Tuesday, according to TargetSmart, a Democratic analytics firm. That’s more than two and a half times the number of ballots cast at the same point four years ago. … TargetSmart estimates that this group leans Democratic by 16 percentage points.”

Texas Guard: Abbott to Order 1,000 Troops to Texas Cities During Election (Dana)

From the San Antonio Express-News: “The Texas Army National Guard said Monday it had been ordered to dispatch 1,000 troops to five major cities around the state in conjunction with the Nov. 3 election, including San Antonio. Details about the operation weren’t clear, but a Texas Guard spokesman, Brandon Jones, said troops could be sent to Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio this weekend. He didn’t know how many troops would be deployed to those cities, but said they might not be sent to polling locations.” 

19 Women Allege Medical Abuse in Georgia Immigration Detention (Reader Steve)

From the Los Angeles Times, “At least 19 women at a Georgia immigration facility are now alleging that a doctor performed, or pressured them to undergo, ‘overly aggressive’ or ‘medically unnecessary’ surgery without their consent, including procedures that affect their ability to have children, according to a new report and other records obtained by the Times. The new report was written by a team of nine board-certified OB-GYNs and two nursing experts, each affiliated with academic medical centers … who reviewed more than 3,200 pages of records obtained for the 19 women. It comes just a month after a whistleblowing nurse at the Irwin County Detention Center set into motion a series of congressional inquiries and federal investigations into immigrant women’s care at the facility, which is overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

‘The Government Is in on It’: An Insider’s Account of the Reza Zarrab Conspiracy (DonkeyHotey)

From Courthouse News Service: “A Turk who hauled massive amounts of gold in a record-breaking sanctions-busting scheme remembers his first conversation about it vividly, some 12 years on. In 2008, Adem Karahan was recruited to help funnel billions of dollars, first by carrying suitcases full of gold or cash and later as a proxy for companies moving money through bank wires, all to help Iran evade U.S. economic sanctions by delivering illicit cash from oil sales. In an exclusive interview, Karahan told Courthouse News Service and OCCRP that the boss of the operation, Turkish-Iranian money launderer Reza Zarrab, assured him he had nothing to fear from Turkish authorities.”

Could Boosting Vitamin D Cut COVID-19 Risk? (Mili)

The author writes, “Patients with ‘likely deficient’ vitamin D status had nearly doubled risk of testing positive for COVID-19 versus those with ‘likely sufficient’ vitamin D, a single-center study found. … The authors acknowledged one major caveat, however: vitamin D deficiency may be associated with many other COVID-19 risk factors, including age, obesity, diabetes, and chronic illness. Their statistical analysis included adjustments for many of these, but potential remained for residual confounding.”

Bot Orders $18,752 of McSundaes Every 30 Min. to Find if Machines Are Working (Dana)

The author writes, “Burgers, fries, and McNuggets are the staples of McDonald’s fare. But the chain also offers soft-serve ice cream in most of its 38,000+ locations. Or at least, theoretically it does. In reality, the ice cream machines are infamously prone to breaking down, routinely disappointing anyone trying to satisfy their midnight McFlurry craving. One enterprising software engineer, Rashiq Zahid, decided it’s better to know if the ice cream machine is broken before you go. The solution? A bot to check ahead. Thus was born McBroken, which maps out all the McDonald’s near you with a simple color-coded dot system: green if the ice cream machine is working and red if it’s broken.”

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