TSA, cybersecurity, new directives, public safety
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TSA Requires Railways and Airports to Strengthen Cybersecurity (Maria)

The author writes, “The Transportation Security Administration is issuing new directives and recommendations aimed at strengthening the cybersecurity defenses of US rail and airport operators. The Biden administration said the requirements made public Thursday are part of a broader effort at protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure from ongoing cyberespionage and a surge in disruptive ransomware attacks. ‘These new cybersecurity requirements and recommendations will help keep the traveling public safe,’ Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.”

Oxford High School Shooting Renews Debate Over Michigan Gun Policies (Dana)

From The Detroit News: “The Tuesday shooting at Oxford High School that killed four students and wounded seven including a teacher has ignited a new debate over gun control policies in Michigan. Over a 24-hour period, a top Republican official advocated for the arming of teachers, while several Democratic lawmakers and officials called for stricter gun control. Later Wednesday afternoon, a Republican lawmaker announced plans for legislation that would allow teachers to secure personal weapons in lockboxes at schools. Four high school students lost their lives and seven others were injured — including some who are in critical condition — after a 15-year-old student allegedly opened fire with a handgun his father had purchased four days prior.”

Sen. Ron Johnson Says Fauci ‘Overhyped’ AIDS Just Like COVID-19 (Dan)

The author writes, “Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) complained about the new coronavirus variant making global headlines by comparing it to what he called the ‘overhyped’ AIDS crisis while appearing on a Fox News host’s podcast Wednesday. Wednesday was World AIDS Day. Without a wisp of tact, Johnson likened the way Dr. Anthony Fauci has issued warnings about the omnicron variant of COVID-19 to the way Fauci warned about the threat of AIDS. Since cropping up as a potential threat late last month, the variant has prompted new travel bans around the world as scientists work to determine whether omicron causes more severe illness, and whether existing treatments are sufficiently effective in combating it.”

Some Experts Suggest Omicron Variant May Have Evolved in an Animal Host (Sean)

From Stat: “When Covid-19 variants arise, the accepted wisdom is that the constellation of mutations they contain developed in an immunocompromised person who contracted the virus and couldn’t shake the infection. But some scientists have an alternative theory for where the latest variant of concern, Omicron, may have acquired the unusual mutations that stud its spike protein. They speculate the virus could have evolved in another animal species. The theory goes that some type of animal, potentially rodents, was infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus sometime in mid-2020. In this new species, the virus evolved, accumulating roughly 50 mutations on the spike protein before spilling back over into people.”

China Surveillance of Journalists to Use ‘Traffic-Light’ System (Russ)

From the BBC: “The Chinese province of Henan is building a surveillance system with face-scanning technology that can detect journalists and other ‘people of concern.’ Documents seen by BBC News describe a system that classifies journalists into a ‘traffic-light’ system — green, amber and red. Journalists in the ‘red’ category would be ‘dealt with accordingly,’ they say. The Henan Public Security Bureau has not responded to a request for comment. The documents, discovered by the surveillance analyst firm IPVM, also outline plans to surveil other ‘people of concern,’ including foreign students and migrant women.”

Sitting More Linked to Increased Feelings of Depression, Anxiety (Mili)

The author writes, “As people adhered to stay-at-home orders or self-isolated during the early months of the COVID-19 outbreak, daily commutes turned into shuffles between the bedroom and the living room. Clicking Zoom links erased time spent walking to meeting rooms, and Netflix spilled into time otherwise dedicated to the gym. In short, a lot of people suddenly became more sedentary during the onset of the pandemic. Recently published research found people who continued to spend a higher amount of time sitting between April and June 2020 were likely to have higher symptoms of depression. A closer investigation into this association could play a role in helping people improve their mental health.”

Woman Fakes Her Own Wedding in an Attempt to Get Ex’s Attention (Dana)

The author writes, “A woman has admitted that she faked her own wedding — complete with a professional photoshoot and stand-in groom — in an attempt to get her ex-boyfriend’s attention, only for him to see it and ignore her in the end. The Germany-based woman, who is named Jacqueline and goes by the username @dieschaklin online, revealed on TikTok that she pretended to get married in an attempt to get her ex to text her — but it didn’t work.”


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