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Norway Summons Chinese Ambassador Over ‘Unacceptable’ Hack Attack

Cyber attack


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While Norway’s security service (PST) is still carrying on with their investigation of the IT attack, the country’s authorities have blamed the reported March attack on China, calling it an attack on Norwegian democracy.

Norway has accused China of a hack attack against Storting, the Norwegian parliament, that reportedly took place in March.

On 10 March, the Storting announced data breaches in its e-mail systems. The hack was performed through the exploitation of security holes in the Microsoft Exchange e-mail server.

“It is a serious attack that affected our most important democratic institution,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said, as quoted by national broadcaster NRK. “Several of our allies, the EU and Microsoft have also confirmed this. The Chinese authorities must prevent such attacks from taking place, so that similar incidents do not happen again,” Søreide added.

“All cyber operations leave different forms of traces, and then it is, among other things, our security services that make assessments of that and compile that information. And on the basis of this information, the government has made an assessment that the attack originated from China,” Søreide said.

Ine Eriksen Søreide said that her ministry summoned the Chinese ambassador to discuss the attack directly.

“That such malicious cyberactivity is allowed to take place is not in line with the norms for responsible state behaviour in the digital space that all UN member states have agreed upon. We have today summoned the Chinese ambassador and taken up the matter directly,” the foreign minister said.

Norway’s security service (PST) said their investigation of the IT attack was still ongoing. However, Storting President Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen called the attack on the Storting an attack on Norwegian democracy.

“The attack was unacceptable and very serious, and it must be expected that the Chinese authorities do what they can to prevent such IT attacks from happening,” Trøen said, calling for more international cooperation in order maintain a “well-functioning, open and stable democracy”.

Norway is not the only country to have accused China of computer attacks. Norway’s finger-wagging at China was supported by the EU, the UK, the US and NATO. The White House voiced its concern about China’s “irresponsible and destabilising behaviour in cyberspace”, whereas Director of Operations at the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre Paul Chichester” called it “another example of a malicious attack” and “completely unacceptable”.

In a statement to NRK, the Chinese embassy said there was reason to suspect political manipulation.

“We hope Norway can provide facts and evidence to find out the truth,” the embassy said.

Furthermore, it called China a defender of cyber security that has worked against this type of behaviour, opposing cyberattacks and cybertheft in all forms.

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This post originally posted here Norway Government & Politics News

Biden chosen as US Ambassador following the Brexit claim

Joe Biden: Host express concern for his cognitive health

Former President Obama had reportedly been offered the position but current Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson didn’t want Mr. Obama to take it.

If accurate, it would be the first time a US ambassador has been blocked by the British government.

Disagreements between Mr. Obama and Mr. Johnson have been occurring since 2016, when he made comments about Britain being “at the back of the queue” for trade deals.

A nearly unprecedented intervention in a domestic matter for a serving US President was made to undermine statements made by the Leave campaign, which cited an EU trade deal as a replacement for US trade.

Obama was upset with Mr. Johnson because he penned an editorial in which he implied that Obama had a hate of Britain because of his Kenyan ancestry and opposition to British colonial control.

An additional indication of Obama’s disdain for Britain was the removal of Churchill’s bust from the Oval Office upon taking office as President.

One senior Whitehall source confirmed that Obama’s appointment had been rejected in private.

“Also, this is why there is a delay.”

He’s completely unacceptable, “a source told us.

He is beyond recovery.

 

Biden choice for US Ambassador after Brexit claim

Boris Johnson does not want Mr Obama to be US Ambassador (Image: Getty )

However, it is also understood that there are concerns that the US President would “create a rival court in Britain to the court of Boris and Carrie”.

“You can imagine he will have an open door to former Remainers, opponents of the Government. Michelle [Obama] will carry on touring schools. It will be a rival focus to the government especially with question marks over the relationship between Biden and Boris.”

The tensions mean that Woody Johnson, Donald Trump’s ambassador, has yet to be replaced after a term where he received praise for the good relations he fostered in the UK over a difficult period with Brexit.

It is now believed that Mr Biden will put off a decision until next year.

Last night a A UK Government spokeswoman said: “These reports are simply untrue. Questions on US appointments are for the US.”

She also highlighted the strong relationship between the UK and US where they continue to engage extensively.

US Ambassador to the UK US Ambassador to the UK

Joe Biden would like to appoint Barack Obama as US Ambassador to the UK (Image: Getty )

The Prime Minister was the first European leader to speak to President Biden following his election win and inauguration and Biden’s first overseas visit was to the UK when he attended the G7 last month.

The UK Government also pointed out that the Foreign Secretary and his counterpart Anthony Blinken speak regularly, with Blinken having attended the G7 foreign ministerial meetings here in May.

A Downing Street source added: “Questions on US appointments are for the US. However, it is quite usual for new US governments to take some time to make ambassadorial appointments. There are a number of senior diplomatic postings yet to be confirmed, not just the UK.”

The row comes as the Sunday Express has also been told that the US President is being pushed to end the tradition of political appointments and instead rely on career diplomats for the key ambassadorial positions.

The almost unprecedented move would put pay to the hopes of mega-donors such as Disney chairman Bob Iger, famously filmed being asked by Prince Harry to provide voice-over work for the Duchess of Sussex during a Lion King premier in 2019.

Mr Obama and Mr Johnson

There have been disagreements between Mr Obama and Mr Johnson since 2016 (Image: Getty )

The 69-year-old,  who is said to have given $ 250,000 to the Biden Victory Fund –  has reportedly made it clear that he expects to receive the ambassadorships in either Beijing or London in return.

Other names in contention have been Cindy McCain,  the anglophile businesswoman and widow of the late Senator John McCain – who delivered Arizona to Biden  – and Comcast executive David Cohen, another top donor who hosted President-elect Biden’s kickoff election campaign fundraiser at his Philadelphia home in April 2019.

Around 800 donors raised at least £100,000 each for Biden’s election campaign.

But the new president is facing increased pressure to mark a radical departure from US tradition, which generally sees around 30 percent of all ambassadorships given to those who have demonstrated personal loyalty to the President.

One reason is to create clear blue water between Biden and Trump, who increase this to 44 percent – a record number.

Leading Democrat Elizabeth Warren even went so far as to pledge that she would “make my ambassadorial appointments based on only one thing: finding the most qualified person for the job – I won’t give ambassadorial posts to wealthy donors or bundlers — period,” if she were chosen as presidential candidate.

Britons furious as Jacinda Ardern brands UK Covid policy ‘unacceptable’

New Zealand’s Prime Minister warned she has no plans to copy her British counterpart Boris Johnson with his plans to ease England’s remaining lockdown restricts on July 19. She added her country would not follow Britain’s new “live with” policy on the deadly virus. Ms Ardern said: “Different countries are taking different choices.

“The priority for me is how do we continue to preserve what New Zealand has managed to gain and give ourselves options, because this virus is not done with the world yet.”

However, her comments sparked anger among Express.co.uk readers.

One person warned Mr Johnson not to interact with Ms Ardern following her comments – even with trade.

They wrote: “No trade deal with New Zealand for you then Boris.”

Another added: “I’m afraid she needs to get real on Covid.”

And a third said: “She is deluded if she thinks New Zealand will not have to follow suit at some point.

“The borders can’t be kept closed forever. We all need to live with Covid variants as we move forward.”

It comes after Mr Johnson said earlier this week that Britons must “learn to live with” Covid.

READ MORE: Chaos above Black Sea: Russian jets intercept ‘US spy plane’

However, New Zealand officials said they would not want to do this.

Chris Hipkins, the country’s COVID-19 response minister, said: “That’s not something that we have been willing to accept in New Zealand.”

Ashley Bloomfield, the director-general of health, said New Zealand would be “watching closely”.

This would be to see the effect of England’s lockdown easing.

He added the UK could be placed on a no-fly list if cases rise again.

He said: “If they do get an increase in cases, we will be keeping a close eye on what that means for the risk of people traveling from the UK. 

“That will inform our decisions here.”

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Author: Rachel Russell
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Coca-Cola CEO says Georgia voting law unacceptable and 'a step backward'

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey on Wednesday called Georgia’s controversial new voting law “unacceptable,” and “a step backwards.”

Quincey made the remark in an interview on CNBC. His comments come less than one week after Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden seeks expanded government, tax hikes High anxiety over Trump in Georgia GOP Phil Murphy signs legislation expanding early voting in NJ MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] (R) signed the bill, known as SB202, into law and as more business leaders take a public stance against the new measure.

“Let me be crystal clear and unequivocal, this legislation is unacceptable, it is a step backward and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia, around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity, and this is frankly just a step backwards,” Quincey said. 

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Businesses have faced pressure from activists and threats of boycotts over failing to speak out against SB202.

Coca-Cola said in a statement[9] on Monday “while we are disappointed in the outcome, we don’t see this as the final chapter.”

Quincey didn’t directly answer why Coca-Cola didn’t condemn the law earlier, but noted that it is now taking a more public stance against the bill.

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“The reality is many things are improved and done and achieved in private, without having to take a public stance, but in this case it does not work, clearly,” Quincey said. “And so, we’re being more forceful in our public position even more than we were earlier this week, and we’ll continue to advocate for change in Georgia.”

SB202 limits the use of ballot drop boxes and requires photo ID for absentee ballots, among its many restrictions.

The law has already been hit with three lawsuits within one week of its passage.

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo[10] to staff that the voting law was “unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.”

Citibank’s Chief Financial Officer Mark Manson and head of global public affairs Edward Skyler issued statements condemning the voting law.

 

[email protected] (Jordan Williams)