In our news wrap Friday, law enforcement in New York refocused their search for two escaped convicts after reports that two men were seen jumping a stone wall. Also, hackers linked to China may have gained sensitive information on military and intelligence workers.
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Hackers linked to China may have accessed sensitive background information of intelligence and military personnel. The Associated Press reported today officials believe it involved security clearance forms with possible information about mental illness, drug and alcohol use, past arrests or bankruptcies. It’s the second cyber-security breach of federal records in just the past week.
The Office of Personnel Management was the target of the hack and has yet to notify people whose data was breached.
Law enforcement officers in New York refocused their search for two escaped convicts after reports two men were seen jumping a stone wall. The manhunt stretched into a seventh day, as there was confirmation a female prison employee gave the inmates contraband, but not the power tools they used to break out.
Late today, New York State Police arrested Joyce Mitchell for providing assistance to help the two inmates escape.
Earlier in the day, district attorney Andrew Wylie said Mitchell had a relationship with one of the men.
ANDREW WYLIE, Clinton County District Attorney:
There wasn’t sufficient information to either block her out of the facility, have some type of formal charges within the facility filed against her, but action, I think, was taken to separate the two of them for a period of time.
Mitchell and her husband both worked at the correctional facility.
Water officials in California ordered the largest cuts on record for farmers today to try and cope with a now four-year-long drought. The order affects thousands of farmers, some of whom hold the strongest and oldest legal water rights in the state. Today’s decision includes California’s Sacramento, San Joaquin and Delta watersheds. Many of the farmers affected argue the state has no authority to mandate the cuts.
The former head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn was cleared of pimping charges today. He was seen leaving for a court in Lille, France, but made no appearance after the verdict. The trial centered on sex parties with prostitutes during the global financial crisis. Strauss-Kahn said he didn’t know the women were prostitutes and needed the — quote — “recreational sessions” to relieve stress.
In Germany, prosecutors closed their investigation into the alleged tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone by the U.S. National Security Agency. The probe was opened last year after NSA leaker Edward Snowden said he had documents proving her phone was bugged. Prosecutors said they were unable to find evidence that would stand up in court.
Greek stocks tumbled today on news that the country’s debt talks with European creditors in Brussels are unraveling. With one week to go before the negotiation deadline, European Union officials held their first meetings on a plan B if Athens should default on its loans.
But, in Berlin, German Chancellor Merkel urged all parties to keep on negotiating.
ANGELA MERKEL, Chancellor, Germany (through interpreter):
And, on Greece, I would like to say, and I have repeated this over the last few days, where there’s a will, there’s a way. So it’s important that we keep speaking with each other.
After European markets closed, Greek officials indicated they would present new proposals over the weekend.
Uncertainty over the Greek debt talks sent ripples through the U.S. stock market. On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 140 points to close at 17900. The Nasdaq fell 31 points. The S&P 500 dropped 15. For the week, the Dow gained three-tenths of a percent. The Nasdaq rose a tenth of a percent. And the S&P lost three-tenths of a percent.
And the Republican Party of Iowa has dropped its famed straw poll. It had been a staple pre-election-year event for GOP presidential candidates since 1979, but there was waning interest among 2016 hopefuls. The party voted unanimously to cancel the event in a conference call today. It had been scheduled for August 8 in the central Iowa city of Boone.