Alan Parker, director of ‘Bugsy Malone’ and ‘Evita’, dies aged 76

Sir Alan Parker worked on movies such as “Fame” and “Midnight Express” during a glittering career. His films won 19 BAFTA awards, 10 Golden Globes and 10 Oscars between them.

Acclaimed British film director Sir Alan Parker died on Friday after a lengthy illness at the age of 76.

Parker was best known for directing “Fame”, “Evita” and “Bugsy Malone” but other hit movies that he worked on included “Midnight Express”, “Mississippi Burning”, “The Commitments” and “Angela’s Ashes.”

His last movie as a director was in 2003, “The Life of David Gale”, starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet.

Film still from The Wall, the Pink Floyd film also directed by Alan Parker (Imago Imago/Prod.DB)

Parker also directed Pink Floyd’s musical film “The Wall” starring Bob Geldof and released in 1982

Knighted in the UK in 2002

Born in London in 1944, he began working in advertising as a copywriter but soon moved on to writing and directing commercials.

An original member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain, he was also chairman of the UK Film Council.

Parker received a knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen in 2002.

He is survived by his wife, Lisa Moran-Parker, five children and seven grandchildren.

jsi/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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ZTE and China Unicom complete China’s first 2.1G end-to-end SA commercial verification

ZTE Corporation (0763.HK / 000063.SZ), a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, together with the Shandong branch of China Unicom, has completed China’s first 2.1G end-to-end SA commercial verification, thereby laying a solid foundation for the future 2.1G 5G commercialization.

As a major vendor in this verification, ZTE, has completed the industry’s first 2.1G SA systematic networking verification, the first 2.1G and 3.5G NR inter-frequency networking interoperability verification, and tested 2.1G SA network terminal service performance, voice service and other basic functions. The verification will accelerate the development of the 2.1G industry ecosystem, fully supporting the commercialization of 2.1G SA networks.

Moving forward, ZTE will continue to work with China Unicom to explore the application of new 5G technologies and new functions in commercial networks, and support China Unicom to further improve network quality and reduce energy consumption, so as to build multi-mode superb networks and provide end users with better network services.

ZTE is a provider of advanced telecommunications systems, mobile devices and enterprise technology solutions to consumers, operators, companies and public sector customers. The company has been committed to providing customers with integrated end-to-end innovations to deliver excellence and value as the telecommunications and information technology sectors converge. Listed in the stock exchanges of Hong Kong and Shenzhen (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ), ZTE sells its products and services in more than 160 countries. 

Pre One: ZTE tests the world’s first digital indoor distribution capacity multiplication technology

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Tampa Teen Arrested for Being ‘Mastermind’ of Huge Twitter Hack Targeting Famous Users

A Tampa teenager was taken into custody Friday, accused of being the “mastermind” behind a huge Twitter hack that targeted some of the world’s most wealthy and influential people, authorities said.

The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office filed 30 felony charges against Graham Ivan Clark, 17, for “scamming people across America” in the July 15 attack. The scheme “stole the identities of prominent people” and “posted messages in their names directing victims to send Bitcoin” to accounts that were associated with the Tampa teen, prosecutors said. The scheme netted more than $100,000 in one day.

The charges against Clark include organized fraud, 17 counts of communications fraud, one count of fraudulent use of personal information with over $100,000 or 30 or more victims, 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal information, and one count of access to computer or electronic device without authority. WLFA first reported the arrest.

“These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here,” Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said in a statement. “This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida. This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that.”

The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office said Clark would be charged as an adult, which Florida law allows in financial fraud cases.

In the space of minutes on July 15, the accounts of several famous people and companies all posted messages telling their hundreds of millions of followers to send Bitcoin money to a certain wallet address if they wanted to get double the amount sent back as part of a $10 million giveaway.

Twitter accounts for Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Apple, Uber, Kanye West, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Wiz Khalifa, and even Kim Kardashian West were among those hacked.

“I am giving back to my fans. All Bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled. I am only doing a maximum of $10,000,000. Only going on for 30 minutes!” the tweets read, along with an address for the Bitcoin wallet.

Although most of the accounts only posted the message once, Musk’s account—which has previously been the victim of imitators hawking Bitcoin wallets—sent the tweet three times and replied once to Bill Gates.

The coordinated attack forced Twitter to temporarily prevent almost every verified Twitter user from posting tweets or retweets.

At the time, Twitter said the hackers used employees’ corporate accounts to gain access to internal tools with vast capabilities. The hijackers used “social engineering,” whereby malicious actors trick account owners into divulging sensitive information like login credentials, to wrest control from the employees themselves.

Prosecutors, however, said that Clark acted alone when he locked verified users out of their accounts for at least a day. After a nationwide investigation involving the FBI and the Department of Justice, authorities located Clark in Hillsborough County. 

“Working together, we will hold this defendant accountable,” Warren said. “Scamming people out of their hard-earned money is always wrong. Whether you’re taking advantage of someone in person or on the internet, trying to steal their cash or their cryptocurrency—it’s fraud, it’s illegal, and you won’t get away with it.”

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Zimbabwe: Star author among several arrests at anti-government protests in Harare

Booker Prize nominee Tsitsi Dangarembga was bundled into a police truck in Harare during anti-government protests. The demonstrations coincided with the second anniversary of President Mnangagwa’s election.

Award-winning author and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga was among scores of people arrested in Zimbabwe on Friday as hundreds of military troops and police attempted to thwart anti-government protests.

Dangarembga, 61, was shoved into a police truck as she demonstrated in the upmarket Harare suburb of Borrowdale. Another protester alongside her was also bundled into the vehicle.

Read more:  Tsitsi Dangarembga, the author behind one of the ‘100 stories that shaped the world’

Streets clear as military deployed

As a result of law enforcement restrictions, streets in the Zimbabwean capital, home to some 1.5 million people, soon became deserted as police and troops scrutinized documents at checkpoints to prevent unauthorized entry to certain parts of the city.

Opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume, head of a small party called Transform Zimbabwe, had called for protesters to demonstrate against alleged state corruption and the country’s crumbling economy.

The demonstrations were aimed at coinciding with the second anniversary of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election victory, which opposition leaders have claimed was won fraudulently.

However, most people stayed home on Friday after police on Thursday warned of a severe response to those wishing to protest.

“All security arms of government are on full alert and will deal decisively with any individuals or groups fomenting violence,” police spokesman Paul Nyathi said in a statement.

Protest organizers focused their frustration on the ruling political party, using the hashtag #ZANUPFmustgo on social media.

Read more:  Zimbabwe compensates white farmers with billions

Mounting unease

Tensions are rising in Zimbabwe as the perennially-shaky economy faces added pressure. Inflation is more than 700%, the second highest in the world. Furthermore, the coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed the country’s threadbare health system.

President Mnangagwa described the demonstrations as “an insurrection to overthrow our democratically-elected government.” He added that security agents “will be vigilant and on high alert.”

Speaking at the burial on Friday of cabinet minister Perence Shiri, who died from the coronavirus, Mnangagwa did not directly refer to the demonstrations but called for unity and urged citizens to avoid causing unrest.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses mourners at the burial of Zimbabwean minister Perence Shiri, who died of Covid-19, during his burial in Harare, Friday, July, 31, 2020. (picture-alliance/AP Photo/T. Mukwazhi)

Mnangagwa appeared at the funeral with the capital’s streets deserted as security forces took charge

Mnangagwa has been in power since November 2017 after replacing longstanding freedom fighter turned authoritarian Robert Mugabe. The army ultimately ousted Mugabe, only to put one of the former president’s closest allies in charge in his stead. Mnangagwa secured his first full term as president in July the following year after the country held a general election.

Read more:  Pressure mounts on Zimbabwe to release investigative journalist

Charges ‘unclear’

Fadzayi Mahere, spokeswoman of the main opposition MDC Alliance party, was also arrested on Friday, though the charges against her and Booker Prize nominee Tsitsi Dangarembga were not immediately clear, according to their attorneys.

Dangarembga wrote the prize-winning novel ”Nervous Conditions” in 1988. It was the first book written by a Black woman from Zimbabwe to be published in English and she was subsequently awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1989.

jsi/msh (AFP, AP)

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Mammoth Biosciences Secures Contract from National Institutes of Health to Scale Its High-Throughput CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic Platform to Address Testing Capacity Shortages

Mammoth Biosciences, Inc. today announced the company has received a contract from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of its $1.5 billion Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) program, making it the first CRISPR based initiative to be funded by the program. The award will help scale Mammoth Biosciences’ CRISPR-based DETECTR™ test onto high-throughput automated platforms in commercial labs for COVID-19 diagnostics at an accelerated rate, increasing access to accurate tests with faster turnaround across the country. In a move to double down on its diagnostics efforts, Mammoth Biosciences has also strategically hired three new additions to its leadership team, including Rachel Herder as Vice President of Intellectual Property (IP), Jesus Ching as Vice President of Research and Development, and Tim Patno as Vice President of Product Development. 

With a $1.5 billion investment from federal stimulus funding, the RADx initiative infuses funding into early innovative technologies to speed development of rapid and widely accessible COVID-19 testing. The Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Tech (RADx Tech) program specifically aims to support the development and commercialization of innovative technologies to significantly increase the U.S. testing capacity for SARS-CoV-2. 

“CRISPR has the potential to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic and relieve the testing shortage,” explained Trevor Martin, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Mammoth Biosciences. “We are honored to receive this support for our CRISPR-based platform to bring high-throughput, accurate testing to more people, at a time when it’s needed most.”

“This is an exciting milestone,” said Bruce Tromberg, Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and leader of RADx Tech, one of four components of the NIH RADx initiative. “It will help increase U.S. testing capacity exponentially. Game-changing technologies emerging from our RADx pipeline will inform public health measures to stop the spread of the virus and leave us better equipped to address future pathogens and other diseases.”

The Mammoth Biosciences SARS-CoV-2 DETECTRTM assay uses CRISPR technology, which provides a simpler workflow and significantly faster turnaround time compared to conventional PCR methods. With the support of the RADx program, Mammoth Biosciences will scale the manufacturing of its proprietary DETECTRTM platform to provide a high-throughput, sample-to-answer turnkey solution for commercial laboratories to enable a multi-fold increase in testing capacity. Recently, the University of California, San Francisco received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval from the FDA to use Mammoth Biosciences’ CRISPR-based DETECTRTM reagent set for detecting SARS-CoV-2. 

In tandem, Mammoth Biosciences welcomes three key hires to its leadership team, supporting the company’s technical and product development. Rachel Herder, Ph.D. joins as VP of IP with previous experience at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR) representing cutting edge startup life science clients on various aspects of intellectual property law, including patent prosecution and global patent strategy. VP of R&D, Jesus Ching, Ph.D. brings 30 years of experience building innovative technologies in the in vitro diagnostics space, having co-founded and sold GenturaDx to Luminex Corporation. As VP of Product Development, Tim Patno will leverage his decades of experience in product development at both large and small companies including those with molecular diagnostic products to oversee the development and manufacturing of Mammoth Biosciences’ diagnostics products.

This project is supported by the NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) program and has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. 75N92020C00011.

To learn more about Mammoth Biosciences’ COVID-19 initiatives visit: https://mammoth.bio/

About Mammoth Biosciences

Mammoth Biosciences is harnessing the diversity of nature to power the next-generation of CRISPR products. Through the discovery and development of novel CRISPR systems, the company is enabling the full potential of its platform to read and write the code of life. Mammoth Biosciences aims to democratize disease detection with an easy and affordable point-of-care test that allows real-time and simultaneous detection of multiple conditions.  By leveraging its internal research and development and exclusive licensing to Cas12, Cas13, and Cas14, Mammoth Biosciences can provide enhanced diagnostics and genome editing for life science research, healthcare, agriculture, biodefense and more. Based in South San Francisco, Mammoth Biosciences is co-founded by CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna and principal founders Trevor Martin, Janice Chen, and Lucas Harrington. The firm is backed by top institutional investors including Mayfield, NFX, and 8VC, Decheng Capital and leading individual investors including Brook Byers, Tim Cook, and Jeff Huber. 

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Here’s Where to Buy a Face Mask for Yourself or for Someone Else

If you had told us that in the near future, a face mask would be a fashion trend, we would have laughed. But, alas, it is slowly becoming one. But even more so, there are a lot of brands making face masks that you can buy that are more comfortable than those cheap one’s you might’ve sewn yourself or gotten at the store. And, even better, many of these brands are donating masks to people who might need them more than you. Because there is just so much going on right now, we’ve rounded up some brands we love, making masks we love, too. 

The Mask 1.0 (Two Pack)

These aren’t your typical face masks. Rothy’s is a footwear company that makes their fabric from recycled water bottles — and these masks are constructed with that same sustainable fabric. The masks are made using the brand’s 3D knitting technology to fit your face comfortably but securely. The best part? The three strategically placed pieces of microfiber (two on the cheeks and one on the bridge of the nose) that reduce gapping and irritation. This is the only face mask that I’ve tried that fits tight to my nose without a nose wire.

Backcountry Backcountry Face Mask

Made in Utah, these masks have a few perks that set them apart from the rest. The double-layer fabric leaves room to add a filter, while the ties and nose wire allow them to be adjustable. Plus, when you purchase a mask it comes with two filters. It’s even adjustable enough to fit over an N95 if you want some added protection. 

Adidas Face Mask

These face masks are great for exercising in. “It has a tight fit, which is great because that means there’s no flopping around when you’re running, and honestly, I barely even remember I’m wearing it.”

Amour Vert

These masks are sustainably made and with each purchase, Amour Vert donates one to an essential worker in San Francisco. It’s double-layered and includes an inner pocket for a filter.

Buck Mason

You can donate or purchase for yourself this pack of five face masks, that are treated with an anti-microbial coating that will last up to 30 wash cycles. They’ll ship out the week of May 18th.

Topo Designs

These masks are made with a double layer construction, a cotton exterior and a polyester/cotton interior. An interior pocket allows for air filter insert, and adjustable bands make it easy to stay secure. The masks should ship in 1-2 weeks.

Caraa’s masks are made from recycled materials and leftover pieces. They’re washable and reusable, too. You can either grab a pack for yourself or donate a pack to those in need. Plus, Caraa is matching every mask pack bought or donated.

Christy Dawn

This five-pack of masks features double-layered deadstock cotton and behind-the-ear elastics. When you purchase, you’ll receive a pack of five masks and five will be donated. They’re all made by the Christy Dawn team, too.

Everlane Face Masks

Yes, Everlane buys face masks and 10% of all sales and donated to the ACLU. They are reusable and come in different gray hues.

Athleta Face Mask

These face masks come in a pack of five, a variety of colors, and best of all, come equipped with a nose wire that will keep them from falling off your face.

These reusable masks are made from 100% Kona Quilter’s Cotton, a tight weave and thick thread that remains breathable. For every pack sold, Baggu is donating a pack of surgical masks to healthcare workers through Masks4Medicine. Shipments will begin in Early June.

Purple Face Mask

Purple makes one of my favorite face masks. “The lining around the mask provides extra comfort that shapes to your nose and chin without irritating your skin, making them easy to wear for hours on end. Plus, they come in a pack of two in case you lose one (I already did!).”

These face masks will match your favorite J. Crew button down. They come in a pack of three. J. Crew is supporting Donors Choose Keep Kids Learning program to help provide basic supplies for high-need communities and their students at home.

Levi’s Reusable Reversible Face Mask

Although these come in a pack of three, it really feels like you’re getting six. These reversible masks feature straps to tie around your head, and best of all, they are machine washable.

Emilia George

These 100% sustainable masks are made from cupro making them soft and breathable. Emilia George is also donating parts of their inventory to daycare centers in Manhattan that remain open so essential workers can still do their jobs.

Parachute Face Masks

This set of five face masks comes in a variety of colors and features straps to wrap around your head. For every set sold, they’ll donate a set, as well.

Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices is making five-packs of masks made with Textured Compression materials. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Direct Relief. They will ship out mid-May.

Rag & Bone

Each mask pack of three is made of upcycled materials. Each three pack purchase allows a donation of $15 to City Harvest and those most affected, while reinvesting the remainder to support local workers and the continued manufacturing of non-medical masks. They should ship out at the end of May.

Get a three-pack of non-medical masks that easily fit over your nose and mouth. These come with a filter as well that can be hand-washed in warm water. Each is made from leftover fabric scraps.

Paige makes great jeans, and when you buy a pair, they’ll send you a mask with it. They’ll also donate a pack of four masks if you buy a pack of four masks.

Reformation

These non-medical masks come in packs of five and will come in a variety of prints and colors. The long straps tie behind your head to alleviate any pain from elastics around your ears. Small businesses can even buy them in bulk if need be.

Sanctuary is making nose wire cloth masks in fun designs like camo, cat print masks, and a very special dinosaur design just for kids.

Steele Canvas x Food 52

These one size fits all cloth masks come with a buy one mask, give one mask option to medical facilities that are accepting cloth masks (as a supplement to, not a replacement for, medical-grade masks), and also for personal use. These should ship out within 1-2 business days.

These masks come in a handful of colors and are available to buy in single, pairs, or a four-pack. They have adjustable straps and an integrated nose piece to fit snugly to your face. It comes with a filter than should be replaced every seven days (you can buy more here)

Scouted selects products independently and prices reflect what was available at the time of publish. Sign up for our newsletter for even more recommendations. Don’t forget to check out our coupon site to find apparel deals from L.L.Bean, Lands’ End, Gap, and more. If you buy something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.

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Coronavirus digest: ‘Success story’ Vietnam records first deaths

Vietnam’s Health Ministry has reported the country’s first two coronavirus deaths amid an outbreak in Da Nang. Catch up with that story and everything else you need to know from around the world with DW’s overview.

New and noteworthy

Vietnam reported its first-ever deaths  from COVID-19, as it grapples with a renewed outbreak in the tourist city of Da Nang.

The country’s Health Ministry said a 70-year-old man had died after he caught the disease while being treated for a kidney illness at a hospital in Da Nang. Later on Friday, it said a 61-year-old man had also died.

More than 100 new cases were confirmed in the past week.

Da Nang is Vietnam’s most popular beach destination, with thousands of visitors spending their summer vacations there. Authorities across Vietnam are now scrambling to test people who have returned home from the city.

Vietnam had been seen as a global success story in tackling the coronavirus, with no officially recorded deaths and no apparent local transmission for more than three months.

Here’s a roundup of the other major stories regarding coronavirus around the world:

North America

The top US infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, testified before Congress on Friday. A statement released ahead of the hearing said he would tell lawmakers that it was still “unclear how long the pandemic will last.”

During his testimony, Fauci refused to recommend that protests taking place in Portland and other US cities be limited because of the risk posed by the Coronavirus, foiling efforts by Trump ally and Republican Representative Jim Jordan.

“I’m not favoring anybody over anybody” but people “should stay away from crowds, no matter what the crowds are,” Fauci said. 

The expert was cautiously optimistic about the possibility of a vaccine being available by the end of the year, although access would likely be assigned on a needs basis. “Ultimately, within a reasonable time, the plans allow for any American who needs the vaccine to get it,” he said.

Europe 

The pandemic prompted an unprecedented slump in the eurozone, the group of 19 EU states that use the euro currency. The area’s GDP dropped by over 12 percent during the second quarter of 2020.  Read our full story here. 

Poland is mulling new anti-pandemic steps after reporting record high numbers of new cases for two consecutive days.

Read more: Germany plans mandatory coronavirus tests for travelers from Luxembourg

Middle East

Muslim pilgrims in Mecca started the ritual stoning of the devil, one of the final rites of the hajj pilgrimage, throwing sterilized pebbles at a pillar due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Just 10,000 people, all of them Saudi-based, have been allowed to attend the religious event rather than the 2.5 million people from around the world who normally make the pilgrimage. All pilgrims had been tested for the virus, and were required to wear masks and observe social distancing.

Asia

Hong Kong authorities postponed elections for the local legislature by one year, initially scheduled for September, citing coronavirus concerns. Pro-democracy activists accuse the government of using the pandemic as an excuse to stop the opposition from taking over the chamber. Read our full story here. 

Media in Vietnam reported the country’s first ever coronavirus death. The country has been held up as a global role model over its successful anti-pandemic strategy, and enjoyed a period of nearly 100 days without any new cases.

China rejected the charges of backing hackers who targeted US vaccine developer Moderna Inc. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the accusations were baseless and without evidence, and that Beijing had no need to engage in technology theft.

Africa

As the continent approaches 1 million confirmed infections, the director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that Africa still has a “very good chance of beating back this virus” with a comprehensive strategy that includes testing assertively. 

Meanwhile, the country with nearly half of Africa’s virus caseload, South Africa, has eased its 9 p.m. curfew by an hour.

And The UN food agency has warned that nearly 60% of Zimbabwe’s population could become “food-insecure” by December without a further $250 million (€210 million) aid package.

Read more: Africa’s Muslims woeful over scaled-down hajj

Catch up on the best DW content of the day

The number of deaths linked to COVID-19 have risen sharply in Brazil. With many of the rituals surrounding death and grief prohibited due to the pandemic, people are finding new ways to mourn lost loved ones.

Read the full story here

While many countries are easing their lockdowns, others are reporting more and more new COVID-19 cases every day. DW has taken a look at what the data tell us about a potential second wave.

Read the full story here

Across Europe, people have been going to raves and block parties, despite lockdown measures banning mass gatherings. What’s driving them? Is it the beat, or an act of resistance and an assertion of power and identity?

Read the full story here

In Germany, every second person surveyed feels psychologically burdened by the coronavirus pandemic. What are the social consequences of the higher stress levels? Are people becoming more aggressive? Watch here to find out: 

dr,see/rt (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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CTM360 and DarkOwl Announce Partnership to Enhance Digital Risk Protection

DarkOwl LLC, the Denver-based darknet big data cybersecurity company, and CTM360, a technology-based cybersecurity solutions provider, announce their partnership. The mission is to enhance the CTM360’s existing Digital Risk Protection platform and augment their detection capabilities in the Dark Web.

The partnership will add value to CTM360’s existing threat intelligence platform, ‘Cyber Blindspot’ (CBS), innovated by EDX Labs, which aggregates and prioritizes threat intelligence based on severity and relevance. With DarkOwl’s DARKINT data, CTM360 will be able to focus and extend better on monitoring darknet data and give end-users insights without irrelevant noise.

“Partnering with DarkOwl, a well-known Dark Web data provider, is a step in the right direction to enhance our Digital Risk Protection platform. We hope that this partnership yields long-lasting value to our subscribed members,” said Mirza Asrar Baig, CEO & Founder of CTM360.  
DarkOwl’s vast database of darknet content will be a critical data point in CTM360’s “offensive-defense” business strategy as they detect, manage and respond to threats and vulnerabilities across the Surface, Deep & Dark web. CTM360’s unique ‘offensive-defense’ approach has included the company in ‘eSecurity Planet’s Top 18 Cybersecurity Startups to watch out for in 2020’. EDX Labs (CTM360) is also named a Sample Vendor in Gartner’s 2020 Emerging Technologies: Critical Insights in Digital Risk Protection Services*.
 
Mark Turnage, DarkOwl CEO, stated, “CTM360’s cyber threat management platform is world-class. The standard of our darknet data is a strong complement that will further help them protect their client’s critical information. We are proud to be a part of their arsenal and help combat the many threats on the darknet.”
 
For more information, visit www.ctm360.com
*Gartner “Emerging Technologies: Critical Insights in Digital Risk Protection Services,” Ruggero Contu, Elizabeth Kim, 2 July 2020
 
or www.darkowl.com.  
 
 
 
 
 
About CTM360
CTM360 is a Bahrain-based cybersecurity startup offering Digital Risk Protection solutions via a 24 x 7 x 365 cloud-based platform. CTM360 focuses on enhancing its subscribed member’s security posture in cyberspace by providing threat detection & response, digital risk management, threat intelligence, corporate & VIP brand protection, anti-phishing, social media monitoring, data leakage protection in one platform. Additionally, CTM360 has joined many notable organizations such as the Forum of Incident Response Teams (FIRST) – a closed security global network, OASIS Open, and ICANN Intellectual Property Council (IPC).
 
About DarkOwl
DarkOwl was founded in 2016 with the mission of collecting the broadest dataset of darknet content available in the cyber-defense industry and making that data both accessible and valuable to its clients. By empowering its customers to have eyes on the darknet, DarkOwl enables organizations to fully understand their security posture, detect potential breaches, mitigate them quickly, and investigate even the furthest and most obscure reaches of the internet.
 
 
Media Contact
For DarkOwl:
Kim Ketchel
Director of Marketing, DarkOwl
marketing@darkowl.com
 

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Tammy Duckworth Wants to Know WTF Are We Supposed to Do With Our Kids During COVID?

Sen. Tammy Duckworth may be on Biden’s VP shortlist. But when it comes to childcare during the pandemic, she’s just as confused as the rest of us. 

“So my choice is five hours of homeschooling every day for my daughter and failing her, because I’m not a trained educator, or sending her to a school where she could very likely get this virus or bring it home and get her 2-year-old sister sick or my 79-year-old mom, who lives with us,” Duckworth tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson on the latest episode of The New Abnormal.

“That’s the problem: impossible choices.”

Duckworth also opens up about just how hostile the Senate was to working moms until a hot second ago. One particularly ridiculous question stands out. “They want to know if you’re gonna breastfeed on the floor. [And I said,] ‘I’m not exactly planning on whipping one out in front of them. But if the baby is hungry, I’ll feed her.’” 

Then! Princeton’s Sam Wang talks about how national polling works, what it means for Biden, and the out-of-the-way campaigns that could make a huge difference for decades to come. Oh, and the elephant in the room: the United States Postal Service.

“My biggest concern this year is the post office,” he says.

Plus, a Trump ambassador goes to a Nazi cemetery—and gets all wistful. A Republican candidate swears “celebrities and Democrats catch COVID and magically heal.” The Stephen Hawking of the U.S. House of Representatives displays his genius—at infecting everyone around him. 

And finally, Rick asks the big questions: Who’s more popular, Zombie Bin Laden or Ron DeSantis? Was Tulsa Trump’s Jonestown? And does Chuck Schumer realize that “he’s got Mitch McConnell’s balls in a bag for once?”

Listen to The New Abnormal on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

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Coronavirus: With EU open for travel, who can go where?

Germany wants mandatory COVID-19 testing, while Sweden’s restrictions are almost non-existent: EU travel rules are complicated these days. Which regions are high risk, and who sets the standards?

Starting next week, travelers arriving in Germany from so-called “risk areas” will be required to take a coronavirus test — making Germany the first country in the European Union to require mandatory testing.  

As the risk of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic grows, EU states have been busy preparing their own set of travel rules and restrictions ever since passing a joint resolution on travel within the bloc in mid-June. But with different standards in all 27 member countries, and rules that are constantly subject to change, the list of travel regulations is long and confusing.

Read more: How is coronavirus changing air travel?

For example: Latvia requires Belgian travelers to quarantine for 14 days, whereas Belgium merely recommends the measure for Latvians. On the other hand, Belgium does have strict quarantine rules in place for certain areas in Spain and the UK, namely Leicester.

Each EU member state follows its own definitions and rules: Some make travelers fill out contact forms, while others prefer online registration ahead of time. Still others call for travelers to present proof of a valid negative coronavirus test before entry. The most recent restrictions can be found on the European Commission website Re-Open EU.

How does the EU define COVID-19 risk?

Adding to the confusion is the fact there is no common EU definition of what constitutes a risk area. In Germany, the job of making that determination falls to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). As of July 31, the RKI only lists Luxembourg and parts of Spain as risk areas within the EU. Travelers from those regions will be required to take the coronavirus test when they arrive in Germany starting next week.

Read more: Coronavirus inspires cities to push climate-friendly mobility

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm is attempting to compile an overview of the pandemic to better understand the risk areas. The EU agency collects data from member states and provides daily color-coded maps with detailed information on regional infection rates. Looking at the most recent ECDC map for July 31, it’s clear that the current hot spots are in northeastern Spain, Lisbon, Belgium — Antwerp, in particular — Luxembourg and Sweden, as well as parts of Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia.

Germany plans to keep borders open

Another look at the ECDC map shows that only certain regions are suffering from rising infection rates at the moment, making widespread border closures excessive. The current recommendation is rather to locate and isolate regional coronavirus outbreaks, and track possible chains of infection across international borders.

After the continentwide border closures across the EU in March, April and May, the bloc has planned to use a regional approach in the event of a second wave of infections. Earlier this week, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced that Germany had ruled out renewed border closures or a resumption of border controls.

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“We had major political problems,” said Seehofer about the total lockdown in the spring, and he wants to avoid those problems in a possible second wave. Disease experts say the greatest risk is not traveling as such, but how carefully people act both at home and abroad.

An infographic showing which countries around the world are part of the EU COVID travel restrictions

The first wave, or the second?

The question of whether the EU is already experiencing a second wave of coronavirus infections is not easily answered. In any case, the ECDC says infection rates are going up — but for now, it’s a far cry from the numbers seen in March and April. Back then, upward of 35,000 infections were being registered each day. Now they are down to around 10,000, with the lowest number — less than 5,000 — coming in late June.

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The EU is also doing well when compared with the rest of the world. Globally, some 200,000 people are infected with COVID-19 each day, mostly in the Americas and in Asia. At the moment, the EU accounts for only 5% of infections worldwide.

Those global numbers have led Germany to declare almost anywhere beyond the EU a risk area. Berlin has strongly advised its citizens against traveling to the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa. Those who do face quarantine as well as mandatory coronavirus testing upon their return.

Many EU countries have begun welcoming travelers from places where infections have decreased — countries like Canada, Australia, Uruguay or Thailand, for example. But Austria, Ireland, Hungary, Poland and Belgium have still ruled out any entry from travelers from those countries. Portugal, meanwhile, still allows arrivals from Brazil and the US, but only if they meet certain conditions.

When it comes to compiling a common set of travel rules to deal with the particular challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, the EU still has a long way to go. All the European Commission can do is keep collecting data and try to foster coordination.

Every 14 days, a committee meets in Brussels to discuss the loosening of travel restrictions on countries like the US, Russia and China. But one European adviser told DW there was little hope for normalization any time soon: “As long as the virus is out there, everything stays shut.”

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