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USS San Jacinto. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

At the beginning of this year, Chinese government hackers retrieved troves of highly classified information regarding undersea warfare, the Washington Post reports.

The details: The hackers stole the data from a Naval Undersea Warfare Center contractor in Rhode Island, per the Post, compromising "hundreds of mechanical and software systems." This hack follows other breaches as China works towards disrupting the U.S. military technology advantages.

What they took, per the Post:

  • 614 gigabytes of data surrounding a Pentagon projected called Sea Dragon. Sea Dragon would "introduce a 'disruptive offensive capability' by 'integrating an existing weapon system with an existing Navy platform.'"
  • An electronic warfare library. Former admiral and supreme allied commander at NATO, James Stavridis, told the Post this gives China "a reasonable idea of what level of knowledge we have about their specific [radar] platform...and that deeply reduces our level of comfort if we were in a close undersea combat situation with China."
  • Signals and sensor data. Stavridis said China could "know when we would know at what distance we would be able to detect their submarines."

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Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

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The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

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The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

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COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.