Aug 5, 2019

Hacker group focusing on Venezuelan military

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Scoop: Inside Trump's naval blockade obsession

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump has suggested to national security officials that the U.S. should station Navy ships along the Venezuelan coastline to prevent goods from coming in and out of the country, according to 5 current and former officials who have either directly heard the president discuss the idea or have been briefed on Trump's private comments.

Driving the news: Trump has been raising the idea of a naval blockade periodically for at least a year and a half, and as recently as several weeks ago, these officials said. They added that to their knowledge the Pentagon hasn't taken this extreme idea seriously, in part because senior officials believe it's impractical, has no legal basis and would suck resources from a Navy that is already stretched to counter China and Iran.

Go deeperArrowAug 18, 2019

Trump expands Venezuela sanctions to total economic embargo

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro at a meeting with EU officials in Caracas, Venezuela, in July. Photo: Matias Delacroix/Getty Images

President Trump issued an executive order on Monday that expands existing U.S. sanctions against Venezuela to include a total economic embargo against the country.

Why it matters: The action to freeze assets places Venezuela on a par with North Korea, Iran, Syria and Cuba, the only other countries now under such stringent U.S. sanctions, notes the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. The order means Americans are now banned from doing business with the Venezuelan government.

Go deeperArrowAug 6, 2019

Private hate groups online prove difficult to police

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Recent high-profile hate crimes are forcing technology companies to reassess how hate speech and harmful content manifests in closed groups online.

Why it matters: As communications become more closed off and private, experts worry that private group forums online may be festering hateful activity that could manifest itself in dangerous offline behavior.

Go deeperArrowAug 15, 2019