Dec 8, 2017

New FERC chief pumps the brakes on Rick Perry

Energy Secretary Rick Perry Photo: Cliff Owen / AP

The new chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Kevin McIntyre, in a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry released late last night, has proposed a 30-day extension for taking action on Perry's controversial proposal to boost compensation for coal and nuclear plants in some markets by Dec. 11.

Why it matters: While it's framed as a request, McIntyre's move — on the first day of the job — makes clear that FERC is not poised to take any substantive action on Perry's request by the original deadline on Monday.

What he said: The letter notes that FERC has received over 1,500 comments on Perry's late September proposal, and that FERC added two members in the last two weeks (McIntyre was just sworn-in yesterday). "The proposed extension is critical to afford adequate time for the new Commissioners to consider the voluminous record and engage fully in deliberations," the letter states.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as South Korean cases surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

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Massive MGM data breach: Guests' personal details posted on hacking site

The MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

An MGM Resorts security breach last summer resulted in the personal details of 10.6 million guests published on a hacking forum this week, ZDNet first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Federal government employees and high-profile guests were affected by the breach, according to analysis by data breach monitoring service Under the Bridge and ZDNet — including officials from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Microsoft staffers and singer Justin Bieber.

George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla., seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.