May 4, 2018

White House: Paper ballots are best practice

Donald Trump. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

After President Trump met with several of his top security advisors yesterday to discuss different ways to enhance protections against foreign influence in U.S. elections, the White House has labeled using paper ballots a best practice for shoring up election security.

Yes, but: 14 states in the U.S. still don’t have systems in place that could create a paper trail of every single vote cast.

Why it matters: In those 14 states, it is easier for political parties to cast doubt on the outcome, especially in close races or swing counties and states — even if no breach occurred.

The timing: Not all 14 states have plans right now to change their systems by 2020, let alone by midterm elections this November.

Who was at the table: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Chris Wray, Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor John Bolton and White House Counsel Don McGahn.

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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

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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.