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Musings From Abroad

Anonymous lay claims to hacking Russia’s Central Bank, vows to release 35,000 secret agreements in 48 hours

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Hacking collective group, Anonymous, claims it has hacked into the Russian Central Bank, and has access to around 35,000 files of secret agreements it would release in the next 48 hours.

The hacking group which made the announcement on its Twitter account on Thursday, said the attack on the Russian apex bank is in continuation of its self-appointed cyberwar against offensive countries and high profile organisations in different parts of the world.

Though the Twitter account purportedly belonging to the group has not yet given proof that it had successfully undertaken the hack, or that it had access to the promised documents, the alleged invasion follows reports that the bank’s governor, Elvira Nabiullina, had attempted to resign following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Her offer to resign was, however, rejected, with President Vladimir Putin nominating her for a third term in the role, and Nabiullina has been trying to keep the economy afloat despite a raft of sanctions imposed by other countries, with many companies pulling out of Russia.

Since the Ukrainian invasion, Anonymous, and other closely aligned hacker groups, have been targeting Russian assets and companies.

On Thursday they, again, repeated their call for international companies continuing to operate in Russia to pull out immediately.

“Although some companies have responded to our request to stop their activities in Russia, there are still companies that refuse to leave Russia.

“Our last call is clear: Stop operating in Russia immediately if you have little mercy left for the massacred children in Ukraine,” their tweet said.

“Immediately stop your activity in Russia if you feel sorry for the innocent people who are being massacred violently in Ukraine.

“Your time is running out. We do not forgive. We do not forget,” another tweet reads.

Earlier in the week, GhostSec, a subsidiary of the Anonymous collective, claimed to have hacked printers in Russia to print out over 10,000 anti-Putin and anti-war messages.

“This isn’t your war. This is your government’s war,” the message said.

“Your brothers and sisters are being lied to, some units think they’re practicing military drills, however, when they arrive to what they think is a drill they’re greeted by bloodthirsty Ukrainians who want redemption and revenge from the damage that Putin’s puppets cause upon the land.”

Anonymous had previously claimed to hacking Russian television for the same purposes.

“The hacking collective Anonymous hacked into the Russian streaming services Wink and Ivi (like Netflix) and live TV channels Russia 24, Channel One, Moscow 24 to broadcast war footage from Ukraine,” the group said at the time.

 

Musings From Abroad

US President, Joe Biden, signs legislation against planned rail workers’ strike

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The United States President, Joe Biden has signed legislation to block a national railroad strike that could have devastated the American economy.

Senate voted 80 to 15 on Thursday to impose a tentative contract deal reached in September on a dozen unions representing 115,000 workers, who could have gone on strike on December 9.

“It was tough for me but it was the right thing to do at the moment — save jobs, to protect millions of working families from harm and disruption, and to keep supply chains stable around the holidays,” Biden said, adding the deal avoided “an economic catastrophe.”

“That fight isn’t over,” Biden said of the push for sick leave.

Reacting to the president’s assent, American Association of Railroads CEO Ian Jefferies said “none of the parties achieved everything they advocated for” but added, “without a doubt, there is more to be done to further address our employees’ work-life balance concerns.”

The attempt to slash labour and other costs to bolster profits in recent years has been fiercely opposed to adding paid sick time that would require them to hire more staff.

The strike could have left millions stranded and frozen almost 30% of U.S. cargo shipments by weight, stoked already surging inflation, and cost the American economy as much as $2 billion a day.

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Musings From Abroad

CLIMATE CHANGE: Germany to sign climate protection contracts with industries

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As the cry towards a green environment intensifies amidst the increasing effects of climate change, Germany is taking a lead in the climate renewal agenda as it is set to sign climate protection contracts with industrial companies next year.

The Economy Minister, Robert Habeck revealed on Sunday that the agreement will support a transition towards cleaner production and a switch to hydrogen.

Habeck was quoted as saying by Funke media group that  “the aim is to efficiently develop a green industry along the value chain that becomes marketable.”

Reports emerged during the week that Germany was planning to award companies in energy-intensive industries including chemicals and steel 15-year subsidy arrangements that he called climate protection contracts, in return for reducing carbon emissions in their production.

Recall that several world leaders last month, converged in Cairo, the capital of Egypt for the United Nations COP27 Climate Summit, over talks on the “need to deepen cuts in emissions and financially back developing countries already devastated by the effects of rising temperatures.”

According to UNFCCC, the most recent seven years, from 2015 to 2021 were the warmest on record. The 2018–2022 global mean temperature average is estimated to be 1.17 ± 0.13 °C above the 1850–1900 average.

Africa seems to be feeling the heat more as countries across the continent’s East and West have suffered devasting drought and floods beyond what used to be the usual climate pattern.

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