Key facts in FBI need to crack iPhone

FACTS OF THE FBI’S STAND-OFF WITH APPLE:

TIMELINE OF EVENTS

Dec 2: Gunman Syed Rizwan Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik shot dead by police after they kill 14 people in San Bernardino, California

– iPhone found in vehicle day after shooting

– FBI needs to access data on Farook’s work iPhone; Apple refuses

Feb 17: US magistrate Sheri Pym of California orders Apple to provide FBI with software to help hack into Farook’s work-issued iPhone

– Order touches off debate pitting digital privacy rights against national security concerns

– Apple and other tech companies argue they feel increasing need to protect customers’ data from hackers and unfriendly intruders

– Police and government authorities warn encryption and data-protection measures make it more difficult for investigators to track criminals and dangerous extremists

March 21: Prosecutors ask for postponement day before trial so they could test potential solution brought by third party

March 28: FBI says it’s cracked the phone

– The encrypted phone was protected by passcode including two security protocols: a time delay and self-destruct feature that erases the phone’s data after 10 tries

– With those features removed, the FBI said it could break into the phone in 26 minutes

– An official says method used to unlock the phone appears to work on the iPhone 5C operating a version of iOS 9

– Withdrawal of court process takes away Apple’s ability to legally request details on the method the FBI used.

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IMPORTANT QUESTIONS UNANSWERED

– Who showed the FBI how to break into iPhones?

– How did they bypass the security features that Apple has invested millions of dollars to build into its flagship product?

– Are newer iPhones vulnerable to the same hacking technique?

– Will the FBI share its information with scores of state and local police agencies that said they also need to break into the iPhones of criminal suspects?

– Will the FBI reveal to Apple how it broke its security?

– Did the FBI find anything useful on the iPhone?

Brisbane mum jailed for child cruelty

A Queensland mother who cruelly left her two young sons alone in faecal-covered squalor will spend at least four months behind bars.

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Brisbane’s District Court heard on Tuesday that neighbours called police in May 2014 after they saw the woman’s two-year-old standing naked on a window sill after 7am one morning and screaming as he banged against the glass.

The court heard the then-20-year-old single mother arrived home in a taxi before police could arrive – wearing a black dress and high heels, and with her hair and make-up done – and lied to the officers that the children had been supervised by family.

Prosecutor Caroline Marco said neighbours called police the next day after the dirty toddler was again seen screaming and naked at the window for hours.

Ms Marco said the four-year-old answered the door covered in faeces and wearing only a soiled nappy but was unable to open the security screen so officers forced their way in.

Inside they found bags of rotting garbage, urine-soaked mattresses with no bedding as well as food and faeces on the ground in the kitchen while the mother was asleep in bed, the court heard.

Ms Marco said the mother was hostile towards the officers but complied with their order to bath the children, who were then dressed in the least-soiled clothes available because there were no clean ones or shoes.

The court heard medical examinations revealed both children were suffering from chronic diarrhoea about four to five times a day, had disturbed eating behaviours including eating off the floor and were experiencing delays in their development.

Defence lawyer Catherine Cuthbert said the mother did not have a mental illness at the time of the offending but remained psychologically vulnerable and was now being treated for anxiety and depression.

Justice Tony Moynihan said leaving the children in unhygienic conditions when the mother was not deprived of the capacity to care for them was “cruel”.

The now-22-year-old pleaded guilty to four charges of cruelty and negligence and broke down in tears as she was sentenced to 12 months’ jail, of which she must serve at least four months before eligible for parole.

Both children are now safe in the care of their maternal grandmother and the Department of Child Protection is working towards reunification with the mother.

VR headset Oculus Rift launches

The first consumer-ready Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset has been delivered and reviewers got their first taste.

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The initial feedback: It’s a beautiful, wonderful device that immerses you, yet it still has a way to go.

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey hand-delivered the first Rift to software developer Ross Martin in Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday kicking off a new era in virtual reality by putting the most powerful VR device yet into a consumer’s hands.

Martin, who had never tried VR before, spent a few hours on the Rift on Monday morning. He watched a short movie, played a game and explored a virtual environment that included an up-close encounter with a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

“I couldn’t stop saying, ‘Wow,”‘ said Martin, a 33-year-old web developer. But he said that he felt a touch of nausea at times and that the resolution could be better.

“If you’re a gamer, this is right up your alley,” he said. “You’re going to be able to forgive that.”

Oculus has said it’s sending the Rift to its first Kickstarter backers first, followed by those who ordered one in January for $US600 ($A795.44), or at least $US1,500 with a high-end personal computer included. Oculus, which began crowd-funding through Kickstarter in August 2012, was acquired by Facebook for $US2 billion in 2014 and has shipped two developer versions so far.

Expectations for a consumer version have been high. There’s a backlog of orders and if you order now, you can expect delivery in July. It’s not clear, though, how many units Oculus made for the first round – and whether there will ultimately be much demand beyond gamers and hard-core technologists.

Early reviews by journalists have been mixed.

Steven Tweedie of Business Insider was glowingly positive in his review of the Rift, relishing the greater presence he felt in both games and narrative stories.

“Everything feels like it means more: there’s a heightened connection to characters, both in games and short films, and the action carries weight,” he wrote.

But he noted its hefty price tag “is undoubtedly the biggest thing keeping more people from getting the chance to try virtual reality.”

Time’s Lisa Eadicicco called the Rift “expensive, complicated, and totally wonderful.” She added, “It’s brilliant. It’s fascinating. It’s not perfect, but it’s only getting started.”

Several reviewers, including IGN’s Dan Stapleton, wrote that because the Rift doesn’t come with controllers that allow for separate actions by each hand, it will suffer compared with the HTC Vive, which will have such controllers included when it comes out next month. Oculus expects its Touch controllers to come out later this year.

Wired reviewer Peter Rubin similarly bemoaned the lack of games using Touch.

Nathan Olivarez-Giles of The Wall Street Journal wasn’t wowed by all the 30 games that were available at launch.

And he wrote that nausea, a consistent complaint among VR headset users, was real.

“When I pushed myself to play Valkyrie for as long as 45 minutes non stop, I took aspirin to fight off a headache.”

Matildas star Kyah Simon hoping to inspire Indigenous girls

Kyah Simon is in some of the best form of her life having top scored in Australia’s successful Rio Olympic qualifying campaign earlier this month.

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Ms Simon was inspired to pursue a career in professional sport after watching fellow indigenous athlete Cathy Freeman storm to 400 metres gold at the Sydney Olympics.

And now she’s hoping to play a key part in the Matildas Rio adventure.

John Baldock spoke with Simon about her inspirations, and aspirations in what could be the biggest year of her young life.

“Logarzo releasing De Vanna in behind already in the opening minute, and its back off the post and in ! From who else following up Kyah Simon, Australia strike in the opening minute. They are red hot in Japan.”

At just 24 years of age Kyah Simon set the Matildas recent Olympic campaign alight. A stellar performance saw her score four goals including a stunning hatrick against Vietnam as Australia cruised through the tournament undefeated.

And she’s proud of her involvement with the team.

“We beat some of the best countries in the world and we’re now number one in Asia, heading to Rio Olympics this year is a dream come true for every single one of the Matildas.”

Earlier in the year a stand-off over pay and conditions saw the team stand together to fight for a better deal.

They got one, and that experience stood them in good stead.

Simon believes the off-field fighting helped them achieve what they did on it.

“I think it helped with the unity of the group the team morale. I’ve never been part of a group of girls that are so gelled so well together, get along so well and I think that’s reflected in our results and the way that we play.”

After the Matildas secured a place at the Rio Olympics, the team received a video message of congratulations from none other than Simon’s biggest inspiration as a youngster Cathy Freeman.

She was just 8 years old when Freeman stormed to victory at the Sydney Olympics and the memory of that night was an important part of her becoming the star she has become today.

“Obviously watching a strong indigenous woman like Cathy Freeman be so successful and pretty much carry the weight of Australia on her shoulders was a memorable moment for me and it brought tears to my eyes and I’ll never forget that.”

And Simon has already started hosting training camps for youngsters in a bid to inspire the next generation.

And its something she’s committed to.

“Yeah I would like to obviously think that I could make that same impact that Cathy had on my life to other young girls out there and I’m hoping through my football but also being a positive role model off the pitch I can really help pave the way and obviously be a positive role model for those girls.”

Between now and the Rio Games, Simon is playing in the United States with the Boston Breakers.

The Matildas Coach is Alen Stajcic and he hopes she’ll fine tune her game in that environment.

“She’s playing in America in the next couple of months so that’s another opportunity to improve even more. So the more football she gets and the more quality football, I can see her being one of the real stars of international football over the coming years.”

And if she makes the impact those in the know believe she is capable of, Simon will dedicate success at the Rio Olympics to her family, friends and all those that care about women’s sport.

“It would be a proud moment for me to obviously show them that it was all worthwhile, it would be a memorable moment and I just can’t wait to get over to Rio.”

Nor can her growing army of fans, that believe Australia may well be celebrating with a medal come the final of the women’s football competition.

 

 

No guns allowed at Republican convention: US Secret Service

The Secret Service said on Monday it has the authority to preclude guns from sites visited by the people it protects such as US presidential candidates, presidents and former presidents.

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This quashes the hopes of more than 45,000 people who have signed a petition saying attendees should be allowed to bring firearms.

“Only authorised law enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for a particular event may carry a firearm inside of the protected site,” agency spokesman Robert Hoback said in a statement.

“Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint, regardless of whether they possess a ticket to the event,” he said.

Related

A petition on change长沙楼凤, called for firearms to be allowed into the Quicken Loans Arena during the convention in Ohio, a state that allows guns to be carried openly in public.

It had drawn 45,811 supporters by Monday afternoon.

The arena’s rules forbid firearms or other weapons, which the petition says is a “direct affront” to the US Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms.

It called Cleveland one of the most dangerous US cities.

“With this irresponsible and hypocritical act of selecting a ‘gun-free zone’ for the convention, the RNC has placed its members, delegates, candidates and all US citizens in grave danger,” it said.

Related

The petition called for five actions to enable gun owners to carry their weapons into the venue.

One of those recommendations was for Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican presidential candidate, to use his executive authority to override the arena’s decision to be a “gun-free zone.”

The Kasich campaign has not commented on the open-carry petition.

The Republican convention may be contested if front-runner Donald Trump does not receive enough delegates to clinch his party’s nomination for the November 8 presidential election.

Trump, whose rallies have been punctuated by protesters, and sometimes clashes, has warned there would be “riots” if he is denied the nomination.

 

Chaplains filling a need in sports like Australian Rules

The blokey, beer-swilling reputation of the local football club is gradually becoming a relic of a past sporting era across Australia.

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And across many sports, local clubs are increasingly providing social and emotional support to men and women embracing the shift in attitude.

Adam Baird was a star in four senior premierships with the regional Victorian Australian Rules football club Golden Square.

Radio commentary captured one of his more memorable plays.

“Handpass out towards Adam Baird, who’s got space. He can run and gallop … has two bounces, thinks about a third … won’t want to bounce in the middle of that mud pile … handpass over the top’s good … the one-two … Baird kept running … looks like … (Goal it, son!) … goes all the way … tries it out … (Sharp!)”

But off the field, things were far from rosy.

A failed relationship thrust the 25-year-old into what he now describes as the “dark times.”

“Drinking on Friday nights before footy and things like that were starting to occur, and during the week, and (I) just wasn’t coping with it. (It) could have ended up really bad. Like, real bad depression could have come into play.”

Fortunately for Baird, Golden Square had appointed former player and accredited sports chaplain Bruce Claridge to oversee the welfare of the players.

The chaplain says he began regular catch-ups with Baird.

“The real role of a chaplain, I think, often is just to be someone who’ll listen — and listen more than talk — so that they’ve got someone to offload to and maybe get perspective on their challenges.”

Bruce Claridge says the voluntary chaplaincy job combines his passions.

And he says seeing young men like Baird realise their on- and off-field potential is extremely rewarding.

“It’s like you’re a net in a trapeze artist’s performance, where you’re just hanging around and, hopefully, just watching the performance — and I love being at footy — but sometimes someone falls, you’ve got to catch them.”

There is a growing demand for sports chaplains around Australia.

There are currently around 800, but Sports Chaplaincy Australia has requests for 5,000 from a range of local sporting clubs.

Cameron Butler heads the organisation and regularly presents to clubs on the virtues of having someone oversee the health and wellbeing of their players.

“When someone’s going through a tough time, it’s really hard to know who do we turn to during those times.”

Cameron Butler was chaplain at the Melbourne Football Club when Troy Broadbridge died in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and when club president Jim Stynes was diagnosed with cancer.

He says there is a stigma which still exists among Australian men.

“I reckon most Aussie blokes want to hide some of the real pain that they’re facing, and it’s hard for them to talk about it.”

But he says he has detected a shift in attitude among the demographic — and among the clubs themselves.

Adam Baird, who now has his life squarely back on track, says he agrees, for several reasons.

“More knowledge, a new face and just someone to talk to, just someone to ask, ‘How you going? How (have) you been?’ Just to get through some tough times, yeah.”

All sports chaplains are vetted and undergo an accreditation process.

 

 

 

Gunman caught after shots fired in US Capitol complex, bystander injured

A man with a gun walked into the underground US Capitol Visitor Center on Monday and was shot and wounded by police after he pointed the weapon at officers, police said.

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The suspect and a female bystander, who suffered wounds, were taken to the hospital, Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said at a news conference.

No police officers were injured.

There has been an isolated incident at the US Capitol. There is no active threat to the public

— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) March 28, 2016

“Based on initial investigation, we believe this is an act of a single person who has frequented the Capitol grounds before,” Verderosa said.

“There is no reason to believe this is anything more than a criminal act.”

CBS News reported two tourists at the Visitor Center had minor injuries from bullet ricochet.

Police did not identify or describe the suspect and added that there were no additional suspects, but they did confirm no evidence had materialised of a connection to terrorism.

A US government official told Reuters that initial reports were that a suspect walked into the Visitor Center, pointed a gun at a police officer on duty and a shootout erupted.

Mr Verderosa said the suspect was known to police through previous contact.

Congress is in recess, with few lawmakers in Washington but the shooting happened just a few hours after a drill for an active shooter took place at the Capitol, creating further confusion.

Cathryn Leff a licensed therapist, tweeted that she was at the visitor’s center when she heard gunshots while going through a security check point.

“That moment when it goes down . Everyone is screaming & running and you can’t see where the #ShotsFired are from,” tweeted Leff(@Cathrynlefflmft).

The Secret Service temporarily cleared tourists from an area surrounding the White House after the incident, but activities quickly went back to normal.

The Secret Service temporarily cleared tourists from an area around the White House, but activities quickly returned to normal.

The Secret Service temporarily closed the north and south fence lines as a “routine precautionary measure”, a spokesman said, as police reported gunshots were fired at the US Capitol Visitors Center.

The fence lines, which are normally thronged with tourists, were reopened shortly afterward.

A report that a person tried to gain entry to the White House was incorrect, a US Secret Service spokesman said.

Get the budget in balance quickly: CEDA

A national think tank has offered the Turnbull government options to return the budget to a surplus two years early.

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In last December’s mid-year budget review, Treasurer Scott Morrison pushed back the timing of a surplus by a further year to 2020/21.

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia says successive governments have promised to return the budget to surplus but this is yet to eventuate.

“No economic problem in Australia is graver than the persistence of large budget deficits,” CEDA national chairman Paul McClintock says in new research that aims to balance the budget by 2018/19.

“The particularly concerning aspect is that we have had continuous deficits, eight years in fact, during a sustained economic expansion.”

Mr McClintock released the report during an address to the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday.

It shows pushing out the timing of a surplus by a year resulted in a further 2.5 percentage point rise in net debt by 2025/26.

The mid-year economic and fiscal outlook forecast gross debt would be $647 billion by 2025/26 compared with just under $420 billion now.

“Prolonged deficit penalises today’s youth and future generations, who will end up paying for current spending despite Australians being wealthier than they have ever been,” Mr McClintock said.

The CEDA report offers various combinations to cut government spending by $2 billion annually and raise revenue by $15 billion to achieve a balanced budget by 2018/19.

Revenue raisers include halving the capital gains tax discount, raising taxes on luxury cars, alcohol and tobacco by 15 per cent, and making the flat 15 per cent flat tax concession for superannuation contributions a 15 per cent discount on a saver’s marginal tax rate.

Among its proposals on the expenditure side, it calls for a reduction in drug prices under the pharmaceutical benefits scheme and a 10 per cent cut in assistance to industry.

Mr McClintock says these options are “realistic and politically palatable”.

Williams’ bid for ninth Miami title ends

The loss on the Miami hardcourts was the first since 2012 for William, who had swept the last three titles in her unofficial home tournament.

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“I’m really thrilled,” said Kuznetsova after registering her first win over Williams since 2009. “I’m sorry fans, who are disappointed that Serena’s not going to keep playing, but for sure she’ll be at more events than here.

“I’m really happy with my performance. I tried to stay at a good level the whole game. I think I did that pretty well and I’m happy with the way I served today.”

It was a day of dramatic upsets at Crandon Park, as Williams stepped onto the Stadium court for her Round of 16 match immediately after third-seeded world number two Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was tripped up by 19th-seeded Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 2-6 6-4 6-2.

Radwanska was the winner on the Miami hardcourts in 2012 before Serena Williams embarked on her three title run.

The upsets continued into the afternoon with fourth-seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza falling 7-6(6) 7-6(4) to 13th-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, still in top form following her victory this month at Indian Wells.

A tight first set saw both Williams and Kuznetsova register a break but neither player could gain the upper hand, sending the opener to a tie-break which the top-seeded American dominated 7-3 with the help of a pair of thundering aces.

A battling Kuznetsova controlled the second set from the start, breaking the 21-times grand slam winner to go up 3-1 then sweeping the next three games to level the contest at a set apiece.

The Russian upped the pressure with a pair of breaks to start the third as she stormed through the opening three games before Williams finally stopped the bleeding with a break of her own at 3-1.

The relief was brief, however, as former U.S. and French Open champion Kuznetsova immediately hit back with yet another break and went on to finish off the upset in just over two hours.

In other action, fifth-seeded Romanian Simona Halep eased into the quarters with a tidy 6-3 6-4 decision over British wildcard Heather Watson.

Britain, however, will be represented in the last eight as Johanna Konta tamed another Romanian, Monica Niculescu, 6-2 6-2.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Larry Fine)

Qld steals new biofuels industry from NSW

Queensland has again defeated NSW because the state “wanted it more”, and this time the financial stakes are higher than State of Origin glory.

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The state government has secured a $16 million biofuels pilot plant for Gladstone in central Queensland, despite the NSW-based company behind it, Southern Oil Refining, already having the facilities and plans to establish it in Wagga Wagga.

The change means Queensland is on the cusp of creating a lucrative large-scale biofuels industry, particularly if the Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant is successful.

There are plans to expand the plant into a $150 million commercial-scale refinery that would produce 200 million litres of advanced biofuel a year, suitable for military, marine and aviation use.

Southern Oil Refining managing director Tim Rose said the company was won over by Queensland’s determination and strategic vision, which included its 10-year biofutures roadmap.

“We’ve been talking to the NSW government (and) honestly, the Queensland government were the guys who wanted it more,” Mr Rose said.

“What we’re trying to do here is really one of the first of its kind in the world, so this is a pretty major step and … the Queensland government are fully behind this, whereas the NSW government really wasn’t.”

Mr Rose said the Queensland government had offered a grant to help cover the extra cost for the company to set up in Gladstone instead of Wagga Wagga.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the “small amount of money” was worth it to bring thousands of potential jobs and a completely new industry to the state, currently hit by the mining downturn.

“If it means jobs for Queenslanders, I’m prepared to fight NSW and get those jobs here and that is exactly what we have delivered here today,” Ms Palaszczuk said in Gladstone on Tuesday.

The pilot plant is expected to be operational later in the year and will aim to produce one million litres of fuel within three years for use in field trials by the US and Australian navies.

Virgin and Qantas are also interested in using biofuels for their aircraft, Ms Palaszczuk said.

The plant will use biomass material like sugarcane bagasse as feedstock for the production of bio crude oil, which will then be distilled into saleable kerosene and diesel products.

The announcement comes after state parliament last year passed new laws to mandate that at least three per cent of petrol sold in Queensland must be ethanol blended by the start of next year.