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Build High-Speed Rail Now

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Travelers easily whisk from city to city on high-speed trains in many parts of South America, Asia and Europe. Since the first high-speed lines began operating more than 50 years ago in Japan, they have become an essential part of transportation worldwide. Yet the U.S. has never built a single mile of high-speed rail, which is generally defined as accommodating trains that go at least 200 mph. And proposals to do so have been thwarted for decades. Among the factors holding America back: a much larger land mass, longer distances between major cities and the high cost of construction, efficient ...

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Chinese hackers deep-mining U.S. data, Congress told

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For more than five years, U.S. intelligence agencies followed several groups of Chinese hackers who were systematically draining information from defense contractors, energy firms and electronics-makers, their targets shifting to fit Beijing’s latest economic priorities. But last summer, officials lost the trail as some of the hackers changed focus again, burrowing deep into U.S. government computer systems that contain vast troves of personnel data, according to U.S. officials briefed on a federal investigation into the attack and private security experts. Undetected for nearly a year, the Chinese intruders executed a sophisticated attack that gave them “administrator privileges” into the computer ...

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John Stossel: Left-Wing Activists Put Politics Before Reality

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This year is the 10th anniversary of a book called “The Republican War on Science.” I could just as easily write a book called “The Democratic War on Science.” The conflict conservatives have with science is mostly caused by religion. Some religious conservatives reject evolution, and some oppose stem cell research. But neither belief has a big impact on our day-to-day lives. Species continue to evolve regardless of what conservatives believe, and if conservatives ban government funding of stem cell research, private investors will continue the work. By contrast, the left’s bad ideas about science do more harm. Many on ...

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China’s big hack attack

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Federal Officials Knew of Cybersecurity Issues Ahead of Massive Data Hack

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Years of fundamental cybersecurity lapses left the government’s personnel agency wide open to a pair of hacks that have exposed the private information about nearly every federal employee, along with detailed personal histories of millions with security clearances, officials acknowledged to Congress. Democrats and Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were united Tuesday in heaping scorn upon the leaders of the Office of Personnel Management, the agency whose data was breached last year in two massive cyberattacks only recently revealed. “You failed utterly and totally,” said the committee’s chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican. ...

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Facebook taken to court over privacy

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Facebook is being taken to court by the Belgian privacy commissioner over claims it tracks people across the web. The country’s Privacy Protection Commission (CPP) also accused Facebook of tracking the browsing habits of non-users, as well as its own members. The action follows criticism of Facebook by the same body in May. Facebook said it was surprised that the CPP had taken the “theatrical action” because it was due to meet the watchdog this week to discuss its concerns. The CPP said it took the decision because Facebook did not provide “satisfactory answers” to the questions it raised last ...

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Did we just have a cyber Pearl Harbor?

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Last week, while people were going on about the white woman who posed as black to get an NAACP job, Hillary Clinton’s (latest) campaign relaunch and President Obama’s trade-bill debacle in the House, a much bigger story slipped by with much less hoopla: the successful seizure of a vast trove of federal personnel records, reportedly by the Chinese. And then it got worse. “Hackers linked to China have gained access to the sensitive background information submitted by intelligence and military personnel for security clearances, U.S. officials said Friday, describing a cyberbreach of federal records dramatically worse than first acknowledged.” And ...

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