Happy Friday! I hope you’ve got some exciting plans for the weekend. Here are some of the top news stories today compiled just for you.
Millions More Hit By Cyber Attack Than Previously Announced By OPM, China Still Suspected Culprit
The number of people affected by hackers stealing personal, classified information has now jumped to a number five times larger than what was previously disclosed by the Office of Personnel Management. Though it was originally believed that 4.2 million current and former federal employees had their information stolen, now it is believed that 22 million current and former employees as well as their relatives were compromised in the attack. OPM Director Katherine Archuleta (pictured above) testified that the hack began in May 2014 but was not discovered until May 2015. Read more at ABC and the National Journal.
Side Eye: FBI Director Still Questioning If Emanuel Church Massacre Was Terrorism
FBI Director James Comey just made some comments that are going to make him really unpopular with anyone affected by last month’s attack in Charleston. Despite the White supremacist manifesto by shooter Dylann Roof and testimonies from his friends revealing his intentions of waging a “race war” against American Blacks, Comey doesn’t know if his criminal acts fit the FBI’s definition of terrorism: “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.” Comey maintains that if Roof’s intentions were inspired by ISIS, he would be just as skeptical of the classification. Read more at the Huffington Post.
Things Look Up In Greece & China’s Economies, Stocks Rise & Agreements Are In Sight
Greece is still in deep economic ruin but it has more reason to be optimistic in time for the deeply anticipated summit on Sunday that determines whether it stays in the Eurozone. After the country’s leaders drafted a three-year bailout proposal yesterday for 53.5 billion euros, the Parliament expressed its support and agreed to demands from creditors on tax increases and spending cuts. Meanwhile, despite China’s sudden economic problems, the country’s stock prices had their biggest gains in six years. Read more at the New York Times and Yahoo Finance.
US House Seeks To Quicken Drug Approvals And Increase Medical Research
A bill reforming drug approvals from the House may pass, even though consumer groups are concerned that it could impair the government’s safety controls in reviewing potential dangerous or defective products. It’s also a contentious issue because the initiative would be costly and would muddle language about funding for abortions, an already controversial topic. Meanwhile, the FDA has slapped Ibuprofen and other similar painkillers with warnings of increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The agency was motivated to start changing medicine labels based on results from studies examining over-the-counter medications. Read more at the New York Times here and here.
Still No Resolve On Iran Nuclear Deal
Secretary of State John Kerry is taking his sweet time in negotiations with Iran officials over the nuclear deal. Although they are about to miss yet another deadline to come up with a solution, Kerry says “we will not be rushed” into making progress. However, onlookers are concerned that officials have been backtracking from their April 2 interim deal that was supposed to lay the foundation for a final agreement. The item at stake here is getting Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for outside forces to limit sanctions on the country. Read more at Reuters.
Bonus Round: Bill Cosby May Be Losing His Presidential Medal Of Freedom
Bill Cosby’s ongoing loss of public support in light of his serial rape scandal has just become even more humiliating. There is now a sexual violence awareness group petitioning the White House to take back the comedian’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award originally given to him by George W. Bush in 2002. PAVE: Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment asserts that Cosby no longer deserves to be in the lineup of honorable recipients; the group now has approximately 4,700 signatures of the 100,000 required to get action from the White House. Read more at Time.