Sam's Top 5 Things to Know for Tuesday

posted by Justice & Drew -

1. Trump shared classified information with Russian foreign ambassador

KSTP/FOXNEWS:  The Washington Post reported Monday that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information about Islamic State militants to Russian officials during a meeting last week prompting strong condemnation from both Democrats and Republicans. 

In a brief statement in front of the White House, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster described the Post's story as "false."

The newspaper cited current and former U.S. officials who said Trump jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on ISIS in his conversations with the Russian officials, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

"The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation," McMaster said. "At no time, at no time, were intelligence sources or methods discussed, and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known."

2. Forest Lake Approves 3-Year Contract with Police Department

KSTP: The Forest Lake City Council voted 4 to 1 to solidify a new deal between the city and its police department just a week after it voted for its dissolution.

Council Member Mike Freer voted against the contract, saying it does not give the police chief enough local control.

The contract was put together in the last week after Washington County withdrew a proposal to take on law enforcement duties for the city, which would have lost 25 officers if the department disbanded.

The new contract locks in officers for three years with incremental pay raises, maintains department retiree benefits and includes a conflict resolution mediation process for officers.

3. In Computer Attacks, Clues Point to Frequent Culprit: North Korea

NYTIMES:  Intelligence officials and private security experts say that new digital clues point to North Korean-linked hackers as likely suspects in the sweeping ransomware attacks that have crippled computer systems around the world.

The indicators are far from conclusive, the researchers warned, and it could be weeks, if not months, before investigators are confident enough in their findings to officially point the finger at Pyongyang’s increasingly bold corps of digital hackers. The attackers based their weapon on vulnerabilities that were stolen from the National Security Agency and published last month.

Security experts at Symantec, which in the past has accurately identified attacks mounted by the United States, Israel and North Korea, found early versions of the ransomware, called WannaCry, that used tools that were also deployed against Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Bangladesh central bank last year and Polish banks in February. American officials said Monday that they had seen the same similarities. All of those attacks were ultimately linked to North Korea.

4. Hackers Holding Disney’s Latest ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ For Ransom

deadine.com: Disney’s upcoming Johnny Depp film Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has been pilfered by ransom hackers seeking payment from the studio. The hackers have demanded an enormous amount of money be paid to Bitcoin. Disney is currently working with the FBI and will not pay.

Although Disney CEO Bob Iger did not reveal which movie the ransom hackers claim to have, he did reveal to ABC employees during a town hall meeting in New York on Monday that the incident had occurred. The hackers said they would release bits of the film — in increments — if their demands weren’t met. Deadline learned that it was, indeed, Jerry Bruckheimer’s fifth in the Pirates franchise, which is scheduled for release May 26.

Disney would not comment, but insiders said that the company refuse to pay. This follows the same issue Netflix faced when a ransom hacker spilled out 10 episodes of the next season of Orange Is The New Black when Netflix also refused to ante up.

5. General Mills to make 10,000 boxes of marshmallow-only Lucky Charms

STARTRIBUNE: General Mills, the maker of Lucky Charms, announced Monday it is producing 10,000 boxes of the beloved brand that only contain marshmallow pieces.

This isn't the first time the Golden Valley-based food company has made marshmallow-only Lucky Charms. Two years ago, 10 fans won a box of the marshmallows in an online contest. The company's current – and much larger – promotion is being run as an old fashioned on-the-box sweepstakes. Consumers can win one of the marshmallow-only boxes if they first buy a specially-marked box of regular Lucky Charms. There will be a code on the inside panel, which buyers can enter online to see if they've won one of the 10,000 novelty boxes.

While my tastes may have evolved in adulthood (give me those oats), it seems there are plenty of marshmallow-crazed grown-ups clamoring for a box of the sweet stuff.

"Fans of Lucky Charms are obsessed with our marshmallows," said Priscilla Zee, senior marketing manager, in a General Mills blog post. "We were overwhelmed with calls, e-mails, and tweets last year, asking for a box of our Lucky Charms marshmallows. So this year we wanted to give them even more opportunities to win."

Fans will get more chances to win and General Mills will undoubtedly sell more boxes of the cereal in consumers' quest for their own, colorful, pot-of-gold.

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