On Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's official Instagram account posted a picture from what her office described simply as a "spontaneous meeting between two working sessions" from the Group of 7 nations summit in Quebec City this weekend where President Donald Trump: railed against "ridiculous and unacceptable" trade tariffs on American goods; threatened to quit all trade with his G7 counterparts while also proposing the complete elimination of tariffs on all goods and services; blamed former President Obama for Russia's 2014 invasion of Ukraine; and made a curious prediction involving his "touch" and his "feel" for his upcoming meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Angela Merkel's office has released this photo taken today at the G7, which tells you a lot about how things went. The image of Trump--surrounded by British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe--sparked a lively discussion on social media when Buzzfeed News' David Mack posted it to Twitter, writing, "tells you a lot about how things went." "This looks like an intervention," wrote one Twitter user. "This isn't WWII, they're allies…does he not remember that?" wrote another.
Things are going from bad to worse for Kaspersky Labs, the Russian anti-virus software developer. The Dutch government says it's planning to phase out the use of the software "as a precautionary measure", and is proactively suggesting other companies do the same. Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus said the move was made to protect against Russia's "offensive cyber programme that targets, among others, the Netherlands and Dutch interests". He also noted that the Moscow-based Kaspersky could be obliged to comply with Russian state interests because of the Russian laws it's subject to. The news follows a federal US government ban on the software, enacted last year and which arguably set in motion similar decisions from other quarters.
The Labour candidate Ben Bradshaw has said he has been the victim of a suspected Russian cyber-attack after he received an email from Moscow with attachments containing sophisticated malware. Bradshaw – who has repeatedly raised the subject of Kremlin interference in British politics, including in the EU referendum – received the email at his election gmail address. The sender – "Andrei" – claimed he was a whistleblower from inside Vladimir Putin's presidential administration. The email contained several apparently genuine documents. They showed how the Kremlin has set up a secret "fake news unit" in Russia's far east region which is used to suppress negative stories and to boost pro-government sentiment.
A Russian man accused of hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Formspring in 2012 and possibly compromising personal details of over 100 million users, has pleaded not guilty in a U.S. federal court after being extradited from the Czech Republic. Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin, 30, of Moscow was arrested in Prague on October 5, 2016, by Interpol agents working in collaboration with the FBI, but he was recently extradited to the United States from the Czech Republic on Thursday for his first appearance in federal court. Nikulin's arrest started an extradition battle between the United States and Russia, where he faces significantly lesser criminal charges of stealing $3,450 via Webmoney in 2009. But the Czech Republic ruled in favor of the United States. In the U.S., Nikulin is facing: 3 counts of computer intrusion 2 counts of intentional transmission of information, code, or command causing damage to a protected computer 2 counts of aggravated identity theft 1 count of trafficking in unauthorized access devices 1 count of conspiracy According to the maximum penalties for each count, Nikulin faces a maximum of 32 years in prison and a massive fine of more than $1 Million.
Volodymr Zelensky, a popular comedian initially brushed off by Ukraine's political elite as a novice, won the nation's presidential election in a landslide vote Sunday. Zelensky, 41, earned more than 70% of the votes, according to exit polls, and his supporters expressed hope the victory would usher in a new generation of leaders committed to weeding out oligarchs and political corruption. Zelensky was running against incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire chocolate tycoon whose term began in 2014 just months after massive street protests forced a Kremlin-favored president to flee the country and ensured the post-Soviet republic's pivot away from Moscow. Many supporters said they were voting for Zelensky not because they backed whatever largely unstated plans he might have for running the nation of 44 million, but because they sought to reject Poroshenko's entanglement in Ukraine's corrupted political elite. Zelensky, after kissing his wife and thanking his parents, told supporters at his election headquarters, "We did this together."