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Deadly Poison Mailed to Pentagon, Powdery Substance Sent to Ted Cruz’s Office

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Ricin, a deadly poison was mailed to the offices of U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and the Navy’s top officer, Admiral John Richardson on Monday, according to a report.

“Initial tests were positive for ricin, a posion [sic] made from castor beans, but the FBI is now currently doing analysis to make final determinations,” a Pentagon spokesman said according to the report. “The packages never made their way into the Pentagon, but were flagged in a mail delivery building next door.”

“On Monday, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency detected a suspicious substance during mail screening at the Pentagon’s remote screening facility,” Col. Rob Manning said. “The envelopes were taken by the FBI this morning for further analysis. All USPS mail received at the Pentagon mail screening facility yesterday is currently under quarantine and poses no threat to Pentagon personnel.”

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According to another report, two people who work in the campaign office of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) were exposed to a white powdery substance and are currently undergoing tests at a local hospital in Houston.

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“A hazardous materials response team was dispatched to Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign office in Houston on Tuesday morning to investigate a mailed envelope that contained a white powdery substance,” the report said. “Multiple fire trucks and at least one hazmat truck were spotted on the scene after the letter was opened by campaign staff and reported to authorities.”

Authorities have not determined whether the substance sent to Cruz’s office was toxic.

 

 

Big League National Security

President Trump Announces Planned Ban on Chinese-Owned TikTok App

The app has serious spying concerns.

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President Donald Trump announced that he’s preparing to ban the video app TikTok on national security grounds on Friday, citing the concerns over the Chinese app’s connections to Chinese government security, and the potential use of the nominally innocent app to surveil American citizens.

The President had made the announcement on an Air Force One flight to the press pool, later confirming that the media could report on the policy move on the record.

As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” said the President bluntly.

TikTok is a viral video app marketed to teenagers and young adults that allows users to create short and edited videos. It’s frequently used for memes, pranks, and simple political content. It’s owned by Chinese company ByteDance, which is obligated to cooperate with Chinese intelligence services under the laws of China.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had previously spoken of security concerns involving the Chinese app. Microsoft had recently offered to purchase the app from its parent company, but the surveillance and security surrounding it appear to have shelved such a possibility for now.

There are genuine surveillance and data-mining concerns with TikTok, but it’s also probably worth considering that banning the app will allow neoliberal tech monopolies such as Facebook and Apple to share up an even larger share of the demand for platforms designed for similar content.

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