Democrats jostle for prized impeachment manager gig | POLITICO


As the House barrels toward a vote next week to impeach President Donald Trump, behind-the-scenes jockeying has intensified to secure a coveted, high-profile job: impeachment manager.

These Democratic lawmakers, handpicked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will effectively serve as prosecutors making the case to the Senate that Trump deserves to be removed from office over his alleged misconduct centering on the Ukraine scandal.

Source: Democrats jostle for prized impeachment manager gig – POLITICO

Entegra to Help Engineer DoD Cyber Systems Under Potential $70M Contract | GovCon Wire

Entegra Systems has partnered with 16 other companies to engineer and secure cyber technology platforms for the Department of Defense under a potential five-year, $70M contract.

The industry team will also create data models to increase DoD’s cyber knowledge as well as provide data science and cyber defense services, Entegra said Thursday.

Source: Entegra to Help Engineer DoD Cyber Systems Under Potential $70M Contract – GovCon Wire

The Trade-Offs in the Articles of Impeachment | Lawfare


If read as one would read a criminal indictment, the document’s brevity might seem strange. But that’s not the point. The point, rather, is to tell a story that is both well-supported by witness testimony before the House Intelligence Committee and that jibes with the instinct of most Americans that soliciting a foreign government to damage a domestic political opponent is wrong.

It is designed to make things easy for House Democrats heading home for the holidays, who will be encouraging constituents to read the document for themselves.

It is designed to support simple talking points for members to justify impeachment to their constituents in town hall meetings.

Second, the document’s simplicity is clearly intended to facilitate a trial strategy as well—to set up a Senate trial that tells a clean story. The articles, after all, are not a press release; they are a litigation document.

Keeping things simple will allow the House impeachment managers to tell a single narrative through-line leading to two counts: The president abused his power in his interactions with Ukraine and then proceeded to try to block Congress from investigating his misconduct.

Source: The Trade-Offs in the Articles of Impeachment – Lawfare

The Saudi Aramco IPO breaks records, but falls short of expectations


On December 11, 2019, shares amounting to 1.5% of Aramco’s value began trading only on the Tadawul, Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange. The IPO will, in fact, raise nearly $26 billion for the kingdom, at a price that values Aramco at $1.7 trillion. The events of the intervening four years tell an interesting story of changing global oil markets and dashed ambitions.

In an earlier post, I wrote that transparency, valuation, and listing locations were the most important challenges and unknowns in the IPO process. Each of those factors contributed to the scaled-back IPO and will continue to affect the market valuation of the company in the future.

Source: The Saudi Aramco IPO breaks records, but falls short of expectations

‘Black Swan’ index flashes yellow: Wall Street is not scared | Reuters


The options-based Black Swan index may be signaling surging demand from investors for protection against a stock market crash, but Wall Street analysts see little reason to panic.

The Cboe Skew Index .SKEWX is near a 14-month high. It tracks the implied volatility of deep out-of-the-money options – that is, contracts that need a large move in the market before they come into play – on the S&P 500 .SPX.

On Monday, the Skew Index hit 136.56, its highest since October 2018. It last traded at 134.37.

Source: ‘Black Swan’ index flashes yellow: Wall Street is not scared – Reuters

Trump poised for Supreme Court battle over financial records | Reuters


The U.S. Supreme Court may have a conservative majority that includes two justices appointed by President Donald Trump, but his efforts to shield his tax returns and other financial records from scrutiny still face an uncertain future.

The court could decide this week on whether to hear appeals from Trump in three cases he has lost in lower courts. While the court has a history of allowing the president to make his case, it has also deferred to Congress’ right to investigate a broad range of issues. Two of the cases regard such congressional scrutiny.

Source: Trump poised for Supreme Court battle over financial records – Reuters

Egypt’s strongman extends crackdown to new foe: soap operas


Gamal el Adl’s company is one of the most popular television producers in the Middle East. Its gritty soap operas, touching on drug addiction amongst the middle classes, sexual abuse and life in a women’s prison, have been hits on TV in Egypt and across the Arab world.

Until, that is, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi unleashed a new wave of censorship.

In the past three years, the former general has turned the screws on the entertainment and news industries. A new regulatory agency is overseeing output and censoring content. Soap operas, it insists, must contain no sex scenes, no blasphemy, no politics. Police and other authority figures should be presented in a positive light.

Source: Egypt’s strongman extends crackdown to new foe: soap operas

North-East simmers as protests against citizenship bill continue

[India]


Protests have erupted in Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Mizoram over the last two days. The growing protests have prompted the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) on Wednesday to cancel many trains and rescheduled a few that originate from the state.

At least 14 trains have either been canceled, short terminated or diverted anticipating “disruptions in train movement”, NFR chief public relations officer Subhanan Chanda said.

The stakes are high for the ruling BJP-led NDA because the alliance is in power in most states. The NDA has defeated the Congress and other regional parties across the North-East in every election over the past five years, but the growing agitation against the citizenship amendment bill could lead to a political crisis for the ruling alliance.

Source: North-East simmers as protests against citizenship bill continue

China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt are world’s worst jailers of journalists | Committee to Protect Journalists


For the fourth consecutive year, at least 250 journalists are imprisoned globally as authoritarians like Xi Jinping, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Mohammed bin Salman, and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi show no signs of letting up on the critical media.

The number of journalists imprisoned globally for their work in 2019 remained near record highs, as China tightened its iron grip on the press and Turkey, having stamped out virtually all independent reporting, released journalists awaiting trial or appeal.

Authoritarianism, instability, and protests in the Middle East led to a rise in the number of journalists locked up in the region — particularly in Saudi Arabia, which is now on par with Egypt as the third worst jailer worldwide.

Source: China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt are world’s worst jailers of journalists – Committee to Protect Journalists

These are the worst hacks, cyberattacks, and data breaches of 2019 | ZDNet


When a data breach occurs, companies will usually haul in third-party investigators, notify regulators, promise to do better and give any impacted consumers free credit monitoring — but we’ve reached a stage where you should consider signing up to such services anyway, given how much of our information is now available in data dumps strewn all over the internet.

(Consider using Have I Been Pwned to check if you’ve been involved in a breach.)

The reasons a cyberattack or data breach occur vary. In some cases, such as Equifax, the failure to patch a known vulnerability that has the potential to impact software or libraries in use — and in a reasonable timeframe — has serious repercussions.

In others, unsecured databases left exposed to the internet may be the problem, zero-day vulnerabilities may be exploited in the wild before fixes are available, or in some of the worst cases, an organization or individual may be targeted by state-sponsored advanced persistent threat (APT) groups with substantial resources and tools at their disposal.

Source: These are the worst hacks, cyberattacks, and data breaches of 2019 | ZDNet