Insiders say Japan is devising procedures for its armed forces to protect domestic atomic facilities from computer-based strikes, the Mainichi Daily News reports.
The Japanese government is still deciding if it will permit its Self Defense Forces to use malware in a potential retaliation against computers attacking a nuclear energy site or other sensitive location, the newspaper reported late last week. The island nation’s atomic energy facilities have been largely in suspension since 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami led to meltdowns in several reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Protecting Japan’s command-and-control systems from possible electronic assaults is the objective of a special task force established by the country’s defense ministry in March, the Mainichi reported. The group of about 90 people only wields authorization to guard equipment linking the Japanese ministry to domestic military installations.
On Monday, Japan and Israel agreed to initiate a cyber-defense dialogue between their respective national security agencies, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in comments reported by Bloomberg.
Abe and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu issued a joint statement affirming “the necessity of cooperation in the field of cybersecurity and … affirmed the importance of bilateral defense cooperation,” the Times of Israel reported.
The position was in line with the stance of a Japanese military delegation that traveled to Israel, according to the released comments.
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Evan McMullin, the independent conservative candidate who may win his home state of Utah, is quietly planning to turn his candidacy into a broader movement for principled conservatism. He tells BuzzFeed he's "skeptical" that the Republican party can reform itself "within a generation" and that the party's internal "disease" can't be cured via "the existing infrastructure.” The ex-CIA employee and Capitol Hill staffer says, “I have seen and worked with a lot of very courageous people in my time [but] I have seen a remarkable display of cowardice over the last couple of months in our leaders.” McMullin's team has assembled organizations in the 11 states where he's on the ballot, and adviser Rick Wilson says "there’s actually a very vibrant market for our message in the urban northeast and in parts of the south."
One of the main reasons for the recent Obamacare premium hikes is that many potential enrollees have simply decided to pay the tax penalty for remaining uninsured, rather than pay for insurance. More than 8 million people paid the penalty in 2014, and preliminary numbers for 2015 suggest that the number approaches 6 million. "For the young and healthy who are badly needed to make the exchanges work, it is sometimes cheaper to pay the Internal Revenue Service than an insurance company charging large premiums, with huge deductibles."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that "there was “precedent” for a Supreme Court with fewer than nine justices—appearing to suggest that the blockade on nominee Merrick Garland could last past the election." Speaking to reporters in Colorado, Cruz said: "I would note, just recently, that Justice Breyer observed that the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the court to do its job. That’s a debate that we are going to have.”