A massive exercise is planned for November that aims to test the resiliency of the U.S. power grid to withstand major damage caused by a natural disaster or deliberate attack, the New York Times reported.
Thousands of people are preparing for the drill, including U.S, Mexican and Canadian government officials. They are joining business leaders, U.S. National Guard officers, counterterrorism specialists and utility personnel to tee up the exercise, which will imitate kinetic strikes and computer assaults that could shut down large swaths of the electrical network.
In excess of 150 entities have agreed to take part in the simulated event, called “GridEx 2.”
Fears about the possible detonation of a nuclear warhead in the skies above the United States, for the purposes of creating an electromagnetic pulse aimed at sizzling electronics on the ground, have led a number of public figures to call for significant steps to strengthen the power grid. Ex-CIA head R. James Woolsey is planning a campaign to convince state governments to pass laws requiring utilities to harden their electronics against potential EMP attacks.
A key objective of GridEx 2 is to learn how governments would handle a loss of electrical power that is large enough to drastically affect the delivery of common and essential goods and services.
Government and utility companies have discussed in recent years how challenging it can be to protect the power grid, which is involved in nearly all aspects of modern life. It is managed in large part by a patchwork of regional and city authorities and privately owned firms.
Some utility-sector officials blame the government for not sharing intelligence about threats to the power grid. In response, government leaders have recommended that some utility heads apply for security clearances that would allow them access to classified information.
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Bill Schuette, Michigan's attorney general, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state to halt the recount of the state's voting results. The recount was elected by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Schuette says the recount shouldn't occur because Stein cited no evidence of voter fraud or tabulation error.
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The economy added 178,000 jobs in November, up from just 142,000 in October. Unemployment dropped to 4.6% from 4.9%, making it the lowest rate since before the Great Recession.
"Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are working on legislation that would limit deportations" under President-elect Donald Trump. Leading the effort are Judiciary Committee members Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is also expected to sign on.