3 former operatives admit hacking roles

WASHINGTON — Three former U.S. intelligence and military operatives have admitted providing sophisticated computer hacking technology to the United Arab Emirates and agreed to pay nearly $1.7 million to resolve criminal charges in an agreement that the Justice Department described Tuesday as the first of its kind.

The defendants — Marc Baier, Ryan Adams and Daniel Gericke — are accused of working as senior managers at a UAE-based company that conducted hacking operations on behalf of the government. Prosecutors say the men provided hacking and intelligence-gathering systems that were used to break into computers in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

As part of the agreement, the three men did not dispute any of the facts alleged by prosecutors.

Comic Macdonald dies of cancer at 61

NEW YORK — Comic Norm Macdonald, a former “Saturday Night Live” writer and performer who was “Weekend Update” host during the 1990s, has died.

Macdonald, who was 61, died Tuesday after a nine-year battle with cancer that he kept private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles.

General mounts ‘surge’ against cyberattacks

WASHINGTON — The general who leads U.S. efforts to thwart foreign-based cyberattacks, and punish those responsible, says he’s mounting a “surge” to fight incursions that have debilitated government agencies and companies responsible for critical infrastructure.

In an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, Gen. Paul Nakasone broadly described “an intense focus” by government specialists to better find and share information about cyberattacks and “impose costs when necessary.” Those costs include publicly linking adversarial countries to high-profile attacks and exposing the means by which those attacks were carried out, he said.

Judge rejects ballot question on police

MINNEAPOLIS — A judge on Tuesday rejected an attempt to salvage a proposed charter amendment on the future of policing in Minneapolis, ruling just days before early and absentee voting is due to begin in the city where George Floyd died in police custody that any votes on the question won’t count.

Hennepin County District Judge Jamie Anderson said the new language “does not ensure that voters are able to understand the essential purpose of the proposed amendment. It is unreasonable and misleading.” Ballots containing the question are due back from the printer Wednesday. Anderson’s order allows election officials to use the ballots, but prohibits election officials from counting any votes cast on the issue.

But her ruling wasn’t likely to be the final word. An eleventh-hour appeal was coming. Minneapolis City Attorney Jim Rowader said his office was “focused on a speedy appellate process to ensure all voters have the opportunity to make known their positions on this critical issue as part of the municipal election this year.”

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