District of Columbia
Official: Cyber threat warnings ‘blinking red’
WASHINGTON — Warning lights about cyber threats to U.S. national security are “blinking red,” and the digital attempts to undermine America are occurring daily, not just at election time, the nation’s top intelligence official said Friday.
Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, but cyber threats also are coming from China, Iran and North Korea as well as criminal networks and individual hackers, said National Intelligence Director Dan Coats.
Targets include U.S. businesses, the federal government, the military, state and local governments, academic and financial institutions and critical infrastructure, he said.
“The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, in coordination with international partners, have detected Russian government actors targeting government and businesses in the energy, nuclear, water, aviation and critical manufacturing sectors,” Coats said.
He compared the cyber threat today with how United States officials said before 9/11 that intelligence channels were “blinking red” with warning signs that a terror attack was imminent.
Woman tried to sell 2-year-old for sex
CONROE — A Houston woman accused of offering to sell her 2-year-old daughter for sex at a cost of $1,200 has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Twenty-five-year-old Sarah Marie Peters was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to charges that include promotion of prostitution.
Authorities say undercover officers in Montgomery County, north of Houston, encountered Peters online on a social media site.
They say she forwarded photos of young girls and asked if there was anyone who wanted “to have fun” with her daughter.
Detectives watched Peters board a bus in Houston with her daughter to travel to Conroe, where she thought she was meeting a man who would pay for sex with the toddler.
‘Downton Abbey’ movie to shoot this summer
NEW YORK — Three years after going off the air, “Downton Abbey” is coming back as a movie.
Focus Features said Friday it will begin production this summer on a “Downton” film that will reunite the Crawley family on the big screen. Series creator Julian Fellowes wrote the screenplay and will produce.
The long-rumored film adaptation is likely to be released sometime next year. The primary cast members are all set to return.
Over six seasons, “Downton Abbey” became a global hit, airing in at least 150 countries, and setting a record for non-U.S. television shows with 69 Emmy nominations.
Papa John’s dropping its founder’s image
NEW YORK — Papa John’s, which has featured founder John Schnatter as a spokesman in logos and TV ads, has begun pulling his image from its marketing and pledged to assess its diversity practices in response to his use of a racial slur.
Schnatter’s face was off some materials by Friday, though the pizza chain said there are no plans to change its name. Schnatter is still on the board and is the company’s largest shareholder — meaning he remains a key presence.