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Leak shows spy agencies break encryption

April 14th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 苏州美甲 - (Comments Off on Leak shows spy agencies break encryption)

US and British intelligence agencies have cracked the encryption that secures a wide range of online communications – including emails, banking transactions and phone conversations, according to newly leaked documents.

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The documents provided by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden to The New York Times, ProPublica and The Guardian suggest that the spy agencies are able to decipher data even with the supposedly secure encryption designed to make it private.

The US National Security Agency, working with its British counterpart, GCHQ, accomplished the feat by using supercomputers, court orders, and some cooperation from technology companies, the documents indicate.

The Guardian report said the two spy agencies had “covert partnerships” with technology companies and internet providers which allows the insertion of “secret vulnerabilities – known as backdoors or trapdoors – into commercial encryption software.”

The British paper said the NSA spends $US250 million ($A275 million) a year on a program which works with technology companies to “covertly influence” their product designs.

The reports did not indicate which companies cooperated with the spy agencies, but they suggested that Britain’s intelligence agency was able to gain access to people’s Hotmail, Google, Yahoo and Facebook accounts.

If the reports are accurate, the highly secretive program would defeat much of the protection that is used to keep data secure and private on the internet, from emails to chats to communications using smartphones.

Joseph Hall of the Centre for Democracy and Technology, a digital rights organisation, called the latest reports “shocking”.

If the reports are true, “it means that the elements that keep information secure in transit are fundamentally undermined”, Hall told AFP.

Bruce Schneier, a cryptographic specialist who follows national security issues, described the revelations as “explosive”.

“Basically, the NSA is able to decrypt most of the internet. They’re doing it primarily by cheating, not by mathematics,” Schneier wrote on his blog.

Construction activity still declining

April 14th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 苏州美甲 - (Comments Off on Construction activity still declining)

Australia’s construction industry continues to struggle despite low interest rates, with activity in the sector falling for the 39th consecutive month.

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The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index (PCI) fell 0.4 points to 43.7 in August.

An index reading below 50 indicates activity in the sector is falling and the lower the reading, the greater the speed of the decline.

Although the construction industry is still weak, there are signs of a gradual improvement in business conditions, Ai Group director of public policy Peter Burn said.

“On the positive side, the house building sector remains close to the point of stabilisation, with lower interest rates starting to provide some support to levels of activity and new orders within the sector,” he said.

“However, clearly we need to see much stronger conditions to offset the slack resulting from the winding down in mining related projects and the distinct weakness that persists in commercial and apartment building activity.”

Housing Industry Association chief economist Harley Dale said a recovery in the construction sector is still a long way off “even though super-low interest rates are providing some welcome assistance.”

“Against the backdrop of tight credit conditions for residential and commercial projects and an insufficient focus on policy reform, the necessary goal of achieving healthy levels of non-mining related construction activity will remain elusive,” he said.

Across the sectors of the construction industry, house building activity declined at a broadly unchanged rate, with the its index at 49.0 points.

Commercial construction recorded a slower pace of contraction with an index level of 39.1 points.

Declines in apartment building construction and engineering construction were steeper in August.

Serena, Azarenka one step from title rematch

April 14th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 苏州美甲 - (Comments Off on Serena, Azarenka one step from title rematch)

Williams, the top-seeded defending champion, will look to extend a dominant run through the women’s draw against fifth-seeded Li Na of China, who became the first Chinese to reach the last four at the U.

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S. Open.

Second seed Azarenka will face Italy’s unseeded Flavia Pennetta, whose brilliant run at Flushing Meadows has carried her to her first grand slam semi-final.

Should form prevail, Williams and Azarenka would set up the first repeat final at the U.S. Open since Serena Williams played her sister Venus Williams for the prize in 2002.

Azarenka, 24, joined the trio of 31 year olds with a last-eight victory over 30-year-old Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in a women’s draw that has underlined the fitness and ferocity of the old guard.

Should they lift the trophy on Sunday, Williams, Li or Pennetta would become the oldest U.S. Open women’s winner since tennis turned professional in 1968, supplanting Australian Margaret Court, who was 31 years and 55 days old when she triumphed in 1973.

Williams has been on fire, losing only 13 games and spent the least time on court although she has done double duty playing with sister Venus in the women’s doubles.

The American aced her quarter-finals test against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro by delivering a 6-0 6-0 double bagel win.

Williams later offered a shuddering thought.

“I like to believe there is always room for improvement,” she said.

Against former French Open winner Li, current French Open champion Williams holds an 8-1 advantage in head-to-head meetings, but has had some hard battles along the way. She won their last encounter in Cincinnati 7-5 7-5 in the semis.

Williams holds the Chinese player in high regard.

“She’s a great challenge,” Williams said. “She moves really well. She does everything well.

“We’ve always played really close. Maybe next time we play she might want to go from close to a win.”

Li has been on a revenge tour, beating Briton Laura Robson to avenge a 2012 U.S. Open loss, and Serb Jelena Jankovic, who had enjoyed a four-match winning streak against her.

“It’s a good challenge to play against her, because I think we always have tough match, even in Cincinnati,” said Li.

“There are only four players at end of the tournament, so nothing you can worry about. Just play the tennis. Just enjoy the time.”

Azarenka and Pennetta have split their two previous matches, missing a crack at a rubber match when the Belarusian withdrew from their second-round Wimbledon contest this year because of a knee injury.

Pennetta, like Williams, has not dropped a set during her U.S. Open run and is back to playing at her best level after having her 2012 season curtailed by a wrist injury that kept her out of the U.S. Open and required surgery.

“I’m confident because I’m here,” said Pennetta, who ousted fourth-seeded compatriot Sara Errani, former champion Svetlana Kunznetsova and red-hot Simona Halep along the way.

“I really don’t feel this pressure. In Italy we already have one champion in grand slam,” she said, referring to 2010 French Open winner Francesca Schiavone.

“I really don’t feel this pressure right now.”

Azarenka, who overcame former number one Ana Ivanovic 4-6 6-3 6-4 in the fourth round, said she would not underestimate the Italian despite her ranking of 83.

“Flavia is such an amazing person,” said Azarenka. “To see her go through the injuries and coming up with the best results she has right now, it’s really amazing.

“She’s a very good player, an all-around player. She can do anything. She has great touch, great variety. She can create power, create spin. She’s also very experienced and has been in the top 10.

“Her ranking doesn’t matter. It’s about the moment right now, and she’s playing terrific tennis.”

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

Warning over pregnancy lead levels

April 14th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 苏州美甲 - (Comments Off on Warning over pregnancy lead levels)

Women should stay healthy during pregnancy to keep children’s lead levels low, new research suggests.

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The findings from the Children of the 90s study at the University of Bristol shows that mothers who drank alcohol and coffee, smoked and had a coal fire in their home during pregnancy were likely to have higher levels of lead in their blood than women who did not.

Lead is a toxin that can cause high blood pressure in pregnancy, which in turn can predispose women to pre-eclampsia during pregnancy and heart disease later in life.

It accumulates in the bones and can remain for up to 30 years, the researchers said.

It can also have a longer-term detrimental effect on the child’s health, academic performance and behaviour.

Lead is widespread in the environment, particularly in areas with smelters, lead works, and battery manufacturing and recycling. Other sources of exposure include food, water, dust and soil.

There are no recommendations for blood lead levels in pregnancy and childhood in the UK but the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US recommend levels are kept below 5 micrograms per decilitre.

The Children of the 90s study is a long-term health research project which involves more than 14,000 mothers who were pregnant in 1991 and 1992.

Academics have followed the health and development of the women and their children in detail ever since.

This study looked at 4,285 mother-child pairs in the Children of the 90s study and found that women with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per decilitre were more likely to have attended university, and to smoke and consume alcohol and coffee.

The researchers say the unexpected finding that higher educational levels were associated with higher lead levels supports recent evidence that it should not be assumed that more disadvantaged populations have higher exposure to environmental pollutants.

Although the analysis was conducted on data gathered in 1991, it is the largest study of blood lead levels undertaken in the UK.

Dr Caroline Taylor, the lead author, said: “Pregnant women should not be concerned by this new report.

“Our research reinforces the current advice to women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy that they should stop or reduce their alcohol and caffeine intake and give up smoking if they can.

“They should follow a healthy diet with good sources of calcium and iron.”

The findings are published in the academic journal PLOS One.

We’ll have deadly power in Senate: Katter

April 14th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 苏州美甲 - (Comments Off on We’ll have deadly power in Senate: Katter)

Federal MP Bob Katter is confident his party will join forces with two senators to hold the balance of power in the Senate after the election.

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Mr Katter says independent Senator Nick Xenophon, Democratic Labour Party Senator John Madigan and Katter’s Australia Party (KAP) Senate hopeful country music singer James Blundell will be a powerful trio.

“Nick, John and I are often referred to as the three amigos because we vote the same way on almost everything,” he told AAP on Thursday.

“I’m hopeful that group will have the balance of power in the Senate.”

A party spokesman told AAP they’re hopeful of winning four Queensland seats and two Senate spots.

However, polls and political analysts say Mr Katter will retain his north Queensland seat of Kennedy and Mr Blundell may win a Senate spot at best.

Mr Katter predicts the Liberal National Party (LNP) will have a comfortable majority in the lower house.

“But they won’t in the Senate,” he said.

“Which means to get legislation through they’ll have to accept amendments and that’s where we’ll have deadly power.”

Mr Katter has been holding so-called “camp fire get-togethers” with supporters across his electorate that include a rendition of Way out West from Mr Blundell.

His key messages have centred around boosting industries such as agriculture and mining to create more jobs for Australians.

The 20-year veteran of parliament describes all his earlier election campaigns as “a fantastic elongated pub crawl with the trauma of an election at the end of it”.

He says this year has been different because he’s now the leader of a party and he’s had to travel all over Australia.

Political analyst Paul Williams, from Griffith University, says the party’s campaign has lacked focus.

“Bob Katter seems to be popping up in places without any co-ordinated strategy and KAP doesn’t have a single message,” he said.

Mr Katter says LNP ads saying a vote for KAP is a vote for Labor has seriously hurt his campaign.

“How can a vote for me be a vote for the Labor Party?” he said.

“But a vote for us in the Senate, well yes we’ve done a deal (with Labor in Queensland).”