FROM Michael Vatis
Cyberwarfare: Is the Best Defense a Good Offense? Somebody has spent the past five years stealing corporate and government secrets in 14 countries, the biggest coordinated cyber attack discovered so far. One former presidential advisor says, "They're getting our research and development for pennies on the dollar." The most likely culprit is China. But it's not just a question of economics, it's a threat to national security. We hear about the operation now dubbed "Shady RAT," with at least 72 targets, including government agencies, corporations, the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations. What's already been lost? How vulnerable is the US? Has the government appeared to be passive so far because we're doing it too?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.