Cyber attack on major parties computer systems, Scott Morrison reveals

“I have instructed the Australian Cyber Security Centre to be ready to provide any political party or electoral body in Australia with immediate support including making their technical experts available,” he said.

“They have already briefed the electoral commissions and those responsible for cyber security for all states and territories.”

The PM did not name a potential perpetrator but China has been blamed for past attacks on Australian government systems while Russia was behind a devastating hack on the US Democratic Party’s emails that helped nobble Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“We have acted decisively to protect our national interests. The methods used by malicious actors are constantly evolving and this incident just reinforces yet the importance of cyber security as a fundamental part of everybody’s business,” he said.

“Our political system and our democracy remains strong, vibrant and is protected. We stand united in the protection of our values and our sovereignty. The government has chosen to be transparent about these matters. This is in itself an expression of faith by our government in our democratic system and in our determination to defend it.”

In 2017, The Australian Financial Review revealed the government was considering giving political parties extra resources to combat state-sponsored attacks.

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Report: Mike Moustakas, Brewers Agree to 1-Year Contract in the $9M ‘Range’

Milwaukee Brewers' Mike Moustakas (18) runs to second base after hitting an RBI double during the first inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The Milwaukee Brewers and free-agent third baseman Mike Moustakas reportedly agreed to a one-year deal Sunday.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the news, noting the contract is pending a physical. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the deal is worth $10 million.

This comes after Jon Heyman of MLB Network noted the Los Angeles Angels, as well as “possibly” the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies, were interested in him before his decision to return to the reigning National League Central champions.

Moustakas, 30, split the 2018 season with the Kansas City Royals and Brewers. He hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 runs batted in, putting up his second straight 2-plus-WAR season, per FanGraphs. 

A two-time All-Star, Moustakas played 934 of his first 988 MLB games with the Royals. He was an instrumental piece of the team that led Kansas City to its first World Series title since 1985 but has found a tepid market each of the last two offseasons.

After lingering unsigned into March last year, Moustakas re-signed with the Royals on a one-year, $6.5 million deal. Kansas City shipped him off to Milwaukee at the deadline as the Brewers searched for help in the postseason. 

“Everything happens for a reason,” Moustakas told reporters. “I tore my knee up a couple of years ago, and I got to be there when my daughter was born. (Last) offseason, I got to see my son born. I was able to sign back with Kansas City; I got traded (to Milwaukee) and (went to) the postseason again.”

After never hitting more than 22 home runs in a season from 2011-2016, Moustakas has hit 66 over the last two years. His increased power has been a major factor in keeping him effective, and a second straight year of solid numbers likely made Milwaukee more comfortable with the commitment.

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Australia political parties hacked by ‘sophisticated state actor’

Australia‘s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the country’s major political parties were hacked earlier this month alongside the federal parliament by a “sophisticated state actor”.

The announcement on Monday came 10 days after the launch of a probe into the cybersecurity breach of the parliament’s computer network.

Morrison told parliament that while investigating the parliament hack, “we also became aware that the networks of some political parties, Liberal, Labor and Nationals have also been affected”.

“Our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity,” he said.

The parliament hack, which was unveiled on February 8, had forced MPs and staff members to reset their computer passwords as a precaution.

At the time, the Australian Signals Directorate had confirmed it was working with parliament in response to the breach, a move that indicated possible involvement of sophisticated actors.

Local media had also reported intelligence agencies were looking into whether a foreign government could be behind the attack.

May polls

Australia is expected to hold elections in mid-May, raising concerns that hackers could be trying to influence the outcome of the vote, or change the tenor of the debate.

But Morrison said there was “no evidence of any electoral interference”.

“We have put in place a number of measures to ensure the integrity of our electoral system.

He added that the Australian Cyber Security Centre stood ready to help any party or electoral body in need of support.

“They have already briefed the Electoral Commissions and those responsible for cyber security for all states and territories.”

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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Brambles CEO Graham Chipchase warns of wider malaise in Europe

Despite Europe’s woes Chipchase was upbeat about Brambles’s latest interim profit result which showed strong top line revenue growth of 7 per cent. Underlying profit rose 1 per cent to $US504 million ($711 million).

The results call was dominated by questions about the company’s business in the United States, where Chipchase is implementing a range of measures to boost profitability. Brambles has about 140 million pallets in circulation in the US.

It is conducting digital pallet trials that use data analytics to improve customer experience and maximise efficiency. The results of the first trials will be revealed with full-year results later this year.

As part of Chipchase’s turnaround strategy in the US, Brambles is progressively rewriting all contracts to give Brambles the ability to pass on increased operational costs to users of its pallets. The ultimate goal is to lift profit margins in the US by about 30 per cent.

Chief financial officer Nessa O’Sullivan said the company was moving toward having about 80 per cent of Brambles’ cost to serve and surcharges included in all contracts in the US. The US and Canada account for about 38 per cent of total sales.

O’Sullivan said pricing, supply chain and asset-efficiency initiatives remain on track to progressively deliver margin benefits from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2022.

Brambles has divided the broking community with an equal number of buy and sell ratings.

Chipchase used the interim results briefing to update the market about the IFCO sale or demerger deal which was announced in August last year. The company said the dual track process is not sufficiently advanced to determine the method of separation for the reusable plastic container business.

It is possible there will be capital management in the wake of the IFCO transaction. Chipchase was asked if the company’s capital structure review would involve a capital raising in the event of a demerger and he responded with a negative.


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Arsene Wenger Backs Thierry Henry for Managerial Career Despite Monaco Sacking

Monaco's French coach Thierry Henry walks prior to the French L1 football match between Monaco (ASM) and Nice (OGCN) on January 16, 2019 at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco. (Photo by VALERY HACHE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)


Arsene Wenger has come to the defence of former Arsenal charge Thierry Henry and backed the sacked AS Monaco boss to become a success as a manager despite surviving for only three months at the Stade Louis II. 

Henry was fired at Monaco—his first senior coaching position—in January, but Wenger sympathised with Henry’s plight when speaking at the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards (h/t Goal’s Stephen Creek):

“If you arrive in October and the team is in a bad position, you have three months. Because in January everybody starts to become nervous that things could go very badly, so you have less time.

“That’s what’s happened to Thierry but how he bounces back will be very important. I believe he has the quality and he has the desire to make a career and the career is judged on a longer period.”

Monaco lost 11 of their 20 matches with Henry in charge, winning five times in all competitions (only two came in Ligue 1). 

Goal broke down his Monaco stats in greater detail:

Wenger contrasted his career beginnings against those of Henry, 41, who assumed his first senior role almost 10 years older than his former mentor was when he started out:

“I started my job at 33, I had a lot of promising people around me, many disappeared and some survived. You need luck and we need to work hard but it’s always very difficult to predict a career of a manager. 

“We depend a lot on the quality of the players, the quality of the club and the quality of the confidence we get.”

Those comments might suggest Henry and Monaco—despite starting his professional playing and then managerial career at the club—just weren’t the right fit.

That being said, France Football (h/t Get French Football News) highlighted ways in which the ex-France striker may have rocked the boat too much at the French Riviera:

Monaco have since reappointed Henry’s predecessor, Leonardo Jardim, as manager and are out of Ligue 1’s relegation zone after going unbeaten in their last three (two wins, one draw).

Franck Passi initially took over the team in an interim capacity following Henry’s dismissal, and Goal’s Ronan Murphy noted it wasn’t a smooth transition at first:

Wenger worked with Henry in two different stints at Arsenal (once on loan), not to mention the latter trained at the Emirates Stadium and gained experience coaching in their youth setup too.

Henry will hope for a lower-pressure setting when taking his next coaching position in the hopes that he can prove Wenger right and begin building his credentials as a tactician.

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Disgraced ex-congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison, must register as sex offender


Former New York Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner has been released from prison.
AP Domestic

Anthony Weiner, the former congressman convicted of sexting with a 15-year-old girl, has been released from a federal prison in Massachusetts to a transitional facility in New York and must register as a sex offender.

Weiner, 54, pleaded guilty in May 2017 to  transferring obscene material to a minor. Four months later, he was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons website says Weiner was transferred from the Federal Medical Center in Devens to a Residential Re-Entry Management facility in Brooklyn. Weiner, who has a release date of May 14, most likely will serve out his time in a halfway house or home confinement.

Weiner must register as a sex offender and spend three years of supervised release. 

Prosecutors said the teen initiated the communications with Weiner via Twitter in January 2016. The girl acknowledged she was a minor, but the contacts continued over  Snapchat and other social media outlets.

More: I was ‘a very sick man’: Tearful Anthony Weiner gets 21 months in sexting case

Even after the girl told Weiner that she was 15, Weiner asked her to show him her naked body, which she did, prosecutors said. He also sent her pornography.

Weiner wept at his sentencing, saying he was sorry and that he was “a very sick man for a very long time.”

“The crime I committed was my rock bottom,” Weiner said. “I live a different and better life today.”

U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote, however, rejected Weiner’s request to avoid jail.

“This is a serious crime that deserves serious punishment,” Cote said.

Weiner was elected to Congress from Brooklyn in 1998 and served 12 years in the heavily Democratic district. In 2010, his star rose after making a dramatic speech before Congress in which he blasted Republicans for voting against a federal aid bill for first responders to the 9/11 terror attacks.

Weiner married Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton, in 2010. The power couple had a son in 2011. But he resigned his seat that year after admitting he had been exchanging explicit messages and photos with a half-dozen women.

He attempted a comeback in 2013 via a mayoral campaign that collapsed when it emerged he was sending explicit photos to a 22-year-old woman under the pseudonym “Carlos Danger.”

Abedin separated from Weiner in 2016 and filed for divorce after his guilty plea. The relationship became a crucial factor in the 2016 presidential campaign when then-FBI director James Comey reopened an investigation into Clinton emails less than two weeks before Election Day. The FBI cited a batch of emails discovered in the Weiner probe.

Days later, the FBI said nothing new or damaging against Clinton had been discovered.

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Samsung Galaxy F kicks off a new era in flexible screens with foldable phone

While all the big players are starting to push 8K as the next screen resolution we didn’t know we needed, the real change is about to give us an entirely new design language – and a new relationship with our screens.

LG has launched a rollable OLED TV at CES this year, hitting the market in coming months. It disappears from view altogether when you’re not using it, becoming a piece of furniture that plays music on demand, no longer the eternally looming black mirror.

They’ve even added a clever ‘Line Mode’ where just a thin slice of screen is visible, letting music information and photo galleries appear in a very minimal amount of screen space.

Of course, the reason we’re seeing phones and TVs suddenly fold and roll at the same time is because the tech is finally able to handle this kind of literal flexibility. OLED panels are lit within every pixel, so designs have finally been able to remove the rigid backing and find a path towards reliable and bendable displays.

Beyond LG and Samsung, there’s also talk of Motorola launching a new flip phone under its classic RAZR brand. This time with a fully foldable screen instead of a screen and keypad.

If they get it right, that combination of nostalgia for one of the all-time classic flip phones combined with the latest in screen tech could be a big winner. After all, a flip phone could protect that expensive screen from a lot of drop damage.

Novelty or game-changer?

Some may be thinking that a screen that bends or rolls is just a novelty. But the cultural timing is well suited to a time when many are questioning whether all these smartphones have really made our lives better.

As work has gone hyper-connected 24/7 and social media has filled every last crack of quiet time, many people are increasingly eager to cut down on how often they have a screen demanding their attention.

The ability to genuinely make that screen go away – whether rolled, folded or disappeared – will bring a fresh perspective.

Many feel locked into the paradigm of the past decade that was first championed by the iPhone then spread virally across the entire globe by Android.

A watch screen has turned out to not be enough. We want something bigger to tune into when we need it. But a change in form factor really can help us to break the cycle and find a better dynamic for a more balanced daily routine.

The flat-panel era was a slow and steady rise that enabled so many new ways to interact with screens. It might take a few years, but the starting gun is firing on what flexing, folding, bending and rolling screens are set to do to our lives in the decade to come.

The reason we’re seeing phones and TVs suddenly fold and roll at the same time is because the tech is finally able to handle this kind of literal flexibility.

LG’s rollable TV disappears from view altogether when you’re not using it, becoming a piece of furniture that plays music on demand. Supplied

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