McConnell Bungled Health Care For Years

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Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has once again declined to give detailed information about Kentucky voters to a committee President Donald Trump set up to investigate election integrity. [H-L]

Fun watching McConnell repeatedly lose on this front for more than eight years. Seven years of Republican promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act withered away to almost nothing on the Senate floor early Friday morning. [HuffPo]

Six years, five months and 11 days after she was sentenced to prison for trying to extort cash, cars and a house from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, Karen Cunagin Sypher’s sentence officially expire[d] Friday. [C-J/AKN]

If you read Jared Kushner’s statement to congressional committees looking for evidence of a crime, there isn’t much there. But if you read it from the perspective of the Russians trying to gain a toehold—or more—inside the Trump campaign, you realize how easy he made it for them. [New Yorker]

Newsprint is dying and there’s no reason to force government to subsidize it. Maybe it wasn’t Daniel in the lion’s den, but Kentucky Press Association Executive Director David Thompson surely felt outnumbered Wednesday as a committee of state lawmakers heard a line of public agencies ask for revisions in a state law which requires public notice of official documents in local newspapers. [Ronnie Ellis]

In an arrangement prominent ethics experts say is without precedent and potentially illegal, the White House is referring questions for senior presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon to an outside public relations agent whose firm says she is working for free. [TIME]

State Rep. Jim Wayne is viewed by some as a liberal Democrat while state Budget Director John Chilton works for, what many view, as a pretty conservative Republican governor, Matt Bevin. But both agree on Kentucky’s fiscal situation: it’s a mess and growing worse and something must be done. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The Senate rejected a scaled-back ObamaCare repeal bill in the early hours of Friday in a shocking vote that marks a major defeat for GOP leaders and the seven-year effort to repeal the health law. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s economic outlook took another hit this past week as Moody’s downgraded the state’s bond ratings to Aa3 from Aa2 following the announcement the state failed to make its revenue estimates for the fiscal year and in light of its growing public pension problems. [The Morehead News]

The Republican Party’s seven-year dream of dismantling the Affordable Care Act came to what seemed like a climactic end early Friday, punctured by the Senate’s vote to reject a last-ditch proposal to repeal a few parts of the health law. [NY Times]

Bullfrogs croaked loudly at Sloan’s Crossing Pond at Mammoth Cave National Park on Tuesday night as biologists set up nets across the walkway surrounding the pond and in the nearby woods. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) played his hand on the Senate Republicans’ health-care proposal for the maximum political effect. It’s always the case that it’s the people who are wavering at the last minute who end up getting all the attention: Undecided voters, new car buyers, bachelorettes on reality television shows. In politics, though, there’s special cultural role acclaim for those who, at the last minute, do the unexpected — often while those who did exactly what was expected get little fanfare. [WaPo]

In an effort to increase wild ginseng populations on national forest lands, a ban prohibiting ginseng harvest in the Daniel Boone National Forest has been extended through the 2017 harvest season, from Sept. 1 to Dec. 1. [H-L]

Russia ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic staff by Sept. 1 and said it was seizing a dacha compound and warehouse used by U.S. diplomats in retaliation for new U.S. sanctions against Moscow. [HuffPo]

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Avoid Anything Adam Edelen Supports

What? Adam Edelen’s PAC is a hot, corrupt mess? Surely not! When will you wake up to the reality that the good old boy Democrats are as shitty and corrupt as anyone can imagine? That doesn’t mean all Democrats are bad – just the current crop in Frankfort. Grace Wise, the director of a political action committee geared toward recruiting millennial Democrats to run for office, has been charged with theft by deception and forgery. [H-L]

This is what happens with dumb bigots like Scott Jennings back idiots like Donald Trump. You have them to personally thank for anti-LGBT rhetoric and hate. Here’s hoping their kids all grow up to be gay so they’re forced to deal with reality. Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. [HuffPo]

After a contentious debate that nearly torpedoed the deal, the University of Louisville board of trustees voted Thursday to approve a revised lease agreement for the financially troubled KFC Yum Center. [C-J/AKN]

A leading psychiatry group has told its members they should not feel bound by a longstanding rule against commenting publicly on the mental state of public figures – even the president. The statement, an email this month from the executive committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association to its 3,500 members, represents the first significant crack in the profession’s decades-old united front aimed at preventing experts from discussing the psychiatric aspects of politicians’ behavior. It will likely make many of its members feel more comfortable speaking openly about President Trump’s mental health. [Raw Story]

Kentucky Republicans are dumber than you thought and way worse for the economy than anyone could have imagined. Kentucky’s economic outlook took another hit this past week as Moody’s downgraded the state’s bond ratings to Aa2 from Aa3 following the announcement the state failed to make its revenue estimates for the fiscal year and in light of its growing public pension problems. [Richmond Register]

Hillary Clinton’s upcoming book will double down on Russia’s interference and James Comey’s involvement in her stunning election defeat, according to sources familiar with the memoir. [The Hill]

Thomas Massie deserves to be dragged politically for supporting treason. Thomas Massie, R-Pigfucker., was one of only three members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday to vote against a bill that empowers Congress to block any White House effort to weaken sanctions against Russia. [Ashland Independent]

After another challenging day in Washington, Donald Trump (R-Too Dumb To Be Left Alone) flew to West Virginia to a field full of 40,000 chanting and cheering Boy Scouts, telling them he was happy to leave Washington behind. [Reuters]

If you are illegally dumping in Rowan County you may want to watch your back. Or maybe just don’t be a damn idiot with no respect for your fellow man and environment. [The Morehead News]

Trump announced on Wednesday that the United States will not “accept or allow” transgender people in the United States military, saying American forces “must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory” and could not afford to accommodate them. [NY Times]

In response to recommendations from a customer advisory council’s recommendations, the four Glasgow Electric Plant Board members in place voted unanimously Tuesday to revise what is known as the Infotricity power rate. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Trump escaped the roiling turmoil of Washington on Tuesday evening — leaving behind the chaotic effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the intensifying Russia investigation and his latest staff shake-up — to rally with his supporters in this former steel town. [WaPo]

Billy Joe Miles of Owensboro, a former chairman of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, is competent to stand trial on charges of rape and sodomy, a judge has ruled. [H-L]

McCain returned to Washington from Arizona, where he had recently been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, to cast the deciding vote on a move to allow debate to proceed on repeal of the Affordable Care Act. [HuffPo]

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You Should Despise Everyone In Frankfort

Don’t let Democrats like Ray Jones act like they haven’t been in constant communication with Julian Carroll because they have. These people say one thing to the media and another behind closed doors. Nearly everyone I’ve spoken with tells me they’ve spoken with Carroll and that he claims it’s all fake. Guess being 86-years-old makes a corrupt old shyster like that behave just like Donald Trump when hit with reality. [H-L]

While presiding over the official commissioning ceremony for the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier in Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday, Donald Trump took a moment to make a brief political request. [HuffPo]

Oh my god, Bill Johnson, you’ve just tainted your own legacy. I mean, sure, it was already nothing to write home about. But now you’re on record being the only person to stand up for a monstrous, hypocritical… whatever he is. He went after that young man and then used the full force of the good old boy government to silence him when he begged for help. Kentucky State Police troopers tried to help him but the upper echelon of con artists stopped them. It’s insane. And now you’re attacking the guy’s credibility after he spent years and years suffering from what is likely Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder!? You’re a monster, too. Anyone defending Julian Carroll is a fucking pig. Fuck these people. And Bob Stivers knew about this Julian Carroll story – it did not catch him off guard. He’s known about it since day one. So have several other state senators – Democrats and Republicans alike. Stivers is just a conniving, lying jackass behaving as if he’s above reproach. P.S. Tom Loftus writing about this now sure is ripe because he, too, has known about it for a number of years. Frankfort is the worst place in Kentucky and we would all be lucky if it flooded and washed away. [C-J/AKN]

Greg Stumbo should watch his back because several of the folks who used to work for him have turned on him. He and David James (someone should ask David about all those old AOL ads from the late 90s) were both aware of the Geis situation. Both have had discussions about it with various people since 2014. It’s now up to Andy Beshear to dig out what he can and kick all these con artists right in the gut. His current team at OAG is pretty solid and they’re capable of getting to the bottom of it. Because if they don’t, Matt Bevin is coming after them politically and it won’t end well. [Nick Storm]

Tres Watson didn’t think the allegations were a big deal in 2014 when I took them to him and discussed them with Scott Jennings. Both of them dismissed them, claimed I was making a mountain out of a molehill, that it was stupid for me to even be mentioning things to them. Nick Storm should also disclose his personal friendship with Watson if they’re going to continue to interview him. [CN|Toot]

FFS. Time for a Kentucky Democratic Party reality check. Not only were Democrats made aware of this Julian Carroll nightmare several years ago… but… Brad Bowman was well aware as a “journalist” at the State-Journal, where he twiddled his thumbs and apparently played pat-a-cake with Pat Melton on this and other scandals. It’s just absurd that he’s now handling messaging on this mess because he’s apparently as much of a hypocrite as the rest of those good old boy shysters who worked so hard to cover this Carroll scandal up. It’s almost like he’s ready to burn down his own legacy to protect a predator. Come on, Brad, get your shit together before you get buried with the rest of the inexperienced buffoons at KDP. You’re better than that. [Nick Storm]

Trump and his advisers are privately discussing the possibility of replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and some confidants are floating prospects who could take his place were he to resign or be fired, according to people familiar with the talks. [WaPo]

Rowan County Fiscal Court has verbally dismissed a proposal for a new methadone clinic to be located in Morehead. [The Morehead News]

Newly released video of the killing of three American Special Forces soldiers in November at the gate of a military base in Jordan shows that the episode, which was initially explained as a split-second mistake by a Jordanian guard firing on Americans who failed to stop, was actually a six-minute gun battle where Americans crouched behind barriers and repeatedly waved their hands in surrender as the gunman closed in and killed them. [NY Times]

Spoiler alert: he’s responsible, regardless of whether he provided paperwork or not. It was his responsibility to follow up with the Cabinet to make sure things were on track. Former Carter County Judge-Executive Charles Wallace is denying accusations made in last week’s Carter County Fiscal Court special meeting that he is responsible for the lack of documentation of former transportation-related projects. [Ashland Independent]

Tread lightly, Andy Barr, because your life just got a lot more difficult because what you do is now easier to track. [ProPublica]

Matt Bevin is such a coward that he can’t be bothered to show up at Fancy Farm after a tough year. [WFPL]

A federal judge in Michigan halted on Monday the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals from the United States, the latest legal victory for the Iraqi nationals facing deportation in a closely watched case. [Reuters]

Equity and concerns about charter schools coming to Kentucky were hot topics Saturday at a downtown [Lexington] rally in support of public education. “The school privatization movement is here, and it’s moving quickly,” said Lucy Waterbury of Save Our Schools Kentucky. “Unless we understand what is at risk, we can’t protect our kids.” [H-L]

Democrats – especially Kentucky Democrats – can be pretty shitty. But this just proves that New Republicans are the scum of the earth. [HuffPo]

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If You Defend Julian’s Use Of The System To Harm His Victim(s), You’re Part Of The Good Old Boy System Of Oppression, Corruption & General Bigoted Bullshit

Tres Watson knew about the Julian Carroll mess in 2014. He didn’t “just learn” about it. He and several Republicans were aware but chose to do and say absolutely nothing about Carroll, a man they knew to be an alleged sexual predator who conspired with others in power to harm his victim(s). Now Matt Bevin is scrambling to find a way to tie this to Andy Beshear but he can’t. Unfortunately for him, it’s going to taint just as many Republicans as it will Democrats. [H-L]

The pressure’s on. Donald Trump on Monday continued to assail the multiple investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, calling out his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, ahead of private testimony this week from members of Trump’s family and inner circle. [HuffPo]

Fuck you, Kim Davis, you dumb bigot. Maybe stop hating gay people – which includes one of your children. Fucking monster – just like the idiot governor. A federal judge Friday ordered the state of Kentucky to pay $222,695 in attorneys’ fees to same-sex couples who sued clerk Kim Davis in 2015 when she refused to give them marriage licenses. [C-J/AKN]

A directive from the head of ICE’s enforcement unit appears to push for tougher action than the Trump administration has publicly promised. The head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit in charge of deportations has directed his officers to take action against all undocumented immigrants they may cross paths with, regardless of criminal histories. The guidance appears to go beyond the Trump administration’s publicly stated aims, and some advocates say may explain a marked increase in immigration arrests. [ProPublica]

Democrats in the Kentucky state Senate are asking former governor and current state Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, to resign in the wake of a news story that Carroll allegedly groped and propositioned a man in 2005. [Ronnie Ellis]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… [NY Times]

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System office and its five colleges from the Shaping Our Appalachian Region will take part in the 2017 SOAR Summit on Aug. 4. [Ashland Independent]

Patricia Canon drives poor rural Kentucky women to distant abortion clinics each week, part of a national army of volunteers who are growing bolder even as abortion foes ratchet up opposition to the activists they have branded as “accomplices to murder.” [Reuters]

Morehead State University Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has received a Senior Corps RSVP grant of $103,767 from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to support volunteers serving in Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence counties. [The Morehead News]

Six months after seizing complete control of the federal government, the Republican Party stands divided as ever — plunged into a messy war among its factions that has escalated in recent weeks to crisis levels. [WaPo]

It was surprisingly quiet outside of the EMW Women’s Surgical Center in downtown Louisville Saturday. [WFPL]

Here’s your pee alert of the week. Trump has floated the possibility of replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. [The Hill]

The Senate Democrats attacked me and attempted to retaliate when I told him in 2014 about the Julian Carroll scandal. Now that the shit has hit the fan, though, they’re keen on ousting the old codger. The Senate Democratic Caucus voted to remove former governor and current state Sen. Julian Carroll as minority whip on Sunday and called on him to resign following a TV report that Carroll propositioned and allegedly groped a then-30-year-old man in 2005. [H-L]

New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci and President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow attempted some damage control Sunday following the president’s claim about his power to pardon, saying the issue is not under discussion. [HuffPo]

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Told You So About Julian Carroll

Tweeted this 11 months ago:

Art school. Art school. Art school. That ring a bell, Julian? You hypocrite who has sex with men.

That was shortly after Julian Carroll pulled a homophobic, transphobic stunt. It sent Kentucky Democrats into a retaliatory tailspin.

Wait. Before we continue, let’s set the stage with some photos of Julian Carroll posing with various pals of his:


Jamie Comer & Julian Carroll


Damon Thayer & Julian Carroll


Adam Edelen, Jack Conway, Julian Carroll & Crew


Govs. Patton, Fletcher, Collins, Carroll


Jean Marie!, Her Daddy & Their Dear Friend Julian

Now…

Here you go:

More than 10 years ago budding photographer Jason Geis wanted to go to art school. He says a high-profile Kentucky lawmaker took an interest in his work and promised to help him.

Instead of help, Geis said he was groped and propositioned for sex. And that’s not all. When he turned to police for help, he says the whole thing was swept under the rug.

Relying on previously undisclosed police files, a hidden recording and interviews with Geis and the lawmaker, Pure Politics offers the following eleven month investigation into the allegations and why they were kept quiet for so long.

You’re gonna want to set aside 30 minutes to go watch it all. Trigger warnings and all that. You may throw up. Consider yourself warned.

Maybe next time the Democrats will listen?

Here’s what the Kentucky Democratic Party’s spokesman Brad Bowman had to say in a prepared statement:

“We are terribly concerned by the events described in the Pure Politics piece concerning Sen. Carroll,” Bowman said. “While we acknowledge and greatly appreciate Sen. Carroll’s life-long career of public service, we cannot overlook the severity of these allegations and take them seriously.”

Pay attention when people like me tell you something is happening in Kentucky. I’ve been dropping scandals for a decade and each time people act surprised. But there’s always been a heads-up, a hint, some prep work. Always give you time to get your Aqua Net out for a touch-up or two.

Support investigative journalists and deep background researchers. They make stories like this happen. They bring to light what the public needs to see about the powerful and the corrupt. They risk everything to make it happen.

Oh, and Julian? Stop pushing anti-gay legislation while you’re trying to have sex with men. And no, it’s not an allegation. You were caught on tape. You did it. Stop it. Also, maybe resign already and go away? This is just scratching the surface. I can’t wait to talk about the rest.

Jim Ramsey’s Out But Still Sinking UofL

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Williamstown officials are expecting a lawsuit from the Biblical amusement park Ark Encounter over a new safety tax created to raise money for emergency services, the Grant County News reported. The Williamstown City Council went into executive session Monday to discuss pending litigation, the newspaper said. Answers in Genesis, the parent company that owns Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum, had requested an exemption from the tax. But on June 29, Williamstown city attorney Jeff Shipp wrote a letter to AIG rejecting the request, asserting that Ark Encounter is a for-profit entity. [Linda Blackford]

The U.S. Senate will delay its consideration of healthcare legislation while Arizona Republican Senator John McCain recuperates from surgery, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Saturday. [HuffPo]

Federal authorities charged more than 400 people in what Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the largest health care fraud takedown operation in U.S. history. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans are the reason there are no consequences for the Russian attack on the United States. People like Brett Guthrie and Andy Barr. [The Hill]

Flatwoods councilman Kent “Pick” Picklesimer, a longtime public servant who helped coordinate the Summer Motion festival for several years, died on July 7 after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer. He was 76. [Ashland Independent]

Months after an online video of a United Airlines passenger being dragged from a plane went viral and sparked global outrage, Chicago aviation officials on Wednesday said future airport disturbances will be handled by city police, not aviation security officers. The forced removal of a passenger on April 9 to make room for airline employees trying to fly to Louisville was “completely unacceptable,” Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans said in a 12-page report. [Reuters]

A Richmond man who was facing illegal gambling charges in San Diego, Calif., was sentenced Monday to three years’ probation and a fine of $7,000. [Richmond Register]

Some Medicare beneficiaries are being prescribed opioids by 10 or more doctors, or are filling prescriptions for more than 1,000 pills a month. Hundreds of doctors appear to be prescribing indiscriminately, says the inspector general of Health and Human Services. [ProPublica]

The tow-truck operator who sued the Barren County sheriff is asking the Kentucky Court of Appeals to reverse the dismissal of that lawsuit. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, delivered an upbeat message on the state of the American economy to Congress on Wednesday, highlighting the strength of job growth and indicating that the Fed remained on course to begin reducing its bond holdings in the fall. Ms. Yellen added, however, that the Fed was paying close attention to the recent weakness of inflation. While emphasizing that she expected prices to start rising more quickly, she said persistent weakness could lead the Fed to raise interest rates more slowly. [NY Times]

The University of Louisville’s accrediting body now says U of L may have violated two more accreditation standards, bringing the total possible violations to nine. [WFPL]

Of course Republicans are working furiously to further harm the economy and education in the United States. [WaPo]

Louisville’s Metro Council is basically ignoring Spectrum’s nightmare service but Lexington is taking action. [H-L]

Late Wednesday night, Republicans on the House Rules Committee quietly OK’d an amendment to the 2018 national defense authorization bill that would deny medically necessary health care to transgender people in the military. [HuffPo]

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Bigots In Frankfort Are Harming Kentucky’s Economy But Wealthy Liberals Aren’t Much Better

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A bit player in the bribery scandal involving former Kentucky Personnnel Cabinet Secretary Tim Longmeyer was sentenced Friday to two years in prison. Myron Harrod must report to prison by 2 p.m. Sept. 13 under the order from U.S. District Judge Karen K. Caldwell. [H-L]

Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he thought his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump had been satisfied with his assertions that Russia had not meddled in the U.S. presidential election. Speaking at the end of a G20 summit in Germany where the two leaders met face-to-face for the first time, Putin said he believed he had been able to establish a personal relationship with Trump, and that the initial groundwork had been laid for an improvement in U.S.-Russian ties. [HuffPo]

In a move the state says would save money but cut another 9,000 people from Medicaid, Gov. Matt Snowflake Bevin’s administration is seeking permission from the federal government for more changes to the state-federal health plan that serves 1.4 million Kentuckians. [C-J/AKN]

Weeks after the Food and Drug Administration said opioid painkiller Opana ER should be removed from the market amid concerns about the potential for abuse, Endo Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pull the drug, which has been linked to serious outbreaks of HIV and hepatitis C. [Consumerist]

A catchy new brand and logo for Kentucky’s Adult Education Department represents more than a cosmetic name change, according to state officials and local educators. [Ashland Independent]

A senior Senate Republican on Sunday said President Trump’s plan to work with Russia on cybersecurity is “pretty close” to the “dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” [The Hill]

The Madison County Detention Center housed its highest number of inmates ever Monday. The 184-bed facility held 409 inmates, according to Jailer Doug Thomas. That number did not include about 20 other inmates being housed in a separate county, Thomas said. [Richmond Register]

A U.S. appeals court on Friday rejected Hawaii’s request to issue an emergency order blocking parts of Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban while the state sought clarification over what groups of people would be barred from travel. [Reuters]

Protesters stood at one entrance of Barren River Plaza shopping center off L. Rogers Wells Boulevard on Thursday, holding signs and shouting “health care not wealth care” as they waited for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Garbage, to arrive. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Two weeks after Donald J. Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination last year, his eldest son arranged a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan with a Russian lawyer who has connections to the Kremlin, according to confidential government records described to The New York Times. [NY Times]

Louisville IS Kentucky and suggesting otherwise shows extreme ignorance on the part of Brandon Coan. Ditching that superiority complex that wealthy liberals like Coan in Louisville love to exude will be necessary if they ever want to stop being hated by the rest of the Commonwealth. And until they stop hanging around exclusively with other wealthy progressives? Nothing will change. Ever. They’ll never be able to beat people like idiot Matt Bevin or butthurt Jeff Hoover. Note: Coan, you may recall, is the guy from Greg Fischer’s 2010 race who spent every waking moment attacking anyone and everyone questioning Fischer. He’s now on the Louisville Metro Council thanks to sizable family fortune. Yes, money won that race. [WFPL]

Trump vowed Sunday to “move forward in working constructively with Russia,” including forming a “cyber security unit” between the two countries, after Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any involvement in Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election. [WaPo]

A new state law aimed at limiting medical practice lawsuits in Kentucky is unconstitutional, a Kentucky woman claims in a lawsuit filed last week. [H-L]

Hackers have been targeting companies that operate nuclear power stations around America, prompting the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to issue an urgent warning about the severity of the threat. [HuffPo]

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