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A still image taken from CCTV video and obtained by TRT World claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, highlighted in a red circle by the source, as he arrives at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on 2 October 2018 Image copyright Reuters

The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned days in advance, the Turkish president has said in an address to MPs from his ruling party.

He said Turkey had strong evidence Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated and “savage” murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

He also called for the suspects to be tried in Istanbul.

He demanded Saudi Arabia provide answers about where Khashoggi’s body was, and who ordered the operation.

The Saudi kingdom has provided conflicting accounts of what happened to the Washington Post contributor. After weeks of maintaining he was still alive, the authorities now say he was killed in a rogue operation.

Tuesday’s address by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan coincided with the start of an investment conference in Saudi Arabia that has been overshadowed by the Khashoggi case, with dozens of government and business leaders pulling out.

What did the Turkish president say?

President Erdogan confirmed that 18 people had been arrested in Saudi Arabia over the case. However, he has not released any details of the evidence gathered about the killing.

He made no mention of any audio or video recordings mentioned in media reports in the days following the journalist’s disappearance.

President Erdogan said three teams of 15 Saudi nationals had arrived in Istanbul on separate flights in the days and hours leading up to the murder.

A day before the killing, he said, some members from the group travelled to Belgrad forest, near the consulate – an area which was last week searched by Turkish police looking for the body.

He also described how the team had removed the security cameras and surveillance footage from the consulate building prior to Khashoggi’s arrival – who was visiting to obtain documents for his forthcoming marriage.

“My demand is that 18 people be tried in Istanbul,” he told MPs from his ruling AK party, adding that “all those who played a role in the murder” would be punished.

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Activist investor Barington Capital Group L.P. on Monday turned up the heat on Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands Inc’s board by urging it to hire an independent chair to push management to spin off three smaller restaurant chains.

The New York-based hedge fund said Bloomin’ Brands chief executive, Elizabeth Smith, who also serves as board chair, has held the company back, blaming her for a lagging stock price, lower revenue growth and a lack of strategic focus.

Now Barington is pressuring not only management to make better operational decisions but also the board to bring in someone who can oversee management more effectively.

Barington asked the board “to appoint an independent Chairman to help improve Board oversight of management and the strategic direction of the Company” in a letter seen by Reuters.

Bloomin’ Brands’ lead independent director James Craigie said the board is “actively engaged in overseeing the strategy of the Company,” and supports management and its successful ongoing efforts.

Barington wants Bloomin’ Brands to hire a strategic adviser and to spin off Bonefish Grill, Carrabbas and Flemings into a new company. Outback, a more casual steakhouse chain, should be operated separately, the hedge fund said.

Barington has not called for Smith to be replaced as CEO but pointed to shortcomings in its seven-page long letter.

“Smith has failed to create meaningful long-term value for shareholders during her tenure as a public company CEO,” Barington wrote. It is concerned “that Ms. Smith has not announced measures to improve the Company’s strategic focus,” the fund said, adding “A more focused management team would perform substantially better.”

Barington first raised concerns with Smith in February. The fund said Smith has declined to meet or speak in person. The fund has spoken with the chief financial officer and an investor relations executive and the company said there have been seven discussions with Barington.

It urged the board to add other independent directors and offered to supply names.

Bloomin’ Brands stock has fallen 8.34 percent this year and was trading at $19.85 on Monday. In February, Barington forecast the price could climb to roughly $41 a share if its suggestions were followed.

While a number of activist investors have called for the ouster of a CEO even at the outset of campaigns, Barington prides itself on working collaboratively with target companies and has run only seven proxy contests during its 18-year long life-time.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss

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(Reuters) – For the first time, humans will visit the deepest part of each of the five oceans, plunging to the sea floor using a two-person craft designed to withstand the intense pressures more than 5.5 miles (9 km) below the surface.

The project, known as Five Deeps Expedition, will use a special submersible vehicle that took more than three years to build. It is made of titanium and other special materials that can dive to the bottom of the ocean, said Victor Vescovo, an explorer who will pilot the vehicle after it leaves its supporting boat and descends toward the deepest parts of the ocean.

“I’m very much looking forward to pushing not only the limits of the technology and myself and my crew, but also hopefully push humanity forward a little bit in terms of our understanding of our world and showing what we can do as a species,” said Vescovo, who has climbed the world’s seven highest mountain peaks and trekked to both the North and South Poles.

The maker of the submersible vehicle, Triton Submarines LLC of Vero Beach, Florida, said on the company website that it is the only submersible certified to carry humans on dives of 36,000 feet (11,000 meters). Discovery and Science Channel will capture the entire mission for a project known as “Deep Planet” that will air in 2019.

Reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York; Editing by David Gregorio

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(Reuters) – Speculators’ net bearish bets on U.S. 10-year Treasury note futures fell a tad earlier this week before Federal Reserve’s release of minutes from its policy meeting last month, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.

The Treasuries market had stabilized earlier this week from heavy losses in the previous two weeks due to jitters about rising inflation and a faster pace of interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve.

The Fed’s record of its Sept. 25-26 meeting suggested a few policymakers are open to raising short-term interest rates above a “neutral” level as the economy has been growing faster than their forecast.

The latest minutes sparked a dramatic selloff in the money markets that caused a sharp spike in key short-term rates on Thursday. Bond yields however were buffered by safe-haven demand from losses on Wall Street.

The amount of speculators’ bearish, or short, positions in 10-year Treasury futures exceeded bullish, or long, positions by 615,970 contracts on Oct. 16, according to the CFTC’s latest Commitments of Traders data.

A week earlier, speculators held 622,422 net short positions in 10-year T-note futures.

In addition to the FOMC minutes, big swings in global equity prices and worries about Italy’s budget, Brexit negotiations and strained relations between United States and Saudi Arabia have stoked volatility in the bond market the latter part of this week, analysts said.

On Friday, benchmark 10-year Treasury yield ended up 2 basis points at 3.196 percent, holding below the 7-1/2 year high of 3.261 percent reached last week.

By investor groups, asset managers increased their net longs in 10-year T-notes to 987,547 contracts, while hedge funds raised their net 10-year T-note shorts to 833,471 contracts.

Bond dealers’ 10-year net shorts slipped to 231,145 from prior week’s 232,818, which was the highest level since late August, CFTC data showed.

Among other bond contracts, speculative net shorts in ultra bonds reached a record peak of 244,975 contracts on Tuesday.

On the other hand, speculators pared their T-bond net shorts to 103,937 contracts from previous week’s 138,382, which was the highest since June 2007.

Among interest rate futures, speculators rebuilt their net shorts in Eurodollar to 2.59 million contracts from 2.47 million contracts which were the fewest since late December.

They increased their net shorts in federal funds for first time in four weeks to 30,038 contracts.

Reporting by Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Matthew Lewis

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This post is meant to serve as a warning to other local campaigns, and too note that sites are being targeted.  It seemed like a fluke when 7 accounts were noticed on https://fordelahanty.com with .ru email accounts.  That .ru is reserved for Russian websites.  We removed the accounts and added verbiage to the site that it was only intended for Louisville voters.  Campaign servers already required two factor verification and server administrative resources are limited by IP address. This protected the server but individual sites appear to have been compromised.  Steps had begun yesterday to further secure sites.

Belarus Hacking

Belarus

Louisville Election Site Hacked

The campaign’s election results site at https://louisvilleelection.com apparently was targeted and successfully infiltrated by unauthorized user(s) possibly from Belarus a former soviet republic. The unauthorized accessor added 10 users with full administration privileges and changed the passwords of legitimate users effectively taking control of the site.  The site was likely compromised by a Brute Force Attack on the regular log in screen.  The site is still out of the control of the campaign and will likely be shut down shortly.  No voter data, campaign data was located on the site, it was intended to serve as an election results site which is why it was largely dormant.

Unauthorized Admin Accounts Mixed In To Sites Users

Unauthorized Admin Accounts Mixed In To Sites Users In Campaign Database. The long string of letters are encrypted passwords, they should all be different

Campaign/Voter Data Secure

Seandelahanty.com the campaign’s primary site was not compromised and steps have been taken to further secure it.  Users may notice service interruption during the day as further measures are taken.  The site already utilizes security services provided by Cloudflare preventing DOS attacks.  Cloudflare offers this protection for free to most customers.   The campaign’s other site at seandelahanty.org was also not penetrated and still secure.

This appears NOT to be isolated.  A quick Google search shows scores of election related sites being compromised.  Other campaigns are encouraged to take steps to prevent unauthorized access.

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