Hackers ripped off personnel data and Social Security numbers for every federal worker, a government worker union said Thursday, according to a report by the Associated Press..
The report indicates the cyber theft of U.S. employee information was more damaging than the Obama administration has let on.
J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said in a letter to OPM director Katherine Archuleta that based on OPM's internal briefings, "We believe that the Central Personnel Data File was the targeted database, and that the hackers are now in possession of all personnel data for every federal employee, every federal retiree, and up to one million former federal employees."
Congress sent strong messages through two votes Thursday that it plans to give troops a higher pay raise in the coming year, even as lawmakers debate just how much, according to the Stars and Stripes.
The full House approved a 2.3-percent raise as part of its annual defense spending bill. Meanwhile, a Senate committee approved a 1.3-percent increase in its version of the legislation, which still faces debate on the chamber floor.
Personnel costs have become a battleground as Congress, the Pentagon and White House look for ways to reduce defense spending and federal debt. Troops have seen their raises capped at 1 percent over the past two years.
The House 2.3 percent raise, passed 278-149 in its massive defense appropriations bill, is above the White House’s proposal earlier this year for a increase to 1.3 percent.
The Senate Appropriations Committee added $322 million in commissary funding back into its fiscal 2016 defense budget plan Thursday, with the panel's top Democrat describing the initial lowball funding total as a White House "cheap shot" at military families, according to a story in Military Times.
The decision puts both House and Senate appropriators on record as backing $1.4 billion in funding for commissary operations next year, a total that would avoid forced store closings, reduced operating hours and potential layoffs of staff.
The House draft of the annual defense authorization bill also rejects the commissary cuts, but the Senate Armed Services Committee supported the lower funding level in its draft of the budget policy bill.
The spread of portable anti-aircraft missiles in the Middle East and North Africa could pose a threat to aviation security if the weapons fall into the hands of Islamic extremists, a report said on Wednesday, according to Defense News
The easy-to-use, lightweight weapons, or man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), are spreading across the region due to looted stockpiles in Libya, arms trafficking and weapons sales to Iraq and other states, said the report from the Small Arms Survey, a research center based in Geneva.
"The risks associated with international trafficking of advanced MANPADS are heightened by the rise of IS (Islamic State group) in the Middle East and North Africa," the report said. "Shooting down a commercial airliner would be consistent with the group's use of increasingly brutal acts to heighten its international profile."
One hundred years ago this week, after initial optimism that World War I would end quickly, it began to dawn on Europe’s leaders they were in for a long, bloody slog. Exhibit A: the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, which took place on the Gallipoli peninsula in modern Turkey and stretched on for nine months.
The British and French had hoped an amphibious invasion of the peninsula in April 1915 would allow them to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and open up a sea lane on the strait between the Black and Aegean seas for their ally Russia.
But two months after the invasion, however, the Allied invaders had made little progress. Lord Kitchener, the British secretary of state for war, in June 1915 decided to break the stalemate by committing 50,000 fresh troops to reinforce the 80,000 already in place.
What ensued were a series of inconclusive battles characterized by strategic blunders and poor leadership at the highest levels. An Allied offensive at Suvla Bay in August failed to make headway, resulting in losses of 45,000 men in 10 days, while the Ottoman defenders lost nearly 40,000.
The stalemate continued for another five months, as thousands more soldiers died from scorching heat and disease. Finally, by October, the British decided to cut their losses and ordered an evacuation that concluded in January 1916. More than 500,000 Allied soldiers took part in the Gallipoli campaign, but it all proved a huge waste. Allied forces had suffered over 250,000 casualties, a disproportionate number of whom were Australian and New Zealand recruits. Turkish casualties were between 250,000 and 350,000.
Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2533.