Good morning. We are covering US allegations that China hacked Microsoft, ‘Freedom Day’ in the UK and system failures that led to a train crash in Taiwan.
US accuses China of hacking Microsoft
The formal allegation follows a March cyberattack that targeted Microsoft’s email system used by many of the world’s largest companies, governments and military contractors. For the first time, the US also accused China of paying criminal groups to conduct large-scale hacks, including ransomware attacks.
A large group of allies, including all NATO members, joined the condemnation of the Biden administration. Most EU countries are reluctant to openly criticize China, a major trading partner.
Despite the US position, the announcement lacks sanctions similar to those imposed by the White House against Russia in April, when it blamed the country for the widespread SolarWinds attack. affects US government agencies and more than 100 companies.
Background: The US began to name and shame China for an online espionage attack nearly a decade ago, much of which carried out the use of low-level phishing emails against US companies. for intellectual property theft. Recent attacks show that China has now turned into a much more sophisticated and mature digital adversary.
More business stress: US Democratic senators announce plans to tax iron, steel and other imports from countries without ambitious climate laws, like China.
In other Chinese news:
Chip giant Tsinghua Unigroup is facing bankruptcy, a setback in China’s semiconductor self-reliance.
Our columnist writes that Beijing is using antitrust guise to align powerful tech companies with its priorities.
‘Freedom Day’ in the UK
The country eased nearly all restrictions on Monday, when nightclubs opened and people hugged and kissed on crowded dance floors. After 16 months of one of the longest, strictest lockdowns in the world, Britons can have any form of social gathering.
But “Freedom Day”, the long-desired and long-delayed milestone that has been labeled in the British media, has gone awry.
The country is reporting nearly 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day, the country’s January near peak. But with more than half of the population fully immunized – and even higher rates among the older and more vulnerable – hospitalizations and deaths are just a fraction of previous waves. there.
However, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced into quarantine, after a National Health Service app announced that they had a close contact who tested positive. Even Prime Minister Boris Johnson is monitoring the festivities in isolation: He received a “pinged” after the health minister tested positive.
Data: More than 500,000 people pinged in the first week of July. The “pandemic” has caused staff shortages in the workplace, and most employers are returning to the office voluntarily. On Monday morning, commuting on the London Underground had reached 38% of normal demand.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
Behind the train accident in Taiwan
One morning in April, Taroko Express No. 408 collided with a truck going down a hill, which was being erected to prevent debris from falling onto the tracks. 49 people were killed and more than 200 injured.
At first, it seemed like a freak accident. The truck got stuck while making a sharp turn on a sandy road. A contractor used a cloth strap and an excavator to try to free it, but it fell when the strap broke. Prosecutors charged the contractor, Lee Yi-hsiang, and others with negligent homicide.
But a Times investigation found that system failures at the government agency that runs the train system, the Taiwan Railways Administration, contributed to the disaster.
Contractors like Lee have been mismanaged, maintenance issues have become complicated, and officials have ignored or ignored safety warnings for years – creating conditions that contributed to the accident. accident. Earlier this year, a worker warned the agency about the risk of heavy equipment having to maneuver that same turn.
Data: Since 2012, the agency’s trains have experienced 316 major incidents, including collisions and derailments, as assessed by The Times. The accidents killed 437 people.
ARTS AND IDEAS
What’s in the nameplate?
Shortly after the 2020 presidential election, five women teamed up to assign Vice President-elect Kamala Harris a name sign – the equivalent of a person’s name in American Sign Language.
The women – Ebony Gooden, Kavita Pipalia, Smita Kothari, Candace Jones and Arlene Ngalle-Paryani – were members of the “capital Deaf community”, a term some deaf people use to describe what they see. deafness as a cultural identity and communicate primarily through ASL.
Through social media, people submitted suggestions and put items in the vote. The result: A notation inspired by the symbol “lotus” – a translation of “Kamala” in Sanskrit – and the number three, highlighting Harris’ trio as the Black vice president of India and the first female.
“The name signs given to political leaders are often created by white men, but for this sign we wanted to represent not only women, but also women,” says Kothari. diversity – Black women, Indian women. Read more about it and watch videos about the signs. – Sanam Yar, a Morning writer
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook?
Ken Hom’s Szechuan Spicy Noodles are easy to put together on a weeknight, but are packed with complex flavors and textures.