Deadly California Mudslides, FBI Decries Encryption, Campus Security Lawsuit, MH370 Airliner Search

Deadly California Mudslides, FBI Decries Encryption, Campus Security Lawsuit, and more
  • ​Heavy rains unleashed destructive rivers of mud and debris in Southern California on Tuesday, leaving at least 15 dead, destroying homes and spurring rescues as the flooding forced heavily traveled roads to close, the New York Times reports. Six homes near the coastal community of Montecito were wiped away from their foundations by mudflow and debris, according to local officials. Heavy rain fell in areas charred by recent wildfires, triggering warnings of mudslides because vegetation that otherwise would hold hills together has burned away.

  • FBI Director Christopher A. Wray on Tuesday renewed a call for tech companies to help law enforcement officials gain access to encrypted smartphones, describing it as a major public safety issue. Wray said the FBI was unable to gain access to the content of 7,775 devices in fiscal 2017—more than half of all the smartphones it tried to crack in that time period—despite having a warrant from a judge, the Washington Post reports. "We're not interested in the millions of devices of everyday citizens," he said in New York at Fordham University's International Conference on Cybersecurity. "We're interested in those devices that have been used to plan or execute terrorist or criminal activities."

  • White nationalist Richard Spencer's campus tour organizer is suing the University of Cincinnati's president, saying the school wouldn't rent space for Spencer to speak on campus unless a nearly $11,000 security fee was paid. An attorney for Spencer and tour organizer Cameron Padgett argues that requiring such payment because a speaker is controversial or prompts hostile reaction is discriminatory and unconstitutional, ABC News reports. But the university calls the fee a mere fraction of its anticipated security costs. "We hold firm in our efforts to respect the principles of free speech while maintaining safety on campus," UC spokesman Greg Vehr said.

  • An American search vessel is en route to the Southern Indian Ocean on a new hunt for the missing MH370 airliner under an agreement with the government of Malaysia that will pay up to $70 million if the company can find the wreckage of the plane or its two flight recorders within three months, USA Today reports. Malaysia will pay up to $70 million if the company is able to find the wreckage of the plane and/or both of the flight recorders. The airliner went missing in March of 2014, with 239 people aboard during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. For unknown reasons, it suddenly shifted course along the scheduled route and headed south over the Indian Ocean.