Hurricane Michael Damage, Child Detention Hearing, Chinese Spy Arrested, and More

Hurricane Michael Damage, Child Detention Hearing, Chinese Spy Arrested, and More
  • After Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle yesterday afternoon as a Category 4 storm, more than 500,000 residents are left without power and the destruction is evident. The storm is also responsible for two deaths so far, but authorities fear that number may rise. Further, Michael is expected to move through the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, sparking fears of further flooding and damage. Looters have been arrested, CNN reports, and downed utility lines will make power and communications restoration challenging. 

  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen answered senators’ questions yesterday about the ongoing detention and deportation of children along the U.S.-Mexico border following an inspector general’s report that found children were detained for longer than the 72 hours allowed by statute. Between 23 and 27 percent of children were held for longer than five days, and in one case, a child was held for 25 days, the report found. Nielsen insisted that the government does not keep children in detention centers, and told senators that children have to receive medical screenings and due to the large influx, there is often a wait—but they are not being detained. More than 2,500 children were separated under the new zero-tolerance policy, but 104 still have not been reunited with their parents, and 166 children remain in the U.S. after their parents were deported. 

  • A Chinese spy has been arrested and charged with economic espionage and attempted theft of trade secrets after he targeted several American aviation companies, CNBC reports  The operative, who is a member of the country’s State Security Department, targeted aerospace companies including GE Aviation, which supplies components for Boeing and Airbus planes, as well as military helicopters.  He made contact with aviation ​ company experts and paid for them to them travel to China under the guise of delivering a university presentation. The accused spy was detained in Belgium in April and was extradited to the U.S. earlier this week. "This case is not an isolated incident. It is part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense,” a U.S. official stated. "We cannot tolerate a nation stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower."

  • In other news, a Russian rocket with Russian and American astronauts on board had to make an emergency landing shortly after launch. China has legalized anti-religious extremism training centers, but rights groups say they are targeting minority populations unfairly. An Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is spreading as infected residents fear going to the doctor due to recent terrorist attacks. Taiwan is boosting its national security in the wake of Chinese suppression efforts. China is “exerting unprecedented effort to influence American opinion,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary said. There’s a lot still to be done to bring more women into the supply chain industry, a new report finds. The Trump Administration is waiving almost 30 environmental laws to expedite the building of a border wall in Texas. The debate continues on whether China is using microchips to spy in the United States. Only 38 percent of CEOS are engaged with cybersecurity, a new report notes. A New York man has been charged after authorities found a functional 200-pound bomb in his basement and learned of his plot to set it off in Washington, D.C., on election day.​