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sanctions security

Iran sanctions: nearly all UN security council unites against ‘unpleasant’ US – The Guardian

The extent of US isolation at the UNhas been driven home by formal letters from 13 of the 15 security council members opposing Trump administration attempts to extend the economic embargo on Iran.
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Guard security

The security guard blurted ‘I love you’ to Joe Biden in an elevator. One viral video later, she nominated him for president. – The Washington Post

WILMINGTON, Del. — She was last seen blurting “I love you” to Joe Biden as she escorted him in an elevator to an editorial board meeting at the New York Times last December, part of an exchange that went viral as the Biden campaign cast her adulation as a bigger deal than the news organization’s endorsement, which he lost.

On Tuesday night, Jacquelyn Brittany, a 31-year-old African American security guard, did something else for Biden: she became the first person to put his name into nomination for president. Her role was first disclosed by The Washington Post.

Jacquelyn epitomized for the Biden campaign the dynamics of the primaries: The hopes of Biden, who was spurned by others, rested on Black women and working-class voters, who would eventually resurrect his campaign.

On Tuesday, she praised Biden as “my friend.”

“I take powerful people up my elevator all the time,” said Jacquelyn, who requested that The Post identify her by her first and middle name, Brittany. “In the short time I spent with Joe Biden, I could tell he really saw me.”

“I knew, even when he went into his important meeting, he’d take my story with him,” she said.

As others have on the first two nights of the convention, she contrasted her view of Biden with Trump.

“Joe Biden has room in his heart for more than just himself,” she said.

In an interview with The Post before her nomination remarks, Jacquelyn said she has followed Biden since he became Barack Obama’s running mate. “I just like Joe. I’ve always liked him,” she said.

She said she finds inspiration in his life story and the tragedies he has endured — the deaths of his first wife and daughter in a December 1972 car accident and of his son to brain cancer in May 2015.

“He’s been through so much. And he doesn’t show it on the outside. He may feel it on the inside — and I’m that type of person,” she said, adding that her outward cheer masks a difficult life, including stints in foster care as a child.

Jacquelyn said she had not realized that she was going to be filmed for the episode of the Times’ cable show, The Weekly, which included Biden’s visit to the news organization. But in December, before Biden arrived for his interview, she chatted with an aide and revealed that she was thrilled to be escorting him upstairs.

“Once he came in, he was just genuinely, genuinely nice to people. We don’t get that from everybody,” Jacquelyn said.

For most of the elevator ride, Jacquelyn was silent — she does not speak to guests she is escorting unless they first speak to her — but her mind was racing. “I kept thinking to myself, this was a person I want to lead the country,” she said, adding that she was thinking it could be her only chance to talk with him.

The aide prompted her, suggesting that she say something to the former vice president. Jacquelyn turned to look at Biden, and he smiled at her and said “Hi,” she recalled.

“That was my time,” she remembered thinking.

“I love you,” she told him. “I do. You’re like my favorite.” (She told The Post she regretted saying “like” in that sentence.)

Biden thanked her and asked if she had a camera, and the two posed for a selfie that he took with her phone. As Biden took the photo, she said, she suddenly realized that the exchange had been caught on video.

Two of Biden’s primary foes got the Times endorsement — Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). But when asked about that snub, Biden seized on his moment with Jacquelyn: “I got something better. I got to meet Jacquelyn,” he said in Waukee, Iowa.

Jacquelyn said she has bristled at online commentary suggesting that she was merely star-struck by Biden in the moment. A week earlier, she said, she had escorted Oprah Winfrey into the building and had not made a big show of that.

She said that she has never escorted President Trump and does not want to.

“I keep telling them, ‘If he comes, I’m taking off that day.’ ”

She joined Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) to enter Biden’s name into nomination ahead of Tuesday night’s roll call vote.

Jacquelyn has watched other Democratic conventions, and she said the idea of nominating Biden was “overwhelming.”

“I never thought I would be in a position to do this,” she said. “I never thought I was worthy enough to do this.”

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council security

UN Security Council rejects US resolution to extend Iran arms embargo – Fox News

The U.N. Security Council on Friday rejected a U.S. resolution to extend a thirteen-years-old arms embargo on Iran due to expire in October — a move that will likely result in the Trump administration attempting to extend the embargo unilaterally.

The short resolution, which would have extended the embargo “until the Security Council decides otherwise,” mustered only two votes in the chamber — the U.S. and the Dominican Republic. It needed nine to pass, and even if it had gained that many, would likely have been shot down by a veto from China and Russia.

US INTRODUCES UPDATED DRAFT SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION TO EXTEND IRAN ARMS EMBARGO 

Russia and China voted no, but did not need to deploy a veto, while the remaining members of the Council abstained.

The embargo is due to expire on Oct. 18 as part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). The U.S. has been engaged in a significant diplomatic effort to get allies to embargo extended, warning that it would give Iran access to weapons that it could use to destabilize the region and sell to countries like Yemen, Venezuela and Syria.

U.S. officials have warned that the expiration of the embargo would allow Iran to buy fighter jets, attack choppers, tanks, submarines and missiles with a range of up to 300 km.

In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the Council “failed today to uphold its fundamental mission set.”

“It rejected a reasonable resolution to extend the 13-year old arms embargo on Iran and paved the way for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell conventional weapons without specific U.N. restrictions in place for the first time in over a decade,” he said. “The Security Council’s failure to act decisively in defense of international peace and security is inexcusable.”

U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft said the U.S. was “sickened – but not surprised – as the clear majority of Council members gave the green light to Iran to buy and sell all manner of conventional weapons.”

“Failing to step up to this moral challenge validates the world’s number one state sponsor of terror, just to save face and protect a failed political deal made outside the Council,” she said, saying the resolution’s failure “outlines perfectly this Council’s current condition of paralysis and inaction in the face of growing threats.”

Pompeo said that a number of Arab nations as well as Israel supported extending the embargo. But a number of diplomats were concerned that if it extended the arms embargo, Iran would leave the already-fragile deal, from which the U.S. announced its withdrawal in 2018.

Acting UK Ambassador Jonathan Allen said in a statement that while the U.K. had set out its concerns of Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the region, the UK abstained, “because it was clear that it would not attract the support of the Council and would not represent a basis for achieving consensus” and would therefore not contribute to regional stability.

“Nevertheless, we stand ready to work with Council Members and JCPoA participants to seek a path forward that could secure the support of the Council,” he said.

In a long statement to the Council, Iranian Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi accused the U.S. of creating a “manufactured crisis about Iran’s nuclear program,” and that it was now  “manufacturing a new crisis under the so-called label of “arms proliferation.”

Iranian dissidents were dismayed at the possibility of the embargo’s expiration, with Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), describing an embargo as as “indispensable to regional and global peace and security.”

“The regime’s unimpeded purchase and sale of weapons will have no result other than terrorism, warmongering, and export of fundamentalism,” she said.

Israel’s newly-installed Ambassador Gilad Erdan hard harsh words for the the Council, calling the rejection of the resolution “a disgrace.”

“The Council has utterly failed in its responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. This decision will further destabilize the Middle East, and increase the spread of violence around the world,” he said.

The U.S. has said in no uncertain terms that it intends to use other means to extend the arms embargo, and could do so as early as next week. U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft had said that the U.S. will “use every tool in our toolbox.”

BRIAN HOOK, US SPECIAL ENVOY FOR IRAN, TO STEP DOWN; ELLIOTT ABRAMS TO TAKE POST

Specifically, U.N. Resolution 2231, which enshrined the deal, includes a snapback mechanism that allows an individual nation to reimpose expiring sanctions on Iran — including the arms embargo. Although the U.S. left the Iran deal, it claims to still retain rights under 2231 and is likely to seek to use that power.

Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow and Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told Fox News that while Iran was the “big winner,” so too were Russia and China.

“From both a mercantilist and strategic perspective, selectively empowering Iran means more headaches for America in the Middle East, which translates to less time and resources spent on great power competition,” he said.

However, he warned that the diplomatic setback for the U.S. was likely only to be temporary: “Today’s vote means that Washington will almost certainly have to press ahead for a full ‘snapback’ of sanctions. A piecemeal approach does not work.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier Friday called for a meeting of leaders of the five permanent Security Council members, along with Germany and Iran, in what the Kremlin called an effort to avoid escalation.

”If the leaders are fundamentally ready for a conversation, we propose to promptly coordinate the agenda,” Putin said. “The alternative is to further build up tension, to increase the risk of conflict. This development must be avoided.”

French President Emmanuel Macron’s office confirmed France’s “availability in principle” to Putin’s proposal.

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Craft said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday that the United States was “keeping the space open” for talks with Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russia and China.

However, she warned that “we will not take no for an answer.”

Fox News’ Rich Edson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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security Windows

Windows 10 Security PSA: Enable Automatic Store Updates – How-To Geek

The Microsoft Store app splash screen on Windows 1src.

Microsoft sometimes distributes important security updates through the Microsoft Store. That’s the lesson we’re learning in July 2020, when Microsoft sent an important update for Windows 10’s HEVC codecs not via Windows Update but via the Store.

Yes, Security Updates Can Come from the Store

This isn’t a huge surprise, as the codecs are installed via the Store in the first place—either by you or by your PC manufacturer. However, if you’ve disabled automatic app updates from the Microsoft Store, your Windows 10 PC will have the old, vulnerable codecs installed until you open the Store and install the update manually.

It’s easy to see how many Windows 10 PCs may never install this important security update.

How to Enable Automatic Store Updates on Windows 10

To prevent this sort of problem in the future, we recommend enabling automatic app updates from the Store. To do so, open the Microsoft Store app from your Start menu or taskbar. You can press the Windows key to open the Start menu, type “Store” to search for it, and press “Enter” to launch it.

Launching the Microsoft Store app on Windows 1src.

In the Store, click the menu button at the top-right corner of the window. It looks like a “…”. Select “Settings.”

Opening the Microsoft Store's settings screen on Windows 1src.

Ensure the “Update apps automatically” option at the top of the window is set to “On.” You’re done. You can now close the Store.

Enabling automatic app updates on Windows 1src.

How to Limit the Automatic Updates

Want to stop Windows 10 from downloading unnecessary app updates in the background? Consider uninstalling apps you don’t use.

You can right-click many of Windows 10’s included apps in the Start menu and select “Uninstall” to remove them. If you don’t use Microsoft’s Mail app, feel free to remove it.

Uninstalling Windows 1src's Mail app from the Start menu.

Windows won’t download updates for apps you don’t have installed. If you want to use the app in the future, you can re-install it from the Store.


If you don’t want to worry about updates for these codecs, you could also uninstall them and just use a third-party video player like VLC instead. You’d just have to update VLC or whatever video player you choose.

However, we don’t really know which apps included with Windows 10 will get security updates via the Store in the future.

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Pro-democracy security

Hong Kong security law: Pro-democracy books pulled from libraries – BBC News

Protesters demonstrate against the national security law in Hong Kong (src1/src7/2src)

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

There have been protests against the new law in Hong Kong, despite fears of stiff punishments

Books by pro-democracy figures have been removed from public libraries in Hong Kong in the wake of a controversial new security law.

The works will be reviewed to see if they violate the new law, the authority which runs the libraries said.

The legislation targets secession, subversion and terrorism with punishments of up to life in prison.

Opponents say it erodes the territory’s freedoms as a semi-autonomous region of China. Beijing rejects this.

Hong Kong’s sovereignty was handed back to China by Britain in 1997 and certain rights were supposed to be guaranteed for at least 50 years under the “one country, two systems” agreement.

Since the security law came into effect on Tuesday, several leading pro-democracy activists have stepped down from their roles. One of them – one-time student leader and local legislator Nathan Law – has fled the territory.

At least nine books have become unavailable or marked as “under review”, according to the South China Morning Post newspaper. They include books authored or co-authored by Joshua Wong, a prominent pro-democracy activist, and pro-democracy politician Tanya Chan.

On Saturday, Mr Wong tweeted that the new law “imposes a mainland-style censorship regime” on Hong Kong, calling it “one step away from … actual book banning”.

Beijing has dismissed criticism of the law, saying it is necessary to stop the type of mass pro-democracy protests seen in Hong Kong during much of 2019, which at times exploded into very violent clashes between protesters and police.

It has rejected complaints by the UK and other Western nations that it is in breach of guarantees it made to protect Hong Kong’s unique freedoms as interference in its internal affairs.

Fear and uncertainty everywhere

By Danny Vincent, BBC News, Hong Kong

Hong Kong was promised certain political freedoms for 50 years after the handover. It was guaranteed rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and an independent judicial system.

To many Hong Kong residents, the national security law represents a premature end to those freedoms.

Supporters say the law will help to restore order after a year of protest. But critics say it is being used to criminalise opposition to Beijing.

The removal of political books from public libraries would have been unimaginable just a week ago. In today’s Hong Kong, business owners remove messages of support for the protest movement from their premises, fearful that they could be interpreted as attempts at inciting subversion.

So far, 10 people have been arrested for allegedly violating the new law. But fear and uncertainty are widespread. Protesters now call for demonstrators to hold up blank placards at marches. They fear that their words could lead to life imprisonment.

What is the security law?

The law is wide-ranging, and gives Beijing powers to shape life in Hong Kong that it has never had before. The law makes inciting hatred of China’s central government and Hong Kong’s regional government offences.

It also allows for closed-door trials, wire-tapping of suspects and the potential for suspects to be tried on the Chinese mainland.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionMany residents worry the new law means the end of the “one country, two systems” principle

Acts including damaging public transport facilities – which often happened during the 2019 protests – can be considered terrorism.

There are also concerns over online freedom as internet providers might have to hand over data if requested by police.

Hong Kong’s new security law

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Features security

All the security features added in the Windows 10 May 2020 update – ZDNet

A man works on a laptop computer near a Windows 1src display at Microsoft Build in San Francisco

The Windows 10 May 2020 update, also known as Windows 10 2004, has started rolling out to users today.

This new Windows 10 version comes with many new features, detailed in a previous ZDNet article, here, including the likes of a revamped Network Status page, the addition of GPU card temperatures to the Task Manager, and a new Cortana experience.

However, the Windows 10 2004 version also comes with improvements on the security front, which Microsoft claims will help keep Windows 10 users safe going forward.

Below is a list of all the new features, which we plan to update as we uncover new features in the coming days.

Windows Sandbox improvements

Last year, Microsoft introduced the Windows Sandbox on all Windows versions with the release of v1903. The Windows Sandbox component allows users to launch a virtual machine running a stripped down version of Windows 10. Since its launch, the Windows Sandbox has grown in popularity among the company’s userbase as it allows users to execute dangerous apps in an isolated environment, without damaging their primary Windows 10 installation.

While the Windows Sandbox component is not on par with other sandboxing software, work on it has not stopped once it shipped with a Windows 10 release. Today, Microsoft rolled out a series of new features, which will make the app easier to automate in enterprise testing environments.

  • Support for configuration files so you can configure some aspects of the sandbox, such a vGPU, networking, and shared folders.
  • Microphone support.
  • The ability to configure audio input from the configuration file.
  • Activate the Ease of Access dialog with Shift+Alt+[print screen].
  • Enter and exit full screen mode with CTRL+Alt+[break].

Support for WiFi 6 and WPA3

Windows 10 v2004 now supports the latest versions of the WiFi wireless communications standard and WPA, the protocol used to authenticate WiFi connections.

Both protocols include protections against a series of attacks, such as DragonBlood, KRACK, and more, allowing Windows 10 users to connect to WiFi networks in a safer manner.

System Guard improvements

Microsoft says it also upgraded System Guard Secure Launch, a feature that checks if the device firmware has loaded in a secure manner, without being tampered.

In Windows 10, version 2004, Microsoft says the System Guard Secure Launch now measures more parameters than before. However, this feature will require modern hardware and may not work on all devices.

New security baselines

We also have new security baselines (drafts for now) for Windows 10 and Windows Server installations.

Security baselines are basic OS configurations that system administrators can deploy across their computer fleets and ensure that basic security features are enabled.

Windows Hello expanded

Windows Hello is a feature that lets users log into their Windows computer using biometrics (fingerprint scan, face scan) or passwordless methods (PIN code).

In Windows 10 v2004, once enabled, Windows Hello login options will also show up for computers booted up Safe Mode.

Furthermore, Windows Hello passwordless authentication methods can also be used as an alternative to passwords when users are logging into their Microsoft accounts.

More FIDO2 support

Windows 10 supports FIDO2 security keys as a form of passwordless authentication.

Starting with Windows 10 v2004, Microsoft says that FIDO2 security key support “has been expanded to include hybrid Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)-joined devices, enabling even more customers to take an important step in their journey towards passwordless environments.”

Secured-core updates

Microsoft says that devices that run on AMD’s new Ryzen Pro 4000 chipsets are now compatible with its new Secured-core technology. Secured-core is a feature of Windows 10 PCs that includes additional protections against attacks that tamper with a device’s hardware components, firmware, or CPU’s internal components.

New OS “cloud recovery option”

Windows 10 now has a cloud recovery option in the “Reset this PC” section.

Until today, the “Reset this PC” option only had one option — namely to do a local reinstall where it would build a new Windows installation from existing Windows files. Starting with Windows 10 2004, users can select the cloud recovery option, which will instruct Windows to download the files needed for a reinstall from Microsoft’s servers.

This option is recommended for users on fast internet connections only.

win1src-cloud-recovery.png

Image: Microsoft







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