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Newscast II


In New York, I’m Hannah Long-Higgins.

This afternoon, hospitals and institutions in dozens of countries across continents experienced a simultaneous cyber attack when computer systems with patient records were shut down. Hospitals had to turn away patients in emergency rooms. Other public health institutions, and even ambulances were affected. The attack made use of a method in leaked NSA documents. Hackers encrypted data, locking out rightful users until a ransom was paid.  

After his firing of former FBI director James Comey earlier this week, President Trump has taken to Twitter, warning Comey to stay quiet about a conversation in January during which President Trump asked Comey for his loyalty.

Today, Sean Spicer refused to answer questions from reporters on whether or not that conversation with Comey was, in fact, recorded.

SPICER: Did president Trump record his conversations with former FBI director Comey?

Spicer: I assume you’re referring to his tweet. And I talked to the president and the president has nothing further to add on that.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today that he has ordered federal prosecutors to seek maximum punishment for drug offenses in what is a clear break from Obama-era policies.

HOLDER: I trust our prosecutors in the field to make good judgments. They deserved to be un-handcuffed and not micro-managed from Washington. Rather, they must be permitted to apply the law to the facts of each investigation.

Former attorney general Eric Holder says the new policy will only generate unfairly long sentences and do little to lead to increased public safety.  

The U.S. and China reached a trade deal today that will lift a Chinese ban on U.S. beef imports and accept U.S. shipments of liquefied natural gas. The deal also permits Chinese banks and cooked chicken to enter the U.S. market.

The World Health Organization declared a new Ebola Outbreak today in northern Democratic Republic of Congo. At least three have died in recent weeks from the outbreak, which is not linked to previous Ebola flare-ups in the country.

Next week, President Trump will make his first foreign trip to the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Israel. He will be addressing religious persecution in the region.

Hannah Long-Higgins, Columbia Radio News.

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