To The Point

Welcome to To The Point's Tumblr. Warren Olney's To The Point is following the stories beyond the soundbites. Keep checking back here for curated news and shows.

Producers
Recent Tweets @tothepoint_kcrw

A wave of protest in Hong Kong extended into the working week on Monday as thousands of residents defied a government call to abandon street blockades across the city, students boycotted classes and the city’s influential bar association added to condemnation of a police crackdown on protesters a day earlier.

The continued public resistance underscored the difficulties that the Hong Kong government faces in defusing widespread anger that erupted on Sunday, after the police used tear gas, pepper spray and batons to break up a three-day sit-in by students and other residents demanding democratic elections in the semiautonomous Chinese territory.

On Monday afternoon, the Hong Kong government canceled the city’s annual fireworks show to mark China’s National Day, which falls on Wednesday — an implicit acknowledgment that officials expect the protests to continue for days.

The police crackdown Sunday not only failed to dislodge protesters from a major thoroughfare in the heart of Hong Kong but appeared Monday to have motivated more people to join the student-led protests. A government announcement that the riot police had been withdrawn from the protest centers also seemed to open the door to growing demonstrations. The number of protesters, which had ebbed overnight, swelled again by midday Monday, as office workers in slacks and dress shirts mixed with crowds of students in black T-shirts.

Many of the new arrivals said they were angered by the police’s actions on Sunday, which they called excessive.

“This morning I was happy to see that they stayed and insisted on continuing the protest,” said Cindy Sun, a 30-year-old bank worker who joined protesters in the Admiralty district during her lunch hour.

“What they were doing was not appropriate, especially the tear gas,” she said. “The students were completely peaceful.”

Chloe Wong, 46, a mother of two, said she was inspired to join the protesters in Admiralty by the scenes of tear gas being fired the day before. She said she could find time to participate for only an hour but wanted to show her support.

“The protesters, they are so young,” she said. “They are fighting for our future, for my children’s future.”

Demonstrators were also blocking major streets in the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay and in Mongkok in Kowloon, one of the world’s most densely packed places.

Hong Kong has maintained a reputation as a safe enclave for peaceful demonstration and commerce, and the crackdown here has raised the political cost of Beijing’s unyielding position on electoral change in Hong Kong. Late last month China’s legislature called for limits on voting reforms here and barriers for candidates for the position of chief executive, the city’s top leadership post.

The New York Times, "Hong Kong Residents Defy Officials’ Call to End Protests."

How soon until China murders these protestors?

(via inothernews)

We would like to believe that we’re in charge, but we’re not. ISIS is in the driver’s seat… We don’t know now, sadly, how this is going to play out.
Ret. Gen. Robert Scales on today’s To the Point  
There is a moral imperative to preserve a healthy planet

Valerie Rockefeller Wayne, a great-great-granddaughter of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller Sr. and a trustee of the largest charitable foundation in which the family still plays the leading role. 

Washington Post: Big Oil’s heirs join call for action as climate summit opens 

Scotland votes on independence today. Front pages from the UK and Scotland show different points of view.

The Clinton campaign has been conceived and everyone is just waiting around for the birth announcement.
John Dickerson writes about Hillary Clinton’s unannounced, but seemingly obvious, presidential bid in Slate.

I apologize for the length of this post, but given the gravity of the issue at hand when I sat down to write late last night a long list of things came to my mind.

More than anything, I am struck by two truths. One, it seems that history well documents that those who work to avoid conflict at all costs wind up being those destined in many instances to find much conflict. Peace at all costs rarely brings it. On the other hand, Jesus was incredibly clear in the book of Luke that we are to turn the other cheek at offenses and that if someone took our shirt, we were to offer our coat as well.

There’s an intermediate point between Othello, who kills Desdemona and asks questions later, and Hamlet, who never gets around to doing anything until he leaves the stage full of dead people. I’m afraid if President Bush was more of an Othello, President Obama has been more of a Hamlet and we need someone in between.
Feisal Istrabadi, former Ambassador of Iraq to the United Nations, gets Shakespearean about Iraq on today’s To the Point.

Is the era of the gay neighborhood over? Story, here. 

Left: Saturday night crowds starting to gather on West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Boulevard. The crosswalk is painted in gay pride colors as part of the city’s efforts to honor the city’s LGBT presence and history. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez) Right: West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade in 1984, the same year the community, located between Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, incorporated. (Photo: Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

image

(Photo credit: Davide Restivo/ cc/ Flickr)

A researcher at Hauri, an IT security software company investigating computer viruses, works at a lab of the company in Seoul March 22, 2013.

Military equipment and private-sector trade secrets are well-known targets of China’s state-sponsored cyber espionage program. But there’s now a new target for an elite Chinese hacking outfit known as “APT 18” or, more colorfully, “Dynamite Panda”: U.S. personal medical records.

This week, the medical firm Community Health Systems revealed the personal data of 4.5 million of its patients was stolen by the Chinese hacking group earlier this year. The hospital group is among the largest in the US, with 206 facilities spread across 29 states.

Michael Riley, who covers cybersecurity for Bloomberg News, said the government-sponsored hackers stole the names, addresses, birthdates and Social Security numbers of Community Health System’s patients. He added the attack highlights the security vulnerabilities endemic to hospitals across the country, including the long-term susceptibility of digital medical records.

“I think [hospitals] are realizing that they are certainly a target for cyber espionage and from very sophisticated hackers,” Riley said, adding that cyber-attacks against hospitals have increased dramatically over the last year.

The motive behind the medical records breach remains unclear, Riley said, adding the attack is “out of character” for this particular hacking outfit.

One theory is that rogue members of the “Dynamite Panda” cyber unit used their abilities to obtain the personal information to sell it on the black market — typically the domain of eastern European cyber thieves — without approval from their superiors. The medical documents in question could be very valuable, Riley added, because they contain enough information to apply for new credit cards or open online retail accounts.

“If that’s the case — that a Chinese cyber spy also has a gig on the side — then those 4.5 million people should definitely be concerned about identity theft,” Riley said.

It’s also conceivable the hackers sought to steal all the data they could from Community Health’s Systems databases, and simply ended up with the personal data. They may not have any intention to sell or use it, Riley said.

Additionally, the information may be used for adding supplementary data to the profiles of existing targets of the Chinese government. 

— Benjamin Gottlieb, producer for To the Point