Iran says cyberattack behind widespread disruption at gas stations

Iran says cyberattack behind widespread disruption at gas stations
Gas stations across Iran on Tuesday suffered through a widespread outage of a system that allows consumers to buy fuel with a government-issued card, stopping sales. A news agency referred to the incident as a cyberattack. (AP)
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Updated 26 October 2021

Iran says cyberattack behind widespread disruption at gas stations

Iran says cyberattack behind widespread disruption at gas stations
  • "The disruption at the refuelling system of gas stations... in the past few hours, was caused by a cyberattack," state broadcaster IRIB said
  • The disruptions came ahead of the second anniversary of a November 19 increase in fuel prices

DUBAI: A cyberattack disrupted the sale of heavily subsidised gasoline in Iran on Tuesday, state media reported, causing long lines at gas stations across the country.
“The disruption at the refueling system of gas stations... in the past few hours, was caused by a cyberattack,” state broadcaster IRIB said. “Technical experts are fixing the problem and soon the refueling process...will return to normal.”
The disruptions came ahead of the second anniversary of a November 19 increase in fuel prices which led to widespread street protests in which hundreds were reported to have been killed by security forces.
The oil ministry said only sales with smart cards used for cheaper rationed gasoline were disrupted and clients could still buy fuel at higher rates, the ministry’s news agency SHANA reported.
Videos posted on social media showed apparently-hacked street signs carrying messages such as “Khamenei, where is our gasoline?,” in a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Reuters could not independently authenticate the videos.
In the past, Iran has been targeted by a series of cyberattacks such as one in July when the website of the transport ministry was taken down by what state media said was a “cyber disruption.”
Iran says it is on high alert for online assaults, which it has blamed in the past on the United States and Israel.
The United States and other Western powers meanwhile have accused Iran of trying to disrupt and break into their networks.


France, Europeans working to open joint mission in Afghanistan — Macron

France, Europeans working to open joint mission in Afghanistan — Macron
Updated 14 sec ago

France, Europeans working to open joint mission in Afghanistan — Macron

France, Europeans working to open joint mission in Afghanistan — Macron
DOHA: Several European countries are working on opening up a joint diplomatic mission in Afghanistan that would enable their ambassadors to return to the country, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday.
Western countries have been grappling with how to engage with the Taliban after they took over Afghanistan in a lightning advance in August as US-led forces were completing their pullout.
The United States and other Western countries shut their embassies and withdrew their diplomats as the Taliban seized Kabul, following which the militants declared an interim government whose top members are under US and UN sanctions.
“We are thinking of an organization between several European countries... a common location for several Europeans, which would allow our ambassadors to be present,” Macron told reporters in Doha before heading to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
The United States, European countries and others are reluctant to formally recognize the Pashtun-dominated Taliban, accusing them of backtracking on pledges of political and ethnic inclusivity and to uphold the rights of women and minorities.
“This is a different demarche than a political recognition or political dialogue with the Taliban ... we will have a representation as soon as we can open,” he said, adding that they still needed to iron out security issues.
In a statement following talks with the Taliban a week ago, the European Union suggested it could open a mission soon.
“The EU delegation underlined that the possibility of establishing a minimal presence on the ground in Kabul, which would not entail recognition, will directly depend on the security situation, as well as on effective decisions by the de facto authorities to allow the EU to ensure adequate protection of its staff and premises,” it said.
France separately announced on Friday that it had carried out an evacuation mission in Afghanistan with Qatar’s help, taking more than 300 people, mostly Afghans, out of the country.

Storm weakens after heavy rain, evacuation in southern India

Storm weakens after heavy rain, evacuation in southern India
Updated 14 min 5 sec ago

Storm weakens after heavy rain, evacuation in southern India

Storm weakens after heavy rain, evacuation in southern India
  • Authorities shut schools, canceled trains and anchored fishermen’s boats in the affected areas until Sunday

HYDERABAD, India: A tropical storm weakened after dumping heavy rains overnight in parts of southern India off the Bay of Bengal as more than 50,000 people evacuated to government-run camps, officials said Saturday.
No loss of life or major damage has been reported so far from the rain-hit areas of Andhra Pradesh state.
Kanna Babu, a state commissioner for disaster management, said 54,000 people who evacuated on Friday from vulnerable areas were waiting in nearly 200 state-run relief camps for the weather to clear before returning to their homes.
Authorities shut schools, canceled trains and anchored fishermen’s boats in the affected areas until Sunday.
The storm is likely to further weaken later Saturday and curve toward eastern Odisha state before making landfall on Sunday as a deep depression, the Indian Meteorological Department said.
Scientists say that cyclones and powerful storms in the Indian Ocean are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change.
“The Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea are now warmer compared to earlier decades because of climate change,” said K.J. Ramesh, one of India’s top meteorologists and the former chief of the weather agency.
He said that storms were also forming simultaneously as a result of climate change over the past decade — a phenomenon that was rare in the past.
In May, two storms hit India within 10 days, with Cyclone Tauktae killing at least 140 people across western states. Nearly 70 of the victims were on a barge that ripped free of its anchors and sank off Mumbai’s coast.
In May last year, nearly 100 people died in Cyclone Amphan, the most powerful storm to hit eastern India in more than a decade. It flattened villages, destroyed farms and left millions without power in eastern India and Bangladesh.
Some of the deadliest tropical cyclones on record have occurred in the Bay of Bengal. A 1999 super cyclone killed around 10,000 people and devastated large parts of Odisha. Due to improved forecasts and better-coordinated disaster management, the death toll from Cyclone Phailin, an equally intense storm that hit in 2013, was less than 50, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Related


210 migrants found packed into truck in central Mexico

210 migrants found packed into truck in central Mexico
Updated 57 min 10 sec ago

210 migrants found packed into truck in central Mexico

210 migrants found packed into truck in central Mexico
  • The National Migration Institute said the truck failed to stop as directed at a checkpoint in Puebla state on Friday
  • When the doors of the trailer were opened, agents found women, men and children amid cushions and homemade fans
MEXICO CITY: Mexican immigration authorities say they discovered 210 migrants packed into a truck trailer in the central part of the country.
The National Migration Institute said the truck failed to stop as directed at a checkpoint in Puebla state on Friday and it was pulled over after a pursuit near the city of Tecamachalco.
When the doors of the trailer were opened, agents found women, men and children amid cushions and homemade fans, the institute said. The driver of the truck was detained.
The discovery came two weeks after authorities found 600 migrants in two trailers in the eastern state of Veracruz.

Australia omicron variant spreads, testing reopening plans

Australia omicron variant spreads, testing reopening plans
Updated 04 December 2021

Australia omicron variant spreads, testing reopening plans

Australia omicron variant spreads, testing reopening plans
  • Queensland authorities suspected its first Omicron case in a person who traveled from South Africa

MELBOURNE: The Omicron coronavirus variant spread in Australia on Saturday, testing plans to reopen the economy as a cluster in Sydney grew to 13 cases and an infection was suspected in the state of Queensland.
Federal authorities are sticking with a plan to reopen the economy on the hope that the new variant proves to be milder than previous strains, but some state and territory governments have moved to tighten their domestic border controls.
Australia reported its first community transmission of Omicron on Friday at a school in Sydney. Authorities are investigating the source and said more cases were expected.
Queensland authorities suspected its first Omicron case in a person who traveled from South Africa and that genome sequencing was ongoing.
“The public health unit have ruled out that it is Delta but we haven’t been able to confirm if it is Omicron,” state Health Minister Yvette D’Ath. “But it is being treated as if it is.”
Authorities in South Australia said on Saturday that arrivals from New South Wales, Victoria and the capital territory will be tested. The state reopened its domestic borders only days ago for the first time in months.
Several thousand people protested vaccination mandates in Melbourne, with the demonstrations now a weekly event that has been attracting groups of regular citizens, as well as far-right and conspiracy theory supporters.
A smaller counter-protest called to stop the far-right movement in the city and support vaccinations.
The state of Victoria, home to Melbourne, requires full vaccination to access most hospitality services and non-essential retail, as well as to work in health care and many other industries.
Nearly 88 percent of Australians over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated, health data showed.
Anti-vaccination supporters number in single digits in Australia, according to polls. But unvaccinated patients make up the vast majority of those hospitalized with the coronavirus. In Victoria, 90 percent of the 44 people in the intensive care have not been fully vaccinated, health data showed.
Despite battling many outbreaks this year, leading to months of lockdown in Sydney and Melbourne — Australia’s largest cities — the country has had only about 834 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7.9 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the World Health Organization, a fraction of many other developed nations.
Australia has had just under 215,000 cases in total and 2,042 deaths.


US school shooter’s parents charged with manslaughter, wanted by police

James, left, and Jennifer Crumbley are shown during the video arraignment of their son, Ethan Crumbley in Rochester Hills, Mich., on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (AP)
James, left, and Jennifer Crumbley are shown during the video arraignment of their son, Ethan Crumbley in Rochester Hills, Mich., on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (AP)
Updated 04 December 2021

US school shooter’s parents charged with manslaughter, wanted by police

James, left, and Jennifer Crumbley are shown during the video arraignment of their son, Ethan Crumbley in Rochester Hills, Mich., on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (AP)
  • “These charges are intended to hold the individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable and also send the message that gun owners have a responsibility,” McDonald said at a press conference

WASHINGTON: The parents of a 15-year-old who shot dead four students at a US high school with a gun bought by his father were preparing Friday to turn themselves in to authorities after being charged with involuntary manslaughter, their lawyers said.
The whereabouts of James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley, remained unknown Friday, prompting authorities in Oakland County, Michigan to consider them fugitives.
But the Crumbley’s lawyers Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman told AFP that after leaving town on the night of the shooting “for their own safety,” the parents “are returning to the area to be arraigned.”
Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald, in a rare move by law enforcement, had announced that each of the parents face four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
“These charges are intended to hold the individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable and also send the message that gun owners have a responsibility,” McDonald said at a press conference.
“While the shooter was the one who entered the high school and pulled the trigger, there are other individuals who contributed to the events on November 30 and it’s my intention to hold them accountable as well,” she said.
A law enforcement official told CNN that the parents withdrew $4,000 from a money machine near Oxford on Friday, heightening the mystery over their disappearance.
But County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said he expected them in custody soon. “They cannot run from their part in this tragedy.”
Four students, aged 14 to 17, were killed in the shooting at Oxford High School north of Detroit and six more were wounded, along with a teacher.
Ethan Crumbley has been charged as an adult with state murder and terror charges.
While school shootings carried out by teens occur frequently in the United States, it is unusual for parents to face charges.
Four days before the shooting, James Crumbley bought the 9mm Sig Sauer semi-automatic handgun used by his son.
Ethan was with his father at the time of the purchase at a local firearms store and the teen posted a picture of the gun on his Instagram account, writing “just got my new beauty today” along with a heart emoji.
According to police, Ethan Crumbley recorded a video on his cell phone the night before the attack saying he was planning a shooting at the school the next day, but it was not posted online.
That same day, a teacher at the school had observed Ethan Crumbley searching for ammunition on his cell phone during class and reported it to school officials.

In this file photo taken on December 02, 2021 this booking photo released by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office in Michigan shows shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley.  (AFP)

His mother was contacted by the school but did not respond to voicemail or email messages.
McDonald said Jennifer Crumbley did exchange a text message about the incident with her son that day, writing: “lol I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”

The parents were summoned to the school on the day of the shooting itself after a teacher was “alarmed” by a note she found on Ethan Crumbley’s desk, McDonald said.
It featured a drawing of a gun and the words “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”
It also had a picture of a bullet, a person who had been shot and the words “my life is useless” and “the world is dead,” she said.
The parents were shown the drawing at a meeting with school officials and advised that they needed to get the boy into counselling within 48 hours.
McDonald said they resisted taking their son home and he returned to class. He later entered a bathroom, emerged with the gun, which he had concealed in his backpack, and opened fire.
“The notion that a parent could read those words and also know that their son had access to a deadly weapon that they gave him is unconscionable and I think it’s criminal,” McDonald said.
“I am angry,” she said. “I’m angry as a mother. I’m angry as the prosecutor. I’m angry as a person that lives in this county.
“We need to do better in this country,” she said. “We need to say enough is enough for our kids, our teachers, parents, for all of us in this community and the communities across this nation.”
Ethan Crumbley fired off at least 30 rounds, reloading as fellow students fled.
Students and teachers barricaded themselves in classrooms, as they had been taught to do in drills, and some escaped through windows.
McDonald said Jennifer Crumbley, when she heard about the shooting, had texted her son, saying, “Ethan don’t do it.”
James Crumbley drove home and called the emergency line 911 to report that a gun was missing from his house and that he believed his son may be the shooter, McDonald said.