FBI Says Ransomware Victims Shouldn’t Pay, Instead Protect Their Systems

The computer systems at more than a half dozen cities and public services across the country have been hit by ransomware this year. Baltimore is one of them. That attack could end up costing the city more than $18 million. WJZ wanted to learn more about who these attackers are and what can be done to stop them. It was May 7 when city workers computer screens suddenly locked. A message appeared: “We’ve been watching you for days. We won’t talk more. All we know is money! Hurry up!” Cybercriminals demand $100,000 in bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that is difficult to trace. (WJZ-TV)

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Maryland Democratic Party accuses donors to Gov. Hogan of campaign violations; Hogan lawyer calls allegations a ‘stunt’

For the second time in a month, the Maryland Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the Maryland Board of Elections accusing contributors to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of campaign violations. In the complaint filed Thursday, the Democrats alleged they discovered “suspicious contributions from LLCs that gave more than a half million dollars to Governor Larry Hogan’s re-election campaign.” The party took issue with $511,736 in contributions to Hogan during his successful run last year for a second term. It alleged the limited liability companies in question could be violation of a state law that says no single entity can give more than $6,000 to a candidate during an election cycle. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore immigration advocates gearing up for possible raids this weekend

A nationwide immigration enforcement operation targeting migrant families may begin this weekend, according to two administration officials and others, and Baltimore-area immigrant activists said they are gearing up for the second time in two months help ensure people’s rights. The operation follows Republican President Donald Trump’s tweet in June that the United States will deport “millions” of undocumented immigrants, and would target people with final deportation orders, including families whose immigration cases were fast-tracked by judges in 10 major cities, including Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles. (Balt. Sun)

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Members of Congress pushing for memorial to honor fallen journalists

The Newseum's pending closure may signal a fading tribute to journalism in the nation's capital. But some U.S. senators are stepping up to make sure that isn't the case. This past week, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, became the seventh member of Congress to cosponsor a bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, for a privately funded memorial honoring fallen journalists, broadcasters and photographers. The legislation would authorize the Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation to build a memorial on federal land in D.C. A nonprofit affiliate of the National Press Club has already raised about $300,000 toward the effort. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Frederick County, sheriff's office target of new lawsuit by immigrant rights coalition

An immigrant rights advocacy group on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Frederick County, Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and two of his deputies for a 2018 traffic stop that they say was based on racial profiling and led to the illegal detention of a Latina woman. The Resources for Immigrant Support and Empowerment (RISE) Coalition of Western Maryland filed the lawsuit with support from the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland on behalf of Sara Haidee Aleman Medrano, who was pulled over by Deputy Brian M. Mothershead at 7:45 p.m. July 7, 2018, according to the lawsuit. (News-Post)

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Trump’s Fourth of July event and weekend protests bankrupted D.C. security fund, mayor says

President Trump’s overhauled Fourth of July celebration cost the D.C. government about $1.7 million, an amount that — combined with police expenses for demonstrations through the weekend — has bankrupted a special fund used to protect the nation’s capital from terrorist threats and provide security at events such as rallies and state funerals. In a letter to the president Tuesday, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) warned that the fund has been depleted and is estimated to be running a $6 million deficit when the current fiscal year ends Sept. 30. The mayor also noted that the account was never reimbursed for $7.3 million in expenses from Trump’s 2017 inauguration. (Wash. Post)

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Dems Warn Looming Health Care Ruling Could be ‘Catastrophic’

Democrats in Congress are warning that a looming court decision could upend the Affordable Care Act and leave millions of Americans without health insurance. The case – argued Tuesday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Louisiana – has put the fate of the Affordable Care Act on the line again. The lawsuit is on appeal after a district court sided with the plaintiffs and struck down the entire health care law as unconstitutional. The Trump administration has declined to defend the Obama-era law. (Md. Matters)

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'It will not be easy': Dems prepare for their Mueller moment

Some are watching old video of his previous testimony. Others are closely re-reading his 448-page report. And almost all are worrying about how they’ll make the most of the short time they’ll have for questioning. Robert Mueller, the Democrats know, will be tough to crack. The stern, reticent former FBI director has said he won’t answer questions beyond what is in the report on Russia’s election meddling and the Trump campaign and possible obstruction of justice when he comes to Congress on July 17. (Star Dem.)

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