Monday, May 10, 2021
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1/ The Biden administration announced new protections against discrimination in health care based on gender identity and sexual orientation. “Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.” The move reverses a Trump policy that limited protections for transgender people in health care, which narrowed the legal definition of “sex discrimination” to “the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.” (NPR / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Associated Press)
2/ The FBI confirmed that a Russian criminal group was responsible for the ransomware attack that closed a U.S. energy pipeline that transports 45% of the East Coast’s fuel supply. The Colonial Pipeline Company shut down all its operations Friday after Darkside hackers broke into some of its networks. In a statement, Darkside – a relatively new player in the ransomware space and believed to be operated by a Russian cybercrime gang referred to by the same name – said it wasn’t to blame and suggested that an affiliate may have been behind the attack. The group promised to do a better job of screening customers that buy its malware to run ransomware attacks. Biden, meanwhile, is expected to sign an executive order to strengthen cybersecurity for federal agencies and contractors. The Department of Transportation also issued an emergency declaration for 17 states and Washington, D.C., to keep fuel supply lines open. Colonial is using a phased approach to restore the pipeline, and said it may take several more days to recover from the cyberattack. (NBC News / New York Times / Bloomberg / Axios / CBS News / Politico)
3/ Three Republican governors plan to cut enhanced jobless benefits in their states in an effort to force people to return to work. Arkansas, Montana, and South Carolina have targeted the extra $300 in weekly enhanced jobless benefits from the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package as businesses reopen and states lif...
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