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Karim Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan but has Canadian citizenship, has been charged with two Russian spies and another criminal hackers for allegedly pilfering 500 million Yahoo user accounts in 2014.
Karim Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan but has Canadian citizenship, has been charged with two Russian spies and another criminal hackers for allegedly pilfering 500 million Yahoo user accounts in 2014.

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Canadian charged in Yahoo hacking

A 22-year-old self-proclaimed millionaire who lived in a Hamilton suburb is among those accused in a wide-ranging hacking of Yahoo accounts. And the trail goes all the way to Russian spies, the FBI alleges. Russia’s Federal Security Service is said to have worked with a Russian hacker to steal 500 million Yahoo subscriber records. From there, a small group, including Kazakh-Canadian Karim Baratov, hacked hundreds of accounts of corporate and political figures identified as targets by Russia. Baratov was paid $100 (U.S.) for each e-mail address, the FBI alleges. Baratov is the only person who has been arrested so far. The three others facing charges are in Russia.

In Ancaster, Ont., neighbours figured Baratov made big money on the Internet. He had an affinity for luxury cars: The Globe and Mail photographed him last year at a car event driving an Aston Martin DB9, which is worth roughly $200,000. His fast driving made a lot of noise that kept people up and worried parents. “If you’re in bed at night, you know when he has come home,” said one neighbour. On social media, Baratov had thousands of followers and created a persona of a web entrepreneur-turned-teenage-millionaire.

Trump immigration ban on hold, again

A Hawaii judge put a halt to Donald Trump’s new immigration ban last night, mere hours before it was set to take effect. The judge found that the order may violate protections against religious discrimination. Trump vowed to fight the decision and called it “unprecedented judicial overreach.”

Trump issued the new immigration ban on March 6. Among the details: Citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, all Muslim-majority countries, wouldn’t be able to apply for visas for 90 days. It also blocks all refugees from coming to the U.S. for 120 days. The order made clear that permanent U.S. residents wouldn’t be affected – an area of confusion in Trump’s original Jan. 27 order. The original order also specifically said Syrian refugees would be blocked from entry indefinitely; the new order only mentions “refugees.” Also, Iraq was taken off the list of banned countries after it agreed to improve co-operation with U.S. officials when vetting travel visas.

Centre-left shift in Dutch election deals blow to populism

Populism didn’t win out in the Netherlands, as Dutch citizens elected a pro-European parliament in yesterday’s national vote. Far-right politician Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party finished with 20 seats, tied with two other pro-European parties. The Liberals, led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, came in first with 33 seats, according to exit polls. The Green Left picked up 14 of the legislature’s 150 seats. Rutte is expected to form a coalition with the Green Left and another pro-European party.

Ottawa toughens rules for operating recreational drones

Watch out where you fly your personal drone. In response to a rise in incidents, Transport Canada is imposing stricter rules on the use of recreational drones. Notably, they’ll need to be kept at least nine kilometres away from airports. “I am taking measures now, before a drone hits an airplane and causes a catastrophic accident,” said Transport Minister Marc Garneau. “That’s the kind of nightmare scenario that keeps me up at night.” Other restrictions include a ban on flying near people, as well as in areas where first responders are dealing with an emergency. There have been cases where drones were flown near B.C. forest fires, which prevented water bombers from operating. There were 148 reported incidents last year, up significantly from 41 in 2014, the year drone data collection began.


Global stock indexes surged to record highs on Thursday while the U.S. dollar traded close to a one-month low after the Federal Reserve hiked U.S. interest rates but signalled no pick-up in the pace of tightening. Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 2.1 per cent, and the Shanghai composite 0.8 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.9 and 1 per cent by about 6:15 a.m. ET. New York futures were also up. The Canadian dollar, buoyed by a dip in the greenback, is now up above 75 cents (U.S.). U.S. crude futures rose 39 cents to $49.25 per barrel, adding to a 2.4 per cent gain on Wednesday. Brent firmed 47 cents to $52.28, after rising more than a dollar overnight.


Canada’s elites could use a crash course in populism

“[The] politicos and pundits of the capital cities of both Britain and the United States were among the last to know what populist stirrings were abroad in their countries at large. It is reasonable to suspect that the political and media elites of our capital city will also be the last to know and understand the nature and extent of populist sentiment in this country. In fact, it is probably safe to say that Canada’s political and media establishment have never really understood populism in this country and are therefore ill-equipped to understand or respond to its current manifestations.” – Preston Manning

Scottish referendum redo is a risky gambit

“While [Scottish First Minister Nicola] Sturgeon’s [demand for a referendum do-over] might be seen as a vote of confidence in European integration, it actually complicates the job of those seeking to keep the EU from imploding. And for what? While Britain’s decision to leave the EU has somewhat bolstered support for Scottish separatism...low oil prices have undermined the economic case for independence. Sturgeon has neither a good economic hand to play nor an answer to bread-and-butter questions about an independent Scotland’s borders (open or closed) and currency (pound or euro). Such unknowables would cool enthusiasm for taking the separatist leap as any referendum date approaches.” – Konrad Yakabuski


Pilates: A great workout for your mind and body

If you’re looking to improve your balance, core strength, functional fitness and mobility, Pilates is a great option. It’s done barefoot, on either a machine or a mat. Classes vary depending on where you go, but some exercises you might expect include lunging, squatting and leg lifts. Some of the key Pilates principles are awareness, breathing and core control. It will challenge you to focus.


Liza Minnelli marries David Gest

March 16, 2002: There were 850 guests, 36 people in the bridal party and one unforgettable, face-devouring kiss. When actress and singer Liza Minnelli married concert promoter David Gest (her fourth marriage, his first), most of the inhabitants of New York’s gossip pages turned up at Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue. Michael Jackson was the best man, and Elizabeth Taylor the co-maid of honour. Elton John was there, along with Donald Trump, Mickey Rooney, Barbara Walters and David Hasselhoff. Liza, who had nearly died of encephalitis two years before, told her groom: “I belong to you.” He responded, “I cannot think of living life without you.” They planned to adopt four children. Sixteen months later, the groom sued the bride for $10-million, alleging she beat him in drunken rages. The lawsuit was settled by the time the couple divorced in 2007. Gest passed away at 62 last year. – Elizabeth Renzetti

Morning Update is written by Arik Ligeti.

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Neighbour says alleged Yahoo hacker was ‘quiet’ (The Canadian Press)

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