In other news, Trump has delayed his planned increase in tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods from 25 to 30 percent by two weeks. The higher tariffs will take effect on October 15th rather than October 1st. You know, unless he changes his mind again.
Meanwhile, a group of 145 corporate CEOs have signed a letter to the Republican-controlled Senate calling on them to do something about gun violence.
“Doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety,” the letter to the Republican-led U.S. Senate said, according to the New York Times, which first reported the correspondence.
Those signing the missive include the heads of Gap Inc, Levi Strauss & Co, and Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. They also included Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Uber Technologies Inc, Twitter Inc, and Amalgamated Bank, among others.
Finally, remember those mysterious cellphone phishing devices the Department of Homeland Security discovered in Washington? It seemed like a good guess that they belonged to Russia or China, but Politico reports that they were actually deployed by Israel.
The U.S. government concluded within the past two years that Israel was most likely behind the placement of cellphone surveillance devices that were found near the White House and other sensitive locations around Washington, according to three former senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter.
But unlike most other occasions when flagrant incidents of foreign spying have been discovered on American soil, the Trump administration did not rebuke the Israeli government, and there were no consequences for Israel’s behavior, one of the former officials said.
The miniature surveillance devices, colloquially known as “StingRays,” mimic regular cell towers to fool cellphones into giving them their locations and identity information. Formally called international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use.
The devices were likely intended to spy on President Donald Trump, one of the former officials said, as well as his top aides and closest associates — though it’s not clear whether the Israeli efforts were successful.