Three Things You Need to Know on November 29th

November 29, 2018

President Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen says negotiations over a major Trump real estate deal in Moscow ran into 2017. In early 2017, Trump insisted that he had no financial dealings with Russia. Cohen's claim came in a new plea deal with prosecutors in the Russia investigation. Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements about the Russia real estate dealings. 

The organizers of a scientific conference are condemning a Chinese researcher who claims to have edited the genes of twin babies.  The International Summit On Human Genome Editing is meeting in Hong Kong this week.  The organizers of the summit came out today against the work of Chinese scientist He Jiankui, the researcher behind the first so-called "designer babies."  The scientist claims he used a gene-editing technology called CRISPR to alter the embryonic genes of twin girls born this month.  A statement by the conference organizers is calling the claim "deeply disturbing," and said even if his research is verified, the procedure was irresponsible and failed to conform with international norms. 

The Justice Department has charged two Iranian hackers in a ransomware scheme that attacked several American targets, including the Colorado Department of Transportation.  The state's Chief Information Security Officer says CDOT systems were infected with ransomware known as "SamSam" back in February.  Colorado refused to pay the Bitcoin ransom and spent six weeks and up to two-million dollars purging their systems.  Officials now say the state has systems in place to deal with any future ransomware attacks.