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Rebel Wagner Forces Neared Russian Nuclear Base During Failed Rebellion

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An interview with a top Ukrainian official shows the rebellious group got marched much further into Russia than originally believed

As Wagner forces advanced toward Moscow last month, a group of military vehicles diverted east toward a Russian army base that reportedly houses nuclear weapons, according to online videos and local residents.

While it remains unverified whether the Wagner fighters reached the base, Ukraine’s head of military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, claimed in an interview with Reuters that they did and intended to acquire small Soviet-era nuclear devices to escalate their mutiny. He stated that the only obstacle was the closed doors of the storage facility. However, the claim lacks evidence, and discussions with allies about the incident were not disclosed.

“Because if you are prepared to fight until the last man standing, this is one of the facilities that significantly raises the stakes,” Budanov said.

A Kremlin source with military connections partially supported Budanov’s account, suggesting that the incident agitated the United States due to the presence of nuclear munitions. The situation reportedly alarmed the Kremlin, prompting a swift resolution to the rebellion through negotiations brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

U.S. officials expressed skepticism about the claims, stating they had no indications of nuclear weapons or materials being at risk during the uprising. Experts such as Matt Korda of the Federation of American Scientists argued that it would be highly improbable for a non-state actor like Wagner to breach Russian nuclear security. Furthermore, the knowledge required to detonate a nuclear bomb is unlikely to be possessed by Wagner fighters.

“If you had a malicious actor who was able to get their hands on a nuclear weapon, they would find the weapons stored in a state of incomplete assembly,” he said. “They would need to be completed by installing specialised equipment and then unlocking permissive action links, and in order to do that they would need the cooperation of someone from the 12th Directorate” responsible for protecting Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

Budanov’s claim marks the first official suggestion that Wagner fighters came close to acquiring nuclear weapons, posing a significant challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s authority. The fear of nuclear devices falling into rogue hands has long been a concern for U.S. officials.

The Wagner fighters deviated from a larger convoy and headed towards Voronezh-45, passing through villages unchallenged until they reached Talovaya, about 100 km from the nuclear base. Talovaya is one of Russia’s national-level storage facilities for nuclear weapons, holding small devices that can be carried in a backpack. However, the existence and operational status of such weapons remain uncertain. During the Cold War, both the U.S. and the Soviet Union had similar backpack-style nuclear weapons but agreed to dismantle them in the early 1990s.

While it is possible that some of these weapons still exist, experts cast doubt on their potency and operational status. Maintaining and updating such portable weapons is crucial, and their effectiveness diminishes over time. Given Russia’s struggles to maintain conventional forces, it is unlikely that their atomic stockpile remains robust.

The report raises questions about the alleged incident and the presence of portable nuclear devices. However, without corroborating evidence, the veracity of these claims remains uncertain, and officials have denied any risk to Russia’s nuclear weapons during the uprising.

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U.S. planes told to land immediately as outage spreads

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Major U.S. carriers including American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines issued ground stops on Friday morning.

They are blaming communication issues, less than an hour after Microsoft resolved its cloud services outage that impacted several low-cost carriers.
It was not immediately clear whether the call to keep flights from taking off were related to the earlier Microsoft cloud outage. Apart from American and Delta, UAL and Allegiant Air too grounded flights.
The FAA did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Frontier said earlier that a “major Microsoft technical outage” hit its operations temporarily, while SunCountry said a third-party vendor affected its booking and check-in facilities, without naming the company.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said the department was monitoring the flight cancellation and delay issues at Frontier, adding that the agency will hold the company and all other airlines “to their responsibilities to meet the needs of passengers”.
Frontier cancelled 147 flights on Thursday and delayed 212 others, according to data tracker FlightAware. 45% of Allegiant aircrafts were delayed, while Sun Country delayed 23% flights, the data showed. The companies did not give details on the number of flights impacted.
Microsoft said its outage started at about 6 pm ET on Thursday, with a subset of its customers experiencing issues with multiple Azure services in the Central U.S. region as several countries reported massive IT disturbances. “There are delays to check-in and flight operations had to be cancelled until 10:00 am (0800 GMT),” the spokeswoman said, adding however that she could not say when they would resume

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Major Microsoft outage shuts down airlines, news and cloud servers worldwide

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A widespread Microsoft outage is affecting Australia’s supermarkets, banks and telecommunications companies.

A widespread Microsoft outage is affecting Australia’s supermarkets, banks, telecommunications companies.

There are also reports of outages in Japan and the United States.

The ongoing widespread outage is reportedly related to US-based cybersecurity provider CrowdStrike. Its ‘Falcon sensor’ is installed on many business computers to gather security data.

In a statement to Ticker News, StickmanCyber said:

“Multiple StickmanCyber security engineering and our 24×7/365 security operations teams across the country support reports that this outage is related to a CrowdStrike update. 
 
“It is our understanding that any business running versions 7.15 and 7.16 are affected by the outage, but 7.17 seems to be ok. We are waiting on official advisory from CrowdStrike on these findings but doing our best to help affected customers. It’s a lesson to always update your software, but obviously this is an extreme example. IT security tools are all designed to ensure that companies can continue to operate in the worst-case scenario of a data breach, so to be the root cause of a global IT outage is an unmitigated disaster.
 
“Crowdstrike support is offering a workaround to customers. It claims users may be able to fix the issue by booting windows in safe mode or in the Windows Recovery Environment and deleting a file named “C-00000291*.sys”.   

“CrowdStrike is aware of reports of crashes on Windows hosts related to the Falcon sensor,” the company said in a statement on its website.

“Symptoms include hosts experiencing a bugcheck\blue screen error related to the Falcon sensor. Our engineering teams are actively working to resolve this issue and there is no need to open a support ticket.

“Status updates will be posted below [on the Microsoft websit€0 as we have more information to share, including when the issue is resolved.”

Laptops down

Thousands of users across the world reported problems with Microsoft services to Downdector.com, a website that tracks service disruptions.

Microsoft laptops suddenly restarted across Australia on Friday afternoon.

Outage website Downdetector shows issues across companies including NAB, Bendigo Bank, Telstra, CBA, Google.

Microsoft response

As users take to social media to complain, Microsoft reported a service outage for its Microsoft 365 apps and services, affecting businesses and users across the world.

“We’re investigating an issue impacting users ability to access various Microsoft 365 apps and services,” Microsoft 365 Status said on X early Friday.

Microsoft didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.

Frontier airlines

 

The outage forced low-cost airline Frontier to cancel some flights. “Our systems are currently impacted by a Microsoft outage, which is also affecting other companies,” Frontier said in a statement. “We appreciate your patience.” The carrier said it would offer refunds to affected passengers.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Frontier asked it to pause the airline’s departures across the U.S. Thursday night. The ground stop was later lifted. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It said it is “observing a positive trend in service availability” as it continues to mitigate the problem.

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Twisters takes the box office by storm as Disney’s Captain America mirrors recent U.S. political events

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Sequels, nostalgia, and the changing face of cinema

The recent surprise hit Twisters has taken the box office by storm, defying expectations and cementing itself as a standout success in a summer crowded with high-profile releases. This sequel to the 1996 classic Twister has captivated audiences with its blend of thrilling storm-chasing action and heartfelt storytelling.

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