Intel agencies accuse Russian computer hackers, Tax deadline looms for 4 million

Russians are meddling in U.S. election
The Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence scrambled into action on Friday to accuse Russian computer hackers of interfering with U.S. elections. Their move was precipitated by the posting of Hillary Clinton-related email on the WikiLeaks website. The intercepted emails appeared to have come from a Google email (Gmail) account belonging to Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. DHS and the Office of the DNI described the leaks as “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.” They further said the hacking originated mostly from servers operated by a Russian company; however, “we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian government.”

Tax filing deadline looms for millions
More than 4 million taxpayers haven’t yet filed their 2015 federal income taxes and are fast approaching the October 17 expiration of a six-month extension, the Internal Revenue Service reminded. Approximately 13 million taxpayers requested automatic six-month extensions prior to the April 18 filing deadline and, to date, about one-third of them haven’t yet been heard from. Under IRS rules, taxpayers who haven’t completed their paperwork can automatically gain a six-month extension, but it doesn’t obviate the need to pay their federal income taxes by the April 18 deadline.

Top-paid CEOs are consistent leaders
The Conference Board said the CEOs of seven major corporations have been among the 25 highest paid executives in each of the past four years; and, their pay hasn’t always been driven by their company’s share price. Five of the seven corporations are engaged in the television news and entertainment industry. Making the list for the last four years were the CEOs of Gamco Investors, CBS Corp. Viacom, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Walt Disney, Yahoo! and Discovery Communications.

Agents discover aliens locked inside truck trailer
Border patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint in the El Centro Sector near Salton City, Calif., found 19 illegal aliens hiding in the back of a truck trailer. They were lucky to have been found since they were locked inside the trailer and had no means of escape, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said. One of the aliens was a Guatemalan citizen and the others, including the truck driver, were Mexican nationals.

What if they held an election and nobody voted?
A report from the Congressional Research Service that began circulating among Capitol Hill offices last week explores several crucial “what if” scenarios regarding the fast-approaching presidential election. What if, for example, a presidential candidate on the general election ballot were to die or resign before November 8? Or, if a president-elect were to die or resign before the Electoral College meets to cast electoral votes on December 19? Or, if a president-elect were to die or resign during the period between December 19 and the January 20 oath taking? CRS said each political party has their own rules for selecting a replacement which are in effect until the Electoral College votes are counted, and the 20th Amendment would apply thereafter.

Jobless rate edged up in September
The U.S. unemployment rate rose from 4.9% to 5.0% in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Last month, a total of 156,000 jobs were created. Among major worker groups, the jobless rate rose to 6.4% for Hispanics while the rate showed little or no change for adult men (4.7%), adult women (4.4%), teenagers (15.8%), whites (4.4%), blacks (8.3%) and Asians (3.9%). Also, adults aged 25+ with a college degree had the lowest jobless rate, just 2.5%, BLS said.

Consumers warned on ScoreBig tickets
The National Consumers League warned consumers that tickets to sports events bought through the ScoreBig ticket exchange might not be honored at the gate. According to NCL, the web-based ticket exchange has financial problems and has ceased compensating sellers of event tickets and that its assets have been seized by creditors. NCL urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the company is violating its own 100% money-back guarantee policy and various state and federal consumer protection laws.

Rip ‘n Read is a daily compilation of press releases found on hundreds of websites that are maintained by the federal government, think tanks, watchdog groups and other national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.


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