News Headlines 7/6/21

ONGOING CONDO COLLAPSE SEARCH THREATENED BY  STORM, FOUR MORE VICTIMS FOUND: The ongoing rescue effort at the Surfside, Florida, site of the collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building is being threatened by Tropical Storm Elsa, which is approaching the state. Search crews had to temporarily stop their work yesterday (June 5th) due to lightning, and officials said a garage area in the rubble filled with water. Meanwhile, the remains of four more victims were found, raising the confirmed death toll to 28, with 117 people still missing. After the demolition Sunday of the remaining part of the 12-story building, which was unstable, rescuers are now able to go into areas that were previously inaccessible. No one has been rescued alive since the first day of the June 24th collapse.

PLANE WITH 28 PEOPLE ON BOARD MISSING IN RUSSIA: A plane with 28 people on board, 22 passengers and six crew members, went missing in Russia’s Far East region of  Kamchatka Tuesday (June 6th). Among those on board was the head of the local government in the town of Palana, according to officials. The Antonov An-26 plane is owned by a company called Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise and has been in service since 1982, Russian state news agency Tass reported. The plane was on approach for landing when contact was last about six miles from the airport in Palana. A search missing was underway.

HACKERS DEMANDING $70 MILLION TO DECRYPT RANSOMWARE: Russian-linked hackers in the ransomware group REvil are demanding $70 million in Bitcoin for a decryption tool for  its latest ransomware attack, the single biggest global attack on record. The attack was carried out on software vendor Kaseya, and it infected thousands of victims in at least 17 countries Friday (July 2nd) via Kaseya’s software, largely through firms that remotely manage IT infrastructure for multiple customers. CNN cited Allan Liska of cybersecurity firm Recorded Future as saying REvil is offering a universal decryption tool because of the, quote, “logistical nightmare” of thousands of potential victims to negotiate with.

VATICAN SAYS POPE IN GOOD CONDITION, ALERT DAY AFTER SURGERY: The Vatican said Monday (July 5th) that Pope Francis was “in good, overall condition, alert” and breathing on his own, one day after undergoing surgery for narrowing of a portion of his large intestine. The 84-year-old pontiff is expected to remain hospitalized for about a week, a Vatican spokesman said. According to AP, the procedure generally involves removing half of the colon and then joining up the remaining healthy parts of the large intestine. The Italian newspaper Il Messaggero reported that the operation began laparoscopically, but surgeons switched to using larger incisions after  there were unspecified complications.