This just in
July 30, 2014
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Three of the defense contractors who built Israel's "Iron Dome," a shield that protects Israel from missiles, have been hacked by China, according to cybersecurity firm Cyber Engineering Services, Inc. (CyberESI).

Krebs on Security reports that "huge quantities" of documents about the Iron Dome's technology were stolen, and more than 700 files in all were compromised. The attacks are reported to have occurred between October 2011 and August 2012, but they had not been publicized prior to this week.

The hackers, who are allegedly members of the China-based "Comment Crew," got into the networks of Elisra Group, Israel Aerospace Industries, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. According to Krebs on Security, "most of the information was intellectual property pertaining to Arrow III missiles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), ballistic rockets, and other technical documents in the same fields of study." The technology used in these documents was created by Boeing, among other contractors, for U.S. weapons.

The Iron Dome "has intercepted about a fifth of more than 2,000 rockets militants have fired at Israel during the current conflict," Reuters reports, so the consequences of leaked information about the dome's security could be dire.

"The Chinese have been doing that to all defense contractors in the West, so if this really happened, we are not alone," Uzi Rubin, former head of missile defense at Israel's Defense Ministry, told Reuters. "If the Chinese really did it, maybe we shall see a Chinese 'Iron Dome' in the future." Meghan DeMaria

the donald
8:50 a.m. ET
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Donald Trump just can't seem to help himself. The former reality television show star and current 2016 GOP presidential candidate, who has already been abandoned by NBC, Univision, and Macy's over his disparaging comments about Mexicans, has now irked the country's top professional golf organizations.

In a recently released interview with Fortune, The Donald said, "I feel golf should be an aspirational game, something people aspire to." When asked whether that viewpoint was elitist, Trump said that "perhaps that's what golf needs. Let golf be elitist."

While Trump, who owns several golf courses, was confident that the golf world would meet his comments with "tremendous support," his shot ended up out of bounds. On the same day that Trump's Fortune interview was published, the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, USGA, and PGA released a joint statement saying that Trump's comments — and his presumption of their support — were way off. "While the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA do not usually comment on presidential politics," the statement read, "Mr. Trump's comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf." Sadly for Trump, there are no mulligans in national politics. Becca Stanek

This just in
8:32 a.m. ET

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest report shows that the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in June, dropping the unemployment rate to 5.3 percent.

Unfortunately, job gains in April were revised down, from 221,000 to 187,000. May was revised down as well, from 280,000 to 254,000. That brings the average gain over the past three months to 221,000. But the 2008 collapse blew a very big hole in the economy; to close it by the summer of 2017 the economy needs to be averaging 246,000 jobs added a month.

Labor force participation also fell slightly, by 0.3 percent. That probably accounts for much of the drop in the unemployment rate, since it compares the number of people with a job to the number of people in the labor force (i.e. actively looking for work).

Average hourly earnings rose just 2 percent, dropping back from a 2.3 percent gain last month. So the trend in wage growth is still effectively flat. Jeff Spross

This just in
8:25 a.m. ET
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U.S. Park Police and the Metropolitan Police Department are responding to reports of gunmen at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., WUSA9 reports. The buildings are on lockdown, and there are no known casualties. The U.S. Navy in a tweet confirmed the lockdown, but said, "No incident can be confirmed as of yet." WUSA9 adds that Navy Security is reporting two shooters, one white and one black male.

In 2013, gunman Aaron Alexis killed 12 at the Navy Yard. Across the nation, security has already been heightened ahead of potential threats during the July 4th weekend.

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates. Jeva Lange

Fire Starter
8:13 a.m. ET
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Never one to underachieve, Billy Joel played his 65th show at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night, surpassing Elton John's record for the most concerts performed in the 20,000-person venue.

"I didn't know I'd be here 65 times," Joel modestly told the crowd.

During Joel's record-breaking performance a banner boasting his achievement was raised in the stadium. Joel already had a banner in MSG for most consecutive shows — 19.

But there was no ill will toward John, whose 64 shows were being topped. Joel tipped his hat to his friend by playing John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" in tribute, in addition to his own hits — including "Only the Good Die Young," "We Didn't Start the Fire," "Uptown Girl," and "It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to Me."

A Bronx-native, Joel played his first show at MSG in 1978; last year he began a residency at the Garden, announcing he'd play a show a month for "as long as there is demand." Tickets to his August through December shows are available on Ticketmaster, but best be quick: all five are almost sold out. Jeva Lange

Stars and Bars
8:13 a.m. ET
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There's been a tectonic shift in the politics of the Confederate battle flag since the murder of nine black worshippers at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church on June 17. But there hasn't been much of a shift in how Americans view the flag, according to a June 26-28 CNN/ORC poll released Thursday. Overall, 57 percent of Americans say the Confederate flag is more a symbol or Southern pride than racism — about the same as in 2000 — but that number hides some sharp racial divides.

Among white respondents, 66 percent picked Southern pride, versus 17 percent of blacks. On the other hand, 72 percent of black respondents saw more racism than pride in the flag, as did 25 percent of whites. In the South, the split was starker: 75 percent white and 11 percent black favoring Southern pride, 75 percent black and 18 percent black calling it a symbol of racism. Among all whites, those with college educations were more likely to see racism than whites without a college education, the poll found.

When it comes to what actually happened in the South after the shooting, majorities of all respondents approve: Removing the Confederate flag from (non-museum) government property wins 55 percent to 43 percent, and 50 percent backs the decisions of private companies to stop selling or manufacturing the flag, versus 47 who oppose the decision. You can find more numbers at CNN. Peter Weber

Train Trouble
7:29 a.m. ET
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Over 5,000 residents in Maryville, Tennessee, have been evacuated after a freight train carrying "highly flammable and toxic gas" ran off the tracks and caught fire, NBC reports. The evacuation zone, which has been established just outside of Knoxville, has a radius of over two miles and could be in place for up to 48 hours, the fire department said.

The train was carrying acrylonitrile, which is used to manufacture acrylic fibers. When inhaled, the gas can cause membrane and kidney irritation, headaches, and nausea. Three train cars burst into flames after the derailment; seven officers were hospitalized after breathing the fumes. Jeva Lange

Airline Tragedies
6:53 a.m. ET

On Thursday, Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council (ASC) released a more detailed preliminary report on the Feb. 4 crash of TransAsia Airways Flight 235 into Taipei's Keelung River, and though the report doesn't assign blame, the plane's pilot, Capt. Liao Jian-zong, doesn't come out looking very good. Forty-three people died in the crash, including Liao and the copilot, and 15 survived.

Liao, 41, switched off the ATR 72-600's only working engine right before it crashed, the ASC reports, and didn't recognize his mistake in time. "Wow, pulled back the wrong side throttle," Liao was heard saying on the voice recorder seconds before the plane clipped a highway and crashed into the shallow river. The final words on the recording are from a junior officer: "Impact, impact, brace for impact."

In May 2014, Liao had failed flight simulator training after instructors found that he often failed to complete preflight procedures and checks and had poor "cockpit management and flight planning" skills, Reuters reports. He passed the test a month later, earning his promotion to captain, but instructors noted during training a week later that he was "prone to be nervous and may make oral errors during the engine start procedure." Last November, an instructor advised that Liao "may need extra training" regarding engine failures after takeoff, the ASC found. The ASC's final report will be released next April, with a draft coming out this November. You can learn more in the Reuters video below. Peter Weber

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