Russians reportedly hacked Burisma during Trump impeachment probe

BHP says Westpac chair Lindsay Maxsted to leave its board

Lindsay Maxsted will not stand for re-election as a director at BHP, months after he brought forward his retirement as chairman of Westpac after a money-laundering scandal rocked the nation's oldest lender.

Maxsted will remain a member of the BHP board and stay on the risk and audit committee of the world's biggest miner until his departure at or before its 2020 annual general meetings, BHP said in a statement on Tuesday morning, citing a "nine-year tenure guideline" for its succession planning.

Lindsay Maxsted will retire “at or before” BHP’s annual general meetings this year.Credit:Peter Braig

The announcement comes less than two months after the money-laundering scandal engulfing Westpac in November forced the bank's chief executive officer Brian Hartzer to resign, with Mr Maxsted agreeing to step down from the chair this year.

More to come… 

Toyota recalls nearly 700,000 vehicles in U.S. over faulty fuel pumps

DETROIT — Toyota is recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles in the U.S. because the fuel pumps can fail and cause engines to stall. That can increase the risk of a crash.

The recall covers certain 2018 and 2019 Lexus LS 500, LC 500, RC 350, RC 300, GS 350, IS 300, ES 350, LX 570, GX 460, and RX 350 models. Also included are certain 2018 and 2019 Toyota 4Runner, Camry, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, and Tundra models. Some 2019 models also are affected including the Avalon and Corolla.

Toyota 7203, +0.70%  is still developing repairs. Owners will be notified by mail in mid-March.

Russian hackers penetrated Ukraine’s Burisma, likely seeking Biden material: report

Russian hackers have successfully penetrated servers of the Ukrainian gas company at the center of President Donald Trump’s impeachment, the New York Times reported late Monday. Cybersecurity officials told the Times that Russian military hackers have breached Burisma in a campaign that started in November, as impeachment hearings were in full swing. Burisma is the company where former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was a board member, and experts said the timing and target indicate the Russians may be trying to find potentially embarrassing material against the Bidens, the Times said. The attack reportedly bears striking similarities to the 2016 Russian hack into the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. The Burisma hack was carried out by members of Russia’s GRU, a military intelligence unit, the Times reported, who used phishing emails to gain access through Burisma subsidiaries. It it not clear what exactly the hackers might have been searching for, or what they discovered, the Times said.

Japan approves spending for Self-Defense Forces in Middle East

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet decided on Tuesday to use about 507 million yen ($4.6 million) from this fiscal year’s budget reserves for the Self-Defense Forces in the Middle East, the finance ministry said.

The move is aimed at ensuring peace and stability in the Middle East and the safety of Japan-related ships in the region, the ministry said in a statement.

China's yuan firms past 6.88/dlr as US drops manipulator label ahead of trade deal

SHANGHAI, Jan 14 (Reuters) – The yuan strengthened past 6.88 per dollar early on Tuesday after the U.S. Treasury Department dropped its designation of China as a currency manipulator, days before Beijing and Washington are to sign a partial trade deal.

The onshore yuan firmed to a high of 6.8760 per dollar, its strongest level since July 26, 2019.

The central bank set its fixing for the yuan’s daily trading band at its firmest level in more than five months on Tuesday. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Kim Coghill)

North Korea remains open to dialogue with US, says South Korea President Moon Jae-in

SEOUL (REUTERS) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday (Jan 14) there was no need to be pessimistic about stalled denuclearisation dialogue between the United States and North Korea, adding Pyongyang has not yet shut the door to more talks.

Mr Moon said US President Donald Trump’s recent letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was a good sign that underscores his commitment to dialogue with Pyongyang.

Mr Moon was speaking at a news conference at the presidential Blue House.

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Eastern Libyan forces says ready and determined to achieve victory: website

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – Eastern Libyan forces, which have been trying to seize the capital Tripoli held by the internationally recognized government, said they are “ready and determined” to achieve victory, the forces’ official Facebook website said on Tuesday.

It gave no details but another website linked to the force said its commander Khalifa Haftar will not sign a ceasefire proposal put forward by Turkey and Russia on Monday.

Russians reportedly hacked Burisma during Trump impeachment probe

Hackers believed to be affiliated with Russia’s military breached the Ukrainian gas company where former Vice President Joe Biden’s son had served on the board as it became a focus of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, according to a U.S. cybersecurity firm.

Attempts to hack into Burisma Holdings began last November, as Congress was holding hearings into whether Trump abused his office by pressuring his Ukrainian counterpart to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, according to research published Monday by Area 1, a California-based company.

The hacking attempts are ongoing and are linked to the Russian military intelligence unit previously known as the GRU, which hacked and leaked Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential election, Area 1 said.

It wasn’t known what information the hackers were seeking or what they obtained, the firm said. In at least one instance, the hackers tricked the recipient of a phishing email into sharing login credentials that allowed them access into one of Burisma’s servers, the company said. Area 1’s findings were earlier reported by the New York Times.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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