August 23, 2018: What to Know 

click to enlarge Smoke from western wildfires is choking the Treasure Valley. This photo was taken from the roof of the Marriott Residence Inn.

Harrison Berry

Smoke from western wildfires is choking the Treasure Valley. This photo was taken from the roof of the Marriott Residence Inn.


  • A suspected hack targeting the Democratic National Committee voter file on Tuesday was revealed today to be a third-party security test ordered by the Michigan Democratic Party. As the Michigan group failed to notify the national party, the hack was treated as a threat, causing the DNC to contact the FBI. Following today's revelation, DNC Chief Security Officer Bob Lord told the Washington Post, "There are constant attempts to hack the DNC and our Democratic infrastructure, and while we are extremely relieved that this wasn’t an attempted intrusion by a foreign adversary, this incident is further proof that we need to continue to be vigilant in light of potential attacks."
    click to enlarge BINGO BARNES
    • Bingo Barnes
  • Continuing the drama swirling around former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, the New York Post reports that according to one of the case's jurors who spoke on Fox News, only a single juror prevented Manafort from being convicted of all 18 financial crime counts. Manafort was charged Tuesday on eight counts—five of tax fraud, two of bank fraud and one of failure to disclose a foreign bank account—while the other 10 were declared a mistrial.

  • Infamous terrorist group ISIS has released its first message in nearly a year, CNN reports. In an audio message, a man identifying himself as the group's leader, Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, declared ISIS has lost substantial ground—a test from Allah—but encouraged supporters to "patiently persevere." The voice on the recording has not been independently confirmed as that of al-Baghdadi, and U.S. Central Command acknowledged it is aware of the recording but did not offer further comment.

  • Idaho—and the Treasure Valley in particular—continues to experience unhealthy air quality conditions due to wildfires, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has extended a Forecast and Caution for counties across southern Idaho all the way to the Wyoming Border. People sensitive to smoke or with other respiratory issues are encouraged to limit their activities out of doors. Meanwhile, outdoor burning activities are restricted, though residential wood heating is still allowed. One group in Spokane, Washington, has adopted a novel tack for fighting the smoke onslaught: turning on fans to blow it back to Canada. KOMO News reports on a Facebook group encouraging the 550,000 people in the Spokane metro area to "place at least five box fans on their roofs." The event describes itself as satirical, but the groups and services it directs attendees to, including an animal shelter, a food bank and the Canadian Red Cross, are not.
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