Hacking Blamed For Late Night Emergency Sirens In Dallas

Dallas officials believe the city’s emergency alarm system was hacked Friday night, causing sirens across the city to sound off in error shortly before midnight. The city manually shut down parts of the system to turn off the city’s 156 alarms — usually heard only during weather emergencies — by 1:20 a.m. Saturday.

City officials are working with the Federal Communications Commission to figure out how the hack happened, said Rocky Vaz, the city’s emergency management director, during a news conference Saturday afternoon. They have not contacted other authorities at this point, he said.

City officials hope to have the system up and running by Sunday or Monday at the latest. As officials are booting the system back up, emergency alarms may sound off again; officials urge residents not to call 911 reporting the sirens during that time.

“It does appear at this time that it was a hack,” said Sana Syed, the city’s public information officer, “and we do believe that this came from the Dallas area.”

The incident, initially labeled a “system malfunction,” sparked an avalanche of worried posts on social media and calls to the emergency 911 system. Officials Saturday said the longest wait time at the 911 call center was six minutes.

The City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management hosted a Facebook Live debrief Saturday afternoon.

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Syrian Activist Looks Up: 'For the First Time Ever, There's a Glimmer of Hope'

Mouaz Moustafa has spent years advocating on Capitol Hill for the United States to get more involved in Syria.

Polly Irungu/NPR

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President Trump’s missile strike against Syria is the first time the U.S. took direct military action against the Assad regime since the civil war began there in 2011. But some Syrians have been asking for more U.S. involvement for some time.

Mouaz Moustafa is one of the most vocal—and now, he feels that he’s finally been heard.

Moustafa is the director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force. He’s an American who was born in Syria and came to the U.S. with his family as a child. When the war began, he started lobbying for support for the rebel factions fighting Assad’s government. He famously helped sneak Senator John McCain into Syria in 2013 to meet with rebel leaders.

He sat down with Michel Martin on Saturday to speak about how Syrians like him are reacting to the strike.


Interview Highlights

On his reaction to Trump’s missile strike against Syria

My reaction—and I can say that this speaks to the reaction of my friends inside the country and others—is that honestly, they are thankful for this president for taking action in response to the chemical weapons attack done by the Assad regime against children. And I think that we are all urgently calling to move to end the killing once and for all in Syria.

On if he’s disappointed that Obama didn’t take action

I’m incredibly disappointed in President Obama and his administration. We spent countless hours at the National Security Council and we had been begging—this is a time before ISIS or Al-Qaeda existed in Syria—begging for greater leadership, for stronger action in Syria that can help bring a political solution to the conflict. And I can tell you that this president learned in three months a lesson that his predecessor did not learn in six years.

On how he knows that this is anything more than a one-off reaction

Look, I don’t know exactly what the strategy for this president is. But what I do know is that the Assad regime only understands that he cannot kill people if there is a credible threat of force. For six years, the dictator of Damascus has understood that there is no accountability—that he can act with impunity, using chemical weapons multiple times. And now that punitive action was taken for the use of it, I think that is the right approach with this dictator.

On what his network of Assad supporters of Assad is saying

First of all, across the board, everyone that we spoke to has said that what happened—the chemical weapons strike against civilians in Khan Shaykuhn and Idlib—was abhorrent, it was horrible. This was, again, even from loyalists that were reporting. They were shocked that the United States actually acted—that someone in the international community actually did something. They thought that it would be, again, more statements, but hollow statements, with no action behind it.

On what next and if he thinks there’ll be more airstrikes

We have never wished that the United States commit troops to this fight. When I moved to the United States, I moved to Arkansas. I had many friends that served in the United States Army. I know the sacrifices. I know the people that came back losing limbs and people that lost lives. I understand, and I don’t want American troops to go to Syria, to fight someone else’s war.

What we do want is a political transition, and a real one—one that has an enforcement mechanism that would end the killing in Syria and end this horrendous slaughter that has been going on for way too long.

On what’s his state of mind at the moment

You know, if you asked me a week ago, I would tell you how incredibly depressed I am, as many other Syrians were, at seeing another chemical weapons attack, seeing this violence going unabated, the slaughter in Syria continuing while the world watches or maybe makes some statements. I’ve learned not to get my hopes up when it comes to Syria.

But for the first time ever, there’s a glimmer of hope that maybe the international community will wake up. That maybe with this punitive strike, it can sort of revitalize the United States and its allies to take Russia to the negotiating table and to lay out a settlement strategy. To bring an end to this war. And I can only pray for that.

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Google Accused Of Underpaying Female Employees

The Department of Labor is suing Google to obtain payroll data to determine whether the company is complying with equal opportunity laws. Google’s lawyer has called the lawsuit a “fishing expedition.”

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Kim Jin-a/AP

Just three days after Google announced that it had “closed the gender pay gap globally” on Equal Pay Day, a Department of Labor official testified in federal court that there is “systemic” discrimination against women at Google.

Silicon Valley has often come under fire in recent years for being unfriendly to women, with sexual harassment allegations and lawsuits over gender bias. But a DoL official told The Guardian Friday that Google’s discrimination was “extreme,” even for the industry.

The government is suing Google, a government contractor, to release compensation data in order to make sure the company is complying with equal opportunity laws. In a press release about the lawsuit, the DoL said that Google has had “many opportunities to produce this information voluntarily,” but has “refused to do so.”

Google, for its part, has denied that the company has a gender discrimination problem, and called the DoL’s request a “fishing expedition.”

Harin Contractor was an economic adviser to the Secretary of Labor under President Obama, and he says the pay gap is complicated. There are a number of factors that contribute, including women taking time out of the workforce for maternity leave, or to care for aging parents or other relatives. But there is a portion of the pay gap that can’t be accounted for by these situations.

“These companies need to try a little harder to encourage diversity,” Contractor says, adding that often in the tech industry the people making hiring and promotion decisions are white men. “Sometimes they can get caught up in their bubble and feel like they’re very open,” he says. “But when it’s always the same type of person making the decisions. … maybe it’s not conscious.”

For the past several years, Google has released its diversity data publicly in an annual report, that has shown a persistent dearth of women and minorities at the top. Last year, women represented just 31 percent of Google’s workforce, and held just 24 percent of leadership roles.

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U.S. Soldier Killed In Afghanistan, According To Resolute Support

According to Reuters, U.S. officials say the Islamic State in Afghanistan is based overwhelmingly in Nangarhar and Kunar province.

Rahim Faiez/AP

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Rahim Faiez/AP

An American soldier was killed in Afghanistan late Saturday, according to a statement posted on Twitter by the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

pic.twitter.com/T8IfuNMhFs

— Resolute Support (@ResoluteSupport) April 8, 2017

A spokesman for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan said that the soldier was part of an operation against ISIS-Khorasan, a branch of the Islamic State operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The same spokesman confirmed to Reuters that the soldier was a special forces operator.

The U.S. and Afghanistan have been conducting special operations against ISIS-Khorasan for many months. In July of 2016 a U.S. drone strike killed the group’s leader for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Hafiz Saeed Khan.

The statement released Saturday gave little detail about the circumstances of the soldier’s death, but said that more information would be released “as appropriate.”

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Ceremony In San Francisco Marks The 75th Anniversary Of The Bataan Death March

Filipino and American soldiers had defended Bataan for three months with dwindling supplies. Many were already sick and starving by the time the sixty-five mile march began.

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A ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Bataan Death March is being held on Saturday in San Francisco.

A 21-gun salute will honor the thousands of American and Filipino soldiers who died as they were forced to march 65 miles to a prison camp after their surrender at Bataan.

The 3-month long battle that preceded the surrender on April 9, 1942, is part of an often forgotten history of the Philippines’ role in the World War II. The mostly Filipino soldiers defending Bataan had held off Japanese forces for three months without supplies of food or ammunition, a feat that is credited with delaying the timetable of the Japanese army.

The event to commemorate this history and honor the thousands who lost their lives is being organized by the Bataan Legacy Historical Society, whose mission is to educate the public about the role of the Philippines in World War II. The historical society has previously advocated for the inclusion of the Philippines’ role in the war in California’s high school curriculum. The California State Board of Education approved the change last year, which makes the state the first to require students to learn about this history, according to the BLHS.

As The AP reports, more than 250,000 Filipino soldiers served in World War II, but until recent years, they did not receive much acknowledgment. There has been an effort to change that of late. In December, then President Obama signed legislation awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Filipino and Filipino-American veterans of World War II. Organizations like the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project have worked to undo the diminishing of the Filipino contribution to the war effort that happened in the decades following WW II.

A small number of the remaining Bataan survivors will gather for the ceremony in San Francisco today, including Ramon Regalado, who will be speaking. Regalado, who will turn 100 later this month, was honored earlier this week with medals for his service at his home in California.

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Bob Boilen's Week In Live Music, 4/8/17

90 minutes of frenetic guitar playing from, quite literally, way down under. (KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD, 9:30 CLUB, WASHINGTON, D.C.)

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I’ve always been an album guy. I love to hear an album in full, uninterrupted. But for the last eight years or so, my love of live music has superseded my love for studio recordings. Small clubs with great sound have propelled that passion. I also love the community small shows create. Thanks to the access my job provides, I see 400 to 600 bands a year.

For the last three years I’ve been taking photos of the bands I see. These days I use a Sony Alpha 6000 camera — it’s lightweight, and in a small bag I can carry three lenses. I can also wirelessly transfer my photographs to my phone and post them to social media — I’ve been doing that on Instagram under the name @tinydesk.

The loudest thing I’ve heard all week was a crazy, zany band from New Zealand called King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard (above). There are moments when the guitarist, Stu Mackenzie, turns his body upside down and looks completely possessed. The sounds that emanate from his guitar mimic that frenzy.


Peter Silberman of The Antlers and Tim Mislock played their meditative, subdued set with amps set on 1 at a living room show. (PETER SILBERMAN WITH TIM MISLOCK, LIVING ROOM SHOW, WASHINGTON, D.C.)

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On the opposite end of the audio spectrum, perhaps the quietest music I’ve heard in years was from Peter Silberman, whom you might know from the group The Antlers. I recently had a conversation with him about his hearing issues, particularly tinnitus, and these days his amp is basically set to 1, not 10.


Lambchop kept it passionately quiet with songs from FLOTUS (For Love Often Turns Us Still). It was good to hear these pulsing tracks live, though I wanted to hear all the words through the vocal effects, and that wasn’t really possible. (LAMBCHOP, 9:30 CLUB, WASHINGTON, D.C.)

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This week I was fortunate enough to see Lambchop, the project of Kurt Wagner. It too s quiet music, though these days it’s filled with a propulsive beat. Much of that beat was provided by Andy Stack — you might know him from the group Wye Oak.


Half Waif’s Nandi Rose Plunkett: dreamy and utterly different from her other band, Pinegrove. (HALF WAIF, DC9, WASHINGTON, D.C.)

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Then I saw Half Waif, a band made up of members of the group Pinegrove. The talented singer is Nandi Rose Plunkett, though oddly the rhythm section of this band was the highlight for me. The bass player made sounds that were more like a droning synthesizer at times, yet still held the rhythm together.


Theatrics and a driving pulse were at the heart of Stronger Sex’s opening slot for Half Waif. (STRONGER SEX, DC9, WASHINGTON, D.C.)

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I see most of my shows in Washington, D.C., and the opening band for Half Waif was a D.C. male-female duo called Stronger Sex. The duo had a good sense of theatrics and driving pulse not unlike Sylvan Esso‘s. It was a pretty good week.

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Is Deviation Over Procreation Worth A Marriage's Termination?

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Courtesy of WBUR

Today the Sugars hear from two 34-year-old women in loving relationships. But they are in very different predicaments involving the desire to have children. The first writer says she strongly does not want kids, but her husband does.

The second writer says she and her husband both want children. But she has had miscarriages and now wants to consider adoption. Her husband won’t even talk about it.

In both situations the question is the same: Is the disagreement over whether to have — or not to have — children worth ending a marriage over?


Dear Sugars,

I am a 34-year-old woman who has been happily married for five years. My husband and I are both in the military and have made it through six deployments while together. Currently, I am transitioning out of the military and trying to figure out what career to pursue.

My husband sees this transition period as a great time to have children and start a family. I, however, do not want children. He has always known how I feel about kids, but I think he got married to me with the idea that he could change my mind, or that biology would flip some switch and I would want to have kids. It hasn’t. I feel horrible that I can’t give him what he wants. I feel that there is something wrong with me that I don’t want kids. All women are supposed to want kids. Why don’t I?

I have thought that I should just have a baby for my husband, but I know that is a terrible idea. I don’t want to feel resentful toward him or the child, and I have told him as much. This has become a deep source of conflict in our marriage and I am completely to blame. Sugars, I love my husband and our life together and don’t want anything to change. Please, help me figure out what to do. Do I have a baby anyway, or do I let my husband go so he can get what he wants?

Sincerely,

Baby or Bust?

Cheryl Strayed: Baby or Bust, you are not to blame. We must not blame ourselves for the ways we want to live our lives. From the outset, you told your husband that you didn’t want to be a mother. He is also not to blame for thinking you might change your mind. You’re 34, and you’ve been married since you were about 29. A lot of people do change during those years. It’s not completely unreasonable that he might think that you were going to be open to the idea of motherhood someday, but you never said you would be. I don’t think you’re going to get anywhere beating yourself up about not wanting kids.

Steve Almond: No one is to blame, but this started with unspoken wishes that weren’t articulated. You can’t assume anything about something as fundamental as wanting children. You face a long conversation with your husband about the sort of life you want to lead and the kind of life he wants to lead, and whether those two are compatible.

Cheryl: Either this relationship needs to end so your husband can go pursue the opportunity to become a father, or he needs to find a way to come to terms with the fact that you are not going to become a mother.

Steve: And you should not have a baby that you don’t want. Baby or Bust, there’s a part of you that’s saying, should I just do this because I love my husband and our marriage? But what you really love are the current circumstances. The moment that you become pregnant, everything changes — not in a ruinous way, but in a way that might not be the experience that you want out of your life. You have to be honest with yourself and with your partner about that.

Cheryl: This is a really big decision you are in the midst of making, Baby or Bust. I encourage you to face it head on. It’s not going to be easy, but you are both going to be the better for it.


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Dear Sugars,

I fear that my desire to be a mom will ultimately end my marriage. I am a 34-year-old woman married to a lovely, caring, supportive man. We have been together for almost a decade. We always had plans for a family, but had agreed to wait until I was close to finishing my post-graduate studies. He is eight years older than I am and had more urgency to start a family than I was comfortable with. We discussed and agreed on a time to “let nature happen.”

I will spare you the details, but multiple miscarriages, endless doctors and tests followed. The doctors don’t know what’s wrong. They say they think it’s “just bad luck.” While these experiences were crushing, I continued working on my professional and personal goals, and I have processed my grief over not being able to carry a baby to term. I never envisioned my life without children. I am now comfortable with the idea of providing a loving home for one of the many children in need of love in the world.

My husband, on the other hand, is not interested in raising any children that aren’t his biologically. I’ve brought up the subject in a variety of ways, but he is opposed to even the discussion of adopting a child. He says he would rather it just be the two of us than adopt. This breaks my heart. I know there is still a possibility of me carrying a pregnancy to term at some point, but without knowing what is wrong and the risks increasing with age, I’m terrified of having another miscarriage.

My husband wants to be “more aggressive,” which would mean subjecting myself to hormones and blood thinners for no indication other than wishful thinking. I’ve been through it, and it was too physically and emotionally taxing.

Could it be this is the deal breaker? How can I convince my husband that the traditional model of having a baby is not the only way to make a family?

Signed,

Full of Love with Empty Arms

Steve: This is one where it feels like there’s the possibility of some negotiating space.

Cheryl: They both want to be parents. And that’s where I would begin, Full of Love with Empty Arms. You have fears about pursuing it further when it comes to conceiving biologically. They are grounded in reality. You have had miscarriages. That’s a miserable experience. It’s terrifying, it’s sad, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s physically and emotionally difficult. Your husband has fears too, about adoption.

You both need to discuss your thoughts. I do think that if your husband will not discuss it, or will not entertain options other than having a biological child, you have every reason to say, I need to end this relationship so that I can pursue motherhood. But I would encourage you to tell your husband that it has reached that kind of breaking point for you.

Steve: The question for him is, why is he not open to the possibility of raising kids that aren’t biologically his own? He has a right to those feelings, but he also has an obligation to tell you what those feelings are about. I think you also owe him a further discussion about why you aren’t willing to do any more fertility treatments. It might be that there is a little bit of room for you to say, for instance, “I’m willing to try biologically for another year, but if it doesn’t work out, I need you to explore the possibility of what it would be like to be the parent of a child that’s not yours biologically.”

Cheryl: And compromise can bond you together. You are giving a little bit to each other, for the sake of a common vision. What are you willing to do for each other and to help each other down this path?

Steve: These are such complex letters that it’s impossible to be definitive. The one common thread I see is that the women writing to us have to take ownership of their lives. They have to be willing to say, at the expense of possibly losing very important, powerful lover-relationships, “This is the life I want, and here’s what I’m willing to sacrifice in order to make that happen.”

You can get more advice from the Sugars each week on Dear Sugar Radio from WBUR. Listen to the full episode to hear from more people with disagreements over whether to have kids.

Have a question for the Sugars? Email dearsugarradio@gmail.comand it may be answered on a future episode.

You can also listen to Dear Sugar Radio on iTunes, Stitcher or your favorite podcast app.

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