Morning Brief: Justice smashes international cyber ring

Top Story Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images The U.S. Justice Department indicted 11 people for allegedly stealing 40 million credit- and debit-card records in what federal authorities are calling the biggest case of identity theft in U.S. history. “So far as we know, this is the single largest and most complex identity theft case ever charged in ...

593499_080806_mukasey5.jpg
593499_080806_mukasey5.jpg

Top Story

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The U.S. Justice Department indicted 11 people for allegedly stealing 40 million credit- and debit-card records in what federal authorities are calling the biggest case of identity theft in U.S. history.

Top Story

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The U.S. Justice Department indicted 11 people for allegedly stealing 40 million credit- and debit-card records in what federal authorities are calling the biggest case of identity theft in U.S. history.

“So far as we know, this is the single largest and most complex identity theft case ever charged in this country,” said U.S. Atty. Gen. Michael B. Mukasey at a press conference in Boston.

The accused have an international flavor: Two of the defendants hail from Estonia; two are from Ukraine, two are Chinese, and one is Belorussian. Three are Americans, and one defendant is known only by the online alias “Delpiero.” The accused hackers allegedly broke into the networks of retail chains such as Barnes and Noble and T.J. Maxx, and some of them made off with millions of dollars.

Decision ’08

John McCain is barnstorming the country, calling for nuclear power and more drilling.

The Democratic Party, meanwhile, is gearing up to paint the Arizona senator as a tool of big oil.

Is Barack Obama stalling in the polls?

Global Economy

Economists weigh in on the size of the downturn.

Thomas Friedman: More offshore drilling is “Madness. Sheer madness.”

Americas

A Bethesda, M.D., teen appears to have been plotting to assassinate U.S. President George W. Bush.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is enacting measures that were rejected in a referendum last year.

Brushing off pleas from the State Department, Mexico, and the International Court of Justice, Texas executed Mexican José E. Medellín.

Asia

In Seoul, President Bush pressed North Korea to accept a nuclear verification plan.

Western protesters managed to unfurl a “Free Tibet” banner next to China’s National Stadium. They were promply arrested, some reports say.

Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf has canceled a trip to China. [UPDATE: He now says he’s going.]

Matthew Forney: Why China has no sporting culture.

Middle East and Africa

Military forces have seized power in Mauritania in an apparent coup.

The United States, not impressed by Iran’s request for clarification, is calling for new “punitive” measures against the Islamic Republic.

Iraq is going to have a budget surplus of nearly $80 billion this year.

Europe

British scientists have mapped the Arctic’s territorial disputes.

Italy boasts that its urban troop deployment is already a success.

Today’s Agenda

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attends the funeral of dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Bush dines with Thailand’s prime minister. Tomorrow, he meets with Burmese exiles.

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