On today’s program: Building a case against cybercrimincals can be tough, but apprehending them is a lot harder; Democratic presidential candidates explore climate change; a Buffalo organization helps immigrants find their place in America; 143 Day in Pennsylvania honors Fred Rogers; and Pittsburgh’s population is changing beyond the numbers.
Fighting organized cybercrime requires teamwork
(00:00 – 11:50)
International law enforcement announced last week the takedown of a large malware conspiracy network called GozNym. U.S. Attorney Scott Brady says the announcement came on the heels of international collaboration among the United States and a number of its European partners. According to Brady, tackling organized cybercrime requires an internationally collaborative strategy.
“While [their] crime is borderless, our response is going to be borderless,” he says. The malware group targeted local businesses including a bolt-manufacturing company in Carnegie and a paving company in New Castle, plus more than 40,000 others globally.
Regarding recent cyber attacks on municipal governments, Brady encourages cities to proactively collaborate with their regional U.S. Attorney and the FBI to strengthen internal firewalls. He says software should be updated regularly, data stored in segregated locations of data and employees educated about how they can stay protected.
Democratic presidential candidates and climate change
(13:26 – 17:26)
Twenty-three Democrats are running for President, but only two so far have released plans to combat climate change. The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier spoke with Emily Holden, environment reporter for The Guardian, about the two plans, and the role of climate change in the 2020 election.
Refugees find new homes in Buffalo
(17:26 – 21:45)
Much of the current focus on immigration into the United States remains on the country’s southern border, but WBFO’s Ryan Zunner reports that in Buffalo, New York, just over 200 miles north of Pittsburgh, an old school building serves as a beacon of hope for immigrants fleeing war-torn homelands in the hopes of finding a new place in America.
1-4-3 Day generates kindness in the Commonwealth
(21:45 – 26:26)
May 23rd is the 143rd day of the year – a special number to Fred Rogers, who used 1-4-3 as a way of saying “I love you.” To honor that relationship, Gov. Tom Wolf declared Thursday 1-4-3 Day. Carrie Fischer Lepore, deputy secretary for marketing for the state Department of Community and Economic Development, tells 90.5 WESA’s Maria Scapellato that the state is encouraging everyone to commit acts of kindness in honor of Fred Rogers. The state posted a kindness generator to help folks get started.
Pittsburgh’s population: has the bleeding stopped?
(26:27 – 38:36)
The latest U.S. Census estimates for Pittsburgh show another slight population decline, but not below the 300,000-resident threshold some feared. Chris Briem, regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Social and Urban Research, says that downward creep is really a mark of relative stability—and that is a very good sign.
90.5 WESA's Julia Zenkevich and Julia Maruca contributed to this program.
The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.