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Cyber thieves attacking Inland Empire counties ‘a way of life now,’ CSUSB professor says
The Press-Enterprise/Southern California News Group/Bay Area News Group
Feb. 18, 2022

Imagine a wall around your house. Now imagine someone trying to breach it 411,000 times a day. That’s what Riverside County’s government deals with 24/7 while protecting a $6.9 billion budget and a mountain of sensitive data from hackers. San Bernardino County, which has a $7.6 billion budget, is also inundated by cyber intruders, although officials there were reluctant to put a figure on the volume of attacks their county faces.

“This is a way of life now where people are trying to find vulnerabilities and exploit those vulnerabilities,” said Tony Coulson, a professor of information and decision science at Cal State San Bernardino and director of its Cybersecurity Center. “It is better than robbing a bank … You can steal 100 credit cards, put them on the dark web and sell them for hundreds of dollars each and probably never get caught.”

Read the complete article at “Cyber thieves attack Inland Empire counties hundreds of millions of times a year.”

CSUSB professor discusses latest developments in attempt to revive multi-national agreement regulating Iran’s nuclear program
Press TV
Feb. 20, 2022

David Yaghoubian, CSUSB professor of history, commented a letter more than 200 Iranian lawmakers have signed calling on the administration of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi to “not back down from its red lines and national interests in the course of negotiations with representatives from the remaining parties to the 2015 accord  (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regulating Iran’s nuclear program) in the Austrian capital city of Vienna on the removal of sanctions against Tehran,” the news report said.

Yaghoubian said, “I believe that (Iran’s) parliament is making this clear to anyone in Iran and outside of Iran who might have doubts regarding what the Iranian negotiating team is attempting to accomplish. It is attempting to accomplish nothing less than the complete and verifiable and sustainable removal of all anti-Iran sanctions.”

Economic sanctions, which were reimposed on Iran by former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration when it pulled the U.S. out of the agreement in 2018 – the former president said he wanted a stronger deal and levied the sanctions to get Iran to the negotiation table – continue to be the sticking point in current talks in Vienna. Iran is seeking their removal.

Watch the segment at “Iran Parliament’s letter expresses standing of Iran’s law: Commentator.”

Threats against public officials and climate of conflict increasing rural California, CSUSB professor says
The Guardian (U.K.)
Feb. 20, 2022

Extremists are using their opposition to COVID-19 pandemic and its government-imposed, public health-related restrictions in their rhetoric – and in some cases, aggression – as local officials in rural California are targeted with recall elections and local government meetings are disrupted.

“We’ve seen an increase in threats against public officials and an increase in the climate of conflict,” said Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. “Whether it’s supervisors or school board officials, we are now seeing an in-your-face brazenness with regard to personal interactions, but it’s also spread culturally.”

In northern California, small groups with extreme beliefs have tapped into existing discontent over Covid restrictions, attracting residents who have long felt unheard or ignored by state officials, Levin said.

“This kind of activity in northern California is a symptom and manifestation of how widespread and dispersed extremism can be and why it has particularly gained traction in rural areas,” Levin said.

Read the complete article at “Extremists see opportunity as fury over Covid rules erupts in rural California.”

CSUSB professor discusses ties between rhetoric and rise in anti-Asian hate crimes
The New York Post
Feb. 20, 2022

Hate speech tied to the COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020 and 2021 in New York City, the newspaper reported.

The data, compiled by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, shows a disturbing rise in crimes against Asian Americans that started during the COVID-19 pandemic and grew increasingly violent as anti-Asian political and online rhetoric fueled the attacks, the analysis shows. 
Professor Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s CSHE, said data repeatedly shows a direct correlation between the use of stigmatizing language and hate crimes.

When public officials, including former President Donald Trump and other politicians, blamed China for the onset of COVID-19, referring to the bug as the “China Virus” and “Kung Flu” in spring 2020, hate crimes spiked nationally at the same time hospitalizations peaked, CSHE data shows. Sinophobic language also surged on Twitter.

Similar trends have been measured across other ethnic groups. 

After the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent social-justice protests, June 2020 “was the worst period nationally” for anti-black hate crimes since records have been kept, Levin said. And after the first Muslim travel ban was proposed in 2015, hate crimes against the group spiked by 23 percent. 

The alleged Chinatown killer, Assamad Nash, is led in cuffs from the 5th Precinct in Chinatown to his afternoon arraignment.Paul Martinka

“Whenever there’s a catalytic event … it tends to have a downstream effect on the streets,” the criminologist and former NYPD cop explained. 

“We see this all the time.” 

The vast majority of hate-crime incidents go unreported, Levin said — and they’re becoming increasingly violent.

Read the complete article at “Inside NYC’s skyrocketing anti-Asian violence: How hate speech led to hate crimes.”

CSUSB professor named San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra Youth Wind Ensemble director
The Sun
Feb. 18, 2022

Nicholas Bratcher, director of bands at Cal State San Bernardino, will lead the San Bernardino Symphony’s new Youth Wind Ensemble, the newspaper reported.

“I’m very thankful to the San Bernardino Symphony board for putting their faith in me to helm this endeavor and thrilled to be part of this creative team alongside Maestro Anthony Parnther and Principal Guest Conductor Lesley Leighton,” Bratcher said.

Read the complete article at “San Bernardino Symphony is launching a Youth Wind Ensemble.”

Symphony expands educational offerings with Youth Wind Ensemble, led by CSUSB professor
Highland Community News
Feb. 18, 2022

San Bernardino Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble (SBSYWE) is a new music education initiative from the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra providing a nurturing and creative environment where young musicians can grow musically and holistically through performance.

Explained San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor Anthony Parnther, “We’ve been looking for creative ways to supplement the great music education that our young students already get in the San Bernardino School District. But in addition to that, we have resources and assets that we want to share with our community, and the greatest of those is our new SBSO Youth Wind Ensemble Director, Dr. Nicholas Bratcher, who brings a long track record of excellence and dedication to our organization. We’re tremendously excited about implementing and growing a premier youth group that our region can be proud of.”

Read the complete article at “Symphony expands educational offerings with Youth Wind Ensemble.”

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