Pitched clashes near Lebanon's central bank amid protests

An anti-government protester drops oil on burning tires and wood during ongoing protests after weeks of calm in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with the local currency losing over 60% of its value to the dollar over the last weeks while sources of foreign currency have dried up.

Britain, France and Germany on Tuesday ratcheted up pressure on Iran to stop violating its landmark nuclear deal in a last-ditch effort to resolve their differences through talks while also starting a process that could bring back punishing U.N. sanctions on Tehran.

The three European Union countries are being pressed on one side by U.S. President Donald Trump to abandon the agreement like he did unilaterally in 2018, and on the other side from Iran to provide enough economic incentives for them to roll back their violations.

Now, the Europeans have reluctantly triggered the accord’s dispute mechanism to force Iran into discussions, starting the clock on a process that could result in the “snapback” of U.N. and EU sanctions on Iran.

A U.S. cybersecurity company says Russian military agents have successfully hacked the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the scandal that led to President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Russian agents launched a phishing campaign in early November to steal the login credentials of employees of Burisma Holdings, the gas company, according to Area 1 Security, a Silicon Valley company that specializes in email security.

Hunter Biden, son of former U.S. vice president and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, previously served on Burisma’s board.

It was not clear what the hackers were looking for or may have obtained, said Area 1’s CEO, Oren Falkowitz. The timing of the operation raises the possibility that Russian agents could be searching for material damaging to the Bidens or scheming to plant forged data and sow misinformation online.

Jet fuel dumped by an aircraft returning to Los Angeles International Airport fell onto an elementary school playground where children were playing Tuesday, fire officials said.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department said firefighters assessed 17 children and nine adults who complained of minor injuries and none needed to be taken to a hospital.

Iran said Tuesday that authorities have made arrests for the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger plane, which killed all 176 people on board and set off protests in the country demanding accountability after officials initially concealed the cause of the crash.

Iran’s Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili’s statement on the judiciary’s website did not say how many people had been detained or name those arrested. Iran at first dismissed allegations that a missile had brought down the plane, but in the face of mounting evidence officials acknowledged on Saturday — three days after — that its Revolutionary Guard had shot down the plane by mistake as the force braced for a possible military confrontation with the United States.

The plane, en route from Tehran to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians and 57 Canadians, many of whom were Iranians with dual citizenship. There were several children among the passengers, including an infant.

The National Security Agency has discovered a major security flaw in Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system that could let hackers intercept seemingly secure communications.

But rather than exploit the flaw for its own intelligence needs, the NSA tipped off Microsoft so that it can fix the system for everyone.

Microsoft released a free software patch to fix the flaw Tuesday and credited the intelligence agency for discovering it. The company said it has not seen any evidence that hackers have used the technique.

— Bulletin wire reports

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