national security

The confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is often a major event that ripples through American law for decades. But Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, which opens Tuesday, is especially historic because, if confirmed, Kavanaugh is expected to solidify a hard-right majority on the nation's highest court, a majority the likes of which has not been seen since the early 1930s, and which is likely to dominate for a generation or more.

Reality Winner, the former NSA contractor accused of leaking classified documents to a news site last summer, has accepted a bargain with prosecutors and pleaded guilty in federal court.

Winner, 26, was charged with violating the Espionage Act. She was accused of leaking documents that described Russian efforts to penetrate American election systems.

Her plea bargain calls for her to serve 5 years and 3 months in prison, with 3 years' supervised release, Georgia Public Broadcasting's Stephen Fowler reports. The deal still needs to be approved by a judge.

If all goes as planned, a long-anticipated ceremony will be held in Fort Worth, Texas on the first official day of summer. It's to mark the nation of Turkey taking possession of its first F-35 jet fighter.

The F-35 is widely considered the world's most advanced and versatile warplane. Not only has Turkey ordered more than 100 of them - it's also part of a nine-nation consortium manufacturing the 300,000 parts that make up Lockheed Martin's 5th-generation stealth fighter.

The joint alert from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security last month warning that Russia was hacking into critical U.S. energy infrastructure may have shaken some Americans. But it came as no surprise to the country's largest grid operator, PJM Interconnection.

It was 8:07 a.m. when the alert hit phones across Hawaii.

"BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII," it declared in no uncertain terms. "SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."

Just two minutes later Gov. David Ige learned the alert was a mistake.

Then, an additional 15 minutes passed.

Updated 9:45 p.m. ET

Hawaii residents and tourists alike were shaken shortly after 8 a.m. local time Saturday when a push notification alerted those in the state to a missile threat, causing an immediate panic until officials confirmed it was a false alarm.

"BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL," read the message, which also blared across Hawaiian televisions stations.

Flickr / Hugh Pickens

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s plan to spray chemicals and biological agents in simulated terrorist attacks at an abandoned school has alarmed residents and caused a stir on both sides of the Oklahoma-Kansas border.

America's sprawling elections infrastructure has been called "a hairball" — but as people in Silicon Valley might ask, is that a feature or a bug?

Then-FBI Director James Comey touted it as a good thing — "the beauty of our system," he told Congress, is that the "hairball" is too vast, unconnected and woolly to be hacked from the outside.

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

A few days ago, based on her apparent Instagram account, Reality Winner was prepping vegan meals and thinking about her weightlifting goals. Now she's in jail, awaiting prosecution on charges of mishandling classified information.

Winner is the first person accused of leaking classified information to be charged with a crime under the Trump administration. The 25-year-old National Security Agency contractor, who is also an Air Force veteran, is accused of orchestrating the latest bombshell leak from the NSA.

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Russia's military intelligence agency launched an attack days before Election Day on a U.S. company that provides election services and systems, including voter registration, according to a top-secret report posted Monday by The Intercept.

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