Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Emily Sullivan

Anonymous hackers breached the city of Baltimore's servers two weeks ago. Since then, those servers' digital content has been locked away — and the online aspects of running the city are at an impasse.

Government emails are down, payments to city departments can't be made online and real estate transactions can't be processed.

Copyright 2019 WYPR - 88.1 FM Baltimore. To see more, visit WYPR - 88.1 FM Baltimore.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

By law, only you and the U.S. Postal Service are allowed to put things in your mailbox. But what if companies like FedEx and UPS could do it too?

That could happen under a recommendation by the Trump administration.

A White House task force said in December that USPS should "explore franchising the mailbox as a means of generating revenue."

The Postal Service could use the cash.

The partial government shutdown is inflicting far greater damage on the U.S. economy than the Trump administration previously estimated, the White House acknowledged.

President Trump's economists have now doubled projections of how much economic growth is being lost each week.

Updated at 4:03 p.m. ET

Despite enormous pressure from President Trump, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced Wednesday it is increasing interest rates by a quarter point.

The Fed said in a statement it is raising the key borrowing rate to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent — the highest level in a decade, when the economy was in the early stages of the financial crisis and the beginning of the Great Recession. The Dow ended the day down 352 points, or 1.5 percent, after the Fed announcement. The index was up nearly 300 points earlier.

Updated at 3:31 p.m. ET

Kathy Kraninger, a White House official, has been confirmed as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new director over objections by critics who highlighted her lack of experience in consumer protection.

The Senate voted 50-49 Thursday to back Kraninger as head of the consumer protection watchdog agency. She has worked for the Office of Management and Budget since March 2017.

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko on Friday barred Russian men of military age from entering the country, saying the order was needed to prevent an infiltration in what appeared to be an allusion to Moscow's 2014 takeover of Crimea from Ukraine.

Poroshenko's decree comes days after he assumed martial law powers in Ukraine following a maritime skirmish in the Kerch Strait that joins the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov through Crimea. That encounter saw Russian warships fire on and seize three Ukrainian navy vessels, wounding several of their crew.

Since millennials first started entering the workforce, their spending habits have been blamed for killing off industries ranging from casual restaurant dining to starter houses. However, a new study by the Federal Reserve suggests it might be less about how they are spending their money and more about not having any to spend.

Three Philippine policemen were found guilty of murdering a teenager during a drug sweep — the first conviction of officers in President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly war on drugs.

Judge Roldolfo Azucena said on Thursday the murder of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos was "not a function of law enforcement" and sentenced each officer to 40 years in prison.

Volkswagen is scouting a location in North America for a new production factory to build electric vehicles, CEO Scott Keogh told reporters on Wednesday.

"We are 100 percent deep in the process of 'We will need an electric car plant in North America,' and we're holding those conversations now," Keogh told reporters at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Investigators into Lion Air Flight 610's fatal crash released a preliminary report on Wednesday, saying the jet's pilots were struggling for control against an automated system that was bringing the Boeing 737's nose down too far.

The report discussed Lion Air's maintenance practices and an anti-stall system in the aircraft; investigators said it was "too early" to identify a firm cause for the crash.

Hockey pucks: They're small and heavy and — one Michigan college thinks — may be the perfect weapon against an active shooter on campus.

Oakland University, a public school in Rochester Hills, near Detroit, is distributing thousands of 94-cent hockey pucks for just that reason.

The distribution, which began earlier this month, stemmed from a March faculty active-shooter training session, which followed February's shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that left 17 dead.

Lu Guang, an award-winning Chinese photographer and resident of New York, has gone missing while visiting China, his wife says.

Lu was invited to a photography event in the heavily controlled region of Xinjiang. He flew to Urumqi, the region's capital, on Oct. 23.

His wife Xu Xiaoli said in a detailed Twitter post Monday that she last heard from her husband on the evening of Nov. 3.

Ukraine's parliament has agreed to impose martial law in 10 of its provinces to combat "growing aggression from Russia," after a weekend confrontation in waters off the disputed Crimean Peninsula led Russia to seize three Ukrainian navy vessels.

Updated at 10:45 p.m. ET

The Camp Fire's death toll is 88, while 158 remain missing, the Butte County Sheriff said in a tweet Tuesday night. Searchers found no new remains on Tuesday.

Bernaldo Bertolucci, the Oscar-winning director whose groundbreaking films set in turbulent times, including Last Tango In Paris and The Last Emperor, died Monday at 77.

His publicist confirmed to Variety that Bertolucci died Monday morning in his home from cancer.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels near Crimea is an "outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory," says U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, calling it "another reckless Russian escalation" in a deadly and years-long conflict.

A snow storm has created whiteout conditions across Kansas on Sunday, prompting blizzard warnings as it was projected to travel north through the Midwest and into New England this week, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm caused major cancellations at Kansas City and Chicago airports, during a weekend that the AAA projected would see the highest travel volume in more than a dozen years as people return home after Thanksgiving.

Updated at 9:35 a.m. ET

A federal judge in Mississippi has permanently blocked one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country — a ban on the procedure after 15 weeks of gestation.

After more than three months in jail and last-minute confusion over his release, Shahidul Alam, a renowned Bangladeshi photojournalist and activist whose imprisonment drew international criticism, is a free man.

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