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Pasco Co. assistant principal arrested on federal charges following …

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) —  An assistant principal in Pasco County is in jail facing federal charges following a Homeland Security investigation.

Kyle Ritsema, 35, was arrested Tuesday afternoon. He is the assistant principal at Cypress Creek Middle High School.

Ritsema, who lives in Land O’ Lakes, is charged with federal rules violation and is being held without bond at the Hillsborough County Jail.

He was arrested by the US Marshal’s Office. Details about the charges against Ritsema have not been released. A spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told WFLA News Channel 8 that Ritsema’s arrest was the result of an investigation conducted by ICE and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Ritsema is still listed as an administrator on the school’s website. However, Pasco County School officials say Ritsema has been placed on paid administrative leave. Administrators say he was not arrested at his school..

A Pasco County School District spokesperson said the school district is not at liberty to give any details about the arrest at this time because the arrest stems from a Homeland Security investigation. The school district wants to reassure parents and students that at this point there is no reason to believe the arrest was school related.

WFLA News Channel 8 has reached out to the US Marshal’s Office about the arrest of Ritsema. We have not heard back yet.

WFLA has checked arrest records and it appears that he has a clean criminal history other than the federal charges.

Ritsema was scheduled for a first appearance in federal court this afternoon. We will be there for that and will continue to bring you more information as it comes in.

Cypress Creek Middle High School is located at 8701 Old Pasco Rd. in Wesley Chapel.

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Pasco Co. assistant principal arrested on federal charges following …

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) —  An assistant principal in Pasco County is in jail facing federal charges following a Homeland Security investigation.

Kyle Ritsema, 35, was arrested Tuesday afternoon. He is the assistant principal at Cypress Creek Middle High School.

Ritsema, who lives in Land O’ Lakes, is charged with federal rules violation and is being held without bond at the Hillsborough County Jail.

He was arrested by the US Marshal’s Office. Details about the charges against Ritsema have not been released. A spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told WFLA News Channel 8 that Ritsema’s arrest was the result of an investigation conducted by ICE and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Ritsema is still listed as an administrator on the school’s website. However, Pasco County School officials say Ritsema has been placed on paid administrative leave. Administrators say he was not arrested at his school..

A Pasco County School District spokesperson said the school district is not at liberty to give any details about the arrest at this time because the arrest stems from a Homeland Security investigation. The school district wants to reassure parents and students that at this point there is no reason to believe the arrest was school related.

WFLA News Channel 8 has reached out to the US Marshal’s Office about the arrest of Ritsema. We have not heard back yet.

WFLA has checked arrest records and it appears that he has a clean criminal history other than the federal charges.

Ritsema was scheduled for a first appearance in federal court this afternoon. We will be there for that and will continue to bring you more information as it comes in.

Cypress Creek Middle High School is located at 8701 Old Pasco Rd. in Wesley Chapel.

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Pasco Co. assistant principal arrested on federal child pornography …

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) —  An assistant principal in Pasco County is in jail facing federal charges following a Homeland Security investigation.

Kyle Ritsema, 35, was arrested Tuesday afternoon. He is the assistant principal at Cypress Creek Middle High School.

Ritsema, who lives in Land O’ Lakes, is charged with federal rules violation and is being held without bond at the Hillsborough County Jail.

Ritsema was arrested for possessing, making and distributing child pornography.

Told authorities when he was arrested yesterday he had a sexual encounter with a boy who was 14 or 15 years old.

Ritsema claimed at the time the boy said he was 18.

Detectives phone naked photos of the boy on his cell phone.

The boy confirmed the two had a sexual encounter.

Ritsema was arrested by the US Marshal’s Office. A spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told WFLA News Channel 8 that Ritsema’s arrest was the result of an investigation conducted by ICE and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Ritsema is still listed as an administrator on the school’s website. However, Pasco County School officials say Ritsema has been placed on paid administrative leave. Administrators say he was not arrested at his school..

A Pasco County School District spokesperson said the school district is not at liberty to give any details about the arrest at this time because the arrest stems from a Homeland Security investigation. The school district wants to reassure parents and students that at this point there is no reason to believe the arrest was school related.

WFLA has checked arrest records and it appears that he has a clean criminal history other than the federal charges.

Cypress Creek Middle High School is located at 8701 Old Pasco Rd. in Wesley Chapel.

Follow Avery Cotton on Facebook[1]

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US Homeland Security refutes NBC report that claims Russia hacked elections

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said a recent report by NBC News was misleading. The channel claimed Russia “successfully penetrated” the voting systems of several states.

“Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking,” DHS cybersecurity chief Jeanette Manfra said[1] on Monday.

In the NBC report[2], which aired last week, Manfra claimed that while the exact details are classified, voting systems in 21 states were targeted, and is quoted as saying “2016 was a wake-up call.” However, Manfra also adds that only an “exceptionally small number” of states were targeted successfully. Despite this, NBC’s headline on its website reads “Russians penetrated US voter systems, top US official says,” which Manfra has accused of being misleading.

Read more

US Democrats’ latest top 3 #RussiansDidIt moments

“Let me be clear,” she said. “We have no evidence – old or new – that any votes in the 2016 elections were manipulated by Russian hackers.”

The National Association of Secretaries of State, which represents a group of chief election officials, have similarly criticized NBC for misleading reporting. They have previously gone on record saying just one state was successfully penetrated by hackers.

In a statement, NBC defended its reporting of Manfra’s quotes.

“It’s hard to believe DHS actually watched or read NBC’s report. Our story is accurate, and makes all of the very same points this statement accuses us of not making,” said a spokesperson quoted by the Hill.

References

  1. ^ said (www.dhs.gov)
  2. ^ NBC report (www.nbcnews.com)
0

US Homeland Security refutes NBC report that claims Russia hacked elections

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said a recent report by NBC News was misleading. The channel claimed Russia “successfully penetrated” the voting systems of several states.

“Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking,” DHS cybersecurity chief Jeanette Manfra said[1] on Monday.

In the NBC report[2], which aired last week, Manfra claimed that while the exact details are classified, voting systems in 21 states were targeted, and is quoted as saying “2016 was a wake-up call.” However, Manfra also adds that only an “exceptionally small number” of states were targeted successfully. Despite this, NBC’s headline on its website reads “Russians penetrated US voter systems, top US official says,” which Manfra has accused of being misleading.

Read more

US Democrats’ latest top 3 #RussiansDidIt moments

“Let me be clear,” she said. “We have no evidence – old or new – that any votes in the 2016 elections were manipulated by Russian hackers.”

The National Association of Secretaries of State, which represents a group of chief election officials, have similarly criticized NBC for misleading reporting. They have previously gone on record saying just one state was successfully penetrated by hackers.

In a statement, NBC defended its reporting of Manfra’s quotes.

“It’s hard to believe DHS actually watched or read NBC’s report. Our story is accurate, and makes all of the very same points this statement accuses us of not making,” said a spokesperson quoted by the Hill.

References

  1. ^ said (www.dhs.gov)
  2. ^ NBC report (www.nbcnews.com)
0

US Homeland Security refutes NBC report that claims Russia hacked elections

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said a recent report by NBC News was misleading. The channel claimed Russia “successfully penetrated” the voting systems of several states.

“Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking,” DHS cybersecurity chief Jeanette Manfra said[1] on Monday.

In the NBC report[2], which aired last week, Manfra claimed that while the exact details are classified, voting systems in 21 states were targeted, and is quoted as saying “2016 was a wake-up call.” However, Manfra also adds that only an “exceptionally small number” of states were targeted successfully. Despite this, NBC’s headline on its website reads “Russians penetrated US voter systems, top US official says,” which Manfra has accused of being misleading.

Read more

US Democrats’ latest top 3 #RussiansDidIt moments

“Let me be clear,” she said. “We have no evidence – old or new – that any votes in the 2016 elections were manipulated by Russian hackers.”

The National Association of Secretaries of State, which represents a group of chief election officials, have similarly criticized NBC for misleading reporting. They have previously gone on record saying just one state was successfully penetrated by hackers.

In a statement, NBC defended its reporting of Manfra’s quotes.

“It’s hard to believe DHS actually watched or read NBC’s report. Our story is accurate, and makes all of the very same points this statement accuses us of not making,” said a spokesperson quoted by the Hill.

References

  1. ^ said (www.dhs.gov)
  2. ^ NBC report (www.nbcnews.com)
0

War and the Peace Olympics: North Korea's 12000-Troop Military Event Ahead of Games Was Planned for Months

A North Korean military parade planned for the day before the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea had been in the works for months, according to a South Korean intelligence agency.

As many as 12,000 troops had been mobilized for the event since early December, the National Intelligence Service told a group of South Korean lawmakers at a closed-door briefing, Yonhap news agency reported Monday[1]. The spy agency also warned that a tunnel at the North Korean nuclear facility of Punggye-ri was ready for a test “at any time,” and that North Korean hackers stole tens of billions worth of won cryptocurrencies from South Korean exchanges.

The military event celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), the country’s armed forces that former leader Kim Il Sung institutionalized on February 8, 1948, transforming the anti-Japanese guerrilla force known as the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army he created on April 25, 1932.

Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now[2]

The country used to observe both days, but starting in 1978, February 8 ceased to be considered a major event. Kim Jong Un reinstated the anniversary in 2015, analyst Robert Carlin noted in an article published on North Korea–monitoring website 38 North.[3] While the young Kim had yet to organize an Army Day parade, this year’s event is no surprise, as the regime tends to organize mass celebrations of important anniversaries.

Read more: Mike Pence has invited Otto Warmbier’s father to the Winter Olympics opening ceremony[4]

News of the parade preparation first emerged in mid-January[5], after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un showed willingness[6] to restore some contact with South Korea ahead of the sporting event held in Pyeongchang, a city 50 miles south of the border that divides the Korean Peninsula.

02_05_olympics_korea

The North Korean national flag is displayed at the athletes’ village in Gangneung ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, on February 5. Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

The South Korean government is promoting the Olympic rapprochement[7] as a “stepping stone to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula, to Northeast Asia and the world,” calling the games the “peace Olympics.” The two syllables in Pyeongchang, respectively, mean “peace” and “prosperity” in English.

But just a day before North and South Korean athletes are due to march under a united banner, the planned celebration of its ongoing development of nuclear and missile weapons and of the KPA troops that invaded South Korea in the 1950-53 Korean War offer a reminder of the challenges facing a meaningful peace process in the Korean Peninsula, which technically remains at war since the armistice that ended the fighting was never followed by a peace agreement.

North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party mouthpiece Rodong Sinmun defended the country’s right to hold the military parade despite the timing. South Korea, on the other hand, postponed joint military exercises with the U.S.[8] that were scheduled for the end of February, so as to not disrupt the Olympic spirit.

“It is a custom and very basic common sense that any country in the world takes the founding anniversary of its military very seriously and celebrates it,” the party-controlled North Korean newspaper wrote, quoted in AFP[9] on Saturday. Earlier that week, North Korea canceled a joint cultural performance with South Korea over criticism of the military parade in South Korean media.

02_05_olympic_truce

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach signs the Olympic Truce mural during a ceremony outside South Korea’s Pyeongchang Olympic Village prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics on February 5. Patrick Semansky – Pool/Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach nonetheless expressed satisfaction with the inter-Korean collaboration displayed on occasion of the games.

“The Olympic spirit has brought two sides together that for too long were divided by mistrust and animosity. The Olympic spirit has brought real hope for a brighter future for everyone on the Korean Peninsula,” Bach said Monday at the opening of the IOC’s 132nd session in Gangneung, the South Korean city that will host the sliding and skating events at the games, which will be held February 9-25.

Earlier that day, Bach attended the unveiling of the Olympic Truce Wall in Pyeongchang, a monument symbolizing the Olympic spirit designed by South Korean artist Yi Je-Seok and inspired by Pope Francis’ words of building bridges, not walls, Yonhap reported[10].

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War and the Peace Olympics: North Korea's 12000-Troop Military Event Ahead of Games Was Planned for Months

A North Korean military parade planned for the day before the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea had been in the works for months, according to a South Korean intelligence agency.

As many as 12,000 troops had been mobilized for the event since early December, the National Intelligence Service told a group of South Korean lawmakers at a closed-door briefing, Yonhap news agency reported Monday[1]. The spy agency also warned that a tunnel at the North Korean nuclear facility of Punggye-ri was ready for a test “at any time,” and that North Korean hackers stole tens of billions worth of won cryptocurrencies from South Korean exchanges.

The military event celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), the country’s armed forces that former leader Kim Il Sung institutionalized on February 8, 1948, transforming the anti-Japanese guerrilla force known as the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army he created on April 25, 1932.

Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now[2]

The country used to observe both days, but starting in 1978, February 8 ceased to be considered a major event. Kim Jong Un reinstated the anniversary in 2015, analyst Robert Carlin noted in an article published on North Korea–monitoring website 38 North.[3] While the young Kim had yet to organize an Army Day parade, this year’s event is no surprise, as the regime tends to organize mass celebrations of important anniversaries.

Read more: Mike Pence has invited Otto Warmbier’s father to the Winter Olympics opening ceremony[4]

News of the parade preparation first emerged in mid-January[5], after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un showed willingness[6] to restore some contact with South Korea ahead of the sporting event held in Pyeongchang, a city 50 miles south of the border that divides the Korean Peninsula.

02_05_olympics_korea

The North Korean national flag is displayed at the athletes’ village in Gangneung ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, on February 5. Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

The South Korean government is promoting the Olympic rapprochement[7] as a “stepping stone to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula, to Northeast Asia and the world,” calling the games the “peace Olympics.” The two syllables in Pyeongchang, respectively, mean “peace” and “prosperity” in English.

But just a day before North and South Korean athletes are due to march under a united banner, the planned celebration of its ongoing development of nuclear and missile weapons and of the KPA troops that invaded South Korea in the 1950-53 Korean War offer a reminder of the challenges facing a meaningful peace process in the Korean Peninsula, which technically remains at war since the armistice that ended the fighting was never followed by a peace agreement.

North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party mouthpiece Rodong Sinmun defended the country’s right to hold the military parade despite the timing. South Korea, on the other hand, postponed joint military exercises with the U.S.[8] that were scheduled for the end of February, so as to not disrupt the Olympic spirit.

“It is a custom and very basic common sense that any country in the world takes the founding anniversary of its military very seriously and celebrates it,” the party-controlled North Korean newspaper wrote, quoted in AFP[9] on Saturday. Earlier that week, North Korea canceled a joint cultural performance with South Korea over criticism of the military parade in South Korean media.

02_05_olympic_truce

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach signs the Olympic Truce mural during a ceremony outside South Korea’s Pyeongchang Olympic Village prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics on February 5. Patrick Semansky – Pool/Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach nonetheless expressed satisfaction with the inter-Korean collaboration displayed on occasion of the games.

“The Olympic spirit has brought two sides together that for too long were divided by mistrust and animosity. The Olympic spirit has brought real hope for a brighter future for everyone on the Korean Peninsula,” Bach said Monday at the opening of the IOC’s 132nd session in Gangneung, the South Korean city that will host the sliding and skating events at the games, which will be held February 9-25.

Earlier that day, Bach attended the unveiling of the Olympic Truce Wall in Pyeongchang, a monument symbolizing the Olympic spirit designed by South Korean artist Yi Je-Seok and inspired by Pope Francis’ words of building bridges, not walls, Yonhap reported[10].