Pope Francis on the state of the world, QANon’s true believers and infrastructure attacks

The world is seriously ill – Pope Francis spoke earlier this week in his annual address to the Holy See diplomatic corps about a world that is “seriously ill.” “The pandemic shed light on the risks and consequences inherent in a way of life dominated by selfishness and a culture of waste, and it set before us a choice: either to continue on the road we have followed until now, or to set out on a new path,” Francis said. He spoke of domestic violence on the rise, job losses for workers with no safety nets and a generation of children stuck in isolation and facing an “educational catastrophe.” He urged governments to use the pandemic crisis as an opportunity to create a word that is more economically and environmentally just, one where basic health care is guaranteed for all. “There is need for a kind of new Copernican revolution that can put the economy at the service of men and women, not vice versa,” he said. Along with vaccines, fraternity and hope are, as it were, the medicine we need in today’s world.” (Washington Post, AP)

QAnon’s conspiracies and their true believers – A new survey from the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) reports that 29% of Republicans and 27% of white evangelical Protestants believe a QAnon conspiracy theory that purports former President Donald Trump is secretly battling a cabal of pedophile Democrats, and roughly half express support for the debunked claim that antifa was responsible for the recent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 65% of Republicans believe there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election and an astonishing 66% believe that President Biden’s victory was “not legitimate.” More than half (55%) believe in a shadowy “Deep State” that has been actively working to undermine Trump. 39% of Republicans and 41% of white evangelicals completely or somewhat agreed with the statement ‘if elected leaders will not protect America, the people must do it themselves even if it requires taking violent actions.’” (American Survey Center)

Attempt to poison water supply reveals critical infrastructure vulnerabilities – From the Washington Post: “Around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, a plant operator at a water treatment facility in Oldsmar, Fla., noticed his mouse dash around his screen. For three to five minutes, police said, he tracked the arrow as it clicked open one software function after another until it finally landed on the controls to the water’s levels of sodium hydroxide, also known as lye. Then, he watched the hacker who’d taken control of the system raise the levels of sodium hydroxide by more than 100 fold, according to police — a hazardous level that could sicken residents and corrode pipes.The operator was able to quickly fix the levels moments after the hack, police said.” However, police have not been able to identify the hacker. It is one in an alarming increase of cyber attacks on infrastructure including water and power plants, emergency services, transportations systems and hospitals. (Washington Post)