For decades, leakers of confidential information to the press were a genus that included many species: the government worker infuriated by wrongdoing, the ideologue pushing a particular line, the politico out to savage an opponent. In recent years, technology has helped such leakers operate on a mass scale: Chelsea Manning and the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables, Edward Snowden and the stolen National Security Agency archive, and the still-anonymous source of the Panama Papers.
But now this disparate cast has been joined by a very different sort of large-scale leaker, more stealthy and better funded: the intelligence services of nation states, which hack into troves of documents and then use a proxy to release them. What Russian intelligence did with shocking success to the Democrats in 2016 shows every promise of becoming a common tool of spycraft around the world.
In 2014, North Korea, angry about a movie, hacked Sony and aired thousands of internal emails. Since then, Russia has used the hack-leak method in countries across Europe. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar, Persian Gulf rivals, have accused each other of tit-for-tat hacks, leaks and online sabotage. Other spy services are suspected in additional disclosures, but spies are skilled at hiding their tracks.
"It's clear that nation states are looking at these mass leaks and seeing how successful they are," said Matt Tait, a cyber expert at the University of Texas who previously worked at Government Communications Headquarters, the British equivalent of the National Security Agency.
What does this mean for journalism? The old rules say that if news organizations obtain material they deem both authentic and newsworthy, they should run it. But those conventions may set reporters up for spy agencies to manipulate what and when they publish, with an added danger: An archive of genuine material may be seeded with slick forgeries.
This quandary is raised with emotional force by my colleague Amy Chozick in her new book about covering Hillary Clinton. She recounts reading a New York Times story about the Russian hack of the Democrats that said The Times and other outlets, by publishing stories based on the hacked material, became "a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence." She felt terrible, she reports, because she thought she was guilty as charged.
Others hurried to reassure Chozick that she and hundreds of other reporters who covered the leaked emails were simply doing their jobs. "The primary question a journalist must ask himself is whether or not the information is true and relevant," wrote Jack Shafer, the media critic for Politico, "and certainly not whether it might make Moscow happy."
Deep-Red Alaska, Feeling Thaw, Devises Climate Change Plan 深紅阿拉斯加 因應氣候變遷
In the Trump era, it has mainly been blue states that have taken the lead on climate change policy, with liberal strongholds like California and New York setting ambitious goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Now, at least one deep-red state could soon join them: Alaska, a major oil and gas producer, is creating its own plan to address climate change. Ideas under discussion include cuts in state emissions by 2025 and a tax on companies that emit carbon dioxide.
While many conservative-leaning states have resisted aggressive climate policies, Alaska is already seeing the dramatic effects of global warming firsthand, making the issue difficult for local politicians to avoid. The solid permafrost that sits beneath many roads, buildings and pipelines is starting to thaw, destabilizing the infrastructure above. At least 31 coastal towns and cities may need to relocate, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, as protective sea ice vanishes and fierce waves erode Alaska's shores.
"The change has been so real and so widespread that it's become impossible to ignore," Byron Mallott, the state's Democratic lieutenant governor, said while visiting Washington to discuss climate policy. "Folks are realizing that it's something we have to deal with."
The state is still finalizing its climate strategy. In October, Gov. Bill Walker, a former Republican who won election as an independent in 2014, created a task force headed by Mallott that would propose specific policies to reduce emissions and help the state adapt to the impacts of global warming. The recommendations are due by September.
In addressing climate change, Alaska will have to grapple with its own deep contradictions. Roughly 85 percent of the state's budget is funded by revenues from the production of oil, which is primarily exported to the rest of the United States, and local politicians have largely been unwilling to curtail the supply of fossil fuels. Both Walker and Mallott supported the recent decision by Congress to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, a move opposed by environmentalists.
"The state will continue to be an energy producer for as long as there is a market for fossil fuels," the men wrote in a recent Op-Ed for The Juneau Empire. But, they added, "We should not use our role as an energy producer to justify inaction or complacency in our response to the complex challenge of climate change."
To that end, the state's climate task force released a draft in April that included a proposal for Alaska to get 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources like solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal by 2025, up from 33 percent in 2016.
阿拉斯加州地底下的永凍層（permafrost）已開始融化（thaw）， 是該州積極制定氣候變遷政策主因。永凍層指的是超過2年維持在攝氏零度以下低溫的土層。thaw可作動詞或名詞用，意為融化、融解、融雪。thaw也可指關係解凍，食物解凍，如The icy relationship between North Korea and South Korea seems to be thawing thanks to the Winter Olympics.（由於冬季奧運會，北韓和南韓之間的冰冷關係似乎正在解凍。）There are many ways to safely thaw frozen foods.（有許多方法可安全解凍冷凍食物。）
Jo Nesb�� Reimagines 'Macbeth' 奈斯博版《馬克白》 黑色犯罪故事
In 1937, The New Yorker published James Thurber's "The Macbeth Murder Mystery," about an avid reader of Agatha Christie who picks up a paperback copy of "Macbeth," mistakenly assuming it's a detective story. She soon discovers it's a Shakespeare play but is already hooked and reads it as a whodunit. It takes her a while to identify who killed Duncan, after initially refusing to believe the Macbeths were responsible: "You suspect them the most, of course, but those are the ones that are never guilty — or shouldn't be, anyway." Her prime suspect had been Banquo, but "then, of course, he was the second person killed. That was good right in there, that part. The person you suspect of the first murder should always be the second victim."
It's a very funny story and an insightful one, for Thurber shows how closely Shakespeare's tragedy follows the contours of detective fiction. Thurber wasn't the first to draw such connections; over a century earlier, in a brilliant essay about the play — "On the Knocking at the Gate in 'Macbeth'" — Thomas De Quincey had reflected on how deeply Shakespeare understood the interplay of murder and suspense. If the many allusions to "Macbeth" in the works of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, P.D. James and other crime writers are any indication, Shakespeare's play may be seen as one of the great progenitors of the genre, making Jo Nesb��, the celebrated Norwegian writer of thrillers, an ideal choice to update the play for Hogarth Shakespeare, a series in which best-selling novelists turn Shakespeare's works into contemporary fiction.
Nesb�� has spoken of finding himself on familiar terrain here, arguing that "Macbeth" is essentially a "thriller about the struggle for power" that takes place "in a gloomy, stormy crime noir-like setting and in a dark, paranoid human mind." True enough, yet many features of this 400-year-old tragedy don't easily fit the demands of a modern, realistic thriller. One of the pleasures of reading this book is watching Nesb�� meet the formidable challenge of assimilating elements of the play unsuited to realistic crime fiction, especially the supernatural: the witches, prophecies, visions, and the mysterious figure of Hecate.
Nesb��'s most consequential decision was when and where to set his story. While he follows Shakespeare in locating it in Scotland, rather than taking us back to the 11th century he places it in the early 1970s. He doesn't name the city, though there are many hints that it's Glasgow. This choice signals Nesb��'s ambitions for his novel, giving it a sharp social edge as well as a timely political resonance.