“What in the World?” Quiz-Week of June 10-16, 2018


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Check your global affairs awareness with these ten questions taken from the week’s news reports provided via @TNWAC #TNWACquiz.

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Elaine Loughlin, Nashville, TN

Yezzie Dospil, Nashville, TN

Kathy Ingelson, Nashville, TN

Kat Hendrick, Nashville, TN

David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL

Charles Bowers, Nashville, AL

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“The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age”

by David E. Sanger

In 2015, Russian hackers tunneled deep into the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee, and the subsequent leaks of the emails they stole may have changed the course of American democracy. But to see the DNC hacks as Trump-centric is to miss the bigger, more important story: Within that same year, the Russians not only had broken into networks at the White House, the State Department, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but had placed implants in American electrical and nuclear plants that could give them the power to switch off vast swaths of the country. This was the culmination of a decade of escalating digital sabotage among the world’s powers, in which Americans became the collateral damage as China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia battled in cyberspace to undercut one another in daily just-short-of-war conflict.

The Perfect Weapon is the startling inside story of how the rise of cyberweapons transformed geopolitics like nothing since the invention of the atomic bomb. Cheap to acquire, easy to deny, and usable for a variety of malicious purposes—from crippling infrastructure to sowing discord and doubt—cyber is now the weapon of choice for democracies, dictators, and terrorists. Two presidents—Bush and Obama—drew first blood with Operation Olympic Games, which used malicious code to blow up Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, and yet America proved remarkably unprepared when its own weapons were stolen from its arsenal and, during President Trump’s first year, turned back on the US and its allies. The government was often paralyzed, unable to threaten the use of cyberweapons because America was so vulnerable to crippling attacks on its own networks of banks, utilities, and government agencies.

Moving from the White House Situation Room to the dens of Chinese government hackers to the boardrooms of Silicon Valley, New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger—who broke the story of Olympic Games in his previous book—reveals a world coming face-to-face with the perils of technological revolution. The Perfect Weapon is the dramatic story of how great and small powers alike slipped into a new era of constant sabotage, misinformation, and fear, in which everyone is a target.

About the Author

David E. Sanger is the chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times. A 1982 graduate of Harvard College, Sanger has been writing for the Times for 30 years covering foreign policy, globalization, nuclear proliferation, and the presidency.

More Information and Ordering

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We’ll post the answers and the names of the winner(s) in next week’s quiz.

Here’s last week’s questions and answers:


Week of Jun 3-9, 2018

1. Secretary of Defense Mattis laid out US conditions ahead of the June 12 summit with North Korea on the sidelines of a meeting with Japan and South Korea officials. Mattis said “We can anticipate, at best, a bumpy road to the (negotiations)” in addition to laying out THIS position being operative for North Korea to receive relief.

A. Removal of its nuclear warhead stockpile to a third country.
B. Permitted entry of IAEA nuclear inspectors to weapons related facilities.
C. Clear and irreversible steps to end its nuclear program.
D. Verifiable destruction of existing ICBMs and start of a missile control regime.

Correct Response: C. Clear and irreversible steps to end its nuclear program.

2. Russian Anton Shkaplerov, American Scott Tingle and Japan’s Norishige Kanai ended a 168-day mission at the International Space Station on Sunday when they landed in the same country where three replacements will be launched from the Baikonur space complex on Wednesday. Where is the main space port for the Russian space program?

A. Kazakhstan
B. Turkmenistan
C. Belarus
D. Tajikistan

Correct Response: A. Kazakhstan

3. The Trump Administration acted on Thursday to enact trade protections previously announced that would do THIS. In response Senator Lamar Alexander said he had “yet to persuade the President an inch. Alexander said, “These are a big mistake, and Tennessee is likely to be the state most hurt by them…”

A. Loosen restrictions on Chinese tech companies like ZTE.
B. Twenty-five percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese high-tech goods.
C. Tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from Canada, the EU and Mexico.
D. Tariffs on automobiles produced in the European Union.

Correct Response: C. Tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from Canada, the EU and Mexico.

4. UK Prime Minister Theresa May is wrangling post-Brexit arrangement proposals in advance of the June 28-29 EU Summit. London is seeking a comprehensive agreement to structure the future relationship between the UK and the EU bloc but is prepared to leave without one. When is the UK set to separate from the European Union?

A. December 2018
B. January 2019
C. March 2019
D. July 2019

Correct Response: C. March 2019

5. President Trump reversed course on plans he scuttled eight days earlier for a summit with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12th following a meeting in the Oval Office with THIS official from the DPRK, former intelligence chief and nuclear negotiator.

A. Kim Yong-chol
B. Kim Il-Sung
C. Kim Jong-nam
D. Kim Jong-il

Correct Response: A. Kim Yong-chol

6. The United States fractious relationship with THIS country took a downturn last week when the Senate passed a defense policy bill that would prohibit IT from buying Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets in response to ITS plan to buy Russian advanced surface-to-air missiles and the detention of a U.S. Christian pastor on terrorism charges.

A. Taiwan
B. Egypt
C. Turkey
D. Jordan

Correct Response: C. Turkey

7. Saudi Arabia installed several new ministers in a series of royal decrees on Saturday, putting allies of the powerful crown prince in key positions to help push forward his efforts to diversify the economy away from oil and to make life more enjoyable for citizens, according to the New York Times. Who is the crown prince of Saudi Arabia?

A. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz (ABA)
B. Mohammed bin Salman (MBS)
C. Salman bin Abdulaziz (SBA)
D. Sultan bin Salman (SBS)

Correct Response: B. Mohammed bin Salman (MBS)

8. “Both sides appear to have hardened their negotiating stances and are waiting for the other side to blink,” was how an observer described trade talks between the US and China on Sunday. Beijing threatened to scrap concessions to buy more American goods if the Trump Administration proceeded with tariffs on imports from China. Who is leading the current round of trade talks with China in Beijing?

A. Peter Navarro
B. Robert Lighthizer
C. Steve Mnuchin
D. Wilbur Ross

Correct Response: D. Wilbur Ross

9. WHO said this: “The idea that the [country] steel that’s in military, military vehicles in the United States, the [country] aluminum that makes your, your fighter jets is somehow now a threat?” … “Our soldiers who had fought and died together on the beaches of World War II… and the mountains of Afghanistan, and have stood shoulder to shoulder in some of the most difficult places in the world, that are always there for each other, somehow — this is insulting to them.” WHO was it?

A. Justin Trudeau of Canada
B. Angela Merkel of Germany
C. Emmanuel Macron of France
D. Theresa May of Britain

Correct Response: A. Justin Trudeau of Canada

10. These two European leaders are collaborating on a EU reform plan to present to a June 28-29 summit as the bloc struggles to respond to damage in the relationship with the United States, political turmoil in Italy and other challenges to the Union’s stability.

A. May and Merkel
B. Macron and Merkel
C. Tusk and Macron
D. May and Tusk

Correct Response: B. Macron and Merkel

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