Fox News 2024-04-20 10:03:34


FBI director warns Chinese hackers are preparing to ‘physically wreak havoc’ on US

Chinese hackers are developing the “ability to physically wreak havoc on our critical infrastructure at a time of its choosing,” FBI director Christopher Wray said this week.

He added that the hackers are waiting “for just the right moment to deal a devastating blow.”

The hacking campaign, known as Volt Typhoon, has embedded itself successfully in several American critical infrastructure companies that include telecommunications, energy and water, and others, he said. 

FBI DIRECTOR SAYS CHINA IS THE ‘DEFINING THREAT OF OUR GENERATION’

“Its plan is to land low blows against civilian infrastructure to try to induce panic,” Wray said Thursday at the 2024 Vanderbilt Summit on Modern Conflict and Emerging Threats.

A Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said this week that Volt Typhoon is part of a criminal ramsonware group and is not related to the government. 

“Some in the US have been using origin-tracing of cyberattacks as a tool to hit and frame China, claiming the US to be the victim while it’s the other way round, and politicizing cybersecurity issues,” the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. said in a separate statement. 

Microsoft and Google security experts have previously linked the hackers to China and Wray said the effort is connected to U.S.-Chinese tensions around Taiwan. 

Wray gave a similar warning to lawmakers on Capitol Hill in February, saying Chinese hackers are intending to “wreak havoc and cause real-world harm to American citizens and communities.” 

Wray and other government officials were testifying in front of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party for a hearing titled “The Chinese Community Party Cyber Threat to the American Homeland and National Security.”

NEW GROUP LAUNCHES TO COMBAT CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY INFLUENCE ACROSS US 

“There has been far too little public focus on the fact that PRC [People’s Republic of China] hackers are targeting our critical infrastructure – our water treatment plants, our electrical grid, our oil and natural gas pipelines, our transportation systems. And the risk that poses to every American requires our attention now,” Wray told lawmakers at the time. 

Wray also said that “today, and literally every day” Chinese hackers are “actively attacking our economic security, engaging in wholesale theft of our innovation, and our personal and corporate data.” 

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“And they don’t just hit our security and economy. They target our freedoms, reaching inside our borders, across America, to silence, coerce, and threaten our citizens and residents,” Wray testified.  

Fox News’ Greg Norman and Reuters contributed to this report. 

White House defends Biden’s claim his uncle was eaten by cannibals

During his visit to a war memorial near his hometown in Pennsylvania, President Biden appeared to imply his uncle was eaten by cannibals after his plane was shot down during World War II.

“He flew single-engine planes, reconnaissance flights over New Guinea. He had volunteered because someone couldn’t make it. He got shot down in an area where there were a lot of cannibals in New Guinea at the time,” President Biden said. “They never recovered his body.”

On Thursday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledged that President Biden’s maternal uncle, Ambrose Finnegan, who he refers to as “Uncle Bosie,” did die in WWII when his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean, but confirmed he was not eaten by cannibals, as Biden seemed to suggest on two separate occasions during his visit on Wednesday.

When asked about his comments on Friday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed the President was having an “emotional moment” when he made his remarks.

BIDEN’S FALSE CANNIBAL STORY DESCRIBED AS A SIMPLE ‘MISSTATEMENT,’ ‘OFF ON THE DETAILS’ BY THE MEDIA

“The president had an emotional and I think a symbolic moment. He had an opportunity as president to honor his uncle’s service in uniform. He had an opportunity to be there as president, you know, to speak to people that put their lives on the line on behalf of this country,” Jean-Pierre said.

She went on to explain what Biden’s comment meant.

“So his uncle, who lost his life when the military aircraft he was on crashed in the Pacific after taking off near New Guinea. The president highlighted his uncle’s story as he made the case for honoring our sacred commitment to equip those we send to war and take care of them and their families when they come home,” Jean-Pierre said. “And as he reiterated, the last thing American veterans are or the last thing Americans should be called are suckers and losers. And those types of words should not come from a commander in chief, as we have in the past.”

Jean-Pierre’s last statement was in reference to former President Trump, who President Biden claimed called soldiers “suckers and losers.” 

Trump was alleged to have made the comments as he was set to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery during a trip to France in Nov. 2018 while he was president.

The allegations, sourced anonymously in The Atlantic, described multiple offensive comments allegedly made by Trump toward fallen and captured U.S. service-members, including allegedly calling the World War I dead at an American military cemetery in France as “losers” and “suckers” in 2018.

JOE BIDEN LEFT OFF TIME ‘100 MOST INFLUENTIAL’ LIST FOR FIRST TIME IN PRESIDENCY

“This is more made up Fake News given by disgusting & jealous failures in a disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 Election!” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter about the comments made against him. 

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told “Fox & Friends”  that he was with the president for a good part of the trip to France. “I never heard him use the words that are described in that article,” Pompeo said.

Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that she was part of the discussion about visiting the cemetery. “This never happened. I have sat in the room when our President called family members after their sons were killed in action and it was heart-wrenching. … I am disgusted by this false attack.”

Fox News’ Peter Doocy continued to question Jean-Pierre about President Biden’s comments about his uncle, acknowledging that Second Lieutenant Ambrose Jay Finnegan was a war hero, but stating that the Pentagon said, for unknown reasons, the plane was forced to ditch in the ocean. 

“Both engines failed at low altitude. Why is President Biden saying he was shot down? There’s no evidence of that. And why is he saying that his uncle was eaten by cannibals? That is a bad way to go,” Doocy questioned.

BIDEN TAKES HEAT OVER GAFFE URGING AMERICANS TO ‘CHOOSE FREEDOM OVER DEMOCRACY:’ ‘GET THIS MAN OUT OF OFFICE!’

“He lost his life. It’s not. Look, I’m not, we should not make jokes about this,” Jean-Pierre said.

Doocy reiterated that it wasn’t a joke, but said again, that is what Biden said. 

“I mean, your last line is, it’s for a laugh, it’s for a funny statement. And he takes this very seriously. His uncle, who served and protected this country, lost his life serving. And that should matter. You have a president that lifts our U.S. troops, our American veterans every day. Who thinks about them? Who actually thinks they’re all heroes? And they are,” Jean-Pierre sparred back. 

Doocy asked one more time why he used the term “cannibalism” as Jean-Pierre gave her last comment.

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“I think you’re missing the point. The point is you have a president that lifts up American veterans, who lifts up our U.S. service members. And that’s what matters. He understands how critical and how important it is to be commander in chief,” Jean-Pierre finished. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Tom Selleck stays away from texts and emails — but admits to one high-tech guilty pleasure

Tom Selleck is not one to complain about unplugging. In fact, he much prefers it that way. 

In a new interview, the “Bad Bloods” actor – who is gearing up to release his memoir, “You Never Know,” – opened up about his lack of motivation to use email or text messages. 

“Occasionally I’ve looked up my name,” he told People magazine. “That started really with the book, but I’ve never sent my own email. I had a secretary. I’ve never texted anybody.”

‘BLUE BLOODS’ STAR DONNIE WAHLBERG CALLS TOM SELLECK ‘DAD’: ‘WE’VE JUST BECOME A REAL FAMILY’

However, Selleck admitted his wife of 37 years, Jillie Mack, has been known to send texts on his behalf. 

“I have a certain luxury where I probably couldn’t survive otherwise,” he said. “But I don’t know. I have a hard time writing things down, which is weird for a guy who’s pushing a book.”

Selleck met Jillie in 1983 when she was performing in the musical “Cats.” The duo married four years later. They share one daughter together, Hannah. Selleck also shares a son, Kevin, with ex-wife Jacqueline Ray.

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Recalling their nuptials, Selleck explained how their small wedding in 1987 almost didn’t happen due to one small, yet major, detail: they forgot their marriage license. 

“She was in a little room off the little chapel, getting ready, and I think my mom was in there. Maybe Marty wasn’t there. She was pregnant,” Selleck recalled of his wedding day, before remembering a big “commotion.” 

“Jillie can talk really fast and a lot and loudly, and I heard all this stuff and I think Dan went to check, and we had all forgotten the license,” he said.

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“That’s what I remember most about the wedding. And Reverend David saying ‘I’ll sign the thing anyway,'” he added. “And he went all the way into Reno himself so we could have dinner and brought it back. So yeah, it was just an adventure. I wouldn’t trade it.”

Ahead of his book’s release on May 7, the “Magnum, P.I.” alum also opened up about his long-lasting “accidental” career.

“It is really the story of an accidental career. I’d never taken an acting class. I had no training, no desire,” he told People. “People would say, ‘Oh, he was bitten by the acting bug’ or, ‘He wanted to be a star.’ I’ve never talked that way in my life. I just wanted to get a job and work.”

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But, nevertheless, he couldn’t be more grateful. 

“I’ve had a very good life, a very lucky life,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s what I figured I’d be doing, but it’s with a lot of gratitude.”

Homeowners in blue state face growing crisis as 2 more insurers announce exit

Two more insurance companies are ending property insurance coverage in California, adding to the growing list of insurers fleeing the state in what has become an escalating crisis.

Tokio Marine America Insurance Co. and Trans Pacific Insurance Co., both owned by Japanese firm Tokio Marine Holdings Inc., filed notices to California’s Department of Insurance saying the companies would cease offering homeowners insurance and umbrella policies in the Golden State.

The move will impact more than 12,500 policyholders, who can expect non-renewal letters starting July 1.

CALIFORNIA HOUSING CRISIS TURNING MANY WORKING-CLASS TOWN INTO ‘MILLION-DOLLAR CITIES’: REPORT

“Given the small segment of personal lines business we write and escalating costs, we cannot sustainably support personal lines coverages and do not plan to return,” Tokio Marine Holdings said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. “We remain committed to commercial lines in California – and across the country – and supporting our agents and customers with exceptional service through this transition.”

FOX Business reached out to Tokio Marine Holdings for comment.

The decision is the latest blow to California property owners, as insurance companies continue to raise rates for customers or discontinue coverage.

In 2022, insurance giant AllState paused its sales of new home insurance policies in California due to wildfires and higher costs of doing business in the state.

AUTO INSURANCE PREMIUMS ARE SKYROCKETING. WHAT’S TO BLAME?

State Farm followed suit last year, saying it would stop accepting new home insurance applications in California due to “historic” increases in construction costs and inflation

After State Farm announced last month that it would cut 72,000 home and apartment policies in California because of inflation, regulatory costs and increasing risks from catastrophes, California’s insurance commissioner, Ricardo Lara, told KCRA, “This is a real crisis.”

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According to KCRA, seven of the 12 largest insurance groups in California have either paused or restricted new homeowner policies in the past year.

FOX Business’ Chris Pandolfo and Kristine Parks contributed to this report.

WATCH: Anti-Israel agitators quickly clam up when Fox News reporter asks questions

When Fox News correspondent CB Cotton attempted to interview some of the anti-Israel protesters milling about on Columbia University’s campus in Upper Manhattan, she was confronted and told to speak with an unidentified “media team.”

Cotton, who said she was permitted to film on campus by Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, asked the protesters to elaborate on their demands to no avail.

Reporting on “The Ingraham Angle,” Cotton told guest host Pete Hegseth she wanted to attempt to get live feedback from protesters, and approached some students in the crowd, and began speaking with a young woman wearing a keffiyeh and a facemask.

ANTI-ISRAEL PROTESTERS HEARD SHOUTING ‘WE ARE ALL HAMAS, PIG’

As she began to ask them questions, another student approached and interrupted.

“We have, like, a media team if you’re interested in talking to people,” said the student, who was also wearing a headscarf.

When Cotton replied that other broadcast journalists were present, the student who interrupted the interview said she would direct her to the “media team” under the stipulation that the Fox News cameraman would stop recording.

“Well, we just want to talk to you all about your demands for the university,” Cotton said.

“OK, yeah, we do have a press team,” the second student replied.

IRANIAN-AMERICAN LAWYER WHOSE RESPONSE TO ANTI-ISRAEL PROTESTS WENT VIRAL PREDICTS NEW WORLD WAR

When Cotton indicated the Columbia Journalism school had welcomed Fox News in what was referred to as a “liberated zone,” the student expressed surprise that the administration would speak on behalf of the protesting students.

“I will totally have that conversation with [Cotton] — I would appreciate your respect… ” she continued before another student said, “Let’s walk away for a second.”

At that point, Cotton turned back to address Hegseth.

“[T]hey’re very selective about who they allow into this ‘liberated zone.’ There are other cameras in there right now. We can see those cameras, but again, our camera is not allowed in,” she said.

Hegseth noted how the students covered their faces when the camera approached.

Cotton later said that students unaffiliated with the protests have found them a distraction from typical campus life. Demonstrating students also recently pitched tents in the outdoor commons, but were met Thursday with pushback from law enforcement, which arrested about 100 protesters with the blessing of Columbia President Minouche Shafik, according to the New York Post.

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According to an earlier Fox News report, the campus protesters have had to show identification to prove they should be on campus, as New York Post columnist and part-time Columbia student Rikki Schlott said on “Your World.”

That, Schlott said, has led to a difference between student protests and more raucous protests occurring in the rest of Morningside Heights.

Throughout the day Friday, Fox News aired clips from the protests, including video of demonstrators near a food cart on what appeared to be Broadway in Morningside Heights, shouting that there should and will be more “October 7s,” a reference to Hamas’ massacre of Israeli civilians in 2023

Civil War-era cannonball found in backyard of Virginia home: ‘Could still be a live ordnance’

A mysterious bit of history was unearthed in the backyard of a Virginia home recently — which led to a call to bomb technicians.

While working on a home’s curb appeal, a landscaper discovered something that resembled a rock. He had been digging a hole for a shrub next to the home, as Perry Weller, deputy chief of community risk and reduction with the City of Staunton Fire and Rescue, told Fox News Digital.

The home’s real estate agent then called in the professionals once he realized what it was: a cannonball.

RARE CIVIL WAR, WWI MILITARY ITEMS MADE BY TIFFANY & CO. TO HIT ILLINOIS AUCTION BLOCK

Weller and his team arrived on the scene and quickly identified the object.

“We knew it was some sort of projectile, like a cannonball,” the deputy chief noted.

The cannonball was still found in the ground when Weller showed up — and he encouraged those who found it not to handle the item until it had been carefully assessed.

Due to the location of the discovery and the history of Staunton, Virginia, Weller and his team believe the cannonball dates back to the Civil War-era.

MYSTERIOUS DISCOVERY ON CAPE COD BEACH IDENTIFIED AS ARTIFACT FROM TOP-SECRET COLD WAR PROGRAM

“Once we determine an item is a potential ordnance, we do not handle it more than necessary,” he added.

Weller called in the Virginia State Police Bomb Technicians for support because the projectile still had the possibility of being active or live.

This is not the first time the deputy chief has come across a stray cannonball on a Virginia property.

In the past six years, this is his second Civil War-era projectile encounter, he said.

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When assessing these sorts of objects, one must be careful not to move the projectile, no matter how old it might be, he suggested.

“Leave them where they discover them. Even though the item could be hundreds of years old, it could still be an active or live ordnance. Call the police department or fire department immediately,” Weller said.

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“Remember, not all cannon projectiles were round. If someone discovers something odd [that’s] buried in the ground, it’s best to contact emergency services to evaluate it.”

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Is 2024 the year Republicans end a massive Senate election losing streak in New Jersey?

EXCLUSIVE – It’s been over a half century since a Republican won a Senate election in blue state New Jersey.

But real estate developer and hotelier Curtis Bashaw is optimistic about his party’s prospects in November’s elections to end the decades-long losing streak.

Bashaw, one of the two leading contenders in a multi-candidate field in June’s GOP Senate primary in New Jersey, emphasized “I believe this is a once in a generation opportunity.”

“I can’t wait to see how we prove to the rest of the country that New Jersey is a lot more purple than people realize,” he added in a national digital exclusive interview with Fox News.

THIS POPULAR FORMER GOP GOVERNOR AIMS TO FLIP A SENATE SEAT IN HIS DEEP BLUE STATE

A major reason for Bashaw’s optimism is the prospect of a three-way race in New Jersey. Longtime Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, who was indicted last year on federal corruption charges, is not running for re-election as a Democrat and instead is mulling an independent bid, which polls indicate would potentially take votes away from likely Democratic Senate nominee Rep. Andy Kim.

EMBATTLED DEMOCRATIC SENATOR MAY TESTIFY AGAINST HIS WIFE

Bashaw, an entrepreneur and historic preservationist who is recognized in the Garden State for leading the restorations of the historic Congress Hall and the Virginia Hotel in Cape May, at the southern tip of the Jersey shore, is a first time politician.

“I’m a political outsider,” Bashaw emphasized. “I’m a business guy. I built a business over 35 years restoring landmark abandoned hotels.”

And he highlighted that he grew his business from 25 to 1,000 employees.

“I’m in it because I want to unshackle small business from over regulation,” he said.

Bashaw’s chief rival for the GOP nomination is Christine Serrano Glassner, who’s served for four years as mayor of Mendham Borough, in the northern part of the state.

Bashaw holds a formidable fundraising advantage in the Republican race – thanks in part to a large self-investment in his campaign. 

He also enjoys an advantage on the primary ballot, as he has the county line in two-thirds of the state’s 21 counties. 

SIX KEY SENATE SEATS REPUBLICANS AIM TO FLIP IN NOVEMBER 

New Jersey has long allowed counties to print ballots that include a prominent party line, which are widely viewed as helping candidates with establishment backing. Kim sued in federal court to overturn the county lines in the Democratic Primary. But the GOP county lines were upheld.

“New Jersey is made up of thousands and thousands and thousands of small businesspeople.  We are going to get to them really quickly and our name ID will go up really fast,” Bashaw said.

And pointing to a busy schedule on the campaign trail ahead of the primary, Bashaw showcased that “I go to six coffees a day. I go talk to every single county in our state. I put a lot of miles on the car.”

Asked about former President Donald Trump, who is the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee, Bashaw told Fox News “I’m supporting this ticket top to bottom.”

It’s been 36 years since a Republican carried New Jersey in a White House race, but Trump is planning a campaign stop in the state next month.

“Donald Trump thinks New Jersey’s in play. I agree with him. Trump believes he can flip the country from blue to red. I believe we can flip this Senate seat from blue to red,” Bashaw said.

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He argued that “there’s a massive opportunity to pull” New Jersey’s large pool of unaffiliated voters “to the Republican tent…. We are going to pull those unaffiliated voters our way this fall.”

National Republicans to date have not made any investments in the Senate race in the Garden State.

But National Republican Senatorial Committee communications director Mike Berg said “we’re keeping a close eye on New Jersey.”

A national Democratic Senate campaign aide, asked about the contest, told Fox News that “Democrats have won every New Jersey Senate race since 1978 and 2024 will be no different.”

Bashaw, in his interview, spotlighted a couple of key issues, including crime.

“New Jerseyans are not feeling safe and secure in their homes,” he argued.

On immigration and border security, another key issue Republicans are spotlighting, he charged that New Jersey “is now a border state. There are illegals coming into all of our counties.”

“The woke ideology has permeated through our culture and we now have in our state, schools keeping secrets from parents about very, very, personal decisions,” he claimed, as he defended parental rights in public education.

On the issue of abortion, which Democrats are spotlighting, Bashaw pointed to the two-year-old blockbuster decision by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority that overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which for a half century had legalized abortion nationwide.

“I believe that the Dobbs decision was the correct decision,” Bashaw said. 

But he added that “I don’t support a federal ban,” which some in his party are backing.

The Dobbs decision moved the fight over abortion back to the states, and in New Jersey abortion is legal in all stages of pregnancy.

“New Jersey’s decided it,” Bashaw said, before charging that “the Democrats are the extremists on this issue, passing legislation allowing abortions up until the day of birth.”

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Senators say Clinton airport exec killed by ATF with no bodycam as questions swirl

Both U.S. senators from Arkansas are pushing for answers from the Justice Department about a federal law enforcement search warrant execution last month that ended with an airport executive shot dead.

Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman are seeking answers in the death of Bryan Malinowski, the executive director of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock. 

Malinowski was shot on March 19 when agents with the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) attempted to serve a search warrant at his home. Malinowski, 53, was wounded during a gunfire exchange with agents and died days later, the ATF said. 

1 DEAD, 9 INJURED IN ARKANSAS BLOCK PARTY SHOOTING

“The Department of Justice confirmed to us last night that the ATF agents involved in the execution of a search warrant of the home of Bryan Malinowski weren’t wearing body cameras,” Cotton and Boozman said in a joint statement. “We will continue to press the Department to explain how this violation of its own policy could’ve happened and to disclose the full circumstances of this tragedy.”

“Mr. Malinowski’s family and the public have a right to a full accounting of the facts,” the Republican lawmakers added. 

Bud Cummins, the attorney for the Malinowski family, noted that the ATF adopted a policy in 2022 that requires the use of body cameras during the execution of search warrants. 

“This policy provides parameters for the use of BWCs [body-worn cameras] by TFOs [task force officers] to the extent that a state or local law enforcement agency requires their use by its officers during federal task force operations,” states a Department of Justice memo dated June 2, 2022.

Cummins said the policy was created in response to the shooting of Breonna Taylor, the Louisville, Kentucky EMT worker who was killed as officers attempted to execute a search warrant.

“It is astounding for ATF to now claim they simply ignored this clear policy. It obviously raises more questions than it answers,” Cummins told Fox News Digital.

As agents were attempting to serve the warrant in the early morning hours, Malinowski allegedly opened fire. An agent was shot and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Malinowski was shot in the head by returning gunfire and died two days later. 

“As is standard practice, this matter is under review by state and local authorities in Arkansas,” Kristina Mastropasqua, an ATF spokesperson, told Fox News Digital. “The Department of Justice does not comment on pending matters.”

Malinowski was under investigation for allegedly selling firearms without a license, some of which were used in crimes, authorities said. Between May 2021 and Feb. 27, 2024, Malinowski allegedly purchased more than 150 guns, which he then allegedly resold. 

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Malinowski purchased the firearms legally and allegedly checked a box on purchase forms that indicated the firearms were for him. However, he allegedly resold the weapons at gun shows where he acted as a vendor. 

“At worst, Bryan Malinowski, a gun owner and gun enthusiast, stood accused of making private firearm sales to a person who may not have been legally entitled to purchase the guns,” Malinowski’s family said days after he died. 

Half-marathon winner stripped of medal after suspicious video surfaces

He Jie, China’s top long-distance runner, was stripped of his first-place medal from the Mengniu Beijing Half Marathon on Friday after an investigation concluded that three other runners from Africa had purposely slowed down to let him pass. 

Organizers announced the decision after footage from the race went viral over the weekend. Video evidence from the final moments of the race showed He trailing behind Kenya’s Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat and Ethiopia’s Dejene Hailu. 

Mnangat told BBC Sport Africa that the group had not been not running competitively, but rather as pacemakers for He.  

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An investigation into the incident found that four runners had, in fact, been invited by a race sponsor to serve only as pacemakers, but the main organizers were unaware of this. The fourth had dropped out before completing the race. 

“We deeply and sincerely apologize to the world and to every part of society, that we did not discover and correct the mistakes in time at this race,” the statement read. 

BEIJING HALF MARATHON UNDER INVESTIGATION AFTER VIDEO APPEARS TO SHOW COMPETITORS LET CHINESE RUNNER WIN

All four runners, including He, were disqualified and forced to return their medals and award money. 

Zhong’ao Lupao Sports Management Co, the main organizer, also lost its right to host the event as a result. 

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He won the Asian Games men’s marathon last year and holds the Chinese national record in the event after finishing the Wuxi Marathon with a time of two hours, six minutes and 47 seconds. He finished last weekend’s race with a time of one hour, three minutes, 44 seconds. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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