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The Spill: Enigma Machine

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A Nazi Enigma Machine and the Importance of Codebreaking

How would you like to find a secret coding machine? One professor was lucky enough to find an antique one used during World War II (WWII) and only had to pay 100 euros (about $118) to get it. The seller thought it was only a typewriter, but in fact it was an Enigma machine that had been used by the Germans during the war to send secret coded messages. The lucky buyer bought it at a Romanian auction and then was able to turn around and sell it for about $51,500. Besides being a WWII relic, what makes this “typewriter” so special?

The Wehrmacht were branches of the German army that used the machine to send private communications with each other. The Allied forces got their hands on many of these messages, but they could not crack the code. Scientists began working day and night to decode the important messages.

British logician Alan Turing began working on a decryption machine in 1939. Eventually, Turing was successful, and hundreds of the decoding machines were built. Now able to understand the secret messages being sent, the Allied forces gained the upper hand. Some historians suggest the decoding devices likely cut the war short by two years.

Republican National Convention Supports Trump

Donald Trump

August 27 is the last day of the Republican National Convention (RNC). Just as the Democratic National Convention lasted for four days, the RNC will as well.

On day one of the event, state representatives from the party cast votes for their choice of candidate to run for president in 2020. President Donald Trump was nominated by all to run for a second term.

Night two was a little different, highlighting the women who support Trump. Tiffany Trump, the president’s youngest daughter, spoke on the problem of censorship. First lady Melania Trump talked about her immigration to America, where she had always wanted to live.

Night three focused on “heroes” such as police officers and the support Mr. Trump has for law enforcement. Today the nation is in the grips of protests and violence against the police, so law and order is expected to be one of Trump’s main platforms leading up to the election.

Riots Break Out in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has become the newest hotspot for riots. This started because a black man was shot by white police officers. Cell phone video footage taken from the scene showed that police officers tried to restrain the man but were unsuccessful. Luckily, he did not die from the gunshot wounds, but his legs may be paralyzed.

The country has been seeing protests and riots since May. This latest shooting has added more fuel to the fire, sparking upset and unrest across Wisconsin. The national guard has been called in to help protect buildings as well as to control the mobs.

Two people have already been killed during the rioting and looting, and the area has agreed to accept federal help to control the situation.

Click here to try an online crossword with clues from this week’s news!

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