Coverage Options Disappearing Across Country, Report Finds
Nearly a third of U.S. counties will be left with just one insurance option next year on the ObamaCare exchanges, according to a new analysis fueling warnings about the impact of the insurance company exodus from markets across the country. The Kaiser Family Foundation study found residents in Pinal County, Ariz., are even at risk of having no insurance options on the exchanges, which provide subsidized plans. Republicans seized on the report Monday to claim that the health care overhaul is not providing the choices promised by President Obama and others. Fox News
Scrubs 'Crooked' From Trump Tweet
CNN ensured a Sunday night Donald Trump statement about Hillary Clinton wasn’t “crooked” – but that might be the entire problem for the news network. A tweet from the Republican presidential candidate appeared to be edited and scrubbed of the word “crooked” when a graphic on Trump was shown Sunday night, Breitbart News reported. The only word omitted from the tweet was part of Trump’s infamous descriptor for his Democratic opponent, whom he almost unfailingly calls “Crooked Hillary.” Fox News
Breach Election Systems In Illinois, Arizona
Hackers have breached databases for election systems in Illinois and Arizona, according to state election and law enforcement officials. In Illinois, hackers accessed a database for the Illinois Board of Elections, compromising up to 200,000 personal voter records according to Ken Menzel, General Counsel for the board. The FBI is investigating the hack, which initially occurred in late June and was discovered in July. It was first reported by Yahoo. Officials with the Board of Elections are "highly confident they (the hackers) weren't able to change anything, although the investigation is still going on" according to Menzel. CNN
100 Macy's Stores To Close Will Be Announced After Christmas
The incredible shrinking Macy's empire plans to announce the locations of most of its 100 store closures by the end of January. Elina Kazan, national spokeswoman for Macy's, said Monday that the majority of the targeted stores to shut will be announced by the end of January 2017, or in about five months. "For those remaining locations, it will be sometime later - not yet determined when." When it announced the 100 closures Aug. 11, Macy's said it would focus on its e-commerce strategy, as the Gap and JCPenney have done. They, too, are shedding stores as more shoppers migrate online. At Macy's, online sales saw 15 percent growth last year, compared with total company sales that fell 3.6 percent. Philadelphia Inquirer
Push Back On Parents Resisting Vaccinating Their Children
U.S. pediatricians are pushing back against parents who resist having their children vaccinated against a broad range of dangerous diseases by calling on states to stop offering waivers to those with nonmedical objections to the practice. In a policy statement issued Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics also said that if parents continue to refuse vaccinations despite exhaustive efforts to change their minds, it would be acceptable for doctors to exclude these families from their practices. The pronouncements are intended to guide U.S. pediatricians as they grapple with a rising tide of vaccine "hesitancy" on the part of parents. Among doctors who are members of the nation's largest organization of pediatricians, 87 percent have been challenged in the last year by parents who refused to have their children immunized, up from 75 percent in 2006. Philadelphia Inquirer
Gentle C-sections Ere The LatestBirthing Craze
When Lia Minkoff had her first child by emergency Caesarean section following 36 hours of labor, she described the process as “horrible.” Though she was thrilled to leave the hospital with her beautiful baby, Siena, now 3, she felt like a passive participant in an experience that was out of her control and even included not seeing her new daughter for several hours. The traumatic memories made her fear the birth of Siena’s younger sister, Paloma — until she heard about a new maternity trend originating in Europe called “the gentle C-section.” NY Post
To Meet Erdogan Amid Anti-ISIS Squabble
President Barack Obama will meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdo?an on the sidelines of this week's Group of 20 meetings in China to discuss efforts against ISIS, the White House said on Monday. The meeting, the first between Obama and Erdo?an since a coup attempt in Turkey failed in July, comes amid differences in strategy against ISIS. The US has condemned Turkish strikes on opposition groups in Syria, saying they are distracting from the fight against ISIS, also known as ISIL. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter cautioned Turkish forces Monday against advancing further south of the Syrian city of Jarablus and clashing with US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. CNN
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'Media Would Do Us All A Service If They Didn’t Cover' Terrorism As Much
Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday during an appearance in Bangladesh that the media could “do us all a service” if they didn’t cover terrorism “quite as much.” “No country is immune from terrorism," Kerry said at a press availability in Dhaka, Bangladesh. "It’s easy to terrorize. Government and law enforcement have to be correct 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. But if you decide one day you’re going to be a terrorist and you’re willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover it quite as much. People wouldn’t know what’s going on.” Kerry referenced the July 1st attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, calling it an “an outrage clearly designed to divide Bangladesh, designed to try to cut off this welcoming society from the outside world.” CNS News
Aide Abedin Dumps Husband Weiner Over New Scandal
Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is done playing the good wife to Anthony Weiner, announcing Monday she is leaving the serially sexting ex-congressman after he was accused of sending raunchy photos and messages to yet another woman. Abedin, who as vice chair of Clinton's campaign is destined for big things if the Democrat is elected president, stayed with Weiner after a sexting scandal led him to resign from Congress in 2011 and after a new outbreak of online misbehavior wrecked his bid for New York mayor in 2013. She didn't leave even when a recent documentary blew up tense moments in their marriage to big-screen proportions. But on Monday, she effectively declared she had had enough. CNS News
Traffic Deaths Rose 7.2 Percent In 2015: Transportation Dept.
Last year 35,092 people died in traffic crashes in the United States, a 7.2 percent year-on-year increase that runs counter to a five-decade trend of declining fatalities, the U.S. Transportation Department said. U.S. officials said lower gasoline prices combined with job growth increased the number of miles driven last year by the highest rate in nearly 25 years. Distracted driving was cited in about a tenth of traffic fatalities in 2015, the U.S. DOT said. Data "showed traffic deaths rising across nearly every segment of the population," the department said in a statement. The number of fatalities was near preliminary estimates issued nearly two months ago. Reuters
Signal From Space Might Just Be Aliens
ET may really be phoning home — ours. A team of scientists that investigated extraterrestrial signals from deep space may have found signs of an advanced civilization in the solar system of a sun-sized star 95 light-years away. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) researchers believe that a strong signal detected from a 6.3-billion-year-old star could be an indication that something out there is trying to contact us. “The signal conceivably fits the profile for an intentional transmission from an extraterrestrial source,” Alan Boyle wrote about the discovery in Geekwire. “In any case, the blip is interesting enough to merit discussion by those who specialize in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.” NY Post
Watch Issued As Storm Nears Hawaii's Big Island
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center on Monday issued a hurricane watch for the Big Island of Hawaii as Hurricane Madeline closed in on the island. Forecasters say the storm should be near or over the Big Island by Wednesday. At 11 p.m. (2 a.m. PDT) Monday, the center said the storm had strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 130 mph. The Center's advisory on Madeline predicted it will pass "dangerously close" to the Big Island Wednesday. It said residents could experience hurricane force winds, heavy rain and high surf. Tampa Tribune
Carolina Warily Watching 2 Tropical Weather Systems
A tropical weather system off the coast of North Carolina's Outer Banks is expected to strengthen in the next day, bringing winds up to 45 mph and heavy rains that could flood low-lying areas, officials said. Early Tuesday, the tropical depression with winds of 35 mph was about 95 miles (150 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras and was expected to become a tropical storm Tuesday afternoon but not grow any stronger. A hurricane hunter aircraft was sent in to investigate the depression, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said early Tuesday. A tropical storm warning has been issued for areas of the coast from Cape Lookout to the Oregon Inlet along North Carolina's Outer Banks. Tampa Tribune
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To Meet Target Of Admitting 10,000 Syrian Refugees: White House
The Obama administration will meet its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year a month ahead of schedule and is working with Congress to increase the target by a few thousand in 2018, the White House said on Monday. The 10,000th Syrian refugee was scheduled to arrive in the United States on Monday afternoon, national security advisor Susan Rice said in a statement. The White House had pledged to admit at least 10,000 displaced Syrians during the current fiscal year, which wraps up at the end of September. Reuters
Has Donated To Weiner's Political Campaigns
Donald Trump has had few good things to say about Anthony Weiner in recent years, but the Republican presidential candidate has been a repeat donor of the disgraced Democrat and former politician. Trump said Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, who is also a top aide to Hillary Clinton, is "far better off without him," after Abedin announced that she was separating from her husband over a new sexually explicit texting scandal broke. But Trump, who has contributed money to both Democrats and Republicans, including his rival Hillary Clinton, was supportive of Weiner in the past. He donated twice, including the maximum amount of $2300 to Weiner's congressional races in 2007 and 2010 and he made a small $150 contribution to his city council race in 1997. MSNBC
Must Pay Up To $14.5B In Back Taxes To Ireland
Apple must pay up to $14.5 billion in back taxes to Ireland, the European Union ruled Tuesday after the bloc's anti-trust arm concluded that the technology firm was given illegal tax benefits over two decades. “Member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies — this is illegal under EU state aid rules,” said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. Vestager said a three-year investigation found Ireland granted such lavish tax breaks to Apple over many years. She said multinational’s effective corporate tax rate on its European profits dropped from 1% in 2003 to a mere 0.0005%in 2014. Apple shares (AAPL) fell about 2% in pre-market trades. USA Today
Elected Officials Own Firm Involved In Fatal Bus Crash
A company owned by a parish constable and an Arkansas state representative hired a bus full of illegal workers that caused a fatal accident on Interstate 10, and one of the workers with a particularly bad driving record was at the wheel. WRS, an Arkansas company registered to three men — including Eddie Schmidt, the elected Ward 4 constable for St. Tammany Parish; and David Wallace, a state legislator from Leachville, Ark. — had a man round up potential workers. Wallace told The New Orleans Advocate that WRS hired a bus to take the work crew to a commercial job site in the Baton Rouge, La., area. The driver of the bus, Denis Yasmir Amaya Rodriguez, 37, of Honduras, had been doing work for the man and construction jobs in the past year for Schmidt’s company. It’s unclear why Amaya ended up driving the bus rather than the bus company, Kristina’s Transportation, providing a driver. USA Today
McCain Is In The Fight Of His Political Life In The Age Of Donald Trump
After 30 years in the Senate, during which he transformed himself from war hero into political icon, John McCain now finds himself in more jeopardy than at any time during his political career. And for much of that, he can blame Donald Trump. This reelection campaign, his fifth, is forcing the Arizona Republican to do battle on multiple fronts, testing his political dexterity in ways unlike any of his previous races, including two unsuccessful bids for the presidency. First he must clear his primary Tuesday, a day after he turns 80, against an arch-conservative whose campaign received a late six-figure boost from a Trump donor. Then, assuming he wins the nomination, he must move into a general election just two months away against a well-funded Democrat, U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, whose campaign is wrapping McCain’s support for Trump around the veteran Republican’s neck in a bid to drive up Latino turnout. Washington Post
Ad Credits Tax Plan He Doesn't Support
Donald Trump's new $10 million TV ad cites two contradictory tax plans -- one that Trump has explicitly ruled out and another that he has yet to endorse -- raising more questions about what policies the GOP presidential nominee supports. Trump's new ad seems generic enough for a Republican politician. In it, he promises lower taxes, more jobs, and growth for small businesses. But an examination of the fine print supporting the claims provides confusion, not clarity. For the ad's claim that "working families get tax relief," it refers viewers not to an analysis of Trump's own tax proposals, but to a white paper by House GOP leaders about their own tax reform plan. Similarly, the next section promising "millions of new jobs" directs viewers to an analysis of the House GOP plan by the conservative Tax Foundation. MSNBC
Warns Of ‘Rigged’ Election, Recruits Volunteers To Monitor Polling Places
Fearing a “rigged” election, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is recruiting volunteers to monitor polls on Election Day — prompting voting rights advocates to prepare for fallout and say the real estate mogul’s language already is bordering on voter intimidation. In recent weeks, Mr. Trump has called on his supporters in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Ohio to go beyond simply voting on Nov. 8. He is urging them also to be on the lookout for any funny business on Election Day. A section added to his campaign website explains where people can get more information on how to be a “volunteer Trump Election Observer.” Washington Times
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Cooper, Megyn Kelly Top Choices To Moderate Presidential Debates: Poll
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and Fox News host Megyn Kelly are voters’ top choices to moderate the upcoming presidential debates, according to a poll released Monday. Mr. Cooper was the top choice for 34 percent of registered voters, followed by Ms. Kelly at 25 percent and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace at 22 percent, according to the Morning Consult poll. Bob Schieffer, who retired last year as host of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” was next at 17 percent, followed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer at 16 percent. Washington Times
Clinton Leads Donald Trump Nationally By 7 Points
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump nationally by 7 percentage points, according to a Monmouth University survey released Monday. The poll found that 46 percent of likely voters support Clinton and 39 percent back Trump. Seven percent said they support Libertarian Gary Johnson and 2 percent back Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Clinton’s lead has narrowed since the last Monmouth poll taken earlier this month found that she had a 13-percentage-point lead among likely voters and a 12-percentage-point lead among registered voters. CBS
Pence Fires Up Cobb County Crowd With Wide-Ranging Speech
Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence revved up a crowd of several hundred doting fans in Cobb County Monday evening with a wide-ranging speech that hit on many policy issues popular with conservatives. The Indiana governor framed the election as a stark choice between his running mate, Donald Trump, and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on blue chip issues such as guns, foreign policy, jobs and filling the Supreme Court vacancy during his 30-minute address. “I truly do believe this is a choice between someone who’s determined to continue the failed policies that have weakened America abroad and will stifle our nation’s economy and someone who’s willing to plant his feet in the ground, turn around and lead the American people back up the heights,” Pence told an enthusiastic, standing room-only crowd at the Cobb Galleria Centre. Atlanta Journal
Wants Halt To 'Imbalanced' EU-US Trade Deal Talks
The French government wants the European Union to end talks with the U.S. on forging a sweeping trade deal that it sees as too friendly to U.S. businesses. French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday that talks on a landmark trade deal between the U.S. and European Union are unbalanced and cannot be completed before President Barack Obama leaves office. "France prefers to look things in the face," Hollande said in a diplomatic speech. "These discussions cannot result in an agreement by the end of the year. The negotiations have bogged down, the positions have not been respected, the imbalance is obvious." It's the latest blow to the proposed free-trade zone that would encompass half the world's economy. There's resistance on both continents, and the talks are complicated by Britain's planned exit from the 28-nation EU and upcoming presidential elections in the U.S. and France. Houston Chroncile
Deportation Waffle Highlights Campaign Weaknesses
Donald Trump and his aides used to say that voters didn't care about the nitty-gritty of policy details. But now those details are tripping up his campaign. For more than a week now, as he's tried to shine the spotlight on his rival, Trump has appeared to wrestle with one of his signature proposals: A pledge to expel everyone living in the U.S. illegally with the help of a "deportation force." At a Fox News town hall taping last week, in the face of pressing questions, the GOP nominee proceeded to poll the audience at length on the fate of an estimated 11 million people. It was a stunning display of indecision from a candidate who has asked voters to put enormous faith in his gut instincts. Houston Chronicle
Maker Announces Major Move Amid Pricing Outrage
Mylan says it will make available a generic version of its EpiPen, as criticism continued to mount over the price of its injectable medicine. The company said Monday that its U.S. subsidiary will put out a generic version of the EpiPen that will have a list price of $300 for a two-pack. It will be available in both 0.15 mg and 0.30 mg strengths. Mylan N.V. said that it anticipates having the generic versions available in the next several weeks. It will continue to market and distribute branded EpiPen. CBS
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Economist Trusts Government Too Much
Few candidates spell out their policy proposals in as much detail as Hillary Clinton, but there’s still room to wonder about how a President Clinton would set her agenda for 2017 and beyond. One clue comes in the naming of Heather Boushey to be chief economist of her transition team, giving Boushey an inside track for a major political appointment. She is currently the executive director and chief economist of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and recently published “Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict.” That book is one good source for which ideas might rise in a Clinton administration. Bloomberg
Depressed Adults Not Getting Treatment: Study
Most American adults who suffer from depression aren't getting treatment, a new study finds. After screening survey data on more than 46,000 people, researchers found that 8 percent had depression, but only a third were being treated for the mood disorder. The reasons why were varied. "Some adults who experience depressive symptoms do not believe they are significant and require medical attention, or that they could benefit from treatment," said lead researcher Dr. Mark Olfson. For others, stigma or shame interferes with a desire to get professional help, said Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York City. UPI
Boy! Dogs Know What You're Saying, Study Suggests
Scientists have found evidence to support what many dog owners have long believed: man's best friend really does understand some of what we're saying. Researchers in Hungary scanned the brains of dogs as they were listening to their trainer speaking to determine which parts of the brain they were using. They found that dogs processed words with the left hemisphere, while intonation was processed with the right hemisphere — just like humans. What's more, the dogs only registered that they were being praised if the words and intonation were positive; meaningless words spoken in an encouraging voice, or meaningful words in a neutral tone, didn't have the same effect. "Dog brains care about both what we say and how we say it," said lead researcher Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest. "Praise can work as a reward only if both word meaning and intonation match." Charlotte Observer
Appoint New Military Chief As New Leader Settles In
The Taliban have appointed a new military chief as the insurgents try to gain ground rather than talk peace under a new leadership, Taliban officials said in telephone interviews over the weekend. They said that the appointment of Mullah Ibrahim Sadar, once a close ally of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar, heralds a commitment to confrontation at a time when multiple governments are trying to coax the Taliban to the negotiating table. Sadar is a battle-hardened commander, who gained prominence among Taliban foot soldiers following the movement's overthrow in 2001. The two officials both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly for the Taliban. Charlotte Observer
Stops Counting Labor Day, The Holiday Less Traveled
As Labor Day approaches, you may be wondering how many people will be hitting the road to take advantage of the three-day weekend. Don’t count on the Auto Club for help this year. The national organization and its member clubs are taking a pass this year on the traditional Labor Day forecast after deciding the holiday does not command as much interest as more popular travel periods and other Auto Club research projects. Although AAA dispensed with its national Labor Day forecast for the first time last year, the Automobile Club of Southern California was able to release one in 2015, thanks to another club opting to pay for a forecast, from which the locals were able to calculate air and road travel stats for California. San Diego Union
Ex-Marine Who Killed 3 In Baton Rouge Did Not Have PTSD
A former Marine who ambushed and killed three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers last month never saw combat in Iraq, but told doctors he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder because a buddy showed him videos of maimed and decapitated bodies, according to newly released Veterans Health Administration medical records. Gavin Long's doctors at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, diagnosed him in November 2011 as suffering from an "adjustment disorder with depressed mood," but not PTSD, according to documents provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.
During his PTSD evaluation, the VA noted Long avoided movies about the war and was "unable to experience tenderness, loving feelings." It also had a cryptic notation about some "sense of foreshortened future." Kansas City Star
So Sweet News: Doctors Set New Limits For Kids’ Sugar Intake
A group of heart doctors is calling on parents to stop indulging children’s sweet tooths by curbing the amount of added sugars in their kids’ diets. The American Heart Association (AHA) is recommending that children under 2 consume no added sugars and that youngsters between 2 and 18 limit added sugars in their daily diets to just six teaspoons. That’s the equivalent of roughly 100 calories or 25 grams. By comparison, a can of regular soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Currently, American children 2 to 19 consume 80 grams of added sugar, on average, a day, according to the AHA. The group’s recommendations to limit added sugars were published this week in the journal, Circulation. It was written by a panel of experts who did a comprehensive review of scientific research on the effect of added sugars on children’s health, which presented challenges common to this kind of nutrition research. Miami Herald
Soap Slowing Dying Out, Thanks To Millennials
Most Americans between 18 to 24 won't let bar soap touch their faces, bad news for the makers of Irish Spring and Ivory, according to new data from consumer research firm Mintel. Some 60 percent of millennials believe that germs live on bars of soap, a notion that may be supported by research. Despite a 1988 study that found washing with contaminated bar soap was unlikely to transfer bacteria, the advent of new, stronger pathogens may heighten the risk of germ-laced soap. Minnesota's Department of Health recommends liquid soap for hand washing. SF Gate
Surrogate Tweets Cartoon Of Clinton In Blackface, Quickly Apologizes
An African-American supporter of Donald Trump tweeted a cartoon on Monday of Hillary Clinton in blackface, seemingly mocking her outreach to black voters.
"Black Americans, THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTES and letting me use you again .. See you again in 4 years," Pastor Mark Burns tweeted Monday. The tweet was later deleted. The photo attached has Clinton, with her face painted black, standing in front of a podium holding a sign reading, "#@!* the police" and "I ain't no ways tired of pandering to African-Americans." SF Gate
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Energy Bills Driving Greener Weed Business
Beneath a purple glow, in a warehouse sharing the street with two indistinguishable strip malls, Kevin Biernacki is growing around 100 pounds of medical marijuana. The purpose of this facility, owned by The Grove, is no different than that of 39 other cultivation sites approved in Clark County. Yet, the roughly 480 industrial lamps suspended over clusters of cannabis set this place apart. Those energy-efficient lights allowed The Grove to slash its power bill. The decision to use LED lamps might seem unsexy at first, simply a marginal deduction on a complicated balance sheet. But it’s not. It is the type of business decision many experts believe can offer huge benefits in a growing market. Las Vegs Sun
Federal Health Care Overhaul Is ‘Crashing’
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicts the federal health care overhaul is likely to undergo changes next year, regardless of who wins the presidency and which party has the upper hand in Congress. The Kentucky Republican has long advocated for the repeal of President Barack Obama's health care law. He said Monday that it's "crashing" under the weight of rising premiums and the loss of big insurers. Speaking at a Kentucky Chamber of Commerce event in Louisville, McConnell said the health care law "can't possibly go on like it is." He says the extent of changes will depend on the outcome of the November election. The 2010 law passed Congress without a single Republican vote. McConnell says it has produced higher premiums and "chaos" in the private health insurance market. Las Vegas Sun
Pushing Into West Bank, Ignoring Pleas From U.S., U.N., EU, Russia
Israel's settlements in the West Bank have expanded in the past two months despite the diplomatic quartet of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia calling for a halt to construction of Jewish housing on Palestinian land, a United Nations envoy said Monday. Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. coordinator for the Middle East peace process, told the Security Council from Jerusalem in a video link that Israel is ignoring the Quartet's pleas. "Its recommendations continue to be ignored, including by a surge in Israeli settlement-related announcements and continuing demolitions," Mladenov told the Security Council. The Quartet, formed in 2002, has urged Israel to stop building settlements and urged the Palestinians to cease violence. Mladenov said the settlements have eroded the prospect of a two-state solution of Israel and Palestine. UPI
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GOP Billionaire Abandons Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump
A fellow real estate billionaire of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has revoked his support for the candidate after incurring blowback for planning a fund-raiser in his name this weekend. Martin Selig, a Jewish property developer who fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1939, originally cast his support for Trump as the default choice of a career member of the Republican Party. Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page. “The fact that these are the two people who have been nominated for president, you have to live with that,” he said, in his tepid endorsement of the candidate. Jerusalem Post
Defense Secretary Calls On Turkey Not To Target Syria Rebels
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter called on Turkey to stay focused on fighting Islamic State militants and not to target Kurdish elements of Syrian rebels. "We have called upon Turkey... to stay focused on the fight against ISIL and not to engage Syrian Defense Forces, and we've had a number of contacts over the last several days," Carter said in a media briefing on Monday, using an Arab acronym for Islamic State. Carter said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, had spoken with his Turkish counterpart on Sunday. Jerusalem Post
Rolls Out Domestic Internet
An inauguration ceremony was held on Sunday by the country's communications and information technology minister, Mahmoud Vaezi. The state news agency Irna said the initiative would offer "high quality, high speed" connections at "low costs". But critics suggest the true aim is to tighten the authorities' control over citizens' use of the net. Although Iran already blocks access to overseas-based social media services - including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - many users still access them via proxy sites and virtual private networks (VPNs). BBC
Rhymefest Invites Donald Trump To Chicago
"I will walk you down a block, Mr Trump, and I guarantee you won't get shot," he said on CNN. The rapper made headlines after he said he was mistreated by police officers while reporting an armed robbery. The invitation comes after Mr Trump said he had the solution to combat Chicago's soaring murder rate. He did not specify how he would solve the problem but he promised to improve African American lives across the US. BBC
Slump In Nascar Country Deepens Republican Fears Of Defeat
One month on from a precipitous collapse in Donald Trump’s poll ratings, many Republicans are no longer asking whether he can win the White House, but how badly he will lose. Election models put Hillary Clinton’s chances of victory in November’s presidential election at over 80% – in the words of the New York Times, her chance of losing is about the same as the probability that an NFL kicker makes a field goal from the 20-yard line. FiveThirtyEight statistician Nate Silver predicts a 28% chance of a landslide, in which she wins the popular vote by double digits. Guardian
On Colin Kaepernick: 'He Should Find A Country That Works Better For Him'
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick “should find a country that works better for him”, Donald Trump has said in response to the furor over the black footballer’s decision to sit during The Star-Spangled Banner because he believes the US oppresses African Americans and other minorities. “I have followed it and I think it’s personally not a good thing,” Trump told the Dori Monson Show, a conservative afternoon talk-radio program in the Seattle area, of the controversy. “I think it’s a terrible thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try – it won’t happen.” Kaepernick sat on the team’s bench on Friday night for the first time during the anthem before the 49ers played host to the Green Bay Packers in an exhibition game. Guardian
Restaurant Owner Refuses To Serve Hijab-Wearing Women As 'Terrorists Are
Muslim And All Muslims Are Terrorists'
In the latest instance of intercultural tensions in France, a restaurant owner in the Paris suburb of Tremblay-en-France is facing an investigation after chasing two veiled Muslim women out of his premises on Saturday. He added that "terrorists are Muslim and all Muslims are terrorists. I don't want people like you in my place. Now you know it you can get out." The boss of Le Cenacle restaurant later apologised for his actions as calls to boycott his establishment flooded social media sites alongside negative reviews. Things "got out of hand," the restaurant owner said to a group of men that confronted him over the incident, due to the current tensions around the burkini debate, but also because he had a friend who had died at the Bataclan attack last November. Telegraph
‘Negative Trajectory’ And Restore Hope For Two-State Solution, Says UN
Middle East Envoy
The United Nations senior official coordinating efforts towards the peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today reiterated a call for both sides to work towards a negotiated two-state solution which envisages the co-existence of Palestine and Israel as amicable neighbours. “Both sides should work to reverse the negative trajectory, to build trust and to restore hope that a negotiated two-state solution is not just a political slogan but a reality that can be achieved through negotiations in our lifetime,” the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, told the Security Council in his regular briefing on the situation in the region. UN News
World Day, Top UN Officials Call For Prompt Entry Into Force Of Nuclear
Test Ban Treaty
Marking the International Day against Nuclear Tests, senior United Nations officials today called for the entry into force of a multilateral treaty that bans all nuclear explosions, for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments. “Today marks a quarter of a century since the closure of the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan, ground zero for more than 450 nuclear tests,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day. “The victims there are joined by others scattered across Central Asia, North Africa, North America and the South Pacific.” UN News
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