Middle East Would Be More Stable If Saddam, Gaddafi Still In Power: Trump
U.S. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said on Sunday the Middle East would be more stable if Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein were still in power in Libya and Iraq, saying it's "not even a contest". Trump mentioned the countries in comparison to current efforts to drive Syrian President Bashar al-Assad out of power. "You can make the case, if you look at Libya, look at what we did there, it's a mess," Trump said on NBC. "If you look at Saddam Hussein with Iraq, look what we did there, it's a mess. It's going to be the same thing" in Syria, he said. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Unfortunately, Trump is correct.

New Psychiatric DNA Testing Is Unproven Ground
John R. Brown had been on medication for depression and bipolar disorder since high school, but with personal crises swirling, he was desperate for help coping. So when his doctor suggested taking an expensive genetic test to find better treatment, he readily agreed. "It was so simple," said Brown, a 40-year-old former editor from Rutland, Vermont. "Just a matter of swabbing my cheeks for DNA and sending the test away." But when his doctor changed his medication, based on those test results, Brown's symptoms became much worse. Within a month, he had voluntarily checked himself into a psychiatric hospital on the brink of suicide. Now, an investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, published Sunday in the Boston Globe, has found that the reliability of these new tests, used to guide doctors in prescribing medicine for an array of neuropsychiatric conditions, is uncertain. MSNBC

San Francisco's Last Gun Store Closing Doors For Good
The only gun store in San Francisco is shuttering for good, saying it can no longer operate in the city's political climate of increased gun control regulations and vocal opposition to its business. "It's with tremendous sadness and regret that I have to announce we are closing our shop," High Bridge Arms manager Steve Alcairo announced in a Facebook post on Sept. 11. "It has been a long and difficult ride, but a great pleasure to be your last San Francisco gun shop." Alcairo said the breaking point came this summer when a local politician proposed a law that would require High Bridge Arms to video record every gun sale and submit a weekly report of ammunition sales to the police. If passed, the law would join several local gun control ordinances on the books in a city still scarred by the 1993 murder of eight in a downtown high-rise and the 1978 assassination of Mayor George Moscone and gay rights activist Harvey Milk. ABC
VOA VIEW: The gun store should fight back.

Saudi Aramco Cuts Crude Pricing To Asia, U.S. Amid Weak Demand
Saudi Arabia cut pricing for November oil sales to Asia and the U.S. as the world’s largest crude exporter seeks to keep its barrels competitive with rival suppliers amid sluggish demand. Saudi Arabian Oil Co. reduced its official selling price for Medium grade crude to Asia next month to a discount of $3.20 a barrel below the regional benchmark, compared with a $1.30 discount for October sales, the company said in an e-mailed statement. The discount for the Medium grade to Asia, the main market for Saudi crude, widened by the most since the state-owned company made a $2 a barrel cut in February 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Bloomberg


White-Gloved Butlers A New Must-Have For China's Super-Rich
Soup spoon, salad fork ... Zhang Zhejing struggled to remember how to lay out the cutlery on either side of the plate. She also forgot to put the water glass next to the wine glass - a crucial mistake that would not go unnoticed by her two examiners. Ironing, suitcase-packing, cooking and Western-style table setting - with knives, forks and spoons rather than with chopsticks - were all part of the final test at the International Butler Academy based in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu. The six-week program teaches everything a European-style butler needs to know to manage a rich family's household to the highest standards: from etiquette to organizing trips to exclusive destinations. Those skills are in growing demand among China's super-rich. Philadelphia Inquirer

Gay Former Student Of Pope Francis Speaks Out
An openly gay former student of Pope Francis' who visited with the pope during his recent trip to Washington said he was surprised Francis had met with the Kentucky county clerk who gained attention for refusing to issue same-sex couples marriage licenses. The pope's meeting with Washington resident Yayo Grassi, his boyfriend and a few others came to light Friday as the Vatican was distancing itself from claims the pope's meeting with the clerk, Kim Davis, was an endorsement of her stance on same-sex marriage. Grassi, 67, met Francis more than 50 years ago when the future pope taught at his all boys school in Argentina. They reconnected in 2008, and since becoming pope Francis has since met him and his boyfriend of 17 years twice, once in Rome and most recently in Washington, Grassi said. Philadlephia Inquirer

Trump Takes A Dip In The Polls — But He’s Still In The Lead
Donald Trump’s front-runner status slipped on Sunday, with a poll showing his lead shrinking in two critical early-voting states. The billionaire Republican presidential candidate is ahead by 5?points in New Hampshire, down from a 16-point lead in the state last month, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found. He also leads by 5?points in Iowa, a slip from the 7-point edge he had over Ben Carson in September. The real-estate mogul, meanwhile, reiterated on Sunday that he would drop out of the race only if he started tanking in the polls. “I believe in polls,” Trump told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “How many elections do you see where the polls were wrong? Not that many.” NY Post
VOA VIEW: Trump is starting to sound like an amateur.

Chris Christie Urges Focus On Mental Health After Oregon Mass Shooting
New Jersey Governor and 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie weighed in on the recent mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, saying that America should get “tougher” on mental health issues. “I'm very concerned about the mental health side of this,” Christie told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday on “This Week.” Christie advocates making involuntary commitment easier for doctors to enforce if they fear a mentally ill patient could become violent. “We don't want to involuntarily commit them, to put them away,” he said. “We want to protect others and get them the help they need.” Christie, a former prosecutor, also supports stricter enforcement of gun laws. “There’s lawlessness out there,” he said, pointing to Chicago, a city with tough gun laws and high violent crime rates. “We are not enforcing the law in as aggressive way as we should.” ABC

Young Americans Are Giving Up On Getting Rich
Young Americans’ incomes are depressed, their retirement nest eggs are microscopic, and their rate of employment is weak. The trend lines aren’t promising, either, which likely explains why there’s no shortage of pessimism out there. In a Bloomberg poll of Americans age 18 to 35—the millennial generation—47 percent said they do not expect their cohort to live better than their parents. For one thing, it’s hard to imagine outdoing your parents if you’re still sleeping under their roof. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, 15 percent of people age 25 to 34 were living with their parents last year, up from 10 percent 30 years earlier. High home prices and strict mortgage lending standards are prime reasons for many millennials’ failure to launch. “They are priced out of the kind of housing that they grew up in,” says Richard Portes, an economist at London Business School. Bloomberg

Biden: No Question Transgender People Can Serve In Military
Vice President Joe Biden says there is no longer any question that transgender people can serve in the U.S. military. Biden is giving a keynote address to a prominent LGBT rights group, the Human Rights Campaign. He says all Americans are qualified to serve and should be permitted to serve. Biden is calling transgender rights the civil rights issue of our time. The vice president's statement goes further than what the Obama administration has said before. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said the Pentagon's current regulations banning transgender individuals are outdated and has ordered a study aimed at ending the barrier. The White House has said President Barack Obama supports the approach. Las Vgas Sun


GOP Presidential Contender Cruz To Campaign In Michigan
Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz is campaigning in Michigan. The Texas senator will speak at a Monday morning rally at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. It's his third stop in the state in four months. Cruz was in Michigan last month for a Republican gathering on Mackinac Island also attended by four other candidates. Michigan's presidential primary election is March 8. Tampa Tribune

The Twitter Follow Lists Of The 2016 Candidates
Jeb Bush follows Donald Trump on Twitter but that's a one-way street: Trump mainly follows people with a connection to himself. Ted Cruz's follow list is a big tea party, though he keeps an eye on President Barack Obama, too. Marco Rubio seems open to following everyone under the sun — Democrats, fellow Republicans, insiders of every type and an odd assortment of outliers who offer advice on body-piercing, playing craps and getting out of debt. Using Twitter to get a message out is now a must-do for presidential candidates, but looking at the accounts they follow can be instructive, too. Their follow list can reflect not only their personality and interests, but sometimes their strategy. In Rubio's case, it seems to reflect a bit of a problem with spam, too. Overall, their choices reflect an interest in people who think like they do. Few Republicans or Democrats want to follow what people on the other side say. And most — Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders among them — don't follow most or any of their party rivals. Tampa Tribune

U.S. Group Issues Warning Over Planned Armed Anti-Islam Rallies
A series of anti-Muslim rallies being planned for October 10 across the country at mosques and other Islamic sites is raising the alarm among Muslim advocacy groups.
The Council for Islamic-American Relations (CAIR,) the nation's leading Muslim civil rights group, issued a warning to mosques nationwide Sunday to take additional safety measures ahead of the event. In an interview with CBS News, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said his organization monitors hate groups regularly, and that the talk surrounding the planned day of rallies on October 10th was unusually concerning. "At first we didn't want to take it public but at some level you have to warn the community about these potentially violent hate rallies," Hooper said. CBS
VOA VIEW: CAIR is seeking media attention.

Iraqi PM Opens Green Zone To All Citizens
Iraq's Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi declared the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad open to all of his citizens for the first time in 12 years Sunday amid efforts to cut spending and appease citizens who have been protesting for basic public services. Al-Abadi referred to the opening of the Green Zone as part of the "measures promised to our citizens and this opening that we are witnessing points to continued plans to reform — actions which we will not back down from," a statement from his office said, adding that al-Abadi was the first to pass through the newly-opened Green Zone, or the International Zone as it is officially known. Las Vegas Sun

Self-Propelled Coagulent Powder Could Improve Trauma Care
Scientists at the University of British Columbia have developed a self-propelled powder capable of delivering coagulants to hard-to-reach severe bleeding sites, like a ruptured uterus or severed aorta. "Bleeding is the number one killer of young people, and maternal death from postpartum hemorrhage can be as high as one in 50 births in low resource settings so these are extreme problems," Christian Kastrup, an assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at British Columbia, said in a press release. UPI

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Sen. John McCain: Airstrike On Afghan Hospital Was Avoidable
Sen. John McCain on Sunday blamed the airstrike that killed 22 people in an Afghan hospital run by the medical charity Doctors without Borders on the “fog of war” and the Obama administration’s withdraw of U.S. troops from the war zone. “We call it fog of war, unfortunately. And it’s a tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to them,” Mr. McCain, a former Navy fighter pilot in the Vietnam War who now chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Washington Times

Assad: I Would Leave Office If It Would Help
Syria's President Bashar Assad said Sunday he would be willing to step down if he thought it would help. Assad was speaking in an interview with Iran's Khabar TV, parts of which were aired Sunday. President Assad, approaching the five-year mark in Syria's civil war, which began with protests against his family hegemony over the country's politics, has publicly resisted calls to step down. His message to Iranian TV was couched, however, in language that blamed the West for "supporting terrorism," and he said so long as that continues, he will not step down. CBS

Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz Joins Race For Speaker Of The House
Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz joined the race to become Speaker of the House on Sunday after the front-runner, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, received criticism over recent comments on the Benghazi investigation. Chaffetz, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced his bid on Fox News Sunday. It is unclear if Majority Leader McCarthy, although favored by House Republicans, has enough support to receive the 218 votes he needs to win the full House vote scheduled for late October. McCarthy was seen as first in line following John Boehner's recent announcement he was stepping down as Speaker. UPI
VOA VIEW: Competition is good.

Top VW Exec Warns Emissions Crisis Could Kill Company
Volkswagen Groups's incoming chairman warned managers that the automaker's diesel-emission scandal poses "an existence-threatening crisis for the company" as new details emerged about how the debacle unfolded. VW finance chief Hans Dieter Poetsch, who is expected to be named chairman this week, told managers last week that despite the predicament in which the company finds itself, he believes VW can overcome the crisis, according to the report in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper in Germany. The crisis, which has wiped out $34 billion in the company's value as shares have fallen, stems from the disclosure by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last month that VW had rigged nearly 5 million diesel cars in the U.S. to pass emissions tests even though they spewed far greater emissions on the highway. USA Today

Carly Fiorina’s First Political Campaign Had A Surprising Problem: Money
Famed California pollster Joe Shumate was found dead in his home one month before Election Day 2010, surrounded by sheets of polling data he labored over for the flailing Senate bid of Carly Fiorina. Upon his death, Fiorina praised Shumate as “the heart and soul” of her team. She issued a news release praising him as a person who believed in “investing in those he worked with” and offering her “sincerest condolences” to his widow. But records show there was something that Fiorina did not offer his widow: Shumate’s last paycheck, for at least $30,000. It was one of more than 30 invoices, totaling about $500,000, that the multimil­lionaire didn’t settle — even as Fiorina reimbursed herself nearly $1.3 million she lent the campaign. She finally cleared most of the balance in January, a few months before announcing her run for president. Washington Post

Are Parents Ruining Youth Sports? Fewer Kids Play Amid Pressure.
The number of children playing team sports is falling, with experts blaming a parent-driven focus on elite travel clubs, specialization in one sport and pursuit of scholarships for hurting the country’s youth sports leagues. Baseball, basketball, softball, soccer and touch football — long staples of American childhood — have all taken hits, worrying public health advocates, league organizers and professional sports organizations. More than 26 million children ages 6 to 17 played team sports in 2014, down nearly 4 percent from 2009, according to a widely cited survey by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. Total sports played have plummeted by nearly 10 percent. Washington Post


American Flag Fight Pits Utah Woman vs. Condo Association
Residents of a small Utah condominium community say they are being fined for American flag displays that their homeowners association considers “exterior decorations” that can only go up around holidays. Erin Worthen, of Murray, says she was issued a $75 fine last week for the American flag display at her Chestnut Place residence, along with a notice from the homeowners association that said “all exterior decorations must be removed within 10 days following the holiday…Please remove your flag from the common area.” Fox News

Abortion, Birth Control, Race Top Supreme Court's Agenda
Abortion, birth control and race are among the most divisive issues the Supreme Court will confront over the next nine months, amid a presidential election campaign in which some candidates are talking pointedly about the justices and the prospect of replacing some of them in the next few years. The justices are returning to the bench on Monday for the start of their new term and their first public appearance together since a number of high-profile decisions in June that displayed passionate, sometimes barbed, disagreements and suggested some bruised feelings among the nine judges. The three-month break probably is a good thing, Justice Samuel Alito noted in a speech at the University of Kentucky last month. By late June, "We tend to be kind of angry with each other," Alito said. Fox News

Trump: Armed Teachers Could Have Stopped Oregon Massacre
Donald Trump said Saturday that had teachers been armed at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, the deadly shooting there this week would not have been as tragic. Trump has previously cited mental health issues, not guns, as the biggest cause of shootings in the U.S. But his comments on Saturday are his most extensive and emotionally charged about firearms since he launched his campaign in June, as he spoke about his personal gun ownership and elicited his biggest applause of the afternoon in discussing gun rights. "By the way, it was a gun-free zone," he said at a campaign event in Franklin, Tennessee. "Let me tell you, if you had a couple teachers with guns in that room, you would have been a hell of a lot better off." CNN

Oregon Shooter's Dad: 'That's What Guns Are, The Killers'
The father of the Roseburg, Oregon, shooter said he doesn't know where his son got his weapons, and he declined to comment much on his son's mental state, but he was quick to say what he thought was to blame in the deadly college attack: Guns. Ian Mercer, during an interview outside his California home Saturday, told CNN that he didn't know his son had a single gun, let alone 13. He asked, "How on earth could he compile 13 guns? How could that happen?" Mercer's son, Chris Harper-Mercer, staged an attack at Umpqua Community College, killing nine people and injuring nine others Thursday. CNN

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Student Debt Squeezing Parents And Children Simultaneously
 A college degree practically stamped Andres Aguirre's ticket to the middle class. Yet at age 40, he's still paying the price of admission. After a decade of repayments, Aguirre still diverts $512 a month to loans and owes $20,000. Texpense requires his family to rent an apartment in Campbell, California, because buying a home in a decent school district would cost too much. His daughter has excelled in high school, but Aguirre has urged her to attend community college to avoid the debt that ensnared him. "I didn't get the warmest reception on that," he said. "But she understands the choice." America's crushing surge of student debt, now at $1.2 trillion, has bred a disturbing new phenomenon: School loans that span multiple generations within families. Weighed down by their own loans, many parents lack the means to fund their children's educations without sinking even deeper into debt. Houston Chronicle

Mass Shootings Grab Headlines, But Others Go Under Radar
The numbers jump off the page: Nine dead on an Oregon college campus, 12 in a theater in Aurora, Colorado. Thirteen soldiers and civilians at Fort Hood, Texas; 32 people at Virginia Tech; 13 at a community center in Binghamton, New York. Twenty-six dead — 20 of them young children — at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Mass killings like the one Thursday at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, scraped nerves raw, commanded headlines and prompted an anguished President Barack Obama to take to the airwaves — again — to condemn gun violence. Here's another number: 8,124. That's the total of homicides by gun in 2014, according to the FBI's Crime in the United States report. That works out to an average of 156 a week, more than 22 people shot to death every day across the country. Houston Chronicle

Comcast’s Latest Experiment: Capping Unlimited Data
The worst company in America is now at it again. Comcast is apparently furious at cord cutters so they're running an experiment where they are now capping unlimited data. If you stream too much video instead of paying them for overpriced TV, well, Comcast is imposing a hard cap and then charging huge overage fees if you go over in select service areas. (They probably did a change in their terms of service that took the word "unlimited" out. "Unlimited" just depends on your definition of the word, I guess.) They say this is a "trial." I think they want to see what kind of outrage it brings. I believe this to be the height of corporate arrogance from a company that enjoys an idiotic monopoly that only happened because of a grievous error in Congress in the 1980s that granted a monopoly to the cable monsters. Atlanta Journal

Supreme Court Tackles Hot Social Issues As 2016 election looms
The nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are set to wade into contentious social matters in their new term beginning on Monday including affirmative action, union powers and voting rights, and could add major cases involving abortion and birth control. The court's work on those hot-button issues in its term that ends next June will unfold during a U.S. presidential campaign, meaning the justices could find themselves at the center of the political debate before the November 2016 election. The justices, five appointed by Republican presidents and four by Democrats, often divide along ideological and political lines on pressing social issues. The court's last term ended in June with rulings legalizing gay marriage nationwide and rejecting a conservative challenge to President Barack Obama's healthcare law, actions praised by liberals. But court observers expect the court's five conservatives to prevail in most of the big, closely divided cases this term. Reuters

Trump Still Leads In IA And NH, But Loses Ground
Donald Trump remains ahead in the early Republican nominating contests of Iowa and New Hampshire, but his lead has shrunk from a month ago, according to brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls of these two states. The polls were conducted Sept. 23-30 - so after the second Republican presidential debate, as well as after Scott Walker's withdrawal from the GOP field. In New Hampshire, Trump now holds a five-point advantage over Carly Fiorina among GOP primary voters, 21 percent to 16 percent - followed by Jeb Bush in third at 11 percent, and Marco Rubio and Ben Carson tied at 10 percent each. But a month ago, Trump's lead over the nearest competition in the Granite State (John Kasich) was 16 points, 28 percent to 12 percent. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: The liberal media are trying to minimize Trumps standing with slanted polls.

Hillary Raises Huma Abedin’s Profile Within Campaign As Controversies Swirl
Hillary Rodham Clinton has undertaken another mission with her presidential campaign: to rehabilitate the battered image of longtime aide and confidante Huma Abedin. The steps Mrs. Clinton has taken to raise the profile of Ms. Abedin in the campaign include using her prominently in a fundraising email and deploying her to Twitter for the first time. The email featuring Ms. Abedin was released with the subject line, “I believe in Hillary — do you?” It was the first time that Ms. Abedin, who serves as vice chairwoman of Hillary for America but remains mostly behind the scenes, stepped out to become the face of the campaign for a fundraising pitch. But the message raised eyebrows because Ms. Abedin has become increasingly entangled in the scandal swirling around her boss and has created some of her own controversy. Washington Times

Syrian Activists: Islamic State Destroys Ancient Palmyra Arch
Syrian activists said late Sunday that Islamic State militants have destroyed a nearly 2,000-year-old arch in the ancient city of Palmyra, the latest victim in the group’s campaign to destroy historic sites across the territory it controls in Iraq and Syria. The Arch of Triumph was one of the most recognizable sites in Palmyra, the central city affectionately known by Syrians as the “Bride of the Desert,” which the IS group seized in May. The monumental arch sat atop the famed colonnaded streets of the ancient city, which linked the Roman Empire to Persia and the East. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the IS group blew up the arch but left the colonnades in place. Charlotte Observer

5th US Circuit To Hear Appeal Of Ex-New Orleans Mayor Nagin
A federal appeals court will hear arguments in the case of Ray Nagin, the former New Orleans mayor now serving a 10-year prison sentence. Monday's hearing is set before a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Nagin, a Democrat who served from 2001 to 2010, was convicted on charges of wire fraud, bribery, money laundering and filing false tax returns. Prosecutors say graft in his administration began before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 and flourished afterward. Bribes included money, free vacations and truckloads of free granite for his family business. San Diego Union

Transgender soldier endures ‘excruciating’ wait for Army reforms
As she came to realize her true gender as a woman, Jennifer Peace knew she needed to have two difficult conversations. The first would be with her wife, Deborah. Capt. Jennifer Peace is a transgender JBLM soldier. The Army has known that Peace is a woman for almost a year but still refers to her as a man. She’s awaiting a Pentagon policy change that’s expected within the next year that will allow transgender soldiers to serve openly. The second would be with the Army. Until then, she was known as a male intelligence officer with a bright future who’d just returned from a second combat deployment. Almost three years later, Capt. Peace is happier than ever with her wife and three children. But she’s still waiting to find out what the Army has in store for her.

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Israel Announces Series Of Punitive Measures Against Palestinian Terrorism
After consultations with top army brass and senior security officials, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced a series of punitive measures aimed at deterring Palestinians from carrying out attacks similar to the deadly assaults which killed four Israelis in the last week. Netanyahu, who had convened the emergency meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, Israel Security Agency director Yoram Cohen, and the acting chief of police Bentzi Sau. "I'd like to send condolences to the families of those murdered and to wish a speedy recovery to the wounded," Netanyahu said at the end of the meeting. "We are in the midst of a bitter war to the end against Palestinian terrorism." Jerusalem Post

Israel Eager To Put Rift With Obama Over Iran Deal In Past, Netanyahu Says
The rift between the United States and Israel over the Iran deal is in the past, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Fox News over the weekend. The premier explained that the two countries must now work together to contain Tehran’s aggression in the region and ensure its compliance with the deal to curb its nuclear program. “President [Barack] Obama has said that he is committed to preventing dangerous weapons coming into the hands of Iran's proxies, that he wants to prevent Iran from destabilizing countries in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said. Jerusalem Post

South Carolina flooding brings mass power cuts and rescues
The US state of South Carolina remains on high alert amid widespread flooding that has cut power to thousands and forced road and water rescues. Emergency officials urged residents to stay indoors unless their homes were in danger of flooding and not to drive. About 100 people were rescued from their cars on flooded roads overnight. It has been raining for much of the week, but a weather system connected to Hurricane Joaquin in the Caribbean is making the situation worse. The storm is not expected to hit the eastern US, but the moisture associated with it is contributing to heavy rainfall. BBC

Merkel: VW Scandal Won't Damage Germany's Reputation
The Volkswagen emissions scandal was a "dramatic event" but would not inflict lasting damage on Germany's reputation, Angela Merkel has said. The German chancellor said on Sunday that the car maker now needed to provide the "necessary transparency". "It is of course a dramatic event which is not good," Mrs Merkel said. "But I think the reputation of German industry... is not so shaken that we are no longer considered a good place to do business." VW has admitted that as many as 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with a so-called defeat device that allowed emissions tests to be rigged. The gadget detected when the car was being testing and switched the engine to a low-emissions mode. BBC

John McCain Says US Is Egaged In Proxy War With Russia In Syria
Senator John McCain said on Sunday the US was now engaged in a proxy war with Russia in Syria, as a result of “an abdication of American leadership” on the part of the Obama White House. The chairman of the Senate armed forces committee also said Russian president Vladimir Putin was “treating the United States with disdain and contempt” over Syria, carrying out airstrikes and “inserting himself into the Middle East in a way that Russia has not been since Anwar Sadat threw them out in 1973”. On Friday, discussing Russian airstrikes against both Islamic State militants and non-Isis forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, which began on Wednesday and which he called “a recipe for disaster”, President Obama said: “We’re not going to make Syria into a proxy war between the United States and Russia. That would be bad strategy on our part. Guardian

Obama Salutes Firefighters Who Have Fallen In The Line Of Duty
President Obama on Sunday paid tribute to firefighters who have died in the line of duty, citing the sacrifices they made in service to a grateful nation. Obama spoke at the annual national memorial service in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and said those being remembered were heroes. The president said: “It’s hard to think of a more selfless profession.” He added that it was hard to imagine what it takes to “override the natural human instinct for self-preservation and run into danger as others are running away – to literally walk through fire knowing you might never make it out”. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation honored 84 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2014 and three others who died in previous years. Guardian

Vladimir Putin Sees Barack Obama's Coolness As Weakness – And It Is Hurting America
Russian warplanes began bombing American-backed Syrian opposition strongholds on Wednesday, a move that can be viewed as the latest example of American humiliation abroad. As was the case when Russians invaded Ukraine, the Russians cloaked their activity in lies. In the former example, Russian soldiers didn't wear uniforms, a thinly-veiled move meant to create the impression the fighters were merely Ukrainian "separatists." Likewise, Wednesday's bombings ostensibly targeted Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil); in fact, the strikes were aimed at moderate rebels and civilians – part of a plan to take out any opposition to their client, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Telegraph
VOA VIEW: Obama has made the US look weak to all the world - Putin has become the world leader.

Marco Rubio Pulls Ahead Of Republican Rivals In Race For White House
In a single-storey brick building amid the swaying cornfields of eastern Iowa a boyish-looking politician is jabbing his finger in the air on a stage. "I will not live in a world where an Ayatollah has a nuclear weapon," he declares. To roars of approval he calls Vladimir Putin a "gangster". Marco Rubio is fired up, and firing up the crowd. In polls this week the fast-talking young senator from Florida surged past Jeb Bush, his political mentor, and is now seen by many experts and donors as the likeliest person to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Telegraph

Following Latest Deadly Attack In Jerusalem, UN Chief Warns Of 'Dangerous Slide Towards Escalation'
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the attacks on Saturday in the Old City of Jerusalem, including the killing of two members of an Israeli family and injuries to Israelis and Palestinians in subsequent incidents in various Jerusalem neighborhoods. Recalling the recent deadly attack on another Israeli family in the occupied West Bank, and in light of the wave of extremism and violence sweeping the region, the Secretary-General, according to a statement issued by his spokesperson, “is deeply concerned that these latest incidents signal a dangerous slide towards escalation.” UN News

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