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Russian hackers targeted U.S. Senate, think tanks: Microsoft

Russian hackers targeted U.S. Senate, think tanks: Microsoft The world's biggest software company said late on Monday that it last week took control of six web domains that hackers had created to mimic websites belonging to the Senate and the think tanks. The domain takedowns are the latest in a string of actions by Microsoft to thwart what it says are hacking attempts by a Russian-backed hacking group known as APT28, or Fancy Bear. "We're concerned that these and other attempts pose security threats to a broadening array of groups connected with both American political parties in the run-up to the 2018 elections," Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a blog post.


U.S. deports accused former Nazi guard to Germany

U.S. deports accused former Nazi guard to Germany The White House said Jakiw Palij had served as a guard at the Trawniki Labor Camp, where about 6,000 Jewish men, women and children were shot dead on Nov. 3, 1943, in one of the single largest massacres of the Holocaust. The United States had been trying to get Palij out of the country since the issue of a 2004 deportation order, but after talks with top members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's government Germany agreed to take him in. Born in what was then Poland but is now Ukraine, Palij emigrated to the United States in 1949, becoming a United States citizen eight years later, the White House said.


Kremlin says it does not understand Microsoft's U.S. hacking allegations

Kremlin says it does not understand Microsoft's U.S. hacking allegations The Kremlin said on Tuesday it did not understand allegations from Microsoft that hackers linked to Russia's government had tried to target the websites of two right-wing U.S. think-tanks. The software giant said it had thwarted the Russia-linked attempts last week, which it suggested showed Moscow was broadening its attacks in the build-up to November mid-term elections. "We don't know what hackers they are talking about," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call when asked about Microsoft's accusations.


Russia denies Microsoft allegations it targeted U.S. think tanks: Ifax

Russia denies Microsoft allegations it targeted U.S. think tanks: Ifax The Russian authorities deny allegations from Microsoft that hackers linked to Russia's government tried to target the websites of two right-wing U.S. think-tanks, the Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday. Interfax cited an unnamed Russian diplomatic source on Tuesday as describing Microsoft's allegations as part of a political game. "Microsoft is playing political games," it cited the source as saying.


FDA extends EpiPen expiry date to combat shortage

FDA extends EpiPen expiry date to combat shortage (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday extended the expiration date of specific lots of Mylan NV's EpiPen allergy injectors by four months to mitigate the shortage of the life-saving treatment. The decision https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/FDAInBrief/ucm617724.htm?utm_campaign=08212018_FiB_FDA%20extends%20expiry%20date%20for%20specific%20EpiPen%20lots%20to%20mitigate%20shortages&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua comes at a time when the shortage has come under focus at the start of back-to-school season, and applies to specific lots of 0.3 milligram EpiPen products, after the regulator reviewed data provided by Mylan. The shortage has largely been due to ongoing manufacturing issues at a Pfizer plant which supplies EpiPens.


Teardown of North Carolina Confederate statue sparks criminal probe

Teardown of North Carolina Confederate statue sparks criminal probe University of North Carolina police began a criminal probe on Tuesday into the tearing down by activists of a statue of a Confederate soldier, the latest action to dismantle U.S. Civil War symbols amid debate about race and the legacy of slavery. "Campus leadership is in collaboration with campus police, who are pulling together a timeline of the events, reviewing video evidence, and conducting interviews that will inform a full criminal investigation," Smith and Spellings said in a statement.


Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's trial in Alexandria, Va.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's trial in Alexandria, Va. The jury began a fourth day of deliberations Tuesday in the trial of Donald Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort, the first resulting from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.


Book lover turned literacy advocate looks to change lives ‘one word at a time’

Book lover turned literacy advocate looks to change lives ‘one word at a time’ Christina Cook wants to be a respiratory therapist and hopes she and her husband can one day own a home and several acres of land – and she isn’t letting the low grades she got in school hold her back. Ms. Cook, age 40, hasn’t been in school for some time, but she has been hitting the books and receives regular tutoring thanks to Literacy Action of Central Arkansas. Based on the fifth floor of a library in Arkansas’s capital, Little Rock, Literacy Action was founded in 1986 to organize volunteer tutors who could teach reading and English language skills.


Trump's environment agency seeks to roll back Obama-era clean power plan

Trump's environment agency seeks to roll back Obama-era clean power plan The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed replacing the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of former President Barack Obama's regulatory efforts to combat climate change, in a move critics said would have dire environmental and health consequences. The proposal released by the Environmental Protection Agency would grant states the ability to write their own weaker regulations for the plants and give them the ability to seek permission to opt out of regulations on power plant emissions. The effort to re-write the plan is the latest move by the EPA under President Donald Trump, a Republican, to roll back environmental protections put in place by Obama, Trump's Democratic predecessor.


Study cites longer dry spells as fueling U.S. wildfires

Study cites longer dry spells as fueling U.S. wildfires Less rain and longer droughts are the major cause behind larger and more intense wildfires in the U.S. West, not higher temperatures and early snowmelt as previously thought, according to research released on Monday. The findings by the U.S. Forest Service and University of Montana could help scientists better predict the severity of fire seasons, said the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. California is marking one of the most destructive fire seasons on record.


Colorado man charged in murder of family claims wife strangled kids

Colorado man charged in murder of family claims wife strangled kids Chris Watts, who had been involved in an extramarital affair with a co-worker, said during a police interrogation that his wife, Shannan, strangled their daughters Bella and Celeste after he announced that he wanted a separation, according to an arrest affidavit filed in the sensational case. "While in the bedroom, via a baby monitor located on Shannan's night stand, he observed Bella 'sprawled' out on her bed, blue, and Shannan actively strangling Celeste," Frederick Police Officer Matthew James wrote in the affidavit. "Chris said he went into a rage and ultimately strangled Shannan to death," James wrote.


Father sues St. Louis police in 2015 shooting death of his son

Father sues St. Louis police in 2015 shooting death of his son Dennis Ball-Bey filed the action against the city of St. Louis, its former police chief and two officers involved in the shooting death of Mansur Ball-Bey. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in St. Louis on Friday, seeks unspecified damages, court records showed. The lawsuit alleged that the officers, both of them white, overreacted while chasing Mansur Ball-Bey, 18, on Aug. 19, 2015, when the teen was shot and killed.


In clash over clearances, questions about long-term effects

In clash over clearances, questions about long-term effects Can President Trump do that? Can he really personally revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, with a stroke of a pen?


Georgia candidates decry plan to close voting sites in mostly black county

Georgia candidates decry plan to close voting sites in mostly black county The two-member local elections board is expected to vote on Friday on a proposal to shutter seven of nine polling sites in rural Randolph County, located in southwest Georgia, where roughly 60 percent of the 7,800 residents are black. Both Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee who is seeking to become the first female African-American governor in U.S. history, and Republican candidate Brian Kemp, who is white and serves as Georgia's secretary of state, urged county officials to drop the plan. "Although state law gives localities broad authority in setting precinct boundaries and polling locations, we strongly urged local officials to abandon this effort and focus on preparing for a secure, accessible, and fair election for voters this November," Kemp said in a statement.


Trump’s call for patient capitalism

Trump’s call for patient capitalism Investors in the stocks of corporations are often categorized as being either patient for long-term returns (the ants) or impatient for short-term profits (the grasshoppers). Mr. Trump tweeted that he had asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to consider ending the practice of corporations issuing quarterly reports on their earnings and shift toward releasing such financial information every six months. In June, long-haul investor Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon, the JPMorgan Chase chief executive, issued a joint call on behalf of some 200 chief executives to reduce “short-termism” in corporations by abandoning the quarterly earnings estimates.


Why a Turkey-US trade spat could shake Europe and Syria

Why a Turkey-US trade spat could shake Europe and Syria In purely economic terms, it’s straightforward: a battle the US has not the slightest prospect of losing. Turkey was among the dozens of countries on which President Trump imposed steel and aluminum tariffs in March.


South Carolina woman walking dog killed by alligator

South Carolina woman walking dog killed by alligator A witness called police to report an alligator was attacking a woman at a lagoon on Hilton Head Island, a popular tourist destination, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. Police recovered her body and identified the victim as Cassandra Cline of Hilton Head Island. The alligator believed to be responsible for the attack was captured and killed, said Robert McCullough, a captain for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.


Pope vows no more cover ups on sexual abuse in letter to Catholics

Pope vows no more cover ups on sexual abuse in letter to Catholics Pope Francis, facing sexual abuse crises in several countries, wrote an unprecedented letter to all Catholics on Monday, asking each one of them to help root out "this culture of death" and vowing there would be no more cover ups. In a highly personal letter addressed to "the people of God," Church language for all members, the pope appeared to be launching an appeal for all Catholics to face the crisis together and not let it tear the Church apart. The Catholic Church in the United States, Chile, Australia, and Ireland - where the pope is making a two-day visit this weekend - are reeling from crises involving sexual abuse of minors.


U.S. health secretary says agency can eliminate drug rebates

U.S. health secretary says agency can eliminate drug rebates Such rebates are negotiated in the United States by pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) to lower the cost of medicines for their clients, including large employers and health plans that cover tens of millions of Americans. Drugmakers say they are under pressure to provide rebates to the few PBMs that dominate the market, which include CVS , Express Scripts and UnitedHealth's Optum , and that those payers do not pass on enough of those savings to patients - a contention the PBMs dispute. The drugmakers say the rebates force them to raise the price of their therapies over time to preserve their business.


Kavanaugh urged tough, explicit questions for Clinton in Lewinsky investigation

Kavanaugh urged tough, explicit questions for Clinton in Lewinsky investigation Two days before President Bill Clinton was questioned by a grand jury about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, Brett Kavanaugh gave independent counsel Ken Starr a list of tough, explicit questions to ask.


Exclusive: Pentagon raises alarm about sharp drop in Iraqi refugees coming to U.S.

Exclusive: Pentagon raises alarm about sharp drop in Iraqi refugees coming to U.S. The Pentagon is concerned that not providing safe haven to more of the Iraqis, many of whom interpreted and did other key tasks for U.S. forces, will harm national security by dissuading locals from cooperating with the United States in Iraq and other conflict zones, the officials said. In a closed-door White House meeting last week devoted to the Iraqi issue, officials focused largely on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's method of conducting certain deep background checks on the Iraqis, and identified it as a major source of the drop in admissions, said the two officials aware of the discussions, who declined to be named. As of Aug. 15, just 48 Iraqis have been admitted to the United States this fiscal year through a special refugee program meant for people who worked for the U.S. government or American contractors, news media or non-governmental groups, according to data provided by the State Department.


Yahoo News explains: What's the other cause impacting global warming?

Yahoo News explains: What's the other cause impacting global warming? The authors of the study predict a 58 percent chance that the next few years will be “anomalously warm,” with a 69 percent chance that earth’s oceans will be too. The study found that that warming trend is not just the result of a steady increase in human-made climate change driven by emissions of greenhouse gases. The study used data from 10 climate-change models and found that natural variabilities were the cause of a global warming “hiatus” in the early 2000s.


Could soccer moms swing the House? Democrats hope so.

Could soccer moms swing the House? Democrats hope so. Remember the “soccer moms”? That 1990s term for politically moderate suburban women has fallen out of usage lately, but they’re still around, and a key voting bloc in the upcoming midterms. Frustrated with Washington and turned off by President Trump, they could deliver Congress to the Democrats in November. Or not.


'National Disgrace!': Trump escalates attack on Mueller as jury mulls Manafort's fate

'National Disgrace!': Trump escalates attack on Mueller as jury mulls Manafort's fate President Trump on Monday escalated his attack on Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, labeling the special counsel “disgraced and discredited” and Mueller's investigators a “National Disgrace.”


Incredible fear: How a change in U.S. asylum policy hurts victims of violence

Incredible fear: How a change in U.S. asylum policy hurts victims of violence How Trump administration’s newest asylum policies are changing what it means to have “credible fear.”


USA Gymnastics ex-doctor moved from prison after alleged assault

USA Gymnastics ex-doctor moved from prison after alleged assault Nassar was at a federal transfer facility in Oklahoma City after being removed from a penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona, Federal Bureau of Prisons records showed. Last year, Nassar, 55, was given an effective life sentence by a Michigan court for sexually abusing young female gymnasts entrusted to his care. Nassar's lawyers said in a legal filing last month that the former doctor was assaulted soon after being released into the general population at the medium-security Tucson prison.


Fire that prompted closure of parts of Yosemite Park is contained

Fire that prompted closure of parts of Yosemite Park is contained More than 3,000 personnel have battled the Ferguson Fire, which ignited on July 13 and has burned through nearly 97,000 acres (39,250 hectares) of steep slopes and bone-dry terrain southwest of the park, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said. Two firefighters were killed while tackling the blaze and 19 others injured, it said. Cooler weather and calmer winds in recent days have helped firefighters in California and other western states get a handle on major blazes, according to authorities.


U.S. Catholics 'sickened' by sex abuse report, stand by their faith

U.S. Catholics 'sickened' by sex abuse report, stand by their faith Many churchgoers said they were sickened and saddened by a grand jury report detailing widespread sexual abuse by hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania but they would not let the Roman Catholic Church's cover-up dissuade them from their faith. Nearly 200 parishioners filled almost all the pews for Saturday’s Mass at St. Patrick’s Church in York, Pennsylvania, where six priests who at one time worked in that parish are accused in the report https://bit.ly/2vTa9oY of sexually abusing children. “I can't talk about it without crying," said Kathy Morris, a retired steelworker and a member of St. Patrick's for over 15 years.


James Clapper: Brennan’s anti-Trump rhetoric is ‘an issue in and of itself’

James Clapper: Brennan’s anti-Trump rhetoric is ‘an issue in and of itself’ Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that former CIA Director John Brennan’s rhetoric has become “an issue in and of itself.”


Trump: Mueller’s Russia probe makes ‘Joseph McCarthy look like a baby!’

Trump: Mueller’s Russia probe makes ‘Joseph McCarthy look like a baby!’ President Trump claimed that Robert Mueller’s investigation into Moscow’s interference with the 2016 U.S. elections is more extreme than Sen. Joseph McCarthy's hunt for Communists in the U.S. government in the 1950s.


Kofi Annan, former U.N. secretary-general, dies at age 80

Kofi Annan, former U.N. secretary-general, dies at age 80

Kofi Annan, a charismatic global diplomat and the first black African to become United Nations secretary-general who led the world body through one of its most turbulent periods, died early Saturday at age 80.

Tributes flowed in from around the world after his foundation announced his death in the Swiss capital, Bern, after a short and unspecified illness. The statement remembered the Nobel Peace Prize winner as “radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.”

He died “peacefully in his sleep,” the president of Ghana, where Annan was born, said after speaking to his wife.

At U.N. headquarters in New York, the U.N. flag flew at half-staff and a bouquet of flowers was placed under Annan’s portrait. Reflecting the widespread regard that won him a groundbreaking uncontested election to a second term, leaders from Russia, India, Israel, France and elsewhere expressed condolences for a man Bill Gates called “one of the great peacemakers of our time.”

Annan spent virtually his entire career as an administrator in the United Nations. His aristocratic style, cool-tempered elegance and political savvy helped guide his ascent to become its seventh secretary-general, and the first hired from within. His two terms were from Jan. 1, 1997, to Dec. 31, 2006, capped nearly midway when he and the U.N. were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. ( AP)

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Vigil held in Colorado town for slain pregnant woman and daughters

Vigil held in Colorado town for slain pregnant woman and daughters Shanann Watts, 34, and her daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, were reported missing from their home in Frederick, 25 miles north of Denver, by a family friend on Monday afternoon, touching off an exhaustive search by law enforcement agencies. Chris Watts was taken into custody on Wednesday on suspicion of murder, a day before the bodies of his wife and children were found. Watts, 33, had pleaded for the safe return of his pregnant wife and two young daughters while the search was underway.


Venezuelans flee economic crisis at home

Venezuelans flee economic crisis at home

The Pentagon is preparing to dispatch a hospital ship to Colombia and possibly other parts of South America to help relieve strain on health care systems overloaded by an influx of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans who have fled that crisis-racked nation, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday.

“It is absolutely a humanitarian mission,” he told reporters returning with him to Washington after a six-day tour of South America.

Mattis would not say when the USNS Comfort would arrive off the coast of Colombia, but it apparently will not be in the next few weeks. Dana W. White, the chief Pentagon spokeswoman, said it would be “in the fall,” but she would not be more specific.

As a result of a dire economic and health care situation, rising numbers of Venezuelans are joining an exodus that has set off alarms across Latin America.

The United Nations said earlier this week that an estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the crisis-torn country as of June, mainly to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. (AP)

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Trans students: A test of identity for U.S. girls schools

Trans students: A test of identity for U.S. girls schools As students who are openly transgender or non-binary - those who identify as neither male nor female - have become more visible at girls schools in recent years, educators are re-defining policies on admission, retention and other issues. The challenge, experts say, is to create policies that support and respect students while preserving the historic mission of these schools to educate and empower young women in exclusively female environments.


Beto O’Rourke, on a ‘suicide mission’ against Ted Cruz, is having the time of his life — and might even come out of it alive

Beto O’Rourke, on a ‘suicide mission’ against Ted Cruz, is having the time of his life — and might even come out of it alive From left: Willie Nelson, Beto O’Rourke, Lukas Nelson, Amy Nelson and Margo Price perform onstage with Willie Nelson and Family during the 45th Annual Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic at the Austin360 Amphitheater on July 4, 2018, in Austin, Texas. HUTCHINS, Texas — Beto O’Rourke was trying hard to play it cool, but finally, he just couldn’t resist. “I have to show you this,” the Democratic congressman from El Paso, Texas, said, reaching into his pocket to grab his iPhone, where he began scrolling through text messages.


U.S. senators demand answers from Army after Reuters report on lead poisoning

U.S. senators demand answers from Army after Reuters report on lead poisoning "We write to you today concerned about recent reports of lead poisoning at a number of Army installations," the senators wrote. The letter, written by Democratic Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia, along with Republican Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson of Georgia, came a day after Reuters reported that more than 1,000 young children tested at military clinics had elevated lead levels between 2011 and 2016. The Reuters investigation also found that several military bases had not been reporting children's blood test results to state health departments, violating state laws and creating public health blind spots.


Texas jury finds Toyota negligent in accident, awards $242 million to family

Texas jury finds Toyota negligent in accident, awards $242 million to family The verdict by the jury in Dallas County District Court includes more than $143.6 million in punitive damages after jurors agreed that the actions of Lexus-maker Toyota Motor Corp and Toyota Motor Sales amounted to gross negligence, the Law Offices of Frank L. Branson said in a statement. The 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter of Benjamin and Kristi Reavis were in the car's back seat, in child safety seats, the statement said.


U.S. judge approves plan to reunite separated immigrant families

U.S. judge approves plan to reunite separated immigrant families The plan negotiated by the U.S. government and immigrant rights advocates marked the second stage of federal efforts to reunite 2,551 children ages 5 to 17 with their parents. Sabraw, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, on Friday acknowledged the challenges in efficiently bringing parents and children back together.


Ex-lawyer of pharma executive Shkreli gets 18 months prison for fraud scheme

Ex-lawyer of pharma executive Shkreli gets 18 months prison for fraud scheme Evan Greebel, who was outside counsel to Shkreli's former company Retrophin Inc , was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in Brooklyn. The judge also ordered Greebel to pay about $10.4 million in restitution to Retrophin. "I will regret, every day of my life, the day I met Martin Shkreli," Greebel said.


U.S. court orders Trump administration to enforce chemical safety rule

U.S. court orders Trump administration to enforce chemical safety rule The D.C. Circuit Court ruling was the latest to counter efforts under President Donald Trump, a Republican, to delay environmental regulations introduced by former President Barack Obama, a Democrat. The court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to implement the Chemical Disaster Rule, saying the agency did not have authority to delay the rule for 20 months. The EPA cannot delay the rule "by invoking general rulemaking authority under a different statutory provision," of federal clean air law, the court said in the ruling.


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