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  • Russian hackers targeted U.S. conservative think-tanks, says Microsoft

    Russian hackers targeted U.S. conservative think-tanks, says MicrosoftThe software giant said it thwarted the attempts last week by taking control of sites that hackers had designed to mimic the pages of The International Republican Institute and The Hudson Institute. There was no immediate comment from Russian authorities, but the Kremlin was expected to address the report later on Tuesday. Casting such allegations as part of an anti-Russian campaign designed to justify new sanctions on Russia, it says it wants to improve not worsen ties with Washington.




  • Protesters topple Confederate soldier statue in North Carolina

    Protesters topple Confederate soldier statue in North CarolinaAbout 300 demonstrators gathered at the base of Silent Sam, a memorial to the Confederate soldiers killed during the Civil War, at about 7 p.m. (2300 GMT) to hold a protest and march. About two hours later, the statue, which had been standing on the Chapel Hill campus since 1913, was on the ground, local media reported. Protesters pulled the statue with rope and threw dirt on it, local media reported.




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

    Study cites longer dry spells as fueling U.S. wildfiresLess 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 kidsChris 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 sonDennis 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.




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

    Georgia candidates decry plan to close voting sites in mostly black countyThe 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.




  • South Carolina woman walking dog killed by alligator

    South Carolina woman walking dog killed by alligatorA 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 CatholicsPope 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 rebatesSuch 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.




  • 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.




  • USA Gymnastics ex-doctor moved from prison after alleged assault

    USA Gymnastics ex-doctor moved from prison after alleged assaultNassar 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 containedMore 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 faithMany 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.




  • Vigil held in Colorado town for slain pregnant woman and daughters

    Vigil held in Colorado town for slain pregnant woman and daughtersShanann 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.




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

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




  • 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 familyThe 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 familiesThe 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 schemeEvan 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 ruleThe 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.




  • Trailer at New Mexico compound had been stolen in Alabama: police

    Trailer at New Mexico compound had been stolen in  Alabama: policeA camping trailer at the New Mexico compound where five people were charged with child abuse earlier this month had been stolen from an Alabama farmer and towed to the ramshackle settlement north of Taos, police said on Friday. The trailer, which was partially buried at the compound, was reported stolen from a farm in Notasulga, Alabama, in August 2017, New Mexico Office of Special Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Mark Torres told Reuters. Torres said it was towed to the compound last December by a white moving truck owned by Lucas Morton, one of the people arrested at the settlement.




  • Psychologist may examine if Reagan shooter deserves complete freedom

    Psychologist may examine if Reagan shooter deserves complete freedomA federal judge on Friday authorized a psychologist chosen by the U.S. government to examine John Hinckley, who shot President Ronald Reagan in a 1981 assassination attempt, in order to determine whether he deserves unconditional freedom. Hinckley, 63, has been living with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia, with many restrictions on his travel and contact with the outside world, since his September 2016 release from a Washington, D.C., psychiatric hospital. U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said the psychologist, Mitchell Hugonnet, may examine Hinckley to determine his "present mental condition and risk of dangerousness" if he were released unconditionally or subject to new conditions.




  • Gunman who killed five at Florida airport sentenced to life

    Gunman who killed five at Florida airport sentenced to lifeEsteban Santiago, 28, had pleaded guilty in May to launching the attack, near a baggage carousel at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Jan. 6, 2017. U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom had pushed back the sentencing hearing to allow families of victims to be present. A woman who was wounded and whose husband was killed told Santiago he was a coward, WFOR-TV in Miami reported.




  • California judge rejects plea deal in Oakland warehouse fire

    California judge rejects plea deal in Oakland warehouse fireFamilies whose loved ones died in the Dec. 2, 2016 blaze in Oakland demanded a criminal trial for Derick Almena and Max Harris so they could learn more about how the tragedy unfolded, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office said. The families' emotional appeal prompted District Attorney Nancy O'Malley to end plea discussions with defense attorneys for Almena, who ran the warehouse as an art collective and party space, and Harris, the creative director. Instead, she asked Judge James Cramer to set a trial date for the men, who are each charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.




  • U.S. attorney general issues order to speed up immigrant deportations

    U.S. attorney general issues order to speed up immigrant deportationsUnlike the federal judiciary system, U.S. immigration courts fall under the Department of Justice and the attorney general can intervene. Sessions, a Republican former U.S. Senator appointed by President Donald Trump, has been unusually active in this practice compared to his predecessors.




  • Federal probe targets Ohio State over sex abuse allegations

    Federal probe targets Ohio State over sex abuse allegationsThe investigation by the U.S. Department of Education will focus on what school officials knew about alleged crimes by the late Dr. Richard Strauss, OSU said on Thursday in a statement. Last month, the university said that more than 100 former students have told investigators they were victims of Strauss, who killed himself in 2005. The abuse allegedly occurred from 1979 to 1997, according to claims from athletes in 14 varsity sports and former patients of the student clinic, OSU has said.




  • Trump says Turkey has acted badly in Brunson case

    Trump says Turkey has acted badly in Brunson caseWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said the United States was not going to take Turkey's detention of U.S. Christian pastor Andrew Brunson "sitting down," a day after his Treasury chief said Washington could hit Ankara with further sanctions.




  • 3M to pay $9.1 million over defective military ear plugs

    3M to pay $9.1 million over defective military ear plugsThe 3M Co. has agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle allegations it knowingly sold defective combat ear plugs to the U.S. military without disclosing defects that limited the effectiveness of the hearing protection devices, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday. A settlement frees 3M from the inconvenience of a long investigation and litigation, it said. The 3M payment settles allegations that 3M and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies Inc., knew the ear plugs it sold the military were too short for proper insertion into the users' ears and could loosen and not perform effectively in some people, the Justice Department said.




  • Body found at New Mexico compound identified as missing boy

    Body found at New Mexico compound identified as missing boyThe finding came two days after a Taos County judge received death threats and Islamophobic abuse for granting bail to the five defendants, who are all black and Muslim. Authorities unearthed the boy's body at the compound on Aug. 6, three days after they raided the ramshackle home near Amalia, New Mexico, where they found 11 children in "filthy conditions" with no food or clean water. Marie Legrand Miller, an attorney for one of the defendants, said she feared for her client's safety after threats of violence, "Islamophobia" and "overt racism" directed at judge Sarah Backus after her decision to grant bail.




  • Pressure mounts on Trump to deliver for Iowa ahead of elections

    Pressure mounts on Trump to deliver for Iowa ahead of electionsOther farmers, meanwhile, are upset that the White House has not yet followed through on a promise to reform rules that would boost demand for corn-based ethanol, one of the state's biggest businesses. “I still support him, but not as much,” Bachman said between bites of pork chops and baked beans at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines last week. “I am afraid we are close to seeing a repeat of the 1980s, where farmers across Iowa lost their land because they ran out of money and couldn’t get loans.” November's congressional elections represent the first nationwide response to Trump's aggressive trade policies, particularly in the Farm Belt, which runs roughly from Indiana to Kansas and the Dakotas, which favored Trump heavily two years ago.




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