Monday, August 10, 2015

US warns of sharp rise in separatist attacks in Ukraine | Report: China Hacked Emails of US Officials | China used 'Dancing Panda' cyber operation to spy on Obama administration: For the past five years, the personal email accounts of top American security and trade officials have been compromised in a Chinese cyber espionage operation

FBI: 'Middle Eastern males' intimidate military families - Military Times

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Military Times

FBI: 'Middle Eastern males' intimidate military families
Military Times
Flanked by his security detail, FBI Director James Comey, right, leaves a news conference in the agency's field office July 23 in Denver. On Wednesday at a security forum in Aspen, Colo. Comey said groups with ties to the Islamic State that are trying ...

Former Hillview Police chief sentenced for lying to FBI - WDRB

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WDRB

Former Hillview Police chief sentenced for lying to FBI
WDRB
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Monday afternoon, the former chief of Hillview Police learned his sentence for lying to the FBI. Glenn Caple was given two years of probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. It took the jury one hour and 15 minutes to ...

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Future US Nuclear Spending Likely to Remain Strong

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WASHINGTON — Modernization costs for America’s aging nuclear arsenal will be expensive but will not exceed 5 percent of national defense spending in the coming decades, according to projections by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.  
       

US warns of sharp rise in separatist attacks in Ukraine

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The United States says Ukrainian rebels launched more attacks over the last three days than any similar time period since February, in what may be an escalating effort by Russian-backed militants to destabilize Ukraine's Western-backed government.
     

Global population will soar to 11.2bn by 2100 - with Africa accounting for much of the growth, says UN forecast

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Africa will account for much of the explosive growth in the world’s population this century, which is expected to rise from the 7.3bn people on earth today to 11.2bn by 2100, according to the latest UN forecasts.










Mexico missing students: Activist who led the hunt for missing 43 is found dead

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A Mexican activist who led the search for 43 missing students has been found dead, the latest episode in a string of abductions and murders allegedly involving the local government and powerful drug cartels in the south-western state of Guerrero.










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Life in the Taliban after Mullah Omar: Afghan Islamist commanders reveal how the organisation has split and lost its roots

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Qari Baryal should have been dead long ago. The Taliban commander’s brother, wife and father were killed in a US air strike in 2008. By the time the bombs fell, Baryal, dressed as a shepherd, had slipped away.










Isis executes 10 men in Afghanistan for 'apostasy' by blowing them up

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Isis have released a video of a group of extremist fighters in Afghanistan executing 10 men, who may be Taliban members, by blowing them up with explosives.










Shocking images show 86 migrants packed inside truck on Austria highway 

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Asylum-seekers from Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan include 16 children and an eight-months pregnant woman











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Astronauts declare first space salad 'awesome' 

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For the first time occupants of the International Space Station are tasting fresh food they grew themselves









 

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Donald Trump extends Republican poll lead after first debate row 

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Real estate mogul saw his support remain firm after debate and row with Fox News anchor, while closest rival Jeb Bush fell in polls











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Afghan President Blames Pakistan for Series of Bombings

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, angry over a wave of bomb attacks that have killed dozens people in recent days, blamed neighbor Pakistan for failing to stop Taliban militants from plotting terror strikes from there.

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Druse Struggle to Stay Neutral in Syria

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The Druse have been determined to stay out of Syria’s multi-sided war, but now one of the country’s smallest religious minorities is facing a moment of reckoning.

Berlusconi 'To Sell Villa To Saudi Royals'

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The property reportedly includes an amphitheatre, a secret underground entrance and even an artificial volcano that erupts.

Iraq Bombings: More Than 40 Killed In Attacks

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Islamic State claims responsibility for a car bomb at a marketplace that kills dozens and wounds more than 70.

China used 'Dancing Panda' cyber operation to spy on Obama administration 

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For the past five years, the personal email accounts of top American security and trade officials have been compromised in a Chinese cyber espionage operation











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US Man Charged with Supporting Islamic State

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A U.S. man has been arrested and charged with conspiring and attempting to join Islamic State militants. The complaint, filed at the U.S. District Court in the eastern state of New Jersey, charges Nader Saadeh conspired with his brother, Alaa Saadeh, and others from New York and New Jersey to provide material support to the terror group. The document says an informant tipped off the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force in April about his increased radicalization and plans to join the...

Report: China Hacked Emails of US Officials

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A U.S. media outlet is reporting that Chinese hackers have been accessing the private emails of top U.S. administration officials since at least 2010. NBC News cited a U.S. intelligence official and a top secret National Security Agency briefing, which it said Monday detailed the cyber hacking. The official was cited as saying that the private emails of "all top national security and trade officials" were targeted, and said the email hacking is still going on. The report...
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One Year After Massacre, Iraq's Yazidis a Broken People

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From: VOAvideo
Duration: 02:01

A year ago, on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. Sharon Behn has more.

Pennsylvania's top prosecutor to speak publicly for 1st time since criminal ... - Fox News

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Fox News

Pennsylvania's top prosecutor to speak publicly for 1st time since criminal ...
Fox News
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane arrives to be processed and arraigned on charges she leaked secret grand jury material and then lied about it under oath, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, at the Montgomery County detective bureau in Norristown, Pa.
Kane Schedules News Conferencewnep.com
Attorney General Kathleen Kane formally arraignedPhiladelphia Business Journal
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane arraignedMontgomery Newspapers
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12 Dead in NYC Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak - Wall Street Journal

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Wall Street Journal

12 Dead in NYC Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak
Wall Street Journal
Two more people died from Legionnaires' disease in New York City and two more sites have tested positive for the bacteria that causes the disease, city officials said Monday. The death count from the illness is now 12, up from 10 this weekend, and ...
More deaths reported in New York Legionnaires' outbreakCBS News
NYC Mayor: Legionnaires' Outbreak Has Claimed 12 LivesABC News
3 more buildings test positive for Legionnaires' disease bacteria in Bronx as ...New York Daily News
CBS Local 
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DNAinfo
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More Charges for Ex-Teacher Accused of Sex With Juveniles

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More charges for former teacher accused of having sex with students in Louisiana

NYC Mayor: Legionnaires' Outbreak Has Claimed 12 Lives

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New York City mayor: Death toll from Legionnaires' disease outbreak is now 12

Cops: Police Official Tried to Cash in Stolen Lottery Ticket

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Police official resigns after being charged with trying to cash in stolen lottery ticket
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Vermont Killing Highlights Dangers of Social Work

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Vermont killing highlights dangers of social work; hundreds injured each year through violence

Man Dies After Being Shocked With a Taser by a Hartford Police Officer

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The Connecticut State Police are investigating the death of a man who was shocked with a Taser by a Hartford police officer after a call for medical assistance.
The man, Matthew Russo, 26, was being combative with the police and mental health workers who arrived at his home on Friday night to help with a “medical-related disturbance,” the state police said. A Hartford officer used a Taser to subdue him, and then emergency medical workers gave him a sedative, according to the state police.
Mr. Russo, who weighed 400 pounds, began having difficulty breathing and was pronounced dead at Hartford Hospital, the state police said. An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of his death.
The episode occurred amid growing complaints in Connecticut and across the country about thefrequent use of Tasers by police officers, and about differing policies in police departments on when to use them.
In March, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked legislators to create a more uniform Taser policy after the death of a man who was shocked with one when he refused to exit a parked car. His death was laterruled a homicide.
Trooper Kelly Grant of the Connecticut State Police said that police officers and mental health workers with a mobile crisis team went to Mr. Russo’s home after someone called to report a medical disturbance.
After Mr. Russo died, the Hartford state’s attorney’s office asked the state police to take over the investigation.

Drawings of Police Torturing a Suspect Captivate China

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BEIJING — The hand-drawn images are bizarre and disturbing. One shows a man locked in a cage while a police officer pours boiling water on his head. Another shows him suspended from the ceiling by handcuffs as an officer jabs his side with an electric baton.
They are amateurishly drawn, with faces showing strangely neutral expressions amid scenes of severe cruelty. Yet they have captured public attention in China for their surprisingly candid depiction of abuse by the police.
Although such abuse has often been reported by foreign human rights groups and occasionally by Chinese reporters as well, the Chinese news media have rarely carried any representation of the subject as graphic as the drawings, which depict the ordeal of a man wrongly convicted of murder.
The man, Liu Renwang, was accused of shooting to death a village official in Shanxi Province in 2008. He says the drawings show how the local police went about extracting a confession from him for a crime he did not commit.
A court in Shanxi sentenced Mr. Liu to death in 2010, but the sentence was suspended. Two years later, the case was reinvestigated, and he was given life imprisonment instead. The conviction was overturned on appeal in 2013, and the murder remains unsolved.
Mr. Liu’s case would normally have attracted little attention. But The Paper, a state-run online publication based in Shanghai, reported on his case over the weekend, and included the images depicting abuse.
Mr. Liu, 53, said he had the drawings made in his effort to win compensation from the local authorities for what was done to him.
“I wanted to let people know how the police would use torture in interrogations,” he said by telephone on Monday. The abuses included pouring liquid down his nose and forcing him to go without sleep, he said.
He said the officers who tortured him were from the Zhongyang County Public Security Bureau. A woman who answered the phone at the bureau on Monday afternoon said she did not know about the case and declined to comment.
Mr. Liu said that he had asked several painters in Zhongyang to illustrate his experiences, but that they all turned him down for fear of retaliation by the police. Eventually a painter in Hunan Province agreed to draw the pictures for him.
“He expressed sympathy regarding my experience and said he could do it,” Mr. Liu said. He said the painter drew six cartoons for him and charged him 100 renminbi, or about $16.
The Paper published the drawings at a time when the Chinese courts are increasingly focusing on wrongful convictions, particularly in death penalty cases, and trying to reduce errors and avoid the potential social unrest that could be set off by the executions of innocent people.
“We deeply reproach ourselves for letting wrongful convictions happen,” Zhou Qiang, chief justice and president of the Supreme People’s Court of China, said in March, according to Xinhua, the state-run news agency. “Courts of all levels should learn a serious lesson from these cases.”
Legal experts say the Chinese police are under great pressure to solve capital crimes, and that pressure can contribute to wrongful convictions, often through forced confessions in cases where there is little or no other evidence of guilt.
Mr. Liu said in the telephone interview that he was not afraid of possible retaliation from the police over the drawings.
“I have died dozens of times,” he said. “Also, I’m telling the truth. So I have no fear.”
Mr. Liu, who supported his family as a truck driver before he was detained, said his imprisonment was a major emotional and financial blow to his family. His wife, who was also detained for a month, was emotionally devastated and suffered from prolonged anxiety, Mr. Liu said, and his three children, who are now 23, 25 and 27, faced discrimination while he was in prison because their father was believed to be a killer.
He said he was seeking six million renminbi, or nearly $1 million, in compensation from the L├╝liang Intermediate Court, which convicted him.
“After their interrogations, my hair turned gray, my hearing was damaged, and my lower back could not move properly,” Mr. Liu said. “My health has collapsed. I can do nothing now.”
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Deadly Bomb Attacks In Eastern Iraq

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At least 40 people were killed and 100 injured in two bomb attacks on August 10 in eastern Iraq, according to security and medical sources.

Iranian foreign minister to visit Moscow next week: Tass cites embassy

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit Moscow next week, Tass news agency reported the Iranian embassy as saying on Monday.
  

Former Owner of Virginia-Based Stonewood Marketing Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud; Diverted and Stole $1,124,273.35 Intended for Political Campaigns, PACs, and Non-Profit Organizations

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— Louisville
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CIA Director Indicates Swift Action in Case of Harassed Gay Operative - ABC News

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ABC News

CIA Director Indicates Swift Action in Case of Harassed Gay Operative
ABC News
The Director of the CIA today addressed recent allegations by a gay CIA contractor who said he was harassed while on a dangerous deployment by other CIA contractors and staff officers, saying his spy agency has “zero tolerance” for such behavior and ...

Russian Warships Dock In Iran for War Training 

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Two Russian warships have docked in northern Iran for a series of naval training exercises with the Islamic Republic, according to Persian-language reports translated by the CIA’s Open Source Center.
The two Russian ships docked in Iran’s Anzali port on Sunday and will hold “joint naval exercises during the three-day stay of the warships in Iran,” according to a Persian-language report in Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency.
“The [Russian] warships, Volgodonsk and Makhachkala docked in Anzali Port [near the Caspian Sea], in the fourth naval zone, on the afternoon of 9 August,” the report says.
The war exercises come just weeks after Iran and global powers inked a nuclear accord that will provide Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief in return for slight restrictions on the country’s nuclear program.
Russian and Iran have grown close in recent years, with delegations from each country regularly visiting one another to ink arms deals and other agreements aimed at strengthening Iran’s nuclear program.
Russia and Iran agreed earlier this year to begin construction on several new nuclear power plants. Russia has also agreed to sell Iran a controversial advanced missile defense system that can prevent attacks by Western powers.
The Russian fleet docked in Iran’s port “carrying a message of ‘peace and friendship,’” according to Iranian officials quoted by Fars. The fleet was “welcomed by Iranian naval commanders and staff.”
The Russian commander of the fleet is scheduled to hold meetings with “local political and military officials” in Iran’s northern provinces, according to Fars.
Levan Jagarian, Russia’s ambassador to Tehran, reportedly attended the docking ceremony and called for “for boosting mutual ties between the two countries in various fields,” according to the report.
The two nations went on to say that “expanding bilateral economic, political, and military cooperation is among the priorities of the visit.”
A Russian fleet also docked in northern Iran in October.
Last week, a senior Iranian naval commander warned the United States against ever taking military action on Iranian interests, claiming that the response would be “unpredictably strong.”
“The western media are mocking at the U.S. for speaking of ‘on the table options (against Iran)’ because the U.S. always utters some words without the ability to materialize them,” Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Naval Commander Ali Fadavi was quoted as saying by the country’s state-run press.
Iran is “ready to give such a powerful response to the slightest move of the U.S. that it won’t be able to make any other moves,” Fadavi was quoted as saying.
The military leader went on to claim that “Iranian Armed Forces are now at the highest level of preparedness” and that “only the dead body of the American troops realizes the power of the Islamic Revolution.
Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, said the Obama administration is fundamentally misreading Iran’s intentions in light of the recently inked nuclear accord.
“We’re witnessing a new great game, and Obama is so self-centered he keeps playing solitaire,” Rubin said. “Obama simply doesn’t understand that the world is full of dictators who seek to checkmate America. What he sees as compromise; they see as weakness to exploit.”
Referring to a visit last week to Russia by IRGC leader Qassem Soleimani, who is responsible for the deaths of Americans, Rubin said it is clear that Moscow and Tehran aim to build a tight military alliance.
“Visiting Russia to talk arms purchases and now this naval visit, it’s clear that Putin and Khamenei will waste no time to really develop their military cooperation,” he said.
An axis between Russia, Iran, and North Korea is beginning to emerge Rubin said, citing official releases that a North Korean delegation is currently visiting Russia to tour war games sites.
“The Russian warship visit combined with North Korea scoping out war game sites in Russia suggest a new Axis of Evil is taking shape with Russia the lynchpin between Iran and North Korea,” Rubin said. “As for the United States, rather than the leader of the free world, Obama and Kerry have transformed us in much of the world’s eyes as the pinnacle of surrender.”
Meanwhile, Obama admitted Monday that Iran’s nuclear breakout time will shrink to “a matter of months” once the nuclear accord expires in around 15 years.
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The Guardian view on China under Xi Jinping: it prefers control to reform - The Guardian

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The Guardian

The Guardian view on China under Xi Jinping: it prefers control to reform
The Guardian
What is true in economics is also true in politics and military affairs. More than 100 Chinese ships, including nuclear submarines, last month churned through the waters of the South ChinaSea, firing off missiles and guns and generally behaving as if ...

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NATO Reducing Air Patrols Around Baltic Sea as Russian Provocations Continue 

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The NATO alliance will reduce by half the number of planes patrolling around the Baltic Sea beginning in September despite continuing provocations from Russian military aircraft, according toreports.
“Our military commanders assess that the posture is appropriate and adequate,” stated NATO spokesperson Carmen Romero.
So far this year across Europe NATO aircraft have scrambled 250 times in response to Russian military air activity.
NATO aircraft intercepted some 150 Russian military aircraft in the Baltic in 2014.
Another NATO official stated the planned reduction in the Baltic Air Patrol Mission does not represent “a change in our signal to Russia” and claims that there has recently been a slight decrease in Russian air activity in the region, although Russian military aircraft continue to fly at a high operational tempo there as well as over other parts of Europe.
Other long-range Russian flights have been observed near the Alaskan air defense zone in April and July.
Russia’s accelerated air activity, far beyond its rates of operation since the fall of the Soviet Union, has not been without cost to the Russian military. Since June, eight aircraft, including some aging TU-95 bombers, have crashed under various circumstances.
Before the crisis in Crimea broke out in early 2014, NATO maintained regular patrols in the Baltic with only four aircraft. That number was increased last year to eight and then increased again to 16 aircraft. Typhoon and F-16 interceptors from various NATO member states have been performing most of the missions as the crisis deepened and Russia expanded in the region its use of long-range bombers such as the Tu-95 and fighters.
Under the newly announced NATO policy, the number of aircraft patrolling around the Baltic will be cut to eight aircraft.
Russian authorities have described their increased aviation activity as “training missions” conducted in the Baltic Sea as well as near the territory the United Kingdom, where the RAF has repeatedly intercepted patrolling Russian bombers.
Since its 2014 annexation of Crimea, and in addition to the use of long-range bombers and fighters to fly near the territory of NATO members, Russia has been engaged in a series of aggressive actions targeting the West, including ongoing efforts to destabilize eastern Ukraine, large military exercises in western Russia, and cyber attacks against the Baltic states.
Russian General-lieutenant Anatoly Zhikharev stated that flights near the United Kingdom will continue for the foreseeable future. “According to the plan of strategic deterrence, the flights of long-distance aviation will be continued as a part of our military training and with the same intensity,” he said.
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65 Percent of Americans Would Not Vote for Obama Again

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President Obama
President Obama / AP
A strong majority of Americans would not vote for Barack Obama if he were allowed to run for a third term in the White House.
According to a Monmouth University poll released Monday, only 27 percent of U.S. adults would vote to reelect Obama in 2016, while 65 percent would cast their ballots for someone else.
Support for the president is even weak among Democrats: While 53 percent would support Obama for a third term, the share of liberal Americans who would not vote for Obama stands at 43 percent.
Obama told the African Union during a speech late last month that he has been a “pretty good president,” and that he would likely win if the U.S. Constitution permitted him to run for a third term.
The poll also indicates that Obama’s job approval rating has waned in the wake of his announcement regarding the finalized Iran nuclear arms agreement. Currently, 50 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s performance as president, up from 46 percent in July. Only 45 percent approve of him.
The president has been tirelessly defending the nuclear deal despite opposition from both Republican and Democratic members of Congress, even pre-taping interviews with various news outlets so that he can continue to sell the agreement as he spends his 17-day summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
Sixty-one percent of Americans do not trust Iran to abide by the terms of the deal “at all,” and a mere 6 percent hold substantial trust in the country. Moreover, most Americans believe that Iran got more of what it wanted out of the deal than did the United States.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who has been characterized by some as the equivalent of an Obama third term, has demonstrated her approval of the Iran agreement, labeling it an “important step.”
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Former New Jersey Resident Charged with Conspiracy and Attempt to Provide Material Support to ISIL 

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— Newark
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No-fly list uses 'predictive assessments' instead of hard evidence, US admits - The Guardian

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The Guardian

No-fly list uses 'predictive assessments' instead of hard evidence, US admits
The Guardian
The declaration comes in a longstanding case, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), arguing that the government does not provide significant steps for someone caught in the “predictive assessments” to get off the blacklists. On Friday ...

One Year After Ferguson: Why Nobody Knows How Many People Are Killed by Police - NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com

One Year After Ferguson: Why Nobody Knows How Many People Are Killed by Police
NBCNews.com
Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project, said that a national database could provide answers to some basic questions: Which police departments are killing the most citizens — justified or not — and which the fewest? Why ...

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SAS Sniper Kills IS Executioner Before He Can Behead 8-Year-Old Boy 

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A British sniper from the elite SAS saved an 8-year-old boy and his father from an Islamic State executioner by shooting the executioner in the head last month.
The SAS sniper team was reportedly tipped off to the execution in the Syrian desert by an Iraqi spy. When they arrived, they found that several Shia Muslims had already been beheaded by their Shiite Muslim captors. The IS (commonly referred to as ISIS) executioner, flanked on both sides by armed companions, was preparing to kill a young boy and his father next when the SAS team deployed its .50-caliber silenced sniper rifle.
“The ISIS thug who was about to decapitate the father was shot in the head and collapsed,” an unnamed source told the Express. “Everyone just stared in confusion.”
“The sniper then dispatched the two henchmen with single shots–three kills with three bullets.”
The young boy and his father were last spotted heading to the Turkish border as the Syrian town they were evacuating celebrated the killing of the IS fighters.
“It was a good day’s work,” the source told the paper.

65 Percent of Americans Would Not Vote for Obama Again

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A strong majority of Americans would not vote for Barack Obama if he were allowed to run for a third term in the White House.
According to a Monmouth University poll released Monday, only 27 percent of U.S. adults would vote to reelect Obama in 2016, while 65 percent would cast their ballots for someone else.
Support for the president is even weak among Democrats: While 53 percent would support Obama for a third term, the share of liberal Americans who would not vote for Obama stands at 43 percent.
Obama told the African Union during a speech late last month that he has been a “pretty good president,” and that he would likely win if the U.S. Constitution permitted him to run for a third term.
The poll also indicates that Obama’s job approval rating has waned in the wake of his announcement regarding the finalized Iran nuclear arms agreement. Currently, 50 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s performance as president, up from 46 percent in July. Only 45 percent approve of him.
The president has been tirelessly defending the nuclear deal despite opposition from both Republican and Democratic members of Congress, even pre-taping interviews with various news outlets so that he can continue to sell the agreement as he spends his 17-day summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
Sixty-one percent of Americans do not trust Iran to abide by the terms of the deal “at all,” and a mere 6 percent hold substantial trust in the country. Moreover, most Americans believe that Iran got more of what it wanted out of the deal than did the United States.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who has been characterized by some as the equivalent of an Obama third term, has demonstrated her approval of the Iran agreement, labeling it an “important step.”

A Shift in the Battle for Yemen 

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By William TuckerChief Correspondent for In Homeland Security
Prosecuting a war in Yemen is difficult, but fighting an insurgency in the country is doubly so. In contemporary history conflict within Yemen involving the British, Saudis, Egyptians, the U.S., and the drawn out Yemeni civil war all demonstrate the difficulty of pacifying such a fractious state, and yet, we are back discussing another conflict. 

PICTURES: Communist ‘Selfies with Lenin’ Campaign Takes Off in Russia

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