Female footballers break world record for highest ever football match

(CNN)They came, they saw, they conquered -- and broke a world record.

Having climbed up Africa's highest mountain, taking goal posts and nets in tow, a group of fearless women have achieved what many thought impossible and played a 90-minute football match on Mount Kilimanjaro.
The squad of 30 footballers representing 20 nationalities, who included retired US international Lori Lindsey and former England midfielder Rachel Unitt, completed a 11-a-side match at nearly 19,000 feet, an altitude never attempted before.
 
 
 
Using flour to mark the pitch and trekking poles as corner flags, the women -- ranging in ages, from 18 to 66 years old -- played in punishing conditions on a volcanic ash pitch.
The game -- between Volcano FC and Glacier FC -- ended goalless, but the result was inconsequential as the sole purpose of the challenge was to highlight the inequality women face in sport.
American defender Erin Blankenship, co-founder of event organizers Equal Playing Fields, said: "You can't challenge the fact that you've got a group of athletes who are playing at almost 19,000ft. It doesn't matter what gender they are."
Substitutes' cheer from the sidelines during the match.
 
The women trek up Mount Kilimanjaro before playing their match.
 
The group sleep above the clouds on Mount Kilimanjaro.
 

'Needing oxygen'

Olympic champion Lindsey, who played for USA at the 2011 World Cup and 2012 London Olympics, was one of the star players taking part. She was keen to raise awareness of the issues women and girls face when playing sport.
"I'm fortunate enough to have had pioneers who came before me, but it's our responsibility to continue to make strides forward for the generations to come," she told CNN Sport before embarking on the trip.
Playing in thin air, which causes a reduction in physical performance, isn't easy.
In May 2007, FIFA -- football's world governing body -- introduced a temporary ban, revoked a year later, on international matches at more than 8,200ft above sea level, citing concerns about players' health and the "unfair" advantage to acclimatized home teams.
Earlier in 2007, Brazilian club Flamengo had said it would boycott high-altitude games after a match at 12,467 ft -- against Bolivia's Real Potosi -- left some team members needing oxygen.
"We made a pact before the game that it was all about the game finishing," said Glacier FC coach Dawn Scott.
"It was equal opportunities and we termed the substitutes coming on as record makers as they'd be the ones pushing us on because you could see players dropping and needing oxygen towards the end."

The fight for equality in women's sport

Throughout history sportswomen have had to climb metaphorical mountains and organizers Equal Playing Field say the fight is ongoing, which is why they dreamed up this record-breaking mission.
This year alone, the debate over equality has made headlines.
Earlier this month it was revealed that Serena Williams, the most successful female tennis player in the Open era, was the only woman in Forbes' latest list of the world's top 100 highest-paid athletes.
The 35-year-old American is ranked 51st, with total earnings of $27 million last year -- $37m less than Roger Federer, the most successful men's tennis player in history, who is fourth on the list.
In April, the US women's national soccer team ended a long-running dispute over pay and conditions by agreeing a new deal with US Soccer, the country's governing body.
That was not the only case this year of international sportswomen taking a stand.
Also in April, the Republic of Ireland women's football team threatened to go on strike. Players' representative, Stuart Gilhooly, said they were being treated like "fifth-class citizens" by the Football Association of Ireland.
Meanwhile US women's hockey threatened to boycott the world championships before agreeing a pay deal just three days before the start of the tournament.
Equal Playing Field had said it wanted to "challenge the social norms for girls and women in sport" and acknowledge "the systematic, structured inequality that girls and women face in most aspects of their lives."
What will their next challenge be? There are whispers that they may attempt to play a football match in the lowest altitude ever recorded, near the Dead Sea in Jordan.
Source:CNN
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Hamburg knife attack suspect known as Islamist but had no terror links

Berlin (CNN)A man accused of a fatal stabbing in Hamburg, Germany, was known to investigators as an Islamist and was "psychologically unstable" but so far does not appear to have any terror links, authorities said Saturday.

The 26-year-old man grabbed a long kitchen knife at a supermarket Friday afternoon and stabbed three shoppers, killing one, before attacking four others on the street.
Eyewitnesses said he shouted, ''Allahu akbar,'' or God is greatest. Amateur video showed young men throwing chairs at the suspect to subdue him.
 
 
One of the injured was a Turkish man who helped others overpower the attacker, authorities said. Some of the injured were hurt seriously.
''We are shaken, horrified,'' Hamburg Interior Minister Andy Grote said at a Saturday news conference. He called it a ''barbaric'' attack and praised the citizens who overpowered the man as ''very courageous.''
The attack was the latest in a series linked to Islamists in Germany, including a December truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin that killed 12 people.
A woman places flowers  near the scene of the attack Saturday in Hamburg.
 
Grote said the attacker appeared to have Islamist motives but was also ''psychologically unstable.'' He was known to be undergoing radicalization, and authorities were monitoring him but didn't consider him to be an Islamist militant. Authorities searched his living quarters at an asylum shelter in Hamburg overnight.
Torsten Voss, Hamburg state's chief of the Constitutional Protection Office, said the suspect was one of 800 registered Islamists under observation in Hamburg, but that he was so far not linked to any extremist network.
Voss said the attacker, according to an informant, was known in the past to enjoy drinking and partying, but had changed recently and increasingly spoke about the Koran. The suspect speaks Norwegian, Swedish and English, he said.
Police cordon off the area around the Hamburg supermarket where the attack occurred Friday.
 
Two German security officials said the suspect in the Hamburg knife attack was on the radar screen for expressing pro-jihadi views.
The state domestic intelligence service in Hamburg had flagged him, the officials told CNN, but the suspect was not considered a priority cause for concern because the depth of his radicalization was not clear.
One official said the attack appears to be the latest in a series of "borderline cases" in Europe and the United States where it is difficult to untangle mental health problems from terrorist motivation.

Nationality is unclear

Hamburg's mayor was to lay flowers at the site of the attack in the city's Barmbek area, Grote said.
The suspect was to appear in court Saturday on one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder, said Joerg Froehlich, Hamburg chief prosecutor.
He won't talk because of a head injury sustained during the attack, Froehlich said, adding that the case will go to the federal prosecutor. The suspect, whom the authorities did not identify by name, had previously been arrested for shoplifting.
Authorities are trying to determine the man's nationality but said he had a birth certificate from the United Arab Emirates and was seeking papers from the Palestinian Authority mission in Berlin.
Grote said the man intended to leave Germany and had been at a government registration office for foreigners earlier Friday to see if his papers had arrived.
Source:CNN
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How Ghana's Bozoma Saint John intends to transform Uber

After conquering challenges at some of the world's biggest brands, US based Ghanaian marketing executive, Bozoma Saint John, has accepted the challenge to change the fortunes of Uber.

The transportation giant brought in Bozoma Saint John as its Chief Brand Officer last month to turn around the $68 billion company's image.

Uber has been hit by scandals and the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick but is determined to put these behind them in the ever-competitive business world.

Bozoma says her focus will be on changing Uber's corporate culture.

She disclosed she will pay attention to rebuilding Uber's relationship with riders and drivers though she admits it's a mountain to climb.

"It's about trying to be the representation of what I want to see, you know, I want change. I want things to be great for people of colour and for women. For us to be able to show up at work, do our best work, and be appreciated for that work." she remarked

"So, if I can contribute to that, and it's not gonna be easy, you know, there's gonna be lots of challenges. You know, I'm sure there'll be frustrating days. I'm sure there'll be times I cry, 'cause I don't mind crying, by the way. But I'm hopeful, you know, and I think that's really what's driving me, is that I'm hopeful." she said

Saint John has established herself as one of the worlds doyens of marketing as she has previously proved her prowess in the field with some of the world's notable brands like Pepsi and Apple.

She says her task at Uber is a challenging one but hopes to make the impact desired for the transformation of Uber.

"Well, every situation is unique, you know, in this one, part of it is an evolution, you know, not such a hard change. So it means talking to people, understanding the motivations."

"stand at a cocktail party and someone will say, 'Wow, that's such a cool place to be." she stressed

Source: Ghanaweb

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Apologise to prophets or face my wrath – Rev. Bempah to Mensa Otabil

Leader and founder of Glorious Word Power Ministry International, Reverend Owusu Bempah, has sent a strong warning to the General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church Pastor, Dr. Mensa Otabil for calling Christians who follow some prophets, foolish.

Rev. Owusu accuses Dr Otabil of describing Christians who give huge sums of money as offering to prophets just in the name of receiving breakthroughs as fools.

According to him, it will be wise for Dr. Otabil to do the honourable thing by rendering an apology to prophets he has insulted because he (Otabil) has gone contrary to his preaching.

He said it is shocking to see a notice of specific monetary offering which promises different rewards at Dr. Otabil’s Greater Works event.

Inasmuch as he sees nothing wrong with Dr. Otabil taking special offering at his events, Rev. Bempah said, calling Christians in other churches who do same as fools and referring to prophets who take money from their followers as fake is absurd.

“I respect Mensa Otabil a lot but I won’t have him call all prophets fake, there may be some fake prophets but the same way there are fake bible teachers too, he can’t put us all into one bracket,” he fumed.

As a prophet himself, Rev. Owusu Bempah said, he has the responsible to protect the image of his colleagues, and, therefore will not tolerate them being abused.

He explains, “I wouldn’t have said anything if Mensa Otabil had said some prophets are fake but putting all of us in the same bracket, I won’t allow that.”

“Mensa Otabil has a branch of his church headed by prophet Annor, so is Mensa Otabil saying Christians in that church are foolish?” he quizzes.

“Unless Mensa Otabil tells me that he takes money collected in his church to heaven, we all use the monies collected in the church for God’s work, I am asking him to apologize to Ghanaian Christians and prophets by Monday, if not he will have me to contend with,” he cautions.

Source:Ghana Web

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Laryea Kingston haunted by the sight of one million dollar cash

Former Black Stars winger Laryea Kingston has disclosed that he had sleepless nights after signing for Russia club Krylia Sovetov in 2004.

According to the former Hearts of Oak wide man, he was haunted for two-weeks after they handed him a cash of one million dollar after signing with the Russian outfit.

Speaking on the Football Legends Nights Show on GHOne TV, Laryea said, “I couldn’t sleep for two weeks after I was given one million cash after signing my contract in Russia."

"They brought the money in cash but I asked them to pay it into my account and they said I should deal with it that they don’t have."

“For two weeks I couldn’t speak and had to change the position of the money every day on my return from turning at the hotel."

The retired winger has since invested into so many business adventures after leaving the pitch due a career ending injury.

Source:Ghana Web

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Is wine healthy?

(CNN)Yes, wine may protect our hearts when consumed in moderation -- defined as up to one drink per day for women, and up to two drinks per day for men, according to US dietary guidelines. Five ounces of wine is considered one drink.

Benefits of moderate alcohol consumption such as wine include a 30% reduction in the risk of heart attack compared to non-drinkers, a finding that has been repeated over 30 years and in various countries, according to Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition who has been researching the effects of alcohol and chronic disease for decades at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Additionally, alcohol consumption has been associated with a 30% to 40% reduction in the risk of Type 2 diabetes, compared to those who don't drink.
But more is not better. Excessive drinking can increase the risk of diseases, including heart disease, liver disease and certain cancers.
The pattern of drinking matters too, so saving up for a bottle of wine during a Saturday night dinner isn't quite the same as following a 'one-a-day' rule. "The maximum benefit appears to be when alcohol consumption is spread out over the course of a week, or at least every other day," said Rimm.

Isn't red wine better?

Red wine has been praised for its resveratrol content. Resveratrol is a polyphenol (plant chemical) found in the skin of red and purple grapes (less so in green). It has antioxidant properties and it also helps to make arteries more flexible, which lowers blood pressure. The amount of resveratrol in red wine is greater than in white and rosé wines, since grape skins are removed early during the production of white and rosé wines.
According to Rimm, a few studies suggest that consuming red wine may be more beneficial than drinking other alcoholic beverages. But, he adds, the amount of polyphenols in red wine is simply not enough to explain the benefits on health.
"If you are a woman, and you're drinking a glass of red wine each day, the amount of polyphenols is small compared to other sources of polyphenols in your diet, like blueberries, tea, apples and dark chocolate," he said.
For example, if you are consuming a glass of red wine daily and also consuming a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet, the polyphenols from red wine represent less than 5% of the total amount of polyphenols in your diet, according to Rimm.
By comparison, the amount of resveratrol given to mice in studies is equivalent to the amount that you would find in 8 to 10 bottles of red wine -- an amount considered unhealthy for humans.
What's more, research that has looked at resveratrol in humans isn't that promising. One recent study involving close to 800 men and women 65 years or older concluded that resveratrol consumed from dietary sources was not associated with longevity; nor did it decrease the incidence of heart disease or cancer.
"When you consume wine in moderation, most or all of the benefit is coming from the ethanol (alcohol) in wine," said Rimm. "Having a shot of spirits or a can of beer will give you equal benefit as wine."
Specifically, ethanol increases HDL, or "good" cholesterol, improves insulin sensitivity, and slows down the ability of blood to clot. It also helps to decrease inflammation inside of your arteries, according to Rimm.
"That being said, if you enjoy red wine, by all means, go for it," he said.

Calorie cutting?

Compared to other alcoholic beverages, wine is a good choice for those watching their weight, as it has fewer carbs than beer. Unlike beer, most of the calories in wine come from alcohol. (An exception is a sweet wine like a dessert wine, where sugar contributes to the total calorie count). Wine also lacks the sugar calories from mixers used for cocktails and other drinks.
For example, though they are all considered one standard "drink" with equivalent amounts of alcohol, 12 ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol) may have about 150 calories, 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol) may have about 120 calories, and 7 ounces of a rum (40% alcohol) plus cola may have about 155 calories according to US Dietary Guidelines.
But the higher the alcohol content, the more calories in wine. For example, a red Zinfandel with 15% alcohol is going to have more calories than a Riesling with 8% alcohol. Wines from warm climates often have 14% to 15% alcohol, according to Stephen Mutkoski, professor emeritus of wine education and management at the school of hotel administration at Cornell University.
According to Dwayne Bershaw, who teaches wine making classes in the department of food science at Cornell, most whites and rosés are lower in alcohol than most reds, so they have fewer calories compared to red wines.
And though many whites and rosés do contain a small amount of residual sugar, left over when not all of the sugar in grapes is used up to produce alcohol, the amount is not significant enough to outweigh the greater calorie difference from variations in alcohol content among reds, whites and rosés. "A half a percent of residual sugar will add 4 or 5 calories ... it's not that much," said Bershaw.
Bershaw said low calorie wine seems to be a trending item in some circles; this is simply wine with no residual sugar and a lower percent alcohol by volume (%ABV).

A note of caution

 
Alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer. For men, drinking a couple glasses of alcohol a day was associated with 26% increased risk of cancers such as liver, colon and esophagus. Women with a high risk of breast cancer (PDF) should be cautious when consuming wine.
"For someone who is at high risk for breast cancer, due to a strong family history or other risk factors, I wouldn't necessarily tell that woman to stop drinking," said Rimm, "but I would say if you are at high risk, drink a little less."
Rimm said while it's true that women who drink a drink per day have a 10% increased risk of breast cancer, it is nowhere near the 30% reduction in risk of heart disease achieved by consuming alcohol in moderation.
But if you are pregnant, nursing or have other health or medical issues where alcohol consumption is not advised, you should avoid alcohol completely. And drinking wine isn't more important than eating a nutritious diet, engaging in regular exercise, and avoiding smoking.
"Wine should be enjoyed along with other aspects of a healthy lifestyle," said Rimm.
Source:CNN
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Tracy Morgan on return to TV after accident: 'Thank God'

(CNN)Tracy Morgan returns to scripted comedy in "The Last O.G," but the actor feels a lot has changed since he was last on the small screen -- mainly himself.

In the TBS show, Morgan stars as a man who experiences culture shock when he returns to a gentrified Brooklyn after 15 years in prison.
He's surrounded by an ensemble that includes Cedric the Entertainer, "Girls Trip" star Tiffany Haddish and actor Allen Maldonado.
Asked during a panel for the series during the Television Critics Association press tour why he chose to star in a show with a strong ensemble -- versus, say, an auteur-driven comedy like those which has been popular as of late -- Morgan said he felt that wasn't the right approach.
 
 
"Maybe I'm just a better man now since the accident," he said, referencing a June 2014 crash that left him severely injured. "It ain't about me. It's bigger than me."
Morgan was in a coma for two weeks after a Walmart truck hit a limousine in which he was a passenger. Comedian James McNair, who was with Morgan, was killed in the crash.
Morgan said he takes breaks on set and is encouraged to do so by his production staff and fellow cast members.
"I have my crew and I love them and they make sure I sit down," he said. "I'm taken care of by my people, and I love them with my heart."
Following the accident, the "30 Rock" alum made a slow but steady return to the stage, first with a surprise appearance at the 2015 Emmy awards and then one month later as host of "Saturday Night Live."
A running theme in "The Last O.G.," Morgan and producers said, is the importance of second chances.
Asked what it meant to him to make his return to TV in what could be viewed as his own second chance, Morgan said he had only one response: "Thank God."
"The Last O.G." premieres October 24.
Source:CNN
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Hulu snags rights to 'TGIF' library

Program note: Get up to speed on "The Nineties" on CNN Sunday nights at 9p ET/PT.

(CNN)TGIF is making a comeback on Hulu, only this time you can watch your favorite shows from the '90s any day of the week.

The streaming service has landed the exclusive streaming rights to five beloved TV shows that once lived on ABC's so-called TGIF lineup, a programming block that highlighted family-friendly network offerings and dominated Friday night ratings in the '90s.
"Full House," "Family Matters," "Step by Step," "Perfect Strangers" and "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper" are set to hit Hulu on September 29.
The acquisition agreement, made with Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution, marks the latest large content deal for the service. (The agreement includes more than 800 episodes of television.)
While Hulu is still very much in the classic TV acquisition game, it's also had success in the originals space. Hulu's dystopian drama "The Handmaid's Tale" scored 13 Emmy nominations, including one for best drama.
The achievement marked a major breakthrough for the streaming service, which has until now struggled to have an original drama break through in a crowded content market.
Source:CNN
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Scaramucci's 250 hours of drama as Trump's communications chief

Washington (CNN)Standing behind a crush of reporters in the Oval Office on Monday, Anthony Scaramucci displayed few outward signs his unbridled tenure as President Donald Trump's communications director was about to end.

Hands thrust into his pockets and a new government ID badge strung around his neck, Scaramucci watched stone-faced as Trump offered an effusive welcome to his new chief of staff, John Kelly.
"With a very controversial situation, there's been very little controversy," Trump declared of his incoming top aide's record heading the Department of Homeland Security.
or Scaramucci, who went on a vulgar screed about his senior-most colleagues and vowed to fire his entire staff during his single stormy week on the job, Trump's appreciation for a lack of controversy may have proven ominous.
A few hours later, Scaramucci was facing Kelly in the chief of staff's corner office, learning his West Wing days were over. It was simply the latest chapter in an ongoing soap opera that's shaken Washington norms, leaving administration aides anxious and exhausted as they scramble to adjust to rapid-fire changes in management.
It was a parting just as abrupt as Scaramucci's arrival to the White House 10 days ago, which prompted its own tremors among an anxious administration that's gone six months with few victories. It did little to bolster Trump's claim, made early Monday morning on Twitter, that there is "No WH chaos!" gripping his team.
Instead, it encapsulated the predicament in which Trump now finds himself: embroiled in disorder which he's often fueled himself and with the path to stability passing inescapably through more shakeups and turmoil.
"The days of tolerating bulls--- in this White House are over," one source close to the administration said Monday afternoon, shortly after Scaramucci departed the West Wing. Few believe he'll be the last to go.

Monday surprise

Arriving at work early Monday morning, Scaramucci was prepared to begin in earnest his promised reshuffle of the White House communications team after effectively orchestrating last week's ouster of Reince Priebus as chief of staff.
Instead, he found himself the first victim of Priebus' replacement, a Marine general seeking to impose discipline on a wayward and warring White House staff.
Just before 9:30 a.m. ET, cameras caught the still-employed Scaramucci standing outside the West Wing, using his characteristic hand gestures to punctuate a conversation with Kellyanne Conway, the presidential counselor.
Outwardly, Scaramucci appeared to be in the President's good graces. Trump was thrilled with Scaramucci's debut performance in the briefing room, officials said, during which the wealthy businessman described the President as a born winner with an innate sense of competition.
"I have seen this guy throw a dead spiral through a tire," Scaramucci told reporters on July 21, the same day his appointment was announced. "I've seen him in Madison Square Garden with a topcoat, standing in the key, hitting shots."
Scaramucci's debut in the West Wing prompted its own seizures -- the now-former press secretary Sean Spicer resigned his post in anticipation of Scaramucci's arrival, determining he couldn't work alongside the brash financier, and Scaramucci proudly declared that he would report directly to Trump.
In interviews, Scaramucci repeatedly warned Trump aides that he was launching a new effort to ferret out individuals leaking embarrassing information. He began tarnishing Priebus publicly, first in an interview on CNN, comparing his relationship with Priebus to that of the fratricidal brothers Cain and Abel, and later in an expletive-laced rant to the New Yorker, where he described the former Republican National Committee chairman as a "paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac."

Trump's change of heart

Scaramucci's crude comments last week about Priebus and senior strategist Steve Bannon had not seemed to initially agitate Trump, who invited Scaramucci the next morning to fly aboard Air Force One and later announced he was replacing Priebus, an apparent coup for Scaramucci.
A White House official said Trump originally found Scaramucci's comments about Priebus and Bannon -- which described the men as paranoid and self-serving -- as funny and "amusing."
But as time went on, the President became annoyed with the negative coverage because it "took over everything," the official said. In Trump's mind, his new communications director's profile had become outsized. Scaramucci was "grandstanding," one source close to the White House said, a grave misdeed that Trump punished by banishing him to "the cheap seats in centerfield."
The President asked a very close ally on Sunday if Scaramucci had seriously and permanently damaged himself. The ally replied that he had, a person familiar with the conversation said, and Trump seemed to agree.
Nevertheless, Scaramucci began Monday believing he could weather the storm surrounding him, three people who talked to him said. "He had no plans to resign," a person who talked to Scaramucci Monday said. "He thought he could fix it."
It turned out he was wrong.

'John Kelly is in charge now'

Kelly, who told White House staffers in a morning meeting that he plans to demand order and discipline among the ranks, "clearly had no confidence in (Scaramucci)," one person close to the new chief of staff said.
"John Kelly is in charge now," the person said. "Scaramucci is a very different employee than what Kelly would tolerate working with."
Two more sources close to the White House said it was more than just Kelly who was unhappy with Scaramucci -- Trump himself, while initially supportive of Scaramucci's behavior last week, eventually soured on his communications director.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders acknowledged on Monday that Trump found Scaramucci's coarse descriptions of Priebus and Bannon unacceptable.
"The President certainly felt that Anthony's comments were inappropriate for someone in that position, and he didn't want to burden General Kelly also with that line of succession," Sanders said.
Scaramucci officially held the job for five days, the shortest tenure of any communications director at the White House, according to CNN's count. Scaramucci accepted the job on July 21, ten days before he resigned, but his official start date was July 26.
Both standards would amount to the shortest of any former White House communications director, a title formerly held by Jack Koehler, who resigned 12 days into his 1987 tenure after it became public that, at 10 years old, he was a member of a Nazi youth group.
At the White House, the news of Scaramucci's dismissal was met with a now-practiced response. Reporters scrambled to the press offices to seek comment, aides walked briskly between rooms avoiding questions, and the President went about his schedule.
Within the hour of the news breaking, a smiling Kelly was seen in the White House East Room to watch as Trump awarded his first Medal of Honor.
Also present: Spicer, the former press secretary, who remains on the payroll as Sanders transitions into the job as his successor. As news of Scaramucci's demise emerged, Spicer's mood was upbeat and smiling.
Trump himself sought to deliver a similar message on Friday as the day wound down.
"A great day at the White House!" he declared on Twitter.
Source:CNN
 
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Lawsuit: Fox News concocted Seth Rich story with oversight from White House

The White House worked with Fox News and a wealthy Republican donor to push a story about the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, according to an explosive lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The story was pushed in an attempt to discredit the US intelligence community's determination that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and obtained the emails released by Wikileaks, the lawsuit said.

 

The lawsuit, which was first reported by NPR, was filed in US District Court in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff is Rod Wheeler, a Fox News contributor and former homicide detective hired to investigate Rich's death, who alleges that he was misquoted as part of the effort to put the story together. Douglas Wigdor, who is representing current and former Fox employees in other lawsuits against the network, is Wheeler's lawyer.

21st Century Fox, the Fox News Channel, Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman and Republican donor Ed Butowsky are named as defendants. Butowsky denies the allegations in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says in part, "The motivation behind the article: establish that Seth Rich provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails to shift the blame from Russia and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to influence the outcome of the Presidential election. ... Zimmerman, Butowsky and Fox had created fake news to advance President Trump's agenda. Mr. Wheeler was subsequently forced to correct the false record and, as a result, lost all credibility in the eyes of the public. Mr. Wheeler has suffered irreparable damage to his reputation and his career will likely never recover."

Related: Read the full lawsuit

Butowsky told CNN that "the lawsuit is bulls**t" and said "Wigdor pulled this out of his butt to make money."

Included in the lawsuit is a text message from Butowsky to Wheeler in which Butowsky writes, "Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article. He wants the article out immediately. It's now all up to you. But don't feel the pressure."

Butowsky told CNN that this message was a joke referring to what he said was Wheeler's desire for a job with the Trump administration. "This was Rod and I," Butowsky said. "We teased all the time. We were basically telling him you are doing a great job and that the president or the White House or somebody would be interested in meeting you."

A spokesperson for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reached for comment, a Fox News spokesperson pointed CNN to a comment that Jay Wallace, the network's president of news and editorial, gave to NPR in which he said an investigation found no "concrete evidence" Wheeler was misquoted.

Source:CNN.com

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US detects 'highly unusual' North Korean submarine activity

Washington (CNN)The US military has detected "highly unusual and unprecedented levels" of North Korean submarine activity and evidence of an "ejection test" in the days following Pyongyang's second intercontinental ballistic missile launch this month, a defense official told CNN on Monday.

An ejection test examines a missile's "cold-launch system," which uses high pressure steam to propel a missile out of the launch canister into the air before its engines ignite. That helps prevent flames and heat from the engine from damaging either the submarine, submersible barge or any nearby equipment used to launch the missile.
Carried out on land at Sinpo Naval Shipyard, Sunday's ejection test is the third time this month -- and fourth this year -- that North Korea has conducted a trial of the missile component that is critical to developing submarine launch capabilities, according to the US defense official.
 
 
US officials also noted that a North Korean Sang-O submarine was operating in the Yellow Sea and the length of its deployment was notable. Two Romeo submarines were detected in the waters off Japan -- each one operating in the area for about a week.
Coupled with reports of increased submarine activity, news of another ejection test comes amid concerns over North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that appears to have the range to hit major US cities on Friday.
Experts believe if Friday's test had been fired on a flatter, standard trajectory, it could have threatened cities like Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago.
President Donald Trump told reporters at his second full Cabinet meeting that his administration will be able to take care of North Korea but offered no specifics about what he plans to do.
"We will handle North Korea. We are gonna be able to handle them. It will be handled. We handle everything," Trump said after a reporter asked him about his strategy.
Asked if the US would strike first, Trump's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that "all options are on the table," adding that Trump would not "broadcast" his decisions.
Democrat Sen. Mark Warner said on "Erin Burnett Out Front" Monday that Trump showed "enormous naiveté" by suggesting the nuclear threat from North Korea could be handled so simply.
North Korea's submarine fleet is believed to encompass about 70 subs, though the majority are quite old and likely cannot fire missiles.
When taken together, these developments are concerning because North Korea says it is trying to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the United States.
Pyongyang has long maintained the ability to legitimately threaten the United States with a nuclear attack is the only way to protect itself against any US-led attempts at regime change.
Land-based and submarine-based missiles are considered two-thirds of what is known as the "Strategic Triad," a theory that a state must have land, air and sea-based nuclear attack capabilities to successfully deter an enemy from trying to attack it.
The current US intelligence assessment is that the missile program aboard submarines remains in the very early stages.
CNN reported earlier this month that North Korea had sent a diesel-powered Romeo Class sub on an unprecedented patrol and had been outfitting its Gorae Sub with a possible missile launch demonstration tube.
Two US defense officials told CNN at the time that the North Korean Romeo-class submarine was engaged in "unusual deployment activity" in the waters off the coast of Japan and was patrolling farther that it has ever gone, sailing some 100 kilometers out to sea in international waters.
The submarine's activity was different than the typical training activity usually observed closer to shore, according to the officials.
hat activity caused US and South Korean forces to slightly raise their alert level, according to one official.
The US military pays close attention to North Korean submarine activity following the 2010 Cheonan incident where a North Korean sub torpedoed a South Korean Naval vessel.
Last summer, North Korea conducted what experts believed was its first successful submarine missile test, firing a missile called the the KN-11 or Pukguksong-1.
Source:CNN
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U.S. slaps sanctions on Venezuelan president Maduro

The Treasury Department slapped sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Monday, sending a clear signal of the Trump administration's opposition to his regime.

The move comes a day after Maduro declared a sweeping victory in a vote that will allow him to further consolidate his power over the crisis torn nation. Much of the world -- and many of Venezuela's own citizens -- have called the vote an assault on democracy.

 

"Yesterday's illegitimate elections confirm that Maduro is a dictator who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement announcing the latest sanctions on the Latin American country.

Beginning on Monday, all of the Venezuelan's president's assets that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction will be frozen. All U.S. citizens are also barred from dealing with him, according to Treasury.

It's unclear exactly what assets Maduro has in the U.S. Mnuchin declined to provide reporters with additional details during a White House briefing Monday afternoon.

A Treasury spokesman told CNNMoney Monday's action will "impose real costs -- no U.S. person can do business with sanctioned individuals, and sanctioned individuals are denied access to the U.S. financial and commercial systems."

Even when a sanctioned person doesn't have a bank account in the U.S., it often disrupts the ability to do international banking or business, he said.

Maduro is one of a handful of heads of state to be sanctioned by the U.S. government. He follows in the footsteps of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, and Manuel Noriega, who was a military dictator of Panama.

Related: Trump is prepared to slap sanctions on Venezuela

Trump's decision to sanction Maduro is not as severe as broader economic sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry. Oil is Venezuela's primary source of income. Senior administration officials hinted Sunday that broader sanctions might be coming. Yet Mnuchin declined to comment Monday on whether the U.S. is considering further sanctions.

"As we continue to monitor the situation, we will continue to review all of our options," said Mnuchin, noting the U.S. government wouldn't take any action that would hurt the Venezuelan people.

Venezuelans like Monica Calderon, 30, who manages a perfume stand at a shopping mall in Caracas, called on the U.S. to "apply the sanctions and do whatever you have to do"

"They should apply them as soon as possible because we're living under a government that steals money," said Calderon, who spoke to CNN from an opposition-supported area. "It's going to send a message, because we are hoping that Venezuela isn't alone."

"We are in a dictatorship," Aldo Volani, 68, a security advisor who has lived in Caracas for the last 23 years, told CNN from the same area in the capital city. "I wish he [President Trump] would have done it a long time ago."

Last week, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on 13 government and military officials tied to Maduro. Mexico and Colombia followed with sanctions on the same individuals.

Source:CNN

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The battle over science in the Trump administration

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump has made no secret of his desire to roll back environmental regulations and change the playing field for the fossil-fuel industry.

His administration's actions over its first six months have followed that lead, including what many scientists say is a full-fledged battle against research and facts.
Last week the twitter account for the Department of Energy tweeted out an op-ed written by a scholar at the Cato Institute, a right-leaning think tank, with the headline: "In the fight between Rick Perry and climate scientists -- He's winning"
 
At the Interior Department, a climate scientist who has shared his thoughts on global warming was recently reassigned -- to accountant. At the Agriculture Department, the man Trump has chosen to head science as undersecretary of agriculture for research, education and economics has no formal hard sciences background. At the Environmental Protection Agency, where the administration has successfully delayed a number of regulations drafted under President Barack Obama, Administrator Scott Pruitt is aiming to get more industry voices into the scientific process.
Pruitt is also currently discussing how to go about putting together a "red team, blue team" effort to bring in outside experts to challenge climate science, including the scientific consensus that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are a driver of global warming and its associated effects, in a back-and-forth critique with EPA experts.
The endgame, critics say, is a whittling down of scientific credibility that can help loosen environmental regulations.
"When you get down there to EPA, you realize there is constant questioning of everything scientific of EPA that may have any implication down the line to have an impact on the regulated community," said Thomas Burke, former deputy assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development under Barack Obama.

Positions under fire

Joel Clement was director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the Interior Department, until three weeks ago. Now he's a senior adviser at the department's Office of Natural Resources Revenue -- a position he labels an accounting job.
"I was reassigned to an accounting office in the department that collects the royalty checks from the oil and gas and the fossil fuel interests," Clement told CNN. He formerly studied the impact of rising sea levels on Native American tribes in Alaska.
Clement was one of 50 at Interior who received letters in early June that they would be involuntarily reassigned to other positions. The letter he received cited a need to "improve talent development, mission delivery and collaboration." 
Clement filed a complaint last month with the US Office of Special Counsel, citing retaliation claims from the Trump administration.
"I think the topic of science comes up all the time, and oddly it's questioned more often than it ought to be. But without the scientific experts and the policy experts that work on this issue, we're actually putting American lives at risk," Clement told CNN.
Eight Senate Democrats wrote a letter to Interior's inspector general to investigate the reassignments on the grounds that it could be an "abuse of authority."
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told Congress in June that reassignments will be part of the process meant to reduce the department's "physical footprint."
So far the Trump administration has eliminated hundreds of positions through proposed budget cuts. EPA employees are facing buyouts and threats of layoffs. And there are multiple stories of additional micromanagement, including a Washington Post report of an Interior order last month to remove two climate change experts from participating in a tour of Glacier National Park on the day that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was slated to visit.

PA pushes debate on climate change

Pruitt, who formerly filed numerous lawsuits against federal regulations during his time as Oklahoma attorney general, has made no secret of his desire to give more weight to regulated industries.
"What the American people deserve, I think, is a true, legitimate, peer-reviewed, objective, transparent discussion about CO2," Pruitt told the Washington Post in June.
"The citizens just don't trust that EPA is honest with these numbers," Pruitt told The Wall Street Journal in February. "Let's get real, objective data, not just do modeling. Let's vigorously publish and peer-review science. Let's do honest cost-benefit work. We need to restore the trust."
Part of expanding that trust is bringing the voices of the fossil fuel industries into the mix.
"We believe in dialogue with, and being responsive to, all our stakeholders," said EPA spokesperson Liz Bowman. "The difference between us and the previous administration is that we feel that the regulated community is an important stakeholder. Input from the technical and scientific experts on the ground is valuable to the regulatory process."
Regarding the "red team, blue team" concept, Bowman said, "Climate science, like other fields of science, is constantly changing. A new, fresh, and transparent evaluation is something everyone should support doing."
Pruitt has also dismissed half of the scientists serving on a scientific review board that provides guidance to the EPA.
At the Energy Department, a not-yet-released report on whether the US electric grid is ready for renewable energy is being led by a man who formerly worked for a think tank funded by the fossil-fuel industry.
In addition, an op-ed tweeted by the Energy Department last week argued that major scientific institutions have become biased and politicized on the climate issue. The piece was written by a scholar at conservative think tank the Cato Institute and specifically focused on ccriticizing the American Meteorological Society, a non-profit professional organization for scientists and researchers.
The administration's handling of agency science advisory boards is also changing. In May, Interior froze the work of more than 200 advisory boards, committees and subcommittees -- about a third of those advisory boards are science-based.
Critics warn that the administration's moves impose a clear conflict of interest.
"It's bastardizing the definition of scientific integrity," said Terry Yosie, former director of the EPA science advisory board under President Ronald Reagan. "The peoples whose interest are affected already have a place in this process. There's a public comment period. The scientific advisory process is meant to judge the weight of the scientific evidence, not how other places like specific coal plants will be affected."

How science is used; rolling back regulations

Environmentalists point to the administration's move to delay or roll back federal regulations.
The Trump administration throughout multiple agencies has attempted to delay a number of regulations slated to take effect this year -- 47 total according to a list of Federal Register filings compiled by a professor and law student at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. EPA leads the group, delaying and or reviewing at least 14 rules.
However, guiding rules within the EPA mandate that a regulation cannot simply be overturned, it has to be replaced by another rule and the rule itself has to be based in science.
This is especially true when looking at the Clean Air Act. In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled in Massachusetts v. EPA that greenhouse gases are air pollutants that would be covered by the act and so EPA must protect the public from pollution. Following that decision, the EPA, as required by the court, released endangerment findings that found greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health. This document is the basis for a lot of the regulations finalized under the Obama administration.
Environmentalists believe that the EPA under Pruitt looks like it wants to reverse this endangerment finding and say that greenhouse gases don't contribute to climate change -- basically reversing the science -- by using the red team blue team effort, according to a source at the Union of Concerned Scientists who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak.
Administration members are soliciting less feedback from scientists who work within the government agencies, critics say.
"It's kind of like the movie 'The Breakfast Club,'" said Burke. "The kids, the little brat pack, they are fessing their situations in life. ... Molly Ringwald's character says of her parents, 'They ignore me.' That's what's happening to the career staff. They are being ignored."
Clement likens the scene within the Interior Department to a chilling effect.
"There's no question there's a chill on the science enterprise within the federal government," he said. "I think there's a sense of neglect. If there's something that needs to be attended to in advance, that has not happened. And there have been many cases where the science has actually been suppressed. So at this point, the question becomes not, Are they trying to have an impact on science?' but, 'Are they doing anything illegal or inappropriate to stifle that science?'"
Source: CNN.com
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Baltimore's 'Nobody kill anybody' weekend marred by shooting death

(CNN)Going into the weekend, Baltimore activist Erricka Bridgeford had a simple hope and request: Nobody kill anybody for 72 hours.

It was too much to ask for in a city on pace to record its highest annual homicide toll, a place still reeling from the racially-charged riots that followed the 2015 death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police.
A 24-year-old man was fatally shot Saturday afternoon, some 40 hours into the grassroots ceasefire.
 
 
And Baltimore police are once again investigating a homicide.
The victim was taken to the hospital by friends. He died there.
Before the hoped-for cessation of violence, Bridgeford and other community leaders hit the streets of West Baltimore, urging drug dealers and gang members to put their guns down.
"This is about a culture shift," she said. "It's about helping people realize they have a choice in their decision-making. Not just about committing violence but about feeling hopeless that there's nothing we can do about the level of violence in our communities."
With Saturday's death making it 209 homicides so far this year -- compared with 318 for all of 2016, according to a tally by The Baltimore Sun -- and police-community relations stretched thin, some residents had doubted the ceasefire would succeed. Others had seen it as a way to start taking back control of crime-plagued neighborhoods.
T.J. Smith, a Baltimore police spokesman whose 24-year-old brother was fatally shot last month, said some skeptics were banking on the next burst of gunfire to declare the anti-violence effort a failure.
"The measure of success is the fact that we're having this conversation," he said.
"We can't be successful as a city without the citizens being motivated, and that's what this is. People are engaged that might not have been engaged before. We need this to spread like an epidemic."

'Three or four funerals a year'

For Bridgeford, 44, one of six ceasefire organizers, the effort was personal.
"One of my brothers was shot in 2001 and survived," she said. "In 2007, I lost another brother to homicide. Two of my first cousins were murdered. Three of their brothers were murdered. One of my stepsons was murdered. Two weeks ago, somebody that I watched grow up was murdered. I go to three or four funerals a year."
Organizers had spread the word via Facebook. They distributed thousands of posters. Events scheduled for the weekend included cookouts, rallies, prayer vigils, peace walks, basketball tournaments, variety shows, neighborhood cleanups, meditations and poetry readings.
Bridgeford had said organizers raised money to be donated to families of gun violence victims over the weekend.
"If there is any violence," she said, "people are going to immediately rush to those neighborhoods and give people the love and support they need."
Just after 5 p.m. on Saturday, that help was needed.
At a City Hall vigil on Sunday, one planned before Saturday's killing, the names of the homicide victims from this year will be read.
"We don't believe this is a cure for violence," Bridgeford said. "What we do know is that we are showing the world what happens when people all decide together to try to do something."
The Rev. Scott Slater, a Episcopal priest, led a prayer walk Saturday in memory of people who have died from gun violence. The practice started about two years ago, with participants walking two to three miles in certain neighborhoods, stopping where people were gunned down and saying a prayer.
Some walks, he said this week, have included as many as 17 stops.
"There are still a lot of people like me -- a white male who lives in the suburbs -- who don't understand the visceral elements of living in places like West Baltimore," said Slater, who works for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and lives just outside the city. "And walking there enables you to feel the visceral despair that you don't feel driving through in a car."
Saturday's killing wasn't the only gun violence. Baltimore police said a victim of a different shooting was wounded and walked into a hospital.

'Baltimore isn't just angry'

In addition to the soaring homicide rate in the city of about 615,000 people, the beleaguered police department has struggled to restore public confidence. In recent weeks, videos emerged that appeared to show Baltimore police officers planting drugs during arrests.

In March, seven Baltimore officers were charged in federal court with robbing citizens, filing false reports and claiming overtime fraudulently. Two former officers recently pleaded guilty.

In April, a federal judge approved a consent decree after a Justice Department report uncovered wide racial disparity in how the Baltimore police treat citizens. The federal oversight stemmed from a civil rights investigation launched after the death of Gray, who suffered a fatal injury while in police custody.
Six officers were indicted on a range of charges in connection with Gray's death. Three of them were acquitted, and in July 2016, prosecutors dropped charges against the remaining three.
The young man's death touched off riots and fueled on ongoing debate over racial bias in policing.
"The last time the world saw Baltimore rise up this way it looked very different," Bridgeford said. "I loved that uprising. It was a blessing. It needed to happen. Pressure literally busts pipes. Now the world is able to see that Baltimore isn't just angry. Baltimore is strong and powerful and we're coming together."
Baltimore Police form parimeter around a CVS pharmacy that was looted and burned after 2015 funeral of Freddie Gray.
 

'Nothing to look forward to'

Cassandra Crifasi, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins-Baltimore Collaborative for Violence Reduction, had said even a single day without a shooting would be considered an accomplishment. Two people died during Baltimore's last ceasefire, on Mother's Day weekend.
"We didn't get to this point overnight," she said.
"It didn't happen in one weekend. There were years of frustration being built up -- the drug trade and gangs and issues with civil liberties and policing. All these things sort of erupted with death of Freddie Gray and have been continuing. We're not going to fix it overnight. It's going to take small steps."
Still, others believe the fix to Baltimore's troubles lies beyond consent decrees, police reform and ceasefires.
"We have a lot of people in this city with nothing to look forward to," said Dwight Watkins, who went from being a squeegee boy and crack dealer to college professor and author of "The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America."
"People are frustrated and it's hot and they have nothing," said the author, who writes under the name D. Watkins. "They live in a place where you can see opportunities but you can't touch them."
Source:CNN.com

 

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Search ends for 3 Marines missing after aircraft 'mishap' off Australia

(CNN)A sea search off Australia's east coast for three missing US Marines was called off early Sunday, the military said.

The three Marines have been missing since what the Marine Corps calls a "mishap" with an MV-22 aircraft on Saturday.
Twenty-three of the 26 personnel on board the aircraft were rescued, the Marine Corps said.
 
 
US military aircraft and boats scoured ocean waters off Australia searching without success for the three missing Marines.
The families of the missing Marines have been notified, the military said.
"Operations have now shifted to recovery efforts," the Marines said in a news release.
A salvage operation to retrieve the aircraft will begin in the next several days.
Small boats and aircraft from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group searched for the missing, the Marine Corps said.
The US military has been in the area for training exercises with the Australian military. The MV-22 is a vertical-launch aircraft, also known as an Osprey.
"The aircraft involved in the mishap had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard (a Navy amphibious assault ship) and was conducting regularly scheduled operations when the aircraft entered the water," the Marine Corps said in a statement.
Crew on board the Bonhomme Richard were performing water training exercises Saturday, according to the ship's Facebook page. The exercises were a followup to joint military training between US and Australian forces that wrapped up last week.
Marine authorities are investigating the incident. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has briefed President Donald Trump on the situation, a White House spokesman said.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also been made aware of the operation in Shoalwater Bay. Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said in a statement she had spoken to US Defense Secretary James Mattis to offer Australia's support in "any way that can be of assistance."
Australian authorities said no Australian personnel were on board.
The recent joint military exercise took place largely in Shoalwater Bay and involved more than 30,000 US and Australian personnel, according to Australian Defense Department.
Source:CNN
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US foreign aid cuts could be a 'death sentence' to women in Malawi

Blantyre, Malawi (CNN)When the women come to him, they are desperate.

They meet the traditional healer in a sparsely furnished room, a half-hour's bumpy ride outside Blantyre, in southern Malawi.
"I mix these secret herbs with hot water," he says, gesturing to a concoction in a plastic container. "They all want a shortcut to terminate their pregnancy."
"Once a woman drinks the mixture, she starts bleeding in less than an hour," he says, adding that the whole process takes only a few hours.
The healer, who asked CNN not to be identified because abortion is illegal in Malawi, shows us where the women wait after he administers his mixture — a crumbling redbrick structure with a bamboo mat on a dirt floor.
In this wretched place, the herbs begin to work and the women start to bleed, often uncontrollably.
He dismisses the very real danger the women are in, saying that they wanted a shortcut and he can provide it.
"I tell them if they start bleeding too heavily, they should go to the hospital to seek post-abortion care," he says.
New research suggests that there were as many as 141,000 abortions in Malawi in 2015 -- most of them in clandestine situations like this. The rate of maternal deaths in Malawi is among the highest globally and illegal abortions are a significant reason.
Now public health officials, aid professionals and doctors in Malawi fear it could get even worse. The impoverished East African nation could be one of the hardest hit in Africa by proposed cuts to US foreign aid.

Funding Cuts

Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump made public a budget proposing zeroing out global family-planning assistance administered chiefly through USAID.
The proposal shocked many in the global health and foreign aid world.
"There is a lot at stake. The US is the largest provider of family planning in the world and has been a real leader in providing support for many low- and middle-income countries," said Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of global health and HIV/AIDS at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The White House said that the proposed cuts to family planning -- and foreign aid more broadly -- were a way to save money for other budget areas like defense and to help realize Trump's "America First Policy."
And the family-planning cuts are just part of the story.
Like previous Republican presidents, Trump has reintroduced and now expanded the reach of the so-called Mexico City policy, also known as the "global gag rule," which mandates US funding withdrawals from any international non-governmental group that gives advice or helps women access abortions.
The US has also pulled all funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) -- a UN agency that promotes family planning -- for allegedly supporting coercive abortion in China.
The UNFPA calls the allegation "erroneous."

Politics versus real people?

In low-income countries like Malawi, family-planning cuts could be devastating.
"They are giving a death sentence to our women in this part of the world," says Chisale Mhango, an obstetrician at Blantyre's main referral hospital.
"It is a matter of women's lives. And with women's lives, they don't know what the issues are in Washington."
Mhango, a staunch advocate of women's reproductive rights, treats between 10 and 15 post-abortion cases every day at the hospital.
Though abortion is illegal -- except to save the mother's life -- it is up to the public system to treat women who suffer complications.
He says that family-planning assistance, significantly funded by USAID in the country, has helped Malawian couples and women make big strides in avoiding unplanned pregnancies -- adding that condom use is on the rise and fertility rates have dropped as a result of the educational programs.
"There are a lot of associated economic and development indicators that go hand in hand with family planning. It has a direct impact on people's lives but also has a significant impact for the country's development," Kates, from the Kaiser Family Foundation says.
But Mhango puts it more bluntly.
"If USAID says we can not provide this service, then it is almost like saying, 'Well, our women are going to die and we know they are going to die but we are not going to help you because our president says there is no more money for you'."
A USAID official noted the agency is currently the largest overall global health donor.
"While the United States will continue significant funding for global health programs, even while refocusing foreign assistance, other stakeholders must do more to contribute their fair share to global health initiatives," the official said.

Living through hell

Flora, whose real name has been changed for her protection from possible prosecution, remembers the day she visited the traditional healer -- April 5, 2005.
"I lived through hell. After I started taking the medicine I started bleeding heavily. Then things got worse. I couldn't work. They had to fetch me in an ox cart to take me to hospital and when I was in hospital they removed my uterus," she says.
Flora's unwanted pregnancy came before the current level of family-planning education and assistance was available in Malawi. She felt her only option was to get an illegal abortion.
"I had an unexpected and unplanned pregnancy. I fell pregnant when I had a very little baby. And there was no way that I could have two little babies at the same time," she says. Flora says their meager earnings as subsistence farmers would make it impossible to care for two children in quick succession.
Flora says that if the help now offered by USAID and others in Malawi were available to her in 2005, she would never have gotten pregnant again, sought out an illegal abortion or lost her uterus.

It's up to Congress

Advocates of foreign aid are still hoping to avoid the cuts because the White House doesn't set the budget -- Congress does.
But the House Appropriations Committee's latest proposal cuts 24% of family-planning aid, supports the expanded Mexico City policy, and continues to withhold all UNFPA funding.
It could come down to the US Senate to preserve funding for global family planning. Policy experts hope that the Senate will remain true to recent bipartisan calls for the importance of foreign aid.
"A lot of negotiation still has to happen. We don't know what the final picture will be. This White House has taken a very different direction from previous ones. It is a direction that appears to withdraw American Leadership from the world," said Ian Koski of the One Campaign, an international non-partisan advocacy organization.
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the proposed bilateral House cuts could mean more than 591,000 more abortions globally per year -- and a spike in maternal deaths.
In Malawi, they are nervous that any cuts could reverse the progress they have made.
Flora has a simple message.
"Funding for family-planning services should continue so that Malawian women can benefit."
Otherwise, she says, more women could live through the hell that she did.
Source:CNN.com
 
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Ten tasty snacks under 200 calories, and four disappointing ones

(CNN)Nearly all Americans snack at least once a day, most often to satisfy cravings, according to a recent snacking report. For some, frequent snacking may replace a typical meal or two.

Regardless of your health goals, what you choose to snack on matters, especially if you snack often. A healthy nutrient-rich snack can fill in nutritional gaps and boost energy. But sugary junk foods can leave you feeling tired and craving more food fixes.
Pairing protein or small amounts of heart-healthy fat with carbohydrates promotes satiety and gives you sustained energy while keeping calories down. Below is our list of tasty, low added-sugar snacks under 200 calories (according to the counts at the USDA nutrient database unless otherwise linked to), which will keep your stomach full and your waistline slim.
Avocado on whole-wheat toast
 
 
This heart-healthy avocado spread on toast makes for a tasty, super-satisfying snack.
  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted = 76 calories, 4g protein, 1g fat, 2g fiber, 1.4g sugar
  • ¼ avocado, mashed = 80 calories, 1g protein, 7.37g fat, 3.4g fiber, 0.33g sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste = 0 calories
  • Total: 156 calories, 5g protein, 8.4g fat, 5.4g fiber, 1.7g sugar
Banana peanut butter graham sandwich, open-faced
This delicious combo comes in handy as an after-school snack and is a favorite among (my) kids.
  • ½ small banana = 45 calories, 0.55g protein, 0.2g fat, 1.3g fiber, 6g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons peanut butter = 64 calories, 2.4g protein, 5.5g fat, 0.5g fiber, 1.1g sugar
  • 1 graham cracker sheet = 65 calories, 1g protein, 1.5g fat, 0.5g fiber, 4g sugar
  • Total: 174 calories, 4g protein, 7.2g fat, 2.3g fiber, 11g sugar.
Popcorn with almonds and chocolate chips
Air-popped popcorn adds volume and texture to this indulgent snack, for few added calories.
  • 2 cups air-popped popcorn = 62 calories, 2.07g protein, 0.73g fat, 2.3g fiber, 0.1g sugars
  • 2 tablespoons almonds (0.6 oz), dry-roasted with salt = 102 calories, 3.6g protein, 9g fat, 2g fiber, 0.8g sugar
  • 0.5 ounce semi-sweet chocolate chips (approx 2 tsp) = 35 calories, 0g protein, 2g fat, 0g fiber, 4g sugar
  • Total: 199 calories, 5.7g protein, 11.7g fat, 4.3g fiber, 4.9g sugar
Apple slices with sun butter
A savory spread made from sunflower seeds that is appropriate for those with peanut or tree nut allergies.
  • 1 medium apple (Gala), sliced = 98 calories, 0.43g protein, 0.21g fat, 4g fiber, 18g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter = 99 calories, 2.8g protein, 8.8g fat, 1g fiber, 1.7g sugar
  • Total: 197 calories, 3.2g protein, 9g fat, 5g fiber, 19.7g sugar
Greek yogurt with strawberries, sprinkled with flaxseed
Greek yogurt packs protein, strawberries boast vitamin C and antioxidants, and flaxseed boosts fiber and omega-3s.
  • 1 container plain low-fat Greek yogurt (7 oz; 200g) = 150 calories, 20g protein, 4g fat, 0g fiber, 8g sugar
  • ½ cup strawberries, sliced = 27 calories, 0.6g protein, 0.25g fat, 1.7g fiber, 4g sugar
  • 2 teaspoon flaxseed = 20 calories, 1g protein, 1g fat, 1.3g fiber, 0g sugar
  • Total: 197 calories, 21.6g protein, 5.25g fat, 3g fiber, 12g sugar
Shrimp cocktail
This filling low-calorie snack offers omega-3 fats and can double as an appetizer or mini-meal.
  • Jumbo cooked shrimp (5) = 100 calories, 19g protein, 1.5g fat, 0g fiber, 0g sugar
  • Cocktail sauce (2 tablespoons) = 40 calories, 0.5g protein, 0g fat, 0.5g fiber, 8g sugar
  • Total: 140 calories, 19.5g protein, 1.5g fat, 0.5g fiber, 8g sugar
Edamame
A simple, fun-to-eat snack that is rich in soy protein, edamame can be bought frozen and quickly defrosted whenever hunger strikes.
  • ¾ cup edamame in pods (salted) = 165 calories, 13.5g protein, 5.25g fat, 6g fiber, 3g sugar
  • Total: 165 calories, 13.5g protein, 5.3g fat, 6g fiber, 3g sugar
Whipped cottage cheese with dried apricots on Wasa bread
Whipped cottage cheese works well as a protein-rich spread, while the dried apricots offer a hint of sweetness.
  • 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) low-fat whipped cottage cheese = 45 calories, 7.5g protein, 0.5g fat, 0g fiber, 2g sugar
  • 2 multigrain Wasa crackers = 90 calories, 4g protein, 0g fat, 4g fiber, 0g sugar
  • 6 dried apricot halves = 51 calories, 0.7g protein, 0.1g fat, 1.5g fiber, 11.2g sugar
  • Total: 186 calories, 12.2g protein, 0.6g fat, 5.5 g fiber, 13.2g sugar
Hummus with sugar snap peas
Any veggie pairs well with hummus, but sugar snap peas are a crunchy treat when they're in season.
  • 4 tablespoons hummus = 140 calories, 4g protein, 10g fat, 4g fiber, 0g sugar
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas = 35 calories, 2g protein, 0g fat, 2g fiber, 3g sugar
  • Total: 175 calories, 6g protein, 10g fat, 6g fiber, 3g sugar
 
Spinach and blueberry smoothie
Blend these ingredients for a delicious protein- and fiber-rich smoothie.
  • ¼ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt = 36 calories, 6g protein, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 2g sugar
  • ½ cup non-fat milk = 42 calories, 4g protein, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 6g sugar
  • ½ medium banana = 53 calories, 0.6g protein, 0.2g fat, 1.5g fiber, 7g sugar
  • ½ cup blueberries = 42 calories, 0.6g protein, 0.2g fat, 2g fiber, 7g sugar
  • 1 cup fresh spinach = 7 calories, 0.86g protein, 0.1g fat, 0.7g fiber, 0.1g sugar
  • Total: 180 calories, 12.6g protein, 0.5g fat, 4.2g fiber, 22g sugar
And there are also snacks under 200 calories that may sound good but are actually disappointing. Try to avoid these snack fails.
Half of a double chocolate cupcake
Just half of a chocolate cupcake delivers over 4 teaspoons of sugar.
A third of a bagel with cream cheese
A bagel with cream cheese has close to 450 calories. Share it with two friends to stay within your snack calorie budget.
  • One large bagel = 337 calories, 2g fat, 7g of sugar
  • 2 tablespoon of cream cheese = 102 calories, 10g fat, 1g sugar
  • Total for a third: 146 calories, 4g fat, 3g sugar
Four tablespoons (¼ cup) of Ben and Jerry's Out of this Swirled Ice Cream
Eat only four spoons of this ice cream to stay under 200 calories. That small scoop will also deliver a quarter of your daily saturated fat limit and over 3 teaspoons of sugar.
  • ¼ cup (four tablespoons) of this Out of this Swirled = 155 calories, 5g saturated fat, 14g sugar
One ounce of frozen hot chocolate
A few long sips of this drinkable chocolate delivers 8 teaspoons of sugar -- your daily limit.

Souce:CNN

 

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Jim Plunkett Says 'My Life Sucks,' Lives in Constant Pain from Football

im Plunkett spent 15 seasons as an NFL quarterback from 1971-86, with all those years of punishment taking a heavy toll on his body. 

In an interview with Elliott Almond of the Bay Area News Group, Plunkett said his "life sucks" and it's "no fun being in this body right now. Everything hurts."

A former No. 1 overall pick by the New England Patriots in 1971, Plunkett is forced to regularly take 13 pills throughout the day for various health issues, including his heart and blood pressure, per Almond. 

"There are a couple other drugs I take—I can’t know them all," Plunkett told Almond. "I’ve got to take them every day to quote-unquote survive."

Former San Diego Chargers running back Hank Bauer told Almond that playing football is like "getting in 50 car wrecks a week for 20 straight weeks a year."

Plunkett was one of the most successful quarterbacks in college and the NFL during his playing days. He won the 1970 Heisman Trophy while playing at Stanford, was named AFC Rookie of the Year in 1971 and led the Raiders to two Super Bowl titles in 1981 and 1984. 

The 69-year-old Plunkett has had a litany of health issues both during and after his NFL career. He's undergone 18 surgical procedures to repair his back and to give him artificial knees and an artificial shoulder, according to Almond. 

Source:CNN.com

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'Dark Tower' adaptation isn't fit for a King

'Dark Tower' adaptation isn't fit for a King

Movie Pass: Stephen King's "The Dark Tower"_00010925

 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
Now Playing Movie Pass: Stephen...
Movie Pass: Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' 01:09

(CNN)"The Dark Tower" feels like a throwback -- a trim, competently executed "B" popcorn movie, adapted from Stephen King's books with ample action but also lots of clunky exposition. That's not a great prescription for a would-be summer blockbuster, but more an endorsement to watch when it hits cable.

Although King's name is an obvious selling point -- his spotty page-to-screen track record notwithstanding -- the film's underlying tone and template owe debts to another Steven, Spielberg. From its adolescent hero discovering his greater purpose to the drawings that channel images deeply embedded in his consciousness, themes present in "E.T." and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" initially come to mind.
Of course, part of that has to do with the myriad sources that King drew upon in establishing this universe, which has been awkwardly condensed to fit into a 95-minute movie. The result is a film whose plot is sheer simplicity -- young boy teams with grizzled man-of-few-words to save the world -- while allowing the details to basically just spill out in between fight scenes.
Tom Taylor plays young Jake, whose disturbing visions have his widowed mom ("Vikings'" Katheryn Winnick) at her wits end. In fact, she's about to commit the lad to an asylum when Jake receives a tangible clue that his intricately sketched dreams are real, stumbling through a portal into Mid-World, an imperiled alternate universe that threatens our own. "What happens in one world echoes in others," Jake is told.
 
 
There, he meets Roland (Idris Elba), the last surviving gunslinger. A brooding knight, he has sworn vengeance against Walter (Matthew McConaughey), an evil sorcerer determined to bring down the Dark Tower, thus letting demons escape and wreak havoc on their domain.
Roland, naturally, is reluctant about toting a kid around, grudgingly realizing -- as Walter does -- that Jake's psychic "shine" might augur greater importance.
Directed by Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel, who's also one of four credited writers, "Dark Tower" sure feels like a work by committee. Its saving graces include casting the able Elba in a heroic role leavened by comedic fish-out-of-water moments, such as encountering Earth's great wonders, like sugary soda.
Tipping the scales toward the negative, meanwhile, are the clunky dialogue; a narrative that approximates a British tea-time show, only with bigger stars and a more expansive budget; and McConaughey. While the actor enjoyed a career renaissance with "True Detective" and "Dallas Buyers Club," tasked with playing a magically powered villain dashing off one-liners, to quote Dirty Harry, a man's got to know his limitations.
As noted, Hollywood has only sporadically mastered the art of conjuring movies and TV from King's work, and this is a busy year for such efforts, including Spike's series "The Mist" and the upcoming, eagerly anticipated movie version of "It."
"The Dark Tower" avoids the lowest rungs of that ladder. Taken on its terms it's hardly a disaster, delivering moments of fun on a basic level. But nor should anyone confuse this modestly scaled exercise with a towering accomplishment.
Source:CNN.com
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Usain Bolt Fails to Win 100m Gold Medal at IAAF World Championships

Justin Gatlin spoiled Usain Bolt's final individual 100-meter race during Saturday's 2017 IAAF World Championships by beating out the Jamaican sprinter to take the gold medal.

The American nabbed the win with a late dip on the line, stunning the fans in London. Christian Coleman took silver, and Bolt had to settle for bronze.

Gatlin's win did not sit well with the fans, who have given the American plenty of tough nights over the years. Richard Osman shared these comments from commentator Steve Cram, which summed up how the British fans felt:

Bolt never played a significant role in the final, falling behind early after a mediocre start. Coleman appeared to be on his way to the gold, but Gatlin overtook his young compatriot in the final metres, winning thanks to a superior dip on the line.

The 35-year-old immediately sought out his rival, giving Bolt a lengthy hug, and he went even further, per Bleacher Report's Sean Swaby:

But no matter what he did, the fans were always going to boo him. Bolt has been a superb ambassador for the sport for years, and while he showed plenty of worrying signs during the qualifying heats, no one really thought he would walk away with anything other than gold.

The 30-year-old hadn't lost a 100-meter heat since 2013, until Coleman beat him in the semifinals by a hair. Bolt made history last year by becoming the first man to win three straight gold medals in the event at the Olympics, but he decided to return for one more major tournament rather than retire then.

As expected, plenty of people praised the Jamaican star for his wonderful career after his final 100-meter race, including Juventus football star Paulo Dybala:

For Gatlin, the gold is a form of redemption after two suspensions for doping in the past. He previously took the gold at the 2005 World Championships and won the 200-meter the same year.

Source:CNN

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I want to win a trophy for Ghana before quitting football – Sulley Muntari

Ghana midfielder, Sulley Ali Muntari has disclosed that he wants to win a trophy for the national team, the Black Stars, before retiring from football.

The Italy based player reiterated that the Black Stars need to win a trophy badly in this current time and he believes he can contribute to the team’s quality to make this happen.

He said from experience, Ghana can still qualify for the next World Cup though many think it’s impossible.

Speaking in an interview on GhOne’s Football Legends Show, Sulley said he never gives up and he will never give up until he has breath no more.

When asked about a possible Black Stars come back, he said “Yes, of course, national team, of course, I want to play again with the national team. You know many people are saying that probably we can’t make it to the World Cup, but I think we can do it“.

Detailing how the slim fate in the Russia 2018 can be possible, he continued that “You know why? Because if we win all our games. We did the same in 2006 when we qualified for the first time to the World Cup. We lost our first game, we drew away but then we won all our games, it’s the same situation now. I think we can do it.”

Sulley, Kelvin Prince Boateng and Michael Essien were suspended from the Black Stars after the 2014 Brazil World Cup. However, Muntari later apologized and has been tipped to join the national team soon.

“But coming back to me, of course, I want to play the national team but I have to start playing a club then after we see what happens,” the father of one added.

Source:CNN.com

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Harvey, now a tropical storm, drenches Texas after devastating coast

(CNN)At least one death was reported Saturday as Texans who rode out the most powerful hurricane to hit the United States in a decade ventured out to find "widespread devastation," with a downgraded Hurricane Harvey coming to a stop in what was "now turning into a deadly inland event."

The first fatality was reported in the hard-hit coastal city of Rockport, where the person died in a house fire during the storm, Aransas County Judge Burt Mills said Saturday afternoon. "We didn't know about it until today," he said.
At least a dozen people were injured, Mills said.
 
 
With dire warnings of tornadoes, torrential downpours and days of flooding to come, broad swaths of southeast Texas were littered with uprooted trees, toppled signs, flagpoles that snapped like toothpicks and clusters of bricks peeled like scabs from walls and rooftops.
Additional fatalities were feared in coastal Rockport, where an estimated 5,000 residents had stayed put for the storm that blasted ashore as a Category 4 around 11 p.m. ET Friday between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor, Aransas County Sheriff Bill Mills said.
A damaged home sits amid a flood on August 26, 2017, after Hurricane Harvey slammed Rockport, Texas.
 
Callers to the local emergency dispatch line told of walls and roofs collapsing on people across the city, where an official had warned those who opted to stick out the storm to write their Social Security numbers on their arms for body identification.
CNN meteorologist and severe weather expert Chad Myers warned residents of Houston to move to higher ground.
"The storm isn't moving, but the rain bands are moving like a pinwheel," he said. "You are going to get a pinwheel (Saturday night) that will wake up -- or you'll wake up with 12-18 inches of new rainfall on the ground."
There will be flash flood warning in the overnight hours, Myers said.
"Go now. It's that serious," he said.
Shortly after Harvey was downgraded to a tropical storm, with sustained winds of 70 mph, Saturday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters that the state had more than 1,000 workers involved in search and rescue operations.
"There's been widespread devastation," Rockport Mayor Charles Wax told CNN late Saturday morning. He said emergency workers were going house to house to check on residents and assess damage.
"We've already taken a severe blow from the storm, but we're anticipating another one when the flooding comes," he said.
The storm was a Category 1 by late Saturday morning, packing winds of 75 mph before Harvey stalled during the afternoon. Some places even far inland were predicted to get as much as 40 inches of rain through Wednesday.
While the worst of the storm surge had ended by midday Saturday, the coastal flooding threat was due to increase as already-swollen rivers and bayous get pounded with heavy rain, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said. Sea water pushed onto the shore also won't recede quickly, he said, meaning "this is going to be a long, ongoing flood event."
Abbott said the 210-mile-long corridor between Corpus Christi and Houston was expected to receive as much as 30 more inches of rain on top of the double-digit rainfall figures that had already fallen.

 

 
The storm was a Category 1 by late Saturday morning, packing winds of 75 mph before Harvey stalled during the afternoon. Some places even far inland were predicted to get as much as 40 inches of rain through Wednesday.
While the worst of the storm surge had ended by midday Saturday, the coastal flooding threat was due to increase as already-swollen rivers and bayous get pounded with heavy rain, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said. Sea water pushed onto the shore also won't recede quickly, he said, meaning "this is going to be a long, ongoing flood event."
Abbott said the 210-mile-long corridor between Corpus Christi and Houston was expected to receive as much as 30 more inches of rain on top of the double-digit rainfall figures that had already fallen.
Harvey wielded the "highest potential to kill the most amount of people and cause the most amount of damage," Brock Long, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, had warned. He echoed forecasters who predicted Harvey would be leave areas "uninhabitable for weeks or months," echoing language last seen ahead of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Here's where we stand:

Latest developments

-- Even after weakening upon landfall, Harvey was still a dangerous storm and "turning into a deadly inland event," the FEMA chief tweeted.
-- Due to stall over Texas, Harvey could maintain tropical storm strength through early Monday, then weaken into a tropical depression, the National Weather Service predicted.
-- Parts of southeastern Texas remained under a flash flood watch through Tuesday evening, the National Weather Service office in Houston said.
-- More than 300,000 customers on the Texas Gulf Coast had no power around 2 p.m. ET Saturday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said, amid reports of downed power lines and trees.
-- Several tornadoes spawned by the storm hit Texas on Saturday. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said deputies saw a possible tornado near Cypress Fairbanks, just outside Houston. There were no immediate reports of injuries. "We're seeing extensive damage to properties," he said.
-- Structural and building problems were reported in Rockport, Aransas Pass, and Port Aransas, Texas, said Tom Beal, a meteorologist with National Weather Service office in Corpus Christi.
-- Corpus Christi officials tweeted Saturday afternoon that evacuees could return "but be advised we are under a water boil advisory & limited wastewater usage due to outages at treatment plants."
-- Coast Guard helicopters rescued 15 people aboard three vessels in distress near Port Aransas on Saturday, according to Capt. Tony Hahn, commander of Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi.
-- About 25% of oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been halted because of Hurricane Harvey, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced Saturday evening.
-- President Donald Trump tweeted early Saturday that he's "closely monitoring" Harvey from Camp David, Maryland. Trump, who plans to visit the storm zone next week, has signed a disaster declaration for Texas.

Damage assessments underway

Firefighters who hunkered down in their station in Rockport as Harvey passed over the city of about 10,000 residents recounted a harrowing night.
The wind was "howling," said Roy Laird, assistant chief of the city's volunteer fire department. "We had probably 140-mph winds earlier."
For hours, Karl Hattman and his family listened to "what sounded like a freight train" roar outside their Rockport home. When the fury calmed, they headed out into the darkness to find many trees down, debris blocking their driveway and Hattman's vehicle damaged by flying roof tiles.
Robert Jackson also likened the force of the storm in Rockport to a passing freight train -- one with "square wheels." He didn't sleep all night.
"It was about the most stressful thing I've ever been through," he said, adding, "It's my last one to ride out, I'll tell you that."
Joey Walker, 25, rode out the storm at a house on Galveston Island. The Galveston Island Beach Patrol employee posted video of near-white out conditions overlooking Stewart Beach.

Taking shelter and bracing for rain

As rain bands reached Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner urged drivers to stay off the roads.
"This is going to be a major rainmaker," he told CNN Saturday. "We anticipate four to five days of this."
"This thing is turning into quite the marathon," Nick Gignac, of Corpus Christi, told CNN around 2 a.m. ET. "You expect these things to be a quicker flash-and-bang than they are. To be honest, the intensity still hasn't let up as the storm came in. Things were a little lighter than they are right now, and you expect it to get intense and let up. And things have not let up at all."
In San Antonio, about 950 people took refuge in shelters, Woody Woodward, a spokesman for the city fire department, told CNN, adding that there was still plenty of space for more people.
 
 
Ten critically ill babies in Corpus Christi were taken to a hospital in North Texas ahead of the storm, the Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth said in a statement.
"All our babies made it here safely," Dawn Lindley, a registered nurse with Children's Health Transport Team, told CNN. "The majority ... were premature and had ongoing issues. They were easily accommodated to the hospitals here to make sure they had continued care and the storm wasn't going to be a factor in how they recovered from their illnesses."
Source:CNN.com
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Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Fight Unsafe for Notorious, Doctors Say

As the anticipation builds for Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Saturday, the Association of Ringside Physicians believes McGregor is putting himself in serious physical danger by even stepping into the ring with the undefeated boxing superstar.

Per Joe DePaolo of the New York Times, the president of the ARP, Larry Lovelace, was stunned to see the McGregor-Mayweather fight was even sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. 

"We were very surprised this bout was even sanctioned and was going to be permitted to carry on," Lovelace said. "The thing I really fear, truly fear, is that somebody’s going to get really hurt in this upcoming fight."

The ARP previously took issue with the NSAC even considering letting McGregor and Mayweather use eight-ounce gloves for the fight, a request initially proposed by Mayweather.

"Unless there is scientific evidence to support the view that such a change might improve the safety of this bout, we would strongly caution against allowing current regulation to be over-ruled," the ARP wrote to the NSAC on Aug. 15. "To do so would also set a precedent for future bouts. 

The commission approved the fight being contested with eight-ounce gloves at a meeting on Aug. 16.

Bob Bennett, executive director of the NSAC, told DePaolo that McGregor was approved to fight Mayweather because he's "taller, longer, stronger [and] more powerful" than Mayweather and being a southpaw "makes it a little more difficult for a conventional fighter."

DePaolo noted in 2015 the NSAC refused to sanction a light heavyweight bout between Andre Ward and Rohan Murdock because the caliber of opponents Murdock had faced to that point in his career was "vastly inferior" to Ward.

Saturday will be McGregor's first-ever professional boxing match after 24 career mixed martial arts fights.

Source:CNN.com

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These European cities are fed up with tourists

Too many tourists can be a very bad thing.

Local residents are warning that top European vacation destinations are being ruined by hordes of tourists that generate too much noise, pollute the environment and drive up rents.

 

The backlash has been on full display this summer in cities including Barcelona, Venice, Dubrovnik and Prague, which have all seen their visitor numbers rise thanks to an increase in cheap regional flights and new travel services like Airbnb.

Tourism has boosted the local economies, but residents say their neighborhoods are being transformed into Disney-style theme parks.

"Certain European destinations are suffering under the strain of excessive tourism," analysts at Euromonitor International wrote in a recent research note. "It is obvious that strategies are needed to cope with a large tourism demand."

Here's how the cities are coping with the influx:

Venice: Please wear a shirt

Analysts say that increased tourism and higher costs have helped decimate the Italian city's population, which has dropped by roughly two thirds in 50 years.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has expressed "extreme concern" about the impact of the tourism boom on Venice's historical sites. Locals, meanwhile, have protested pollution from big cruise ships and the rising cost of living.

The city is now pushing back. It has boosted the number of tourist police at tourist hotspots, banned new takeaway shop and taken steps to limit the numbers of new hotel rooms.

It has also launched an information campaign which instructs tourists how to behave in no fewer than 11 languages.

Tourists have been asked not to litter, leave "love locks," wear swimsuits in town or have picnics on the steps of the city's architectural masterpieces.

Barcelona: Tourist tax to help locals

Barcelona welcomed over 8 million visitors last year.

Some locals say that number is far too high, and have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest the influx. In the Barceloneta neighborhood, protesters have carried signs reminding tourists that the area is their home.

The city council has approved new regulations to curb hotel construction in the downtown area and capped private home rentals. Authorities have decided to spend the proceeds from a tourist tax on citizen services, rather than tourism promotion.

The number of annual visitors to Spain has increased by 20 million over the past five years to 77 million, according to Euromonitor International, and the sector contributed more than 14% of the country's GDP in 2016.

The country's prime minister has defended the industry.

"I don't know whether tourists should be welcomed with a 'Hello Mr. Tourist' poster, but what cannot happen is trying to kick the person who comes here to spend money. That's nonsense," Mariano Rajoy said earlier this month.

Officials are also worried that the recent terror attack in Barcelona could scare away visitors.

Dubrovnik: The Game of Thrones curse

Dubrovnik saw 10% annual increase in visitor arrivals in 2016, according to the country's bureau of statistics. The trend has been fueled in part by the town's prominent role as a backdrop in Game of Thrones.

But the Croatian city is feeling the squeeze. Recently, seven cruise ships with a total capacity of nearly 9,300 passengers arrived in Dubrovnik on a single day, prompting the city to issue a pedestrian congestion warning to locals. Another 25,000 visitors were already staying in and around the city.

Local authorities are seeking to cut down the number of cruise ships, and they have installed a network of security cameras in an attempt to manage the flow of tourists.

Prague: Quiet, please

Prague is among the most visited cities on the continent, welcoming 5.8 million tourists last year, according to Mastercard.

The city's beer culture makes it one of the most popular destinations for bachelor parties and pub crawls, much to the dismay of local residents.

Prague

There haven't been protests. But Prague authorities in May hired a special "anti-conflict" team, which patrols the busiest areas at night asking tourists to respect the official "night quiet time" which starts at 10 p.m.

Source:CNN.com

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Iraqi military: Most of Tal Afar seized from ISIS

CNN)Iraqi forces have now seized control of most of the strategically significant city of Tal Afar from ISIS, the Iraqi Joint Military Command said Saturday.

Iraqi Joint Military Command spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool said units from the joint Iraqi forces are in full control of 60% of the "operational area" and 90% of the city center of Tal Afar.
The offensive to retake the key northwestern city from ISIS started Sunday. Several divisions of Iraqi security, including the American-trained Counter Terrorism Forces, were advancing on Tal Afar from different sides.
The commander of the Tal Afar operation, Abdulamir Yarallah, said Saturday that units of the 9th Armored Division and the Popular Mobilization Units, also known as the Hashd al-Shaabi, had captured al-Muthanna 2 district and the Tal Afar Hospital.
Earlier in the day, Yarallah said counterterrorism forces had "raised the Iraqi flag" in the central areas of The Citadel and al-Basateen.
Only a small area remains under ISIS control, in the north of the city, according to a map released by the Iraqi Joint Military Command.
Tal Afar is the last city still under the control of ISIS militants in Iraq's Nineveh province following the liberation of Mosul, about 45 miles to the east.
Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition against ISIS, told reporters on Thursday that ISIS fighters were "completely surrounded" in Tal Afar, with their resources drying up, as Iraqi forces moved closer to the city center.
Rasool, of the Iraqi Joint Military Command, said at the same news conference that 302 ISIS fighters had been killed since the start of the operation. He added that 33 rigged vehicles and 35 tunnels had been destroyed.
Fighters of the Popular Mobilisation Units flash the victory gesture as they sit in the back of a pickup truck during the advance in the eastern part of Tal Afar on Friday.
 
As the effort to retake Tal Afar got underway, the US-led coalition estimated that between 10,000 and 50,000 civilians remained in and around the city.
The United Nations warned of the risks to thousands of Iraqi families as they seek to flee the battleground in scorching heat.
UN refugee and migration agencies on Tuesday called for civilians to be given safe passage out of the conflict zone.
"We fear that Iraqi civilians are likely to be held as human shields again and that attempts to flee could result in executions/shootings," said Andrej Mahecic, a spokesman for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, in a news release.
He added that people in the area had reportedly been enduring very difficult conditions for months, with a lack of food, clean water and electricity.
Tal Afar was captured by the extremists on June 16, 2014, after a two-day battle.
ISIS fighters still control Hawija, west of Kirkuk, as well as the towns of Qaim, Rawa and Ana near the Syrian border.
Source:CNN.com
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3 headlines the White House hopes you'll miss as Hurricane Harvey hits

Washington (CNN)As the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the US in more than a decade took aim at Texas, President Donald Trump's White House engaged in an age-old Washington tradition: the Friday news dump.

Transgender individuals? Banned from joining the military. Convicted Sheriff Joe Arpaio? Officially pardoned. Controversial White House adviser Sebastian Gorka? Out of a white House job.
All three headlines popped after 6 p.m. Friday as TV news broadcasts and websites turned their attention to Texas, where Hurricane Harvey was preparing to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane -- the most powerful to hit the US since 2004.
The hurricane provided cover, ensuring that the controversial storylines wouldn't dominate TV news broadcasts, websites or front pages of the next morning's newspapers. The storylines even got overshadowed in Twitter feeds dominated by the cataclysmic predictions about damage the storm is expected to wreak.
The coordinated effort drew quick notice from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, who slammed the news dump as "so sad, so weak."
"As millions of people in TX and LA are prepping for the hurricane, the President is using the cover of the storm to pardon a man who violated a court's order to stop discriminating against Latinos and ban courageous transgender men and women from serving our nation's Armed Forces," Schumer wrote in a series of tweets. "The only reason to do these right now is to use the cover of Hurricane Harvey to avoid scrutiny."
The President signed a memorandum issuing his directives on reinstating the ban on transgender troops during the day on Friday, but the White House waited until 6 p.m. to release the news.
Trump's memorandum bars the military from moving forward on an Obama-era directive that would have soon allowed the military to accept transgender individuals, orders the military to stop funding transgender-related medical treatments and allows the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security to decide whether transgender individuals already serving could remain in the armed forces.
At 8 p.m., the White House announced in a news release that Trump had officially pardoned Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff who had been found guilty of criminal contempt in July for disregarding a court order in a racial-profiling case.
Trump signaled at a rally Tuesday night in Arizona that he had decided to pardon Arpaio but said he would delay the announcement to avoid stirring controversy.
"You know what, I'll make a prediction: I think he's going to be just fine," Trump said on Tuesday. "OK? But I won't do it tonight, because I don't want to cause any controversy."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the next day Trump would announce his decision on the pardon "at the appropriate time."
Then came news that Gorka was leaving the White House. Gorka, a controversial figure who earned publicity for his combative interviews and expressed anti-Muslim views, was a close associate of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Gorka's ouster or resignation was expected since Bannon was pushed out last Friday.
The story broke after 8 p.m. And disputes between the White House and Gorka over whether he resigned or was pushed out played out under the cover of 130 mph winds gusting toward the Texas coast.
The oversized Friday night news dump raised questions about whether the White House coordinated the release of the controversial news stories to coincide with the hurricane, or if the news dump was already planned -- and not scrapped.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment Friday evening about the matter.
Source:CNN.com
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Trump, McConnell haven't spoken since angry phone call, sources say

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have not spoken in nearly two weeks, since a phone call between the two men went awry and left the two men screaming at each other.

Sources with knowledge of the August 9 call said the exchange quickly devolved into a shouting match as an irate Trump expressed his frustrations about the congressional investigation into Russian interference with the US election last year and fumed about a Russia sanctions bill Congress passed that would tie Trump's hands on the matter.
A White House official also told CNN earlier this month that Trump and McConnell had an animated conversation about health care after McConnell said Trump had "excessive expectations" about quick passage of an Obamacare repeal.
The New York Times first reported on Tuesday that Trump and McConnell have not spoken since that call and that the relationship has sunk to a new low.
The rift comes as Trump and the Republican majorities in Congress prepare to tackle tax reform, government funding negotiations and a deadline to raise the debt ceiling, or risk wreaking economic turmoil.

Both men shouted at each other during the call and Trump cursed at the GOP leader, sources with knowledge of the call told CNN. Soon after, Trump took to Twitter to publicly upbraid the Senate Republican leader, painting McConnell as ineffective.

One source said the primary cause of Trump's frustrations with McConnell has been the GOP leader's failure to protect Trump on the Russia issue, more than health care.
It's also not the only recent point of tension between the two Republican leaders. McConnell, who publicly avoided criticizing Trump's remarks on Charlottesville, Virginia, was privately upset with the President's handling of the episode, a source close to the Kentucky Republican told CNN last week.
A senior White House official dismissed the extent of the rift between McConnell and Trump, but did not deny that Trump and McConnell have not spoken in weeks.
"It's August," the official said, noting the annual period of Senate recess.
The official also suggested that the relationship between the White House and the Senate Republican leader has been unaffected by the personal rift between Trump and McConnell.
Vice President Mike Pence spoke with McConnell on Monday and White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short has met with McConnell's chief of staff several times in recent weeks as they've plotted how to handle major legislative issues next up on the Republican agenda, including tax reform.
Asked if the rift between McConnell and the President might become a hurdle in the future, the official replied with one word: "No."
CNN.com

 

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We have a Powerball winner! Mavis Wanczyk told her boss she's not coming back

And the winner is ... Mavis Wanczyk.

Wanczyk, 53, landed the largest single lottery jackpot ever in the United States -- the $758.7 million grand prize in Wednesday's Power Ball.

 

The winning ticket (6, 7, 16, 23, 26, and Powerball number 4) was purchased at the Pride Station & Store in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Wanczyk said she discovered Wednesday night while leaving work at the Mercy Medical Center that she had won. A co-worker looked at her ticket and told her she had won. He told her to immediately sign the back of the ticket. She couldn't believe it.

"I couldn't drive anywhere. I couldn't do anything," she told reporters. She said her co-worker followed her home to make sure she was OK.

Wanczyk, who has two adult children, said her big plan is to retire early, and she's already called her boss and said, "I will not be coming back." Asked what she planned to do to celebrate Thursday night, she responded, "I'm going to just hide in my bed."

The owner of the store that sold the ticket, Bob Bolduc, told reporters that the winning ticket was bought at about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Store owner Bolduc said that he plans to donate the $50,000 commission he'll collect for selling a jackpot winner, to local charities with a primary focus on education and children.

Lottery officials initially reported that the winning ticket was sold at a different store in Watertown, Massachusetts, due to a transcription error by lottery staff early Thursday morning. The Watertown store sold another winning ticket worth $1 million, which had all five numbers except the Powerball correct.

Wanczyk won't get the full jackpot -- lottery winnings are taxed like income.

The IRS taxes the top income bracket 39.6%. The government will withhold 25% of that before the money ever gets to the winner, and the rest has to be paid at tax time.

Wanczyk's jackpot is $758.7 million, but she would only get that if she agreed to take annual payments over 30 years. Instead, she did what most winners do, which is take a lump sum up front -- so she'll collect $480.5 million all at once.

Related: Why billions of dollars go unclaimed in lottery prizes

And it's not just Wanczyk who will cash in -- there were 9.4 million other winning tickets ranging from $4 all the way up to $2 million. Six people are due the $2 million second-place prize, and another 34 have $1 million coming to them.

All told, the secondary prizes from Wednesday's drawing totaled $135 million. If people pick up their winnings: History shows that many of those winners likely will never claim their winnings.

Two other Powerball jackpots have passed the $400 million mark so far in 2017. A $448 million prize was claimed in June, and a $435 million jackpot was won in February. Mega Millions had a $393 jackpot winner on August 11.

The only prize that's ever topped the $1 billion mark was claimed in January 2016 -- a $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot that grew over several months and was split three ways. That jackpot's winning tickets were sold in Tennessee, California and Florida.

Both Powerball and Mega Millions tickets are available in all but six states -- Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah.

Related: Ex-lottery worker who rigged winnings gets 25 years in prison

The odds have always been long for landing a Powerball jackpot. But it became even more difficult recently -- thanks to a rule change in October 2015 that tweaked the odds.

Chances of picking all six winning numbers currently stand at about one in 292 million.

That means you are actually more likely to be killed by an asteroid (1 in 700,000), be struck by lightning while drowning (1 in 183 million) or give birth to quadruplets (1 in 729,000).

Source:CNN.com

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North Korea launches trio of missiles amidst US-South Korea military drills

Pyongyang, North Korea (CNN)North Korea launched a barrage of missiles Saturday, less than one week after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised the country for showing 'restraint' in its weapons program.

Pyongyang fired three short-range ballistic missiles from the Kangwon province, the US Pacific Command said. The launches occurred in the midst of the US and South Korea's annual military exercises.
US Pacific Command, in its initial assessment of the launch on Saturday, said North Korea's first and third missiles failed in flight. It later amended its statement to say the missiles flew "approximately 250 kilometers in a northeastern direction."
The second missile appeared to have blown up almost immediately at launch, the command said.
"We will continue to work with our interagency partners on a more detailed assessment of this latest launch and we will provide a public update if warranted," command spokesman Cmdr. David Benham said in a statement.

Officials: Missiles didn't pose a threat

Though North Korea says it now has the ability to send missiles to the US mainland, US defense officials said these short-range missiles did not pose a threat to North America or Guam.
"Although the launches were no threat to Guam, it reminds us that we cannot be complacent," said George Charfauros, the homeland security adviser on the US territory. "We place confidence in our US Department of Defense capabilities and continue open communications with our federal and military partners."
Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, told reporters the launches wouldn't directly affect Japan's security, and that no missiles have reached Japan's territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.

View from inside the country

The missile test capped yet another eventful week on the Korean peninsula, which began with the annual US-South Korea military exercises.
Both South Korea and the US say the training is defensive in nature, but North Korea sees it as provocative and hostile.
A day before the exercises began Monday, Pyongyang warned the US was risking an "uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war."
North Korean state-run media said the country's military could strike the US at any time and that neither Guam, Hawaii nor the US mainland could avoid the "merciless strike."
Ordinarily, North Korea doesn't grant CNN access inside the country when the drills take place. But this time, CNN's Will Ripley is the only western journalist there during this tense time.
"Despite the recent tensions, despite the missile launches, tourism continues here," Ripley said.
There were eight Americans on board Ripley's flight to Pyongyang. The US ban on American citizens traveling to North Korea takes effect September 1.
At the time of the tests, North Korean state media showed leader Kim Jong Un overseeing a special forces operation which simulated strikes on South Korean islands, Ripley said.
"This is the most tense I've ever seen [it]," a North Korean official told Ripley. "The situation could escalate at any moment."
Just last week, Tillerson attempted to dial down tensions by noting there had been no missile tests or "provocative acts" from North Korea since a United Nations Security Council resolution sanctioning Pyongyang was passed earlier this month.

North Korea launches trio of missiles amidst US-South Korea military drills

Story highlights

  • The missiles were no threat to the US mainland or Guam, US officials say
  • South Korea-US military exercises are underway
 

Pyongyang, North Korea (CNN)North Korea launched a barrage of missiles Saturday, less than one week after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised the country for showing 'restraint' in its weapons program.

Pyongyang fired three short-range ballistic missiles from the Kangwon province, the US Pacific Command said. The launches occurred in the midst of the US and South Korea's annual military exercises.
US Pacific Command, in its initial assessment of the launch on Saturday, said North Korea's first and third missiles failed in flight. It later amended its statement to say the missiles flew "approximately 250 kilometers in a northeastern direction."
The second missile appeared to have blown up almost immediately at launch, the command said.
"We will continue to work with our interagency partners on a more detailed assessment of this latest launch and we will provide a public update if warranted," command spokesman Cmdr. David Benham said in a statement.

Officials: Missiles didn't pose a threat

Though North Korea says it now has the ability to send missiles to the US mainland, US defense officials said these short-range missiles did not pose a threat to North America or Guam.
"Although the launches were no threat to Guam, it reminds us that we cannot be complacent," said George Charfauros, the homeland security adviser on the US territory. "We place confidence in our US Department of Defense capabilities and continue open communications with our federal and military partners."
Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, told reporters the launches wouldn't directly affect Japan's security, and that no missiles have reached Japan's territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.

View from inside the country

The missile test capped yet another eventful week on the Korean peninsula, which began with the annual US-South Korea military exercises.
Both South Korea and the US say the training is defensive in nature, but North Korea sees it as provocative and hostile.
A day before the exercises began Monday, Pyongyang warned the US was risking an "uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war."
North Korean state-run media said the country's military could strike the US at any time and that neither Guam, Hawaii nor the US mainland could avoid the "merciless strike."
Ordinarily, North Korea doesn't grant CNN access inside the country when the drills take place. But this time, CNN's Will Ripley is the only western journalist there during this tense time.
"Despite the recent tensions, despite the missile launches, tourism continues here," Ripley said.
There were eight Americans on board Ripley's flight to Pyongyang. The US ban on American citizens traveling to North Korea takes effect September 1.
 
At the time of the tests, North Korean state media showed leader Kim Jong Un overseeing a special forces operation which simulated strikes on South Korean islands, Ripley said.
"This is the most tense I've ever seen [it]," a North Korean official told Ripley. "The situation could escalate at any moment."
Just last week, Tillerson attempted to dial down tensions by noting there had been no missile tests or "provocative acts" from North Korea since a United Nations Security Council resolution sanctioning Pyongyang was passed earlier this month.
Tillerson: Pyongyang has shown restraint
 

 

 

 
 

 

 
Tillerson: Pyongyang has shown restraint 00:55
Tillerson called North Korea's "restraint" pleasing and said it could open a pathway for dialogue in the near future.
Barely a day later, photographs emerged showing Kim inspecting missile and missile-fuel components.
Analysts said the photos were a sign from North Korea to the world, to show their solid fuel missile program is improving at a steady rate.
Solid fuel missiles are faster and easier to deploy, and harder to catch before they launch because there's a lot less to be done in terms of launch preparation. All US and Russian ballistic missiles are solid-fuel models.

A series of tests

Throughout the year, North Korea has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests.
It has fired more than 20 missiles since February, further perfecting its technology with each launch. In July, it launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, which North Korea claims could reach "anywhere in the world."
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump issued an extraordinary ultimatum to North Korea, warning Pyongyang not to make any more threats against the US or it will "face fire and fury like the world has never seen."
Tillerson quickly tried to allay fears of a military confrontation, saying there was no sign the threat level from North Korea had changed and that Americans should "sleep well at night."
In a conciliatory move before that, Tillerson said the US was willing to sit down for talks with North Korea, but only if it relinquishes its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Source:CNN.com
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Living on the edge: Cameroon's Baka Pygmies face an uncertain future

(CNN)Deep in the Dja Faunal Reserve in southeast Cameroon, Baka Pygmies endeavor to live as they have always done: off the forest and firmly within it.

Anthropologists estimate the Baka hunter-gatherer culture has endured for over 40,000 years, and Central Africa's Pygmy population -- somewhere in the region of 500,000 to 900,000 people -- is on a genealogical par with the San of Southern Africa. "They are, in effect, who we are all related to," explains Jerome Lewis of University College London. "These are civilizations that make ancient Egypt look like a spring chicken."
But the Baka way of life is changing -- forcibly so. Territory is shrinking for communities as alleged conservation and industrial interests create obstacles for a nomadic existence. Where the canopy was once a shelter, many Baka now live in roadside huts, pushed to the forest's edge and away from what they know.
The city lights are calling, too. Cameroon is a nation of approximately 220 ethnic groups, and the melting pot of its capital, Yaounde, promises much to young tribespeople.
Modernity, in one shape or another, is at the Baka's door. So what next?

Different worlds

Bidjima Emmanuel is 19 years old and was born into the 1,900 square mile expanse of Dja. Emmanuel is one of a handful of Baka receiving a Western education courtesy of Spanish nongovernmental organization Zerca Y Lejos. Cameroon's Pygmies are among its most discriminated against minorities, but at the fee-paying College Vogt in Yaounde, Emmanuel rubs shoulders with the sons of government ministers and the scions of high society.
"It was another world, a different world," he says, describing parents dropping their children off in cars and showering them with gifts. Emmanuel has faced prejudice from some of these city boys: "They mock you saying things like 'You're a villager ... you're poor, you're this, you're that.' It affects my mind," he admits.
But Emmanuel is excelling, say his teachers. Literature has become an outlet for the teenager, with "The Contemplations," a poem by Victor Hugo, a personal favorite:
"I know that you await me.
"I will go through the forest,
"I will go across the mountain.
"I can no longer remain away from you."
Hugo's reflections on the death of his daughter seem pertinent to Emmanuel's relationship with the Dja. The pull of the forest is strong. After nine months at boarding school, CNN followed his 155-mile journey home for the summer; one which highlights the shifting life of the Baka.

A place called home

Baka life began to change around a century ago, when missionaries made contact and were piqued by the people's adherence to monotheism. The Baka deity Komba is still followed by many, but some, like Emmanuel, have converted to Christianity.
In recent years, state policy has had a huge impact.
"The Cameroonian government made a first push to get the Baka out of the forest in the '60s," explains Lewis. "There was an initial pressure ... due to communist rebels hiding out there."
"Once they'd cleared up the insurgency, people returned to the forest. But then this process of zoning the forest -- which the World Bank promoted in the '90s -- marked the death knell of Baka hunter-gathering culture," he argues.
"So instead of the Baka having access to their forest, safari hunters have it, or miners or loggers. The result was they had nowhere to go."
 
Anthropologists estimate the Baka hunter-gatherer culture has endured for over 40,000 years, and Central Africa's Pygmy population -- somewhere in the region of 500,000 to 900,000 people -- is on a genealogical par with the San of Southern Africa. "They are, in effect, who we are all related to," explains Jerome Lewis of University College London. "These are civilizations that make ancient Egypt look like a spring chicken."
Dja, a largely undisturbed UNESCO World Heritage Site, contains an abundance of flora and fauna the Baka have relied upon to survive. The forest floor contains rodents and other mammals, the trees birds and honey.
It's not just nature's larder, but pharmacy, too. One plant, gouga, when boiled with water, is claimed to cure malaria; another, pando, purportedly soothes pain when rubbed on the skin. "The forest encloses many secrets," says Sylvain, Emmanuel's former teacher. "The forest is very rich and they know the forest."
"This way of living in the forest seems to outsiders to be primitive, but it's in fact extraordinarily sophisticated," Lewis adds. "It's almost a zen-like affluence they have, because all the resources they need for their lives are around them."
But this abundance is curtailed if territory is limited.
"(The Baka) are used to living in the forest," says Emmanuel. "Baka people don't want to be on the roadsides as they are now."
Returning to Dja, Emmanuel is welcomed in the traditional fashion, with music, perhaps the Baka's most lauded cultural export. Known as a symbol of their communality and relationship with nature, the Baka employ polyphonic singing and water drumming to create their sound -- similar to the Aka, a neighboring Pygmy people in the Congo Basin, whose oral traditions have been declared Intangible Heritage by UNESCO.
Music, food and family bring joy and comfort, but already the 19-year-old has his goals set elsewhere. "If I finish my studies in Cameroon with good grades, my wish is to travel abroad to study more," he says. "I have to discover a life far from my parents in order to know what I should do with my future."
"I am so proud of him," says his mother. "It makes me sad not to see him all the time, but I know this will give him the chance one day to get out of this poverty." It's a poverty, one must note, that has been newly found.
"I don't want Baka people to lose sight of their origins, even if they are moving towards modernity," Emmanuel argues. "We should always return to the forest; to never forget what we have always done in the past."
 
But the Baka way of life is changing -- forcibly so. Territory is shrinking for communities as alleged conservation and industrial interests create obstacles for a nomadic existence. Where the canopy was once a shelter, many Baka now live in roadside huts, pushed to the forest's edge and away from what they know.
The city lights are calling, too. Cameroon is a nation of approximately 220 ethnic groups, and the melting pot of its capital, Yaounde, promises much to young tribespeople.
Modernity, in one shape or another, is at the Baka's door. So what next?

Different worlds

Bidjima Emmanuel is 19 years old and was born into the 1,900 square mile expanse of Dja. Emmanuel is one of a handful of Baka receiving a Western education courtesy of Spanish nongovernmental organization Zerca Y Lejos. Cameroon's Pygmies are among its most discriminated against minorities, but at the fee-paying College Vogt in Yaounde, Emmanuel rubs shoulders with the sons of government ministers and the scions of high society.
 

 

 

 
 

 

"So instead of the Baka having access to their forest, safari hunters have it, or miners or loggers. The result was they had nowhere to go."
 
Lewis says forest roadsides became the only place the Baka "were allowed to be," and it is along one such roadside in Dja, in a village called Bifolon, that Emmanuel's family lives.
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Nigeria's Buhari feels well enough to return from medical leave in UK

London (CNN)Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has said he feels well enough to go home after an extended period of treatment for an undisclosed illness in London, but he is awaiting his doctors' permission.

Buhari said there was "tremendous improvement" in his health and that he wishes to return home, according to a statement posted online Saturday by the Nigerian presidency.
"I feel I could go home, but the doctors are in charge. I've now learnt to obey orders, rather than be obeyed," he is quoted as saying.
The statement was accompanied by images posted to Twitter and Facebook of Buhari meeting with Nigeria's information minister and other aides at Abuja House in London on Saturday. In one, he is shown smiling as he receives a giant "Get well" card.
Buhari has been battling an unspecified illness since the start of the year and this is his second period of sick leave.
He was in Britain for treatment from January to March this year, and then left Nigeria again for Britain on May 7, where he's been since.
Last month, his aides released a photo of Buhari having lunch in London with senior member of his ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), amid intense speculation in Nigeria about the President's health. Many false reports of his death have emerged online.
The latest statement described Buhari as "amused" by the conjecture around his health, adding that the President followed events at home closely and praised Nigerian media for keeping him informed.
Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been the acting president since Buhari left the country.
Source:CNN.com
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24 killed in post-election violence in Kenya, rights group says

(CNN)Violence erupted after the re-election of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta this week, leaving at least 24 people dead nationwide, a rights group said.

The victims included a 9-year-old girl, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.
Relatives said the victims were shot dead in various parts of the nation, including 17 in the capital of Nairobi, the group said.
Kenyatta, the 55-year-old son of the country's founding President, was declared the winner Friday, defeating veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga for a second five-year term.

Tensions, protests

Protests and violence broke out after he was declared the winner.
Most of the demonstrators were supporters of Odinga, who has rejected the results of the presidential election, calling the vote rigged. National election officials have decried the accusations, saying the vote was free and credible.
Protests erupted in and around Kisumu, a stronghold of Odinga. One person was killed overnight in Kisumu, police said.
Violence also broke out in Nairobi's slum of Mathare, where tear gas and gunshots rang out all night, witnesses said.
Stabhay Mokaya, 9, was killed by a stray bullet during protests in Mathare early Saturday, her father said.
"There were three kids playing in the balcony on the fourth floor, and then all of a sudden there was a gunshot which hit the young girl," Wycliff Mokaya said.
Mokaya said police were surprised to find out a bullet had hit the balcony. He said the girl's mother was "in the worst pain."
The Kenyan Red Cross said it had treated at least 93 people injured in the violence.

Most of Kenya is calm

Violence in Kenya could have ripple effects far beyond the nation of 47 million people.
As the largest economy in East Africa, Kenya is a crucial trade route to the continent and provides an important buffer of stability in a region that includes the fledgling Somali government and the politically tense Sudan and South Sudan.
 

Riot police prepare to pass burning barricades as they push toward protesters during clashes on August 12, 2017, in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Demonstrators objected to the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta over opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

 

Amnesty International called on authorities to investigate reports that police shot dead demonstrators in opposition strongholds.
"Everyone has a right to peaceful protest and they must not be hurt, injured or killed for exercising that right," Muthoni Wanyeki, the organization's regional director, said in a statement.
The acting interior minister called reports of protester deaths "lies," saying most of the demonstrators are criminals taking advantage of the chaos.
The incumbent President appealed for peace after the result was declared Friday.
"Fellow Kenyans, elections come and go but Kenya is here to stay," he tweeted. "Let us always remember that we are all brothers and sisters."

Extra security

International observers have urged candidates to respect the outcome and resolve any poll disputes through legal avenues. 
More than 400 international election monitors deployed across the country to monitor voting, the tallying process and the post-election period.
Former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who served as an election observer for the Carter Center, said while there were "little aberrations here and there," the election was not rigged.
"If anything was electronically fiddled with, there is a way to go back and absolutely ascertain what happened in the polling station," he said. "So, by paper ballots, there is a protection of each and every Kenyan's vote."
Extra security forces have been deployed in the capital of Nairobi, interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said.

Fears of violence 

Allegations of vote-rigging have sparked concerns, with some Kenyans fearing ethnic clashes similar to those triggered a decade ago.
Though Kenya's last election in 2013 was mainly peaceful, the country plunged into widespread violence in the aftermath of the 2007 vote.
More than 1,000 people were killed in months of bloodshed following the 2007 election after Odinga -- defeated by then-President Mwai Kibaki -- claimed the vote was rigged.
Source: CNN.com
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Investors pull billions from U.S. stocks in longest outflow streak since 2004

vestors are fleeing U.S. stocks in a way they haven't since 2004.

For 10 straight weeks a total of $30 billion has left U.S. stocks, marking the longest streak of outflows since 2004, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a Thursday report, citing EPFR Global data.

Investors turned instead to emerging markets and European and Japanese stocks, which saw $36 billion in inflows over the last 10 weeks, the report said.

BofAML's breakdown of last week's fund flows pointed to more aversion to risk among investors, and could add to some analysts' worries about deteriorating market internals.

The 10-week outflow from U.S. stocks comes despite the S&P 500's nearly 1 percent gain this quarter and a record high on Aug. 8.

The report also pointed out the turn away from U.S. stocks coincided with the late June surge in the euro against the U.S. dollar to its strongest in nearly a year, after comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi suggested higher inflation and tighter monetary policy soon in the euro zone.

The euro subsequently climbed to its highest in more than two years in early August, and traded slightly below those levels near $1.186 Friday. Draghi is scheduled to speak later Friday afternoon at an annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

In the week ended Wednesday, European stocks saw their first outflows in seven weeks, the BofAML report said, while Japanese stocks saw their largest inflow in five months at $3.1 billion.

Major contributors to U.S. stock market gains in the last several months saw significant outflows in the week ended Wednesday, the BofAML report said:

  • Technology — $600 million, largest in 49 weeks.
  • Financials — $35 million, second straight week.
  • Consumer — $1.5 billion, third largest ever
 

The defensive utilities sector was the only U.S. stock sector to see slight inflows in the last week.

By investing style, investors withdrew $1.6 billion from U.S. growth stock funds and $1.1 billion from U.S. value stock funds, the BofAML report said. Only U.S. small caps saw inflows, at $700 million.

Investors also piled into Treasury bonds, which saw their greatest inflows in 10 weeks at $900 billion. But riskier high-yield debt posted $2.2 billion in outflows, its eighth week out of 10 of withdrawals, the report said.

That said, analysts don't expect the defensive turn to result in a large market downturn.

"This is definitely weaker U.S. equity inflows but still net positive and my sense is that positioning is still long and the VIX back at 11 shows there is still complacency," Ilya Feygin, managing director and senior strategist at WallachBeth Capital, said Friday. He estimated U.S. stock exchange-traded funds, passive investment products which have risen in popularity over mutual funds, gained $6.1 billion in net inflows since June 30.

In addition, BofAML said its proprietary Bull & Bear indicator did not trigger a "sell" signal, meaning the market still remains in a rally mode.

And while overall the bank's wealthy private clients turned more defensive, their allocation to one traditional safe haven, precious metals ETFs, has fallen to record lows, BofAML said.

Source:CNN.com

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Is Apple CEO Tim Cook running for president? He says 'no'

DES MOINES — After spending the morning in a perennial swing state and the afternoon in the first state to cast presidential ballots, questions immediately started to swirl about Apple's CEO Tim Cook possible political ambitions. 

The Internet was all aflutter, asking the question: Is Cook seriously thinking of running for president?

Cook spent Thursday morning on the factory floor of an Ohio Apple supplier, where he "thanked employees and hinted at a prosperous future," the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

Then, he toured the Des Moines metro area in the afternoon, holding a high-profile news conference, touring a high-tech suburban school and posing for selfies and shaking hands with customers and staff at the local Apple store. 

More: Apple to receive $213M in tax breaks for 50-job data center

Shortly after noon, Cook headlined a news conference with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican. Standing at the foot of the Iowa Capitol, the pair celebrated a $1.375 billion data center Apple plans to build in the Des Moines suburb of Waukee.

But any visit of high-profile political and business leaders can start the rumor mill in Iowa, home to the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses.

A few hours later, the headline "Is Tim Cook running for president?" appeared on Need to Know Network, a news site that Politico reported was formed by Republican operatives. 

It's not the first time the chief executive of America's most profitable company has sparked speculation about a political run.

More: Apple to donate $2 million to anti-hate groups, Tim Cook tells staff

In June, Bryan Menegus wrote that Cook "absolutely wants to run for president" on Gizmodo, a design, tech and science website. He pointed to Cook's platform-like talking points covering wealth inequality, education, global trade.

"He has his platform ready," Menegus wrote, "peppered with just enough heartfelt anecdotes and the occasional wink of contrition for his industry’s undeniable role in deepening global wealth inequality."

But Cook swatted down the Internet speculation. 

"You've got to be kidding," Cook told The Des Moines Register on Thursday while visiting with employees and customers at an Apple store. "That must be a comedian or something."

He insisted he's not interested in a White House bid. 

"I've got a full-time job. And I love Apple deeply," he said. "So no, there's no connection there at all."

He's the second tech mogul to raise eyebrows from political observers while visiting Iowa this summer.

More: Apple reports solid quarter; consumers eye new iPhone

In June, Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg met with locals in rural Iowa and chatted up truck drivers at the Iowa 80 Truckstop. In January, the social media mogul said he was not seeking the White House.

Apple's Cook is no stranger to politics. 

President Trump criticized the tech company during his campaign for manufacturing the iPhone and other products overseas.

 

Yet when announcing a $1 billion U.S. manufacturing fund in May, Cook seemed open to working with Trump's administration.

"I think with each administration in every country in the world, there are things you disagree and things you agree, and you look to find common ground and try to influence the things you don't," he said. "If you don't show up, I think that's the worst scenario because then you're quiet and this doesn't do your cause any good or your point of view any good."

More: Mark Zuckerberg says he's not running for president

During a college commencement speech in June, Cook mocked Trump's propensity for dropping controversial Tweets in the early morning hours.

Earlier this month, Cook clashed with Trump's handling of the racial unrest in Charlottesville, Va. He specifically took issue with the president's language blaming "both sides" for violence at a white supremacy rally.

“I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans,”

Source:USA Today

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Blockbuster trade between Cavaliers, Celtics in doubt over Isaiah Thomas' hip?

The Cleveland Cavaliers are concerned about the health of point guard Isaiah Thomas’ right hip, two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports, jeopardizing the blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics that sent Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and a first-round pick to the Cavaliers for point guard Kyrie Irving.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions. 

Thomas took a physical in Cleveland on Friday, and the results have given the Cavs pause on proceeding with the deal. They are doing a deep and thorough review, which they expected to do given the nature of Thomas' injury. 

He sustained a torn hip labrum March 15 against the Minnesota Timberwolves and re-aggravated it during Game 6 of the conference semifinals against the Washington Wizards. 

In a trade, all players must pass a physical. If a player doesn’t, the trade can be voided.

The Cavs could back out of the deal, leaving both teams in a predicament. The Cavs’ front-office, led by new general manager Koby Altman, worked hard over the summer to accommodate Irving’s wish for a trade.

More: 

Cleveland found a deal that landed it an All-Star point guard, a three-and-D wing, a promising big man and Brooklyn’s first-round pick in the 2018 draft.

Voiding the trade would put the Cavs back at square one just four weeks before the start of training camp. Though it’s possible Cleveland backs out of the trade, a more likely scenario is a renegotiation of the deal with Boston sweetening the pot with an additional player or draft pick.

Cleveland must have had some idea that Thomas wasn’t 100%, but the physical may have revealed bigger issues.

Thomas and the Celtics decided against surgery following the season, and on the night of the trade, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said, “There’s going to be probably a little bit of a delay for Isaiah as he starts the season this year, but – um – I think that Isaiah should be fine and healthy as the season goes along.”

At the time of the trade early in the week, the Cavs were excited with the first-round pick. In a statement on Tuesday, Altman said the Cavs “felt that the unprotected first-round pick in the deal was very important for us and our future as well.”

Given their excitement at acquiring a first-round pick that should fall in the top 10 and their ability to trade Irving and avoid training camp issues, it’s difficult seeing Cleveland nixing the trade.

Source:USA Today

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How Dwayne Johnson's 'San Andreas' role helped a boy, 10, become a hero

Dwayne Johnson does more than save lives on screen. The Rock helps save real lives.

Johnson was giving big respect Friday to 10-year-old Jacob O'Connor after the Detroit-area youngster helped saved his two-year-old brother Dylan from drowning — using CPR methods he learned from watching Johnson in the action-flick San Andreas.

"This story touched my heart," Johnson wrote on Twitter.

True story, as reported by ABC News in Detroit on Wednesday which Johnson tweeted out. Jacob found his brother face down in his grandmother's pool and acted quickly. 

"He pulled his little brother out and started CPR & chest compression. He saved little Dylan's life," Johnson wrote. "Jacob said he learned how to do this by watching me in his favorite movie, San Andreas."

"I'm so amazed and impressed by this little 10 yr old boy's heroic actions and calm instincts in the middle of that kind of emergency distress," added Johnson.

s Jacob himself told the news station about finding his brother in the pool.

“I pulled him out and started giving him compressions,” Jacob said.

Jacob's description of the scene where Johnson saves his screen daughter (Alexandra Daddario) in San Andreas is a classic.

“There was an earthquake, then it caused a tsunami and then there was a daughter that was drowning and he had to get her out and he did the same thing,” Jacob said.

Happy endings all around. Dylan was only in the hospital for a day and made a full recovery. His grandmother has installed double locks on the screen doors leading to the pool to keep the kid from wandering out again.

And Jacob is a big hero.

"I now need to shake young Jacob's hand," Johnson wrote.

Oh, but Jacob. Don't get any ideas about flying a rescue helicopter like you saw in San Andreas. Only The Rock controls a bird like that.

Source:USA Today

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Hunting a Killer: Sex, Drugs and the Return of Syphilis

OKLAHOMA CITY — For months, health officials in this socially conservative state capital have been staggered by a fast-spreading outbreak of a disease that, for nearly two decades, was considered all but extinguished.

Syphilis, the deadly sexually transmitted infection that can lead to blindness, paralysis and dementia, is returning here and around the country, another consequence of the heroin and methamphetamine epidemics, as users trade sex for drugs.

To locate possible patients and draw their blood for testing, Oklahoma’s syphilis detectives have been knocking on doors in dilapidated apartment complexes and dingy motels, driving down lonely rural roads and interviewing prison inmates. Syphilis has led them to members of 17 gangs; to drug dealers; to prostitutes, pimps and johns; and to their spouses and lovers, all caught in the disease’s undertow.

“Syphilis doesn’t sleep for anyone,” said Portia King, a veteran Oklahoma state health investigator. “We have 200 open cases of sex partners we’re looking for. And the spread is migrating out of the city.”

It took months for investigators to realize Oklahoma City had a syphilis outbreak. Last fall, the juvenile detention center reported three cases — a boy and two girls, the youngest, 14. The center had never had a syphilis case in seven years of testing for it.

Investigators were mystified: The teenagers did not know each other, live in the same neighborhood or attend the same school.

Then, in February, a prison inmate tested positive. In interviews, he listed 24 sex partners — some his own, others the so-called pass-around girls for gangs, usually in exchange for heroin or methamphetamine. Contact information from the Entertainment Manager, as he called himself, pointed the way to a syphilis spread that, by March, led health officials to declare an outbreak, one of the largest in the country.

Although syphilis still mostly afflicts gay and bisexual men who are African-American or Hispanic, in Oklahoma and nationwide, rates are rising among white women and their infants. Nearly five times as many babies across the country are born with syphilis as with H.I.V.

Syphilis is devilishly difficult to contain, but may be even more so now. Because most doctors haven’t seen a case since the late 1990s, they often misdiagnose it. The cumbersome two-step lab test is antiquated. Although syphilis can be cured with an injection, there has been a shortage of the antibiotic, made only by Pfizer, for over a year.

And funding for clinics dedicated to preventing sexually transmitted diseases is down. In 2012, half of state programs that address sexually transmitted infections experienced reductions; funding has largely stayed flat since then. The Trump administration has proposed a 17 percent cut to the federal prevention budget.

Nearly 24,000 cases of early-stage syphilis, when the disease is most contagious, were reported in the United States in 2015, the most recent data. That was a 19 percent rise over the previous year. The total for 2015, including those with later-stage disease, was nearly 75,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The way to shut down an outbreak is to locate all the sex partners of people who are infected and persuade them to get tested, treated and disclose other partners. That task has fallen on a handful of the health department’s disease intervention specialists.

This most recent wave of infections, spread through gang networks and prostitution rings, has made their jobs not only difficult but also dangerous.

Danger and Determination

Erinn Williams, the lead field investigator for the Oklahoma City outbreak, drove slowly down a one-lane gravel road curtained by overgrowth and bristling with barbed wire and “No Trespassing” signs.

Ms. Williams, 39, life-seasoned by an Alaska upbringing, Air Force training and two small daughters, usually makes these visits alone. She keeps her baby’s car seat in the back, to allay suspicions that she may be an undercover police officer.

“What you do is your business,” she tells the wary. “I’m here because I care about your health.”

She is accustomed to stopping by houses with locks punched out; to being warned off by drug dealers; to wearing comfortable shoes, the better to run away in.

She pulled up to a clearing. Across a ragged lawn, she could see a battered blue trailer surrounded by pickup trucks and a stand of trees. Access was blocked by an iron fence, monitored by video cameras.

Ms. Williams pushed a call button. “Hi, I’m here from the health department. Can I talk to you? I have some news.”

A young woman hesitantly crossed the grass. For months she had avoided health workers. Once, an investigator spotted her slipping in through a side entrance to her mother’s house; at the front door, the mother denied that her daughter was there.

Fresh-faced, her blonde hair in a ponytail, the woman looked healthier than most people Ms. Williams visits, with their grayish skin, abscesses and mottled veins.

Ms. Williams was gentle but direct: “Your blood test results came back. It’s positive for syphilis.”

The woman buried her face in her hands. “I’m so embarrassed,” she sobbed. (Bound by confidentiality rules, Ms. Williams did not disclose her name.)

“Is that why my baby died?” she asked.

Ms. Williams nodded affirmatively.

“Can my kid get it? We sometimes share the same glass.”

No, Ms. Williams said. Just your sexual partners.

The woman insisted she had slept with only two men that year — her boyfriend and her ex, the father of the baby who had died.

Ms. Williams, who knew the woman’s Facebook page revealed many friends in a gang central to the outbreak, asked her to think carefully about whether there were more. We never reveal your name, she said, just as we cannot tell you who gave us yours.

The woman shook her head.

It was time to coax the woman into treatment. Just an injection and you will almost certainly be cured, Ms. Williams said, offering to drive her to the clinic. Her boyfriend too, Ms. Williams added.

He wasn’t around, the woman said, but she promised they would be there in the morning.

Are you sure you don’t want to go now? Ms. Williams asked.

Again, the woman shook her head.

Reluctantly, Ms. Williams got in her car and drove away.

An Elusive Killer

Syphilis, caused by bacteria, has been well known for centuries, chronicled as a scourge since at least the 1400s.

In 1932, the United States government began the ignominious “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male” to observe the progress of the disease in black Alabama sharecroppers. Although penicillin had become accepted as the cure by 1945, Tuskegee researchers left the men untreated until 1972, when the study was shut down.

By then, largely because of treatment and public education, syphilis was disappearing. A generation of physicians rarely learned to recognize it firsthand.

But with the AIDS epidemic, syphilis surged, peaking around 1990. It was most common — and still is — among men who had sex with men, often those whose H.I.V. status made them vulnerable to other sexually transmitted infections.

Once again, public health campaigns sent syphilis into retreat. By 2000, only 5,970 cases were reported in the United States, the lowest since 1941, when reporting became mandatory.

But in the last few years, it has crept back.

Here in Oklahoma City, 199 cases have been connected so far this year. More than half the patients are white and female. The youngest girl is 14; the oldest man, 61. Three stillbirths have been attributed to syphilis and 13 of the infected were pregnant women.

Rare permutations are now more common. Ocular syphilis, which can strike at any stage of infection, often appears as blurred vision and reddened eyes. Congenital syphilis can cause deformed bones in newborns.

Many people never suspect they have the disease. Early symptoms, including genital lesions and, later, rashes on palms and soles, have led patients and health care providers to mistake it for herpes or allergic reactions. The disease can lie dormant for decades and then affect the liver, joints, blood vessels.

Once people are treated, though cured, they will almost always test positive. It is difficult to know whether a positive result indicates a new infection. After transmission, the bacteria may take three months to register. Those who test negative may have the disease.

This spring the Centers for Disease Control called for educating doctors and nurses about symptoms, testing pregnant women considered at risk and developing a better diagnostic test.

The cure for syphilis — usually two injections of Bicillin L-A, a type of penicillin — is relatively simple. But supplies have dwindled. Recently in Oklahoma, there were only seven doses statewide. Pfizer announced that stockpiles would be replenished by the end of 2017.

Dr. Vivian L. Wilson is medical director for eight community health clinics. In 37 years of practice, she has seen perhaps two cases of syphilis. But as a black Alabamian, she knows well the Tuskegee legacy. Though she appreciated a recent refresher course the state provided for staff members, the standard education materials, she noted, are severely outmoded.

“All the photographs still show patients who are Afro-American men,” Dr. Wilson said. “What message does that send?”

Watching the Detectives

After several months, dispirited Oklahoma investigators acknowledged that old-school tactics for locating contacts, like knocking on doors and cold-calling, were not very effective. Many people they sought are transient and use disposable phones.

“But they want to stay connected to their friends and their drugs,” said Ms. King, a supervising investigator. “So they’re all on Facebook. That’s where we’re finding them.”

Through Facebook, investigators memorize faces and gang tattoos, and follow the flare-ups and flameouts of relationships. As gang members and dealers post partying plans, the sleuths determine where to point their investigation. They send potential patients messages through Facebook.

Ms. Williams’s team realized they were tracking a spread that reached back to last summer, involved members and associates of 17 gangs, and had infected young people from stable backgrounds who had used prescription opioids, then heroin. Patients often had symptoms that were a signature of this outbreak: weeping genital warts, called condylomata lata; patchy hair loss; and mucosal oozes inside the mouth.

The office created a chart of the outbreak, coded with symbols. Diamond: drug user. Blue heart: pregnant. Strawberry: prostitute.

They have come to understand why more than half of this outbreak’s victims are women: “The men give up the women’s names,” Ms. King said. “But the women are too loyal or afraid to give up the men. ”

But recently investigators persuaded a gang leader to text members, ordering them to contact Ms. Williams.

Every day, the team checks arrest reports for people they are seeking. Chloe Hickman interviews inmates. Wearing glasses and no makeup, inclined toward modest cardigans, she doesn’t come across as someone who chats up gang members about their sex lives.

“I don’t cuss in my real life,” she said. “But in the jail, I flirt. I wear tight pants, a low-cut top and I use the F-word.

“Most of them don’t know what syphilis is. When I say it’s curable, they relax. And they’ll give me names.”

Usually such efforts lead to sagas of unrelenting grimness: mothers who prostitute daughters, and men who forcibly inject runaways with drugs to hook them, a practice known as guerrilla pimping.

Acquaintances of the investigators often dismiss their work as disgusting. For support, the women call each other daily, to laugh and vent.

Ms. Williams, on the job for eight years, said it gets to her, but she cannot let it go. “I remind myself that I’m not trying to fix all their problems,” she said. “Just one.”

Photo

Erinn Williams often drives isolated roads during her investigations. Credit Nick Oxford for The New York Times

Maybe Next Time

By 10 o’clock the next morning, Ms. Williams had arranged to pick up one person for treatment, been stood up by another and was texting with a man who refused her offer of a blood draw, claiming that needles made him anxious. She had driven a woman to the clinic, after waiting outside her house as, apparently, the woman was getting high on meth.

Now at the clinic, the woman seemed to have fled. Ms. Williams and nurses ran through hallways, looking for her.

One victory: The woman from the trailer was in the waiting room. But she was alone. In the parking lot, her boyfriend sat out the appointment in his pickup truck, motor idling. He would not come inside for treatment.

He would almost certainly reinfect his girlfriend. And Ms. Williams would have to persuade her to be tested and treated, yet again.

Source:NY Times

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Gary Cohn, Trump’s Adviser, Said to Have Drafted Resignation Letter After Charlottesville

Gary D. Cohn, the director of the White House Economic Council, wrote a resignation letter after President Trump blamed “both sides” in the deadly protest this month against a Charlottesville, Va., rally by white supremacists and neo-Nazis, according to three people familiar with the document.

Mr. Cohn ultimately changed his mind and decided in recent days to remain on as Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser, said one person familiar with his thinking.

But in a stunning critique of the president, Mr. Cohn told The Financial Times in an interview published on Friday that the Trump administration “can and must do better” to condemn hate groups and “do everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities.”

Mr. Cohn is an architect of a broad set of tax reforms that the White House hopes will deliver the first legislative victory of Mr. Trump’s tumultuous administration. The president next week will travel to Springfield, Mo., in a push to sell the tax reform package.

But Mr. Cohn was anguished, according to a friend and two other people familiar with his thinking, by Mr. Trump’s remarks after the Aug. 12 violence that resulted in the death of a 32-year-old woman who was protesting neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan demonstrators in Charlottesville.

On Aug. 15, Mr. Cohn stood nearby in the lobby of Trump Tower, where the president told reporters there also were “very fine people on both sides” of the Charlottesville rally. After Mr. Trump left, Mr. Cohn stood uncomfortably fielding questions about the president’s statements, and he repeatedly declined to comment.

He debated for over a week with his wife and friends on whether to quit, according to the people familiar with his thinking. This week, Mr. Cohn decided to remain in his job, believing he could be more effective as a public servant inside the White House than out of it.

He is one of the few Jewish members in the administration who have publicly condemned Mr. Trump’s remarks about Charlottesville, although he has quietly disagreed with the president on a number of policy matters.

As Mr. Trump stood by his equivocal comments on Charlottesville and business leaders left presidential advisory panels in protest, Mr. Cohn told The Financial Times, he felt “enormous pressure” to step down. Various friends, and Mr. Cohn’s wife, were at one point among those who were urging him to resign, said several people familiar with their advice.

A senior administration official said the president was not surprised by Mr. Cohn’s remarks to The Financial Times. Another official said the sentiments had been relayed clearly to Mr. Trump, and Mr. Cohn had said that if asked, he would say how he felt.

But on Friday, Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Mr. Trump, tweeted that Mr. Cohn “should be fired immediately for his public attack on the president.” In his tweet, Mr. Stone misspelled the name of Mr. Cohn, whom he has aggressively criticized, and said the economic adviser was “recommended for his White House job by Jared Kushner.”

It is highly unusual for a senior member of any presidential administration to publicly discuss the possibility of stepping down. Geoff Garin, a veteran Democratic pollster who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, said even though Mr. Cohn did not criticize Mr. Trump by name in the Financial Times interview, “the comments are still very tough and very blunt, including his comments about the push-and-pull whether to stay and whether to go.”

“There’s no effort to conceal the fact that what Trump said was wrong and troubling,” Mr. Garin said. “And it’s hard to think of very many precedents for somebody like that who is a high-ranking presidential adviser.”

Mr. Cohn told The Financial Times that “as a Jewish American, I will not allow neo-Nazis ranting ‘Jews will not replace us’ to cause this Jew to leave his job.”

But the job has not been easy. For Mr. Cohn, said two people familiar with his thinking, every day at the White House requires a different calculus over how best to spend his political capital. Right now, these people said, he will focus on economic policies that he believes are essential to the stability of the markets and the United States work force — even when other issues worry him.

Nudging Mr. Trump toward a more free-trade stance that avoids harsh steps toward China and other economic partners is paramount, these people said. Part of that, they added, is opposing tariffs on steel, aluminum and other goods that might damage relationships with American allies.

But using political capital on those fights means avoiding others, even when the president espouses policies that run contrary to Mr. Cohn’s own principles, the two people said. Among other things, they said, Mr. Cohn disagrees with the president’s directive banning transgender people from joining the military, but will leave that fight to others.

On Aug. 17, with word of Mr. Cohn’s unhappiness percolating on Wall Street, some traders and investors got jittery. Seeing Mr. Cohn as a key player in pushing forward the Trump administration’s tax cuts, some sold American stocks, pushing prices down.

Mr. Cohn, a onetime silver trader who eventually became president of Goldman Sachs, was struck by the market move, said two people familiar with his thinking. He continued to huddle with friends and family over what steps to take, attending meetings in Washington during the process.

At some point during the past 10 days, Mr. Cohn penned a tentative resignation letter, said the three people familiar with the draft. It was not immediately clear what day the letter was written, or if Mr. Trump was ever made aware of it.

But during a private Aug. 18 meeting with the president at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., Mr. Cohn relayed his concerns about Mr. Trump’s comments on Charlottesville, said people with knowledge of the gathering. The exact details of the talk are not clear, but the president urged Mr. Cohn to stay.

“I have had numerous private conversations with the president on this topic,” Mr. Cohn told The Financial Times, adding that “I have not been bashful saying what I think.”

One possible part of Mr. Cohn’s calculus is the chance that he could be named Federal Reserve chairman early next year, a move Mr. Trump has said he is considering. Mr. Cohn has in the past expressed interest in the job, said two people close to him. But unlike past Fed chairmen, Mr. Cohn is not an economist, and some of his friends have said it is hard to imagine him in the more reserved, less dynamic environment of the Fed, which would be a huge contrast to the pace of Goldman Sachs or the White House.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, who also is Jewish, defended Mr. Trump in a statement a week ago, after more than 300 of his Yale classmates urged him in a letter to step down. At a briefing with reporters at the White House on Friday, Mr. Mnuchin, an old business partner of Mr. Trump who has at times clashed over policy with Mr. Cohn, told reporters that under no circumstances has he considered resigning.

Source:NY Times

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'People think I’m an old man' - Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said despite his age – 73, he is not as weak as people may think.

“I keep hearing people saying I should rest; I’m buzzing around too much,” he told members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Cape Coast, Central Region on Saturday 26 August at the party’s national delegates’ conference.

“It’s difficult when there’s so much work to be done. But I know that a lot of people are saying it because they think that I’m an old man.

“But I know one thing: ‘It is not by might, nor is it by power but it is by my spirit,’ said the Lord of host.”

The president has also said anybody accused of corruption in his government will not go scot-free.

“Let me assure you; every allegation of corruption against any member of my government will be investigated by the law enforcement agencies,” he said, adding: “Those who make the allegations should be prepared to support them with evidence” because “I will not supervise over a government that supports corruption.”

The president said he has “instructed the law enforcement agencies to investigate every allegation of corruption in my government”.

He also warned members of the NPP that he will crush any attempt by anybody to “capsize our boat”.

Nana Akufo-Addo said the NPP has a rich heritage in Ghanaian political history which he will safeguard with all the strength he can muster.

“We are the heirs of the noblest tradition in Ghanaian politics; the tradition of freedom, the tradition of progress, the tradition of development in freedom. It’s a precious asset.

“We are going to be faithful to that tradition. We are faithful to that tradition if we recognise that we are all in the same boat; we are rowing towards the same destination about the upliftment of Ghana and about the freedom of Ghana.

“It means that, therefore, anybody who wants to rock that boat and capsize it – for the time being I am the captain of the boat – I am not going to allow anybody to capsize our boat. Too much effort and sweat and sacrifice has gone into bringing us where we are today to allow anybody to capsize it, our strength is the vision and the values of our party, that is the rock on which we stand,” the president said.

Source:GhanaWeb

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Angel Group president donates $30, 000 cardiac monitors to KATH

The President of the Angel Group of Companies, Dr. Kwaku Oteng has presented 6 pieces of Patient Cardiac Monitors to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

The 6 machines are to be used at the Emergency Unit of the hospital to save lives of patients whose hearts need to be monitored and supported.

Presenting the items to the management of the KATH, Dr Oteng who was flanked by the CEO of Angel Broadcasting Network, Mr Samuel Kofi Acheampong, Deputy Operations Manager of Angel Group, Samuel Boateng , Morning Show Host of Angel FM Kwame Tanko, Programmes Manager of Angel Fm, Summer, News Editor of Angel Fm, Appau Aheng and a host of others, could not hold back his tears after considering the inadequacy of very important equipment at the hospital allowing people who could have been saved die.

He explained that the kind gesture extended to the hospital is a sign of his willingness to support the venerable and needy in society as he considers his riches to be a gift from God for the betterment of humanity.

He pledged he would continue to support the hospital and charged other wealthy individuals to follow his example.

Speaking on behalf of the hospital, the Director of Nursing Services at KATH, Madam Patience Yeboah-Ampong expressed the management’s profound gratitude to Dr. Kwaku Oteng for the love and care for the patients and called for more of such positive actions.

Source:GhanaWeb

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Afriyie Acquah earns late call up to Black Stars for Congo clash

Midfielder Afriyie Acquah has earned a late call-up to replace injured Isaac Sackey in Ghana's squad to face Congo in the double-header of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The Birmingham City target was conspiciously left out of the initial 24-man squad released on Wednesday.

But GHANASoccernet.com understand head coach Kwesi Appiah has dialed up the Torino ace after Turkey-based midfielder Sackey sustained an injury in a league game on Friday night.

Acquah has been in top shape in a very young season having played two competitive matches.

The Black Stars are expected to start training on Monday in Accra for the first installment against the Red Devils on Friday.

Congo will host the return leg four days later in Bra zzaville

Source: GhanaWeb

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Nollywood's Eucharia Anunobi’s loses 15-year-old son to Sickle Cell Anaemia

Popular Nollywood actress and Evangelist, Eucharia Anunobi, is currently mourning the death of her only child, 15-year-old Raymond Ekwu.

Raymond who she had by her ex-husband, Charles Ekwu, in 2002, has been with Sickle Cell Anemia from birth.

He died from complications associated with the disease in the early hours of Tuesday, August 22nd.

This was disclosed by media personality, Adekeye. E. Tosin via twitter. Tosin wrote: “Let’s remember Eucharia Anunobi in our prayers, she lost her only child to Sickle Cell Disease. May the most high comfort and strengthen her.”

The grieving mother also spoke with NET, confirming the passing of her son.

“Thank you, I appreciate it.

“My son has gone to our place of origin (heaven) to be with our daddy Jesus, waiting for me when I eventually go there at the fullest of time.”

Source:GhanaWeb

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Quophi Okyeame releases gospel song for non-believers

Former hiplife artiste Quophi Okyeame, who has ventured into full-time gospel ministry, is out with his first gospel song.

The former member of the defunct hiplife group, Akyeame says the song, ‘You Are God’, is for people who don’t believe in God and His Kingdom.

Dubbed the ‘New Age Gospel’, Quophi Okyeame explained to Myjoyonline.com that “I know a lot of people will be surprised at this statement because our society is probably not ready to accept certain truths about Kingdom duties that called people of God are to perform.”

“The core of the matter is, I am a man on a mission with a mandate of populating the Kingdom of God. There are certain truths that the religious Christian know too much and I feel like it’s a waste of time reaching to the already saved. My expectation is by now, fellow Christians are also busily propagating same agenda in different ways,” the former hiplife artiste noted.

‘You Are God’, he further reiterated, is “a testimony song” which “employs other than conventional ways to engage the non-believer and inform them about what they are missing being absent from Eden, the original place intended for man by God.”

Born Daniel Quophi Amoateng, Quophi Okyeame noted that, “The street is my church and believe [me], I have a lot of work to do. I am not waiting for my target to come to me but I see it as the main mandate given to priests according to Mathew 28:19".

Asked what the ‘New Age Gospel’ was about, he explained that, “The whole idea of New Age Gospel the genre I'm operating under, is to entice the streets with what they already love in the light of the truth of God (Good News). I believe music is such a powerful tool that will even reach places I will never see before I leave this world.”

Source:GhanaWeb

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Patoranking welcomes new born baby

Nigerian artiste, Patoranking has welcomed his new baby.

The musician who could not hide his joy of finally being a father shared a photo of baby on Instagram days after he shared a photo of himself and his baby mama heavily pregnant.

Although the lady and the sex of the baby are unknown, reports indicate that they are doing very well in South Africa.

Source:Ghanaweb

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Former ‘Shark Tank’ judge offers advice to Chicopee lottery winner

Before we knew that Mavis Wanczyk, the 53-year-old woman from right down the road in Chicopee, was the lucky winner of the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot, we spoke to Kevin Harrington, one of the original judges on the TV show “Shark Tank,” to see what he’d tell the instant millionaire.

An entrepreneur who created the “As Seen on TV” nameplate, Harrington is on the board of LottoGopher.com, a website where people can order custom lottery tickets instead of purchasing them from a store. Harrington (inset) thinks that qualifies him to mentor the Powerball winner.

Here’s his advice:

 

1. Keep a low profile

“Keep it private as much as you can,” Harrington said. “You don’t need to go out at the top of the mountain and yell all about it.” Lottery winners receive a lot of attention, but Harrington said it’s best to lay low and start crafting a plan for what to do with the money.

2. Gather a team of experts

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Powerball is a lot of money, and it’s important to be prepared for the big decisions that come with it. Harrington said it’s “vital” to work with lawyers, financial advisers, investors, consultant companies, and public relations experts who are used to working with individuals with high net worths to protect your interests: “[E]veryone from the people you went to school with . . . to all the relatives, some of which you don’t remember you had, will be contacting you for some of their needs.”

3. Take the lump sum

Harrington has one golden rule: You control the money. Lottery winners can choose between an immediate cash payout or an annuity over 29 years. Harrington says take the cash — it’s the best way to avoid the risk of mismanagement on others’ parts (or if the lottery becomes low on funds in the future) and gives you more opportunities for investment sooner.

4. Invest wisely

Safe, government-backed investments are a good way to go, Harrington said. Other high-growth stocks that are historically safe, like Apple and Amazon, could be worthwhile investments, too.

5. Spend a little

The worst thing a lottery winner can do is give in to people who are “sucking the money out of you,” Harrington says. It’s easy to spend, and to want to give to others, but it’s best for a winner to focus on their family’s livelihood, avoid rash decisions, and make informed investments with a group of experts.

“Historically, there have been issues with many winners being able to manage and control the long-term aspects of [the money] and some have made some poor decisions, so I believe that it’s important that the winner gets the right people to advise them,” Harrington said. “You don’t need to go out at the top of the mountain and yell all about it.” Lottery winners receive a lot of attention, but Harrington said it’s best to lay low and start crafting a plan for what to do with the money.

Source: Boston Globe News

 

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Facebook under scrutiny for inflated ad reach in US

Facebook is in the spotlight for potentially inflating the size of its reach in the U.S. to advertisers.

Facebook (FB, Tech30) has claimed that its advertising platform can reach millions more young adults in the U.S. than are estimated to actually live in the country, according to Brian Wieser, an analyst with Pivotal Research Group.

 

Facebook's Ads Manager claims to have a potential reach of 41 million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18-24, according to Wieser's investor note released Tuesday. But the U.S. Census Bureau estimates there were only 31 million people in that age range last year.

Likewise, Weiser found Facebook claimed advertisers could potentially reach 60 million 25-34 year-olds in the U.S., substantially more than the census estimate of 45 million residents in that age group.

Facebook says its reach estimates factor in location data, which could include non-residents visiting the U.S., and age information, which is self-reported by the user and may not match government data.

Related: Facebook's global fight against fake news

"They are designed to estimate how many people in a given area are eligible to see an ad a business might run," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement provided to CNN Tech. "They are not designed to match population or census estimates."

The discrepancy between Facebook's numbers and census estimates risks further unnerving marketers after the company faced a series of issues with its ad metrics.

Last year, Facebook admitted to miscalculating the average time users spend watching videos and the number of completed video views. It also "over-reported" average time spent on Instant Articles, the company said.

In May, the social network offered refunds after a "bug" caused some advertisers to be billed incorrectly when users clicked on videos in a carousel ad unit.

"While Facebook's measurement issues won't necessarily deter advertisers from spending money with Facebook, they will help traditional TV sellers justify existing budget shares," Wieser wrote in his investor note.

Source:CNN.com

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SpaceX launches mysterious Air Force space plane ahead of Irma's arrival

SpaceX launched an unmanned space plane for the U.S. Air Force Thursday morning, as Hurricane Irma took aim at Cape Canaveral.

Irma, a Category 5 storm with winds of 180 mph, was about 100 miles north of the Dominican Republic. Some forecasts suggest it could reach the Kennedy Space Center by late Saturday or early Sunday morning.

 

The weather at the cape was calm and clear Thursday morning.

"If you looked outside you would not know a hurricane is expected," SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said, earlier Thursday morning. "It's a typical sunny Florida morning."

Within minutes of the launch, the first stage of the Dragon rocket landed back at the Kennedy Space Center as planned. The ability to land its first stage for reuse is a key to its efforts to cut the cost of space flight. It launched from launch pad 39A, which NASA had once used for Apollo moon missions and many Space Shuttle missions.

Related: Elon Musk predicts World War III threat

Not much is known about the Air Force's new unmanned space plane, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, that SpaceX launched. It launches vertically on a rocket but lands on a runway much like an airplane.

It's part of the Department of Defense's Rapid Capabilities Office, which works on technology to combat urgent national security threats. The plane is carrying "experimental payloads," according to the Air Force.

Specifically, it is has equipment to test "experimental electronics and oscillating heat pipes" during long trips in space. Heat pipes can be used on satellites to help regulate their temperature in space.

Related: SpaceX just teased a chic new spacesuit

This is the fifth flight for the X-37B. The fourth flight was launched in May 2015 by United Launch Alliance, a SpaceX rival that is a joint venture between Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT). That plane orbited the earth for 718 days before landing in May 2017.

SpaceX had to fight for the chance to break up United Launch Alliance's monopoly and land lucrative military contracts. That started in 2014, when SpaceX sued the government, saying the Air Force wasn't giving SpaceX fair consideration when it awarded contracts.

The suit was eventually settled, and SpaceX completed its first mission for the Air Force in 2015. The company has also signed two separate deals -- valued at a combined total of $183.7 million -- over the past two years to launch GPS satellites into orbit for the Air Force.

Source:CNN.com

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It's not avocado toast: It's actually harder for Millennials to save money

Why does it seem harder to save money now in my 20s vs. my parents when they were in their 20s? - Daniel  

Many Millennials like Daniel are wondering why they're struggling to save money while their Baby Boomer parents managed to get ahead. Daniel's not wrong: Times have changed.

 

"Millennials are hit with a tough combination of obstacles their parents didn't face," says Daniel Mahoney, president of True Square Financial in Atlanta.

Rising cost of education is a big part of the challenge. Tuition has tripled over the past four decades, and Millennials are carrying more student debt than their parents. In 2016, seven out of 10 graduates had loans to pay and left college with an average $37,172 in debt.

Stagnant wages are also impacting Millennials. Hourly wages have grown only 9% over the past three decades.

At the same time, home prices are rising faster than wages. More Americans are renting homes than at any point over the last 50 years. Real estate was a key factor in previous generations' wealth and savings.

Many boomers also received pensions from their employers, securing their retirement. Today, just 14% of private sector workers receive pensions, compared to more than 30% three decades ago.

People younger than 35 are the only age group with a negative savings rate, which means they're spending more than they're saving.

But these challenges don't mean Millennials should feel hopeless. Despite playing with a hand tied behind their backs, young people can still get ahead financially.

Create a budget

Knowing how much is coming in and how much is going out is essential, experts say.

"It's the foundation for everything when it comes to managing your personal finances," says Boneparth.

Shashin Shah, financial planer at SFMG Wealth Advisors, advises clients to take account of all their spending and imagine they made 10% less -- then start working to save that 10%.

Related: A variety of tools can help you budget.

Analyzing your budget can help you cut back on extraneous expenses. Apps like Mint and Quicken help to analyze your budgeting and let you know if you're spending beyond your means. You can also test out Excel spreadsheets, which Boneparth recommends because they help keep you involved with your finances.

Find the best deal on your student loans

Make sure to keep up with your student loan payments so you don't get swamped with more debt. Consider enrolling in an income repayment plan that automatically deducts funds from your paycheck.

You can also try to lower your monthly loan payments by consolidating and scoring lower interest rates.

Several federal employers, states and non-profits offer grant options that will help forgive your debt if you work in a particular location, in public service or a high-demand field like engineering or health care.

Look for companies that will help pay off some of your loans. Only 4% of companies currently offer this benefit, according to a 2016 survey, but human resource professionals expect an increasing number of companies will offer this perk in the future as a way to recruit and retain Millennials.

Pay yourself first

When you get your paycheck each month, first set aside a portion of it to your savings account or a retirement fund.

It's a simple concept, but experts say it goes a long way for any type of savings burden.

"By paying yourself first, you're prioritizing savings and more importantly, building the right habits to build wealth in the long-term," says Roger Ma, a certified financial planner in New York.

Keeping an emergency savings fund is also a good way to build up your cash flow.

Start by building three months of your living expenses in cash, Mahoney recommends. That way you won't get yourself into trouble by turning to credit cards or high-interest loans if emergency strikes.

Money you put in a 401(k) grows tax-deferred when you contribute, so make sure to capture all of your employer match. It's "free money," Ma says, and will pay off in the long run.

A Roth IRA is also a good option for Millennials who are able to save, according to Mahoney. Although it doesn't provide a tax break today, the money you save and invest in a Roth can grow tax-free and you can take it out tax-free when you retire. Once your Roth IRA account has been open for five years, Mahoney explains, you can withdraw contributions without paying the penalty you would with a 401(k).

Millennials have advantages

There are some things that can actually make saving easier these days than it was in the past. Financial planners say technology can help Millennials in ways unimaginable to their parents.

And the shift away from pensions brings opportunity, Ma says. Millennials may not feel as tied down to their jobs as previous generations who had to stick around for years to be eligible for a pension.

"This allows Millennials to job hop more frequently and find a job they truly enjoy."

Source:CNN

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Pelosi urged Trump to tweet DACA reassurance

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump on Thursday sought to reassure young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children concerned about their future after speaking with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, two sources tell CNN.

Pelosi told House Democrats at a closed-door she spoke to Trump via phone Thursday morning and urged him to reassure those protected in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, two sources said. Trump initiated the phone call to Pelosi, they said.
She "asked him to tweet this to make clear Dreamers won't be subject to deportation in 6 month window," according to one of the sources. She did not provide specific wording, just a general idea.
"For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about - No action!" Trump tweeted Thursday morning.
Trump on Tuesday announced his administration would sunset DACA, no longer accepting new applications and letting the two-year permits expire without the option for renewal. No permits will be terminated early. But to give Congress time to act, Trump announced that any permits that expire by March 5 would still be able to renew -- as long as they apply by October 5.
Trump's reassurance could ring hollow for the roughly 700,000 current recipients of DACA, who now stand in limbo to see if Congress will extend their protections from deportation and ability to work and study in the US beyond March 5.
Greisa Martinez Rosas, the advocacy director of United We Dream, which advocates for undocumented immigrants, dismissed Trump's tweet.
"You can't sugarcoat the terror Trump has pushed on immigrants when he killed DACA," Martinez Rosas said. "Right now there are teenagers being kept out of protection because of Trump's move and he is attacking our parents. While our community is under attack, we won't feel safe."
Trump's tweet references that grace period, reinforcing the idea that his administration is not immediately rescinding any protections for the young undocumented immigrants in the program.
Many have never known another home than the US, have pursued careers, education and started families.
While the six-month window gives Congress an opportunity to put the program, which was going to be challenged in the courts, into law as opposed to executive action, the fate of all recipients hangs in the balance.
The administration is offering no assurances that DACA recipients will not be deported if they encounter Immigration and Customs Enforcement and their information in Department of Homeland Security systems could be accessed by law enforcement, the department says.
Most members of Congress have spoken in favor of reaching a deal in theory, but sharp divides on how to proceed and what to pair it with remain between and among the parties.
Trump has at times equivocated on his decision, tweeting he may "revisit" it if Congress doesn't act.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump "wrestled" with those decisions.
Source:CNN.com
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Beyoncé, Oprah join star-studded Harvey benefit airing across several networks

A star-studded benefit for those affected by Hurricane Harvey is coming to a network near you.

"Hand In Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief" will air live from Los Angeles, New York and Nashville on September 12.

 

Viewers will be able to watch the telethon on NBC, CBS, ABC, CMT and Fox. It will also be available for viewing on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The event will feature appearances by Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Blake Shelton, and Reese Witherspoon.

The Gulf Coast experienced epic flooding resulting from the hurricane, which made landfall last week and left 53 people dead and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

Many celebs have already stepped up with donations, including Sandra Bullock who gave $1 million to the American Red Cross.

Funding from the planned benefit will go to air the United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Feeding Texas, and Direct Relief.

The telethon will air live on the East Coast beginning at 8 p.m. and replay on the West Coast at 8 p.m.

Source: CNN.com

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