Halliburton signals U.S. oil drilling revival

The long-awaited rebound in U.S. drilling may be near.

At least that's what a key bellwether of the oil industry thinks. Halliburton (HAL) CEO Dave Lesar declared on Wednesday he believes the North American market "has turned" and his oil services giant is preparing for the "upcycle."


Halliburton thinks the 78% plunge in oil rigs from late 2014 levels finally "reached a landing point" in the second quarter. Recently, the closely-watched Baker Hughes rig count has crept higher, rising six of the past seven weeks. Halliburton expects that trend to continue, forecasting a "modest uptick" during the second half of the year.

Why the shift? Lesar points to the return to $50 oil, which he called an "emotional milestone" for oil executives.

"You can't underestimate the positive change in attitude that we are seeing in our North American customers," the Halliburton CEO said during a conference call with analysts.

That psychological shift is encouraging for companies like Halliburton that make money by providing the tools and knowhow required to extract oil from the ground. The oil services industry, dominated by Halliburton, Baker Hughes (BHI)and Schlumberger (SLB), has been rocked by the crash in oil prices that sent drilling activity to 70-year lows.

At Halliburton alone, the oil downturn has wiped out 32,000 jobs since 2014. Halliburton told CNNMoney it cut roughly 5,000 jobs during the second quarter, on top of the 5,000 layoffs the company announced in February.

Halliburton described a "challenging quarter" and "continued pricing pressure around the globe." The company's sales slid by 9% during the second quarter, hurt by trouble around the world. Halliburton said its Latin America revenue dipped by 4% due to 20-year lows in rig activity in Brazil and Mexico as well as "significant political and economic turmoil" in Venezuela.

Halliburton suffered a second-quarter loss of $3.2 billion, but the red ink wasn't triggered by the oil downturn. The company paid out a massive $3.5 billion termination fee as a result of its failed effort to acquire Baker Hughes. That big merger was killed by an antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Still, Halliburton claims it is "best-positioned" to capitalize on the anticipated recovery. The company pointed to its growth in market share during the downturn.

Halliburton isn't the only one predicting a rebound for the U.S. oil boom. Goldman Sachs recently forecasted U.S. output will continue declining this year (it's down seven straight months), but then resume growing in 2017 and beyond.

"Reacceleration of U.S. oil production may be gradual initially, but the world will still need U.S. shale longer-term," Goldman analysts wrote in a report.


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Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney 'taking a break'

(CNN)Amid reports that pop superstar Lady Gaga and her actor fiance Taylor Kinney had split, the singer has decided to clarify.

Gaga posted a photo of the couple walking together on Instagram with a caption that began "Taylor and I have always believed we are soulmates."
"Just like all couples we have ups and downs, and we have been taking a break," Gaga wrote. "We are both ambitious artists, hoping to work through long-distance and complicated schedules to continue the simple love we have always shared."
Prior to their announcement the couple had been very private about their relationship. On Wednesday, Gaga asked fans to "root" for them.
"We're just like everybody else and we really love each other," she said.
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Adele Had Us Long Before “Hello”

dele is back and breaking hearts with her sensational third album and an upcoming world tour. Hamish Bowles talks to her about fame, family, and fabulous frocks.

On a dewy winter’s morning in Oxfordshire, the sun is fighting through rain clouds, and a phalanx of industrial heaters is being employed to warm the chilly, cavernous rooms of a poetically crumbling castle where Annie Leibovitz has decided to photograph Adele Laurie Blue Adkins as a Pre-Raphaelite damsel. “It’s been six years!” exclaims Adele, who was last photographed by Leibovitz for Vogue in 2009, in the wake of the release of her soulful, self-penned debut album, 19, in “me messy hotel room in L.A. with my boyfriend’s boxers hanging around!” as she gleefully recalls.

Adele, then 20, was a blissfully unprocessed girl whose incendiary talent had propelled her from the hardscrabble London projects of Tottenham and Brixton to the cusp of international stardom. At her tough inner-city high school, “my music teacher was shit. Unencouraging,” she remembers, but at fourteen she successfully auditioned for the performing-arts Brit School, singing Stevie Wonder’s “Free” and playing “Tumbledown Blues” on her clarinet.

The experience was liberating. Tony Castro, the head of the music department at the time, insisted on his students writing original songs, so Adele dutifully sat down for the first time to do so. “If it wasn’t for him,” she says, “I probably wouldn’t have written ‘Hometown Glory’ and ‘Daydreamer.’ I think being a teacher is one of the most important jobs in the world. If my career stopped, it’s what I’d do.”

Her vocabulary then was spangled with profanities and constantly interrupted with peals of cackling, corncrake laughter. Adele is older, wiser, and more thoughtful now, but her drollery and “dirt mouth,” as she calls it, remain keystones of her persona.

Soon after she signed with XL records in 2007, she was introduced to her inspired manager, Jonathan Dickins, with whom she has been working ever since. Dickins insists on bringing her into every meeting and keeps her involved in all aspects of the business. “That’s why I’m not afraid,” she says. “One of the things I enjoy most about my career now is that my main team is the same, so we’ve all had this experience together, which makes it really special. It can be quite lonely just getting bigger and bigger—but not when I’ve got everyone around me.”

When I escorted Adele to the 2009 Grammy Awards, she was more or less ignored on the red carpet—at one point the photographers shouted at her to step aside so they could capture Kate Beckinsale in her lavishly trained black satin mermaid gown—but she electrified the power audience with her eviscerating rendition of “Chasing Pavements,” won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and beat out the Jonas Brothers for Best New Artist; she was so surprised that she came onstage barefoot, having long since kicked off her Manolos, with the belt of her custom Barbara Tfank dress undone, and chewing a mouthful of gum.

The rest, of course, is history. And after the release two years later of the wrenching 21, which sold 30 million copies and for which she won six Grammys on an evening where it is safe to say that she was not overlooked on the red carpet, her life changed.

She had recently met Simon Konecki, an Old Etonian former investment banker with the scruffy, bearish looks of a Williamsburg hipster, who is now the CEO of Drop4Drop, providing sustainable clean water to communities around the world. Adele, who had been “singing hard every day” since she was fifteen, suffered a vocal hemorrhage and canceled most of her planned appearances to promote 21 as a result. She credits Konecki with getting her through her recovery from surgery, which included six weeks of total silence followed by slow vocal rehab.

“When I met Simon, I knew that something was going to happen,” she remembers. After the world-class losers whose bad behavior became the fodder for some of the most universally powerful songs of our time, Adele had finally found herself a winner. Their son, Angelo, was conceived, she tells me authoritatively, “the day the last Vogue cover came out!”

I was just shocked that all of a sudden I was 25!” Adele says. “But actually I like myself more than ever. I feel so comfortable in my own skin. I really like how I look, I like who I am, I like everyone that I surround myself with

The two new men in Adele’s life transformed it completely. They have eradicated the need for much of the drama that she used to thrive on. “I can’t have any other junk in my head to worry about as well,” she tells me. Angelo, meanwhile, “makes me very proud of myself. When I became a parent, I felt like I was truly living. I had a purpose, where before I didn’t.”

Adele took time off to be with her new family before she even thought about putting her third album together. “My main thing is Mum, then it’s me, then it’s work,” she says, adding, “I think I had to take the right amount of time off to let people miss me.” (Unsurprisingly, she cites the reclusive Sade as a performer she admires, and Kate Bush, whose sixteen-year-old son persuaded her to stage a comeback tour with him after 35 years out of the public eye.)

In her euphoric new mood, Adele looked to Ray of Light, her favorite Madonna record and one inspired by motherhood, and to Moby’s Play, with its powerful gospel samplings. But her new material didn’t make sense to her. “I just didn’t really know what I was going on about,” she remembers. “How could I ever try and fool anyone by putting the record out and expect them to get it if I didn’t get it? It seemed a bit lazy.”

Dickins, who became a parent around the same time she did, was wary too. “He was watching me from a distance, making sure that I was getting my balance right,” remembers Adele. “He saw how full-on it was for his girlfriend, and so he sympathized with me and gave me my space. I’ve always said you’re only as good as your next record,” she continues, “and he said that when I first met him at eighteen.”

Numerous songs about Angelo were put aside when she decided her fans wouldn’t be able to relate to them as she did. (Angelo can actually be heard on “Sweetest Devotion,” however.) Adele felt that her relationship with Konecki was also too private to explore in her music, although “Water Under the Bridge” is about him. The breakthrough came when she turned her scorching light on herself, reflecting on the seismic changes in her life and looking back, with aching poignancy, to the responsibility-free days of her adolescence.

Adele worked on the album with a roster of collaborators, from established hitmakers to relative unknowns. She discovered Tobias Jesso, Jr., online, and they worked together on “When We Were Young.” It is her favorite song on the album, one that she describes as “a bit of a letter to myself. It’s really about regrouping,” she explains, “because naturally me and my friends have dispersed. We all love each other still, but we don’t have time to be unconditional and 24/7. . . . My eyes were so cloudy for a year after I had my child, and I thought I would never regroup with myself, ever.”

Her collaboration with the legendary producer Max Martin, producer of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” resulted in the infectiously perky “Send My Love (to Your New Lover),” which she has admitted is “poppier than a lot of pop songs I’ve even heard.” The writing came in fits and starts. “Hello,” with Greg Kurstin, for instance, took almost four months to complete, while “All I Ask,” written with Bruno Mars and inspired by the power ballads of “divas from the nineties,” like Whitney Houston—“where the artist is really showing off their vocal range,” as Mars tells me—took a bare 48 hours. “We all crowded around the piano until we found something that sparked,” Mars remembers, a process that took “a day, and maybe one more day to make sure we weren’t tripping out and we actually had a song. It makes me very jealous because it doesn’t happen like that all the time!”

“I’ve always been a really big fan of Bruno,” says Adele, “but when we worked together he was beyond. He can do anything, literally singing the best vocals you’ve ever heard live in your life while he is playing a drum or a bass or doing some mad percussion riff. I think he definitely will be the biggest, biggest, biggest artist in the world.”

A sense of what did not make Adele’s scrupulously exacting cut can be gleaned from her fruitful collaboration with Sia. Although their songs did not land on Adele’s album, “Alive” became a powerful hit single for Sia herself.

Adele still writes her lyrics the old-fashioned way, in a notebook. The first thing that she does is to annotate her age on the front page with a Sharpie pen. When it came time to write “25” on that page, Adele was brought up short.

“I was just shocked that all of a sudden I was 25!” she says. “But actually I like myself more than ever. I feel so comfortable in my own skin. I really like how I look, I like who I am, I like everyone that I surround myself with. Obviously I have insecurities,” she continues, “but they don’t hold me back.” Adele’s endearing self-deprecation is famous. She laughs about her “bum chin,” her “intense” forehead, and her “potato fingers.” She swears by Spanx for her public appearances but describes putting them on as “like pumping a sausage bag full of meat!”

In truth, however, Adele is healthier than she has ever been. As well as the litany of foods and drink she has to avoid to protect her throat, she has given up the Marlboro Lights that she used to more or less chain-smoke, and has almost given up alcohol—this is the woman who admits that she could once put away a bottle of wine a day. “I was trying to get some stamina for my tour,” she says, “so I lost a bit of weight. Now I fit into normal, off-the-shelf clothes—which is a really big problem for me!” she adds, laughing as she describes a newfound shopping habit.

She still works on custom dresses with her unassuming long-term stylist, Gaelle Paul—by designers including Armani, Valentino, and Burberry’s music-savvy Christopher Bailey (who “has been really hands-on ever since I started showing an interest in fashion”), but she also does damage at places like Joseph and Chloé. In fact, she is such a fan of Chloé’s Clare Waight Keller—and her successful juggling of work and motherhood—that she invited her for tea, and they struck up a friendship. With Paul, she has developed a strong, iconic fashion image that owes a debt to the concert gowns on the covers of the Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald CDs Adele found in the two-for-one bargain box at her local HMV when she was fourteen—and that have influenced both her music and her style ever since. Adele happily calls them her “June Carter clothes.”

In 2013, when she was presented with the MBE by Prince Charles, she wore a Buckingham Palace–appropriate inky brocade Stella McCartney dress and a Philip Treacy net fascinator, adding the Tottenham-fabulous flourish of miniature crowns on her nails. (She mounted her ribboned medal in a pretty nineteenth-century giltwood frame, and it now hangs in her powder room at home, above the toilet “next to me Aesop poo drops!” as she gleefully tells me.)

Meanwhile, the jet-glittered gown that the London designer Jenny Packham made for her to wear the night she won the 2013 Academy Award for “Skyfall,” her instant-classic Bond song, is enshrined, Streisand-style, on a dress form in a glass case in her dressing room, alongside the aureus award itself. (“It’s so excessive that I feel terrible,” says Adele of this glamorous, crowded room in her house. “But I totally intend to share those dresses.”)

For a day of shopping, Adele is essentially wearing the uniform of the London projects: leggings, sneakers, big gold hoop earrings. Her Balenciaga bag, a double-face shearling caban, and her “Adele” face, however, add diva luster. “I’ve made an effort for you today,” she says. “I don’t go out like this. I look like a bedraggled mother; I look like anyone else. When I’m with my kid I’m in leggings and a jumper and a pair of Converse because the grubby little hands are going to mark anything nice.”

She credits this self-presentation for her ability to have kept a low profile these past three years, but she also carefully disdains many of the conventional trappings of success. When someone suggests London’s latest see-and-be-seen restaurant, Adele shrieks, “Don’t let anyone take me there; it’s like a celebrity hangout! It’s like something from Zoolander!”

Our retail odyssey begins at Argos, a store that is far from a celebrity hangout. Goods are now ordered up on computer instead of from the company’s classic catalogs. “I’m an absolute germaphobe,” Adele says, wincing. “Because of my surgery,” she explains, “I can’t sing at all if I have a sore throat. This is my worst nightmare, to touch the screen.” Along with electrical goods and children’s toys, there is a cabinet filled with charm necklaces bearing inscriptions like “nan” or “best mum in the world.” “I used to buy my jewelry from here,” Adele confides. “I couldn’t wait to have a mum necklace.”

Leaving Argos, we move decidedly upmarket to hit the lavishly displayed food emporium at Fortnum & Mason. “It reminds me of Home Alone,” says Adele, a film aficionado with an encyclopedic memory of the five or more features she watches every week. After acting herself for the 26-year-old Xavier Dolan on the “Hello” video (“He’s a little punk arse,” she says approvingly), she is keen to work with another movie director on “When We Were Young” and is intrigued by the idea of Todd Haynes. “I loved Carol,” she says. “I loved the way it looked, and I loved the awkward silence in it—I’d like to have some awkward silence in the music video.” While her strapping bodyguard hovers by the entrance doors to avoid drawing attention to her, fellow shoppers take furtive cell-phone photographs as Adele dithers over her food purchases. By all accounts, including her own, she is a very good cook.

“Mum went to Italy for a few months just before 21 came out, so I was left to fend on my own,” she remembers. “I got really bored of takeaways, so I thought I would learn how to cook. I actually started from Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals.” She specializes in pan-global comfort food, “but right now it’s boring,” she says. “It’s just panfried sea bass and spinach!”

To recover from our shopping adventures, we collapse over dim sum in a moodily lit basement restaurant in Soho. Having returned to England two weeks earlier, Adele is still on a post-Manhattan high. “It sounds so cheesy, but it was a real homecoming,” she says, crediting her 2008 appearance on Saturday Night Live, to promote 19, with jump-starting her career in the U.S. (Sarah Palin showed up that night, and 17 million people tuned in.)

My main thing is Mum, then it’s me, then it’s work,” she says, adding, “I think I had to take the right amount of time off to let people miss me

“I didn’t miss being in the spotlight,” she confides, “but I really missed that side of myself. I was happy to be lost in the wilderness for a while, but I was a bit frightened that I was never going to get back. I suppose there was lots riding on what to follow 21 up with. Once ‘Hello’ came out, I felt like I’d got nothing to prove. I’m just going to sing now because I want to, and I’ll make records when I want to and not because someone is forcing me to do it. Not that anyone ever has,” she adds, with a wicked twinkle in her eye. “I’d fire them if they tried!”

The New York trip in late fall was a startling lesson in losing the anonymity she has carefully cultivated between her last two albums. When she left her downtown Manhattan hotel, she was mobbed by fans: “It looked like the Backstreet Boys,” she tells me. “I was cracking up. I live a very different life when I haven’t got music out.” The paparazzi, however, who courted her by playing—and even singing—her songs, were a disquieting presence. They bother her less at home, where she and Konecki successfully sued the intrusive British photographers to keep them away from their son. “We need to have some privacy,” says Adele. “I think it’s really hard being a famous person’s child. What if he wants to smoke weed or drink underage, or what if he’s gay and doesn’t want to tell me, and then he’s photographed and that’s how I find out?”

At Radio City Music Hall, her concert was electrifying. She shucked off her teetering Louboutins to plant herself firmly on the stage, her Jenny Packham concert gown (specially beaded to complement the auditorium’s Deco Moderne glamour) pooling at her feet. And then she sang, and a whole new, otherworldly Adele was born. The voice is smoother now. After the successful throat operation, her magnificent contralto gained four notes.

In recent months she has started daily voice exercises that give a rhythm to her days and help to focus her pre-performance nerves. Right now she is preparing herself for a nine-month tour, kicking off in Belfast in late February and culminating (per the schedule thus far) in Mexico City in November. “I’m only touring for the fans, to see the people that changed my life,” she tells me. “There’s no need for me to tour. I’ll always be nervous, worrying whether I’m going to be good enough. And the adrenaline is so exhausting.”

But as a fan herself, who was first smuggled into concerts by the Cure and the Beautiful South at the age of three in her mum’s coat, and taken to the Prodigy set at Glastonbury when she was eight, Adele understands how important it is to see and hear your idols live. Her childhood highlight came when her mum managed to get some costly Spice Girl tickets. “People always think I joke about this,” she says, “but the Spice Girls blew up when I was seven. And seeing them coming from a humble background—there was hope in it. It was really a massive part of my life when the whole Girl Power thing happened.”

Since then, as she says, “any record that’s ever moved me, when the artist is alive, I’ve seen them live. I’d get pissed off if that artist was still alive and I never saw him.” Nevertheless, “the whole tour is revolving around my baby,” she says. She will be home in London when his nursery school begins.

Although she has a nanny, Adele is an exceptionally hands-on mother. She has had a hectic week, with appearances in Italy and Germany, but she always gets a day flight so that she can put Angelo to bed at night, and keeps in constant contact with him through FaceTime when she is not around. In New York—where her punishing schedule included appearances on The Tonight Show, Today, Saturday Night Live, a standing-room-only concert for 199 fans at Joe’s Pub (where she made her U.S. debut in 2008), and Radio City Music Hall—Adele says that she was “probably getting two hours’ sleep a night.” She had asked fellow performers how they coped. “Pink was honest,” she tells me. “She said, ‘It’s bloody hard work.’ ”

Nevertheless, she admits, “The whole thing about me feeling good about myself comes down to Angelo. I can’t wait till I meet his best friend,” she says. “I’ll make his room a shrine when he goes to university!”

On set for her Vogue portraits, Beyoncé’s hauntingly breathy “Crazy in Love” remix from Fifty Shades of Grey set the scene. Later, it was Lana Del Rey’s “Salvatore” on the sound system. “I’m obsessed with her,” says Adele. “Her lyrics are fierce. The chorus of this song makes me feel like I’m flying, like that bit in your life when it goes into slo-mo. When you’ve got nothing to do and you’re staring out of the window and your mind goes to magical places.” Adele scoffs at the idea of listening to her own music.

I’m only touring for the fans, to see the people that changed my life,” says Adele. “There’s no need for me to tour. I’ll always be nervous, worrying whether I’m going to be good enough

“What? For like ‘Ooh, let’s get in the mood’?” she asks, genuinely appalled. “No, I couldn’t imagine! Never.” At home with Angelo she’s more likely to find herself singing “Let It Go” from Frozen. When she recently listened to 19 again, she was struck by how, well, like a nineteen-year-old she sounded.

Even now, Adele’s youth brings one up sharply. “You know how I discovered Barbra Streisand?” she asks me, incredulous. “When Will Young on Pop Idol sang ‘Evergreen’!” She loves the enduring aura of Streisand and Bette Midler. “Because of how fast everything is now. I’m not sure that anyone can remain like that anymore.” Yet Adele, of all people, is one who bids fair to stay true to herself. Although she has deep respect for the chameleon talents of stars like Madonna and Taylor Swift, “I don’t have it in me to reinvent myself a lot,” she has said, “to flip in and out of genres and styles and trends.”

She has even resisted the contemporary platforms that most performers of her generation use to communicate with their public. “There have been moments over the last three years when I wanted to become quite aggressive on social media,” she confesses. “I felt I needed the comfort of people’s reassurance. But then for me it was all about having to do what no one else does in order to stand out. So I just bit my tongue and held off.”

Instead, she seems to be absorbing the lessons of the legendary performers she so admires. Adele brought the intimacy of a small venue to the epic grandeur of Radio City, and the same at the Wembley arena, where we go for our final outing as she performs on the season finale of Britain’s X Factor.

The U.K. version of Dancing with the Stars may have double the ratings, but this show has a special place in Adele’s heart. “It was always the pinnacle of my week,” she remembers. “My first sleepover was on a Saturday, and I got to watch X Factor with my friends. My first kiss was watching X Factor at a party.” The venue, built as the Empire Pool in 1934 and used for the 1948 Olympics, also has a resonance for her. “I saw Spice Girls here, I saw East 17, I saw Backstreet Boys!”

The dressing room, however, repurposed from the Deco industrial changing rooms designed for the original swim teams, is sauna-hot, and there isn’t a terry-cloth robe in the joint (a hapless runner returns with one of the satin kimonos that the pro boxers use between bouts). There is a Santana poster on the wall, a battered white leather Chesterfield sofa, and a boom box that “looks like something from my bedroom circa 1982,” laughs Adele’s London-cool p.a., Laura. But the diva trappings are here, too—the room is scented with Baies Diptyque candles; Chris Martin and Harry Styles (performing with Coldplay and for One Direction’s last appearance, respectively) come to pay their respects; and Simon Cowell has sent an arrangement of white phalaenopsis orchids so enormous that it takes two strapping men to carry it in.

Adele’s miniature dachshund, Louis Armstrong, scampers underfoot (“Pets don’t talk back,” she observes knowingly), and the dress rack bears a grand midnight-blue beaded Jenny Packham dress (“Off the rack,” marvels Adele. “How great is that?”), and an edgier Burberry dress pierced with punkish steel rivets. “It’s a bit funky, isn’t it?” she asks, and opts for this one as a good fit with “my new hair,” the choppy shoulder-length bob she just had cut.

“It needs to be perfectly in between ‘done’ and ‘not done,’ ” Adele instructs as she submits to hair and makeup. She has dubbed her performance look “borderline drag”—when we first met, she playfully described it as equal parts Dusty Springfield and Lady Bunny, but now the Dusty dos are out. “Can you see the amount of paint going on?” she asks, laughing, as she purses her lips to define the cheeks for the blusher. “It’s basically Boy George with his black chin!” she adds, referring to the singer’s celebrated 1980s contouring tricks.

Her transformation is a hypnotic two-and-a-half-hour process, and Adele nods off several times. “It’s a real pleasure for like an hour,” she admits, “then your bum goes numb and your back starts to ache!” False lashes are still an integral part of her look (Adele can’t apply her own; “They’re so wonky,” she says, “that they look like the end of the night at the beginning of the night!”). She admires the final effect in her mirror. “More contour? More lashes?” she asks. “Joking!”

She has requested a teleprompter tonight. “I always think I’m going to forget my lyrics,” she explains. And, right on cue, 45 minutes before Adele is called onstage, those legendary nerves begin to kick in. Everyone is bidden to leave her dressing room, and the corridor outside trembles to the reverberations of her vocal exercises.

Her performance onstage is word-perfect, and she needn’t have worried about the teleprompter: I am aware of a soft, mellifluous buzzing all around me, as though I were listening to “Hello” in Sensurround sound—and I realize that the twelve-and-a-half-thousand people in the auditorium are quietly singing along with her.


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Pippa Middleton Is Engaged—Here’s What We Know

Royal watchers—rejoice. There is happy news coming out of Brexit-entrenched England today. Pippa Middleton, younger sister of Kate, is engaged to James Matthews, her boyfriend of less than a year. Matthews, a hedge fund manager, reportedly proposed to Middleton over the weekend in the Lake District area of England—and apparently took the younger Middleton sister completely by surprise. However, Matthews must have had this in the works for at least a little bit, considering that he apparently asked her father Michael Middleton for permission.

Matthews, 40, and Middleton, 32, had a brief romance in 2012, but reunited last year. The couple spent New Year’s in St. Barth’s—where the future bridegroom’s parents own a hotel. More recently, the couple attended Wimbledon together—where they certainly looked to be very much in love. But beyond the fact that the tournament is a major event in England, the outing also makes sense in light of the fact that the couple are both fairly athletic, and like to lead an active lifestyle. However as romantic as the couple’s past year has been, the next is certainly set to be even more so.

The wedding, which has been predicted to take place in 2017, is bound to be the wedding of the year. Additional details aren’t known at this time. Will Middleton wear a white silk Alexander McQueen gown—like the one she donned as a bridesmaid at the Royal Wedding? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure, if she can cause such a stir as a bridal party member, her wedding day look is not likely to disappoint.


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Amnesty: Hundreds 'disappeared' by Egyptian forces

(CNN)"Officially, you do not exist." That's the alarming title of a new report published by Amnesty International alleging human rights violations occurring in Egypt.

Activists say people are being detained without access to family or a lawyer, and held incommunicado without formal charges or a trial. They call it "enforced disappearances," and in the first five months of 2016 alone, a suspected 630 of these have already been documented, Amnesty says.
That amounts to an average of four or five people each day since 2015, according to the group. Half of these may never resurface.
The 71-page report describes harrowing accounts of torture carried out by state agents. Some victims say they have been subjected to electrocution, blindfolding, beating, suspension by their arms and legs, and sexual abuse including rape. Some of those taken are children as young as 14-years old, the report alleges.

'Electric shock wounds on lips, head'

Aser Mohamed.
CNN interviewed the sister of 14-year-old Aser Mohamed, who was subjected to enforced disappearance. She alleged that Aser, who was arrested without a warrant, had experienced irreversible physical and mental suffering.
"He had severe electric shock wounds on his lips, head, arms and chest," his sister said. "They showed no mercy for the fact that he was only 14 years of age and even hung him by the wrists for a whole day till his arms gave in and dislocated."
Aser was originally taken away by officers who said they would question him for only a couple of hours. His family told Amnesty they had no contact with him, or news of his whereabouts, for the next 34 days.
He was first summoned before a judge seven months later on July 12th, but the hearing was postponed due to his absence in court.
Aser is currently locked up awaiting his new court hearing next month. As the authorities decide when he is allowed to attend court, this may also be postponed due to his absence.

'All cases are prosecuted'

Enforced disappearances are illegal in Egypt, and the Egyptian government says all cases are prosecuted. Authorities are required to refer arrested persons to the Public Prosecution within 24 hours of detention.
"Enforced disappearances are not a new phenomenon to Egypt, but it has increased dramatically" in the past couple of years, says Mohamed Lotfy, Executive Director of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedom.
"We believe the Egyptian government commits the crimes of enforced disappearances for two reasons. The first is to be able to extract a confession under torture from those persons who are detained in secret, and the second is to use the disappearances as a tool to spread fear among society."
Most of those forcibly disappeared re-emerge on charges related to terrorism. The defendants and families we spoke to deny these allegations.
The treaty that covers crimes of this nature defines victims as someone who is deprived of their liberty, either through arrest or abduction, by authorized agents of the state. The disappearance may be concealed, and the government may refuse to acknowledge a victim's whereabouts, placing the victim outside of the protection of the law.

'Inhumane, animal-like violence'

Egyptian citizens are not the only ones activists believe have been victim to Egypt's extralegal disappearances. Earlier this year, Italian doctoral student Giulio Regeni's body was found on the western outskirts of the capital, his corpse bearing signs of "inhumane, animal-like violence," according to the Italian interior minister.
Giulio Regeni's passport and ID raised questions over his disappearance.
Although the abduction and cause of death remain inconclusive, the nature of this case bears all the hallmarks of the methods used by the Egyptian security forces, rights groups say. But Egyptian officials have strongly denied that security forces were involved, instead blaming a group of "evil" criminals.
Unlike Regeni, the hundreds of disappeared Egyptians don't have an embassy to take up their case. Many friends and relatives are left to search the police stations and prisons themselves, and hire lawyers to help.
The message from the Egyptian government is clear: "if you are not with us, you are a terrorist," says Mohamed Lotfy. He has witnessed the disappearance of a colleague, as well as the shutting down of other human rights organizations such as The Nadeem Center, which helped rehabilitate victims of torture. The center was forced to close its doors earlier this year for what the government says are illegal and unregistered practices.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid told CNN torture is illegal in Egypt and all suspected cases of torture are prosecuted.
He also said a committee was formed to investigate the allegations of enforced disappearances adding, "the Public Prosecution investigates all such allegations, and takes the appropriate legal procedures in every case to ensure that the law is enforced, and that those guilty of violations are held accountable."
Rights groups say they have seen no evidence to support this claim. The court hearings of hundreds like Aser Mohamed remain postponed; while other families are enforced to wait for word of their loved ones.
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The clean energy megaprojects powering Africa

(CNN)From an Africa-shaped mega solar plant powering Kigali, Rwanda, to a massive geothermal plant harvesting the power of Kenya's hot springs, renewable energy plants are popping up around the continent.

Sub-Saharan Africa is desperately short of power and roughly 620 million Africans live without a reliable source of electricity.
Africa's population is expected to double by 2050 and the demand for clean energy has never been greater, says Caroline Kende-Robb, executive director, Africa Progress Panel.
She believes the continent could soon become a renewables superpower, and that it can leapfrog carbon-centered energy systems and go straight to renewables.
"Because what we see is that Africa has got the advantage of coming in now without the heavy old systems that a lot of other countries and regions have," says Kende-Robb.
"It can proceed with speed and it can use the newest types of technology."

Energy expertise

And soon, other parts of the world will look to Africa for expertise when it comes to renewables and energy, adds Kende-Robb.
"It's just mind blowing," she says. "So many innovations happening all over the place. It's a completely new way of designing cities."
It is also a question of public health. Many Africans rely on cooking with wood and charcoal, making indoor pollution a big issue -- 600,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa die every year from indoor pollution.
Most investment goes to large-scale plants, and to hydropower in particular, but small solar power initiatives are also gaining ground -- an estimated 5 per cent of households in sub-Saharan Africa now use some form of solar lighting, compared with 1 per cent in 2009.

Huge demand for affordable energy

Renewables could help supply cheaper energy to regions where people have to set aside a large chunk of their income to pay for power.
"The demand is there, people will find the money and they will pay for it," says Kende-Robb.
The poorest people who live off grid are already paying much higher prices for their power than the world's rich -- with some paying 60-80 times more per energy unit than people in London or New York.
While innovation in renewables is being seen in other developing countries too -- India being one example -- recent investment in renewables in Africa is extraordinary, Kende-Robb explains. "What is amazing about Africa is that they have these incredible case examples, some of the biggest in the world."
In the gallery above, we take a look at some of the super plants already powering millions of households and businesses across the continent with renewable energy.
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Emirates named world's best airline in 2016 Skytrax awards

Farnborough, England (CNN)The world's best airline for 2016 is Emirates, according to a survey of millions of airline passengers conducted by Skytrax.

The international airline, based in Dubai, won the top honors at Tuesday's Skytrax World Airline Awards ceremony at the Farnborough International Airshow in England.
As jet engines screamed from the Farnborough airfield and thousands of visiting aviation geeks explored the airshow, smiling flight attendants dressed in brightly colored uniforms stepped to the stage as each award was announced.
The survey underscores the consistency of the quality service among the world's top carriers, said Edward Plaisted, Skytrax CEO.
"The Middle East airlines have continued to dominate," Plaisted said after the ceremony. "Virgin America continues dominating on the customer side in North America. Turkish Airlines is a big favorite."
The awards run the gamut from 73 categories from best economy class onboard catering to best airline staff to best seats to best cabin cleanliness.
The top 10 best airlines were named as:
1. Emirates
2. Qatar Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Cathay Pacific
5. ANA All Nippon Airways
6. Etihad Airways
7. Turkish Airlines
8. EVA Air
9. Qantas Airways
10. Lufthansa
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Oldest American is 113-year-old Jersey girl

WOODLAND PARK, N.J. — There’s a new holder of the title of Oldest American — and she’s a Jersey girl.

Adele Dunlap of Hunterdon County became the oldest person in the United States after the July 8 death of Goldie Michelson of Worcester, Mass.

Dunlap, who was born Dec. 12, 1902, in Newark, is 113 years, 7 months, 1 week old.

Asked how it felt to be the most senior citizen in a nation of 320 million, Dunlap, who resides at the Country Arch Care Center in rural Pittstown, told a visitor this week: “I don’t feel any different. Just the same.”

Asked what it meant to be an American, she said: “Well, I’ve never been anything else.”

Asked how it felt to be 113, Dunlap, who wore a Christmas-y fleece to ward off the air-conditioning, looked her questioner in the eye and answered: “I’m 104.”

She’s not. The Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which tracks supercentenarians, or people 110 and older, has validated her age; its database also lists her as the world’s 10th-oldest person. The oldest is 116-year-old Emma Morano-Martinuzzi, of Italy, who was born on Nov. 29, 1899.

Further proof of Dunlap’s age emerged from a drawer in the living room of her son Earl’s home in Clinton. Her diploma from South Side High School in Newark is dated June 27, 1921 — 95 years ago. Her sheepskin from the New Jersey State Normal School at Newark, the predecessor of Kean University, bears a date of June 29, 1923.

A graduation photo of Adele from 1921.

A graduation photo of Adele from 1921. (Photo: Chris Pedota/Northjersey.com)

Dunlap, who arrived at Country Arch at 99½ and is sometimes called Ms. Adele, offered no explanation for her astonishingly long life.

Her 86-year-old son also was at a loss.

“I don’t know, it’s hard to say,” Earl Dunlap said. “She never went out jogging or anything like that. She’s not really thin, but she never weighed more than 140 pounds. She smoked, and when my father had his first heart attack, they both stopped. I think she ate anything she wanted.”

Genetics probably comes into play, he acknowledged. But he added that he never met his mother’s parents and does not know to what age they lived.

The geography of Adele Dunlap’s life reads like a zigzagging Jersey day trip. According to her son, she has lived in Newark, South Orange, Short Hills, Springfield, Spring Lake Heights, Clinton and Pittstown.

The former Adele Henderson taught in the Kearny school system for several years before marrying Earl Dunlap Sr. and settling down to run the home and raise three children. Earl Sr. worked for Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in New York City. He died in 1963, at age 61.

Adele Dunlap stayed active as a widow, traveling with friends to Maine and Florida and attending Catholic Mass on Sundays. She was still driving when, at 87, she came to live with son, Earl, and his wife, Barbara.

Dunlap’s other son lives in Florida; her daughter died in her 40s. She has seven grandchildren (the oldest is 62), 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

At Country Arch, Dunlap shares a room with another resident. Local newspaper clippings attesting to her longevity — “110 and going strong,” reads one headline — are taped to the wall. On the bureau is a framed letter offering 112th birthday greetings from President and Michelle Obama.

Her son said Dunlap no longer reads the newspaper because she is unable to hold it in her hands. She doesn’t watch much TV. The care center’s activities director, Susan Dempster, said Dunlap is a “passive participant” in the daily activities, “socializes minimally” and looks forward to when the Girl Scouts come to sing Christmas carols.

When news reports of Goldie Michelson’s death anointed Dunlap as the oldest American, Dempster made an announcement in the dining room about the celebrity in the Country Arch Care Center midst.

“Everyone clapped,” Dempster said. And Dunlap nodded.

“Her awareness and her ability to communicate — she’s amazing,” Dempster said.

Shaving a decade off her age apparently is Dunlap’s habit.

“Last year, when we were telling her it was her 113th birthday, she said, ‘No, no, no, I’m only 102,’” Dempster recalled.

There are believed to be a few hundred supercentenarians in the world, and New Jersey is home to at least one other. Agnes Fenton of Englewood, who turns 111 on Aug. 1, became an Internet sensation last year when she told The Record that beer and whiskey — specifically, Miller High Life and Johnnie Walker Blue — were her secret.

Adele Dunlap is not a drinker but did occasionally enjoy a martini with her husband, her son said.

And the one food this 113-year-old swears by pairs poorly with Miller High Life or Johnnie Walker Blue: oatmeal.

Source:USA Today

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Hillary Clinton selects Tim Kaine as her running mate

She will introduce her new partner at a campaign rally Saturday in Miami, a recognition of Florida's pivotal importance in the fall. It's also a chance for Kaine, a fluent Spanish speaker, to introduce Clinton to Latino voters, a critical slice of the electorate in her quest to defeat Donald Trump.
Clinton is hoping to seize the spotlight from Republicans after their convention in Cleveland. The site of Kaine's first joint appearance with Clinton is Florida International University, where the student body is more than half Hispanic.
The announcement came on the heels of an attack in Munich, Germany, that dominated the afternoon news cycle. The Clinton campaign deliberated over how to avoid a split-screen scenario that could be perceived as insensitive, but in the end, proceeded with its plan to make the unveil on Friday.
Clinton's decision to choose Kaine began when John Podesta brought the candidate two-dozen binders to her home in Chappaqua, New York, in April, according to a campaign aide. Last week, Clinton and Kaine spent 90 minutes together, followed by another meeting on Saturday that brought together the two families, including Clinton's husband, daughter and son-in-law, as well as Kaine's wife.
Ultimately, Clinton was swayed by her personal comfort with Kaine, as well as the belief that the senator is fully prepared to do the job. On Friday, Clinton called Kaine around 7:30 p.m., then spoke with President Barack Obama.
It may be an anti-establishment year, but Clinton's running mate is an insider: A senator and former governor from the critical battleground of Virginia and a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Kaine, 58, has long been seen as a seasoned and safe choice for Clinton, who could help shore up support among white working-class voters.
Her selection ended a long search that was conducted almost entirely in secret, a stark contrast to Trump's vice presidential search. It reflected a strategic choice by Clinton: To go with a running mate who amplifies her argument that experience in government -- not sizzle -- is the best path to keeping the White House in Democratic hands.
Kaine's midwestern roots also run strong: Born in Minnesota, Kaine is the son of a welder who was raised in Kansas and graduated from the University of Missouri. He went to Harvard law school, but before graduating served a year as a missionary in Honduras.
t was an experience that cemented his Catholic faith and strengthened his fluency in Spanish. Kaine was the first member to give an entire speech on the Senate floor in Spanish. It was during a debate in support of the bipartisan "Gang of 8" immigration reform package.

The audition

At a joint campaign appearance last week in Virginia, which served as a final audition, Clinton stood side-by-side Kaine and beamed as he spoke of her virtues in Spanish.
"Estamos listos para Hillary," he declared.
The Clinton campaign selected Kaine over a roster of at least three other senators and two Cabinet secretaries to Obama. Advisers to Clinton see Kaine as a stable force on the bottom of the ticket, foregoing the allure of a pick that could provide more star power in favor of one they are hoping will be void of drama.
"We all know we need a bridge builder, not a trash talker," Kaine said last week as he introduced Clinton at the Virginia rally.
His resume is far more fulsome than when he was vetted as a potential running mate for Obama in 2008.
With nearly three years of experience in the Senate under his belt, Kaine has beefed up his foreign policy credentials. He serves on both the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, emerging as a leading proponent of pushing the administration to consult with Congress before engaging in military action.
Kaine is well known inside the Democratic Party, serving as its national chairman during the first years of the Obama administration. He jumped onto the Clinton campaign early -- the second time around -- announcing his support in 2014, a year before her announcement.

Centrist roots

His bipartisan roots, the Clinton campaign believes, could resonate with voters seeking an alternative to Trump.
At Harvard, he met Anne Holton, the daughter of former Virginia Gov. Linwood Holton, a Republican. Kaine and Holton married and settled in Richmond where both practiced law and sewed the seeds of Kaine's political future.
After 10 years working as a civil rights lawyer and lecturer at the University of Richmond's law school, Kaine mounted a successful campaign for city council from Richmond's Northside. His political rise continued to the mayor's office and a successful bid for lieutenant governor before being elected governor in 2005.
His governorship was a study in practical decision-making and political maneuvering -- qualities valued by the Clinton organization. He pushed through measures like an indoor smoking ban -- popular with voters, but controversial in a state with a once robust tobacco industry. Virginia was the first state in the south to enact a ban of this nature.
Kaine also earned high marks for his stewardship of the state after the Virginia Tech Massacre, at the time the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. In the wake of the Tech massacre, Kaine became a leading voice on reforming gun control laws, an issue Clinton has highlighted throughout her campaign.
Early during his time as governor, Kaine took one his biggest political risks: offering a hearty endorsement to then-Sen. Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential bid.
At the time Obama was the underdog to Hillary Clinton and Kaine was the first sitting governor to endorse his campaign. Obama returned the favor by naming Kaine one of his national co-chairs and after securing the Democratic nomination, he put Kaine on a short list as a potential running mate.
Kaine was vetted by the Obama team, but in the end Obama chose Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware -- someone with a deeper foreign policy resume, an issue at the time that was considered a weak spot for Obama.
While Kaine is perceived as far more of political moderate, particularly with today's liberal strain coursing through the party, he is often a reliable liberal vote in the Senate.
Despite his Catholic faith, he is a staunch supporter of abortion rights. He is a defender of the Affordable Care Act and announced his support for same sex marriage in 2013. On guns he has an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA). By comparison, until the Sandy Hook Massacre of 2012, his counterpart Warner had an "A" rating from the NRA.
While geography of a running mate seldom matters in recent presidential elections, the Clinton campaign believes he can certainly help secure Virginia's 13 electoral votes. The state twice voted for Obama after a generation of solidly voting for Republicans in presidential elections.
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9 victims, gunman dead in Munich rampage, police say

(CNN)At least nine people were killed and 21 others hurt Friday in a shooting rampage at a busy shopping district in Munich, Germany, police said.

Police searched for attackers, thinking there might be three, and found a man who'd killed himself on a side street near Olympia shopping mall, police Chief Hubertus Andrae said.
Based on surveillance video and witness statements, police concluded he was the sole gunman, Andrae said.
The unidentified attacker was an 18-year-old German-Iranian who had lived in Munich for more than two years.
The man was not known to police and his motives are unclear, authorities said. No group has claimed responsibility.
Many children were among the casualties. Police said 16 people remain hospitalized.
The shooting comes as recent terror attacks have put Europe on high alert.
This week, a teenager who said he was inspired by ISIS stabbed passengers on a German train before police shot him dead. Only eight days earlier, 84 people were killed when a man drove a large truck through a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, France.
The gunman started shooting at a McDonald's across from the Olympia mall about 5:50 p.m. (11:50 a.m. ET), Andrae said.

Children unable to run away

A witness who will only be identified as Lauretta told CNN her son was in a bathroom with a shooter at the restaurant.
"That's where he loaded his weapon," she said. "I hear like an alarm and boom, boom, boom... And he's still killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can't run."
Lauretta said she heard the gunman say, "Allahu Akbar," or God is great. "I know this because I'm Muslim. I hear this and I only cry."
The gunman moved across the street to Olympia Mall, which is adjacent to the site of the 1972 Olympics. Located in a middle-class neighborhood in northern Munich, the mall is the city's biggest shopping cente and is a popular destination for shoppers on Friday nights, German lawmaker Charles Huber told CNN.
Lynn Stein, who said she works at the Jack Wolfskin store in the mall, said she heard six of seven shots.
"People were very confused, and they were running and they were screaming," she said. She saw someone lying on the floor of a store who appeared to be either dead or injured. "There's a woman over them, crying."

Profane exchange with a witness

Many citizens posted photos and video of the panic and the shooting on social media, including a profanity-filled verbal exchange between a man who matches the description of the Munich shooter and a witness.
The exchange, recorded on two different camera phones, captured an intense conversation that ends in gunfire. The man who appears to be a shooter said insulting things about Turks, did not espouse jihadist ideology and spoke with a German accent.
Police, thinking up to three gunmen might be on the loose, launched a manhunt, putting the city on virtual lockdown.
Police urged residents to stay in their homes. Citizens took to social media to offer help, with one woman tweeting: "Who is stranded in Sendling and shelter needs, PM me and come over"
Shoppers and people on the street stampeded. Thamina Stoll told CNN she was with her grandmother, who lives about three minutes away from the mall, and saw crowds sprinting down the sidewalk.
"There were like 50 people running towards our house to seek shelter, and there was a helicopter circling above us for about 20 minutes and sirens," she said. " And there's still people walking on the streets. They're confused, and nobody knows what's really going on."
At 8:30 p.m., police found a man who took his own life and decided he was the lone gunman, Andrae said.
The investigation will not yield quick answers, he said.
"We have to investigate everything via third person as we cannot question the perpetrator now," he said.

Merkel meeting with security officials

Germany increased security throughout the nation.
Enhanced police patrols were deployed to the Austria-German border, a spokesperson for the Austrian Ministry of Interior told CNN. Special forces from Bavaria and surrounding federal states were brought in to Munich as reinforcements during the search.
Chancellor Angela Merkel called a security council meeting for Saturday.
Foreign leaders expressed sympathy for the victims.
President Barack Obama condemned the attack, as did U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. In a statement, Kerry said, "We are in close contact with German officials and stand ready to provide any and all assistance requested by our close friend and ally Germany in this time of crisis."
The U.S. military began a count of all its personnel -- some 62,000 -- and their dependents throughout Europe to confirm their safety.
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7 Ways Diabetes Affects The Body

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a multitude of complications because the disease affects the body in many ways. With this condition, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes a buildup of sugars in your blood which can wreak havoc on your body. Here what diabetes can do to your body.

Having diabetes increases your risk of developing a multitude of heart disease problems, such as chest pain, high cholesterol, narrowing of the arteries and high blood pressure. Many of these problems may be subtle or be "silent" until a major event, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Diabetes remains the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S. It can lead to various eye problems, including glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetes can cause wounds or sores in the skin to heal more slowly, which can result in people with diabetes being more susceptible to infections.

Gum disease risk also can increase with diabetes. Gum disease can lead to inflamed gums and eventually to tooth loss.

Kidney disease is one more potential complication of poorly controlled diabetes, and, unfortunately, it can develop over a number of years before symptoms show. Symptoms include swelling of the legs and feet. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure among adults in the U.S

Nearly 70 percent of people with diabetes will suffer from nerve damage. High blood sugar levels can harm nerves, and can develop to either peripheral diabetic neuropathy (usually starting in the toes or feet) or autonomic neuropathy (damage to the nerves that control internal organs).

With the nerve damage that may be caused by poorly controlled diabetes, can come nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.

Well-controlled diabetes can keep all these effects at bay and even stop them. To better control your diabetes, make sure to control your blood glucose levels with medication or through a lifestyle change. Eating healthy, losing weight, and engaging in regular physical activity all can help keep your diabetes under control and your health on track.


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This is how much loss of NBA All-Star Game will cost Charlotte

The NBA's decision to pull its All-Star Game out of Charlotte means an estimated loss of $100 million to the city's economy.

The city's visitors authority said tourists were expected to spend as much as $60 million and rent hotel rooms for a total of 27,000 nights during the All-Star weekend.


The influx of cash would have also triggered a $40 million spending spree by Charlotte businesses and the employees of its hotels and restaurants, the authority figured.

The NBA yanked the game from Charlotte because of the state's so-called bathroom law.

The controversial law prevents cities from creating non-discrimination policies based on gender identity and mandates that students in state schools use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate. A number of performers, including Bruce Springsteen, Maroon 5 and Pearl Jam, have canceled concerts in North Carolina as a result of the legislation.

The NBA initially declined to move the game, but announced the decision to relocate on Thursday. It said it would consider the city for future All-Star Games if the law is reversed or changed.

"While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by [the law]," said the league's statement. The 2017 games will be played in New Orleans instead.

PayPal and Deutche Bank have dropped plans to add hundreds of jobs in Charlotte due to the legislation. Business groups in the city, which have also opposed the law, said they would continue to work to change it.

"Charlotte has been and will continue to be a city that embraces and promotes diversity, inclusiveness and equality. We oppose discrimination in all forms," said a statement from the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. "We are disappointed that the NBA All-Star game is being moved elsewhere, but appreciate of the league's willingness to continue to consider Charlotte for the 2019 game."

Source: CNN.com

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Jeff Bezos passes Warren Buffett to become third richest person in the world

Move over Warren Buffett. Jeff Bezos is richer than you.

The Amazon founder is worth $65.1 billion as of Thursday, according to Bloomberg's Billionaire Index, which puts him just slightly ahead of Buffett's $65 billion. Bezos moved into third place on the global index, behind Bill Gates and Amancio Ortega, the majority owner of Zara's parent company Inditex.


Bezos backed into his new spot on the list, after his net worth fell $136 million thanks mostly to a 0.2% decline in Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) shares Thursday. But Buffett's net worth slipped $754 million, according to the index, thanks to a 1.2% slide in shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB).

Forbes still has Bezos slightly behind Buffett in its real-time billionaire's ranking, $64.8 billion to $64.6 billion.

When Forbes started this year's ranking, Bezos was much farther back in the pack: No. 5 on the list at $45.2 billion. Amazon shares are up 10% so far this year. They reached a record high earlier this month.

Source: CNN.com

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This 14-year-old turned down a $30M buyout offer

Taylor Rosenthal is ready for the big leagues. The 14-year-old is exhibiting his startup idea -- a vending machine that dispenses first aid products -- at TechCrunch Disrupt this week in Brooklyn.

The first-time entrepreneur doesn't sound nervous. He's actually looking forward to the trip from his hometown of Opelika, Alabama.


Still, it's a big deal.

"They told me that I was the youngest person to ever get accepted to the event," said Rosenthal. "It felt awesome."

Rosenthal's startup RecMed, which he launched in 2015, has already been generating buzz. He's raised $100,000 in angel investments and has already rejected a $30 million offer to buy his idea.

Related: This plastic toilet could save lives

RecMed started as an eighth-grade project when Rosenthal was one of 19 students in a Young Entrepreneurs Academy class.

"We had to come up with a business idea," he said. The straight-A student, who's a first baseman and pitcher for his high school baseball team, had one immediately.

"Every time I'd travel for a baseball tournament in Alabama, I'd notice that kids would get hurt and parents couldn't find a band-aid," he said. "I wanted to solve that."

is initial thought was to set up a pop-up shop at the tournaments to sell first-aid kits. He tried it and quickly realized it wasn't the best model.

"We noticed that it would cost too much to pay people minimum wage to sit at tournaments for six hours," he said. Then the vending machine idea struck.

Rosenthal sketched a design and consulted with his parents, both of whom work in the medical industry.

By December, he had a working prototype and had acquired a patent.

taylor rosenthal recmed still

First-aid products stocked in RecMed vendign machines.

Rosenthal incorporated black, red and white -- his high school colors -- into his design.

Users pick from two options: prepackaged first-aid kits for dealing with issues like sun burns, cuts, blisters and bee stings (they run from $5.99 to $15.95). You can also buy individual supplies like band-aids, rubber gloves, hydrocortisone wipes and gauze pads, which cost $6 to $20.

Rosenthal hopes to start deploying the machines this fall. He said they make sense at "high-traffic areas for kids" like amusement parks, beaches and stadiums.

He already has an order from Six Flags for 100 machines.

RecMed will make money by selling the machines, which cost $5,500 apiece, and through restocking fees for the supplies. Rosenthal said he's also open to putting advertising on the machines.

larinda Jones was Rosenthal's teacher in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy class. She's proud of his entrepreneurial chops.

"It has been amazing watching Taylor grow over the past year into this confident and amazing business man," she said. "Even with all of his success, he remains humble and ready to help others. He's just 14. Bill Gates should be worried."

taylor rosenthal clarinda

Taylor with his teacher Clarinda Jones.

Kyle Sandler, founder of Round House, a startup incubator in Opelika, agreed.

Rosenthal is the youngest CEO at Round House, where he has an office and access to mentors in exchange for a 20% stake and a $50,000 investment.

"Taylor spends every minute outside of school working on RecMed," said Sandler. "Last Christmas we had to kick him out on Christmas Eve. It's how focused he is."

Rosenthal said he wants to pursue a future in business, and college will help him.

"I'd like to go to Notre Dame because they have a great business school -- and I'm a fan of their football," he said


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The Home Refinance Plan Banks Don't Want You Knowing

When homeowners visit The Easy Loan Site1 official website, they may be surprised to find out they qualify for a plan that offers them shockingly low interest rates.

Still unknown to many, this brilliant government program called the Home Affordable Refinance Plan (HARP)2 could benefit millions of Americans and reduce their monthly payments by as much as $3,500 each year.3

Homeowners have even used HARP to eliminate up to 15 years of mortgage! You could bet the banks aren’t too thrilled about losing all that profit and might secretly hope homeowners don’t find out before time runs out.

So while the banks happily wait for this program to end, the government is making a final push and urging homeowners to take advantage. The program is set to expire in 2016, but the good news though is that once you’re in, you’re in. if lowering your payments, paying off your mortgage faster, and having an extra $200 each month from the HARP savings would help you, it’s vital you act now.

URGENT: Close to a million homeowners could still benefit today, but sadly, many perceive HARP to be too good to be true. Remember, HARP is a free government program and there’s absolutely NO COST to see if you qualify at The Easy Loan Site. See If You Qualify >>

Putting Money Back Into The Middle Class

Did you know if your mortgage is less than $625,000, your chances of qualifying for HARP could be high. The Government wants the banks to cut your rates, which puts more money in your pocket, ultimately boosting the economy.

But the banks are not happy about this. Here’s why:

  1. The program makes it easier to qualify for lower mortgage rates
  2. You have the option to shop lenders other than your current mortgage holder

You think banks like the above? Rest assured, they do not. They'd rather make more money by keeping you at the higher rate you financed at years ago. The middle class seems to miss out on everything, and jumping on this benefit is a no-brainer.

  • The average monthly savings is $250. Could you use an extra $250/month?4
  • On top of the savings, many homeowners could pay off their mortgage faster.
  • Homeowners can even use the savings for home improvements, pay off debt, or pay for their children's education.

Where Do I Start?

With hundreds of mortgage lenders and brokers available, it can take consumers hours to simply contact each one separately and request a quote. The good news is that there are services that could help you save time and money by comparing multiple lenders at once. One such service is The Easy Loan Site,1 which has one of the biggest lender networks in the nation and what’s better is that they work with HARP lenders to provide consumers with a comprehensive set of mortgage options.

There’s no obligation to homeowners, and The Easy Loan Site1 offers easy and fast comparisons. It takes about five minutes, and the service is 100% free.5 You have nothing to lose, except for your money problems!

Source:One Smart Penny. com

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Wasserman Schultz resigning as party leader

(CNN)Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Sunday she is stepping down as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee at the end of the party's convention, which is set to begin here Monday.

The Florida congresswoman's resignation -- under heavy pressure from top Democrats -- comes amid the release of thousand of leaked emails showing DNC staffers favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the party's 2016 primary contest.
Her announcement that she was leaving had pro-Sanders supporters cheering during a demonstration in Philadelphia and Donald Trump and other Republicans crowing about the disarray among the Democrats.
Wasserman Schultz talked with both President Barack Obama and Clinton before making her announcement, a Democratic source said.
"Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals [which include electing Clinton president] is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention," Wasserman Schultz said in the statement.
"As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans," she continued.
Earlier in the day, a Democrat close to the talks told CNN that she would not appear on stage, but Wasserman Schultz and her allies persisted, and she is now expected to appear Monday afternoon. But her schedule still remained subject to change.
Wasserman Schultz had faced intense pressure over the weekend to quit her post, several Democratic leaders told CNN, urging her to quell a growing controversy threatening to disrupt Clinton's nominating convention.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid wanted her out even before the leaked DNC emails scandal broke and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wouldn't lift a finger to try and save her House colleague, sources said.
Sanders, who will address the convention Monday night in prime time, issued a statement calling for a new direction for the party that would welcome the working class and young voters -- and remain neutral in future Democratic primary contests.
"Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party," Sanders said.
"While she deserves thanks for her years of service, the party now needs new leadership that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working people and young people," he added. "The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race."
DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile will serve as interim chair through the election, it was announced Sunday. She had been a CNN political commentator, but CNN and Brazile have mutually agreed to suspend their contract, effective immediately, although she will remain on air during the convention week in an unpaid capacity, CNN said. CNN will revisit the contract once Brazile concludes her role.
Separately, a Democratic operative said Hispanic leaders close to Clinton and her high command were discussing Housing Secretary Julian Castro as a possible successor to Wasserman Schultz at the DNC helm, among a number of other candidates whose name are being mentioned.
Chants of "Debbie is done!" and "Debbie resigned!" broke out at a pro-Sanders rally in Philadelphia after the news was announced.
Party officials decided Saturday that Wasserman Schultz would not have a major speaking role or preside over daily convention proceedings this week. The DNC Rules Committee has named Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, as permanent chair of the convention, according to a DNC source. She will gavel each session to order and will gavel each session closed.
"She's been quarantined," another top Democrat said of Wasserman Schultz, following a meeting Saturday night but before her announcement that she was leaving.

Both sides of the aisle react

Earlier Sunday, David Axelrod, a former top adviser to Obama's presidential campaigns and a CNN senior political commentator, said Wasserman Schultz should resign.
"I would ask her to step aside. I would ask her to step aside because she's a distraction in a week that is Hillary Clinton's week," Axelrod told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."
After she announced she was out, Axelrod tweeted, "I find this quibbling over whether @DWStweets leaves now or Friday silly. What difference does it make? She's out. She's leaving. Move on!"
Obama issued a statement, saying, "For the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back. This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful."
And Clinton thanked Wasserman Schultz for her leadership of the party.
"I am grateful to Debbie for getting the Democratic Party to this year's historic convention in Philadelphia, and I know that this week's events will be a success thanks to her hard work and leadership," Clinton said.
Trump also weighed in, tweeting and misspelling Wasserman Schultz's name, "Today proves what I have always known, that @Reince Priebus is the tough one and the smart one, not Debbie Wasserman Shultz (@DWStweets.)"
Later, he tweeted, "Crooked Hillary Clinton was not at all loyal to the person in her rigged system that pushed her over the top, DWS. Too bad Bernie flamed out."
Wasserman's Republican counterpart, Reince Priebus, said, "I think the day's events show really the uphill climb Democrats face this week."
"The extreme left will not be satisfied by one person's resignation," the Republican party national chairman added.
Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said Clinton should follow Wasserman Schultz out the door.
"Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned over her failure to secure the DNC's email servers and the rigged system she set up with the Clinton campaign," he said in a statement. "Now Hillary Clinton should follow Wasserman Schultz's lead and drop out over her failure to safeguard top secret, classified information both on her unauthorized home server and while traveling abroad."
Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, called Wasserman Schultz's departure a win on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" on Sunday.
"I think what the signal was today is that the voices of Bernie Sanders supporters have been heard," he said. "And other people, frankly, in the party, Hillary Clinton supporters, who felt this was the last straw, that she had to go, and this shows they have been heard and gives us opportunity to move forward toward November -- united to deal with the problem of Donald Trump."
Wasserman Schultz's stewardship of the DNC has been under fire through most of the presidential primary process, but her removal from the convention stage comes following the release of nearly 20,000 emails.
One email appears to show DNC staffers asking how they can reference Sanders' faith to weaken him in the eyes of Southern voters. Another seems to depict an attorney advising the committee on how to defend Clinton against an accusation by the Sanders campaign of not living up to a joint fundraising agreement.
Before the announcement, Sanders on Sunday told Tapper the release of the DNC emails that show its staffers working against him underscores the position he's held for months: Wasserman Schultz needs to go.
"I don't think she is qualified to be the chair of the DNC, not only for these awful emails, which revealed the prejudice of the DNC, but also because we need a party that reaches out to working people and young people, and I don't think her leadership style is doing that," Sanders told Tapper on "State of the Union," on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
"I am not an atheist," he said. "But aside from all of that, it is an outrage and sad that you would have people in important positions in the DNC trying to undermine my campaign. It goes without saying: The function of the DNC is to represent all of the candidates -- to be fair and even-minded."
He added: "But again, we discussed this many, many months ago, on this show, so what is revealed now is not a shock to me."

'It's gas meets flame'

The publication of the emails comes just a weekend before the start of the Democratic convention, where a major objective for Clinton is to unify the Democratic party by winning over Sanders' voters.
Several Democratic sources told CNN that the leaked DNC emails may inflame tensions between the Clinton and Sanders camps.
"It could threaten their agreement," one Democrat said, referring to the deal reached between Clinton and Sanders about the convention, delegates and the DNC.
The party had agreed to include more progressive principles in its official platform and, as part of the deal, Sanders dropped his fight to contest Wasserman Schultz as the head of the DNC.
"It's gas meets flame," the Democrat said.
The issue surfaced on Saturday at Clinton's first campaign event with Tim Kaine as her running mate, when a protester was escorted out of Florida International University in Miami. The protester shouted "DNC leaks" soon after Clinton thanked Wasserman Schultz for her leadership at the DNC.
The DNC has previously had its files hacked by an individual named "Guccifer 2.0" that may have had ties to the Russians.
Hackers stole opposition research on Trump from the DNC's servers in mid-June. Two separate Russian intelligence-linked cyberattack groups both took place in the DNC's networks.
Source: CNN.com
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Yahoo-Verizon deal said to be near

Yahoo's days as an independent company may be nearing an end.

Verizon has agreed to pay about $4.8 billion for Yahoo (YHOO, Tech30), according to multiple published reports. Two people familiar with the matter confirmed to CNNMoney on Sunday that a deal had been struck.


The news is expected to be announced on Monday. It would end a sale process that dragged on for months and drew interest from parties as diverse as Warren Buffett and The Daily Mail.

Verizon (VZ, Tech30) has long been viewed as the frontrunner. Reports by Bloomberg, CNBC and Recode said Verizon had emerged as the top bidder. On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal said the deal had been completed at $4.8 billion.

The sale is said to include Yahoo's Internet properties and real estate holdings.

Yahoo declined to comment on the sale; Verizon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Verizon, AT&T (T, Tech30), and an investing group backed by Buffett and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert were all said to be serious bidders.

A sale would put an end to Yahoo's 21-year history as an independent company. It would also potentially end the tenure of CEO Marissa Mayer after four years of trying and failing to stage a turnaround.

Related: Is it a mistake for Verizon to buy Yahoo?

Tim Armstrong, the CEO of Verizon-owned AOL, is widely expected to take over Yahoo if it becomes part of Verizon.

Mayer, like Armstrong, previously worked at Google (GOOG) before taking over the top spot at Yahoo in 2012. She invested heavily in improving Yahoo's mobile products, expanding its audience through the acquisition of Tumblr and doubling down on premium media content. But Mayer struggled to slow Yahoo's overall ad sales decline.

On a conference call with shareholders last week after reporting earnings, Mayer made what may have been her final case to investors and the public that she worked to "create a better Yahoo."

"We set forth a plan to return this iconic company to growth over multiple years, one that would create long-term sustainable growth for Yahoo and deliver value to our users, advertisers, employees and shareholders," Mayer said. "As we work to conclude the strategic alternatives process, this groundwork will serve as a solid foundation for Yahoo!'s next chapter."

For Verizon, the deal is about more than just nostalgia. The telecom company has invested in digital content and advertising in recent years, buying AOL and The Huffington Post.

Yahoo, synonymous with the Internet itself in the late '90s, remains a popular destination that attracts more than one billion monthly active users on desktop and mobile.

Soon Yahoo and AOL may be owned by the same company, proving that the dream of the '90s Internet is alive in Verizon.

Source: Cnn.com

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Two Uber drivers arrested while on duty

Uber continues to run into roadblocks when it comes to safety.

Two Uber drivers were arrested in separate incidents over the weekend.

A man in Palo Alto, California, was arrested and charged with sexual assault after a female passenger told police that he made uninvited advances and ignored her requests to stop the vehicle, according to police.

Another driver in Chicago was pulled over for not wearing a seat belt and was arrested when officers discovered marijuana and a loaded weapon in the car. Police learned the man does not have the proper license for carrying a firearm and has prior felony convictions.

Uber does not allow drivers or passengers to have firearms even with proper licensing.

The company confirmed the drivers involved in both incidents have been banned from the ride sharing service.

Uber has exploded around the world, but its ambitions have hit a number of speed bumps. The company has been slapped with government fines, sued by drivers, targeted in protests, and even banned outright in some cities. In India, an Uber driver was found guilty of raping a passenger.

Voters in Austin, Texas, passed a law that mandated fingerprinting for ride share drivers in May. Uber and competitor Lyft promptly left the city in protest. Critics argue that fingerprints are more thorough than the name-based checks that Uber currently conducts.

Uber, meanwhile, says fingerprinting is discriminatory, time consuming and is not necessarily more effective at weeding out potentially dangerous drivers.

The company said the Chicago man's felony convictions, which were weapons-related and occurred in 1995 and 2003, would not have prevented him from clearing a background check for a city taxi license either. Per a Chicago ordinance, licenses are only denied if the felony occurred within the past five years. Uber's policy bans drivers with felonies less than seven years old.

Uber, which is valued at $62.5 billion, has faced multiple lawsuits for advertising its service as the "safest ride on the road." Uber stopped making those types of claims earlier this year and has agreed to pay more than $50 million to settle the suits.

Source: Cnn.com


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Suicide bomb rocks Ansbach, Germany

(CNN)An explosion in the southern German city of Ansbach that killed one person and injured 10 others was a suicide attack, according to the region's interior minister.

A device was exploded by a 27-year-old Syrian national outside a music festival. He had been denied entry into the event due to the lack of a ticket, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said during a news conference early Monday.
The man, who has not yet been named, stood around the festival entrance for a short period before he blew himself up.
Herrmann said his backpack contained screws and nails, an apparent attempt to inflict further damage.
Officially this attack is not confirmed as terrorism, he said, but there are strong indications it may be.
Special Forces in Munich are on the scene investigating, police said.
Violence has struck Germany in several places recently.
On Sunday, a man killed a woman with a machete in Reutlingen. The 21-year-old Syrian asylum seeker came to Germany one year ago, according to a police statement, and he was known to police for property thefts and assault.
Police said the woman was 45 years old and from Poland.
On Friday, a man in Munich went on a shooting spree in a busy shopping district, killing nine people before killing himself, authorities said.
Authorities have not found a link to terror groups. Police said he may have planned the attack for a year.
Source: CNN.com
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Deadly heat wave scorches central and eastern U.S.

(CNN)Dangerously high temperatures will keep scorching the Northeast in the wake of a deadly wave of heat and humidity that has plagued the Midwest.

Heat indexes well over 100 degrees are expected across dozens of states in the nation's central and eastern portions, the National Weather Service forecasts. A heat index combines the effects of temperature and humidity on the human body.
Temperatures also could reach the century mark Monday afternoon in New York, Philadelphia and Washington.
Nearly 114 million people are under excessive heat watches, warnings and advisories in effect across 27 states on Sunday, CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said.
The sweltering Midwest weather claimed the lives of a handful of people in the Detroit area over the course of three days, Roseville Police Chief James Berlin told CNN.
Five elderly residents who had underlying health issues died as a result of the soaring temperatures, Berlin said. Residents were encouraged to stay hydrated and find an air-conditioned place to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Deadly heat wave scorches central and eastern U.S.

Story highlights

  • Temperatures close to 100 degrees are expected across dozens of states
  • Five elderly Michigan residents died due to record heat and humidity

(CNN)Dangerously high temperatures will keep scorching the Northeast in the wake of a deadly wave of heat and humidity that has plagued the Midwest.

Heat indexes well over 100 degrees are expected across dozens of states in the nation's central and eastern portions, the National Weather Service forecasts. A heat index combines the effects of temperature and humidity on the human body.
Temperatures also could reach the century mark Monday afternoon in New York, Philadelphia and Washington.
Nearly 114 million people are under excessive heat watches, warnings and advisories in effect across 27 states on Sunday, CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said.
The sweltering Midwest weather claimed the lives of a handful of people in the Detroit area over the course of three days, Roseville Police Chief James Berlin told CNN.
Five elderly residents who had underlying health issues died as a result of the soaring temperatures, Berlin said. Residents were encouraged to stay hydrated and find an air-conditioned place to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Police and firefighters in the Detroit suburb of Roseville are doing their part to help residents beat the summer heat. They are offering rides to cooling centers set up at the city's recreation center and public library and distributing water to residents.
Heat is one of the country's leading weather-related killers, and each year dozens of Americans die from overexposure to high temperatures, according to The National Weather Service.
Heat stroke can happen very quickly after heat exhaustion settles in.
Hot, dry and breezy conditions across the West Coast have also hampered efforts to contain the rapidly expanding Sand Fire. The fast-growing wildfire, which was only 18% contained Sunday, has consumed more than 22,000 acres.

Warmest half-year on record

Scientists note the record temperatures across the country could be part of a long-term global warming phenomenon. Last week NASA announced that every month in 2016 has been the hottest ever recorded.
Global temperatures were on average 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average between January and June this year when compared to the late 19th century, NOAA said.
Source: CNN.com
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'Power' creator Courtney Kemp on success of the show

(CNN)Courtney Kemp knows she's fortunate to have her gritty crime drama "Power" airing on Starz.

"I'm able to put some kind of subversive content in this show dealing with racial politics without having it be right there on the surface," Kemp told CNN. "I get support from my network."
Letting go and letting Kemp has paid off for Starz.
More than 2 million viewers watched the season 3 premiere of "Power" last Sunday -- a 58% increase from the show's season 2 premiere episode. Soon after, Starz announced it had renewed "Power" for two more seasons.
Kemp is one of the few African American women in her role as a series creator and showrunner. She got her start in the New York magazine world writing for publications like GQ and Vibe, before heading to Los Angeles where she segued to TV.
That led to Kemp cutting her chops on series like "The Bernie Mac Show" and "The Good Wife."
Kemp is the power behind "Power" and said her "first job is to make a great show."
"You don't keep your job if you don't make a great show," Kemp said. "You can't be of service to as many people with jobs, and mentorship, and advice without having a platform from which to speak."
"Power's" main character is James St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) -- a drug kingpin known as Ghost who is attempting to go straight. St. Patrick's professional history is complicated by his tangled personal life and a murderous best friend. He may not sound like a loveable guy, but fans of the series have embraced its complicated characters.
"You have to be able to understand their motivations," Kemp said. "You may not agree with everything they do. At the end of season 2 when Ghost kills half their organization...you get it. You understand why he's doing it. It doesn't mean you support murder. You just understand Ghost's motivation."
Some critics of "Power" object to its stereotypical portrayal of people of color as drug dealers. But Kemp views that as short sighted.
"I find that amusing because I think, 'You don't get it.' The revolution is that we can be anything," Kemp said. "We don't have to be one thing, or the other. The idea that it is my responsibility to represent only good black people...I mean what are talking about? That's not a character, that's a polemic."
Kemp is protective of both her characters and her actors. So much so, she is bothered by the fans who are nasty to Lela Loren, the actress who plays prosecutor Angela Valdes.
On the show, Ghost has left his wife and family for Angela. Kemp said some fans are taking it very personally.
"Lela is not Angela. She is playing Angela," Kemp said. "She's an amazing actress and the reason you don't like Angela, if you don't, is because Lela is killing that part, so instead say 'Thank you.'"
Kemp said she is thankful to be working with such a strong team of actors and appreciates "Power's" devoted audience.
"I am not in the results business, " Kemp said. "I literally can't make people watch. But people showed up and I am just really grateful."
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Leonardo DiCaprio raises $45 million with the help of his famous friends

(CNN)Not surprisingly, Leonardo DiCaprio has some wealthy, famous friends. As it turns out, they're also generous.

DiCaprio and his pals raised $45 million for his environmental foundation at the actor's third-annual charity gala in St. Tropez on Wednesday night. DiCaprio will also donate a portion of the money raised to families of the victims and survivors of the terrorist attack in Nice, France last week.
Mariah Carey and Chris Rock were in attendance. Rock posted a photo on Instagram captioned, "new couple alert." Clearly a joke considering Carey is engaged to billionaire James Packer, who was also at the party.
Jonah Hill, Tobey Maguire and Edward Norton all posed for photos with the man of the night. Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Robert De Niro, Scarlett Johansson, Kevin Spacey, Kate Hudson and Charlize Theron were among the other celebrity guests at the star-studded event.
The evening featured premium entertainment from The Weeknd, Lana del Rey and Andrea Bocelli. DiCaprio hosted an auction that included his own Rolex watch and a pair of diamond cufflinks he wore when he won his Oscar for "The Revenant."

DiCaprio takes the stage with Bono. The Leonardo DiCaprio foundation raised over $45 million to support environmental projects.

In true DiCaprio fashion, the gala was also attended by a bevy of beauties. Model Doutzen Kroes shared a photo from the party with several long-legged friends in tow. But you can't player-hate on a man when he's partying with a purpose.


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Best friends, bound by the law, bonded by gift of life

City and suburb. Black and white. A 45-year-old man built like an offensive lineman and a 58-year-old woman who is lean like a dancer.

Best friends.

These are the two judges who meet on a Tuesday morning in a courtroom in Milwaukee. They don their robes. They pose for photos. And embrace.

In September 2014, Municipal Court Judge Derek Mosley of Milwaukee was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. His kidneys were failing. Every night since, he has connected himself to a dialysis machine for 10 hours, the cleansing fluid removing waste products from his kidneys, sustaining him yet stealing away precious time.

And, yet, there is hope. Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday. Mosley will receive a kidney from Municipal Court Judge JoAnn Eiring of the Town of Brookfield.

In a summer filled with angst and anger, when people argue over which lives matter, there is a note of grace as one judge prepares to provide a gift of life to another.

"This just proves that no matter what you think about color or background or economic status or all those things, here's this woman from Brookfield and this kid from the south side of Chicago and I'm about to get her kidney so I can live," Mosley said. "And we are as compatible as anything else. To me, it's just amazing."

Mosley and Eiring invited the Journal Sentinel to document the surgery in hopes that it would spur others to consider organ donation, especially within the African-American community.

Nationally, around 34% of those waiting for a kidney transplant are African-American. Organs are not matched by race or ethnicity but "a greater diversity of donors may potentially increase access to transplantation for everyone," according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To Kevin Regner, chief of nephrology at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, the story of Mosley and Eiring "illustrates that people need to come and be evaluated for transplant. We need to think about all options. Donors can come from any aspect of your life."

Mosley and Eiring first met at a judicial seminar in Eau Claire in 2003. She was a judicial veteran, first elected in 1991. He was a former Milwaukee County assistant district attorney who had been on the bench for around a year.

"We just hit it off," said Eiring, who besides being a judge is program director for adult pretrial court services at Wisconsin Community Services in Waukesha County.

Their families connected immediately. Mosley and his wife, Kelly Cochrane, an administrative law judge for the State of Wisconsin, have been married 15 years. They have two daughters, Kallan, 11, and Kieran, 8. Eiring and her husband, Paul, a civil engineer, baby-sit the kids.

The families enjoy barbecues and birthdays. Eiring and her husband have two grown children, Sam, a program developer for the Mayo Clinic, and Katie, a marketing representative for a restaurant chain.

"Derek's family is my family," Katie said. "We're all very close."

Katie recalled that on her first day at Marquette University, the first email that landed in her college account came from Mosley, a Marquette Law School graduate.

"He said that if you ever appear in my courtroom here are my punishments," Katie said.

When doctors told Mosley his kidneys were failing, the news hit both families hard. For a long time, only a close circle of family, friends and court colleagues knew what Mosley was dealing with.

Mosley said his father died of kidney failure. His grandmother underwent a successful kidney transplant, one of the first in Chicago, Mosley said. Before his diagnosis, Mosley, who also has diabetes, said he didn't have any outward signs that his kidneys were failing.

"The first thing I noticed was that when I urinated, it was really bubbly. So I went in for my routine exam," he said. Tests showed he was secreting an inordinate amount of protein into his urine.

He went on dialysis immediately. Mosley sought to retain his independence and remain on the bench. He also wanted to keep a full schedule, giving speeches, volunteering on boards, officiating weddings, mentoring youngsters and coaching his older daughter's basketball team.

Mosley chose to undergo peritoneal dialysis, which he could administer at home overnight through a catheter. A dialysis machine and five-liter bags of sterile cleansing fluid were set up in the bedroom. He had to be home each day by 7:30 p.m. He had to sleep on his back.

Registered nurse Joan Zittnan talks with Derek Mosley

Registered nurse Joan Zittnan talks with Derek Mosley and his wife, Kelly Cochrane (rear), before Mosley's surgery Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, Wis. Town of Brookfield Municipal Court Judge JoAnn Eiring donated a kidney to her friend and Milwaukee Municipal Court Judge Derek Mosley. (Photo: Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)


Whenever he traveled, the machine and the fluid had to go with him, including an annual trip with a friend to attend college basketball's Final Four.

"I didn't want it to define who I am, to take over my life," Mosley said.

He was placed on a list to obtain an organ. The wait could last up to six years.

A search began for a living donor. Because of a family history of kidney failure, Mosley's sister Tiffani Desrosiers was ruled out. Friends and family stepped forward to get tested.

"For me, it's hard to do, to say, 'Can I have your kidney?'" Mosley said.

Eiring went through the process.

"I've had several friends who have had serious illness and you feel so helpless you can't do anything," Eiring said. "This is the kind of illness you can at least try and do something."

Eiring passed a first step: She and Mosley both had the same blood type, B positive. Then came other tests. Because of the size differences between them — she's 5-foot-61/2, 134 pounds and he is 6-2, 285 — there were concerns that Eiring's kidney wouldn't be a match for Mosley.

Eiring joked with the doctors, "Don't be fooled by my body size. I've got big bones, big feet. I'm pretty sure I have big organs, too."

In June, came good news from the doctors. Eiring was a match for Mosley.

"I was shocked, probably as shocked as they were," she said.

On Wednesday morning, Mosley and Eiring arrived at Froedtert & The Medical College. They were at peace with the surgery. Their families waited anxiously.

By late morning, the transplant surgical teams were ready — Michael Zimmerman would remove Eiring's left kidney and Christopher Johnson would place the kidney into Mosley's right lower abdomen.

When Johnson met with Mosley, the judge asked him: "Did you sleep well?"

A nurse, Joan Zittnan, told Mosley, "You have an awesome team. I love working with Doctor Johnson."

At 11:55 a.m., as she was being hooked up to an IV, Eiring said "cocktail time." She was off to surgery.

A few minutes later, Mosley was on his way, too.

The transplant took place in adjoining operating rooms. The surgical teams worked methodically.

"This is the most important surgery in the world right now," Zimmerman said later, explaining the attitude of doctors and nurses.

Using a video camera and instruments, Zimmerman performed laparoscopic surgery to remove Eiring's kidney. Once the organ was removed, it was placed in a small bowl and taken to a back table where Johnson inspected the kidney, flushed it with a preservation solution, and securely packed it, finally placing it in a cooler.

Eiring would soon be on her way to recovery.

The cooler, with the kidney inside, was rolled just a few feet to the adjoining operating room. Johnson and his team were ready. Eiring's kidney fit in the palm of the doctor's hand. Soon, it would be placed in Mosley and attached securely.

By 5:30 p.m., the surgery on Mosley was winding down. Later, after he awoke, he said he thought the surgery was just getting started.

But it was done. A success.

For Mosley, the surgery was just a beginning.

"Your first transplant is your best shot. Try really hard to keep that organ in place," said Ehab Saad, a nephrology specialist at Froedtert who helped oversee Mosley's care. "The journey starts after that transplant."

Once a month, Mosley will return to Froedtert to receive an infusion of Belatacept to help prevent rejection of the new kidney. Froedtert was involved in an initial trial for the medication.

"The benefit of the medication is it doesn't hurt the kidney over the long term," Saad said.

Late Friday morning, Mosley and Eiring were prepared to talk with a reporter about what they had been through. Their families were excited and relieved.

"I feel great. I do. I haven't felt like this in a long time," Mosley said.

"It's very cool, thinking about it," Eiring said of her kidney now working inside Mosley.

"We're bonded, whether you like it or not," Mosley said.

"We're like relatives," Eiring said.

"Blood relatives," Mosley responded.

How will it change their relationship?

"I owe her my life, essentially," Mosley said. "How do you ever repay something like that? All I can do is just do the best I can to keep this gift as long as I can keep it."

At last, Mosley was free of the dialysis machine.

"I can't tell you what a good feeling it is to help him out and make his life better," Eiring said. "It's so frustrating when someone is sick and you are helpless and can't do anything. So I feel just as fortunate to be able to work on this."

Mosley had to wipe away tears.

"I can't describe to you how long and laborious 10 hours a day every day of the week is," he said. "I can't imagine having that time back, being able to spend time with my family."

Source: USA Today.com

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Tragic: News Anchor Dies in Waterfall Accident One Day Before Her 25th Birthday

Cathy Dowd, a forest service public affairs officer, said that Terrell “was wading in the river near the top of the falls [and] she lost her footing and fell into the water, where the current swept her up and over the falls.”

The death of Terrell was actually the seventh waterfall related death that happened in Transylvania County, N.C., this year. Transylvania County sheriff’s chief deputy Eddie Gunter said Rainbow Falls is “a real dangerous spot.”

Terrell anchored for the 41NBC news team, which she joined in 2013 as an intern. Terrell graduated from Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s of science in public relations and a minor in journalism.

News director Brandon Long wrote, “Taylor was a hard worker with a bright smile. She rose through the ranks from intern to reporter, to weekend anchor, to morning anchor and was eager to prepare for her next chapter. This is a devastating loss for us here at 41NBC and most definitely for her family.”


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Top takeaways from day 1 of the Democratic convention

PHILADELPHIA — Democrats proved Monday that they can be as dysfunctional as Republicans, which is fun for those of us who cover political dysfunction for a living.

Here are some takeaways from the first day of the Democratic convention, which began only after host Debbie Wasserman Schultz was essentially disinvited:

One thing was clear Monday: Bernie Sanders' supporters are nowhere near ready to kiss and make up with a Democratic Party that they feel worked against their candidate and their movement, especially after recently released party emails by Wikileaks further confirmed in their view.

Bernie backers booed lustily as the platform and rules were adopted, chanting over even the opening invocation, and for the first hour or so of the proceedings, booed every mention of Hillary Clinton's name.

Even Elizabeth Warren was heckled later by a few disgruntled convention-goers over her prime-time speech in support of Clinton. "We trusted you!" they shouted.

Many Sanders delegates acknowledged off the floor that they would likely end up voting for Clinton because they REALLY don't like Donald Trump. But it was also clear that Clinton has a ways to go to make these people into something more that reluctant supporters.

Texas delegate Barbara Fetonte said, "She needs to show in her actions that she wants us and right now she really hasn’t done that." And while Sanders has said his supporters should back Clinton, "Bernie can’t just say it and it happens. I love Bernie and I respect the hell out of him, but it’s hard.”

The Progressive Party

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and comedian Sarah Silverman

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and comedian Sarah Silverman speak during the Democratic National Convention on July 25, 2016. (Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY)


There are obviously still fences to mend (see above), but the message Democrats aimed to send on the first night of their convention was clear: The party's leading liberals are firmly behind Clinton.

There was Minnesota Sen. Al Franken doing what amounted to a stand-up routine, both by himself and later with comedienne Sarah Silverman, eviscerating Trump on everything from Trump University to Trump steaks.

There was Warren, the Massachusetts senator and hero of the left who withheld her endorsement of Clinton until June, blasting away at Trump, which has become her favorite past-time on Twitter. She took aim at his "stupid wall," Trump University and for saying "he was excited for the 2008 housing crash."

One thing was clear Monday: Bernie Sanders' supporters are nowhere near ready to kiss and make up with a Democratic Party that they feel worked against their candidate and their movement, especially after recently released party emails by Wikileaks further confirmed in their view.

Bernie backers booed lustily as the platform and rules were adopted, chanting over even the opening invocation, and for the first hour or so of the proceedings, booed every mention of Hillary Clinton's name.

Even Elizabeth Warren was heckled later by a few disgruntled convention-goers over her prime-time speech in support of Clinton. "We trusted you!" they shouted.

Many Sanders delegates acknowledged off the floor that they would likely end up voting for Clinton because they REALLY don't like Donald Trump. But it was also clear that Clinton has a ways to go to make these people into something more that reluctant supporters.

Texas delegate Barbara Fetonte said, "She needs to show in her actions that she wants us and right now she really hasn’t done that." And while Sanders has said his supporters should back Clinton, "Bernie can’t just say it and it happens. I love Bernie and I respect the hell out of him, but it’s hard.”

The Progressive Party

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and comedian Sarah Silverman

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and comedian Sarah Silverman speak during the Democratic National Convention on July 25, 2016. (Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY)


There are obviously still fences to mend (see above), but the message Democrats aimed to send on the first night of their convention was clear: The party's leading liberals are firmly behind Clinton.

There was Minnesota Sen. Al Franken doing what amounted to a stand-up routine, both by himself and later with comedienne Sarah Silverman, eviscerating Trump on everything from Trump University to Trump steaks.

There was Warren, the Massachusetts senator and hero of the left who withheld her endorsement of Clinton until June, blasting away at Trump, which has become her favorite past-time on Twitter. She took aim at his "stupid wall," Trump University and for saying "he was excited for the 2008 housing crash."

Source USA today.com


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Japanese media: At least 19 dead in knife attack outside Tokyo

TOKYO – At least 19 are dead and 26 injured after a former employee went on a stabbing rampage at a residential home for mentally disabled people near Tokyo, Japanese news media reported Tuesday.

It is one of the worst mass killings in Japan since World War II.

Kyodo News Service said police arrested a 26-year-old man who turned himself in at a nearby police station at about 3 a.m. Tuesday, local time.

Police said the man, identified as Satoshi Uematsu, told them “I did it,” and “It’s better that the disabled disappear,” according to Kyodo.

Police said Uematsu entered the facility at about 2:10 a.m., Tuesday, local time, by breaking a ground floor window with a hammer, then apparently went room to room stabbing anyone he saw. Police said Uematsu later drove himself to a police station where he surrendered without incident.

He had a bag full of knives and other edged tools, some with bloodstains, when he turned himself in, Kyodo reported.

Kanagawa Prefectural officials said at a news conference that Uematsu worked at the care facility from 2012 to February 2016. They did not say what job he had held or explain the circumstances under which he left.

The attack took place at the Tsukui Yamayuri En (Tsukui Lily Garden), a residential home for disabled people run by Kanagawa Prefecture, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) outside Tokyo. Officials said about 150 people, ranging in age from 19 to 75, live at the care home.

It is located in a largely residential area, with a school and amusement park nearby.

Violent crime is rare in Japan and private gun ownership is severely restricted.

Twelve people were killed and 50 injured when religious cultists released poison gas in the Tokyo subway system in March 1995.  In 2008, a man rammed a truck into pedestrians in the popular Akihabara electronics district, then began stabbing people with a knife; seven people died in that incident.

Television news footage Tuesday showed dozens of police cars and ambulances at the Kanagawa facility, along with a large orange police crime-scene tent and scores of journalists. Local  news media reported that family members and neighbors began gathering at the facility early Friday, with some complaining that they had received no information from officials.

Source:USA Today.com

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DNA tests prove N.J. man, imprisoned for rape, is innocent

FREEHOLD, N.J. — A Long Branch man convicted in 1992 for the rape of a 17-year-old girl, a crime for which he served more than four years in state prison, has been exonerated through modern DNA testing, acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced Friday.

Dion Harrell, 49, could not have committed the crime based on the new DNA evidence, Gramiccioni said in a prepared statement. The prosecutor, whose office initially opposed Harrell's request for post-conviction relief, called it "wonderful news for Mr. Harrell and his family. Our goal as prosecutors is to see that justice is done."

It clearly wasn't when Harrell's case was decided.

Harrell, who could not be reached for comment, was 22 years old when he was wrongfully identified as the attacker in the Sept. 18, 1988 sexual assault. The teenager told authorities that Harrell had dragged her into a dark parking lot on Broadway in his hometown and forced himself on her.

She said he then took her purse and fled the scene, Gramiccioni said.

The girl went home and reported the crimes to her mother, who called the Long Branch Police Department, the prosecutor said. What happened next, as it turned out, put an innocent man behind bars.

At his 1992 trial, Harrell presented witnesses who testified that he had been playing basketball with them when the  attack occurred. Nevertheless, Harrell was convicted on the basis of the victim's testimony and on the testimony of a state expert who said Harrell could not be excluded as a possible suspect based on his blood type.

What the expert witness failed to add was that in fact, no human male could be eliminated as a suspect based on the biological evidence presented alone, Vanessa Potkin, an attorney for the Manhattan-based Innocence Project, said in an earlier interview.

Harrell was sentenced to eight years in state prison and was released on parole in 1997.

Dion Harrell, now 49, was 22 when he was falsely accused

Dion Harrell, now 49, was 22 when he was falsely accused of rape in 1988. (Photo: File)

Gramiccioni said in his statement that the 1992 conviction "was based upon the best evidence available at that time. Advancements in science have now provided evidence of Mr. Harrell’s innocence, and our duty to act is clear. Today, modern DNA technology has provided justice. We will be working collaboratively with Mr. Harrell’s attorneys at the Innocence Project in New York to take the necessary steps to vacate the 1992 conviction."

Until last year, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office had denied Harrell's request for a DNA test, arguing that he had no right to a DNA analysis because he was no longer incarcerated. That position was based on a state law that contained provisions for incarcerated convicts to ask for testing of DNA evidence.

Harrell has always maintained his innocence, according to Potkin.

Although Harrell had been out of prison for nearly 20 years, his conviction still required him to be subject to the provisions of Megan's Law. He has had to register with authorities as a sex offender and, therefore, continued to face obstacles in securing employment and permanent housing, Potkin said.

The prosecutor's office dropped its objection to the DNA test in February 2015, after the Press reported on the case. It could not immediately be learned why it took more than a year since then for the results of the DNA testing to be learned; at the time, officials said the results could be released within a month. Calls to Gramiccioni's office were not immediately returned.

Paul Cates, a spokesman for the Innocence Project, could not be reached as well.

In his statement, Gramiccioni said DNA evidence was first used in the United States in 1987, when a Florida man was convicted of rape after DNA tests matched his blood sample with the semen traces recovered from his victim in Orange County. However, it was not until after 1992 that the New Jersey State Police Forensics Laboratory started testing and utilizing DNA evidence for criminal prosecutions in New Jersey, he said.

Source: USA today.com

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Are Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne reuniting?

Things might be shaping up for Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne's marriage.

In May, Sharon announced she and Ozzy were separating after 33 years of marriage. She kicked Ozzy out, Sharon confirmed on her television show, The Talk, saying she couldn't "keep living like this."

But Monday morning, while promoting his new History Channel reality series, Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour, Ozzy said he and Sharon were "back on track."

Ozzy called their issues a bump in the road. "Some days are good. Some days are terrible," he said. "Some days you just drift apart for a while but you get back on the horse, you know?"

Then it was Sharon's turn to weigh in on live TV. On Monday's The Talk, she retorted: "Um, 'Get back on the horse,' how dare you? He's such a romantic fool. So romantic back on," she said. Still, Sharon seemed to indicate the two were working it out.

"It's been very hard...I shouldn't speak for him but I know he wants to come on the show anyway and talk for himself to you all. I'm fine with that," she said. "He feels he owes everybody here an apology because he's put us all through it."

Sharon continued: "He's very embarrassed and ashamed about his conduct...I can't speak for him. But for me, um, yes, you know – I forgive. It's going to take a long time to trust but you know we've been together for 36 years, 34 of marriage, and it's more than half of my life."

She may be forgiving, but that doesn't mean Sharon is forgetting. "I just can't think of my life without out him," she said. "Even though he is a dog. He's a dirty dog," she said. "So there we are. He's going to pay for it though, big-time."

Source: USA today

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Faith Ekakitie stopped by police at gunpoint while playing Pokémon Go

SAN FRANCISCO — Faith Ekakitie, a defensive end for the University of Iowa, says "the first time I've truly feared for my life," came while playing the popular smartphone game Pokémon Go in an Iowa City park.

A bank a short distance away had been robbed and the suspect was identified as a large black male, wearing all black with something on his head, according to Ekakitie's Facebook post that described the incident, which comes amid heightened scrutiny of police shootings of African-American men.

Iowa City police noticed the 23-year-old Ekakitie fit the armed suspect's description. Ekakitie, who had headphones on, did not hear the approach of the police officers who drew their guns. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder detailed the incident from his perspective and from what he thought must have been the perspective of police, writing he was "happy to be alive."

Sgt. Jorey Bailey told The Des Moines Register: "I don’t think race played a factor in this, nor does it in circumstances like this because of the detailed description, the location given by the person and the short time span in which this all occurred."

Some African Americans, especially African-American men, are taking precautions to avoid arousing suspicion with potentially lethal consequences. There is even a Tumblr post with tips on how to play safely: Walk a dog (on a cloth leash, not a chain), wear glasses, avoid white neighborhoods or bring a non-black friend.

Ekakitie urged people to "be more aware of their surroundings."

"Because clearly I wasn’t," he wrote on Facebook.

He also asked people to "unlearn some of the prejudiced that we have learned about each other."

Source:USA Today.

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Sun-powered Solar Impulse 2 plane completes record global flight

The Solar Impulse 2 airplane touched down early Tuesday, completing its final leg of the first entirely solar-powered flight around the world.

The experimental airplane landed amid much fanfare in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — the same city where the historic voyage began more than a year ago, in March 2015.

Moments after landing Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard, stuck his hand out of the cockpit, giving a thumbs up, and said: “We made it! We made it! All together, we did it!”

Piccard took off from Cairo early Sunday local time for the last portion of the journey that combines global circumnavigation and solar energy. He alternates legs of the flight with fellow Swiss pilot André Borschberg, who landed the plane in Cairo on July 13.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on Monday joined a live-stream video call of the flight and encouraged Piccard during the pilot’s final leg.

“You are always welcome on our team,” Piccard told Ban from the cockpit. Musician Akon also called into the live stream to support the mission.

During one stretch of the plane's world tour using only energy from the sun, Borschberg completed the world’s longest non-stop solo flight last July — a four-day, 21-hour, 52-minute trip from Japan to Hawaii.

After that record-breaking flight, damage it caused to the plane's battery delayed the project until the plane resumed its flight in April. The aircraft then made multiple stops in the United States, from San Francisco to Phoenix, then to Tulsa. Other stops included Dayton, Ohio; Allentown, Pa.; and New York City, before crossing the Atlantic to Spain in June.

The solar project began 14 years ago not only to advance aviation technology but also to raise awareness about climate change, both pilots have said.

“The most important thing isn't to make world records," Piccard said last year. "It's to show what we can do with clean technologies.”

Bob Van der Linden, the curator of aeronautics at the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum, recently said, “It was never intended to be a pioneering plane,” but instead a way to advance solar power technology.

Source: USA Today

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Feds probing Clinton campaign hacking

(CNN)The FBI and Justice Department are investigating a computer hack of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in addition to its examination of intrusions of other Democratic Party organizations, two law enforcement officials said Friday.

The campaign said in a statement that its internal systems were not compromised.
"An analytics data program maintained by the DNC, and used by our campaign and a number of other entities, was accessed as part of the DNC hack," said Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill. "Our campaign computer system has been under review by outside cyber security experts. To date, they have found no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised."
The intrusion was discovered by private investigators hired by the campaign, according to one of the law enforcement officials. The private investigators believe it is similar to the Democratic National Committee hack, but federal investigators are still working to determine the scope and nature of the intrusion, the official explained.
The campaign intrusion is the latest in a series of Democratic party organizations who have had system breaches that are being investigated -- including the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
The Justice Department's national security division, which was already investigating the DNC intrusion, is handling the investigation because of the believed similarities, one of the officials explained.
There is strong evidence indicating the cyber intrusion of the DNC was the work of hackers working on behalf of Russian intelligence, US officials said this week.
The alleged intrusion was first reported by Reuters.
A person familiar with the Clinton campaign program described it as essentially a dynamic voter database -- with voter participation, voter contact information and voter files that all campaign organizations use. It's a list -- but a dynamic one with key voter data.
The DCCC, which is the political arm for House Democrats, confirmed Friday it had been the subject of a cyberhack, raising the possibility that alleged Russian hackers might have breached a much broader swath of Democratic records than originally thought.
The revelation comes just days after the leak of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails -- US officials allege Russian hackers -- prompted major turmoil within the party, causing the abrupt resignation of its chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
On Friday afternoon, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said Russians look to be the culprits, pointing to comments by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper the prior day.
"As Clapper said last night, all the evidence isn't in yet, but it's certainly the way it looks," she told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room."
A spokeswoman for the DCCC said Friday that the committee has been advised by investigators that the hack is similar to the DNC breach.
"The DCCC can confirm that we have been the target of a cybersecurity incident. Upon discovering the issue, we immediately took action and engaged with CrowdStrike, a leading forensic investigator, to assist us in addressing this incident," Meredith Kelly, spokeswoman for the DCCC, said in a statement. "The investigation is ongoing."
Beyond the DNC cyber intrusion, hackers believed to work for Russian intelligence agencies have breached numerous other entities linked to Democratic Party politics, including private companies, a federal law enforcement official said.
The series of cyber breaches over the past 18 months have targeted political entities that support Democrats, the official said.
"If they wanted to get into a system, they got in," the official said.
The FBI's chief of cyber investigations James Trainor told CNN in an interview recently that hackers have targeted political party entities and think tanks in Washington.
The official said there is a long list of intrusions that the FBI and other agencies are investigating.
Republican Party organizations so far haven't reported finding any intrusions, the official said.
The Russians have denied any involvement with the DNC hack, but federal investigators suspect hackers in the country have accessed the information. And Democrats believe they have been leaked in the middle of a contentious election year to help Donald Trump.
"The DCCC takes this matter very seriously," Kelly said. "With the assistance of leading experts we have taken and are continuing to take steps to enhance the security of our network in the face of these recent events. We are cooperating with the federal law enforcement with respect to their ongoing investigation."
Hacking has become a major flashpoint in the presidential race. Revelations about targeting the Clinton campaign come as both nominees are set to begin receiving national security briefings.
Asked if she was ok with Republican nominee Donald Trump receiving such information, Feinstein said, "Well, it will be interesting to see if he can keep a secret."
Trump earlier in the week drew criticism for appearing to suggest that Russia should use espionage to find Hillary Clinton's deleted emails.
The GOP nominee later tried to walk back the comments.
"Of course I'm being sarcastic," Trump said in a Fox News interview that aired Thursday, after his comments at a news conference in Florida sparked a national furor and offered ammunition for Democrats who claim he's not fit to be president.
Source: CNN.com
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Black Dandyism: When dressing got political

(CNN)Dressing, especially for black men, can be political. That's according to a new exhibit at London's Photographers' Gallery, "Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity".

"If you are a black man, you are judged on the basis of how you are dressed," says the show's curator, Ekow Eshun, who points to recent examples of African American men attacked based on appearance.
"Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman for looking 'suspicious' wearing a hoodie," he adds.
In this new exhibit, Eshun focuses on the history of dandyism -- from Mali's sharp-looking party goers, to the sartorial rock stars envisioned by photographer Hassan Hajjaj.

Dandyism as counter culture

Black men are simultaneously hyper visible and invisible to wider society, says Eshun.
"The dandy is a counter position to that, it is about resisting the stereotypes that are often invited upon black men," he explains.
Eshun -- a Ghanaian-British broadcaster and journalist who made history as the first black editor of a mainstream British style magazine (the now defunct Arena) -- says the exhibit's theme is close to home.
e recalls an incident with his father when someone called the police on them, though they were only sitting in a parked car.
"I had just turned 16, and with no prompting on my part, the idea of me as a threat seemed abruptly widespread. When I sat beside them on the tube [subway], women clutched their handbags a little closer."
The exhibition at the Photographers' Gallery aims to show how, by the act of donning stylish attire, black men are defying stereotypes and committing acts of personal political rebellion. Black dandyism is "about confounding expectations of how black men should look" says Eshun.
Malick Sidibé spent his nights photographing Mali's confident revelers.
Eshun chose images from as far back as 1904. One features a pair of dapper, young black Victorians, posing gallantly in their cravats. The exhibit also features Malian photographer Malick Sidibé, who was famous for his portraits of confident Malians post colonial rule, and the work of Kristin-Lee Moolman, who portrayed androgynous youths in Soweto's townships.
Even a simple act, like say, wearing bell bottoms, has at times been mired with intense political meaning. The photographer Samuel Fosso, who took customer portraits in his studio in Bangui, Central African Republic during the day, would by night turn the camera on himself. He would put on tight shirts, bell bottoms and platform boots.
"All of the things he's wearing in the images were banned," explains Eshun. "So he's almost sticking two fingers up at the establishment by playing dress up at night."
Eshun acknowledges that dandyism itself is superficial but argues the concept, when applied in racial terms, isn't just about style; it transcends into politics.
More poignantly, like Fosso, many of the men in the images are not dressed particularly extravagantly says Eshun. But it's a "knowingness that you are shaping your identity on your own terms."
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The family behind Ghana's 'made to survive anything' car

(CNN) A pastor is perhaps an unlikely candidate to become Ghana's first car manufacturer.

But that's what Kwadwo Safo, founder of the Christ Reformed Church, and who is known locally as the "Star of Africa", has done.
And the inventor has become something of a legend in Ghana.
Safo started his family business, Kantanka, 20 years ago, making electrical devices from TVs and sound systems to musical instruments and sewing machines in a country with virtually no history of manufacturing.
As a child he'd had a knack for building things, and before becoming a pastor he'd trained as a welder.
"(My father) had ambition and foresight. He thought of everything in preparation of Kantanka," says Safo's son, Kwadwo Safo Jr.
Today, Kantanka Group is split into an electronics division and a car manufacturing company -- Ghana's first car-maker.
30-year old Kwadwo Safo Jr. is CEO of the family's car business.

Made in Ghana

The "made in Ghana" cars were modeled for tough local conditions -- and, to prove it, the Ghanaian police test drove them.
Safo Jr, 30, says he has learned a lot from his father.
"We are expanding our current production line to include a lower-end model which we will launch before the end of the year," he says.
"We have made quite significant sales, including a very important one to the office of the president."

Rise above the sky -- and go with the flow of change

Safo Jr. didn't always plan to be in the car business.
After studying in London, in 2006 he went to earn his pilot's license in the United States. In 2009, he returned to Ghana and earned a bachelor's degree in public administration before joining the family business.
Apprentices work at the Apostle Safo Technology Research Center in Gomoa Mpota, Ghana.
As for being a pilot?
"The dream changed, it's been put on hold," he said.
Safo Jr. says operating in Ghana isn't without difficulties: at times there are power cuts and getting fuel needed for back-up generators can be hard.

Believe in yourself

One of the biggest challenges is getting customers to believe in "made in Ghana".
"People think the doors will come off or the tires will blow off or something," he says.
Though the company has had positive reviews, Kantanka is still a relatively small operator competing with established foreign rivals.
The manufacturer can produce 150 cars a month, and with high production costs at home, the cheapest of its three models costs about $20,000.
"We need to be able to produce at a more affordable rate. There are high import charges in Ghana," he says.
But Safo Jr. is confident that Kantanka will grow.
"We have a plan to build sports cars, buses and really expand in Africa with more models," says Safo Jr, from his headquarters just outside the capital of Accra.
"Once you are determined and you want to do it, it's not hard," he says.
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Indian couple hacked to death by grocer they owed 22 cents, police say

New Delhi (CNN)A man was beheaded and his wife hacked to death after a disagreement with a grocer, according to authorities in India.

The killings took place in the Mainpuri district of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh Thursday, following an argument earlier that day.
The couple, who belonged to the lowest rung of India's caste hierarchy, had owed upper-caste shopkeeper Ashok Mishra 15 rupees (22 U.S. cents) but said they were unable to pay back the money, authorities said.
According to police, eyewitnesses said the couple, who were referred to as Bharat and Mamta, had told Mishra they would pay back their debt at the end of the day, once they had received their wages as laborers.
After a heated argument about 6 a.m. local time, as the couple headed to work in nearby fields, police say Mishra went home, grabbed an ax, and attacked the couple. Both died.
"It is not clear yet if the shopkeeper had some previous vengeance against the couple," said Digambar Kushwaha, a local police official.
"The attacker has confessed his crime to the police. The role of shopkeeper's wife in this incident is not clear yet. We are investigating.
"We are also probing some eyewitnesses to find out why no one tried to stop the shopkeeper."
Kushwaha said the shopkeeper told police that the couple had verbally abused him.
The attacker and his wife have both been arrested and the weapon used in the attack recovered, he said.
Bharat and Mamta leave behind four children -- three of them minors, according to authorities.
The Dalit community in the village has blocked roads and protested over the incident.
Dalits, as India's lowest caste, have long been vulnerable to discrimination and acts of violence.
The caste system is officially abolished in India but social hierarchies often contribute to crime and atrocities across the country.
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Facebook Live is changing our world. Is that a good thing?

(CNN)Facebook Live has only been available to the masses since January, and in that time we've pretty much witnessed the full scope of humanity.

We laughed along with "Chewbacca Mask Lady" and delighted in the (accidental) live stream of a childbirth. Live streams via Facebook (and Periscope and Snapchat) of House sit-ins made us feel engaged in the democratic process without the hassle of leaving home.
Recently, things have taken a serious turn, with videos of shootings, protests, beatings and more shootings served up in our feeds, often without warning.
If you feel like you're becoming inured to it all, expressing a sentence of outrage, clicking share and moving on, you're not alone. This is not Periscope or Meerkat, after all. It's Facebook, where your grandmother has an opinion on the live stream of a Georgia woman beating her teenage daughter.
Before you bemoan the demise of civilization and threaten to quit social media (never gonna happen), consider the following:

Video can be especially powerful when you cut out the middleman

Protesters from Turkey to Minneapolis sidestepped traditional media when they live-streamed demonstrations, leaving viewers to draw their own conclusions.
Or, imagine if Diamond Reynolds had called the local news station after Philando Castile was shot instead of hitting record on her smartphone. Would they have arrived in time to capture his life slipping away? Would they have come at all?
Amateur video is more personal and raw, compared to what you see in a newscast or edited video, where you're prepared for what you're going to see.

... but external information can be useful, too

We would be remiss to downplay the benefits of editorial gatekeepers like, say, CNN, which go to great lengths to vet videos for their source and context before sharing it with viewers.
Same goes for law enforcement, which evaluates the circumstances surrounding a video to form a complete picture before making an arrest.
"The technology can be used to help us understand what happened in that space and time, but it's not the end-all be-all," said CNN law enforcement analyst Cedric Alexander, the public safety director at the DeKalb County Police Department in Georgia.
"Depending on where you enter the video there's also a beginning, a middle and an end, and you have to be mindful of those circumstances."

It draws attention to potential crimes and injustice more quickly

Watching Castile's life slip away in a car after being shot by an officer may have been hard to watch. But it galvanized a social justice movement and compelled a response from government agents at various levels up to President Barack Obama.
Already, there are numerous examples of Facebook Live events leading to arrests in shootings, beatings, even in allegations of sexual harassment.
All of which is basically what Facebook hoped for when it launched the product. Here's what the company said on July 8, after the video of Castile went viral.
"Live video allows us to see what's happening in the world as it happens. Just as it gives us a window into the best moments in people's lives, it can also let us bear witness to the worst. Live video can be a powerful tool in a crisis -- to document events or ask for help," the statement said.

Too much violence on video *could* desensitize us

Research suggests that binging on televised violence can lead to apathy. While it's too early to say whether live-streamed violence on Facebook will make you antisocial, information overload is a legitimate concern, some psychologists say.
"I worry that any given live feed is getting supplanted by the next live feed and we may be getting desensitized to all of it," said Kaveri Subrahmanyam, associate director of California State University's Children's Digital Media Center, which focuses on media psychology.
"If we're watching a lot of this, you have to wonder how memorable any live video is. Do we just watch it and forget it immediately after happens? I fear that may the case."

... and cause you to retreat from society

For all the power of live video, the downside is that it can make us fearful, said psychologist Jerri Lynn Hogg, the former president of the American Psychological Association's Society for Media Psychology and Technology.
"There's a numbness that we develop to protect ourselves. We withdraw into families where we feel secure and resist engaging in the issues, rather than work with others to develop solutions," she said.

But it's a small price to pay for an open, connected society

But Hogg and others, including Facebook, say the benefits far outweigh the perceived drawbacks -- and, we're already seeing the benefits.
"When I look at recent efforts on behalf of political leaders, for example, to live-stream events like party conventions in the U.S. or debates over policy like the recent Brexit vote in the UK, I'm overwhelmingly encouraged by this technology's audience-magnifying potential," said California State University Professor Michael Germano, who teaches courses in internet law and information policy.
"It feels like an evolutionary step in media consumption and not necessarily a frightening or disturbing one. With that said, there will be disturbing bumps along the road as the discourse adapts and standards evolve. That's all part of the process."

... as long as there are standards that everyone is aware of

None of what's happening on Facebook is unprecedented or unusual when it comes to media innovation. Twitter, which Facebook leapfrogged over to become the leader in live-streaming, is dealing with similar anxieties in the form of trolling and abuse.
Developing standards is the task at hand right now for Facebook, said industry analyst Scott Kessler of S&P Global Market Intelligence, who covers Facebook.
"They have to figure out how to strike a balance between decorum and freedom," he said. "The onus is on these companies to make clear they actually have a process."

... Which there are, sort of

Facebook says the same community standards exist for all content on Facebook, including live video.
Viewers can report potentially offensive material 24/7 to real people dedicated to responding to such reports. If a live stream starts blowing up, staffers monitor it for possible violations and interrupt it if need be.
Take, for example, the recent video of a mother repeatedly slapping and hitting her teenage daughter on Facebook Live. The original video, which sparked allegations of child abuse and prompted a law enforcement investigation, is gone from the original account it was posted on. However, copies remain on Facebook, in posts condemning the violence.
As Facebook explains in their statement:
"One of the most sensitive situations involves people sharing violent or graphic images of events taking place in the real world. In those situations, context and degree are everything. For instance, if a person witnessed a shooting, and used Facebook Live to raise awareness or find the shooter, we would allow it. However, if someone shared the same video to mock the victim or celebrate the shooting, we would remove the video."
One line in their community standards hints at how far they're willing to go in the name of an open, connected society:
"Because of the diversity of our global community, please keep in mind that something that may be disagreeable or disturbing to you may not violate our Community Standards."

And, don't forget...

If you don't like watching videos of people being shot, remember that you can always look away, scroll past or otherwise avoid your feed.
In other words, put the phone down.
Source: CNN.com
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Keshia Knight Pulliam on her messy marital split

(CNN)Pregnant "Cosby Show" star Keshia Knight Pulliam is speaking out about the end of her brief marriage.

In a tearful interview with Entertainment Tonight's Nischelle Turner, Knight Pulliam said she was blindsided by her husband -- former football player Ed Hartwell -- when he filed for divorce and asked for a paternity test for the child she is carrying. The couple has been married only seven months.
"I have never cheated on [Hartwell] during my marriage," Pulliam said. "That's not who I am."
The site Young, Black and Fabulous broke the news that Hartwell had filed for divorce in an Atlanta court, just one week after Knight Pulliam announced she was pregnant with a daughter.
Knight Pulliam, who as a child star was beloved for her role as Rudy Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," said she was not the one who cheated. She also said she did not push for their marriage, and that Hartwell told her he wanted more children.
The former linebacker has a son, Ed Jr., with his ex-wife, "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Lisa Wu.
Knight Pulliam said she no longer wants to be married to Hartwell. She just wants to focus on her coming child and to set the record straight, she said.
"This isn't about fame," Knight Pulliam said. "This isn't about social media likes or follows. This is about my character -- my integrity as a woman being attacked -- and that's not OK."
Source: Cnn.com
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Bradley Cooper was at the DNC -- and some people are not amused

(CNN)Every now and then, facts get a little mixed up with fiction.

Take the example of Bradley Cooper. The actor was at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Wednesday night -- minding his own business -- when he started trending on social media.
Not because of his beard and flowing hair, which made him look like a well-moisturized pirate with glistening skin. But that's a whole other story.
Apparently, some people believed Cooper was a Republican, based on his riveting portrayal of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle in the blockbuster film, "American Sniper."
Kyle was a right-wing icon who loved his weapons. He once said President Barack Obama's gun control proposals were aimed at "trying to ban everything."
A bunch of people may be confusing movies with real life, and are not amused that Cooper doesn't mirror his character in the war movie.
How dare Cooper defy his movie persona and attend a Democratic convention? Cooper, who was in the film directed by Clint Eastwood? (Remember that awkward moment when Eastwood interviewed an invisible Obama at the GOP convention?)
I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But just like Cooper is not a gun-slinging raccoon from his role in "Guardians of the Galaxy," he does not appear to be a Republican either. Cooper -- and his beard -- have donated to Democrats before.
So sure, Cooper played Kyle, the man who after several tours in Iraq, was killed by a former Marine in 2013 while shooting at a Texas gun range.
Sure, Cooper perfected a Texas twang to play the man who wrote about his many kills in the book, "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History."
But Cooper has a right to pick whatever political affiliation he chooses, no?
And he's a Philly native. Can't a man attend one of the biggest parties is his hometown in peace?
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Dwyane Wade: The Bulls are 'Jimmy Butler's team'

Dwyane Wade — a 13-year NBA veteran, three-time champion and 12-time All-Star — is the most experienced and the most decorated player on the Chicago Bulls roster.

By far.

But make no mistake ... he's not headed to Chicago expecting to take over as the go-to guy. As far as he's concerned, the Bulls belong to Jimmy Butler — a two-time All-Star who has spent all five of his NBA seasons in Chicago and is now the team's longest-tenured player behind power forward Taj Gibson.

"We're not going to go through this all year," Wade told reporters at his introductory press conference on Friday. "This is Jimmy Butler's team. Myself and (Rajon) Rondo are here to bring what we bring, as athletes to this team and to this city. He's a young bull on this team. He's a 26-year-old that can play 40 minutes if coach wants him to, and maybe more. I ain't trying to do all that. And we're going to depend on him a lot."

"He is a guy who I've known since Marquette University, that I have a tremendous amount of respect for," Wade continued. "This wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Jimmy Butler. Jimmy Butler called me and told me he wanted me (in Chicago), and that was huge. Because at the time, I didn't know."

Wade's comments mirror those that Rondo — who also referred to the Bulls as "Jimmy's team" — made at his introductory press conference earlier this month.

"It won't be a tug and pull of whose team it is," Wade said. "We're all playing together. We all have one common goal, and that's to win."


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Exxon, Chevron earnings sink as oil tumbles

ExxonMobil and Chevron posted disappointing second-quarter earnings Friday as the American energy sector reels with oil prices mired in a prolonged downturn.

Chevron posted a loss of $1.47 billion for the quarter after turning a $571 million profit in the same period a year earlier, while Exxon's profit declined 59% to $1.7 billion.

Disappointed investors drove shares of Exxon down 1.4% to close at $88.95 Friday. Chevron shares edged 0.7% higher to $102.48.

It's a sharp reversal in fortunes for a sector that practically printed money in oil's heyday just a few years ago. Exxon's revenue plunged 22.2% to $57.7 billion, missing S&P Global Market Intelligence analyst estimates of $64 billion. Chevron revenue fell 24.4% to $27.8 billion, missing estimates of $29.6 billion.

The crushing slide in revenues for Exxon and Chevron illustrates the significance of oil's slide, despite second-quarter gains that snuffed out fears of prices below $30 per barrel that reigned in the first quarter.

“While our financial results reflect a volatile industry environment, ExxonMobil remains focused on business fundamentals, cost discipline and advancing selective new investments across the value chain to extend our competitive advantage,” Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said in an email.

Similarly, Exxon's earnings-per-share of 41 cents missed S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates of 64 cents. Exxon cut spending on capital investment and energy exploration by 38% for the quarter to $5.2 billion. The company lost its AAA credit rating in the second quarter, illustrating the severity of oil's slide.

Chevron lost 78 cents per share, compared with earnings of 30 cents per share in the same quarter of 2015. The company said it had recorded one-time impairment costs, primarily in its upstream oil business, and other non-cash charges of $2.8 billion.

“The second-quarter results reflected lower oil prices and our ongoing adjustment to a lower oil price world,” Chevron CEO John Watson said in a statement.

Taken together, the underwhelming figures point to further trouble as oil prices have charted a downward path following the United Kingdom's vote to exit the European Union.

Oil prices fell six consecutive days heading into Friday. West Texas Intermediate oil, the U.S. benchmark, traded in the $41 range Friday, just a few weeks after topping $50 per barrel in what looked like a steady recovery.

Investors are reacting to three key factors:


  • Rising production in the U.S., where many exploration-and-production companies had cut output amid falling prices earlier this year. U.S. oil inventories rose by 1.7 million barrels in the week ended July 22, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Wednesday report.
  • Signs of an uptick in Libya and Nigeria, where geopolitical disruptions have throttled production.
  • Increased production in Canada following the devastating fire that slashed oil-sands output earlier this year.

"The trend in oil prices so far this year has closely resembled their pattern last year, with prices rising in the first half of the year before retreating in the summer," Capital Economics commodities economist Thomas Pugh said Friday in a research note.

Source:USA Today.com

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Jordan Spieth narrowly avoids penalty over tricky rule at PGA Championship

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — Jordan Spieth spent a portion of his Friday morning holed up in a tent near the 10th tee at Baltusrol Golf Club during a 45-minute rain delay with Bubba Watson and Sergio Garcia and the players’ caddies.

His day at the 98th PGA Championship nearly ended in a rules snafu.

Spieth broke well when the skies finally cleared as he birdied the first two holes starting at the 10th. He offset a bogey on the 12th with birdies on the 13th, 17th and 18th. Pars filled his scorecard until he reached the seventh tee box.

That’s when things got interesting — and complicated.

Spieth’s tee shot ended up in a puddle on a cart path. For nearly 10 minutes — and with no less than four drops to find relief — Spieth spoke with a rules official concerning all his options. He finally was given the go ahead after his last drop settled three feet from the original resting place of the tee shot.

The world No. 3 altered his stance to make sure he wasn’t standing in casual water — because you have to take complete relief when taking a free drop from casual water — and then hit the ball over the green and made bogey.

But it appeared Spieth’s left foot was in casual water when he hit the shot, which would have resulted in a two-shot penalty. But after the round, Spieth said his toe was hovering over the water but not touching the water.

It wouldn’t have mattered even if his foot was in the water. In explaining the decision, the PGA of America said in a statement: “In this case, Jordan was entitled to either play the ball as it lay, even if his stance was still in the casual water or, he could have elected to take relief again from the casual water under this different type of stroke that he then elected to play.”

Thus, while he was peppered with question from the media, there was no danger of being assessed a penalty by the rules committee following the round.

“It was as complicated as I've ever really had it. Took about as much time as I've ever taken on a free drop,” Spieth said. “ … I would have never hit if I was not told it was OK by a rules official. He told me it was fine. Really don't know why we were talking about to be honest. It was a casual water relief drop that took a little extra time. I guess obviously people are talking to you thinking it should be a problem, but it was no problem.”

Spieth didn’t think twice about the situation after he hit the shot.

“I don't think there's any problem with it. If there happens to be then that's not on me. I literally asked every question I could ask and I got every answer I could be to be content,” Spieth said. “That's first and foremost what you are trying to do is obviously abide by the rules. If I had to go over any more, if he told me I did then I would have. He said it was just fine, so it was just fine.”

As for his round – he said it was a tale of two nines – Spieth said his ball-striking is plenty fine but his putting stroke still needs attention. Spieth shot a 3-under-par 67 to move on to the first page of the leaderboard.

“On the greens they were a wicked two feet faster on the Stimpmeter at least, even after all that rain. They were so smooth, they were pure and they were really nice to putt on. But, man, I hit almost every midrange putt I had a good two- to four-feet past the hole,” Spieth said. “Luckily I hit quite a few in there close enough to be able to knock in relatively straight putts for birdie on the front nine. It was an adjustment on speed control on the greens for sure.

“I'm hitting the ball fantastic. I just can't get a putt to go in outside 10 feet. And from 10 to 20 feet, the amount of opportunities I've had that aren't that difficult, up to my putting standards I would be 5, 6, 7 strokes better right now. It feels like it's a bit of a struggle adapting line and speed control on the greens. … I just need to find a nice rhythm with my putting stroke. That's what's next.”

Source:USA Today.com

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Mary J. Blige files for divorce from husband of 13 years

Mary J. Blige is ending her marriage to her husband-manager after nearly 13 years.

Court records show the "Family Affair" singer filed for divorce from Martin "Kendu" Isaacs on Tuesday in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences. No additional details for the breakup were included in the filing.

Blige and Isaacs were married in December 2003 and have no children together. The actress-singer has won nine Grammy Awards, including for her albums "Growing Pains" and "The Breakthrough."

The singer is asking a court to deny Isaacs spousal support.

The divorce was first reported Thursday by celebrity website TMZ.

Source:FOX News.com

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Shannen Doherty on cancer battle: 'I don't look past today'

Shannen Doherty's cancer fight has taken a heartbreaking toll on her.

The 45-year-old actress revealed last August that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2015, and in an exclusive new interview with ET, Doherty cries when speaking about her intense battle.

"It's hard," she acknowledges to ET's Jennifer Peros, shedding tears. "I started thinking that I wasn't going to live... I don't look past today."

"I don't know if I'll ever look like me again," she adds, wearing a scarf over her head.

WATCH: Shannen Doherty Chronicles Shaving Her Head Amid Breast Cancer Battle

In the emotional sit-down, Doherty reveals a devastating setback in her diagnosis for the first time.

"I want to believe that if I fight, I'm gonna be OK," she says.

Doherty's exclusive interview airs on Monday, only on ET.

On Wednesday, ET chatted with her former "Beverly Hills, 90210" co-star, Jason Priestley, who shared his love and well-wishes for his on-screen sister. Priestley was especially moved by Doherty's decision to share pictures of her shaving her head on Instagram.

"What she did the other day, shaving her head and posting the pictures and everything, that was incredibly brave," Priestley, 46, said. "Shannen's a strong kid and a tough fighter, and I know that she's gonna come through this fight and she's gonna be OK."

WATCH: Shannen Doherty Opens Up About Cancer Battle and Her Career -- People Think I'm 'Unable to Perform'

Fellow "Beverly Hills, 90210" actress Tiffani Thiessen also shared kind words.

"I wish her all the best, of course," Thiessen told ET.

Source: Fox News.com

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7 Foods to Avoid with Asthma

Avoiding certain foods might help you avoid an asthma attack.

You can’t magically cure yourself of your asthma symptoms by eating special foods. But the food you eat can have an influence. Some may even make your asthma symptoms worse. Not everyone will react the same way to the same foods, of course, but it may be worth closely monitoring your reaction to certain foods and avoiding them if necessary. 

1. Dried fruit

Many kinds of dried fruit include sulfites, which are preservatives designed to stretch out the shelf life of the food—and one of the most problematic additives in foods for many people with asthma. Read the package for words like “potassium bisulfite” and “sodium sulfite” to determine if those dried cherries or apricots may trigger an asthma flare. 

2. Wine or beer

Many kinds of wine and beer also contain those pesky sulfites. You may have to forsake that glass of cabernet if you find yourself coughing or wheezing after indulging. Some research also suggests that histamines in wine can cause symptoms like watery eyes, sneezing and wheezing. 

3. Shrimp

Frozen or prepared shrimp could be risky for you. If you suspect that sulfites are once again the culprit, you’re right! Frozen shrimp—and other seafood—often contain sulfites because they discourage the growth of unappetizing black spots. If you’re eating out, be sure you don’t accidentally eat something that’s been cooked in a broth made with shrimp or other shellfish.

4. Pickles

You may need to toss the pickle included with your deli sandwich. Pickled foods tend to contain sulfites as preservatives, as do fermented foods like sauerkraut. Watch out for relishes, horseradish sauce, and even salad dressing mixes for the same reason.

5. Packaged or prepared potatoes

The next time you’re tempted to make mashed potatoes from a mix, think again. Take a look at the ingredients list on the package. Sure, that package contains potatoes, maybe some vegetable oil, some salt, perhaps some whey powder or dried nonfat milk, but further on down the list, you’ll probably spot a preservative like sodium bisulfite. The sulfites strike again! Opt for a whole potato that you can toss in the oven instead. Don’t forget to pierce it with a fork a few times first. 

6. Maraschino cherries

They look so beautiful, like brightly-colored jewels in a glass jar, but anyone with asthma who’s sensitive to sulfites should just admire maraschino cherries from afar. Canned fruits and bottled fruit juices—such as lemon and lime juice—may also contain preservatives that could trigger bronchospasms or other symptoms of asthma. 

7. Any foods to which you’re allergic

You’re probably already on high alert for foods that you know you’re allergic to. Keep on keepin’ on, since those foods may also play a role in triggering asthma attacks. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports the foods that cause the majority of allergic reactions include tree nuts, wheat, soy, peanuts, eggs, fish, shellfish and cow’s milk. If you’re allergic to any of those foods, definitely avoid eating them—or anything that’s cross-contaminated by them.


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Zika mosquito: thrives in hot water, hard to wipe out

Behind the spread of the Zika virus is a tiny menace that just won't go away.

It's called the Aedes aegypti (AYE'-dees uh-GYP'-tie), a species of mosquito that has played a villainous role in public health history and defeated attempts to wipe it out.

The mosquito is behind the large outbreaks of Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean. On Friday, Florida said four Zika infections in the Miami area are likely the first caused by mosquito bites in the continental U.S. All previous U.S. cases have been linked to outbreak countries.

Five things to know about the bug:


Aedes aegypti is a small, dark, hot weather mosquito with white markings and banded legs. Scientists believe the species originated in Africa, but came to the Americas on slave ships. It's continued to spread through shipping and airplanes. Now it's found through much of the world, including cities across the southern United States.


Early in the 20th century, it was the engine behind devastating yellow fever outbreaks and became known as the yellow fever mosquito. Since then, it's also been identified as a carrier for other tropical illnesses such as dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika. Scientists say other types of mosquitoes might also spread Zika but Aedes aegypti is the main culprit. The vast majority of the mosquitoes tested recently in South Florida have been that kind.

Aedes aegypti has an unusually cozy relationship with people. While other species thrive in more rural areas, or at least in parks and gardens, this is a domesticated species - sort of a housecat mosquito - accustomed to living in apartment buildings and city centers. It prefers biting people to animals and likes to feed indoors, during daylight hours. It doesn't venture far. Researchers say it doesn't travel more than a few hundred yards during its lifetime - usually two to four weeks


The mosquito is a hardy bug that can be particularly challenging to get rid of. In the early 20th century, many countries tried to wipe out the mosquito with chemicals and other measures. By 1970, it was eradicated from much of South America - including Brazil. But many mosquito-control programs lapsed due to budget problems, concerns about insecticides and the success of the yellow fever vaccine. The species roared back. More recently, scientists have been exploring novel ways of curbing the pest with genetic engineering, radiation or bacterial infections.


Female mosquitoes drink human blood for nutrients used in making eggs. After a female bites an infected person, it can spread the virus through its saliva to its next human victim. While the virus is mostly spread to people through mosquito bites, scientists have established that it's been spread through sex - mostly by men to their partners - in some cases. Zika can also be spread through blood; the virus usually stays in the blood for about a week, though it's been seen longer in the blood of pregnant women. A U.S. lab worker was accidentally infected through blood.

Source:USA Today.com

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Reports: Feds probing Clinton campaign hack

The FBI and the Justice Department are investigating a computer hacking of the Hillary Clinton White House campaign and other Democratic Party organizations, CNN and Reuters reported Friday, citing law enforcement officials.

The unnamed officials told CNN that the news organization that the hacking was discovered by private investigators.

The hacking also was disclosed to Reuters and is believed to be part of a widespread breach of Democratic political organizations, that news organization reported.

The Clinton campaign released a statement Friday saying no internal systems appeared to have been breached.

"An analytics data program maintained by the DNC (Democratic National Committee), and used by our campaign and a number of other entities, was accessed as part of the DNC hack," the Hillary for America statement read. "Our campaign computer system has been under review by outside cyber security experts.  To date, they have found no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised.”

The Justice Department had no immediate comment, Reuters reported.

Source:USA Today.com

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Person of interest sought in deadly downtown Austin shooting

USTIN (KXAN) — One person is dead and several are injured following two shootings in downtown Austin early Sunday morning. Austin police have identified a person of interest in the first shooting.

Police say Endicott McCray, 24, may be armed. He is described as 5’9″, 130 pounds, with long corn rows and a goatee. There is not a definite description of what he was wearing at the time of the shooting.

Austin Police initially classified the shootings as an active shooter incident; however, police now say there were two incidents and they do not appear to be connected.

The first incident happened at the corner of East Sixth and San Jacinto streets, in the heart of the city’s entertainment district, where gunshots rang out around 2:17 a.m.

Ricky Moultrie tells KXAN News his sister, 30-year-old Teqnika Moultrie, was the person who was shot and killed. Ricky says his family is from the Bay Area in California but his sister was in Austin to visit her fiance’s family.

Teqnika Moultrie died when shots were fired on Sixth Street in downtown Austin on July 31, 2016. (Courtesy: Moultrie Family)

Teqnika Moultrie died when shots were fired on Sixth Street in downtown Austin on July 31, 2016. (Courtesy: Moultrie Family)

Three women in their 30s were taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge for treatment with serious but non-life threatening injuries. A fifth patient refused EMS treatment at the scene. Ricky says his sister did not know the women injured.

Police believe the incident began as a disturbance when someone pulled out a gun and began shooting into the crowd.

KXAN spoke with a man named Cody — who didn’t want his last name used — who was out celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday when they heard gunshots.

“All we heard was three gunshots – two or three gunshots. And all we saw were people running everywhere in the middle of Sixth Street. We were 15-20 yards above Sixth Street on San Jacinto,” he said in a phone interview. “We just ended up grabbing all of our friends and ended up running probably two blocks away.”

Another witness, Kristin Holt, said, “I saw a guy run through the alleyway… he was like, ‘Wow that woman just got shot in the chest and she just collapsed.'”

Austin Police ask anyone with video of the incident to share it with them by emailing police3@austintexas.gov. Anyone with information or tips is asked to call the Homicide Tip Line: 512-477-3588.

APD Police Chief Art Acevedo released a statement Sunday morning following the shootings.

"On behalf of the Austin Police Department we wish to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the young woman who lost her life to this senseless act of violence and wishes for a speedy recovery to the individuals wounded… Austin, Texas is one of our nation’s safest cities and the community we serve partners with APD to stand up for our neighbors and friends and to bring those that would do us harm to justice. This sensors and tragic incident will be no exception.”

Second shooting: Trinity Street, 2:24 a.m.

A second unrelated shooting happened in a parking garage in the 800 block of Trinity Street, near the intersection with Eighth Street. Police say a man fired shots during an aggravated assault.

The parking garage where Sunday's second shooting happened is closed off by police.

The parking garage where Sunday’s second shooting happened is closed off by police.

“One individual did pull out a weapon and fired it at another individual and so given the fact that we had multiple shots fired on Sixth Street and we had another incident that occurred several blocks away with shots being fired the initial concern was that we had an individual that was engaging in an active shooter tactics in an entertainment district. But again that’s not what our assessment is at this point,” explained APD Chief of Staff Brian Manley.

The suspect was disarmed and taken down by witnesses. Medics took him to the hospital. No one was shot in the incident on Trinity.

Back in March, Rondarius Spicer, 21, and Justin Bruson, 20, were arrested for firing shots into a crowd on East Sixth Street.

Source: KXAN.com

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Pilot, 4 passengers in hot air balloon crash identified

CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Three of the victims who were in the hot air balloon that crashed in a field west of Lockhart Saturday morning have been identified.

Alfred “Skip Nichols,” Pilot

The pilot, Alfred “Skip” Nichols, died with 15 others when the balloon crashed next to power transmission lines off of State Highway 142. Officials have not confirmed whether or not the lines were a factor in the crash.

CNN confirmed the pilot’s identity after speaking with Alan Lirette, the ground crew supervisor who was working with Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides.

Lirette said he helped load the other 15 passengers into the basket of the hot air balloon, called the “gondola.” Lirette called Nichols his “best friend, boss and roommate,” in an interview at his home in Kyle.

The balloon operator said he was speaking to the FAA about the crash and that there did not appear to be any children on board.

“[Nichols] was a great pilot,” he said.

Paige Brabson and Lorilee Brabson 

Lorilee Brabson Martinez, left, and her daughter Paige Brabson (Facebook/YouTube Photos)

Lorilee Brabson, left, and her daughter Paige Brabson (Facebook/YouTube Photos)

Paige and her mother, Lorilee, were on the balloon that crashed, family confirmed Sunday. Paige had her first child a few months ago and the trip was a Mother’s Day gift from Paige to her mom.

A family member asked people to pray for his family.

The mother and daughter are from San Antonio.

The crash is the deadliest hot air balloon incident in American history, and the second deadliest worldwide.

Sunday and Matt Rowan

A Snapchat photo of Matt and Sunday Rowan prior to the hot air balloon ride. (Snapchat Photo)

A Snapchat photo of Matt and Sunday Rowan prior to the hot air balloon ride. (Snapchat Photo)

The couple was originally from Springfield, Mo.

“The thought they suffered, it just hurts my heart,” said a friend in Springfield to NBC News.


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Russia continues to shadow Trump

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump's Russia problem isn't going away.

In the past week, the Republican presidential nominee has been pilloried for his comments expressing openness to Russia's annexation of Crimea, has called on the Russian government to share emails it possibly hacked from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and drawn rebukes from critics who say he's soft on a traditional US adversary.
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden became the latest heavyweight in the George W. Bush administration to lash out at Trump when he criticized the candidate Monday night for making conflicting statements about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I recognize that flexibility and creativity might actually be good selling used cars and selling real estate, but when you want to be the head of an international superpower, precision and consistency are really important," Hayden told CNN's Erin Burnett.
Hayden's comments come after Trump told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that he has no relationship with Putin -- a remark that conflicted with Trump's long history of saying the opposite and embracing Putin's praise for his candidacy.
And a new CNN/ORC poll finds that most Americans see the Russian leader differently, with nearly 6-in-10 viewing the country as unfriendly, and about half saying they think the Russian government is attempting to influence the outcome of the US presidential election.
The debate over Trump's sympathy for Putin or take on world affairs is more than an esoteric squabble over foreign policy, experts said. By calling into question established structures and alliances that have held since World War II, Trump is unsettling allies and encouraging potential instability that inevitably draws the US to intervene.
In his "This Week" appearance, Trump also echoed Moscow's claim that Crimeans welcomed Russia's annexation and seemed to suggest that Russia hadn't entered Ukraine at all, telling host George Stephanopolous, "The people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were."
As for Putin's foray into Ukraine, Trump said, "He's not going into Ukraine, Okay, just so you understand. He's not going to go into Ukraine, all right?"
"Well, he's already there, isn't he?" Stephanopolous replied.
Sunday's exchange came in the wake of an alleged Russian computer hack of the Democratic National Committee -- seen as an unprecedented foreign effort to interfere in a modern US election -- and Trump's own call to Russia, which he later described as "sarcastic," to help find deleted emails sent by Clinton.
And the associations that his staffers have with Russian businesses and pro-Moscow interests complicates the campaign's efforts to push back against criticism on the subject and fend off questions about the Trump team's motivations.
Trump adviser Carter Page has extensive dealings with Gazprom, the Russian state-run energy company with strong ties to Putin and his inner circle. Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort consulted for former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich, a key Putin ally, until his ouster in February 2014. In the chaotic aftermath, Russian-backed separatists seized the Crimea, a Ukrainian territory that Moscow later annexed.
In this context, Trump's comments expressing admiration for Putin are unsettling, said Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.
Trump's comments seemingly excusing Russia's invasion of Crimea throw into question his commitment to a system that has built a relatively peaceful and prosperous post-war order, said Farkas, now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. At a time when Russia as abrogated arms control treaties and its planes are buzzing US ships in the Baltic Sea, Trump has praised Putin as a canny leader who he respects.
Since the end of WWII, there has been an existing consensus among nations that borders should not be altered by force. Russia has deviated from that twice, in Georgia in 2008 and again in Ukraine.
"The international system is set up the way it is, and has provided relative peace and prosperity for decades," Farkas said. "To violate that is shocking and the bipartisan response has been 'this can't stand.' "
"If we accept the position that big states can ride roughshod over little states, that treaties are irrelevant and that we don't care whether we have solemn commitments to allies we are encouraging further attacks against our allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East," said Stephen Blank, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.
Whether the Crimean people welcomed Russia's invasion is irrelevant, said Blank, as "it was still a clear aggression of a country." And he noted that Trump's remarks have a potential ripple effect, providing an invitation for the estimated 25 million Russian minorities in post-Soviet states "to agitate for the dismemberment of their countries" and a return to the Russian fold.
"The international system is set up the way it is, and has provided relative peace and prosperity for decades," Farkas said. "To violate that is shocking and the bipartisan response has been 'this can't stand.' "
"The whole reason we have alliances like these is to deter countries like Russia from laying a finger on our allies. It's a way to prevent war, plain and simple," Farkas said.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Valeriy Chaly echoed Farkas' point Monday, telling CNN that while he didn't want to get involved in US election politics, Trump's comments concerned him.
"We count United States will be predictable, will have predictable leadership and predictable foreign policy," Chaly said.
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Warren Buffett challenges Donald Trump to discuss tax returns

Warren Buffett challenged Donald Trump Monday to discuss their tax returns publicly.

"I'll bring my tax return. He can bring his tax return...Just let people ask us questions about items on there," Buffett said in his introduction of Hillary Clinton at an Omaha rally. "Nobody is going to arrest us. There are no rules against showing your tax returns."


The Omaha billionaire said he's willing to meet Trump any where and any time before Election Day to let the public inquire about their tax filings. Tax returns reveal a lot more about a person's finances than financial statements do, Buffett said.

Trump has resisted releasing his returns, saying he is being audited by the IRS. This breaks with the longstanding tradition that presidential candidates release at least some recent tax returns. It's also unclear whether Mike Pence, Trump's running mate who is Indiana's governor, will make his returns public.

Many experts, however, say that being audited doesn't stop Trump from revealing his returns.

Buffett acknowledged that he, too, is under audit, but said that's not a reason to withhold tax returns.

The only reason to keep your tax return private is if you have something to hide, Buffett said.

"You're only afraid if you've got something to be afraid about," he said. "He's not afraid because of the IRS. He's afraid because of you."


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Aetna rethinks Obamacare participation

Aetna is reconsidering its participation in Obamacare, making it the latest large insurer to cast doubts on the future of the individual exchanges.

Aetna (AET) said Tuesday it is canceling plans to expand into more states next year and will reassess its involvement in the 15 states where it currently offers coverage on the individual exchanges. It expects to lose $300 million (pre-tax) on its Obamacare business this year.


"...in light of updated 2016 projections for our individual products and the significant structural challenges facing the public exchanges, we intend to withdraw all of our 2017 public exchange expansion plans, and are undertaking a complete evaluation of future participation in our current 15-state footprint," said CEO Mark Bertolini in a second-quarter earnings statement.

he performance of Aetna's Obamacare business is deteriorating as policyholders seek more care than expected, the company said. Pharmacy costs are a particular problem.

Aetna had 838,000 exchange customers at the end of June.

The announcement comes two weeks after the Department of Justice blocked Aetna's merger plans with Humana (HUM), as well as Anthem's purchase of Cigna (CI). Anthem (ANTX) last week linked its merger with its Obamacare participation.

"Our acquisition of Cigna will help stabilize pricing in this volatile market, enabling Anthem to continue its commitment to the public exchanges, and provide the opportunity to expand our participation to nine additional states, where neither Anthem nor Cigna currently participate," said Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish in an earnings call.

UnitedHealthcare (UNH), the nation's largest insurer, said in April it plans to exit most Obamacare exchanges in 2017.


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