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NEWS   WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2016   NEWS

Obama Visits Flood-Damaged Louisiana After Criticism He Should Have Come Sooner
President Obama landed Tuesday in southern Louisiana, arriving 10 days after the region was devastated by record flooding -- after choosing not to cut short his Martha's Vineyard vacation in spite of mounting criticism. The president, after landing in Baton Rouge, plans to tour some of the hardest-hit areas in the southern part of the state. Some places got soaked with three inches or more of rain in a single hour. In all, between Aug. 11 and Aug. 14, more than 20 inches of rain saturated southeast Louisiana. Thirteen people died and nearly 61,000 homes in 20 parishes have been damaged or destroyed. As of Monday, 3,075 Louisiana residents remained in emergency shelters as state and federal officials scrambled to find housing. Fox News

New Study Sheds Light On Why Latinos In U.S. Live Longer – They Age More Slowly
It’s long been a mystery as to why Latinos in the U.S., who suffer from worse health, actually live longer than other groups. Researchers dub it the “Hispanic paradox,” and a new study gets down to the molecular level to try and apply the findings on the rest of humanity. “The Hispanic paradox has been observed since at least 1986, and so for decades there was this debate of whether it was a result of various biases such as the healthy migrant effect or the so-called 'salmon bias' — meaning sick immigrants returned to their home countries shortly before death,” said Steve Horvath, lead author of the study published recently in the journal Genome Biology, to Fox News Latino. Fox News

Can Israel Swing The Election Donald Trump's Way?
Less than three months before the US presidential election, it isn't looking good for Donald Trump. The Republican nominee's numbers are down in the national polls and in many crucial swing states like Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. But there is another locale, more than 5,000 miles away, that Republicans hope will tip the scales and determine the future of the United States. At a mall in Modiin, in central Israel, American-Israeli Republicans press the flesh. Red, white and blue balloons flank a sign in Hebrew that appears similar to Trump's "Make America Great Again" logo, but it doesn't promise to restore America's greatness. CNN

Hillary Clinton's For-Profit University Problem
After Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, Bill Clinton received $17.6 million in payments from a for-profit university. Since that time, another organization with a connection to that university received almost $90 million in grants from an agency that's part of the State Department. Critics of the Clintons have cried foul. But is there really something shady going on? There is no shortage of connections between the Clintons and Laureate International Universities. Laureate is a for-profit university -- the same kind Hillary Clinton has railed against for saddling students with huge debts. CNN

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Trump's Stamina Attack On Clinton Stirs Talk Of Gender Bias
Donald Trump and his Republican allies say Hillary Clinton is weak, lacks stamina and doesn't look presidential. Intent on undermining his Democratic rival, Trump and GOP backers are increasingly relying on rhetoric that academics and even some Republican strategists say has an undeniable edge focused on gender. His criticism of Clinton goes beyond "Crooked Hillary," and complaints about her use of a private email server as secretary of state and her foreign policy decisions. Clinton, Trump said in a speech last week, "lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS and all the many adversaries we face." He has repeatedly called attention to Clinton's voice, saying listening to her gives him a headache. Last December, he mocked her wardrobe. "She puts on her pantsuit in the morning," he told a Las Vegas audience. CNS News

Clinton Flippant About Her Emails: 'So Boring'
"I would be terrified if my emails were released," ABC's Jimmy Kimmel told Hillary Clinton on Monday, when she appeared on his late-night show. "But Jimmy, my emails are so boring," Clinton said. "And I mean, I'm embarrassed about that, they're so boring. And so we've already realeased, I don't know, 30-thousand-plus, so what's few more?" A federal judge on Monday gave the State Department one month to review another 14,900 emails that the FBI obtained as part of its investigation into Clinton's use of a private server. Those additional 14,900 emails surfaced long after Clinton said she'd given the State Department all of her work-related emails. CNS News

Former Anchor Says Fox News A 'Sex-Fueled Cult' In Harassment Lawsuit
A former Fox News anchor claims in a lawsuit that former network Chairman Roger Ailes, who resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment and is reportedly advising Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, fueled a misogynistic culture at the top-rated channel enforced by other executives. Andrea Tantaros said she was taken off the air in April in retaliation for rebuffing Ailes' advances and complaining to top officials at Fox News, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O), in a lawsuit filed Monday in New York state court in Manhattan. The defendants include Fox, Ailes, William Shine, who was named co-president of the network when Ailes resigned last month, and three other company officials. Reuters

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Florida Announces Zika Case Hundreds Of Miles From Miami
Florida officials on Tuesday announced the first case of Zika transmitted by mosquitoes in Pinellas County, located some 265 miles (425 km) from Miami, where the first locally transmitted U.S. cases were reported. Steve Huard, acting spokesman for Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County, said the case involves a woman without a significant travel history, indicating the virus was contracted locally. He did not know the timeline on the case, only that it had been confirmed within the past day. He did not have any more details on the patient's illness. "At this point, it’s a single case. It’s a one off,” Huard said. “We don’t know where it originated, and we are doing appropriate testing and medical surveillance.” Florida Governor Rick Scott said the state department of health has begun door-to-door outreach in Pinellas County, testing individuals to find other cases. Reuters

Trump Faces Hurdle With Minority Voters As Clinton Maintains Lead, Poll Shows
Hillary Clinton continues to hold a large national lead over Donald Trump, 50 percent to 42 percent, weeks after the Democratic National Convention. Clinton's 8-point advantage is virtually unchanged from her 9-point lead last week, and she has seen similar margins since the end of July. These results are according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll among registered voters. In a four-way general election match-up, Clinton holds a 5-point margin over Trump 43-38 percent, while Libertarian Gary Johnson garners 11 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein gets 5 percent. MSNBC

Donald Trump's Poll-Watching Talk Spurs Call For International Monitors Of U.S. Election
Citing Donald Trump's controversial call to his supporters to challenge voters at the polls, a leading civil rights group is urging international election monitors to beef up their efforts to observe this November's U.S. presidential contest. It's the latest reflection of deep concern among voting rights advocates about potential voter intimidation and suppression this fall. In a letter sent Saturday, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights asked the Warsaw, Poland-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to "greatly expand" its U.S. election monitoring program. MSNBC

Poor Economy, Continued Spending Mean More Red Ink For Federal Government
The deficit will spike 33 percent this year, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, saying the gains of the last six years are coming to an end. An economy still struggling to recover from the Wall Street collapse has kept government revenue low, rising by less than 1 percent. But that hasn’t restrained Washington’s spending, which will rise 5 percent this year, as baby boomers continue to sign up for Social Security and Medicare. All told, the government will end fiscal 2016 some $590 billion in the red, or about 3.2 percent of gross domestic product. That’s up from 2.5 percent the previous year — marking the first backslide in six years. Washington Times

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Bill Weld, Libertarian VP Nominee, Equates AR-15s With Weapons Of Mass Destruction
Bill Weld, the Libertarian vice presidential candidate — who by definition should be standing up for individual liberties — came down hard on firearms in an interview with Revolt TV, comparing AR-15 rifles with weapons of mass destruction. “The five-shot rifle, that’s a standard military rifle; the problem is if you attach a clip to it so it can fire more shells and if you remove the pin so that it becomes an automatic weapon, and those are independent criminal offenses,” Mr. Weld said. That is when they become, essentially, a weapon of mass destruction. The problem with handguns probably is even worse than the problem of the AR-15.” Washington Times

Poll: Hillary Clinton Leads Donald Trump Nationally By 8 Percentage Points
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump nationally by 8 percentage points, according to an NBC News/SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll released Tuesday.
The poll found Clinton leads Trump 50 percent to 42 percent -- a lead that’s not much different from her 9-percentage-point lead last week. In a four-way match-up, Clinton leads Trump 43 percent to 38 percent while 11 percent back Libertarian Gary Johnson and 5 percent support Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Clinton has an extensive lead among black voters with 87 percent supporting her compared to the 8 percent who back Trump. Nearly three-quarters of Hispanic voters also support Clinton compared to 22 percent who support Trump. Two-thirds of Asian Americans support Clinton, the poll found, while 23 percent support Trump. CBS

Pence Demands Clinton Foundation Be Shut Down Immediately
As he stood on a makeshift stage on the back of a flatbed truck, the Indiana Governor asserted that Clinton should “come clean” about the foundation, and he described donations made by foreign contributors and corporations as “down payments to access the Clinton Foundation.”  He also made a reference to revelations about 15,000 new emails found by the FBI. Trump, at a rally in Akron, called for a special prosecutor to investigate the “pay-for-play State Department and the corrupt Clinton Foundation.” Pence went on to accuse the Democratic nominee of being absent from the campaign trail. “Hillary Clinton has been hiding and Donald Trump is everywhere,” he said. Clinton had closed fundraising events in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard while Trump visited Baton Rouge, which was heavily damaged by recent flooding. A rapid-response spokesman for the liberal group American Bridge had a different interpretation for Pence’s remark. CBS

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Joe Biden Tells Baltic Leaders That Donald Trump Doesn't Understand How NATO Works
While meeting with Baltic leaders in Latvia today, Vice President Joe Biden told them not to take some of Donald Trump’s comments about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization seriously, saying he doesn’t believe the Republican presidential nominee fully understands the organization’s mission. “The fact that you occasionally hear something from a presidential candidate in the other party, it’s nothing that should be taken seriously because I don’t think he understands what Article 5 is,” he said, referring to NATO’s founding principle of collective defense. The alliance was chartered in 1949 to provide Western Europe and the United States with a bulwark against the Soviet Union. ABC

American Heart Association Issues New Recommendations For Kids And Sugar
Children and teens from the ages of 2 to 18 should consume no more than 25 grams of sugar a day, according to new guidelines issued by the American Heart Association (AHA). The AHA is also recommending that children younger than 2 should consume no foods or drinks with added sugars. “Strong evidence supports the association of added sugars with increased cardiovascular disease risk in children through increased energy intake, increased adiposity and dyslipidemia,” the AHA said in its scientific statement released Monday. The guidelines mean that these children and teens can have roughly 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily, amounting to around 100 calories. ABC

Trump Floats Obama-Like Deportation Plan, And Fans Don’t Mind
Donald Trump is backing away from his call for mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, and even some of his rally-going supporters say they’re fine with it.
If he wins the November election, the Republican presidential nominee said Monday, he would do “the same thing” as President Barack Obama in prioritizing the removal of criminals residing in the U.S. illegally, but “perhaps with a lot more energy.” Trump appears to be heeding allies’ longstanding advice to soften his stance on deportations, which they worry is toxic to Hispanic voters, now that he faces Democrat Hillary Clinton—and troubling poll numbers–in a general election fewer than 80 days away. Bloomberg

Tropical Storm Gaston Strengthening; New Storm Raising Concern
Tropical Storm Gaston continues to strengthen over the open Atlantic, but another storm that could become Hermine is being watched as a potential threat to the Southeast, from Florida north. Although it is forecast to reach hurricane strength by Wednesday, Gaston is not expected to be a threat to anything but shipping in the Atlantic. Its forecast track keeps it well away from land through the next 5 days. With maximum winds of 65 mph, Gaston is moving west-northwest at 21 mph. The seventh tropical storm of the season, Gaston was about 685 miles west of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands as of 11 a.m. Tuesday. UPI

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Oil Climbs On Report Iran May Support OPEC Production Freeze
Oil rose, reversing an earlier decline, on speculation Iran may be more willing to cooperate with other producers seeking to freeze output. Prices rose as much as 2.7 percent after Reuters reported that Iran is sending "positive signals" that it may support joint action to bolster the oil market, citing unidentified sources in OPEC and the oil industry. Iran hasn’t decided whether to join any action, according to the sources. If OPEC and some other producers agree to cap output at informal talks next month, the resulting price boost may help other suppliers revive output, Goldman Sachs analysts wrote. Bloomberg

Private Lives Are Exposed As WikiLeaks Spills Its Secrets
WikiLeaks' global crusade to expose government secrets is causing collateral damage to the privacy of hundreds of innocent people, including survivors of sexual abuse, sick children and the mentally ill, The Associated Press has found. In the past year alone, the radical transparency group has published medical files belonging to scores of ordinary citizens while many hundreds more have had sensitive family, financial or identity records posted to the web. In two particularly egregious cases, WikiLeaks named teenage rape victims. In a third case, the site published the name of a Saudi citizen arrested for being gay, an extraordinary move given that homosexuality is punishable by death in the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom. Las Vegas Sun

Traffic Fatalities Continued To Surge In First Half Of 2016
Traffic fatalities were up 9 percent in the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year, continuing a surge in deaths that began two years ago as the economy improved and travel picked up, according to preliminary estimates released Tuesday by the National Safety Council. An estimated 19,100 people were killed on U.S. roads from January through June, said the council, a congressionally chartered nonprofit that gets its data from state authorities. That's 18 percent more than two years ago at the six-month mark. About 2.2 million people also were seriously injured in the first half of this year. The council estimates the cost of these deaths and injuries at about $205 billion. Las Vegas Sun

U.S. Delegation In Turkey To Discuss Possible Extradition Of Fetullah Gulen
Vice President Joe Biden is in Turkey along with several high-ranking government representatives to discuss the possible extradition of Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen.
Three officials from the U.S. Justice Department and another from the State Department arrived in the capital, Ankara, late Monday night, two sources confirmed to the Adadolu Agency. The planned talks also were confirmed by two senior Turkish officials to Al-Jazeera. The delegation spoke with officials from Turkey's Ministry of Justice for International Law and Ministry of Foreign Affairs early Tuesday morning, the sources told Adadolu Agency. And talks also are scheduled for Wednesday, according to the Al-Jazeera sources. UPI

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Nigeria Putting Brakes On Israeli Participation In West African Summit
A planned summit between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leaders of the 15 African states that make up the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Nigeria by the end of the year is in jeopardy because the president of Nigeria has not signed off on the deal, The Jerusalem Post has learned. Marcel Alain de Souza, the commissioner of ECOWAS, was in Israel last month and invited Netanyahu to take part in the summit. The two men signed a joint declaration of intent for greater cooperation between Israel and the organization, which represents countries that have a combined population of some 320 million people. The declaration stated that both parties “positively view the participation of the prime minister of the State of Israel in the ECOWAS summit in the near future.” Jerusalem Post

After Years Of Quiet Progress, Israeli Medical Cannabis Research Is Budding
Behind closed doors somewhere in the recesses of the Israeli government’s Agricultural Research Organization, Dr. Nirit Bernstein has been working for the past three years to perfect cannabis cultivation practices. “It’s difficult to be a cannabis researcher. It’s much easier to be a tomato or citrus researcher,” she told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. “We are dealing with an illegal drug. Even though we are growing cannabis for medicinal purposes, it is still by definition an illegal drug.” Jerusalem Post

IS Conflict: UN Warns Of 'Huge Impact' Of Mosul Assault
The humanitarian impact of a planned offensive by Iraqi pro-government forces to retake the city of Mosul is expected to be "enormous", the UN says. Up to 1.2 million people living in and around Mosul could be affected by the operation to drive out jihadist militants from Islamic State, it warns. More than 120,000 people have already been displaced by fighting since March as troops clear territory to the south. Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, has been under IS rule since June 2014. Earlier on Tuesday, elite troops launched an operation to recapture the key town of Qayyarah, 60km (40 miles) to the south. A spokesman for the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), Sabah Numan, said its forces were battling IS militants on the town's outskirts and were working in co-ordination with armed residents inside. BBC

Ramen Noodles 'Are Most Valuable US Prison Commodity', Study Suggests
Ramen noodles have overtaken tobacco to become the most valuable commodity in some US prisons, a new study suggests. The research said the shift was a response to a decline in the quantity and quality of food on offer. "Because it is cheap, tasty, and rich in calories, ramen has become so valuable that it is used to exchange for other goods," said study author Michael Gibson-Light. US prison data shows spending has not kept pace with the number of inmates. Although the research is based on anecdotal evidence from fewer than 60 inmates and staff from one male state prison, the author points to other findings indicating that the trend toward using ramen noodles for exchanges is evident in other prisons. BBC

Abu Zubaydah, Detainee Tortured By CIA, Makes Case For Guantánamo Release
His dark hair was neat, his moustache and beard impeccably trimmed. His shirt was high-collared and spotlessly white. He sat at the head of the table with a calm, composed mien. It was the first time that the world has seen Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Husayn, also known as Abu Zubaydah, since his capture in Pakistan 14 years ago. He is one of three men that the CIA admits it waterboarded at an unknown prison in Thailand. But during the publicly open portion of a quasi-parole hearing to consider his release from the prison at Guantánamo Bay, there was no mention of the torture endured by the 45-year-old Palestinian, who has never been charged with a crime. Guardian

Trump Manager Says 'Undercover Voters' Will Deliver Win In US Election
The Donald Trump campaign is counting on “undercover voters” to win in November. Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway outlined her vision of how the Republican nominee could win in November despite consistently trailing in polls, during an interview with Channel 4 in the United Kingdom for the documentary President Trump: Can He Really Win? Conway insisted that Trump’s support was not reflected in polls because of the perceived social stigma of supporting the Republican nominee. “Donald Trump performs consistently better in online polling where a human being is not talking to another human being about what he or she may do in the elections … it’s become socially desirable, especially if you’re a college educated person in the US, to say that you’re against Donald Trump,” said Conway. Guardian

Please Leave Your Guns At Home, Canada Tells US Visitors
The Canadian government has politely asked Americans not to bring their guns into the country, kickstarting a hashtag on Twitter of #Leaveyourhandgunsathome.
The launch of the new campaign by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) aimed at their southerly neighbours comes a week after two Texans crossing the border in New Brunswick had their firearms destroyed before they were fined and sent home. Canada and the US, though sharing a border of more than 5,500 miles, have very different approaches to gun laws. While American owners are permitted to own and carry their weapons in public, a right protected by the constitution, Canadian counterparts require permits and are largely prohibited from taking their guns out in public. Telegraph

Prison Inspector Calls For Inmates To Be Given Access To Social Media And Skype To Keep In Touch With Family
Prisoners should get phones in their cells and access to social media and Skype to keep in touch with friends and family, the prisons inspector has recommended, prompting concerns about "soft justice". Instead there should be extra support for prisoners with young children in order to keep families together and help people rejoin the community when they are released. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons warned that restricting contact with family should not be used as a punishment for bad behaviour because of the impact it has on inmates. Telegraph

UN Sounds Alarm As 4.5 Million People Need Food Aid In Boko Haram-Hit North-East Nigeria
The number of people in need of food assistance in north-eastern Nigeria has nearly doubled to 4.5 million from March, according to a mid-August analysis by various agencies including the World Food Programme (WFP). “All indications point to an extremely grave situation,” said Abdou Dieng, the UN agency’s Regional Director for West Africa, in a news release. “As the rains set in and the lean season deepens, and more areas are opened up to access humanitarian aid, the full scale of hunger and devastation is likely to come to light,” he added. UN News

To Escape Gangs And Poverty, Central American Children Making Risky Journey To US – UNICEF
The flow of refugee and migrant children seeking refuge from brutal gangs and stifling poverty in Central America and making their way to the United States shows no sign of letting up, despite the risks of being kidnapped, trafficked, raped, or killed on the journey, a report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) found.
In the first six months of 2016, almost 26,000 unaccompanied children and close to 29,700 people travelling as a family – mostly mothers and young children – were apprehended at the US border, according to the report, Broken Dreams: Central American Children’s Dangerous Journey to the United States. UN News

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