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Older News Archivescom0116

Emails Show Top Clinton Aide Discussed Work For Foundation, Consulting Firm While At State Dept.
Was Clinton's top aide improperly paid at State Department? The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee raised questions Thursday about how a top Hillary Clinton aide's fundraising for the Clinton Foundation and job at a corporate advisory firm intersected with her work at the State Department. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, questioned whether Huma Abedin's status as a Special Government Employee (SGE), which enabled her to hold four positions simultaneously, created conflicts of interest. "How can the taxpayer know who exactly SGEs are working for at any given moment?" Grassley asked in a letter to Abedin and Secretary of State John Kerry. "How can the ethics officer at the State Department know?" Fox News
VOA VIEW: Hillary is going down like the Titanic.

Palin: Schilling Suspension Shows ESPN "Buys Into ISIS Propaganda"
Sarah Palin tore into ESPN on Thursday night, calling the network "whimpering" and "intolerant" for suspending baseball analyst Curt Schilling for a tweet comparing radical Muslims to Nazis. In a Facebook post, Palin accused ESPN of buying into terrorist propaganda and advancing "liberal global politics." On Tuesday night, Schilling re-posted a meme that read: "It's said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How'd that go?" The text was emblazoned over a red-tinted photo of Adolf Hitler, with Schilling adding, "The math is staggering when you get to true #'s." CNN

Marco Rubio On World Leaders: Vladimir Putin A 'Gangster,' Kim Jong Un A 'Lunatic'
When it comes to his assessment of world leaders, Sen. Marco Rubio isn't pulling any punches: Russia's run by a "gangster" and North Korea a "lunatic." The 2016 Republican presidential candidate made a foreign policy speech Friday morning in South Carolina, in which he riffed on his unvarnished opinions on various enemies of the United States. His harshest words were reserved for Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Russia is governed today by a gangster," Rubio said. "He's basically an organized crime figure who controls a government and a large territory. ... This is a person who kills people because they're his political enemies. If you're a political adversary of Vladimir Putin, you wind up with plutonium in your drink or shot in the street." CNN
VOA VIEW: Accurate analysis.

Bishop E.W. Jackson: Planned Parenthood Founder Was A White Supremacist
At a press conference outside the National Portrait Gallery on Thursday, Bishop E.W. Jackson said that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger “was a white supremacist” and to honor her “is to be complicit in her evil and her racism.” The press conference brought together a group of black pastors and pro-life leaders who are demanding that the portrait gallery, which is a part of the federally funded Smithsonian Institution, remove a bust of Margaret Sanger. The bust is featured in the gallery’s “The Struggle for Justice” exhibit, which focuses on historical equal rights achievements in America. Depictions of King and Parks are featured in the exhibit nearby Sanger’s bust. CNS News


U.S. Court Hands Win To NSA Over Metadata Collection
A U.S. appeals court on Friday threw out a judge's ruling that would have blocked the National Security Agency from collecting phone metadata under a controversial program that has raised privacy concerns. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said there were not sufficient grounds for the preliminary injunction imposed by the lower court. The ruling was a setback for privacy advocates but did not reach the bigger question of whether the NSA's actions were lawful. It means the massive program to collect and store phone records, disclosed in 2013 by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, can continue unaffected until it expires at the end of November. Reuters

Turkish Jets Join US-Led Coalition In Airstrikes Against IS
Turkey announced Saturday that its fighter jets have carried out their first airstrikes as part of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Syria. A Foreign Ministry statement said the jets began attacking IS targets late Friday across the border in Syria that were deemed to be threats to Turkey. After months of hesitance, Turkey agreed last month to take on a more active role in the fight against IS. Turkish jets used smart bombs to attack IS positions in Syria, without crossing into Syrian airspace and later Turkey granted U.S. jets access to a key air base close to the Syrian border. The Turkish attacks that began Friday were the first launched as part of the U.S.-led campaign and came after Turkish and U.S. officials announced they had reached a technical agreement concerning their cooperation, which calls for Turkey to be fully integrated into the coalition air campaign. Kansas City Star

Virginia Governor Calls For Gun Controls After Journalists Shot
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on Friday vowed to press for gun control reforms following the deaths of two television journalists by a former station employee in an on-air shooting. The pledge by McAuliffe, a Democrat, came as more details emerged about the Wednesday shooting of the journalists at Roanoke station WDBJ7, including ammunition, letters and clothing found in the gunman's car. Speaking after visiting the station's offices, McAuliffe said he would reintroduce legislation in the state assembly mandating background checks for gun buyers. The Republican-led legislature has rejected his gun control efforts since he took office last year. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Not happening.

Diabetes Drugs Can Cause Severe Joint Pain
An entire class of diabetes drugs can cause severe and disabling joint pain, the Food and Drug Administration cautioned patients on Friday. The drugs, which include Januvia, Onglyza, Tradjenta and Nesina, are all in the same class and work by making more insulin available to the body. Januvia was the first approved in the U.S. in 2006. "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that the type 2 diabetes medicines sitagliptin, saxagliptin, linagliptin, and alogliptin may cause joint pain that can be severe and disabling," the agency said in a statement that uses the generic names of the drugs. "We have added a new Warning and Precaution about this risk to the labels of all medicines in this drug class, called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors." MSNBC

Clinton, Democratic Opponents Pitch Their Party Leaders
Hillary Rodham Clinton sought Friday to reassert her status as the inevitable standard-bearer for the Democrats, rousing a roomful of party leaders with sharp attacks on the Republicans as insensitive and out of touch. "This election is about who best understands the pressures facing the families of America and the challenges facing us in the world, and who has the skills and tenacity to tackle them," Clinton said in an aggressive speech during the summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee. She appeared, along with three other candidates for the nomination, with the hope of reassuring party leaders at a time some prominent Democrats have been expressing worry about erosion in Clinton's polling numbers, given an FBI investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of state and an uneven performance on the campaign trail. Philadlephia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Hillary has the tenacity to lie, defraud and steal with a straight face.

Donald Trump Rips Into ‘Sleazebag Perv’ Anthony Weiner
GOP frontrunner Donald Trump on Friday ripped longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her hubby Anthony Weiner, calling the ex-Congressman a “perv” and a “sleazebag” during a speech in Boston. Trump said that Abedin — whose first name he repeatedly mispronounced “Ooma” — worked closely with the former first lady and has access to classified information. “And who is Huma married to?” Trump asked, according to The Hill. “One of the great sleazebags of our time, Anthony Weiner.” Trump noted that he “knew him before they caught him with the —“ he trailed off, again mimicking typing on a phone, a reference to Weiner’s sexting scandal that forced him from office. NY Post

GOP's Tough Talk Doesn't Square With US-China Relationship
If there was ever a week for the Republican presidential candidates to talk tough on China, this was it: Spurred by the stock market's wild ride, they lashed out at the world's most populous nation. Wisconsin's Scott Walker demanded President Barack Obama cancel an upcoming state visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Mike Huckabee said the next president should "build America's economy, not China's or Mexico's." Donald Trump said the U.S. economy needs to "do a big uncoupling pretty soon, before it's too late." It's rhetoric that doesn't always square with the realities of the relationship between the world's two largest economies, said experts on America's ties with China, even if it does make for nifty campaign sound bites. Tampa Tribune

Nigeria: Boko Haram Uses Teenager To Spy On Airport
Nigeria's intelligence agency says the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram infiltrated the capital's main airport and was using a teenager to carrying out surveillance.
Tony Opuiyo, spokesman for the Department of State Services, said late Friday a 14-year-old boy was arrested at the international airport in Abuja earlier in the week. The teenager said he spied on the movement of passengers and security and reported back to his handlers, said Opuiyo. The intelligence agency said it's working closely with the Aviation Security Department and other groups to prevent any possible attacks at Nigeria's airports. More than 1,000 people have been killed by Boko Haram violence since President Muhammadu Buhari was elected in March with a pledge to wipe out the extremists, whose six-year-old uprising has killed an estimated 20,000 people. Tampa Tribune

Hillary Giving Uncle Joe A Message?
In ways both subtle and blunt, Hillary Clinton's campaign is sending a message to Vice President Joe Biden about his potential presidential campaign: This won't be easy. While Clinton and her team speak warmly of Biden in public, they have taken steps to make clear how they've taken control of the party's establishment in hopes of discouraging the vice president from entering the race. The latest came yesterday in the most public of settings: the Democratic National Committee summer meetings. In a speech to the party's most committed activists, Clinton cast herself as its standard-bearer and vowed to win the presidential race and rebuild the party from the ground up. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Hard to do while under indictment.

Tropical Storm Erika Is Falling Apart
South Florida and the rest of the state appear to be off the hook. Tropical Storm Erika appears to be falling apart, as a hurricane hunter aircraft could find no organized circulation on Saturday morning. The system had been battling wind shear and also was disrupted after moving over the mountainous areas of Hispaniola. Unless Erika makes a comeback and its projected path shifts back in this direction, it likely will be business as usual for South Florida next week. The National Weather Service is calling for a high chance of showers and thunderstorms Sunday through Tuesday, but not tropical storm conditions. Sun Sentinel

Trump Says Clinton Aide Shared Classified Info With Her Husband, Anthony Weiner
At a Friday rally in Massachusetts, Donald Trump took on two new targets in his quest to become the 2016 GOP nominee: Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner. After telling attendees that Abedin is married to Weiner – whom he calls “one of the greatest sleazebags of our time” and a “perv” – he suggests that Abedin has shared classified information with her husband. Do you think there’s even a 5% chance that she’s not telling Anthony Weiner, now of a public relations firm, what the hell is coming across? Do you think there’s even a little bit of a chance? I don’t think so. Abedin, who served as deputy chief of staff while Clinton was Secretary of State and is now vice chairman of the Democratic candidate’s campaign, would have done this because she is “desperately in love” with her husband, Trump said. USA Today

USA Needs To Start Preparing Now For The Next Hurricane Katrina
A decade after one of the costliest and deadliest disasters slammed into New Orleans, many communities remain dangerously vulnerable to future storms akin to the next Hurricane Katrina. As towns and cities along the Gulf Coast commemorated the anniversary of the storm's landfall this week, many recalled the chaotic recovery efforts while others saluted the cleanup that has allowed some places to adapt and flourish. “Although some will celebrate the resiliency and recovery of the Gulf region, many continue to feel the painful consequences of Katrina a decade later,” said Gulf South Rising, a coalition of frontline Gulf Coast communities. USA Today


Ashley Madison CEO Out After Devastating Hack
Noel Biderman is stepping down as CEO of Avid Life Media, the parent company of adultery website Ashley Madison, after the site fell victim to a high-profile hack that exposed the personal information of millions of users. "This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees," Avid Life Media said in a statement. "We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base." Avid Life Media will be led by the "existing senior management team" until a new CEO is chosen, the company said. A hacker or group of hackers known as the Impact Team claimed responsibility for the security breach last week. They exposed the email addresses, names, and other information from millions of users of the site, which claims to connect people who are looking to have affairs. The company is currently facing at least five lawsuits seeking class-action status and more than a half-billion dollars. MSNBC

Study Shows More Schools Are Serving Healthier Options
Schools are serving kids more than just chicken nuggets and tater tots, according to a study released Friday. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released data that showed almost all schools offered whole grains each day for breakfast (97.2 percent) and lunch (94.4 percent). Almost 80 percent of schools offered two or more vegetables, which is up almost 18 percent from 2000. Schools serving two or more fruits each day for lunch rose almost 10 percent from 2000. Nationwide more than 90 percent of schools are meeting federal standards, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture updated in 2012 to include more healthy options for students. Boston Globe

Planned Parenthood Sues Alabama Over End To Medicaid Funds
Planned Parenthood Southeast on Friday filed a federal lawsuit over Gov. Robert Bentley's effort to cut off Medicaid payments to the organization's Alabama clinics.
The organization said Bentley's effort penalizes low-income women who seek contraceptive and preventative health care services at the clinics. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Montgomery. It accuses Bentley of violating a federal law that they said requires Medicaid patients to have their choice of provider to receive family planning care. "We're in court today because each and every patient, and her ability to make her own deeply personal and private health care decisions, matters," said Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast. Bentley's press office did not have an immediate response to the lawsuit. Houston Chronicle

Hillary Clinton Allowed To Break Rules In Speech At DNC Summer Meeting
The Democratic National Committee demonstrated Friday that when it comes to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the rules do not apply. Mrs. Clinton, the front-runner for the party’s presidential nomination, was allowed to break the time limit on her speech Friday to the DNC’s summer convention in Minneapolis. Her speech lasted about 24 minutes, despite an announcement beforehand by DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz that speeches by presidential candidate at the meeting would be limited to 7 minutes. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Pitiful!

Ben Carson Surges Past Jeb Bush To No. 2 Spot As Republicans Embrace Outsiders
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has surged to the No. 2 spot in the GOP field, overtaking former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and, combined with front-running businessman Donald Trump, gives outsiders a firm grip atop the Republican presidential race. Combined, the two men have 40 percent of the vote in the latest Quinnipiac University Poll. Add in businesswoman Carly Fiorina’s 5 percent, and nearly half of Republicans say their No. 1 choice for president is someone who has never won a public election. Washington Times

Airfare Deals Pop Up As Airlines Wage Limited Fare Wars
Airline fare wars are making a comeback. Don’t expect widespread sales or cheap flights home for Thanksgiving. But a number of cities are seeing ridiculously low prices at off-peak hours — prices the industry has spent years trying to eliminate. Fliers have been able to fly Chicago to Boston for $80 roundtrip, San Francisco to Las Vegas for $67 roundtrip and New York to Los Angeles, with a connection, for $150 roundtrip. “This is the big break consumers have been waiting for in response to lower fuel prices,” says Seth Kaplan, managing partner of industry newsletter Airline Weekly. Miami Herald

Europe Rethinks Train Security After Americans Thwart Attack
European security and transport chiefs are holding an emergency meeting Saturday in Paris to reconsider train security after American passengers thwarted an Islamic extremist attack on a high-speed trip from Amsterdam to Paris. Baggage scans, identity checks, requiring ID to buy any train ticket and more armed guards are among measures being considered at the meeting of interior ministers and transport ministers from nine European countries, according to four French security or justice officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The ministers are also talking about giving train security staff more powers, and increasing the number of mixed patrols of international police teams on cross-border trains. SF Gate

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Florida Governor Declares State Of Emergency As Tropical Storm Erika Bears Down
Governor Rick Scott of Florida issued a state of emergency Friday as Tropical Storm Erika headed toward the state after killing at least four and causing devastating floods in the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica. Scott used a brief press conference to remind locals to stock up on supplies, including at least three days' worth of food and water. "Stay up with what’s going on. Follow the local news. Listen to your local elected officials. Stay prepared," Scott said. "Think about your children, your grandchildren and your parents, your siblings, and think about friends who might have needs." Fox News

Milwaukee County Sheriff Challenges Obama: 'Forego Your Secret Service Protection'
"I am done asking people in my community to outsource their personal safety to the government," Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke told Fox News's Sean Hannity Thursday night. The sheriff accuses Democrats of "exploiting misery and tragedy" to pursue a political, anti-gun agenda. "But here's my challenge to the president of the United States, you think this is so easy. Forego your Secret Service protection, for you, for the first lady, and your children, and see what it is like to have to fend yourself. "And then we'll sit down and have a conversation so you know what we here at ground level have to deal with on a daily base in terms of self-defense." CNS News
VOA VIEW: No taker by the coward.

For Many, "Retirement" Means Getting A Job
The "I'm outta here" retirement, where you triumphantly wave goodbye to your full-time career and never again work for money, is more the exception than the rule these days. That's one conclusion from a report on retirement patterns that offers evidence American workers are redefining the concept. For many people, retirement is more of a process that unfolds over many years rather than a one-time event. Researchers from Boston College and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics studied the patterns of how older workers left the workplace from 1992 to 2010. They examined data on about 20,000 Americans age 50 and over from the respected Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) conducted by the University of Michigan. They found four distinct paths that older workers use to exit from a full-time career job: CBS

Prison Scrambles As Legionnaires' Disease Sickens Inmate
Officials at California's oldest state prison scrambled to provide safe drinking water to thousands of inmates after waterborne Legionnaires' disease hospitalized one inmate and was suspected of sickening more than two dozen others. Water was quickly shut off at San Quentin State Prison Thursday after testing confirmed the potentially fatal illness. A 3,800-gallon water tanker was hauled to the 163-year-old prison north of San Francisco, along with 2,800 liter bottles and a makeshift assortment of containers holding another 380 gallons of water. Security was beefed up as additional correctional officers were brought in to escort more than 3,700 inmates from their cells to about 100 temporary toilets, until the prison restrooms were reopened for use on Friday. Drinking water was still being brought in as health officials tried to find the cause of the contamination. San Diego Union


4 Top Tips To Reduce High Medical Bills
There is a solution to crushing medical bills, and it doesn't involve paying someone a lot of money to help you. In fact, let me be the first attorney to tell you that you do not need an attorney to reduce your medical bills. You can be your own advocate. Here are my top tips from experience in reducing more than $100,000 in medical bills for clients in the past year. You have a right to know exactly what you are paying for and the cost of each service provided. Patients are often overcharged, or even charged for services that were not provided. You are responsible for auditing your medical bills to save money. An itemized bill will list each charge individually, rather than just provide the total cost. After you get the itemized bill, call the provider and ask that any unclear charges be explained in plain English. Do not pay a bill that is incorrect or contains overcharges. CBS

Bill Clinton Sought State Department OK For Paid Speeches Related To North Korea, Congo, New E-Mails Show
ABC News has obtained State Department e-mails that shed light on Bill Clinton’s lucrative speaking engagements and show he and the Clinton Foundation tried to get approval for invitations related to two of the most repressive countries in the world -- North Korea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, Bill Clinton earned speaking fees around the globe totaling more than $48 million -- speeches that had to be vetted by the State Department to ensure there were no conflicts of interest with his wife's work as America's top diplomat. These newly revealed emails show speech requests that the State Department refused to approve. ABC

In Alaska, Obama To Walk Fine Line On Climate Change, Energy
With melting glaciers and rising seas as his backdrop, President Barack Obama will visit Alaska next week to press for urgent global action to combat climate change, even as he carefully calibrates his message in a state heavily dependent on oil. Obama will become the first sitting president to visit the Alaska Arctic when he travels to Kotzebue — population around 3,000 — just north of the Arctic Circle at the end of his three-day trip. He'll kick off the visit Monday with a speech to a State Department-hosted conference on climate change and the Arctic. The unambiguous goal of the president's trip is to use dramatic and alarming changes to Alaska's climate to instill fresh urgency into his global warming agenda. Sea ice is melting, critical permafrost is thawing and Alaska's cherished glaciers are liquefying — powerful visuals that Obama hopes will illustrate the threat to natural wonders and livelihoods and serve as a global call to action. Houston Chronicle

Deputy Shot Dead While Filling Tank At Gas Station Near Houston
A sheriff’s deputy filling up the tank of his patrol car at a gas station near Houston was gunned down by an unknown assailant who walked up behind him and shot him multiple times, authorities said Friday. Harris County Sheriff's Office Deputy Thomas Gilliland said the gunman walked up behind the uniformed Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, and shot him repeatedly. After the deputy fell to the ground, the gunman stood over him and shot him again multiple times, Gilliland said. Witnesses said the assailant, a male about 5 feet 11 inches tall with a dark complexion, fled the scene in a dark red Ford Ranger. A person of interest, a male, was located overnight. KHOU reported that authorities would not confirm if an arrest had been made. The man's mother told a local news station that her son is innocent, and was with her in the house when the incident occurred. Gilliland said the shooting appeared to be a random act against the deputy, a 10-year veteran of the force. Atanta Journal
VOA VIEW: Where is the outrage, looting and rioting - OH, and the outrage from Obama and DOJ?

Al-Jazeera Vows To Free Journalists In Egypt
The lawyer for Al-Jazeera English correspondent Peter Greste says his three-year jail sentence in Egypt is "unjust" and "plainly political." Greste was sentenced on Saturday, along with producer Baher Mohammed and acting Cairo bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy, to three years in prison. The men were arrested in December 2013 but Greste, an Australian citizen, was deported in February. In a statement, Greste's lawyer Chris Flynn, says the men's re-trial, "was a sham and was miscarried at every step." Flynn appealed to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to intervene and pardon the men, saying that el-Sissi, "now has an opportunity to correct this great injustice." Charlotte Observer

Pet Owners Warned Of Spreading Canine Virus In Rhode Island
Rhode Island health officials are warning dog owners that canine parvovirus is spreading around the state. The Department of Environmental Management says there have been an unusually high number of cases reported to the state officials. Veterinarians say canine parvovirus, or "parvo," weakens dogs' immune systems and causes them to become more susceptible to infection. Symptoms of the virus include vomiting and diarrhea that can lead to possibly fatal dehydration in some cases. Officials say parvo doesn't affect humans or other pets but can be severe in dogs that are not immune or have not been vaccinated. Rhode Island State Veterinarian Scott Marshall says the best protection against parvovirus is vaccination. Charlotte Observer

George W. Bush Visits Disaster Zone, 10 Years After Katrina
Former President George W. Bush enjoyed sympathetic crowds in New Orleans and Mississippi on Friday as he returned to the region where Hurricane Katrina sank his popularity 10 years ago. Bush avoided the Lower 9th Ward and other parts of New Orleans that have yet to recover from the devastating storm. He did not tour the federally managed levees whose failures flooded 80 percent of the city. Instead, he visited a school rebuilt with support from former first lady Laura Bush's foundation, then flew to Gulfport, Mississippi, honoring police and firefighters who saved lives after Katrina's towering storm surge swamped the coast. ABC

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Hillary Clinton Says Focus On Delegate Count Is About Learning From ’08 Mistakes
Hillary Clinton says her efforts to rack up the support of top Democrats are about learning from the mistakes of her previous presidential campaign and not about trying to discourage Vice President Joe Biden from entering the presidential race. “This is really about how you put the numbers together to secure the nomination. As some of you might recall, in 2008 I got a lot of votes but I didn’t get enough delegates. And so I think it’s understandable that my focus is going to be on delegates as well as votes this time,” Clinton told reporters Friday at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting in Minneapolis. She was responding to questions about Bloomberg’s report that her campaign has the commitments of about 440 Democratic insiders known as superdelegates, taking her one-fifth of the way to having enough delegates to secure the nomination. Bloomberg

Rubio's Alarm On Military Doesn't Account For U.S. Capabilities
Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio sounded the alarm about the state of U.S. armed forces in a foreign-policy speech today. But his claims and campaign promises don't account for the impact of improvements in U.S. military technology or in some cases their production schedule.  Rubio, a Florida senator, said the U.S. Navy is "now smaller than at any time since before World War I" and the Air Force "has the smallest and oldest combat force in its history."  Yet the numbers of ships and planes don't define U.S. military capabilities. Bloomberg

Obama Expects Better U.S.-Israel Ties After Iran Deal In Place
President Barack Obama on Friday compared tensions between the U.S. and Israel over the Iranian nuclear deal to a family feud and said he expects quick improvements in ties between the longtime allies once the accord is implemented. "Like all families, sometimes there are going to be disagreements," Obama said in a webcast with Jewish Americans. "And sometimes people get angrier about disagreements in families than with folks that aren't family." The president's comments came as momentum for the nuclear accord grew on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers will vote next month on a resolution to disapprove of the deal. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., became the 30th senator to publicly back the agreement, saying Friday that it was a good deal for America and for allies like Israel. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: No tensions between the U.S. and Israel - tensions are between Obama and Israel.

U.S. Stocks Close Nearly Flat After A Wild Week
U.S. stocks ended the day little changed Friday, letting investors breathe a little easier after a week where both the highs and lows were extreme. The market gave investors a hard jolt the first two days of trading this week on concerns about the health of China's economy. The rebound Wednesday and Thursday was just as sharp as investors decided to scoop up beaten-up stocks. The relatively stable Friday trading offered the owners of bruised portfolios some hope that the market was settling down. "People are taking a little bit of a pause," said Paul Springmeyer, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank. "We're finally winding down here where maybe we're seeing more rational behavior." Las Vegas Sun

U.S. Envoy For Syria Meets With Russian Officials In Moscow
The United States' newly appointed special envoy for Syria, Michael Ratney, met with Russian officials Friday to discuss ways to end the Syrian civil war. More than 240,000 people have died in the conflict, the United Nations estimates. "These meetings in Moscow are part of consultations to follow up on Secretary [of State John] Kerry's recent discussions with Russian Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov in Doha and Kuala Lumpur, as well as ongoing efforts to support the Syrian opposition and to work toward convergence of views among foreign governments and the Syrians themselves on a political transition in Syria and the defeat of extremists," the U.S. State Department said in a statement. UPI News

Eating Raw Oysters Carries Risk Of Human Norovirus
Researchers found that many of the world's strains of human norovirus can be found in oysters, leading them to suggest people avoid eating the shellfish in their most popular form -- raw. There are about 20 million cases of norovirus reported each year in the United States. The resulting infection from exposure causes stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. "More than 80 percent of human norovirus genotypes were detected in oyster samples or oyster-related outbreaks," said Dr. Yongjie Wang, a professor in the college of food science and technology at Shanghai Ocean University, in a press release. "The results highlight oysters' important role in the persistence of norovirus in the environment, and its transmission to humans, and they demonstrate the need for surveillance of human norovirus in oyster samples." UPI

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Obama Predicts 'Pretty Quick' US-Israel Realignment On Iran
After the United States Congress debates and votes on the Iran nuclear deal next month, US and Israeli policy on Iran will realign "pretty quick," President Barack Obama predicted on Friday. Speaking during a live webcast with the American Jewish community, co-sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America, Obama said that daylight between the two allies was healthy and that an absence of argument "could be dangerous" for both countries. Speaking from the White House, Obama said he was committed to maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge in the region and to preventing the flow of Iranian arms to its proxies on Israel's borders. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: The US and Israel are aligned on Iran - except Obama.

Obama Aide Due To Arrive In Israel For Talks On Iran Nuclear Deal
The Obama administration on Friday dispatched a Treasury Department official to Israel for meetings in Jerusalem regarding the Iranian nuclear deal, Israel Radio reported. Adam J. Szubin, the acting undersecretary of treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, will remain in Israel over the weekend for meetings with Israeli officials, the administration announced. Szubin will stress to his Israeli hosts the administration's commitment to bolstering defense cooperation with Jerusalem, particularly as it relates to deterring pro-Iranian terrorist elements and others who wish to destabilize the region. Jerusalem Post

Iraq 'To Open Baghdad Green Zone'
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered officials to open up to civilians the heavily-fortified area of Baghdad known as the Green Zone. The 10km (four miles) sq area housing government buildings became off-limits to the public as a security measure in the wake of the 2003 US occupation. It is the latest in a series of steps by Mr Abadi to ease sectarian tensions and crack down on corruption. Baghdad has seen weeks of protests over poor services and abuses of power. Earlier this month, in a rare show of unity, the Iraqi parliament backed Mr Abadi's programme to abolish top government posts and cut spending. On Friday, the prime minister issued instructions to lift restrictions on the Green Zone. It is not clear when the plan will be implemented. BBC

White House Appoints 'First Hostage Affairs Envoy'
The White House has appointed its first presidential envoy for hostage affairs as part of the US government's review on responding to hostage situations. James O'Brien will serve in the new role created to boost efforts "to safely recover American hostages abroad," it said in statement. It follows criticism over how the government handles hostage situations after a number of deaths this year. In June, the White House gave families permission to make ransom payments. Until that point, the US government had the power to threaten them with prosecution if they tried to pay their relative's captors ransom - although to date the Justice Department has never followed through on this threat. BBC
VOA VIEW: A coward is worthless.

Phone Hacking: CPS May Bring Corporate Charges Against Murdoch Publisher
The Crown Prosecution Service is considering bringing corporate charges against Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper publisher over phone hacking, it has emerged.
The Metropolitan police handed over a file of evidence on News International – now renamed News UK – to the CPS for consideration after an investigation stretching back to 2011, when the News of the World was closed at the height of the scandal. “We have received a full file of evidence for consideration of corporate liability charges relating to the Operation Weeting phone-hacking investigation,” a spokeswoman confirmed. Guardian

Martin O'Malley Accuses DNC Of 'Rigging' Primary Process In Clinton's Favour
Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley laid into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in a speech to its annual summer meeting for what he called a “rigged” primary process in Hillary Clinton’s favour. “The Republicans stand before the nation, malign our president’s record of achievements, denigrate women and immigrant families, double down on trickle-down, and tell their false story,” the former Maryland governor said. “We respond with crickets, tumbleweeds and a cynical move to delay and limit our own party debates.” His presidential rival Bernie Sanders reportedly told journalists that he agreed with O’Malley that the primary process was rigged. Guardian

Hurricane Katrina’s ‘True Legacy’ Was To Spur Disaster Risk Management – Senior UN Official
The top United Nations disaster resilience official today said on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that the ‘true legacy’ of the costliest United States hurricane disaster, which devastated New Orleans and claimed more than 1,800 lives, was to raise the bar for disaster risk management worldwide. “Hurricane Katrina exposed weaknesses in disaster risk management which are common to many hazard prone locations around the world,” said the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström. “We can learn a lot from New Orleans if we are to achieve substantial reductions in disaster losses as called for in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which was adopted by governments earlier this year,” she said. UN News

UN Urges All States To Sign, Ratify Nuclear Test Ban As ‘Critical Step On Road To Nuclear-Free World’
For the fifth International Day against Nuclear Tests, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed voluntary moratoria on testing imposed by nuclear-armed states but stressed that these cannot substitute for a legally-binding treaty. “The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is essential for the elimination of nuclear weapons,” Mr. Ban said in a message. “It is a legally-binding, verifiable means by which to constrain the quantitative and qualitative development of nuclear weapons.” The UN General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests in December 2009, adopting a unanimous resolution that calls for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” UN News

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