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NEWS   WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2016   NEWS

Bill Clinton Endorses Ruben Kihuen For Congress
Former President Bill Clinton has endorsed fellow Democrat Ruben Kihuen in a primary battle for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District and a shot at unseating the Republican incumbent. In a statement issued today, Clinton called Kihuen, a state senator, an “experienced legislator with proven results,” adding that Kihuen would focus on expanding gun background checks and fight for equal pay. “Ruben is a progressive champion and the kind of leader our party needs now more than ever,” Clinton said. Kihuen said in a statement he was humbled by Clinton’s endorsement. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Clinton's endorsement could be Hihuen's kiss of political death.

TSA Security Chief Grounded – But Not Fired
The top-ranking TSA official ousted from his post in a major shakeup over long lines at America's airports wasn't quite fired, it turns out – he was only grounded. Fox News learned Tuesday that Kelly Hoggan, the Transportation Security Administration’s head of security operations whose removal was widely reported late Monday, was merely put on paid administrative leave pending reassignment. Hoggan's dodge of the pink slip is the latest in a series of high-profile government officials curiously avoiding the chop in favor of a seemingly cushier fate. Before he was put on leave, Hoggan also had received $90,000 in bonuses, and it's unclear what his next move might be.  Fox News

Obama Raises Human Rights In Vietnam, Calls For 'Peaceful Resolution' Of South China Sea Disputes
President Barack Obama made a forceful case for human rights in Vietnam Tuesday during a speech in Hanoi and he called for the "peaceful resolution" of disputes in the South China Sea. Obama stressed the need to uphold human rights in his remarks to the Vietnamese people and were broadcast on television in a nation that has a dismal record on the issue. Human rights "is not a threat to stability" but reinforces it, Obama said. Why is the U.S. arming Vietnam? Freedom of speech and expression "fuels" the economy, the President continued. "That is how some of our greatest companies began." CNN

Elizabeth Warren: Trump Is A ‘Small, Insecure Moneygrubber’
More shots have been fired in the war of words between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. The Massachusetts Democrat on Tuesday called the Republican presidential candidate a ‘‘small, insecure moneygrubber’’ who doesn’t care whom he hurts, as long as he can make money. Warren pointed to comments Trump said in 2007 that he’s always made more money in bad markets than in good markets. ‘‘Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap,’’ Warren said. ‘‘What kind of a man does that? Root for people to get thrown out on the street?’’ Boston Globe
VOA VIEW: The answer to Warner's question is - Trump is a smart businessman.

Too Many Graduates Only Prepared To Serve Coffee?
Many people might agree American wages are too low. But an economist argues simply raising wages is not the solution. Instead, University of Maryland economist Peter Morici says we have to raise the quality of graduates coming out of U.S. colleges and high schools. He says, “According to the liberal narrative, businesses are too tightfisted and exploiting ordinary workers and women. Simply mandating higher pay — for example, by raising the minimum wage and adopting a national variant of California’s Fair Pay Act — will miraculously increase family incomes, spending and growth…The more fundamental problem is American workers increasingly don’t have the skills to work in the new digital economy.”Too many young people — whether they went to college or not — are not prepared for much more than serving coffee, says Morici. They major in social sciences and humanities, which, he says, will not lead to jobs in medicine, finance or the new career opportunities being created by the digital economy. Atlanta Journal

Trump, Clinton Win Washington State's Presidential Primaries
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump each won primaries in Washington state. Trump's win Tuesday helps him inch closer to clinching the GOP nomination for president. He is within 41 delegates of the number needed to become the Republican nominee. Clinton's win might give her some momentum, but it won't get her any delegates. There were no delegates at stake in the Democratic primary. Washington Democrats already awarded their delegates based on party caucuses. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won Washington's caucuses in March, getting 74 delegates. Clinton got 27. Houston Chronicle

Mexican American Textbook Is Courting Controversy In Texas
Mexican Americans might not recognize their cultural history as it unfolds in a new textbook proposed for Texas public schools. Chicanos are described as people who “adopted a revolutionary narrative that opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society.” In another passage, Mexican Americans are linked to undocumented immigrants. Illegal immigration has “caused a number of economic and security problems in the United States,” the textbook notes. “Poverty, drugs, crime, non-assimilation, and exploitation are among some of these problems. Studies have shown that the Mexican American community suffers from a significant gap in education levels, employment, wages, housing, and other issues relating to poverty that persist through the second, third, and fourth generations.” Charlotte Observer

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Speaker Ryan On VA Secretary: 'I Don't Know If He Should Resign'
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday stopped short of calling for Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald to resign over his comments comparing wait times at VA clinics to wait times at amusement parks. A reporter told Ryan that Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) is calling on McDonald to resign. "Do you think it goes to that level, that he should resign?" the reporter asked Ryan. "I don't know if he should resign. He should clarify his comments," Ryan said. "He should show some empathy for our veterans that he's supposed to serve. This really is just beyond the pale, a comment like this. It just shows kind of the arrogance of the federal bureaucracy. CNS News

Hacker Who Exposed Hillary Clinton's Email Server Expected To Plead Guilty
A Romanian computer hacker who revealed the existence of a private email server used by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state is expected to plead guilty to hacking-related offenses, a U.S. law enforcement official said on Tuesday. Accused hacker Marcel Lazar, who used the alias "Guccifer," is scheduled to enter a guilty plea at a hearing early on Wednesday before Judge James Cacheris in U.S. District Court, Alexandria, Virginia, said the official. He was indicted on charges including wire fraud, unauthorized access of protected computer, aggravated identity theft, cyberstalking and obstruction of justice. Reuters

Senators Renew Push To Overhaul Military Handling Of Sex Assault
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators renewed an effort on Tuesday to shift the military's handling of sexual assault cases from top commanders to independent prosecutors, insisting that the current system has left victims too fearful of retaliation to report crimes. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat who has fought to overhaul the system for three years, introduced the legislation as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a must-pass annual bill that sets policy for the Pentagon. The measure failed to pass the Senate in March 2014, though Gillibrand, who sits on the armed services committee, said those votes were cast amid "false and misleading information" the Pentagon used to bolster its own argument. Reuters

Sneaky Schumer Added Loophole To Halt 9/11 Saudi Suits
Last week’s unanimous passage of a Senate bill making it easier for 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia and other foreign terror sponsors was widely heralded as a major victory. It’s more of a cruel hoax. It turns out that just before the vote, Sen. Charles Schumer and other proponents of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act stuffed an amendment into the final draft allowing the attorney general and secretary of state to stop any litigation against the Saudis in its tracks. Yes, JASTA would remove the statutory restrictions that have prevented 9/11 families from taking the Saudi kingdom to court. But Schumer helped craft an entirely new section to the original bill, giving the Justice and State departments the power to stay court action indefinitely. All they have to do is inform the judge hearing the case that the US government has engaged with ­Riyadh in diplomatic talks to resolve the issue. NY Post
VOA VIEW: US Senators are bought and paid for.

CEO Pay Climbs Again, Even As Their Stock Prices Don't
CEOs at the biggest companies got a 4.5 percent pay raise last year. That's almost double the typical American worker's, and a lot more than investors earned from owning their stocks — a big fat zero. The typical chief executive in the Standard & Poor's 500 index made $10.8 million, including bonuses, stock awards and other compensation, according to a study by executive data firm Equilar for The Associated Press. That's up from the median of $10.3 million the same group of CEOs made a year earlier. The raise alone for median CEO pay last year, $468,449, is more than 10 times what the typical U.S. worker makes in a year. The median full-time worker earned $809 weekly in 2015, up from $791 in 2014. Tampa Tribune

European Union Seeks To Make Life Easier For Online Shoppers
The European Union has unveiled several proposals to make it easier to buy online across its borders, to demand that providers like Netflix offer European films and to protect children from harmful content. EU consumer affairs commissioner, Vera Jourova, said Wednesday's package "is an important step to bring consumer protection up to speed with the online world and to give legal certainty to traders." The rules combat geo-blocking, which can result in online shoppers being rerouted to a country-specific platform when they try to buy abroad. On-demand video providers like Netflix would be forced to offer at least a 20 percent share of European-made content on their catalogs. Tampa Tribune

Ed. Board Candidate Who Called Obama A Gay Prostitute Loses Texas Runoff
Mary Lou Bruner, who made national headlines for Facebook posts in which she called President Obama a male prostitute, lost a Republican runoff election Tuesday for a spot on the State Board of Education. Bruner made the posts last summer and fall in which she wrote, among other things, that Obama worked a male prostitute in his 20s to pay for a drug habit and that Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan looked like a terrorist when he had a beard. Bruner was asked on WFAA's Inside Texas Politics program Sunday whether, in hindsight, she should have posted such comments. USA Today

Afghan Taliban Names New Leader
The Afghan Taliban announced Wednesday that its new leader is Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, a hawkish deputy of Mullah Akhtar Mansour who was killed in an American drone strike last week. While Mansour was killed in Pakistan on Saturday when his vehicle was struck by a drone, the Taliban only confirmed his death Wednesday. The insurgent group said he was chosen at a meeting of Taliban leaders, but offered no other details. Akhundzada is a religious cleric and scholar and the former leader of the Taliban's court system who is known for his extremist views. His appointment comes amid a leadership crisis for the militant movement following the death of its founder Mullar Omar last summer. Mullah Yaqoub, Omar's son, was named a deputy of Akhundzada along with Sirajuddin Haqqani. USA Today

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Pakistan Can't Confirm Taliban Leader Is Dead, Criticizes U.S. Drone Strike
Pakistan's interior minister said on Tuesday he could not confirm that Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour had been killed in a U.S. drone strike, and described Washington's justification for the attack as "against international law". U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday that Mansour had been killed in the drone strike, and the Pentagon said separately that Mansour was plotting attacks that posed "specific, imminent threats" to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. On Tuesday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told reporters that the body recovered on Pakistani soil, near the Afghan border, was charred beyond recognition, adding that DNA samples would be tested against a relative who had come forward to claim the body. Philadelphia Inquirer

Protests Turn Violent Outside Trump Rally In New Mexico
Protests outside a Donald Trump rally in New Mexico turned violent Tuesday night as demonstrators threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police officers, overturned trash cans and knocked down barricades. Police responded by firing pepper spray and smoke grenades into the crowd outside the Albuquerque Convention Center. During the rally, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was interrupted repeatedly by protesters, who shouted, held up banners and resisted removal by security officers. The banners included the messages “Trump is Fascist” and “We’ve heard enough.” NY Post
VOA VIEW: Liberals are acting like radical Islamics.

Anti-U.S. Hardliner Ahmed Jannati Elected To Lead Iranian Religious Body
An ultraconservative cleric has been elected leader of Iran's Assembly of Experts, the powerful religious body that chooses the nation's Supreme Leader. Ahmed Jannati has been a stalwart of the regime since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and is known for his hardline views. His election was confirmed by state-run news agencies IRIB and IRNA. The 89-year-old is staunchly anti-American. He regularly leads chants of "death to America and Israel" during Friday prayers, and takes a hardline stance on the conservative dress for women and domestic political dissent. MSNBC

White House Waves White Flag On Gun Control For Rest Of Obama Presidency
The White House waved the white flag Tuesday on federal gun-control efforts for the remainder of Barack Obama’s presidency. Speaking at a forum on preventing gun violence, Vice President Joseph R. Biden urged state and local officials to pursue gun regulations in their own jurisdictions because “we’re probably not going to get much more done in the next nine months” on gun control. He blamed the inaction at the federal level on Congress, saying dysfunction on Capitol Hill has reached unprecedented levels “in modern history, short of the Civil War.” Pursuing new gun regulations at the state and local level, Mr. Biden said, “has a cumulative impact.” Washington Times

Clinton Paints Trump As Heartless, Suggests He Profited Off 2008 Financial Meltdown
The Hillary Clinton campaign on Tuesday doubled down on a new line of attack against presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump — paint the billionaire businessman as a heartless tycoon who actively rooted for the 2008 financial crash in order to make money for himself. The Clinton campaign rolled out two surrogates, Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio and Tampa, Fla., Mayor Bob Buckhorn, to slam Mr. Trump for his decade-old comments about the housing bubble and broader financial meltdown. Mr. Trump said in 2006 that a housing market crash would allow him to “make a lot of money.” CBS

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Living With Parents Now Most Common Arrangement For 18-34 Year Olds
A Pew Research Center analysis released Tuesday showed that for the first time since 1880 in the United States, living with parents is the most common arrangement for 18-34 year-olds. According to the most recent data from 2014, 31.6 percent of young adults were living with a spouse or partner in their own household and 32.1 percent were living in their parent’s home. There is also a gender divide with significantly more young men living with their parents than young women. CNN News

New Orleans Loses Out On Bid To Host 2019 Super Bowl
Representatives of the Crescent City were given the news Tuesday during the NFL selection process in Charlotte. Atlanta will host the 2019 Super Bowl. The news came as an upset for city officials, who were seeking to bring the Super Bowl back to New Orleans. The last time the city hosted the big game was in 2013. Four cities bid Tuesday on the 2019 Super Bowl game, including New Orleans, Atlanta, South Florida and Tampa Bay. New Orleans could bid only on 2019 because of conflicting events in 2020 and 2021. This is a developing story. Stay with WDSU.com as updates are released. MSNBC

"Insider Threat": Security Loopholes At U.S. Airports
Cell phone camera video obtained by CBS News recorded workers over the last several days entering a restricted area of New York's JFK airport. The employees scan a security card, enter a pin number and walk through the turnstile. Florida Senator Bill Nelson says it shows an obvious vulnerability at the nation's airports.
"I'm horrified, but I'm not surprised," Nelson said. "I think one of the main threats is employees of the airport getting on carrying contraband, possibly weapons. There you have the potential for disaster." It's recently happened overseas. Last year, a Russian jetliner crashed in Egypt after someone with access to the plane smuggled a soda can bomb on board. And a bomb that blew a hole in a plane in Somalia was carried around security in a laptop. In the U.S., airport workers are given key cards after they complete a background check and their names are run through criminal and terror databases. CBS

Hillary Clinton Hits Donald Trump On Housing Crisis Comments
Hillary Clinton blasted Donald Trump on Tuesday for cheering the housing market crash as an opportunity to get rich. "He actually said he was hoping for the crash that caused hard working families in California and across America to lose their homes," Clinton said, speaking at a rally with union members at a training facility in Commerce, in Los Angeles County, "all because he thought he could take advantage of it to make some money for himself." Does Clinton need superdelegates in 2016 more than Obama did in 2008? Clinton was capitalizing on comments that the Republican frontrunner made in 2006 and 2007 about the possibility of the housing market's collapse, which have surfaced in recent days. ABC

Louisiana Set To Expand Hate-Crimes Laws To Include Police
Louisiana is poised to become the first state in the nation to expand its hate-crime laws to protect police, firefighters and emergency medical crews — a move that could stir the national debate over the relationship between law enforcement and minorities. If signed by the governor, the new law would allow prosecutors to seek greater penalties against anyone convicted of intentionally targeting first responders because of their profession. Existing hate-crime laws provide for larger fines and longer prison terms if a person is targeted because of race, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or affiliation with certain organizations. The state House unanimously supported extending the laws, and the bill gained overwhelming support in the state Senate. The measure met no objection from committees in either chamber. Kansas City Star

South Florida Renters Using Airbnb As An Unregulated Business
For some South Florida homeowners, Airbnb is more than a way to pick up a few extra dollars. It’s a 365-day-a-year business that earned more than $47 million last year. That information comes from a report published Wednesday by Pennsylvania State University’s School of Hospitality Management and the American Hotel & Lodging Association. The report analyzed listings in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties between October 2014 and September 2015. According to the report, about 6 percent of South Florida Airbnb operators list units for rent more than 360 days per year, bringing in 39 percent of Airbnb’s Miami-area revenue — the highest percentage of any of the 14 major metropolitan regions studied. The study put the total South Florida earnings for the period at more than $122 million. Miami Herald

Overheated Dog In A Car? Bill Would Permit Citizens To Perform A Rescue
The USPS reports that 6,549 of its employees were attacked by dogs in 2015. They've released a list of the top cities for dogs attacking postal workers and Houston leads the pack (pardon the pun) with 77 total dog attacks on postal workers, up from just 63 attacks in 2014. Vigilantes and animal lovers, listen up: A proposed California law will legally allow people who spot animals trapped in a hot car to liberate those pets as part of a rescue. And by "liberate," we mean "smash a stranger's car windows" to get to a (likely) panting dog. AB 797 is known as the "Right to Rescue Act," and was proposed by lawmakers to allow Good Samaritans to avoid lawsuits when trying to save an overheated animal. The law already protects peace officers, humane officers and animal control from civil litigation, but will expand to include firefighters, emergency responders and citizens. SF Gate

Sanders’ California TV Ad Calls For ‘New Direction’ For Democrats
With polls remaining tight two weeks before California’s June 7 primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders is launching a $1.5 million TV ad campaign in the state starting Wednesday in the Los Angeles market. In the ad, Sanders says Californians “have the power to choose a new direction for the Democratic Party,” but doesn’t mention Sanders’ rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The choice, Sanders says in narrating the 30-second ad, will be whether voters will want “to break the back of a corrupt system of campaign finance that keeps a rigged economy in place. To stand up to Wall Street and make the wealthy pay their fair share. To fight for tuition-free public colleges and universities.” Campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said the ad will air later in the San Francisco and Sacramento markets. SF Gate

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Bill Cosby Ordered To Stand Trial For Sexual Assault
A Pennsylvania judge ruled on Tuesday there is enough evidence for Bill Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges stemming from a 2004 incident. Cosby nodded his head as Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth McHugh gave her ruling. "Mr. Cosby, good luck to you, sir," the judge said. "Thank you," said the former TV star, who stood up briskly after the ruling and seemed chipper and unsurprised. He hugged one of his lawyers. Former Temple University athletic department employee Andrea Constand told authorities that Bill Cosby violated her sexually after giving her pills that made her dizzy and left her legs feeling "like jelly," according to a police report read at a court hearing Tuesday. Fox News

It's OK To Let Your Baby Cry Himself To Sleep
Many new parents long for a full night of glorious, uninterrupted sleep yet shudder at the thought of letting their baby "cry it out," the sleep training method in which parents allow babies to cry themselves to sleep. But a new study adds support to the idea that the method is effective and does not cause stress or lasting emotional problems for babies. Researchers in Australia worked with 43 sets of parents who had babies between 6 and 16 months of age and who had a common complaint: Their child was having problems sleeping. The researchers taught about a third of the parents about graduated extinction, a technical term for crying it out. Parents were asked to leave the room within a minute of putting their child to bed and, if their children cried, to wait longer and longer periods of time before going back to comfort them. CNN

Bernie Sanders Calls For Recanvass Of Kentucky Democratic Primary Vote
The Sanders campaign has officially requested a recanvass of the vote from the May 17 Kentucky Democratic primary. The goal seems to be earning the one remaining delegate in the neck-and-neck contest. In a letter to Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes -- a Clinton supporter -- sent today and signed by Bernie Sanders himself, Sanders requests a "full and complete check and recanvass of every one of the voting machines and absentee ballots from all precincts in all 120 counties involving the Democratic presidential race from the 2016 primary election." A press release from Grimes' office confirms she received the request from the Sanders campaign. “My office is notifying all county boards of elections that Sen. Sanders has requested a recanvass, and we are reminding them of the laws and procedures to be followed,” said Grimes. “As always, we will assist the county boards of elections in any way we can.” ABC

The One Time It's OK To Pile Up Credit-Card Debt
Americans are back to borrowing more with credit cards. According to the most recent Federal Reserve data, they owe $952 billion, the biggest load of revolving consumer debt since 2009. Part of the story is the same old story: Lots of cardholders still drag around debt, carrying over a balance every month and paying loads of interest. If offered a higher credit limit, many just can’t resist borrowing every extra cent, especially if they're growing more confident about the economy. It's tempting to think we shouldn’t be trusted with credit cards, that everyone should either pay in full every month or cut up the credit cards and use debit cards. Sometimes, however, a credit card can come in handy–and not just when racking up rewards or buying a wider flatscreen. A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research looked at job losses, examining how credit access affects the way Americans go about finding new jobs. Bloomberg

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Obama Turns To Human Rights In Vietnam After Lifting Embargo
A day after saying Vietnam had made enough progress on human rights to merit lifting a decades-old U.S. ban on arms sales, President Barack Obama chided his host country over its record on dealing with dissent and said the government had blocked several activists from meeting with him. Obama on Tuesday cited the strides Vietnam has made in allowing greater freedom for its citizens, but he said there remained significant areas of concern. "It’s an indication of the fact that, although there has been some modest progress and it is our hope that through some of the legal reforms that are being drafted and passed there will be more progress, there are still folks who find it very difficult to assemble and organize peacefully around issues that they care deeply about," Obama said in Hanoi following the meeting with a small group of rights activists and dissenters. Bloomberg

Rep. Dina Titus Mocks Trump’s ‘Short Fingers’ On House Floor
A House Democrat worked in a taunt about the size of Donald Trump’s hands while blasting the presumptive GOP presidential nominee for saying he’d take advantage of the housing market crash. In a House floor speech on Tuesday, Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) called on the real estate mogul to apologize for comments made in 2007 counseling Trump University students to use the housing bubble as an investment opportunity. “He rooted for that bubble to burst. Well, the crash in the housing market devastated my hometown of Las Vegas, which was one of the hardest hit in the country,” Titus said, noting that thousands of people in her district lost their homes as a result of the housing bubble’s burst. Las Vegas Sun

Poll: 6-In-10 Voters Dislike Or Hate Clinton, Trump
A new poll underscores the negative attitudes many Americans have about a potential general election matchup between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, with roughly six-in-10 voters saying they either dislike or hate the candidates. In the NBC News/Survey Monkey tracking poll, the single biggest reason people gave for preferring either Clinton or Trump is their opposition to one another. Thirty-three percent of Clinton supporters said they will vote for her because she is opposed to Trump, while 36 percent of Trump supporters said the same thing about Clinton. UPI

High-Salt Diets May Raise Heart Risks For Kidney Patients
People with chronic kidney disease face higher odds of heart attack or stroke if they have high-salt diets, a new study suggests. "Moderate sodium reduction among patients with chronic kidney disease and high sodium intake may lower [heart] risk," concluded a team led by Dr. Jiang He, of Tulane University in New Orleans.
About one in every 10 Americans is affected by chronic kidney disease, and more than one-third of U.S. adults have heart disease, the researchers noted. The role of daily salt intake in kidney patients -- and its effect on heart risk -- hasn't been clear, however. To learn more, the investigators looked at outcomes for almost 3,800 patients with chronic kidney disease at seven locations across the United States. The patients provided urine samples to researchers at the beginning of the study in 2003, and then once a year over the next two years. Their medical histories were then followed until 2013. UPI

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US Skeptical Of Netanyahu Offer To Directly Negotiate With Palestinians
The Obama administration responded with skepticism on Tuesday to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call for direct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in Paris, and to the PA's rebuke of the offer. Netanyahu has said that an international effort led by France to outline a two-state solution circumvents the parties to the conflict themselves - an approach that he, as well as previous US administrations, has argued is counterproductive. But one senior State Department official questioned whether Netanyahu's call for direct talks necessarily means he is willing to make peace. "We of course support meaningful negotiations and we continue to believe that this conflict can only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties," the official told The Jerusalem Post, while adding: "We do not believe in negotiations just for the sake of negotiations." Jerusalem Post

Google Aims To Kill Passwords By The End Of This Year
Google will begin testing an alternative to passwords next month, in a move that could do away with complicated logins for good. The new feature, introduced to developers at the company’s I/O conference, is called the Trust API, and will initially be tested with “several very large financial institutions” in June, according to Google’s Daniel Kaufman. Kaufman is the head of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, where the Trust API was first created under the codename Project Abacus. Introduced last year, Abacus aims to kill passwords not through one super-secure replacement, but by mixing together multiple weaker indicators into one solid piece of evidence that you are who you say you are. Guardian

Turkey Threatens To Block EU Migration Deal Without Visa-Free Travel
Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has warned the European Union that Turkey would block laws related to the landmark deal to stem the flow of migrants to Europe if Ankara was not granted its key demand of visa-free travel within the bloc. At the close of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey’s president said: “If that is not what will happen ... no decision and no law in the framework of the readmission agreement will come out of the parliament of the Turkish republic.” Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel warned after talks with Erdo?an on Monday that the target of the end of this month to agree visa-free travel for Turks was unlikely to be met. Guardian

IS Conflict: 50,000 Iraqi Civilians 'At Great Risk' In Falluja
The UN has said it is very concerned about the fate of some 50,000 civilians in Falluja, where Iraqi forces are battling so-called Islamic State. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the civilians were at "great risk" and called for the provision of safe corridors to allow them to leave. Soldiers, police and militiamen began an offensive to retake Falluja, 50km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, on Monday. The city has been held by IS longer than any other in Iraq or Syria. The jihadists overran Falluja in January 2014, six months before it routed the Iraqi army and seized control of large parts of northern and western Iraq. BBC

Twitter Revamps 140-Character Tweet Length Rules
Members will be able to add multimedia to tweets - including pictures and videos - without eating into the 140-characters-a-post limit. The service is also changing the way it handles conversations between users. Twitter co-founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey told the BBC his aim was to ensure that "when people tweet, it makes sense". One analyst said the moves marked a "positive change", but added that they only addressed "one symptom" of Twitter's difficulty in increasing its audience. Despite constant references to tweets in the news, over the past year Twitter has struggled to attract fresh users to its platform - a problem partly blamed on it being confusing. BBC

Hardline Ayatollah Who Urged Regime To 'Slay' Critics Promoted To Key Position In Iran
One of Iran’s most notorious hardliners, who urged the regime to “slay” critics without “compassion or leniency”, has become head of the powerful assembly responsible for choosing the next Supreme Leader. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati has won promotion to chair the Assembly of Experts, dealing a blow to the moderate politicians gathered behind President Hassan Rouhani. Ayatollah Jannati, an inflexible hardliner, is a dedicated opponent of the pragmatists and reformists who won about half the seats in the Majles, or parliament, during the last election in February.  He already chairs the Guardian Council, which vets all candidates for public office. Telegraph

With Many Plant And Animal Species ‘Hanging On By A Thread,’ UN Urges Action To Tackle Wildlife Crime
The poaching and illegal trade of thousands of species across the globe present real environmental dangers and undermine the rule of law, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said today, urging shared responsibility among the international community in tackling wildlife and forest crime. Launching its inaugural World Wildlife Crime Report – part of an ongoing Global Programme on Wildlife and Forest Crime – UNODC highlighted that one of the main messages the report aims to convey is that wildlife and forest crime is not limited to certain countries or regions, but is a truly global phenomenon. UN News

Iraq: UN Human Rights Office Urges Investigation Into Use Of Force Against Protestors
The United Nations human rights office today urged the Government of Iraq to immediately conduct an independent, transparent and effective investigation into the use of force by security forces against protestors outside the Green Zone in Baghdad this past week. In the regular bi-weekly news briefing in Geneva earlier today, Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said that on 20 May, four protestors were killed and up to 200 were injured after security forces used tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and some live ammunition against the demonstrators for close to two hours. The spokesperson said that it had been reported that up to 200 people had been subsequently arrested in connection with the protest, including a group of university students. UN News

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