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Bank's Donations To Clinton Foundation Increased After Hillary Intervention
In IRS Dispute
Donations to the Clinton Foundation by Swiss bank UBS increased tenfold after Hillary Clinton intervened to settle a dispute with the IRS early in her tenure as secretary of state, according to a published report. According to the Wall Street Journal, total donations by UBS to the foundation grew from less than $60,000 at the end of 2008 to approximately $600,000 by the end of 2014. The Journal reports that the bank also lent $32 million through entrepreneurship and inner-city loan programs it launched in association with the foundation, while paying former President Bill Clinton $1.5 million to participate in a series of corporate question-and-answer sessions with UBS Chief Executive Bob McCann. Though there is no evidence of wrongdoing, ties between the Clinton Foundation, major corporations and foreign governments have come under increasing scrutiny as Hillary Clinton begins her presidential campaign. Fox News
VOA VIEW: The Clintons are crooks.
Dead In Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak In New York
Two people have died in a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in New York. Thirty-one cases of the flu-like disease have been reported since mid-July in the South Bronx, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said. Legionnaires' disease is a respiratory bacterial infection usually spread through mist that comes from a water source, such as cooling towers, air conditioning or showers. It is not transmitted person to person. Symptoms of the disease include fever, chills and a cough. Most people recover, but between 5% to 30% of those who get the disease die, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. "We are conducting a swift investigation to determine the source of the outbreak and prevent future cases. I urge anyone with symptoms to seek medical attention right away," said Dr. Mary Bassett, commissioner of the New York City health department. CNN
Carter: 'I See No Reason To Foresee That' Iran Will Change Its Behavior
If Iran changes its behavior as a result of the nuclear deal, "that would be a welcome thing," Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told Congress on Wednesday. But speaking "personally," Carter said he does not "foresee" it happening. Nevertheless, Carter said he supports the Iran nuclear deal President Obama is trying so hard to sell to a skeptical Congress. "It's a good deal," Carter told Congress. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, asked the question: "Do you, Secretary Carter, believe that Iran will change its behavior as a result if this agreement is finalized? And have you seen any indication of that?" "I've not, Mr. Chairman. And speaking just from my own judgment, I don't foresee that or have any reason to foresee that," Carter responded. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Amazing truth for an Obama stooge.
Of Cecil The Lion Triggers Probe By U.S. Agency
The killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe by American dentist and trophy hunter Walter Palmer is being investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to see if it was part of a conspiracy to violate U.S. laws against illegal wildlife trading, a source close to the case said. The service is probing the killing under the Lacey Act, which bars trading in wildlife that has been illegally killed, transported or sold, the source said on Thursday. Palmer, whose practice is in suburban Minneapolis, has admitted to killing the 13-year-old lion and tourist attraction, in July. Questions have been raised by the Zimbabwe government and animal conservationists about Cecil's death outside the Hwange National Park, where he was the head of two lion prides. Reuters
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May Ship $10 Billion In Work Overseas As U.S. Trade Bank Languishes
General Electric Co is taking steps to shift some U.S. manufacturing work overseas now that the U.S. Export-Import Bank will be shuttered at least until September, the industrial giant's global operations boss told Reuters on Thursday. GE Vice Chairman John Rice said the conglomerate is bidding on over $10 billion worth of projects that require support from an export credit agency (ECA) like Ex-Im. With Ex-Im unable to extend new loans or guarantees thanks to an effort by congressional Republicans to shut it down, GE is arranging with ECAs in other countries to finance the deals involved, with much of the production going to GE plants in those foreign locations. The prospective government partners include Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Hungary, he said. Reuters
Percent Of Homeowners Are 'Seriously' Underwater On Mortgages
Home prices are rising and the economy is improving, but the ills of the housing crash are far from cured: 7.4 million borrowers were still "seriously" underwater on their mortgages at the end of June, according to RealtyTrac. The real estate information company defines that as the loan amount being at least 25 percent higher than the property's estimated market value. Over 13 percent of all properties with a mortgage are in this predicament, and that is a slight increase from the first quarter of this year. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: The facts are contrary to Obama's positive economic assessments.
Struggling To Hire Cyber Experts Due To Low Pay
The FBI is struggling to attract computer scientists to its cybersecurity program mainly due to low pay, a report by the U.S. Department of Justice showed, highlighting weaknesses in a flagship initiative to tackle growing cyber threats. As of January 2015, The Federal Bureau of Investigation had only hired 52 of the 134 computer scientists it was authorized to employ under the Justice Department's Next Generation Cyber Initiative launched in 2012, the report showed. Although cyber task forces have been set up at all 56 FBI field offices, five of them did not have a computer scientist assigned to them, the report by the Office of the Inspector General found. MSNBC
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On Iran Deal Opponents: ‘Have They Even Read It?’
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wondered Thursday whether opponents of President Obama’s Iran nuclear program agreement read the deal before coming out in opposition to it, and said she’s certain she can keep enough Democrats in line to sustain an Obama veto and preserve his policy. Praising both Mr. Obama and former President George W. Bush, who she said began building the international coalition that first imposed sanctions and then earlier this month agreed to the deal with Iran, Mrs. Pelosi said she was confident the opponents’ campaign to try to defeat the deal in Congress will fail. Washington Times
House Calls Planned Parenthood Videos ‘Fraudulent’
The White House Thursday described damning undercover videos about Planned Parenthood as “fraudulent” and said President Obama won’t support an effort in Congress to defund the organization. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials describing the sale of fetal tissue for research were “fraudulent” because they were likely heavily edited. “There’s ample reason to think that this is merely the tried-and-true tactic we’ve seen from some extremists on the right … that grossly distorts the position of people who are speaking on the video,” Mr. Earnest said. Asked how he knows the videos are fraudulent, Mr. Earnest said he was taking Planned Parenthood’s explanation at face value. Washington Times
Stress Could Make You Sick
High levels of job stress may increase the risk of sick leave due to mental health disorders, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 12,000 workers in Sweden. Over five years, about 8 percent of the workers took mental health sick leave. Three-quarters of those who took mental health sick leave were women. Workers with demanding jobs, high job strain and little social support at work were at greater risk for mental health sick leave, as were those with unhealthy lifestyles. Smoking was a significant risk factor for mental health sick leave, but alcohol use was not. High levels of physical activity reduced the risk of mental health sick leave, according to the study in the August issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. CBS
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Trump: "I'd Get Along Very Well With Vladimir Putin"
Presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump predicted Thursday he would "get along very well with Vladimir Putin," Russia's president who is often at odds with the current administration. Elaborating on the relationship between Putin and President Obama, Trump said, "Obama and him, he hates Obama, Obama hates him. We have unbelievably bad relationships." His comments came during a press conference in Scotland, where he is attending a golf tournament at the Trump Turnberry course. He explained that he had been to Russia during when he had a "major business" there and said he "had a great relationship with the people of Russia." CBS
Cameras: Experts Weigh In On How They Affect Police Officers
Body camera footage made headlines again this week after Officer Ray Tensing was indicited for murder after he allegedly shot a man in the head during a traffic stop.
At a news conference, prosecutor Joseph Deters said the footage was "shocking" and cited it as a key component in the evidence that lead a grand jury to indict tensing.
While Tensing's case shows how body cameras can shed light on an incident, experts say how the cameras will affect officers and police departments on a large scale remains largely unknown. Michael Broder, a therapist who worked with the Philadelphia police department for five years providing psychological counseling, said the big question among experts is if the body cameras will make police afraid to act or if they will just not act inappropriately. ABC
VOA VIEW: No one acts normal on camera.
John Boehner Doesn't Like Golfing With President Obama
House Speaker John Boehner loves golf -- just not when it's with the President of the United States. "The president has suggested, 'Hey, do you think it would be too much trouble to play golf again?' I have to look at him and say, 'Yes,'" Boehner, R-Ohio, said in an interview with the Golf Channel, scheduled to air Monday evening.
Boehner, who held a "golf summit" with Obama in 2011 during budget negotiations, said media scrutiny makes it difficult to enjoy 18 holes with the president. "Everybody gets bent out of shape, worried about what we’re up to, when all we’re about to do is play golf," he added. The president has said that Boehner and Vice President Joe Biden are among his favorite golf partners. ABC
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Are Cutting Calories, But Far From Eating Healthy
After years of bad news about the obesity epidemic, which affects one-third of Americans, things may finally be looking up. In the past 10 years the rates of obesity appear to be leveling off among both children and adults. The reason for the possible turn in the obesity tide appears to come down to what experts always suspected it would: eating fewer calories. One recent study found that the average adult went from consuming 2,220 calories a day in 2003 to 2,134 in 2010. There are already hints of some of the other health payoffs of reducing calories. "In addition to improvements in obesity, there is evidence that we have avoided vast numbers of premature deaths," probably by reducing heart disease, diabetes and other conditions, said Dr. Walter Willett, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. CNN
Official: Mexican Drug Cartels Doing 'Tremendous Harm To Our Communities'
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best," Donald Trump said last month, prompting fierce denunciation for suggesting that some of the Mexicans coming here are bringing drugs and crime with them. On Tuesday, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency official told Congress that Mexican drug cartels are fueling the U.S. heroin epidemic, producing crime and violence, and doing "tremendous harm to our communities." And no one disputed him. "Overdose deaths involving heroin are increasing at an alarming rate, having almost tripled since 2010," Jack Riley, the acting deputy DEA administrator, told a House Justice subcommittee on Tuesday. CNS
VOA VIEW: Trump called it the way it is, while other politicians shy from the truth.
U.S. Economy's Top Speed Has Probably Been Overestimated For Years
Revisions to the U.S. gross domestic product since 2011 reinforce the shift to a slower era of economic growth and underscore the difficulties the Federal Reserve faces in gauging just when to inch interest rates away from the zero-lower bound. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real GDP from 2011 to 2014 increased at an annual rate of 2 percent, a downgrade from the prior estimate of 2.3 percent. The Fed's July statement, meanwhile, indicated the central bank will raise rates when it has seen "some further improvement in the labor market" and is "reasonably confident" that inflation will trend toward 2 percent. During the press conference following the Fed's June statement, Janet Yellen made a reference to the role that the output gap—the cumulative difference between estimates of how much the economy can grow and how much it has actually grown—plays in the formation of monetary policy. Bloomberg
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Passes 3-Month Highway, Transit Aid Bill
Congress sent President Barack Obama a three-month bill to keep highway and transit money flowing to states on Thursday, one day before the deadline for a cutoff of funds. Earlier in the day, the Senate passed a sweeping, long-term transportation bill, setting up discussions with the House this fall on what the future course of transportation policy should be and how to pay for programs. The Senate approved the short-term bill by vote of 91 to 4. The House passed the same bill a day earlier, and then left for its August recess. Fox News
Cheap Oil Is Fueling A Surge In New Factories
America's energy rebirth is the gift that keeps on giving for the economy. But this year, it's more about construction than drilling holes in the ground. While the collapse in oil and gas prices since the middle of last year caused energy companies to slash investment in oil wells, Thursday's report on second-quarter GDP showed an interesting dynamic taking shape — investment in factories has been running full bore. It may be surprising on the surface, given that manufacturing has simmered down this year on the heels of a weaker global economy, but spending on all types of production facilities increased at a 65 percent annualized pace in the second quarter. That was almost enough to offset a 68 percent plunge in investment in wells and mines that marked the biggest drop in 29 years. Bloomberg
Heads Off On Vacation, Putting Off Messy Decisions
Congress is heading out for a five-week summer recess in anything but a cheerful vacation mood, leaving behind a pile of unfinished business that all but guarantees a painful fall. Not long after they return in September, lawmakers must vote on President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, a brutally divisive issue that many lawmakers expect will dominate voter town halls during their annual August break. And, as more videos emerge showing disturbing fetal tissue collection practices, Republicans are increasingly focused on cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood, raising the prospect that Congress will spend September tied in knots over how to avoid shutting down the government over that issue. Las Vegas Sun
Officials Considering New Name For Negro Bill Canyon
The renewed national scrutiny of the Confederate flag has Utah officials again considering changing the name of the picturesque Negro Bill Canyon. But the title that some find offensive is a point of historical pride for others. Grand County Councilwoman Mary McGann said Wednesday that the southern Utah canyon named after a black cowboy whose cattle grazed there in the 1870s is outdated at best. She wants the council to recommend a change to the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. But Salt Lake City NAACP president Jeanetta Williams says the name isn't offensive. She's drumming up support to keep it because the name makes it clear that the canyon is named for a black historical figure. Las Vegas Sun
Attitude Linked To Fewer Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Researchers found that rheumatoid arthritis patients who reported more positive mood moments during the day had less pain and fewer arthritis-related restrictions than those who reported greater depressive symptoms. Arthritis is known to cause depression in patients because of pain that restricts movements and activities. Where previous studies have linked end-of-day mood to increased or decreased pain among arthritis patients, this is the first to measure mood throughout the day. UPI
Urge Restoration Of Voting Rights Act On 50th Anniversary
Democrats gathered on the steps of Congress in Washington D.C. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, as they called on Republicans to restore a key mandate. "It was not this warm on March 7, 1965, when we attempted to walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma to Montgomery," House Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., said Thursday, referring to the historic "Bloody Sunday" Civil Rights march. In 2013, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the section of the Voting Rights Act that required states with a history of discrimination to obtain federal permission before changing voting procedures. Lewis and other Congressional Democrats, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urged Republicans to introduce a bill to the floor to restore the section of the act. UPI
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On Gay Pride Parade Attack: A Lack Of Tolerance Will Lead Us To Disaster
President Reuven Rivlin spoke out against the stabbing attack at the Jerusalem gay pride parade on Thursday. Speaking during an event to celebrate 30 years of the Israeli opera, Rivlin said, "We came together today for a festive event, but the joy was shattered when a terrible hate crime occurred here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel." Rivlin said that "people celebrating their freedom and expressing their identity were viciously stabbed. We must not be deluded, a lack of tolerance will lead us to disaster. We cannot allow such crimes, and we must condemn those who commit and support them. I wish the injured a full and speedy recovery." Jerusalem Post
Appeal To Pope To Intercede With Germany Over Holocaust Reparations
An organization representing American Holocaust survivors has written to Pope Francis to request that the Vatican intercede with Germany in order to secure greater funding for the tens of thousands of their fellow survivors today living in poverty around the world. “Today, tens of thousands of survivors worldwide are living in or near poverty, and are not receiving the health care and income support required to address their unique medical and mental health needs and intolerable living conditions,” wrote David Shaechter, the president of the Holocaust Survivors’ Foundation USA. “We are asking you, Your Holiness, to intervene directly to persuade today’s Government of the Federal Republic Germany to provide the promised, owed and much needed compensation which was first promised by Chancellor Adenauer in the 1950’s ‘to care for survivors until their last breath.’” Jerusalem Post
Obama Orders World's Fastest Computer
President Obama has signed an executive order calling for the US to build the world's fastest computer by 2025. The supercomputer would be 20 times quicker than the current leading machine, which is in China. It would be capable of making one quintillion (a billion billion) calculations per second - a figure which is known as one exaflop. A body called the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) will be set up to research and build the computer. The US is seeking the new supercomputer, significantly faster than today's models, to perform complex simulations, aid scientific research and national security projects. BBC
Lifelong Struggle Of Exploited Children
In the US, poverty, deprivation and exploitation draw thousands of its own children down into a dark underworld that offers few ways out. It is a world few Americans are aware of. But tens of thousands of American children are thought to be sexually exploited every year. It's believed that every night hundreds are sold for sex.
The FBI says child sex abuse is almost at an epidemic level, despite the agency rescuing 600 children last year. "Trafficking" often conjures images of people from other countries being smuggled over land and across the sea and then forced to work against their will in foreign lands. People are trafficked into America from Mexico, Central and South America. But the vast majority of children bought and sold for sex every night in the United States are American kids. BBC
Clinton Foists Private Email Release Delays On Obama Administration
Hillary Clinton has directed fresh criticism over the release of her emails toward the Obama administration as a federal judge fumed over delays in turning over records that she kept on a private server while serving as secretary of state. “This is really a matter for the State Department,” she told reporters at a press conference on Thursday. “They are the ones that are bearing the responsibility to sort through these thousands and thousands of emails and determining at what pace they can be released, and I really hope it will be a quickly as possible,” added Clinton. Earlier in the day, district court judge Richard Leo criticised the ongoing delays during a hearing prompted by media challenges under freedom of information laws. Guardian
Will Refuse To Join Greek Bailout Until Debt Relief Demands Are Met
The International Monetary Fund will refuse to participate in a new bailout for Greece until there is an “explicit and concrete agreement” on debt relief from the country’s eurozone creditors, an IMF official has confirmed. Without the IMF’s involvement, Greece’s eurozone partners will have to find more funds to meet Athens’ short-term financing needs, raising questions about whether the outline €86bn (£60bn) bailout thrashed out earlier this month will prove workable. Guardian
AT AN AIRFIELD somewhere in the UK, there’s a drone with the wingspan of a Boeing 737. And it belongs to Facebook. This enormous unmanned aerial vehicle is called Aquila—a nod to the eagle who carried Jupiter’s thunder bolts in Greek mythology—and it’s part of Facebook’s rather ambitious effort to deliver Internet access to the more than 4 billion people on earth who don’t already have it. The idea is that Aquila will circle in the stratosphere, above the weather, wirelessly beaming Internet signals to base stations in underdeveloped areas of countries like Nigeria and India. Earlier this year, the company tested smaller models of this aircraft, and now, according to Facebook’s Yael Maguire, who oversees the project, the company is ready to test the full-size Aquila prototype. “The aircraft is real,” he tells WIRED, before a briefing with other reporters at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Wired
Voices Alarm at Reported Killing Of Iraqi Journalists By Extremists
The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voiced deep concern today over the reported killing of two Iraqi journalists in Mosul. “I am deeply concerned about the reported killing of Suahaa Ahmed Radhi and Jalla Al-Abadi,” the Director-General said. “It has become very difficult for the public to know what is happening in parts of Iraq, because of violent extremists. We hope the day will come when the perpetrators of these heinous acts will be prosecuted.” UN News
International Day Of Friendship, UN Chief Hailing Power Of The Human Spirit
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised a Paraguayan man whose “profound vision that the forces of animosity and hatred in our world are no match for the power of the human spirit” led to the creation of the International Day of Friendship, which falls on July 30 every year. “I had the opportunity, earlier this year in Paraguay, to commend that pioneer, Dr. Ramón Bracho, for his conviction that just as friendship builds bridges between people, it can also inspire peace in our world,” the UN chief said in a message for the International Day of Friendship 2015. UN News
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