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Older News Archivescom0116
NEWS     SATURDAY, AUGUST 23, 2014     NEWS

EARLY EDITION

Supreme Court Case To Shape Ferguson Investigation
The moment Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson shot an unarmed teenager, a 25-year-old Supreme Court case became the prism through which his actions will be legally judged. To most people, an 18-year-old unarmed man may not appear to pose a deadly threat. But a police officer's perspective is different. And that is how an officer should be judged after the fact, Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote in the 1989 opinion. The Supreme Court case, decided at a time when violence against police was on the rise, has shaped the national legal standards that govern when police officers are justified in using force. The key question about Wilson's killing on Aug. 9 is whether a reasonable officer with a similar background would have responded the same way. Las Vegas Sun
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Hagel: Islamic State 'Beyond Anything That We've Seen' And An 'Imminent Threat'
The threat posed by the Islamic State "is beyond anything that we've seen," U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel acknowledged Thursday when asked if IS presents a threat to Americans on the level of 9/11. IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL, Hagel said, is "an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else.""ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They're just beyond a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded." In response to such a threat, the defense secretary advocated preparation, although he didn't expound on what the could entail: "we must prepare for everything." He also underlined the necessity of understanding IS, "And the only way you do that is that you take a cold, steely, hard look at it and -- and -- get ready." UPI

Tea Party Group Weighs Backing Brown In N.H. Senate Fight
The leaders of national tea party group are in New Hampshire meeting with the candidates running for the U.S. Senate and weighing whether to support former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown — or one of his rivals for the GOP nomination — ahead of the Senate primary next month. Sal Russo, co-founder of Tea Party Express, and Andrew Surabian, the group’s political director, met with the candidates Thursday and Friday in New Hampshire and are considering whether to take sides before the state’s Sept. 9 primary. Washington Times

James Foley's Execution Is "Attack On Our Country," White House Says
When the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (known as ISIS or ISIL) executed American journalist James Foley, it represented an "attack on our country," a White House official told reporters Friday. "Absolutely, when you see somebody killed in such a horrific way, that represents a terrorist attack, against our country and an American citizen," deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes (the brother of CBS News President David Rhodes) said, when asked if he agreed with Michael Morell, the former deputy director of the CIA who is now a national security analyst for CBS News. CBS

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ISIS Threat Focus On Syria, But US In No Hurry To Act
America’s top military officials have acknowledged that ISIS will not be defeated without taking the fight to Syria, but the Pentagon on Friday tamped down any expectation that the U.S. could soon ramp up its help for moderate forces opposing Bashar al-Assad and fighting with ISIS in the country. “I know of no plans to try to accelerate it,” Department of Defense spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters, when asked if the Pentagon would speed up $500 million in funding to help moderate Syrian rebels, which it’s requested for next year. “Again, we’re working through Congress and through the budget–the budget vehicles available to us to get at that program.” ABC

Perry Calls For Drones On U.S. Border To Stop Terrorists
Texas Governor Rick Perry, speaking in the home state of a recently killed American journalist, repeated his assertion that Islamic State militants may have crossed a “porous” border between the U.S. and Mexico. “There already may be ISIS cells -- ISIS individuals -- in America,” Perry said during a meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with business men and women. “We don’t know. They may have used our southern border, because it’s porous.” Perry, who is considering a second presidential campaign, said the U.S. needs military-style drones and more troops to help secure the border. Bloomberg

Ban Confers With World Leaders, Stresses Importance Of Durable Ceasefire
After the breakdown earlier this week of the latest temporary ceasefire in Gaza, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed the need for efforts to guide the parties towards a durable peace, today making a round of phone calls to a number of key players in the Middle East and beyond concerning the situation. According to Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, the Secretary-General spoke to the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas; the Foreign Minister of Egypt, Sameh Hassan Shokry Selim; the Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry; the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani; and the President-elect of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. UN News

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Surgical 'Black Box' Could Reduce Errors
Inside the operating room, video cameras track every movement. Outside, a small computer-like device analyzes the recordings, identifying when mistakes are made and providing instant feedback to surgeons as they operate. This is the dream of the surgical "black box." Operations could become flawless. Post-operative complications could be significantly reduced. Surgeons could review the footage to improve their technique and prep for the next big case. Such a device isn't far from reality. CNN

California To Appeal Ruling Tossing Death Penalty
California's attorney general says she will appeal a federal court ruling that called the state's death penalty unconstitutional. The announcement Thursday by Attorney General Kamala Harris came after U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in Los Angeles ruled last month that the state's death penalty takes too long to carry out, and that the unpredictable delays are arbitrary and unfair. Death penalty foes have long argued that California's delays amounted to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment, but until Carney's ruling, the argument failed to persuade a judge. Harris, however, said the amount of time it takes to execute inmates in California ensures they receive due process. CNS News

Texas Governor Perry's Indictment To Curb His Gun-Toting Ways
A felony indictment for abuse of power will hit Texas Governor Rick Perry, an avowed gun enthusiast, where it hurts - by curtailing some of his rights to bear firearms.
Perry, a possible candidate in the 2016 Republican presidential race, has sought the spotlight since his indictment last week, holding news conferences to denounce the charges as politically motivated and turning his booking into a campaign-style event where he spoke to cheering supporters. Under state law, Perry, a staunch supporter of gun rights who said he shot a coyote to death with a pistol while jogging in Austin in 2010, is no longer allowed a license to carry a concealed handgun because of the indictment. Reuters

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Job Market Not Recovered
The U.S. job market has improved over the past year, but it is still not fully recovered. That was Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's main message Friday in a much anticipated speech. "It speaks to the depth of the damage that, five years after the end of the recession, the labor market has yet to fully recover," she said. The debate now is whether the job situation in America is healthy enough for the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates, which have been at historic lows in recent years in an effort to jump start the economy. Yellen, however, said little new on Friday, and U.S. stock markets stayed flat. CNN

National Guard Starts To Pull Out Of Embattled Missouri Town
National Guard troops began departing Ferguson, Missouri, on Friday in a sign authorities are increasingly confident they have quelled the worst of the violence that erupted after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager. Two straight nights of relative calm have created a sense of guarded optimism among some residents and officials that protests over the weekend will be more peaceful and largely devoid of the looting and violent clashes that drew national attention to the St. Louis suburb over the past two weeks. Reuters

Rick Perry Preparing for 2016 Run Despite Legal Troubles
Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday said he has “spent a lot of time in preparation” for a potential 2016 presidential run, despite the legal troubles he now faces in his home state. But he has yet to make a final decision on whether or not he will give it another shot. “Whether you've been elected governor of Texas three times and served for 12 years, it is not good enough from the standpoint of the preparation to run for the presidency of the United States,” Perry told reporters during a visit to New Hampshire. “And I’ve spent a lot of time in preparation. That’s not to say I’ve made a decision I’m going to run. I haven’t," he added.  MSNBC

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Administration Offers New Accommodations On Birth Control After ObamaCare Rulings
The Obama administration on Friday announced new measures meant to accommodate religious nonprofits and some private employers who don't want to pay for birth control under ObamaCare, on the heels of Supreme Court rulings that weakened the law's so-called contraceptive mandate. The changes had been expected, particularly after the Supreme Court ruled in June that the government can't force companies like Hobby Lobby Inc. to pay for birth control, as originally required under the Affordable Care Act. Days later, the high court also sided with religious nonprofits such as Wheaton College, an evangelical school, which argued that an existing accommodation required them to sign a form that violated their beliefs. Fox News

‘Very Dangerous’: Pentagon Says Armed Chinese Jet Did ‘Barrel Roll’ Over US Aircraft
The Pentagon said Friday that a Chinese fighter jet made “several passes” by a U.S. Navy aircraft earlier this week off the coast of China in international airspace, baring its weapons and coming within mere feet of the U.S. plane. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Washington has lodged a protest to China through diplomatic channels, calling the maneuver “very close” and “very dangerous.” “Not only is it unprofessional, it’s unsafe,” Kirby said. Kirby said the Chinese jet made several close passes by the Navy P-8 Poseidon plane, coming within 30 feet of it. Fox News

Groups Beginning Work To Mobilize Latino Vote
Acoalition of immigration advocates is dividing political candidates into “family uniters” and “family dividers” as it seeks to mobilize Latino voters for the midterm elections in November. Fair Immigration Reform Movement, a coalition of immigration advocacy groups, is starting with candidates in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and New York. They are defining “family uniters” as those who support immigration reform to keep families together in the U.S. while they seek to become U.S. citizens. The family dividers are identified as those “who have embraced policies of deportations, family separations and other cruel and inhumane legislation.” MSNBC

‘Obama Inc.’ Catapults Ex-Advisers Into Lucrative Careers
Working for President Obama’s inner circle has its perks, it seems. Numerous members of his close-knit brain trust have moved from White House to lucrative careers, using their presidential ties to successfully springboard into new job titles such as adviser and consultant — with accompanying high-paying salaries, The Hill reported, dubbing the trend “Obama Inc.” “You see people not only serving as representatives of a lobbying firm but taking these very high-profile corporate jobs,” Julian Zelizer, a political historian at Princeton University, told The Hill. “I think that is becoming more common. Businesses understand that this is a great opportunity for them.” Washington Times

How Real A Risk Is Social Media Addiction?
A blog post by social media marketer Jason Thibeault, "Why I just quit Facebook," is sparking new debate about the risks of social media addiction. Thibeault's essay went viral soon after he posted it on LinkedIn on Thursday, getting more than 700,000 views the next day. Thibeault wrote that he quit Facebook because "my news feeds were becoming an addiction. They were a constant interruption pulling me away from the work that I was otherwise enjoying." "Just imagine that Facebook is like a digital water cooler. I was drinking A TON of water every hour," he wrote. "Although I'm not a neuroscientist, I'd venture to say that what was happening was related to my Dopamine levels--when I was checking status updates on Facebook, my brain was rewarding itself with Dopamine; when I wasn't, and Dopamine levels dropped as a result, I started 'jonesing for a fix.'" CBS

UN Vows To Radically Scale Up Ebola Fight As ‘Invisible’ Caseloads Are Escaping Detection
Dr. David Nabarro, Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola who was appointed by the Secretary-General to establish how best the UN can support affected communities, was wrapping up the first leg of a visit to all Ebola-effected countries in West Africa. In the Liberian capital, Monrovia, this afternoon, he told reporters at the end of his two-day visit that more health workers will be brought to the country to deal with the outbreak, saying “The United Nations is looking at ways to radically scale up support to fight Ebola.” UN News

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Harry Reid Makes Asian Jokes, Apologizes For Saying ‘The Wrong Thing’
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, apologized today for Asian-themed jokes he made while speaking to the Asian Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas on Thursday night. “My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize. Sometimes I say the wrong thing,” Reid said in his brief statement. Reid’s remarks were caught on tape and posted to the Internet by the Republican opposition group America Rising. While speaking to the Asian Chamber of Commerce, Reid said, “I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are.” The Senate Majority leader then went on to explain the difficulty of encountering multiple people with the last name Wong. ABC

Bean-Bag Chairs Recalled After Two Children Die Climbing Inside
Ace Bayou Corp. is voluntarily recalling 2.2 million bean-bag chairs after two children died climbing inside and suffocating. The zippers on the chairs can open, letting children crawl into them and get trapped, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said today in a statement. A 13-year-old boy from Texas and a 3-year-old girl from Kentucky died after suffocating and inhaling the bean bag’s foam beads, the agency said. The chairs, manufactured in China, were sold by Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), as well as other chains such as Bon-Ton Stores Inc., up until July of last year. They sold for between $30 and $100. Bloomberg

US Won’t Let Borders Hamper Fight vs. Extremists
The United States has avoided military involvement in Syria's three-year-civil war thus far. Faced with an Islamist extremist group making gains across the region and the beheading an American journalist, the Obama administration's resistance may be weakening. The White House said Friday that the president has received no military options beyond those he authorized earlier this month for limited airstrikes in Iraq and military aid to Iraqi and Kurdish forces. But a top adviser raised the possibility of a broader American military campaign that targets the Islamic State group's bases in Syria, saying the U.S would take whatever action is necessary to protect national security. Las Vegas Sun

Global Spending On Data Security To Top $70 Billion
A report by a technology research firm says global spending on information security will reach $71.1 billion in 2014. The estimated figure from U.S.-based Gartner Inc. is a 7.9 percent increase over last year's spending, and reflects new methods of combating cybercrime. Easy access to malware and other malevolent technology has accelerated the pace of crimes committed by computer, as well as defenses against them. There has also been an increased awareness of the value of security in firms that "have traditionally treated security as an IT (information technology) function and a cost center," said Gartner research director Lawrence Pingree. UPI

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Netanyahu Vows 'Hamas Will Pay Heavy Price' For Death Of Israeli Boy
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed on Friday that "Hamas will pay a heavy price" for the death of a four-year-old boy who suffered fatal wounds from a barrage of mortars that struck a kibbutz not far from the border with the Gaza Strip. The premier spoke with the head of the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council, Alon Shuster, by telephone shortly after news broke of the boy's death. Netanyahu told Shuster that the Israeli military will intensify its actions against Hamas in the Gaza Strip "until the goals of Operation Protective Edge are achieved." Jerusalem Post

Arab States Look To Single Out Israel At UN Nuclear Meeting
As war rages in Gaza, Arab states will likely try to heighten diplomatic pressure on Israel over its assumed nuclear arsenal at next month's annual meeting of the UN nuclear agency's 160 member states, diplomats said on Friday. An Arab initiative to single out the Jewish state for criticism was defeated in voting last year. But Western diplomats opposed to the Arab move said the unresolved Gaza conflict may influence any wavering countries at this year's debate, although there was no direct link between the issues. "It is all about getting out the undecided vote. And it will be all about Israel widely and not about the actual nuclear issue," one Vienna-based diplomat said. Jerusalem Post

Iraq Conflict: Diyala Sunni Mosque Attack Kills Dozens
Officials say a bomber blew himself up in the mosque during Friday prayers and gunmen fired on fleeing worshippers. Diyala province has seen heavy fighting in recent weeks between IS and Iraqi troops backed by Shia militiamen. The attack is seen as a blow to government efforts to secure backing from Sunni groups in its battle against Islamic State (IS) jihadists. Prime Minister designate Haider al-Abadi, a moderate Shia, is trying to form a more inclusive government - following international criticism of outgoing PM Nouri Maliki, who was widely seen as a divisive figure. BBC

Safety Review Into Stroke Clot-Buster Drug Alteplase
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency believes the benefits of alteplase outweigh the risks. But it is revisiting the evidence. Some experts say previous assessments may have been flawed. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges welcomed the investigation, saying the review has "huge implications" for patient safety. A stroke is a medical emergency - and there is one every five minutes in the UK. Most strokes are caused by a clot blocking the flow of blood to the brain. BBC

Chelsea Manning Says She Is Being Denied Gender-Reassignment Treatment
A year after being sentenced to a 35-year prison term for giving secret documents to WikiLeaks, US army private Chelsea Manning says the military is continuing to deny her gender-reassignment treatment. In a letter sent to NBC news and released on Friday, Manning says the Defence Department has not followed through with its promises after the defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, approved a treatment plan that includes allowing her to dress as a woman. Guardian

US Sued By Immigrant Rights Groups Over Expedited Deportation Process
A coalition of immigrant rights groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s expedited deportation process, claiming that it is unfair to women and children who flee Central America to seek safety in the US. The groups claim the Obama administration’s new policies have created a “deportation mill” at a new government family detention center in Artesia, New Mexico. “As the attorneys on the ground in Artesia have told us, the government is implementing a new expedited removal system which presents procedural obstacles that make it incredibly difficult for these women to even articulate their claim,” said Trina Realmuto, staff attorney at the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. Guardian

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