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NEWS   MONDAY, JUNE 27, 2016   NEWS

McConnell Won't Say If Trump Is Qualified For Presidency
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn't answer questions Sunday about whether Donald Trump is qualified for the presidency, saying he'll "leave that to the American people to decide." The Kentucky Republican was pressed on ABC's "This Week" about Trump's lagging poll numbers -- and concerns that a series of controversies, which have included attacking a judge's ethnicity and firing his campaign manager, have left growing numbers of voters believing Trump is unqualified for the job. "I think there's no question that he's made a number of mistakes over the last few weeks. I think they're beginning to right the ship. It's a long time until November. And the burden, obviously, will be on him to convince people that he can handle this job," McConnell said. CNN
VOA VIEW: ABC is trying to cause friction between Trump and Republican leaders.

Clinton Campaign Hits Trump For Seeing Brexit As Boon To His Business
Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign accused Donald Trump on Sunday of caring more about how Britain's historic vote to leave the European Union would benefit his financial bottom line than how it would impact the U.S. economy. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook acknowledged parallels between the populist anger and anti-establishment fervor that fueled the Brexit vote and Trump's rise to the nomination, but said the Republican candidate's reaction showed he was not fit to occupy the White House. "Hillary Clinton looks at this through the lens of how it's going to affect middle-class families, Donald Trump through the lens of how it will help his bottom line," Mook said on "Fox News Sunday." Reuters

Voters Divided On Government Role In Gun Control, Access
With gun policy taking center stage on Capitol Hill in the aftermath of the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Americans still remain lukewarm to sweeping gun control compared to the mid-1990s, when public opinion propelled a 10-year assault weapons ban into law. Fifty percent of voters say that they are concerned that the government will go too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, while 47 percent said they were more concerned that authorities would not do enough to regulate access to firearms. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Most Americans reject gun control- the poll is way off.

Clinton Makes Surprise Appearance At NYC Gay Pride Parade
Clinton joined revelers near the Stonewall Inn, the site where the modern gay rights movement took root. It was recently declared national monument.The campaign's supporters were out in full force with the presumptive Democratic nominee during the parade, which fell this year on the first anniversary of a landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. Clinton's LGBT outreach director sent a tweet of this photo from New York City: CBS

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Bernie Sanders: Hillary Clinton ‘Doesn’t Go Far Enough’ On Progressive Causes
Although he said he would vote for Hillary Clinton, that hasn’t stopped Bernard Sanders from trying to push the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee further to the left. Mr. Sanders, who has not suspended his own presidential campaign, on Sunday said the former secretary of state’s plans on education and health care simply don’t go far enough to win over many of his supporters. “We are trying to say to Secretary Clinton and to the Clinton campaign, ‘Make it clear which side you are on,’” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Washington Times

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton In Tight Races In Battleground States
Battleground states are called battlegrounds for a reason: They're often close, and 2016 looks like no exception. Hillary Clinton holds narrow leads over Donald Trump across a number of key states of Florida (up three points, 44 to 41 percent); Colorado (Clinton 40 percent, Trump 39 percent); Wisconsin (Clinton up 41 percent to 36 percent) and North Carolina, which has flipped back and forth between the parties in the last two elections, where it's Clinton 44 percent and Trump 42 percent. CBS
VOA VIEW: Trump is much more ahead than being reported.
Clinton Surrogate Tom Perez Calls Donald Trump A ‘Chaos Candidate’
U.S. Labor Secretary and Hillary Clinton supporter Tom Perez railed against presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump on Sunday, calling him divisive and a “chaos candidate.” “The differences between Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump in terms of temperament, in terms of values couldn’t be more stark,” Perez said Sunday in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week.” “Hillary Clinton is about ‘we.’ Donald Trump is about ‘me,’” he continued, referencing Trump’s comments Friday that the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union would be good for his business ventures. ABC

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U.S. Supreme Court Poised To Issue Major Abortion Ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court is due on Monday to issue its first major abortion ruling since 2007 against a backdrop of unremitting divisions among Americans on the issue and a decades-long decline in the rate at which women terminate pregnancies. The court's decision on whether a Republican-backed 2013 Texas law placed an undue burden on women exercising their constitutional right to abortion is one of three remaining cases for the court to decide on Monday, the last day of its term. The other major one involves whether the justices will overturn the corruption conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell. The last time the justices decided a major abortion case was nine years ago when they ruled 5-4 to uphold a federal law banning a late-term abortion procedure. Reuters

If Re-Elected, Rubio Says He Would Combat Parts Of Trump Agenda
If re-elected to his Florida Senate seat, former GOP presidential contender Marco Rubio said he would work to combat two of the most controversial pieces of Donald Trump's agenda: his immigration policy, and his proposal to ban Muslims from traveling to the United States. In an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" taped Saturday and aired Sunday, Rubio discussed the presumptive Republican nominee's controversial proposal to deport all undocumented immigrants — an estimated 11 million people. "The reality of it is, you can't do it," Rubio, who faced harsh criticism from his Republican rivals in the primaries for having advocated for comprehensive immigration reform, said. "You can't round up and deport 11 million people. There are people that need to be deported. Criminals need to be deported. But you can't round up and deport 11, ten, nine million people. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Rubio's position blew any chance he has to be reelected.- Florida voted for Trump.

Marco Rubio Rules Out Vice-Presidential Candidacy
Sen. Marco Rubio on Sunday said he’s not interested in serving as likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s running mate. “It’s too late for that,” the Florida Republican said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Mr. Rubio’s name has been floated for vice president after a poll found Republicans and independents would be more open to voting for Mr. Trump with him on the ticket. The CBS News survey last week showed 27 percent of registered voters said they would be more likely to vote for the billionaire businessman with Mr. Rubio as a running mate, including 26 percent of undecided voters. But the Florida senator said the idea is not a “viable option.” Washington Times

Stocks, Pound Fall Again Due To UK Vote Uncertainty
European stocks and the pound fell further on Monday as concern grew over the potential economic costs of Britain's vote to bring its country, the world's fifth-largest economy, out of the European Union. The British pound, which last week plunged to its lowest level since 1985, dropped another 2.4 percent to $1.3352, despite the British Treasury's reassurances that the economy was strong enough to withstand the uncertainty. European stock markets added to their painful losses from Friday, when concern over the vote outcome wiped out $2.1 trillion of stock value from Hong Kong to London to New York. Tampa Tribune

Shaq Brings US Basketball Diplomacy To Cuban Capital
The Shaq show came to Havana on Sunday as NBA great Shaquille O'Neal put on a basketball clinic for local youngsters, becoming the latest emissary for American outreach to the people of Cuba. The 2016 Hall of Fame inductee and four-time NBA champion led star-struck kids in layup drills and coached scrimmages while onlookers cheered from the sidelines, part of a U.S. State Department-sponsored visit to foster people-to-people exchanges with Cuban citizens. Recent months and years have seen a string of American sporting, diplomatic and cultural missions to the island as Washington and Havana mend relations that were openly hostile for over five decades. Ties were formally restored last year under presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro. Tampa Tribune

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Pride Parades: U.S. Cities Mark Events Amid Tight Security
Millions will march across the nation Sunday to celebrate annual LGBT parades amid tight security following the Florida massacre. Two weeks ago, a gunman stormed the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people in one of the deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. Major cities in the U.S., including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Houston, are set to celebrate the events honoring the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender communities. CNN

Kerry Urges Britain, EU To Manage Their Divorce Responsibly
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday urged Britain and the European Union to manage their divorce responsibly for the sake of global markets and citizens, a day before he was to become the first senior American official to visit London and Brussels since the United Kingdom's historic referendum. Kerry emphasized the importance of thoughtful cooperation at a time of economic uncertainty and fears about crumbling European unity. He said he would bring a message of U.S. support to both capitals. But he offered no concrete suggestions for how the two sides should make good on the decision by British voters to leave the 28-nation bloc. ABC

Secret Campaign Cash Gushes Into U.S. State And Local Elections
Secret campaign cash from groups that aren’t supposed to coordinate with candidates has over recent election cycles poured into state and local races where the impact can be much greater than at the federal level, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. The New York-based nonprofit law and policy institute researched spending by outside groups in six states between 2006 and 2014. Instances in which donors could be clearly identified fell to 29 percent from 76 percent on average after a landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed unlimited and anonymous spending, according to the study released Sunday, billed as the first of its kind. Bloomberg

Clinton: Cities Are Where Things Are 'Getting Done'
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told more than 200 mayors gathered Sunday in Indianapolis that cities are “where things are happening and getting done,” despite, she argued, local leaders not receiving help from the federal government. “Instead, like other Americans, you see grandstanding, you hear threats to default on our nation’s debt or shut down our government,” Clinton said in her address to the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Instead of solving problems, Washington is too often making them worse.” In contrast, Clinton said mayors “show up” and work on the front lines in improving their communities. She pledged if elected to give mayors flexibility to use federal funds in ways that respond to their priorities, including in areas of infrastructure, housing and re-entry programs for offenders. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Hillary gives away federal funds, as if it was hers to buy votes.

Report Finds Federal Student Loan Services Need Improvements
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released its report on the U.S. Department of Education's (DoED) federal student loan program. It states that the DoED is in need of making substantial improvements to its customer service department and to the way it works with the various loan servicers that manage the billions of dollars in student loans that are made every year. These servicers are contractors who work with the DoED to provide information to students and graduates about their student loans, including billing, loan repayment plans, and more. However, with over 9.1 million students taking out student loans totaling over $96 billion last year plus the number of graduates still paying on their loans, this is a very daunting task. Atlanta Journal

Fading Fishermen: A Historic Industry Faces A Warming World
Fishing along the coast of the Northeast still employs hundreds. But every month that goes by, those numbers fall. After centuries of weathering overfishing, pollution, foreign competition and increasing government regulation, the latest challenge is the one that's doing them in: climate change. Though no waters are immune to the ravages of climate change, the Gulf of Maine best illustrates the problem. The gulf, where fishermen have for centuries sought lobster, cod and other species that thrived in its cold waters, is now warming faster than 99 percent of the world's oceans, scientists have said. For the fishermen of the northeastern U.S., whether to stick with fishing, adapt to the changing ocean or leave the business is a constant worry. Houston Chronicle

Clinton Blames Republican Leaders For A "Paralyzed" Congress
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton chastised Republican lawmakers on Sunday for a "paralyzed" Congress, saying they've fueled populist anger by refusing to "do their job." Clinton ticked off a list of items that GOP congressional leaders have refused to schedule for a vote. They include a proposed immigration overhaul, holding confirmation hearings to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, and strengthening background checks and banning firearms sales to people on the government no-fly list. Her remarks come as voter unrest has fueled the outsider candidacies of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, as well as her Democratic primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Houston Chronicle

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Trump Camp Scrambles To Shape Up Before GOP Convention
Republicans are sprinting to shape up Donald Trump's presidential campaign before the party's national convention in three weeks, even as leading members of the party carry a deep antipathy or outright opposition to his claim on the GOP nomination. His campaign chairman said Sunday there's a hiring spree in 16 states and the campaign is working with the Republican National Committee to solidify other matters. Paul Manafort said Trump is not all that involved in the race to organize an offensive against Democrat Hillary Clinton and catch up to her massive fundraising advantage. "The good thing is we have a candidate who doesn't need to figure out what's going on (inside the campaign ) in order to say what he wants to do," Manafort said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We have our campaign plans in place. We have our budgets in place." Fox News

Oil Seen By Crescent Petroleum Hitting $60 This Year On Demand
Crescent Petroleum Co., an oil and natural gas producer in Egypt and Iraq, expects crude prices to improve this year as supply becomes more in line with demand. The U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union won’t have a lasting effect on crude prices and London will remain a center for international oil and gas companies, Chief Executive Officer Majid Jafar said in an interview in Dubai on Sunday. Oil fell 4.9 percent in New York and London Friday after the U.K. voted to exit from the 28-member bloc. Benchmark Brent crude settled at $48.41 a barrel. “We’ll start to see oil prices creeping back up,” Jafar said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we even hit $60 this year.” Bloomberg

Pols Attack Sharpton For ‘Race-Baiting’ In Rangel Seat Race
The battle to succeed scandal-scarred Rep. Charles Rangel erupted into a last-minute, internecine race war when the Rev. Al Sharpton blasted opponents of his favored candidate as “Negroes you ain’t never seen before.” Sharpton made the inflammatory comments during a Harlem rally attended by Rangel and former Mayor David Dinkins. All three men are backing Assemblyman Keith Wright for Rangel’s seat in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election. “You’re supposed to be attracted to these Negroes you ain’t never seen before,” Sharpton said Saturday at his National Action Network headquarters, according to reports. “I mean, they must have a laboratory to just create these Negroes.” NY Post
VOA VIEW: Blacks can be anti white racists with impunity.

Owners Of AR-Style Firearms Defend Their Weapon Of Choice
An estimated 8 million AR-style guns have been sold since they were first introduced to the public in the 1960s, and about half of them are owned by current or former members of the military or law enforcement, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gunmakers. Even the name stirs up controversy. "AR" does not stand for "assault rifle," as many believe, but for ArmaLite Rifle, a nod to the company that first designed it for military use. Assault weapons are fully automatic; the bullets keep flying for as long as the trigger is depressed. AR-style guns are semi-automatic, meaning the trigger has to be pulled separately for each shot. Las Vegas Sun

Perdue Aims To Make Chickens Happier And More Comfortable
Sunlight floods the floor at one end of the chicken house here at Ash-O-Ley Acres, and spry little Cornish game hens flap their wings and chase one another. At the other end of the barn, where the windows are covered as part of a compare-and-contrast demonstration, the flock is largely somnolent and slow to move. “This is my second flock with the sunlight,” said Karen Speake, whose family has raised chickens on this farm for Perdue Foods, the nation’s fourth-largest poultry producer, for almost four decades. “They’re much happier birds, I can tell you, more active, more playful.” Over the next several years, all of Perdue’s chickens – 676 million last year – will bask in sunlight, part of an ambitious overhaul of the company’s animal welfare practices, which it will announce Monday. The commitment will hold Perdue to standards similar to those in Europe, which the U.S. poultry industry has long dismissed as antiquated, inefficient and costly. Charlotte Observer

Liberians Eager To Welcome 'Sister' Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama, her daughters and her mother are set to arrive this afternoon in Liberia for the start of an overseas trip promoting education for girls. The first lady plans to meet with the president of the West African country, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is the first elected female head of state on the continent. The Obamas then will visit a leadership camp for girls in the town of Kakata. One topic of their trip is how to address the barriers facing girls trying to get an education. The recent Ebola outbreak, which killed more than 4,800 people in Liberia, made access to education even more challenging. The Obamas are scheduled to leave Liberia on Monday evening for Morocco and then Spain. Charlotte Observer

CIA Weapons Meant For Syrian Rebels Are Swiped In Jordan
Weapons shipped into Jordan by the CIA and Saudi Arabia intended for Syrian rebels have been systematically stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market, according to U.S. and Jordanian officials. Some of the stolen weapons were used in a November shooting that killed two Americans and three others at a police training facility in Amman, FBI officials believe after months of investigating the attack, according to people familiar with the investigation. The existence of the weapons theft — which ended only months ago after complaints by the U.S. and Saudi governments — is being reported for the first time after a joint investigation by The New York Times and Al Jazeera. Kansas CIty Star

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Clinton Campaign Offers Chance To See 'Hamilton'-- At A Cost
Hillary Clinton supporters will get a chance to see the hit musical "Hamilton" if they're willing to pay prices that are breathtaking even by Broadway standards. Tickets for a special matinee July 12 to benefit her campaign start at $2,700 each, while $10,000 will get a "premium seat" that includes a photo session with Clinton. The campaign website says that for $100,000 people can get a deal that includes two premium seats, a "wrap party" with Clinton "and other special guests" plus other benefits. The hip-hop-flavored biography about the first U.S. treasury secretary is the hardest ticket to get on Broadway, even at a record $849 for a premium ticket and even higher prices in a thriving black market. Fox News

10 stabbed, beaten at white nationalist rally in California
Ten people suffered stab wounds and other injuries on Sunday after members of a white nationalist group that planned to rally outside the California state Capitol building in Sacramento clashed with a larger group of counter protesters, authorities said. Sacramento police mounted officers prepare for crowd control after a scuffle broke out at a protest near the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on Sunday, June 26, 2016. Officials said several were stabbed when members of right-wing extremists groups holding a rally clashed with counter-protesters. The fight broke out when about 30 members of the Traditionalist Worker Party gathering to rally around noon Sunday were met by about 400 counter-protesters, California Highway Patrol Officer George Granada said. As people tried to leave the area, smaller fights broke out, Granada said. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Only blacks, illegal immigrants and liberals can protest without counter protesters.

Scotland May Have Power To Block Brexit
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted Sunday her nation-within-a-nation has the power to block Parliament in London from enacting the UK’s split from the European Union. Lawmakers in Edinburgh have to grant “consent” for legislation to be enacted in London that’d have direct impact on Scots, according to Sturgeon, leader of the independence-seeking Scottish National Party. “The issue you are talking about is would there have to be a legislative consent motion or motions for the legislation that extricates the UK from the European Union?” she told the BBC’s “Sunday Politics Scotland.” NY Post

Fallujah Fully Liberated From IS Group, Iraqi Commander Says
Five weeks after a military operation began, a senior Iraqi commander declared Sunday that the city of Fallujah was "fully liberated" from the Islamic State group, giving a major boost to the country's security and political leadership in its fight against the extremists. Recapturing Fallujah, the first city to fall to the Islamic State group more than two years ago, means that authorities can now set their sights on militant-held Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, visiting central Fallujah with the celebrating troops, vowed that the Iraqi flag would next be raised above Mosul. But that campaign has been progressing in fits and starts, revealing the deep divisions among the different groups that make up the security forces. Las Vegas Sun

Kerry And Netanyahu To Meet On Israel-Palestine Peace Talks, No Progress Expected
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but is not expected to restart peace talks between Israel and Palestine. U.S. officials speaking ahead of the Sunday meeting said they don't expect a breakthrough, International Business Times reported. Also, as a result of the Brexit vote last week, in which Britain voted to exit the European Union, Kerry has added stops on his trip to London and Brussels, Kerry confirmed on the U.S. Department of State Twitter page. "I will travel to Brussels and London on Monday to reaffirm our unwavering partnership w/ the EU & UK," Kerry tweeted. UPI

China, Russia Pledge Business Partnership Worth $50 Billion
Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to strengthen "good neighborly" relations with China, including $50 billion in 58 business initiatives between the two countries. Putin met with China President Xi Jinping on Saturday, the 15th anniversary of their good-neighbor treaty of friendship and partnership. "We are pursuing economic cooperation, as China is the first trade partner of Russia," Putin said. "The world economy is not stable for many areas like currency and energy, and that has affected us. The stance of Russia and China is quite close, and even sometimes, we are in the same position, in terms of international affairs. We will continue dialogue on international issues." His Chinese counterpart agreed. UPI

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Israel And Turkey Set To Announce Normalized Relations Monday
Israel and Turkey are set to announce Monday that they have reached a rapprochement agreement that will normalize relations more than six years after ties between the erstwhile allies fell apart following the Mavi Marmara incident. A senior diplomatic source said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will announce the agreement, and explain its elements, at a press conference at noon in Rome. The Turks will simultaneously hold a similar event in Ankara. Netanyahu arrived in Rome on Sunday for talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry. Foreign Minister director-general Dore Gold and his Turkish counterpart, Feridun Sinirlio?lu, are then scheduled to separately sign the agreement in their respective capitals on Tuesday. On Wednesday it will come to the approval of the security cabinet, and if all goes according to plan, ambassadors are expected to be re-appointed by the end of July. Jerusalem Post

Israel Blames Palestinians For West Bank Water Shortage
Israel has blamed the Palestinians for the water shortage in the the West Bank, which has captured global headlines. The infrastructure is inadequate to meet the increasing demand, the Water Authority said. It is difficult to upgrade the infrastructure without convening the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee, that was established under the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Water Authority said. The Palestinian refusal to sit down with Israelis, means that the committee has not met for over five years. On top of that broken water pipes and Palestinian water theft have made the situation worse, a spokesman for the Water Authority said. He told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that about 5 cubic meters of water have been stolen recently in the West Bank by Palestinians. The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a branch of the Defense Ministry, is the responsible for catching water theft. Jerusalem Post

Markets Brace For More Torrid Trading
Stock markets in the UK, continental Europe and North America fell sharply on Friday following the unexpected decision for a Brexit. Although the FTSE 100 in London fell by just 3.1% by the close of trading, markets in Frankfurt, Paris, Milan and Madrid all closed as much as 12% lower as investors contemplated the ramifications of a EU member leaving the union. We consider the key markets to watch on Monday - and this week. BBC

EU Referendum: UK's EU Commissioner Lord Hill To Resign
He said he did not believe it was right for him to carry on with his work as the commissioner in charge of financial services. But he will stay on for a period of weeks to ensure an "orderly handover". A close ally of Prime Minister David Cameron, Lord Hill had argued for the UK to remain in the EU. He will be replaced by Latvian politician Valdis Dombrovskis, currently European Commissioner for the euro. Asked whether the UK would be sending anyone to Brussels to take Lord Hill's place on the Commission, Downing Street said: "It will be for the next prime minister to decide, following discussions with European partners, what role the UK plays in the European Commission, given we remain a full member of the EU until we have left." BBC

Cracks Deepen Inside Troubled Marriage Of Trump And Republican Party
Cracks in the awkward marriage between Donald Trump and Republican leaders grew wider on Sunday, as Senate stalwarts recoiled from their presumptive presidential nominee, his campaign moved in for a closer embrace, and the businessman fell freely in polls after a weekend romp in Scotland. The most conspicuous silence in the room came from Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who repeatedly refused to say whether he thought Trump was qualified to be president. “Look, I’ll leave that to the American people to decide,” he told ABC’s This Week. “It’s a long time until November. And the burden, obviously, will be on him to convince people that he can handle this job.” Guardian

Elizabeth Warren And Hillary Clinton Will Take Fight To Donald Trump In Ohio
Hillary Clinton will return to Ohio on Monday with Elizabeth Warren in tow. As Democrats sharpen their general election argument against Donald Trump, it will be their first joint appearance on the campaign trail. The senator from Massachusetts will accompany Clinton to a rally in Cincinnati that will focus on economic themes such as income inequality and Wall Street reform, just over two weeks after Warren endorsed Clinton and amid suggestions she could be her running mate. Warren’s presence in the swing state is meant to help galvanize progressives behind the former secretary of state, particularly those who have supported Bernie Sanders. Warren, a liberal firebrand, has cultivated an image as chief critic of big banks and corporations and proponent of financial reform. Guardian

In Kuwait, Ban Urges Yemeni Delegations In Peace Talks To Find Lasting Solution To End Conflict
In Kuwait today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern over the situation in Yemen, urging the delegations involved in the UN-supported Yemeni peace talks to prevent a further deterioration of the situation and arrive at a comprehensive agreement ending the conflict. “The situation in Yemen is of profound concern. Not only to me and the United Nations, but also to you and all of your people, and all of the countries in the region,” the Secretary-General said in remarks to the Yemeni delegations at the peace talks, which are being hosted by Kuwait. “There is an alarming scarcity of basic food items. The economy is in precarious condition. Whilst the cessation of hostilities is mostly holding, there have been serious violations, causing further casualties and suffering amongst the civilian population, including children,” he added. UN News

On Day Against Drug Abuse, Ban Calls For 'Effective, Compassionate' Global Response
Marking the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, United Nations Secretary-General today called for “a global response that is simultaneously effective, compassionate and humane,” to the challenges posed by the world drug problem. “I call on countries and communities to continue to improve the lives of everyone blighted by drug abuse by integrating security and public safety with a heightened focus on health, human rights, and sustainable development,” said the UN chief in his message on the Day. The illicit trade in drugs fosters transnational organized crime networks, systemic corruption and widespread violence. It is also a major public health menace. Millions of people are directly affected, especially the poor, vulnerable women and children, and those living in fragile communities. UN

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