NEWS   FRIDAY, JULY  28, 2017   NEWS

Tensions Flare Between Scaramucci, Priebus Amid Leak Allegations
Tensions between White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus escalated Thursday, after the new communications boss vowed overnight to contact investigators over what he called a “felony” leak of his financial information, and made a cryptic reference to Priebus. "In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept #swamp @Reince45,” he tweeted, including Priebus’ handle.The tweet followed a Politico report on the former Wall Street financier's financial holdings. Scaramucci has since deleted the tweet and denied reports that the vow was a message to Priebus. Fox
VOA VIEW: Scaramucci may not last long.

Graham Says He'll Propose Law To Prevent Trump From Firing Mueller
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on "America's Newsroom" he'll seek legislation that would prevent President Trump from firing special counsel Robert Mueller. "I'm going to create a statute that would say any time a special counsel is impaneled to investigate the president or their team, a dismissal has to be reviewed by the courts," said Graham, adding this system was used in the 1990s as a check and balance. Graham said it's a "basic concept" that he believes would be supported by Democrats and Republicans and would apply to any future president in a similar situation. He said if Mueller has a conflict of interest, then Congress will investigate the matter. Fox
VOA VIEW: Graham may be stepping out of bounds.

US Joint Chiefs Blindsided By Trump's Transgender Ban
The Joint Chiefs of Staff, including chairman General Joseph Dunford, were not aware President Donald Trump planned to tweet a ban on transgender service members, three US defense officials told CNN -- the latest indication that top military leaders across all four service branches were blindsided by the President's announcement. Trump announced Wednesday that transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to enlist or serve in the military. "After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military," Trump said in a series of tweets. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is providing liberal bias.

Trio Of Republican Senators Help Vote Down ‘Skinny Repeal’ Of ObamaCare
The Senate failed to pass a “skinny” repeal of ObamaCare early Friday morning in yet another setback to President Trump’s domestic agenda. The Senate voted on the bill just hours after it was released with the hope that it could be sent to the House and be further worked on in committee. The 51-49 vote was largely cast along party lines. A small number of Republicans joined Democrats to defeat the effort. GOP Senators John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska all cast a “no” vote under intense pressure from the White House. New York Post
VOA VIEW: Three traitors.

Melania Trump Announces Her First Solo Trip As First Lady
In September, eight months into her tenure as first lady of the United States, first lady Melania Trump will make her first official solo trip to a foreign country. Trump announced in a statement Thursday that she will lead the US delegation to this year's Invictus Games, being held in Toronto, Canada, September 23-30. "In just two short years, the Invictus Games have allowed thousands of injured and wounded servicemen and women from many different countries to participate in adaptive sports competitions -- something that should be lauded and supported worldwide. I am honored by the opportunity to represent our country at this year's games," Trump said. CNN


Orders For U.S.-Made Durable Goods Hit 35-Month Peak
New orders for U.S.-manufactured durable goods hit a 35-month high in June, according to data released today by the Census Bureau. The increase was largely driven by orders for nondefense aircraft and parts. In May, new orders for U.S.-manufactured durable goods were valued at $230.684 billion. In June, they climbed to $245.568 billion—an increase of $14.884 billion or 6.5 percent. The increase was largely driven by new orders for nondefense aircraft and parts, as indicated in Table 1 of the Census Bureau’s data. In May, new orders for nondefense aircraft and parts were valued at $10.953 billion. In June, they climbed to $25.328 billion—a jump of $14.375 billion. CNS

Rev. Graham On Transgenders: Trump Is 'Exactly Right' -- Don't Need Gender-Confused Soldiers
Commenting on President Donald J. Trump's decision to reinstate the ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military -- the ban was lifted by President Obama in 2016 -- evangelical leader Franklin Graham said Trump was "exactly right" because we don't need people in the military "who are confused about their gender," and the military should not be "aiding in gender 'transitions.'" On July 26, President Trump announced on Twitter, "After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capcaity in the U.S. military. CNS
VOA VIEW: Graham is right.

Germany Recalls Porsche Cayenne Models Over Emissions Software
German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt on Thursday announced a recall of Porsche Cayenne models equipped with 3-litre diesel engines after finding potentially illegal emissions controlling software in the vehicles. Dobrindt told reporters he was withdrawing certification for the vehicles, which will need to undergo a software update. Sports car maker Porsche AG is owned by Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), which in 2015 admitted to systematic manipulation of engine management software to cheat emissions tests. Porsche on Thursday said it had discovered "irregular" engine management software during an internal probe into emissions. Reuters

New Zealand Warns Against Synthetic Marijuana After 9 Deaths
New Zealand officials on Friday were urging people to stop smoking synthetic marijuana after finding nine people had died after using the drug this month in the nation's largest city. The latest was a 31-year-old woman who died Thursday evening in Auckland. Police suspect she was smoking synthetic marijuana shortly before her death though other factors may have contributed. Synthetic marijuana is made with chemicals similar to those found in natural marijuana to give users a high. It is illegal in New Zealand, where authorities say the drug is dangerous and is sometimes laced with other chemicals. Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall said the drug can cause seizures and many people have been hospitalized after using it. Tampa Tribune

Health Care Debate: Obamacare Repeal Fails As McCain Casts Decisive No Vote
The so-called “skinny” repeal bill, as it became known at the Capitol this week, would still have broad effects on health care. The bill would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 15 million next year compared with current law, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Premiums for people buying insurance on their own would increase by roughly 20 percent, the budget office said. New York Times
VOA VIEW: Obamacare should die - period.

‘I’ll Be Here As Long As I Can,’ Says Transgender JBLM Army Captain
Capt. Jennifer Peace’s brigade commander didn’t know she was transgender until Wednesday. She realized she better talk to him. It wasn’t a conversation the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) intelligence officer planned on having with her relatively new boss. His not knowing, she said, talking in her Spanaway home just southeast of the base, “was a great opportunity to experience something I’ve been wanting for really long time — to be judged solely on my performance.” Seattle Times

Russia Used Facebook To Try To Spy On Macron Campaign
Russian intelligence agents attempted to spy on President Emmanuel Macron's election campaign earlier this year by creating phony Facebook personas, according to a U.S. Congressman and two other people briefed on the effort. About two dozen Facebook accounts were created to conduct surveillance on Macron campaign officials and others close to the centrist former financier as he sought to defeat far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen and other opponents in the two-round election, the sources said. Macron won in a landslide in May. Facebook said in April it had taken action against fake accounts that were spreading misinformation about the French election. Reuters


Jeff Bezos Is Now The World’s Richest Man, Surpassing Bill Gates
Jeff Bezos is now the richest person in the world, with a fortune of more than $90 billion. The Amazon CEO took the title previously held by Microsoft founder Bill Gates when markets opened Thursday and Amazon stocks edged up 1.6 percent — adding $1.4 billion to Bezos' net worth, according to Forbes. His new net worth of $90.6 billion is about $500 million more than Gates', Forbes reported. With the increase in his fortune, Bezos becomes the seventh person to be crowned world's richest since the magazine started tracking billionaires 30 years ago. Gates, who co-chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has topped the Forbes list of the world's billionaires for 18 out of the last 23 years. But while Bezos has dethroned Gates, the numbers don't represent all of the money Gates has made over the years. MSNBC

New Orleans Bilks Federal Taxpayers Of $2 Billion In Hurricane Katrina Repairs
New Orleans is taking federal taxpayers for a $2 billion ride in Hurricane Katrina spending, the inspector general who oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday, concluding that the city is charging the government for repairs that had nothing to do with the 2005 hurricane and flooding that devastated the Gulf Coast. Auditors said New Orleans and FEMA struck a deal in 2015 to pay for sewage, water and street upgrades to a system that was already struggling before Hurricane Katrina, and whose repairs should have been born by local taxpayers, not the federal government. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: This is old news.

Michelle Obama: Racist Attacks ‘Cut Me The Deepest’ As First Lady
Speaking at a fundraising event for the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, former first lady Michelle Obama opened up about weathering racial attacks during her time in the White House. Mrs. Obama received a sustained standing ovation the WFCO’s 30th anniversary event Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, where she spoke about education and women’s empowerment, The Denver Post reported. In a discussion with WFCO President and CEO Lauren Casteel, Mrs. Obama said that despite breaking the glass ceiling as the country’s first black first lady, some of the falling glass shards left lasting cuts. “The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” she said, referencing being called an ape and people talking about her bottom. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Michelle has always been a racist.

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Larry David And Bernie Sanders Are Apparently Distant Relatives
At a Democratic candidates forum in November 2015, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, raised the most urgent question in American politics: Is he really Larry David? The answer, most likely, is no. But the former presidential candidate and the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star are apparently distantly related. Sanders is a "third cousin or something," David told reporters at a Television Critics Association event on Wednesday. The comedian, who impersonated the senator on "Saturday Night Live" during the 2016 election, said he learned about the genealogical connection while filming an upcoming episode of the PBS series "Finding Your Roots." "I was very happy about that," David said, according to Variety. "I thought there must have been some connection." MSNBC

Interior Secretary Called Murkowski To Say Trump "Wasn't Pleased" With Her Health Care Vote
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke delivered a warning to GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, about her vote on the health care bill, CBS News Nancy Cordes confirmed in an interview Thursday morning. "I did have a conversation with the secretary, and he told me what I already knew, which was that the president wasn't pleased with the vote that I had taken, and I knew that," Murkowski told Cordes. The Alaska Dispatch News first reported the conversation and said that Zinke had also called her fellow Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, who is also a Republican. CBS News
VOA VIEW: It was a dumb and meaningless vote.

Scaramucci Calls Priebus 'Paranoid Schizophrenic' In Expletive-Filled Rant To Reporter
Oh boy. Where to begin? Anthony Scaramucci, named President Trump's top communications staffer last week, has no prior communications experience. None. He was a Wall street financier. Remember that point. Scaramucci has rampaged this week over White House leaks, threatening to "fire everybody" until they come to a halt. “Reince is a (expletive) paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said. Bannon, he said, sucks, utilizing an obscene direct object we can't even hint at here. Indy Star
VOA VIEW: Not a White House best.

US Orders Diplomats’ Families To Leave Venezuelan Capital
The United States is ordering relatives of American diplomats to leave the Venezuelan capital ahead of a polarizing vote planned for Sunday to start rewriting the country’s constitution. The State Department says it’s also allowing U.S. government workers to depart the embassy in Caracas and limiting the movement of those who stay. An updated travel warning also urges American citizens not to travel to Venezuela due to social unrest and violence. The ordered departure comes three days before President Nicolas Maduro’s government plans to hold a vote for an assembly tasked with overhauling the country’s charter. Maduro’s opposition says the election rules are rigged to strengthen his hold on power. Sun Sentinel

Joint Chiefs Of Staff Chairman Says Transgender Policy Unchanged For Now
The U.S. will continue to permit transgender individuals to serve openly in the military until Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has received President Donald Trump's "direction" to change the policy and figured out how to implement it, the nation's top military officer said Thursday. In a memo to all military service chiefs, commanders and enlisted military leaders, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said "there will be no modifications" to current policy for now, amid questions about Trump's announcement on Twitter that the U.S. government will not "accept or allow" transgender people to serve in any capacity in the military. CBS News
VOA VIEW: What does this mean?

Russia Probe Could Reveal Trump's Closest-Held Secrets
Since Election Day, President Trump’s businesses have sold at least 30 luxury condos and oceanfront lots for about $33 million. That includes millions of dollars in properties to secretive shell companies, which can hide the identities of buyers or partners involved in the deals, a USA TODAY investigation has found. Now, details of some of those deals and other transactions by Trump's family business could be unmasked as special counsel Robert Mueller expands his inquiry into election-meddling by Russia and whether Trump's campaign colluded. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Mueller is a phony.

GOP Lawmakers Openly Defy President As Frustration Mounts
They passed legislation to stop him from lifting sanctions on Russia. They recoiled at his snap decision to ban transgender Americans from the military. And they warned him in no uncertain terms not to fire the attorney general or the special counsel investigating the president and his aides. Republican lawmakers have openly defied President Trump in meaningful ways this week amid growing frustration on Capitol Hill with his surprise tweets, erratic behavior and willingness to trample on governing norms. But at the same time, they’ve worked to advance legislation they want him to sign. Washington Post


GOP To Consider 'Skinny' Repeal Option On Health Care
The Senate is in the middle of thick debate, struggling to pass any option for repealing or replacing the Affordable Care Act. After a proposal to only repeal the majority of the law failed Wednesday afternoon, Senate sources said, the Republican leadership's next move will likely be to introduce a narrower repeal bill that would scrap just portions of the ACA. This path, dubbed skinny repeal, since it would be limited in scope, is still in the works. But senators said one possibility is a bill that would repeal only the individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax in the ACA. ABC
VOA VIEW: No acceptable bill can look or be like Obamacare.

Ohio State Fair Reopens After 18-Year-Old’s Death, Rides Remain Closed As Inspections Continue
Eighteen-year-old Tyler Jarrell, of Columbus, Ohio, was killed Wednesday evening when the Fire Ball ride he was on at the Ohio State Fair broke apart in mid-air, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. Seven people were also injured in the incident. Authorities have identified them as: Tamika Dunlap, 36; Russell Franks, 42; Keziah Lewis, 19; Jacob Andrews, 22; Jennifer Lambert, 18; and Abdihakim Hussein, 19. A 14-year-old boy was wounded but his name has not been publicly released. The victims were transported to local hospitals and at least three are in critical condition. ABC

Trump-Supporting Drag Queen Feels Wrath Of LGBTQ Community
Moments after Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that transgender men and women could no longer serve in the military, LGBTQ activists took to social media and denounced the president of the United States — and prominent Miami drag queen Elaine Lancaster. “And this is the president Elaine Lanfraudster so vocally supports and constantly defends on Twitter. Shameful!” Wire magazine publisher Rafa Carvajal posted on Facebook, angry about Lancaster’s longtime vocal support of Trump. Earlier this month, James Davis — Lancaster’s real-life persona — joined a CNN panel and told viewers that his decades-long career had been “blackballed” for openly supporting the nation’s 45th president. Miami Herald
VOA VIEW: Liberal and bias CNN, and other news media.

The Cannabis Industry Has A Clear Favorite In The Race To Be California's Next Governor
The fundraising dinner for Gavin Newsom in Salinas was in most ways a typical night for a political candidate. Local business leaders paid up to $5,000 for a chance to talk with the man aiming to be California’s next governor over cauliflower bisque, strip steak and Meyer lemon pudding cake. The hosts that March evening were in the agriculture business, in a region known for its lettuce, grapes and strawberries. But they left their signature dish off the menu: candy infused with marijuana. California will soon have open sales of recreational marijuana, and it needs to decide how to regulate its newest cash crop. Hoping to influence those decisions, the cannabis industry is seeking access to the state’s political leaders. San Diego Tribune

Case To Proceed Against Montco Man Accused In $50M Bitcoin Heist
A lawyer for a Hatfield man who told federal agents that he stole more than $50 million in bitcoin conceded Thursday that there was enough evidence for a criminal case against him to proceed, despite lingering questions over whether he made up his claim to have pulled off one of the largest thefts in the history of the virtual currency. Catherine C. Henry, attorney for Ted Price, waived a probable-cause hearing she had sought last week, after questioning whether her client made his July 12 confession while high on OxyContin and other opioids. Philidelphia Inquirer

Trump Blocking Transgender Troops Comes After Pressure From Missouri’s Vicky Hartzler
President Donald Trump’s decision to restrict transgender troops in the military comes after weeks of pressure from U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri. Trump announced Wednesday morning on Twitter that after consulting with his generals, he had decided to no longer allow transgender individuals to serve in the military in any capacity, saying that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” Hartzler, a Republican whose district covers central and western Missouri, has pushed for weeks to reverse an Obama administration policy that enabled transgender troops to undergo sex reassignment surgery and continue to serve. Kansas City Star
VOA VIEW: Good policy, if it sticks.

Pop-Up O.J. Simpson Museum To Open In L.A. Next Month, May Tour Afterwards
Just a week after O.J. Simpson was granted parole after serving nine years for kidnapping and armed robbery, a Los Angeles museum announced it will display a number of related items from the infamous 1995 court case wherein Simpson was acquitted for the double murder of his wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. The organizer, who is the creator of The O.J. Tour, Adam Papagan, told LAist that the Simpson trial "has been a lifelong obsession" of his. The pop-up exhibit will feature more than 300 items, including "featuring artifacts and memorabilia from the trial," as well as Simpson-inspired artwork and bootleg Simpson t-shirts from the era. The centerpiece of the gallery won't be any relic from the trial, though it will appear very familiar: a white 1994 Bronco. San Francisco Gate

Ryan Gives Up On Border-Adjusted Tax On Imports After Attack
Republican leaders conceded on Thursday that the border-adjusted tax doesn’t have the support to continue to be part of negotiations to overhaul the tax code. A statement Thursday from the so-called Big Six -- which includes Ryan, Brady, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch -- said due to the unknowns associated with the border-adjusted tax, the group “had decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform.” "And we are now confident that, without transitioning to a new domestic consumption-based tax system, there is a viable approach for ensuring a level playing field between American and foreign companies and workers, while protecting American jobs and the U.S. tax base," according to the statement. Bloomberg

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Vegas Gambler Billy Walters Gets 5 Years For Insider Trading
Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters, once the most successful sports bettor in the country, was sentenced to five years behind bars for masterminding a six-year insider-trading scheme with former Dean Foods Co. Chairman Tom Davis. Walters, whose prolific wagers over four decades helped him buy seven homes and a $20 million jet, stood silently as a judge handed down the sentence Thursday in Manhattan federal court. U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel described Walters as a rich Las Vegas celebrity who sought to exploit his relationship with Davis out of pure greed and to be seen as a winner. The gambler also left a paper trail that made his conviction inevitable, the judge said. Bloomberg

USFK Commander: Kim Jong Un's Goal Is To Break Unity Among Regional Powers
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is attempting to deter unity between South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan with a string of belligerent acts, the top American military commander here said Thursday. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, who commands U.S. Forces Korea, pointed out that the communist regime's nearly weekly missile tests have become "the new normal." The North test-fired 28 ballistic missiles in 2016 alone, followed by 10 others this year, including what is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile. It's also reportedly preparing for another missile launch in the coming days, although there was no report of a launch on Thursday, the 64th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Agreement. UPI
VOA VIEW: Jong Un is dangerous.

Group Supporting Pro-Choice Women Candidates Targets Heller’s Seat
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is one of the 50 targets put “on notice” in a list of priority incumbents released by political action committee Emily’s List, a group that supports pro-choice female candidates for office. Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List, cited Heller’s stance on the Affordable Care Act as one of the reasons he was being targeted. “Sen. Dean Heller has failed to protect the people of Nevada he was elected to represent — and Emily’s List and our 5 million-strong community are aggressively looking to flip his seat,” Schriock said in a statement. Emily’s List has endorsed Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., in her bid to take Heller’s seat. Las Vegas Sun

Trump Emboldens Friendly Foreign Leaders, Leaves Foes Wary
Are you a friend or foe? That seems to be uppermost in President Donald Trump's approach to foreign policy in the first six months of office. The probe at home into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election continues to be a thorn in his side, bedeviling Trump's apparent desire to have warm relations with Russia's Vladimir Putin, and the initial "bromance" with China's Xi Jinping also buckled under geopolitical and economic disagreements. But there are others who have been lavished with the president's favor. Who is in the friend camp is clear from the president's foreign travels, actions and statements. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: No one really knows what Trump really means.

DOJ: Sexual Orientation Not Protected Under Title VII
The U.S. Department of Justice has filed court documents arguing that a provision of the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the declaration in an amicus brief over a New York case in which a former skydiving instructor argues he was fired because he disclosed he was gay to a female customer, whose husband then complained to his employer. In the amicus brief, the Justice Department concluded that "Title VII does not prohibit discrimination because of sexual orientation." "The sole question here is whether, as a matter of law, Title VII reaches sexual orientation discrimination. It does not, as has been settled for decades. Any efforts to amend Title VII's scope should be directed to Congress rather than the courts," the Justice Department wrote. UPI

FBI: Man Says He Killed Wife On Cruise Over Her Laughing
A Utah man killed his wife aboard an Alaska cruise and told an acquaintance who later walked into the blood-splattered cabin that he did it because she would not stop laughing at him, the FBI said in documents released Thursday. Kenneth Manzanares was found in the couple's room on the Princess Cruises ship Tuesday night with blood on his hands and clothes and blood spread throughout the cabin, according to a criminal complaint by FBI Special Agent Michael L. Watson.The agency said the 39-year-old woman, identified only as K.M., had a severe head wound but didn't reveal any other details about her death.  Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: The man is sick, sick sick.

McCain's Brain Cancer Draws Renewed Attention To Possible Agent Orange Connection
When Amy Jones' dad, Paul, was diagnosed with glioblastoma last month, she wondered whether it might be tied to his time in Vietnam. Then, last week, when Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, also a Vietnam veteran, was diagnosed with the same aggressive brain cancer, Jones searched online for glioblastoma and Vietnam vets. She soon learned the disease is one of a growing list of ailments that some Vietnam veterans and their relatives believe is caused by exposure to Agent Orange, the toxic herbicide sprayed during the war.  Houston Chronicle

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Netanyahu Discussed Settlement Exchange Plan With US
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed with Washington in recent weeks the idea of redrawing the borders in any future agreement with the Palestinians, incorporating the major settlement blocs into Israel, while drawing out the heavily populated Israeli-Arab area of Wadi Ara and making it part of a future Palestinian state, a senior diplomatic official confirmed on Thursday. The discussions, first reported by Channel 2, mean that Netanyahu – in conversations with US President Donald Trump’s advisers Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt – has adopted a proposal put forward years ago by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. Israeli-Arab politicians have vehemently opposed any plans to redraw the map in such a way that many Israeli Arabs would become citizens of a future Palestinian state. Jerusalem Post

Israeli Security Removes Palestinian Flag From Atop Temple Mount
As part of their massive return to the Temple Mount on Thursday, worshipers put up a Palestinian flag atop the roof of one of the buildings on the Temple Mount. The flag was removed by soldiers, as can be seen in the video.  Clashes broke out as thousands of Palestinians returned to the compound after refusing to enter it for nearly a week. According to the Red Crescent, dozens have been injured, though no fatalities have been reported. Muslim worshipers, urged by their leaders, had refused to enter the compound after Israel had installed metal detectors at the site following the murder of two Israeli policeman by Arab-Israeli assailants nearly two weeks ago.  Jerusalem Post

Boy Scouts Apologise For Trump Remarks
Over 30,000 people attending the event, where Mr Trump promoted his agenda and criticised his political rivals. Michael Surbaugh says the president's invitation was customary. "I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree." He went on to say how the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have tried to avoid taking political positions since its creation. "We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting programme," he said. He added: "We teach youth to become active citizens, to participate in their government, respect the variety of perspectives and to stand up for individual rights." BBC News

Mystery Over Woman's Murder In Alaska Cruise Ship
A man has been arrested in connection to the murder of a woman aboard a cruise ship off the coast of Alaska, police say, in what has been described as a "domestic disturbance". The victim has been identified as 39-year-old Kristy Manzanares, from the US state of Utah. Witnesses say she was travelling with her children. The death on Tuesday night triggered a lockdown of the 3,400-passenger ship. Authorities were expected to announce charges on the case on Thursday. The FBI is investigating the death because it occurred in US waters. The Emerald Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, had departed from Seattle on Sunday for a week-long trip. Kristy Manzanares had been travelling with a large group, including her children, according to witnesses. BBC News

Putin: Russia Will Retaliate If 'Insolent' US Lawmakers Pass Sanctions Bill
Vladimir Putin has accused US lawmakers of “insolence”, and promised Russia will retaliate if the latest round of US sanctions against Russia are signed into law. The House of Representatives voted by 419 votes to three on Tuesday to pass the new sanctions bill, which targets Russia as well as North Korea and Iran. The US legislation is likely to be passed overwhelmingly by the Senate, and will then go to Donald Trump for his signature. Trump, who enjoyed two warm conversations with Putin at the G20 summit earlier this month, is likely to face a major backlash if he attempts to veto the legislation, with his administration already embroiled in a Russia scandal. Guardian

What's Inside Ivanka Trump's Male-Dominated $25M Art Collection?
Shortly after their marriage in 2009, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, started collecting art, a hobby she later described as “a fun exploration of our personal and collective tastes”. Cut to 2017 and as part of their previously undisclosed assets, it’s been revealed that the power couple’s collection is valued up to $25m. No strangers to schmoozing in the art world, the pair has worked with the New York art adviser Alex Marshall and hosted dinners for Sotheby’s on Kushner properties. There is a photo of the couple standing like smitten groupies with the shaggy-haired abstract artist Dan Colen at the opening of his exhibition at Gagosian Gallery in 2014. When Trump has listed off her favorite artists, they have all been American men. Guardian

Genes Of Human Embryos Edited For First Time In U.S.
For the first time in the United States, scientists have edited the genes of human embryos, a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases. The experiment was just an exercise in science — the embryos were not allowed to develop for more than a few days and were never intended to be implanted into a womb, according to MIT Technology Review, which first reported the news. Officials at Oregon Health & Science University confirmed Thursday that the work took place there and said results would be published in a journal soon. It is thought to be the first such work in the U.S.; previous experiments like this have been reported from China. How many embryos were created and edited in the experiments has not been revealed. Newsday

Hillary Clinton Calling New Book 'What Happened'
Hillary Clinton is calling her new book "What Happened" and promising unprecedented candor as she remembers her stunning defeat last year to Donald Trump. "In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I've often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net," Clinton writes in the introduction, according to publisher Simon & Schuster. "Now I'm letting my guard down." Simon & Schuster told The Associated Press on Thursday that Clinton's book will be a highly personal work that also is a "cautionary tale" about Russian interference in last year's election and its threat to democracy. In public remarks since last fall, the Democrat has cited Russia as a factor in her defeat to her Republican opponent, along with a letter sent by then-FBI Director James Comey less than two weeks before the election. Newsday

China Detains 18 Members Of ‘Cult' Which Believes Jesus Was Reincarnated As A Woman
Police in China have detained 18 members of a banned religious cult, state media said, after a father and daughter connected to the group were executed two years ago for murder. The ‘suspects’ were involved with the Church of Almighty God, who attracted global headlines in 2014 when five of its members beat a woman to death at a McDonald's after she apparently refused to hand over her mobile phone number. Followers of the group – which is known as Quannengshen in Chinese - believe that Jesus has been reincarnated as a Chinese woman, the wife of the cult's founder. The organisation appeared in the 1990s and the founder and his wife fled to the United States in 2000, state media said. Dong Jianfeng, a police officer from Changxing County, in the eastern Zhejiang province, said some of the 18 people who were detained were depressed and had experienced the breakdown of relationships. Telegraph

Lap Dancing Club Spiked Customers' Drinks And Then Overcharged For Dances By £93,000, Report Claims
A lap dancing club allegedly spiked customers' drinks and then overcharged them for dances by £93,000, a trading standards report has found. One punter at Birmingham's Legs 11 lap dancing bar was so worried their drink had been spiked after £9,000 was charged to their credit card that they bought a home drugs kit which tested positive for methadone. A critical joint police and licensing report into alleged "serious criminality" at the city centre club also revealed that undercover trading standards officers "were offered sexual services" in a locked VIP rooms for £1,000. Internal CCTV showed dancers "gyrating" against a customer's body, "whipping him in his crotch area" with his belt, and "holding his nose ... as if to restrict his breathing", trading standards officers reported. Telegraph

Goodbye iPod, And Thanks For All The Tunes
The iPod died slowly, then all at once. After nearly 16 years on the market, more than 400 million units sold, and one Cupertino company launched into the stratosphere on its back, Apple quietly pulled the iPod Nano and Shuffle out of its virtual stores today. The iPod Touch still lives on: In fact, Apple now offers the Touch with 32 gigs of storage starting at $199. But that's not a real iPod; it's an iPhone-lite. Today officially marks the end of Apple's era of standalone music players. OK, so you're probably looking at your smartphone and wondering why you should care that a music player, which offers one very old and outdated version of one feature on your phone, no longer exists. Wired

Privacy Isn't Dead.  It's More Popular Than Ever
ONE OUT OF every seven people on the planet uses the messaging app WhatsApp every day, according a recent blog post from the company. A billion people a day send messages to their friends and family on a service that's end-to-end encrypted by default, up from a billion per month last year. That surge in growth stands in sharp contrast to Twitter, which added approximately no new monthly uses last quarter, and had in fact lost two million in the US. WhatsApp and Twitter don't just represent contrary growth curves; they're the polar opposites of messaging. Twitter is public. Wired

'Sustainable, Inclusive Societies,' Priority For New President Of UN Economic And Social Body
A week after the High-Level Political Forum (HPLF) assessed the progress on implementing the 2030 Agenda, the newly elected President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOSC) has stressed her priority to push forward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “I wish to announce that the key priority of my Presidency will be to develop initiatives towards fostering sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies through participation of all,” said Marie Chatardová, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the UN, after her election by acclamation earlier today. Delivering her first remarks as President, Ms. Chatardova welcomed the enormous interest among Member States to participate in the Voluntary National Reviews. UN News

UN Experts Urge US State Of Virginia To Halt Execution Of Man With Mental Disorder
Two United Nations human rights experts have urged the US state of Virginia to cancel the planned execution on Thursday of a man with psychosocial disability. “We urge the authorities to annul the death sentence against Mr. [William] Morva and to retry him in compliance with international standards related to due process and fair trial,” said the UN Special Rapporteurs on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, and on right to health, Dainius P?ras, in a news release. Their joint appeal to the Governor of Virginia was issued ahead of the planned execution of Mr. Morva by lethal injection. The 35-year-old Hungarian-American was sentenced to death in 2008 for the murder of a hospital security guard and a Sheriff’s deputy. UN News

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