NEWS   WEDNESDAY, JULY  2, 2017   NEWS

Wasserman Schultz Under Pressure To Testify On Ex-IT Aide
Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is coming under mounting pressure to explain why she kept an IT aide on the payroll for months after a criminal investigation was revealed, facing calls from Republicans to testify as well as a newly filed ethics complaint. Wasserman Schultz, the Florida congresswoman who led the Democratic National Committee until last year, terminated Imran Awan’s “part-time” employment last week, when he was arrested at Dulles International Airport trying to fly to Pakistan. He was charged with a bank fraud count. Fox
VOA VIEW: There is no reasonable explanation other than guilt.

Top Republican Congressman Calls For Mueller To Resign As Special Counsel
A senior Arizona congressman is calling on Robert Mueller, special counsel for the Justice Department’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling, to resign. Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement Tuesday that Mueller is in violation of the law that prohibits Mueller from serving as a special counsel if he has a conflict of interest. Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey have been longtime allies dating back to 2003 when the men both worked in Washington, Mueller as the FBI Director and Comey as Deputy Attorney General. Franks cited the pair’s relationship as a reason for Mueller to be disqualified from the probe. Fox
VOA VIEW: The case makes sense.

Lindsey Graham: Trump Says War With North Korea Is Possible
President Trump is willing to go to war with North Korea if their military continues to aim missiles at the US, Sen. Lindsey Graham said on NBC's Today this morning. "There will be a war with North Korea over their missile program if they continue to try to hit America with an ICBM," he said, referencing the nation's intercontinental ballistic missiles. "He has told me that. I believe him." CNN
VOA VIEW: Obama and others caused the present problem.

US Detects 'Highly Unusual' North Korean Submarine Activity
The US military has detected "highly unusual and unprecedented levels" of North Korean submarine activity and evidence of an "ejection test" in the days following Pyongyang's second intercontinental ballistic missile launch this month, a defense official told CNN on Monday. An ejection test examines a missile's "cold-launch system," which uses high pressure steam to propel a missile out of the launch canister into the air before its engines ignite. That helps prevent flames and heat from the engine from damaging either the submarine, submersible barge or any nearby equipment used to launch the missile. CNN

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Refugee Admissions Under Trump: More Christians, Fewer Muslims
The first six months-plus of the Trump administration have brought a discernible shift in the religious affiliation breakdown of refugees admitted into the United States, with a larger proportion of Christians to Muslims among those resettled. Most of those who have arrived since President Trump’s inauguration would have begun the application process long before – it can take 18-24 months – but the change is nonetheless striking: More than half of those admitted under Trump (51.2 percent) are Christians, compared to 43.3 percent of those who arrived during the same period one year earlier under President Obama. CNS

1,332 Counties Will Have Only One Health Insurer Option Under Obamacare In 2018
According to recent data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in 2018, 1,332 counties in the United States will have only one health insurer operating on the Obamacare exchanges and 49 will have none. The data comes from the Health Insurance Exchanges Issuer County Map, which shows projected issuer participation on the Health Insurance Exchanges in 2018 based on the issuer public announcements made prior to late July of 2017. CNS

U.S. Moves To Build Barriers On U.S.-Mexico Border Near San Diego
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday it would waive environmental and related laws in order to expedite construction of security-related barriers and roads along the nation's border with Mexico near San Diego. The projects would focus on a roughly 15-mile (24 km) segment of the frontier extending eastward from the Pacific Ocean as part of President Donald Trump's planned border wall between the United States and Mexico, the DHS said in a statement. It said the area is one of the busiest U.S. border sections. Reuters
VOA VIEW: It has to start.

BP In Talks With Electric Carmakers On Service Station Chargers
BP is in talks with electric vehicle makers on partnering to offer battery re-charging docks at its global network of fuel service stations as it seeks to benefit from the move away from diesel and petrol cars, Chief Executive Bob Dudley told Reuters on Tuesday. The expected rapid growth in the use of electric vehicles in the coming decades is threatening oil companies' business model as demand for some road fuels could plateau as early as the late 2020s, according to some oil company estimates. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Electric cars will have to go somewhere to recharge.

Secret Donations Are Helping To Boost President Trump's Agenda, Fights With Investigators
Groups spending millions in anonymous donations are leading the outside efforts to either defend President Trump or sell his agenda with voters and Congress, despite the president’s repeated calls to “drain the swamp” in Washington of special-interest money. The political empire affiliated with billionaire Charles Koch has spent $2 million to date to advance Trump’s tax-cut blueprint and will hold events this week in Washington to kick off the next phase of its multimillion-dollar campaign to drive congressional support for a comprehensive tax plan to slice corporate tax rates and enact broader tax cuts. Indy Star

CEO Says Sprint Is Close To Deal As Company Announces First Quarterly Profit In Years
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said the company is close to an announcement about its future and that he expects it to include a merger or other deal. “We’ve had enough conversations to start making choices soon,” Claure said during a conference call with reporters. His comments came after Sprint announced its first quarterly profit in three years, earning $206 million in April, May and June. It also added customers during the quarter. Claure said Sprint and its parent company, Tokyo-based SoftBank Group Corp., have been in talks with many potential partners and that the list included wireless rival T-Mobile US and its parent firm, Germany-based Deutsche Telekom. Kansas City Star

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Health Care: President Trump’s Triple Threat
Still smarting from a failed health care vote last week, President Donald Trump is responding by lashing out with threats to make life harder for insurance companies, members of Congress and millions of Americans relying on Obamacare for coverage. In a series of tweets, Trump has made reference to three actions he could take. One option is to cut off payments that insurers are owed for lowering deductibles under Obamacare. A second is to cut off financial assistance to members of Congress to purchase health insurance. A third is to shut down work on all other legislation until health care is resolved. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Liberal media propaganda.

Watchdog: Pentagon Should Declassify Report On Afghan Military Sex Abuse
The U.S. government's Afghanistan watchdog has asked the Pentagon to declassify a report about alleged sexual abuse of children by members of the Afghan security forces. The request is noted in the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction's latest quarterly report, which also says that violence has increased by 21 percent since March 1 and that revenues produced by the country's opium crop doubled between 2015 and 2016, topping more than $3 billion. The classified report on sexual abuse, which SIGAR recently issued to Congress, deals with how the U.S. military and State Department are implementing laws that prohibit the government from providing aid to another nation's security forces if there is credible information that human rights have been violated. MSNBC

Retired Generals, Admirals Thank President Trump For Banning Transgender Troops
More than a dozen retired generals and admirals have signed a letter to President Trump thanking him for his announced policy to ban transgender people from the armed forces. “We write today to express our gratitude to you for making the extremely courageous decision to reverse President [Barack] Obama’s transgender social experiment,” the conservative retired flag officers wrote. “There may be an enormous amount of vitriol directed at you for making this policy correction, but please know that overturning this policy may have done more in the long-term to save the culture and war-fighting capacity of the U.S. military than perhaps any other military policy you will adopt as president.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Transgender confusion is not needed in the military.

North Korea Missile Might Reach U.S., But Can It Land?
North Korea after decades of effort has a missile potentially capable of reaching the continental United States, but analysts say Pyongyang has yet to show the ICBM can inflict serious damage once it gets there. U.S. and South Korean experts on Tuesday said Japanese video footage capturing the Hwasong-14's re-entry vehicle shortly before it crashed into the sea suggests it failed to survive the extreme heat and pressure after re-entering the Earth's atmosphere following its launch from northern North Korea on Friday. CBS

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Inside China's Booming Sharing Economy
A recent study found that more than 55 million Americans will use a "sharing economy" service at least once this year. The most popular services in the U.S. are the ride-hailing app Uber and home rental booker Airbnb. But nowhere in the world is the sharing economy more popular than in China. Last year, 600 million Chinese people used a sharing service. Some are asking if it's too much of a good thing. Bikes are now big business in China. The country's two largest bike-share companies, Ofo and Mobike, complete a combined 50 million rides every day, reports CBS News' Ben Tracy. CBS

Kelly Faces Daunting Task Of Reconnecting Trump To Disillusioned GOP Establishment
Among the big challenges that newly minted Chief of Staff John Kelly faces, repairing relationships inside the Republican Party is high on the list. President Donald Trump’s already tenuous relationship with the establishment of the Republican Party was thrown into further doubt following the ouster of former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. Priebus’ presence in the White House was once seen as among the few tethers still binding Trump to the Republican National Committee as he was one of the members of the president’s senior staff with the most experience in Washington politics. ABC
VOA VIEW: Don't bet on liberal propaganda.

OPassenger Makes Premature Exit From Arriving SFO Flight
A 17-year-old passenger opened an emergency exit door of a Boeing 737 jet, stepped out onto the wing and jumped to the runway after the plane landed at San Francisco International Airport Tuesday afternoon, officials said. It was not immediately clear why the passenger on a lengthy flight that originated in Panama City pushed open the weighted emergency exit door of the Copa Airlines flight, officials said. The incident unfolded at 2:23 p.m. on a runway, said Maria Buyco, a duty manager at the airport. San Francisco Gate

Lawsuit Alleges Fox News Made Up Part Of Seth Rich Story
An investigator who worked on the Seth Rich case claims Fox News fabricated quotes implicating the murdered Democratic National Committee staffer in the WikiLeaks scandal and that President Donald Trump pressured Fox to publish the story. The investigator, Rod Wheeler, sued Fox for defamation on Tuesday. Wheeler, a Fox contributor who looked into Rich's July 2016 murder for the family, said Fox made up quotes attributed to him saying there was contact between Rich and WikiLeaks, and that someone — possibly Democrats or Hillary Clinton's campaign — was blocking the murder investigation. Rich was killed in what Washington police believe was a botched robbery. ABC
VOA VIEW: Liberals attack Fox because they are losing in the ratings.

In Rare Move, Rubio Delivers Speech On Independent Venezuelan TV
In an unusual move by a U.S. senator, Florida Republican Marco Rubio got to make a speech late Monday night on an independent Venezuelan TV news channel to express solidarity with opponents of President Nicolás Maduro, who was sanctioned by the Trump administration as a “dictator.” “There is no U.S. economic blockade on Venezuela. Yet the economy of a rich nation is in shambles, because the Maduro government has given away your oil and much of your sovereignty to Cuba,” said Rubio, who is fluent in Spanish. “For Nicolás Maduro, who I am sure is watching, the current path you are on will not end well for you.” Miami Herald

Moderate To Heavy Hrinkers Are More Likely To Live To 85 Without Developing Dementia
C San Diego claims in a new study that certain people who regularly consume moderate to heavy amounts of alcohol are more likely to live to 85 without developing dementia and other cognitive problems compared to people who don’t drink at all. The long-term study was largely based on white, middle-class men and women living in Rancho Bernardo, a master-planned community in North County. The paper was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, and is the latest in a series of mostly non-definitive studies that examine how everything from genetics to diet to environment factor in to the development of dementia. San Diego Tribune

After Obamacare Repeal Fails, Georgia Leaders To Seek Medicaid Waivers
The collapse of the GOP health care overhaul has Georgia’s leaders wrestling over whether to stand pat and let a funding crisis continue to threaten the state’s fragile hospital system or seek changes that could open the spigots for more federal dollars. Amid uncertainty about how insurance markets will be affected by the U.S. Senate’s inability to repeal the Affordable Care Act — as well as President Donald Trump’s warnings that he could end payments to insurers in an attempt to restart efforts to dismantle the health care law — Georgia leaders are looking for longer-term solutions. Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: Liberal media hype.

Kelly Wins Praise Across The Aisle, But Will Trump Change?
Raised voices could be heard through the thick door to the Oval Office as John Kelly — then secretary of Homeland Security — offered some tough talk to President Donald Trump. Kelly, a whip-cracking retired general who was sworn in as White House chief of staff on Monday, had demanded to speak to the president alone after Trump complained loudly that the U.S. was admitting travelers from countries he viewed as high risk. Houston Chronicle

NC Pastor Still In Turkish Prison Despite Appeal By President Trump
A North Carolina pastor remains imprisoned in Turkey, two months after President Donald Trump urged the Turkish government to expedite his release and return him to the United States. Andrew Brunson, a Christian pastor from Black Mountain, was jailed on Dec. 9 on a false terrorism charge, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, a not-for-profit religious corporation based in Washington, D.C. Brunson was held without charges since Oct. 7. He was imprisoned on Dec. 9 on “a serious, yet completely unfounded, charge – ‘membership in an armed terrorist organization,’ ” according to a statement by the center in late December. “In fact, the charging documents do not present any evidence against him.”. Charlotte Observer

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Greenspan Sees No Stock Excess, Warns Of Bond Market Bubble
Equity bears hunting for excess in the stock market might be better off worrying about bond prices, Alan Greenspan says. That’s where the actual bubble is, and when it pops, it’ll be bad for everyone. “By any measure, real long-term interest rates are much too low and therefore unsustainable,” the former Federal Reserve chairman, 91, said in an interview. “When they move higher they are likely to move reasonably fast. We are experiencing a bubble, not in stock prices but in bond prices. This is not discounted in the marketplace.” Bloomberg

Trump Worked With Fox News On DNC Staffer Story, Suit Claims
President Donald Trump collaborated with Fox News to concoct a story claiming a Democratic National Committee staffer was killed in retaliation for furnishing information damaging to Hillary Clinton to Wikileaks, according to a lawsuit by a private investigator for the slain man’s family. Rod Wheeler -- the investigator, a former Washington police detective, and an occasional Fox News contributor -- claims in his lawsuit that the president read the Fox story before it was published and suggested the insertion of quotes falsely attributed to Wheeler supporting the story’s premise. Trump wanted the story published to divert attention from the widening investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia, Wheeler claims. Bloomberg

Trump On Tricky Legal Ground With Obamacare Threat
President Donald Trump's threat to stop billions of dollars in government payments to insurers and force the collapse of Obamacare could put the government in a tricky legal situation. Legal experts say he'd be handing insurers a solid court case, while undermining his own leverage to compel Democrats to negotiate, especially if premiums jump by 20 percent as expected after such a move. "Trump thinks he's holding all the cards. But Democrats know what's in his hand, and he's got a pair of twos," said University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley. Democrats "aren't about to agree to dismantle the Affordable Care Act just because Trump makes a reckless bet." Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: The liberal media make up the news - fake news.

2 Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Jailed As Crisis Escalates
Teams of heavily armed security agents seized two of Venezuela's top opposition leaders from their homes in the middle of the night on Tuesday, dragging one into the street in his pajamas as President Nicolas Maduro's government defied U.S. sanctions and international condemnation of a plan to assume nearly unlimited powers. Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma were being held at the sprawling Ramo Verde military prison south of the capital, accused by the government-allied supreme court of violating the terms of their house arrest by plotting to escape and releasing video statements criticizing Maduro. Tampa Tribune

Lesson For Trump: Hardball Against Senators Is A Game He Can Lose
The recalcitrant senator kept crossing up the inexperienced new president on big-ticket legislation even though they represented the same party. Frustrated and angry, the White House fought back, threatening retaliation both petty and portentous, eyeing federal jobs and programs in the state of the rebellious lawmaker to force obedience. While this may sound like the current situation between President Trump and Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, over her refusal to back the party line on health care, it was actually 1993. The senator was Richard Shelby, then a Democrat of Alabama, and the president was Bill Clinton as he began his first term and found the conservative Mr. Shelby to be a real irritant. New York Times
VOA VIEW: Don't listen to the NY Times.

Wisconsin Workers Embedded With Microchips
A local firm here made good today on its vow to embed employees with microchips. Sporting "I Got Chipped" T-shirts, some 40 workers at Three Square Market, a firm that makes cafeteria kiosks aimed at replacing vending machines, got tiny rice-sized microchips embedded in their hands. Company officials said it was for convenience, a way for them to bypass using company badges and corporate log-ons to computers. Now, they can just have their hands read by a reader, similar to using a smartphone to pay for goods. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Idiots!

Senate Confirms Wray As Next FBI Director
The Senate on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to confirm Christopher A. Wray as the next FBI director, filling the critical post that has remained vacant since President Trump fired James B. Comey in May. Trump’s firing of Comey immediately led to accusations that he was trying to impede the bureau’s Russia investigation and ultimately led to the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Comey later testified that Trump asked him for a “loyalty” oath and to drop a probe of former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials. Washington Post

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Marijuana Businesses Struggle To Find Willing Banking Suitors
Making a bank deposit for marijuana store owners in Colorado could involve this complex routine: Some spray Febreze on cash stacks to mask the marijuana smell and others deposit money orders to avoid federal suspicious activity reports from depositing too much cash, dispensary owners there say. Some of Colorado’s nearly 1,000 licensed dispensaries operate under “don’t ask, don’t tell” circumstances when banking and share little information with banks so they’re allowed to open accounts. To skirt the system, license holders use generic sounding entities as their business names such as Denver’s Royal Asset Management and RK Enterprises, and talk around the issue of what kind of businesses they operate when asked simple questions by bank employees. Las Vegas Sun

U.S. Gas Prices For August Could Be The Highest For The Year
Peak summer demand and declining levels of supplies, both domestic and foreign, mean spikes in the price of gas for U.S. consumers, market analyses find. Motor club AAA reports a national average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $2.32 for Tuesday, up a fraction of a percent from Monday and 1.75 percent, or 4 cents per gallon, higher than last week. All but three states reports hikes in the price at the pump during the last week. UPI

Cosby Defense Lawyer Asks To Quit As Retrial Looms
The Philadelphia defense lawyer who represented Bill Cosby in his sex assault trial wants to withdraw from the case, barely three months before the scheduled retrial. Brian J. McMonagle, a well-known criminal lawyer in the Philadelphia area, asked permission to quit the case in a motion filed Tuesday with Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill. Cosby hasn’t yet hired a new lawyer and wants until Aug. 21 to do so, McMonagle said in his petition. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Lawyer is quitting while ahead.

Trump’s Daughter-In-Law Launches ‘Real News’ Videos To Praise President
President Trump has tapped his daughter-in-law to combat “fake news” and broadcast only positive stories coming out of the White House. 'Trump Divorce' socialite shopping reality TV show. Lara Trump, a former TV producer at “Inside Edition,” launched the first online broadcast Sunday and talked about the glowing week Trump had from donating his salary to education programs to a booming stock market. “I’m Lara Trump and that is the real news,” she said at the end of a two-minute video posted on Trump’s Facebook page. It appears the Trump news channel is produced by his reelection campaign as Lara Trump is speaking against the backdrop of his campaign website – DonaldJTrump.com. The New York Post

Jared Kushner Says Trump Campaign Was Too Dysfunctional To Collude
President Donald Trump's son-in-law told a group of congressional interns that the Trump campaign couldn't have colluded with Russia because the team was too dysfunctional and disorganized to coordinate with a foreign government. The remarks on Monday by Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to the president, came in response to a question about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign worked with Moscow. Seattle Times
VOA VIEW: Push back by Trump.

Emily Weakens To A Tropical Depression; Moves Into The Atlantic Ocean
Family has been downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression. The depression was moving eastward over Central Florida on Monday night and wasn’t going to hit South Florida directly. Forecasters said, however, that South Florida could see about 1 to 2 inches of rain in the aftermath of the storm system. As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, the tropical depression that was Emily was located about 50 miles northeast of Vero Beach. It was chugging east in the Atlantic Ocean at about 12 mph. Sun Sentinel

1 Out Of 3 Americans Took Opioid In 2015 As Doctors Continue To Overprescribe
More than one out of three average Americans used a prescription opioid painkiller in 2015, despite growing concerns these medicines are promoting widespread addiction and overdose deaths, a new federal study shows. Nearly 92 million U.S. adults, or about 38 percent of the population, took a legitimately prescribed opioid like OxyContin or Percocet in 2015, according to results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. UPI

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Mother Sues Dallas JCC Alleging Employee Raped Her 14-Year-Old Daughter
A mother has sued the Aaron Family JCC of Dallas alleging that a fitness center employee molested and raped her then-14-year-old daughter. The lawsuit, which was filed earlier in July, also names the Jewish community center’s CEO, Artie Allan, and the Jewish Community Center Association of North America, the Dallas Morning News reported. The mother and daughter are not named in the lawsuit, according to the newspaper. The suit alleges that when the mother tried to talk to Allen about the fact that the employee was harassing her daughter and rumors they may be dating — before she knew about the molesting and rape. Allen allegedly responded that “it takes two to tango.”stalking the girl, who is now an adult, when he trained her at the JCC gym. Jerusalem Post

Former Hitler Youth Served Reagan As Communication Director
There was, in fact, a communications chief who was on the job for a shorter period. According to our archive, John Koehler lasted just five working days in 1987, under President Ronald Reagan. Why? Officially, Koehler was ousted as part of a reorganization. And yet our story notes that Koehler, an immigrant from Germany, had been in Hitler Youth. It turns out that the “reorganization” was more fact than spin. James Baker had taken over as Reagan’s chief of staff from Donald Regan — who had left suddenly because of his clashes with First Lady Nancy Reagan, and who had hired Koehler. Baker wanted his own guy, Tom Griscom, in the slot. Jerusalem Post

How White House Officials Were 'Fooled By Email Prankster'
A UK hacker reportedly fooled top White House officials into engaging in fake email exchanges. The self-proclaimed "email prankster" convinced a senior cyber security adviser he was the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, CNN says. He also goaded the then media chief, Anthony Scaramucci, in the guise of ex-chief of staff Reince Priebus. Concerns about cyber security are running high amid claims hackers interfered in the US election. The White House told CNN it was investigating the latest incident and took the issue very seriously. BBC

Why Are There So Many US Diplomats Working In Russia?
Hundreds of people work for the US in Moscow and other Russian cities. What are they all doing there? Over the weekend Russia President Vladimir Putin said that the US had to reduce its diplomatic staff in the country by more than 750 people. It was a startling development in US-Russia relations, exposing tension between the two countries that arises from new sanctions imposed on Russia, and suspicions about meddling in the US election. BBC
VOA VIEW: The is no question too many people on the US payroll in Russia.

How Will Survivors Of Campus Sexual Assault Fare Under Trump's New Order?
Then Darbi Goodwin reported her rape by a high school classmate in 2014, school officials told her: “There’s nothing we can do for you,” the 18-year-old recalled in an interview with the Guardian. Of her alleged rapist, she said they added: “We know him and he would never do something like that.” If Trump’s education department follows through with its rollbacks of Obama-era sexual assault protections, more students may hear the same. The White House’s planned cuts will hamstring the monitoring and investigation of complaints such as Goodwin’s, as the capacity to coordinate across incidents “will be greatly diminished”, according to budget documents for fiscal year 2018. Guardian

The Reluctant Airbnb Host:
I’ve never found scrubbing other people’s fecal matter from my toilet seat particularly fun, nor does sharing my shower appeal, and yet this is my daily routine. I’m an Airbnb host. It’s not that I enjoy losing my spare bedroom and my privacy to entertain out of town visitors: I use the platform to be able to pay rent while I go through a difficult financial time. Ten nights a month, I have to tolerate a stranger using my bathroom to get 20 nights blissfully alone with my son. We live in an impoverished area of Los Angeles close to a large convention center and a university. It is not a tourist hub by any means, so demand for my area is not high. The types of people who book my spare room tend to be business trip visitors, convention-goers, students and – saddest of all – Los Angeles residents who have found themselves unable to afford rent and must wander from cheap short-term rental to short-term rental until they’ve scratched together enough money to afford a security deposit. Guardian

Donald Trump Returns To The Martial Discipline Of His Youth
There was a kid in junior high school everyone was terrified of — we’ll call him Jimmy C. When Jimmy C. walked the hallways of Pelham Memorial High School circa 1975, the river of students scurrying between classrooms immediately parted. Engaging him was madness; you’d end up shoved, punched or having your books “spilled” to the floor. So we’d hug the lockers while Jimmy walked center aisle. One day Jimmy disappeared. I can’t recall what prompted his extraction from school. Rumor was he got “sent to juvie,” though none of us truly knew what “juvie” was. We didn’t much care, so long as he was out of our hair. Newsday

J.K. Rowling Apologizes For Saying President Trump Snubbed Disabled Child
J.K. Rowling has apologized for tweets alleging that U.S. President Donald Trump refused to shake the hand of a disabled boy. The "Harry Potter" author called Trump "horrible" after seeing footage of the president appearing to ignore the child's outstretched hand during a White House event last week. But the boy's mother, Marjorie Kelly Weer, posted on Facebook: "Trump didn't snub my son & Monty wasn't even trying to shake his hand." Newsday Moscow court shooting: Three 'Grand Theft Auto gang members' killed in bungled bid to escape trial shooting in a courthouse in a Moscow suburb resulted in three assailants dead and two heavily injured on Tuesday afternoon. Two convoy officers, a man and a woman, also sustained injuries, as did an officer of the National Guard, Russia’s newest law enforcement task force. The shooters were alleged members of the so-called “GTA gang” - a reference to the popular video game Grand Theft Auto - a mysterious crime group that used to terrorise drivers heading south on the M4 highway that connects Moscow and Rostov-on-Don. Telegraph

Google Says Its Robots Are Better Than Humans At Spotting Extremist YouTube Videos
Google has insisted that its robots are now superior to humans at identifying and blocking extremist videos, saying that they flag three in four offensive videos from YouTube before they are reported by users. The search giant said it more than doubled the number of illegal videos deleted from its platform last month after it adopted artificial intelligence moderators to help police content. "With over 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute, finding and taking action on violent extremist content poses a significant challenge," said Google. "But over the past month, our initial use of machine learning has more than doubled both the number of videos we've removed for violent extremism, as well as the rate at which we’ve taken this kind of content down." Telegraph

"Kushner On Middle East Peace: "What Do We Offer That's Unique? I Don't Know."
ON MONDAY, WHITE House senior advisor Jared Kushner spoke to a group of congressional interns as part of an ongoing, off-the-record summer lecture series. During the question-and-answer portion of the event, Kushner may have inadvertently offered some insight into the negotiating tactics he is using in the Middle East. Prior to Kushner's talk, Katie Patru, the deputy staff director for Member Services, Outreach & Communications, told the assembled interns, "To record today’s session would be such a breach of trust, from my opinion. This town is full of leakers and everyone knows who they are, and no one trusts them. Wired

Google And Facebook Still Reign Over Digital Advertising
It was a very good week for two of the biggest tech companies on Earth. Facebook announced it made $9.3 billion this quarter, a 45 percent increase compared with last year, while Google’s parent company, Alphabet, posted earnings of $26 billion in the same time period, a 21-percent jump from a year ago. The vast majority of all this revenue came from advertising—87 percent for Google, and a whopping 98 percent for Facebook. Compare that with its struggling social media brethren: Twitter just had one of its worst quarters ever, with zero growth of monthly users on its service, plus a decline of two million in its most prized demographic for advertisers, American users. And Snap, until very recently the buzziest IPO the tech industry had seen in ages, has seen its stock descend in a clear downward slope since going public. Wired

Venezuela: UN Rights Office Urges All Parties To Refrain From Violence Amid Protests Over Weekend Polls
The United Nations human rights office has expressed regret that at least 10 people died in Venezuela over the weekend amid clashes between security forces and protestors opposing the Constituent Assembly elections, a spokesman for the Secretary-General said today. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) “calls for the investigations into the deaths to be prompt, effective and independent, and urges the Government to cooperate fully with such investigations,” UN Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric told reporters at the daily Headquarters briefing in New York. UN News

“Many People Face Institutional And Systemic Forms Of Racism In Areas Such As Access To Justice, Education, Health, Employment, Or Housing"
Many people are the target of racist hate speech and hate crimes, whereas the community is now viewed more as a threat than as a force,” said Adam Abdemoula, Director of the Division of the Council and the Treaty Mechanisms of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) opening the ninety-third session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) at the UN Headquarters in Geneva. UN News

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