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BIAS ALERT: Media Looks Inward, Deems Slanted Trump Coverage Warranted
Donald Trump’s claim that the “crooked media” has it in for him has prompted much soul-searching with the Fourth Estate, and its conclusion appears to be that he's right -- and that's just fine with some news organizations. “I’m not running against Crooked Hillary,” Trump told a crowd in Fairfield, Conn., last week. “I’m running against the crooked media.” Lately some, including The New York Times, Vox and Bill Moyers’ website, have not only owned up to Trump's accusation, they've embraced it. Fox News

Second Amendment Backers Arm Up With Ink And Paper To Battle California's 'Gunmageddon'
Barry Bahrami went from incredulous to angry last month when California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a batch of firearms control laws known collectively as “Gunmageddon.” Then, the San Diego-based CEO became determined to fight back against the laws, which take aim at so-called assault weapons, enforce ammunition background checks, mostly take effect Jan. 1 and outlaw the possession of high-capacity magazines and ban the "bullet buttons" that already require a tool to release the magazine, instead advocating that the rifle is partially disassembled, and that any rifle with a detachable magazine will be defined as an assault weapon. Fox News

Trump Makes Minnesota Ballot At Last Minute
Donald Trump will appear on the ballot in Minnesota, after a last-minute scramble by state Republicans who discovered Wednesday that their nominee was not yet on the ballot. The party had until Monday to submit the names of 10 electors and 10 alternate electors -- the people who will officially cast Minnesota's votes for president -- to the Secretary of State. "We just received the last item. We were waiting for a pledge from one of the alternate electors. The filing is complete and the Republican ticket should be listed on our site shortly," Secretary of State spokesman Ryan Furlong said in an email Thursday afternoon. A sample ballot produced on the Secretary of State's website Thursday morning showed third party candidate Evan McMullin and candidates for many other parties on the ballot, including former Democratic candidate Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente, now with the American Delta Party -- but no Trump. CNN

Clinton Goes After Trump's Hats In A New Ad
Hillary Clinton's campaign is airing an ad that hits Trump for his most iconic campaign swag: His Make America Great Again hats. The spot -- which is already airing in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida -- says Trump wears his hat "like a crown" but doesn't link up to its message, according to Kantar Media/CMAG records. The ad is the latest attack by the Clinton campaign on Trump's business record and mimics attacks Clinton has made against Trump for demonizing outsourcing on the stump while doing it himself to produce Trump products. "He wears it like a crown -- Make America Great Again -- but Trump made his shirts in Bangladesh, his ties in China and his suits in Mexico," a narrator says. "In fact, the real Donald Trump outsourced his products and jobs to 12 different countries." CNN

Tropical Storm Gaston Is Moving Northwest In The Atlantic
Tropical Storm Gaston is moving northwestward in the Atlantic with no change in strength. The storm's maximum sustained winds early Friday are near 65 mph (110 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says strengthening is forecast during the next two days and Gaston could re-strengthen to a hurricane by Friday night or on Saturday. The storm is centered about 1,195 miles (1,925 kilometers) east-southeast of Bermuda and is moving northwest near 17 mph (28 kph). Meanwhile in the Pacific, Tropical Storm Lester is moving westward away from land. Lester's maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 kph) with some strengthening forecast over the next two days. Lester is centered about 510 miles (820 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula and is moving west near 7 mph (11 kph). Philadelphia Inquirer

Biden Announces New Funding For Amtrak Northeast Corridor
Federal officials are announcing new funding for Amtrak's passenger rail system and stressing the need for continued investment in America's transportation infrastructure. Vice President Joe Biden scheduled a stop Friday at the train station in Wilmington, Delaware, which bears his name, to announce new funding to improve infrastructure and efficiency along Amtrak's busy Northeast Corridor. Amtrak reported ridership of 11.7 million along the Northeast Corridor in fiscal 2015, a record high. Philadelphia Inquirer

Co-Pilot Busted On Suspicion Of Being Drunk Was Nearly 4 Times Over Legal Limit
A co-pilot on a charter plane in Michigan bound for Massachusetts was arrested Thursday after a colleague suspected that he was drunk. Traverse City police Capt. Kevin Dunklow said the Talon Air co-pilot’s breath test showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.30, nearly four times the legal threshold for drunken driving. Talon Air praised its employee for discovering the suspect was drunk, according to the Detroit Free Press. “We are very proud of Captain Manny Ramirez’ immediate action in detecting the co-pilot’s condition and removing him from his position,” Talon Air said. “This is yet another example of Talon Air’s safety procedures working effectively on behalf of our clients and for airport safety.” NY Post


Wire Transfer? Check? Cash? State Dept. Won’t Discuss ‘Mechanics’ Of $1.3B Payment To Iran
President Obama told reporters three weeks ago that the U.S. had flown $400 million in cash to Iran last January because it could not send a check or wire the funds to the regime. The administration will not say how a much larger sum – $1.3 billion in interest – was paid around the same time. The State Department confirmed Wednesday that the payment of around $1.3 billion disbursed on January 19 from the Treasury Department’s “judgment fund” was the money paid to Iran as the interest portion of a negotiated legal claim settlement, but declined to discuss the “mechanics” of the payment. “I can confirm that the foreign claims payments made from the judgment fund on January 19 do represent the payment of approximately 1.3 billion in interest in connection with the Hague Tribunal settlement payment,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told a daily briefing.CNS News

'Climate Change' Named As One Of Biggest Threats To America's National Parks
"Climate change" and "staying relevant" are two of the biggest challenges for the National Park Service as it celebrates its centennial this month, a park service official told CSPAN on Thursday. "So climate change is one of our very large threats," said Mike Reynolds, deputy director of NPS operations. "We have a very large science team working on that with partners in the science community. So we're very concerned about how to deal with species at risk, for example, landscapes and maintaining places -- even historic areas, we have certain weathering that goes on now -- even the monuments here in Washington that we're studying. CNS News

Obama Administration Expects To Close Guantanamo Prison: White House
U.S. President Barack Obama is still committed to closing the U.S. prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and his administration expects to complete the task, White House said on Thursday. "We're going to do our best to try to get this closed and it's our expectation that that's what we'll do," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a news briefing. Reuters

Lawsuit Opens New FrontIin Obama Immigration Legal Fight
Immigration advocates on Thursday mounted a long-shot effort to revive part of U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to shield millions of immigrants from deportation by filing a lawsuit challenging the national scope of a court order that blocked it. With favorable court rulings, the lawyers filing the lawsuit say it has the long-term potential to unravel decisions that blocked Obama's November 2014 plan nationwide. The White House program, if it had been fully implemented, could have allowed up to four million people with no legal immigration status to obtain work authorization. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York on behalf of Martin Batalla Vidal, 25, an immigrant from Mexico who has lived in the United States since he was seven and has benefited from the program. Reuters

Trump Campaign CEO Accused In Divorce Papers Of Attacking Wife
The man hired to remake Donald Trump’s image roughed up and threatened his wife during their marriage, she claimed in court documents obtained by The Post.
Stephen K. Bannon, the new CEO of the Trump campaign, grabbed his then-wife Mary Louise Piccard “by the throat and arm,” and threatened “to take the girls and leave,” referring to their twin daughters, according to a declaration she filed in their divorce case, which began in the mid-90s. “I took the phone to call the police and he grabbed the phone away from me throwing it across the room, and breaking it as he [was] screaming that I was a ‘crazy f—ing c–t!” according to the document.
Police responded to the New Year’s Day, 1996, clash, and wrote up a report and took pictures of the victim’s injuries, the document said. NY Post

Strong Aftershocks Rattle Devastated Italian Earthquake Zone
Strong aftershocks rattled central Italy and shut down a key route into the hard-hit town of Amatrice on Friday as hopes dimmed that firefighters would find any more survivors from the earthquake that killed at least 267 people. The Italian government declared Saturday a day of national mourning and scheduled a state funeral to be attended by President Sergio Mattarella. Some crumbled buildings in Amatrice cracked even further after the biggest aftershock of the morning struck at 6:28 a.m. The U.S. Geological Service said it had a magnitude of 4.7, while the Italian geophysics institute measured it at 4.8. Tampa Tribune

Trump Immigration Waffle Reflects Voter Confusion On Issue
Dean Green supports Donald Trump partly because of the GOP presidential nominee's tough, deport-them-all stance on illegal immigration. But the 57-year-old Republican paused as he complained about U.S. immigration policy and acknowledged that deporting all 11 million people in the U.S. illegally would separate families. "I don't want to break up families," Green said. It has been 30 years since the country embarked on an immigration overhaul, and the ambivalence of voters like Green is one reason why. Polls often show that majorities favor letting people illegally in the U.S. stay and also back tougher laws to deport them. Tampa Tribune


Trump Accuses Clinton Of 'Bullying' With Charges Of Racism
Donald Trump Thursday accused Hillary Clinton of making "one of the most brazen attempt at distraction in the history of politics" and attempting to "intimidate" and "bully" voters with her charges that he is fomenting racism with his campaign. "What does she do when she can't defend her record?" He asked a relatively small but enthusiastic crowd in New Hampshire. "She lies, she smears, she paints decent Americans as racists. She bullies voters, who only want a better future, and tries to intimidate them out of change." Trump later declared: "To Hillary Clinton, and to her donors and advisors, pushing her to spread her smears and her lies about decent people, I have three words: Shame on you." MSNBC

Biden To Turkey: 'We're Bound By The Law' On Pennsylvania Imam Wanted In Failed Coup
Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday resisted demands by Turkey's president to immediately detain and turn over a Pennsylvania imam suspected of plotting last month's failed military coup attempt, giving a blunt lesson on American rule of law. In a joint appearance with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in the capital of Ankara, Biden outlined the steps required to extradite someone to another country: Gather evidence, go to court with probable cause, get permission from a judge. "We have no reason to shelter someone who would attack an ally and try to overthrow a democracy," Biden said. "Can you imagine us being happy with another military state? We didn't get on so well with your previous military states. So what motive could we possibly have? None. Except we're bound by the law."MSNBC

Hillary Clinton On Foundation: ‘I Know There’s A Lot Of Smoke But There’s No Fire’
Hillary Clinton is pushing back on a report this week that she took many meetings with Clinton Foundation donors as secretary of state, saying there’s “a lot of smoke” but “no fire.” “My work as secretary of state was not influenced by any outside forces,” Mrs. Clinton said in a telephone interview with CNN Wednesday evening. “I made policy decisions based on what I thought was right - to keep Americans safe and protect U.S. interests abroad.” Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has seized on an Associated Press report this week that said more than half of a set of 154 people from private interests who met or had scheduled calls with Mrs. Clinton while she was at the State Department also gave to the Clinton Foundation or pledged commitments to its international programs. Washington  Times

Obama Expands Protected Waters Off Hawaii, Creating World's Largest Reserve
President Obama will use his power to designate national monuments on Friday to create the world's largest protected marine area off the coast of Hawaii, the White House said. Obama will more than quadruple the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, to 582.578 square miles — more than 50 times larger than the land area of the Hawaiian Islands themselves. The White House also announced that Obama would travel to the region next week, visiting the landmark Midway Atoll at the western edge of the area to address the threat of climate change and the importance of protecting public lands and waters. He'll also visit his native Hawaii to take part in a conference of Pacific Island leaders and a world conservation conference in Honolulu. From there, he's scheduled to attend a summit of the Group of 20 world leaders in China. USA Today

Apple Issues Security Update To Prevent iPhone Spyware
Apple issued a security update to prevent attacks by rare, highly expensive spyware that exploits flaws in the mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads, after security researchers said it was used to target a Middle Eastern dissident's phone. In a statement to USA TODAY Thursday, Apple said it immediately fixed the vulnerability upon learning of it. It advises customers to download the latest version of its iOS, version 9.3.5, for security protection. The espionage software was discovered because it had been targeted at Ahmed Mansoor, a prominent United Arab Emirates dissident. Mansoor received a text message on his iPhone 6 that invited him to click on a web link. He had been the victim of spyware in the past and so forwarded the message to researchers at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab. USA Today

Maine Gov. Paul LePage: Most Drug Dealers Arrested Are Black, Hispanic
Republican Gov. Paul LePage is being accused again of making racially insensitive comments, this time by saying photos he’s collected in a binder of drug dealers arrested in the state show more than 90 percent of them are black or Hispanic. The governor made the remark at a town hall in North Berwick on Wednesday, a day he also said the father of a dead Muslim U.S. Army captain is a ‘‘con artist’’ for criticizing GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. LePage’s comment about the drug dealers came after a businessman asked how he could bring a company to Maine ‘‘given the rhetoric you put out there about people of color,’’ the Portland Press Herald reported. Boston Globe

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Jeb Bush: Donald Trump’s Shift On Immigration ‘Abhorrent’
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says Donald Trump is turning into a typical politician with his recent comments on illegal immigration, saying Mr. Trump is correct to try to reach out to new constituencies but that it’s anyone’s guess what he might actually believe. “This is all a game,” Mr. Bush said Thursday in a radio interview with WABC’s Rita Cosby. “His views will change based on the feedback he gets from a crowd, or, you know, what he thinks he has to do.” Mr. Bush, who Mr. Trump repeatedly mocked as “low energy” during the GOP presidential primary contest, said Mr. Trump is now turning into what the billionaire businessman is supposedly against.Washington Times

Hillary Clinton Leads Donald Trump By Double Digits In New National Poll
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 10 percentage points nationally, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday. The poll found 51 percent of likely voters in the U.S. support Clinton while 41 percent said they support Trump. In a four-way race, Clinton leads Trump 45 percent to 38 percent while 10 percent support Libertarian Gary Johnson and 4 percent back Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Clinton’s expansive lead is due to support from women and non-white voters, Quinnipiac said. Trump, meanwhile, leads among men and white voters.CBS

GOP Committee Chairman Calls On Donald Trump To Release Tax Teturns
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Wednesday that Donald Trump should release his tax returns. “If you’re going to run and try to become the president of the United States, you’re going to have to open up your kimono and show everything, your tax returns, your medical records,” the Republican said on CNN’s “The Lead.” “You’re just going to have to do that, it’s too important. So both candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, should show both their medical records and tax returns, absolutely,” he added. Don’t count on seeing those records soon, though. CBS

Gwinnett Sheriff: Decision To Support Donald Trump 'Not A Difficult' One
One of Gwinnett County's highest-ranking elected officials has named part of Donald Trump's Georgia leadership team — and says his decision to support the Republican presidential nominee was "not a difficult" one. Sheriff Butch Conway, who made national headlines last fall with a scathing letter declaring that "all lives matter," is one of six co-chairs on the team providing local support to Trump. Trump's campaign released the commitee's roster Thursday, with polls showing a tight race in Georgia and some high-profile Republicans wavering in their support. U.S. Sen. David Perdue and fundraiser Rayna Casey were listed as chairmen. Conway, several state legislators and Public Service Commissioner Bubba McDonald were among those designated co-chairs. Conway addressed his support of Trump in a statement released early Thursday evening. Atlanta Journal

Chicago Story: Trump Sends GOP Donors Spinning
Ron Gidwitz, Dan Webb and William Kunkler are veteran Republicans — and friends — from Chicago's political money circuit. They raised buckets of cash for Mitt Romney four years ago. This time, however, their party's nominee has sent them spinning off in three directions. Gidwitz is hosting fundraisers for Donald Trump. Webb wrote a big check for Hillary Clinton. And Kunkler won't do anything for either candidate, saying he prefers not to enable "stupid behavior." "Everyone is trying to make the best of a bad situation," Kunkler said. Illinois is especially ripe for this hodgepodge of political feelings. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner pretends Trump doesn't exist, Republican Sen. Mark Kirk trashes him, and the state's top GOP donors, mostly moderate business leaders, squirm at his racially charged comments. Houston Chronicle

Clinton Says Trump Will 'Make America Hate Again'
Hillary Clinton said Thursday that Donald Trump has unleashed the "radical fringe" within the Republican Party, including anti-Semites and white supremacists, dubbing the billionaire businessman's campaign as one that will "make America hate again." Trump rejected Clinton's allegations, defending his hard-line approach to immigration while trying to make the case to minority voters that Democrats have abandoned them. The ping-pong accusations come as the two candidates vie for minorities and any undecided voters with less than three months until Election Day. Weeks before the first early voting, Trump faces the urgent task of revamping his image to win over those skeptical of his candidacy. Houston Chronicle


Tim Kaine Fires Back At Donald Trump In 'Late Show' Debut
In an interview on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine joked about being "America’s stepdad” but also got serious discussing Donald Trump’s immigration stance and the GOP nominee calling Hillary Clinton a “bigot.” Kaine’s appearance on "The Late Show" airs tonight on CBS. It is his first appearance on a late-night talk show as a vice presidential candidate. He previously appeared on "The Daily Show" in 2010. When asked by Colbert about Trump’s changing immigration plan, Kaine said: “I don’t buy it.” Trump made headlines this week when he appeared to be softening his immigration stance in a town hall that aired on Fox News. Today, he told CNN that there would be no path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, but it remains unclear if he plans to deport all of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States if he is elected. ABC

Sen. Joe Manchin Questions EpiPen Pricing By Company His Daughter Runs
A U.S. senator whose daughter is the CEO of Mylan Pharmaceuticals has weighed in on the onslaught of criticism over the company’s pricing of its popular EpiPen, even as Mylan today promised to expand a discount program for the anti-allergy medication. "I am aware of the questions my colleagues and many parents are asking, and frankly, I share their concerns about the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said today in a statement. “Today I heard Mylan's initial response, and I am sure Mylan will have a more comprehensive and formal response to those questions. "I look forward to reviewing their response in detail and working with my colleagues and all interested parties to lower the price of prescription drugs and to continue to improve our health care system."ABC

When Unemployment Falls, Thousands Of Americans Die
Who says recessions are all bad? About 5,000 fewer people die every year in auto accidents for each 1 percentage point increase in U.S. unemployment because downturns keep dangerous drivers off the road. “We have documented an instance of a natural economic force that impels riskier drivers to drive less while not discouraging safer drivers,” say Clifford Winston, a senior fellow at Brookings Institution, and Vikram Maheshri, an economist at the University of Houston, in a forthcoming study in the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.Previous research had shown that people generally drive less during economic contractions, which naturally contributes to a reduction in fatalities. The innovation by Winston and Maheshri was to show that the biggest decline is in driving by the worst drivers. Bloomberg

At Guantánamo Prison, Guards And Staff Outnumber Captives 33 To 1
Just last week 100 or so military police from California and Maryland were overlapping with departing troops at the most expensive prison on earth — a routine Army rotation that meant there were at least 33 soldiers and civilians at the prison complex for each Guantánamo captive. In Indianapolis earlier this month, family and friends bade farewell to 60 National Guard infantrymen bound for Fort Bliss, Texas, to train for a nine-month Guantánamo prison tour. And at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, a unit of Puerto Rican Army Reserve MPs trained last week at a mock prison camp compound for a Spring 2017 call-up to Guantánamo Bay. Charlotte Observer

Germany's Merkel In Poland For Talks On EU Future, Migrants
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Warsaw for talks with the leaders of four central European nations about migrants and the future of the European Union after Britain leaves. Merkel is meeting the prime ministers of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia ahead of an EU summit planned next month — without Britain — that is to discuss issues stemming from Britain's vote to leave the group. The four nations have been critical of many EU policies, including ones pressing for nations to accept many more migrants. They are also pushing for changes that would give individual EU members more leeway to decide their course, saying the EU's rigid policies have led to the British departure. Charlotte Observer

US, Turkey At An Impasse Over Extraditing MuslimCleric
Turkey says the United States is legally bound by a treaty to immediately hand over Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Muslim cleric it accuses of plotting to overthrow Turkey's government. The U.S. government says it can't comply until Turkey can convince a judge its allegations against Gulen are legitimate. Any solution lies in the murky world of extradition, where the U.S. criminal justice system overlaps with diplomacy and international law. Unable to agree about the process, Turkey and the U.S. are feuding over Gulen, who denies involvement in the thwarted July 15 coup attempt. It's become the biggest irritant between the two strategic partners just as they struggle to reconcile their approaches to fighting the Islamic State group across Turkey's border in Syria. SF Gate

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Plot Thickens In SEC Case Of A $35 Billion Company No One Knows
A key figure is stepping away from Neuromama Ltd., the obscure search engine firm whose market value surged to $35 billion on little trading volume before U.S. regulators halted its shares. The departure of Vladislav Zubkis, listed as the chairman of Neuromama’s advisory board, is the latest twist for a firm that recently relocated to a Mexican beach town from Russia and likens itself to Google and Yahoo. Zubkis, who also goes by Steven Schwartzbard, is taking an open-ended leave of absence, the company said in a filing this week with Securities and Exchange Commission. After Neuromama’s paper value jumped to exceed that of Delta Air Lines Inc., the SEC halted over the counter trading on Aug. 15, citing “potentially manipulative transactions in the company’s stock.” The regulator also cited concerns about the accuracy of information disclosed to investors about who controlled the company, which says its ambitions include licensing “heavy ion fusion” technology.Bloomberg

U.S. Warship Fires Warning Shots At Iranian Boats
A U.S. Navy ship fired three warning shots in the direction of an Iranian boat that was approaching another American ship head-on in the North Arabian Gulf on Wednesday, U.S. officials said, in an escalation of encounters in the region this week. According to U.S. Navy Cmdr. Bill Urban, the Iranian boat came within 200 yards of the USS Tempest and ignored several bridge-to-bridge radio calls and warning flares. It finally turned away after the USS Squall, which was with the USS Tempest, fired three warning shots from its .50-caliber gun, said Urban, a spokesman for the Navy's 5th Fleet. "This situation presented a drastically increased risk of collision, and the Iranian vessel refused to safely maneuver in accordance with internationally recognized maritime rules of the road," said Urban. Las Vegas Sun

Apple Boosts iPhone Security After Mideast Spyware Discovery
A botched attempt to break into the iPhone of an Arab activist using hitherto unknown espionage software has trigged a global upgrade of Apple's mobile operating system, researchers said Thursday. The spyware took advantage of three previously undisclosed weaknesses in Apple's mobile operating system to take complete control of iPhone devices, according to reports published Thursday by the San Francisco-based Lookout smartphone security company and internet watchdog group Citizen Lab. Both reports fingered the NSO Group, an Israeli company with a reputation for flying under the radar, as the author of the spyware. "The threat actor has never been caught before," said Mike Murray, a researcher with Lookout, describing the program as "the most sophisticated spyware package we have seen in the market." Las Vegas Sun

Many Teens 'Vaping' For Flavor, Not Nicotine
Why are American teens tempted to try an e-cigarette? A new study suggests most are interested in the vaping product's flavoring, not nicotine. A team led by Richard Miech, of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, tracked the responses of nearly 15,000 students who took part in a 2015 U.S. nationwide survey.
More than 3,800 of the students -- who were in grades 8, 10 and 12 -- said they had used e-cigarettes at some point. Of those who had used e-cigarettes within the past month, more than 1,700 had done so at least once; nearly 1,100 had done so up to five times; and more than 600 had done so more than half a dozen times, the findings showed. UPI News

UPI/CVoter Poll: Donald Trump Leading Hillary Clinton For First Time In Weeks
The UPI/CVoter daily presidential tracking poll released Thursday shows Republican Donald Trump pulling into a slight lead over Hillary Clinton for the first time in nearly a month. The online poll shows Trump with 48.29 percent to Clinton's 47.59. The two have been in a virtual tie in the poll for several days, though Thursday's data is the first to show Trump in the lead. The most recent data show a small but measurable change for both candidates: a 0.8 percentage point increase for Trump and a 0.7 decrease for Clinton. Thursday's data is the first time Trump has held a lead in the race since before the Democratic National Convention, after which Clinton received a substantial bounce and Trump backslid amid the controversy surrounding his criticism of a Gold Star military family. Thursday's data is also the first to incorporate voter feedback in the wake of an Associated Press article detailing Clinton's close ties with big donors to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state. UPI News

Three-Day Workweek Is The Most Productive For Employees, Study Says
Time to let your boss know: A study shows employees function best in a three-day work week. Japanese researchers analyzed the employment habits and cognitive test scores for 3,000 Australian men and 3,500 women, all over the age of 40. They found working 25 hours per week achieved the best test scores. “Work can be a double edged sword, in that it can stimulate brain activity, but at the same time, long working hours and certain types of tasks can cause fatigue and stress which potentially damage cognitive functions,” the study says. “Thus, the degree of intellectual stimulation of work may depend on the required task and working hours, that is, the quality and the quantity of work.” The researchers theorize that the lower number of work hours are more necessary for people over the age of 40 so they avoid burnout after already spending decades in the workforce. Kansas City Star

Tropical Wave Slows, Second Disturbance Appears In Gulf Of Mexico
Ready or not, South Florida, rain is coming. Regardless of whether a tropical wave lurking offshore actually musters the strength to become a more fierce storm, forecasters say the region is in for a soggy, wet weekend, with possible flooding. Early Friday morning, the system continued to weaken as it encountered crippling wind shear. But forecasters say there’s still a chance it could find footing in warm waters over the Bahamas and make a powerful landfall in South Florida and the Keys. “The problem it’s had is a combination of dry air and wind shear. And those are two enemies of a tropical cyclone trying to develop,” said National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen. “It’s been fortunate we don’t have something forming.” Miami Herald

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Says Next Leak On Clinton Campaign Will Be 'Significant'
The controversial Julian Assange strikes again. The WikiLeaks co-founder told Fox News' Megyn Kelly that his team is working around the clock to "release thousands of pages of material" from the Hillary Clinton campaign before Election Day in November. "It's a variety of different types of documents and different types of institutions that are associated with the election campaign, some quite unexpected angles that are, you know, quite interesting, some even entertaining," Assange shared from an undisclosed location in a televised interview. SF Gate

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Al-Qaeda Leader Urges Iraqi Sunnis To Prepare For War If ISIS Defeated
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has called on Iraq's Sunnis to prepare for a "long guerrilla" war if Islamic State is defeated, according to a video seen on Thursday. "The Sunnis of Iraq should not just surrender upon the fall of (their) cities into the hand of the Shi'ite Safavid army,'' he said in a video recording distributed by supporters, using a derogatory term for the army of Iraq's Shi'ite-led government. Jerusalem Post

Israeli Fans In France Greeted With Palestinian Flags, Israeli Flags Banned
After much talk over the high security risks at Thursday nights Europa League soccer match between St. Etienne and Beitar Jerusalem in France Beitar supporters arrived to the stadium to find they were not allowed to enter with Israeli flags, Israeli sports news website One reported. They fans were then greeted with not only French flags but Palestinian flags as well, marking the second time in as many weeks that an Israeli soccer team was greeted abroad with Palestinian flags. Ahead of the game authorities were preparing for a high risk of violence, according to French media. Jerusalem Post

US Urges Action Over 'Syrian Chemical Attacks'
The US has urged "strong and swift action" after a UN investigation concluded that Syria used chemical weapons against its own people. The year-long inquiry found the government used chlorine gas in attacks in Idlib province in 2014 and 2015. Chlorine is an industrial chemical and was not part of the weapons stockpile that Syria agreed to give up in 2013. However, use of it as a weapon would contravene conventions signed by President Bashar al-Assad. The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, said the use of chemical weapons was "barbaric" and called for "all states to support strong and swift action". Ms Power accused the Syrian government of violating a September 2013 resolution which orders the UN Security Council (UNSC) to impose measures for "any use of chemical weapons by anyone in the Syrian Arab Republic". BBC

Brazil Court Summons Lochte To Give Evidence Over Robbery Claim
A police spokesperson said his case had been referred to the courts, which have summoned Mr Lochte to give testimony. The US State Department said it was aware of the request. Mr Lochte flew out of Brazil after the Games before he could be questioned about the alleged false claim. He has since apologised for making up what he called an exaggerated story about being robbed. CCTV footage contradicted his claim, showing Mr Lochte and three other US swimmers had vandalised a petrol station after partying. Police spokesman Clemente Braune told Brazil's Globo (in Portuguese) that Mr Lochte would have to attend the hearing before a judge or be tried in absentia. The penalty for a false crime report was between one and six months in jail, he said. However, it is understood that if Mr Lochte did attend the hearing he could agree to pay a fine like fellow swimmer Jimmy Feigen, who was with him during the incident. Mr Feigen agreed to donate nearly $11,000 (£8,300) to a Brazilian charity to resolve the case.BBC

Clinton Slams Trump's 'Racist Ideology' That Ushers Hate Groups Into Mainstream
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton today disparaged her Republican rival as a tool of the racist, radical right, a man who foments “paranoia and prejudice” and ushers hate groups into the mainstream. Donald Trump is “a man with a long history of racial discrimination”, Clinton said during a Thursday rally in the flag-festooned student center at Truckee Meadows Community College. He is a man “who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the internet”. Guardian

War Of Words Hots Up Between US And EU Over Tax Avoidance
The US has been accused of “behaving like a tax haven”, in an escalating war of words between Washington and Brussels over the European commission’s anti-trust cases against Apple, Amazon and Starbucks. On Wednesday, the US Treasury threatened retaliation if Europe continues its tax crusade against American multinationals.
Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s top anti-trust regulator, is expected to conclude her state aid investigation into Apple as early as next month. If her ruling goes against the Californian tech group, it could be ordered to hand over as much as $19bn (£14.4bn) in unpaid taxes to the Irish government. Guardian

Aid Convoys ‘Ready’ To Enter Aleppo; UN Envoys Await Russia-US Talks On Truce
Reporting that the Russian Federation is backing a 48-hour humanitarian pause in and around Aleppo, senior United Nations envoys on the Syrian crisis today said they are “waiting for others on the ground to do the same,” and are ready to green light aid convoys to the war-ravaged city once assurances are received. “We are ready, trucks are ready and they can leave anytime we get that message,” UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura told reporters in Geneva, where negotiations on humanitarian aid delivery and a cessation of hostilities are under way. UN News

Afghanistan: UN Mission Condemns Attack On American University In Kabul
The United Nations’ mission in Afghanistan has condemned last night’s attack on a university in the capital, Kabul, that killed 12 civilians and injured more than 50 others, mostly students. “An attack deliberately targeting an educational facility, during evening classes for university students, is an atrocity and those responsible must be held accountable,” Pernille Kardel, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Acting Head of the UN Assistance Mission there, known as UNAMA, said in a press statement. UN News

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