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NEWS   TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2016   NEWS

Biased Broadcasters Spent Less Than 5 Minutes On Clinton Foundation Scandal In Past 5 Months
The Big Three networks are still very much a friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. “Despite more evidence that The Clinton Foundation was used as a slush fund to enrich the Clintons and their cronies, the Big Three networks — ABC, CBS, NBC — have all but stopped covering the scandal swirling around the Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s charitable organization,” writes Geoffrey Dickens, an analyst for the Media Research Center, a conservative press watchdog. Mr. Dickens reviewed morning and evening newscasts on the three networks from Jan. 1 through May 20 to find that they spent a total of four minutes and 24 seconds on what the press billed as “charity fraud.” Indeed, a Wall Street Journal story reported the Clinton Global Initiative set up “a financial commitment that benefited a for-profit company part-owned by people with ties to the Clintons.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: The liberal media has no shame - their bias is clear.

Donald Trump Denies Climate Change--But Fears It Could Hurt His Golf Course
Donald Trump has said he doesn't believe in man-made climate change and has called global warming a "hoax," but he's trying to protect a golf course he owns on the coast of Ireland from its effects. The presumptive GOP nominee applied for a permit to build a seawall next to Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland in County Clare to prevent erosion, according to Politico. His application included an environmental impact statement that explicitly mentions "global warming and its effects." According to Politico's report, that statement says that rising sea levels in that region could accelerate erosion. CBS

Smaller Cities Across US Opening High-Tech Crime Centers
Live video feeds from cameras across Hartford, Connecticut, light up a wall of flat-screen monitors in a high-tech room at the city's old police department, while computers take in data from license plate readers and a gunshot detection system. The department's new Real-Time Crime and Data Intelligence Center, unveiled by city officials in February, helps officers on the streets find suspects and avoid harm by quickly giving them crucial information, police officials say. Although open only a few months, the center has assisted officers in hundreds of criminal cases that have resulted in arrests, said Sgt. Johnmichael O'Hare, who leads the operation. "It's huge," he said about the new capabilities. "It provides them real-time intelligence." Houston Chronicle

Zimmerman Gun Sale Spotlights Crime Memorabilia Controversy
It’s a lesser-known, dark side of memorabilia collecting. It’s an industry that for many walks the line of an ethical and moral tightrope and includes items such as Jack Ruby’s .38-caliber Colt Cobra revolver used to kill Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, in 1963. Or the snub-nosed .38 special and Colt .45 pulled from the bodies of notorious outlaw couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after their deaths in 1934. It’s profiting from alleged crimes by buying and selling items connected to high-profile cases. To many it’s seen as immoral. To others, though, it’s just another business opportunity – one that former Sanford Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman has apparently tapped into. Zimmerman’s numerous attempts last week to auction off the Kel-Tec 9mm PF-9 pistol he used to fatally shoot Trayvon Martin in 2012 garnered international attention and raised questions about when, and if, the pistol should ever be sold. Charlotte Observer

Catholic Church Sex Abuse Complaints Up 35 Percent
Complaints of sexual abuse by Catholic Church clergy were up 35 percent in 2015, according to an audit of claims and related settlements released Friday. Between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, 838 people filed complaints saying they had been abused by church personnel while they were children. This is up from 620 complaints filed the year before. Twenty-six reports were from minors alleging recent abuse, but the majority were claims dating back to the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The rise in claims dating back decades is partially attributed to bankruptcy proceedings in dioceses around the country that can lead people to file complaints when they otherwise may have kept silent, due to the possibility the diocese would no longer have money to pay out a settlement if the claims were found to be substantiated. Kansas City Star
VOA VIEW: Celibacy is not good.

Why The USDA Is Putting A New Warning Label On All Beef, Starting This Week
The USDA has mandated new labels on beef to note whether it was “mechanically tenderized.” Here’s the newest reason to read the label when buying beef at the local grocery store: mechanically tenderized beef. A new USDA-mandated label will start appearing on all cuts of beef this week, noting whether the meat was run through a machine that uses blades or needles to pierce and tenderize the meat, according to a story from Kaiser Health News. But read closely: The fact may be written in fine print. The process, which has been used for years, increases the chances of pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella from being passed from one piece of meat to the next. Plus, because the machine digs into the meat, the bacteria can be pushed further inside the meat — meaning it has to be cooked to a higher internal temperature, 145 degrees, to kill it. Miami Herald

Congressman Claims NFL Sought To Sway Crucial Brain Study
National Football League officials improperly sought to influence a government study on the link between football and brain disease, according to a senior House Democrat in a report issued Monday. New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone says the league tried to strong-arm the National Institutes of Health into taking the project away from a researcher that the NFL feared was biased. The NFL had agreed to donate $30 million to the NIH to fund brain research but backed out after the institutes refused to take a $16 million grant away from prominent Boston University researcher Robert Stern. He's a leading expert on the link between football and brain diseases such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Taxpayers are instead bearing the cost. CBS

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Wave Of Bomb Threats Hits Schools Nationwide
A wave of threats directed at schools across the nation forced authorities to lock down buildings or evacuate students. The threats, which appear to be driven by automated calls, have been directed at elementary, middle and high schools in states across at least four time zones. Some districts reported that the calls included a bomb threat while others just described the calls as "threatening." The calls were reported in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin. Ken Trump, a national school security expert and president of a school security consulting firm, said Monday’s nationwide bomb hoaxes have the hallmarks of swatting. USA Today

Only 40% Of U.S. Households Saving Enough
Are you familiar with America Saves Week? This effort from the Consumer Federation of America and the American Savings Education Council is designed to help Americans understand the importance of good savings habits and to raise awareness of ways to improve their savings practices. America Saves Week in 2016 ran from February 22 to the 29th. For more details on the organization, see their website. Each year, America Saves Week has a corresponding survey to study the savings needs and habits of America, and releases the results of the previous survey at the beginning of the next America Saves Week. This year, the survey shows that a majority of Americans are struggling to meet their savings needs. Only 40% of respondents considered their progress toward their savings requirements to be either good or excellent. Atlanta Journal

Sanders: Democratic Convention Could Be 'Messy'
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and his push to make the party more inclusive could get "messy" but asserts in an interview with The Associated Press: "Democracy is not always nice and quiet and gentle." The Vermont senator, campaigning Monday ahead of California's primary against Hillary Clinton, said his supporters hope the party will adopt a platform at the summer convention that reflects the needs of working families, the poor and young people, not Wall Street and corporate America. Sanders said he will "condemn any and all forms of violence" but his campaign was welcoming political newcomers and first-time attendees of party conventions. He said the Democratic Party faces a choice of becoming more inclusive or maintaining the status quo. Houston Chronicle

Hillary Clinton Struggling With Hispanics Who Twice Helped Obama Win White House
Hispanics are not yet sold on Hillary Clinton, who struggles to crack 60 percent among the voting bloc in poll after poll — putting her in a deep hole as she tries to rebuild the coalition that powered President Obama to two White House victories. Mr. Obama’s 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012 stunned Republicans, and party strategists said it was a large part of the explanation for his re-election. Mrs. Clinton, however, polls as low as 50 percent among Hispanics in head-to-head surveys in the weeks since Donald Trump sewed up enough delegates for the Republican Party nomination. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Hispanics are less gullible than blacks.

Trump vs. Clinton Poised To Be Battle Of Most Disliked Nominees In Decades
If Americans don’t change their current views, the match-up between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could be a race between the two most disliked presidential nominees in at least three decades. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll has Trump with a 60 percent unfavorable rating and Clinton at 53 percent unfavorable.
Should the two front-runners become the nominees and their current ratings remain roughly the same through November, this presidential election could have two candidates with the highest unfavorable ratings since 1984. ABC

Senator Says Sex Case Files Show 'Troubling Command Culture'
Sexual misconduct remains a destructive force in the armed forces and military communities, a U.S. senator said Monday in a new report that urges Congress to take more aggressive steps to end sex crimes in the ranks. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., examined files from 329 sexual assault cases that occurred in 2014 at bases in the United States. She said she found a "troubling command culture" that seems to favor closing cases over pursuing justice and leaves victims vulnerable to retaliation.
"The military justice system is still dysfunctional, the problem of sexual assault is still pervasive and survivors still don't believe they will get justice," said Gillibrand, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee. ABC

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The Zika Virus Spread Is Our Own Fault, WHO Chief Says
The Zika epidemic and the birth defects it's causing are both the fault of governments that abandoned programs to control mosquitoes and to provide even the most basic family planning assistance to young women, the head of the World Health Organization said Monday. "Let me give you a stern warning. What we are seeing now looks more and more like a dramatic resurgence of the threat from emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. The world is not prepared to cope," WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan told a meeting of the World Health Assembly. MSNBC

EgyptAir 804 Human Remains Suggest Blast, Forensic Official Says
A senior Egyptian forensics official says human remains retrieved from the crash site of EgyptAir flight 804 suggest there was an explosion on board that may have brought down the aircraft. The official is part of the Egyptian investigative team and has personally examined the remains at a Cairo morgue. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he isn't authorized to release the information. He says all 80 pieces brought to Cairo so far are small and that "there isn't even a whole body part, like an arm or a head." The official adds that "the logical explanation is that it was an explosion." All 66 people on board were killed when the Airbus 320 crashed in the Mediterranean early Thursday while en route from Paris to Cairo. Sun Sentinel

'Blue Lives Matter' Bill Expected To Become Law In La.
Louisiana state Rep. Lance Harris said no people deserve more protection than those whose job it is to protect and serve others. That's why Harris, R-Alexandria, believes his "Blue Lives Matter" bill was embraced the Louisiana Legislature. House Bill 953 would make attacks on police and other first responders hate crimes and would be the first such law specific to law enforcement in the country. The bill amends an existing law classifying hate crimes as those based on bias against race, age, gender, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry. Under Louisiana's current hate crime law, a person convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime can be sentenced to prison for up to six months and given a $500 penalty. If convicted of a felony, they can receive an additional five years and fines up to $5,000. USA Today

Obama Hits Highest Job Approval Since Second Inauguration
As the race to succeed President Barack Obama rages around him, the man who currently sits in the Oval Office has hit his highest approval rating since his second inauguration, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows. Fifty-one percent of registered voters say they approve of the job Obama is doing as president, compared to 46 percent who disapprove. The last time more than half of the electorate gave Obama a thumbs up in the poll was in January 2013, when Obama took the oath of office after his successful re-election campaign against Republican Mitt Romney. His approval rating sunk as low as 40 percent before the 2014 midterm elections but subsequently rebounded, particularly since primary voting in the 2016 presidential race got underway at the beginning of this year. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Nonsense - Obama's liberal media reported approval rating are false.

U.S. Stocks Retreat On Fed Rate Uncertainty As Crude, Gold Drop
U.S. stocks slipped amid a retreat in crude oil, as investors awaited more clarity on the timing of the next potential rate increase from the Federal Reserve and the outlook for American inflation. Losses in the S&P 500 Index accelerated in the final 15 minutes of trading after a lackluster session that saw equities swing between gains and losses. The dollar advanced against the Canadian and Norwegian currencies, while gold capped its longest slump in more than two months. Oil fell for a fourth straight day as Canadian producers worked to resume operations after wildfires. Most industrial metals also slipped, and iron ore tumbled. Bloomberg

Swift CEO To Say More Banks May Have Been Breached By Hackers
Hackers may have targeted more banks than have been previously reported, according to prepared remarks by the chief executive officer of Swift, the global interbank messaging system is set to give on Tuesday. The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication will increase security requirements for the software clients use and help clients conduct security audits, the network’s chief executive officer, Gottfried Leibbrandt, will tell an audience at the European Financial Services Conference in Brussels, according to prepared remarks of the speech, which is slated to be delivered Tuesday. Bloomberg

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North Korean Envoy Rejects Trump Overture To Meet Leader
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's proposal to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a "kind of propaganda or advertisement" in his election race, a senior North Korean official said on Monday. Trump, in a wide-ranging interview with Reuters in New York last week, said he is willing to talk to the North Korean leader to try to stop Pyongyang's nuclear program, proposing a major shift in U.S. policy toward the isolated nation. "It is up to the decision of my Supreme Leader whether he decides to meet or not, but I think his (Trump's) idea or talk is nonsense," So Se Pyong, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told Reuters on return from Pyongyang after attending the first ruling party congress in 36 years. Reuters

Hillary Clinton Heading Back To Las Vegas For Speech To Union
Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is returning to Las Vegas this week for a speech to a union. The Democratic candidate is scheduled to speak Thursday morning at a conference hosted by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. The event will be held at The Mirage resort. Campaign officials said she'll discuss her plans for raising incomes for working families. Clinton visited Nevada several times in the weeks leading up to Nevada's Democratic caucuses on Feb. 20. Las Vegas Sun

Low, High Birth Weight Babies At Higher Risk For Cardiovascular Disease
Children born with high or low birth weight are more likely to be overweight or obese by puberty, and are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study. Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia found children at both ends of the weight spectrum at birth are at higher risk to develop fat around organs, as well as insulin resistance and inflammation, that may not be modified through diet and lifestyle. Normal birth weight is considered 5.5 pounds to 8.4 pounds. Low birth weight is thought to be caused by growth restriction at any point in pregnancy, either because of an insufficient placenta or inadequate nutrition. UPI

Facebook Changes Policies On 'Trending Topics' After Criticism
Facebook Inc said on Monday that it had changed some of the procedures for its "Trending Topics" section after a news report alleging it suppressed conservative news prompted a U.S. Congressional demand for more transparency. The company said an internal probe showed no evidence of political bias in the selection of news stories for Trending Topics, a feature that is separate from the main "news feed" where most Facebook users get their news. But the world's largest social network said in a blogpost that it was introducing several changes, including elimination of a top-ten list of approved websites, more training and clearer guidelines to help human editors avoid ideological or political bias, and more robust review procedures. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: The Facebook left-wing agenda has been exposed.

Cosby Admits To Drug-Filled Romps With Teens In Depositions
Bill Cosby admitted to plying teens with booze and drugs before having sex with them, and to having girls regularly dispatched to him by a modeling agency, newly unearthed court papers show. The comic said that at one point in his career, the agency would provide “five or six” young women each week, according to depositions he gave in 2005 and 2006 for a lawsuit. Among other revelations made by Cosby under questioning by lawyers for Andrea Constand, who claims he sexually assaulted her in 2004, was the description of a 1976 encounter with a 19-year-old model named Therese Picking. NY Post

Trump’s Short List Of Vice Presidential Candidates
Donald Trump has begun lining up candidates for the ultimate job interview — his vice- presidential running mate. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is considering a list that includes a retired general and some of Washington’s most powerful lawmakers. One of the most talked-about candidates on the billionaire’s short list is Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who met Monday with The Donald at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Corker emerged from the 80-minute meeting claiming there was no reason to believe he’s on Trump’s short list — exactly what a VP candidate is supposed to say. “We had actually never met before. . . We had a conversation,” Corker told reporters. “It was a good meeting about foreign policy, domestic issues.” NY Post

Obama To Monk: 'I Like Daughters'
President Barack Obama had a quick comeback for a Buddhist monk who urged him to pray to a certain statue if he'd like to have a son. "I like daughters," quipped Obama, who is the father of teenagers Malia and Sasha. Obama was touring the Jade Emperor Pagoda, one of the most notable and most visited cultural destinations in Ho Chi Minh City. The pink-colored building with a turquoise tiled roof was built in the early 1900s by the immigrant Chinese community and today serves multiple faiths. Obama headed straight for the pagoda after landing in Ho Chi Minh City from Hanoi, where he spent the opening days of his first visit to Vietnam. Tampa Tribune

23,000 Police Mobilized To Protect Tour De France
Cyclists at this year's Tour de France will be under the watch of 23,000 police, including SWAT-like intervention squads, as the government tries to ensure security amid extremist threats. France has been in a state of emergency since attacks on Paris in November killed 130 people, with soldiers guarding landmarks and religious sites. The emergency measures were extended last week to cover the European Championship next month and the Tour de France, which runs July 2-24. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve met Tuesday with Christian Prudhomme, president of the organization that runs the Tour, and afterward announced exceptional security measures for this year's race. Tampa Tibune

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New Orleans Is Sinking Faster Than Previously Thought
Scientist already knew that New Orleans was sinking. But a new study finds that the Big Easy and its environs are losing elevation (a process called subsidence) at a faster rate than previously thought—some two inches per year near the Mississippi River and in industrial areas, and more than an inch-and-a-half in the Upper and Lower Ninth Ward, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The Weather Channel sums up the issue: "When a city already sits below sea level, any additional sinking is a cause for major concern." The new information was collected between 2009 and 2012 using radar images taken from an aircraft flying the same route year after year, per the Advocate.  Scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, UCLA, and LSU participated. Fox News

VA Secretary: Disney Doesn't Measure Wait Times, So Why Should VA?
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald on Monday compared the length of time veterans wait to receive health care at the VA to the length of time people wait for rides at Disneyland, and said his agency shouldn't use wait times as a measure of success because Disney doesn't either. "When you got to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what's important? What's important is, what's your satisfaction with the experience?" McDonald said Monday during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters. "And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure." McDonald's comments angered House Speaker Paul Ryan, who tweeted out Monday afternoon, "This is not make-believe, Mr. Secretary. Veterans have died waiting in those lines." Fox News

Two Hours And 1,600 Fake Credit Cards Later: $13 Million Is Gone
A South African bank became a victim of a bank heist 10,000 miles away, after a group of criminals stole $13 million out of cash machines on another continent using fake South African credit cards. The thieves used around 1,600 forged cards to withdraw the money from 1,400 individual cash machines across Japan, according to local media, including the Kyodo agency. The cards were allegedly created using data stolen from the South African Standard Bank Group (SGBLY), which has no apparent connection with Japan. It took the group just over two hours to steal the money from the Standard Bank, withdrawing the maximum amount of 100,000 yen ($913) in 14,000 individual transactions, the media reported. CNN

Supreme Court Backs Georgia Death Row Inmate Convicted By All-White Jury
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Georgia death row inmate's conviction, ruling Monday that the jury selection was tainted. The shorthanded court ruled 7-1 that Timothy Foster was improperly prosecuted by attorneys who "were motivated in substantial part by race" when deciding who to strike from the jury panel before the trial began. Foster was convicted of murdering a 79-year white woman, Queen Madge White, in 1987 by an all-white jury. Twenty years after the sentence, his lawyer used the Georgia Open Records Act to obtain the prosecution's notes while it was picking a jury. Prosecutors marked potential jurors who were black with a "b" by their name. UPI

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Donald Trump Goes West -- And Faces Big Hurdles
Donald Trump heads west this week, campaigning and raising money in diverse, heavily Latino states like New Mexico and California -- and insisting that his favorability ratings among minority voters are on the upswing as he turns his attention to the general election. But he faces more daunting hurdles here in the West than perhaps any other region of the country, most significantly the traditional battleground states of Colorado and Nevada -- and possibly even Arizona -- as he attempts to chart his course to 270 electoral votes. Trump will officially win the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the Republican nomination when California holds its primary. After riding his wave of anti-immigrant rhetoric to the top of the GOP, Trump and his allies have sought to shift the political conversation to his opportunities in the industrial Midwest. CNN

Officer Acquitted On All Charges In Freddie Gray Case
A Baltimore officer was acquitted Monday of assault and other charges in the arrest of Freddie Gray, dealing prosecutors a significant blow in their attempt to hold police accountable for the young black man's death from injuries he suffered in the back of a police van. A judge also found Officer Edward Nero not guilty of reckless endangerment and misconduct in office, saying he acted as any reasonable officer would and only touched Gray after he was in handcuffs. As the verdict was read, Nero dropped his head down and his attorney placed a hand on his back. The courtroom was quiet. When the judge said he was not guilty, Nero stood up and hugged his attorney, and appeared to wipe away a tear. "The state's theory has been one of recklessness and negligence," Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams said. "There has been no evidence that the defendant intended for a crime to occur." CNS News
VOA VIEW: The persecution of officers continues to fail.

Obama GoingTo Hiroshima To 'Reflect On Nature Of War'
President Obama will not "revisit the decision to bomb Hiroshima," nor will he apologize for it, when he visits Japan in a few days, a White House spokesman said on Friday. According to the president himself, he plans to "reflect on the nature of war" when he visits the first city ever to be devastated by a nuclear bomb. In an interview with Japanese national broadcaster NHK on Sunday, Obama said, "Since I only have a few months left in the office, I thought it was a good time for me to reflect on the nature of war. Part of my goal is to recognize that innocent people caught in war can suffer tremendously. "And that's not just the thing of the past. That is happening today in many parts of the world." Obama, as president, has had seven and a half years to reflect on the nature of war. CNS News

Head Of Security For TSA Removed From Post
The head of security for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has been removed from his position, the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee said on Monday on Twitter. The House panel, which held a hearing May 12 on long lines at airport security checkpoints, did not give a reason for Kelly Hoggan's dismissal as TSA assistant administrator for security operations. Members of the committee criticized the TSA for awarding over $90,000 in bonuses and awards to Hoggan over a 13-month period. Reuters

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Netanyahu To French PM: Hold Direct Israeli-Palestinian Talks In Paris Without Preconditions
France should hold direct Israeli and Palestinian talks at its June 3 parley in Paris on the frozen peace process, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his French counterpart when the two met in Jerusalem on Monday afternoon. “If you really want to help launch peace, then help us launch direct negotiations with [Palestinian Authority] Mahmoud Abbas,” Netanyahu said, as he suggested that the French amend their new peace initiative so that it becomes a platform for such talks. “I'm ready to clear my schedule and fly to Paris tomorrow. Well, I think tomorrow we're expanding the government, but the day after tomorrow. “And it's an open offer. I will clear my calendar, and I hope that this is taken up by you and by the Palestinians. Jerusalalem Post

Pope Francis Meets Top Sunni Cleric After Five-Year Freeze
Pope Francis has met the grand imam of Cairo's al-Azhar mosque after a five-year pause in dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the mosque, the highest authority of Sunni Islam. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb visited the Vatican en route to a Paris conference involving Muslims and Catholics. Al-Azhar froze meetings in 2011 after taking offence at some comments made by the previous pope. It said Pope Benedict made "repetitive and negative statements" about Muslims. At the start of the half-hour meeting on Monday, the Pope said that the fact it was taking place at all was significant. BBC

Landmark North Yorkshire Fracking Operation Approved
The first fracking operation in England since a ban was lifted in 2012 has been approved. North Yorkshire County Council considered a bid by Third Energy to extract shale gas at a site near Kirby Misperton in Ryedale. Hundreds of protestors attended a meeting in Northallerton to voice anger at the project, which was previously recommended for approval. The council's planning committee voted seven to four in favour. A number of objections from people opposed to the plans were heard over the course of two days prior to the decision. BBC

Most Victims Of US Mass Shootings Are Black, Data Analysis Finds
A new analysis of 358 mass shootings in America in 2015 found that three-quarters of the victims whose race could be identified were black. Analysis Could more gun control have stopped 2015's deadliest mass shootings? In 2013, Barack Obama proposed changes to US gun law and was dramatically defeated. We analyze the possible effect of those policies in the 20 largest mass shootings of this year. Roughly a third of the incidents with known circumstances were drive-by shootings or were identified by law enforcement as gang-related. Another third were sparked by arguments, often among people who were drunk or high. About one in 10 of the shootings were identified as related to domestic violence. In these shootings the majority of victims and perpetrators were white. Domestic violence incidents were also much more likely to be fatal. The 39 domestic violence cases represented 11% of the total incidents but 31% of victims who died. Guardian

Brazil Minister OustedAfter Secret Tape Reveals Plot To Topple President Rousseff
The credibility of Brazil’s interim government was rocked on Monday when a senior minister was forced to step aside amid further revelations about the machiavellian plot to impeach president Dilma Rousseff. Just 10 days after taking office, the planning minister, Romero Jucá, announced that he would “go on leave” following the release of a secretly taped telephone conversation in which he said Rousseff needed to be removed to quash a vast corruption investigation that implicated him and other members of the country’s political elite. It is unlikely to be the last blow for the interim president, Michel Temer, whose centre-right cabinet includes seven ministers implicated by the Lava Jato (Car Wash) investigation into kickbacks and money laundering at the state-run oil company Petrobras. Guardian

Hamas Announces Public Executions That Will 'Take Gaza Past Saudi Arabia'
The Palestinian militant group Hamas is to carry out a string of public executions in the Gaza strip, the patch of territory it controls. The executions were announced by Hamas’s attorney general in Gaza, Ismail Jaber. “Capital punishments will be implemented soon in Gaza,” he said. “I ask that they take place before a large crowd.”
Thirteen men, most convicted of murder connected to robberies, are currently awaiting execution, another Hamas official, Khalil al-Haya, said on Friday at the main prayers. If all those go ahead, Gaza’s execution rate relative to the size of its population will overtake that of Saudi Arabia’s in one go. Telegraph

Zika 'To Be Transmitted In The US Within Weeks,' Warns Expert
Zika will be infecting people within the United States in the next few weeks, the country’s top disease expert has warned. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the US should be doing more to prepare for the onslaught. More than 500 people in the country have contracted the virus, but they have all travelled to Latin America – epicentre of the outbreak. “We already have Zika in the United States. But it is travel related,” said Dr Fauci, speaking in a television interview on Sunday. “The concern is that we will have local transmission; in other words, people who get infected in the United States, get bitten by a mosquito, but who have never left the continental United States. “We fully expect that that will happen as we get to the more robust mosquito season in the next month or so.” Telegraph

Ban Condemns Terrorist Attacks Killing Dozens Of Civilians In Two Coastal Syrian Cities
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the terrorist attacks today that claimed the lives of dozens of civilians in the Syrian coastal cities of Jableh and Tartous. A statement attributable to his spokesperson said that the Secretary-General “takes note with great concern of the escalating military activity in many areas in and around Damascus.” “The violence, particularly in Daraya, Aleppo and Idlib, and in the northern countryside of Homs, especially Al-Houla, is causing mounting civilian casualties,” the Secretary-General said. UN News

Yemen: UN-Mediated Peace Talks Continue Following Trilateral Meeting With Ban In Qatar
The delegation of the Government of Yemen returned to the negotiating table in Kuwait in the latest round of peace talks today, with the United Nations envoy for the conflict-torn country holding a plenary this morning with both delegations, a UN spokesperson said. In Qatar over the weekend, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon participated in a trilateral meeting with the Amir of Qatar and President Hadi of Yemen, which the Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, also attended, according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s office. To President Hadi, the Secretary-General underlined that peace negotiations are rarely smooth, but that there was a need for “commitment and perseverance” by all sides. UN News

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