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Grace Mugabe absent from S.Africa summit as assault claim lingers

Grace Mugabe absent from S.Africa summit as assault claim lingers Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe failed to appear Saturday at a summit in South Africa attended by her husband, an event overshadowed by her effort to obtain diplomatic immunity over assault allegations. The wife of President Robert Mugabe has not been seen since being accused of attacking a 20-year-old model with a electrical extension cord last weekend in a Johannesburg hotel where the couple's two sons were staying. The alleged assault is a political headache for South Africa and Zimbabwe, close neighbours with deep economic and historical ties.


Florida officer dead, five others hurt in three unrelated shootings

Florida officer dead, five others hurt in three unrelated shootings In Kissimmee, south of Orlando, Florida, two uniformed officers came under fire after approaching a group of people in a neighborhood where drug dealing is a problem, Police Chief Jeff O'Dell said at a news conference. Officer Matthew Baxter, 27, was killed, while Sergeant Sam Howard was in "grave, critical condition and the prognosis does not look good," O'Dell said.


Solar eclipse presents first major test of power grid in renewable era

Solar eclipse presents first major test of power grid in renewable era By Ruthy Munoz HOUSTON (Reuters) - As Monday's total solar eclipse sweeps from Oregon to South Carolina, U.S. electric power and grid operators will be glued to their monitoring systems in what for them represents the biggest test of the renewable energy era. Utilities and grid operators have been planning for the event for years, calculating the timing and drop in output from solar, running simulations of the potential impact on demand, and lining up standby power sources. It promises a critical test of their ability to manage a sizeable swing in renewable power.


Thousands take to streets in Boston protest against hate speech

Thousands take to streets in Boston protest against hate speech Thousands of people in Boston protested a "Free Speech" rally featuring right-wing speakers on Saturday, with hundreds of police mobilized to prevent a recurrence of violence that left a woman dead at a Virginia white-supremacist protest last week. In historic Boston Common park alone, hundreds of protesters who believe the event could become a platform for racist propaganda dwarfed the few dozen rally participants. The number of protesters was poised to swell exponentially as a march with thousands more people bore down on the park.


Thousands take to streets in Boston protest against hate speech

Thousands take to streets in Boston protest against hate speech Thousands of people in Boston protested a "Free Speech" rally featuring right-wing speakers on Saturday, with hundreds of police mobilized to prevent a recurrence of violence that left a woman dead at a Virginia white-supremacist protest last week. In historic Boston Common park alone, hundreds of protesters who believe the event could become a platform for racist propaganda dwarfed the few dozen rally participants. The number of protesters was poised to swell exponentially as a march with thousands more people bore down on the park.


Trump, first lady will not attend Kennedy Center Honors: White House

Trump, first lady will not attend Kennedy Center Honors: White House By Jonathan Landay WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will not attend the Kennedy Center Honors in December, the White House announced on Saturday, after several honorees said they would boycott a White House reception before the show. The Kennedy Center also said in a statement the White House reception "will no longer take place." The White House said the president and first lady would not take part in the Kennedy Center Honors "to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction." The announcement came after television producer Norman Lear, singer Lionel Richie and dancer Carmen de Lavallade said they would not attend the White House reception that was set to take place prior to the Dec. 3 annual gala event.


Duke University removes contentious Confederate statue after vandalism

Duke University removes contentious Confederate statue after vandalism The decision to take down the statue followed discussions among students, faculty, staff and alumni about maintaining safety on campus, university President Vincent E. Price said in a statement. "I took this course of action to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of our university," Price said. The prestigious university will preserve the statue of Lee, who led Confederate forces in the American Civil War of 1861-1865, and use it as an educational tool so that students can study "Duke's complex past," Price added.


Tribes hope for renewal in solar eclipse; not all will watch

Tribes hope for renewal in solar eclipse; not all will watch FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — While much of the country gawks at the solar eclipse, Bobbieann Baldwin will be inside with her children, shades drawn.


The interview that got Steve Bannon fired

The interview that got Steve Bannon fired Steve Bannon was forced out of the White House after he labelled members of the white supremacist movement "clowns". Mr Bannon downplayed the danger posed by Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi sympathisers and revealed his ambition to dominate anti-Trump groups focused on "race and identity" in an interview with left-wing magazine The American Prospect on Tuesday. The Breitbart News boss's combative remarks came as Republicans and Democrats called for him to be removed from his post following Donald Trump's controversial response to the Charlottesville attacks which left one dead and dozens injured on 12 August.


Nearly 600 dead in S. Asia floods

Nearly 600 dead in S. Asia floods Nearly 600 people have died and millions have been affected by monsoon floods in South Asia, officials said Saturday, as relief and rescue operations continued. Indian authorities sought military help in two districts of northern Uttar Pradesh state after fresh heavy rains left hundreds of villages marooned. "We have sought army's help to reach out to the affected people," T P Gupta, a senior official from the state's disaster management authority, told AFP.


Powerball jackpot grows to $535 million, fifth largest ever

Powerball jackpot grows to $535 million, fifth largest ever A $2 investment could yield more than a half-billion dollars in the Powerball lottery's fifth-largest jackpot in a 25-year history that is up for grabs on Saturday. The Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs Powerball for 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, said the size of the jackpot increases with the number of tickets sold, and could grow further before the drawing. In the televised drawing set for Saturday at 10:59 p.m. EDT in Tallahassee, Florida, five of 69 white balls and one of 26 red balls - the Powerball - will be randomly selected to form the winning six-digit number.


Millions of Americans to gaze upon Monday's once-in-a-lifetime eclipse

Millions of Americans to gaze upon Monday's once-in-a-lifetime eclipse Twilight will fall at midday on Monday, stars will glimmer and birds will roost in an eerie stillness as millions of Americans and visitors witness the first total solar eclipse to traverse the United States from coast to coast in 99 years. The sight of the moon's shadow passing directly in front of the sun, blotting out all but the halo-like solar corona, may draw the largest live audience for a celestial event in human history. "It will certainly be the most observed total eclipse in history," astronomer Rick Fienberg of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) said last week.


Avoid force with North Korea, Invest in research in Africa, Bermuda parties' different campaigns, An ally's help for Taiwan, More vegetables for everyone

Avoid force with North Korea, Invest in research in Africa, Bermuda parties' different campaigns, An ally's help for Taiwan, More vegetables for everyone “[T]he UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution imposing additional sanctions on North Korea, after Pyongyang carried out two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests...,” states an editorial. “US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley insisted that the resort to force against North Korea is not off the table yet, at least in theory.


Readers write: Prioritizing options, difference-makers

Readers write: Prioritizing options, difference-makers Robert Klose’s July 3 Home Forum essay, “We waited, and it was worth it,” rightfully pointed out that people have lost the pleasure of anticipation because so much is instantaneously available. Since almost everything can be done right now, we must be constantly prioritizing our options.


Pakistan holds state funeral for German nun who fought leprosy

Pakistan holds state funeral for German nun who fought leprosy Pakistani soldiers on Saturday carried the flag-draped coffin of German-born Catholic nun Ruth Pfau to a state funeral where she was honored after devoting her life to eradicating leprosy in the country. Widely known as Pakistan's Mother Teresa, Pfau died last week in the southern city of Karachi at age 87. Mourners paid their last respects as Pfau's coffin was carried to the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre that she founded before being taken on to St. Patrick's Cathedral for the official service.


Senator McCain completes first round of radiation and chemotherapy

Senator McCain completes first round of radiation and chemotherapy "His resilience & strength is incredible," Meghan McCain, who is a host on the Fox News program "Outnumbered," wrote on Twitter about her father. McCain, 80, who is known for his political independence during three decades in the Senate representing Arizona, was found to have an aggressive form of brain tumor, glioblastoma, after surgery in July for a blood clot above his left eye.


Violence erupts between white nationalists, counterprotestors in Charlottesville: Part 5

Violence erupts between white nationalists, counterprotestors in Charlottesville: Part 5 White nationalists had gathered in the Virginia city to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.


Mayor says Lee statue must go as debate over U.S. slave past rages

Mayor says Lee statue must go as debate over U.S. slave past rages The mayor of Charlottesville called on Friday for a special session of Virginia's legislature to let localities decide the fate of Confederate monuments like the statue at the center of a far-right rally last week that turned deadly. Mayor Mike Signer issued his appeal amid an increasingly contentious debate over what to do with memorials to Confederate figures, who fought for the preservation of slavery during the U.S. Civil War, that are seen by opponents as offensive. In what has become the biggest domestic crisis of his presidency, Donald Trump has been sharply criticized, including by fellow Republicans, for blaming Charlottesville's violence not only on the white nationalist rally organizers, but also the anti-racism activists who opposed them.


Canada struggles with refugee surge from US

Canada struggles with refugee surge from US Soldiers busily assemble tents with wooden floors, lighting and heating in Canada's Quebec province near the US border to temporarily house a surge in asylum seekers from the United States. Children run between rows and rows of the military green tents as their parents line up to speak with immigration officials and file refugee claims. Most of the new arrivals are Haitians who face expulsion from the United States at the end of the year.


Far-right protests leave U.S. cities scrambling to balance safety, free speech

Far-right protests leave U.S. cities scrambling to balance safety, free speech By Sarah N. Lynch and Lisa Lambert WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cities across the United States are seeking ways to head off the kind of violence seen in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend when white nationalists and neo-Nazis clashed with counter-protesters over the planned removal of a Civil War-era statue. As they step up efforts to pull such monuments from public spaces and brace for a right-wing backlash, municipalities are re-evaluating their approaches to crowd control, permits, weapon regulation and intelligence gathering. White supremacists have been emboldened by statements from President Donald Trump.


California man on delayed honeymoon among Barcelona victims

California man on delayed honeymoon among Barcelona victims A 43-year-old California man on a delayed honeymoon was among the 13 people killed when a van plowed through a popular pedestrian area in the Spanish city of Barcelona, his family said on Friday. Jared Tucker and his wife had gone to Barcelona to celebrate their first anniversary in the form of a belated honeymoon. Walking in the area of the famous Las Ramblas boulevard on Thursday, he had gone to find a restroom when he was struck down by the van, his wife Heidi Nunes Tucker told KGO television in San Francisco.


Far-right protests leave U.S. cities scrambling to balance safety, free speech

Far-right protests leave U.S. cities scrambling to balance safety, free speech By Sarah N. Lynch and Lisa Lambert WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cities across the United States are seeking ways to head off the kind of violence seen in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend when white nationalists and neo-Nazis clashed with counter-protesters over the planned removal of a Civil War-era statue. As they step up efforts to pull such monuments from public spaces and brace for a right-wing backlash, municipalities are re-evaluating their approaches to crowd control, permits, weapon regulation and intelligence gathering. White supremacists have been emboldened by statements from President Donald Trump.


Solar eclipse to be streamed live for first time, from balloons

Solar eclipse to be streamed live for first time, from balloons By Nathan Frandino CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - Next week's solar eclipse will be streamed live online for the first time, from the vantage point of helium-filled balloons across the United States, providing the public with sky-high views as the moon blocks the sun. A team of researchers from Montana State University has partnered with NASA to participate in the Space Grant Ballooning Project to send more than 50 high-altitude balloons 80,000 feet (24,384 meters) up to capture the solar eclipse as it crosses the country on Aug. 21. "We'll see the variations from coast to coast to see what the eclipse does over landscapes," Cassandra Runyon, director of the South Carolina Space Grant Consortium, said excitedly at a test launch on Thursday.


Judge rejects bid by Polanski's 1977 rape victim to end case

Judge rejects bid by Polanski's 1977 rape victim to end case A Los Angeles judge on Friday rejected a request by the woman who was raped by director Roman Polanski 40 years ago to have the criminal case against him dismissed. The ruling follows the first appearance in June in the case by Samantha Geimer, who was 13 years old when Polanski sexually assaulted her in Los Angeles in 1977.


Six Flags drops Confederate flag from Texas park: papers

Six Flags drops Confederate flag from Texas park: papers Six Flags Over Texas, faced with criticism over its longstanding display of a Confederate flag at its main amusement park, has decided to remove the item and display U.S. flags instead, local newspaper reports said on Friday. A Confederate flag at the park located between Dallas and Fort Worth has been on display since it opened in 1961. The theme park had six sections, each under a flag representing the nations that had sovereignty over the territory or the state of Texas.


No Human Remains Found In Search For Natalee Holloway: Prosecutor

No Human Remains Found In Search For Natalee Holloway: Prosecutor Dave Holloway, father of missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway, said on national television this week that he found human bones in Aruba, where his daughter vanished a dozen years ago, and submitted them for DNA testing.


Tillerson says one American dead in Spain attack

Tillerson says one American dead in Spain attack A San Francisco area man on a delayed honeymoon was among the 13 people killed in Thursday's attack in Spain, his family told a local television station on Friday, hours after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed that an American citizen was dead. Jared Tucker, 43, had gone to Barcelona to celebrate his first anniversary in the form of a belated honeymoon when he became separated from his wife as they were walking, his father, Dan Tucker told KGO television in San Francisco. Jared Tucker's wife, Heidi Nunes Tucker, told the station that her husband had gone to find a restroom when the attackers struck, plowing into a crowd of pedestrians with a van.


Huge Confederate flag near Interstate is one man's mission

Huge Confederate flag near Interstate is one man's mission TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Marion Lambert is unapologetic about the abundance of Confederate flags that surround him.


No sanctions for Detroit jail's group strip searches: court

No sanctions for Detroit jail's group strip searches: court By a 2-1 vote, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati rejected claims that the county and a jail deputy should have known the searches were unreasonable, and violated inmates' constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment. Amanda Sumpter sued over three searches conducted by the female deputy that she found invasive and humiliating, including when she was allegedly told she smelled like a "funky monkey," and a fourth in a cellblock allegedly visible to male guards.


Mayor says Lee statue must go as debate over U.S. slave past rages

Mayor says Lee statue must go as debate over U.S. slave past rages By Brandon Shulleeta RICHMOND, Va. (Reuters) - The mayor of Charlottesville called on Friday for a special session of Virginia's legislature to let localities decide the fate of Confederate monuments like the statue at the center of a far-right rally last week that turned deadly. Mayor Mike Signer issued his appeal amid an increasingly contentious debate over what to do with memorials to Confederate figures, who fought for the preservation of slavery during the U.S. Civil war, that are seen by opponents as offensive. In what has become the biggest domestic crisis of his presidency, Donald Trump has been sharply criticized, including by fellow Republicans, for blaming Charlottesville's violence not only on the white nationalist rally organizers, but also the anti-racism activists who opposed them.


In the shadows of a racist past, Boston braces for a far-right rally

In the shadows of a racist past, Boston braces for a far-right rally The “Boston Free Speech Rally,” is scheduled for Saturday, just one week after a protest at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., turned deadly.


Chicago activist loses US citizenship, will be deported

Chicago activist loses US citizenship, will be deported An activist known for helping Arab women in the Chicago area lost her U.S. citizenship Thursday and will be deported for failing to disclose convictions for bombings in Jerusalem decades ago.


Spouse hostility may worsen chronic low back pain

Spouse hostility may worsen chronic low back pain Women back-pain sufferers and those with depressive symptoms were the most vulnerable to spousal criticism, whether the harsh attitude was just perceived or overtly expressed, the study authors report in the journal Pain, online August 8. “Most studies of spouse and family interactions with people with chronic pain have focused on the positive effects of adequate social support,” said lead author John Burns of Rush University in Chicago. Spouse criticism can lead to increased pain, even up to three hours later and patient pain such as grimacing, groaning and straining can lead to increased spouse criticism up to three hours later, Burns said he found in a prior study.


Big city biotechs decamp for suburbs as property costs rise

Big city biotechs decamp for suburbs as property costs rise The biotech industry is facing high rents and tight lab space in Boston, New York and San Francisco, forcing companies into the suburbs in a sign the "live, work and play" movement into big cities may have hit a roadblock. For example, Modern Meadow, a biotech start-up poised to manufacture leather from the fermentation of natural collagen protein without using live animals, was looking at a prohibitive $200 million cost to build its own lab and manufacturing facility in New York City.


In cities that vote blue, no immunity from racism

In cities that vote blue, no immunity from racism As she has watched white leftists engage in street battles with white nationalists on Portland’s waterfront, Debi Smith has been struck with a sense of gratitude for those willing to fight, in a sense, for her. After all, Ms. Smith has also watched black people, by both choice and force of circumstances, leaving the City of Roses, their numbers declining since 2010. Progressive to its core, Portland is also America’s whitest big city – in part the troubling legacy of Oregon’s founding goal in the 19th century of creating a white utopia through exclusionary laws.


California mass killer spared death penalty over prosecutor misconduct

California mass killer spared death penalty over prosecutor misconduct A California man convicted of the worst mass killing in Orange County history was spared the death penalty on Friday after a judge found that serious misconduct by prosecutors had violated his rights to a fair trial. The ruling means that, barring a successful appeal, former tugboat worker Scott Dekraai, 47, will be sentenced to life in prison for killing eight people in a 2011 shooting rampage at a Seal Beach hair salon. "If this case had been prosecuted from the outset by the Orange County District Attorney within the most fundamental parameters of prosecutorial propriety, this defendant would likely be living alongside other convicted killers on California's Death Row," Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals wrote in a 19-page ruling.


Three girls under 10 found slain in Maryland home

Three girls under 10 found slain in Maryland home Three girls under 10 years of age were found slain on Friday in a Maryland home and police have launched an investigation into the killings, officials said. A family member who returned to the home in Clinton, a suburb of Washington, discovered the bodies and called police at about 7:30 a.m. EDT. The girls were pronounced dead by fire department personnel, Prince George's County police spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan said.


U.S. State Department email restored after global outage

U.S. State Department email restored after global outage The U.S. State Department's email service has been restored after an approximately half-day outage, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Friday. State Department officials worldwide stopped receiving emails on the agency's unclassified system around 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT) on Friday, officials said.


Roadblocks, weapons bans as Boston braces for 'Free Speech' rally

Roadblocks, weapons bans as Boston braces for 'Free Speech' rally By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Boston officials are planning road blockades and even banning food vendors from the historic Boston Common as they step up security around a "Free Speech" rally on Saturday featuring right-wing speakers, aiming to avoid a repeat of last weekend's violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia. Saturday's rally has drawn intense concern from city and state officials following the violence in Charlottesville, when white supremacists at a "Unite the Right" rally fought in the streets with anti-racism protesters.


U.S. Court curbs power of police to seize cellphones

U.S. Court curbs power of police to seize cellphones The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia's Circuit threw out a D.C. man's criminal conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, saying in a 2-1 ruling that the police found the weapon only because they drafted an "overly broad" search warrant. "The assumption that most people own a cell phone would not automatically justify an open-ended warrant to search a home anytime officers seek a person’s phone," Judge Sri Srinivasan said in a decision joined by Judge Nina Pillard. The man at the center of the case, Ezra Griffith, was suspected by Washington police of acting as the getaway driver in a 2011 murder.


Glitch Or Promo? Amazon Echo Dot Is Free Right Now

Glitch Or Promo? Amazon Echo Dot Is Free Right Now The Amazon Echo Dot is free on Amazon at checkout thanks to an apparently unlisted "Audible Promo" offer.


The Clever Way High School Boys Protested Their School's Sexist Dress Code

The Clever Way High School Boys Protested Their School's Sexist Dress Code Students from San Benito High School in Hollister, California, are protesting their school’s sexist dress code in a pretty awesome way.


Insys agrees to pay $4.45 million to resolve Illinois opioid lawsuit

Insys agrees to pay $4.45 million to resolve Illinois opioid lawsuit Insys Therapeutics Inc has agreed to pay $4.45 million to resolve a lawsuit by Illinois' attorney general claiming it deceptively marketed an addictive fentanyl-based cancer pain drug for off-label uses. The settlement, announced by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Friday, will resolve claims that Insys illegally marketed its product Subsys to high-volume prescribers of opioid drugs instead of to oncologists treating cancer patients. "It's unethical, greedy behavior by companies like Insys that is responsible for creating the opioid epidemic and resulting overdose deaths in our state," Madigan said in a statement.


Tillerson condemns racism, calls for national reconciliation

Tillerson condemns racism, calls for national reconciliation U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a forceful condemnation of "bigotry in all its forms" on Friday and called for national reconciliation as he promised to work toward making the government more racially diverse.


Charlottesville mayor wants special session to remove Confederate statue

Charlottesville mayor wants special session to remove Confederate statue NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charlottesville's mayor called on Friday for a special session of Virginia's legislature to let localities determine the fate of Confederate monuments like the statue at the center of a far-right rally that turned deadly there last weekend.


South Africa has granted Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity: source

South Africa has granted Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity: source By Ed Cropley JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa has granted diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe's first lady, Grace Mugabe, allowing her to return to Harare and avoid prosecution for the alleged assault of a 20-year-old model, a security source said on Friday. South African police had put border posts on "red alert" to prevent Mugabe fleeing and indicated she would receive no special treatment in the case involving Gabriella Engels, who says Mugabe whipped her with an electric extension cable. A security source, however, said immunity had been granted.


Erdogan tells Turks in Germany to vote against Merkel

Erdogan tells Turks in Germany to vote against Merkel By Bulent Usta ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats were enemies of Turkey and called on Turks in Germany to vote against major parties in next month's elections. The comments, some of Erdogan's harshest yet against Merkel, drew a furious response from Merkel, her government and some Turkish organisations in Germany, illustrating the widening divide between the NATO allies and major trade partners. "I am calling on all my countrymen in Germany: the Christian Democrats, SDP, the Green Party are all enemies of Turkey.


Five suspected terrorists shot dead by police in Cambrils, Spain

Five suspected terrorists shot dead by police in Cambrils, Spain Spanish police shot dead five would-be attackers after confronting them early on Friday in Cambrils, south of Barcelona where hours earlier a suspected Islamist militant drove a van into crowds, killing 13 people.


American Among 14 Dead in Spanish Terror Attacks

American Among 14 Dead in Spanish Terror Attacks The U.S. State Department has confirmed that another American citizen suffered minor injuries in the attack.


The Difference Between George Washington and Robert E. Lee

The Difference Between George Washington and Robert E. Lee The former helped created the United States of America; the latter betrayed it.