07 30 2016
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The Wake of Vanport
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  • Russian hackers likely responsible for hacking attack on Clinton HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Giddy if exhausted, Hillary Clinton embarked on a post-convention Rust Belt bus tour just hours after becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. The celebratory mood quickly evaporated amid fresh revelations that hackers had breached a program used by her campaign and Republican nominee Donald Trump promised to sharpen his barbs. "Remember this," Trump said during a rally Friday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "Trump is going to be no more Mr. Nice Guy." And for the first time he encouraged his supporters' anti-Clinton chants of "lock her up." "I've been saying let's just beat her on Nov. 8," Trump said, "but you know what? I'm starting to agree with you." About an hour later, Clinton aides acknowledged that a hacking attack that exposed Democratic Party emails also reached into a computer system used by her own campaign. The FBI said it was working to determine the "accuracy, nature and scope" of the cyberattacks. Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said the newly disclosed breach affected a Democratic National Committee data analytics program used by the campaign and other organizations. Outside experts found no evidence that the campaign's "internal systems have been compromised," Merrill said, but he gave no details on the program or nature of the attacks. Partnerships with modern e-commerce companies can allow sophisticated tracking, categorization and identification of website visitors and voters. President Barack Obama and cybersecurity experts have said Russia was almost certainly responsible for the DNC hack. The House Democratic campaign committee reported Friday that its information had been accessed. The developments followed the leaking of DNC emails earlier in the week that pointed to a pro-Clinton bias by party officials during her primary contest against Bernie Sanders. In the furor that followed, party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz resigned just as Democrats launched their convention. Clinton and her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, will attempt to return attention to their positive economic message on Saturday, with campaign stops through economically struggling areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio. "When we take that oath of office next January, we know we can make life better. We know we can create more good jobs," she told voters gathered at an outside market in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Clinton cited an economic analysis by economist Mark Zandi, a former economic adviser to 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, that found more than 10 million jobs could be created in her first term if her economic proposals were put in place. Zandi's analysis of Trump's plans found they would cost the country 3.5 million jobs and lead to a "lengthy recession." Joined on the bus tour by her husband, Bill Clinton, Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, Clinton stopped at a toy and plastics manufacturer in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, where she and Kaine cast Trump as a con artist out for his own gain. "We don't resent success in America but we do resent people who take advantage of others in order to line their own pockets," Clinton said. Trump is also focusing on Ohio and Pennsylvania, two states where he might make headway with blue-collar white men. That group of voters has eluded Clinton and may be a hard sell after a Democratic convention that heavily celebrated racial and gender diversity. Clinton is playing up economic opportunity, diversity and national security. Democrats hammered home those themes this week with an array of politicians, celebrities, gun-violence victims, law enforcement officers and activists of all races and sexual orientation. Their goal is to turn out the coalition of minority, female and young voters that twice elected Obama while offsetting expected losses among the white men drawn to Trump's message. Democrats continued contrasting their optimistic message with the more troubled vision of the state of the nation presented by Trump and others at the GOP convention a week earlier. Kaine called the "very dark and negative" event a "journey through Donald Trump's mind." "That's a very frightening place," he told thousands of supporters in Philadelphia. Clinton told voters that they faced a "stark choice," calling the coming election the most important one in her lifetime. "This is a moment of reckoning for our country. I don't recognize the country that Donald Trump describes," she said.___Lemire reported from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.
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  • SEATTLE (AP) — Genetically modified wheat not approved for sale or commercial production in the United States has been found growing in a field in Washington state, agriculture officials said Friday, posing a possible risk to trade with countries concerned about engineered food. The Food and Drug Administration says genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are safe and little scientific concern exists about the safety of those on the market. But critics say not enough is known about their risks, and they want GMOs labeled so people know what's in their food. Several Asian countries temporarily banned U.S. wheat imports after genetically modified wheat was found unexpectedly in a field on an Oregon farm in 2013. It also popped up in a field at a university research center in Montana in 2014. It wasn't immediately clear how altered wheat cropped up in Washington. But the U.S. Agriculture Department said there is no evidence it has entered the market. If it did, the FDA concluded that "it is unlikely that the wheat would present any safety concerns if present in the food supply," the department said. A farmer discovered 22 plants in an unplanted field, and the wheat was developed to be resistant to the herbicide known as Roundup, created by seed giant Monsanto, the USDA said. An agency spokeswoman did not know where in the state it was found. Federal officials said they were working with the farmer to ensure that none of the modified wheat is sold. Out of caution, the agency said it is holding and testing the farmer's full wheat harvest, but so far it has not found GMOs. The plants are a type of wheat that had been evaluated in limited field trials in the Pacific Northwest from 1998 to 2001 but never commercialized, Monsanto said in a statement. It said the type found in Washington state is similar to the one discovered in Oregon three years ago; it has the same inserted DNA but in a different location. No variety of genetically engineered wheat has been approved for commercial use or production in the U.S. GMOs are plants or animals that have had genes copied from other plants or animals inserted into their DNA. Most genetically engineered crops are corn and soybeans eaten by livestock or made into popular processed food ingredients like cornstarch, soybean oil or high fructose corn syrup. Only a handful of modified fruits and vegetables are available, including Hawaiian papaya, some zucchini and squash and a small percentage of sweet corn. The FDA also has approved for consumption a genetically engineered salmon that would grow faster than traditional salmon, but it's not yet available in grocery stores. South Korea said Friday that it will inspect U.S. wheat imports for genetically modified wheat, the Yonhap News Agency reported. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it has asked the USDA for information on the unapproved wheat and inspection methods. The USDA said it has validated a test that Monsanto developed for the herbicide-resistant wheat, which would be available to trading partners. "Trading partners will get the tests. I believe that once they have those in place, they'll continue buying," said Glen Squires, CEO of the Washington Grain Commission, a state agency that represents wheat farmers. "We don't anticipate any major disruptions." The USDA also said it has beefed up oversight of genetically engineered field trials and now requires developers to apply for a permit for those involving GMO wheat starting this year. In 2014, genetically modified wheat plants were found at a university research center in Huntley, Montana, where it was legally tested by Monsanto in the early 2000s. The plants in eastern Oregon were found in a field that had never conducted such tests, and the USDA closed its investigation two years ago unable to determine how the wheat got there. Different strains were found in each state. The Washington Association of Wheat Growers and the Washington State Agriculture Department referred questions to federal authorities.
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  • Six current or former state employees were charged Friday with misconduct and other crimes in the Flint water crisis 
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  • Hillary Clinton cast herself as a unifier for divided times, an experienced leader steeled for a volatile world 
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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Their country's misery was never far from their hearts.

Thousands dead or missing. Villages erased. Homes destroyed.

The players on Japan's women's World Cup team invoked the slow recovery from a devastating tsunami and earthquake time and again. Whatever they could do, they vowed, they would.

True to their word, the gleaming World Cup trophy will ride back on the plane with them - a prize, they hope, that will lift the gloom, even if only for a short while.

"Before we went to the match tonight we had some commentary on television and we heard comments on the situation in Japan," coach Norio Sasaki said after Japan upset the Americans for the World Cup title in a riveting final Sunday night, 3-1 on penalty kicks, after coming from behind twice in a 2-2 tie.

"We wanted to use this opportunity to thank the people back home for the support that has been given."

This was Japan's first appearance in the final of a major tournament, and it hadn't beaten the Americans in their first 25 meetings, including a pair of 2-0 losses in warm-up games a month before the World Cup. But the Nadeshiko pushed ahead, playing inspired soccer and hoping their success could provide even a small emotional lift to their nation, where nearly 23,000 people died or were reported missing in the March 11 catastrophe.

Following each of their games in Germany, the players made a solemn parade around the field with a banner that read, "To our Friends Around the World - Thank You for Your Support." Before Japan upset Germany in the quarterfinals, Sasaki showed his players images of the destruction to remind them of their higher purpose.

"They touched us deep in our souls," star Aya Miyama said about the photos at the time.

And they responded in kind. Joyous fans wearing Japan jerseys hugged and sang in Tokyo as they watched the players hold the trophy aloft, confetti swirling around them and flecking their hair with gold. Special newspaper editions were printed by the national papers and handed out to pedestrians in Tokyo on Monday morning, while scenes from the game were replayed constantly on television.

It was the first World Cup title won by an Asian country.

"If any other country was to win this, then I'm really happy and proud for Japan," Carli Lloyd said. "Deep down inside I really thought it was our destiny to win it. But maybe it was Japan's."

As the Japanese players celebrated, the Americans watched in stunned silence. Through every comeback, to every last second, they believed they were meant to be World Cup champions after their rocky year - needing a playoff to qualify, a loss in group play to Sweden, the epic comeback against Brazil.

They simply couldn't pull off one last thriller.

"The players were patient. They wanted to win this game," Sasaki said. "I think it's because of that the Americans scored only two goals."

The Americans squandered countless chances before Abby Wambach scored in the 104th minute of overtime to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead.

But Homare Sawa, flicked in a corner kick in the 117th to tie it. It was the fifth goal of the tournament for Sawa, who led all scorers in her fifth World Cup.

"We ran and ran," Sawa said. "We were exhausted, but we kept running."

The Americans had beaten Brazil on penalty kicks in a quarterfinal, but they didn't have the same touch Sunday. Give feisty goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori credit for some of that. Chirping and yelling, she showed no fear as she faced the Americans. Never mind that she is just under 5-foot-7, and the goal is 8 feet high and 24 feet across.

Shannon Boxx took the first U.S. shot, and it banged off Kaihori's right leg as she dove. After Miyama made her penalty, Lloyd stepped up and sent her shot soaring over the crossbar. As the crowd gasped, Lloyd covered her mouth in dismay.

After Kaihori's impressive two-handed save on a shot by Tobin Heath, Mizuho Sakaguchi converted Japan's third kick. One more, and Japan would win the title.

Wambach made her penalty kick, but Saki Kumagai buried hers and the rest of the Japanese players raced onto the field.

"This is a team effort," Kaihori said. "In the penalty shootout I just had to believe in myself and I was very confident."

It's been 12 years since the United States has won the World Cup, and these players were certain they were the ones to break the drought. They'd needed to beat Italy in a two-game playoff just to get into the World Cup, then lost two games in a three-month span, an unusual "bad streak" for the defending Olympic champions.

After easy wins in their first two games in Germany, the Americans lost to Sweden - their first loss ever in World Cup group play.

But they rallied with one of the most riveting finishes ever in a World Cup game - men's or women's - against Brazil in the quarterfinals. Down a player for almost an hour and on the verge of making their earliest exit from a major tournament, Wambach's magnificent, leaping header in the 122nd minute tied the game.

The Americans beat Brazil on penalty kicks and, just like that, a nation was hooked.

Hollywood celebrities, pro athletes, even folks who don't know a bicycle kick from a Schwinn were captivated by the U.S. women and charmed by their grit and can-do attitude that is proudly American.

The final set the record for tweets per second, eclipsing the wedding of Prince William and Kate and the death of Osama bin Laden. The exciting climax drew 7,196 tweets per second, according to Twitter. Paraguay's penalty shootout win over Brazil in a Copa America quarterfinal later the same day came close to beating it with 7,166.

The previous record of 6,939 was set just after midnight in Japan on New Year's Day. Other spikes include bin Laden's death (5,106 per second) and the Super Bowl in February (4,064).

President Barack Obama was a fan, taking to Twitter on Sunday morning to wish the team well, and his staff posted a tweet after the loss.

"Couldn't be prouder of the women of (hashtag) USWNT after a hard-fought game. Congratulations to Japan, Women's World Cup Champions."

The U.S. fell to a team to whom the victory meant so much more than just a title.

"It just seemed like all of Japan suffered so much," Wambach said. "It seemed like their country needed them to win more than ours."

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