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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The rain didn't keep people away from a march in solidarity with the family of Trayvon Martin last Saturday on North Killingsworth Street. The event was called by Portland mayoral candidate Cameron Whitten. Helen Silvis photo

 

In response to the Trayvon Martin shooting, around 80 men and 20 women gathered at Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI) this past week to discuss police brutality and strategic action in the Black community.

"We wanted to meet and figure out what people can do individually to change their communities," says Blake Dye, organizer of the event. "I don't think the Black community in Oregon communicates well. There are a lot of people of common interest but we just don't know it."

The event, billed as "The Conversation," was put on by the Phi Beta Sigma, a fraternity that runs on a social justice platform.

Males of different ages, backgrounds, occupations and faiths attended the event. Dye dismissed members of the major news media so participants would feel more comfortable expressing their views and emotions.

The meeting began with an outpouring of anger at not just the Trayvon Martin shooting, but the killings of Black men, specifically in Portland.

"There was a lot of pain in the room," says Dye. "People needed to be heard. They needed other Black men to hear who they were."

Some men shared experiences of having family members killed while others expressed thoughts on the age gap. One man even proposed entering the bicycle industry to spur economic empowerment, after telling his story of working for years at Freightliner.

While Dye acknowledges that the sharing of emotions was important, he says he didn't want it to be two hours of emotional rehashing.

The men broke into three groups to discuss specific ideas and strategies. These smaller groups were facilitated by the three main speakers of the event, Johnny Lake, Andrae Brown and Marcus Sharpe. Some of the topics included family, community and police brutality.

Each smaller group developed a list of ideas to present to the larger group when it reconvened at the end of the event.

Debates over some topics were heated but Dye says they produced a number of productive ideas.

One plan that came out of the family and community discussions was the need for parents to create a language to better communicate with teachers and school administrators. This was part of a larger discussion on the importance of getting involved in children's education because students today don't see the value of it as much as past generations.

Another point that was discussed in detail was the need to get involved in local government.

Dye, who sits on the Marion County Sheriff's Community Adviser Board, uses himself as an example.

"There are 16 members and I'm the only Black person," he says. "My presence is important so they understand that the Black community cares."

Lastly, speakers and participants in "The Conversation" encouraged attendees to get involved in organizations in the community, including the Urban League, gang outreach and mentoring programs.

"Our goal wasn't to create another organization," says Dye. "We wanted to reinvigorate the organizations that already exist in the community. There's a job for everyone."

Originally, the event was billed as a Black male's meeting. However, a number of women responded to the invitation, so a separate classroom was used to facilitate a question and answer session between them.

"From the point of view of the men, they were happy to be among themselves," says Teressa Raiford, who did marketing for "The Conversation."

Raiford said there were a number of spirited conversations on topics that included what women expect from the men in their communities and what women can do collectively to enact change.

She says there was a heated debate among different generations of women about the role of men. Specifically, she says older women came with the point of view that men should already have certain values instilled in them while younger women argued that younger men were not taught some of the values of the older generation due to a different upbringing.

Another major topic was having discussions with Black children on how they will be perceived by the police and authority figures.

"I had to have a discussion with my son about why it's not safe to jog at 4:30 in the morning," says Raiford. "He thought it was his clothes and told me his gear was fine. I had to tell him that the gear was his skin.

"There is a certain generation that doesn't want to hear it. It's hard to have that discussion because it affirms a lack of value. Our goal was to figure out how to direct this info to our children without telling them they have no self worth."

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