07 30 2016
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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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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Authorities filed a criminal complaint Thursday accusing the suspect in the shooting at the Family Research Council of a federal firearms violation and assault with intent to kill, the Justice Department announced.

Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, is accused of walking into the lobby of the conservative policy group Wednesday armed with a 9 mm pistol and shooting a security guard, according to authorities.

Corkins is scheduled to appear in court on the charges Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Washington, the Justice Department said in a statement.

The firearms charge accuses Corkins of transporting firearms and ammunition across state lines when he took the Washington subway from Virginia into the city, according to prosecutors. The assault charge is a local District of Columbia offense.

A law enforcement official said the gunman made remarks opposing the council's policies before he fired. Investigators say it is too early to know whether the organization was targeted for its political views, but they made clear that would be part of the investigation.

"We don't know enough yet about him or his circumstances to be able to determine his connection to this group or to the business or to what, you know, mentally what he's doing or thinking. So we're going to try to sort it all out, and pull the evidence together, do as many interviews as we can, and get it all together," FBI Assistant Director James McJunkin said.

FBI spokeswoman Jacqueline Maguire said the case is being worked jointly by the FBI and the Metropolitan Police Department "to determine motive/intent and whether a hate crime/terrorism nexus exists."

Corkins, who lives in Herndon, Virginia, had worked as a volunteer at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. The group provides services and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, a source working with the center told CNN. He received a master's degree from George Mason University's College of Education and Human Development in 2006, the university said.

David Mariner, executive director of the DC Center, released a statement Wednesday night saying he was "shocked to hear that someone who has volunteered with the DC Center could be the cause of such a tragic act of violence.

"No matter the circumstances, we condemn such violence in the strongest terms possible. We hope for a full and speedy recovery for the victim and our thoughts are with him and his family," Mariner said in the statement.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said a man entered the building in downtown Washington, was "confronted by a security guard" and opened fire, striking the guard.

The guard, identified Thursday by a Family Research Council spokesman as Leo Johnson, helped wrestle the gunman to the ground. Called a hero by police, the security officer was in stable condition after being shot in the arm.

"The security officer here is a hero as far as I'm concerned. He did his job. The person never made it past -- farther than the front door," Lanier said.

Steve Biondi, a tourist from New York, said he witnessed the first two police officers arrive at the scene. They ordered the suspect to put the gun down. The man got on the ground and did not appear to put up a fight, according to Biondi.

Police recovered a backpack and a vehicle believed to belong to the suspect, a law enforcement official told CNN.

The suspect's weapon was a legally obtained Sig Sauer 9 mm handgun bought at a gun shop in Virginia within the last week, according to another law enforcement official.

3 killed in shootings near Texas A&M University

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said "our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family."

Launched in 1983, the council says it promotes "faith, family and freedom in public policy and public opinion."

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he was appalled by the incident.

"There is no place for such violence in our society," he said in a statement. "My prayers go out to the wounded security guard and his family, as well as all the people at the Family Research Council whose sense of security has been shattered by today's horrific events."

The National Organization for Marriage, which has actively campaigned against same-sex marriage efforts, also condemned what it termed an attack on the Family Research Council.

"Everything points to the fact that this was politically motivated, and it's totally unacceptable," National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown said in a Thursday appearance on CNN's "Early Start."

Brown called out the hate-tracking group Southern Poverty Law Center for listing the Family Research Council on its website, saying it was equating the group with violent extremist groups.

"The responsibility is on the shooter, but we need to have a civil debate over issues like redefining marriage," he said. "But we should not be attacking and labeling as hate groups those that we disagree. We should condemn violence of any sort, but we should also be responsible."

The SPLC says the Family Research Council defames gays and tries to make the case that the LGBT community is a threat to American society.

Brown said groups such as his are boosting security after the shooting.

CNN's Greg Seaby, Javi Morgado, Paul Courson, Sandra Endo, Mike M. Ahlers and Dan Gilgoff contributed to this report.

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