07 30 2016
  2:17 am  
     •     
read latest

breaking news

The Wake of Vanport
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • 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.
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • Six current or former state employees were charged Friday with misconduct and other crimes in the Flint water crisis 
    Read More
  • Hillary Clinton cast herself as a unifier for divided times, an experienced leader steeled for a volatile world 
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- They call him Prisoner X.

Media reports have described him as a man who hanged himself in an Israeli prison cell. But details about what happened to him -- and why -- have long been hard to come by.

The case -- shrouded in mystery -- sparked a government gag order that for two years stopped local journalists in Israel from telling his story, according to local media reports.

For years, Israeli government officials repeatedly declined to comment on the prisoner's death, which was first reported by the Ynetnews website in 2010.

Now, a new report about the man many media have dubbed "Prisoner X" -- because his name was never been revealed -- is sparking widespread debate in Israel over government censorship, and about the country's prison system.

According to an investigative report this week from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which did not disclose its sources, Prisoner X was a duel citizen of both Australia and Israel and was recruited to join Israel's Mossad spy agency. The report identified him as Ben Zygier, alleging he was detained in 2010.

Details about why he was reportedly held in a high-security prison outside Tel Aviv, and what led to his death, remain unclear, according to the ABC report.

"The case is regarded as one of the most sensitive secrets of Israel's intelligence community, with the government going to extraordinary lengths to stifle media coverage and gag attempts by human rights organizations to expose the situation," ABC Foreign Correspondent Trevor Bormann wrote.

Several prominent Israeli media organizations wrote stories about the Australian report, then were asked to remove stories about it from their website by government censors, according to Israel's Haaretz newspaper and an editor CNN spoke to.

A culture of censorship

All journalists who apply for a government-issued Israeli Press Card must sign a documents agree to the military censorship. According to the agreement, journalists will not publish security information that could benefit Israel's enemies or harm the state.

Breaking the rule could result in card revocation, and foreign journalists could lose their visas to work in the country.

In recent years, the censorship mechanism for checking scripts and pictures has rarely been practiced. Controls over content have faded more and more with the Internet as more freedom of information passes into the public domain.

Israeli lawmakers voice concerns

But word of the Australian report and subsequent Israeli government censorship quickly rang out in the halls of Israel's Knesset, with some lawmakers sharply criticizing the government's handling of the matter.

"We hear, in a state that is supposed to be a proper democracy, that journalists are cooperating with the authorities without the high court ruling that the case is a certain and imminent danger to the security of the state," said Israeli Parliament member Zahava Gal-On, leader of the Meretz Party. "When unknown prisoners commit suicide and nobody knows who he is, how does that fit with a democracy with law which is proper?"

During the Knesset session, another lawmaker asked Israel's justice minister about the case, point blank.

"Do you know about this? Can you verify the fact that an Australian citizen committed suicide in an Israeli prison under a made-up identity and the fact was not published that he was a prisoner in a prison in Israel?" asked Ahmed Tibi, a member of the Knesset.

Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman said the matter should be investigated, but that he could not answer the questions "because the subject is not under the jurisdiction of the Justice Ministry."

On Wednesday, a district court in central Israel lifted part of the gag order and ruled that local media could quote foreign publications' reporting on the case, but also said they could not do their own reporting on the story.

Later that day, a statement from an Israeli court appeared to publicly confirm details about the case for the first time.

The statement, released by the court in the partial lifting of the gag order, described a "prisoner who was both an Israeli citizen and a foreign national."

"The inmate was registered under a false identity for security reasons, but his family was notified immediately upon his arrest," the statement said.

The court document also said the prisoner was found dead in his cell two years ago, and that a judge ordered an investigation into his death.

The death was recently ruled a suicide, the statement said, and authorities are investigating whether there was negligence in the case.

Additional details in the case cannot be revealed "for reasons of state security," the document said.

Lawyer: I spoke with the prisoner shortly before his death

Human rights lawyer Avigdor Feldman said he met with the prisoner a day or two before he allegedly committed suicide.

At the time, Feldman said, the prisoner had no been tried or convicted, but was indicted and in pre-trial imprisonment.

"His wife asked me to go and see him and look into some legal questions which he had," Feldman told CNN.

Feldman said he met with the prisoner "as a lawyer who was asked not really to represent him, but to consider his legal options. It's quite common."

Feldman said while he was not aware of the details of the cell, "it is supposed to be suicide proof."

When asked why the prisoner was being held and reports about his dealings with Iran, Feldman answered, "I can't comment unless you want to come and visit me in prison."

Australia also seeks answers

The latest developments prompted Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr to request an internal report on the case.

"I'm advised in the form of an interim report that the Australian government was informed in February 2010, though intelligence channels, that the Israeli authorities had detained a dual Australian-Israeli citizen, and they provided the name of the citizen, in relation to serious offenses under Israeli national security legislation," Carr told a Senate committee Thursday.

He did not mention what the alleged "serious offenses" were.

Carr said Australia sought specific assurances from Israel, such as that the detainee would get legal representation of his choosing and that he would not be mistreated.

"At no stage during his detention did the Australian government receive any requests from the individual or his family to extend consular support," Carr said.

"The Australian government was advised through intelligence channels on December 16, 2010, (of) this individual's death on the previous day, and the deceased's family had been notified by Israeli authorities," Carr said.

The Australian embassy in Tel Aviv assisted in returning the body to Australia, Carr said.

Sharp criticism over secrecy

As authorities stay tight-lipped about details of the man's case, speculation continues to swirl.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel said it sent a letter to Israel's attorney general about the case on Wednesday, criticizing the censorship and calling for the gag order to be scaled back further.

"What is far more concerning, of course, is the fact that a man was held in detention under heavy secrecy, and nothing was published about the reason for his arrest or the circumstances surrounding his death," wrote Dan Yakir, the association's chief legal counsel.

The letter argues that there is "considerable public interest" in more information about the investigation into the death of Prisoner X.

"Was it really suicide? Was there negligence in the supervision of the detainee? Has any official body taken responsibility? What steps have been taken to prevent the recurrence of similar events in the future?" Yakir asked.

Israeli government officials have made no further comments on the case.

CNN's Neda Farshbaf contributed to this report.

 

Carpentry Professionals
Calendar

PHOTO GALLERY

Oregon Shakespeare Festival The Wiz

Hood to Coast 2016