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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(CNN) -- The past week has been a devastating one for many families. Zubeidat Tsarnaev's is one of them.

But the mother of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing remains resolute in her belief that her sons were not involved in the attack.

She told CNN's Nick Paton Walsh in Makhachkala, Dagestan, that she believes the tragedy that killed three people and injured dozens more was staged and that the bombing was fake.

Zubeidat Tsarnaev has seen a video supporting the idea that it was "something like a really big play," she said, with "paint instead of blood like it is made-up."

Does she really believe that?

"That's what I want to know, because everybody's talking about it: that this is a show, that's what I want to know. That's what I want to understand," replied Tsarnaev.

Paton Walsh asked whether she had seen the news images of the actual bombings and the suffering they caused.

"I haven't," she answered.

But her disbelief wavered when she spoke of the victims.

"I really feel sorry for all of them. Really feel sorry for all of them," she said, her voice cracking. But she is convinced that her sons, Dzhokhar, 19, and Tamerlan, 26, were not involved.

"There is something wrong," she said as she sought to articulate her confusion.

The elder son was killed after the two allegedly violently resisted and fled police.

Tamerlan's body remains unclaimed. Dzhokhar is hospitalized with severe injuries and faces terrorism and murder charges.

His mother said at a news conference Thursday that authorities "already told us they will not let us see Dzhokhar."

'I have nothing'

She broke down in sobs as she tried to describe her torment as a "loving mother of two kids" faced with the events of the past week.

"This is really crazy. I can't even, I can't even describe it," she told Paton Walsh, looking drained. "I have no strength. I have nothing. I have no sleep. I am just like dead. Like a dead person."

Her husband, Anzor Tsarnaev, is expected to step off a flight in the United States in the coming days after a long journey from Dagestan.

She is not expected to fly with him. Zubeidat Tsarnaev is wanted on 2012 felony charges of shoplifting and property damage in Massachusetts, according to court officials.

The family lived there before she jumped bail, and they moved the same year to Dagestan, a semi-autonomous region of Russia, officials said.

She told Paton Walsh that she would like to travel to the United States. "I really want to see how it is going to end," she said. "I want to see my Tamerlan, if it's possible."

The felony charges weren't "a big deal" and are unimportant to her, she said.

"What I care about is only the death of my oldest son, who I think was killed, and my youngest one, who is really ... needs the support."

U.S. officials had shown her and her husband "pictures of dead body of Tamerlan," she said at the news conference. "I did not look. I could not believe it is my son."

Anzor Tsarnaev may be bringing along important information for the investigation into the April 15 marathon bombings.

He is to depart for the United States as soon as Friday, said human rights activist Kheda Saratova, who is serving as the parents' representative.

The father has said he will cooperate in the investigations into the alleged crimes of his sons.

'Because they were Muslim'

On Wednesday, FBI agents were in Makhachkala -- a city that Tamerlan Tsarnaev called home for several months in 2012 -- to talk with the suspects' parents.

The conversation, which included members of Russia's federal security service, ended Wednesday evening, the suspects' mother told Saratova.

Both parents have publicly said they believe their children are innocent and were framed: "just because they were Muslim," as Zubeidat Tsarnaev put it.

When asked whether she thinks her younger son will get a fair trial, she replied, "Only Allah will know."

The Tsarnaevs are originally from the troubled Russian republic of Chechnya but fled from the brutal wars there in the 1990s. The two brothers were born in Kyrgyzstan and then lived in Dagestan and moved at different times to the United States.

The family's adopted republic has become a focus for investigators, especially given that Tamerlan Tsarnaev went there during a six-month trip to Russia last year.

On two occasions before that -- in March and late September 2011 -- Russian authorities asked U.S authorities to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Zubeidat Tsarnaev said the FBI had visited her family "several times" in 2011 with questions about Tamerlan's "Islamic interests."

"They said that they ... just think that Tamerlan is a kind of ... little on radical side of Islam and they just don't want ... they are keeping their eye on, you know, the boys, like young boys like Tamerlan so any bombing any like explosion won't happen in America. On the streets, like on the streets."

The FBI investigators told her there was nothing wrong with that, they just wanted everyone to be safe, she said.

The Tsarnaevs and Misha

A friend named Misha, whom Tamerlan met in the United States, steered the older suspect toward a more devout practice of Islam, Tamerlan's relatives have said.

"Tamerlan was close friends with him, so they think that Misha made him ... become more deeply religious," Zubeidat said.

She was impressed with the Armenian convert to Islam, who seemed "very intelligent, nothing wrong." He suggested that she cover her hair with a scarf, which she did.

"When Misha visited us ... he just opened our eyes, you know ... really wide about Islam. He was really, he's devoted, and he's very good, very nice man," Zubeidat Tsarnaev said.

Tamerlan's uncle Ruslan Tsarni had a less favorable opinion.

"This person just took his brain," he said. "He just brainwashed him completely."

Tamerlan, a former Golden Gloves boxer, left the ring and stopped listening to music under Misha's influence.

Elmirza Khozhgov, a former brother-in-law of the brothers, said the elder Tsarnaev brother introduced him to a man named Misha, but "I didn't witness him making him radical."

Zubeidat declined to be drawn on which mosques her son frequented, saying he went to any mosque he could go to. Media reports have focused on the Kotrova mosque in Makhachkala.

And she vehemently denied reports that Tamerlan had sent her text messages talking about the radical nature of his faith and that he was ready to die for Islam.

But, she said, he was always in her thoughts.

"I remember him always, always from the first day that he was born, there was no day that I don't remember him. ... He was the most caring son," she said.

CNN's Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

 

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