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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After a chorus of cries for social justice echoed through the streets of Brazil for days, protesters called for a time out Wednesday. Despite the anticipated lull in street marches, the government will beef up security with the deployment of elite police officers and firefighters.

The protests, which started over a hike in bus fares, have had some effect.

A handful of states have passed laws to lower the price of a city bus ticket since protests began, and politicians elsewhere showed signs of bending to the public pressure Tuesday, saying they may also notch fares back down.

But reducing the price would come at a cost, Sao Paulo's mayor said after a meeting with Free Fare representatives.

"This means less investment in other areas," Fernando Haddad said.

Local health care and education in the city could suffer as a result.

Not satisfied

Protesters didn't buy it.

"The money is there," Free Fare spokeswoman Marina Ramos said in Sao Paulo on Tuesday.

It's about how it's spent, and that's what the massive demonstrations have been about, she said.

Protesters say the poorest are being short-changed while the government spends the large bills on new stadiums and glitzy infrastructure for the soccer World Cup Brazil is hosting next year and the Olympic Games coming in 2016.

They complain that corruption is driving up the costs.

The country's investment in those projects includes money for health and public transportation, Deputy Sports Minister Luis Fernandes has said.

"There is absolutely nothing contradictory between organizing a World Cup and investing in health and education," he said.

But such assurances have not been enough for protesters, who will crank marches back up Thursday. Tens of thousands have confirmed online that they will take to the streets once more cry to out against high taxes and living costs, and for better health care and better education.

Bigger, more festive

Wednesday's day off is nothing out of the ordinary for Brazilian protesters, who also took Saturday and Sunday off. But it stands in glaring contrast to the loud, voluminous demonstrations that reverberated across several cities a day earlier.

Crowds originally protesting bus fares grew into multitudes decrying social injustice on Tuesday as broad avenues filled to capacity for blocks.

There were over 200,000 confirmed participants, according to the main organizer, the Free Fare Movement.

The protests come amid the soccer Confederations Cup tournament, a friendly array of matches, in which the host country, Brazil, plays against a small group of national teams from around the globe. The cup serves as a precursor to the World Cup.

The National Force, made up of specially trained firefighters and police officers, will deploy to states hosting the games, the Ministry of Justice said late Tuesday.

The government has stressed that the force's mission is to mediate and not repress.

Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff, told peaceful protesters Tuesday that their message was being heard.

She praised them as active participants in democracy and said her government is committed to "social transformation."

Police for the most part stood back, and the atmosphere has grown festive and loud, with throngs singing and beating drums.

"It actually reminded me of Carnival in Rio," protester Fernando Jones said. "All along the avenue, people supporting the cause kept switching their lights on and off in their offices and shouting their support from the windows."

Path of rubble

But hidden in the peaceful multitudes were bands of rowdies, who kicked down doors and broke windows; looted shops, tipped over cars and set them on fire.

It left a trail of rubble down the protest routes.

Amandeep Gill woke up to the smoldering aftermath Tuesday morning.

The American, who lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, took video of smashed store fronts as he arrived at his workplace and posted it to CNN iReport.

Smoke rose out of looted shops. Across the street, a row of ATMs stood bashed, with their electronic guts hanging out.

His colleagues saw the trouble ignite the night before from their office window, they told him.

"They witnessed a car set on fire in front of our building," Gill said. "They told me they were worried that the building would catch on fire."

While asking police to back off from peaceful protesters, Dilma has condemned "isolated and minor acts of violence," telling police to confront them "with vigor."

Gill's colleagues in Rio won't let vandalism keep them off the streets.

They plan to join in Thursday's marches -- peacefully.

Shasta Darlington reported from Sao Paulo; Mariano Castillo wrote from Atlanta; CNN's Micheal Pearson, Marilia Brocchetto and Ben Brumfield also contributed to this report.

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