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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 A judge dropped a hit-and-run charge against Chris Brown after the singer reached a "civil compromise" with his accuser Thursday.

It was not immediately clear if the dismissal would stop the revocation of Brown's probation he has faced since the traffic charges were filed last month.

"It's unfortunate that Chris had to go through this in the first place," Brown's lawyer Mark Geragos told CNN after a hearing Thursday. "Sometimes I get the impression that he's prosecuted for who he is as opposed to what he's done, and that's unfortunate."

Brown, 24, has been in legal hot water since February 2009 when he was charged with domestic violence after beating his then-girlfriend, Rihanna.

In addition to the probation revocation triggered by the traffic incident this summer, the Los Angeles County district attorney has accused Brown of violating probation by fraudulently reporting that he had completed the community labor ordered as part of his sentence for beating Rihanna.

Brown is set to be in court Friday for the judge to set a date for a probation revocation trial, which could send him to jail.

Geragos said the driver who accused Brown after a traffic accident in May did not get any money in her settlement with his client.

"She did not want to pursue this," he said. "She did not understand that this could even be a criminal matter and said she didn't want to pursue criminal charges."

The city attorney who was prosecuting the case objected to the compromise because of Brown's felony probation status and his allegedly aggressive behavior in the incident.

Olga Gure told investigators that after Brown's Range Rover rear-ended her Mercedes on a Los Angeles street, he "went ballistic" and screamed at her.

Gure said Brown shouted at her: "You are a b---h!"

The report added more from Gure, who quoted Brown as saying, "Who do you think you are, b---h? Do you think if you driving Mercedes so got money, b---h? Do you think I am just a black n----r? I got more money than you, beech!"

The trigger for Brown's alleged rage was that Gure took a photo of him and his girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, to document the scene because he allegedly refused to show her his driver's license, she said.

When Brown tried to grab the camera, Tran screamed, "Don't touch her, don't touch her," Gure said.

"I was so shocked that I was speechless," she said, according to the report. "Just a moment ago he was a nice guy. After screaming some insulting nonsense for a while longer, he slammed a door and drove away, fast and noisy."

Brown was ordered to return to court on Friday for a hearing to set a trial date to determine if the probation revocation will stand. If it does, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Brandlin could order Brown to jail to serve part of the original five-year jail sentence imposed for the attack on Rihanna.

Brown punched Rihanna inside a rented Lamborghini on a Hollywood street, leaving her face bruised and bloody on the eve of the Grammy Awards in February 2009.

He entered a guilty plea seven months later and was sentenced to serve five years probation and to spend more than 1,400 hours in "labor-oriented service" for the assault conviction. The judge allowed him to serve the sentence in Richmond, Virginia, under the direct supervision of the police chief.

In a court filing in February, prosecutors accused Brown of not completing the community labor. The paperwork Brown submitted to show he had completed community labor is "at best sloppy documentation and at worst fraudulent reporting," District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. Brown wasn't in town on some of the dates reported, the motion said.

Geragos, Brown's attorney, said the prosecutor's filing was so fraudulent that he would ask the judge to punish the deputy district attorneys involved and call for a contempt of court hearing for filing false documents with the court.

"And I don't mean just false, it is fraudulent," Geragos said.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has "tortured" Brown during his probation more than any client he's ever had, Geragos said.

The prosecutor is asking the judge to order him to restart his 1,400 hours of community service under the supervision of a Los Angeles probation officer.

CNN's Topher Gauk-Roger contributed to this report.

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