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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Marijuana edibles

This April 18, 2014 file photo shows edible marijuana products on display at a medical marijuana dispensary in Denver. Colorado's marijuana experiment is under threat by the very popularity of eating it instead of smoking it, so the pot industry is joining health officials and state regulators in studying the problem of consumers eating too much too quickly. They plan to meet Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at Children's Hospital Colorado to discuss the potency and serving size of pot edibles. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's marijuana experiment is threatened by the popularity of eating it instead of smoking it, leading the pot industry to join health officials and state regulators to try to curb the problem of consumers ingesting too much weed.

A task force that's meeting Wednesday planned to start work on refining Colorado's rules on edibles, the industry term for marijuana that has been concentrated and infused into food or drink.

"Basically, we are trying to figure out how to come up with a reasonable THC concentration or amount in edibles in proportion to product safety size," said Dr. George Sam Wang of Children's Hospital Colorado, a pediatric emergency physician who has treated children and toddlers who fell ill after eating marijuana.

Marijuana-infused foods are booming in the state's new recreational market.

Some choose edible pot because of health concerns about smoking the drug. Others are visitors who can't find a hotel that allows toking and are stymied by a law barring public outdoor pot smoking. Whether through inexperience or confusion, many are eating too much pot too quickly, with potentially deadly consequences.

A college student from Wyoming jumped to his death from a Denver hotel balcony last month after consuming six times the recommended dosage of a marijuana-infused cookie. And earlier this month, a Denver man accused of shooting his wife reportedly ate pot-laced candy before the attack, though police say he may have had other drugs in his system.

The deaths have underscored a common complaint from new marijuana customers — they say they don't know how much pot to eat and then have unpleasant experiences when they ingest too much.

Colorado already limits THC — marijuana's intoxicating chemical — in edible pot products to 10mg per serving, with a maximum of 10 servings per package. Exact comparisons are tricky because marijuana varies widely in potency and quality, but 10mg of THC is considered roughly equivalent to the amount in a medium-sized joint.

Edibles must be sold in opaque, childproof containers that explicitly warn the product contains marijuana and hasn't been tested for safety or potency. Colorado also bans retailers from adding concentrated pot to a premade food item, such as injecting cannabis oil into a branded candy bar, though the move is common among home cooks.

In Washington state, where retail sales don't begin until July, edible pot products will have the same 10mg serving size, with a maximum of 10 servings per package, said Brian Smith of the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which is regulating recreational pot sales.

Meanwhile, Colorado authorities are scrambling to do more to rein in edibles given the recent deaths and complaints. State lawmakers are considering legislation that would require edibles — the cookies and candies themselves, not just the wrappers — to be marked and colored to indicate they contain pot.

Another bill would reduce possession limits on concentrated marijuana, such as cannabis oils used in brownies or cookies. Both bills have passed the House and await Senate hearings Thursday.

Marijuana industry groups have supported the bills, even as they warn that edible pot is just as legal as the leafy, dried drug that's rolled into joints and smoked.

"All of us want to make sure people are safe," said Meg Collins, executive director of the Denver-based Cannabis Business Alliance and a member of the task force. "The industry is stepping up and is looking at the best ways to educate and communicate to its customers safe ways to recreate with marijuana."

Wang, the pediatrician, said Colorado also wants to help make sure children aren't inadvertently exposed to the drug by confusing edible weed with traditional treats.

"What's the best way to approach this? I think we have to figure out whether that's the right dose and what is the most scientific way to decide what's in a dose," Wang said.

The task force had no immediate deadline for suggesting new regulations on edibles.

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