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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Ronisha Harris talks about her anguish at knowing witnesses are too scared to testify against her brother's killer.

PHOTO: Ronisha Harris talks about her anguish at knowing witnesses are too scared to testify against her brother's killer. Harris called on authorities and the community to do more to provide safety to witnesses. Later, the witness support group agreed to tackle the problem. More about Ronisha Harris.

Dozens of people crammed into the community room at the Northeast precinct Monday evening to join the Enough is Enough campaign against violence in Portland communities.  

Ervaeua-Herring

The latest victim, young mother Ervaeua Herring, 21, was shot around 5 a.m. Sunday Aug. 17 at her apartment in Southeast Portland.

Photo from Ervaeua Herring's Facebook page. She had a baby son who was not present when she was shot. 

"I care about the issues in our nation. I'm watching Ferguson,"  said Antoinette Edwards, director of the Office of Youth Violence Prevention. "Where is our outrage? That somebody knocked on the door, knocked on doors until they found someone --a young woman --and gunned her down. Where is our outrage there?

"Do we value our lives? That's what this is about tonight."

Strong feelings were in evidence. In the first few minutes a disagreement arose, after Woody Broadnax asked what the mayor was going to do, and how much money the city would commit to the issue.  Broadnax left after Edwards said the meeting was about what the community wants to do, not about the mayor or money.  (To read about the mayor's prevention agenda click here.)

Edwards asked family members who had lost loved ones to violence to kick off the meeting. Perlia Bell spoke about the loss of her daughter, Asia Bell,in 2002 in a shooting that left Bell's husband blinded and four children without their mother.

"It's time to stop labeling (this as about) gangs and African Americans," Bell said. "Let's just say crime; let's just say victims; let's just say pain. Let's call it what it is...I'm glad to be at this meeting. I believe it will move forward and there will be changes."

Group-webBell was followed by other family members of victims.

Brenda Davis, who lost her son in 2009 to violence said she believed the community could make change.

"It's an awful, awful feeling to lose a child especially to senseless violence," she said. "The pain never ends, but the violence can."

Lucy Mashia whose son Leonard James Irving Jr. was killed in 2011, said she was there to make it stop.  

"They've got so bold they're kicking doors in and murdering women," Mashia said.  "These are cowards. Men don't shoot innocent people. These people are cowards and they are holding our community hostage. People are not speaking up and telling what they know.

"My son's murder has not been solved and we know who did it. Tell me how that works. The whole community knows who killed my son but nobody wants to come forward. They're allowing those cowards...to hold them hostage."

Ronisha Harris, who lost her brother Durieul in a shooting outside the Fontaine Bleau nightclub in November 2013, also spoke of her frustration that none of the many witnesses had been brave enough to speak out. But she also said she was frustrated that witnesses had no protection.

"There's a difference between snitching and telling what you know," she said. "So let me explain something: When you tell what you know and our officials don't protect you, then you decide not to tell."

Harris says the shooter made a rap video celebrating the murder but police can do nothing about it. 

The meeting broke into groups to address:

Counseling to deal with trauma in families of victims (and perpetrators)

Creating a "speakers bureau" of family members to tell their stories

Creating a media campaign to encourage witnesses to come forward

Working with witnesses and supporting them as they testify

Joining walking groups to engage with the community: Connected and Eleven:45

How to remember the lost loved ones through events and through supporting families through holidays

Pastor-M-webPHOTO: Suzanne Watson, Pastor Minnieweather, Larry Collins and others worked on crafting a message to encourage witnesses to speak out.

The groups began work at the meeting. The witness support group is looking at ways to give practical help to those whose lives may be in danger. More help is needed. To join a group or help out call the Office of Youth Violence Prevention at 503-823-4180.

Royal Harris, brother to Ronisha and Durieul, said if George Zimmerman could raise hundreds of thousands in a month, it should be possible to crowd-fund witness support money to help a family resettle in safety.

Edwards said it's up to us to change the culture of silence about crime. It starts with bullying and with parents telling children not to be a telltale when somebody beats them up or steals from them, she said. The message that children need to toughen up silences them and devalues their feelings, she said. 

 "What are we saying? Do we not deserve to have our feelings be heard?"

And the 100 witnesses who saw who killed Durieul Harris would not be "snitching" if they turned the shooter in.

"Snitching is: both of you all go into a store and you're stealing something. You're going to tell on him, and he's going to tell on you so you can get less time. That's not what this meeting about. This is about people sitting here hurting. And we're walking around being traumatized because of a street code, retaliation.

"it's about being accountable and having closure. And we're not throwing anyone away. I believe in Restorative Justice, but it's about accountability and what we do to address this.

"How can it become historic. How can it become courageous to speak the truth?"

 

 

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