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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Cannon Lambert Sr. and family members at a news conference

 MICHAEL GRACZYK, JASON KEYSER, Associated Press

HEMPSTEAD, Texas (AP) — While Sandra Bland's family maintains that the woman found dead in a Texas jail cell would not have taken her own life, authorities are pointing to mounting evidence that they say shows she hanged herself.

An autopsy showed that marks around Bland's neck were consistent with suicide by hanging, and her body showed no signs of defensive injuries suggesting a struggle, according to Waller County prosecutor Warren Diepraam.

The 28-year-old Bland had about 30 small cuts on her wrist that were probably self-inflicted within the last few weeks, Diepraam said. Some lacerations or abrasions also were found on her wrists that he said were consistent with a struggle while being handcuffed.

Bland, who was from the Chicago area, was arrested during a traffic stop in Texas three days before she was found hanging in her cell on July 13. Her family and friends dispute the official finding that she killed herself using a noose fashioned from a plastic garbage bag.

Texas Rangers and the FBI are investigating. The county district attorney has said the matter will be turned over to a grand jury, which does not meet again until August.

A woman who occupied a jail cell next to Bland said Bland was emotional and wept often during her three days in jail.

Alexandria Pyle told KTRK-TV of Houston that Blandwas "sort of distraught" that a friend had not come to bail her out of jail. She said Bland told her she "was not equipped" for incarceration and thought she was the victim of an injustice.

Pyle said she heard no signs of a struggle in the cell.

Booking documents filled out for Bland after her arrest indicate she told staff at the jail that she was taking medication for epilepsy, though other documents said she wasn't taking medication.

Her sister, Sharon Cooper, told The Associated Press on Thursday that Bland suffered from seizures about a decade ago but had not in recent years and wasn't on medication.

Jail-intake documents also contained other inconsistencies. For example, one questionnaire said Bland took pills in 2015 in an attempt to kill herself after losing a baby, but a separate form filled out by another jail employee said the suicide attempt occurred in 2014.

Authorities said any contradictions in the jail documents were the result ofBland'sinconsistent answers to jailers' questions.

Cooper said her sister had a miscarriage in May 2014 but got through it. Cooper also said she was not aware of any suicide attempt.

Asked if her sister could have been getting treatment without relatives knowing, Cooper said the family's five sisters were "above board" with each other and, if anything, "overshared."

"If it was happening, I would have known," she said.

Preliminary results of an independent autopsy arranged by the family showed bruising to deep muscle tissue in Bland's back, consistent with the officer having his knee there, Cooper said. She would not say if there were other findings. Full results will not be in for a couple of weeks.

Preliminary results of the Texas autopsy also showed thatBlandhad marijuana in her system, which Diepraam said was worth noting because it could be "relevant to her state of mind."

Bland's death comes after nearly a year of heightened national scrutiny of police and their dealings with black suspects, especially those who have been killed by officers or died in police custody. Bland's case has resonated on social media, with posts questioning the official account and featuring the hashtags #JusticeForSandy and #WhatHappenedToSandyBland.

Bland's family has said she was not despondent and was looking forward to starting a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University.

Blandposted a video to her Facebook page in March, saying she was suffering from "a little bit of depression as well as PTSD," or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Cooper said that "everyone has peaks and valleys" and that the Facebook video might indicate her sister was just having a bad day or a bad few days.

___

Keyser reported from Chicago.

___

Online:

Dashcam video from the Texas Department of Public Safety:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaW09Ymr2BA

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