Top news stories for today – August 10, 2016
US win more gold in Rio
Tuesday in Rio, Team USA’s Michael Phelps earned his 20th and 21st gold medals after winning the men’s 200m butterfly and men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, and Katie Ledecky received her second gold of the Games after winning the women’s 200m freestyle.
Earlier, the The US women’s gymnastics team won gold, besting second-place China by a dominant 8-point spread. The team — Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian — was the heavy favorites heading into the team competition and successfully repeated Team USA’s gold-medal win in London in 2012. On the tennis court, 2012 gold medalist Serena Williams was defeated in straight sets by Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, who won 6-4, 6-3. NBC, Sports Illustrated, The Week
16 year old girl invents wonderful material
Johannesburg schoolgirl Kiara Nirghin, 16, recently won the Google Science Fair’s Community Impact Award for the Middle East and Africa with her submission “No More Thirsty Crops.” Using orange peel and avocado skins, the precocious student created a super absorbent polymer (SAP) capable of storing reserves of water hundreds of times its own weight, forming reservoirs that would allow farmers to maintain their crops at minimal cost. The polymer has the added benefit of sustainability as it uses recycled and biodegradable waste products.
“Kiara found an ideal material that won’t hurt the budget in simple orange peel, and through her research, she created a way to turn it into soil-ready water storage with help from the avocado,” said Andrea Cohan, program leader of the Google Science Fair.
South Africa’s worst drought in recorded history has left eight of the country’s nine provinces in a state of disaster, with thousands of communities and millions of households facing water shortages.
The agricultural union Agri SA has requested over $1 billion in government subsidies to help farmers through the crisis, but a cut-price solution could soon be available — from an unlikely source.
Baltimore police have racial bias
A US Justice Department investigation found that the Baltimore Police Department engages in unconstitutional practices that led to disproportionate rates of stops, searches and arrests of African-Americans, and excessive use of force against juveniles and people with mental health disabilities.
The Department of Justice monitored the department’s policing methods for more than a year at the request of the Baltimore Police Department, after the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in police custody. The report, obtained Tuesday by CNN, attributed the widespread practices to “systemic deficiencies” in training, policies, supervision and accountability structures. CNN
Germany to launch new anti-terrorism policies
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere is set to announce several new measures aimed at curbing terrorism after Islamic State claimed two attacks in the country last month.
According to local media reports, the new policies will allow the deportation of migrants for being a “threat to public security,” speed up the deportation process of migrants convicted of crimes and allow doctors to break their confidentiality agreement with patients if they think the patient could be a risk for launching a terror attack.
The new, stepped-up terror measures came as a response to two terror attacks carried out by migrants in Germany in July – one, an ax attack on a crowded train in Wuerzburg, and the other a suicide bombing in Ansbach. VOA
Texas baby died of Zika-linked Microcephaly
Officials in Texas say a baby whose mother traveled to El Salvador while pregnant has died shortly after birth, in a case attributed to the Zika virus. Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County Public Health, announced Tuesday that the infant, who died a few weeks ago, had microcephaly, a medical condition linked to the Zika infection. Test results Friday confirmed the mother’s Zika infection.
Texas health officials say there have been no reported cases of Zika transmitted by mosquitoes in Texas. This was the second Zika-related death in the United States. The first was an elderly man who died in Utah in June, while battling a Zika infection, as well as other health conditions. The man is believed to have been infected with the virus while traveling abroad, although health officials have not specified where. VOA
Bangladesh ex-MP sentenced to death
A special tribunal dealing with war crimes committed during Bangladesh’s independence war against Pakistan in 1971 on Wednesday sentenced Sakhawat Hossain, a former parliament member belonging to the Jamaat-e-Islami party, to death and seven others to life in prison for murder and other crimes.
Hossain was a central committee member of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami party at the time, and was accused of acting as a local commander of a group that aided Pakistani soldiers. He left Jamaat-e-Islami and joined the Bangladesh Nationalist Party headed by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. At the time of the court case he was involved with Jatiya Party headed by former military dictator H. M. Ershad. His lawyers said they will appeal.
Jamaat-e-Islami party openly campaigned against Bangladesh’s independence in 1971 and formed militia groups to help the Pakistani army crush the uprising. Bangladesh says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women in 1971. VOA
US Presidential election
Opponents Accuse Trump of Calling for Clinton’s Assassination: Speaking Tuesday in Wilmington, North Carolina, Trump said “decimate the Second Amendment,” which guarantees Americans the right to bear arms. “By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know. It is unclear whether Trump was joking when he said “maybe there is.” But his opponents immediately interpreted it to mean that Clinton or the judges should be assassinated. “What Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook tweeted. VOA
‘History is watching’: Dan Rather rips Trump in epic Facebook rant: Dan Rather, formerly of CBS Evening News, took to Facebook in a scathing rant after Donald Trump implied that people with guns could stop Hillary Clinton as president from appointing anti-gun judges.
“When he suggested that ‘The Second Amendment People’ can stop Hillary Clinton he crossed a line with dangerous potential,” Rather wrote in his post Tuesday night. “By any objective analysis, this is a new low and unprecedented in the history of American presidential politics. This is no longer about policy, civility, decency or even temperament. This is a direct threat of violence against a political rival. It is not just against the norms of American politics, it raises a serious question of whether it is against the law. If any other citizen had said this about a Presidential candidate, would the Secret Service be investigating?”
NRA launches $3 million anti-Clinton ad buy: The National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund released a new ad against Hillary Clinton Tuesday aimed at energizing voters concerned about gun rights following the Democratic nominee’s bump in polls in recent days.
“If elected Hillary Clinton will appoint an-anti-gun Supreme Court Justice to overturn our fundamental right to self-protection,” Chris Cox, chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund, said in a statement to USA TODAY about the $3 million ad buy. “That is what this election is about: protecting our individual right to keep a firearm in our home for protection and making sure that there isn’t one set of rules for political elites like Hillary Clinton and a different set for the rest of us.” USA Today
Nearly 20 percent of Republicans want Donald Trump to drop out: The good news for Donald Trump in a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday is that 70 percent of registered Republicans want him to stay in the race as the GOP nominee. On the other hand, 19 percent of Republicans want him to drop out of the race and 10 percent “don’t know.” The numbers are worse when Reuters looked at all registered voters: Forty-four percent say they favor Trump exiting the race, which, Reuters notes, is “9 points higher than his support for the presidency in the latest Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll registered on Monday.” In Tuesday’s tracking poll, Hillary Clinton led Trump by 7 percentage points. Reuters, The Week
Trump dismisses uproar over his controversial Second Amendment comment: Donald Trump has denied advising “Second Amendment people” to take some sort of violent action against Hillary Clinton. “Give me a break,” the GOP presidential nominee told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Tuesday night. Trump specifically blamed the media for the interpretation of his comments: “Media desperate to distract from Clinton’s anti-2A stance. I said pro-2A citizens must organize and get out vote to save our Constitution!” he tweeted. Clinton’s campaign used the comments to fundraise, calling Trump’s suggestion “dangerous.” When asked about the comment, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “It sounds like just a joke gone bad … You never joke about something like that.” Politico, Time, The Week
Watchdog group releases 44 new Hillary Clinton emails: On Tuesday, the conservative group Judicial Watch released 165 pages of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server obtained from the State Department through a Freedom of Information Act request. The emails were from the inbox of Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who also had an account on Clinton’s server, but 44 of the emails were to or from Clinton herself, and were not included in the 30,000 work-related emails Clinton turned over to the State Department, as required by law. In the new emails, Douglas Band, the head of the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative, badgered Abedin about securing a State Department job for somebody and putting a top Clinton Foundation donor Gilbert Chagoury in touch with Jeffrey Feltman, then ambassador to Lebanon. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Week
Why Christopher Shays voting for Hillary Clinton: Christopher Shays was a Republican US representative from Connecticut from 1987 to 2009. She said “During the 34 years I served as a Republican elected official in Connecticut, 13 years in the State House of Representatives, and 21 years in Congress, I always voted for our Republican candidate for governor and our Republican candidate for president. Always, but not this time.”
She also said “Republicans dislike President Obama, and have such a strong dislike for Hillary Clinton, they are willing to vote for a man they know does not have the temperament, knowledge or experience to be president. In fact, I think many Republicans know Donald Trump could cause great damage to our country and the world at large, and still plan to vote for him. But not me. He represents practically everything I was taught not to be, and everything my wife and I taught our daughter not to be.” CNN
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