Top News Stories for Today – November 4, 2016
US warns about possible al-Qaida attacks in 3 states
US intelligence officials have warned local authorities in New York, Texas and Virginia about possible attacks by al-Qaida on Monday, a day before the US presidential election, CBS News reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources.
No specific locations were mentioned, but US intelligence officials alerted joint terrorism task forces about the possible threat, CBS reported. Local authorities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin and Florida told Reuters they were not boosting election-related law enforcement personnel or resources above 2012 levels. VOA
FBI opens internal investigation into Twitter account
The FBI has been plagued by infighting and intradepartmental clashes after Director James Comey wrote to Congress last Friday to disclose newly discovered emails potentially pertaining to the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
In the midst of the tension, the FBI has opened an internal investigation into one of its own Twitter accounts, @FBIRecordsVault, which appeared to be promoting anti-Clinton records at the same time it was sharing positive documents about Donald Trump; federal law prohibits the bureau from attempting to use its power to influence the election. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has said that President Obama “doesn’t believe that Director Comey is intentionally trying to influence the outcome of an election,” but the president himself implicitly criticized Comey’s decision to inform Congress about emails, saying Wednesday: “We don’t operate on innuendo, we don’t operate on incomplete information, and we don’t operate on leaks.” The Week, The Wall Street Journal
Iraqi troops oust ISIS from parts of Mosul
Iraqi forces have taken control of several districts in eastern Mosul, the military said Friday. Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Thursday said there could be “no retreat” for his forces as Iraqi soldiers and their allies pushed into the city, ISIS’ last major stronghold in Iraq.
“This raging battle and total war, and the great jihad that the state of Islam is fighting today, only increases our firm belief, God willing, and our conviction that all this is a prelude to victory,” al-Baghdadi told supporters. CNN, Reuters, The Week
South Korean president takes blame for scandal
South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday took sole blame for a scandal involving allegations that a personal friend used their relationship to extort money from businesses. Park apologized, promising to submit to questions and cooperate fully with prosecutors investigating her friend Choi Soon-sil.
“I again deeply apologize for causing an immeasurable disappointment and worry,” Park said. “All this is my fault, caused by my negligence.” Park said she put too much faith in her friend, saying: “I feel a sense of shame and ask myself, ‘Is this the reason I became president?'” The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Week
Scientists find clue to track resistance to Malaria drug
Scientists have discovered genetic markers in malaria parasites linked to resistance to the key anti-malarial medicine piperaquine, and say their work could help doctors and health officials monitor and limit the spread of such resistance.
In research published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, the team also said a simple test using blood taken from a finger pinprick could show whether a malaria patient has parasites with the genetic markers, allowing doctors to prescribe an alternative treatment.
Resistance to piperaquine recently emerged in Cambodia and has led to the failure of malaria treatment there. This and other spreading areas of drug-resistance are threatening global efforts to eliminate the mosquito-borne disease. Piperaquine is a powerful drug used in many parts of the world in combination with another anti-malarial drug called artemisinin. VOA
Clinton’s lead over Trump narrows: Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump has narrowed to three percentage points as the Nov. 8 presidential election nears, down from nine points in mid-October and four points on Oct. 4, according to a New York Times/CBS News Poll released Thursday. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, had the backing of 45 percent of likely voters in the national poll; GOP nominee Trump had 42 percent. Respondents largely agreed on one thing: Eight in 10 said the nasty campaign had left them more repulsed than enthusiastic. Polls also shifted in key battlegrounds, with Clinton pulling nearly even with Trump in Georgia while he regained an edge in Arizona.The Week, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal
Report says FBI sources say anti-Clinton sentiment exists inside agency: Anti-Hillary Clinton sentiment inside the FBI is prompting leaks meant to damage her campaign before the election, several current and former bureau employees told The Guardian. Reuters narrows the scope to the FBI’s New York field office, reporting that according to “two law enforcement sources” familiar with New York operations, “a faction of investigators based in the office is known to be hostile to Hillary Clinton.” “The FBI is Trumpland,” one agent told The Guardian. Another said the agency is “Trumplandia,” and Clinton is the “antichrist personified to a large swatch of FBI personnel. The reason why they’re leaking is they’re pro-Trump.” The large number of leaks follow FBI Director James Comey’s unusual decision to inform Congress of new developments in the Clinton email case. The Week, The Guardian, Reuters
Close Presidential race in Texas drives early voting turnout: Recent polls in the southwestern US state of Texas show an unexpectedly tight race between presidential candidates Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. In the past few presidential elections in the state, the Republican candidate won by a margin of 10 points or more. Republican candidate Mitt Romney won by more than 15 percent in 2012. With its 38 electoral votes — second only to California — Texas is the foundation upon which any Republican victory in a presidential race must be built. While most political analysts and pollsters believe Trump will win the Lone Star State, no one can be sure. VOA
Judge deals Trump a setback in poll monitoring: In a blow to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, a US judge Thursday upheld a Pennsylvania state law that could make it difficult for his supporters to monitor Election Day activity in Democratic-leaning areas. Trump has repeatedly said Tuesday’s presidential election may be rigged, while providing scant evidence, and he has urged supporters to keep an eye out for signs of voting fraud in Philadelphia and other heavily Democratic areas. VOA
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