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Clinton campaign manager: Russians leaked Democrats’ emails to help Donald Trump

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Hillary Clinton laid out her plan to tackle the gun violence problem in America Monday.
Hillary Clinton laid out her plan to tackle the gun violence problem in America Monday.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, indicated that he believes “Russian state actors” had some involvement in the leaked Democratic National Committee emails that show top Democrats writing off Sen. Bernie Sanders’s chances during the primaries.

“There’s evidence Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole those emails, and there are experts saying they are releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump,” Mook told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview that aired Sunday on “State of the Union.” “It’s no coincidence these emails were released on the eve of the convention.”

Mook said the idea that Russia leaked Democrats’ emails to possibly help Trump was “disturbing.”

“We need to be concerned Trump and his allies made changes to the platform to make it more pro-Russian, and we saw him talking about how NATO shouldn’t intervene [in Russian disputes]. So I think when you put it all together, it’s a disturbing picture,” he said.

When Tapper pressed him further, Mook made a connection between the June breach of the DNC’s network by Russian government hackers and WikiLeaks’s publication on Friday of 20,000 emails from DNC officials.

Some of those emails appear to show party officials questioning Sanders’s viability and discussing how to use his faith against him.

“If they are the ones that took them, we have to believe they are the ones releasing them,” Mook said.

He doubled down on that assertion in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.

However they got released, some of the emails could be damaging to the Democratic Party’s attempts to unify at its convention in Philadelphia this week. The DNC is supposed to be neutral throughout the primary process, but Sanders spent much of it accusing the DNC and its chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Fla., of supporting Clinton behind the scenes.

Wasserman Schultz will not speak at the convention, CNN reported.

On Sunday, Sanders repeated his call for Wasserman Schultz to resign. Mook did not go that far in his interviews on Sunday, instead saying, “I’m going to leave that to the DNC because I don’t have all the facts.”

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Amber Phillips

“Obsessed” Teen gunman had been planning German attack for a year

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MUNICH — German police said Sunday the teenage gunman who went on a rampage at a shopping center Friday, leaving nine people dead, had no ties to the Islamic State or other extremist groups, but he had been planning his attack for a year and may have been inspired by a similar assault by another German youth in 2009.

At a news conference, German authorities said evidence continued to support their theory that the gunman was “obsessed” with mass killings and may have been a depressed loner who was bullied in school.

In the southwestern city of Reutlingen on Sunday, a man with a machete killed a woman and injured two others, the Associated Press reported, citing German media reports. He was then arrested by police.

Robert Heimberger, head of the Bavarian criminal police, said the gunman in the Munich attack had last year visited the German town of Winnenden, the scene of a similar shooting rampage seven years ago by a 17-year-old that left 15 students and teachers dead at his former school.

The Munich shooter took photographs at the site, authorities said.

German police also said Sunday it was likely the pistol used in the Munich attack was purchased via the “darknet,” a corner of the Internet where users employ encryption and special software to trade restricted items, pornography, ideas, files and whistle-blowing alerts to circumvent government snooping.

The southern German city’s police chief said investigators searching the assailant’s family apartment found a trove of electronic data and written materials suggesting that he was fascinated by shooting rampages before he went on one of his own Friday afternoon. The items recovered included a book, translated into German, by a U.S. academic on school shootings titled “Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters.”

“He was very intensely interested in the subject,” said the Munich police chief, Hubertus Andrae, who described the mass shooting as a “classic act by a deranged person.”

Authorities did not release the name of the assailant, but German media reported that his name was David Ali Sonboly, the 18-year-old son of a limousine driver and a department store clerk who was born and raised in Munich. The parents migrated to Germany from Iran.

The German Iranian teen may have been the target of intense bullying by peers, police said. In a video taken during the rampage, Sonboly complains of being bullied.

Instead of being inspired by Islamic State terrorism, police investigators said, Sonboly may have been influenced in some way by the Norwegian mass murderer and domestic terrorist Anders Behring Breivik.

Munich authorities said there was “an obvious link” between the Munich shooter and the massacre carried out by Breivik on July 22, 2011.

Friday’s shooting in Munich – the third mass attack in Europe since the Bastille Day truck carnage in Nice, France, this month- took place on the fifth anniversary of Breivik’s attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utoya. Breivik killed 77 people, first by exploding a bomb in a van and then by stalking his victims with a gun at a summer camp. At the time, Breivik released a statement calling for the deportation of Muslims, whom he decried as enemies alongside “cultural Marxists.”

The news service DPA reported, citing a German security official, that the killer had not been known to police but that he admired the teenager who killed 15 people in Winnenden in 2009.

A security officer close to the case, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is active, said the shooter “behaved like he was in a video game.”

The official called the assailant “cold and methodical.” It appeared that he targeted “foreign-looking people” and that he aimed at their heads, he said. In one case, the shooter may have returned to one wounded victim and shot him again, according to video examined by police.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday described Sonboly’s attack as “a night of horror.”

“We’re grieving with a heavy heart for those who will never return to their families,” she said in a brief statement from Berlin after a meeting of her security cabinet. “We’re suffering with them.”

In front of the shuttered Olympia shopping mall, where the rampage took place, mourners left flowers and lit candles under rainy skies. Church bells tolled throughout the day, and flags flew at half-staff.

Stefan Dessner, a retiree, placed a bouquet on the sidewalk. “This was a terrible day,” he said, wondering whether the world was “going crazy.” He mentioned the youth of the victims. Most of the nine killed were younger than 18, including three 14-year-olds. And most of the children had been born to parents with migrant backgrounds.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière cautioned that the killer’s motives were still being investigated but asserted that there were no links to international terrorist groups.

Maizière said that the killer had been “bullied by peers” and that violent video games had probably helped inspire the attack.

Of the victims, Maizière said the young age of many of them “will break your heart.”

“How is it possible for society to prevent these attacks?” he asked, without providing an answer.

Officials said they have found no suicide note or other statement of intent. Sonboly did not have a criminal record but “may have had a mental disorder,” according to Thomas Steinkraus-Koch, Munich’s prosecutor.

Maizière said the use of David as a first name could suggest that the killer had converted to Christianity from Islam. But his parents said he was not a practicing member of any religion, German media reported.

Whatever the killer’s motives, he acted alone, Munich’s police chief said. “We are talking about a perpetrator without any political background,” the Munich prosecutor added.

The rampage, however, appears to have been meticulously planned. Authorities said they were investigating the possibility that the killer had lured his intended victims to a local McDonald’s by hacking into a Facebook account and offering free food.

The restaurant was the scene of the first moments of the killing, with at least four people dying there, after Sonboly emerged from the restroom dressed in black, wearing a red backpack and firing a semiautomatic handgun.

He then crossed the street and entered a mall, continuing to shoot as panic spread. In addition to the dead, 27 people were injured, some seriously.

Amateur video filmed during the rampage shows the shooter’s exchange with a rooftop heckler who swears at him and calls him a foreigner. The assailant shouted back, “I am German!” He also said, “Because of you, I was bullied for seven years.”

The killer was armed with a Glock semiautomatic pistol that had its serial number scratched out, suggesting that it had been obtained illegally. He had about 300 rounds of ammunition and still had multiple cartridges in a bag when he shot himself in the head, ending the slaughter hours after it began.

Merkel acknowledged that the frequency of the recent attacks has been unnerving. But she expressed confidence in German security services and assured the nation that investigators were doing all they could to get to the bottom of both Friday night’s rampage and an ax attack on a train earlier in the week.

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · William Booth

80 Dead As ISIS Claims Twin Blasts During Kabul Protest

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KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 80 people were killed and more than 230 wounded Saturday when attackers detonated explosives amid a huge crowd of peaceful protesters in the Afghan capital, most of them from the country’s Shiite ethnic Hazara minority, Afghan officials said.

Spokesmen for the Islamic State quickly claimed responsibility for the attack at a traffic circle jammed with demonstrators, according to Afghan media. The group’s media office said two ISIS fighters detonated suicide belts among the crowd, in two separate bombings.

The death toll was the highest of any terror attack in the capital after more than a decade of fighting between Taliban militants and Afghan and NATO forces. If indeed carried out by the Islamic State, known as DAESH in Afghanistan, it would be the first major urban attack in Afghanistan by the radical Sunni Muslim terrorist group and could signal its first deliberate effort to target the country’s Shiite minority, which it views as infidel.

Until now, the Middle Eastern-based group has been active mainly in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. The domestic Taliban insurgency has carried out numerous bombings and other attacks in the capital over the past several years .

Until Saturday’s blast, the deadliest single attack in Kabul had been in December, 2011, when about 70 people were killed in a suicide bombing near a mosque where Shiite mourners were observing Ashura, a day that marks killing of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Hussain and his followers in 680 A.D. Bombings took place in two other Afghan cities that day.

On Saturday, the Taliban denied it had any connection with the latest attack. A spokesman for the group, which is also Sunni Muslim, called the bombing “an ominous plot aimed at creating discord among the nation.” During the late 1990s, when the Taliban regime held power in Kabul and most of the country, it banned Shiite religious holidays in public.

Saturday’s bombing took place at a busy traffic circle in West Kabul near a police building, the Kabul zoo, the national university and the national parliament. Hazara protesters had marched and gathered there in the lastest of several large peaceful protests demanding that the government build a large power project to bring electricity to Bamiyan Province, a Hazara-majority region in north-central Afghanistan.

Officials of the rights group Amnesty International said the “horrific attack” was a reminder that the conflict in Afghanistan” is not winding down, as some believe, but escalating, with consequences for the human rights situation in the country that should alarm us all.”

The Hazara demonstration, which followed several others in May, had been announced in advance and its route and location were well known. As in the previous protests, the government had blocked major routes from West Kabul to the presidential palace and downtown Kabul, using shipping containers as well as lines of police.

As a result of the road closures, officials said, it was difficult for victims to be transported to major hospitals, and smaller clinics and health facilities near the blast site were overwhelmed. Among the wounded was a protest leader and member of Parliament, Ahmed Behzad, witnesses said.

Despite the devastating attack, some protesters regrouped and gathered near the site later in the day, vowing to continue their protest until Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accepts their demands. In one area, angry demonstrators chanted slogans against the government and threw stones at security forces. Both Ghani and the government’s chief executive officer, Abdullah Abdullah, issued statements condemning the attack.

At least 61 people were killed and more than 200 wounded Saturday when attackers detonated explosives amid a huge crowd of peaceful protesters in the Afghan capital, most of them from the country’s Shiite ethnic Hazara minority, health and police officials said.

Spokesmen for the Islamic State quickly claimed responsibility for the attack at a traffic circle jammed with demonstrators, according to Afghan media. The group’s media office said two Islamic State fighters detonated suicide belts among the crowd.

If indeed carried out by the Islamic State, known as Daesh in Afghanistan, it would be the first major urban attack in that country by the radical Sunni Muslim terrorist group and could signal its first deliberate effort to target Afghanistan’s Shiite minority, which it views as infidel.

Hundreds of Hazaras have reportedly fought alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s troops in Syria against Sunni groups, including the Islamic State, in recent years, making Hazaras a likely target for the group’s loyalists back in Afghanistan.

Until now, the Middle Eastern-based Islamic State has been active mainly in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, while the domestic Taliban insurgency has carried out numerous bombings and other attacks in the capital.

Saturday’s bombing took place at a busy traffic circle near a police building, the Kabul zoo and the national parliament. Hazara protesters had marched and gathered there in the latest of several large peaceful protests demanding that the government undertake a large power project to bring electricity to Bamiyan province, a Hazara-majority region in north-central Afghanistan.

Officials of the rights group Amnesty International said the “horrific attack” was a reminder that the conflict in Afghanistan “is not winding down, as some believe, but escalating, with consequences for the human rights situation in the country that should alarm us all.”

(c) 2016, The Washington Post

Hungary PM Becomes First EU Leader To Endorse Trump

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The anti-terrorism proposals of Donald Trump make him a better option for the world, Europe and Hungary, Hungarian PM Victor Orban said.

The Hungarian Prime Minister became the first European leader to endorse US presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“I am not a Donald Trump campaigner. I never thought it would occur to me that of the available options, he would be the better one for Europe and for Hungary”, Orban said in an annual speech.

“Trump has made some proposals about stopping terrorism, that I as a European couldn’t have said better regarding what would be best for Europe”, Orban said.

“If we prioritise democracy-building rather than stability in those regions where stability is more important, then we are kindling insecurity,” he said.

“If Turkey becomes unstable, then many tens of millions of people could turn toward Europe,” he said.

At least 400,000 migrants passed though Hungary during 2015 before the government shut its southern borders with a huge fence.

The government passed tougher anti-migrant laws after the huge influx in 2015.

Felons Lose Voting Rights as Virginia Supreme Court Rules Against Governor

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Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 felons violates Virginia’s constitution, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.

In a 4-to-3 decision, the court ruled that McAuliffe overstepped his clemency powers by issuing a sweeping order in April restoring rights to all ex-offenders who are no longer incarcerated or on probation or parole.

The court agreed with state Republicans who challenged McAuliffe’s order, arguing that the governor can only restore voting rights on a case-by-case basis and not en masse.

“Never before have any of the prior 71 Virginia Governors issued a clemency order of any kind – including pardons, reprieves, commutations, and restoration orders – to a class of unnamed felons without regard for the nature of the crimes or any other individual circumstances relevant to the request,” Chief Justice Donald Lemons wrote for the majority. “To be sure, no Governor of this Commonwealth, until now, has even suggested that such a power exists.”

But a defiant McAuliffe released a statement late Friday saying that he would pick up his executive pen and restore the rights of those felons on an individual basis, even if it means signing more than 200,000 orders.

“My faith remains strong in all of our citizens to choose their leaders, and I am prepared to back up that faith with my executive pen,” he said. “The struggle for civil rights has always been a long and difficult one, but the fight goes on.”

The court directed the state elections commissioner, Edgardo Cortés, to cancel the registrations by Aug. 25 of about 13,000 felons who had joined the voter rolls after McAuliffe signed his order. Cortés was also ordered to add their names to the list of prohibited voters.

McAuliffe said in his statement that he would “expeditiously” sign individual orders for those 13,000 felons and then keep on signing.

“Once again, the Virginia Supreme Court has placed Virginia as an outlier in the struggle for civil and human rights,” McAuliffe said. “It is a disgrace that the Republican leadership of Virginia would file a lawsuit to deny more than 200,000 of their own citizens the right to vote. And I cannot accept that this overtly political action could succeed in suppressing the voices of many thousands of men and women who had rejoiced with their families earlier this year when their rights were restored.”

The ruling comes three months after McAuliffe stood on the portico of the state capitol and pledged to erase the last vestiges of Jim Crow-era laws that disenfranchised African American voters. Nearly a quarter of the state’s black population cannot vote because of felony convictions.

Virginia is one of just a handful of states that ban all felons from voting and require individual exemptions for ex-offenders to vote, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. The ban is tinged with racial overtones; when it was adopted in 1902, a delegate testified to the need to “eliminate the darkey as a political factor,” according to Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

McAuliffe said his restoration order was his “proudest moment as governor,” and the state party has rallied around the policy as the premier achievement of his term.

But state Republicans saw it as a partisan move to swell the numbers of Democratic voters heading into the November election, when McAuliffe’s good friend, Hillary Clinton, will be battling to win the swing state’s 13 electoral votes in her presidential race against Republican Donald Trump.

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, and Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City, who brought the challenge with four voters, applauded the ruling.

“The Supreme Court of Virginia delivered a major victory for the Constitution, the rule of law and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our nation was founded on the principles of limited government and separation of powers,” they said in a joint statement. “Those principles have once again withstood assault from the executive branch. This opinion is a sweeping rebuke of the governor’s unprecedented assertion of executive authority.”

Lemons noted in his opinion that Virginia’s last Democratic governor, Timothy Kaine, declined in 2010 to issue a blanket voting rights restoration order on advice from a senior adviser who said such a move would be an improper “rewrite” of the law and constitution. A spokeswoman for Kaine, now a senator who was announced as Clinton’s running mate Friday evening, did not return a request for comment.

John Whitbeck, chairman of the Virginia GOP, said in a statement that McAuliffe was trying to “stack the deck for Hillary Clinton” and accused him of a “naked power grab.”

Along with voting rights, the governor’s action restored the right to serve on a jury, run for public office and become a notary public.

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Fenit Nirappil, Jenna Portnoy

A reporter got caught playing Pokemon Go during a State Department briefing on ISIS

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Pokemon Go has become a national obsession. A State Department reporter got called out for playing the game in what may be the most embarrassing way possible – in the middle of a briefing on U.S. efforts to fight the Islamic State.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby stopped mid-briefing to call out the unnamed reporter for checking the app during the briefing. The reporter said he was “just checking” the app – so, in his defense, it’s not as if he were positioning a Pikachu at the podium with his smartphone camera.

Then Kirby brought it up again, before taking questions on his statement. “Did you get one?” Kirby asked. “No,” the reporter replied. (The video doesn’t show his face, but one can only assume his face was as red and hot as the flame on a Charmander’s tail.)

“The signal is not very good,” the reporter added, by way of explanation. Well, we’ve certainly all been there. And you could certainly understand why players are accelerating their efforts in the game, now that at least one man has publicly announced he has, per the franchise’s famous tagline, caught them all.

It’s not the first time that someone’s been caught playing games on their phone during what should be serious business. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was notably captured playing smartphone poker during a congressional hearing on Syria in 2013.

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Hayley Tsukayama

Wikileaks posts nearly 20,000 hacked DNC emails online

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Wikileaks posted a massive trove of internal Democratic National Committee emails online Friday, in what the organization dubbed the first of a new “Hillary Leaks” series.

The cache includes nearly 20,000 emails and over 8,000 file attachments from the inboxes of seven key staffers at the political party, including communications director Luis Miranda and national finance director Jordan Kaplan, according to the Wikileaks’s website. The emails span from January 2015 through late May and are presented in a searchable database.

The cache appears to contain sensitive personal information about some donors, including social security numbers, passport numbers and credit card information.

A hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 claimed credit for handing the documents over to Wikileaks on Twitter.

The Democratic Party has had its share of cybersecurity woes recently. Last month, the DNC acknowledged that its systems had been breached.

“The security of our system is critical to our operation and to the confidence of the campaigns and state parties we work with,” said Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chairwoman, at the time. “Our team moved as quickly as possible to kick out the intruders and secure our network.”

Crowdstrike, the firm brought in by the party to clean up after that hack, said the company discovered that two separate hacking groups associated with the Russian government had infiltrated the DNC’s systems.

One of the groups, dubbed “Cozy Bear,” had been monitoring the emails and chats since gaining access last summer, Crowdstrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch told The Post.

Another, which the firm called “Fancy Bear,” targeted opposition research files. That group broke into the DNC’s systems in April, setting off the alarm bells that resulted in the discovery of both infiltrations..

The Russian government has denied involvement in the breaches.

READ THE EMAILS HERE.

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Andrea Peterson

NEW DETAILS: 10 Dead In Suspected Terror Attack at Munich Shopping Center

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[UPDATE: Munich police say shooter ‘probably’ alone, committed suicide. Death toll at 10]

MUNICH – A shooting rampage in a busy shopping area of Munich left at least eight people dead Friday and sparked a manhunt for as many as three gunmen who fled the scene after carrying out an act of “suspected terrorism,” authorities said.

Police later reported a ninth fatality and said they were trying to verify whether a gunman committed suicide. No other details were immediately available.

“We believe there are three perpetrators,” a police spokesman told reporters earlier. “They are still at large.” He declined to provide details about the victims of what he said “looks like a terrorist attack.”

Police put much of the southern German city on lockdown as they searched for the attackers. Despite initial reports of multiple attack sites, the police spokesman said he could not confirm attacks in any other locations besides the shopping area.

Officials did not immediately provide details on how the attacks unfolded or the full scope of the bloodshed at the Olympia shopping complex.

But a senior security official told The Washington Post that four people were killed inside a McDonald’s restaurant and one was fatally shot outside. The official said another victim died at a hospital.

The initial investigation was pointing “in all directions,” police spokesman Marcus de Gloria Martins told reporters in Munich.

A German intelligence official noted that it was the fifth anniversary of a lone-wolf massacre in Norway that claimed the lives of 77 people. The bomb and gun attacks there were carried out by a right-wing extremist.

A manhunt was launched as helicopters fanned out over the city, and Munich’s transit system was shut down. Residents were asked to stay off the streets.

Munich police spokesman Peter Beck said that “according to the current state of investigation, there were three attackers armed with long guns. They’re still on the run.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shootings, but a high-ranking police official told The Post that they appeared likely to be linked to terrorism.

A message posted online in Arabic, apparently from an Islamic State account, said: “Nowhere is safe for all of you. You people have opened the doors of hell by declaring war on us.”

An elite German counterterrorist force was promptly dispatched to Munich to help deal with the situation.

An employee inside the mall, who would give only her first name, Sabiha, said she saw a gunman open fire outside her clothing store. The assailant – described as about 6-foot-1 and wearing a black shirt and “some kind of vest” – moved through the corridors before leaving the building, Sabiha told The Washington Post.

Sabiha said she saw at least two people killed and one injured.

“I was lucky because he shot toward the other directions, not mine,” she said, speaking from a hiding spot inside a storage room in the store.

A video clip posted on Twitter showed a gunman opening fire outside a McDonald’s near the shopping complex as people dashed for cover. The man appeared to fire on passersby with a handgun, seemingly at random.

A police statement sent by Twitter urged people near the site to remain in their homes.

A similar announcement was issued by the U.S. Consulate in Munich, which reported “shots fired at multiple locations in Munich.” It advised U.S. citizens to “shelter in place pending police announcements that the situation is under control.”

A later statement issued by the consulate shortly before 10:30 p.m. local time said that “Munich’s main railway station is closed, and mass transit remains halted.”

In Washington, President Barack Obama told a group of law enforcement officers at the White House that the United States is offering German authorities “all the support that they may need in dealing with these circumstances,” which he said remain murky.

He said the Munich attacks serve as a reminder that “our freedoms, our ability to go about our business every day, raising our kids, seeing them grow up and graduate from high school, now about to leave their dad – I’m sorry, I’m getting a little too personal, getting a little too personal there – that depends on law enforcement. It depends on the men and women in uniform every single day who are, under some of the most adverse circumstances imaginable at times, making sure to keep us safe.”

In a separate statement, the White House said the United States “condemns in the strongest terms the apparent terrorist attack that has claimed innocent lives in Munich.” It added: “The resolve of Germany, the United States, and the broader international community will remain unshaken in the face of acts of despicable violence such as this.”

The Munich mall is near the city’s Olympic Stadium, the centerpiece of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games that become known for tragedy when Palestinian terrorists took Israeli athletes hostage and killed 11 of them.

German security forces have been on heightened alert since Monday, when a 17-year-old Afghan attacked passengers on a train in southern Germany. At least five people were injured.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the train attack, but German authorities have said there is no evidence of direct links between the teen and the group.

Last month, German authorities arrested three Syrians on suspicion of planning an Islamic State attack on the city of Düsseldorf. The men had entered Germany with a wave of migrants fleeing war and mayhem in the Middle East.

The alleged plot involved suicide bombers, firearms and explosives, German authorities said. The arrests potentially thwarted a deadly operation comparable to assaults on Brussels in March and Paris last November.

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Souad Mekhennet, Brian Murphy, William Branigin


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Turkey Restores Power to Incirlik Air Base, Used By U.S. Against ISIS

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The power was restored Friday at a key Turkish base used by U.S. strike aircraft, defense officials said, nearly a week after an attempted overthrow of the Turkish government by a faction of its military spun the country into chaos.

U.S. European Command announced in a statement that commercial power returned at the base, in the southern portion of the country near the Syrian border. The United States has based A-10 attack planes, F-15 fighters, tankers, unmanned aircraft and other equipment there and regularly launches sorties from there into Iraq and Syria.

“The base was without power since July 16 and was operating on backup generator power,” European Command said. “We will retain this capability should the power be interrupted again. Meanwhile, there is a steady flow of hot food, water, and fuel to support our service members and civilians in Turkey.”

The U.S. will continue to work with Turkey to make sure that U.S. troops and the operations carried out there “remain fully prepared to take on a myriad of missions as we work together to defeat terrorism,” European Command added.

The coup attempt against the regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was launched late July 15, prompting the United States to elevate security at the bases it uses in Turkey to its Delta level. That is typically designated for when a terrorist attack has occurred nearby, or is considered imminent.

The Incirlik base is home to a few thousand deployed U.S. troops, and also is used to store about 50 s B61 nuclear gravity bombs as part of a sharing agreement with NATO nations.

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Dan Lamothe ·

France To Deploy Aircraft Carrier Against ISIS

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France will deploy its Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to assist airstrikes against ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq.

France will also send artillery to Iraq to help the Iraqi army fight ISIS terrorists.

“The Defense Council and I made a decision this morning to provide Iraqi forces with artillery as a part of anti-Daesh efforts. The artillery will be delivered in August,” Hollande said.

“The Charles de Gaulle airacrft carrier will arrive in the region by the end of September. It and our Rafale aircraft will allow to intensify our strikes against Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq,” Hollande said in a televised statement.

“We support the operations in Syria and Iraq, but will not send our troops. We have advice to give, training to provide, but we will not deploy men on the ground,” Hollande said.

“Terrorists want to scare us and divide us… Our unity and cohesion are more crucial than ever.”

Forces in Iraq are currently out operation in Nineveh in preparation for the their large scale

Police: Florida paramedics snapped selfies with unconcious patients for fun

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To Kayla Renee Dubois, 24, and Christopher Wimmer, 33, the selfies they allegedly took were an amusing workplace rivalry.

From September 2015 to April of this year, police said, the pair would snap photos while on the job. It escalated into something of a friendly competition. Texts between the two paramedics egged each other on to “step up” their game, according to the sheriff’s office in Okaloosa County, Fla.

For the paramedics, the photographs might have been a funny diversion. For their victims and the police, if this was a game it was a “sick, juvenile” one, as Okaloosa Sheriff Larry Ashley said in a press conference Thursday, via CW 55.

The two had launched what the police describe as a “selfie war,” photographing patients as they lay in the backs of ambulances – often unconscious, intubated or anesthetized.

Dubois has been charged with a third degree felony for two counts of “interception and disclosure of oral communications. She was arrested in Navarre, Fla., on Thursday morning. Wimmer, who Okaloosa authorities say turned himself in later that afternoon, faces the same charge – on seven counts – plus misdemeanor battery.

By police’s best initial estimate, the photographs show 41 different patients, ages spanning 24 to 86. Three patients seem to have consented to taking their photographs with their paramedics.

As for the rest, two patients have since died. Five were identified as homeless. Th e most egregious instances allegedly involve Wimmer, who, the authorities said, took a photo while peeling open the eyelid of a sedated individual. In another image, he is seen next to an elderly woman, her breast visible.

In May, the selfie war came to an end. Wimmer resigned from his paramedic post at Okaloosa County EMS and Dubois was fired. Supervisors terminated three other individuals who knew about the selfies but kept mum. Police praised three nameless paramedics who provided tips about the photographs, which led to the arrests of Dubois and Wimmer.

CW 55 reported that the prosecutor in the case will seek the maximum sentences, which can be five to seven years for the felony charges.

That health care workers may abuse or otherwise take advantage of patients is a problem under increasing scrutiny. Occasionally, doctors acting inappropriately toward sedated individuals is highlighted in top journals like the Annals of Internal Medicine, which in 2015 published an account of sexual abuse by physicians.

In some cases, patients who surreptitiously record their surgeries awake to find disturbing details. One woman tucked an audio recorder in her hair prior to a hernia surgery; while she was unconscious, as The Washington Post reported in April, the audio revealed doctors disparagingly called her “Precious” and made a “Bill Cosby suggestion” about touching her. A Virginia man who recorded his colonoscopy on his smartphone, to remember the post-operation instructions, found that the anesthesiologist mocked and insulted him.

In other instances, casting such a light requires criminal complaints. In January, The Post reported a 29-year-old patient of David H. Newman, a New York emergency room doctor, filed a complaint alleging he fondled her and masturbated after giving the woman a strong dose of morphine.

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Ben Guarino

Turkey increases pressure on U.S. over extraditing cleric

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ISTANBUL – Turkey’s top diplomat on Friday told the United States that it should extradite an exiled cleric it has linked to last week’s coup attempt as soon as possible – a sensitive issue that risks causing serious tension between the two allies.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told state TV TRT Haber that Turkey was ready to take part in a commission proposed by the U.S. to discuss the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, but there was no need for it to take a long time.

“If you want to draw out the Gulen extradition issue it can take years but if you are decisive it can be completed in a short period,” he said in remarks carried by Reuters.

Following a failed July 15 coup by renegade military units, Turkey has carried out a widespread crackdown on the army, police, judiciary and educational institutions, arresting, firing and suspending tens of thousands of people.

The government maintains that followers of Gulen, who resides in Pennsylvania, were behind the coup and has demanded his extradition.

The U.S. has insisted it would need clear evidence of the cleric’s involvement.

For his part, Gulen has denied any link to the plot, implying instead that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan staged it as part of a bid to consolidate power.

The president, meanwhile, called on Turks to continue nightly protests a week after the coup, calling it an “antidote” to the coup.

“I am requesting my heroic nation, which thwarted the armed coup attempt with its foresight and courage, to continue the democracy watch on the streets until our country gets out of this difficult situation for good,” he said late Thursday.

In a sign of the continuing tensions on the street, protesters surrounded a military base in Ankara with trucks and a bulldozer, possibly over fears of further military moves.

The president added that more than 10,000 people have been detained so far. In an earlier speech he emphasized the need for a “cleansing” of society and the existence of a “virus” in the military.

On Thursday, one of Turkey’s most prominent human rights defenders, Orhan Kemal Cengiz, was detained at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport and later transferred to a local police station.

Earlier, Turkey declared a temporary suspension of a European-drafted rights pact that covers issues such as detention and searches.

Lawmakers passed the state-of-emergency motion by a comfortable majority Thursday, giving Turkey’s Cabinet the ability to rule by decree for at least the next three months. The decrees can be overruled by parliament but are not subject to review by Turkey’s Constitutional Court.

The hard-line moves contrasted sharply with an effort by Turkish officials to reassure the country that the post-coup upheavals would not harm the economy or cause permanent harm to Turkey’s relations with the West.

But worries have been growing from Turkey’s NATO allies and others. Turkey is a critical front-line partner in the fight against the Islamic State and efforts to control the flow of migrants into Europe. There also is concern that Turkish society and freedoms could come under much tighter control amid the purges and probes following last week’s unsuccessful coup.

After a military coup in 1980, martial law was imposed in Turkey. And Turkey imposed emergency rule over its restive Kurdish regions in the southeast in 1987, lifting it 15 years later.

But it has never done so for the entire country. Emergency rule grants authorities special powers to use the military and other security services to break up demonstrations and other public gatherings.

Western leaders have been increasingly uncomfortable with the crackdown.

In Washington, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Turkey’s allies will be “closely watching” Erdogan’s next moves.

“We are going to continue to urge them to protect the kinds of democratic traditions and institutions that helped them repel the coup in the first place and are critical to Turkey’s success in the future,” Earnest told reporters.

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Hugh Naylor

Colorado Town’s Water Tests Positive for THC, Active Ingredient in Marijuana

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In the small town of Hugo, Colo., the water coursing through public pipes, officials say, has been tainted by THC. THC, as you may know, is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

On Thursday afternoon, authorities notified the town of about 800 people that the water should not be drunk, used to cook with or even to bathe. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment later downgraded the warning – it was safe to shower, brush teeth and do laundry with the tap water. Ingestion remained inadvisable.

There have not been reports of health issues linked to Hugo’s water, according to an AP report. Nor did every Colorado local seem terribly distraught by the idea of a cool glass of THC.

“I might have to go drink some water,” Patsie Smith, the former mayor of Hugo, quipped to the Denver Post.

But investigators view the situation differently. The incident is being handled with “an abundance of caution,” as Capt. Michael Yowell of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said in a news conference Thursday. The THC was first identified in a vial of tap water meant to serve as a negative result in a drug test.

“However, when that water was tested, a positive indicator for THC was detected,” Yowell said, via KDVR. The sheriff’s office had tweeted earlier that the tests “began after complaints.” The office did not respond to a phone call from The Washington Post late Thursday seeking clarification.

Perplexed by the discovery of THC, officials began examining Hugo’s wells. Town employees, local Fox outlet KDVR reported, discovered that one of the well houses showed signs of a forced entry. Subsequent field tests detected THC in a handful of locations, though the health department does not currently have “reliable information” on the THC concentrations.

Officials sealed the well in question. It will take 48 hours to flush all of that well’s water through the system, Yowell said. In the meantime, the county provided bottled water to residents.

Hovering over the town like a hazy cloud is the mystery of why the tests found THC – or who might have broken into the water supply.

It is legal to possess small amounts of marijuana in Colorado. But unlike Denver and other Colorado municipalities, Hugo does not allow the sale of marijuana. Nor are there any legal marijuana grow operations nearby. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the FBI have joined the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in an attempt to trace the THC taint to the source.

Some chemists, however, are skeptical that there is a psychoactive compound floating through Hugo’s water system.

“There is zero possibility that there’s anything like THC in the Hugo water,” Peter Perrone, owner of Gobi Analytical, told the Denver Post. Gobi Analytical is a Colorado-based recreational marijuana testing facility and the first state-approved lab of its kind.

“The amount of THC required would have to be financially ludicrous for anyone to do this as a practical joke,” said Dan Burgard, a chemist at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., by phone to The Washington Post. Burgard is currently studying THC traces in Washington wastewater. He does not believe that the Hugo contamination, if it exists, could stem from raw vegetable matter. Unless marijuana is smoked or cooked, the plants are not psychoactive. “It’s probably a false positive from the test kit, that would be my gut,” he said.

Water systems have been tainted with drugs before, though most environmental concerns are about incidental exposure. Metabolized amphetamines and other ADHD medications may spike in the sewage systems of college campuses during finals season, as Burgard and his colleagues reported in April 2013. Scientists have also detected ecstasy in rivers after music festivals. But because those substances exist primarily on the back end of the sanitation cycle, such discoveries may be bad news for fish, though less threatening to humans drinking stuff that comes from a faucet.

To spike tap water with THC, a culprit would first have to dissolve the chemical. Perrone’s skepticism is based on a property known as solubility. Like oil, THC does not easily dissolve in water. In fact, overcoming THC’s poor solubility has posed a bit of a scientific boondoggle for pharmaceutical researchers.

As British and American scientists wrote in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 2006, even when THC is liquefied with a detergent, it is likely to precipitate – that is, undo all the hard work of dissolving and form clumps – “if care is not exercised.”

That said, novelty marijuana drinks exist. Manufacturers rely on a technical extraction process, however, to produce the liquid THC. Even then, the drinks are not typically super-potent. Mirth Provisions, a company in Washington state, offers a soda called Legal. It contains some 20 milligrams of THC per an 11.5-ounce bottle. That’s “enough to know that you’re high, but not so much as to overwhelm,” Adam Stites, founder of Mirth Provisions, told the Huffington Post in 2014.

It does not appear that anyone, including the thirstiest residents of Hugo, is in danger of being overwhelmed.

In a statement, Lincoln County Health Officer John Fox warned locals about symptoms of “marijuana excess,” including hallucinations, vomiting, elevated heart rate and paranoia, among other ill effects. But, he pointed out: “It would take more product than any of us could afford to contaminate a city water supply to the extent that people would suffer any effects.”

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Ben Guarino ·

Off-Duty Officer Rescues Motorist From Burning Car

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(Photo credit: Oregon Live)

SEATTLE — An off-duty Seattle police officer pulled a motorist from a burning car Monday evening after he came upon the scene of a fiery two-car crash near Snoqualmie.

Officer JD Smith was on his way home on Interstate 90 when he noticed traffic becoming particularly congested. “I’m in the far left lane and see the backup of this pickup truck in the air,” he says. “And boom it’s on fire. I just happened to be right there.”

Officer Smith rushed over to one of the crashed cars and spotted a woman lying in the front seat, just as the vehicle began to catch fire. “I couldn’t get the door open. I just pulled ten, I dunno how many times,” he says. Then “that superhuman strength kicked in.”

With the help of a bystander, Smith was able to get the woman out of the vehicle and drag her to safety shortly before the vehicles were engulfed in flames.

Smith also credits a reserve firefighter, a retired SFD firefighter, an HMC doctor and another bystander for their assistance in rescuing and stabilizing the woman at the scene, as well as the Eastside Fire and Rescue crews who got the fire under control and treated two other people, who were injured in the crash.

Missing New York Teen Last Seen In Tennessee

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FRANKLIN, TENN — Franklin Police Detectives are assisting New York State Police, who are in Franklin conducting an investigation into the disappearance of a New York teen. Nieko Lisi left Jasper, NY on September 30, 2011. ‘

He dropped off a friend in Romulus, Michigan, before arriving on Flintlock Drive in Franklin on October 1, 2011; he was 18. Nieko, and the grey 2004 GMC Canyon truck he was driving, has not been seen since. The license plate last on that truck was New York EGY 7316.

Nieko’s mobile phone stopped communicating with a Franklin cell tower at 4:08 pm, October 1, 2011. New York State Police Investigators suspect foul play.

Members of the New York State Police Violent Crime Investigation Team have been in Franklin since Monday, following several leads. Detectives from Franklin and New York are committed to finding out what happened to Nieko Lisi, and will continue with a very deliberate investigation, which now centers on Franklin.

The Lisi family is offering a $2,500 reward. Franklin Police and Crime Stoppers are offering an additional reward of up to $1,000 for information in this case.

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