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NEWS   SUNDAY, AUGUST 30, 2015   NEWS

Police Investigate Motive In Ambush Of Houston Area Deputy
Investigators were trying to determine Sunday what may have motivated a 30-year-old man accused of ambushing a uniformed suburban Houston sheriff's deputy filling his patrol car with gas in what authorities believe was a targeted killing. Shannon J. Miles was charged Saturday with capital murder in the fatal shooting of Darren Goforth, a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's Office. Goforth, 47, was pumping gas at a Chevron station on Friday night when the gunman approached him from behind and fired multiple shots, continuing to fire after the deputy had fallen to the ground. The deputy had gone to the station in Cypress, a middle-class to upper middle-class suburban area of Harris County that is unincorporated and located northwest of Houston, after responding to a routine car accident earlier Friday. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: No condemnation from Obama and the DOJ.

Despite Stock Fall, Financial Health Of Many Is Still Solid
Many Americans have just absorbed a financial beating — at least as measured by their stock holdings. It's the kind of blow that can feed a sense of helplessness about retirement, college savings and higher-than-expected bills. But take a look at other gauges of Americans' financial health, and a more nuanced picture emerges: Hiring and home values are up. Gas prices and mortgage rates are down. Inflation is low. The pace of layoffs has dwindled. Add it up, and the evidence suggests that many Americans — though certainly not all — are doing comparatively well. Even the stock-market swoon can be put in perspective: Yes, the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index has tumbled 10.7 percent over the past five days of trading. Since the end of 2008, though, the S&P index remains up about 120 percent. Charlotte Obsever

Hikers Behaving Badly: Appalachian Trail Partying Raises Ire
When Jackson Spencer set out to tackle the Appalachian Trail, he anticipated the solitude that only wilderness can bring — not a rolling, monthslong frat party. Shelters where he thought he could catch a good night's sleep while listening to the sounds of nature were instead filled with trash, graffiti and people who seemed more interested in partying all night, said Spencer, who finished the entire trail last month in just 99 days."I wanted the solitude. I wanted to experience nature," he said. "I like to drink and to have a good time, but I didn't want that to follow me there." Spencer, or "Mission" as he is known to fellow thru-hikers, confronted what officials say is an ugly side effect of the increasing traffic on the Georgia-to-Maine footpath every year: More people than ever causing problems. Charotte Observer

FDA Warns Of Severe Joint Pain Risk With DPP-4 Diabetes Drugs
A class of diabetes drugs that include Merck & Co Inc's Januvia have been linked with severe joint pain, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday. The FDA said it had identified 33 cases of severe joint pain in patients taking a class of drugs known as DPP-4 inhibitors between Oct. 16, 2006, when the first one was approved, through Dec. 31, 2013. The most frequent number of cases, 28, occurred with Januvia, known generically as sitagliptin. Five cases were reported with AstraZeneca Plc's Onglyza (saxagliptin) two with Boehringer Ingelheim's Tradjenta (linagliptin) and one with Takeda Pharmaceutical's Nesina (alogliptin). The FDA said that in 20 of the cases the DPP-4 inhibitor was suspected as a cause of the pain and was discontinued within a month after the onset of symptoms. In eight of the remaining 13 cases, a period of 44 days to a year elapsed between the onset of symptoms and discontinuation of the drug. Fox News

Biden Faces Hurdles As He Weighs Late 2016 Bid
As Vice President Joe Biden continues to contemplate a late entry into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, he faces obstacles toward arriving at yes -- not least of which is his own emotional state three months after his son's death. After a week of meetings with key Democrats -- including influential Sen. Elizabeth Warren and labor leader Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO -- Biden on Friday didn't appear any closer to making a decision, which advisers still expect is weeks away. He'll have more chances to consult members of his party next week, when he heads south to rally support behind the administration's nuclear deal with Iran. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, invited Biden to make the case for the agreement in person in south Florida on Thursday. CNN

Erika No Longer A Tropical Storm, Loses Steam Over Cuba
Erika, a tropical storm that killed 20 people on the Caribbean island of Dominica and at least one person in Haiti, fell apart on Saturday over eastern Cuba, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. "Erika has degenerated into a trough of low pressure," the Miami-based hurricane center said in a Saturday morning forecast advisory.
Erika's maximum sustained winds had dropped to 35 mph (56 kph), just below the tropical storm threshold. Still posing a threat of wind gusts and flash floods, the remnants of Erika were now expected to move over central Cuba, potentially providing welcome relief from a drought, before heading out into the Gulf of Mexico and skirting South Florida. Reuters

Sarah Palin Lobs Softballs At Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush
The U.S. economy is "terrible" and the White House is lying about it, according to GOP front-runner Donald Trump. In a collegial interview with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Friday, Trump told the one-time vice presidential candidate that "we have to make a lot of improvement," claiming "the White House is not truthful" about the state of the country's economy. "Our current tax code is a joke," Palin said. What would Trump do about it? Simplify it, of course, and reduce taxes. But how? Palin didn't ask and Trump certainly didn't offer up solutions -- a recurring theme of Trump's candidacy, according to some critics. MSNBC

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Funeral For Slain Missouri Teen As Family Questions Police Shooting
Mourners were gathering on Saturday for the funeral of an 18-year-old black man whose shooting by a white police officer earlier this month re-ignited racial tensions in the St. Louis area. The funeral for Mansur Ball-Bey comes 10 days after he was fatally shot in the back by a plainclothes police officer outside a home where police were serving a search warrant. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said two officers fired at Ball-Bey after he and another African-American ran out of the back of a home being searched and Ball-Bey pointed a gun at them. Dotson said Ball-Bey was struck by one of the bullets and then ran from the backyard to the front of the house. Reuters

World War II Alaska-Siberia Route Retraced By DC-3 Planes
U.S. warplanes have been flying over Russia his summer — and it may be the best thing to happen to relations between the Cold War rivals in years. A mixed crew of U.S. and Russians pilots flew two veteran Douglas DC-3 aircraft along the legendary and deadly Alaska-Siberia route, made famous in World War II as the 'AlSib' — arriving in Moscow to the delight of local crowds. "Last time somebody flew this route was over 70 years ago," pilot-engineer John Makinson told NBC News. Russia suffered the biggest loss of life in World War II, but most historians agree the Red Army would have struggled to defeat the Nazis in Europe without American equipment. MSNBC

Top GOP Senator Questions Whether Clintons Evaded Ethics Officials For Paid Speeches
A top Republican questioned Friday whether former State Department Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton ran her husband’s speeches by ethics officials within the department, after emails surfaced showing conversations about the speeches didn’t appear to include the right people. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley said emails released as part of Mrs. Clinton’s cache show top department officials debating and approving former President Clinton’s paid speeches, but department ethics officials weren’t part of those email chains. Washington Times

Sovereign Citizens Now Consist Of All Colors And Creeds
The case made headlines last fall in the midst of the Ferguson unrest. Two men with ties to the New Black Panther Party were charged with acquiring weapons in what was later revealed to be a plot to kill two public officials and blow up a police station. The two pleaded guilty in June and will be sentenced Thursday in federal court in St. Louis. And in a lesser-known twist, one of the African-American defendants is an adherent of a movement that has its origins in racist and anti-Semitic beliefs.
Olajuwon Ali Davis is a “Moorish national” — an offshoot of the sovereign citizen movement. Experts and authorities say the case illustrates the changing face of the movement, whose members believe the government is corrupt and out of control and has no jurisdiction over them. Kansas City Star
VOA VIEW: The liberal media holds back the truth.

A New Atlantic Tropical Storm Forms Off Coast Of Africa
Tropical Storm Fred has formed off the coast of Africa with 40 mph winds. A tropical storm warning and hurricane watch are in effect for the Cape Verde Islands.
At 8 a.m. Sunday, Fred was moving northwest at about 12 mph, a path expected to continue through Tuesday. Strengthening is expected in the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center. Miami Herald

Ignacio Strengthens Into Category 4 Hurricane Near Hawaii
The Big Island of Hawaii is bracing for high winds, heavy rain and ocean swells of up to 20 feet as strengthening Hurricane Ignacio approaches the state. Ignacio has grown to a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of up to 135 mph. Forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said conditions are right for it to continue strengthening Saturday, but upper-level winds will weaken the storm in the following days. That won't be enough to prevent high winds and battering surf from hitting Hawaii. A tropical storm watch was issued for the Big Island, and forecasters warned that sustained winds there could potentially reach tropical storm force of 39 mph as early as Monday morning. Swells generated by Ignacio along east and southeast facing shores of the Big Island will increase to 15 to 20 feet Sunday through Monday, creating potentially life-threatening surf conditions, forecasters said. SF Gate

Vote Tally For Iran Nuclear Deal Rises To 31 In Senate
Oregon's Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley on Sunday became the 31st senator to announce support for the Iran nuclear deal, as momentum builds behind the agreement the Obama administration and other world powers negotiated with Tehran. Merkley's backing puts supporters within reach of the 34 votes required to uphold a presidential veto of a congressional resolution disapproving the agreement, which curbs Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Republicans are unanimously against the deal. But with an overwhelming number of Senate Democrats in favor, some have now begun aiming to amass 41 yes votes, which would allow them to kill the disapproval resolution outright in the Senate and protect Obama from having to use his veto pen. SF Gate

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Donald Trump Courts Tea Party At Nashville Straw Poll
Donald Trump took his colorful campaign to Nashville on Saturday, where he courted a constituency that some say he is tailor-made for: the tea party. He is competing in a presidential straw poll and addressed the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, a group that boasts it was "the tea party before there was a tea party."
Trump's appearance was highly anticipated at the conservative gathering: As a candidate, he's hitting the same notes -- anger at conventional politics, contempt for Washington and distrust of special interests and lobbyists -- that propelled the tea party movement in 2010. CNN

Donald Trump Not An ‘Active Member’ Of Manhattan Church
After GOP front-runner Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday that he attends a church in Manhattan, the church released a statement saying Mr. Trump is not an “active member.” Mr. Trump told reporters in Greenville, South Carolina, that he was a Presbyterian Protestant and attended Marble Collegiate Church as often as he could. Following his statement, the church released a statement to CNN about Mr. Trump’s affiliation. Washington Times

Donald Trump Gets Chummy With Sarah Palin
Republican presidential contender Donald Trump professed both his love (for the Bible, for veterans) and disdain (for the U.S. tax code, for the Department of Veterans Affairs) in an interview with conservative television host Sarah Palin late Friday. But while his suggestions to make America great again were par for the Trump course, the true novelty of the talk was Trump's relatively chummy relationship with his interviewer. "If you look at what's happening with this country, it's so sad. You've pointed it out for years," Trump told Palin on the conservative-leaning One America News Network. "I have to tell you - you're a terrific person." CBS

Ray Kelly Blasts De Blasio’s ‘False Narrative’ In New Memoir
Mayor de Blasio has endangered New Yorkers’ lives by abandoning stop-and-frisk — an “amazing surrender” rooted in politics, ex-Police Commissioner Ray Kelly charges in a new book. “De Blasio shrugged and walked away from a routine and useful policing tool, snatching law enforcement defeat from the jaws of legal victory,” Kelly writes in his memoir, “Vigilance: My Life Serving America and Protecting Its Empire City.” De Blasio swept away stop-and-frisk — a policy police brass instituted in 1990 to let cops search and detain anyone they suspected of committing a crime — as a sop to his core supporters as soon as he took over in City Hall, Kelly says in a scathing critique of the mayor’s law-enforcement policies. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Blasio is a politically correct fool.

Firstborn Girls More Likely To Be Overweight
The study found older sisters are 29 percent more likely to be overweight and 40 percent more likely to be obese than their next-younger sister. Bad news, big sisters: A new study finds that firstborn girls are more likely to be overweight or obese than their second-born sisters. The findings are based on data collected from more than 13,400 pairs of sisters born in Sweden. According to the study, older sisters are 29 percent more likely to be overweight and 40 percent more likely to be obese than their next-younger sister. Firstborn girls are also, on average, a little taller than their sisters as adults. The researchers say the weight discrepancy does not begin at birth. Indeed, firstborn girls were usually a bit smaller as infants than their sisters, by an average of about 3 ounces. Seattle Times

Thai Police Arrest Foreigner, Find Passports In Bangkok Bomb Case
Thai authorities arrested a foreign man Saturday they said had been holed up in a suburban apartment with bomb-making equipment and stacks of passports, the first possible breakthrough in the deadly bombing at a Bangkok shrine nearly two weeks ago. All television channels broadcast a televised announcement Saturday evening on the suspect’s arrest, which came 12 days after the bombing that authorities have called the deadliest attack in Thailand’s modern history. Police and soldiers raided the apartment in an eastern Bangkok suburb and found bomb-making materials that matched those used in the Aug. 17 blast at the Erawan Shrine in central Bangkok, national police spokesman Prawuth Thavornsiri said in the televised statement. Tampa Tribune

Trump's Deportation Idea Similar To 1930s Mass Removals
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for mass deportation of millions of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, as well as their American-born children, bears similarities to a large-scale removal that many Mexican-American families faced 85 years ago. During the Great Depression, counties and cities in the American Southwest and Midwest forced Mexican immigrants and their families to leave the U.S. over concerns they were taking jobs away from whites despite their legal right to stay. The result: Around 500,000 to 1 million Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans were pushed out of the country during the 1930s repatriation, as the removal is sometimes called. Tampa Tribune

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Feds Fighting To Keep Cash Seized From Person Never Charged With Crime
Federal prosecutors are battling in court to keep $167,000 in cash seized in a 2013 traffic stop, despite the motorist never being charged in the incident and the Obama administration clamped down this spring on such asset seizures and forfeitures. The case -- which highlights the ongoing concerns about the government unjustly seizing money and property -- began when a Nevada state trooper pulled over the motorist on a cross-country trip to California. The trooper stopped Hawaii resident Straughn Gorman’s motor-home in January 2013 for allegedly going too slow along Interstate 80.  According to court documents, Gorman was allowed to proceed without a citation despite the trooper suspecting he was hiding cash. Fox News

Could 2016 Presidential Candidates Handle A Katrina?
Though presidents must delegate the bulk of the work done during a natural disaster, mishandling one can have a very negative effect on public perception."Managing natural disasters and other forms of crisis are severe tests of leadership ability," Eric Stern, a scholar at the University of Delaware Disaster Research Center, told CBS News. Stern's research and work training people in crisis leadership and disaster management skills has led him to develop a list of four things a leader must be able to do in and after a crisis: Make sense of uncertain and ambiguous but highly dangerous situations; make crucial decisions, coordinate and empower others; deliver a clear and inspiring message to the public and other government partners; explain their actions to others, and eventually review the response for ways to improve performance and preparedness. CBS

Donald Trump Says He'll Decide On Third Party Bid Soon
Donald Trump says he's going to make a decision once and for all about whether he'll mount a third party bid if he loses the Republican nomination for president. Trump told reporters following a speech in Nashville Saturday that he's going to make a decision "very soon." He says he thinks the decision will make a lot of people "very happy." Trump has so far refused to pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee. He says it gives him leverage. But his hands are largely tied: He'll have to sign a pledge to do so if he wants to appear on the ballot in South Carolina and potentially several other states. Trump was courting tea party voters at a conference hosted by the National Federation of Republican Assemblies. ABC

New Tax Law Has More Folks Renouncing U.S. Citizenship
Stanley Amland threw it off. So did Ingrid Bracke. Rhoda May Derksen ditched hers, too. The names, picked at random for this article from the Federal Register, are among the 3,415 Americans who renounced their U.S. citizenship or relinquished their residency permits last year. As a national debate rages about "anchor babies" and the constitutional amendment that grants "birthright citizenship" to anyone born on U.S. soil, a record number of Americans and green-card holders are becoming ex-Americans. In fact, the first three months of 2015 set a new high for renunciations - 1,335 - in any quarter-year in U.S. history. Phildaelphia Inquirer

How Executive Dan Hilferty Is Making Sure Papal Visit Is Paid For
As Dan Hilferty sat in St. Peter's Square in March 2014, waiting for Pope Francis to address thousands of pilgrims, a Vatican cleric walked over to him. "Are you Dan Hilferty? I used to work for you," the young man said. The cleric, who went on to translate the pope's address into English that day, had worked for Independence Blue Cross's public relations department before becoming a priest in the Philadelphia Archdiocese and moving to Rome on assignment. As CEO and president of Independence Blue Cross, Hilferty, 68, of Ardmore, has connections around the region and the world. His Rolodex of relationships built over the years has proven valuable in his new volunteer role as chief fund-raiser for the papal visit. Philadelphia Inquirer

Iowa Poll: Clinton Leads, Gut Sanders Draws Near
Bernie Sanders, riding an updraft of insurgent passion in Iowa, has closed to within 7 points of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential race. She’s the first choice of 37% of likely Democratic caucusgoers; he’s the pick for 30%, according to a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll. But Clinton has lost a third of her supporters since May, a trajectory that if sustained puts her at risk of losing again in Iowa, the initial crucible in the presidential nominating contest. This is the first time Clinton, the former secretary of state and longtime presumptive front-runner, has dropped below the 50% mark in four polls conducted by the Register and Bloomberg Politics this year. USA Today

Natural Gas: U.S. Producing More Than Ever
The U.S. is producing more natural gas than ever in 2015, despite low prices that make it increasingly difficult for companies to spend money on drilling. In fact, the government's Energy Information Administration forecasts a 5.4% increase in output this year compared to 2014. But new numbers from EIA suggest some trouble just ahead for gas production, especially in the resource-rich shale formations that have given rise to a U.S. renaissance in oil and gas production. In its August "Drilling Productivity Report," EIA forecasts that gas production will decline in all seven of the United States' major shale regions in September, the first across-the-board slump in shale gas production ever recorded by the agency. "We're starting to see a slow-down," said Lynn Westfall, director of EIA's Office of Energy Markets and Financial Analysis, which compiles the report. USA Today

Hulk Hogan: ‘I Want To Be Trump’s Running Mate. Vice President Hogan’
Former WWE pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan told TMZ Saturday he thinks America is ready for a Donald Trump/Hulk Hogan 2016 White House ticket. Asked by TMZ which presidential candidate he would want to take on in the ring, Mr. Hogan said he wouldn’t want to take on a candidate in a physical fight but said he would join trump in his fight for the GOP nomination. “I don’t want to be in the ring with any candidates, I want to be Trump’s running mate,” Mr. Hogan said. “Did you hear that? Vice President Hogan?” he added. Washington Post

When The Wells Run Dry: California Neighbors Cope In Drought
Looking for water to flush his toilet, Tino Lozano pointed a garden hose at some buckets on the bare dirt of his yard. It's his daily ritual now, in a community built by refugees from Oklahoma's epic Dust Bowl drought. But only a trickle came out; then a drip, then nothing more. "There it goes. That was all," said Lozano, masking his desperation with a smile. "That's how we do it in Okieville now." Living with a dried-up well has turned one of life's simplest tasks into a major chore for Lozano, a 40-year-old disabled Army veteran and family man. Millions of Californians are being inconvenienced in this fourth year of drought, urged to flush toilets less often, take shorter showers and let lawns turn brown. But it's dramatically worse in places like Okieville, where wells have gone dry for many of the 100 modest homes that share narrow, cracked streets without sidewalks or streetlights in a dry corner of California's Central Valley. San Diego Union

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Deputy Ambushed, Killed At Gas Station; No One In Custody
Authorities are still pursuing a suspect in the death of a uniformed sheriff's deputy who was shot several times while filling up his patrol car at a suburban Houston gas station, they said Saturday afternoon during a strongly worded news conference. Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, was pumping gas about 8:30 p.m. Friday when a man approached him from behind and fired multiple shots. Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said that surveillance video shows there were people at the gas station and asked that they reach out with any information that could lead to the man who ambushed Goforth. Hickman and District Attorney Devon Anderson both said the ambush was unsettling, especially given the recent climate of tension between civilians and law enforcement. ABC

Fischer Sees Good Reason To Believe U.S. Inflation Will Rise
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said the U.S. central bank should not wait until it reaches its inflation goal before raising interest rates and voiced confidence price pressures would accelerate. “Given the apparent stability of inflation expectations, there is good reason to believe that inflation will move higher as the forces holding down inflation dissipate further,” Fischer said Saturday at the Kansas City Fed’s annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “With inflation low, we can probably remove accommodation at a gradual pace,” he said without specifying when the Fed should start. “Yet, because monetary policy influences real activity with a substantial lag, we should not wait until inflation is back to 2 percent to begin tightening.” Bloomberg

On Second Thought, China Slowdown Will Hit Global-Growth Outlook
China’s deepening struggles are starting to make a bigger dent in the global economic outlook. Moody’s Investors Service on Friday cut its 2016 growth forecast in Group of 20 economies to 2.8 percent, down 0.3 percentage point from the company’s call less than two weeks ago. China is projected to grow 6.3 percent in 2016, down from 6.5 percent previously, the credit-rating company said in a report. Citigroup Inc. last week pared its projection for world growth in 2016 to 3.1 percent from 3.3 percent, the third straight time the bank has cut the forecast. Bloomberg

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Legionnaires Kills 2 Illinois Veterans Home Residents
Two residents of an Illinois veterans' home have died of Legionnaires' Disease, the Illinois Department of Public Health said Friday. The health department said the two residents at the home in Quincy, about 300 miles southwest of Chicago, had underlying medical conditions. Both were among 23 residents of the facility who had earlier been diagnosed with the disease. Health department officials said the names of the deceased were being withheld to allow families to notify other family and friends. On Thursday, state officials said there were eight confirmed cases among residents of the home. That number increased to 23 after tests were conducted Friday. Las Vegas Sun

Rare 'Supermoon' Will Take Over Night Sky Saturday
An exceptionally large and bright moon known as a "supermoon" will be visible around the world Saturday night as the moon makes a rare approach to Earth. The moon will make its closest approach to Earth, known as perigee, at 222,631 miles away beginning sundown Saturday. It will appear about 14 percent larger than normal, experts said. On average, the moon is 238,855 miles away. The supermoon is the first of three in the coming weeks, with the next two Sept. 27 and Oct. 27. The term "supermoon" was coined some 30 years ago by astrologer Richard Nolle. Before that, they were referred to as perigee full moons or perigee new moons. UPI

Pollution, Weather Linked To Post-Heart Attack Health
Researchers presenting at this year's European Society of Cardiology Congress have connected patient status after experiencing heart attack with weather and everyday pollutants. According to the study, which involved about 2,300 patients who had heart attacks between 2006 and 2012, environmental conditions have an effect on a person's risk of heart attack as well as post-MI treatments. Researcher Aneta Cislak and her team from the Medical University of Silesia in Poland found most patients with high risk of heart attack, bleeding and low left ventricular ejection fraction were admitted to the hospital during warm, sunny, dry days when the air consisted of high levels of carbon monoxide. UPI

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'Business With Iran May Not Last,' Netanyahu Tells Italian Entrepreneurs
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is a key partner in the the current struggle between 'freedom and oppression, between day and night,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in Florence on Friday. Netanyahu's comments came during a meeting in the city with the leaders of the Italian Jewish community, which numbers some 24,000 people. Netanyahu was scheduled to meet Renzi in Florence – the Italian premier's hometown – late Saturday night. The Italian daily La Stampa ran a story quoting advisers to Netanyahu as saying that many countries in the region – including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt – have asked Israel to press Washington against the Iranian nuclear deal. Jerusalem Post

Obama Predicts 'Pretty Quick' US-Israel Realignment On Iran
After the United States Congress debates and votes on the Iran nuclear deal next month, US and Israeli policy on Iran will realign "pretty quick," President Barack Obama predicted on Friday. Speaking during a live webcast with the American Jewish community, co-sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America, Obama said that daylight between the two allies was healthy and that an absence of argument "could be dangerous" for both countries. Speaking from the White House, Obama said he was committed to maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge in the region and to preventing the flow of Iranian arms to its proxies on Israel's borders. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: Israel and the US are aligned - Obama is not aligned with the US or Israel.

French Journalists 'Blackmailed King Of Morocco'
Two French reporters have been arrested and accused of attempting to blackmail the king of Morocco, lawyers say. Eric Laurent and Catherine Graciet, who are writing a book on King Mohammed VI, were reportedly detained after being handed cash by a Moroccan official. A lawyer for the Moroccan government told France's RTL radio that Mr Laurent contacted the royal palace in July to demand €3 million (£2.2m; $3.4m). Mr Laurent allegedly warned the palace about damaging revelations in the book. "A sum of money was handed over and accepted" at a meeting between the journalist and a Moroccan government official, according to France's AFP news agency. BBC

Drinking Water Doesn't Prevent A Hangover
Raiding the fridge or downing glasses of water after a night of heavy drinking won't improve your sore head the next day, Dutch research suggests. Instead, a study concluded, the only way to prevent a hangover is to drink less alcohol. More than 800 students were asked how they tried to relieve hangover symptoms, but neither food nor water was found to have any positive effect. The findings are being presented at a conference in Amsterdam. A team of international researchers from the Netherlands and Canada surveyed students' drinking habits to find out whether hangovers could be eased or if some people were immune to them. Among 826 Dutch students, 54% ate food after drinking alcohol, including fatty food and heavy breakfasts, in the hope of staving off a hangover. BBC

Obama Defends Arctic Drilling Decision On Eve Of Alaska Climate Change Trip
Barack Obama has been forced to defend his decision to allow the hunt for oil in the last great wilderness of the Arctic, on the eve of an historic visit to Alaska intended to spur the fight against climate change. The three-day tour – which will include a hike across a shrinking glacier and visits to coastal communities buffeted by sea-level rise and erosion – was intended to showcase the real-time effects of climate change. But a defensive White House was forced to push back against campaigners who accuse Obama of undermining his environmental agenda by giving the go-ahead to Shell to drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea, only weeks after rolling out his signature climate change plan. Guardian

Babies Born In A Recession ‘Have Worse Health’
Economic woes can be as damaging to a baby’s health as smoking or drinking during pregnancy, according to the first study to establish a causal link between foetal exposure to financial stress in an advanced economy and the health of babies at birth. Research presented at this month’s annual congress of the European Economic Association in Mannheim by Arna Vardardottir, assistant professor at the department of economics at Copenhagen Business School, tracks the unexpected collapse of Iceland’s economy in 2008. After studying the weight of newborn children in Iceland’s national birth register, Vardardottir found that babies who had been in their first trimester during the crisis were born 120g lighter than the average. They were also 3.5% more likely to have a low birth weight (less than 2.5kg) than average and were generally more likely to suffer from neonatal diseases. Guardian

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