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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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Terrorist in Nice Truck Attack Was City Resident of Tunisian Origin

The driver of the truck that killed at least 80 people in Nice on Thursday evening was a 31-year-old resident born in Tunisia, according to French newspaper Nice Matin.
"Investigations are currently under way to establish if the individual acted alone or if he had accomplices who might have fled," Brandet said.

Heavy weapons and grenades were found inside the truck.

French newspaper Le Figaro reports that driver fired at the crowd as he drove.

While the terrorist group Daesh, also known as IS/ISIL, has not officially claimed responsibility for the attack, it is a likely suspect.



Unable To Stop Syria’s War, US Offers Russia New Partnership

Source: Washington Post

By Bradley Klapper | AP July 14 at 5:48 PM

MOSCOW — The United States on Thursday offered Russia a broad new military partnership in Syria, hoping the attraction of a unified campaign against the Islamic State group and al-Qaida — and a Russian commitment to ground Syria’s bombers — could end five years of civil war. If finalized, the deal could dramatically alter America’s role in the conflict.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on Thursday to present him the new ideas. The eight-page proposal, which The Washington Post published on its website, shows the U.S. offering intelligence and targeting sharing, and even joint bombing operations. It is a pact Moscow long had wanted, but the Obama administration resisted.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to make some genuine progress that is measurable and implementable and that can make a difference in the course of events in Syria,” Kerry said.

Putin said he was looking for “tangible results.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/leaked-proposal-us-offering-russia-military-pact-in-syria/2016/07/14/b562e920-4998-11e6-8dac-0c6e4accc5b1_story.html

NYPD: Traces Of TAPT Explosive Found In Central Park Explosion

Source: CBS NEWS

Last Updated Jul 14, 2016 5:33 PM EDT

NEW YORK — Police officials say they have identified “traces of substances” in the blast in New York City’s Central Park earlier this month that seriously injured a man who stepped on it, CBS New York reported.

A law enforcement source told CBS News that NYPD lab results have come back with traces of TAPT in the explosion. TAPT contains triacetone triperoxide, which can be assembled with household chemicals.

CBS New York previously reported that Connor Golden, 18, of Fairfax, Virginia, was walking with two friends in early July when he climbed down a rock and stepped on some sort of homemade device, triggering the explosion. Connor lost part of one leg in the incident.

“The next call from my son, Connor’s father, is that his leg from his knee down would have to be amputated,” Connor’s grandmother Roberta Golden said. “His life will never be the same and I am very sad about that.”

Read more: http://www.wdef.com/2016/07/14/nypd-traces-of-tapt-explosive-found-in-central-park-explosion/

Report: Central Park Explosive Featured Material 'Used In Terrorist Attacks For Decades

WASHINGTON (ABC7) — The explosive device that went off in Central Park more than a week ago and injured a Fairfax man was made using a homemade explosive that "has been used in terrorist attacks for decades", law enforcement officials reportedly tell CNN.

"TATP is a notoriously unstable explosive that has been used in terrorist attacks for decades, including in the Paris attacks last fall and by the shoe bomber Richard Reid," CNN reports. "It's often made from common household chemicals, such as beauty supplies."

Officials tell CNN that no "additional contents" were found with the explosive.


Jobless Claims in U.S. Hold at Lowest Level Since Mid-April

Source: Bloomberg

July 14, 2016 — 8:30 AM EDT Updated on July 14, 2016 — 9:38 AM EDT

The number of applications for U.S. unemployment benefits last week held at the lowest level since mid-April, further evidence of a strong labor market.

Jobless claims were unchanged at 254,000 in the week ended July 9, according to a Labor Department report released Thursday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey called for filings to increase to 265,000. In April, applications dropped to a four-decade low of 248,000.

Companies having trouble finding qualified and skilled workers are hesitant to dismiss employees as demand shows signs of picking up after a weak start to the year. Weekly claims have been below 300,000 for 71 straight weeks, the longest period since 1973 and consistent with robust employment conditions.

“The U.S. economy is doing fine,” said Thomas Costerg, a senior U.S. economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York. Still, “it’s difficult to go down further in jobless claims. We may have reached the bottom.”

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-14/jobless-claims-in-u-s-hold-at-lowest-level-since-mid-april

Microsoft Wins Protection for E-Mails Stored Outside U.S.

Source: Bloomberg

July 14, 2016 — 10:48 AM EDT Updated on July 14, 2016 — 5:04 PM EDT

Microsoft Corp. won’t be forced to turn over e-mails stored in Ireland to the U.S. government for a drug investigation, an appeals court said in a decision that may affect data security throughout the U.S. technology industry.

The ruling on Thursday overturned a 2014 decision ordering Microsoft to hand over messages of a suspected drug trafficker. The company argued that would create a “global free-for-all” with foreign countries forcing companies to turn over evidence stored in the U.S. The government said a ruling in favor of Microsoft would create legal loophole to be exploited by fraudsters, hackers and drug traffickers.

The law doesn’t “authorize courts to issue and enforce against U.S.-based service providers warrants for the seizure of customer e-mail content that is stored exclusively on foreign servers,” U.S. Circuit Judge Susan Carney wrote for the majority of the New York appeals court.

The government is considering its options, Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-14/microsoft-wins-appeal-in-case-over-customers-e-mail-security

Dow Closes Up Triple Digits At Record, First 5-Day Win Streak Since March

U.S. equities closed at new record levels Thursday after the Bank of England hinted at looser monetary policy next month and as earnings season kicked into full gear.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high for the third consecutive day, ending the day up 134.2 points, with Goldman Sachs, IBM and Apple contributing the most gains. Earlier, the blue-chips index rose more than 160 points.

The S&P 500 had its fourth consecutive record close, ending half a percent higher, led by financials. The Nasdaq composite had its sixth positive day of gains in seven, closing half a percent higher as Apple shares gained more than 2 percent.

"Clearly, you're getting a positive stimulus from ," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab. "The market always tends to move ahead of these thing, and that's why I think you've seen the move higher over the past couple of days."



The Housing Market Is Waving a Red Flag

Almost nine years after the housing-market bust helped trigger the most recent recession, RealtyTrac senior vice president Daren Blomquist sees the industry waving a red flag.

The same fervent speculation that abetted the housing bubble is showing up in the bloated share of foreclosures snapped up by third-party investors at auction — a record 31 percent in June, according to RealtyTrac data that starts in 2000.

Many of those third-party buyers are "mom and pop" investors with less experience, said Blomquist. At the same time, institutional investors, a subset of the third-party investors who purchase at least 10 properties a year, are ducking out of the market.

"It's somewhat counterintuitive — as the market gets better and there are fewer foreclosures available, demand for those good deals, those bargains in the market goes up," said Blomquist. "When you see this high percentage of the properties going to third-party investors, that is a sign that these speculators may be over-inflating the market."



Kerry To Meet Putin In Bid To Save Syria Peace Process

Source: Agence France-Presse

Washington (AFP) - A frustrated US Secretary of State John Kerry is heading back to Moscow once again to meet President Vladimir Putin and test his commitment to the stalled Syrian peace process.

Russia and the United States are nominally co-chairs of international efforts to bring Bashar al-Assad's regime to the negotiating table with armed opposition groups.

But ferocious bloodshed continues in defiance of a series of failed ceasefires, and the odd couple heading the peace effort appear increasingly at odds over the way forward.

Kerry told diners at a delayed Eid al-Fitr supper Tuesday that he would meet Putin "to see if we can somehow advance this in the important ways that people want us to."

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/kerry-meet-putin-bid-save-syria-peace-process-152724621.html

Kerry Seeks Russian Cooperation Despite Deep Misgivings Within U.S. Administration

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Moscow on Thursday to again seek deeper Russian cooperation in the war against Islamic State in Syria, but he faces strong opposition from defense and intelligence officials who argue that Washington and Moscow have diametrically opposite objectives in the country.

Kerry's trip, which State Department officials say is his second to the Russian capital this year and his third in 12 months, takes place as U.S.-Russian relations have worsened with tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions, aggressive Russian maneuvers toward U.S. aircraft and vessels, and a disregard for a cessation of hostilities in Syria, where Russia has bombed U.S.-backed rebels.

Relations between Moscow and Washington also remain strained over the Ukraine crisis and what the Kremlin considers NATO’s unjustified activities along its borders, raising fears that disagreements could escalate into confrontations, either accidental in Syria or the result of miscalculations in the air and naval encounters from the Baltics to the Black Sea.

Yet Kerry, it seems, still hopes for closer collaboration with Russia, to the disbelief of many officials who say Washington has no strategy on how to deal with the challenges Russia poses in Europe and Syria.



Poll: In Tumultuous Summer, Young Americans In A Dour Mood

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a summer of political and racial tumult, young Americans are in a dour mood: pessimistic about the fairness of their economic system, questioning the greatness of the United States and deeply skeptical of the way the nation picks its leaders.

A new poll of young people between the ages of 18 and 30 finds that an overwhelming 90 percent think the two-party political system has real — though fixable — problems or that it is "seriously broken." Three-quarters believe the U.S. is "falling behind" or "failing" as a nation.

Just over half say the chance to get ahead economically is reserved for only a few people at the top.

Though the new GenForward survey is a poll of all young people, not necessarily registered or likely voters, it nevertheless shows clear discontent with the two major-party candidates for president. Only 39 percent of young people have a favorable opinion of Hillary Clinton. Just 19 percent think well of Donald Trump.



GOP Convention Floor Fight Brewing as Delegates Mull Going Rogue

There may not be a contested convention, but the Republican National Convention may have a floor fight on its hands, even if efforts to change the rules fail, according to a group pressing for delegates to "vote their conscience" during next week's nationally televised roll call.

Delegates Unbound, a group insisting that delegates may already vote for the candidate of their choice as their party's presidential nominee, has set up shop in downtown Cleveland, just blocks from where those delegates will cast their votes on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena next week.

In an interview in the group's nerve center, a room scattered with empty coffee cups and donut boxes, Dane Waters, the head of the group, told ABC News even if last-ditch attempts to change the rules fail, the roll call vote on the floor of the GOP convention won't be "some quiet little rodeo."

"These individuals are extremely passionate about the right to vote their conscience," he said. "So I can't imagine that people are gonna sit around and not do anything."


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