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Simon Ramo, TRW co-founder who shaped California aerospace, dies at 103

Source: LA Times

Simon Ramo, an engineering impresario who was chief technical director of the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile program, joined Hughes Aircraft Co. in its early years and co-founded TRW Inc., has died at the age of 103, his son Jim Ramo said Tuesday.

Ramo died Monday of natural causes, in his sleep in Santa Monica, his Jim Ramo said.

The author of a score of books, Ramo helped sculpt the landscape of Southern California aerospace in the late 20th century. Although he technically retired at 65, he never really did so, his son said: Ramo received his last patent, for an educational computing system, at age 100.

Ramo was born May 7, 1913, in Salt Lake City to Benjamin and Clara Ramo. His father owned a clothing store. Ramo earned a degree from the University of Utah at age 20 and finished a PhD in electrical engineering from Caltech in 1936, when he was 23. That year he began working on military-related programs for General Electric Co., where he also helped develop the electron microscope.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-simon-ramo-20160628-snap-story.html

House Republicans' report faults Obama on Benghazi attacks

Source: AP

Republicans on the House Benghazi Committee faulted the Obama administration Tuesday for what they said was a slowed response to help Americans under attack in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, died in two assaults at the diplomatic facility and CIA annex.

The panel's chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, said the panel's report, being released Tuesday, was not aimed at Hillary Clinton, secretary of state at the time. Democrats have said the goal of the report is to undermine Clinton's presidential bid.

Gowdy said Tuesday that the report documents that the U.S. was slow to send help to the Americans in Benghazi "because of an obsession with hurting the Libyans' feelings."

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/house-republicans-report-fault-obama-benghazi-attacks-113746460--politics.html

Looks like AP has updated the article with this new headline and lede:

House Republicans fault US military response to Benghazi

A report by the House Benghazi panel is faulting the military for its slow response sending resources to Benghazi, Libya, during deadly 2012 attacks on a U.S. outpost, despite clear orders from President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Republicans on the Benghazi committee released an 800-page report on Tuesday on the attacks that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The panel's chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina said "nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost eight hours after the attacks began."

Gowdy said the Libyan forces that evacuated Americans from the CIA annex in Benghazi were not affiliated with any of the militias the CIA or State Department had developed a relationship with during the previous 18 months.

858 killed: Not a day in April passed without a terror attack

Habib Ullah chugged along a dusty road in rural Pakistan on his battered motorcycle, his wife, infant son and 7-year-old daughter hanging on — a family of farm laborers on their way to work the fields.

A 60-year-old father of seven, Ullah was steering through the barren, mountainous district of Khuzdar, in Pakistan’s poorest province.

The family never reached the fields. One of the motorcycle’s wheels struck a mine on Loop Leak Road.

Only the little girl, Aliya survived.


McConnell won’t say whether Trump is qualified to be president

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wouldn’t say in a Sunday interview whether he believes Donald Trump is qualified to be president.

“I’ll leave that to the American people to decide,” McConnell said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “You know, he won the Republican fair and square. He got more votes than anybody else against a whole lot of well-qualified candidates. And so our primary voters have made their decision as to who they want to be the nominee. The American people will be able to make that decision in the fall.”

According to an ABC News/Washington Post national poll released Sunday, Trump trails Hillary Clinton by 12 points (51 percent to 39 percent) among likely general election voters. And the same survey, conducted after the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., found 64 percent of Americans don’t think Trump is qualified to be commander in chief.

“It’s a long time until November,” McConnell said. “And the burden, obviously, will be on him to convince people that he can handle this job.”


Mitch McConnell: another profile in courage.

California lawmakers unplug the state's electric car program

California’s electric-car rebate program, which has helped put thousands of Teslas, Nissan Leafs and Chevrolet Volts on the road, is running out of money.

In the state budget passed earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers eliminated $500 million originally proposed for the subsidy program and other low-emissions initiatives – the result of a political impasse.

Without the funds, the electric-car subsidy, which has helped Californians purchase 150,000 low- and zero-emission cars since 2009, has hit a roadblock. Thousands of consumers applying for the incentive each month now are pushed to a waiting list.

Unlike most budget cuts, the decision to slash funding isn’t due to a lack of money.


It's brother & sister against brother & sister in bitter fight over control of Frank Zappa's legacy

Inside a home recording studio known as the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, where the late Frank Zappa composed and recorded some of his most adventurous works, his youngest son, Ahmet, reflects on his father’s legacy.

It is a rich musical heritage from one of rock ’n’ roll’s most beloved figures, but one that has become entangled by a contentious family battle.

The Zappa Family Trust owns the rights to a massive trove of music and other creative output by the songwriter, filmmaker and producer — more than 60 albums were released during Zappa’s lifetime and 40 posthumously. Like the intellectual property of many rock stars, the Zappa archives controlled by the trust are potentially worth at least tens of millions of dollars, according to one music insider.

Since the October 2015 death of Zappa’s wife, Gail, however, their children have become embroiled in a feud over control of the trust, which is millions of dollars in debt, pitting one brother and sister against another brother and sister. At issue is not just a celebrated artistic legacy, but even which of the children can perform using the Zappa name and profit from it.


Financially Struggling Trump Campaign Holds Fundraising Riot

NEWARK, NJ—Having raised only $3.1 million last month despite clinching the Republican nomination and with just $1.3 million on hand, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign sought a much-needed injection of cash Wednesday by holding a fundraising riot in Newark, sources confirmed.

“We’re inviting our supporters to join Donald for an afternoon of violent shoving, enraged chanting, and throwing sucker punches, with all proceeds going toward our efforts to make America great again,” said Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, explaining that the event included a $50-a-head clash with protesters in the parking lot outside the Prudential Center, where complimentary rocks and glass bottles to throw would be provided.

“Gold-level supporters who give over $500 to the campaign will have a reserved spot inside the vicious, uncontrollable scrum in the arena, where they can enjoy brawling with others or screaming racial slurs at the various minorities who will be on hand throughout the event. And our platinum-level donors—those who pledge over $1,000—will be given exclusive access to the press section, where they can knock a camera out of a photographer’s hand or slam a reporter of their choice to the ground. It’s sure to be a lively event.”

At press time, the campaign had surpassed its goal of raising $5 million, leading Trump’s advisors to organize a fundraising Molotov cocktail hour outside a Hillary Clinton rally to be held later this week.


Reince Priebus Smiles, Shakes Head While Flipping Through Old Briefing On GOP’s Plans For 2016

WASHINGTON—Breaking into a smile as he read the words “inclusiveness” and “young voters,” RNC chairman Reince Priebus couldn’t help but shake his head in amusement Wednesday while flipping through an 18-month-old briefing on the Republican Party’s plans for the 2016 election, sources reported.

“Oh man, I completely forgot we came up with this whole 20-point program for how we would appeal to Latinos,” said Priebus, chuckling to himself as he thought back on the two years’ worth of meetings that resulted in a detailed strategy of embracing immigration reform, countering the Democrats’ “war on women” rhetoric, and running on a “positive agenda” of hope and tolerance, which he and other GOP leaders had calculated would put their party’s candidate on the best possible footing for this year’s presidential contest.

“Wow, and there are our favorable assessments of Jeb Bush and Scott Walker! Boy, oh boy, that really takes me back. You know, all things considered, this was a pretty solid plan for taking back the White House. Oh well.”

Priebus went on to state that the briefing wasn’t a complete waste, noting that the section on enacting voting restrictions to subdue minority turnout was still fully usable.


Set Your Clocks Forward: Bolivia’s President Says That It’s the Year 5524

Bolivian President Evo Morales proposed Tuesday that the South American country ditch the Gregorian calendar and return to the calender that its indigenous ancestors used.

During the Aymara New Year ceremony — which marks the winter solstice and is considered the start of the new year by many indigenous people — Morales said it was important to reclaim the country’s “ancestral calendar” in a bid to distance the nation from its colonial past, reports Latin American television network TeleSur.

According to the indigenous calendar, it is the year 5524 in Bolivia.

Morales is Bolivia’s first indigenous leader and declared June 21 a national holiday in 2010. Since assuming office in 2005, he has focused on promoting an inclusive national identity for Bolivia — one of Latin America’s most ethnically diverse countries — and introducing social reforms prioritizing indigenous rights.


'Seismic strain': Land around the San Andreas fault is rising and sinking

For the first time, scientists have produced a computer image showing huge sections of California rising and sinking around the San Andreas fault.

The vertical movement is the result of seismic strain that will be ultimately released in a large earthquake.

The San Andreas fault is California’s longest earthquake fault, and one of the state’s most dangerous. Scientists have long expected that parts of California are rising — and other parts sinking — around the fault in a way that is ongoing, very subtle and extremely slow.

Such vertical movement makes a lot of sense. California sits on the border of two gigantic tectonic plates — the Pacific and North American — that are constantly grinding past each other.

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