‘President Trump looks forward to having President Putin to Washington after the first of the year, and he is open to visiting Moscow upon receiving a formal invitation,’ White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Friday.
AFP – Grief and shock over Greece’s deadliest wildfires were clouded Friday by a bitter debate over who was to blame, as the opposition rejected the government’s suggestion that the blazes were started deliberately.
Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas on Thursday suggested there were “serious” signs that the worst of the fires, which killed scores this week east of Athens, was the result of arson.
Forensics experts pressed ahead Friday with the difficult task of identifying the bodies of the 82 people known to have perished in the catastrophe.
>> Related: Now floods hit capital
They ride in the back of Toyota double-cabin pickup trucks, assault rifles slung over their shoulders. No one knows their identities. They always wear black ski masks or hoods.
The gunmen — between 1,000 and 1,500 of them, according to some estimates — are part of a recently formed paramilitary force protecting the continued rule of President Daniel Ortega against a three-month-old civilian uprising. Their main tactic is terror. They conduct roundups, fire at protesters, carry out dark-of-night raids and menace the population.
The Pro-Human Rights Association of Nicaragua said Thursday that paramilitary forces have conducted 595 “kidnappings” and disappearances of citizens since the uprising began April 18. The group said it has tallied 97 killings since July 11.
Daily Mail – Some 400 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa reached Spain Thursday after storming a double barrier between Morocco and the Spanish territory of Ceuta, with some attacking security forces with quicklime, police said.
The scramble over the barrier is the biggest in Ceuta since February 2017, when more than 850 migrants entered the overseas territory over four days.
It comes as Spain becomes the number one destination for migrants crossing the Mediterranean by boat, surpassing Italy with 19,586 arrivals so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Express – IRAN-BACKED Yemeni rebels aligned have launched an attack on two oil tankers passing through the strategically important Red Sea shipping lane of Bab Al-Mandeb – prompting Saudi Arabia to announce that was “temporarily halting” all oil shipments along the route.
USA Today – Omarosa ready to exact revenge on Trump White House in tell-all book due Aug. 14
Daily Caller – California Rep. Maxine Waters said that Americans should be “out in the streets screaming” about President Trump in a Wednesday interview.
Waters told CNBC’s John Harwood, “I think [Trump’s] dangerous.”
“I don’t know why people take it. I think Americans should be out in the streets screaming to the top of their voice. Do something. Make something happen,” she continued.
During the interview, she also said, “[Trump is] one of the most deplorable people I’ve ever encountered in my life.”
AP – A federal judge has ordered Wisconsin to pay for the gender reassignment surgery for two transgender Medicaid recipients.
Cody Flack, 30, and Sara Ann Makenzie, 41, filed a lawsuit in April, saying a state rule denying coverage for surgeries to treat gender dysphoria violates the Affordable Care Act and their right to equal protection, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The state rule that excludes coverage for undefined “transsexual surgery” was adopted in 1996.
U.S. District Judge William Conley granted a preliminary injunction Wednesday barring enforcement of the rule. He suggested the injunction could be expanded to include any transgender Medicaid patient whose doctor recommends the surgery.
NTK Network – The New York Times and Associated Press both filed requests under the Maryland Public Information Act (PIA) seeking e-mails that Ashley Kavanaugh, the wife of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, sent as town manager of The Village of Chevy Chase Section 5, according to documents obtained by America Rising Squared (AR2) and shared exclusively with the NTK Network.
Buzzfeed – Tad Devine, a political operative who served at the highest levels of the Bernie Sanders campaign, will assist in the special counsel office’s prosecution of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chair, according to a statement released Thursday.
CBS – The California State Auditor released its yearly Whistleblower Act report Tuesday and it found a number of disturbing violations and misuse of taxpayer dollars. The report includes investigations into one DMV employee who slept at her desk for extended periods of time during work hours, a prison worker who regularly left early from work for more than two years, and two groundskeepers who routinely left work for hours at a time.
The 67-page audit covers investigative work done on 1,481 cases from July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018.
Economy & Business
LA Times – Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox Inc. shareholders on Friday overwhelmingly approved Disney’s proposed $71.3-billion takeover of much of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox — a milestone in a merger that is expected to dramatically reshape the entertainment industry.
CNBC – Twitter shares opened down 14 percent Friday after the company reported a decline in monthly active users and weak guidance.
Fox – Connecticut may be the richest state in the country, on a per capita basis, but it’s racked up a sizable debt worth more than $53 billion – and it could be taxpayers who are forced to bail out the Constitution State, according to the former governor of Indiana.
“Someone’s going to the barbershop,” Mitch Daniels, a Republican, said during an interview with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Thursday. “The first will be the taxpayers, already beleaguered in some of these states.”
And Connecticut isn’t the only state struggling with a debt crisis: California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York are unable to make pension payments to retired government workers.
WSJ – The Justice Department is investigating whether television station owners violated antitrust law in ways that inflated local television advertising prices, according to people familiar with the matter.
CBS – A woman says her bank let her safe deposit box vanish. And she’s not the only one.
Susan Nomi says when she went to open her Bank of America safe deposit box of 16 years, the entire box was gone.
Energy & Environment
ABC – The Carr Fire in Northern California that has claimed the life of a bulldozer operator and injured at least three firefighters is “taking everything down in its path,” a fire official said.
Science & Technology
Mashable – A mere matter of days after InfoWars founder Alex Jones received yet another YouTube strike — but wasn’t banned — he’s been hit with a 30-day block on Facebook.
Jones received another strike on YouTube this week for violating community guidelines in four videos, which have since been taken down.
AFP – Sixty years ago, spurred by competition with the Soviet Union, the United States created NASA, launching a journey that would take Americans to the moon within a decade.
Since then, the US space agency has seen glorious achievements and crushing failures in its drive to push the frontiers of space exploration, including a fatal launch pad fire in 1967 that killed three and two deadly shuttle explosions in 1986 and 2003 that took 14 lives.
Now, NASA is struggling to redefine itself in an increasingly crowded field of international space agencies and commercial interests, with its sights set on returning to deep space.
These bold goals make for soaring rhetoric, but experts worry the cash just isn’t there to meet the timelines of reaching the moon in the next decade and Mars by the 2030s.
Washington Free Beacon – U.S. needs a whole-of-government effort to counter foreign influence and cyber attacks
The Gazette – The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has become the first to employ new technology — developed by a company rooted in the university’s research engine — that uses artificial intelligence to diagnose an eye disease.
On June 12, the Diabetes and Endocrinology Center at UI Health Care-Iowa River Landing in Coralville began using technology developed by IDx, the Coralville-based medical diagnostics company.
The device, which received approval from U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April, was developed to diagnose diabetic retinopathy, a diabetes complication that can cause blindness.
The Guardian – Mutated strains of HIV circulating in a Canadian province where HIV rates rank among the highest in North America could be leading to the more rapid development of Aids-related illnesses, according to new research.
The research, published in the scientific journal Aids, was sparked by anecdotal reports from Saskatchewan, where HIV rates in 2016 exceeded the national average tenfold in some areas. Nearly
80% of those infected with HIV in the province are indigenous.
Newsmax – As scientists look into the effects of diet on health, they’re finding that more and more everyday foods offer benefits that go well beyond making dishes tastier. Garlic, an ingredient found in almost every cuisine, has emerged as one such superfood.
Treehugger- After a decade of research, a science journalist uncovers dietary culprits that appear to sabotage cognitive function.
These are readily available foods that are most often processed, and loaded with simple carbs, fat and salt. Some of them pose as healthful. Since nutrition is one of the easiest ways to practice preventative medicine – and since good health and wellness are an important tenet of sustainability – we think these 29 (and their kin) are definitely good ones to keep in mind.
Care2 – If pregnant crickets are exposed to a predatory wolf spider, their babies will hatch, exhibiting increased anti-predator behavior and, as a consequence, improved survival from wolf spider attack. The mother cricket appears to be able to forewarn her babies about the threat when they are still inside her, so they would be pre-adapted to their external environment. This even happens in plants.
What does this have to do with diet? Can what a pregnant woman eats—or doesn’t eat—permanently alter the biology of her children in terms of what genes are turned on or off throughout life?
WCCO – A mama duck in Minnesota has captured hearts across the nation after a Bemidji photographer snapped an image of her leading an astonishing 76 ducklings across a lake.
Amateur wildlife photographer Brent Cizek noticed the exceptional common merganser, which he now calls Mama Merganser, late last month during a photo session on Lake Bemidji.