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New Poll: Bernie Sanders Leads Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire

Aug 12, 2015

A new opinion poll shows Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has taken his first lead in New Hampshire, home of the nation’s first primary. The poll released shows Sanders has 44 percent support among likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters, compared to only 37 percent support for Hillary Clinton. This poll follows a series of speaking events where Sanders has drawn record crowds. On Sunday, 28,000 turned out for his speech in Portland, Oregon. It was the largest campaign rally for any candidate this year. A day later, more than 27,000 people attended his event in Los Angeles. Before the speech, the campaign’s new press secretary, Symone Sanders, an African-American criminal justice advocate, spoke about the Black Lives Matter movement and said, “No candidate for president is going to fight harder for criminal justice reform and racial justice issues than Senator Bernie Sanders.”

Hillary Clinton Turns Over Private Computer Server to Justice Dept.

Aug 12, 2015

In other campaign news, Hillary Clinton is turning over her private computer server she used while serving as secretary of state to the Justice Department. She is also turning over a thumb drive that contains copies of her email. The move is the latest in a series of attempts by Clinton to end the controversy surrounding whether she mishandled any classified material with her private email setup.

Greece and Creditors Reach Preliminary Deal Ahead of ECB Payment

Aug 12, 2015

In news from Greece, the government says it has reached a preliminary bailout deal with its international creditors ahead of a $3.5 billion payment to the European Central Bank on August 20. The deal in its current form includes a $95 billion bailout in exchange for harsh austerity measures. It does not include any debt relief. The deal must be passed by the Greek Parliament, the German Parliament and that of other European nations. The European Commission spokesperson spoke Tuesday, echoing caution from European officials who say the text of a final agreement has not yet been reached.

European Commission spokesperson Annika Breidthardt “What we have at the moment is a technical-level agreement reached by the staff of the institutions and the Greek authorities on the ground following the weeks of negotiations. What we don’t have at the moment is a political agreement, and that is what we would need.”

Australia Unveils Rolled-Back Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals

Aug 12, 2015

In Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott is facing criticism for his proposed greenhouse gas reduction goals, which seek to reduce carbon emissions by at least 26 percent by 2030. This plan rolls back a more ambitious proposal of reducing emissions by 30 percent over the same time period. Abbott’s conservative government also repealed laws last year requiring large companies to pay for carbon emissions. Scientists and environmental groups said the new greenhouse gas reduction plan is “way below” what’s needed to address climate change. Among the many to criticize the plan was Tony de Brum, the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, who told the Australian broadcaster ABC any proposals that won’t limit the increase of warming to no more than two degrees Celsius threatens his country’s very existence.

Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony de Brum “Anything over two degrees for us is the end of our country. We’ll go underwater when that happens. That’s why we’re saying it’s important for Australia, as our big brother to the south, to take our cause and not to do things that would endanger our very existence.”

St. Louis Police Release New Video of Tyrone Harris Pre-Shooting

Aug 12, 2015

In news from Ferguson, Missouri, the St. Louis County Police Department has released a video it says shows African-American teenager Tyrone Harris drawing a pistol before he was shot and critically injured by Ferguson police officers Sunday night. The shooting occurred during the ongoing protests over the first anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. Harris has been charged with four counts of assault on law enforcement and is being held on $250,000 bail. His father says Harris did not have a gun.

Ferguson: Armed Militia Oath Keepers Spark Controversy

Aug 12, 2015

Meanwhile, the presence of a group of heavily armed white men in Ferguson is sparking controversy. The Oath Keepers consists largely of former and current law enforcement and military personnel who say they are upholding the U.S. Constitution. During the protests, a Ferguson resident spoke about the presence of the Oath Keepers on the streets.

Ferguson resident: “You and people who look like you, white males, have the sovereignty to take advantage of the Second Amendment and walk around with assault rifles, but we can’t even like stand out here and assemble peacefully and exercise our constitutional right to do so without being gassed, maced and arrested.”

Arlington TX Police Dept. Fires Cop Who Fatally Shot Christian Taylor

Aug 12, 2015

In news from Texas, the Arlington Police Department has fired a white officer who shot and killed an unarmed 19-year-old African-American college student last Friday. The officer, Brad Miller, was still in training when he fatally shot Christian Taylor while responding to an alleged burglary at a car dealership. The Arlington police chief said he is turning over evidence to the district attorney, who will decide whether to present it to a grand jury for a possible criminal indictment of the officer.

Amnesty International Votes to Support Decriminalization of Sex Work

Aug 12, 2015

Amnesty International has voted to support a policy calling for the full decriminalization of all aspects of consensual sex work. The vote occurred Tuesday during a biennial meeting in Dublin. Amnesty says the policy shift comes after conducting two years of research that showed decriminalization is the best way to defend sex workers’ human rights. Amnesty International will now turn to lobbying governments to repeal laws that forbid the sale and purchase of sex.

Nigeria: Boko Haram Suspected in Blast That Killed Nearly 50 People

Aug 12, 2015

In news from Nigeria, an explosion in a market has killed nearly 50 people Tuesday in the northeastern town of Sabon Gari. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although the U.S. State Department says the blast occurred in a region that has faced a wave of recent attacks by the militant group Boko Haram.

9 Charged in Multimillion-Dollar Insider Trading Hacking Scheme

Aug 12, 2015

Federal prosecutors have unveiled criminal charges against nine people accused of orchestrating a multimillion-dollar insider trading hacking scheme. Authorities say that stock traders partnered with Ukrainian hackers to gain access to financial news releases before publication, allowing them to make insider trades worth millions. New Jersey District Attorney Paul Fishman announced the indictments Tuesday.

District Attorney Paul Fishman: “In two indictments, one returned here in the district of New Jersey and one in the eastern district of New York, charging a total of nine individuals. We allege that the conspirators stole more than 100,000 news releases, traded ahead of more than 800 company releases and made more than $30 million. In addition, the SEC has filed a civil complaint charging those individuals and a host of others with similar trading conduct.”

Those indicted include six stock traders and two Ukrainian computer hackers. Five of the defendants were arrested in the United States on Tuesday.

Afghanistan President Calls on Pakistan to Shut Down Taliban Camps

Aug 12, 2015

In news from Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani has called on the Pakistani government to crack down on Taliban training camps in Pakistan following a wave of deadly attacks in Afghanistan. Explosions outside police and military bases and the Kabul airport left more than 70 people dead over the weekend. Ghani called on Islamabad to take action.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani: “The incidents in the past two months in general, and particularly the incidents of recent days, prove that suicide bomber training centers and bomb-making factories, which are continually used to kill our innocent people, are still active in that country, Pakistan. We want the Pakistani government to take practical action against those circles who are committing rebellious acts against Afghanistan. We want them to stop their rebellious acts.”

Yemen: Pro-Houthi Demonstrators Protest U.S.-Backed Airstrikes

Aug 12, 2015

In news from Yemen, pro-Houthi demonstrators gathered in the capital city Sana’a Tuesday to protest the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition airstrikes. Hundreds of men marched through streets at an all-male rally, while women gathered for an all-female rally outside the United Nations building. One of the Houthi leaders spoke out at the protest.

Ibrahim al-Obaidi: “Today we came out in rejection of colonialism, in rejection of the siege. We will continue preparation and implementation of strategic options soon.”

Harvard Prof. Lawrence Lessig Considers Presidential Run

Aug 12, 2015

And Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig has announced he is considering a run for president in order to protest money in politics. He says that if he won the presidency, he would serve only as long as it takes to pass sweeping campaign finance reform. Then he would resign, he says. Lessig says that he will run as a Democratic candidate if he’s able to raise $1 million in small contributions by Labor Day.

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