(Mercury News) – California gas prices to soar this week

California gas prices to soar this week

By Gary Richards grichards@mercurynews.com

If you’re one of those California drivers who already resents having to pay a lot more to fill your tank than most Americans, you’re going to be sputtering mad this week.Prices at the pump have already begun creeping up in recent days, and they may soar this week as much as 30 cents a gallon in the Bay Area and 50 cents in Southern California as refinery issues and a lack of imported crude oil slam the Golden State.That means the average cost of regular gas will soon exceed $4 a gallon in the Southland and get uncomfortably close to that mark in the Bay Area.GasBuddy.com analysts say the
price hikes are occurring because of “an extraordinary convergence of fuel supply problems” that have caused “severe spikes with no immediate relief in sight.” Other analysts blame California’s special blend of less-polluting gasoline, as well as problems at three refineries in the southern part of the state.The $2.76 average across the country is a whopping 83 cents less than in California. Usually the gap is in the 20-30-cent range.The U.S. Department of Energy says the world remains “massively oversupplied.” American drivers paid the lowest price for July 4 travel since 2010, saving 90 cents a gallon.California drivers have also enjoyed lower gas prices than in years past. But state supplies are now at a 12-month low, and federal energy officials say California refiners had to use 1.1 million barrels from their storage tanks. It’s so bleak that imports to the West Coast sank to zero last week after averaging more than 100,000 barrels a day over the previous four weeks.Regular gas in Los Angeles hit $3.79 on average Saturday, up 24 cents since Thursday. Oakland stood at $3.48, 9 cents more than Thursday. And San Jose’s $3.46 average was 10 cents more than 48 hours earlier. The state average of $3.59 jumped 16 cents during the two-day period.”Holy cow — I’m scratching my head,” David Hackett, president of Stillwater Associates in Irvine told Bloomberg News. “Gasoline inventories are on the low side, but we’re not at the bottom of the tank yet.”Some energy analysts are hoping that the increase may last only a week or so. But the less optimistic ones say all bets are off.Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst at Gas Buddy, took the unusual step of urging state drivers not to rush out to fill up.”Filling up unnecessarily may further strain gasoline supply and exacerbate the situation,” he warned. “We have no gasoline as of Monday heading for the California coast. It’s a dire situation.”Problems with California’s crude oil supplies began before Memorial Day when a series of refinery problems in the Midwest led to more oil being sent there than here. Without the ability to get relief from other U.S. regions because California doesn’t have major pipelines, the West Coast has been forced to wait for large vessels from around the world to arrive.The price changes at California’s pumps are getting noticed.”What’s the deal?” asked Eric Itani of San Jose, who has seen his favorite Chevron station boost prices 8 cents in recent days. ‘We’re conserving on electricity, we’re conserving on water — and now I need to conserve on my gas usage.”I am aware that gas prices are much lower compared to one and two years ago, but I am as greedy as the oil companies.”Bill Casilla forked over $3.69 a gallon at the ARCO station on International Boulevard and 98th Avenue in Oakland on Friday. That meant his pickup cost $15 more to fill up than the last time.”Too much,” the landscaper said. “I just pray it stays where it is because I spend a lot for gas.”For Bay Area residents, it could be worse.Tom Robinson, the president of the Rotten Robbie stations, said he’s having no problems getting fuel, but prices have been jumping up and the Southern California market appears to be particularly turbulent.”I think SoCal spot prices are 70 cents higher than NorCal prices,” he said. “Crazy.”Follow Gary Richards at Twitter.com/mrroadshow or Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.gas prices RISINGCity Thursday SaturdayLos Angeles $3.55* $3.79 San Diego $3.54 $3.75San Francisco $3.52 $3.58Bakersfield $3.47 $3.57Vallejo $3.41 $3.50Oakland $3.39 $3.48San Jose $3.36 $3.46Santa Cruz $3.32 $3.38California $3.43 $3.59United States $2.76 $2.76* Average price for a gallon of regular gas.

Source: California gas prices to soar this week


(CBS News) – Pope Francis visits Paraguay slum, says mass for 1 million

Pope Francis visits Paraguay slum, says mass for 1 million

People’s feet are covered with plastic bags to guard against mud while waiting for Pope Francis in Asuncion, Paraguay, on July 12, 2015. ANNA MATRANGA

On the last day of his pilgrimage to South America, Pope Francis visited one of the poorest neighborhoods in one of the poorest countries of his native continent.The Banado Norte shantytown lies on the outskirts of Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. Because of its location on the Paraguay River, it’s frequently overcome with floods — the name “Banado” means wetlands. Settled 50 years ago, 15,000 families live there, most of them surviving by picking through garbage and reselling it. Only 1 out of 10 residents has a regular job.Because of its location between Asuncion and the Paraguay River, the land on which the shantytown sits has recently become valuable real estate, and residents fear that unless the government steps in to protect them, they could be forced out. 46 PHOTOSPope preaches to faithful in Latin AmericaWhen Pope Francis arrived, he stopped to mingle with the residents, shake hands, and hug them. Two women told him their stories. One said: “We feel like the lepers in the gospel. We’ve been rejected until now that they’ve decided our land is very valuable.”The pope told the residents: “I could not come to Paraguay without spending time with you here on YOUR land,” emphasizing the “your.””I want to be your neighbor,” he said.Pope Francis then told the gathered residents that their faith would bring them the solidarity that would see them through.”A faith without solidarity is a sick faith, a dead faith,” the pontiff said. “Be neighbors, above all to the young and elderly. Be a support for young families and all families who are experiencing difficulties.”After Banado Norte, the pope went on to celebrate mass in Asuncion with close to a million people, some from his native Argentina just across the border from Paraguay. Entire families camped out the night before in the field where the mass was held, spreading plastic sheets on the deep mud to stay dry. Many covered their feet with plastic bags, others gave up altogether and went shoeless.People’s feet are covered with plastic bags to guard against mud while waiting for Pope Francis in Asuncion, Paraguay, on July 12, 2015. ANNA MATRANGAThe pope’s last scheduled event before heading back to Rome is a meeting with hundreds of thousands of youth, presumably to send a last message of hope for the future of this country, and the continent.

Source: Pope Francis visits Paraguay slum, says mass for 1 million – CBS News

(NY Times) – European Leaders Reach Agreement to Resolve Greek Debt Crisis

BRUSSELS — European leaders said Monday morning that they had reached a deal meant to resolve Greece’s debt crisis and avert a historic fracture in the Continent’s common currency project.

“EuroSummit has unanimously reached agreement,” Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, wrote on his Twitter account shortly before 9 a.m. on Monday. The new bailout for Greece would involve “serious reforms” and “financial support,” he wrote.

The deal announced early Monday allows only the start of detailed negotiations on a new assistance package for Greece. But the prospect of a new bailout program was expected to give the European Central Bank the leeway to continue channeling sorely needed emergency funding to Greek banks hollowed out by a long economic slump and the withdrawal of billions of euros in recent months by panicky account holders as the country’s financial crisis worsened.

Riot police stood guard in front of the Greek Parliament, during an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens on Sunday.Greeks’ Anticipation Turns to Anxiety, Then Frustration in Weekend on EdgeJULY 12, 2015
Diners bowed their heads in prayer before eating at the Galini charity’s soup kitchen in Athens. Greece’s fiscal crisis has made many destitute and desperate, and is stretching the resources of charities and government agencies that help the poor.Greece Financial Crisis Hits Poorest and Hungriest the HardestJULY 11, 2015
At a bank in Athens, graffiti made clear the resentment some Greeks have against the Germans’ hard-line economic positions.Greek Debt Crisis Pits Greeks Against GermansJULY 11, 2015
A statue of the goddess Athena in Athens. Greece is struggling to avert bankruptcy.With Greeks Now Ready to Make a Deal, What Can We Expect?JULY 11, 2015
Christina Economou, 59, owns a restaurant named after herself in Hydra.Portraits From Greece as It Endures a CrisisJUNE 23, 2015
The agreement aims to provide Greece with its third bailout package in five years. Tough terms, demanded by Germany and others, are meant to balance Greece’s demands for a loan repayment system that will not keep it mired in recession and austerity budgets, against creditors’ insistence that loans worth tens of billions of euros not be money wasted. Months of testy negotiations, and the inability of Greece to live up to the promises made in its previous bailouts had put a cloud of distrust over the weekend’s discussions.

An accord would end five months of bitter negotiations that raised concerns that Greece would be the first country to be forced out of the euro currency union — a development that proponents of European unity had sought desperately to avoid.

“The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages,” Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told a news conference, explaining her decision to accept the deal and recommend that the German Parliament also grant its approval.

“The country which we help has shown a willingness and readiness to carry out reforms,” said Ms. Merkel, referring to Greece.

As part of Greece’s commitments, Ms. Merkel said, a fund will be created to use the proceeds from selling off assets owned by the Greek government to help pay down the country’s debt. That fund would be “to the tune of” €50 billion, she said.

Greece will be required to also seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund and agree to let the organization continue to monitor the country’s adherence to its bailout commitments. The Greek government had resisted a continued role for the I.M.F., seeing the fund’s involvement as unwanted meddling.

The Greek Parliament will also be required to approve the terms of the agreement “without delay,” according to the draft document that was circulating Monday morning. One of the sticking points in the weekend negotiations had been a demand that the Parliament sign off on any deal by Wednesday, but that requirement appears to have been relaxed.

He added that eurozone finance ministers would “as a matter of urgency discuss how to help” Greece meet its short-term financing needs. That appeared to be a reference to ensuring that Greece, which is nearly bankrupt, can make large payments to lenders including the European Central Bank that are due in the coming weeks.

From left, Donald Tusk, the European Council president; Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president; and Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Eurogroup president, gave a news conference after leaders in Brussels reached a deal to resolve Greece’s debt crisis on Monday. Credit Olivier Hoslet/European Pressphoto Agency

During the marathon negotiation session, Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, struggled with economic overhauls that were demanded by the creditors but that his left-wing government will find difficult to sell at home — just a week after Greek voters overwhelmingly rejected softer terms in a referendum.

European stocks rose and the bond market calmed on Monday morning just moments after European leaders said they had reached a deal. There was no euphoria, however, as investors waited to see how the tough agreement would be put in place.

Niki Kitsantonis contributed reporting from Athens, and Alison Smale from Berlin.

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(Yahoo News)  – California Town on High Alert after Coyotes Attack Children  

California Town on High Alert after Coyotes Attack Children


(ABC News)California residents are being warned to be more vigilant about coyotes after four attacks on children in the past month in the Irvine area.The most recent incident — this past Sunday — involved a 2-year-old child.“It was a child, about approximately 2 years old, was in the garage. They opened the garage up and the coyote came in and actually got the child on the neck area and part of the cheek,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife Lt. Kent Smirl told ABC’s Los Angeles station KABC.Coyote Makes Itself at Home in Georgia KitchenThree Rare Coyote Attacks Within 10 Days Spark WorriesCoyote Sightings Put New Jersey Town on EdgeThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported four incidents involving coyotes and young children in the past month in Irvine, where the children have either been bitten or scratched by a coyote. All four had minor injuries from the attacks.“These incidents highlight the importance of communities working together to eliminate sources of food that may attract wildlife to neighborhoods,” Capt. Rebecca Hartman said. “When coyotes are fed, either intentionally or unintentionally by food being left out, they can become a public safety threat.”Trappers have recently humanely euthanized five coyotes in the area and one was linked back to an attack through its DNA, KABC reported.Officials are concerned that coyotes are losing their natural fear of humans because they’re now associating humans with food.If a coyote approaches and looks aggressive, pick up small children and pets and throw rocks to deter the animal, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said.The only reported coyote-caused fatality in the state, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, occurred in 1981 when a 3-year-old girl was killed.

Source: California Town on High Alert after Coyotes Attack Children – Yahoo News

Coyote Makes Itself at Home in Georgia Kitchen

Coyote Sightings Put New Jersey Town on Edge





(STGIST) – Auto companies not giving Google and Apple “all the data” from smart vehicles –

Car companies are looking to create their own data business, so they’re planning to limit the data they share with tech giants Apple Inc., and Google.


Citing a single reason, key players in the automobile industry have toldReuters that they will limit the data that they share with tech partners Apple Inc., and Google Inc.

Car companies Ford, GM and Volkswagen AG’s Audi subsidiary, are reportedly hoping that one day, they will create a new revenue stream from data provided by phone-compatible vehicles. A data business, so to speak.

According to the report, car manufacturers hope that the data from car dashboards will generate billions of dollars — like how Amazon uses its internal algorithm to understand how consumers behave while buying stuff online.

In case you’re wondering, car companies are now collecting data from drivers by selling cars that can communicate with electronics, including smartphones and tablet computers. Consumers use these systems to play music, get access to mapping data, and others. Apple and Google provide the operating system compatibility via the Android and iOS. Consumers can access the apps and other content on the smartphone by using the car dashboard with built-in display.

Don Butler, an executive director at Ford Motors, has told Reuters that they’re limiting the data they share with the tech giants in California because they’re protecting their company’s “ability to create value.” The same article also revealed that General Motors Corp has told its investors that a whopping $350 million additional revenue (over the next three years) would come in from the smarter car dashboards.

Not Surprisingly

At Fortune, Stacey Higginbotham wrote that this decision “surprises no one.” She then explained how car companies could fail.

Meanwhile on other parts of the world-wide web, followers of news linked to Apple and Google have suggested that the auto industry’s action against the two tech giants may be connected to reports about the still unconfirmed Apple automobile, in addition to the highly publicized Google driverless car technology program.

At Bloomberg, Craig Trudell has underlined the fact that Google and Apple are not yet into manufacturing of cars, but both are already paving the way to reach the lucrative four-wheel industry.

Apparently, Google has been making significant progress on self-driving car technology, so much so that the prototype car will start running beyond its test tracks.

Last month, Google’s prototype self-driving cars hit the public streets around Mountain View, California for the first time. Also in June, the search giant confirmed that its cars will soon invade the highways on the state of Virginia.

Source: Auto companies not giving Google and Apple “all the data” from smart vehicles – STGIST

(Reuters) – Box Office: ‘Minions’ Dominates With $115.2 Million Debut

Box Office: ‘Minions’ Dominates With $115.2 Million DebutBY BRENT LANGLOS ANGELES, July 12, (Variety.com) – “Minions” ruled the weekend box office, racking up a massive $115.2 million in North America, for the second biggest animated film opening in history.The Universal and Illumination Entertainment spin-off to “Despicable Me” just missed the domestic record set by “Shrek the Third’s” $121.6 million kickoff in 2007, while continuing animation maestro Chris Meledandri’s hot streak at the multiplexes. What makes Meledandri so valuable to studios is that he keeps budgets low. “Minions” cost $74 million to produce, a modest number considering that Pixar and DreamWorks Animation routinely spend north of $100 million on their animated features.The studio left nothing to chance when it came to reminding moviegoers why the loved the nattering, mischievous, highlighter-hued critters. Universal partnered with the likes of Snapchat, McDonald’s, and Amazon to deliver nearly $600 million in publicity and promotions, according to a recent article by Bloomberg. The titular characters were ubiquitous popping up on everything from Twinkies to Chiquita bananas.”With anything that opens to over $100 million, you breach all demographics,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “The Minions are the stars of the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise…kids love them, teens love them, and adults love them.””Minions” also enjoyed a sprawling rollout, debuting in 4,301 theaters. In recent months, there’s been a lot of celebrating taking place on the Universal lot. The studio is the leader in market share thanks to hits like “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and has two films that have crossed $1 billion at the global box office with “Furious 7” and “Jurassic World.””Minions” was such a behemoth that two newcomers, “Self/Less” and “The Gallows,” risked getting washed away. Of them, “The Gallows” fared better, picking up $10 million, across 2,720 locations. The Warner Bros. found footage chiller cost less than $2 million to make, so it could be profitable. Entertainment 360 and Blumhouse Productions backed the picture about a high school play gone terribly, terribly wrong…and not in that teenagers putting on “The Crucible” kind of way.Warner Bros. executives say the film is a modestly priced single, but was an important showcase for writers and directors Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing.”We’re cultivating young filmmakers and giving them a chance to grow and prosper,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. distribution executive vice president. “These are really sharp guys, who have a long career in front of them.”Focus Features’ “Self/Less” was not so fortunate, picking up roughly $5.4 million from 1,953 locations. The science-fiction thriller about a radical medical procedure is the latest film fumble for Ryan Reynolds, who is still laboring to get out from under the massive flops that were “The Green Lantern” and “R.I.P.D.” The good news for the actor is that a trailer for “Deadpool,” his upcoming R-rated comic book adaptation, rocked the Comic-Con crowd. Box office redemption may be nigh.”Self/Less” was produced for $26 million, but the blow is softened in part by foreign pre-sales that limited Focus’ and co-backer Endgame’s financial exposure.”Minions” also took a chunk out of some of the turbo-charged blockbusters still kicking around cinemas. “Jurassic World” slid 54% to $18.1 million, bringing its stateside haul to $590.6 million, while “Inside Out” dipped 43% to $17.1 million, pushing its domestic total to $283.6 million.Overall ticket sales were robust, improving nearly 40% over the year-ago period when “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” kicked off with $72.6 million.

Source: Box Office: ‘Minions’ Dominates With $115.2 Million Debut | Reuters

(benchmark reporter) – Armed Robbers use backhoe to rob ATM from bank in Florida

Source: Armed Robbers use backhoe to rob ATM from bank in Florida

Armed Robbers use backhoe to rob ATM from bank in Florida

Florida cops have captured two robbers who were on their attempt to flee after seizing an ATM from the local bank with the help of a stolen backhoe. The robbers were identified as Francisco Hernandez, 53 and Jesus Antonio Sanchez, 50 both residents of Clewiston. They are currently being held at the Polk County Jail on grand theft auto charges as reported by the Orlando Sentinel.

Hernandez and Sanchez are believed to have stolen the backhoe from a local construction site, before heading to Winter Haven and capturing an ATM from the wall of the CentreState Bank. The entire incident has been recorded by a surveillance camera near the ATM. The footage has confirmed the robbery being taken place on Friday midnight.

The suspects however claim that they were innocent as they had been collecting scrap metal and were unable to recall where items pulled by the investigating deputy had been located. Hernandez was previously known to officials due to an outstanding Hendry Country arrest warrant for violating his probation. Sanchez was also on probation for a previous grand theft offence.

According to a bank representative, the suspects did manage to take the ATM from the wall but they were in no attempt to open it.

Backhoes are generally used to excavate or dig and is usually mounted on tractors and front loaders. The suspects have been referred to as “brazen” for their shameless assault on the ATM. The motivation of the two men remains unclear and the two men remain in holding at Polk County Jail.

Recent reports suggest that ATM theft is on the rise as criminals turn to stealing ATM’s rather than swiping credit cards. In 2010 in Texas, 100 ATM machines were stolen. Bank robberies appear to be down.

(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) – Westmoreland museum set to return to renovated location

By Kathy Samudovsky
A 6-year-old dog named Mr. Buddy Walker doesn’t realize he’s a canine ambassador at Westmoreland @rt 30 in Unity, the temporary location of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art during its $20 million renovation.His owner, Doug Evans, the museum’s collections manager, has been taking Buddy to work daily since 2013. The miniature pinscher-Jack Russell terrier mix attends staff meetings, people-watches from a sunlit window in the gift shop, and occasionally wanders freely through the art gallery to visitors’ delight.Buddy was allowed to come to work with his owner because the museum’s temporary location made it impossible for Mr. Evans to continue to walk home during lunch breaks to check on the dog, and soon three more staffers in similar situations brought in their dogs, said Judith O’Toole. She is the museum’s director and CEO whose position was recently renamed The Richard M. Scaife Director/ CEO to honor Mr. Scaife’s contributions to the museum.Ms. O’Toole believes the pooches’ presence indicates to visitors that the museum “is serious about being more welcoming and open to new ideas,” especially while in the home stretch of its two-year overhaul, she said.“We want to change the atmosphere of what it’s like to visit a museum, to try to get rid of the stuffiness, whispering and tip-toeing around — and the dogs just really say it,” she said.On Monday, Westmoreland @rt 30 will permanently close to the public so that staff can start the move back to the museum’s renovated location at 221 N. Main St. in Greensburg.The move will occur in stages over the next three months, Ms. O’Toole said.“We couldn’t ensure a very good public experience during that time, so we thought rather than disappoint people, we’d just ‘go dark’ until we get settled,’’ she said.Before the temporary location closes, the gift shop at Westmoreland @rt 30, 4764 State Route 30, is holding a sale 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday. All products are American-made, including works by regional jewelers, woodworkers and ceramicists.The overhauled museum will be nothing short of breathtaking, Ms. O’Toole said.A two-day reopening celebration is planned for Oct. 24-25 at the museum. The event, called “The Sky’s the Limit,” will include cocktails from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and dancing from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Oct. 24. For tickets and details: 724-837-1500 or www.wmuseumaa.org. A free community day is set from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 25.The renovation and expansion is part of a five-year, $38 million capital and endowment campaign that began in 2011, Ms. O’Toole said. The four-story building was completely renovated and a 13,500-square-foot East Wing was added.“This is the largest undertaking of the museum ever,” she said.The museum, which opened in 1959, underwent partial renovations in 1968 and 1999.“What drove the current campaign was the need for more space and a strong desire to transform the building to be more transparent, inviting and look like a museum rather than a government building,” Ms. O’Toole said.At the end of this month, crews will start moving the more than 3,500 works of art into the renovated second-floor galleries and fine arts storage area, she said. The temporary location should be empty shortly after all staff move into the West Wing in mid-August.Much of the exterior work on the building is not finished, and site development and landscaping will be completed closer to the reopening date. Work on the new East Wing is still underway.Smoking no longer will be permitted on museum grounds because the East Wing will be a LEED-certified gold building.Buddy and his fellow canine ambassadors will be allowed in the renovated museum, but the dogs will be confined to staff quarters with occasional appearances in visitor areas. The museum does not permit visitors to bring pets.The dogs contribute to reducing employee stress, Ms. O’Toole said.“Buddy loves people,” Mr. Evans said. “He loves it when school children tour, and special needs visitors just light up when he greets them.”Yearly, the museum draws nearly 25,000 visitors. The hope is to increase those numbers by reopening with significant new collections, including those with works dated after 1950, Ms. O’Toole said.New exhibits will include a regional, 200-piece fraktur — a form of folk art — collection from David Brocklebank of Ligonier and his late wife, Joy.Kathy Samudovsky, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.

Source: Westmoreland museum set to return to renovated location | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

(ABC News) – Carrie Underwood’s dogs lock car with baby inside

It was quite a scare for country music star Carrie Underwood.

Carrie Underwood performs at LP Field at the CMA Music Festival on Saturday, June 13, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Al Wagner/Invision/AP)

Sunday, July 12, 2015 07:41AM
It was quite a scare for country music star Carrie Underwood.

She was forced to break into her own car Saturday morning after her dogs accidentally locked themselves inside along with her 4-month-old son.

Underwood tweeted about the incident, saying: “When your dogs manage to lock themselves, all your stuff & the baby in the car & you have to break a window to get in. #WhatAreTheChances”

Later, Underwood would clarify that it was actualy her brother-in-law who broke into her car to save her dogs and baby.

She made sure to let all her fans know everyone was okay and all was good – “minus the broken window.”

Read Source: Carrie Underwood’s dogs lock car with baby inside | 6abc.com

(NY Daily News) – China evacuates more than 1M as typhoon pounds coast

Chinese authorities have evacuated more than 1.1 million people as a typhoon heads to its southeastern coast.

BEIJING – A typhoon pounded the Chinese coast south of Shanghai on Saturday with strong winds and heavy rainfall, submerging roads, felling trees and forcing the evacuation of 1.1 million people.

Typhoon Chan-hom slammed ashore with winds of up to 160 kilometers (100 miles) per hour near Zhoushan, a city east of the port of Ningbo in Zhejiang province. It has dumped more than 100 millimeters (4 inches) of rain since late Friday — about a month’s average in less than 24 hours, China Central Television and the Xinhua News Agency reported.

No deaths or injuries have been reported by Saturday evening.

“It was so windy that the rain came in through the windows even though they were closed,” Zhoushan resident Zhang Zhouqun, 53, manager of a logistics company, said in a telephone interview.

The storm felled 10-year-old trees in his neighborhood, stranded cars in 60-centimeter (2-foot) -deep water and swamped half the fields, Zhang said. Police were out barring people from trying to drive. At the urging of local officials, Zhang’s family had stocked up a few days’ worth of groceries, he said.

Some 1.1 million people had been evacuated from coastal areas of Zhejiang and more than 46,000 in neighboring Jiangsu province ahead of the storm, Xinhua said. The provincial flood control bureau said 28,764 ships had been ordered back to port.

The national weather service said earlier the typhoon might be the strongest to strike China since the communist government took power in 1949. It initially was deemed a super-typhoon but was downgraded at midday Saturday to a strong typhoon and was weakening further as it moved inland.

Heavy downpour was reported in some areas, including the village of Lai’ao, which recorded more than 400 millimeters (16 inches) of rain, according to Xinhua.

More than 100 trains and 600 flights were canceled in the cities of Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou and Taizhou, according to Xinhua. Buses and passenger ferries also suspended service.

Earlier, Chan-hom caused 20 injuries as it moved over islands in southern Japan, Kyodo news agency reported.

The storm dumped rain on the northern Philippines and Taiwan, where several flights were suspended. The stock market and public offices were closed Friday in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital.

Chan-hom is the second major storm to hit China this week, after Typhoon Linfa forced 56,000 people from their homes in the southern province of Guangdong province.

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(newsmax.com) – Coulter Changes Her View on Trump: ‘He’s Magnificent Now’

Donald Trump

Just four years ago, Ann Coulter was calling Donald Trump “a clown.” But now, since his much-publicized push against illegal immigration, she thinks he’s “magnificent.”

“We all make mistakes,” the outspoken political commentator and writer told Fox News’ Alan Colmes on his radio show Friday night. “We all make mistakes, [but] bygones will be bygones.”

But back in 2011, Coulter’s tone on Trump was different. She dismissed conservatives’ enthusiasm for the man who at one time was donating money to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, now the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

According to state and federal disclosure records, Clinton, while senator of New York, received donations from Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., during the years of 2002, 2005, 2006,and 2007, reports Politico.

“I think Trump is a clown,” Coulter said during her 2011 speech at George Washington University. “I expect the enthusiasm for him is based on two things: that the rest of at least the declared candidates aren’t exciting anybody, and there’s name recognition. And he has come out like gangbusters against the Obama administration like an establishment politician probably wouldn’t.”

She also called Trump’s “birtherism,” when he was demanding access to President Barack Obama’s birth certificate “all just a big act for the moment,” she said.

Ann Coulter
Coulter also pointed out that back in 2012, Trump had criticized Mitt Romney and Republicans for being too “mean-spirited” on immigration, but she said that was also a mistake.

Coulter says she is glad Trump is pushing immigration issues as a major focus for the 2016 race, while saying she is disappointed that Republicans only vow to get tough on immigration during election seasons.

Coulter and Trump are both causing controversy with their stances on immigration. She is on a media tour for her new anti-immigration book, “Adios America!”

In her book, she attacks the issue as well as Democrats, while criticizing the media, the government, and even Republican businessmen for profiting from mass immigration.

Source: Coulter Changes Her View on Trump: ‘He’s Magnificent Now’

(TribLIVE) – Greensburg man dies in motorcycle crash

|A 46-year-old Unity Township man was killed in a motorcycle crash Saturday evening, according to investigators.Bruce A. Maglicco Jr., who was wearing a helmet, was traveling south on Marguerite Road in Unity just before 8:30 p.m. when the motorcycle briefly left the road and slid, according to state police and the Westmoreland County coroner’s office.The 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle came to rest on top of Maglicco in the center of the road, according to a news release from the coroner.A passerby, who is a nurse, stopped and attempted to resuscitate the man, said police and fire Chief Scott Graham. The crash occurred between Coke Oven Hill and Bernie Stone roads, Graham said.The man was transported to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital where he was pronounced dead, investigators said. Maglicco’s cause of death was a result of multiple blunt force injuries, the coroner ruled.An autopsy will not be performed. Toxicology results will take several weeks to complete.Shirley Funeral Home in North Huntingdon Township is handling arrangements.

Source: Greensburg man dies in motorcycle crash | TribLIVE

(CBS News) – Plane Lands On Highway In Ocean County, New Jersey

Police say shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday, a plane carrying five passengers landed on Route 72, near a Home Depot in Stafford Township.

Source: Plane Lands On Highway In Ocean County, New Jersey


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(credit:  Stafford Township Police Department)

(credit: Stafford Township Police Department)

STAFFORD, N.J. (CBS) — A small plane had to make an emergency landing on the highway in Ocean County, New Jersey.

Police say shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday, a plane carrying five people landed on Route 72, near a Home Depot in Stafford Township.

The highway where the plane touched down is the town’s main road that leads to and from the Jersey Shore.

(credit:  Stafford Township Police Department)

No one aboard the plane or on the ground was injured.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the pilot to make the emergency landing.

Authorities say the investigation is ongoing.


(CNN) – Rhode Island beach evacuated after apparent explosion

(CNN) — A Rhode Island beach was evacuated Saturday while a bomb squad investigated an apparent explosion that injured a woman, authorities said.

“We believe there had been a small explosion, sub-surface, that erupted out of the sand and virtually caused one of our beach patrons to ultimately fall backwards and forwards” and land on the rocks of the jetty, Larry Mouradjian of the state department of environmental management said at a press conference, reported CNN affiliate WPRI.

So far, there’s no evidence an explosive device was involved in the blast at Salty Brine Beach, said Kurt Blanchard of the Rhode Island Environmental Police.

“It could be natural,” he said. “It could be manmade. At this point, it’s under investigation.”

The state bomb squad and the state fire marshal’s office are investigating, along with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The 50-year-old woman was reportedly alert, but Mouradjian said he had no details on her condition.

Nobody else was reported hurt, but the beach at Narragansett was declared off-limits to beachgoers the rest of the day. Mouradjian said he expected the beach to reopen Sunday.

Mario Lewis of West Greenwich told the Providence Journal he was collecting crabs when heard what appeared to be an explosion that knocked over a woman about 3 feet from him.

“It was like an M-80 boom, like a grenade,” he said. Lewis said he didn’t notice any smoke or debris.

Mouradjian said he examined the blast site and described it as “something you’d see when lightning hits the beach. There’s definitely something that happened there.”

He said the woman was sitting between the high and low tide water lines.

“The person was sitting in a chair up against the breakwater at the tide line,” he said. “The sand directly in front of her basically erupted. They heard a loud noise. Weren’t sure exactly what it was. A force ultimately pushed this person up against the rocks and then forward and falling into the sand.”

Heavy equipment was brought in to preserve the sand at the blast site for investigators before the tide rose, he said.

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(The Washington Post) – Mexico: Top drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman escapes

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, seen in this Feb. 22, 2014 photo, has now escaped from prison twice. (Eduardo Verdugo, File/Associated Press)

By Katherine Corcoran 
MEXICO CITY — Top drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has done what Mexican authorities promised would not happen again after his re-capture last year — escaped for a second time from a maximum security prison.

A manhunt began immediately late Saturday for the head of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, which has an international reach and is believed to control most of the major crossing points for drugs at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Associated Press journalists near the Altiplano prison, 90 kilometers (56 miles) west of Mexico City, said the roads were being heavily patrolled by Federal Police, who had also set up checkpoints. Flights were also suspended at Toluca airport near the penitentiary in the state of Mexico.

Guzman was last seen about 9 p.m. Saturday in the shower area of the Altiplano prison, according to a statement from the National Security Commission issued early Sunday. After a time, he was lost by the prison’s security camera surveillance network. Upon checking his cell, authorities found it empty.

Mexican officials had no further comment on Guzman’s escape, but scheduled a press conference for Sunday morning.

Guzman’s escape is a blow to the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto, which has received plaudits for its aggressive approach to top drug lords. Since the government took office in late 2012, Mexican authorities have nabbed or killed six of them, including Guzman.

Guzman was caught by authorities for the first time in Guatemala in 1993, extradited and sentenced to 20 years in prison on drug-trafficking related charges. He escaped from Puente Grande, another Mexican maximum-security prison in western Jalisco state, in 2001 with the help of prison guards. The lore says he escaped in a laundry cart, although there have been several versions of how he got away.

He was re-captured in February 2014 after eluding authorities for days across his home state of Sinaloa, for which the cartel is named. He was listed as 56 years old last year, though there are discrepancies in his birth date.

Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. as well as Mexico, and was on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s most-wanted list. The U.S. has said it would file an extradition request, though it’s not clear if that has already happened.

Former Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam told The AP earlier this year that sending Guzman to the United States would save Mexico a lot of money, but said Mexico would prosecute him at home as a matter of national sovereignty.

He dismissed concerns that Guzman could escape a second time. That risk “does not exist,” Murillo Karam said.

During his first stint as a fugitive, Guzman transformed himself from a middling Mexican capo into arguably the most powerful drug trafficker in the world. His fortune grew to be estimated at more than $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine, which listed him among the “World’s Most Powerful People” and ranked him above the presidents of France and Venezuela.

Guzman has long been known for his ability to pay off local residents and even authorities, who would tip him off to security operations launched for his capture. He finally was tracked down to a modest beachside high-rise in the Pacific Coast resort city of Mazatlan on Feb. 22, 2014, where he had been hiding with his wife and twin daughters. He was taken in the early morning without a shot fired.

But before they reached him, security forces went on a several-day chase through Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state. They found houses where Guzman supposedly had been staying with steel-enforced doors and elaborate tunnels that allowed him to escape through the sewer system.

Even with his 2014 capture, Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel empire continues to stretch throughout North America and reaches as far away as Europe and Australia. The cartel has been heavily involved in the bloody drug war that has torn through parts of Mexico for the last decade, taking at least an estimated 100,000 lives.

Altiplano, which is considered the main and most secure of Mexico’s federal prisons, also houses Zetas drug cartel leader Miguel Angel Trevino, and Edgar Valdes Villarreal, known as “La Barbie,” of the Beltran Leyva cartel.

Follow Katherine Corcoran @kathycorcoran on Twitter.

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(reuters) – Police say man dies after pepper sprayed during arrest in Alabama

A man in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, died after officers used pepper spray to subdue him when he resisted arrest, police said on Saturday.

Police received a call on Friday night that a man armed with a gun was sitting on a porch at an apartment complex in the city, Tuscaloosa police said in a statement on their Facebook page.

Police later identified the man as Anthony Ware, a 35-year-old African-American, the Tuscaloosa News reported on its website.

When officers arrived, the man ran into nearby woods and was chased by officers who used the pepper spray before placing him in handcuffs as he resisted arrest, police said.

He later collapsed as he was walking out of the woods, police said.

Source: Tuscaloosa PD

Police conduct in the United States has been under scrutiny over the past year after a series of deaths of black men in confrontations with police that have provoked protests over the treatment of minorities by law enforcement.

The Tuscaloosa News reported Ware was pursued by six police officers, including at least three white officers as well as a black officer and an Asian-America officer.

Police plan to release video of the arrest from a vehicle dash cam and body cameras, Tuscaloosa’s assistant police chief, Ronnie Dunn, told a news conference on Saturday, according to the Tuscaloosa News.

Police said they tried to revive Ware when he collapsed and that he was rushed to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The Tuscaloosa County homicide unit will investigate the death, police said.

A representative from the Tuscaloosa Police Department did not return calls for further comment.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Jon Herskovitz, Frances Kerry and Jonathan Oatis)

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(ABC News Australia) – Bomb blast outside Cairo’s Italian consulate leaves one dead; Islamic State claims attack

PHOTO: The Italian consulate building in Cairo was destroyed by a bomb blast, with initial investigations suggesting attackers planted the explosive in a car. (AFP: Mohamed El-Shahed)

One person has died in a powerful explosion outside the Italian consulate in Cairo, carried out by Islamic State militants, the first assault on a foreign mission in Egypt since jihadists launched a campaign against security forces two years ago.

A health ministry spokesman said the blast killed an Egyptian civilian and left at least nine others wounded.

IS warned Muslims to stay away from such places.

“Soldiers of the Islamic State in Cairo were able to detonate a parked booby-trapped vehicle laden with 450 kilograms of explosives at the headquarters of the Italian consulate,” the SITE Intelligence Group quoted an IS tweet as saying.

“We advise Muslims to stay away from these security dens, because they are legitimate targets for strikes of the mujahedeen.”

State news agency MENA separately said two policemen were among the wounded.

The blast occurred about 6:30am (2:30pm AEST), when the consulate would have been closed.

MENA cited a senior security source as saying preliminary investigations indicated attackers placed a bomb underneath a car near the consulate and remotely detonated it.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the early morning blast, which caused heavy damage to the consulate and to about 50 nearby buildings.

It shook other buildings downtown and the blast was heard in several surrounding neighbourhoods when it happened.

A small wooden police kiosk outside the consulate was completely destroyed.

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(la times) – Scientists get their last look at Pluto’s mysterious dark spots

An image taken by the New Horizons spacecraft and released by NASA on Saturday shows Pluto’s mysterious dark spots, which are evenly spaced apart and about 300 miles across each. (NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI)

The closer New Horizons gets to Pluto, the more puzzling the dwarf planet becomes.

The latest image released by NASA highlights four mysterious dark spots lined up along Pluto’s equator. Each of the spots is about 300 miles across, and they are evenly spaced along a dark belt that rings the planet’s surface.

When New Horizons spied the spots a few weeks ago, mission scientists were left scratching their heads.

“It’s a real puzzle — we don’t know what the spots are,” Alan Stern, the mission’s principal investigator, said at the time.

They still don’t. The new images, taken by New Horizons from about 2.5 million miles away, reveal that the boundaries of the circles aren’t sharp but irregular. This could be a sign that whatever process created the dark areas was more complicated than scientists first thought.

“We can’t tell whether they’re plateaus or plains, or whether they’re brightness variations on a completely smooth surface,” Jeff Moore, a member of the New Horizons team based at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., said in a statement.

Curt Niebur, the mission’s program scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington, said the position of the spots was perplexing too.

“It’s weird that they’re spaced so regularly,” he said in the statement.

Unfortunately, the scientists aren’t likely to get answers from Tuesday’s historic flyby, which will take place at 3:49 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. The spotted side of the planet will be facing toward the large moon Charon and away from New Horizons as it zooms past at 36,000 mph.

That means this picture is “the last, best look that anyone will have of Pluto’s far side for decades to come,” Stern said.

For more science news, follow me on Twitter @LATkarenkaplan and “like” Los Angeles Times Science & Health on Facebook.

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(CNN) – Military analysts: Donald Trump’s plan to bomb Iraq’s oil fields not a good one

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump wants to “bomb the hell” out of Iraq’s oil fields in order to strike at ISIS.

“If I win, I would attack those oil sites that are controlled and owned — they are controlled by ISIS,” Trump said. “I wouldn’t send many troops because you won’t need ’em by the time I’m done.”

But that strategy might do more harm than good, according to two former U.S. military officers and CNN military analysts who looked at Trump’s suggestion. That’s because bombing Iraq’s oil fields would be a serious blow to Iraq and efforts to recover once ISIS is expelled from the country.

“You’re destroying the infrastructure of Iraq, you’re not really doing much to hurt ISIS,” retired Lt. Col. Rick Francona said. “At some future point those oil fields will have to help regenerate Iraq.”

The United States did strike oil fields in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm in the 1990s, which hurt Kuwait for years after the war.

While Trump suggested that he would then send in Exxon or another oil company to quickly rebuild the infrastructure once the conflict is over, Francona and Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, another CNN military analyst, said rebuilding infrastructure is easier said than done — especially when other surrounding infrastructure has been damaged in the process.

“We’ve made some huge mistakes in terms of just bombing things we think can just bring a nation to its knees,” Hertling said. “It’s not the people you’re going against and yet those are the ones you’re going against the most when you’re talking about indiscriminate carpet-bombing.”

Trump also said that “there is no Iraq” because of longstanding Sunni vs. Shia divides in the country that have come to the fore amid ISIS’ advance.

Hertling said that’s just not true and that “there most definitely is an Iraq” despite political and ethnic divisions.

Hertling points out that he’s remained apolitical throughout his military career but said Trump’s comments are “just troubling.”

“You have to understand the issues a little bit better than just bombing things,” Hertling said. “This is very complex and there are hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who believe they do have a country.”

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Both Francona and Hertling said there are many better ways to hurt ISIS than striking oil fields in Iraq — few of which ISIS actually controls.

A large part of ISIS’s revenue has come from oil sales, but the terrorist group is mostly pumping oil out of refineries in Syria, not Iraq.

And even in Syria, the U.S. military and coalition partners have showed restraint in not bombing oil fields in Syria, though the U.S. did strike mobile refineries in ISIS hands there — not as crippling in the long-term than a blanket bombing of oil fields.

While the Iraqi government is seriously reliant on the United States and other countries in its fight against ISIS and as it strives to keep its country together, Iraq’s top leaders would do more than just object to U.S. bombing of oil fields in its country — a central part of the country’s economy and infrastructure.

Trump says he still doesn’t know where Obama was born

CNN’s Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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(DOD) – Airstrikes Hit ISIL Targets in Syria, Iraq

An F/A-18E Super Hornet launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington during Talisman Sabre 2015 in the Timor Sea, July 7, 2015. The Hornet is assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 115. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Chris Cavagnaro

From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release
SOUTHWEST ASIA, July 9, 2015 – U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Bomber, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven airstrikes in Syria:
— Near Bukamal, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
— Near Aleppo, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL vehicle and two ISIL bunkers.
— Near Raqqah, an airstrike struck 20 ISIL staging areas.
— Near Kobani, two airstrikes struck an ISIL large tactical unit and an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL fighting positions and three ISIL structures.
— Near Tal Abyad, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter-attack, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 14 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:
— Near Baghdadi, two airstrikes denied ISIL a tactical advantage and suppressed ISIL sniper fire. — Near Huwayjah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL checkpoint.
— Near Fallujah, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL mortar, an ISIL tunnel entrance, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL recoilless rifle and two ISIL bunkers.
— Near Haditha, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.
— Near Kirkuk, an airstrike struck three ISIL staging areas.
— Near Makhmur, two airstrikes destroyed an ISIL building and eight ISIL vehicles.
— Near Mosul, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL building.
— Near Ramadi, an airstrike struck two ISIL excavators.
— Near Sinjar, one airstrike struck an ISIL large tactical unit and an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL heavy machine gun, two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL command-and-control node.
— Near Tal Afar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, and destroyed an ISIL bunker.
Part of Operation Inherent Resolve
The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group’s ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.
Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.