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(financial express) – 47 dead as rebels battle IS in north Syria: monitor

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A battle between Islamic State group jihadists and rebels for control of an opposition stronghold in northern Syria has killed at least 47 fighters, a monitor said today.

Twenty Islamist and other rebel fighters were killed in the clashes in Aleppo province throughout yesterday, along with 27 IS jihadists, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The fighting centred on the town of Marea, a key rebel bastion that IS has been trying to capture for months.

The Observatory said fighting was ongoing around the town, which rebel forces still control, as well in villages in the surrounding area.

Marea is one of the most significant rebel-held towns in northern Aleppo and lies on a key supply route running to the Turkish border.

IS has targeted the town for months, seeking to expand westwards from territory it already holds in Aleppo province.

Last week, IS advanced in the area, seizing five villages from rebel forces around Marea after allegations it had used a chemical agent, possibly mustard gas, in its attacks.

The IS advances came despite an agreement between Turkey and the United States to work on the establishment of an IS-free zone in northern Aleppo.

In recent days, the US-led air campaign fighting IS in Syria has carried out strikes against the group near Marea, according to the Pentagon.

More than 240,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with peaceful anti-government protests.

It has evolved into a complex multi-front war, with regime and rebel forces as well as Kurds and jihadists involved in the fighting.

 

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(CNN) – Clintons paid State staffer to set up private email server

(CNN)Hillary and Bill Clinton personally paid the State Department staffer who set up their private email server, two Clinton campaign aides said Saturday.

Bryan Pagliano was retained separately from his job at State to install the server, the aides said. The arrangement insured that no taxpayer money was spent on setting up the server that was used by the Clinton family and some of their closest advisers, the aide said.

The Washington Post first reported the arrangement Friday night.

A message left with Pagliano’s lawyer Saturday morning was not immediately returned.

Pagliano, an IT specialist, informed Congress through his lawyer earlier this week thathe will invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying before the House Select Committee on Benghazi and other Congressional inquiries into the server.

RELATED: Top Clinton aide says no work-related emails were withheld or destroyed

Clinton’s aides had earlier sought to minimize any damage from his refusal, saying they’d encouraged Pagliano to testify because he has nothing to hide.

“We had hoped Bryan would also agree to answer any questions from the committee, and had recently encouraged him to grant the committee’s request for an interview,” a Clinton aide told CNN on Thursday.

“Bryan is an utter professional and a wonderful young man who does not live in the public eye and understandably may not wish to be drawn into a political spectacle,” the aide said. “So his decision is both understandable and yet also disappointing to us, because we believe he has every reason to be transparent about his IT assistance.”

Pagliano’s decision to plead the Fifth could create a fresh opening for Clinton’s opponents in the 2016 presidential race to attack her, this time citing a former staffer’s actions rather than leveling their own charges, like Donald Trump’s suggestion that the controversy surrounding Clinton’s emails could force the end of her campaign.

RELATED: Clinton’s email controversy, explained

(fox news) – ‘One hell of a pillow fight’ West Point tradition turns violent; 24 concussions

FILE 2014: Members of the graduating class listen to proceedings during commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point. (Reuters)

An annual pillow fight by freshmen cadets at the U.S. Military Academy turned bloody this year when cadets swung pillowcases packed with hard objects, injuring 30 cadets, including 24 who suffered concussions.

Photos and video have circulated on social media showing the Aug. 20 brawl, which The New York Times reports West Point did not confirm until Thursday.

Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker told the newspaper the annual fight is organized by first-year students as a way to build camaraderie after a grueling summer of training to prepare them for plebe life.

He said upperclassmen overseeing the fight required cadets to wear helmets, but video shows many did not. Some cadets swung pillowcases believed to be packed with their helmets.

The Times noted one freshman posted on Twitter: “4 concussions, 1 broken leg, 2 broken arms, 1 dislocated shoulder, and several broken ribs. That’s one hell of a pillow fight. #USMA19.”

Kasker said all cadets have since returned to duty. None of the participants have been punished.

“We are conducting appropriate investigations into the causes of the injuries,”Kasker told the paper. The academy does not plan to end the annual tradition, the Times reported.

The Times spoke to cadets who said one cadet suffered a broken leg and others suffered dislocated shoulders.

One first-year cadet told the paper that an upperclassman told him, “If you don’t come back with a bloody nose, you didn’t try hard enough.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report 

Source: ‘One hell of a pillow fight’ West Point tradition turns violent; 24 concussions | Fox News

(E! Online) – Bachelor in Paradise Season 2 to End with An Engagement?! Everything We Know Going Into the Finale 

Bachelor in Paradise, Ashley Iaconetti, Jared HaibonABC/Rick Rowell
There are just three days left before the Bachelor in Paradise finale, meaning we get just three more days of speculation before finally discovering who ends up together and who leaves Paradise in tears. We’ve seen previews of those tears, along with a lot of anger and a successful proposal, but we also know how all of the editors employed on this show are actual geniuses who can make it look like literally anything is about to happen.So what can we expect? As of now, there are 19 people left on the show, and there are about to be 20 when Cassandra is the final bachelorette to arrive. That number is drastically whittled down on Sunday night during a mass exodus when half of the cast goes home alone, clearly realizing that if they’re not currently in a relationship, it ain’t gonna happen by the end of the rose ceremony.
CLICK: Social media strikes again! Is this a major Bachelor in Paradise spoiler?

Bachelor in Paradise, Mackenzie Deonigi, Justin ReichABC/Rick Rowell

Currently, there are really four solid couples in Paradise—Jade and Tanner, Carly and Kirk, Joshua and Tenley, and sorta-kinda Jared and Ashley I. Dan, Nick, Amber, Mikey, Juelia, Justin, and Sam all seem like they could go either way in terms of being with someone or not, while we don’t have high hopes for Mackenzie, Jaclyn, Chelsie, or poor Ashley S.As for Cassandra, she’s a total wild card. However, she has been posting a lot of Instagram pics of her and former Bachelor in Paradise star Jonathan, who was eliminated in week two after trying to defend Juelia from Joe.Five couples make it to Monday’s finale, but only four will even make it to the end of the episode after a seriously brutal break up goes down before any final dates even occur. A source tells us that this “raw” break-up is “unlike anything we’ve seen on the show before.”Now, of course, Chris Harrison promises us things “unlike anything we’ve seen before” on a weekly basis, but this is one bad break up that completely blindsides one half of a previously solid couple and probably also breaks our hearts in the process. We just like seeing love succeed!

CLICK: The cast weighs in on the end of the season

Bachelor in ParadiseABC/Rick Rowell

On that note, there is some much happier news to report! Two couples decide to stay together, while another one even gets engaged!A source tells E! that there are no plans in place for a wedding yet, but if “things progress” and the couple is interested, producers would probably also be interested in throwing them a big TV wedding, because “they’re a great couple and everyone loves them.”As for which couples survive to the end of the show and beyond, we only have one clue so far in the form of Jade accidentally giving away the fact that she was Persicoping from Tanner’s hometown of Kansas City. Whether that means what we think and hope it means remains to be seen, but we’re going to keep our hopes up.We’re also going to brace ourselves, because this finale sounds like one wild ride!

Bachelor in Paradise concludes its second season with a two-night finale on Sunday, Sept. 7 and Monday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

CLICK: Who’s still together from The Bachelor and Bachelorette?

 

Source: Bachelor in Paradise Season 2 to End with An Engagement?! Everything We Know Going Into the Finale | E! Online

(daily beast) – Billionaire Wants to Build Refugee Island

 

Just the latest amazing and insane idea for housing Syria’s refugees.
Earlier this week, Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris tweeted out an idea he called “crazy.”He would buy an island, fill it with refugees, and then provide jobs and housing until they could return to their homeland—if they so chose.“Greece or Italy sell me an island, ill call its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country,” he wrote on Twitter. Then, added: “Crazy idea .. Maybe but at least temporary until they can return to their countries ?? !!”

When the skepticism began, he remained steadfast. “There is nothing to joke about !” he wrote. “I don’t joke on the misery of people

As live feeds of Syrian refugees walking out of Hungary have flooded the airwaves and pictures of drowned refugee children plaster social media, the response has been dramatic. In Iceland, 10,000 people offered to house Syrian families. Singer Bob Geldof announced he would let four families live in his homes. U.S. Senatorscalled on Congress to take in at least five times more refugees than the country currently allows.

Sawiris isn’t the first to propose such a seemingly outlandish idea, but his is the most singularly generous and bold so far. The telecommunications mogul is worth around $3 billion. In an interview with AFP, Sawiris estimated the cost of purchasing the island—$10 million to $100 million, he said—wouldn’t be a deterrent. The issue also isn’t supply, as there are numerous uninhabited islands in the Mediterranean. The main problem would be persuading the current owners to sell off a plot of land. Then he would target the bulk of needed investment into infrastructure, like “temporary shelters to house the people, then you start employing the people to build housing, schools, universities, hospitals,” he said.

Meanwhile, in June, a California real estate millionaire named Jason Buzi launched a plan for a “Refugee Nation.” He outlined (PDF) four options for resettlement: one involved purchasing island and another involved building a new island. “The solution is simple: for the millions of stateless people around the world—a state of their own!” it said.

His idea received mixed reactions. In theGuardian, Alexander Betts, with Oxford’s Refugee Studies Center, warned not to dismiss the innovation, but worried it could isolate refugees like a leprosy colony.

“You end up with refugees trapped forever in what is effectively large-scale prison camps,” James Hathaway, the director of University of Michigan’s Program in Refugee and Asylum, told the Washington Post, referring to Australia’s practice of holding refugees on the Pacific Islands.

“This proposal may be ridiculed or attacked by some, but hopefully is not ignored,” Buzi wrote. “It should be vigorously debated, because the world needs a solution to this staggering humanitarian crisis…But we can no longer sit idly by as millions of our fellow human beings suffer due to human-created conflicts.

Greece is struggling to assist the influx of needy refugees streaming across its borders by the thousands, exacerbated by its current financial crisis.

Refugees coming to the island of Kos were attacked by people with bats on Friday morning, according to Amnesty International. So far this year, 31,000 refugees have passed through Kos, which currently is hosting more than 3,000 in makeshift conditions. In August, 2,000 refugees were locked in the sports stadium.

In Lesbos, the number of Syrian refugees who have arrived in transit—around90,000 this year—is more than the island’s total local population. On Friday morning in Lesbos, where dinghies and boats have brought over thousands of refugees from Turkey, 200 Syrians threw stones at police who were keeping them from boarding a ship to the mainland.

The mayor of the island’s main town begged for more assistance. He said he’d been asking the national government for a state of emergency to be declared on the island but to no avail.

“[T]he situation has become unmanageable,” he told reporters.

In his interview with AFP, Naguib Sawiris, the Egyptian magnate who has the funds, imagined a place where the refugees would be treated once more as human beings.

“The way they are being treated now, they are being treated like cattle,” he said.

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(wtae-tv) – Strangers pull man away from burning car in Monroeville, PA

Injured man saved from fiery crash on Route 48, Monroeville, PA

Four men stopped to help a stranger who was lying next to his burning car after a crash Friday on Route 48 in Monroeville.

Two Waste Management employees and two other people pulled over on Route 48 seconds after the fiery crash, police said.

VIDEO: Watch Marcie Cipriani’s report from Monroeville

Shawn Biddle said he was driving a Waste Management truck when he saw the fire. Biddle, who said he has been a firefighter for 30 years, asked the others who stopped to go from car to car and look for fire extinguishers.

He said the other men — a postal worker, a medical technician and a Waste Management co-worker on his way to work — were the real heroes. They gathered three fire extinguishers, which helped Biddle keep the car fire under control so they didn’t immediately have to move the driver, who Biddle said was badly injured.

“If you would have saw how bad the fire was, they could have easily ran from me, but they stayed right by my side through the whole thing, and that gentleman is probably here today because of them,” Biddle said.

SLIDESHOW: Photos of the fiery crash in Monroeville

Biddle said they ran out of fire extinguishers before medics arrived, so the four rescuers carried the man away from the spot where he was lying near his car’s leaking fuel tank.

Monroeville police said the driver had lost control of his car near Macbeth Road, hit a utility police and rolled the vehicle. Witnesses said the driver was ejected and his passenger escaped before the car caught fire.

Officials have not released the driver’s name or any information on his condition.

Follow Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reporter Marcie Cipriani forupdates on Twitter @MCipriani_WTAE.

DRIVER PULLED FROM FIERY CRASH IN MONROEVILLE BY BYSTANDERS

(USA Today) – Facebook’s WhatsApp hits 900 million users, aims for 1 billion

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum photographed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he announces that WhatsApp has hit 900 million monthly active users.(Photo: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook)

SAN FRANCISCO — WhatsApp has reached 900 million monthly active users, cementing Facebook’s dominance in mobile messaging.

Facebook owns the world’s two most popular apps: WhatsApp, which it bought for billions, and its homegrown app, Facebook Messenger, which recently announced it has 700 million monthly active users.

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum made the announcement on Facebook on Thursday evening.

Monthly active users isn’t the best way to measure activity on a messaging app. WhatsApp did not say how many messages are being sent each day, for example. But the growth is impressive. WhatsApp announced it had crossed 800 million in April. That is no small feat for either app: Smartphone owners spend more time in messaging apps than any other app.

Messenger is also surging in popularity. It’s now the second-most popular app in the U.S, surpassing Google-owned YouTube, according to a comScore report.

By way of comparison: Twitter has a bit more than 300 million monthly active users. Instagram, the photo and video sharing app owned by Facebook, also has about 300 million.

Still, WhatsApp faces fierce competition from Asian rivals. And those apps are making money from games, virtual goods and other in-app wares, moneymaking opportunities that Koum has rejected.

So far Facebook has not tried to milk WhatsApp and it’s still unclear how it plans to. In the first half of 2014, WhatsApp made $15 million from subscription fees on a loss of $232.5 million. WhatsApp was charging users $1 a year, with the first year free, before it was bought by Facebook.

Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call that the company is not yet ready to turn on the moneymaking spigot with Messenger or WhatsApp.

Zuckerberg has said Facebook has “many clear ways” to make money from a product once it reaches one billion users.

“This may sound a little ridiculous to say, but for us, products don’t really get that interesting to turn into businesses until they have about 1 billion people using them,” Zuckerberg said in 2014.

One billion people, one out of seven on the planet, used Facebook on a single day in August .

“This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it’s just the beginning of connecting the whole world,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Source: Facebook’s WhatsApp hits 900 million users, aims for 1 billion

(Computerworld) – Auction house puts pristine 39-year-old Apple-1 on the block 

Auction house Bonhams will put a pristine Apple-1 personal computer on the block later this month, and has pegged the gavel price at between $300,000 and $500,000.
Apple iPhone 6s rumors say it’s even bigger (release date in 2 weeks)Oh noes: The Apple iPhone 6s will be bigger than today’s iPhone. Confirming previous mutterings,

Bonhams has experience selling vintage Apple-1 computers: One it sold last year went for the still-record $905,000 after commissions and taxes.

The Apple-1, essentially a stand-alone circuit board sans keyboard, monitor or even power supply, was hand-built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1976, and may have been one of the first lot of 50, according to a penned identifier on the back. That mark — 01-0059 — was probably an inventory number assigned by the Byte Shop of Mountain View, Calif., the first volume purchaser of the computer.

Wozniak and co-founder Steve Jobs kick-started Apple 39 years ago when they secured an order of 50 units from Byte Store owner Paul Terrell. At the time, the Apple-1 sold for $666.66, equal to about $2,800 in 2015 dollars.

Another clue that hinted at this Apple-1’s provenance was the lack of a circuit board manufacturer identifier; according to Apple-1 expert Mike Willegal, that indicates a unit from the first batch produced by Wozniak and Jobs.
Bonhams said that the Apple-1 is being sold by Tom Romkey, who owned a computer shop in Florida. Romkey acquired the Apple-1 when a customer traded it for a new NCR personal computer. NCR, better known as a cash register and ATM maker, entered the PC market in the 1980s.

According to Bonhams, the Apple-1 was used just once or twice by the owner who traded it to Romkey. For his part, Romkey simply put it on a shelf where it sat unused for decades.

The computer is in excellent condition, said Corey Cohen, a New Jersey-based Apple-1 expert who was called in by Bonhams to authenticate the device and verify that it was operational.

“This is a fully functional Apple-1 from 1976,” Cohen said in a video showing him demonstrating that the Apple-1 worked. “It is in incredible condition.”

Willegal’s index of known Apple-1 computers — one of the few authoritative lists — did not show one that seemed to match the Romkey device.

Bonhams will auction the Apple-1 in New York City on Sept. 21.

Source: Auction house puts pristine 39-year-old Apple-1 on the block | Computerworld

(CBSSports.com) – Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne runs over Chargers defender – 

By Jared Dubin | Staff Writer

Jarryd Hayne, the former Australian rugby star who has been in camp with the San Francisco 49ers as a running back, may or may not make the roster, but on Thursday night, he gave us one heck of a highlight.

Wooooooo, boy. That’s some hit. Cornerback Lowell Rose is the recipient of the blow, by the way. He might be hurting right about now.

A few plays earlier, Hayne busted loose with this run up the middle.

Jarryd Hayne laying the hit. (Twitter)

That’s a really nice job of reading the defense, seeing that the running lane was closed and finding the cutback to the back side. Sure, it’s against backups, but it’s an NFL-caliber run. Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush and Kendall Hunter are all probably ahead of Hayne on San Fran’s RB depth chart, but plays like these are why he’s got a shot to make the roster.

Source: Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne runs over Chargers defender – CBSSports.com

(NBC News) – Stock Market Turmoil: Dow Drops 272 Points After Opaque Jobs Report 

U.S. stocks closed lower Friday after a mixed jobs report gave investors few clues about the Federal Reserve next move on interest rates. It was the second-worst week for the market so far this year.

At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 272.18 points, or 1.66 percent, to 16,102.58, the S&P 500 lost 29.89 points, or 1.53 percent, to 1,921.24 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 49.58 points, or 1.05 percent, to 4,683.92.

“Unfortunately, this report settles little, we think, leaving the next two weeks essentially as unsettled as they were prior to the report’s release,” Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG, told the Associated Press after the jobs report’s release.

Jobs Report Points to Fed Rate Hike: Economists

In August the U.S. economy added 173,000 jobs, lower than the 220,000 expected. On the positive side, the unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent, its lowest since 2008. And adding to confusion the report also included upwards revisions to previous month’s job numbers.

Carrying a Balance on Credit Card? Fed Interest Rate Will Cost You

For consumers, an increase in the Federal Reserve rates would mean paying higher interest on credit card debt and some mortgages. But for savers it would also mean earning a little bit more on what they’ve been able to sock away in the bank.

Markets have been especially volatile since China’s surprise devaluing of its currency in August, initially sending the Dow plunging and stocks into correction territory.

Source: Stock Market Turmoil: Dow Drops 272 Points After Opaque Jobs Report – NBC News

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