Friday, Aug 18th

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Parents press for help finding reporter son who vanished in Syria

Ustin Tice, journalist missing in Syria since 2012Nearly every morning, Marc and Debra Tice check the news and discuss any overnight events that might help them locate their son, Austin.

It’s been like this for five years – two parents engaged in constant research, networking, traveling, looking for doors to open that could lead to their son.

“Every development could create some new opportunity,” said Marc Tice.

A freelance journalist and Marine veteran, Austin Tice disappeared in Syria on Aug. 14, 2012, just three days after turning 31. On Friday, his parents will throw a party at their home in Houston, Texas, to celebrate his 36th birthday.


Half of Republicans would be fine with President Trump postponing 2020 election out of voter fraud concerns, poll shows

Trump supporters believe his liesTrump 2020 — unless Trump says otherwise.

More than half of Republicans would be fine with President Trump indefinitely delaying the 2020 presidential race out of concerns for voter integrity, a stunning Washington Post poll showed Thursday.

The survey also showed half of Republicans falsely believing Trump won the popular vote — and about two-thirds thinking, without evidence, that millions of illegal immigrants voted in 2016 and that voted fraud is a rampant problem.


Trump pick Sam Clovis stoked birther conspiracy, called Eric Holder a 'racist black'

Sam Clovis, birther and racist, to head Agric. Dept.Sam Clovis, Donald Trump's pick to be chief scientist for the Department of Agriculture, pushed unfounded theories about then-President Barack Obama's upbringing and called then-Attorney General Eric Holder a "racist black," a CNN KFile review of Clovis's writings and radio broadcasts during 2012 and 2013 has found.
Clovis was a conservative radio host and political activist in Iowa before gaining national attention as one of the more vocal supporters of Trump during the presidential campaign. His nomination to head science at the USDA requires Senate confirmation.


Feds sought cooperation from Manafort's son-in-law

Feds wanted Manafort's nephew to cooperateFederal investigators sought cooperation from Paul Manafort’s son-in-law in an effort to increase pressure on President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, according to three people familiar with the probe.

Investigators approached Jeffrey Yohai, who has partnered in business deals with Manafort, earlier this summer, setting off “real waves” in Manafort’s orbit, one of these people said. Another of these people said investigators are trying to get “into Manafort’s head.”


North Korea details Guam strike plan and calls Trump 'bereft of reason'

N orea details missile strike near GuamNorth Korea has defied threats of “fire and fury” from Donald Trump, deriding his warning as a “load of nonsense” and announcing a detailed plan to launch missiles aimed at the waters off the coast of the US Pacific territory of Guam.

A statement attributed to General Kim Rak Gyom, the head of the country’s strategic forces, declared: “Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him”. The general outlined a plan to carry out a demonstration launch of four intermediate-range missiles that would fly over Japan and then land in the sea around Guam, “enveloping” the island.


Two top aides to Nikki Haley quit

2 aids to Nikki Haley quitTwo top aides to Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, are quitting their positions, sources confirmed Thursday.

Haley, on Twitter, indicated the two aides — communications director Jonathan Wachtel and chief of staff Steven Groves — were leaving for personal reasons.


Extreme heat in Europe decimating crops and stoking drought

heat in EuropeEvidence is piling up that this year's sizzling summer in central and southeastern Europe has decimated crops, drained rivers and hurt the animal world.

As the drought's costs become clearer, temperatures in Serbia, Romania, Hungary and Croatia were expected to reach 39 degrees Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) again on Thursday following a few days of less oppressive heat.


US expels Cuban diplomats over 'medical incidents'

Cuban EmbassyThe United States government has expelled two Cuban diplomats after a number of American embassy staff were forced to leave Havana because of mysterious medical symptoms that were first reported last year, the State Department said.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the Cuban diplomats were informed of the US government's decision on May 23.

The Associated Press (AP) reported on Wednesday that the American diplomats suffered severe hearing loss attributed to a covert sonic device.


Texas Is About To Ban Insurance Plans From Covering Abortion

Texas about to ban insurance for aborrtionsTexas is inching closer to banning insurance coverage for abortion ― with no exceptions for rape, incest or severe fetal anomalies.

On its third reading Wednesday, the Texas House passed HB 214 prohibiting coverage for all “elective” (i.e. non-emergency) abortions. It applies to women who have plans through their employer or through the Affordable Care Act.


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