Day: June 3, 2017

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LONDON ATTACK Police respond to incidents at London Bridge, Vauxhall and Borough Market


As many as three different incidents, one described as terror-related, were unfolding in London late Saturday, the most serious appearing to be a van crashing into a crowd on London Bridge.

In addition, witnesses reported a series of stabbings at nearby Borough Market. Police also urged people to stay away from the Vauxhall area — more than a mile away — as they looked into another “incident,” without elaborating. Gunfire erupted at the bridge, though witnesses said it could have come from police.

Sources told Sky News the London Bridge crash was being investigated as a “terrorist incident.” It came just over two months after a deadly car-and-knife attack at British Parliament, and less than two weeks after the suicide bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester that killed 22 people. Britain just recently lowered its official terror threat from “critical.”

Witness Holly Jones told the BBC a white van veered off the road and struck as many as six people on London Bridge. She said she saw at least four or five people on the ground.

Another witness, Will Heaven, said he saw people who appeared to have been hit, and one being put into an ambulance. “We saw injured people on the road, injured people on the pavement,” he told Sky News, saying the crash did not appear to be accidental.

Video from the area showed police bursting into nearby bars and ordering people to get down on the floor. Frightened onlookers around the bridge walked away with their hands on their heads.

Prime Minister Theresa May and President Trump were briefed with updates. The prime minister is set to lead a meeting of the government emergency response committee Sunday, British officials added.

“We’re monitoring the situation in London and we’re in touch with British authorities,” New York Police Department spokesman J. Peter Donald told Fox News.

Transportation officials said the busy London Bridge station has been closed at the request of police; two additional stations also were closed.

An eyewitness told Sky News he saw people who seemed to have been run over and people being placed in an ambulance covered in blankets.

This is a developing story. The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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When should parents start saving for child's wedding day?


Dear Dave,

My wife and I make good money, and our daughter’s college education is pretty much paid for through pre-paid tuition and scholarships. We just started your plan to get out of debt and take better control of our finances. When we get to Baby Step 5, which is saving for college, can we substitute that with saving for a wedding?

Bob

Dear Bob,

That would be fine. I’m glad you’re thinking ahead. It’s always a good idea to save toward a wedding if you have the financial resources to do so, because weddings are real and they’re coming.

The average wedding in America today runs around $35,000. Of course, you don’t have to pay anywhere near that amount to make it a beautiful occasion. Your household income, debt, savings and other factors will all play into how much you can afford.

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Just remember to pay cash for the wedding, Bob. If you have to go into debt to make it happen, then you’re talking about too much money. It’s as simple as that. Crunch the numbers with your wife, and see what you two can handle. 

And remember, there’s absolutely no correlation between the cost of a wedding and the success of the relationship!

—Dave

*Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 13 million listeners each week on 585 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.



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CAN THEY DELIVER? Debt ceiling, spending bills complicate GOP plans


The GOP-controlled Congress returns Monday in what members and top staffers say will be one of the busiest Junes in years —  as Republicans try to pass ObamaCare reform or another top item in President Trump’s legislative agenda.

Their goal is to give Trump —  and themselves — a major win during the president’s first year in office continues to be complicated by additional legislative challenges and the ongoing Capitol Hill investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential elections.

Lawmakers are way behind on the annual spending legislation to keep the government fully operational past September, and likely will have to pass another stop-gap measure.

In addition, they recently were informed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that they will have to raise the federal government’s borrowing limit before August, a daunting task ripe for brinkmanship.

Senate Republicans say they are working daily behind closed doors to craft an ObamaCare overhaul bill, following the House last month passing its version. However, Republicans appear less than optimistic about crafting a bill that at least 51 of its 52 senators will sign.

“I don’t see a comprehensive healthcare plan this year,” North Carolina GOP Sen. Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate’s Intelligence committee, on Friday told a hometown TV station. “At the end of the day, this is too important to get wrong.”

Still, Trump and essentially every elected Washington Republican campaigned on repealing and replacing ObamaCare. So failing in that effort would be a big problem with voters, ahead of the 2018 midterm races in which Democrats are trying to win about two dozen more House seats to retake the chamber.

“We just need to work harder,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, told KFYO radio in Lubbock over the weeklong congressional recess that ends Sunday.

And he pledged to complete the healthcare “by the end of July at the latest.”

Congress has yet to unveil a plan to overhaul the U.S. tax code — another Trump campaign promise — even though the president recently tweeted that the plan is ahead of schedule.

“The president keeps saying the tax bill is moving through Congress. It doesn’t exist,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said mockingly on Friday.  

Seven legislative weeks are left before Congress scatters for the five-week August recess.

Healthcare and taxes are enormously difficult challenges, and the tax legislation must follow — for procedural reasons — passage of a budget, no small task on its own.

Looming over everything is the investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign and connections with the Trump campaign.

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Trump, is scheduled to testify before the Senate on Thursday.

“The Russia investigation takes a lot of oxygen, it takes a lot of attention,” said Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a veteran lawmaker.

Trump has hired an outside attorney and reportedly dedicated an entire team to the issue —   in an apparent attempt to limit the amount of distraction the issue is creating for his legislative agenda.

Cole also argued that Republicans have not gotten the credit they deserve to date for what they have accomplished: voting to overturn a series of Obama regulations and reaching compromise last month on spending legislation for the remainder of the 2017 budget year that included a big increase for defense.

The biggest bright spot for the party and for Trump remains Senate confirmation in early April of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, whose elevation goes far to placate conservatives frustrated with inaction on other fronts.

Historically, Capitol Hill has been at its busiest and most productive in the early days of a new president’s administration, during the traditional honeymoon. But with his approval ratings hovering around 40 percent, Trump never got that grace period, and although his core supporters show no signs of abandoning him, he is not providing the focused leadership usually essential to helping pass major legislation.

In the Senate, Republicans’ slim 52-48 majority gives them little room for error on healthcare and taxes, issues where they are using complicated procedural rules to move ahead with simple majorities and no Democratic support. Trump’s apparent disengagement from the legislative process was evident this past week when he demanded on Twitter that the Senate “should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy.”

In fact that’s exactly how Republicans already are moving. But the trouble is within their own ranks as Senate Republicans disagree over how quickly to unwind the Medicaid expansion under Obama’s health law as well as other elements of the GOP bill.

For some Republicans, their sights are set on the more immediate and necessary tasks of completing the annual spending bills that are needed to avert a government shutdown when the budget year ends September 30, and on raising the debt ceiling to avert a first-ever default.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

 



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WRONG TURN American drug suspect flees to war zone, is caught


An American drug suspect was busted in the Philippines this week after he escaped custody — but wound up traveling to a part of the country under martial law.

Government troops on Friday found Jun (Jazz) No, of California, in an Internet shop in Mindanao, a small village in the southern Philippines.

He had been arrested April 5 in Manila and charged with smuggling hundreds of ecstasy pills.

Five days later he was taken to a hospital where he underwent an emergency appendectomy.

He escaped as he recuperated, possibly with the help of a friend from Los Angeles.

THE WEEK IN PICTURES

The Mindanao Examiner reported that No fled when the guard who was watching him fell asleep.

Soldiers found No as they were sweeping the area for Islamic State terrorists.

IMAGES OF MANILA CASINO ATTACKER REVEALED

“He must have thought he could easily slip into another country or get on a ship, but it’s not advisable for foreigners to try that – he’s lucky we caught him and not the terrorists.”  Brig Gen Restituto Padilla said.

No’s case was being monitored by the U.S. Embassy which knew of the escape and had been urging No to surrender to authorities.

Attacks by ISIS-aligned terrorists led President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law across the southern part of the country.



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Fallen officer's son gets heartfelt support at graduation


The son of a fallen Austin, Texas, officer graduated from McNeil High School on Friday. 

Though Mati Abdul-Khaliq’s father wasn’t able to be there, police showed up in uniform to congratulate him after walking across the stage. 

One by one officers lined up to give Mati a hug.

Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley tweeted out the video and said “Always family & never forgotten.” 

THE WEEK IN PICTURES

Officer Amir Abdul-Khaliq, Mati’s dad, died in September 2016 after suffering from injuries caused in an accident during a funeral procession he was guiding. 

Click for more from Fox 7.



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The parents behind America's spelling bee champs


A sixth-grader from Fresno, California, Ananya Vinay, was officially crowned the winner of the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday after correctly spelling the word, “marocain,” a type of dress fabric.

The 12-year-old showed little emotion until her parents and brother rushed on stage to congratulate her. As the new champ, Vinay gets the bragging rights and takes home a cash prize of $40,000.

Vinay’s parents’ reaction comes as no surprise to Dr. Jacques Bailly, the 1980 spelling bee champion and official pronouncer of the competition since 2003.

“In my experience, parents put in a tremendous amount of work in many cases, and find it rewarding and stimulating far beyond the obvious fact that they are helping their child, as if that were not enough,” Bailly tells FOX Business.

Bailly says the competition has “almost tripled in size” since he won it nearly 40 years ago, and it’s steadily growing every year with parents even going as far as hiring special wordsmith coaches to help their kids reach their glory.

“There are many models for how spellers study: some have parents who are not involved much at all, and some have parents who are their primary go-to coach,” he says. “And just as there are more spellers involved, so there are more adults, including teachers, parents and other ‘coaches.’”

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Jennifer Poss Taylor, the mother of Grant, a 14-year-old eighth-grade finalist from Lubbock, Texas, tells FOX Business that she spent at least two to three hours a day studying words with her son leading up to the event.

“Sometimes twice a day and more than that on the weekends, especially those last couple of months leading up to the National [Spelling] Bee,” she adds.

Michelle Schaff of Lake Forest, Illinois says she condensed her daughter Marlene’s studying into three months, but it was intense. Their study of over 50,000 words, which even continued at the dinner table, paid off as the 14-year-old made the top 15 finalists.

“During that time, she forewent her other extracurricular activities, setting aside her art, writing and fencing practice,” Schaff tells FOX Business. “She learned that she can conquer things that seem too challenging to take on and she learned about making choices and sacrifices.”

And while many parents devote their time to their spelling bee champs, they also spent their cash. Schaff, however, says spending a lot of money is not always necessary.

“We spent very little. There are a lot of word lists online and free. You can spend under $100 for a couple of good books, plus a subscription to Merriam Webster Unabridged Online and make it to the finals. Some families hire coaches, though it is not necessary if you have a self-directed child. Some children have a difficult time organizing such a large task, and some families find coaches essential to the experience. They can add a lot of value if you can afford them, but not having a coach will not doom you,” she says.

Taylor says her family got a sponsorship from a local paper that helped fund her son’s trip to the finals. She also raised money through a GoFundMe account so the rest of her family could go and cheer him on.

But while there are many models on how to get your children to spelling bee victory, Bailly says there is a deeper mission behind the contest.

“The national contest is just the pinnacle and tip of a very large iceberg, and as we saw last night, the level there is beyond most adults, let alone middle schoolers. So the bee invests a great deal in creating materials that are grade-level appropriate, that teachers can use right in their classrooms,” he says.

 



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Testing your computer security


The moment you log on to the internet, your computer starts its game of Russian roulette. I know that sounds bleak and frightening, but it’s true. The personal data you store on your hard drive is a magnet for hackers and cybercriminals, and they will stop at nothing to break into your system.

These attacks are often overt and frightening. Virtual bandits have committed wave after wave of digital crimes. They have extorted untold bitcoins from regular users desperate to decrypt their files.

Tip in a Tip: Just a few weeks ago, ransomware affected some 200,000 Windows computers all over the world. Click here to learn how to protect yourself from ransomware attacks.

So how do you know if the security you set up on your computer really works?

Hackers use many different methods to invade your computer, so you’ll want to approach the problem from several angles. Think of it like a rancher leaning on the fence to make sure it’s still sturdy. Here are some ways to keep that fence from falling over.

More on this…

1. Test your settings

The first tool in your arsenal is Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. This free tool examines your Windows and Office settings for any potential problems, especially contamination.

First, MBSA will test your user passwords and let you know if any account has a weak or disabled password, which is easy prey for hackers.

MBSA will also check many of your account settings. Is your computer set up to get automatic updates? Does it have more than one administrator account? This software will check all of that for you.

MBSA also has guides to what settings are preferred, and why. Just click the “What was scanned” or “Result details” link to read them.

Also, pay attention to your shared folders. MBSA will show you folders set up for sharing. You may have opened up some private folders in the past, meaning anyone on your network can access files in these folders. Make sure you’re sharing only what you mean to share, and with whom. Click here to learn more about MBSA and download this free tool.

2. Update your browser plug-ins

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Keep your browser updated. Only the latest, safest version will help protect you from infections and attacks.

But an up-to-date browser is just the beginning. You need to make sure your browser plug-ins are up to date, as well. An outdated plug-in leaves your browser and your computer vulnerable, even if your browser is up to date.

Open up the browsers on your computer, even the ones that you don’t use, and go to Mozilla’s Plugin Check. It will show you every plug-in installed on the browser and whether it’s up to date. Even though Mozilla is the same company that makes Firefox, the Plugin Check works for Internet Explorer, Chrome and other browsers. If you want to remove any plug-ins or toolbars you find, follow the instructions I provide here.

3. Test your firewall

One of the most fundamental security setups is a firewall. Windows and Mac have decent firewalls built in, and many third-party security programs include them.

A firewall keeps hackers from seeing your computer online. Even if they know where your computer is, the firewall keeps them out.

But firewalls are not perfect. A wrong port setting can send up a flare, revealing your computer or giving hackers an opportunity to slip past. If you have a virus, it might have changed your settings without you even knowing.

A port test service like PortTest scans your firewall to make sure your computer is invisible. If it can see you, so can the hackers. Click here to test your computer’s firewall.

4. Permanently delete files

Newsflash: Deleting your files doesn’t actually remove them. They can hang around on your hard drive for days or weeks, and anyone who knows what they’re doing can recover them.

That’s why it’s a good idea to permanently delete sensitive files you no longer need. Click here for step-by-step instructions.

But even then, you don’t want to just dust your hands and assume the files are gone. To confirm they’ve been deleted, fire up a file-recovery program like Recuva and see what it can find on your system.

If it doesn’t find the files you permanently deleted, you’re in good shape.

5. Check your Facebook settings

Your computer isn’t the only place you store information. Facebook is packed with personal data that a scammer would love to mine.

That’s why they invented the “View As” tool. It shows you what your profile looks like to the public or specific people. If any of your information has the wrong settings, you’ll be able to spot it immediately.

Go to Facebook and open Settings >> Timeline and Tagging. Next, go to “Who can see my things on my Timeline?” and click “View As.”

Consider this the “au naturel” setting of Facebook. You’ll see exactly what your profile looks like to strangers. Click through your Timeline, About, Photos, Friends and other sections to see if vulnerable tidbits have slipped through.

Remember, you can edit every single thing in your profile. To the right of each item, you’ll find an icon with an upside-down triangle. Click this to choose who can see the information. It’s a shortcut that will save you a lot of headaches down the line.

There are plenty more settings you can use to change your Facebook privacy. Click here for a full walk-through of Facebook’s privacy settings and how they work.

How else can you keep your computer secure from trespassers? Be sure to listen to or download my podcasts, or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

Copyright 2017, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved. Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.



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Afghanistan funeral explosions turn deadly


At least 19 people have been killed by explosions at the funeral for a politician’s son who died in violent clashes in the Afghan capital Kabul.

The series of blasts happened as government officials – and reportedly members of parliament – were attending the burial of Mohammad Salim Ezadyar.

Scores are said to have been wounded.

The Taliban denied involvement and blamed rivalries in the government.

THE WEEK IN PICTURES

Ezadyar, whose father Alam is deputy speaker for the upper house of the Afghan parliament, was one of at least four people killed in confrontations between protesters and riot police in Kabul on Friday.

More than 1,000 demonstrators gathered on Friday near the site of a bomb blast in the capital earlier in the week, calling for the resignation of the Afghan government, and the stand-off was continuing on Saturday.

INSIDE TRUMP’S QUIET TERROR WAR AGAINST AL-SHABAB

Pressure has been increasing on President Ashraf Ghani and his administration, which has been powerless to stop a string of attacks in Kabul that have killed hundreds of civilians in recent months.

Wednesday’s bomb attack – at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – was one of the worst in the Afghan capital since the US-led campaign against the Taliban in 2001.

Click for more from Sky News.



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BOUNTY HUNTER RULES Texas shootout shows the job is no free-for-all


Bounty hunters are romantic figures in America’s popular culture —practically an American archetype — portrayed by Hollywood stars like Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

But a recent incident in Greenville, Texas — in which two bounty hunters and a fugitive were killed in a shootout — shows the job isn’t as glamorous as it looks in the movies.

While bounty hunters may appear to be the last true individualists — people who make their own rules — there are plenty of regulations they have to follow.

Bounty hunting goes back hundreds of years, to even before America was founded. Following older English law, the United States set up a bail system under which the accused could be released pending trial if they put up a judicially determined sum to be returned after the proceedings.

The accused can hire a bail bondsman to guarantee the amount. If the accused skips out, the bondsman may employ a bounty hunter to bring back the fugitive. The Supreme Court recognized bounty hunters as part of the criminal justice system in the 1873 case Taylor v. Taintor.

BOUNTY HUNTERS, FUGITIVE SHOOT EACH OTHER DEAD AT CAR DEALERSHIP IN TEXAS

Today, although they are popularly called bounty hunters, they’re properly known as Bail Enforcement Agents – not to be confused with skip tracers. Bounty hunters track and capture criminal fugitives, while skip tracers tend to use more indirect means to find people, and often work on non-criminal cases.

While the job of tracking fugitives is not exactly 9-to-5 office work, it’s still a job, and can have many official requirements.

These vary greatly from state to state. For instance, some states are fairly unregulated, while four states — Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon and Wisconsin — completely ban bounty hunting, along with the bail bonds industry itself.

At present, at least 22 states require licensing, and a number of states — even those without licensing, such as California — require formal training.

At least nine state have laws about what bounty hunters may wear.

For example, in Iowa, they can’t put on a uniform that gives the impression they’re a member of law enforcement. In Washington, they have to wear a shirt or vest with the words “Bail Bond Recovery Agent,” “Bail Enforcement Agent” or “Bail Enforcement” while making an arrest.

At least 10 states have specific rules about when and how bounty hunters can enter private property.

FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEO SHOWS COPS BUSTING MAN FLASHING WAD OF CASH

In Arizona, a bounty hunter must get the consent of people inside a dwelling before they enter; in Virginia, they have to verbally notify people before they go in; in Missouri, they can enter private property for an arrest as long as they have probable cause.

Bounty hunters also have to let officials know what they’re doing — all states that have laws regarding bounty hunting require local law enforcement to be notified when they plan to arrest someone.

Of course, bounty hunters may need to leave their home state to capture fugitives.  When this happens, they generally must follow local laws.

Bounty hunters tend to get their man — or woman — capturing more than 30,000 bail jumpers a year. But over the years there have been many cases where they didn’t follow the rules and were charged with crimes such as robbery, assault, kidnapping, impersonating an officer and murder.

And sometimes, they end up dead. Many of these regulation are designed for safety reasons, but as we’ve seen from the showdown in Texas, while it’s a business, it can be a dangerous one.



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CRYING FOUL Liberals focus on Trump in 'March for Truth' rallies


Protesters are marching Saturday in nearly 130 U.S. cities to call for what they consider the need for more thorough federal investigations into whether President Trump’s associates colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential elections.

The protests — including ones in Washington and outside of Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J. — began early Saturday and have so far been without incident.

Trump protestors and supporters have clashed and disrupted each other’s events numerous times since essentially the start of the 2016 presidential election cycle.

On Wednesday night, Trump supporters disrupted California Democratic Rep. Lou Correa’s town hall in Orange County.

In March 2016, protests and scuffles forced the cancellation of a Trump rally at the University of Illinois, in Chicago.

Organizers for the “March for Truth” rallies Saturday say their objective is to “let our elected leaders know that Americans want answers.”

The also suggest the nationwide rallies are not part of the so-called “resist” Trump efforts.

“The legitimacy of our democracy is more important than the interests of any party, or any president,” the group says.

However, organizers also say their primary goals include getting an independent commission established for the Russia investigations, keeping the public as informed as possible and getting Congress to demand that Trump release his tax returns.

Among the sponsors are such liberal-leaning groups as Public Citizen, Swing Left and Progressive Democrats of America. 

Meanwhile, a Pro-Trump rally called “Pittsburgh Not Paris Event for President Trump” is being held Saturday in northern Virginia.

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump said Thursday in announcing that the United States would withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, in which industrial nations have agreed to limit greenhouses gases.

In a nod to his campaign promise to review middle-America’s coal industry, Trump also said, “It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along with many, many other locations within our great country before Paris.”  



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