Knife Attack Kills 1, Injures 9 Near Lyon; Suspect Detained 

Police detained an Afghan man seeking asylum in France after one person was fatally stabbed and nine others injured Saturday outside a subway station near Lyon, authorities said. The reason for the attack was unclear. 
 
The assailant was a 33-year-old Afghan citizen who had applied for asylum in France and was awaiting a response, according to a national police official. The attacker provided contradictory information to police, but the attack did not appear to be terrorism-related, two French officials told The Associated Press. 
 
The victim who died was a 19-year-old man, and it was unclear whether he knew the attacker, according to local police. Three of the injured were in critical condition, officials said. 
 
The subway station in the Lyon suburb of Villeurbanne was cordoned off, with police combing the area. 
 
A manhunt was initially launched for a second attacker. Police later determined that the detained man was the main suspect, two officials said, but police were still looking for possible accomplices. The officials were not authorized to be publicly named because of French government policy. 
 
The national anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office has not been asked to participate in the investigation at this stage. An official with the Lyon regional administration said national security forces weren’t involved in the search, which included a few dozen local police officers and a helicopter. 
 
France remains on high alert after several deadly Islamic extremist attacks in 2015 and 2016. 

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Thousands Protest British PM’s Move to Suspend Parliament 

Thousands of people across Britain and Northern Ireland protested on Saturday against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament for about a month before the deadline for the country to leave the European Union. 
 
Johnson has pledged to take Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a deal on future relations with the bloc. The move to shut Parliament for around a month in the period before that will hinder efforts by his opponents to stop him. About 2,000 people gathered outside his office in Downing Street, chanting: “Liar Johnson, shame on you!” 
 
A sign read: “#StopTheCoup. Defend our Democracy. Save our future.” 

Nothing abnormal

The government says it is usual for Parliament to be suspended before a new prime minister outlines his policy program in a queen’s speech, now scheduled for Oct. 14. His supporters also say Parliament usually breaks in late September, when the main political parties hold their annual conferences. 
 
But his critics say the suspension, known as a prorogation, is unusually long and describe the move as a thinly veiled attempt to reduce the time that lawmakers will have to debate before Britain leaves the EU at the end of October. 
 
Opposition lawmakers want to prevent the shutdown of Parliament and pass legislation to avoid a no-deal Brexit when they return from summer recess on Tuesday. 
 
Protests were scheduled in other major cities in the four nations of the United Kingdom, comprising England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  

A crowd gathers to protest against British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Aug. 31, 2019.

About 100 people protested outside the city hall in Belfast, the capital of the Northern Ireland, which has become a particular focus in the Brexit negotiations because it has the United Kingdom’s only land border with the European Union. 
 
The “backstop” insurance policy, part of the withdrawal agreement negotiated between the EU and Britain’s former prime minister and which aims to keep the border with Ireland open, has become the main sticking point in negotiations. 
 
Johnson wants the backstop removed, saying it could leave Northern Ireland operating under different regulatory rules than the rest of the United Kingdom. The EU and Ireland say Britain has yet to come up with acceptable alternatives. 

Court case

A court case being heard in Belfast next week aims to block Johnson’s suspension of Parliament on the ground that a no-deal Brexit would breach the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to the British-run province of Northern Ireland. 
 
Protesters said the government had failed to consider the importance of the border issue. 
 
“The thing that scares me most is they have no appreciation of what is important for Northern Ireland. We are not on their radar,” said Graham Glendinning, 49, a software worker. “The border means nothing to them and they don’t give two hoots about it.” 

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Trump Tweets, Golfs Amid Hurricane Preparations

After canceling a trip to Poland to stay stateside to oversee the federal government’s response to an approaching hurricane, President Donald Trump took time out to golf and to send a thinly veiled warning to his ousted Oval Office gatekeeper.

The president, on Saturday morning, was flown on Marine One from Camp David in Maryland to his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.
 
Camp David has a driving range and a single golf hole with multiple tees, but the president, keeping to his weekend routine when the weather is fair, chose to head to the nearest of his private 18-hole courses.

Before departing the presidential retreat, which he rarely has used, Trump dispatched a blizzard of tweets – at a rate of nearly one per minute over an hour – on his personal @realDonaldTrump account.

Some of his tweets referenced Hurricane Dorian, a Category 4 storm poised to damage the southeastern U.S. coast, with Trump noting it could pose more of a threat to South Carolina and Georgia than the original forecast of landfall in Florida.

Looking like our great South Carolina could get hit MUCH harder than first thought. Georgia and North Carolina also. It’s moving around and very hard to predict, except that it is one of the biggest and strongest (and really wide) that we have seen in decades. Be safe!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2019

“He’s being briefed every hour” about the hurricane, according to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

Amid continuing questions about why Trump postponed his trip to Poland for a hurricane that is not expected to hit any of the United States until after the time the president would have returned from Europe, Grisham said, “Obviously, being here domestically is better. … We’re more nimble and all his agencies are here.” 

After time at his golf course, Trump was to receive another briefing, back at Camp David, about the hurricane.

On Sunday, Trump is scheduled to return to the White House and then visit the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in downtown Washington.

FILE – President Donald Trump’s personal secretary Madeleine Westerhout stands outside the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, April 2, 2018.

A pair of Saturday tweets by Trump focused on the abrupt departure of Oval Office gatekeeper Madeleine Westerhout, who had dished gossip to a group of reporters during an off-the-record dinner and drinking session about the president’s eating habits. She also disparaged daughter Tiffany Trump, claiming the president does not like being photographed with her because he thinks she is overweight.

Book publishers reportedly have been seeking to contact Westerhout after she was not permitted to return on Friday to her job as a personal assistant to the president.

Trump, on Twitter, said Westerhout had signed a confidentially agreement, but “I don’t think there would ever be reason to use it. She called me yesterday to apologize, had a bad night. I fully understood and forgave her! I love Tiffany, doing great!”

While Madeleine Westerhout has a fully enforceable confidentiality agreement, she is a very good person and I don’t think there would ever be reason to use it. She called me yesterday to apologize, had a bad night. I fully understood and forgave her! I love Tiffany, doing great!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2019

In a subsequent tweet, the president claimed he is “currently suing several people for violating their confidentiality agreements,” including former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, who was fired after one year as the communications director in the White House Office of Public Liaison.

…Yes, I am currently suing various people for violating their confidentiality agreements. Disgusting and foul mouthed Omarosa is one. I gave her every break, despite the fact that she was despised by everyone, and she went for some cheap money from a book. Numerous others also!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2019

A number of former federal lawyers and private attorneys rebutted Trump on Twitter, asserting that the non-disclosure agreements are not legally enforceable unless classified information is revealed.

Trump himself is facing some criticism about revealing sensitive U.S. government information after he tweeted on Friday a detailed photograph of a launchpad explosion of an Iranian rocket that was set to put a satellite into space.  

Analysts say the public release of an image with such resolution is unprecedented and was probably taken by a KH-11 American spy satellite known as USA-224.

“We had a photo and I released it, which I have the absolute right to do,” Trump told reporters on Friday.

U.S. presidents are able to declassify information at their discretion – the most prominent example being John Kennedy’s decision in 1962 to make public pictures taken by a U-2 spy plane that revealed Soviets troops were placing missiles in Cuba aimed at the United States.

 

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Uganda Returns 5 to DRC; All Had Contact With Ebola Victim

Uganda’s Health Ministry on Friday evening repatriated five Congolese people who had contact with a 9-year-old girl with Ebola to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The girl, also of Congolese origin, traveled with her mother Wednesday from Goma in the DRC and entered Uganda through the Mpondwe border post for medical care.

She was subsequently isolated and transferred to the nearby Bwera hospital Ebola Treatment Unit, where a blood test confirmed Thursday that she was positive for the Ebola virus.

Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Uganda’s state minister for primary health care, said even though Bwera’s Kasese district has the capacity to handle a disease outbreak, including an Ebola outbreak, it was too late to save the girl.

“Unfortunately, the girl passed on early in the morning today. Upon the request of the father, plans are underway to repatriate the body to DRC for safe and dignified burial,” Kaducu said.

Five return to DRC for care

Since June, Uganda has vaccinated 8,000 health workers who have been in the proximity of infected patients. Kaducu said health workers observed the appropriate practices regarding infection, prevention and control while the girl was under treatment, but the Uganda surveillance teams listed five people who had come into contact with the girl. Three shared the Ebola treatment unit with the girl, while two were tending to the patients, including the girl’s mother.

“All these five people, they are of Congolese origin. And they were transported in the same ambulance with the confirmed case from Mpondwe point of entry to Bwera hospital. Four of these contacts have been taken back to DRC for vaccination and for appropriate and effective follow-up,” Kaducu said.

The fifth contact, the mother of the confirmed case, is scheduled to return to DRC for burial of her daughter.

Vaccine in limited supply

While Uganda has managed to control Ebola from spreading beyond Kasese district, availability of the vaccine, manufactured by the U.S. firm Merck, is limited.

WHO Country Representative to Uganda Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam said that after the latest case, 300 doses were delivered to Kasese on Friday.

“Currently, there is a shortage of the Merck vaccine globally,” Woldemariam said. “So, we are using it with a strict criteria of who is at risk, so that we can protect those people. And, it is also a tool to interrupt if there’s any sustained transmission in a population.”

The Health Ministry has reassured the public that the current threat poses no major risks to the rest of the country. A rapid-response team has been dispatched to Kasese to support the district teams to continue with the various Ebola response activities, including case management, community engagement, contact tracing, psychosocial support and vaccination.

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Twitter CEO Account Hacked, Offensive Tweets Posted

Twitter said Friday the account of chief executive Jack Dorsey had been “compromised” after a series of erratic and offensive messages were posted.

The tweets containing racial slurs and suggestions about a bomb showed up around 2000 GMT on the @jack account of the founder of the short messaging service before being deleted.

Some of the tweets contained the hashtag #ChucklingSquad, which was believed to indicate the identity of the hacker group. The same calling card was left behind during recent hacks of other high-profile social media personalities.

The messages contained racial epithets, and included a retweet of a message supporting Nazi Germany.

“We’re aware that @jack was compromised and (are) investigating what happened,” a Twitter spokesperson said.

Tweets up for 30 minutes

The San Francisco-based firm followed up midafternoon with a Twitter post saying Dorsey’s account was secured and there was “no indication that Twitter’s systems have been compromised.”

It appeared that tweets posted on Dorsey’s account by the hacker were up for about a half-hour before they were removed.

Pinned atop Dorsey’s account was a tweet from early last year saying: “We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress.”

A barrage of comments fired off on the platform questioned why the Twitter co-founder didn’t secure his account with two-factor authentication, and how disturbing a sign it was that the service wasn’t to keep its own chief safe on the platform.

“If you can’t protect Jack, you can’t protect … jack,” one Twitter user quipped.

The Twitter logo is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange, Feb. 8, 2018.

Cleaning up content

The news comes with Dorsey and Twitter moving aggressively to clean up offensive and inappropriate content as part of a focus on “safety.”

“This might be the only way to get rid of racist tweets on this platform,” a Twitter user commented.

British-based security consultant Graham Cluley said the incident highlighted the importance of two-factor authentication, where a user must confirm the account via an external service.

“Everyone should ensure they have 2FA enabled, use unique password, and double check what apps they’ve linked to their accounts,” Cluley tweeted. “Hard to say at moment how he was compromised, but one of those reasons most likely.”

Cloudhopper

Cybersecurity researcher Kevin Beaumont said the account appeared to have been hijacked “via a third party called Cloudhopper, which Twitter acquired about 10 years ago and had access to his account.”

Cloudhopper enables users to send tweets on their phones via SMS.

University of Hartford communications professor Adam Chiara was keen to learn whether the breach resulted from Dorsey’s negligence or a breakdown of security at Twitter.

“While it’s tempting to laugh at the irony of it, the real-world consequences don’t make it funny,” Chiara said of Dorsey’s account being hacked. “Twitter can tell us that they are becoming more diligent with our privacy and security, but actions speak louder than words.”

The incident raised fresh concerns about how social media users, even prominent ones, can have their accounts compromised and used for misinformation, a point highlighted by Canadian member of parliament Michelle Rempel Garner.

“Between bots, trolls and abuse, I’ve been skeptical about @Twitter as a viable platform for some time now,” Rempel Garner wrote. “But the fact it took the platform’s owner (@jack) about 30 min to get his hacked account under control is deeply problematic, and makes me worry as an elected official.”

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Valerie Harper, TV’s ‘Rhoda,’ Dies at 80

Valerie Harper, who scored guffaws and stole hearts as Rhoda Morgenstern on back-to-back hit sitcoms in the 1970s, has died. She was 80. 
 
Longtime family friend Dan Watt confirmed Harper died Friday, adding the family wasn’t immediately releasing any further details.  

Harper was a breakout star playing the lovable sidekick on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” then as the funny leading lady of the spinoff series “Rhoda.” 
 
In March 2013, she revealed that she had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She had battled lung cancer in 2009, and her husband-manager said recently that he’d been advised to place her in hospice. 
 
Harper appeared on Broadway and in feature films, including “Freebie and the Bean” and “Chapter Two.” 

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Візит місії МВФ в Україну очікується у період 10-24 вересня – прем’єр

Візит місії Міжнародного валютного фонду в Україну очікується з 10 до 24 вересня цього року, повідомив прем’єр-міністр Олексій Гончарук в інтерв’ю журналістам декількох ЗМІ.

«Вже за декілька тижнів у Києві буде місія МВФ, з якою ми будемо вести переговори щодо нової, на 3-4 роки, програми співпраці з Україною», – заявив Гончарук.

Відповідаючи на запитання про ціни на газ для населення, що тривалий час було спірним питанням у відносинах між попереднім Кабінетом Міністрів і фондом, Гончарук зазначив, що уряд не повинен втручатися адміністративними рішеннями в ціноутворення, навіть на енергоносії.

Згідно із базовим прогнозом Національного банку, за новою програмою співпраці з МВФ Україна може отримати два мільярди доларів від МВФ у цьому році та ще по два мільярди у 2020 й 2021 роках. Обсяг поточної програми – 3,9 мільярда доларів.

21 грудня 2018 року Україна отримала перший і наразі єдиний транш за програмою співпраці з Міжнародним валютним фондом обсягом близько 1,4 мільярда доларів.

Востаннє місія МВФ працювала в Україні в травні 2019 року.

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