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  • Republicans and Democrats are both using the same argument to gin up enthusiasm among jaded voters
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 3:32 PM:)

    GettyImages 584451670

    PHILADELPHIA — Following a dark and occasionally rocky Republican convention in Cleveland last week, Democratic planners wanted to strike a different, more harmonious note.

    But as raucous protesters shouted over convention speakers and refused to fully embrace the call for unity, some Democratic lawmakers began making an argument familiar to audiences watching the Republican national convention: Think about the Supreme Court.

    On Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland predicted that Sen. Bernie Sanders' former supporters will coalesce around Hillary Clinton once they realize that Donald Trump's election could put several conservative justices on the court.

    "If one or two or three or four young, radical conservative people were placed on that court, everything the Bernie supporters care about would be at risk," Strickland told Business Insider at an event with climate activists. "If they have a brain and really thought it through — I'm sure they do have brains, they’re bright people — they would understand the consequences of pulling back and not getting on board with Secretary Clinton."

    Speaking on a panel on Wednesday, Rep. Keith Ellison urged holdout Sanders supporters to envision what the court would be like if Al Gore would've beaten George W. Bush in the 2000 election, appointing liberal supreme court justices.

    "This is a very serious situation that we're in," said Ellison, one of Sanders' most high-profile supporters in Congress.

    "The stakes couldn't be higher when it comes to the Supreme Court. From a constitutional standpoint — if you supported Bernie, if you believe in a fair economy, if you believe in criminal justice ... then there's not way you're going to let Donald Trump become president."

    Many Democrats say that raising awareness of Senate Republicans' refusal to allow hearings to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died is a winning strategy. Hart Research, a polling group that conducts surveys for Clinton-aligned groups, found in a June survey that 50% of voters said replacing Supreme Court justices was a very important consideration in their presidential vote, up from 30% in 2012.

    Further, recent surveys conducted by Public Policy Polling showed that many voters in swing states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania don't trust Trump to fill the vacancy.

    Earlier this year, the Republican presidential nominee released a list of candidates he would consider to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. Many Republicans lauded the potential choices, many of which came straight off a list of potential nominees compiled by the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation.

    For their part, Republicans lukewarm about Trump have justified their support for the nominee by citing the liberal threat to the court.

    In a recent interview with NPR's "Morning Edition," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted the potential Supreme Court vacancies as the number one issue that ought to change Republicans' minds.

    "The single most important thing I would remind right-of-center voters in suggesting that they vote for Donald Trump is: Who do you want to make the next Supreme Court appointment?" McConnell told NPR.

    "Donald Trump has already put out a list of 10 or 11 right-of-center, well-qualified judges, a list from which he would pick. I think that issue alone should comfort people in voting for Donald Trump for president.

    The majority leader echoed the sentiment in his speech at the Republican convention in Cleveland.

    "Tonight I ask you to continue — let us continue our work. Let us put justices on the Supreme Court who cherish our Constitution," McConnell said.

    SEE ALSO: 'Overblown': High-profile Democrats aren't concerned about calls of disunity

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  • The 50 best law schools in America
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 3:00 PM:)

    2x1 best law schools in america

    While it can be tough to get into elite law schools, the real challenge happens post-graduation: securing a good job.

    Law-school enrollment remains high — 39,984 students graduated in the class of 2015 — but the prestigious degree no longer holds the same clout that it once did, and an oversaturation of lawyers has left graduates struggling in the job market.

    For the class of 2010, only 40% of graduates were working at law firms by 2015, and 20% of the class held jobs that didn't even require a law license.

    Even many who do land at a law firm can struggle to pay off the crushing debt. Law students incur an average loan burden of $84,000 by the time they graduate from a public school and $122,158 by the time they graduate from a private school, according to the American Bar Association.

    But only about 17% of 2014 graduates employed at law firms full-time were making the coveted $160,000 salary, while half reported salaries of $40,000 to $65,000.

    So, to determine which law schools stand as the best in the country, Business Insider focused on the institutions that lead to top jobs in the legal world. Using data from the ABA, the ranking primarily homed in on the percentage of graduates who land full-time, long-term, highly coveted jobs, which includes positions at big law firms that pay well — those with over 251 employees — and federal clerkships, which are difficult to secure and frequently set up successful careers.

    The ranking also took into consideration the percentage of graduates with full-time, long-term jobs that require passing the bar, the percentage that are unemployed but seeking employment, bar-passage rate, tuition, and median LSAT scores. You can read more about our methodology here

    Placing a higher weight on jobs — and no weight on selectivity or reputation — yielded unexpected results. The University of Pennsylvania earned the top spot, followed by the University of Chicago at No. 2. The law programs at Yale and Harvard, perennially ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in other rankings, came in 10th and third, respectively.

    Continue on to check out the full list.

    Additional reporting by Kaitlyn Yarborough and Alexa Pipia.

    Edited by Alex Morrell and Sara Silverstein.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best business schools in the world

    DON'T MISS: The 50 best colleges in America

    50. Seton Hall University

    Location: Newark, New Jersey

    Percent of graduates with highly coveted positions: 7%

    Bar passage rate: 83%

    Median LSAT score: 157

    The only private law school in New Jersey, Seton Hall offers instruction in the areas of health, intellectual property, public interest and public policy, and social justice. About 80% of graduates secured full-time, long-term jobs requiring bar-exam passage.

    49. Louisiana State University

    Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    Percent of graduates with highly coveted positions: 6%

    Bar passage rate: 84%

    Median LSAT score: 155

    In addition to a traditional law degree in common law, Louisiana State University's Paul M. Herbert Law Center also gives students the option to earn an additional degree in civil law, which the school describes as a "blend of Roman, Spanish, and French legal traditions." After graduation, 70% of LSU law students secure full-time, long-term jobs that require passing the bar.

    48. University of Kansas

    Location: Lawrence, Kansas

    Percent of graduates with highly coveted positions: 10%

    Bar passage rate: 86%

    Median LSAT score: 156

    Law students at the University of Kansas can complete dual-degree programs in several areas, including business, journalism, and communications. Tuition for the public school is the third-lowest on our list at $35,328.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider > <>
  • This man's youngest brother killed himself after spending 3 years at one of the country's most notorious jails — now he wants to shut it down
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 2:37 PM:)

    Kalief Browder 5919

    Akeem Browder celebrated what would have been his youngest brother's 23rd birthday by smashing a pinata crafted to look like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    "That's what he deserves," Akeem growled as he punched and kicked the papier-mache caricature.

    Instead of candy, pictures of Rikers Island guards abusing a then teenage boy spilled out of the pinata's hollow torso. As Akeem spread the images over hot sidewalk outside the Bronx Supreme Court, a rubber "Live For Real" bracelet wiggled around his right hand.

    After spending three years at Rikers Island on charges of stealing a backpack, which were later dropped, Akeem's brother, Kalief, killed himself at their mother's house in 2015. He was just 22.

    While navigating the darkness that inevitably followed, Akeem started the Campaign to Shut Down Rikers, a grassroots collection of activists dedicated to the swift closure of Rikers Island, New York City's main jail complex and one of the country's most notorious.

    Those involved meet regularly to plan events, mostly civil disobedience, in hopes of drawing attention to Kalief's death and convincing politicians to reform the criminal justice system the group believes caused it.

    Police arrested Kalief in May 2010 on suspicion of stealing a backpack. Then just 16 years old, he spent the next three years awaiting trial at Rikers Island. While there, video surveillance from the jail showed guards and fellow inmates violently attacking him.

    "You think your clock is ticking, but at Rikers, you're being tortured and abused. You're missing out on life," Akeem told Business Insider at the protest. "That's what they did to him."

    When prosecutors couldn't proceed with his case, Kalief was released in 2013. In the years after his time behind bars, he struggled with depression and paranoia, eventually pushing the young black man to kill himself.

    Now, Akeem wants the whole system to pay for his brother's pain. For the march on the courthouse, on Kalief's first birthday since his suicide, Akeem ordered three pinatas designed to look like three politicians: de Blasio, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte.

    In Akeem's mind, these are the people responsible, at the highest level, for Kalief's death.

    Rikers Island sits on a nearly 400-acre island in the East River. The 10 jails across the facility, from juvenile to all-women buildings, hold nearly 10,000 inmates.

    The campaign lists seven reasons New York State needs to shut the entire operation down:

    1. Rikers is racist.
    2. Rikers punishes poor people.
    3. Rikers breeds physical and sexual violence.
    4. Rikers abuses children and people with mental illness.
    5. Rikers acts as a prison, not a jail.
    6. Rikers is a waste of public spending.
    7. Rikers is a torture chamber.

    As protesters marched around the courthouse, they carried signs with each of these points.

    Statistics support many of the most eye-opening claims.

    In 2015, violence hit an all-time high at Rikers, despite fewer inmates, according to the New York Daily News. Although it's likely much higher, recent federal statistics show the rate of sexual violence by staff and other inmates reported by women inmates at two Rikers facilities is almost triple the national average.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider > <>
  • There's a troubling connection between the Dallas and Baton Rouge police shooters
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 2:25 PM:)

    dallas police black lives matter prayer

    Police-related violence has dominated the national conversation in recent weeks.

    In Dallas, ex-Army reservist Micah Xavier Johnson killed five police officers and wounded seven on July 7, when he opened fire during a peaceful protest of the police killings of two black men — Alton Sterling in Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Minnesota — earlier that week.

    Ten days later, ex-marine Gavin Long ambushed police in Baton Rouge, killing three police officers.

    In the weeks that have followed, many in the media and on social media have sought to connect Johnson and Long to activist movements such as Black Lives Matter that advocate for police reform. 

    Experts refute the connection, saying instead that there may actually be a more insidious, under-the-radar link between the two shooters.

    Finding a 'justification'

    A quick Google search with the shooters' names and Black Lives Matter reveals a bevy of posts on social media, blogs, and conservative-leaning websites playing up the connection, some even going so far as to call the shootings "Black Lives Matter-inspired."

    Tristan Bridges and Tara Tober, sociologists at the College of Brockport, SUNY — and who are working on a large-scale analysis of mass shootings in the US — were adamant there is no connection between activist groups like Black Lives Matter and the shootings.

    "It’s incredibly important to point out that the police shootings are not a part of the Black Lives Matter movement," they wrote in the email. "The shooters may have felt a connection with the frustrations and experiences that motivated the movement, but Black Lives Matter is and has always been a peaceful movement."

    Chris Kilmartin, a clinical psychologist at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, told Business Insider that what is actually occurring is a social psychology concept called "outgroup homogeneity effect."

    The outgroup homogeniety effect refers to the phenomenon that when someone from a dominant racial or social group commits a crime, it becomes attributed to the individual. But when a person from a minority group commits a crime, it reflects on the whole group, whether or not the individual perpetrator has a mental illness or not.

    Micah Xavier Johnson

    The effect is why people like former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh — who declared that "this is now war" after the Dallas shooting — conflate Black Lives Matter protesters with shooters like Long, even though the two aren't related in any way.

    "He was essentially declaring war on black people as a whole," Kilmartin said in reference to Walsh. 

    The opposite example of the phenomenon is the vast number of school shootings committed by young, white males, such as Adam Lanza of the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting in 2012 or Eliot Rodger of the infamous University of California, Santa Barbara, shooting in 2014. In such cases, the media and police tend to emphasize the shooter's mental illness, rather than his or her racial affiliation.

    The connection between police reform and the shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge was encouraged by the shooters themselves. A manifesto allegedly written by Long called his attack "a necessary evil" in the "unseen and concealed war within America’s police force between Good cops & Bad cops." 

    Johnson, meanwhile, told Dallas police during negotiations that he was "upset about the recent police shootings," and wanted to "kill white people, especially white officers," reports Business Insider's Natasha Bertrand

    Kilmartin dismissed the reasoning provided by Long and Johnson, saying that mass shootings actually occur due to a "toxic cocktail of factors."

    "Anybody who acts violently has to find some sort of justification for it," Kilmartin said.

    'Toxic masculinity'

    The more relevant connection between Long and Johnson is their gender, experts say.

    "Masculinity has everything to do with mass shootings," Tober and Bridges, the sociologists said, who explained that most shootings have similarly predictable stories. 

    "These are the stories of men who felt that they have been denied something they felt due ... " they wrote. "We suggest that the sorts of men who commit mass shootings often feel wronged." 

    This gendered phenomenon is reflected in crime statistics, according to Kilmartin, who noted that men commit 87% of violent crimes in the US. That number is actually higher: In 2010, 90.3% of offenders arrested for murder were male, according to the FBI

    Though the "vast majority of men are never violent, the large majority of violent people are men," said Kilmartin. "These are indisputable facts — it's not male bashing."

    gavin long

    Long, the Baton Rouge shooter, had a life-coaching business under the brand "The Cosmo Way." He discussed his ideas around masculinity and what it means to be an "alpha" male, reported NBC. His alleged manifesto asked his family to judge his character as a "MAN," based on the document.

    These men commit mass shootings to try and "take back control," according to Tober and Bridges, who noted that, in this way, Long shares "common ground with school shooters."

    Kilmartin noted that "toxic masculinity," is reinforced culturally, in the media, in movies, and even on reality television, where bullying can be celebrated

    Said Kilmartin: "We need to have a national discussion about masculinity." 

    SEE ALSO: Baton Rouge shooting suspect encouraged black Americans to 'fight back' before they went 'extinct'

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  • Neuroscientist: Donald Trump's meteoric rise can be explained by 4 basic human instincts
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 2:11 PM:)

    Donald Trump

    Donald Trump's ascent from wealthy political outsider to Republican presidential nominee has confounded many Americans, as well as the political establishment.

    But a neuroscientist says Trump's popularity can be explained by how he triggers certain emotions — anger, fear, and aggression — in the "fear center," which is part of the limbic system in people's brains.  

    "We have the same brain we had 100,000 years ago when we were living on the plains of Africa," R. Douglas Fields, neuroscientist and author of "Why We Snap" told Business Insider. "These defensive triggers exist for a good purpose but politicians are pushing on them to motivate people to do what they want." 

    Widespread modern fears — of terrorism, war, and gun violence — as well as economic uncertainty make people even more responsive these triggers. 

    Fields says Trump uses four main human instincts to get people's attention: 

    1. Being part of a tribe.

    "Any social animal is dependent on its group and will defend the group," Fields said. "We live only because we're part of a society."

    Trump's at-times inflammatory rhetoric toward minority groups elicits tribal, "them vs. us" instincts in the human brain. When people are told there is a threat to their tribe, their brain automatically tells them to defend it. 

    Fields says that many violent criminals are acting out of this type of "tribe" mentality. For instance, young people who don't have a stable family or community are more likely to join gangs, where they find some sense of belonging. The gangs then lash out at opposing tribes. 

    donald trump supporters

    2. Threat to environment. 

    Humans are fiercely territorial because "protecting family and home are basic instincts needed for survival," Fields says.

    Trump's comments on immigrants play into this instinct, according to Fields. 

    Consider what Trump said at his presidential announcement in June 2015: 

    "When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you … they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." 

    Fields says that by portraying immigrants as dangerous threats, Trump is inciting anger in people's brains. Saying he will build a wall is an attempt to protect that territory. 

    "Think of a cat: It might be friendly, but if you walk up to its food dish, he will snap," Fields said. "He's wired like many of us are to protect our resources." 

    When a human witnesses a trespasser, his or her first reaction will be to turn violent. 

    build the wall trump supporter

    3. Insults.

    Politicians have long used insults to get people fired up and on their side. 

    Trump's trademark use of monikers like "Crooked Hillary" (for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton) and "Little Marco" (for former GOP primary rival and Sen. Marco Rubio) are meant to incite rage in his supporters. 

    "As a social species, we are dependent on rank in society," Fields said. "Rank, especially among males, is established through aggression." 

    Because people have stopped physically dueling over a disagreement, verbal sparring has taken its place. 

    "Trump's insults get people to rally with him," Fields said. "It's his mechanism of engaging." 

    republican debate trump hands

    4. Life-or-death situations.

    Talking about life-or-death situations elicits an emotional response in most people.  

    "Almost anyone will defend themselves in what is perceived as a life-or-death attack," according to Fields. 

    In an article for The Daily Beast, Fields noted that the word "kill" was used 53 times during the December 15 Republican primary debate. This language was not used at all during previous GOP debates. 

    Here's a sampling: 

    "Ted Cruz: '…we will hunt down and kill the terrorists.'  Donald Trump: 'These are people that want to kill us…' Trump also advocates killing family members of ISIS terrorists. Lindsay Graham: 'They’re trying to come here to kill us all…' Mike Huckabee: 'We have to kill some terrorists and kill every one of them….'" 

    Fields has a tip for voters who want to make rational decisions. 

    "Whenever you feel angry, you have to ask yourself if you're being manipulated," Fields said. "Let the moment pass and ask yourself if aggression or violence is really the right way to fix a situation." 

    SEE ALSO: Why France has become a prime target for terrorists

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  • The 25 best public law schools in America
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 1:00 PM:)

    university of georgia arch

    Business Insider recently released its ranking of the 50 best law schools in America, which highlights the top institutions that prepare students to land highly coveted jobs in the legal world.

    Our methodology draws data from the American Bar Association and focuses on the percentage of graduates who land full-time, long-term, highly coveted jobs, which includes positions at big law firms that pay well — those with over 251 employees — and federal clerkships. Read more about our methodology here.

    While private law schools often get overarching recognition for superior academics, many competitive public law schools boast similar track records in placing students in highly coveted jobs.

    These law schools deliver a first-rate legal education, often at a more affordable cost. The annual tuition for public schools on our list is $11,357 less on average than private schools — $43, 041 compared with $54,398.

    Here, we highlight the top 25 public law schools from our ranking.

    Additional reporting by Alexa Pipia.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best business schools in the world

    DON'T MISS: The 50 best colleges in America

    25. Louisiana State University

    Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    Percent of graduates with highly coveted positions: 6%

    Bar passage rate: 84%

    Median LSAT score: 155

    In addition to a traditional law degree in common law, Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Herbert Law Center also gives students the option to earn an additional degree in civil law, which the school describes as a “blend of Roman, Spanish, and French legal traditions.” After graduation, 70% of LSU law students secure full-time, long-term jobs that require passing the bar.

    24. University of Kansas

    Location: Lawrence, Kansas

    Percent of graduates with highly coveted positions: 10%

    Bar passage rate: 86%

    Median LSAT score: 156

    Law students at the University of Kansas can complete dual-degree programs in several areas, including business, journalism, and communications. Tuition for the public school is the third-lowest on our list at $35,328.

    23. University of Washington

    Location: Seattle, Washington

    Percent of graduates with highly coveted positions: 16%

    Bar passage rate: 84%

    Median LSAT score: 164

    The University of Washington’s law library is among the largest on the West Coast with more than 650,000 volumes aiding the school’s nationally recognized Law Librarianship program. Nearly 70% of graduates of the public school secured jobs that required passing the bar. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider > <>
  • Here's what Rio's 'uninhabitable' Olympic Village looks like
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 12:32 PM:)

    A look inside Rio's Olympic Village, and why so many athletes are taking issue with it.

    Produced by Benjamin Tumin. Original reporting by Emmett Knowlton.

    Follow BI Video: On Twitter

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  • A strange new TV ad glorifying China's Communist Party has gone viral
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 12:14 PM:)

    Chinese Communist Party

    A new TV ad glorifying China's Communist Party has gone viral online in China.

    In celebration of the party's 95th anniversary, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) produced the party’s first public-service TV ad, titled "Who am I."

    The 90-second video opens with the question, "Who am I? What kind of person am I?"

    It then shows six party members from all walks of life — each going beyond the call of duty, before concluding, “I’m the Communist Party. I'm always by your side.”

    Featured in the ad are a student who is the last to leave after tidying up a classroom, a street-sweeper cleaning the roads before dawn, and a police officer directing traffic while weathering a thunderstorm. The scenes play out over emotional piano music.

    The video was filmed in Shanghai, the home base of the Chinese Communist Party in its early days, and the production took nearly three weeks to complete, CCTV noted.

    The advertising is meant to illustrate socialist values and communicate the Communist Party’s beliefs through “fresh language and rich images,” according to CCTV.

    The video was first broadcast on TV in June, but it did not gain much popularity until Tuesday, when the ad was shared by the Communist Youth League on Sina Weibo, a service akin to Twitter.

    As the ad begins making waves, reaction has been mixed.

    "My heart melted as I watched,” said one observer quoted by The Paper, China's digital-news outlet. "Can't believe I just became a fan of the Party."

    Others pointed out that the virtues portrayed in the ad, such as selflessness and kindness, are not necessarily exclusive qualities of the Communist Party.

    “It is not about the party. It is about hard-working people,” a Weibo user commented online.

    Others gave the ad their own twist, posting comments like “I am the one who is best at deleting posts," one said, sarcastically.

    According to What's on Weibo, others quipped, "I am the one who is best at talking," "I am the one who shouts the loudest slogans." Censors have removed some of those comments.

    The video was also posted on YouTube, which prompted uncensored comments that mainland Chinese people cannot access.

    "There's no point in creating a political ad because people don't have the right to vote or elect," said one YouTube user.

    Another comment suggested replacing the stars in the ad with imprisoned former high-ranking Communist Party officials such as Bo Xilai, Zhou Yongkang, Xu Caihou, and Guo Boxiong.

    Despite divided reaction online, the video has earned more than 20 million hits on Tencent Video, one of China's largest video sites, according to China Daily.

    Watch the full video of Chinese Communist Party's new ad:

    Join the conversation about this story »

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  • These 2 charts show what a disaster Jeremy Corbyn's leadership has been so far
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 9:30 AM:)

    Jeremy Corbyn's critics say that the current Labour leader is simply unelectable. The two charts below suggest it is very difficult for even his most loyal supporters to argue against this.

    The first, produced by Dr Andrew Norton and based on publicly-available Ipsos MORI data, shows how Corbyn's current public satisfaction rating is the worst of any Labour leader since Michael Foot. 

    Labour leader ratings

    Like Corbyn, Foot was a veteran socialist when he became the party's leader. The Conservatives enjoyed a landslide victory over Foot's Labour in the 1983 election — the most divisive election victory since 1945.

    Even more shocking is that nearly a third (29%) of Brits who voted Labour in 2015 believe Theresa May would make a better prime minister than Jeremy Corbyn, according to YouGov's findings. 

    Corbyn's predecessor, Ed Miliband, was polling at 35% at this stage in the last electoral cycle — 11% better-off than the current Labour leader. Miliband went on to lose the general election. This does not bode well for Corbyn at all.

    His popularity really began to plummet in the weeks following the outcome of the EU referendum. Many Labour MPs and supporters felt that Corbyn wasn't enthusiastic enough in campaigning for Remain. This hardly improved his relations with supporters given that Lord Ashcroft estimates around 63% of Labour supporters voted Remain.

    Secondly, we have Business Insider's latest voter intention tracker. A YouGov poll published on Tuesday evening indicated a 12-point lead for the Tories (40% > 28%). It was the latest in a series of recent polls which have given massive leads to the Conservatives.

    UK voter intention polls 27 July

    History tells us that opposition parties are usually in the lead at this stage of the electoral cycle. For example, at this point during the last cycle, YouGov gave a 9-point lead to Miliband's Labour, and in July 2006 the same pollster gave the Conservatives a 5-point lead over the Labour government. 

    As Corbyn's supporters will tell you, he continues to enjoy high levels of grassroots support among the Labour party membership. But there is no escaping the reality that the current Labour leader is deeply unpopular with the general public.

    This data will act as yet more ammunition for supporters of Corbyn's leadership rival Owen Smith. They argue that Smith, as a more moderate candidate with the backing of the majority of Labour MPs, will be able to turn the party into a viable electoral force once more. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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  • Take a rare glimpse inside 10 Downing Street
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 7:03 AM:)

    Downing Street

    10 Downing Street has been used as a home for British prime ministers since 1735, when King George II gave the house to Prime Minister Robert Walpole.

    The building's black front door is well-known, but few have had a look behind the iconic brick facade. 

    Thanks to Eye Revolution, the public can now take a virtual tour of Number 10's inner-guts. 

    We pulled together screenshots from Eye Revolution's 360-degree tour to give you a glimpse inside the elegant rooms of Number 10.

    Welcome to 10 Downing Street, the home and office of the British prime minister, located in Whitehall in central London.

    The building is famous for its outside entrance — a single white stone step and black steel door with the number "10" on it. The door was originally made of oak but was replaced by a blast-proof one in 1991 after an Irish Republican Army bomb exploded in the garden.

    The iconic black bricks are actually yellow underneath. They were blackened by London smog in the 19th century and then painted black during the 1960s since people had become used to seeing them that way.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider > <>
  • The man who offered Donald Trump his copy of the US Constitution wants GOP leaders to reject their presidential nominee
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 6:12 AM:)

    Khizr Khan

    The father of a deceased Muslim US soldier who gave a rousing speech on the final night of the Democratic National Convention is reiterating his argument against Donald Trump's bid for the White House.

    Khizr Khan called out the Republican nominee in Philadelphia on Thursday, in response to the real-estate mogul's controversial proposals to ban Muslim immigration to the US.

    "That was only half of my speech," Khan said during an appearance on MSNBC Friday.

    In an interview on the network, Khan appealed to top Republican leaders in Congress, asking them to reject Trump's candidacy. He specifically called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, describing each as a "patriot" and a "decent human being."

    "Isn't it time to repudiate Trump? What he has said, what he has threatened to do. This is [a] moral imperative for both leaders to say to him, 'That's enough.'"

    "You are about to sink the ship of the patriot Republicans," he added.

    Khan likened the US Democratic and Republican parties as one and the same, saying, "Republicans are as patriotic as Democrats are. They are half the goodness of this beautiful country."

    Appearing to fight back tears, Khan posed this question to Republicans: "If your candidate wins, and he governs the way he has campaigned, my country, this country will have [a] Constitutional crisis [like] never before."

    Khizr Khan

    Referring to McConnell and Ryan again, Khan added: "My conscience compels me under these very difficult circumstances ... there is so much at stake. I appeal to both of these leaders ... there comes a time in the history of a nation where an ethical, moral stand has to be taken — regardless of the political cost."

    Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas carried a similar message to the Republican National Convention earlier this month. Cruz was booed off the stage during a fiery anti-Trump speech in Cleveland, Ohio, in which he chose not to endorse Trump, but to admonish voters to "stand, and speak, and vote your conscience."

    Ryan suggested in June that he might sue Trump if he tried to enact a Muslim ban as president. McConnell said in May that all commanders in chief face systemic and institutional "constraints" that will prevent "big mistakes."

    Watch Khizr Khan's MSNBC interview here:

    Watch: #KhizrKhan asks Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan to repudiate Trump. Tune in to @TheLastWord for the interview https://t.co/rtp6TJOySL

    — MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 30, 2016

    SEE ALSO: I rewatched Khizr Khan's speech — and it made me weep for our country

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    NOW WATCH: A new poll says Americans dislike Hillary just as much as Trump

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  • Owen Smith was meant to be an alternative to Jeremy Corbyn — but he really isn't
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 6:00 AM:)

    Jeremy Corbyn

    The attempted coup against Jeremy Corbyn was designed to set into motion a process which would see a candidate who represents a clear alternative take over as the party's leader.

    If you take a look at the Saving Labour pamphlets being handed out up and down the country, they say "Labour needs a fresh start and new leadership" — language which implies a new direction for the party.

    Yet, it has been nearly two weeks since Owen Smith was confirmed as the "unity candidate" to challenge Corbyn for the leadership, and it is still not clear what the MP for Pontypridd is offering that is really that different.

    Smith — who has criticised Corbyn for offering "slogans but not solutions" — announced 20 policies he would put to parliament if elected prime minister earlier this week. They wouldn't have looked at all out of place on a manifesto written by Corbyn himself.

    Speaking in Yorkshire on Wednesday, Smith pledged, for example, to reintroduce the 50p top rate of income tax, bring in a wealth tax for the richest 1%, and end the public sector pay freeze. They are the kind of promises which would have Corbyn's supporters applauding. 

    (You can see Smith's policy list in full here).

    The New Statesman's George Eaton tweeted shortly after Smith's press conference saying the policy list was proof that Corbyn had "shifted Labour's internal party debate dramatically leftwards" — and this is probably true. After all, if Smith wants a realistic shot of receiving more votes than Corbyn on September 24, one would assume he needs to win over at least some members of the party's left. 

    However, if the basis of the Save Labour movement is just a watered-down version of Corbyn-ism, then what is the point? Labour rebels keep reminding Corbyn supporters that their hero's politics doesn't resonate with the general public — and with recent polling data in mind it is pretty hard to argue with this. But, if they really do believe this, then it is really odd that they have chosen to back a candidate who appears to be much closer to the party's dreaded left than the centre.

    Owen Smith

    It is not just in policy where Smith has failed to offer a clear alternative, though.

    During an interview on BBC Radio 2 earlier this week, Smith didn't exactly sound like a man who is convinced that Labour under Corbyn is headed down the wrong path. Take a look at what he said:

    "I've got mates who joined the particular group [Momentum], I've got mates who joined in order to vote for Jeremy, I've got members of my own party in Pontypridd who have joined because they think the party is heading in the right direction, and I agree with them."

    If Corbyn is leading Labour in the right direction then challenging his leadership feels like an awfully strange move on Smith's behalf. Granted, the former shadow work and pensions secretary has relatively little media experience and it possible he just didn't articulate his point particularly well in that instance. But, the point still stands: Smith neither sounds nor looks like a clear alternative to Corbyn.

    Smith is awkwardly trying to perform a very difficult juggling act. On one hand, he is attempting to present himself as someone who can make Labour a viable electoral force again, while at the same time trying to persuade Corbyn supporters that there isn't a huge gulf between their politics and his.

    Smith needs to contrast with Corbyn — not compliment him. By flirting with Corbynistas, he risks losing credibility as the alternative candidate. Especially considering centrist MP Angela Eagle dropped out of the race to pave the way for him despite being more popular with the membership. But, even more importantly, in a choice between Corbyn and a Corbyn tribute act, the Labour left is going to go with the former.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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  • Venezuela is about to force people to work in the fields
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 1:32 AM:)

    venezuela worker

    Amnesty International says a new decree in Venezuela that says the government can make any of its citizens farm the country's fields in order to combat its current, punishing food crisis "effectively amounts to forced labour."

    "The decree, officially published earlier this week, establishes that people working in public and private companies can be called upon to join state-sponsored organizations specialized in the production of food," Amnesty International reported.

    "They will be made to work in the new companies temporarily for a minimum of 60 days after which their 'contracts' will be automatically renewed for an extra 60-day period or they will be allowed to go back to their original jobs."

    Venezuela's economy has been in a tailspin since 2014, a year after the death of the architect of the country's decade-plus-long socialist revolution, Hugo Chavez.

    His successor, Nicolas Maduro, then took over only to face a swift and brutal decline, turning Venezuela into what economist Steve Hanke calls "the most miserable" country in the world. Aside from a food shortage, the country is also experiencing almost 300% inflation, frequent and violent mass protests, a massive public health crisis, and intense political repression.

    VEnezuela farmers farming

    The historically low price of oil, the country's main export, has only made the situation more dire. Production has tanked. Venezuela has billions of debt payments for its state oil company, PDVSA, due this fall, and analysts wonder if it will be able to make those payments.

    Meanwhile, the people are clamoring for snap elections and the release of political prisoners. The Organization of American States has called for the same.

    "In 16 years, they have never been more unified on a group of principles, one being the referendum," Brian Dean of ACG Analytics told Business Insider recently. "Any credible opposition candidate will win if there are free and fair elections."

    That means the government, which is already ruling in a state of emergency decree, will only continue to dig in its heels before this is all said and done.

    SEE ALSO: Why Venezuela is a nightmare right now

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  • Countries are spending millions to control the weather — here's why
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 1:06 AM:)

    Storm Clouds Italy

    This summer, China set aside $30 million for a controversial project that involves shooting salt-and-mineral-filled bullets into the sky.

    Their mission? Make it rain.

    The project is part of a larger campaign of so-called weather modification techniques that the country has been using since at least 2008, when they claim to have cleared the skies for the Beijing Olympics by forcing the rain to come early.

    China is far from the only nation trying to bring (or stop) the rain. At least 52 countries — including the United States — have current weather modification programs, 10 more countries than five years ago, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

    Operation Popeye

    It all started in the 1940s, when a pair of scientists from General Electric Co. were experimenting with using super-cooled clouds to stimulate the growth of ice crystals while hiking Mount Washington. The mountain, located in New Hampshire, is often called the "stormiest mountain in the world" and it's considered a prime spot for cold weather testing. After a series of experiments there and in New York, the two researchers managed to make it rain using silver iodide bullets. They got a patent for their technique, referred to as cloud-seeding, in 1948.

    A few decades later, the US military brought cloud-seeding to the battlefield. Between 1967 and 1972, during the Vietnam War, it spent roughly $3 million each year on weather modification campaigns designed to draw out the monsoon season and create muddy, difficult conditions for enemy fighters. One campaign involved an attempt to flood the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the main route that enemy fighters were using to deliver their supplies.

    Here's a snippet of a document from the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) detailing the campaign:

    FAS weather modification documents vietnam

    The program was also known as Operation Popeye, Operation Intermediary, and Operation Compatriot. Whenever too many people would learn the name, the military would change it. Whether the program worked or not is still a matter of debate. According to the FAS, its "effects were minimal."

    dark cloudsScientists say this is one of the biggest problems with cloud-seeding programs: It's tough to tell if they have any effect at all. Even with today's improved techniques, it can be difficult to distinguish the weather that may have already occurred from the weather that the seeding could have caused.

    "The question is always, if you didn't do that, would it have rained anyway?" Alan Robock, a distinguished professor of geophysics at the department of environmental science at Rutgers University, told Business Insider.

    In 2010, the American Meteorological Society released a statement on cloud-seeding saying that although the science of weather modification has improved significantly in the past five decades, "there remain limits to the certainty with which desired changes in cloud behavior can be brought about using current cloud seeding techniques."

    In other words, we need more research.

    Desperate times

    Despite ongoing disputes over how well it works, people across the globe are still using weather modification to try and address large-scale shifts in temperature and precipitation brought about by climate change.

    In drought-stricken California and several states in the Midwest, cloud-seeding projects are being used in an attempt to increase water production, which is desperately needed both as drinking water and for irrigating crops. And although these projects "may not do so significantly ... even a 10% increase in rainfall or snowfall may be worth the expense," Bart Geerts, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Wyoming, told Business Insider.

    "We're becoming more and more aware of the constraints that arid environments have on resources. Water is the biggest constraint in the western US and parts of China," Geerts said.


    Across the globe, countries are seeing large numbers of such "extreme weather events," which can take the form of intense dry spells or severe storms and flooding. At the same time, there's a slight resurgence in the use of weather modification techniques, which experts say countries may be using to try and protect vulnerable areas from the brunt of natural disasters.

    China's Ministry of Finance aims to use the technology to create more than 60 billion cubic meters of additional rain every year by 2020, Reuters recently reported. Last year, the drought-stricken Indian state of Maharashtra spent $4.5 million on cloud-seeding.

    The current projects aren't limited to prepping for natural disasters or climate change, of course. This May, the Russian government allocated $1.3 million to a project designed to stop rain from falling on International Worker's Day.

    While some government-run projects exist, the most popular type of project involves coordination between the government and a private company. The largest such company, Weather Modification Incorporated, has operations worldwide and it claims prominently that its technology works.

    "Weather Modification Inc. is on the forefront of scientific technology to maximize water availability worldwide," it states on its website. "Application of scientific concepts and extensive scientific experimentation has proven that cloud seeding increases the amount of precipitation."

    Cuban cigar farmOne of their recent projects, a pilot program in Wyoming was aimed at finding out if they could use cloud seeding to increase water supplies in the state. The National Science Foundation (NSF) also helped fund the project, although it hasn't had an official weather modification program since the 1970s, when federal agencies essentially froze funding for cloud-seeding projects.

    Geerts, who worked on that program through his university, says similar projects have been going on for decades. But "more recently, there's been more interest, especially in the dry periods," said Geerts.

    How cloud seeding is supposed to work

    All air contains moisture. Even in hot, dry areas, some water remains suspended in the sky. Before it rains, water droplets in the air condense and cool on tiny particles (such as dust) in the atmosphere, forming clouds. Once they grow large and heavy enough, they fall, melting along the way. This is what we know as rain.

    Cloud seeding operates on the same idea: By injecting chemicals into clouds to lower their temperature and give them more material on which to condense, it hopefully speeds up the process, causing it to rain sooner than it normally would.

    BI Graphics Cloud seeding

    Experts agree that in theory, cloud-seeding makes sense. But in practice, "I think the verdict is still out," said Geerts.

    Nevertheless, people are still striving to improve weather modification technology, hoping that one day it could help with everything from inducing rain to preventing hailstorms. In the meantime, researchers say we're seeing the impacts of what some call "unintentional" weather modification across the globe with the release of fossil fuels into the atmosphere.

    "Whatever we do locally, whether its industrial processes or burning biofuels, that has a global impact. And at the end of the day, some of that may be more significant than the intentional stuff that I'm involved with," said Geerts.

    SEE ALSO: There's a simple reason why one kind of trip gives you the worst jet lag — and you can use it to make your next trip a breeze

    DON'T MISS: Here's why some beaches have crystal-clear water and others are murky and gray

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  • Apple CEO Tim Cook is hosting a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton — and tickets start at $2,700 (AAPL)
    (Politics - July 30 2016 - 12:10 AM:)

    Lisa Jackson Tim Cook

    Apple CEO Tim Cook will host a fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton next month.

    He'll have help, though. Apple vice president Lisa Jackson, who heads up the company's environmental policy, will join him, according to an invitation obtained by Buzzfeed News

    Jackson is a political figure. Before she joined Apple, she was appointed by President Barack Obama as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. She attended a White House state dinner together with Cook last year.

    According to Buzzfeed, attendees to the fundraiser can donate $50,000, $10,000, or $2,700. 

    What makes this fundraiser interesting is that last month, Cook — without Jackson — hosted a fundraiser for Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the house. Before that, it was reported that Apple had declined to offer support for the Republican convention, most likely because of Republican nominee Donald Trump's controversial views.

    Apple lobbies less than other big tech companies such as Google and Microsoft, but it has been increasing its lobby spend in recent years, according to Opensecrets.

    It currently faces several issues with a political component such as a looming European Union tax decision, as well as government pressure to build its products in a way that law enforcement can break into them. 

    Apple declined to comment. 

    SEE ALSO: Here's everything we know about 'Project Titan,' Apple's electric car

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  • Here are the differences between attendees of the DNC and RNC, according to their Yelp searches
    (Politics - July 29 2016 - 10:56 PM:)

    convention goer

    With all of the hype and media coverage surrounding both the Democratic and Republican national conventions, many Americans who could not attend may be wondering about the chanting, flag-waving, and occasionally booing crowds they saw on TV.

    Who are those people? What makes the population at the DNC so different from that of the RNC?

    Yelp compiled some interesting data about what the people at each convention were looking up on its search engine.

    Yelp's data scientist analyzed the relative increase in number of searches for each Yelp business category in Cleveland during the RNC and in Philadelphia during the DNC, as compared with searches in each city from a week before. They then compared the results with one another to paint a picture of the people at both conventions.

    Some of the results are surprising, some of them reinforce classic stereotypes — and some are just plain weird.

    RNC attendee searches

    repub convention goers best

    • Hawaiian food saw a tremendous increase in searches in Cleveland when the RNC came to town — up a whopping 623% — while the same search category at the DNC saw a 65% decline.
    • RNC-goers were also looking for gay bars. That search category went up 45% in Cleveland during the RNC, while it only went up 18% in Philly during the DNC.
    • Dive bar searches increased 40% at the RNC, compared with only a 7% increase at the DNC. It seems like RNC attendees were seeking out some laid-back nightlife options to cope with the stress of the convention.
    • Unsurprisingly, the RNC population was also after some good old comfort food. That category saw a 28% upswing in searches in Cleveland, while no change was detected while the DNC was in Philly. Specifically, hot dogs, pizza, and burgers experienced significant increases to satisfy RNC appetites.
    • In the retail and service sectors, RNC attendees were desperate for some massage therapy. That category saw a 178% increase on Yelp in Cleveland, while it saw a 1% decrease in Philadelphia.
    • True to the Second-Amendment-loving RNC crowd, searches for guns and ammo went up 79% with the Republican presence in Cleveland, while they fell 12% at the DNC.
    • RNC folks also searched for men's clothing (up 72%), women's clothing (up 50%), and golf (up 34%).

    DNC attendee searches

    DNC people

    • As far as food and nightlife categories were concerned, the DNC population wanted to check out Philadelphia's distilleries — increasing searches by 74%, compared with no change in that category at the RNC.
    • DNC attendees were also on the hunt for some diverse food options. They browsed Yelp for Mongolian food (up 48% at the DNC, down 24% at the RNC), Kosher food (up 35% at the DNC, down 13% at the RNC), and vegan food (up 33% at the DNC, down 2% at the RNC).
    • Nonfood categories showed interesting trends among DNC attendees. Up 68% with the Democrats in Philly were searches for cosmetic surgeons, while the same category dropped 47% at the RNC in Cleveland. Looks like the Democrats wanted to change more than just America's leader.
    • Like the RNC crowd, DNC-goers also wanted to have a little fun outside of the convention. But instead of dive bars and gun activities, the Democrats sought out go-karts (up 69%) and arcades (up 20%).
    • Tattoos were another big DNC search — up 42% in Philadelphia and down 2% in Cleveland. With all of the passionate people in the DNC crowd, maybe they were looking to get permanently inked with a likeness of their favorite candidate.

    So what can we conclude about this information? "It's humanizing," a Yelp data analyst told Business Insider.

    While some of the search categories support existing stereotypes about both parties, they can tell us more about the people at each convention. Overall, it's important to remember that we are all human beings with our own wants, needs, and pastimes that transcend the candidate we may be voting for in November. At the end of the day, we're not that different — we all like to eat, relax, and go to some funky bars.

    repub convention goers 2

    SEE ALSO: 17 photos show the craziest things spotted at the Republican National Convention

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  • 'I'm starting to agree with you': Trump eggs on 'lock her up' chant at rambunctious rally
    (Politics - July 29 2016 - 10:28 PM:)

    Donald Trump

    Donald Trump gave some fire to a crowd of supporters chanting during a campaign rally in Colorado Springs on Friday.

    While lambasting Hillary Clinton over the FBI's investigation into her use of a private email server at the State Department, the crowd reprised the anti-Clinton "lock her up" chant that gained traction during last week's Republican National Convention.

    That chant was repeated vigorously throughout the convention, but Trump had demurred when it broke out, saying instead that he would beat Clinton on Election Day.

    But the real-estate mogul signaled his approval during the Friday rally. Speaking over the chants, Trump said, "I've been saying, let's just beat her on November 8."

    "But you know what?" he added. "I'm starting to agree with you."

    "Every time I mention her, everyone screams, 'Lock her up' ... and you know what I do, I've been nice. But after watching that performance [on Thursday] night — such lies — I don't have to be so nice anymore. I'm taking the gloves off," he said.

    The room erupted in cheers.

    Clinton formally accepted the Democratic nomination for president on Thursday night. In her prime-time speech, she took several jabs at Trump, including one line that attempted to sum up the Republican presidential candidate in a nutshell.

    Said Clinton: "A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man you can trust with nuclear weapons."

    Trump spent much of the Colorado rally attacking Clinton, but he also devoted time toward litigating past controversies along the campaign trail, such as his alleged mocking of a disabled reporter and his claim that Arabs in New Jersey cheered the attacks of September 11, 2001.

    Watch the full rally below:

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  • Tim Kaine rips Donald Trump for thinking the Virginia senator was from New Jersey
    (Politics - July 29 2016 - 9:07 PM:)

    Tim Kaine

    Tim Kaine is not to be confused with Tom Kean — as Donald Trump did earlier this week.

    Kaine, Hillary Clinton's running mate and a senator from Virginia, explained on Friday on CNN that Trump's mix-up of the two at a press conference earlier this week made him "scratch his head."

    "Her running mate Tim Kaine, who by the way did a terrible job in New Jersey — first act he did in New Jersey was ask for a $4 billion tax increase and he was not very popular in New Jersey and he still isn't," Trump said during a Wednesday press conference.

    Kean was the Republican governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990. Kaine did propose $4 billion in tax increases when he served as governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010, according to PolitiFact, but did not do so all at once. Kaine is, and Kean was, well-liked in their states.

    "Two days ago he did a press conference and he told everybody what a lousy governor of New Jersey I was," Kaine told CNN host Jake Tapper in response to being asked what he thought of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, insinuating that Trump was insane during his speech to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

    "To be honest, you were," Tapper joked back.

    "Yeah, well, I was a no-show governor of New Jersey when I was governor of Virginia," Kaine responded.

    "OK, look, the guy's new to it, and we're a big country and there are 50 states and New Jersey's different than Virginia," he continued. "I guess you've got to let him climb the learning curve."

    He said that he doesn't "know anything about his sanity" because he's "never met him."

    "But somebody who'd mistake New Jersey for Virginia or Virginia for New Jersey, I just scratch my head," he continued.

    Tapper clarified that Trump seemed to mean Kean, who's name is pronounced the same as Kaine's.

    "Tom Kean was governor of New Jersey and he finished his term 26 years ago," Kaine said. "I mean, I don't know, I was 5 years old then and I would've been a bad governor. Nah, I was older than 5, but I would've been a bad governor. At age 5, I would've been a bad governor."

    SEE ALSO: Donald Trump launches into raging tweetstorm in response to Hillary Clinton's big speech

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  • The Clinton campaign's computer network was hacked in the wider cyber attack against Democratic organizations
    (Politics - July 29 2016 - 9:02 PM:)

    hillary clinton

    WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) — The computer network used by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign was hacked as part of a broad cyber attack on Democratic political organizations, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

    The latest attack, which was disclosed to Reuters on Friday, follows reports of two other hacks on the Democratic National Committee and the party's fundraising committee for candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.

    The U.S. Department of Justice National Security Division is investigating whether cyber hacking attacks on Democratic political organizations threatened U.S. security, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

    The involvement of the Justice Department's National Security Division is a sign that the Obama administration has concluded that the hacking was state sponsored, individuals with knowledge of the investigation said.

    The Clinton campaign, based in Brooklyn, released a statement on the matter late Friday, acknowledging that the breach was part of the broader DNC hack. Spokesperson Nick Merrill said the Clinton campaign's computer system "has been under review by outside cyber security experts. To date, they have found no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised."

    Merrill said an "analytics data program" maintained by the DNC and used by the campaign and other entities had been breached.

    The Department of Justice had no comment.

    It was not immediately clear what information on the Clinton campaign's computer system hackers would have been able to access.

    Hackers, whom U.S. intelligence officials have concluded were Russian, gained access to the entire network of the fundraising Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, said people familiar with the matter, detailing the extent of the breach to Reuters for the first time.

    Access to the full DCCC network would have given the hackers access to everything from emails to strategy memos and opposition research prepared to support Democratic candidates in campaigns for the House.

    The hack of the DCCC, which is based in Washington, was reported first by Reuters on Thursday, ahead of Clinton's speech in Philadelphia accepting the Democratic Party's nomination.

    Russian officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

    The DCCC said in a statement early on Friday that it has hired cyber security firm CrowdStrike to investigate.

    "We have taken and are continuing to take steps to enhance the security of our network," the DCCC said. "We are cooperating with federal law enforcement with respect to their ongoing investigation."

    Here's the full statement from the Clinton campaign:

    "An analytics data program maintained by the DNC, and used by our campaign and a number of other entities, was accessed as part of the DNC hack. Our campaign computer system has been under review by outside cyber security experts. To date, they have found no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised."

    SEE ALSO: The worst might be yet to come with the DNC email hack

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  • Trump seems especially mad at Mike Bloomberg, and any New Yorker could tell you why
    (Politics - July 29 2016 - 8:53 PM:)

    donald trump

    Democrats spent four days trashing GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump at their convention, but it seems that Trump has taken special issue with one speaker in particular: billionaire entrepreneur and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

    After Bloomberg questioned Trump's business acumen and called him a con man during his speech on Wednesday, Trump started referring to Bloomberg as "Little" Michael Bloomberg, reusing a moniker once reserved for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

    Trump also made a clear reference to Bloomberg at a rally in Iowa on Thursday: "I was going to hit one guy, in particular a very little guy. I was going to hit this guy so hard his head would spin. He wouldn't know what the hell happened."

    Bloomberg is not a Democrat. Nor is he running for office. But he gets the threat of physical violence and a fun nickname because someone like Bloomberg offending Trump is especially offensive to Trump.

    Any New Yorker can tell you why. It's because Trump has spent decades ignoring one of the cardinal rules of being publicly rich in this town: If you must flaunt your money, then you must also give it away in large sums.

    If you don't, then you'll spend your life feeling like an outsider, building resentment against those who should be your set. And that's exactly what Trump has done.

    America's Trump, New York City's Trump

    While America has spent decades seeing Trump as a billionaire entrepreneur with a lux lifestyle, New York's elite have spent the same amount of time seeing him very differently — as a tacky sideshow with no regard for social norms.

    No, this isn't Edith Wharton's New York City, but there are still rules. For one, if you want to attend everyone's fancy charity parties, then you've got to make a donation. If you don't make the donation, then prepare for everyone to stare daggers at you, to worry about your financial situation, to judge you.

    If you don't give, then eventually people will invite you to fewer events. They'll consider you especially rude for going to the ones that you have been invited to out of politeness. That is when you are truly rejected by people who, ideally, since you're a "billionaire, too," should be your peers.

    And that's when the gauche things you do as a rich person are suddenly inexcusable. People may see you at parties, but they do not really see you. They see a clown, a joke, a fraud.

    This isn't something that started just this year, when Trump claimed to have donated $1 million to a veterans organization and was found to have done nothing of the sort. He eventually did.

    Trump has a well-documented history of pledging to make donations and then reneging in this town, and in quiet whispers anyone on Wall Street will tell you that.

    The media has looked into Trump's charity history, too. From The Washington Post (emphasis added):

    "The Post contacted 167 charities searching for evidence of personal gifts from Trump in the period between 2008 and this May. The Post sought out charities that had some link to Trump, either because he had given them his foundation's money, appeared at their charity galas or praised them publicly.

    "The search turned up just one donation in that period — a 2009 gift of between $5,000 and $9,999 to the Police Athletic League of New York City.

    "In all, when the $1 million gift to veterans is added to his giving through the Donald J. Trump Foundation, Trump has given at least $3.8 million to charity since 2001. That is a significant sum, although not among billionaires. For example, hedge fund titan Stanley Druckenmiller, just behind Trump on Forbes's rankings of net worth, gave $120 million to his foundation in 2013 alone."

    Mike Bloomberg

    So enter Bloomberg, a man whose name is uttered with the utmost respect among New York City's elite. He was the city's mayor, and he's dedicated his vast fortune to Bloomberg Philanthropies, among other charitable causes.

    Whether or not everyone agrees with his politics, his generosity is unquestionable. This is a man who writes $100 million checks for Bill and Melinda Gates' charitable work while doing his own. This is a man who has given away billions of his $37 billion fortune to those less fortunate.

    This is in sharp contrast to Trump, who, according to The Washington Post, has given no money to his own foundation since 2008.


    Over the years, Trump has yearned for Bloomberg's acceptance as he has been for the acceptance of others in Bloomberg's cohort. Again, he considers himself, as a fellow billionaire, part of their world. Back when Bloomberg was considering a run for president himself, Trump told CNN, "We used to be friends. I guess we're not friends anymore."

    Oh, you thought you guys were friends?

    Trump was never to be friends with the likes of Michael Bloomberg. That fact was stunningly clear to New Yorkers as early as 1990, when Spy Magazine — a now defunct publication started by a captain of New York society, Graydon Carter, now Vanity Fair editor — played a nasty trick on a bunch of New York City's wealthiest.

    To find out how many of the city's rich actually acted quite poorly, Spy sent a bunch of checks in very small amounts — $1.11, $2, $0.16 — to dozens of people from Cher to author Kurt Vonnegut, from media mogul Rupert Murdoch to private-equity billionaire Henry Kravis.

    Carter and his partner, Kurt Andersen, likely howled as they watched the checks being cashed. Only two people cashed the smallest, $0.13 check, though.

    From Spy, which is still, and likely always will be, worth the read:

    spy magazine screenshot

    Spy also famously called Trump a "short-fingered vulgarian," which he's never gotten over. Yes, this is why he talks about his hands all the time. It's because the people of New York City giggled about them about 30 years ago.

    And New York City's elite have been quietly chortling about them ever since.

    This understanding of Trump's relationship with those in his social class should also provide some clarity as to why Wall Street has given relatively no money to Trump's campaign. You see, it's like this: He never gave to their charity cases.

    So they're not giving to his.

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