UN says over 200,000 have fled Syria’s Raqqa since April 1

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Over 200,000 civilians have fled their homes in Syria around the Islamic State group’s de facto capital of Raqqa since April 1, including over 30,000 displaced just this month as U.S.-backed Syrian fighters try to oust the extremists, a senior U.N. humanitarian official said Thursday. Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Mueller told the U.N. Security Council in a video briefing from Amman, Jordan, that “an estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people remain inside Raqqa city, which is now encircled, and their situation is perilous — there is no way for them to get out.” She also lamented that the U.N. has delivered aid to only a… Read More

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Boy Scout leader apologizes for Trump’s political rhetoric

NEW YORK (AP) — The Boy Scouts’ chief executive apologized Thursday to members of the scouting community who were offended by the aggressive political rhetoric in President Donald Trump’s recent speech to the Scouts’ national jamboree. The apology came in a statement from Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh, three days after Trump’s speech to nearly 40,000 scouts and adults gathered in West Virginia. Other U.S. presidents have delivered nonpolitical speeches at past jamborees. To the dismay of many parents and former scouts, Trump, a Republican, promoted his political agenda and derided his rivals, inducing some of the scouts in attendance to boo at the mention of Barack Obama, his Democratic… Read More

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Ohio tragedy is the latest amusement park accident. Here are 6 other accidents from the last few years

An Ohio State Fair ride accident left one person died and several other injured, with three in critical condition, according to NBC News. Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Paul Pride told NBC News that the incident occurred at around 7:24 p.m. on Wednesday. The Fire Ball ride, “which spins and swings passengers in a pendulum-like motion,” malfunctioned at the amusement park, according to NBC. In a YouTube video of the incident, seats on the ride began to break off, leading to the entire car to fly off the handles. “The ride was going as normal, and then all of a sudden you see people flying out, and then the… Read More

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What rights do parents have when they disagree with doctors?

SALT LAKE CITY — When a child is sick, parents go to doctors looking for a diagnosis, prescription or treatment plan. Sometimes they find conflict. Such cases are rare, but the plight of Charlie Gard, the 11-month-old with a devastating mitochondrial disease in the United Kingdom, has reminded the world that doctors and parents don’t always agree, sometimes with heartbreaking results. The parents of critically ill 11-month-old baby Charlie Gard, mother Connie Yates, left, and father Chris Gard arrive at the High Court in London, Monday, July 24, 2017. | Matt Dunham, Associated Press Closer to home was the case of Parker Jensen, the Utah teen whose parents were charged… Read More

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US weekly requests for jobless aid up 10K, to 244,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans applied for jobless aid last week, though the number of people seeking benefits remains near historic lows pointing to a healthy job market. THE NUMBERS: Weekly unemployment applications rose by 10,000 to 244,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the largest weekly increase since late May. The less volatile four-week average was unchanged at 244,000. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits has fallen 8.3 percent over the past 12 months to 2 million. THE TAKEAWAY: The job market appears solid as the U.S. enters its ninth year of recovery from the Great Recession. Employers are holding onto workers with the expectation that business… Read More

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GOP eyes narrow bill to advance goal on “Obamacare” repeal

WASHINGTON (AP) — They couldn’t pass a repeal of “Obamacare,” or find the votes for a White House-backed replacement. So now Senate Republicans are lowering their sights and trying to unite behind a so-called “skinny repeal” that would merely undo just a few of the most unpopular elements of Barack Obama’s law. The “skinny bill” is an admittedly lowest-common-denominator approach, and it may not even have the votes to pass, either. But as Republicans search for how to keep their years-long effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare” alive, they’re coming to believe that the “skinny bill” may be the only option left. “It still keeps it in play,” said Sen.… Read More

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On anniversary of war, young North Koreans talk of tensions

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Are the United States and North Korea moving closer to another war? Though often referred to as the “Forgotten War” in the United States, it is anything but forgotten in North Korea. The July 27 anniversary of the Korean War armistice is celebrated as a major national holiday called “Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War Day” and is the culmination of “Anti-American Imperialist Month,” which begins on June 23, the day the 1950-53 Korean War began. As young North Koreans took to plazas and public spaces across the capital on Thursday to join in mass dancing and other celebrations, The Associated Press asked several university… Read More

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Muslims say misconceptions, links to terrorism are top concerns for their community

SALT LAKE CITY — A growing number of American Muslims feel targeted for their faith in the past year, citing instances of harassment by law enforcement and name-calling, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. Muslims. However, members of this faith community have also observed an increase in support from their non-Muslim neighbors. “The data suggest that the number of Muslims who say they’ve experienced a variety of kinds of discrimination is trending upward. The difference isn’t huge, but to the extent that we see a trend, it’s going up,” said Greg Smith, Pew’s associate director of research. “But the people who have said they’ve felt support… Read More

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Spinning Ohio State Fair ride breaks apart; 1 dead, 7 hurt

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A swinging and spinning amusement park ride called the Fire Ball broke apart on the opening day of the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, hurtling people through the air, killing at least one and injuring seven others. Three of the injured remained hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday night, authorities said at a late-night news conference. “The fair is about the best things in life, and tonight with this accident it becomes a terrible, terrible tragedy,” said Republican Gov. John Kasich. The man who was killed was one of several people who were thrown when the ride malfunctioned, Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin said earlier. Dramatic… Read More

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Muslim Americans worry about discrimination but profess faith in the American dream

Three-quarters of the nation’s Muslims say they sense a lot of discrimination against their faith group and half say being Muslim in this country has been more difficult in recent years, a new Pew Research Center survey shows. But even more Muslims — 89 percent — say they are proud to be both American and Muslim. A significant majority also profess a continuing faith in the American dream. “The survey makes clear that the early days of the Trump administration have been an anxious time for many Muslim Americans,” said Greg Smith, one of the lead authors of the new survey of 1,001 Muslims conducted for several months after President… Read More

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