May 27, 2015

First Line News Articles for Wednesday, May 27 2015

Top Stories

Floods Bring Death and Destruction to Texas and Oklahoma

Flooding brought Houston to a near-standstill Tuesday and killed as many as five people there, sending normally tame rivers and bayous surging past their banks, inundating streets and homes, and leaving roadways littered with thousands of abandoned, ruined cars.

Appeals court refuses to lift hold on Obama immigration action

A federal appeals court refused Tuesday to allow the implementation, for now, of President Obama’s executive action that could shield from deportation as many as 5 million illegal immigrants.

Obama urges Senate to work to preserve NSA access to phone data

President Obama urged the Senate on Tuesday to work during its recess to renew the government’s authority to track terrorists through phone data before it expires at midnight Sunday.

U.S. Supreme Court to hear ‘one person, one vote’ challenge

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday, to hear a case that may mark a major shift in the way voting districts are drawn by counting just citizens who can legally vote, not the total population.

LDS News

Mormon History Conference Coming in June

The Mormon History Association is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year at the Mormon History Association Conference on June 4-7, 2015.

University of Utah Develops Unique Religion Program for Mormon Football Players

The University of Utah has developed a religious education program tailored specifically to the needs and schedules of its Mormon football players.

‘Meet the Mormons’ now available for streaming on Netflix

The “Meet the Mormons” movie is now available to stream on Netflix around the world.

5 FamilySearch hacks to help you find temple names faster

At RootsTech 2015, Elder Neil L. Andersen expanded his previous challenge — which was for Church members to “prepare as many names for the temple as you perform baptisms in the temple”—to include teaching others to do the same.

10 Fantastic Missionary TOONS to Put a Smile on Your Face

This is only the beginning of projects LDS animator and director Scott T. Petersen has worked on. Now the head of Golden Street Animation, Petersen has another project that may not be as well-known, but is certainly loved among LDS members.

Over 100 Youth Around the World Share the 2015 Youth Theme in New Video

MR says: #Embark is the 2015 mutual theme for LDS youth worldwide. How will you embark in the service of God?

National

Young conservatives push GOP tolerance on gay marriage, other social issues

A group of young conservatives is rallying to reshape Republicans’ approach to social issues and particularly to same-sex marriage, arguing that the GOP is chasing away younger voters who would be supporters but for the party’s exclusionary stances.

Yemeni national Saddiq al-Abbadi pleads guilty to conspiring to kill U.S. troops

A Yemeni national has pleaded guilty to conspiring to kill U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, authorities said Tuesday.

APNewsBreak: IRS says thieves stole tax info from 100,000

Thieves used an online service provided by the IRS to gain access to information from more than 100,000 taxpayers, the agency said Tuesday.

Scott Walker may sit out Florida GOP primary

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker hinted on Tuesday he may sit out the Florida Republican presidential primary because of the impending showdown between the two Floridian presidential contenders in the Sunshine State.

Texas man charged with supporting ISIL

A Texas man has been charged by federal authorities in a alleged conspiracy to aid the Islamic State terror group by assisting a friend’s travel to Syria and unsuccessfully attempting the same journey himself to join the group’s ranks.

Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick announces bid to challenge McCain for Senate seat

Democratic Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick said Tuesday she will challenge Republican John McCain for his Senate seat next year, launching an uphill bid to unseat the five-term senator in the GOP-leaning state.

Amtrak to install inward-facing cameras in train cabs

Amtrak announced Tuesday that it will begin installing inward facing cameras aboard its locomotives, following the fatal crash of Amtrak 188 two weeks ago.

Washington Post reporter goes on trial in Tehran behind closed doors

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian went on trial on espionage charges behind closed doors in Tehran on Tuesday, 10 months after he was arrested at his home and imprisoned, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

Docile Democrats dare not mention Hillary’s greatest weakness

There’s at least one thing Democrats can agree on when it comes to foreign policy: They don’t want to talk about it. And that, right now, is the very best news for their presumptive nominee.

Drought turns Californians against water bottling companies

As California residents are forced to cut back their water use, some are outraged that companies bottling water there aren’t asked to do the same.

World

To protect ‘digital sovereignty,’ Russia threatens to block Google, Facebook

Russia, like most countries, is struggling to balance public desire for privacy with the government’s interest in monitoring potentially criminal activity. But the Kremlin’s approach strikes observers as too heavy-handed.

Obama, NATO Chief Decry ‘Increasingly Aggressive’ Russian Stance

Russia is taking an “increasingly aggressive posture” in Ukraine and needs to step back, President Barack Obama said Tuesday after meeting with the head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

China to extend military reach, build lighthouses in disputed waters

China outlined a strategy to boost its naval reach on Tuesday and held a groundbreaking ceremony for two lighthouses in disputed waters, developments likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing’s maritime ambitions.

Iraqi forces launch operation to drive ISIS from Anbar, Salaheddin

Iraq forces have launched a major military operation to liberate Iraq’s Anbar and Salaheddin provinces from ISIS, Iraqi state media and a key Shia militia group said Tuesday, a little more than a week after the militant group overran Anbar’s provincial capital, Ramadi.

Nepal moves to protect children from human traffickers after earthquake

Nepal has banned children from travelling without parents or approved guardians to deter human traffickers who authorities fear are targeting vulnerable families after recent devastating earthquakes.

Teenager in Austrian ‘Playstation’ terrorism case gets two years

A 14-year-old boy from Austria who downloaded bomb-making plans onto his Playstation games console was sentenced to a two-year jail term on Tuesday after pleading guilty to terrorism charges, a court spokeswoman said.

Air France faces probe after jet narrowly avoids mountain

French investigators have opened a probe after an Air France jet with some three dozen people on board narrowly avoided hitting the highest mountain in central Africa in early May, according to information published by France’s BEA air accident agency.

APNewsBreak: UN Officials Let Child Sex Abuse Claims Linger

For months, the U.N.’s top human rights officials knew about allegations of child sexual abuse by French soldiers in Central African Republic, collected by their own staff. But they didn’t follow up because they assumed French authorities were handling it, statements marked “strictly confidential” show, even as France pressed the U.N. for more information about the case.

Greece pledges to ‘meet June debt repayments’

Greece intends to keep repaying its debt, a government spokesman said, days after Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis warned it had run out of funds.

Galapagos volcano erupts, threatening species where Darwin studied

Nature erupted in all its glory this week, spitting fire, spewing smoke 6 miles into the air and threatening a species on the islands where Charles Darwin first began to develop the theory of evolution.

Business

Deutsche Bank paying $55M settlement on incorrect reports

Germany’s Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay $55 million to settle civil charges of filing incorrect reports during the financial crisis that downplayed risks of huge losses.

Pizza Hut, Taco Bell to remove artificial colors, flavors from foods

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, two of Yum Brands’ largest restaurant chains YUM -0.13% , said they would remove artificial colors and flavors from their food as consumers shift to products perceived as healthier.

U.S. Treasury official: China must press ahead with currency reform

China must press ahead with currency liberalization plans for the yuan to join the International Monetary Fund’s reference basket of currencies, a senior U.S. Treasury official said on Tuesday.

TD Agrees to Buy Nordstrom’s $2.2 Billion U.S. Card Balances

Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canada’s second-largest lender by assets, agreed to buy Nordstrom Inc.’s Visa Inc. and private-label credit-card portfolio in the U.S. as it expands purchases in North American consumer credit.

Culture

Pompeii: Terrified mother, child forever frozen in ash a heartbreaking discovery

In Pompeii, a terrified mother and her child’s last seconds together—forever frozen in time—were brought to the surface this week from within the earth. After being buried together for almost 2,000 years, archaeological experts have found what can only be called an incredibly yet heartbreaking discovery: a parent and her baby encapsulated in ash during their very last moments.

Lock of Mozart’s hair going under the hammer at Sotheby’s

Music lovers have the chance to own a strand of history. Auctioneer Sotheby’s is selling a lock of hair from the head of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, resting in a gilt locket.

US returns 25 looted artifacts to Italy: Vases, frescoes

The United States on Tuesday officially returned 25 artifacts looted over the decades from Italy, including Etruscan vases, 1st-century frescoes and precious books that ended up in U.S. museums, universities and private collections.

Health

‘Achilles heel’ of Ebola virus found in study

Researchers have identified the protein that the Ebola virus requires in order to invade cells and infect a victim, which they hope will allow the development of treatments to prevent the spread of the disease and more deaths from it.

Americans are learning more about food, and eating better

Consumers’ calls for lower-impact ‘food with integrity’ have surged recently, and a set of recommendations from the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee took food’s role in the environment into account for the first time.

Economy

Sales of New U.S. Homes Climbed More Than Forecast in April

Purchases of new homes in the U.S. rose more than projected in April, a sign this part of the market is picking up steam during the busiest selling period of the year.

Fed rate hikes may trigger global volatility: Fischer

When the Federal Reserve raises U.S. interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, it should weigh the effects on global economies and can expect some bouts of financial market volatility, a top Fed official said on Tuesday.

Home Prices Rise More than Expected in March

U.S. single-family home prices rose in March from a year earlier, led again by strong increases in the western half of the United States, a closely watched survey said on Tuesday.

Factory Pickup Leads U.S. Economy Out of Slump as Orders Rebound

Consecutive gains in orders for capital equipment signal American factories, and the economy, are starting to crawl out of a first-quarter slump.

Consumer confidence rises slightly in May

Consumer confidence rebounded slightly this month as the job market showed signs of improvement.