July 30, 2015

First Line News Articles for Thursday, July 30 2015

Top Stories

Obama transparency record under fire again after request on Planned Parenthood denied

Federal officials recently denied a media request for information on a Planned Parenthood doctor at the center of the controversy over fetal organ harvesting, renewing criticism of President Obama’s claim of having “the most transparent administration in history.”

House, Senate find a way forward on highways

Congress tentatively ended its game of chicken over highway funding Tuesday, as Senate leaders signaled they’ll take up a short-term House bill to keep road projects alive and paper over a rift between GOP leaders on either side of the Capitol.

McCain says Iran deal increases risk of Middle East conflict

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) denounced the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran on all fronts Wednesday, saying that in addition to faulty verification and other elements, it also undermines regional security for U.S. allies and could increase the risk of conflict.

New TSA Chief Aims To Tighten U.S. Airline Screening

The Transportation Security Administration plans to retrain thousands of airport screeners to detect weapons better, scale back a pre-clearance program and more closely monitor security badges, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

LDS News

Mormons, Leprosy, and the Remarkable Story of Kalaupapa

To most of us, leprosy is a disease that only existed in Biblical times and meant misery and exile. But to Latter-day Saints in a small Hawaiian leprosy settlement known as Kalaupapa, the disease meant a community of unity, coupled with a faith in God that neither they nor their neighbors would trade for anything.

7 Mormons with Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Did you know that 7 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame belong to Mormons? Read on to learn about these talented Church members!

Newly redesigned Mormon pioneer website helping users connect with ancestors

The Embleys are one of many families to discover ancestors with the help of FamilySearch resources, specifically the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel website, launched in 2014.

Noelle Pikus-Pace announces everyone is well after twins birth

Former Olympian Noelle Pikus-Pace announced the delivery of her twin boys on her Facebook page Tuesday.

Jenny Oaks Baker and Family Release Music Video for ‘Love Is Spoken Here’

Jenny Oaks Baker enlisted the help of her family members for her latest music video for the song, “Love is Spoken Here.”

New Video for Youth Teaches Powerful Lesson About Reaching Out

Uploaded this week, this unique new video for LDS youth finds a young man trapped in the same day over and over, where he is tasked by his Bishop to invite a less-active member to Church.

New Research Will Provide Insight Into Polygamy in Nauvoo

Professor of Mormon Studies Kathleen Flake is creating a digital database of polygamous marriages in the early Mormon Church. Flake hopes to use this information to better understand the reason these early Saints chose to live in plural families as well as the nature of these family relationships.

National

How will rising interest rates (really) affect you?

After much speculation, the Federal Reserve has said it expects to raise long-term interest rates before the year is out, and the move will have some financial impact on nearly every American. Still, depending on your financial situation, there are advantages and disadvantages to an interest rate hike.

Thanks to anonymous donor, 8-year-old boy gets two new hands

A little boy from Maryland ‘woke up smiling’ with his new hands, said his doctor.

The Unique Challenges of Vetting Hillary Clinton’s Email

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters earlier this year that she chose to use a personal email server for “convenience,” opting to carry just one device while she served at the State Department. But her use of a personal email server for official purposes has been anything but convenient for the agencies charged with reviewing her emails for public release.

As Medicare and Medicaid Turn 50, Use of Private Health Plans Surges

As Medicare and Medicaid reach their 50th anniversary on Thursday, the two vast government programs that insure more than one-third of Americans are undergoing a transformation that none of their original architects foresaw: Private health insurance companies are playing a rapidly growing role in both.

Conspiracy charges dropped against Chinese woman implicated in seed corn trade secrets case

A judge has dismissed charges against the wife of a Chinese billionaire who was accused of conspiring to steal trade secrets from U.S. seed companies.

Rick Perry’s Plan To End ‘Too Big To Fail’

Rick Perry on Wednesday pledged that, if elected, he will fight to end the problem of “too big to fail” banks, warning another financial meltdown and set of government bailouts are on the horizon.

Western New York man charged for supporting Islamic State

U.S. authorities arrested a man in western New York and charged him with supporting Islamic State by traveling to Turkey to help the militant group, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

House Republicans move to put down one-man insurgency

On Tuesday evening, shortly after making the first proposal in 105 years to depose a sitting House Speaker, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said he wanted to start a “family conversation” about Republican leadership. By Wednesday, it was clear that such a conversation would not be taking place on Meadows’s terms.

Defense secretary to advise senior leaders on budget

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is due to meet with senior military leaders on Thursday to map out his budget priorities for the coming year, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer said on Tuesday.

Los Angeles to Ban High-Capacity Gun Magazines

Possessing magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition would be illegal

World

China says to fight terror, people smuggling with Turkey

The leaders of China and Turkey agreed on Wednesday to strengthen cooperation in fighting terror and people smuggling, a senior Chinese diplomat said, following friction between the two over Uighurs from China’s Xinjiang who have fled to Turkey.

Taliban’s Mullah Omar Has Died, Afghanistan Official Says

Two weeks after a message purportedly from the Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar appeared on a website linked to the militant group, Afghan officials on Wednesday claimed he had in fact died years ago.

Britain and France Scramble as Channel Crossing Attempts by Migrants Continue

Britain and France scrambled on Wednesday to address the latest flash point in Europe’s festering migrant crisis after a second consecutive night in which hundreds of people living in squalid camps in northern France sought to force their way through the Channel Tunnel.

Pakistani police: Militant leader killed in shootout

Pakistani police have killed the leader of an al Qaeda-linked militant group that has repeatedly carried out deadly attacks on the country’s Shiite Muslim minority in recent years, authorities said Wednesday.

British Airways Flight Diverted to Canada After Bomb Threat

A Canadian police official says that a British Airways flight from Las Vegas to London has been diverted to Montreal after a bomb threat.

Tsipras Challenges Party Rebels With Threat of Snap Greek Ballot

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took on dissenters within his own party, warning he’ll call an election unless backbenchers who oppose his deal with creditors fall into line or give up their seats.

Venezuelans being thrown in jail for tweets that criticize the government

At least eight people have been jailed in Venezuela in the last 11 months for tweeting messages that the government of Nicolas Maduro found “offensive” or considered a threat for the country’s political instability.

Death of rare Northern White Rhino leaves four alive

One of the last five Northern White Rhino left in the world has died.

China: As water demands grow sharply, supply is shrinking

China has 20 percent of the world’s population, and 7 percent of its fresh water. As pressure mounts, officials are pushing conservation reforms such as reforestation and water taxes – and diverting water from the south to the north.

Debris in Indian Ocean checked for MH370 ties

Apparent airplane debris found off the coast of Reunion island, a French department in the Indian Ocean, is being examined to see if it related to the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a member of the French Air Force in Reunion said Wednesday (July 29).

Business

China-Tied Hackers That Hit U.S. Said to Breach United Airlines

The hackers who stole data on tens of millions of U.S. insurance holders and government employees in recent months breached another big target at around the same time — United Airlines.

Delta Introduces Latest Commercial Airline Perk: Upgrades to Private Jets

For a few very frequent fliers, an upgrade no longer means a seat in first class. On Delta, the very best customers will have the option to fly private instead.

Science

‘Leaders and lifters’ help ants move massive meals

Scientists in Israel have discovered how ants co-operate to move big chunks of food back to their nests.

For the first time ever, scientists spot an aurora outside our solar system

On Earth, auroras like the Northern Lights provide a dazzling light show. According to new research, the same phenomenon occurs outside our solar system — but not necessarily around planets. Brown dwarf stars may host auroras of their own — ones 10,000 more powerful than any seen before.

Pluto Has An Atmosphere, Moons, And Maybe Geological Activity. Can We Call It A Planet Now?

Mike Brown doesn’t hate Pluto. The Caltech astronomer is a self-professed Pluto killer—by discovering Eris, an icy world similar in size to Pluto, Brown’s work led to both worlds getting classified as ‘dwarf planets’ in 2006. Nevertheless, he’s avidly following all the news coming from NASA’s flyby of the former planet.

Health

Researchers discover marker for postpartum depression risk

Low oxytocin levels in the blood may be able to indicate the risk for postpartum depression.

Economy

Oil jumps from near six-month lows after big U.S. stock drawdown

Oil prices jumped about 2 percent on Wednesday, springing from near six-month lows, after U.S. government data showed a surprisingly large crude stockpile draw that signaled the market may have been wrong in predicting slumping demand for energy.

Pending Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Unexpectedly Declines

Fewer Americans signed contracts in June to buy previously owned homes, representing a pause in the housing market’s momentum.

Fed votes to keep key interest rate near 0%, stays mum on future hike

Federal Reserve policymakers Wednesday voted to keep the central bank’s benchmark interest rate near zero percent and offered no new hints of when it would enact the first hike since 2006.