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May 24, 2015

First Line News Articles for Sunday, May 24 2015

Top Stories

House presses Senate to pass domestic surveillance changes

The White House and House leaders urged the Senate on Thursday to take up a bill that would end the National Security Agency’s collection of American phone records while preserving other surveillance powers set to expire June 1.

Pentagon to rush anti-tank weapons to Iraq to counter Islamic State

The Pentagon said Thursday it would expedite delivery of 2,000 anti-tank weapons to Iraq to help security forces there combat the type of vehicle-borne suicide bombs that helped Islamic State fighters take control of Ramadi early next week.

Chinese navy barks at U.S. surveillance aircraft over disputed islands: ‘You go!’

The Chinese navy didn’t mince words when a U.S. P8-A Poseidon surveillance aircraft neared construction work in the disputed South China Sea: “You go!”

Trade bill clears Senate hurdle

A free trade initiative that is pitting President Barack Obama against his own party cleared a major procedural hurdle in the Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday.

LDS News

Church monitoring BSA policy

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Thursday that it is closely monitoring a discussion by the Boy Scouts of America regarding allowing gay leaders.

How cemeteries and smartphones play a role in LDS family history

Cemeteries are important family history resources because headstones often include birth, marriage and death information. Projects, including ones through BillionGraves and Utah Division of State History, can make the information available online.

Arianna Rees: Why Lindsey Stirling’s Billboard dress doesn’t matter

When it comes to the people who represent us as Latter-day Saints (our interests, our relationships or our beliefs), we are all or nothing.

6 lies early returned missionaries tell themselves

We all know “those” returned missionaries. The ones who came home early. The ones who were honorably released but didn’t serve a full term. Whether it’s one week or 17 months or 22 months, they can end up being the talk of the ward.

10 Apps That Make It Easier to Live the Gospel

Advances in technology offer new and easier ways to live life. Check out these 10 apps that can help you live and learn about the gospel even better.

Defending the Faith: Did Book of Mormon witnesses simply see the golden plates with their ‘spiritual eyes’?

Critics often declare that the witnesses to the Book of Mormon never claimed to have literally seen or hefted the plates. But those who thus seek to dismiss the testimony of the Eight Witnesses ignore what the witnesses actually said.

National

Former Iowa caucuses winner Mike Huckabee to skip straw poll

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, the 2008 Iowa caucuses winner, is running again for the GOP presidential nomination, but this time he’ll skip the state’s high profile straw poll.

China university denies U.S. economic espionage charges

A Chinese university denied on Thursday U.S. espionage charges filed against three of its staff who are among six Chinese people the United States has accused of stealing technology often used in military systems.

Man who flew gyrocopter to U.S. Capitol pleads not guilty

The Florida man who flew a gyrocopter onto the grounds of the U.S. Capitol pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of aircraft violations and breaching some of the world’s most restricted airspace.

IRS Refunds $10M to Tax Preparers Who Paid to Take Test

The IRS is refunding a total of $10 million to thousands of tax preparers who paid to take a competency test, the agency announced Thursday.

Thousands of flags to fill Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day

This Thursday members of the Army’s ceremonial unit known as the ‘Old Guard’ will place an American flag on each of the 260,000 gravestones and 7,300 niches in Arlington National Cemetery.

House Homeland Security chairman talks Jade Helm, Syria, Islamic State

‘Our military is not a threat,’ Rep. Michael McCaul told reporters at a Monitor-hosted breakfast, seeking to allay concerns over upcoming military training exercises.

Senate panel keeps domestic budgets frozen for now

Ignoring veto threats, Republicans on a key Senate panel Wednesday approved an overall freeze on the annual operating budgets for domestic agencies while padding overseas military accounts to raise Pentagon budget limits by $36 billion.

FBI director calls tech giants’ stance on strong encryption ‘depressing’

James Comey lashed out at tech companies such as Apple and Google after they sent a letter to Obama opposing law enforcement proposals to build ‘back doors’ into secure products.

Boy Scouts President Says Ban on Gay Leaders Not Sustainable

Boy Scouts President Robert Gates called for an end to the organization’s ban on gay adult leaders.

GOP Bests Democrats in April Party Fundraising

Republicans last month out-raised the Democrats in two of the three party committees last month, and were outpaced only by House Democrats’ campaign arm.

World

ISIS controls 50 percent of Syria after takeover of Palmyra, activists say

The Islamic State terror group now controls over half of Syrian territory after seizing the village and archaeological site of Palmyra Thursday, activists monitoring Syria’s civil war said.

Cameron proposes to seize wages of immigrants in Britain illegally

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday announced a proposal to seize the wages of immigrants in the country illegally, treating them as criminal proceeds, as part of a crackdown designed to reduce migration into Britain.

Hollande Says Tsipras Talks to Pave Way for Greece Deal

French President Francois Hollande opened the prospect of striking a political deal with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that unlocks bailout aid for Greece within days.

British taxi driver found guilty of making bomb that killed American soldier in Iraq in 2007

A British bombmaker who tried to blend into society as a taxi driver was found guilty Thursday for his role in making bombs that targeted U.S. troops in Iraq in 2007, including one that killed an American soldier.

Business

JetBlue believes it could not predict ex-pilot’s midair meltdown

JetBlue Airways Corp believes it had no way to know it should have grounded a former pilot before his midair meltdown forced an emergency landing, and that his $14.9 million damages lawsuit should be dismissed.

Lumber Liquidators CEO Abruptly Quits Amid Probe of Flooring

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Officer Robert Lynch unexpectedly resigned from his post, adding to the turmoil for a company facing a federal investigation over allegations that it sold toxic flooring.

Protesters are trying to ‘drought shame’ Nestle out of California

Pressure is growing for Nestle Waters to move its water bottling operations out of drought-stricken California.

Culture

Protestant reformer Martin Luther’s 16th Century notes found

A first edition of one of the most important works of the man who inspired the Protestant Reformation has been discovered in a library in France.

How a 19th Century Shipwreck Could Give Canada Control of the Arctic

Jim Balsillie toes the frozen lip of a 5-foot triangular hole cut through 5 feet of ice. He’s wearing nothing but boxer-briefs. It’s mid-April, and it’s –5F outside of a tent that covers the opening. The water in the hole is so cold that, if left unstirred, the surface refreezes in minutes. About a dozen people, mostly officers from the Royal Canadian navy, are waiting to see if Balsillie, the former co-chief executive officer of Research In Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry, will actually go through with it. Someone stands by with a defibrillator. A couple of people have cameras. He jumps.

Rosa Parks family reflects on items at Library of Congress

The family of civil rights activist Rosa Parks viewed some of her personal memorabilia for the first time Wednesday, and expressed relief that her belongings finally have a safe home at the Library of Congress.

Science

LHC smashes energy record with test collisions

A new record has been set by the Large Hadron Collider: its latest trials have smashed particles with vastly more energy than ever before.

Paralyzed man uses his thoughts to control a robotic arm

A man paralyzed by gunshot more than a decade ago can shake hands, drink beer and play “rock, paper, scissors” by controlling a robotic arm with his thoughts, researchers reported.

Health

Skipping meals may increase belly fat, study finds

Skipping meals may seem like a shortcut to losing weight, but a new study suggests it could backfire and actually increase belly fat.

61% of Your Calories Are From Highly Processed Food: Study

As much as Americans like to pretend to worship at the altar of kale, many of us are cheating with chips, a new study suggests.

Economy

US existing home sales fall 3.3% in April. Is homeownership affordable anymore?

Existing home sales fell to a 5.04 million annualized pace in April, even though homes sold at their fastest clip in nearly two years. The housing market is facing the same conundrum as other areas of the economy: things are improving, but not enough to translate into a change in the way most people live.

It’s getting more expensive to be a renter

Rents in April were 4% higher than a year before, according to a report from Zillow. That’s the fastest increase in two years, outpacing home prices which rose by 3%, the report showed.