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April 30, 2017

First Line News Articles for Sunday, April 30 2017

Top Stories

Trump to sign order creating accountability office at VA

President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order Thursday creating an accountability and whistleblower protection office at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

U.S. Lawmakers Put Final Touches on Bill to Avoid a Government Shutdown

U.S. lawmakers are putting the final touches on a $1.1 trillion spending bill needed to avert a government shutdown, after the White House appeared to satisfy Democrats’ demands that President Donald Trump and Republicans protect a key piece of Obamacare.

Israel strikes Iran-supplied arms depot near Damascus airport

Israel struck an arms supply hub operated by the Lebanese group Hezbollah near Damascus airport on Thursday, Syrian rebel and regional intelligence sources said, targeting weapons sent from Iran via commercial and military cargo planes.

Pentagon probes Trump’s ex-adviser Flynn over foreign payments

The Pentagon’s inspector general has launched an investigation into whether Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, took money from foreign entities without needed approval, according to a letter released by House Democrats on Thursday.

UK police arrest suspected terrorist with knives near Parliament

Armed police carrying out a counterterrorism operation Thursday swooped in on a man they said was carrying knives in a bag near Britain’s Parliament and arrested him on suspicion of planning terrorist acts.

Tillerson says China asked North Korea to stop nuclear tests

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that China has threatened to impose sanctions on North Korea if it conducts further nuclear tests.

LDS News

Church cuts down on mailing costs, implements faster way to communicate with leaders worldwide

The Church has implemented a system that allows immediate communication by email from headquarters to ward and stake leaders worldwide. Now, when the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, or Presiding Bishop issues an official letter or notice, it is immediately emailed to local leaders worldwide.

20,000 and growing: Women on a mission

They’re young. They’re committed. They’re energetic. They’re fun-loving, faith-filled, and they comprise a force of nearly 20,000—most in the age range of 19 to early twenties. They are the “sister missionaries” of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – a little less than a fourth of the Church’s current missionary force of over 70,000.

Defending the Faith: An early reference to the First Vision

Some critics of Mormonism deny that any reference to Joseph Smith’s First Vision existed prior to 1832.

From Homeless Teen to RM and NFL First-Round Pick: How the Gospel Strengthens Garrett Bolles

At one point in his life, Garrett Bolles was living on the street; his only possessions were those wrapped in a plastic garbage bag. But now, Bolles is expected to become a multimillionaire this week as he’s projected to be picked in the first round of the NFL draft.

Do college campuses put students’ faith at risk? For Mormons, not so much

College gets a bad rap among some religious Americans. Campuses are thought to weaken personal faith, whether it’s because young people are free to sleep in on Sundays or because the secular, academic environment leads students astray.

Church is connected, committed to 36,000 Latter-day Saints in uniform

May is National Military Appreciation Month — so here are a couple of remarkable yet opposing military facts to consider.

National

Schiff says it’s ‘premature’ to make a determination in Trump, Russia case

Rep. Adam Schiff said Thursday it’s “premature” to conclusively say there isn’t any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Trump plans to renegotiate NAFTA, but may scrap it if ‘fair deal’ not reached

President Donald Trump has decided that the U.S. is looking to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, but is still considering scrapping the pact if a “fair deal” is not met between the three countries.

Arkansas prepares to wrap up aggressive execution schedule

Arkansas will reach the end of an aggressive execution schedule Thursday as it prepares for a fourth lethal injection in eight days after initially planning twice as many over an 11-day period.

Trump moves to reverse Obama limits on offshore drilling

President Trump on Friday will begin to reverse his predecessor’s limits on new offshore drilling, potentially opening up vast new areas in the Outer Continental Shelf for oil-and-gas exploration.

2 US service members killed in Afghanistan amid ISIS fight

Two U.S. military service members were killed Wednesday night in an anti-ISIS operation in the Achin District of Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, according to Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis.

Trump to order aluminum imports investigation

President Donald Trump will direct his administration Thursday to expedite a new investigation into whether aluminum imports are jeopardizing U.S. national security.

NYC to pay for lawyers for illegal immigrants

New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio has earmarked more than $16 million in city taxpayer funds to pay for lawyers to help illegal immigrants fight deportation as part of his 2018 budget.

Ransomware surge yields big revenue for cyber-extortionists, American targets suffer most: Report

Growing pay-offs and a high return rate have made ransomware the most dangerous criminal threat currently facing businesses and consumers connected to the Internet, security researchers warned in a new report Wednesday.

Health care adds latest wrinkle to Puerto Rican debt crisis

Bankruptcy could sabotage the governor’s top-priority efforts to secure federal funding for the island’s near-insolvent Medicaid system.

U.S. lawmakers say Trump admin still lacks clear N. Korea plan

The unusual meeting with all 100 U.S. Senators comes as President Trump has increased the American military presence near North Korea, and leaned on China to pressure the reclusive Asian nation.

World

China Talking With European Space Agency About Moon Outpost

Representatives of China and the European Space Agency are discussing potential collaboration on a human outpost on the moon and other possible joint endeavors, according to a spokesman for the European agency and Chinese media reports.

Venezuela says it will split from OAS as unrest continues

Venezuela will withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS), according to its foreign minister, who announced the decision on national television.

China welcomes U.S. saying it is open to talks on North Korea

China on Thursday welcomed an apparently softer tone by the United States on the North Korean nuclear and missile crisis but stressed its opposition to a U.S. missile defence system being deployed in South Korea.

Russian spy ship collides with freighter, sinks in Black Sea

A Russian naval reconnaissance ship sunk in the Black Sea Thursday after colliding with a freighter near the Turkish coast.

Business

United Airlines raising limit on payments to bumped flyers to $10,000

United Airlines says it will raise the limit — to $10,000 — on payments to customers who give up seats on oversold flights. It’s also increasing training for employees as it deals with fallout from the video of a passenger being violently dragged from his seat.

Purdue University taking over for-profit Kaplan chain

Purdue University is taking over the for-profit Kaplan University chain in order to expand its reach into online education.

Science

Spacecraft survives unprecedented trip between Saturn, rings

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has survived an unprecedented trip between Saturn and its rings, and has amazing pictures to show for it.

Strange sky spectacle: An aurora named ‘Steve’

Who knew auroras could have names? Meet “Steve,” an unusual aurora that appears as a vertical purplish streak of light in the night sky.

Health

Inexpensive Drug Prevents Deaths in New Mothers, Study Finds

An inexpensive generic drug that saves the lives of wounded soldiers and civilian car crash victims has now been shown to rescue women suffering hemorrhages in childbirth.

Economy

US weekly jobless claims total 257,000 vs 242,000 estimate

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but the four-week average of claims fell to a two-month low, indicating that labor market conditions continue to tighten.