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June 29, 2017

First Line News Articles for Thursday, June 29 2017

Top Stories

Firefighters battle wildfires in Arizona, Utah, California

A wildfire burning Wednesday through a dense Arizona forest has forced hundreds of people from their homes, closed a major road and created a huge plume of smoke over the same area devastated by a blaze that killed 19 firefighters four years ago.

U.S. unveils enhanced airline security plan to avoid laptop ban

The United States on Wednesday unveiled enhanced security measures for flights to the country designed to prevent expanding an in-cabin ban on laptops, but an airline trade group said the changes might cause more disruptions.

U.S. says its warning appears to have averted Syrian chemical attack

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad appeared so far to have heeded a warning this week from Washington not to carry out a chemical weapons attack.

Little progress evident as GOP hunts health bill votes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell explored options for salvaging the battered Republican health care bill Wednesday but confronted an expanding chorus of GOP detractors, deepening the uncertainty over whether the party can resuscitate its bedrock promise to repeal President Barack Obama’s overhaul.

LDS News

LDS Church employees receive paid maternity leave, new dress code

A handful of major announcements for employees of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were made Wednesday in a memo distributed to church employees.

President Eyring addresses simple truths for missionary service

It is a mission president’s responsibility to see that every missionary who serves under his direction grows in spirituality and capacity to invite people to repent and to come unto Jesus Christ with faith in Him and take His name upon them, said President Henry B. Eyring on June 25.

Just In Time For Summer! LDS Warm Springs Facility Opens For Group Activities

After eight years of the gates being locked tight, the Warm Springs Recreation Area, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), is once again open for use.

Eva Witesman urges women to expand knowledge in education

Eva Witesman, associate professor in the Marriott School, spoke of the need for women to obtain higher education for the benefit of others in her devotional address on June 27.

30-year-old interview with President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shared on Facebook

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s Facebook account posted a video of himself from 30 years ago when the Frankfurt Germany Temple was first dedicated.

National

Appeals court ruling opens door to Ohio resuming executions

Ohio moved a step closer to resuming executions as a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday in the state’s favor in a case over its lethal injection process.

White House says pressure on North Korea has only begun

The White House said Wednesday that the U.S. has only recently begun to exert serious pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons program, and faulted the Obama administration for not imposing stronger sanctions against Pyongyang.

House lawmakers demand accountability review for U.S. special operations forces

House defense lawmakers are demanding U.S. special operations command and the head of the Pentagon’s special operations directorate conduct an accountability review of the military’s elite units, amid reports of heavy drug abuse within the teams.

FBI agent indicted in Oregon refuge standoff shooting

An FBI agent has been indicted on accusations that he lied about firing at a rancher in 2016 when officers arrested leaders of an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon.

Support grows for thinning trees to combat forest fires as wildfires scorch West

With wildfires already raging through the West, House Republicans took a chainsaw Tuesday to federal regulations that have created a fire-friendly environment on public lands by slowing forest-thinning and dead-tree removal.

Family of David Sneddon, missing US student, says North Korea kidnapped him

The parents of an American college student who disappeared in China in 2004 said they are convinced their son was kidnapped by the North Korean regime to teach English and is alive inside the Hermit Kingdom — citing a plethora of circumstantial evidence collected over the years indicating an abduction.

Supervisors suspended amid NYC subway derailment probe

A subway train derailment that injured nearly three dozen people and sparked major delays is being blamed on human error, not a track defect, and two supervisors have been suspended while the matter is investigated.

Officials finalizing details of Trump’s revived travel ban

Senior officials from the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security labored Wednesday to finalize rules for visitors from six mostly Muslim nations who hope to avoid the Trump administration’s revived travel ban and come to the United States.

Trump team postpones legal complaint against Comey

President Trump’s personal lawyer is postponing a plan to file a complaint against former FBI Director James Comey with the Justice Department, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

Palin suing New York Times over editorial on mass shooting

Sarah Palin on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against The New York Times, alleging defamation over an editorial that linked the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) to an ad circulated by the former Alaska governor that put Democratic districts in crosshairs.

World

Iraqis fight house to house for costly victory in Mosul

Gunfire echoes through the pockmarked streets as Maj. Ihab Jalil al-Aboudi’s soldiers fight block by block for the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, occasionally pausing to help terrified families flee to safety across the rubble.

Exclusive: China’s CNPC suspends fuel sales to North Korea as risks mount – sources

China National Petroleum Corp has suspended sales of fuel to North Korea over concerns the state-owned oil company won’t get paid, as pressure mounts on Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear and missile programmes, three sources told Reuters.

Trump, South Korean president to huddle on North Korean threat

President Trump will address areas of disagreement on foreign policy and trade with newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in when the two leaders meet for the first time at the White House on Thursday.

UK’s weakened government passes first vote since election

Britain’s Conservative minority government passed its first test in Parliament since an election wiped out its majority, with lawmakers Wednesday narrowly rejecting an opposition demand for an end to public spending cuts.

Venezuela crisis: Hunt for pilot after attack on Supreme Court

The Venezuelan military is hunting for a rogue elite police officer suspected of carrying out a helicopter attack on the country’s Supreme Court.

Macron’s government kicks off controversial labor reform

President Emmanuel Macron’s government has launched an effort to redesign French labor rules, one of the most important and divisive promises of his presidency.

Business

Meal-kit maker Blue Apron slashes IPO price as Amazon looms

Blue Apron Holdings Inc (APRN.N) sharply lowered the expected price range for its initial public offering on Wednesday, as Amazon.com’s (AMZN.O) $13.7 billion deal to buy Whole Foods Market Inc (WFM.O) weighed on prospects for the meal-kit industry.

ABC News settles $1.9B ‘pink slime’ lawsuit with Beef Products

South Dakota-based meat producer Beef Products Inc. said Wednesday it is “extraordinarily pleased” to reach a settlement in its $1.9 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC News over the network’s 2012 reports regarding Beef Products’ use of a low-cost ingredient dubbed “pink slime.”

FedEx’s TNT Unit ‘Significantly’ Affected by Cyberattack

FedEx Corp. said the worldwide operations and communications systems of its TNT Express unit in Europe have been “significantly” affected by a cyberattack, causing delays in deliveries.

Science

Scientists are trying to use satellites to forecast volcanic eruptions

A group of scientists say they have developed a method for predicting volcanic eruptions using satellite data.

Economy

Pending home sales tumble as supply crisis worsens

Fewer buyers signed contracts to buy existing homes in May, likely because they can’t find or afford what they want.