Jonathan Freedland: President Trump? There's only one way to stop it happening (The Guardian)
As the first TV debate looms the race is on a knife edge. Unless voters on the left want to repeat bitter history, they have to swallow their doubts and back Hillary.
Marc Dion: They Just Steal Your Money (Creators Syndicate)
They say we're winding up to an election in America, but we're not. What we're doing is holding a wake for rational thought, a funeral for compromise and a burial for civility. They will not rise again.
Froma Harrop: New Yorkers Walk Past Political Bluster Over Bombing (Creators Syndicate)
The explosives going off in the dumpster in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea was not a major terrorist event - except on the TV news channels. No one was killed, fortunately. And thanks to superb police work, a suspect was captured within 48 hours.
Froma Harrop: Could Britain Become the Fourth Amigo? (Creators Syndicate)
Britain's vote to leave the European Union sparks speculation on where the United Kingdom might turn for new trading partners. How about NAFTA? Britain could become the fourth amigo, joining the United States, Canada and Mexico in the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Hadley Freeman: Farewell, David Cameron, who gave us the kitchen supper - and remind me what else? (The Guardian)
The former prime minister thought the way to prove his modernity was to be a person composed of things, as opposed to a politician driven by convictions.
Lenore Skenazy: Something Old, Something New (Creators Syndicate)
Destination weddings can be a way of keeping a wedding small and affordable without hurting anyone's feelings. Hold the wedding in Guam and you can invite even your parents' friends and still not spend the $30,000 that has become the typical American wedding price tag.
Mona Chalabi and Mae Ryan: 10 things you need to know about vaginas (The Guardian)
From the science of the orgasm to cannabis tampons, there's a lot to learn. Warning: explicit content.
What I'm really thinking: the recovered anorexic (The Guardian)
I cannot suddenly freefall into a frenzy of burgers, burritos and buttermilk pancakes.
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Michelle in AZ
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
DON'T BE A JERK!
EITHER A LIAR OR A CROOK
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In The Chaos Household
Accident in front of the house - a person without a driver's license, or a plate on the vehicle, ran the stop sign and hit a neighbor in their brand new car.
At least nobody was injured.
Students are being threatened with punishment for not participating in rituals surrounding the national anthem or Pledge of Allegiance - and they are fighting back.
Since NFL 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem in August to protest oppression of people of color, many Americans, particularly professional athletes and students, have followed suit. But their constitutional right to engage in such gestures of dissent is not always being respected.
Threats from school administrators and teachers have put free speech advocates like the ACLU on high alert. At Lely High School, a public school in Naples, Florida, the principal told students that they would be removed from athletic events if they refused to stand during the national anthem - though he said the quote was misunderstood when the ACLU of Florida reached out.
"The Supreme Court ruled in 1943 that public schools may not constitutionally force students to salute the flag," Lee Rowland, a First Amendment attorney who works with the ACLU, told The Intercept. "That ruling is crystal clear about a student's right not to be compelled into patriotism by their government, and it is over 70 years old."
The ruling that Rowland references came after many Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States began to refuse to salute the flag in solidarity with their brethren in Nazi Germany who were being arrested for refusing to salute that country's fascist flag.
The company developing the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline has purchased a portion of a historic North Dakota ranch where a violent protest occurred earlier this month due to what tribal officials said was construction crews destroying burial and cultural sites.
Morton County records show Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners purchased 20 parcels of land on the Cannonball Ranch totaling more than 6,000 acres from David and Brenda Meyer of Flasher. Financial terms of the deal, which was finalized Thursday, were not disclosed.
The Meyers did not return telephone calls Thursday or Friday seeking comment. Energy Transfer Partners confirmed the purchase Friday but declined to provide further details.
The ranch, which is more than a century old and was the first to be inducted into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, is within a half-mile of an encampment on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' land where the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and hundreds of others are gathered to protest the pipeline. The tribe says the pipeline, which is slated to cross Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir, threatens its water supply and violates several federal laws.
Corps records show Meyer pays $4,865 annually for exclusive grazing rights at the encampment site, a five-year lease that ends in 2018.
The purchase of the ranchland will allow ETP to better access its construction sites and the pipeline, when it is finished.
Severs Ties With For-Profit Colleges Accreditor
The Education Department withdrew recognition of the nation's largest accreditor of for-profit colleges on Thursday, a decision that could force schools to close and threaten financial aid to hundreds of thousands of students.
The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools said it would appeal the decision to Education Secretary John B. King Jr. In a statement, ACICS Interim PresidentRoger Williams said the council would "continue diligent efforts to renew and strengthen its policies and practices" to meet the department's criteria for accreditors.
The accrediting agency has been accused of lax oversight of its schools, which included those once owned by the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges Inc. and the recently shuttered ITT Technical Institute.
In a letter to the council released later Thursday, Emma Vadehra, King's chief of staff, said "ACICS' track record does not inspire confidence that it can address all of the problems effectively."
Vadehra said the department found fundamental problems with the council's work as an accreditor. Her decision followed staff and advisory panel recommendations to sever ties with the council.
New International Headquarters
The new international headquarters for the Satanic Temple, which says its mission is to promote separation of church and state not devil worship, opened to the public on Thursday in a Massachusetts city known historically for persecuting witches accused of being possessed by the devil.
It was in Salem, the home for the Satanic Temple, that 20 people were executed in the notorious witch trials in the 1690s, an important event in the history of colonial America.
At its opening event on Thursday evening, the Temple, which also bills itself as an art gallery, more than a dozen visitors perused rooms full of art in which ghastly figures and pentagrams figured prominently.
The center's most arresting artwork is a one-ton, 7-foot (2.13-m) bronze statue of Baphomet, a goat-headed winged deity that has been associated with Satanism and the occult.
The group is perhaps best known for attempts have the statue positioned next to monuments to the Bible's Ten Commandments in Oklahoma and Arkansas, in a protest to perceived state support for one religion over another.
Atmospheric Oxygen Levels Continue Long Slide
Atmospheric oxygen levels have declined over the past 1 million years, although not nearly enough to trigger any major problems for life on Earth, a new study finds.
The research behind this new finding could help shed light on what controls atmosphericoxygen levels over long spans of time, the researchers said.
Atmospheric oxygen levels are fundamentally linked to the evolution of life on Earth, as well as changes in geochemical cycles related to climate variations. As such, scientists have long sought to reconstruct how atmospheric oxygen levels fluctuated in the past, and what might control these shifts.
However, models of past atmospheric oxygen levels often markedly disagree, differing by as much as about 20 percent of Earth's atmosphere, which is oxygen's present-day concentration, the researchers said. 1 It is not even known if atmospheric oxygen levels varied or remained steady over the past 1 million years.
In the new study, researchers calculated past atmospheric oxygen levels by looking at air trapped inside ancient polar ice samples. Specifically, they looked at samples from Greenland and Antarctica.
US Gives Papers
The United States on Friday gave Chilean President Michelle Bachelet declassified CIA documents confirming that former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet personally ordered the 1976 assassination of opposition leader Orlando Letelier.
US Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom presented the documents to Bachelet during a ceremony on the site of the killing in the American capital, two days after the 40th anniversary of the brazen attack.
Bachelet herself is a former opposition leader who was tortured under the military regime of General Pinochet, who ruled Chile with a dictatorial hand from 1974 to 1990.
The files include a 1987 CIA report in which the intelligence agency attests that Pinochet personally ordered his intelligence chief to plan the fatal attack.
Letelier had been a Chilean ambassador and foreign minister under the Socialist regime of Salvador Allende. After Pinochet seized power, Letelier was imprisoned and tortured before being exiled to the United States, where he became a fiercely outspoken opponent of the general's rule.
Deadly Pathogens Dispatched To Unsecure Sites
Public, academic and private laboratories that work with deadly diseases have mistakenly transferred highly contagious viruses and bacteria to unsecure locations at least twenty-one times in the past 13 years, a frequency more than double what the officials overseeing such work previously said their data showed, according to a new Government Accountability Office report
In each case, the scientists and officials involved wrongly concluded that the deadly pathogens had been inactivated and thus were safe to transport elsewhere. One of the incidents, involving mistaken shipments by a Defense Department laboratory of live anthrax bacteria, attracted wide notice in 2015. But the GAO report said key government agencies have been slow to fix managerial and policy lapses that contributed to that event and might provoke additional errors.
No government-wide standards exist for ensuring that pathogens have been inactivated - either by chemicals, radiation, heat or filtration -- prior to their shipment via public channels, the GAO report said. No firm requirements exist for reporting mistakes, a circumstance that means the real number of improper shipments could be even greater than 21. And no clear policies have been set on how lapses are to be punished.
The Departments of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, two of the principal oversight agencies, "do not know the extent to which incomplete inactivation occurs and whether incidents are being properly identified, analyzed, and addressed," the GAO said.
The auditors' report focused on the government's Select Agents Program, which regulates the use of bacteria, toxins, and viruses - including anthrax, Ebola, Marburg, and others -- that have the capacity to pose a severe threat to humans, livestock, and crops, because the pathogens are deadly and no treatments may be available. As of May, 286 research facilities around the country were enrolled in the program, which allows them to conduct scientific experiments with such pathogens in laboratories outfitted with special gear to ensure the materials cannot leak.
Prevent Baby Lobsters From Surviving
Baby lobsters might not be able to survive in the ocean's waters if the ocean continues to warm at the expected rate.
That is the key finding of a study performed by scientists in Maine, the state most closely associated with lobster. The scientists, who are affiliated with the University of Maine Darling Marine Center and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, said the discovery could mean bad news for the future of one of America's most beloved seafood treats, as well as the industry lobsters support.
The scientists found that lobster larvae struggled to survive when they were reared in water 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the temperatures that are currently typical of the western Gulf of Maine, a key lobster fishing area off of New England. Five degrees is how much the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expects the Gulf of Maine's temperature to warm by the year 2100.
The paper appears this month in the scientific journal ICES Journal of Marine Science. It could serve as a wake-up call that the lobster fishery faces a looming climate crisis that is already visible in southern New England, said Jesica Waller, one of the study's authors.
Items Sell For 10 Times Estimate
A chunk of the Berlin Wall and a pair of cowboy boots that belonged to late U.S. President Ronald Reagan sold for 10 times their estimated value at a New York auction that brought in more than $5.7 million dollars.
Christie's auctioneers said on Friday that more than 1,200 bidders from all over the world registered for the two-day sale of items from the private collection of Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
The 25 inch (63 cm) long, graffiti-covered fragment of the Berlin Wall, signed by Reagan, sold for $277,500 to an undisclosed buyer. It had been expected to fetch up to $20,000.
Reagan's cowboy boots, a gift from Western movie actor Rex Allen, sold for $199,500 compared to a pre-sale estimate of $20,000, while at $319,500, the top lot was a Bulgari diamond, sapphire and ruby ring inspired by the Stars and Stripes national flag that Nancy Reagan wore on July 4, 1986.
The auction continues online through Sept. 28.
Stanley 'Buckwheat' Dural
The American accordionist Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr., who brought wider attention to the Creole musical styles of his native Louisiana through his band Buckwheat Zydeco, died on Saturday, his manager said.
Dural died aged 68 early on Saturday morning, according to a statement posted online by his manager, Ted Fox. His family had previously announced Dural had lung cancer.
Dural remained the best-known star of the bluesy, toe-tapping musical genre known as zydeco, winning a Grammy award in 2010 for his album "Lay Your Burden Down."
He was born in 1947 in Lafayette, Louisiana. His father was an amateur accordion player, but Dural preferred playing the organ as a child, according to a biography on his website. He dabbled in funk music in the 1970s with bandmates before learning to play the accordion 1978 and returning to the musical roots of his father. He would form Buckwheat Zydeco soon after.
Dural gained national fame in the 1980s after signing to Island Records.
He would go on to perform with Eric Clapton and Lyle Lovett, and played at both of President Bill Clinton's inaugurations and at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, according to a biography on his website.
Stanley 'Buckwheat' Dural
Bill Nunn, a veteran character actor whose credits ranged from the "Spider-Man" movie franchise to such Spike Lee films as "Do the Right Thing" and "He Got Game," has died.
His wife, Donna, said Nunn died Saturday at his home in Pittsburgh. He was 63 and had been battling cancer.
A longtime Pittsburgh resident and graduate of Morehouse College, Lee's alma mater, Nunn broke through in movies in the late 1980s, first in Lee's "School Daze," then in the Oscar-nominated "Do the Right Thing," as the ill-fated Radio Raheem, who dies when choked by police during a street brawl in Brooklyn.
Nunn, who stood well over 6 feet tall, went on to appear in dozens of films and TV programs, including "New Jack City," Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy and "Sirens."
Nunn was the son of a prominent Pittsburgh Steelers scout, also named Bill Nunn, and befriended future Steelers president Art Rooney II while both worked as ballboys for the NFL team. They would long savor a youthful prank, stealing the car of star defensive tackle "Mean" Joe Greene.
"Joe showed up in a beautiful, green Lincoln Continental," Rooney explained last year. "Me and Bill Nunn were ballboys and somehow Bill got the keys one night and we decided to take it for a ride.
"We only told Joe that story about 10 years ago. We figured enough time had passed that we could disclose the little joyride."