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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Knife-wielding man injures at least four in Munich; suspect arrested

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A knife-wielding man attacked four people in Munich on Saturday and then fled, police said. A suspect was arrested a few hours later, and authorities were working to determine whether he was the assailant.

Police received initial reports of an attack in the Haidhausen area, just east of downtown Munich, a spokesperson said. Authorities determined that a lone attacker apparently had gone after passers-by with a knife.

REJECTED ASYLUM SEEKER CONVICTED OF RAPE IN GERMANY AMID VICTIM INSULTS 

The assailant attacked six people – five men and one woman – at different sites in the area, with four of them wounded and none seriously, police said.

Police guard the area at Rosenheimer Platz square in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. Police say a man with a knife has lightly wounded several people in Munich. Officers are looking for the assailant. Munich police called on people in the Rosenheimer Platz square area, located close to the German city's downtown, to stay inside after the incident on Saturday morning. (Andreas Gebert/dpa via AP)

German police took a suspect into custody but it was not immediately clear if it was the man who carried out the stabbing attack.  (AP)

Following the attack, police took to Twitter to warn people in the Rosenheimer Platz area to stay indoors and cautioned them to avoid the area around Ostbahnhof railway station and a nearby park. Police were not immediately certain to which direction the suspect fled.

GERMANY’S ENTIRE U-BOAT FLEET IS OUT OF ACTION

Police described the suspect to be about 40 years old and was wearing gray pants, a green jacket and a backpack. He also had a black bicycle.

Police guard the area at Rosenheimer Platz square in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. Police say a man with a knife has lightly wounded several people in Munich. Officers are looking for the assailant. Munich police called on people in the Rosenheimer Platz square area, located close to the German city's downtown, to stay inside after the incident on Saturday morning. (Andreas Gebert/dpa via AP)

Police say a man with a knife wounded at least four people in Munich.  (AP)

About three hours after the stabbing, police arrested a man matching that description who initially tried to evade officers.

“We can’t yet confirm whether he is the perpetrator,” da Gloria Martins said.

There was no immediate word on a possible motive.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Egyptian officials say 55 police killed in Cairo shootout

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Egyptian security officials say at least 55 policemen, including 20 officers and 34 conscripts, have been killed in a shootout during a raid on a militant hideout near Cairo.

The officials said Saturday that the exchange of fire took place late Friday in the al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in Giza governorate, about 135 kilometers (84 miles) from the capital after security services moved in.

The officials say the death toll could increase.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry issued a statement on the raid late Friday but didn’t provide a death toll.

Tech Q&A: Recovering from Equifax, improving passwords, throwing Google off your scent and more

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Equifax security

Q: With the Equifax breach, I am worried that hackers can steal money from my bank account. What can I do?

A: The sheer number of victims is massive, and it keeps climbing with every new report. Meanwhile, Equifax has done a miserable job of comforting its customers, and the fallout has left far more questions than answers. The best thing you can do for your security is to establish two-factor authentication on your bank account. Click here for the steps you can take to stop thieves from emptying your bank account.

Password help

More on this…

Q: What’s the deal on passwords? I heard they needed to be long. Then I heard they could be short. Help!

A: The prevailing wisdom is to make a password as difficult as possible. The problem with complicated passwords is that they are very hard to remember, especially if they use an array of eccentric punctuation marks, like ampersands and pound signs. But the most current advice is actually a relief, especially if you have a poor memory. Believe it or not, hackers will have a devil of a time trying to figure your password out. Click here for three ways to craft great passwords based on the latest research.

Stalked by Google

Q: Is it true that Google keeps track of every place you go?

A: It stands to reason that your phone’s GPS can (a) track all your movements and (b) keep track of all your movements. Once you figure out just how meticulously Google records your every movement, you may be horrified enough to toss your Android in the nearest lake. All of this geographic documentation is probably harmless, but it’s definitely unnerving, no matter how comfortable you are with a never-ending data stream. So how might you turn this feature off, ensuring that no one at Google is following you around? Click here to learn which setting to change, and the rest is a walk in the park.

Monitor color

Q: My photos look different colors when printed than they show on my monitor. Is my monitor bad?

A: A picture is only as strong as its weakest technical element, and problems are sometimes hard to pinpoint: Maybe your camera lens is malfunctioning, or you’re using cheap software, or your printer doesn’t do certain colors very well. Every little piece can affect how an image turns out. But if you’re pretty sure that your monitor isn’t showing its best colors, click here for a very simple way to fix it.

What Alexa hears

Q: I heard you say that Alexa and other gadgets are recording everything I say. Is this true?

A: The point of a hands-free device like Amazon Echo is that you don’t have to press a button or flip a switch to activate the voice recognition software; you just say, “Alexa.” So what can you do to prevent your device from cataloging all of these audio files? And what other devices are eavesdropping on your every private conversation?

Click here to stop your devices from listening to everything you say.

What questions do you have? Call my national radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

Copyright 2017, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

Think You're Ready for Social Security? Not Until You Read This

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If you’re between the ages of 62 and 70, you can take Social Security retirement. And depending on your situation, now might be the perfect time to do so. However, it’s really important to review some critical things that could make now the wrong time to claim your benefit. 

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This includes your health, wealth, other sources of income, and how a few things can compound and really impact your retirement. Keep reading to make sure you’re truly ready before you make the call to claim your Social Security benefit. 

Will you outlive your other retirement savings if you claim too early?

If you’re considering taking Social Security soon, you’re probably close to age 65 or over. Some important statistics to consider first:

  • The average 65-year-old American will live beyond age 80.
  • 40% of single and 20% of married 65-plus Americans get 90% of their income from Social Security. 
  • The median 65-plus American has less than $61,000 in their 401(k)
  • Your Social Security benefit is cut as much as 6.67% for every year you claim early. 

The most popular age to claim Social Security is 62. Unfortunately, far too many of those who claim early don’t have enough retirement savings to offset the benefit cut if you claim before your full retirement age. When this is paired with life expectancies for men and women that have most of us living into our 80s, it makes it far more likely that you’ll run out of money and be wholly dependent on your monthly Social Security check late in life, just when your care needs could be at their highest and most expensive. 

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Plan to keep working? Not so fast

Plenty of early Social Security filers plan to continue earning a paycheck for at least a few years before fully retiring. However, there’s a big fat catch that could backfire on you. If you claim Social Security before you reach your full retirement age (between 66 and 67 depending on when you were born), there is a relatively low cap to how much you can earn before your Social Security check starts getting cut

For 2017, every $2 you earn above $16,920 will cost you $1 in Social Security payments. Here’s how that looks in plain math: If you earn $26,920 this year ($10,000 above the earnings limit) and haven’t reached full retirement age, your Social Security benefit will be cut by $5,000. 

There’s plenty of reason why it could make sense to work some after taking Social Security. Just make sure you understand the income limits before taking an unexpected hit to the income you were expecting to get. 

How will you pay for healthcare?

You can start Social Security retirement at 62, but you probably won’t be eligible for Medicare before age 65. With healthcare costs rising and private insurance cost-prohibitive for many people in many places, the loss of employer-sponsored group coverage could make health insurance far more expensive than you think. That’s before the impact of the Trump administration’s recent decision to end cost-sharing reductions that provided nearly $9 billion in funds to support insurance costs for lower-income Americans. 

All of these things combined could make a huge impact

When you factor in higher healthcare expenses, caps to how much you can earn before your benefit starts getting cut, and the risk of outliving your retirement savings and other financial assets, there are plenty of reasons why filing right now might be a big mistake. That’s certainly the case for many Americans (many of whom will still file early). 

Retiring as early as possible might sound great, but it could cause years of pain later in life. Instead of taking Social Security now just so you can retire early, you might be far better off waiting a little longer so that you can retire well. 

The $16,122 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,122 more… each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

What to Watch for in Chipotle's Upcoming Earnings Report

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It was a rough summer for Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG), as a July norovirus outbreak at a Virginia restaurant sent the stock reeling. Then an all-natural queso was released in several test markets before being rolled out nationwide in mid-September, causing some to swoon, but also sparking mockery.

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Now it’s fall and Chipotle is set to report third-quarter results on Oct. 24. There are several moving parts to this report and here’s what investors should look for.

A different way to look at things

As always, analysts will be on the lookout for comparable-store sales, which track how much the average restaurant earned compared with last year. Obviously, only restaurants that are at least a year old qualify for the calculation.

The norovirus incident may well have put a crimp in Chipotle’s sales in the quarter, although perhaps the late-quarter rollout of queso could offset the blemish. On the last earnings call, on July 25, Chipotle management said the outbreak had decreased same-store sales by 5.5% over the past several days.

Since we’re now two years removed from the infamous 2015 E. coli incident, investors may wish to look at the “two-year stack,” or comparable-store traffic compared with two years ago (pre-E.coli).

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Here’s how that two-year stack looks over the past three quarters:

Period Two-Year Stack
Q4 (18.7%)
Q1 (17.2%) 
Q2 (17.4%) 

As you can see, the “stack” ain’t pretty. Though the metric showed marked improvement in the first quarter, it dropped back again in Q2 and is still well below 2015 levels. This could have been due to the data breach announced on the first-quarter earnings call, or merely be a bump on the way to an uneven recovery. Still, things weren’t exactly going great, even before the July norovirus incident.

Can queso save?

There’s been a lot of hype about this summer’s queso rollout, which did seem to overwhelm the news around the norovirus incident. But at least one analyst, Andrew Charles of Cowen, whose note was quoted by CNBC, was skeptical:

In our prior analysis we saw the Week 1 queso lift progressively decelerate through Week 2. This trend of a deteriorating lift from queso intensified through Week 3 to end 3Q. … We view the data as supportive in our belief that queso is unlikely to be a sustainable driver of sales.

Chipotle reacted fairly strongly to Charles’ commentary, as well as to the ongoing narrative (on social media, at least) that people don’t like Chipotle’s queso. Company spokesperson Chris Arnold released a statement saying:

… we moved queso from marketwide testing to a national rollout because we were encouraged by the results, both in terms of feedback in consumer research and sales … What we have seen in terms of brand health and consumer sentiment is quite different than what the Cowen report suggests. … Rather than providing a look at any single moment in time, that research provides an indication of where consumer sentiment stands on an ongoing basis. What we are seeing there is that we are closer to the levels we were seeing in early or mid-2015 (pre-crisis) than we are to the troughs, with many metrics at or near pre-crisis levels.

That may be true, but if Chipotle’s internal research is showing sentiment is back to mid-2015 levels, it hasn’t led to mid-2015 traffic…at least not yet.

Look for fourth-quarter commentary

Chipotle shareholders shouldn’t exactly panic, however. Consider what happened when Amazon.com took over Whole Foods in August and promptly cut prices: Initial research showed a huge increase in interest when the cuts were introduced, but then a deceleration over the next two weeks. Three weeks later, Whole Foods had retained a mid-single-digit increase in year-over-year traffic. In other words, I think it’s inevitable that traffic decelerates after the immediate spike when a hyped product is unveiled.

On Chipotle’s earnings calls, management usually comments on traffic trends for the first three weeks of the current quarter, so that — not this war of words — is where investors should focus.

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Billy Duberstein owns shares of, and The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends, Amazon and Chipotle Mexican Grill. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

What Career Weakness Have You Had to Overcome?

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Even the most qualified, well-respected employees have their weaknesses. And while we can all do our best to rise above those shortcomings, sometimes, we have no choice but to acknowledge them.

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Case in point: According to Glassdoor’s rundown of the most common interview questions asked, there’s pretty much no getting around discussing your greatest weakness or weaknesses. Rather than shy away from talking about your personal shortfalls, you’re better off owning up to them. Here are some of the career weaknesses my fellow Fools and I have had to overcome — and how we’ve managed to learn from them.

Wanderlust

Daniel B. Kline: In the first years of my career, I changed jobs about once a year. Part of that was due to the work climate at the time. It was the first digital boom, and companies came and went fairly quickly. That did contribute, but mostly, I had a “grass is always greener” attitude and a healthy dose of wanderlust. If I hit a problem at a job, or didn’t get something I wanted, I immediately began looking for new employment. That kept me from learning how to resolve problems, and eventually, it turned my resume into one big red flag.

Leaving for a better opportunity is almost never a bad idea, but leaving just to experience change is risky. It’s a fine thing to do when you’re young, or if you’ve been at the same place for a few years, but leaving a job just because you like change, or have grown restless, runs the risk of making you less employable, as companies won’t trust that you’ll stay if they hire you.

It’s also important to develop the ability to improve where you are, or at least exhaust all methods of trying. I’m not sure if my wanderlust ever cost me a job, but it came up in multiple interviews.

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Now, since I’ve been a writer with The Motley Fool for about four years, I’ve put my wanderlust into other areas. I work from different locations, have dramatically changed where I live, and try to collect experiences that are new to me. I still have the instinct that says “run” when I don’t get my way, but I’ve grown enough to know that the grass is not only not always greener, but sometimes, it’s full of snakes. 

Shyness

Selena Maranjian: My first real job after college and my first grad school stint was teaching high school history. It proved to be quite a challenge for me because while I’m not an extreme introvert, I am on the shy side. That’s not a great recipe for teaching high school, where you need to keep 20 or 30 kids — including at least a few rambunctious ones — focused and learning. I did my best, in part by speaking much more loudly than I typically did, in order to get their attention and have a shot at keeping it. Still, it wasn’t always enough. I was only in my early 20s, so I had a lot to learn.

Budget cuts and systemwide layoffs cut my teaching career short, but in my next jobs, I also found that assertiveness and self-confidence were much more preferable than being soft-spoken. I worked on boosting those attributes in myself, and found that they just increased on their own over time, too. Once I had more years in a job, I just knew more, and didn’t hold back as much when contributing ideas and working on teams.

For most people, it’s very worthwhile to overcome shyness at work and learn to be assertive. You’ll get more respect carrying yourself with confidence and jumping into conversations when you have something to say. To get ahead, you want others to hear you and to appreciate your value.

Women, in particular, are often used to apologizing when it’s not really necessary — (“Sorry if this isn’t the best idea, but what if we…”). They also use hedging language more, too (“It might be a good idea if we…”). Spend a few minutes thinking about whether you might want, or need, to be more assertive and less shy at work.

Impatience with others

Maurie Backman: I’ve always been the go-getter type in any work environment I’ve been at. Need someone to handle that upcoming team presentation? You got it. Want a report churned out quickly? I’m your person. It’s that same can-do attitude, however, that’s also come back to bite me — especially since it’s been known to translate into a lack of patience with others.

For better or worse, I’m used to getting things done a certain way, and at the risk of sounding boastful, usually, when I set out to do something, I manage to do it efficiently. In the past, when I’ve been faced with situations where I need to collaborate with or train others, I’ve been quick to let my impatience be known.

One time, for example, my colleague and I were asked to recap, in writing, an interdepartmental meeting we’d attended on our team’s behalf. My coworker, though smart, was not a particularly good or fast writer, so halfway through the assignment, I got frustrated and asked to take over. My colleague acquiesced, but when our boss called us in later to discuss the write-up, it came out that I’d basically taken over what was supposed to be a joint effort. That didn’t go over well.

These days, I’m generally a lot more patient, even if said patience is sometimes a bit forced. I know that I still like things done a certain way, but I’ve learned to be more of a team player. And that’s helped my career on multiple levels.

The $16,122 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,122 more… each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The Latest: Munich police arrest suspect, say motive unknown

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The Latest on the stabbings in Munich, Germany (all times local):

12:10 p.m.

Police say they’ve arrested a suspect after four people were lightly wounded in Munich by a man with a knife. They’re not yet sure whether he is the assailant.

Police spokesman Marcus da Gloria Martins said the man was arrested about three hours after Saturday morning’s incident in an area near downtown Munich. He says the man’s appearance was in line with a description witnesses gave of the knife attacker.

Da Gloria Martins says the assailant attacked six people at different locations in the area but only four of them were wounded. He says there were no serious injuries.

There’s also no information yet on a possible motive.

___

10:15 a.m.

Police say a man with a knife has lightly wounded four people in Munich. Officers are looking for the assailant.

Munich police called on people in the Rosenheimer Platz area, located close to the German city’s downtown, to stay inside after the incident on Saturday morning.

The perpetrator fled the scene. Police said he appeared to be about 40 years old and had a black bicycle, gray trousers, a green jacket and a backpack.

The police department said on Twitter that officers are looking for the assailant “with all available police forces.”

It said the motive for the attack was not immediately clear.

None of the injuries were considered life-threatening.

WGMD Fishing Report 10-21-17

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Friday was a great weather day, but the only good inshore reports we had were from tog fishermen.

Tommy at Lewes Harbour Marina said the only fish that came in were tog.  He expects pretty much the same report for Saturday because tog are the only fish in season that are around in any great numbers.

At Hook ‘em and Cook ‘em the report was a single private boat came in from offshore with a good catch of dolphin and one tuna.  The head boats did not run on Friday, but plan to be out on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday will see the reopening of sea bass season and there should be lots of activity over wrecks, reefs and the Old Grounds.  The further offshore you go the better your chance of putting some big sea bass in the cooler.

Surf fishing should be good for tiny blues with the occasional king and red drum in the mix.  A keeper rockfish is not out of the question.  The inlet will give up small tog and the occasional keeper.

Don’t forget the Boo-Que at the Inlet.

This is Eric Burnley with your WGMD fishing Report.


 

Wet weather to precede colder air in northeastern US next week

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A change in the weather pattern will bring the return of rain and cool air to the northeastern United States next week, while elevating the risk for travel disruptions.

Those who have yet to check out the fall foliage or go pumpkin picking will find the weather this weekend ideal to take part with plenty of sunshine and high temperatures in the 70s F.

A storm first set to bring severe weather to the Plains on Saturday and soaking rain to the Southern states on Sunday and Monday will then cut through the dry and mild conditions in the Northeast by Tuesday.

Soaking rain will march from west to east across the Ohio Valley and into the mid-Atlantic and eventually New England spanning Monday to Tuesday night.

Tue/Tue night Rain East 10.20 AM

The advancing rain may be accompanied by strong, gusty winds and even a few rumbles of thunder.

“Across much of this region, it has been and will continue to be dry for the next few days, which should mean that the ground can absorb most of the rainfall,” AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

The storm will begin to move at a swifter pace when compared to its slower track across the South. This will limit the period of heaviest rain and the flood threat to a localized level.

“[However], watch for street flooding,” Pastelok said.

Removing fallen leaves from storm drains can help limit the potential of standing water on streets.

At the very least, the rain can trigger major delays during the busy commute times along the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to New York City and Boston spanning Tuesday to Wednesday.

Motorists should be wary of slick spots from oil buildup and fallen leaves during the dry spell.

Cooler and drier air will follow the rain at midweek.

Wednesday Northeast 10.21 AM

The core of the below-normal temperatures will center from the Ohio Valley to the central Gulf coast next week, according to Pastelok.

The air will not pack as much of a sting by the time it makes it to the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts, where temperatures will only drop back to seasonable levels during the middle and latter part of next week.

Temperatures in the 50s F are in store from the Great Lakes to the Tennessee River Valley, with 60s expected along the Eastern Seaboard.

As the chilly air dives across the warm Great Lakes, lake-effect rain showers can occur downwind. Waterspouts could even be a concern over the lakes, posing a hazard to boaters.

The cool air will not stay for an extended period in the Northeast. Temperatures are projected to quickly rebound by the last weekend of October.

Police Investigate Shooting Friday Night in Snow Hill

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Bullets on ground - Photo © Copyright: Burlingham/Shutterstock
Bullets on ground - Photo © Copyright: Burlingham/Shutterstock

A Snow Hill man is in critical condition after a shooting just after 7 Friday night.  Snow Hill Police and Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies were called to West Federal and Ross Streets where they found 25 year old Deron Ames lying at the edge of the roadway.  He was taken to PRMC in Salisbury.  If you have any information on this shooting – call Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776.


 

MS-13 gang may be linked to human remains found in New York City suburb, police say

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The violent MS-13 gang has been linked to a wave of recent killings in New York’s Long Island suburbs. That’s why police believe that human remains found in one location could lead to more grisly discoveries.

Police in Nassau County on Long Island say they have found several spots in a 27-acre park in the hamlet of Roosevelt that may be gravesites for the gang’s victims.

“The process is slow due to the terrain and growth,” Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick of the Nassau County Police Department Homicide Squad told reporters.

Fitzpatrick said one set of male human remains has been found, but has not been identified. He would not reveal how long the remains have been in the area.

MS-13 GANG MEMBERS IN NEW YORK HACKED TEEN TO DEATH TO BOOST ‘STATURE,’ POLICE SAY

“There are a couple other spots that we have interest in and we will look at them slowly but surely,” he said, noting that one detective broke his ankle while searching.

Fitzpatrick added that police dogs have had “positive” responses to areas they were interested in.

Police said they received a tip about the remains from the Department of Homeland Security.

Members of the MS-13 gang, which originates from El Salvador, have been charged in recent killings in Long Island immigrant communities.

More than 20 killings in Long Island have been blamed on the gang since the start of last year.

MS-13 ‘INITIATION KILLINGS’: LURED TO A PARK BY GIRLS AND HACKED TO DEATH WITH MACHETES

As of last September, police estimated that there are around 400 MS-13 gang members operating in Suffolk County and more than 320 of them were arrested with the help of immigration agents, the New York Times reported.

The county has taken in 4,728 minors who came by themselves from Central America since October 2013 to June 2017, the newspaper also reported, citing federal data.

US commanders stress 'ironclad' commitment to defend SKorea

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U.S. naval commanders have reiterated Washington’s “ironclad” commitment to defend South Korea against North Korean threats as an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier visited a South Korean port following a joint naval drill.

Rear Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of Naval Forces Korea, said aboard the USS Ronald Reagan on Saturday that the drills enhanced the allies’ ability to coordinate combine operations.

The five-day drills that ended Friday involved fighter jets, helicopters and 40 naval ships and submarines from the countries.

North Korea has accelerated its nuclear weapons and missile tests in recent months and also flew ballistic missiles over Japan.

The drills came ahead of President Donald Trump’s first official visit to Asia next month that’s likely to be overshadowed by tensions with North Korea.

Czechs vote in parliamentary election for second day

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Czech citizens are voting for a second day in a parliamentary election that could install another euroskeptic government in Central Europe.

Two days of balloting that started Friday are being held to fill 200 seats in the Czech Republic’s lower house of Parliament.

Voting wraps up on Saturday afternoon and results are expected late in the day.

The centrist ANO (YES) movement led by populist billionaire Andrej Babis was the front-runner heading into the election. Polls show he is likely to become the next prime minister despite allegations of fraud linked to EU subsidies.

Babis has been critical of the European Union; he opposes the EU’s quota system on redistributing refugees and setting a date for adopting the euro.

Eight parties and groupings are in line to win seats.

Syria says Israel struck army position near Golan Heights

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The Syrian army says Israeli forces have struck one of its positions near the Golan Heights south of the country.

The army statement said Saturday’s shelling by Israeli troops came after Syrian opposition fighters fired mortar rounds that hit an open area in the Israeli-occupied Golan giving the Jewish state a pretext to bomb the army.

The army said the shelling caused material damage without saying if there were casualties.

Saturday’s shelling came two days after the Israeli military said it has struck Syria in response to a mortar fired from the territory.

Israel has largely stayed on the sidelines of Syria’s civil war.

In one rare incident, Israel this week struck an anti-aircraft battery deep in Syria after it had opened fire on Israeli jets flying over Lebanon.

With single weekly flight, remote St. Helena extends welcome

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The Gates of Chaos, Lot’s Wife, Old Woman’s Valley, Man and Horse Cliffs. These are the names of places on St. Helena, an otherworldly Atlantic Ocean island far from anywhere whose British-ruled population of just over 4,000 is reaching out to the world.

Charles Darwin, astronomer Edmond Halley and Napoleon Bonaparte are a few of the luminaries who spent time on St. Helena over the centuries, though the deposed French emperor would rather have been elsewhere, confined as he was in exile until his 1821 death at Longwood House, which was prone to damp and rat infestations.

Now a new airport, condemned last year by British taxpayers as a boondoggle after dicey wind conditions were discovered, has opened to regular traffic (a single weekly flight from South Africa) that islanders hope will boost tourism and the sagging economy of what was once a linchpin of the British Empire.

The airport is a gamble, but tourists with time and money will experience the sense of stepping into history on an island that until recently was only reachable by boat and lies about 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles) from Africa and even further from South America.

The coat of arms of Britain’s East India Company, the trading behemoth that helped to build the British Empire, adorns the arched entrance to the capital, Jamestown. The commercial brands that are so familiar in other parts of the world haven’t made it to this rugged island. The island only got its first cellular telephone network in 2015. The Saints, as islanders are known, speak English with a strong accent that is sometimes hard to understand.

“You don’t need to peel many layers. You’ll find we’re more rogues than saints,” said Basil George, an elderly guide with a spry step who escorted visitors around downtown Jamestown. The capital is something of an architectural oddity, jammed into a narrow valley floor with one main road up the middle. One stop on his tour is what is said to be the oldest Anglican church in the southern hemisphere.

Skirting the island offshore, the visitors, including an Associated Press journalist, surveyed forbidding volcanic cliffs, as well as a humpback whale and brown noddy seabirds nesting in the crags.

Anthony Thomas, owner of the Sub-Tropic Adventures diving company, told his guests about the lore associated with the giant walls of rock 180 meters or so high: a couple whose car accidentally rolled over the cliff edge, spilling them to their deaths, and a boy who suffered a similar fate after stepping over a fence to retrieve a ball.

Current affairs on St. Helena include a petition against the introduction of a law allowing same-sex marriage, and the question of whether a jury trial can be fair on an island where everybody knows just about everybody.

A reported 1,000 ships a year used to anchor at St. Helena, which was uninhabited when the Portuguese discovered it in 1502 and became a critical way station for trading vessels traveling between Asia and Europe. That role diminished after the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal offered a shortcut to intercontinental shipping.

The British used the island as a prison for Napoleon and for rebellious Zulu king Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo, thousands of Boer prisoners from South Africa at the beginning of the 20th century and, in the late 1950s, three leaders from Bahrain, then under British control.

Other notable events include the dispatch of settlers to St. Helena after the Great Fire of London in 1666, the use of the island as a base for British anti-slavery patrols and the 1941 sinking of a British vessel at anchor off Jamestown during World War II. A memorial to the 41 people from the RFA Darkdale “who have no grave but the sea” sits on the waterfront.

Through this historical sweep, the Saints have lived mostly by modest means, some learning how to build their own homes or fashion harpoons out of broom handles.

“If you’ve got a good family, you’re not that bad off,” said Mario Green, a taxi driver. “They’re always going to make sure you’ve got a roof over your head, or you’ve got something to eat.”

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Follow Christopher Torchia on Twitter at www.twitter.com/torchiachris

The Latest: Spanish Cabinet meets to act on Catalonia

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The Latest on Catalonia’s effort to break away from Spain and the Spanish government’s response: (all times local):

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10.30 a.m.

A Cabinet meeting is underway in Madrid to outline government measures for taking control of the Catalonia region to stop regional authorities from breaking away from Spain.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is chairing the meeting at the Moncloa palace on Saturday.

The measures could include stripping some or all of the top Catalan officials of their authority and laying out a roadmap to an early regional election for as early as January.

Rajoy said Friday that the goal of revoking Catalan self-governance is “the return to legality and the recovery of institutional normalcy.”

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Members of the ruling separatist coalition in Catalonia have rejected the idea of fresh regional elections as a way out to the crisis.

Instead, they are threatening to make an explicit declaration of independence if central authorities go ahead with the intervention in the region’s autonomous powers.

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10:10 a.m.

The Spanish government is activating a previously untapped constitutional article to take control of the Catalonia region in a bid to stop a rebellion from separatist politicians.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Cabinet is meeting Saturday to outline the scope and timing of the measures the government plans to take under Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution.

The article allows central authorities to intervene when one of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions fails to comply with the law.

Rajoy could force the removal of Catalan officials and call early regional elections for as soon as January.

Opposition parties have agreed to support him in revoking Catalonia’s autonomy. The specific measures need approval from the country’s Senate.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has threatened to call a vote in the regional parliament for an explicit declaration of independence from Spain.

Germany: Police say several people stabbed in Munich

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German police say a person with a knife has wounded several people in Munich, but no one sustained life-threatening injuries.

Munich police called on people in the Bavarian capital’s Rosenheimer Platz area to stay inside after the incident Saturday morning. The perpetrator fled the scene.

The police department said on Twitter that officers are looking for the person “with all available police forces.”

Further information was not immediately available.

Niger attack: Final farewell Saturday for Sgt. La David Johnson

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A funeral service was scheduled for Saturday morning at Christ the Rock Church in Cooper City, Fla., for U.S. Army Sgt. La David Terrence Johnson, one of four U.S. Green Berets killed in Niger on Oct. 4.

On Friday night, mourners gathered at the church for a public viewing, the Miami Herald reported.

According to the newspaper, the evening was focused solely on Johnson, a 25-year-old father of two children, with a third on the way, who was remembered as “a G.I. Joe,” “a leader,” and “a lovable, humble, peaceful person.”

There was no mention, the Herald reported, of this week’s verbal feud between U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and President Donald Trump, which was sparked when Wilson commented on remarks that Trump reportedly made during a condolence phone call to Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson.

The Herald reported Friday that after Johnson’s death, Wilson established a college scholarship fund for his children – Ah’leeysa, 6; La David Jr., 2; and a daughter expected in January. The GoFundMe account had raised more than $627,000 in donations as of early Saturday.

Three other soldiers were killed in the Niger attack:

— Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29, whose funeral was held Sunday in his hometown, Lyons, Ga.

— Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wash., whose funeral was held Wednesday in Fayetteville, N.C. Black will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Oct. 30, WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., reported.

— Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio, whose funeral was held Thursday in Fayetteville, N.C.

A memorial service for all four soldiers is scheduled for Nov. 7 at Fort Bragg, N.C., the Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun reported.

The four Green Berets were among a group of American and Nigerien troops ambushed by about 50 Islamic extremists. Two other soldiers were injured in the attack, and nearly 10 Nigerien troops were also killed.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has said that his department is investigating the circumstances that led to the attack.

American and French troops have been providing training and support to the militaries of Niger and other vulnerable African countries where Islamic extremism has grown.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Spanish Cabinet meets to revoke self-government in Catalonia

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The Spanish government is activating a previously untapped constitutional article to take control of the Catalonia region in a bid to stop a rebellion from separatist politicians.

Continue Reading Below

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Cabinet is meeting Saturday to outline the scope and timing of the measures the government plans to take under Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution.

The article allows central authorities to intervene when one of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions fails to comply with the law.

Rajoy could force the removal of Catalan officials and call early regional elections for as soon as January.

Opposition parties have agreed to support him in revoking Catalonia’s autonomy. The specific measures need approval from the country’s Senate.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has threatened to call a vote in the regional parliament for an explicit declaration of independence from Spain.

Pakistan official: Bodies of 4 recovered from caved-in mine

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A Pakistani official says rescue workers have recovered the bodies of four mine workers who were buried under a landslide in the country’s southwest.

Iftikhar Ahmed, a coal-mine inspector, said Saturday rescue workers were searching for the remaining two workers in the Shrag area of the Harnai coal field. Ahmed said a landslide a day before caused a portion of the coal mine to cave in, trapping six workers.

Harnai district and its surroundings in southwestern Baluchistan province have rich coal and other minerals reserves but with poor infrastructure.

Such incidents are common in Pakistan’s coal-mine fields where authorities do not pay due attention on workers’ safety and workers themselves also often disregard safety standards.

Peggy Noonan: Is Trump following in Palin's footsteps?

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The president has been understandably confident in his supporters. They appreciate his efforts, admire his accomplishments (Justice Neil Gorsuch, ISIS’ setbacks), claim bragging rights for possibly related occurrences (the stock market’s rise), and feel sympathy for him as an outsider up against the swamp. They see his roughness as evidence of his authenticity, so he doesn’t freak them out every day. In this they are like Sarah Palin’s supporters, who saw her lack of intellectual polish as proof of sincerity. At her height, in 2008, she had almost the entire Republican Party behind her, and was pushed forward most forcefully by those who went on to lead Never Trump. But in time she lost her place through antic statements, intellectual thinness and general strangeness.

The same may well happen—or be happening—with Donald Trump.

One reason is that there is no hard constituency in America for political incompetence, and that is what he continues to demonstrate.

The first sign of political competence is knowing where you stand with the people. Gallup this week had him at 36 percent approval, 59 percent disapproval. Rasmussen has him at 41 percent, with 57 percent disapproving. There have been mild ups and downs, but the general picture has been more or less static. Stuart Rothenberg notes that at this point in his presidency Barack Obama had the approval of 48 percent of independents. Mr. Trump has 33 percent.

To continue reading this column from The Wall Street Journal, click here.

What happened when my daughter saw me kiss my wife

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The day my oldest daughter was born, I held her in my arms in the hospital and made two promises: “First, I promise I will never leave your mother; and second, I’ll show up. I’ll do everything I can to be at your recitals and ball games and dinner around the table.”

My baby laid there in my arms blinking, breathing, oblivious to the magnitude of the words I was saying.

My promises seemed so valiant when I made them at the hospital. But when I got home, I realized my daughter was going to need my wife and me to do a lot more than just stay married and love each other. She needed to see a regular demonstration of our love. That was not our strong suit.

While we loved each other deeply, were in a constant battle for control and both of us were losing as we bickered and bickered. Having a baby in the house made us more self-conscious about what we sounded like – especially to the ears of a little one. We made an unspoken agreement to change.

I’d like to say we immediately abandoned our old habits and learned how to disagree without being disagreeable. That, however, would not be true. We still struggled, but at least we were finally making an effort to resist our dysfunctional patterns of behavior.

Over the years we made a lot of progress, which was largely due to confessing our struggles with Christian friends and praying things like “Father, please show me how I need to change.”

God responded, showing us unflattering things about our character that we didn’t want to see. It was humbling and made us less likely to assume we were always right when there was a conflict. It also had an unexpected benefit: We became more affectionate to each other.

I don’t mean to say we weren’t affectionate before – we never lost the spark of infatuation that attracted us to each other in the first place. But as we grew in humility towards each other, we were more likely to gently touch each other in the car or say encouraging things to each other in the everyday ho-hum. We had no idea the impact it was having on the other members of our household.

One day, we were all listening to a playlist of Disney songs when the sentimental love song “Now That I See You” from Tangled” came on. I walked over to my wife, who was in the kitchen, took her in my arms, and started dancing with her slowly. I could tell it caught her off-guard and embarrassed her a little – it came out of nowhere. Thank goodness she stayed in my arms and danced with me anyway.

As the song approached the final chorus, I looked in my peripheral vision and suddenly realized we weren’t alone. Our daughters, who were five and seven, were standing there watching us in silence.

The song approached the end, and as the strings played the last notes, I decided to give the girls a Hollywood ending. I took my wife’s face in my hands and kissed her. After I pulled away, I looked over and saw my oldest daughter’s face lit up with adoration, and her eyes filled with tears. Then she came over, buried her face in my wife’s legs, and cried.

“Why are you crying?” my wife asked.

“I can’t explain it.”

“Can you at least give me one word to describe how you’re feeling?” I asked.

My daughter paused, looked up at us and said, “Loved.”

That one word – “loved”— took my breath away. Like so many others, I work hard to be a good parent and spouse, but I typically see those roles as having separate tasks and separate functions. My daughter helped me see that there’s far more overlap for children than we realize.

Parents are the first two people who get the opportunity to teach children what love looks like, and our kids are counting on us to prove that love is real.

Children want to see their imperfect, dysfunctional parents dance in the kitchen, say “I love you” when they get off the phone, pray together, kiss as they say goodbye and speak highly of each other. Those moments of affection provide assurance to our kids – the world isn’t all bad. Things are going to be OK at home.

Demonstrating marital love to our children is a privilege, a unique opportunity to be both a good parent and a good spouse. To love each other well is to love our children well.

Kenya: Helicopter plunges into lake after hotel takeoff

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A Kenyan official says a helicopter has plunged into Lake Nakuru in the Rift Valley moments after taking off from a nearby hotel.

National Disaster Management Unit Deputy Director Pius Mwachi said Saturday it’s not clear yet how many people were on board the helicopter and who they were.

Mwachi says a search-and-rescue mission is underway. Lake Nakuru, located 170 kilometers (105 miles) northwest of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, is famous for flamingo colonies that turn the shoreline pink at their peak.

Environment degradation has threatened the lake and the wildlife that depend on it.

Somalia's death toll now at 358 as 'state of war' planned

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The death toll in Somalia’s deadliest attack has risen to 358 while dozens remain missing. Somalia’s president will announce a “state of war” against the al-Shabab extremist group blamed for the bombing, the prime minister said.

The United States is expected to play a supporting role in the new offensive that President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is set to launch on Saturday, a Somali military official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Somalia’s army spokesman Capt. Abdullahi Iman said the offensive involving thousands of troops will try to push al-Shabab fighters out of their strongholds in the Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regions where many deadly attacks on Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and on Somali and African Union bases have been launched.

The extremist group has not commented on the Oct. 14 truck bombing in Mogadishu, which Somali intelligence officials have said was meant to target the city’s heavily fortified international airport where many countries have their embassies. The massive bomb, which security officials said weighed between 600 kilograms and 800 kilograms (1,300 pounds and 1,700 pounds), instead detonated in a crowded street after soldiers opened fire and flattened one of the truck’s tires.

Somalia’s information minister Abdirahman Osman said late Friday that 56 were people still missing. Another 228 people were wounded, and 122 had been airlifted for treatment in Turkey, Sudan and Kenya.

“This pain will last for years,” said a sheikh leading Friday prayers at the bombing site, as long lines of mourners stood in front of flattened or tangled buildings.

Since the election of the country’s Somali-American president in February, the government has announced a number of military offensives against al-Shabab, Africa’s deadliest Islamic extremist group, only to end them weeks later with no explanation. Experts believe that has given the extremists breathing space and emboldened them in their guerrilla attacks.

Iman, Somalia’s army spokesman, told the AP that troops recaptured three towns in Lower Shabelle region from al-Shabab on Friday in preparation for the new offensive.

Somali officials did not give details on what role the U.S. military might play.

The U.S. has stepped up military involvement in the long-fractured Horn of Africa nation since President Donald Trump approved expanded operations against the group early this year. The U.S. has carried out at least 19 drone strikes in Somalia since January, according to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

The latest U.S. drone strike occurred Monday about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southwest of the capital, the U.S. Africa Command told the AP. It said it was still assessing the results.

Earlier this week, in response to questions about the massive truck bombing, a Pentagon spokesman said the United States has about 400 troops in Somalia and “we’re not going to speculate” about sending more.

In April, the U.S. announced it was sending dozens of regular troops to Somalia in the largest such deployment to the country in roughly two decades. The U.S. said it was for logistics training of Somalia’s army and that about 40 troops were taking part.

Weeks later, a service member was killed during an operation against al-Shabab. He was the first American to die in combat in Somalia since 1993.

Game 7 is where baseball legends are born

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These are the games that define greatness and make memories. Some of them remain etched in the heart and mind forever. That’s what a Game 7 means to almost anyone who loves this sport.