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Facebook Has Identified Ongoing Political Influence Campaign

Facebook Inc. has identified a coordinated political influence campaign through dozens of inauthentic accounts on its platform ahead of November’s U.S. midterm election, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. The company said it had removed 32 pages and accounts from Facebook and Instagram because they were involved in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” Facebook said in a blogpost that “this kind of behavior is not allowed on Facebook because we don’t want people or organizations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they’re doing. We’re still in the very early stages of our investigation and don’t have all the facts — including who may be behind this ...Read more

Robert Wilkie Sworn In As New Veterans Affairs Secretary

Vice President Mike Pence swore in Robert Wilkie as secretary of Veterans Affairs on Monday. Wilkie served as acting secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs after former secretary David Shulkin resigned in March and Trump’s previous nominee, his physician Ronny Jackson, withdrew himself from consideration. Before Trump nominated Wilkie for the position at Veterans Affairs he worked for the Department of Defense as under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.  “Since day one my administration has been focused on serving the men and women who make freedom possible, our great veterans, these heroes deserve on the best and they will have it under Robert Wilkie – I have no doubt about it,” President Donald Trump said during the ceremony. ...Read more

Ross Cockrell Of Carolina Panthers Suffers Fractured Left Leg During Practice

Carolina Panthers cornerback Ross Cockrell went down in pain on Monday morning, and a source later stated that Cockrell suffered a broken leg as a result of a red zone collision with wide receiver Torrey Smith. According to a report, witnesses to Cockrell’s injury reported hearing an audible ‘crack’ of a bone. Cockrell’s injury was confirmed by Bill Voth of the Panthers, stating that he suffered a broken left tibia and fibula. Cockrell will undergo surgery, and will eventually be placed on Injured Reserve.  This is the Panthers second player lost to injury in the past three days. On Saturday, All-Pro right tackle Daryl Wlliams dislocated his kneecap and tore his MCL, which will leave him indisposed for some time if not all season. ...Read more

Toronto Blue Jays Send Roberto Osuna To Astros For Ken Giles

The Astros picked up right-handed reliever Roberto Osuna from the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday in exchange for a package that includes former Houston closer Ken Giles. Minor league pitchers Hector Perez, 22, and David Paulino, 24, are also headed to Toronto in the deal. Paulino had been Houston’s No. 3 prospect, according to MLB.com, prior to his 80-game suspension last season for a PED violation. Perez is the Astros’ No. 10 prospect.  Osuna hasn’t pitched since May 6, and has been serving a 75-game suspension for violation of Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. He was arrested May 8 and charged with assault. His next court appearance is Wednesday, and he is eligible to be activated Sunday. Meanwhile  Giles, 27, is 0-2 with 12 saves and a 4.99 ERA in 30⅔ innings this season for the Astros. ...Read more

President Trump Says He’s Willing To Meet Iranian Leader Without Preconditions

President Donald Trump said Monday he would be willing to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani without preconditions to discuss how to improve ties after he pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying, “If they want to meet, we’ll meet.”  Trump’s remarks represented a marked softening in rhetoric from a week ago, when he lashed out at Rouhani in a tweet, saying “Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.” But when asked at a White House news conference whether he was willing to meet with President Rouhani, Trump said: “I’d meet with anybody. I believe in meetings,” especially in cases where war is at stake. Trump added that he had “no preconditions” for a meeting with the Iranians. ...Read more

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Cast Pens Letter Supporting Ousted Writer-Director James Gunn

The stars of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise released an open letter Monday in support of ousted writer-director James Gunn. The letter, signed by Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn and Pom Klementieff, was posted on social media. Walt Disney Studios fired Gunn on July 20 for offensive tweets he posted about pedophilia and rape between 2008 and 2012.  The Guardians of the Galaxy cast members did not defend Gunn’s offensive tweets, but noted the political climate in the country. In the open letter, the cast referenced a Change.org petition asking for Gunn to be reinstated. So far, that petition has attracted more than 342,000 signatures.   ...Read more

CBS Board Takes No Action Against CEO Leslie Moonves Amid Sexual Misconduct Probe

In a surprising move, CBS’ board of directors is keeping Leslie Moonves in place as chairman-CEO; this even after they said they will launch a probe of sexual assault allegations leveled against him by six women in a New Yorker expose. A board meeting that ran about three hours was held by teleconference Monday, three days after the report by journalist Ronan Farrow detailing accusations of sexual misconduct by six women, some stretching back to the 1980s. A statement from CBS on the meeting said the board was “in the process of selecting outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation. No other action was taken on this matter at today’s board meeting.” The board considered a range of topics during the meeting, according to a person familiar with the matter, but Moonves’ status was not put to a vote, and the CEO was said to have participated in various parts of the proceedings.  The board also decided to postpone for the second time CBS’ annual shareholders meeting, which had been set for Aug. 10 in Pasadena. ...Read more

Three Dead and Seven Wounded In New Orleans After Two Gunmen Open Fire On Crowd

Two armed individuals walked up to a crowd gathered Saturday evening outside a strip mall in New Orleans and opened fire, killing three people and wounding seven more, the police chief said. The shooting happened on a busy thoroughfare about 3 miles from the French Quarter. Police chief Michael Harrison, said the two suspects believed to be wearing hoodies had a rifle and a handgun. He said they appeared to have fired indiscriminately into the crowd, striking ten people. Police responding to the shooting found three victims – two men and one woman – who were pronounced dead at the scene. Seven other victims – five men and two women – were taken to two separate hospitals.  “This was an extremely tragic incident. A lot of people were out here tonight. A lot of people, we know, saw what happened, heard what happened. And we need more than anything for people to come forward to help the NOPD right now solve this case,” Harrison said. Police do not know whether it was gang-related. ...Read more

At Least 6 Killed As Deadly Northern California Wildfires Rages

Fire crews facing several weather uncertainties Sunday struggled to corral Northern California’s Carr Fire, a blaze that has left thousands evacuated. At least six people were killed by the fire, authorities said. Officials say there are more than 150 more engines on the way from out of state to help. Firefighters endured hot temperatures worried about gusty winds, said Anthony Romero, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The National Weather Service forecast hot and dry conditions in the area Sunday, with wind gusts expected late in the afternoon. The blaze grew slightly Sunday to 139 square miles, and is the largest fire burning in California. More than 5,000 structures were threatened, and the fire was just 5 percent contained. The latest tally showed 517 destroyed structures and another 135 damaged ...Read more

Alan Trammell, Jack Morris, Vladimir Guerrero Among Those Inducted Into The National Baseball Hall Of Fame

On Sunday, July 29, The Baseball Hall of Fame welcomed in six new legends, as Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, Jack Morris, Jim Thome and Alan Trammell were all inducted in Cooperstown, New York.  Tigers greats Alan Trammell and Jack Morris were both were elected by the Modern Era Committee, which votes every two years on players active between 1977-1994. Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman and Jim Thome were elected in the normal voting this year.  The 2018 Hall of Fame class was filled with major stars; Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina are close to being inducted. Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt and Todd Helton headline the stars who will be eligible starting in 2019, with Rivera and Halladay the most likely inductees in their first go-round. ...Read more