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Updated: 10 min 35 sec ago

President Trump ridicules “Morning Joe” host’s looks, calls her crazy

38 min 16 sec ago

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump ridiculed the looks and temperament of a female cable television host whose show he says he has stopped watching. Evan Agostini, Invision/APIn this April 22, 2013 file photo, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, right, attend the 2013 Matrix New York Women in Communications Awards at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. President Donald Trump has used a series of tweets to go after Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, who’ve criticized Trump on their MSNBC show “Morning Joe.”(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

In a series of tweets Thursday morning, the president went after Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, who have criticized Trump on their MSNBC show “Morning Joe.”

“I heard poorly rated @Morning Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came…to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017

…to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017

Brzezinski responded on Twitter by posting a photograph of a Cheerios box that has the phrase “made for little hands.” That was a dig at Trump, who has long been sensitive about the size of his hands.

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about the tweets, including what it was that set the president off.

On their Wednesday show, Brzezinski and Scarborough roundly mocked Trump for displaying in several of his golf resorts a fake Time Magazine cover featuring himself.

“That’s needy,” Brzezinski said on the show.

About 15 minutes before the president himself tweeted, White House social media director Dan Scavino similarly attacked the hosts.

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“#DumbAsARockMika and lover #JealousJoe are lost, confused & saddened since @POTUS @realDonaldTrump stopped returning their calls! Unhinged,” Scavino wrote on his personal account.

Trump was correct that the MSNBC hosts spent time at the president’s Florida resort, a visit that Scarborough said was to arrange a Trump interview.

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Fire near Durango climbs to 200 acres

49 min 11 sec ago

The Lightner Creek fire, which began when a home burned down in a canyon near Durango, has grown to 200 acres.

The blaze is burning on the steep and difficult terrain of Lightner Creek Canyon. “The fire is burning in a heavy fuel loaded area,” said Lightner fire spokesman Scot Davis. “Today’s priority is firefighter and public safety.”

Heat and wind gusts of 35 mph expected Thursday afternoon could complicate efforts to control the blaze.

Air support had to be canceled early Wednesday and materials that could have been used to fight the fire wasted when someone launched a privately-owned drone, Davis said. Authorities are searching for whoever flew the drone.

“We fly low and slow and anything that is up there that can get into the engines can bring down the aircraft. We had to ditch two loads of retardant.”

The fire broke out late Wednesday afternoon and had burned about 100 acres by 8 p.m. Evacuation was ordered for about 140 homes along Lightner Creek Road from the intersections of LaPlata County Roads 207 and 208. The roads remained closed Thursday.

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The LaPlata County Fairgrounds is open as an evacuation center for people and animals.

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Man cited for keeping wild deer in New York house

1 hour ago

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — A New York man has been cited for keeping a wild deer on the second floor of his home.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Officer Jerry Kinney says his office received a complaint that a neighbor was harboring a wild animal in his Jamestown house.

The resident told responding officers he believed it was legal to keep the whitetail deer fawn in his house for up to six weeks before he had to release it. Officers told him this was not true and issued the resident a ticket for illegal possession of protected wildlife.

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Kinney says the deer was in good health and was released back into the wild.

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Denver weather forecast calls for Thursday evening thunderstorms and rain

1 hour 28 min ago

Rain showers and thunderstorms are expected over the Front Range early Thursday evening, forecasters say.

There is a 30 percent chance of rain showers, mainly after 5 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Boulder. The high temperature will be near 85 degrees.

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Rain is also possible early Friday, with thunderstorms possible after 9 a.m. It will be mostly cloudy and much cooler, with a high temperature of around 74 degrees.

For the weekend, expect sunny skies with highs of around 85 degrees on Saturday and 89 on Sunday.

The holiday week will kick off with a high of 89 degrees on Monday and 92 on the Fourth of July.

Click here for more Denver7 weather coverage.

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Walgreens ends its attempt to buy Rite Aid

1 hour 33 min ago

NEW YORK — Walgreens has ended its takeover pursuit of rival Rite Aid following resistance from U.S. regulators and will instead now buy stores, distribution centers and inventory in a new deal.

The proposed merger, first announced in 2015, was initially for about $9.4 billion but was whittled down to about $6.8 billion earlier this year.

For scrapping the transaction, Walgreens Boots Alliance will pay Rite Aid Corp. a $325 million termination fee. It will pay Fred’s Pharmacy an additional $25 million following the termination of a related asset deal.

Under the new agreement, Walgreens will buy 2,186 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid for approximately $5.18 billion in cash. Walgreens will also assume the related real estate leases and certain limited store-related liabilities. Rite Aid will have an option, exercisable through May 2019, to become a member of Walgreen’s group purchasing organization.

Walgreens said Thursday that the stores it purchases from Rite Aid will be converted to the Walgreens brand “over time.” The stores included in the agreement are mostly located in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. The three distribution centers are in Dayville, Connecticut, Philadelphia and Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The new transaction is targeted to close within the next six months.

Prior to the new deal, Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens and Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid faced a complicated task of easing antitrust concerns to complete the buyout. The companies initially expected to sell no more than 500 stores to appease regulators, but that was eventually pushed to 1,200 stores.

The combination of Walgreens, the largest U.S. drugstore, and Rite Aid would have created a drugstore giant with more than 11,000 stores nationally, even with the sale of more than a thousand stores. That would have been a few thousand more than the nearest competitor, CVS Caremark Corp.

Meanwhile, Walgreens reported a 5.3 percent boost in fiscal third-quarter profit to$1.16 billion, or $1.07 per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $1.33 per share.

Revenue rose 2.1 percent to $30.1 billion.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were looking for earnings of $1.31 per share on $29.68 billion in revenue.

Rite Aid reported a first-quarter adjusted loss of 5 cents per share on revenue of $7.78 billion.

Shares of Rite Aid plunged more than 22 percent in premarket trading, while Fred’s stock tumbled nearly 20 percent. Shares of Walgreens were up 6.5 percent.

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Online hate speech may soon incur a hefty bill in Germany

1 hour 44 min ago

BERLIN — German lawmakers are poised to pass a bill designed to enforce the country’s existing limits on free speech — including the long-standing ban on Holocaust denial — in social networks. Critics including tech giants and human rights campaigners say the legislation could have drastic consequences for free speech online.

The proposed measure would fine social networking sites up to 50 million euros ($56 million) if they fail to swiftly remove illegal content, including defamatory “fake news.”

It’s scheduled for a vote in parliament Friday, the last session before summer recess and September’s national election, and is widely expected to pass.

The U.N.’s independent expert on freedom of speech, David Kaye, warned the German government earlier this month that the criteria for removing material were “vague and ambiguous,” adding that the prospect of hefty fines could prompt social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter to delete questionable content without waiting for a court to rule it’s unlawful.

“Such precautionary censorship would interfere with the right to seek, receive and impart information of all kinds on the internet,” he said.

The bill is the brainchild of Germany’s justice minister, Heiko Maas, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party that is the junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government. He accuses social networks of failing to prevent their sites from being used to spread inflammatory views and false information long illegal in Germany.

After World War II, the country criminalized Holocaust denial and any glorification of its Nazi past, citing the genocidal results such ideas produced as proof of the need to ban them from public debate.

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“Freedom of opinion ends where criminal law begins,” Maas said recently. “Calls to commit murder, threats, insults, incitement to hatred or the Auschwitz-lie (that Nazi death camps didn’t exist) aren’t expressions of freedom of opinion but attacks on the freedom of opinion of others.”

The bill has been spurred by a rise in anti-migrant vitriol that has grown with the arrival of more than 1 million refugees from mostly Muslim countries in the past two years.

Maas blames unbridled social media for stoking tensions that have spilled into real-life violence such as arson attacks on asylum-seeker homes and attempts to kill pro-migrant politicians.

Right-wing websites and social media users have reacted angrily at the bill, accusing the government of trying to silence dissent. Their worst fears appeared to come true when a prominent anti-Muslim commentator, Kolja Bonke, was permanently banned from Twitter earlier this year.

The reason for his ban is still unclear — Twitter refuses to publicly discuss individual cases — but those who hold similar opinions worry they could be next.

“I think (Bonke’s suspension) was a severe blow to countless critics of Islam and the government, including me,” said one female Twitter user from western Germany who runs the account @anna_IIna. Declining to provide her real name for fear of being targeted by political opponents, she described Twitter as a place for getting unfiltered, real-time information about crimes committed by immigrants — an issue she claims mainstream media suppress.

Michael Wolfskeil, who runs the influential Twitter account @onlinemagazin that posts thousands of videos and photos with anti-immigrant content each month, said he was given two days’ notice before being suspended recently.

The 53-year-old German army veteran said the exact reason for his temporary ban, which has now been lifted, was unclear and described Twitter’s policies as “very, very murky” — a claim the company disputes.

Unlike others who have moved to more obscure social media sites, Wolfskeil said he has no plans to stop venting online. “Twitter is the most comfortable place for doing that,” he said.

Opposition to the bill, including from constitutional scholars, prompted several last-minute changes last week, but the core elements remain:

— All social media networks with more than 2 million users have to create a channel to process complaints about potentially illegal content.

— Content illegal in Germany has to be removed within seven days — or 24 hours in clear-cut cases such as Holocaust denial.

— Companies can delegate the review process to an independent third party overseen by the Justice Ministry— a concession to critics who warned against putting censorship in the hands of private companies.

— Social networks have to publish a report every six months detailing how many complaints they received and how they dealt with them.

— Companies that persistently fail to respond adequately to complaints, such as by taking too long to delete illegal content, face fines of up to 50 million euros. Each company also has to designate a person responsible for the complaints procedure who is personally liable for fines of up to 5 million euros.

— Social networks must reveal the identities of users accused of defamation or breaching other people’s right to privacy.

Twitter and Facebook insist they are trying to address the problem of illegal content and hate speech, conscious of the fact that Germany’s justice minister wants to take regulation to the European level as a next step.

Five years ago Germany became the first country where Twitter tested a feature that blocks individual posts or whole accounts due to potentially illegal content. The phrase “account has been withheld in: Germany” is now commonly seen by users there, including for tweets by prominent figures such as the Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders.

More recently, Twitter has created a system of “trusted flaggers” whose complaints receive special attention because they are deemed particularly trustworthy.

The company has also started testing algorithms to identify accounts set up for the sole purpose of abusing other users. It plans to refine the software so that it can automatically suspend users for limited periods of time if they breach its community standards, though presently such suspensions still require human approval.

Facebook is hiring an additional 3,000 people worldwide — on top of 4,500 existing staff — to review objectionable material. It has also designated refugees a “protected group,” meaning that posts directed specifically against that category of people is deemed hate speech.

“We have been working hard on this problem and have made substantial progress in removing illegal content,” Facebook said in a statement. “We believe the best solutions will be found when government, civil society and industry work together to tackle this important societal problem.”

The company has faced a backlash elsewhere for perceived over-zealous removal of content, such as in the case of AP photographer Nick Ut’s iconic “Napalm girl” photo taken during the Vietnam War of a naked girl fleeing an attack.

If passed with the government’s large Parliamentary majority, the law is likely to be challenged in courts at the national and European level. Free speech groups argue that political debate in Germany will suffer if companies are forced to police every user’s comments.

Users such as @anna_IIna say they won’t back down in the online battle for ideas if the law is passed.

“If my account is blocked I’ll be sad but then I’ll create a new one and start over,” she said.

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Partial U.S. travel restrictions going into effect Thursday

2 hours 31 min ago

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a “close” family or business tie to the United States. The move came after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims.

Visas that have already been approved will not be revoked, but instructions issued by the State Department Wednesday said that new applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States to be eligible. The same requirement, with some exceptions, holds for would-be refugees from all nations that are still awaiting approval for admission to the U.S.

Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiancees or other extended family members are not considered to be close relationships, according to the guidelines that were issued in a cable sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates late on Wednesday. The new rules take effect at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday (0000GMT on Friday), according to the cable, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

As far as business or professional links are concerned, the State Department said a legitimate relationship must be “formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading” the ban. Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the U.S. would be exempt from the ban. The exemption does not apply to those who seek a relationship with an American business or educational institution purely for the purpose of avoiding the rules, the cable said. A hotel reservation or car rental contract, even if it was pre-paid, would also not count, it said.

Consular officers may grant other exemptions to applicants from the six nations if they have “previously established significant contacts with the United States;” ”significant business or professional obligations” in the U.S.; if they are an infant, adopted child or in need of urgent medical care; if they are traveling for business with a recognized international organization or the U.S. government or if they are a legal resident of Canada who applies for a visa in Canada, according to the cable.

Meanwhile, the Middle East’s biggest airline says its flights to the United States are operating as normal. Dubai-based Emirates said in response to questions on the travel ban Thursday that it “remains guided by the US Customs and Border Protection on this matter.”

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The carrier reminded passengers that they “must possess the appropriate travel documents, including a valid US entry visa, in order to travel.”

On Monday, the Supreme Court partially lifted lower court injunctions against Trump’s executive order that had temporarily banned visas for citizens of the six countries. The justices’ ruling exempted applicants from the ban if they could prove a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity, but the court offered only broad guidelines — suggesting they would include a relative, job offer or invitation to lecture in the U.S. — as to how that should be defined.

Senior officials from the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security had labored since the decision to clarify the ruling and Wednesday’s instructions were the result. The new guidance will remain in place until the Supreme Court issues a final ruling on the matter. Arguments before the justices will not be held until at least October, so the interim rules will remain in place at least until the fall.

Shortly after taking office, Trump ordered the refugee ban and a travel ban affecting the six countries, plus Iraq. He said it was needed to protect the U.S. from terrorists, but opponents said it was unfairly harsh and was intended to meet his campaign promise to keep Muslims out of the United States.

After a federal judge struck down the bans, Trump signed a revised order intended to overcome legal hurdles. That was also struck down by lower courts, but the Supreme Court’s action Monday partially reinstated it.

The initial travel ban led to chaos at airports around the world, but because the guidelines exempt previously issued visas, similar problems are not expected. After a judge blocked the original ban, Trump issued a scaled-down order and the court’s action Monday further reduced the number of people who would be covered by it. Also, while the initial order took effect immediately, adding to the confusion, this one was delayed 72 hours after the court’s ruling.

Under the new rules, would-be immigrants from the six countries who won a coveted visa in the government’s diversity lottery — a program that randomly awards 50,000 green cards annually to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States — will also have to prove they have a “bona fide relationship” with in the U.S. or are eligible for another waiver or face being banned for at least 90 days. That hurdle may be a difficult one for those immigrants to overcome, as many visa lottery winners don’t have relatives in the U.S. or jobs in advance of arriving in the country.

Generally, winners in the diversity lottery only need prove they were born in an eligible county and have completed high school or have at least two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two other years of training or experience.

___

Alicia A. Caldwell contributed to this report.

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Rob Lowe says he feared death during encounter with bigfoot-like creature

2 hours 43 min ago

Rob Lowe says he thought he was going to be killed during an encounter with a bigfoot creature while filming his new A&E docuseries.

Lowe tells Entertainment Weekly the encounter took place in the Ozark Mountains, which stretch between Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Lowe says he and his sons were camping there to investigate a bigfoot-like creature known to locals as a “wood ape” during a shoot for “The Lowe Files” when something began to approach their camp. Lowe says he was lying on the ground thinking he was going to be killed.

He adds that he’s “fully aware” the story makes him sound like “a crazy, Hollywood kook.”

“The Lowe Files” follows the actor and sons Matthew and John Owen as they explore mysterious phenomena across the country.

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Man sentenced to 36 years for stabbing death outside Leadville saloon

3 hours 21 min ago

A stabbing death outside of a popular Leadville saloon this past spring will keep the killer in prison until he’s close to his 60th birthday.

Matthew James Haley

Matthew James Haley, 30, admitted to stabbing Jordan Gausman, 31, to death outside of Leadville’s Silver Dollar Saloon. On Tuesday, District Court Judge Mark Thompson sentenced Haley to 36 years in prison after Haley pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Because it’s a crime of violence, Colorado state law demands that Haley remain in prison for at least 75 percent of his sentence, or 27 years.

During Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, Thompson echoed the arguments of Deputy District Attorney Johnny Lombardi that Haley ambushed Gausman outside of the Silver Dollar Saloon in an unprovoked attack.

“This killing shocked and outraged our small Leadville community. We express our condolences to Jordan’s friends and family who will forever be saddened by his death and never forget the joy that he brought through his good nature,” said Bruce Brown, 5th Judicial District attorney, in a statement.

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Read the full story at VailDaily.com.

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Ask Amy: Crush at the dog park should probably take a walk

4 hours 23 min ago
Tribune Content AgencyAmy Dickinson

Dear Amy: I could use your advice. I go to a local dog park every day. Two years ago I fell in love with a guy there. He is the kindest, most thoughtful man I have ever met.

Just standing next to him at the park and talking, I can feel electricity running through my body! But, the big problem is that he is married!

It is so devastating for me that I can never have the man I love in my life. I wish he could be my boyfriend, then husband, but since this will never happen, many a day I come home from the dog park and cry!

He seems to really like me a lot, and we email back and forth often (all innocent).

I tried to break it off with him once and didn’t go to the park for several weeks, but I was miserable not seeing him and finally went back and started seeing him again.

How do I get over him? I am sad seeing him, and sad not seeing him. I know we will never be together since he has been happily married for 30 years now. He is in his 60s, and I am in my 50s.

How should I handle this?

— Must Love Dogs

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Dear Must Love: Some neighborhood or workplace crushes can be fairly harmless. Contact with your crush can inspire you and generally brighten your day, but should not become overwhelming.

However, your crush on this man seems to have become a fixation, and the fixation will continue to make you unhappy until you are able to more or less break this spell.

If you were an addict, the advice would be to get clean by seeking professional help and staying away from the addictive substance.

That’s my advice here. There is no magic involved — you should find another park to visit and you shouldn’t be sending or receiving any communication from him. I realize this will be tough — especially at first — but eventually you will find liberation from this fixation, and the sadness it triggers.

A professional therapist could guide you through this process; certainly if you find yourself obsessing and anxious, you should seek help right away.

Dear Amy: I rent out an apartment attached to our house.

Our tenant of eight months wants to be friends and share “personal business” with me. She calls us constantly for non-urgent issues, many of them quite personal and of no interest to me. She has our cell numbers and has called many times, both while I’m at work and home. I have never ignored her calls, and yet the one time when it really was urgent (water coming in from the roof), she waited until we got home to let us know.

She has a family and other connections, so I don’t think it is about her being lonely. I work full time and only wish to maintain a professional attitude toward her.

Because of her behavior, I drew up some “House Rules,” detailing the responsibilities of landlords/tenants, but she seems to deliberately “break” these rules. I told her I would renew her lease, provided she adheres to these guidelines.

I understand wanting to get to know someone, however, I only want to have a professional relationship.

Am I being too harsh? I just don’t want to be friends or know intimate details of her personal life.

Any advice?

— Landlord

Dear Landlord: It is completely reasonable for you to want a boundary between you and your tenant. Things might improve if you ask her to text — instead of calling. This way, you will know why she is trying to reach you and can determine whether you want to respond.

Check your local laws to review tenants’ rights where you live. If you determine that you don’t want to renew the lease, you should make sure you do so by the book.

Dear Amy: “Jenny” described an adult friend’s juvenile insistence in being referred to as a “best friend.”

Our 10-year-old has a friend living two doors down, who is a few months older but one grade ahead in school.

Our son told him he was his best friend. The boy responded, “I have several best friends.” I thought that was a very good answer, suitable to any age!

— Dad

Dear Dad: Children often excel at expressing (and understanding) these concepts. Friendship is a core value; quantifying or categorizing friendship can be a mistake.

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Scrubbed of meth, flipped Longmont flophouse to be listed for sale at $425,000

8 hours 27 min ago
Lewis Geyer, Times-CallThe onetime flophouse at 330 Collyer St. in Longmont, now cleaned of meth contamination and declared a local historic landmark, is seen in March during its rehabilitation by house flippers Cat and Matt Gibson of Fort Collins.

Children walk down the sidewalk, the bustle of downtown is heard in the distance and the postman makes his rounds on Wednesday afternoon, as if the 110-year-old house at 330 Collyer St. was never one to avoid.

Last year, Fort Collins house flippers Cat and Matt Gibson were lured to the classic cottage in the Historic Eastside residential neighborhood of Longmont for its infamous past as a flophouse and lesser-known early 20th century history.

Finally, after an estimated two weeks of meth remediation turned into six months, and then another delay after the birth of their twin boys in March, the house will be listed on the market Friday for $425,000 and shown off to potential buyers at an open house starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.

“We’d love to get some offers for the first day,” she said. “We’ll see. I feel like we’ve been working on it long enough and that coming soon sign has been out there long enough.”

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The couple bought the house for $210,076.97, according to the certificate of purchase from the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

At that time, it was wrapped in plywood and painted chocolate brown. But it’s now a slate-blue color called Caligraphy with white trim to match the white fence. Tall and wide picture windows enclose the front porch, where a round historical designation plaque hangs beside the front door.

Read the full story at TimesCall.com.

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Enhanced security rules imposed for all flights to U.S.

8 hours 38 min ago

WASHINGTON – U.S. officials on Wednesday announced enhanced security and screening measures for all commercial flights to the United States, but backed away from a proposal to expand a ban on laptops and other electronic devices – unless airlines and airports refuse to comply with the new rules.

Since March, passengers on flights to the United States from certain primarily Muslim-majority countries, have been prohibited from bringing electronic devices larger than a cellphone on board with them. But those restrictions could be lifted if the affected airlines and airports adopt the new security protocols, officials said.

Department of Homeland Security officials said airlines and airports will be responsible for implementing the changes and communicating new procedures to the traveling public. Officials declined to offer specifics about the changes, citing security concerns, but said they could include enhanced screening of laptops and smartphones and increased security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas.

The hope is that the new requirements will not result in longer wait times at security checkpoints or be prohibitively costly for airlines and airports to implement.

In a briefing with reporters, senior DHS officials said the requirements will “raise the baseline” on aviation security worldwide. The directives are focused on preventing terrorists from circumventing aviation security.

“It is time that we raise the global baseline of aviation security,” Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly said. “We cannot play international whack-a-mole with each new threat.”

Despite talk of expanding a ban on laptops and other large electronic devices that was put into place in March, senior DHS officials said Kelly ultimately concluded that the threats could be handled without an expansion of the ban.

“The good news is we found a way to raise the bar worldwide, but at the same time not inconvenience the traveling public,” said Kelly, who announced the new measures at a security conference at the Center for a New American Security.

DHS officials said they have been in “constant contact with our interagency, industry and foreign partners to address evolving threats” and had a shared goal of putting measures in place that would pose a minimum of disruption to the traveling public.

However, airlines and airports that do not comply with the new requirements could face repercussions, including a full ban on all personal electronics on board flights, even in cargo; fines and possible loss of their permission to fly to the United States.

Officials, however, said they expect the vast majority of airlines and airports to comply with the rules. Flights within the United States will not be affected, in part because airports here already use many of the enhanced security measures that are being called for.

DHS officials indicated they have been in touch with airlines and countries covered by the current ban and that “all of those countries had expressed an eagerness to comply so that those restrictions could be lifted.”

“We are standing ready to go in and inspect how they adhere to the new security restrictions,” the official said. “It is up to the carriers how quickly they want to move.”

It is not clear when the new measures will be put into place, but DHS officials said travelers might start to see changes as early as this summer. Not all the measures will be visible to the public, they said, though travelers might notice more bomb-sniffing dogs, more thorough screening of their carry-on bags and swabbing of devices for traces of explosives.

Wednesday’s announcement comes after months of debate over whether the United States should expand the ban on laptops and other electronic devices that it put into place in March for travelers from 10 airports in mostly Middle Eastern countries.

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The ban was prompted by growing concerns that terrorists could conceal bombs in laptops and other similar devices.

In May, U.S. officials suggested the ban might be expanded to include direct flights to the United States from Europe. Later that month, in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Kelly suggested he might go even further and extend the ban to all international flights in and out of the United States.

European officials raised concerns about potential new restrictions and sought more information about the threats that prompted talk of an expansion. European Union officials characterized a meeting last month in Brussels with top U.S. Homeland Security officials as productive but also urged officials to consider other ways to address the potential threat.

Industry groups both in the United States and abroad said they were concerned about the economic implications of expanding the ban as well as the impact it could have on worker productivity.

In May, the head of the International Air Transport Association, which represents more than 270 international carriers, expressed serious concerns about the ban and urged leaders to consider other enhanced screening methods as an alternative.

Expanding the ban could cost $1.1 billion a year in lost productivity, travel time and “passenger well-being,” Alexandre de Juniac, director general and chief executive of the group, which represents 265 airlines, wrote in a letter to Kelly and Violeta Bulc, the E.U.’s top transportation official.

In all, 280 airports in 105 countries will be required to meet the heightened security standards, DHS officials said. Roughly 325,000 daily passengers on 2,100 flights could be affected.

DHS officials said one visible change could be the expansion of Customs and Border Protection’s Preclearance program, which is in place at airports in six countries: Aruba, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates. Under the program, CBP officers screen international passengers traveling to the United States before they arrive.

Still, the announcement was welcome news for international carriers.

“Keeping our passengers and crew safe and secure is our top priority,” said de Juniac. “Today’s actions raise the bar on security. The aggressive implementation timeline will, however, be challenging. Meeting it will require a continued team effort of government and industry stakeholders. In particular, airlines and airports will need to be supported by host states during the phase-in of the new requirements.”

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Senate GOP focuses on premiums, but would health plans be affordable?

8 hours 45 min ago

WASHINGTON – Their plans in shambles for a hurried vote to rewrite major parts of the Affordable Care Act, Senate Republicans are still reciting their mantra on what their conservative approach to health policy would do. Loyalists and rebels alike, GOP senators say the bill would help fulfill the party’s goal of driving down insurance premiums.

A growing body of scrutiny is finding that the claim is only partly true, however. And looking broadly at the overall costs for individuals buying coverage on their own, these analyses are concluding that the bill would place such large financial burdens on many people, especially those who are poor, that millions of Americans probably would decide they could not afford to be insured.

The affordability question for private health plans was not raised by the small band of Senate Republicans, from the party’s right and moderate wings, who on Tuesday derailed Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s schedule this week. The moderates balked mainly over the legislation’s $772 billion impact on Medicaid, the main public insurance for low-income Americans.

Yet as McConnell, R-Ky., and his allies now try to draft a more palatable version – with a goal of sending revisions to congressional budget analysts on Friday – many health-care experts contend that the future affordability of private insurance is a central issue that must be fixed.

“To put too much pressure on people financially . . . that is some of the reason the bill is in trouble,” said James Capretta, a resident fellow specializing in health care at the American Enterprise Institute.

The root problem is that the bill would cut back on Medicaid in favor of giving some low-income people tax credits to use in buying private coverage. But if those tax credits leave people of modest incomes with big bills for other insurance expenses, “that is going to be a pretty big impediment to care,” Capretta said.

For example, a 40-year-old whose income is a little under the poverty line could, a decade from now, pay $300 in premiums with help of a tax credit under the bill – but could face a deductible of more than half their income, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Even looking just at the premiums that Republicans are touting, the future is not as simple as they suggest. The Senate GOP’s legislation would increase premiums for Americans buying coverage individually by about 20 percent next year, the CBO forecast. In 2019, those premiums would be about 10 percent higher.

The main reason, the budget office found, is that the measure would eliminate the ACA’s federal penalty for most Americans who fail to carry health insurance. In turn, people would feel free to drop coverage – particularly healthy people whose low use of medical care helps to keep insurance prices steady. So premiums would rise.

In 2020, though, the CBO predicts they would drop an average of 30 percent. The biggest reason: Starting that year, new tax credits created by the Senate bill would be tied to skimpier insurance plans covering a smaller share of customers’ health care. As a ripple effect, those individuals would be charged sharply higher deductibles before their insurer began paying.

This shift to tax credits attached to more meager insurance, a new Standard & Poor’s analysis points out, would occur the same year that the Senate legislation would eliminate subsidies that now help 7 million Americans with ACA coverage afford both deductibles and copays for care. The legislation would give states fairly large amounts of money – nearly $25 billion in 2020 and 2021 – to help insurers keep their prices steady. That “stabilization” money would plummet to roughly $5 billion the following year.

As a result, Standard & Poor’s wrote, “Expect a sharp drop in access for insureds after 2021.”

The GOP approach, notes Jonathan Oberlander, a professor who studies health policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “shows a philosophical divide about what constitutes health insurance. In the conservative conception, health insurance is very, very limited,”

Young adults are the one group that could have less expensive insurance, analysts say, because the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act would let insurers charge a bigger difference in prices depending on the age group.

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To illustrate the bill’s effects on affordability, Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed how prices would change for various groups of Americans if they wanted to keep the level of coverage that most now have under the ACA.

For people ages 18 to 34 with incomes of twice the poverty level – about $24,000 for a single person or $49,000 for a family of four – the price of coverage under these popular so-called silver plans would stay about the same. But for people ages 55 to 64 with the same income, the price would nearly triple, Kaiser’s analysis shows.

But the greatest financial hurdles would be for people below the poverty level. While they could get federal help in paying health insurance premiums for the first time, they would be stuck with large out-of-pocket costs.

As a result, “few low-income people would purchase any plan,” the CBO concluded.

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Minnesota woman charged with fatally shooting boyfriend in failed YouTube stunt

8 hours 49 min ago
Northwest Regional Corrections Center via APThis photo released by the Northwest Regional Corrections Center shows Monalisa Perez. Perez, of Halstad, was charged Wednesday, June 28, 2017, with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Pedro Ruiz III. According to a criminal complaint, the 19-year-old Perez told authorities Ruiz wanted to make a YouTube video of her shooting a bullet into a book he was holding against his chest. She says she fired from about a foot away. (Northwest Regional Corrections Center via AP)

By Paul Walsh, Star Tribune via AP

MINNEAPOLIS — A 19-year-old woman shot at a book her boyfriend was holding against his chest, killing him at close range outside their northwestern Minnesota home in what was a video-recorded stunt gone awry, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.

Monalisa Perez was charged with second-degree manslaughter in Norman County District Court and remains in a regional jail in Crookston in connection with the shooting Monday night in Halstad of 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz III.

Perez, who is pregnant, appeared from a regional jail by video at a Norman County court proceeding Wednesday afternoon. She remains held in lieu of $7,000 cash bail.

Ruiz held up the book — described by County Attorney James Brue as a hardcover encyclopedia — and Perez pulled the trigger on a .50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol, trying to see whether the bullet would go through, according to the criminal complaint.

A few hours before the shooting, a posting went up on Perez’s Twitter account that read: “Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea not MINE.” The note included two wide-eyed emoji faces and another of an eye-covering monkey with a gaping mouth.

The Desert Eagle is described by retailer Cabela’s in an online ad as “one of the world’s most powerful semiautomatic handguns.”

Brue said there are “multiple videos” of the shooting, and they will not be released publicly at this time.

“We called him our little daredevil,” said Lisa Primeau, an aunt who added that she “pretty much raised” Ruiz. His mother died in Texas when he was young after which living with his father didn’t work out, Primeau said.

Primeau said Ruiz was always chasing a thrill, “putting a dangerous twist on everything he did.” His antics included “jumping into the swimming pool from the top of the house, no hesitation. He was a crazy driver with go-carts.”

She said Ruiz also “had plenty of guns. He liked guns.”

Another aunt of Ruiz’s told WDAY-TV that the shooting outside the couple’s home with their 3-year-old daughter nearby, was part of a stunt they intended to post on YouTube.

“He had told me about that idea,” the aunt told the TV station, “and I said, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Why are you going to use a gun? Why?’”

She quoted him as replying, “‘Because we want more viewers. We want to get famous.’”

Perez has a YouTube channel with many videos made by the couple. The most recent one went up the morning before the shooting. It’s titled “Doing Scary Stunts at the Fair, Part I” and shows the couple attending a fair last week. Ruiz and a young relative were featured enjoying various rides.

“Imagine when we have 300,000 subscribers,” Perez says during the video.

Ruiz replies, “I told them, the bigger we get, I’ll be throwing parties.”

One hour before their future unraveled Monday evening, Perez wrote on Facebook, “We are in the process of making Pedro a YouTube channel oh man is it going to be sweet! LOL.” She added: “All the crazy stuff will (be) on his channel and mine. will be our family life!!!”

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Soon after the shooting, Perez told a sheriff’s deputy that it was Ruiz who had been pushing his idea for the video, which was recorded by one camera on the back of a parked vehicle and another on a ladder, according to the complaint. He had shown her another book that he had shot and the bullet didn’t go all the way through, the charging document continued.

“Perez stated that she shot from about a foot away while (Ruiz) held the book to his chest,” the complaint read.

Ruiz and Perez had been together for six years, Primeau said, and Perez became pregnant at 15.

As they anticipated another child, Ruiz was supporting his growing family working for BNSF Railway and was studying to be a foreman, Primeau said. She added that she and others related to Ruiz “are all supporting Mona. It’s a tragic incident. What she did … she has to live with that. It’s the worst punishment she can get. She is pregnant with their second kid. It’s just heartbreaking.”

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Lyft adds new luxury options for Denver riders

8 hours 54 min ago

Following Lyft’s initial dry run of a luxury option in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, the ride-hailing service is bringing Lyft Lux and Lux SUV on Thursday to Denver and 16 other cities.

Lux, a step up from the previous highest-end option Premier, is now the the priciest Lyft option. While Premier offers high-end rides, Lyft Lux vehicles are described as premium rides and come exclusively in black. The Lux and Lux SUV fleet puts Lyft’s ride options at six, the same number of options as Uber.

To get Denver ready for the new ride options, Cohen said Lyft has been recruiting drivers with eligible vehicles for the past few weeks.

“We’re really excited about this addition,” Lyft Denver General Manager Gabe Cohen said. “It’s been a big request for Denver and Boulder passengers for a while. And now anyone in the Denver area can request a Lux vehicle.”

Cohen said adding the two ride options reflects Lyft’s goal of offering a ride for any situation a passenger would need.

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“We want to give options for any type of ride use on Lyft,” Cohen said. “If you’re taking a client somewhere and need a luxury vehicle, or if you’re on date night and it’s a special occasion, Lux adds another way to use Lyft.”

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How artificial intelligence is taking on ransomware

9 hours 10 min ago

By Anick Jesdanun, The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Twice in the space of six weeks, the world has suffered major attacks of ransomware — malicious software that locks up photos and other files stored on your computer, then demands money to release them.

It’s clear that the world needs better defenses, and fortunately those are starting to emerge, if slowly and in patchwork fashion. When they arrive, we may have artificial intelligence to thank.

Ransomware isn’t necessary trickier or more dangerous than other malware that sneaks onto your computer, but it can be much more aggravating, and at times devastating. Most such infections don’t get in your face about taking your digital stuff away from you the way ransomware does, nor do they shake you down for hundreds of dollars or more.

Despite those risks, many people just aren’t good at keeping up with security software updates. Both recent ransomware attacks walloped those who failed to install a Windows update released a few months earlier.

Watchdog security software has its problems, too. With this week’s ransomware attack , only two of about 60 security services tested caught it at first, according to security researchers.

“A lot of normal applications, especially on Windows, behave like malware, and it’s hard to tell them apart,” said Ryan Kalember, an expert at the California security vendor Proofpoint.

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HOW TO FIND MALWARE

In the early days, identifying malicious programs such as viruses involved matching their code against a database of known malware. But this technique was only as good as the database; new malware variants could easily slip through.

So security companies started characterizing malware by its behavior. In the case of ransomware, software could look for repeated attempts to lock files by encrypting them. But that can flag ordinary computer behavior such as file compression.

Newer techniques involve looking for combinations of behaviors. For instance, a program that starts encrypting files without showing a progress bar on the screen could be flagged for surreptitious activity, said Fabian Wosar, chief technology officer at the New Zealand security company Emsisoft. But that also risks identifying harmful software too late, after some files have already been locked up.

An even better approach identifies malware using observable characteristics usually associated with malicious intent — for instance, by quarantining a program disguised with a PDF icon to hide its true nature.

This sort of malware profiling wouldn’t rely on exact code matches, so it couldn’t be easily evaded. And such checks could be made well before potentially dangerous programs start running.

MACHINE VS. MACHINE

Still, two or three characteristics might not properly distinguish malware from legitimate software. But how about dozens? Or hundreds? Or even thousands?

For that, security researchers turn to machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence. The security system analyzes samples of good and bad software and figures out what combination of factors is likely to be present in malware.

As it encounters new software, the system calculates the probability that it’s malware, and rejects those that score above a certain threshold. When something gets through, it’s a matter of tweaking the calculations or adjusting the threshold. Now and then, researchers see a new behavior to teach the machine.

AN ARMS RACE

On the flip side, malware writers can obtain these security tools and tweak their code to see if they can evade detection. Some websites already offer to test software against leading security systems. Eventually, malware authors may start creating their own machine-learning models to defeat security-focused artificial intelligence.

Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and chief technology officer at the California vendor CrowdStrike, said that even if a particular system offers 99 percent protection, “it’s just a math problem of how many times you have to deviate your attack to get that 1 percent.”

Still, security companies employing machine learning have claimed success in blocking most malware, not just ransomware. SentinelOne even offers a $1 million guarantee against ransomware; it hasn’t had to pay it yet.

A FUNDAMENTAL CHALLENGE

So why was ransomware still able to spread in recent weeks?

Garden-variety anti-virus software — even some of the free versions — can help block new forms of malware, as many are also incorporating behavioral-detection and machine-learning techniques. But such software still relies on malware databases that users aren’t typically good at keeping up to date.

Next-generation services such as CrowdStrike, SentinelOne and Cylance tend to ditch databases completely in favor of machine learning.

But these services focus on corporate customers, charging $40 to $50 a year per computer. Smaller businesses often don’t have the budget — or the focus on security — for that kind of protection.

And forget consumers; these security companies aren’t selling to them yet. Though Cylance plans to release a consumer version in July, it says it’ll be a tough sell — at least until someone gets attacked personally or knows a friend or family member who has.

As Cylance CEO Stuart McClure puts it: “When you haven’t been hit with a tornado, why would you get tornado insurance?”

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MLB umpire John Tumpane kept woman from jumping off Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh

9 hours 14 min ago

PITTSBURGH  — John Tumpane can’t explain why he approached the woman as she hopped over the railing of the Roberto Clemente Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman told Tumpane she just wanted to get a better view of the Allegheny River below. The look on her face and the tone of her voice suggested otherwise to Tumpane, a major league baseball umpire in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays.

So the 34-year-old Tumpane reached for the woman even as she urged him to let her go.

“It was just pure instinct,” Tumpane said . “You hear kind of stories of this all the time, different scenarios, people aiding and situation where I was lucky enough to be there to help and try to think of everything I could do, hanging on to her. At times she wanted to go the other way. I was like, ‘not on my watch, please.’ We were just hanging on.”

And saving a life.

Tumpane secured one of her arms. A bystander walked up and grabbed the other while another — Mike Weinman, an employee for the Rays — clutched her legs and pinned them to the railing while Tumpane mouthed to someone in the crowd to call 911.

What followed were chaotic moments of panic, fear and ultimately, grace.

“I couldn’t tell you how long we were waiting for everyone else to get in place,” Tumpane said. ‘Obviously another power comes into be when you’re hanging on and you know what the alternative is of you letting go and not having other people to help you.”

Tumpane, Weinman and the third volunteer clung to the unidentified woman until emergency responders arrived. A police boat raced up the river to the iconic yellow bridge named for the Pirates Hall of Famer who died on Dec. 31, 1972, when a plane making humanitarian deliveries to earthquake victims in Nicaragua crashed. Now, 45 years later a crowd thrust together by fate brought a complete stranger back from the brink. Together.

“Once they were able to secure her, we were able to talk her back to help us out and we got her back on this side,” Tumpane said. “After that I went up to her, she said, ‘You’ll just forget me after this’ and I said, ‘No, I’ll never forget you.’ This was an unbelievable day and I’m glad to say she can have another day with us and I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time.”

Tumpane, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, got into umpiring as a teenager, made his major-league debut in 2012 and received his full-time MLB commission in 2016, stressed he’s no hero.

“I just happened to be there,” he said. “I think I’ve been a caring person in my life. I saw somebody in need, and it looked like a situation to obviously insert myself and help out.”

The aftermath was a bit surreal. After the woman was taken away, Tumpane called his wife, his arms still shaking.

“Not too many times you call your wife and say you helped save somebody’s life,” he said. “A really special moment.”

One that stayed with him even as he prepared to call balls and strikes behind home plate Wednesday night. During breaks in the action his eyes would drift to the bridge just a few hundred feet behind the center field wall at PNC Park.

“It’s also hard when you stand back behind home plate and look and you see the bridge in the distance, In between innings and whatnot, just thinking of how things could have maybe been,” he said. “Glad it was this way.”

Tumpane has no experience in crisis management or suicide prevention. He’s spent 16 years living the nomadic life of an umpire. Asked what was going through his head while he tried to coax the woman back to safety, Tumpane just shrugged his shoulders. How do you explain the unexplainable?

“I happened to be in the right spot at the right time,” he said. “Tried to be as comforting as I could and talk her through it. Thankfully that was the outcome.”

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Longmont prairie dog colony may be moved to Rocky Flats

9 hours 25 min ago

Prairie dog protection advocates announced this week that they’ve found a new home for a southeast Longmont prairie dog colony that the activists are hoping to prevent being exterminated.

The estimated 200 or more prairie dogs that now live on about 12 acres of private property southwest of East Third Avenue and Great Western Drive may be relocated to an area on the federal Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, which was once the home of the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility.

Deanna Meyer, executive director of Prairie Protection Colorado, said that David Lucas, manager of the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge, has notified her that the refuge is available as a receiving site for the southeast Longmont prairie dogs.

About 100 of those prairie dogs are now on a 2.5-acre parcel owned by HSW Land, property that’s to be the site of what’s being called the Great Western Flex Building, an office and high-bay warehouse property. The other prairie dogs are on 10 now-vacant adjacent acres that may also eventually be developed.

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Meyer’s organization has been urging HSW Land and its contractor, Sun Construction and Facility Services Inc., to relocate the prairie dogs, rather than donate them as food for raptor rehabilitation or black-footed-ferret recovery programs, or exterminating them.

Prairie Protection Colorado and Longmont-area supporters of its efforts have also been calling on the Longmont City Council and the city staff to require the developer to relocate the prairie dogs if they could be moved elsewhere.

Read the full story at TimesCall.com.

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Ault Fall Festival’s ex-chief, Robert Swanson, accused of theft

9 hours 43 min ago
The Greeley TribuneRobert Swanson

The former president of Ault Fall Festival organization could face a felony theft charge after police say he stole at least $9,599.95 from the board, and maybe as much as $19,000 over the course of a year.

According to an affidavit for his arrest, Robert Swanson, 52, in July 2016 was made president of the Ault Fall Festival organization. The committee was responsible for planning the three-day celebration that takes place each year in August and includes a parade, a dance and various booths.

But Ault Mayor Butch White later told police he started noticing red flags as far back as August 2016. For example, each year at the Ault Fall Festival, the town hosts a beer garden. The profit from the beer garden is used to help fund next year’s festival, White said. But money from the 2016 beer garden — roughly $5,000 according to the affidavit — never made it into the organization’s bank account. As president of the organization, Swanson was responsible for depositing those funds. Police still are uncertain what happened to the money.

As the president of the Ault Fall Festival organization, Swanson was the only person with access to the committee’s bank account, which contained about $11,000 in July 2016. But not long after becoming president, the affidavit stated, Swanson changed the account so its monthly statement was mailed to his home address instead of the bookkeeper’s office.

According to the report, Swanson also wrote a $1,300 check to a band scheduled to play at the festival, but asked its members not to cash the check until July. In addition to that, Swanson also apparently failed to register the organization as a nonprofit with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

Read the full story at GreeleyTribune.com.

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Trump administration sets new visa rules for 6 mainly Muslim nations, refugees

10 hours 22 min ago

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Wednesday set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a “close” family or business tie to the United States. The move came after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims.

Visas that have already been approved will not be revoked, but instructions issued by the State Department say that new applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States to be eligible. The same requirement, with some exceptions, holds for would-be refugees from all nations who are still awaiting approval for admission to the U.S.

Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiancees or other extended family members are not considered to be close relationships, according to the guidelines that were issued in a cable sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates late on Wednesday. The new rules take effect at 8 p.m. EDT on Thursday (0000GMT on Friday), according to the cable, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

As far as business or professional links are concerned, the State Department said a legitimate relationship must be “formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading” the ban. Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the U.S. would be exempt from the ban. The exemption does not apply to those who seek a relationship with an American business or educational institution purely for the purpose of avoiding the rules, the cable said. A hotel reservation or car rental contract, even if it was pre-paid, would also not count, it said.

Consular officers may grant other exemptions to applicants from the six nations if they have “previously established significant contacts with the United States;” ”significant business or professional obligations” in the U.S.; if they are an infant, adopted child or in need of urgent medical care; if they are traveling for business with a recognized international organization or the U.S. government or if they are a legal resident of Canada who applies for a visa in Canada, according to the cable.

Critics said they are watching closely to see how the guidelines are used.

“Initial reports suggest that the government may try to unilaterally expand the scope of the ban – for example, by arbitrarily refusing to treat certain categories of familial relationships as ‘bona fide.’ These reports are deeply concerning. We are watching for official word,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights

On Monday, the Supreme Court partially lifted lower court injunctions against Trump’s executive order that had temporarily banned visas for citizens of the six countries. The justices’ ruling exempted applicants from the ban if they could prove a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity, but the court offered only broad guidelines — suggesting they would include a relative, job offer or invitation to lecture in the U.S. — as to how that should be defined.

Senior officials from the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security had labored since the decision to clarify the ruling and Wednesday’s instructions were the result. The new guidance will remain in place until the Supreme Court issues a final ruling on the matter. Arguments before the justices will not be held until at least October, so the interim rules will remain in place at least until the fall.

Shortly after taking office, Trump ordered the refugee ban and a travel ban affecting the six countries, plus Iraq. He said it was needed to protect the U.S. from terrorists, but opponents said it was unfairly harsh and was intended to meet his campaign promise to keep Muslims out of the United States.

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After a federal judge struck down the bans, Trump signed a revised order intended to overcome legal hurdles. That was also struck down by lower courts, but the Supreme Court’s action Monday partially reinstated it.

The initial travel ban led to chaos at airports around the world, but because the guidelines exempt previously issued visas, similar problems are not expected. After a judge blocked the original ban, Trump issued a scaled-down order and the court’s action Monday further reduced the number of people who would be covered by it. Also, while the initial order took effect immediately, adding to the confusion, this one was delayed 72 hours after the court’s ruling.

Under the new rules, would-be immigrants from the six countries who won a coveted visa in the government’s diversity lottery — a program that randomly awards 50,000 green cards annually to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States — will also have to prove they have a “bona fide relationship” with in the U.S. or are eligible for another waiver or face being banned for at least 90 days. That hurdle may be a difficult one for those immigrants to overcome, as many visa lottery winners don’t have relatives in the U.S. or jobs in advance of arriving in the country.

Generally, winners in the diversity lottery only need prove they were born in an eligible county and have completed high school or have at least two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two other years of training or experience.

___

Alicia A. Caldwell contributed to this report.

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