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Saturday, Jun 24th

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No contracts awarded in bid for Trump’s border wall: report

No contracts awarded for Trum wallDespite President Trump’s push to build a wall along the southern border of the United States, no contracts have been awarded to construction firms and construction has yet to begin.

Homeland Security had planned to begin construction on four to eight 30-foot tall prototypes Thursday near San Diego, according to a Friday report in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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Citing LGBT discrimination, California bans state travel to Kentucky and three other states

California bans state funded travel to 4 statesCalifornia's attorney general blocked state-funded travel to Kentucky and three other states on Thursday in response to what he considers anti-LGBT rights laws enacted this year.

Chris Hartman, the director of Louisville's Fairness Campaign, said that the bill the California AG is retaliating against, Senate Bill 17, could have indirect repercussions on the LGBT community in one of the nation's more gay-friendly cities.

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German parliament throws out thousands of anti-gay convictions

German parliament throws out anti-gay convictionsGermany's parliament this week approved an annulment of thousands of criminal convictions under the nation's former anti-gay law and issued compensation to convicted men.

The law criminalizing sex between men existed in Germany under various forms from 1871 to 1994. Parliament members voted Thursday to throw out convictions affecting about 50,000 men since World War II.

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Yemen to probe alleged interrogation abuses by UAE, US

Yemen charges US and UAE with tortureYemen's internationally-recognized government on Saturday ordered the creation of a committee to investigate allegations of human rights violations, following reports that U.S. military interrogators worked with forces from the United Arab Emirates who are accused of torturing detainees in Yemen.

A copy of the order issued by Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Daghr was obtained by The Associated Press. It said the investigation would focus on areas liberated by government forces from Shiite rebels known as the Houthis and their allies.

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Five dead, 120 missing in landslide in Sichuan's Maoxin

China landslideAt least five people have been found dead and over 120 remain missing hours after a massive landslide buried a mountain village in southwest China.

State media had earlier reported that 141 people may have been buried but did not explain why the figure had been revised downwards.

The landslide hit the village of Xinmo, in Maoxin county of Sichuan province, at about 6am local time on Saturday (22:00 GMT Friday), the agency reports said.

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Utah's Brian Head wildfire torches more homes as residents flee

Utah fires causes more to fleeA wildfire menacing the southern Utah ski town of Brian Head for nearly a week flared again, doubling in size for the second night in a row and torching more homes after residents fled the flames, officials said Friday.

The blaze was one of several burning in the U.S. West as extreme heat challenges firefighters.  The Utah fire that's charred 51.5 square miles near the town of Brian Head has destroyed a total of 13 homes, Forest Service spokeswoman Cigi Burton said.

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Gabe Pressman, legendary newsman, dies at 93

Gabe Pressman dead at 93Decades before every Mary, Joe and Harry had a camera and a microphone in their pockets and ability to broadcast news or nothing burgers to the entire world, there was Gabe Pressman.

Pressman, the legendary New York City WNBC newsman who died Friday at 93, was the city’s first roving television reporter and a singular force in local news.

While other journalists were still scribbling quotes in their notebooks, or reading wire stories to their producers and editors, Pressman — a rumpled and pushy journalist, beloved for his everyman, middle-class broadcasting style — had already shoved a microphone into a newsmaker’s face and got it all on tape.

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Vladimir Putin gave direct instructions to help elect Trump, report says

Vladimir PutinA report Friday morning claims Russian President Vladimir Putin gave direct instructions to help elect Donald Trump president.

According to a Washington Post investigation, former President Obama received a secret CIA report in August.

That report "captured Putin's specific instructions on the operation's audacious objectives - defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton."

CBS News confirmed last year that U.S. intelligence officials knew that the Russian government operation to interfere in the U.S. election had been approved by Putin himself, but they were reluctant to reveal how much they knew out of concern that sources and methods could be compromised, CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues reports.

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Under pressure, Western tech firms bow to Russian demands to share cyber secrets

Western techs to give cyber secrets to RussiaWestern technology companies, including Cisco, IBM and SAP, are acceding to demands by Moscow for access to closely guarded product security secrets, at a time when Russia has been accused of a growing number of cyber attacks on the West, a Reuters investigation has found.

Russian authorities are asking Western tech companies to allow them to review source code for security products such as firewalls, anti-virus applications and software containing encryption before permitting the products to be imported and sold in the country. The requests, which have increased since 2014, are ostensibly done to ensure foreign spy agencies have not hidden any "backdoors" that would allow them to burrow into Russian systems.

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