Jun. 15, 2017

BLOOMBERG

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise remained in critical condition Wednesday night after he and four others were wounded in a shooting at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, near the nation's capital.

Tunisian Prime Minister Yousef El-Shahed is targeting the foreign-currency black market as his government bids to boost state coffers and promote growth, after the slumping economy triggered some of the biggest protests since the Arab Spring.

President Donald Trump has delegated authority to determine troop levels in Afghanistan to Defense Secretary James Mattis, the Pentagon chief told lawmakers.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government passed controversial legislation that gives prosecutors the power to monitor and arrest people in the planning stages of crimes.

The U.S. Treasury Department wants to include China among a proposed group of hostile nations whose companies would undergo extra scrutiny for national security risks if they seek to buy stakes in American corporations, according to an administration official.

Nike Inc. is cutting about 2 percent of its workforce as the athletic brand revamps global operations, part of a bid to move faster and ward off competition from Adidas AG and Under Armour Inc. Nike had more than 70,000 jobs at the end of fiscal 2016, suggesting that the cuts could affect about 1,400 workers.

The U.S. job market continues to show signs of strength, as the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a three-week low, according to Labor Department data released Thursday. Initial jobless claims fell by 8k to 237k (forecast was 241k); close to 43-year-low of 227k.

The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act prohibits local governments or civic groups from removing historical monuments from public property if the monuments have been in place for at least 40 years.

Federal Reserve officials forged ahead with an interest-rate increase and additional plans to tighten monetary policy despite growing concerns over weak inflation. Wednesday's decision brings the Fed's target for the federal funds rate, which covers overnight loans between banks, to a range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent.

The newest and costliest U.S. aircraft carrier, praised by President Donald Trump and delivered to the Navy on May 31 with fanfare, has been dogged by trouble with fundamentals: launching jets from its deck and catching them when they land. While the Navy says the landing system has been fixed, the next-generation carrier built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. still hasn't been cleared to launch F/A-18 jets carrying a full complement of fuel tanks under their wings, a handicap that could limit their effectiveness in combat.

AP Top Stories

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe turned the conversation to gun control during a press conference with law enforcement officers following the shooting at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday.

An Iranian navy vessel conducted an "unsafe and unprofessional" interaction with US ships by pointing a laser at an accompanying Marine Corps helicopter, the US Navy said Wednesday.

A strong 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit western Guatemala early on Wednesday, killing at least two people and causing power outages, as well as damage to some buildings, officials said.

Facing sharp criticisms from impatient senators, Defense Secretary James Mattis on Tuesday agreed that "we are not winning in Afghanistan" and promised a new strategy by mid-July. Mattis also said that even victory in America's longest war would likely mean a long-term U.S. troop presence.

A Russian cyber-attack on the US electoral system affected almost 40 states during the 2016 election, sources have revealed. The cyber-attack - which targeted software used by poll workers on election day - hit 39 states, sources familiar with the US investigation into the matter told Bloomberg. That number, if accurate, represents a far larger attack than previously reported.

U.S. factory output fell 0.4 percent unexpectedly in May on a broad decline in production, including the manufacturing of cars, casting a shadow over the economy's rebound from sluggishness at the start of the year.

BBC

The Wannacry worm that infected organisations in 150 countries in May has been blamed on North Korea by the US's National Security Agency (NSA).

The Amazon basin could suffer significant and irreversible damage if an extensive dam building program goes ahead, scientists said. Currently, 428 hydroelectric dams are planned, with 140 already built or under construction.

The Pentagon has raised concerns about China's access to artificial-intelligence-based technology developed in the US, according to Reuters. The news agency says a leaked report proposes that export controls be updated to stop Chinese organizations being able to invest in some start-ups.

Qatar has signed a $12bn deal to buy F-15 fighters jets from the US.

WND

Senators are seriously considering keeping in place some ObamaCare taxes for longer than the House-passed bill would as they seek to draft healthcare legislation that can pass their chamber with a simple majority.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards boasted in a television interview of all the options women who contact her abortion-business outlets are counseled to consider. There's abortion. And abortion. And abortion. Even though it may not be what Richards said in so many words, it's what investigators for Live Action found in their research of Planned Parenthood clinics.

Federal and state authorities investigated the possibility there was a "dirty bomb" on a ship at a local terminal, but later gave the all-clear, reports CBS Charleston, S.C. station WCSC-TV.

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