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WikiLeaks Releases full transcripts of 3 Speeches Hillary Clinton gave to Wall Street Giant

Trump also accused the media of influencing the November 8 presidential election in favour of Clinton, as he continued to deny multiple allegations of sexual misconduct

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U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greets people at a campaign office in Seattle, Washington, Oct. 14, 2016. VOA

October 16, 2016: WikiLeaks on Saturday released full transcripts of three speeches Hillary Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs executives in 2013, along with comments by her presidential campaign staffers about how to handle challenging issues.

Wikileaks has been releasing material hacked from the email account of her campaign manager, John Podesta, for the past week.

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According to the emails, her staffers noted potential problems, including her statement to bank executives that “political reasons” factored into passing a law on bank reforms, and Clinton’s flattering her audience by saying people in the banking industry know regulation issues better than anyone else.

Clinton has been dogged by accusations from her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and other critics that she is too close to Wall Street and other members of the financial elite.

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Another email contained suggestions about how she could align herself more favorably with the working class by spending a day working alongside hotel maids or child-care workers. A key Clinton ally, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, suggested the idea to a Clinton aide, saying, “Our base [key Democratic supporters] would go wild for it.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump denies recent sexual assault allegations, saying that if he ever touched a woman in the audience they would slap him, as he holds a rally at a car dealership in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Oct. 15, 2016. VOA
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump denies recent sexual assault allegations, saying that if he ever touched a woman in the audience they would slap him, as he holds a rally at a car dealership in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Oct. 15, 2016. VOA

Drug test suggestion

Meanwhile, Republican candidate Donald Trump suggested Saturday that Clinton might have been on drugs at the last debate and that both candidates should undergo drug testing before Wednesday’s final match.

“We’re like athletes, right?” Trump said to his audience at a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “I’m willing to do it.”

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Trump also accused the media of influencing the November 8 presidential election in favor of Clinton, as he continued to deny multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

“They are phony allegations with no witnesses whatsoever,” Trump said at the New Hampshire rally. “It’s a rigged election because they’re taking these unsubstantiated [news accounts], no witnesses, putting them on the front pages of newspapers.”

Earlier Saturday, Trump tweeted, “Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail. Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election.”

Trump has said repeatedly that Clinton should be jailed for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. After an investigation, FBI Director James Comey announced in July that charges against Clinton were not appropriate.

Trump’s latest comments came one day after two more women alleged that the real estate mogul made unwanted sexual advances toward them.

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A contestant on Trump’s television show, “The Apprentice,” told reporters Friday that the businessman kissed and grabbed her at a hotel where she had gone to discuss potential jobs. Summer Zervos was a contestant on the show in 2006.

Summer Zervos, foreground left, alongside her attorney, addresses the media during a news conference in Los Angeles, Oct. 14, 2016. Zervos, a former contestant on "The Apprentice" says Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made unwanted sexual advances toward her in 2007. VOA
Summer Zervos, foreground left, alongside her attorney, addresses the media during a news conference in Los Angeles, Oct. 14, 2016. Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” says Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made unwanted sexual advances toward her in 2007. VOA

In an article published Friday by The Washington Post, Kristin Anderson said Trump slid his fingers under her skirt and touched her genitals through her underwear in a New York nightclub in the early 1990s.

The 46-year-old resident of Southern California said she pushed his hand away and got up from the couch on which she was sitting. Anderson said she and her companions were “very grossed out” by the incident, which she said lasted less than 30 seconds.

Anderson said she was reluctant to tell her story publicly, but was convinced she should do so after The New York Times, The Palm Beach Post in Florida andPeople Magazine published accounts earlier this week of women who said they had been groped by Trump.

Clinton was spending the weekend in New York preparing for the October 19 debate, but her campaign is launching an initiative to capitalize on Trump’s unpopularity among some women voters.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes a photograph with a member of the audience after speaking at a Women for Hillary fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, Oct. 5, 2016. Clinton's campaign is now actively mobilizing women. VOA
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes a photograph with a member of the audience after speaking at a Women for Hillary fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, Oct. 5, 2016. Clinton’s campaign is now actively mobilizing women. VOA

Campaign aides say they are planning women-to-women phone banks and door-to-door outreach to female voters in key states.

“Our campaign is mobilizing women disgusted by Trump to organize their communities and get out the vote for Clinton, either during early voting or on Election Day,” Clinton campaign aide Mini Timmaraju said in in a statement.

The candidates have about three weeks to make appeals to the nation’s voters, some of whom are apparently feeling the stress of the intense presidential campaign.

In this homestretch of the presidential race, Clinton has extended her lead over Trump in national polls. The RealClearPolitics national average shows Clinton leading Trump by nearly 7 percentage points (48.1 to 41.4) in a two-way race.

In a four-way race that also includes Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, Clinton’s lead over Trump narrows slightly to 5.3 percentage points. (VOA)

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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

ALSO READ: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)

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India’s Textile and Fashion Heritage now part of Google project

Google's project 'We Wear Culture' is collaborating with 183 renowned cultural institutions from all around the world including India and its objective is to let people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago

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we wear culture
Google's new art project 'We wear Culture' digitizes fashion, Wikimedia
  • Google’s project ‘We Wear Culture’ is collaborating with 183 renowned cultural institutions from all around the world including India
  • It intends to trace the story and importance of Indian textiles from ancient sculptures
  • Its objective is to let people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago

June 15, 2017: To a certain extent, a culture is defined by what is worn by its people. In a country as diverse as India, vast and varied spectrum of cultures and clothes is one of the specialties. Google’s latest virtual exhibition project now provides us the opportunity to explore and know more about it.

Google’s project ‘We Wear Culture’ is collaborating with 183 renowned cultural institutions from all around the world including India and its objective is to let people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago, from the ancient Silk Road to the unmatched elegance of the Indian Saree,  from the courtly fashion of Versailles, to the Victorian ballgowns with intricate thread work.

According to Amit Sood, director of Google Arts and Culture,”We invite everyone to browse the exhibition on their phones or laptops and learn about the stories behind what you wear. You might be surprised to find out that your Saree, jeans or the black dress in your wardrobe have a centuries-old story. What you wear is true culture and more often than not a piece of art.”

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The company also mentioned that noteworthy collections from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and varied weaves from across India, from Gharchola to Patola to Temple to Ikat sarees will be included in the online project, as it intends to trace the story and importance of Indian textiles from ancient sculptures.

ALSO READ: New Google Project Digitizes World’s Top Fashion Archives.

According to PTI reports, the world fashion exhibit also includes designs from north-eastern India including the weaves of tribes such as the Nagas, Meitis. it will showcase the traditional attire from Meghalaya called ‘Dhara’ or ‘Nara’ worn by the Khasi women as well.

As a part of the exhibit, Sewa Hansiba Museum has brought the unique colorful and rich embroidery arts, applique and mirror work from different communities such as the Ahir, Rabari, Chaudhury Patel and many others from the western part of India online.

The exhibition conducted by Salar Jung Museum brings to light the Sherwani and its journey of becoming the royal fashion statement of the Nizams from 19th century Hyderabad. Fashion and textiles enthusiasts can revisit Colonial Indian attires with Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. Over 400 online exhibitions and stories sharing a total of 50,000 photos, videos and other documents on world fashion are open to exploration as well.

The ‘We wear Culture’ initiative highlights significant events in the growth of the world fashion industry; the icons, the movements, the game changers and the trendsetters like Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace, Audrey Hepburn and many more.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

 

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Premature Babies Score Lower on Standardized Tests than Full-term Infants: Study

Very prematurely born babies did score lower on standardized tests than full-term infants, but as the length of pregnancy increased, the differences in test scores became negligible

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A nurse holds the hand of a premature baby
A nurse holds the hand of a premature baby, who was born at five months of pregnancy, at a hospital in Medellin, Colombia. VOA
  • Premature birth happens when a baby is born before at least 37 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • The study found that two-thirds of those born at only 23 or 24 weeks were ready for kindergarten on time
  • The study also showed that almost 2 percent of those infants later achieved gifted status in school

June 14, 2017: A study following more than 1.3 million premature babies born in Florida found that two-thirds of those born at only 23 or 24 weeks were ready for kindergarten on time, and almost 2 percent of those infants later achieved gifted status in school.

Such very prematurely born babies did score lower on standardized tests than full-term infants, but as the length of pregnancy increased, the differences in test scores became negligible, according to the study, conducted by Northwestern University and published on Monday in JAMA Pediatrics medical journal.

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“What excites me about this study is that it changes the focus for the clinician and families at the bedside from just focusing on the medical outcomes of the child to what the future educational outcomes might be for a child born early,” Craig Garfield, the first author of the study and an associate professor of pediatrics and medial social sciences at Northwestern Medicine, said in a statement.

Researchers analyzed the school performance of 1.3 million infants born in Florida from 1992 to 2002 who had a fetal development term of 23 to 41 weeks and who later entered the state’s public schools between 1995 and 2012.

They found that babies born at between 23 and 24 weeks tended to have normal cognitive functions later in life, with 1.8 percent of them even achieving gifted status in school.

ALSO READ: Treatment with Uterine Fibroids helps restoring Fertility in Women

During the time period the study covered, 9.5 percent of children statewide were considered gifted.

Premature birth happens when a baby is born before at least 37 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A normal pregnancy term is around 40 weeks, and a preterm birth can lead to serious medical problems, underdevelopment in early childhood or death for the infant.

The study does not account for why these extremely premature infants later performed well in school, Garfield said in the statement, and did not look at whether their success could be related to extra support from family or schools, or the children’s biological make-up. (VOA)