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Inside Daily Brief (Aug 13th, 2017)

A white nationalist rally and counter-protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly Saturday when a woman was struck and killed by a car that plowed through anti-racist demonstrators and two Virginia State Police officers died in a helicopter crash. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio, is charged with second-degree murder after he drove his Dodge Charger into a crowd, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer, police said. Fields’ mother said said she told him to be careful, adding “I try to stay out of his political views. I don’t get too involved.” Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, who would have turned 41 today, were killed when the state police helicopter they were in crashed outside of Charlottesville. The helicopter had been flying over the protests. President Trump’s response to the violent protests has drawn criticism for not singling out white nationalists. "We condemn — in the strongest possible terms — this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides," Trump said. — DAILY PROGRESS

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Police in Nairobi, Kenya, are under scrutiny from a human rights group for firing live ammunition and using tear gas Saturday as violence escalated following the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Among those killed was a young girl who was hit by a stray bullet. Violent protests began Friday after Kenyatta’s challenger claimed the election had been rigged. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said police broke into homes, dragged people into the streets and beat them. “I don’t know why the government is bringing so many police to Kibera,” a 34 year-old opposition supporter said. — CBS NEWS

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The deaths of five people who had undergone an obesity treatment involving an inflated silicone ballon has prompted a Food and Drug Administration investigation. Four of the deaths are from Apollo Endo Surgery’s Orbera Intragastric Balloon System. The fifth death is from the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System by ReShape Medical Inc. Three of the deaths happened within three days of the patient having the procedure done. "FDA continues to recommend that health care providers closely monitor patients treated with these devices for complications,” the administration said. The balloons are inflated to the size of a grapefruit in a patient’s stomach and filled with saline, allowing the person to feel full. — WAPO

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Fleas in Arizona have tested positive for plague. Navajo County Public Health said it plans to monitor and treat burrows found on private properties where the fleas were collected. In Coconino County, fleas found on prairie dogs tested positive. While the plague is known for killing millions of Europeans in the Middle Ages, the Centers for Disease Control say outbreaks can occur in the Southwestern U.S. with cool summers that follow wet winters. — azcentral.com

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The Justice Department is evaluating Obama-era policies allowing transgender inmates to choose facilities matching their gender identity. In a federal lawsuit filed in Texas, four evangelical Christian women said sharing prison facilities with transgender women threatens their safety. Lawyers representing the Justice Department argued that the women have not proven a threat exists. But lawyers stopped short of defending the policy, saying the next Bureau of Prisons director "will evaluate the issues in this case and how the challenged regulation and policies apply to Plaintiffs." — BUZZFEED

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Bruno Mars is donating $1 million to victims of the Flint, Michigan, water crisis. He made the surprise announcement during a sold out show in nearby Auburn Hills on Saturday. Mars was in the middle of performing “Just the Way You Are” when he stopped to make the announcement. The Community Foundation of Greater Flint will receive the money. “Ongoing challenges remain years later for Flint residents, and it's important that we don't forget our brothers and sisters affected by this disaster,” Mars said in a statement after the show. — USA TODAY

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A rare whale was spotted in the Bering Sea last week by researchers east of Bristol Bay, Alaska. The researchers were studying endangered North Pacific right whales when a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration biologist heard faint calls from a right whale using an acoustic recorder. After searching for hours, researchers found two right whales and were able to get a biopsy from one of the animals. Discovering right whales can be rare as researchers can go years without find one. — WAPO

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TALK BLOCK

Responding to the violence in Charlottesville, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on “Meet the Press” said: “It’s heartbreaking. As a soldier, what you see in our military is, you see, men and women from all walks of life — all different backgrounds come together … in their common commitment to their country and to each other. You see them fighting courageously for our nation and our values. Everybody bleeds the same color. And we’re bound together as soldiers and we ought to be as a nation — bound together by mutual respect and common commitment to our values.” When moderator Chuck Todd asked, “Was that domestic terrorism yesterday,” McMaster said, “What terrorism is, is the use of violence to incite terror and fear. Of course it was terrorism.” — NBC

On “Face the Nation,” Former Secretary of State Leon Panetta said: “We’ve had a history here of 60 years of provocation and accommodation by the North Koreans regardless of who the leader was. There’s a period of time where there is provocation and we appear to be at some kind of point of warfare. And then there’s a period of accommodation. We’ve been through that cycle. We’re now in a period, obviously, of provocation. I think the North Koreans understand that if they take the wrong step, it’s the end of the regime, period. For that reason, it’s clear that … they are going to allow themselves some off ramps here so that their regime does not come to an end. But in saying that, I think that, what the United States needs to do is have a clear strategy here — not operate on haphazard basis.” — CBS

On “This Week,” Anthony Scaramucci, who served 10 days as White House communications director before being fired, said President Trump isn’t the “kind of guy that walks things back. He’s 71 years old. He has his own opinions. … The way these things get fixed is through actions. My experience with the president — I can tell you definitively he’s not a racist, he’s not a sexist. He’s a meritocrat. He believes in Meritocracy. He likes having strong men and women around him, and people of all colors and faiths around him. He’s not a racist, but I think that there’s no need to go in that direction when you have this phenomenal legislative agenda that you’re about to execute on behalf of the American people. And, unfortunately, the way a democracy works, we gotta get 52, 51, you name the level of votes, to get these things done.” — ABC  

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