Islamist militants attack African Union base in south SomaliaAl Shabaab militants attacked an African Union (AU) base in southern Somalia early on Tuesday, the Islamist group and residents said, with unconfirmed reports that dozens of AU soldiers were killed. The al Qaeda-aligned militants said one of their fighters rammed a car bomb into the base and then gunmen poured inside the facility run by the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, AMISOM. Al Shabaab said 50 African peacekeepers were killed in the attack on Janale base, about 90 km (55 miles) south of the capital, Mogadishu.
Clinton friend advised on US politics, foreign policy
By Alistair Bell and Jonathan Allen WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - An old friend of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton played an outsized role in advising her on U.S. politics and even her dealings with President Barack Obama's White House despite holding no formal government position. The State Department released emails on Monday that showed adviser Sid Blumenthal sent Clinton exhaustive memos on domestic issues, taking a more active role in advising her than was previously known.
Exclusive: U.S. weighs sanctioning Russia as well as China in cyber attacks
By Arshad Mohammed, Matt Spetalnick and Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is considering sanctions against both Russian and Chinese individuals and companies for cyber attacks against U.S. commercial targets, several U.S. officials said on Monday. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no final decision had been made on imposing sanctions, which could strain relations with Russia further and, if they came soon, cast a pall over a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September. It did not mention Russia.
Ex-US special agent pleads guilty to taking $800k in Bitcoin
A former US Secret Service special agent pleaded guilty to taking more than $800,000 of electronic Bitcoin currency while investigating the "Silk Road" online black market, the Justice Department said. The "Silk Road" was a website where sometimes illegal transactions could be conducted secretly in Bitcoin. The site's creator was sentenced to life in prison in May for charges including money laundering and drug and drug trafficking.
Brokers fume as U.S. looks to protect investors from expensive dudsBy Jed Horowitz NEW YORK (Reuters) - For most people saving for retirement, buying a non-tradeable real estate investment trust that charges fees and commissions of 11 percent or more doesn't sound like a good deal. Many brokers are fuming over a proposed U.S. Department of Labor rule that would block them from selling any investment into a retirement account in return for a commission. Instead, the DOL would restrict a broker's compensation to a fee based on a financial adviser's hours or a flat percentage of the value of a retirement account.
China manufacturing index slumps in August: govt
The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 49.7 last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement. The result, which tracks activity in China's vast factory and workshop sector and considered a key barometer of the nation's economic health, was worse than July's 50.0 reading and the first contraction since February.
Insight: Anti-Muslim Buddhist group moves toward Myanmar's mainstream
By Timothy Mclaughlin and Hnin Yadana Zaw YANGON (Reuters) - Swathed in crimson robes, 77-year-old Ashin Tilawkar Biwonsa shuffles through a crowded conference room with the help of an aide, his supporters standing in respect as he takes a seat at the head of a table under a portrait of his own image. It is from here, at an unremarkable roadside monastery just outside the city of Yangon, that the abbot is propelling the radical Buddhist group he co-founded into the mainstream of Myanmar's politics. Four bills drafted by his Committee for the Protection of Race and Religion, better known as Ma Ba Tha, have been passed by parliament and signed into law.
Smoking rate among US adults drops to 15 percent
The number of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped to about 15 percent of the population, its lowest point in decades, health authorities said Tuesday. "The prevalence of current cigarette smoking among US adults declined from 24.7 percent in 1997 to 15.2 percent in January?March 2015," said the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.
Thousands of Clinton emails released, scores retroactively classified
The US State Department released over 4,000 more of the emails former secretary of state Hillary Clinton kept on a private server and revealed that some 150 others have been retroactively classified. Reporters and Clinton's rivals as she campaigns for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination began scouring 7,000 additional pages of messages from the mails she handed over earlier this year after coming under fire for operating the unofficial server. "I think it's somewhere around 150," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters, adding that the process of reevaluating the remaining unreleased emails was continuing.
Serena, Djokovic roll but Nishikori out at US Open
Three-time defending champion Serena Williams launched her quest for a historic title by overwhelming 86th-ranked Russian Vitalia Diatchenko and advancing to the second round of the US Open. The world number one was a 6-0, 2-0 winner after only 30 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium when Diatchenko retired with a left foot injury, advancing Williams into a second-round match against Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens. "If I can just stay relaxed and stay in the points and stay calm and happy out there, I have to look at it as I have nothing to lose," Williams said.