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Air Force Error Allowed Texas Gunman to Buy Weapons

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Tex. — A day after a gunman massacred parishioners in a small Texas church, the Air Force admitted on Monday that it had failed to enter the man’s domestic violence court-martial into a federal database that could have blocked him from buying the rifle he used to kill 26 people.Under federal law, the conviction of the gunman, Devin P. Kelley, for domestic assault on his wife and toddler stepson — he had cracked the child’s skull — should have stopped Mr. Kelley from legally purchasing the military-style rifle and three other guns he acquired in the last four years.“The Air Force has launched a review of how the service handled the criminal records of former Airman Devin P. […]

Trump Returns to Texas, With Words of Encouragement and Triumph

The muddy ground of the Gulf Coast provided public relations terra firma for a president who has struggled to advance his policy priorities and whose approval ratings are mired in the mid-30-percent range.The optics-obsessed former reality television star, who often watched his televised appearances with the sound off, was acutely conscious of projecting an image of command and concern. “The cameras are blazing,” he noted during one of the many photo ops, when he went to a church to load boxes of supplies into vehicles.But the recovery is only just beginning, and many risks remain. On Saturday, The Associated Press reported that federal officials had yet to inspect highly toxic Superfund sites in the Houston area, several containing petrochemical residue, that were swamped and possibly leaking contaminants into surrounding areas.Many Houston streets remain four or more feet underwater after being pelted by 50 or more inches of rain over the past week […]

How industrial-style tourism is hurting Italy

The influx of money that tourists bring may be good for the economy, but many Italians are saying, ‘Enough!’ […]

Europe Edition: ‘Brexit’, Republican Party, Confederations Cup: Your Friday Briefing

#briefing-market-module.interactive-embedded .interactive-caption { display: none; } Market Snapshot View Full Overview In the News Photo Credit Neil Hall/Reuters • The British authorities said they had found at least 11 buildings that shared the same kind of cladding with the apartment tower that burned in London. [The New York Times] Continue reading the main story • Lawmakers in Germany voted to quash the convictions of tens of thousands of gay men persecuted under a law that was repealed in 1994. The estimated 5,000 victims who are still alive have been promised compensation. [The Guardian] • Senior officials in the Church of England, including a former archbishop of Canterbury, “colluded” with a bishop to help cover up his serial abuse of young men and boys, an independent review found. [The New York Times] • Germany’s intelligence services are said to have carried out extensive espionage in the United States. [Der Spiegel] • Surveillance footage we analyzed suggests that Al Nuri Grand Mosque, in Mosul, was blown up from the inside and not hit by an airstrike. [The New York Times] • Who wants to be king? No one in his family, says Prince Harry, fifth in line to the British throne. [The New York Times] Smarter Living Photo Credit Clockwise from top left, Brad Wordell, Shauna Bishop, Gokhan Cukurova, Alexandra Knight, Randall Truman, Marta Holmes, Anton Gabrielson and Lori Taylor • Long-haul truck drivers offer practical advice about highway safety. • Here are tips to prepare for the challenges of college life and what comes after. […]

Of Science And Religion – Can Spiritual Values Of Forests Inspire Conservation?

In his recent book EO Wilson advocates conserving half of the planet for one species (Homo sapiens) and the other half for the remaining millions of species. His list of “best places on the biosphere” worthy of saving include several sacred sites: the church forests of Ethiopia, the Western Ghats in India, natural areas of Bhutan, remnant forests in the Congo and Ghana, the redwoods of California, and the tepuis of Venezuela. All of these forests have spiritual value for the native people in the region, which has contributed to the safe-guarding of these landscapes more effectively than walls or monetary metrics. Sacred forests are a critical component of biodiversity conservation, yet remain difficult to account for in most western calculations of global biodiversity management. Such sacred regions have been fiercely protected by cultural and religious beliefs and taboos for many centuries. Further, many sacred sites are successfully maintained through traditional means of community-based conservation that do not require government or NGO oversight. In short, they represent a model of conservation success for the planet, especially in developing countries where conventional economic metrics may not be feasible and certainly may not be effective. These sites also house the majority of biodiversity for several billion people throughout Africa and Asia, and their stewardship is insured through the respect and leadership of religious stakeholders. Recent assessments of forest ecosystems in developed countries prioritize the economic values of ecosystem services such as fresh water, carbon storage, foods and building materials, medicines, gas exchange, shade, soil conservation, and biodiversity habitat […]

Arup designs a living wall scaffold for London renovation

It looks a lot better than the usual kind, cleans the air and absorbs noise. […]

Pastor in Flint Interrupts Donald Trump

By REUTERS | Sep. 14, 2016 | 0:58During a visit to a church in Flint, Mich., Donald J. Trump was interrupted by the pastor who said she had invited him to “thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not to give a political speech.”Related: article: Donald Trump Gets Cool Reception at Black Church in Flint, Mich. […]