Harrison’s 2-run double helps Pirates top Diamondbacks 8-3

 

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Josh Harrison came off the bench to hit a two-out, two-run double in the sixth inning to help the Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-3 on Thursday.

The pinch-hitter gave the Pirates a 5-3 lead.

The runs gave reliever A.J. Schugel (1-1) his first major league win after he had surrendered the lead inherited from starter Gerrit Cole in the top half of the inning. Schugel gave up a two-run single to Paul Goldschmidt in his only inning of work.

Arizona starter Patrick Corbin (2-4) took the loss. He was responsible for both runners that scored on Harrison’s double, which was hit off reliever Jake Barrett.

Cole hit a 409-foot, three-run homer in the third inning to left-center field.

The Pirates added three runs in the eighth inning. Andrew Chafin loaded the bases and gave way to Evan Marshall, who gave up a two-run double to Jung Ho Kang and an RBI double to Starling Marte.

Cole didn’t have his best stuff on the mound. He nearly hit Jean Segura with the first pitch of the game and gave up back-to-back doubles to Segura and Jason Bourn for Arizona’s 1-0 lead. He held the Diamondbacks to one unearned run over five innings, but needed to get out of jams in the first three innings while stranding eight Arizona runners.

In the third, Cole helped his own cause with the homer that also scored Francisco Cervelli and Gregory Polanco. He settled in on the mound, throwing 1-2-3 frames in the fourth and fifth. He left after 106 pitches.

The Diamondbacks took advantage of Schugel, who gave up a two-out single to Corbin that started the rally and produced Goldschmidt’s two-run single.

Bourn, Corbin, Segura and Brandon Drury had two hits for the Diamondbacks. But the team stranded 26 runners and went just 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position.

Rob Scahill, Neftali Feliz and Mark Melancon pitched scoreless innings in the seventh, eighth and ninth for the Pirates. They swept the three-game series and finished the season series at 5-1.

TRAINING ROOM

Segura returned to the starting lineup and went 2 for 5 with two runs scored after a one-game absence. He was held out with concussion-like symptoms on Wednesday after being hit in the head by an Arquimedes Caminero fastball on Tuesday. Harrison didn’t start because of flu-like symptoms, but pinch hit.

SLUGGING PITCHERS

Pittsburgh’s Cole and Arizona’ Corbin combined to hit 4 for 5.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: Robbie Ray (2-13, 4.18 ERA) has thrown over 100 pitches in each of his last four starts, but has made it to the sixth inning just once in that span. He’ll try to reverse that trend when the Diamondbacks return home to face San Diego.

Pirates: Jonathon Niese (4-2, 4.75 ERA) will look to extend his streak of three consecutive quality starts. The Pirates will face the Texas in a three-game series as part of a six-game road trip that also takes them to Miami.

 

Judge hears arguments on US women’s team strike rights

MICHAEL TARM, Associated Press

 

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge in Chicago has heard arguments whether the world champion U.S. women’s soccer team has the right to strike for improved conditions and wages before this year’s Olympics.

Lawyers for the U.S. Soccer Federation told Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman at a Thursday hearing that a no-strike clause is implied in a still-valid 2013 memorandum with players.

But a lawyer for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association balked at that claim. Jeffrey Kessler said the federation had “screwed up” by not securing a no-strike clause in writing and can’t argue three years later that such a provision is implied.

The union wants the option to strike before the Olympics start in August, but hasn’t said it will. Many players have voiced concern over gender equity in soccer.

 

Sister Act: Serena, Venus Williams both win 6-2, 6-1 at Open

HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer

 

PARIS (AP) — First it was Serena Williams’ turn to overpower an opponent 6-2, 6-1 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Shortly after that was over Thursday, her older sister Venus entered the very same French Open arena and won by the very same score.

A bit like old times, n’est-ce pas?

“It’s a little surreal sometimes, because it has been so long. They’ve both been out here almost 20 years,” said their sister, Isha Price, who was in the stands for both matches.

“It was nice to have them play back-to-back and not have to move,” Price added with a laugh. “It’s so interesting that their scoreline was the same. It was really nice to be there for that.”

Back in 2002, when neither was yet 22, the American siblings contested the final at Roland Garros, one of their eight all-in-the-family Grand Slam title matches — and they haven’t played each other at any stage in Paris since.

That’s due in part to Venus’ troubles at the clay-court tournament, where, now nearly 36, she moved into the third round for the first time since 2010 by relinquishing only three games in 54 minutes against American qualifier Louisa Chirico. Defending champion Serena’s similarly simple victory against 81st-ranked Teliana Pereira of Brazil lasted 12 minutes longer.

The sisters — No. 1-seeded Serena, No. 9 Venus — even got a chance to cross paths and catch up briefly between their nearly identical matches. Serena faced one break point; Venus zero. Serena compiled a 31-6 edge in winners; Venus’s margin was 22-6. Serena made 17 unforced errors; Venus 15.

If some spectators were pleased that a single ticket allowed them to see one Williams, then the other, the players themselves said they don’t really find the time to savor such events.

“We’re unfortunately really focused on our match. And I say ‘unfortunately,’ because in a few years, we’ll be like, ‘Wow, that’s a great moment,'” the 34-year-old Serena said. “But right now, we have to be focused on what we want to do in going out there and winning the match.”

Venus agreed.

“We focus more on the match at hand, and we both have a job to do, and that’s to try to get to the next round,” she said. “We focus less on the significance of us playing and more of like, ‘Can you win this match?'”

Each Williams next plays a French opponent: Serena against No. 26 Kristina Mladenovic, Venus against unseeded Alize Cornet.

“It’s going to be very complicated,” Mladenovic said.

It would take three more victories apiece, but — on the half of the draw already missing No. 3 Angelique Kerber and No. 5 Victoria Azarenka — there is the potential for a Williams vs. Williams semifinal next week. They have not met that deep into a major tournament in seven years, although Serena did defeat Venus in the U.S. Open quarterfinals in September.

One match after that, of course, Serena’s bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam ended. So did her pursuit there of Steffi Graf’s Open-era record of 22 Grand Slam titles, an effort Serena has resumed at Roland Garros.

When it comes to milestones, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal both achieved notable ones Thursday.

No. 1 Djokovic became the seventh man with 50 match wins in the French Open, moving to the third round by overcoming 42 unforced errors on a windswept afternoon to beat 161st-ranked qualifier Steve Darcis of Belgium 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. Next on Djokovic’s agenda: joining the other half-dozen men on that list with at least one championship at Roland Garros.

The fourth-seeded Nadal, meanwhile, earned his the 200th Grand Slam victory of his career, something seven other men — including Djokovic — have done.

At the outset against 99th-ranked Facundo Bagnis of Argentina, a fellow lefty, Nadal was a little tentative and dropped 10 of the first 13 points to trail 0-2, love-30.

“True,” Nadal acknowledged, “I started slow.”

Didn’t take the nine-time French Open champion long to get going, though. He reeled off 14 of 15 games to seize control along the way to winning 6-3, 6-0, 6-3.

Nadal improved to 200-30 in majors, a winning percentage of .870, and 72-2 at Roland Garros.

“The only thing I know is that I have reached the third round,” Nadal said. “That’s the only thing that matters for me.”

 

At UN climate talks some worry about Brexit, Trump impacts

KARL RITTER, Associated Press

 

BONN, Germany (AP) — Climate negotiators ended their first talks after last year’s landmark Paris Agreement on Thursday with some delegates expressing concern about the potential impact of upcoming votes in the U.S. and Britain.

Britons will decide next month whether to remain in the European Union while Americans will elect a new president in November.

The 28-member EU has vowed to reduce greenhouse emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 compared to 1990, but it’s unclear what happens to that target if Britain, the bloc’s second biggest emitter, leaves the EU.

“I’m sure there will be some parties saying ‘without the UK can we still reach the at least 40 percent?'” Netherlands climate envoy Michel Rentenaar said at the U.N. talks in Bonn. “I think we can, but that would be decided by the remaining 27 member states.”

Elina Bardram, the EU’s chief negotiator, declined to speculate on how a British exit would affect the bloc’s climate policy.

“We are … confident that the British public will vote to remain in the EU,” she said.

The Paris Agreement in December requires countries to submit plans for reducing or curbing their emissions and update them every five years.

Ajmad Abdulla, chief negotiator for small island nations at risk of rising seas, said he was confident the EU would “stick with their target” regardless of the outcome in the referendum.

A bigger unknown is what happens if Donald Trump, who has expressed skepticism about man-made climate change, wins the U.S. election. In 2012, he tweeted that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

The Obama administration has pledged to slash U.S. emissions by 26-28 percent by 2025, compared to 2005 levels.

Mohamed Adow, a climate policy expert at Christian Aid, a Britain-based charity, said for the U.S. to backtrack on its Paris pledges would be “insulting,” since key elements of the deal were designed to accommodate U.S. negotiators.

For example, the EU and others dropped demands for the targets to be legally binding so that the Obama administration could approve the deal without turning to Congress.

Nick Nuttall, a spokesman for the U.N. climate secretariat, said he couldn’t imagine that any U.S. president would roll back efforts to cut emissions.

“In any political election there is a lot of talk but the reality of being in office is very different so I think we’ll have to watch that space,” Nuttall said.

 

Obama defends his nuclear record on eve of Hiroshima visit

NANCY BENAC, Associated Press

 

SHIMA, Japan (AP) — On the eve of his historic trip to Hiroshima, President Barack Obama is defending the vigor of his efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. He says he will use his visit to the Japanese memorial site on Friday to underscore “the sense of urgency that we all should have.”

Obama, who began his administration with an audacious call for a nuclear-free world, acknowledged there still is much to be done. In fact, some critics maintain the world is further away from Obama’s goal now than it was at the start of his presidency.

But he is holding out last year’s Iran nuclear deal as “a big piece of business” and pointing to his administration’s negotiation of the New START treaty with the Russians as big steps toward reducing nuclear stockpiles. He acknowledges other big trouble spots, though, including North Korea’s nuclear program and the threat posed by others intent on obtaining nuclear weapons.

“We know that terrorist organizations would have no compunction about using a weapon of mass destruction if they got their hands on it,” Obama said Thursday, “so we’ve got a lot of work.”

He said added his administration has “focused attention on some key points of vulnerability, but we’re not where we need to be yet.”

Obama, speaking at a news conference at a summit of world leaders, harked back to his 2009 speech in Prague in which he first made his call for a nuclear-free world, and offered a reminder that “I noted at the time that I didn’t expect to be able to achieve all those goals in the course of my presidency or even in my lifetime and this is going to be an ongoing task.”

He will reaffirm his lofty vision Friday, when he becomes the first American president to visit Hiroshima, where some 140,000 people died when U.S. forces dropped the first atomic bomb in 1945 that launched the nuclear age. But his comments this time will be measured against his record of successes, setbacks and contradictions.

There are plenty of voices ready to call the president to account, saying he has failed to live up to the high standards he set for himself in Prague.

“Arguably a nuclear-free world is less likely now than when Obama actually took office,” says Richard Fontaine, president of the private Center for a New American Security. He cited the lack of new disarmament steps between the U.S. and Russia, and the administration’s plans to spend more than $300 billion to upgrade its nuclear stockpiles.

Greenpeace, citing the administration’s spending plans, said Obama’s message in Hiroshima “rings hollow without far bolder efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.”

“If the U.S. wants to help build a peaceful world, it is not enough to only visit the ruins of the past,” said Hisayo Takada, deputy program director at Greenpeace Japan.

While acknowledging the unfinished business of his Prague agenda, Obama said his administration had “built up an architecture” that has put a spotlight on the crucial issues.

Under last year’s landmark nuclear deal, Iran agreed to curb its atomic program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief. That gives the administration bragging rights to say that no new members have joined the nuclear club on Obama’s watch.

Obama also won ratification of the most significant arms control pact in nearly two decades. The pact, which took effect in February 2011, requires the U.S. and Russia to reduce their strategic nuclear weapons to no more than 1,550 by February 2018. The president said in 2013 he wanted to cut the U.S. number by another third, but that idea effort stalled as relations with Russia deteriorated.

Remaining challenges, as Obama acknowledged, include the looming threat from North Korea: Pyongyang carried out its fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February.

North Korea’s official news agency on Thursday called Obama’s planned visit to Hiroshima a “childish political calculation” aimed at hiding his identity as a “nuclear war lunatic” determined to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

In the U.S., critics of Obama’s nuclear policies also point to the administration’s big budget for nuclear modernization. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in January 2015 that the administration’s plans for nuclear forces would cost $348 billion over the next decade, and others have said it could approach $1 trillion over three decades.

The private Arms Control Association sees it as “a costly, all-of-the-above plan to maintain and upgrade U.S. nuclear forces at force levels that exceed U.S. nuclear deterrence requirements.”

Anti-nuclear groups have urged Obama to use his Hiroshima visit to offer new, concrete steps to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

The administration has played down any expectation that Obama will do that, saying he’s going to Hiroshima to offer simple reflections, not a policy address.

 

Louisiana adds police protections to hate-crime laws

By MEGAN TRIMBLE

 

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana has become the first state in the nation to expand its hate-crime laws to protect police, firefighters and emergency medical crews.

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, whose family includes four generations of sheriffs, signed the law on Thursday. He said it protects “men and women who put their lives on the line every day.”

“Coming from a family of law enforcement officers, I have great respect for the work that they do and the risks they take to ensure our safety,” Edwards said.

Prosecutors can now seek stronger penalties when first responders are intentionally targeted because of their professions. That’s a departure from the other more essential characteristics hate crime laws protect, such as a victim’s race, religion or gender.

People convicted of felony hate crimes in Louisiana face an additional five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. Penalties increase by $500 or up to six months in prison in misdemeanor cases.

Some advocates worry that adding jobs to the list weakens these laws, and complicates the relationship between police and the communities they serve. Louisiana law enforcement already reports hate crimes at a considerably lower rate than police do in states of similar sizes, according to FBI data.

As in other states, Louisiana law already provides for increased penalties when police are attacked.

But Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandra, said he brought the bill to protect first responders after several seemingly targeted attacks recently, and found overwhelming support in the House and Senate.

Col. Mike Edmonson, the Louisiana state police superintendent, pointed to the death of Trooper Steven Vincent, who was fatally shot in August 2015 after stopping to assist a motorist whose truck was in a ditch. The Louisiana Legislature honored Vincent’s family during its regular session.

“For those individuals who choose to target our heroes, the message formalized in this legislative act should be clear and the consequences severe,” Edmonson said in a statement.

Similar Blue Lives Matter bills have recently stalled in five other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. A federal Blue Lives Matter Act is being considered in Congress.

The Anti-Defamation League and other advocates for minorities had called for a veto, saying the law could dilute the importance of hate-crime laws at a time when they already feel under-protected. Others felt it was a commentary on the Black Lives Matter movement, which spread quickly after the 2014 police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Activists with the movement seek nationwide policing reforms.

The Louisiana District Attorneys Association took no position on the measure, but some prosecutors said they do not expect it to change their approach.

 

Baylor demotes Starr, fires coach amid sex assaults scandal

JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press

 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Baylor University demoted school President Ken Starr and fired football coach Art Briles on Thursday, issuing a scathing report over the university’s handling of sexual assault complaints against players.

The board of regents at the nation’s largest Baptist university said in a statement that Starr, a former prosecutor who investigated the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, will vacate the presidency on May 31 and stay on as school chancellor. It said it suspended Briles “with intent to terminate” and placed athletic director Ian McCaw on probation.

Starr asked a law firm last year to review Baylor’s handling of sexual assault cases following allegations that the school mishandled several cases in which football players were accused of attacking women.

Among the firm’s findings was that football coaches and athletics administrators at the school in the central Texas city of Waco had run their own improper investigations into rape claims and that in some cases they chose not to report such allegations to an administrator outside of athletics.

By running their own “untrained” investigations and meeting directly with a complainant, football staff “improperly discredited” complainants’ claims and “denied them a right to a fair, impartial and informed investigation.”

“The choices made by football staff and athletics leadership, in some instances, posed a risk to campus safety and the integrity of the University,” the report states.

The report’s “findings of facts” did not name specific coaches or athletics staff.

The university’s statement said the review revealed “a fundamental failure.”

The report also found that Baylor was too slow to enact federally-required student conduct processes, and that administrators failed to identify and eliminate a “potential hostile environment” for victims.

Baylor has faced increasing criticism in recent months for its handling of reports of rape and other violent incidents involving football players and students. One victim has sued the university, saying it was deliberately indifferent to her allegations against a former player who was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting her.

Starr ordered an investigation last year but has been mostly silent amid the criticism. The former prosecutor took over as the university’s president in 2010, about a decade after he investigated then-President Clinton’s sexual relationship with Lewinsky, a White House intern.

The football team enjoyed unprecedented success under Briles’ tenure, including two Big 12 championships in the last three years. That success brought a financial windfall, and in 2014 Baylor opened a new, $250-million on-campus football stadium. But Briles’ program has also been criticized for recruiting or accepting transfer players without regard to the harm they might cause fellow students.

Starr rode the waves of the program’s success, and often ran on the football field with Baylor students in pregame ceremonies. But as investigations began into the school’s handling of sexual assault allegations against players, Starr provided only brief comments, even as criticism of the school mounted.

In a February statement issued by university, Starr said “our hearts break for those whose lives are impacted by execrable acts of sexual violence.” And at a prayer breakfast last month, Starr told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “I am in favor of transparency. Stand up, take your medicine if you made a mistake.”

Starr initiated the law firm’s review last year, after former football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexually assaulting a female soccer player.

Ukwuachu, who was convicted last year, transferred to Baylor after he was dismissed from Boise State. His former girlfriend testified during his rape trial in Texas that he had struck and choked her when he attended Boise State.

Ukwuachu’s former coach, Chris Petersen, now the coach at Washington, said he “thoroughly apprised” Briles about the circumstances of Ukuwachu’s dismissal. Briles disputed that account, saying he talked with Petersen and there was no mention of the incident.

The school is also facing a federal lawsuit from a former student claiming the school was “deliberately indifferent” to rape allegations levied at a former football player Tevin Elliott, who was convicted in 2014 of sexually assaulting the woman.

The uproar following Ukwuachu’s conviction caused Baylor to initiate the review by the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, and to announce a $5 million effort to improve efforts on how it responds to sexual assault, including adding another investigator and more staff.

But the Ukwuachu case was just the start of months of revelations of football players being involved in violent incidents with little or no repercussions. At least seven other woman have publicly come forward to say the school ignored their sexual assault allegations.

 

Delegates in hand, Trump says he’s got GOP nomination

STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press
JILL COLVIN, Associated Press

 

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — With a triumphant pile of delegates in hand, Republican Donald Trump on Thursday claimed support from “almost everybody” in his party and turned his attention to his likely Democratic presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, who is still locked in a divisive primary contest.

The New York billionaire reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination hours earlier, according to the Associated Press count, just before a North Dakota campaign stop. It completed his unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the stage for a bitter fall campaign.

“Here I am watching Hillary fight, and she can’t close the deal,” he told reporters. “We’ve had tremendous support from almost everybody.”

Trump’s good news was tempered by his own continuing campaign problems. Those include the abrupt departure of his political director and continuing resistance by many Republican leaders to declare their support for his upstart candidacy.

Trump was put over the top in the AP delegate count by a small number of the party’s unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the national convention in July. Among them was Oklahoma GOP chairwoman Pam Pollard.

“I think he has touched a part of our electorate that doesn’t like where our country is,” Pollard said. “I have no problem supporting Mr. Trump.”

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. Trump has reached 1,239. Of those, 95 are unbound delegates who have endorsed him.

With 303 delegates at stake in five state primaries on June 7, Trump will easily pad his total, avoiding a contested convention in Cleveland.

Trump, a political neophyte who for years delivered caustic commentary on the state of the nation from the sidelines but had never run for office, fought off 16 other Republican contenders in an often ugly primary race.

Many on the right have been slow to warm to Trump, wary of his conservative bona fides. Others worry about his crass personality and the lewd comments he’s made about women.

But millions of grass-roots activists, many of them outsiders to the political process, have embraced him as a plain-speaking populist.

Steve House, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party and an unbound delegate who confirmed his support of Trump to the AP, said he likes the billionaire’s background as a businessman.

“Leadership is leadership,” House said. “If he can surround himself with the political talent, I think he will be fine.”

Trump’s pivotal moment comes amid a new sign of internal problems.

Hours before clinching the nomination, he announced the abrupt departure of political director Rick Wiley, who was in the midst of leading the campaign’s push to hire staff in key battleground states. In a statement, Trump’s campaign said Wiley had been hired only until the candidate’s organization “was running full steam.”

His hiring about six weeks ago was seen as a sign that party veterans were embracing Trump’s campaign.

Some delegates who confirmed their decisions to back Trump were tepid at best.

Cameron Linton of Pittsburgh said he will back Trump on the first ballot since he won the presidential primary vote in Linton’s congressional district.

“If there’s a second ballot I won’t vote for Donald Trump,” Linton said. “He’s ridiculous. There’s no other way to say it.”

Trump’s path to the Republican presidential nomination began with an escalator ride.

Trump and his wife, Melania, descended an escalator into the basement lobby of the Trump Tower on June 16, 2015, for an announcement many observers had said would never come: The celebrity real estate developer had flirted with running for office in the past.

His speech then set the tone for his ability to dominate the headlines with provocative statements, insults and hyperbole. He called Mexicans “rapists,” promised to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and proposed banning most Muslims from the U.S. for an indeterminate time.

He criticized women for their looks. And he unleashed an uncanny marketing ability in which he deduced his critics’ weak points and distilled them to nicknames that stuck. “Little Marco” Rubio, “Weak” Jeb Bush and “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz, among others, all were forced into reacting to Trump. They fell one-by-one — leaving Trump the sole survivor of a riotous Republican primary.

His rallies became magnets for free publicity. Onstage, he dispensed populism that drew thousands of supporters, many wearing his trademark “Make America Great Again” hats and chanting, “Build the wall!”

The events drew protests too— with demonstrators sometimes forcibly ejected.

When voting started, Trump was not so fast out of the gate.

He lost the Iowa caucuses in February, falling behind Cruz and barely edging Rubio for second. He recovered in New Hampshire. From there he and Cruz fiercely engaged, with Trump winning some and losing some but one way or another dominating the rest of the primary season — in votes or at least in attention — and ultimately in delegates.

He incurred relatively low campaign costs — just $57 million through the end of April. He covered most of it with at least $43 million of his own money loaned to the campaign.

Trump entered a new phase of his campaign Tuesday night by holding his first major campaign fundraiser: a $25,000-per-ticket dinner in Los Angeles.

Trump, 69, the son of a New York City real estate magnate, had risen to fame in the 1980s and 1990s, overseeing major real estate deals, watching his financial fortunes rise, then fall, hosting “The Apprentice” TV show and authoring more than a dozen books.

 

Origin of key Clinton emails from report are a mystery

STEPHEN BRAUN, Associated Press
JACK GILLUM, Associated Press
CHAD DAY, Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was supposed to have turned over all work-related emails to the State Department to be released to the public. But an agency audit found at least three emails never seen before — including Clinton’s own explanation of why she wanted her emails kept private.

After 14 months of public scrutiny and skepticism over Clinton’s motives in keeping her emails secret, new questions emerged Thursday. They centered on her apparent failure to turn over a November 2010 message in which she worried that her personal messages could become accessible to outsiders, along with two other messages a year later that divulged possible security weaknesses in the home email system she used while secretary of state.

The Clinton campaign has previously denied that her home server was breached, but newly revealed emails show an aide worried it could have been compromised.

The existence of these previously unreleased messages — which appear to have been found among electronic files of four former top Clinton State Department aides — renews concerns that Clinton was not completely forthcoming when she turned over a trove of 55,000 pages of work-related emails. And it has drawn fresh criticism from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“I have turned over all my emails,” Clinton said late Wednesday in an interview with Univision’s Los Angeles affiliate. “No one else can say that.”

Most of those messages have been made public by the State Department over the past year due to both a court order and Clinton’s willingness to turn them over. But hundreds were censored for national security reasons and 22 emails were completely withheld because the agency said they contained top secret material — a matter now under investigation by the FBI.

Clinton said in March 2015 that she would turn over all work-related emails to the State Department after removing private messages that contained personal and family material. “No one wants their personal emails made public and I think most people understand that and respect their privacy,” she said after her exclusive use of private emails to conduct State Department business was confirmed by media reports.

Senate investigators have asked for numerous emails about Clinton’s server as part of their own inquiry into Clinton’s email practices in recent months, but they didn’t get copies of key messages made public by the State Department’s own watchdog this week, a senior Republican senator said Thursday.

“It is disturbing that the State Department knew it had emails like this and turned them over to the inspector general, but not to Congress,” said Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the chair of the Senate judiciary committee that’s been probing Clinton’s use of a private server.

The emails appear to contain work-related passages, raising questions about why they were not turned over to the State Department last year. The inspector general noted that Clinton’s production of work-related emails was “incomplete,” missing not only the three emails but numerous others covering Clinton’s first four months in office.

A spokesman for the Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment Thursday. An inspector general’s spokesman declined to discuss the report.

The report said the inspector general was able to reconstruct some of Clinton’s missing emails by searching the email files of four former Clinton aides who had turned over thousands of pages of communications in 2015 at the request of the State Department, which is defending itself in multiple public records lawsuits, including one filed by The Associated Press. The four aides who turned over those files, according to the report, were Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and top aides Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan and Philippe Reines.

Abedin was the aide who authored the key email in November 2010 that provoked Clinton’s concerns about outsiders obtaining her personal emails. After the State Department’s computer spam filters apparently prevented Clinton from sending a message to all department employees from her private server, Abedin suggested that she either open an official agency email or make her private address available to the agency.

Clinton told Abedin she was open to getting a separate email address but didn’t want “any risk of the personal being accessible.” Clinton never used an official State Department address, only using several private addresses to communicate. Abedin, Mills, Sullivan and Reines all also used private email addresses to conduct business, along with their government accounts.

Two other emails sent to Abedin were cited in the inspector general’s report, but also did not turn up among the emails released by Clinton. Those messages to Abedin contained warnings in January 2011 from an unidentified aide to former President Bill Clinton who said he had to shut down Hillary Clinton’s New York-based server because of suspected hacking attacks.

In response, Abedin warned Mills and Sullivan not to email Clinton “anything sensitive” and said she would “explain more in person.”

 

Many opt to take Social Security before full retirement age

ADAM ALLINGTON, For The Associated Press

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Taking Social Security benefits early comes with a price, yet more than 4 in 10 Americans who are 50 and over say they’ll dip into the program before reaching full retirement age.

An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released Thursday found that 44 percent report Social Security will be their biggest source of income during their retirement years.

Full benefits begin at 65 or 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954. Americans can begin collecting as early as age 62, but with benefits reduced by up to 30 percent, according to the Social Security Administration.

“One thing we know for certain is that claiming early can have long-term repercussions on your fiscal security as you age,” said Gary Koenig, vice president of Financial security at the AARP Public Policy Institute.

Koenig said benefits increase significantly for those who wait, rising around 8 percent more for each additional year past age 66 and up to 70, when benefits max out.

“So we encourage people to delay as long as possible,” he said.

But waiting is a luxury many Americans don’t have.

Ken Chrzastek of Chicago began drawing Social Security benefits at age 62 and pulled $50,000 out of an IRA after losing a retail job two years ago. He has been unable to find even part-time work. “Hiring a 62-year-old is a liability for a company,” he said.

The poll found that Americans 50 and over have multiple sources of income for retirement but that Social Security is the most common by far. Eighty-six percent say they have or will have Social Security income. More than half had a retirement account such as a 401(k), 403(b), or an IRA. Slightly less had other savings. About 43 percent had a traditional pension.

The average age at which people expect to start or have started collecting Social Security benefits is 64. Just 9 percent said they would wait until after they turned 70.

While the retirement age has been rising in recent years, particularly for women, the average American still retires relatively early, at age 64 for men and age 62 for women, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Charles Jeszeck, director of education, workforce and income security for the Government Accountability Office, said there is no one right answer to when people should take Social Security, especially since increases in life expectancy are not spread out evenly between the rich and poor, or between ethnic groups.

Included in any discussion about Social Security are lingering questions about its solvency.

The Social Security trust fund has been running a surplus every year since 1984. Those surpluses are forecast to stop sometime around 2020, as more boomers start claiming benefits.

The Social Security Administration says interest income from the fund should be able to bridge this gap until 2034. At that point, without changes, payments could shrink but not disappear.

Gary Burtless, a Brookings Institution economist, said that people taking benefits early — or late — should have no impact on the trust fund. “It costs the government roughly the same amount,” he said.

Among the presidential candidates, both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have called for an expansion of Social Security. Donald Trump said during a debate in March, “It’s my absolute intention to leave Social Security the way it is.”

Many Americans worry that they won’t have enough to live on once they stop working, the poll said.

Among those with incomes under $50,000, 58 percent say they feel more anxious than secure about the amount of savings they have for retirement. People with higher incomes appear less anxious, but still 40 percent of those with incomes of $100,000 or more worry whether their savings will be sufficient.

Alison Cowen, 57, said she doesn’t see any path for her to retire_ever. “Not unless a miracle happens,” she laughed sarcastically. “I just don’t have enough to live on for the rest of my life.”

The poll said a quarter of workers over 50 say they never plan to retire, a sentiment more common among lower-income workers.

Cowen, a saleswoman from Albuquerque, New Mexico, said she didn’t save that much when she was younger, and a messy divorce 10 years ago meant she had to start over. “I’ve got $20,000 in the bank, but I would need to figure out a way increase that substantially before I could ever think of retiring,” she said.

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