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Re: News Capture - Todays News
« Reply #48 on: March 02, 2016, 08:32:40 PM »



Your View - thats NewView

Can't say I have much faith in much, if anything that comes out of the politicians mouths.  My best bet is to listen to God on what decision to make in opting out of the farce club.



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[Newsview]North Korea 'fires missiles' into sea
« Reply #49 on: March 03, 2016, 07:01:10 PM »
North Korea 'fires missiles' into sea

North Korea 'fires missiles' into sea hours after UN vote


    3 March 2016

  • From the section Asia




Media captionSteve Evans reports on how sanctions might affect North Korea

North Korea has fired six short-range projectiles into the sea, South Korea's defence ministry has said, hours after the UN imposed tough new sanctions.

A South Korean spokesman told the Yonhap news agency the projectiles were fired at about 10:00 local time (01:00 GMT) from Wonsan on the east coast.

They were either rockets or guided missiles, the ministry said.

Correspondents say it is being seen as an act of defiance against the sanctions.

Hours earlier, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to impose some of its strongest ever sanctions against North Korea. The new measures are in reaction to North Korea's recent nuclear test and satellite launch, both of which violated existing sanctions.

They will result in all cargo going to and from the country being inspected, while 16 new individuals and 12 organisations have been blacklisted.

The United States and North Korea's long-standing ally China spent seven weeks discussing the new sanctions.


                 Image copyright


What exactly is banned?

  • The export of coal, iron and iron ore used for North Korea's nuclear or ballistic missile programmes.

  • All gold, titanium ore, vanadium ore, rare earth minerals and aviation fuel exports.

  • Any item (except food and medicine) that could develop North Korea's armed forces.

  • Small arms and light weapons are now included in an arms embargo.

  • Upmarket watches, watercraft, snowmobiles and other recreational sports equipment added to a ban on luxury goods.

  • No vessels or planes can be leased or registered to North Korea.

What are the other measures?

  • Member states must inspect all cargo to and from North Korea, not just those suspected of containing prohibited items.

  • An asset freeze on North Korean funds linked to nuclear and missile programmes.

  • Foreign financial institutions cannot open new offices in North Korea without approval, and North Korean banks cannot open offices abroad.

US President Barack Obama said the international community was "speaking with one voice" to tell the North it "must abandon these dangerous programmes and choose a better path for its people".


South Korea's President Park Geun-hye welcomed the sanctions, saying she hoped the North "will now abandon its nuclear development programme and embark on a path of change".

North Korea insists its missile programme is purely scientific in nature, but the US, South Korea and even its ally China say such launches like the one which put a satellite in orbit last month are aimed at developing inter-continental ballistic missiles.

The North claimed its January nuclear test - the fourth since 2006 - was a test of its hydrogen bomb technology.


                 Image copyright

Image caption
                    North Korea says it is entitled to conduct ballistic missile research


Analysis: Steve Evans, BBC News, Seoul

The firing of the missiles is being seen in South Korea as a signal of the North's anger and defiance. There is an expectation in South Korea that more may follow. The short-range missiles were not contrary to international law though longer range missiles would have been. 

There is a ritual which has been enacted many times before with a ratcheting up of tension. In this case, the nuclear test and rocket launch earlier in the year were followed by South Korea closing a joint industrial venture and the UN sanctions. 

Next week, there are previously arranged and regular joint exercises between South Korean and US troops. Each year when they happen, North Korea gets very angry, saying they are practice for an invasion. This year the tension will be even higher.

The rhetoric from Pyongyang has been fearsome. The state media likened the South Korean president to a bat who lives in a dingy cave. They said she would "lift her skirt" for the Americans. 

All this is par for the course. The big question is whether North Korea holds a fifth nuclear test.

Outside observers who study satellite imagery say that it's very hard to tell when this might happen. The fourth test came out of the blue. North Korea has succeeded in hiding the tell-tale signs of preparation and may do some work under cloud cover away from the prying eyes of satellites.

Source: North Korea 'fires missiles' into sea

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[Newsview]Nike suspends contract with Sharapova
« Reply #50 on: March 08, 2016, 07:00:49 PM »
Nike suspends contract with Sharapova

Maria Sharapova: Nike suspends contract with Russian over drugs test


    8 March 2016

  • From the section Business




Media caption"I did fail the test and take full responsibility for it," said Sharapova at a news conference in Los Angeles

Nike has suspended its relationship with Maria Sharapova after the five-time Grand Slam tennis champion admitted failing a drug test.

The company said it was "saddened and surprised" at her admission that she tested positive for a banned substance at the Australian Open in January.

"We have decided to suspend our relationship with Maria while the investigation continues," it said.

"We will continue to monitor the situation."

Ms Sharapova's relationship with Nike stretches back to when she was 11 years old.


                 Image copyright
                 Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


In 2010, the 28-year-old Russian tennis player signed a new eight-year contract with the US sportswear giant worth $70m (£49m) as well as a cut on sales of her own branded clothes.

Sponsors 'burned'

Ms Sharapova is the world's highest paid female athlete after earning nearly $30m in 2015 from winnings and endorsements, according to Forbes. These include contracts with Evian, Tag Heuer, Porsche.

In 2014, Porsche named her as its first female ambassador.


Ms Sharapova, who lives in Florida, is also the face of Avon perfume Luck.

Paul Swangaurd, from the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon, said Nike's decision reflected a "new era" for the way sponsors deal with these issues.

Nike is taking a "very proactive approach", which resulted from "them being burned by a lot of athletes over the years, and growing impatient with putting so much investment behind athletes that potentially comes back to bite them in the court of public opinion".

Last month, Nike dropped Manny Pacquiao after the boxer said homosexual people were "worse than animals".

The company also severed ties with cyclist and drugs cheat Lance Armstrong as well as athlete Oscar Pistorius, who killed his girlfriend.

Failed test

Ms Sharapova tested positive for meldonium, a substance she said she had been taking since 2006 for health issues.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said she would be provisionally suspended from 12 March.

Ms Sharapova said: "I did fail the test and take full responsibility for it."

She said she had taken meldonium after being given it by her family doctor and had known the drug by the name mildronate.

"A few days ago, after I received a letter from the ITF, I found out it also has another name of meldonium, which I did not know," she said.

What is meldonium?

It is meant for angina patients but athletes like it because it helps their endurance and ability to recover from big efforts.

It is on the banned list now because Wada started seeing it in lots of samples and found it does have performance-enhancing properties.

It was on Wada's 'watchlist' for over a year and added to the banned list on 1 January.

Made in Latvia, it is widely available - without prescription and at low cost - in many east European countries, but it is not licensed in most western countries, including the United States.

It is thought that hundreds of athletes have been using it and there are a lot more cases in the pipeline.

Source: Nike suspends contract with Sharapova

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[Newsview]Junior doctor 48-hour strike under way
« Reply #51 on: March 09, 2016, 07:05:31 PM »
Junior doctor 48-hour strike under way

Junior doctors' strike: 48-hour walkout begins


        By Nick Triggle
        Health correspondent


    9 March 2016

  • From the section Health



                Picket lineImage copyright


The third strike by junior doctors in their contract row with the government in England is under way.

The walkout started at 08:00 GMT and will last 48 hours - the longest one so far - but medics are once again providing emergency cover in hospitals.

It comes after ministers announced last month they would impose the contract.

More than 5,000 treatments have had to be postponed, but polling released on the eve of the stoppage shows public support for doctors is holding firm.

The poll of 860 adults by Ipsos MORI for the BBC showed 65% supported doctors going on strike - almost the same proportion as backed them ahead of the walkout last month. Some 17% said they were against the strike, a drop from 22% on last time.

The poll did show an increase in the proportion of people blaming both sides for the dispute. That now stands at 28%, up from 18%. However, the majority - 57% - still blame the government.

Latest updates: Junior doctors' strike







The strike comes as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is hosting an international patient safety meeting in London, which was planned before the strike was announced.

NHS bosses warned the strike was going to be "difficult" for the health service as the series of walkouts was beginning to take its toll - 19,000 treatments have been postponed in total because of the three stoppages this year.

The treatments that are being hit are all non-emergency procedures, including routine operations such as hip and knee replacements.

Thousands of check-ups, appointments and tests have also been affected as well.


Media captionJunior doctors in England will be out on strike on Wednesday and Thursday. They will be available only for emergency care


Media captionThree junior doctors explain why they disagree with the government's proposals

Dr Anne Rainsberry, of NHS England, said: "This is clearly going to be a difficult couple of days. A 48-hour strike will put significantly more pressure on the NHS and the cumulative effect of these recurring strikes is likely to take a toll.

"The safety and care of patients is always our number one priority and staff across the NHS are doing all they can to minimise the impact on patients of the action."

How far apart were the two sides?


                 Image copyright

  • The BMA wanted everyone who worked on a Saturday to be paid at 50% above the basic rate

  • Ministers only offered extra pay after 17:00 and at a lower rate of 30%

  • But they have agreed to top up the pay by 30% for those who work regular Saturdays - defined as at least one in four

  • Agreement was also not reached on on-call allowances, how limits on working hours are to be policed and days off between nightshifts

  • The government offered a basic pay rise of 13.5%

  • The BMA has said it was willing to accept between a 4% and 7% rise in basic pay to cover more generous weekend pay

Analysis: Was a deal ever possible?

This week's walkout is the first of three 48-hour stoppages planned by the British Medical Association as they continue their fight against the government's plans to force through the changes to their pay and conditions. The next two are planned for April.

The union has also said it will be launching a legal challenge to oppose the imposition of the contract that was announced following last month's strike.

On the eve of that walkout, government negotiators offered the BMA a last "take-it-or-leave-it" deal. It was rejected, prompting ministers to take the unprecedented step of forcing the country's 55,000 doctors to go on the new terms and conditions from the summer.

Mr Hunt said his hand was forced as the BMA was holding him to "ransom" and the changes were needed to help the NHS improve care at weekends. This is disputed by the BMA.

But Dr Johann Malawana, the BMA's junior doctor leader, said: "We deeply regret disruption to patients, and have given trusts as much notice as possible to plan ahead, but the government has left junior doctors with no choice.

"Ministers have made it clear they intend to impose a contract that is unfair on junior doctors and could undermine the delivery of patient care in the long term."

Read more from Nick

Follow Nick on Twitter


Source: Junior doctor 48-hour strike under way

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[Newsview]Low-income households 'need energy cap'
« Reply #52 on: March 10, 2016, 07:04:41 PM »
Low-income households 'need energy cap'


Low-income households 'need energy cap'


    10 March 2016

  • From the section Business





Millions of low-income households could see power bills cut after a watchdog's report into the UK's energy sector.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has proposed a price cap for all households using pre-payment meters.

It has also proposed that the regulator, Ofgem, keeps a database of customers that have been on a standard rate for three years.

This database will then be opened up so these customers can be targeted directly by other suppliers.

The proposals are designed to reform the energy market and increase competition to help consumers save money.

The CMA also proposed:

  • ending the restriction on suppliers to offer just four tariffs

  • strengthening the ability of price comparison services to help consumers find the best deal

  • tackling "rollover contracts": where customers are automatically put on less favourable terms

They follow an 18-month investigation into the energy market by the CMA, sparked by the fact that households and small businesses have paid £1.7bn a year more than they should have, says BBC energy correspondent John Moylan.

Lowering bills

The CMA believes that those households using pre-payment meters, currently numbering four million, need protecting until smart meters are rolled out in 2020.


Those using pre-payment meters tend to be the poorer and more vulnerable customers who have difficulty setting up accounts with suppliers.

Roger Witcomb, chairman of the CMA's investigation, told the BBC that the price controls would lower bills by £300m in total, the equivalent of about £90 per household.

Analysis: Simon Jack, BBC business editor

The customer discontent over energy bills has rumbled on for years. After countless Ofgem probes, the issue of stubbornly high prices was referred to a body with real teeth, the Competition and Markets Authority and this morning, after two years of inquiry, they bared them. The question is, how sharp are they?

Inertia costs customers well over a billion pounds a year - 70% of all customers are on their suppliers standard tariff. If they were to move, the CMA estimates they could save £300-£400 a year.

Some people find it much harder to switch - those on pre-payment meters or those in debt to their existing suppliers. Here we will see price controls. A transitional price cap for four million customers until 2020.

The existence of price controls in a market that was deregulated twenty years ago will be seen by some as evidence of failure of that market.

More from Simon: Inertia the big enemy

Should energy prices be regulated?

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said: "This is a wakeup call to the Big Six [energy providers].

"Energy customers should get a fair deal from a market that works for them. That's why we called for the biggest ever investigation into the energy market and won't hesitate to take forward its recommendations."

Her Labour counterpart Lisa Nandy countered: "Right now it's clear to nobody why some families pay hundreds of pounds more than others for their energy and these proposals won't fix this.

"While a safeguard tariff for customers stuck on expensive pre-pay meters is welcome and will protect some households, we will need to go much further to make sure bills are fair and transparent for everybody else too."

More competition

"We have found that the six largest suppliers have learned to take many of their existing domestic customers - some 70% of whom are on default standard variable tariffs - for granted, not just over prices, but with their service and quality," said Mr Witcomb.

He said that, if implemented, these proposals would "shake up the industry".

He added: "Given the scale of the problems and the potential savings on offer, we think bold measures like giving rival suppliers the chance to contact long-standing [standard rate] customers are justified."

He told the BBC there would be safeguards in place to ensure that people were not "bombarded with junk mail".

The CMA also considered proposing price controls on standard tariffs, but decided instead to focus on increasing competition and making switching easier.

Mr Witcomb said consumers who had switched had saved hundreds of pounds, but those who had not were paying more than they needed to. He said 35% of customers had not even considered switching.

It also wants to end termination fees that discourage switching.

The proposals are designed to encourage competition and make it easier for consumers to get the best deal.

Are you using a pre-payment meter? Do you live in a low-income household and are you affected by this story?  Share your experiences with us. Email [email protected] with your stories.

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Source: Low-income households 'need energy cap'

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[Newsview]Obama and Cameron 'close', US insists
« Reply #53 on: March 11, 2016, 07:00:27 PM »
Obama and Cameron 'close', US insists

Obama and Cameron 'close partners', White House insists


    11 March 2016

  • From the section UK Politics

  • comments



                Barack Obama and David CameronImage copyright
                 Getty Images


The White House says David Cameron has been "as close a partner" as Barack Obama has had, after the president appeared to criticise the PM.

Mr Cameron had become "distracted" after the 2011 intervention in Libya, Mr Obama told the Atlantic magazine. He also described Libya as "a mess".

But in an email to the BBC, a White House spokesman said the US "deeply" valued the UK's contributions.

Downing Street said Britain was still "working hard" in Libya.

'More faith'

The article, written by Jeffrey Goldberg, is billed as the US president talking through "his hardest decisions about America's role in the world".

In it, Mr Obama reflects on "what went wrong" after the overthrowing of the Gaddafi regime, led by the UK and France.

"There's room for criticism, because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya's proximity, being invested in the follow-up," he said.

Mr Obama said the UK prime minister soon became "distracted by a range of other things".


The US president said of the North African country: "We averted large-scale civilian casualties, we prevented what almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict. And despite all that, Libya is a mess."

He also spoke of "free riders", saying European and Gulf countries were calling for action against Gaddafi - but, he said, the "habit" for several decades had been "people pushing us to act but then showing an unwillingness to put any skin in the game".

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy also came in for criticism, with Mr Obama saying he "wanted to trumpet the flights he was taking in the air campaign, despite the fact that we had wiped out all the air defences and essentially set up the entire infrastructure" for the intervention.

BBC North America editor Jon Sopel said the unsolicited statement put out by the White House suggested Downing Street had reacted angrily to the article.

"It's like we've seen a curtain drawn back on the unspun thoughts of President Obama, complete with frustration as well, and what we've seen... is the White House trying to close the curtain as quickly as it can," he added.

'Fair share'

In its statement, the White House said: "Prime Minister Cameron has been as close a partner as the president has had, and we deeply value the UK's contributions on our shared national security and foreign policy objectives which reflect our special and essential relationship.

"With respect to Libya, the president has long said that all of us - including the United States - could have done more in the aftermath of the Libyan intervention."

It also said the UK had "stepped up on a range of issues", including a pledge to spend 2% of national income on defence.

According to the Atlantic's article, this pledge came after Mr Obama told Mr Cameron that Britain must pay its "fair share" if it wanted to continue to claim a "special relationship" with the US.


                 Image copyright

Image caption
                    Violence continues in Libya, a country Mr Obama described as "a mess"


A Downing Street statement highlighted the White House's positive comments about the relationship between Mr Cameron and Mr Obama.

It added: "We agree that there are still many difficult challenges in Libya but, as the PM has said many times before, coming to the aid of innocent civilians who were being tortured and killed by their leader was the right thing to do."

It said the UK had "sought to support the people of Libya" and was still "working hard to support the UN-led process to establish a stable and inclusive government".

'Pretty rich'

Former Conservative foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind said criticism could be levelled at the West - including the Americans - for not doing enough to ensure a more stable future for Libya.

"But I think, to be frank, it's pretty rich coming from President Obama, because the Americans did far less than either France or the United Kingdom in helping get rid of that dictatorship," said Sir Malcolm.

Alec Ross, a former senior adviser to to the State Department, said he believed Mr Obama was "frustrated" by the "current state of near mayhem in Libya".

"It probably stems from the fact the United States itself was spread so thin - that we hoped somebody would help fill the breach, so to speak. But I don't think it's so much anger or frustration as broadly felt disappointment… we thought the future after Gaddafi could only get better and so far it hasn't yet."

Killings and torture

The 2011 armed rebellion assisted by Western military intervention led to the end of Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year dictatorship. But it left a power vacuum and instability, with no authority in full control.

Despite efforts to support Libya's National Transitional Council, and the first elections in the country for decades, it rapidly descended into violence, with two rival militia-backed parliaments.

A recent UN report said there were hundreds of different armed groups and the chaos has allowed so-called Islamic State to gain a foothold.

Killings and torture were being committed with impunity by all sides, it said.

In January, Mr Cameron told MPs the Libyan people "were given the opportunity" to build a stable democracy - and it was a matter of "huge regret" they had not taken it.


Source: Obama and Cameron 'close', US insists

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[Newsview]EDF 'confident' of Hinkley go-ahead
« Reply #54 on: March 12, 2016, 07:03:40 PM »
EDF 'confident' of Hinkley go-ahead

EDF 'confident' Hinkley Point nuclear power station will go ahead


    12 March 2016

  • From the section Business



                Artist's impression of Hinkley Point C plantImage copyright

Image caption
                    The new nuclear plant will be built next to two existing facilities at Hinkley Point in Somerset


Energy firm EDF has said it remains "confident" the £18bn Hinkley Point nuclear power plant will go ahead despite uncertainties over its funding.

In a letter to staff, the company's chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy said the project needed to secure more funding from the French government.

He said the financial context was "challenging" and he was negotiating with the French state.

The UK government said it was "committed" to Hinkley.

'Good project'

Mr Levy said: "We are currently negotiating with the French state to obtain commitments allowing us to secure our financial position.

"I am sure that this project is a good project for the group and that in the near future, all the conditions will come together for it to be definitely launched.

"It is clear that I will not engage EDF in this project before these conditions are met."

The company's board is expected to finalise in April how it will fund the project after postponing the decision a number of times. It was delayed in January reportedly owing to funding difficulties.


But Mr Levy highlighted in his letter that China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), which will own 33.5% of the project, was investing about 8bn euros (£6bn).

He also expressed his confidence in EDF to manage "very large projects".


                 Image copyright

Image caption
                    EDF's chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy said the project needed to secure more funding from the French government


The construction of Hinkley Point C in Somerset, which will be the first new nuclear plant in the UK for 20 years, was due to begin in 2019, he said.

The plant was originally due to open in 2017, and it has come under fire for both its cost and delays to the timetable for building.

Earlier this month, the French firms's finance director Thomas Piquemal quit because he feared the project could jeopardise EDF's financial position, according to reports.

And in February, Chris Bakken, the director of the project, said he was leaving to pursue other opportunities.

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: "The British government is committed to Hinkley and committed to new nuclear. It is an important part of our plan to give hardworking families and businesses clean, affordable and secure energy that they can rely on now and in the future.

"It is the only proven low-carbon technology that can provide continuous power, irrespective of whether the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, and the industry will create thousands of jobs and benefit companies in the supply chain, meaning financial security for working people and their families across the UK."


Source: EDF 'confident' of Hinkley go-ahead

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[Newsview]Obama warns against US campaign anger
« Reply #55 on: March 13, 2016, 07:01:48 PM »
Obama warns against US campaign anger

US election 2016: Obama warns against campaign anger





                Barack Obama speaks at a Democratic event in Dallas on 12 March 2016Image copyright
                 Getty Images


US President Barack Obama has warned White House contenders to avoid raising tensions, a day after a rally by Donald Trump was called off amid clashes.

Mr Obama said candidates should not resort to "insults" and "certainly not violence against other Americans".

Mr Trump, who leads the race for the Republican nomination, cancelled his Chicago rally after fighting broke out between his supporters and protesters.

His rivals and others have accused him of using inflammatory rhetoric.

What Trump says about protesters at his rallies

Why are Americans so angry?

How extreme is Donald Trump?

Could Trump's vulgarity cost him the nomination?


Later on Saturday, Mr Trump suffered heavy defeats in Republican caucuses in Washington DC and Wyoming.

Mr Obama, who will be standing down next January following November's presidential election, was speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Dallas on Saturday.

He said: "What the folks who are running for office should be focused on is how we can make it even better - not insults and schoolyard taunts and manufacturing facts, not divisiveness along the lines of race and faith."


Media captionDonald Trump was surrounded by security agents during an incident in Dayton, Ohio

The clashes at Mr Trump's Chicago rally on Friday began more than an hour before the event was due to start, and continued after it was cancelled.

'Tremendous anger'

On Saturday Mr Trump campaigned in Ohio, one of several key states - also including Florida and Ohio - holding primaries on Tuesday.


Media captionJedidiah Brown: "I was told to go back to Africa"

In Dayton, Ohio, he was briefly surrounded by Secret Service agents on stage after a man tried to breach the security cordon.

Mr Trump has taken a strong anti-immigrant stance, promising to build a "great wall" at the border with Mexico.

Commenting on relations between Muslims and America earlier this week, he said: "Islam hates us."

Speaking to Fox News after Friday's events in Chicago, Mr Trump denied fostering division.

"I represent a large group of people that have a lot of anger," he said. "There is tremendous anger out there on both sides."

Mr Trump's rivals for the Republican nomination, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, have both called the incident "sad".

Texas Senator Cruz accused Mr Trump of creating "an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discourse".


Media captionTrump supporter Ryan James Girdusky says he is sad to see what happened in Chicago

Mr Rubio and another Republican challenger, John Kasich, suggested they might not rally behind Mr Trump if he wins the nomination.

Mr Rubio said it was "getting harder every day" to keep his promise to unite behind the eventual Republican nominee.

Mr Kasich said Mr Trump's rhetoric "makes it very difficult" to support him.

On Saturday, Mr Cruz won a convincing victory in the Wyoming caucus, while Mr Rubio narrowly defeated Mr Kasich in Washington DC. Mr Trump came a distant third in both contests.

Mr Cruz also won on the island territory of Guam.

In the Democratic race. Vermont senator Bernie Sanders is continuing his challenge against frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Mrs Clinton won the first ever Democrats' vote in the Northern Mariana Islands.

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Source: Obama warns against US campaign anger

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