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6-year-old girl among 3 killed as 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocks southern Philippines
By Jinky Jorgio, Eric Cheung and Sheena McKenzie, CNN

A six-year-old girl was among three people killed when a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck the southern Philippines island of Mindanao on Sunday.

The girl was inside her family's house when the building collapsed and killed her, the province's governor, Douglas Cagas, told CNN.

Fire Service director Chief Superintendent Samuel Tadeo confirmed the three deaths and also said a market in Padada had collapsed.

The country's second-largest island is a popular tourist destination, and videos posted on social media showed hotel pools dramatically overflowing and mass evacuations of shoppers from malls.

Residents reported schools had been severely damaged -- luckily empty of students at the time, as the quake happened on a Sunday. Governor Douglas Cagas of the island's Davao del Sur province said a three-story building had also collapsed.

Classes have now been suspended for Monday, and bridges closed due to cracks, Davao city officials said.

The country's President Rodrigo Duterte was at his home in Davao, the largest city on the island, at the time of the quake, reported state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA). He was unhurt, although his house reportedly "sustained several cracks in the walls."

There were several aftershocks in nearby provinces, including a 5.0 magnitude, according to the US Geological Survey. It added that there was no tsunami threat, as the quake struck inland and not the water.

It's the latest in a serious of quakes to strike the island in recent months. In October another series of 6.6 and 6.5-magnitude quakes struck Mindanao, killing 14 and injuring more than 400.


British tourist shot dead outside luxury Argentina hotel, report says
By Amy Woodyatt and Clara Lopez, CNN

A British man has been killed and his son injured a few meters from a luxury hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Saturday, CNN affiliate TN reported.

The bus full of tourists was traveling from Ezeiza international airport to the Faena Hotel in the waterside Puerto Madero area when two attackers shot at it, TN said.

The victims did not leave the vehicle when it was intercepted, but were shot in the struggle, TN reported. The 50-year-old man, who was shot in the chest, died, while his son, who was shot in the leg, underwent surgery, the news network reported. Authorities are using facial recognition to search for the suspects, TN reported.

"We are supporting the family of two British men following an incident in Buenos Aires, and are in contact with the local authorities there," a spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told CNN.

The Foreign Office said more than 111,000 British nationals visited Argentina in 2018, and that most visits to the country were "trouble free."

Its travel advice warns tourists of the risk of street robberies, distraction thefts, bag snatching and pickpocketing, and advises tourists to hand over cash and valuables without resistance if they are robbed.


Violent protests erupt on streets of Beirut

Violent protests erupt on streets of Beirut
By Sarah El Sirgany, Ben Wedeman and Tamara Qiblawi, CNN

Dozens were injured in clashes between protesters and security forces in central Beirut on Saturday, one of the most violent nights since anti-government demonstrations started in October.

Security forces used teargas, water cannon and rubber bullets to push protesters, who pelted them with rocks and firecrackers, away from the main sit-in site and government buildings in the capital city.

The Lebanese Civil Defense and the Red Cross said they transferred 46 people to hospitals and treated the wounds of dozens others on site during hours of clashes.

Many of the protest chants were directed at caretaker Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri who is widely expected to be named head of the next government during parliamentary consultations on Monday.

Other chants targeted caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, a major ally of the militant and political group Hezbollah. Bassil announced on Thursday that his party would not participate in the next government.

On Friday, Hezbollah's chief Hassan Nasrallah said the group would continue to push for a coalition government, putting them on a collision course with Hariri who insists on forming a Cabinet of technocrats.

Social media video showed dozens of protesters, who said they had come from the northern city of Tripoli, joining forces with demonstrators in central Beirut. As security forces cracked down on protesters, some could be seen dragging apparently unconscious protesters on the tarmac.

Some protesters broke a police cordon and attempted to enter the city's Parliament Square, shut off to the public since protests began on October 17, according to social media video. Local television showed security forces beating protesters with sticks.

Lebanon's ISF said 23 members of the security forces were sent to the hospital during Saturday's clashes, and several more were treated by paramedics on site.

Calm returned to Beirut's central district on Sunday amid beefed up security presence. Protesters erected a new banner accusing Hariri of corruption and mismanagement, and holding him responsible for the country's ballooning debt.

Protests in Lebanon have been demonstrating against corruption and government mismanagement perceived to be widespread in the country. Less than two weeks after protests began, Hariri stepped down, deepening the country's political crisis.

The country is also buckling under an economic crisis that has sent prices soaring, and led to mass layoffs and salary cuts. Business across the country have closed their doors. Banks imposed informal capital controls last month, leading to a severe liquidity crunch.


'SNL' shows how people are talking about impeachment at holiday dinner
By Frank Pallotta, CNN Business

"Saturday Night Live" took audiences inside people's homes to see how many are talking about impeachment across the country during the holidays.

Aidy Bryant dressed as a magical snowman opened NBC's variety show on Saturday saying that it's almost Christmas and "folks in America seem more divided than ever."

"But if we listen in to some dinner conversations tonight, I bet we'd find out we have more in common than we realize," Bryant's snowman said. "And now we can listen because I hacked into three Nest home cams."

The first holiday dinner "SNL" took audiences to was in San Francisco.

"I'm so happy everyone flew here for the holidays, and I'm even more happy that they did it, they're impeaching Trump," Cecily Strong's character said at the dinner table.

The next dinner was in Charleston, South Carolina.

"Well, they did it. They're impeaching Trump," Beck Bennett's character said. "I'm sorry, it's a disgrace. What crime did he even commit?!"

The final dinner "SNL" looked in on was in Atlanta.

"Dad, c'mon, you're going to rile everyone up," Chris Redd's character said.

"Well, I'm just asking, do y'all think 'Bad Boys III' is going to be good or what?" Kenan Thompson's character said to his family.

Redd's character said he'd rather talk about politics instead.

"Oh, you mean how Trump is definitely getting impeached and then definitely getting re-elected? I'm good," Thompson's character responded.

The sketch then bounced around each of the three dinners in the cities showing the differences between each.

"I just don't understand who on Earth could vote for Trump after this," the family in San Francisco said.

Then the family in Charleston could be seen saying "how could anyone not for Trump after this?"

The sketch then cut to the Thompson's character in Atlanta asking his family, "who do you think is going to get voted off 'The Mask Singer' next week?"

"SNL's" cold open then ended with Bryant's snowman.

"Now, those three families may seem different, but you see they have one important thing in common: they live in states where their votes don't matter," she said. "None of them live in the three states that will decide our election."

Climate crisis activist Greta Thunberg, who was played by Kate McKinnon, then appeared on screen to warn people about climate change.

"I also have a Christmas message," McKinnon's Thunberg said. "In 10 years, this snowman won't exist! Her home will be a puddle. Santa, reindeer, the North Pole, all of it, gone! The ice caps will melt and elves will drown."

McKinnon's Thunberg then wished the audience a "merry maybe our last Christmas to all."

Bryant's snowman and McKinnon's Thunberg then said the show's signature opening, "Live from New York... It's Saturday night!"


Analysis: Trump has weathered impeachment better than Clinton

Analysis: Trump has weathered impeachment better than Clinton
Analysis by Harry Enten, CNN

First things first: The theme song of the week is the closing credits from Growing Pains.

Poll of the week: A new Monmouth University poll finds that 46% of Americans have a favorable view of President Donald Trump. His unfavorable rating stands at 52%. That makes for a net favorability (favorable - unfavorable) rating of -6 points.

The average of polls this month puts Trump's net favorability at -11 points.

What's the point: During the course of the Democrats' impeachment inquiry into Trump, analysts such as myself have been making the few historical comparisons we can to judge the current situation.

In these, Trump usually comes out looking poorly compared to Bill Clinton, the last president to be impeached. Clinton's job approval rating stayed higher and the percentage who wanted him impeached and removed from office stayed lower.

I'll make the argument, though, that these figures aren't telling the whole story. A look at the net favorability rating changes for Clinton and Trump during their impeachment sagas indicates that Clinton was hurt by impeachment in a way that Trump hasn't been.

Trump's current net favorability rating has remained steady at just south of -10 points over the course of the last few months. By this metric, it appears that the Ukrainian scandal has not hurt him politically.

Compare that to how Clinton fared when the public learned of his affair with Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment drama that followed.

In both Gallup and NBC News/Wall Street Journal polling, Clinton's net favorability ratings tumbled. Clinton's net favorability rating averaged 25 points in these two polls in the half year leading up to January 1998 (when the scandal broke). Clinton's net favorability averaged just 7 points from March 1999 (after the Senate acquitted Clinton) to December 1999.

To be fair, Clinton ended up being more popular than Trump currently is, even based on net favorability ratings.

Still, that's a drop of nearly 20 points in Clinton's net favorability from when news of his affair broke to after the Senate acquitted him.

The downward shift in Clinton's net favorability ratings stands in direct contrast to his steady high approval rating (in the 60s) and the unpopularity of impeaching and removing him from office. Yet, it's not difficult to conceive that divergent views like this would occur with a sex scandal in which a president was thought to have done something wrong, but not impeachable.

So what do we make of the fact that different measures are telling us different stories about Clinton's and Trump's impeachments? History suggests that, if anything, a president's net favorability rating has been slightly more predictive of his reelection chances than his net approval ratings. According to CBS News polling since 1980, an incumbent's final net favorability rating has been 2 points closer to his reelection margin than his net approval ratings.

Further, there's a case to be made that these lowered net favorability ratings were a factor in Democrat Al Gore's defeat in the 2000 presidential election. Although Clinton had a high approval rating in the leadup to the 2000 vote, his net favorability in an average of polls of the final month of that campaign was just 2 points. Gore would win the national popular vote by a very similar 1 point.

Trump's reelection fate, on the other hand, looks to have been unaffected by the possible impeachment of him. His popularity ratings nationally continue to be subpar, though his net favorability rating in Wisconsin, arguably the most important swing state, is much closer to break even. Trump's numbers against his possible Democratic contenders have been fairly consistent, too. He trails the Democrats nationally, while he looks like he's holding his own in Wisconsin.

It is conceivable Trump becomes the first president ever to see his party win the presidency in the election after being impeached or on the clear road to impeachment (i.e. Richard Nixon).


NFL Sunday: Bears-Packers take on 200th game and more as teams face pressure of a playoff push
By Adam Renuart, CNN

The holidays are rapidly approaching, but most NFL teams are anything but jolly.

That's because squads are facing the pressure of a playoff push, and most spots are up for grabs.

Matchups across Week 15 will have direct implications about which teams will be staying home when playoffs start in January and which will be fighting for the ultimate prize of a Super Bowl trophy.

1. 200th edition of NFL's oldest rivalry will play a part in NFC playoff picture



Things looked grim for the Chicago Bears after Week 11. The team had just lost their fourth straight game, rival Green Bay sat atop the conference, and the Minnesota Vikings resided in second place. After that loss, Chicago offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich admitted being a little weary: "It's frustrating ... It's all of us ... identifying all these problems that have been pointed out. Now we have to coach better and execute."

It seems the Bears have identified the problems, ripping off three straight wins following that week 11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Part of that could be Chicago's strong second-half starts, but it could also be the Bears' competition. Of those three wins, only one was against a potential playoff team, and that team was the Dallas Cowboys, who are barely clinging to life in the NFC South.

Against the Packers, the Bears will need to step up their play against one of the league's best teams. For Chicago safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, a former Packer, it's a chance to catch up with old teammates on the field: "Being able to compete against your friends, it makes the game a little more fun, a little more competitive."

Clinton-Dix is known for making former teams pay, recording two interceptions against his last club, the Washington Redskins, earlier this season. But Clinton-Dix doesn't expect a similar performance against his team from 2014 to 2018.

"If Aaron Rodgers decides to bless me and throw me the ball twice, I'll be happy as hell," he said. "Unfortunately, A-Rod doesn't work that way. He's the best quarterback in the game."

But this 200th meeting of two of the league's premier franchises has a little extra meaning for Rodgers and the Packers. The Bears eliminated Green Bay from playoff contention last year, and this year, the shoe is on the other foot. Packers running back Aaron Jones knows it: "They kind of sent us home last year ... You don't forget those kinds of things."

Last year, Chicago eliminated Green Bay at Soldier Field. This year's contest is at Lambeau Field, and as Jones said with a smile: "I knew we could end their postseason." Whether the Pack can do so is a question for Sunday.

WATCH: Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers at 1 p.m. ET on FOX.

2. Texans and Titans look to break AFC South deadlock



Along with the Bears, the Tennessee Titans were one of the teams that looked lost midway through the season. Head coach Mike Vrabel decided to make a change after the team fell to 2-4, benching quarterback and former second overall pick Marcus Mariota in favor of veteran Ryan Tannehill. It's a move that has paid off, with the Titans going 6-1 since Tannehill became the signal-caller.

But Tannehill credits Mariota as a crucial resource during the run, listing off the now-backup's responsibilities: "He's just been supportive, we're able to talk through things on game day ... he helps me watch the tape and he does everything he can possibly do to help me and this team along."

With a win, Tannehill and Tennessee can match the team's win total from the past three seasons. The former Aggie from Texas A&M will look to go further, as the Mariota-led Titans never eclipsed nine wins and only once made the playoffs.

On the opposite sideline is the obstacle that could keep the Titans out of the playoffs once again. The Houston Texans have made the postseason three of the last four seasons and currently hold the tiebreaking advantage against their AFC South foes. If the playoffs were to start today, the Texans would win the division and Tennessee would be the first team out of the playoff picture.

What should give the Titans hope is the inconsistency of the Texans. Houston can't seem to take a step forward without taking one back. For every gutsy win over a top-tier squad like the Patriots comes an equally bad loss. Last week it was to the Denver Broncos.

It's a matchup with a lot of emotional ties. For example, Tennessee lineman Dennis Kelly is the brother of Texans offensive coordinator Tim. Beyond that, it offers former teammates a chance to run into each other. Texans offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil spoke highly of Tannehill, as the two spent several seasons with the Miami Dolphins: "That's my guy. I'm glad he's balling up there. I knew he could."

WATCH: Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans at 1 p.m. ET on CBS

3. Cowboys and Rams in desperate need of win to remain relevant in division race



It's been a tough season for the Los Angeles Rams, but at least they can take solace in the fact that they aren't alone. The ever steady presence of the New England Patriots aside, most teams follow Super Bowl runs with a subpar season.

In 2007, former NFL GM Charley Casserly listed off the reasons a Super Bowl trip is hard to follow. "Several elements come into play the following year: a shorter offseason, contract issues, more demand for your players' time. Once the season starts, you become the biggest game on everybody's schedule," said the former Executive of the Year, who won three titles with the Washington Redskins.

But the fate of the Rams stings a little worse. The team is a respectable 8-5 but must contend with the elite company of San Francisco and Seattle, who pace the NFC West with 11 and 10 wins, respectively. The Rams are currently on the outside of the playoffs looking in, but running back Todd Gurley has a positive for his team when facing Dallas: "It's Week 15 in the league, man. Nobody is feeling well-rested."

That's doubly true for the Cowboys, with key players like quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper limited in practice with lingering injuries. That's not to say all is lost for America's Team, as they have an easier road to the playoffs than the Rams. Despite the injuries and rumors of a coaching change, Dallas remains in first place in the NFC East, tied with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Even a mediocre 6-7 record hasn't gotten the team down. "Anything and everything up to this point has meant absolutely nothing," said Prescott. "The only thing that matters is if we're winning this day."

Tight end Jason Witten agrees: "Everybody has the conviction, the mindset ... We just have to go do it."

WATCH: Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX.


Police are looking for the man who vandalized a California synagogue
By Christina Maxouris, CNN

Authorities are investigating a series of vandalisms -- including at a synagogue -- that took place in the city of Beverly Hills, police say.

The vandalism at the Nessah Synagogue was discovered Saturday morning by an employee who said he found "an open door and items ransacked inside," the City of Beverly Hills Police Department said in a news release.

"The suspect disrupted the furnishings, and contents of the synagogue by overturning furniture and distributing brochures and materials throughout the interior," the release said. He "damaged several Jewish relics, but fortunately the Synagogue's main scrolls survived unscathed."

No one was inside at the time and no one was injured, it said.

"This cowardly attack hits at the heart of who we are as a community," Mayor John Mirisch said in a statement. "It is not just an attack on the Jewish Community of Beverly Hills; it's an attack on all of us. The entire City stands in solidarity behind Nessah, its members and congregants."

"We are committed to catching the criminal who desecrated a holy place on Shabbat of all days and bringing him to justice," he said. "We are equally committed that our City will continue to be a welcoming place for Jews and for members of all religions and groups."

Police are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime, the release said, but noted "the suspect left no markings or other overt signs of anti-Semitism."

The man police are looking for is white, between 20-25 years old, the release said, has short dark curly hair , a thin build and possibly wearing prescription glasses. He carried a backpack and pulled a rolling suitcase, the release said.

Police believe the same suspect committed several minor vandalisms in the area before he reached the synagogue.


Raiders to play final game in Oakland Coliseum

Raiders to play final game in Oakland Coliseum
By Adam Renuart, CNN

The Oakland Raiders are a franchise used to change. Before the team ever even took the field, they had to switch their name.

In his book "Black Knight: Al Davis and his Raiders," author Ira Simmons details how a local columnist penned a mock petition asking for a new mascot days after the original was picked.

The Oakland Señors became the Oakland Raiders, but the fledgling franchise was still without a home. It wasn't the only thing that would change the squad would endure in their opening year, as the team was forced from their home venue after the better-established San Francisco 49ers took precedence.

Oakland would undergo one more change in home venue before settling at the Oakland Coliseum, perhaps one of the most enduring things about the team, aside from the presence of the Davis family.

But on Sunday, the Raiders will play the last game in the stadium that has been synonymous with their team, aside from a decade in change in Los Angeles. The newest venue will be in Las Vegas, a state away from the franchise's starting point. Their final opponent in Oakland will be the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that joined the NFL in 1995.

"It's going to be a hard day for a lot of the fans here in the Bay Area," said former Raiders great Charles Woodson. Woodson got to have his own goodbye in 2015 after his final game, saying: "Though this is my last game in the Coliseum, just know I'll never leave you. Go Raiders!" It's a sentiment many likely share about their beloved stadium.

The Coliseum is perhaps best known for two things, the first being its dual role as a baseball venue. It's also home to the Oakland A's, and when baseball season is in full swing, the Raiders play with infield dirt interrupting the traditionally solid grass pattern of a football field. It is the only stadium currently in the United States that is shared by professional football and baseball teams.

"I like the old elements of football. I know a lot of friends, just like me, that like watching a football game on the dirt," said Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

Players have more of mixed feelings on the baseball layout, with former running back Justin Forsett comparing falling on the dirt at the Coliseum to belly flopping on pavement.

The Coliseum opened on September 18, 1966 when the Raiders played the Kansas City Chiefs.

The other notable feature of the Coliseum only appears on Sunday, a rabid fan contingent known as the "Black Hole." Dubbed "Football's Most Notorious Fans," the end zone faithful make the Coliseum one of best places to place.

"Jumping in the Black Hole and celebrating with those fans, those loyalists, those people who bleed silver and black just like you do, it's like being at Thanksgiving dinner with your family," former All-Pro fullback Marcel Reece told NBC Sports.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid agrees: "There's just something about that place that's crazy."

The team is hoping some of that Black Hole energy will transfer to Las Vegas. For their part, the team is taking some traditions from Oakland to the desert, though with a twist. The famed Al Davis Memorial Torch, a tribute to the late great owner, is one such an example.

The torch, named for the Raiders late owner, was lit by a player each week as a remembrance to the former face of the franchise. Instead, the Raiders will feature an 85-foot tall replica of the torch, set to be the largest 3D-printed object in the world.

And while some will probably miss the humble original, if there's something Raiders' fans can probably get used to, it's change.


Attorneys for Lori Loughlin and husband say government 'appears to be concealing' evidence beneficial to the defense
By Amir Vera, CNN

Attorneys for actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, say the US government is hiding evidence that would benefit the couple's defense in the college admission scandal.

Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to the scandal's mastermind, Rick Singer, to have their daughters pose as University of Southern California athletes. They were also later accused of bribing USC employees to get their daughters admitted.

The couple pleaded not guilty in April to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. They also pleaded not guilty in November to a bribery charge.

In a motion filed Friday, defense attorneys say Loughlin and Giannulli did not know their money was being used to bribe Donna Heinel, a USC official, as federal prosecutors are claiming.

"The Government appears to be concealing exculpatory evidence that helps show that both Defendants believed all of the payments they made would go to USC itself -- for legitimate, university-approved purposes -- or to other legitimate charitable causes," the motion read.

Defense attorneys are asking a judge to order prosecutors to release the beneficial evidence, some of which they say shows statements made by Singer detailing how their money would be used and USC's knowledge of the operation.

"The Government must therefore prove, among other things, that Giannulli and Loughlin intended to defraud USC," the motion read.


This 14-year-old beat stage 4 cancer, just in time to make it home for Christmas
By Leah Asmelash, CNN

It started out as a limp.

At the time, father Shawn Cress thought daughter Chloe, then 12 years old, just needed some physical therapy. That was June 2018.

But the limp turned into a fever, which led to lab tests at the doctor's office that "didn't look good," Shawn recalls. And by then, Chloe was having back pain.

All this for the Kingsport, Tennessee family turned into a referral to Niswonger Children's Hospital in Johnson City, about 34 miles away, where doctors gave Chloe a CT scan. That's how they found the mass -- a giant tumor near Chloe's heart that had spread down to her esophagus and into some of her vertebrae, causing the back pain.

It was stage 4 cancer -- alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, which is cancer in the skeletal muscles, according to the American Cancer Society. Not even 12 hours after the results came back, Chloe was flown to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, and the family has been there ever since.

Now, thankfully, that is changing. Chloe is going home for the first time in 18 months, just in time for Christmas.

Moving to St. Jude



Back in June 2018, life was quickly turned upside down.

Shawn told CNN that initially upon hearing the news "you just break down."

They had known it was bad, he said, but they didn't expect it to be that bad.

"It just scares the life out of you," he said. "You just think, 'I'm gonna lose my kid.' And it's really helpless, because there's nothing you can do."

Chloe, now 14, said she was mainly worried at first.

"I was worried about something happening to the whole family because of me," she told CNN. "I mean like money problems, and all sorts of things like that. Unable to have the same house that I grew up in, having my dogs, having everything I love that isn't allowed to be at St. Jude."

Days that had been filled with school and work were replaced with doctors' appointments -- with the family sometimes spending up to 14 hours in a day at the hospital.

Chloe especially missed her two dogs, Buu and Rollie, she said. Getting to see her dogs every month was consistently the most uplifting part.

"They're my emotional link," she said.

It doesn't help that the family is based in Kingsport, 8 hours from St. Jude in Memphis, on the other side of Tennessee. So they've had to basically move cities, Shawn said.

On Tuesday, the doctors told the family the good news: The cancer was in remission. Though they'll have to return for follow-up appointments every three months, the family can finally head home on December 21.

Home for Christmas



Last Christmas, the family was able to return home for a few days, but they had to drive back to St. Jude on Christmas day for appointments on December 26, 2018.

"This one is more exciting because it's for good," Shawn said.

But after 18 months, he said going home feels "surreal." There were days when they didn't know this day would come.

Chloe said she feels relieved about finally going home. She won't be able to return to school right away, and will probably be bedridden at least for the rest of the school year.

But that doesn't matter. She says she looks forward to finally spending some quality time with her dogs -- and maybe adopting another one, too.


Iran says it's foiled major 'organized' attack on government servers
By Radina Gigova, CNN

Iran is investigating what it says is a foreign spying malware attack on government servers, according to state media.

The country's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, said the "organized" and "very big" attack was intended to obtain government information, state-run Press TV said on Sunday.

Jahromi said the attack was identified and thwarted by the country's "security shield," according to Press TV.

The announcement comes days after Iran claimed it had thwarted another cyberattack launched by a foreign government. Jharomi said Wednesday the country had defused a massive cyberattack on unspecified "electronic infrastructure" without providing further details on the attack.

And in June, Jahromi also reported an unsuccessful American cyberattack against the country's missile control system. "They try hard, but they have yet to carry out a successful attack," he said at the time, as quoted by Press TV.

Two US officials with knowledge of the matter told CNN in June that the US Cyber Command had launched a retaliatory cyberstrike against an Iranian spy group. The cyberattack's goal was to attack the communications network of Kata'ib Hezbollah, an Iranian-sponsored Shia militia group.

The US Defense Department declined to comment on the June attack. "The US Central Command declines to comment on any potential cyberattack," said Capt. William Urban, spokesman for the command which oversees military operations in the Middle East.


Two California deputies were ignored in a Starbucks, officials say

Two California deputies were ignored in a Starbucks, officials say
By Christina Maxouris, CNN

Starbucks is apologizing after a California sheriff's office said two of their deputies were ignored in a store.

"Two of our deputies were refused service at Starbucks," Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said on Twitter. "The anti police culture repeatedly displayed by Starbucks employees must end."

The sheriff's department said on Twitter Friday it was aware of the "cop with no coffee" incident that took place Thursday night.

Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges told CNN the deputies were ignored for nearly five minutes -- and there's no excuse for that.

"We are deeply sorry and reached out to apologize directly to them. We take full responsibility for any intentional or unintentional disrespect shown to law enforcement on whom we depend every day to keep our stores and communities safe," Borges said.

The deputies were "laughed at" and "completely ignored," Bianco said in a video.

"They tried to get served, they asked if anyone was going to help them," he said.

Eventually, they left, Bianco said.

CNN has reached out to the Riverside County's Sheriff's office, but has not heard back.

The incident happened about an hour before closing, according to Borges.

"We are in communication w/ @Starbucks Corporate addressing the issue of deputies being denied service," the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said in a tweet Friday.

All the baristas who were on the shift when the incident occurred on Thursday night will not be allowed to work as Starbucks investigates the incident. They will not have any shifts scheduled until the investigation is over.

This is the third time this year Starbucks has come under fire for its treatment of police officers.

Last month, the police chief in Kiefer, Oklahoma, said one of his officers picked up a coffee order from a local Starbucks that had the word "PIG" printed on the label.

"This cup of coffee for a 'pig' is just another little flag. It's another tiny symptom and a nearly indiscernible shout from a contemptuous, roaring and riotous segment of a misanthropic society that vilifies those who stand for what's right and glorifies the very people who would usher in the destruction of the social fabric," Chief Johnny O'Mara wrote on Facebook.

Starbucks apologized and suspended a barista pending an investigation.

And in July, the Tempe Officers Association in Arizona said six officers were asked by a barista to leave because, the barista said, a customer "did not feel safe" in their presence.

"When those officers entered the store and a customer raised a concern over their presence, they should have been welcomed and treated with dignity and the utmost respect by our partners (employees). Instead, they were made to feel unwelcome and disrespected, which is completely unacceptable," Rossann Williams, Starbucks executive vice president and president of US retail, had said in a statement.


The surprising ads once used to sell tours to deadly volcano

The surprising ads once used to sell tours to deadly volcano
By John Malathronas, CNN

With hindsight, it looks embarrassingly inappropriate, but long before New Zealand's White Island volcano erupted killing at least 16 people this week, it was once humorously marketed as a fun destination for risk takers.

The volcano, also known as Whakaari, has for decades been an attraction for travelers visiting by boat or helicopter from the town of Whakatane on New Zealand's northern coast.

It's not the world's only active volcano to attract tourists -- countries from Indonesia to Iceland regularly host visitors willing to dice with danger in their efforts to glimpse the natural spectacle of a smoldering or lava-spewing peak.

But Monday's tragic events have spotlighted the tourism industry that's built up around White Island and other volatile attractions.

Perhaps emblematic of the willingness of both tourist and tour company to dance around the potentially lethal risks involved, is some of the material that has been used to promote White Island in the past.

During a visit made by this writer in 2006, it was being heavily marketed on the perils that tourists would face via literature that now seems toe-curlingly bad, particularly in light of this week's deaths.

"Single White Female," reads the headline on a jokey advertorial promoting tours of the volcano that's written in the style of a lonely hearts column.

"Steamy, very active, 200,000-year-old seeking similar to increase alert level rating," the piece, credited to a local tour guide, said. "Dormant/extinct volcanoes need not apply."

It goes on: "My curvaceous andesite bumps and mounds roll voluptuously down to the water. I have the aroma of hot sulphur and I change my look with my mood. If I'm feeling active, I wear layers of slippery grey ash..."

The lonely hearts ad isn't what tourists to New Zealand would've seen just before Monday's eruption. It appears on the back of a 32-page brochure-slash-newspaper, Discover White Island, that was originally printed in 2003 but being distributed at the time of my visit.

'Handle with scare'



White Islands Tours -- which ceased operations after the December 9 eruption -- wasn't downplaying the risk of visiting the island -- headlining the newspaper distributed in 2006 with bold red letters that screamed: "Volcano, handle with scare."

For backpackers and other thrill seekers touring New Zealand, this whiff of danger has placed White Island firmly on adventure itineraries alongside bungee jumping, jetboating and white water rafting.

It was only when I boarded the tour boat and signed a disclaimer that absolved anyone but myself of any responsibility that the reality of the trip's dangers hit home, but not enough to dissuade me or my fellow tourists from continuing.

Although my visit was incident-free, it would've been more or less identical to that experienced by those caught up in this week's disaster, right up until the point when the volcano erupted.

En route to the island, a school of dolphins appeared in the swell alongside the boat as our guide distributed gas masks and hard hats.

We were then given some basic facts and figures about our destination. Its size -- 11 miles by 10 miles. And its history: bought by a man called George Buttle in 1936. The island is still a private reserve belonging to the Buttle Family Trust.

According to my notes from the trip, the guide stressed that the volcano was "very much alive," and that the terrain we would be crossing had been formed relatively recently during a period of near-continuous volcanic activity between 1975 and 2000.

"The activity level now stands at one," he said. "Three means there's constant emissions. Five signals disaster. But remember: We can never rule out an eruption."

"The danger comes from the main crater that's covered by a shallow lake. An eruption would lead to a steam explosion and scald us to death."

New Zealand monitoring service GeoNet operates a five-point alert system for volcanoes. One means minor volcanic unrest, five means major volcanic eruption. At the time of Monday's eruption, it was set to two -- minor to heightened volcanic unrest -- an acceptable level for tours to continue under existing safety guidelines.

Corrosive air



After a couple of hours sailing, our party landed at White Island's Crater Bay, where we were greeted by what looked like an alien landscape.

The sea was lemon yellow, the rocks cinnamon brown, the sand pitch black and the air thick with the smell of an open latrine.

What was eerie, though, was the silence. I was expecting a roar, at least a muted grumble, but no, the island was silent.

"Wrap everything, especially your camera, in plastic bags," the guide warned. "Take it out for a photo and put it back in again. The air is corrosive."

"What about us?" I asked.

"You are alive and have repair mechanisms in place. Your lenses don't."

The guide led us through the skeletal, rusty remains of a factory. Despite the risks, people have been mining sulfur here on and off since the 1880s.

"Back in September 1914 a sudden slag flow buried the living quarters and killed 10 miners," we were told. "Only their cat survived."

"Mining resumed in 1923 but was abandoned in the 1930s. It became too dangerous to continue."

At some point he showed us a rivulet running through the ground.

"It's been raining, so you'll see a lot of small streams," he said. "Step over them. They're pure battery acid. Stick to the path and follow me."

With pewter-gray ash and scoria covering much of the land; the scene could've been described as lunar if it weren't for the mist over the steam vents.

These vents came in every shade of yellow -- from banana to butterscotch and all variations in between.

"Don't go anywhere near the vents," our guide said. "The coolest ones clock 95 C (100 F). The superheated ones can reach 200 C (400 F). Some go deep down to 600 feet below sea level."

Some of the big vents have names, we were told. There was Gilliver, Rudolf and Donald Duck.

Others were large enough to be classified as craters, with names like Big John or Noisy Nellie.

'Everything rusts'



Our guide showed us debris from an eruption in 2000.

"It only lasted for 12 seconds but spewed out five-foot-long rocks hundreds of feet away," he said. "I was here three days later. The rocks were still warm and you could pry them apart like toffee."

At some point, we reached a white line painted on the ground and were told to stop.

"From here on, the crust is thin," the guide said. "Walk further and the ground might give in under your feet."

In front of us lay the main crater cloaked under a vapor cloud, a gate to the center of the Earth.

We stood there silently, taking photos before slowly heading back, skirting the white line.

Back on the boat, the guide changed his sneakers. He used a separate pair just for White Island. "Plastic laces, holes with no metal eyelets; everything rusts there," he said.

On the return journey to Whakatane, we were served warm soup to soothe our stinging throats followed by a meal of rice and baked fish.

This time the entertainment came from above as a company of gannets nosedived into the sea with spectacular plunges.

"Despite the eruptions, this gannet colony is well established," the guide said. "Amazingly, it's on the safest part of the island. This is where the miners built their cabins when they returned in the 1920s."

Today, looking back at my diary of my 2006 trip, I'm struck by a quote I scribbled down that's attributed to the island's late owner, George Buttle.

He supposedly said: "Strange as it may seem, the island is unbelievably beautiful."

In its own extra-terrestrial kind of way, it was. And I'm glad I've been there.

But like so many visitors over the years, I know that I've played with fire for the fun of it.

Others weren't so lucky.


'If the climate stays like this, we won't make it' say those on the frontline of Africa's drought
By David McKenzie and Brent Swails, CNN

Torrents of water once thundered over the precipice at Victoria Falls, on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, shrouding the area in mist.

But a multi-year drought has slowed large sections of the imposing falls to little more than a weak stream, and the lush vegetation they once nourished is hot and dry.

The parched waterfall is perhaps the most visible effect of the drought that is hammering this region. But it is not the most devastating. The World Food Program says that more than 7 million people in Zimbabwe alone are going hungry, with a further 45 million people across southern Africa at risk.

As delegates desperately search for a practical plan for cutting emissions at the COP25 meetings in Madrid, Spain, this week, this region is a stark reminder that the climate crisis is here and now -- and that countries that did the least to cause the climate crisis are already being hit the hardest.

"Our future is still ahead of us," said Nkosi Nyathi, a 16-year-old climate activist from Victoria Falls, ahead of his flight to COP25 in Madrid. "We are looking at what is already happening with the drought. What is our future going to be like? Even just 10 years down the line or 15 years down the line, it will affect us very much."

Nyathi started campaigning for the environment when he was just 10 years old. He says while he wasn't good at sports, he was good at debating, so he started going into the communities to educate people about renewable energy and climate change.

His visit to Madrid -- his first trip out of the region -- is part of an initiative by UNICEF to involve more youth voices into the climate debate.

"The voice of the youth needs to be part of the decision-making policies. We have to be aware. You have to be aware. We are all being affected," Nyathi said.

But Nyathi knows that the impact from emissions reductions can't come from here in Zimbabwe. It needs to be done in industrial countries.

The whole of Africa contributed around 1% of the historic emissions that caused climate change, according to noted climate expert Francois Engelbrecht, a scientist at the Global Change Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand and lead author on the IPCC climate reports.

The United States bears the biggest historical responsibility for emissions. Despite this, the Trump administration is in the process of pulling out of the landmark Paris climate agreement.

"I think Africans are fully realizing how urgent the need now is for worldwide climate action," Engelbrecht says. "The southern African region, in particular, is already hot and dry and is projected to become even hotter and drier under future climate change. In fact, the region is projected to warm at more or less double the global rate of warming."

One of those feeling the repercussions of global warming is Felistus Ncube, a subsistence farmer in western Zimbabwe.

"I wish that they could stop climate change because we are suffering," she says. "We depend on farming to survive as a family and if the climate stays like this we won't make it."

Ncube doesn't need climate science to tell her how things have changed in this part of the country. As a child, they could depend on the rains to plant their maize and sorghum, a grain used to feed livestock. But no longer.

"The rain levels have been falling and they always come late," she says as she collects her allotted food aid. Even with the assistance, Ncube and her two grandchildren live off a single meal a day. The children's parents left for South Africa years ago as farming became unrealistic.

Making the drought worse, the Zimbabwean economy is in a tailspin with rising inflation and failed political reform that has left residents living under more brutal conditions than ever before.

When Hilal Elver, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, recently visited the country she called the crisis "man-made starvation" caused by government disfunction.

But unlike in wealthy nations, many countries in this region -- and in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole -- do not have the financial or organizational capacity to ready their populations for a changing climate. The Paris agreement factors in this climate response, but policy makers say it isn't enough.

And if it isn't enough now, it won't be enough in the future. Climate models show that without substantial and sustained emissions cuts, southern Africa is heading for a tipping point.

"At the current rate, with greenhouse gas concentrations continuing to increase in the atmosphere, the southern African region five decades from now will be unrecognizable compared to the region we are living in today," says Englebrecht.

Extreme climate events will come more frequently and on multiple fronts: Sustained droughts and heatwaves will continue; cyclones like Idai that hit Mozambique and Zimbabwe in March will get stronger; and the prospect of Day Zero water events -- like when Cape Town very nearly ran out of water last year -- are three times more likely, Englebrecht says.

Climate models project a nightmare scenario where staple crops such as maize won't survive the heatwaves and even cattle farming -- key to the livelihood of millions -- will be impossible.

And climate experts say younger generations globally will start feeling the disastrous effects of human-driven emissions much like the scenarios now being faced in southern Africa.

For Nyathi, the impact of climate change is already critical, and the inequality of the climate crisis is obvious.

"The message is simple: Guys, we are all humans, we are all breathing the same air, these countries are polluting, and we are facing the worst of it," he says.


DOJ report ranks Ohio 'high' for sexual victimization in juvenile detention facilities, despite overall decline
By Anna Sturla, CNN

Ohio is the only state ranked "high" for its rate of sexual victimization in juvenile correctional facilities, according to a Department of Justice report released this week that evaluated data from 2018.

However, the report highlighted the difficulty of obtaining sufficient facility data -- only about a third of the 327 facilities surveyed in the study had enough youth interviews to be ranked in the report. The report defined sexual victimization as any forced or coerced sexual acts between young people held in juvenile correctional facilities, or any sexual contact between them and facility staff.

More than 15 percent -- or about one in six -- of the 140 surveyed youth held in Ohio juvenile correctional facilities reported being forced or coerced into sexual activity with other youths or detention staff in 2018, compared to 7.1 percent nationally.

That means Ohio was the only state given a "high" rating of sexual victimization in its juvenile correctional facilities.

Six facilities in Ohio were surveyed but only two had sufficient data for the final report. Ohio's rate of sexual victimization in juvenile detention facilities declined nearly 23% since the last time the Justice Department surveyed juvenile facilities, from 19.8% in 2012 to 15.3%.

"No sexual victimization of youth is ever acceptable, but we are encouraged by the significant reduction in reported instances since 2012," Ohio's Department of Youth Services said in a statement to CNN.

The national rate of sexual victimization in juvenile correctional centers declined, from 9.5 percent in 2012 to 7.1 percent in 2018.

"We are seeing decreases in overall reported rates," said Erica Smith, one of the co-authors of the report. "Across the board, those rates have gone down."

The report's limitations



The report, conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, came with multiple caveats.

One major limitation is that only 113 facilities of the almost 330 surveyed had enough interviews with youths in the facilities to draw usable data. The report surveyed 6,049 young people in 327 juvenile detention facilities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia over the course of 2018. The report did not include the facilities that didn't have enough usable data.

Some states allowed facilities to consent for minors to participate in the survey, while others, like Ohio, required researchers to track down guardians for permission, according to Smith. Parents could be hard to find, meaning those states tended to have less reportable data, she told CNN.

"It should be noted that we don't know for certain that Ohio has the highest rate, because only one-third of the sampled facilities were included in the rankings," according to the statement from Ohio's Department of Youth Services. "Even the report acknowledges its limitations, reiterating that the 'facilities listed as having the highest or lowest rates of sexual victimization are those among the 113 facilities that had enough completed interviews to generate reliable facility-level estimates.' This means that 214 out of 327 facilities (two-thirds) were completely omitted from the final rankings."

For states that required researchers to obtain guardian consent, Ohio's Circleville Juvenile Correctional Facility was the second-worst ranked facility in the country with 16.7% of those surveyed reported sexual abuse, down from its 2012 rate of 30.3%. Circleville's administration declined comment when contacted by CNN and referred all questions to the state.

Ohio's Department of Youth Services noted that since Circleville was surveyed in 2018, all Ohio youth correctional facilities had been outfitted with more cameras in living units. New housing units have decreased the number of youths housed together and those units have improved supervision, the statement said.

Among states that required parental consent for youth to be surveyed in the study, Macon Youth Development Campus in Georgia had the highest reported rate of sexual victimization, at 19 percent.

Georgia's Department of Juvenile Justice did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment. In a statement to WMAZ on Wednesday, Macon Youth Development Campus spokesman Glenn Allen said, "safeguards have been put in place to screen for employees who may have the potential to victimize youth. Our staff are also trained on how to appropriately engage youth and maintain appropriate personal boundaries."

Report highlights difficulty in conducting study



Juvenile correctional facilities tend to be small, which makes it harder to do random samples, according to Smith. The Justice Department used random samples of both its sexual victimization survey and an alternative survey when evaluating a center to protect the identities of respondents. This method would grant young respondents young plausible deniability that they had not reported sexual abuse to outside authorities, Smith said.

However, according to Smith, meaningful evaluations were difficult to achieve because random sampling coupled with the small size of some facilities sometimes resulted in too few surveys.

"The very nature of these juvenile facilities makes it difficult to come up with a statistically reliable estimate about really anything that happens in these facilities," Smith said.

Seven states -- Massachusetts, Nevada, North and South Carolina, North and South Dakota and Wyoming -- had no reported incidents of sexual victimization in any of their surveyed juvenile facilities. However, those states were not classified as having a low rate of sexual victimization due to their relatively low response rates.

Jessica Feierman, a senior managing director with the Juvenile Law Center, an advocacy organization for youth in the justice system, said that children and young adults could still fear retaliation, hindering accurate reporting.

"Much of the time, what we find is that young people in facilities are very reluctant to share any harmful experiences they may be having," Feierman said. "I think there's always a real risk of underreporting when it comes to asking young people how they're being treated in facilities they're still in."

The report, the third of its kind, is part of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, which requires the Justice Department to track sexual victimization in prisons and other facilities.

"One sexual assault of a young person is one too many. Seven percent is incredibly high," Feierman said. "We need to ask what sort of treatment we'd want our own children to get. I'd never want to send my child to a place where there was a 7 percent chance of sexual victimization."


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