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Ex-Syrian Intelligence officer lied to get U.S. citizenship, may be hiding in Florida, FBI says

A former brigadier general with Syrian Intelligence Directorate lied to apply for U.S. citizenship and may be hiding out in South Florida, the FBI said.

The most recent photo available to law enforcement of 75-year-old Moustafa Abed Ayoub was taken in 2006, investigators said.

>> Read more trending stories

An FBI release said Ayoub was a commander with the Syrian Intelligence Directorate from the early 1980s through the late 1990s.

Officials said he is wanted on accusations he provided false testimony during U.S. naturalization proceedings.

To be eligible for U.S. citizenship, an individual filing for citizenship must have been in the country for at least 30 months, which Ayoub said he had been, the FBI Miami field office said.

Travel records show that during the past 30 months, Ayoub had traveled outside the U.S. for more than 1,020 days, investigators said.

A warrant for his arrest was filed in Florida, where he has ties to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, the FBI said. It is also possible he is in Syria or Lebanon.

The FBI is offering a reward for information leading directly to the arrest of Moustafa Abed Ayoub. If you have any...Posted by FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday, August 22, 2016

Are debate moderators biased? Many survey respondents say yes.

Are the journalists who moderate the presidential debates biased toward one candidate over the other? With the presidential debate only hours away, a survey released Monday shows that a lot of people think so.

According to a survey by Rasmussen Reports, a majority of voters surveyed said they think the moderators at the three presidential debates are likely to help Hillary Clinton more than Donald Trump.

The telephone and online survey, conducted Sept. 20-21, found that 46 percent believe that the moderators – Lester Holt for the first debate, Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz for the second and Chris Wallace for the final debate – are more likely to go easier on Clinton, while 32 percent said the moderators will try to remain  unbiased. Fifteen percent said they are undecided about how the moderators will act, while 6 percent said the moderators are more likely to help Trump.

According to Rasmussen, the results are similar to a poll before a 2012 debate in which 71percent of Republicans and 56 percent of unaffiliated voters said debate moderators are biased.

The survey was of 1,000 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Here are some more numbers from the latest surveys. (Firm that conducted the survey in parentheses).

• (Rasmussen): The candidates have similar support from their respective parties. Seventy-six percent of Republicans surveyed said they support Donald Trump and 75 percent of Democrats said they support Clinton. Fourteen percent of Democrats prefer Trump, while 10 percent of Republicans said they support Clinton. Amon those who are not affiliated with either party, Trump has a 45 percent to 27 percent lead in support. 

• (Bloomberg): Clinton is expected to do better in the debate Monday night. Forty-nine percent said Clinton will win. Thirty-nine percent said Trump will have a better night.

• (Bloomberg): Trump and Clinton are tied at 46 percent in a survey of  likely voters. Trump has a slight advantage – 43 to 41 percent – over Clinton when Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson are included in the survey.

• (Bloomberg): In August, likely voters under 35 years old broke for Clinton by 29 percentage points over Trump. Last week, Clinton held a 10 percentage point lead over Trump in that category.

(Los Angeles Times/USC Tracking): Trump is up four percentage points over Clinton in a national race in survey results released Monday.

• (Quinnipiac): Clinton is up one percentage point on Trump in a national race in survey results released Monday.

• (ABC/Washington Post): Fifty-five percent of those surveyed have an unfavorable impression  of Clinton; 59 percent have an unfavorable view of Trump.

• (Gravis): In the battleground state of Ohio, Trump is up one percentage point on Clinton when those surveyed were asked to choose among Trump, Clinton and Johnson.

• (Bloomberg): In a number that could bode well for Trump, 66 percent of those surveyed said they believe that the country is “on the wrong track.” 

7 things to know now: First debate is tonight; Arnold Palmer dies; LSU fires Les Miles

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Debate night: The first presidential debate is set for Monday night in New York, in what could be one of the most watched events ever on television. Some estimate more than 100 million viewers will tune in to see the first of three debates between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. The national race for the presidency, in some polls, is a dead heat as the two get set to meet for the first time on stage together. (Click here for everything you want to know about the debate).

2. Washington mall shooter: A man who shot and killed five people at a makeup counter in a Burlington, Wash., Macy’s is due in court Monday morning. Arcan Cetin, 20, faces five counts of first-degree murder in  the shooting  deaths Friday. Cetin was captured Saturday after a 20-hour manhunt.

3. Palmer dies: Arnold Palmer, who earned the title of “The King” of golf during his years dominating the sport, died Sunday. Palmer who won seven major victories in his career, and went on to design golf courses and endorse products after retiring, was 87 and had been suffering from heart disease.

4. Les Miles fired: Louisiana State University has fired its head football coach Les Miles. Miles, along with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron were both dismissed Sunday following a loss to Auburn on Saturday. In the loss, LSU appeared to win the game on a last second touchdown pass, but a replay showed the quarterback did not  get the play off before time ran out. Miles had before been criticized for not managing the game clock well. Miles was at LSU for 11 years and won a national championship title there in 2007.

5. Fernandez death: Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez died from blunt force trauma, not drowning following a boating accident early Sunday morning, according to authorities. Fernandez, along with two friends, was killed when the boat they were riding in hit a jetty as they approached a channel near the port of Miami. Florida Wildlife Commission authorities said Fernandez, 24, was a passenger in the boat.

And  one more

Three people, including  a 17- year-old girl have been arrested in connection with the deaths of three people in a Southern California home. Police would not confirm that the 17-year-old was the daughter of the couple who was killed, as some media outlets have reported. The third person killed was a friend of the couple. Two girls, ages 6 and 9, were also found in the home. They were unharmed.

 In case you missed it

First Presidential debate: What time, what channel, who is the special guest?

It’s expected  to be the most watched debate in U.S. history.

Upward of 100 million people could tune in Monday night to see the first presidential debate between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The two will meet in  New York for the first of three debates scheduled for the next few weeks.

Here’s a quick look at Monday’s debate.

What time is it?

The debate begins at 9 p.m. It will be 90 minutes long, without commercial interruption.

Where can I see it?

The debate will be broadcast live on cable news networks, the three major networks and other media outlets including social media.

Where is it?

The debate is being held at Hofstra University on Long Island, N.Y.

What is the structure  for the debate?

The first debate will be divided into six 15-minute segments. The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. Candidates will then have an opportunity to respond to each other. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a deeper discussion of the topic.

Who will moderate the debate?

The moderator of the first debate will be NBC's Lester Holt.

What are the topics for the debate?

The topics will include "America’s Direction," "Achieving Prosperity" and "Securing America," in that order. 

Will anyone else be on the debate stage?

No, the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, and the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, failed to qualify for a spot on the debate stage.

Special guest?

Rumors are that Gennifer Flowers, who in the 1990s had an affair with Bill Clinton, will be in the front row of the debate audience. Apparently, Trump invited Flowers after he was told that Dallas Mavericks owner and Trump detractor  Mark Cuban would be attending the debate, sitting in the front row.  

(Update: Gov. Mike Pence told Fox News that Gennifer Flowers will not be  attending the debate and that Trump was simply mocking the Clinton campaign's announcement that Mark Cuban will be there.)

Triple suicide bombing kills 11 in Iraq

A provincial spokesman in Iraq said a triple suicide bombing killed at least 11 members of the security forces, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

>> Read more trending stories   

Col. Mohammed al-Jabouri, the spokesman for the Salahuddin province police force, said three militants rammed explosives-laden vehicles into a checkpoint. Al-Jabouri confirmed that 34 other security officers were wounded.

The attack occurred as the local police chief and head of the provincial security committee were visiting the site, al-Jabouri said. Both officials escaped unharmed.

No group has claimed responsibility.

Yahoo hack: What do you do if your account was hacked?

Yahoo announced Thursday that at least half a billion people had their email accounts hacked in late 2014. In a press release, Yahoo said a “state-sponsored actor” was responsible for the theft – meaning, likely, Russia or China.

If you’re looking for some good news in this situation, here it is: the hackers did not get into everyone’s account. Thankfully, Yahoo protects accounts with “hashing,” a type of cryptography that is used to protect passwords, so there is a chance the hackers missed you.

Related: Yahoo confirms hack of 500 million users

However, those of us who use common passwords – looking at you “12345” – are less likely to have escaped unscathed.

Not only are Yahoo email accounts at risk, but Yahoo also owns Flickr and some of those accounts could have been hacked. Yahoo owns Tumblr, too, but they say no Tumbler accounts were affected.

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here  

So, whether you know if you’ve been hacked or not, here’s what you need to know and need to do if you have a Yahoo account.

1. Change your password – It seems like a closing-the-barn-door-after-the-horse-is-out moment, but not really. Change your account password in case you were not hacked and to stop anyone who has your password from getting back in. Do that now.

2. While we are on that subject, do not use the same password for other accounts. Using “password1” for everything is like opening gifts on Christmas to a hacker.  

How do you come up with a secure password? Check this method. It’s a bit of work, but it will be worth it. Yahoo also suggests you enable two-factor authentication (2FA) – a two-step verification process that requires a password and username plus some other bit of information to get into an account.

Check here for a list of websites that support 2FA.

3.  If you have been hacked, Yahoo will notify you and will invalidate unencrypted security questions and answers. So those questions about the color of your first car, or your mother’s maiden name won’t work soon. By the way, you should make up not-so-common answers for those questions, too.

From Yahoo, here are the signs of a hacked account and what to do.

Signs your account has been hacked

  • Your account information has changed without your knowledge. 
  • There are logins from locations you don't recognize on your recent activity page.
  • You aren't receiving expected emails.
  • Your Yahoo Mail account is sending spam.

What to do now

Stop your account from sending spam

Receiving spam is one thing. Getting reports of spam coming from your account is another. If your account's been hacked to send spam, you can fix it! The fastest way to stop your account from sending spam is to secure your account by creating a new, strong password or enabling Account Key. 

Report a forged (spoofed) email

Forged messages are emails that appear to be sent from your email address, but they're actually sent from an entirely different email account. If your Yahoo Mail is secure, but people are still getting spam that looks like it comes from your address, it's probably a forged, or "spoofed," email.

  • View the full header of the email in question.
  • From the last Received line of the full header, take note of the originating IP address. - This corresponds with the sender's Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  • Conduct an IP lookup through a site like to determine which ISP provides the sender with Internet access.
  • Contact the sender's ISP to request that appropriate action be taken.

Email providers can't prevent such forgery, but if fraud is identified, action can be taken.

Review your Yahoo Mail settings

  • Delete email contacts that you don't recognize.
  • Delete linked Mail accounts that you don't recognize or control.
  • Change your password on any linked accounts that you control.
  • Make sure your vacation response is turned off. 
  • See if someone else has been accessing your account.

Other commonly changed Yahoo Mail account settings:

  • Signature
  • Sending name
  • "Reply-to" address
  • Mail Forwarding
  • Filters
  • Banned Addresses

Restore missing email, IMs, and Contacts

If you're missing emails, IMs, or Contacts, it's possible that you can restore your lost or deleted email and IMs. You may also be able to recover lost contacts.

Check your computer for malware

Malware can corrupt your system and capture sensitive information, like passwords and bank account numbers. There are several anti-malware programs you can find online that detect and remove malware on Macs and PCs. 

7 things to know now: Tulsa officer charged; Yahoo hack; FBI investigating Brad Pitt abuse claims

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Tulsa shooting: The Tulsa police officer who shot and killed a man as he walked away with his hands up has been charged with first-degree manslaughter. According to an affidavit filed with the charge, Betty Shelby, the officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher "reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation from a confrontation with Mr. Crutcher, who was not responding to verbal commands and was walking away from her with his hands held up, becoming emotionally involved to the point that she over reacted.”

2. Video not released: The police chief of Charlotte, N.C., says he will not yet release a video of a police-involved shooting in that city that left a man dead. Chief Kerr Putney cited an ongoing investigation as the reason he is not releasing the tape of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Scott’s family has seen the video.

3. Yahoo hack: Chances are if you had a Yahoo account in 2014, you’ve been hacked. The company announced Thursday that at least 500 million accounts were hacked in what is believed to be the largest attack of its kind on an email provider. 

4. Early voting starts: It’s the beginning of the end for the 2016 election season as early voting is set to start Friday in four states. Minnesota, South Dakota, Vermont and Virginia residents can fill out ballots beginning today.

5. Workplace shooting: A man who was said to have gotten angry at a meeting at work, left a Tennessee factory Thursday, then returned with a gun and shot and killed his bosses. Ricky Swafford, 45, shot James Zotter, 44, and Sandra Cooley, 68, before turning the gun on himself, according to authorities. The three worked at the Thomas & Betts Corp. in Athens, Tenn.

And one more

The  FBI is looking into allegations of child abuse against actor Brad Pitt, the bureau confirmed Thursday. The incident being investigated supposedly happened onboard a plane, making it the jurisdiction of the FBI. An FBI spokesman said the bureau is "continuing to gather facts and will evaluate whether an investigation at the federal level will be pursued." An investigation by Los Angeles County Child Protective Services is underway.

In case you missed it

For those of us who hate roundabouts.


McDonald’s selling pumpkin fries in Japan

McDonald’s in Japan has gotten into the Halloween spirit early, offering a salty and sweet treat for its customers: seasonal pumpkin fries.

>> Read more trending stories  

It’s a combination of McDonald’s classic French fries, drizzled with pumpkin sauce and chocolate sauce.

Time magazine reported that Japan’s McDonald’s locations will begin selling the novelty item on Sept. 28, and will end the promotion on Oct. 31.

This is not the first Halloween food McDonald’s has tested out. In 2014 a burger with a black bun — dyed with squid ink — was offered in Tokyo.  In January, McDonald’s also offered a McChoco Potato in Japan. That item combined two types of chocolate sauces—chocolate with cacao flavor and white milk chocolate.

2016年に1月に大人気だったマックチョコポテトが、進化して帰ってきます!!……なんと今回はハロウィンバージョン:ghost:このヤバイ色、パンプキン&チョコソースです!#ハロウィンチョコポテト#9月28日から — マクドナルド (@McDonaldsJapan) September 21, 2016

7 things to know now: N.C. protests; Weiner accused of sexting teen; Brad Pitt

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now: 

1. Shooting protests: The governor of North Carolina has declared a state of emergency as violent protests continued Wednesday following the police shooting of an African American man. The National Guard was deployed in Charlotte after a protester was shot by another protester Wednesday.  The demonstrations started after Keith Lamont Scott was shot by a Charlotte Police officer after police  said he ignored a request to drop a weapon he was holding. Authorities say there is video of the shooting, but it has not been released.

2. Sexting, again:  Former New York congressman Anthony Weiner says the claim that he sexted with a 15-year-old girl is “probably a hoax,” though he stopped sort of  denying the accusation. Weiner was  accused Wednesday of exchanging sexually explicit texts with the teenager earlier this year in an online relationship that  lasted several months.  "I have repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgement about the people I have communicated with online and the things I have sent," Weiner told Weiner is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton. If the story is true, Weiner could face charges.

3. Birther no more: In an interview Wednesday,  Donald Trump says he made the announcement last week that President Barack Obama was born in the United States because he wanted to "get on with the campaign." Trump said it was a distraction and he wanted to address other issues during the last weeks of the campaign. "Well, I just wanted to get on with, you know, we want to get on with the campaign. "And a lot of people were asking me questions. And you know, we want to talk about jobs, we want to talk about the military," he said. "We want to talk about ISIS and how to get rid of ISIS. We want to really talk about bringing jobs back to this area because you've been decimated. So we really want to get just back onto the subject of jobs, military, taking care of our vets, et cetera."

4. Call for an investigation: A Michigan congressman has called on the IRS to audit the Trump Foundation. After reports that Trump used Foundation money to pay for a legal settlement, Sander Levin, (D-Mich.),  sent a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen asking that the agency look into the use of the foundation’s charitable funds. The Washington Post reported that Trump used $258,000 from his charity to pay off settlements in two lawsuits. 

5. Pitt isn’t the father:  Actress Marion Cotillard announced Wednesday that she is pregnant and that Brad Pitt is not the baby’s father. Cotillard’s name was mentioned as a possible reason for the split between Pitt and his wife, actress Angelina Jolie. Jolie filed divorce papers last week. Cotillard was rumored to be involved with Pitt whom she met when the two made a movie together recently. The actress said she wanted to set the record straight because the rumors were, “affecting people I love.”  She confirmed her longtime relationship with actor Guillaume Canet. The couple have a 5-year-old son.

And one more

Disney has pulled a costume for a Polynesian character from its stores after complaints that it is insulting to Pacific Islander people. The costume, which was released in advance of Disney’s new movie “Moana,” lets children dress as “Maui,” a figure in Polynesian oral traditions who is featured in the animated film.  The costume consists of a long-sleeve brown shirt and brown long pants with full-body tattoos. Some complained that the costume was disrespectful to Maui, and likened it to one that would feature blackface.

In case you missed it

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