Oct 17

Jared Sawyer

Funeral Services for Jared Sawyer, 51 of Boone, formerly of Renwick will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at Oakcrest Funeral Services, Renwick.  Arrangements are being handled by Oakcrest Funeral Services, Renwick.  Visitation will be from 1 pm-2 pm at the Funeral Home.

Oct 17

Volleyball Readies for Playoff Opener

By: Nathan Bloechl — nathanb@977thebolt.com

Humboldt, Iowa — The Humboldt Wildcat volleyball team will begin their playoff schedule at home Wednesday evening, playing host to Pocahontas.

The Indians are a very formidable opposition in round one, as they compiled an 18-10 record — good for a 3rd place finish in the Twin Lakes Conference.

Pocahontas was one of the best serving teams in their conference averaging 2.1 aces per set. Senior Jocelyn Johnson is the Indians’ premier hitter, stacking up 177 kills on the season. Herself and Jill Vonname have formed a respectable duo this season on the outside.

Johnson is also one of the best defenders in the conference racking up 330 digs on the campaign. Fellow back-row mate Sarah Powers is 4th in the conference with 265 digs.

The Indians don’t let much by them.

On the other hand, Humboldt has seen their arrow point up and down during certain parts of the season, but are trending up after a tough spell versus Iowa Falls-Alden and Algona.

The Cats are lead by a balanced attack that sees Ashlyn Clark, Jori Hajek and Kyah Arnold all playing big roles in the front. The mainstay has been senior Sydney Lane.

Carlie Thompson will look to anchor a Humboldt back-row, while Sophia Hjelmeland  could see reps in the back row. Rachel Darling, Cassie Peyton and Brianna Jensen are all seniors who have proven to be assets in 2017.

The Cats were nearly upset by Algona in last year’s playoffs and will need to be sharp against a very talented and underrated Pocahontas squad.

However, Humboldt does have firepower up and down their squad. Game-time is set for 7:00 p.m., Tuesday at Humboldt High School.

PREDICTION: Cats in four sets. (25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 25-23)

 

Oct 17

LEC to Discuss Motorola Radio Equipment Tomorrow

By: Nathan Bloechl — nathanb@977thebolt.com

Humboldt, Iowa — The Humboldt Law Enforcement Center will hold continued discussion tomorrow on purchasing new radio equipment for the Humboldt Police and Sheriff’s departments.

The issue stems from a lightning strike that eroded their current system. Sheriff Dean Kruger explained the issue to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors at yesterday’s meeting.

Kruger explained to the the board that a repairman has band-aided the issue to make the equipment usable for now, but both the board and Kruger expressed interest in moving forward with new radios.

The new radio system would be paid for in a 10-year program and would not need a payment until two years from the purchase date.

The LEC Meeting will be tomorrow morning at the Law Enforcement Center at 8:00 a.m.

Oct 17

Dozens of ISIS fighters killed after US strikes Yemen camps

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — About 50 ISIS fighters were killed in U.S. military airstrikes in Yemen targeting two training camps in the country’s central region. One of the camps had gained notoriety last week as the scene of an ISIS training video that showed images of ISIS recruits appearing to be kicked in the groin to demonstrate their physical toughness.

“U.S. forces killed dozens of ISIS members in a strike on two ISIS training camps, Oct. 16, in Al Bayda Governorate, Yemen, disrupting the organization’s attempts to train new fighters,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

“ISIS used the camps to train militants to conduct terror attacks using AK-47s, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and endurance training,” it added.

A U.S. official said the American airstrikes were the first targeting ISIS in Yemen, a country better known as the home of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The U.S. military has conducted more than 100 airstrikes this year against AQAP, almost triple last year’s strikes. Carried out mostly by drones, the strikes are part of an increased effort to rein in the al Qaeda affiliate’s terror and territorial ambitions.

Both manned and unmanned aircraft were involved in Monday’s airstrikes against the two ISIS camps that were about 20 miles apart, said the U.S. official.

One of the camps earned notoriety last week in an ISIS propaganda video that showed a line of ISIS recruits seeming to be kicked in the crotch to demonstrate their mental and physical toughness.

Some local fighting groups in Yemen first aligned themselves with ISIS in 2014, the year that ISIS had its most significant territorial gains in Iraq and Syria.

“Strikes against ISIS targets disrupt and destroy militants’ attack-plotting efforts, leadership networks, and freedom of maneuver within the region,” said the Pentagon statement.

Yemen is involved in a civil war where military forces from Gulf allies have been fighting against Houthi rebels to restore Yemen’s government to power. That power vacuum led to a resurgence by AQAP and the emergence of ISIS in Yemen.

“ISIS has used the ungoverned spaces of Yemen to plot, direct, instigate, resource and recruit for attacks against America and its allies around the world,” said the Pentagon statement. “For years, Yemen has been a hub for terrorist recruiting, training and transit.”

The U.S. military coordinates with the Yemeni government to carry out counterterrorism operations in Yemen against ISIS and AQAP to prevent both groups from carrying out external terror attacks and limit the territory they control in Yemen.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Oct 17

Skies above the UK, France turn an eerie orange

Rob Ball/Getty Images(LONDON) — The skies above the United Kingdom and France glowed an eerie orange on Monday.

Winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia are thought to have blown dust from the Sahara to cause the surreal skies.

Photographers alternately described the color of the sky as red, orange, sepia and yellow-ochre.

Eurocontrol said it received an unusually high number of reports of cabin fumes in U.K. airspace.

Ophelia, now a storm, has killed at least three in Ireland.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Oct 17

Russian who says he helped meddle in US election studied hit show ‘House of Cards’

Mike Marsland/WireImage via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Russian “trolls” working for a company that allegedly used fake social-media accounts to try to influence U.S. voters in the 2016 election were required to watch the political thriller TV show “House of Cards” to increase their understanding of American politics, according to an interview broadcast in Russia.

In an interview aired Sunday by independent Russian station TV Rain, a man identified only as “Maksim” says he worked for the English-language department of a so-called “troll factory” that U.S. officials say was involved in an information campaign on American social media during the election.

Maksim, who said he worked for the company around 18 months and quit in early 2015, said his department was tasked with stirring up dissatisfaction against the U.S. government and harming the election chances of Democrat Hillary Clinton by writing in the comment sections of major American media outlets, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. He said they tried to drive discussion toward specific topics, such as past alleged scandals around the former secretary of state and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

“About her it was always bad,” said Maksim, whose face was concealed during the broadcast. “The basic message was: ‘Aren’t you tired, my American brothers, of the Clintons?'”

He added that more broadly “our goal was to set Americans against their government … to provoke riots, to provoke dissatisfaction. There was a goal to influence opinion, to drive the discussion.”

The troll factory, located in an innocuous-looking building on the edge of St. Petersburg’s city center, first attracted wide notice after a 2015 article in The New York Times magazine said the company’s workers were pumping out pro-Kremlin messaging on social media and comment sections largely for a Russian-speaking audience. The article said the company has gone by different names but is best known as the Internet Research Agency.

Attention has focused on the company again since Facebook said last month that the Internet Research Agency spent $100,000 on U.S. political ads on the social network during the 2016 election.

Facebook handed over 3,000 ads it said purchased by the company to the Senate and House intelligence committees that are investigating Russia’s alleged interference in the election. The ads were purchased between June 2015 and May 2017, according to Facebook.

Maksim told TV Rain his department had been ordered to study American media to identify divisive topics. Employees were told to read through thousands of posts in the comments sections of U.S. news outlets before commenting themselves, Maksim said, with success measured in how many “likes” a post attracted from other users.

“You had to know all the basic problems of the United States of America. Tax problems, problems with the gays, sexual minorities, weapons,” he said. Inserting crude comments about homosexual men, he said, was viewed as a reliable technique for attracting “likes.”

Employees were required to watch “House of Cards” as a way to learn about American politics and to improve their English.

“At the beginning, they made us watch ‘House of Cards’ in English,” Maksim said.

He said he and others in his department were ordered not to refer to Russia in their posts or to try to promote Moscow’s viewpoint.

“We didn’t have the goal to turn Americans toward Russia,” he said. “You couldn’t mention Russia, nor Putin. Because Americans don’t talk about that. They basically don’t care about Russia and Putin.”

Maksim’s account follows reports from Facebook, an independent Russian journalist and comments from one of the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee about the Internet Research Agency.

Facebook told congressional investigators that the Internet Research Agency was especially busy during the U.S. 2016 campaign.

The social media giant’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, said in a post on Facebook that most of the posts on his company’s network that appear to have been connected to Russia did not mention a specific presidential candidate or the election, but focused on “amplifying divisive social and political messages” on immigration, gun rights and LGBT issues.

Roger McNamee, a venture capitalist and early investor in Facebook, told ABC News the Russian effort may have started as merely an attempt to sow discontent, but as the campaign unfolded, he said it became clear the effort grew increasingly focused.

“Classic Russian intelligence techniques of taking the most extreme voices and amplifying them,” he said. “It was the perfect petri dish for this kind of campaign.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told ABC News last month that based on the Facebook ads he’d seen at that point it was clear the posts included divisive messages intended to “help one candidate and potentially hurt another.” He said the ads clearly appeared to be part of a broader effort that the U.S. intelligence community has determined was designed to aid Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton in the election.

Independent Russian journalist Lyudmila Savchuk, who worked for the Internet Research Agency in 2015 to expose what the factory was doing, told ABC News that young Russians posed as Americans online, working 12-hour shifts at the company’s headquarters posting comments on U.S. political issues selected by their bosses. Facebook, she said, was one of their primary platforms.

“’Troll factory’ is a very appropriate name for it because it really is a large-scale production that works around the clock, and they don’t take time off for holidays, lunch nor sleep,” she said. “A huge quantity of content is being produced.”

Maksim said in the Russian TV interview that when people in his department commented on U.S. news sites, they would use VPNs — virtual private networks — that disguise a computer’s real location. Those employees who failed to conceal themselves were punished, he said.

TV Rain said that Maksim had shown the station a document certifying his employment for Internet Research Agency as proof he had worked there.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Oct 17

Death toll in ‘barbaric’ bombing in Somalia rises to 300

Sadak Mohamed/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Two powerful truck bombs in the heart of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Saturday killed at least 300 people and injured about 300 more, in what authorities call the deadliest attack in the country’s history.

Funerals have begun for the killed who have been found. But the death toll from the attacks is expected to rise, as rescue workers continue attempts to pull victims from the rubble.

The government has blamed the al-Qaida-affiliated al-Shabab group for the attacks, but the extremist group has not yet commented.

Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo announced three days of mourning for the victims and said flags will be flown at half-mast. The Minister of Information, Abdirahman O. Osman called the attack barbaric and said that officials from Turkey and Djibouti have arrived in Mogadishu to provide support for the victims and that more than 30 injured people were flown to Turkey for treatment.

over 30 injured people were flown to Turkey to receive medical assistance. Thanks to Turkey for it is readiness as always to assist #Somalia. Turkey won the hearts and minds of Somali people pic.twitter.com/aa7uI2I8x5

— Abdirahman O. Osman (@engyarisow) October 16, 2017

Hospitals are overextended and struggling to treat victims, many of whom sustained severe burn injuries. Volunteers have been providing first aid and have transferred many wounded to nearby medical points.

U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said on Sunday that he was “sickened” by the attack, which took place on a crowded street, and sent condolences to the victims.

Sickened by attacks in Mogadishu. I send condolences to the victims and urge unity in the face of terrorism and violent extremism.

— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) October 15, 2017

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating, said an “unprecedented” number of civilians had been killed.

“I am shocked and appalled by the number of lives that were lost in the bombings and the scale of destruction they caused,” he said in a statement “The perpetrators struck a densely populated neighborhood of Mogadishu. They have killed an unprecedented number of civilians. It is a revolting attack both in terms of its intent and impact.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross said that the attacks were a reminder of the toll the armed conflict in Somalia has had on civilians.

“Thousands of civilians lose their life in Somalia every year as a direct consequence of the ongoing conflict,” said Jordi Raich, ICRC’s Head of Delegation, in a statement.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Oct 17

At least 3 killed in Ireland as storm Ophelia prompts warning of ‘danger to life’

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The remnants of Hurricane Ophelia pummeled Ireland Monday, leaving at least three people dead in storm-related accidents, Ireland’s National Police said.

A woman in her 50s was killed when a tree fell on her car as she was driving. Another woman in her 70s who was a passenger in the car was injured. A man was also killed after a tree struck his car. And, a third person died in an incident related to the storm when he suffered a serious injury from a chainsaw as he was clearing a fallen tree, police said.

The Irish Meteorological Service reported wind gusts off the south coast of Ireland as high as 109 mph and said the wind was taking down trees. It said that the storm is expected to bring further “violent and destructive” wind as well as flooding from heavy rain and storm surges to Ireland. Ophelia is likely to be the most powerful storm to hit Ireland since Hurricane Debbie in 1961, forecasters said. Ireland closed schools and hospitals ahead of Ophelia, placed troops on standby and warned people to stay inside. The government said that schools will remain closed Tuesday. More than 350,000 homes and businesses are already without power.

The very strong winds will probably extend to parts of northern England along with some southern and central parts of Scotland in the evening, the U.K.’s meteorological service said.

The Met Office issued an amber weather warning for Northern Ireland from 12:00 p.m. — 11:00 p.m. GMT Monday, saying power cuts are likely and that cancellations and longer journey times are to be expected as some bridges might close while road, rail, air and ferry services might be affected.

Ophelia is technically no longer a hurricane, but will still pack hurricane-level wind gusts while passing over Ireland before likely crossing over to Northern Ireland.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said residents should avoid “unnecessary travel or other outdoor activities.” The U.S.-based disaster modeler Enki Research said Ophelia’s could cause up to $1.5 billion in damages in Ireland and up to $2.5 billion overall in the British Isles.

 

Public safety is our key concern today. Advice is to stay at home, no unnecessary travel or other outdoor activities. Further updates later.

— Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) October 16, 2017

 

“By the time Ophelia reaches our latitudes, she will be weakening and will be an ex-hurricane,” said Steve Ramsdale, chief forecaster at the Met Office in the U.K,, in a statement. “However, Ex-Ophelia will be bringing some significant impacts to Northern Ireland and western and northern Britain on Monday and Tuesday.”

The powerful winds will probably extend to parts of northern England and some southern and central parts of Scotland in the evening as winds turn more to the southwest, said the Met Office. Heavy rain is also possible in Northern Ireland and western Scotland. The rest of the U.K. will see breezy weather, but the wind is not expected to bring widespread disruption there, the Met Office said.

 

Latest model guidance for #Ophelia at 9am
Check @MetEireann for further updates pic.twitter.com/FGbFdXNOEh

— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) October 16, 2017

 

Matt Crofts, a lifesaving manager with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, a British charity that aims to rescue those at risk of drowning, warned people from going out to watch the big waves.

“Stormy conditions may be tempting to watch but big waves can easily knock you off your feet,” he said in a statement. “The sea is far more powerful than you think and your chances of survival are slim if you are dragged into the swell. Our volunteer lifeboat crews will always launch to rescue those in danger at sea, but to launch into conditions like these could also put their lives at risk.”

In the U.K., media have compared Ophelia to the Great Storm of 1987, which hit the country exactly 30 years ago and killed 22 people.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Oct 17

Rescued hostage Joshua Boyle says children are ‘improving’

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Rescued Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle said his children are “improving” after spending their entire life being help captive in the mountains of Afghanistan.

“The children are improving, we mentioned before that the eldest Najaeshi Jonah was doing well but that his younger brother Dhakwoen Noah was still struggling as much as ever with even just being able to look at his grandparents faces without terror,” Boyle told CP24 in an emailed statement last week.

Boyle arrived in Toronto with his wife, Caitlan Coleman, and their three children on Friday after being held hostage for five years by a Taliban-affiliated terrorist network. The family was rescued in Pakistan on Wednesday in a dramatic operation orchestrated by the U.S. and Pakistani governments, officials said last week.

He said Dhakwoen was initially afraid of his grandparents, but he warmed up to them “literally overnight” after his grandmother made him a hearty pancake breakfast.

“Obviously he’s still incredibly troubled and stressed over everything, but it’s a major step,” Boyle said, speaking of Dhakwoen’s newfound love for his grandma. “She’s the first person he’s accepted since 2015.”

He said his daughter, Ma’idah, still finds it hard to be around other men.

“She still can’t be within a metre of any man except her father but if she sees a woman she starts squirming and trying to get over to her, regardless of who it is — to nestle in the love,” Boyle said.

Boyle and his wife, who was pregnant with their first child at the time, were kidnaped while on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan in October 2012.

The couple had four children while in captivity, but Boyle said their fourth child, an infant daughter, was murdered by their abductors. The Taliban has denied those claims.

Boyle said the family is currently living with his parents in Smiths Falls, Ont., located about an hour south of Ottawa, which he his children’s “first true home.”

“We have reached the first true “home” that the children have ever known – after they spent most of Friday asking if each subsequent airport was our new house hopefully,” Boyle said in a separate statement on Saturday.

“Full medical work-ups for each member of my family are being arranged right now, and God-willing the healing process – physically and mentally can begin,” he added.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Oct 17

US father of 3 killed in Somalia was refugee who arrived in hometown hours before terror attack

KSTP.com(MOGADISHU, Somalia) — A Minnesota father of three was one of more than 270 people who were killed in Somalia over the weekend when a pair of truck bombs went off in the country’s capital, his family said. Authorities are calling it the deadliest terrorist attack in the nation’s history.

The attack left 276 people dead and around 300 others injured, the country’s information minister, Abdirahman Osman, said late Sunday. The death toll is expected to rise.

Fifty-year-old Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow arrived in his hometown of Mogadishu just hours before the deadly bomb went off, according to his family. He was resting in his hotel room when the blast struck, destroying the hotel and many other buildings in the surrounding area.

“We miss him so much,” Eyow’s widow, Ruun Abdi Eyow, said at a press conference on Sunday. “I want people to know that he was a great father. He has two jobs, and my husband works very hard.”

Born in Somalia, Eyow became a refugee when he fled the East African nation after its government collapsed in 1991, according to his mosque. He eventually settled in Minnesota in 1998.

“Ahmed was one of our most effective and active community members in our center,” Mohamed Omar, executive director of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center, said at the news conference on Sunday.

Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow leaves behind three children: Yonis, 14; Yusra, 13; and Yahya, 10.

Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow left for Somalia on Oct. 7 “with great hope, looking forward to a chance to make a difference in his home country,” according to the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn., where Eyow attended daily prayer services.

“He was working as a welder but longed to return to his homeland of Somalia,” the center said in a statement on Sunday. “He thought that he could help bring back stability to Somalia by applying for a job as a representative with the UN.”

The Islamic center has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the Eyow family.

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