Trump praises autocratic Egyptian leader - Politico

Donald Trump, left, listens to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, right, during a meeting at the Lotte New York Palace hotel on Sept. 19.

Donald Trump, left, listens to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, right, during a meeting at the Lotte New York Palace hotel on Sept. 19. | AP Photo

NEW YORK There's at least one Muslim country that Donald Trump has "great respect" for.

The Republican presidential nominee Monday showered Egypt's increasingly autocratic ruler, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, with kind words during a special meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

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Trump, who has called for a ban on immigration from countries "compromised by terrorism," which presumably would include Egypt, promised to invite Sisi to visit the White House if he's elected president. Trump also suggested he'd like to visit Egypt.

In a strikingly praise-filled summary of the meeting released by his campaign, the Republican was said to express to Sisi "his strong support for Egypts war on terrorism, and how under a Trump administration, the United States of America will be a loyal friend, not simply an ally, that Egypt can count on in the days and years ahead."

Trump also was said to have "emphasized" to Sisi "his high regard for peace-loving Muslims." The statement came the same day that the real estate mogul, responding to a suspected terrorist attack in New York, lamented that police officers weren't allowed to use racial profiling.

Sisi also met with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Both the 2016 candidates have been criticized by people across the political spectrum for sparing any time for Sisi, whose harsh rule has infuriated human rights activists.

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But Egypt is still considered a vital ally for the United States, not least because it maintains a peace deal with Israel and is a relatively stable Arab country in an increasingly volatile Middle East. It also is considered an important partner in the battle against Islamist militancy.

The meeting between Trump and Sisi also included Trump advisers, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

According to the readout, Trump expressed "great respect for Egypts history" and a "great fondness" for the Egyptian people.

The readout did not say what Sisi said in return to Trump. Egyptian officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday from POLITICO.

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Meehan to close campaign fund, give $4.35m balance to foundation - The Boston Globe

University of Massachusetts president Martin T. Meehan, the US Houses most prodigious fund-raiser during his 14 years in Congress, is closing down his campaign account and donating the $4.35 million balance to his educational foundation, a move that essentially ends his political career.

Im not running for office, Meehan said in a brief interview Thursday, just before his office released a statement announcing his plans for the political funds.

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The bulging account had reached $4.8 million at one point topping all other House members from both parties at the time, a stunning achievement considering he was a member of the minority party for all but 2 years of his career. He resigned from the Lowell-based congressional seat in 2007 to become the chancellor of UMass Lowell.

Meehan, 59, said his decision which removes one of the states best-known Democratic political figures from a potential list of contenders for governor or US Senate is based on his commitment to the University of Massachusetts.

Meehan, who grew in the blue-collar neighborhood of South Lowell and worked in the often raucous world of Lowell politics, was frequently seen as a potential Democratic contender for a top political office. He took a hard look at running for governor in 2002 but decided against entering the race. He considered running for Senate seats opened up by Edward Kennedys death in 2009 and John F. Kerrys appointment as US secretary of state in 2013.

He won his congressional seat in 1992 when, as a longshot candidate who had never run for office, he upset incumbent Chester Atkins of Concord in the Democratic primary and went on to win against a former Republican congressman, Paul Cronin, who had held the seat 20 years earlier.

Meehans shut-down of his political account won praise from Governor Charlie Baker, who as a 2014 Republican gubernatorial candidate courted Meehan, frequently appearing at the Lowell campus with him. Bakers election essentially closed any doors for a 2018 run for governor by Meehan.

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Marty Meehan has made it clear that serving as the president of the University of Massachusetts is his utmost priority and this action reinforces that point, Baker said in a statement.

Meehan, who became president of the five-campus UMass system last July, said he will immediately donate $1 million for scholarships at UMass Lowell, where he earned his bachelors degree.

The rest will be used to fund educational programs that provide high-quality, transformative opportunities, he said in a statement. He also said he is naming the foundation after his parents, Martin Buster Meehan Sr. and his wife, Alice.

He credited the university, saying it had transformed my life and continues to play a major role in the lives of citizens and in the life of the Commonwealth.

On a personal level, this is an expression of gratitude as well as a statement of commitment. But the real significance of the gift will be seen in the opportunities it provides for students and in the impact they will have on the Commonwealth and the world, Meehan said.

Frank Phillips can be reached at phillips@globe.com.

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California, New York enact US-highest $15 minimum wages - Washington Post

LOS ANGELES California and New York acted Monday to gradually push their statewide minimum wages to $15 an hour the highest in the nation as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders again seized on wage disparity and the plight of the working poor in their fight for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Clinton joined New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a raucous rally in Manhattan as he signed the law that will gradually boost that states pay rate. The former first lady predicted the movement will sweep our country.

Sanders said in a statement that his campaign is about building on the steps in California and New York so that everyone in this country can enjoy the dignity and basic economic security that comes from a living wage.

The new laws in California and New York mark the most ambitious moves yet by legislatures to close the national divide between rich and poor. Experts say other states may follow, given Congress reluctance to act despite entreaties from President Barack Obama.

In a statement, Obama commended California and again urged Congress to raise the federal minimum wage. Its time for Congress to step up and do what is right for every hard-working American and for our economy, he said.

In Los Angeles, Gov. Jerry Brown was cheered by union workers some chanting in Spanish as he signed a bill into law that will lift the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.

The bills effects could vary widely in the vast and diverse state, from sparsely populated mountain and desert areas to inner city Los Angeles and wealthy Silicon Valley.

While it was a victory for those struggling on the margins of the economy and the politically powerful unions that pushed it, business groups warned that the higher wage could cost thousands of jobs as employers are forced to provide steadily bigger paychecks.

A $15 base wage will have devastating impacts on small businesses in California, Tom Scott, executive director of the state branch of the National Federation of Independent Business, said in a statement. Ignoring the voices and concerns of the vast majority of job creators in this state is deeply concerning and illustrates why many feel Sacramento is broken.

The bill was pushed through the Legislature by Democrats who control both chambers without a single Republican vote. A nonpartisan legislative analysis put the cost to California taxpayers at $3.6 billion a year in higher pay for government employees.

Brown, a Democrat, never specifically addressed criticism of the bill but argued the decision to set the nation-leading wage was about economic justice.

Economically, minimum wages may not make sense, the governor said. But morally and socially and politically they make every sense, because it binds the community together and makes sure that parents can take care of their kids in a much more satisfactory way.

The California bill will bump the states $10 hourly minimum by 50 cents next year and to $11 in 2018. Hourly $1 raises will then come every January until 2022, unless the governor imposes a delay during an economic recession. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees have an extra year to comply.

Wages will rise with inflation each year thereafter.

Brown negotiated the deal with unions to head off competing labor-backed ballot initiatives that would have imposed swifter increases.

About 2.2 million Californians now earn the minimum wage, but University of California, Irvine, economics professor David Neumark estimated the boost could cost 5 to 10 percent of low-skilled workers their jobs.

Brown has said California, with the worlds eighth largest economy, can absorb the raises without the problems predicted by opponents.

California and Massachusetts currently have the highest statewide minimum wage at $10. Washington, D.C., stands at $10.50. Los Angeles, Seattle and other cities have recently approved $15 minimum wages, while Oregon officials plan to increase the minimum to $14.75 an hour in cities and $12.50 in rural areas by 2022.

New Yorks state budget includes gradually raising the $9 minimum wage to $15, starting in New York City in three years and phasing in at a lower level elsewhere. An eventual statewide increase to $15 would be tied to economic indicators such as inflation.

Sanders has made the $15 wage a foundation block of his candidacy, while Clinton backs Senate legislation that would enact a federal minimum wage of $12 an hour, with the ability of individual cities and states to set a higher threshold.

___

Thompson reported from Sacramento, California. Associated Press Writer Jake Pearson in New York also contributed.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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HVAC? This Article Has The Tips You Need

Facility Maintenance Company will help you. The HVAC system in any home is a very important feature, and if it is not running right it can lead to a very uncomfortable place to be. That is the last thing you want, and knowing how to take good care of it is key. Below there are many helpful HVAC tips that are important to understand if you want your system to last a very long time.

Check the entire house before contacting someone to come for repairs if problems arise with the HVAC system. Know what part of the house is cold and which is hot. That knowledge can help the technician figure out what is going on.

When a contractor gives you a list of references, be sure to make use of it. According to the promised timeline, call the people on the list and ask about the quality of the work, how closely they came to their quote and whether or not the work was completed.

In order to avoid having any problems with your air conditioning unit, keep all vegetation at least two feet away from the outdoor unit. The unit should be clear of any vegetation on all sides and above. When you mow the lawn, aim the grass clippings away from the a/c unit. This will prevent grass getting inside the a/c and making it malfunction.

Be sure to check your evaporator coil drains frequently when your air conditioner is running. If this tube backs up, you can find water damage to your walls, floors and ceilings. If you end up with mold just use a solution of water and bleach to clean out the tube.

Make sure your HVAC unit is in the shade. As you get your air conditioner to suck in cool air it won't have to do too much work to cool it which saves you some money.

When you are looking for a service provider to perform service on your HVAC system, look for a company that stands behind their work. This is especially important if your compressor or condenser is being repaired. Repairs to these two things are extremely expensive, so you want to ensure that the service provider warranties their work.

Consider all of your alternatives before installing a central air conditioner. You can only cool certain rooms, use whole-house fans, or even make use of a geothermal system. The more efficient the system you set up, the less you'll spend on utility bills over time as you use it.

Do not close your vents. Keep air vents open and unblocked at all times. Many people believe that closing off a vent will save them money on cooling costs. This is not true. It can actually damage your HVAC system. Closing vents can cause your cooling coil to freeze and damage the compressor.

Change your filter on a regular basis. This is one of the easiest HVAC tips that you can do yourself. It is also one of the least expensive things that you can do to ensure that your system is running efficiently. Clogged and dirty filters can make your unit work 5-10% harder.

Check out how long the HVAV contractor you are considering has been in business. If you should spend your money with them, a company that has been in business for a long time will have a solid track record, and you can use this to figure out. It is always risky to hire a contractor with little experience.

Clean your filters! There will be a filter right under the grill you can vacuum if you have a window unit air conditioner. They will also have filters to be cleaned or replace if you have a furnace or outdoor units. A dirty filter can make your unit inefficient or even let it overheat.

Make sure your HVAC is clear when working outside. You should try keeping any vegetation about two feet away from your outdoor units. Keep the areas above it and on each side of it clear. Make sure you aim your grass clippings away from the unit when mowing. Keep leaves from getting inside your unit in the fall.

There is a lot to think about when you install an air conditioner unit. For example, a big unit won't remove humidity while a small unit won't cool enough. Placing it in the wrong place can make it less efficient, and not insulating your home adequately could render it almost useless.

Choose a good HVAC company. You need to find one that has a solid reputation. It's important that it has been around for several years and is backed by a good reputation in customer service. Find one that has trained professionals and qualified technicians to help with all kinds of customer needs. They should be able to handle any HVAC job no matter how simple or complex.

Have you been thinking about buying a new HVAC system? You will need to take a few things into account. The systems are generally rated based on the area they cover. Therefore, you may want to opt for a larger unit.

Make sure to be specific about everything that is written in your contracts. It should detail the work that is being done, the materials being used and the amount of time it will take to complete the job. If something goes wrong, leaving anything out can give the contractor an exit.

The estimate needs to state exactly what is included. The contractors can overcharge later for items like material and fee charges and costs. This is why getting estimates in writing is so important.

If you can install an air conditioner on your current forced-air system without having to install new duct work, call in a contractor to find out. This can save you a ton of money and time, plus it takes up less space in your walls and rooms to boot.

Look for deals on equipment. The equipment you need to update, maintain or repair your HVAC system tends to be expensive. Keep your eyes open for available coupons, store discounts and rebates on this equipment. Stock up on things you always need, like filters, when they are on sale.

Now you're probably a lot more familiar with HVAC than you were before. It's something that will take you time, but after you learn what to do with it all you'll do fine. Now the only thing left to do would be to get yourself out there to put these tips to good use!

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Authorities seek public's help in finding mother of baby buried under asphalt - CNN

Story highlightsThe 4.3-pound girl is in the NICU of an undisclosed Los Angeles hospitalAuthorities are no closer to finding the mother of the girl abandoned FridayThe girl's survival is being called a miracle by authorities who helped rescue herJust 4.3 pounds and 15 inches long, the infant is now getting treatment in a neonatal intensive care unit at an undisclosed Los Angeles hospital.

"She was cold to the touch (when rescued)" Friday afternoon, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Monday. "The baby would not have survived cold temperatures overnight."

The girl -- estimated to be 4 or 5 days old -- may not have been found if not for the sharp ears of two sisters strolling near the riverbed between 136th Street and Slater Avenue.

"I walk along this path every morning," Evangelina McCrary said. "But it was so cold on Friday that my sister and I decided to walk during the afternoon."

The sisters first thought the strange sounds they heard might be from a cat, but instinct told them to call 911 and put the phone near the source of the muffled cries.

The emergency operator instantly dispatched two deputies to the riverbed.

"I could hear the baby crying and crying, but once I looked into the hole, I couldn't see the baby," McCrary said. "All I could see was dirt and rocks."

Newborn was found under asphalt along popular Compton walking path Newborn was found under asphalt along popular Compton walking path Adam Collette, a 36-year-old deputy and father of two young girls, arrived and began removing debris.

"(The) cry I heard as a father was more of a cry for help, 'I'm hungry' -- not an 'I'm injured' cry," Collette said at a news conference on Monday.

McCrary said once Collette picked up the baby, "It finally stopped crying."

Newborn baby pulled alive from toilet in Beijing

"I was so relieved, so thankful, I started crying myself," said McCrary, who has five grandchildren.

Social workers said the baby could have been brought to a hospital or fire station under the county's Baby Safe Surrender Program. Since the program's inception in 2001, 140 babies have been safely surrendered.

Opinion: Why there are more walk-away moms

"No shame, no blame, no name," Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe said. "We need the public's help identifying the mother."

The baby, who has a full head of black hair, is possibly Hispanic or African-American, and was wrapped in a hospital blanket, according to Detective Jennifer Valenzuela of the Special Victims Bureau.

Valenzuela urged the baby's mother to come forward, emphasizing she could be a mother in trouble, and that there may be no criminal charges.

"We're concerned for her well-being," Valenzuela said. "We don't know if there's mental illness or she's a young mother."

If the mother isn't found, or can't care for the child, or doesn't want to, the baby will go into foster care.

The sheriff counted blessings when reflecting on how the story of the little girl could have ended. The girl is only the 14th of 67 abandoned babies found in the county since 2001 to have lived, according to authorities.

"Sadly, innocent children forever lost because of shame, confusion, and fear of parents unable to raise child," McDonnell said. "In this case, we're extremely lucky."

Newborn found in Nativity scene at New York church

"To wake up in a dark hole, if the baby wasn't crying when she did, she probably would not have been found," Collette said.

And McCrary, who with her sister decided to take a later walk on Friday, can't stop thinking about what might have been.

"I'm so thankful God sent me on that path," she said. "I've been to the spot since this happened and I pray that this doesn't happen ever again."

CNN's Andreas Preuss, Alberto Moya, Amanda Watts and Andy Rose contributed to this report

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