TIME States

Doug Ducey Wins GOP Primary for Arizona Governor

Doug Ducey, Sam Ducey, Joe Ducey
State treasurer and former CEO Doug Ducey, right, hugs his son Sam Ducey, with other son Joe Ducey, left, joining them as they all smile as the candidate arrives to claim victory on winning the Republican primary for Arizona governor in Phoenix on Aug. 26, 2014 Ross D. Franklin—AP

In the quest for right-leaning Republican primary voters, the six candidates quickly staked out hard-line positions on immigration

(PHOENIX) — State Treasurer and former CEO Doug Ducey won the Republican primary for Arizona governor Tuesday, riding to victory with a campaign that focused on his blend of government and business experience in serving as a state official and building an ice cream company into a national brand.

Ducey started Cold Stone Creamery in Arizona and built it into a well-known chain before selling the company in 2007 and getting into politics.

He has been state treasurer for the last four years, serving as the chief steward of Arizona’s finances during a period that included the collapse of the housing market in the state.

The race to replace Republican Gov. Jan Brewer began as a fairly quiet contest focused on health care and jobs before shifting abruptly when thousands of immigrant children began pouring into the country and some settled in Arizona.

In the quest for right-leaning Republican primary voters, the six candidates quickly staked out hard-line positions on immigration and repeatedly attacked the Obama administration for failing to secure the border.

TIME Congress

Dennis Kucinich Is Going to Burning Man

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Dennis Kucinich Kevork Djansezian—Getty Images

Things in the Black Rock Desert are really gonna heat up this week

Former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is headed to Burning Man.

The former Democratic Representative from Ohio and two-time presidential candidate announced Thursday on Twitter that he plans to speak at the famed celebration of self-expression, community and the arts. He’ll be joined by a wide range of speakers, including conservative political advocate Grover Norquist.

Burning Man takes place in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada every year for one week and always ends with the dispersal of camp and destruction of any evidence of it existed. So, might not be that odd a place for a politician after all.

TIME 2016 Election

Romney Says Chance He Runs In 2016 Is ‘One Of A Million’

NBC

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday put the odds of his mounting a third bid for the White House at “one of a million.”

The former Massachusetts governor told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he did not think he is well positioned to take on the expected Democratic front-runner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and referenced this famous scene from 1994’s Dumb and Dumber when pressed.

“Well, you know, let’s say all the guys that were running all came together and said, ‘Hey, we’ve decided we can’t do it, you must do it,'” Romney said. “That’s the one of the million we’re thinking about.”

“I just want to confirm you’re telling me that we’ve got a chance there,” Hewitt asked. “The Dumb and Dumber, one of a million,” Romney replied.

Some in the Republican establishment have called on Romney to mount a repeat candidacy, arguing that the GOP needs an established figure to take on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Backers have pointed to recent polls which give Romney an edge over Obama were the 2012 election to be repeated today. Supporters have also cited foreign policy developments that they argue vindicate Romney’s mocked-at-the-time warnings about Russia and China.

“The reason I came to the conclusion I did, which is this is not the right time for me to run, is because of my belief that someone else stands a better chance of winning than I do,” Romney said. “Had that not been the case, had I believed I would actually be best positioned to beat Hillary Clinton, then I would be running. But I actually believe that someone new that is not defined yet–someone who perhaps is from the next generation–will be able to catch fire, potentially, build a movement, and be able to beat Hillary Clinton.”

Romney has raised eyebrows with a nationwide travel and fundraising schedule on behalf of Republicans this fall, an effort Romney confidants say was born out of his desire to thank Republicans for supporting him in 2012–not in an attempt to earn their backing for 2016. Romney’s 2012 running-mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, told Hewitt in an interview Monday that he would welcome a repeat bid by Romney.

Romney said he would “hope” that he’d be a better candidate if he ran a third time. “But at the same time, there are people who are not yet known by the American public who have extraordinary records, great capability, Paul Ryan being one of them, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio,” he said, listing off some of the Republicans known to be mulling 2016 White House bids. “Of course, people are getting to know Chris Christie. Jeb Bush, they don’t know Jeb Bush as the governor of Florida, and the kind of record he has and had there.”

Romney left Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul off his list of strong contenders, going on to say that he disagrees with those in his party who are pushing for the United States to disengage from the world. Romney pledged he would “continue to speak out on issues of significance as I see them, and hopefully be able to convince the people who are running from our party to adopt policies that encompass foreign policy and keeping America safe.”

In the interview, Romney also said he would be uninterested in serving as the running-mate for the eventual GOP nominee. “I would always be happy to serve my country in any way that I was called upon to do,” Romney said. “But that’s not a job I would seek. I was seeking the presidency, not the vice presidency.”

Listen to the interview here.

TIME White House

White House Announces Program to Lower Military Mortgage Payments

Soldiers Return To Fort Carson After Seven-Month Deployment In Iraq
A U.S. Army soldier salutes the flag during the national anthem at a welcome home ceremony for troops returning from Iraq on Nov. 10, 2011, in Fort Carson, Colo. More than 100 soldiers from the 549th Quartermaster Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade returned after a seven-month deployment. They played a key role in removing excess equipment from Iraq as other troops withdrew from the region John Moore—Getty Images

Five banks will make it easier for active-duty Americans to get their mortgage fees capped

The Obama Administration announced a new program Tuesday to make it easier for active-duty servicemen and servicewomen to afford homes. The White House hopes the plan will help thousands of military families save hundreds of dollars or more each year.

Currently, Americans serving on active duty are eligible to have their home interest rates and some other debt fees capped at 6% under a 2003 law, but they must first prove their eligibility to lenders. Recent studies by the Government Accountability Office, however, have found many of those entitled to protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) don’t benefit from them, because they’re either unaware of them or choose not to deal with the paperwork involved. Speaking to veterans at the American Legion National Convention, President Barack Obama announced a plan to address those issues, with five of the country’s largest mortgage lenders agreeing to make the process easier and to proactively reach out to those who should be eligible for lower rates.

“We’re announcing a new partnership in which some of America’s biggest banks and financial institutions will simplify the process, proactively notify service members who qualify for lower rates and make it easier to enroll,” Obama said. “In other words, we’re going to help more of our troops and military families own their own home without a crushing debt.”

According to the White House, Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, Ocwen Loan Servicing, CitiMortgage and Quicken Loans are participating in the program. The five companies are also pledging to more frequently check Defense Department databases to see whether their customers are entitled to unclaimed benefits.

“Our preliminary analysis suggests that this new partnership will help tens of thousands of military families save money by reducing their mortgage interest rates,” wrote National Economic Council director Jeff Zients in a blog post on the White House website shared with TIME before publication. “On a $200,000 mortgage, even an interest rate reduction of only one percent will result in over $1,500 a year in savings for our military families — money they can put towards daily expenses, retirement savings or sending their children to college.”

“It’s clearly the right thing to proactively reach out to active-duty military members and make sure they — and their families — are financially protected,” said Quicken Loans CEO Bill Emerson. “Our military members have enough on their plate without burdening them with the added stress of having to contact their lenders to activate benefits the law entitles them to receive.”

The Financial Services Roundtable industry group hailed the announcement in a statement Tuesday, announcing that about 5,500 homes have been donated by affiliated companies to veterans and their families.

“We are proud that the voluntary commitments made in partnership with the White House today reinforce the industry’s overall mission to give back to those who sacrifice the most for this country,” said the group’s Housing Policy Council president and former Secretary of the Navy, John Dalton, in a statement.

TIME 2016 Election

Pro-Clinton Group Touts Her Record on Women

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - July 30, 2014
Hillary Clinton is seen arriving at The Carlyle Hotel on July 30, 2014 in New York City. Alessio Botticelli—GC Images/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton’s shadow campaign emphasizes her empowerment of women

A group dedicated to defending and promoting Hillary Clinton’s record ahead of a possible 2016 presidential bid used Women’s Equality Day to tout her record of promoting women Tuesday.

The group Correct the Record released a two-page document entitled “Breaking Glass: Women’s Economic Empowerment.” The document, given exclusively to TIME, looks at Clinton’s work to promote women’s and girls’ issues as Secretary of State. The issue was Clinton’s top policy priority. The push came after her failed 2008 presidential bid, during which she didn’t highlight the historic nature of her candidacy until the end of the campaign, famously saying only in her concession speech that her bid to be the first female president represented “18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” for the 18 million votes she’d received in the primaries.

Many Clinton advisers who’d worked on the campaign have said in retrospect that they wished they’d emphasized the historic opportunity she had to be the first female president earlier. Clinton lost the women’s vote in 16 state and territorial primaries to Barack Obama. Already this time, Ready for Hillary, another arm of Clinton’s shadow campaign, has focused on outreach to female voters as a priority.

Correct the Record’s promotion of Clinton’s record also speaks to that push, highlighting the work that she’s done to further women and children globally. The group notes that Clinton created the office of Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and raised women’s issues at all international economic forums. She launched the Equal Futures Partnership to advance women in politics and the private sector. Along with Asian Partners she pushed through the San Francisco Declaration, an agreement to realize women’s economic potential. With help from Middle Eastern countries she launched the Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society, which brought together and empowered activists in the region to work on women’s economic and political. In Latin America and the Caribbean she launched WEAmericas to help women grow small businesses. In Africa, she created the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program to help train women qualify for the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a trade agreement that gives privileged trade status to certain African countries and businesses. And she directed the Invest for the Future program in Southern and Eastern Europe and Eurasia to focus on women’s entrepreneurship.

“Hillary Clinton championed such unprecedented and impassioned work at the State Department to advance women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment that it would take an entire book to fully chronicle her efforts,” said Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the group. “Correct The Record put together this ‘Breaking Glass’ record analysis to highlight Clinton’s many successes, including several multilateral partnerships and programs which raised the profile of women’s issues and resulted in greater economic engagement of women around the world.”

TIME Foreign Policy

Obama Warns of Extended Campaign Against ISIS

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama speaks about veterans issues at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Charles Dharapak—AP

The President makes his first public comments on the U.S. military campaign in Iraq since returning from vacation

President Barack Obama pledged Tuesday that the United States would not rest until it brought to justice the killer of American journalist James Foley at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

“Rooting out a cancer like [ISIS] won’t be easy and it won’t be quick,” Obama told an audience of veterans and their families at the American Legion National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. a week after the extremist group released a video showing the graphic execution of Foley by an ISIS fighter. These were Obama’s first public comments on the conflict since returning from vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

“Our message to anyone who harms our people is simple. America does not forget, our reach is long, we are patient, justice will be done,” Obama said, referencing Foley’s killing. “We have proved time and time again we will do what’s necessary to capture those who harm Americans to go after those who harm Americans. And we’ll continue to take direct action where needed to protect our people and to defend our homeland.”

As he weighs expanding the fight against ISIS into Syria, Obama warned that “history teaches us of the dangers of overreaching and spreading ourselves too thin and trying to go it alone without international support, or rushing into military adventures without thinking through the consequences.” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that Obama has yet to decide whether to authorize the expansion of the weeks-long American air campaign in Iraq against the group.

Obama said that the strikes against ISIS have been limited to protecting U.S. forces and diplomats in Iraq, reaffirming that U.S. troops would not be sent back on the ground beyond an advisory capacity.

“Let me say it again: American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq,” he said. “We’ll not allow the United States to be dragged back into another ground war in Iraq because, ultimately, it is up to the Iraqis to bridge their differences and secure themselves.”

TIME Congress

WATCH: John Boehner Has Found His Kindred Spirit … in a Monkey

'That's what I do all day!'

+ READ ARTICLE

The second most photographed object in John Boehner’s office — after the House Speaker himself — is a wind-up monkey that sits on his desk, crashes cymbals on command and, according to his staffers, speaks volumes about his work.

Boehner’s staff gave the gift as a “token of appreciation” and a subtle reminder to their boss to avoid comparing himself to a wind-up toy, as he did in 2011 when he was discussing the strains of his hectic work schedule. The monkey has since appeared in at least 29 photos with the speaker and various visitors.

On Tuesday, his staffers featured it in a YouTube video in which Boehner points at the toy monkey in action and says, “That’s what I do all day,” to a group of young girls getting a crash course in politics. “They wind me up about every 15 minutes,” he adds.

TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: August 26

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Emmys: Much Ado About TV

Modern Family continued its dominance with Best Comedy while Breaking Bad ended its Emmy run with another impressive display: The show earned Best Drama and Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn picked up acting honors

Foreigners Flee Ebola’s Wrath

Some fear that the exodus of international families and businesses from West Africa due to the outbreak could cripple the region’s growing economies

No ISIS Plot Yet, U.S. Says

Governments are concerned over ISIS fighters with passports from Western countries, but the U.S. has found no evidence of a plot against the homeland

California Quake May Cost Wine Country Billions

Experts say the total economic losses from Sunday’s quake that rattled Napa Valley may reach billions of dollars, but that things would have been much worse had the current year’s grape harvest been fully picked when the quake hit

No Proof Veterans Died Because of Delays, VA Says

The Veterans Affairs Department says investigators have found no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at a VA hospital in Phoenix, deflating an explosive allegation that helped expose a troubled health care system in which veterans waited months for appointments

Airbnb Hands Over Data of 124 New York Hosts

The online accommodation company gave the personal information of 124 past and present hosts, the vast majority of them no longer on its site, to the New York attorney general, who is seeking those who “flagrantly” misused the service

Watch Billy Crystal’s Moving Tribute to Robin Williams

“He was the greatest friend you could ever imagine,” Crystal said in the tribute, an improvement of the unexpectedly brief nod to Williams at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards. “It’s very hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in all of our lives”

Hopes for a Cease-Fire Rise as the Gaza War Drags On

Media outlets were abuzz with reports on Monday that various factions were close to agreeing on a cease-fire deal to end the Gaza conflict, now in its eighth week as casualties mount, following renewed efforts by Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Report: U.S. Begins Surveillance Flights Over Syria

Officials said the flights began with President Obama’s approval, which could lead to airstrikes against militant targets; Obama has not approved military action but additional intelligence on the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria would likely be needed before a next step

States With Medical-Pot Laws Have Less Opioid ODs

New research finds that states with medical-marijuana laws have 25% lower rates of anticipated opioid-related deaths from medicine prescribed for chronic pain, like OxyContin and Percocet, than states where weed isn’t legal — though it’s not totally clear why

Kill Switches on Smartphones Are Now Mandatory in California

Gov. Jerry Brown signed historic legislation on Monday, mandating that every smartphone sold in California after July 1, 2015, be equipped by default with a kill switch, a feature that can render the device useless if stolen

The Bacteria That May One Day Cure Food Allergies

A team of scientists hopes after a promising new study on mice that the bacteria strain Clostridia, which resides close to the immune system in the human body, could hold the key to treating common allergies to foods like peanuts or lactose

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TIME Ukraine

Rice Slams Moscow’s Intervention in Ukraine as ‘Dangerous and Inflammatory’

Susan Rice
National Security Adviser Susan Rice listens to reporters questions during a briefing on March 21, 2014 Manuel Balce Ceneta —AP

The National Security Adviser's condemnation comes ahead of a meeting between Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice has berated Russia for continuing to pump heavy weaponry and military personnel into Ukraine’s eastern provinces, where a pro-Moscow insurgency has been taking place since April.

“Repeated Russian incursions into Ukraine unacceptable. Dangerous and inflammatory,” said Rice on her Twitter account. “Russia has no right to send vehicles or cargo into Ukraine without Govt of Ukraine’s permission,” she said in a separate tweet.

She added that the Kremlin’s incursions into Ukraine represented a “significant escalation” of the crisis.

Rice’s strong words came hours ahead of a scheduled round of talks between Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belarus on Tuesday. They also followed confirmation from NATO commanders last week that artillery units, manned by Russian troops, were operating both outside and within Ukraine and were bombarding Ukrainian forces.

Relations between Kiev and Moscow have been in a precipitous downward spiral since the ousting of Kremlin-backed President Viktor Yanukovych by mass demonstrations earlier this year. That was followed in March by the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula — a move that inspired a pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine the following month.

Under the leadership of Poroshenko, Ukraine has incrementally beaten back the insurgency, despite the aid that the rebels are receiving.

“What we’ve seen in recent weeks is a steady advance by the Ukrainian forces and Russia trying to pull various expedients out of the hat to help their proxies over the border,” John Besemeres, professor and adjunct fellow at Australian National University’s Center for European Studies, tells TIME. “So far, at least, it doesn’t appear that any of these are working.”

On Monday, Kiev claimed to have captured a number of Russian paratroopers inside its borders.

The news came as President Poroshenko dissolved the country’s parliament and called for a new round of elections in October.

“Many deputies who are in the [Parliament] are direct sponsors or accomplices, that is to say allies of the militant separatists,” said Poroshenko, according to the Associated Press.

Approximately 2,249 people have been killed and more than 6,000 injured in Ukraine since hostilities erupted, according to an assessment by the U.N.

Despite the heavy losses, which include more than 700 Ukrainian servicemen, Poroshenko appears to be committed to eradicating the insurgents.

“We will manage to defend the independence, life and security of everyone, our right to live freely on our Ukrainian land at the cost of colossal efforts of the entire nation,” the President told the country during a national address on Aug. 24, the country’s Independence Day.

TIME Syria

White House: ISIS Not Planning to Attack U.S. Homeland — Yet

Josh Earnest
White House press secretary Josh Earnest speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP

Hundreds of Westerners are joining the fight in Iraq and Syria, but the U.S. has found no evidence of a plot against the homeland over SIS

The U.S. government has no evidence of a current plot by fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) to attack the U.S. homeland, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

“We are concerned about the threat that is posed by [ISIS], but it is the assessment, as stated by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by the intelligence community, that there currently is not an active plot under way to attack the U.S. homeland,” Earnest told reporters.

Nonetheless, concerns that ISIS fighters with the passports of Western countries could attack Europe or the U.S. has Western governments on heightened alert. Some U.S. lawmakers are calling for a revision of the visa-waiver program, which allows citizens of 38 countries — mostly Europeans and other Western allies — to enter the U.S. and stay for 90 days without a visa. “They can bring … what they’ve learned about bombmaking and about assassinations with them here at home,” said House Armed Services Committee vice chairman Mac Thornberry, a Texas Republican, on CNN on Sunday.

Approximately 12,000 foreign fighters have traveled to Syria from at least 50 countries, said Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department. Several dozen are suspected to hold U.S. passports, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in July.

Britain estimates that more than 500 people linked to the U.K. have traveled to Syria since the uprising began. “Obviously, it’s very difficult to give precise numbers on this,” said Jessica Jennings, a spokeswoman for the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. The French Ministry of Interior has estimated that roughly 900 French citizens are currently waging jihad in Syria, Iraq and Libya. And German intelligence fears nearly 300 German nationals have traveled to Syria.

“One of the concerns is that we want to make sure that we confront this threat before it gets worse, before they’re able to establish a safe haven in which they could build a larger international network and conceive of a broader conspiracy that would allow them to carry out a more — a broader, more violent catastrophic attack,” Earnest said.

ISIS extremists “are one plane ticket away from U.S. shores,” House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, adding that an attack against the U.S. “is a very real threat.” The violence in Syria has already spread to Europe. In May, a shooting at a Jewish museum in Brussels left three dead. Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old Frenchman who traveled to Syria in 2013 to join the fighting, allegedly carried out that attack.

Also in May, 22-year-old Moner Mohammad Abusalha, from West Palm Beach, Fla., drove a truck laden with explosives into a government position in northern Syria, becoming the first American suicide bomber in the three-year-old war.

A month earlier, 19-year-old Shannon Maureen Conley was arrested at the Denver airport en route to Adana, Turkey, less than 100 miles from the Syrian border. Conley was detained after she told Colorado police she planned to go overseas and wage jihad. She was hoping to marry a 32-year-old Tunisian man in Syria whom she met on the Internet, according to the charges filed against her.

In June, Texan Michael Wolfe, was arrested at the Houston airport preparing to fly to Turkey. He told agents he planned to use a $5,000 federal tax refund to move his wife and two kids to Turkey and then join the fighting in Syria.

In July, a 20-year-old man was stopped by FBI agents at the Orange County airport in California as he tried to board a flight to Turkey en route to Syria. Adam Dandach, also known as Fadi Fadi Dandach, told agents that he would kill U.S. soldiers if ISIS asked him. Dandach had applied for an expedited passport replacement after his mother had hidden his original in December to prevent him from joining ISIS.

Holder in July called on other Western countries to join the U.S. in criminalizing “preparatory acts of terrorism” like providing “material support” to terrorist groups, the legal justification that the U.S. has used to detain suspected American ISIS followers. Holder also called for greater use of undercover agents to infiltrate Western ISIS groups, asked that allies do a better job of sharing traveler information and recommended that governments invest more in counterradicalization programs.

Some countries have already taken steps to stem the flow. The British Parliament passed a law in May that tightened punishments for joining or helping terrorist groups. Since then, 20 British citizens have been stripped of their citizenship and at least 40 people have been arrested on charges of helping Syrian militant groups.

France, which has passed a legislation banning “preparatory acts of terrorism,” is considering blocking websites that recruit jihadists, and a legislation that empowers the police to stop French citizens from traveling abroad. Norway, which estimates that 40 to 50 of its citizens have traveled to Syria, has also passed a “preparatory act of terrorism” law and made the first arrest under that law in February.

— With reporting by Zeke Miller

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