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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Terror strikes the heart of Barcelona

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Tragedy in Barcelona: Van attack strikes heart of tourist district 

The Las Ramblas district in Barcelona is lined with stalls and shops, where artists paint streetscapes, tourists snap photos, and people walk down a wide, pedestrian path in the center of the street. On Thursday, a van slammed into the crowds and careened more than 600 yards, killing at least a dozen people and injuring some 80 more. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terror attack, and police arrested two people. Here's what we know now, as it updates. In Spain, there hasn't been a major terror attack since the 2004 Madrid train bombings. But across Europe, there have been several high-profile attacks involving vehicles in recent years, part of a disturbing trend of terrorism that requires little organization, manpower or technological know-how.

Why did Mitch McConnell take a full night to respond to Trump's Charlottesville news conference?

He was livid. After President Trump equated counter-protesters with the white supremacists they came to resist, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who was a pro-civil rights Republican living in Kentucky during the 1960s — had to carefully deliberate on the best way forward. McConnell's anger highlights the quandary many Republicans faced in the aftermath of Trump's comments blaming "both sides" for the violence. Yet despite backlash from his own party, Trump again doubled-down and defended Confederate monuments  in Thursday tweets, writing, "You can't change history." While some statues have come down since Charlottesville, the nation's Confederate memorial infrastructure may be  too vast and diverse to be moved, hidden or destroyed

It's finally (almost) Solar Eclipse Day

The celestial event of the year/decade/century arrives Monday. If you've procrastinated, we'll do our best to help. The key item you need before you head outdoors to gaze at the moon crossing in front of the sun is decidedly low-tech: eclipse glasses, to prevent "eclipse blindness." (Yup, real thing.) But bad news, if you've procrastinated this long about purchasing the glasses, you may need to beg and borrow a pair  because they're a hot commodity. What else do you need to know?  Clouds could dim your view in coastal areas of Oregon and South Carolina. But don't worry — you can still livestream the event at USA TODAY, and on Facebook, and we'll be on Instagram Live across the USA, too. Oh, and make sure you check the time. This celestial event is coming for a limited time only: totality will last just 2-3 minutes in any given location . To know when to head outside,  check out our interactive map.

For 391 months in a row, it's been warmer than average here on Earth

Speaking of the sun, did you feel the burn last month? July was the second-hottest month ever recorded worldwide, missing the top spot by just less than a tenth of a degree, federal scientists  announced Thursday. Why? Long-term, man-made global warming is the primary cause, said Jake Crouch, a NOAA climate scientist. The U.S. was hideously hot: Americans sweltered through the 10th-warmest July in 123 years of record-keeping. Little relief is in sight: The fall forecast predicts above-average temperatures for the U.S.

This is a compilation of stories from across USA TODAY. 

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This week’s retirement strategies and news

August 17    
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  Personal Finance
One of the most widely used titles is financial adviser. This label is problematic because it is generic and entirely too broad.
  7 ways to build wealth your financial adviser won't tell you  
  While financial planners are trained to improve your long-term investing returns, traditional investing will always be their main focus.  
  Read Story Read Story  

  Personal Finance      
  Ada Ayala (from left), Mariam Martinez and Mandy Alvarado say they got their first taste of long-term investing through their company's 401(k) plan.   Wiles: At small Phoenix company, 401(k) plan is taken seriously
Large employers move the needle when it comes to offering the best 401(k) plans, but small companies can do a good job too.                              
  Personal Finance      
    3 rookie investing mistakes to avoid
In the world of investing, even a simple mistake can cost you a fortune.                              
  Personal Finance      
    Should you own a home in retirement? Maybe not
A growing number of seniors are opting to rent during retirement rather than own. Here are some good reasons to go this route.                              
  Personal Finance      
    Americans are using this 'loophole' to save more for retirement
When it comes to building your nest egg, you have more options than you may think. One such savings vehicle is a health savings account (HSA).                              
  Personal Finance      
    4 investing errors that can crush your retirement savings
If you're making any of these common investing errors, your final retirement savings balance may be disappointing.                              
  Personal Finance      
    10 money moves to make in your 20s
Your 20s aren't the time to ignore your finances. Quite the contrary -- here are a few key opportunities to jump on.                              
  Personal Finance      
  Here are four reasons why you should keep your retirement cash where it is.   4 reasons you should never, ever take a 401(k) loan
Here are four reasons why you should keep your retirement cash where it is.                              
  Personal Finance      
  Not enough Americans have rainy-day accounts, so they fall into the trap of tapping their 401(k)s when they get in trouble.   You should max out your 401(k), right? Not so fast
Depending on your financial situation, you may want to fund other accounts first. Here are three things to consider before maxing out your 401(k).                              
  Personal Finance      
    Americans' 3 greatest financial fears — and how to avoid them
Most Americans worry about money on a consistent basis. Here's how to break that cycle.                              
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  The Day In Pictures Gallery
Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virgin

Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virgin
  Popular Stories
Fox News host: No Republicans would defend Trump's Charlottesville comments on air
Mitch McConnell's secret fury over Charlottesville response highlights GOP's Trump dilemma
After Charlottesville, time to censure President Trump
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