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June 24, 2017: Mckinnon Broadcasting Company, Inc.: Colombian rebels release kidnapped Dutch journalists

NEWS BITES - PRIVATE COMPANIES

- The Netherlands' foreign ministry says that two Dutch journalists who were kidnapped earlier this week by leftist rebels in Colombia have been released unharmed.

Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said in a statement early Saturday that Derk Bolt and Eugenio Follender "are doing relatively well under the circumstances."

Bolt and Follender were seized Monday by members of the National Liberation Army while out reporting in the volatile Catatumbo region near the border with Venezuela.

Bolt is host of a Dutch television show called Spoorloos (Without a Trace), Follender a cameraman for the show, which attempts to help people find their long-lost blood relatives.

The ELN is Colombia's last major guerrilla army with about 1,500 troops.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

INDEX

SECTION 1 MCKINNON BROADCASTING COMPANY, INC. ACTIVITIES

SECTION 2 MCKINNON BROADCASTING COMPANY, INC. PROFILE

SECTION 3 BUSINESS NEWS ROUND UP

SECTION 1 MCKINNON BROADCASTING COMPANY, INC. ACTIVITIES

Mckinnon Broadcasting Company, Inc. owns and operates a television station. It broadcasts news, sports, traffic, weather, business, health, and entertainment programs. Mckinnon Broadcasting Company, Inc. was founded in 1975 and is based in San Diego, California.

SECTION 2 MCKINNON BROADCASTING COMPANY, INC. PROFILE

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Website: http://www.kusi.com

Industry: Media

SECTION 3 BUSINESS NEWS ROUND UP

June 24, 2017: Mckinnon Broadcasting Company, Inc.: California governor stops parole for Charles Manson follower

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday night blocked parole for Charles Manson follower and convicted killer Bruce Davis.

Brown's rejection issued late Friday night is the fifth time Davis has been recommended for parole by a state panel only to see it blocked by a governor, and continues Brown's unflinching pattern of refusing to allow anyone from Manson's "family" to be freed.

On Feb. 1, the parole panel recommended release for the 74-year-old Davis, who is serving a life sentence for the 1969 slayings of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea. Davis was not involved in the more notorious killings of actress Sharon Tate and six others by Manson's group.

Brown in his written decision acknowledges the factors that led the board to recommend parole for Davis: His efforts to improve himself, his academic progress, and 25 years with no discipline for misconduct.

But he said these things are "outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.

"These cult murders have left an indelible mark on the public - the Manson Family is still feared to this day," Brown wrote. "Incredibly heinous and cruel offenses like these constitute the 'rare circumstances' in which the crime alone can justify a denial of parole."

Also, Brown added "his continued minimization of his own violence and his role in the Manson Family further shows that he remains an unreasonable risk to the public."

The governor's decision came a week before the deadline.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also rejected Davis' parole bid before Brown made a common ritual of it.

A message left with Davis lawyer Michael Beckman was not immediately returned.

Davis is serving his time at the California Men's Colony at San Luis Obispo.

During the half-century since the slayings, parole panels decided five times that Davis is no longer a public safety risk. Officials have cited his age and good behavior behind bars that includes earning a doctoral degree and ministering to other inmates.

Davis testified at his 2014 hearing that he attacked Shea with a knife and held a gun on Hinman while Manson cut Hinman's face with a sword.

"I wanted to be Charlie's favorite guy," he said then.

Beckman, who has been fighting for years for the release of Davis, said in February that his client is the most rehabilitated prisoner among the 2,000 he is representing in the penal system.

"There's no one even a close second," Beckman said.

On Thursday, California officials denied parole for convicted killer and Manson follower Patricia Krenwickel.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

June 24, 2017: Mckinnon Broadcasting Company, Inc.: Mueller and Comey not as close as Trump and others suggest

President Donald Trump and his associates are trying to draw attention to the relationship between special counsel Robert Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey. It appears that Trump's description of the two as "very, very good friends" isn't rooted in reality.

Mueller and Comey served together in the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration. They're not known to be especially close friends. A former federal prosecutor, David Kelley, says Mueller and Comey haven't visited each other's homes and rarely shared a meal together.

Legal experts say whatever connection they do have doesn't come close to meriting Mueller's removal as special counsel.

Mueller is in charge of the Russia investigation that has expanded to include Trump's firing of Comey. Trump has called the Russia probe a "witch hunt."

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

June 24, 2017: Mckinnon Broadcasting Company, Inc.: Huge, homely mastiff named Martha wins world's ugliest dog

Martha is big, ugly, lazy and gassy. And a world champion.

In a competition annually dominated by the old, the tiny, and the hairless, the 3-year-old, 125-pound Neapolitan Mastiff used her lollygagging youth to win the 29th annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest.

She was a favorite of the Northern California crowd from the start, often plopping down on her side on stage with her droopy face spread across the ground when she was supposed to be showing off. The judges didn't even need to hear her signature snore to give her the award.

"Do you know you just won the World's Ugliest Dog Contest?" asked Kerry Sanders of NBC News, one of three judges who gave Martha the crown. Her handler Shirley Zindler answered for her: "I'd gloat, but I need a nap."

Martha lumbered away with $1,500, a flashy trophy and a trip to New York for media appearances, all things she could hardly care less about.

The dog, from nearby Sebastopol, was rescued when she was nearly blind from neglect by the Dogwood Animal Rescue Project in Sonoma County, where the contest was held. After several surgeries, she can now see again, Zindler said.

The only animal in this year's contest too big to be held by her handler, Martha beat out 13 other dogs, most of them the kind of older, smaller dogs who win here.

Moe, a 16-year-old Brussels Griffon-pug mix from Santa Rosa, California, who was the oldest in the competition, came in second. He had lost his hearing and sight but his sense of smell is strong and he was enjoying all the smells at the Sonoma-Marin Fair where the contest is held, including funnel cakes and other fried goodies.

Chase, a 14-year-old Chinese Crested-Harke mix, came all the way from Neath, United Kingdom to take third place.

The contestants were judged on first impressions, unusual attributes, personality and audience reaction.

Many of the contestants were adopted. Monkey, a 6-year-old Brussels Griffon, and Icky, an 8-year-old unknown breed, were both rescued from the homes of hoarders.

These dogs - some with acne, others with tongues permanently sticking out - are used to getting called ugly. But for their owners, it was love at first sight.

"He's my sexy boy," Vicky Adler, of Davis, California, said of her 8-year-old Chinese Crested named Zoomer.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

June 24, 2017: Mckinnon Broadcasting Company, Inc.: After demands aired, solution to Qatar crisis seems far off

Faced with a sweeping set of demands, Qatar insisted Friday it can indefinitely survive the economic and diplomatic steps its neighbors have taken to try to pressure it into compliance, even as a top Emirati official warned the tiny country to brace for a long-term economic squeeze.

Given 10 days to make a decision, Qatar said it was reviewing the specific concessions demanded of the tiny Persian Gulf nation, which include shuttering Al-Jazeera and cutting ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. But Qatari officials didn't budge from their previous insistence that they won't sit down with Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations to negotiate an end to the crisis while under siege.

"I can assure you that our situation today is very comfortable," Qatari Ambassador to the U.S. Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani told The Associated Press. "Qatar could continue forever like that with no problems."

Asked whether Qatar felt pressure to resolve the crisis quickly, he said: "Not at all."

As the United States stepped back from any central mediating role, all sides seemed to be settling in for a potentially protracted crisis. Qatar's neighbors insisted their 13-point list of demands was their bottom line, not a starting point for negotiations.

If Qatar refuses to comply by the deadline, the Arab countries signaled, they'll continue to restrict its access to land, sea and air routes indefinitely, as economic pressure mounts on Qatar.

"The measures that have been taken are there to stay until there is a long-term solution to the issue," Emirati Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef al-Otaiba said in an interview. Suggesting the penalties would only be economic and diplomatic, he said "there is no military element to this whatsoever."

Having urged Qatar's neighbors to come up with "reasonable and actionable" demands, the U.S. sought to distance itself from the crisis the day after the Arab countries issued a list that included several provisions Qatar had already declared it could not or would not accept. But the ultimatum was quickly rejected by Qatar's ally, Turkey, and blasted as an assault on free speech by Al-Jazeera, the Qatari broadcaster that the gas-rich country's neighbors are demanding be shut down.

The demands from the Saudis, the Emiratis, the Egyptians and the Bahrainis amount to a call for a sweeping overhaul of Qatar's foreign policy and natural gas-funded influence peddling in the region. Complying would force Qatar to bring its policies in line with the regional vision of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East's biggest economy and gatekeeper of Qatar's only land border.

"This reflects basically an attempt from these countries to suppress free media and also undermine our sovereignty," said Al Thani, the Qatari envoy. "They are trying to impose their views on how the issues need to be dealt with in the Middle East."

"They are bullies," he added.

The demands include shutting news outlets, including Al-Jazeera and its affiliates; curbing diplomatic relations with Iran; and severing all ties with Islamist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood. The United Arab Emirates said the list was intended to be confidential. The AP obtained a copy from one of the countries involved in the dispute.

The four countries cut ties with Qatar earlier this month over allegations that it funds terrorism - an accusation President Donald Trump has echoed. Qatar vehemently denies funding or supporting extremism but acknowledges that it allows members of some extremist groups such as Hamas to live in Qatar, arguing that fostering dialogue is key to resolving global conflicts.

The move by Qatar's neighbors has left it under a de facto blockade. Although residents made a run on the supermarket in the days after the crisis erupted, the situation has since calmed as Qatar secured alternative sources of imported food from Turkey and elsewhere.

Yet resisting the demands could prove difficult.

"The four states can afford to wait, but Qatar cannot," said Fawaz Gerges, a Middle East expert at the London School of Economics. "This crisis could threaten the political stability of the ruling family in Qatar in the long term if it lasts."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has tried to mediate and earlier this week called on the Arab nations to limit themselves to "reasonable and actionable" demands. That call appeared to have been roundly ignored, and it was the Kuwaitis - who also offered to mediate - who delivered the list Thursday to Qatar.

"This is an Arab issue that requires an Arab solution," Otaiba said. "That's why the Kuwaitis will take the lead in the negotiation."

That's just fine, the U.S. said. At the White House, spokesman Sean Spicer called it a "family issue" among Arab states and declined to say whether the newly articulated demands were legitimate.

"This is something that they want to and should work out for themselves," Spicer said.

Thrust into the middle of the crisis, the head of Al-Jazeera's English language service said the network remained committed to continuing its broadcasts.

"Any call to close to down or curtail Al-Jazeera is nothing but an attempt to muzzle a voice of democracy in the region and suppress freedom of expression," he said by phone.

Underscoring the growing seriousness of the crisis, state-run Qatar Petroleum acknowledged Friday that some critically important employees "may have been asked to postpone" trips abroad "for operational reasons" due to the embargo. It described the move as "a very limited measure that could take place in any oil and gas operating company" to ensure uninterrupted supplies to customers.

Qatar's neighbors are also demanding that it:

-Curb diplomatic ties with Iran, and limit trade and commerce.

-Stop funding other news outlets, including Arabi21, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed and Middle East Eye.

-Hand over "terrorist figures" and wanted individuals from the four countries.

-Stop all means of funding for groups or people designated by foreign countries as terrorists.

-Pay an unspecified sum in reparations.

-Stop all contacts with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

___

Schreck reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

June 21, 2017: Mckinnon Broadcasting Company, Inc.: Trump likely to reveal this week whether secret tapes exist

President Donald Trump is expected to make an announcement in the coming days on whether any recordings exist of his private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, potentially bringing to an end one of the central mysteries of the ongoing probe that has consumed his White House.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that he expects an announcement "this week" on the possibility of tapes. The president fired Comey in May and then tweeted that the lawman, who was overseeing the investigation into possible contacts between Trump's campaign and Russian officials, "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press."

Trump and his aides have since then steadfastly refused to clarify that extraordinary if ambiguous warning. The president last month told reporters that "I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the near future" but offered no hints as to whether the tapes exists, except saying that some journalists would "be very disappointed" to find out the answer.

The House intelligence committee has asked White House counsel Don McGahn to provide an answer to the question about tapes by Friday. Under a post-Watergate law, the Presidential Records Act, recordings made by presidents belong to the people and can eventually be made public. Destroying them would be a crime.

Comey testified before the Senate that Trump asked for his loyalty and asked for him to drop the probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Some have raised the possibility that Trump's request constituted obstruction of justice, but the president has yet to produce the tapes that could theoretically clear his name.

The investigation was originally launched to look into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. Trump has at times cast doubt on that conclusion, and Spicer said Tuesday that he has yet to discuss with the president whether he believes that Moscow was behind the election interference.

"I have not sat down and talked to him about that specific thing," Spicer said.

America's top intelligence officials have concluded that Russia undoubtedly interfered in America's 2016 presidential campaign. Characterizing it as the "high-confidence judgment of the entire intelligence community," Comey testified that there is no doubt that the Russians meddled "with "purpose," "sophistication" and technology. Trump, meanwhile, has dismissed investigations into the meddling and potential collusion with his campaign associates as a "witch hunt."

Robert Mueller, the special counsel now overseeing the investigation, met Tuesday with the leaders of the House Intelligence committee. Reps. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., issued a brief statement saying the meeting but provided no details about their discussion.

Mueller is slated to meet Wednesday with top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including the chairman, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and the top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. He'll also meet with Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

One reason for the Capitol Hill meetings is to ensure there is no conflict between Mueller's probe and the work of the congressional committees.

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