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Nation in brief: San Bernardino assailant Malik messaged Facebook friends about her support for jihad

From wire reports

WASHINGTON – San Bernardino, Calif., shooter Tashfeen Malik sent at least two private messages on Facebook to a small group of Pakistani friends in 2012 and 2014, pledging her support for Islamic jihad and saying she hoped to join the fight one day, two top federal law enforcement officials said Monday.

The new details indicate U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies missed warnings on social media that Malik was a potential threat before she entered the United States on a K-1 fiancee visa in July 2014.

The two Facebook messages were recovered by FBI agents investigating whether Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, received any direct encouragement, financial support or specific instructions from foreign terrorist organizations before they carried out the Dec. 2 attacks.

One of the officials characterized the messages as “her private communications to a small group of her friends.”

The official added, “it went only to this small group in Pakistan.” The official said they were written in Urdu, an official language of Pakistan.

Resveratrol added to coffee touted as healthy

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – A University of New Hampshire chemist said he’s developed a coffee that provides the same benefits to the heart as red wine.

Glen Miller infused Arabica coffee beans with resveratrol, the natural antioxidant found in the skins of grapes used to make red wine, the Portsmouth Herald reported. Miller said the infusion happens during the roasting of beans for his CoffVee product to achieve its heart-healthy effect.

Miller first developed the process of combining coffee beans with resveratrol in his kitchen. He said each cup of CoffVee provides the same amount of antioxidants as a glass of red wine.

He’s selling the coffee through his Vera Roasting Co.

GAO audit says EPA violated rule on lobbying

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency broke the law in a social media campaign intended to generate public support for a controversial rule to protect small streams and wetlands from development and pollution, congressional auditors said Monday.

The EPA’s campaign violated restrictions against lobbying and propaganda by federal agencies, the Government Accountability Office said in a 26-page report. The agency blitzed social media in a campaign that urged the public to submit comments on the draft water rule. The effort reached at least 1.8 million people.

Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma said the GAO finding confirms what he has long suspected: “that EPA will go to extreme lengths and even violate the law to promote its activist environmental agenda.”

The Obama administration says the water rule will safeguard drinking water for 117million Americans, but Republicans and a handful of Democrats from rural states say they fear a steady uptick in federal regulation of every stream and ditch.

Federal courts already have put the regulations on hold as they consider a number of lawsuits challenging the water regulations.

The EPA said in a statement that it disagrees with the GAO’s assessment but will fulfill whatever reporting requirements are necessary.

“We maintain that using social media to educate the public about our work is an integral part of our mission,” the agency’s statement said.

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