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NEWS   MONDAY, JUNE  26, 2017   NEWS

Sanders, Wife Jane, Hire Lawyers Amid FBI Probe On Loan Application: Report
Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wife have hired defense attorneys amid an FBI probe into a loan the senator’s wife procured for Burlington College while she was school president, according to news reports. Sanders, a Vermont Independent, and wife Jane hired a legal team in connection to a 2010 loan application Jane Sanders purportedly filed so the school could borrow $10 million to purchase 33 acres of land, as reported first by Politico. The hiring of the attorneys was confirmed to CBS News by Jeff Weaver, the campaign manager for Sanders in his bid to win the Democratic Party nomination in the 2016 presidential race. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Looks like Sanders and Democrats have more to worry than Trump.

Eric Trump Responds To Celebrity Threats, Slams Dems
Eric Trump, son of President Donald Trump, said Sunday that while the latest round of threats—from celebrities and others—against his father and family are “upsetting,” they have to “roll off your back.” “There [are] no borders for these people,” Trump, who is executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said during an interview on “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo. “Listen, we’re fair game—fine, we’re adults. You see Johnny Depp and what he said—‘I’d like to go assassinate the president.’ It’s like, Johnny Depp has his own problems. Like how about you go back to making movies and doing your own thing.” Depp asked a crowd at the Glastonbury arts festival in England on Thursday, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” Fox News
VOA VIEW: The Democrats have lost their minds and much more.

Trump: Hillary Clinton And Democratic Party 'Colluded' Against Sanders
President Donald Trump lashed out at Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party in a tweet Sunday morning, saying the former secretary of state "colluded" with the party in the presidential primary to defeat Sen. Bernie Sanders. The tweet is an apparent reference to a cache of nearly 20,000 hacked Democratic National Committee emails released by WikiLeaks nearly one year ago that Sanders' supporters' said bolstered their claims that the party favored Clinton. The tweet comes as congressional committees and Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller continue investigations into Russia's efforts to influence the US election and the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian officials, including allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russia in an effort to defeat Clinton during the presidential campaign. Trump, his campaign and Russian officials have denied any collusion took place between them. CNN
VOA VIEW: Trump is looking cleaner.

Trump Confirms He Called Health Care Bill 'Mean'
President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama of stealing his terminology when Obama said last week that there was a 'fundamental meanness' at the core of the Republican health care bill. During an interview on "Fox and Friends" Sunday morning, Trump was asked about Obama's Facebook post condemning the Republican health care plan, and the President responded by saying Obama used the descriptor after he originally did. "Well he actually used my term, 'mean.' That was my term," Trump said. "Because I want to see -- and I speak from the heart -- that's what I want to see, I want to see a bill with heart." CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is losing big time - liberalism is not doing well.


U.S. Top Court To Rule On Last Cases As Talk About Kennedy Swirls
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to issue the final rulings of its current term on Monday, including one on religious rights, amid talk that swing voter Justice Anthony Kennedy is considering retirement. The court in the coming days is also expected to act on President Donald Trump's emergency request seeking to revive his travel ban on people entering the United States from six Muslim-majority countries, which was blocked by lower courts.Although there are no firm indications that Kennedy, 81 in July, will step down, some of his former law clerks have said he is considering it. Any announcement could come after the court has finished issuing its rulings on Monday morning. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Kennedy is a switch hitter.

Top Democrat Slams Obama Administration's Response To Russian Hacks
The top Democrat on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on Sunday criticized the administration of former President Barack Obama for not taking earlier and tougher action against Russia for its alleged hacks aimed at swaying the Nov. 8 election for Donald Trump. "The Obama administration should have done a lot more when it became clear that not only was Russia intervening, but it was being directed at the highest levels of the Kremlin," said Representative Adam Schiff on CNN's "State of the Union" program. Reuters
VOA VIEW: The truth hurts - Obama hurt the US.

Democrats Weigh Future After Another Election Loss
Democrats remain split over the best way to move forward after a string of losses in recent elections, and a number of House Democrats have spoken up about whether keeping Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the top of their leadership is in the best interest of the party as they seek to take back a number of congressional seats next year. While "it's not necessarily her fault," according to Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio on NBC’s "Meet The Press," "they spent, I would say, hundreds of millions of dollars against her... the reality is the fact that we have to go into 2018 with a leader who has been damaged." MSNBC

GOP Health Bill Breaks Trump’s Promise To Lower Deductibles
President Donald Trump may not have the most detailed knowledge of health care policy, but he knows what people hate: High deductibles. Trump has made these complaints about Obamacare, which are shared by many insurance customers and critics of the bill alike, a centerpiece of his rhetoric on health care for years. “Our healthcare plan will lower premiums & deductibles — and be great healthcare!” he tweeted last month. A few days earlier he tweeted that Republicans would provide “much lower premiums & deductibles.” In March, he complained that “deductibles are so high you don’t even get to use [insurance]" under Obamacare. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Any new health care must be lower than Obamacare.


Trump: ‘Resist’ Movement Has Backfired On Democrats By Turning Off Voters With ‘Terrible’ Message
President Trump said Sunday that the left’s “resist” campaign has backfired on Democrats by saddling them with a “terrible theme” that voters are rejecting. “That’s a terrible word. Think of it. Their theme is ‘resist.’ Their theme should be, ‘Let’s get together. Envelop. Let’s get together,’” Mr. Trump said in an interview aired Sunday on “Fox & Friends.” “But their theme is resist. It’s obstruction. And the problem is they’ve become obstructionist.” “And the voters — I happen to like it from the standpoint of running for office, but I think it’s a terrible theme in terms of getting elected, and more importantly, I think it’s a terrible theme for the people of this country,” the Republican president said. “Resist. Obstruction. That’s not what they want.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Democrats are losers.

Rick Santorum Predicts Senate Health Care Bill Will Pass With 50 Votes, Conservative Support
Former Sen. Rick Santorum predicted that the Republican health care bill will pass the Senate with exactly 50 votes, saying the measure has enough “core Republican doctrine” to satisfy conservatives even if moderates reject it. At least five Senate Republicans have expressed opposition the bill in its current form to repeal and replace Obamacare, but Mr. Santorum said he believes the conservatives would change their minds. “There really isn’t a reason for those four conservative Republicans not to figure out a way to get to yes,” said the ex-Pennsylvania senator and conservative standard-bearer on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He cited the bill’s changes to funding, saying that “there’s enough reforms in there, there’s enough tax deductions, there’s enough transferring wealth out of Washington for conservatives.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Heath care must pass and must be lower.

Mormon Church Leaders Cut Microphone After Young Girl Announces She's Gay
 A video of a young Mormon girl revealing to her congregation that she is lesbian and still loved by God -- before her microphone is turned off by local church leaders -- is sparking a new round of discussions about how the religion handles LGBT issues. Savannah, 13, spoke on May 7 in Eagle Mountain, Utah, about her belief that she is the child of heavenly parents who didn't make any mistakes when she was created. Her comments came during a once-a-month portion of Mormon Sunday services where members are encouraged to share feelings and beliefs. CBS

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Sen. Joe Manchin: Russia Is Not Our Ally, Not Our Friend
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, said that as the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election continue, it's important to note that Russia is not an ally.
"Russia is not our friend. And to treat Putin as an ally and a friend is wrong. I don't look at him as a friend. I don't look at Russia. And I am very skeptical of what they're doing, their intentions. There are a lot of good people in Russia that don't have any say whatsoever," Manchin said on "Face the Nation" on Sunday. CBS
VOA VIEW:  No one claimed Russian, a friend.

No Ramadan Celebration At White House, Though Trump Said During Campaign He Was Open To It
For the first time in over two decades, the White House did not host an Iftar or Eid celebration dinner to mark the month of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month when Muslims fast during daylight hours. Hosting an Eid celebration or an Iftar dinner – the nightly meal when Muslims break their fast during Ramadan -- had been a White House tradition since 1996, when then-first lady Hillary Clinton hosted the first Eid dinner there. Iftar dinners inviting prominent members of the Muslim community to break their fast at the White House were continued each year during the administrations of both President Bush and President Obama. ABC
VOA VIEW: It is, what it is.

Why Republicans Are Struggling Mightily To Overhaul Tax Code
Why are Republicans struggling mightily to reach a consensus on how to overhaul the nation's tax system? The GOP is supposed to be really good at cutting taxes. President George W. Bush cut taxes. So did President Ronald Reagan, though he also raised them. Why is President Donald Trump, who has promised the largest tax cut ever, having so much trouble accomplishing one of his main initiatives? Some questions and answers about why tax overhaul is hard and why Republicans have been unable to reach a consensus. ABC


Saudi-Led Demands ‘Difficult’ For Qatar To Meet, Tillerson Says
Qatar will find it “very difficult” to comply with some demands made by the Saudi-led bloc to end the Gulf diplomatic crisis, though they can be a basis for talks, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday. “A productive next step would be for each of the countries to sit together and continue this conversation,” Tillerson said in an emailed statement. “We believe our allies and partners are stronger when they are working together towards one goal which we all agree is stopping terrorism and countering extremism. A lowering of rhetoric would also help ease the tension.” Bloomberg

Ohio Government Websites Hacked With Pro-Islamic State Messages
The websites of Ohio Governor John Kasich and other state government agencies were hacked on Sunday with a posting professing love for the jihadist group Islamic State. Ten state websites and two servers were affected, and they’ve been taken off line for an investigation with law enforcement into how the hackers were able to deface them, said Tom Hoyt, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Websites are the biggest targets.

Heat Is On, Yet Trump Remains Oblivious
It’s hot. And it’s getting hotter. I am not talking about the fact that Las Vegans are experiencing August temperatures in June. We all know what is causing this change in weather patterns even though some don’t want to acknowledge it. So let’s just sweat together, complain together and pretend together that the Chinese created this fake problem. Meantime, please turn up the air conditioning. I am talking about the heat that is emanating from the White House and threatening potential conflict with the one country on the planet that can give us a run for our money: Russia. Las Vegas Sun

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Younger Republicans More Liberal On Immigration
Young Republicans hold significantly more liberal views of immigrants and immigration than their older counterparts, reflecting a difference consistent with white Americans regardless of which political party they identify with, according to the latest American Values Atlas, a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute survey. While 41 percent of Republicans of all ages believe immigrants face a lot of discrimination in the United States, the percentage increases to 60 percent among Republicans between 18 and 29 years old, the survey found. That's a stark contrast to GOP voters 65 and older — only a third of that group says immigrants experience discrimination. Las Vegas Sun

Southern Utah Wildfire Grows To Largest In U.S.
Southern Utah's wildfire is the largest in the United States one week after it started. The blaze -- called the Brian Head Fire -- had consumed 40,148 acres by Saturday night in Utah, including 12,500 new acres since Thursday morning, according to Iron County Emergency Management. The fire, which was ignited by a resident burning weeds and has been fueled by hot, dry conditions and strong wind, has been 8 percent contained. The blaze straddles Iron and Garfield counties. Since the fire began on June 17 in the resort town of Brian Head, several hundred people have been evacuated from their homes. Destroyed were 13 residences and eight buildings. UPI

Overhill Farms Recalls 54,000 Pounds Of Frozen Chicken Bites
California-based Overhill Farms, Inc. is recalling 54,000 pounds of frozen chicken bite products, including some designed for toddlers, after bones were found in the food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall Saturday of the products sold exclusively at Target in the United States. Consumers complained about the problem to the company, the USDA said in a press release. No illnesses or injuries were reported, but it is a Class 1 recall -- the agency's highest health risk rating. The USDA describes it as "a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death." Consumers are urged to throw the products away or return them to where they were purchased. The recall includes 3-ounce "yummy spoonful" boxes for toddlers sold and 30-pound bulk cases of chicken bites – in broccoli, carrot and sweet potato varieties sold nationwide to retailers. The products were produced on Aug. 30, Feb. 1, Feb. 9 and April 25. UPI

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With the wide range of streams of Judaism in the US and the emphasis placed on freedom of identity and religion, a growing number of Jews are feeling alienated from Israel. The announcement that the government had backtracked on its decision to create a state-recognized pluralistic prayer section at the Western Wall drew a slew of angry statements from politicians, Jewish groups and religious leaders on Sunday. The recurring pronouncement in these statements was that with this decision, the government had delivered a decisive blow to the crucial relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jewry, particularly US Jewry. Jerusalem Post

Trump Accuses Obama Of Inaction Over Russia Meddling Claim
President Donald Trump has accused his predecessor Barack Obama of inaction over alleged Russian interference in the US election in 2016. Mr Trump said Mr Obama had learned well before the 8 November poll about the accusations and "did nothing". His comments followed an article in the Washington Post which said that Mr Obama learned last August of President Vladimir Putin's "direct involvement". The alleged meddling is the subject of high-level investigations in the US. President Putin has repeatedly denied any Russian interference into the presidential election. BBC

Italy Forced To Bail Out Two More Banks For 5.2bn Euros
Italy's government is bailing out two banks in the Venice region at a cost of 5.2bn euros (£4.6bn; $5.8bn). The move comes two days after the European Central Bank warned that Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca were failing or likely to fail. The banks' "good" assets will be taken on by Intesa Sanpaolo banking group.
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said the rescue was needed to protect savers and ensure "the good health of our banking system". The two banks' branches and employees will be part of Intesa by Monday morning in a move designed to avoid a potential run on deposits that could have spread to other Italian banks. BBC

Inside The Mysterious Lot Of Land Donald Trump Owns In Florida's Swamplands
The circumstances of Trump’s acquisition of the land, meanwhile, are equally as bewildering as his reasons for maintaining it for more than a decade. It was effectively gifted to him for $1 in July 2005 by a woman named Nazeema Carrico, who was listed in Palm Beach County records as the owner of a photographic studio specialising in adult lingerie shoots. Carrico owned the land for only a few weeks, having bought it in June 2005 for $3,300 from a man in Ohio, who died earlier this year. Since her divorce in 2015, Carrico, 41, now goes by the name of Nazeema Moonab and lives in a $550,000 mansion in Covington, Georgia. Records show that members of her family continue to own hundreds of small, undeveloped plots of land in Highlands County, but Carrico surrendered her own joint ownership in about 50 more to her former husband as part of a divorce settlement. Guardian

Schumer: New Democratic 'Agenda' Will 'Resonate With The Middle Class'
Within a month, the Democratic party will present a “strong, bold, sharp-edged and common-sense economic agenda” to underpin its efforts against Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday. “Here’s the No1 lesson from Georgia 6,” the New York senator said on ABC’s This Week, referring to the sixth congressional district in which Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff this week lost the most expensive special election in history. “Democrats need a strong, bold, sharp-edged, and common-sense economic agenda. Policy, platform, message that appeal to the middle class. That resonate with the middle class … and unite Democrats. That’s what I’ve been working on for months.” Guardian

'Catastrophe For Rape Survivors' As Poland Limits Access To Morning-After Pill
A leading human rights organisation has warned a new law in Poland limiting access to emergency contraception will have a “catastrophic impact on rape survivors”.
The law, which comes into effect next month, ends prescription-free access to the morning-after pill. Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, gave his official consent to the law late on Friday despite the opposition of human rights groups and opinion polls showing must Poles opposed it. Telegraph

Invest In Britain’s Armed Forces To Boost The Economy, Says PwC
Heavier investment in Britain’s armed forces can strengthen the UK not only militarily, but also economically, new research says. The finding comes in PwC’s annual Forces for Change report, which looks at the public’s understanding of and thoughts about the armed forces. The survey of 2,005 adults in the UK revealed that more than half, 55pc, would like to see the armed forces bolstered over the next two decades. However, a far lower proportion say they have a “good awareness” of how much the UK spends on defence, at just one in six (17pc). Another one in four (24pc) graded their knowledge as “OK”, while two out of five (40pc) admitted that their knowledge was poor. Telegraph

With Hidden Lives Vital To Our Own, 'Seafarers Matter'
Highlighting the challenges faced by seafarers – women and men sailing and working aboard ships – the United Nations International Maritime Organization has called on everyone around the world to show appreciation for their vital contributions. “Even though seafaring can provide the basis for a fulfilling and life-long career, it is still a very difficult and demanding job,” Kitack Lim, the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), said in his message on Day of the Seafarer. UN News

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