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NEWS   SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2016   NEWS

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Found Dead In Texas
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead Saturday, CBS News has confirmed. According to the San Antonio News-Express, which was first to report his death, Scalia was found dead in his room at a West Texas resort. Scalia, 79, was one of the staunchest conservative members of the court. He was nominated in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. He championed the philosophy of "orginalism," meaning he interprets the Constitution according to what he believes the original authors intended over 200 years ago. In a 2008 interview with "60 Minutes," he told correspondent Lesley Stahl that he believes the Constitution is an "enduring" document he wants to defend. CBS
VOA VIEW: The loss of Scalia is a major tragedy to the US - the loss of the number one Justice and allowing Obama another replacement giving liberals a majority.

Republican Threats Complicate Obama Replacing Scalia On Court
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would block President Barack Obama from getting a nominee confirmed to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia amid a heated presidential campaign, saying the choice should be left to the next president. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, warned Republicans against trying to run out the clock on Obama’s presidency by holding up any nominee to replace Scalia, who was found dead Saturday at a resort in West Texas. “The American people? should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said in a statement. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Republicans must prevent Obama from nominating another liberal on the Supreme Court.

Trump Gets Backing From PAC, Despite Self-Funding Policy
A new political action committee called TrumPAC has appeared, supporting Donald Trump's bid for the White House, despite his campaign's earlier refusal to work with such groups. The group was registered with the Federal Election Commission on Monday and immediately began soliciting donations, telling Trump supporters in an email that their contributions "go straight to Donald Trump -- we'll eat all the processing costs so he gets 100 percent and YOU will show up on his F.E.C. report!"
The claim may be cause for concern, though, because FEC rules prohibit PACs from coordinating with candidates. However, TrumPAC has a hybrid classification, effectively allowing it two bank accounts: one to support the campaign directly -- subject to restrictions on individual donations -- and another to collect unlimited amounts of super PAC money. UPI

Federal Investigation To Review Rubber Turf For Possible Cancer Link
The Obama administration approved a federal study to review the possible health risks that may come with playing sports on artificial playing fields, especially crumb-rubber turf. The study, announced Friday, will look at the turf, which is made from recycled tires and is spread across fields to provide cushion and traction for football players, field hockey players and other athletes. Sen. Bill Nelson, D -Fla., and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., urged the White House to greenlight the study due to a suspected link between turf fields and cancer. "Given that millions of children and young athletes play on crumb-rubber synthetic surfaces every day, correlation with cancer cannot be ignored," the senators wrote, according to NBC news. UPI

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Former Obama Intel Official: Hillary Clinton Should Drop Out
President Barack Obama's former top military intelligence official said Hillary Clinton should pull out of the presidential race while the FBI investigate her use of a private email server for official government communication while secretary of state. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the retired chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, made the call in an interview with Jake Tapper on "The Lead." "If it were me, I would have been out the door and probably in jail," said Flynn, who decried what he said was a "lack of accountability, frankly, in a person who should have been much more responsible in her actions as the secretary of state of the United States of America." CNN
VOA VIEW: Obama is aiding and abiding Hillary.

Oklahoma Hit By Its Third-Strongest Earthquake Ever
Oklahoma was struck by a magnitude 5.1 earthquake on Saturday morning, the third-strongest quake ever recorded in the state, which has experienced a surge in seismic activity in recent years, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The quake at 11:07 a.m. local time (1707 GMT) was followed by several aftershocks in the next 90 minutes, including one with a magnitude of 3.9, the USGS said. The first quake was felt from Kansas City, Missouri, to Dallas, Texas, but no damages or injuries were reported. Oil fields have boomed in Oklahoma over the past decade thanks to advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, and seismologists have said the state's frequent earthquakes may be linked to disposal wells that inject saltwater, a natural byproduct of oil and gas work, into deep underground caverns. Reuters

Pope In Mexico: Francis Calls On President To Fight Corruption, Drug Trafficking
Pope Francis launched a broadside against endemic corruption on his first visit to Mexico as pontiff on Saturday, calling on President Enrique Peña Nieto and his government to combat it. Corruption is deeply ingrained in Mexico, and Peña Nieto, his wife and finance minister have all been embroiled in conflict of interest scandals involving homes purchased from government contractors. Drug-trafficking gangs have infiltrated police forces across the country and more than 100,000 people have been killed in drug violence over the last decade. Some 26,000 are missing. MSNBC

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U.S. Missile Inadvertently Shipped To Cuba Has Been Returned
The Cuban government has returned a missing U.S. missile sent to Europe for training but inadvertently shipped to Cuba, a State Department official said. "We can say, without speaking to specifics, that the inert training missile has been returned with the cooperation of the Cuban government," Mark Toner, the State Department's deputy spokesperson, told CNN on Saturday. "The department is restricted under federal law and regulations from commenting on specific defense trade licensing cases and compliance matters, so we cannot provide further details." CNN
VOA VIEW: Another Obama fiasco.

Trump Suggests He Could Sue Over Cruz's Presidential Eligibility
The Ted Cruz versus Donald Trump battle has made its way to South Carolina. If Cruz "doesn't clean up his act, stop cheating, & doing negative ads" then Trump has "standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen," the Republican presidential front-runner tweeted on Friday, reiterating the warning for the second day in a row. The tweet dredges up an attack leveled by Trump before the Iowa caucuses. He has been publicly speculating that Cruz is not actually eligible to run for president since he was born in Canada and, until recently, held dual American and Canadian citizenship. The Constitution requires a president to be a "natural born citizen." And while Cruz was born an American citizen given his mother's nationality, some scholars Trump cites have said that the issue is far from clear. MSNBC

15 Percent Of Latest Clinton Emails Marked Classified; 551 Released Saturday
More than 15 percent of the latest batch of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails released Saturday contain classified information, with three of the messages being labeled “secret” — continuing to add to the questions surrounding her email use. One of the messages is an extensive missive from David Satterfield, a top U.S. diplomat to Egypt, who told top officials in both the White House and State Department about negotiations in the Sinai. The entire contents of the messages are now deemed “secret,” though there is no indication they were marked as such at the time. The message was forwarded to Mrs. Clinton by top aide Jacob Sullivan. Washington Times

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Louisiana Dem Gov. Edwards Warns: Agree To Proposed Tax Hikes Or LSU Football Could Be Sacked
Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is suggesting the legendary Louisiana State University football team’s 2016 season might be canceled -- and other doomsday consequences -- unless the GOP-legislature swiftly passes a package of tax increases to help close a looming  $940 million budget shortfall. Edwards, who took office just last month, made the suggestions Thursday night in a rare, state-wide TV address. Among the worst-case scenarios, he said, is that college campuses would be forced to close in April, resulting in student-athletes receiving grades of “incomplete” on their report card, making them ineligible for the fall 2016 season.
"That means you can say farewell to college football next fall," Edwards said in the address. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Edwards is a tax and spend liberal fool.

What You Can Do To Help Guard Against The Zika Virus
The Zika virus continues to cause concern in the U.S. and beyond. Two new cases were reported Friday in Ohio while in Hawaii, the governor has declared a state of emergency to deal with mosquito-borne illnesses, including Zika. More than 200,000 soldiers fanned out across Brazil Saturday to explain how to stop the spread of the virus, which may be linked to serious birth defects. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff launched a new campaign called "Zika Zero," urging people to be engaged in the fight. CBS

Hillary Clinton Testing Out New Strategy Against Bernie Sanders – But Will It Work?
Over the past month, Hillary Clinton has gone after Bernie Sanders on a host of issues as he’s encroached on her in the polls: Guns, health care and his campaign’s defining issue -- Wall Street reform. Nothing’s stuck with voters, however, and Clinton left New Hampshire forced to grapple with both her bruising 22-point loss in the state’s primary and one existential question: How do you stop the Bern? The answer, perhaps, nobody knows. But, as Clinton takes her message beyond the two early voting states, she's giving yet another strategy a shot -- now casting her opponent as a Marco Rubio-esque robot who can only engage on one-issue, and as anti-President Obama. ABC

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Northeast Braces For Possible 'Life-Threatening' Cold Weather
The National Weather Service said Friday the coldest air mass of the winter may hit the Northeast this weekend and New Yorkers are being urged to take notice. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned residents to take “extreme precautions” over the weekend and heed cold-weather warnings. He said city workers would also bring people living on the street to shelters or hospitals. A wind-chill advisory was in effect for New York City beginning Saturday afternoon and will continue until noon Sunday. With the actual temperatures falling as low as 4 degrees below, the weather service said the city could see wind chills of 18 degrees below to 24 degrees below. Wind gusts could reach up to 45 mph. Fox News

WHO Reports Rise Of Neurological Disorder In Zika Outbreak
A rare neurological disorder is on the rise in several Latin American countries that are also seeing an outbreak of the Zika virus, the World Health Organization said Saturday. The U.N. health body in Geneva said in a weekly report that Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), which can cause temporary paralysis, has been reported in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Suriname and Venezuela. The increase in Guillain-Barre cases is appearing in conjunction with the spread of the Zika virus to 34 countries and also with increasing cases of microcephaly, a rare condition in which infants are born with abnormally small heads. However, the health agency said "the cause of the increase in GBS incidence ... remains unknown, especially as dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus have all been circulating simultaneously in the Americas." ABC

Hillary Clinton campaigns with casino workers, guests on Strip
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today kicked off a final round of campaigning and personal appeals to Nevadans ahead of the caucus. At stops bookending a rally at a local union hall, Clinton mingled with Strip workers, met a black small-business owner and played soccer with young Hispanic children. Many of the community members she met with belong to key demographics that both Clinton and her opponent, Vermont. Sen Bernie Sanders, hope to win over next Saturday. A win in Nevada's caucuses, the next Democratic contest, is projected to be crucial for both Clinton and Sanders. This morning, Clinton greeted workers at Harrah’s in an employee cafeteria, urging them to turn out to caucus for her. Las Vegas Sun

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Bank Of America Increases CEO Moynihan's Pay 23% To $16 Million
Bank of America Corp. awarded Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan $16 million for his work last year, raising his potential compensation 23 percent. Moynihan received $14.5 million in stock grants for 2015 and left his salary unchanged at $1.5 million, according to a regulatory filing Friday. A year earlier, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank gave the CEO of the second-biggest U.S. bank a $13 million pay package. Moynihan, 56, survived a battle with investors in 2015 over whether he should be stripped of his role as chairman as the bank’s stock lagged behind peers. The company also wrangled with regulators, as it was forced to resubmit its capital plan under the Federal Reserve’s annual stress test. Moynihan slashed expenses 24 percent last year, partly by putting some of the bank’s biggest legal woes behind it. Bloomberg

Pope Gives Tough Love To Mexico’s Political, Church Elite
Pope Francis issued a tough-love message to Mexico's political and church elites Saturday, telling them they have a duty to provide their people with security, justice and courageous pastoral care to confront the drug-inspired violence and corruption that are tormenting the country. The raucous welcome Francis received from cheering Mexicans who lined his motorcade route seven-deep contrasted sharply with his pointed criticism of how church and state leaders here have often failed their people, especially the poorest and most marginalized. Las Vegas Sun

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US, Allies Say Target Islamic State With 20 Strikes In Iraq, Syria
The United States and its allies conducted 20 strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Friday, the Combined Joint Task Force leading the operations said in a statement on Saturday. In Iraq, there were 17 strikes near eight cities, with five strikes near Mosul and four near Ramadi hitting Islamic State tactical units, equipment and fighting positions, the statement said. In Syria, a vehicle, a road and a crane used by the militant group were destroyed in three strikes. Jerusalem Post

Alzheimer's Preventative Drug Hope
Scientists have detected a number of drugs which could help protect against Alzheimer's disease, acting like statins for the brain. In experiments on worms, University of Cambridge researchers identified drugs which prevented the very first step towards brain cell death. They now want to match up drugs with specific stages of the disease. Experts said it was important to find out if these drugs could work safely in humans. Statins are taken by people to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and the Cambridge research team says its work may have unearthed a potential "neurostatin" to ward off Alzheimer's disease. BBC

Zika Virus: Brazil Soldiers Deployed To Warn Of Risks
More than 200,000 soldiers have been deployed across Brazil to warn people about the risks of the Zika virus. Brazil is at the centre of an outbreak of the virus, which has been linked to a surge in babies being born with underdeveloped brains. The country has 462 confirmed cases of microcephaly, and is investigating another 3,852 suspected cases. President Dilma Rousseff said the crisis would not "compromise" the Olympics Brazil is hosting in August. BBC

Donald Trump Recycles The Hits In Arena Gig To The Tampa Thousands
On Friday night, Donald Trump packed 20,000 fans into the USF Sun Dome in Tampa. Later, it was 16,000. The capacity of the Sun Dome is 10,000. No matter: there were “thousands of people waiting outside”. There weren’t. There are always “thousands waiting outside”, even if the teeming throngs have never been recorded. It is a lie that has now become as customary to the Trump rally experience as the reading of polls and airing of grievances, but the image was better than the reality of a few college leftists with too-wordy placards mainly displaying them at each other. Afterward, one could bounce from group to group of USF students marveling at how they showed up after the 7pm start time – 40 minutes before Trump appeared – and were shown right in. Guardian

Ahead Of Polls, Ban Calls On All Central Africans, Including Candidates, To Ensure Credible Elections
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on all Central Africans, including the candidates, to ensure that the presidential run-off and the new round of legislative elections, set to take place Sunday are conducted in a peaceful and credible manner. In a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York, Mr. Ban commended Transitional Authorities of the Central African Republic (CAR) for their efforts to complete the transition process by 31 March 2016. “Sunday's polls will bring the country closer to the end of the transition and a return to constitutional order. These are important steps towards political stability and long-term economic recovery,” said the statement. UN News

Engagement With Communities Can Help Address Factors Underlying Violent Extremism – UN Chief
Fully understanding those who might be susceptible to poisonous ideologies – addressing root causes of radicalization and helping individuals and communities before problems escalate – will assist the international community in developing effective, dignified and rights-based responses to “one of the gravest threats our world faces,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today. “We must understand what motivates those we suspect are vulnerable to narratives promoting violent extremism and deepen our knowledge of the conditions that lead to their vulnerability,” said Mr. Ban in Montréal, Canada, during a visit at the Centre for Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, which he praised for its “compassionate and effective.” UN News

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