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Trump Warns States Withholding Voter Info: 'Full Truth' Will Be 'Exposed'
President Trump forged ahead Wednesday with his voter fraud commission, kicking off its first meeting and repeatedly declaring voter information “will be forthcoming” from the roughly 20 states that have yet to comply with the group’s request. Trump in May announced the formation of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The commission sparked controversy several weeks ago by asking states to provide voter information including names, voting history and party affiliation. Fox
VOA VIEW: The American people have a right to know who voted illegally.

Trump's Agenda Is Being Held Hostage (But Don't Blame Democrats)
Conservatives support the repeal of ObamaCare, but moderate Republican establishment leaders do not. Guess what? ObamaCare is not being repealed. Conservatives support building a wall along the border with Mexico, but moderate Republican establishment leaders do not. Guess what? The wall has not only not been funded, but it is not being built either. Conservatives support tax reform, but, again, moderate Republican establishment leaders do not. Guess what? Tax reform is no where to be found. Conservatives support cutting the size of Washington and cutting spending. Again, this is not happening and it is not for a lack of trying. Fox

Eighth Person In Trump Team Meeting Linked To Money Laundering Investigation
A Government Accountability Office report published in 2000 details how companies in the US set up bank accounts that came under investigation for money laundering -- and it involved Ike Kaveladze, the eighth person who has now been identified as attending the June 9, 2016 meeting that Donald Trump Jr., his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had with a Russian lawyer. The GAO report published in October 2000 outlined how companies opened 236 accounts at two banks through which more than $1.4 billion was deposited between 1991 and 2000. It found the accounts had been opened for corporations tied to Russian brokers. The GAO did not name Kaveladze in the report. CNN
VOA VIEW: Where is the beef?

Donald Trump Threatened Dean Heller On Health Care. Heller Was Sitting Next To Him.
At the start of the meeting, Trump gave some on-camera remarks in which he talked about the struggles to find consensus on the legislation. Then he said this about Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, who was sitting directly to Trump's right: "This was the one we were worried about. You weren't there. But you're gonna be. You're gonna be. Look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn't he? And I think the people of your state, which I know very well, I think they're gonna appreciate what you hopefully will do. Any senator who votes against starting debate is really telling America that you're fine with Obamacare. But being fine with Obamacare isn't enough for another reason. Because it's gone. It's failed. It's not gonna be around." CNN


Conservative Leaders Demand ‘Traitorous’ Republicans Keep Their Promise To Repeal Obamacare
During a conference call on Wednesday, conservative leaders from the Club for Growth, Family Research Council, Tea Party Patriots, ForAmerica, FreedomWorks, and Senate Conservatives fund demanded that the “traitorous” Republican senators who refused to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) keep their promise to the American people. “Traitorous senators...they need to repeal Obamacare,” said Tea Party Patriots Co-founder Jenny Beth Martin. “Our activists also realize that it seems to be really easy for these senators and their staff to sit in Washington and be exempt from Obamacare…it is completely unjust to live exempt from the law, while others suffer because of the law.” The conservative leaders were referring to Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. Sen. Collins was the only Republican senator to vote against repealing Obamacare in 2015. CNS

Schumer: Trump 'Trying To Sabotage The System And Hurt Millions Of Innocent Americans
On Tuesday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) accused President Trump of purposefully working to “undermine the health care system” in order to hurt Americans. “The President would not, quote, be ‘letting Obamacare collapse,’” said Sen. Schumer. “He is actively, actively trying to undermine the health care system in this country.” The minority leader continued by saying that Republicans can either “join President Trump in trying to sabotage the system and hurt millions of innocent Americans” or “they can start today working with Democrats.” CNS News
VOA VIEW: Obamacare is dead, dead.

Active Ingredient In Sunscreen Could Cause Cancer
There's a new health warning about a chemical found in most sunscreens. A new study found that when that chemical comes into contact with sun and chlorine, it can become toxic. If you flip over your sunscreen, chances are avobenzone is first ingredient you'll find. In fact, Boston's WFXT went into a couple of drug stores and found the vast majority of the sunscreens on the shelves have this chemical listed as the active ingredient. Avobenzone is the active ingredient in most sunscreens as it protects against UV rays. “I have this one (because) I bought it just for my daughter, but I don't even know if it has it. Oh, avobenzone, there it is – first ingredient. And [the sunscreen is made] for babies, so that's not good,” said Candice Brown of Mattapan, Massachusetts. Atlanta Journal

Familiar Foes Clash Over Voting Rights In Georgia Governor Race
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s struggles over election security have rekindled a rivalry with one of the state’s most prominent Democrats. Except now his feud with Stacey Abrams is playing out against the backdrop of the race for governor. Kemp, the state’s top elections official, and Abrams, a state legislator who launched a voter registration group, are the only two in a broader field of candidates putting election security and voting rights at the heart of their campaigns to succeed a term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal. Atlanta Journal

Trump's New Jersey Home Gets Security Designation
The New Jersey town where President Donald Trump has spent weekends at his golf course has received a designation by the Secret Service so it can be reimbursed by the federal government for security costs. New Jersey Republican Rep. Leonard Lance announced Wednesday the town of Bedminster has been designated a priority for presidential protection. The government has made $41 million available to cover costs incurred between Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration and Oct. 1. Trump's residences in New York and Florida have similar designations. A separate $20 million fund was made available for the period between the election and inauguration. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: It costs having an active president.

California Wildfire Explodes In Size As Blazes Scorch U.S. West
A wildfire that has forced thousands of Californians to flee their homes exploded in size on Wednesday, threatening a picturesque gold rush town outside Yosemite National Park as dozens of fires scorched the U.S. West. More than 2,000 firefighters have contained just 7 percent of the Detwiler Fire, which is approaching the town of Mariposa and tiny communities in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Cal Fire state agency said on its website. The blaze has mushroomed to 46,000 acres (18,000 hectares), an increase of about 20,000 acres (8,094 hectares) compared to the day before, and is threatening some 1,500 structures. Reuters


U.S. Lawmaker Acknowledges Corporate Lobbying Helped Derail Border Tax
An aggressive corporate lobbying effort to derail a Republican-backed border tax has forced lawmakers working on tax reform to seek alternatives, Kevin Brady, chairman of the tax-writing U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, said on Wednesday. "To their credit, they mobilized quickly and aggressively, and yes, it had an impact," Brady told Reuters. It was a rare instance of a lawmaker acknowledging the impact of industry in lawmaking. The proposed border adjustment tax on U.S. companies that move jobs abroad and import products back into the U.S. market was meant to be a linchpin of a Republican tax overhaul in the House of Representatives. Brady said leading companies that rely on imports lobbied aggressively, eroding Republican support for the border tax. Reuters

Jeff Sessions Removes Restrictions On Controversial Police Seizures
Attorney General Jeff Sessions just made it easier for police to seize cash and property from people suspected ? but not necessarily charged with or convicted ? of crimes. He did it by eliminating an Obama administration directive that prevented local law enforcement from circumventing state restrictions on forfeiture of civil assets. The technique was embraced in the early years of the war on drugs, but it has since been linked to civil rights abuses: people losing cash, cars and homes without any proven link to illegal activity; police taking cash in exchange for not locking suspects up; a legal system that makes it hard for victims to get their possessions back. Two dozen states have made it harder for authorities to take property from suspects without first securing criminal convictions. Three have outlawed it entirely, according to the Institute for Justice, a nonprofit that advocates for reform. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: There would not be such a big stink if law enforcement officers did the right thing.

Trump-Putin Meeting Raises Red Flags For National Security Experts
President Donald Trump's just-disclosed hourlong meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G-20 summit — using a Kremlin translator, with no national security staff present — may have damaged U.S. interests, according to some national security experts. With no other witness or note-taker of the sort normally present on the American side, there's no guarantee that Trump or Putin's words were translated correctly — or that Trump didn't give away more classified information, as he did when top Russian officials came to the White House in May. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: The negative view is expected from liberal MSNBC.

Veterans Start To Lose Choice Health Care Options As VA Funds Run Dry
Marine Corps veteran Nancy Brown qualifies for a program that allows her to see a private doctor because she lives about 60 miles from the nearest VA hospital in Richmond, Virginia, but she was turned down recently when she sought an appointment to treat her ailing knee. “There are no more referrals,” said Ms. Brown, 57, of Fredericksburg, Virginia. “They’re denying it now, telling people they can’t see you. What are veterans to do?” The popular Veterans Choice Program, created after the 2014 health care scandal in the Department of Veterans Affairs, is designed to give veterans more treatment options if they can’t get an appointment at a VA facility within 30 days or they live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA hospital. But the program is running out of money. Washington Times

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Army To Discharge Sergeant Who Tried To Keep Secret Data On Bin Laden Raid Revealed By Obama
The Army has rejected an appeal from a 13-year public affairs sergeant and is kicking him out in a case tied to the Osama bin Laden raid, President Obama’s speech about it and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. Staff Sgt. Ricardo Branch told The Washington Times that he must leave the Army by Aug. 1. His crime was mentioning in an internal military email the name of the aviation unit that flew Navy SEALs inside Pakistan airspace to kill the al Qaeda leader. The irony: He was trying to keep that fact out of a proposed article in an industry newsletter. Washington Times

Trump Ending Secret CIA Program To Arm Syrian Rebels
President Trump is ending a covert CIA operation to arm and train Syrian rebels fighting against President Bashar al-Assad, something Russia has long desired, according to a Wednesday report in the Washington Post. The Obama administration introduced the operation in 2013, as a part of its efforts to push Assad out of power, and its effectiveness has come into question even among its backers. But the timing of the decision raises questions for the White House, as it fends off accusations that the president and his team obscured his interactions with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this month. CBS
VOA VIEW: It doesn't look good for Trump.

House Republican Says "The Senate Has Failed The American People"
A senior member of the House Republican whip team on Wednesday blasted Senate Republicans for their failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. "The Senate has failed the American people and abandoned voters who were promised that they would repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare," said Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Florida, in a statement. Ross, senior deputy majority whip, said that the House has already honored the GOP pledge to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law by passing its plan in early May. CBS

John McCain Diagnosed With Brain Cancer
Arizona Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer, his hospital said in a statement Wednesday. The former Navy officer underwent a procedure to remove a bloodclot last week at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and more studies have revealed that McCain has a malignant tumor known as Glioblastoma. “The senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options,” the statement read. “Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.” Glioblastomas are described as highly malignant, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. McCain’s daughter posted a heartfelt statement on Twitter calling her father “the toughest person I know.” “He is meeting this challenge as he has every other,” Meghan McCain wrote. “Cancer may afflict him in many ways: but it will not make him surrender. Nothing ever has.” NY Post
VOA VIEW: Time will tell.

‘Pharma Bro’ Allegedly Lied About Attending Ivy League University
He’s in an Ivy League of his own imagination. As if anyone needed another reason to scorn “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, Columbia University’s registrar took the stand in Shkreli’s federal securities-fraud trial Wednesday to tell jurors there is no record of the disgraced former drug exec being enrolled there. Shkreli had boasted to at least two investors that he “went” to Columbia, according to previous testimony. Columbia’s registrar, Barry Kane, testified that he searched the entire electronic database at the university and found nothing indicating Shkreli ever attended. “If there was an official enrollment, we would have a record of that enrollment,” Kane said.  NY Post

Trump Rages At Sessions In New York Times Interview
President Trump told The New York Times in an interview Wednesday that he never would have appointed Jeff Sessions as attorney general had he known Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation. In an extraordinary denouncement of one of his earliest backers in Washington, Trump said Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to Russia was "very unfair to the president." "Sessions should have never recused himself," Trump told the paper, "and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else." Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Trump should have kept the thought to himself and Sessions.

Qatar Foreign Minister In China After Visit By UAE Official
Qatar's foreign minister is visiting Beijing a day after his Chinese counterpart told a top official from the United Arab Emirates that China hoped the rift between the Gulf countries could be repaired. China's foreign ministry says Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani was to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday. Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China supported calls to fight terrorism, maintain stability in the Gulf and shore up unity among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar and cut air, sea and land routes with it over a month ago, accusing it of supporting extremist groups. Qatar denies the allegations. Tampa Tribune


Rand Paul Says His Family Has Obamacare: 'It's Terrible'
The lack of votes in the Senate for the Republican health care bill is an opportunity for a "clean repeal" of Obamacare and thus a "victory" for conservatives, Sen. Rand Paul told "Good Morning America" today. "What I'm calling a victory is not the defeat of the plan. What I'm calling the victory is that we will get to vote on a clean repeal," the Kentucky Republican said in an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos. "We have Obamacare," he added. "It's terrible. My wife and I spend hours on the phone trying to get the insurance companies to pay for anything. We're just like every American -- very, very frustrated with the insurance system." Paul said that while he's not in favor of the health care bill passed by the House of Representatives to repeal Obamacare and has warned against repealing without a replacement, he would vote for a "clean repeal." ABC
VOA VIEW: Paul may cause a problem for reelection.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: Donald Trump Jr.'s Emails Not 'Politics As Usual'
Sen. Bernie Sanders told "The View" that Donald Trump Jr.'s emails are not a part of "politics as usual" and "we have some very strong evidence" of possible collusion in the Russia probe. Sanders said that while "politics is ugly" and "there is ... effort to try to destroy candidates personally," he believes Donald Trump Jr.'s 2016 emails with Rob Goldstone are not "politics as usual." "Presidential candidates do not have emails chains with foreign governments who are talking about how they can elect you and have dirt on your opponent," Sanders said. "That is a clear violation of campaign finance law." ABC
VOA VIEW: Sanders mouth is his worst enemy.

Bitcoin Jumps After First Solution To Major Ideological Divide
Bitcoin reversed steep losses as miners began using new software which aims to bridge an ideological gap that has threatened to divide the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s community has been at bitter odds for more than two years about how to solve its scaling problem, which has hampered the cryptocurrency’s growth and allowed rivals like ethereum to steal some of the spotlight. The new software, known as SegWit2x, is seen as a compromise for the two sides of the debate: miners who deploy costly computers to verify transactions and act as the backbone of the blockchain, and developers known as Core who uphold bitcoin’s bug-free software. While both sides have incentives to reach a consensus, bitcoin’s lack of central authority has made reaching agreement difficult. Bloomberg

Facebook Working On Way To Charge For Reading News Articles
Facebook is working on a way for news organizations to charge readers for articles they share and read on the social network. Facebook's head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, said the current plan is to require payments after reading 10 articles from a publisher through Facebook. Brown said at a conference in New York on Tuesday that news organizations have been calling for subscription capabilities. Currently, Facebook's Instant Articles feature, which load faster compared with going to the mobile web, are free, even if they would be behind a paywall on the web. Facebook confirmed Brown's remarks, which were reported by the business website The Street. SF Gate
VOA VIEW: Facebook is getting too big.

The Internet Goes All Atwitter Over U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s Questions About Mars Civilization
What game was U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., playing when he asked Caltech geochemist Kenneth Farley whether there was any evidence of an ancient civilization on Mars? The question was an add-on at today's House Space Subcommittee hearing on NASA's flagship missions to Mars and to Europa, an ice-covered moon of Jupiter. The space agency is planning to launch its next rover to the Red Planet in 2020, and it's working on a spacecraft that would make repeated passes over Europa to gain data about the ocean – and perhaps the life forms – that may lurk beneath the surface. (Congress is pressing for a Europa lander as well.) Farley was testifying in his capacity as the project scientist for the 2020 Mars rover, and at the end of Rohrabacher's allotted time, the congressman asked for one extra question. SF Gate

Americans’ Retirement Benefits Have Been Slashed
Americans are more worried about retirement, and they're getting less help saving for it. Employers cut their contributions to workers' retirements by a quarter from 2001 to 2015, according to a new report by the consulting firm Willis Towers Watson. The biggest driver: the decline of traditional defined-benefit pensions, replaced by stingier, 401(k)-style, defined-contribution plans. Retirement benefits—including employer contributions to pensions, 401(k)s and retiree health-care benefits—fell from 9.1 percent of worker pay in 2001 to 6.8 percent in 2015. Spending on traditional pensions plunged 76 percent, to less than 1 percent of worker pay. Medical benefits for retired workers became increasingly scant, falling from 1.2 percent of worker pay to just 0.2 percent. Bloomberg

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Trump To Pick Raytheon Lobbyist As Army Secretary
President Donald Trump plans to nominate Raytheon lobbyist Mark Esper to be the next secretary of the Army. That's according to a Trump administration official who wasn't authorized to discuss the nomination ahead of an official announcement and requested anonymity. Esper has been the top lobbyist for major defense contractor Raytheon since 2010. He also has experience working in the House and Senate, at the Pentagon and at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. The Senate must confirm Esper's nomination. Trump's earlier two picks for Army secretary dropped out. The Pentagon declined to comment Wednesday. Las Vegas Sun

Just ‘Dessert’? Second Trump-Putin Chat Defied The Norms
When is an impromptu, after-dinner chat more than just "dessert"? When you're President Donald Trump, and your confection companion is Russian President Vladimir Putin. Word of a second, lengthy conversation between the president and Putin earlier this month in Germany is adding yet another level of intrigue to Trump's entanglements with the Russian leader. Not only was the session undisclosed by both countries, but it took place with no aides present, save for a Russian government translator — a risky move, national security experts say. The White House says it was merely a casual chat. Michael Anton, Trump's National Security Council spokesman said, "A conversation over dessert should not be characterized as a meeting." Las Vegas Sun

Kim Jong Un Pressured The United States During G20 Summit
Kim Jong Un ordered North Korean embassies to place "psychological pressure" on the United States during the G20 Summit, according to a Japanese press report.
The Asahi Shimbun reported Wednesday the ordinance was sent to diplomatic missions and was aimed at decoupling the United States and South Korea, and to get Washington to agree to recognize Pyongyang as a nuclear weapons state. A source familiar with North Korea's internal politics told a Seoul-based Asahi correspondent the message called on North Korean diplomats to "bargain with the United States," following the Fourth of July launch of the Hwasong-14 missile. Washington has refused to hold high-level talks unless North Korea agrees to pursue denuclearization. UPI
VOA VIEW: Jong Un is a menace.

North Korea Praises Russia's Putin On Joint Declaration Anniversary
North Korea commemorated a joint Russia-North Korea declaration signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and former leader Kim Jong Il on Wednesday. Pyongyang's tribute to its ties with Moscow comes a day after the Russian embassy in Pyongyang announced the delivery of food aid, 2,400 tons of flour, to the country, and more than a week after Russia blocked a statement urging North Korea sanctions at the United Nations Security Council. Korean Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun described the declaration signed in July 2000 as a "milestone in the development of North Korea-Russia friendship." UPI

How Lyme Disease Might Be Triggering Hundreds Of Suicides
The report, published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, suggests that suicidal thoughts in patients with Lyme and other associated diseases may provide context for the thousands of unexplained suicides in the United States each year. “Failure to adequately diagnose, failure to adequately treat and the progression of the disease over a span of many years often leads to suicide.” More than 44,000 people took their own lives in 2015, the most recent year for which data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are available. The rate of 13.3 suicides per 100,000 people was the highest since 1986. USA Today

For 1St Time, Over Half Of People With HIV Having Treatment
The United Nations says that for the first time in the AIDS epidemic, more than half of all people with HIV are on drugs to treat the virus. AIDS deaths are also now close to half of what they were in 2005, according to the U.N. AIDS agency, although those figures are based on estimates and not actual counts from countries. Experts applauded the progress, but questioned if the billions spent in the past two decades should have brought more impressive results. The U.N. report was released Thursday in Paris where an AIDS meeting begins this weekend. USA Today
VOA VIEW: No sex if you could die having it.

Rep. Joe Kennedy III ‘Reviewing’ Controversial Israel Anti-Boycott Bill He Supports Following ACLU Concerns
Following concerns from civil liberties advocates, Rep. Joe Kennedy’s office says he is reviewing an anti-boycott bill he cosponsors. Kennedy is among 63 Democrats and 174 Republicans supporting a House bill, which currently would make supporting a movement to boycott Israel over its treatment of Palestinians a felony punishable by up to a $1 million fine and 20 years in prison, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate, where it also has received bipartisan support. The ACLU has called the bill a “direct violation of the First Amendment.” Boston Globe

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Israel has for the past year treated hundreds of Syrians and sent hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid in a new project dubbed "Operation Good Neighbor,"  the IDF disclosed on Wednesday.  Launched in June 2016, the initiative was launched with the goal of increasing civilian aid for Syrians while maintaining the principle of non-involvement in the Syrian civil war.  More than 110 new aid operations have taken place since August 2016 as part of the initiative. Jerusalem Post

"Some of the actions of the Americans are against the spirit and even the letter of the nuclear accord. We shall resist these plans and actions." President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday new US economic sanctions imposed against Iran contravened the country's nuclear accord with world powers and he vowed that Tehran would "resist" them, state television reported. The Trump administration slapped the new sanctions on Iran on Tuesday over its ballistic missile program and said Tehran's "malign activities" in the Middle East undercut any "positive contributions" coming from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord. Jerusalem Post

Netanyahu: EU's Policy Towards Israel Is 'Crazy'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the European Union's "crazy" approach to dealing with his country. His comments, made during a closed-session meeting in the Hungarian capital Budapest, were accidentally broadcast to reporters. He said the EU was the only major power to attach "political" conditions to its relationship with Israel. This, he said, was damaging to the bloc's security and economic interests. The EU has repeatedly condemned Israel's building of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. BBC

Canada's Governor General Blames 'Slippy' Carpet For Royal Protocol Breach
Canada's Governor General David Johnston says a "slippy" carpet is to blame for an apparent breach of royal etiquette with the Queen. He was pictured lightly touching the Queen's elbow during an event in London to mark Canada's 150th birthday. Mr Johnston said he was simply concerned about the Queen's safety as she navigated a short flight of stairs. "I was just anxious to be sure there was no stumbling on the steps," he told the CBC. BBC

Six Ways Trump Is 'Dismantling' The US After Six Months In Office
Given all that Donald Trump promised the business world during his bombastic campaign, it’s tempting to dismiss the president’s first six months with a “meh”. It would also be myopic. While protesters are worried about the future, the president has so far failed to pass his tax reforms, which business wanted. But at the same time fears that his China rhetoric, threats of trade wars and tweets about penalties for US businesses who ship jobs overseas, have not amounted to much. Guardian

British American Tobacco To Acquire Reynolds As Activists Decry Merger
British American Tobacco (BAT) has come under fire from health campaigners after shareholders approved its buyout of American firm Reynolds on Wednesday, which will create the world’s biggest tobacco company. Shareholders of both companies approved the deal, which will take BAT back into the US market after a 12-year absence. It ends American ownership of Reynolds American Incorporated (RAI), a tobacco company headquartered in the US south since 1875. Guardian

Act Now To Stop Companies Moving Jobs For Brexit, Businesses Urge Government
Businesses have started to trigger their Brexit contingency plans even before knowing the details of the UK’s departure from the EU, or even the type of transition period which may be agreed upon. Most businesses have held off so far, but 11pc are acting already, according to a survey from the Institute of Directors (IoD). The most common of those contingency plans include setting up subsidiaries in other EU countries, and postponing big investment projects. Telegraph

UN Reports More People Warned Against Tobacco Use, But Industry Interference Continues
Despite measures protecting a majority of people from tobacco-related illness and death, the tobacco industry continues to hamper Government efforts to fully implement life and cost-saving interventions, the United Nations health agency today reported. “One-third of countries have comprehensive systems to monitor tobacco use. While this is up from one-quarter of countries monitoring tobacco use at recommended levels in 2007, Governments still need to do more to prioritize or finance this area of work,” according to the UN World Health Organization’s WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, which was launched today on side-lines of the UN High-level political forum on sustainable development in New York. UN News

International Community Needs To Change Narrative' About Africa – UN Chief Guterres
Briefing the Security Council on their strengthened collaboration, top officials from the African Union (AU) and the United Nations today highlighted their joint work on peace and security in the Gambia, Somalia and South Sudan, as well as other African countries, and urged adequate, timely and predictable funding. Addressing an open debate of the Council in New York, Secretary-General António Guterres said, “the international community needs to change the narrative about Africa and to establish a higher platform of cooperation that recognizes its enormous potential and promise.” UN News

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