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NEWS   MONDAY, DECEMBER  11, 2017   NEWS

'Stain On America!' Trump Denounces 'Fake News Media'
“Very little discussion of all the purposely false and defamatory stories put out this week by the Fake News Media,” he tweeted. “They are out of control - correct reporting means nothing to them.” The president continued, “Major lies written, then forced to be withdrawn after they are exposed...a stain on America!” Trump’s comments came after a Washington Post reporter tweeted a misleading photo about the crowd size at Friday’s rally in Pensacola, Fla., during which Trump took aim at ABC News’ Brian Ross and CNN. In a now-deleted tweet, the Post’s Dave Weigel posted a photo of a half-empty arena to mock Trump for saying the rally was “packed to the rafters.” Fox
VOA VIEW: Trump is right about the fake news.

Democratic Campaign Flyer Compares Roy Moore To George Wallace
A mailer sent by the campaign of Alabama Senate Democratic nominee Doug Jones compares Republican opponent Roy Moore to the former segregationist governor George Wallace just days after the Jones campaign faced a social media backlash over a different racially-charged flyer. Fox News has obtained a copy of the latest mailer, sent to black voters in the state. It shows an infamous 1963 photo of Wallace standing at the schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama to block black students from enrolling. Fox
VOA VIEW: Democrats and Jones are desperate.

Criticisms Of Mueller Probe
Rep. Adam Schiff is dismissing the GOP's accusations of bias in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, saying they're partisan efforts to discredit the significance of the investigation's potential findings. On CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning, host Jake Tapper asked the California Democrat about the GOP's accusations of bias within the investigation into allegations of collusion by the Trump campaign in Russia's efforts to influence last year's election. Schiff, who serves as the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Republicans' criticisms are "an effort to tear at the very idea that there is an objective truth." CNN
VOA VIEW: Schiff is an idiot.

Sessions Wasn't Required To Disclose Foreign
A newly released document shows that the FBI told an aide to Attorney General Jeff Sessions that Sessions wasn't required to disclose foreign contacts that occurred in the course of carrying out his government duties when he was a senator. The FBI email from March bolsters the explanation by the Justice Department for why Sessions didn't disclose contacts with the Russian ambassador in his application for a US security clearance. When the omission of the foreign contacts on the form was first reported by CNN in May, the Justice Department said Sessions' office was advised by the FBI that he didn't need to disclose the meetings. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is liberal and bias.

Alabama Senator Urges Voters To Reject Moore As Election Nears
Republican Senator Richard Shelby, Alabama’s senior member of Congress, strongly condemned his party’s candidate, Roy Moore, on Sunday as the contentious campaign for the state’s open senate seat nears its end. “The state of Alabama deserves better,” Shelby said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” citing the accusations of impropriety against Moore by multiple women. Shelby said he has already voted absentee and that he cast a write-in ballot for “a distinguished Republican” he declined to name. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Shelby did not say to vote for Jones.

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The Trump-Russia Probe Is About To Get Uglier
Here are two certainties about the Trump-Russia investigation. It won't end soon. It will get uglier. A new shoe drops almost daily in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. First, Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying and agreed to cooperate. Then the White House changed its story (again) on what President Donald Trump knew after he was first advised in January that Flynn posed security problems. Last week came news that Mueller had subpoenaed financial records from Deutsche Bank pertaining to people affiliated with Trump.  Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Liberal speculation.

Winter Storm Bids Farewell To The Snow-Covered Northeast
After a winter storm dumped the white stuff on parts of the Gulf Coast and Southeast on Friday, the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England were hit with heavy snow on Saturday. But as of Sunday morning, the storm is leaving the Northeast. Final snow totals in northern Georgia approached nearly one foot, while more than 10 inches of snowfall was reported in western North Carolina. Farther north, in the Washington, D.C area, 2 inches of snow was reported at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, 2.6 inches was reported at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and 4 inches was reported at Washington Dulles International Airport. ABC News

Nikki Haley On Trump Accusers: Women Who Accuse Anyone "Should Be Heard"
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday, in light of a growing number of probes into sexual misconduct against lawmakers, that "the time has come" to start bringing "a conscience" to the situation surrounding the treatment of women in the workplace as well as on Capitol Hill. When asked what she thinks of the "cultural shift" taking place in the U.S., Haley said she is "incredibly proud of the women who have come forward." CBS News

Mother And 2-Year-Old Kicked Off Spirit Airlines Flight
A Houston pianist and cancer researcher is speaking out after she was kicked off a Spirit Airlines flight along with her 2-year-old son and elderly parents, CBS affiliate KHOU reports. Mei Rui said she was flying to New York on Friday to participate in a cancer research study. She filmed the incident, and said before the cabin door was closed, she started breastfeeding. Flight attendants told her to stop and put the child into his seat, but Mei said she asked for a few minutes to finish to prevent her son from waking up. CBS News
VOA VIEW: An airline doesn't have to wait for a passenger.

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In Alabama, Evangelicals Weigh Good, Evil And Roy Moore
The race for a U.S. Senate seat here has become a battle between good and evil. For many across the country and some in this Deep South state, Republican Roy Moore is the bad guy. Before accusations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls surfaced, he had twice lost his seat on the Alabama Supreme Court for defying federal orders to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments that he'd built at his courthouse and to abide by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. NBC

Nuclear War Could Be A 'Tantrum Away,'
Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the Switzerland-based, anti-nuclear weapons advocacy group, hinted at increasing nuclear tensions between the North Korea and the United States as she called for an end to nuclear weapons. "The deaths of millions may be one tiny tantrum away," she said. ICAN was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October when the Norwegian Nobel Committee praised the coalition of non-governmental organizations for "its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons." UPI

Israeli Army Destroys Incomplete Tunnel From Gaza
Israel Defense Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus said the tunnel originated in the city of Khan Younis, was more than half a mile long and stretched "hundreds of meters" into Israeli territory. "We monitored this tunnel for a long period of time," he said. Conricus described the tunnel as "very substantial", saying it contained communication systems, air vents, electricity and reinforced concrete structure. UPI

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Obama-Appointed Judge: Salvation Army—Not Catholic Church—Can Advertise On D.C.’s Metro
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, issued an opinion on Saturday permitting the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to ban an advertisement by the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., while allowing one by the Salvation Army, which, like the archdiocese, is also a Christian organization. The ad that the Catholic archdiocese proposed running on the back of Metro buses featured only four words: “Find the Perfect Gift.”  CNS

Poll: Fewer Americans Say Life Is – Or Even Should Be – ‘Fair’
A new survey of American adults finds that the percent who believe “Life is fair” has fallen over the past year – and the share of those who think life even “should” be fair has declined, as well. The nationwide survey by YouGov shows that only 29% of Americans now say life is fair, down from 38% in December of 2016. And, while Republicans are more likely than Democrats to view life as fair, both saw a drop in optimism since last year. CNS

Roy Moore Campaign Casts Alabama Race As Referendum On Trump
In the final days before Tuesday’s special election, opinion polls show a tight race between Moore, a 70-year-old conservative Christian and former state judge, and Democrat Doug Jones, a 63-year-old former U.S. attorney. Dean Young, chief political strategist for Moore, cast Jones as a liberal who would vote against Trump’s priorities such as building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and cutting taxes. Reuters

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California's Getty Museum Survives Wildfire
Southern California’s Getty Center, one of the world’s wealthiest art institutions, said it had survived a wildfire tearing through Los Angeles thanks to a disaster plan that has it ready for earthquakes as well. Fires that have chased almost 200,000 Californians from their homes covered the Getty’s hillside location in smoke this week. Perched above the busy 405 freeway, an artery of California’s traffic system, the Getty is among the most visited U.S. museums and reopened on Friday after two days closed. Reuters

Schumer Seeks Restoration Of Baggage-Fee Disclosure Plan
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on the Trump administration Sunday to restore an Obama-era proposal that would have required airlines to post checked baggage fees at the start of a ticket purchase. Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it was dropping a pair of proposed policies that would have required air carriers to notify consumers of baggage fees earlier in the purchasing process and to disclose how much they have profited annually from additional service fees, such as the purchase of extra leg room or the right to board earlier. Newsday

FBI Chief Christopher Wray Rejects Trump’s ‘Tatters’ Tale
Donald Trump wanted a loyal FBI director, and he got one with Christopher Wray. Except Wray’s message at a House hearing Thursday was about his loyalty to the 35,000 men and women of the bureau. The president wrote on Twitter Sunday: “After years of Comey ... running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters — worst in History!” and demanded a housecleaning. Some Republicans on the House Judiciary panel echoed Trump complaints of bias against the president. Newsday

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Will Bitcoin Futures Trading Buy More Acceptance?
All eyes in the bitcoin world are on the launch of futures contracts that let investors bet on the direction of the often-volatile cryptocurrency market. Demand for the first contracts offered Sunday evening by CBOE Global Markets was so strong that the company's website reportedly crashed. The bitcoin futures fell back slightly from their overnight high, according to The Associated Press. At 4:40 a.m. EST Monday, the futures contract that expires in January was trading at $17,600, after opening at $15,000 and climbing as high as $18,700.  CBS News

Senate Bill’s Marginal Rates Could Top 100% For Some
Some high-income business owners could face marginal tax rates exceeding 100% under the Senate’s tax bill, far beyond the listed rates in the Republican plan. That means a business owner’s next $100 in earnings, under certain circumstances, would require paying more than $100 in additional federal and state taxes. As lawmakers rush to write the final tax bill over the next week, they already are looking at changes to prevent this from happening. WSJ

Analysts Warn Of North Korea's Push For Biotech Capabilities
The report, citing U.S. and Asian intelligence officials, said Pyongyang is moving forward to access machinery to use in the program and “factories that can produce microbes by the ton.” “That the North Koreans have (biological) agents is known, by various means,” one U.S. official told the paper. “The lingering question is, why have they acquired the materials and developed the science, but not yet produced weapons?” The report pointed to pictures from 2015 that showed Kim Jong Un essentially giving a tour of the Pyongyang Biotechnical Institute. Fox News

Pro-Trump Students In MAGA Hats Booted From 'Safe Space' Campus Coffee Shop
"Fox & Friends" aired on Sunday a portion of the video, which shows the group being told, “I don’t want people like you supporting this club.” The video was shot Thursday at Fordham’s student-run Rodrigue’s Coffee House. “No one here wants people like you supporting our club,” a Rod’s student volunteer employee is heard saying. “I’m giving you 5 minutes.” She goes on to say, “You are threatening the integrity of our club.  Fox News
VOA VIEW: Liberals have gone nuts.

A Battle For Public Opinion: Trump Goes To War Over Mueller And Russia
It was one telling glimpse of the parallel universe that Donald Trump hopes will save him from Mueller’s sprawling investigation and potential impeachment. Far from an outlier, it was typical of how in recent days rightwing media, congressional Republicans and Trump’s base have gone to war, seeking to discredit and delegitimise the special counsel.  Guardian

Roy Moore Claims He Never Dated Underage Women
 Embattled Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore said in a new interview that he never dated underage women and he doesn’t even know the women who accused him of sexual abuse.“These allegations are completely false. I did not date underaged women. I did not molest anyone. And so these allegations are false,” Moore told “The Voice of Alabama Politics” in an interview that aired Sunday. NY Post

Americans Give Trump Higher Grades On Economy Than Overall
Although President Donald Trump’s overall approval ratings have dropped to the lowest point of his presidency, he is getting significantly higher marks in one important area: his handling of the economy. With the U.S. unemployment rate holding at a 17-year low, hiring strong and the stock market hitting regular records, Mr. Trump is getting stronger reviews from the public on the economy, with 42% approving and 37% disapproving, according to the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey, conducted in late October. WSJ

The U.S. Media Yesterday Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle In Ages
FRIDAY WAS ONE of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time. The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation’s largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened. The Intercept
VOA VIEW: Fake news is real.

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Millions Gained Coverage Since Obamacare, But Many Are Worse Off As Premiums Soar
As open enrollment for Affordable Care Act coverage nears the deadline of Dec. 15, and Florida once again leads all states using the federal exchange at healthcare.gov, Heidi and Richard Reiter sit at the kitchen table at their Davie home and struggle to piece together the family’s health insurance for 2018. The Reiters buy their own coverage, but they earn too much to qualify for financial aid to lower their monthly premiums. For 2017, they bought a plan off the exchange and paid $26,000 in premiums for family coverage, including their two sons, ages 21 and 17.. Miami Herald

Fire In Southern California Threatening Another City
A fierce wildfire raged on north of Los Angeles Sunday, threatening other towns after already charring vast swaths of land, but other blazes were largely contained after burning for days. The so-called Thomas fire is only 15 percent contained, now threatening the city of Santa Barbara and the nearby coastal town of Carpinteria, and is on track to become one of the worst wildfires in California history. It has already destroyed 600 structures and scorched 173,000 acres (70,000 hectares), the authorities say. Yahoo News

The Many Casualties Of Trump’s Jerusalem Move
Nearly a week after President Trump's unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, there are plenty of reasons to be confused by the move. Despite no real pressure from the Israeli government nor unanimous clamoring in Washington for the move, Trump threw decades of long-standing U.S. policy up in the air. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: The obvious change is powerful.

Why The Overwhelming Majority Of North Korean Defectors Are Women
About 70% of the more than 31,000 defectors who have made it to South Korea since the end of the Korean War are women, according to the government’s Ministry of Unification. That figure has climbed in recent years, reaching about 80% from 2014-2016, and 85% this year. The path to freedom for North Koreans usually begins by escaping across the long border with China, with the help of brokers who may lead them across Vietnam, Laos and Thailand before they finally make their way to South Korea. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Women are smarter and not watched as much.

Russia's Putin Stops At Russian Military Base In Syria
The Tass news agency says that Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived at a Russian military air base in Syria. Tass said that Putin's plane landed at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria's coastal province of Latakia, the heartland of Syrian President Bashar Assad's Alawite minority. The visit marks Putin's first trip to Syria and comes as Assad's forces have retaken control over most of Syria under the Russian air cover. The air base has served as the main foothold for the air campaign Russia has waged since September 2015 in support of Assad. Tampa Bay Observer

Racial Dispute At Beloved Bakery Roils Liberal College Town
The dispute, which began in November 2016 with the arrest of three black Oberlin students who tried stealing wine from Gibson's, is now a lawsuit in which the exasperated bakery owners accuse the college and a top dean of slandering Gibson's as a "racist establishment" and taking steps to destroy the family's livelihood. Caught in the middle are longtime residents of this town of 8,300 people, many of whom identify themselves as liberals but who have patronized Gibson's for decades. Many believe the timing was right for the conflict to boil over; the arrests came the day after Donald Trump won the presidential election, electrifying students who had long heard suspicions of racial profiling at Gibson's. SF Gate

Trump Has Made Peace Possible With His J'lm Declaration'
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with European Union leaders in Brussels Monday, the first state trip to the Belgian capital by a sitting Israeli head of state in more than two decades. The meeting comes days after President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city, and announced that the US would relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.Trump’s historic move drew criticism from European allies, including French President Emmanuel Macron, who urged Trump not to deviate from past American policy vis-à-vis the holy city. Israel National News
VOA VIEW: Smart and good decision.

Why North Korea’s Nuclear Test Is Still Producing Aftershocks
North Korea's nuclear test in September didn't just generate diplomatic shockwaves but also a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Aftershocks have continued ever since, and on Saturday the US Geological Survey said it had detected two more, sparking significant debate about what might be going on underground. What happened during the nuclear test? On 3 September, North Korea tested its most powerful nuclear bomb to date at its Punggye-ri test site in the mountains in its northwest. Pyongyang claimed it was a hydrogen bomb, which would have made it a device many times more powerful than an atomic bomb. BBC

Putin Orders Russian Forces Pullout From Syria
Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the Defense Ministry to start the pullout of the Russian military group from Syria. "I order the Defense Ministry and the chief of the General Staff to begin the pullout of the Russian military group to permanent locations," Putin told an audience of military personnel. Russia’s task force and the Syrian government troops have routed the grouping of international terrorists in Syria, according to Putin. Putin made this statement while speaking before Russian servicemen at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.  TASS
VOA VIEW: Smart move.

The Crazy, Unbelievable Alabama Senate Race Careens To An End
"Unprecedented" is a term that was thrown around a lot to describe the crazy 2016 presidential election. Now, the Alabama Senate race may be giving that campaign a run for its money. The appointment of Luther Strange to succeed new Attorney Jeff Sessions had occurred under a cloud of suspicion, with then-Gov. Robert Bentley tapping Strange — the state attorney general who had been investigating Bentley for using his office to cover up an extramarital affair. Now, the end of the race culminates not in Strange as the GOP nominee but in Roy Moore — easily one of the most controversial figures in Alabama politics even before this race — as the Republican standard-bearer who's been beset by allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual assault. NPR

With new internet rules set for vote, firestorm won't die
US regulators are gearing up for a vote on a plan which -- depending on your viewpoint -- would "restore internet freedom" or, alternatively, result in "the death of the internet" as we know it. The Federal Communications Commission will consider a rollback of its 2015 order aimed at enforcing "net neutrality," or the notion of treating all data and content providers equally. FCC chairman Ajit Pai last month unveiled the plan, the latest twist in a dispute over more than a decade, with both sides claiming to promote a "free and open" internet. Yahoo News

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