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NEWS   THURSDAY, FEBRUARY  23, 2017   NEWS

Trump's Approval Rating Continues To Dip
President Donald Trump's approval rating has dropped over the last month, with a majority of American voters now disapproving of his job performance, a new poll has found. In a national survey released Wednesday, Quinnipiac University found that 38% of American voters approve of Trump's job performance, while 55% disapprove. A poll released earlier this month by Quinnipiac taken shortly after Trump's inauguration found that 42% of American voters approve of his job performance, while 51% disapprove. CNN
VOA VIEW: The erroneous results are liberal CNN wishful thinking.

Big Banks Rack Up $6.4 Billion In ATM And Overdraft Fees
If you've ever had to pay $3 (or more) to get your own money out of an ATM machine, you aren't alone. Nobody likes those fees. Except banks. America's three biggest banks -- JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC) -- earned more than $6.4 billion last year from ATM and overdraft fees, according to an analysis by CNNMoney that was verified by S&P Global Market Intelligence. That works out to over $25 in fees annually for every adult American. Despite public outcry, banks show no sign of scaling back on fees. The big three banks collected nearly $300 million more in ATM and overdraft fees in 2016 than they did in 2015. CNN

Leverage: DHS Given 30 Days To Identify 'All Sources' Of Funding To Mexico
What will the wall look like? Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. John Kelly has ordered a report detailing and totaling “all sources” of U.S. taxpayer money given to the government of Mexico over the past five years – and it’s due in 30 days. Kelly demanded the report Wednesday in a DHS memo calling for “Border Wall Construction and Funding,” in an apparent effort to gain leverage with Mexico to garner support for the wall on the southern border: C. Identifying and Quantifying Sources of Aid to Mexico. “The President has directed the heads of all executive departments to identify and quantify all sources of direct and indirect Federal aid or assistance to the Government of Mexico. Accordingly, the Under Secretary for Management shall identify all sources of direct or indirect aid and assistance, excluding intelligence activities, from every departmental component to the Government of Mexico on an annual basis, for the last five fiscal years, and quantify such aid or assistance. CNS

Woman Kicked Out Of Lincoln Center For Anti-Trump Sign
A woman is claiming she was barred from attending a performance at New York City’s Lincoln Center because she wouldn’t remove an anti-Trump sign affixed to the back of her jacket. Jenny Heinz, a longtime Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic subscriber, told The New York Times that it happened this month at David Geffen Hall when she went to see the Budapest Festival Orchestra. The 8-by-11-inch sign read “No! In the name of humanity we refuse to accept a fascist America.” She said she’s been wearing it ever since she attended a protest outside Trump Tower in November. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Pitiful!

Ivanka, Daughter Visit Supreme Court As Guest Of Justice Kennedy
Ivanka Trump is having her day in court. The first daughter went to the Supreme Court Wednesday to witness proceedings. She came as a guest of Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom she met at an inaugural lunch for her father, who was sworn in as president last month. Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, is a senior adviser to the president. She was joined Wednesday by Arabella Kushner, her 5-year-old daughter. The pair witnessed the court announcing three decisions, including one in which the death sentence imposed on an African-American in Texas was overruled based on the incompetence of his lawyer, who called an expert witness to testify that blacks had a greater propensity for violence than people of other races. NY Post

While Transit Use Declines Elsewhere, It’s Booming In Seattle
Seattle’s transit growth nearly doubled that of any other U.S. metro area last year, at a time when most cities were losing passengers, new data suggests. Transit ridership in the increasingly crowded Seattle area grew more than 4 percent last year, even as most big metro areas across the U.S. lost passengers. The pace of growth was double that of Houston and Milwaukee, the next-highest-ranked cities, where rider counts increased just over 2 percent. In fact, 24 of the top 30 regions lost transit riders — notably Washington, D.C., where an emergency safety shutdown, smoke and stalls contributed to a 10 percent loss. The figures were compiled and announced by King County Metro Transit, using preliminary data from the Federal Transit Administration. Settle Times

New Immigration Guidance 'Unleashes The Hound Dogs,' Says 1St (Former) Illegal Alien To Serve In Congress
U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) says he came to the United States illegally as a nine-year-old child, eventually returning to the Dominican Republic with his family to follow proper immigration procedures. He is the first member of Congress to have once been an illegal alien, and he told CNN on Wednesday morning that he objects to the Trump administration's expanded immigration enforcement because it "unleashes the hound dogs," expedites the removal of illegal aliens and fractures families. CNS News

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Gitmo Likely To Say Open For Business Under Trump
Top White House aides suggest that President Trump intends to keep the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay open, even as one former detainee's suicide attack near Mosul Tuesday underscored the danger of releasing dangerous captives. President Trump pledged to keep the controversial facility known as Gitmo open during his campaign, even as President Obama released waves of detainees in keeping with his promise to close it. Trump's commitment to “load it up” with some “bad dudes,” as he said on the campaign trail, has not wavered, according to one top aide. Fox News

Feds Paid $1 Billion In Social Security Benefits To Individuals Without A SSN
The Social Security Administration paid $1 billion in benefits to individuals who did not have a Social Security Number (SSN), according to a new audit. The agency’s inspector general found errors in the government’s documentation for representative payees, otherwise known as individuals who receive retirement or disability payments on behalf of another person who is incapable of managing the benefits themselves. The audit released Friday found thousands of cases where there was no SSN on file. Over the last decade, the agency paid $1 billion to 22,426 representative payees who "did not have an SSN, and SSA had not followed its policy to retain the paper application." Fox News
VOA VIEW: The joke is on us - seriously.

White House Delays Revamped Immigration Order To Next Week
The White House has pushed back the release of a new executive order to replace its directive suspending travel to the United States by citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries, a White House official said on Wednesday. The order is now expected to be issued "sometime next week," the official said. President Donald Trump said last week he expected to release the new order this week. Trump said the new directive will address legal concerns raised in Washington state, San Francisco and elsewhere about the original orderhttp://www.reuters.com/article/us-college-sat-security-idUSKBN1612AB, which was issued on Jan. 27. Reuters

College Board Tightens SAT Exam Security, But Key Risk Remains
The owner of the SAT college-entrance exam, which has been plagued by a raft of cheating incidents overseas, outlined new security measures but stopped short of remedying the test’s biggest vulnerability. The New York-based College Board said the steps include reducing the number of times the test is given outside the United States and increasing the auditing of test centers. But the not-for-profit organization did not say it would end its practice of reusing test forms overseas that were initially given in the United States - the source of many of its security lapses in recent years. Reuters

Study Builds Argument That Infections May Cause Autism
A study released Wednesday supports the argument that infections during pregnancy may cause some cases of autism. Women who had active infections with genital herpes early in pregnancy were twice as likely to have a child with autism than women who did not, a team of researchers found. The findings, published in the journal mSphere, add to evidence that inflammation during pregnancy may affect the brain of a developing fetus. "We believe the mother's immune response to HSV-2 (herpes simplex type 2) could be disrupting fetal central nervous system development, raising risk for autism," said Milada Mahic, a researcher at Columbia University who led the research team. MSNBC

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Trump Policies May Lead To Rate Hike ‘Soon’, Fed Minutes Say
The next interest rate increase could be closer than it appears. That's after documents released Wednesday show that Federal Reserve officials spent their meeting three weeks ago consumed with the changes brought on by a new administration in the White House — concluding with a strong indication that another hike could be just around the corner. The Federal Open Market Committee — the central bank's policymaking arm — discussed at length the impact from lower taxes and regulations and higher domestic spending under President Donald Trump, according to minutes of the Jan. 31-Feb. 1 session. The meeting was the first since Trump took office, following his stunning November election upset. The president's name was never mentioned in the minutes, but the broad brushes of his agenda show up often. MSNBC

Trump Vows To Cut Waste In First Budget
President Trump vowed Wednesday that there will be “no more wasted money” in the federal budget as he prepares his first spending plan to be submitted to Congress. “We must do a lot more with less, and look for every last dollar of savings,” Mr. Trump told reporters in a White House meeting. The president is holding sessions with staff Wednesday on his proposed budget, which is still a work in progress. An outline of the budget could be released as early as mid-March. After a delay, the Senate last week confirmed Mick Mulvaney as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Waste must and can be cut.

Tillerson Alone At The Top As Key State Department Jobs Remain Unfilled
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson heads to Mexico City for a delicate diplomatic mission Wednesday, but he is going at a moment of tremendous uncertainty back at the office, where more than dozen key assistant secretary positions are still without even a proposed nominee from the White House. Mr. Tillerson will travel with Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly and acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Francisco Palmieri. But he will otherwise have little backup because, a month into the Trump administration, there is still no deputy secretary of state, no new ambassador to Mexico and no clear sign of when those and other diplomatic positions will be filled. Washington Times

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Lawsuit Accuses Drug Makers Of Conspiring To Hike Insulin Prices
More than 29 million Americans live with diabetes, and for some six million of them, insulin is a life or death medication. Between 2002 and 2013, the price of insulin more than tripled, to more than $700 per patient. A federal lawsuit accuses the three insulin manufacturers of conspiring to raise their prices. The drug makers deny the allegations. Those high prices, combined with rising insurance deductibles, mean many people who rely on insulin are feeling sticker shock. Even doctors say without a way to pay, some patients are left facing impossible choices, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner. CBS

Trump's Mar-A-Lago Trips Cost Taxpayers About $10M So Far
Budget watchdogs are criticizing the cost of President Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida. Mr. Trump has been at his so-called “Winter White House” the past three weekends. That’s 11 of his first 33 days in office. The travel has an estimated price tag of $10 million. Between Secret Service and police surrounding the estate, and the U.S. Coast Guard in the surrounding waters, Mar-a-Lago is a fortress when the president is here. The White House won’t disclose the exact cost of Mr. Trump’s visits, but the $10 million estimate is based on figures from a similar trip by President Obama in 2013. CBS
VOA VIEW: No mention on Obama who wasted a small fortune - Trump worked on his trips.

No, Former President Obama Isn't Planning A Coup Against President Trump
A fake news story making the rounds on Facebook claims in the headline that Congress is concerned that former President Barack Obama might make a "treasonous coup attempt" against President Trump -- and that they're taking steps to stop him. It's not true. Though the headline screams "BREAKING: Congress Moves to STOP Obama’s Treasonous Coup Attempt Against Trump," only parts of the story are based on facts. It's done by seeding the story with quotes that are true, but are twisted out of context. ABC

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New EPA Head Scott Pruitt's Emails Indicate Close Ties To Oil And Gas Producers
More than 7,000 pages of emails from Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt indicate a cozy relationship with oil and gas producers, fossil fuel companies, electric companies, as well as political groups tied to the Koch Brothers during his time as Oklahoma Attorney General. The emails -- made public Wednesday by an Oklahoma judge in response to a lawsuit by liberal watchdog group the Center for Media and Democracy -- indicate coordination between Pruitt and these Koch-backed groups with the goal of undermining the Obama administration's efforts to help curb carbon emissions and prevent climate change. ABC

Air Force Stumped By Trump's Claim Of $1 Billion Savings On Jet
The Air Force can’t account for $1 billion in savings that President Donald Trump said he’s negotiated for the program to develop, purchase and operate two new Boeing Co. jets to serve as Air Force One. “To my knowledge I have not been told that we have that information,” Colonel Pat Ryder, an Air Force spokesman, told reporters Wednesday when asked how Trump had managed to reduce the price for the new presidential plane. “I refer you to the White House,” Ryder said. A White House spokesman didn’t respond to repeated inquiries about Trump’s comments. Trump has boasted that he’s personally intervened to cut costs of two military aircraft -- the F-35, the fighter jet built by Lockheed Martin Corp., and Boeing’s Air Force One. Bloomberg

Mexico To Trump: We Won’t Take Your Unwanted Immigrants
Mexico is not happy – actually, angry – about President Donald Trump’s expectation that it would hold tens of thousands of apprehended migrants who can’t be immediately deported, regardless of where they come from. Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray vowed Wednesday that Mexico will not accept the Trump’s administration “unilateral” directives and that President Enrique Peña Nieto will make that clear to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly when they meet on Thursday. “I want to make clear, in the most emphatic way, that the government of Mexico and the people of Mexico will not accept decisions that, in a unilateral way, are imposed by another government,” Videgaray told reporters in Mexico City. Charlotte Observer
VOA VIEW: Mexico will lose on any front.

Lawmakers Renew Push For Drilling In Alaska Wildlife Refuge
Former U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski in 2001 gave a speech urging colleagues to approve oil drilling in America's largest wildlife refuge. The Alaska Republican held up a blank sheet of paper to illustrate his point. The field of white, he said, was all you could see each winter on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, implying that such a barren landscape would not be harmed by oil rigs. Sixteen years later, Murkowski's daughter is trying again. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is sponsoring legislation to open the refuge that takes up Alaska's northeast corner and is larger than West Virginia and Connecticut combined. With a Republican Congress and president, she's hopeful that the timing is right. Kansas City Star

U.S. Court Deals Setback To Miami Investor Fighting Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac
A Miami investor’s fight to stop the federal government from claiming profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to repay its $188 billion bail-out got a little harder this week. On Tuesday, the U.S. Courts of Appeals in Washington rejected shareholders’ claims that a deal struck by the mortgage companies and the U.S. Treasury to keep them afloat exceeded the government’s authority. But the court also said some claims questioning whether the government acted in shareholders’ best interest in its role as conservator need to go back to the lower courts for review. While the ruling narrows the fight, the decision leaves the door open for shareholders to continue fighting, said Joshua Rosner, managing partner of the consulting firm Graham Fisher & Co. Miami Herald

Support Pours In For Damaged Jewish Cemetery Near St. Louis
A suburban St. Louis Jewish cemetery badly damaged by vandals is getting a show of support from cleanup volunteers, well-wishers and financial contributors from across many faiths. Muslim groups have launched a crowdfunding campaign for the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in University City, Missouri, with a goal of $20,000. It has raised nearly $75,000. The cemetery posted on Facebook that 154 headstones were vandalized in the damage discovered Monday. Many were tipped over. Gov. Eric Greitens, who is Jewish, organized a volunteer effort to help in the cleanup Wednesday, and an interfaith service was planned for the afternoon. A large crowd attended a candlelight vigil at the cemetery Tuesday night. Philadelphia Inquirer

UN-Sponsored Syria Talks Resume In Geneva After 10 Months
Syrian peace talks under the auspices of the United Nations resumed in Geneva on Thursday, 10 months after falling apart over escalating bloodshed in the war-torn country. U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura convened his first morning meeting with the delegation of the Syrian government, headed by Bashar al-Ja'aafari. He was expected to then meet with the head of the opposition delegation in Geneva, Yahya Kadamani, and Nasr Hariri, a senior member of the largest opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition. The talks are the latest bid to end the country's catastrophic six-year war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more. Tampa Tribune

DNC Race Tight As Democrats Seek Gains Against Trump
Just days before Democratic activists pick a new party chair, the contest to head the Democratic National Committee remains fluid, as national leaders grapple with how to turn an outpouring of liberal protest against President Donald Trump into political gains. A tight race between front-runners Tom Perez, a former labor secretary, and Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman, marks the first heavily contested battle to run the organization in recent history. The contest comes with Democrats facing a power deficit in Washington and around the country after years of losses in Congress, governor's mansions and statehouses, while also having no unifying national leader since former President Barack Obama left the White House. Tampa Tribune
VOA VIEW: Two very liberal picks that will bring Republicans even greater numbers.

Exxon Caves To Oil Crash With Historic Global Reserves Cut
Exxon Mobil Corp. disclosed the deepest reserves cut in its modern history as prolonged routs in oil and natural gas markets erased the value of a $16 billion oil-sands investment and other North American assets. The equivalent of about 3.3 billion barrels of untapped crude was removed from the so-called proved reserves category in Exxon’s books, the Irving, Texas-based explorer said in a statement. The revisions were triggered when low energy prices made it mathematically impossible to profitably harvest those fields within five years. The sprawling, 3.5-billion barrel Kearl oil-sands development in western Canada accounted for most of the hit. Bloomberg

Democrats Gather In Atlanta To Set Course For Party’s Future
Hundreds of top Democrats newly energized by Donald Trump’s presidency will gather in Atlanta Thursday to elect a new leader, a vote that will set the
for the party’s future and the stage for the 2018 midterm elections. The fight over the Democratic National Committee chairmanship has all the makings of a repeat of the bruising primary, where an establishment-backed Hillary Clinton squared off against Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign from the party’s left flank. This time, Sanders and other leaders in the party’s progressive wing are backing U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison’s bid for DNC chairman, while former U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez has support from allies of Clinton’s and former President Barack Obama’s. Atlanta Journal

Conservatives Learn Dealing With Trump Can Be Complicated
For the past eight years, thousands of conservative activists have descended on Washington each spring with dreams of putting a Republican in the White House.
This year, they're learning reality can be complicated. With Donald Trump's presidential victory, the future of the conservative movement has become entwined with an unconventional New York businessman better known for his deal-making than any ideological principles. It's an uneasy marriage of political convenience at best. Some conservatives worry whether they can trust their new president to follow decades of orthodoxy on issues like international affairs, small government, abortion and opposition to expanded legal protections for LGBT Americans — and what it means for their movement if he doesn't. Houston Chronicle

Adding Friendly Bacteria To Skin Lotion Wards Off Bad Germs
Bacteria live on everyone's skin, and new research shows some friendly germs produce natural antibiotics that ward off their disease-causing cousins. Now scientists are mixing the good bugs into lotions in hopes of spreading protection. In one early test, those customized creams guarded five patients with a kind of itchy eczema against risky bacteria that were gathering on their cracked skin, researchers reported Wednesday. "It's boosting the body's overall immune defenses," said Dr. Richard Gallo, dermatology chairman at the University of California, San Diego, who is leading the work. Houston Chronicle

Iraqi Forces Take Control Of IS 'Sniper' Village
A military spokesman says Iraqi special forces have captured a key village southwest of Mosul from where Islamic State group's snipers and shelling had been slowing the government offensive. The village of Tell al-Rayan fell to the Iraqi troops amid a major push on Thursday that saw federal police forces enter the grounds of the Mosul airport as special forces fought their way into an IS-held base next to the airport. The advances are part of a U.S.-backed government offensive to drive the Islamic State group from western Mosul. SF Gate

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McCain Makes Secret Trip To Syria To Meet With US Troops
A spokeswoman for Sen. John McCain says he traveled to northern Syria last week to discuss with the U.S. forces stationed there plans for defeating the Islamic State extremist group and pushing the militants out of their self-declared caliphate in Raqqa. McCain, an Arizona Republican, is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In a statement Wednesday, McCain's spokeswoman described the visit as a "valuable opportunity to assess dynamic conditions on the group in Iraq and Syria." McCain didn't announce the trip in advance. McCain has been a harsh critic of President Donald Trump's worldview, declaring his administration in disarray. But the statement says the president "has rightly ordered a review of U.S. strategy and plans to defeat" the Islamic State. Las Vegas Sun

Conservatives Welcome Trump With Delight And Wariness
For the past eight years, thousands of conservative activists have descended on Washington each spring with dreams of putting a Republican in the White House. This year, they're learning reality can be complicated. With Donald Trump's presidential victory, the future of the conservative movement has become entwined with an unconventional New York businessman better known for his deal-making than any ideological principles. It's an uneasy marriage of political convenience at best. Some conservatives worry whether they can trust their new president to follow decades of orthodoxy on issues like international affairs, small government, abortion and opposition to expanded legal protections for LGBT Americans — and what it means for their movement if he doesn't. Las Vegas Sun

North Korean State Media: China Dancing To U.S. Tune
North Korea’s state-run news agency issued a tough critique of China on Thursday, suggesting Beijing’s criticism of the North’s recent missile test and suspension of imports of North Korean coal are tantamount to the actions of an enemy state “dancing to the tune of the U.S.” The article took a tone normally reserved for North Korea’s overt enemies — Washington, Tokyo and Seoul. Without directly using China’s name, but referring to it as “a neighboring country, which often claims itself to be a ‘friendly neighbor,’” the Korean Central News Agency report accused Beijing of essentially abandoning North Korea in favor of the United States by cutting off imports of coal in compliance with United Nations sanctions. USA Today

New Headache For Ivanka Trump: Jewelry Licensee Owes Over $5K In N.Y. Taxes
Ivanka Trump's business headaches seem to be multiplying. A licensee of the first daughter's jewelry company owes $5,213.91 in unpaid sales taxes, according to New York state's tax department and a Trump spokesperson. The company is also battling in the New York court system over a more than $3 million judgment filed last year in a contract dispute. And, separately, another firm involving Trump is embroiled in a copyright infringement lawsuit over the design of a fashion sandal. New York's Department of Taxation and Finance filed a tax warrant on Jan. 27 against Madison Avenue Diamonds LLC, a company created in 2005 that does business as Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry. The firm's luxury offerings include a Liberté Diamond Collar necklace that costs $15,900 and a Metropolis Lune Large Pave Diamond Dome ring that goes for $9,900. USA Today
VOA VIEW: The liberal media has to dig deep to find anything against the Trump name.

Maine’s Susan Collins: I’m Open To Subpoena Of Trump’s Taxes
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said on Wednesday she’s open to using a subpoena to investigate President Donald Trump’s tax returns for potential connections to Russia.
Collins, a Republican who has served as a U.S. senator from Maine since 1997, sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. She appeared on Maine Public radio to talk about issues including the investigation. Collins was asked if the committee would subpoena Trump, who’s also a Republican. She said she hopes for “voluntary cooperation” but is open to using a subpoena if necessary. Boston Globe

Asthma Drugs May Prevent Deadly Type Of Pneumonia
A new study from the University of Virginia School of Medicine has found that common asthma drugs may be effective in protecting against a deadly form of pneumonia. Influenza pneumonia is caused by a virus and develops when the flu infection spreads to alveolar air sacs in the lower respiratory tract of the lungs."If infection is severe enough, and the immune response is potent enough, you get injury to these cells and are no longer able to get sufficient oxygen exchange," Dr. Thomas J. Braciale, Ph.D., UVA researcher and co-author of the study, said in a press release. "As a result of the infection of the cells, you can develop lethal pneumonia and die." UPI

Zika Infection Shrinks Testicles In Mice
Zika virus can be sexually transmitted through semen, and a new mouse study could help explain why that occurs -- and how the virus might damage male fertility. In lab research, Zika attacked the testicles of mice, targeting cells that produce the male hormone testosterone and ultimately causing testes to shrink, the researchers said. These findings "explain the persistence of the virus in semen," said Dr. Amesh Adalja. "If these findings hold in humans, the long-term consequences could include diminished fertility in males who were infected with Zika," said Adalja, an affiliated scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore. He was not involved in the study. UPI

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PENCE VISITS VANDALIZED JEWISH CEMETERY
US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday visited a Jewish cemetery in Missouri attacked earlier in the week, helping aid workers repair over 170 tombstones toppled by vandals. The act was a tipping point for the White House after weeks of reports that antisemitic incidents and rhetoric were on the rise. Senior officials, including US President Donald Trump, began speaking out forcefully against the phenomenon  this week, breaking a period of silence. Jeusalem Post

ISRAELI RIGHT WINS HISTORIC FIGHT OVER SUPREME COURT JUSTICES
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was the biggest winner Wednesday night in the battle over the Supreme Court’s future, with three of four justices appointed by the Judicial Selection Committee either reflecting a more conservative approach to the law or being on her list of acceptable non-activist judges. Shaked had pushed for Jerusalem District Court Judge David Mintz, a conservative Gush Etzion resident, to be named to the Supreme Court. Haifa District Court President Yosef Elron was primarily the Israel Bar Association’s and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s candidate, but was viewed as acceptable by Shaked. Jerusalem Post

Yemen crisis: Army chief killed in missile strike on camp
Maj Gen Ahmed Saif al-Yafei is said to have died in the attack outside the port city of Mokha. His death will be seen as a major setback for government forces, which are backed by a Saudi-led coalition. The Yemeni government has yet to recapture the capital, Sanaa, after two years of civil war. Maj Gen Yafei was killed along with several others when the missile hit the army camp near Mokha early on Wednesday, the military source, who is also a member of the general's family, told Reuters news agency. BBC

Donald Trump's Golf obby under scrutiny with Clinton tweet
A Hillary Clinton retweet has drawn attention to President Donald Trump's golf outings, which critics are hoping to turn into a political handicap. The former Democratic White House candidate shared a graph suggesting her former rival spent 25 hours on the links during his first month in office. Mr Trump made his sixth trip to the golf course on Sunday, joined by professional golfer Rory McIlroy. The Republican was a frequent critic of Barack Obama's fairway excursions. BBC

Forget Five A Day, Eat 10 Portions Of Fruit And Veg To Cut Risk Of Early Death
Five portions of fruit and veg a day is good for you, but 10 is much better and could prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide every year, say scientists. The findings of the study led by Imperial College London may dismay the two in three adults who struggle to manage three or four portions – perhaps some tomatoes in a sandwich at lunchtime, an apple and a few spoonfuls of peas at dinner. Guardian

DoJ Moves To Prevent CIA Official From Detailing Role In Bush-Era Torture
Donald Trump’s justice department has indicated it will seek to prevent the new deputy CIA director from telling a court about her role in Bush-era torture. In a Wednesday filing in a federal court in Washington state, a team of US attorneys and justice department officials said the government “anticipates asserting the state secrets privilege” to prevent Gina Haspel from being deposed by two former CIA contractor psychologists. The psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, are battling a lawsuit by representatives for four men who seek to hold them liable for torture they experienced in secret CIA prisons. Mitchell and Jessen designed for the CIA the so-called “enhanced interrogation” program that three of the men endured and which killed one of them. Guardian

Refugees Seeking A New Life Stream Across Canadian Border Due To 'Anti-Immigrant Feeling' In Donald Trump's America
It is just a 12 foot wide ditch at the end of an unmade road in rural Quebec where the border between the US and Canada is marked by an orange wooden stake and a five feet high stone obelisk. This ditch at St Bernard de Lacolle, about an hour’s drive south of Montreal, is just one of the unmanned border crossings along the 5,000 mile long border that has seen a surge in the number of asylum seekers since Donald Trump won the White House. Telegraph

Haiti: New Grant To Help UNICEF Strengthen Efforts To Tackle Cholera
A new grant from the Government of Japan will allow the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to help reduce cholera-related morbidity and mortality in Haiti in 2017 and 2018, the UN agency said in a news release. “With this gift from the Japanese people, we will strengthen the axes of the fight against cholera in the protection of the Haitian population, especially children,” said Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Haiti, welcoming the contribution. “Japan is a key partner and we thank the Japanese people for their continued support,” he added. UN News

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