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NEWS   MONDAY, APRIL  24, 2017   NEWS

Clinton Remail Probe Reportedly Caused Rift between Comey, Lynch
FBI Director James Comey reportedly did not trust former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other senior officials at the Justice Department, speculating they might provide Hillary Clinton some political cover over her email scandal during the presidential election. Comey’s so-called “go-it-alone strategy” in the Clinton investigation emerged from suspicions that Lynch and other Justice Department officials might look to down play the email probe, The New York Times reported Saturday. Comey’s suspicions may have been confirmed in a 2015 meeting when Lynch reportedly told him to use the word “matter” instead of “investigation” when publicly discussing the probe. According to the Times, Lynch said that using the world “investigation” would raise other questions and argued that the department should maintain its policy of not confirming whether an investigation was ongoing. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Lynch was bought and paid for by Obama and Hillary.

Renewed Zika Outbreak Feared On Texas Border
As warmer weather approaches and mosquito seasons take flight, health professionals are warning that a Zika outbreak in the Rio Grande Valley at the southernmost tip on the Texas border with Mexico is just a matter of time. The area, home to 1.3 million people, many living in poverty, has many houses without sufficient air-conditioning and window screens. “You have a lot of these families who don’t even have money to get rid of their garbage,” Patricia Pena, who works with the community nonprofit La Frontera Ministries to educate locals on the virus, told the Guardian newspaper. “And their houses are infested with all kinds of creatures, including mosquitoes.” Fox News

Pot Supporters Pan 'Smoke-In' After Arests Near Capitol
After a pot giveaway that led to eight arrests, marijuana legalization supporters are returning to the U.S. Capitol - and this time they plan to light up. Activists say they expect to be arrested during Monday's "smoke-in" outside the Capitol. The arrests during Thursday's pot giveaway were unexpected because it's legal to possess small amounts of pot and give it away for free in the District of Columbia. The demonstration was held on city land in an attempt to comply with the law. Prosecutors later filed charges against only two of those who were arrested. Phidelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Dumb!

Trump: Decisions As President ‘Much Harder Than You’d Normally Make’
President Trump said the “massive” responsibilities that come with the White House surprised him, but the one that weighed the heaviest was the launching of a cruise-missile attack on Syria in retaliation for a poison-gas attack. “I never realized how big it was,” he told the Associated Press in an interview conducted Friday and published Sunday. “Everything’s so… like, you know the orders are so massive. “Number one, there’s great responsibility,” the president continued. “When it came time to, as an example, send out the 59 missiles, the Tomahawks in Syria. I’m saying to myself, ‘You know, this is more than just like, 79 (sic) missiles. This is death that’s involved,’ because people could have been killed. NY Post
VOA VIEW: No question the presidency is hard.

New Orleans Begins To Take Down Confederate Statues
Workers in New Orleans began removing the first of four prominent Confederate monuments early Monday, the latest Southern institution to sever itself from symbols viewed by many as a representation of racism and white supremacy. Trucks arrived to begin removing the first memorial, one that commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans, around 1:25 a.m. in an attempt to avoid disruption from supporters who want the monuments to stay, some of whom city officials said have made death threats. Workers who were inspecting the   statue ahead of its removal could be seen wearing flak jackets and helmets. Police officers watched the area from atop the parking garage of a nearby hotel. Three other statues to Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis will be removed in later days now that legal challenges have been overcome. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Sad!

Frozen Hash Brown Recall Due To Possible 'Extraneous Golf Ball Materials'
You have an early-morning golf match. You make coffee and contemplate the optimal breakfast to help you hit the ball straighter and calm those first-tee jitters. For now, skip frozen hash browns sold in nine states under the Harris Teeter and Roundy's brands. The potatoes may contain pieces of golf balls, according to the hash brown maker. McCain Foods USA's recall notice on the US Food & Drug Administration site says the hash browns could be "contaminated with extraneous golf ball materials" that "may have been inadvertently harvested with potatoes used to make this product." "Consumption of these products may pose a choking hazard or other physical injury to the mouth," says the notice of the voluntary recall. CNN

Donald Trump Isn't Learning From His Mistakes
As they brace for harsh media attacks on their first 100 days, President Donald Trump's team points out with justification that other presidents have stumbled, too. John Kennedy had a disaster with the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. Bill Clinton slipped and fell in a controversy over gay people in the military. The George W. Bush team failed to pay sufficient attention to intelligence warning of terrorists hijacking airplanes. As Richard Neustadt argued in a seminal book on presidential power, a new White House team must make some of their biggest decisions early on -- at a time when they are least experienced -- and mistakes happen. Even so, events of the past few days underscore a sharp and potentially dangerous difference between the Trump administration and several of its predecessors: most others -- Kennedy and Clinton in particular -- were learning organizations that got much better on the job as they went. CNN
VOA VIEW: Typical CNN liberal rhetoric - no mention of Obama.

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Trump Says Mexico 'Eventually' Will Pay For Border Wall
President Donald Trump said on Sunday he expected Mexico to pay for the wall he has promised to build along the southern border, resuscitating a campaign promise that roiled U.S. relations with Mexico in the first week of his presidency. "Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall," Trump said in a Twitter post. Trump returned to his Mexico demand on a morning in which he simultaneously tried to pressure congressional Democrats to include funding for the border wall in must-pass spending legislation needed to keep the U.S. government open beyond Friday. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Bet on it.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly: ‘Dreamers’ Aren’t Deportation Targets
Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly on Sunday said anyone in the country illegally is subject to deportation by law but so-called “Dreamers” should rest easy and that undocumented residents should still report domestic violence and other crimes. Mr. Kelly said President Trump tasked him with two key objectives on immigration — secure the Southwest border and root out the “worst” of those who reside in the U.S. unlawfully and deport them. He said that means they aren’t interested in chasing down so-called “Dreamers” shielded by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). “If you are simply here illegally, we don’t really have the time to go after you,” Mr. Kelly told CNN’s “State of the Union.” Mr. Kelly was trying to address somewhat mixed messages on who is at risk for deportation, as Mr. Trump cracks down on illegal immigrants but suggests Dreamers shouldn’t worry. Washington Times

Public Gives Trump Low Marks For First 100 Days
Nearly two-thirds of Americans give President Donald Trump poor or middling marks for his first 100 days in office, including a plurality who say he's off to a "poor start," according to results from a brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Forty-five percent of respondents in the survey believe Trump is off to a poor start, with an additional 19 percent who say it's been "only a fair start." That's compared with a combined 35 percent who think the president's first three months in office have been either "good" or "great." Trump's 100th day in office takes place on April 29. By contrast, in the exact same question from April 2009 NBC/WSJ poll, 54 percent of Americans said that Barack Obama's first 100 days had gotten off to either a good or great start, while 25 percent said they were fair, and 21 percent called them poor. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Fake liberal poll.

Chief Of Staff Reince Priebus Says President Trump Will Work With Whoever Wins French Election
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said President Trump’s noticeable interest in Sunday’s presidential election in France shouldn’t be interpreted as him putting his thumb on the scales for one candidate over another. “He is going to support whoever the winner is,” Mr. Priebus told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Mr. Trump recently posted a series of Twitter messages about the race, which pits four candidates across the political spectrum — from far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon to far-right contender Marine Le Pen, who is nipping at the heels of leading centrist, Emmanuel Macron. The field is rounded out by François Fillon, a mainstream conservative trying to stiff-arm a nepotism scandal. The two candidates that secure the most votes will vie in a May 7 runoff. “Very interesting election currently taking place in France,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter early Sunday. Washington Times

AP FACT CHECK: Misfires In Trump's AP Interview
In an Associated Press interview, President Donald Trump claimed more progress than he's achieved on his 100-day plan and showed he was not completely familiar with what he had promised in that "co ntract" with voters. A look at some of his assertions in the interview conducted Friday and other statements he made over the past week: TRUMP, on his 100-day plan: "I'm mostly there on most items." — AP interview THE FACTS: He's not. Many have yet to be taken up. Of 38 specific promises Trump made in his 100-day "contract" with voters, he's accomplished 10, mostly through executive orders that don't require legislation. Tampa Tribune
VOA VIEW: The liberala media don't give up.

Trump, Pence Allies Rake In Millions As New Washington Lobbyists
Former campaign aides, fundraisers and others with ties to President Trump and Vice President Pence have attracted dozens of new lobbying clients in Washington, raking in more than $2.2 million in lobbying fees in the first months of the administration, a USA TODAY analysis shows. Brian Ballard, a longtime Florida lobbyist and a fundraiser for both Trump’s campaign and inaugural committee, appears to lead the pack, signing up 20 federal clients since opening his Washington lobbying operation this year. His company, Ballard Partners, has earned more than $1.1 million in a three-month period, new lobbying reports show. Ballard is one of more than a dozen White House allies launching new firms, taking new jobs in lobbying firms or signing up new clients this year as companies and other interests look for ways to shape policy in the Trump administration. During the campaign, Trump repeatedly promised to drain the special-interest swamp in Washington. USA Today
VOA VIEW: And the truth is ...

China's Xi Calls For Restraint With North Korea In Call With Trump
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for restraint when dealing with North Korea during a phone call with President Trump on Monday, Chinese state media reported.
Xi told Trump that China “strongly opposes” actions that violate United Nations Security Council resolutions and that China hopes that “the parties concerned will exercise restraint and avoid actions that aggravate tensions on the Peninsula,” the official Xinhua news agency reported. “Xi noted that if the parties shoulder their due responsibilities and meet each other halfway, they can solve the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula,” Xinhua added. Vice President Mike Pence warned last week that “the era of strategic patience is over” regarding U.S. policy toward North Korea, as Pyongyang continues its missile program and nuclear weapons tests. USA Today

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Senate Set To Confirm Sonny Perdue As Agriculture Secretary
After months of delay, the Senate is expected to confirm former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary. Perdue would be the first Southerner in the post in more than two decades. He's the son of a farmer and has owned several agricultural companies. The Senate plans to vote on his nomination Monday. At his confirmation hearing in March, Perdue assured nervous farm-state senators that he will advocate for rural America, even as President Donald Trump's administration has proposed deep cuts to some farm programs. He promised to reach out to Democrats, and several Democratic senators have said they will vote for him. Atlanta Jouranl

Arkansas Prepares For 1st Double Execution In US Since 2000
Two condemned Arkansas killers who admit they're guilty but fear their poor health could lead to extreme pain during lethal injections set for Monday might become the first inmates put to death in a double execution in the U.S. in more than 16 years. Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are set to die in what would be the second and third executions in Arkansas this month. The state set an aggressive plan to execute several inmates before one of its lethal injection drugs expires at the end of April. The state executed Ledell Lee last week in the state's first use of capital punishment since 2005. Gov. Asa Hutchinson originally scheduled four double executions over an 11-day period in April. The eight executions would have been the most by a state in such a short period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. The state said the executions needed to be carried out before its supply of the sedative midazolam expires on April 30. Houston Chronicle

Trump Pressures Democrats On Obamacare To Get Border Wall Deal
U.S. President Donald Trump weighed in on congressional efforts to avoid a government shutdown, telling Democrats on Sunday that Obamacare will die without a cash infusion the White House has offered in exchange for their agreement to fund his border wall. "Obamacare is in serious trouble. The Dems need big money to keep it going - otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought," Trump said in a Twitter post. In a second tweet, he added: "The Democrats don't want money from budget going to border wall despite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members." MS-13 is a criminal gang with members of Central American origin. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Democrats do their best to do nothing.

DHS Secretary On Homegrown Terror: "I Don't Know How To Stop That"
Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he doesn’t know how to stop “homegrown terrorists,” despite saying that the homegrown threat is the “most common” threat facing the U.S. “There are so many aspects to this terrorist thing,” Kelly said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “Obviously you got the homegrown terrorists. I don’t know how to stop that. I don’t know how to detect that. You got other terrorist threats that come across the border.” “I believe in the case of the murder -- in the Paris shooting I believe he was homegrown,” Kelly continued. “But, again, there are so many threats that come in from across border. And it’s essential absolutely to control one’s border.” Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, made the comments in response to a question about what the U.S. can learn from the deadly shooting on Paris’ Champs-Elysees last week for which the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility. CBS

AG Sessions On Hawaii Remark: ‘Nobody Has A Sense Of Humor Anymore’
Attorney General Jeff Sessions says "nobody has a sense of humor anymore." That's his assessment after drawing ire for seeming to dismiss the state of Hawaii as merely "an island in the Pacific." Last week, Sessions criticized a federal judge's ruling in Hawaii that blocked the Trump administration's immigration ban. Sessions told radio host Mark Levin: "I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power." On Sunday, Sessions chuckled when asked on ABC's "This Week" why he didn't just refer to Hawaii by its name. His response: "Nobody has a sense of humor anymore." MSNBC
VOA VIEW: MSNBC does their usual liberal attack or take.

Kasich Says Political Parties Are "On Their Way Out"
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday that political parties are “on their way out.”  He said that his state is “more united” than it once was -- and that there’s a reason for that. “You know why?” Kasich said. “Because I’m not playing that stupid political game. And I think political parties are on their way out, essentially. Sanders is talking about reconstructing the Democratic Party. I think people care less about party. They want action and things done.” Kasich said Americans must “believe in ourselves” and focus on “common humanity” rather than differences. Those are the themes of his new book, “Two Paths: America Divided or United.” Kasich described the book as a “cry of the heart.” CBS

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North Korea Detained A Professor Who Is US Citizen; At Least 3rd American Held
A U.S. citizen and academic was detained in North Korea while trying to leave the country with his wife on Saturday, a spokesperson for the university that employed him has confirmed. Tony Kim, 58, who goes by jos Korean name Kim Sang-duk, was detained while trying to board a flight to China from Pyongyang's international airport, according to Colin McCulloch, director of external relations at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), where Kim taught accounting. The university's executive leadership released a statement Sunday saying that it "has learned that Mr Sang Duk (Tony) Kim was detained" by North Korean authorities as he was about to leave the country, "after several weeks of service, teaching at PUST. ABC

Hillary Clinton Makes Surprise Appearance At Tribeca Fest
The premiere of a virtual reality short by Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow was already a high-profile event at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday night. And then Hillary Clinton walked onstage. Clinton was an unannounced panelist, there to discuss the scourge of elephant poaching — the subject of Bigelow's eight-minute film "The Protectors: Walk in the Rangers' Shoes," about park rangers trying to save elephants in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She spoke about her work to save elephants from poachers slaughtering them for their ivory tusks, both as secretary of state in the Obama administration, and later with her family foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative. ABC
VOA VIEW: Hillary sounds and looks like a loser.

Mulvaney Says Trump Tax Plan Details Won't Be Ready Until June
The White House will offer “specific governing principles’’ for its tax plan this week along with indications of what new rates would be, but a complete proposal probably won’t be ready until June, President Donald Trump’s budget director said. Trump has promised news about his tax plan on Wednesday, telling his 28 million Twitter followers on Saturday that a “Big TAX REFORM AND TAX REDUCTION will be announced’’ on April 26. “What you’re going to see on Wednesday is for the first time is, here’s what our principles are, here are some of the ideas that we like, some of the ideas we don’t like, and we can talk about that more if you want to,’’ Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said on “Fox News Sunday.’’ “Here are some of the rates we’re talking about.’’ Bloomberg

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Bond Bulls See Opportunity As Government Shutdown Deadline Nears
With days to spare before Congress has to reach a deal to keep the U.S. government running, bond traders see a potential showdown breathing new life into the Treasury market’s rally. Assuming France’s presidential election doesn’t roil markets, the April 28 deadline for Congress to at least pass a stopgap spending measure and avert a government shutdown looks set to take center stage this week, with the calendar mostly devoid of major economic data or Federal Reserve speakers. The negotiations in Washington will kick in as investors have lost confidence in the prospect of the administration and lawmakers hammering out fiscal stimulus any time soon, although President Donald Trump intends to release a tax plan this week. Republicans’ failed attempt to overhaul health care and the infighting it revealed have damped expectations for Trump to achieve his policy goals and led 10-year yields to retrace half of their post-election surge. Bloomberg

Obama To Deliver First Post-Presidency Speech In Chicago
Former President Barack Obama is set to hold the first public event of his post-presidential life in the place where he started his political career. Obama will speak Monday at the University of Chicago, where his presidential library is planned. College students from around the Chicago area are expected to attend. The invitation-only event is being billed as part of his post-presidency goal to "encourage and support the next generation of leaders." His first public engagement since then comes as President Donald Trump nears his 100-day mark in office. Miami Herald
VOA VIEW: Obama foolishness, or mistake, or both.

Inside Trump's Obsession With Cable TV
During a small working lunch at the White House last month, the question of job security in President Donald Trump's tumultuous White House came up, and one of the attendees wondered whether press secretary Sean Spicer might be the first to go. The president's response was swift and unequivocal. "I'm not firing Sean Spicer," he said, according to someone familiar with the encounter. "That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in." Trump even likened Spicer's daily news briefings to a daytime soap opera, noting proudly that his press secretary attracted nearly as many viewers. SF Gate

As It Embraces Las Vegas, NFL Is Awash In Gambling Contradictions
When NFL owners voted overwhelmingly last month to move the Raiders to Las Vegas, some of them went out of their way to say the city was no longer the corrupting influence they believed it once was and now very capable of supporting a franchise. The Dallas Cowboys’ owner, Jerry Jones, a prime backer of the move, said the city most closely associated with gambling “is not your father’s Las Vegas.” Even the NFL’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, who continues to oppose legalized sports gambling, admitted that Las Vegas was “not the same city it was 10 or 20 years ago.” Las Vegas has evolved enough for us to bless it with our presence, the league seemed to be saying. Las Vegas Sun

Saudi King Names Son As US Envoy As Ties Boosted With Trump
Saudi Arabia's King Salman issued a decree late Saturday naming one of his sons, an air force pilot who has taken part in coalition strikes against the Islamic State group, as the kingdom's new ambassador to the U.S. The appointment of Prince Khaled bin Salman to Washington signals the kingdom's eagerness to strengthen bilateral ties under President Donald Trump. As the king's son, the prince has a direct line to the Saudi monarch. Saudi Arabia is the world's third largest defense spender. Prince Khaled's appointment positions him as an influential broker in deals with U.S. manufacturers. Las Vegas Sun

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Pence Cites 'Challenging Times' To Troops In American Samoa
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has thanked American service members based in American Samoa, citing "challenging times" for the military in the Asia-Pacific. Completing a visit to the region and en route back to the United States, Pence addressed some 200 soldiers during a refueling stop in Pago Pago. He told the troops the Trump administration was seeking a large increase in military funding. During his stop, Pence also dedicated a sign that will greet visitors at a veterans clinic. He met with American Samoan officials and troops and then flew to Hawaii at the last stop on a tour that included a visit to the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea. Charlotte Observer

Russia Vows To Get Ukrainian Separatists To Comply With Deal
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has vowed to use Moscow's influence to get Ukraine's separatist rebels to comply with a cease-fire deal. Lavrov made the promise at a news conference Monday with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini after talks in Moscow. An American member of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe's monitoring mission was killed and two others wounded Sunday in eastern Ukraine's separatist-controlled Luhansk region when their vehicle hit a mine. Charlotte Observer

AG Sessions: Erroneous Tax Credits To 'Mostly Mexicans' Could Fund Wall
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Sunday the proposed wall along the United States-Mexico border could be paid for by reducing erroneously issued tax credits that the former Alabama senator claimed go to "mostly Mexicans." "We're going to get paid for it one way or the other," Sessions said on ABC's This Week. "I know there's $4 billion a year in excess payments, according to the Department of the Treasury's own inspector general several years ago, that are going to payments to people -- tax credits that they shouldn't get. Now, these are mostly Mexicans. And those kind of things add up -- $4 billion a year for 10 years is $40 billion. In a July 2011 report, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration determined individuals who are not authorized to work in the U.S. had been paid $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits. It did not mention Mexicans or any other nationalities. UPI
VOA VIEW: As said before, bet on it.

Campbell's recalls 4,000 pounds of chicken soup after label mixup
A label mixup led to the voluntarily recall of nearly 4,185 pounds of Campbell's chicken soup, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions to using the product, the USDA said in a statement. The USDA said the error was discovered Thursday, when the Campbell Soup Company's corporate office received multiple complaints about the wrong product in 18.6-oz. cans of "Campbell's Homestyle Healthy Request Chicken with Whole Grain Pasta." Instead consumers found "Campbell's Homestyle Healthy Request Italian-Style Wedding Spinach & Meatballs in Chicken Broth." The product contains milk, a known allergen that is not declared on the product label. UPI

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NEW APP ALLOWS PEOPLE WORLDWIDE TO 'STAND STILL' IN MEMORY OF HOLOCAUST VICTIMS
A new application helps Diaspora Jews and supporters of Israel commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day anywhere in the world by letting them listen to the siren as it sounds in Israel. The “Stand Still” app was developed by Israelis Amir Zwickel and his wife, Rotem Lev Zwickel, in collaboration with the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel and the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin. The Zwickels relocated to New York last year in the days between Holocaust Remembrance Day and Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars, or Yom Hazikaron. On the first, sirens sound to commemorate Holocaust victims and on the second, they do so in memory of fallen soldiers. Amir Zwickel recalled listening to the siren in real time on YouTube from his NY apartment. Jerusalem Post

North Korea 'Ready To Sink' US Aircraft Carrier Vinson
North Korea is "ready to sink" a US aircraft carrier heading for the peninsula, state media have said. A commentary in the Rodong Sinmun newspaper warned that the USS Carl Vinson could be sunk "with a single strike". A battle group headed by the Vinson is expected off the peninsula this week. It was despatched by President Donald Trump amid a warning that US "strategic patience" over the North's nuclear ambitions had come to an end. Tension also rose after a recent failed missile test by the North and a massive military parade showing off its latest hardware. BBC
VOA VIEW: It will be the last thing Un tries.

IMF Meeting Drops Anti-Protectionism Pledge
Global finance leaders from the IMF and World Bank have dropped a pledge to fight trade protectionism from the closing note of their spring meetings. An IMF statement said members would "work together" to reduce global trade and current account imbalances "through appropriate policies". It comes as the Trump administration looks to cut US trade deficits. It has threatened to impose tariffs on nations that have trade surpluses with the US, including China and Germany. The administration is aggressively pursuing an "America First" policy. BBC

March For Science Puts Earth Day Focus On Global Opposition To Trump
Hundreds of thousands of climate researchers, oceanographers, bird watchers and other supporters of science rallied in marches around the world on Saturday, in an attempt to bolster scientists’ increasingly precarious status with politicians. The main March for Science event was held in Washington DC, where organizers made plans for up to 150,000 people to flock to the national mall, although somewhat fewer than that figure braved the rain to attend. Marchers held a range of signs. Some attacked Donald Trump, depicting the president as an ostrich with his head in the sand or bearing the words: “What do Trump and atoms have in common? They make up everything.”More than 600 marches took place around the world, on every continent bar Antarctica, in events that coincided with Earth Day. Guardian

Nazi-Looted Painting To Be Auctioned As Owners' Heirs Fail To Halt Sale
A 17th-century Dutch old master painting stolen by the Nazis is to be auctioned in Vienna next week, provoking outrage from the heirs of the owners from whom it was looted who have accused the auction house of moral bankruptcy. Auctioneers at Im Kinsky have not shied away from describing the painting, Bartholomeus van der Helst’s Portrait of a Man, as disputed stolen art in the sales catalogue. They state that its current owner bought it in good faith from a German art dealer in 2004 and under Austrian law she has the right to sell it. Guardian

Donald Trump Ready To Do Trade Deal With EU Ahead Of The UK
The US is ready to do a trade deal with the European Union ahead of any agreement with Britain, it has been reported. Having promised Britain favourable treatment, Donald Trump has made reaching an agreement with the EU a higher priority. According to The Times, the change of heart by the US president follows discussions with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, last month. Telegraph

Springtime In Washington And The Mood Is Optimistic
There was a moment last week when Philip Hammond thought he would not make it to Washington. Priti Patel, the Secretary of State for International Development, had already cancelled her appearance at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings, and with the Chancellor of the Exchequer part of the inner circle who knew Theresa May would call a snap general election, he too had a difficult decision. The choice, he told an audience at the British Embassy that included Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, and Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, was between “endless attrition on the shoe leather” knocking on doors in his constituency, Runnymede and Weybridge, or rubbing shoulders with the global elite in Washington. Telegraph

Accountability For Rights Abuses In South Sudan 'More Important Than Ever,' Says Senior UN Official
A lack of accountability for crimes perpetrated during the ongoing conflict in South Sudan remains one of the country's “biggest challenges,” the Human Rights Director for the United Nations Mission (UNMISS) said today as he wrapped up a visit to the north-western Wau region. Violence earlier in April led to the death of 19 Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers and at least 28 civilians, according to State officials. The killing of civilians in Wau town followed the ambush and killing of the SPLA soldiers by suspected SPLA-In Opposition fighters. UN News

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