NEWS   MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2017   NEWS

Woman Impersonated Lawmaker's Wife, Snuck Into GOP Retreat
A woman impersonated the wife of a GOP lawmaker and snuck into the congressional Republican retreat in Philadelphia Thursday, the same day President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence appeared, retreat organizers told lawmakers late Saturday. The revelation came as the nonprofit Congressional Institute that organizes the retreat investigates how audio of the gathering leaked. In an email to GOP lawmakers, institute president Mark Strand did not directly say that the impersonator was the same person who leaked the audio, but that was the implication. "The Congressional Institute is continuing to investigate this breach in order to fully understand how it happened and to ensure it does not happen again," said Strand's email, which was obtained by The Associated Press. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Trump has to be very careful - the Secret Service cannot be fully trusted.

Conway Defends Trump Immigration Ban, Ripped Press 'A New One' Over Bias
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Sunday defended President Trump’s order to temporarily ban immigration from seven mostly-Muslim nations -- and deflected criticism over countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan not being included in the ban. “These are countries that have a history of training, harboring, exporting terrorists,” Conway, counselor to the president, told “Fox News Sunday.” “We can’t keep pretending and looking the other way.” Conway said the Obama administration and Congress essentially came up with the list of seven, citing the Terrorist Prevention Act of 2015. Fox News
VOA VIEW: The Media is bia and one sided.

White House Discussing Asking Foreign Visitors For Social Media Info And Cell Phone Contacts
Amid the chaos and confusion of President Donald Trump's new executive order on immigration and refugees, sources tell CNN that White House policy director Stephen Miller spoke with officials of the State Department, Customs and Border Patrol, Department of Homeland Security and others to tell them that the President is deeply committed to the executive order and the public is firmly behind it -- urging them not to get distracted by what he described as hysterical voices on TV. CNN

Former Obama Adviser Calls Trump Decision On Nat Sec Panel 'Stone Cold Crazy'
President Donald Trump's decision to reorganize the National Security Council in a way that removes the director of intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from always attending the principals' committee is "stone cold crazy," former National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Sunday. Rice retweeted another Twitter user, P.E. Juan, who said: "Trump loves and trusts the military so much he just kicked them out of the National Security Council and put a Nazi in their place." Rice, President Barack Obama's national security adviser, was reacting to an executive order signed by Trump that said that the head of DNI and the nation's most senior military officer would be invited to attend the security meetings "where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed." CNN
VOA VIEW: Rice like Obama are whats wrong with this country.

U.S. Senate Finance Committee To Vote On Rep. Price On Tuesday
The Republican-majority U.S. Senate Finance Committee will vote on Tuesday on the nomination of Representative Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services, the panel's chairman, Senator Orrin Hatch, announced on Sunday. Price, a Republican, is an orthopedic surgeon who if confirmed would be given the task of carrying out President Donald Trump's promise to gut former President Obama's Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare. Price's trading in health company stocks while a lawmaker has been questioned by Democrats, but Price says his actions were legal and ethical. Reuters

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Attorneys General From 16 States Condemn Trump Immigration Order
Attorneys general from 16 U.S. states, including California, New York and Pennsylvania, issued a joint statement on Sunday condemning President Donald Trump's executive order restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. "We are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created," the statement said. Reuters
VOA VIEW: The AG are going to be out of work soon.

Merkel: Terror Fight Does Not Justify Trump Immigration Ban
German chancellor Angela Merkel is the latest world leader to wade in on Donald Trump's travel ban, saying the fight against terrorism does not justify putting large populations or religions under automatic suspicion. A spokesman for Merkel, who welcomed over one million refugees into Germany at the height of the European migrant crisis, said Sunday she believes Trump's executive order which suspends the entry of travelers from seven Muslim countries and bans refugees is wrong. Germany's dpa news agency quoted Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert saying that "she is convinced that even the necessary, resolute fight against terrorism doesn't justify putting people of a particular origin or particular faith under general suspicion." MSNBC

American Car Buyers Will Pay The Price For A Mexico Tariff
The increasingly contentious battle between the Trump administration and Mexico could lead to some significant collateral damage, most notably to car makers and car buyers. After the Mexican government rejected a White House demand to pay for a border wall, President Donald Trump floated the idea of imposing a 20 percent tariff on goods imported from south of the border. This, in addition to a possible reopening of NAFTA trade deals, means that automakers — who made extensive use of NAFTA to set up a network of manufacturing operations in Mexico — could be among the hardest hit. MSNBC

Amid Chaos, President Trump Insists ‘This Is Not A Muslim Ban’
President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his executive order banning refugees, migrants and foreign nationals from seven mostly Muslim countries from entering the United States but offered little clarity amid the chaos of legal challenges and national protests. In a statement issued by the White House late Sunday, the president compared his order to action taken by then-President Obama in 2011 to give new scrutiny to visas for Iraqi refugees, though by almost any measure Trump's order was far more sweeping. "To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting," Trump said in the statement. "This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order." Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Tough love - for America.

Kremlin Says Putin-Trump Meeting In The Works
The spokesman for Vladimir Putin says a meeting between the Russian president and U.S. President Donald Trump is in the works. Trump and Putin had a much-anticipated hour-long discussion on Saturday, the first since Trump assumed office last week. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday lauded the phone call as a "good, constructive conversation" but dismissed suggestions of Trump and Putin may have reached deals in that phone call. Peskov said Kremlin and White House staff have been instructed to prepare a meeting between the two leaders and added that the leaders could reach practical agreements only after they see each other. Tampa Tribune

Google Creates $4 Million Crisis Fund For Immigration Cause
Google executives are matching their deeds with donations. The search-engine giant has created a $2 million crisis fund that can be matched with up to $2 million in donations from employees, totaling $4 million, for four organizations: the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and UNHCR. It is Google's largest crisis campaign ever. Separately, company executives are also giving money individually to the cause. The campaign was disclosed in a memo sent by Google CEO Sundar Pichai and confirmed by a Google spokeswoman late Sunday. The grant comes a day after Pichai voiced strong objections to President Trump's controversial immigration ban and company co-founder Sergey Brin participated in a protest at San Francisco International Airport. USA Today

Reince Priebus: Military, Intel Leaders Can Attend National Security Council ‘Anytime They Want’
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus pushed back Sunday against claims the nation’s top military and intelligence leaders are barred from participating in the National Security Council. President Trump confounded the national security and intelligence communities Saturday by issuing an executive order overhauling the makeup of the council. As part of that order, Mr. Trump wrote that Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Acting Director of National Intelligence Michael Dempsey would attend council meetings “as needed.” During a heated exchange with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Mr. Priebus said the clause is not an attempt to remove Gen. Dunford or Mr. Dempsey from the council. Washington Times

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Sean Spicer: Trump Will Not Apologize For ‘Putting Safety Of Country First And Foremost’
White House spokesman Sean Spicer pushed back Sunday against criticism of the temporary refugee ban, saying President Trump “is not going to apologize for putting the safety of this country first and foremost.” “The criticism that’s coming is from someone who has gotten into office, hit the ground running, had a flurry of activity to do exactly what he said he was going to do, whether it was bringing back jobs, fighting for American taxpayers and cutting the cost and waste out of government programs or doing what he said overseas and protecting this nation,” Mr. Spicer said on ABC’s “This Week.” Washington Times

Top Senate Democrat Urges Reversal Of Trump Immigration Order
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, is pushing President Trump to rescind his immigration order barring refugees and citizens from seven Muslim majority countries from traveling to the U.S. After protests erupted nationwide over the weekend opposing the implementation of Mr. Trump’s executive action, Schumer criticized the order for making the U.S. “less safe” and turning “much of the world against us.” CBS
VOA VIEW: Obama refused to reverse any of his orders in 8 years.

John McCain Says President Trump's Travel Ban Will "Give ISIS Some More Propaganda"
Sen. John McCain on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, saying it has been a “confused process” that will only give the terror group ISIS “more propaganda.” “The good news is that it’s only got to do with a pause,” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation. “The bad news is that obviously this process and these conclusions were not vetted.” McCain said that it’s important to understand the “ramifications of this kind of action,” which has been roundly criticized by foreign leaders. CBS

Miss France Crowned Miss Universe In Philippines
A 23-year-old dental student from France won the Miss Universe crown Monday in the annual pageant held this year in the Philippines. Iris Mittenaere from the small town of Lille in northern France said in reply to a final question from pageant host Steve Harvey that she would be honored if she just landed among the three finalists, but was visibly stunned when she was announced the winner among the field of 86 contestants. Mittenaere was speechless and put her hands on her face as the outgoing winner from the Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, crowned her as the crowd erupted in cheers and applause at the packed Mall of Asia Arena by Manila Bay. In her profile, she said she would "advocate for dental and oral hygiene" if she takes home the crown. In the final question to the top three finalists, the candidate were asked to cite a failure in their life and explain what they learned from the debacle. Kansas City Star

Unnamed White House Official On Travel Ban: 'It Really Is A Massive Success Story.'
Two days into President Donald Trump's new ban on refugees, migrants and foreign nationals from seven countries, there was still mass confusion about the details. On Sunday evening, the White House organized a briefing for reporters with two senior administration officials who agreed to explain the president's executive order - but only on the condition anonymity. One senior administration official explained the ground rules to reporters gathered at the White House and listening on a conference call, then said: "With that, I'll turn it over to a senior administration official." "Thank you," the other senior administration official said before beginning a 45-minute defense. SF Gate
VOA VIEW: America first.

McDonald’s Now Delivers Through UberEATS. But Will The App Ask: Want Fries With That?
If you deserve a break today, you can now get McDonald’s delivered to your door. Are you lovin’ it, Miami? The fast-food giant and the on-demand restaurant delivery service UberEATS are about to find out.  McDonald’s fries and every other regular menu item except soft-serve cones can be delivered via UberEATS app in much of Miami-Dade and Broward. McDonald’s fries and every other regular menu item except soft-serve cones can be delivered via UberEATS app in much of Miami-Dade and Broward. Beginning Monday in McDonald’s first large-scale test of this app-enabled delivery service in the nation, UberEATS and McDonald’s are partnering to test delivery from 134 McDonald’s locations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, as well as 55 restaurants in Orlando and 30 in the Tampa Bay area. If the tests are successful, McDonald’s may expand the service to other markets around the nation, said Pam Williams, director of growth platforms for McDonald’s USA. Miami Herald

Trump Asked For A 'Muslim Ban,' Giuliani Says - And Ordered A Commission To Do It 'Legally'
Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said President Donald Trump wanted a "Muslim ban" and requested he assemble a commission to show him "the right way to do it legally." Giuliani, an early Trump supporter who once had been rumored for a cabinet position in the new administration, appeared on Fox News late Saturday night to describe how Trump's executive order temporarily banning refugees came together. Trump on Friday signed orders not only to suspend admission of all refugees into the United States for 120 days but also to implement "new vetting measures" to screen out "radical Islamic terrorists." Refugee entry from Syria, however, would be suspended indefinitely, and all travel from Syria and six other nations - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen - are suspended for 90 days. Trump also said he would give priority to Christian refugees over those of other religions, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network. SF Gate

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Koch Brothers Network Encouraged By President Trump So Far
The political network led by billionaires Charles and David Koch isn’t objecting to President Donald Trump -- at least not yet. At a winter gathering near Palm Springs, California, for roughly 550 of the Koch brothers' top donors this weekend, officials for the network told reporters they were encouraged by some of what they've seen so far from the new administration, but that it's too soon to say for certain. They pointed to Trump's regulatory reforms, his executive order on the Keystone pipeline, and some of his Cabinet appointments as areas where the Koch network is hopeful. “There’s been some good things, for sure,” Mark Holden, a top official for the network, told reporters of Trump’s first full week in office. ABC

Senate Leader McConnell Cautions Trump On Travel Ban, Warns Against 'Religious Tests'
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sounded a warning on President Trump’s decision to temporarily ban immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, warning that the administration should not use it to impose a religious test on those seeking entry to the United States. In an interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, McConnell said he supports the notion of strengthening the country's process of vetting immigrants for national security, but not the targeting of specific sects. “I don't want to criticize them for improving vetting. I think we need to be careful; we don't have religious tests in this country," the Kentucky senator said on "This Week." ABC

Politicians Worldwide Come Out Against Trump’s Travel Ban
Battle lines were drawn Sunday as Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike rushed to denounce President Trump’s anti-terror travel ban in the wake of chaos that erupted at airports across the country. International leaders also waded into the fray, with governments across Europe opposing Trump’s executive order and Canada offering temporary residence to any immigrants left stranded north of the border. Meanwhile, confusion reigned as the White House chief of staff hedged on whether green-card holders were subject to the restrictions — a point not clarified until late in the day when Homeland Secretary John Kelly said they were exempt. NY Post
VOA VIEW: They better worry about their own country.

Trump Admin: Travel Ban Won’t Trap People In Airports Anymore
The Trump Administration does not anticipate more people will be trapped in airports in the United States because banned travelers will be blocked from boarding planes in their home countries. “We are also working closely with airline partners to prevent travelers who would not be granted entry under the executive orders from boarding international flights to the U.S,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement Sunday. “Therefore, we do not anticipate that further individuals traveling by air to the United States will be affected.” President Trump’s executive order bars entry to the United States from nationals from seven Muslim majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen – for 90 days; suspends all refugee admission for 120 days and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely. NY Post

Plan For Trump State Visit Sparks Increased Opposition
A state visit to Britain by President Donald Trump later this year will go ahead, the British prime minister's office said Monday, despite increasing calls for it to be canceled over his temporary ban on residents of seven majority-Muslim countries entering the U.S. "An invitation has been extended and accepted," Prime Minister Theresa May's Downing St. office said. No date has been announced for the state visit, which involves lavish pomp and ceremony, often with a stay at Buckingham Palace hosted by Queen Elizabeth II. The visit was announced by May during her visit to meet Trump in Washington on Friday, and hailed by government officials as a sign of the close trans-Atlantic relationship. Tampa Tribune

Global Criticism Of Trump Ban Builds From Germany To Google
Global opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump intensified on Sunday, as world leaders including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel denounced his decision to limit entry from seven predominantly Muslim countries in the name of fighting terrorism. Trudeau, in a tweet, said Canada would welcome those fleeing “persecution, terror and war. Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith.” Merkel expressed her concerns about the temporary ban during a call with Trump on Saturday, her chief spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement. Bloomberg

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Americans Are Flipping Houses Like It’s 2006
Home flippers, who buy homes as a speculative bet on short-term price appreciation, accounted for 6.1 percent of U.S. home sales in 2016, according to Trulia, which defines a flip as a property sold twice in a 12-month period in arm’s-length transactions. That’s the highest share since 2006, when flips accounted for 7.3 percent of sales. Flipping has made a strong comeback in cities that were battered by the foreclosure crisis. That includes Las Vegas, where 10.5 percent of 2016’s sales were flips, the highest in the country, as well as Tampa, Fla., and Fresno, Calif. Eleven metropolitan areas, including Memphis, Tenn., and Atlanta, had flip rates that reached 17-year highs, according to the Trulia data. Bloomberg

Smaller States Rejoice As Amazon Finally Collects Sales Tax
Many online shoppers in the United States have for years had to pay state sales taxes whenever they buy goods from Amazon. But the Seattle e-commerce giant has dragged its feet on collecting sales taxes in small and sparsely populated states where it doesn't have any distribution centers or corporate offices. That's quickly changing this year. And governors and state legislators looking to balance their beleaguered budgets are rejoicing as they brace for a boost of revenue from Amazon sales. Amazon customers in at least 10 states will begin paying sales taxes on their website purchases for the first time this winter. Tax collection begins Wednesday in Mississippi, Missouri, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont. It already started this month in Louisiana, Iowa, Nebraska and Utah, and begins in Wyoming on March 1. Las Vegas Sun

Duterte Asks US Not To Store Weapons In Philippine Camps
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asked the United States on Sunday not to store weapons in local camps under a defense pact, saying his country may get entangled if fighting erupts between China and the U.S. Duterte said in a news conference that he would consider abrogating a 2014 defense pact that allows U.S. forces to temporarily station in designated Philippine camps if the Americans build weapon depots in those encampments. "They're unloading arms in the Philippines now," Duterte said, identifying three areas where U.S. forces were supposedly bringing in their armaments, including the western Philippine province of Palawan, which faces the disputed South China Sea. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Trump will decide what is best for the US.

Delta Lifts Ground Stop After Outage, More Flight Cancellations Expected
Delta Air Lines said its flights were slowly resuming after a system outage caused flight delays and cancellations Sunday evening. About 150 flights were canceled, with more cancellations expected, according to Delta. In a sign that effects on travelers could continue, Delta is also waiving change fees for travelers with flights scheduled through Monday. “I want to apologize to all of our customers who have been impacted by this frustrating situation,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian in a written statement. “This type of disruption is not acceptable to the Delta family who prides itself on reliability and customer service. I also want to thank our employees who are working tirelessly to accommodate our customers.” Delta said at 11:45 p.m. it had lifted the ground stop. The outage was first reported around 7:15 p.m. Atlanta Journal

Georgia Colleges Wade Through ‘Uncharted Waters’ Of Trump Order
While protests broke out around the country, Georgia’s college leaders were working to decipher the impact of President Donald Trump’s immigration order on their students and faculty, while trying to also reassure them. Officials in the state’s public college system were hesitant to speak about the order. A statement sent out to public college presidents late Sunday by University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley, said the system is monitoring updates from the federal State Department, and it instructed international students and employees to consult with their school’s international education office for any travel guidance. Emory University’s president Claire Sterk was more forceful, calling the situation “largely uncharted waters.” Atlanta Journal

A Commuter's Dream: Entrepreneurs Race To Develop Flying Car
Even before George Jetson entranced kids with his cartoon flying car, people dreamed of soaring above traffic congestion. Inventors and entrepreneurs have long tried and failed to make the dream a reality, but that may be changing. Nearly a dozen companies around the globe, including some with deep pockets such as European aircraft maker Airbus, are competing to be the first to develop a new kind of aircraft that will enable commuters to glide above crowded roadways. A few of the aircraft under development are cars with wings that unfold for flight, but most aren't cars at all. Typically they take off and land vertically like helicopters. Rather than a single, large main rotor, they have multiple small rotors. Each rotor is operated by a battery-powered electric motor instead of a conventional aircraft piston engine. Houston Chronicle

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Silvio Berlusconi To Face Bribery Trial Stemming From Sex Scandal
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will face a new trial amid allegations he bought off witnesses in his previous trial for engaging in child prostitution for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old girl. Berlusconi, a four-time prime minister, was acquitted on appeal in the case in 2015, but prosecutors accused him of bribing witnesses with more than $10.7 million in cash, houses, vacations and other gifts, including to the girl in question. The billionaire businessman-turned-politician denied any wrongdoing. His lawyer said Berlusconi is being put on trial for his "generosity." The case, one of several corruption cases against the former conservative Italian prime minister, came to light after one of his now-infamous "bunga bunga" parties at his private villa in Milan. Berlusconi was convicted in 2013 of paying a 17-year-old Moroccan club dancer, Karima al-Mahroug, known by her stage name Ruby the Heart Stealer, to have sex with him. After that trial, Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in prison and booted from the Italian Senate, but he was permitted to remain free pending his appeal. UPI

Trump Campaigned As A Disrupter, Begins Governing By Chaos
Donald Trump campaigned as a disrupter. Now he's governing by chaos. Trump's temporary halt to the U.S. refugee program — the most consequential policy he's unveiled in his presidency's opening days — wreaked havoc at airports and sparked protests across the country. The order left Trump's own government agencies scrambling, his Republican Party divided and allies around the world uneasy. A federal judge issued an emergency order temporarily blocking part of the measure, setting up a legal battle ahead. Trump could have avoided at least some of these consequences. He could have consulted significantly with the agencies tasked with implementing the order. He could have delivered a speech explaining his action and its intent in detail to the American people. His team could have prepared a contingency plan for the newly banned travelers already en route to U.S. as Trump signed the order. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: The liberal media is anti America.

Canada PM Says Mosque Attack That Killed 6 Is Terrorism
Six people were killed and eight were injured in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers. Authorities reported two arrests in what Canada's prime minister called an act of terrorism. Quebec provincial police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe said early Monday that some of the wounded were gravely injured. She said the dead were approximately 35 to 70 years of age. Thirty-nine people were unharmed. More than 50 were at the mosque at the time of the attack. One suspect was arrested at the scene and another nearby in d'Orleans, Quebec. Police don't believe there are other suspects. They did not release names of the two. "The Muslim community was the target of this murderous attack," Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said at an early morning press conference Monday. Charlotte Observer

NASCAR Star Dale Earnhardt Jr.: My Ancestors Were Refugees
As expected, President Donald Trump’s executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim nations from entering the United States has generated a hailstorm of social media posts. NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined in late Saturday night with a post expressing empathy for refugees facing hardships. Earnhardt tweeted this his own ancestors left Europe centuries ago to escape religious persecution. In a tweet to Twitter user @GelarBudidarma, who identifies himself as a Muslim “mostly from” Bandung, Indonesia, Earnhardt wrote: “my fam immigrated from Germany in 1700s escaping religious persecution. America is created by immigrants.” Charlotte Observer

Russia Grounds Proton Space Rockets Because Of Faulty Engines
Russia has grounded all Proton-M rockets for 3 1/2 months because of flaws in the engines, Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced. Last December, an unmanned Soyuz-U cargo ship carrying supplies for the International Space Station broke up in the atmosphere over Siberia about six minutes after it left the launchpad. Destroyed were 2.6 tons of food, fuel and other supplies. Some important components in the second and third stages of the rocket may have been switched out by workers during the construction process at a plant in Voronezh, which builds the Proton-M and Soyuz rocket engines, according to a report. UPI

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ISRAELIS PROTEST TRUMP TRAVEL BAN, CITING HISTORY OF JEWISH REFUGEES
Some 40 demonstrators gathered in front of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv on Sunday evening to protest President Donald Trump’s decision to put a four-month hold on refuge-seekers entering the United States, and a temporary ban on travelers from Syria and six other predominantly Muslim countries. Activists stood by the beach-side road, chanting, singing and holding signs with slogans such as “Dump Trump, Dump Bibi,” “No ban, no walls” and “For you were strangers in the Land of Egypt.” The history of the Hebrews as slaves in Egypt was a central theme in several of the demonstrators’ songs. Another sign asked drivers to “honk if you love refugees,” and received the appropriate response from passing vehicles. Jerusalem Post

WHITE HOUSE DEFENDS OMISSION OF JEWS FROM HOLOCAUST STATEMENT
The Trump administration defended its decision to omit any mention of Jews or antisemitism from its statement marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, noting that Jews were not the only victims of Nazi slaughter. “Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered,” said Hope Hicks, a communications aide for the president, in a comment to CNN. The omission drew ire from American Jewish groups, which also expressed anger later in the day over the timing of President Donald Trump's signing of an executive order that halts refugees from entering the United States. In his statement, Trump vowed to stand up against the forces of evil as president. Jerusalem Post

Airbnb Offers Free Housing To Those Hit By Trump Ban
Airbnb has offered free accommodation to people left stranded by President Donald Trump's travel restrictions. On Friday the president signed an executive order barring immigrants and visitors from seven, largely Muslim, countries from the US for 90 days. Some of the biggest US technology firms expressed alarm over the travel ban. Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky said the move was "not right" and tweeted that people in urgent need of housing should contact him directly. "Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right and we must stand with those who are affected," Mr Chesky said. BBC

How Canada Can Navigate The Trump Transition
Three former Canadian ambassadors to the United States have advice for the diplomats who will be working with the Trump administration. Here's what they had to say. Build a great Rolodex, trot out some movie stars, and avoid headlines. That is the advice some former Canadian ambassadors to Washington have for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his officials as they welcome the new president in the United States. "There's only one game and that game is access and there's only one object of the game - you can call it influence," said Allan Gotlieb, who served as ambassador to the US from 1981 to 1989, when Ronald Reagan was president. BBC

Meanwhile, In Obamacare: Republican Disarray Follows Trump’s First Order
Donald Trump has been in office for just a week, but Republican attempts to rip up and reassemble the American healthcare system have subsided into disagreement, backtracking and public outrage. At a GOP retreat in Philadelphia this week, audio of a closed-door policy session captured disagreement among rank-and-file members over how to reform the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known to many as Obamacare. Some worried that the party was about to “pull the rug out” from people, potentially leaving millions without any insurance at all. In Washington, the White House was forced to abandon part of a plan to end all advertisements warning Americans about an approaching enrollment deadline. And in Minnesota, a Republican plan to make 68 “essential health benefits” optional under a reformed healthcare provision was left out of legislation, after a public outcry. Guardian

Greece Three Weeks Away From 'Explosive' Debt Problems, Says IMF
Greece’s embattled government has three weeks to break the deadlock in increasingly difficult talks with creditors or risk the country’s debt crisis resurfacing with renewed vigour. Faced with the dilemma of agreeing to additional austerity or calling fresh elections, prime minister Alexis Tsipras was weighing his options at the weekend. Fears of further uncertainty in Europe’s weakest member state mounted as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that Greece’s debt load could become “explosive” by 2030. Guardian

Israel's Settlers Hope Donald Trump Will Be Their Champion In The White House
From his seat at the foot of the US Capitol, Oded Revivi peered through the winter drizzle at the man he hopes will change everything. Mr Revivi, the mayor of the Israeli settlement of Efrat, had left his home in the occupied West Bank early last Thursday clutching a gold embossed invitation to Washington. By Friday morning he was watching Donald Trump take the oath of office from one of the best seats in America. It was the first time that Israeli settlers were invited to a presidential inauguration and Mr Revivi is not shy about the significance of the moment. “You can judge by our seats how important the people that invited us are,” he said. Telegraph

Parliament Set To Debate Donald Trump's UK State Visit After Petition To Cancel It Gets More Than 600,000 Signatures
Donald Trump's state visit to the UK is expected to be debated in Parliament after senior Conservatives joined hundreds of thousands calling for it to be cancelled. More than 600,000 people had by Sunday night signed a letter calling for the visit, which is due to take place in the Summer, to be abandoned because of the risk it will "embarrass" the Queen. Senior Conservatives joined Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, in calling for the visit to be suspended while Mr Trump's controversial immigration ban is in place. Telegraph

South Sudan: UN And Regional Partners Call For Immediate Cessation Of Hostilities
The United Nations, the African Union (AU) and regional partners today reiterated their call for an immediate cessation of hostilities in South Sudan and urged the parties to ensure an inclusive political process, both in the proposed National Dialogue and in the implementation of the 2015 peace agreement. Meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on the margins of the 28th African Union Summit, the AU, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the UN, held a joint consultative meeting on South Sudan. UN News

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