NEWS   TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2017   NEWS

Trump: Leaked Transcripts Of Mexico, Australia Calls 'Disgraceful
President Trump on Saturday denounced the leaks of transcripts of his telephone conversations with leaders of Australia and Mexico as “disgraceful” and said his administration was searching “very, very hard” for the leakers. Trump, speaking to Fox News, accused “Obama people” of giving news organizations embarrassing details of his recent tense phone conversations with his Australian and Mexican counterparts, and said that the holdovers from the Obama administration still serving on his White House and National Security Council staff were being replaced. Fox News
VOA VIEW: All who worked for Obama should be ousted.

Trump Refugee Order Could Be Headed To Supreme Court
The intense national debate over President Trump’s refugee executive order could be headed to the Supreme Court, as the dispute quickly works its way up the judicial food chain – while adding another dimension to the confirmation fight over the president’s pick to fill the high court’s vacancy. "I have no doubt that it will go to the Supreme Court, and probably some judgments will be made whether this president has exceeded his authority or not," Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein told “Fox News Sunday.” The president’s order suspending the U.S. refugee program as well as most travel and immigration from seven predominantly Muslim nations is on hold amid litigation, and currently before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Fox News

No, President Trump, Negative Polls Are Not 'Fake News'
President Trump is encouraging his 24 million Twitter followers to ignore accurate polls. On Monday he tweeted -- inaccurately -- that "Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election." Professional polling is scientific, not political, in nature. Polls by TV networks during the election were not "fake news." In fact, most national polls were not far off the mark. The polls correctly showed Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by a relatively small margin. But that's about the past. Trump's tweet said more about the future. He was taking his long-standing poll denialism to its illogical conclusion, inviting his supporters to dismiss unpleasant data. CNN
VOA VIEW: There should be no polls.

Does Trump's Management By Conflict' Equal Chaos?
When Abraham Lincoln envisaged a productive "team of rivals," the Trumpian incarnation is probably not what he had in mind. Donald Trump's version of the Lincoln model: less team and more rivals. "He manages by conflict," says one source close to the White House who is familiar with Trump's management style. "And in the end, if there's conflict, he likes it because he can steer the point of view himself." In business, it often worked. In the campaign, it clearly worked. But inside the new White House — and with a new team of Cabinet members — not so much. It's a combustible combination: a staff searching for defined roles and a more deliberative policy process and a president who likes to freelance. CNN

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Pence: 'We Don't Appoint Judges...To Conduct Foreign Policy'
"So frustrating." That's how Vice President Mike Pence described the Friday's ruling by a federal judge in Washington, who granted a temporary restraining order blocking President Trump's executive order on immigration. A federal appeals court in San Francisco later refused an administration request to reinstate the temporary restrictions on travel from seven nations prone to terrorism. On Sunday, Pence told "Fox News Sunday" "We don't appoint judges to our district courts to conduct foreign policy or to make decisions about the national security. Under statutory law and under the Constitution, that authority belongs to the president of the United States. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Federal judges do not have the intel that the President or Congress have.

Rep. Maxine Waters On Trump: 'Eventually We've Got To Do Something About Him'
"I have not called for the impeachment (of President Donald Trump) yet," Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) told a news conference on Monday. “He's doing it himself.” On Friday, Waters said she hoped Trump would not serve for four years: “And my greatest is to lead him right into impeachment.” On Monday, Waters clarified: “Let me just say the statement I made was a statement in response to questions and pleas that I am getting from many citizens across this country. What are we going to do?
“How can a president, who is acting in the manner that he's acting, whether he's talking about the travel ban, the way that he's talking to Muslims, or whether he's talking about his relationship to Putin, and the Kremlin -- and knowing that they have hacked our D-triple-C  -- DNC, and knowing that he is responsible for supplying the bombs that killed innocent children and families in, um – in, um– yeah, in Aleppo,” Waters said. (She apparently meant Yemen, since the horrors of Aleppo were all on President Obama's watch.) CNS News

Despite Risks, Public Pensions Put Faith In Long-Term Returns
U.S. public pension funds are cutting their expectations for investment returns over the next 30 years or more, but some do not expect to meet even the new targets over the coming decade. After a long period of low interest rates, forecasts by investment analysts show the next 10 years will probably bring slower market growth, leading to reduced expectations for the $3.7 trillion of public pension assets. But public pensions are wary of lowering their expected return rates, or the discount rate, too quickly because doing so would drastically increase costs for state and local governments and their employees, whose contributions form the funds. Reuters

U.S. Should Expand Missile Defense Due To North Korea, Iran - Congress Head
The United States should expand its missile defense systems given missile testing by North Korea and Iran, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee said on Monday. The comments by Republican Representative Mac Thornberry followed new U.S. sanctions against Iran after the Persian country's recent ballistic missile test. The United States is also concerned North Korea may be preparing to test a new ballistic missile. Thornberry's position was a sign of support in Congress for military spending to counter the threat from North Korea after U.S. President Donald Trump on the presidential campaign trail raised doubts about future spending to defend allies. Reuters

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Trump Voters Stand To Suffer Most From Obamacare Repeal And A Trade War
Donald Trump made it an early priority to dismantle the top domestic and economic achievements of his predecessor's administration, pushing for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) and eschewing global trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But his most ardent supporters might have a surprise coming: Many Americans who would bear the brunt of Trump-administration policies are the same people who chose the GOP candidate for president in November. "I think you're going to get a disproportionate impact on people who supported Donald Trump but maybe don't realize that his policies may end up hurting them instead of helping them," said Michael O. Moore, a professor of economics and international affairs at George Washington University. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Time will time.

‘Torture Memos’ Author, Former DOJ Attorney John Yoo, Says Trump Has Gone Too Far
A former Justice Department lawyer who argued for the use of torture after 9/11 said President Trump is misusing his power on a variety of issues, including the construction of a border wall, and has undermined himself by rushing announcements and attacking opponents. The lawyer, John Yoo, wrote in a New York Times op-ed Monday that he had "grave concerns about Mr. Trump's uses of presidential power." "During the campaign, Mr. Trump gave little sign that he understood the constitutional roles of the three branches," Yoo wrote. "In his Inaugural Address, Mr. Trump did not acknowledge that his highest responsibility, as demanded by his oath of office, is to 'preserve, protect and defend the Constitution." Instead, he declared his duty to represent the wishes of the people and end "American carnage," seemingly without any constitutional restraint." MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Trump has not gone far enough.

Lawyer Says Trump Right To Chide Judge Over ‘Ridiculous’ Ruling
An activist lawyer on Monday accused the Seattle judge who halted President Trump’s extreme vetting executive order of a “dangerous political stunt,” saying the president was right in chiding the judge for a “ridiculous” ruling. Victor Williams, a D.C.-area lawyer and law professor who has been a defender of presidents of both parties, said U.S. District Judge James L. Robart is the latest victim of Trump derangement syndrome, “joining the American media [and] the rest of the political elites in waging war” on Mr. Trump and his agenda. “He had no legal authority. All the precedents are totally against the analysis he presented,” Mr. Williams said. Washington Times

Some IRS Employees Cheated On Their Taxes And Agency Let Most Keep Their Jobs
More than half of IRS employees found to have intentionally cheated on their taxes last year were allowed to keep their jobs, according to numbers released by the inspector general that suggest the agency is still reluctant to punish its own staffers for breaking tax laws. Nine employees caught cheating between April and September, the most recent reporting period, had their penalties “mitigated” by Commissioner John Koskinen. It’s impossible to pinpoint the leniency rate because the IRS, citing privacy rules, would say only that one to three employees were fired during the same period, and one to three employees were allowed to resign. That means the leniency rate could be anywhere from 60 percent to 82 percent. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: IRS is hypocritical.

Trump Says Media ‘Doesn’t Want To Report’ Extremist Attacks
President Donald Trump on Monday accused the media of deliberately minimizing coverage of the threat posed by the Islamic State group, saying news outlets “have their reasons” for not reporting what he described as a “genocide” underway at the hands of the group. The president did not immediately offer evidence to support his claim, made during the new commander in chief’s first visit to the headquarters for U.S. Central Command. Later, the White House released a list of 78 attacks it described as “executed or inspired by” the Islamic State group since September 2014. The White House said “most” on the list did not get sufficient media attention, although it did not explain how it defined the term. Some of the incidents on the list received widespread attention and deep reporting. Seattle Times

Trump's Travel Ban: A Clash Of Conflicting Laws
The legal battle over President Trump's temporary travel ban targeting seven majority-Muslim countries likely will take weeks to resolve and could require the Supreme Court to make the final decision. But the arguments challenging and defending the executive order have become clear. The Justice Department argues that a president has broad powers to act unilaterally on questions of immigration and national security. It says judges have only limited powers to second-guess such decisions and urges the court to allow Trump's immigration order to go back into effect. Opponents concede that a president has some power on his own, but they say Trump overstepped that by banning people from specific countries and of the Muslim religion. They contend he violated core principles of the Constitution and ignored laws passed by Congress. USA Today

Trump Tried And Failed To Build A Wall In Ireland. That Could Mean Big Trouble For Europe.
Before Donald Trump proposed a 1,000-mile wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to stop migrants, he tried to build a two-mile barrier on a pristine stretch of Irish coast to rein in an ocean. He didn’t succeed. Irish surfers, weekend beachcombers, environmental scientists, local planners and even a microscopic snail got in his way. In December, Trump International Golf Links backed down from plans it had said were essential to protect the company’s lone Irish course — picturesquely nestled in dunes overlooking the Atlantic — from being swallowed by rising seas. For a man who loves to win, the defeat — just a month after his election as president — has left a bitter taste. And despite the motley nature of the resistance, Trump seems to have singled out a lone culprit: the European Union, whose rules and regulations underpinned many of the objections. Washington Post

Homeland Security Chief Makes First Public Trip To Congress
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is heading to Capitol Hill for his first public appearance before lawmakers who are sure to press him for details about the Trump administration's contentious rollout of a travel and refugee ban. He will testify before the House Homeland Security Committee. Kelly has said the ban was intended to keep the country safe while the administration reviews how some visitors, refugees and would-be immigrants are screened before they are allowed into the United States. The travel ban has been on hold since a federal judge in Washington state temporarily barred the government from enforcing it. The administration is appealing the order. The retired Marine general is also likely to get questions about President Donald Trump's proposed border wall and immigration enforcement plans. Houston Chronicle

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Dodd-Frank Law's Legacy: Safer Banks, Banker Headaches
Is the Dodd-Frank financial reform law a boon or a bane? President Donald Trump is going for bane, and on Friday moved to dismantle much of the regulatory apparatus that the 2010 law created. “Today we are signing core principles for regulating the United States financial system,”  Mr.Trump said as he issued an executive order that directs regulators to make a plan for scaling back Dodd-Frank, with the aim of freeing banks to lend more to businesses. He previously has called the act “a disaster.” Mr. Trump also wants to rein in the Consumer Financial Protection Board, which Dodd-Frank hatched. The CFPB oversees financial products like mortgages and credit cards, and has become a major irritant to the banking industry. Plus, the president on Friday also signed a separate order that imposes a six-month delay on an Obama administration rule that tightens rules on retirement advisers. CBS

Trump's Church Politics Idea Has Wide Reach, Beyond GOP Base
Republican President Donald Trump's pledge to scrap limits on church political activity could have sweeping effects that extend beyond his conservative supporters to more liberal congregations, including the black evangelical church that has long been a key component of the Democratic Party's electoral machinery. Yet many prominent black religious leaders say they like the law the way it is. And across the spectrum there are questions about whether churches could be pulled into the campaign finance vortex and effectively become "dark money" committees that play partisan politics without disclosing donors. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Church should stay out of politics.

More Than 900 Children Killed In Afghanistan In 2016
The U.N. mission said the nearly 25 percent increase in child deaths from the previous year was largely caused by mines and munitions left over from decades of conflict. It documented a 66 percent increase in such deaths in 2016. "Conflict-related violence exacted a heavy toll on Afghanistan in 2016, with an overall deterioration in civilian protection and the highest-total civilian casualties recorded since 2009, when UNAMA began systematic documentation of civilian casualties," the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in its annual report. Philadelphia Inquirer

Rabbis Among Group Of Anti-Trump Protesters Arrested
A group of 19 protesters, including several Rabbis, are in police custody after protesting the recent travel ban near the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Columbus Circle, police say. The protest was organized by the rabbinical liberal group T’ruah to demonstrate against President Trump’s ban, which restricts visitors from seven predominantly Islamic countries. The group of about 200 Rabbis, former Rabbis, and pro-refugee Jewish protesters marched to the hotel at around 7 p.m. A group of 19 protesters was arrested as they sat in a street obstructing traffic at around 9:30 p.m., cops said. NY Post

"Dripping" Common Among Teen E-Cigarette User
One-quarter of U.S. teen e-cigarette users have experimented with “dripping” — a new vaping method that produces thicker clouds of vapor, researchers report. Regular electronic cigarettes produce inhalable vapor by gradually drawing liquid into a heating coil through an automatic wick, explained lead researcher Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin. “Dripping” involves placing drops of e-liquid directly onto the exposed heating coil of an e-cigarette or atomizer, and then immediately inhaling the cloud of vapor produced, said Krishnan-Sarin, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. CBS

Texas Rangers To Help Search For Tom Brady's Stolen Super Bowl Jersey, Lt. Gov Says
The Texas Rangers are joining the search for the jersey worn by New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady in last night's historic Super Bowl game. Brady’s jersey was allegedly stolen from the Patriots locker room after the Super Bowl in Houston, according to a statement from Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who said he asked the Texas Rangers to help the Houston Police look for it. "Tom Brady’s jersey has great historical value and is already being called 'the most valuable NFL collectible ever," Patrick said in a statement. "It will likely go into the Hall of Fame one day. It is important that history does not record that it was stolen in Texas. I’ve called Colonel Steve McCraw to ask that the Texas Rangers work with the Houston Police Department on this case." ABC
VOA VIEW: Whoever has the jersey can't show it off.

Palestinians Ask World To Punish Israel For Settlement Law
A Palestinian Cabinet minister on Tuesday called on the international community to punish Israel for a contentious new law, just hours after the Israeli parliament adopted the bill to retroactively legalize thousands of West Bank settlement homes built unlawfully on private Palestinian land. The explosive law, approved by lawmakers late on Monday, is the latest in a series of pro-settler steps taken by Israel's hard-line government since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president. It is expected to trigger international outrage and a flurry of lawsuits against the measure. "Nobody can legalize the theft of the Palestinian lands. Building settlements is a crime, building settlements is against all international laws," said Palestinian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Rula Maayaa. "I think it is time now for the international community to act concretely to stop the Israelis from these crimes." Tampa Tribune

Former French President Sarkozy To Face Trial For Fraud
The Paris prosecutor's office says France's former president Nicolas Sarkozy is to face trial in an inquiry into alleged campaign finance fraud during his 2012 presidential campaign. The office said Tuesday that Sarkozy and 13 others will go to court to answer allegations that his failed presidential campaign spent well above the legal ceiling. Sarkozy's camp say it will appeal the decision. The news may further erode public trust in politics as Sarkozy's former no. 2, Francois Fillon, their party's candidate in this year's presidential election, fights for his political life over an investigation into whether well-paid political jobs he gave his wife, son and daughter were fake. Tampa Tribune

Uber Hires A NASA Expert To Help Develop Flying Cars
George Jetson, your ride is on its way. Uber has hired a NASA expert to build out its vision for flying cars Monday. Mark Moore, a 30-year veteran of the space agency with expertise in using electric motors to get a vehicle airborne, will help the ride-hailing giant execute on an expansive white paper it released last fall on developing VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicles. "Uber continues to see its role as a catalyst to the growing developing VTOL ecosystem," Nikhil Goel, Uber's head of product for advanced programs, said in a statement. "We're excited to have Mark join us to work with companies and stakeholders as we continue to explore the use case described in our white paper." USA Today

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Senate Democrats Begin 24-Hour Protests Against Trump's Education Secretary Pick, Betsy DeVos
As the Senate prepared to vote on President Trump’s nominee for education secretary on Tuesday, Senate Democrats began their last-ditch effort to convince one more Republican to vote against her -- a move that would block her confirmation. Led by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the ranking member on the Senate committee charged with overseeing DeVos' confirmation, the minority party began what they said would be a 24-hour period of floor speeches against Betsy DeVos, a Michigan advocate of charter schools and school vouchers. The goal of the talk-a-thon, Murray said, was convincing one more of the 52-member Senate Republican conference to vote against DeVos. Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, both Republicans, have already announced their no votes, which brings the Republicans down to a maximum of 50 members. ABC

Trump Barred From U.K. Parliament Over ‘Racism And Sexism’
U.S. President Donald Trump must not be allowed to address the U.K. Parliament during a state visit to Britain, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said. Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump to visit the U.K., but there have been calls by lawmakers not to give the president the honor of addressing both houses of Parliament after he introduced a ban on people from some majority-Muslim countries traveling to the U.S. “Before the imposition of the migrant ban I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall; after the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I’m even more strongly opposed,” Bercow told lawmakers. “I feel very strongly our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.” Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: The summer is a long time from now.

Goldman Sachs Economists Are Starting To Worry About President Trump
Just a few weeks ago, Wall Street analysts were busy boosting their economic forecasts on the expectation that President Trump would implement sweeping corporate-tax reform, a rollback of regulations, and new fiscal stimulus. Two weeks into his term and the president has been focused primarily on immigration and trade, causing a reevaluation among analysts at some banks that harks back to pre-election concerns about Trump's uncertain effect on markets and U.S. economic growth. "Following the election, the positive shift in sentiment among investors, business, and consumers suggested that the probability of tax cuts and easier regulation was seen to be higher than the probability of meaningful restrictions to trade and immigration," Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economists led by Alec Phillips wrote in note published late last week. "One month into the year, the balance of risks is somewhat less positive in our view." Bloomberg

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Trump: Allow Those Into US Who ‘Want To Love Our Country’
President Donald Trump on Monday vowed to allow into the United States people who "want to love our country," defending his immigration and refugee restrictions as he made his first visit to the headquarters Monday for U.S. Central Command. Trump reaffirmed his support for NATO before military leaders and troops and laced his speech with references to homeland security amid a court battle over his travel ban on people from seven majority-Muslim countries. He did not directly mention the case now before a federal appeals court after a lower court temporarily suspended the ban. "We need strong programs" so that "people that love us and want to love our country and will end up loving our country are allowed in" and those who "want to destroy us and destroy our country" are kept out, Trump said. Las Vegas Sun

Republicans Seek Distance From Trump’s Comments On Putin, U.S.
President Donald Trump has long expressed a desire for improved relations with Moscow, but his latest comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin and the U.S. are leading some fellow Republicans to take a step back from the president — on this issue at least. Told by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly during an interview that the Russian leader is "a killer," Trump said the U.S. has killers, too. "What do you think? Our country's so innocent?" Trump said during the taped interview broadcast during Sunday's Super Bowl pregame show. Trump has praised Putin and signaled that U.S.-Russia relations could be in for a makeover under his leadership, even after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Las Vegas Sun

Bernie Sanders Helps Atlanta Mayoral Candidate Raise Campaign Cash
State Sen. Vincent Fort has raised nearly $250,000 in the six weeks since he announced his Atlanta mayoral bid, thanks in part to support from Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. The Atlanta Democrat will report Tuesday that more than 6,300 donors contributed to his campaign, which netted more than $100,000 of those donations after Sanders endorsed Fort’s mayoral bid. He is among a dozen or so candidates for mayor who face a deadline this week to report their campaign cash. But Fort’s fundraising is restricted during the legislative session; as a sitting state lawmaker, he can’t raise any campaign cash during the 40-day period. Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: Whoever Sanders is for, most should be against.

Senate Set To Confirm Education Secretary By Narrow Margin
The Senate is poised to confirm President Donald Trump's nominee for education secretary by the narrowest possible margin, with Vice President Mike Pence expected to break a 50-50 tie. The vote planned around 12 noon EST Tuesday will come after Democrats undertook a marathon speaking session deep into the night in a show of opposition to the nominee, Betsy DeVos. She is a wealthy GOP donor who has devoted herself to boosting alternatives to public education, sparking concerns among educators that she won't be a strong champion for the nation's public school systems. Two GOP senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have announced plans to oppose DeVos in a Senate split 52-48 between Republicans and Democrats. That will leave her with a tie vote if all other Republicans support her and all Democrats oppose her as expected, and will require Pence to put her over the top. Atlanta Journal

New Study Shows Hidden Dangers In Supplements
A study from Queen's University Belfast has found that common herbal supplements may be doing more harm than good. Researchers found that over-the-counter herbal supplements used to treat obesity and erectile dysfunction are labeled fully herbal but may include dangerous pharmaceutical ingredients not listed on the label. A research team from Queen's University Belfast, Kingston University London and LGC, an international life sciences testing company, found that many supplements for weight loss contain Sibutramine. Sibutramine, also known as Reductil, is no longer used throughout the United States and Europe because it was linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Researchers found that supplements for erectile dysfunction contained tadalfil and sulfoaildenafil, which contain nitrates and can drastically lower blood pressure and cause serious health problems. UPI News

Merkel To Visit Euroskeptic Poland In Struggle To Save EU
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Warsaw on Tuesday for talks with Poland's top leaders, taking efforts to save the European Union to a country that is keen to keep as much national power as possible and fears being marginalized in a "two-speed Europe." Her trip is "one of the most important visits in Polish-German relations since 2004," when Poland joined the EU, said Sebastian Plociennik, an expert at the Polish Institute of International Affairs. The 28-nation bloc is struggling for a way forward after Britain's vote to leave. "The decisions made this year will set the path for the EU's future," Plociennik said. Poland's populist ruling party, Law and Justice, is often described as euroskeptic, but unlike right-wing populists in France and elsewhere, it does not advocate leaving the EU. EU membership remains hugely popular in Poland, whose citizens have benefited enormously from development funds and the freedom to work elsewhere in the bloc. Houston Chronicle

Trump’s Vow To Fight In Court Over Travel Ban Risks Future Presidents’ Powers
President Donald Trump has no intention of backing down from his fight against a federal judge who blocked his travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim nations despite warnings that he risks limiting future presidential powers. “We are not rethinking this strategy at all,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Monday. “This executive order was done in the best interests of protecting the American people.” The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Tuesday on whether to restore Trump’s controversial immigration order. The court could decide the case by the end of the week, which would set it up for a historic Supreme Court battle. But if he loses in the 9th Circuit, Trump faces a big risk taking the fight to the Supreme Court where a 4-4 split would uphold the appeal’s court decision. Charlotte Observer

Chinese Judge Says Trump Is An Enemy 'Of The Rule Of Law'
A judge in China's top court has labeled Donald Trump an enemy "of the rule of law" over his insults directed at a U.S. judge who temporarily blocked the president's travel ban, saying Trump had set a poor example as head of the world's leading democracy. Supreme People's Court Judge He Fan's blog post came after Trump went on Twitter on Saturday to denigrate James Robart as a "so-called judge" whose "ridiculous" decision opened the country to potential terror attacks. In his post, dated Sunday, He wrote that under the U.S. system's separation of powers, a president who is dealt a judicial defeat should bear the loss silently rather than lash out at the judge in question. Kansas City Star
VOA VIEW: The irony is that China doesn't follow the law.

Repealing Obamacare Would Kill Millions Of Jobs Nationwide
It may not crash the economy, but repealing key provisions of the Affordable Care Act would certainly create job losses in every state. That’s the consensus of a growing body of studies that suggest the economic fallout from the health law’s partial demise would ripple through the entire economy, not just the health care sector.
Josh Bivens, Director of Research at the Economic Policy Institute, estimates the proposed repeal would eliminate nearly 1.2 million jobs in 2019. Most of the job cuts would result from two factors: the loss of federal spending for premium tax creditsthat help people pay for marketplace coverage, and the loss of spending for Medicaid services, particularly in 31 states and the District of Columbia which expanded eligibility for the program. Miami Herlad

Scholars: 'Liberal' Reputation Of 9th Circuit Overblown
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is weighing the appeal concerning President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, is the federal appeals court conservatives have long ridiculed as the "nutty 9th" or the "9th Circus." Covering a huge swath of territory — nine western states plus Guam — the San Francisco-based court handles far more cases than any other federal appeals court, including some rulings that have invoked furor from conservatives over the years. Among them: finding that the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military was problematic long before President Barack Obama's administration ended it, and that states can force pharmacies to dispense emergency contraceptives. SF Gate

China Protests U.S. Iran Sanctions For Penalizing Chinese Firms
China is protesting a U.S. decision to include Chinese individuals and entities on its Iran sanctions list. Beijing's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters on Monday the Chinese government has lodged a protest regarding the "latest U.S. sanctions against Iran that affect Chinese companies and individuals." Describing the sanctions as a "unilateral" measure, Lu said the "sanctions will not help in enhancing trust among the different parties involved and will not help in resolving international problems," The South China Morning Post reported. Last Friday, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed new sanctions against Iran in response to a ballistic missile test. The list includes two Chinese firms, the Ningbo New Century Import and Export Company and the Qingdao Cosailing Business Trading Company, businesses that are suspected of aiding Iran's weapons program, South Korean news service Newsis reported. UPI

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IDF CONTINUES TO STRIKE HAMAS TARGETS IN RETALIATION FOR ROCKET ATTACK
The IDF has struck several Hamas targets over the course of the day on Monday following early morning rocket fire and late afternoon gunfire towards troops. Late Monday evening Palestinian sources in Gaza reported a large strike in central Gaza Strip, saying that the Israel Air Force had hit a Hamas target in Shuja’iyya and  that renewed artillery fire targeted Hamas outposts in the central Gaza Strip. Ashraf Qidra, the spokesman for the Hamas health ministry said that two people were injured in the strikes and had been taken to hospital from Khan Younis. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters in London in relation to the rocket attack from Gaza, and Israel's response, that his directives are to respond with force to every missile attack. Jerusalem Post

TRUMP'S UN ENVOY: ISRAEL WILL 'NEVER AGAIN' QUESTION US SUPPORT
The new US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley attempted to underscore the Trump administration's position on ties with Israel during a weekend meeting with Jerusalem's envoy to the UN, Danny Danon.  The top US diplomat took to Twitter on Saturday to hail the "great meeting" with Danon in New York to "discuss our strong relationship." Haley also referred to the new Washington government's apparent shift from the strained ties between the Israeli government and the previous White House administration of Barack Obama. "Never again will our allies question our support," she said, pointing at the US alliance with Israel. Jerusalem Post

Benjamin Netanyahu Discusses Iran Threat With Theresa May
Theresa May has hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks in Downing Street. Mrs May restated concerns over settlement building in the West Bank, while Mr Netanyahu warned that Iran posed a threat to Europe, after it test-fired a ballistic missile. The UK prime minister failed to greet her Israeli counterpart when he arrived because of a mix-up over timings. The meeting was the first to take place face-to-face between the two leaders. It came after the UK backed a United Nations Security Council resolution in December denouncing Israel's settlements in occupied Palestinian territory as a "flagrant violation" of international law and a "major obstacle" to a just and lasting peace. BBC

Israel Passes Controversial Law On West Bank Settlements
Israel's parliament has passed a controversial law retroactively legalising about 4,000 homes built on settlements in the occupied West Bank. The law passed by 60 votes to 52. It states that the original Palestinian landowners will be compensated with money or alternative land. The new US President Donald Trump has taken a softer stance on Israel's settlements than his predecessor, Barack Obama, despite widespread international opposition. Emboldened by the new US administration, Israel has undertaken a series of pro-settlement moves in recent weeks, including the approval of thousands of homes. BBC

Russia Demands Apology From Fox News For Bill O'Reilly Calling Putin A 'Killer'
The Kremlin has demanded an apology from Fox News over what it said were “unacceptable” comments one of the channel’s presenters made about Russian president Vladimir Putin in an interview with US counterpart Donald Trump. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly described Putin as “a killer” in the interview with Trump as he tried to press the US president to explain more fully why he respected his Russian counterpart. O’Reilly did not say who he thought Putin had killed. “We consider such words from the Fox TV company to be unacceptable and insulting, and honestly speaking, we would prefer to get an apology from such a respected TV company,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call. Guardian

Melania Trump Refiles $150m Libel Lawsuit Against Daily Mail Site Publisher
Melania Trump has re-filed a libel lawsuit against the corporation that publishes the Daily Mail’s website, this time in New York. Trump had previously filed the lawsuit against Mail Media Inc in Maryland, but a judge earlier this month ruled the case shouldn’t be filed in Maryland and dismissed it. The lawsuit now filed in New York, where the corporation has offices, seeks compensatory and punitive damages of at least $150m. The US first lady had sued Mail Media Inc along with blogger Webster Tarpley for reporting rumors that she worked as a high-end escort. Trump filed the lawsuit in Maryland after both Tarpley and the Daily Mail issued retractions. The lawsuit against Tarpley has been allowed to move ahead in Maryland. Guardian

Volkswagen Facing First Lawsuit From Major German Customer
Volkswagen is facing the first major legal action over the dieselgate emissions rigging scandal in its native Germany. Deutsche See, Germany’s biggest fish and seafood distributor, announced on Sunday it is suing VW for €11.9m (£10.3m) damages. The carmaker is already facing multiple lawsuits in the US in a scandal that has so far cost it more than €20bn (£17.2bn), after it admitted fitting software to diesel engines to manipulate emissions tests results. VW is also facing hundreds of smaller lawsuits in Germany from individual car owners. But Deutsche See is the first major German corporate customer to sue. The company said it had converted its entire commercial and passenger fleet to VW in the belief it was investing in low emissions vehicles. Around 500 of its vehicles are believed to have been fitted with the emissions- rigging software. Telegraph

Burundi: Measures Being Used To ‘Criminalize’ Work Of Human Rights Defenders, Warn UN Experts
Speaking out against a ban and provisional suspension of a number of civil society organizations in Burundi, United Nations rights experts warned today of growing repression of human rights defenders and groups amid the already difficult environment in which they. Also worrying, according to a news release issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) were two bills adopted by the National Assembly of Burundi last December that require local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to obtain authorization from the Minister of the Interior for any activity and that the work of foreign NGOs must comply with priorities set by the Government. UN New

Syria: UN Provides Emergency Water Around Aleppo, As 1.8 Million Cut Off From Water Supply
The United Nations today voiced grave concern about nearly two million Syrians in the area of Aleppo who have been without water for almost a month, as UN agencies are helping to provide emergency access to some of the people in need. The UN spokesperson today told journalists in New York that an estimated 1.8 million people in Aleppo city and rural eastern Aleppo have been cut off from their main source of water, which is under Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) control.  UN News

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