NEWS   SUNDAY, FEBRUARY  12, 2017   NEWS

Sears, Kmart Are Latest Retailers Reportedly To Drop Trump Merchandise
The list of retailers severing ties with merchandise relating to the Trump family continues to grow, according to a Business Insider report. The report says there are no longer any traces of the Trump Home line on the websites of Sears and Kmart. Searches for Trump Home items yielded no results, except from third-party sellers, according to the report. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Fighting the President of the US may be a losing battle.

Reverse Tea Party? Republican Officials Facing More Protests Across Country
Washington Republicans this weekend faced more protests at public events -- backlash that appears to be growing against President Trump and the GOP-led Congress for trying to dismantle ObamaCare and against other parts of their agenda. On Saturday, for the second week in a row, Florida GOP Rep. Gus Bilirakis reportedly faced about a hundred people at a town hall meeting upset about Republican plans to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, without a solid alternative. Fox News

Trump To Dems: 'Pocahontas Is Now The Face Of Your Party'
President Donald Trump taunted Democrats by telling them "Pocahontas is now the face of your party" -- his insult of choice for Sen. Elizabeth Warren -- during a meeting with senators earlier this week, sources told CNN. The President also used the Thursday meeting at the White House to again surface unfounded claims of voter fraud during the 2016 presidential election. The sources said the Warren moment came up in the context of Trump's impromptu analysis of the state of the Democratic Party. Trump made his comments in what appeared to be a reference to Warren's criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation process. Her comments prompted Republicans to invoke an arcane rule to cut her off. CNN
VOA VIEW: Warren is a lose cannon that is hurting the Democrats.

This Is Going To Be Harder Than Donald Trump Expected
On the campaign trail, President Donald Trump promised to take a blowtorch and pliers to the Washington political establishment. But three weeks into his presidency, he has been repeatedly disarmed and frustrated by partisan opponents and the machinery of a government designed to check his power. It hasn't been for a lack of trying. Trump over his first 21 days in office has issued a barrage of executive actions aimed at delivering on a range of policy pledges -- including many of his most aggressive and controversial. But the January 27 travel ban has become a millstone on the neck of a young administration that has spent the last two weeks digging deeper into a legal battle that now seems destined for the Supreme Court. CNN

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Protesters Face Off As U.S. Abortion Debate Heats Up
Anti-abortion protesters rallied at scores of Planned Parenthood clinics on Saturday to urge Congress and President Donald Trump to strip the health services provider of federal funding, while supporters of the organization staged counter-demonstrations around the United States. With anti-abortion groups expecting protests at up to 225 clinics, Planned Parenthood supporters organized 150 protests of their own at parks, government buildings and other sites, including clinics. At some of those clinics, the counter-demonstrators outnumbered those demanding an end to federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Reuters

'No-Brainer' Or No-No? Congress Split On Probing Trump Tax Returns
Congressional Democrats on Friday said the U.S. Congress should obtain President Donald Trump's tax records to examine possible conflicts of interest, although Republicans showed little interest in taking action. "This is a no-brainer, for crying out loud," said Democratic Representative Bill Pascrell, a House Ways and Means Committee Democrat who asked the panel this month to request Trump's federal tax returns from the U.S. Treasury. The Ways and Means Committee is one of three panels with the authority to subpoena tax returns. Reuters

How Ritual Chicken Sacrifices In Miami Helped Halt Trump’s Travel Ban
In ruling against President Donald Trump’s “Muslim travel ban,” a trio of federal judges relied in part on a distinctly South Florida court case — one that granted religious protections for the ritual sacrifice of chickens and goats. The unanimous ruling upholding a halt to the White House executive order cited a famous 1993 U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned a Hialeah law banning Santería animal sacrifices. Justices found that the city ordinance infringed on constitutionally protected freedoms. The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit court made clear that judges can consider outside statements made by elected leaders — in this case, President Donald Trump himself — in trying to figure out if the intent of a government action was to discriminate against a religious group. Miami Herald
VOA VIEW: The Case and reasons did not make sense - liberal BS so-called Justice.

Investigating President Trump's Weird Habit Of Yanking People's Hands In Photo Ops
We know President Trump is concerned with appearances - especially when he's on television, or in front of news photographers or large crowds. We also know that President Trump is concerned with hands - how large they are, how strong they are - just look at them! Trump is also a well-known germaphobe. He initially shunned shaking hands with supporters on the campaign trail. As president, protocol compels him to shake a lot of hands, though. And recently, he's taken part in a few handshakes that we'll just call "intense" for now - most recently, a bizarre moment with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday. Whether it's just habit, or a way of asserting his power, Trump has a habit of pulling forcefully on the hand he's shaking. We've spotted it now in handshakes with Vice President Mike Pence (on election night), with Judge Neil Gorsuch (on the night Trump nominated Gorsuch to the Supreme Court) and this afternoon, with Abe. SF Gate

Newspaper Mistakenly Runs Picture Of Alec Baldwin On ‘SNL’ Instead Of Trump
This was no laughing matter for one of the Dominican Republic's largest newspapers. El Nacional issued an apology Saturday after readers quickly pointed out they used a picture of Alec Baldwin playing President Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live" — instead of the true Trump's image — for a story about U.S.-Israeli relations. The newspaper fessed up on its website that the picture fail went "unnoticed during the reviewing of page 19" because a "mix-up of photos sent by the Associate Press." MSNBC

More New England Patriots Stars Say They Won’t Go To Trump White House
Six New England Patriots players have a message for the Trump White House: We're just not that into you. Since the team won an historic fifth Super Bowl with a stunning come-from-behind victory over the Atlanta Falcons in overtime on February 5th, a growing number of players on the team have told the press that they would turn down an invite to commemorate their victory at the White House. And while some have not explicitly cited President Donald Trump and his policies as the reason — some have — and the number of players planning to boycott a future photo-op is unprecedented compared to years past. MSNBC

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Supreme Court Nominee Has Defended Free Speech, Religion
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has been a defender of free speech and a skeptic of libel claims, an Associated Press review of his rulings shows. His record puts him at odds with President Donald Trump's disdain for journalists and tendency to lash out at critics. On other First Amendment cases involving freedom of religion, however, Gorsuch's rulings in his decade on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver reflect views more in line with the president and conservatives. Gorsuch repeatedly has sided with religious groups when they butt up against the secular state. In a 2007 opinion involving free speech, Gorsuch ruled for a Kansas citizen who said he was bullied by Douglas County officials into dropping his tax complaints. "When public officials feel free to wield the powers of their office as weapons against those who question their decisions, they do damage not merely to the citizen in their sights but also to the First Amendment liberties," Gorsuch wrote. Houston Chronicle

House Pre-K Proposal Draws Backlash For Voucher Language
A widely supported effort to expand Indiana's state-funded preschool program has been complicated by provisions in a House bill that would also expand access to the school voucher system. Republican Rep. Robert Behning's measure, which the House endorsed, would double to 10 counties the reach of the pre-K program launched last year for children from low-income families. Many support the expansion of the pilot program, including GOP Statehouse leaders and Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb. But tying it to voucher expansion, which is politically touchy, has drawn criticism from House Democrats, pre-K advocates and even some Republicans. Charlotte Observer

US Withdraws Stay Request In Transgender Bathroom Case
President Donald Trump's administration is stepping back from a request made by former President Barack Obama's administration in an ongoing lawsuit over bathroom rights for transgender students in public schools. In a filing Friday with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal government asked to withdraw a motion filed last year that asked a judge to scale back a temporary injunction blocking Obama's guidance on the issue. The Department of Justice's filing, which came a day after Jeff Sessions was sworn in as Trump's attorney general, said the parties were "currently considering how best to proceed in this appeal." Kansas City Star

Protesters Mass Outside Mitch McConnell’s Louisville Home To Recite Coretta Scott King Letter
Protesters recited Coretta Scott King’s decades-old letter opposing newly confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday evening outside the Louisville home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican. Nearly 400 demonstrators gathered outside Mr. McConnell’s residence Friday night to read aloud King’s 1986 critique of Mr. Sessions, the Huffington Post reported. Images shared on social media afterwards show activists holding protests signs and reading from copies of King’s letter while huddled on the sidewalk near Mr. McConnell’s house. Washington Times
VOA  VIEW: The liberals should be arrested for disturbing the peace.

House Democrats Celebrate Court Ruling Against Trump, Question Timing Of Immigration Raids
House Democrats on Friday heralded a federal appeals court’s ruling against President Trump’s “extreme vetting” order and highlighted conspiracy theories suggesting the administration has given the green light to recent immigration raids in California in an attempt take attention away from its legal setbacks. The court ruling indicated once again that what the president did was unconstitutional and in my view indeed immoral,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said on the final day of a three-day House Democratic retreat. “It also shows the American people that whatever you may think about the ban, how the president proceeded with this was not only incompetent, but strategically incoherent.” Washington Times

Is Trump Reconsidering Moving The U.S. Embassy In Israel?
President Trump is still weighing moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, according to an interview he gave to an Israeli news outlet. In the interview published Friday with Israel Hayom, the president was asked how soon he would make a decision on relocating the embassy to the holy city of Jerusalem from Tel Aviv -- a controversial shift that could inflame tensions across the Islamic world. CBS

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Trump Attacks On Judiciary Raise Safety Concerns For Judges
When a judge who helped derail President Trump’s travel ban was hit with online threats, the abuse raised safety concerns among jurists across the country, and experts are worried that the president’s own attacks on the judiciary could make judges a more inviting target. U.S. District Judge James Robart imposed the temporary restraining order that halted enforcement of Mr. Trump’s ban last week. The president soon sent a tweet saying the opinion of “this so-called judge” was “ridiculous and will be overturned.” CBS

Top Flynn Aide Denied Security Clearance By CIA For NSC Position
A senior administration official tells ABC News that Robin Townley, National Security Adviser Mike Flynn's pick for the NSC's senior director for Africa, had his request for special security clearance denied by the CIA. The move will prevent Townley from being able to serve in the NSC post. Townley currently maintains an active top secret security clearance, but it was his request was for "Sensitive Compartmented Information" clearance that was rejected, the source says. The post is one of nearly two dozen senior director positions on the NSC tailored to a specific focus or geographical area; many of those positions currently remain vacant with no announced appointees. ABC

A Look At Taxes Imposed By Obama's Health Care Law
A look at the $1.1 trillion in taxes over 10 years imposed by former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The revenue helped pay for the law's expansion of coverage to millions of Americans. The revenue estimates are by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation. They could differ significantly from whatever Republicans propose in their effort to erase the law and replace it: —3.8 percent tax on investment income over $200,000 for individuals, $250,000 for couples: $223 billion in revenue over 10 years. —tax penalty on larger employers not providing health insurance to workers: $178 billion. ABC

Venezuela Now Leads US Asylum Requests As Crisis Deepens
Venezuelans for the first time led asylum requests to the United States as the country's middle class fled the crashing, oil-dependent economy. Data from the U.S. government's Citizenship and Immigration Services show that 18,155 Venezuelans submitted asylum requests last year, a 150 percent increase over 2015 and six times the level seen in 2014. China was second place, with 17,745 requests coming from citizens of that country. Venezuela first cracked the top 10 asylum-seeking nations following months of sometimes bloody street protests in early 2014 seeking to oust President Nicolas Maduro. But back then, amid the widespread jailing and harassment of opponents of the socialist administration, fewer than 100 Venezuelans per month sought asylum. That compares with 2,334 requests in December, 2016, the last month for which data is available. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: The US is now the number one place to want to be in.

Pakistan Retaliates After US Denies Politician Visa
The chairman of Pakistan's senate says the body will not welcome any U.S. delegation, member of Congress or dignitary in Islamabad. The move comes after the U.S. failed to issue a visa to the senate's deputy chairman, a member of the right-wing Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam political party. Chairman Raza Rabbani says in a statement that no Pakistani senate delegation will visit the U.S. until an explanation for the delay in issuing a visa to Maulana Ghafoor Haideri is given by U.S. authorities. Philadelphia Inquirer

Trump’s White House Eyes Potential Foes In 2020 Election
The White House is already tracking which Democrats could challenge President Trump in 2020 and Gov. Cuomo and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand aren’t on the list, sources told The Post. Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, asked consultants to scour the backgrounds of four outspoken Democrats — Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, two sources close to the administration said. “The White House political department wants people to start looking into them,” said one source close to the White House. “Trump is obsessed with running for re-election.” Both Murphy, a freshman senator who has lambasted Trump’s immigration orders, and Brown, a 10-year Senate vet who made Hillary Clinton’s VP short list, are seen as viable threats who can quickly raise money and build a network of supporters, the sources said. NY Post

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Snowden Won’t Be Russia’s ‘Gift’ To Trump, Laywer Says
Edward Snowden won’t be President Trump’s trophy, his lawyers say. Snowden’s Russian lawyer on Saturday dismissed an NBC News report that said Moscow was considering turning over the NSA leaker as a “gift” to Trump. “Someone is indulging in wishful thinking,” lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told the Interfax news agency. Snowden’s US-based ACLU lawyer, Ben Wizner, added there was “no reason for concern.” NBC News reported Friday that Russian officials are considering handing over the leaker of NSA secrets as one of several schemes to “curry favor” with the president. NY Post

A Glance At Birthright Citizenship Regulations Across Europe
In the United States, every child born on American soil automatically becomes an American citizen regardless of his or her parents' nationality. That is not the case in many European nations. As voters in Switzerland were deciding Sunday whether to make it easier for "third-generation foreigners" to get citizenship, here's a glance at how other countries across Europe handle citizenship issues. A child born in the U.K. is automatically a British citizen only if one parent is a citizen of, or settled in, the U.K. A U.K.-born child without a parent who fits the bill can become a British citizen later — either if they live in Britain till they are 10 or if either parent becomes legally settled in Britain. Tampa Tribune

Congressman: Rarely Used Law Could Make Trump Tax Returns Public
A New Jersey congressman says a rarely invoked 1924 law could be used to examine President Donald Trump's tax returns for possible conflicts of interest and Constitutional violations. Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat who serves on the Ways and Means Committee, has asked the committee’s chairman, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, to order the Treasury Department to provide tax returns to the committee. Brady's office did not respond to a request for comment Friday. After privately examining returns — Pascrell is seeking 10 years' worth — the committee could decide to share them with the full House, which would in effect make them public. The 1924 law gives congressional committees that set tax policy the power to examine tax returns. It was used in 1974 when Congress looked at President Richard Nixon's returns, and in 2014 when the Ways and Means Committee released confidential tax information as part of its investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's handling of applications for nonprofit status. USA Today

Trump Team Leery Of Having Too Many ‘Goldman Guys’ In Top Posts
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Jim Donovan is under consideration for the No. 2 job at the Treasury Department, said a person familiar with the deliberations, but he’s got one big thing working against him. Too many “Goldman guys” already have high-up positions in the Trump administration, the person said, and that could knock Donovan down to one of the undersecretary positions -- possibly undersecretary of the Treasury for domestic finance. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: There are too many.

Trump U.K. Visit Delayed To Avoid Parliament Talk
U.S. President Donald Trump’s state visit to the U.K. will be postponed until sometime between late August and the end of September, and most likely occur when Parliament is in summer recess, according to the Guardian newspaper, which cited unidentified U.K. government officials. The report came after House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said on Feb. 6 that he would veto any attempt to invite Trump to address Parliament. Bercow now faces a no-confidence motion. Bercow wasn’t immediately available for comment when contacted by e-mail on the story reported by the Guardian. The speaker must be politically impartial, and once elected to the role is required to resign from his or her political party. To attempt to oust the speaker is highly unusual. Bloomberg

Trump Foreign Policy Quickly Loses Its Sharp Edge
When President Donald Trump took a phone call from the leader of Taiwan in December and asserted that the United States might no longer be bound by the “One China” policy, his defenders hailed it as a show of strength — the latest delicate issue on which Trump was willing to challenge decades of diplomatic orthodoxy. On Thursday evening, Trump fell back into line. In a call with President Xi Jinping of China, he pledged fealty to One China, a 44-year-old policy under which the United States recognized a single Chinese government in Beijing and severed its diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Trump has also tacked to the center on Israel. After presenting himself as a stalwart defender of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who would buck the pressure campaign against Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Trump warned Israelis this week that he did not believe that “going ahead with these settlements is a good thing for peace.” Las Vegas Sun

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Voters Await Economic Revival In A Part Of Pro-Trump America
She tugged 13 envelopes from a cabinet above the stove, each one labeled with a different debt: the house payment, the student loans, the vacuum cleaner she bought on credit. Lydia Holt and her husband tuck money into these envelopes with each paycheck to whittle away at what they owe. They both earn about $10 an hour and, with two kids, there are usually some they can't fill. She did the math; at this rate, they'll be paying these same bills for 87 years. In 2012, Holt voted for Barack Obama because he promised her change, but she feels that change hasn't reached her here. So last year she chose a presidential candidate unlike any she'd ever seen, the billionaire businessman who promised to help America, and people like her, win again. Las Vegas Sun

Fatalities Reported After Mass Protest In Baghdad
Multiple people were killed in clashes between Iraqi security forces and protesters during a large rally near the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of protesters loyal to the influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr flooded Tahrir Square on Saturday morning in what began as a peaceful gathering calling for electoral reforms ahead of provincial elections in September. UPI

Historic Black Cemeteries Seeking The Same Support Virginia Gives Confederates
John Mitchell picks his way down the path through the woods, avoiding the thick brush on either side, stepping gingerly over a slab of fallen granite, until he gets to the broken crypt. A jagged hole exposes caskets to the sky, their metal fixtures rusted, covers ajar. English ivy cascades down the sides of the crypt, and a cross and a strange symbol have been drawn in black over the opening, possibly by someone who broke in. The grave of Mitchell’s great-grandfather, Thomas Mitchell, is somewhere nearby, hidden under vines and tree roots on the hillside. All around the violated crypt, mounds in the ivy mark fallen tombstones, piles of collapsed iron fencing, granite blocks that once outlined family plots. This is Evergreen Cemetery, burial ground for some of the elite citizens of Richmond in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Bankers, publishers, doctors, lawyers — the type of upper crust who are usually lionized in this city of monuments. Except that all of these people were black, and the city’s grand cemeteries wouldn’t have them when they died. Washington Post

Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy Return To 'SNL' To Roast Trump Administration
When news broke that Alec Baldwin was hosting this week's episode of "Saturday Night Live," most fans expected a thorough roasting of President Donald Trump. But here's what they probably didn't expect: Some of the toughest jabs at the administration ended up coming from other stars of the show, not Baldwin. The latest episode kicked off with another appearance by Melissa McCarthy, whose debut last week as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made headlines and drew praise on social media. "I would just like to announce that I am calm now," McCarthy's Spicer shouted in Saturday's cold open before poking fun at his gum-chewing, frequent mispronunciations and repeated references to a nonexistent Atlanta terror attack.  Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: Baldwin lost his appeal and so have Saturday Night Live.

Northeast In Sights Of Another Winter Blast Of Snow, Winds
The Northeast U.S. is once again in the sights of a winter blast of snow, bitter cold and strong winds. Winter storm warnings are in effect from upstate New York to northern Maine, where blizzard conditions and snowfall of 8 to 16 inches are likely. The National Weather Service says the storm is expected to intensify Sunday night and into Monday before it exits the New England coast. Wind gusts of over 50 mph could hit parts of the region. A two-day respite had graced the region after it was hit Thursday by its biggest storm of the season. Up to 19 inches of snow blanketed parts of New England. Roads were covered and schools closed for two days. A New York man's death was blamed on the weather. Houston Chronicle

Hundreds Arrested In Immigration Raids In Six States
Federal immigration authorities arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in a series of raids across the country this week in what officials said where routine efforts to target known criminals. Immigration officials confirmed the raids, aimed at targeting people living in the United States illegally who have criminal convictions, netted some who did not have criminal records. Officials said those people had been deported and illegally returned to the U.S. or were in the country without documents. UPI

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TRUMP REASSURES PALESTINIANS EMBASSY NOT MOVING TO JERUSALEM
US President Donald Trump has responded to the Jordanian king’s request that the United States refrain from moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Arab media reported on Saturday. The Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported that the Trump administration transferred a message to the Palestinian Authority that the embassy would not be moving to Jerusalem. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: Trump,  if the facts are correct, broke his word.

North Korea 'Conducts Missile Test'
The missile was launched at 07:55 local time (22:55 GMT Saturday) and flew east towards the Sea of Japan, South Korean defence officials say. Initial reports had described it as ballistic missile. Pyongyang has conducted a number of nuclear tests in the past year. North Korea's repeated missile and nuclear tests and aggressive statements continue to alarm and anger the region. The missile launch from Banghyon air base in North Pyongan province on the country's west coast is the first such test since US President Donald Trump took office. BBC
VOA VIEW: Now what will Trump do?

Greek WW2 Bomb Forces Huge Thessaloniki Evacuation
At least 70,000 people in the Greek city of Thessaloniki are being evacuated so that a 500lb World War Two bomb can be defused, officials say. It is thought to be one of the largest wartime bombs to be found in urban Greece in addition to being one of the largest mass evacuations. The bomb was discovered during road works last week and is due to be disposed of on Sunday. Officials say it is too degraded to tell if it is German or an Allied bomb. Residents within a radius of about 2km (1.2 miles) of the bomb will be compelled to evacuate the area between now and Sunday morning, security officials have said. BBC

Palm Beach Businesses Stung By Cost Of Hosting Trump's Weekend Retreat
For Donald Trump it will be a weekend of relaxation in familiar surroundings, a round of golf with the Japanese prime minister on his beloved south Florida course and an opportunity to play the genial host at the exclusive members-only Palm Beach club that Trump has dubbed the “winter White House”. But as the 45th US president enjoys a second vacation in as many weekends at Mar-a-Lago, his private coastal retreat, the wealthy town that hosts him continues to grapple with the unprecedented financial and logistical burdens imposed upon it as a sometimes home to the new commander-in-chief. Guardian

Trump Golf Game Gets Special Press Box: A Basement With Blacked-Out Windows
Donald Trump loves to play golf. But he doesn’t always like other people to see him play golf – which would explain the black plastic bags covering the windows at the Trump National Jupiter golf club: to keep out reporters’ prying eyes. On Saturday, the president hosted the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, at his Palm Beach golf club for some diplomatic links, after the pair met for talks in the White House on Friday. Reporters who had tagged along for the trip were surprised to discover that they were to remain holed up in a clubhouse basement – with no way to glimpse what was happening on the course outside. Guardian

'The World Must Not Look Away': Iraqi MP Tells Of The Daring Escapes Of Yazidi Women, As She Helps Them Flee The Clutches Of Isil
The calls can come any time of the day. Even in the dead of the night, Vian Dakhil knows she must answer them. Sometimes it's the hushed voices of young girls begging for help, other times it's the gruff ones of middle men demanding money for their release. Since Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) captured and spirited away thousands of Yazidi women and children from their homes in northern Iraq in the largest mass kidnapping of this century, she has become a one-woman hotline for those still missing. Telegraph

US Blocks Former Palestinian Prime Minister From Senior UN Role In Libya 'Out Of Support For Israel'
The Trump administration is under fire after it blocked the appointment of a well-respected former Palestinian prime minister to a senior UN role seemingly because he is a Palestinian. Salam Fayyad, a Western-educated technocrat, won plaudits from Israeli leaders and from the Bush administration for his reform efforts when he served prime minister of the Palestinian Authority in the late 2000s. The 65-year-old had been tipped to become the new UN special representative in Libya, a role that would have nothing to do with the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Telegraph

'The World Needs Science And Science Needs Women,' UN Says On International Day
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today urged greater investments in teaching science, technology, engineering and math to all women and girls as well as equal access to these opportunities. “For too long, discriminatory stereotypes have prevented women and girls from having equal access to education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),” said Mr. Guterres in his message for International Day of Women and Girls in Science, marked annually on 11 February. UN News

Security Council Strongly Condemns Continued Fighting In South Sudan
The Security Council has strongly condemned continued fighting across South Sudan, particularly incidents in the country's Equatoria and Upper Nile regions, and called on all parties to cease hostilities immediately. In a Press Statement issued overnight, the Council also condemned “in the strongest terms” all attacks directed against civilians and expressed serious concern, once again, about reports of killing of civilians, sexual and gender-based violence, destruction of homes, ethnic violence, and looting of livestock and property. UN News

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