NEWS   MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2017   NEWS

White House Official Attacks Court After Legal Setbacks On Immigration
A White House official launched a blistering attack on the federal appeals court that blocked President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration on Sunday, calling its ruling a "judicial usurpation of power." The Trump administration has faced multiple legal setbacks to its travel ban issued on Jan. 27, and the Republican president has said he may issue a new executive order rather than go through lengthy court challenges. "The president's powers here are beyond questiSSSSSSSSSon," White House adviser Stephen Miller said on the "Fox News Sunday" program. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Democrats have nothing but the courts.

Macy's Could Have 50 Percent Upside In A Sale: Barron's
Macy's Inc (M.N) could see its shares rise by 50 percent in a potential sale, as the struggling retailer looks to turn around its business by downsizing its physical-store operations and reinvesting in its online presence, Barron's said on Sunday. The Cincinnati-based company, which in recent years has become the sixth-largest online retailer, is a bargain for investors despite Wall Street's gloomy outlook with management's plans to close 100 underperforming stores, which could increase its stock by 20 to 30 percent. It also plans to cut up to 10,000 jobs out of a total 157,900. That could reduce costs by $550 million annually, freeing up funds to invest in the company's growing online business. Reuters

Powerful Women Lead The Way In Taking Trump To Task
Ironically, the loudest voice in a growing chorus was "silenced," when Sen. Elizabeth Warren was rebuked by Senate colleagues for criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation. But she is just one member of a group of Trump administration critics who share a notable commonality: They are women in positions of power. In all branches of government, some of the sharpest scrutiny of the president is coming from female leaders, with vastly different roles and ideologies. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Trump has to rid himself of anyone prior to his reign.

Trump Adviser Stephen Miller Mum On Trump Confidence In Mike Flynn
White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller on Sunday would not answer a question about whether President Trump still has confidence in his National Security Advisor, retired Gen. Michael Flynn. "That's the question that I think you should ask the president" or Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Miller told "Meet The Press" host Chuck Todd. "General Flynn has served his country admirably. He is a three-star general. He's head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. And I look forward to having more discussions about this in the future." "I'm here today as a policy adviser," Miller added. A senior intelligence official told NBC News that Flynn talked about hacking-related sanctions with Russia before Trump took office, which conflicts with statements by Vice President Mike Pence and White House spokesman Sean Spicer. MSNBC

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IMF Head: Trump Good For US Economy For Now As Trouble Looms
The head of the International Monetary Fund said Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump taking office is likely good for the American economy in the short term, though rising interest rates and a strengthening dollar will challenge global trade. Christine Lagarde said Trump's plans for additional investment in U.S. infrastructure and his likely tax reforms will boost America's economic fortunes. However, Lagarde acknowledged that Trump's policies likely will squeeze international markets.
"That's a tightening that is going to be difficult on the global economy and for which economies have to prepare," Lagarde said during an event at the World Government Summit in Dubai. Fox News

Venezuelans Lead In US Asylum Requests As Crisis Deepens
New data shows Venezuelans are leading asylum requests to the United States for the first time, as the middle class in the country are fleeing the crashing, oil-dependent economy. The U.S. government's Citizenship and Immigration Services reported that 18,155 Venezuelans submitted asylum requests last year, a 150 percent increase over 2015 and six times the level seen in 2014. Data showed China in second place, with 17,745 requests coming from the country’s citizens. In 2014 a large number of Venezuelans sought asylum following months of protests seeking to oust President Nicolas Maduro. Fox News

Christie: Flynn Needs To Clear Up Russia Conversation Details With Trump, Pence
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie criticized President Donald Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn Sunday, saying he needs to clear up questions about whether he discussed sanctions in his pre-inauguration conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States. "I don't think that you can have any more than one president at a time," Christie told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." "And, you know, General Flynn has said up to this point that he had not said anything like that to the Russian ambassador. I think now he's saying that he doesn't remember whether he did or not," Christie said, pointing to a discrepancy in what Flynn told Vice President Mike Pence previously and what he said after reports of those conversations emerged last week. CNN

Tom Arnold: Clinton Begged Me To Release Tape Of Trump’s Racist Rant
Comedian Tom Arnold is claiming Hillary Clinton begged him to release footage of President Trump using racial slurs just days before the November election. The 57-year-old alleged last year he had video of Trump repeatedly saying the “n—–” and “every bad thing ever, every offensive, racist thing ever,” but is now saying Clinton called him just two days before Americans went to the polls pleading for its release, the Telegraph reported. “I had all the outtakes from Trump saying the N-word on The Apprentice,” Arnold, who was just voted off of Australia’s “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!” says. “[Clinton] called me two days before the election and said ‘please release that.” Arnold claims, alleging the Democratic nominee said “The weight of the free world is on your shoulders.” “I’d love to be a hero, but I can’t hurt these families,” he claims to have responded. NY Post
VOA VIEW: It shows what kind of lowlife Hillary is.

Nearly 200,000 Remain Under Evacuation Near California Dam
Nearly 200,000 people remained under evacuation orders Monday as California authorities try to fix erosion of the emergency spillway at the nation's tallest dam that could unleash uncontrolled flood waters if it fails. About 150 miles northeast of San Francisco, Lake Oroville — one of California's largest man-made lakes — had water levels so high that an emergency spillway was used Saturday for the first time in almost 50 years. The evacuation was ordered Sunday afternoon after engineers spotted a hole on the concrete lip of the secondary spillway for the 770-foot-tall Oroville Dam and told authorities that it could fail within the hour. Tampa Tribune

Lebanese President In Egypt, Defends Hezbollah's Arms
Newly elected Lebanese President Michel Aoun arrived in Egypt on Monday, a day after he defended Hezbollah's refusal to give up its arms in media comments that underlined his unabated support for the Iranian-backed Shiite militant group. Aoun's visit to Egypt is the first for the former army commander in 55 years. He was elected after a 29-month vacuum in Lebanon's top post. He met with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi who is, like him, a career military officer. Aoun was scheduled to address the Arab League later during his one-day visit. In a news conference, Aoun said that he discussed with el-Sissi regional issues and called upon Egypt to lead an "Arab salvation plan" to combat terrorism in the Arab world. He also extended an invitation to el-Sissi to visit Lebanon. Tampa Tribune

Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls For "Massive Campaign" Against Fake News
Apple CEO Tim Cook wants the tech industry to take action against "fake news" stories that are polluting the web. "There has to be a massive campaign. We have to think through every demographic," Cook said in a rare interview. Speaking with The Daily Telegraph newspaper, Cook also said "all of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news." Other leading tech company CEOs, like Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, have spoken about the problem in recent months. But Cook's comments were much more frank. According to the Telegraph, he said made-up stories and hoaxes are "killing people's minds." And he called the "fake news" plague "a big problem in a lot of the world." CNN

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Christie: No plans To Join Trump Administration When Term Is Up
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday he has no plans to join the Trump administration after his second term in Trenton is over. “I have absolutely no intention, nor any understanding, that I will be asked to be in the administration in the years to come,” Mr. Christie told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “My view is, I have got a job to do as governor, and then my intention is to go off to the private sector and to help support my family.” Mr. Christie notably backed Mr. Trump after his own presidential bid fell short during the GOP primary campaign. Yet he was nudged out of the running for vice president and attorney general, and then relieved of his duties running the transition effort after the election. Washington Times

‘Milo Bill’ Sponsored By Tennessee Republicans Would Protect Freedom Of Speech At States Colleges
Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos and other controversial figures would be welcomed to speak at colleges in Tennessee if the state legislature approves a bill proposed by Republican lawmakers this week. State Rep. Martin Daniel and Sen. Joey Hensley introduced the “Tennessee Freedom of Speech on College Campus Bill” on Thursday in an effort to prevent schools from adopting policies that “shield individuals from ideas and opinions considered unwelcome, disagreeable or even deeply offensive.” “Campus free speech is being challenged by restrictive speech codes; speaker bans and disinvites; … safe spaces and trigger warnings; and administrators who feel pressured to placate demonstrators,” Mr. Daniel said at a press conference Thursday where he introduced the bill, The Huffington Post reported. Washington Times

Does Trump’s Support Have A Ceiling — Or A Floor?
The nation is not simply divided. The last election left many wondering if they really understood the views of Americans who disagreed with them, or whether they were truly being heard at all. A single poll number can’t always answer those puzzles, so here we look deeper at all the groups who support and oppose the Trump administration at its outset: who they are, what they want and - most of all - what might change their minds. It turns out that while there are hard-and-fast views on either side of the nation’s divide, the range of President Trump’s potential support - both to the high and low side - is actually bigger than you might think. CBS

Singer Wears Trump-Inspired Dress To Grammys
Singer Joy Villa made her arrival at Sunday’s Grammy Awards political by turning President Trump’s campaign slogan into a glitzy gown. The 25-year-old, who is not nominated, originally appeared in a flowing, conservative white dress and then unveiled her statement-making dress underneath. The navy-blue dress — with details of red, silver and white — reads “Make America Great Again” along the front, while its train reads “TRUMP” in big, blinged-out letters. Villa, who describes herself as a “vegan” and a “feminist” in her Twitter bio, immediately sparked a social media storm. “@Joy_Villa imagine choosing to end your career before anyone even knew who you were,” tweeted one user. NY Post
VOA VIEW: More know about her now than before - it worked.

Verizon Joins The Unlimited Wireless Data Party
Verizon will begin offering unlimited data plans to customers starting Monday. The largest U.S. wireless provider will let customers keep their current plans or opt for an $80 monthly plan, for a single line, with unlimited data, talking and texting. Customers must agree to AutoPay and paper-free billing. Families can also pay $45 per line for four lines (a total of $180). The move comes amid growing competition in the wireless space. Verizon had been an unlimited plan holdout as T-Mobile and, to a lesser extent, Sprint have gained ground on Verizon and No. 2 provider AT&T with their unlimited offerings. As customers use their smartphones for more video and photo sharing via social media networks, T-Mobile and Sprint have grown their user base with users who don't want to worry about using more data than their plan allows. USA Today

Trump Undertakes Most Ambitious Regulatory Rollback Since Reagan
President Trump has embarked on the most aggressive campaign against government regulation in a generation, joining with Republican lawmakers to roll back rules already on the books and limit the ability of federal regulators to impose new ones. After just a few weeks in office, the new administration is targeting dozens of Obama-era policies, using both legislative and executive tactics. The fallout is already rippling across the federal ­bureaucracy and throughout the U.S. economy, affecting how dentists dispose of mercury fillings, how schools meet the needs of poor and disabled students, and whether companies reject mineral purchases that fuel one of the world’s bloodiest conflicts. Washington Post

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Supreme Court Nominee Gorsuch Describes His Most Significant Cases
President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has returned a 68-page questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary Committee ahead of confirmation hearings expected in March. In the questionnaire, Judge Neil Gorsuch lists what he considers the 10 most significant cases he presided over while on a federal appeals court. Top of his list is a 2016 case in which he wrote for a panel of judges who sided with a Mexican citizen seeking permission to live in the U.S. Also listed is a 2013 case involving a family business that raised religious objections to paying for contraception for women covered under its health plans. Gorsuch states that none of the opinions he authored has been reversed. The questionnaire also contains a long list of his published writings and speeches. In related news, an AP analysis of Gorsuch’s rulings shows him as a defender of free speech and a skeptic of libel claims. CBS

White House Senior Adviser: 'The Judiciary Is Not Supreme'
Challenging a federal court's ruling, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller told ABC News "the judiciary is not supreme" and the president's powers on immigration "represent the apex of executive authority." Asked by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos about the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' upholding a lower court's temporary restraining order on President Trump's executive action that temporarily bars entry into the U.S. of people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Miller said, "We have equal branches of government in this country." ABC

Trump Adviser Doubles Down On Claims Of Voter Fraud And Of 'Thousands' Of Voters Bused Into New Hampshire
Senior White House policy adviser Stephen Miller doubled down on President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud, including the president’s reported claim that thousands of voters were bused into New Hampshire to illegally cast ballots in the presidential election. “I can tell you that this issue of busing voters in to New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics,” Miller said on “This Week” Sunday. “It’s very real; it’s very serious.” ABC

America’s Biggest Creditors Dump Treasuries In Warning To Trump
In the age of Trump, America’s biggest foreign creditors are suddenly having second thoughts about financing the U.S. government. In Japan, the largest holder of Treasuries, investors culled their stakes in December by the most in almost four years, the Ministry of Finance’s most recent figures show. What’s striking is the selling has persisted at a time when going abroad has rarely been so attractive. And it’s not just the Japanese. Across the world, foreigners are pulling back from U.S. debt like never before. Bloomberg

Harvard’s $1.2 Billion Haul Erased By Investing Loss, Payout
Harvard University raised $1.2 billion from donations, a record for the world’s richest college. The haul was erased by $2 billion in investment losses and spending.
Harvard’s take was the most by any U.S. university as colleges collected an unprecedented $41 billion in fiscal 2016, the New York-based Council for Aid to Education, which tracks university giving, said in a survey released Tuesday. Stanford University was ranked No. 2, with $951 million, marking only the second time in 12 years that Stanford failed to outpace Harvard in fundraising. Bloomberg

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Defense Minister Says Serbia Will Get Russian Fighter Jets
Serbia's defense minister said Sunday the country is getting a shipment of Russian fighter jets, supplies that could worsen tensions with neighboring states. Defense Minister Zoran Djordjevic said after returning from one of his frequent visits to Moscow that six MiG-29s will be delivered to Serbia "soon." Djordjevic said Russia also is providing experts to upgrade the aircraft acquired from Russian Army reserves. "The MiGs will be equipped with most modern arms, radars, optical and communication systems," he said. Las Vegas Sun

Library Of Congress Store Removes Misspelled Trump Poster
A poster of President Donald Trump that included a misspelling in a quote has been removed from the online store of the Library of Congress. The poster includes Trump's quote, "No dream is too big, no challenge is to great. Nothing we want for the future is beyond our reach." ''To" is misspelled in the first sentence. Twitter users quickly spotted the error over the weekend and the item was removed. An archived version of the listing is accessible through the Internet Archive website. The Library of Congress didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. It's at least the third high-profile spelling error from the government of late. The Education Department misspelled the name of W.E.B. DuBois on Twitter Sunday and mistyped again when apologizing for the error. Philadelphia Inquirer

Increasing Numbers Of Muslim Migrants Trek North To Canada
Out of fear that he would be persecuted for his bisexuality, Seidu Mohammed fled from Ghana in an attempt to find a new home in the U.S. The 24-year-old man was denied asylum in late 2016. Mohammed and another Ghanaian native, Razak Iyal, decided to illegally cross from the U.S. into Canada, as the AP reported recently. The two took a bus from Minneapolis to Grand Forks. On a bitterly cold Christmas Eve, they paid a taxi $200 each to drop them off in remote North Dakota, as close to the Canadian border as possible. There they hiked north for hours, through snowdrifts that rose as high as their waists. When they could walk no further, they waited by a freeway in the hopes someone would stop. Philadelphia Inquirer

Questions Swirl Over Future Of Trump’s National Security Adviser
The White House on Sunday refused to publicly defend the President’s National Security Adviser while questions swirled over whether Michael Flynn told the truth about his post-election telephone contacts with a top Russian official, as Democrats in the Congress stepped up their demands for Flynn’s ouster. Asked if the President still had confidence in Flynn, White House Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller had no direct answer on the Sunday talk shows. “That’s the question that I think you should ask the President,” Miller said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Atlanta Journal

Washington's Top Lawyer Uses Strategic Streak To Fight Trump
The legal challenge that would launch Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson into the vanguard of resistance against President Donald Trump's travel ban was already in the works as Ferguson flew home from Florida the morning after Trump issued his executive order. In fact, it had been planned for some time. "We were having internal conversations about a potential action by the president along those lines," Ferguson recalled in an interview. "It wasn't like we were starting from ground zero." The legwork paid off. Within three days, the state's lawsuit over the ban — a more sweeping challenge than other cases filed over Trump's order — had been filed. The result? First a decision from a federal judge in Seattle that blocked nationwide enforcement of the ban, then a resounding win at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Atlanta Journal

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Trump Peddles False Vote Fraud Charge
Presidential adviser Stephen Miller peddled discredited theories about voter fraud during a round of TV appearances Sunday that won praise from his boss but brought no new evidence to light. Miller mischaracterized research about wrongly registered voters and spread a debunked claim that busloads of Democrats came into New Hampshire and voted improperly in the November election. His Sunday morning performance on news shows earned him a "Good job!" on Twitter from President Donald Trump, who alleged days earlier that he lost New Hampshire in November only because "thousands" of people came by bus to vote against him. Las Vegas Sun

Body Of KKK Leader Found Near River In Missouri
The body of a Ku Klux Klan leader was found near a river in Missouri, authorities confirmed Sunday. Frank Ancona, 51, who was listed as an imperial wizard with the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was found dead outside Belgrade, Mo., near Big River, the Washington County Sheriff's Office confirmed early Sunday morning. Belrade is 90 miles southwest of St. Louis. UPI

Netanyahu Cautions Ministers To Expect Limitations From Trump
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned his ministers Sunday not to expect U.S. President Donald Trump to allow Israel to act without limitations. Netanyahu responded during the meeting of Likud ministers to earlier comments from Education Minister Naftali Bennett calling on the prime minister to state during his scheduled meeting with Trump in Washington Wednesday that the two-state solution is no longer Israel's goal. UPI

North Korean Missile Test May Have Been Big Step Forward
Beyond the usual, lofty propaganda, North Korea's test of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile contains an important, potentially worrying development. The country's jubilant young dictator, Kim Jong Un, said the missile provides the country with yet another nuclear attack capability. Sunday's launch — the first major North Korean challenge for U.S. President Donald Trump — is drawing intense scrutiny from outside weapons experts because of North Korea's claim to have used solid fuel. If true, it would be a big step forward in North Korea's quest to boost its ability to attack the United States and its close allies, South Korea and Japan. Instead of relying on missiles that have to be fueled on a fixed launch pad, North Korea's military could drive the new missiles anywhere and fire them at will from mobile launchers. Houston Chronicle

GOP Must Decide What To Do With Health Law Taxes
Republicans love cutting taxes, especially if they were authored by a president named Barack Obama. But as they push their wobbly effort to erase his health care overhaul, they're divided over whether to repeal the levies the law imposed to finance its expanded coverage for millions of Americans. It's a trillion-dollar dilemma — actually closer to $1.1 trillion. That's the 10-year price tag the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office puts on revenue the government would lose if the law's taxes on wealthy people, the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and others were eliminated. Houston Chronicle

Hamas Names Top Militant As New Leader In Gaza
Hamas has named a top militant commander as its new leader in the Gaza Strip, an official media outlet confirmed Monday, placing one of the Islamic militant group's most hard-line figures in charge of operations in its core power base. The appointment of Yehiya Sinwar, who was freed by Israel in a 2011 prisoner swap, solidifies the takeover of Gaza operations by the armed wing of the group. The military wing, which controls thousands of fighters and a vast arsenal of rockets, has battled Israel in three wars since Hamas seized Gaza a decade ago. Sinwar's selection was reported by Hamas' al-Resala news site. A Hamas official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing the group's secretive election process, also confirmed the appointment. Sinwar replaces Ismail Haniyeh, who served as the prime minister of Hamas' government following the 2007 takeover of Gaza. Haniyeh is now expected to take over as Hamas' supreme leader, replacing Khaled Mashaal, who lives in exile. Charlotte Observer

As Wireless Devices Flourish, Network Security Pros Break Into Cold Sweats
Sure, your office may seem clean. But it’s probably not. Invisible network pollution contaminates the space, and it may open a door to evildoers. The pollution comes from the growing list of internet-connected devices: cellphones, security cameras, thermostats, door locks, printers, speakerphones, even coffeemakers. Not all of them have up-to-date security patches or strong password protection. All of them are potential foot soldiers for hackers. In a report titled “Internet of Evil Things” to be released Monday, a Boston-based company says the connected devices that surround us at home and work give indigestion to technology security experts, who see the rise of a menacing new force. Charlotte Observer

Trump, Trudeau To Discuss Women In Workforce
President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will participate in a roundtable discussion about women in the workforce Monday, showing the rising policy influence of the first daughter who has stressed her commitment to issues like child care. A White House official said the two countries would launch a new task force called the United States Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders-Female Entrepreneurs. The official said Trudeau's office reached out to discuss working on a joint effort, noting that this was seen as an area of shared interest between both leaders. Ivanka Trump, who has been a vocal advocate for policies benefiting working women, was involved in recruiting participants and setting the agenda for the meeting and will attend, the official said. Ivanka Trump stressed the importance of maternity leave and child care on the campaign trail, and has recently been meeting with business leaders to discuss those issues. Kansas City Star

Judge To Hear Arguments On Dakota Access Pipeline Work
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., is hearing arguments on whether to stop work on the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline until a legal battle with American Indian tribes is resolved. The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux argue the pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites. The tribes also say it threatens their freedom of religion, which depends on pure water. Developer Energy Transfer Partners last week received final approval from the Army to lay pipe under the Missouri River in North Dakota — the final chunk of construction for the 1,200-mile pipeline to move North Dakota oil to Illinois. Kansas City Star

Holocaust Survivors Target A German Golf Sponsor Over Insurance Billions
South Florida's population of Holocaust survivors may be dwindling, but their spirit lived on Sunday in a protest aimed at a PGA golf tournament sponsored by the German conglomerate, Allianz AG, that they say owes $2.5 billion in life insurance policies paid off by the Jewish victims of Nazi death camps before World War II. More than 100 protesters, including relatives and supporters, held up signs and chanted “Survivors Can't Wait” outside the Allianz PGA Golf Championship at the Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton to call attention to demands for the policy payments to the Holocaust survivors. The demonstration marked the seventh year that they gathered in support of South Florida-based Holocaust Survivors Foundation USA, which has been pressuring Congress for years to adopt a law that would allow the survivors and their relatives to pursue claims against Allianz in U.S. courts. Miami Herald

Where Did These Valentine’s Day Flowers Come From? The Airport, Sweetheart
Behind the bouquet from your valentine, the single rose from a crush and the elaborate arrangement from a significant other, there’s a multibillion-dollar flower industry that thrives around this time each year. Right on cue, billions of flowers are flowing into the U.S. to prepare for the big Valentine’s Day demand. Most arrive in Miami from Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and the Netherlands. More than 90 percent of imported flowers move through Miami International Airport, according to UPS. The package delivery company is the largest air cargo carrier flying into MIA. Miami Herald

Aide Says Courts Grabbed Power From Trump On Immigration Ban (2)
White House policy adviser Stephen Miller said judges on a San Francisco-based appeals court who ruled against President Donald Trump’s travel ban took power that belongs “squarely in the hands of the president” in a “judicial usurpation.” “There is no such thing as judicial supremacy,” Miller said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” one of four appearances on Sunday talk shows after the court on Thursday ruled against the Trump administration’s Jan. 27 executive order on immigration. On “Fox News Sunday,” Miller blasted “a judicial usurpation of power,” and on CBS’s “Face the Nation” he derided a judiciary that he said had “become in many cases a supreme branch of government.” SF Gate

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ISRAEL DUE TO REFUSE ENTRY TO PERU'S WANTED EX-PRESIDENT
Israel said on Sunday it will not allow in former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo, who is wanted in connection with a corruption probe, before his matters are settled in Peru. Peru had been informed by US authorities that they were not planning to keep Toledo from boarding a flight to Israel from California that was scheduled to land in Tel Aviv Sunday. Jerusalem Post

Peru Asks Trump To Consider Deporting Ex-President Alejandro Toledo
Mr Toledo, who is believed to be in San Francisco, is accused of taking $20m (£16m) in bribes. He denies wrongdoing. In the phone call on Sunday, Mr Kuczynski asked Mr Trump to "evaluate" the situation. So far efforts to arrest Mr Toledo have been stifled by legal complications. The US has said that it is unable to arrest the ex-leader until further information on the case against him has been shared, Peruvian officials say. Authorities in Peru, who requested Mr Toledo's arrest last week on charges of corruption, fear that he could try to fly to Israel. BBC

Trump Travel Ban: Policy Adviser Attacks US Federal Appeals Court
A top White House adviser has attacked the US federal appeals court for upholding a ruling suspending Mr Trump's travel ban order. Stephen Miller told US media the court ruling was a "judicial usurpation of power" and that "the president's powers here are beyond question". The court rejected Mr Trump's attempt to reinstate the ban on Thursday. His executive order barred citizens from seven mainly Muslim countries from entering the US. The ban caused chaos at US airports and sparked protests across the country. BBC

Trump Powers 'Will Not Be Questioned' On Immigration, Senior Official Says
A senior White House adviser on Sunday denounced federal judges who have stood in the way of Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban, warning that “the whole world will soon see” that the president’s executive powers “will not be questioned”. “We have a judiciary that has taken far too much power and become in many cases a supreme branch of government,” said Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to Trump on immigration issues, appearing on the CBS program Face the Nation. Guardian

American Civil Liberties Union Rides High On Anti-Trump Wave
The American Civil Liberties Union has said it is awash with donations and new members as it faces up to Donald Trump over the extent of his constitutional authority, having received nearly $80m (£64m) in online contributions since the election last November. That number includes a record $24m surge over the two days after Trump issued an executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. The ACLU said its membership had more than doubled over the past three months to nearly 1.2 million, a record figure, while its Twitter following had tripled. Guardian

'Isil Will Return': Forces Search For Jihadi Sleeper Cells In East Mosul, Fearing Surprise Attacks
Civilians and security forces in east Mosul fear that Isil sleeper cells may be preparing surprise attacks on liberated neighbourhoods. Iraqi officials announced the liberation of the eastern half of Mosul last month, three months after launching an operation to retake the city from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). But the group continues to carry out attacks in districts near the eastern bank of the Tigris river, and security forces backed by local militia groups are sweeping the city amid rumours that Isil sympathisers are moving between neighbourhoods to avoid detection. Telegraph

Under Fire At Home And Abroad, Angela Merkel Faces 'Toughest Battle Of Her Career'
It was a result that would thrill even a dictator. One Saturday last month, members of the local branch of Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) met in the former East German town of Grimmen, half an hour from the country’s Baltic coast, to choose their candidate for September’s federal elections. Of the 173 voters, 165 plumped for the woman who has dominated this constituency since 1990, ruled her party since 2000 and is now well into her 12th year as Germany’s indomitable chancellor. As the party’s local spokesman put it, “We stand behind her.” But will her country? Telegraph

Afghanistan: UN Mission Expresses Grave Concern At High Civilian Casualties In Helmand
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today expressed its grave concern at the recent escalation of violence in Helmand province, which reportedly claimed the lives of at least 25 civilians, mostly women and children, and injured many more. On 9 and 10 February, international military forces conducted airstrikes in Helmand's Sangin District reportedly targeting anti-Government elements, according to a news release. UNAMA's initial enquiries suggest that the airstrikes killed at least 18 civilians, nearly all women and children. UNAMA notes that Resolute Support has initiated an investigation into the incident. UN News

UN chief Guterres Engages In 'Constructive' Discussions On Yemen, Libya With Saudi Foreign Minister
Visiting Saudi Arabia, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said today that he and the Arab country's foreign minister had “very important and very constructive discussions” on the possible future political solutions for Yemen and Libya. “To have comprehensive political solutions, bringing people together, is essential from Libya to Yemen, to Syria, to Iraq,” Mr. Guterres told reporters in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, following his meeting with Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmad Al-Jubeir. UN News

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