NEWS   WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY  15, 2017   NEWS

Russia Sends Spy Ship Near US Coast, Deploys Banned Missiles At Home
A Russian spy ship was spotted patrolling off the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday morning, the first such instance during the Trump administration -- and the same day it was learned the Kremlin had secretly deployed controversial cruise missiles inside Russia and flew within 200 yards of a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials told Fox News. The Russian ship was in international waters, 70 miles off the coast of Delaware and heading north at 10 knots, according to one official. The U.S. territory line is 12 nautical miles. It was not immediately clear where the ship is headed. Fox News
VOA VIEW: The liberal media is the biggest culprit in spreading the rumors and problems.

Bill O'Reilly: A Stunning Display Of Dishonesty From The National Press And Radical Left
Last week, about 680 undocumented aliens were arrested by ICE officials countrywide. Many of them have already been deported. The coordinated raids targeted aliens who had committed crimes in the USA -- mostly felonies.  venty five percent of those taken into custody had convictions, including homicide and rape. One man arrested in Chicago, was an Iraqi citizen with a conviction of sexual abuse of a victim [who was] unable to consent. Many of the arrested non-felons were associating with the criminals. But those facts have largely gone unreported by the American press. And by the radical left, which is actively misleading you. Here are a just a few examples: Speaking on CNN, California State Sen. Kevin De Leon (D) said, “What took place yesterday with raids and personal homes is part of the cog of the Trump deportation machine.” Fox News

Ethics Office: White House Should Investigate Conway For Ivanka Trump Plug
The Office of Government Ethics is recommending that the White House take disciplinary action against Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President Trump, for endorsing Ivanka Trump's products in a TV interview. Walter Shaub, the director of the ethics office, wrote in a letter to the White House that there is "strong reason to believe" Conway violated ethics standards and that disciplinary action is warranted. He suggested that the White House open an investigation. Shaub likened what Conway did to appearing in a TV commercial. Conway gave the endorsement on Fox News Channel last week, one day after the president attacked the Nordstrom department store chain for treating his daughter unfairly. Nordstrom has said it dropped her line of clothing and accessories because they weren't selling well. CNN
VOA VIEW: Dumb and waste of time.

Trump, Aware Of DOJ Warning, Asked Flynn To Resign After Loss Of Trust
President Donald Trump asked for Michael Flynn's resignation after he lost trust in his national security adviser for misleading Vice President Mike Pence over his calls with Russia's ambassador, the White House said Tuesday. Trump was also made aware of the Justice Department's concerns about Flynn's calls with the Russian ambassador, according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer. The President's counsel, Don McGahn,  a meeting with Trump and a small circle of advisers.
"Immediately after the Department of Justice notified the White House counsel of the situation, the White House convened counsel briefed the President and a small group of senior advisers," Spicer said. Spicer insisted that Flynn had done nothing illegal but had lost the confidence of the President in an escalating drama that has focused scrutiny on Trump's handling of the issue and his ties with Moscow. CNN

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Ryan: Trump 'Made The Right Decision To Ask For (Flynn's) Resignation'
"National security is perhaps the most important function or responsibility a president has," House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told a news conference on Tuesday morning. "And I think the president made the right decision" to ask for Gen. Michael Flynn's resignation as national security adviser, he added. "You cannot have the national security adviser misleading the vice president and others," Ryan said. Flynn resigned Monday night, saying he "inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador." Ryan said he would not "prejudge" any of the circumstances surrounding Flynn's ouster, until more information becomes available: "I think the administration will explain the circumstances that led to this," Ryan said. (President Trump reportedly planned to comment on Flynn's resignation some time on Tuesday.) CNS News

Liberal Frenzy: 'Impeach' Trump; 'Traitor! Resign By Morning'
Liberal activists, stung by their election loss, have been angling to get rid of President Trump since the day he took office. Some of them are now seizing on the resignation of National Security Director Michael Flynn as the scandal they need to topple Trump -- or more of his top advisers. In his resignation letter, Flynn wrote, “because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President-Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador.” Flynn reportedly did discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador, but he didn't tell that to Vice President Pence, who denied it on national television.
In a series of furious tweets early Tuesday morning, film-maker Michael Moore, the epitome of the angry liberal, called both Flynn and Trump traitors, demanding either Trump's impeachment or resignation -- whichever comes first, presumably. CNS News
VOA  VIEW: Liberal extremists are as dangerous and sxtrieme radical Islamists.

U.S. Secret Service Director Stepping Down
U.S. Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy plans to step down next month, the agency said on Tuesday, two years after he took charge of the agency following high-profile security lapses by the service responsible for protecting the president. "Congratulations Dir Clancy on your retirement! The men & women of the @SecretService are grateful for your 29 years of service & leadership," the Secret Service said on Twitter. Clancy will leave on March 4, an agency spokesman said. Clancy's departure means that President Donald Trump will be able to select his own security chief. The Secret Service has almost 7,000 employees and is charged with protecting the president and his family as well as combating counterfeiting. Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, named Clancy head of the Secret Service in February 2015 after he had served as acting director for four months. Reuters

U.S. Weather Service Says Hit By First-Ever Data System Outage
The U.S. National Weather Service said on Tuesday it suffered its first-ever outage of its data system during Monday's blizzard in New England, keeping the agency from sending out forecasts and warnings for more than two hours. The weather service's Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System Network Control Facility failed Monday afternoon when the primary and backup routers lost power, the NWS said in a statement. The outage lasted two hours and 36 minutes. "The AWIPS communications system is a very reliable configuration and this is the first time both routers failed simultaneously," the weather service said. The outage came as a blizzard was pummeling New England and engineers in Northern California were trying to repair problems at the United States' tallest dam ahead of more rain. Reuters

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Gov. Rick Scott Hits The Road, Seeking Political Payback
Sure, the Republican governor’s office called his stops in Cape Coral, Tampa, Panama City and Jacksonville this week the “Fighting for Florida’s Jobs” tour. But they all, coincidentally, have one big thing in common. The four stops have been in the districts of four of the nine House Republicans who last week voted to kill two of his most cherished agencies: Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. And in each stop Scott was sure to remind business leaders that their locally elected representative was part of the group of nine Republicans on a key committee that defied him and voted to completely eliminate those two agencies. Miami Herald

Rand Paul On Investigating Trump Controversies: 'I Just Don't Think It's Useful
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, suggested that he's not sold on the need for investigations into the mounting controversies roiling President Donald Trump's administration. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Tuesday suggested he's not sold on the need for investigations into the mounting controversies roiling President Donald Trump's administration. Paul said in a radio interview on the "Kilmeade and Friends" radio program Tuesday that he didn't think it was prudent to launch "investigation after investigation" on fellow members of the Republican Party. "I don't think it's useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party," he said. He continued: "We'll never even get started with doing the things we need to do like repealing Obamacare if we're spending our whole time having Republicans. I think it makes no sense." SF Gate

'NYT': Intercepted Communications Show Trump Associates, Russians In Contact
The New York Times reported that law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted calls and phone records showing Donald Trump's presidential campaign aides, as well as other associates, having repeated contact with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election. The report names four people close to Trump — including Michael Flynn, who recently stepped down as national security adviser — in the FBI's inquiry into links between Trump associates and the Russian government. Officials named Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort as one of the associates on the calls but did not identify anyone else on the calls, the Times reported. USA Today
VOA VIEW: And the truth is ...

Trump OKs Disaster Relief As Californians Return Home
President Trump declared a federal disaster late Tuesday for areas affected by a potential collapse in a spillway that holds back Lake Oroville, California’s second-largest reservoir, even as authorities told 188,000 evacuated downstream residents they could go home. The president’s order covers Butte, Sutter and Yuba counties, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It authorizes FEMA to coordinate relief efforts and opens up federal emergency aid to state, tribal and local agencies. As residents slowly returned to the evacuated communities of Oroville, Yuba City and others along the Feather River on Tuesday, many expressed deep wariness about the situation. They remained under an evacuation “warning,” and Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said they should be ready to pick up and leave again if the situation deteriorates. USA Today

Republicans Block Democrats’ Effort To Get Trump’s Tax Returns
House Republicans on Tuesday blocked an attempt by Democrats to use an obscure law to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns from the IRS. Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee tried to frame the issue as a matter of national security. They questioned whether Trump has any investments in Russia. Trump has said he has no investments in Russia, and Democrats acknowledged that have no evidence otherwise. That’s why they want Trump’s returns, said Rep. Joseph Crowley, R-N.Y. The move came a day after Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to resign over conversations he had with Russian officials before Trump took office. Washington Post

Michael Flynn Resigns, Hillary Clinton Delivers Wry Response
Michael Flynn was among the harshest critics of Hillary Clinton's private email server during the presidential campaign. So it is hardly surprising that the former Democratic contender exacted a smidgen of wry revenge Tuesday after Flynn resigned as President Donald Trump's national security adviser. Clinton posted a message referring to tweets by Flynn and his son last year in which they linked to baseless news stories about her campaign. The retired Army lieutenant-general quit hours after it emerged the Justice Department warned the White House it believed he could be subject to blackmail. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Hillary won this one.

Anti-Trump Protests Cost Palm Beach More Money Than Protecting Trump At Mar-A-Lago
Since President Donald Trump was elected, Town of Palm Beach officials have said they would try to keep down security costs when Trump is in town. According to Public Safety Director Kirk Blouin, that plan hasn’t changed with the possibility that Trump could visit Mar-a-Lago nearly every weekend from now until May. FAA restrictions put in place Monday indicate he plans to return Friday for the President’s Day weekend. The town has allowed the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to handle the bulk of security measures with the Secret Service when Trump is here. Blouin has said the town provides one officer from the Palm Beach Police Department, usually an off-duty officer who is paid overtime, and a Palm Beach Fire-Rescue paramedic who already is working. Atlanta Journal

China Awards Trump Valuable New Trademark
The government of China awarded U.S. President Donald Trump valuable rights to his own name this week, in the form of a 10-year trademark for construction services. The registration became official on Feb. 14 and was published in a trademark registration announcement on the website of China's Trademark Office on Wednesday. This may well be the first foreign trademark to be handed to Trump during his presidency, but is unlikely to be the last. In China alone he has 49 pending trademark applications and 77 marks already registered in his own name, most of which will come up for renewal during his term. Houston Chronicle

Trump Denounces 'Russian Connection Non-Sense'
President Donald Trump is renewing his attack on the "fake news media" amid the widening controversy surrounding the ouster of his national security adviser and talk of Congress investigations of purported Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election last year. Trump posted a pre-dawn message on his verified Twitter account Wednesday complaining, "The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred." He said, "This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton's losing campaign." He added in the post that "@MSNBC & @CNN are unwatchable. @foxandfriends is great!" The latest tweet follows a pattern of social media messages that Trump has sent, chastising news organizations both during his campaign for the White House and in the more than three weeks since his inauguration. Houston Chronicle

Office Of Government Ethics: ‘Strong Reason’ To Think Conway Violated Rules
The Office of Government Ethics warned the White House there is "strong reason" to believe presidential aide Kellyanne Conway violated ethics rules and that disciplinary action is warranted in a letter made public on Tuesday. OGE Director Walter Shaub said Conway's urging of Americans to buy Ivanka Trump's products during a television interview from the White House briefing room "would establish a clear violation of the prohibition against misuse of position." The OGE letter comes in response to a bipartisan inquiry into the incident the top ranking Republican and Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Conway had been "counseled" for the incident. But Shaub said his office has not received any notification of disciplinary action. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Liberal wishful thinking.

‘Never Chelsea’ Movement Grows Among Liberal Activists
They weren’t ready for Hillary, and now they’re definitely not ready for her daughter, Chelsea Clinton. The activists who fueled Sen. Bernard Sanders‘ presidential bid last year and who have become the raging heart of the party as it seeks to rebuild itself, shudder at the thought of the 36-year-old daughter of the former president and secretary of state searching for a race of her own. “Chelsea needs to go away,” said Guinevere Boyd, a 49-year-old from Alaska who attended a Democratic National Committee forum this weekend. “She has nothing to offer. She has said some horrible clueless things about progressives and progressive issues.” For decades the sideshow to her parents, the younger Ms. Clinton has stepped out of their shadow in the months since her mother’s loss to Donald Trump in the presidential race. Washington Times

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Chris Christie Has Lunch With Trump Amid Job Speculation
Chris Christie chowed down with President Trump at the White House Tuesday amid speculation that the New Jersey governor might join the administration as it grapples with growing pains. Christie and wife Mary Pat had a Valentine’s Day’s lunch with the commander in chief the day after Trump ousted his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and amid chatter among Trump allies that more shakeups are coming. A source close to Christie told The Post that possible ­administration positions were discussed. “I heard it was about chief of staff,” the source said. But the White House said the conversation was about curbing opioid abuse, a major priority for the governor, and the chief-of-staff issue “didn’t even come up.” NY Post

Pope Francis Wades Into US Oil Pipeline Dispute
Pope Francis has insisted that indigenous peoples must give prior consent for any economic activity on their ancestral lands — an indirect critique as the Donald Trump administration seeks to advance construction on a $3.8 billion oil pipeline over opposition from American Indians. Francis met Wednesday with representatives of indigenous peoples attending a U.N. agricultural meeting in Rome. He said the key issue facing them is how to reconcile the right to development with protection of their cultures and territories. He said "the right to prior and informed consent" should always prevail especially "when planning economic activities which may interfere with indigenous cultures and their ancestral relationship to the Earth." Tampa Tribune

Boeing Vote Tells Next Chapter In Southern Unionization
Nearly 3,000 production workers at Boeing's South Carolina plant are deciding Wednesday on whether they want to unionize, writing the next chapter in efforts to organize labor in large manufacturing plants across the South. If successful, the balloting on whether employees should join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers would send a significant message to politicians both in the region and Washington that workers here are demanding the same protections and benefits as their colleagues in other areas. And, to the leaders trying to recruit businesses by promoting their states' lack of union presence, it'd make their jobs more difficult. Tampa Tribune

Bret Baier: Sources Fear ‘Intelligence Industrial Complex’ Trying To ‘Disqualify’ Trump
Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier says his sources are worried that an “intelligence industrial complex” in the nation’s capital may be trying to “disqualify” President Trump. The resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn from the White House late Monday prompted Mr. Trump to decry a spate of leaks. White House spokesman Sean Spicer echoed his boss’ message at a press briefing, which the “Special Report” host said was valid. “I think there’s a point there, and there are a number of different people on Capitol Hill and in the administration who I’ve talked about who are concerned that there is, in fact, this intelligence industrial complex that is trying to take out Donald Trump, or somehow discredit him, or get under and disqualify him or some of his officials that are working for him,” Mr. Baier said, Mediaite reported. “It’s a real issue, and it is something that Sean Spicer got to right there in that answer.” Washington Times
VOA IEW: Liberals want the Trump administration in chaos.

Photo Of Ivanka Trump Sitting In President's Chair Raises Eyebrows
A photo of Ivanka Trump sitting in the president’s Oval Office chair has raised some eyebrows on Twitter. The picture, which Ivanka tweeted on Monday, shows her sitting in the chair with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and her father, President Donald Trump, standing behind her. “A great discussion with two world leaders about the importance of women having a seat at the table!” she tweeted with the picture. CBS

White House Denies Public Scene At Mar-A-Lago Posed Security Risk
The White House is facing questions about whether President Trump discussed sensitive national security information in a public setting.   Late Saturday night, President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressed the latest North Korean missile test. Images were posted on social media showing the world leaders just moments before that statement having dinner in a public dining room at Mar-a-Lago. In one you can see Mr. Trump on a cell phone; another shows Mr. Trump and the Japanese prime minister reading information by camera light. The White House says the two leaders were discussing a press conference about the test. CBS

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500 US Troops Arrive In Romania To Bolster Defense
Five hundred U.S. troops are arriving at a Romanian Black Sea port with tanks and hardware to bolster defense in the East European NATO nation. The U.S. embassy said the "Fighting Eagles," 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, will be stationed in the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base in eastern Romania on a rotating basis. U.S. Ambassador Hans G. Klemm said Tuesday the deployment underscores that "the strong U.S.-Romania strategic partnership exists in both word and deed." ABC

Mazda Recalls Nearly 174K Cars To Fix Faulty Seats
Mazda is recalling about 174,000 small cars in the U.S. because the seats can change angles suddenly, making the vehicles hard to drive. The recall covers the Mazda 2 subcompact from the 2011 model year and the 2010 and 2011 Mazda 3 and Mazdaspeed 3 compacts. The company says the seat height adjustment links can break or detach from the seat frame, changing the seat angle and increasing the risk of a crash. ABC

Goldman Stock Hits Record On Bets Trump Will Unleash Wall Street
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. climbed to a record high on optimism President Donald Trump’s administration will spur trading and dealmaking, slash corporate taxes and roll back costly regulations after installing the firm’s executives in top government posts. The shares rose 1.3 percent to $249.46 at 4 p.m. in New York, passing a record close set in late 2007, just before the industry plunged into a crisis that almost brought down the global financial system. Goldman’s stock recovered much of its loss in the years after that turmoil, and since Trump’s election has soared 37 percent, leading the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher. Bloomberg

US Official Says Russia Deployed Missile In Treaty Violation
Russia has deployed a cruise missile in violation of a Cold War-era arms control treaty, a Trump administration official says, a development that complicates the outlook for U.S.-Russia relations amid turmoil on the White House national security team. The Obama administration three years ago accused the Russians of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by developing and testing the prohibited cruise missile, and officials had anticipated that Moscow eventually would deploy it. Russia denies that it has violated the INF treaty. Philadelphia Inquirer

Slain Brother Was Complicated Part Of North Korean Dynasty
A failed attempt to sneak into Japan to visit Disneyland in 2001 may have doomed the leadership dreams of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's elder brother, who was assassinated this week in an airport in Malaysia. Banished from his father's favor, Kim Jong Nam frequented casinos and five-star hotels and traveled around Asia, with little say in North Korean affairs. His life in exile ended Monday when he was killed in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Officials in South Korea believe the attack was carried out by North Korean agents. Philadelphia Inquirer
VIA VIEW: Un is a dangerous bad guy.

Rare Disease Carried By Rats Leaves 1 Dead, 2 Sickened
A rare bacterial disease linked to rats — and normally only seen in animals — has killed one person in The Bronx and left two others fighting for their lives, city officials reported Tuesday. The three cases of leptospirosis were identified in a one block radius of the Concourse section of the Bronx over the past two months, the Health Department said. “Human leptospirosis cases are very rare in New York City,” explained Demetre Daskalakis, acting deputy commissioner of the Health Department. NY Post

Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence
Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former U.S. officials. U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time that they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election. The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation. Charlotte Observer

In The Early Weeks, The Humbling Of A President
The presidential campaign was a heady experience for Donald Trump: months of triumph and, better yet, disproving all the so-called experts who said he never had a chance of winning. The early weeks of the new administration have been the opposite: the public humbling of a new president. Trump’s campaign was never entirely smooth, but instincts that served him so well then appear to be less helpful now that he is in office. As president, Trump’s early moves — with some exceptions — have been marked by poor judgment, botched execution, hubris among some advisers, and a climate of fear and disorder all around. Kansas City Star

GOP Senators Write To Trump On Guantánamo Prison: Keep It, Grow It
A group of Republican senators has written President Donald Trump and asked that he not only keep the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, but also suspend the parole-style review board and grow the prison population. Four of the 11 senators who wrote Trump represent Colorado, Kansas and South Carolina — states the Obama administration had considered as possible sites for relocation of the last 41 Guantánamo detainees. They called the prison a “vital mission” and “an invaluable asset” and criticized former President Barack Obama’s releases and closure ambition as “blatant disregard for the safety of the American people.” About 780 captives have been held there across the years; most were released by former President George W. Bush, who opened the detention center in 2002. Miami Herald

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Trump Calls In Sessions And Kelly For Next Steps On Travel Ban
President Donald Trump summoned Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to the White House Tuesday to review options for dealing with court rulings that put a hold on an executive order restricting immigration and travel to the U.S. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the president and the cabinet secretaries are continuing discussions about the next steps for the White House in response to setbacks in federal courts to implementing restrictions that Trump has called essential to U.S. national security. Bloomberg

Las Vegas Is Home To 170,000 Immigrants Here Illegally
The number of unauthorized immigrants in Southern Nevada would form the fifth-largest largest city in the state, according to a Pew Research Center study published last week. An estimated 170,000 unauthorized immigrants reside in the Las Vegas, Paradise and Henderson area, according to Pew researchers, who used 2014 population figures. Most of the United States’ 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants live in just 20 major metropolitan areas, the study found, with the largest populations in New York, Los Angeles and Houston. The Las Vegas area is 14th largest collection, with about the same number as San Diego. Las Vegas Sun

New York Times: Reporter’s Melania Trump Dig ‘Inappropriate’
The New York Times says a reporter's comment about an unfounded rumor about first lady Melania Trump in a private conversation with an actress at a party was "completely inappropriate." The comment came to light after actress Emily Ratajkowski tweeted Monday that a Times journalist told her "Melania is a hooker." Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said in a statement Monday that the unnamed reporter does not cover Washington or politics. She said, "The comment was not intended to be public, but it was nonetheless completely inappropriate and should not have occurred." Murphy said editors have spoken with the reporter. Mrs. Trump said Monday : "Applause to all women around the world who speak up, stand up and support other women!" Las Vegas Sun

Trump Nixes Anti-Corruption Regulation For U.S. Energy Companies
President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed legislation to scrap an anti-corruption regulation enacted last year to increase transparency in the business dealings of energy companies. Trump signed House Joint Resolution 41 to repeal the rule, which required U.S. energy companies to disclose any payments involving domestic or foreign governments to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The regulation from former President Barack Obama's administration was part of the Dodd-Frank Act, a regulatory reform package passed in 2010 as a response to the financial crisis and Great Recession. UPI News

Senate Confirms McMahon To lead Small Business Administration
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly confirmed Linda McMahon, a former World Wrestling Entertainment executive to lead the Small Business Administration.
McMahon, who founded the WWE with her husband Vince in 1980, was approved 81-19 in one of President Donald Trump's least combative nominations. The Republicans have a 52-48 majority in the Senate. McMahon, 68, has no government experience but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said her background as leader of the WWE, which grew to $659 million in revenue in 2015, would help small businesses. "McMahon, who built a small company from the ground up, understands the many challenges small businesses can face," he said. "She certainly come a long way from sharing a desk with her husband and leasing a typewriter." UPI News

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GERMAN NEWS AGENCY 'REGRETS' ANTISEMITIC CONSPIRACY ABOUT TRUMP
The German press agency DPA apologized Tuesday after writing in an article ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with US President Donald Trump that important Jewish donors catapulted Trump into the presidency. Daniel Killy, a spokesman for the Hamburg Jewish community, told The Jerusalem Post that “It’s not a statement of the neo-fascist NPD Party. It’s the German Press Agency spreading ‘Jewish lobby’ and other antisemitic clichés – truly unbelievable!.” Jerusalem Post

FOREIGN MINISTRY MUM ON REPORTS ENVOY TO EGYPT PULLED AMID SECURITY CONCERNS
The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday declined to comment on reports that Israel’s Ambassador to Egypt David Govrin was pulled out of the country with the entire embassy staff several weeks ago because of security concerns. “Due to security concerns we have limited the return of the Foreign Ministry embassy team to Cairo,” the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said in a statement. A report in the Telegraph said that Govrin was brought home at the end of December, which would be just some four months after he took up his position in Cairo. Jerusalem Post

Dubai Announces Passenger Drone Plans
Media captionThe drone was first unveiled at the CES tech fair in 2016. A drone that can carry people will begin "regular operations" in Dubai from July, the head of the city's Roads and Transportation Agency has announced at the World Government Summit. The Chinese model eHang 184 has already had test flights, said Matt al-Tayer. The drone can carry one passenger weighing up to 100 kg (220 pounds) and has a 30 minute flight time. The passenger uses a touch screen to select a destination. There are no other controls inside the craft. It is "auto-piloted" by a command centre, according to a video released by the government agency. BBC

Syria War: 'Dozens Killed' As Jihadists Clash In Idlib
Dozens of fighters have been killed in clashes between two jihadist factions in northern Syria, reports say. The battles involved Tahrir al-Sham, formerly an al-Qaeda affiliate, and Jund al-Aqsa, regarded as close to so-called Islamic State (IS). UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the fighting was a "war for influence" in Idlib province. Inter-factional fighting has beleaguered insurgents since early on in the Syria war. BBC

Donald Trump Lifts Anti-Corruption Rules In 'Gift To The American Oil Lobby'
Donald Trump moved on Tuesday to expunge rules aimed at forcing oil companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments in order to secure lucrative mining and drilling rights. The rules, called the Cardin-Lugar regulations, were established under the Dodd-Frank Act, the wide-ranging financial regulations brought in after the last financial crisis. Energy industry executives, including the former Exxon boss and now secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, have lobbied hard against the rule, arguing it gives global rivals a competitive edge. Guardian

Venezuela Vice-President Denounces 'Imperialist Aggression' Of US Sanctions
Venezuela’s powerful vice-president has described his blacklisting by the United States on drug charges as an “imperialist aggression” in the first bilateral flare-up under the new US president, Donald Trump. “We shall not be distracted by these miserable provocations,” Tareck El Aissami, the most senior Venezuelan official yet sanctioned by the United States, said in a series of defiant tweets. “We will see this vile aggression dispelled.” The US Department of Treasury on Monday labeled El Aissami a drug “kingpin”, accusing him of facilitating shipments by air and sea and having links to drug gangs in Mexico and Colombia. Guardian

Donald Trump's White House Adviser Kellyanne Conway Denies Tweeting Valentines Day Message To A White Nationalist From Her Account
Donald Trump's White House adviser's Twitter account retweeted a white nationalist on Tuesday, and then sent a Valentines day "love" tweet back to the user. Kellyanne Conway deleted the exchange, on her account when Buzzfeed highlighted the exchange, and said she had not sent the messages saying she "denounced" whoever it was. Mrs Conway has been under pressure to explain why she went on television this week to insist that Michael Flynn, Mr Trump's national security adviser, had the "full confidence" of the president, hours before he was forced from the White House. Telegraph
VOA VIEW: Fake tweet.

Donald Trump's 'Fake Tan Line' Mocked By Social Media After Forehead Is Exposed By Wind
A gust of wind briefly disrupted Donald Trump’s meeting with Canadian President Justin Trudeau yesterday, as the two leaders entered the White House. For a split second, the new U.S. President’s hair was blown out of place to reveal what some have described as a fake tan line on the leader’s forehead. The meeting has already been mocked on social media for Mr Trump and Mr Trudeau’s ‘awkward’ looking handshake, with images from the incident having been turned into popular memes.
This is not the first time Donald Trump’s bronzed complexion has been commented upon. At the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, the rapper Busta Rhymes referred to Donald Trump as “President Agent Orange” in his politically charged performance. Telegraph

Synthetic Drugs Are Making Headway In Afghanistan, UN Agency Reports
Methamphetamine is increasingly being seized by law enforcement in Afghanistan, and there is also evidence that it is being produced in the country, according to the first of its kind assessment on synthetic drugs released today by the United Nations drug and crime agency. After spending eight-months gathering information on drugs known locally as ‘glass,’ ‘tears of love or ‘sheesha,’ the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) concluded that “there are strong indications that methamphetamine use is establishing itself among opiate users, which are already one of the most vulnerable parts of Afghan society.” “The report comes in a timely fashion, adding another layer of understanding to the very complex Afghan drugs situation,” said UNODC's Director of Public Affairs, Jean-Luc Lemahieu. UN News

In Oman, UN Chief Guterres Seeks Ways To Help Bring Peace To Middle East
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today expressed his support for the countries like Oman that are in the forefront of mediation efforts to resolve conflict. “This is my first visit to the region and the objective is to be able to consult the Government of Oman to see how I can be useful, recognizing that it’s Member States and the people that have the leadership in bringing peace to the region,” Mr. Guterres told the press, following a meeting with Oman’s foreign minister, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah. “How I can be useful in supporting all those like Oman, who has always been in the first line of mediation trying to bring together the parties to the conflict and trying to make sure that peace is possible?” the UN chief said. UN News

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