NEWS   TUESDAY, MARCH  7, 2017   NEWS

California GOP Senator Wants Public Apology After Vietnam Speech 'Silenced'
A California Republican state senator removed from the chamber floor during a recent speech critical of anti-Vietnam War activist Tom Hayden is calling for a public apology from the leader of the Democrat-controlled Senate. “My voice is my constituents’ voices. And when I cannot speak, they are the ones who are silenced,” state Sen. Janet Nguyen told Fox News on Monday. “They deserve the apology.” Her late-February floor remarks were delivered two days after the Senate held a celebratory memorial for Hayden, a student radical in the 1960s who helped organize protests against the war. He later was elected to the state legislature and married actress Jane Fonda, becoming an elder statesman of the country's left. Hayden died in October. Fox News
VOA VIEW: All legislators are entitled to equal time.

Obama Audited Billy Graham, So Wiretapping Trump Tower Is Not A Stretch
The Obama Administration engaged in eight years of political payback and heavy-handed bullying that specifically targeted their "political enemies." Franklin Graham says every American needs to read Todd's new book: "The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again." Click here to get your copy! They used the Internal Revenue Service to wage an ugly campaign of bullying and intimidation to silence Tea Party groups and Christian ministries. In 2013 President Obama's minions sent IRS agents to bully the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. "I believe that someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us," Franklin Graham wrote in a letter to the White House. "This is morally wrong and unethical - indeed some would call it 'un-American.'" Fox News
VOA VIEW: Obama thought he would not get caught with a Hillary win.

Who's Visiting The White House And Mar-A-Lago? Dems Want To Know
Senate Democrats want President Trump to disclose who's visiting the White House and Mar-a-Lago. In letters Monday to Trump and the Secret Service, eight lawmakers urged the administration to extend an Obama-era policy of posting White House visitor logs online, and to include guests at the president's Florida resort. Obama's White House began opening visitor logs to the public in 2009 after a legal settlement with a government watchdog group that had sued for access to them. The logs were released every three to four months. CNN
VOA VIEW: Figured by a CNN posting.

GM To Cut Another 1,100 Jobs
General Motors is laying off 1,100 workers in Michigan -- the fourth layoff it's announced since November. The company is eliminating the third shift at its Lansing Delta Township plant, which makes three SUVs built on the same platform -- the Chevrolet Traverse, the Buick Enclave and the GMC Acadia. But the new version of the Acadia is being built on a smaller platform, so production of that car moved to a Spring Hill, Tenn., plant last summer. CNN

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Pelosi Should Rebuke Fellow Dem For Sexist Conway Comment, CWA President Says
Fellow Democrats and liberal womens’ groups need to condemn a Democrat congressman’s insult of Kellyanne Conway, Concerned Women for America (CWA) President Penny Nance says. Nance issued a statement Monday calling on House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to rebuke Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) for commenting that Conway, an advisor to President Donald Trump, was down on her knees in a “familiar” pose: “Nancy Pelosi needs to call Mr. Richmond on the carpet and send out a clear, unmistakable warning to her caucus and all Democrats that neither she, nor the Democratic Party leadership, will tolerate sexism, misogyny and chauvinism in their ranks.  There can be no double standard for Kellyanne Conway who was viciously attacked by Democratic congressman.” CNS News
VOA VIEW: Are sexist comments only for Republicans.

Cotton: ‘I’m Sure’ Senate Intelligence Committee Will Look Into Allegations That Obama Admin Wiretapped Trump Campaign
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told “Fox News Sunday” that he’s “sure” that his committee will investigate allegations that the Obama administration wiretapped then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. “We’ve already begun an inquiry on the Intelligence Committee into Russia’s efforts to undermine confidence in our political system last year and in our interest all around the world.  That inquiry is going to be thorough, and we’re going to follow the facts wherever they lead us, and I’m sure that this matter will be a part of that inquiry,” Cotton said when asked whether his committee will look into whether the Obama administration “abused its executive role.” CNS News

Republicans Join Democratic Call For Clarity On Trump Abortion Order
Two of President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans joined four Democrats on Monday in demanding that the White House provide more information about an executive order that has sown confusion among international organizations involved in family planning, AIDS treatment and other healthcare issues. In one of his first actions as president, Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 23 reinstating the so-called Mexico City policy, known by critics as the "global gag" rule, which withholds U.S. funding for international organizations that perform abortions or provide information about abortion. Reuters

Latest House Healthcare Bill Includes Concessions To Conservatives
The latest version of a House Republican bill to replace Obamacare would limit who could receive tax credits to help purchase health insurance, Politico reported on Monday, in an effort to secure the support of the chamber's conservative wing. Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump have repeatedly promised to repeal and replace former Democratic President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy achievement but have publicly disagreed about the best way to do so. The House of Representatives is expected to unveil its legislation soon. Reuters
VOA VIEW: The new healthcare bill is a disappointment.

Top Trump Security Adviser Faces Questions In Rare Hearing
The senior Army officer tapped by President Donald Trump to be his national security adviser faces questions from senators during a rare closed-door meeting amid intense scrutiny of the White House for alleged Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster's appearance before the Armed Services Committee, slated for Tuesday, is unusual because national security advisers aren't subject to Senate confirmation and typically don't testify on Capitol Hill. But McMaster's situation is different. He elected to stay on active duty rather than retire from the military and generals of his grade need the chamber's approval when they're promoted or get new assignments. Tampa Tribune

Somalia President Criticizes New US Travel Ban
Somalia's new president is criticizing the revised U.S. travel ban, telling journalists that "definitely" he would prefer it be lifted and reminding the United States that it has a large Somali community. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who holds both U.S. and Somali citizenship after having lived for many years in the United States, spoke on Tuesday during a visit by the United Nations secretary-general. Tampa Tribune

U.S. Moves Missile Defense To South Korea
The United States moved missile launchers and other military hardware needed to set up an anti-missile defense system in South Korea, the U.S. Pacific Command said Tuesday. The move comes a day after North Korea test-launched four ballistic missiles into the ocean near Japan. The U.S. military said in a statement that the deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, in South Korea was intended to intercept and destroy short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Still, while the U.S. and South Korea said the system is purely defensive, the action is likely to anger not only North Korea, but also China and Russia, which see the system’s powerful radars as a security threat. USA Today

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DNA Scan Uncovers 18 Genes Newly Associated With Autism
A new genetic analysis of people with autism and their relatives has uncovered 18 genes associated with the disease. People with autism often had dozens of mutations that may have caused their symptoms — an average of 73 unique mutations, the team at Autism Speaks found. Some of the mutations might be affected by medications, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The study adds to the considerable evidence that autism is a condition caused by genetics, and also adds to a growing body of evidence that each person with autism has his or her own pattern of DNA changes. MSNBC

Sessions Says He Didn't Mislead Congress In Testimony
Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his response to Sen. Al Franken in his confirmation hearing saying his answer was "correct," in a letter released by the Justice Department Monday, because he "did not mention communications (he) had had with the Russian Ambassador over the years because the question did not ask about them." Sessions said in the letter he "spoke briefly" to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016, and he met with Kislyak in his office in September. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Sessions should stand his ground.

Russia Conspiracy Allegations To Continue Until Trump Plugs Intel Leaks
Russian conspiracy allegations will continue to dog the White House until President Trump gets a handle on the administration’s opponents inside the U.S. intelligence community who are driving the story, warned Republican strategists in Washington. President Trump has railed against the leaks apparently emanating from the National Security Agency, CIA or FBI. But so far, he has failed to take adequate steps to root out the faction within the intelligence apparatus that is undermining his presidency, whether they are holdovers from the Obama administration or elements intent on thwarting Mr. Trump to preserve their own power. Washington Times

Travel Ban Drawing Fire Despite The Tweaks
Green-card holders are safe. Iraqis banned by January’s court-halted executive order are in the clear. Syrian refugees, formerly banned indefinitely, are now barred for four months, like every other refugee. But President Trump’s executive order "do-over," derided by critics as “Muslim Ban 2.0,” is drawing fire despite the tweaks. “Muslims still feel harassed, ridiculed, and persecuted in their traveling,” said Jacob Bender, director of the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Just recently, Muhammad Ali’s [Philadelphia-born] son was detained” and questioned about his religion, Bender said. “Religious screening should remain out of bounds in a multireligious, multiethnic society such as ours.” Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Expected from Democrats.

All-Knowing Surveillance System Detects Gunfire All Across America
Are those lamps on your local streets detecting when guns are fired? American cities are being upgraded to pinpoint shooters and help police fight gun violence. Like something out of the futuristic policing TV show “APB,” new tech can locate the exact position where a gun is fired and report it immediately to law enforcement. Called ShotSpotter, this is a tool that can be used by officials to respond even faster to the aid of gun violence victims — minutes can be the difference between life and death. And it provides police with far more information in advance. Before arriving on the scene, the tech tells police the exact location of the shooter or shooters, the type of weapon, and number of shots fired. This sort of data can help law enforcement respond more effectively and reduce the risk to the officers responding. NY Post

Trump U Student Threatens To Take President To Trial
A Florida woman is seeking to opt out of a $25 million class action settlement over fraud allegations at Trump University and take President Trump to trial. In a court filing Monday in federal court in San Diego, Calif., Sherri B. Simpson said she doesn’t want to settle for less than the 100 percent she paid for Trump U. courses. Each defendant in the settlement is guarantee 50 percent of the fees they paid for what they claim were sham Trump U. classes. Simpson?, of Fort Lauderdale?, wants 100 percent. NY Post

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McMaster Supports Trump’s Goal To Defeat ISIS, No Longer Says Group ‘Can’t Be Contained’
When Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, President’s Trump’s national security adviser, appeared at a Washington think tank last year, he asserted that the Islamic State terrorist group “can’t be contained.” It was an assessment that on its face appeared to contradict the message from the commander in chief. Mr. Trump has made it clear that his top foreign policy objective is not to contain the Islamic State but to destroy it. Defense Secretary James Mattis has presented the plan in outline form. If there is any field general best able to size up the terrorist threat, it is Mr. McMaster. He doggedly led soldiers on the ground in Iraq against the vicious al Qaeda in Iraq insurgency led by Abu Musab Zarqawi. Washington Times

North Korea Ballistic Missiles Fall 200 Miles From Japan
The U.S. military said Tuesday that North Korea had launched “multiple” ballistic missiles the previous day, and four of them landed just 200 miles from Japan’s coast in the Sea of Japan. “There were four that landed. There may be a higher number of launches that we’re not commenting on. But four landed and splashed in the Sea of Japan,” Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said. He said the missiles flew about 600 miles from their launch point in northwestern North Korea. CBS
VOA VIEW: Troublesome!

Pollution Kills More Than 1.7 Million Children A Year, WHO Reports
More than 1.7 million children under the age of 5 die each year due to the effects of living in polluted environments, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In a report released Monday, WHO found more than 1 in 4 deaths of children between the ages of 1 month and 5 years old worldwide result from pollution problems including second-hand smoke, dirty water, poor sanitation, inadequate hygiene, and indoor and outdoor air pollution. CBS

Supreme Court Won't Say If Trans Teen Can Pick Bathroom
The Supreme Court is leaving the issue of transgender rights in schools to lower courts for now after backing out of a high-profile case Monday of a Virginia high school student who sued to be able to use the boys' bathroom. The court's order in the case of teenager Gavin Grimm means that attention now will turn to lower courts around the country that are grappling with rights of transgender students to use school bathrooms that correspond to their chosen gender, not the one assigned at birth. ABC

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Gay Conversion Therapy Advocates Heartened By Pence, Republican Electoral Victories
Advocates of long-discredited gay conversion therapy programs say they are heartened by the election of Donald Trump and are counting on Vice President Mike Pence and congressional Republicans to help fight off efforts to make such programs illegal. “I certainly hope that this administration will pull back from some of the aggressive activism that the Obama administration engaged in,” said Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, a powerful conservative lobbying group in Washington that is active in supporting sexual reorientation efforts. ABC

Russian Hackers Said To Seek Hush Money From Liberal Groups
Russian hackers are targeting U.S. progressive groups in a new wave of attacks, scouring the organizations’ emails for embarrassing details and attempting to extract hush money, according to two people familiar with probes being conducted by the FBI and private security firms. At least a dozen groups have faced extortion attempts since the U.S. presidential election, said the people, who provided broad outlines of the campaign. The ransom demands are accompanied by samples of sensitive data in the hackers’ possession. Bloomberg

Bernie Sanders Says Trump’s Repeated ‘Lies’ Diminish The Standing Of The United States
Sen. Bernie Sanders thinks President Donald Trump’s repeated demonstrably false statements have to stop. In a tweetstorm Monday, Sanders took on Trump’s latest seemingly unsubstantiated allegations that President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap on his phones at Trump Tower. From “birtherism” to crowd sizes, the Vermont senator said Trump’s “lies” have diminished the United States’ standing in the world. Boston Globe
VOA VIEW: Expected from a socialist.

Top Trump Security Adviser Faces Questions In Rare Hearing
The senior Army officer tapped by President Donald Trump to be his national security adviser faces questions from senators during a rare closed-door meeting amid intense scrutiny of the White House for alleged Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster's appearance before the Armed Services Committee, slated for Tuesday, is unusual because national security advisers aren't subject to Senate confirmation and typically don't testify on Capitol Hill. But McMaster's situation is different. He elected to stay on active duty rather than retire from the military and generals of his grade need the chamber's approval when they're promoted or get new assignments. Tampa Tribune

Somalia President Criticizes New US Travel Ban
Somalia's new president is criticizing the revised U.S. travel ban, telling journalists that "definitely" he would prefer it be lifted and reminding the United States that it has a large Somali community. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who holds both U.S. and Somali citizenship after having lived for many years in the United States, spoke on Tuesday during a visit by the United Nations secretary-general. Tampa Tribune

Confirmation For Justice's No. 2 Job Occurs Amid Controversy
Longtime federal prosecutor Rod Rosenstein is expected to face questions about a federal investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election as he appears before Congress Tuesday for a confirmation hearing for the role of deputy attorney general. That No. 2 person at the Justice Department handles day-to-day oversight of the department and its component law enforcement agencies. Much of the questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee is likely to focus on a commitment by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week to recuse himself from any investigation involving the Trump campaign. The recusal followed revelations of two previously undisclosed contacts Sessions had last year with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: Democrats wasting a couple of weeks and Trump can find someone else for a short period of time.

California Exports Its Poor To Texas And Other States, While Wealthier People Move In
California exports more than commodities such as movies, new technologies and produce. It also exports truck drivers, cooks and cashiers. Every year from 2000 through 2015, more people left California than moved in from other states. This migration was not spread evenly across all income groups, a Sacramento Bee review of U.S. Census Bureau data found. The people leaving tend to be relatively poor, and many lack college degrees. Move higher up the income spectrum, and slightly more people are coming than going. About 2.5 million people living close to the official poverty line left California for other states from 2005 through 2015, while 1.7 million people at that income level moved in from other states – for a net loss of 800,000. During the same period, the state experienced a net gain of about 20,000 residents earning at least five times the poverty rate – or $100,000 for a family of three. Charlotte Observer

American Indians Protesting Trump, Pipeline With March
Members of American Indian tribes from around the country are gathering in Washington for four days of protests against the Trump administration and the Dakota Access oil pipeline that will culminate with a Friday march on the White House. Starting Tuesday, tribal members and supporters plan to camp each day on the National Mall, with teepees, a ceremonial fire, cultural workshops and speakers. Native American leaders also plan to lobby lawmakers to protect tribal rights. On Friday, a march of about 2 miles is planned from the Army Corps of Engineers office to the White House, where a rally is scheduled. Organizers on Monday didn't immediately know how many people or tribes planned to take part. Kansas City Star

GOP’s Health Plan Gives Tax Credits Based On Age And Income, Kills Individual Mandate
After months of negotiations, House Republicans unveiled their long-awaited legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act amid concerns the bill would weaken or erase many of the health law’s signature consumer protections. The bill would replace Obamacare’s income-based subsidies with tax credits based more heavily on age, wipe out the individual mandate, cut federal funding for local public health programs, bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal money and phase out enhanced funding for newly-eligible Medicaid recipients. Miami Herald

Two-Thirds Want Special Prosecutor To Probe Trump-Russia Ties
Two-thirds of Americans want a special prosecutor named to investigate connections and contacts between the Russian government and the 2016 Trump campaign and its associates, according to a new CNN/ORC national poll. In the poll, 55 percent of those surveyed said they are "very" or "somewhat" concerned by news reports that those connected with the Trump campaign had contact with Russian diplomats or operatives. The poll comes less than a week after Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged he had two meetings with Russia's top diplomat in the United States, including a sit-down in Sessions' Senate office last September.  He had denied Trump campaign contacts during his Senate confirmation hearing. SF Gate
VOA VIEW: Any CNN poll is suspect.

Trump's Tweets Confound French Finance Minister
U.S. President Donald Trump's use of Twitter to convey his thoughts on policy is perplexing France's finance minister. Michel Sapin says in a reference to Trump's possible adoption of protectionist trade policies that his stance requires clarification. Sapin said Tuesday, "You don't define your positions through tweets." Tuesday during a visit to Lisbon, Sapin said he hopes U.S. policies will become clearer and more consistent in negotiations. Sapin is not the first to be perplexed by Trump's tweeting. In January, the Chinese state run news agency Xinhua criticized what it called Trump's "Twitter diplomacy." Sapin also defended the European Union against Trump's preference to work with countries bilaterally, saying the 28-nation bloc "is a solution for the world, not a problem." Charlotte Observer

Trump's Wiretap Tweets Raise Risk Of Impeachment
The sitting president has accused his predecessor of an act that could have gotten the past president impeached. That’s not your ordinary exercise of free speech. If the accusation were true, and President Barack Obama ordered a warrantless wiretap of Donald Trump during the campaign, the scandal would be of Watergate-level proportions. But if the allegation is not true and is unsupported by evidence, that too should be a scandal on a major scale. This is the kind of accusation that, taken as part of a broader course of conduct, could get the current president impeached. We shouldn’t care that the allegation was made early on a Saturday morning on Twitter. Bloomberg

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Iraq Welcomes Removal From Revised U.S. Travel Ban
Iraq welcomed its removal from a revised U.S. travel ban on Monday, calling it a "positive message" at a time when American and Iraqi forces are battling the Islamic State group. Iraq was among seven Muslim-majority countries whose nationals were temporarily banned from traveling to the United States in an earlier order issued by President Donald Trump in January, which was blocked by the courts. The White House had said the earlier ban was needed to prevent would-be terrorists from entering the country. It removed Iraq from the list under pressure from the State Department and the Defense Department, which had noted the close cooperation between the two countries in battling IS militants in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Las Vegas Sun

Carson Compares Immigration To America To Slavery
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is comparing slavery to immigration in the United States, a view that one slavery expert calls "inappropriate and wildly inaccurate." Carson was talking about the work ethic of immigrants who came through Ellis Island during his first speech to the department on Monday. He said, "There were other immigrants who came here on the bottom of slave ships." A HUD spokesman declined to comment when asked about Carson's statement. Rana Hogarth is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She says slaves, unlike immigrants, were "a group of people making this journey against their will." Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Certainly immigrants and slaves are different.

U.S. Moves Missile Defense To South Korea
The United States moved missile launchers and other military hardware needed to set up an anti-missile defense system in South Korea, the U.S. Pacific Command said Tuesday. The move comes a day after North Korea test-launched four ballistic missiles into the ocean near Japan. The U.S. military said in a statement that the deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, in South Korea was intended to intercept and destroy short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Still, while the U.S. and South Korea said the system is purely defensive, the action is likely to anger not only North Korea, but also China and Russia, which see the system’s powerful radars as a security threat. USA Today

Trump Says Planned Parenthood Can Keep Federal Funding If It Halts Abortions
Parenthood cannot use taxpayer funds for abortion. But some say that’s not enough, and they want to strip federal funding from the organization simply because it provides abortions. That’s worth about $500 million per year, and for Planned Parenthood, which provides a wide variety of health services and screenings at clinics across the country, it would be a major blow. CNN and other outlets are now reporting that President Donald Trump informally reached out to Planned Parenthood to offer a lifeline: Instead of giving up federal funding, Planned Parenthood could stop providing abortions (with exceptions for rape, incest, and a pregnancy that threatened the mother’s life, exceptions that Trump has supported). Trump’s statement on the offer reads in part: “There is an opportunity for organizations to continue the important work they do in support of women’s health, while not providing abortion services.” Atlanta Journal

Hungary's Leader Calls Migration 'Trojan Horse' Of Terrorism
Migration is the "Trojan wooden horse" of terrorism and the current lull in the migrant flow is only temporary, Hungary's prime minister said Tuesday. Prime Minister Viktor Orban, an early supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, has ordered the reinforcement of fences on Hungary's southern borders to keep out migrants. Orban says the migrants, many of whom are Muslims, are a threat to Europe's Christian identity and culture. Orban said the migration issue would remain as long as its causes in the countries of origin were not dealt with and its potential risks were not recognized. Houston Chronicle

Racial Bias In Jury Room Can Violate Right To Fair Trial
The United States Supreme Court decided Monday that the presence of racial biases during jury deliberations have the potential to violate defendants' constitutional rights -- and in those circumstances, jurors' secret deliberations must be reviewed by the court. Addressing an issue it first pondered three years ago, the Supreme Court said courts must order verdict reviews in cases where it is established that deliberations may have been tainted by racial prejudice. Such biases, it said, can violate a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury. UPI
VOA VIEW: It would be totally imposible to get a fair trial.

Parkinson's Decline Slowed With Extended MAO-B Inhibitors
Researchers from the University of South Florida found in a retrospective analysis of clinical trial data that long-term use of monoamine oxidase type B, or MAO-B, inhibitors slows the clinical decline of patients with Parkinson's disease. Previous studies have shown MAO-B inhibitors produce neuroprotective effects in cell culture and animal studies of Parkinson's disease, but clinical trials had shown mixed results and appeared not to have a significant effect on Parkinson's disease symptoms. UPI News

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LIBERMAN TO SEE TOP TRUMP FIGURES WHILE ON WASHINGTON VISIT
Minister Avigdor Liberman will land in Washington on Tuesday to meet with his American counterpart, retired Marine General James Mattis, as well as US Vice President Mike Pence and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Liberman’s meeting with Pence and Tillerson will be his first. The four are set to discuss shared security challenges, including those with Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Jerusalem Post

TRUMP AND NETANYAHU DISCUSS IRANIAN THREAT OVER THE PHONE
US President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday evening for a conversation that, according to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), dealt at length with the Iranian threat. The conversation came some three weeks after Netanyahu and Trump met in Washington. The call reportedly came while Netanyahu was, for the fourth time, being questioned by police regarding two cases under investigation. Jerusalem Post

Iranian Ships 'Force' US And Royal Navy Vessels To Change Course
A US Navy ship was forced to change course when fast-moving Iranian vessels approached it in the Strait of Hormuz, US officials say. The USNS Invincible changed direction when the other vessels came within 600 yards (550m) before stopping. Three British Royal Navy vessels, accompanying the American ship at the time, were also forced to move. A US official told reporters the Iranian vessel had tried to position itself between them. BBC
VOA VIEW: The Iranian ships should have been engaged.

US 'May Split Families That Cross Border'
The US is thinking about separating children from their parents if caught illegally crossing the Mexico border. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told CNN the move would be an attempt at stopping families from making the perilous journey from Central America. Tens of thousands of parents and children, many who are fleeing violence in Honduras and El Salvador, have been detained coming across the border. It can take years for their fate to be decided by the courts. BBC

UN Atomic Agency Head Assured Of 'Very Good Cooperation' With US On Iran Deal
The chief of the UN atomic watchdog has said he is confident of “very good cooperation” with the US on Iran’s nuclear deal, despite Donald Trump’s hawkish comments. The 2015 agreement between Iran and major powers restricts Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, but Trump has called it “the worst deal ever negotiated” and said he wants to “police that contract so tough [the Iranians] don’t have a chance”. Guardian

Venezuela Calls Peru's President A 'Coward' And A 'Dog' Subservient To US
Venezuela’s leftist government has called the Peruvian president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a “coward” and “dog” servile to the United States for his antagonism to socialism. Kuczynski, a 78-year-old former Wall Street investment banker who won the election last year, has been one of the most vocal critics in the region of Venezuela’s ruling “Chavismo” movement named for late socialist leader Hugo Chávez. He particularly irked President Nicolas Maduro’s government with a recent speech in the US in which he said Latin America was in general like a well-behaved dog on the carpet except for Venezuela which was “a big problem”. Guardian

Don Cheadle Claims Donald Trump Used The 'N-Word' On The Golf Course
Hollywood star Don Cheadle has accused President Donald Trump of using the “N-word” on the golf course – stating that the president casually used the word to a man he barely knew. Cheadle, known for his climate change activism and work with George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt in Darfur, has long been an outspoken critic of Mr Trump. But when on Saturday the 52-year-old was asked about his distaste for the president, he elaborated. “Hated him since he asked my friend's father at a Doral pro-am if he'd ever ‘------ a n-----...’" said Cheadle. “Did it for me ...” Cheadle, the star of Hotel Rwanda and Ocean’s Eleven, added: “Consider the kind of person who would so glibly and irreverently spout that [to a total] stranger.” Telegraph

UN Chief Guterres Condemns Reported Firing Of Multiple Ballistic Missiles By DPR Korea
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the reported firing of ballistic missiles today by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), three of which landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone. “Such actions violate Security Council resolutions and seriously undermine regional peace and stability,” Mr. Guterres said in a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York. “The Secretary-General reiterates his call for the DPRK leadership to refrain from further provocations and return to full compliance with its international obligations,” concluded the statement. UN News

World Must ‘Act Fast,’ Scale Up Life-Saving Assistance In Drought-Hit Somalia – UN
As a severe drought deepens in Somalia, the risk of famine is looming in the long-troubled country, with about half the population in need of some form of assistance, according to an assessment by United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners. The situation has become “significantly worse in the last six months,” explained Joseph Contreras, the spokesperson for the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). “Currently, approximately 6.2 million Somalis are in need of humanitarian assistance, of that number, three million are in need or urgent life saving measures. This is a significant step up from the 1.1 million Somalis that were in such circumstances, such need for life saving measures in September,” he said. UN News

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