NEWS   WEDNESDAY, MARCH  8, 2017   NEWS

Conservatives Balk At ObamaCare Replacement Bill
House Republicans’ long-awaited ObamaCare replacement bill already is being met with complaints from congressional conservatives who warn the proposed legislation comes with too much cost and too much government -- signaling a tough fight ahead for GOP leaders looking to send a bill promptly to President Trump’s desk. The legislation, released Monday evening, heads next to a pair of committees where lawmakers will start refining it. “The American Health Care Act is a plan to drive down costs, encourage competition, and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said in a statement. “It protects young adults, patients with pre-existing conditions, and provides a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them.” Fox
VOA VIEW: Republicans and Trump are disappointing many conservatives.

WikiLeaks Releases 'Entire Hacking Capacity Of The CIA'
WikiLeaks on Tuesday released what it said is the full hacking capacity of the CIA in a stunning 8,000-plus page disclosure the anti-secrecy website contends is “the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.” The 8,761 documents and files -- released as “Vault 7 Part 1” and titled “Year Zero” -- were obtained from an “isolated, high-security network” at the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Va., a press release from the website said. The trove had been “circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors,” one of whom “recently” gave the archive to WikiLeaks. The CIA allegedly employs more than 5,000 people in its cyber spying operation and had produced more than 1,000 programs as of 2016. “We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents," a CIA spokesperson told Fox News. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Not good for Democrats.

Trump To Ask For Border Wall Money — But Only A Little
The Trump administration is planning to ask for a relatively small amount of money to start building the President's long-promised border wall this year -- far short of estimates of what the wall might cost, according to preliminary numbers shared with CNN. Despite President Donald Trump's repeated calls to begin immediately building a substantive wall along the entire Southern border, which experts say would cost tens of billions of dollars, the administration is not asking for even a fraction of that in the near-term. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN wants to waste time.

Clinton Reflects: 'Life Hands All Of Us Setbacks'
Hillary Clinton, speaking at a women's empowerment event in New York on Tuesday, stressed the need for more women in politics, while joking about her own resilience after her November election loss to President Donald Trump. Clinton, who is emerging from relative privacy after her election loss with a series of speeches, credited her family, friends and many of the women she had mentored with giving her the strength to bounce back after losing to Trump. CNN

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Alzheimer's: The Disease That Could Bankrupt Medicare
Every 66 seconds this year, an American will develop Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association annual report, released Tuesday. By the year 2050, that number is expected to double to one every 33 seconds. Those startling statistics are mirrored worldwide. In 2016, the World Alzheimer's Report estimated that 47 million people around the globe had dementia. To put that in perspective, it's a bit more than the current population of Spain. CNS News

Obama Press Secretary Doesn't Deny Trump Was Wiretapped, Doesn't Deny Obama Got Intel
When asked whether he could "categorically deny" that the Obama Justice Department had sought and obtained a FISA court order to wiretap the Trump presidential campaign, former Obama Press Secretary Josh Earnest would not deny it and, when pressed, said he did not know whether it had occurred. Earnest also would not say whether President Obama had been given surveillance information taken from Trump Tower in New York City. As a guest on the March 5 edition of ABC's This Week,  Josh Earnest began his comments by stating, "Let me just remove the mystery here and explain to you and your viewers why it is false to say that President Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower." He then explained that the president cannot personally order a wiretap on a private citizen and that there are procedures that must be followed with the FBI and the FISA court. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Obama is guilty of something - call it what you want.

Company Recalls All Of Its Soy Butters And Granola Amid E. Coli Concerns
After being sued Monday by parents who believe their child developed an E. coli infection from I.M. Healthy Original Creamy SoyNut Butter, the SoyNut Butter Co. expanded its recall on Tuesday to include all I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butters and I.M. Healthy Granola products. And, in announcing the recall expansion, indicated the problem might’ve come from another company contracted to make the products. The recall includes all varieties, sizes and best-by dates or varieties of the peanut butter and granola substitutes used by those with peanut allergies. SoyNut Butter distributes the I.M. Healthy brand nationwide to retail outlets, childcare centers, schools and sells its products by mail order and through its website. In fact, as of Wednesday morning, customers could still place orders for the products on the company website despite the recall notices telling consumers to return the product to stores for a full refund. Miami Herald

WH Making No Promises On Trump Tax Returns
The White House isn't promising that President Donald Trump will make his 2016 federal income tax return public. Spokesman Sean Spicer responded with — "I'll follow up on the question" — when asked at Tuesday's daily briefing whether Trump would commit to allowing the public to see his 2016 filing. Millions of Americans have filed or are preparing to beat this year's April 18 deadline for filing those returns. Trump bucked decades of tradition by presidential candidates by refusing to release any of his returns, claiming that he's under "routine audit" by the IRS. The IRS, however, has said an audit would not prevent anyone from releasing a tax return, which will reveal sources of income. Presidents also have routinely release their income tax returns. SF Gate
VOA VIEW: Trumps tax returns would create a media frenzy regardless what they show - most won't understand them.

House GOP Health Bill Adds Up To Big Tax Cut For The Rich
The House Republicans' health care bill adds up to big tax cuts for the rich. The bill would cut more than 20 taxes enacted under President Barack Obama's heath law, saving taxpayers nearly $600 billion over the next decade. The bulk of the money would go to the wealthiest Americans. Low- and moderate-income families would lose their subsidies to buy health insurance in state and federal marketplaces. The subsidies would be replaced by tax credits to help them buy insurance. Official estimates for how these people would fare under the bill have not been made public, even as House committees move ahead with the legislation. SF Gate

New Orleans Confederate Monuments Can Come Down
New Orleans can remove several high-profile monuments honoring leaders of the Confederacy, a U.S. appeals court has ruled, but critics of the decision vowed on Tuesday to keep fighting to retain them. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he was beginning the removal process after the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday lifted an injunction halting such action. The monuments honor Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and P.G.T. Beauregard - leaders of the Confederacy in the pro-slavery South during the U.S. Civil War. Reuters
VOA VIEW: There is a higher court.

New Bomb Threats Made Against Jewish Centers Across U.S., Canada
A new round of bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the United States and in Canada forced lockdowns and evacuations on Tuesday, and all 100 U.S. senators asked the federal government to help them enhance security. Threats were phoned in or emailed to JCCs in states including New York, Wisconsin, Illinois and Florida overnight and early on Tuesday. Centers in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario also said they were threatened. U.S. federal authorities have been investigating a surge of threats against Jewish organizations, including more than 100 hoax bomb threats in five separate waves in January and February against JCCs in dozens of states. Reuters

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Ex-Spy Who Wrote Trump Dossier Speaks
Christopher Steele, the ex-spy who prepared an explosive dossier on the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russia, emerged from hiding Tuesday to say he'd returned to work. The former MI6 agent spoke briefly to reporters outside the London offices of his private intelligence firm, Orbis Business Intelligence. "I'm really pleased to be back here working again at the Orbis's offices in London today," said Steele, who worked for MI6 for more than 20 years and served in Moscow. "I'm now going to be focusing my efforts on supporting the broader interests of our company here. I'd like to say a warm thank you to everyone who sent me kind messages and support over the last few weeks. MSNBC

Trump Surprises First Batch Of White House Visitors
President Donald Trump on Tuesday made a surprise appearance in front of the first group of White House visitors since his inauguration. And looking over his shoulder was former rival Hillary Clinton. Trump greeted a group of about 100 people touring the East Wing of the White House and waved from behind a velvet rope flanked by a portrait of former First Lady Hillary Clinton adorning the wall. MSNBC

FBI, NSA Called To Testify On Trump-Russia Investigation
The directors of the FBI and National Security Agency, as well as top intelligence officials from the Obama administration, have been invited to testify to Congress in public later this month as all sides seek to get to the bottom of questions over Russia’s role in attempting to influence the U.S. election. House intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes said he’s scheduled a March 20 hearing. FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers are invited, as are Mr. Obama’s CIA director, national intelligence director and deputy attorney general, each of whom has been critical of President Trump in recent weeks. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: The truth will come out.

Cypriot Religious Leaders Make Joint Pledge
The leaders of Cyprus' Christian and Muslim faithful are pledging to work with authorities and help end violence against women and girls on the ethnically divided island. The heads of Cyprus' Muslim, Orthodox, Armenian and Maronite Christian communities, issued a first-ever joint statement on International Women's Day Wednesday to condemn violence targeting women and girls. Stating that Christianity and Islam condemn violence against women, the leaders said it is their religious duty to stand united against it. They also rejected the "misuse of religion to vindicate" violence against women and girls. They expressed concern that violence continues to be "one of the most pervasive manifestations of discrimination" against women in Cyprus. Tampa Tribune

Tweets And Temperament Are Tripping Up President Trump
President Trump gets high marks for leadership amid growing economic optimism, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds, but questions about his temperament and his tweets have cost him the political boost that a president traditionally gets from that good news. The survey, taken Wednesday through Sunday, shows Trump getting little bounce from his well-received address to Congress last week or from a brightening view of the country's direction. Instead, 47% approve of the job he's doing and 44% disapprove, a bit better than some other recent polls but a poor rating by historic standards. He is the first president in modern times not to score majority approval at this early point in his tenure. By 2-1, those surveyed disapprove of Trump's temperament, a much more negative rating than he gets for his policy positions. Six in 10, including 40% of Republicans, complain that he tweets too much. USA Today
VOA VIEW: The liberal poll is suspect.

Trump Loved WikiLeaks As A Candidate. But As President, He Is Not A Fan Of Leaks.
A month before the election, President Trump stood before a cheering crowd at a rally in northeast Pennsylvania and declared: “I love WikiLeaks!” Back then, Trump loved anything that made his rival Hillary Clinton look bad — even if the information had been hacked, stolen or leaked. Trump repeatedly celebrated and shared information released by WikiLeaks, calling the anti-secrecy organization “a treasure trove.” During a news conference last summer, Trump even urged Russia — which U.S. intelligence agencies believe has links to WikiLeaks — to look for tens of thousands of emails from Clinton’s private server that were not handed over to the Justice Department. Washington Post

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VA Secretary Wants Congress To Extend Choice Program
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin says Congress needs to act quickly to extend a program aimed at widening veterans' access to private-sector health care, pointing to a growing demand for medical treatment outside the Department of Veterans Affairs. Shulkin also pledged additional efforts by his agency to combat suicide, saying he wanted to expand mental health care to former service members who receive "other than honorable discharges" from the military, typically for behavior problems such as violence or use of illegal drugs. Shulkin did not release specific details, but said the VA will act on its own to expand coverage without waiting for legislation. Pentagon data has indicated that thousands of service members have had such discharges in recent years. Houston Chronicle

Pot For Pets: Owners Treat Sick Animals With Cannabis
Michael Fasman's 12-year-old dog, Hudson, limps from pain caused by arthritis and an amputated toe, but Fasman doesn't want to give her painkillers because "they just knock her out." So the San Francisco resident has turned to an alternative medicine that many humans use to treat their own pain and illness: marijuana. On a recent morning, Fasman squeezed several drops of a cannabis extract onto a plate of yogurt, which the Portuguese water dog lapped up in seconds. It's become part of Hudson's daily routine. "We think it's really lifted her spirits and made her a happier dog," Fasman said. "It's not that she's changed. She's just back to her good old self." Houston Chronicle

The Statue Of Liberty Went Dark Overnight And The Symbolism Was Irresistible To The Internet
For more than an hour Tuesday night, a cloak of darkness covered Lady Liberty. Some of the lights that normally illuminate the statue went off before 11 p.m., leaving only her still-lit torch and crown visible to most in New York Harbor. As one Twitter post opined, the timing was "just too perfect." Definitely, tweeted another, "an ominous sign of the times." The near-blackout of the universal symbol of freedom was invested with great meaning on the Internet, with a consensus settling, more or less, on two interpretations. Lady Liberty was either protesting President Donald Trump generally and more specifically his travel ban just a day after he signed the revised executive order limiting entry to the U.S. from six Muslim-majority countries. Charlotte Observer
VOA VIEW: Silly!

Marine Corps Commandant Urges Nude Photo Victims To Come Forward
The commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps is condemning the use of a secret Facebook page by some Marines to share nude photos of women, including female Marines. He’s urging victims to come forward if they believe they were harassed or abused, including over social media. Gen. Robert Neller, in a sharp video message Tuesday, says hiding on social media and being disrespectful to other Marines is embarrassing to the Corps and to the nation. And says leaders must make sure that all Marines understand the rules governing conduct, including on social media. CBS

Broadcasters Obsess Over Trump’s Wiretap Tweets, Ignore NYT Evidence Of Actual Surveillance
Broadcasters remain obsessed with President Trump, and not in a good way. A new study from the conservative Media Research Center found that ABC, CBS and NBC staged a “freak out” following Mr. Trump’s recent series of tweets which accused former President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower in New York City. The tweets — which began Saturday — were very popular on the morning and evening shows of ABC, CBS and NBC. Since then, the “Big Three” networks devoted a generous 107 minutes, 33 seconds to refuting the president’s claims. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: The liberal press look bad and will look worse.

Trump Incorrectly Claims 122 Gitmo Detainees Released Under Obama Returned To Battlefield
President Trump incorrectly claimed Tuesday that 122 Guantanamo Bay detainees who were released under the Obama administration have returned to the battlefield.
The number appears to stem from a report released last September from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, but the report clearly indicates that 122 of the 693 detainees, or about 18 percent, released under both George W. Bush and Obama administrations reengaged. A bulk of those detainees that returned to the battlefield, however, were released under the Bush administration, before the U.S. set up an interagency screening and hearing process for each prisoner. The report says that of the 532 detainees released from the detention facility under Bush, 113 returned to the battlefield, or about 21 percent. CBS

US Setting Up Missile Defense System In South Korea: What To know
The United States has begun to set up an anti-missile system in South Korea to help protect that nation from a possible North Korean attack. The arrival of the first elements of the system had been long-planned but occurred the day after another round of provocative North Korean missile tests. Here's what you need to know about the latest developments in the region. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is designed to intercept incoming short- and medium-range missiles. The United States and South Korea announced in July 2016 that the system would be deployed to South Korea following a series of North Korean missile launches last year. ABC

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Standing Rock Fight Comes To Washington For Multi-Day Protest
Indigenous rights activists erected a tipi camp beside the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital Tuesday as part of a multi-day protest against the Dakota Access pipeline, as well as over other indigenous issues. “This fight isn't over,” Mike Gamms, who came in from Los Angeles, told ABC News. “A lot of people thought the fight was over back in December or they think the fight is over now and it's a lost battle but there's still a lot of fight left and a lot more that can be done.” ABC

Taxpayers May Be On The Hook For The Next SpaceX Or Orbital Rocket Failure
Taxpayers may be on the hook the next time a space mission by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Orbital ATK Inc. or another private company fails.
NASA would partially indemnify private launch service providers from liability for injury, death or property damage for operations under contract with the federal government under legislation scheduled for a House vote today. The measure, S. 442, would cap losses at $500 million for injury, death or damage to private property and at $100 million for damages to government property occurring under contract. If passed, the measure goes to President Donald Trump for his signature. Bloomberg

Tim Kaine’s Son Arrested After Disrupting Anti-Trump Protest
The son of former vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine was reportedly arrested during a clash between protesters at a Pro-Trump rally. Linwood Michael Kaine, 24, was busted for second-degree riot after the melee that took place in Saint Paul, Minnesota Saturday during a rally in support of President Trump, according Minnesota’s Pioneer Press. Kaine, who’s father was on the 2016 presidential ticket with Hillary Clinton, was released from the jail on Tuesday and the city attorney is considering whether to file misdemeanor charges, the paper said. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Liberal will be liberal.

Legislator Shocked By ‘Insane Amount’ Of Booze At State Capitol
A new state lawmaker said she’s surprised by the “insane amount of drinking” that goes on in the State House. Providence Democratic Rep. Moira Walsh told WPRO-AM on Tuesday that lawmakers have “file cabinets full of booze.” She described how they recently took shots on the floor of the House of Representatives to celebrate Dominican Republic Independence Day. Walsh took office in January after ousting a longtime incumbent in last year’s Democratic primary and is known for being blunt. She was fired from her job as a waitress in January after her employer said her liberal political views hurt the restaurant’s reputation. NY Post

To Fund Border Wall, Trump Administration Weighs Cuts To Coast Guard, Airport Security
The Trump administration, searching for money to build the president's planned multibillion-dollar border wall and crack down on illegal immigration, is weighing significant cuts to the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration and other agencies focused on national security threats, according to a draft plan. The proposal, drawn up by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), also would slash the budget of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides disaster relief after hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters. The Coast Guard's $9.1 billion budget in 2017 would be cut 14 percent to about $7.8 billion, while the TSA and FEMA budgets would be reduced about 11 percent each to $4.5 billion and $3.6 billion, respectively. San Diego Union
VOA VIEW: Cutting the Coast Guard is not smart.

Women's March Organizers Call For 'A Day Without A Woman
Organizers of January's Women's March have called for women to take the day off and encouraged them not to spend money to show their economic strength and impact on American society. "A Day Without a Woman" on Wednesday is the first major action by organizers since the nationwide marches held the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration that drew millions of women into the streets in protest against misogyny, inequality and oppression. Though it is unclear how many women could participate, thousands across the country have signaled their support and interest online and to employers. The event coincides with the U.N.-designated International Women's Day, and organizers say they want to "stand with women around the globe" who supported their efforts Jan. 21 with similar protests in cities around the world. Kansas City Star
VOA VIEW: What next - totally meaningless.

China Grants Preliminary Approval To 38 New Trump Trademarks
China has granted preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, fueling conflict of interest concerns and questions about whether President Donald Trump is receiving special treatment from the Chinese government. The trademarks pave the way for branded spas, massage parlors, golf clubs, hotels and even private bodyguard and escort services across China. Trump has said he will not conduct new foreign deals while in office. And in China, it's common to register trademarks defensively, as a way to prevent trademark squatting. Tampa Tribune

Trump Sends Pharma Stocks Down With New Tweet On Drug Prices
President Donald Trump jumped back into the debate over drug pricing on Tuesday, sending pharmaceutical stocks down again with a tweet promising to lower medicine costs for American people. In a tweet shortly before 9 a.m. New York time, Trump said he’s working on a “new system where there will be competition in the drug industry.” Mylan NV, the maker of the EpiPen allergy shot that was at the center of the public outrage over drug prices last year, declined 1.5 percent to $43.36 at 12:18 p.m. in New York, while Perrigo Co. dropped 2.5 percent and Allergan Plc fell 1.5 percent. Bloomberg

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Trump Set To Roll Back Federal Fuel-Economy Requirements
The Trump administration is moving to roll back federal fuel-economy requirements that would have forced automakers to significantly increase the efficiency of new cars and trucks. The requirements were a key part of former President Barack Obama's strategy to combat global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to reverse a decision made in the waning days of the Obama administration to lock in strict gas mileage requirements for cars and light trucks through 2025. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Great, Obama was helping his Muslim bodies.

Pick For No. 2 At Justice Won’t Commit To Russia Recusal
Rod Rosenstein says he's aware of no requirement that he recuse himself from a federal investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election. Rosenstein, the United States attorney for Maryland, was appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday for a confirmation hearing. He was asked by senators whether he planned to step aside and leave the Russia matter in the hands of a special counsel. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself last week from any investigations touching the Trump campaign following revelations of his undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador. Las Vegas Sun

Catholic Church Of Guam Sets Up $1M Abuse Settlement Fund
The Roman Catholic Church of Guam has established a $1 million settlement fund for victims of child sexual abuse. In a news conference with his nine-member archdiocese finance council, Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes said the funds will become available as soon as the archdiocese has put in place an administrator who will be supported by an independent third party. After these are in place, Byrnes said victims can contact the administrator directly. He added victims' confidentiality will be respected. To date, 24 victims have filed a lawsuit for clergy child sexual abuse against the archdiocese of Agana in Guam. Philadelphia Inquirer

China Says NKorea Could Suspend Nukes For Halt In US Drills
China's foreign minister said Wednesday that North Korea could suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for a halt in joint U.S.-South Korea military drills, in an unusually public proposal that analysts said showed Beijing's growing alarm over the tensions. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said frictions between the North and Washington and Seoul were like "two accelerating trains" headed at each other, with neither side willing to give way. "The question is: Are the two sides really ready for a head-on collision?" Wang told reporters. "Our priority now is to flash the red light and apply the brakes on both trains." Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: No deal.

At Harvard, Ex-Obama Spokesman Says Trump Is Cynically Using The Press
Former Obama administration spokesman Josh Earnest says Republican President Donald Trump is cynically using the press while also relying on it to boost his image and appeal to the public. Earnest said Trump has a complicated relationship with the media. He said he doesn’t believe Trump has any grand ambitions to do away with the First Amendment but lashes out when reporters don’t echo his version of events. ‘‘He doesn’t want the news media to just go away. He just wants them to be nice to him. But that’s not their job,’’ Earnest said Tuesday during a Harvard University John. F. Kennedy School of Government forum on the press and the presidency. Boston Globe

Southern California Fault Systems Capable Of Magnitude 7.3 Earthquakes
New analysis of coastal fault systems in Southern California suggest the region is capable of a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. Until now, scientists thought the Newport-Inglewood and Rose Canyon faults were separate, but the latest research -- published in the Journal of Geophysical Research -- showed the two systems, running from Los Angeles to San Diego, are connected. Analysis of the fault system suggests a rupture on land could produce magnitude 7.3 earthquakes, while an combination offshore-onshore fault slip could yield magnitude 7.4 earthquakes. UPI

Earth Is Bombarded At Random, Crater Study Shows
New analysis of Earth's myriad craters turned up no evidence of an impact pattern. Earth is bombarded at random, the research shows. Some astronomers suggest the sun possesses a companion star, which makes its closest approach to the solar system every 26 million years, triggering a barrage of asteroids. But the sibling star, named Nemesis, has never been found, and the latest analysis suggests there is no order to Earth's impacts. UPI

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US JEWISH GROUPS CRITICIZE ISRAELI BILL BANNING BDS SUPPORTERS
The American Jewish Committee said it is ‘ troubled’ by a new law, adopted by the Knesset on Monday, that will bar supporters of the BDS movement from entering Israel. The Knesset plenum passed the bill Monday following a 46-28 vote. The legislation bans foreign nationals who publicly call for economic, cultural or academic boycotts of either Israel or the territory it controls beyond the Green Line, from entering the country. The measure also states that the Minister of Interior may grant exceptions. Jerusalem Post

US WORKING WITH ISRAEL ON SETTLEMENTS ISSUE, STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS
The Trump administration “would like to see Israel hold back on settlement activity” and is in discussions with the Israeli government “as to what exactly that would look like,” a State Department official said on Tuesday. Mark Toner, an acting spokesman who worked on behalf of the prior administration from the same podium, opened the State Department briefing room for the first time since US President Donald Trump took office in January. He took multiple questions on Middle East peace, but provided little clarity beyond what the president has himself expressed on his evolving vision for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Jerusalem Post

Zika Virus In Canadian Patients 'More Severe' Than Expected
The impact of the Zika virus on infected Canadian travellers was "more severe" than expected, say researchers. A new study looked at Canadians returning from trips to Zika-affected regions who sought treatment at a national network of travel clinics. Researchers examined 1,118 patients who visited one of those clinics over a year. They say they found a higher rate of complicated illness than anticipated in Zika patients. BBC

Trump Travel Ban: Targeted Nations Condemn New US Order
Countries targeted under a new US travel ban passed by President Donald Trump have attacked the move, along with the United Nations. On Monday, President Trump signed a new executive order placing a 90-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations. The order was presented as a means to strengthen US national security against terror threats. On Tuesday however, two of the countries, Sudan and Somalia, said the move was unjustified. The directive, which includes a 120-day ban on all refugees, takes effect on 16 March. BBC

US Bill To Target Russia's Possible Influence In European Elections
A bipartisan resolution will be introduced in the House of Representatives on Wednesday to target Russia for its role in election hacking. The bill, introduced by Republican congressman Peter Roskam of Illinois and Democrat congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island, will declare that it is US policy “to sanction entities and individuals within Russia or associated with the Russian Government engaged in hacking, cyber-attacks, and propaganda campaigns with the intention of interfering in democratic elections”. Guardian

Adults Are Having Less Sex Than 20 Years Ago
Adults are having sex less often than they were 20 years ago, according a US study based on a survey of almost 27,000 individuals. Researchers have found that adults, on average, were having sex seven fewer times annually in the early 2010s compared to the early 1990s, and nine fewer times compared to the late 1990s. The study follows research published by the same team last year which found that the percentage of adults aged between 20 and 24 who had had no sexual partner after the age of 18 had more than doubled between those born in the 1960s and the 1990s, rising from 6% to 15%.  Guardian

Top Russian, Turkish, And US Generals Meet Amid Standoff In Northern Syria
The heads of the Russian, Turkish, and US armed forces have met in southern Turkey in a bid to iron out tensions between rival factions fighting against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Stafff, and General Hulusi Akar, who heads the General Staff of the Turkish Armed forces, met in Antalya on Tuesday. Telegraph

Samuel L. Jackson Leads Outrage After Ben Carson Refers To Slaves Brought To US As 'Immigrants'
Ben Carson, the new secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is facing a backlash after referring to slaves brought to the United States against their will as "immigrants". In an introductory speech to staff at the HUD after he was confirmed by the Senate last week, Mr Carson shared anecdotes from his past career as a neurosurgeon and praised immigrants who worked long hours to build a better life for their children. Telegraph

‘The World Must Act Now To Stop This,’ UN Chief Guterres Says On Visit To Drought-Hit Somalia
Hearing the heart-wrenching stories of desperate families displaced in Somalia, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today urged a massive scale up in international support to avert a famine in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa nation and curb the spread of cholera. “It is exactly because it is tragic and because it is hopeful that it makes sense to make a very strong appeal to the international community to support Somalia at the present moment,” Mr. Guterres told reporters in the country's capital, Mogadishu. UN News

Women’s Progress Uneven And Facing Backlash, UN Rights Chief Warns Ahead Of International Day
The United Nations human rights office today launched a joint report with the African Union and UN Women detailing the progress and challenges to women’s struggle for human rights in Africa, while the UN rights chief warned that the women’s movement around the world is facing a backlash that hurts both men and women. “We need to be alert – the advances of the last few decades are fragile and should nowhere be taken for granted,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement ahead of International Women’s Day, marked annually on 8 March. UN News

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