NEWS   THURSDAY, MARCH  9, 2017   NEWS

WikiLeaks’ Reveal Of CIA Hacking Trove Has Feds On Mole Hunt
Manning. Snowden. Whose name is next to be added to the notorious list of government leakers? The CIA is trying to answer that question right now. A day after WikiLeaks released what it alleged to be the “entire hacking capacity of the CIA,” the focus Wednesday began shifting to just who gave the stunning surveillance information to the anti-secrecy website. “There is heavy s--- coming down,” said a veteran cyber contractor for the intelligence community who previously worked in the breached unit, the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence. Fox News
VOA VIEW: This happened under the Obama watch.

US Border Patrol Struggling To Find Qualified Hires To Add To Its Ranks
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is hiring. And in huge numbers. The agency is looking to fill about 1,200 positions for all three of its units – the Office of Field Operations, Border Patrol and Air and Marine Operations. And President Trump recently announced that in the next few years he wants to hire several thousand more agents to protect the nation’s border. But achieving that task won’t be easy. “We’re already about 1,200 agents short of the congressional mandate. With the executive order to hire another 5,000 people, we can’t get people to come on patrol,” said Stu Harris, vice president for AFGE Local 1929, the local El Paso Border Patrol Union. Fox News

Sean Spicer Wrongly Claims Fox Reporter's Phones Were 'Tapped'
White House press secretary Sean Spicer wrongly claimed Wednesday that a Fox News reporter had his phones tapped while Barack Obama was president. "James Rosen had his phone, multiple phones tapped," Spicer said at the daily press briefing. The comment was made while Spicer was addressing a question about leaks from the intelligence community and new WikiLeaks' documents detailing alleged CIA hacking operations. That claim, which has been propagating in conservative media for several days, was shot down by none other than Rosen himself during a recent appearance on Fox News. "I was not wiretapped, my parents were not wiretapped, which is where you place a listening device on someone's telephone line and you listen to their conversations," Rosen told Fox & Friends on Sunday after the show's hosts claimed his phones were tapped. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN loves to shake the bushes on any possible Trump administration mistake.

Admiral Warns Staff Against Talking Too Freely
Think before you speak, especially in public and especially to the media. That's the message from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson to some 1,200 top admiral and civilian personnel. In a March 1 memo, Richardson assured the staff that he doesn't mean they should stop talking in public, or to the press. But he did say, "I need your help to ensure we are not giving away our competitive edge by sharing too much information publicly." A Navy official familiar with Richardson's thinking said the Navy chief believes adversaries -- including countries like Russia and China -- are increasingly mining open source information online and trying to gather what they can from public conferences or appearances by top officials. CNN

Judicial Watch Sues CIA: 'Illegal Secrecy' On 'Anti-Trump Russia Investigations Must End'
Because the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) under the Obama administration refused to answer a request to release a 2015 unclassified report about Russia's interference in foreign elections, the government watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the CIA in federal court today, March 8. House Representative Mike Turner (R-Ohio) has been pushing for the release of an unclassified version of a report "assessing Moscow's interference in foreign elections, particularly across Europe," the Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 13, 2016, as noted by Judicial Watch in a press release. CNS
VOA VIEW: The truth about Obama will now come out.

GOP Plan Orders Insurers To Charge People 30% More If Uninsured For 63 Days
The plan to repeal and replace Obamacare unveiled by House Republican leaders on Monday orders insurance companies to charge people 30 percent more in premiums for a full year if they did not have insurance for 63 days or more in the previous year. The sections of the Republican bill that create this mandate on insurance companies are titled: “Continuous Health Insurance Coverage Incentive,” and “Encouraging Continuous Health Insurance Coverage.” The first subsection of the “Encouraging Continuous Health Insurance Coverage” section is entitled: “Penalty Applied.” CNS

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Child porn Case Dropped As US Refuses To Show Software Code
Federal prosecutors have dropped child pornography charges against a Washington teacher after the U.S. Justice Department refused to disclose information about a software weakness it exploited during an investigation last year. Charges against Vancouver, Washington, teacher Jay Michaud in U.S. District Court in Seattle were dismissed Monday. In 2015, Michaud was arrested and accused of downloading child pornography. During the child porn investigation, the FBI allowed a secret child porn website on the largely anonymous Tor network to run for two weeks while it tried to identify users by hacking into their computers. Philadelphia Inquirer

Europe Must Take On More ResponsibilityIn Trump Era
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that Europe must take on more responsibility and continue to stick to its open trade policy amid changes to the trans-Atlantic relationship under the new administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. In this photo taken with reflection in windows of the visitors tribune, German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech on Europe ahead of an EU summit in Brussels at the German Parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, March Merkel, who flies to Washington, D.C. next week to meet with Trump, told the German Parliament that Europe "must be able to have an independent crisis management in our region" - not in competition, but in addition to NATO. Philadelphia Inquirer

Women In U.S. Sacrifice Day's Pay In Anti-Trump Protests
Women demonstrated across the United States on Wednesday in favor of economic equality and against President Donald Trump's policies on abortion and healthcare for "A Day Without a Woman," some skipping work or boycotting stores. Looking to seize upon the momentum of the Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21, the day after Trump's inauguration, the one-day protest coincides with International Women's Day with events in more than 50 countries, organizers said. The day was modeled in part after pro-immigrant demonstrations on Feb. 16, the latest in a series of anti-Trump protests since his Nov. 8 election. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Very few women participated in the liberal protests.

U.S. Judge Allows Hawaii To Challenge Trump's New Travel Ban
The state of Hawaii can sue over President Donald Trump's new executive order temporarily banning the entry of refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday. U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii said the state could revise its initial lawsuit, which had challenged Trump's original ban signed in January. The state is claiming the revised ban signed by the president on Monday violates the U.S. Constitution. It is the first legal challenge to the revised order. Reuters

It May Soon Be Illegal To Drive After One Drink In Utah
Utah could soon have the strictest DUI threshold in the nation after state lawmakers on Wednesday night voted to lower the limit for a driver’s blood-alcohol content to 0.05 percent, down from 0.08 percent. The measure heads to Utah’s governor, who has said he supports the legislation. If Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signs the bill, it would take effect Dec. 30, 2018 — an unusual effective date for Utah laws that would ensure the harsher standard is in place before alcohol-laden celebrations on New Year’s Eve. Supporters of the legislation said it would save lives by keeping people off the road if they’ve been drinking. A mix of lawmakers, including Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans, opposed the measure. Some cited concerns that it could hurt tourism as the heavily Mormon state grapples with its reputation as an unfriendly place for drinkers. NY Post
VOA VIEW: No driving if one drinks.

Law Aims To Protect Medicare Patients From Surprise Hospital Bill
Three years ago, M.J. Bricout broke her leg. And then when she got to the hospital she says she was robbed. "I was mugged. I feel like it's an appropriate word to use," said Bricout, who got socked with a $28,000 bill because her doctor categorized her as "under observation" instead of as an "inpatient" before she went into two months of rehab. But on Wednesday, three years after NBC News first told Bricout's story, a new law goes into effect that requires hospitals to tell people orally and in writing that they are "under observation," effectively outpatients, and thus potentially liable for much larger bills that aren't covered by Medicare. More than 1 million patients will get these MOONs (Medicare Outpatient Observation Notices) every year, according to federal estimates. MSNBC

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Nationwide AT&T Outage Made It Impossible To Call 911
AT&T experienced a nationwide outage on Wednesday night that affected 911 calls — making it impossible for wireless customers to report an emergency, authorities said. Police departments across the country were urging residents to call different numbers for help after the problem was first reported in North Texas at around 9 p.m.
“Please call 202-373-3700 ext 2…or text 911,” the D.C. Police Department tweeted at 9:05 p.m. The city’s Office of Unified Communications director, Karima Holmes, has confirmed the outage and instructed residents to do the same. Officials in several other states — including Texas, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Colorado, Oregon and Indiana — also told locals to call an alternate number or text authorities in the event of an emergency. NY Post

China Says It Followed Law In Approving 38 Trump Trademarks
China is defending its handling of 38 trademarks it recently approved provisionally for President Donald Trump, saying it followed the law in processing the applications at a pace that some experts view as unusually quick. Trump has sometimes struggled to win potentially valuable trademarks from China. He secured one recently after a 10-year fight that turned his way only after he declared his candidacy for the presidency. He had applied less than a year ago for the 38 trademarks that were granted preliminary approval Feb. 27 and March 6. Tampa Tribune
VOA VIEW: CNN made the big stink.

MIT Professors Are Lobbying Trump — Against Their Former Volleague
MIT professor Richard Lindzen’s contrarian views have lent the appearance of credibility to those who deny human activity is causing the planet to warm, but have caused deep angst among his colleagues at the university’s vaunted program in atmospheres, oceans, and climate. Now, the retired professor has spurred the rest of the program’s faculty to write a letter to President Trump refuting Lindzen’s position that climate change doesn’t pose a threat worth addressing and informing him that their colleague doesn’t represent their views or those of the vast majority of other climate scientists. Boston Globe

Georgia At The Bottom Of The List For Places To Raise A Family
Planning to settle down with a spouse and a couple of kids soon? Think twice before considering Georgia, because it has been named one of the worst states to raise a family, according to WalletHub.  Overall, The Peach State earned the No. 44 spot in the finance website’s “2017 Best & Worst States to Raise a Family” ranking.To determine the best and worst states, WalletHub analyzed the 50 states and Washington D.C., using 40 metrics grouped into to five major categories: family fun, health and safety, education and child care, affordability and socioeconomics. Atlanta Journal

White House Overly Downbeat About Budgeteers
President Donald Trump's spokesman went out of his way to cast doubt on Congress' budget experts, perhaps anticipating disappointing results from a coming cost analysis of a Trump-backed plan to "repeal and replace" former President Barack Obama's health care law. Too far out of his way. Citing the Congressional Budget Office's earlier estimates on the Obama law, spokesman Sean Spicer said Wednesday, "If you're looking at the CBO for accuracy, you're looking in the wrong place."
He added, "I mean they were way, way off the last time in every aspect of how they scored and projected Obamacare." Spicer is correct that CBO, well respected on Capitol Hill for the honesty and fairness of its work, overestimated the number of people who would sign up to purchase insurance in state and federal marketplaces. Houston Chronicle

Obama ‘Rolled His Eyes’ At Unsubstantiated Trump Wiretapping Claims
Former President Barack Obama "rolled his eyes" at President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claims that he wiretapped Trump Tower at the end of the 2016 election, a source close to the former president tells NBC News. The source, who spoke to NBC News on the condition of anonymity and is familiar with the president's thinking, said Obama believes the claims "undermine the integrity of the office of the president," but don't undermine his own integrity, because "he didn't do it." MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Anything Obama says or does is a lie or suspect at best.

Jobs Surge In Trump’s First Month
New jobs surged in February, with employers hiring about 298,000 workers, beating economists’ expectations by nearly one-third. The report from the payroll firm ADP on Wednesday provided the first data on President Trump’s first full month in office. The government’s report on the jobless rate for February is due on Friday. “February proved to be an incredibly strong month for employment with increases we have not seen in years,” said ADP Research Institute Vice President Ahu Yildirmaz in a statement. Washington Times

White House: President Trump Isn’t Target Of Any Investigation
President Trump’s spokesman Wednesday said the White House doesn’t believe the president is the target of a government investigation, moments after urging Congress to find out if there’s a counter-intelligence operation being waged against the president. “We have no reason to think that the president is the target of any investigation,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer at the daily press briefing, after being handed a note by colleagues. Washington Times

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Teens’ Brains Are Wired For Risky Behavior
Most parents of teenagers don’t need a study to tell them that adolescents are prone to being reckless. But new research confirms that teenage brains are actually wired to engage in risky behaviors. However, researchers also found that context matters to whether or not adolescents actually engage in those behaviors. The study, published in Developmental Science, looks at more than 5,000 teens and young adults from 11 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. CBS

FBI's Comey: 'You're Stuck With Me For Another 6 1/2 Years'
FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday he plans to serve his entire 10-year term, even as controversy swirls over his attempt to rebut President Donald Trump's claim that the Obama administration tapped his phones during the election. "You're stuck with me for another 6 years," Comey said during a cybersecurity conference at Boston College. Comey was appointed 3 years ago by then-President Barack Obama. Controversy erupted last weekend after Trump tweeted that Obama had tapped his phones at Trump Tower during the election. Trump offered no evidence of his claim. Comey asked the Justice Department to publicly reject the allegation as false. ABC

After "Soul Searching," Hillary Clinton Reemerging On National Stage
Hillary Clinton is scheduled to mark International Women’s Day with a speech tonight at the Kennedy Center in Washington. It will be at a ceremony for Vital Voices, a women’s leadership group she founded. She’s also slated to deliver this year’s commencement address at her alma mater Wellesley College. Her public schedule is sending a signal, perhaps, that she plans to remain involved in the issues she holds dear, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford.  The former senator and secretary of state accepted an award Tuesday for her work advocating for women. CBS
VOA VIEW: Hillary needs to spot light.

Conservative Group Leaders Meet With Trump, Who Hints That GOP ACA Fix Could Drift Further Right
Leaders of conservative groups that oppose the House Republicans' health care bill met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday night, part of a high-profile effort to quiet anger from the right. In the process, the conservatives heard the president float changes to the bill that go further than House or Senate leaders might accept. Trump and his team did not outright reject changes on at least three components of the American Health Care Act, said some of the meeting's attendees, speaking on the condition of anonymity. One idea was accelerating the timetable for key changes to Medicaid under the House GOP plan from 2020 to 2018. Sun Sentinel

President Trump Promised Mine Jobs And Highways; West Virginia Won't Forget
President Trump has famously promised to “bring back coal’’ and put miners back to work. But he’s also who’s promised $1 trillion for infrastructure. At the Republican National Convention, on election night, in his inaugural address and last week in his first speech to Congress, the New York developer has vowed to build highways. To Trump supporters here, his infrastructure promises are as important as his coal promises. Highways, in fact, are seen as deliverance from coal’s economic tyranny. “If we could get highways in here, we wouldn’t have to depend on coal,’’ says Ray Bailey, the assessor in McDowell County, where Trump got 74% of the vote. He’s tacitly admitting that while Trump may be unable to revive an industry that has been declining for decades, he can at least build some roads. USA Today

Trump To Name Jon Huntsman As Next U.S. Ambassador To Russia
Former Utah governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is President Trump's choice to be the next U.S. ambassador to Russia, White House officials said on Wednesday. Huntsman, who served as the ambassador to China during the Obama administration, had been considering a Senate run in 2018, The Associated Press reported. He would likely enter the ambassador post during an unusual time in American-Russian relations with alleged interference in the U.S. election by Russia. White House officials spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement. Politico was the first to report the news on Huntsman. USA Today

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Spicer Slams Accuracy Of Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer cast doubt Wednesday on a pending report from nonpartisan Congressional budget officials tasked with predicting the impact of the House GOP's new healthcare plan. "If you're looking to the CBO for accuracy, you're looking in the wrong place," Spicer said, pointing to the Congressional Budget Office's 2010 reports on the Affordable Care Act. "They were way, way off last time in every aspect of how they scored and projected Obamacare." "Anyone who can do basic math can understand their projections for Obamacare the last time were way, way off the mark," he continued. "I think when they come out with this score, we need to understand their track record when it comes to healthcare." ABC

Trump Meets With Democrats At White House On Drug Prices
President Donald Trump told Democrats at the White House Wednesday that he wants to do something about U.S. drug prices, according to a lawmaker at the meeting, an area of potential bipartisan agreement as the two parties wrangle over Republicans’ attempt to repeal Obamacare. Representatives Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Peter Welch of Vermont presented Trump with a bill to have Medicare directly negotiate drug prices with manufacturers, and also talked about the price of the EpiPen, Mylan NV’s emergency allergy shot that became a focus for critics of high pharmaceutical prices. Both lawmakers are Democrats. Trump was “enthusiastic” about the topic of drug pricing, Cummings told reporters after the meeting. “He was clearly aware of the problem and he made clear to us he wanted to do something about it.” Bloomberg

House Panel OKs Health Bill, Industry Groups Say 'No'
House Republicans scored a pre-dawn triumph Thursday in their effort to scuttle former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, but it masked deeper problems as hospitals, doctors and consumer groups mounted intensifying opposition to the GOP health care drive. After nearly 18 hours of debate and over two dozen party-line votes, Republicans pushed legislation through the Ways and Means Committee abolishing the tax penalty Obama's statute imposes on people who don't purchase insurance and reshaping how millions of Americans buy medical care. "That's what this whole bill was about, kicking people who weren't politically popular," Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said of Obama's overhaul. Houston Chronicle

Want To Be Happier At Work? Have A More Active Sex Life, Study Finds.
The key to increased job satisfaction and engagement may reside in the bedroom, according to a new study. Researchers found married employees who “prioritized sex at home” enjoyed their work lives more. “We make jokes about people having a ‘spring in their step,’ but it turns out this is actually a real thing and we should pay attention to it,” said Keith Leavitt, an associate professor in Oregon State’s College of Business. Leavitt was one of four authors on the study, which was published in the Journal of Management. The authors studied 159 married couples and used a 2-week daily diary to track their sex habits. Charlotte Observer
VOA VIEW: Sex provides a livelier persona.

Blacks More Likely To Be Falsely Convicted Of Murder, Especially If Victim Is White
Black people convicted of murder or sexual assault are significantly more likely than their white counterparts to be later found innocent of the crimes, according to a review of nearly 2,000 exonerations nationwide over almost three decades. Innocent blacks also had to wait disproportionately longer for their names to be cleared than innocent whites, the review, released Tuesday by the National Registry of Exonerations, found. Blacks wrongfully convicted of murder, for example, spent an average of three more years in prison before being released than whites who were cleared. Kansas City Star

AmEx Fights Back Against Credit-Card Churners
American Express Co. is looking to weed out customers who jump from credit card to credit card just for the sign-on bonus. An increase in incentive bonuses has boosted so-called gaming by credit-card applicants looking for a quick reward, Doug Buckminster, president of global consumer services, said Wednesday at the firm’s investor day in New York. AmEx is using analytics to identify and “suppress” gamers, while creating offers that incentivize long-term loyalty, the company said. Bloomberg

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No More Love For WikiLeaks From Trump After CIA Hacked
When WikiLeaks published the hacked emails of Hillary Clinton's campaign manager last year, then-candidate Donald Trump had one thing to say: "I love WikiLeaks."
But there wasn't a lot of love from the Trump administration Wednesday, after WikiLeaks published thousands of documents described as secret files about CIA hacking tools. White House press secretary Sean Spicer answered questions on the latest WikiLeaks disclosure by saying that leaks of national security or classified information should have everybody "outraged." "This is the kind of disclosure that undermines our country, our security and our well-being," he said. Las Vegas Sun

Couple Hundred US Marines Go Into Syria
A senior U.S. official says a couple hundred Marines have deployed into Syria with heavy artillery guns, as part of the ongoing preparation for the fight to oust the Islamic State group from its self-declared headquarters of Raqqa. The deployment is temporary. But it is likely an early indication that the White House is leaning toward giving the Pentagon greater flexibility to make routine combat decisions in the IS fight. Military commanders frustrated by what they considered micromanagement under the previous administration have argued for greater freedom to make daily decisions on how best to fight the enemy. Las Vegas Sun

U.S. Oil Supply, Inventories Send Crude Oil Prices Lower
Crude oil prices early Wednesday moved sharply lower after an industry group reported a large buildup in inventories, suggesting supply-side pressures remain. Crude oil prices moved between gains and losses in intra-day trading for most of the week as traders mulled over competing trends in production. Saudi Arabia is leading a strong charge of compliance with a multi-lateral deal to curb production, which in turn has propped up crude oil prices enough to encourage growth in U.S. shale oil. UPI News

Trump’s Office Of Anti-Immigrant Propaganda Will Hurt All Immigrants
President Trump has just announced the creation of a new government office that will document and publicize crimes committed by undocumented immigrants who, according to most studies, commit far fewer crimes than native-born Americans. So here’s my question to my friends who still support this president: If that’s not anti-immigrant fear-mongering, what is it? Trump announced the creation of his office of anti-immigrant propaganda during his Feb. 28 address to the joint session of Congress. Miami Herald

Former Trump Aide Flynn Says Lobbying May Have Helped Turkey
President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who was fired from his prominent White House job last month, has registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for $530,000 worth of lobbying work before Election Day that may have aided the Turkish government. Paperwork filed Tuesday with the Justice Department's Foreign Agent Registration Unit said Flynn and his firm were voluntarily registering for lobbying from August through November that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey." It was filed by a lawyer on behalf of the former U.S. Army lieutenant general and intelligence chief. After his firm's work on behalf of a Turkish company was done, Flynn agreed not to lobby for five years after leaving government service and never to represent foreign governments. SF Gate
VOA VIEW: Flynn's agreement may be void.

U.S. Navy Test Fires Surface To Surface Missile Module
The U.S. Navy recently completed a surface to surface missile module test firing exercise from the littoral combat ship USS Detroit. The exercise marked the module's first launch from a littoral combat ship, vessels designed to project naval power in offshore locations. It was also the first vertical missile launch from the platform. Navy officials say the test was conducted as part of its surface warfare mission package development program. UPI

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SWISS LEGISLATURE PASSES BILL TO STOP FUNDING FOR BOYCOTTS OF ISRAEL
Switzerland’s National Council – the lower chamber of the legislature – passed a bill on Wednesday to stop government funding of organizations that promote boycotts of Israel and spread antisemitism and racism. The measure will be submitted in May to the Council of States, the upper chamber of the legislature, which will decide whether it becomes law. Olga Deutsch, director of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor’s Europe Desk, told The Jerusalem Post: “Today’s positive developments in Switzerland mark a milestone in seriously countering BDS campaigns, antisemitism and hatred, by equating them in the motion. The motion sets an important precedent. NGO Monitor was instrumental in providing details to Swiss decision-makers regarding their government’s funding of organizations that oppose official Swiss foreign policy, such as NGOs that propagate anti-normalization, BDS, and one-state frameworks.” Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: Good!

MORE JCCS TARGETED IN SIXTH WAVE OF BOMB THREATS
Fourteen Jewish community centers and Jewish day schools received emailed or phoned-in bomb threats in a sixth wave of such threats issued on Tuesday and Wednesday in six US states and one Canadian province. Nine of the threats were sent or called in on Tuesday and the remaining five, affecting centers in Colorado, Delaware, Connecticut and Vancouver, Canada, took place on Wednesday. Jerusalem Post

Ivanka Trump Clothing Brand Sales 'Boom
Ivanka Trump's brand is booming, says the fashion firm, as one estimate says sales have jumped five-fold. Abigail Klem, president of the US first daughter's eponymous clothing line, says it has seen "some of the best performing weeks" in its history. The reported sales surge comes amid an ongoing boycott targeting business interests of the fashion entrepreneur's father, President Donald Trump. Last month several retailers dropped Ms Trump's label, citing falling sales. BBC
VOA VIEW: Liberal fools have lost.
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A Bumpy 24 Hours For Trump-Backed Health Bill
Replacing the Affordable Care Act became a rallying cry among conservatives for years and here was the first attempt by the party to fashion an alternative. But just 24 hours later and the mood in the party has changed, with the knives out for the American Health Care Act before it has even reached committee. It is still a "work in progress", say Republicans who are behind the bill, but what happened within a few hours on Tuesday means that work may be harder than anyone imagined. BBC

FBI's James Comey: 'There Is No Such Thing As Absolute Privacy In America'
“There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America,” the FBI director, James Comey, has declared after the disclosure of a range of hacking tools used by the CIA.
Comey was delivering prepared remarks at a cybersecurity conference in Boston, but his assessment has deepened privacy concerns already raised by the details of CIA tools to hack consumer electronics for espionage published by WikiLeaks on Tuesday. Guardian

Apple To 'Rapidly Address' Any Security Holes As Companies Respond To CIA Leak
Apple has promised to “rapidly address” any security holes used by the CIA to hack iPhones, following the release of a huge tranche of documents covering the intelligence agency’s stockpile of software vulnerabilities. The leak, dubbed “Vault 7” by its publisher WikiLeaks, is made up of a collection of around 10,000 individual documents created between 2014 and 2016. A spokesman for the CIA said it would not comment “on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents” and the Trump administration spokesman Sean Spicer also declined comment. Guardian

Trump Administration Considers Deploying Up To 1,000 'Reserve' Troops For Islamic State Fight
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is weighing a deployment of up to 1,000 American soldiers to Kuwait to serve as a reserve force in the fight against Islamic State as U.S.-backed fighters accelerate the offensive in Syria and Iraq, U.S. officials told Reuters. Proponents of the option, which has not been previously reported, said it would provide U.S. commanders on the ground greater flexibility to quickly respond to unforeseen opportunities and challenges on the battlefield. It would also represent a step away from standard practices under President Barack Obama's administration by leaving the ultimate decision on whether to deploy some of those Kuwait-based reserve forces in Syria or Iraq to local commanders. Telegraph

China Warns Of 'Head On Collision' Between North Korea And US
The United States and North Korea are like two speeding trains that are set for a “head-on collision”, China’s foreign minister warned on Wednesday. Wang Yi urged both sides to avert a “looming crisis” on the Korean peninsula, where missile tests by Pyongyang and joint military exercises by South Korea and the United States were raising tensions. “The two sides are like two accelerating trains coming towards each other," Wang told reporters in Beijing. Telegraph

Afghanistan: UN Mission Condemns Terrorist Attack On Kabul Military Hospital
The United Nations mission in Afghanistan has condemned today's terrorist attack on a military hospital in Kabul for which the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) claimed responsibility. “This egregious and morally reprehensible attack targeted people at their most vulnerable, while they were receiving treatment in the hospital, and also targeted the medical staff caring for them,” said Pernille Kardel, the acting head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), in a new release. UN News

UN Experts Call For Sensitive And Timely Response To Online Gender-Based Abuse
Urgent attention, creativity and cooperation are needed to address online gender-based abuse, but authorities should be careful to avoid curtailing freedom of expression in doing so, two United Nations human rights experts said today. “Online gender-based abuse and violence are undeniably a scourge, and governments and companies should be taking action against it”, David Kaye, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of freedom of expression, said in a news releases that coincides with worldwide commemoration of International Women’s Day. UN News

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