NEWS   MONDAY, MARCH  13, 2017   NEWS

White House Vows Plan Sill Offer Insurance To Every American, Downplays Upcoming CBO Report
The White House’s top economic adviser said Sunday that every American enrolled in ObamaCare will continue to have access to health insurance under the Republicans’ replacement plan, amid arguments that millions will lose their coverage. “We don’t think so,” White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn said on “Fox News Sunday,” when asked if many of the insured will lose their health care. “We believe if you want to have coverage, we're providing you access to coverage.” "We have to make a better plan," he said. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Time will tell.

731 People Have Switched Genders On Their NYC Birth Certificate Since 2015
Over the past two years, more than 700 New Yorkers have changed the gender listed on their birth certificate, city officials announced this week. Before January 2015, a person seeking to change his or her gender on a New York City birth certificate was required to have undergo sex-change surgery and changed names. The new rules removed those stipulations, requiring only the approval of a licensed medical or mental-health provider. And in December 2016, the city also allowed people to list their gender as “intersex” as long as they provide “appropriate documentary evidence from a U.S.-licensed doctor.” The first such designation was issued to a 55-year-old individual who had female genitalia, male chromosomes and a combination of male and female internal reproductive organs. Fox News

McCain Calls On Trump To Clarify Wiretapping Claim
Sen. John McCain said Sunday that President Donald Trump should either retract or substantiate his claim that President Barack Obama wire-tapped him in the final weeks of the presidential campaign and added he expects more to come on Russia's meddling in the US election. McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union" that he had "no reason to believe" Trump's allegation, which the President has not supported with any evidence and which a White House official said was prompted by a Breitbart article. CNN
VOA VIEW: McCain sounds more like a Democrat.

Malaysia Says It Will give Kim's Family Time To Claim Body
Malaysia's health minister said Monday that the government will give relatives of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half brother two to three weeks to claim his body before deciding what to do with it. Malaysian authorities say Kim Jong Nam died after two women smeared his face with the banned VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur's airport on Feb. 13, but North Korea - which is widely suspected to be behind the attack - rejects the findings. North Korea has demanded the body back from Day One and objected to Malaysia's autopsy. Pyongyang also has refused to acknowledge that Kim Jong Nam was the victim and has referred to him as Kim Chol, the name on the passport Kim was carrying when he was attacked in a crowded airport terminal. Philadelphia Inquirer

Conway Suggests Surveillance Of Trump Went Beyond Phones
Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway is suggesting that alleged government surveillance of Donald Trump during his campaign may have gone beyond the president’s accusation that former President Barack Obama had his phones tapped. Conway tells New Jersey’s Bergen County Record “there are many ways to surveil each other.” She says “you can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets — any number of ways.” Conway didn’t offer any evidence for the remark. It follows Trump’s claim that Obama had Trump’s “wires tapped” at Trump Tower before the election. Trump hasn’t provided evidence and Obama has denied the charge. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Time will tell.

Officials Warn Of Global Religious Extremism Threat To China
Chinese officials are issuing new warnings about the specter of global religious extremism seeping into the country, following reports of fighters from China's Muslim minority fighting alongside militants in Syria and Iraq. Sharhat Ahan, a top political and legal affairs party official in Xinjiang, on Sunday became the latest official from a predominantly Muslim region to warn about China becoming destabilized by the "international anti-terror situation" and calling for a "people's war." Over the past year, regional leaders in Xinjiang, home to the Uighur (pronounced WEE-gur) ethnic minority, have ramped up surveillance measures and police patrols and staged massive rallies intended to showcase the power of the security forces. Tampa Tribune

China Law Would Outlaw Insults To Communist Heroes, Martyrs
Damaging the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs could be a civil offense under a proposed draft of China's civil law as the Communist Party further tightens the space for public discourse on historical issues. The official Xinhua News Agency reported Monday that delegates to China's ceremonial parliament had introduced the provisions for ratification this week. Liberal academics and intellectuals have been increasingly pressured in recent years to adhere to the Communist Party's official interpretations on historical matters. A professor was forced into retirement in January for criticizing Mao Zedong, while a writer was convicted of libel last year after he challenged the veracity of a famous tale of Communist Party soldiers who allegedly sacrificed themselves in a battle against invading Japanese forces. Tamp Tribune

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Hospitals Fear Obamacare Repeal May Create Financial Strain
The Republican plan to overhaul Obamacare could have a dire impact on hospital finances, some health care experts warn, creating serious concerns about patient safety and health care quality. Josh Sharfstein, a pediatrician and former top health official for the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland, says the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) goes far beyond expanding health insurance coverage to millions of Americans so they can get the treatment they need. That insurance reimbursement also helps keep hospitals afloat, he says. "It’s underappreciated how much the ACA has focused the health care system on delivering a higher quality of care. This could easily be lost," says Sharfstein, now a professor and associate dean at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. USA Today

Northeast Bracing For A 'Ferocious' Snowstorm
Tens of millions of people in the Northeast enjoying one of the warmest winters on record faced the ominous prospect of a massive and dangerous storm Monday that could blast the region with up to 18 inches of snow and winds capable of disrupting power, closing schools and creating travel chaos. A powerful nor'easter was forecast to track along the East Coast late Monday through Tuesday, the National Weather Service said. Strong winds with gusts of up to 50 mph may cause blizzard conditions along some coastal areas. The Weather Service warned that any change in track could dramatically alter the amount of snow and where it falls. But there is little doubt that a big storm will explode on the region, says Tom Kines, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather. USA Today

Trump Budget Expected To Seek Historic Contraction Of Federal Workforce
President Trump’s budget proposal this week would shake the federal government to its core if enacted, culling back numerous programs and expediting a historic contraction of the federal workforce. This would be the first time the government has executed cuts of this magnitude — and all at once — since the drawdown following World War II, economists and budget analysts said. The spending budget Trump is set to release Thursday will offer the clearest snapshot of his vision for the size and role of government. Aides say that the president sees a new Washington emerging from the budget process, one that prioritizes the military and homeland security while slashing many other areas, including housing, foreign assistance, environmental programs, public broadcasting and research. Simply put, government would be smaller and less involved in regulating life in America, with private companies and states playing a much bigger role. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Long needed.

Why Georgia Republicans Are Nervous About House Health Plan
Georgia Republicans are sharply divided over the GOP proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act that’s galloping through the U.S. House of Representatives, raising concerns about the lack of a cost estimate for the overhaul and its impact on the state’s budget as it moves through Capitol Hill. As House lawmakers prepare to vote on the sweeping rewrite of health care policy, at least two GOP congressmen from Georgia said they won’t support the measure in its current form. And Gov. Nathan Deal has raised concerns about how it will affect Georgia and other states that refused to expand Medicaid. The fight over the plan is another stinging reminder of the challenges of making substantial changes to health policy even for Republicans who have long vowed to repeal the signature law of Barack Obama’s presidency. Atlanta Journal

Trump Associate Plays Down Twitter Contact With Guccifer 2.0
Roger Stone, the flamboyant political adviser who has been connected to President Donald Trump for years, is defending his contacts with "Guccifer 2.0"-- the online persona who claims responsibility for hacking the Democratic National Committee -- as an innocuous "brief exchange" of a few direct messages that he says amount to nothing. Any suggestion otherwise, he told CNN, is "a fabrication." Stone said his few exchanges with Guccifer 2.0 occurred in August after Twitter briefly banned the hacker for posting DNC information, proving he did not collude in the hack itself. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN continues to fail to tell the truth.

Hate Daylight Saving Time? You May Have A Point, Researchers Say
For most Americans, daylight saving time means only one thing: losing an hour's sleep. So what is the point? This is actually a reasonable question, according to a growing body of scientific research. Daylight saving time is the practice of moving clocks forward by one hour during summer months so that daylight lasts longer into evening. Most of North America and Europe follows the custom, while the majority of countries elsewhere do not. Reuters

Merkel Meets Trump In Clash Of Style And Substance
She is controlled and cautious, a physicist from East Germany who takes her time making decisions and has never relished the attention that comes from being Europe's most powerful leader. He is a wealthy real estate magnate from New York who shoots from the hip and enjoys the spotlight. It is hard to imagine two leaders more different, in style or substance, than Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Donald Trump, the new president of the United States. For months, they have been engaged in an uneasy long-distance skirmish over policy and values. Reuters

House Intelligence Panel Wants Wiretapping Evidence By Monday
The clock is ticking. The top lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee have asked the Justice Department to turn over by Monday any evidence showing Trump Tower was wiretapped during the 2016 presidential race — an explosive accusation President Trump leveled at former President Obama without providing any proof.
The request came in a letter sent last week to the acting deputy attorney general by the committee chairman, Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and its ranking Democratic member, Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), congressional aides told NBC News. FBI chief James Comey, who reportedly asked the Justice Department to publicly reject Trump's claim, was also sent a copy of the letter. MSNBC

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Donald Trump Jr: At Fundraiser, President’s Son Says ‘Zero Contact’ With Dad
Donald Trump Jr. said he has had virtually no contact with his father since the real estate tycoon and reality star became president and ceded control of his business empire to his oldest sons. "I basically have zero contact with him at this point," the younger Trump said in a speech at a GOP fundraiser in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday. In January, Donald Trump Jr. and his younger brother Eric took the reins at the family's eponymous businesses, after their father resigned his position while maintaining his financial interest. At the time, government ethics officials said the president's move did not go far enough to address concerns about conflicts of interest. MSNBC

Ohio Gov. John Kasich: ‘The Political Parties Are Disintegrating Before Our Very Eyes’
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday that both political parties are falling apart at the seams as Republicans and Democrats focus more on scoring political points than on helping Americans in need. The former GOP presidential candidate said the debate over health care reform has become so politicized that both sides have forgotten that their true goal should be taking care of citizens as best they can while also containing costs and adopting a more market-driven approach. Mr. Kasich said any lawmaker, regardless of party, who focuses on politics during the health care debate is a “big-time loser.” Washington Times

Top Saudi Prince To Meet Trump In White House Visit
 Saudi Arabia's royal court said Monday the kingdom's second-in-line to the throne will meet President Donald Trump at the White House in the highest-level visit to Washington by a Saudi royal since November's presidential election. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also defense minister and King Salman's son, is scheduled to start his Washington visit on Thursday. He departs for the United States on Monday. The royal court, in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, said that Prince Mohammed will meet with Trump and a number of U.S. officials to discuss "the strengthening of bilateral relations between the two countries and regional issues of mutual interest." Houston Chronilce

Trump Budget Timeline Mixes Deadlines, Uncertainty
President Donald Trump's release of a spending blueprint for the upcoming budget year will set in motion a debate that's full of uncertainty — and the potential for gridlock, even a government shutdown. There's also a more immediate quandary: What to do about the current budget year? None of the 12 annual appropriations bills has been enacted and a temporary funding measure expires next month. Trump's signature is needed on what promises to be an omnibus spending bill with a $1 trillion-plus price tag. The path toward passage may be rocky, given the political land mines such as the southern border wall and a budget-busting supplemental Pentagon request. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: Liberal pessimism expected from the liberal media.

Berlin Ground Staff Strike, Hundreds Of Flights Canceled
Ground staff at Berlin's two airports went on strike Monday for the second time in four days, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights. The ver.di union called on staff at the Tegel and Schoenefeld airports to walk out from 4 a.m. (0300 GMT) Monday until 5 a.m. (0400 GMT) Tuesday, then extended the strike by another 24 hours until early Wednesday. The strike follows an all-day walkout on Friday. Airport authorities said 465 departures from Tegel, the busier airport, and 195 from Schoenefeld were canceled on Monday — most of the flights planned for the day. Charlotte Observer

Sen. Rand Paul Stokes Division Between President Trump, Paul Ryan On Health Care Bill
President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan have tried to present a unified front on the GOP’s health care bill, but a top Republican critic of that legislation on Sunday tried to stoke divisions between the two. Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, said flatly that he doesn’t believe the president is fully committed to the legislation as currently written. The House Republican leadership, he added, is presenting a false choice between the status quo or the current alternative proposal backed by Mr. Ryan. “I think there’s a separation between the two,” Mr. Paul told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I’ve talked to the president I think three times on Obamacare and I hear from him that he’s willing to negotiate. You know what I hear from Paul Ryan? It’s a binary choice, young man. But what does a binary choice mean? His way or the highway?” Washington Times

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Iowa Congressman Says American Society Can’t Be Restored With ‘Somebody Else's Babies’
Iowa Rep. Steve King is no stranger to controversy. But even still, his comments on Twitter Sunday sparked an especially strong reaction from both sides of the aisle. The Republican, who was an early supporter of President Donald Trump, quoted a tweet about Dutch prime minister candidate Geert Wilders that was critical of Islam, and added a comment of his own. “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies,” King wrote. The original tweet King was responding to came from “Voice of Europe,” a self-described anti-European Union account that has tweeted critically about immigrants and refugees entering Europe in the past. The tweet was accompanied by a cartoon of Wilders plugging a hole in the wall of “Western civilization,” while an angry mob of bearded men stands nearby with signs that read “Infidels, Know Your Limits” and “Freedom of Speech Go To Hell.” Charlotte Observer

Deadly Fungal Infection That Doctors Have Been Fearing Now Reported In U.S.
Nearly three dozen people in the United States have been diagnosed with a deadly and highly drug-resistant fungal infection since federal health officials first warned U.S. clinicians last June to be on the lookout for the emerging pathogen that has been spreading around the world. The fungus, a strain of a kind of yeast known as Candida auris, has been reported in a dozen countries on five continents starting in 2009, where it was first found in an ear infection in a patient in Japan. Since then, the fungus has been reported in Colombia, India, Israel, Kenya, Kuwait, Pakistan, South Korea, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. Unlike garden variety yeast infections, this one causes serious bloodstream infections, spreads easily from person to person in health-care settings, and survives for months on skin and for weeks on bed rails, chairs and other hospital equipment. Some strains are resistant to all three major classes of antifungal drugs. Kansas City Star

Putin Aide Says Russia Is Frustrated With Trump Administration
The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin is expressing frustration with the inconclusive first two months of relations between Moscow and the Trump administration. The election of President Trump, who had spoken admiringly of Putin and called for improved US-Russia relations, had raised hopes in the Kremlin. But Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says there are no signs of progress yet. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a better understanding of when this dialogue can begin,” Peskov said in an interview with CNN’s  Fareed Zakaria broadcast Sunday. CBS
VOA VIEW:  CNN is doing the best to start a feud.

Bernie Sanders Calls New Health Care Bill “A Tax Break For The Top 2 Percent”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday that legislation proposed by House Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare is an “absolute disaster” that will shift wealth from America’s working class to the richest people. “It is a 275 billion dollar tax break for the top 2 percent,” Sanders told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “Millionaires will get about 50 thousand dollars a year in tax breaks while some 5 to 10 million are going to lose their health insurance. Premiums are going to soar.” CBS
VOA VIEW: The health replace is not great, but the negative commits are coming from a socialist.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich: ‘The Political Parties Are Disintegrating Before Our Very Eyes’
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday that both political parties are falling apart at the seams as Republicans and Democrats focus more on scoring political points than on helping Americans in need. The former GOP presidential candidate said the debate over health care reform has become so politicized that both sides have forgotten that their true goal should be taking care of citizens as best they can while also containing costs and adopting a more market-driven approach. Mr. Kasich said any lawmaker, regardless of party, who focuses on politics during the health care debate is a “big-time loser.” Washington Times

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GOP Risks Losing House Majority If Health Bill Approved
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton said GOP members of the House should not "walk the plank" by approving the Republican health care bill, warning that it could cost the party the House majority and put the entire GOP agenda at risk. "I would say to my friends in the House of Representatives with whom I serve, 'Do not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the Senate and then have to face the consequences of that vote," Cotton told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos. The Arkansas senator went further, saying on "This Week" Sunday that Republicans are in danger of losing their House majority if they approve the GOP health measure, called the American Health Care Act, proposed last week by House Republican leaders and endorsed by the White House. ABC

Trump's Dismissal Of US Attorney Preet Bharara Raises 'A Lot Of Questions'
The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee said there “very well may be” a connection between the Justice Department's dismissal of Preet Bharara as U.S. attorney and a watchdogs’ letter just days before asking Bharara to investigate whether President Trump's businesses are receiving financial benefits from foreign governments. Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopolous that Trump has the prerogative to dismiss U.S. attorneys, who are appointed by the president, but he said he is “curious” about the decision on Bharara, who was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and who was told in November by Trump that he could stay in his post. ABC
VOA VIEW: That means that Obama is a big loser for dismissing all of the AGs when he took office.

U.S. Group Seeks Informal Talks With North Korea As Threat Grows
A group of former U.S. officials plans to seek its latest round of informal talks with North Korean officials as tensions escalate in the region. Joseph DeTrani, a former U.S. intelligence specialist who helped broker a 2005 agreement on North Korea’s nuclear program, said unofficial talks between the two sides usually take place about every six months. He said his group plans to contact the North Korean mission to the United Nations in New York at the end of this month or the beginning of April to arrange the meetings. DeTrani said he is hopeful that informal talks will eventually lead to exploratory meetings between current U.S. officials and North Korean diplomats. That would allow North Korea to explain its insistence on having a nuclear deterrence, talk about a peace treaty and discuss objections to U.S.-South Korea military exercises, DeTrani said. Bloomberg

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Advocates Say First Amendment Can Withstand Trump Attacks
Whenever Donald Trump fumes about "fake news" or labels the press "the enemy of the people," First Amendment scholar David L. Hudson Jr. hears echoes of other presidents — but a breadth and tone that are entirely new. Trump may not know it, but it was Thomas Jefferson who once said, "Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper," said Hudson, a law professor at Vanderbilt University. "But what's unusual with Trump is the pattern of disparagement and condemnation of virtually the entire press corps. We've had presidents who were embittered and hated some of the press — Richard Nixon comes to mind. ... But I can't think of a situation where you have this rat-a-tat attack on the press on virtually a daily basis, for the evident purpose of discrediting it." Las Vegas Sun

New York Guides `Sanctuary' Cities After Trump Immigration Order
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued new legal guidance to cities weighing “sanctuary” policies to protect immigrants affected by President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Schneiderman, a Democrat, is seeking to help cities give local police direction on how to handle interactions with federal agents enforcing the “Draconian immigration policies” outlined by the Republican president, according to a statement on Sunday. “Our legal guidance is clear: President Trump does not have the authority to unilaterally transform state and local police into federal immigration agents,” Schneiderman said. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Liberal is liberal.

Republicans Still Battle Each Other Even After gaining Power
Donald Trump had just won the White House, and there was House Speaker Paul Ryan at a celebratory news conference back home in Wisconsin. On that January day, Ryan triumphantly proclaimed the start of a new era of Republican leadership that would — in his words — "hit the ground running." Six weeks into Trump's presidency, Republicans are running — just in different directions. GOP leaders are moving ahead with efforts to undo the health law — even as conservatives, moderates and Republican governors slam the proposal. Leaders hoped unified control of Washington would unite the party around promises to dismantle that law, cut taxes and slash regulations. Instead, the weeks after Trump's victory seem to have been little more than a temporary cease-fire in a long GOP civil war. Las Vegas Sun

Fatal Fire, Car Crash Linked To Hoverboard Explosion In Pennsylvania
Two deaths have been linked to a fire ignited by a hoverboard in Pennsylvania's city of Harrisburg; a 3-year-old girl in the blaze and a firefighter in a crash racing to rescue victims. Ashanti Hughes suffered burns over 95 percent of her body in a fire that apparently was started by a recharging hoverboard around 8 p.m. Friday, according to the Lehigh County Coroner's Office. She was pronounced dead late Saturday morning at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Two other girls who lived in the home were critically injured. The girl's father and a teenage boy were treated and released for smoke inhalation. UPI

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ABBAS ON CONVERSATION WITH US PRESIDENT: TRUMP IS COMMITTED TO THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION
Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday that after speaking to US President Donald Trump on the phone over the weekend he is under the impression that the American president is committed to the two-state solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict. "The president promised his full commitment to peace and to the two-state solution, and we emphasized our permanent stand, that we are for peace based on two states according to international decisions, and that we are part of international legitimacy," Abbas reportedly said of his Friday conversation with Trump, of which he also said that he and his team are appreciative. Jerusalem Post

PURIM PARADE IN HEBRON SEES TRUMP AND AZARIA ARM-IN-ARM
During Sunday’s Purim procession in Hebron, far-right attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, dressed as Hebron shooter Elor Azaria, could be seen holding hands with far-right activist Bentzi Gopstein, thinly disguised as US President Donald Trump. On Purim, where a Mardi Gras atmosphere mixes with right-wing politics in a city that dates back to biblical times, costumes based on popular characters in the news are hardly unusual. “There is nothing more fitting than dressing up as Elor Azaria on a day like today,” Ben-Gvir said. One year ago, just before the Jewish community’s annual Purim parade began in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, Azaria fatally shot immobilized Palestinian assailant Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, after the latter stabbed his friend. Jerusalem Post

Donald Trump To Be Pressed By Enda Kenny Over Illegal Irish In US
Enda Kenny has vowed to press President Donald Trump about the future of thousands of illegal Irish immigrants living in the US. He said that undocumented Irish immigrants wanted to remain and contribute in the US. He was speaking in Philadelphia at the beginning of the taoiseach's annual St Patrick's Day trip. Mr Kenny said their "plight" would be an "absolute priority" this week. With global focus on President Trump's immigration policies, Mr Kenny's efforts to lobby the president will draw much interest in the coming week. BBC
VOA VIEW: The Irsh are not blowing up the world.

Turkey's Erdogan Warns Dutch Will Pay Price For Dispute
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the Netherlands it will "pay the price" for harming ties after two of his ministers were barred. The two ministers were blocked from addressing Turkish expatriates in Rotterdam on Saturday, with one of them escorted to the German border. The Dutch government said such rallies would stoke tensions days before the Netherlands' general election. Turkey's ties with several EU countries have become strained over the rallies. The rallies aim to increase support among expatriate voters for a referendum on expanding Turkish presidential powers. BBC

Elizabeth Warren Says Trump Pushed Out Prosecutors To Install 'Cronies'
The progressive senator Elizabeth Warren accused Donald Trump of firing a prominent prosecutor to install “cronies” , warning on Sunday of “a massive fight” in the Senate over his picks for new US attorneys. On Saturday, Trump fired Preet Bharara, the US attorney of the southern district of Manhattan, where the prosecutor had pursued corruption cases against members of both the Republican and Democratic parties. In November, Bharara met with Trump and his nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and said he had “agreed to stay on” after conversations with both. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Warren is a joke - all presidents before Trump did the same.

George W Bush's Book Of Paintings Praised By Art Critic And Tops Bestseller List
George W Bush’s book of paintings have been praised by one of the nation’s leading art critics, describing the former president’s work as surprisingly sophisticated and warm. The book, published on February 28, is currently top of The Washington Post’s list of best sellers. And their chief art critic, Philip Kennicott, said that the 66 portraits of former soldiers, sold in aid of veterans, show the former president honing his craft. “No matter what you think of George W. Bush, he demonstrates in this book and in these paintings virtues that are sadly lacking at the top of the American political pyramid today: curiosity, compassion, the commitment to learn something new and the humility to learn it in public,” said Mr Kennicott. Telegraph

Mayors Resist Trump's Immigration Policies: ‘We Cannot Submit To A Bully’
Donald Trump is a bully whose immigration policies represent a threat to the safety and prosperity of American cities, according to the mayors of sanctuary cities Santa Fe and Philadelphia. “Just being able to have a city people can feel proud of,” said Santa Fe mayor Javier Gonzales, “that is under threat because of the president’s efforts to expand the role of Ice and disrupt and demonize many immigrants and their families in a way that’s very harmful to our cities.” Guardian
VOA VIEW: Fight if you think you are right.

President Trump Praises Secret Service After Grounds Breach
President Donald Trump said Saturday that the U.S. Secret Service did a "fantastic job" apprehending a "troubled person" who got onto the White House grounds after climbing a fence on the east side of the property while Trump was inside the executive mansion. It was the first known security breach at the White House since Trump took office nearly two months ago. Washington, D.C., police identified the intruder as 26-year-old Jonathan Tran of Milpitas, California. Telegraph

Syria: UN Chief Guterres Condemns Terrorist Attacks In Damascus
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the terrorist bombings in the Syrian capital of Damascus yesterday, his spokesman said today. “The Secretary-General is appalled by the utter disregard for human life displayed by the perpetrators, and extends his deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, many of whom were pilgrims,” said Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, in a statement issued today. “Those responsible for the bombings, and anyone carrying out attacks against civilians, must be held accountable,” he added. According to media reports, twin blasts killed at least 40 people Saturday near holy shrines frequented by Shiites. UN News

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