NEWS   SUNDAY, MARCH  19, 2017   NEWS

China To US: Be 'Cool-Headed' On North Korea
China urged the United States to take a "cool-headed" approach to escalating tensions with North Korea, calling for a diplomatic solution to North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in the Chinese capital Saturday after issuing the administration's bluntest warning yet to North Korea, saying that no option was off the table -- including military action. For two hours, Tillerson met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, who said the US should "come back to the right track of a negotiated settlement." CNN
VOA VIEW: No more passive deals with N Korea.

Trump 1, Free Trade 0: G20 Drops Pledge To Fight Protectionism
Finance ministers and central bank governors from the G-20 group of leading economies, including the U.S., China, Mexico, Germany and India, held two days of tough talking in the German town of Baden-Baden. The formal statement issued after the meeting contained only a bland reference to "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies." Conspicuous by its absence was the phrase "we will resist all forms of protectionism" that was contained in the communique from the last meeting of the group in China, July 2016. CNN

Immigration Judges Headed To 12 U.S. Cities To Speed Deportations
The U.S. Justice Department is developing plans to temporarily reassign immigration judges from around the country to 12 cities to speed up deportations of illegal immigrants who have been charged with crimes, according to two administration officials. How many judges will be reassigned and when they will be sent is still under review, according to the officials, but the Justice Department has begun soliciting volunteers for deployment. The targeted cities are New York; Los Angeles; Miami; New Orleans; San Francisco; Baltimore, Bloomington, Minnesota; El Paso, Texas; Harlingen, Texas; Imperial, California; Omaha, Nebraska and Phoenix, Arizona. They were chosen because they are cities which have high populations of illegal immigrants with criminal charges, the officials said. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Great move and the cities are also a good choice.

Trump Wants To Build 30-Foot-High Wall At Mexican Border
The Trump administration wants to build a 30-foot-high border wall that looks good from the north side and is difficult to climb or cut through, according to a pair of contract notices posted to a government website further detailing President Donald Trump's promise to build a "big, beautiful wall" at the Mexican border. The notices were made public late Friday by Customs and Border Protection, the Homeland Security Department agency that will oversee the project and eventually patrol and maintain the wall. The proposals are due to the government by March 29. One of the CBP contract requests calls for a solid concrete wall, while the other asks for proposals for a see-through structure. Both require the wall to sunk at least six feet into the ground and include 25- and 50-foot automated gates for pedestrians and vehicles. Fox News

Meals On Wheels America Sees Surge In Donations After U.S. Budget
Meals on Wheels America, the umbrella organization for 5,000 providers of home-delivered meals for seniors, said on Saturday that online donations have surged since the White House released a proposed budget that could lead to a big drop in its funding. The organization, which provides advocacy services for the national network, received about $50,000 on Thursday after the budget blueprint was announced, compared with $1,000 on a typical day. President Donald Trump's first budget proposal includes a 17.9 percent cut for fiscal 2018 in funds for the Department of Health and Human Services, which provides most of the government support for Meals on Wheels, the organization said. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Good!

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WikiLeaks Probe Started Under Obama Widened To Include Latest CIA Leaks
A grand jury investigation convened following WikiLeaks‘ publication of classified U.S. government material in 2010 has been broadened to encompass its recent receipt of CIA hacking documents, Reuters reported Friday. Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia have widened their long-running WikiLeaks probe in the aftermath of the website’s release this month of documents detailing the intelligence agency’s previously unreported hacking prowess, a source familiar with the investigation told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Everything evil happened under Obama.

After Merkel Meeting, Trump Says Germany Owes "Vast Sums" To NATO
A day after hosting German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House, President Trump said Saturday that Germany owes “vast sums of money” to NATO. Mr. Trump, who’s spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, tweeted that he had a “great” meeting with Merkel despite some reports that he implied suggested otherwise. During a joint press conference Friday between the two leaders, Mr. Trump said that he told Merkel that NATO members need to contribute more to the alliance. “I reiterated to Chancellor Merkel my strong support for NATO, as well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense,” he said. “Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years, and it is very unfair to the United States.  These nations must pay what they owe.” CBS
VOA VIEW: It's time to pay.

In Appalachia, Trump's Proposed Budget Has People Worried
Coalfield Development Corp. is a nonprofit funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The ARC is a 52-year-old federal agency that seeks to create jobs in 420 counties across 13 states, including the West Virginia and Kentucky coalfields. It's also targeted for elimination by President Donald Trump. Trump's budget proposal has alarmed much of the region, including longtime Republican Congressman Hal Rogers, who represents the mountainous eastern Kentucky coal region where Trump won every county, a first for a Republican presidential candidate. "I am disappointed that many of the reductions and eliminations proposed in the President's skinny budget are draconian, careless and counterproductive," Rogers said. ABC

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Secret Service Stops Attempted White House Intrusion
The White House said Saturday that an individual was apprehended after jumping a low metal barrier just outside the White House fence, a week after an intrusion raised questions about lapses in security under the watch of the U.S. Secret Service. White House press secretary Sean Spicer wrote on Twitter that the individual "jumped bike rack on Pennsylvania Ave" but did not make it onto White House property. President Donald Trump was not at the White House on Saturday. He and his family are spending the weekend at his Palm Beach, Florida, resort. MSNBC

Nancy Pelosi: Donald Trump Owes Obama An Apology
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said Friday that President Trump should apologize to former President Obama – and the American people – for his unsubstantiated charge that Mr. Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped during the 2016 campaign. The Democratic leader spoke with Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson in an interview that will air Sunday. Pelosi commended Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who suggested Friday that Mr. Trump should apologize to his predecessor. “Good for him. Good for him for saying that,” she said. CBS
VOA VIEW: Obama owes the nation an apology.

Pence Takes ObamaCare Replacement Pitch To Florida, Thanks Voters For 2016 Win
Vice President Pence paid a thank you call Saturday in Florida, thanking voters for helping President Trump win the White House and vowing to repay them with a replacement for “nightmare” ObamaCare. Pence’s visit marked the second consecutive weekend that he has traveled to states to garner support for the Republican-crafted bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare -- ahead of a key House vote scheduled for Thursday. “Thank you for your hard work, your support, your prayers,” Pence said in Jacksonville, Florida. “Your votes have set us on a path to make America great again.” Fox News

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Chuck Berry, Father Of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Dies At 90: Missouri Police
Revolutionary blues singer Chuck Berry, often referred to as the "poet laureate" and "father" of rock 'n' roll, died Saturday, police in Missouri said. He was 90. Officers responded to Berry's home outside St. Louis on Saturday afternoon and found him unconscious, the St. Charles County police said on Facebook. First responders were unsuccessful in reviving him and pronounced him dead at 1:26 p.m. local time. One of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Berry wove together beguiling narratives, fusing rhythm and blues with country and western — and transfixing the nation. MSNBC

Pence Says Momentum Building For House To Pass Health-Care Bill
Vice President Mike Pence told an audience in Florida Saturday that the White House is “working around the clock” with Republican lawmakers to pass an administration-backed health care bill to repeal and replace Obamacare ahead of a House vote next week. “Every day, more and more members of Congress are getting on board,” Mr. Pence said during a visit to a paper company in Jacksonville. “We’re counting on Florida. We need every Republican in Florida to support this bill and support the president’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.” Washington Times

Alleged Yahoo Hacker Worked At Prokhorov Bank
A Russian news report says an intelligence agent charged by the United States in the hacking of half a billion Yahoo user accounts worked at an investment bank owned by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who also owns the Brooklyn Nets basketball team. The report Saturday in the respected business newspaper Kommersant cited a source as saying Igor Sushchin worked for Renaissance Capital as a security director. The newspaper cited Renaissance Capital as saying Sushchin's employment was ended on Thursday, the day after the U.S. Justice Department announced its case. The report did not say if the company knew he was an intelligence agent. ABC

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G-20 Drops Anti-Protectionist Pledge As Price Of U.S. Assent
Finance chiefs of the world’s largest economies set aside a pledge to avoid protectionism and signed up to a fudged statement on trade instead, in response to the Trump administration’s call to rethink the global order for commerce. Group of 20 nations said in a communique on Saturday that they are “working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies.” While the U.S. didn’t get all it wanted -- such as a explicit pledge to ensure trade is fair -- that’s a much pared-down formulation compared with the group’s statement last year, and omits a promise to “avoid all forms of protectionism.” In two days of meetings in the German town of Baden-Baden, the argument by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in his first appearance at an international forum in the role, reflects claims by President Donald Trump that his nation has had a bad deal from the current global trade setup. Bloomberg

Mnuchin At G-20 Plays Nice While Snubbing Rules Of World Trade
When U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin left the Group of 20 meetings in Germany this weekend, the worst that delegates had to say about him was that he’d been sent a little unprepared. It would be far more serious for the global system of multilateral organizations, like the G-20, if unpreparedness from U.S. officials were to morph into disinterest. Mnuchin wasn’t able to deliver a clear view on how the “America First” thrust of the Trump administration will mesh with the rules embodied in the World Trade Organization system that currently stand -- or even if the U.S. will remain substantially engaged over the long term. As the administration is less than two months old, the former Goldman Sachs banker was given the benefit of the doubt when he didn’t offer much detail. Bloomberg

Trump Adviser’s Husband Picked For Justice Post
President Donald Trump has chosen the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway to head the civil division of the Justice Department. The Wall Street Journal reports that George Conway was chosen to head the office that has responsibility for defending the administration's proposed travel ban and defending lawsuits filed against the administration. Conway is a partner at the New York law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. The law firm's website says Conway has extensive experience in litigation involving securities, mergers and acquisitions, contracts and antitrust cases. Las Vegas Sun

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Young Americans: Most See Trump As Illegitimate President
A majority of young Americans view Donald Trump's presidency as illegitimate, including about three-quarters of black people and nearly half of whites. That's according to a new GenForward poll that found 57 percent of young people see Trump this way. Trump's legitimacy as president had been questioned by Democratic Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, who said the Russians helped Trump win. Trump routinely denies that. Most young blacks and large majorities of Latinos and Asian-Americans say they consider Trump's presidency illegitimate, as do 47 percent of young whites. Fifty-three percent of young whites consider it legitimate. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: The liberal media continue their lies.

Russia Opens Investigation Into Alleged U.S. Media Interference
Russian leaders called Saturday for an investigation into some U.S. media outlets to determine if they are operating within the country's laws. Russia's state Duma, or the lower house of parliament, called on its Committee for Information Policy, Information Technologies and Communications to review the activities of several news organizations including Radio Liberty, Voice of America and CNN. The move comes in response to a U.S. initiative to investigate possible Russian media interference in U.S. affairs. UPI

Study Shows Moderate Exercise May Aid HCM Patients
Research suggests a change in current treatment guidelines for people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, should include moderate exercise. HCM occurs when the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick making it harder for the heart to pump blood. It is the most common genetic cardiovascular disease, and one of the leading causes of sudden cardiac death among young people. People with HCM are often discouraged from participating in competitive sports due to the risk of sudden cardiac death from the disease. Current guidelines recommend patients with HCM limit intense exercise due to the risk of it triggering ventricular arrhythmias. "We are challenging the idea that exercise is dangerous for these patients," Dr. Sharlene Day, a cardiologist and associate professor at Michigan Medicine, said in a press release. "And we show that it can actually be beneficial." UPI

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NETANYAHU THREATENS TO DISSOLVE GOVERNMENT AMID BROADCASTING CORPORATION DEBATE
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night retracted last week’s agreement with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to establish the new Israel Broadcasting Corporation, throwing his coalition back into crisis. Hebrew media meanwhile reported that Netanyahu threatened to dissolve the government if Kahlon does not agree to shut down the IBC before it is officially launched on April 30. “I changed my mind after a meeting I had yesterday with the employees of the Israel Broadcasting Authority,” Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday. “At the meeting I heard heart-rending stories about dedicated and experienced employees who are being sent home because of the [replacement Israel Broadcasting] Corporation.” Jerusalem Post

CHINA: WE HOPE ISRAEL, SAUDI ARABIA WILL CONTRIBUTE TO MIDDLE EAST PEACE
China spoke of the importance of Middle East peace ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s departure for China on Sunday for a three-day trip to advance economic ties between the two countries. He will arrive just after Saudi Arabia’s King Salman concludes his own threeday trip, in which the Israeli- Palestinian conflict was on the agenda along with economic issues. Earlier in the week, Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman met with US President Donald Trump in Washington. Jerusalem Post

G20 Finance Ministers Drop Anti-Protectionist Pledge
G20 ministers left the two-day meeting without renewing their long-standing pledge to bolster free trade. Last year, the group of the world's 20 largest economies vowed to "resist all forms of protectionism". But since then, President Donald Trump has taken office, and is aggressively pursuing an "America First" policy. His policies include penalties for companies which manufacture their products abroad. BBC

Brazil Meat-Packing Giants 'Exported Rotten Beef'
The authorities in Brazil suspended 33 government officials amid allegations that some of the country's biggest meat processors have been selling rotten beef and poultry for years. Three meat processing plants have also been closed and another 21 are under scrutiny. Much of the meat produced by the companies accused is exported to Europe and other parts of the world. Brazil is the world's largest red meat exporter. Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi will meet foreign ambassadors on Monday to reassure them and try to prevent sanctions being issued against Brazilian meat exporters. BBC

That's Not How It Works': Trump's Grasp Of Nato Questioned After Merkel Tweets
On the heels of a visibly awkward visit from the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, Donald Trump said on Saturday that Germany owed “vast sums of money” to Nato and the US, even though the alliance does not stipulate payments to America. His remarks prompted a former US permanent representative to Nato to reply “that’s not how Nato works”, and to add that increased European spending on defense was not a “favor (or payment) to the US”. Trump, who was at his Mar-a-Lago estate for the weekend and spending the morning at Trump International Golf Course, sent two tweets early in the day. The first denounced “the FAKE NEWS” for what he said was mistaken coverage of a “GREAT” meeting with Merkel. Guardian

Roman Polanski Cannot Dictate Terms Of Return To US Over Rape, Say Prosecutors
Fugitive director Roman Polanski could face a tough US court battle next week as he seeks to resolve his four-decade rape case without spending more time in jail.
Los Angeles prosecutors said in a court filing before a hearing on Monday that the Oscar-winning movie maker could not dictate the terms of his return to the United States from afar. Polanski’s attorney will ask a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to rule that Polanski fulfilled his time behind bars in 1977, when he served 42 days ahead of sentencing for the rape. Guardian

US Secretary Of State Questions How The US And China Will 'Live With Each Other' In The Coming Half Century
Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state has said he is uncertain of how America and China will continue to co-exist "for the next half century". Speaking during his first state visit to Beijing, Mr Tillerson said he was committed to establishing an "era of peace" with China, but was surprisingly frank in expressing his concerns about the relationship between the two super powers. "There is a question perhaps even in the minds of the Chinese: How will the American people, the Chinese people, live with each other in this world for the next half century?" he said. Telegraph

G20 Leaders Roll Back Commitment To Free Trade And Climate Change Following US Pressure
The G20 financial leaders dropped a decade-long pledge to reject protectionism on Saturday after opposition from the US, raising fears the Trump administration could upset the global economic order. The annual meeting of 20 finance ministers closed on Saturday afternoon without a statement voicing the bloc's longstanding opposition to "all forms" of tariffs and rules favouring one economy over another, after it failed to find a suitable compromise with Donald Trump's administration. Telegraph

Ahead Of International Day, UN And Smurfs Team Up To Promote Happiness And Sustainable Development
Every person – no matter how big, small or blue – can make the world more peaceful, equitable and healthy, the United Nations today told young people at a special ceremony for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that included the Smurfs and a handover of the key to Smurfdom. Voice actors from the upcoming animated movie Smurfs: The Lost Village joined 1,500 students from the international Model UN conference to celebrate the upcoming International Day of Happiness, which focuses on personal well-being, and the SDGs, which include decent work for all, education and health services. UN News

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