NEWS   SUNDAY, APRIL  9, 2017   NEWS

Sessions Warns That Overhaul Of Baltimore Police May Result In 'A Less Safe City'
Attorney Jeff Sessions warned that the agreement negotiated under the Obama administration to overhaul the troubled Baltimore police force may result in “a less safe city.” His warning comes after a federal judge approved the agreement despite the harsh objections from the Justice Department. President Trump’s attorney general said in a statement Friday that the Baltimore agreement shows "clear departures from many proven principles of good policing that we fear will result in more crime." Fox News
VOA VIEW: Dumb rule and Sessions is right.

Japanese Scientists Want To Be First To Drill Into The Earth's Mantle
Humans have been to the Moon and explored almost every corner of the planet -- but there's one place they have never been. A group of Japanese scientists said they plan to be the first group to successfully drill into the Earth's mantle, the planet's vast molten-rock interior, which lies just beneath the outer crust. Researchers at Japan's Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) say they are hoping to discover more about how our planet was formed and what the mantle is composed of. Japanese media first reported on the project earlier this week. CNN

Tillerson, Russia's Foreign Minister Discuss Syria Strike
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke by phone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday about the situation in Syria following Thursday's strikes on a Syrian air base, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a post on its official Facebook page. The conversation was initiated by the American side, the statement said. "Lavrov stressed that an attack on a country whose government is fighting terrorism only plays into the hands of extremists [and] creates additional threats to regional and global security," it said. CNN
VOA VIEW: Attacking your own people is terrorism and threatens global security - it must be stopped.

North Korea Calls U.S. Strikes On Syria 'Unforgivable'
North Korea said on Saturday U.S. missile strikes against a Syrian airfield on Friday were "an unforgivable act of aggression" that showed its decision to develop nuclear weapons was "the right choice a million times over". The response by North Korea's foreign ministry, carried by the official KCNA news agency, was the first since U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea launched dozens of missiles at a Syrian air base which the Pentagon says was involved in a chemical weapons attack earlier in the week. Reuters
VOA VIEW: N Korea better watch their actions before its too late.

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Russia Warns Of Serious Consequences From U.S. Strike In Syria
Russia warned on Friday that U.S. cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base could have "extremely serious" consequences, as President Donald Trump's first major foray into a foreign conflict opened up a rift between Moscow and Washington. The warships USS Porter and USS Ross in the Mediterranean Sea launched dozens of Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat air base, which the Pentagon says was involved in a chemical weapons attack this week. Reuters
VOA VIEW: So much for any Russia connection with Trump.

Sebastian Gorka Made Nazi-Linked Vitezi Rend ‘Proud’ By Wearing Its Medal
A group with alleged historical links to Nazi Germany has told NBC News it was "proud" when President Donald Trump's deputy assistant wore its medal. Controversy has swirled around Sebastian Gorka, one of Trump's top counterterrorism advisers, ever since he attended the president's Jan. 20 Inaugural Ball wearing the honorary medal of Hungarian nationalist organization Vitezi Rend. NBC News traveled to Hungary to dig deeper into Gorka's ties with the group, speaking with members of the organization as well as with locals who knew him when he lived there. MSNBC

Senate Nursing A Disunity Hangover After Latest Bitter Fight
The fierce battle over the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court justice ended with an already partisan Senate further divided over lingering grudges and left some members mourning a more collegial time for the upper chamber. Both Republicans and Democrats were troubled by the dramatic showdown and changes in the Senate rules but also remained hardened by their distrust and frustration with their colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle. In fact, when the votes were called, all but four senators stood squarely by their party's side on the very issues they say could deepen the divide. Each party made unprecedented moves this week resulting in a change of Senate rules that govern how Supreme Court nominees are confirmed. They even had an apocalyptic name for the change — the "nuclear option" — which eliminated a 60-vote threshold for nominees for the high court. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: There is no more unity is the Senate.

Former DEA Agent Sentenced For Child Porn Possession
A federal judge sentenced James Patrick Burke, a former special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, to seven years in prison Thursday following a conviction for child porn. Burke, 39, was indicted by the Justice Department after the FBI infiltrated a child porn website, “Playpen,” in 2015. After seizing Playpen’s server, federal investigators obtained a search order that allowed them to deliver malware to the computers of individuals attempting to access the website, in turn providing authorities with information used to identify and ultimately charge over 135 alleged visitors. Washington Times

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Bannon, Kushner Reportedly Meet, 'Smooth' Differences, Amid Reports Of Feud
Top White House advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner purportedly met Friday to “smooth things over,” amid continuing reports about high-level, Trump administration turmoil. The meeting took place at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago south Florida estate and was led by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who with Bannon was told by the president on Thursday to “work this out.” Fox
VOA VIEW: Bannon learned the lesson that blood is thicker that anything.

Chef Jose Andres, Trump Organization Settle Lawsuit ‘As Friends’
The Trump Organization and celebrity chef Jose Andres have settled their legal battle “as friends,” the company announced Friday. President Trump sued Mr. Andres‘ ThinkFoodGroup in 2015 after the chef backed out of a deal to open a restaurant in Washington, D.C.’s Trump International Hotel in a protest against the president’s now-infamous campaign trail comments about Mexican illegal immigrants. The Trump Organization and ThinkFoodGroup issued a joint statement Friday saying the lawsuit has been settled amicably “after nearly two years of hard fought litigation,” though the terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Washington Times

Chinese President Xi Jinping Makes Stop In Alaska
Chinese President Xi Jinping is getting a quick view of America’s Last Frontier. Xi stopped in Alaska for a refueling stop following his meeting with President Trump ended earlier Friday in Florida. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker welcomed Xi during a ceremony on the tarmac at the Anchorage airport. They then set off on a short sightseeing tour of Alaska’s largest city. Xi requested a meeting with Walker during his visit to Anchorage, which the governor’s office said was announced last month, CBS affiliate KTVA reports. China’s president was accompanied by “more than a dozen of his Ministers and Directors,” according to a statement from Walker’s office. CBS

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Tillerson On Syria: The First Priority Is The Defeat Of ISIS
Asked about the idea of further American intervention in Syria as Syrian president Bashar al-Assad continues to act in ways the Trump administration has deemed “morally reprehensible,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told “Face the Nation” moderator John Dickerson that, “we believe that the first priority is the defeat of ISIS.”  During the interview for Sunday’s broadcast Tillerson emphasized the importance of eliminating the terrorist organization before dealing with the Assad regime. CBS

Obama Aides Push Back Against Criticism Of Inaction On Syria
Former Obama administration officials are pushing back against criticism of the former president, saying they proposed similar airstrikes in Syria to the ones President Donald Trump ordered this week, but were stymied by a Republican-controlled Congress reluctant to go along with the Democratic president's plan. This comes after Trump ordered the missile strikes against Syria without getting congressional approval, determined to punish the Syrian government for the use of chemical weapons against civilians. ABC
VOA VIEW: There are a few liberals that believe the inaction talk.

Hawaiian Officials Fear Infections Of Rare Parasitic Worm Will Increase
The worm can’t live very long inside humans, usually only a few months according to Pang. However, it can cause permanent damage as it invades the brain and its membrane. The worm has been found in Louisiana, Hawaii and the Caribbean, but lives primarily in the Pacific Basin and Southeast Asia, according to the CDC. The parasite lives in the blood vessels of rats' lungs – giving the parasite its name – but the larvae can be expelled in rat droppings and eaten by snails, slugs and other animals, who can pass these baby parasitic worms on to humans. ABC

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Boris Johnson Nixes Moscow Trip, Russia Calls Decision `Absurd'
U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson canceled a trip to Moscow over the conflict in Syria, fueling the crisis between Russia and the west after a U.S. missile strike against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. With Syria on the agenda when the Group of Seven’s foreign ministers meet in Italy on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Johnson’s preference to discuss Syria with his G-7 peers was an “absurd” reason to cancel and a sign of erratic policy. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson still plans to visit Moscow after the G-7 meeting to deliver a “clear and coordinated message to the Russians,” Johnson said on the U.K. Foreign Office’s website on Saturday. Bloomberg

In Georgia Race, Republicans Battle As Democrat Chases Upset
A Georgia special congressional campaign has become an internal conservative squabble, with a national conservative group blasting a Republican establishment favorite as a big-spending "career politician," while other GOP hopefuls argue over who's most loyal to President Donald Trump. It's enough to leave national Republicans nervous they could lose the traditionally conservative suburban Atlanta district where Trump underperformed, with any upset certain to embolden Democrats ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel was the initial GOP favorite among the 18 total candidates vying to replace Tom Price, who resigned to serve as Trump's health secretary. Now Handel finds herself targeted with a six-figure attack ad from the conservative Club for Growth, which is casting her as just another big-spending politician. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Time will tell.

Ford CEO Says Trump-Xi Meeting Sets Base For Stronger Ties
The meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping this week is encouraging and sets the stage for the world’s two largest economies to strengthen ties, said Ford Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields. “When you have two leaders meet face to face, they become people to each other,” Fields said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Shanghai on Saturday. “That’s a very firm foundation to then go off and make concrete advances to strengthen the ties between the two countries. I feel that’s very possible.” Worsening relations between the U.S. and China would be detrimental for companies like Ford, which is looking to sell more pickup trucks in the world’s largest auto market and recently announced it will build its luxury Lincoln vehicles in the Asian nation to tap on growing demand. Bloomberg

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Pope Raises Own Mortality In Rallying Youth To Lead Church
Pope Francis is urging young people to lead the church's future even as he voices doubts about whether he'll be around much longer to see it. The 80-year-old pope referred to his own mortality twice in the span of a few minutes Saturday during a service to rally young people to attend the Catholic Church's big youth festival, World Youth Day, to be held in Panama in 2019. He said: "I don't know if it will be me, but the pope will be in Panama!" And a few minutes earlier, he drew gasps from the crowd when he quipped: "At my age, we (old people) are about to pass away." Sensing their reaction, Francis added: "Who guarantees life? No one. At your age, you have the future ahead of you." Las Vegas Sun

Delta's Struggles Continue After Storms Hampered Travel
Delta, the nation's second-largest air carrier, continued to struggle to catch up Saturday, days after powerful thunderstorms caused mass closures at their largest hub in Atlanta. Delta has canceled more than 3,000 flights after the Georgia storms grounded much of its fleet in one of the busiest travel weeks of the year, spring break. "We are grateful for your patience and want you to know that we, as always, learn from these experiences. While we can't control the weather, we understand the resulting recovery has not been ideal and we apologize for that," Delta Chief Operating Officer Gil West said Thursday. UPI News

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‘ISRAEL AND PA BOTH NEED TO BE PRESSURED TO MOVE FORWARD WITH PEACE’
Both the Palestinian Authority and Israel need to be pressured from the outside to move forward with a peace deal, former Shin Bet chief MK Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) told The Jerusalem Post in a recent interview. Peri is a rare breed, having worked on security issues since joining the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) in 1966, but also having played the violin from first grade until the present. But how this violinist who dreamed of a career as a musician fell into the Shin Bet and rose to be its chief and a minister in the 2013-2015 government is a story for another time. Jerusalem Post

SHAKED: US ALLIANCE STRONG, BUT TRUMP WASTING TIME ON PEACE DEAL
The justice minister and Bayit Yehudi star-MK said that the connection was strong even under the Obama administration, despite disagreements over the Palestinian issue. The US-Israel alliance and support from the Trump administration is strong, but the president is wasting time chasing a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked told The Jerusalem Post in a recent interview. Trump “should not waste time trying to get the ultimate peace deal done – it won’t happen,” Shaked said. “There is very strong connection between us and the US. We are allies with common values and a true partnership, no matter who sits in the White House and on Balfour Street [in the Prime Minister’s Residence], whether with Democrats or Republicans,” said Shaked. Jerusalem Post

Trump's Syria Strike Celebrated By 'Terrorists', Iran Says
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has said "terrorists are celebrating" US strikes on a Syrian airbase. His comments echo the response from Russia, which like Iran is allied to Syria, and from Syria itself. At least six people are reported to have been killed in the missile strikes in the early hours of Friday. The strikes followed Wednesday's suspected chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikh. BBC
VOA VIEW: Terrorists lost.

US Special Forces Soldier Killed In Operation Against Isis In Afghanistan
An American soldier was killed while conducting operations against Islamic State in Afghanistan late on Saturday, a US military spokesman said in a message posted on Twitter. “The soldier was mortally wounded late Saturday during an operation in Nangarhar province” in eastern Afghanistan, US navy captain Bill Salvin said in a message on the official Twitter account of the Nato-led Resolute Support mission. The soldier was a special forces operator, Salvin told Reuters separately. The circumstances of the death were unclear and Salvin said more information could be released later. Prior to Saturday, there had been 2,216 US military deaths in Afghanistan since the invasion of 2001, according to the Department of Defense. Guardian

The Resistance Now: Obama Loyalists Run For Office
Alejandra Campoverdi grew up in Los Angeles the daughter of a single mother from Mexico and went on to become deputy director of Hispanic media in the Obama administration. This week, she was on the ballot in California’s congressional special election. Campoverdi is among the Obama alums we profiled this week who are running for office, or helping others run, determined to protect the progressive legacy they helped to create. Campoverdi didn’t win her race on Tuesday. But in a post on Instagram, she speaks about the importance of running – even if you’re not a traditional candidate. Guardian

Donald Trump 'Considering Sacking Steve Bannon And Reince Priebus' As Simmering West Wing Feud Engulfs White House
Donald Trump is considering a major shake-up of his top team, with both Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus reportedly facing "reassignment" amid intense infighting at the White House. The US president is said to be determined to end the simmering feud within the West Wing that pits Mr Bannon and his allies against Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump. The relationship between the far-Right former media executive and the president's son-in-law has deteriorated to the point of "breakdown", sources say. The two clashed over the decision of whether or not to launch Friday's early morning air strikes against the Syrian regime, with Mr Bannon firmly stating intervention did not advance Mr Trump's " America First" doctrine, it is claimed. Telegraph
VOA VIEW: The truth is...

UN Envoy 'Deeply Concerned' By Growing Tensions In Gaza Stemming From Pay Cuts
The United Nations envoy for the Middle East peace process today called for Palestinian unity amid concerns over local pay cuts. “I am deeply concerned by the growing tensions in Gaza,” said Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. “While the Palestinian Government needs to ensure its to ensure its fiscal sustainability under increasingly difficult economic conditions, it is important that reforms or decisions to reduce expenditures are fairly distributed and made with consideration to the harsh conditions under which people in Gaza live,” Mr. Mladenov noted. UN News

After Attacks, UN Senior Official In South Sudan Urges Protection Of Aid Workers And Civilians
Following recent attacks on civilians and aid workers in South Sudan, the top United Nations humanitarian official in the country today called on the Government and the opposition to protect civilians and ensure the safety and security of humanitarians. Noting reports this week of “outrageous abuses” by both state and opposition actors in Upper Nile against aid workers, as well as reports of horrific attacks against civilians in Eastern Equatoria, Eugene Owusu, called the attacks “reprehensible and unacceptable.” “I call on those in power to take swift action to end the targeting of innocent people in this conflict and to hold those responsible to account,” the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan said. UN News

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