NEWS   MONDAY, APRIL  17, 2017   NEWS

Turkey Referendum: Erdogan Supporters Claim Victory, Opposition To Demand Recount
Turkish voters appeared Sunday to have approved constitutional changes that would greatly expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, though the country's main opposition party said it would call for a recount in up to 60 percent of the votes. State-run Anadolu news agency said votes in favor of allowing 18 constitutional changes stood at 51.3 percent with 98 percent of ballots counted. The changes would replace Turkey's parliamentary system of government with a presidential one and could see Erdogan remain in office until at least 2029. Fox News
VOA VIEW: A lot to think about.

Pence Says North Korea's Latest 'Provocation' Shows The Risk To Military
Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that North Korea's latest "provocation" underscored the risks faced by American and South Korean service members just hours after the country conducted a failed missile launch shortly before his arrival. While Pence was flying over the Bering Sea, a North Korean missile exploded during launch on Sunday, U.S. and South Korean officials said. The latest failed missile test represents a high-profile failure that came as a powerful U.S. aircraft supercarrier approaches the Korean Peninsula. Fox News
VOA VIEW: North Korea is a very dangerous country under Un leadership.

No Stiff Upper Lip: Prince Harry Describes Mental Problems
Prince Harry has broken with royal tradition of maintaining silence about mental health issues by speaking candidly of his severe emotional problems following the death of his mother Princess Diana. The 32-year-old prince told The Daily Telegraph in an interview published Monday that he had nearly suffered breakdowns since his mother's 1997 death in a car crash and had needed counseling in his late 20s. He told the newspaper he "shut down all his emotions" for nearly 20 years and had been "very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions." He describes a long, painful process of refusing to face his sense of loss that only came to an end when he was in his late 20s and sought professional counseling to cope with the pressures and unhappiness. Philadelphia Inquirer

Pence Warns NKorea 'Era Of Strategic Patience Is Over'
Viewing his adversaries in the distance, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the tense zone dividing North and South Korea and warned Pyongyang that after years of testing the U.S. and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over." Pence made an unannounced visit to the Demilitarized Zone Monday at the start of his 10-day trip to Asia in a U.S. show of force that allowed the vice president to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire. As the brown bomber jacket-clad vice president was briefed near the military demarcation line, two North Korean soldiers watched from a short distance away, one taking multiple photographs of the American visitor. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: The N Korea policy has been a disaster.

High Lead Levels Found In Some Faucets At City Schools
Roughly one out of every 20 water taps in city elementary schools has tested positive for elevated lead levels, a Post analysis of Department of Education data has found. Amid rising concern over lead in schools, the DOE checked about 100,000 taps in elementary buildings — including water fountains and faucets used for cooking — across the five boroughs between December 2016 and February of this year. More than 6,000 registered lead levels above 15 parts per billion — the Environmental Protection Agency’s threshold for remediation. While the number of tainted taps varied wildly with each school, some buildings were riddled with lead-laden faucets, the Post’s collation of DOE data found. NY Post

Donald Trump Jr. Wore A ‘Very Fake News’ Shirt And The Internet Lost It
The internet is mocking Donald Trump Jr., who posted a photo of himself Saturday “modeling” a garish green shirt emblazoned with “Very Fake News.” Though targeting the mainstream media on Twitter is typically his father’s wheelhouse, President Trump’s eldest child tweeted “I’m going to have to buy 5-10,000 of these to pass around to our buddies in the #MSM. In the meantime I’ll model it for them??. #yourewelcome.” Unsurprisingly, Twitter users took advantage of the snap and photoshop to create a new line of poolside wear for the 39-year-old businessman. “Donnie Jr. announces plans to buy 5000 – 10,000 Buddies,” wrote user Jason Baum, along with an image of the father-of-five sporting a top that reads “if my dad wasn’t rich I’d be screwed.” NY Post
VOA VIEW: Their could be a female Trump after this Trump.

Hundreds Of Palestinians Held By Israel Launch Hunger Strike
An activist says more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have launched an open-ended hunger strike to demand better conditions in Israeli prisons, including more contact with relatives, and an end to Israel's practice of detentions without trial. The protest began Tuesday and was led by Marwan Barghouti, a prominent figure in President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement. Opinion polls suggest Barghouti, who is serving multiple life terms for his role in a violent Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, is the top contender to succeed Abbas. Qadoura Fares, an advocate for prisoners' rights, says 6,500 Palestinians are currently held by Israel. Palestinians marked Tuesday as Prisoners' Day. Fares says hundreds of prisoners launched a 28-day strike in 2012. In 2014, dozens of detainees held without trial went on hunger strike for two months. Tampa Tribune

Meet The 'Most Underestimated Person On Trump's Team'
When Donald Trump has a problem, Keith Schiller is often the solution. Never was that clearer than earlier this year, when Trump -- nagged by questions about a series of baseless claims he made about his predecessor, Barack Obama -- leaned on Schiller to get the pestering press out of his meeting. "Mr. President, any proof on the wiretapping?" yelled a reporter. "Mr. President, any proof at all?" Enter the 6'4", 210-pound Schiller, a man who, after working for Trump for nearly two decades, knew his usually loquacious boss didn't want to talk. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is trying to tear apart the Trump team.

Cillizza: Sean Spicer's Worst Week In Washington
It was supposed to be a slow week in Washington. Congress was gone for the Passover and Easter holidays. President Donald Trump was headed to Mar-a-Lago -- natch -- for a long weekend with promises that it would be newsless. For White House press secretary Sean Spicer, it seemed perfect: Knock out a few press briefings early in the week and then coast into a much-deserved break. Didn't turn out that way. On Monday, Spicer was asked what the Trump administration's policy was as regards Syria -- following on Trump's decision to launch 60 Tomahawk missiles at an air base believed to be the launch site of a chemical attack on civilians. Here's what he said: "If you gas a baby, if you put a barrel bomb into innocent people, I think you will see a response from this President." CNN

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With Trump Pick Aboard, Top U.S. Court Tackles Religious Rights
The U.S. Supreme Court is set this week to hear a closely watched case testing the limits of religious rights, and new Justice Neil Gorsuch's judicial record indicates he could tip the court toward siding with a church challenging Missouri's ban on state funding of religious entities. Trinity Lutheran Church, which is located in Columbia, Missouri and runs a preschool and daycare center, said Missouri unlawfully excluded it from a grant program providing state funds to nonprofit groups to buy rubber playground surfaces. Missouri's constitution prohibits "any church, sect or denomination of religion" from receiving state taxpayer money. Reuters

Wall Street Banker Cohn Moving Trump Toward Moderate Policies
In a White House marked by infighting, top economic aide Gary Cohn, a Democrat and former Goldman Sachs banker, is muscling aside some of President Donald Trump's hard-right advisers to push more moderate, business-friendly economic policies. Cohn, 56, did not work on Republican Trump's campaign and only got to know him after the November election, but he has emerged as one of the administration's most powerful players in an ascent that rankles conservatives. Trump refers to his director of the National Economic Council (NEC), as "one of my geniuses," according to one source close to Cohn. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Trump may be making a mistake in putting so much power in Cohn.

Space Salad? Plant Experiment Hitching A Ride To Space Station
A Kennedy Space Center-led effort to bolster our understanding of growing plants in space will hitch a ride on an Atlas V rocket to the International Space Station on Tuesday. Astronauts on deep-space missions could one day munch on fresh produce thanks in part to NASA's Advanced Plant Habitat, a mini fridge-sized experiment that will join 7,600 pounds of science, cargo and supplies bound for the orbiting outpost. The 194-foot rocket is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 41 with an Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft at 11:11 a.m. ET, the opening of a 30-minute window. APH is scheduled to depart exactly three years after its predecessor, the Vegetable Production System, launched to the space station aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Dubbed "Veggie," that experiment — also spearheaded by KSC scientists and still active — in 2015 produced lettuce that became the first NASA-grown food to be consumed by astronauts. USA Today

Pro-Trump Group Launches A $3 Million Ad Campaign To Prop Up House Allies
Hours before the Republican health-care plan fizzled last month, White House officials marched to the Capitol and urged party leaders to call for a vote on the House floor. Several of them later groused privately that they wanted a list of who was with President Trump and who was against him. Although that vote was not to be, an informal tally has lived on in recent weeks, passed around the West Wing and within Trump circles. And now an influential outside group with close ties to the president is acting on it. Leaders of America First Policies, a pro-Trump nonprofit outfit, told The Washington Post on Sunday that it is starting a $3 million advertising campaign to bolster a dozen House Republicans who publicly backed the health-care proposal that has stalled on Capitol Hill. Washington Post

The Top Democrats Who Could Challenge Trump In 2020
President Donald Trump has been in the White House less than 100 days, but frustrated Democrats are already looking ahead to the 2020 elections. That tantalizing prospect of getting a Democrat back in the White House after four years is expected to attract an unusually sprawling field of candidates that could include everyone from senators and governors to actors and businessmen. And unlike the previous two Democratic nominating races, the contest will begin with no clear frontrunner and a leaderless party, leveling the playing field and inflaming the imagination of any public figure spoiling for a possible fight against one of the most polarizing presidents in memory. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Trump may be his own undertaking.

National Security Adviser McMaster Visits Afghanistan Amid Questions Over Strategy
President Donald Trump's national security adviser met Afghan officials in Kabul on Sunday, amid questions over the new administration's plans for the military mission in Afghanistan after American forces unleashed a huge bomb there on militants. The visit by H.R. McMaster, the first high-level visit the the country by a Trump official, came just days after the U.S. military sparked controversy by dropping a GBU-43 MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb), one of the largest conventional weapons ever used in combat, during an operation on Thursday against Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan. MSNBC

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Sen. John McCain: ‘I hope’ President Trump has been sucked in by Washington establishment
Three months after his inauguration, President Trump has shifted positions on Syria, China and other key issues — and Sen. John McCain said Sunday he hopes it’s because the “Washington establishment” has gotten into the president’s ear. Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, had a simple answer when asked if Mr. Trump has been sucked in by establishment forces. “I hope so,” the Arizona Republican said. “On national security, I do believe he has assembled a strong team and very appropriately he is listening to them.” Throughout the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump decried any U.S. involvement in Syria. But two weeks ago, he ordered airstrikes against a Syrian air base after the country’s president, Bashar Assad, unleashed a chemical weapons attack. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: If Washington takes over Trump loses - so does America.

President Trump Says Tax Day Protesters Were Paid
President Trump on Sunday suggested that the thousands of Tax Day protesters in cities across the country over the weekend were paid, and he called for “someone” to investigate who funded the effort. The president tweeted about the rallies about 9 a.m. on Easter Sunday. Saturday’s Tax Day protests, which included rallies in New York City; Chicago; Washington, D.C., and near his golf course in West Palm Beach, Florida, and elsewhere, were aimed at pressuring Mr. Trump to release his federal income tax returns, which he has steadfastly refused to do despite lingering questions about his financial ties around the world. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Democrats can't accept their loss.

President Needs To Empower One Person To Run The WH, Former Chief Of Staff Says
Kenneth Duberstein, who served as White House chief of staff under former President Ronald Reagan, said Sunday that President Donald Trump needs to “empower one person” to be chief of staff. “The president needs to empower one person to be the White House chief of staff and the funnel, rather than the spokes of the wheel,” he said. “The person, and it’s Reince Priebus, who has to be designated as first among equals. He is the person who may be the partner. There may be a partnership in the White House with lots of people, but he’s the senior partner.” CBS

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History Offers Needed Perspective On Today's "Dangerous" Times, David McCullough Says
Today’s “dangerous” times look “so bleak and uncompromising” because Americans don’t know their history that well, presidential historian and author David McCullough said. “Well, I think we’re living in what is clearly a dangerous time,” McCullough said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “Not just because of international tensions and clouds hanging over, but because we’re sort of groping with how to repair an engine that we don’t know how to even take apart.” “And yes, we’ve had times where we wanted to change things,” McCullough added. “But we’ve also had times that have been more unsettling, more worrisome, more painful, more costly than what we’re going through now. And we think this is just so bleak and uncompromising, because we really don’t know what we’ve been through before and how we came through it.” CBS

A Gun Is Discharged In A US School About Once A Week
The gun violence at a California elementary school last week is hardly uncommon in the U.S., which has seen an estimated 220 shootings -- including suicides and accidents -- in schools and colleges since the start of 2013, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit that advocates for gun control and against gun violence.
The advocacy organization began tracking shootings in schools, including colleges and universities, after the December 2012 massacre at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school that killed 26. ABC

Lawmakers Across US Move To Include Young People In Voting
Donald Trump's characterization of Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists during his presidential campaign angered Heidi Sainz, whose family is from Mexico and who has close friends who are immigrants. She was also upset that she couldn't do anything about it at the ballot box because she was a year shy of being able to vote. Sainz favors a bill in the California Legislature that would lower the voting age to 17, which she thinks would give a voice to more people affected by the outcome of elections. ABC
VOA VIEW: It's good there is an electoral college.

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Opposition To Challenge Votes On Expanding Erdogan's Powers
Turkey's main opposition party on Monday prepared to contest the results of a landmark referendum that gave a narrow victory to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's long-time plans to greatly expand the powers of his office. Turkey's electoral board confirmed the "yes" victory in Sunday's referendum and said the final results would be declared in 11-12 days. The state-run Anadolu Agency said the "yes" vote stood at 51.41 percent, while the "no" vote was 48.59 percent. Charlotte Observer

Snapchat’s Ratings Plunge After Its CEO Allegedly Says It’s ‘Only For Rich People’
Snapchat, the popular photo and video sharing app, was already having a bad week. Now it’s gotten even worse. Instagram, one of the app’s main rivals, announced Thursday that its “Stories” feature, a clear knock-off of Snapchat’s feature of deleting content after 24 hours, already has more users than Snapchat does. Now, Snapchat’s rating on Apple’s App Store stands at 1.5 stars as of Sunday afternoon, a drop from its previous status at four or more stars as recently as a month ago. Charlotte Observer

Homeland Chief Rejects Idea U.S. Building A ‘Deportation Force’
The U.S. Homeland Security secretary defended plans to hire thousands of additional immigration and border-control agents, saying the Trump administration’s lower bar on criminal behavior by undocumented immigrants merits a larger force. In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press With Chuck Todd,” DHS chief John Kelly dismissed the idea that he’s creating a “deportation force,” and noted that U.S. law says people here illegally should leave or be deported. The Trump administration is focused on criminals, mainly with multiple convictions, he said, but the emphasis can be on lesser types of offenses than was the case under President Barack Obama.
The DHS wants to hire 10,000 additional immigration and customs-enforcement officials and 5,000 more border-security agents. It also plans to expand the number of detention beds to house undocumented immigrants, according to internal documents obtained this week by the Washington Post. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: If Trump forgets "America First" he will lose his edge.

Even In Hometown, Constituents Rip Into Republican Lawmaker
In the auditorium of his old middle school just blocks from where he still lives, the congressman who is a lead author of the stalled House Republican health care bill was treated like the villain in a class play. It didn't matter that Rep. Greg Walden was on a first-name basis with many of the roughly 800 attendees. Or that Democrats like Gov. Kate Brown call him congenial and bright. Or that Walden was just re-elected to a 10th House term with 72 percent of the vote in a safely Republican eastern Oregon district. Or that he is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. SF Gate

Absences, Fitness, Atmosphere — New Ways To Track Schools
How often do students miss school? Are they ready for college? Are they physically fit? Is their school a welcoming place? States are beginning to outline new ways to evaluate their schools, rather than relying just on traditional measures such as test scores. The plans are required under a new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which takes effect in the coming school year. Under the new law, states are focusing more on academic growth, meaning not just whether students have achieved a certain academic level in reading and math, but whether they have improved over time. SF Gate

Trump Ties China Currency Decision To Help With North Korea
President Donald Trump explained the decision to not label China a currency manipulator, which reversed a promise he made during the election campaign, as a function of receiving Beijing’s help in reining in North Korea. “Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem? We will see what happens!” Trump said in a tweet early Sunday to his 28 million followers. The comment was Trump’s first in response to a failed missile test by North Korea overnight. Spending the weekend at his Palm Beach, Florida, estate, Trump also wished a “Happy Easter to everyone!” The U.S. on Friday stopped short of branding China a currency manipulator in a much-awaited annual foreign-currency report from the Treasury Department. Instead, it urged the world’s second-largest economy to let the yuan rise with market forces and embrace more trade. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Trump may be trading China from the people.

In The Face Of Cuts For The Needy, Trump’s $3M Trips Are Appalling
On March 16, President Donald Trump issued a budget in which his administration drastically cut funding for social services, including the Meals on Wheels program.
The next day, he dined on pan-seared dover sole with Champagne sauce, New York Strip steak and Thumbelina carrots at his Mar-a-Lago resort during a trip that cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $3 million in security and travel expenses. It was his fifth trip to the resort since his inauguration. Since then, he’s taken yet another jaunt there. Las Vegas Sun

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Will Free College Offer Catch Fire? NY Details Raise Doubts
Some higher education experts question whether New York's first-in-the nation free college tuition plan should be a model for other states. They say the plan, which covers tuition at public colleges for students whose families earn $125,000 or less, offers the least assistance to the neediest students, whose tuition is already covered by other aid. There are also concerns that it doesn't pay for costs beyond tuition, such as room and board, which can account for about two-thirds of the total state tuition bill. Las Vegas Sun

Pope Prays For Peace, Decries 'Vile' Syria Attack In Easter Address
Pope Francis marked Easter Sunday with an address praying for relief for the violence-beset populations of Syria, south Sudan, Iraq, and Ukraine. The pope appeared before a crowd of tens of thousands gathered in the Vatican's St. Peter's Square about noon for the traditional Urbi et Orbi -- "To the City and the World" -- address delivered on Easter Sunday, when the world's Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. "Today, throughout the world, the Church echoes once more the astonishing message of the first disciples: 'Jesus is risen!' -- 'He is truly risen, as he said!'" Pope Francis told the crowd. UPI

Trump Administration May Already Be Breaking Its Own Ethics Rules On Lobbyists
President Donald Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who in many cases are helping to craft new policies for the same industries in which they recently earned a paycheck. The potential conflicts are arising across the executive branch, according to an analysis of recently released financial disclosures, lobbying records and interviews with current and former ethics officials by The New York Times in collaboration with ProPublica. In at least two cases, the appointments may have already led to violations of the administration’s own ethics rules. But evaluating if and when such violations have occurred has become almost impossible because the Trump administration is secretly issuing waivers to the rules. Kansas City Star
VOA VIEW: Trump maybe cutting his own throat if he gives CNN, New York Times and other liberal media ammunition.

Border Wall Could Put Some Americans On The Mexican Side, Cut Off From Their Country
The last time U.S. officials built a barrier along the border with Mexico, they left an opening at the small road leading south to Pamela Taylor’s home on the banks of the Rio Grande. Taylor hadn’t been told where the fence would be built, and she doesn’t know now whether officials are coming back to complete it. “How would we get out?” asked Taylor, 88, sitting in the living room of the home she built with her husband half a century ago. “Do they realize that they’re penalizing people that live along this river on the American side?” Taylor’s experience illustrates some of the effects that the border wall President Donald Trump has imagined could have on residents in the Rio Grande Valley, the sunny expanse of bilingual towns and farmland that form the southernmost point of the U.S.-Mexico border. The wall could seal some Americans on the “Mexican side” – technically on U.S. soil, but outside of a barrier built north of the river separating the two countries. Miami Herald

EPA Emerges As Major Target After Trump Solicits Policy Advice From Industry
Just days after taking office, President Trump invited American manufacturers to recommend ways the government could cut regulations and make it easier for companies to get their projects approved. Industry leaders responded with scores of suggestions that paint the clearest picture yet of the dramatic steps that Trump officials are likely to take in overhauling federal policies, especially those designed to advance environmental protection and safeguard worker rights. Those clues are embedded in the 168 comments submitted to the government after Trump signed a presidential memorandum Jan. 24 instructing the Commerce Department to figure out how to ease permitting and trim regulations with the aim of boosting domestic manufacturing. Washington Post

Rep. John Lewis To Honored At Harvard This Week
U.S. Rep. John Lewis has been named this year’s recipient of the Gleitsman Citizen Activist Award for his decades-long work on human rights and civil liberties. The award and $125,000 prize are given biennially by the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. Lewis will receive his award at a public ceremony on Tuesday. The Georgia Democrat has been a leading civil rights activist for almost 60 years. He was a speaker at the March on Washington, a trusted advisor to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a central architect of 1964’s Freedom Summer, a volunteer campaign to register black voters in Mississippi. In 2011, President Barack Obama presented Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, this country’s highest civilian honor. Boston Globe
VOA VIEW: Harvard is a leftist college.

Supreme Court , Including Gorsuch, To Hear Church-State Case
Justice Neil Gorsuch's first week on the Supreme Court bench features an important case about the separation of church and state that has its roots on a Midwestern church playground. The outcome could make it easier to use state money to pay for private, religious schooling in many states. The justices on Wednesday will hear a Missouri church's challenge to its exclusion from a state program that provides money to use ground-up tires to cushion playgrounds. Missouri is among roughly three dozen states with constitutions that explicitly prohibit using public money to aid a religious institution, an even higher wall separating government and religion than the U.S. Constitution erects. Houston Chronicle

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars Face Obstacle: Few Fueling Stations
Hydrogen fuel cell cars could one day challenge electric cars in the race for pollution-free roads — but only if more stations are built to fuel them. Honda, Toyota and Hyundai have leased a few hundred fuel cell vehicles over the past three years, and expect to lease well over 1,000 this year. But for now, those leases are limited to California, which is home to most of the 34 public hydrogen fueling stations in the U.S. Undaunted, automakers are investing heavily in the technology. General Motors recently supplied the U.S. Army with a fuel cell pickup, and GM and Honda are collaborating on a fuel cell system due out by 2020. Hyundai will introduce a longer-range fuel cell SUV next year. Houston Chronicle

‘BAD!’ Trump Says Media Plays ‘Game’ With Georgia Special Election
President Donald Trump slammed the media for the sweep of national attention on Tuesday’s special election in Georgia as Republicans try to prevent a surging Democrat from an upset victory. Trump said in a Sunday tweet that last week’s special election in Kansas was a “really big media event” until a Republican won the contest. “Now they play the same game with Georgia-BAD!”  The president was referring to a Republican candidate’s closer-than-expected victory to represent an open Wichita-based Kansas district that had overwhelmingly supported Trump in November. Polls showed the race narrowing until days before the vote, when Republicans poured in resources to defend the district and Trump and Vice President Mike Pence recorded robo-calls. Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: The liberal media want a Democrat victory of some kind.

Trump's Lawyers Say He's Immune From Suit He Incited Supporters
Donald Trump can't be sued for inciting his supporters because the president is immune from civil lawsuits, his lawyers said in federal court filings. Three protesters, Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau, said in a lawsuit they were roughed up by Trump backers at a March 1, 2016, campaign rally in Louisville, Ky., after Trump yelled from the stage "get 'em out of here!" They are seeking damages from two Trump supporters who confronted the protesters, as well as Trump's presidential campaign and the president himself. The plaintiffs said Trump's supporters were acting at his direction. "Mr. Trump is immune from suit because he is president of the United States," the lawyers wrote in the filing Friday, which requests a jury trial. UPI

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'ISRAEL MUST BE READY FOR CONFRONTATION WITH HAMAS THIS SUMMER'
Israel should get ready for a possible escalation with Hamas in the summer, according to Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday. "We must be prepared for a confrontation with Hamas this summer," he said, speaking to Army Radio. A member of the security cabinet and a former IDF general, Gallant continued, stating, "This is a sensitive time and we need to be vigilant in order to prevent it from happening." Jerusalem Post

North Korea Nuclear: US 'Working With China' On Response
The US and China are working on a "range of options" on North Korea, the US top security adviser has said, as tensions mount over the country's nuclear and missile programmes. Lt Gen HR McMaster told ABC News there was consensus with China that this was a situation that "could not continue". The comments come after a failed missile test launch by North Korea and a massive military parade. President Trump had earlier said China was "working with us" on the issue. Beijing, Pyongyang's biggest ally, has come under pressure from Washington to exert more pressure on its neighbour. BBC

US Government 'Monitored Bank Transfers'
A huge range of security weaknesses, said to be worth more than $2m (£1.6m) if sold on the black market, have been leaked online by a hacking group. The tools are said to have been created by the US National Security Agency. Accompanying documents appear to indicate it was able to monitor money flows among some Middle East and Latin American banks. It apparently did this by gaining access to two service bureaus of the Swift global banking system. BBC

'Terrorist' Baby Faces US Embassy Interview After Error On Visa Form
A three-month old baby was summoned to the US embassy in London for an interview after his grandfather mistakenly identified him as a terrorist. Harvey Kenyon-Cairns had been due to fly to Orlando in Florida for his first overseas holiday, until his grandfather Paul Kenyon made the error on a visa waiver form. On the part of the Esta form which reads “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?” Kenyon ticked yes instead of no. Guardian

Trump, Trade, Interest And Aid Make For A Challenging IMF Summit
Geopolitical tensions, uncertainty about the future of the EU and an increasingly unpredictable US president form the fraught backdrop to this year’s spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank this week. The prospect of rising protectionism also looms large for the IMF, a multilateral organisation set up during the second world war to foster cooperation between economies. Its co-host, the World Bank, faces similarly daunting challenges to its mission to cut poverty and inequality. As the two bodies prepare to bring together thousands of delegates in Washington, including finance ministers, central bankers and business leaders, we look at five key themes they will discuss. Guardian

United Airlines Staff Will No Longer Take Seats Of Passengers Who Have Boarded Plane
United Airlines says it is ending the practice of bumping passengers from flights after they have boarded in order to give seats to staff accommodate staff, following international outrage at the violent removal of a customer last Sunday. The airline is overhauling its policies and reviewing the circumstances that led up to the forcible removal of David Dao, a 69-year-old doctor, from an overbooked flight. Camera phone footage captured the heavy handed approach of security officers who dragged Dr Dao from his seat. He had two of his teeth knocked out, broke his nose and suffered concussion, according to his lawyer. Telegraph

North Koreans Oblivious To Failed Missile Launch
North Koreans remained oblivious to their leadership’s failed missile test early on Sunday morning, reported foreign journalists on a media trip to the capital, Pyongyang. Just one day after Kim flaunted his weaponry to the world, it was no great surprise that North Korea’s strictly controlled media, largely known as the dictator’s propaganda mouthpiece, would decline to report the embarrassing flop of one of his missiles 3-4 seconds after take-off. But as news of the missile malfunction flashed around the world, Pyongyang’s reaction took a surreal turn when foreign media were escorted to visit a flower show and a crowded indoor swimming pool with rainbow beach umbrellas. Telegraph

Brexit Might Not Be The Biggest Challenge Facing Fintech
Taavet Hinrikus has become something of a de facto spokesman for the British fintech industry. Already a success as Skype’s first employee, today his company TransferWise is valued at $1.1bn (£900m), making it one of a handful of British start-ups with the fabled “unicorn” sticker. The company, which cuts down on fees when sending money abroad, is known for its stunts. Its campaigns have included driving a hearse through the City of London in a mock funeral for the death of hidden bank charges and a half-naked flash mob to demonstrate that TransferWise, by comparison has “nothing to hide”. Telegraph

Top UN Officials Express 'Horror' At Attack On Evacuees In Syria; Underline That Civilians Must Be Protected
Senior United Nations officials, including the Organization's top humanitarian official as well as the head of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) have expressed “ho
In a statement today, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien, strongly condemned the violent act and reminded all parties to the conflict of their obligations under international law which expressly prohibits any harm on civilians. “The perpetrators of such a monstrous and cowardly attack displayed a shameless disregard for human life,” said Mr. O'Brien. UN News

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