NEWS   TUESDAY, APRIL  18, 2017   NEWS

North Korea Accuses US Of Creating Situation For Nuclear War
North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador accused the United States on Monday of turning the Korean Peninsula into "the world's biggest hotspot" and creating "a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment." Kim In Ryong told a news conference that "if the U.S. dares opt for a military action," North Korea "is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S." He said the Trump administration's deployment of the Carl Vinson nuclear carrier task group to waters off the Korean Peninsula again "proves the U.S. reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario." Fox News
VOA VIEW:  Enough is enough - Un has to go before its too late.

North Korea Tensions Have Hawaii Pols Revisiting Emergency Attack Plans
As tensions with North Korea mount, Hawaii lawmakers anxiously are dusting off the state’s emergency plans in preparation for the possibility – however remote – of an attack on the islands. The plans were last revisited in the 1980s. But the Hawaii House Public Safety Committee on Thursday formally called for the state’s defense agency to repair their hundreds of Cold War-era fallout shelters and restock them with medical supplies, food and water. "They haven't been updated since 1985," Rep. Matt LoPresti, a Democrat who serves as vice chair of that committee, told Hawaii News Now. “I was 11 years old when they were last updated. Many of the buildings that are on the fallout shelter list don't exist anymore.” Fox News
VOA VIEW: North Korea is a problem.

The President Always Gets Audited (And The Veep Too)
For the U.S. president and vice president, an audit is guaranteed every year. The practice of doing a "mandatory examination" of the presidential and vice presidential tax returns has been in the Internal Revenue Manual since the Watergate era, according to the IRS. Both President Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew became embroiled in personal tax controversies around the same time that the Watergate scandal was unfolding. Agnew ended up resigning after admitting to tax evasion. CNN

People Really Don't Like Paul Ryan. But Why?
House Speaker Paul Ryan is the least popular person to hold that job in a very long time, according to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center. A majority -- 54% -- disapprove of how the Wisconsin Republican is leading the House. Just 29% approve. Those numbers compare poorly to other Speakers -- Democratic and Republican -- in April of their first year in power. (Worth noting: This is not an apples to apples comparison with Ryan; the similar time period for Ryan would be February 2016.) In April 1995, 42% of people disapproved of the job Newt Gingrich was doing as Speaker. Just 30% disapproved of how Nancy Pelosi was doing her job in April 2007 and 34% said the same of John Boehner in April 2011. CNN
VOA VIEW: Ryan is a wimp.

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Some Families Blame Phone Makers For Distracted Driving deaths
Analysts say Apple and other smartphone manufacturers could add technology that forcibly shuts off text messaging and other distracting features for drivers. “There is no technical reason for why these things aren’t available at this point,” said Douglas Schmidt, a computer science professor at Vanderbilt University. The manufacturers of the world’s top smartphone operating systems — Google and Apple — have features that prevent texting while driving, but it’s all optional. Besides airplane mode, which lets phone users disconnect from the cellular network, those with iPhones can dictate messages with the voice assistant Siri. Google has an app called Android Auto that lets users access maps and music and send messages with their voices. Experts say, however, that switching to voice commands does not solve the basic problem of distraction. SF Gate

Syrian Dictator Urges UN To Act Against U.S. and Others It Accuses Of Supporting Terrorists
The Assad regime on Sunday called on the United Nations to act against the United States and other governments that it says support terrorists in Syria. The call for action follows a suicide bombing that killed scores of civilians, many of them children, during a humanitarian evacuation effort. In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the U.N. Security Council presidency – held this month by the United States – the regime’s foreign ministry blamed “the terrorists and their masters” for Saturday’s blast, which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says killed 126 people, including at least 80 children. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Assad has to go.

WH: You Won’t See Trump Drawing Red Lines In The Sand
When asked whether President Donald Trump has a red line when it comes to North Korea, the White House said Monday that drawing lines hasn’t work in the past, so you won’t see Trump drawing one, but the action he took in Syria, for example, shows that he will take “decisive action” when necessary. “I think when we talked about ... the use of red lines in the past with respect to Syria, the president’s made lines-- you know, that drawing lines hasn’t really worked in the past. He holds his cards close to the vest, and I think you’re not going to see him telegraphing how he’s going to respond to any military or other situation going forward,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. CNS
VOA VIEW: Act or keep your mouth shut.

Trump Appointee Gorsuch Energetic In First U.S. High Court Arguments
President Donald Trump's appointee Neil Gorsuch on Monday showed himself to be a frequent and energetic questioner during U.S. Supreme Court arguments in his first day hearing cases as a justice, at one point even apologizing for talking too much. Gorsuch, whose confirmation to the lifetime job restored the court's conservative majority, exhibited composure and confidence, sitting on the far right of the bench in the ornate courtroom, alongside liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor. He appeared relaxed, gingerly sipping from a disposable coffee cup. The justices, with the exception of the usually silent Clarence Thomas, are known for their aggressive questioning, and Gorsuch showed no qualms about jumping right in. Eight times during the course of three one-hour arguments Gorsuch peppered attorneys with a series of pointed questions. Reuters

New York City Taxi Commission Plans To Force Uber To Add Driver Tipping Feature
Ride-services company Uber Technologies Inc may be required to provide passengers a way to tip their drivers, despite its longstanding resistance, if a plan by New York City's taxi regulator is implemented. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission said on Monday that it plans to propose a rule no later than July that would require all for-hire vehicles to allow passengers to tip drivers using the same method they use to pay for the ride. In Uber's case, this would involve adding a tipping feature within the its smartphone app. The commission said its proposal is a response to driver concerns over falling wages, as Uber has reduced fares in New York City and across the country. Tips could help boost drivers' income. Reuters

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Susan Rice Did Nothing Wrong, Say Both Dems And Republicans
A review of the surveillance material flagged by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes shows no inappropriate action by Susan Rice or any other Obama administration official, Republican and Democratic Congressional aides who have been briefed on the matter told NBC News. President Donald Trump told the New York Times he believed former National Security Adviser Rice broke the law by asking for the identities of Trump aides who were mentioned in transcripts of U.S. surveillance of foreign targets. Normally, the identities of Americans are blacked out in transcripts circulated by the National Security Agency, but they may be "unmasked," if their identities are relevant to understanding the intelligence. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: So MSNBC says.

Netflix On The Verge Of Hitting 100 Million Subscribers
Netflix is on the verge of surpassing 100 million global subscribers, a testament to how much the video streaming service has changed the entertainment landscape since its debut a decade ago. The company will reach that milestone this weekend if its projections are correct. Netflix made the prediction Monday with the release of its first-quarter earnings. The service added nearly 5 million subscribers during the first three months of the year, and will end March with 98.7 million customers in roughly 190 countries. MSNBC

Trump’s Coziness With China Is ‘Paying Off’ On North Korea, White House Says
The White House said Monday that President Trump’s new bond with China’s president is “paying off” with North Korea, despite Pyongyang’s attempted missile test over the weekend. “I think you’re seeing China playing a much more active role with respect to North Korea,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer. “They have taken some very helpful actions and exhibited positive signs on the diplomatic front as well. It’s encouraging, the signs that China is showing.” North Korea tried to launch a mid-range missile Sunday that failed, just as Vice President Mike Pence was arriving in South Korea for talks. A North Korean official told the BBC that Pyongyang will “be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis,” adding that an “all-out war” would result if the U.S. took military action. Washington Times

Sanders Wrong On Voter Turnout
Sen. Bernie Sanders wrongly claimed that voter turnout in 2016 was “the lowest … in 20 years.” In fact, turnout was higher than it was in 2012. The overall turnout was 60.2 percent in 2016, up from 58.6 percent four years earlier. In addition, the percentage of eligible voters casting ballots for president in 2016 was 59.3 percent — the third highest in the last 44 years. Only 2008 and 2004 were higher. Sanders, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez have launched what they are calling the “Come Together and Fight Back” tour to expand the Democratic base. The tour, which will cover eight states in six days, began April 17 in Portland, Maine. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Sad, that few acknowledge the facts.

Clinton Apologized To Obama On Election Night
Hillary Clinton had to eat humble pie twice on election night. Clinton apologized to President Obama for her bruising loss — right after calling Trump to offer him “congratulations,” according to a new book chronicling her 2016 presidential bid called “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.” “Mr. President, I’m sorry,” she said, according to a Washington Post’s review of the book due out Tuesday. The White House urged Clinton to concede as Trump claimed battleground states — some by slim margins — because Obama wanted to avoid a messy recount. NY Post

Brooklyn School Reports Higher Lead Levels In Water Than Flint
Students in a Brooklyn elementary-school classroom drank from a fountain whose water was more contaminated than Flint, Mich.’s — laden with 1,000 times the amount of lead permitted by federal safety regulations. A Dec. 16 test revealed a staggering lead-concentration level of 15,000 parts per billion in the water spouting from the spigot in Room 222 at PS 289 George V. Brower in Crown Heights, city Department of Education records show. The Environmental Protection Agency requires water suppliers to reduce lead levels if they reach 15 ppb. The amount of lead flowing from the Room 222 fountain was also three times the 5,000 ppb level at which the EPA classifies water as “hazardous waste.” NY Post

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Conservative Group Launches Anti-Elizabeth Warren Initiative
Looking to tarnish Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s political image, a conservative group announced Monday that it is launching an effort to tear the Massachusetts senator down ahead of her re-election race next year and possible 2020 presidential bid. America Rising PAC rolled out “The Elizabeth Warren Initiative” with the stated goals of making “Warren’s life difficult during her 2018 Senate re-election contest” and “to damage her 2020 prospects.” The initiative is scheduled to coincide with the release Mrs. Warren’s latest book, “The Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class,” which is stoking speculation about her future political plans. Washington Times

Melania Appears To Remind Trump To Put Hand On Heart For National Anthem
The annual White House Easter Egg Roll allows the nation’s leaders to enjoy a fun and sometimes silly spring tradition. The most-discussed moments are often just cute photos of the first family with the Easter Bunny and young children who have come to take part in the fun. It’s generally a tame spectacle mired with little, if any, controversy. But this year, one small, barely noticeable moment caught the attention of reporters and social media users, briefly igniting the trending topics on both Facebook and Twitter. CBS

Majority No Longer Thinks Trump Keeps His Promises
A majority of people in the U.S. no longer believe that President Trump keeps his promises, according to a Gallup survey released Monday. In February, 62 percent said they thought Mr. Trump keeps his promises, but now only 45 percent think he does, the poll found. That sentiment has dropped especially among women. In February, nearly two-thirds said they thought the president keeps his promises and now only 40 percent believe he does. The president has also lost ground on five other characteristics. In February, 59 percent said they thought Mr. Trump is a strong and decisive leader, but that has dropped to 52 percent who think so. Two months ago, 53 percent said they believed the president could bring about changes the country needs, but 46 percent say the same now. CBS
VOA VIEW: Trump has lost some credibility - not as much as being reported by the liberal media.

Boeing Plans Hundreds Of Layoff Notices For Engineers This Week
Job cuts at Boeing keep on coming: The company told staff in a memo Monday that “hundreds of engineering employees” in Washington state and other company sites — but not in North Charleston, S.C. — will receive layoff notices Friday. This follows a round of voluntary buyouts Boeing offered in January. That proposal was accepted by more than 300 engineering and technical staff and 1,500 members of the Machinists union. All the engineering staff who accepted that buyout offer, as well as about 1,000 of the machinists who did so, will leave the company permanently on Friday. In late March, Boeing issued an earlier round of 245 involuntary layoffs, including 62 engineering staff and 111 machinists, that will take effect in mid-May. Those also did not affect the Charleston site. Seattle Times

Pound Falls Amid Growing UK Election Speculation
The British pound has fallen amid mounting speculation that Prime Minister Theresa May is planning to call an early general election. In the wake of an announcement that May will make an unexpected statement in Downing Street at 11:15 a.m. (1015GMT), the pound was down 0.3 percent at $1.2525. May's office says she will speak after the weekly meeting of her Cabinet. FXTM Vice President of Market Research, Jameel Ahmad says that "truth be told, nobody is really that aware of what is going on but this uncertainty has caused a reaction." Tampa Tribune

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Japan Says Differences With US On Economic Talks
A Japanese official says a difference in approach remains with the U.S. despite an agreement on a framework for new bilateral economic talks. The official said Tuesday that Japan still hopes to bring the U.S. back into a multilateral framework such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the 12-country trade agreement after his inauguration in January. The official briefed reporters on customary condition of anonymity after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso in Tokyo to launch the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue. Pence said after the meeting that Trump believes it is in America's interest to negotiate economic deals on a bilateral basis. He said that the dialogue could lead to formal talks on a U.S.-Japan trade agreement, but that he would leave that decision to the future. Houston Chronicle

Israel: No Talks With Palestinian Inmates On Hunger Strike
Israel will not negotiate with hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who launched a hunger strike to press for better conditions, a government minister said Tuesday, adding that the organizer of the protest has been placed in solitary confinement. If sustained, the strike led by Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader jailed during the second Palestinian uprising, would be the largest in recent years. It could heighten Israeli-Palestinian tensions at a time of renewed U.S. attempts to restart stalled peace negotiations. Israeli rule over the West Bank and east Jerusalem, territories captured during the 1967 war and claimed by the Palestinians as part of a future state, reaches the half-century mark in June. Charlotte Observer

President Trump Says North Korea Has 'Gotta Behave'
President Donald Trump weighed in on the tense situation with North Korea on the sidelines of the annual White House Easter Egg Roll today. When asked for his message to North Korea after its failed missile launch on Sunday, Trump responded, "They gotta behave." Later, when ABC News pressed Trump on his next move on the Korean Peninsula, he said, "You'll see." Vice President Mike Pence and his family were in South Korea over the weekend, where they visited the Demilitarized Zone between the North and South. ABC
VOA VIEW: Don't expect Trump to tip his hand.

More Than Half Of American Adults Have Tried Marijuana
A majority of American adults have tried marijuana at least once in their lives, according to a new Marist poll that was conducted in partnership with Yahoo. The poll found that 52 percent of U.S. adults have tried marijuana at least once and 56 percent of Americans find the drug "socially acceptable." While eight out of 10 Americans strongly support legalizing medical marijuana, there is a clear divide over the legalization of recreational marijuana; Forty-nine percent of American adults support legalization while 47 percent oppose it. Dr. Donald Abrams, an oncologist at University of California San Francisco who has studied marijuana, said the high percentage of people in favor of medicinal marijuana is not surprising. Many "have had family members or friends who have benefited from the use medicinally," Abrams said. "I hear it all the time." ABC

Trump Is a Global ‘Instability Factor,’ Fillon's Top Aide Says
U.S. President Donald Trump’s unpredictability and his positions on North Korea and Russia could bring global instability, said Jean-Pierre Raffarin, a former French prime minister and a top aide to presidential candidate Francois Fillon. “China is very worried by the U.S.,” Raffarin said in a phone interview. “Trump is unpredictable, and it’s a subject of great worry for China. The strike in Syria, which was carried out without consultation, unilaterally, created a precedent and is a great concern. China is fully aware of what North Korea can do and how it can manage the North Korean risk. For them, the instability factor is Trump.” Raffarin, the French Republican candidate Fillon’s top diplomatic adviser, said France should seek to protect Europe and its allies from Trump interventions, which he said will bring instability, including on the Old Continent. Raffarin, a senator who has sought to develop strong ties between France and China, backs Fillon’s view that France and Europe must counter the U.S.’s “global domination,” and put more distance with Washington. Bloomberg

Senate Panel Delays Bills On Decriminalizing Marijuana And Restoring Felon Voting Rights
Deemocrats in the Florida Senate got a brief opportunity to tackle two items that have for years been a goal for much of their party — decriminalizing marijuana and restoring the voting rights of ex-felons. But the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Monday “temporarily postponed” those bills. Technically, they could return later in the legislative session. But as committees hold their final meetings this week with only three weeks left in the session, the bills are all but dead. The hearings were the swan song of state Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, who was chosen to run the committee this session by the Senate’s Republican leadership. Tampa Tribune
VOA VIEW: Liberals are falling on their own propaganda.

Trump To Sign 'Buy American, Hire American' Executive Order
President Trump will sign a double-barreled executive order Tuesday that will clamp down on guest worker visas and require agencies to buy more goods and services from U.S. companies and workers. Trump will sign the so-called "Buy American, Hire American" executive order during a visit to Snap-On Tools in Kenosha, Wis., Tuesday, said two senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the order Monday. The officials spoke on condition they not be identified because the cabinet-level officials who could discuss the matter on the record were unavailable. By combining aspects of immigration policy with federal procurement regulations, Trump is using executive action to advance his philosophy of economic nationalism without waiting for action from Congress.  But like many of his previous executive orders, the order will largely call on cabinet secretaries to fill in the details with reports and recommendations about what the administration can legally do. USA Today

Prince William Speaks With Lady Gaga On Mental Health
Prince William has brought Lady Gaga on board with in his efforts to persuade people to be more open about their mental health and crush the stigma associated with the issue. The heir to the throne released a video on Tuesday in which he speaks with the pop superstar in a FaceTime call from his home in London to her home in Los Angeles. William says it is “time that everyone speaks up and really feels very normal about mental health. It’s the same as physical health.” Lady Gaga says that talking more openly about mental health would allow people to feel like “we are not hiding anymore.” William, his wife the Duchess of Cambridge and his brother Prince Harry have made mental health a focus of their charitable work. USA Today

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Study Shows Veterans With PTSD Can Also Have Positive Growth
Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, are more likely to have post-traumatic growth. Post-traumatic growth is a condition opposite of PTSD and includes an increased appreciation of life, awareness of new possibilities and enhanced inner strength. "There's been a lot of attention paid to PTSD in our military population, but very little research on post-traumatic growth," Sarah Desmarais, an associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, said in a press release. "But these findings are important, because they show that the way veterans respond to trauma is not a zero-sum game." UPI

Traitor Or Hero, Snowden Still A Success On College Lecture Circuit
It’s been nearly four years since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden spilled some of the most deeply held secrets of the National Security Agency, emerging from obscurity to become a central figure in a global debate about surveillance and secrecy. Now, nearly every week, Snowden hops on his computer from his exile in Russia for a video chat with university students, techies or privacy advocates in some corner of North America. Never in modern times has an accused enemy of the U.S. state had so much access to the public, or so divided people about where he lands on the spectrum from “traitor” to “hero.” It’s not a bad gig. Snowden’s got cash and clout, pulling in $30,000 or more per talk, although his lawyer says he does many appearances for little or no money. Kansas City Star

Some 10,000 Venezuelan Passports And Other Documents Were Issued To Middle Easterners
Within the span of a year, Venezuela illegally issued at least 10,000 passports and other documents to citizens of Syria, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries in a scheme spearheaded by current Vice President Tareck El Aissami, according to a former high-ranking immigration official. Colonel Vladimir Medrano Rengifo, former director of Venezuela’s Office of Identification and Migration, said that during his 17 months in the post, most passports and visas were granted in the Venezuelan Consulate in Damascus, Syria’s capital. Miami Herlad
VOA VIEW: They must not be allowed in the US.

Arkansas Governor 'Disappointed' In Delay
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he's disappointed after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to lift a stay that would have allowed the state's first execution in 12 years.
But the Republican governor says he was heartened by other court rulings Monday that could pave the way for Arkansas to execute several more inmates before the end of April. The state's next two executions are scheduled for Thursday night. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge noted that there are five upcoming executions "with nothing preventing them from occurring." Arkansas originally scheduled eight executions to take place before April 30, when one of its lethal injection drugs expires. SF Gate

Stocks Rise, Dollar Slips As Weekend Risks Fade
U.S. stocks rose the most in six weeks, while the dollar weakened as geopolitical threats eased and a fresh set of American economic data damped the odds for a Federal Reserve rate hike in June. All 11 groups in the S&P 500 Index advanced, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added almost 200 points in light trading. Bloomberg’s dollar index pared losses after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the Financial Times the greenback’s strength is “a good thing.” The yield on 10-year Treasuries edged higher from a November low. Gold erased gains. Turkey’s lira jumped after a vote expanded powers for the president. Copper climbed after China’s economic growth accelerated. Bloomberg

Pentagon’s Mattis Discussing War Aims In Mideast This Week
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is looking to the Middle East and North Africa for broader contributions and new ideas to fight Islamic extremism as the Trump administration fleshes out its counterterrorism strategy. His trip to the region this week includes stops with longstanding allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, and new partners like Djibouti. As the administration enhances its efforts, Mattis has made a point of consulting counterparts around the world. His goals include expanding the American-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, but also combatting al-Qaida, whose Yemen branch is posing particular worry as it uses ungoverned spaces in the Arab world's poorest country to plan attacks on the United States. Las Vegas Sun

In The Fight Of His Career, O’Reilly’s Side Swings Back On Harassment Charge
All at once, Bill O’Reilly is fighting for his TV life. The future of O’Reilly’s long career at Fox News may hinge on a sexual-harassment accusation raised by a woman named Wendy Walsh, who has alleged that O’Reilly propositioned her in a Los Angeles hotel in 2013, then retaliated against her when she rebuffed him. Walsh, a Los Angeles radio personality and author who offers relationship advice, hasn’t sued or sought compensation — just validation that she and other women were wronged by the blunt-spoken host of “The O’Reilly Factor.” Her accusation came on top of the disclosure earlier this month that O’Reilly and Fox News have settled five harassment allegations since 2002, paying $13 million to former network employees for their silence. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Conservatives must learn how to fight harder.

Will Trump’s Budget Scuttle Atlanta Transit Projects?
As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today, metro Atlanta leaders have big plans for expanding MARTA and other transit options over the next two decades. But those plans could be in jeopardy under President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget. The president would eliminate the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program except for projects that have already been approved for full funding. The idea, according to the budget: “Future investments in new transit projects would be funded by the localities that use and benefit from these localized projects.” Metro Atlanta officials are counting on some $3 billion from that program to help pay for a slew of transit projects between by 2040. Among them are several MARTA expansions, a Cobb County bus rapid transit line and expansions of the Atlanta Streetcar and Beltline. Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: The liberal media is trying to win a losing battle.

Trump Order Would Target High-Skilled Worker Visa Program
President Donald Trump is planning to sign an executive order that seeks to make changes to a visa program that brings in high-skilled workers. Trump is heading Tuesday to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he plans to sign an order dubbed "Buy American, Hire American," said administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity despite the president's frequent criticism of the use of anonymous sources. The officials said the order, which Trump will sign at the headquarters of tool manufacturer Snap-on Inc., would direct the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Labor and State to propose new rules to prevent immigration fraud and abuse. Those departments would also be asked to offer changes so that H-1B visas are awarded to the "most-skilled or highest-paid applicants." Houston Chronicle

Man Countersues Trump, Says He Urged Ky. Protesters’ Removal
Another man accused of assaulting protesters at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Louisville has counter-sued the president, saying he was following Trump's urging to remove them. Matthew Heimbach is being sued over his alleged actions at the March 1, 2016 rally. In a counter claim filed in federal court on Monday, Heimbach says he was relying "on Trump's authority to order disruptive persons removed," according to WDRB-TV (bit.ly/2onwCE9). Another defendant, Alvin Bamberger, also attended the rally and can be seen on video shoving a woman. Bamberger filed a counter claim on Friday saying that he acted on Trump's "urging and inspiration." Three people who claim they were assaulted at the Trump rally filed a lawsuit last year against Trump, his campaign, Heimbach and Bamberger. Las Vegas Sun

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Syria War: 'At Least 68 Children Among 126 Killed' In Bus Bombing
At least 68 children were among 126 people killed in Saturday's bomb attack on buses carrying evacuees from besieged Syrian towns, activists say. A vehicle filled with explosives hit the convoy near Aleppo. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said at least 109 evacuees from government-held towns were killed, along with aid workers and rebel soldiers. Many more were injured in the attack, the group said. The explosion shattered buses and set cars on fire, leaving a trail of bodies, as the convoy waited in rebel territory near Aleppo. Separately, several people, mostly children, are reported to have been injured by shelling in the capital, Damascus. At least three shells landed near the central Umayyad Square, state and pro-government media outlets reported. State TV blamed "terrorists". BBC

Cleveland Facebook Suspect Steve Stephens Hunted In Five States
A US gunman who shot a grandfather on the street apparently at random and posted the footage on Facebook could be anywhere, say investigators. The suspect, Steve Stephens, said in another video post that he had killed 13 people and would kill more. He shot dead 74-year-old Robert Godwin in Ohio as the victim walked home from Easter lunch on Sunday afternoon. Facebook has launched a review of its procedures after criticism that the footage stayed on the site for hours. Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice-president of global operations, said the first complaint made about the video showing the killing came nearly two hours after it was posted. BBC

Arkansas Prepares For Flurry Of Executions Despite Legal Challenges
Arkansas began preparing two death row inmates for execution on Monday night, despite a flurry of legal challenges attempting to hold back what would be the most intense burst of judicial killing in the US in more than half a century. The department of corrections said it was putting final touches on its preparations for the deaths of Bruce Ward and Don Davis from 7pm tonight, although the current legal status has both executions on hold. All parties to the dispute were bracing for a late night, with the final outcome likely to end at the door of the US supreme court. Guardian

Donald Trump Says China Is Working With The US Over North Korea
Mr Trump also defended his decision not to label China a currency manipulator – a major promise during his election campaign – linking the issue to North Korea in a tweet on Sunday. The US president had previously signaled that China held the key to easing tensions over North Korea, but more recently he has suggested that the US would act unilaterally if Beijing failed to rein in its wayward neighbour. However, he appeared more upbeat on Beijing and Washington working together to actively confront Pyongyang in a tweet on Sunday. Telegraph

British Families Face Fresh Price Rises As Businesses Pass On Higher Costs
Families should brace themselves for steeper price rises after a leading accountancy body warned that protecting customers from higher costs is now “unsustainable” for businesses. Inflation has already started to bite with prices up 2.3pc in the past year as, despite fierce competition pushing retailers to delay price hikes, the weak pound has pushed up the cost of imports. A survey conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) showed half of UK businesses that have seen rising input costs plan to pass them on to customers or find cheaper suppliers. Telegraph

New UN Guidelines To Make International Trade In Plants And Seeds Safer
A United Nations commission overseeing plant health has adopted a new global standard to ensure that international trade in plants and seeds – vital to feed the world's population – is free from agricultural pests and disease-causing bugs. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the threat of transmission of pests – unwanted stowaways – on ships and containers transporting agricultural cargo, especially seeds, is a growing concern around the world. “Unlike other agricultural products that are destined for consumption, such as wheat, barley or lentils, seeds are a cause for greater concern,” said the UN agency in a news release. UN News

Somalia: UN, Global Partners Commend Creation Of National Security Council
The United Nations and other members of the international community today commended Somalia’s Federal Government and the Federal Member States for agreeing to form a National Security Council, as well as decisions taken on priorities such as fighting corruption and drought response. These decisions follow two days of consultations held in the capital, Mogadishu, led by Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and other senior officials. “This agreement marks a major milestone for Somalia. It is a cornerstone of the federal state building process and is a basis upon which strengthened security can be built,” said Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Somalia, referring to the creation of a National Security Council. President Farmajo will head the National Security Council, whose members will include regional leaders. UN News

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