NEWS   WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2017   NEWS

Kelly Says Terror Threat From Southern Border Keeps Him 'Awake At Night'
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly warned Tuesday that the next terror attack could be committed by enemies sneaking through America's southern border, as he defended the tough actions being taken by the Trump administration to secure the region. “I'm staying up late at night every night to try to prevent that from happening. So that's what keeps me ... awake at night,” Kelly said of the terror threat. He made the comments during a Q&A session following a speech at George Washington University. In the address, he called the administration’s fight against illegal immigration “really remarkable” and pushed back on criticism from Capitol Hill -- saying lawmakers can either change the law or "shut up." Fox News
VOA VIEW: Terror from any where should keep all awake night and day.

Trump Pushes 'Buy American, Hire American' Policy In Wisconsin
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday directing federal agencies to implement the "Buy American, Hire American" rhetoric of his campaign. "The buy and hire American order I'm about to sign will protect workers and students like you," Trump told a crowd of technical students and manufacturing employees at the headquarters of Snap-On Tools, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer. "It's America first, you better believe it. It's time. It's time, right?" The order, which Trump signed after delivering his remarks, looks to bolster protections for certain American-made goods and calls for a review of the H-1B visa program for skilled workers, with the goal of reforming the program, senior administration officials said. Trump said the order would "aggressively promote and use American-made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job." CNN

Polls Find Trump Losing Steam On Promises, Working With Congress
Donald Trump began his presidency with a handful of strengths in the eyes of the public despite lower-than-usual approval ratings, but two new polls suggest that those positive reviews are souring as the 100-day mark of Trump's term approaches. A Gallup poll released Monday found just 45% of Americans say Trump "keeps his promises," down from 62% who said so in early February. That same poll found a dip in the percentage saying Trump "can bring about changes this country needs," from 53% in February to 46% now. CNN
VOA VIEW: Don't listen to CNN's liberal anti Trump diatribe.

Trump: ‘So Many Towns And Cities Are Thanking Me’ For Getting Rid Of ‘Burden’ Of Criminal Aliens
President Donald Trump said Monday that many people are thanking him for getting rid of the “burden” of criminal aliens. In an interview with “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt, the president said his administration so far has “gotten tremendous criminals out of this country.” “I’m talking about illegal immigrants that were here that caused tremendous crime, that have murdered people, raped people. Horrible things have happened,” Trump said. “They’re getting the hell out or they’re going to prison, and so many towns and cities are thanking me, because we’ve gotten rid of a burden that you would not believe. “I mean it is a serious problem, and we never did anything about it, and now we’re doing something about it,” he said. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Americans are feeling better under Trump.

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Supreme Court Could Limit Recovery In Securities Fraud Cases
The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed willing to make it tougher for the government to recover ill-gotten gains from people convicted of securities fraud. Most of the justices — including newly confirmed Justice Neil Gorsuch — suggested during arguments that such recoveries are subject to a strict five-year statute of limitations. That could prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission from collecting huge amounts of money in many cases where the alleged fraud goes back years or decades before officials bring charges. The agency collected more than $4 billion in those so-called "disgorgement" actions and other penalties in the 2016 fiscal year. The high court is deciding whether venture capitalist Charles Kokesh must return $35 million from investor funds he used to pay himself and others at his New Mexico-based operation from 1995 to 2006. Fox News

Senate Democrat Plans To Release His Tax Returns For First Time This Year
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I) has co-sponsored a bill that would require U.S. presidents and vice presidents to release their tax returns, and now Whitehouse has agreed to do what he’s demanding of others -- for the very first time. The Providence Journal, quoting a spokeswoman for Whitehouse, said the senator and his wife “have in the past kept their personal tax return private to protect the privacy of their children,” who are now 23 and 27. CNS News
VOA VIEW: When you have nothing, you don't care what others see.

Thousands Of Massachusetts Drug Cases To Be Dismissed After Lab Scandal
Close to 20,000 Massachusetts criminal drug cases are set to be dismissed because of a scandal involving a former state chemist who admitted faking tests, civil liberties activists and prosecutors said on Tuesday. It will mean the largest number of drug cases tossed out in U.S. history due to one person, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Rogue chemist Annie Dookhan pleaded guilty in 2013 to tampering with evidence during her nine years working at a state crime lab in Boston. The scandal shook the foundation of the state's criminal justice system. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in January ordered prosecutors across the state to dismiss the vast majority of convictions tied to that lab, where Dookhan identified evidence as illegal narcotics even without testing it, in an effort to make herself seem more efficient. Reuters

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U.S. House Panel To Begin Tax Reform Hearings Next Week
The tax-writing committee of the U.S. House of Representatives will begin holding hearings on a Republican tax reform proposal next week, the panel's Republican chairman said on Tuesday. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady told Fox News that the panel will soon announce hearings on the plan known as the House blueprint "starting next week." Brady has said he intends to unveil tax reform legislation this spring. But on Tuesday, it was not clear how an ongoing congressional debate about repealing and replacing the healthcare law known as Obamacare might impact the intended timeline. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Republicans better come up a good and simplified break.

Huge Asteroid To Give Earth A Very Close Shave On April 19
Call it a close shave of a celestial sort. On April 19, an asteroid roughly the size of the Rock of Gibraltar will speed safely by Earth at a distance of 1.1 million miles — or less than five times the distance from Earth to the moon. NASA says there's no chance the 2,000-foot-wide space rock will hit our planet. But the flyby — remarkably close by astronomical standards — serves as a reminder that somewhere out there an asteroid may have our name on it. "The odds of an impact for asteroids are very low on 'human timescales' (a hundred years are so)," Dr. Amy Mainzer, an astronomer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told NBC MACH in an email. "However, because the consequences could potentially be severe, it's not something we should completely ignore." Severe may be an understatement. If an asteroid like this one were to strike Earth, it might blast an impact crater about 10 kilometers wide, Dr. William F. Bottke, a planetary scientist and asteroid expert at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., told MACH in an email. MSNBC

Trump Rolls The Dice In Georgia’s Special Election
Democrats always wanted to make tonight's special congressional election in Georgia about President Trump. And he's obliged in the last 24 hours — by tweeting about the contest ("The super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressioal [sic] race tomorrow wants to protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes!"), and then by recording a robocall in the contest. "Only you can stop the super liberal Democrats and Nancy Pelosi's group, and in particular, Jon Ossoff. If you don't vote tomorrow, Ossoff will raise your taxes, destroy your healthcare, and flood our country with illegal immigrants," Trump says in the robocall, per NBC's Alex Seitz-Wald. And while Trump here is trying to gin up Republican turnout — to keep Ossoff below 50% to force a June 20 runoff — his involvement could also further motivate Democrats. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: MSNBC and other liberals want an upset they won't get.

Chuck Schumer On Trump’s H-1B Visa Reforms Study: Revive 2013 Immigration Bill, Instead
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Tuesday dismissed as window dressing President Trump’s pending executive order to study H-1B visa program reforms, urging him instead to take up the bipartisan 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill that included fixes to that guest worker program. “If he would stop demonizing immigrants and work with us on immigration reform, we could get something done, something real — not just a study,” the New York Democrat said in a conference call with reporters. Mr. Trump is headed to an event at the Snap-on tool factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he’ll sign an executive for his “buy-American, hire-American” policy, including the study of the H-1B program and measures to beef up requirements for using U.S.-made materials in federal projects. Washington Times

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Walker Says Trump Needs To Cut Tax Rate In Addition To Signing Executive Order
Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday that President Trump’s visit to his state is just the first in a series of steps needed to fix the U.S. economy. The Wisconsin Republican said on Fox News’ “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” that the administration needs to make sure, “the people who are coming to the United States, particularly through some of the immigration programs, aren’t taking the place of American workers.” Mr. Trump is visiting Mr. Walker’s home state of Wisconsin on Tuesday to sign an executive order requesting the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Labor and State come up with new rules regarding visa applications, which the White House said currently puts U.S. workers at a disadvantage. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Absolutely!

George H.W. Bush Hospitalized In Houston
President George H.W. Bush is back in the hospital, spokesman Jim McGrath has confirmed, according to CBS News Houston affiliate KHOU. Bush, 92, is being treated at Methodist Hospital but is doing fine, his spokesman told KHOU. “He is already well on the path to recovery and going home,” McGrath said. No other details have been released. The former president was in Methodist for several days back in January for pneumonia. He was on a ventilator and in the intensive care unit, but he rallied and had been doing fine. Former President Bill Clinton stopped by Houston for his annual visit with Bush days ago, and the two had lunch. CBS
VOA VIEW: GOD Bless.

Newtown Leaders Call On Trump To Denounce Sandy Hook Conspiracies
Members of the Newtown Board of Education hoped a newly elected President Donald Trump would speak out against a famous conspiracy theorist and others who question the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Two months later, they have yet to receive a response. The school board sent a one-page letter in February, asking Trump to denounce the lies because the comments of those who deny what happened are still hurting the community, said Keith Alexander, board chairman. The letter singled out Alex Jones, a radio host whose “Infowars” programming has alleged the massacre was a hoax. As a candidate, Trump voiced admiration for Jones during a December 2015 interview, telling Jones: “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.” CBS

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Business And Politics Stoke Record Sales Of Ivanka's Brand
Since her father was elected president of the United States, global sales of Ivanka Trump merchandise have surged and her company has applied for at least nine new trademarks in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Canada and the U.S. The commercial engine of the first daughter's brand is stronger than ever even as she builds a new political career from her West Wing office. Sales hit record levels in 2017, despite boycotts and several stores limiting her merchandise. U.S. imports, almost all from China, shot up an estimated 166 percent last year. ABC

Examining The Trump Administration's Stance On The White House Visitor Log
Challenging critics of Friday's announcement that the White House will not voluntarily release its visitor logs, Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday accused the Obama administration of a "faux attempt" at transparency and said the Trump administration was following both law and tradition. "We recognize there's a privacy aspect to allowing citizens to come express their views and that's why we maintain the same policy that every other administration did coming up here, prior to the last one," Spicer said. "And the last one frankly was a faux level of doing that because when you go through and scrub everyone's name out you don't want everyone to know, that really is not an honest attempt at doing it." ABC

Ex-NFL Star Aaron Hernandez Dead After Hanging Self In Cell
Massachusetts prison officials say former NFL star Aaron Hernandez has hanged himself in his cell and has been pronounced dead at a hospital. He was 27. An official with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections says Hernandez was found hanged in his cell just after 3 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities tried to revive the former New England Patriots tight end, and he was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial - HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster at 4:07 a.m. Prison officials say the Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts They say he hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window. Philadelphia Inquirer

Pence To North Korea: ‘The Sword Stands Ready’
From the wind-swept deck of a massive aircraft carrier, Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday warned North Korea not to test the resolve of the U.S. military, promising it would make an “overwhelming and effective” response to any use of conventional or nuclear weapons. Pence, dressed in a green military jacket, said aboard the hulking USS Ronald Reagan that President Donald Trump’s administration would continue to “work diligently” with allies like Japan, China and other global powers to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang. But he told the sailors, “as all of you know, readiness is the key.” “The United States of America will always seek peace but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready,” Pence told 2,500 sailors wearing blue fatigues and Naval baseball caps on a sunny, windy morning aboard the carrier at the U.S. Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo Bay. NY Post
VOA VIEW: North Korea better heed.

China Hunts For Billionaire Who Threatened To Expose Corruption
China’s foreign ministry says Interpol has issued a “red notice” seeking the arrest of Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire who has threatened to disclose corruption at the highest levels of the ruling Communist Party. Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the disclosure on Wednesday but gave no details about Guo’s alleged crimes. Interpol officials declined comment and Guo was not listed on Interpol’s website. The real estate tycoon disappeared from public view in 2014 but resurfaced in recent months, claiming in two interviews with overseas Chinese media and a stream of Twitter posts that he held damning information about party elites. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Talk or action.

Turkish FM: Trump And Erdogan To Meet In May
Turkey's foreign minister says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet next month. Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Mevlut Cavusoglu said the two leaders would meet in May ahead of a NATO summit. Cavusoglu says he and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will finalize the date according to the two presidents' schedules. Trump called Erdogan Monday to congratulate him on his victory in the referendum on expanding presidential powers in Turkey. The two also discussed developments in Syria and the U.S. response to a chemical attack in Idlib province in early April. Tampa Tribune

Citi Sees Oil Surging $10 As OPEC Combats Roaring U.S. Shale
Citigroup Inc. joined Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in backing commodities, saying it’s the season to have faith in raw materials and oil will probably rally to the mid-$60s by the end of the year. While U.S. shale output may come “roaring back” amid higher crude prices, production curbs by OPEC and its allies should help offset that increase over the next six to nine months, Citi analysts including Ed Morse and Seth Kleinman wrote in an April 17 report. The producers need to extend their deal to cut supplies through the end of the year amid concerns that Russia is lagging behind on its pledged reductions, the bank said. While the historic agreement between producers that went into effect Jan. 1 “induced a euphoric and unsustainable surge” in bullish bets by investors, that also set the stage for an inevitable sell-off as record fourth-quarter OPEC output and oil stored at sea moved to onshore sites, according to Citigroup. Bloomberg

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Young White America Is Haunted By A Crisis Of Despair
“America is not a great place for people with only a high school degree, and I don’t think that’s going to get better anytime soon.” Ryan Johnson was 22 when he succumbed to a heroin addiction that had intensified as the Erie, Pennsylvania, high school graduate grew disillusioned with his future. His mother found him in his room with his head slumped and lips blue. It was June 28, 2014, the day of his sister’s master’s-degree graduation party. “He just saw his life as not what he wanted it to be, and he didn’t know how to get it there,” said Sue Johnson, who lay next to her son’s corpse for an hour. He had dropped out of a two-year culinary program and was working part-time, low-wage jobs. He often compared himself with his peers in college and his athletic, academic older sister. Bloomberg

US Aircraft Carrier To Reach Waters Near NKorea Next Week
The Navy says an aircraft carrier that is intended as a show of force to North Korea will arrive in the region next week. The USS Carl Vinson has been making its way from Singapore to the Sea of Japan since last week, making stops in Asia along the way. Top U.S. officials have described the deployment as a message to North Korea as it conducts missile tests and may be planning a nuclear test. The United States periodically sends aircraft carrier strike groups to waters near the Korean Peninsula to project power. The Carl Vinson took part last month in the U.S.-South Korea war games. Las Vegas Sun

US Woman Released From Egypt Prison After 3 Years' Detention
The lawyer of Egyptian-American charity worker Aya Hijazi says she has been released from prison after nearly three years of detention. Taher Abol Nasr told The Associated Press she was released late Tuesday, two days after a court acquitted her of charges of child abuse that were widely dismissed as bogus by human rights groups and U.S. officials. Hijazi and her husband had established a foundation to aid street children, but were arrested along with six others in 2014. It was not immediately clear whether her co-defendants were also released. U.S. President Donald Trump did not publicly mention the case when he met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi earlier this month, but a senior White House official had said ahead of the meeting that the case would be addressed. Tampa Tribune

Professor Who Tweeted Trump 'Must Hang' Goes On Leave For Semester
Once again, someone learned the hard way that tweets have consequences. A history professor at California State University Fresno who sent an inflammatory tweet about President Trump agreed with the school to take "a voluntary leave of absence" for the rest of the spring semester, effective immediately, the university announced Tuesday. Professor Lars Maischak, 47, sent a tweet on Feb. 18 saying, "To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher,  the better." The tweet didn't attract much attention until the far right Breitbart News site posted a story about it on April 8, sparking outrage nationwide. It's been a bumpy road for Maischak ever since. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Liberal action must be dealt with.

Bill O’Reilly Likely On His Way Out At Fox News
Fox News is planning to cut ties with popular host Bill O’Reilly, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday night. The Journal cited people close to the situation and reported that a final decision could come in the next few days. O’Reilly is on vacation from his popular “The O’Reilly Factor” show on Fox News, but is supposed to return on Monday. CNN reported earlier Tuesday that the two sides were talking about O’Reilly’s exit from the network. CNN reported that an announcement could come by the end of the week. New York Magazine reported that the Murdoch family, which owns 21st Century Fox and News Corp., are turning against O’Reilly. Rupert Murdoch, the family’s patriarch, and sons James and Lachlan will make the decision. Charlotte Observer
VOA VIEW: Liberals want this win - Republicans can't bow to the move.

U.S. Intelligence Agencies Fear Rogue Insiders As Much As Spies These Days
Forget about spies. It’s rogue insiders that cause heartburn at U.S. intelligence agencies these days. Few spy cases have broken in the past decade and a half. In contrast, a proliferation of U.S. intelligence and military insiders have gone rogue and spilled secrets to journalists or WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group. The leaks are as damaging as any major spy case, perhaps more so. And they have underscored the ease of stealing secrets in the modern age, sometimes with a single stroke of a keyboard. Since early March, WikiLeaks has published part of a trove of documents purportedly created by cyber units of the Central Intelligence Agency. WikiLeaks continues to upload the documents and hacking tools, dubbed Vault 7, to the internet for all to see. Charlotte Observer

Legal Hurdles Loom LargeIn Arkansas Plan For Executions
Arkansas remains hopeful it can execute five inmates before the end of the month after courts blocked the state from putting two men to death Monday night. The inmates are fighting their executions on multiple legal fronts, but there are currently no stays in place for five who are set to die this month as the state rushes to beat an expiration date for one of its lethal drugs. The next executions are scheduled for Thursday. Here is a look at the legal landscape as Arkansas pushes forward with its execution plan: Kansas City Star

Georgia Special Election Will Go To Runoff
Democrat Jon Ossoff is headed for a runoff in June against a Republican contender after failing Tuesday to score an upset victory to represent a suburban Atlanta district in Congress. CNN called the race just after midnight. The 30-year-old investigative filmmaker aimed for an outright win in the 6th District race, but a furious Republican counterattack joined by President Donald Trump appears to have kept him under 50 percent. A Democratic victory would be an embarrassing defeat in a district held for decades by Republicans, and Trump’s opponents would have cast it as a devastating rebuke to his administration. Republicans downplayed the implications, saying Ossoff benefited from a cocktail of money, national attention and enthusiasm that’s nearly impossible to replicate. Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: CNN and other Democrats failed to mention that Ossoff lives out of the District and received millions from liberals - lost.

Donald Trump To Speak This Month At NRA Conference In Atlanta
Donald Trump will speak in Atlanta this month at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention, making him the first president to address the group since Ronald Reagan. Trump’s April 28 speech at the NRA’s Leadership Forum is the highlight of a four-day conference that is expected to attract 80,000 people and hundreds of exhibitors to the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. The NRA endorsed Trump in May after he promised to appoint judges who would support gun rights expansion, and on the campaign trail he often warned that Democrat Hillary Clinton would seek to limit the Second Amendment. Atlanta Journal

Kelly Has Simple Message To Critics: Change Law Or Shut Up
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says members of Congress who don't like the Trump administration's aggressive approach to immigration enforcement should change the laws or "shut up." The tough-talking retired Marine general made his remarks in a speech Tuesday at George Washington University. Kelly said critics, particularly lawmakers, are too quick to assume the worst of Homeland Security employees who are enforcing laws intended to keep America safe. Critics say the agency is too heavy-handed in enforcement operations, including arresting immigrants in the U.S. illegally who do not have criminal records. Las Vegas Sun

Nation By Nation, How Trump Has Shaken Up Koreas, Neighbors
Unpredictable. Unhinged. Dangerous. Many South Koreans are using those words to describe the president of their most important ally, rather than the leader of their archrival to the North. They worry that President Donald Trump's tough, unorthodox talk about North Korea's nuclear program is boosting already-high animosity between the rival Koreas. No matter whether Trump succeeds at getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and missile programs, his actions, comments and tweets are changing how the region views the long-running conflict. Senior North Korean officials see their relations with Washington as even more volatile than before. China is appealing for calm, and possibly re-examining its role. Japan is weighing a retaliatory strike capability against the North. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: The liberal media is wanting a confrontation.

Syria Destroys Rebel Tunnels After Evacuation
Syrian state TV says the military is destroying a tunnel network that linked rebel-controlled towns which are being evacuated as part of a population transfer. Government media said the area between Madaya and Zabadani came under military control Wednesday after gunmen and opposition activists were evacuated. The evacuations from the on two towns, and the northern pro-government villages of Foua and Kfarya, resumed Wednesday after being delayed by a bombing that killed more than 120 pro-government evacuees on Saturday. Al-Ikhbariyah TV said medical aid and bread have been distributed to the residents of Madaya and nearby Baqeen. Images of starved children in besieged Madaya in late 2015 caused an international uproar but the government-imposed siege continued. Houston Chronicle

Same-Sex Couples See Health Benefits From Marriage
The health benefits of tying the knot may extend to couples of all sexual orientations. A new study shows that older same-sex couples who have married are healthier and happier than their single counterparts. More than 1,800 LGBT adults, aged 50 and older, were surveyed in 2014 in U.S. states where gay marriage was already legal. It became legal nationwide nearly two years ago. "In the nearly 50 years since Stonewall, same-sex marriage went from being a pipe dream to a legal quagmire to reality -- and it may be one of the most profound changes to social policy in recent history," said study author Jayn Goldsen. She's a research study supervisor in the University of Washington School of Social Work. About one-fourth of the respondents were married, another quarter were in a committed relationship, and half were single. Married respondents had spent an average of 23 years together, while those in a committed relationship had spent an average of 16 years as a couple. UPI News

Cytokine Found To Control Trigger Of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
A study by Georgia State University found that a certain cytokine can control whether immune cells promote or suppress inflammatory bowel disease. Cytokines are small proteins that help cells communicate during immune responses. Researchers identified a specific cytokine that they believe is responsible for whether immune cells promote or suppress inflammatory bowel disease, which could lead to new treatments. Nearly 1.5 million Americans have some sort of inflammatory bowel disease, a chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. There are two main types of inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which both can cause severe diarrhea, pain, fatigue, weight loss and death. Researchers from Georgia State collaborated with researchers from Emory University and the University of Michigan to find that cytokine IL-36y controls whether T cells become aggressive or suppressive in mouse models. UPI News

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HAMAS ‘NOT SEEKING WAR WITH ISRAEL’
Hamas is not interested in starting a war with Israel, deputy Hamas chief in Gaza Khalil al-Hayya said on Tuesday. “We are not trying to start a war. We don’t want one and we don’t hope for one,” Hayya told a press conference in Gaza. “We are committed to the cease-fire that Egypt brokered as long as the occupation is committed to it.” Egypt brokered the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas that ended Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Tensions between Hamas and Israel have been on the rise since the mysterious assassination last month of Mazen Fuqaha, who was a senior member of the Hamas’s military wing—the Izzeldin Kassam Brigades. Hamas blamed Israel for the assassination and vowed to exact revenge. “The occupation knows that the blood of those struggling in the way of God will not be wasted,” Hamas said immediately after Fuqaha’s assassination. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: Hamas doesn't want a war with Israel becuase they can't win.

HOW IRAN ENABLES SYRIA’S CHEMICAL WARFARE AGAINST CIVILIANS
Tehran built equipment to produce ‘hundreds of tons of precursors for VX, sarin and mustard gas. The 59 Tomahawk missiles the US fired at the Shayrat Air Base served to punish dictator Bashar Assad for his use of chemical weapons against civilians. The strikes on April 6 also helped shine a spotlight on Iran’s role in Assad’s repeated use of nerve agents, because the mullahs’ Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps were at Shayrat. What the rapid-fire news cycle didn’t say early this month was that Tehran and Damascus jump-started a program to develop a sophisticated Syrian chemicals arsenal as early as 2004. The British publication Jane’s Defense Weekly reported in 2005 that the Islamic Republic would work with Syria to build an “innovative chemical warfare program.” Jerusalem Post

Israel Rules Out Talks With Palestinian Hunger Striking Inmates
Israel says it will not negotiate with more than 1,000 Palestinian detainees who have begun a mass hunger strike against conditions in Israeli jails. The action is being led by Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader jailed by Israel for life for five murders. Barghouti has been touted as a possible future successor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Israeli authorities have placed him under solitary confinement for calling the strike - now in its second day. Barghouti was "instigating mutiny and leading the hunger strike and that is a severe violation of the rules of the prison," said Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. BBC
VOA VIEW: Good - nothing to discuss.

iRobot Sues Hoover And Black & Decker Over Robo-Vacuums
The Massachusetts-based company cites a variety of patents in its legal filings, including misuse of its obstacle-detection system, brush designs and navigation controls.
It is seeking financial compensation and the right to block further use of its tech. The accused have yet to respond. iRobot began selling robot vacuums under the Roomba brand in 2002 and says it has sold more than 15 million units to date. "The filing of this litigation signals our commitment to protecting our investments," a spokesman said. BBC

Trump Aides Abruptly Postpone Meeting On Whether To Stay In Paris Climate Deal
Donald Trump’s aides have abruptly postponed a meeting to determine whether the US should remain in the Paris climate agreement, with an unlikely coalition of fossil fuel firms, environmental groups and some Republicans calling on the president to stick with the deal. Trump’s top advisers were set to meet on Tuesday to provide the president with a recommendation ahead of a G7 meeting in May. However, a White House official said the meeting had been postponed due to conflicting schedules. It is unclear when it will now take place. Guardian

First US Sugar Tax Sees Soft Drink Sales Fall By Almost 10%, Study Shows
The first sugar tax to be introduced on soft drinks in the United States to fight obesity has cut sales by nearly 10% and apparently increased the numbers of people buying water instead, a study has shown. Berkeley, California, introduced a substantial tax on sugar-sweetened beverages on 1 March 2015. At the rate of 10% – or one penny per fluid ounce – it adds 12 cents to a 12 ounce can of soda priced at $1, or 68 cents to a two litre bottle costing just over $2 before the tax. Experts hope that sugar taxes will hike the prices of unhealthy drinks and reduce the number of people who consume large quantities of them. Sugar-sweetened drinks are known to be a significant contributor to obesity, particularly in children and young people. Guardian

Georgetown University Renames Buildings To Atone For Slavery Ties
Georgetown University moved to atone for its historical links to slavery on Tuesday by holding a religious service and renaming buildings after African-Americans, including for one of 272 slaves sold to help fund the Washington school. The packed liturgy service and building dedications were the latest step by a U.S. Catholic-run university to make amends for ties to slavery and racism. The movement gained force in late 2015 when students at dozens of U.S. colleges protested legacies of racism on campus. Harvard, Brown, Princeton, Yale and Duke are among schools that have addressed their links to slavery and racism. Telegraph
VOA VIEW: Political correctness.

Half Of Britons Would Refuse To Reveal Facebook Passwords To Get Into US
More than half of British travellers would face being refused entry into the United States as they said they would not comply with a border control requirement to hand over their social media passwords. The stance set out by 51 per cent of respondents follows a suggestion by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it might require log in details for refugees’ Facebook and Twitter accounts before letting them into the country. The research was carried out by flight comparison website Kayak. “We want to get on their social media, with passwords - what do you do, what do you say?” said DHS secretary John Kelly. Telegraph

Diseases And Sexual Violence Threaten Somalis, South Sudanese Escaping Famine – UN
Millions of people are facing the peril of famine in Somalia and South Sudan, and the situation is expected to worsen as the drought and violence fuelling the crises widen, cautioned senior United Nations officials who have just returned from the area. Speaking to journalists in New York, John Ging, from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that situation in Somalia was “very fast moving” with more than 6.2 million people in need of food and water, and at risk for cholera and measles. “My overall impression of the response in Somalia is that the needs are moving very quickly, escalating, but the response is currently keeping pace with those needs. That does not mean that we should be complacent, but it does mean that we have the right team on the ground doing an outstanding job,” said Mr. Ging, who led a team that also included representatives from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). UN News

Unity Within Security Council Vital To Prevent Mass Atrocities – UN Chief Guterres
Briefing the Security Council, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today stressed the importance of unity in the 15-member body to effectively address human rights violations as well as to prevent mass atrocities. “Article 24 of the UN Charter is clear: the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rests with this Council ‘in order to ensure prompt and effective action’,” said Mr. Guterres, speaking on the theme of Human Rights and the Prevention of Armed Conflict. UN News

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