Civil War Comment Draws Fire
President Trump is taking heat for questioning why the Civil War had to be fought and suggesting President Andrew Jackson could have mediated the dispute without bloodshed. The president made the comments in an interview with The Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito. He dived into Civil War history after citing comparisons between his and Jackson’s campaign for the presidency, describing that race as “nasty” and calling Jackson a “swashbuckler.” Appearing to cast Jackson as a dealmaker like himself, he propounded a thought exercise: Fox News
VOA VIEW: The South was not an evil empire - the Civil War was not all about slavery.
Korea Threatens To Strengthen Nuclear Force 'To The Maximum'
As tensions continue to escalate between Washington and Pyongyang, North Korea said on Monday that it will strengthen its nuclear force “to the maximum.” A spokesman for the North Korea foreign ministry claimed its latest threat came in direct response to mounting warnings by the U.S. that it would no longer stand by while North Korea tests its nuclear arsenals. Last week, President Donald Trump said a “major, major conflict” with North Korea has been a possibility. The U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier group to the waters off North Korea to carry out drills with South Korea. Fox News
VOA VIEW: North Korea is a threat to the world.
News Co-President Bill Shine Out In Latest Shake-Up For Network
Fox News co-president Bill Shine is out at the network, the latest casualty in the scandal that has plagued Fox News and its parent company 21st Century Fox since last summer. Shine's departure was announced Monday. The network said he resigned. "This is a significant day for all at Fox News," Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, said in a statement announcing Shine's resignation. "Bill has played a huge role in building Fox News to its present position as the nation's biggest and most important cable channel in the history of the industry. His contribution to our channel and our country will resonate for many years." CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN reports the negative, as it loses viewers.
On CNN: Trump Administration Memo Calls For Ending Michelle Obama's Girls
The Trump administration is discontinuing a signature girls education initiative championed by former first lady Michelle Obama, according to officials. The "Let Girls Learn" program, which she and President Barack Obama started in 2015 to facilitate educational opportunities for adolescent girls in developing countries, will cease operation immediately, according to an internal document obtained by CNN. While aspects of the initiative's programming will continue, employees have been told to stop using the "Let Girls Learn" name and were told that, as a program unto itself, "Let Girls Learn" was ending. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN looks to promote Obama.
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Visas Tight, US Resorts Struggle To Find Seasonal Help
Innkeepers, restaurateurs and landscapers around the U.S. say they are struggling to find seasonal help and turning down business in some cases because the government tightened up on visas for temporary foreign workers. "There's going to be a lot of businesses that just can't function on a full-time basis, and some might not even open at all," said Mac Hay, who co-owns Mac's Seafood on Cape Cod and has organized seasonal businesses to lobby Congress. At issue are H-2B temporary visas, which are issued for workers holding down seasonal, nonagricultural jobs. The U.S. caps the number at 66,000 per fiscal year. Some workers return year after year, and Congress has let them do so in the past without being counted toward the limit. No such exception was passed for 2017 at the end of last year, after the presidential election. Houston Chronicle
Rico Hit With 1st Lawsuit From Bondholders
Bondholders are taking action against Puerto Rico after a freeze on litigation that protected the U.S. territory from lawsuits expired amid an economic crisis. A group representing those who bought bonds backed by Puerto Rico's sales tax on filed a lawsuit Tuesday, expected to be one of several as bondholders seek to recuperate the millions of dollars they invested in Puerto Rico government bonds. The lawsuit comes after the island's government failed to negotiate any deal with bondholders. Puerto Rico has defaulted on $1.3 billion of principal owed since the previous governor declared the $70 billion public debt load unpayable in June 2015. Charlotte Observer
Milk Is Heading Back To School, Thanks To Trump And Congress
Chocolate milk is coming back on the school lunch menu. So are white bread and saltier food. Several paragraphs tucked into a massive 1,665-page government spending bill released Monday would relax Obama-era nutrition standards for school lunches. On page 101 of the bill, due for congressional votes later this week, the secretary of agriculture is directed to allow states to grant schools exemptions so they can serve flavored low-fat milk and bread products that are not rich in whole grains. At Central Valley High in Ceres, CA, grab and go fruits and a pile high salad bar give color, variety and fresh tastes to a strictly regulated, healthy school lunch. The GOP is weighs erasing the federal rules, but no matter how that plays out, kids say they like today's lunches better. Kansas City Star
VOA VIEW: Good!
Protest Across The Country Against Trump Immigration Measures
Across the country and throughout Miami-Dade, thousands of immigrants and their allies gathered Monday to protest President Donald Trump’s toughened immigration enforcement measures, and to mark International Workers’ Day. From Miami to Washington, D.C., and from the U.S. capital to Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, immigrants and activists rallied on the streets and campuses to denounce stepped-up detentions and deportations of foreign nationals that have been taking place nationwide since Trump took office on Jan. 20. The main events in Miami-Dade took place in Homestead and Miami. In Homestead, dozens of demonstrators staged a protest march that began in front of City Hall. At the same time, organizers said, several businesses closed in solidarity with demonstrators, and a number of farm workers stayed away from the fields, also as part of the protest. Miami Herald
VOA VIEW: Those that protested had nothing better to do.
The tiny Caribbean nation named its missing children’s alert in her memory — the Ananda Alert — launched a historic partnership with social media giant Facebook to help expand the reach of the alerts with the help of local Jamaican users. “The reality is every child is our child. We all have a responsibility,” said Floyd Green, minister of state for education, youth and information in Jamaica. “You have to keep refreshing the conversation so that people know when a child is missing, you don’t have to wait.” Green, who noted that May is Child Month in Jamaica, said the Facebook partnership is ultimately “about strengthening our child protection system,” and acting quickly on social media to increase the odds of finding the 10 percent of missing children who never return home. The country’s Ananda Alert works similar to the AMBER Alert emergency response system in the United States. Miami Herald
Korea Says THAAD Can Defend Against Attack
An official says a contentious U.S. anti-missile system based in southeastern South Korea is operating and can defend against North Korean missiles. Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said Tuesday the Terminal High Altitude Defense system, or THAAD, at a converted golf course in Seongju has "early capability" to respond to North Korea's nuclear and missile threat. Moon did not say when Washington and Seoul expected to complete the THAAD deployment. The deplyment has angered Seongju residents who fear North Korea might target the town and who worry about rumored health hazards from THAAD's powerful radar. SF Gate
Ban On Conversion Therapy Upheld After Supreme Court Passes
California’s ban on “conversion therapy,” which seeks to turn gay youths straight, survived a U.S. Supreme Court challenge on Monday when the justices rejected an appeal by religious conservatives who argued that the law interfered with their right to provide spiritual counseling to minors. The law, the first of its kind in the nation, was passed in 2012 and took effect in 2014 after federal courts ruled that it did not violate free speech. It prohibits licensed therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation of patients under 18. Conversion-therapy techniques have included counseling and training to encourage opposite-sex behavior, hypnosis, and aversive methods such as hormone treatment and nausea-inducing drugs. National psychiatric and medical organizations say such treatments are deceptive and dangerous, leading in some cases to depression or suicidal impulses. SF Gate
Trump ‘Got A Lot’ Out Of Omnibus Spending Bill That Doesn’t Defund Planned
Parenthood Or Fund The Wall
The FY 2017 omnibus spending bill does not defund Planned Parenthood, cut federal funds for sanctuary cities or fund the wall on the U.S.-Mexican border - all things President Donald Trump pledged to conservatives that he would do. Even still, the White House said, the president “got a lot” out of the bill. “I think the president got a lot out of this bill, most specifically $21 billion to help build the military. I think that is something that he was very proud to campaign on and is delivering on. That’s probably the biggest thing,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Monday. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Democrats won a lot - Trump and Republicans sold out.
‘I Never Thought I Would Pray For The Day’ Bush Was President Again
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous” on Sunday that she wishes President George W. Bush was president again, because the Democrats were able to work with him and got a “great deal accomplished.” “President Bush - I never thought I would pray for the day that you were president again,” Pelosi said. “Praying for the day that President Bush is president again?” ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Unfortunately, no one wants to work with Democrats.
Questions Why U.S. Civil War Had To Happen
Donald Trump has shown a fascination with populist 19th-century U.S. president Andrew Jackson since he has occupied the Oval Office, hanging Old Hickory's portrait in the Oval Office, visiting his plantation in Tennessee and placing a wreath at his tomb. In an interview that aired on Sirius XM satellite radio on Monday, Trump suggested that if Jackson had governed a little later than his 1829-1837 terms, the American Civil War might have been averted. And Trump questioned why the bloody conflict had to happen. "Had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn't have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart," Trump told Sirius XM. He said that although Jackson was a "swashbuckler," after his wife died, Jackson visited her grave every day. Reuters
Military Sexual Assaults Down As Reports Reach Record High
Sexual assault in the U.S. military has fallen, according to a Pentagon report released on Monday, even though the number of incidents reported by service members hit a record high in 2016. Service members reported 6,172 cases of sexual assault compared with 6,082 last year, the U.S. Department of Defense said in the annual report. This was a sharp jump from 2012 when 3,604 cases were reported. An anonymous survey found that 14,900 service members experienced some kind of sexual assault in 2016, from groping to rape, down from 20,300 in 2014, the report showed. The survey portion is conducted every two years. Reuters
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Is Considering Breaking Up Big Banks
President Donald Trump is considering breaking up the nation's biggest banks, a vow he had made during the presidential campaign then seemed to put on the back burner. In an interview Monday with Bloomberg News, Trump said he is "looking at that right now." Bank stocks rallied, with investors taking a win-win view: Breaking up the big banks would open business opportunities for smaller institutions, while the large Wall Street firms would be worth more as separate entities than they are combined. MSNBC
Have Some Pretty Wild Ideas For Preventing Space Junk Armageddon
Retired NASA scientist Don Kessler found himself in an all-too-familiar role at last month's European Conference on Space Debris: warning of an environmental crisis unfolding above our heads. Six decades of rocket launches have left behind a vast trash heap in orbit around Earth. There are now some 750,000 objects larger than a half-inch, all whipping around the planet at about 20,000 mph. At that speed, the impact of a small nut or bolt carries the wallop of a hand grenade. Even a pinhead-size chip of paint (there may be 100 million such bits up there) hits like a 22-caliber bullet. For any satellite or astronaut working in space, it's a serious problem. MSNBC
Spending Deal To Avert Shutdown Costs $700 Million Per Page
The spending deal congressional negotiators hammered out early Monday morning runs 1,665 pages, and spends $700 million per page — the cost of keeping the basic operations of the government running for a year. President Trump and defense hawks within the Republican Party got a significant boost in defense spending out of the deal, while Democrats blocked most of the other items on the White House wish list, including preventing any money from being used for the border wall. Washington Times
Complained About Nude Photo Sharing Last Year
Months before the nude Marine photo-sharing scandal erupted, service members were complaining about a similar issue in an anonymous Defense Department survey on sexual assault and harassment. In a report issued Monday, the Pentagon said that nearly 6,200 military members said that sexually explicit photos of them were taken or shared against their will by someone from work, and it made them "uncomfortable, angry or upset." And, across the services, female Marines made up the largest percentage of women who complained. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Men were more demanding than women.
Schedules Call With Putin
President Trump has scheduled a Tuesday phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. A senior administration official said the two would likely discuss the war in Syria, where Moscow backs the government of dictator Bashar al-Assad and the United States supports the rebels trying to overthrow him. Trump and Putin have spoken twice before since the election, including last month following a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, Putin’s hometown. NY Post
And USSR Planned To Nuke The Moon Out Of Existence
At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States found themselves locked in a chilling race to nuke the moon, declassified military documents reveal. Following the end of the Second World War in 1945, the USSR and the USA spent decades trying to prove their military might to the world. During this tense era, the two superpowers found themselves locked in an arms race that saw them spend decades scrambling to develop the most powerful armaments. As the arms race morphed into a space race, the two nations set their sights on the moon and made it their goal to extend their influence beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Now, newly declassified documents reveal just how far the superpowers were prepared to go, as they hatched terrifying plans to obliterate part of the moon with a nuclear strike. NY Post
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Gets Agitated Over Questions On Wiretapping
President Trump became agitated in an pre-taped interview that aired Monday with CBS News’ John Dickerson when asked about claims that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him. Mr. Trump said that despite an initial warm welcome from Mr. Obama, he and the former president have not had a relationship since due to claims the Obama administration put the Trump campaign under surveillance. “You saw what happened with surveillance, and everybody saw what happened with surveillance,” Mr. Trump said. “Look you can figure it out yourself, [Mr. Obama] was very nice to me with words, and when I was with him, but after that there has been no relationship.” Mr. Dickerson continued asking the president why he made such claims, including calling Mr. Obama “sick” and “bad,” to which Mr. Trump became aggravated and ended the interview in the Oval Office. Washington Times
Pence Suggests Trump's Leadership Key In China Responding To North Korea
Vice President Mike Pence suggested Monday that President Trump's leadership is forcing China to reconsider its relationship with North Korea, whose nuclear and ballistic missile programs could threaten the U.S. and allies in the region. "We have word of China turning back coal shipments from North Korea. We have word of them beginning to reduce the amount of commercial travel that exists between North Korea," Pence said in a special broadcast of "CBS This Morning," live from the White House. CBS
VOA VIEW: The Trump way is unknown to us all.
Calls Congressional Republicans "Great People," Despite Recent Battles
President Donald Trump had warm words for members of the GOP-led Congress in an interview airing Monday on "CBS This Morning," despite the ongoing battle over health care and fractious moments with the House Freedom Caucus. "They're friends of mine, they're really special people, whether it's Freedom Caucus or Tuesday or Thursday or let's go have a drink, that group," Mr. Trump said in a wide-ranging White House interview recorded on his 100th day in office, broadcast during a special edition of CBS This Morning airing from the East Room of the White House. "They're great people, I know them all. And I can honestly say, a lot of them, I can honestly say I don't dislike any of them. I like almost all of them a lot." CBS
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Governor Sonny Perdue Issues A Ruling On Grits
One of Sonny Perdue’s first acts as the nation’s agriculture secretary was an announcement Monday that his agency will take a more hands off approach to school nutrition. During a visit to a Virginia elementary school, the former Georgia governor said schools are struggling to produce food that students will eat under Obama era regulations. Being from the South, he of course used grits as an example: the regulations require the whole grain variety but that kind has “little black flakes,” he said, “and the kids won’t eat it. ... That doesn’t make any sense.” Neither the Georgia School Nutrition Association nor Georgia Organics, which is behind the “farm to school” movement, were immediately available for comment. Nor was the Georgia Department of Education. But the announcement that states will be allowed to exempt schools from serving grain in everything will likely appease schools that find piles of uneaten food in the trash bins while rankling those who link school food to declining student health. Atlanta Journal
CEO Munoz On Hot Seat As Congress Examines Air Travel
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz is likely to face pointed questions as Congress examines customer service by U.S. airlines and how air travel can be improved. The hearing by the House Transportation Committee comes amid worldwide outrage sparked when a passenger was dragged off a United flight after refusing to give up his seat to a crew member. The April 9 incident ignited a debate about poor service and a lack of customer-friendly policies on U.S. airlines. Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania said the hearing will give lawmakers "an opportunity to get much-needed answers about airline customer service policies and what is being done to improve service for the flying public." United moved to head off criticism last week by reaching a settlement with passenger David Dao and issuing new policies designed to prevent customer-service failures. United President Scott Kirby will join Munoz at the hearing, along with top executives of American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Houston Chronicle
'Would Be Honored' To Meet With Kim Jong Un, Defends Duterte White House
President Donald Trump said he "would be honored" to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, amid rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and defended inviting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to visit the White House. Trump spoke to Bloomberg on Monday, saying, "If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him [Kim], I would, absolutely. I would be honored to do it." "Most political people would never say that," he continued, "but I'm telling you, under the right circumstances, I would meet with him. We have breaking news." ABC
VOA VIEW: Both not smart moves.
Office Pushed White House To Hire Ivanka Trump Amid Concerns About Her
Being Informal Adviser
The Office of Government Ethics encouraged the White House to hire Ivanka Trump as a government employee amid concerns that as an informal adviser she would not be bound by the standards that accompany an official position, according to a new documents provided to ABC News. OGE Director Walter M. Shaub said in a letter to Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that he contacted Trump’s attorney and the White House’s ethics official on March 24 “to express OGE’s view that Ms. Trump appeared to meet the legal standard to be considered an employee covered by the executive branch ethics rules.” ABC
Strategist Bannon Isn't Going Anywhere, Trump Says
President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed widespread reports that his administration is riven by discord, saying he is sticking by his polarizing chief strategist, Steve Bannon, calling him a “very decent guy” who is getting a “bad rap.” Trump even revealed his own term for Bannon’s ideology: "alt-left," a play on Bannon’s ties to the nationalist conservative movement sometimes called the alt-right. Why alt-left? “Bannon’s more of a libertarian than anything else, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said Monday during an interview with Bloomberg News in the Oval Office. Trump’s playful approach to the former chief of Breitbart News -- perhaps the biggest target of liberal fury -- and his other comments about his staff suggest that a widespread shakeup of his inner circle is unlikely in the near future. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Maybe Trump's own words would change the CNN and other liberal pundits mind about Bannon.
China-Led Lender's Help Needed To Support Growth
Asia needs all the help it can get in fighting poverty as both wealthy and poor nations grapple with widening inequality, Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Tuesday. Kuroda welcomed China's push to support regional growth through the Beijing-backed Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, which has been viewed as a rival to traditional lenders like the Asian Development Bank. The China-led AIIB brings welcome help in the effort to raise trillions of dollars in financing, said Kuroda, a former president of the Manila, Philippines-based ADB. Tampa Tribune
Of Russian Deaths Cast Suspicion On Vladimir Putin
A former member of the Russian parliament is gunned down in broad daylight in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. A longtime Russian ambassador to the United Nations drops dead at work. A Russian-backed commander in the breakaway Ukrainian province of Donetsk is blown up in an elevator. A Russian media executive is found dead in his Washington, D.C., hotel room. What do they have in common? They are among 38 prominent Russians who are victims of unsolved murders or suspicious deaths since the beginning of 2014, according to a list compiled by USA TODAY and British journalist Sarah Hurst, who has done research in Russia. USA Today
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Rain To Pummel U.S. Plains After Crop-Damaging Storm
Another round of rain is on the way for the water-logged Mississippi Valley, after a weekend storm that damaged wheat crops across the upper U.S. Great Plains. The bulk of the rain will be concentrated from eastern Oklahoma and Kansas stretching east through southern Missouri and Illinois, said Brian Hurley, a senior branch forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. Rain will start to move into the region Tuesday, with the worst coming on Wednesday, he said. Bloomberg
Race Not Factor In San Diego Pool Party Shooting
A gunman despondent over a recent breakup opened fire at a poolside birthday party and phoned his ex-girlfriend as he kept shooting strangers, killing one woman and wounding six other partygoers before he was killed by officers, police said Monday. Peter Selis, 49, sat on a pool chair during most of the rampage, calmly shooting guests at the party with a .45-caliber handgun. The victims were black and Latino and Selis was white, but police don't think race played a factor. "These victims were just in his vicinity when he committed this terrible tragedy," Chief Shelley Zimmerman said. "What started as a celebration of a friend's birthday party turned into a tragedy of epic proportions." Las Vegas Sun
State Has Already Tried The Trump Tax Plan
A Republican leader with majorities in both the House and Senate proposes deep cuts to business and personal income taxes, saying his aggressive version of trickle-down economics will stimulate a lagging economy. But we’re not talking about Donald Trump, at least not yet. The Republican leader in this instance is Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who was elected in a landslide in 2010 after promising that his tax plan would attract new businesses to the state, diversify an economy that was overly reliant on agriculture and aircraft manufacturing, create wealth among upper- and middle-income Kansans and send the economy soaring. Las Vegas Sun
Confident They Can Block Trump’s Agenda After Spending-Bill Win
Democrats think they have set the stage to block President Trump’s legislative priorities for years to come by winning major concessions in a spending bill to keep the government open. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) secured nearly $5 billion in new domestic spending by exploiting disagreements between Trump and GOP lawmakers over spending priorities. Democrats’ lopsided victory on the five-month deal, which is likely to be approved this week, means it will be very difficult — if not impossible — for the GOP to exert its will in future budget negotiations, including when it comes to Trump’s 2018 budget blueprint. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: No question that Trump and Republicans whipped out.
Keeps Praising International Strongmen, Alarming Human Rights Advocates
As he settles into office, President Trump’s affection for totalitarian leaders has grown beyond Russia’s president to include strongmen around the globe. Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi has had his opponents gunned down, but Trump praised him for doing “a fantastic job.” Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is a junta chief whose military jailed dissidents after taking power in a coup, yet Trump offered to meet with him at the White House. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has eroded basic freedoms, but after a recent political victory, he got a congratulatory call from Trump. Then there’s the case of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. He is accused of the extrajudicial killing of hundreds of drug users, and he maligned President Barack Obama as a “son of a whore” at an international summit last year. Yet on Sunday, in what the White House characterized as a “very friendly conversation,” Trump invited Duterte to Washington for an official visit. Washington Post
Is Stirring About A Seth Moulton Presidential Bid
He’s won praise from a neoconservative magazine editor, taken star turns on HBO and “This American Life,” and likened President Trump’s political ascendance to that of Adolf Hitler. Just months into his second term, US Representative Seth Moulton has already demonstrated a knack for drawing attention. Now he is stirring speculation that he could run for higher office in three years – not just the US Senate, the frequent path of congressmen, but for the White House, a direct route from the House to the top job not taken since James A. Garfield in 1880. The 38-year-old won his seat in 2014 by tackling a longtime incumbent of his own party. A decorated four-tour Marine veteran of the Iraq war with three Harvard degrees, he took out John Tierney in the Democratic primary. Boston Globe
Opposition Rejects Involvement In A U.S.-Led War
Japan's political opposition and civic groups are objecting to Tokyo's policies after the largest naval ship in the nation, the Izumo, left Yokosuka naval base to protect a U.S. supply ship. In a sign that not all in Japan share Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's view the army needs to increase capabilities, Japanese politicians said military options should not be considered over diplomatic solutions, Kyodo news agency reported Monday. "North Korea's nuclear and missile development can never be tolerated, but it should not trigger a military option over a diplomatic solution," said Kazuo Shii, a Japanese politician and chairman of the Japanese Communist Party. The civic group Yokosuka Peace Squadron also issued a statement protesting Defense Minister Tomomi Inada's decision to demonstrate the U.S.-Japan military alliance. "The strength of the U.S. military is more than enough," the group said, according to Kyodo. "Why are we deploying the Izumo?" UPI News
Of U.S. Population Has had A Stroke Without Knowing It
Is it possible to have a small stroke and not even realize it? Yes, according to new research that found about 35 percent of Americans experience symptoms of a warning stroke. Yet only about 3 percent get immediate medical attention. Most adults who had at least one sign of a "mini" stroke -- a temporary blockage also known as a transient ischemic attack, or TIA -- waited or rested until symptoms had faded instead of calling 911 right away, according to the research from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA). UPI News
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Hamas Policy Document 'Aims To Soften Image'
The Palestinian militant group Hamas has published a new policy document - the first since its founding charter. It declares for the first time a willingness to accept an interim Palestinian state within pre-1967 boundaries, without recognising Israel. It also says Hamas's struggle is not with Jews but with "occupying Zionist aggressors". The 1988 charter was condemned for its anti-Jewish language. The text is seen as an effort by Hamas, which rules Gaza, to soften its image. "The document gives us a chance to connect with the outside world," spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said. "To the world, our message is: Hamas is not radical. We are a pragmatic and civilized movement. We do not hate the Jews. We only fight who occupies our lands and kills our people." BBC
President Duterte May Turn Down Trump's Invite
Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte says he may be too "tied up" to accept President Donald Trump's invitation to the White House. President Duterte said he "cannot make any definite promise" to travel to the US because of a busy schedule with trips planned to Russia and Israel. Mr Trump extended the offer to Mr Duterte during a "very friendly" call the two leaders had on Saturday. The Philippines leader has suggested he was open to better US relations. "I am tied up," Mr Duterte told reporters on Monday when asked about Mr Trump's invitation, even though no firm date has yet been set for such a visit. BBC
VOA VIEW: Duterte slapped Trump in the face.
Against Trump? Elizabeth Warren Will Certainly Stand And Fight
Donald Trump has named his most likely challenger in the 2020 presidential election. It is Elizabeth Warren. Standing before the faithful of the National Rifle Association in Atlanta on Friday, the president predicted a surfeit of candidates. “You’ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over and you’re going to say, ‘No, sir, no thank you – no, ma’am,’” the president said. “Perhaps ma’am. It may be Pocahontas, remember that.” Pocahontas is the racially charged term that Trump used on the campaign trail to dismiss Warren, who has claimed Native American heritage. Clearly, she had got under his skin. The Massachusetts senator was a self-declared “nasty woman” with a message for Trump: “Women have had it with guys like you.” She went to toe to toe with him on his favourite medium, Twitter, hammering him for delivering a “one-two punch of bigotry and economic lies”. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Great, Warren will lose bad.
President Maduro Calls For New Constitution Amid Further Clashes
Venezuela’s increasingly embattled president has called for a new constitution as an intensifying protest movement entered a second month amid clashes between police and demonstrators. After hundreds of thousands took to the streets again to call for his removal, President Nicolás Maduro announced that he was calling for a citizens assembly and a new constitution. He said the move was needed to restore peace and stop his political opponents from trying to carry out a coup. Guardian
HOUSE: TRUMP WILL CONTINUE TALKING TO NETANYAHU ABOUT SETTLEMENTS
President Donald Trump will continue to talk to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Israeli settlement activity, the White House said on Monday following reports that Israel plans to build 15,000 new settlement homes in east Jerusalem. "I'm sure that we'll continue to have conversations with the prime minister and ... that'll be something that the president will continue to discuss," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a news briefing after being asked if Netanyahu was snubbing the US president. Jerusalem Post
'Can Launch Tsunami Against US With Nuclear Bombs Buried In Ocean'
A retired Russian colonel has made outlandish claims that Moscow has planted nuclear missiles off the east coast of America that could trigger a tsunami if detonated.
The far-fetched plans were outlined by Viktor Baranetz, who claimed it was a response to the US building up its military along Russia's borders. “The Americans are deploying their tanks, airplanes and special forces battalions along the Russian border,” Mr Baranetz said in an interview with Russian paper Komsomolskaya Pravda. Telegraph
Issues New Terror Alert For Europe Following Attacks In UK, France And
The United States has issued a new terror alert for its citizens traveling to Europe this summer in light of recent terror attacks in Britain, France and Sweden. The state department cited the Westminster attacks in March as evidence of the ability of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant "to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe".
In March, Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four people, before stabbing a policeman to death inside the Palace of Westminster grounds. Last week, armed police arrested a terror suspect as he headed towards Downing Street with bag packed with knives. Telegraph
East Peace Effort Lacks Progress On Political Front – UN Reports
The lack of progress in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is impeding Palestine's development, according to a new United Nations report, which also reiterates the international community's commitment to a two-state solution in the region. The report, issued by the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), notes that “despite a number of international efforts over the past six months to advance the two-state solution, last year has been characterized by a continued lack of progress on the political front.” UN News
Of Indigenous Peoples ‘Not In A Very Good State,’ UN Expert Says
The rights of indigenous peoples are being abused by authorities and corporations that want access to their land and the resources – such as petrol – that l beneath it, the United Nations expert on the issue today said on the sidelines of the 2017 session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, currently under way in New York.
“The situation of indigenous peoples’ rights is really not in a very good state these days because there are policies and laws used to criminalize them,” Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said in a press briefing alongside three other indigenous leaders. UN News
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