Soros Battles $10B Lawsuit
A $10 billion suit against George Soros accuses the self-styled humanitarian of meddling in the politics of a poor African country in order to settle his own scores, a charge the billionaire’s critics say reflects his longtime modus operandi. The 86-year-old investor, who controls a web of international nonprofits in addition to his vast financial empire, used his sway with the government of Guinea to freeze Israeli company BSG Resources out of the West African nation’s lucrative iron ore mining contracts, according to the suit filed last month in New York Federal Court by BSG Resources. Fox News
VOA VIEW: The truth is...
Pick For Army Secretary Drops Out Amid Criticism Of LGBT, Islam Remarks
President Trump’s nominee to be the next Army secretary withdrew his name from consideration Friday, Pentagon officials confirmed to Fox News, after he was accused of making anti-LGBT and Islamophobic remarks. Mark Green, a Republican state senator from Tennessee, stepped aside after what he called “false and misleading” attacks against him which had caused his nomination to become a “distraction.” "Tragically, my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain,” he said in a statement first reported by The Tennessean. “While these attacks have no bearing on the needs of the Army or my qualifications to serve, I believe it is critical to give the President the ability to move forward with his vision to restore our military to its rightful place in the world,” he said. Fox News
VOA VIEW: A double standard for conservatives.
Army Pick Blasted Obama In 2013 For Supporting 'Transvestites In Uniform'
Donald Trump's nominee to be Army secretary, Mark Green, wrote in a June 2013 Facebook post that then-President Barack Obama "supports transvestites in uniform." If confirmed, Green would oversee some of the estimated thousands of transgender active duty service members. In 2016, the Department of Defense ended its ban on transgender people serving openly in the US military. Green, currently a state senator in Tennessee, is already facing fierce opposition from LGBT activists and Democrats for his past comments about transgender people. In 2016, Green told a Tea Party group, "if you poll the psychiatrists, they're going to tell you that transgender is a disease." On Facebook in 2013, Green shared a blog post from Fox News contributor Todd Starnes on the Obama administration's opposition to a religious freedom amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. CNN
Obama Reacts To Obamacare Repeal Vote
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday evening added to the social chatter over the GOP's health care bill passing the House. The outspoken Obamacare advocates called the bill's passage shameful. "A shameful failure of policy & morality by GOP today," Clinton wrote. "Fight back on behalf of the millions of families that will be hurt by their actions." The former secretary of state then shared a tweet from progressive organization Swing Left, which links to a donation page. Clinton is expected to launch a political organization aimed at funding "resistance" groups standing up to President Donald Trump. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is against Trump and the truth.
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Adds 6,000 Jobs--Reaching New 8-Year High; Government Adds 17,000
The United States added 17,000 jobs in government in the last month, with the number of people employed by local, state or federal government climbing from 22,323,000 in March to 22,340,000 in April, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistic. At the same time, the United States added only 6,000 jobs in manufacturing, with the number of people employed in that sector rising from 12,390,000 in March to 12,396,000 in April. That means that government jobs outnumbered manufacturing jobs by 9,944,000 in April. Nonetheless, the 12,396,000 employed in manufacturing in April was the highest number employed in manufacturing in more than 8 years. The last time more than 12,396,000 were employed in manufacturing in the United States was January 2009, the month that Barack Obama was inaugurated as president. That month there were 12,561,000 employed in manufacturing. CNS
VOA VIEW: Obama cost America much.
Arabia, U.S. In Talks On Billions In Arms Sales
Washington is working to push through contracts for tens of billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, some new, others in the pipeline, ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's trip to the kingdom this month, people familiar with the talks told Reuters this week. Saudi Arabia is Trump's first stop on his maiden international trip, a sign of his intent to reinforce ties with a top regional ally. The United States has been the main supplier for most Saudi military needs, from F-15 fighter jets to command and control systems worth tens of billions of dollars in recent years. Trump has vowed to stimulate the U.S. economy by boosting manufacturing jobs. Reuters
Counterterrorism Strategy Urges Allies To Do More
A draft of President Donald Trump's new counterterrorism strategy demands that U.S. allies shoulder more of the burden in combating Islamist militants, while acknowledging that the scourge will never be totally eliminated. The 11-page draft, seen on Friday by Reuters, said the United States should avoid costly, "open-ended" military commitments. "We need to intensify operations against global jihadist groups while also reducing the costs of American 'blood and treasure' in pursuit of our counterterrorism goals," states the document, which is expected to be released in coming months. "We will seek to avoid costly, large-scale U.S. military interventions to achieve counterterrorism objectives and will increasingly look to partners to share the responsibility for countering terrorist groups," it says. Reuters
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Rules Trump State Dept Must Release Clinton Emails Of Obama Response To
Despite legal pleadings from the Trump State Department, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for D.C., has ordered the department to release eight paragraphs from emails sent by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sept. 12, 2012 "regarding phone calls made by President Barack Obama to Egyptian and Libyan leaders immediately following the terrrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi," reported Judicial Watch. In the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack by Islamic radicals, 4 American personnel were murdered, including our ambassador, Chris Stevens. In addition, for weeks following the attack, the Obama administration and Secretary Clinton falsely claimed the assault was caused by an anti-Muslim video posted on TouTube. The eight paragraphs in question were redacted in previous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by Judicial Watch. CNS
VOA VIEW: Obama and Hillary covered.
Medicaid Cuts Drive Backlash To House Health Care Bill
The House Republican health care bill's massive cuts to Medicaid, often skimmed over in the last-minute drama over pre-existing conditions, are fast emerging as a critical source of opposition in the Senate. President Donald Trump said in his speech announcing his 2016 campaign that he would not cut Medicaid and bragged on Twitter that he was the first candidate to do so. He didn't keep that promise: The bill's Medicaid cuts, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates at $839 billion over 10 years, are arguably its most sweeping change. They're also critical to financing the bill's tax cuts for high-income Americans and medical industries, which require the savings to offset the loss in revenue. Leading patient advocacy groups are warning the combination of less spending and a restructuring of the program will threaten coverage for millions of vulnerable Americans, including seniors, people with disabilities, and children. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Time will tell.
Issues Statement On Spending Bill
Like his two immediate predecessors, President Trump signed a massive spending bill into law Friday by adding caveats in a “signing statement” that asserts his authority against the wishes of Congress on issues ranging from enforcement of medical marijuana laws to the transfer of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
In the statement accompanying a $1.1 trillion spending bill, Mr. Trump singled out a provision by lawmakers that bars the Justice Department from using funds “to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories.” Mr. Trump said, “I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” That appears to be in line with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ comments that he opposes the “expanded use” of marijuana. A White House spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment. Washington Times
Korea Accuses U.S., South Korea Of Assassination Attempt
North Korea on Friday accused the U.S. and South Korean spy agencies of an unsuccessful assassination attempt on leader Kim Jong Un involving biochemical weapons. In a statement carried on state media, North Korea’s Ministry of State Security said it will “ferret out and mercilessly destroy” the “terrorists” in the CIA and South Korean intelligence agency responsible for targeting its supreme leadership. North Korea frequently lambasts the United States and South Korea, but its accusation Friday was unusual in its detail. The ministry said the spy agencies in June 2014 “ideologically corrupted and bribed” a North Korean citizen who was working in Russia to carry out the alleged assassination on Kim after returning home. It said South Korean agents gave money and satellite communication equipment to the North Korean to attack Kim during a public event using a biochemical weapon such as a delayed-action radioactive or “nano poisonous” substance. Washington Times
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Law Enforcement Officials Concerned Russia Is Trying To Discredit FBI Probe
CBS News has learned that members of Congress and U.S. law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned that Russia is already trying or will try to discredit the FBI counterintelligence investigation. The probe into whether Trump campaign representatives coordinated with the Russians during the 2016 campaign has been underway for about ten months. Former U.S. intelligence officials and current congressional sources say Russians will try to exploit vulnerabilities and spread misinformation as the investigation unfolds and as the FBI gets closer to a conclusion. Multiple sources say Russian operatives are skilled at planting false information and watching it spread. Just this week, FBI Director James Comey testified on Capitol Hill that he believed the Russians were still meddling in U.S. politics and that he expected more Russian interference in upcoming 2018 elections and beyond. CBS
Administration Proposes Massive Cuts To Drug Czar Office
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has proposed major ONDCP budget cuts for fiscal year 2018 that would cut 33 employees, nearly half the office staff, along with intelligence, research and budget functions at the agency, as well as the Model State Drug Laws and Drug Court grant programs. The cuts were outlined in OMB's "passback" document, a part of the budget process where the Office instructs federal agencies to draw up preliminary budgets that are subject to Congressional approval. It was uploaded to MAX Collect, the OMB's budget database. CBS
VOA VIEW: Great reduction in wasteful spending.
Says Obamacare 'Dead' After GOP Health Bill Passes House
House Republicans have passed their ambitious plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, after several fits and starts, sending the measure to the Senate, where it is expected to be significantly revised.The bill passed the House in a narrow 217-213 vote. All Democrats opposed the bill. Following the House vote, House Republicans celebrated with a press conference at the White House Rose Garden with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Trump touted the bill as a "great plan" even though they got "no support from the other party." He congratulated and thanked House Speaker Paul Ryan and praised House Republicans for coming together."What we have is something very, very incredibly well-crafted," Trump said of the bill. ABC
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Praises Australian Universal Health Care System At Meeting With Prime Minister
President Donald Trump had kind words for the Australian health care system at a meeting with that country's prime minister Thursday, just hours after Republican members of Congress succeeded in passing their efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act. “We have a failing health care -- I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia because you have better health care than we do," said Trump. The remarks were quickly seized upon by progressive critics of the president, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, who have long advocated for a government-run universal health care option, similar to Australia's Medicare system."The president has just said it. That's great. ABC
Colbert's Diatribe Against Trump To Be Reviewed By FCC
Comedian Stephen Colbert’s profanity-tinged tirade against President Donald Trump, aired nationally on CBS, will be reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission because of viewer complaints, said Ajit Pai, the agency’s chairman. “We are going to take the facts that we find and we are going to apply the law as it’s been set out by the Supreme Court and other courts and we’ll take the appropriate action,” Pai said in an interview on talk-radio station WPHT-AM in Philadelphia. CBS, the broadcaster of Colbert’s “The Late Show,” could face a fine, he said. Colbert has said he stands by his May 1 monologue criticizing Trump for cutting short an interview with a CBS journalist, though the late-night host said he should have been less crude. One joke suggesting a sexual relationship between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin drew criticism for being vulgar and homophobic. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: If anyone would have said the same about Obama - they would be fired.
Moves Obamacare Repeal To Slow Lane After House Vote
Passage of the House’s health-care bill gives the Obamacare repeal effort new life after months of wrangling, but key Republican senators are already pushing it aside to write their own bill with no clear timetable to act. The narrowly passed House measure can’t get anywhere near the 51 votes needed as is, even though Republican senators insist they’re united on delivering on their seven-year vow to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Instead, they want to write their own bill. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who chairs the Senate health committee, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of GOP leadership, described the plan even as the House was celebrating passing its repeal after weeks of back-and-forth. “We’ll write our own bill,” Alexander said in an interview, although he said senators would consider pieces of the House bill. “Where they’ve solved problems we agree with, that makes it a lot easier for us.” Bloomberg
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NBC Also Refuse To Air Trump Advertisement
CBS and NBC have joined CNN in refusing to air an advertisement that lists President Donald Trump's accomplishments while blaming the "fake news" media for not reporting on them. Trump's campaign team also says ABC would not air the ad, although an ABC representative did not immediately respond to queries on Friday. CNN said it did not air the ad because its request to eliminate a "fake news" graphic was refused. NBC similarly cited the "incorrect" graphic that was shown over the face of NBC News' Andrea Mitchell, among others. CBS isn't commenting on why it turned down the ad. The Trump campaign is using the networks' refusal in fundraising pleas and says the decisions "set a chilling precedent against free speech rights." Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Shame, shame!
To Restore Felons’ Voting Rights Draws Broad Support
A bill that seeks to restore voting rights for certain felons is drawing diverse support from groups including the Washoe County Public Defender’s Office.
Sen. Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, presented the bill Thursday in the Assembly Corrections, Parole, and Probation Committee. He said data from 2010, the most recent available, shows that about 4 percent of Nevada’s voting-age population is ineligible to do so. Ford said that number is disproportionately made up of those in poverty and people of color. “We have right-leaning organizations and left-leaning organizations sitting right next to each other, advocating on behalf of something that frankly is a bipartisan issue, and has been becoming one more and more over the course of the last few years,” he said. Senate Bill 125 has been amended to include restoring the right to serve on a civil or criminal jury. The Senate passed the amended version in a 12-9 vote and sent it to the Assembly. Las Vegas Sun
Ride For Oil Prices In Early Friday Trading
Crude oil prices were swinging heavily early Friday as traders balanced strong U.S. labor figures against faltering optimism surrounding an OPEC balancing act. The loss in crude oil prices approached 5 percent in Thursday trading as expectations about the effectiveness of an effort by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance the market through coordinated declines turned negative. Ole Hansen, the head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, said in emailed note that crude oil prices have fallen beneath the floor established in November when OPEC began coordinating the deal. There's limited upside potential because there are few signs that U.S. oil production will fade, gasoline demand is lower in the United States, the world's leading economy, and China's economy is starting to slow down. eanwhile, Libya, an OPEC member exempt from the production deal, put an extra 500,000 barrels per day on the market last week after reopening its largest oil field. UPI News
Military Launches Operation Northern Edge
A large military exercise involving more than 6000 personnel is running from May 1 to May 12 under the name Exercise Northern Edge. The operation will cover a number of possible scenarios, including Pacific ocean contingencies, and foreign troops will participate in the exercise, the U.S Marine Corps announced on Friday. "Exercises like Northern Edge allow us to work together, talk together and fight together and it's important to do so because that's how we are going to deploy. No service can do it on their own," U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stephen D. Driskill, chief of staff at the Joint Electromagnetic Preparedness for Advanced Combat, U.S. Strategic Command, said in a press release. "We are able to gain different advantages and strengths from all the different services here; to make sure that we, as a department of defense, are able to get the best capabilities possible." UPI News
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SANDERS REJECTS ANTI-ISRAEL AGENDA IN INTERVIEW WITH AL JAZEERA
In an appearance on Al Jazeera, Bernie Sanders defended Israel’s right to exist, rejected BDS as a tactic and assailed the United Nations for singling out the country for condemnation. The Vermont senator’s interview Wednesday on the Qatar-based network, known for its often hypercritical coverage of Israel, was consistent with a style that Americans came to know last year during his run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination: Sanders does not modify his messaging for his audience. Sanders, despite his defeat in the primaries to Hillary Clinton, who went on to lose to Donald Trump, remains the standard-bearer of the American left. His robust rejection of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is evidence that a firewall remains among elected officials on the American left against more radical expressions of Israel criticism that have gained traction overseas. Jerusalem Post
VISIT WILL ENHANCE FIGHT AGAINST EXTREMISM, SAUDI
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Thursday that an upcoming visit to the kingdom by US President Donald Trump would enhance cooperation between the United States and Muslim countries in the fight against extremism. Speaking to reporters after the Trump administration said the president would visit Riyadh as well as Israel later this month, Adel al-Jubeir said Trump had a high probability of succeeding in his efforts to secure a peace deal with Israelis and Palestinians because of his "fresh" approach. Jerusalem Post
Boss: City 'Will Stall' Over Brexit Risk
The chief executive of the world's second largest investment bank has warned that London "will stall" because of the risks from the Brexit process. Lloyd Blankfein said that his firm, Goldman Sachs, which employs 6,500 people in the UK, had "contingency plans" to move people depending on the outcome of the negotiations. Mr Blankfein said he hoped the bank would not have to trigger the plans. He wants to keep as much of its activities in the UK as possible. In an interview with the BBC, Mr Blankfein revealed the firm had held discussions with different cities across Europe and had looked at increasing office space in a number of locations, thought to include Frankfurt, the financial capital of Germany, and Dublin. BBC
Suffers Rare Combat Loss In Al-Shabab Clash
A member of the US military has been killed in Somalia, the first confirmed US combat death there since the 1993 disastrous Black Hawk Down incident.
This happened on Thursday during operations against al-Shabab militants about 64km (40 miles) west of the capital Mogadishu, near the town of Barii, the US military says. Two other US service members were hurt. US forces were on an "advise and assist" mission with the Somali National Army, the US military says. American presidents have been wary of intervention in Somalia since 18 special forces soldiers died fighting militias in Mogadishu in 1993. BBC
Macron Campaign Hacked On Eve Of French Election
The campaign of the French presidential frontrunner, Emmanuel Macron, has said it has been the target of a “massive and coordinated” hacking attack after tens of thousands of internal emails and other documents were released online. Obama backs Macron in last-minute intervention in French election. Less than 48 hours before polling day, around nine gigabytes of data was posted by a user called EMLEAKS to the document-sharing site Pastebin that allows anonymous posting. It was not immediately clear who was responsible. Macron’s political movement, En Marche!, confirmed the hack, saying it had been the “victim of a massive and coordinated hack this evening which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information”. Guardian
Trump Tells Abbas 'We Will Get It Done' On Israel-Palestinian Peace Deal
Donald Trump has committed the United States to helping Israel and the Palestinians reach peace, telling visiting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas: “We will get it done.” Trump spoke after welcoming Abbas to the White House for a meeting aimed at relaunching talks that have failed repeatedly to resolve the decades-old conflict. “I’ve always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is the deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Trump said. “Let’s see if we can prove them wrong.” He insisted: “We will get it done.” Barely two and a half months after he received Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the US president greeted Abbas on the White House lawn, before ushering him into the Oval Office for their talks. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Trump made a mistake.
May Try To Cancel Barack Obama's Pension Following His $400,000 Speech
To Wall Street
Congress may seek to cut the pension of Barack Obama following his decision to accept a $400,000 fee for an upcoming speech to Wall Street executives.
During his time in the White House, Mr Obama vetoed a bill that would have capped the retirement funds of former presidents should they accept large sums of outside income. Now that Mr Obama himself meets those criteria, Republican sponsors of the bill have said they will revive the legislation and hope that President Donald Trump signs it into law. "The Obama hypocrisy on this issue is revealing," Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and sponsor of the 2016 bill told USA Today. "His veto was very self-serving." Mr Chaffetz, and Jodi Ernst, a Republicam senator from Iowa, who sponsored the companion bill in the Senate, have announced that they will re-introduce the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act this month. Telegraph
VOA VIEW: Great!
Trump Claims Phone Spat With Australia's Malcolm Turnbull Was 'Fake News'
Donald Trump has claimed that the infamous, angry phone call he had with Malcolm Turnbull was "fake news" as he met Australia's prime minister on his return to New York on Thursday evening. During the call soon after Mr Trump was sworn in as president, he was said to have become furious when he learnt about an Obama-era deal to move refugees from Australia to the US and slammed the phone down on Mr Turnbull. "They said we had a rough phone call. We didn't really have a rough phone call," Mr Trump said in a speech on board the USS Intrepid in New York. "It got a little bit testy. But that's okay." Telegraph
Colombia's Central Meta Region, Security Council Witnesses First-Hand Progress
On Peace Deal
While touring the Amazon region of Colombia where one of the monitoring mechanism facilities was set up under a historic peace agreement, a delegation from the United Nations Security Council met today with members of La Referma community, as well as Government representatives and FARC-EP members. The purpose field visit is to witness first-hand implementation of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP), and to observe the progress as well as the challenges of carrying out the aims of a hard-won peace deal. UN News
Lives: Slow Down,' Urges UN Health Agency Ahead Of Global Road Safety Week
Spotlighting the relationship between speeding and traffic fatalities – speeding contributes to one in three traffic deaths – the UN health agency, ahead of Global Road Safety Week, is urging countries to take measures to curb dangerous driving behaviour. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.25 million people die every year on the world's roads. Close to half of those tragic deaths are caused by drivers going faster than posted speed limits. “Speed is at the core of the global road traffic injury problem,” WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said in a news release issued on the eve of the week, which runs from 8 to 14 May. “If countries were to address just this key risk, they would soon reap the rewards of safer roads, both in terms of lives saved and increases in walking and cycling, with profound and lasting effects on health.” UN News
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