NEWS   MONDAY, MAY  15, 2017   NEWS

Warner: Trump Firing Comey Has 'Appearance' Of Quashing FBI's Russia Probe
Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner said Sunday that President Trump firing the director of the FBI appears as an attempt to squash the agency’s investigation into whether his presidential campaign team colluded with Russia during the 2016 elections. ”The president’s actions and his statement lends to that appearance,” Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, told “Fox News Sunday.” Fox News
VOA VIEW: Warner is a libeal idiot.

New York Eyes 'Textalyzer' To Combat Distracted Driving
At least 46 states have laws barring texting while driving and 14 ban all hand-held devices, but some safety advocates say more needs to be done to enforce the laws.
Deborah Hersman, the CEO of the National Safety Council and a supporter of the "textalyzer" legislation, noted that in 2016, 40,000 people died on the road, a 14 percent jump from 2014 and the biggest two-year jump in 50 years. "There can't be a more compelling reason than life or death for saying why we should have access to this information," Hersman said. Cellebrite said its technology, which is about nine months away from being finished, sidesteps privacy concerns because it's designed only to determine usage, not access data. Company officials said the device would only be able to tell if someone physically clicked or swiped the phone during the time of the accident, and then investigators could use that to determine if they should get a warrant for more detailed information. Fox News

World's Biggest Cyberattack Sends Countries Into 'Disaster Recovery Mode'
The biggest cyberattack the world has ever seen is still claiming victims and threatens to create even more havoc on Monday when people return to work. The attack is a virus that locks people out of their computer files until they pay a ransom to the hackers. Experts say the spread of the virus had been stymied by a security researcher in the U.K. Hackers have issued new versions of the virus that cyber security organizations are actively trying to counter and stamp out. CNN
VOA VIEW: The culprits should be caught and put in jail forever.

James Woolsey: It'll Be Hard To Find A 'Willing' FBI Director
Former CIA Director James Woolsey told CNN's Fareed Zakaria on Sunday that he believed it would be tough to find a "willing" candidate to replace fired FBI Director James Comey. "I find this whole thing, this whole week, to be very troubling for inchoate ways and inchoate reasons," he told Zakaria, referring to President Trump's firing of Comey, who had been in the middle of investigating possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia's interference in last year's election. Woolsey, who served as Director of Central Intelligence under President Clinton, added that he also was surprised by reports that President Trump had asked then-Director Comey to pledge his loyalty to him shortly after he took office. CNN
VOA VIEW: Woolsey and CNN are liberal losers - the line is very large and willing.


Trump Ordered Emergency Meeting After Global Cyber Attack
U.S. President Donald Trump ordered his homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, to hold an emergency meeting Friday night to assess the threat posed by a global computer ransomware attack in at least 150 countries, a senior administration official told Reuters. Senior security staff held another meeting in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, and the FBI and National Security Agency were trying to identify the perpetrators of the massive cyber attack, said the official, who spoke on condition on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Reuters

U.S. Lawmakers Ask Trump To Turn Over Any Comey Tapes
U.S. lawmakers on Sunday called on President Donald Trump to turn over any tapes of conversations with fired FBI chief James Comey, potentially setting up a showdown with the White House as Democrats considered a boycott of the vote on Comey's replacement. In a highly unusual move, Trump last week appeared to suggest on Twitter that he might have tapes of conversations with Comey and warned the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation against talking to the media. Trump and a White House spokesman declined to confirm or deny whether such tapes exist. Reuters

Graham: Trump Needs To ‘Back Off’ Russia Probe, Let Investigation Go Forward
After a week of fallout from President Donald Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday advised the president to stop talking or tweeting about the ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. "The president needs to back off here and let the investigation go forward," Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on "Meet The Press." He also said he wants to see the next leader of the FBI chosen from within the agency — or someone from "outside the political lane." "I think it's now time to pick somebody that comes from within the ranks or has such a reputation that has no political background at all, who can go into the job on day one," Graham said. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Trump has said or done nothing to stop the Russia probe.

48 Percent Say House GOP Health Care Bill Is A Bad Idea
By a two-to-one margin, Americans say that the health-care legislation that was recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and supported by President Trump is a bad idea instead of a good idea, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Forty-eight percent say it's a bad idea, including 43 percent of respondents who "strongly" believe that. By contrast, just 23 percent call the legislation a good idea, including 18 percent who "strongly" say that. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Liberal MSNBC would like the public to believe the nonsense.

Changes In Medicaid Distributions Worry School Districts
For school districts still getting their financial footing after the Great Recession, the Medicaid changes being advanced as part of the health care overhaul are sounding familiar alarms. Administrators say programming and services even beyond those that receive funding from the state-federal health care program could be at risk should Congress follow through with plans to change the way Medicaid is distributed. They say any reduction in the estimated $4 billion schools receive in annual Medicaid reimbursements would be hard to absorb after years of reduced state funding and a weakened tax base. Tampa Tribune

As Zinke Listens In On The Monumental Divi At Utah’s Bears Ears, Natives Feel Unheard
Long after the Black Hawk helicopter carrying Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke flew off into the bright Utah sky, James Adakai stood in the airport parking lot with an angry frown frozen on his face. As chairman of a tribal commission established to oversee the Bears Ears National Monument, Adakai, who is Navajo, felt he deserved a place in a meeting Zinke arranged at the airport to discuss the monument’s fate. Instead, Zinke met and toured the site in helicopters with Utah government officials and others who adamantly oppose the first U.S. monument designated at the request of Native American tribes to preserve artifacts and sacred lands. Washington Post

Demonization Of Soros Recalls Old Anti-Semitic Conspiracies
In most nations, having a billionaire financier and philanthropist would be a source of great pride, a person many elected officials would want to cozy up to. Not for George Soros. The demonization of the American-Hungarian billionaire and Holocaust survivor has spread across Central Europe, with the 86-year-old increasingly accused by nationalists of using his money to force his liberal values, including support for refugees, on their societies. And it's not just those on the fringes, but elected officials who are attributing all manner of sins to Soros, a political strategy that seems aimed at de-legitimizing projects that Soros has supported in Central and Eastern Europe's transition to democracy. This groundswell began in late 2015, as large numbers of migrants and refugees were arriving in Europe. A far-right nationalist at an anti-refugee rally in Poland set fire to an effigy of an Orthodox Jew as a crowd chanted slogans against Islam and the European Union. Houston Chronicle


Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards Stumps For Abortion Rights On Mother’s Day
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, is celebrating Mother’s Day by stumping for abortion rights on Twitter. Planned Parenthood is the leading provider of abortions in America, performing more than 320,000 last year. Social media users were quick to pick up on the irony: Republicans have pledged to divest the abortion giant’s more than $500 million in annual taxpayer funding to women’s health clinics that do not perform abortions. Washington Times

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley: The President Can ‘Fire Whoever He Wants’
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley dismissed concerns over the firing of FBI director James Comey, saying it’s the prerogative of the president to surround himself with subordinates he can trust. “What I can tell you is the president is the CEO of the country. He can hire or fire whoever he wants. That’s his right,” Mrs. Haley said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “Whether you agree with it or not, it’s the truth.” “Were there better ways he could have done that? That’s for everybody else to decide,” she said. “But we have to remember, he can hire and fire anybody he wants.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Very clear.

Several Nations Request Urgent Consultations On North Korea
Several nations have requested urgent consultations on North Korea, and a closed-door meeting is tentatively planned for Tuesday afternoon, CBS News' Pamela Falk reports. The U.S. and China have been negotiating a new round of biting sanctions, if further provocations were to occur. The question will be if the most recent missile test spurs U.N. Security Council action, Falk reports. North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile early Sunday morning from a facility near the country's west coast, U.S. officials told CBS News national security correspondent David Martin. The launch came five days after South Koreans went to the polls to elect a new president who favors dialogue with North Korea. CBS

Another Appeals Court To Weigh Trump’s Revised Travel Ban
For the second time in a week, government lawyers will try to persuade a federal appeals court to reinstate President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban — and once again, they can expect plenty of questions Monday about whether the ban was designed to discriminate against Muslims. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled arguments in Seattle over Hawaii’s lawsuit challenging the travel ban, which would suspend the nation’s refugee program and temporarily bar new visas for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Last week, judges on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments over whether to affirm a Maryland judge’s decision putting the ban on ice. They peppered Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall with questions about whether they could consider Trump’s campaign statements calling for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S., with one judge asking if there was anything other than “willful blindness” that would prevent them from doing so. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Time will tell.

North Korea says tested missile can carry a nuclear warhead
North Korea says the medium long-range strategic missile it tested over the weekend can carry a nuclear warhead. The country’s official Korean Central News Agency says the missile fired Sunday Korea time was a Hwasong-12 “capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead.” The South Korean, Japanese and U.S. militaries say the missile flew for half an hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan. Tokyo says the flight pattern could indicate a new type of missile. Japanese officials say the missile flew for about 30 minutes, traveling about 500 miles and reaching an altitude of 1,240 miles. NY Post
VOA VIEW: North Korea is looking to be wiped out.

Microsoft Criticizes Government Creation Of Hacking Tools Used In Global Cyberattack
Microsoft says government hoarding of hacking tools is partly to blame for the cyberattacks that crippled computer systems around the world on Friday. The company also reiterated a call it made earlier this year for an international agreement among states to shield civilians and corporate noncombatants from hacking. In what one of the most significant cyberattacks ever recorded, computer systems from the U.K. to Russia, Brazil and the U.S. were hit beginning Friday by malicious software that exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The hacking tool at work was originally developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, before it leaked online earlier this year. Seattle Times

Robert Gates Advises Trump To Stick To The Script" On First Foreign Trip As President
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates suggested that President Donald Trump "limit spontaneity" and "stick to the script" on his first trip abroad as president. In an interview that aired Sunday on "Face the Nation," Gates, who served under eight presidents in various capacities and is now the Chancellor of William & Mary, said that he generally agrees with Mr. Trump's "disruptive approach," but that on foreign policy, the president would be wise to proceed with caution. CBS

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High Court Could Soon Signal View On Trump Immigration Plans
Supreme Court decisions in a half-dozen cases dealing with immigration over the next two months could reveal how the justices might evaluate Trump administration actions on immigration, especially stepped up deportations. Some of those cases could be decided as early as Monday, when the court is meeting to issue opinions in cases that were argued over the past six months. The outcomes could indicate whether the justices are retreating from long-standing decisions that give the president and Congress great discretion in dealing with immigration, and what role administration policies, including the proposed ban on visits to the United States by residents of six majority Muslim countries, may play. ABC

Oregon Man Who Threatened To Kill Obama Gets Prison Time
An Oregon man who made threats to kill former President Barack Obama over social media will serve five years in federal prison. The Mail Tribune reported Friday that U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane sentenced 62-year-old John Roos of Medford to 63 months in prison. Roos was also sentenced to three years of post-prison supervision upon his release. According to a U.S. Department of Justice news release, Roos pleaded guilty to charges related to the threats and other charges for possession of an unregistered explosive device. Roos said in court that he threatened to kill Obama and the former first family on Twitter. According the release, Roos has also posted on Facebook threats to kill FBI agents with hunting rifles. ABC

WFP Chief Cites 'Trump, Trump' Focus As Millions Face Famine
The former South Carolina governor who now heads the U.N.'s World Food Program is lamenting how the media's focus on President Donald Trump is taking away attention from "real world" problems like famine in Africa and the Middle East. WFP Director-General David Beasley, a Republican whose appointment in March was supported by the Trump administration, spoke to reporters Monday after his organization and the U.N. refugee agency updated an appeal for $1.4 billion to help refugees fleeing South Sudan. Beasley says his team needs to "rise above all the confusion out there," particularly in high-donor states like the U.S. He cited a U.S. media focus on "Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump!" and "very little information about the famines in Syria, northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan (and) Yemen." Tampa Tribune
VOA VIEW: Relief should go only to countries that support the US and whoever is the president.

Chelsea Manning to remain on active duty, receive health care after prison release
Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier and convicted national security secret leaker, will remain an active-duty, unpaid soldier, eligible for health care and other benefits, following her scheduled release May 17 from military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, according to the Army. Manning entered prison as a man named Bradley. Manning changed her name, identified as a woman and received hormone treatment while incarcerated. Her sentence was commuted in the final days of the Obama administration, a move that infuriated some in the military and President Trump. While Manning’s court-martial conviction remains under appeal, she will remain a private in the Army, said Dave Foster, an Army spokesman. As an active duty soldier, Manning will continue to receive health care and have access to commissaries and military exchanges, but she will not be paid. USA Today
VOA VIEW: An Obama example of stupidity.

‘WannaCry’ Cyberattack: Asia Reports Thousands Of New Cases
The worldwide “ransomware” cyberattack wreaked havoc in hospitals, schools and offices across the globe on Monday. Asia reported thousands of new cases but no large-scale breakdowns as workers started the week by booting up their computers. The full extent of the damage from the cyberattack felt in 150 countries was unclear and could worsen if more malicious variations of the online extortion scheme appear. The initial attack, known as “WannaCry,” paralyzed computers running Britain’s hospital network, Germany’s national railway and scores of other companies and government agencies around the world. USA Today

China Eyes U.S. Energy After Inking $20 Billion In Deals
China is setting it sights on U.S. energy as a growing reliance on imports forces it to look beyond traditional suppliers, according to the head of the country’s biggest oil and gas company. China National Petroleum Corp. will import more crude oil and natural gas from the U.S. and will consider participating in America’s growing liquefied natural gas export industry, Chairman Wang Yilin said in an interview Sunday with Bloomberg TV on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. The energy giant will sign $20 billion in deals during the two-day event, a meeting of countries involved in China’s initiative to connect Europe, Asia and Africa through infrastructure and investment. Bloomberg


In Cashless Sweden, Even God Now Takes Collection Via An App
In the most cashless society on the planet, even God now accepts digital payments. A growing number of Swedish parishes have started taking donations via mobile apps. Uppsala’s 13th-century cathedral also accepts credit cards. The churches’ drive to keep up with the times is the latest sign of Sweden’s rapid shift to a world without notes and coins. Most of the country’s bank branches have stopped handling cash; some shops and museums now only accept plastic; and even Stockholm’s homeless have started accepting cards as payment for their magazine. Go to a flea market, and the seller is more likely to ask to be paid via Sweden’s popular Swish app than with cash. Bloomberg

Pope Says He’ll Seek Common Ground With Trump, Won’t Preach
Pope Francis says he won't try to convince U.S. President Donald Trump to soften his policies on immigration and the environment when they meet this month, but wants instead to find common ground and work for peace. Francis said proselytizing isn't his style — in politics or religion. Speaking to reporters while traveling home Saturday from a trip to Portugal, Francis said he would say what he thinks sincerely to Trump and listen respectfully to what Trump has to say. "I never make a judgment about a person without hearing him out," the pope said. Speculation has swirled about what Trump and Francis will discuss during their May 24 audience, given Francis has already said anyone who wants to build walls to keep out migrants is "not Christian." Las Vegas Sun

GOP Wins In Reversing Obama-Rra Rules On Guns, Environment
Congressional Republicans anxious to show voters they can get something done are hailing their reversal of more than a dozen Obama-era regulations on guns, the internet and the environment. Over a few months, lawmakers used an obscure legislative rule to ram through changes that will have far-reaching implications for the coal industry, broadband customers, hunters and women seeking health care at Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. The deadline for scuttling the rules that Democrat Obama imposed during his final months in office was Thursday. The 1996 Congressional Review Act had given Republicans the power to make the changes with a simple majority, within a specific time frame. Las Vegas Sun

School Sex Complaints To Federal Agency Rise — And Languish
Hector and Itza Ayala sat in a conference room at Houston's prestigious high school for the performing arts, clutching a document they hoped would force administrators to investigate their 15-year-old daughter's claim of a classroom sex assault. It had been four months since the girl reported being attacked by another student. School district police had been notified, but administrators said they could do nothing else to protect her from the boy, who was still in school. Frustrated, Itza, a teacher in the district, scoured the internet for help. A Google search led her to the website of the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights. "As I read more and more," she said, "I thought, 'This is exactly what happened, this is exactly what they're not doing. Somebody can help me!'" Three years earlier, the office had issued detailed guidance on what schools must do upon receiving reports of student sexual violence in K-12 schools. Houston Chronicle

Families Of Terror Victims Pressure Facebook, Twitter And Google On Extremist Content
Are social media companies doing enough to police terror activity? Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, argues emphatically that they are not. The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee is planning a new push to force social media companies to report “knowledge of terrorist activity” as relatives of victims in the 2015 San Bernardino, California, terror attack sue Twitter, Google and Facebook, accusing them of supporting extremists online. Social media companies are feeling heightened pressure to do more in the U.S. and abroad. A new report from the British Parliament asserts the Silicon Valley companies are “shamefully far” from taking the needed action to quickly remove terror-related content and should face major fines. Charlotte Observer

Huge Changes Are Likely For The New iPhone 8, Including A Whopper Of A Price Tag
Details about the new iPhone are starting to emerge, and here’s a big one: The price is likely to start at about $1,000. Following independent reports for Nikkei, FastCompany and famed Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo, Goldman Sachs has become the fourth major source to state the so-called iPhone 8 will be the most expensive phone Apple has ever made, Forbes reports. The new phone, which is expected to be released later this year, is also referred to as the iPhone 7S, iPhone X, iPhone Edition and simply “iPhone.” Kansas  CIty Star

Guantánamo’s 9/11 Hearing Could Hit Snag On First Day
Pretrial hearings resume in the 9/11 death-penalty case Monday with a bid by a lawyer for an accused terrorist to stop the proceedings. At issue: a civil lawsuit filed in federal court by a former member of the troubled legal team of Yemeni Walid bin Attash, who is charged as an alleged deputy in the terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001. Details are few because the war court has yet to publicly release the request to stop the proceedings by Bin Attash’s defense attorneys led by Chicago-based criminal attorney Cheryl Bormann. At the same time, the federal court has sealed the lawsuit by former defense team member Tim Semmerling at the U.S. District Court in Illinois. Miami Herald

Without New Wall, Undocumented Immigrants Will Use The Same Tactics To Enter The U.S.
After gang members kidnapped her younger sister and then murdered her grandparents, Lena Alemán and her husband Marbyn packed their bags and those of their five children and fled Honduras for the United States. Upon reaching the U.S. border at Mexicali, they waited until midnight for a migrant smuggler who helped them over the boundary wall by propping a ladder on the Mexican side, then climbing to the top, and propping a second ladder down on the American side. One by one, the family climbed the ladder to the top from Mexico and climbed down to the bottom of the second ladder in the United States. That was how they sneaked into the United States, using a method that undocumented immigrants likely will continue to employ now that it's clear the “impenetrable” border wall that President Donald Trump wants will not be built any time soon. Miami Herald

Lawmakers Urge Trump To Avoid Picking A Partisan For FBI Job
As President Donald Trump considers a replacement for fired FBI Director James Comey, lawmakers are urging the president to steer clear of appointing any politicians. The advice came Sunday amid more criticism over Trump's dismissal of Comey during an FBI probe of Russia's meddling with last year's election and any ties to the Trump campaign. James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, said the Founding Fathers created three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances, but with Trump as president, that was now "eroding." "I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally — and that's the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system," Clapper said "I think as well our institutions are under assault internally." SF Gate

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Macron Sworn In As New President Of France, Promises Unity
Emmanuel Macron promised unity as he was sworn in as France's newest president on Sunday. The independent centrist also promised to restore France's standing in the world. "My mandate will give the French back the confidence to believe in themselves," President Macron told the audience during the inauguration ceremony at Élysée Palace in Paris. Macron beat out far-right favorite Marine Le Pen in France's May 7 election. The former investment banker earned 66 percent of the run-off vote. The final vote tally was announced during Sunday's proceedings. At just 39 years of age, Macron is France's youngest president in history. "The division and fractures in our society must be overcome," Macron said. "The world and Europe need more than ever France, and a strong France, which speaks out loudly for freedom and solidarity." UPI

Trump’s Frustrations Are Boiling Over After Comey Dismissal
After four months in office, President Donald Trump has become distrustful of some of his White House staff, heavily reliant on a handful of family members and longtime aides, and furious that the White House’s attempts to quell the firestorm over the FBI and congressional Russia investigations only seem to add more fuel. Trump’s frustrations came to a head this week with the firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing the probe into his campaign’s possible ties to Russia’s election meddling. Fearful that his own team would leak the decision, Trump kept key staff in the dark as he pondered the dramatic move. The communications staff charged with explaining the decision to the American people had an hour’s notice. Chief strategist Steve Bannon learned on television, according to three White House officials, though a person close to Bannon disputed that characterization. Boston Globe
VOA VIEW: A few upset the many.

Ossoff Backers Draw Strength From Health Care, Comey Actions
The last time Harriet Zoller volunteered for a political campaign, she was too young to vote for the Massachusetts Democrat running for president. "I was a Kennedy girl," she says, smiling back to 1960. Veronica Savoy's previous campaign experience was volunteering multiple times for Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.
"I'm not a political party person," she explains. Now, their shared concerns about Donald Trump's presidency and the Republican agenda on Capitol Hill have drawn both women to the side of 30-year-old Jon Ossoff, an upset-minded Democrat running for Congress in the traditionally conservative Atlanta suburbs. And the two women are just a small part of what has raised Georgia's 6th Congressional District special election from a certain GOP victory to an early benchmark for what Americans think about monopoly Republican rule in Washington. Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: Republicans will prevail over the liberal media.

Richard Spencer, Torch-Wielding Protestors Decry Plan To Remove Confederate Monument
White nationalist Richard Spencer led a group of torch-carrying protesters in chants decrying plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va. "You will not replace us," the protestors shouted in unison on Saturday. They also chanted, "Russia is our friend." "What brings us together is that we are white, we are a people, we will not be replaced," Spencer said at the second of two protest rallies. UPI

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would receive a parliamentary safety net from Labor that would enable him to advance a peace process with US President Donald Trump, according to the major candidates for Labor Party leader. The statements made by MKs and Labor contestants Isaac Herzog, Amir Peretz, Erel Margalit and Omer Bar Lev on Sunday came as Netanyahu clashed with Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who could remove his Bayit Yehudi Party’s eight lawmakers from the government if the diplomatic process advances. In that case, no matter who wins the July 4 Labor leadership race, Netanyahu could remain in power. Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly disputed a charge by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Israel might not want the US Embassy relocated to Jerusalem at this time. “Israel has clearly stated its position to the US and to the world multiple times. Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem won’t harm the peace process. The opposite is true. It will correct a historic injustice by advancing the [peace process] and shattering a Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem isn’t Israel’s capital,” Netanyahu said. Although he often sparred with former US president Barack Obama, it is unusual for Netanyahu to publicly spar with members of the Trump administration. Jerusamel Post

China Invests $124Bn In Belt And Road Global Trade Project
The Chinese government is investing tens of billions of dollars as part of an ambitious economic plan to rebuild ports, roads and rail networks. China's President Xi Jinping has pledged $124bn (£96bn) for the scheme, known as the Belt and Road initiative. "Trade is the important engine of economic development," Mr Xi said at a summit of world leaders in Beijing. The plan, which aims to expand trade links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond, was first unveiled in 2013. BBC

Toyota 'Backs Flying Car Project' In Japan
Japanese carmaker Toyota has announced its backing for a group of engineers who are developing a flying car. It will give 40 million yen (£274, 000) to the Cartivator group that operates outside Toyota city in central Japan. The Nikkei Asian Review reports Toyota and its group companies have agreed in principle to support the project. So far crowdfunding has paid for development of the so-called Skydrive car, which uses drone technology and has three wheels and four rotors. BBC

North Korea Test-Fires What Could Be New Kind Of Longer-Range Missile
North Korea has fired what Japan said could be a new type of missile, in an early diplomatic test for South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in. Japan did not specify what type of missile was involved in Sunday’s launch, which came after Pyongyang indicated it was open to talks with the South on its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes. Moon called the launch a “reckless provocation” after holding an emergency meeting with his national security advisers, adding that it was a “clear violation” of UN security council resolutions banning North Korean missile tests. Guardian

Jeff Sessions: Hardline Trump Ally Hits Ground Running With Role In Comey Firing
In early March, Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, recused himself from the federal investigation into potential ties between Donald Trump and Russia after it was revealed he had failed to disclose at least two meetings with the Russian ambassador. This week, Sessions helped orchestrate the firing of James Comey, the FBI director tasked with leading that same investigation. Sessions, one of the president’s most loyal allies, was elevated to the Trump administration as a longstanding conservative ideologue tasked with overseeing the nation’s top law enforcement agency. And while Trump has sometimes appeared to be a blank canvas, baffling observers and even Republicans with his in-the-moment approach to governance and policy, Sessions has often been cast as the intellectual godfather of a rightwing agenda. Guardian

'Digital. What's Digital?' Donald Trump Tells US Navy To Use 'Goddamned Steam' For Catapult
Donald Trump has told the US Navy to go back to "goddamned steam" to launch jets from its carriers, declaring the new digital system "no good". Donald Trump has told the US Navy to go back to "goddamned steam" to launch jets from its carriers, declaring the new digital system "no good". The president's comments came as he took a tour of the yet-to-be-commissioned aircraft carrier Gerald L. Ford in Newport News, Virginia, in March. Recalling the visit in an interview with Time magazine this week, he said he was told the carrier's new electromagnetic catapult did not have enough power. “It sounded bad to me. Digital. They have digital. What is digital? And it’s very complicated, you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out,” Mr Trump said. Telegraph

Pyongyang 'Willing To Meet Trump Administration'
A top North Korean diplomat said Saturday that Pyongyang would be willing to meet with the Trump administration for negotiations "if the conditions are set." Choi Son Hui, director general for North American Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, spoke briefly to reporters in Beijing en route to Pyongyang. She was traveling from Norway, where she led a delegation that held an informal meeting with former U.S. officials and scholars. Choi did not elaborate on what the North's conditions are, but her comments raise the possibility of North Korea and the U.S. returning to negotiations for the first time since 2008, when six-nation talks over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program fell apart. Telegraph

UN Chief 'Outraged' By Latest Attacks In CAR, Warns They Could Be War Crimes
Strongly condemning the latest attacks against civilians and the United Nations in Central African Republic (CAR), Secretary-General António Guterres today urged authorities to investigate and bring those responsible to justice. “The Secretary-General is outraged by the attacks perpetrated by suspected anti-Balaka against civilians and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA),” his spokesperson said in a statement. He added that the Secretary-General reiterated that attacks against UN peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. UN News

At China's Belt And Road Forum, UN Chief Guterres Stresses Shared Development Goals
Speaking at a major international conference in Beijing, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today drew comparisons between China's 'One Belt, One Road' initiative and the Sustainable Development Goals, saying both are rooted in a shared vision for global development. “Both strive to create opportunities, global public goods and win-win cooperation. And both aim to deepen 'connectivity' across countries and regions: connectivity in infrastructure, trade, finance, policies and, perhaps most important of all, among peoples,” the Secretary-General said addressing Chinese President Xi Jinping and dozens of other state leaders at the Belt and Road Forum. UN News

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