NEWS   SATURDAY, JULY 1, 2017   NEWS

Senate Democrat Blasts 'Obamaphone' Over Fraudulent Findings
A new government audit finds more than a third of enrollees of the "Obamaphone" program may not be qualified -- among other fraudulent findings -- prompting a Senate Democrat to roundly criticize the program's "complete lack of oversight." A report released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) claims the program, which gives cell phones to poor people, stashed $9 billion in private bank accounts, the Washington Times reported. Fox
VOA VIEW: Fraud is fraud.

Trump's 'Feds' Now In Chicago To Fight Gun Violence 'Epidemic'
Months after taking to Twitter to say he would send in "the Feds" to help reduce Chicago's murder rate, President Trump's administration has sent in agents to combat the ongoing violence. The Chicago Sun-Times first reported that about 20 additional agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been sent to the city. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed Friday that the federal government is sending help, while decrying the crime epidemic on the city's streets. "Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1714 shootings in Chicago this year!" Trump tweeted. Fox
VOA VIEW: Chicago should not mind.

No, Americans Aren't Actually Flocking To Canada In Droves
Remember when your anti-Trump friends vowed to pack their bags and flee to Canada after the 2016 US presidential election? Well, surprise! (or maybe not): Despite the heavily touted rhetoric, available data shows few Americans actually followed through on that threat. Or at least, they haven't yet. According to statistics from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the number of people from the US applying for permanent residency between January and March rose 3.6% from 2016 to 2017. That doesn't exactly constitute a mass exodus, especially when looking at the raw numbers: 1,882 Americans have applied for permanent residency in Canada in 2017, just 66 more applications from the same time period in 2016. CNN
VOA VIEW: Surprise, no one is flocking to Canada.

Pence-Kobach Voting Commission Alarms States With Info Request
A Trump administration letter requesting data from all 50 state's voting rolls has put some states and voting rights advocates on edge after many were already wary of the aims of the President's commission on voting. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity's vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, sent a letter to each state Wednesday asking a series of questions soliciting feedback about election administration, voter fraud and the integrity of the process. CNN obtained a copy of the letter sent to Maine's secretary of state. Kobach also requested that each state provide "publicly available voter roll data" as allowed under each state's laws, which could include full names of registered voters, dates of birth, party registration, last four digits of Social Security numbers and voting history.
The letter was discussed on an organizational call of the commission, according to a White House readout and spokesman Marc Lotter. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN hates to believe and report that illegals have voted in all states.

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Trump Says ‘Fake’ Five Times In 10 Seconds While Comparing CNN To Liberals' Energy ‘Myth’
As he touted the country's vast energy resources on Thursday, President Donald Trump reminded Americans of all the "fake" information they're being fed - and took a jab at CNN in the process. In a speech at his "Unleashing American Energy Event" in Washington, DC, Trump said America had been duped into believing it didn't have enough engery. Trump said that, for decades, Americans didn’t know they had “this tremendous wealth” of energy, because they were being told “our nation could only solve this energy crisis by imposing draconian restrictions on energy production.” CNS

Trump Hatred Keeps Flowing On MSNBC: 'He's A Pig’; 'Disgusting, Vulgar Man'; ‘Disgusting To Look At'
Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough delayed their July 4th getaway to appear on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" at 7 a.m. Friday. They plan to respond to President Donald Trump's insulting tweets, provoked by their own insults of the president. Meanwhile, the 6 a.m. hour of “Morning Joe” opened with Joe and Mika’s co-hosts coming to their defense. Contributor Donny Deutsch, an advertising executive who has known Trump for years, led the pack: "First of all, you know, he picked the wrong school yard to come into,” Deutsch said of the president. “I’m not an employee of NBC, so I'm going to go thug here, OK? I'm sorry, because Mika's a friend of ours, she's a good woman, she's a great mom. And he's a pig. He's a vulgar pig.” CNS News
VOA VIEW: The program got what they wanted - insults and ratings.

Trump To Senate Republicans: Kill Obamacare Now, Replace Later
U.S. President Donald Trump urged Republican senators in a tweet on Friday to repeal Obamacare immediately if they cannot agree on a new plan to replace it, muddying the waters as congressional leaders struggle for consensus on healthcare legislation. Senate Republican leaders had set Friday as the target for rewriting legislation for a simultaneous repeal and replacement of extensive parts of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the law dubbed Obamacare that expanded health insurance coverage to 20 million people. The deadline seemed unlikely to be met given that most senators had left Washington ahead of next week's recess, without agreement on a clear direction for the healthcare bill, and Trump's tweet did not appear to gain political traction. Reuters

Oklahoma Sues Opioid Drugmakers; New Hampshire Presses Epidemic Probe
Oklahoma on Friday joined growing litigation over claims drugmakers misrepresented the risks of opioid painkillers, as New Hampshire cleared a hurdle in its own probe of the role played by companies in the national addiction epidemic. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter filed a lawsuit in Cleveland County District Court against Purdue Pharma LP, Johnson & Johnson, Allergan Plc and units of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. The drugmakers engaged in a "fraudulent, decades-long marketing campaign to profit from the suffering of thousands of Oklahomans," Hunter said. "The lawsuit claims the companies knowingly marketed their drugs as safe for chronic pain management while downplaying the risk of opioid dependency," he added. Reuters

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Bronx Hospital Shooting: Gunman Kills 1, Wounds 6, Turns Weapon On Self
A disgruntled former hospital worker armed with a rifle barged into the Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center Friday and opened fire, fatally shooting one doctor and wounding six other people before killing himself, New York City police officials said. The suspect, identified by sources as 45-year-old Henry Bello, was found dead on the 17th floor of the facility, where he had tried to set himself on fire before he shot himself, according to NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill. "We've had a real tragedy here," New York CIty Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "One doctor is dead and there are several more who are fighting for their lives right now." The mayor did not identify the slain doctor or those who were wounded. O'Neill said five of the wounded were in serious condition and the sixth had been shot in the lower leg. MSNBC

Can The CIA And NSA Be Trusted With Cyber Hacking Tools?
In 2015, when the news broke that the Pentagon had mistakenly shipped samples of live anthrax virus around the world, officials immediately faced tough questions from reporters. A review was ordered. The military equivalent of a grand jury investigation was launched into the question of leadership failures. This week, the fruits of another risky American government experiment wreaked havoc, but the response was much different. A sophisticated cyber attack disrupted companies and governments in the U.S. and abroad. The malware used in the attack capitalized on vulnerabilities in Microsoft's operating system that had been stockpiled by, and were stolen from, the National Security Agency, former NSA officials told NBC News. MSNBC

State Attorneys General, Governor Threaten To Sue Trump To Stop Amnesty For Dreamers
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned Thursday that he will sue the Trump administration to stop the deportation amnesty for Dreamers unless the government voluntarily phases out the program. In a letter joined by nine other state attorneys general and the governor of Idaho, Mr. Paxton says the 2012 amnesty created by President Obama and continued by President Trump is illegal. He set a Sept. 5 deadline for the government to announce a phaseout. Mr. Paxton said that if that doesn’t happen, he will ask a judge to end the program, known in governmentspeak as DACA. Washington Times

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Texas Supreme Court Questions Right Of Benefits For Gay Spouses
Gay spouses may not be entitled to government-subsidized workplace benefits, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday in a unanimous decision that was quickly condemned by gay-rights groups. The court overturned a lower court's decision that favored same-sex marriage benefits, ordering the issue back to trial. Social conservatives hope the case will help them chip away at the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling legalizing gay marriage. Gay rights groups denounced the ruling as an "absurd distortion" of established law regarding marriage equality. CBS

Eric Schultz: Obama White House Didn't "Choke" In Handling Of Russian Meddling
The Obama administration didn't "choke" in its handling of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, former White House official Eric Schultz said on the latest episode of "The Takeout" podcast. He defended the Obama administration's handling of intelligence demonstrating Russia intended to influence the American democratic process. "Our view was, let's do this by the book. And what that meant was, the intelligence community was going to investigate – they were going to be thorough, and as soon as they reached a conclusion they were going to release it." And that, he told CBS News' Major Garrett and Steve Chaggaris, was the right decision at the time. CBS
VOA VIEW: Obama hates the US.

Trump Scolds Press During Disorderly Photo Op
President Donald Trump invited media into the Oval Office to observe a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in this morning, but while the leaders wished to talk about trade negotiations and North Korea, the photo opportunity began in a frenzy as a lamp was nearly knocked off a table, which clearly did not amuse the U.S. president. The scrum was larger than normal in order to accommodate a large contingency of foreign reporters -- many of whom were unfamiliar with news gathering at the White House. ABC

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Conway: Women Care More About Trump’s Policies Than Tweets
Kellyanne Conway, senior counselor to President Trump, said Friday that women care more about policy than Mr. Trump’s tweets. “What do you think effects most of America, including if not especially America’s women, what a couple people of TV want to say about the president, about insults and innuendo and questioning his fitness for office, or what he’s doing for those women on policy?” Mrs. Conway said on Fox News. “Millions of women rejected a woman for president because this man spoke to their concerns.” Washington Times

Obama Makes Nostalgic Trip To His Indonesia Childhood Home
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and his family arrived Friday in his childhood home of Jakarta on the last leg of a 10-day vacation in Indonesia, where they visited ancient temples and went whitewater rafting. Local television news channels broadcast live coverage of the family's arrival in the capital. Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo later met Obama at the Bogor Palace in West Java. The grand Dutch colonial building about 55 kilometers (35 miles) south of Jakarta is famous for its botanical gardens and a herd of spotted deer that roam the grounds. ABC
VOA VIEW: Good, he should stay there.

Why Doctors In The Know No Longer Prescribe Blood Pressure Drugs
Until recently, high blood pressure sufferers looking for doctor-approved, drug-free treatment options were out of luck. But a growing number of health experts believe those days are behind us. Dr. Marlene Merritt (DOM, MS Nutrition), an Austin-based doctor who has treated many high blood pressure patients herself, made a recent announcement that is sending shockwaves through the medical community. Dr. Merritt knew all too well that commonly-prescribed blood pressure drugs like Lisinopril and Norvasc come with a host of unwanted side effects, and was determined to find a natural, drug-free solution that could actually eliminate the disease, not just treat its symptoms. Boomberg

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Until Recently, High Blood Pressure Sufferers Looking For Doctor-Approved
But a growing number of health experts believe those days are behind us. Dr. Marlene Merritt (DOM, MS Nutrition), an Austin-based doctor who has treated many high blood pressure patients herself, made a recent announcement that is sending shockwaves through the medical community. Dr. Merritt knew all too well that commonly-prescribed blood pressure drugs like Lisinopril and Norvasc come with a host of unwanted side effects, and was determined to find a natural, drug-free solution that could actually eliminate the disease, not just treat its symptoms. Bloomberg

A Moment Of Silence Speaks To Ivanka Trump’s Tight Spot
Ivanka Trump has been vocal in using her White House role to advocate for women. But when President Donald Trump lobbed a demeaning attack on a female TV host on Twitter this week, his daughter and senior adviser kept quiet. It was a moment of silence that spoke to the challenges and calculations Ivanka Trump faces as she tries to promote family-friendly policies in an administration led by a man whose comments about women have made women cringe and drawn bipartisan rebuke.
Ivanka Trump has tried to position herself as above the political fray. But the tussle between her father and MSNBC co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough offers a reminder that it's impossible to separate policy and politics in Washington. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Wrong, the so-called TV host derserved all the got and than some.

Trump Shifts From Provoking To Engaging To Pressuring China
The White House is suddenly engaged in a multipronged pressure campaign against Beijing, born of frustration with the limited results of China's much-touted cooperation on ending North Korea's nuclear threat. On Thursday, the Trump administration approved a $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan and blacklisted a small Chinese bank over its business ties with North Korea. The State Department also gave Beijing a dismal grade in a new human trafficking report that was endorsed by Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and senior adviser. The actions capped days of increased irritation among the president and his top aides over China's reluctance to tighten the economic screws on Pyongyang. Until recently, American officials had been hailing the improved coordination with China as a centerpiece of their North Korea strategy. Las Vegas Sun

Women Presume Gender Bias In Military Careers
Nearly two-thirds of women said they would not have the same opportunities for advancement as men if they joined the military, a major hurdle for recruiters seeking to increase the number of women in their ranks. According to Gallup, 63 percent of women said men would have an easier time earning promotions and advancements in the military than they would. Overall, 52 percent of Americans agreed with that notion. Part of that sentiment could be the lingering impression that women are prohibited from combat roles and other jobs, despite a 2015 Pentagon order prohibiting gender from consideration for all military jobs, including combat positions. The order opened some 220,000 combat positions, including elite fighting forces like the Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, to female enlistees. UPI
VOA VIEW: Men by far are more military prone than women.

Too Many Pictures In Books Hinder Children's Word Learning
A recent study by the University of Sussex suggests that storybooks for children having too many pictures can limit word learning among young readers. Psychologists at the University of Sussex found, in a study published June 30 in Infant and Child Development, that more than one illustration or picture per page can cause poorer word learning among preschool children. "Our findings fit well with Cognitive Load Theory, which suggests that learning rates are affected by how complicated a task is," Zoe Flack, doctoral researcher at the University of Sussex, said in a press release. "In this case, by giving children less information at once, or guiding them to the correct information, we can help children learn more words." UPI

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WHAT WAS NETANYAHU THINKING CANCELLING THE KOTEL DEAL?
When it comes to construction, no one seems to be happy these days with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Last week it was the settlers who felt Netanyahu had fooled them, and was holding up construction of Jewish homes in the West Bank. Netanyahu was willing to build for the Palestinians in Kalkilya, it seemed, but not for the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria. On Sunday, Netanyahu canceled another Jewish construction project, although this one was designed to preserve worldwide Jewish unity, not just a Jewish presence over the Green Line. Ironically, the Reform and Conservative movements, which suffered a devastating blow from the prime minister, could have used some advice from settlers on how to get things built in this country. Jerusalem Post

IDF STRIKES TARGET IN SYRIA IN RETALIATION FOR SPILLOVER
According to the IDF, the Air Force struck the source of the projectile and was “acting proportionally to prevent any deterioration.” The Israeli Air Force struck an Syrian regime position in the Golan Heights on Friday in retaliation for a projectile that landed earlier In Israeli territory. The projectile which landed in open territory in the northern Ramat HaGolan caused no damage or injuries. It is believed to be spillover from the fighting between the Assad regime and rebel groups fighting near the town of New Quneitra close to the Israeli border. Jerusalem Post

Lebanon Refugee Camps Hit By Five Suicide Bombers
Five militants have blown themselves up during a raid by Lebanese troops on refugee camps near the Syrian border, Lebanon's army said. A young girl was killed and three soldiers wounded by the blasts. Four others were hurt when an attacker threw a hand grenade, the army said. It happened during an operation to search for militants and weapons in an area near the town of Arsal. Arsal has often seen violence between troops and Sunni jihadists. In the raid on Friday, four suicide bombers struck in one refugee camp, and a fifth struck in another camp, the army said. Some 350 people were detained, including officials from the Islamic State (IS) group, Reuters news agency quoted a security source as saying. BBC

Prince Charles And Camilla Honour Troops On Canada Tour
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have honoured Canadian soldiers who died while fighting in Afghanistan. On the second day of their tour, Charles and Camilla laid a wreath at a memorial in Trenton, Ontario, alongside a handwritten note by the prince. In total 158 people from Canada died in the conflict which started in 2001. The royal couple also met veterans and serving members of the armed forces. The couple took part in a minute's silence at the memorial to pay tribute to those who lost their lives. BBC

Russia Hackers Discussed Getting Clinton Emails To Michael Flynn
The veteran Republican researcher reported to have sought to get access to Hillary Clinton emails stolen by Russian hackers in order to help Donald Trump’s campaign had a long history of involvement in “dirty tricks” campaigns against the Clintons. Peter Smith told the computer specialists he approached in his hunt for the stolen emails that he was working with Michael Flynn, then a top Trump foreign policy adviser, according to the Wall Street Journal. But Smith, who has died since talking to the Journal, also had deep-rooted connections to Newt Gingrich, an old Clinton foe and enthusiastic backer of Trump. Guardian

Trump Called 'Threat To Every Coastline' As He Pushes Ocean Drilling Plan
Environmentalists have condemned Donald Trump as a “threat to every ocean and coastline in the country”, after the president pushed forward plans to expand oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans as part of what he called a new era of “American energy dominance”. The Trump administration has taken the first steps to rewrite a five-year plan, put in place under Barack Obama, that banned drilling along the Atlantic seaboard and in large swaths of the Arctic. The interior department is opening a 45-day public comment period for a new plan that it says will help grow the economy. Guardian

China Says Legally Binding Hong Kong Handover Treaty With Britain Has 'No Practical Significance'
China appeared to dramatically consign Britain’s responsibility to Hong Kong to history on Friday by saying a treaty signed by Margaret Thatcher which paved the way for the handover and guaranteed freedoms in the city had “no practical significance.” The surprising remarks, which came on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the handover of the former British colony to China, relate to the 1984 joint declaration, which guarantees Hong Kong’s legal autonomy from the mainland. Telegraph

EU Appoints Tech Experts To Police Google's Search Results
The European Union is hiring watchdogs to make sure Google does not continue to abuse its internet search monopoly after last week’s record fine. The European Commission, which this week hit Google with a €2.4bn (£2.1bn) penalty for years of squeezing out rival shopping sites on its search engine, has given the company 90 days to change its ways or face further fines. It has now spending up to €10m (£9m) to appoint a team of expert technology consultants, who will track how Google complies with the commission’s demand that it make its results fairer. Google’s algorithm-driven search results will be scrutinised for five years to ensure it is not abusing the monopoly it enjoys over internet search. But according to the EU’s tender document, it could be on parole as much as eight years from now, if an appeal takes three years. Telegraph

Women Scientists And Youth Take Centre Stage At UN-Backed Technology Forum
As an international conference on science and technology wrapped up in Vienna, the head of a United Nations partner organization that works to end nuclear testing stressed that women have a "powerful voice" in the global scientific community. “We cannot build a world that is just, a world that is fair, a world that is peaceful, without the contribution of women,” stated Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). In an interview with UN News during the CTBT: Science and Technology 2017 Conference, Mr. Zerbo said: “If women are at the heart of solving problems domestically in their respective families, and socially, why don’t we use them on big issues that require heart, feeling and vision, which they have already? UN News

UN Rights Chief Decries ‘Unacceptable Attack’ On Al Jazeera And Other Media
The United Nations human rights chief today expressed strong concern about international demands that Qatar close down the Al Jazeera network and other affiliated media outlets as “extraordinary, unprecedented and clearly unreasonable.” A spokesperson for High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein told press in Geneva that “whether or not you watch it, like it, or agree with its editorial standpoints, Al Jazeera’s Arabic and English channels are legitimate, and have many millions of viewers.” Rupert Colville added that “the demand that they be summarily closed down is, in our view, an unacceptable attack on the right to freedom of expression and opinion.” UN News

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