NEWS   FRIDAY, JULY  14, 2017   NEWS

Trump Caught On Tape Complimenting Macron's Wife's Body
President Donald Trump was captured complimenting the French president's wife's appearance Thursday as he toured a famous Paris landmark. Video footage posted on the French government's official Facebook page showed Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and their wives chatting after their tour of the museums at Les Invalides. As they were saying their good-byes, Trump turned to Brigitte Macron and gestured toward her body. Fox
VOA VIEW: Pitiful!

Obama, Clinton Return To Political Fray – But Can They Help Dems?
As Democrats move to regroup after last year's bruising election, the party's biggest heavyweights – former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – have made clear they're not going anywhere. The former commander-in-chief was returning to the political fray Thursday evening, headlining a private fundraiser for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee in Washington, D.C. Fox

Trump: 'Most People Would Have Taken That Meeting'
President Donald Trump offered a staunch defense of his eldest son Thursday, saying during a carefully worded response here that Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer was a standard session that any political operative would have taken. "My son is a wonderful young man. He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer, not a government lawyer, but a Russian lawyer," he said alongside French President Emmanuel Macron at the ornate Élysée Palace. "It was a short meeting. It was a meeting that went very, very quickly, very fast." According to the emails released by Trump Jr. this week, the lawyer -- Natalia Veselnitskaya -- was described to Trump's son in an email as a "Russian government lawyer" with information that was part of the country's effort to help elect his father.  CNN
VOA VIEW: First you get the information and if illegal, you call the FBI - no information was received.
Special Counsel Brings On FBI Official Who Oversaw Clinton Email Investigation
Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller has brought on Peter Strzok, a senior FBI official who oversaw the Hillary Clinton email investigation, to help manage his investigation into Russian election meddling, according to two US officials briefed on the matter. Strzok joins a team of more than 25 people. That team includes attorneys, FBI employees and support staff, according to Peter Carr, the spokesman for special counsel. The team has now moved into new office space in southwest DC, about a mile away from Justice Department headquarters. The special counsel's initial office space lacked secure meeting rooms, known as SCIFs, for reviewing classified materials. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN pushes anything that is anti Trump.

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Pelosi Calls For Release Of 'All Communications' Within Trump's Family
"This week we saw cold, hard evidence of the Trump campaign, indeed the Trump family, eagerly intending to collude, possibly, with Russia--a hostile foreign power--to influence American elections,” House  Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told  news conference on Thursday. She called for the release of all communications with Trump campaign and Trump family. “The GOP must immediately join us in a call for the release of all communications within the Trump campaign and within the family by email, text, Twitter, or any other direct message," Pelosi said. CNS
VOA VIEW: Pelosi is mad.

Trump: France Has 'A Tough President'
During a joint press briefing in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, President Donald Trump praised the city and its president, saying that Macron would be "a tough president," who would not go easy on lawbreakers. In February, while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, Trump explained that his friend "Jim" told the president that "Paris is no longer Paris," given the spate of terrorist attacks the city has suffered recently. During Thursday's briefing, Trump was asked, "You've mentioned the friend Jim, who told you that Paris is no longer Paris. You were implying at the time that Paris was not safe anymore. You've also said that France and Germany are infected by terrorism, and 'it's their fault, because they let people enter their territory.' Those are very strong words. Would you repeat them today, and do you still believe that France is not able to fight terrorism on its own territory?" CNS

Magellan Midstream Partners Pipeline Ruptures In Texas, Forcing Evacuations
A crude oil pipeline operated by Magellan Midstream Partners ruptured near Bastrop, Texas, on Thursday morning, spilling an estimated 1,200 barrels of oil and prompting an evacuation, the company said. No injuries were reported, Magellan said in a statement. Magellan's Longhorn Pipeline, which transports crude oil from Crane, Texas to Houston, ruptured about 4 miles (6 km)southwest of Bastrop. The company shut the pipeline and isolated the affected segment, it said. People within a two-mile (3-km) radius of the spill were advised to remain indoors, the sheriff's department and local emergency officials said. Several families near the site of the pipeline break were temporarily evacuated, and part of a nearby road was closed, the company said. Reuters

Doctors, Nurses Among Hundreds Charged With Defrauding U.S. Health Programs
More than 400 people, including doctors and nurses, have been charged with defrauding Medicare and other federal healthcare programs of $1.3 billion, with many accused of illegally distributing opioids and other narcotics, the Justice Department said on Thursday. A total of 412 people, including almost 115 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, have been charged in the sweeping enforcement action, the biggest ever by the multi-agency Medicare Strike Force, the Justice Department said in a statement. Reuters
VOA VIEW: The bad guys should go to jail.

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Trump Salutes US Bastille Day Parade Troops
President Donald Trump has saluted as U.S. troops pass during the French Bastille Day parade commemorating the 100th anniversary of the American entry into World War I. Trump is the guest of honor, invited by French President Emmanuel Macron for Friday's display of French military might. The two men could be seen talking animatedly as U.S. and French fighter jets roared overhead. Eight U.S. planes joined the parade, along with a detachment of 145 troops on the ground. Tampa Tribune

Man Dies After Alabama Officer Uses Stun Gun On Him
State authorities are investigating after police in Alabama allegedly used a stun gun on a man, killing him. News outlets report that according to a statement from Sylacauga Police Chief Kelley B. Johnson, an officer conducted a traffic stop around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday that turned into a narcotics investigation. The driver was identified as 25-year-old Ladarius Dontrell Jackson. Police say there was a physical struggle between the officer and Jackson. Jackson then allegedly fled, leading to a foot chase. Police say the officer used his stun gun on Jackson and took him into custody. The officer then called an ambulance to the scene. Jackson was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Chief Johnson called the State Bureau of Investigations to investigate the incident. Tampa Tribune

Trump Open To Putin White House Invitation ‘At The Right Time’
President Donald Trump would invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House "at the right time," according to recently released White House excerpts of an off-the-record conversation with reporters aboard Air Force One Wednesday night. "I don't think this is the right time," the president said of the hypothetical White House invitation, "but the answer is yes, I would. Look it's very easy for me to say absolutely, I won't. That's the easy thing for me to do, but that's the stupid thing to do. Let's be the smart people, not the stupid people." As he has in the past, Trump reasoned that the two superpowers should have an open dialogue, despite Russia's meddling in the U.S. 2016 election — a topic Trump discussed with Putin in their meeting last week at the G-20 Summit. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Putin is an evil person - but can't be ignored.

Scalise Undergoes New Operation For Bullet Wound, Condition Fair
Rep. Steve Scalise underwent additional surgery on Thursday to manage infection stemming from a bullet wound suffered when he was shot by a gunman who opened fire on a congressional baseball practice last month, the hospital where he is being treated said. Scalise, 51, who represents Louisiana and is the third-ranking Republican in the House, is in fair condition, MedStar Washington Hospital Center said in a statement on behalf of his family. Scalise, who was shot when James T. Hodgkinson opened fire on a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 14, "will require careful monitoring to see if and when further interventions are necessary," the hospital said. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Good!

Uganda's Other Refugee Crisis: Discrimination Forces Many LGBT Ugandans To Seek Asylum
Sitting on a crate outside his mud-walled house in Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya, 30-year-old George Mukhwezi explained how he fled his home country of Uganda because he was gay. “My life was in danger when people and the police realized I was gay,” said Mukhwezi, who arrived in Kenya last year. “I was attacked and assaulted [several times] by residents and even arrested by police. I decided to escape and save my life. Uganda is a dangerous country for LGBT people like me.”
Uganda is one of 36 African countries — and more than 70 around the world — where homosexuality is illegal. It’s a notoriously intolerant place for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, who face arrest, discrimination, eviction from their homes and violence from police and individuals. USA Today

Here's One Trump The French Like (Hint: Not Donald)
Many Parisians who thumb their noses at President Trump during his visit here are giving a thumbs up to first lady Melania Trump for her grace and oh-so-French style.
"We don't know so much about her," said Vero Baumice, a retired grandmother strolling with friends in central Paris, "but she is elegant." Baumice also liked her discreet demeanor, "unlike her husband." Melania Trump began the whirlwind trip at a children's hospital, greeting the youngsters initially in French before speaking through a translator. The children called her "beautiful" and gave her a copy of the classic French book The Little Prince, written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. USA Today

Trouble For Revised Senate Health Bill; Trump Wants Action
Republican leaders have revised their health care bill in an increasingly desperate effort to deliver on seven years of promises to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's overhaul. They immediately lost two pivotal votes, leaving none to spare as the party's own divisions put its central campaign pledge in serious jeopardy. President Donald Trump said this week that failure would make him "very angry" and that he would blame Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "After all of these years of suffering thru ObamaCare, Republican Senators must come through as they have promised!" Trump said in a tweet Friday while in Paris. Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: The heat is on Republicans.

Pentagon To Keep Paying For Sex-Change Surgeries
Two dozen House Republicans broke with their pro-defense brethren Thursday and helped Democrats kill an amendment that would have barred the military from funding transgender sex reassignment surgeries and hormone therapies. The amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act failed 214-209, with all Democrats and 24 Republicans opposing. It means the military health care system will be called on to provide such surgeries as routine treatments for the first time, unless the Trump administration changes Obama-era policies that allow transgender troops to remain on duty. Washington Times

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Trump Says He Wants ‘Comprehensive Immigration Plan’ But Country Isn’t Ready
President Trump said Wednesday that he’ll make the final decision on whether to defend President Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty for Dreamers, and said he wished Congress would pass “a comprehensive immigration plan” — though he said the country’s not ready for that. The call for a “comprehensive” bill was a stunning remark from Mr. Trump, who during the campaign had said he wanted to see a crackdown on illegal immigration. Comprehensive immigration reform is the description used by advocates who want to see most illegal immigrants legalized, with a full pathway to citizenship. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: A pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants did not work before - it gives hope to future illegals.

DeVos Looks To "Hear From All Sides" On Campus Sexual Assault
In a press conference addressing sexual assault on college campuses, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos affirmed her "ongoing commitment to hear from all sides" on Thursday. "No student should feel like there isn't a way to seek justice and no student should feel the scales are tipped against him or her," she said referencing both the plight of rape survivors and the worries of those accused of sexual assault. "We need to protect all students and we need to do it quickly," she added. DeVos went on to explain that the goal of the Department of Education is "to stop and reduce dramatically sexual harassment and assault while respecting due process and the rule of law." CBS

Woman With Rare Cancer Linked To Breast Implants Seeks To Spread Awareness
Some women get breast implants as part of reconstruction after breast cancer. Others do it to feel more confident. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says around 550,000 women last year received breast implants, but the FDA published a report this year linking a rare cancer to the implants. So far, there have been 359 reported cases globally, including nine deaths. The risk is low, but one in 30,000 women with implants could develop it, including one patient who says she is battling the disease and her insurance company, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner. CBS

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US Weekly Requests For Jobless Aid Fall To 247,000
Fewer Americans applied for jobless aid last week, as the number of people seeking benefits has stayed near historic lows pointing to a robust job market. THE NUMBERS: Weekly unemployment applications fell by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 247,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less volatile four-week average rose by 2,250 to 245,750. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits has fallen 8.8 percent over the past 12 months to 1.9 million. THE TAKEAWAY: The job market appears solid as the U.S. enters its ninth year of recovery from the Great Recession. Applications are a close indication of layoffs. Employers are holding onto workers with the expectation that business will continue to improve. ABC
VOA VIEW: Trump progress.

Speaker Paul Ryan Wants 'Contemporary' Dress Code In The House
It’s time to Make Congress Trendy Again. The media bashed House Speaker Paul Ryan over the Independence Day recess for enforcing a stringent dress code in the House chamber and speaker’s lobby. The criticism was baseless, however, because the rules on decorum were nothing new and enforced for decades. Former Speaker John Boehner often admonished the House from the rostrum for sloppy attire, complaining about sleeveless dresses, blue jeans and even Rep. Frederica Wilson’s cowboy hats. The current policy prohibits sleeveless dresses and open-toed shoes for women, and mandates men wear a sport coat and necktie. This reporter was turned away this past winter attempting to wear a top coat in the lobby during the frigid months. ABC

Trump's Plan For His Border Wall Gets Shorter And See-Through
President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall is getting shorter and at least partially see-through. Trump offered new details of the wall he wants to build on the Mexican border to reporters traveling with him to Paris during an off-record conversation on Air Force One, portions of which were released for publication Thursday by the White House. His colorful explanation of his thinking also included planning for the possibility drug dealers would haphazardly toss heavy bags of illegal narcotics over the barrier, posing a danger to innocent passers-by unless they could see them coming. Bloomberg

Reverence For Putin On The Right Buys Trump Cover
Years before the words “collusion” and “Russian hacking” became associated with President Vladimir V. Putin, some prominent Republicans found far more laudatory ways to talk about the Russian leader. “Putin decides what he wants to do, and he does it in half a day,” Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor and longtime friend and adviser to President Trump, gushed in 2014. Mr. Putin was worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize, K. T. McFarland said in 2013, before going on to serve a brief and ill-fated stint as Mr. Trump’s deputy national security adviser. “A great leader,” “very reasoned,” and “extremely diplomatic,” was how Mr. Trump himself described Mr. Putin that same year. NY Times

Gilt And Guns: Macron WantsTo Be Europe's Go-To For Trump
With a gilded tour of one of France's most storied monuments and a military parade bristling with weapons, French President Emmanuel Macron is positioning himself as the indispensable intermediary between Europe and Donald Trump. Macron made a point of detailing both the long history of ties between France and America and the areas where he and Trump disagree as he hosted the U.S. president for a Bastille Day visit. But he made clear it was in the spirit of bluntness with a friend and ally, even offering a conspiratorial wink during a joint news conference. The appearance was part of a two-day visit that featured a personal tour of the golden-domed Invalides monument and a private dinner high in the Eiffel Tower prepared by chef Alain Ducasse himself. To top it off, Trump had prime seating at Friday's military parade, to which Macron invited Trump to be the guest of honor to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War I. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: Macron is a smart poltical player.

Indonesia Agency Gives Preliminary OK To Trump Trademarks
Indonesia's intellectual property agency has given preliminary approval to two Donald Trump trademarks a bit more than two years after the applications were filed.
Though the timing was in line with the agency's guidelines for how long such approvals should take, the clearance of Trump trademarks by foreign governments has caused concern in the U.S. over potential conflicts of interest for the president. The database of the Directorate-General of Intellectual Property shows the "Trump" and "Trump International" trademarks will become eligible to be officially registered if no one files an objection during a three-month window. SF Gate

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Advancements Under The 3 Kims
After North Korea's first test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile last week, the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, has moved one step closer to perfecting a nuclear missile capable of reaching the United States, a weapons program launched by his grandfather and nurtured by his father. The three generations of the Kim family have run North Korea with an absolute rule that tolerates no dissent. They have devoted much of the country's scarce resources to its military but have constantly feared Washington is intent on destroying their dynastic rule. They concluded that a powerful nuclear deterrent against potential U.S. aggression would guarantee their survival. SF Gate

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Latest Financial Warning Due On Social Security, Medicare
Republicans in Washington have long clamored to address the long-term financial problems of Social Security and Medicare, the federal government's two largest benefit programs. On Thursday afternoon, the trustees who oversee the programs were to issue their annual warning about finances. Don't expect Republicans to do much about it. Over the years, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has insisted on overhauling those programs, proposing a voucher-like system for Medicare and calling for partially privatizing Social Security. Now that Republicans control Congress and the White House, Ryan says he doesn't want to tackle Social Security. Instead, Republicans and the White House are focused on repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama's health care law, an effort that is stalled in the Senate. Las Vegas Sun

Judge Expands List Of Relatives Exempted From Trump Travel Ban
A federal judge in Hawaii on Thursday expanded the list of family relationships needed by people seeking new visas from six mostly Muslim countries to avoid President Donald Trump’s travel ban. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson ordered the government not to enforce the ban on grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people in the United States. “Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents,” U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson said in his ruling. “Indeed grandparents are the epitome of close family members.” The U.S. Supreme Court last month exempted visa applicants from the ban if they can prove a “bona fide” relationship with a U.S. citizen or entity. NY Post
VOA VIEW: The Hawaii court is trying legislate and over rule the Supreme Court.

Trump Says GOP Health Care Bill Approval ‘Must Happen’
President Donald Trump is urging fellow Republicans to approve a health care plan in the Senate, declaring on Twitter it “must happen!” Trump is tweeting shortly before his appearance at the annual Bastille Day parade in Paris. He says Republican senators are working hard to “get their failed ObamaCare replacement approved” and says he’ll “be at my desk, pen in hand!” The president says it’s important for Republicans under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get a health care plan approved. And he’s crediting Vice President Mike Pence for working to get GOP senators “to do what is right for the people.” Trump’s pressure comes as a new health care plan released by Republican leaders faces opposition in the Senate. NY Post

Trump’s Outside Counsel On Russia Probe Threatens Emailer
President Donald Trump's outside counsel has lambasted a random emailer after the man suggested he step down. In series of emails obtained by ProPublica, attorney Marc Kasowitz used profanity and threatened the man. One of his four messages says: "I already know where you live. I'm on you." The man emailed Kasowitz after reports explored why he had not sought a security clearance. A spokesman for Kasowitz confirmed the authenticity of the emails and says Kasowitz "intends to apologize" to the man. Spokesman Mike Sitrick added that the missives were sent at the end of a "very long day." In a statement, Kasowitz calls it "one of those times where one wishes he could reverse the clock." Las Vegas Sun

North Korea Seen As More Dangerous Than Islamic State
U.S. voters regard North Korea as a greater threat to the United States than the Islamic State, according to a recent survey. The poll, conducted by Morning Consult and Politico from July 7-9, shows 40 percent of 1,983 respondents regard North Korea as the country's greatest threat. About 30 percent of survey participants said the Islamic State poses the greatest threat and 16 percent said Russia is the most dangerous country to U.S. national security. The survey took place not long after North Korea "successfully" launched what it claimed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-14, timed to coincide with the Fourth of July. Americans may also be more wary of North Korea because the nation is increasingly in the news. UPI

NAACP Asks For Removal Of Confederate Statue From Courthouse
A Tennessee chapter of the NAACP is urging officials to remove a statue of a Confederate general from in front of a county courthouse, echoing similar efforts throughout the South. Elenora Woods, president of the NAACP's Chattanooga chapter, said Wednesday that the group will write letters to local leaders asking for the statue of Alexander P. Stewart to be moved from the Hamilton County Courthouse lawn, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported . "We are trying to get collective support," Woods said. "We are going to ask (officials) to join us, so this will be more of a community effort versus an antagonistic, us-against-them kind of thing." Phialdelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: It is really a black and politically correct effort.

Trump Denies Disaster Declaration For Dakota Access Pipeline
The Trump administration rejected North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum's request for a "major disaster declaration" to help cover some of the estimated $38 million cost to police protests of the Dakota Access pipeline, a spokesman for the Republican governor said Thursday. Burgum publicly announced in April his letter to President Donald Trump seeking the disaster declaration to pave the way federal aid. The governor was notified in May that the request was denied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Burgum spokesman Mike Nowatzki said. The governor's office didn't announce the denial until reporters asked about it this week. The denial was not unexpected because such declarations typically involve natural disasters, and not "civil-unrest-related disasters," Nowatzki said. "It wasn't a surprise to us," Nowatzki said. "We knew it was a longshot. Philadelphia Inquirer

Height, Weight May Affect Risk For Aggressive Prostate Cancer: Study
The larger a man, the greater his risk of getting and dying from aggressive prostate cancer, a new study suggests. Every additional 4 inches of height increased a man's chances of being diagnosed with high-risk prostate cancer by 21 percent, and their odds of dying from prostate cancer by 17 percent, researchers found. The same held true regarding the size of a man's waist. Every 4-inch increase in waist circumference increased the odds of developing aggressive prostate cancer by 13 percent and the risk of dying from prostate cancer by 18 percent. UPI

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TRUMP OPPOSES HOUSE METHOD FOR ALLOCATING ISRAELI MISSILE DEFENSE AID
The Trump administration is concerned with a House committee proposal that would siphon Israeli missile defense aid from a fund that is typically reserved for current US wartime operations. The House Armed Services Committee proposed a $558 million increase in allocated Israeli aid for 2018 that would come from Overseas Contingency Operations, or OCO – a fund that is effectively uncapped by the Budget Control Act, and has become a loophole through which Congress and the Pentagon get around budget cuts ever since sequestration hit defense programs hard in 2013. Jerusalem Post

WHITE HOUSE AIDE SAYS ISRAEL WAS PART OF SYRIA CEASEFIRE TALKS
Israel was involved in negotiations over a ceasefire currently holding in southwest Syria alongside Russia, Jordan and the United States, a White House aide said on Thursday. Speaking with CNN's Jake Tapper, Sebastian Gorka, a national security adviser to President Donald Trump, said the administration had successfully brokered a ceasefire agreement by cooperating with Moscow and "with Israel, with Jordan involved." Jerusalem Post

US Opioid Abuse 'Linked To Jobs Market' Says Fed Boss
Widespread opioid abuse is tied to a fall in the share of Americans working or looking for work, the head of the US central bank said on Thursday. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said she is not sure if it is a cause of the decline or a symptom revealing more longstanding economic problems. Technological changes and an aging workforce also contribute, she said. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that prescription drug abuse costs $78.5bn (£61.5bn) annually. This is due to costs related to health care, lost productivity, and criminal activity. BBC

Republicans Unveil Revised Obamacare Repeal Bill
US Senate Republicans have released a revamped health bill in a bid to rally their divided party around its seven-year campaign to repeal Obamacare. The plan retains key Obamacare taxes on the wealthy, while allowing insurers to offer less coverage and imposing sharp cuts to healthcare for the poor. The new bill aims to woo Republicans of conservative and moderate factions. Congress is delaying its summer holiday in a bid to overturn former President Barack Obama's 2010 legislation. BBC

Big Tobacco Still Sees Big Business In America's Poor
Wheeling his oxygen tank in behind him, Leslie E Adams shuffled into the lung doctor’s exam room and let out a long string of rattling coughs. He tried to catch his breath, and coughed some more. He is 63, but looks a decade older. “I got stage three black lung. There ain’t no stage four. I’m on my way out,” said Adams. “Now, I am slowly going down the mountain.” The American smoking rate has plummeted since the mid-20th century. Yet somehow the US remains a growth market. That is partly because the proportion of smokers has fallen, but the overall population is rising. Guardian

Republicans' New Revised Healthcare Bill Fails To Sway Many Key Senators
Senate Republicans unveiled a revised healthcare plan on Thursday, seeking to bridge an intra-party divide that has thwarted efforts to make good on a seven-year pledge to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law. But the new bill, which includes provisions intended to woo moderate and conservative critics, was met with fresh skepticism and the prospect of a protracted battle to come. The bill maintains some ACA taxes on the wealthy, as a way to address criticisms from moderates that Republicans are placing a substantial burden on the most sick and poor Americans. It also extends an olive branch to the hard right, adopting a controversial amendment by Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah that moderates say could gut coverage for pre-existing conditions and lead to a spike in premiums. Guardian

Former US President Jimmy Carter Treated For Dehydration Following Collapse
Former US president Jimmy Carter has received hospital treatment in Canada after reportedly collapsing from dehydration. Mr Carter, 92, had been working on a construction site helping to build a Habitat for Humanity home in Winnipeg.    The former president had spent an hour using a saw to cut wood for a staircase when he collapsed, the Canadian broadcaster, CBC reported. "Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter became dehydrated this morning while working at a Habitat for Humanity build site in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada," a statement from the Carter centre said. Telegraph

Leveraging ICTs Critical To Achieve Global Goals, UN Highlights In New Report
Underscoring the importance of information and communication technologies (ICT) in today's world, the heads of over 20 United Nations agencies and offices have called for leveraging those technologies to “fast forward” implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In a new report, launched today, the senior officials also highlighted the critical link between information and communication technologies and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “The 2030 Agenda […] recognizes the great potential of global connectivity to spur human progress,” noted UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his foreword to the publication, Fast-forward progress: Leveraging tech to achieve the global goals. UN News

Tourism Key To Foster Trade For Least Developed Countries
A United Nations-backed report released today stressed the need for greater recognition of tourism as a key service export in order to attract technical assistance to the sector in least developed countries (LDCs). Although tourism represents seven per cent of all international trade and 30 per cent of the world's services trade, it is often difficult to direct trade-related technical assistance towards the sector because tourism and trade tend to fall under different line ministries, the report points out.
Produced by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), the report, titled Tourism for Sustainable Development in Least Developed Countries, was launched on the occasion of the Aid for Trade Review held in Geneva. UN News

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