NEWS   SUNDAY, JULY  16, 2017   NEWS

Trump Campaign Donations Increase To $13.9 Million In Second Quarter
The Trump campaign and fundraising committees raised $13.9 million between the start of April and the end of June. The numbers are close to three quarters of a million more than in the first three months of 2017. Donations have continued to grow in spite of the administration's struggles with nearly constant accusations that the campaign colluded with Russia during campaign season. The campaign and two joint fundraising committees (Trump Victory and the Trump Make America Great Again Committee) fundraised for both Trump and the Republican National Committee. Fox
VOA VIEW: Democrats don't have a plan or agenda other than resist.

Obama Library Foundation Now Allows Corporate Donations, Millions Roll In
Barack Obama’s presidential library foundation has reportedly lifted the donor restriction imposed while he was in the White House, resulting in million-dollar gifts from such corporations as Microsoft and Exelon. The foundation reported Friday that eight donors have pledged at least $1 million and that it has raised $1.2 million in the second quarter of 2017. The list of million-dollar donors would bring total fundraising amounts to at least $8 million toward the projected $500 million cost of the library-museum on the South Side of Chicago. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2021. Fox
VOA VIEW: The number is low.

Top Golfers, Trump And Protesters Come Out To Bedminister For U.S. Women's Open
This weekend's U.S. Women's Open has drawn top golfers, President Trump and some protesters. Trump was again seen at the course Saturday after being spotted there Friday, viewing the festivities from a glass-encased viewing area. The tournament is scheduled to end on Sunday. Protesters planned to converge on the event because it's being held at Trump National, the president's private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Demonstrators were kept at least three miles from the course. They were met by a roughly equal number of Trump supporters. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN was proven wrong - Trump was welcome and praised.

Senate Dems On Kid Rock Run: We Can't Afford To Treat This As A Joke
Musician Kid Rock is insisting his tweet about running for the Senate is no joke, and at least two high-profile Senate Democrats are taking him at his word. "I know a lot of people are thinking: this is some sort of joke, right?" Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote in an email to supporters obtained by CNN and first reported by the Boston Herald. "Well, maybe this is all a joke — but we all thought Donald Trump was joking when he rode down the escalator at Trump Tower and announced his campaign, too," she said. "And sure, maybe this is just a marketing gimmick for a new album or tour — but we all thought Donald Trump was just promoting his reality TV show, too," she added. CNN


Huge California Wildfire Spreads Overnight As Crews Dig In
Firefighters battled on Saturday to gain control of a destructive wildfire burning near Santa Barbara, California that mushroomed in size overnight, pushed by gusty offshore winds into dry brush that has not burned in decades. The Whittier Fire, which broke out July 8 and has already destroyed eight homes, had been more than 50 percent contained on Friday before so-called "Sundowner" winds picked up in the evening, according to a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) website. Nearly 3,000 people who were forced to flee their homes near Cachuma Lake and the community of Goleta remained under evacuation orders as fire officials said another evening of Sundowners could drive the flames toward populated areas. Reuters

Rinat Akhmetshin: Who Is The Russian Lobbyist Who Met The Trump Team?
As a lobbyist bridging the unscrupulous world of the former Soviet Union and the corridors of power in Washington, Rinat Akhmetshin has the reputation of a charming, skillful, behind-the-scenes operator. But now the 49-year-old finds himself very much in the spotlight after being unmasked as the mystery man who accompanied Moscow lawyer Natalia Veselniskaya to a meeting with top Trump campaign officials in June 2016, including Donald Trump Jr., the president's son. His background in counterintelligence in the Soviet military for a couple of years as young man is under scrutiny, along with his client list, and court cases that include unproven accusations of involvement in hacking and smear campaigns. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: MSNBC liberal double-talk.

Caitlyn Jenner Says She’s Met With Education Department Officials
Caitlyn Jenner told the hosts of ABC's "The View" on Thursday that she has been able to meet with members of President Donald Trump's administration, noting that she has "a good in with the Republican party." When asked by one of the hosts, Jedediah Bila, if she has been able to sit down with "anyone from the administration ... if not the President himself," Jenner replied in the affirmative. “Yes, but I can’t talk about it," she said, adding, "I've been to the Department of Education. I've been everywhere." "Actually, this afternoon I'm at the UN," she added. "[U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations] Nikki Haley, I have a meeting with her on LGBT issues worldwide." The decorated Olympian and reality television star did not elaborate on the content of her meetings with federal cabinet officials at either the United Nations or the Department of Education. MSNBC


Supreme Court Gives Hawaii Until Tuesday To Answer Trump Travel Ban Motion
The U.S. Supreme Court has asked the State of Hawaii to respond by Tuesday at noon to President Donald Trump's motion to block a judge's ruling that prevented his travel ban from being applied to grandparents of U.S. citizens and refugees already being processed by resettlement agencies, the court's public information office said on Saturday. In a court filing on Friday, the administration asked the justices to overturn Thursday's decision by a U.S. district judge in Hawaii, which limited the scope of the administration's temporary ban on refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries. The latest round in the fight over Trump's March 6 executive order, which he says is needed to prevent terrorism attacks, began when the Supreme Court intervened last month to partially revive the two bans, which had been blocked by lower courts. Reuters

Trump Lawyers Up At White House For Russia Meddling Probes
President Trump announced Saturday the appointment of attorney Ty Cobb as a special counsel, positioning the former federal prosecutor as the White House point man for responding to the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and allegations of collusion. Mr. Cobb, a partner at the Washington law firm Hogan Lovells who specializes in white-collar crime, will oversee the White House response to the Russia issue and coordinate with Mr. Trump’s outside counsel, Marc Kasowitz.
For several weeks, White House press officials have directed all questions about Russian interference in the election to Mr. Kasowtiz, who has provided limited response to the news media. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: As is should be.

White House Publishes Personal Information Of Election-Commission Critics
The White House has released unredacted emails containing the names and contact information of individuals who commented on the president’s Election Integrity Commission, exposing the identities of people explicitly opposed to the Trump administration’s demand for detailed voter rolls. The White Housebegan releasing comments it received concerning the election commission on Thursday this week, and by Saturday had published several thousand pages worth of emails sent by individuals for and against the administration’s controversial request for voter information. None of the emails were censored, meaning anyone who downloads them off the White House website can see each commenter’s name as it originally appeared in the election commission’s inbox. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Looks and sound like transparency.

Insurance Groups Tear Into Cruz Amendment To Health Care Bill As "Unworkable"
Two of the country's largest insurance providers called an amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz to the latest Republican health care bill "simply unworkable," as Republicans struggle to capture enough votes to pass the legislation. The CEOs of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) Friday, urging them to strike the Texas Republican's "Consumer Freedom Option" amendment, claiming it will cause costs to skyrocket for those with "significant medical needs" and limit insurance options for people who buy individual plans. CBS

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Afghan Girls Robotics Team Allowed In By Trump Arrives In U.S.
Twice rejected for U.S. visas, an all-girls robotics team from Afghanistan arrived in Washington early Saturday after an extraordinary, last-minute intervention by President Trump. The six-girl team and their chaperone completed their journey just after midnight from their hometown of Herat, Afghanistan, to enter their ball-sorting robot in the three-day high school competition starting Sunday in the U.S. capital. Awaiting them at the gate at Washington Dulles International Airport were a U.S. special envoy and Afghan Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib, who described it as a rare moment of celebration for his beleaguered nation. CBS

Trump Campaign Paid Donald Trump Jr.'s Lawyer Weeks Before Russian Meeting Was Revealed
Almost two weeks before Donald Trump Jr. published screengrabs of purported emails indicating that he arranged to meet with a Russian lawyer, President Trump’s re-election campaign paid $50,000 in legal fees to the attorney now representing the president’s son amid ongoing Russia probes. The payment was revealed in a Q2 FEC report filed on Saturday by the Trump campaign. On June 27, criminal defense attorney Alan Futerfas was paid by the campaign for “legal consulting.” On July 10, Futerfas was hired to represent Trump. However, the FEC filing doesn’t indicate that the June 27 disbursement of funds to Futerfas was made for the purpose of representing Trump. ABC

Trump's No 'Dying In The Streets' Pledge Faces Reality Check
President Donald Trump has often said he doesn't want people "dying in the streets" for lack of health care. But in the United States, where chronic conditions are the major diseases, people decline slowly. Preventive care and routine screening can make a big difference for those at risk for things such as heart problems and cancer, especially over time. That edge is what doctors and patients fear will be compromised if Republican efforts to repeal the Obama-era health law lead to more uninsured people. The uninsured tend to postpone care until problems break through. It's a message that lawmakers are hearing from doctors' groups and constituents, in letters and emails, and at town hall meetings. ABC


Trump Brings On Lawyer Ty Cobb To Oversee Russia Probes Response
President Donald Trump plans to put a veteran Washington lawyer, Ty Cobb, in charge of overseeing the White House’s legal and media response to investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. The White House announced Cobb’s hiring on Saturday to serve as special counsel, without providing additional information on his role. Administration officials want someone to enforce discipline in the White House regarding Russia matters -- and that includes the president, who frequently vents his frustrations about the investigations on Twitter, two people familiar with the plan said on Friday. The people requested anonymity because Cobb’s hiring hadn’t yet been announced at the time. Bloomberg

White House Takes Pitch For Health-Care Bill To U.S. Governors
The Trump administration took its case directly to U.S. governors that the pending Senate health-care bill won’t hurt their residents with insurance, even as critics say it will cut billions in funding and leave millions more people without coverage. Governors gathered at their summer meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, are trying to sift through the competing rhetoric to form a firm position on the measure to convey to lawmakers. Bloomberg

US Finalizing Plans To Revamp Cyber Command
U.S. officials say that after months of delay, the Trump administration is finalizing plans to revamp the nation's military command for defensive and offensive cyber operations. They say the intention is eventually to split it from the intelligence-focused National Security Agency in hopes of intensifying America's ability to wage cyber war against the Islamic State group and other foes. Details are still being worked out, but officials say they expect a decision in the coming weeks. The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter so requested anonymity. They say the goal is to give U.S. Cyber Command more autonomy, freeing it from any constraints that stem from working alongside the NSA. The NSA is responsible for collecting intelligence — a responsibility that can clash with military objectives. Las Vegas Sun

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US Finalizing Plans To Revamp Cyber Command
U.S. officials say that after months of delay, the Trump administration is finalizing plans to revamp the nation's military command for defensive and offensive cyber operations. They say the intention is eventually to split it from the intelligence-focused National Security Agency in hopes of intensifying America's ability to wage cyber war against the Islamic State group and other foes. Details are still being worked out, but officials say they expect a decision in the coming weeks. The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter so requested anonymity. They say the goal is to give U.S. Cyber Command more autonomy, freeing it from any constraints that stem from working alongside the NSA. The NSA is responsible for collecting intelligence — a responsibility that can clash with military objectives. Las Vegas Sun

Sabrett Recalls Hot Dogs, Sausages Over Bone Pieces
Sabrett has voluntarily recalled more than 7.1 million pounds of hot dogs and sausages after bone and cartilage found was found in some products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said Saturday. New York based Marathon Enterprises Inc., the brand's parent company, reported 7,196,084 pounds of beef and pork hot dogs, sausages and salami are affected, the USDA said in a release. The USDA confirmed one minor oral injury associated with a Sabrett product. UPI News

Oxytocin Improves Social Behavior In Some Autism Cases
Research from Stanford University School of Medicine found autistic children treated with oxytocin showed improved social behavior. The study, published July 10 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found children with autism spectrum disorder with low oxytocin levels benefit from treatment with oxytocin.
"Our results suggest that some children with autism will benefit from oxytocin treatment more than others, and that blood oxytocin levels might be a biological sign that will allow us to predict if a child will respond maximally or not," Karen Parker, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford, said in a Stanford news release. UPI

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Israeli officials have assured the Trump administration that they have no intention of changing the status quo security arrangement on the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Holy Sanctuary, the White House said in a statement on Saturday. Describing a shooting attack that killed two Israeli police officers as a "heartbreaking" act of terror, the president's press secretary strongly condemned the event, which took place at ground zero of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jerusalem Post

A Danish Imam convicted for inciting hate after he preached for the extermination of Jews in Berlin during Israel's Operation Protective Edge in 2014 appeared on Friday in the capital city at a radical mosque,catapulting the city's mayor Michael Müller's administration into a new round of criticism for failing to rope in Islamists who advocate lethal antisemitism. Sheikh Abu Bilal Ismail said in a fiery 2014 sermon at Berlin's Al-Nur mosque: “Oh, Allah, destroy the Zionist Jews, they are no challenge for you." He added,'Count them and kill them to the very last one. Don’t spare a single one of them. Make them suffer terribly.” Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: It shows what the other side thinks.

Right To Bare Arms: US Congresswomen Protest Against Dress Code
US Congresswomen have protested for the right to bare arms in parts of Washington DC's Capitol building. The National Rifle Association may be disappointed to learn that this is not a typo. They are not campaigning to bear weapons, but to stand against the Congressional dress code. The long-standing code bans sleeveless tops, among other things. The protest comes after a number of women have recently reported being told their outfits violated the rules. BBC

Teeth-Grinding In Teens 'A Sign Of Being Bullied'
Teeth-grinding in teenagers could be a sign they are being bullied at school, research suggests. An oral health charity said parents and schools should be aware of the problem, which can also affect adults who are stressed and anxious. Teeth-grinding can lead to headaches, worn-down teeth and disrupted sleep - and it appears to be on the rise, experts say. The sound of grinding has been compared to the noise from a circular saw. BBC

Trump Regrets 'Bizarre Mistake' Of Paris Climate Pullout, Branson Claims
Donald Trump regrets the “bizarre mistake” of withdrawing the US from the Paris climate agreement, Sir Richard Branson has said. The British billionaire also urged the president to help phase out the ailing US coal industry. Speaking in Brooklyn on Friday, the Virgin Group founder said businesses and cities were firmly behind a transition to low-carbon energy, which made Trump’s decision to exit the Paris deal “very, very strange”. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Trump will look very bad if he goes forward with the Paris agreement.

Shepard Smith Breaks With Fox News Line On Trump: 'Why All These Lies?'
Fox News host Shepard Smith broke with network orthodoxy on Friday, issuing a sharp denunciation of the Trump administration’s handling of investigations into its links with Russia. Smith, a relative moderate in the Fox ranks who has decried Trump camp untruths before, described White House “deception” as “mind-boggling”.
“Why all these lies?” he asked fellow anchor Chris Wallace. “Why is it lie after lie after lie?” The outburst came after it was reported that more people attended a meeting between Donald Trump Jr and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York in June 2016 than had previously been disclosed. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Shepard is anti Trump.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Coup Plotters To Appear In Court Wearing Guantanamo
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan  wants hundreds of people who are on trial for plotting last year's failed coup to appear in court wearing the same type of outfit — similar to those that were worn by detainees at Guantanamo. Mr Erdogan made the announcement on Saturday as he addressed tens of thousands of flag-waving people at a ceremony commemorating some 250 who were killed while resisting last year's failed military coup. His comment came days after a former soldier who is on trial accused of trying to capture or kill the Turkish president  on the night of the coup, appeared in court wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the word "hero," triggering an outcry. Telegraph

Democrats Turn Focus On Jared Kushner As They Scent Blood Amid Drip, Drip, Drip Of Russia Scandal
Last week, Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump were hobnobbing with technology titans and billionaires, including Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett, at an annual conference for the global elite put on by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in Sun Valley, Idaho. For America's foremost power couple it was a welcome retreat from Washington, where a full-scale Democratic assault on the pair has reached fever pitch. Mr Kushner, in particular, has become the focus of a concerted, multi-pronged attempt to claim a senior White House scalp. Telegraph

Syria Talks End With 'Incremental Progress' But 'No Breakthrough' – UN Envoy
Speaking to reporters in the early hours of Saturday in Geneva, United Nations Special Envoy said that the latest round of the intra-Syrian talks ended with “incremental progress.” “We made, as we were expecting and hoping, incremental progress. No breakthrough, no breakdown, no one walking out, incremental progress,” Staffan de Mistura said at a press conference, following the conclusion of the 10-15 July round of the UN-facilitated talks aimed at ending six years of war in the Middle East country. UN News

Two Years On, UN Chief Stresses 'Sustained Commitment Essential' For Iran Nuclear Deal
Marking the second anniversary of the historic agreement aimed at ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has commended the Gulf country for implementing its nuclear-related commitments. Two years ago, Iran and the so-called 'E3+3' or 'P5+1' – composed of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – reached an agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was endorsed by the Security Council. “The JCPOA was a major achievement in the area of nuclear non-proliferation,” said Mr. Guterres in his statement issued overnight. UN News

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