Says Trump Didn't Want Him To Quit, But 'Too Many Cooks' At White House
Outgoing White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday that President Trump did not want him to resign but Spicer felt there were “too many cooks in the kitchen” promoting the president’s message. “I just thought it was in the best interest of our communications department, of our press organization, to not have too many cooks in the kitchen,” Spicer told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an interview hours after he resigned from the White House on Friday. Spicer quit in apparent protest after Trump tapped Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was promoted Friday to replace Spicer. Fox
VOA VIEW: Spicer was a class act and loyal friend.
Kushner Attaches At Least $10M In Assets To Revised Financial Disclosure
President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner “inadvertently omitted” more than $10.6 million from his personal financial disclosure reports, according to revised paperwork released Friday. The previously unreported assets were included in updated disclosure reports certified by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on Thursday as part of the “ordinary review process,” according to Kushner’s filing. Among the new set of assets Kushner disclosed, which could be worth as much as $51 million, he reported owning an art collection worth between $5 million and $25 million. The new forms also reflect that Kushner sold his interest in an aging shopping mall along the Jersey Shore, and no longer has a stake in a company that had held an interest in apartments in Toledo, Ohio. Fox
House Demands Release Of US Prisoners In Iran Or Face 'Serious Consequences'
The White House is demanding the release of all Americans currently being held in Iran and says President Donald Trump is "prepared to impose new and serious" consequences on the country if they are not released and returned. A statement released by the White House Friday said the Trump administration is "redoubling" its efforts to bring home Americans "unjustly detained" abroad. The statement mentioned three Americans specifically by name: Robert Levinson and Siamak and Baquer Namazi. Levinson has been held captive in Iran for over 10 years and The Namazis were taken during the Obama administration, according to the statement. CNN
VOA VIEW: Trump is acting like a real leader.
Hannity Will No Longer Receive Buckley Award After Controversy
Fox News Channel star anchor Sean Hannity will no longer receive the conservative Media Research Center's William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence at its September 21 gala, sources familiar with the situation tell CNN. Buckley, the founder of the National Review, who died in 2008, was hailed in his day as "arguably the most important public intellectual in the United States." Giving an award in his name to Hannity -- a pugnacious talk radio host who has shared conspiracy theories on his popular cable news show -- had caused hand wringing among some conservatives. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN likes the negative squeeze, but Hannity has been up Trump's a.. .
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And Cancer Teams Double Up To Seek Out New Disease Killers
HIV experts at an international conference starting on Saturday are keenly courting colleagues in oncology to explore whether advances in harnessing the immune system against cancer can help the search for a cure for AIDS. The two diseases, while very different in many ways, have some key crossover points when it comes to developing new treatments, specialists say - most notably the immune system, its crucial T-cells, and its ability to fight-off invaders. "The parallels between HIV persistence and cancer are striking," said Francoise Barré-Sinoussi, former president of the International AIDS Society (IAS), which is hosting a week-long conference in Paris. Reuters
Republican Says McCain Should Resign, Adds She’d Be Strong Replacement
Ghosts of elections past appeared in Arizona, as Sen. John McCain’s 2016 challenger urged him to resign because of his brain cancer diagnosis on Friday. She also took the opportunity to put her name forward as his replacement. While speaking to an Indiana radio station, Dr. Kelli Ward — who failed to beat McCain in the Republican primary in 2016 and is running against Republican Sen. Jeff Flake in 2018 — said she'd be a strong choice to replace the senator. “I hope that Sen. McCain is going to look long and hard at this, that his family and advisers are going to look at this and they’re going to advise him to step away as quickly as possible,” she said on WOWO 1190 AM. “So that the business of the country and the business of Arizona being represented at the federal level can move forward.” MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Ward came out in bad taste - she is not worthy.
Acid Attacks: Lawmakers Face Tough Questions As Crimes Surge
Food delivery drivers blocked a busy central street here in rush hour this week, but their grievance wasn't pay or workplace rights — it was safety, and the very real fear of being attacked with acid. In a country already on edge after three deadly terror atrocities, Britain is facing a new horrifying threat in the form of a wave of acid attacks that have occurred in locations across the country, affecting victims from all walks of life. Jabed Hussain, 32, was sprayed in the face by two assailants who then tried to steal his bike as he delivered food in east London earlier this month. MSNBC
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Commissions USS Gerald R. Ford, Calls On Congress To Boost Defense Spending
President Trump commissioned the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford Saturday, celebrating the newest symbol of American military might as he called on Congress to approve a budget with a big increase in defense spending. Addressing an audience of dignitaries and sailors on the $12.9-billion nuclear-powered carrier at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia, Mr. Trump said the new warship will deliver an unmistakable message to America’s allies and enemies. “American steel and American hands have constructed a 100,000-ton message to the world: American might is second to none, and we’re getting bigger and better and stronger every day of my administration,” Mr. Trump said. “Everyone will know that America is coming, and America is coming strong.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Trump must use his business sense to lower waste, negligence and ineptness at the Pentagon.
Jersey Raises Age For Tobacco Sales To 21, Joining California And Hawaii
Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill Friday banning the sale of tobacco products in New Jersey to anyone under the age of 21. The Garden State will become the third in the nation to limit tobacco sales to individuals 21 and up when the law takes effect November 1, at which point vendors caught selling cigarettes, tobacco products and electronic smoking devices to customers will risk facing fines of up to $1,000. “By raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21, we are giving young people more time to develop a maturity and better understanding of how dangerous smoking can be, and that it is better to not start smoking in the first place,” Mr. Christie said in a statement. Washington Times
WH Comms Director Anthony Scaramucci Deletes Old Tweets Contradicting Trump
A day after accepting a top White House job, President Trump's new communications director announced Saturday that he's deleting old tweets that were critical of his new boss, saying his own views have evolved and that what he said in the past shouldn't be a distraction. "Full transparency: I'm deleting old tweets. Past views evolved & shouldn't be a distraction. I serve @POTUS agenda & that's all that matters," Anthony Scaramucci, the latest White House hire, tweeted on Saturday. He followed up that notice to followers by saying, "The politics of 'gotcha' are over. I have a thick skin and we're moving on to @POTUS agenda serving the American people." CBS
VOA VIEW: The liberal media have lost by the Scaramucci hire.
Diplomat Sergey Kislyak Departs U.S. As Ambassadorship Ends
Controversial Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak has officially departed the United States as his assignment has come to an end, CBS News' Margaret Brennan reports. Kislyak became a central player in the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling of the 2016 election. The long-time Washington fixture was involved in a variety of private meetings and discussions with Trump associates, including undisclosed interactions with Mr. Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. CBS
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CDC Says Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Papayas Sickens 47
An outbreak of salmonella food poisoning linked to a type of papaya has sickened 47 people from 12 states, including one person in New York City who died and 12 who were hospitalized, U.S. health officials said on Friday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said interview data and laboratory evidence - from an illness cluster identified in Maryland - indicated that yellow Maradol papayas were the likely source of the outbreak. The CDC said it was working to learn where in the supply chain the contamination, with a strain known as salmonella Kiambu, occurred. It warned consumers not to eat, restaurants not to serve, and retailers not to sell any yellow Maradol papayas until more information became available. Papayas of uncertain type should be thrown out as a precaution, according to the CDC. Reuters
OKs Law To Give Schools Transgender Policy Guidance
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation Friday requiring the state to give guidance to public schools about policies for transgender students, including blocking the schools from forcing the students from using bathrooms that conflict with their gender identities. The civil rights group Garden State Equality applauded the Republican governor for signing the measure saying that Christie took a stand for LGBT youth. The law was passed by the Democrat-led Legislature after school districts around the state began passing their own rules to allow transgender students to use whichever bathroom they choose. The state education department said last year that districts should pass policies to explain how they handle gender identity issues, but didn't suggest what they should say. ABC
Administration, Politicians And Celebrities React To Sean Spicer’s Resignation
Sean Spicer resigned as White House press secretary today, and members of the Trump administration, lawmakers, celebrities and Spicer himself quickly took to Twitter to comment on the move. Spicer called it "an honor and a privilege" to serve the president and said he would stay on through August. President Trump made a statement thanking Spicer for his service, which was read by the new White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “I am grateful for Sean's work on behalf of the administration and the American people. I wish him continued success as he moves on to other opportunities. Just look at his great television ratings. Sean will continue to serve the administration through August," the statement read. ABC
Struggles To Regain Footing After Staff Defections
President Donald Trump sought to impose order in his White House in the face of a widening Russia probe on Friday, ending a tumultuous week by appointing a new lead lawyer, sidelining his old one and hiring a new communications director as two top spokesmen quit in protest. The changes leave Trump with new leaders on his legal and communications teams heading into a week when the highest-ranking White House official so far will appear before a congressional committee. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner will be interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday. Bloomberg
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Jr, Manafort Consider Private Interview With Senators
Congressional lawmakers say President Donald Trump's eldest son and his former campaign chairman won't testify publicly next week as part of the Russia election meddling investigation. Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort are discussing undergoing a private interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee's chairman, Chuck Grassley, and its top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, also say they are negotiating with Trump Jr. and Manafort about possibly turning over documents. Both men face questions about attending a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 that was described to Trump Jr. in emails as part of a Russian government effort to help his father's campaign. Trump Jr. was told the lawyer had damaging information that could be used against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Las Vegas Sun
Cuban: Trump Dragging Down GOP, Billionaires
President Donald Trump's performance in the White House is making it harder for Republicans — and billionaires — in the coming elections. That's according to two prominent Trump critics, billionaire businessman Mark Cuban and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who lashed out at the GOP president Saturday during a summer festival in New York City. Cuban says he may challenge Trump in 2020. Bush says he's not running again and suggested Trump isn't a true Republican. The comments come as Trump completes a turbulent first six months in office. The president and his party have failed to enact any major legislation. His poll numbers are near historic lows. And an investigation into Russian interference in the last election is focusing on Trump's closest aides and family members. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Cuban is liberal.
Bacteria Linked With Greater Infant Thinking Skills
Babies' diapers may hold clues to their brain development, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed fecal samples from dozens of 1-year-olds and assessed their thinking (cognitive) skills a year later. The results revealed a link between certain types of microbes in the infants' feces and higher levels of brain development at age 2. "The big story here is that we've got one group of kids with a particular community of bacteria that's performing better on these cognitive tests," said Rebecca Knickmeyer. She's an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill. UPI
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Owns 700 Million Barrels Of Oil. Trump Wants To Sell It
The weather was hot and humid on July 21, 1977, the day the U.S. government began stockpiling oil. It started small. Just 412,000 barrels of Saudi Arabian light crude stashed in a Southeast Texas salt cavern. In the wake of the Arab oil embargo, which sent prices through the roof and forced Americans to ration gasoline, creating a national reserve seemed like an obvious way to protect U.S. consumers from global supply shocks. “It’s hard to imagine if you weren’t there,’’ said John Herrington, the Energy secretary under President Ronald Reagan, who pushed to expand the reserve in the 1980s. “We were lining up at gas stations. We were turning down our thermostats.’’ Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Too much saved.
Senate Leaders Agree On Deal For Increased Russia Sanctions
Congressional leaders have agreed on legislation that would toughen sanctions against Russia and has support from what is expected to be a veto-proof majority of both the House and Senate. Senators had previously agreed on a similar bill and approved it 98-2, but it was nullified under the constitutional provision that legislation raising revenue must originate in the House. When House leadership took up the bill, they added additional sanctions against Iran and North Korea. The legislation also requires the president to seek congressional authority for loosening sanctions, essentially forcing President Donald Trump -- and all future presidents -- to continue enforcing sanctions against Russia until Congress decides otherwise. The White House unsuccessfully lobbied Republican leadership to strip that provision from the bill. UPI
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SECURITY COUNCIL TO HOLD SPECIAL MEETING ON JERUSALEM, FOLLOWING VIOLENCE
The Mideast Quartet envoys also released a statement Saturday night following weekend clashes in the Old City and a murderous terrorist attack at Halamish, stating that violence deepens mistrust and is fundamentally incompatible with achieving a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The statement said that Quartet envoys representing the US, Russia, EU and UN, “strongly condemn acts of terror, express their regret for all loss of innocent life caused by the violence, and hope for a speedy recovery to the wounded.” Jerusalem Post
TOOK UNDER 15 MINUTES FOR HALAMISH ATTACKER TO JUMP THE FENCE, CARRY OUT
It took only 15 minutes from the moment Omar Al-Abed jumped the fence of the West Bank settlement of Halamish on Friday to the moment he was neutralized by an off-duty soldier, IDF Spokesman Brigadier General Ronen Manelis said on Saturday. “It was a horrific, murderous, attack. The house was full of blood,” said Manelis, who added that the photographs showing the aftermath of the deadly terror attack in Halamish don’t show the entire picture. Jerusalem Post
Metal Detectors At Holy Site 'Could Be Removed'
Major General Yoav Mordechai called on the Muslim world to put forward other suggestions. Israel installed the detectors after two Israeli policemen were killed near there earlier this month. The measures angered the Palestinians, who accuse Israel of trying to take control over a sacred place. Tensions over the site, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount, have surged in the past couple of days. BBC
Trump Insists He Has 'Complete Power' To Pardon
US President Donald Trump has insisted he has the "complete power" to pardon people, amid reports he is considering presidential pardons for family members, aides and even himself. A Democratic Party spokesman has called the reports "extremely disturbing". The US authorities are probing possible collusion between the Trump team and Russia. Intelligence agencies think Russia tried to help Mr Trump to power. Russia denies this, and the president says there was no collusion. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Mr Trump and his team were looking at ways to pardon people close to him. BBC
Putin: 'I May Not Leave Russian Presidency'
Asked what he plans to do when he leaves the presidency, Vladimir Putin paused and smiled. “But I haven’t decided yet if I will leave the presidency,” the Russian leader replied, to laughter and applause from an audience made up almost entirely of Russians who were born after he first became president in 2000. A month after thousands of young Russians took to the streets to protest against corruption among the Kremlin elite, Putin held a set-piece discussion event on Friday with hundreds of children, in an apparent attempt to portray himself as a youth-friendly president. Guardian
Mueller Asks White House To Preserve Trump Jr Meeting Documents
The special counsel investigating possible collusion between Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia has asked White House officials to preserve any records of a meeting last year between the president’s son and a Russian lawyer, according to a source with knowledge of the request. The special counsel, Robert Mueller, sent a document preservation request to the White House, saying the June 2016 meeting that Donald Trump Jr had in Trump Tower in New York is relevant to his investigation, the source said on Friday. The White House counsel’s office relayed the request, a routine part of the early phase of any investigation, to other members of staff on Wednesday, the source said. Guardian
Grassroots Figures Call For Theresa May To Consider Auitting By Christmas
Theresa May must consider quitting before Christmas, grassroots Tories have told The Sunday Telegraph amid concerns her leadership instability is undermining Brexit. Leading voices among Tory activists have said the Prime Minister’s authority will never recover from the election flop and called for a swift leadership change. They want Mrs May to spend her summer break, which starts this week, planning a transition that would see a colleague take over without a leadership race. Telegraph
'Strongly Condemns' Stabbing Attack That Left Three Israelis Dead In West
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has strongly condemned yesterday evening's stabbing attack by a Palestinian perpetrator, which resulted in the death of three members of an Israeli family in the Halamish settlement in the occupied West Bank. “He conveys his condolences to the bereaved and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured,” according to a statement issued by the UN chief's Deputy Spokesman, Farhan Haq. Furth to the statement, Mr. Guterres again called on all to refrain from any actions or words that could further escalate an already volatile situation. UN News
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