Mueller Reportedly Impanels Grand Jury In Russia Probe
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury to investigate Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The move is seen as a sign the investigation into election interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign is heating up and entering a new phase. Reuters also reported that grand jury subpoenas have been issued in connection with the meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with a Russian lawyer and others last year. Fox News
VOA VIEW: All the truths and facts will come out - remember, you can indict a ham sandwich.

Mega-Leak: Transcripts Of Trump's Foreign Leader Phone Calls Emerge
A day before Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to discuss a new leak crackdown, the transcripts of two heated January phone calls President Trump held with foreign leaders spilled into the headlines. The Washington Post reported, based on those leaked documents, that Trump pressured Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Jan. 27 to stop publicly saying his government would not pay for a border wall. The report also aired new details over the president’s infamously tense phone call the next day with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Someone should go to jail.

Senators Push Bill To Protect Mueller
Support is gathering behind a bipartisan push to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from potentially being fired by President Donald Trump. Sen. Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, and Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, plan to introduce a measure Thursday that would bar the President from directly firing any special counsel -- retroactive to Mueller's appointment in May. CNN
VOA VIEW: Republicans look bad by their infighting - CNN would be and is happy.

One Year Into The FBI's Russia Investigation, Mueller Is On The Trump Money Trail
Federal investigators exploring whether Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russian spies have seized on Trump and his associates' financial ties to Russia as one of the most fertile avenues for moving their probe forward, according to people familiar with the investigation. The web of financial ties could offer a more concrete path toward potential prosecution than the broader and murkier questions of collusion in the 2016 campaign, these sources said. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN may pay dearly for their bias.


WH: Senior Director For Intelligence Booted From National Security Council
The senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, has been removed from his post, the White House said Wednesday. A White House official said National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster “appreciates the good work accomplished in the NSC’s Intelligence directorate under Ezra Cohen’s leadership.” McMaster “has determined that, at this time, a different set of experiences is best-suited to carrying that work forward.” CNS
VOA VIEW: A change that should be understood.

GOP Budget: Deficit Spending 'A Sin;' We'll Do It 9 More Years
The House Budget Committee has approved a budget that declares deficit spending "a sin," makes a powerful case for why this is so, and then presents a plan for continuing in this sin for nine more years. In that ninth year, if Republicans are still in power, they intend to spend $5.173 trillion while running an $88 billion deficit. In the tenth year, they intend to spend $5.345 trillion and run a $9 billion surplus. CNS

In Blustery Call, Trump Pressured Mexico On Border Wall Payment
U.S. President Donald Trump pressured the Mexican president to stop voicing opposition in public to his plan to have Mexico pay for a border wall, according to transcripts of phone calls published on Thursday that gave an insight into Trump's attempts to influence foreign leaders in his first days in office. The Washington Post published texts of sometimes fraught calls with Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull just days after the Republican took office on Jan. 20. Reuters

Senators Seek Support For Bipartisan Bills To Stop Trump From Firing Mueller
As Senators prepared to leave Capitol Hill for a four week summer break, a pair of lawmakers from both parties unveiled legislation designed to stop President Donald Trump from firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI Director who is now leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, who has been the target of attacks on his probe from both the President and some of his top supporters. Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: The liberal media like to push their ignorance.

Weather Experts Are Keeping An Eye On Two Tropical Systems In Atlantic
Weather experts say there's a slight chance for double trouble in the Atlantic Ocean in the coming days. The National Hurricane Center is keeping a careful eye on two weather systems forming in the Caribbean Sea and off the west coast of Africa. Houston Chronicle

Trump Administration Moves To Make Tougher U.S. Visa Vetting Permanent
The Trump administration moved on Thursday to make permanent a new questionnaire that asks some U.S. visa applicants to provide their social media handles and detailed biographical and travel history, according to a public notice. The questionnaire was rolled out in May as part of an effort to tighten vetting of would-be visitors to the United States, and asks for all prior passport numbers, five years' worth of social media handles, email addresses and phone numbers and 15 years of biographical information including addresses, employment and travel history. Reuters


Officials Start To Ignore The Incredible Shrinking President
Donald Trump hasn’t been shy in recent weeks about publicly slamming his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, mocking him as “very weak.” Asked whether Sessions would remain at his post, the president was recently non-committal, saying only that “time will tell.” And yet, new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly reached out to the attorney general directly over the weekend, reassuring Sessions that his position is safe, Trump’s rhetoric notwithstanding. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Sessions didn't seem worried in losing his job.

Trump Approval Hits New Low
President Donald Trump’s approval has hit a new low, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. The poll found 61 percent of those surveyed disapprove of the job Trump is doing, while 33 percent approve. The president’s disapproval jumped six points since Quinnipiac’s last poll on June 29. A particularly troubling sign for the president is that, for the first time, his approval among white voters without a college degree has hit a net negative, according to the poll released Wednesday. Fifty percent of that key voting bloc that helped propel the real estate mogul to the White House now say they are unhappy with the president and 43 percent approve. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Liberal propaganda.

Trump, McMaster Meet Amid Purge Of National Security Staffers
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster met with President Trump Thursday amid his purge of Trump loyalists from the White House national security council, a heated debate about sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and a report that he allowed former Obama administration aide Susan E. Rice to keep her security clearance. Gen. McMaster sent a letter to Ms. Rice in April giving her unfettered and continuing access to classified information and waiving the “need-to-know” requirement on anything she viewed or received during her tenure as President Obama’s national security adviser. A copy of the letter was obtained by Circa; Mr. Trump reportedly was not aware of Gen. McMaster’s action. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Totally questionable.

Trump Slams Russia Probe As ‘Fake Story,’ Hopes For ‘Truly Honest’ Outcome
 President Donald Trump said Thursday he hopes for a “truly honest” outcome from the Russia investigation that has consumed the opening months of his presidency, and he challenged Democrats to either continue their “obsession with a hoax” or begin serving the interests of the American people. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Trump makes a good point.

Is It OK For First-Year Doctors To Work 28 Hours In A Row? New Rule Says It's Fine.
It was 1 a.m. at San Francisco General Hospital. Saturday. The ambulances were rolling in one after another. Resident doctor Josie Valenzuela was near the end of her shift, trying to stay awake. "I was really tired. And my back hurt a lot," she remembers. "My mind was wandering all over the place." SF Gate

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White House Not A ‘Dump’ For Trump, But Others See Signs Of Age
Whether or not President Trump really called the White House “a dump,” he would not be alone with that view. The Executive Mansion is 217 years old and has been rebuilt and remodeled several times. The world’s most important office address was never intended to be an office building. Behind the iconic facade and aside from the imposing Oval Office, the West Wing is mainly a rabbit warren of cramped offices that seem inadequate for the powerful people who occupy them. Washington Times

McCain “Very Optimistic” About Recovery, Plans To Return To Senate
Since being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, has undergone three weeks of chemotherapy, among other treatments, and says that he is "very optimistic" about his recovery, according to an Arizona Republic/USA Today Facebook live chat. McCain said that his recovery process is going well and that he plans on returning to the Senate in September following the August recess. "I have not felt anything except feeling good," McCain said. CBS
VOA VIEW: Positive attitude is good.

Fire Engulfs Dubai's Torch Tower, One Of The World's Tallest Residential Buildings
A large fire has ripped through a residential skyscraper in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, engulfing the tower in flames. Social media posts shows flames spreading up the Torch Tower as burning debris falls down. BBC News reports the building has been "successfully evacuated." Authorities are now working to bring the fire under control, officials said. It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze. At more than 80 stories tall, the tower is one of the world's tallest residential structures. CBS

Wasserman Schultz Talks About Arrested Aide Imran Awan
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz defiantly stands by her decision to keep an information technology aide on her payroll for six months after he was banned from the House network and fired by other members of Congress. “I believe that I did the right thing, and I would do it again,” Wasserman Schultz said Thursday in an exclusive interview with the Sun Sentinel. “There are times when you can’t be afraid to stand alone, and you have to stand up for what’s right. Sun Sentinel
VOA VIEW: Schultz will fall on her own sword (words).

Tourist Mostly Unscathed After 20-Foot Fall At Sunset Cliffs
19-year-old tourist fell roughly 20 feet off a bluff at Sunset Cliffs but walked away with only minor scrapes after he was rescued Thursday night. Jerard Hobbs, of Houston, was shooting video with friends at the popular spot when he “suddenly” fell into the water, he told San Diego News Video. San Diego Tribune


Michelle Carter Sentenced To 2.5 Years For Texting Suicide Case
Michelle Carter, who as a teenager sent texts urging her then-boyfriend to commit suicide, was sentenced today to 2.5 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter, with 15 months to be served and the rest suspended, followed by five years of probation. In announcing Carter's sentencing, Judge Lawrence Moniz said that she could stay free pending appeals. Conrad Roy III was 18 when he died in July 2014 of carbon monoxide poisoning after locking himself in his truck in Massachusetts. ABC News

West Virginia Governor Expected To Switch Parties At Trump Rally
Democratic Governor of West Virginia Jim Justice is expected to switch to the Republican Party this evening at President Donald Trump’s rally in his state, ABC News has learned. Earlier today, Trump teased a “big announcement” at the event in Huntington, West Virginia. News of Justice’s plans, which were first reported by The New York Times, surprised Republicans and Democrats alike in West Virginia. Prior to the news, the West Virginia GOP had even published an ill-timed tweet attacking Justice for being “low-energy.” ABC News

Cannabis Grower Buys California Town To Build Pot-Friendly Outpost
American Green Inc., a maker of cannabis products, is taking an unusual step to attract new customers as it capitalizes on California legalizing marijuana: It’s buying an entire town. The company has acquired the tiny burg of Nipton, California, for about $5 million and plans to invest as much as $2.5 million over the next 18 months to create a pot-friendly tourist destination. The purchase includes 120 acres of land with a general store, a hotel, a school building and mineral baths. Bloomberg

Carlton: Now We're Bullying Our Transgender Troops?
The official bully of my elementary school was Curt. Curt's trademark torture was to grab another boy's forearm and twist it viciously until the skin burned red. He also enjoyed administering a swift smack to the back of an unsuspecting head. But one day Curt hit a kid who hit him back, hard, in front of all of us. Curt immediately turned and punched another boy in the face. Why? At that moment I think Curt wanted us looking at anything but Curt. Which brings me to a notably low moment from Washington last week. Tampa Tribune
VOA VIEW: Liberal propaganda.

Samantha Bee Lampoons Kris Kobach As A ‘Racist Music Man’
“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” savaged Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Wednesday with a little help from a popular “Hamilton” star. In a song-and-dance number inspired by “The Music Man,” Bee depicted Kobach as a “racist” traveling con man ginning up anti-immigrant sentiment in small towns across America where none existed before. Kansas City Star

How Long After Torture Are Statements Admissible?Guantánamo Court Debates Question.
When does torture taint testimony, and for how long? And what does the law covering the war court here allow? In legal arguments this week, the USS Cole case judge and prosecutor sparred over the fundamental issue yet to come at the national security trials of how to handle evidence taken after torture or other cruel treatment. And they reached no agreement. Miami Herald

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Elon Musk Adds $5 Billion To His Fortune After SpaceX Soars
Elon Musk’s net worth on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index hit $21.3 billion after Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s most recent fundraising made it the world’s fifth-most valuable startup. The closely held rocket company was valued at around $21 billion, according to documents reviewed by Equidate last week, up from $12 billion in 2015. The increase added $4 billion to Musk’s fortune, which received a further boost Thursday when his Tesla Inc. stake rose by about $800 million as investors cheered the carmaker’s second-quarter results. Bloomberg

Hacker Who Helped Stop Global Cyberattack Arrested In Las Vegas
Marcus Hutchins, a young British researcher credited with derailing a global cyberattack in May, was arrested for allegedly creating and distributing malicious software designed to collect bank-account passwords, U.S. authorities said Thursday. Hutchins was detained in Las Vegas on his way back to Britain from an annual gathering of hackers and IT security gurus. A grand jury indictment charged Hutchins with creating and distributing malware known as the Kronos banking Trojan. Las Vegas Sun

John Kelly Quickly Moves To Impose Military Discipline On White House
In his six months as Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly often described the White House as one of the most dysfunctional organizations he had ever seen, complained to colleagues and allies about its meddling, incompetence and recklessness, and was once so angry he briefly considered quitting. NY Times
VOA VIEW: Kelly may make a difference - things were not as bad at the NYT states.

Shattered Faith: Nearly 100 Sex Abuse Suits Against Catholic Priests Rock Island Of Guam
 It started off innocently: a 15-year-old boy helping out at San Miguel, a local church named for Archangel Michael, the leader of all angels. There was yardwork and cleaning, followed by invitations to the rectory to eat and watch TV. Soon, there were offers to drink sacramental wine and watch X-rated movies. Then sexual assault.  More than 50 times over three years.  USA Today

Trump Announces New Ways To Help Veterans Get Medical Care
The government wants to make it easier for veterans to get medical care and is promoting new ways to use technology to help. President Donald Trump says the goal is to greatly expand access, especially for mental health care and suicide prevention. Trump says veterans in rural areas will also benefit. The initiatives Trump announced Thursday at the White House include using video technology and diagnostic tools to conduct medical exams. Veterans also will be able to use mobile devices to make and manage VA doctor appointments. Las Vegas Sun

Turkey Pledges Blackout Of Anti-Chinese Media Reports
Chinese and Turkish leaders agreed Thursday to work together to combat terrorism, with Ankara specifically agreeing to crack down on anti-Chinese rhetoric in its media. The announcement came after a bilateral summit in Beijing between the nations' top diplomats. China praised the decision by Turkey to label the East Turkistan Islamic Movement a terrorist organization, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. UPI

Drag Queen Reports Online Threats For Wanting To Read Books To Charlotte Children
A drag queen who used to live in Charlotte and still performs here said he has received death threats on Facebook after appearing on a local TV station over his request for a Drag Queen Storytime at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Reading to children while he’s dressed in drag promotes diversity, Brandon James told the Observer on Wednesday. “We are all different but normal,” he said. That’s what he hopes children will understand – and that as they grow older, they will be less likely to bully someone different than they are, he said. Charlotte Observer
VOA VIEW: The TV station had to have bad ratings.

Briggs: As Foxconn Heads To Wisconsin, Indiana Is A Lucky Loser
Sometimes it's good to be a loser. Such is the case for Indiana as Foxconn Technology Group prepares to build a massive factory in southeast Wisconsin that will manufacture flat-panel displays used in television and computer screens. Indy Star

More Than Half Of U.S. Residents Regularly Take A Prescription Drug, Survey Says
A new survey finds 55 percent of Americans regularly take a prescription medicine -- and they're taking more than ever. Those who use a prescription drug take four, on average, and many also take over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and other dietary supplements, the survey done by Consumer Reports shows. UPI

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Top Plo Official To 'Post': Kushner Cannot Broker Peace With Israel
President Donald Trump’s adviser Jared Kushner has “disqualified himself” from overseeing US Middle East peace efforts because he has adopted Israel’s positions in the dispute, PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi said on Thursday. She also castigated Kushner for voicing doubts about whether the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be solved. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: There can be no peace.

Israeli Soccer Team Attacked By Polish Skinheads After Game
Two staff members of soccer club Hapoel Petah Tikva were slightly injured in Poland after being attacked by masked hooligans in what the Israeli Embassy said Thursday was an “anti-Semitic incident.” The attack occurred on Wednesday evening in Suchocin, a town near Warsaw, following a friendly between Petah Tikva and a local Polish club, MKS Ciechanow. Jerusalem Post

Russia: The 'Cloud' Over The Trump White House
US intelligence agencies have concluded Moscow tried to sway the presidential election in favour of Mr Trump. It is alleged that Russian hackers stole information linked to the campaign of his rival Hillary Clinton and passed it to Wikileaks so it could be released to undermine her. BBC

Trump Calls State Of New Hampshire 'Drug-Infested Den'
"Kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy," he claimed, blaming Mexico as the drugs source. "I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den," said Mr Trump, the leaked transcript shows.
New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan called the comments "disgusting". "Instead of insulting people in the throes of addiction, @POTUS needs to work across party lines to actually stem the tide of this crisis," she wrote in a series of tweets. BBC

Leaked Trump Transcripts Show His Incoherent, Ill-Informed Narcissism
One of the most significant aspects of the published transcripts of Donald Trump’s conversations with his Mexican and Australian counterparts is the fact they were leaked. Private discussions between world leaders are kept secret so they can speak their minds and establish trust. The leaks will make it harder for the US to carry out high-level diplomacy and resolve serious crises, not just under Trump but potentially far beyond his presidency. The Guardian

Two-Faced Trump: The President Says One Thing In Public, Another In Private
The transcripts of Donald Trump’s phone calls with the Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, and the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, released by the Washington Post, confirm the extent to which the president is prepared to say one thing in private and another in public. From the importance of a border wall to the nature of his conversations with Turnbull, here are a few of the revelations from the leaked transcripts. The Guardian

Woody Johnson Confirmed As Ambassador To United Kingdom
After months of speculation, it’s now official: Jets owner Woody Johnson is the United States’ ambassador to the United Kingdom. The post was confirmed on Thursday “as the Senate cleared the deck of dozens of nominees as it recessed for August,” according to The Associated Press. Johnson, one of the biggest GOP fundraisers, raised money for President Donald Trump’s campaign and reportedly donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee. Newsday

Judge Orders Psych Exam For Veteran Charged With Attempted Murder
A Suffolk judge ordered a psychiatric exam Thursday for an Army veteran who beat his homeless shelter roommate last month with bolt cutters. Michael Hunter, 29, told state Supreme Court Justice John Collins that he didn’t need the exam and was justified in crushing the skull of Brett Locke, 58, because he smoked and a government website urged him to “fight” the habit. Newsday

Donald Trump Declares US-Russia Relations At 'All-Time And Very Dangerous Low' Over Sanctions
President Donald Trump declared America's relationship with Russia at an "all-time and very dangerous low," and blamed Congress for it. Mr Trump's comments came a day after he reluctantly signed into law new sanctions against Moscow that had been overwhelmingly approved by Congress. The president also escalated his attack on Congress, which is controlled by his own Republican party, blaming the legislative body for its failure to overhaul the us healthcare system. Telegraph

Offices Should Install Desk Fans To Help Menopausal Women, Says Government Report
Desk fans should be introduced in every workplace to help women through the menopause, a new government report has urged. Firms must also provide non-synthetic uniforms, access to natural light, places to rest, special absence policies and cold water fountains. The biggest increase in employment rates since the early 1990s has been women in their 50s, and more choose to work much later in life. Telegraph

Do Not Mistake Orrin Hatch For #Hipsterantitrust
The backlash against tech giants has reanimated interest in antitrust recently, thanks to major fines in the European Union and the unsettling prospect of Amazon moving into your neighborhood through its acquisition of Whole Foods. The rebel yell to break up big tech is not sitting right with Joshua Wright, former FTC commissioner and professor at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. Last week, Wright started using the hashtag #hipsterantitrust (first coined by Kostya Medvedovsky, an antitrust associate at Dechert LLP) as a pejorative to describe some of the younger and more zealous antitrust experts who are pushing for a new standard to measure whether a company has engaged in antitrust practices. Wired

How Apple is Putting Voices In Users' Heads-Literally
My conversation with Mathias Bahnmueller started as pretty much all my phone interviews do. “Can you hear me?” he asked, and I replied affirmatively. Then I asked him the same question. His answer was yes—he could hear me very clearly. And this was a tiny miracle. That’s because Bahnmueller suffers from hearing loss so severe that a year ago he underwent surgery to install a cochlear implant—an electronic device in the inner ear that replaces the usual hearing mechanism. Around a million patients have undergone this increasingly mainstream form of treatment, and that’s just a fraction of those who could benefit from it. (Of the 360 million people worldwide with hearing loss, about 10 percent would qualify for the surgery.) “For those who reach a point where hearing aids no longer help, this is the only solution,” says Allison Biever, an audiologist in Englewood, CO who works with implant patients. “It’s like restoring a signal in a radio station.” Wired

Adopting New Resolution, UN Security Council Moves To Thwart Terrorists' Access To Weapons
The United Nations Security Council today unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons, particularly small arms and light weapons, the “destabilizing accumulation and misuse” of which the 15-member body said “continue to pose threats to international peace and security and cause significant loss of life.” The Council “strongly condemned” the continued flow of weapons, military equipment, unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) and their components, and improvised explosive device (IED) components to and between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh), Al-Qaida, their affiliates, and associated groups, illegal armed groups and criminals. UN News

Deadly Combination Of Cholera, Hunger And Conflict Pushes Yemen To 'Edge Of A Cliff' – Senior UN Official
Describing the situation in Yemen as “very bleak,” with “no end in sight,” a senior United Nations official envoy today said the war-torn country, already reeling from malnutrition and dwindling health care, is plummeting into further distress amid a deadly cholera outbreak and looming famine. “Historically, Yemen has been one of the poorest Arab nations – if not the poorest– with [poverty] and corruption, poor governance and poor infrastructure. The war has simply made it much worse,” said Auke Lootsma, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director, briefing journalists in New York via teleconference from the capital, Sana'a.
He compared the situation in the country to a bus “racing towards the edge of a cliff.” Instead of hitting the brakes and turning around, Mr. Lootsma said, “the one controlling the direction of the bus keeps going and pushes the accelerator, all but certain to crash.” UN News

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