NEWS   TUESDAY, AUGUST  8, 2017   NEWS

Trump Launches ‘Real News’ Service To Fight Negative Media Coverage
The Trump campaign has launched a weekly news service on social media to provide supporters with positive coverage of the president, amid surveys showing that Mr. Trump’s base of support and job approval ratings are shrinking.  Conservative television commentator Kayleigh McEnany, who was named Monday as spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, served as anchor of the Trump campaign’s “News of the Week” video for the first time last weekend. After summing up positive economic news and Mr. Trump’s support for stricter legal immigration limits, Ms. McEnany signed off her first report from Trump Tower by telling viewers on Facebook and Twitter, “Thank you for joining us, everybody. I’m Kayleigh McEnany, and that is the real news.” Ms. McEnany, who left a job at CNN, said she is “eager to talk about Republican ideas and values and have important discussions about issues affecting Americans across this country.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: It is a start.

Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ meets with cool reception, placing 15th at box office
Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Sequel” drew a lukewarm response from moviegoers, ranking 15th at the box office in its first weekend of wide release and earning tepid reviews from audiences. The sequel to Mr. Gore’s influential 2006 climate-change documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” has earned about $1 million since its limited release July 28, prompting one critic to say Paramount Pictures “effectively sabotaged” the rollout..  “This was not supposed to happen,” said writer D.R. Tucker in the Washington Monthly. In a Monday post headlined “Al Gore Gets Ripped Off Again,” he said Paramount had botched the nationwide release with its two-weekend platform strategy, instead of seizing on anti-Trump momentum to whip up enthusiasm with a splashy one-weekend launch. Washington Times

Chicago files lawsuit over rules targeting sanctuary cities
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has taken his fight against President Trump’s immigration policies to court. Chicago became one of the first cities Monday to sue the government over what many U.S. cities argue are illegal bids to withhold public safety grants from so-called sanctuary cities. The 46-page lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, a day after Emanuel announced the litigation and said the city won’t “be blackmailed” into changing its values as a welcoming city. He argued it’s unconstitutional for a city “to be coerced on a policy.” A first order of business now that the suit has been filed will be to ask a judge to put a freeze on the policy at least until the civil case plays out, said Edward Siskel, the head of City Hall’s legal department. That request for a preliminary injunction could be made within days. Chicago officials say there are new qualifications for a grant that requires cities to share information with U.S. immigration authorities, which they allege are unconstitutional. Chicago has received the grant funds since 2005, including $2.3 million last year. They were used for buying police vehicles, radios and SWAT equipment. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Emauel wants a free ride.

Daniel Dae Kim on his 'Hawaii Five-0' departure after pay dispute
Daniel Dae Kim stands by his decision to leave Hawaii Five-0. The actor, who left the CBS action drama in June after a salary disagreement with CBS, addressed the situation during a panel for ABC's The Good Doctor, of which he is an executive producer. "That was a really important part of my life for seven years. I'm really grateful to CBS and everyone involved with show for giving me the opportunity," Kim told the Television Critics Association summer press tour Sunday. "That said, it's possible to be grateful for the opportunity and respectful of colleagues, and still maintain a steadfast sense of your own worth," he continued. "All good things come to an end. I close that chapter on Hawaii Five-0, and I begin this new chapter on The Good Doctor. I couldn't be more excited to be back at ABC, where I started my career in earnest" on Lost. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Money makes strange friendships.

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Chicago sues over sanctuary city threat; Sessions fires back
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has taken his fight against President Donald Trump's immigration policies to court, with Chicago becoming one of the first cities Monday to sue over what many U.S. cities argue are illegal bids to withhold public safety grants from so-called sanctuary cities. Hours later, Attorney General Jeff Sessions hit back at Chicago, saying the Trump administration "will not simply give away grant dollars to city governments that proudly violate the rule of law and protect criminal aliens at the expense of public safety." "So it's this simple: Comply with the law or forego taxpayer dollars," he said in a toughly worded statement. A 46-page lawsuit, which names Sessions, was filed earlier Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago a day after Emanuel announced the litigation and said the city won't "be blackmailed" into changing its values as a city welcoming of immigrants. A first order of business now that Chicago's suit has been filed will be to ask a judge to put a freeze on the policy as the civil case plays out, said Edward Siskel, the head of City Hall's legal department. That request for a preliminary injunction could be made within days. Houston Chroncile
VOA VIEW: The liberal news media does not like to report the real truth.

US spy satellites detect North Korea moving anti-ship cruise missiles to patrol boat
Despite the United States' insistence that North Korea halt its missile tests, U.S. spy agencies detected the rogue communist regime loading two anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat on the country’s east coast just days ago. It's the first time these missiles have been deployed on this type of platform since 2014, U.S. officials with knowledge of the latest intelligence in the region told Fox News on Monday. It also points to more evidence that North Korea isn't listening to the diplomatic threats from the West. The latest moves by Pyongyang point to a likely missile test in the days ahead or it could be a defense measure should the U.S. Navy dispatch more warships to the Korean peninsula, officials said. Fox

U.S., Australia, Japan call for China to end aggression in South China Sea
The U.S., Australian and Japanese foreign ministers called Monday for a halt to land reclamation and military actions in the South China Sea and compliance with an arbitration ruling that invalidated China’s vast claims to the disputed waters. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Japan’s new top diplomat, Taro Kono, also called on their Southeast Asian counterparts to rapidly negotiate a legally binding maritime code with China aimed at preventing an escalation of conflicts in one of the world’s busiest waterways. In a joint statement, the three expressed serious concerns over the long-seething sea disputes and “voiced their strong opposition to coercive unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions.” They urged rival claimant states in the South China Sea “to refrain from land reclamation, construction of outposts, militarization of disputed features, and undertaking unilateral actions that cause permanent physical change to the marine environment in areas pending delimitation.”Seattle Times
VOA VIEW: It's time to play hardball with China.

Disturbance resolved after Arkansas inmates take control of part of prison
A group of inmates at a maximum security prison in Arkansas took control of part of the prison after stealing keys from correctional officers during recreation call on Monday afternoon, the Arkansas Department of Corrections said in a statement. The "disturbance" at Maximum Security Unit has since been resolved, according to the Department of Corrections, and the prison will "now begin the process of returning to normal operations." Three correctional officers were initially held in the area that the inmates controlled inside the prison, according to the Department of Corrections. Since then, however, all staff have been released with only minor injuries, the Department of Corrections said. One inmate, who was not involved in the disturbance, sustained injuries and has been taken to the hospital, according to prison officials. The inmate is in stable condition. ABC

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Trump slams Blumenthal again, recommends a long Vietnam ‘vacation’
President Trump continued his tweetstorm against Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal Monday, adding that Blumenthal "should take a nice long vacation in Vietnam, where he lied about his service, so he can at least say he was there." Trump called Blumenthal a "phony Vietnam con artist" Monday morning in a series of tweets against the senator, after he made comments against the Trump administration during an appearance on CNN Monday. Blumenthal criticized the Justice Department for its new policies to tamp down leaks, and questioned the motives of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the White House. "I’m concerned that the Justice Department is weaponizing these laws for its personal and political ends, and specifically, for the White House’s purposes," Blumenthal said on "New Day," questioning Sessions’ announcement last week of a new counterintelligence unit to prioritize cases involving unauthorized disclosures. Blumenthal later tweeted that the president's "bullying hasn't worked before and it won't work now," adding that "no one is above the law." Fox
VOA VIEW: Blumenthal is not fake news - he is a real con artist.

GOP lawmaker raises 'serious questions' about Kushner family conflicts
A Republican congressman says he's concerned about potential conflicts of interest raised by Jared Kushner and his family's business ties. Walter Jones, a member of the House from North Carolina, wrote to the Office of Government Ethics on May 18 to ask whether the pitch by the Kushner family business to Chinese investors last month violated ethics rules.  Nicole Kushner Meyer, the sister of top White House aide Jared Kushner, mentioned her brother's role in the administration during a pitch in China seeking EB-5 financing for a real estate development in New Jersey. EB-5 visas offer a path to green cards for investors who put more than $500,000 into a project that creates jobs in the United States. Last month, an attorney told CNNMoney that Kushner divested his interest in the project touted by his sister. Kushner also stepped away from the family business when he took his White House job. CNN

 Wreckage of US military aircraft found off Australia; 3 dead
The submerged wreckage of a U.S. military aircraft was found on Monday, two days after it crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia and left three U.S. Marines dead, Australia’s defense minister said. An Australian navy ship arrived in Shoalwater Bay in Queensland state Sunday night to help the U.S. military hunt for the MV-22 Osprey, which the Marines said was conducting regularly scheduled operations on Saturday when it crashed into the water. The wreckage was found shortly after the ship’s arrival, Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said in a statement. Three Marines missing since the crash were declared dead on Tuesday. Camp Butler said they were: Marine 1st Lt. Benjamin Cross, 26, of Oxford, Maine; Cpl. Nathaniel Ordway, 21, of Sedgwick, Kansas; and Pfc. Ruben Velasco, 19, of Los Angeles. Seattle Times

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US federal department is censoring use of term 'climate change', emails reveal
Staff at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been told to avoid using the term climate change in their work, with the officials instructed to reference “weather extremes” instead. A series of emails obtained by the Guardian between staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a USDA unit that oversees farmers’ land conservation, show that the incoming Trump administration has had a stark impact on the language used by some federal employees around climate change. A missive from Bianca Moebius-Clune, director of soil health, lists terms that should be avoided by staff and those that should replace them. “Climate change” is in the “avoid” category, to be replaced by “weather extremes”. Instead of “climate change adaption”, staff are asked to use “resilience to weather extremes”. The primary cause of human-driven climate change is also targeted, with the term “reduce greenhouse gases” blacklisted in favor of “build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency”. Meanwhile, “sequester carbon” is ruled out and replaced by “build soil organic matter”. Guardian

EPA: No mine spill compensation for groups that file suit
The Environmental Protection Agency says it can't reconsider multimillion-dollar damage claims from the state of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation over a mine wastewater spill because both have sued the agency. The EPA said Monday the law prevents it from reconsidering claims from anyone who has filed suit. That could greatly reduce the claims eligible for compensation. New Mexico sought $130 million and the Navajos $162 million. The EPA inadvertently triggered the spill at the Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado, tainting rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The EPA initially rejected all claims for property damage and personal injury from the spill. The agency appeared to change course Friday, saying it would reconsider those claims. Sun Sentinal

California eyes bigger rebates for electric cars
California has far more electric cars and plug-in hybrids plying its roads than any other state — about 300,000 so far. But they’re still just a tiny fraction of auto sales. Now, legislation in Sacramento is designed to juice the market, just as a new generation of long-range electric cars hits showroom floors. A bill from Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, would revamp and expand California’s existing rebate program for people who buy electrics or plug-in hybrids. The bill, a version of which has already passed the Assembly, would devote $3 billion to clean car incentives. The money would come from the state’s cap-and-trade system for controlling greenhouse gas emissions. SF Gate
VOA VIEW: The costs are still high.

Self-proclaimed 'cyber terrorist' in custody in 'sextortion' case involving minors
A 26-year-old man is in custody in California in a "sextortion" case, after he was hunted by federal authorities for allegedly making cyber threats to girls, producing child pornography and threatening to use explosive devices at Indiana schools, allegedly telling one victim, "I will slaughter your entire class," federal prosecutors say. The suspect, Buster Hernandez, also known as "Brian Kil," was arrested Aug. 3, officials said. "His stated goal through social media, which we received in his words: He wanted to be the worst cyber terrorist that ever lived," Josh Minkler, U.S. attorney for Indiana's southern district, said at a news conference today. "The evidence showed he was well on his way to achieving that goal." ABC

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New York mayor wants more taxes from rich for crumbling subway
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday proposed raising taxes for the wealthiest New Yorkers to increase funding for the city's deteriorating subway system. His plan, an increase in the tax rate on an individual's income above $500,000 to 4.41 percent from 3.876 percent, would also fund half-price bus and subway rides for up to 800,000 of the city's poorest residents, he said. The plan comes as the mayor and New York state's governor, Andrew Cuomo, squabble over who is responsible for the nation's largest subway system, which has suffered a surge in delays. "Taking responsibility is the first step toward a solution," de Blasio told a news conference, emphasizing that the system is controlled by the state. Cuomo controls the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state-run corporation that operates the subway and bus system. He has the power to close it down without consulting the mayor, as he did before a winter storm in 2015. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Why don't those who use the subway system pay for it?

Google fires author of divisive memo on gender differences
After a controversial memo by a Google engineer about diversity programs at the company and gender differences went viral over the weekend, sparking an explosive reaction on social media, the search giant did not dispute media reports late Monday that the employee had been fired. The memo - in which the author suggested, among other things, that biological factors were part of the cause for the gender gap in the tech industry and that Google should "stop alienating conservatives" - prompted a fiery outcry on social media in recent days. Critics pounced on statements about biological differences such as women, on average, having "lower stress tolerance" or how Google needs to "de-emphasize empathy." Others, including fellow Googlers, according to the author, defended his remarks, leaving Google's human resources shop between a rock and a hard place regarding how to respond. Yet on Monday, following an email from Google chief executive Sundar Pichai that "portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace," Bloomberg News reported that the employee had been terminated. Sun-Sentinel

Tillerson visits Thailand to firm up bilateral relations
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is on a one-day official visit to Thailand, seeking to stabilize relations that soured after the Southeast Asian nation's military seized power from an elected civilian government three years ago. Tillerson flew in Tuesday morning from the Philippines, where he met with his counterparts from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations at an annual regional gathering. Thailand has long been one of Washington's closest regional allies, but relations have been strained over U.S. criticism of Thailand's military government for its repression of critics and failure to restore democracy. Tampa Tribune

The cops’ cars were in front of a police station. They were vandalized anyway
The “decoy cars” — marked police cars meant to deter crime in the area — were parked in what was probably one of the safest possible places: near a police substation. That didn’t stop someone from vandalizing them. Four young men were arrested last week after police said they caused roughly $6,800 in damages last month to two police cars in front of a Hollywood Police Department substation at Driftwood Recreational Center. Both cars had smashed-in windows and plenty of dents. One car had shoe prints on its hood, the other, melted candy and ash from the firecracker that was set off on top of it. Miami Herald

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Escaped rape suspect, cornered, kills himself, sheriff says
An accused rapist who had escaped from Paulding County authorities last week committed suicide during a standoff with authorities Monday night, reports CBS Toledo affiliate WTOL-TV. Authorities said 32-year-old Branden Lee Powell overpowered a sheriff's deputy in a transport van, stole his gun and fled on Friday during a trip from a psychiatric hospital to a county jail. Powell was in leg shackles and handcuffs when he managed to jump over the seat and put the deputy in a headlock, causing the van to crash. He grabbed the deputy's gun and ordered him to remove the restraints, the Paulding County Sheriff's office said. CBS

US considers airstrikes on Isis in the Philippines
The United States is reportedly considering carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State targets in the Philippines. Citing two defence officials, NBC News reported that the US military could be given the authority to hit Isis targets on the basis of collective self-defence. The strikes, possibly launched by drones, would be an expansion of the existing US efforts to help Philippine forces in their fight against militants who claim an affiliation to Isis. Nearly 700 people are believed to have died since gunmen laid siege to Marawi in the troubled Mindanao region in May. Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state, met President Duterte at a regional forum in Manila yesterday. Mr Tillerson said that the US had already been providing surveillance capabilities, training, information. The Times
VOA VIEW: The operation is of mutual benefit, even though the Philippines has not been very friendly.

Climate report finds drastic change across US. Scientists fear Trump could suppress it
The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration. The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. It directly contradicts claims by President Donald Trump and members of his Cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain and that the ability to predict the effects is limited. “How much more the climate will change depends on future emissions and the sensitivity of the climate system to those emissions,” a draft of the report states. A copy of it was obtained by The New York Times. The report was completed this year and is part of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years. The National Academy of Sciences has signed off on the draft and is awaiting permission from the Trump administration to release it. Charlotte Observer

Most Americans support using U.S. troops if North Korea invades South
A new poll by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs shows that more than 60 percent of Americans support using U.S. troops in a conflict if North Korea invades South Korea. The CCGA said 62 percent of those questioned support deploying U.S. forces in that scenario -- compared to just 47 percent who answered that way in 2014 and 2015. This year's poll marks the first time more than half of respondents voiced support for involvement of U.S. forces since CCGA began polling the issue in 1990. UPI
VOA VIEW: Americans stand by their friends and commitment.

Third Boy Scout dies after sailboat hits power line in Texas
An 11-year-old Boy Scout died on Monday from injuries suffered aboard a sailboat that hit an overhead power line and killed two other boys on an east Texas lake over the weekend, a state official said. The boy died at a hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he was airlifted after the Saturday accident on Lake O' The Pines, said Steve Lightfoot, a spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The boy was one of three aboard a catamaran sailboat that struck a power line during a Scout outing. Game wardens found the boat on fire about 300 yards (274 meters) from power lines. The two Scouts who died at the scene may have been electrocuted, the department has said. The department said the two who died were 18 and 16 years old, though local media gave the older boy's age as 17. Reuters

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UN chief urges Venezuelans to ease tensions and engage in negotiations
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is closely following recent developments in Venezuela, his Spokesperson told reporters today. “In this critical moment for the future of the country, he urges all Venezuelans to make all possible efforts to lower tensions and engage in political negotiations,” underscored Stéphane Dujarric, when asked about the latest developments in the South American country. The Secretary-General and other top UN officials have been calling for calm in Venezuela since late July when, according to media reports, clashes erupted between security forces and protestors opposing the Constituent Assembly elections. According to media reports, President Nicolás Maduro declared victory in elections for a Constituent Assembly convened by him. The new body could replace the current legislative body, the National Assembly. UN News

Colombia: UN Mission team ambushed; one wounded in attack
A team from the United Nations Mission in Colombia was ambushed on Sunday while working to uncover explosives left by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) in the Caloto municipality in the south-west of the country. While one member of the Peacebuilding Unit (UNIPEP) was injured during the attack, the rest of the team, made up of observers, members of the Colombian National Police and ex-combatants of the FARC-EP, were unharmed and remain safe in the Veredal Zone of Cauca. In a communiqué, the UN Mission highlighted the work of the Colombian public forces in the operations of extracting hidden explosives and looked forward to the prompt recovery of the national police officer. UN News

Palestinian, Jordanian leaders want Trump to support 1967 borders
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II, after a meeting Monday in Ramallah, called for U.S. President Donald Trump to endorse a two-state solution. Abdullah's visit to Ramallah, his first since 2012, was in reaction to rising tensions over a key Old Jerusalem holy site known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount. The Jordanian king told Abbas that Trump was committed to achieving peace between Palestinians and Israelis. A statement from Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said, though, that Washington must clarify its position regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders. He also said Washington should support the freezing of settlement construction in order for negotiations to begin. UPI

Court orders PM to reveal contacts with ‘Israel Hayom’
The Court was responding to a petition filed by Channel 10 political analyst Raviv Drucker two years ago, who said the information is important in order to reveal whether the newspaper is an illegal organ of propaganda for the prime minister. He said that as soon as he receives the information from Netanyahu, he will check the dates and times and examine what was written in the newspaper the following day. “There is a clear public interest in revealing the extent of the connection between [Adelson] and those in government,” Supreme Court Justice Meni Mazuz wrote in the ruling. The Court took into account reports that Netanyahu advanced the election that took place in 2015 in order to prevent the passage of a bill that would have harmed Israel Hayom. The Central Elections Committee ruled ahead of the election that Israel Hayom was not an illegal tool of propaganda. Jerusalem Post

British judges could still apply European court decisions after Brexit, says UK's top judge
British judges could still apply European court decisions after Brexit, the UK’s top judge has said.  Lord Neuberger, the Supreme Court president, has called for clarity about how the judiciary should handle the issue and said judges should not face the blame for misinterpretations “when parliament has failed to do so”. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has made ending the ECJ’s oversight of British legal matters one of her Brexit “red lines”, but ministers have also said the UK courts will still have to use European case law to inform their rulings around legislation derived from the EU. Telegraph

On the front line with Ukraine’s ‘band of brothers’
Casper, Sniper, Hammer, Owl. These are just some of the nicknames of Ukrainians who volunteered to serve in the Donbass Battalion, a unit formed in 2014 to fight pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. On the front line they call each other “friend” in lieu of the old Soviet-style “comrade.” And each goes by his nickname. It’s not just for fraternal reasons. There are many common first names in Ukraine so an officer searching for “Anatolii” might find several men in each unit with the same name. Over several days on the front line of Ukraine’s “frozen” war – being fought in the east of the country against pro-Russian separatist republics that broke away in 2014 – these fighters detailed the challenges they face daily. This corner of the world seems forgotten, even in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. And except for a few recruitment posters for the armed forces, there are few reminders that a simmering conflict, which takes two dozen lives a month, is still ongoing. Yet along hundreds of kilometers of what is called the cease-fire line, the Ukrainian Army is tasked with supervising a 2015 agreement which was supposed to lead to a cease-fire. Jerusalem Post

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