NEWS   FRIDAY, AUGUST  11, 2017   NEWS

Trump Doubles Down On 'Fire And Fury' Warning To North Korea
Pushing back against those who said his comments were too tough, Trump told reporters: “Maybe it wasn’t tough enough."  “They’ve been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years,” the president said of North Korea. “It’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries. So if anything, that statement wasn’t tough enough.” Tensions have escalated with North Korea over the last several days. On Tuesday, Trump reacted to reports that North Korea had produced a compact nuclear warhead by warning the country that it would face consequences if it threatened the United States. Fox
VOA VIEW: Trump is right - NK has bullied the US too long.

Japan Ready To Protect Guam, Defense Minister Says
In the event of a North Korean nuclear attack on Guam, Japan’s new defense minister said Thursday that his country’s military could shoot down the missiles before they reach the U.S. territory. In such a scenario, Japan has the right to activate its Aegis destroyer missile defense system, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said during a session of the National Diet, Japan’s parliament. Any attack against Guam would be considered an existential threat to Japan, the defense minister said, also citing a mutual defense agreement with the United States. Japan lies only about 620 miles to the east of North Korea, which has conducted numerous missile tests this year. Most of the weapons have landed in the Sea of Japan, which lies between Japan and the eastern coast of the massive Asian continent. Fox
VOA VIEW: Good for Japan.

North Korea Says Guam Strike Plan Ready Within Days
A North Korean plan to fire four missiles near the US Pacific territory of Guam will be ready for Kim Jong Un's consideration in days, state media has reported, as an unprecedented exchange of military threats between Washington and Pyongyang intensifies. The intermediate-range missiles would be fired east and over Japan before landing around 30 to 40 kilometers (18 to 25 miles) off the coast of the tiny island if the plan is implemented, according to state-run KCNA. Guam is more than 3,000 kilometers from North Korea. CNN
VOA VIEW: A North Korea mistake - any threat to Guam.

Marco Rubio Defends Trump's Promise Of 'Fire And Fury' For North Korea
Sen. Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate foreign affairs committee, defended President Donald Trump's stark warning to North Korea in a series of tweets Thursday morning. "Attacks on @potus for statement on #NorthKoreaNukes are ridiculous. They act as if #NorthKorea would act different if he used nicer words," Rubio tweeted. The statement is a direct response to bipartisan criticism of the ultimatum Trump issued to North Korea on Tuesday. Speaking at a photo op at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump warned North Korea not to threaten the United States again or it would "face fire and fury like the world has never seen." CNN
VOA VIEW: The liberal media hate when Republicans rightfully stick together.

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Guam Governor: 'There Is No Threat To Our Island'
On Wednesday, the governor of Guam, Eddie Calvo, said in a video addressing the people of Guam that “there is no threat to our island or the Marinas.” “Good Morning, my dear people of Guam,” began the governor. “I know we woke up to the media reports of revenge on the United States and this so-called newfound technology that allows it to target Guam. I am working with Homeland Security to rear admiral and the United States to ensure our safety.” “And I want to reassure the people of Guam that currently there is no threat to our island or the Marinas,” he stated. “I spoke to joint region Marianas commander, Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield, who has confirmed this with me.” CNS

N. Korea Targets Guam’s U.S. Military Presence – Which Congressman Warned Could Cause Island To ‘Tip Over’
While reports North Korea may attack Guam because of U.S. military bases there have concerned Congress, one congressman has expressed fear the U.S. presence there may actually cause the small island nation to “tip over and capsize.” North Korea is, reportedly, "examining the operational plan" of a strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. On Tuesday evening, the isolated state of North Korea warned of a strike on Guam, which has a large military presence, just hours after President Donald Trump warned that the regime would face “fire and fury” if they continued their threats. CNS
VOA VIEW: NK is plain arrogant.

Sanctions On North Korea Inc. Hit Kim’s Secretive ‘Office 39’
The United Nations’ latest sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear program extend beyond the conventional exports cited in the Security Council resolution -- coal, iron ore, lead ore and seafood. The restrictions described by diplomats on Aug. 5 as the “most stringent” against the nation also freeze the assets of some of North Korea’s biggest companies, including a maker of massive monuments and a Pyongyang-based insurance company that’s been linked to a slush fund for leader Kim Jong Un and his family. Bloomberg

Killer Who Claimed His Victim Committed Suicide Pleads Guilty, Gets 40 Years In Prison
A Magnolia man who shot and killed a teenage girl inside a Shenandoah hotel, then told police it was a suicide, pleaded guilty Thursday to a murder charge. Ryan Ray Moore, 23, probably will spend the next 40 years in prison for shooting Hayley Farr, 19, inside America's Best Value Inn in the 19500 block of Interstate 45 North on Nov. 25, 2016. Moore also will serve a five-year sentence for trying to stash the gun he used to shoot Farr and a 10-year sentence for a previous unrelated home burglary, although those sentences will run at the same time as the 40-year sentence for murder. Houston Chronicle

Swarens: The 'Fire And Fury' Of Today's Christian Pastors
As we stand on the brink of fire and fury, we're also hearing a lot of fire and brimstone. This week, a Central Indiana pastor took to Twitter to proclaim: "N Korea can't say they were not warned. One misstep, and we're going to light them up! Thank you, @POTUS." I see a lot of nonsense, from all sides, on social media (I'm sure you do as well), and almost always, I ignore it. Time and energy are too precious to expend on Twitter wars. But the thought of a Christian pastor championing the death of potentially millions of innocent people was too much. So I called him out, respectively suggesting that perhaps a pastor should pray for peace. Indy Star
VOA VIEW: You pray for peace - when dealing with a tyrant who wants to cause anguish, you protect and defend.

North Korea, ‘Fire And Fury’ And Guam: Missouri-Based B-2 Bombers Play A Key Role
The world’s priciest-ever airplane, a bomber that can strike around the globe from its Missouri home, treats Guam as its Pacific getaway. Saber rattling by North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump has turned the world’s attention to the Pacific island that holds so much American firepower, sometimes including the B-2 stealth bomber. Trump threatened “fire and fury” if Pyongyang didn’t back off arming itself with nuclear-tipped long-range missiles. The North Korean government responded by saying it was on pace to give Kim battle plans by mid-August for landing warheads within a few dozen miles of the U.S. territory. Kansas City Star

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Stocks Fall, Volatility Spikes With Gold On Korea
The escalated tension on the Korean peninsula has knocked financial markets out of the August doldrums. U.S. stocks fell the most in six weeks, halting a 15-day string without a move that exceeded 0.3 percent, and the CBOE Volatility Index spiked 40 percent higher as American allies warned North Korea against firing missiles toward Guam. Gold surged to a nine-week high, the yen advanced and Treasuries strengthened as investors sought haven assets. The dollar took a cue from data that signaled inflation will remain tame. Bloomberg

Vacationing President Trump Tells Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell 'Get Back To Work'
President Donald Trump, who is on a working vacation at his New Jersey estate, prodded Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to "get back to work" in a tweet Thursday, the latest volley between the two men over the stalled Republican health care efforts. "Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing," wrote Trump, who is in the midst of a 17-day-long stay at his private golf club. "You can do it!" And in a press conference later in the day, the president said he would entertain the question of McConnell stepping aside as majority leader if he didn't accomplish health care reform, taxes and pass an infrastructure bill. ABC News
VOA VIEW: A rational statement and position.
 

Trump Says He Is 'Very Thankful' To Putin For Expelling U.S. Diplomats From Russia
President Donald Trump said here Thursday that he is "very thankful" to Russian President Vladimir Putin for expelling hundreds of U.S. diplomats from Russia, because he said it helps him cut the U.S. government's payroll. Addressing for the first time Putin's decision late last month that the U.S. Embassy and consulates in Russia would have to cut 775 diplomatic and technical staffers, Trump told reporters that he sees no reason for them to continue working in Russia. SF Gate

PolitiFact: Getting To The Truth In North Korea Talking Points
The United States and North Korea, adversaries for decades, stand today at unusually heightened tensions. Even if it weren't the dog days of August, this story would be at the center of Americans' attention. And it has inspired a wide range of commentary and talking points, from pre-dawn tweets by the vacationing president to viral images flying around social media. However, some of the rhetoric surrounding this nuclear-armed standoff is of questionable accuracy. On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted, "My first order as president was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before." That's not accurate. Tampa Bay Observer

What Can North Korea Reach With Its Missiles?
North Korea’s ballistic missile program has accelerated over the past year. Here’s a look at how the country’s missile program has expanded beyond its neighbors to now having much of the world within reach. North Korea has had the ability to launch short-range missiles that can reach its neighbors, including South Korea and Japan, for decades. After years of trying to build a reliable intermediate-range ballistic missile that could target American military bases in Guam, North Korea successfully launched a missile in mid-May believed to have a range long enough to reach the Pacific island. NY Times

What It Will Take To Avoid A Catastrophic War With North Korea
The prospect of a catastrophic conflict on the Korean Peninsula is so alarming that U.S. allies and China are urging President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to soften their rhetoric and start a dialogue to find a diplomatic solution to their standoff. Several small steps are possible to go that diplomatic route, including a halt to incendiary threats, recognition that North Korea is a nuclear-armed state and a freeze on further nuclear weapons and missile tests by Kim's regime, experts on the crisis say. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Jong Un should do all the back-watering - no more the US.

Pope Francis To Belgian Catholics: Stop Offering Euthanasia
Pope Francis has ordered a Belgian Catholic charity to stop offering euthanasia in its psychiatric hospitals. In May, the Brothers of Charity group announced it would allow doctors to perform euthanasia at its 15 psychiatric hospitals in Belgium, one of only two countries — along with the Netherlands — where doctors are legally allowed to kill people with mental health problems, at their request. To qualify, people must be in a state of "unbearable suffering" and at least three doctors, including one psychiatrist, must be consulted. ABC News

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Trump Warns N Korea 'Be Very Very Nervous'
He said the regime would be in trouble "like few nations have ever been" if they do not "get their act together". His comments came after Pyongyang announced it had a plan to fire four missiles near the US territory of Guam. Tensions between the two countries have escalated in recent weeks after North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July. The UN recently approved further economic sanctions against Pyongyang as a result of its nuclear weapons programme. BBC
VOA VIEW: Jong Un would be cautious, if smart.

Don't Listen To Tillerson On North Korea - White House
A White House spokesman gives Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a slapdown over comments he made about North Korea, saying he should not be speaking about military matters. White House Deputy Assistant Sebastian Gorka was speaking to BBC News. BBC
VOA VIEW: Not good, if true.

Trump Declares Opioid Crisis A "National Emergency"
President Donald Trump is officially declaring the opioid crisis a "national emergency." Mr. Trump made the announcement before holding a security briefing Thursday at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. He tells reporters the drug crisis afflicting the nation is a "serious problem the likes of which we have never had" and says he's drawing up documents "to so attest." A drug commission convened by Mr. Trump recently called for a national emergency declaration to help deal with the opioid crisis. CBS

Victims Of The "Son of Sam": In Their Own Words
On July 31, 1977, Robert Violante and Stacy Moskowitz were on their first date sitting in his parked car in a Brooklyn "lovers lane" when they were suddenly shot in their heads by "The Son of Sam" serial killer who terrorized New Yorkers for more than a year before his arrest 40 years ago today. "The doctors said I was not going to make it, and that Stacy would," Violante told CBS News. A .44 caliber slug destroyed Violante's left eye and damaged his right eye as it tore across his skull. But it was Moskowitz, a 19-year-old college co-ed, who succumbed to her wounds, and it was Violante, 20, who faced a life forever shattered by a maniac's bullets. CBS

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Trump Turns To Fox News And Twitter As He Continues To threaten North Korea
Donald Trump has issued another provocative warning to North Korea, telling the country to “get their act together” or be in trouble “like few nations have ever been”. Speaking ahead of a national security briefing at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is on what he describes as a working vacation, Trump told reporters on Thursday that his previous warning that North Korea would face “fire and fury” if it threatened the US was in fact not tough enough, the Associated Press said. Guardian
VOA VIEW: The liberal media does not like Trump facts.

North Korea-US Tensions: Seven Potential Scenarios
The “fire and fury” option. In recent days the US national security adviser, HR McMaster, raised the prospect of “preventative war” as a policy option. The idea would be to administer a sudden hammer blow to North Korean (DPRK) military infrastructure that would substantially set back its ability to attack the US and could trigger a coup or a revolt. The downsides to this option are foreboding. The regime has missiles hidden all over the country, as well as 8,000 big guns trained largely at Seoul, 40 miles across the demilitarised zone. No first strike would come close to disarming Kim Jong-un completely and his retaliation would almost certainly involve mass civilian deaths. Guardian

Ban On Home Delivery For Recreational Pot Surprises Nevada Industry Officials
When the Nevada Department of Taxation last month released a draft of permanent regulations to govern recreational marijuana starting Jan. 1, one item was noticeably missing for industry officials: Home delivery service. Home delivery is currently allowed under temporary regulations through the state’s “early start” program, which launched July 1 when recreational sales started and runs until the end of the year. But when department officials met in late July they eliminated that service in the first and only draft of new regulations because of security concerns. Las Vegas Sun

Anti-Castro Politicians Talk Tough On Cuba After Suspected Attack On U.S. Diplomats
As the Trump administration prepares to write new regulations regarding travel to Cuba, Havana and Washington are involved in a diplomatic tug of war that seems straight out of the 1960s. American diplomats in Cuba left the country after experiencing severe hearing loss attributed to a sonic device, according to U.S. officials. In response, the U.S. government expelled two Cuban diplomats from Washington. The Raúl Castro government vehemently denied any involvement, and there’s chatter the Russians could have been behind it. Miami Herald

Inside The Warring Factions Of Trump’s White House
The escalating White House power struggle between chief strategist Steve Bannon and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is sowing deep divisions in the Trump administration — with no end in sight. Speculation that Bannon was on his way out heated up following former Army Gen. McMaster’s recent ouster of three National Security Council members with reported ties to the former Breitbart News chief, and a “purge list” purportedly suggesting he wasn’t finished. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Rumors - time will tell.

Border Patrol Pursuit Ends In Crash; 3 Dead, 1 Hurt
High-speed Border Patrol pursuit Thursday afternoon ended when an SUV linked to a suspected murderer went off Interstate 15 and into a Rancho Bernardo ravine, killing three of the four people inside. Two agents were patrolling near Deer Springs Road when they decided to run the license plate of a Black GMC Envoy about 1:05 p.m., Border Patrol Agent Tekae Michael said. San Diego Tribune

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In New Threat, Trump Demands North Korea ‘Get Their Act Together’
 Issuing a new threat to North Korea, President Donald Trump demanded that North Korea "get their act together" or face extraordinary trouble. He said his previous warning of "fire and fury" if Pyongyang threatened the U.S. again might have been too soft. "Maybe that statement wasn't tough enough," Trump said on Thursday. Trump, speaking to reporters from the New Jersey golf resort where he's vacationing, said North Korea had been "getting away with a tragedy that can't be allowed." Still, he declined to say whether the U.S. was considering a pre-emptive military strike, arguing that his administration never discusses such deliberations publicly. Las Vegas Sun

Trump Escalates Attacks On McConnell With Suggestion His Job Is At Risk
President Donald Trump escalated his attacks against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday, suggesting that the GOP leader should step aside if he doesn't pass any major pieces of legislation backed by the White House. Blaming McConnell, Trump called the defeat of the health care bill by a single vote a "disgrace." When asked if McConnell should step down from his leadership position, Trump told reporters, "If he doesn't get repeal and replace done, and he doesn't get taxes done and...infrastructure...then you can ask me that question." MSNBC
VOA VIEW: MSNBC likes to find a twist to anything Trump says.

U.S. Investigating Diplomats’ Hearing Loss In Cuba
A senior federal law enforcement official told NBC News on Thursday that several U.S agencies are investigating allegations that the Cubans directed some kind of ultrasound energy at American diplomats that left several with damaged hearing. The official said the State Department's office of Diplomatic Security is leading the investigation. The FBI has one person in Havana, a legal attache with the American embassy, who can help. The FBI may be asked to provide technical assistance in the probe. MSNBC

Cops: Sachem East Football Player Joshua Mileto Dies After Practice Injury
An 11th-grader died during offseason football practice Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, on the athletic field at Sachem High School East in Farmingville, officials said. An 11th-grade student at Sachem High School East was fatally injured Thursday morning when a log fell on his head during an offseason football practice drill on school grounds in Farmingville, police said. The victim was identified by police as Joshua Mileto, 16, of Farmingville.... Newsday

NY To Allow Medical Marijuana Lozenges, Tablets — And Advertising
The Cuomo administration is proposing to broaden access to medical marijuana by allowing patients to access it through ointments, patches, lozenges and chewable tablets, a move that could address one of patients’ major criticisms about the program. Expanding the variety of approved forms of medical marijuana was just one of the steps announced Thursday by the state Health Department.... Newsday

CNN Fires Commentator Jeffrey Lord After Nazi Salute Twitter Response
CNN is having a fun time with contributors saying and doing offensive things. There was stand-up comic Kathy Griffin taking a picture holding a bloody Donald Trump head. As a result, CNN said ended her annual visit to Times Square with Anderson Cooper on New Year’s. There was academic Reza Aslan bad-mouthing the president in a profane way on Twitter. CNN quickly cancelled his show “Believer.” Now it’s Trump supporter and regular paid CNN contributor Jeffrey Lord using “Sieg Heil” as a response to a critic on Twitter. His time on CNN? Over. A spokesperson told CNN’s media writer Brian Stelter: “Nazi salutes are indefensible.” Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: If true, totally indefensible.

Solar Eclipse Can Blind Unprotected Eyes. What Will It Do To Your Cell Phone Camera?
You surely know, after heaps of warnings, not to watch the Aug. 21 solar eclipse without heavily filtered glasses. But what about those inevitable selfies with the sun? Advice for the most photographed event of the year isn’t so clear. NASA itself debates whether smartphone photos of the eclipse can damage the phone’s camera. Chartlotte Observer

China Seethes On Sidelines Amid Latest North Korea Crisis
Angered as the United States and its allies ignore Chinese calls to calm tensions over North Korea, and distracted by domestic concerns, China is largely sitting out the latest crisis with nuclear-armed Pyongyang. While a conflict on the Korean peninsula would affect China, and in worst-case scenarios unleash a radioactive cloud or waves of refugees into its northeast, Beijing has kept a low profile as tension has escalated in recent days. North Korea dismissed on Thursday warnings by U.S. President Donald Trump that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States as a "load of nonsense", and outlined plans for a missile strike near the Pacific territory of Guam. Reuters

Exclusive: Amazon In Talks To Offer Event Ticketing In U.S.- Sources
Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) is seeking to partner with U.S. venue owners to sell event tickets, four sources have told Reuters, a move that could loosen Ticketmaster's powerful grip on the lucrative ticketing business. If Amazon moves ahead, it would represent the latest attempt by the world's largest online retailer to use its massive customer base, tech savvy and bargaining power to shake up a big market. The Seattle-based company sees the U.S. ticketing market as ripe for attack. Consumers dislike ticket fees, and venue owners, sports leagues and teams want more distributors for their tickets as they seek to boost sales. Reuters

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An Asteroid The Size Of A House 'Will Shave' Past Earth In October, Inside The Moon's Orbit, Astronomers Reveal
An asteroid the size of a house 'will shave' past the Earth in October, inside the Moon's orbit, astronomers have revealed. It is expected to pass the Earth at a distance of some 44,000 kilometres (27,300 miles). The rock will just be an eighth of the distance from the Earth to the Moon - far enough to just miss our geostationary satellites orbiting at about 36,000 kilometres, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). Telegraph

'Stolen' Surface-To-Air Missile Explodes In Russian Scrap Yard, Killing Two
Two people were killed and one injured after an apparently stolen warhead from a surface-to-air missile exploded at a scrap yard in the Siberian city of Chita, Russian media reported Thursday. A criminal investigation was opened into the "illegal acquisition and storage of explosive device" after two warheads from a S-200 Angara missile were found at the blast site. Local authorities said it appeared that the warhead had detonated while workers were cutting it down for scrap metal. Telegraph

JPost Poll: 67% Say Netanyahu Should Suspend Himself If Charged
The law only gives a prime minister the option of a 100-day recusal if he or she is in some way incapacitated; it is unprecedented for one to do so for other reasons. Asked who is the most appropriate choice to be prime minister after Netanyahu, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett, former Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar and Zionist Union head Avi Gabbay topped the list, faring about the same. Among Likud voters, Bennett was the leading candidate, with 28% choosing him, as opposed to 16% for Sa’ar, or 27% Bennett and 17% Erdan. Jerusalum Post

Liberal US Rabbis Call On Israel To Lift Travel Ban On BDS Leaders
More than 200 rabbis from the liberal movements of American Judaism signed a letter opposing Israel’s travel ban on leaders of the boycott movement against Israel. The rabbis signing Wednesday’s letter were responding to an incident last month in which Rabbi Alissa Wise of Jewish Voice for Peace, which supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, was prevented from boarding an Israel-bound airplane leaving Dulles Airport in Washington, DC. Jerusalum Post

Mattis: Military Solution In Place To Address North Korea Threat
U.S. military strategists at the Pentagon have a military solution in place to address the growing threat emanating from North Korea, but they are holding their fire in favor of ongoing diplomatic efforts by Washington and its allies, Defense Secretary James Mattis said Thursday. The Pentagon chief remained largely mum on the details of that military solution, which theoretically would curb Pyongyang’s efforts to develop a nuclear-capable, ballistic missile arsenal, except to say any military option would be a multilateral one involving a number of regional powers in the Pacific. Washington Times

Trump Takes Action: 9,000 Federal Employees Slashed In First Six Months
President Trump’s hiring freeze helped cut the size of federal government by about 9,000 employees in his first six months in office, but that is just a drop in the bucket of a workforce of more than 2.8 million, and the administration has ended the freeze to fill mission-critical positions at agencies. Mr. Trump ordered the hiring freeze on his first day in office and embarked on the most ambitious agenda to shrink government since Ronald Reagan. His early success, although modest, is a testament to the president’s tenacity and to the daunting task he has undertaken. Washington Times

Investing In Women Key To Sustainable Peace In DR Congo And Nigeria
Investing in women and girls must be central to global efforts towards sustainable peace and development in both Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations deputy chief said today. “Both have dismayingly low levels of women's political participation and are experiencing conflicts marked by extremely high levels of sexual- and gender-based violence,” said Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed as she updated the Security Council on her recent trip to the two African countries. The trip, from 19 to 27 July, was “the first of its kind” because it focused entirely on the role of women in peace, security and development, she said. UN News

Smugglers Throw Hundreds Of African Migrants Off Boats Headed To Yemen
A total of 300 migrants have reportedly been forced from boats over the past two days by smugglers off the coast of Yemen – many feared dead or missing, the United Nations migration agency has reported. “The survivors told our colleagues on the beach that the smuggler pushed them into the sea when he saw some 'authority types' near the coast,” said Laurent de Boeck, the Yemen Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). “They also told us that the smuggler has already returned to Somalia to continue his business and pick up more migrants to bring to Yemen on the same route. This is shocking and inhumane. The suffering of migrants on this migration route is enormous. Too many young people pay smugglers with the false hope of a better future,” Mr. de Boeck added. UN News

ACA Premiums Expected To Rise Due To Market Uncertainty
The Kaiser Family Foundation released a report today showing that Affordable Care Act insurance premiums are expected to rise in many states in 2018. Insurance companies submit filings to state regulators outlining their plans to participate in the ACA exchanges and the premiums they expect to charge for the coming year. The KFF examined preliminary premiums and insurer participation in the 20 states and the District of Columbia where premium rate filings were available and included enough detail to show the premium for specific enrollees in the silver plan, the second lowest cost plan. UPI

Ancient Infant Skull Yields Insights Into Human-Ape Lineage
Researchers believe a 13 million-year-old skull recovered in Kenya belongs to the earliest common ancestor of humans and all living apes. Paleontologists have made great strides in detailing the evolution of humans since they first diverged from apes some 7 million years ago. Less is known about human and ape ancestors living before 10 million years ago. UPI

You Can't Just Riff About Nukes
PRESIDENT TRUMP REGULARLY demonstrates a great capacity for playing fast and loose with the truth. By one calculation, he publicly lied or exaggerated at least once daily during the 40 days following his inauguration. Politicians routinely bend reality or, in some cases, break with it entirely. But there is no precedent for applying such casual disregard to nuclear weapons, as Trump did this week. For good reason.
Trump garnered international headlines Tuesday when he declared that any further threats from North Korea would prompt "fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before."  Wired

Google's CEO Must Answer These Questions About That Memo
GOOGLE CEO SUNDAR Pichai is hosting a companywide town hall meeting Thursday to discuss a controversial memo about Google’s diversity practices that led to the firing of its author, James Damore. Based on the questions being submitted by Google employees, the session promises to be lively, with Pichai being probed by both employees who were offended by Damore’s post and those concerned about his dismissal. As of Thursday morning, employees had submitted more than 520 questions, some of which arrived anonymously, according to a Google employee. Wired

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