NEWS   FRIDAY, AUGUST  25, 2017   NEWS

'Well-Oiled' Activist Ops Targeting GOP Reps At Their Homes
The left has upped the stakes in its guerilla operations against Republicans, as deep-pocketed groups fund protesters to show up to the offices and even houses of congressmen to protest their lack of "town hall" meetings. Earlier this month, protesters targeted the home of Rep. Jason Lewis, a newly elected Republican in Minnesota's 2nd District. The protests on his doorstep grew big enough that one of his neighbors called the police.  Fox
VOA VIEW: The left will lose in their hatred and resistance.

Ryan Tamps Down Trump's Talk Of Gov't Shutdown If No Border Wall
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday spoke out against President Trump’s comments a day earlier, in which the president warned he would “close down” the federal government if lawmakers don't deliver a spending bill that pays for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. “I don’t think a government shutdown is necessary, and I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown, ourselves included,” Ryan said at a news conference at an Intel Corp. facility in Oregon. Ryan said the House already approved some funding for the wall, but stressed that “more time” would be needed to implement the plan. Fox
VOA VIEW: Mexico has paid, is paying and will pay for the wall.

Trump-McConnell Feud Simmers As GOP Watches In Horror
Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell aren't exactly kissing and making up. The unflattering details of a rapidly deteriorating relationship between the President and the Senate majority leader spilled out into the open this month -- an angry phone call that devolved into a screaming match; a refusal to speak to one another since that heated conversation; and a steady exchange of hardly subtle snubs. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is promoting the alleged feud.

The North Korean Spies Ukraine Caught Stealing Missile Plans
The images are a little grainy, but in the half-light of a dusty Ukrainian garage, you can sense the unbridled enthusiasm of the two North Korean spies who are photographing what they think are top-secret missile designs. In a rare window into the opaque, deadly and secretive world of missile technology espionage, Ukrainian security services have given CNN surveillance footage and details of an elaborate sting operation they carried out to snare two North Korean spies in 2011.  CNN
VOA VIEW: This proves that CNN is the communist news network.

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Harvey To Slam Heart Of U.S. Energy As Worst Storm In Decade
Hurricane Harvey is bearing down on the heart of the U.S. energy sector on a track that’ll bring it ashore near Corpus Christi, Texas, Friday as the worst storm to hit the region in more than a decade. Oil refiners in the Gulf Coast, home to as much as half of the nation’s refining capacity, began to shutter operations as the storm approached with forecasts warning of heavy rain and top winds of 85 miles (137 kilometers) an hour. If Harvey makes landfall as a Category 3, it will be the strongest storm to hit the U.S. since Wilma in 2005. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Time will tell.

GOP Leaders Don’t Expect White House Tax-Plan Details
Republican congressional leaders don’t expect to release a joint tax plan with the White House next month, and they’ll rely instead on House and Senate tax-writing committees to solve the big tax questions that remain unanswered, according to two people familiar with the matter. The so-called Big Six -- made up of White House officials and congressional leaders involved in tax negotiations -- jointly released a two-page statement in July that outlined a broad set of agreed-upon tax principles. Specifics, including such basic matters as where to set the corporate tax rate and how to set up individual tax brackets, have yet to emerge. Bloomberg

Winner Of $758.7M Powerball Jackpot Is Hospital Worker, Mother Of 2
The Massachusetts woman who won the second-largest prize in Powerball history is a hospital worker and mother of two, she revealed at a press conference Thursday. Mavis Wanczyk, 53, said she was at work at the Chicopee Medical Center when she learned of her newfound fortune. "I called and told them I would not be coming back," she said, laughing. Wanczyk said she's "scared" and still can't believe it's true. ABC News

Rabbis Cancel Annual Call With Trump Over His Charlottesville Response
A coalition of major rabbinical groups has said it will not hold an annual conference call with the president because of how Donald Trump responded to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month. “We have concluded that President Trump’s statements during and after the tragic events in Charlottesville are so lacking in moral leadership and empathy for the victims of racial and religious hatred that we cannot organize such a call this year,” the groups wrote in a letter released on Wednesday. ABC News
VOA VIEW: Not a smart move, if true.

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NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio May Take Down Christopher Columbus Statue
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio may order the removal of the statue of Christopher Columbus in Manhattan's Columbus Circle. The statue, which is over 100 years old, is one of the city artifacts currently under review in an effort to remove "symbols of hate." De Blasio, a Democrat who is running for re-election this November, ordered the review after the violent confrontations between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Virginia earlier this month.mCBS News
VOA VIEW: The beginning is very troubling.

Presidential Campaign Managers Take On Election Hacking In Bipartisan Push
Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign manager, Robby Mook, and Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign manager, Matt Rhoades, both ran presidential campaigns that were targeted by foreign hackers. Now they're joining forces with Harvard to create a "playbook" of best practices to help both Republicans and Democrats shield elections from cyberattacks. Rhoades and Mook joined "CBS This Morning" to discuss their new initiative and why cybersecurity threats must be dealt with in a bipartisan way. CBS

Natalee Holloway’s Bones May Have Been Found At Last. But Justice Won't Be Served
Ardent followers of the 12-year saga that is the disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway, last seen on a school trip to the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, have been down this road before toward what they thought might be the truth. The scenario goes something like this: the chief suspect in the disappearance case, Joran Van Der Sloot (or his friends) hint he knows where Holloway’s body is buried and soon everyone is hot on the trail of another lead. But the graves are empty, or, if bones are found, they aren’t human. Sometimes the leads don’t come from Van Der Sloot, as in 2010 when a jawbone washed up on a beach. It did belong to a young woman around Holloway’s age, but in the end it did not belong to her. The Daily Beast

Hefner ‘Personally Embarrassed’ By Having Once Had Trump On Playboy Cover
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cooper Hefner explained that he and his father feel personal embarrassment for having once had President Trump on a Playboy cover. Cooper, who recently took over as chief creative officer of the famed magazine, said, “We don't respect the guy. There’s a personal embarrassment because Trump is somebody who has been on our cover.” The March 1990 cover featured Trump in a white tuxedo shirt and bow tie, standing next to a clothed playmate in a suggestive pose. The Daily Beast

It Turns Out Even The Hard Left Have Had Enough Of Mitch Landrieu
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has been putting his name as a presidential candidate for 2020. Landrieu has been trying to appeal to both the centrist and the “social justice” wings of the Democratic Party. However, not all Democrats are climbing on board the “Mitch for president” bandwagon. Michael Stein has published an op-ed in The New Republic denouncing Mitch Landrieu as just another bland centrist. Little about Landrieu is new or exciting. He’s your run-of-the-mill centrist Democrat, one who appeals to the left with illusory calls for progress even as he ingratiates himself with center-right supporters by straddling the ideological line. The Hayride
VOA VIEW: Landrieu has no chance of winning.

Soldiers Reassigned After Bringing Women To Hotel During Pence Detail
U.S. Army soldiers assigned to protect Vice President Mike Pence have been removed from their detail after an incident in Colombia, NBC reported. Sources told NBC that the men were caught on camera bringing women back to their hotel last week without registering them. It is unclear where Pence was at the time. Security video reportedly showed the soldiers bringing the women into a restricted area. “We are aware of the incident and it is currently under investigation,” a spokesperson for the Department of Defense told HuffPost. “We can confirm that the individuals in question have been re-assigned back to the Army.”  Huffington Post

Drone Carrying Cellphones Crashes Outside Georgia Prison
A drone carrying three cellphones crashed outside Macon State Prison on Thursday, officials said. An officer watching the prison’s perimeter in Macon County saw the device go down and investigated, the Georgia Department of Corrections posted on Facebook. Drones have become the newest method of delivering contraband such as cellphones, tobacco and drugs to inmates in Georgia, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Prison officials have been spending millions to try to stop the flow of contraband to convicts, installing infra-red cameras and even netting along fence lines. So, inmates are becoming more creative. Atlanta Journal

U.S. Navy Suspends Sea Search For Missing Sailors From USS McCain
The U.S. Navy on Thursday suspended the search at sea for the sailors who went missing when the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore on Monday. The Navy's 7th Fleet has named all 10 sailors, but says it has only confirmed the remains of one of them, Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, from New Jersey. Navy and Marine divers were still searching the flooded compartments on the guided-missile destroyer, which is now docked in Singapore.  NPR

Amid Reports Of Frustration, Avvas 'Highly Appreciative' Of US Peace Efforts
Amid reports of his frustration with US President Donald Trump’s administration, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told a high-level White House delegation on Thursday that he is appreciative of US President Donald Trump’s efforts to reach a peace deal. “We are highly appreciate of President Trump’s efforts… [Trump] has repeated since the beginning that he will work to achieve a historic peace deal,” Abbas said, according the official PA news site Wafa. Abbas met with senior Trump adviser Jared Kushner, representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt, and deputy national security advisor Dina Powell on Thursday in the Mukata, the PA headquarters in Ramallah.  Jerusalem Post

Stern Magazine's Trump 'Seig Heil' Cover Draws Sharp Criticism
US President Donald Trump was depicted draped in the American flag and performing a Nazi salute on the cover of the German magazine Stern's Thursday issue. The title, translated from German, is: "His Struggle (Sein Kampf) - Neo-nazis, Ku Klux Klan, Racism: As Donald Trump stirs hate in America." "His Struggle" is a reference to the infamous book penned by Adolf Hitler, "My Struggle" (Mein Kampf), further making the association between Trump and the leader of Nazi Germany. The Simon Wiesenthal Center quickly denounced the German publication's decision to run the cover.  Jerusalem Post

Qatar Defies Saudi Arabia By Restoring Diplomatic Ties With Iran
Qatar has defied Saudi Arabia by strengthening its diplomatic ties with Iran - rather than cutting them back as Saudi Arabia and its allies have demanded. Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states have been blockading Qatar since early June and have demanded that Qatar curb its ties with Iran, as well as shut down its al-Jazeera television network and expel extremists from its territory. Rather than give in to the blockading countries’ demands, Qatar announced on Thursday that it was restoring full diplomatic relations with Iran and sending its ambassador back to Tehran for the first time since 2016. Telegraph
VOA VIEW: If true, Qatar is going rogue.

Flow Of Refugees, Migrants To Europe Slows But Sea Journey Remains Deadly
Fewer refugees and migrants arrived in Europe in the first half of this year, but the likelihood of dying among people seeking to reach Europe is still “alarmingly high,” the United Nations refugee agency today reported, calling for renewed commitments to protect people. According to the report, Desperate Journeys, an estimated 2,253 people died or went missing at sea, and at least 40 died on land routes at or near European borders. “Taking measures to reduce the number of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe, without at the same time stepping up peace-making, development, and safe pathways is morally unacceptable,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. United Nations News

Evangelical Leader Stays On Trump Advisory Council Despite Charlottesville Response
A Charlotte-area evangelical leader said he won’t resign from a Trump administration advisory council despite discomfort with President Donald Trump’s comments on the Aug. 12 violence in Charlottesville, Va., that left a woman dead. Trump came under fire for blaming “many sides” for the clash between white nationalists and counter-protesters. Two days later, the president explicitly condemned racism and the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Matthews, said in a statement Thursday that Trump’s initial comments were “inartful and begged to be misconstrued and misunderstood in ways that are very hurtful to people.” Charlotte Observer

Sears To Close More Stores, Sales Continue Fall In 2Q
Sears continued to struggle in its second quarter with declining sales amid heightened competition from the likes of Walmart to Amazon. It now says it will close even more stores. The Hoffman Estates, Illinois retailer, which operates Sears and Kmart stores, has been trying to cut costs by closing stores, including 180 this year and already had plans to cut another 150 stores. It now plans to shutter an additional 28 Kmart stores. "The retail environment remained challenging," Sears Holdings Corp. said in a statement. Houston Chronicle

American Airlines Is Eliminating U.S. Jobs, Say Hundreds Of Protesters At MIA
About 400 demonstrators picketed in front of American Airline’s Terminal D at Miami International Airport Thursday afternoon, marking the second time the airline’s workers have protested job outsourcing this summer. The protest, organized by the Transport Workers Union, is the latest in the ongoing saga to settle a new contract between American and its aircraft maintenance and ground support workers. Members from TWU Locals 568 and 591 and other worker unions, including the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and Allied Pilots Association, joined in the demonstration Thursday. Miami Herald

Natalee Holloway’s Bones May Have Been Found At Last. But Justice Won't Be Served
Ardent followers of the 12-year saga that is the disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway, last seen on a school trip to the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, have been down this road before toward what they thought might be the truth. The scenario goes something like this: the chief suspect in the disappearance case, Joran Van Der Sloot (or his friends) hint he knows where Holloway’s body is buried and soon everyone is hot on the trail of another lead. But the graves are empty, or, if bones are found, they aren’t human. Sometimes the leads don’t come from Van Der Sloot, as in 2010 when a jawbone washed up on a beach. It did belong to a young woman around Holloway’s age, but in the end it did not belong to her. The Daily Beast

Hefner ‘Personally Embarrassed’ By Having Once Had Trump On Playboy Cover
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cooper Hefner explained that he and his father feel personal embarrassment for having once had President Trump on a Playboy cover. Cooper, who recently took over as chief creative officer of the famed magazine, said, “We don't respect the guy. There’s a personal embarrassment because Trump is somebody who has been on our cover.” The March 1990 cover featured Trump in a white tuxedo shirt and bow tie, standing next to a clothed playmate in a suggestive pose. The Daily Beast

Hurricane Harvey Rainfall Poses Danger To Ill-Prepared New Orleans
New Orleans is facing down its first Category 3 hurricane since Katrina decimated the city 12 years ago, and three of the city’s five power turbines are out. In addition, 15 of the Crescent City’s 120 pumps remain offline due to repairs. With Hurricane Harvey expected to dump heavy rainfall on a city that flooded just two weeks ago, precipitation alone could result in immense damage. Earlier this month, substantial rainfall caused the Lakeview and Mid-City neighborhoods to flood, some areas soaking in knee-deep water because the city’s pump and drainage systems were not at full capacity.  NBC News

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Demos In No Hurry To Help GOP With Debt Ceiling
Democrats hinted Thursday that they won’t be too eager to help the GOP raise the government’s debt ceiling later this year, adding another partisan problem to Republicans’ list of challenges. President Trump early in the day accused Democrats of obstruction over the debt ceiling, spurring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to fire back that it’s not up to Democrats but to the Republicans.  Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Many liberal programs will be unfounded.

White House Downplays Discord With Hill, Hints Tax News Coming
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was back at the podium on Thursday for the first televised daily briefing since President Donald Trump left earlier this month for his extended working vacation in New Jersey. Trump has had a rocky couple of weeks, prompting bipartisan condemnation of his response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned violent earlier this month. But he also gave a relatively well-received address on his Afghanistan war strategy on Monday.  Sanders downplayed the discord between Trump and Republicans on Capitol Hill. Trump has used his Twitter account to publicly berate Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and senators including Jeff Flake, who faces a competitive reelection race in 2018. POLITICO

All The Ways US Government Cybersecurity Falls Flat
Data breaches and hacks of US government networks, once novel and shocking, have become a problematic fact of life over the past few years. So it makes sense that a cybersecurity analysis released today placed the government at 16 out of 18 in a ranking of industries, ahead of only telecommunications and education. Health care, transportation, financial services, retail, and pretty much everything else ranked above it. Wired

North Korea 'Accidentally Reveals' Plans For New Missiles
Photographs released by KCNA state news agency to go with a report on Mr Kim's visit to a facility at the Academy of Defence Sciences facility show wall charts describing the missiles, called Hwasong-13 and Pukguksong-3. Hwasong-13 appears to be a three-stage ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missile), while the chart showing Pukguksong-3, although largely obscured by officials, is an Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM). It's not the first time that North Korea has "accidentally" left details of important developments in the background of photo-shoots, and this is seen by analysts as a means of showing off its military power or sending messages to its foes. BBC

U.S. Considering Sending Weapons To Ukraine
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Thursday the Trump administration is considering supplying weapons to Ukraine after a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev. Mattis said he would return to the United States and advise leaders on what he learned during his visit to Ukraine. Mattis' trip is the first by a U.S. defense secretary to Ukraine in more than a decade. The meeting comes as after U.S. Treasury Department in June announced it would add 38 more individuals and entities to the Office of Foreign Assets Control's list of those sanctions due to Russia's actions in Ukraine. UPI
VOA VIEW: The US protects its friends.

OPEC's All-Options Strategy Not Enough To Lift The Price Of Oil
Oil prices fell flat early Thursday as questions about OPEC's efforts to balance the market overshadowed possible U.S. offshore production issues. Crude oil prices rallied Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration issued a report indicating further drawdowns in U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories, a sign the market in the world's largest economy was starting to balance out. Geoffrey Craig, the oil futures editor for pricing group S&P Global Platts, said the U.S. oil supply surplus has been cut from about 40 percent to 20 percent since early February. "But traders already appear to be looking ahead to next month, when crude stocks typically build as refinery demand fades when units are taken offline for the fall maintenance period," he said in an emailed report. UPI

Agitated Trump Lashes Out At McConnell, Ryan, Obama, Clapper, Media
President Donald Trump ditched his recent — if brief — talk of unity on Thursday, instead accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan of provoking a "mess" over the debt ceiling, while also lashing out at the news media and former intelligence official James Clapper. The declarations came in a series of tweets that Trump fired off early Thursday, which also included a retweet of a picture of himself covering an image of former President Barack Obama with the caption, "The Best Eclipse Ever!" POLITICO

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Qatar Orders Closure Of Chadian Embassy, Gives Diplomats 72 Hours To Leave
Qatar ordered the embassy of Chad be closed and gave its diplomats 72 hours to leave, the Qatari foreign ministry said on Thursday, accusing the African country of joining a "campaign of blackmail" with its decision to shutter the Qatari embassy. Qatar is involved in a row with four Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, over allegations that Doha supports terrorism. Qatar denies the charges. Chad said on Wednesday it was giving Qatari diplomats 10 days to leave the country, accusing Qatar of trying to destabilize the central African nation through its northern neighbor Libya. The director of the Qatari foreign ministry's media department said the timing of the Chadian decision shows that it "comes within the campaign of political blackmail against the State of Qatar with the intention of joining the siege countries for very well known reasons". Reuters

White House Slams Corker For ‘Outrageous’ Criticism Of Trump
The White House blasted Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker as “ridiculous” Thursday for asserting that President Trump hasn’t shown yet that he can run the country. “I think that’s a ridiculous and outrageous claim and doesn’t dignify a response from this podium,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Speaking to reporters last week in the wake of the president’s response to racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Mr. Corker was critical of Mr. Trump’s handling of the issue. The Tennessee Republican said Mr. Trump “has not demonstrated he understands the character of this nation.” The lawmaker also said he thinks there must be “radical changes” in the White House.  Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Americans like their president - despite the liberal media promo.

How To Tell Which Donald Trump Will Deliver A Speech
After a raucous rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, filled with blatant dishonesty and attacks on the press and Republican officeholders, Donald Trump was set to speak to the American Legion in Reno, Nevada, on Wednesday. But anyone tuning in expecting to see the president come out with guns blazing was instead treated to a snoozefest: a workmanlike, respectful, even dull speech, appropriate to the occasion. The divergence between the two appearances was so great that both The Washington Post and The New York Times spotlit it in stories Thursday morning. The Atlantic

North Korea 'Accidentally Reveals' Plans For New Missiles
Photographs released by KCNA state news agency to go with a report on Mr Kim's visit to a facility at the Academy of Defence Sciences facility show wall charts describing the missiles, called Hwasong-13 and Pukguksong-3. Hwasong-13 appears to be a three-stage ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missile), while the chart showing Pukguksong-3, although largely obscured by officials, is an Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM). It's not the first time that North Korea has "accidentally" left details of important developments in the background of photo-shoots, and this is seen by analysts as a means of showing off its military power or sending messages to its foes. BBC

U.S. Considering Sending Weapons To Ukraine
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Thursday the Trump administration is considering supplying weapons to Ukraine after a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev. Mattis said he would return to the United States and advise leaders on what he learned during his visit to Ukraine. Mattis' trip is the first by a U.S. defense secretary to Ukraine in more than a decade. The meeting comes as after U.S. Treasury Department in June announced it would add 38 more individuals and entities to the Office of Foreign Assets Control's list of those sanctions due to Russia's actions in Ukraine. UPI
VOA VIEW: The US protects its friends.

OPEC's All-Options Strategy Not Enough To Lift The Price Of Oil
Oil prices fell flat early Thursday as questions about OPEC's efforts to balance the market overshadowed possible U.S. offshore production issues. Crude oil prices rallied Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration issued a report indicating further drawdowns in U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories, a sign the market in the world's largest economy was starting to balance out. Geoffrey Craig, the oil futures editor for pricing group S&P Global Platts, said the U.S. oil supply surplus has been cut from about 40 percent to 20 percent since early February. "But traders already appear to be looking ahead to next month, when crude stocks typically build as refinery demand fades when units are taken offline for the fall maintenance period," he said in an emailed report. UPI

1 In 10 Sanders Primary Voters Ended Up Supporting Trump, Survey Finds
Fully 12 percent of people who voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries voted for President Trump in the general election. That's according to the data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study — a massive election survey of around 50,000 people. (For perspective, a run-of-the-mill survey measuring Trump's job approval right now has a sample of 800 to 1,500.) Political science professor Brian Schaffner of University of Massachusetts, Amherst, tweeted out the data on Wednesday. NPR

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Trump Calls Opioid Crisis A National Emergency But Still Hasn’t Made It Official
Two weeks ago, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency and called it “a serious problem the likes of which we have never had.” “We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis,” the president insisted. But so far, Trump hasn’t formally signed such a declaration and sent it to Congress. And that means the millions the executive branch could direct towards expanding treatment facilities — or supplying police officers with the anti-overdose remedy naloxone — aren’t going anywhere because Trump has not yet followed through. NBC News

Trump Signs Bill To Streamline VA Disability Claims Appeals Process
 President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act (H.R. 2288), which streamlines the process for veterans to appeal disability benefit claims. “In just a few moments right here on this stage, I will sign a historic bill that the American Legion helped us deliver – The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act – and you all know what that means. No longer will veterans be waiting for years to get an answer to their appeals.  CNS

Using Medical Terms To Mislabel Donald Trump Won't Stop His Mad Presidency
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., has introduced a bill suggesting that Vice President Pence "quickly secure the services of medical and psychiatric professionals" to begin the process of removing President Trump from office, due to his alleged disqualifying mental disorder. Trump's daily dramas and predictably unpredictable behavior has already stimulated a petition signed by 61,000 people, including many mental health workers, claiming that: “Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of discharging the duties of president of the United States.” USA Today
VOA VIEW: It is no length the liberal left will go.

Feds Granted Access To Emails Of Trump Protest Site As DreamHost Considers Appeal
The Department of Justice might not want information on 1.3 million IP addresses of individuals connecting to an anti-Trump website, but they still want an awful lot of data and it could contain personal communications of people who are entirely innocent. So says DreamHost, the company that hosts disruptj20.org, which helped organize some of President Trump's inauguration day protests on January 20. It's now considering an appeal to a judge decision to allow the warrant in its current state. The feds initially demanded, in a July warrant, the information on those 1.3 million IPs as part of an investigation into the property damage caused by rioters on Trump's big day.  Forbes

Majority Of Voters Think Trump Keeping Promises, Blame Washington Elites For Delays
The George Washington University battleground poll found that 51 percent of voters agreed with the statement “Donald Trump had been keeping his campaign promises” with 44 percent disagreeing. But when asked about the reasons for the delay in getting some of his promises enacted, 52 percent of respondents agreed that “Washington elites are to blame for the delay in passing some of these reforms.” The poll comes at a time when Trump has been increasingly locking horns with top Republican leaders over priorities in Congress. Trump said at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona Tuesday that he was prepared to shut down the government if Congress would not fund a wall at the southern border. . Breitbart

Russian Bombers Flew Mission Over Korean Peninsula
Russian strategic bombers flew a rare mission over the Korean peninsula as US forces conducted joint military exercises with South Korea, according to a report on Thursday. Moscow, which has warned the US not to take military action against North Korea over its missile threats, said Tu-95 bombers, accompanied by Sukhoi-35S fighter jets, flew over the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea, causing Japan and South Korea to scramble jets, Reuters reported. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Russia is looking for trouble.

Felder Aide Says Virginia Killer Was Clinton Fan Masked As Neo-Nazi
An aide to state Sen. Simcha Felder recently told a constituent that the man who mowed down a counter-protester with his car during the Charlottesville hate rally might actually have been a Hillary Clinton supporter masking as a neo-Nazi. Eliana Meirowitz Nelson said that Felder aide Darlene Leder told her she had heard the Charlottesville rally and violence was manufactured between the city's mayor and police. “I was flabbergasted,” Nelson told the Daily News. “I told her that none of it was true. I had friends in Charlottesville. What she said was crazy conspiracy theory nonsense.” NY Daily

Ryan Plugs Tax Reform: Current System ‘Paternalistic,’ ‘Condescending’
“We have arguably the worst tax system in the industrialized world,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told a gathering in Hillsboro, Oregon on Wednesday. He called the current system “complicated,” “paternalistic” and “condescending.” "We don't really have a system that is very fair, and one of the reasons why our system's not very fair is because it's really complicated. You can sit next to your next door neighbor, have the same kind of income and pay dramatically different taxes because of all the different carve outs and the loopholes in the tax code. So, we want to clean this thing up. We want to clean up our tax system to make it simple and fair, condense all these redundant loopholes, get rid of a lot of these bizarre special interest carve outs and just lower people's tax rates. CNS

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Trump Official Recommends Shrinking National Monuments
Conservation safeguards on a “handful” of national monuments across the US could be rolled back following the delivery on Thursday of the White House’s long-awaited review of such public lands, interior secretary Ryan Zinke said. Speaking to the Associated Press in Billings, Montana, Zinke said unspecified boundary adjustments for some of the 27 national monuments were among his recommendations. None of the sites would be eliminated and revert to state or private ownership, he said, while public access for uses such as hunting, fishing or grazing would be maintained or expanded. The Guardian

Transgender Ban In US Military Would Go Into Effect In Six Months, Memo Says
New transgender recruits to the US military would be banned and the US defense secretary would have the power to remove those currently serving, under the terms of a new memo from the White House described to reporters. The Trump administration has not yet sent the directive, which takes the form of a two-and-a-half page memo, to military leaders. But its outline calls for the Pentagon to implement the new ban in six months. The Guardian

Booting Trump From Twitter?
Former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson is looking to crowdfund enough money to buy Twitter so President Trump can’t use it. Wilson launched the fund-raiser last week, tweeting: “If @Twitter executives won’t shut down Trump’s violence and hate, then it’s up to us. #BuyTwitter #BanTrump.” T h e G o - FundMe page for the fund-raiser says Trump’s tweets “damage the country and put people in harm’s way.” Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: The idiots keep trying to cause a problem.

Amazon To Cut Prices At Whole Foods Starting Monday
Amazon.com Inc. is wasting no time bringing its reputation for undercutting competitors to the grocery business through newly acquired Whole Foods Market Inc. The company said it will begin slashing prices on a broad cross section of Whole Foods groceries Monday -- the same day the $13.7 billion deal is set to close. That will start with items such as chicken, eggs, some vegetables, and some types of organic fish.  SF Gate

U.S. Indicts Former Societe Generale Bank Managers Over Libor Scheme
The U.S. Justice Department said it had indicted on Thursday two former managers at French bank Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) for their roles in a scheme to manipulate the global Libor benchmark interest rate. The department said in a statement it had charged Danielle Sindzingre, 54, the bank's former global head of treasury, and Muriel Bescond, 49, its former head of treasury in Paris, in the Eastern District of New York with conspiring to transmit false reports concerning market information that tends to affect a commodity and four counts of transmitting such false reports. Reuters

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