NEWS   SATURDAY, AUGUST  26, 2017   NEWS

British Spy Behind Trump Dossier Ordered To Give Deposition In Buzzfeed Suit
The former British spy who put together an unverified dossier of explosive allegations about President Trump during last year’s campaign has been ordered to give a deposition in a multi-million-dollar libel case brought against a media outlet that published the document. Former MI-6 British Intelligence Officer Christopher Steele is fighting the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro, of the Southern District of Florida that he must answer questions in the suit against Buzzfeed. A lawyer directly involved in the case said the issue will likely be argued before the British courts where a similar libel case is being heard. Fox
VOA VIEW: The media will lose big time.

Hurricane Harvey Strengthens To Category 4 Storm, Texas Officials Urge Residents To 'Get Out Now'
As Hurricane Harvey grows in strength to a Category 2 storm and approaches Texas, local officials have a message to those considering riding out the storm: "Get out now." The first major hurricane to hit Texas in nearly nine years, labeled by forecasters as a "life-threatening storm," could bring up to three feet of rain, 125 mph winds and 12-foot storm surges. "If it's 10 feet of water, there's a good chance you will lose electricity," Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb said. Fox

Samsung Chief Gets 5-year Prison Term For Corruption
Lee, the billionaire son of Samsung's ailing chairman, was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday, well short of the 12-year sentence prosecutors had sought. The criminal conviction is a blow for Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker and South Korea's biggest family-run conglomerate whose businesses are estimated to account for around 15% of the country's entire economy.  CNN

Intel Chief Sheds Light On 'Beautiful Letter' Trump Says He Wrote Him
When former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper questioned President Donald Trump's "fitness to be in this office" after the President's wild speech in Phoenix Tuesday night, it was likely only a matter of time before the President aimed his Twitter ire at the retired general. Indeed, Thursday morning came the tweet from the President: "James Clapper, who famously got caught lying to Congress, is now an authority on Donald Trump. Will he show you his beautiful letter to me?" In an interview, Clapper told CNN about the "beautiful letter."  CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is losing their ratings.

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GOP Plan To Kill Estate Tax Sets Up Charitable Giving Conflict
Most Republicans support killing the estate tax as part of a tax overhaul, but doing so could have dire consequences for something else conservatives cherish -- charitable giving. President Donald Trump along with top GOP lawmakers have proposed ending what they call the death tax -- a 40 percent levy that’s applied to estates worth more than $5.49 million for individuals and $10.98 million for married couples. The tax affected only 0.2 percent of estates in 2015.  Bloomberg

Gary Cohn Says He'll Stay Because Neo-Nazis Won't Drive Him Out
The markets swooned recently amid reports that Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, ex-Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn, was considering whether to quit. Bloomberg News and others reported that he was deeply distressed by Trump’s comments that "both sides" were to blame for the deadly violence in Charlottesville. Now Cohn is staying and for the first time, he gave the reason why: He isn’t going to let some white supremacists run him off. "As a Jewish American, I will not allow neo-Nazis ranting ‘Jews will not replace us’ to cause this Jew to leave his job," Cohn said in an interview published Friday by the Financial Times. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Smart move by Cohn.

House Intel Committee Democrat Wants To Investigate Russian Lobbyist In Trump Tower Meeting
A Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee wants to investigate the naturalization of Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, who has emerged as a key figure in the Russia investigations following his meeting in Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort in 2016. "I certainly want his naturalization looked at. I’d like to find out how committed he is to the United States over Russia," Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said in an interview. ABC News

Trump Leaning Toward Ending Obama-Era Immigration Program For Undocumented Children
President Donald Trump is leaning toward ending a U.S. immigration policy the Obama administration started for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, according to multiple sources. The president's decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, could be announced as early as next week, one source said.  ABC News
VOA VIEW: The ending of DACA would be a good move.

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Trump Tweets About GOP Senator Who Said He Hadn't Shown "Stability"
President Trump responded to a GOP senator's recent criticism of him with a Friday morning tweet. "Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in '18. Tennessee not happy!" Trump tweeted. The "strange statement" seemed to be a reference to Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker's comments last week that Mr. Trump hasn't not shown some of the core qualities needed to be an effective president. CBS News
VOA VIEW: Corker may not make the cut.

Ethics Watchdog Asks For Records Of Mnuchin And Wife's Travel To Kentucky
An government ethics watchdog group is launching their own investigation into Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton's travel to Kentucky after a photo posted by Linton, spotlighting her lavish designer clothing as she stepped off a government plane, went viral. CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has requested copies of "all records concerning authorization for and the costs of" Mnuchin and Linton's use of a government plane to travel to Lexington, Kentucky on August 21, as well as all records pertaining to Mnuchin's use of a government plane for any purpose since his appointment to the Trump administration. CBS News

Trump Administration Abruptly Cuts Funding To Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs
Some of the junior high students in Travis County, Texas, break into nervous laughter at the mere mention of sex. Some shyly ask questions. But most fall silent when Julie Maciel, a health educator, tells them how terrifying it is to become pregnant as a teenager. Maciel, of Austin, had her daughter when she was only 17. The unplanned pregnancy was largely due to a lack of sex education in schools, she says — something she's determined to change. "It's not just about sex ed. It's about making decisions about what they want to do in the future. NBC News

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Ohio Seeks More Foster Parents To Help Kids From Drug-Ravaged Families
Ohio's top lawman sent out an SOS on Thursday to residents thinking of becoming foster parents — we need you now to take in kids from drug-ravaged families. “There is a growing chasm between the number of available foster families and the increasing number of children who enter the child welfare system because one or both of their parents are drug addicts,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said. NBC News

State Dep’t Says UN's Anti-Israel ‘Settlement’ Blacklist Does Not Facilitate Peace
The Trump administration considers a U.N. blacklist of private companies doing business in territories disputed between Israel and the Palestinians “counterproductive” and unhelpful in advancing peace efforts between the two, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday. CNS

State Dep't Expresses 'Grave Concern' About Reported North Korea-Syria Weapons Trade
Allegations of illicit weapons collaboration between North Korea and the Assad regime, if true, “would be a very grave, grave concern” to the United States, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday. She was responding to claims that unnamed countries have intercepted on two occasions in the past six months shipments from North Korea to a Syrian government agency long responsible for chemical weapons production. CNS

Charles Lane: Military Leaders ‘Consolidating Power’ in Trump Administration
You know that Americans are going through an extraordinary political moment when The Post reports that “military leaders are rapidly consolidating power throughout the executive branch” — that they’re “publicly contradicting” the president and “balking” at carrying out his policies — and civilian politicians react with undisguised relief. They are grateful that, while President Trump transgresses and blunders, the generals in powerful jobs — national security adviser H.R. McMaster, along with Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — provide “a steadying hand on the rudder,” as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) put it. Breitbart
VOA VIEW: An overstatement.

Mark Meadows: Ryan, McConnell ‘Can Probably Keep Their Jobs’ If They Execute President’s Agenda During Critical September Window
Republicans infighting between moderates and conservatives is “at the brink of breaking out into open warfare” just ahead of a critical month for Congress and Trump’s agenda. During a rally Tuesday night, Trump threatened a government shutdown over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall, as tensions between Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continue to escalate. From The Hill: House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who was close to Trump during the 2016 campaign, is warning that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and McConnell could lose their jobs if they fall short on tax reform and funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall. “Bottom line: if Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell can get the president’s agenda done, they can probably keep their jobs,” Meadows said in an interview. “If Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell can’t get the president’s agenda done, I don’t know that they get to keep theirs, nor do I know if I get to keep mine. We’ve got to deliver. It’s critically important we do that in a way that conservatives have long espoused,” he said. GOP leaders, meanwhile, are scrambling to deflect blame. Breitbart

Remains Found In Natalee Holloway Case Are Of 'Caucasian' Descent
Preliminary DNA testing on remains found on the island where Natalee Holloway disappeared has brought her family all the more close to learning the fate of their missing daughter. At least one of the bone fragments discovered in Aruba — where Holloway was last spotted on a graduation trip with her Alabama high school 12 years ago — “is from a single individual,” forensic scientist Dr. Jason Kolowski said. “They are human, and they are of Caucasian, European descent,” he told Oxygen, the network behind “The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway.” The true crime series — the first episode of which premiered Aug. 19 — is set to follow Natalee’s father, Dave Holloway, on his quest to uncover answers in his daughter’s mysterious disappearance. NY Daily

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Iraqi Forces Say They Have Broken Through Islamic State Lines In Tal Afar
Iraqi government forces broke through Islamic State’s lines inside Tal Afar on Friday, reaching the old city center and the neighborhood around the Ottoman-era citadel, according to a military statement. On the sixth day of the offensive, elite Iraqi units seized the northern neighborhoods of Nida’, Taliaa, Uruba, Nasr, and Saad, according to a statement from the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC).  Reuters

Senator Questions Quick Approval Of Amazon's Whole Foods Purchase
A U.S. senator on Friday questioned the Federal Trade Commission’s quick approval of Amazon.com Inc’s purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc this week, less than three months after the $13.7 billion deal was announced. The FTC on Wednesday said it ended its antitrust investigation without seeking a second request for additional information on the deal that has sent shock waves through the grocery industry. Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, said in a statement on Friday that she is concerned about the FTC's decision to "not fully review" the deal, which was announced on June 16. Reuters

Trump Wants ‘Clean’ Debt Ceiling Increase
President Trump wants Congress to send him a “clean” bill to raise the government’s debt ceiling, the White House said Thursday, adopting the longtime position of the Democratic Party and bucking conservatives who traditionally demand new curbs on spending in exchange for authorizing more debt. Washington is facing a series of looming deadlines on budget and spending matters, and Mr. Trump’s new stance could pave the way for a deal with Democrats on one of them. Washington Times

French President Macron Has Spent $30,000 On Makeup Services In Just 3 Months
Emmanuel Macron has long been described as a fresh face in French politics. As it turns out, the appellation may be literal as well. The French magazine Le Point revealed Thursday that France’s 39-year-old new president has spent 26,000 euros ($30,000) on makeup services in his first three months in office — that's $10,000 a month, or about $330 a day. All at taxpayers’ expense. In the rest of the French press, the revelations only added to a growing sentiment that Macron — who currently enjoys an approval rating of just 36 percent — has gone too far in cultivating what some see as a kinglike persona.  Google News
VOA VIEW: Expected from a young inexperienced liberal.

Trump Tightens Venezuela’s Access To U.S. Financial System
President Trump moved Friday to restrict the Venezuelan government’s access to the U.S. financial system and squeeze the oil-based economy that sustains President Nicolás Maduro but stopped short of imposing a full oil embargo. New sanctions dealing with Venezuela’s access to credit were effective immediately, officials said. Trump signed an executive order barring dealings in new bonds and stocks issued by the government and the state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the parent of Citgo. Banks also cannot engage in new lending with the government or the oil giant. Washington Post

Trump Staffer Responsible For Finding Positive News Stories Resigns
President Donald Trump’s administration parted ways with yet another staffer this week. Politico reported Thursday that Andy Hemming resigned from his position as the White House communications team’s director of rapid response on Monday. The 31-year-old former Republican National Committee staffer, who was profiled by Politico’s Annie Karni this month, was responsible for finding positive mainstream media news stories about the Trump administration and recirculating those reports to key reporters and talking heads. Huffington Post

Trump Will Visit Texas Next Week, Likely Will Approve Request For Preemptive Disaster Declaration
President Trump plans to visit Texas next week to inspect damage from Hurricane Harvey, press secretary Sarah Sanders said. And he stands ready to sign a preemptive emergency declaration once it reaches his desk, homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said at the White House. Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to FEMA on Friday requesting a disaster declaration ahead of Hurricane Harvey making landfall. Dallas News

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Local Officials Want To Remove Confederate Monuments—But States Won't Let Them
Leaders in the city of Birmingham, Alabama, had long looked askance at the Confederate monument in Linn Park, a granite obelisk soaring more than 50 feet in the air near downtown. In a city with a bloody civil-rights history and a nearly 75 percent African American population, the memorial seemed like a provocation even before violent protests broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, where leaders want to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. “The Atlantic

Trump's Fractured Relationship With Congress Causes GOP Dread
Escalating tension between Capitol Hill and the White House is threatening the GOP's legislative agenda and testing the bonds of party unity under the Trump administration. An unscripted and angry President Trump unloaded on Congress at a campaign rally in Phoenix, leaving lawmakers increasingly apprehensive about the party's ambitious fall agenda that includes an overhaul of the entire federal tax code. NPR

Fed Chief Yellen Calls For 'Modest' Reform Changes In Potentially Final Speech
In what may have been her last speech as chief of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen said Friday that any rollbacks of financial reforms should be modest. The Fed chairwoman spoke at the central bank's annual monetary policy conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on the effectiveness of regulatory policy and reforms that followed the 2007-09 financial crisis. Yellen noted that, a decade ago, the U.S. financial system was "a dangerous place" -- citing a peak in the price of housing and strains caused by the subprime mortgage market, which led to the deterioration of money markets and the imposition of new regulations on banks. Today, she said, things are much improved and more capable of holding off a similar crisis in the future. UPI

Kasich, Hickenlooper Consider Unity Presidential Ticket In 2020
Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper have entertained the idea of forming a unity presidential ticket to run for the White House in 2020, a source involved the discussions tells CNN. Under this scenario, Kasich, a Republican, and Hickenlooper, a Democrat, would run as independents with Kasich at the top of the ticket, said the source, who cautioned it has only been casually talked about. CNN
VOA VIEW: It shows the extent CNN and Kasich would take to rid themselves of Trump - it will not work.

Ram Rahim Singh's Supporters Riot After Rape Conviction
At least 28 people have been killed in India as violent protests erupted after a court convicted a self-styled "godman" of raping two female followers. Friday's verdict angered thousands of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's supporters who said he was innocent. Singh was found guilty in a case dating back to 2002 at the headquarters of his Dera Sacha Sauda group in the northern town of Sirsa. Supporters rampaged in response, setting fire to government buildings, attacking railway stations, petrol stations and television vans in towns across the northern states of Punjab and Haryana soon after the verdict was announced, witnesses said. Hundreds of Indian police and soldiers patrolled Panchkula, the town where the court gave its verdict on Singh, as local officials feared an outbreak of violence. Police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protesters. Al Jazeera

Trump Administration Imposes Sweeping Sanctions On Venezuela
The Trump administration on Friday slapped sweeping financial sanctions on Venezuela, dramatically ratcheting up tensions between the two countries and making it harder for embattled President Nicolas Maduro to raise badly needed funds to prevent a debt default. The sanctions Trump signed by executive order prohibit financial institutions from providing new money to the government or state oil company PDVSA. It would also restrict PDVSA's U.S. subsidiary, Citgo, from sending dividends back to Venezuela as well as ban trading in two bonds the government recently issued to circumvent its increasing isolation from western financial markets. Star Tribune

Trump Is Winning The Statue War
Just last month, Democrats were talking about how they needed to rebrand their party around a positive message. They wanted to move beyond simple anti-Trumpism and identity politics, and craft an economic appeal to the white working-class voters who deserted them in 2016. Now here we are with Democrats going all in to refight the Civil War. Well done. A glance at the electoral map shows how foolish this is. Donald Trump triumphed in 2016 by increasing Republican margins in a swath of northern counties stretching from western Pennsylvania across the Great Lakes, netting him Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and the presidency. Voters there are more likely to see this issue as a radical temper tantrum than anything affecting their daily lives. USA Today

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Iran Boast On Uranium Enrichment Serves As Warning To Trump
Iran’s boast this week that it needs only days to ramp up the uranium enrichment needed to produce a nuclear bomb added a new layer of complexity to an internal White House debate over whether President Trump should declare Tehran in violation of the 2015 nuclear accord. The assertion by Iranian Atomic Chief Ali Akbar Salehi on Tuesday was a veiled threat, according to analysts, who say Tehran was sending a message about how bad things could become if Mr. Trump decides to pull out of the agreement when it next comes up for review in October.  Washington Times

Oil And Gas Allies To Trump: Slow Down
President Donald Trump's aggressive drive to roll back environmental regulations is moving too fast even for some in the oil and gas industry. Publicly, petroleum companies and their trade groups are cheering Trump’s efforts to undo former President Barack Obama’s environmental regulations, including restrictions on fracking-related pollution, pipeline permits and offshore drilling. But quietly, people in the industry are growing worried that deregulation could backfire on them, according to interviews with a dozen executives, lobbyists, lawyers and analysts. POLITICO

Ryan Faces Diciest Stretch Of His Speakership
For all its power and prestige, the speaker of the House is one of the most thankless jobs in Washington — just ask John Boehner. Now, with Congress barreling toward major fiscal fights this fall, Paul Ryan is about to get a taste of the Boehner treatment — and then some. Consider what's on the immediate horizon for the GOP wunderkind: President Donald Trump is ready to shut down the government over his border wall with Mexico. Breitbart has all but declared a renewed, Steve Bannon-led war on GOP leaders, with Ryan in its cross hairs. POLITICO

Is Russia Really Arming The Taliban?
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week became the latest U.S. official to say Russia was supplying arms to the Afghan Taliban, calling it a violation of international norms. His remarks, which came just days after President Trump announced a new open-ended U.S. military commitment to Afghanistan, echo those of General John Nicholson, the head of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, and Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of the U.S. European Command. Russia, which has been critical of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, has vehemently denied the accusations. The Atlantic

Abbas Confidante: Americans Provided No Clarity On Two-State Solution Or Settlements
US President Donald Trump’s delegation that met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday provided no clarity on its positions regarding the two-state solution or settlements, Ahmad Majdalani, a close confidante of the PA president said on Friday. “The American delegation did not explain its position on two states or settlement construction,” Majdalani told The Jerusalem Post. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: Dealing with Palestinians is impossible - they want too much.

UN Rights Office Gathering Info On Air Strikes In Yemen; Urges Protection Of Civilians
 Reiterating that attacks targeting civilians are prohibited under international law, the United Nations human rights office today confirmed dozens of casualties in airstrikes on villages near the capital, Sana'a. Briefing journalists in Geneva, a spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioners for Human Rights (OHCHR), Liz Throssell, said one of the airstrikes on 23 August hit the Istirahat Al Shahab hotel in Bayt Al Athri in Arhab district, destroying the second floor and seriously damaging the rest of the building. United Nations

He Screams About ‘Race Traitors’ And Trump Loves Him
Sam Clovis is good on TV, which is why President Donald Trump likes him. Whether it qualifies him for a high-level administration post, or gets him confirmed by the Senate, is another question entirely. Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill are hoping it won’t be enough. And in the coming weeks they are gearing up for war against Clovis, the former Trump campaign aide whom the president nominated last month to serve as the Department of Agriculture’s top scientist. The argument they will make is that Clovis is wholly unqualified, outwardly anti-science, and, well, a bigot. The Daily Beast

Mitch Landrieu Says His Aspen Speech A Higher Priority Than New Orleans Flooding
Mitch Landrieu finally admitted his priorities are outside of New Orleans, explaining on Thursday that he did not return because he had to give a speech in Aspen the night after New Orleans’ worst flood since Katrina. “I made the determination not to come back because based on the information I had,” Landrieu said on August 24th.  The information was flooded streets, homes, businesses, vehicles, and very slow drainage.  Citizens in several different neighborhoods said in news reports that pump stations were not on.  The Hayride

More Than 700 Troops Deployed To Assist With Harvey Threat
At the behest of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, more than 700 members of the Texas Army and Air National Guards, Texas State Guard and the Texas Military Department have been activated and are positioning themselves throughout the state ahead of Hurricane Harvey and its anticipated landfall later this week. “This is what we train for,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Hamilton, commander of the Domestic Operations Task Force. Drudge Report

The Obscene Effort To Shame ‘Trump’s Jews’
The hot new criticism of my fellow Jews is that we don’t complain enough. Really. A host of pundits, concerned about President Trump’s baffling unwillingness to single out neo-Nazis for criticism, are turning to the American Jewish community and pleading: Would it kill you to maybe kvetch a bit? The idea we haven’t protested is bonkers, but more important, the left’s campaign to get all Jews to publicly denounce Trump has taken a profoundly dangerous and ugly turn. And it needs to stop. On Tuesday, the Washington Examiner reported that a coalition of left-leaning Jewish organizations have decided to lead by example. New York Post
VOA VIEW: The  majority of Jews would be foolish to follow the left.

U.S. Officials Stress Talks With Taliban
Top U.S. diplomatic and military officials sought Thursday to address days of confusion and concern over President Trump’s strategy for Afghanistan, stressing support for possible peace talks with Taliban insurgents alongside a new, open-ended military commitment. Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and the acting U.S. ambassador, Hugo Llorens, spoke about the importance of reaching a settlement with the Taliban in attempts to end the nearly 16-year war. Afghans see a peace pact as crucial to future stability, but Trump’s address Monday seemed to dismiss an accord as a vague possibility. Both U.S. officials insisted they were not breaking ranks with the White House, but framed their comments as additional details and reinforcement of Trump’s message. Philadelphia Inquirer

Hurricane Harvey Could Trigger PTSD For Katrina Survivors
Texas-bound Hurricane Harvey also threatens to wreak havoc in southeast Louisiana, where an official says survivors of Katrina 12 years ago could suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. “Not only for us but for our friends in the Baton Rouge area, who experienced catastrophic weather barely a year ago, a storm threat like this one can trigger PTSD and related feelings,” said St. Tammany Parish Coroner Charles Preston, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported. “This is not to be taken lightly,” he said in a news release. Anyone bracing for a hurricane is susceptible to stress as they make sure gas tanks are filled and food pantries are stocked – but the anxiety is magnified for those with PTSD, he said. New York Post

ISIS Video Shows Boy Claiming To Be Son Of Americans Vowing To ‘Defeat’ Trump
A boy with a sniper rifle and claiming to be the son of American parents is the new face of Islamic State propaganda, vowing in a video that the bloodthirsty militants will “defeat” President Trump, the “puppet of the Jews.” The boy — who says he is 10 years old and goes by the name Yusuf — claims he is the son of a US veteran who fought in the Iraq War and that he immigrated to Islamic State territory with his mother two years ago, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). His claims could not be independently confirmed. New York Post

Russian Hackers Feel The Heat As Trump Seeks Warmer Moscow Ties
When Alexander Vinnik was arrested on money-laundering charges at a Greek hotel in late July, the status of his Jabber secure online messaging account was set to “away”. “He often takes some time to reply, so at first I didn’t think anything of it,” said one person who knew the Russian as an administrator of a digital currency exchange which U.S. prosecutors say was used to launder criminal funds. “Then when I saw his picture on the news, I knew he would be ’away’ for a long time,” said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The U.S. Justice Department says Vinnik facilitated crimes including computer hacking, fraud and drug trafficking by laundering at least $4 billion through BTC-e -- an exchange used to trade bitcoin and other digital currencies -- since 2011. Reuters

Perdue On His Immigration Bill: ‘Everything Is On The Table.’
President Donald Trump announces his support for the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act with U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, left, and David Perdue, R-Ga., right, in the White House. Zach Gibson – Pool. Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue was as blunt as he could be about the future of his Donald Trump-backed initiative slash legal immigration levels: “Everything is on the table.” In a sit-down Friday with Atlanta journalists, the first-term Republican said he is still working with Trump to build support for the plan. But he said he was open to changes to the measure, as long as it doesn’t morph into a comprehensive immigration bill. “People talk about compromise. Atlanta Journal

Palin Backs Roy Moore In Alabama Senate Race
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Roy Moore on Thursday, giving a boost to the Republican in the Alabama GOP Senate primary runoff. "Glad he's running and am honored to endorse Judge Roy Moore for the US Senate," Palin said in a statement. "Judge Moore has shown he has what it takes to stand up to the out-of-touch political establishment."  The Hill

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