NEWS   FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER  22, 2017   NEWS

Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting North Korea's Trading Partners
President Trump signed an executive order Thursday targeting North Korea’s trading partners, calling it a “powerful” new tool aimed at isolating and de-nuclearizing the regime. The president announced the order as he met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. He said the order would help target individuals and companies doing business with Pyongyang. Specifically, he said it enhances the Treasury Department’s authority to target those conducting significant trade with the regime, including by sanctioning foreign banks.  Fox
VOA VIEW: A smart decision that sends a clear message.

Sanders' Single-Payer Bill Causing Headaches For Dems In 2018 Midterms
One of the latest hints of support for Bernie Sanders’ single-payer health care plan came not from a liberal enclave like San Francisco or Brooklyn – but from West Virginia’s senior senator, Joe Manchin. The proposal “should be explored,” Manchin told Bloomberg News earlier this month, while clarifying that the Senate should consider all options and that he’s “skeptical” single payer is the “right solution.” While the statement from Manchin – whose state overwhelmingly backed President Trump last fall – was cautious, the senator’s willingness to even consider Sanders’ costly health bill shows how the legislation has caused major political complications for Democratic congressional candidates. Not so long ago, moderate Democrats avoided single payer at all costs. Fox
VOA VIEW: Socialist program will not go well with Americans.

How One Chuck Grassley Quote Sums Up The Entire GOP Repeal And Replace Effort
When Iowa reporters asked Sen. Chuck Grassley on Wednesday about the attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, his answer was remarkable and revealing. "You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn't be considered," the Iowa Republican said. "But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That's pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill." So. Huge points to Grassley for honesty there. And, he's right. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is pushing hard to liberalize all they can.

The One Major Reason Graham-Cassidy Could Pass
When it comes to the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, there is one thing Republicans agree on right now: It's their last shot to repeal and replace Obamacare. That may be all the motivation they need to pass it. In recent days, an intense operation to sell the bill to few key holdouts has gotten underway. But most of those conversations are happening under the radar. On Wednesday, the bill's sponsors, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, briefed Alaska Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski.  CNN

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GOP Pushes McCain To Back ‘Last Best Hope’ For Obamacare Repeal
Republicans are working to win Senator John McCain’s support for a likely vote next week on the GOP’s "last best hope" for repealing Obamacare, second-ranking Senate Republican John Cornyn said Thursday. “We’re doing everything we know how to do" to get the votes to pass the bill that would convert the Affordable Care Act into block grants to states, Cornyn said during a trip to Texas to survey damage from Hurricane Harvey. To pass the bill, the GOP can afford to lose no more than two votes from their 52-48 majority. Bloomberg

Trump Claims Chinese Banks Won't Do Business With North Korea
President Donald Trump claimed Thursday that China has ordered its banks to stop doing business with North Korea -- the rogue regime's principal trading partner. "I'm very proud to tell you that as you may have just heard moments ago, China, their central bank has told their other banks --that's a massive banking system-- to immediately stop doing business with North Korea," Trump said at the United Nations alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "Again, I want to just say and thank President Xi of China for the very bold move he made today.  ABC News
VOA VIEW: China is left with no choice.

Sean Spicer Defends Brief WH Tenure: I 'Don't Think' I Lied To American People
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer acknowledges that he's "made mistakes," but says that for those who "want some blanket apology -- that's not happening." "I made mistakes," Spicer, who's been out at the White House for less than a month, told ABC News' Paula Faris. "There's no question. I think we all do." Spicer added that he "tried to own" some of his mistakes, but said that "the personal attacks, questioning my integrity ... you know, what my intentions were, I think, were really over the top." ABC News

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D.C. Court Rules Tracking Phones Without A Warrant Is Unconstitutional
Law enforcement use of one tracking tool, the cell-site simulator, to track a suspect's phone without a warrant violates the Constitution, the D.C. Court of Appeals said Thursday in a landmark ruling for privacy and Fourth Amendment rights as they pertain to policing tactics. The ruling could have broad implications for law enforcement's use of cell-site simulators, which local police and federal agencies can use to mimic a cell phone tower to the phone connect to the device instead of its regular network.  CBS News
VOA VIEW: There has to be some privacy.

North Korea Responds To Trump’s Threat To "Totally Destroy” It If Provoked
North Korea's foreign minister has described President Donald Trump's threat to destroy his country as "the sound of a dog barking." The comments are the North's first response to Trump's debut speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, during which he vowed to "totally destroy North Korea" if provoked. Trump also called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "Rocket man." The North's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York late Wednesday that "It would be a dog's dream if he intended to scare us with the sound of a dog barking." South Korean TV footage also showed Ri saying he feels "sorry for his aides" when he was asked about Trump's "Rocket man" comments. CBS News
VOA VIEW: Liberal foolishness.

After Mexico Quake, California Urges Residents To Prepare For ‘The Big One’
This week’s deadly earthquake in Mexico has many Californians asking: What will happen when the proverbial "big one" hits? And their government is telling them two things: You will be on your own. And most of you are not ready. Cities, counties and Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Emergency Services say a big quake will overwhelm police and fire crews and require citizens to take care of themselves for a week, maybe longer.  NBC News

Federal Employees Ordered To Attend Anti-Leaking Classes
Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency are attending mandatory training sessions this week to reinforce their compliance with laws and rules against leaking classified or sensitive government information. It is part of a broader Trump administration order for anti-leaks training at all executive branch agencies. The Associated Press obtained training materials from the hourlong class. Government employees who hold security clearances undergo background checks and extensive training in safeguarding classified information.  NBC News

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Clapper: ‘Conceivable’ Trump Was Picked Up In Conversations With Manafort
“Is it possible the president was picked up in a conversation with Paul Manafort?” CNN’s Don Lemon asked former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Wednesday night. “It’s certainly conceivable,” Clapper responded. “Is it likely?” Lemon asked him. “I can't say,” Clapper responded. “I wouldn't want to go there, but I will say it's – it’s possible.” “Is it likely?” Lemon asked him. “I can't say,” Clapper responded. “I wouldn't want to go there, but I will say it's – it’s possible.” Yet, Clapper previously has said that he is unaware of any FISA-authorized wiretapping of Trump Tower or the Trump campaign.  CNS
VOA VIEW: Clapper did lie.

Tucker Takes On Illegal Alien: ‘Why Do You Have the Right To Demand Anything?’
“I don’t understand on what grounds you make these demands,” Tucker Carlson told an illegal alien “DREAMER” threatening to hold American citizens “accountable” if they don’t grant amnesty to all illegal aliens. Illegal alien “DREAMER” and childhood arrival Ivan Ceja appeared on Carlson’s Monday Fox News Channel program to defend the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and demand citizenship for all illegal aliens.  CNS
VOA VIEW: Non Americans have no right to make demands.

Homeland Security Found SEC Had 'Critical' Cyber Weaknesses In January
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security detected five “critical” cyber security weaknesses on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s computers as of January 23, 2017, according to a confidential weekly report reviewed by Reuters. The report’s findings raise fresh questions about a 2016 cyber breach into the U.S. market regulator’s corporate filing system known as “EDGAR.” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton disclosed late Wednesday that the agency learned in August 2017 that hackers may have exploited the 2016 incident for illegal insider-trading.  Reuters

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Trump’s War Strategy Hailed By Afghan President: ‘A Difference Of Day And Night’
President Trump received glowing praise Thursday from Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani for the new war strategy, which was credited for turning around the 16-year war against Taliban militants and other radical Islamic terrorists. “It is a difference of day and night,” Mr. Ghani said at a meeting with Mr. Trump. “The cloud of uncertainty has been lifted, but equally important is your commitment to a political solution at the end of this process.” Mr. Trump announced the new strategy a month ago. It included setting long-term goals for the war effort, sending more U.S. troops to train and assist the Afghan military and revisions rules of engagement. Washington Times

Senate Weighs Bills That Block Trump Firing Mueller
Just as President Trump has begun easing off his attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, Senate Judiciary Committee members next week will consider two partisan-backed bills aimed at shielding the probe from the White House. How heated the debate becomes over the president’s authority to dismiss Mr. Mueller should serve as an indicator of Capitol Hill’s appetite to check Mr. Trump’s executive powers before the midterm elections. “I haven’t made up my mind if I’m going to be for a bill or not,” committee chairman Chuck Grassley told The Washington Times on Wednesday. Washington Times

Hawaii Reportedly Prepares For Nuclear Attack Amid North Korea Rhetoric
Hawaiian officials were reportedly telling residents to prepare for a nuclear attack by North Korea, but they were doing so delicately so they don't cause a panic. The Washington Post reported that Hawaii officials were working to educate and prepare residents amid the growing tension between Washington and Pyongyang. The public was being told to consider prepare for a nuclear attack in a similar way that it prepares for tsunamis. "Now it's time to take it seriously," Hawaii state Rep. Gene Ward, a Republican, said, "not to be an alarmist, but to be informing people."  Fox News
VOA VIEW: The madman is still a major threat - Kim Jong Un.

Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting North Korea's Trading Partners
President Trump signed an executive order Thursday targeting North Korea’s trading partners, calling it a “powerful” new tool aimed at isolating and de-nuclearizing the regime. The president announced the order as he met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. He said the order would help target individuals and companies doing business with Pyongyang. Specifically, he said it enhances the Treasury Department’s authority to target those conducting significant trade with the regime, including by sanctioning foreign banks. Fox News

North Korea Could Test Hydrogen Bomb Over Pacific Ocean, Says Foreign Minister
North Korea could test a powerful nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean in response to US President Donald Trump's threats of military action, the country's foreign minister has warned. Ri Yong Ho spoke to reporters in New York shortly after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an unprecedented televised statement, accusing Trump of being "mentally deranged."  CNN
VOA VIEW: Un is nuts.

North Korea Sanctions: Here's What Trump Did
On Thursday, he issued an executive order that would penalize any company or person doing business with North Korea by either cutting off their access to the U.S. financial system or freezing their assets -- or potentially both. Trump also said that China's central bank had asked its own banks to cut ties with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un. "I'm very proud to tell you that, as you may have just heard moments ago, China, their central bank has told their other banks — that's a massive banking system — to immediately stop doing business with North Korea," he said alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in New York. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson now have more power than ever to slap a range of sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea's nuclear efforts. CNN

Jim Acosta Is The White House’s Favorite Reporter
As he walked to work down Pennsylvania Avenue, Jim Acosta, CNN’s senior White House correspondent, was wondering if today would be the day he busted out of the doghouse. It was an afternoon in early September and it had been three weeks since he had been able to put a question to the administration—an eternity for a TV reporter whose success depends on his visibility. But this was the new normal for Acosta and his CNN colleagues covering the Trump administration: getting called on in the briefing room was hit or miss. POLITICO

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Facebook To Release To Congress Russian-Purchased Ads Linked To 2016 Election
Facebook has struck a deal with Capitol Hill investigators to release advertisements purchased by Russians to influence the 2016 campaign and some associated information with them, according to two people familiar with the matter. "After an extensive legal and policy review, today we are announcing that we will also share these ads with congressional investigators," Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch said in a statement. POLITICO

‘We Can’t Build Strong Relationships If We Refuse To Have Conversations’
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the podium at the United Nations General Assembly today with condolences for those affected by recent successive natural disasters, including the earthquakes in Mexico and hurricanes in the Caribbean, saying his country is ready to a “lend a helping hand in whatever way it can.” He spoke extensively on Canada’s indigenous people, of the injustices they face and the efforts being made to improve the relationship with First Nations, calling it “righting historical wrongs.” United Nations

Kim Jong Un Says Trump Will 'Pay Dearly' For UN Speech
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un said President Donald Trump will "pay dearly" for his address to the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week. In the statement released Thursday, Kim also said North Korea is considering the strongest possible response to what he called Trump's provocation. "I'd like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and to be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world," Kim said, according to The Associated Press. North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, who is in New York for the UN General Assembly, said Thursday evening that North Korea could detonate an H-bomb over the Pacific Ocean, but also told reporters, "we have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong Un." ABC News

5 Moments That Mattered In The Alabama US Senate Debate
Senator Luther Strange and former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore faced off tonight in the only debate before the runoff election for the GOP nomination next Tuesday to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate. The debate – held without a moderator – focused largely on who would best support and advocate for President Trump’s agenda in the U.S. Senate. Strange made no secret that he is endorsed by President Trump, and talked about his “close personal friendship” to a president that is broadly popular among Alabamans. ABC News
VOA VIEW: It will be an interesting debate.

Pence Calls Graham-Cassidy Bill "Last, Best Chance" For Health Care Reform
Vice President Mike Pence is giving a boost to GOP senators who are making a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He called the Graham-Cassidy bill, which would replace the Affordable Care Act, Republicans "last, best chance" at reform. In an appearance on "Fox and Friends" on Thursday, Pence said that Senate Republicans are "close" to securing the necessary support to pass the Graham-Cassidy bill, and promised that "the president and I are determined to do all that we can to see this through."  CBS News

Insurers Come Out Swinging Against New Republican Health Care Bill
The health insurance industry, after cautiously watching Republican health care efforts for months, came out forcefully on Wednesday against the Senate’s latest bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, suggesting that its state-by-state block grants could create health care chaos in the short term and a Balkanized, uncertain insurance market. In the face of the industry opposition, Senate Republican leaders nevertheless said they would push for a showdown vote next week on the legislation, drafted by Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.  NY Times

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says Supreme Court Term 'Will Be Momentous' This October
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hailed herself as "a flaming feminist litigator" as she vowed to take on the majority-conservative Supreme Court as it returns next month to tackle controversial issues such as gay civil rights, President Donald Trump's travel ban and partisan gerrymandering. "There is only one prediction that is entirely safe about the upcoming term, and that is it will be momentous," the 84-year-old said at Georgetown Law on Wednesday. She pointedly dubbed herself the "flaming feminist" in response to a question about her background fighting for liberal causes. Newsweek

Rep. Maxine Waters Says It’s ‘Time To Go After’ Trump: I ‘Guarantee’ He’s Colluding With Russians
Rep. Maxine Waters on Thursday accused President Trump of collusion with the Russian government and obstruction of justice, suggesting that there’s enough evidence for Congress to begin the impeachment process. The California Democrat, who has been the leading voice in calling for Mr. Trump’s impeachment, told a Congressional Black Caucus Town Hall on Civil Rights that she expects the black community to take action. “Don’t come here and tell me, ‘Maxine, you keep on doing what you do.’ But when you gonna give me some support?” she asked, according to a clip obtained by CNS News. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Waters is completely out of her mind.

Last-Ditch Obamacare Repeal Drive Depends On These GOP Holdouts
Senate Republican leaders are struggling to win support from holdouts in their party for what may be their last chance for a long time to pass a GOP-only repeal of Obamacare. The Senate needs to act by Sept. 30 to use a fast-track procedure to keep Democrats from blocking the proposal by Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. But a cluster of GOP senators haven’t committed to the bill, which would send federal Obamacare money to the states in block grants to create their own health programs, cut funding to most states, and potentially let insurers charge sick people more. Republicans control the Senate 52-48, meaning they can afford to lose no more than two votes among the following senators who stand out as the most likely to defy party leaders. They include the three who killed Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s health plan in July -- Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John McCain of Arizona. The fourth, Rand Paul of Kentucky, says he’s a "no" vote and won’t change his mind. Bloomberg

Facebook Plans Big Overhaul Of Political Ads After Criticism
Facebook Inc., under fire over Russia’s use of its social network to spread pre-election discord in the U.S. last year, pledged a sweeping overhaul of political advertising and said it will give Congress all the evidence it has on the campaigns. More than 3,000 Facebook ads linked to Russia have already been studied by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating President Donald Trump’s ties to the country. Facebook initially didn’t want to share detailed information like this with Congress, but changed its mind on Thursday after a lengthy privacy and legal review.  Bloomberg

Videos Show Protesters At NY Erdogan Speech Punched, Hit While Being Removed
Videos posted on social media appeared to show protesters in New York being hit and punched as they were removed from a speech by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to one video on Twitter, a protester who appeared to be American yelled at Erdogan, "You're a terrorist! Get out of my country!" The scuffles took place as Erdogan addressed the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC), a group friendly to Erdogan, at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Earlier this year, members of Erdogan's own security detail were indicted by a grand jury for attacking protesters in May 2017 during a Washington visit -- as he looked on. But this point, it is unclear whose security detail was punching and hitting the protesters as they were being removed.CBS News

Angela Merkel: How Germans See The World’s Most Powerful Woman
The world's most powerful woman has been such a constant presence in German politics that a verb has even been derived from her name. Angela Merkel's modest style has also earned her the nickname “Mutti" — or "Mommy." Presiding over the planet's fourth-largest economy, the former research scientist is widely considered to be the leading light of the post-World War II order and a counterweight to President Donald Trump. Polls suggest Merkel will be elected Germany's chancellor for the fourth time on Sunday, a post she has held since 2005. But people in Merkel's homeland perceive her rather differently. NBC News

NBC/WSJ Poll: Americans Pessimistic On Race Relations
Seven-in-10 Americans view race relations in the United States as poor — nearly matching the record high, according to a new poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal. In the wake of a white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August that ended in the death of a peaceful protester, 28 percent of the public — including 24 percent of whites and 40 percent of African-Americans — say that race relations are “very bad,” with another 42 percent of all respondents calling them "fairly" bad. Just 26 percent of Americans overall call race relations "very" or "fairly" good.  NBC News

A North Korea Nuclear Test Over The Pacific? Logical, Terrifying
Detonating a nuclear-tipped missile over the Pacific Ocean would be a logical final step by North Korea to prove the success of its weapons program but would be extremely provocative and carry huge risks, arms control experts said on Friday. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho suggested leader Kim Jong Un was considering testing “an unprecedented scale hydrogen bomb” over the Pacific in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat at the United Nations to “totally destroy” the country.  Reuters

Trump, Ghani Agree U.S. Can Help Develop Afghanistan's Rare Earth Minerals
U.S. President Donald Trump and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday backed having companies from the United States develop Afghanistan’s reserves of rare earth minerals, despite formidable obstacles to industrial mining in the country. The comments, at a meeting in New York, were the latest in a series in which both U.S. officials and the Afghan government have emphasized the potential strategic value of Afghanistan’s vast and largely untapped mineral reserves. Both leaders also reiterated their commitment to Trump’s new South Asia strategy to defeat terrorism.  Reuters

Trump’s Financial Strategy Persuades China To Put Screws To North Korea
President Trump persuaded China to freeze all financial transactions with North Korea and ordered a new round of U.S. sanctions Thursday, closing out his first U.N. General Assembly with a major diplomatic victory in his efforts to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile programs short of war. In a carefully choreographed strategy deployed from the shadow of the United Nations headquarters in New York, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin called the head of China’s central bank very early Thursday to alert him that Mr. Trump was preparing an executive order to sanction any financial institutions doing business with North Korea. He asked for the cooperation of China, the main source of North Korea’s cash.  Washington Times

Pro-Life Activists Pressure Rand Paul To Support Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill
Pro-life activists descended on Sen. Rand Paul’s office in Kentucky on Thursday with a simple message: If he votes against a last-ditch bill to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood, then he will betray the core of conservatives’ beliefs. Mr. Paul is one of a handful of holdouts on the latest repeal bill. He said it leaves too much of Obamacare intact. But the bill’s supporters say it’s the best — and probably only — chance they have to dent the 2010 Affordable Care Act and if Mr. Paul is the one who stymies them, then he will be complicit in funding the “abortion Goliath” of Planned Parenthood. Washington Times

Trump Aides Begin Looking For The Exits
A fast-growing number of White House staffers are starting to look for the exits, even though the one-year mark of President Donald Trump’s first term is still months away. Many who joined the administration in January did so with the explicit idea that they’d stay for at least a year, enough to credibly say they’d served. But in the aftermath of a wave of abrupt, high-profile departures over the summer that culminated with former strategist Steve Bannon’s ouster in August, aides up and down the chain are reaching out to headhunters, lobbyists, and GOP operatives for help finding their next job. POLITICO

Last-Ditch Obamacare Repeal Bill Has ‘Worst Elements’ Of Earlier Plans
The last-ditch Obamacare repeal bill has almost every divisive proposal that doomed previous bills. The big difference: a Sept. 30 deadline to use a rule that allows Senate Republicans to pass a measure with just 50 votes. Like earlier, failed plans, the Graham-Cassidy measure would allow states to dismantle rules that prevent older, sicker people from being charged higher insurance premiums. It would cap the federal outlay for traditional Medicaid, which could jeopardize coverage for the most vulnerable. POLITICO

Hurricane Irma Erased ‘Footprints Of An Entire Civilization’ On Barbuda, Prime Minister Tells UN
The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Alphonso Browne, told the United Nations General Assembly today that after the largest storm ever in the Atlantic Ocean, “the island of Barbuda is decimated; its entire population left homeless; and its buildings reduced to empty shells.” As all its inhabitants were evacuated to Antigua in the wake of Hurricane Irma, in addition to providing shelter and basic necessities to the residents, the social services on Antigua are under great strain – providing places for 600 additional children; medical services for the elderly; and a means of income for the able-bodied. “For the first time in over 300 years, there is now no permanent resident on Barbuda. The footprints of an entire civilization have been emasculated by the brutality and magnitude of Irma,” he said.United Nations

Medicaid Directors Come Out Against Latest GOP Obamacare Repeal Bill
The National Association of Medicaid Directors has cautioned Republican lawmakers against passing the Senate’s latest Obamacare repeal bill in its current form, warning that it would “undermine” efforts to improve the country’s health care. A statement issued by the NAMD’s board of directors late Thursday said the Graham-Cassidy bill, which would repeal Medicaid expansion, would place a massive burden on states and “constitute the largest intergovernmental transfer of financial risk from the federal government to the states in our country’s history.” Daily Beast

Senior CNN Official: Network Staffers Are 'Grumbling' About Jim Acosta's Reporting
An extensive profile on Jim Acosta is suggesting that President Trump‘s team relishes their fights with the CNN reporter more than they let on, and it has been a cause of concern for some people in the network. Over the last several months, Acosta’s profile has grown significantly due to his tough reporting on the Trump Administration and his numerous heated battles with their spokespeople. Acosta’s actions have earned him as much applause from Trump/media critics as it has disdain from those who consider him a partisan journalist with an objective of confrontation.  Grabien News
VOA VIEW: Acosta is a liberal phony.

Trump Vacancy Raises Consternation With Europe
A key vacancy in the State Department is creating friction between the European Union and United States over a new agreement affecting thousands of U.S. companies that do business in Europe. The agreement, known as the privacy shield, allows businesses to swiftly ship personal data across the Atlantic, something that affects a huge swath of U.S. companies, from Facebook and Apple to Netflix and Google. Without the shield, companies that operate in Europe would have to enter into special contracts to transfer personal data. EU officials are worried that the Trump administration has yet to nominate an ombudsman at the State Department to oversee complaints from Europeans about the access U.S. national security agencies may have to their data. The Hill

Graham And Cassidy Go Into Overdrive To Win Murkowski Vote
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) are going into overdrive to win over Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), a pivotal vote for their bill to dismantle ObamaCare and give states more authority over healthcare. The two have seen Murkowski, one of three Republicans to sink the GOP’s last repeal bill, as a critical vote for some time. Graham told a meeting of conservative activists last week that special accommodations would have to be made in the bill for Alaska to win over Murkowski. The senator asked the groups to understand, and to not make a stink if concessions were made. The Graham-Cassidy proposal would convert ObamaCare’s subsidies and funds for Medicaid expansion into block grants that would be given to states to design their own programs. The Hill

The Next Big Focus In The Russia Investigations: Social Media
For more than nine months, Twitter and Facebook have tried to dodge the intense public scrutiny involved with the investigation into Russian interference in last year's presidential election. Now they're in the spotlight. Congressional investigators are digging in on Russia's use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies to try to influence the 2016 campaign. And after a series of escalating complaints by the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Facebook said Thursday it was handing over the content of more than 3,000 ads believed to be linked with Moscow's attack on the election. NPR

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