Meticulous Planning By Las Vegas Gunman
Before he mowed down concertgoers from a perch high in a hotel tower, Stephen C. Paddock created a ring of surveillance around him, with video cameras in his suite and in the hallway, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday. But investigators were still at a loss to offer a motive for the massacre. The cameras — apparently intended to warn of approaching threats — along with the 23 guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and other equipment found in the gunman’s hotel suite, suggested a thought-out plan to have plenty of time to wreak carnage while holding the police at bay. Local and federal investigators were also eager to interview the gunman’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who had been in the Philippines. NY Times
VOA VIEW: There is still a lot to learn.

Amazon Is Ordered To Pay Nearly $300 Million
According to regulators, Amazon received tax advantages between 2006 and 2014 in the country without any "valid justification." "Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Amazon. As a result, almost three quarters of Amazon's profits were not taxed," Margrethe Vestager, the EU's commissioner for competition, said in a statement. "In other words, Amazon was allowed to pay four times less tax than other local companies subject to the same national tax rules. This is illegal under EU state aid rules. Member states cannot give selective tax benefits to multinational groups that are not available to others,investigated" she added. CNBC

Mass Killer Likely Had 'Some Help At Some Point'
The Las Vegas gunman likely had “some help at some point” in pulling off Sunday's massacre, the head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department asserted Wednesday. It was only logical to "make the assumption," Clark County, Nev., Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. As evidence, Lombardo pointed to gunman Stephen Paddock’s huge arsenal, explosive materials found in his car and his meticulous planning. “What we know is Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood,” the sheriff said.  Fox
VOA VIEW: There is much that has not been made known.

Las Vegas Gunman Targeted Aviation Fuel Tanks During Shooting Spree
Stephen Paddock, the gunman who killed 58 people and injured more than 500 during Sunday’s massacre on the Las Vegas Strip, reportedly also took aim at nearby aviation fuel tanks during the rampage. The Las Vegas Review-Journal, citing an unnamed source, reported late Wednesday that two holes were found in one of the two jet fuel tanks near the site of the Route 91 Harvest concert. One of the bullets penetrated a tank, but did not cause an explosion, the report said. The report said FBI agents inspected the tanks and considered the bullet’s trajectory from where Paddock opened fire on 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Fox

Tropical Depression Sixteen Forecast To Hit U.S. Gulf Coast As Hurricane This Weekend
Tropical Depression Sixteen will track over Nicaragua and Honduras today, then target Cancún Friday night, and will then pose a threat to parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast as a strong tropical storm or a low-end hurricane this weekend. The center of the tropical depression is about to move onshore in northeast Nicaragua, moving northwest at 5 to 10 mph. Infrared satellite imagery indicates the thunderstorms nearest to the center of T.D. Sixteen are still mainly over the southwest Caribbean Sea, however, a broad gyre of low pressure called a Central American gyre (more on that feature below) has spawned numerous clusters of thunderstorms in Central America.

Catalonia Moves To Declare Independence From Spain On Monday
Catalonia will move on Monday to declare independence from Spain after holding a banned referendum, pushing the European Union nation towards a rupture that threatens the foundations of its young democracy. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said he favoured mediation to find a way out of the crisis but that Spain's central government had rejected this. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government responded by calling on Catalonia to "return to the path of law" first before any negotiations. News Trust

CIA Official Predicts North Korean Provocation On Columbus Day
A top CIA official for the Korean Peninsula warned Wednesday that the U.S. should be ready for a new provocation by North Korea on Columbus Day on Oct. 9, which coincides with the anniversary of the founding of the political party that governs in Pyongyang. "Stand by your phones," Yong Suk Lee, deputy assistant director of the CIA's Korea Mission Center, said while speaking at a conference organized by the agency at The George Washington University. US News & World Report
VOA VIEW: NK is going to push once too many.


Hurricane Deployments Stretch US Military Thin
The extended deployment of military cargo jets and Navy ships to help with Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma relief efforts is causing military planners to scramble and recalculate future deployments all the way from Afghanistan to the Korean Peninsula, according to several defense officials familiar with the current discussions underway inside the Defense Department. CNN

Bob Corker Just Told The World What He Really Thinks Of Donald Trump
Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker suggested Wednesday that Gens. John Kelly and James Mattis as well Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are the "people that help separate our country from chaos," a stinging criticism of President Donald Trump from a man once considered an ally in Washington. Asked directly by a reporter whether he was referring to Trump in using the word "chaos," Corker, who announced last month he would retire in 2018, responded: CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN like to report anyting negative on Trump.

Trump Begins Repeal Of Obama Power Plant Emission Cuts
The Trump administration will propose repealing former President Barack Obama’s signature plan for combating climate change by asserting that its expansive approach to addressing carbon emissions exceeds legal limits, according to a person familiar with the deliberations. Bloomberg


Democrats Seek Ban On Devices That Boost Gun Rate Of Fire
Days after a dozen modified rapid-fire guns were found in the Las Vegas gunman's hotel room, Democrats introduced a bill on Wednesday to ban such changes to weapons — and dared Republicans to ignore it. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said her legislation would bar the sale, manufacture and possession of so-called bump stocks and other devices — all currently legal — that drastically increase a firearm’s rate of fire. " NBC

Federal Debt Increases For 60th Straight Fiscal Year
The total federal debt climbed by $671,455,302,116.72 in fiscal 2017, making 2017 the 60th straight fiscal year in which the federal debt has increased, according to the official numbers published by the U.S. Treasury. At the end of fiscal 2016, the federal debt stood at $19,573,444,713,936.79. By the end of fiscal 2017 (which closed on Sept. 30), it was $20,244,900,016,053,51. The last fiscal year in which the federal debt declined was fiscal 1957. In that year, according to the Treasury, the total federal debt dropped from $272,750,813,649.32 at the close of fiscal 1956 to $270,527,171,896.43 at the close of fiscal 1957. But, in fiscal 1958, the debt climbed to $276,343,217,745.81—and in every fiscal since then, it has finished each fiscal year higher than it started that fiscal year. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Thanks to Obama.

A Fog Lifts At The Air Force Academy
Nearby exhibits highlighted the diversity of the cadets as well as their common pursuit of excellence. While they came from different regions and ethnic groups, most had won athletic letters in high school and academic honors. But the cadet chapel was far more interesting than the visitor center. It stands as the moral and architectural punctuation point of the academy. Most of the buildings at the Air Force Academy are not merely uninteresting, they are aggressively boring — plain, rectangular blocks of concrete, metal and glass. CNS News

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Trump Praises ‘Bravery’ Of First Responders
President Trump, visiting Las Vegas in the wake of the country's deadliest mass shooting, lauded the heroic first responders for their “bravery,” thanked the nurses and doctors for their “incredible” efforts and consoled survivors by telling them “we’re there for you.” “Words cannot the describe the bravery that the whole world witnessed on Sunday night," the president said Wednesday, during a brief speech at the Las Vegas Police Department Command Center. Fox

Judge Dismisses Case Against Pardoned Arpaio
A federal judge in Phoenix Wednesday formally dismissed the criminal case against former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, accepting President Donald Trump's pardon of the controversial lawman. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton dismissed Arpaio's conviction with prejudice, meaning the matter cannot be tried again. Bolton held off on ruling on Arpaio's request to throw out all orders in the case, including a blistering 14-page ruling in which the judge explained her original reasoning in finding that Arpaio was guilty of a crime. Fox

Tillerson’s News Conference Only Highlights Strains With Trump
Long-simmering tension within President Trump’s national security team spilled into public view on Wednesday as Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson took the extraordinary step of calling a news conference to affirm his support for Mr. Trump, despite what associates describe as his deep frustration with the president and talk of resignation. Mr. Tillerson praised Mr. Trump but did not deny a report that he once referred to the president as a “moron.” Mr. Trump welcomed Mr. Tillerson’s statement of support and declared “total confidence” in his secretary of state. NY Times
VOA VIEW: This article itself shows the liberal bias and the NYT lack of credibility.

3 US Troops Killed In Ambush In Niger
Three members of the US Special Operations Forces were killed and two others were wounded in southwest Niger near the Mali-Niger border when a joint US-Nigerien patrol was attacked Wednesday, two administration officials told CNN. The administration officials added that the two wounded US troops had been evacuated to the capital, Niamey, and would soon be moved to Germany. They were described by the officials as being in a "stable condition." The US troops were part of a team advising and assisting local forces when they were attacked. CNN

Saudi King, Putin To Talk Oil Pact On 'Epochal' Russia Visit
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz is making an historic first visit to Russia by a monarch of the Gulf kingdom as he and President Vladimir Putin seek an understanding on whether to extend an agreement curbing oil supplies. King Salman is due to meet with Putin on Thursday after he arrived for the four-day official visit late Wednesday. His journey to Moscow, ahead of planned talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington early next year, underscores a shift in strategic direction by Saudi Arabia as Russian influence in the Middle East expands following Putin’s military intervention in Syria. Bloomberg

GOP Rep. Tim Murphy Announces Plan To Retire At End Of Term
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pennsylvania, who has been caught up in an affair scandal, announced Wednesday that he plans to retire at end of his current term. "After discussions with my family and staff, I have come to the decision that I will not seek reelection to Congress at the end of my current term," Murphy said in a statement to CBS Pittsburgh, adding that he would spend his remaining time in Congress concentrating on his "work as the national leader on mental health care reform."  CBS News


Trump Las Vegas Visit
President Trump visited Las Vegas Wednesday, days after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and a day after his visit to Puerto Rico see the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria. "We cannot be defined by the evil that threatens us," Mr. Trump said at his final stop after being introduced by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. "We're defined by our love, our caring and our courage." Mr. Trump said that when the worst of humanity strikes, "the best of humanity responds" and referenced parents and spouses using their bodies to shield and protect their lonsole some of the victims of the massacre, and also paid a visit to first responders, whose actions prevented even more casualties. CBS News

After Las Vegas Shooting, Trump Says America ‘A Nation In Mourning’
President Donald Trump met Wednesday with surviving victims of the Las Vegas shooting at University Medical Center in the city and hailed their heroism for trying to save others even as their own lives were in danger. Trump also credited the bravery of law enforcement members and honored the professionalism of doctors and other medical staff for their response to the massacre. "I have to tell you: it makes you very proud to be an American when you look at the job that they’ve done," he said. When asked at University Medical Center his message for those impacted by the shooting, Trump said, "We're with you 100 percent," adding that he had invited some victims to the White House. NBC News

Angry GOP Donors Close Their Wallets
Republicans are confronting a growing revolt from their top donors, who are cutting off the party in protest over its inability to get anything done. Tensions reached a boiling point at a recent dinner at the home of Los Angeles billionaire Robert Day. In full view of around two dozen guests, Thomas Wachtell, a retired oil and gas investor and party contributor, delivered an urgent message to the night’s headliner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Just do something. POLITICO
VOA VIEW: The Party is not doing well.

Warren Buffett Says This One Investment 'Supersedes All Others'
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says the very best investment you can make is one that "you can't beat," can't be taxed and not even inflation can take away from you. "Ultimately, there's one investment that supersedes all others: Invest in yourself," Buffett says in a recent interview with Forbes. "Nobody can take away what you've got in yourself, and everybody has potential they haven't used yet." One of Buffett's investments in himself came in early adulthood, when he signed up for a $100 Dale Carnegie public speaking course that he says changed his life. CNBC

Baltimore Woman Dragged Off Southwest Flight Speaks Out
The woman who was dragged off a southwest flight at BWI last week said she was the victim of sexism, racial profiling and police brutality, that’s according to a statement from her attorney. Anila Daulatzai, a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art, was on a plane headed to Los Angeles when she was forcefully removed. The airline said it was because Daulatzai claimed to have a life-threatening allergy to animals and demanded that two dogs on board be removed from the flight. ABC News

'Trump Dossier' On Russia Links Now Part Of Special Counsel's Probe
The special counsel investigating whether Russia tried to sway the 2016 U.S. election has taken over FBI inquiries into a former British spy’s dossier of allegations of Russian financial and personal links to President Donald Trump’s campaign and associates, sources familiar with the inquiry told Reuters. A report compiled by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele identified Russian businessmen and others whom U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded are Russian intelligence officers or working on behalf of the Russian government.  Reuters

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U.S. Budget Deficit Could Obstruct Trump's Tax Cut Plan
The U.S. budget deficit is proving to be a major obstacle to the tax reform plan being offered by President Donald Trump and top congressional Republicans, with one leading Senate hawk saying a week after the plan was introduced that any enlarging of the fiscal gap could kill his support. From proposed infrastructure enhancements to a military build-up, the deficit long ago put the brakes on major new federal spending programs; now Trump’s tax-cut proposal is threatened. “It looks to me like the administration’s already running for the hills. Reuters

U.S. Interests At Risk In Arab Allies’ Bitter Feud
There’s an Arabic proverb popular in these parts: “The best answer will come from the person who is not angry.” Unfortunately, the anger is long and deep in the nasty row dividing some of America’s closest allies in the Middle East, which means any quick answer to the Trump administration’s diplomatic and security headache is hard to see from here. Nearly four months ago, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates banded together to impose an economic and diplomatic blockade against Qatar, the tiny but wealthy country that hosts Washington’s most strategic military base in the Persian Gulf, over what they claim is its willingness to work with Shiite Iran and its suspected support for jihadi groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Washington Times

3 Russians Named In Trump Dossier Sue Fusion GPS For Libel
Three Russian investors are suing private investigation firm Fusion GPS and its founder Glenn Simpson for libel over the handling of an intelligence dossier containing salacious allegations against President Donald Trump. Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan filed suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, claiming that their reputations were unfairly tattered by the so-called dossier — a largely unsubstantiated document that has taken on a larger-than-life role in several investigations into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. POLITICO

NRA Silent After Las Vegas Shooting But GOP On Notice Over Gun Laws
The National Rifle Association has gone dark, but other gun-rights groups say they're keeping close tabs on Republicans to make sure that any new legislation doesn't see the light of day after the shooting massacre in Las Vegas. "Given the spinelessness of so many of the Republican caucus, the best thing would be to get the leadership not to let it come up," Larry Pratt, co-founder and executive director emeritus of the Gun Owners of America, said in an interview with NBC. "If it comes to a vote, they are going to be held accountable."  NBC News

Five Living Former Presidents To Headline Hurricane Relief Concert
Five older gentlemen will headline a benefit concert for victims of this year's brutal hurricane season at the end of the month — and it's not the Rolling Stones or Journey. Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter will be the headliners at a special concert Oct. 21 at Texas A&M's Reed Arena in College Station, which will raise money for hurricane relief efforts. NBC News

Rex Tillerson Affirms Loyalty To Trump, Says He ‘Never’ Considered Leaving State Post
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denied reports Wednesday that Vice President Mike Pence had to convince him to stay on in the administration. “There’s never been a consideration in my mind to leave,” Mr. Tillerson said at a press conference, adding that he has had to “dispel this notion” several times. He also said Mr. Pence has never had to persuade him to stay on as secretary of state, as had been reported by NBC News. Mr. Tillerson declined to address whether he referred to the president as a “moron,” as reported by NBC.  Washington Times

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White House Walks Back Trump's Puerto Rico Comments As Wall Street Reels
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump casually told Geraldo Rivera on Fox News that the United States would have to wipe out $75 billion in debt owed by Puerto Rico to bondholders around the world. Wall Street promptly freaked out, sending Puerto Rican bonds into a tailspin and leading the White House to move swiftly to clean up Trump's seemingly offhand remarks. On Wednesday, the Trump administration indicated it has no current plans to take the unprecedented, politically dangerous and probably illegal step of wiping out the owners of Puerto Rico's bonds in the wake of Hurricane Maria's devastation. Trump’s own budget chief quickly walked the president’s comments back. POLITICO

Chemist Says VX Traces Found On Both Suspects In Kim Murder
A government chemist testified Thursday he found traces of the banned VX nerve agent on two women being tried in Malaysia on charges of murdering the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader. The testimony was the first evidence linking VX to Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam, who are accused of smearing the nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam’s face in a brazen assassination inside a crowded airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 13. Raja Subramaniam, who heads the government’s Center of Chemical Weapon Analysis, said he found VX in its pure form and VX precursors on Huong’s white jumper and found a degraded product of VX on Huong’s fingernails. The Washington Post

Gun Shop Manager Who Sold Firearms To Stephen Paddock Speaks Out
Guns & Guitars general manager Christopher Sullivan told CBS News he sold Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock a rifle on Sept. 28, the same day police say Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay hotel. "I was ill. It made me physically ill to think that we had interacted with him and he had committed such a tragedy," Sullivan said. "Feel any guilt about what happened?" CBS News correspondent DeMarco Morgan asked. "I don't. No," Sullivan said. "We do everything right. ... We can't control what someone does once they leave this store." Sullivan said Paddock had been a customer of Guns & Guitars for about a year, and in that time the shop sold him five firearms.  CBS News

Thousands Of Dreamers Could Lose Protection As DACA Deadline Arrives
Some 48,000 eligible unauthorized immigrants have yet to renew their immigration status as a part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, despite this week's Oct. 5 deadline to renew. Of the 154,200 individuals whose DACA status is set to expire between Sept. 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, just over 106,000 either have renewal requests currently pending with the federal immigration agency or have already had their renewal requests adjudicated, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which manages the program. ABC News

State Department Denies Tillerson Called Trump A 'Moron'
A State Department spokesperson denied that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ever called President Donald Trump a "moron" as reported earlier today. "The secretary does not use that type of language. The secretary did not use that type of language to speak about the president of the United States. He does not use that language to speak about anyone ... he did not say that," spokesperson Heather Nauert said this afternoon. Tillerson today reaffirmed his support for Trump, and said he never thought about stepping down from his post. But he would not answer if he ever used the word "moron" to describe Trump.  ABC News
VOA VIEW: The liberal media fake news.

U.S. Condemns Arrest Of Istanbul Consulate Worker
A U.S. consulate employee in Istanbul was arrested on charges of links to a cleric blamed for last year’s failed coup, Turkish media said on Thursday, in a move condemned by Washington as baseless and damaging to ties between the NATO allies. The U.S. embassy in Ankara said it was deeply disturbed by the arrest of the locally employed staff member and said it appeared that leaked information from Turkish government sources aimed at trying him in the media rather than a court of law. Reuters

Energy Secretary Took Charter Flight Day Before Price Resigned
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry took a chartered jet to Ohio last week, according to an airport management company, the day before fellow Cabinet member Tom Price resigned over his use of private charter flights for government business. Perry took the private plane from Hazleton Regional Airport in Pennsylvania to the Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport in southern Ohio on Sept. 28, PMH Aviation, the company that runs the Portsmouth airport, said on Wednesday. The purpose of his trip was to visit a uranium facility in Piketon, Ohio, according to the Energy Department. Reuters

UN Chief Urges World To Implement Paris Climate Accord 'With Greater Ambition'
Pointing to scientific evidence warning of increased extreme weather events, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, ahead of a trip to the storm-ravaged Caribbean, urged all countries to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change “with greater ambition.” “We know that the world has the tools, the technologies and the wealth to address climate change, but we must show more determination in moving towards a green, clean, sustainable energy future,” Mr. Guterres said at a press encounter at the UN Headquarters, in New York. “Today and every day, I am determined to ensure that the United Nations works to protect our common future and to seize the opportunities of climate action,” he affirmed. United Nations

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