Stands Down On Strict Gun Law
District of Columbia officials announced Thursday they will not appeal a federal court ruling that struck down parts of the city’s restrictive gun laws, a move that paves the way for more gun owners to obtain concealed carry permits. In June, a federal appeals court ruled against a D.C. law that requires people to have a “good reason to fear injury” in order to carry a handgun, saying it infringes on residents' Second Amendment rights. Because of the stringent requirement, only about 120 people currently have a permit to carry a concealed handgun in the city. Fox
VOA VIEW: Good win.
Rips NYT Columnist's Call For 2nd Amendment Repeal
The Five discussed a new column by conservative New York Times writer Bret Stephens in which he calls for the repeal of the Second Amendment. "I have never understood the conservative fetish for the Second Amendment," Stephens wrote. "From a law-and-order standpoint, more guns means more murder."He wrote that the text of the amendment is "quaint," in that the "well-regulated militias" meant to secure the nation are no longer in New England farmhouses, but in silos in North Dakota. Jesse Watters asked whether Stephens would be interested in banning fast food to prevent heart disease, in the same manner. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Stevens is a nut job.
NRA's Strategic Ploy On Bump Stocks
A quick glance at the TV Thursday afternoon produced a bit of a stunner: The National Rifle Association announced its support of further regulations on bump stocks, the mechanism that Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock used to turn a semi-automatic weapon into something resembling a fully automatic one and murder 58 people. "The NRA believes that devices intended to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations," Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox, the group's top two leaders, said in the statement. "In an increasingly dangerous world, the NRA remains focused on our mission: strengthening Americans' Second Amendment freedom to defend themselves, their families and their communities." CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is not happy with the NRA's smart move.
Bill On Bump Stocks Expected To Be Introduced Thursday In House
Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo is planning to introduce legislation Thursday to ban the sale of bump fire stocks, an accessory that can allow semi-automatic firearms to rapidly increase their rate of firing rounds, similar to that of an automatic weapon, which are restricted by federal law. "I think we are on the verge of a breakthrough when it comes to sensible gun policy," Curbelo told reporters Thursday, saying his office has been "flooded" with calls from other lawmakers asking about the bill. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN hates the fact that Republicans are taking the high road.
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Korea 'Decoders' Offer Warnings About Rogue Nation's Nuclear Program
Thousands of miles outside the nation’s capital, a group of non-government experts are using North Korea’s propaganda to track the regime’s nuclear weapons program - and now they are offering a dire warning. The analysts at the Middlebury Institute’s Center for Nonproliferation studies in Monterey, Calif., can pick out detailed information about the rogue nation's military capabilities just from looking at photos. "Everybody thinks they’re a joke, like they’re some kind of incompetent buffoons," nonproliferation expert Jeffrey Lewis told the Wall Street Journal as part of the new video series “Moving Upstream.” Fox
Speech, Donald Trump Jr. Decries Left's 'Atmosphere Of Hatred'
Donald Trump Jr. lashed out against his father’s critics Thursday, saying the president has been unfairly attacked for his “both sides” comment about the August violence in Charlottesville, Va. The president's eldest son blamed an “atmosphere of hatred” from the left that he said has been brewing on university campuses. Donald Trump Jr. spoke at an annual fundraising gala at Faulkner University, a private Christian college in Alabama. He stood behind the president’s comment that “both sides” were to blame for violence in Charlottesville that led to the death of one counter-protesting woman and left multiple people injured.Fox
VOA VIEW: Liberals are showing a lot of anti America hate.
Storm Nate Could Strike US Gulf Coast As Hurricane This Weekend
A tropical storm in the southwestern Caribbean is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane that could affect the U.S. Gulf Coast. The system, formerly a tropical depression, strengthened into a tropical storm near the coast of Nicaragua this morning. Tropical Storm Nate was moving into eastern Honduras, churning 40 miles west-southwest of Puerto Lempira, Honduras, as of 5 p.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center. The tropical storm is pounding Nicaragua with rain heavy enough to cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. ABC News
VOA VIEW: It looks like Nate will be a mild storm.
Rep. Tim Murphy Resigns After Report He Asked Lover To End Pregnancy
Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy has resigned after a report surfaced earlier this week that he had asked an extramarital lover to end her pregnancy. Murphy, a Republican who co-sponsored a 20-week abortion ban that passed in the House Tuesday, allegedly asked his lover to terminate her pregnancy, according to text message records acquired by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Shannon Edwards, 32, whom Murphy recently admitted to having an affair with, messaged the 65-year-old congressman after an anti-abortion statement was posted on his office’s Facebook account in January. ABC News
House Chief Of Staff John Kelly's Phone May Have Been Compromised
As far back as December 2016, the White House believes chief of staff John Kelly's personal cell phone was breached, according to a report Thursday by Politico. If true, it's possible hackers were able to access data on his phone both while he was Homeland Security secretary and White House chief of staff. It is, however, not clear whether or what data may have been accessed, according to the report. The hacking was discovered over the summer, when Kelly complained that the phone wasn't working -- and hadn't for months -- and asked technical staff to take a look at it, according to the report. Politico reports that staffers tried to figure out what had happened to the phone for "several days" before concluding it had been compromised. CBS News
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Administration Moves To Dismiss First Lawsuit Against Transgender Military
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys moved to have the lawsuit against the administration's transgender military ban dismissed in a filing Wednesday night, arguing that the "challenge is premature several times over." This is the first of four lawsuits that have been filed in opposition to the administration's ban against transgender people serving in the military and it's the first DOJ response to one of the lawsuits. DOJ argues that because the policy has not been fully implemented and none of the plaintiffs "face a current or imminent threat of injury during the interim period while the policy is being studied," it should be dismissed. ABC News
VOA VIEW: A reasonable view.
Vet Whose ‘Bump Stock’ Makes A Gun Fire Like A Machine Gun
The inspiration for a popular but controversial accessory that allows semi-automatic rifles to fire like machine guns began with an itch. Jeremiah Cottle had just recovered from a brain injury that cut short his Air Force career and was out shooting with a friend near his hometown in central Texas. "We weren't able to fire as fast as we wanted," Cottle recalled in a 2011 interview with a local newspaper, The Albany News in Texas. NBC News
House Democrat Calls On Pelosi To Step Down
A high-ranking House Democrat on Thursday called on Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California to step down as minority leader to make way for a new generation. "Our leadership does a tremendous job," said Rep. Linda Sanchez of California, "but I do think we have this real breadth and depth of talent within our caucus, and I do think it's time to pass the torch to a new generation of leaders, and I want to be a part of that transition. I want to see that happen." Sanchez, the fifth-ranking Democrat in the House, was interviewed on C-SPAN by two reporters who asked her about the current makeup of Democratic leadership. NBC News
VOA VIEW: Republicans don't want a change - Pelosi is annoying.
Graham: 'Real Object Of Hate In Our Nation' Is 'God Himself'
Commenting on the rise of social division and hatred in America, evangelist Franklin Graham said that, overall, what is happening "is an increasing hatred of God" and "His Word," and that the primary target of hate, when all is said and done, is "none other than God Himself." Franklin Graham, who is the son of world-renowned pastor Billy Graham, made his remarks in the October issue of Decision magazine, which is published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). "America has flaunted its sexual immorality to the world," said Rev. Franklin Graham. CNS News
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Ryan Says Congress "Just Beginning" To Look At Bump Stocks
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan suggested that bump stocks should be regulated during a news conference Thursday afternoon from Dixon Valve & Coupling Company in Chestertown, Maryland. However, the Speaker called for more information on the devices before making regulatory decisions. "A lot of us are coming up to speed with just what this is, but having said that, fully automatic weapons have been outlawed for many, many years," Ryan said during the conference. CBS News
Baldwin: 'What You See With Trump Is How Hitler Got Elected'
Although he said he was in no way comparing President Donald Trump to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, actor and left-wing activist Alec Baldwin nonetheless said, "What you see with Trump is how Hitler got elected." Baldwin, who often parodies Trump on Saturday Night Live, made his remarks during an interview for the the October issue of British GQ. Commenting on President Trump's success, Baldwin said, "Now, I am by no means comparing Trump to Hitler, I would never do that.... What you see with Trump is how Hitler got elected. Someone who will say anything to people because of their economic interest." CNS News
VOA VIEW: Baldwin is an idiot.
Expected To Decertify Iran Nuclear Deal
President Donald Trump is expected to announce soon that he will decertify the landmark international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program, a senior administration official said on Thursday, in a step that potentially could cause the 2015 accord to unravel. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Trump is also expected to roll out a broader U.S. strategy on Iran that would be more confrontational. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Good!
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U.S. Rule On Payday Loans To Hurt Industry, Boost Banks
Revenues for the $6 billion payday loan industry will shrivel under a new U.S. rule restricting lenders’ ability to profit from high-interest, short-term loans, and much of the business could move to small banks, according to the country’s consumer financial watchdog. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a regulation on Thursday requiring lenders to determine if borrowers can repay their debts and capping the number of loans lenders can make to a borrower. The long-anticipated rule still must survive two major challenges before becoming effective in 2019. Reuters
Blackburn, 'Politically Incorrect And Proud Of It,' Runs For Senate In
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., announced on Tuesday she will run for Senate in Tennessee — and took a shot at the current Republican leadership in her announcement video. Calling the place she wants to work "totally dysfunctional" and "enough to drive you nuts," Blackburn touts that she is a "hard core, card-carrying Tennessee conservative. I'm politically incorrect and proud of it." NPR
At Dinner With Military Commanders Cites 'Calm Before The Storm'
While taking photos alongside military leaders and their spouses before a dinner at the White House, President Donald Trump made an ambiguous statement, citing "the calm before the storm." "You guys know what this represents? Maybe it's the calm before the storm," Trump said at the photo op Thursday night, following a meeting with his top military commanders. When reporters present asked what he meant, Trump replied: "It could be, the calm, the calm before the storm." Reporters asked if the storm was related to Iran or ISIS. CNN
VOA VIEW: Reporters seek information to spin.
Customs Vows To Block Imports Made By North Korea Workers
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it is ready to block U.S. imports of seafood — as well as any other goods — produced by North Korean laborers who work in China. An Associated Press investigation tracked salmon, squid and cod processed by North Korean laborers working abroad to American stores, including Walmart and ALDI. The North Korean workers found in Chinese factories aren't allowed to leave, and receive only a fraction of their pay — most goes straight to the North Korean state. ABC News
Summoned To White House Amid Presidential Fury
John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, abruptly scrapped plans to travel with President Donald Trump on Wednesday so he could try to contain his boss’s fury and manage the fallout from new revelations about tensions between the president and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, according to six senior administration officials. Kelly summoned Tillerson, and their ally Defense Secretary James Mattis, to the White House, where the three of them huddled to discuss a path forward, according to three administration officials. NBC News
VOA VIEW: The truth will be known.
Team Traveled To Interview Ex-Spy Involved In Dossier
Members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team traveled to interview the former British intelligence officer who authored a dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, a source close to the ex-spy tells NBC News. Few other details were forthcoming about the interview, but Mueller’s interest in Christopher Steele puts a new focus on the 35-page dossier he compiled, which includes salacious sexual allegations that then-president-elect Donald Trump denied. CNN first reported Thursday that the interview with Mueller’s team and Steele took place. NBC News
GOP Tax Plan Inches Forward
Nothing has come easily for Republicans in this, their first year of full power in Washington. The party’s struggles have extended well beyond its failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, jeopardizing an annual congressional responsibility that the GOP once relished: passing a budget. House Republicans finally approved their $4.1 trillion fiscal 2018 blueprint on Thursday—nearly six months late and over the defections of 18 of their members. Unlike past years, the importance of the House GOP budget is not its proposed overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid, or even the trillions of dollars in cuts it envisions for federal spending. Those ideas likely won’t make their way into law. The Atlantic
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At A Penn State Fraternity
At about 3 p.m. on friday, February 3, Tim Piazza, a sophomore at Penn State University, arrived at Hershey Medical Center by helicopter. Eighteen hours earlier, he had been in the kind of raging good health that only teenagers enjoy. He was a handsome, redheaded kid with a shy smile, a hometown girlfriend, and a family who loved him very much. Now he had a lacerated spleen, an abdomen full of blood, and multiple traumatic brain injuries. He had fallen down a flight of stairs during a hazing event at his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, but the members had waited nearly 12 hours before calling 911, relenting only when their pledge “looked fucking dead.” Tim underwent surgery shortly after arriving at Hershey, but it was too late. He died early the next morning. The Atlantic
Wins, Congress Loses With Iran Deal Politics
President Donald Trump has a message to Republicans in Congress -- you don't like the Iran nuclear deal, so you deal with it. His expected decision to decertify the agreement would allow him to save face and dent Barack Obama's legacy. And by handing its fate to lawmakers, he would also limit his political exposure to any decision to kill off a pact backed by US allies. His expected move is already being condemned by critics, who warn he is putting US national security at risk to satisfy his own prejudices toward a deal he has branded an "embarrassment" to America. Trump has twice previously -- and grudgingly -- been forced to certify that Iran is complying with its terms. CNN
VOA VIEW: The Iran Obama deal was a lie and bad.
Democrats Pledge To Give Tainted Harvey Weinstein Donations To Charity
Representatives for multiple Democratic senators said on Thursday that they intend to donate thousands of dollars that film producer Harvey Weinstein gave to their re-election campaigns to charity. The donations came just hours after a bombshell New York Times story published on Tuesday afternoon alleging that Weinstein had sexually harassed employees and actresses for decades. In response to the articles allegations that Weinstein encouraged female employees to give him massages and watch him bathe naked, beneficiaries of the producer’s political largesse have begun distancing themselves from a powerful former benefactor. Daily Beast
Points Finger At Hollywood For Mass Shootings
The head of the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm said Thursday that “gun control is a failed policy” and it’s time to have a broader conversation about the underlying problem of mass shootings — namely the role Hollywood has played by fetishizing firearms. The NRA spends millions of dollars every year teaching safe and responsible gun ownership, and Hollywood makes billions promoting and glorifying gun violence,” Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. “And then the same hypocrites come in and suggest we’re to blame for this.” Huffington Post
VOA VIEW: Liberals have caused the major problem in Las Vegas.
Speaks Out: Morale At Interior Department Is ‘In The Toilet’
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has good reason to worry about loyalty and respect among his staff, says a scientist-turned-whistleblower who resigned from his agency post Wednesday citing Zinke’s “poor leadership” and “resume of failure.” During a speech to an oil industry group last week, Zinke said: “I got 30 percent of the crew that’s not loyal to the flag.” The former Montana congressman’s comment was met with outrage, including from a trio of groups representing retired Interior employees, which called the remarks “ludicrous” and “deeply insulting.” Huffington Post
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Team Met With Author Of Trump Dossier
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team reportedly met with Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier of unverified allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia, earlier this year. Steele, a former British intelligence officer, has thus far refused to meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee on the matter, chairman Richard Burr said on Wednesday, adding that the committee has "hit a wall" on the issue of the dossier. Daily Beast
Insists He Isn’t About To Resign
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted Wednesday that he is not planning to quit, rebutting persistent reports of policy disputes and personal clashes with the White House. “I have never considered leaving this post,” Tillerson said at an extraordinary and hastily called news conference at the State Department. Tillerson did not directly respond to an NBC News report earlier Wednesday that he had referred to President Trump as a “moron.” Philadelphia Inquirer
Jared Kushner And Ivanka Trump-The Ultimate Jewish Power Couple
On January 20, hours after her father took the oath of office, Ivanka Trump took in a private moment with her family in the White House residence for the first time. The inauguration this year fell on a Friday, and before making an exception to go out that night to celebrate, the Jewish first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, were intent to mark the Sabbath. They did so in the Lincoln Bedroom, lighting Shabbat candles in Donald Trump's latest home– and in doing so marked the first time this religious act was performed on White House grounds. It was a clarifying personal moment for Ivanka, in which she realized the significance of her role ahead as a public figure and, months later, as a formal adviser to the president of the United States. J Post
VOA VIEW: A good first.
Obama Adviser Anita Dunn Helped Harvey Weinstein Strategize Before New
York Times Story
A former top adviser to Barack Obama was among the list of public relations professionals and lawyers consulting Harvey Weinstein over a major New York Times story, according to two people familiar with the matter. Anita Dunn, a top Obama campaign staffer and former White House communications director, helped offer damage control advice for the Hollywood mogul. On Thursday afternoon, the New York Times published a major investigation into Weinstein that features on-the-record claims of sexual harassment, including from actor Ashley Judd. Buzz Feed
VOA VIEW: The NYT is liberal and bias.
King, Putin Agree Deals On Historic Russia Trip
Saudi Arabia has signed preliminary agreements to buy S-400 air defence systems from Russia, officials said, on the sidelines of King Salman's "landmark" visit to Moscow. The agreement was announced on Thursday as Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted King Salman - the first sitting Saudi monarch to visit Russia - for talks at the Kremlin. Along with the S-400 anti-aircraft missiles, Saudi Arabia is also set to buy Kornet anti-tank guided missile systems and multiple rocket launchers under the deal. These agreements are "expected to play a pivotal role in the growth and development of the military and military systems industry in Saudi Arabia," Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), the kingdom's military industries firm said. Al Jazeera
Directed HHS To Deny Iowa’s Proposal To Fix Health Care
President Trump directed administration officials to turn down Iowa’s request to help people maintain health care coverage and control increasing premium costs in what critics say is an attempt to sabotage Obamacare. Trump reportedly read about Iowa’s request for a Section 1332 waiver in the Wall Street Journal in late August, according to a source who spoke to the Washington Post. The waiver is a provision that allows states to adjust how they implement the Affordable Care Act as long as a comparable number of people are still covered with a plan that is similarly comprehensive and affordable without increasing the federal budget deficit. NY Daily
Newton Issues Apology After Sexist Comment
More than a day after his sexist comment sent off a firestorm of criticism and resulted in the loss of at least one sponsor, Cam Newton has finally issued an apology. The Panthers quarterback posted a two-minute video to his social media accounts Thursday apologizing for his comment and asking those who were hurt to “find the kindness in your heart” to forgive him. “I understand my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women. And to be honest, that was not my intention,” Newton said in the video. “And if you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you. NY Daily
Establishment Attacks… Itself
The Republican Party's long-simmering internal divisions under President Donald Trump, temporarily papered over when his surprise 2016 win gave the party control of federal government, have erupted into open political warfare – and the newest insurgents from the establishment are fighting their former allies. A day after a top West Wing staffer urged heavyweight donors to close their wallets to Capitol Hill Republicans until Congress kick-starts Trump's stalled agenda, Politico reports that a group of wealthy conservatives who have long supported Republican candidates and causes told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to his face: The GOP won't get any campaign contributions until he gets a legislative win. US News & World Report
VOA VIEW: There is no question that Republican Senators have failed.
Instructs Federal Prosecutors To Renew Focus On Violent Crime
The Justice Department, pointing to a two-year rise in homicides and other violent crime, said Thursday it plans to dispatch dozens of federal prosecutors across the country and begin requiring U.S. Attorneys to give renewed focus to neighborhoods most affected by violent crime. The plan, an updated version of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a Bush-era program initially launched to tackle gun crime, will require federal prosecutors to come up with plans to combat violent crime, hold meetings with local law enforcement and other community representatives, and keep track of whether their efforts are helping to reduce crime. US News & World Report
Warns DoD Against Leaks In New Memo
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued a new warning Thursday to all military and Defense Department civilian personnel against information leaks, and directed personnel to report suspected leaks, guidance that government transparency advocates said would have a chilling effect on the public’s right to know. In an internal memo dated Oct. 3 and obtained by the Military Times, Mattis reminded DoD personnel that “it is a violation of our oath to divulge, in any fashion, non-public DoD information, classified or unclassified, to anyone without the required security clearance as well as a specific need to know in the performance of their duties.” Mattis also reinforced the obligation to report leaks. Air Force Times
LIU Post, Bill Clinton Talks Politics And Togetherness
Former President Bill Clinton addressed global issues and briefly touched on his wife’s failed presidential campaign Thursday night during an appearance at LIU Post in Brookville, where he also discussed the administration of the man who defeated her. Clinton, in both solo remarks and a question-and-answer session with former Rep. Steve Israel lasting more than an hour, covered topics in the headlines recently, including immigration, the November presidential election in which Donald Trump defeated the former first lady, North Korea and the Middle East. Newsday
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