NEWS   TUESDAY, MARCH  27, 2018   NEWS

Orlando Nightclub Shooter's Father Was A Secret FBI Informant
The news, disclosed Saturday to lawyers representing the Pulse nightclub shooter's wife, Noor Salman, in her own terrorism case related to the attack, also led to immediate calls by the defense for a mistrial. "Seddique Mateen was a FBI confidential human source at various points in time between January 2005 and June 2016,” the defense lawyers, in a court document filed Sunday, quoted Assistant United States Attorney Sara Sweeney as saying in a letter. The 31-year-old Salman is accused of obstruction of justice, as FBI agents say she lied to them in the hours after the Pulse nightclub attack, and charges of aiding and abetting Mateen's allegiance to ISIS. Fox News
VOA VIEW: A mess for the DOJ and FBI.

GOP Push To End Dems' Stranglehold On Key Ambassadorial Nominee
"It's time to end this partisan spectacle. We have 78 more nominees for various jobs who’ve made it through their committee hearings and are waiting for a vote on this floor," Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said on the floor of the Senate last week. "Most of these people have bipartisan support, they can be confirmed easily." Barrasso wants to change a rule that allows for 30 hours of Senate discussion for each nominee, which Republicans say effectively allows Democrats to jam up the appointment process to a ridiculously slow crawl. Barrasso wants to limit the number of hours of discussion down to eight - a standard Democrats themselves supported under the Obama administration. Fox
VOA VIEW: It's about time - let's move on.

Trump Expels 60 Russian Agents
The Trump administration is expelling 60 Russians it says are spies posing as diplomats in the U.S. and will close Russia’s consulate in Seattle as punishment for a nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom widely attributed to Moscow. The dramatic move continues a two-faced U.S. policy toward Russia — further escalating official diplomatic tensions even as President Donald Trump continues a friendly approach toward Russian President Vladimir Putin. Politico

FTC Confirms Probe Into Facebook Data Misuse Scandal
The Federal Trade Commission  (FTC) has confirmed it’s investigating Facebook’s  privacy  practices in light of the data misuse scandal currently engulfing the company. In a statement regarding reported concerns about Facebook’s privacy practices today, Tom Pahl, acting director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said: The FTC is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers. Foremost among these tools is enforcement action against companies that fail to honor their privacy promises, including to comply with Privacy Shield, or that engage in unfair acts that cause substantial injury to consumers in violation of the FTC Act.  Tech Crunch
VOA VIEW: FB  and other social media should be closed down - they are a problem.

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Stormy Daniels Describes Her Alleged Affair With Donald Trump
A week and a half before the 2016 election, Donald Trump's personal attorney paid a porn star named Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about her alleged relationship with the Republican candidate for president. Today, that arrangement is well on its way to becoming the most talked-about "hush agreement" in history, with potential legal and political implications for the president. Through his spokesman, Mr. Trump has denied having an affair with Stormy Daniels, and his lawyers are now threatening her with financial ruin, saying she has to pay $1 million dollars every time she violates her agreement to stay silent. CBS
VOA VIEW: Daniels is a lying opportunist in the need of publicity.

Kim Jong Un Is Making a Surprise China Visit, Sources Say
Kim Jong Un made a surprise visit to Beijing on his first known trip outside North Korea since taking power in 2011, three people with knowledge of the visit said. Further details of his trip, including how long Kim would stay and who he would meet, were not immediately available. The people asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the information. Speculation about a possible visit by a high-ranking North Korean official circulated around the Chinese capital Monday, after Japan’s Kyodo News reported that a special train may have carried Kim through the northeastern border city of Dandong. Nippon TV showed footage of a train arriving Monday in Beijing that looked similar to one used by Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, to visit the country shortly before his death in 2011. Bloomberg

U.S. Pushes China On Cars And Finance In Tariff Talks
The Trump administration is urging China to lower tariffs on cars and open its market to U.S. financial services as part of talks to resolve a rise in trade tensions that has shaken global markets, according to a person familiar with the matter. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called China’s Liu He to congratulate Liu on his appointment this month as vice premier in charge of economic policy, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions aren’t public. The two discussed the trade deficit between the two countries and committed to finding a mutually agreeable way to reduce the gap. Bloomberg

Stormy Daniels’s Boring Interview Was Actually Brilliant
Last night’s 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels set off so few fireworks, with so little new information, that it would be tempting to dismiss its importance. As Slate put it, “If you were hoping for a TV event that would do serious damage to the Trump presidency … [it] was a let down.” Let’s not be hasty here, though. Buried within the interview’s vanilla blandness lay some lessons worth pondering — if we want to save our republic.  The Cut
VOA VIEW: Boring is the operative word.

Suspicious Packages Found At Several Military Installations In D.C. Area
The FBI is investigating suspicious packages with apparent explosive components at several U.S. military installations and intelligence facilities in the Washington, D.C., area Monday, a law enforcement official said. The National Defense University at Ft. McNair in D.C. received a suspicious package about 8:30 a.m., and the building was evacuated. The package tested positive for black powder, which can be used to make explosives, according to Ft. McNair. NBC Washington

‘Throw All That Crap Out’ – Bolton Poised To Make Big Changes At NSC To Make Sure ‘The Leaks Stop’
Incoming national security adviser John Bolton is poised to make policy and personnel changes at the highest levels of the National Security Council, officials familiar with Bolton’s thinking and Trump’s National Security Council tell The Daily Caller. These officials tell The DC Bolton has been charged by President Donald Trump to stop national security leaks from inside the administration and to change the current relationship between the NSC and the president. Daily Caller

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Stormy Sues Trump's Lawyer For Defamation
Adult film star Stormy Daniels is suing President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen for defamation after he called into question her claim that she had a sexual encounter with Trump, according to court documents filed on Monday. In the filing in federal court in Los Angeles, Daniels’ attorney said “Cohen meant to convey that Ms. Clifford is a liar, someone who should not be trusted, and that her claims about her relationship with Mr. Trump is ‘something (that) isn’t true.’ ” NY Post
VOA VIEW: Publicity will equal ruin for Daniels.

Paul Ryan Spokeswoman Denies 'Rumor' He'll Soon Quit
Paul Ryan’s spokesperson is denying a claim by Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., that the speaker is resigning soon according to a Capitol Hill “rumor.” Spokesperson AshLee Strong said Ryan, R-Wis., isn’t going anywhere. “The Speaker is not resigning,” Strong told the Washington Examiner in a statement. Amodei, who represents Nevada’s 2nd District, caused a stir Monday in an interview with Nevada Newsmakers when he said he believed Ryan is ready to leave Congress on a month or two. “The rumor mill is that Paul Ryan is getting ready to resign in the next 30 to 60 days and that Steve Scalise will be the new speaker,” Amodei said on the show, which covers politics and can be viewed online. Washington Examiner
VOA VIEW: Time will tell the real truth.

Megyn Kelly Draws Comparisons Between Herself And Stormy Daniels
NBC’s Megyn Kelly responded to Stormy Daniels’ CBS interview in the most stunning and brave manner possible: making it all about herself. During her segment aired on 60 Minutes Sunday night, Daniels described being threatened by “a man in a parking lot” when she first considered publicly talking about her sexual relationship with President Trump. “I was in a parking lot, going to a fitness class with my infant daughter,” Daniels told Anderson Cooper. “A guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.’ And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’ And then he was gone.” Kelly thought the aforementioned exchange “sounded familiar” to an encounter she had with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Daily Caller
VOA VIEW: Publicity hounds losing reality.

Republican Ryan Costello Isn't Running For Reelection. That's Big For Dems.
Another House Republican is calling it quits in 2018. Rep. Ryan Costello, who represents Philadelphia’s surrounding suburbs — a major Democratic target in the 2018 midterms — announced over the weekend that he will not seek reelection in November. Why? President Donald Trump. “Whether it’s Stormy Daniels, or passing an omnibus spending bill that the president threatens to veto after promising to sign [it], it’s very difficult to move forward in a constructive way today,” Costello told the Daily Local News, a West Chester, Pennsylvania, newspaper. Vox

NBC Interview With Hillary Aide Skips Clinton’s Bitter Attack On Voters
Despite devoting two full segments, totaling over 11 minutes, to an interview with former Hillary Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, on her Monday 9:00 a.m. ET hour show, NBC anchor Megyn Kelly failed to ask about the losing Democratic nominee’s recent bitter tirade against voters who did not support her in 2016. Much of the lengthy exchange was devoted to promoting Palmieri’s new book, Dear Madam President, and her advice for women in the workplace. Ironically, while discussing topics like female empowerment, Kelly avoided pressing Palmieri on Clinton’s nasty claim that women who voted for Donald Trump only did so because they were being told to by their husbands. News Busters
VOA VIEW: Kelly's agenda made her lose reality.

Russian Mall Blaze Kills At Least 64
A fire at a mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, has killed at least 64 people, including at least nine children. The fire swept through the Winter Cherry mall’s entertainment complex while scores of people were attending screenings at its multiplex cinema, Russian news agency TASS reported. Videos posted on social media showed people jumping from windows to escape the heat and thick black smoke as firefighters fought for 17 hours to extinguish the flames. Newsweek

Doctor's Rip Santorum For What He Said To Kids
Doctors and health-care professionals are criticizing former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) after he suggested Sunday that student activists should learn CPR instead of protesting for gun control. The day after thousands of students across the country took to the streets to protest gun violence during the March for Our Lives, Santorum made remarks about CPR while appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Hill
VOA VIEW: The truth hurts.

Blizzard Of Ethics Complaints Filed Against Trump Administration By Public Citizen
A prominent government watchdog group has filed 30 ethics complaints with various federal agencies — including the White House — alleging that employees are working in violation of President Donald Trump's executive order intended to "drain the swamp" and keep government free of former lobbyists. The group, Public Citizen, filed the complaints in recent days, charging possible violations of ethics rules that Trump announced just days into his presidency. NBC

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US Army Vet Who Served 2 Tours In Afghanistan, Deported To Mexico
A United States Army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan has been deported to Mexico, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. The deportation comes more than a week after Miguel Perez was denied U.S. citizenship because of a 2008 drug conviction. ICE officers escorted Perez across the U.S.-Mexico border and turned him over to Mexican authorities on Friday, ICE said in a statement to CBS News. Earlier this month, the 39-year-old Perez petitioned immigration officials to be granted citizenship retroactive to when he joined the military in 2001. CBS
VOA VIEW: The law is clear.

Frontier Gun Maker Remington Seeks Bankruptcy Protection
Remington, the storied gun maker that began turning out flintlock rifles when there were only 19 states in the Union, has filed for bankruptcy reorganization amid years of slumping sales and legal and financial pressure over the Sandy Hook school massacre. In papers filed Sunday in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, Remington outlined a plan to turn over control to its creditors and continue operating with up to $100 million from lenders. US News & World Report

Users Built Facebook's Empire, And They Can Crumble It
Facebook's true value resides in its 2.1 billion users, and investors need to worry about what happens if enough of them decide that free social media isn’t worth the cost. First,  a disclosure: I’ve never used Facebook. I get that it’s an awesome way to keep in touch with family and friends, meet new people and get a personalized online experience. But I value my privacy, and it’s hard to reconcile that with the fact that Facebook is in the business of selling its users’ information. And it’s a great business. Bloomberg

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Claiming Executive Privilege To Avoid Mueller Could Backfire For Trump
Will President Trump sit down for a one-on-one interview with special counsel Robert Mueller? It might be more likely after the president’s lead lawyer on the Russia investigation resigned last week. The lawyer, John Dowd, had reportedly advised the president against such a move, and now he’s out. If Trump does talk to Mueller, there’s a possibility that he could invoke executive privilege to try to avoid answering some of the special counsel’s questions.1 That would be the first formal invocation of executive privilege in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Five Thirty Eight

Trump Trade Czar Navarro: 'We Might Get A Really Good Deal On NAFTA'
Top Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro on Monday indicated hope for success in U.S. efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. "It looks like we might get a really good deal on NAFTA," Navarro told CNBC's "Squawk Alley." Earlier this month, President Donald Trump excluded Canada and Mexico from import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum until May 1.  CNBC

Cult Leader Arrested For Branding Women, Keeping Them As 'Slaves'
The leader of a secretive cult in upstate New York has been arrested in Mexico on charges of sex trafficking and forced labor for allegedly keeping women as “slaves” and branding them with his initials. Keith Raniere — the co-founder of an allegedly torturous and psychologically manipulative secret society, NXIVM — was busted by authorities in the resort town of Puerto Vallarta and brought to Texas on Monday, according to the Brooklyn US Attorney ’s office. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Insane!

Dow Surges 670 Points!
“The extent of the deterioration in equities is very much a concern given the combination of near-term technical damage, along with the decline in longer-term momentum after having reached record overbought conditions into late January,” wrote Mark Newton, technical analyst at Newton Advisors, in a Monday research note. Here are some levels that the market is trying to defend or retake after last week’s withering action: Market Watch

Holocaust Survivor Murdered And Set On Fire In Paris
French authorities say the killing of an elderly Jewish woman in Paris is being investigated as an anti-Semitic murder.  The woman, identified in French media as Mireille Knoll, was stabbed at least 11 times and her body was set on fire. The Paris prosecutor's office said Monday two suspects have been put in custody. It said it is asking investigating judges to charge the pair with premeditated murder of a vulnerable person for anti-Semitic motives.  Fox 5 NY

Trump: Fake News Has Never Been More 'Voluminous'
President Trump went on Twitter on Monday to proclaim “so much Fake News” without mentioning Stormy Daniels’ allegations that they had sex and that she was physically threatened to keep quiet about it. “So much Fake News. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through it all, our country is doing great!,” Trump posted on the social media site. NY Post

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Russian Ambassador: Trump Made 'Grave Mistake' Expelling Diplomats
Anatoly Antonov called it a “very bad step” and said that the US “will understand what kind of grave mistake they did and I hope that maybe in the future our relations will be restored.” He denounced the move as provocative and said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies that Moscow will make an “adequate” response. Britain has blamed Russia for the March 4 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. NY Post

Stormy Daniels’ Legal Strategy Strongly Suggests She Has Photos of Donald Trump
At first blush, the legal strategy of Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, appears to make no sense. Daniels is arguing that the October 26, 2016, agreement she signed accepting money in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Donald Trump is null and void because it was not signed by Trump himself. On its surface, this is a poor strategy. While cloaked in pseudonyms. Daily Beast

Dana Loesch Fires Back At Claim She Was 'Show Business Wannabe'
NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch has been threatened and called all kinds of repugnant things for years. The people now telling Loesch she's a child murderer aren't as creative as they might think. Recently, Bill Maher repeated a false claim that Loesch was a show business wannabe who failed. "What you may not know about Dana Loesch is that before her job as NRA spokesmodel. "PJ Media

CNN Poll: 42% Approve Of Trump, Highest In 11 Months
President Donald Trump's approval rating has rebounded to its highest level since the 100-day mark of his presidency, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, even as his approval ratings for handling major issues remain largely negative. Overall, 42% approve of the way Trump is handling the presidency, 54% disapprove. Approval is up 7 points overall since February, including 6-point increases among Republicans (from 80% to 86% now) and independents (from 35% to 41% now). CNN
VOA VIEW: Even the liberal of liberals can't deny Trump is moving up in ratings.

Judge Denies Motion To Drop Case Against Widow Of Pulse Gunman
A judge has denied a motion for dismissal by lawyers for the widow of the Pulse gunman after they said new details from prosecutors reveal the shooter's father was an FBI informant who is currently under a criminal investigation. The judge said the fact that Omar Mateen's father worked as an FBI informant was not relevant to the case against Noor Salman. According to a motion filed by the defense, Assistant US Attorney Sara Sweeney sent an email to the defense on Saturday -- in the middle of Salman's trial -- that stated Seddique Mateen was a confidential FBI source at various points in time between January 2005 through June 2016. Google News

McConnell Backs Bill To Ease Up On Hemp Cultivation
Mitch McConnell will introduce legislation to allow states to regulate their own hemp industries, a move that could be a boon to the Senate majority leader should he pursue reelection in 2020. The Kentucky senator announced on Monday he will pursue a bill that would make states the primary regulators of hemp, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture. Hemp growth was once outlawed in the United States, but McConnell worked in 2014 to write a new law allowing pilot programs for it. Since then, Kentucky has become the state with the third-most acres of hemp growth. Politico

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Trump To Use Fence Funding To Start Building The Wall
President Donald Trump can use recently allocated funding for border security to begin building his proposed wall along the US-Mexico border, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said Monday morning. Confusion has surrounded the $1.6 billion allocated by Congress in its recent spending bill, of which only approximately $650 million can actually be used to bolster existing fencing along the border. Daily Caller
VOA VIEW: The Wall is a must.

Warner Signals Sen. Intel Dems. Will Ramp Up Inquiries Into Zuckerberg, Bannon Over Cambridge Analytica
Virginia Senator Mark Warner signaled that new inquiries into Facebook and Cambridge Analytica will be the next focus of resistance for anti-Trump members on the Senate Intelligence Committee. The ranking Intelligence member told CBS’ Margaret Brennan Sunday that Facebook is included in the “next wave of technology” that could pose a threat to future elections. “We have to get our arms around this, and I think Mr. Zuckerberg needs to come and testify before Congress, not just put an advertisement in a newspaper. He said he would if he was the right guy. Daily Caller

Kim Jong Un May Or May Not Be Visiting China Right Now
Kim Jong Un is a known homebody — but the appearance of a massive train in Beijing on Monday has driven speculation that Kim has ended his hermitage and taken his first trip abroad since his father died. Aside from the similarities in the train itself, a ~secret visit~ to China would line up with Kim Jong Il's style. His visits to Beijing were always kept under official wraps until they'd ended. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson told the AP that "she was not aware of the situation and had no further comment." Buzz Feed

Parkland Students To Rick Santorum: CPR ‘Won't Save You’ When You’ve Been Shot In The Head
David Hogg was shaking his head the moment Rick Santorum’s face appeared on screen. “How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem,” the former Republican senator and current CNN contributor said Sunday on State of the Union, “do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that?”  Daily Beast
VOA VIEW: Liberals at their worse.

Russia Vows Revenge: "The US Only Understands Force"
Expulsions of our envoys won’t go unanswered, warns Russian officials. Sixty Russian envoys were expelled from the US on Monday in response to claims that Russia poisoned a former Russian spy living in the UK. Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said the US “only understands force.” “I mentioned in my statement in the State Department that I consider these actions counterproductive,” he said. “I said that the United States took a very bad step by cutting what very little still remains in terms of Russian-American relations.” InfoWars

Brothel Owner Runs For Nevada State Assembly, Compares Himself To Trump
Dennis Hof, an ordained minister, owner of the famous Nevada brothel Love Ranch, one of those featured in the HBO series “Cathouse,” and author of the book “The Art of the Pimp: A Love Story,” doesn’t mince words when discussing GOP Nevada Assemblyman James Oscarson, his opponent in the Nevada GOP June primary. “Having been in the legal brothel business for more than 24 years, I know a ‘working girl’ when I see one,” Hof said, referring to his esteemed opponent. And, just in case voters weren’t entirely sure what Hof thinks of Oscarson, the 71-year-old author, minister and brothel owner added, “Assemblyman James Oscarson is the most shameless political (w-word rhyming with ‘more’) in Nevada.” PJ Media

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