NEWS   WEDNESDAY, APRIL  4, 2018   NEWS

A Lawyer Who Admitted Lying To The Special Counsel's Office Was Just Sentenced To One Month In Jail
A lawyer who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller's office was sentenced Tuesday to one month in jail and a $20,000 fine. Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch citizen who lives in London, is the first person sentenced in connection with Mueller's investigation. Four other people have publicly pleaded guilty to date, but unlike van der Zwaan, their plea deals included cooperation agreements, delaying their sentencings. Van der Zwaan's sentence sends a message that jail time is on the table even for defendants who plead guilty to relatively low-level crimes. Buzz Feed
VOA VIEW: No big deal - Mueller big waste of time and money.

Spotify Begins Trading At NYSE In Unusual Debut
Spotify began trading shares at the NYSE on Tuesday, but its unusual listing had already reignited a debate about how Wall Street leads private companies into the public spotlight. Usually, this process begins when the company hires a bank or two to arrange an initial public offering. The bankers' role is to drum up investors, agree on a price for the offering and make every possible effort to push the stock to a successful debut, including stepping in and buying shares to stabilize the first few days of trading. IPOs are usually accompanied by some fanfare, too. CNBC

Scott Pruitt Bypassed WH To Give Big Raises To Favorite Aides
In early March, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt approached the White House with a request: He wanted substantial pay raises for two of his closest aides. The aides, Sarah Greenwalt and Millan Hupp, were part of the small group of staffers who had traveled with Pruitt to Washington from Oklahoma, where he had served as attorney general. Greenwalt, a 30-year-old who had worked as Pruitt’s general counsel in Oklahoma, was now his senior counsel at the EPA. Hupp, 26, was working on his political team before she moved to D.C. to become the agency’s scheduling director. Atlantic
VOA VIEW: Loyalty has its value.

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US And Israel Interfere In Syria, Says Iran President
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attacked the United States and Israel for their roles in Syria before he boarded a plane for Turkey where he was scheduled to meet President Tayyip Erdogan and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The Americans are against the Syrian government establishing its authority throughout the whole country and are even thinking of a breakup [of the country],” he said in a ceremony broadcast live from Tehran’s Mehrabad airport. “There’s interference from Zionist forces in Syria which has increased problems. Reuters

Rosenstein Expanded Mueller's Authority Less Than 2 Weeks After Trump Drew 'Red Line' On Probing Family Finances
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave special counsel Robert Mueller the authority to expand his investigation less than two weeks after President Donald Trump said that probing his finances would be a “red line.” In July 2017 interview with The New York Times, Trump was asked if an investigation into his personal and company finances would cross a “red line” for the president. “I would say yes,” Trump replied. “I don’t make money from Russia. In fact, I put out a letter saying that I don’t make — from one of the most highly respected law firms, accounting firms. I don’t have buildings in Russia.” Raw Story
VOA VIEW: Rosenstein may be found dirty when all is make known.

Trump Declares 'Nobody Has Been Tougher On Russia' In Meeting With Baltic Leaders
President Donald Trump declared "nobody has been tougher on Russia" during a meeting with the heads of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to the White House on Tuesday. The declaration comes as tension between Russia and the United States has ratcheted up in recent weeks and as Trump meets with the Baltic leaders who have grown deeply skeptical of Putin in recent years. "Getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing," Trump said. CNN
VOA VIEW: Facts are facts.

Russia, Turkey And Iran Are Planning Syria's Future Without The US
Leaders from Russia, Turkey and Iran will meet on Wednesday to plan the future of Syria and how to end the bloody civil war that has dragged on for seven years. But the U.S. and other Western countries are conspicuously absent from the meeting. The talks, which will take place in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, will center on the drafting of a new constitution for Syria and how to secure zones for “de-escalation,” according to Turkish officials. Newsweek

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This Isn't A 'New' Donald Trump. He's Always Been Like This.
After a weekend spent at Mar-a-Lago surrounded by loyalists and hangers-on and with advisers who disagree with him either shelved or siloed, President Donald Trump now appears to be entirely unfettered -- a living, breathing political id who also happens to be the most powerful person in the country. Witness Trump's Tuesday morning on Twitter. Here's a list of the topics, assertions and attacks the President of the United States covered before 7:30 a.m. ET: CNN

David Hogg And Other Parkland Students Welcome At New Mexico State University
Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg may not have gotten into the University of California, but New Mexico State seems to be calling. The Dean of the Honors College at New Mexico State University, Dr. Miriam S. Chaiken, is welcoming Hogg and his fellow Parkland student advocates, according to a letter sent to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on March 31. Chaiken wrote in the letter that she has been inspired by Hogg and the students’ gun control advocacy and leadership since the Feb. 14 school shooting.  Sun-Sentinel
VOA VIEW: Liberal is as liberal does - Hogg and those who follow or lead him are equal losers and users.

17 States Sue To Block Citizenship Question On 2020 Census
A coalition of 17 states, Washington, D.C., and six cities announced Tuesday that they are suing to block the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. census. "This is really just an effort to punish places like New York that welcome immigrants, that are accommodating to immigrants and embrace the American tradition of open arms for all," Schneiderman said.  NBC
VOA VIEW: A waste of time and money by liberal fools.

Veterans Claim Air Force Unlawfully Silenced Religious Speech
A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom claims in court the Air Force trampled on his free speech and other civil rights when it elected him from a service retirement ceremony after deeming his prepared comments too religious. In a federal complaint filed in Washington, D.C. on Monday, plaintiffs Oscar Rodriguez Jr., and Charles Roberson, both retired Air Force master sergeants, claim their dispute with the Air Force began in 2016 during the retirement ceremony for a fellow service member at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California. Court House News

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Trump Says Military Will Secure Southern Border Until Wall Can Be Built
Trump made the remarks during a meeting with Baltic leaders, where he said he had discussed the matter with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. “Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military,” he said. “That's a big step, we really haven’t done that before, or certainly not very much before.” Trump did not offer more details, but the move appears to have been at least partly motivated by a caravan of over 1,000 Central American migrants heading toward the U.S. border. Fox

EPA To Roll Back Obama-Era Mileage Rules
“These standards that were set were inappropriate and need to be revised,” Pruitt said during a speech at the EPA in Washington D.C., adding that the rules are too expensive and hurt car buyers by making vehicles costlier. “The focus should be on making cars that people actually buy and that are efficient,” he said. Pruitt’s decision to rewrite the nation’s first carbon limits on automobiles, which requires cars and light trucks sold in the United States to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025, reflects both the power of the country’s automakers and the Trump administration’s determination to jump start the car industry. Fox

Trump Administration Tariffs $50B In Chinese Electronics, Aerospace And Machinery Goods
The Trump administration published a list Tuesday of Chinese exports that could soon be subject to a steep 25 percent tariff. The list covers some $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in sectors such as aerospace, robotics, IT and machinery. President Trump directed his trade advisers to develop the list last month, as a way to punish China for what the White House calls unfair treatment of American intellectual property.  NPR
VOA VIEW: Good!

Hot Housing Market: Home Buyers Are Spending More Than Expected
Home buyers are busting budgets — and in some cases selling things they love — to snag their dream houses. A third of home buyers blew through the upper limit of what they planned to spend, topping that cap by an average $16,510, according to a Owners.com survey of 1,214 Americans who purchased a house within the last four years. The survey was conducted Jan. 31 to Feb. 8. The main reason? Price. Price. Price. “Clearly, we’re in an environment of rising prices,” especially for starter homes, says Daniel Maloney, national head of sales for Owners.com, a real estate brokerage. USA Today

How Amazon’s Relationship With the Post Office Really Works
Since signing a landmark five-year contract in 2013 to deliver packages on Sundays, Amazon.com Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service have declared their business relationship a success. The president firmly disagrees. In a series of Twitter messages in recent days, Donald Trump accuses Amazon, the giant e-retailer, of draining the postal service of money it can’t afford to lose. Bloomberg

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Stocks Rebound After Huge Tech Driven Selloff
U.S. stocks moved between slight losses and solid gains Tuesday as uncertainty over trade issues and the outlook for the technology and internet sectors continued to be the primary driver for volatile equities, particularly in the absence of fundamental news like earnings. The gain represented a partial rebound from the previous session’s sharp decline, which took the S&P 500 below a key technical level and erased the Nasdaq’s gains for the year. Market Watch

Five Things to Know About The New York Fed's Incoming President
John Williams was named Tuesday as the next president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, succeeding William Dudley. He brings with him monetary-policy chops, a long history at the central bank and some notable quirks. Over the years, his public speeches have yielded a few key insights about the 55-year-old economist, who is taking over one of the most important roles in the global financial system.  Google News

Trump's Approval Rating Is Rising, And That's Bad For Stocks
Donald Trump has been taking to Twitter to tout his delight over the latest approval ratings. He might want to rethink that relationship. A daily poll from Rasmussen Reports shows Trump’s rating at 49 percent today, which is up from 42 percent on Jan. 22; in that time span, the S&P 500 has fallen about 8 percent. In fact, the rolling 120 day correlation between Rasmussen’s measurement of the president’s job performance and the price of the S&P 500 Index has been negative during all periods. Bloomberg

Jimmy Kimmel Hosted A Spelling Bee To Find Out Whether Kids Can Spell Better Than President Trump
It’s no secret that President Donald Trump loves to tweet. His messages have been known to include a typo or two — including some misspellings. So Jimmy Kimmel decided to put some of L.A.’s best young spellers to the test: could they get inside Trump’s brain and recreate the same mistakes? “This is not an ordinary spelling bee,” Kimmel told the three middle school contestants brought on his show. Time
VOA VIEW: Kimmel is liberal and anti Trump and his spelling bee is disrespectful and dumb.

Mueller Probe Into U.A.E. Influence Broadens
Special counsel Robert Mueller has asked questions about the work of a private consulting firm that has undertaken projects for the United Arab Emirates, according to people familiar with the investigation, suggesting his probe is looking more deeply at foreign influence in Washington. The questions by Mr. Mueller’s team concern a private consulting firm, Wikistrat, as well as two of its co-founders, Joel Zamel and Daniel Green. Wikistrat—which was founded in Israel in 2010 and today is based in Washington, D. C.—bills itself as a crowdsourced consulting firm that draws on a large network of experts to help analyze geopolitical problems on behalf of corporate clients and governments. WSJ

Cosby Trial: 7 Jurors Chosen So Far; Judge Hands Defense Team 2 Big Victories
The second day of jury selection in the Bill Cosby sexual-assault retrial saw the addition of six more jurors and two victories for the comedian’s legal team. Judge Steven O'Neill gave Cosby's legal defense a huge lift Tuesday with two key rulings that could help bolster the 80-year-old comedian’s efforts to paint his accuser as a money-grubbing liar. O’Neill said the defense can call a witness who says Cosby’s accuser talked about framing a celebrity before she went to police in 2005 with allegations about Cosby. The judge also helped the defense case by ruling that jurors can hear how much Cosby paid the accuser, Andrea Constand, in a 2006 civil settlement. USA Today

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US Suspects Cellphone Spying Devices In DC
For the first time, the U.S. government has publicly acknowledged the existence in Washington of what appear to be rogue devices that foreign spies and criminals could be using to track individual cellphones and intercept calls and messages. The use of what are known as cellphone-site simulators by foreign powers has long been a concern, but American intelligence and law enforcement agencies — which use such eavesdropping equipment themselves — have been silent on the issue until now. In a March 26 letter to Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged that last year it identified suspected unauthorized cell-site simulators in the nation’s capital.  AP

Facing Heat At Home, GOP Leaders May Recind Some Spending
As Republicans run into a buzz saw of conservative criticism over a deficit-expanding new budget, GOP leaders and the White House are looking for ways to undo the damage by allowing President Donald Trump to rescind some of the spending he signed into law just 10 days ago. Rolling back the funds would be a highly unusual move and could put some lawmakers in the potentially uncomfortable position of having to vote for specific spending opposed by a president from their party. Yahoo

Ted Kennedy And Chappaquiddick:
One of the great mysteries of 20th century American politics is being resurrected in a new film that takes its title from a byword for political and sexual scandal: Chappaquiddick. The film, directed by John Curran, tells the story of the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, a young woman who died in Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy’s car after it crashed on a small island off Martha’s Vineyard in the summer of 1969. Those facts are among the few certainties in a decades-long mystery. With Kennedy a favorite at the time for the Democratic nomination for president in 1972, the shadow cast by Chappaquiddick may well have changed the course of American political history. Yahoo

Facebook Asks Users If They Think It's 'Good For The World'
Facebook is asking users whether they think the platform is 'good for the world.' The latest poll, sent to an unspecified number of people, appears under the heading, 'We'd like to do better,' when users log in. Possible responses range from 'strongly agree' to 'strongly disagree.' Daily Mail UK
VOA VIEW: Facebook and other social media are a detriment to all.

What The World Thinks Of Trump's America Now
America is the most powerful nation on earth. It possesses the strongest military, largest economy, and dominant culture. Nevertheless, such factors do not necessarily translate into either international respect or popularity. Indeed, the willingness of other nations to trust the U.S. with its extraordinary power is on the wane. That, in turn undermines American influence. The better this nation's image, the more foreign governments are likely to cooperate with Washington in advancing shared goals. CNBC
VOA VIEW: The liberal fails to show and mention the word jealousy.

Trump Has Met The Enemy On Russia Collusion
If there is anything President Donald Trump believes about Russia and the 2016 presidential race, it's that there was no collusion between any member of his campaign and Russian intelligence officials. Asked in January about the possibility of sitting down with special counsel Bob Mueller to discuss Russia and the election, Trump unleashed this gem (bolding is mine): "There has been no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians or Trump and Russians. CNN

50 Years After MLK's Assassination, Is America Backwards In Race Relations?
Nearly 50 years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, his protégé Jesse Jackson ticks off a list of the many ways in which the civil rights leader’s push for people to reach what he called the "mountaintop" — a final plateau of racial and economic harmony — continues to be a struggle. Jackson, who was with King in Memphis to press for fair wages for the city’s sanitation workers on the day of the killing, notes all these years later, more than half of African-American workers earn less than $15 an hour — and income inequality in America has ballooned. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Obama did much to hurt race relations.

Facebook Bans Over 200 More Russian Accounts
Facebook is still finding — and banning — accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll army with ties to the Kremlin that tried to sway public opinion on Facebook during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Facebook announced on Tuesday that has removed more than 270 Facebook and Instagram accounts controlled by the IRA. Unlike the other IRA accounts Facebook was aware of — the one’s targeting U.S. voters that were removed last fall — these accounts were “targeting people living in Russia,” Recode

Apple Hires Google's Former AI Boss To Help Improve Siri
John Giannandrea, Google’s former head of search and artificial intelligence, is joining Apple. The hire, first reported by The New York Times, comes one day after the executive announced he was stepping down from his role at Google, itself a surprise move amid a broader executive reshuffle that now makes much more sense in hindsight. Giannandrea, a machine learning expert who joined Google back in 2010, is a huge get for Apple, which has struggled for years to make progress in fast-moving and increasingly important AI fields like computer vision and natural language processing. Verge

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Caravan Releases List Of Demands And Expects Trump To Comply
A caravan of 1,500 people funneling through Mexico towards the U.S. border have released a list of demands that President Trump is expected to comply with, including unfettered access to the United States. Pueblo sin Fronteras, the political outreach group who organized the caravan, released a press statement for the United States, Mexico, and their respective Central American governments. “We demand of the Mexico and the United States: that they respect our rights as refugees and our right to dignified work to be able to support our families,” the statements reads. InfoWars
VOA VIEW: Trump should send them all to hell or where they come from - the US don't need or want demanding fools.

South Texas Border Patrol Agents Overwhelmed By Illegal Border Crossers
Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector continue to be overwhelmed by the numbers of illegal border crossers, they say. The sector continues to lead the nation in Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), Family Unit Aliens (FMUA), and total apprehensions. “A wall for this sector is necessary and needs to happen now,” Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera told Breitbart Texas in an interview. Cabrera spoke to Breitbart Texas in his capacity as vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307. Breitbart

Mexican Ambassador To U.S. Predicts Caravan Will 'Conclude' Within Days
Mexico's ambassador to the United States, Gerónimo Gutiérrez, says that the Mexican government has been working to "manage migration flows" — despite President Trump's tweets accusing the country of doing "very little, if not NOTHING," to stop crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border. Gutiérrez says that a caravan of U.S.-bound Central American migrants, also the target of the president's ire in recent days, is reducing in numbers and likely to wrap up soon. NPR

Trump Family And Admin Members Spending Millions On 'Extravagant' Private Travel
Top House Democrats are calling for hearings on whether the Trump administration has “adequate controls” to protect taxpayer money in light of recent “extravagant air travel” by cabinet members. In a letter Tuesday to Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, who is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Democratic congressmen Elijah Cummings and Raja Krishnamoorthi pointed out two Trump cabinet members as the latest examples of “questionable and expensive travel at the taxpayer expense.” Newsweek
VOA VIEW: The operative words are questionable and expensive.

Trump, Top US General Strike Different Tones On Stabalizing Post ISIS Syria
President Trump said Tuesday that the end is in sight for the U.S. military mission in Syria, yet military leaders have said the U.S. should remain until the Islamic State is wiped out. American reinforcements have arrived in Manbij in recent days, a sign that they will remain a counterweight in the conflict. John Yang talks to former USAID official Mona Yacoubian and Amberin Zaman of Al Monitor. PBS

Unusual Forms Of 'Nightmare' Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Detected In 27 States
More than 200 rare antibiotic-resistant genes were found in "nightmare" bacteria tested in 2017, according to a Vital Signs report released Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "I was surprised by the numbers we found," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC. The report focused on the new and highly resistant germs that have yet to spread widely. Still, a variety of resistant germs can be found in every state. CNN

Woman Opens Fire At YouTube Headquarters, Wounding At Least 3 Before Taking Own Life
A woman opened fire Tuesday at the YouTube headquarters in Northern California then apparently took her own life, officials said. At least three people were injured in the incident. San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said the dead woman was found at the scene and appeared to have killed herself with a handgun, but the investigation was just beginning. CNN
VOA VIEW: Sad!

Cruz Challenger Says He Raised $6.7M In First Quarter Of 2018
U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, raised over $6.7 million for his U.S. Senate bid in the first quarter of 2018, according to his campaign, a staggering number that poses a new category of threat to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. The haul is easily O'Rourke's biggest fundraising quarter yet, more than double his next-closest total for a three-month period. It also is more than any Democratic Senate candidate nationwide took in last quarter, O'Rourke's campaign said. Cruz has not released his first-quarter fundraising numbers yet, but O'Rourke's $6.7 million total is on a different level than his previous hauls, which ranged from $1.7 million to $2.4 million. Those alone were good enough to outraise Cruz for three of the last four reporting periods. Texas Tribune

Trump Outraged Over Mexico Migrant Caravan
President Donald Trump lashed out in fury Monday over immigration, an outburst triggered by images of a "caravan" of hundreds of Central American migrants headed toward the US border. For the second straight day, Trump took to Twitter to attack Mexico for allowing the 1,500-strong group to march unimpeded toward the United States, their daily progress mapped out by US media. He threatened to abrogate NAFTA -- the US-Mexico-Canada free trade pact -- while demanding Congress pass tougher immigration legislation and support his plan for a wall along the Mexican frontier. Yahoo News

Woman Opens Fire At YouTube Headquarters, Wounding At Least 3 Before Taking Own Life
A woman opened fire Tuesday at the YouTube headquarters in Northern California then apparently took her own life, officials said. At least three people were injured in the incident. San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said the dead woman was found at the scene and appeared to have killed herself with a handgun, but the investigation was just beginning. CNN
VOA VIEW: Sad!

Cruz Challenger Says He Raised $6.7M In First Quarter Of 2018
U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, raised over $6.7 million for his U.S. Senate bid in the first quarter of 2018, according to his campaign, a staggering number that poses a new category of threat to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. The haul is easily O'Rourke's biggest fundraising quarter yet, more than double his next-closest total for a three-month period. It also is more than any Democratic Senate candidate nationwide took in last quarter, O'Rourke's campaign said. Cruz has not released his first-quarter fundraising numbers yet, but O'Rourke's $6.7 million total is on a different level than his previous hauls, which ranged from $1.7 million to $2.4 million. Those alone were good enough to outraise Cruz for three of the last four reporting periods. Texas Tribune

Trump Outraged Over Mexico Migrant Caravan
President Donald Trump lashed out in fury Monday over immigration, an outburst triggered by images of a "caravan" of hundreds of Central American migrants headed toward the US border. For the second straight day, Trump took to Twitter to attack Mexico for allowing the 1,500-strong group to march unimpeded toward the United States, their daily progress mapped out by US media. He threatened to abrogate NAFTA -- the US-Mexico-Canada free trade pact -- while demanding Congress pass tougher immigration legislation and support his plan for a wall along the Mexican frontier. Yahoo News

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