NEWS   SUNDAY, APRIL  15, 2018   NEWS

Bombs Away-US, France, Britain Launch Stikes On Syria Overnight
"A short time ago, I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad," Trump said in a primetime televised speech to the nation. "A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now under way. We thank them both. This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime." Yahoo News
VOA VIEW: A good start.

Israelit Ex-General Says US Should Have Wiped Out Assad
Speaking at an event in the southern city of Beersheba on Saturday, retired General and Labor party hopeful Amiram Levin said he "hoped that Trump would erase the presidential palace [in Damascus] and return the US to be a major player in the Middle Eastern arena.""The strike served Assad, the Russians, the Iranians -- and hurt us," he added. "The attack will allow the Americans to say 'we did what was necessary,' and to leave Syria," an unnamed official told Hadashot, Israel top commercial TV channel."And Israel is left alone to deal with the threat of Iran's reliance on the northern border." i24

US Says Air Strikes Cripple Syria Chemical Weapons Program
“We believe that by hitting Barzeh in particular we’ve attacked the heart of the Syrian chemicals weapon program,” Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie said at the Pentagon. U.S. President Donald Trump called the operation a success on Twitter and proclaimed: “Mission accomplished.” Reuters

Russia Claims Syria Air Defenses Shot Down 71 Of 103 Missiles
It was not possible to verify the claims. The most up-to-date system that Moscow has supplied to the Syrian regime is the short range Pantsir S-1, which has an anti-missile capability. Russia said its advisers had spent the last 18 months completely rebuilding the Syrian air defence system, and said the high number of intercepted rockets spoke to “the high effectiveness of the weaponry in Syria and the excellent training of Syrian servicemen prepared by our specialists”. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Fake news and foolish Russia claims.

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Russia Warns Of 'Consequences' Over Bombing Raids
Russian ambassador Anatoly Antonov said on Twitter: "A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences. “Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissable. The US - the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons - has no moral right to blame other countries.” Sun UK
VOA VIEW: Dumb Russia stupidity.

Syrians Gather In Capital In Defiance Of US Strikes
In Damascus, the president’s seat of power, hundreds of residents gathered in Omayyad Square, many waving Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags. Some clapped their hands and danced, others drove in convoys, honking their horns. “We are your men, Bashar,” they shouted. State TV broadcast live from the square where a large crowd of civilians mixed with men in uniforms, including an actor, lawmakers and other figures. NY Post

US Lawmakers Support Syria Airstrikes
House Speaker Paul Ryan is praising Trump’s “decisive action in coordination with our allies,” adding, “We are united in our resolve.” Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman John McCain is applauding the airstrikes but says “they alone will not achieve U.S. objectives in the Middle East.” Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer is calling the airstrikes “appropriate,” but says “the administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria.” NY Post

A Closer Look At The Sites The US Targeted In Syria
The U.S., together with the U.K. and France, targeted three sites in Syria overnight in response to the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians last weekend. The Pentagon said a total of 105 weapons were launched in the operation. "This is going to set the Syrian chemical weapons program back for years," Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, a director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Saturday morning. CBS
VOA VIEW:  Syria was dumb.

Syrian Air Defenses Shot Down 13 Missiles
Syrian air defenses shot down 13 missiles fired in a U.S.-led attack on the country on Saturday, Syrian state TV said. It said the missiles had been shot down in the Kiswah area south of Damascus, the capital. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a total of three scientific research centers had been hit in the attacks - two in Damascus and one in the Homs area - in addition to military bases in Damascus. Yahoo News
VOA VIEW: The truth is ...

Within Facebook, A Sense Of Relief Over Zuckerberg Hearings
About 2 hours, or 20 percent, into Mark Zuckerberg’s marathon testimony before Congress this week, the Facebook CEO had a slightly awkward exchange with senator John Cornyn (R-Texas). Cornyn wanted to know what happens to people’s data when they delete their accounts. Zuckerberg responded that Facebook deletes their data. But Cornyn continued, “How about third parties that you have contracted with to use some of that underlying information, perhaps to target advertising for themselves?” Wired

Romaine Lettuce Is Culprit In E. Coli Outbreak In 11 States
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified romaine lettuce grown around Yuma, Ariz., as the cause of an E. coli outbreak that has so far sent 22 people to the hospital and made 13 more sick. Cases have been identified in 11 states so far, including in high-population New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Market Watch

Ace Hardware Resumes Laura Ingraham Advertising, Sparking Outrage
Ace Hardware has reportedly decided to resume advertising on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News talk show, a week after announcing it would quit ads with the conservative commentator. A spokeswoman for the hardware chain told The Wrap the company had “incomplete information” when it decided to stop advertising on “The Ingraham Angle.” Ace was among numerous companies that fled Ingraham’s show after she mocked David Hogg, a survivor of the February mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead. Huff Post
VOA VIEW: Either advertising works or it doesn't - it's not an endorsement of content.

Amy Schumer's 'I Feel Pretty' Is Offending Women
Amy Schumer’s new movie, “I Feel Pretty,” out Friday, sounds like a sure bet: a deeply insecure, average-looking young woman (played by Schumer) wakes up from a head injury thinking she’s a supermodel. Suddenly, she’s dressing hotter, strutting harder and dreaming bigger than she ever dared to before — until, in the end, she realizes it wasn’t her looks that changed; it was her attitude. NY Post

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Pentagon Papers Whistleblower Urges Mattis To Protect World From Trump
"It is a very dangerous time," Ellsberg said, pointing out that Trump's war of words with North Korea was the first time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 that a US president has threatened military action against another nuclear-armed state. International actions in Syria, involving four nuclear-armed states, coupled with the political pressures on Trump at home could easily spell disaster, Ellsberg warned. Yahoo News
VOA VIEW: Foolish radical liberal gossip.

DOJ IG Releases Explosive Report That Led To Firing Of McCabe
Inspector General Michael Horowitz, appointed by President Barack Obama, had been reviewing FBI and DOJ actions leading up to the 2016 presidential election. The report, handed over to Congress on Friday and obtained by Fox News, looked at a leak to The Wall Street Journal about an FBI probe of the Clinton Foundation. The report says that McCabe authorized the leak and then misled investigators about it, leaking in a way that did not fall under a "public interest" exception. Fox

Dems Prep A Plan If Rosenstein Is Fired
Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, told a group of Democratic colleagues on Wednesday that they should adhere to a one- or two-day cooling-off period if Trump fires Rosenstein, according to three congressional sources. Rosenstein met Thursday with Trump amid reports that the White House is preparing an effort to undermine the deputy attorney general’s credibility. National Journal

WH Quickly Improves Email Security After Report
Less than two weeks after a report showed that only one of 26 web domains managed by the Executive Office of the President fully implemented a required email security protocol that prevented fraud, five more domains have implemented that protocol, according to the Global Cyber Alliance, a cybersecurity advocacy group. Axios

Pompeo Could Be The First Secretary Of State Nominee To Receive Unfavorable Committee Vote Since 1925
It's starting to look like Mike Pompeo might not get a favorable vote from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to support his nomination as secretary of state, after three Democrats (and at least one Republican) on the panel have signaled they'll vote against the current CIA director. Nominations can advance to full confirmation without a favorable recommendation from committee, but it is relatively uncommon. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN liberal propaganda.

Michael Cohen Disputes Story That Claims Mueller Has Evidence Of Prague Trip
The story in question is from McClatchy. Citing “two sources familiar with the matter,” the news agency reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained evidence of a Cohen visit to Prague. If true, the evidence would pose a significant problem for Cohen. He has vehemently denied ever visiting Prague or the Czech Republic and says that all of the allegations about him in the dossier are false. Cohen has said that he was in Los Angeles visiting universities with his son when the dossier claims he was overseas. Daily Caller
VOA VIEW: How does a new media know what Mueller has or don't have?

Haley Warns US Is 'Locked And Loaded' If Syria Uses Chemical Weapons Again
Haley made the remarks at a fiery meeting of the U.N. Security Council, in which Russia and the U.S. traded barbs over the decision of the U.S., France and the United Kingdom to launch strikes in Syria on Friday in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons last week in Douma. A draft resolution from Russia condemning the strike failed in a vote, with only Bolivia and China voting alongside Russia. Fox

Syrian Rebels Hope Strikes Aren’t Just For Show This Time
The Trump administration said it intends to announce its response to the attack within 48 hours. That comes after a missile attack on Monday that Russia and Syria have said was carried out by Israel. Rebel leaders noted that that attack only targeted Iranian positions at the crucial T4 air base and had no effect on the regime overall. Rebel leaders said that they support military action against the regime for both its military and political benefits.  Buzz Feed

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10% Of US Facebook Users Deleted Their Accounts Over Data-Privacy Scandal
This revelation, brought to the attention of the media by whistleblower Christopher Wylie (who promptly saw his own Facebook account deleted by the company shortly after the New York Times and the Observer published the initial exposes), ignited an international scandal about how Facebook collects, stores and utilizes the personal data of its users to target advertisements - a business that has transformed Facebook into perhaps the most profitable company of its size in the history of capitalism. Zero Hedge
VOA VIEW: Facebook should be regulated and all should delete their personal info.

Hillary Clinton Will Headline A Major DNC Fundraiser
A set of likely presidential candidates will join their party's last nominee, Hillary Clinton, to raise money for the Democratic National Committee next month at its annual Women's Leadership Forum. California Sen. Kamala Harris, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and former Missouri secretary of state Jason Kander will speak at the May event in Washington, the second major fundraising effort by the DNC this year, following last month's "“IWillVote Gala." Buzz Feed

Judge: Transgender People A Protected Class, And The Military Can’t Enact Trump Ban
U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman of the Western District of Washington ruled that transgender people were a protected class and that the injunctions against the implementation of the ban that had been issued in December should remain in place. She wrote that there was a “long and well-recognized” history of discrimination and systemic oppression against transgender people, that discrimination against transgender people was clearly “unrelated to their ability to perform and contribute to society,” that transgender people have immutable characteristics and that they lacked relative political power. Huff Post
VOA VIEW: The military can't be run by rogue judges.

Dems Release New Info On Jared Kushner Loan Controversy
Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Tom Carper of Delaware, Gary Peters of Michigan, and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Michigan, the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, released the information after hearing back from Citigroup and Apollo Global Management, the two creditors that provided Kushner Companies with more than $500 million in loans after meeting with Kushner in the White House. Business Insider
VOA VIEW: Liberal propaganda.

Nuke Attack On Washington DC Would Kill 280,000 Within 48 Hours
Amidst heightening tensions between the United States and Russia, researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University have developed a computer model that predicts at least 280,000 people would die within 48 hours if a nuclear bomb went off in Washington DC. The scientists developed the program to predict the behavior of every individual in the city to help the government plan its emergency response. InfoWars

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Trump Lawyer Has Been Under Criminal Probe For Months
A months-long investigation into President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen’s business dealings led to this week’s searches of Cohen’s residence, hotel room, office, safety deposit box and two cell phones, U.S. prosecutors told a judge in a court filing. Cohen claims the seizures will undermine attorney-client privilege. His lawyers asked a U.S. judge Friday to let them review the information before FBI investigators go through it so they can highlight what’s covered by privilege. Prosecutors countered saying Cohen’s request is just a delaying tactic. Bloomberg
VOA VUEW: Time will tell the truth.

James Comey And Donald Trump Go To War
Referring to his one-on-one dinner with Trump on January 27, 2017, during which the new President told him, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,” Comey recalls that it brought him right back to “The Ravenite. The Palma Boys. Café Giardino.” He writes, “To my mind, the demand was like Sammy the Bull’s Cosa Nostra induction ceremony—with Trump in the role of the family boss, asking me if I have what it takes to be a ‘made man’.” New Yorker

Israeli Authorities Investigate Apple For Consumer Fraud
The consumer agency took aim at Apple for potentially misleading consumers after the company admitted back in December that some software updates were deliberately designed to slow down iPhones with poor battery life. The company claimed that the design was meant to further prevent batteries from “dying” even faster or shutting down abruptly. i24

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Mueller Has Evidence Cohen Was In Prague In 2016, Confirming Part Of Dossier
The Justice Department special counsel has evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Confirmation of the trip would lend credence to a retired British spy’s report that Cohen strategized there with a powerful Kremlin figure about Russian meddling in the U.S. election. McClatchy DC
VOA VIEW: How is Mueller's alleged secret investigation being made public?

US Military Releases Video Of Tomahawk Missiles Being Fired Towards Syria
The US Department of Defense released video footage on Saturday of the guided-missile destroyer USS Monterey firing Tomahawk missiles into Syria. Among the sites reportedly hit was the Scientific Studies and Research Centre, which has played a key role in Syria's chemical weapons programme since the 1970s. In a media briefing on Saturday, the Pentagon said it had successfully hit every target. Euro News

Iranian Drone Shot Down By Israel In February Was 'Tasked To Attack'
Announcement two months after incident comes in a week infused with attacks, threats centered around Syria. Israel revealed that following a several month long investigation, an Iranian drone that was shot down after approaching Israeli territory on February 10 had been armed. "The Iranian aircraft was armed with explosives and was tasked to attack Israeli territory," said the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in a statement after an embargo was lifted Friday evening. i24

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Alex Jones Weeps Over Syria Strike In Live Meltdown
President Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S. was joining France and Britain in a coordinated airstrike against Syria broke Alex Jones. The gravel-throated InfoWars conspiracist took to the airwaves live for an emergency dispatch as Tomahawk missiles rained down on Damascus. His first reaction to Trump’s strike — which came in response to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons attack in Douma that left dozens dead and hundreds injured — was anger that the president had betrayed his anti-interventionism: Mediaite

High School Teacher Started A 'Fight Club', Police Say
A former substitute teacher at a Connecticut high school faces multiple charges after he was accused of running a ‘fight club’ among students in his classroom, police said. Ryan Fish, 23, encouraged Montville High School students to battle it out while other students recorded on their cellphones and cheered, police said. Fish was charged Thursday with two counts of risk of injury to a child, four counts of reckless endangerment and one count of breach of peace, according to the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. USA Today

Ex Bush Spokeman To Trump: I Would Not Have Declared 'Mission Accomplished'
Former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush Ari Fleischer said on Saturday that he wouldn’t have recommended President Trump declare “mission accomplished” after the recent missile strikes against Syria. Trump touted the joint missile strikes carried out alongside the U.K. and France against Syria’s chemical weapons facilities in a tweet that ended with the now infamous phrase “mission accomplished.” Hill
VOA VIEW: This time, not Bush's - the mission was accomplished.

Risks Loom For Comey's Book Blitz
Trump and his allies bombarded Comey with insults Friday, targeting his credibility and seeking to undermine his image as a nonpartisan law enforcement professional. On Twitter Friday, Trump called Comey an “untruthful slime ball,” while White House press secretary Sarah Sanders branded him a “discredited partisan hack.” Other critics accused Comey of cashing in on his celebrity to an unseemly degree. Politico

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