NEWS     FRIDAY,  JUNE  29, 2018    NEWS

Multiple Deaths Outside Maryland Newspaper Office
A suspect was apprehended following reports of shots fired and multiple fatalities in Annapolis, Maryland, Thursday afternoon outside the Capital Gazette newsroom, Anne Arundel Sheriff Ron Bateman told Fox News. The shooting broke out around 2:30 p.m. on Bestgate Road, Fox 5 DC reported, citing officials. Police warned about the possibility of more shooters, however that has not officially been confirmed. Fox
VOA VIEW: Sad - do we blame the gun, as usual.

Russia Probe: 'Finish It The Hell Up!'
Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy tore into Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday over the long-running Russia collusion probe -- telling the Justice Department at a public hearing to “finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart.” Gowdy’s excoriation came amid a string of tense moments at the House Judiciary Committee hearing, where a months-long battle between Republicans and the DOJ over its handling of the Russia probe and Hillary Clinton email investigation flared before the cameras. Fox
VOA VIEW: Rosenstein acted very smug.

About 100 People Arrested At Capitol Hill-Immigration Protest
More than one thousand female activists marched through Washington, D.C., Thursday and flooded a Capitol Hill Senate building to protest the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy. US Capitol Police arrested about 100 people at the protest in the Senate building so far. The activists sat on the floor of the Senate building with Mylar blankets to demand the end demand Congress end the policies that criminalize undocumented immigrants and separates their children from them. CNN
VOA VIEW: Liberal garbage.

Melania Makes 2nd Trip: 'Incredible' Children Are Abandoned At Border
During her visit to an immigration facility in Arizona, Thursday, First Lady Melania Trump said it was "incredible" and “very sad” that young children are found at the border without their families—but did not address the Trump administration's policy that causes families to be separated. Trump’s mid-morning visit started with a roundtable discussion with immigration officials at the Border Patrol's processing center in Tucson, during which she asked, “How often do you see the children crossing alone without an adult and what is the age?” Newsweek

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Australia Approves Sweeping Security Laws Targeting Foreign Interference
Australia approved sweeping national security legislation on Thursday that bans foreign interference in politics, stiffens the punishment for leaking classified information and makes it a crime to damage Australia’s economic relations with another country. Attorney General Christian Porter told Parliament that the new laws represented the most significant counterintelligence overhaul since the 1970s. “The practices of modern espionage are now being encountered in so many Western democracies around the globe,” Mr. Porter said. MSN

Fox News Warns Staff: Can Be Held Responsible For Offensive Air Comments
Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott is clamping down on what hosts and guests say on air, NBCNews has confirmed. Scott, who was named chief executive in May, held a meeting with top staff in the past few days and read from prepared notes, telling producers of the channel's biggest shows that they would be held responsible for what their guests — and even what the hosts — say on air, according to a source who confirmed an earlier report by Politico. Fox News has had to respond to a growing number of offensive and insensitive statements by hosts and guests. Producers in the meeting included Tommy Firth, who is the executive producer of "The Ingraham Angle," whose host, Laura Ingraham, faced backlash after she described detention centers where migrant children are being held as "summer camps." NBC
VOA VIEW: Sounds like First Amendment sanitation.

2 More Bishops Resign Over........More Sex Scandals
Pope Francis accepted the resignation of two more Chilean bishops following a child sex abuse scandal that has gripped the Latin American nation. The Vatican announced the resignation of the bishop of Rancagua, 78-year-old Alejandro Goic Karmelic, and the bishop of Talca, Horacio del Carmen Valenzuela Abarca, 64. Several senior members of Chile's Catholic Church are accused by victims of ignoring and covering up child abuse by pedophile priest Fernando Karadima during the 1980s and 1990s. MSN

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Feds Clear Out 'OCCUPY' ICE Encampment In Portland
A tent encampment erected by protesters to block the entrance of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Portland, Oregon, was dismantled in a pre-dawn move by an army of federal law enforcement officers wearing riot gear and wielding batons. More than a hundred federal officers began rousting demonstrators calling themselves #OccupyICEPDX about 5:30 a.m., ripping apart the encampment set up on the front doorstep of the ICE facility earlier this month and prompted its closure for nine days. ABC
VOA VIEW: Good!

Another US Diplomat Hurt In Mystery Incidents In Cuba
The State Department confirmed Thursday that another U.S. diplomat has been affected by mysterious health incidents in Cuba, bringing the total of Americans suffering from such ailments to 26. Spokeswoman Health Nauert said the diplomat was "medically confirmed" to have experienced health effects similar to those reported by other members of the U.S. Havana diplomatic community. This and another case confirmed last week resulted from a single occurrence in late May in a diplomatic residence in which both officers were present, Nauert said. They were the first confirmed cases in Havana since August 2017. MSN

Mattis Assures South Korea US Will Maintain Troops There
The current level of U.S. troops in South Korea will be maintained, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said Thursday at a meeting with Seoul Defense Minister Song Young-moo. Mattis reiterated the U.S. military support for South Korea while calling U.S. forces stationed in the country a symbol of the strong alliance, Chosun Ilbo reported. The United States has some 28,000 troops in South Korea. The defense chiefs discussed follow-up measures to their recent decision to indefinitely suspend major joint military drills. UPI

Obama: GOP 'Mad Even When They Win'
During an expensive fundraiser in Beverly Hills on Thursday night, former President Barack Obama accused “the other side” of being “angry all the time.” “They’re mad even when they win. Have you noticed that?” Obama said during a conversation with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, the Los Angeles Times reported. Fox
VOA VIEW: Obama would be smart to keep his mouth shut.

White House Wants Trump To Nominate A Justice Before Putin Trip
The White House hopes to have a Supreme Court nominee chosen by the time President Donald Trump leaves for his European trip on July 10, according to one Republican close to the White House and one person involved with the judicial selection process. The White House is expected to start interviewing candidates early next week, with the White House’s top attorney, Don McGahn, leading that process. Politico

Trump Told Macron France Should Consider Leaving The EU
When Macron was visiting the White House in April, Trump asked him, “Why don’t you leave the E.U.?” according to Post columnist Josh Rogin, who is also an analyst for CNN. Rogin quoted two unnamed European officials as his sources for the report. Trump and Europe do not get on. Even before the president precipitated a trade war between the two mammoth economies, he has always been dismissive of the grand continental project. He has links with pro-Brexit parties in the U.K. and has previously suggested that the seismic decision for Britain to abandon the bloc “is going to end up being a great thing.” The president has consistently maligned America’s international alliances and agreements, from NATO to NAFTA to the Paris Agreement.  MSN

Suspect In Newsroom Shooting ID'd With Facial Recognition Technology
The man who blasted his way into the offices of a Maryland newspaper Thursday, killing five people, was identified by cops using sophisticated facial recognition technology. Law enforcement sources told the Post that the gunman carried no identification when he went on his rampage in the Capital-Gazette’s newsroom, which also injured three people. However, authorities cracked the case using sophisticated facial recognition technology less than six hours after the first shots were fired, law enforcement sources told NBC News and CNN. NY Post

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Women Fear Abortion Rights Under Threat
Women's reactions to news of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy retirement were immediate, arguing whether or not this signals an end to legal abortion in the US. President Donald Trump promised during his campaign to deliver "pro-life" judges to the Supreme Court, and his second appointee is all but assured to solidify conservative power in the court. Observers of the court caution that this does not guarantee an overturn of the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision which legalised abortion across the US. BBC
VOA VIEW: Liberal media hype.

Republicans Blocked A President's Supreme Court Pick Last Time Due To Elections
Senate Republicans blocked President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland, in 2016 so voters could have a voice in the process, they said. Now, months away from another nationwide election that could fundamentally reshape the political power dynamics in Washington, Republicans have a vacant Supreme Court seat that they are eager to fill with a conservative Trump nominee — elections be damned. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects to confirm a replacement for the Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is retiring in July, by this fall. Vox
VOA VIEW: There is a big difference between a presidential election and midterm election.

John Kelly Out? Trump Consults On Successors For Chief Of Staff
President Donald Trump is consulting with advisers about whom he should tap as his next chief of staff, with John Kelly expected to depart the administration as early as this summer, possibly even this week, according to people familiar with the matter. The two front-runners for the job, the people said, are Nick Ayers, who serves as chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, and Mick Mulvaney, who heads the Office of Management and Budget as well as serving as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. WSJ

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Americans Believe Tech Companies Are Censoring Political Views
A new poll from Pew Research Center helps quantify the ambivalent feelings Americans are having about the tech sector in the wake of controversies over user privacy and allegations of political bias against conservatives. As part of a larger polling package on American attitudes toward tech, set to be released later this year, Pew asked 4,594 U.S. adults questions related to the neutrality and influence of tech platforms. Findings released Thursday show that more than 40% of Americans believe that technology companies support the views of liberals over conservatives (compared to just 11% who think the opposite), while 72% say it’s likely that that social media platforms actively censor political viewpoints that the companies “find objectionable. Time
VOA VIEW: Americans are awake and mad.

Amazon Makes $1B Splash In Health Care, Buying PillPack
Amazon.com Inc. agreed to buy the online pharmacy startup PillPack, jumping into the health-care business with a deal that will give the retail giant an immediate nationwide drug network. The move represents a formidable threat to pharmacy chains including Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., which earlier Thursday reported tepid U.S. same-store sales, and rival CVS Health Corp. Walgreens was down 10 percent at 10:18 a.m. in New York, while CVS shares shed 8.9 percent. Time

Trump Brands Sen. Heitkamp 'Liberal Democrat', But She's Not
President Donald Trump has urged North Dakota voters to defeat "liberal Democrat" Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, although she is a moderate who strays at times from Democratic positions. Heitkamp is one of the Senate's most vulnerable Democrats seeking re-election, so she is firmly in Republican sights looking toward November. At an appearance Wednesday, Trump called for the election of Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, one of his staunchest allies in Congress. AP
VOA VIEW: The voters will decide and Heitkamp will lose.

What Is The US Position On The Golan?
US Ambassador David Friedman reportedly told Israeli lawmakers they were “ungrateful” for demanding that Washington follow up on its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with an official US acknowledgement of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Among those who recently called for American recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, which it captured five decades ago from Syria, were Transportation and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz, Likud party MK Yoav Kisch, and Yair Lapid, who leads the opposition Yesh Atid party. Times Of Israel

Inside The White House's Quiet Campaign To Create A Supreme Court Opening
When Mr. Trump took office last year, he already had a Supreme Court vacancy to fill, the one created by the 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia. But Mr. Trump dearly wanted a second vacancy, one that could transform the court for a generation or more. So he used the first opening to help create the second one. He picked Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who had served as a law clerk to Justice Kennedy, to fill Justice Scalia’s seat. And when Justice Gorsuch took the judicial oath in April 2017 at a Rose Garden ceremony, Justice Kennedy administered it — after Mr. Trump first praised the older justice as “a great man of outstanding accomplishment.” NY Times

California Passes 'Strongest In Nation' Privacy Bill Limiting Data Harvesting
The California Consumer Privacy Act is designed to provide new protections to the state’s 40 million residents in the wake of major privacy breaches including the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The new rules give Californians the right to see what information is being collected about them and to request that data be deleted, to find out whether their information is being sold to third parties including advertisers and to request that they stop doing so. Consumer protection groups celebrated the passing of the bill as a major victory. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Believe it or not - a good bill.

Facebook Patents System That Can Use Your Phone's Mic To Monitor TV Habits
Facebook has patented a system that can remotely activate the microphone on someone’s phone using inaudible signals broadcast via a television. The patent application describes a system where an audio fingerprint embedded in TV shows or ads, inaudible to human ears, would trigger the phone, tablet or long-rumoured smart speaker to turn on the microphone and start recording “ambient audio of the content item”. The recording could then be matched to a database of content to allow Facebook to identify what the individual was watching – like Shazam for TV, but without the individual choosing to activate the system. Google News
VOA VIEW: This is an invasion of privacy.

"Rise In The Prosecutions Of Illegal Entries Into US Under A Pilot Program In 2017
"It was just like a switch, you saw it happen overnight," said Jessie Miles, an immigration lawyer in El Paso and member of the Borderland Immigration Council, a coalition of immigration attorneys and advocates. Attorneys with the Federal Public Defender's office in El Paso, which normally handles felonies, began to step in on misdemeanor illegal entry cases.  NBC

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ICE Lawyer Facing 4 Years In Prison For Stealing Immigrant's Identities
The former chief attorney for Immigration and Customs Enforcement is expected to be sentenced to four years in prison Thursday for stealing the identities of the immigrants he was entrusted to protect, reports said. Raphael Sanchez, 44, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in February, will be sentenced as part of a plea deal to avoid a potentially 30-year sentence and millions in fines and attorney’s fees, the Seattle Times reported. NY Post

Footage Of Cops Waiting In Hallway During Las Vegas Massacre
Newly released body camera footage shows Las Vegas police officers pausing for several minutes in the hallway of the Mandalay Bay hotel — as mass shooter Stephen Paddock guns down 58 people on the floor directly above them. “Holy sh-t that’s rapid fire,” officer Cordell Hendrex utters in the chilling video, reacting to Paddock’s gunfire — which he later described as “like thunder all around and above us,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. NY Post

'What's Wrong With Our Society?' Annapolis Mayor Voices Concern At Hostility To Media
Gavin Buckley, the mayor of Annapolis, was distraught in the wake of the mass shooting at his city’s local newspaper, telling the Guardian: “What’s wrong with our society that we’re this tightly wound that you can be this upset at a newspaper that reports stories on cats being stuck up a tree?” Although Buckley made clear that the Annapolis Capital-Gazette, the newspaper where five people were shot dead on Thursday, was a good paper; he was just still in shock that it was a target. After all, when he was told that there had been a shooting at the Capital, his initial response was to think of Maryland’s state capital in the heart of downtown Annapolis. Guardian
VOA VIEW:  The media has become too opinionated and liberal.

In Trump’s Russia Summit, Putin Holds All The Cards
President Donald Trump’s scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland on July 15 is being billed by the White House as an opportunity to reduce diplomatic tensions, begin repairing relations, and address a number of international issues of concern to both the U.S. and Russia, such as Iran, Syria, and Ukraine. Moscow is already managing expectations, saying they hope the meeting will rekindle a dialogue between the two governments but not to expect any “breakthroughs.” NY Mag

Former Trump Campaign Aide Papadopoulos To Be Sentenced Sept. 7 In Russian Probe
U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss set the 3 p.m. hearing at the request of the parties, and gave the government an Aug. 17 deadline to file its sentencing recommendation, and an Aug. 31 deadline for the defendant. Typically, prosecutors try to delay sentencing for witnesses until their cooperation is no longer needed, including any appearances in front of a grand jury or as a witness at a trial. Chicago Tribune

Trump Casts Doubt On Russian Election Meddling Ahead Of Putin Summit
President Donald Trump continues to cast doubt on US intelligence assessments that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential contest, just as his aides are finalizing details of his upcoming summit talks with President Vladimir Putin. "Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!" Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday morning. He went on to question why US law enforcement agencies weren't investigating other perceived influences on the election, which he has repeatedly said was rigged for his opponent Hillary Clinton. MSN

Ryan Dismisses Question About Trump-Putin Meeting: 'Dude, You Know Me Better Than That'
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) jokingly refused to comment on President Trump’s upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a video that became popular on social media Thursday. “Speaker do you have any comment on the president’s meeting with Vladimir Putin?” David Nakamura, a reporter for the Washington Post, can be heard asking the Speaker in the video he shared on Thursday. “Dude, you know me better than that,” Ryan replied. “Come on.” Ryan is not known to take walk-and-talk interviews, though some on social media inferred the Speaker dismissed the question in efforts to avoid commenting on the controversial meeting. Hill

Ex NY Times Editor: 'Narcissistic' NYT Is Making 'Horrible Mistakes', Needs A 'Course Correction'
It may not have been the tweet heard ’round the world, but it was certainly heard—like a thunderclap—at The New York Times’ headquarters at 620 Eighth Avenue in Manhattan. “Kind of pisses me off that @ nytimes is still asking Who Is Ocasio-Cortez? when it should have covered her campaign,” Jill Abramson erupted on Twitter on Wednesday morning—a biting reference to the newspaper’s original headline concerning the 28-year-old socialist’s shocking Democratic primary upset, a landslide actually, over incumbent Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District. Google News

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DHS Agents Stop CBS Interview With Former ICE Agent
Agents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) interrupted an interview with a former Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman on Wednesday. CBS News reported that it was speaking with James Schwab about his decision to resign a few months earlier when DHS agents arrived at his home. Schwab, who worked in the Obama and Trump administrations, told CBS he resigned earlier this year because the agency asked him to lie in the aftermath of the Oakland incident, which he claimed put the blame inaccurately on Schaaf for the failure to arrest undocumented immigrants. Hill

Special Counsel Eyeing Russians Granted Unusual Access To Trump Inauguration Parties
Several billionaires with deep ties to Russia attended exclusive, invitation-only receptions during Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities, guest lists obtained by ABC News show. These powerful businessmen, who amassed their fortunes following the collapse of the Soviet Union -- including one who has since been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department -- were ushered into events typically reserved for top donors and close political allies and were given unprecedented access to Trump’s inner circle. ABC

Another Failed Silicon Valley Exec Gets A Crypto Project
Lucas Duplan, who founded Clinkle and made it into an object lesson in Silicon Valley overhype, is plotting a return. He has raised money from his family and outside investors for a venture fund focused on backing enterprise-software startups, WIRED has learned. The fund will operate out of New York and has backed at least two companies in which Duplan is involved. One of those companies is a cryptocurrency project focused on employee rewards called Universal Recognition Token (URT). People familiar with the matter say Duplan has referred to himself as the project’s founder, CEO, and CIO at various times in its development. Wired

Silicon Valley Congressman Wants "Internet Bill Of Rights"
U.S. Representative Ro Khanna, D-Calif., talks about his proposal for an “internet bill of rights” to protect consumers’ privacy, security and ability to move or delete their data. Khanna represents California’s 17th district, which includes the headquarters of tech giants Apple and Google. You can read a write-up of the interview here or listen to the whole thing in the audio player above. Below, we’ve also provided a lightly edited complete transcript of their conversation. Recode

Why Are Astronauts Learning Chinese
It was not what Matthias Maurer was expecting when he signed up for sea survival training with Chinese astronauts. “It was so nice and relaxed,” says the German European Space Agency (Esa) astronaut. “I was floating there in the life raft, looking up at the sky – I only needed some music and it would have given me a real Hawaii holiday feeling.” The exercise took place last year at a newly built training centre near the coastal city of Yantai, around an hour’s flight south-east of Beijing. For two weeks, Maurer and fellow Esa astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti, lived and worked alongside their Chinese counterparts. BBC

7 Supreme Court Rulings That Will Reshape America'
A day after the US supreme court went home for the summer, the outlines of a sweeping conservative victory were becoming clear. “There’s no way to sugarcoat this,” wrote Steve Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor. “The term was a dramatically and stunningly successful one for the court’s conservative majority.” Even more dispiriting for progressives, the retirement announcement by Justice Anthony Kennedy on Wednesday meant that the “stunningly” conservative term could represent the court’s future. While he has been known as a centrist, in the most recent term Kennedy sided with the court’s conservative bloc in every close, 5-4 decision, behaving more like the kind of justice Donald Trump is expected to nominate to replace him from a shortlist of ultra-right-leaning candidates. Guardian

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