NEWS     SATURDAY,  JULY  21, 2018    NEWS

Trump's Lawyer Secretly Recorded Him
For years, Donald Trump entrusted Michael Cohen with some of his most personal secrets; only now is he beginning to confront how dangerous that practice may have been. Since April, when federal agents searched Cohen’s office, home and hotel room, Trump “has been a bit nervous” that his longtime lawyer could become a legal liability, said a White House aide familiar with the president’s thinking. LA Times
VOA VIEW: There is something called attorney client privilege and the pardon.

Who Heard What Trump Said To Putin? Only One Other American.
Marina Gross, the only other American in the room during President Trump’s meeting on Monday with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, was the interpreter for Laura Bush at the Russian resort of Sochi in 2008 and interpreted for former Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson in Moscow in 2017. She appears to live in an apartment in Arlington, Va., is an employee of the State Department and is, unsurprisingly, fluent in Russian. NY Times
VOA VIEW: So what NYT.

Israel Pummels Hamas Targets In Gaza
Israel pummeled Hamas targets in Gaza killing four Palestinians, mostly Hamas operatives, on Friday in a series of airstrikes after gunmen killed an Israeli soldier near the border, officials said. The military said a "terrorist squad" fired at troops and one soldier was severely injured and later died of his wounds. He was the first Israeli military fatality in months of violence along the Gaza border. CBS
VOA VIEW: Pack back is no secret - it is the only response.

Trump Ready To Impose Tariffs On $500B In Chinese Imports
President Donald Trump signaled for a second straight day his frustration with the Federal Reserve’s policy of gradually raising interest rates, saying it would undermine his campaign to boost U.S. economic growth and reduce trade deficits. In tweets on Friday, Mr. Trump said the Fed’s efforts hurt the U.S. economic expansion, and he accused China and Europe of manipulating their currencies to hurt the U.S. on trade. WSJ

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Dollar Drops On Trump Criticism
The U.S. dollar weakened, long term Treasury yields rose and stocks closed mostly lower on Friday after President Donald Trump complained again about the greenback’s strength and about Federal Reserve interest rate rises. Wall Street and European stock markets stalled, despite good corporate earnings, after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all U.S. imports from China. Reuters

Diplomat Says Russia "Open" To Putin Visit After Trump's Invite
Moscow is ready to discuss a possible visit by President Vladimir Putin to Washington after a surprise invitation from President Donald Trump, Russia's ambassador to the U.S. said Friday. With confusion still swirling around what the two men discussed behind closed doors in Helsinki earlier this week, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said it's important to "deal with the results" of their first summit before jumping too fast into a new one. CBS
VOA VIEW: Russia would be dumb to talk itself out of another visit.

N Korea Puts Reunion Of War Separated Families In Doubt
North Korea said Friday that an August reunion of Korean families separated by war may not happen if South Korea doesn't immediately return some of its citizens who arrived in the South in recent years. The 2016 arrival of a group of 12 female employees from a North Korean-run restaurant in China has been a source of contention between the rival Koreas. North Korea has accused South Korea of kidnapping them, while South Korea says they decided to resettle of their own free will. LA Times
VOA VIEW: NK should act wisely.

Air Raids On Last IS Pocket In South Syria Kill 26 Civilians
Twenty-six civilians were killed in air strikes Friday on areas controlled by the Islamic State jihadist group in southern Syria's Daraa province, a war monitor said. Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said 11 children were among those killed in day-long strikes by regime and allied Russian aircraft on the last IS-held pocket in Daraa. Yahoo

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What's The First Stock Warren Buffet Ever Bought?
Billionaire Warren Buffett, also known as the "Oracle of Omaha," is considered one of the most successful investors in the world. He is the long-time chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett was born on August 30, 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska. As a youngster, Buffett reportedly showed great interest in stocks, going so far as to write stock prices on the chalk board in his father's office. Investopedia

US Condemns 'Orterga Regime' Amid Deadly Protests In Nicaragua
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's "regime" amid ongoing protests and violence in the country. During an interview with talk radio host Hugh Hewitt Friday, Pompeo said the State Department is trying to convince Ortega to allow the democratic process to begin. Protests started in April over pension cuts but have since grown into a movement demanding Ortega step down. Thursday marked 39 years since he helped overthrow a previous dictatorship. CBS

Pompeo, At UN Says N Korean Leader Must Keep Vow To Denuclearize
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the United Nations on Friday to deliver the message that there would be no sanctions relief for North Korea until its leader does “what he promised the world he would do” by surrendering the North’s nuclear weapons. At a news conference after his meetings, Mr. Pompeo also said that North Korea, under its leader, Kim Jong-un, was continuing to find ways to skirt the sanctions aimed at dismantling the North’s nuclear arms program. Mr. Pompeo said he urged other members of the United Nations Security Council to “step up their enforcement efforts” on the sanctions, which he called “critical to our achieving this goal” of pressing Mr. Kim to give up his country’s nuclear weapons. NY Times

Toyoto To Stop Importing Certain Models If Tariffs Pass
In case you hadn't heard, the entire automotive industry, both domestic and foreign, is very much against the automotive tariffs proposed by the Trump administration. And while the industry is lobbying hard against such tariffs, companies are also having to consider what to do in the event they are passed. CEO of Toyota's North American operations, Jim Lentz, told Bloomberg that the company will certainly be reconsidering its strategy in the event of tariffs between 10 and 25 percent the cost of the car. Auto Blog
VOA VIEW: The operative word is "reconsidering" - stop is a different meaning.

France, Russia Send Humanitarian Aid To Syria
France and Russia on Saturday despatched a plane carrying humanitarian aid to the ravaged former Syrian rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta, which was retaken by government forces in April after a five-year siege. A Russian Antonov 124 military cargo plane carrying 50 tons of medical aid and humanitarian supplies left the airport at the central French city of Chateauroux at 3am (0100 GMT), the airport's head Mark Bottemine told AFP. Yahoo News

CIA: China Waging 'Quiet Kind Of Cold War' Against US
China is waging a “quiet kind of cold war” against the United States, using all its resources to try to replace America as the leading power in the world, a top CIA expert on Asia said Friday. Beijing doesn’t want to go to war, he said, but the current communist government, under President Xi Jinping, is subtly working on multiple fronts to undermine the U.S. in ways that are different than the more well-publicized activities being employed by Russia. Bing
VOA VIEW: China is a bigger threat than Russia.

Australia Has Called On The Pope To Fire An Archbishop
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called on the pope to fire Australian archbishop Philip Wilson, who has been found guilty of covering up child sexual abuse in the church in the 1970s. Wilson first served as an assistant priest in the state of New South Wales in the 1970s, and has been found guilty of concealing the abuse of four boys by pedophile priest James Fletcher during that time. Business Insider

The Vandalism Of Navy SEAL Hero Memorial Is High Crime
Thirteen years ago, Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a Navy SEAL from Patchogue, L.I., was among 18 Americans killed in a fierce gunfight in Afghanistan’s Kunar province. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. In 2006, Lake Ronkokoma, where Murphy once worked as a lifeguard, dedicated a park in his name. Daily News

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Engagements With US Over Afghanistan To 'Yield More Positive Results'
Following years of an acrimonious blame game, the Pakistan and U.S. militaries appear to be engaged again in tactical counterterrorism cooperation for promoting a negotiated settlement to the war in Afghanistan. American and Pakistani military officials have acknowledged the positive trend in mutual ties, with both sides underscoring the need for continued engagements. Bing

WH Rejects Putin Idea For Ukraine Referendum
The White House rejected on Friday a Vladimir Putin-backed effort to hold a referendum in eastern Ukraine on the region's future, distancing itself from the idea in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's controversial summit with the Russian leader. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: Good!

Iran Has Laid Groundwork For Extensive Cyberattacks On US
Iranian hackers have laid the groundwork to carry out extensive cyberattacks on U.S. and European infrastructure and on private companies, and the U.S. is warning allies, hardening its defenses and weighing a counterattack, say multiple senior U.S. officials. Despite Iran having positioned cyber weapons to carry out attacks, there is no suggestion an offensive operation is imminent, according to the officials, who requested anonymity in order to speak. NBC

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Brexit Backer Denies Fresh Allegation Of Russia Links
British businessman Arron Banks has denied an allegation made by a former business partner that he approached Russians about investing in his diamond mines, and that the money raised went instead to his campaign to leave the European Union. Banks, who ahead of the Brexit referendum financed Leave.EU, a campaign led by Nigel Farage, then the leader of the UK Independence Party, has faced questions in parliament about his Russia links but denied having business there. US News

3 Minnesota Correctional Officers Resign In Wake Of Colleague's Death
Three correctional officers from Stillwater and Oak Park Heights prisons have resigned since the killing of one of their colleagues this week. Joseph Gomm, 45, of Blaine, was killed in an industry building at Stillwater on Wednesday. Edward Muhammad Johnson, 42, is accused of bludgeoning with a hammer and stabbing him, a source told the Star Tribune. Star Tribune

Trump's Attacks Weaken Transatlantic Security Relationship, But Europe Has Few Alternatives
Deeply alarmed at President Trump’s attacks on NATO and the transatlantic relationship, European governments are rethinking their reliance on the United States as a strategic ally against Russia, but they are unlikely to make regional security arrangements independent of Washington. LA Times
VOA VIEW: Liberal media dumb hype.

Dad Of 2 Parkland Survivors Robbed And Killed
A father of two high school students who survived February's school massacre in Parkland, Fla., was fatally shot this week by a robber, authorities said. On Friday, a 19-year-old man surrendered to police in connection with the death, Miami's FOX 7 reported. Police identifed the suspect as Tyrone Fields Jr. and said he faces one count of murder and an armed robbery charge, the report said. Fox

More Than 160 People Sickened By McDonald's Salads
The outbreak of an intestinal illness linked to McDonald’s salads has sickened 163 people in 10 states, with Illinois and Iowa residents representing the highest totals among them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Thursday. NY Daily

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Facebook Suspends Analytics Firm On Concerns About Sharing Of Public User Data
Facebook Inc. said Friday it was suspending an analytics firm while it investigates whether that firm’s government contracts violate the social-media giant’s policies on how its public data is collected and shared. Crimson Hexagon, based in Boston, has in recent years had contracts to analyze public Facebook data for clients including a Russian nonprofit with ties to the Kremlin and multiple U.S. government agencies, according to people familiar with the matter and federal procurement data. WSJ

Fortnite Player Uses Trick On Ohio Teen To Hack Account
Jake Bates, of Mason, Ohio, was in an intense battle with another gamer, discussing the action on a headset, when the player volunteered to transfer over cool new skins if he gave him access to his account. Bates, eager to get free items, agreed — and told the unidentified player his username and password. Fox

Thousands Of Tesla Model 3 Cars Are Sitting In Giant Parking Lots
Some photos of Tesla vehicles parked at several locations in California recently surfaced on Twitter. What looks to be a few thousand Teslas are allegedly in the Central Valley town of Lathrop, east of the Bay Area; and in Burbank, near Los Angeles. These look to be staging areas, where cars are collected before they've sent to other parts of the country. Business Insider

Thousands Protest Australia's Refugee Detention Policy
Thousands of people marched across major Australian cities Saturday calling for an end to Canberra's offshore detention of asylum-seekers. The government sends anyone who tries to enter the country by sea to camps on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island or on Nauru in the Pacific for processing. AFP
VOA VIEW: Strong boarders are important.

Rebels Reach North Syria After South Evacuations
Hundreds of rebels and their families evacuated from southern Syria after a deal was struck with the regime arrived Saturday in the country's northwest, an AFP correspondent said. The evacuations from Quneitra, which borders the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, came after a Russia-brokered agreement was reached earlier this week to see rebels hand over the territory to the Syrian regime. AFP

George H.W. Bush's Former Doctor Shot And Killed While Riding Bike
A cardiologist who once treated former President George H.W. Bush was fatally shot by a fellow bicyclist Friday while riding through a Houston medical complex, and police were trying to determine if the shooting was random or a targeted act. The shooting happened around 9 a.m. as Dr. Mark Hausknecht was going northbound through the Texas Medical Center, said Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Troy Finner. Huff Post

Judge Orders Ex Olympic Boxing Champion To Stand Trial
Paul Gonzales, a former Olympic boxing champion accused of molesting a 13-year-old he was coaching, was arrested on his way to what he believed would be a sexual encounter with the girl, an investigator testified in a downtown courtroom Friday. Los Angeles County sheriff’s Det. Max Fernandez, posing as the girl, scheduled the meeting via text messages and waited outside Gonzales’ Montebello home in an unmarked vehicle, he said. LA Times

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North Korean Economy Suffered Sharpest Drop In 2 Decades
Not since a deadly famine was ravaging North Korea in 1997 has the country seen its economy contract at such a large rate as it did last year. After a couple of years of growth, the country's estimated gross domestic product went reeling in the other direction in 2017, shrinking 3.5 percent, according to South Korea's central bank. NPR
VOA VIEW: Good news for possible world peace.

Mexico President Elect Defends Earthquake Fund
Mexico's electoral authority levied a $10 million fine on the party over the fund this week, suggesting it may have been a vehicle to hand out money to potential voters. Lopez Obrador said at a news conference that his Morena party would fight the "unjust" fine and charged that his party was targeted by those who don't want change. Fox

Lawmakers Investigate Puerto Rico's Medical Examiner
Legislators in Puerto Rico are investigating the U.S. territory's forensics institute following complaints of understaffing, bad odors and backlogs in the handling of bodies as the island struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria amid an economic crisis. A group of representatives made a surprise visit to the Institute of Forensic Science on Friday, where they were denied access to five large trailers stationed outside that contain 76 bodies. CBS

With Brexit Deadlocked, Britain Stares Over A Cliff
For all the drama of knife-edge votes in Parliament, the sniping and sabotage, the resignations and political insurrections, Britain is now staring at a hard truth. Its deadline for exiting the European Union is less than nine months away. And there is no workable plan in sight. NY Times

Hamas Accepts Cease Fire
Gaza's militant Hamas rulers said Saturday they had accepted a cease-fire ending a massive Israeli onslaught on militant positions after a soldier was shot dead, once again pulling the sides back from the brink of a full-fledged war. Israel and Hamas have fought three such wars over the past decade and Hamas agreed to the second such cease-fire in a week under heavy Egyptian and international pressure. Fox

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