NEWS     TUESDAY,  JULY  24, 2018    NEWS

Trump Looking At Revoking Security Clearances Of Brennan, Clapper, Hayden, Rice, Comey, McCabe
President Donald Trump is examining whether to revoke the security clearances of former intelligence officials who have criticized him, his spokeswoman said Monday, raising the specter of a president using his office to lash out at his political critics. NBC
VOA VIEW: Obama, among a few others should be on the list.

Wilkie Confirmed As Veterans Affairs Secretary
The Senate has confirmed Pentagon official Robert Wilkie to be secretary of Veterans Affairs. The vote Monday was 86-9. He'll lead the government's second-largest department, with 360,000 employees serving 9 million veterans. The department has been paralyzed by infighting over the role of private care for veterans. AP

Tesla's Stock Took A Dip After News It Asked Suppliers For Refunds
After years of running deep in the red, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has promised that his company will be profitable for the second half of 2018 — but to get there he may need a helping hand from suppliers, it seems. Tesla shares tumbled more than 4 percent Monday on word that the battery-carmaker is asking suppliers to refund some of its previous payments in order to push itself into the black. NBC
VOA VIEW: A new CEO is needed.

Trump's Loud Tweet Part Of A Detailed Stratedgy To Squeeze Iran?
It would be easy to write off President Donald Trump’s bellicose tweet threatening Iran Monday morning as a bit of “wag the dog,” a diversionary tactic to blunt criticism of his fawning treatment of Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, or from the news that his lawyer may possess embarrassing tapes with his voice. NBC
VOA VIEW: Expected liberal stupidity from NBC.

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Federal Judge Delays Manafort Trial, Grants Immunity To 5 Witnesses
A federal judge in Virginia agreed on Monday to postpone the trial of Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. The initial phase of jury selection is still set to get underway this week in Alexandria, just outside Washington, D.C., but Manafort's trial itself now isn't scheduled to begin until next week, on July 31. NPR
VOA VIEW: A free pass for lying.

Why Team Trump Is Wrong About Carter Page, The Dossier And The Secret Warrant
President Donald Trump and his allies are claiming that the partial contents of a secret national security "FISA" warrant, released Saturday, vindicate their claim that special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation was improperly launched on the basis of a speculative opposition research document paid for by Democrats. NBC
VOA VIEW: Trump should have the FISA warrant release without redaction.

Putin Drives Wedge Between Trump And GOP
Congressional Republicans want nothing to do with Vladimir Putin — and some hope President Donald Trump yanks his invitation for the Russian president to visit Washington this fall. “I’m not sure that’s such a great idea at this point,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said in a Monday interview. “Putin has proven to be a very hostile actor with respect to the United States, and so I would prefer that he be kept at an arm’s length until his behavior improves.” Politico

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Toronto Mass Shooter Identified
Police have identified the suspect in a deadly mass shooting in Toronto as 29-year-old Faisal Hussain. The Ontario police Special Investigations Unit released his name Monday evening. He died after an exchange of gunfire with police Sunday night. Time

Google Earnings Hit By European Fine
Google’s advertising machine keeps racing ahead even as regulators try to construct new guardrails to curtail the internet giant’s global dominance. Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent, reported sales and profit surpassing analysts’ estimates on Monday, a sign the company’s strength in online ads will help offset the impact of sweeping new European regulations for online privacy and perceived abuses of its position in the market. WSJ
VOA VIEW: Google must be regulated ASAP.

Duck Boat That Sank In Deadly Accident Raised From Missouri Lake
The duck boat that capsized and sank last week on a sightseeing cruise was raised from a Missouri lake Monday, more than three days after the accident that killed 17 people near the tourist town of Branson. Footage from CBS affiliate KMOV showed a crane attached to a barge pulling the duck boat from Table Rock Lake and another boat pushing the vessel toward shore. CBS

'That Was Not The Deal': McCarthy, Ryan Renege On Immigration Vow
In June, McCarthy (R-Calif.) personally promised several rank-and-file members a vote on a new guest-worker program for farmers, an offer backed by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The assurance was critical at the time: It persuaded Reps. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) not to sign on to an effort — which Republican leaders were desperately trying to stop — to force a vote on legislation creating a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, the immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. The so-called discharge petition ultimately fell two signatures short. Politico
VOA VIEW: Good!

Tennessee Could Be A Bright Spot For Republican Women In 2018
In an election year shaping up to be a good one for Democratic women candidates, Republican women could see their numbers drop after November. But one state where GOP women might find success is in Tennessee. Rep. Marsha Blackburn will go up against former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in one of the year's most critical and competitive Senate races. Rep. Diane Black is running for governor, though she first has to win a very competitive primary next week. NPR

Trump Reviews 'Made In America' Products At The White House
Checking out a speedboat, a fighter jet and a giant industrial magnet parked on the White House driveway, President Donald Trump showcased an array of “Made in America” products Monday as his administration pushes back aggressively against critics who say his punishing tariffs on imported goods threaten to harm the U.S. economy. Boston

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Asian Stocks Ease, Dollar Near Two-Week Lows On Trump Comments
Fear that U.S. and Japanese policymakers will scale back economic stimulus sent quivers through debt markets on Monday, while U.S. stocks gained ahead of major company earnings reports. Bond yields climbed as investors forecast the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates due to stronger growth and inflation pressures despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s criticism and after a Reuters report that the Bank of Japan (BoJ) is discussing modifying its huge stimulus program sent Japan’s 10-year bond yield JP10YT=RR soaring near six-month highs. Reuters

Dueling Economic Messages Preview Midterm Battle Between Trump, Dems
President Donald Trump and a top House Democrat offered dueling economic messages geared toward the heartland on Mondayas both parties sought to appeal to middle-class workers who will decide the midterm election. Call it an early test of political messaging sure to be honed and amplified in coming months: Trump and other Republicans are touting strong economic growth and last year's tax cuts while Democrats say the economy is still leaving far too many people behind. USA Today

Satellite Images Indicate N Korea Has Started Dismantling
Satellite imagery shows North Korea has begun taking down its main satellite launch facility, an apparent confidence-building measure by Pyongyang amid concerns about the slow pace of progress on dismantling the country’s nuclear weapons programs. WSJ

Ari Fleischer Calls On US To Destabilize Iran
Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary remembered for being one of the disastrous Iraq War’s biggest cheerleaders, suggested Monday that the U.S. should help destabilize Iran, too. In an appearance on Fox News, the former member of the George W. Bush administration painted a harrowing picture of life in Iran to justify U.S. interference in the country’s current political regime. Huff Post
VOA VIEW: A need.

Georgia Lawmaker Drops Pants, Screams Racist Slurs On TV Show
A Georgia state lawmaker appeared on a television show where he dropped his pants and screamed out racist and homophobic slurs in what he supposedly thought were tactics that would help ward off a terrorist attack. Georgia state representative Jason Spencer, a Republican, appeared on Showtime's Who is America, a show where comedian Sacha Baron Cohen dupes political figures. In Spencer's case, the Georgia lawmaker believed Cohen to be an Israeli TV host and former Mossad agent who wanted to teach him about tactics to ward off Islamic terrorists. UPI

'That Was Not The Deal': McCarthy, Ryan Renege On Immigration Vow
In June, McCarthy (R-Calif.) personally promised several rank-and-file members a vote on a new guest-worker program for farmers, an offer backed by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The assurance was critical at the time: It persuaded Reps. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) not to sign on to an effort — which Republican leaders were desperately trying to stop — to force a vote on legislation creating a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, the immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. The so-called discharge petition ultimately fell two signatures short. Politico
VOA VIEW: Good!

Tennessee Could Be A Bright Spot For Republican Women In 2018
In an election year shaping up to be a good one for Democratic women candidates, Republican women could see their numbers drop after November. But one state where GOP women might find success is in Tennessee. Rep. Marsha Blackburn will go up against former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in one of the year's most critical and competitive Senate races. Rep. Diane Black is running for governor, though she first has to win a very competitive primary next week. NPR

China Insists US Airlines Describe Taiwan As Part Of China
China says there will be “no room for negotiation” in its demand that U.S. airlines describe self-ruled Taiwan as part of China ahead of a deadline this week. Beijing has insisted that carriers change references to Taiwan on their websites to “Taiwan, China” by Wednesday. Taiwan separated from China amid civil war in 1949 but Beijing continues to claim it as its own territory. AP

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UN Rights Chief Sharply Criticizes Israel Over Gaza Killings
The U.N. human rights chief sharply criticized Israel on Monday, calling recent killings by its soldiers during Palestinian demonstrations along the Gaza border fence "shocking" and saying living conditions inflicted by Israel's 11-year blockade of the territory are "grossly inadequate." Fox

IMF Projects Venezuela Inflation Will Hit 1,000,000 Percent In 2018
Venezuela’s inflation rate is likely to top 1,000,000 percent in 2018, an International Monetary Fund official wrote on Monday, putting it on track to become one of the worst hyperinflationary crises in modern history. Reuters

Inmates Escape Mexican Prison Dressed As Guards
Two inmates at a prison in Mexico's Sinaloa state walked out of the front gate of the facility while dressed as prison guards, state officials said Monday. Two guards at Culiacan Prison aided the escapees by driving a getaway car Sunday, police said. UPI

Trump's Move To Revoke Security Clearances Could Backfire During National Crisis
The White House named a handful of former US intelligence officials it says President Donald Trump wants to punish by revoking their security clearances. The move is motivated by the former officials' criticism of Trump. That proposal received some swift reaction in the intelligence community and throughout Washington on Monday. Presidential administrations have historically relied on former leaders, like the heads of the CIA and FBI, who typically maintain a security clearance after their service has ended, for the purpose of advising the current officials on matters of national security. Business Insider
VOA VIEW: Those who obstruct and have malice offer no positive help.

Portland Mayor Tells ICE Protestors He's On Their Side-But They Need To Go Home
Portland’s mayor has warned protesters camping at the office of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to disband before they are removed by police. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said Monday that protesters should peacefully disengage because although he supports their cause he believes the demonstration is no longer sustainable. NY Post

NASA Spaceship On Display On White House Lawn?
DC, the final frontier. A spaceship touched down on the White House lawn Monday — but there were no lasers fired at the Oval Office. The Orion, NASA’s hope for deep-space human travel, was on display as part of President Trump’s Made in America Product Showcase. “And NASA, as you know, is really in a position that it hasn’t been in decades,” Trump said. NY Post

Public Officials Call Sexual Assault Stories 'Horrific'
Legislators and law enforcement leaders across the political spectrum expressed outrage Monday at reports of breakdowns in the investigation of sexual assault in Minnesota and called for measures to guarantee justice for women who report rape. “These stories of sexual assault are horrific,” said state Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee. “It’s indefensible that cases like these, with ample evidence, would go uninvestigated.” Star Tribune
VOA VIEW: What about fake or made up stories?

No, Twitter Will Not Ban President Trump. Here's Why.
Calls to ban Donald Trump from Twitter are at least as old as his presidency. But it’s not going to happen, at least not while he’s in office. The latest strive involves an all-caps tweet sent late Sunday warning Iran of “CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.” So, does threatening nuclear annihilation upon an entire country get you the boot from the social network? Twitter’s policy states that threats of violence can get you kicked off. For instance, if somebody were to tweet a threat to kill his neighbor with a sawed-off shotgun, they could easily be kicked off for violating Twitter’s policies. Time

Bush 41 Cardiologist Followed By Mystery Biker Just Before Killing
It was already nearly 90 degrees the morning of July 20 as Mark Hausknecht, dressed in blue scrubs, pedaled his bright yellow bike down Main Street toward work at Houston Methodist Hospital, as he did every day. The renowned cardiologist, who previously treated President George H.W. Bush, crossed a busy intersection just blocks from the heart of the Texas Medical Center, one of the largest medical complexes in the world. Washington Post

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Trump And Top Aides Target Iran, Suddenly Escalating Tensions
In an abrupt escalation of tensions with Iran, President Trump is threatening the Islamic Republic with war unless it changes its ways, in concert with senior advisors who are speaking out on separate fronts. Critics immediately branded the threats as Trump’s attempt to divert attention from widespread, bipartisan disapproval of his troubled dealings with Russia, criticism that has only grown since last week’s Helsinki summit with President Vladimir Putin and amid attention to the upcoming trial of his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. LA Times
VOA VIEW: Good!

France's Macron Faces Pressure Over Failure To Sanction Bodyguard
Critics say Macron’s office failed to punish the head of his security detail sufficiently or refer him to judicial authorities because he has become lofty and out of touch with ordinary people since taking office 14 months ago. Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told lawmakers during a 2.5-hour grilling he took no action after the presidency assured him on May 2 that bodyguard Alexandre Benalla would be punished. Reuters

Cohen Raid Led To 12 Tapes For Prosecutors
A recording of then-candidate Donald Trump talking about a payment to a woman who claimed they’d had an affair is just one of a dozen audio files released to prosecutors last week, a court filing on Monday revealed. Court-appointed Special Master Barbara S. Jones, a former judge, is overseeing the review of materials the FBI seized during a raid on former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s office in April. Jones announced in a filing dated July 23 that she’d granted prosecutors access to 12 audio files from the raid. Huff Post

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Deleware Becomes 15th State To Ban Conversion Therapy
Delaware Gov. John Carney signed a law Monday prohibiting medical and mental health professionals in the state from practicing or referring conversion therapy for minors. The law made Delaware the 15th state, along with Washington, D.C., to ban conversion therapy, a practice which attempts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT people. UPI

Despite 'Sore Loser' Law, Blanenghip Trying Third Party For US Senate In WV
Don Blankenship, the former coal baron and convicted felon who finished third in the West Virginia Republican primary in May, is wading back into the state's U.S. Senate race, this time attempting to file paperwork to run as a member of the Constitution Party. Blakenship was convicted in 2015 for conspiracy to violate mine safety and health standards in the aftermath of the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster that resulted in the death of 29 miners. ABC

Nevada On Verge Of Electing First Ever State Legislature With A Female Majority
Nevada voters could soon make history by electing the country’s first female-majority state legislature. Women, after winning a record number of primary contests last month, could make up nearly two-thirds of the statehouse by Nov. 7, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported. Time

Diplomats Warn Pompeo Against Cutting US Refugee Bureau
Thirty-two former U.S. diplomats and 11 aid groups on Monday urged U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to eliminate a key State Department refugee bureau, warning that the move would be “an error of grave proportion.” Reuters

Demonstrators Protest Pence In Philly
Dozens of demonstrators dressed as characters from the novel-turned-TV series "The Handmaid's Tale" descended on downtown Philadelphia on Monday to protest Vice President Mike Pence's visit. They wore red cloaks and white bonnets and chanted "this nightmare must end." Miami Herald

Former Ambassador Aims To Stop Russian Effort To Question Americans
A former U.S. ambassador to Russia is visiting the nation's capital in hopes of stopping any effort by Russians to interrogate Americans, including himself. Michael McFaul was one of about a dozen Americans that Russians want to question in exchange for the questioning of targets of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. USA Today

Meet With Kavanaugh? Not Until There's A Deal On His Documents
Senate Democrats are largely giving Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh the brushoff, refusing the customary “courtesy visits” until Republicans agree to turn over voluminous documents from the Supreme Court nominee’s past. In the two weeks since President Trump nominated him to succeed the retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Judge Kavanaugh has met with 23 Republicans, and not a single Democrat. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said in an interview Monday that he would not meet with Judge Kavanaugh until the top Republican and the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee reach agreement on what documents should be produced. NY Times

Trump, Mexico Expect Progress In Stalled NAFTA Talks
U.S. President Donald Trump spoke warmly of Mexico’s incoming leftist president on Monday, saying he expected to get “something worked out” on NAFTA, while a top Mexican official said there was scope to revive the trade talks this week. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Good!

Sean Spicer To Realease Book-Time With Trump
Just a year after departing from his post as press secretary to the president, Sean Spicer will release a kind of "nonfiction novel" Tuesday that details his short-lived tenure at the White House. Titled "The Briefing: Politics, the Press and the President," Spicer's book will be the "first insider account written by someone who worked on the Trump campaign, with the Trump transition team, and in the Trump White House," according to conservative publishing company, Regency. In late June, news circulated that Spicer was working on a television interview series, titled "Sean Spicer's Common Ground," in which he banters with guests about a variety of topics. USA Today

Trump Proposes Mueller Interview-But No Obstruction Questions
President Donald Trump would agree to an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators if it’s limited to questions on whether his presidential campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election, lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Monday night. Trump is demanding in return that he isn’t asked questions about obstruction of justice in the probe into election interference, under a proposal the president’s legal team submitted to Mueller, Giuliani said. Bloomberg

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