NEWS     WEDNESDAY,  AUGUST  1, 2018    NEWS

At Manafort Trial, Defense Puts The Blame On Mueller Witness Rick Gates
An attorney for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort told jurors during opening arguments in his tax and bank fraud trial on Tuesday that Manafort’s longtime aide Rick Gates,  now a witness for special counsel Robert Mueller is a liar who can’t be trusted. Manafort, attorney Tom Zehnle told jurors, made a mistake in “placing his trust in the wrong person” who was now willing to say anything to keep himself out of trouble. Zehnle told jurors that Manafort “rendered a valuable service to our system of government” because of his involvement in multiple presidential campaigns. Huff Post
VOA VIEW: It's in the hands of the jury, not the media or talk show hosts.

Trump Stumps for Ron DeSantis In Florida
President Trump is in Tampa, Florida, Tuesday night to stump for GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis, who is running for governor. DeSantis has been a vocal advocate of Mr. Trump and his policies, as well as a vocal critic of the Justice Department and intelligence agencies. Florida's primary is Aug. 28. It remains to be seen how much Mr. Trump will vocalize support Tuesday night for current GOP Gov. Rick Scott, who is vying for Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson's seat. CBS
VOA VIEW: Trump picked a winner.

Prosecutor: Manafort Had $15,000 Jacket Made From An Ostrich
A federal prosecutor highlighted a $15,000 jacket “made from an ostrich” and owned by Paul Manafort during the opening statements of the former Trump campaign chairman‘s trial in Alexandria, Virginia. Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye, a prosecutor working on the case with special counsel Robert Mueller, revealed the detail on Tuesday as Manafort faces bank and tax fraud charges. Yahoo
VOA VIEW: Why bring up the fact that Manafort had money.

Ride-Share Polling Proof It's Privileged Way To Travel
Pollster Ken O'Brien on Tuesday said a recent poll proves ride-sharing services are a "somewhat ... privileged" form of urban transportation. A recent Gallup poll shows 41 percent of the respondents who said they use ride-sharing services make $90,000 or more per year. "It kind of makes the case that this is somewhat of a privileged way to go around a city," O'Brien told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." Hill

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Migrant Detention Centers 'Like A Summer Camp'
Not until the day it was announced did senior officials from three key agencies learn of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy to deter migrants from illegally entering the United States by threatening jail sentences and separating children from their parents. NY Times
VOA VIEW: Expected liberal reporting from the NYT.

Protesters Gather In Tampa Ahead Of Trump Rally
A handful of protesters gathered outside the fairgrounds expo hall in Tampa, Florida, to protest President Donald Trump's visit hours before his scheduled arrival. One of the early protesters was Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Florida billionaire Jeff Greene. He parked a bus with the words "Trump's worst nightmare" outside the venue Tuesday, drawing more than a few heckles and taunts. AJC

John Kelly To Remain WH Chief Of Staff Through 2020
Donald Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly has tamped down speculation about his future, telling the president he will stay on through 2020, a White House official said Tuesday. Kelly's commitment to remain in the critical post through the end of Trump's first term comes one year and a day after he took the job -- and amid swirling rumors about his imminent departure. Yahoo
VOA VIEW: The facts upset the liberal media.

Dems Suspect Russia In New Facebook Influence Operation
Democrats are pointing the finger at Russia over Facebook's new disclosure of a political influence campaign ahead of the midterm elections. The social media giant disclosed Tuesday that it had removed 32 pages and accounts on Facebook and Instagram linked to a coordinated political influence campaign, uncovered through its broader investigation into election interference triggered by Russian meddling in 2016. Hill
VOA VIEW: And the truth is ...

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Trump Says Collusion Is Not A Crime, As First Russia Probe Trial Begins
President Donald Trump again attacked Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia and the 2016 U.S. election on Tuesday, reiterating that his campaign did not collude with Moscow and saying collusion is not a crime anyway. Trump commented hours before his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was due to go on trial on tax and bank fraud charges in Virginia. As the first trial in the 14-month Russia probe, the case throws a fresh spotlight on a federal criminal investigation that has dogged Trump’s presidency. Reuters
VOA VIEW: The truth hurts.

Clash Of GOP Titans As Trump Vs Kochs Feud Escalates
The war of words intensified between two titans in Republican politics on Tuesday as President Donald Trump trashed the conservative billionaire Koch brothers as a "total joke in real Republican circles. "The presidential insult followed a weekend gathering of Koch officials who repeatedly condemned Trump's trade policies, the explosion of government spending under his watch and his divisive tone. AP
VOA VIEW: Koch people should review their rhetoric.

Trump Renews Government Shutdown Threat
President Trump revived his threat of a government shutdown Tuesday over the issues of immigration and border security, creating yet another headache for Republican leaders on Capitol Hill who have been marching forward with plans to avert a funding crisis before the November midterms. “I don’t care what the political ramifications are, our immigration laws and border security have been a complete and total disaster for decades, and there is no way that the Democrats will allow it to be fixed without a Government Shutdown,” Trump said in a tweet Tuesday afternoon. Washington Post

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Oregon Candidate Slammed For Vulgar Tweet On Melania Trump
An Oregon congressional candidate is facing intense criticism after he published a "disgraceful" tweet regarding first lady Melania Trump. In response to another tweet comparing the amount of staff Trump has employed as first lady compared with Michelle Obama, Mark Roberts — who's running as an independent — asked, “Did you know the First Lady works by the hour?” He included two vulgar hashtags. Fox
VOA VIEW: Pitiful!

Facebook Indentifies Ongoing Influence Campaign, Bans 32 Pages And Accounts
Facebook announced on Tuesday that is has banned 32 pages and accounts it said were engaged in "coordinated inauthentic behavior," on the platform, but the company says it does not yet know who is behind the campaign. "We’re still in the very early stages of our investigation and don’t have all the facts — including who may be behind this," Facebook said in a post on its website. "But we are sharing what we know today given the connection between these bad actors and protests that are planned in Washington next week. We will update this post with more details when we have them, or if the facts we have change." ABC

Senator Dick Durbin Seeks Nielsen Resignation
A  top Democrat called for Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that saw lawmakers criticize the Trump administration policy of separating migrant children from their detained parents. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Durbin is an idiot.

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8 Candidates Vying To Replace Convicted Texas State Senator
Eight candidates are competing in a bipartisan special election to replace Democratic Texas state Sen. Carlos Uresti, who stepped down in June after being sentenced to 12 years in prison on federal fraud charges. Uresti's term doesn't expire until 2020 and his San Antonio district is heavily Democratic. But with such a crowded field, no candidate may win a majority, forcing a runoff. US News

Trump Says You Need A Picture ID To Buy Groceries In America
President Donald Trump told a crowd in Florida on Tuesday night that buying groceries requires an identification card. Trump made the comment while pushing for voter ID laws at a rally in Tampa to support Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) in the state’s gubernatorial race. The president touched on a number of his regular talking points, including unemployment rates and tariffs, before talking about voter fraud. Huff Post
VOA VIEW: If you issue a check or credit card.

Dem Governor Flees To $7M Italian Vacation Home As Political, Personal Problems Mount
His constituents are complaining about the state's crumbling transit system. His own party wants to strip him of gubernatorial powers. The soccer team he owns is living in dire conditions, and one of his sons has been in trouble with the law. What's a newly elected governor with no experience in elected office to do? He takes a vacation far, far away. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy raised eyebrows last week as he embarked on a swanky 11-day trip to Italy, where he owns a $7 million home he bought during his 23-year stint at Goldman Sachs. Fox
VOA VIEW: Being rich is now a crime - even for Dems.

Steve Schmidt: Trump Is "An Agent De Facto Of Russia"
Steve Schmidt called President Trump a "de facto" agent of Russia who is promoting the Kremlin's strategic interests in an interview Tuesday night on The Rachel Maddow Show with guest host Nicolle Wallace. "He is an agent de facto of Russia's foreign policy," Schmidt said. "The foreign policies he's advocating, the bipartisan consensus that existed pre-Trump between Republicans and Democrats would have recognized his foreign policy as clearly in the middle lane of the Kremlin's strategic interests. To see it being advanced by an American president is as disturbing as it is shocking." Real Clear Politics
VOA VIEW: Schmidt is an idiot.

Ukraine Next In Focus As Manafort Trial Heads To Second Day
The political consulting work that President Donald Trump’s onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort did to earn $60 million in Ukraine is expected to take the spotlight on Wednesday on the second day of his criminal trial. The first witness set to be questioned by prosecutors is Daniel Rabin, a political consultant who produced TV ads for Manafort in Ukraine. Rabin will likely be asked to elaborate on the nature of Manafort’s work for pro-Russian politicians there. Prosecutors said their second witness would be an FBI agent, whose name was not disclosed. Reuters

Trump Says Koch Brothers Are 'A Total Joke' In GOP
President Trump on Tuesday lashed out at the Koch brothers, tweeting that the billionaire industrialists are a “total joke in real Republican circles” and that he is “a puppet for no one.” It’s the latest salvo between the president and Charles and David Koch, who did not endorse Trump in his 2016 presidential bid and have lashed out at Trump’s spending plans and trade policies. SF Gate

Trump Criticized For Not Leading Effort To Secure Elections
As alarms blare about Russian interference in U.S. elections, the Trump administration is facing criticism that it has no clear national strategy to protect the country during the upcoming midterms and beyond. Both Republicans and Democrats have criticized the administration's response as fragmented, without enough coordination across federal agencies. And with the midterms just three months away, critics are calling on President Donald Trump to take a stronger stand on an issue critical to American democracy. Chicago Tribune
VOA VIEW: Liberal media madness - Obama did nothing.

Al Franken Doesn't Rule Out Another Election Bid In First Interview Since Resigning From Congress
Former Sen. Al Franken wouldn't rule out another election bid in his first sit-down interview since resigning from Congress amid sexual harassment accusations. Franken, who resigned in January, told Minnesota CBS affiliate WCCO that he misses his old job and wouldn't say yes or no to running again for office. "I don't know," he said. "I haven't ruled it out. I haven't ruled it in." USA Today

Trump Threatens 'Drastic' Action To Secure Border Security Money From Congress
President Donald Trump told a raucous political rally in Florida on Tuesday that his administration may have to "do some pretty drastic things" to secure funding for border security but stopped short of specifically threatening a shutdown. "We may have to do some pretty drastic things, but we're going to get it," Trump told an enthusiastic crowd at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, where he was stumping for Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis. "We're going to have tremendous border security that will include the wall." USA Today
VOA VIEW: Build the wall.

Here's Why 'Bigfoot Erotica' Is At The Center Of A Congressional Race In Virginia
The 2018 midterm elections have been fraught with headline-making controversies, but the race in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District has brought a particularly unusual topic to prominence: “Bigfoot erotica.” On Sunday, Democratic candidate Leslie Cockburn accused her Republican rival Denver Riggleman of being a “devotee of Bigfoot Erotica.” Yahoo

Pence Vows To Defend US Elections Against Foreign Meddling
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence vowed on Tuesday to protect domestic elections from foreign interference, hours after Facebook said it had identified a new effort to use its site to influence November's U.S. congressional elections. Facebook disclosed it had taken down dozens of fake accounts after identifying a new coordinated political influence campaign to mislead users and organize rallies ahead of this year's elections. Bing

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Dozens Of Investigators Chasing Hundreds Of Leads In Search For Missing Iowa Student
Investigators say they still don't know what happened to Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts who vanished nearly two weeks ago from her hometown Brooklyn, Iowa. At a news conference Tuesday, a lead investigator said dozens of local, state and federal agents are working to determine what happened to the 20-year-old. Kevin Winker, director of investigative operations with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, says they are working every lead and tip that comes in. He said investigators have drawn no conclusions about what happened, but that her disappearing on her own is "not consistent with her past." CBS

At Least 20 Missing In California Wildfire With Thousands More
Officials in California say at least 20 people are missing in the Carr Fire north of San Francisco. Six people were previously confirmed dead in that fire, and more than 27,000 remain evacuated. Crews are lighting "backfires" along the hillsides to burn away dry brush in an effort to deprive the explosive Mendocino Complex Fire of potential fuel. CBS

Apple Stock Rises To All Time High After Hours On Earnings Report
Apple made a whopping $11.5 billion in profit in its latest earnings report, boosting its stock to an all-time high in after-hours trading. Apple shares rose to $197.15, an increase of 3.6 percent, after the company reported earnings for its fiscal third quarter ending June 30. The results of net income of $2.34 per share surpassed Wall Street expectations of $2.17 per share, the Associated Press reported. CBS

Former Lobbyist Tony Podesta, Others Under Investigation By Federal Prosecutors Over Alleged Foreign Work
Former lobbyist Tony Podesta, Mercury Public Affairs partner and former Minnesota Republican Rep. Vin Weber and former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig are all under federal investigation by prosecutors for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, multiple sources with knowledge of the matter told NBC News on Tuesaday. Those sources say this months-long investigation in New York follows a referral from the Special Counsel’s Office. NBC
VOA VIEW: Dems and others are starting to feel the heat.

Officials Botched 202 Census Printing Contract
Officials at the U.S. Government Publishing Office botched the awarding of its single largest contract — the 2020 census printing contract — according to a memo from the federal agency's Office of the Inspector General. "Our investigation revealed GPO did not do an adequate job of protecting the interests of the Government," concluded former Inspector General Michael Raponi, who authored the report obtained by NPR. NPR

Trump Tells Crowd At Tampa Technical School There's Never Been A Better Time To Get Hired
President Donald Trump is telling students and faculty at a Tampa technical school that there has never been a better time to develop new skills or get hired for a new job. Trump is pointing to strong economic growth and low unemployment at an event with his daughter Ivanka Trump, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and several other Florida leaders. PBS

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Tim Cook Hits Out At Trump's Tariffs
Apple has a dim view 0f the Trump Administration's proposed tariffs. During a conference call on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook said that he hoped "calm heads prevail" in the escalating rounds of trade restrictions between the United States and China. "Our view on tariffs is that they show up as a tax on the consumer and end up resulting in lower economic growth," Cook said. "And sometimes can bring about significant risk of unintended consequences." Business Insider

Can We Trust Facebook And Twitter?
If Silicon Valley isn’t careful it could destroy perhaps the greatest business model of all time. Campaigns by social media companies to disinfect American conversation may do more harm to the companies and their customers than to Russia’s effort to influence and disrupt American democracy. Today Facebook said it closed 32 user accounts displaying activity consistent with Russian attempts to spread disinformation. New bipartisan concern about the Russian government’s effort to undermine democracy is welcome and appropriate even if there’s no evidence it changed the outcome of the 2016 election. WSJ
VOA VIEW: Facebood and other social media cannot be trusted.

Outcry In Russia Over Video Of Brutal Prison Torture
Less than two weeks ago a video appeared showing guards in a Russian prison colony torturing an inmate. The video showed over a dozen guards in uniform pinning down the prisoner, Yevgeny Makarov, to a table and taking turns to beat him on his arms and the soles of his feet with rubber truncheons. ABC

Assange May Be Ready To Take First Steps Into A Different World
Julian Assange soon will leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London -- his refuge from criminal charges for the last six years -- and enter a changed world. The Australian walked into the building in the capital’s Knightsbridge neighborhood just before the 2012 Olympics, with Barack Obama in his first term and elections untainted by alleged interference by Russian agents. When he walks out, Assange will face a new more aggressive American president, a U.K. trying to find its role outside the European Union and a change in Ecuadorian leadership. The 47-year-old may find the future uncertain. Bloomberg

L.A. County Prosecutors Decline To Charge Les Moonves With Sex
Crimes, Saying Allegations Exceed Statute Of Limitations The Los Angeles County district attorney has declined to file sexual assault charges against Leslie Moonves, the embattled chairman and chief executive officer of CBS Corp., saying accusations made against him date back three decades and therefore exceed the statute of limitations. Los Angeles Times

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