NEWS     SATURDAY,  AUGUST  25, 2018    NEWS

Trump's Tabloid Friend Finds Himself In The Headlines
For decades, David Pecker has had the power to make or break US public figures ranging from presidential candidates to Hollywood stars. As chief executive of American Media Inc, the 65-year-old Bronx native dominated the US tabloid world, blasting headlines that took aim at the likes of John Edwards, Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton — and catching the eye of millions of Americans at the checkout aisles. Financial Times
VOA VIEW: A lot of liberal speculation - time will tell.

The Doomsday Clock On Trump's Presidency Leaps Forward
President Donald Trump's long-serving personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to twin federal election law offences directly implicating the President. Mr Cohen's statements set the foundation for the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York to subpoena Mr Trump to testify about $280,000 paid to a adult film star (Stormy Daniels) and a Playboy model (Karen McDougal) during his 2016 campaign for their silence about his decade-old affairs with each to influence the outcome of the election. The disclosures could have alienated his religious right-wing supporters. Aljazeera
VOA VIEW: Liberal rhetoric.

Trump Escalates Feud With Sessions With New Sarcastic Tweets
President Trump snapped back at Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday with a series of Twitter posts that sarcastically took up Sessions' theme about the importance of political independence at the Justice Department. "Jeff, this is GREAT, what everyone wants, so look into all of the corruption on the 'other side' including deleted Emails, Comey lies & leaks, Mueller conflicts, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr......" Trump wrote. NPR
VOA VIEW: Trump is right.

Top Trump Organization Official Weisselberg Granted Immunity In Cohen Investigation
A top figure in President Donald Trump's orbit was granted immunity in the investigation into hush money payments made to two women who alleged they had affairs with Trump, a sources familiar with the matter told CNN Friday. Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, whose entanglements with Trump's finances are extensive, was granted immunity by federal prosecutors for providing information about Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen. CNN
VOA VIEW: A liberal scare tatic.

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Kellyanne Conway's Husband Pushes Back On Trump's Attacks On Sessions
George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, criticized President Donald Trump for failing to understand his job enforcing the law in the wake of Trump's attacks against his attorney general. On Twitter Friday, Trump resumed his remarkable public hammering of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and suggested Sessions pursue the White House's political opponents. CNN

Giuliani: If Trump Were Impeached 'The American People Would Revolt'
If President Donald Trump were impeached, "the American people would revolt," the President's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in an interview with Sky News. "You'd only impeach him for political reasons, and the American people would revolt against that," Giuliani said Thursday. When asked about whether Trump was destined for "inevitable" impeachment, Giuliani replied, "Hardly," and went on to say things have, in fact, "turned very much in the President's favor." CNN
VOA VIEW: Dems disingenious.

How A Lawsuit Could Check Trump's Power Over Security Clearances
There is little dispute that President Donald Trump has the basic authority to revoke security clearances for current and former federal officials, as he did last week in the case of former CIA Director John Brennan and has threatened to do for several others who have criticized him. The rules for security clearances are governed by executive order, not law, and the president is the head of the executive branch. But how far does that power extend? Are there any limits to the president’s ability to restrict a person’s access to classified information for any reason he chooses? Atlantic
VOA VIEW: The truthful answer is no - Trump has the power.

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Trump Accuses Social Media Firms Of 'Silencing Millions'
U.S. President Donald Trump accused social media companies on Friday of silencing “millions of people” in an act of censorship, but without offering evidence to support the claim. “Social Media Giants are silencing millions of people. Can’t do this even if it means we must continue to hear Fake News like CNN, whose ratings have suffered gravely. People have to figure out what is real, and what is not, without censorship!” Reuters
VOA VIEW: The liberal media is silent because the censorship is on conservatives.

The Conspiracy Memo About Obama Aides That Circulated In The Trump White House
The 2017 document, titled “The Echo Chamber,” accused former Obama officials of undermining the incoming Administration. in the memo consisted of former aides to President Barack Obama. The memo claimed that the “communications infrastructure” that the Obama White House used to “sell Obamacare and the Iran Deal to the public” had been moved to the private sector, now that the former aides were out of government. It called the network the Echo Chamber and accused its members of mounting a coördinated effort “to undermine President Trump’s foreign policy” through organized attacks in the press against Trump and his advisers. New Yorker
VOA VIEW: It is clear that the left have made morally and ethically wrongful attacks on Trump.

Admitting N Korea Has Not Begun Denuclearization, Trump Cancels Pompeo's Trip To Pyongyang
In a surprise announcement, President Trump on Friday acknowledged a lack of progress on denuclearization in North Korea and instructed Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo to scrap a planned visit to Pyongyang “at this time,” a setback in the emerging diplomatic detente between the two longtime adversaries. Pompeo had announced Thursday that he planned to make his fourth visit to Pyongyang early next week and would bring Stephen Beigun, a newly-appointed special representative, to try to break the logjam in the nuclear negotiations. LA Times

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John McCain Discontinues Brain Cancer Treatment, Family Says
Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who has been fighting an aggressive form of brain cancer for more than a year, will discontinue treatment for the disease, his family announced Friday. That decision suggests the 81-year-old McCain could be nearing death. "John has surpassed expectations for his survival. The progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict," McCain's family said in a statement. "With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment." NBC
VOA VIEW: Sad matter of time.

Trump Admin Yanks $200M In Economic Aid From Gaza And West Bank
The Trump administration will revoke more than $200 million in economic aid for the West Bank and Gaza, the State Department announced Friday. The move came after a State Department review examining whether the funding was in “U.S. national interests” and of value to American taxpayers. In a terse announcement, the State Department said it would redirect the $200 million to “high-priority projects elsewhere. USA Today

Manafort-Juror Says 'One Holdout' Blocked Convicting On All Counts
The jury in the trial of Paul Manafort would have convicted the former Trump campaign chairman on all 18 criminal charges if not for one juror who had questions about the reasonable doubt standard of guilt, a juror told Fox News on Wednesday. “There was one holdout,” the juror in the trial, Paula Duncan, said in an interview. We all tried to convince her to look at the paper trail. We laid it out in front of her again and again and she still said that she had a reasonable doubt.” Guardian
VOA VIEW: The reality is ...

Hawaii Pummelled With Floods And Fire As Thousands Lose Power After Hurricane Lane Makes Landfall
In a rush of wind, rain, and even fire, Hurricane Lane battered the Hawaiian islands on Friday, hitting the Big Island and Maui the hardest and leaving thousands without power. On the Big Island, torrential rains dumped 35in over 48 hours. The coastal town of Hilo saw flash floods that prompted many residents to fortify their doors with sandbags and stay at home. Situated less than an hour’s drive from the erupting Kilauea volcano, the town has suffered serious hits to its $2.4bn tourism industry as visitors cancel vacations and cruise ships reroute to other locations to avoid the eruptions. Guardian

Lawmakers Demand Classified Documents From Trump's Meeting With Putin
Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) made the request in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying their questions on the private two-hour meeting between Trump and Putin in Helsinki had so far gone unanswered. “We make this request only as a direct result of the extraordinary and, to our knowledge, unprecedented circumstances of President Trump’s … one-on-one meeting with a leader identified as a threat to the United States by President Trump’s own National Security Strategy,” they wrote. Foreign Policy
VOA VIEW: No answer is needed.

Trump Told 'The Countdown To Impeachment Has Already Started'
Donald Trump has been warned the “countdown” to impeachment is underway, after his former lawyer implicated the president in crimes committed during the 2016 election. On Thursday, Mr Trump publicly addressed the prospect of impeachment for the first time, claiming the market would “crash” if his presidency was threatened. “I don't know how you can impeach somebody who has done a great job,” Mr Trump told Fox News. “I will tell you what, if I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash. I think everybody would be very poor because, without this thinking, you would see – you would see numbers that you wouldn't believe, in reverse.” Independent UK
VOA VIEW: Liberal media hogwash.

Aides Expect Trump To Go Rogue On Manafort Pardon
President Donald Trump’s lawyers and a cadre of informal White House advisers claim they’ve convinced him not to pardon Paul Manafort — but White House officials expect the president to do it anyway. The president’s characterization of his former campaign chairman as a victim and “brave man” is being read by aides as a signal that Trump wants to use his unilateral authority to issue pardons to absolve Manafort, according to eight current and former administration officials and outside advisers. Politico
VOA VIEW: Not rogue - liberal rhetoric.

State Department Blindsided By Trump Canceling North Korea Trip
State Department officials were caught “completely off guard” by President Trump’s abrupt cancellation Friday of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned trip to North Korea next week, CNN reported. They had been “briefing allies’ embassies about their objectives for the trip like 10 minutes before!” a department source told the network’s Michelle Kosinski, who tweeted the remarks. Trump scrapped the trip — admitting his administration had made little progress trying to persuade the regime to give up its nukes. NY Post

Trump Calls 5 Year Prison Sentence For NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner 'Unfair'
President Donald Trump said NSA whistleblower Reality Winner‘s five-year prison sentence for leaking a classified document to the media was “unfair” – and he used the assertion to again attack Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In a Friday morning tweet, Trump called Winner’s leaks “‘small potatoes’ compared to what Hillary Clinton did,” referring to his repeated accusations that his rival in the 2016 election had broken the law in her use of a private email server while Secretary of State. Time

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Gas Prices Could Jump Ahead Of Labor Day
One week ahead of the last major summer holiday in the United States, motor club AAA said vacation demand could cause a brief jump in gas prices. AAA reported a national average retail price of $2.84 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, a fraction of a percent higher than Thursday but more or less the same as one month ago. UPI

Facebook's Content Moderation Efforts Face Increasing Skepticism
It’s been a big week for tales of content moderation. Last Friday, Radiolab posted a fascinating episode about Facebook’s evolving approach to deciding what stays on the platform. The episode used a series of historical debates inside the company to illuminate the many challenges faced by a company seeking to regulate speech globally. On Thursday, Motherboard’s Jason Koebler and Joseph Cox posted their own history of content moderation on Facebook, but with an eye turned to the future. Drawing on interviews with Facebook executives, current and former moderators, and academic researchers. Verge
VOA VIEW: Facebook, Google and others need immediate regulation.

Political Dystopia? Former FB Official: "Elections Turning Into 'World Cup' Of Misinformation, Manipulation"
U.S. elections are threatening to become the “World Cup of information warfare, in which U.S. adversaries and allies battle to impose their various interests on the American electorate.” That powerful statement comes from a knowledgeable source: Facebook’s former Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, who left the company this month. Stamos suggested ways to avoid this dystopian  future in a post for the blog Lawfare. He confessed that his “personal responsibility for the failures of 2016 continues to weigh” on him. Bloomberg

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FireEye Is Tech Firms' Weapon Against Disingormation
Facebook removed 652 suspicious pages, groups and accounts linked to Russia and Iran. Twitter took similar action shortly thereafter. What did they have in common? The security firm FireEye Inc. Best known for its work on high-profile cyberattacks against companies including Target, JPMorgan Chase and Sony Pictures, FireEye is emerging as a key player in the fight against election interference and disinformation campaigns. LA Times

President And First Lady Arrive In Columbus
Trump traveled to Columbus on Friday with his wife, Melania. The couple was to tour the neonatal intensive care unit at Nationwide Children's Hospital to learn about treatment for babies affected by the opioid epidemic. Trump was then peeling off to attend a fundraiser for Rep. Jim Renacci, who's challenging Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown this fall. The president is also headlining the Ohio Republican Party's state dinner before returning to Washington. Trump last visited Ohio on Aug. 4 to rally for U.S. House candidate Troy Balderson, a GOP state senator. Balderson was certified Friday as the winner of a special election to fill the unexpired term of a longtime Republican congressman. NBC4i

Former CDC Head Accused Of Sex Abuse
Tom Frieden, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reportedly surrendered to police Friday after being accused of groping a woman in his Brooklyn apartment in 2017. Frieden, 57, allegedly grabbed the 55-year-old woman’s butt in October and is being charged with forcible touching, sex abuse, and harassment, according to the report. The woman filed a report with police in July. A statement given to the Associated Press on Frieden’s behalf said the “allegation does not reflect Dr. Frieden’s public or private behavior or his values over a lifetime of service to improve health around the world.” DB
VOA VIEW: Obama misfit.

Twitter CEO To Testify Before House Panel
Twitter has been ground zero in the culture wars that have been raging on social media. Now its CEO Jack Dorsey will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Sept. 5, the panel said. The Energy and Commerce Committee made the announcement—where else?—on Twitter Friday. “Twitter is on incredibly powerful platform that can change the national conversation in the time it takes a tweet to go viral,” committee chair Greg Walden said in a statement on Twitter. “When decisions about data and content are made using opaque processes the American people are right to raise concerns.” Fortune

Trump Skips Mention Of McCain At GOP Dinner
The White House didn't address McCain's announcement and the president didn't make any references to the senator. Trump has frequently criticized McCain for voting against a 2017 plan in the Senate to replace the so-called "Obamacare" law. The two Republican leaders have had a strained relationship dating back to 2015, when Trump suggested the Vietnam veteran and prisoner of war was not a war hero. McCain has been critical of Trump even while undergoing medical treatment in Arizona, slamming Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "tragic mistake." WHIO

American Flight Quarantined In Nashville; Mike Huckabee On Board
An American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Nashville was quarantined while a doctor assessed a sick passenger Thursday, but passengers have since been let off the plane. Passengers were held on board as it was determined whether they had been exposed to illness. A Nashville International Airport spokesperson said via Twitter that the person was medically cleared to fly but did not have paperwork. Police contacted the doctor to confirm. Tucson News

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Russia Upping Purchases Gold To Shield The Country From Sanctions
The central bank previously added 20 tons in May and 17 tons in June. Its total holdings of the precious metal have increased 37% since the start of 2016, and are now worth an estimated $76 billion. The gold purchases have coincided with a dramatic reduction in the central bank's ownership of US government debt, which plummeted 84% between March and May to just $14.9 billion. Treasuries now make up only 17% of reserves at Russia's central bank. CNN Money

Ivanka Trump Shuts Down Fashion Line Website Officially
Ivanka Trump's now-defunct fashion brand has finally shut down its website. As of Thursday morning, the website for the first daughter's fashion brand shows only a message thanking shoppers and supporters. "It has been an honor to build this incredible community of women and we are very proud of the content and product we delivered," the message reads. "Most importantly, we cultivated amazing partnerships and friendships during the life of the brand." Business Insider

Trump Says If He's Impeached, 'The Market Would Crash' And 'Everybody Would Be Poor'
President Trump gave himself an A+ for his job performance in a friendly interview with Fox & Friends' Ainsley Earhardt broadcast Thursday, and he thought so highly of his governing skills, he turned them into a novel argument against impeachment. "I don't know how you can impeach somebody who's done a great job," he said. "I'll tell you what, if I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash. I think everybody would be very poor, because without this thinking," he added, pointing to his head, "you would see numbers that you wouldn't believe, in reverse." The Week
VOA VIEW: Trump is right.

Republican Troy Balderson Officially Wins Ohio Special Election
A two-term state senator who was backed by President Trump but who also promoted his ties to Trump critic Gov. John Kasich won a previously deadlocked congressional special election in Ohio, retaining a coveted open U.S. House seat long held by Republicans. State Sen. Troy Balderson was certified Friday as the voters' pick over Democrat Danny O'Connor, the Franklin County recorder, to complete the unexpired term of former long-time U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, who retired in January. CBS

'Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous', Robin Leach Dies At 76
Leach’s voice was constantly parodied. Both Harry Shearer and Dana Carvey did Leach on “Saturday Night Live.” Leach began his career as a print journalist in Britain. He came to the U.S. where he wrote for the New York Daily News and People magazine before finding his calling in television. Time

Facebook Deletes Alternative Health Pages, As The War On Fake News Escalates
Facebook has deleted dozens of pages dedicated to fringe or holistic medicine in an apparent crackdown on pseudoscience. The Global Freedom Movement, an alternative media site, reported that the social platform purged over 80 accounts and that “no reason was provided. No responses to inquiries have been forthcoming.” This includes rather large accounts focused on health, natural remedies, and organic living, such as Just Natural Medicine (1 million followers), Natural Cures Not Medicine (2.3 million followers), and People’s Awakening (3.6 million followers). Small accounts with under 15,000 followers were also hit. Google News

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