NEWS     THURSDAY,  AUGUST  30, 2018    NEWS

White House Counsel Don McGahn Will Leave Post In The Fall
Don McGahn, the top attorney in the White House, will leave his post in the coming months after the potential confirmation of President Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee. Mr. McGahn, the White House counsel, would be the latest among President Trump’s senior aides to depart, and also the one most closely associated with the special-counsel investigation that has ensnared several of his former colleagues. WSJ
VOA VIEW: No big deal.

With Vatican In Turmoil Over Abuse Allegations, Questions Remain About What Pope Knew
For centuries, the words "Vatican" and "intrigue" have gone hand in hand. But the Holy See's centuries-old code of secrecy ensured that scandals and conspiracies usually remained hidden behind the tall and sturdy Renaissance walls of the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, unbeknownst to the faithful masses around the world. Now, in the era of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, mudslinging between rival church factions is being waged out in the open. NPR
VOA VIEW: Scandals regarding a very liberal Pope,

NAFTA Betrayal Casts A Gloomy Mood Over Canada Trade Deal
It’s a threat that has loomed since Donald Trump took power, bursting into view each time the US president attacks Canada’s trade policies. But this week Canadians have been forced to confront the possibility of a breakdown in trade relations with their closest ally and biggest trading partner, after Trump announced a preliminary deal with Mexico. The news left Canadians reeling and sent the country’s foreign minister rushing to Washington DC in the hope of salvaging the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). The stakes for Canada are sky-high; the country sends three quarters of its exports south of the border while roughly 2.5m Canadian jobs depend on US trade. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Canada can't win a trade war with the US.

Mourners, Some Traveling For Hours To Get To Arizona, Remember John McCain
The doors to the Arizona State Capitol building where Sen. John McCain’s casket is lying in state won’t be open to the public until 2:00 p.m. local time Wednesday, but that didn’t stop Frank Xavier Marcial and his wife from getting in line at 7:15 a.m. That's the time they arrived in Phoenix after driving for more than seven hours from their home in California to come pay tribute to the longtime senator. "I wanted to give this incredible, great American my final respect and salute," said Marcial, 66, an Army and National Guard veteran himself. ABC

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5 Takeaways From Surprise Win In Florida And Nasty Race In Arizona
The big story from Tuesday's primaries comes from Florida, where progressive, Bernie Sanders-endorsed Democrat Andrew Gillum won his party's nomination for governor. He will take on Rep. Ron DeSantis, who prides himself on his closeness with President Trump, who enthusiastically backed him. In Arizona, meanwhile, a nasty fight is taking shape between a Republican former fighter pilot, Rep. Martha McSally, and Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat who tried to appeal to independents while Republicans duked it out over who is most like Trump. NPR
VOA VIEW: Liberal bias concern.

Martha McSally, Who Learned To Love Donald Trump, Wins Arizona Primary
Martha McSally had a clear objective in the Republican Senate primary in Arizona: keep Donald Trump from endorsing one of her two rivals who were, without question, more like the outlandish President than she would ever be. So she quoted Trump and played up her use of profanity in her ads. “I’m a fighter pilot and I talk like one!” she said gleefully in one TV spot. She ditched her support for a bill to protect young people who came to this country illegally with their parents, the so-called Dreamers. She boosted the President’s proposed border wall, even though in flashes it was clear she thought the whole thing a boondoggle. Time

Puerto Rico Governor Praises Federal Hurricane Response
The governor of Puerto Rico on Thursday effusively praised President Donald Trump’s response to the hurricane that ravaged his island last month. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló met with Trump at the White House and told reporters that the federal government had delivered everything he has asked for in the wake of Hurricane Maria. “The facts are that every petition that we’ve made to the president of the United States until this moment, it has been answered. It has been answered,” he said. “The reality is that we still need to do more for the people of Puerto Rico, and that’s why we’re meeting. This is not over, not over by a long shot.” LifeZette

Chinese Company Reportedly Hacked Clinton's Server, Got Copy Of Every Email In Real Time
A Chinese state-owned company reportedly hacked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server, then inserted code that forwarded them a copy of virtually every email she sent or received after that -- a revelation President Trump is demanding be investigated. The Daily Caller reported that the firm operating in the D.C. area wrote code that was then embedded in the server and generated a “courtesy copy” for almost all her emails -- which was then forwarded to the Chinese company.
The code reportedly was discovered in 2015 by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), which then warned FBI officials of the intrusion. Fox
VOA VIEW: Hidden by Obama and Hillary.

Trump Unblocks More Twitter Users.....But Not Rosie
US President Donald Trump has unblocked some additional Twitter users after a federal judge said in May that preventing people from following him violated individuals' constitutional rights. US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan ruled on May 23 that comments on the President's account, and those of other government officials, were public forums and that blocking Twitter users for their views violated their right to free speech under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. SMH
VOA VIEW: Twitter should be sued.

Dozens Of Facebook Employees Challenge Intolernet Liberal Culture
A senior Facebook engineer called out what he termed the company’s “political monoculture” in an internal message board post, prompting over 100 fellow employees to join a group advocating for political diversity. The group represents less than half a percent of the social media giant's workforce, and members aren't necessarily even conservative. But they say they are fed up with the way co-workers who don't toe the liberal line are treated. “We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views,” Brian Amerige, a senior Facebook engineer, wrote in the Aug. 20 post titled “We Have a Problem With Political Diversity” that was leaked to the New York Times. “We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack—often in mobs—anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.” Fox
VOA VIEW: Facebook needs to be deposed.

US Consumer Confidence Surges In August To 18 Year High
The US economy recorded its strongest economic growth in nearly four years in the three months to the end of June, according to revised figures. Gross domestic product increased at a 4.2% annualized rate, the commerce department said on Wednesday after revising its second-quarter calculations, establishing the quarter as the strongest in terms of growth since late 2014. Many economists had forecast a downward revision of growth to about 4%. Guardian

Dems Just Confirmed Lots Of Trump's Judges So They Could Skip Town
Senate Democrats just gave a huge gift to President Donald Trump: They agreed to expedite votes on 15 of his nominees to lifetime federal court seats because they wanted to go home. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) had lined up votes for all those district court nominees last week. Normally, Senate rules require up to 30 hours of waiting time for each nominee ? something Democrats typically take advantage of to delay action on confirming Trump judges. But Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) cut a deal with McConnell on Tuesday to bypass the wait times and let them all get through. Huff Post

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Avenatti Asks Court For Expedited Deposition Of President Trump
why the case should continue to be delayed." One week after Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney to President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty to eight felonies —— including a violation of campaign finance law in connection with his role in negotiating a non-disclosure agreement with Daniels —— Avenatti is asking a federal judge to allow his client’s civil lawsuit against Cohen and Trump to move forward. The attorney is also seeking to question the president under oath on an expedited schedule. ABC
VOA VIEW: Avenatti likes to play the media.

California Ended Cash Bail. Why Are So Many Reformers Unhappy About It?
alifornia Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law this week a plan, years in the making, to end the use of cash bail in the state’s criminal justice system. But what once promised to be an unambiguous policy victory for the most progressive state in the country seems instead to have become a lesson in the inherent political and legal difficulties of enacting criminal justice reform. The law has exposed deep fissures within the criminal justice reform movement. Social justice advocates that had once championed the initiative to abolish cash bail mobilized against the final iteration of the bill, which they saw as having morphed from righteous to dangerous. Politico
VOA VIEW: Committing a crime is equality.

Inside The White House's Intense Preparations For Kavanaugh Confirmation
As the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares for confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh set to begin Sept. 4, the White House has been working to ensure President Trump’s pick is ready for any question. An official involved in Kavanaugh’s preparations described extensive prep work including hours of mock hearings complete with staged protests. “As a general matter, it’s been intense,” the official told Yahoo News. Yahoo

Donald Trump Was The Big Winner Tuesday Night
The most obvious example of Trump's power within the party is in the Florida governor's race, where, late last year, he tweeted favorably about the candidacy of Rep. Ron DeSantis, who was seen as a heavy underdog to state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the primary. "Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and then Harvard Law, who would make a GREAT Governor of Florida," Trump tweeted just days before Christmas. Bing
VOA VIEW: Trump is good for America.

Trump And Trudeau Upbeat About Prospects For NAFTA Deal By Friday
The leaders of the United States and Canada expressed optimism on Wednesday that they could reach new NAFTA deal by a Friday deadline as negotiators prepared to talk through the night, although Canada warned that a number of tricky issues remained. Under pressure, Canada rejoined the talks to modernize the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement after Mexico and the United States announced a bilateral deal on Monday. Reuters

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A Day After Upset Win, Florida Dem, Andrew Gillum, Already Tangling With Trump
Andrew Gillum was expected by many to be an also-ran in Florida's Democratic gubernatorial primary. Now, despite being heavily outspent by his better-known centrist rivals, the 39-year-old Tallahassee mayor is his party's nominee, and has already drawn attention from the Oval Office. In addition, only hours into the general election, Gillum's Republican opponent is being criticized for making what some are calling racist remarks, telling Florida not to "monkey this up" by electing Gillum. Bing
VOA VIEW: Liberals have nothing else to propose - nothing.

2 Killed After Construction Scaffolding Collapses Near Disney World
After a scaffolding collapsed early Wednesday, two construction workers fell to their deaths at a site near the Disney World resort in central Florida. A third person had a near-miss. The worker "almost fell but he was able to hold onto something and several workers were able to assist him and he was not injured," Orange County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Ingrid Tejada-Monforte told reporters. The incident happened at the site of the planned JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, a $282 million project with 516 rooms from Marriott International that has been under construction. It is surrounded by Disney resorts but is not a Disney property. NPR

Russia Prepares 300,000 Troops For Its Largest War Games In Nearly 4 Decades
Amid mounting acrimony with NATO, Russia's military has announced plans to hold its "biggest exercises since 1981." The country's defense ministry says the massive exercise next month will involve some 300,000 Russian troops, more than 1,000 aircraft and the participation of some Chinese and Mongolian military units. The military drills, known as Vostok-2018 or East-2018, are expected to commence Sept. 11 and last five days near Russia's eastern border. The vast scale nearly doubles another recent Vostok exercise, which Russia held just months after its 2014 annexation of Crimea — and which at the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin had hailed as "the largest exercises of this kind that we have ever held." NPR
VOA VIEW: Russian waste of money.

There Is No Reason To Hold US-South Korea Military Exercises At This Time
The White House announced Wednesday that “there is no reason” to hold joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises at this time, a statement that comes hours after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said no decision had been made concerning the exercises. “President Donald J. Trump feels strongly that North Korea is under tremendous pressure from China because of our major trade disputes with the Chinese Government,” President Trump tweeted as he shared a White House statement. “At the same time, we also know that China is providing North Korea with considerable aid, including money, fuel, fertilizer and various other commodities. Washington Examiner

Palin Excluded From McCain Funeral
Breitbart News has independently confirmed an earlier report in People magazine, which reported that Palin was not sent an invitation, and was told through intermediaries to stay away from the ceremony. McCain fundraiser Carla Eudy confirmed to People that Palin had not been invited — possibly, People speculated, at the behest of the McCain family. The news comes on the tenth anniversary of the date in 2008 when Palin was announced as McCain’s pick for Vice President. BB

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French, British Boats Clash In English Channel Over Scallop Catches
French and British fishing crews skirmished in the English Channel on Tuesday, throwing stones and ramming each other's boats — the latest in a long-running row over scallop catches. The clashes occurred about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Normandy, near the Bay of Seine, where French crews are restricted by their nation's laws to fishing for scallops from Oct. 1 through May 15. However, boats from the U.K. are free to take the lucrative shellfish from the seabed year-round, although according to The Telegraph "in previous years a gentleman's agreement has generally allowed both sides to harvest scallops fairly." Bing

FBI Disputes Trump Tweet Claiming China Hacked Clinton Email Server
The FBI said Wednesday that it has no evidence Hillary Clinton’s private email server was compromised even though President Donald Trump tweeted a news report that alleged the Chinese had hacked it. Trump tweeted Tuesday evening about a report in the conservative Daily Caller that said a Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington area had hacked the server Clinton had used as secretary of state and obtained nearly all of her emails. Trump’s tweet stated in part: “What are the odds that the FBI and DOJ are right on top of this? Actually, a very big story. Much classified information!” Google
VOA VIEW: There is little trust with the FBI and DOJ.

Child Abuse Charges Dismissed In New Mexico Desert Compound Case
Two New Mexico judges on Wednesday dismissed child abuse charges against five people from a desert compound near Taos where a toddler's body was found, citing procedural errors by prosecutors. The judges, in separate decisions issued in New Mexico's Eighth Judicial District Court, dismissed the child abuse charges on grounds that a preliminary hearing had not taken place within 10 days after they were filed on Aug. 8 when the defendants were taken into custody. Yahoo

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Cummins Inc Wins $491M US Defense Contract
Cummins Power Generation Inc, a unit of Cummins Inc, has won a $491 million contract to provide advanced medium mobile power sources to the U.S. Army, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. Yahoo

Trump Says Tech Companies 'Trying To Silence' Conservative Voices, And 'It May Not Be Legal'
“Google and Facebook and Twitter … treat conservatives and Republicans very unfairly,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. “I think it’s a very serious problem because they’re really trying to silence a very large part of this country, and those people don’t want to be silenced,” he said in remarks reported by Reuters. “It’s not right. It’s not fair. It may not be legal, but we’ll see. We want fairness.” The comments continue a line of attack Trump launched earlier this week, when he accused Google of biasing its search results in favor of news outlets that have looked critically at his administration. Deadline
VOA VIEW: Tech companies must be regulated.

Trump Praises McGahn As A 'Really Good Guy'
President Trump had only words of praise for White House counsel Don McGahn, who, Mr. Trump tweeted Wednesday, will be leaving his job this fall. Mr. Trump told reporters during a roundtable session about a drug-free communities program that McGahn is a "really good guy" and has been with him "a really long time." He added that he has "a lot of affection for Don" and believes he's done "an excellent job." The president also said he approved of McGahn's extensive interviews with special counsel Robert Mueller's team and that he was not concerned about McGahn's interviews with prosecutors. CBS

Trump Heightens Attacks Against CNN, Watergate Reporter Carl Bernstein Over Trump Tower Story
President Trump on Wednesday stepped up his personal attacks against CNN, lambasting the network and veteran journalist Carl Bernstein for a July report about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. “CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake," Trump tweeted Wednesday evening. "Sloppy @carlbernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country! Fake News”. Hill
VOA VIEW: CNN is a rag.

Trump And Trudeau Upbeat About Prospects For NAFTA Deal By Friday
The leaders of the United States and Canada expressed optimism on Wednesday that they could reach new NAFTA deal by a Friday deadline as negotiators prepared to talk through the night, although Canada warned that a number of tricky issues remained. Under pressure, Canada rejoined the talks to modernize the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement after Mexico and the United States announced a bilateral deal on Monday. Reuters

Trump Admin, California Meet On Vehicle Emissions
Trump administration officials and California clean air regulators emerged from a meeting on Wednesday saying they would keep meeting to work toward resolving their sharp conflict over vehicle emissions and shared the goal of a single national standard. The two sides discussed Trump's Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule that backs freezing national vehicle emissions standards at 2020 levels through 2026, and revokes California's power to set state emissions rules. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed maintaining strict Obama-era rules mandating rising fuel efficiency requirements annually through 2025. Yahoo

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As His Isolation Intensifies, WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Faces Threat Of Eviction, Extradition
As his residency at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London enters its seventh year, the self-styled cyber revolutionary – WikiLeaks’ founder and controversial publisher of some of the world’s most closely guarded official secrets – is facing a pair of converging crises that have left his allies fearing for his wellbeing and his safety. Inside the embassy, he is living an increasingly secluded existence, having been stripped of his phones, computers and visitor privileges after running afoul of the very government that gave him asylum. Outside the embassy, he is embroiled in the global political scandal surrounding Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, with questions about his role in that drama being raised by friends and foes alike. ABC

Immigration Agents Detain More Than 100 Undocumented Workers In Texas Raid
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly detained more than 100 undocumented immigrants on Tuesday as part of a raid at a manufacturing company in Texas. ICE detained 160 workers at a trailer manufacturer known as Load Trail, according to ABC News. The network notes that the company had been previously charged with knowingly hiring undocumented workers. Hill

Logged Off: Meet The Teens Who Refuse To Use Social Media
For 17-year-old Mary Amanuel, from London, it happened in Tesco. “We were in year 7,” she remembers, “and my friend had made an Instagram account. As we were buying stuff, she was counting the amounts of likes she’d got on a post. ‘Oooh, 40 likes. 42 likes.’ I just thought: ‘This is ridiculous.’” Isabelle, an 18-year-old student from Bedfordshire who doesn’t want to disclose her surname, turned against social media when her classmates became zombified. “Everyone switched off from conversation. It became: ‘Can I have your number to text you?’ Something got lost in terms of speaking face to face. And I thought: ‘I don’t really want to be swept up in that.’” Guardian

Protests Planned For Thursday, UNC Asks People To Stay Away-Confederate Statue Removal
As opposing groups plan to gather Thursday night at the site of UNC’s toppled Silent Sam Confederate monument, the university and Chapel Hill are preparing for the possibility of violence. Two events are scheduled for Thursday night on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. A group known as ACTBAC, or Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County, plans a twilight service to honor the fallen Confederate soldier statue at 8 p.m. near the empty pedestal, according to the organization’s Facebook page. News & Observer

Uber Driver In Florida Shoots And Kills Man Who Chased Him In Truck
A Florida Uber driver shot and killed a man who was chasing his car with a pickup truck and threatened him, authorities said Wednesday. Jason Boek, 34, was fatally shot at around 2:20 a.m. Tuesday morning after leaving a bar in Dundee, Florida, and chasing Uber driver Robert Westlake, 38, in his pickup truck, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference Wednesday. NBC

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