NEWS     SUNDAY,  SEPTEMBER  30, 2018    NEWS

Blasey Ford’s best friend to tell FBI she has no knowledge of Kavanaugh or party
Leland Keyser stood to be the perfect witness for Christine Blasey Ford by confirming critical events that would bolster her charges against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Leland Keyser stood to be the perfect witness for Christine Blasey Ford by confirming critical events that would bolster her charges against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But she wasn’t. She has ended up helping the nominee on two crucial questions as the confirmation process shifts from emotion-filled hearings on Thursday to a one-week FBI investigation. Ms. Keyser was among Ms. Ford’s best friends at Holton-Arms, the all-girl private school in Bethesda not far from Mr. Kavanaugh’s boy-only Georgetown Preparatory. Before this week’s Ford-Kavanaugh hearing, Ms. Keyser sent an email to the Senate Judiciary Committee, via her attorney Howard J. Walsh III, denying this. She has no recollection of such a party, she said. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: The FBI is wasting there time.

House votes to admonish communities that allow noncitizens to vote in local elections
The House voted Wednesday to go on record admonishing communities, such as San Francisco, that now allow immigrants who live in the U.S. illegally to cast ballots in local elections, calling it another way some localities are undermining federal immigration policies. The 279-72 vote saw 49 Democrats join with nearly every Republican to protest the growing movement to expand the vote. Sixty-nine Democrats declined to take a stand, voting “present.” The non-binding resolution does not force any changes, but did put lawmakers on record. “If we start granting others the sacred right reserved for U.S. citizens it puts the whole democratic process at risk,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan, a South Carolina Republican who has pushed for a tougher line against localities that include immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally in their voting population. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: There are 69 Dems that should not be reelected.

FBI has contacted Deborah Ramirez about sexual assault allegations by Brett Kavanaugh
The second woman who came forward with sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been contacted by the FBI, her attorney told USA TODAY. Deborah Ramirez claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and shoved his penis in her face at a dorm party while they were students at Yale University. Her allegations first appeared in the New Yorker. Kavanaugh denies these allegations and others that have been lodged against him. Her attorney, John Clune, said Ramirez is cooperating with the FBI as agents investigate the batch of allegations in Kavanaugh's reopened background check. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Ramirez is totally unbelievable.

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Jeff Flake has managed to frustrate all sides in past 2 years
U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake's role in forcing a last-minute FBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was classic Jeff Flake. It followed a familiar pattern for the retiring one-term Arizona Republican, who has been out of step with his party under President Donald Trump: Flake raised hopes of a breakthrough in the usual partisan stalemate, then fell back to the standard Republican position, and in the process frustrated people on the left and the right. It also highlights the political no-man's land where Flake has found himself since Trump moved into the White House. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Flake is flake - period.

Ri Yong Ho calls for end to mistrust, repeal of North Korea sanctions
 North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho called for an end to "decades-long mistrust" between the Kim Jong Un regime and the United States in remarks before the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday -- while calling for the repeal of economic sanctions, and warning U.S. opponents of Trump's engagement with Kim. Ri, who last year said the North could detonate a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean as tensions escalated with the United States, delivered a speech that summarized key developments on the Korean Peninsula, while crediting the North Korean leader for progress. UPI
VOA VIEW: NK can't be trusted and Trump will not be fooled.

U.S. consulate in Iraq shuts down over Iran-linked threat
The U.S. government has closed a U.S. consulate in Iraq temporarily and evacuated diplomats over security risks from Iran, administration officials said. The U.S. consulate in the southern Iraq city of Basra was shut down Friday hours after a rocket attack in the area blamed on Iranian-backed militias. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo ordered the evacuation of diplomats from the consulate, the U.S. U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Iraq announced in a statement. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad will continue providing consular service in the area, the statement said. The southern part of Iraq has faced violent protests against government corruption and lack of basic services since June with arson attacks of several government buildings earlier this month. UPI

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Motley Fool Issues Rare "Double Down" Buy Alert
As the co-founder and CEO of The Motley Fool, every day I wake up and get the chance to live my lifelong dream — help everyday investors like you identify and profit from the world's most promising investment opportunities. It's hard to believe, but 2018 marks the 25-year anniversary of the founding of The Motley Fool by my brother David and me! Of course, there have been more than a few changes around here during that time. Like the fact that we've gone from publishing an investment newsletter for 300 or so subscribers out of the shed behind David's house... Fool.com

Super PAC aligned with GOP leaders axes funding for Bishop
A super political action committee backed by House Republican leaders says it's pulling funding for two-term Rep. Mike Bishop, who is facing a tough opponent in November. The Congressional Leadership Fund, which has ties to House Speaker Paul Ryan, had reserved $2.1 million of television air time in Michigan to help defend Bishop, a Rochester Republican. Those reservations are now canceled. “No one works harder for Michigan families than Mike Bishop," CLF spokeswoman Courtney Alexander said. "CLF will continue to run strong field operations in these districts and will continue to conduct polling and evaluate races across the country, as we do everything we can to protect the Republican majority." The group has a field office in the 8th District. Bishop challenger Elissa Slotkin, a former top Defense official from Holly, has raised more money than Bishop every reporting period in the 2018 cycle, and analysts rate the contest a tossup. Detroit News

FBI contacts 2nd Kavanaugh accuser; Trump says extra scrutiny may be 'blessing in disguise'
The FBI has reached out to a second woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault -- a day after President Trump ordered the bureau to conduct a new background investigation. An attorney for Deborah Ramirez, who claims that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a Yale college party in the 1980s, said that the FBI had reached out to her. "We can confirm the FBI has reached out to interview Ms. Ramirez and she has agreed to cooperate with their investigation," attorney John Clune said in a statement. "Out of respect for the integrity of the process, we will have no further comment at this time." Fox

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Trump brings ‘Make America Great Again’ rally to West Virginia
President Trump is again stumping for GOP congressional candidates, and touting his MAGA successes, this time at a Saturday night rally in Wheeling. This latest Trump rally is intended to help mobilize support for GOP candidates including U.S. Senate nominee Patrick Morrisey, the state’s attorney general. Morrisey is challenging the Democratic incumbent, Joe Manchin, who’s facing a tough reelection battle in a state Trump won by 42 percentage points in 2016. Trump last visited West Virginia a month ago for a rally in Charleston, as KDKA reported. The president has maintained popularity in West Virginia, and has visited several times since taking office. Fox
VOA VIEW: Fun time.

Elizabeth Warren will 'take hard look at running for president' in 2020
Elizabeth Warren will “take a hard look at running for president” once the midterm elections are done. The Massachusetts senator, 69 and long touted as a potential 2020 nominee, made the telling remark at a town hall event in Holyoke on Saturday. According to a Boston Globe report, an audience member asked Warren about her White House ambitions. The paper said the senator first counselled focus on Democratic attempts to retake the House and Senate. According to a version of Warren’s remarks emailed to the Guardian by a spokeswoman, the senator then said: “But let’s face [it], Donald Trump is taking this country in the wrong direction. Working people have taken one punch to the gut after another. And I am worried down to my bones about what Donald Trump is doing to our democracy.” Guardian
VOA VIEW: Warren does not have a chance.

Trump urges supporters to vote in wake of Kavanaugh hearing
President Donald Trump on Saturday turned his embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh into a rallying cry for Republicans to vote in November, saying they can help reject the "ruthless and outrageous tactics" he says Democrats used against the judge. "We see this horrible, horrible, radical group of Democrats. You see what's happening right now," Trump said at a rally with thousands of supporters in West Virginia. Trump won the state in 2016 by 42 percentage points and remains popular there. Houston Chronicle

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Elizabeth Warren: America's criminal justice system is racist
Kamala Harris attacked critics of “identity politics”. Elizabeth Warren insisted that Democrats could be both the “party of the white working class and the party of Black Lives Matter” while calling the American criminal justice system “racist”. And Cory Booker said it was time “to get folk woke”. At the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans on Friday, leading Democratic presidential hopefuls embraced the concept of intersectionality, viewing any conflict between economic populism and racial and social justice as a false choice. “I have a problem with that phrase, ‘identity politics,’” said Kamala Harris, the junior Democratic senator from California, during a keynote address at the gathering of more 3,000 liberal activists. “Let’s be clear – when people say that, it’s a pejorative. That phrase is used to divide and used to distract. Its purpose is to minimize and marginalize issues that impact all of us. It’s used to try and shut us up.” Guardian
VOA VIEW: First Warren was an Indian, now she may claim to be black.

Judge: Democrats in Congress can sue Trump over emoluments
A federal district judge in Washington has ruled that a group of nearly 200 Democratic senators and representatives have legal standing to sue President Donald Trump to prove he violated the U.S. Constitution's emoluments provision banning the acceptance of gifts from foreign and domestic interests. The U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan on Friday found that lawmakers have adequately shown that they've suffered harm from the president's alleged violation of the emoluments clause, which prohibit government officials from accepting benefits from foreign governments unless a majority of both houses of Congress consent. Houston Chonicle

White House limits scope of the FBI's investigation into the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh
The White House is limiting the scope of the FBI’s investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, multiple people briefed on the matter told NBC News. While the FBI will examine the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, the bureau has not been permitted to investigate the claims of Julie Swetnick, who has accused Kavanaugh of engaging in sexual misconduct at parties while he was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School in the 1980s, those people familiar with the investigation told NBC News. A White House official confirmed that Swetnick's claims will not be pursued as part of the reopened background investigation into Kavanaugh. NBC

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UN Chief praises efforts to reduce tension on Korean Peninsula
In a statement, the UN chief expressed hope that recent positive developments, in particular the important summits between the leaders of North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea (officially the Republic of Korea), and between North Korea and the United States, will contribute to “an atmosphere conducive to advancing sustainable peace and complete and verifiable denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.” The conversation with Ri Yong Ho took place the day after the US Secretary of State chaired a ministerial level Security Council meeting on North Korea. During that meeting, Mike Pompeo said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump “share a common, personal understanding of what must take place” to transform relations between the two countries. UN

Palestinians bury 7 killed in latest flare-up in Gaza Strip
Thousands of Gazans on Saturday thronged the funerals of seven people killed by Israeli troops during mass protests the previous day, chanting anti-Israel and anti-U.S. slogans and calling for revenge. The coastal strip's ruling Hamas militant group, meanwhile, dispatched a delegation to Egypt in a desperate new attempt to ease a crippling blockade on the Palestinian territory. Friday's violence was the deadliest day of protests in nearly four months. Among the dead was an 11-year-old boy, believed to be the youngest of 144 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire during the protests. Another boy, a 14-year-old, was also among the seven killed. Las Vegas Sun

Data protection watchdog criticises Facebook as investigation continues
A data protection watchdog has criticised Facebook for failing to provide adequate information about a security breach that has compromised the personal details of millions of people. The Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), the regulator responsible for overseeing the company’s European data compliance, today said it was “still awaiting” further information and clarification about the attack. It is understood that Facebook still has not established how many people have been affected by the security breach in the UK. Meanwhile, the company's analysts are also trying to see whether the hackers were trying to target people from one specific country. The UK is one of the largest markets for Facebook -it is estimated that there are more than 32 million regular users in Britain. Telegraph
VOA VIEW: Facebook should be regulated and no postings should be made.

Campaign to repeal gas tax short of cash as California Republican leaders focus funds on other contests
Top Republicans in California appear to be shifting resources away from an issue they hoped would lure voters to the polls in November: repealing the gas tax. After contributing $1.7 million to put a repeal initiative on the November ballot, Republican congressional leaders and GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox are now conspicuously absent from the list of donors spending money to help convince Californians to pass the measure. San Diego Union

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Niger tells Assembly UN alone can solve its problems of climate change, migration, poverty and terrorism
“My country gives the choice spot to the multilateralism and federating role of the UN,” Foreign Minister Kalla Ankourao told the Assembly’s annual general debate on its fifth day. He denounced the “abject practice” of human trafficking involving African migrants in the sub-Saharan Sahel region of which Niger is part and welcomed the meeting in Morocco in November to launch the Global Pact on Migration that seeks international cooperation for a structure process. “As the prime example of a transit country, Niger will be there,” he said. He stressed that equal imperative of global cooperation to address climate change, which threatens to expand the desertification of already arid Niger and worsen the already grinding poverty of its people. UN

Parliament's statue of Cromwell becomes latest memorial hit by 'rewriting history' row
A bitter row has broken out between historians after calls for the statue of Oliver Cromwell in front of the Houses of Parliament to be taken down. Jeremy Crick, a social historian from Staffordshire, compared Crowell- who led the Parliamentary forces against the King in the English Civil War - to the Taliban in Afghanistan for his anti-religious zeal and said there should be no place for him outside the Palace of Westminster. His call follows numerous campaigns to remove and replace statues of figures with problematic pasts, notably by students at Oxford to have a statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College taken down for his part in the white colonisation and exploitation of southern Africa. Mr Crick, who specialise in the history of notable families in Staffordshire, said Cromwell was responsible for the wholesale destruction by Parliamentarian troops of many religious and church buildings during the civil war of 1642 to 1651. Telegraph
VOA VIEW: Cromwell was a great savior of England.

Mueller defends his authority by giving a history lesson
Special counsel Robert Mueller gave a history lesson while defending his authority to investigate possible collusion between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russians. In a legal filing, Mueller cited scandals going back to former President James Garfield’s day in 1881 to make the point that attorneys general have long relied on special prosecutors, Politico reported Friday. Mueller is fighting an effort by Andrew Miller to avoid subpoenas. The former aide to Trump advisor Roger Stone doesn’t want to fork over documents or give testimony. A similar strategy failed for Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and a Russian company charged in connection to a Kremlin-linked online troll farm accused of targeting the American elections. NewYork Times
VOA VIEW: Mueller is a manipulative player.

Texas governor says 'bathroom bill' no longer on his agenda
Texas’ Republican governor said on Friday that legislation limiting transgender people’s access to bathrooms in public schools and government buildings is no longer a priority, signaling a slight change in his stance on a measure seen by critics as discriminatory. Governor Greg Abbott, who is running for re-election, made a “bathroom bill” one of his priority items in a legislative special session last year. But the measure died in the session after business leaders and civil rights groups fought back, saying it advanced bigotry, would tarnish the state’s image and damage its economy. Reuters

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