NEWS     TUESDAY,  OCTOBER  9, 2018    NEWS

Some anti-Kavanaugh protesters were paid, journalist reveals
A journalist embedded with anti-Kavanaugh protesters says that some protesters were in fact paid, as President Trump has alleged. “A lot of them were normal people who were mad,” said Vice D.C. bureau chief Shawna Thomas on ABC’s “This Week,” adding, “We also saw people who were organized.” She pointed to activists who confronted Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, in an elevator late last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, who has since been confirmed. “That moment with Jeff Flake on the Hill,” Ms. Thomas said. “We talked to one woman who works for UltraViolet who was paid — she helped steer people in the right ways to be able to confront senators.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Dems look very bad and they will pay heavy at midterm for their actions

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: We must 'eliminate the Electoral College'
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic socialist hoping to represent New York’s 14th Congressional District, declared over the weekend that the Electoral College is a racist American relic that must be abolished. “It is well past time we eliminate the Electoral College, a shadow of slavery’s power on America today that undermines our nation as a democratic republic,” the 28-year-old Boston University graduate tweeted to her 881,000 followers Saturday afternoon. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was commenting on a tweet by GQ magazine’s Julia Ioffe, who complained that the Electoral College has helped conservatives get elected.. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Cortez is a socialist idiot.

Hurricane Michael strengthens and advances on Florida Panhandle
Hurricane Michael continued to strengthen Monday evening as it moved toward the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Panhandle, the National Hurricane Center said. Michael was about 30 miles northwest of the western trip of Cuba and 520 miles south of Apalachiola, Fla., the NHC said in a 5 p.m. advisory Monday. The storm was moving north at 9 mph and strengthening with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. UPI

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Crackdown at U.S.-Mexico border shows asylum system in crisis
After a dramatic six months of vigorous immigration  enforcement at the Mexico border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is expected soon to release the full fiscal year's border apprehension statistics. Projected numbers, said Everard Meade, director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego, show about 370,000 people were apprehended at the southwestern border in the year ending Sept. 30. That would be down from a high of 1.6 million in 2000. UPI
VOA VIEW: American are losing to those who want to take over without firing a shot.

President Trump apologizes to Brett Kavanaugh and his family at ceremonial swearing-in as Supreme Court justice
Speaking at a swearing-in ceremony for Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the East Room of the White House Monday evening, President Trump apologized to Kavanaugh and his family "on behalf of our nation" for what he called a desperate Democrat-led campaign of "lies and deception" intent on derailing his confirmation. "On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure," Trump began. "Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception. What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency, and due process. In our country, a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty." Fox
VOA VIEW: Trump made great remarks.

Trump to chiefs of police: Cops are great, Kavanaugh accusers and critics are evil
President Donald Trump touted his commitment to law enforcement in Orlando on Monday, urging Chicago to adopt controversial “stop-and-frisk” policies and calling the critics and accusers of newly appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh “evil people.” “My administration will always cherish and support the men and women in blue and we are proud to do it,” Trump told hundreds of law enforcement officials gathered for a convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “We will always have your back, now and forever,” the president promised. Miami Herald

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Bill, Hillary Clinton to embark on speaking tour amid #MeToo backlash
Bill and Hillary Clinton on Monday announced they will embark on an international 13-city speaking tour shortly after November's midterm elections, with tickets running as high as $745 and speculation swirling that the former secretary of state could announce yet another presidential bid. The tour, which kicks off in Las Vegas, is set to run from November 2018 to May 2019. It will include several stops in the U.S. and Canada, and will cover the high-profile couple's thoughts on "one of the United States’ most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections," according to the event's organizer, Live Nation, which also handles speaking arrangements for former First Lady Michelle Obama and musicians like Taylor Swift and Jay-Z. Fox
VOA VIEW: How many fools are going to give up their money to listen to the Clinton fools.

Are wireless voting machines vulnerable? Florida, other states say they’re safe enough
Barely a month before midterm elections, voting integrity advocates and electronic voting experts want the federal government to issue an official warning to states that use voting machines with integrated cellular modems that the machines are vulnerable to hacks, potentially interfering with the ballot counting. Once seen as a useful tool to provide quick election results, voting machines with cellular modems are now subject to fierce debate over how easy it would be to break into them and change the results. Such machines are certified for use in Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Miami Herald

As Storms Keep Coming, FEMA Spends Billions in ‘Cycle’ of Damage and Repair
In the exact spot where Hurricane Katrina demolished the Plaquemines Parish Detention Center, a new $105 million jail now hovers 19 feet above the marsh, perched atop towering concrete pillars. Described by a state official as the “Taj Mahal” of Louisiana corrections, it has so much space that one of every 27 parish residents could bunk there. But on an average day in the first half of this year, more than 40 percent of its 872 beds went unoccupied, making it one of the emptiest jails in the state, records show. And because of its isolated, flood-prone location, the jail still must be evacuated before any major storm or risk becoming an accidental Alcatraz.
New York Times

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Mike Pence 'deeply troubled' about missing Saudi journalist
The White House has ended its six-day silence on the disappearance of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with the vice-president, Mike Pence, saying he was “deeply troubled” and warning that “the free world deserves answers”. A few hours earlier on Monday, Donald Trump made his first reference to the case, but was more tentative, telling reporters he was “concerned” about “some pretty bad stories” about Khashoggi’s fate. “Hopefully that will sort itself out,” the president said but added: “Right now nobody knows anything about it.” Other Saudi allies made statements on Monday. The UK foreign office said reports Khashoggi was abducted or killed by the Saudi government were “extremely serious allegations”. The French foreign ministry said Khashoggi was “a recognised and respected Saudi figure”. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Saudi Arabia has to must clear the air.

Trump makes nice with Rosenstein… for now
Former U.S. attorney Harry Litman, Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff, Fmr. DOJ Spokesman Matthew Miller and NYT’s Jim Rutenberg on Trump’s latest meeting with his deputy AG Rod Rosenstein weeks after the report indicating Rosenstein suggested recording the President. MSNBC

School under fire for turning blind eye to female students’ false sex assault allegations
A Pennsylvania high school has come under fire for its handling of false sexual assault allegations brought against a male student by five “mean girls” — who are accused of targeting the teen because they “just don’t like him.” School officials were forced to put out a statement on Monday defending their actions after local reports revealed that nothing was ever done to punish the female classmates. “The number-one priority of the Seneca Valley School District is the safety and well-being of our students, staff, parents and volunteers who enter our buildings,” the statement said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We have policies and procedures in place to protect individuals, and we communicate to all employees on these policies and work hard every day to provide a safe and caring learning environment for all.” New York Post

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Taylor Swift foray into politics sparks praise and fury
When pop megastar Taylor Swift praised two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee, she broke a years-long policy of keeping her politics to herself.
Her endorsements drew much praise but also a fierce backlash. Some white supremacists who have formed an odd cult following around the singer cried betrayal, while some more mainstream fans said she should have stuck to her music. On Monday, Donald Trump joined in, saying he now liked Swift’s music “about 25% less”.
Guardian
VOA VIEW: Swift has hurt her career.

How John Roberts will manage the Supreme Court's conservative majority
The confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh puts the US Supreme Court firmly on conservative terrain and Chief Justice John Roberts at a personal crossroads. If this court is going to break out of its predictable political mold on major legal controversies in America, it will be up to the inscrutable 63-year-old chief justice, whose ideology now lands him at the center of the bench, between the four liberals and the four most dependable conservatives. Yet unlike Anthony Kennedy, who Kavanaugh succeeded, Roberts is no centrist conservative with a record of joining the left on closely watched social policy disputes, such as to uphold abortion rights. The instincts of Roberts, who rose in Washington as he served Republican administrations, have always rested with the right wing. CNN

Columbus vs. Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and why there's still a push for a name change
Evanston made the change in 2016. Oak Park switched over in 2017. Both municipalities replaced Columbus Day (observed the second Monday in October) with Indigenous Peoples' Day on their city calendars. And while parades in honor of Columbus continue locally, dozens of cities, from Los Angeles to Cincinnati, have renamed the October holiday after activists pushed to shift the focus, arguing that Columbus was more responsible for violent colonization than the discovery of a new continent. “The first Indigenous Peoples' Day actually was in 1989 in South Dakota, but it’s been a growing movement ever since,” said Heather Miller, executive director of the American Indian Center in Chicago. “The day got a lot of recognition in 1992, when Berkeley, Calif., became the first city to rename the holiday Indigenous Peoples’ Day. That’s when this movement really started, and it’s been going and moving forward ever since then. I believe there are now 13 states that have made the change, and there’s a plethora of cities who have also made the change.” Chicago Tribune
VOA VIEW: Columbus Day should be forever.

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Global warming report, an 'ear-splitting wake-up call' warns UN chief
The IPCC, or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued the report from Incheon, Republic of Korea, where for the past week, hundreds of scientists and government representatives have been poring over thousands of inputs to paint a picture of what could happen to the planet and its population with global warming of 1.5°C (or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Limiting global warming will require “far-reaching and unprecedented changes” to human behaviour, according to the panel. "We are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of one of the IPCC Working Groups. This report by the world’s leading climate scientists is an ear-splitting wake-up call to the world. It confirms that climate change is running faster than we are – and we are running out of time - UN chief Guterres. UN

The trade war will hit US and Chinese growth next year, the IMF warns
The trade war is set to take its toll on the American and Chinese economies in 2019. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its growth forecasts for the United States and China, citing the recent waves of tariffs the world's top two economies have imposed on each other. The more pessimistic forecast comes as the clash between Washington and Beijing threatens to keep escalating. "Trade policy reflects politics, and politics remain unsettled in several countries, posing further risks," the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook. "The impacts of trade policy and uncertainty are becoming evident at the macroeconomic level, while anecdotal evidence accumulates on the resulting harm to companies." CNN

Puerto Rico's grim prognosis: The island may never recover
A year after Hurricane Maria swept across Puerto Rico, leaving some 2,975 people dead and knocking the economy on its back, it is becoming increasingly clear that the U.S. territory may never fully recover from the storm. Puerto Rico was already insolvent before the 2017 storm, with creditors and the island's government deep in negotiations about how to jumpstart the economy or strip it bare to pay off $70 billion owed to bondholders. And the island's government owes another $50 billion it doesn't have to cover current and future pensions. Even before Maria, half a million people had left Puerto Rico and its economy had been steadily shrinking since 2005. After the hurricane, there's even less to work with. CBS
VOA VIEW: PR needs to wise up and elect better people.

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UN ‘stands ready’ to support Haiti after earthquake hits northern coast – Guterres
“The Secretary-General is saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life and injuries caused by the earthquake in north-west Haiti on 6 October,” said a statement issued by Mr. Guterres’ spokesperson. The quake, which, according to press reports, struck overnight Saturday near Port-de-Paix, off Haiti's northern coast, has left at least 11 people dead and more than 100 wounded. Tremors were reportedly felt in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, as well as in neighboring Dominican Republic and in eastern Cuba. In today’s statement, the UN chief extended his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Haiti. “The United Nations stands ready to support the Government of Haiti in the response efforts,” the statement concluded. This is the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti since 2010, when the tiny island nation was devastated by a 7.3 magnitude temblor, which affected some three million people overall. UN

Ryan Zinke approves ban on new mining claims on public land near Yellowstone
.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke approved a 20-year ban on new mining claims in the towering mountains north of Yellowstone National Park on Monday, after two proposed gold mines raised concerns that an area drawing tourists from the around the globe could be spoiled. As Zinke signed the mineral ban at an outdoor ceremony in Montana's Paradise Valley, a bank of clouds behind him broke apart to reveal the snow-covered flank of Emigrant Peak. The picturesque, 10,915-foot mountain has been at the center of the debate over whether mining should be allowed. The former Montana congressman was joined by local business owners and residents who pushed for the ban after companies began drafting plans for new mines in an area frequented by wolves, elk, bears and other wildlife. "I'm a pro-mining guy. I love hardrock" mining, Zinke said. "But there are places to mine and places not to mine." CBS

Hurricane Michael live updates: Heading toward Florida, could be Category 3 at landfall
Hurricane Michael was upgraded from a tropical storm as it churns in the Gulf and is forecast to become a major Category 3 storm when it makes landfall in the Florida Panhandle later this week. Already a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, Michael is traveling north at a rate of 7 miles per hour. The National Hurricane Center predicts that Michael will reach major hurricane status on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning as it nears the coast with sustained winds of 120 mph. ABC

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