NEWS     SATURDAY,  OCTOBER  27, 2018    NEWS

‘Megyn Kelly Today’ canceled by NBC, co-anchors to take over
Megyn Kelly’s troubled hour of the NBC News flagship “Today” show has been canceled as the Peacock Network continues to deal with backlash surrounding it's now former host's recent “blackface” remarks.“’Megyn Kelly Today’ is not returning. Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other TODAY co-anchors,” an NBC News spokesperson told Fox News. The announcement came as Kelly’s legal team is in on-going talks with NBC News to negotiate her exit from the network -- she is halfway through a three-year mega contract that pays her $23 million per annum. The high-paid host’s rocky tenure at NBC is coming to an end after she made remarks about blackface on Tuesday during a segment about controversial Halloween costumes.  Fox
VOA VIEW: Kelly has been overrated.

Michael Avenatti's horrible, very bad week
Michael Avenatti, a presumptive 2020 presidential candidate, is in hot water after being hit an avalanche of legal, political, financial, and personal troubles, raising questions whether this is the beginning of the end for the firebrand lawyer who gained celebrity status thanks to his opposition to President Trump. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced on Thursday that Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick, who claimed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh engaged in sexual misconduct, were referred for criminal investigation for an alleged “conspiracy” to provide false statements to Congress. The Republican lawmaker cited contradictory statements by both Avenatti and Swetnick in media interviews and pointed to an NBC interview on Oct. 1, where Swetnick backtracked on her central claim that she saw Kavanaugh spiking punch at high school parties in the 1980s.On top of that, Avenatti was ordered on Monday to fork out nearly $5 million to an attorney at his former firm. In a separate trial the same day, his law firm was evicted from its offices in Orange County, California for unpaid rent. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Avenatti has been a loser who profited by the liberal media for attacking Trump.

Crowd yells "fake news," "CNN sucks" as Trump talks about "fake polls" in East Room
As President Trump attacks what he deemed “fake polls,” members of the crowd gathered in the East Room responded by shouting “fake news” and one yelled “CNN sucks." The outbursts came minutes after the President addressed the arrest made in connection to the suspicious packages sent to prominent Democrats, Trump critics and CNN. In his remarks, the President called for unity. CNN

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Papadopoulos considers withdrawing guilty plea to Mueller charges
Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos said Friday he’s considering withdrawing his plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller after learning “certain information” during an interview with House Republicans on Thursday. “Given certain information that I learned just yesterday – that I can't publicly disclose right now – I'm actually even considering withdrawing my agreement I have come to with the government,” Papadopoulos told “Fox and Friends” Friday morning.
Papadopoulos admitted to lying to federal investigators last year and was sentenced to 14 days in prison in September. ABC

Trump weighs options on executive action that would bar migrants, deny asylum at border
President Donald Trump is considering executive action that would bar migrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and seeking asylum, a senior administration official confirmed late Thursday to ABC News. Such a move would almost certainly be challenged in court. The push comes just 11 days before crucial midterm elections in which Democrats believe they have a chance to flip the House and several state governor races. That is a scenario that would present a serious challenge to Trump's agenda, which he has recently described as a "nationalist" approach that puts "America first." "The administration is considering a wide range of administrative, legal and legislative options to address the Democrat-created crisis of mass illegal immigration," the official told ABC News. ABC
VOA VIEW: There should be no chance of illegal entry into the US.

Package bomb suspect arrested, charged with 5 federal crimes
A suspect was arrested in the investigation of bombs sent to prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday. FBI Director Chris Wray identified the suspect as Cesar Sayoc. Sayoc was charged with five federal crimes, Sessions said during a nationally televised press conference. He faces up to 58 years in prison. Several law enforcement sources told CBS News that Sayoc was born in 1962. Records show that his full name is Cesar Altieri Sayoc and that he appears to have a criminal history in Broward County, Florida. A fingerprint was uncovered from a package bomb sent to Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, Wray said. CBS

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Sayoc once threatened to blow up a utility "worse than September 11th"
Bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc threatened to blow up a Florida utility company and said it would be "worse than September 11th," according to a 2002 police report from Miami Police Department obtained by CNN. Sayoc “contacted a rep Florida Power and Light Co… and threatened to blow up FPL and that ‘it would be worse than September 11th,’”according to the report. The document shows an individual reported that a call came in from “one of FP&L customer who threatened to blow up the building if FP&L turned off his light” and that the caller threatened the individual with “bodily harm.” CNN

NYT Defends Publishing Short Story Imagining Assassination of Trump
As the search continues for who is behind the pipe bombs that have been mailed to Democratic politicians and prominent liberals, The New York Times is defending its publication earlier this week of a fictional short story about “the president” being assassinated by a Russian. The story--titled "How It Ends"--ran Tuesday in a section headlined, “Five Novelists Imagine Trump’s Next Chapter."  CNSNews.com asked The New York Times why it was appropriate to run this short story that imagines the assassination of the president and whether the paper plans to publish any other stories imagining the president’s assassination. A NYT spokesperson responded by email, saying: “This is a bad faith inquiry, part of an attempt to manufacture a story.  CNS
VOA VIEW: NYT fails to retract its own ignorance.

IRS Employee Used Government Charge Card to Buy Amazon Prime Membership
An Internal Revenue Service employee used a federal government charge card to purchase an Amazon Prime membership, according to a report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). There are 2,562 IRS employees who have government charge cards, according to TIGTA, and in the six-month period from Oct. 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, they used those cards to make 16,980 purchases, spending $6.12 million in taxpayer dollars. The IRS, which is required to issue a report every six months listing “employee purchase card violations,” did not list the employee’s purchase of the Amazon Prime membership during the period in question (Oct. 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018).  CNS

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Trump meddling nudged Obamacare rates higher
President Trump’s fiddling with Obamacare will cause premiums for mid-tier health plans to be 16 percent higher than they would have been if he’d left the program alone, a nonpartisan study said Friday. After years of sticker-shock on President Obama’s legacy program, overall rates will rise modestly or even fall in some areas next year. Yet premiums for mid-priced silver plans “would be substantially lower still if not for several Trump administration-backed changes to private insurance markets,” the Kaiser Family Foundation said.  Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Liberal media and Dems deception.

Who is the US bomb suspect Cesar ayoc?
The man arrested on suspicion of making and sending 12 pipe bombs to opponents of President Donald Trump is a registered Republican who drove a van plastered with images of Mr Trump’s face, and has a long history of criminal behaviour. Cesar Sayoc, 56, has been arrested at least 10 times, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, once in 2002 for making a bomb threat and most recently in 2015 for a probation violation. Sayoc appears to have a Facebook profile under the name Cesar Altieri Randazzo, featuring videos and photos of him attending multiple rallies for Mr Trump, including at least one rally in Florida. The account has "liked" more than 100 conservative pages, including several anti-Clinton and pro-Trump groups. Telegraph

New 'Trojan horse' drug proves effective against antibiotic resistant bacteria
A new ‘Trojan horse’ antibiotic, able to bypass the defence mechanisms of several multidrug resistant bacteria, has proved promising in early clinical trials. Trials on 448 patients with a kidney or urinary tract infection found that the drug, cefiderocol, works as effectively as current treatments, according to a study published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal. The research comes after a new report from Public Health England found that bloodstream infections caused by antibiotic resistant bugs increased by 35 per cent between 2013 and 2017. If the current rate of resistance continues, by 2050 10 million people each year could die across the globe due to antibiotic resistance.  Telegraph

Obama takes aim at Trump during rally: Nobody during my administration got indicted
Former President Barack Obama took multiple swipes at his successor’s tenure in the White House during a series of fiery speeches Friday. At an evening rally in Detroit, MI., Obama mocked President Trump’s promise to drain the swamp saying that instead, “they have gone to Washington and just plundered away.” “In Washington they have racked up enough indictments to field a football team,” Obama said. “Nobody in my administration got indicted.” Earlier, at a rally in Milwaukee, WI., Obama brought up Hillary Clinton’s email server — accusing Republicans of harping on the issue to “scare the heck out of people before every election.” “In the last election, it was Hillary’s emails.  New York Post
VOA VIEW: Obama had the most corrupt and wasteful administration in history.

Trump supporter fired for wearing MAGA hat, suit claims
A former city employee in Indiana filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging he was fired over voicing support for President Trump and wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, a report says. Michael J. Dale, a former supervisor in the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, claims in the reverse discrimination lawsuit that he was unlawfully fired in April because of his “Caucasian” race, age and for engaging in free speech, the Indianapolis Star reported. “Defendants have treated significantly younger, non-Caucasian employees and employees who did not engage in protected speech … more favorably in discipline than it has treated Dale,” the lawsuit, obtained by the paper, alleges. Dale wore a “Make America Great Again” at work in 2016 and vocally supported then-candidate Trump in front of his co-workers, according to the lawsuit. It claims a local union representative later spoke at a staff meeting of Dale’s support for Trump. New York Post
VOA VIEW: Clear evidence of a double standard.

Trump boasts best first-term economy in 3 decades
President Trump will lead the GOP into the elections amid the best first-term economy in three decades. Real gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 3.5 percent in the last quarter, which ran from July through September, the government reported Friday. The last time a president had such a hot economy heading into the congressional elections in his first term was President Carter in 1978, who was sitting on a 4.1 percent growth rate. The country was in a recession in 1982, President Reagan’s first midterm, and was barely growing at less than 1 percent for President H.W. Bush. President Clinton managed a 2.4 percent rate, President George W. Bush oversaw a weaker 1.8 percent and President Obama had a solid 3 percent. Mr. Trump took office with growth at 1.8 percent his first quarter, then saw it quickly heat up. He’s since posted quarterly growth of 3 percent, 2.8 percent, 2.3 percent, 2.2 percent, 4.2 percent and now 3.5 percent. Washington Times

US defense chief: killing of writer is threat to stability
The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi “undermines regional stability” and the U.S. State Department plans to take further action in response to the killing, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday at an international conference in the Middle East. Mattis never mentioned Saudi Arabia directly in connection with the Oct. 2 slaying of Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. But he noted that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revoked visas of Saudis implicated in the killing of the Washington Post writer, and he said additional measures will be taken.  Seattle Times

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Microsoft President Brad Smith defends company’s work with U.S. military
Microsoft strongly defended its work with the U.S. military Friday, addressing a topic that has caused an employee backlash throughout the tech industry this year.
President Brad Smith wrote in a blog post that Microsoft is proud of its decades of technology contracts with the Department of Defense and will continue working to make sure the military has “access to the nation’s best technology, including from Microsoft.” The blog comes as top tech companies, including Microsoft, compete for a big Pentagon cloud-computing contract, and months after Microsoft employees questioned the company’s work with another government agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Smith acknowledged in his blog that not all Microsoft employees will agree with its work on defense projects.  Seattle Times

South, North Korea to withdraw guard posts, reduce military tension
North and South Korean officials agreed at a general-level military talk Friday to withdraw some of the front-line guard posts at the border. South Korea's Defense Ministry said the two Koreas agreed to close 11 guard posts at the border and remove armed forces and equipment at the posts by December. High-ranking North and South Korean military officials held talks on Friday to discuss measures to implement the military agreement, signed by leaders at a summit in September. South Korean Maj. Gen. Kim Do-gyun said the North and South will also start discussing withdrawing the rest of the guard posts from the border if the trial withdrawal proves to be successful.  UPI

Saudi FM says global outcry over Khashoggi 'hysterical'
Saudi Arabia's top diplomat said Saturday that the global outcry and media focus on the killing of a Saudi journalist earlier this month has become "hysterical" as he urged the public to wait for the results of an investigation before ascribing blame to the kingdom's top leadership. Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist critical of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed by Saudi agents at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. "This issue has become fairly hysterical," Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said. "I think people have assigned blame on Saudi Arabia with such certainty before the investigation is complete."
Some of those implicated in Khashoggi's killing are close to Prince Mohammed, who is the kingdom's heir apparent.  ABC
VOA VIEW: Reasonable request and evaluation.

President Trump bears 'no' responsibility in pipe bomb scare: VP Pence to ABC News
President Donald Trump bears "no" responsibility in the bomb scare involving explosive devices mailed to his political opponents, Vice President Mike Pence told ABC News in an exclusive interview Friday during a campaign swing in Roswell, New Mexico. Noting that the just-captured bombing suspect apparently attended a Trump rally and that there were multiple images of Pence and the president on what authorities said was his van, and given that the president has targeted Democrats, ABC White House Correspondent Tara Palmeri asked whether the president had "some responsibility" in the incident. "No, not at all," Pence responded. ABC News

The US is sending more troops to the border
Defense Secretary James Mattis has authorized the deployment of more troops to the US-Mexico border, the Pentagon announced Friday. The deployment will start with an undetermined number of forces heading to the border by the end of the month, and could eventually grow in size to 800 troops or more, a defense official said. It's a move aimed at sending a message as a migrant caravan makes its way through Mexico, bound for the US border, drawing the ire of President Trump. But it's important to note that even though troops are involved, the military isn't bracing for battle.  CNN
VOA VIEW: Good!

US mail bomb threats: How the suspect was apprehended
Cesar Sayoc, 56, has been arrested after a number of suspected mail bombs were sent to critics of US President Donald Trump, authorities say. The suspected bombs were found across the country, from New York to Los Angeles, and were reportedly crudely made and sent in similar envelopes. None of the packages exploded, and the suspect has been taken into custody. He faces five federal crime charges: interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of an explosive, threats against former presidents and other persons, threatening interstate communications and assaulting current and former federal officers. At a news conference on Friday, Justice Department officials announced Mr Sayoc was in the custody of the FBI. BBC

Mankind has a 50/50 chance of finding life on Mars within three years, scientists say
Mankind has a “50/50” chance of finding evidence of life on Mars within the next three years, scientists working on the upcoming rover mission predict. The British-led team currently conducting trials for the new ExoMars robot said plans to excavate deep below the Martian surface for the first time dramatically improve the odds of discovering past or present extraterrestrial life. Previous rover missions have mainly analysed surface rocks and topsoil. However, scientists believe the red planet’s thin atmosphere and corresponding intense radiation mean all but deeply hidden evidence of life will have been eradicated. Telegraph

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Turkey seeks extradition of suspects in Khashoggi killing
Turkey on Friday intensified its demands for Saudi Arabia to extradite 18 suspects in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a call that is likely to be met with resistance from the kingdom and could escalate tensions between the U.S.-allied regional powers. Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancée, meanwhile, gave an anguished and tearful TV interview in which she said she keeps asking herself if she had missed some signs and should have prevented him from entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 — questions that she says she cannot answer. The Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office submitted a request for Saudi Arabia to hand over the suspects in the killing, and the Turkey’s Foreign Ministry will formally notify the kingdom, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.  Seattle Times

Dodgers outlast Red Sox in 18-inning marathon to tighten World Series
Where does a World Series game go as it careens into its eighth hour and its 18th inning, after two great teams, the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, had whittled down to the worn, splintered ends of their rosters? What could possibly come next, in this epic Game 3, after two run-scoring throwing errors in the 13th inning, one of which broke a tie that had lasted for five tense innings, the other of which, an out away from completion, tied it again? When closure came, would anyone trust, in their delirium and exhaustion, that it was real? Washington Post

Trump says ‘we must unify’ at North Carolina rally after bomb plot
President Trump continued his rhetorical balancing act between consolation and condemnation at a campaign rally here Friday night, denouncing political violence but ramping up verbal attacks on the media and his Democratic rivals. With the nation on edge in the wake of a mail-bomb plot targeted at more than a dozen Democratic Party officials and supporters, Trump opened his remarks by pledging to do “everything in my power to stop” politically motivated attacks. Police have tied the bombs to a Trump supporter, Cesar Sayoc of Florida, and Trump said the perpetrator must be “prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”“Everyone will benefit if we can end the politics of personal destruction. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: The Dems and liberal media messed up, again.

Fiance of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi declines White House invitation
The fiance of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi says she declined President Donald Trump's invitation to the White House, explaining she believed the sentiment as one aimed at influencing public opinion in favor. Hatice Cengiz talked about her fiance in-depth with Haberturk, a Turkish media organization, marking her first televised interview since Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey. Trump said he wanted to invite Cengiz to the White House amid intensifying speculation that Khashoggi had been tortured, murdered and dismembered inside the consulate by Saudi officials. USA Today

Over 330,000 Congolese migrants at risk after mass deportations from Angola
This month, some 330,000 people have reportedly crossed from Angola into the Kasai, Kasai Central and Kwango provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), following an expulsion order by the Government of Angola targeting irregular migrants. “International law and the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights forbid the mass expulsion of non-nationals without individual assessment or other due process guarantees,” said the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. UN

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks about suspicious packages
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz weighed in on the suspicious packages from an assailant who put her return address on the packages. "It's deeply disturbing to have my name used that way," and "troubling" and "sinister," Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National Committee chair told reporters after she finished voting in Hollywood, Florida Friday. "You will be found, you will be prosecuted," she added, addressing the perpetrator. A number of prominent Democrats have been sent suspicious packages from an assailant who put Wasserman Schultz's return address on the packages.  CBS

White House invites Putin to visit Washington
The White House has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Friday. Putin and Trump have met several times on the sidelines of multilateral gatherings, but had only one bilateral summit, in the Finnish capital in July. “We have invited president Putin to Washington,” Bolton said. It was not immediately clear if Putin had accepted the invitation. New York Post

Migrant caravan: Mexico says it will offer work permits, health benefits to those who stay
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto unveiled a plan Friday to provide migrants in southern Mexico with temporary work permits and access to public health benefits, education and shelters. The plan targets the caravan of Central American migrants, which is winding its way through the southern state of Chiapas and shows few signs of petering out — even as the participants endure discomfort and diseases on their long daily treks. President Donald Trump has repeatedly pledged to deny the caravan entry into the United States. "You’re at home," Peña Nieto said in a Friday afternoon video statement.  USA Today

Trump, supporters defiant in wake of bombing accusations
Hours after the FBI arrested a Trump supporter and charged him with attempting to bomb Democrats, President Trump blasted the media for trying to “score political points” with its overwhelming focus on the man’s political leanings. And even as Mr. Trump called for lowering the heat of the political debate, his supporters at a campaign rally in North Carolina continued to chant the slogans such as “CNN sucks” that appear to have been favorites of the man accused of the bombings. The rally and Mr. Trump’s reaction suggested a defiant approach to the news of the arrest and to press coverage that attempted to lay blame for the series of pipe bombs at the foot of the president and his followers. Mr. Trump said it is the press that must change, altering the way it’s covered him and those GOP followers. He said coverage of his administration has been 94 percent negative. “We want honest coverage from the media. That’s all we want,” he said. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: The bomber was crazy way before Trump took office.

What we know now about the 14 suspicious packages
The three latest packages bring the total to 14 bomb-like devices. The FBI confirmed Friday that they had found a suspicious package "similar in appearance to the others" that was addressed to Democrat Sen. Cory Booker in Florida. A suspicious package was also recovered at Sen. Kamala Harris's office in Sacramento, California Friday. Another package was intercepted at a mail facility in Burlingame, California addressed to billionaire Tom Steyer. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was the target of another bomb-like device recovered in Manhattan, a person familiar with the matter told USA TODAY Friday.USA Today

Jamal Khashoggi was worried about consulate visit, says fiancee
The fiancee of the killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi has said he was worried about visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for his fateful appointment, but told her he did not think the authorities would dare to interrogate or arrest him in a foreign country. “His local network in Turkey was very good as you know, his political network as well,” Hatice Cengiz told the Turkish broadcaster Habertürk in an interview on Friday. “He thought Turkey is a safe country and if he would be held or interrogated, this issue would be swiftly solved.” Guardian

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