NEWS     WEDNESDAY,  OCTOBER  31, 2018    NEWS

McCarthy on Birthright Citizenship: Trump 'Right on Substance' But Executive Order Won't Work
Former U.S. attorney Andy McCarthy said Tuesday that President Trump is "right on the substance" when it comes to the 14th Amendment and potentially curbing birthright citizenship. In an interview with Axios, Trump said he intends to restrict birthright citizenship despite those who argue the 14th Amendment guarantees citizenship to all babies born in the United States. Fox
VOA VIEW: Birthright citizenship must end, the US is the only country that has it.

Migrant caravan’s leaders reportedly demand ‘safe and dignified’ transport as enthusiasm erodes
Morale appears to be eroding inside the migrant caravans pushing toward the United States, with members dropping out to return home, some opting to try their luck in Mexico and others demanding "safe and dignified transport," as the endless walking begins to take its toll. The first of the three caravans attempting the journey is still at least 1,000 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. A Fox News crew traveling with the leading caravan Tuesday observed migrants standing on a bridge outside of the town of Niltepec, hoping to get rides in vehicles, while others looked to get on board buses that lined up. Fox
VOA VIEW: Illegal action should not make demands.

Local, national officials decline to appear with Trump in Pittsburgh
Local and national officials are declining to appear with President Donald Trump on Tuesday as he visits a grieving Pittsburgh, where funerals for slain congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue were beginning. Trump, accompanied by the First Lady and prominent Jewish members of his administration -- including daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin -- arrived in the stricken city just before 4 p.m. ET. He was expected to visit with wounded law enforcement officers and pay respects to the dead amid ongoing funeral observances for the mostly elderly victims.  CNN
VOA VIEW: The Rabbi of the congregation said it was a welcomed visit.

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Saudi ties to US colleges come under mounting scrutiny
U.S. colleges and universities have received more than $350 million from the Saudi government this decade, yet some are rethinking their arrangements in the wake of the killing of a journalist that has ignited a global uproar against the oil-rich nation. The Associated Press analyzed federal data and found that at least $354 million from the Saudi government or institutions it controls has flowed to 37 American schools since 2011. Much of the money was provided through a scholarship program that covers tuition for Saudis studying in the U.S., but at least $62 million came through contracts or gifts from the kingdom's nationally owned companies and research institutes, the AP found. ABC
VOA VIEW: Most colleges are liberal.

Alleged scheme to pay women to fabricate sexual assault allegations against Mueller referred to FBI
An alleged scheme to pay women to fabricate claims of sexual assault against special counsel Robert Mueller has been referred to the FBI, the special counsel's office confirmed to CBS News. "When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the special counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation," special counsel spokesman Peter Carr said in a statement to CBS News. The special counsel's office did not go into detail about the allegations or who is behind them. CBS
VOA VIEW: This sounds like a liberal scheme.

CDC director says they're "poised" to do more gun research if Congress funds it
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the CDC is "poised" for additional research on the causes of gun violence if Congress chooses to give it additional funding. According to Redfield, how the CDC prioritizes its spending is largely driven by where "Congress puts the priority to want to fund us." "We have a program called the National Violent Surveillance System… and so, we currently are recording violent deaths from all causes, including firearms. And so that is, that's ongoing," Redfield said. CBS

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US mid-term elections 2018: Why this year's congressional elections matter
November's midterm elections will mark two years since Donald Trump's shock election victory – the first test of how his Republican party is faring in the eyes of the American public. The midterms is the name given to the combination of elections for the US Congress, governorships and local races that take place every two years.
Republicans currently control the House of Representatives and the Senate – the two chambers which make up the US Congress. But pundits have suggested the elections may see a so-called “blue wave” of Democrats sweeping into power. A liberal base hoping to derail Mr Trump's agenda has energised activists in key races, out-fundraising and out-polling a host of Republican incumbents. Telegraph

Paul Ryan shoots down Trump’s plan to end birthright citizenship
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday threw cold water on President Trump’s plan to unilaterally end the constitutional right to citizenship for babies born in the States to non-citizens.“You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order,” the Wisconsin Republican said during an interview with Lexington, Kentucky, radio station WVLK. “Well, you obviously cannot do that. You know, as a conservative, I’m a believer in following the plain text of the Constitution, and I think in this case the 14th Amendment is pretty clear, and that would involve a very, very lengthy constitutional process,” he said. With the midterms days away, Trump has said he wants to unilaterally end the constitutional right to citizenship for babies born in the States to non-citizens. New York Post

Justice Department reportedly probing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
The feds are investigating Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke over whether he used his office for personal gain, following a referral from the department’s inspector general.
The inspector general’s office looked at multiple incidents involving Zinke, including the department’s handling of a Connecticut casino project, whether the boundaries for Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument were redrawn to benefit a Utah state lawmaker, and conversations between Zinke and Halliburton chief David Lesar about a Montana land project, sources told CNN and the Washington Post. New York Post

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Trump, self-described ‘nationalist,’ turns midterms into a forum on American identity
President Trump, a self-styled “nationalist” who has warned of an “invasion” of refugees from Central America, is making the fundamental question of American identity the centerpiece of his closing argument in the midterm elections. Trump’s hard-line rhetoric on immigration has been a hallmark of his political brand for years, and Republican candidates have largely followed his lead throughout the 2018 campaign. But Tuesday, with emotions still raw over the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre and a string of mail bombs sent to Trump critics, the president took his efforts to a new level — vowing to issue an executive order to curtail birthright citizenship.
Washington Post
VOA VIEW: America has a real America First president.

Mueller probes Roger Stone’s interactions with Trump campaign
Special counsel's investigation conitnues pressing witnesses about longtime Trump ally Roger Stone’s private interactions with senior campaign officials and whether he had knowledge of politically explosive Democratic emails that were released in October 2016. As part of his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III appears to be focused on the question of whether WikiLeaks coordinated its activities with Stone and the campaign, including the group’s timing, the people said. Stone and WikiLeaks have adamantly denied being in contact. On Friday, Mueller’s team questioned Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, about claims Stone is said to have made privately about WikiLeaks before the group released emails that prosecutors say were hacked by Russian operatives, according to people familiar with the session. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Mueller is anti Trump and Republicans.

Trump suggests he will end birthright citizenship with executive order
Donald Trump has insisted he will move to end the right to American citizenship for the children of non-citizens born in the US, a pledge he made frequently throughout the 2016 campaign and one often dismissed by scholars as legally unfeasible. Birthright citizenship, as it is referred to in the US, is enshrined by the 14th amendment to the constitution. But Trump suggested in an interview with the news site Axios that he would sign an executive order that ended the right. Any such order would probably be immediately challenged in the courts. The comments came as the administration hardens its already extreme line on immigration in an effort to win the midterm elections next week. Guardian

Mexico town devastated by earthquake welcomes thousands from migrant caravan
An impoverished Mexican town nearly flattened by a 2017 earthquake has welcomed thousands of tired and hungry Central American migrants in quiet defiance of Donald Trump’s condemnation of the group. As Trump ordered 5,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to block the migrant caravan, residents of the southern town of Niltepec – who still live among piles of rubble that once were their homes – welcomed the caravan with homemade soup, medical tents, and diapers for children. “We wish we had a space dignified enough to offer our visitors,” said Zelfareli Cruz Medina, Niltepec’s mayor. Guardian

Biden laments Trump-era tone, offers possible 2020 preview
Former Vice President Joe Biden bemoaned the tone of Trump-era politics at a campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday, previewing on his first trip to the leadoff caucus state how he might take on the Republican president should he seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. “It’s our leaders who need to set the tone and dial down the temperature and restore some dignity to our national dialogue,” Biden said in Cedar Rapids while stumping for Iowa’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate and a House candidate from northeast Iowa. Biden was on a trip across the Midwest campaigning for Democrats in states that President Donald Trump carried in 2016. But the Iowa stop had special significance as Biden weighs a third bid for the presidency. New York Post
VOA  VIEW: Biden has no chance against Trump.

Top former intel official says Singapore summit was "serious misstep"
The Trump administration committed a "serious misstep" in arranging the Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to top former Treasury official and former CIA deputy director David Cohen. Kim's face-to-face meeting with President Trump – and the president's subsequent declarations about North Korea's nuclear threat – may have diminished the world's resolve to enforce sanctions against Kim's regime, Cohen said. "We had President Trump, I think quite prematurely, jump into this summit with Kim Jong-un," Cohen explained, "and then on the way out of Singapore, declare that the problem has been solved." CBS

Iranians feel the impact of U.S. sanctions while bracing for more
Iranians are bracing for a new round of U.S. sanctions that President Trump plans to impose as early as next Monday. According to the White House, one of the main goals of the sanctions is to pressure Iran's government into negotiating a new and improved nuclear deal. CBS News was in Tehran for a day of mourning in Iran's religious calendar, as thousands of the devout joined a solemn procession. There wasn't a soul in the crowd that hasn't already felt the bite of U.S. sanctions that were reimposed in August. Mr. Trump says he has no quarrel with the Iranian people, but they're already hurting. Iran's currency has plunged 70 percent against the U.S. dollar. That means everything, starting with basics like food and medicine, is more expensive. Millions are struggling, including Sarah Abadan. CBS

Sanders, finishing campaign blitz, avoids Trump's comments on birthright citizenship
Coming to the end of a nine-state campaign blitz just a week before the midterms, Sen. Bernie Sanders had harsh words for President Donald Trump, calling him the "most racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted president in history," but declined to dig into the main storylines the president has fueled over the past week. "[Democrats] are working to make certain that the agenda of the most racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted president in history will go nowhere because Democrats will control the House and the Senate," Sanders said, speaking at a rally just north of Washington, D.C., for Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous. But Sanders, who called the upcoming election "the most important midterm election in the history of the United States of America," refrained from commenting on Trump-related news of day. ABC

Okinawa leader wants Americans to stop US base
The bicultural, newly elected governor of the southern Japanese island of Okinawa plans to visit the United States with a message to the American people: Stop building a disputed military base and build peace instead. Tamaki took office Oct. 4 after campaigning for a disputed U.S. Marine air base to be moved off the island and for the American military presence on Okinawa to be reduced. The small island hosts about half of the 54,000 American troops stationed in Japan and accounts for 64 percent of the land used for U.S. military bases. Tamaki plans to visit New York and other U.S. cities in November, although dates and other details are not yet decided, according to the governor's office." Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: Okinawa could lose US support.

Ted Cruz sticks up for Alex Jones after Facebook ban
Sen. Ted Cruz criticized Facebook and defended Alex Jones over the weekend after the social media giant temporarily banned the ring-wing conspiracy theorist from its site. "[I] am no fan of Jones— among other things he has a habit of repeatedly slandering my Dad by falsely and absurdly accusing him of killing JFK— but who the hell made Facebook the arbiter of political speech?" Cruz asked on Twitter. "Free speech includes views you disagree with." Facebook banned Jones for 30 days last week after he threatened former FBI director and special counsel Robert Mueller. " Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: Facebook needs to reduced to size - small.

As special counsel closes in, Roger Stone suits up for legal battle
Longtime Republican political operative Roger Stone is gearing up for battle with special counsel Robert Mueller after a parade of witnesses has appeared before a grand jury to be grilled about their relationship with Stone during critical moments of the 2016 presidential campaign. Sources tell ABC News that Stone, a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, quietly expanded his legal team in recent months, hiring prestigious Florida attorney Bruce Rogow, who will be Stone’s lead attorney on all matters related to the office of the special counsel and all constitutional matters, such as first amendment issues that may arise. ABC

Yemen war: Mattis and Pompeo urge swift ceasefire
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both called for a swift cessation of hostilities in Yemen. Mr Mattis said the US wanted to see all sides around the negotiating table and an end to air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition it supports within 30 days. Separately, Mr Pompeo said UN-led negotiations to help end the three-year war should resume next month. The UN says the conflict has caused the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Last week, UN aid chief Mark Lowcock warned that half of the country's population - about 14 million people - were entirely reliant on external aid for survival and were "pre-famine conditions".  BBC

Nato holds biggest military exercise since Cold War
Nato, the organisation which brings together the armies of various countries, is holding its biggest military exercise since the Cold War, rehearsing how it would respond to the invasion of an ally. The operation, Trident Juncture, started last week and involves all 29 Nato members, as well as Finland and Sweden. It's taking place a few hundred miles from Norway's border with Russia, amid rising tension between both sides. But Nato denies it is targeted at a specific country. BBC

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Kanye West distances himself from Blexit and Trump
Kayne West is done with politics and his bromance with President Donald Trump may be over. The controversial rapper, who has become one of Trump's highest-profile celebrity supporters, took to Twitter Tuesday to say he has become a political pawn. "My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in," West, 41, tweeted. He continued: "I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!" His latest revelation came after a series of tweets, where the rapper sought to clear his name after the Blexit campaign revealed a line of shirts and hats that proudly tout, "Design by Kanye West." "Blexit" is short for "Black Exit," urging black voters to leave the Democratic Party. "I introduced Candace (Owens) to the person who made the logo and they didn’t want their name on it so she used mine," West stated. "I never wanted any association with Blexit." USA Today
VOA VIEW: The real truth is ...

Mail bomb suspect had planned attacks since July
The man accused of sending bomb-like devices to at least 15 high-profile Democratic lawmakers, celebrities and CNN had been planning since at least July, according to a letter filed Tuesday night in federal court. Cesar Sayoc, 56, was arrested Friday after a string of packages containing explosives were discovered across the country. A letter from prosecutors sent to U.S. Judge Edwin Torres in Miami details some of the evidence against Sayoc and argues he should stay behind bars until his trial, which prosecutors plan to hold in New York. USA Today

Amazon dealt $250 billion blow from market jitters and confusion
Fears of a prolonged market downturn, slowing international sales, stepped-up competition in the U.S. and flat-out confusion about how Amazon makes money are all reasons behind the company’s dizzying 25 percent drop in value from its September high. The world’s largest online retailer had been an investor darling, with shares more than doubling over the past two years on optimism that Amazon would continue to gobble up sales while increasing profitability. Enthusiasm about Amazon’s sustained growth made CEO Jeff Bezos the world’s wealthiest man and Amazon the second U.S. company to reach $1 trillion in market value, albeit briefly. But the company’s quarterly results published Thursday told a different story, and Amazon issued a disappointing revenue and profit forecast for the busy holiday period. Seattle Post

Trumps pay tribute at synagogue where 11 were fatally shot
One stone and one white rosebud for each victim. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump paid homage Tuesday to each of the 11 people slain in the worst instance of anti-Semitic violence in American history. As the Trumps placed their tributes outside the Tree of Life synagogue, protesters nearby shouted that the president was not welcome. The emotional, dissonant scene reflected the increasingly divided nation that Trump leads, one gripped by a week of political violence and hate and hurtling toward contentious midterm elections that could alter the path of a presidency. On their arrival in Pittsburgh, the Trumps entered the vestibule of the synagogue, where they lit candles for each victim before stepping outside.  Seattle Post

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U.S. Military Sending Miles and Miles of Concertina Wire to SW Border
"By the end of this week, we will deploy over 5,200 soldiers to the Southwest Border," Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, head of the U.S. Northern Command, told a news conference on Monday. "That is just the start of this operation. We'll continue to adjust the numbers and inform you of those." The 5,200 active duty troops are in addition to the 2,092 National Guard troops deployed earlier this year. The soldiers will "harden the points of entry and address key gaps in areas around the points of entry." And that's not all: "We have enough concertina wire to cover up to 22 miles already deployed to the border. We have additional concertina wire that we can string, with over 150 miles available. CNS

Pittsburgh Rabbi on President’s Visit: Trump Is ‘Always Welcome’
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life Synagogue, where a gunman killed 11 people on Saturday in Pittsburgh, said Monday that he welcomes President Donald Trump’s visit. “The president of the United States is always welcome. I’m a citizen. He’s my president. He’s certainly welcome,” Myers said when asked whether he wants the president to visit. The White House announced Monday that Trump and first lady Melania Trump are planning to visit the Steel City to pay their respects to the victims.  CNS

Democrats 'should be worried' about losing black voters ahead of midterms
President Donald Trump said his party plans to woo African-American voters ahead of the contentious midterm elections next week, and that Democrats should be "worried." "I mean, we have the best numbers we've ever had. And I sometimes jokingly say, 'It's going to be awfully tough to beat me in a debate when I have the best numbers ever produced,'" Trump said Monday. "So I think they should be worried -- they should be worried about the African-Americans because they're going to lose them." Trump made the comments Monday night in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, who asked him if his White House meeting with rapper Kanye West helped increase his poll numbers.  ABC

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Donald Trump uses immigration fears to 'sow division' before midterms
But it is a different picture among actual voters in the deep south state, where the issue does not seem to have registered. Nor is the conversation among Georgians even one, seemingly, much about their own Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams. Rather, they seem to be proxies for a fierce national conversation that has been ongoing since 2016: the racial and social divisions percolating since Donald Trump’s election. Across Atlanta, its suburbs and beyond into the countryside, the majority of Georgians who spoke with the Guardian said they were voting in reaction to national politics and Trump, not necessarily local issues or specific policies endorsed by candidates.  Guardian
VOA VIEW: There has never been more division than comes from Dems like Waters and Pelosi.

Pittsburgh shooter was fringe figure in online world of white supremacist rage
After he was taken into custody, the gunman who allegedly murdered 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue told a law enforcement officer his motive: he believed Jews “were committing a genocide to his people”. The “genocide” comment, described in the criminal complaint against Robert Bowers, mirrors the online trail of white supremacist comments posted by a “Robert Bowers” on Gab, a social network popular with extremists. Together, the law enforcement account and social media profile suggest that the alleged gunman was deeply familiar with the current conversations within white nationalist groups, and that he may have been radicalized online.
Bowers’ neighbors in Pittsburgh told reporters that the 46-year-old had shown no obvious signs of violence or extremism, and that he did not even have any bumper stickers on his car.  Guardian

Denmark accuses Iran of activist murder plot
Denmark has accused Iran of planning to assassinate an Iranian activist on its soil. The target is believed to be a member of an Arab separatist movement, Denmark's intelligence service said. A Norwegian of Iranian background was arrested in Sweden on 21 October in connection with the alleged plan. Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen described the suspected plot as "totally unacceptable" and said the EU would discuss further action. Authorities conducted a massive manhunt on 28 September which led to travel between Denmark and Sweden being suspended. On Tuesday, Danish intelligence chief Finn Borch Andersen confirmed the measures had been taken to prevent the planned attack. BBC

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