NEWS     SATURDAY,  NOVEMBER  3, 2018    NEWS

'Sanctions are Coming': Trump invokes 'Game of Thrones' to announce Iran crackdown
They might not be as terrifying as the White Walkers or Khaleesi's dragons, but the Trump administration's new sanctions on Iran were announced Friday with the help of a "Game of Thrones"-inspired parody poster declaring: "SANCTIONS ARE COMING." The rollout initially was executed in traditional Washington fashion: a conference call, a press release, a formal White House tweet. The headline was that the administration, as expected, would restore the final round of sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the controversial 2015 Iran nuclear deal -- though there would be exemptions for eight countries. But then President Trump stepped in with extra flair, tweeting the following meme from the Westeros Wing: Fox
VOA VIEW: Obama's pay back to Iran has stopped.

Wallace: Trump's Immigration Rhetoric Will Be 'Second-Guessed' by GOP If Dems Win House
"Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace said President Trump's rhetoric on immigration will be questioned if the Democrats retake the House of Representatives in Tuesday's midterm elections. On Thursday, just days before voters head to the polls, Trump announced that, in response to what he called the "crisis at our southern border" and a surge of fraudulent asylum claims, his administration would require asylum-seekers to "lawfully present themselves" at a port of entry. Trump's planned "comprehensive" executive order on immigration-related matters -- which he said would come next week -- appears to be in response to a caravan of thousands of migrants headed toward the U.S. border. Fox
VOA VIEW: Dems will not win on November 6 - so there is no if.

The US economy added better-than-expected 250,000 jobs in October
The US economy added 250,000 jobs in October, significantly exceeding expectations, the government announced Friday. The unemployment rate remained at 3.7%, a 49-year low. Hispanic unemployment reached its lowest rate ever, at 4.4%. Wages grew 3.1%, relatively robust growth after years of stagnant paychecks. The numbers give President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans a positive talking point as they head into the midterm elections next Tuesday, even amidst turmoil on the major stock exchanges over the past few weeks. Trump, along with other top White House aides, cheered the report on Twitter Friday morning. CNN
VOA VIEW: Good job, Trump.

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Alec Baldwin arrested in New York
Actor Alec Baldwin was arrested Friday for assault related to a dispute over a parking spot, according to New York police.  NYPD Lieutenant John Grimpel told CNN the incident occurred on 10th Street in Manhattan but did not elaborate on the circumstances. A 49-year-old man sustained an injury to the left jaw after being punched and was taken to a local area hospital to be treated, according to police. Baldwin is in custody at the 6th precinct and charges are pending, the NYPD said. CNN
VOA VIEW: Balwin is an idiot.

Michael Moore Refuses to Make Election Prediction
Leftist film-maker Michael Moore filled out his absentee ballot on NBC's "Late Night" with Seth Meyers Thursday, urging other like-minded liberals to please-oh-please vote, so "we can throw all the bastards out." Moore was one of the few liberals who sounded an alarm in 2016, when Donald Trump was gaining on Clinton, while Clinton and her supporters were already celebrating a victory that never happened. "You actually believed that Donald Trump was going to win," Seth Meyers told Moore.  CNS
VOA VIEW: Dems will lose big.

Trump: ‘The Fake News Is Creating Violence’
President Donald Trump accused the “fake news” of “creating violence by not writing the truth.” While taking questions on the South Lawn of the White House prior to leaving for Huntington, W.Va., a reporter asked whether Trump was creating violence with his rhetoric. “No, you’re creating violence by your question,” he said, adding that “a lot of the reporters are creating violence by not writing the truth.”  “The fake news is creating violence, and you know what? The people that support Trump and the people that support us, which is a lot of people, most people, many people. Those people know when a story is true and they know when a story is false, and I’ll tell you what. CNS
VOA VIEW: The American voters will make the final decision - bad news for Dems.

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Oprah leads charge of celebrities canvassing and encouraging people to vote in the midterms
With less than a week until November's midterm elections, celebrities and influencers alike are employing unique strategies to urge people to get out and vote. From harnessing social media power by sharing posts with millions of viewers to door-to-door canvassing, stars on both sides of the political spectrum are making their voices heard. While the effects of these public pleas from the famous remain to be seen, awareness around voting and political activism has increased dramatically in recent months.  ABC
VOA VIEW: Abrams and Dems will lose on Tuesday.

US, Turkey lift sanctions imposed in case of detained pastor
Turkey and the U.S. on Friday lifted sanctions on senior government officials that had been imposed during the diplomatic standoff over the arrest of American pastor Andrew Brunson, officially ending a case that had strained relations between the two NATO members. The Treasury Department said it was lifting the sanctions on Turkish Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu, while Turkey removed its retaliatory measures against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.  ABC

Democrats refuse to take Trump's home stretch bait
Democrats are refusing to take President Donald Trump's bait. In the run-up to next Tuesday's crucial midterm elections, Trump's push to turn out his base has included a raft of divisive policy proposals, controversial political statements and even a racially charged ad from his re-election campaign. He's announced that he's contemplating a plan to roll back protections for transgender students, sending a war-sized force of U.S. troops to the southern border with instructions to shoot migrants if they throw rocks, and writing an executive order ending the 14th Amendment's guarantee of citizenship for those born inside American borders. NBC
VOA VIEW: Liberal media fake news.

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Obama warns against rhetoric of fear in U.S. congressional races
Former U.S. President Barack Obama warned against rhetoric he said was designed to sow fear at rally supporting Democratic candidates on Friday, a packed day of campaigning that will also see his successor, Donald Trump, on the road urging voters to keep his Republican Party in control of Congress. Obama hit on a common closing campaign theme of Democratic campaigns - defending the 2010 healthcare law that was his signature domestic achievement - while also urging Americans not to embrace hostility and division in politics. That came as Trump has hammered relentlessly on his hard-line immigration theme in his frequent rallies supporting Republican candidates in Tuesday’s elections, painting a grim and sometimes misleading impression of his rivals’ political goals. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Obama is going to prove to be "nothing burger."

Twitter deletes over 10,000 accounts that sought to discourage U.S. voting
Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) deleted more than 10,000 automated accounts posting messages that discouraged people from voting in Tuesday’s U.S. election and wrongly appeared to be from Democrats, after the party flagged the misleading tweets to the social media company. “We took action on relevant accounts and activity on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesman said in an email. The removals took place in late September and early October. Twitter removed more than 10,000 accounts, according to three sources familiar with the Democrats’ effort.  Reuters

Over 1,600 scientists condemn Trump transgender proposal
Over 1,600 scientists have signed a letter condemning a proposal by the Trump administration to define gender as biological and established at birth. Signatories to the letter, including nine Nobel laureates, accuse the Trump government of citing "pseudoscience". "This proposal is fundamentally inconsistent not only with science, but also with ethical practices, human rights, and basic dignity," it states. The government proposal was leaked to the New York Times last week. BBC

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US wage growth hits nine-year high
Wages in the US grew at their fastest pace for nine years last month, the latest official figures show. The US Labor Department said wages grew at an annual rate of 3.1% in October, accelerating from a rate of 2.8% the month before. The economy also added 250,000 jobs last month, beating expectations, while the jobless rate remained at 3.7%. The report quickly became fodder for political debate ahead of next week's high stakes congressional election. President Donald Trump celebrated the figures on Twitter as "incredible" and urged his followers to "Vote Republican". In an unusual move, the White House also organised a briefing call for reporters to promote the gains. The top Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York, issued a statement of his own, aiming to redirect voter attention.

Trump slams legacy of 'Barack H. Obama' on campaign trail
President Trump condemned the legacy of former President Barack Obama Friday night with one withering blast at a campaign rally in Indiana. Campaigning for Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun, Mr. Trump noted that Mr. Obama will be stumping in the state this weekend for incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly. "It’s no surprise that Joe Donnelly is holding a rally this weekend with Barack H. Obama,” Mr. Trump said. Then he let loose on his predecessor, who has criticized Mr. Trump as dishonest. Washington Times

U.S. restores Iran sanctions lifted under Obama nuclear deal
The Trump administration on Friday restored U.S. sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, but carved out exemptions for eight countries that can still import oil from the Islamic Republic without penalty. The sanctions take effect Monday and cover Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors. They are the second batch the administration has re-imposed since Trump withdrew from the landmark accord in May. Washington Times

N. Korea threatens to resume nuke development over sanctions
North Korea has warned it could revive a state policy aimed at strengthening its nuclear arsenal if the United States does not lift economic sanctions against the country.
The statement released by the Foreign Ministry Friday evening came amid a sense of unease between Washington and Seoul over the use of sanctions and pressure to get the North to relinquish its nuclear program. The ministry said North Korea could bring back its "pyongjin" policy of simultaneously advancing its nuclear force and economic development if the United States doesn't change its stance.  Tampa Tribune
VOA VIEW: Typical NK threat to go back on its own word.

Races to Watch on Election Night 2018
To say that there’s a lot riding on the midterm elections would be an understatement. For Democrats, it’s a chance to take over the House of Representatives and serve as a check on President Trump’s administration and a (likely) Republican-led Senate. For Republicans, it’s an opportunity to press forward on reforms to healthcare and tax policy that evaded them in the first two years of the Trump presidency. This election also comes at a critical time for the tech industry, when members of both parties are beginning to challenge the dominance of companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple. Wired

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Supreme Court refuses to block young people’s climate lawsuit against U.S. government
The Supreme Court on Friday night refused to halt a novel lawsuit filed by young Americans that attempts to force the federal government to take action on climate change, turning down a request from the Trump administration to stop it before trial. The suit, filed in 2015 by 21 young people who argue that the failure of government leaders to combat climate change violates their constitutional right to a clean environment, is before a federal judge in Oregon. It had been delayed while the Supreme Court considered the emergency request from the government. The court’s three-page order said the government should seek relief from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.  Washington Post

Former generals worry that Trump’s border mission uses troops as a political tool
President Trump’s decision to send as many as 15,000 troops to the southern border has drawn sharp and unusual criticism from former military leaders, who have called the deployment “wasteful” and raised worries that the president might be using the military as a political tool to influence the midterm elections just days away.
“The military has all of a sudden been placed in a highly politicized environment regarding immigration,” retired Lt. Gen. David Barno, who commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said of the surge of troops to the border.  Washington Post
VOA VIEW: There are liberal generals.

'I was angry and I sent it': Another Kavanaugh accuser referred to FBI after recanting
Just days before the midterm elections, Sen. Chuck Grassley asked the federal authorities on Friday to investigate another person he says made false claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Grassley, in a letter to the Justice Department and FBI, said a woman by the name of Judy Munro-Leighton took responsibility for authoring an anonymous letter that made allegations that Kavanaugh and a friend raped her. After she was tracked down and interviewed by Senate investigators, the woman recanted and said she was not the author and had never met Kavanaugh. USA Today

Alec Baldwin denies he 'punched anyone over a parking spot' after arrest, assault charge
Alec Baldwin is flatly denying he "punched anyone over a parking spot" prior to his arrest on Friday. Baldwin was arrested and charged with assault in New York after allegedly punching a man over a parking dispute, police told USA TODAY. Baldwin called the situation "egregiously misstated" in a response posted on a Twitter account for the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation. USA Today

Founder of World Wide Web ‘disappointed’ in what it has become
Silicon Valley technology giants such as Facebook and Google have grown so dominant they may need to be broken up, unless challengers or changes in taste reduce their clout, the inventor of the World Wide Web told Reuters. The digital revolution has spawned a handful of US-based technology companies since the 1990s that now have a combined financial and cultural power greater than most sovereign states. Tim Berners-Lee, a London-born computer scientist who invented the web in 1989, said he was disappointed with the current state of the internet. New York Post
VOA VIEW: Facebook and Google must be split.

Trump admits Republicans could lose the House at rally
But in a state he won handily in 2016, and before a crowd more subdued than usual, the president appeared to admit for the first time that Republicans might lose control of the House of Representatives.  "It could happen," Trump said. "And you know what you do? My whole life, you know what I say? 'Don't worry about it, I'll just figure it out.'" Trump said. The president was stumping for Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's Senate bid and Carol Miller's run for the House of Representatives. Both are in close -- and at times nasty -- races against Democrats Richard Ojeda and incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin. ABC

President Trump says US troops 'don't have to fire' at migrants throwing rocks
President Donald Trump says that U.S. military personnel “don’t have to fire” at migrants if they throw rocks as they attempt to cross the border, walking back comments Thursday where he seemed to threaten force against alleged unruly members of the approaching caravan. Asked on Thursday whether the troops he's ordered to the border might fire on migrants, Trump initially told reporters, “They’re throwing rocks viciously and violently. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military is going to fight back … we will consider that a firearm.” Reporters pressed Trump on Friday to explain the rules of engagement between U.S. military personnel and a migrant caravan traveling through Mexico.  ABC

Afghanistan: US service member killed in 'apparent insider attack'
A member of the US armed forces was killed and another was wounded on Saturday in an apparent insider attack in the Afghan capital Kabul, the Nato-led Resolute Support mission said. The attack is the latest in a series of “green-on-blue” attacks in which members of the Afghan forces have killed US or coalition advisers this year and follows the death of a Czech soldier in the western province of Herat last month. “Initial reports indicate the attacker was a member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces,” the Nato-led mission said in a statement. “Initial reports also indicate the attacker was immediately killed by other Afghan forces.” Guardian

Brett Kavanaugh to be denied inaugural walk down supreme court steps
The US supreme court issued a statement on Friday to say that its newest judge, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, will not take the traditional walk down the courthouse steps after his ceremonial installation – because of security concerns. Kavanaugh’s investiture ceremony is scheduled for Thursday morning in the courtroom of the majestic building in Washington. It is customary for a new justice admitted to the highest court in the land then to walk down the 44 marble steps in front of the building, accompanied by the chief justice. The moment provides a chance for news organizations to photograph the justice, since the courtroom event is closed to cameras. Guardian

Police tape surrounds the Tree of Life Synagogue. Friday, Pittsburgh's Jews worshiped there anyway
With police tape marking the barriers of their makeshift congregation, members of this city's grieving Jewish community welcomed the Sabbath outside of the Tree of Life Synagogue on Friday evening, an emotional act of worship and defiance just six days after the synagogue witnessed the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history. About 50 men locked arms and swayed, harmonizing in Hebrew under darkening skies, while police looked on and pilgrims laid stones and flowers at memorials for the 11 congregants who were slain last Saturday. The building is still closed while police process the crime scene. CNN

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Muslim cleric known as 'Father of the Taliban' killed in Pakistan
The Muslim cleric who was dubbed the "Father of Taliban" because of his close ties to the leaders of the terrorist group was killed Friday in Pakistan, two family members told NBC News. The bloodied body of Maulana Samiul Haq was discovered in his home in the city of Rawalpindi, though accounts differed as to whether he was shot or stabbed to death. "It's seems to be an organized attack as they knew that Maulana Samiul Haq was alone in the house," said Mohammad Bilal, a nephew, who added that the murder had occurred during a window when his uncle's bodyguard had briefly left his post. NBC

Twitter goes nuts over Trump's 'Game of Thrones' poster announcing sanctions
On Friday, President Donald Trump said he will be reimposing sanctions on Iran starting on Monday, Nov. 5. But it was the way he announced the decision that got people's attention. Trump tweeted out a movie-style poster with the words "SANCTIONS ARE COMING." The post used the same font style as the popular HBO show "Game of Thrones," and plays off its tagline "Winter is coming." HBO weighed in on the President's tweet, telling CNBC, "We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes." San Francisco Gate

Independents will decide Florida’s statewide elections, but polling them is tricky
Independent voters are the white whale of Florida elections. They cannot vote in closed primaries, so they didn’t play a part in electing Andrew Gillum or Ron DeSantis in August, and typically turn out in lower numbers in years when a president isn’t on the ballot. But a national environment dominated by President Donald Trump, combined with record-breaking spending in the U.S. Senate race between Bill Nelson and Rick Scott, have focused the political world’s attention on Florida. The intense interest is reflected in an uptick among all voters in early voting, including independents. Miami Herald
VOA VIEW: If independants for Dem - shame on them and they will get the financial blunt.

Here's what Donald Trump said at his rally in Southport, Indiana
To thunderous cheers, President Donald Trump hammered away at illegal immigration and stoked fears of Democrats taking control of Congress while imploring an adoring crowd at Southport High School to vote for Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun. “The Democrats want to raise your taxes," Trump said, "they want to restore job killing regulations, they want to shut down your steel mills, and that will happen, and they want to take away your real healthcare and use socialism to turn America into Venezuela, lovely country,” Trump said. “And Democrats want to totally open borders.”  Indy Star

Chevron's $4 billion profit doubles last year's result
California energy giant Chevron reported a $4 billion quarterly profit that more than doubled its result last year of just less than $2 billion. Revenues jumped 24 percent to $42 billion from $34 billion last year, the company said. Chevron noted its oil and gas production volumes of 2.96 million barrels of oil equivalent per day are its highest ever in the quarter, up from 2.72 million barrels a day in the third quarter of 2017 and from 2.83 million barrels a day from the second quarter. Houston Chronicle

Judge denies Trump's request for stay in emoluments case
 A federal judge on Friday denied President Trump's request to stay a lawsuit alleging he is in violation of the Constitution by doing business with foreign governments, a decision that paves the way for plaintiffs to seek information from his business as it relates to his hotel here. U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte in suburban Greenbelt, Maryland, denied the Justice Department's request that he pause the case to allow a higher court to intervene. And he sharply questioned the president's position that his business does not improperly accept gifts or payments - called emoluments - as defined by the Constitution. San Francisco Gate

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