NEWS     THURSDAY,  NOVEMBER   22, 2018    NEWS

The President's company braces for Democratic investigations
In the days after the midterm elections, executives at President Donald Trump's family business, the Trump Organization, huddled on calls to discuss the possible implications of Democrats winning back the House of Representatives and the potential risk that poses to the company. While the Trump Organization has a long history of lawsuits, and currently faces multiple investigations from state and federal authorities, the prospect of a Democratic-controlled House, armed with subpoena power and bent on investigating every aspect of the President's life, presents a different threat altogether, according to interviews with multiple people familiar with the company's internal discussions or close to the President's legal team. CNN
VOA VIEW: Dems will make a fatal political mistake.

Understanding the math Nancy Pelosi faces in the race for House speaker
Does Nancy Pelosi have the votes? That's the question looming over the race to determine who will be the next speaker in the new Democrat-led House of Representatives. Pelosi and her allies have steadfastly insisted that she has the support to be elected speaker. But a rebellious faction of House Democrats are pressing ahead with their attempt to derail her leadership bid and are also projecting confidence that they will prevail. House Democrats will hold a vote the week after Thanksgiving to select their nominee for speaker by a majority vote, which Pelosi is expected to easily win. CNN

Poll: 53% Approve of Trump's Handling of Economy
A new survey shows that 53% of Americans approve of President Donald Trump's handling of the economy, which is higher than the economic approval average of 45% that extended from Ronald Reagan through Barack Obama. However, only 40% of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling foreign affairs and immigration.  CNS

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NASA is going through 'seven minutes of terror' to get to Mars
For NASA, the Monday after Thanksgiving will not be a day to eat leftovers or shop for presents online. Instead, it will be a living nightmare that it will have no control over – it willl undergo "seven minutes of terror" to get to Mars. Six months after it launched, the InSight spacecraft will enter Mars' atmosphere, after having traveled nearly 100 million miles, at supersonic speeds of more than 12,000 mph. If all goes well, it will hit the brakes to get to a soft, safe landing on Mars' red plains. The InSight lander, which cost $828 million, is on schedule to land around 3 p.m. ET on Monday, Nov. 26. But it's the last few minutes of the spacecraft's journey that has NASA worried. Fox

Democracies Hope Russia’s INTERPOL Presidency Candidate Defeated
Amid deepening alarm at the prospect of a Russian police general being elected on Wednesday to head INTERPOL, the Trump administration on Tuesday threw its public support behind the other candidate in the running, warning that Moscow has abused INTERPOL procedures for political ends. In Europe, meanwhile, lawmakers in at least two countries are pushing their governments to consider withdrawing from the global policing organization if the Russian candidate does get the post. INTERPOL’s 194-member general assembly, now holding its annual meeting in Dubai, will elect a new president on Wednesday. The two candidates are Alexander Prokopchuk, a senior Russian ministry of internal affairs official, and Kim Jong Yang of South Korea. They are currently two of INTERPOL’s four vice presidents, and Kim is serving as acting president, since the abrupt resignation last month of Meng Hongwei of China, who is under investigation in his home country, accused of corruption. CNN
VOA VIEW: It is crazy to allow the Russian to be a VP, much less the President of INTERPOL.

Special counsel moves to enforce jail term for former Trump aide George Papadopoulos
The team of special counsel Robert Mueller asked a judge Wednesday to reject last-ditch efforts by one-time Donald Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos to avoid his looming prison term. "The defendant received what he bargained for, and holding him to it is not a hardship," the prosecutors wrote in the filing. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last year about his contacts with Russians and at the time agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation. In September, a judge sentenced him to 14 days in prison – a sentence due to begin Monday. ABC

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Feds charge former DOJ official with alleged ties to conspiracy involving millions of dollars
Federal authorities have accused a former Justice Department official and two others of taking part in a conspiracy tied to tens of millions of dollars in foreign money.
However, details about the case remain secret, and Justice Department officials are so far declining to discuss anything further about it. Attempts by ABC News to ascertain the nature of the conspiracy or the identities of the two others allegedly involved in it were unsuccessful — but more details about the case are expected to emerge in the coming days. ABC

Democrat Espy charges in debate that Sen. Hyde-Smith's public hanging comment gave Mississippi 'another black eye'
Democrat Mike Espy ripped into GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith Tuesday in their debate, accusing her of having given their state "another black eye" on racial issues when she said recently that she would attend a "public hanging" if invited. Hyde-Smith had just finished defending her remarks after a question from one of the panelists as the two faced off one week before voters choose between them in next Tuesday's runoff election, the final contest of the midterm election season. "This comment was twisted, was turned into a weapon to be used against me," Hyde-Smith, offering that, to anyone offended, "I certainly apologize."  NBC
VOA VIEW: Liberal Dems don't have any other negative to say.

Trump says Ivanka's personal email use in government not like Clinton's
President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended daughter Ivanka Trump's use of a personal email account to communicate with government officials, saying there was nothing wrong with her actions. "Early on and for a little period of time, Ivanka did some emails," the president told reporters as he was departing the White House for Mar-a-Lago. "They weren’t classified like Hillary Clinton. They weren’t deleted like Hillary Clinton." Ivanka Trump, who also serves as an unpaid senior White House adviser, used a personal email account to send hundreds of emails to officials both before and after formally joining the administration, according to a report from the Washington Post. Trump made Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email account during her time as secretary of state a key part of his 2016 presidential campaign message. NBC
VOA VIEW: The difference is like night and day.

Trump kicks off Palm Beach social season at Mar-a-Lago
President Donald Trump is back in his comfort zone at the "winter White House": Mar-a-Lago, where women in furs and men in diamond jewelry and monogrammed slippers mingle with Sylvester Stallone and Fabio at New Year's Eve celebrations and Don King rubs elbows with Cabinet members, could-be ambassadors and the "MyPillow" guy at dinner. As he departed Washington for Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday for the Thanksgiving holiday, Trump said he'd be doing "a lot of work" while in Florida, but the club also serves as his refuge from Washington. All presidents have had their favorite retreats: George H.W. Bush's family had a compound in Kennebunkport, Maine; George W. Bush loved his ranch in Crawford, Texas; and Barack Obama savored winter getaways to his home state of Hawaii. Houston Chronicle

'El Chapo' trial: Witness says he bribed top Mexican officials
A government witness at the trial of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera testified Tuesday that he paid a multi-million dollar bribe to a former underling of Mexico's president-elect. On his third day on the witness stand in the sensational trial in federal court in Brooklyn, Jesus Zambada described giving payoffs to two officials in the Mexican government in the mid-2000s. One was Gabriel Regino, who at the time was working for then-Mexico City mayor — and current Mexico President-elect — Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Zambada said he paid Regino "a few million" on behalf of his brother, who prosecutors say runs the Sinaloa Cartel with Guzman. Regino, who now works as a criminal law professor in Mexico, took to Twitter to deny the allegations, calling them "false" in Spanish. NBC

Italy orders seizure of Aquarius rescue ship
An Italian prosecutor has ordered the seizure of a ship that has rescued 30,000 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea, a move seen by aid workers as the latest example of how European countries are taking steps to “criminalize” their operations. Karline Kleijer, the head of emergencies at Médecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) which jointly operates the Aquarius vessel, described the order as a "sinister" attempt to "stop humanitarian lifesaving search and rescue capacity at any cost." Italian authorities have also ordered bank accounts belonging to MSF — which is also known as Doctors Without Borders to be frozen.  NBC

US judge blocks Mississippi 15-week abortion ban
A US judge in the state of Mississippi has overturned an abortion ban that would have prevented women from getting abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Republican Governor Phil Bryant enacted the ban in March, but the law was temporarily blocked in a lawsuit filed by the state's last abortion clinic. On Tuesday Judge Carlton Reeves ruled the ban "unequivocally" violated women's constitutional rights. Under current state law, women are allowed abortions until 20 weeks. BBC

Trump asked to determine Saudi prince's 'role' in Khashoggi murder
US President Donald Trump has been asked to ascertain whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played a role in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Republican and Democratic leaders of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday sent a letter demanding a second investigation. Mr. Trump earlier defended US ties with Saudi Arabia despite international condemnation over the incident. Khashoggi was killed on 2 October inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Trump acknowledged that the crown prince "could very well" have known about Khashoggi's brutal murder, adding: "Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" He later stated that the CIA had not made a "100%" determination on the killing.  BBC

Trump calls Ivanka’s private email use ‘all fake news’
President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his daughter’s use of a private email account to conduct official business, telling reporters that the controversy was a “whole different” issue than what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was accused of during her presidential campaign. The president was asked Tuesday about a Washington Post report that Ivanka Trump communicated with top administration officials through a private email account prior to her joining the White House last year and continued to do so throughout 2017, sending “hundreds” of emails relating to her government work on her personal email account.
Politico

Beto O’Rourke blows up the 2020 Democratic primary
Sparked by his narrow defeat in a Texas Senate race, Beto O’Rourke is scrambling the 2020 presidential primary field, freezing Democratic donors and potential campaign staffers in place as they await word of his plans. Even prior to O’Rourke’s meteoric rise, many Democratic fundraisers had approached the large number of 2020 contenders with apprehension, fearful of committing early to one candidate. But the prospect of a presidential bid by O’Rourke, whose charismatic Senate candidacy captured the party’s imagination, has suddenly rewired the race.  Politico

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Jennie-O turkey recall bigger than previously announced
A nationwide recall of raw turkey tied to a deadly outbreak of salmonella is getting bigger. Since the recall of Jennie-O Turkey products was announced last week, health investigators have added a fifth item. That raises the amount of recalled turkey to more than 147,000 pounds, from 91,000 pounds, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Inspection Service (FSIS) told CBS MoneyWatch. The recall of raw ground turkey products is linked to an outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, with 164 infections reported from 35 states. The cases include 64 illnesses and one death in California, according to the CDC. CBS

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard says Trump is "Saudi Arabia's bitch" in tweet
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, a National Guard veteran who did two tours in the Middle East, said in a tweet that President Trump is "Saudi Arabia's bitch" for announcing the U.S. will stand with Saudi Arabia, regardless of any intelligence community assessment on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's involvement in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. "Hey @realdonaldtrump: being Saudi Arabia's bitch is not "America First,"" Gabbard tweeted. Mr. Trump has justified his stance on Saudi Arabia by saying that the country is a key partner in national security and a large buyer of U.S. weapons. CBS News
VOA VIEW: Gabbard would do what?

Khashoggi murder: Calls to remove Saudi crown prince 'a red line'
Calls to remove Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are a "red line", the Saudi foreign minister has told the BBC, amid a global outcry over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Adel al-Jubeir said the prince had not been involved in the 2 October killing in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. This comes a day after the US Congress demanded an investigation into whether the prince had a role in the murder. President Donald Trump has defended US ties with Saudi Arabia.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Trump acknowledged that the crown prince "could very well" have known about Khashoggi's brutal murder, adding: "Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" BBC

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White House gives Mattis expanded powers for U.S. troops on border
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that he had been granted authority to allow troops on the Mexican border greater powers to help protect border officials, and would await direction from the Department of Homeland Security. Reuters reported on Monday that the White House was likely to give troops authority to protect Customs and Border Protection agents stationed along the U.S. border with Mexico if they come under threat from migrants seeking to cross into the United States. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Good!

Breakingviews - G20 showdown hangs on big numbers, big egos
The relationship between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping hangs on big numbers and big egos. The two leaders’ upcoming meeting in the Argentinian capital as part of the G20 summit is weighing on markets. Despite discord among his aides, the U.S. president has the autonomy to strike a deal if China offers the right incentives. What’s at stake is whether the world’s two largest economies can call a truce in an escalating trade war. Tough talk from trade hardliners such as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Vice President Mike Pence over how to handle China don’t reassure. In the past, though, the U.S. president has backed different factions at various times. He’s known to follow his gut instinct, so much depends on what Xi puts on the table. Reuters

Turkey attacks Trump's 'comic' stance on Khashoggi killing
Turkey on Wednesday accused the US of trying to turn a blind eye to the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, and dismissed comments from Donald Trump on the issue as “comic”. On Tuesday Trump said the US would remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia, despite saying that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, may have known about the plan to kill Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post columnist. Of the possibility that Prince Mohammed had a hand in the murder, Trump said: “Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t.” Guardian

Woman claims Avenatti dragged her by arm across floor
An actress who says she had a relationship with Michael Avenatti alleges that he dragged her across the floor of his Los Angeles apartment after an argument over money, according to court documents obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. Mareli Miniutti wrote in a sworn statement that during the argument, Avenatti shouted expletives at her and told her she was “ungrateful” before he hit her in the face with pillows. She said Avenatti attempted to pull her out of a bed in his guest bedroom and snatched her phone away before she screamed for help. Avenatti, who was arrested last week on a felony domestic violence charge, called the allegations “completely false.” He’s scheduled to appear in court next month. Avenatti, who is mulling a presidential run, is best known as the attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels, who has said she had an affair with President Donald Trump in 2006, a claim Trump denies. As Daniels’ lawyer, Avenatti has pursued the president and those close to him relentlessly for months, taunting Trump in interviews and baiting him and his lawyers in tweets. Seattle Times
VOA VIEW: Avenatti is a loser.

Trump reportedly tried to order prosecution of Hillary Clinton and James Comey
President Trump attempted to have two of his largest rivals prosecuted by the Justice Department but was discouraged by White House counsel, according to a report published on Tuesday. Trump sought to order the legal action against his 2016 presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, and former FBI director James Comey earlier this year, according to The New York Times. The White House counsel, Donald McGahn, warned the president that he had no authority to order a prosecution and added that the move could lead to impeachment, the paper said. It was not clear what laws Trump believes Clinton or Comey allegedly broke. Trump repeatedly called to “lock up” Clinton on the campaign trail for her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. New York Post
VOA VIEW: The liberal media is reporting in a frenzy.

Suspicious package addressed to Trump turns out to be dog food
A bomb-sniffing dog was alerted to a package addressed to “Donald Trump” at the Trump International Hotel in Midtown on Tuesday — but the parcel turned out to be dog food, sources said. The package was delivered in an Amazon box and was spotted by hotel security on a loading dock shared by the Trump International and Millennium hotels at around 5 p.m., according to law enforcement sources. A private security firm was alerted to the package by a bomb-sniffing dog — named Ben Franklin — before treating the parcel as suspicious, the sources said. Normally, a dog sits on a package when the specially trained animal believes there is a powder or device inside. New York Post

Trump says he plans to make his first visit to a war zone
President Donald Trump frequently credits himself with accomplishing more for the military and veterans than any other president in recent memory. But he has yet to embark on what has long been a traditional presidential pilgrimage important to the military: a visit to troops deployed in a war zone. As he departed Tuesday for Florida to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday at his private club in Palm Beach, Trump said he'd soon correct the oversight. "I'm going to a war zone," he said in response to a reporter's question about his support for the troops. He did not say when he would be making the trip or to which conflict area he would be going. An official said a White House team recently returned from beginning to plan for a visit.  Houston Chronicle

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John Roberts chastises Trump for criticism of judge who blocked asylum order
John Roberts, chief justice of the US supreme court, has chastised Donald Trump for calling a judge who ruled against his migrant asylum order an “Obama judge”.
It is the first time that the leader of the federal judiciary has offered even a hint of criticism of the president, who has previously blasted federal judges who ruled against him. “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts, a conservative who was appointed by Republican former president George W Bush, said in a statement released by the supreme court on Wednesday. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.” Guardian
VOA VIEW: Roberts is foolishly defending his own.

Rain expected to bring relief, possible mudslides in Camp Fire
Rainfall is expected to help some bring relief and potentially new hazards Wednesday as the Camp Fire continues to burn throughout northern California. Cal Fire said the fire was 80 percent contained as of Wednesday morning, as fire officials expect the oncoming storm will help the nearly 4,000 fire personnel working to combat the blaze. Jim Mackensen, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service, told the San Francisco Chronicle fire crews will divert efforts to searching for victims while allowing the rain to naturally douse the fires. Fire Capt. Joshpae White said the rain can increase the amount of moisture in the air and cool embers on the ground, but can also make conditions on the ground slippery and result in mudslides in areas where debris and loose soil are present. Crews have traveled through Paradise in California's Butte County to remove soggy debris and set up hay bales to divert the flow of rainfall.  UPI

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Coast Guard orders cleanup of massive 14-year oil spill in Gulf of Mexico
The federal government issued an ultimatum to an energy company to stop an oil spill that has been leaking thousands of gallons into the Gulf of Mexico every day for more than 14 years. In an order issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, Taylor Energy Co. was told to “institute a … system to capture, contain, or remove oil” from the site or face a $40,000 per day fine for failing to comply. The order was issued Oct. 23, a day after The Washington Post reported that the spill was far greater than Interior Department estimates, which were based on company data. Washington Post

Sarah Palin mocks Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘basic civics’ knowledge, falls into Twitter ratio abyss
Palin - or, rather, the social media brand Palin most manifests as, after careers as governor of Alaska, Republican vice-presidential candidate, and reality-TV star — was making fun of an interview clip with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress this month. Belittling the far-left congresswoman has lately become something of a popular sport on the right-wing Internet. In an online video interview, she had spoken of Democratic efforts to win all “three chambers of Congress” in 2020 — then immediately corrected herself to say, “all three chambers of government: the presidency, the Senate and the House,” which was still not quite right.  Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Cortez is a joke.

What we know about Nancy Pelosi's House Speaker bid and why some Democrats oppose her
It's been a whirlwind of ups and downs for Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is fighting with those in her own party to lead Democrats in the House they now control. Pelosi is hoping to get her old job as speaker of the House back in the face of opposition from a growing group of Democrats who want new leadership for the party instead of the California Democrat, who was the first woman speaker of the House while serving in the role during the Obama Administration. Pelosi's fight for the gavel comes on the heels of Democrats taking control of the House during the midterm elections after years of Republican rule. If Pelosi is elected to the position, she will be the highest ranking Democrat and second in line, after Vice President Mike Pence, to succeed the president. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Pelosi is good for Republicans.

Troops deployed at US-Mexico border to cost about $210 million
Using thousands of military troops to help secure the Southwest border will cost an estimated $210 million under current plans, the Pentagon told Congress on Tuesday, even as questions arose about the scope and duration of the controversial mission. The total includes $72 million for approximately 5,900 active-duty troops providing support to Customs and Border Protection, plus $138 million so far for 2,100 National Guard troops who have been performing a separate border mission since April, according to a report sent to Congress on Tuesday but not released by the Pentagon. A copy of the report was obtained by The Associated Press. USA Today
VOA VIEW: The cost would be  greater if the illegals enter the US.

Horror of Islamic State revealed as Iraq, Syria reclaim occupied lands
Its vaunted “caliphate” is in shambles, but the brutal legacy of the Islamic State is only now coming into clearer focus as rebuilding efforts across Iraq and Syria uncover hundreds of mass graves and fully pull back the curtain on four years of death, destruction and unspeakable atrocities by the radical Islamist terrorist group.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq revealed this month that it has uncovered evidence of more than 200 mass graves containing as many as 12,000 victims in northern and western Iraq, though Iraqi officials say the number could be even higher.  Washington Times

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