NEWS     SATURDAY,  NOVEMBER   24, 2018    NEWS

Alarms blare for GOP in Mississippi
Cue the Republican panic, right in time for a holiday weekend. What was supposed to be an election afterthought, with Republicans just needing the technicality of a runoff to keep a Senate seat in Mississippi, is developing into a potential nightmare scenario for the GOP. It's not just that the runoff is taking up brain space, or resources, or requiring some presidential travel on the eve of next week's election. It's that Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith has said and done things that make the Republican Party's strained relationship with voters of color even more fraught. Her comments about voter suppression and a "public hanging," and now a Facebook picture where she tried on a Confederate hat, are scaring away backers -- and reminding Democrats of the stakes. ABC
VOA VIEW: The voters must do what is best of the country - vote GOP.

Associate of Roger Stone in plea talks with Mueller
A conservative writer and associate of Trump confidant Roger Stone said Friday that he is in plea talks with special counsel Robert Mueller's team. Jerome Corsi told The Associated Press he has been negotiating a potential plea but declined to comment further. He said on a YouTube show earlier this month that he expected to be charged with lying to federal investigators, though he said at the time that he was innocent of wrongdoing. Mueller's team questioned Corsi as part of an investigation into Stone's connections with WikiLeaks. ABC

"Humanitarian crisis" declared as 5,000 migrants reach Tijuana
The mayor of Tijuana has declared a "humanitarian crisis" in his border city and said he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said the Mexican federal government has provided little assistance and he is not going to commit the city's public resources to dealing with the situation. "We don't have sufficient and necessary infrastructure to adequately attend to these people, to give them a decent space," he said on Grupo Formula radio. "I am not going to spend the money of Tijuana (citizens)," he said. CBS
VOA VIEW: The borders of the US must be respected and protected.

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Young, rich and loyal: Nick Ayers could be Trump's next chief of staff
As President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence prepared to gather for their weekly lunch in August 2017, the President told his staff to add two more plates. Both men had just welcomed new chiefs of staff -- retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly and Nick Ayers, a then-34-year-old Republican political consultant from Georgia -- and Trump decided to wave the pair into his private dining room off the Oval Office. CNN

Trump administration asks Supreme Court to hear case on transgender military ban
The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to fast-track cases on the president's decision to prevent certain transgender people from serving in the military.
The administration asked the court on Friday to take up three cases on the issue. Lower courts had blocked the administration from implementing the policy. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in one of the cases in October but hasn't ruled. The administration had warned that it would ask the high court to step in if the appeals court didn't rule before Friday. CBS
VOA VIEW: The commander-in-chief should be in charge of the military - not judges who were not elcected by the people..

Trump disputes CIA findings in Khashoggi killing, says too much at stake to punish ally
Responding to questions about Saudi Arabia's role in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump suggested Thursday that the U.S. can't afford to punish foreign nations for killing people. "Do people really want me to give up hundreds of thousands of jobs?" he said. "And frankly, if we went by this standard, we wouldn’t be able to have anybody who’s an ally, because look at what happens all over the world." NBC and other outlets have reported that the CIA recently determined, reportedly with "high confidence," that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in early October. NBC
VOA VIEW: Maybe, or maybe not = few trust the liberal media.

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An American handbag company is changing the lives of U.S. military spouses everywhere
When Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse met in 2011, the two military wives shared a vision — to fight unemployment among military spouses by creating jobs themselves. Nearly eight years later, their handbag company — started with $2,000 — is nothing short of an American success story. Every stitch sewn into the meticulously-made leather and canvas handbags at R. Riveter provides a paycheck to a military family. The unique business model is aimed at helping the jobless rate among military spouses — more than triple the national average — by allowing employees to work from anywhere. Fox

Oldest surviving veteran of Pearl Harbor dies at 106
Ray Chavez, the oldest surviving veteran of Pearl Harbor, died Wednesday in California at the age of 106. “Ray was the epitome of the greatest generation,” said Richard Rovsek, a trustee of the nonprofit Spirit of Liberty Foundation in Rancho Santa Fe, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. “He was always proud to be an American and proud of the military.” Kathleen Chavez, who had been her father’s live-in caregiver for more than 20 years, said Ray who'd been in hospice care, asked to be buried at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego.  Fox

Ex-CIA, NSA chief Hayden suffers stroke
Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA and National Security Agency, suffered a stroke earlier this week, his family said Friday. In a statement, the family said Hayden, 73, suffered the stroke at his home and was hospitalized but did not provide details about the stroke's severity. "He is receiving expert medical care for which the family is grateful," the statement said. Hayden, a retired four-star Air Force general who is now a CNN national security analyst, served during both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. He retired as CIA director in 2009. Since then, he has been a vocal critic of both the Obama and Trump administrations.  CNN

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Report warns of growing impact on US life
Unchecked climate change will cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars and damage human health and quality of life, a US government report warns. "Future risks from climate change depend... on decisions made today," the 4th National Climate Assessment says. The report says climate change is "presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth". The warning is at odds with the Trump administration's fossil fuels agenda. The world's leading scientists agree that climate change is human-induced and warn that natural fluctuations in temperature are being exacerbated by human activity. BBC

U.S. probing suspected flaws with 2.7M GM trucks, SUVs
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a probe into a suspected defect in possibly 2.7 million General Motors trucks and SUVs. The investigation, opened Tuesday, centers on the degradation of power brake vacuum pumps. The NHTSA said the flaw can harden the vehicles' brake pedals and extend stopping distances. The administration said its Office of Defects Investigation has received 111 complaints about hardened pedals and long stopping distances. It has also heard of nine crashes or fires as well as two injuries related to the suspected flaw. The affected models are 2014 to 2016 General Motors pickup trucks and SUVs on the K2XX platform and 1500 series, including Silverado, Sierra, Suburban, Yukon, Tahoe and Escalade.  UPI

Senate Dems’ guide back to the majority
Catherine Cortez Masto has already made history: She’s the first woman elected to the Senate from Nevada, and the first Latina senator, ever.  Now she’s ready to add another honorific: Majority maker. The former state attorney general is preparing to lead the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee into its third consecutive attempt to wrest the majority from Mitch McConnell’s Republicans. And Democrats hope that this time, they’ll find success by replicating the party’s strategy in Nevada on a national scale. “Nevada, if you really look at the demographics, is a microcosm of the rest of the country,” Cortez Masto said in an interview this month, touting the cultural and economic diversity of her state. Politico

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Jerome Corsi: rightwing author pursuing plea deal with Robert Mueller
The rightwing author and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi has confirmed he is in plea negotiations with Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian election interference and links between Moscow and aides to Donald Trump. Corsi told the Guardian on Friday: “I can confirm that we have entered plea negotiations.”
The 72-year-old declined to elaborate on the nature of the discussions, which were first reported by the Washington Post. The Post said a spokesman for Mueller declined to comment, as had attorneys for Corsi and Trump. Corsi is a former Washington bureau chief for the conspiracist website InfoWars.com and a leading proponent of the theory that Barack Obama was not born in the US and was thus not eligible to be president.  Guardian

Lawsuit against Trump family charity can proceed, judge rules
A judge in Manhattan has rejected arguments about presidential immunity and political bias and ruled that a lawsuit against the Trump family charity can proceed.
The suit claims that up to $3m in such funds boosted Trump’s campaign. Among examples of allegedly improperly used funds is the allegation that the charity spent $10,000 on a giant painting of Trump himself. The New York state attorney general filed the civil suit in June, alleging that Donald Trump and his children Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump ran the Donald J Trump Foundation “in persistent violation” of state and federal law. Guardian

Greenhouse gas levels in atmosphere break another record
“The science is clear. Without rapid cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gases, climate change will have increasingly destructive and irreversible impacts on life on Earth. The window of opportunity for action is almost closed,” said World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that global concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide have been increasing steadily over the past years. In addition, the report notes a resurgence of a potent greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance called CFC-11, which is regulated under an international agreement to protect the ozone layer.  The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports specifically on atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, which are what remains in the atmosphere, following a complex process of emissions and absorptions.  UN News

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Wall Street drops, S&P 500 confirms correction
U.S. stocks closed lower in a shortened post-holiday trading session on Friday as the energy sector tumbled on continued weakness in oil prices, and the benchmark S&P 500 confirmed its second correction of 2018. The three major U.S. indexes all fell well over 3 percent for the week, with the Dow industrials and the Nasdaq posting their biggest weekly percentage declines since March. The S&P 500 ended about 10.2 percent down from its Sept. 20 closing record high, confirming it had entered a correction. Reuters

Black Friday deals lure U.S. shoppers, biggest sales gains online
Shoppers across the United States snapped up deep discounts on toys, clothing and electronics both online and at stores on Black Friday, giving retailers a strong start to their make-or-break holiday season. A healthy economy and rising wages gave people the confidence to splash out on retailers’ annual raft of bargains. Foot traffic looked healthy at stores offering discounts, although detailed numbers on brick-and-mortar holiday sales will not be available for several days.
Reuters

Trump, Xi Signal Readiness for Trade Talks Ahead of G-20 Meeting
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have indicated they’re both ready for a highly anticipated meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina next week. The world’s biggest economies have been engaged in an escalating trade war that is starting to have a greater impact on financial markets and global growth. On Thursday, Trump told reporters that China wants to make a deal “very badly” after his administration placed tariffs on on about $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China “wants to make a deal and we’re very happy with that,” Trump said. “I’m very prepared, I’ve been preparing for it all my life.” Bloomberg

Impeach the president? House Democrats saying not so fast
Whatever happened to trying to impeach President Donald Trump? As House Democrats begin laying out the vision for their new majority, that item is noticeably missing from the to-do list and firmly on the margins. The agenda for now includes spending on public works projects, lowering health care costs and increasing oversight of the administration. It’s the balance that Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is trying to strike in the new Congress between those on her party’s left flank who are eager to confront the president, and her instinct to prioritize the kitchen-table promises that Democrats made to voters who elected them to office. The California lawmaker, who hopes to lead Democrats as House speaker come January, calls impeachment a “divisive activity” that needs to be approached with bipartisanship.  Seattle Times

Associate of Roger Stone in plea talks with Mueller
A conservative writer and associate of Trump confidant Roger Stone said Friday that he is in plea talks with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Jerome Corsi told The Associated Press he has been negotiating a potential plea but declined to comment further. He said on a YouTube show earlier this month that he expected to be charged with lying to federal investigators, though he said at the time that he was innocent of wrongdoing. Mueller’s team questioned Corsi as part of an investigation into Stone’s connections with WikiLeaks. Seattle Times

More House Democrats are threatening to bail on Pelosi
Another group of Democrats is threatening to withhold support for Nancy Pelosi as House speaker unless she backs specific rule changes aimed at fostering bipartisanship. "We will only vote for a Speaker candidate who supports ‘Break the Gridlock’ rules changes,” nine Democrats from the Problem Solvers Caucus said in a statement Friday. The signers, including Reps. Tom Suozzi of Long Island and Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, proposals that will make it easier for bipartisan legislation and amendments to get a vote. An aide to Pelosi said discussions with the group is continuing. The Democratic caucus is slated to vote on Pelosi’s nomination on Wednesday, while a floor vote is set for early January. The list of demands is the latest hurdle for the nation’s first female House speaker.  N Y Post

GOP gov used anti-Trump focus group to help get re-elected
Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan used a focus group of 110 women who “despise” President Trump to try and gauge female voters in the heavily Democratic state — and his plan succeeded. Local exit polls show that Hogan bagged 50 percent of the vote among women in Maryland, as opposed to his Democratic opponent Ben Jealous, who received 48 percent, according to The Baltimore Sun. Hogan’s campaign spoke to reporters this week about the numbers and described how the focus group played a role in their decisive victory over the former head of the NAACP. New York Post

Trump demands 'some common sense' from judges
Incensed by a ruling against his migrant asylum policy, President Donald Trump demanded "some common sense" from America's judges and directed his ire at a liberal-leaning appeals court. He professed respect for Chief Justice John Roberts, with whom he is engaged in a startling public dispute over the independence of the judiciary, yet shrugged off the Republican appointee as someone who "can say what he wants." Trump, still seething over Monday's decision by a President Barack Obama-nominated judge, began his Thanksgiving Day by asserting on Twitter that courts should defer to his administration and law enforcement on border security because judges "know nothing about it and are making our Country unsafe." Houston Chronicle

Police uses tear gas, water cannon against Paris fuel tax protesters
French police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrators in Paris Saturday, as thousands gathered in the capital and staged road blockades across the nation to vent anger against rising fuel taxes and Emmanuel Macron 's presidency. Thousands of police were deployed nationwide to contain the demonstrations, including a tense protest at the foot of the Champs-Elysees where protesters wielded placards reading "Death to Taxes" and upturned a large vehicle. No one was injured in the clashes, but six were arrested for "throwing projectiles," Paris Police told The Associated Press.  Chicago Tribune
VOA VIEW: Macron has proven to be a liberal fool.

Kellyanne Conway’s husband, other legal scholars, fact check Trump on the courts
It’s not the first time Kellyanne Conway’s husband, a conservative lawyer in Washington, has publicly criticized his wife’s boss, the president of the United States, and it likely won’t be the last. This time, George Conway issued President Donald Trump a fact check on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the largest of the circuit courts and a target of the president’s anger after a judge in Northern California blocked him from banning asylum seekers who didn’t enter the country at specific points of entry. ABC

US soldier killed in Afghanistan for 2nd time this month
A member of the U.S. military was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday -- the second to die this month in the country and 10th this year. The news was announced in a press release by Sgt. 1st Class Debra Richardson, a spokesperson for Resolute Support. No further details of how the solder was killed were given. The soldier's identity was not released, pending notification of next of kin. ABC

Norway calling out Russia's jamming shows European policy shift
The accusation was direct and unflinching: Russian forces stationed in the Arctic Circle had been jamming NATO's GPS signals during the alliance's largest military exercise since the Cold War. The alleged incident happened during Trident Juncture, a huge, two-week drill hosted in Norway last month, involving 50,000 personnel from 31 countries. Last week Norway revealed that Russian forces stationed in the nearby Kola Peninsula had been jamming their GPS signals during the exercise. Finland summoned the Russian ambassador and NATO called it "dangerous, disruptive and irresponsible." Russia denies the allegations. And experts say attempting to disrupt a military exercise on its doorstep is nothing new. NBC

Amazon rainforest deforestation 'worst in 10 years', says Brazil
Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has hit its highest rate in a decade, according to official data. About 7,900 sq km (3,050 sq miles) of the world's largest rainforest was destroyed between August 2017 and July 2018 - an area roughly five times the size of London. Environment Minister Edson Duarte said illegal logging was to blame. The figures come amid concerns about the policies of Brazil's newly elected president, Jair Bolsonaro. During the 2018 election campaign, Mr Bolsonaro pledged to limit fines for damaging forestry and to weaken the influence of the environmental agency. BBC

Citigroup, JPMorgan to pay $182.5 million to settle rate-rigging lawsuit
Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co will pay $182.5 million to settle U.S. investor litigation claiming they violated antitrust law by conspiring with other banks to rig a key European interest rate benchmark. A preliminary settlement addressing the banks’ alleged manipulation of the European Interbank Offered Rate, or Euribor, was filed on Wednesday night with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and requires a judge’s approval. Five banks have reached $491.5 million of settlements in the case, including earlier settlements of $170 million by Deutsche Bank AG, $94 million by Barclays Plc and $45 million by HSBC Holdings Plc. Reuters

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Trump questions technology central to Pentagon's plan to launch aircraft at sea
President Trump this week renewed his questioning of the military’s new system for launching aircraft at sea, underscoring his skepticism about a technology the Navy has put at the center of its future aircraft carrier fleet. In a call to service members on Thursday marking the Thanksgiving holiday, Trump asked the commander of the USS Ronald Reagan, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier deployed in the Pacific, whether he supported using electromagnetics rather than the traditional steam system to catapult aircraft off carrier decks and land them safely back on board. “Steam is very reliable, and the electromagnetic — I mean, unfortunately, you have to be Albert Einstein to really work it properly,” Trump said.  Post

Betsy DeVos to the rescue: For-profit colleges see a savior in secretary
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has led a rescue squad for the nation’s for-profit colleges. Step by step, she has dismantled an Obama-era crackdown on the industry, and she plans to deliver a set of regulations next year that many expect to again boost the industry. Critics say these schools, which enroll 2.3 million students and range from small trade schools to large multistate enterprises such as the University of Phoenix, prey on vulnerable students, leaving them with huge debts and questionable credentials. Washington Post

Fox News guest apologizes for comparing Hillary Clinton to herpes during segment mix-up
Fox News guest Anna Paulina apologized for comparing former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to a sexually transmitted disease in a Thursday segment broadcast by the network. "Yesterday on Fox I was placed on the wrong segment & in the confusion made a brash and unprofessional joke," Paulina tweeted Friday. "To Fox and those watching, I am deeply sorry." The network offered on-air apologies and cut Paulina's segment short, Fox News said in a Friday statement to USA TODAY. The clip, as published by The Daily Caller, shows the confusion that led up to the controversial comment.  USA Today
VOA VIEW: Liberals and Dems hardly ever have to retract or apologize their statements.

Looking at top tech toys and tools for the holiday
We already know the hottest holiday gadget gifts are cool, but are they secure and trustworthy too? Mozilla – yep, the folks behind internet browser Firefox – just released a new report and shopping guide called *Privacy Not Included. The idea behind it is to help people shop for gifts based on price, performance and on how well they protect privacy and security as well. In an email, Ashley Boyd, Mozilla VP of Advocacy, explained that researchers reviewed 70 of the most popular gadget gifts across six categories: Toys & Games, Smart Home, Entertainment, Wearables, Health & Exercise and Pets. For each product, Mozilla looked at a range of questions, including:  Can spy on you? Can you control it to make it more secure?  USA Today

Joe Scarborough gives thanks for Hillary Clinton on Thanksgiving
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough issued a tweet thread on Thanksgiving Day giving thanks for Hillary Clinton and applauding her “grit” and “determination” that powered her through decades of public service. Mr. Scarborough, a former Republican congressman who renounced the party last year due to his disdain for President Trump, tweeted several smiling photos of Mrs. Clinton to his 2.52 million followers, admiring her “passion to try and make the world a better place.” Mr. Scarborough went on to defend the twice-failed presidential candidate from attacks by her former rival, President Trump, whose chants of “lock her up” dominated his 2016 campaign.
“Hillary deserves better,” he pleaded. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Scarborough is a idiot.

Trump demands bipartisan border deal
President Trump on Friday pushed Congress to strike a bipartisan deal to strengthen border security that includes funding a border wall. “Republicans and Democrats MUST come together, finally, with a major Border Security package, which will include funding for the Wall. After 40 years of talk, it is finally time for action. Fix the Border, for once and for all, NOW!” Mr. Trump tweeted. Democrats have fiercely opposed Mr. Trump’s plan for a wall on the southern border, which was a top campaign promise of his 2016 run. Washington Times

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