NEWS     WEDNESDAY,  NOVEMBER   28, 2018    NEWS

CNN's Jim Acosta spars with Sanders in briefing room after temporary ban
CNN’s Jim Acosta made his return to the James S. Brady room on Tuesday for a press briefing with Sarah Sanders -- 20 days after the reporter was temporarily banned from the White House. Sanders, who until Tuesday hadn't held a briefing in weeks, took questions after sessions with National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow and National Security Adviser John Bolton – during which Acosta kept quiet. The press secretary eventually called on Acosta, who asked if President Trump would recommend that Paul Manafort should cooperate with authorities going forward. The questioning grew tenser -- though not nearly as explosive as the post-election incident that resulted in his pass being pulled -- as Acosta then asked why Trump doesn’t have faith in his advisers, citing the president's apparent skepticism toward a major government climate change study and the CIA's findings regarding Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's role in activist Jamal Khashoggi's killing. Fox
VOA VIEW: Acosta should be be called upon.

World War II fighter plane flown by 'Great Escape' pilot discovered on Norwegian mountain
An extremely rare World War II Spitfire fighter plane flown by a pilot who later took part in the "Great Escape" has been recovered from a remote Norwegian mountainside. Specially equipped for long-range reconnaissance, the Royal Air Force Spitfire AA810 was shot down on March 5, 1942, during a mission to photograph the German battleship Tirpitz. The Spitfire’s pilot, Flt. Lt. Alastair ‘Sandy’ Gunn, bailed out from the plane but was captured by German forces. In 1944 he was part of the famous “Great Escape” breakout from the Stalag Luft III POW camp. Recaptured shortly after the breakout, the Scot was among 50 escapees executed by the Gestapo. Fox

Sarah Sanders says she's unaware of any conversations about a Trump pardon for Manafort
The White House says there are no conversations about a presidential pardon for Paul Manafort after prosecutors claimed he lied to the FBI. Sarah Sanders said President Trump continues to insist there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia. And she said the fact Trump hasn't ordered Robert Mueller's firing is an indication he has no plans to short circuit the Russia investigation. "He could have taken action at any point and he hasn't. So we'll let that speak for itself. He has no intent to do anything," she said. Sanders told CNN's Jim Acosta the White House remains cooperative with the investigation, as it has been for more than a year. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is given too much info and they like to twist facts.

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Judge appears reluctant to unseal Assange case
A federal judge in Virginia appeared reluctant Tuesday to grant a request to unseal a criminal complaint against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, emphasizing the "compelling interest" the government has in keeping such matters under wraps until he is arrested, should that happen. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press moved to unseal any records related to Assange earlier this month after federal prosecutors inadvertently made two explicit references to Assange in an unrelated case in Virginia, including "the fact that Assange has been charged."  CNN

Pompeo Says Iranians Have Suffered Under Rouhani’s Tyranny for ‘Far Too Long’
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday criticized Iran’s purportedly “moderate” president for calling on Muslims around the world to unite against America and for describing Israel as a “cancerous tumor.” He said the Iranian people have lived under the Islamic regime’s tyranny for far too long. President Hassan Rouhani’s remarks about Israel “inflame tensions in the region by seemingly calling for war,” Pompeo said in a statement. And encouraging Muslims everywhere to unite against the United States, he added, was “a dangerous and irresponsible step that will further deepen Iran’s isolation.”  CNS
VOA VIEW: Iran is acting foolishly and recklessly.

CBP Commissioner: Current Law Is 'Inviting and Incentivizing' Caravans
Kevin McAleenan, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told CNN's Chris Cuomo Monday night that the current caravan situation is far more challenging than any that have gone before:  "First let me just comment on the caravan," McAleenan told Cuomo: This is different phenomenon. A large caravan crossing with violence across two international borders, primarily adult male. Not like the prior caravans last spring and the year before. This is a different phenomenon. Again, they used force against Mexican police. They used force to try to enter the country yesterday. CNS

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Trump threatens GM's subsidies after layoff announcement
President Donald Trump threatened in a tweet Tuesday to cut off all government subsidies to General Motors, including electric cars, following the company's announcement of layoffs and plant closures. But he didn't spell out whether he had any political support for the move, nor whether any specific protocol existed for carrying out that threat. "Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland," the president tweeted. "Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get! We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars.  NBC
VOA VIEW: GM can get China to bail them out of financial trouble in the future.

Mexico says it will deport nearly 100 migrants who tried to cross U.S. border
Mexican federal authorities surrounded a shelter here holding members of a caravan of Central American migrants and refugees Monday as the country said it was deporting anyone who crossed illegally the day before. More than 100 federal police officers, some with riot gear, circled the Benito Juarez shelter, where many migrants making their way to the U.S. are staying. It was unclear why the police were lined up around the shelter and what their role would be as some of the migrants wait for a chance to claim asylum in the United States. NBC
VOA VIEW: Mexico has much to lose if they don't stop the caravan madness.

Kremlin warns of possible flare-up of hostilities in Ukraine
The Kremlin warned Tuesday that a simmering war in eastern Ukraine could boil over after Russia seized three Ukrainian ships and Kiev responded by declaring martial law in parts of the country. Russia paraded the captured seamen on television, a move that Ukraine called criminal. Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for Sunday's confrontation in the Kerch Strait, which links the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The clash has raised the specter of renewing a full-blown conflict in eastern Ukraine and saw Russia strongly criticized at the United Nations by the United States and its allies. The Ukrainian parliament on Monday adopted a motion by the president to impose martial law for 30 days. Las Vegas Sun

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No point in listening to Khashoggi murder audio, John Bolton says
National Security Adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that he sees no point in listening to the audio of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi because he doesn't speak Arabic. "I'm very satisfied that we know what the tape picked up, and it was factored into the president's decision, and he's announced his position very clearly," Bolton said in the first White House press briefing in a month. President Trump has vigorously defended his decision not to further punish the Saudis over the death of Jamal Khashoggi, even after the CIA concluded — as CBS News has reported — that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directed the assassination. CBS
VOA VIEW: The liberal media was sensationalism.

Desert detention camp for migrant kids still growing
The Trump administration announced in June it would open a temporary shelter for up to 360 migrant children in this isolated corner of the Texas desert. Less than six months later, the facility has expanded into a detention camp holding thousands of teenagers — and it shows every sign of becoming more permanent. By Monday, 2,349 largely Central American boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 17 were sleeping inside the highly guarded facility in rows of bunk beds in canvas tents, some of which once housed first responders to Hurricane Harvey. More than 1,300 teens have arrived since the end of October alone. Rising from the cotton fields and dusty roads not far from the dark fence marking the border between the U.S. and Mexico, the camp has rows of beige tents and golf carts that ferry staffers carrying walkie-talkies.  Las Vegas Sun

Sears secures court approval for additional $350 million loan
Sears Holdings Corp (SHLDQ.PK) won court approval on Tuesday for a new deal clinching $350 million in critical bankruptcy financing that will keep the 125-year-old retailer operating through the holidays while it attempts to reorganize. Sears reached the deal with Cyrus Capital Partners LP for the financing just before a hearing began in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on the iconic retailer’s so-called debtor-in-possession financing arrangements, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cyrus’ loan replaced a similar deal Sears reached earlier this month with Great American Capital Partners, a financial firm affiliated with liquidation specialist Great American Group and financial services firm B. Riley Financial Inc(RILY.O). Reuters

McConnell vows to block vote on bill protecting Mueller probe
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he would likely block a vote on a bipartisan bill that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller and his Russia investigation. The Kentucky Republican told reporters that if senators tried to bring up the bill — co-sponsored by Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona and Democrat Chris Coons of Delaware — for a quick vote, he would reject it. McConnell’s rejection of the measure came just hours after Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said there was a chance the Senate would vote on protecting Mueller. Backers said quick action was necessary in the wake of President Trump’s appointment of Mueller critic Mathew Whitaker as acting attorney general. New York Post
VOA VIEW: Flake will soon be gone - good.

Kelley Blue Book's 15 best cars to buy in 2019
Don't go car shopping without first consulting this top 15 list from the authority on automobile reviews, Kelley Blue Book. This is the fifth year KBB published its Best Buy Awards, a helpful list of vehicles that offer premium value for any family with any budget. At least one vehicle in this roundup has been around as long as the list: the Honda Civic is the best compact car for your money for the fifth consecutive year. Some newcomers might surprise car shoppers, including the best-performing vehicle which will well priced and features a style design. And the best part is KBB performs extensive research and test driving to curate the roster. "Over the course of the year, the KBB editorial staff drives and reviews hundreds of new cars, trucks and SUVs and use these evaluations in our Expert Reviews, Buyer's Guides, Top 10 lists and comparison tests," the report states.  Houston Chronicle

Mexico triples estimate for biggest onshore discovery in 25 years
Mexico's state oil company said Tuesday that it is tripling the reserve estimates for its biggest onshore oil and gas discovery in 25 years. Pemex Chief Executive Carlos Trevino said exploration results at its Ixachi exploratory wells indicate the light oil and natural gas discovery near the eastern state of Veracruz holds more than 1 trillion barrels of proven, probable and possible reserves. That's up from the prior estimate of more than 350 million barrels announced a year ago. The news is potentially a boost to Mexico, which has suffered declining oil production in recent years and leaned more on the United States to import gasoline and natural gas for electricity generation.  Houston Chronicle

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White House prevents Gina Haspel from briefing Senate on Khashoggi murder
The White House is preventing the CIA director, Gina Haspel, or any other intelligence official from briefing the Senate on the murder of Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi. The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and the defence secretary, James Mattis, are due to give a briefing on US relations with Saudi Arabia to the entire Senate behind closed doors on Wednesday, ahead of a vote that could cut off US support for Riyadh’s military campaign in Yemen.
On a national security issue of such importance, it would be customary for a senior intelligence official to take part. On this occasion, the absence of the intelligence community is all the more glaring, as Haspel travelled to Istanbul to hear audio tapes of Khashoggi’s murder provided by Turkish intelligence, and then briefed Donald Trump. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Intelligence must not be leaked and Dems in Congress are big leakers.

Why does Donald Trump oppose Theresa May's Brexit deal?
It was not off the cuff. It was clearly meant. But was Donald Trump right to claim Theresa May’s Brexit deal meant the UK after 29 March 2019 “may not be able to trade with us”? The UK is the fifth largest export market for American goods. British exports to the US are worth about £100bn a year to the UK economy, according to the Office for National Statistics, more than twice that of any other country. There is nothing in the withdrawal agreement or the political declaration that is likely to heavily impact on that baseline of trade, although US direct investment into the City of London will decline as the EU “passports” allowing UK-based bankers and traders to offer services across member states are taken away. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Liberal media speculation.

Pompeo, Mattis to brief Senate amid push to punish Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi, Yemen
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis will brief the Senate Wednesday on Saudi Arabia and Yemen, amid increasingly vocal calls in Congress for the U.S. to penalize Saudi Arabia for the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and to halt its support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Noticeably absent from the briefing, which senators have requested for weeks now, is any representative of the intelligence community. Neither CIA Director Gina Haspel or Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is attending and their absence has angered Republican and Democratic members of Congress who are demanding answers on what role Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played in Khashoggi's murder. ABC

After General Motors layoffs, more bumps ahead for U.S. auto industry
General Motors is cutting jobs in area President Trump had promised to revitalize. The president said the jobs were "all coming back," but there's more rough road ahead for U.S. auto industry, analysts warn. "If I'm elected, you won't lose one plant. You’ll have plants coming into this country," then-candidate Donald Trump said at a campaign rally in Warren, Michigan, in October, 2016. "You’re going to have jobs again, you won’t lose one plant. I promise you. I promise you.” And at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, in July of last year, the president vowed to bring more factory jobs back to the area. "They're all coming back," he told the crowd. "Don't sell your house . . . We're going to fill up those factories or rip them down and build new ones."  NBC

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith wins racially charged election over Democrat Mike Espy
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) was projected to win a racially charged runoff election here Tuesday night, overcoming a surprisingly strong challenge by Democratic opponent Mike Espy to become the state’s first elected female U.S. senator. Hyde-Smith’s victory, coming after her comments about being willing to join a supporter on the front row of a public hanging, bolsters the Republican majority in the Senate and illustrates President Trump’s ability to rally his supporters behind a struggling campaign. “We have bonded, we have persevered, we have gotten through things,” Hyde-Smith told a room of supporters just after receiving a congratulatory call from Trump. “The reason we won is because Mississippians know me, and they know my heart.”  Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Great news.

In interview, Ukrainian president asks Trump to deliver pointed message to Putin
Petro Poroshenko warned Russia would "pay a huge price" if they invaded Ukraine. The president of Ukraine has a message that he wants President Donald Trump to personally deliver to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the upcoming G-20 summit in Argentina: "Please, get out from Ukraine, Mr. Putin," Petro Poroshenko said Tuesday. Poroshenko made the comments in a one-on-one interview with NBC News, which was conducted two days after Russian forces created an international crisis by attacking and seizing three Ukrainian vessels that were trying to pass through the Kerch Strait, a narrow artery that connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov.
NBC

As shutdown looms, Trump and GOP leaders discuss border wall
With a partial government shutdown possible in just 10 days, President Donald Trump met with Republican leaders to hash out a spending plan that includes funding for Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico. Trump is seeking $5 billion for the wall, a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign, and is ratcheting up pressure on Congress to provide it. Trump said this month that it could be a "good time" for a shutdown if he doesn't receive the wall funding he wants. House Republicans approved $5 billion for Trump's wall in a key committee, but a bipartisan bill in the Senate allocates just $1.6 billion for the border. Las Vegas Sun

UN report says fragile climate puts food security at risk
Feeding a hungry planet is growing increasingly difficult as climate change and depletion of land and other resources undermine food systems, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization said Wednesday as it renewed appeals for better policies and technologies to reach "zero hunger." Population growth requires supplies of more nutritious food at affordable prices, but increasing farm output is hard given the "fragility of the natural resource base" since humans have outstripped Earth's carrying capacity in terms of land, water and climate change, the report said. About 820 million people are malnourished. The FAO and International Food Policy Research Institute released the report at the outset of a global conference aimed at speeding up efforts to achieve zero hunger around the worldLas Vegas Sun

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Russian firm wants to disclose 'sensitive' US government info in court fight with Mueller
A Russian consulting firm indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller plans to ask a U.S. court to allow it to share information that the U.S. government considers "sensitive.” In a joint scheduling motion filed on Tuesday, the firm, Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, said it plans to argue that the information should be shared with Concord officers or employees, and that the judge's decision on the matter will "significantly affect the defense position to how it can proceed." The filing did not specify what information Concord hoped to disclose. ABC

FDA warns consumers of health issues after taking male enhancement supplement Rhino
Users of Rhino male enhancement supplements are reporting health issues, such as chest pain and severe headaches, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned on Tuesday. Products with names such as Platinum Rhino 25000, Krazzy Rhino 25000 and Gold Rhino 25000 are unapproved FDA supplements that contain undeclared ingredients and are sold in gas stations, convenience stores and on websites such as Amazon, according to the FDA. ABC

rump threatens to cut GM’s federal subsidies over layoffs
President Trump — furious over General Motors’ Monday decision to shut down several US factories and fire more than 14,000 workers — threatened to cut the automaker’s subsidies, including those for electric cars. “Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. Nothing being closed in Mexico & China,” an irate Trump tweeted Tuesday. “The US saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get! We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars,” he added. The US government currently gives consumers a tax credit up to $7,500 for purchases of eligible electric cars. The credit can knock roughly 20 percent off the Chevy Bolt EV’s starting sticker price of $36,620.  New York Post
VOA VIEW: Good!

Americans are more comfortable with women as executives than politicians
Americans say they're more comfortable with a woman in a boardroom than in the White House, according to a recent survey by Kantar, a data and consultancy company. The findings were published on Tuesday at the Women Political Leaders Global Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland. In the survey, 63 percent of American respondents said they'd be "very comfortable" with a female chief executive officer, while only 52 percent said they'd feel the same way about a woman as the head of government. Men and women felt differently on the issue: 70 percent of women said they'd be "very comfortable" with a female CEO — 55 percent of men felt the same. Just 45 percent of men said they were "very comfortable" with a female head of government. CBS

Loosing cooperators is a blow, but not a fatal one, for Mueller, analysts says
The special counsel’s loss of two possible cooperating witnesses who could describe the inner workings of the Trump campaign and possible ties to the publisher of hacked Democratic emails is a setback to the investigation, but not a fatal one, legal analysts said. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort probably will never take the stand as Robert S. Mueller III’s star witness. And Mueller’s prosecutors might have to plow deeper into the world of WikiLeaks and its contacts to determine what, if any, coordination occurred between the Trump campaign and Russia over the release of emails. That probably will leave Mueller disappointed but undeterred — perhaps now more mindful of the pitfalls of exploring a world that has an estranged relationship with the truth, legal analysts say. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Tuff luck for Mueller.

Trump-Xi meeting offers best chance in months to defuse U.S.-China trade fight
President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in Buenos Aires, Argentina, later this week to confront perhaps the greatest threat to the weakening global economy — each other. For the first time since Trump began raising tariffs on Chinese products in July, there is cautious optimism that the two leaders may reach at least a partial deal to defuse a trade conflict that is rattling investors and sapping economic activity around the world. Domestic political forces, including suddenly wobbly U.S. financial markets and hints of elite disquiet in China, are propelling the two presidents toward a truce.  Any such deal would only interrupt rather than reverse a broader deterioration in the relationship between Washington, D.C., and Beijing.  Seattle Times

Manafort allegations throw new uncertainty into Russia probe
The breakdown of a plea deal with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an explosive British news report about alleged contacts he may have had with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange threw a new element of uncertainty into the Trump-Russia investigation Tuesday. A day after prosecutors accused Manafort of repeatedly lying to them, trashing his agreement to tell all in return for a lighter sentence, he adamantly denied a report in the Guardian that he had met secretly with Assange around March 2016. That’s the same month Manafort joined the Trump campaign and Russian hackers began an effort to penetrate the email accounts of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Seattle Times

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Customs and Border Protection says Tijuana tear gas incident is under internal review
Top leaders at Customs and Border Protection in San Diego said Sunday's incident involving the use of tear gas to repel groups of migrants trying to storm the border in Tijuana is under internal review. But they firmly defended border agents' decision to use the tear gas amid a "chaotic situation." Several hundred migrants peacefully marched toward the San Ysidro port of entry on Sunday morning. But when Mexican police blocked their path, the large crowd splintered into smaller groups that bypassed officers and stormed the border fence east and west of the border crossing.  USA Today
VOA VIEW: Gas is the only way the border could have been protected.

How the seizure of a $42K Land Rover turned into a Supreme Court case
Tyson Timbs sold a few grams of heroin worth less than $400 to undercover police officers in 2013 – a crime for which he was forced to pay for by losing a Land Rover that cost him 100 times that amount. The disparity is at the heart of a Supreme Court case to be argued Wednesday on whether the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of "excessive fines" applies to the states. If the justices rule that it does, hefty fees, fines and forfeitures imposed by state and local governments may be in jeopardy. Indiana's seizure of Timbs' Land Rover – purchased for $42,058 before he put an additional 16,000 miles on it – has united conservative and liberal interest groups against what they see as increasingly greedy governments.  USA Today

Fox News disciplines employees involved in Scott Pruitt 'Fox & Friends' interview
Fox News Channel said Tuesday that it is disciplining employees involved in an email exchange with an aide to President Trump’s former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to craft a “Fox & Friends” interview with the environmental chief last year. The emails showed one of Pruitt’s aides suggesting the interview, passing along “talking points” and given the chance by a Fox producer to approve a script written to introduce Pruitt. The messages were uncovered through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club and first reported by The Daily Beast. Washington Times

Al Gore to host 24-hour climate change TV special featuring Moby, Goo Goo Dolls
Al Gore will host a 24-hour broadcast special on climate change next month featuring an array of celebrities and musical performances by artists that include Moby and the Goo Goo Dolls. The former vice president on Tuesday announced the eighth annual “24 Hours of Reality: Protect Our Planet, Protect Ourselves,” which will be televised in more than 125 countries and streamed live online at 24HoursofReality.org, according to a news release. Washington Times

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