Pruitt Tells Congress He Has 'Nothing To Hide'
Embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt defiantly told lawmakers he has "nothing to hide" amid a flurry of probes into ethical and mismanagement allegations that he said were based on "half-truths." "I have nothing to hide as it relates to how I've run the agency the past 16 months," Pruitt told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee at a packed hearing Thursday. Those attacking him, he said "want to derail (deregulatory agenda) ... I'm simply not going to let that happen." USA Today
VOA VIEW: The truth hurts.

A Guide To Unscrambling Trump’s Bonkers ‘Fox & Friends’ Interview
He said “nuclear war” with North Korea “would have happened if we had weak people.” Trump dismissed criticism of his hyperbolic rhetoric on North Korea, which has included insulting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “Little Rocket Man,” and bragging about his nuclear “button.” “Everybody said, ‘This guy’s going to get us into nuclear war.’ Let me tell you, the nuclear war would have happened if we had weak people,” Trump said. Huff Post
VOA VIEW: Trump has made and continues to make America great.

Trump: Tester Has A 'Big Price To Pay' Over VA Nominee's Withdrawal
“I watch what Jon Tester, of Montana — a state that I won by, like, over 20 points, you know, really, they love me and I love them. And I want to tell you that Jon Tester, I think this is going to cause him a lot of problems in his state,” Trump told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning. Politico

Senate Confirms Mike Pompeo As Secretary Of State
With unanimous support from Republicans and backing from a handful of Democrats, the Senate on Thursday confirmed CIA director Mike Pompeo as the next secretary of state. The vote in favor of Pompeo was 57-42. Six Democrats and a independent who caucuses with the party, Sen. Angus King of Maine, joined in confirming Pompeo. Huff Post
VOA VIEW: Now America can move forward with strength.


Cosby Found Guilty
After 14 hours of deliberations, the jury reached a verdict around 1:30 p.m. and determined Cosby was guilty on three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault. The comedian initially had no visible reaction in the courtroom as his fate was announced, but upon hearing the district attorney's request that his bail be revoked he launched into a expletive-laden rant. Fox

Illegal Immigrant Cop Killer Receives Death Penalty
The convicted killer, Luis Bracamontes, shouted a racial slur at motorist Anthony Holmes, whom he shot five times during his rampage four years ago, and used profane language toward former Placer County Deputy Chuck Bardo during the hearing, The Sacramento Bee reported. Fox

The Labor Department Is Looking Into Wells Fargo's 401(k) Policies
The federal investigation is also looking into whether customers were encouraged to buy in-house funds in order to raise more money for the bank. The issue at play regards the Employee Retirement Income Security Act which requires the bankers that serve retirement accounts to put the interest of their client ahead of those of the bank. Fortune

Trump Defends His 'Bigger Button' Tweet
"It could be that I walk out quickly –- with respect, but it could be. It could be that maybe the meeting doesn’t even take place. Who knows?" Trump told Fox News's "Fox and Friends." The two sides have narrowed down possible locations to five, according to Trump, with three or four dates in the running. One senior U.S. official previously told ABC News that Trump had ruled out China and that it was highly unlikely Kim would agree to meet in the U.S. or Trump to meet in North Korea. ABC
VOA VIEW: The question is where will be safe for both of the men?

Juanita Broaddrick Tweetstorm Recounts Being 'Brutally Raped' by Bill Clinton Forty Years Ago Today
On Wednesday, former nursing home administrator Juanita Broaddrick shared a timeline of her "brutal rape" at the hands of then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton. The event took place forty years ago. Broaddrick insisted that there was nothing political in her tweetstorm, but she did explain why she supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election. "On this morning, 40 years ago, my life changed forever. On 4-25-78, I was brutally raped by Ark AG, Bill Clinton.  PJ Media

Trump Allies Drowning In Legal Fees
The ongoing probes of Russian election meddling are roiling Washington, spawning new legal actions — and increasingly, emptying the pockets of the people involved in them. Becoming ensnared in a federal investigation into the links between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Kremlin can pose a serious financial threat for those involved at any level. In an interview with CNBC, former Trump campaign advisor Michael Caputo described the financial strain of being a witness in the House Intelligence Committee's investigation. CNBC

More JFK Documents Released. Trump Keeps Some Sealed.
President Donald Trump issued an order Thursday keeping some of the most sensitive records from the Kennedy assassination files sealed for another 3-1/2 years, as the National Archives released a final batch under a law meant to force most of the records into the light by last fall. In 1992, Congress set a 25-year deadline for releasing remaining documents stemming from John F. Kennedy's murder in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Dallas News

'Caravan' At Mexico Border Prepares For Mass Crossing
Hundreds of Central American migrants from a caravan that crossed Mexico reunited in Tijuana on Wednesday and planned to cross the border together this weekend in defiance of threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to repel them. The timing of the migrants arrival could compromise a flurry of talks this week to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which Trump has repeatedly threatened to scrap if Mexico does not crack down on the flow of Central Americans through its territory.


Trump Ramps Up Personal Cell Phone Use
Sources cited Trump's stepped-up cell phone use as an example of chief of staff John Kelly's waning influence over who gets access to the President. During the early days of Kelly's tenure, multiple sources said, Trump made many of his calls from the White House switchboard -- a tactic that allowed the chief of staff to receive a printed list of who Trump had phoned. Kelly has less insight into who Trump calls on his personal cell phone. CNN

Merkel: Trump's Final Hurdle Before The Weekend
There will be no state dinner. No military fanfare. No high fashion, high hats or high heels. But there is still a strong chance of an awkward handshake. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be visiting the White House on Friday. After the pomp and circumstance that accompanied the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, Merkel's will be a staid and sombre affair. CNN

Housekeepers And Nannies Have No Protection From Sexual Harassment Under Federal Law
Etelbina Hauser has lost count of all the times her bosses have groped her, exposed themselves, or asked for sex. A common scenario plays out like this: She would be alone, cleaning a home, when the husband of the household would call her into his bedroom. He would be naked (or half-naked) and would suggest a sexual act or a massage. Hauser would then run out of the house and start looking for another job. Vox
VOA VIEW: Bad, but over stated.

Kanye West And President Trump’s Twitter Lovefest, Explained
Kanye West, the music producer and rapper and author of some of the most influential records of the 21st century, returned to Twitter after almost a full year away, where he’s now posting so many tweets that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with his seemingly insatiable pace. At first, it seemed like he was just back on Twitter to announce a pair of new albums (one solo, one with longtime collaborator Kid Cudi). Vox

FISA Court Denied Record Number Of Spy Warrants In 2017
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2017 rejected a record number of spy warrants, according to statistics released Wednesday to Congress. The court approved 71 percent of surveillance applications submitted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 2017, according to a report from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. That’s down significantly from the 79 percent approved in 2016. Daily Caller
VOA VIEW: How many have been submitted?

Greg Abbott Pushing Blake Farenthold To Pay For Special Election To Fill His Seat
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants to make disgraced former Congressman Blake Farenthold pay for the special election being held to fill his vacated seat in the 27th district. Abbott sent a letter to Farenthold Wednesday, pressuring him to put up $84,000 toward funding the special election on June 30. “On behalf of voters in the 27th Congressional District and as Governor of the State of Texas, I am writing to demand that you cover all costs for the called special election to fill the seat now vacated following your resignation,” he wrote. Daily Caller

Trump Cannot Make The Manafort Case Disappear
By the time August ended, Manafort was gone -- having resigned after allegations that he had received millions of dollars "off the books" to support pro-Russia figures in Ukraine. On the very day he was forced out, the financially strapped Manafort created a shell company that received $13 million in loans over the next few months from people or financial institutions with links to Trump. Real Clear Politics

Iran's Khamenei Urges Muslim Nations To Unite Against US
Iran's supreme leader called on Muslim nations to unite against the United States, saying Tehran would never yield to "bullying," state television reported on Thursday. "The Iranian nation has successfully resisted bullying attempts by America and other arrogant powers and we will continue to resist... All Muslim nations should stand united against America and other enemies," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said.  Yahoo News
VOA VIEW: Iran is no friend of the US.

Ford Is About To Abandon American Sedans
Just two years from now, a mere 10 percent of the vehicles rolling off Ford assembly lines and into North American showrooms will be sedans and sports cars like the Taurus or Mustang. The rest will be pickups, SUVs and commercial vehicles -- more lucrative models that the company hopes will secure its future as change tears through the global auto industry. Bloomberg

Hundreds Of Bodies Found From Rwanda's 1994 Genocide
The grim find, spread among four mass graves, was made on Sunday in the village of Rusororo by local people who had dug for several days, reaching depths of up to 20 metres (66 feet). The managing director of the Kigali Memorial Center, Gatera Honore, said it was unsurprising that bodies were still being discovered nearly a quarter-century after the massacres. Yahoo News

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What Golden State Killer Has Been Up To All These Years
After allegedly masterminding 50 rapes and a dozen sadistic murders, suspected Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo spent more than a quarter-century working as a machinist for a grocery store chain, his former employer confirmed to the Daily News. DeAngelo, 72, got a job with the Save Mart chain of California grocery stores around 1990 and settled into a quiet life in suburban Sacramento where he was known simply as "Joe," a company spokeswoman said. NY Daily

Pro-Trump Vloggers Testified Before Congress-And It Got Out Of Hand
A shouting match ensued during Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson's questioning of Hardaway and Richardson, who exclaimed that they were being "censored" by Facebook and accused the platform of limiting their reach. "Rather than diamonds, you're seeking money from Facebook," Johnson told Hardaway. "This is a stupid and ridiculous hearing," said Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu. Business Insider
VOA VIEW: Liberals don't like the truth.

Here Comes Facebook’s Annual Apps Fest. There’s Just One Problem
The 2018 conference, which kicks off on May 1 in San Jose, Calif., is shaping up to be a lot less festive. Facebook finds itself in a crisis of public trust after a developer shared the personal data of as many as 87 million people with Cambridge Analytica, a conservative political consulting company. Facebook said it would quickly address the problem—though it can’t retrieve the data that was leaked—while admitting there could be many similarly sized data security problems involving other developers it doesn’t yet know about. Bloomberg


Teachers In Arizona & Colorado Walk Out
Teachers said they won't return to work until they feel their message has been heard, CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas reports. Second-grade teacher Alexis Aguirre told Yuccas that living paycheck to paycheck has forced her to consider other careers. CBS

Pepsi Vs. Coke-The Cola Wars
Pepsi reported its latest results Thursday. And even though it acknowledged "challenges" in its US soda business, Pepsi posted solid sales growth in North America from Lipton and Pure Leaf, LifeWTR and Kevita kombucha and probiotic cleansing drinks. The company also posted strong gains in beverage sales from China, India, Brazil and other international markets and an increase in revenue from its Frito-Lay snack business, which owns Doritos, as well as its Quaker brand of oatmeal and cereal. Money CNN

Joy Reid Misspelling Suggests She Did Write "Homophobic" Blog Posts
Although she initially apologized back in December for past comments that were derogatory towards gays, Reid was hit with new allegations after posts from her blog were uncovered via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. The posts went beyond ridiculing Republican hypocrisy on homosexuality and suggested that Reid had in fact expressed hateful views towards the LGBT community, an unforgivable sin in leftist circles. InfoWars
VOA VIEW: Reid has not been fired because she is black and very liberal.

500 Million Africans Could Invade Europe Under ISIS Plan
A United Nations official has warned that jihadist factions are working on a scheme to destabilize a region of Africa that could ultimately drive some 500 million migrants into Europe. David Beasley, Executive Director of the U.N. World Food Programme, revealed that ISIS is operating in conjunction with African terror cells to exploit a food crisis in the Sahel region of Northern Africa. InfoWars

Here's Who Will First Review Cohen's Seized Materials
A 70-year-old woman who has been both a federal judge and a prosecutor has been chosen to be the first to review what the FBI seized from Michael Cohen, the personal lawyer for President Trump. U.S. District Judge of the Southern District of New York Judge Kimba Wood said in court Thursday that she will appoint Barbara Jones to be “special master” in the case. Washington Examiner

There Are Tons Of Sketchy Rumors About Upcoming iPhone SE 2
But there are some signs an updated model could be in the works. Earlier this month, regulatory filings from Apple revealed model numbers that appear to belong to new iPhones. There’s no other iPhone that Apple’s likely to release soon; and the last time regulatory filings revealed an Apple product early (this year’s iPad), the device was revealed one month later. So it sure seems like something new is coming soon. Verge

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Autism Prevalence Increases: 1 In 59 US Children
One in 59 US children has autism, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new estimate is a prevalence rate of 1.7%, up from one in every 68 children (1.5%) in the 2016 report, which was based on data from 2010. The new figure was derived from 2014 estimates for 8-year-olds diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in 11 communities across the nation. CNN

Ryan Forces Out WH Priest Over Prayer
Speaker Paul Ryan forced out the Jesuit priest who had served as House chaplain since 2011 because he said in a prayer during deliberations on tax cuts that lawmakers should be “fair to all Americans,” a new report said Thursday. The Rev. Patrick Conroy’s letter of resignation, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill, said that he was stepping down because of a request from the Wisconsin Republican, who is also a Catholic. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Clergy should not be political - especially WH priests.

Mexican Rapper Admits To Dissolving Student's Bodies In Acid
He confessed to state prosecutors that he disposed of the bodies after the three victims were kidnapped, tortured and murdered, the outlet reported. Gutierrez admitted that a friend recruited him three months ago to work for the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, and that he had received 3,000 pesos — nearly $159 — a week. NY Post

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Amazon Is Now Selling Home Security Services
Amazon has quietly launched a portal offering home security services — which include all the equipment you would need and in-person visits from Amazon consultants to advise and install the kit. The packages are being sold in five price tiers, at a flat fee — no monthly service contracts, a significant disruption of how many home security services are sold today. Tech Crunch

Top Republicans Oppose The Bill To Protect Robert Mueller But It Just Got Closer To Passing
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 14 to 7 on Thursday to pass the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, which would, among other things, allow any fired special counsel to challenge their dismissal in court. All Democrats on the panel voted for the legislation and were joined by four Republicans: Sens. Thom Tillis and Lindsey Graham, two of the bill’s cosponsors, as well as Sen. Jeff Flake and committee chair Sen. Chuck Grassley. Buzz Feed

A Powerful New Memorial For Lynching Victims Just Opened In Alabama
The memorial is a powerful reminder of the centuries of violence and racial inequality throughout US history, while offering a place of solace to reflect upon those who have lost their lives because of the color of their skin. Inscribed into 800 steel monuments which hang from the memorial's ceiling are the names and places of each act of violence, while a display of glass jars containing soil from these sites offers a tangible reminder of the humanity behind each inscribed name. Buzz Feed

Richard Blumenthal Wants To Investigate Trump Doctor Ronny Jackson
Sen. Richard Blumenthal wants to investigate the allegations of workplace misconduct against White House Physician Ronny Jackson, who withdrew his nomination to serve as secretary of Veterans Affairs Thursday. The Connecticut Democrat said Thursday that the inspector general for the Navy, where Jackson serves as a rear admiral, should investigate accusations from 23 current and former colleagues. The charges — detailed by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., the top Democrat on the Veterans Affairs Committee — include drunkenly crashing a car at a Secret Service party and improperly doling out prescriptions. Washington Examiner
VOA VIEW: Time will tell.

Trump Begins Distancing Himself From Cohen
President Trump has admitted for the first time that his personal lawyer Michael Cohen represented him in the “crazy Stormy Daniels deal,” despite previously denying that he knew about the payment Cohen made to the porn star. “Michael would represent me on some things. He represents me like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, he represented me,” Trump said Thursday during a half-hour phone interview with “Fox & Friends.” NY Post

Islam’s Impact On The West’s Identity
What role, if any, did Islam play in shaping Europe’s identity, both in the past and present? Ahmed Akbar, chair of Islamic Studies at American University and author of the new book Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity, claims that Islam had a largely positive impact on Europe’s identity (including by invoking the Myth of the Andalusian Paradise). Thus, any European suspicion or rejection of Muslim migrants is wholly unwarranted.PJ Media

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