Trump Says Stormy Payment Meant To Stop 'False' Claims
President Trump, in his first statements since lawyer Rudy Giuliani revealed overnight that the president reimbursed attorney Michael Cohen for a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, said the money was meant to stop “false” allegations and stressed campaign funds played no role. The president put out a three-part tweet about the $130,000 his Cohen paid to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Fox
VOA VIEW: The truth is - no one cares.

Judge Nap: Giuliani's Claim Trump Didn't Know About Daniels Payment Is 'Unworthy Of Belief'
"That money was not campaign money," Giuliani, a recent addition to Trump's legal team, told Sean Hannity. "It's not campaign money. No campaign finance violation." Giuliani later clarified for Fox News that the money Trump paid to Cohen was for unspecified "expenses," and that the president was unaware that money would be going to Daniels. Fox

'Sorry Jim, You're A Liar'" Giuliani Rips 'Garbage Investigation' Of Trump, Says Comey Should Be Prosecuted
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani joined Sean Hannity for a wide-ranging exclusive interview on "Hannity." Giuliani recently joined President Donald Trump's legal team defending him in the special counsel probe into alleged Russian collusion which is headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Giuliani, 73, is a longtime friend of Trump's, and has been involved in New York City politics since serving as the U.S. attorney in the powerful Southern District of New York -- based in Manhattan. Fox
VOA VIEW: It is hard to tell whether Giuliani was helpful.

Kim Meets With China Envoy Amid Warming Ties
China says its foreign minister has met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a visit to Pyongyang, underscoring the vast improvement in relations between the neighbors. The Foreign Ministry announced the meeting in a one-line statement on its official microblog Thursday but gave no details. Earlier it quoted Foreign Minister Wang Yi as telling his North Korean counterpart on Wednesday that China fully backs the North’s efforts to develop its economy following the imposition of United Nations sanctions that have cut trade between them by around 90 percent. Politico


Powerful Explosion Rocks Connecticut Standoff, Sparks Blaze, Injures Officers
A fiery explosion rocked a Connecticut town while police were negotiating with a man who had taken his wife hostage, leaving up to eight officers injured, officials said. The officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the blast at a barn behind the couple's North Haven home Wednesday night. First Selectman Michael Freda said the wife escaped before the explosion. CBS

Elon Musk: No 'Bonehead' Analyst Questions Please
Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk made the unusual choice of vetoing "boring" questions during Tesla's latest earnings call. Tesla posted a record quarterly loss of almost $710m (£523m) for the three months to March - more than double the same period last year. Following a series of probing financial questions posed by analysts, Mr Musk decided to stop answering. "Boring bonehead questions are not cool. Next," he said. BBC
VOA VIEW: The wasting of much money, borrowed money, is not cool.

More Midwest Tornadoes Possible After 26 Reported Since Monday
At least 26 tornadoes have been reported across four states since Monday, as a period of severe weather now enters its fourth straight day. Sixteen tornadoes have been reported this week in Kansas, four in Oklahoma, five in Nebraska and one in Missouri. There were at least 192 storm reports Wednesday alone, as parts of Oklahoma saw winds in excess of 100 mph. ABC


Deadly Military Plane Crash On Savannah, Georgia Road
An Air National Guard C-130 cargo plane crashed Wednesday onto a busy highway moments after taking off from a Georgia airport, killing nine National Guard members from Puerto Rico, authorities said. The top official of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard, Adjutant Gen. Isabelo Rivero confirmed there were no survivors. The plane narrowly missed people on the ground. CBS

Ahead of Trade Talks, China Says It Won’t Submit to U.S. ‘Threats’
The Trump administration’s top economic officials arrived for trade talks in Beijing Thursday as China said it’s not willing to back down on key issues or submit to any U.S. threats. China’s government won’t accept any U.S. preconditions for negotiations such as abandoning its long-term advanced manufacturing ambitions or narrowing the trade gap by $100 billion, a senior government official, who asked not to be named, said late Wednesday. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: China will lose any trade war with the US.

Las Vegas Police Release Bodycam Footage From Inside Shooter's Hotel Rooms
Newly released body camera footage from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department provides a closer look at the tense moments for police during and following the mass shooting in October 2017 when Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and left hundreds injured. The footage from two officers was released Wednesday in response to a lawsuit brought by multiple news organizations seeking the release of 911 recordings, bodycam footage and documents related to the shooting. NPR

Trump's Approval Rating Amongst Black Males Doubles Since Kanye Controversy
President Trump’s approval rating amongst black males has doubled since the start of the Kanye West controversy, proving that the publicity surrounding Kanye’s comments is helping Trump secure new potential voters. Before Kanye’s support for Trump became one of the biggest news stories of the year so far, Trump’s approval rating stood at just 11 per cent amongst African-American males. According to Reuters, on April 29, a week in to the Kanye controversy, that figure shot up to 22 per cent. InfoWars
VOA VIEW: A good start.

How Facebook Will Kill Alternative Media
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company is already implementing procedures to promote or suppress news content based on its “trustworthiness.” He did not say how these news organizations are ranked, but it will undoubtedly continue to disproportionately target conservatives and new media, just in time for election season. InfoWars
VOA VIEW: Facebook is not trustworthy.

Comey's Memo Leak Contact Worked At FBI For Over A Year
Fox News first reported last week that Daniel Richman was hired as a "special government employee," or SGE. Records reviewed by Fox News now show he signed the agreement as early as June 30, 2015. The former director previously told Fox News that Richman left the FBI in February 2017, meaning he served there for well over a year. Sources familiar with Richman’s FBI status said he was assigned to "special projects" by Comey, and had a security clearance as well as badge access to the building. Richman told Fox News in an email last week that he was working as an SGE on an unpaid basis. Fox News

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Trump's Wild Legal Ride
President Donald Trump has grown used to smashing norms and conventions — and Washington and the world have adjusted, or not, accordingly. But his biggest clash may still be ahead of him. The chaos inside the president’s legal team, the wild ride Rudy Giuliani is already leading it on, and the conflicting signals and veiled threats flowing via tweets and congressional rumblings — it all points to a more confrontational White House stance in the Robert Mueller probe. ABC

Cambridge Analytica Died Because It Couldn't Stop Plaing The Victim
Cambridge Analytica was nothing if not consistent. After nearly two months of scandal, the Trump campaign’s onetime data analytics firm died as it lived: denying it ever did anything wrong and excoriating the journalists who reported about the ways in which it misused data. Its timely death on Wednesday — which arrived on the second day of the F8 developer conference — illustrated something Facebook knew all too well: data privacy matters to people, and acting recklessly with it could kill you. Verge

Trump, Giuliani Hint At Release Of Americans Detained In North Korea
President Donald Trump hinted late Wednesday that three Americans detained in North Korea could soon be released as he prepares for a potential summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “As everybody is aware," Trump tweeted, "the past Administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned!" NBC

Trump's Sex Assault Accuser Subpoenas 'Apprentice' Footage
Former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos is on a mission to prove President Trump is the real liar in her defamation lawsuit. “We are gathering evidence that we believe will prove that defendant lied when he falsely denigrated Ms. Zervos and denied sexually assaulting her,” the woman’s attorney, Mariann Wang, said Wednesday. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Another publicity seeking fool.

Block 5 Rocket Launch Marks End Of Beginning For SpaceX
Less than eight years after its maiden launch, the Falcon 9 booster has become the most dominant rocket in the world. Modern and efficient, no rocket launched more than the 70m Falcon 9 booster launched last year. Barring catastrophe, no rocket seems likely to launch more this year. In part, SpaceX has achieved this level of efficiency by bringing a Silicon Valley mindset to the aerospace industry. The company seeks to disrupt, take chances, and, like so many relentless start-up companies, drive employees to work long hours to meet demanding engineering goals. Artstechnica

Camille Cosby Calls Bill Cosby’s Guilty Charge “Mob Justice” In Startling Statement
Camille Cosby, who has been married to The Cosby Show star since 1964, has gone after the Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, the media and Cosby’s accusers in a statement that alludes to racial injustice. “The overall media, with their frenzied, relentless demonization of him and unquestioning acceptance of accusers’ allegations without any attendant proof, have superseded the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, which guarantee due process and equal protection, and thereby eliminated the possibility of a fair trial and unbiased jury. Bill Cosby was labelled as guilty because the media and accusers said so,” she said. Deadline

Greitens Lied To State Ethics Commission
Gov. Eric Greitens ran an off-the-books political campaign in 2014, took a private charity’s donor list to raise campaign funds and lied about that list in a signed statement to the state’s ethics commission, according to documents and testimony from six of his former employees. The findings are outlined in a 23-page report released Wednesday by a Missouri House committee investigating Greitens, a Republican. The report contains evidence that Greitens and associates lied in campaign filings, a class A misdemeanor, and violated campaign finance law — a civil offense — when he operated a shadow campaign before filing required paperwork with election authorities. St. Louis Today


Russian War Plane Crashes In Syria Killing 2
An advanced Russian multi-role fighter plane crashed in Syria on Thursday morning shortly after take-off, killing both members of its crew, the Russian military was cited as saying by Russian news agencies. The two-seater Sukhoi-30SM jet crashed after taking off from Russia's Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province. Agencies cited the Ministry of Defence in Moscow as saying its two crew members had tried in vain to save the plane until the last moment. Yahoo News

Trump Turns More Aggressive On Mueller Probe As Cobb Departs
Donald Trump signaled a more aggressive posture toward Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as the president rid his legal team of its most determined advocate of cooperation with the Russia probe. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who joined Trump’s legal team last month, said Thursday that the president’s lawyers would restrict Mueller’s access to him. He said that if Trump’s lawyers consent to an interview at all, Mueller would get no more than 2.5 hours with the president. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Trump should not answer any Mueller questions - they would be a trick.

Teacher Of The Year Hands Trump Letters From Her Refugee Students
National Teacher of the Year award winner Mandy Manning came to the White House with one goal in mind: to elevate the profile of her refugee and immigrant students with President Donald Trump. In a phone interview with CNN, Manning said she had done just that, delivering handwritten letters from her students directly to the President when meeting with him one on one Wednesday. CNN

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Kushner Strengthens Evangelical Ties To Trump, Over Prison Reform
Top White House advisor Jared Kushner this week helped to tighten evangelical community ties to President Trump, this time over sentencing and prison reform, a key project that his father-in-law has entrusted him with. Kushner this week hosted a call to 150 key evangelical leaders, including televangelist Jentezen Franklin and Prison Fellowship advocate and former Met outfielder Darryl Strawberry, an ordained minister. Washington Examiner

One Person Has Died In The E. Coli Outbreak Linked To Romaine Lettuce
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday that three new states — Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Utah — have reported cases of illness linked to E. coli O157:H7. These bacteria, called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, are generally considered to be more toxic than other strains of the bacteria, and a higher-than-expected number of people have been hospitalized in the outbreak.  Buzz Feed

The Secret Service Director Sent A Sarcastic Message To John Kelly On His Chief Of Staff Appointment
"Congratulations, I think," wrote retired Marine Corps General Randolph "Tex" Alles. The email from the man who leads the agency charged with protecting the president was obtained by BuzzFeed News in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, revealing his thoughts on Kelly's appointment. At the time, the White House was contending with a staff shakeup that saw the departure of chief of staff Reince Priebus, press secretary Sean Spicer's abrupt resignation, and combative hedge fund executive Anthony Scaramucci hired as communications director. Buzz Feed

US Trade Deficit Narrows Sharply
While other data on Thursday showed a modest increase in new applications for jobless benefits last week, the number of Americans receiving unemployment aid fell to its lowest level since 1973, pointing to tightening labor market conditions. Wage growth is also rising, with hourly compensation accelerating in the first quarter. That should help to boost consumers spending after it slowed sharply in the first three months of the year. Reuters
VOA VIEW: America is moving forward even with disruptive liberals and Democrats.

Kanye West Jets Out Of L.A. Finish Album After Shocking Fans & Friends With Slavery Comments
After Kanye West‘s TMZ Live outburst, the rapper has left LA for the mountains of Wyoming to put the finishing touches on his album, due out on May 25. Ye, 40, rented a secluded home, literally on a mountain top, in the Cowboy State, and according to TMZ, he will be staying there for at least several weeks. Whether this is a way to escape the backlash over his comment that “slavery was a choice,” or he really does need to finish his album that is about to drop, is unsure, but the outlet says he is expecting a number of guests help with the album. Hollywood Life

Trump Changes His Story About Stormy Daniels
President Donald Trump is shifting his story about the Stormy Daniels controversy following the revelation by his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, that the President reimbursed a payment to the adult film actress by Michael Cohen. Trump -- who previously said he was not aware of the $130,000 Cohen paid to Daniels before the 2016 election in an effort to keep her quiet about an alleged affair between her and the President -- denied on Thursday that any campaign money was used to reimburse Cohen and that he was paid via retainer.  CNN

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Myanmar Journalists Say Government Failing To Protect Press Freedom
Journalists in Myanmar believe their government is failing to defend media freedom despite the transition from harsh military rule to an elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, according to a survey published to mark World Press Freedom Day on Thursday. Activist group Free Expression Myanmar and its partner organizations interviewed 200 journalists between January and April, finding almost half believed they had less freedom as journalists than a year earlier. Yahoo News

2 Black Men Arrested At Starbucks Settle With Philadelphia For $2
The two black men whose arrest at a Philadelphia Starbucks last month set off a wave of protests against the coffee giant for discrimination have reached a settlement with the city, the mayor's office said Wednesday. They will each be paid $1. In addition, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, both 23, will release the city and employees of all claims in exchange for the creation of a $200,000 fund that, through the help of a nonprofit organization, will assist young entrepreneurs in Philadelphia. NBC
VOA VIEW: A good deal.

Rudy Giuliani Says Jared Kushner, A Man, Is ‘Disposable’
Rudy Giuliani may think that women can’t be president, but he also holds the belief that “men are disposable” — or, to be more specific, he thinks Jared Kushner is trash. In the same Fox News segment where Giuliani revealed that Donald Trump had repaid his lawyer for the $130,000 payout to Stormy Daniels, the technologically challenged man tried to explain to Sean Hannity why Special Counsel Robert Mueller would go after Kushner in his investigation, but not after daddy’s girl, Ivanka Trump. The Cut

Naked Trump Statue Mocking His Manhood Sells For $28K At Auction
A statue of President Trump in his birthday suit is headed to Las Vegas after being sold at auction for $28,000. Julien’s Auctions announced that it sold the larger than life piece known as “The Emperor Has No Balls” to Zak Bagans, a paranormal investigator and host of Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.” NY Post

Charlie Rose Accused Of Sexual Misconduct By 27 More Women
Twenty-seven more women have accused Charlie Rose of sexual harassment, according to a report Thursday that says CBS was alerted to his alleged behavior as early as 1986 and as recently as April 2017. The 76-year-old journalist was fired from CBS and PBS in November in light of sexual misconduct allegations from eight women. Page Six

Trump Admits To Authorizing Stormy Daniels Payoff, Denies Sexual Encounter
President Trump admitted Thursday to reimbursing his lawyer for a $130,000 payment made on the eve of the 2016 election to adult film star Stormy Daniels as part of a settlement agreement about an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump. Trump, however, denied any sexual encounter and claims the payment was in no way connected with the campaign — despite the timing. NPR

Puerto Rico National Guard Mourn 9 Killed In Georgia Crash
off in Georgia on Wednesday, killing all nine airmen on board. The plane, a C-130-type cargo plane from Puerto Rico’s 156th Airlift Wing, had been in Savannah for maintenance and took off about 11:30 a.m., bound for Arizona. The Associated Press reported that the decades-old plane was due to be retired in Arizona, though a National Guard spokesman would not confirm that at a news conference Thursday morning. Washington Post

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