NEWS   SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2018   NEWS

McCain's Health Improving, Family And Friends Say
Arizona's junior U.S. senator, Jeff Flake, told Fox News on Friday that he spoke with McCain by phone that morning, and said his 81-year-old colleague was “doing better” than he had been recently. In April, McCain underwent surgery for an intestinal infection. Flake did not go into detail, but he smiled and spoke in a tone of voice that suggested he was pleased or relieved to offer the positive update. Fox
VOA VIEW: The truth is...

Donald Trump Jr. Gave Daughter A Puppy For Her Birthday
Donald Trump Jr. presented daughter Kai with a very special gift ahead of her eleventh birthday, sharing photos to Instagram of the family’s newest addition: a puppy. “Kai got her birthday present a day early and boy is she cute. She’s been asking for years and her aunt @veronikadhg stepped up and we gave it. Puppy time,” the executive vice president of the Trump Organization wrote of the photos on May 11 to his Instagram following of 1.1 million. Fox

North Korea Pledges To Dismantle Nuclear Site In May Ceremony
North Korea says it will begin dismantling its nuclear test site in less than two weeks in a ceremony attended by foreign journalists. Pyongyang said it was taking "technical measures" to carry out the process between 23-25 May, North Korean state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday. Scientists previously said the site may have partially collapsed in September. BBC
VOA VIEW: The site is worthless.

US Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Bombers Near Western Coast Of Alaska
Two U.S. fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers flying near the western coast of Alaska on Friday, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement. The incident happened at 10 a.m. Friday as the Russian jets were flying in the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) around Alaska's western coast, north of the Aleutian Islands. CBS
VOA VIEW: Russia is playing games.


Oklahoma Governor Vetoes Gun Bill
Oklahoma's Republican Governor Mary Fallin vetoed a bill that would have allowed adults to carry handguns without a permit and signed another that permits religious organizations to exclude same sex couples from adoptions, managing to anger both gun and gay rights groups on the same day. The twin actions announced late Friday were among more than a dozen decisions on legislation taken by the term-limited governor as she clears the decks in her waning months in office. NBC
VOA VIEW: Fallin will face a hard time getting reelected.

"Not The Way I Would Deal With People", Former Defense Secretary Says Of Trump
Asked about reports that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen considered resigning, after President Trump berated her at a cabinet meeting, Robert Gates characterized President Trump's management style as "not the way I would deal with people." The New York Times reported the president has grown increasingly angry with the Department of Homeland Security head, unloading Thursday in a "lengthy tirade" on Nielsen over a lack of progress on combating illegal immigration. CBS

Iraq Counts Votes After First Iraq Election Since IS Defeat
Iraq began tallying votes Saturday after its first election since defeating the Islamic State group, with apathy rife for a poll some fear could stir a tug-of-war between the United States and Iran. The official turnout was expected to be low as many of the roughly 24.5 million voters skipped the parliamentary ballot, despite it passing off largely peacefully. Yahoo News


Facebook, Google To Block Ads Leading Up To Ireland Abortion Referendum
On May 25th, citizens of Ireland will vote to repeal the 1983 constitutional amendment recognizing the equal right to life of the unborn and banning abortion in all cases except the health of the mother, including potential suicide. Supporters of the repeal say the wording of the amendment does not allow law makers to grant exceptions in cases of rape or other circumstances. They argue that only by repealing this amendment can reasonable laws be made. Fox
VOA VIEW: Facebook and Google need to be regulated.

Israel Air Force Strikes Gaza Attack Tunnel
The Israeli military said the air force struck an attack tunnel in Gaza Saturday evening. Explosions were heard in the Strip's north. According to the Israel Defense Forces, the tunnel was located a few meters from Israeli territory and, upon completion, would have led to the Israeli community of Kibbutz Erez. Haaretz

Trump Administration Rolls Back Protections For Transgender Prison Inmates
The Trump administration has rolled back protections for transgender prison inmates introduced under former President Barack Obama after some prisoners challenged the policies in court. An inmate’s “biological sex” will now be used to make the initial decision as to where transgender prisoners are housed, instead of the gender to which they identify, according to a change in guidelines announced on Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Huff Post
VOA VIEW: Male cannot stay with a female.

Trump Assails High Drug Prices, Avoids Direct Hit On Industry
Trump made the remarks at the White House Rose Garden in a speech to introduce what he called “the most sweeping action in history” to lower drug prices. The effort comes as a growing number of Americans struggle with the cost of their medications, and cite healthcare concerns as a top priority for Washington ahead of congressional elections in November. Reuters

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Hawaii Braces For Major Eruption
With scientists warning that a steam-driven volcanic eruption could occur virtually without warning, the Hawaii National Guard is prepared to use ground convoys and even helicopters if necessary to pluck hundreds of residents from an isolated southeast corner of Hawaii's Big Island. USA Today

Giuliani Says Trump Didn't Intervene to Nix AT&T-Time Warner Merger
President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said Saturday that the president did not intervene in the Justice Department's decision to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger — walking back earlier comments appearing to suggest that Trump did. Giuliani told NBC News Saturday that Trump said he "was against that merger when [he] ran." NBC
VOA VIEW: No one should want a deal to go through.

Nigerian Woman Removed From Airplane After Man Told Crew She Smelled Bad
A Nigerian woman is suing United Airlines alleging she and her children were kicked off a flight after another passenger complained about her "pungent" odor. Queen Obioma claims she and her minor children were boarding a San Francisco-bound plane when an altercation with a white, male passenger escalated to the point where United staff pulled her family from the flight, according to the Houston Chronicle. NY Daily

Macron Calls Trump-Angry Over His Iran Move
French President Emmanuel Macron has called his friend and ally U.S. President Donald Trump to say he's very worried about tensions in the Middle East, after Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord. Macron's office said the two leaders spoke Saturday and the French leader expressed his "great concern about stability" in the region. Macron strongly opposes Trump's pullout from the 2015 global deal curbing Iran's nuclear activities.  ABC
VOA VIEW: Macron is wrong - time will tell.

NASA Sending Helicopter To Mars, Aiming For An Aviation First
NASA has long been able to check out Mars on the ground with rovers and landers and from far above with orbital spacecraft. Now, it wants to prove that it can sustainably fly around the planet's thin atmosphere at low altitude -- with a tiny helicopter. NASA announced Friday it will send the Mars Helicopter to the Red Planet with the previously announced Mars 2020 rover, set to launch in two years from Florida. CNN

Flesh-Eating Bacteria May Have Killed Woman After Florida Vacation, Husband Suggests
A grandmother from Indianapolis may have died from flesh-eating bacteria after contracting it while she was on vacation in Florida. Richard Martin told WRTV that his 50-year-old wife, Carol, had returned home from a vacation in Clearwater, Florida, in February with a nickel-sized infection on her buttocks. The infection became so unbearably painful that she sought medical care twice. "They sent her home with more antibiotics and a heating pad, and it got worse," said Martin told the local news station. Yahoo News


Record Numbers Of Women Running for Office
A record number of women have stepped up for U.S. House and Senate races—527 as of the end of April, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, with more than a dozen states still accepting new candidates for the November midterms. That’s a 67 percent jump from 2016. Bloomberg

How Companies Use Math To Make the Gender Pay Gap Vanish
Subscribe to the Pay Check on Apple PodcastsSubscribe to the Pay Check on Pocket CastsThere are two pay gaps when it comes to American women being paid unfairly: the average pay gap and the adjusted pay gap. These two measures of how men and women are treated differently tell separate stories. Bloomberg

Trump Administration Cracks Down On Students Overstaying Visas
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services memorandum says students and exchange visitors will rack up "unlawful presence" days in the United States starting on the date they failed to maintain their F, J, or M immigrant status, according to a release. Individuals who depart the U.S. after more than 180 days of unlawful presence may be barred from re-entering the U.S. for three years. UPI
VOA VIEW: The law is the law.

Trump Calls North Korea Pledge To Dismantle Nuclear Test Site A 'Smart And Gracious Gesture!'
North Korea said it planned to ceremonially close its main nuclear test site this month to "ensure transparency" about its intent ahead of a historic summit in June with President Trump. The Foreign Affairs Ministry said the site — a mountain near Punggye-ri in a remote northeast province — would be completed in phases, beginning with the explosive collapse of tunnels. Entries and other structures at the site would also be removed. LA Times

Once The Lava Stops, Rebuilding And Futures Uncertain In Hawaii
The erupting Kilauea volcano has been spewing lava for more than a week, and the island suffered a series of earthquakes that included a strong 6.9-magnitude temblor on May 4. A total of 36 structures, at least 27 of which were homes, have been destroyed, officials said. President Donald Trump on Friday approved a major disaster declaration ordering federal assistance to be provided for recovery efforts. Hawaii Gov. David Ige said the help would go toward public facilities such as roads, public parks, schools and water pipes damaged in the eruption or earthquakes. NBC

Light Turnout In Iraq Parliamentary Elections
Iraqi officials had worried that security concerns would keep voters from the polls. But as polling centers closed, it was apparent that many voters stayed away from apathy rather than fear. With more than 90 percent of the votes in, Iraq's election commission announced voter turnout of 44.5 percent. The figure is down sharply from 60 percent of eligible voters who cast their ballots in the last elections in 2014. NPR

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New York's Ex-Speaker Convicted A Second Time For Corruption
A federal jury found former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver guilty of corruption charges less than a year after an appeals court threw out his conviction on the same charges. The jury deliberated for an hour and a half after a two-week trial in Manhattan and found him guilty of all seven charges he faced, including honest services mail fraud and money laundering. UPI

Pakistan Bars US Diplomat From Leaving Amid Tense Relations
Pakistani authorities have barred a U.S. diplomat involved in a fatal traffic accident from leaving the country, forcing an American military aircraft flown in for his departure to leave without him, local media reported on Saturday. The move came a day after Pakistan said it would restrict the movements of all American diplomats in the country in response to Washington’s similar restrictions on Pakistani embassy diplomats. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Pakistan is starting a confrontation they will lose.

Pompeo To Kim: Denuclearize And Enjoy 'Future Brimming With Peace And Prosperity'
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reluctant to share details of his whirlwind meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a joint news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Friday — a day after Pompeo returned from Pyongyang. But he did expound on the economic benefits North Korea and its people would enjoy if Kim got rid of his country's nuclear weapons. NPR

Bloomberg Warns Of 'Endless' Barrage Of Lies In Politics
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned Saturday that the worst threat facing the country isn’t terrorism or communism – it’s “an epidemic of dishonesty.” The billionaire – who has called President Trump a “con” and a “dangerous demagogue” – cautioned that “an endless barrage of lies” and “alternate realities” in national politics endanger U.S. democracy. The comments came during a commencement speech at Rice University in Texas. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Poor and dumb speeh.

Supporters Push Trump's Nobel Peace Prize Prospects
The push comes as Trump is preparing for an historic summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, which will serve as the highest-stakes diplomatic test to date for a president whose unconventional approach to foreign policy has also prompted fears of nuclear winter. Trump scored a substantial win on Wednesday when he announced that three Americans who had been detained by Kim were on their way home to the U.S. Newsday

Giuliani Opens His Mouth Again, Says Trump Denied AT&T-Time Warner Merger
President Trump is known for saying “the quiet part out loud,” a habit that has served him shockingly well as a politician. One arena where this practice remains almost universally frowned upon is the legal profession. But a single brave lawyer is throwing convention to the wind there, too, and his name is Rudolph Giuliani. During his first few days as counsel to the president, the former New York mayor made a huge unforced error on Fox News, telling Sean Hannity that Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen for his $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels in 2016. NY Mag

Grassley Flags ‘Apparent Contradictions’ In Comey’s Testimony About Michael Flynn
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is trying to get to the bottom of “apparent contradictions” in former FBI Director James Comey’s claims about former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Comey told a Sete Judiciary panel in a March 15, 2017 interview that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he intentionally lied about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016, according to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. Daily Caller

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Allegations Of Schneiderman Abuse Went To Trump
The lawyer, Peter J. Gleason, asserted in a letter that he had been contacted by two women — one in 2012 and one in 2013 — who said they had been “sexually victimized” by Schneiderman. Rather than bringing their cases to the district attorney, Gleason said, he told retired New York Post columnist Steve Dunleavy, who in turn contacted Trump. By Gleason’s account, this led to a phone call from Cohen, with whom he shared details of the women’s stories. Newsday

Indiana Senator Is Second Dem To Back Trump CIA Pick
A second Democratic senator has announced his support for President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee. Joe Donnelly of Indiana says in a statement Saturday that he made his decision after “a tough, frank and extensive discussion” with Gina Haspel, the spy agency’s acting director. The other Democrat who’s come out for Haspel is West Virginia’s Joe Manchin. Both Democrats are considered to be among the most vulnerable Senate incumbents in the November election. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Politically smart move.

Israel Calls On Syria's Assad To 'Get Rid' Of Iranian Forces
Israel's defense minister Friday called on President Bashar Assad to "get rid" of Iranian forces in Syria, warning their continued presence would only cause trouble. Iran, meanwhile, in its first official reaction to the Israeli attacks on suspected Iranian targets in Syria, said Damascus has the legitimate right to respond to what it said were repeated violations of the country's sovereignty "under fabricated and baseless excuses." Newsday

Barbara Bush Remembered By Presidents And First Ladies
In his first public comments since his wife’s death, former President George H.W. Bush said Wednesday that he used to tease his spouse of 73 years that he had a complex about how much people liked her. That fact, he said, is buoyed by stories about Barbara Bush’s warmth and wit following her death. Tributes have rolled in from around the world, from former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to a U.S. Navy commander, who recalled Mrs. Bush handing out cookies to sailors on a battleship. Newsday

Israel Closes Main Crossing To Gaza After Protesters Burn Security Fence
Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Saturday that Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has approved closing the Kerem Shalom humanitarian crossing in Gaza from tomorrow (Sunday) until further notice, due to Friday’s destruction of gas pipelines and the security fence at the crossing.For the second week in a row, protesters damaged gas pipes at the Kerem Shalom border crossing on Friday, which are responsible for transporting gas into Gaza. i24

Tiger Woods Finally Delivers The Round Everyone Wanted To See
Tiger Woods had been waiting for a day like this. He was starting to sound like a broken record, telling anyone who would listen that he was close to putting all facets of his game together. Finally, in Saturday’s third round of The Players Championship, he did it. Woods, who made cut on the number at 1-under Friday after two spotty rounds in which his short iron play was loose and he made few putts of significance, shot a 7-under 65 to vault himself onto the cusp of contention at 8-under. NY Post

Paul Ryan Says Trump Will Be An Asset For Republicans
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Saturday he thinks President Donald Trump will be an asset to GOP candidates this fall in states like Wisconsin that he narrowly won, even as he warned fellow Republicans that a "blue wave" could wipe out advancements made during his presidency. Ryan addressed about 600 people at the Wisconsin Republican convention, his final one after 20 years in office. The state's entire GOP congressional delegation, along with Gov. Scott Walker, honored Ryan, who received a standing ovation and chant from the audience of "Thank you, Paul!" Yahoo News
VOA VIEW: Republicans need to be more positive.

Paris Knifeman Shouts 'Allahu Akbar!'
A terrorist shouted 'Allah Akbar' as he 'slashed at the the throats of innocent bystanders' in Paris last night - killing one and injuring four others. Armed police swooped on the French capital's historic Opera Garnier opera house shortly after 9pm and used a taser on the attacker before shooting him dead when he refused to surrender. ISIS later claimed the unnamed killer, in his 20s, was one of their 'soldiers' as President Emmanuel Macron said 'France has once again paid the price of blood'. Daily Mail UK

Justice Leaders Wary To Try ISIS Fighters In US
Justice Department leaders are reluctant to recommend U.S.-based criminal trials for two Islamic State militants captured and detained in Syria, according to American officials who said that, even though federal prosecutors believe they can win in court, it is unclear whether there is sufficient evidence to secure convictions and lengthy prison terms. LMT Online

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